Knowing God

There is a major difference between knowing about God and actually knowing Him.

Here in America, almost everyone knows about God. The number who actually know Him is smaller. Knowing God is a good thing. It is very important. If you know God, you
have the assurance of His help while you are on this earth, and you know that when you die you will go to heaven. If you only know about God, you do not have His help while
you are on this earth, and you will not go to heaven when you die.

Georgia is a little country in the mountains between Russia and Turkey. (I tried to tell someone about the Kingdom of Georgia once, and he informed me that Georgia was next door to Alabama and that it was not a kingdom.) Tamara the Great (c. 1160 –1213) for most of her life reigned as Queen of Georgia, presiding over what is known as the Golden Age of the Kingdom of Georgia. She came to the throne at a young age, upon the death of her father. As he lay dying, her father summoned all the leading people of Georgia and had them kneel and swear allegiance to his daughter, Tamara, promising to obey her. Queen Tamara knew God and was a wise ruler.

A number of wars and rebellions, along with a bad first marriage, happened to the Queen. Through it all, she became a stronger Christian. Then the day came when a messenger representing a coalition of Muslim rulers came to Queen Tamara’s court. He demanded that Tamara and her people abandon the Christian religion and become Muslims. Supported by her people, Tamara refused. The following year a large Muslim army invaded Georgia to force them to die or convert. Accompanied by the bishop of Georgia and the general of her army, Queen Tamara went out to review the troops as they prepared for battle. The Queen, the bishop, and the commanding general all dismounted from their horses. They also removed their shoes, as they felt they were on holy ground. They and the entire army knelt to pray. They asked God for victory. Queen Tamara told her soldiers, “My brothers! Do not allow your hearts to tremble before the multitude of enemies, for God is with us .… Trust God alone.” As the two armies fought, Tamara spent the day of the battle in prayer. The army of Georgia was victorious. The Queen and all her subjects gave public thanks to God. Queen Tamara knew God.

The years went by. Tamara died. Her son inherited the throne. Another large Muslim army invaded Georgia. Tamara’s son went out to meet the Mongols. Georgia had always defeated its enemies while his mother ruled. He knew he had nothing to fear. The Georgians would win again. The army of Georgia was completely defeated and the country was overrun by its Muslim foes. Tamara knew God. Her son knew about Him.

Bad things sometimes happen to those who know God. Those things should only draw us closer to God and make us stronger. Bad things also happen to those who only know about God. Often those things happen because God is trying to get those people to seek Him and come to know Him. Sometimes they blame God when those bad things happen. They are often right. God at least allowed those things to happen to them. It may have been that their sins found them out. It might have also been that God was trying to save them, to cause them to change from knowing about Him to actually knowing Him.

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The Hallelujah Army

In the year 429 A.D., Germanus, a bishop from Gaul (today’s France), was in Britain when an army of Picts from northern Scotland invaded the country. All Roman troops had been withdrawn from Britain almost 20 years previous to this. When word of the Pictish invasion came, Germanus offered his services as volunteer commander of the militia called out to stop the invading Picts. Germanus said if he was given command of the British forces every order he gave must be immediately carried out. Upon being given command of the British militia, Germanus advanced to meet the invaders. As battle was about to be joined, Germanus issued a single command to his men. He commanded them to shout Hallelujah! They obeyed and at their shout the invading Picts turned and fled. The British won an overwhelming victory.

Germanus’ army is known to this day as the Hallelujah Army.

Sources:
“The Picts – The Peoples of Europe”, by Benjamin Hudson, pub. by John Wiley & Sons, 2014
“A Catholic History of England”, Volume 1, By W. Bernard MacCabe, London, 1847. p.81.

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The Evidence for God’s Existence is Overwhelming.

The evidence for God’s existence is overwhelming. And, contrary to what some say, evil and suffering don’t undermine belief in God.

On the contrary, the presence of evil affirms the existence of good. Without good, we’d have no concept of evil. Our visceral revulsion to a gunman murdering 17 people in a high school points to a moral law that defies any Darwinian explanation. We know what happened was evil and tragic. We know it. We know it because our Creator wired that moral awareness into our very soul. You can’t have a moral law without a Moral Lawgiver.

Some, of course, argue that a God who allows evil, pain, and suffering isn’t worthy of our prayers or worship. While such emotion may, at times, be understandable, the argument itself betrays a narcissistic and naive conception of truth and reality. There are many things that happen in the universe that escape our notice. Other things happen for which we have no explanation or understanding. And others that do not meet with our approval. Our inability to know, understand, or appreciate things, however, does not speak to the reality of those things. God’s existence does not depend on our awareness, knowledge, or approval.

The bottom line is that what happened Wednesday in Florida doesn’t disprove God, it merely points to our desperate need for God.

Our society needs a realignment with the only source of absolute truth and morality.

As a person who has been in possession of a concealed firearm in schools, colleges, churches, private businesses, and government buildings thousands of times by means of the privileges and responsibilities of my vocation, the only thing which distinguishes me from Nikolas Cruz is that I know God and have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and it is through that knowledge and relationship alone that I could never act as Cruz did.

The gun is the scapegoat for a society that does not want to admit they need to ask forgiveness for blind minds and hearts. Fleeing from the truth (and the source of all truth) will only lead you to more pain and suffering.

Shared by CJ Garbo

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Live In Peace with One Another

Text – 1Thes 5:12-28

“Shalom” is taken from the root word “shalam”, which means, “to be safe in mind, body, or estate.” It speaks of completeness, fullness, or a type of wholeness that encourages you to give back …to generously re-pay something in some way. So if Jesus has given you inner peace the natural outcome of that is to pass that along to others.

In Israel today, when you greet someone or say goodbye, you say, Shalom. You are literally saying, “May you be full of well-being” or, “may health and prosperity be upon you.”

Peace and unity should characterize the followers of Jesus. It is what we should desire for our fellow believers. In preparing for his departure, Jesus leaves his followers with these words John 14:26-27 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.

The opposite of unity and peace is disunity, division, anger, unforgivness, dissention, fighting, and confusion. All of this is the playground of Satan. He works overtime to create all of this in the local church…because when he does the church become weak, ineffective, and loses sight of its mission of seeking and saving the lost and making disciples.

This is not a minor issue. Critical, negative, whining, self-serving, prideful people are literally agents of Satan himself and they have destroyed churches, and pastors and individual believers and in many cases brought the mission of the church to a complete halt.

2 Tim 2:23-26 reads, But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

If you want to know why the average church isn’t growing and in many cases closing the doors… in a lot of cases it is because it has been infiltrated by the enemy through disruptive people. The passage I just read in 2 Tim says disruptive people are directed by Satan himself. Let that sink in!

22. We are told this in Rom 16:17-18 Now I urge you, brethren, note (mark) those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. NKJV

We also read this in Titus 3:10-11 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. 11 You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. (NIV)

Sad as this sounds, part of living peaceably with all men means staying away from some people and sometimes excluding them from the church. The scriptures I have just read tell us that disruptive people are:
Captives of Satan
Are involved in ignorant disputes
Are generators of strife
Cause trouble
Are defiled
Need to come to their senses
Are full of envy and self seeking
Warped, sinful, and self-condemned

If you are in a peaceful church it is something to be guarded and celebrated. And we need to always be on our guard because the Devil is always on the job looking for some way to disturb that peace and unity because he knows he can hinder, and in some cases, destroy pastors, individuals and whole churches.

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HOW THE APOSTLES DIED.

1. Matthew
Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, Killed by a sword wound.

2. Mark
Died in Alexandria, Egypt , after being dragged by Horses through the streets until he was dead.

3. Luke
Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous Preaching to the lost.

4. John
Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge Basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution In Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered From death.
John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison Island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos . The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve As Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey . He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully

5. Peter
He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross.
According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die In the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

6. James
The leader of the church in Jerusalem , was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his
enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club.
* This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.

7. James the Son of Zebedee,
was a fisherman by trade when Jesus Called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer Walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and Knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

8. Bartholomew
Also known as Nathaniel Was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

9. Andrew
Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: ‘I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.’ He continued to preach to his tormentors For two days until he expired.

10. Thomas
Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the Sub-continent.

11. Jude
Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

12. Matthias
The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.

13. Paul
Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational Doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

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He gives Mountains…

Thought for the day, taken from Joshua 14:6-13:

Stanley GrantA miracle is simply the transfer of something from one’s spirit into their hands. Jesus always required that the miracle be alive and well (by faith) on the inside of a person, before they held their miracle in their hands. “Be it unto you according to your faith” is tantamount to saying “if you have it on the inside, you can have it on the outside.”

Unbelief on the inside? Nothing on the outside.
Faith on the inside? Miracles on the outside.

Caleb took ownership of his inheritance in his spirit, 45 years before he possessed it in his hands. Faith kept it alive in his spirit during that time. Patience is more than passively waiting, it is an active force that keeps the promise alive in one’s spirit, until the time comes for the transfer to occur.

I want my mountain.

~Stan Grant

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Does God Still Speak To Us Today

– an example from history

Sometime in England in the early 1400s, there was a king named Henry. I forget which King Henry he was, for over a period of time England had eight  kings named Henry. This particular King Henry had been having disagreements with the Pope.

To try to get in the Pope’s good graces, Henry decided to show his support for something the Pope had done. There was a priest named John Wycliffe. He had written a number of articles that the Pope did not like. More than that, he was telling the English people that they should read the Bible and decide for themselves what God wanted them to do, rather than rely on the Pope to tell them. Wycliffe next decided that the Bible used by the Catholic Church was  not a good translation, so he and some friends made a new translation. The Pope reacted by forbidding the reading of Wycliffe’s translation of the Bible. To show his support for the Pope and in hopes that he could get into the Pope’s good graces, King Henry declared that anyone owning a copy of John Wycliffe’s translation of the Bible was to be imprisoned and then executed. When the Pope heard this, he was appalled. In Rome, the Pope said, we burn books, over in England King John kills people for owning those books! The Pope did not like this, but nevertheless that was King John’s law.

King John had a beautiful and very godly wife. Hearing about Wycliffe’s Bible, the Queen quietly got a copy. She kept it hidden in a secret compartment in her
bedroom. Every day she and her ladies in waiting would take it out and read it together.

One day the king and queen were talking. They began to talk about God and the Bible. The King got very hot and angry when the queen, his wife, did not agree with the things he believed. The problem was, the king never read the  Bible while the queen was reading it every day. Both the king and his wife got a bit excited over their discussion.

The queen made a point of saying, “but the Bible says . . . . “ The problem was, she did not quote from the Catholic Bible and the king realized that. He also knew that the only other copy of the Bible in England was the Bible translated by John Wycliffe. This was the Bible that the king had said whoever owned a copy would go to prison and be executed for having that copy. The queen saw the look on the king’s face. It told everything. She realized her husband the king knew now that she owned and was reading a copy of Wycliffe’s Bible. There was a long silence.

Then the king called a page to him and asked for a sheet of parchment and a quill pen. He wrote something on the parchment, folded it and handed it to the page, telling the page in a whisper to go at once and find the captain of the palace guard. He was to tell the captain of the guard, the king said in a whisper, to come at once with six of his most trusted guards.

As soon as he was outside in the corridor, the page looked at the parchment. He saw that it was an order to the captain of the guard to come quickly and arrest the queen. He was then to take her away to prison until she could be executed for treason.

Instead of going straight to the office of the captain of the guard, the page went first to a place where he hoped to see some of the ladies in waiting of the queen.

He was in luck. Seeing the head of the queen’s ladies in waiting, the page pretended to drop the king’s order. Picking it up, he made sure that the head of the queen’s ladies in waiting had a chance to see what the king had written. He then went on his way to find the captain of the guard. While the page took his time, the head of the queen’s ladies in waiting raced thru the corridors of the  palace to the apartment where the king and queen were. Knocking at the door and being told to enter, she went in. She dropped a swift courtesy to the king, and then, after curtseying to the queen, she quickly whispered the news in the queen’s ear. Even as she whispered the warning to the queen, they could hear the sound of soldiers marching thru the corridor. A moment later that was a knock on the door and the captain of the guard with six of his most trusted men entered.

As the king opened his mouth to order her arrest, the queen uttered a silent prayer for help to God. She had no time to do anything else. As she quickly and quietly asked for help, a thought, one single lone thought, came into her mind.

She had the time to speak it or remain silent. She had no time to say or do anything else. Without hesitation, the queen spoke to her husband the king. She said she hoped their argument had made him forget the constant pain from his gout.


As she said that, the king looked at her with wonderment in his eyes. He then called her his darling wonderful wife. He said he realized now that she was only pretending to argue with him about the Bible. He realized, he said, that she wanted to help him forget for a brief time the constant pain he was in from the gout. He began to praise her and tell her what a wonderful woman and what a wonderful wife she was. He then turned to the captain of the guard and told him he was not needed, that he could return to his quarters and take his men. You should only wish, he said to the captain of the guard, that you had a wife as wonderful as mine is!

Did God only speak to people in the Bible, or does He still speak to us today? If you could have asked the Queen of England that day, she would have told you.

God does still speak to us today. We just have to listen and do as He tells us. The queen only had one chance to do what God told her to do. She did what He said and she did not go to prison and lose her life. Instead, she had a very happy husband that day, one who would have done anything for her and one who never challenged her about the Bible again, either.

Has God ever spoken to you?

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Your thoughts or God’s thoughts?

Does Every Thought We Get Originate In Our Own Mind?

Something that happened last week keeps coming to mind, with the thought that I should tell what happened.

I was in Kmart last week to pick up a prescription. While there, I was thinking that I wanted to do something nice for the lady who works the cash register in the pharmacy. We have been getting our medicine from Kmart for the past several years, and she has always been very nice and helpful. Before picking up the medicine, I went to the candy section, for I kept feeling I was supposed to get her some candy. The first kind I noticed was a kind that I like a lot, but cannot eat, since I am diabetic. I reached for it, when a thought popped into my mind. The thought was that I should get some other kind. I wondered to myself why I should not get that kind of candy, especially as I knew it was delicious. The thought came back that she might not like it. The next thought that came into my mind was that a different kind of candy on the shelf beside it cost a dollar less and I should get that. I thought, this sounds like the enemy. Why otherwise would these thoughts come up me? I didn’t think it was God or me. The thought that then came to me was “why would the devil care which kind of candy I gave her?” I had no idea why anyone would care, but I picked up a box of the candy I liked and that I had already planned to give her.


It only cost $3.69 plus tax. The lady behind the counter did not know of course that I was buying the candy to give to her. She saw me coming and had my medicine ready for me. When I laid the box of candy down to pay for it and the medicine, she remarked that that had been her mother’s favorite candy. She said she really liked it, but she especially liked it because of the memories it brought to her. She added that she never bought it, because she could not afford it. Only after she had said all of that, did I tell her that I was buying the candy for her. She never batted an eye and barely said thank you, but I felt she really appreciated it and was just afraid
to show it for fear she would get too emotional. I thought to myself that she must really be having it hard if she could not afford $3.69 and tax for an occasional box of candy.

What also struck me was that it had been the enemy suggesting that I buy her some other kind of candy, any other kind. Buying the kind she remembered as a child and which brought back, as she told me, happy memories of her childhood, was exactly what the enemy did not want. I had wondered why he would care and now I knew.

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 Let Me Dwell In The Land Where God Moved In His Might

Deuteronomy 12:10 – But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;

Proverbs 4:18 – The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

 Let Me Dwell In The Land Where God Moved In His Might

Let me dwell in the land where God moved in His might,
Where so many lived who fought the good fight,                                                              The land that is blest with a trust from the past,                                                           Awaiting the day of God’s triumph at last.

 Let me dwell in the land that is blest by the dust,                                                            And made bright by the deeds of the righteous and just.                                                Who lived by their faith, and unwavering did act,                                                        Made covenant with God, and stood by their pact.

 Let me dwell in the land where past victories fierce blasts,                                           Have placed on the future the imprint of the past.                                                           Give me the land where great triumphs were made,                                                       And victories won, that toppled schemes Satan laid.

 Let me dwell in the land that has story and song,                                                            That tell of the triumph of right over wrong.                                                                  Give me the land that has God in each spot,                                                                     Where the promise He made, will n’er be forgot.

 Let me dwell in the land where the Spirit’s past waves,                                                 Are remembered by others than those in their graves.                                                      For out of the past, the promise will come.                                                                       For just as night heralds the light that is yet to be born.                                                      So with the dark comes the promise of morn.

And the prayers of the dead, with faith which were sown,                                              Will yet get an answer from Heaven’s own throne.                                                            Just as step after step in the pathway of right,                                                                    Results in a stone in the temple of light,

So the things that were promised, we surely shall see.                                                               For out of the past, the promise is born,                                                                           And the word that was spoken results in our morn.

                                                       Dr. N. James Brooks

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Attacking Christians is okay?

Does it bother any of you that the new politically correct (PC) “in thing” to do is to attack Christians? To me, it has become increasingly more obvious that it is okay, in our current society, to attack Christians. Christians have become the one group in today’s society for which it is okay to label, attack, joke about, and throw away all political correctness, because they do not deserve the same level of protection as other religions. Why is that? Why is it that folks feel they can classify Christians, simply by lumping them into the category “hypocrites” or “bigots” or “intolerant” or “haters”?

If we use one evil member of a particular race to create a label for all members of that race, we are indeed, bigots. Yet, it has become acceptable behavior to label all Christians as hypocrites, haters, bigots, and intolerant, simply because of the failures of a few members. And, it seems that the hatred for Christians goes far beyond normal dislike or agitation. Groups of individuals truly HATE Christians. And, it appears the reason for the hatred stems from the fact that Christian belief in the Truth of Scripture, which classifies certain lifestyles (which are politically acceptable in today’s society) as sin. Christians, I being among them, believe that the Bible is the literal Word of God, and that God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. God is not a man that he should change. God has not changed his mind, simply because His thoughts, rules and guidelines are not the PC thing today.

That being the case, we did not write the Scripture, but we do believe and share the scripture. Is society opting to shoot the messenger?

Seems like this happened to another religion group in the middle of the last century. Remember that?

Just my thoughts!
Don D. Stephens

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