Why Don’t Your Children Behave?

Have you ever looked at other people’s children and wondered why they’re so well behaved, while your children aren’t? Can you take your children to a restaurant and make it through a meal without being frustrated? Can you have a conversation with another adult without being interrupted? We’ve all been there, we’ve all been frustrated with our kids and struggled with how to make them behave.

I’ll let you in on a little secret… Everyone’s children misbehave. The trick is to TRAIN them to obey. Obedient children don’t happen by magic or accident. I can’t promise that training will always work, but I guarantee you, that it WILL drastically improve your child’s obedience.
 
Before they can understand why they need to obey, children must be taught to have a heart for obedience. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”  In our home, our children love Jesus and they love being able to memorize bible verses.  One of the very first verses that they learned was Ephesians 6:1. We repeat it often; this is because they need to understand that God wants them to obey their parents, just as He wants all of us to obey Him.  Our obedience to God shows our love for Him.

 

Here are a few simple ideas to help you train your children to obey.

First, teach them HOW to LISTEN!

Children have to be able to LISTEN in order to obey. Have you ever heard of the concept of whole body listening?  No?  Me either, until a few years ago…  If you google, “whole body listening definition,” it explains how one gives different parts of the body a specific job. This enables one to focus on what is being said and really absorb it. It uses parts of the body that the speaker can see (ears, eyes, mouth, and hands), as well as, those the speaker cannot see (i.e. the brain and heart).  Basically, you are teaching your child how to focus themselves on what you want them to do.  I can easily incorporate whole body listening by asking my children to “Give Me 5.”  This teaches them what I expect from them to show they are actively listening.  This way, they’re not distracted, they can hear the words I say, AND actually comprehend the direction given.
 

Once they learn how to listen, they need to practice!  You want them to develop this skill well enough for it to become second nature.  My favorite way to do this, is through games.  We’ve all played Telephone before.  That’s a great way to start.  Another idea is to play the “Tell Me What I Said Game,” (directions: http://mosswoodconnections.com/activities/new-auditory-processing-activities/tell-me-what-i-said/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes)

Make it fun for them!  All kids love games!

 

Then Teach them HOW to OBEY!

Once children fully grasp how to listen, they need to be trained to obey. If your children do not come to you when you say to come, they aren’t fully obedient. Think about this, if you tell your child to come to you at home and they don’t, no biggie, right?  WRONG!  If you don’t train them to obey while you’re in the home, what will happen when you’re in a parking lot, or in front of a car, but they run the opposite direction? That’s a scenario that no one wants to be in.  So what’s the solution?  Training! Kids love fun and games.  So we train them to obey with fun and games! 

 

The most successful way I’ve seen this accomplished, is what I affectionately refer to as, “Puppy Training.”  Everyone knows you train a new puppy to obey with simple commands such as: sit, stay, and come.  Not everyone knows that this works well for little human babies too! Teach your child to obey your command by standing a few feet away, and telling them to come to you.  When the child obeys, make a huge deal by lavishing them with praise.  Repeat a few times and then back farther away.  Repeat.  And repeat.  And repeat…. As many times/days/weeks as it takes.  If your child learns, but then starts to forget, train them again!  The ultimate goal is that your child should come to you whenever you call to them without any questions or hesitations.

 
Here is a link to other games that work well for teaching obedience.https://www.triumphantlearning.com/teach-child-obey-games/
 
The biggest issue with my children’s obedience is when I have adult company over.  They want to join in on the conversation so badly they can’t stand it!  Someone once gave me some advice on how to handle that (obviously she could see I needed help!) and it has worked wonders for me!  Teach your child that while you’re speaking to another adult, and they need your attention, they should place their hand on your arm.  You will acknowledge them by placing your hand on top of theirs so they know you recognize their need.  When you get to a stopping place in your conversation, acknowledge their turn by asking, “What did you need to say?”  After practicing this a few times, my children got the hang of it!  Of course, we still need reminders every now and then, but their interrupting has gotten so much better!
 
Like I said, I can’t promise that your children will become perfect little angels, but I can promise you that these training tools have worked wonders for my little ones!


5 Biblical Thoughts to Help You Still Give Thanks When Life is Ugh, Annoying and Bleh

How to Give Thanks When Life is

It is Thanksgiving time and yet perhaps it is hard for you to be thankful this year.  Perhaps finances are tighter than ever or cancer struck at the heart of your normally thankful spirit.  Maybe thankfulness seems to elude you this year because of  a series of smaller difficulties  that have piled up. Whatever the circumstances, the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5 that we are to give thanks in ALL things. How in the world are we supposed to do that?

Here Are 5 Ways We Can Learn to Give Thanks Even When Life Is Ugh, Annoying and Bleh…

1.      Relinquish control to God’s sovereign plan, knowing that He is never out of control. Even with the problem of sin and evil, God overrules and works all things for our good as we become more like Christ.

2.      Rest in God’s wisdom and love.  God is all-wise. He knows the end from the beginning and is always acting in love toward us, His children. We often cannot see that when in suffering, yet we can understand it when we compare parenting to God’s love.  As a parent allows a non-understanding, crying baby to undergo surgery, an immunization shot, or other pain for ultimate healing or good, so God does the same.  As the parent would not love the child if he/she stopped the pain, so God would not fully love us if He did not allow what was best. 

3.      Run to His Word. God’s Word, the Bible, contains “all things that apply to life and godliness.” We open it to find the truths we need, and we depend upon His Spirit to lead us in applying it to our situation and to our hearts personally. 

4.      Reach out to others.  In the midst of our pain, it is helpful to serve others.  Serving helps us get our focus off of our suffering.  It is an encouragement to know that we have helped others and been used by God to bring joy to them.  Even during Jesus’ suffering on the cross, He was mindful of His mother’s needs.

5.      Share your burden.  Don’t substitute fellowship with others for time with God; but if at all possible, find a close Godly friend who will faithfully listen and point you back to God’s truth when your faith begins to waiver. Confide in your church family to find healing and strength. God works through the body of Christ, the church. If you don’t have a church family, we would invite you to visit us.

For further consideration, please understand that the Bible isn’t a book that emphasizes thankfulness and then hides the fact that humans suffer. Here are some examples.  Adam and Eve suffered the murder of their son by his own brother.  Job suffered the loss of almost all he had. The faithful Christians in Revelation suffered. Hebrews 11 has a whole list of suffering saints. 

As we attempt to have this spirit of thankfulness, We are faced with the question of why God’s children suffer in the first place if an all-powerful God loves and cares for them. Though that seeming dilemma is not the point of this article, a few quick notes may lead you to further help and study.

  1. Sin. We live in a sin-cursed world. Romans 8:22 reminds us that all Creation groans because of sin.  In addition, the consequences of our own personal sin often bring pain. The sins of others can bring heartache, too.

    2.      Strangers. We are strangers in this world. Hebrews 11:13 reminds us that this world is not our home. This is not our place of rest. We can’t expect to be too comfortable here.  Heaven is our resting place.

    3.      Sons. We are sons of God. Therefore God, as a loving Father, brings suffering at times to discipline us in order that it may yield the “peaceable fruit of righteousness” in our lives (Hebrews 12).

    4.      Satan. Job 1 allows us to see that Satan and his minions are allowed by God to bring about hard times for God’s children in order to bring glory to God.  Always remember though, that God’s glory and the good of his children are eternally bound together. Our good does not suffer to bring God glory. 

    5.      Selfishness. Although a derivative of #1 above, it still should be mentioned, because the selfishness of those we love (as well as those we don’t even know) can cause great pain.

Again if you feel that we can be of help to you are someone you know, please get in touch with us or stop in for a visit. We are here to point people to the Bible and the hope that is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ. 
 


10 Ways to Enjoy God When Life is Busy

 

 
Many of us have good intentions when it comes to spending time with God. However there is often a long list of other things that can push this priority to the bottom of the pile. Family, work, school, sports, and other commitments can fill our days leaving little margin for the spiritual activities that really feed our souls. By not making time for God, we often leave ourselves empty, vulnerable to temptation, and without direction.

D.L. Moody, the nineteenth century founder of Moody Church and Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, recognized his need for God and once said, “the only way to keep a broken vessel full is to keep the faucet running.” So how do we “keep the faucet running” in the middle of a hectic schedule?

Here are some practical suggestions:

 

Use travel time. The AAA Foundation recently conducted an extensive survey to better understand the characteristics of today’s American drivers. In this study they reported that the average driver spends over 290 hours driving every year. That is the equivalent of seven 40-hour work weeks! All of this time spent on the road can be an excellent opportunity for us to pray — with your eyes OPEN, of course! Storing prayer cards in the sun visor or console can provide some quick prompts to help you get started.

 

Multitask. If you can cook dinner while watching a Netflix show or helping one of your children review for a spelling test, then you can multitask. This means you should also be able to listen to worship music while getting ready in the morning or to pray while doing other projects which don’t require your full mental attention. You can look for natural connections to help you remember — like asking God to clean your heart while you are cleaning the kitchen or praying for a child to grow in God’s grace while you are doing an errand related to that child.

 

Rise and Shine. Although multitasking is great, ideally it is a good idea to prioritize some focused time with God each day. One way to accomplish this is by waking up a little earlier each morning to read the Bible and pray. The house is usually quiet then, and having the automatic brew cycle set the night before will allow you to wake up to the smell and the warmth of coffee. For most people, the key to getting up earlier is simple — going to bed earlier. It starts there — the night before. Nothing else compares to prioritizing and enjoying these regular blocks of focused time with Him!

 

Get some exercise. Look for ways to strengthen your heart while strengthening your body by filling your mind with truth while exercising. One way to do this is by listening to Christian podcasts or audiobooks while exercising. This is also a quiet time to talk with God in prayer.

 

Memorize and Meditate. Even in the busiest times, it is possible to use wait times to work on memorizing Scripture. A Scripture memory card can easily be stuffed in one’s pocket or bag so that it is available during down times throughout the day. This might be while waiting for a client, sitting in a doctor’s office, or passing time in the after school pick-up line. Memorization is more than simply recalling words; it is a great way to meditate on God’s Word! There are some great apps out there to help with Scripture memory.

 

In the Moment Prayers. God doesn’t care where you are or how noisy it is when you call out to Him. You can ask Him for wisdom and patience while in your favorite overstuffed chair in the early moments of the morning, while waiting in traffic, or while pushing a two-seater truck-cart down aisle 12 at Target. He is always present – always desiring to help and guide you.

 

Prioritize Church. Getting to church can be a challenge if it is not already built in to your schedule, but being with other believers and hearing the teaching of God’s Word is an important part of every believer’s life. Paul refers to the church as a “body” in which we all play an important role (1 Corinthians 12:27). By making this time a priority, you contribute your part to the body and to bringing glory to God.

 

Spend Quality Time with Other Believers. The Bible includes many admonitions directed at the things believers are to be doing for “one another.” These include encouraging, praying for, building up, serving, and more. We cannot be doing these well unless we are spending quality time investing in friendships with other Christians. This does not mean that Christians only spend time in deep, serious talk. Instead they share life and laughter together often making it easier and more natural to talk about the things that deeply matter.

 

Serve. Philippians 2 explains that Jesus Himself came to this world as a servant, and in the same way, every believer is instructed to use the gifts God has given to serve others (1 Peter 4:10). Serving can be little things like helping people throughout your day or it can be done in a more planned way by regularly serving in a certain ministry through your church. By humbly giving of yourself to bless others, you offer a gift of worship to the Lord (Ephesians 6:7).

 

Ending the Day. As the day comes to a close, it is good to take a few moments to reflect back over your day. This is a great time to confess any sin which God brings to your mind and thank Him for the many blessings He brought throughout the day. When areas of concern come to mind, give them to the Lord asking for His wisdom and strength.

 

If you are not already in a regular habit of spending time with God, choose one or two these suggestions and get started this week. You were made with a desire to relate to God built deep into your DNA, and by making time for this important priority, you will find great fulfillment in the love He desires to pour into your life.

 

We hope that in your busy schedule, you’ll take a “day of rest” as God did. A great thing to do is make that day Sunday and make worship part of that time. We hope you’ll take some time to join us for a service. We would love to have you.

 



Take Some Time to Start Right – Some Biblical Advice

Bible Advice for a New Year

 

It is here. A new year is a fresh start. It provides a clean slate to write your story. Here are some biblical ways of doing so to consider as you begin.  Of highest importance is knowing for sure you have a vital real relationship with Jesus Christ through the simple plan of the Gospel.  If you are unsure of your relationship with God, we would invite you to contact us to talk in person. In the meantime, click here to help understand more about your relationship with God.

Here are 7 practical ways to begin this new year of life in a biblical way.

1.       Begin With an Over-all  Renewed Commitment to the Priority of God in Your Life

Some things to think about as you consider the place of priority God has held in your life and how you might improve.

·         What do I spend my time doing each week? Remember, time is life and life is time. How you spend your time is how you are spending your life.  Sure there is time to relax, watch the game

·         What do I look forward to doing most in a week?  Does your answer have much to do with God or your service to him?

o   Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…(Matthew 6:33)

o   If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Col 3:1-2)

o   Create and pray for the opportunities to serve in ways you enjoy.  The way you serve him will be according to the spiritual gifts and opportunities he has given you.

2.       Begin with a Renewed Commitment to the Priority of Prayer

It is interesting how large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises. We scarcely open the Bible before we read, “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;” and just as we are about to close the volume, the “Amen” of an earnest supplication meets our ear. Instances are plentiful. Here we find a wrestling Jacob-there a Daniel who prayed three times a day-and a David who with all his heart called upon his God. On the mountain we see Elias; in the dungeon Paul and Silas. We have multitudes of commands, and myriads of promises. What does this teach us, but the sacred importance and necessity of prayer? – Charles Spurgeon

 “God’s acquaintance is not made hurriedly.  He does not bestow his gifts on the casual or hasty comer and goer.  To be MUCH alone with God is the secret of knowing Him and of having influence with Him.” E.M. Bounds

 “We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power.  We have a great deal of activity but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results.  The power of God is lacking in our lives and in our work.  We have not because we ask not.  It was a master stroke of the Devil when he got the church and the ministry so generally to lay aside the mighty weapon of prayer/ The Devil is not afraid of machinery, he is only afraid of God, and machinery without prayer is machinery without God. When due to lack of teaching or spiritual insight, we trust in our own diligence and effort to influence the world and the flesh, and work more than pray, the presence and power of God are not seen in our work as we wish.” R. A. Torrey

3.       Begin with A Renewed Commitment to the Word of God, The Bible.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Col 3:16)

 “Sanctify them through Thy Word, Thy Word is Truth.” (John 17:17)

Whatsoever things be TRUE….THINK on these things… (Phil. 4:8)

We ARE what we THINK on a regular basis. Meditate on the Bible every day.

·  Read the Word – Don’t get discouraged if you miss a day or a week or a month….

· Listen to the Word preached – take notes, MP3, online sermons….  www.oneplace.com

·  Memorize the Word

·  Consider it in daily actions – remember that as a Christian it is “written on your heart.” What does that mean to you?

4.       Begin Without the Nagging Paralyzing Effect of Fear, Dread and Worry

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isa 41:10)

Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ… Peter 1:13

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2Co 10:5)

Remember:

Great Faith is not an irrational leap. It is a reasonable trust in the revealed truth about God. It is a process of thinking. John MacArthur

Faith is primarily thinking.  The trouble with a man of “little faith” is that he doesn’t think.  He allows circumstances to beat him up.  Faith is not purely mystical.  Christian faith is essentially thinking (by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit) on the truths of God’s Word. “Look at the bird, the grass, the lilies, –consider them…think about it and draw your deductions based on logic.  Faith is a man determined to think on truth when circumstances tell him not to. Lloyd-Jones

The essence of “little faith” is that a man’s thoughts are controlled by circumstance and not by the man girding up the loins of his mind and bringing them captive to the truth.  The man of “little faith” is the man who is not allowing the Spirit to fill him with the truth of the Word of God, but is being filled with his own thoughts of fear, worry and suspicion based on circumstances.  He then does not think, but goes round and round in circles.   Worry is not “thinking too much” it is not thinking enough about the Biblical truth that you know.  It is not letting the Word of Christ “dwell in you richly” and being “filled with the Word of God by the Holy Spirit” Faith is not optimism, wishful thinking, or dreaming.  It is a reasoned response to the revealed truth of the Bible with or without emotion.  Lloyd-Jones

5.       Begin Without Conviction from Sins of the Past Which You Have Confessed and Forsaken.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Pro 28:13)  If you haven’t confessed and forsaken your sin.  Do so today. Would you rather have a year of failure or a year of mercy?

6.       Begin with A Renewed Commitment to Spiritual Disciplines in the Pursuit of Godliness.

God makes us Godly!!!    We “put ourselves in the way.”  Remember:

·         Discipline brings Freedom to reach your goals

·         Discipline is based on principle and commitment -not feeling

·         Discipline without direction is drudgery. – Donald Whitney

 Examples of areas to develop disciplined routines for godliness.

A great resource for ideas in the book, Spiritual Discipline by Donald Whitney.

·         Bible intake          

·         Service

·         Confession to God

·         Prayer

·         Searching/solitude

·         Praise

·         Devotions

·         Accountability

·         Evangelism

7.       Begin with The End in Mind.

It may be hard to do, but think about how you want this new year to end next December.  What will you want the year to have been like?  What do you want to have accomplished, how to you want to be better? Different? This means you’ll need to set and accomplish goals.  Here are some ideas on how to do so.

Quick steps to getting where you want to go…

·         Review your roles (What roles do you play?  Mom, Dad, Employee, Christian, Husband, Wife…?

·         Realistic reflection in each area of how you can and should improve.

·         Righteous reach forward (God ordained Goals).  Set goals for each role.

·         Reinvented routine. Determine to change your life’s routines in order to reach your goals.

·         Revitalized rigor. Get excited and motivated by envisioning how your life and the lives of those around you will improve as you reach your goals.

If you do not have a church you feel at home in or that teaches the Bible in a truthful practical way, we invite you to visit us some Sunday. 

Here is more you may find helpful on our site.


Doubts About God. Can They Ever Be Good?

So You Doubt God.Is it Good or Bad Doubt-
 
Some of us or perhaps all of us doubt God, his Bible or even his existence from time to time. There are two kinds of doubt however. One is good and one is bad. Good or Honest doubt prompts us to look for answers and seek truth while flippant or bad doubt tends to be an excuse for living and acting however we want. Which kind do you or those you love struggle with?

It can be expressed with these two phrases one might hear from doubters.

Good doubt may sound like this.  “I need to know more. I want to understand who God is and why he is trustworthy.”

Bad doubt may sound like this. “Hey, who knows right? Live and let live. We’ll find out who is right or wrong eventually anyhow when we all gather at the big party in the sky.”

For a long time, I’ve felt that Thomas has gotten a bad rap. Remember him? Doubting Thomas? He’s the disciple who was out somewhere when the resurrected Christ appeared to the others.
“Hey, Tom! You really missed it. He’s back—Jesus. And He was here just a few hours ago—Where were you?”
“I was out. Just out. Walking. I’ve got a lot of thinking to do.”
His friends were obviously excited about something. Maybe one of them said, “That empty tomb Peter and John saw on Sunday—this is why. Jesus is really alive! We’ve seen Him!”

Thomas wasn’t one to buy into someone else’s excitement. Still hurting over the loss of one he had committed his life to, he said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
That’s pretty strong wording. Thomas said he would have to poke his finger into the holes made by the nails of the crucifixion. Maybe that was hyperbole. But we forget how confused and discouraged all of the disciples were. But Thomas was the realist in the crowd. It was only Thomas who heard what Jesus clearly had told them on their way to the Passover feast, just a week before. Jesus had said to them that he would be betrayed and killed. All the others were expecting Jesus to use this huge gathering to announce his earthly kingdom and to lead a revolt that would push the occupying Roman army out of Israel. Some of them were jockeying for position in this new kingdom. Most of the disciples were not ready for God’s unexpected plan.
But Thomas was. His take on it? He was ready for the worst. Before they came to Jerusalem, he had said, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” You’ve got to give him credit for faithfulness. For him, it wasn’t about a place in the inner circle or getting a high office in the kingdom. For Thomas it was about Jesus.

Do you see the unexpected juxtaposition: the no-nonsense realist, the doubter, was in some sense the most faithful of them. Can faith and doubt coexist? In his book The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel proposes that doubt is necessary for faith. People who have never seriously examined the evidence, pro and con, have a shallow faith. They are easily blown away by the first argument they cannot answer. And they can’t answer, not because there is no answer, but because they have not done the “due diligence” of examination.

The honesty of doubt, good doubt, in contrast to smoke-screen or bad doubt, is what will build a person up. Lee Strobel wrote of that. A Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and an atheist, Strobel started his investigation of Christianity to disprove it. As the evidence for the validity of faith began to mount, he experienced the natural reaction of trying to avoid God’s claims on his life. He clung to arguments that he knew were weak, just to avoid the consequences of admitting that God is real. He knew that his life would have to change. However, the tough-minded pursuit of truth that made him a good journalist compelled him to confront his intellectual dishonesty, and he became not only a Christian, but also one of the major defenders of Christian belief in our time.

Thomas struggled with that too. Do you see the profound insight of his wording: “I will not believe.” He did not say, “can’t believe”; he said, “won’t believe.” There is an act of the will involved. Honest good doubt seeks truth, not convenience or a way to continue in a given lifestyle. Some people are more interested in saving face than honestly considering faith.

 Good or Honest doubt matters. So does the point-of-decision principle. An old story has a college freshman challenging the professor, “How do you know that I exist?” Perhaps the student expected a discussion of a universal life force and the illusory nature of our perception of individual existence and human will. Instead, the prof answered, “Who, may I ask, is speaking?” The evidence of the student’s existence was overwhelming. Yes, you can always come up with some argument, but sooner or later, you must choose. To continue putting off choice is itself a powerful choice, perhaps a deadly choice. For the enquiring mind, there never will be a point when all questions have been answered as simply and clearly as a high school math problem. Faith must take priority. 

Some years ago, when I was struggling with a career change, a friend introduced a new phrase to me: “Eventually, you just have to pull the trigger.” Quite a picture: a small action performed with full knowledge that something big and consequential will follow. There comes a time when the weight of evidence demands a verdict. So it is with Christ. Healthy good doubt moves toward a goal; it doesn’t drift. It seeks truth, not excuses.

It is God who says “Come now, let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1:18). God also says, “You will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). I would encourage you to seek where answers are likely to be found: at a Bible-teaching church. For a safe, friendly place to investigate the claims of God’s word, visit us at First Baptist Church. 

For more information, we suggest the book mentioned above.  You can purchase it here on Amazon or listen to the audio book here on YouTube. 

 


3 Reasons Christ’s Resurrection is so Important.

What is Easter Really is MoreAbout Jelly Beans and RabbitsThan Jesus and the Resurrection- (1)

Easter egg hunts, the Easter Bunny, jelly beans, candy eggs, Easter baskets, and Peeps! All of these are fun and enjoyable parts of Easter, but what if that is all? What if the Easter dinner and the fun were the only things to celebrate? What if Jesus Christ didn’t rise from the dead? What if there were no resurrection from the grave?

 

In 1 Corinthians 15:12-13, the Bible actually proposes this question. Paul writes, 

“…how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen.” Paul then goes on to describe the negative consequences of an Easter that is only about eggs, bunnies, and candy. He describes what life would be like without the truth and reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

Let’s remember the following 3 realities of a universe and life without the resurrection of Jesus Christ. These can be found in 1 Corinthians 15.

 

  1. Without the resurrection of Jesus, there is no forgiveness of sin.The purpose of Jesus’ sacrificial death was to provide a completely holy substitute for our sinful failures. God requires the punishment of death for the forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9). No mere human can provide a sufficient sacrifice before God for the sins of others, because each person must die for his or her own sin. However, Jesus, as God and man miraculously combined, could live a completely holy life and thus provide a perfect sacrifice for the sin of mankind through the shedding of His blood and His death on the cross.  Romans 1:4 says that Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” If Jesus didn’t rise, He was not the Son of God, and thus His death was simply the death of another good man. If He is still dead, then He died for only His own sin but not ours.  If this is the case and there is no resurrection of Christ, then we are left surrounded by, captive to, and dominated by our sinful desires and deeds. We are left in our struggle to live with our own guilt and to die condemned by our sin. 

 

  1. Without the resurrection of Jesus, our faith is worthless. Our belief in hope, a brighter tomorrow, that God is somehow working all things for good, that death is not the end, and that all wrongs will be made right would all be in vain without the resurrection of Jesus. There would be no reason to hope. We might die in the next moments, and then what? There would be no belief in eternal life, including eternal reward or eternal punishment.  If our faith is worthless, there is no hope, no joy, no peace. If our faith is worthless, we should, “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”  (That advice may initially sound good to some until you combine it, for all humanity, with the next point that there is no real right and wrong without the resurrection.) If our faith is worthless and there are no moral absolutes, and if others’ merriment includes your detriment, then the world becomes a horrible place. If our faith is worthless, we are, as Paul describes, a most miserable humanity.

 

 

  1. Without the resurrection of Jesus, the Bible is a lie and there is no ultimate truth for life, living, and death.Paul says that if the resurrection didn’t happen, then truths about God, the Bible, and good versus evil all fall apart. If the resurrection didn’t happen, those who believe the Bible and teach it to others are liars. God, if he exists at all, would be a liar. There would be no bedrock truth for humanity.  If there is no bedrock truth, then there is no right and wrong and no true justice for the hurts done to us or those we love. Every person could do that which is right in his own mind.  If there is no resurrection, we cannot provide answers for why bad things happen to good people. We cannot teach our children not to kill, steal, lie, etc., nor expect that others should not sin in those ways toward us. ISIS isn’t wrong in their efforts, serial killers aren’t really wrong, corporate greed is fine, and the list could go on to include every horrific crime or sin we could imagine. Without the resurrection, man is left alone in his quest to determine his own way, and there is no direction.

 

Certainly there will always be those who deny and mock the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We do not have to look far or type too many letters into Google to find them and their arguments. However, we must consider the far-reaching implications of their beliefs and decide for ourselves.

 

If you are a believer, as you consider Easter this year, don’t underestimate the power of the resurrection or fail to celebrate it. Share the good news of the Gospel confidently, because Jesus did rise and conquer death! Our sins can be forgiven. We can have a relationship with God. We can believe that the Bible is true and an unfailing guide for life and the future.

 

If you are not a believer, please consider the far-reaching implications of your denial and consider once again the story of the Bible. Please consider the following resources that will at least give you some more information and help you to not make a careless decision.
 
 
More Resources on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
 
Answers in Genesis – Did the Resurrection Really Happen?  

https://answersingenesis.org/jesus-christ/resurrection/did-the-resurrection-really-happen/

 

The Case for the Resurrection – Lee Strobel. An investigative reporter studies the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Case-Easter-Journalist-Investigates-Resurrection/dp/0310339502/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458392635&sr=1-3&keywords=The+Case+for+the+Resurrection

 



15 Life-Altering Results of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Capture
Often we enjoy Christmas more than Easter.  There are many reasons, but in reality Easter is more important.  True that we wouldn’t have one without the other, but here are 15 life-altering results of the resurrection (which we celebrate at Easter) from 1 Corinthians 15. We know that these results are forever valid because Jesus Christ conquered death.
 
Because Christ rose:

1.  We know that the sharing of the Gospel is not in vain, because it is true and truly effective for all who accept it.

2.  We know that our reliance and confidence in Christ for salvation from hell is not in vain.

3.  We know that we do not have to live a miserable life, even in the face of bleak circumstance and trials.

4.  We know that the results of Adam’s sin, such as evil, sickness, hurt, and harm, are only temporal; and the end for those who have a relationship with Jesus Christ is always victorious.

5.  We know we are legally justified before the Judge of the Heavens and Earth.

Read more…



Thoughts On Suicide by Pastor Raymond Wicks

Help and support signpost
 
It has become too often that we hear of someone who has decided to take their own life. No matter how close we are to them, we wish we could have done something to help them before that tragic event.People are interested in this subject for different reasons. For some, this topic is an interesting theological question. Others are thinking about how they can effectively minister to hurting hearts. For some, trying to figure out the “why” is their main focus. Others are trying to figure out how to go forward after such a heartbreaking loss.The subject of suicide should be approached with a compassionate care for all those involved. I trust these thoughts will be helpful.


Should My Children Attend Church Camp?

summer-camp
 
There are many factors that make Christian camping a positive and valuable experience. All of these experiences are found to some extent in the local church and in other types of ministries, but they are strongly present in Christian camps. First, in most Christian camps, there is an extensive exposure to the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Bible is living and powerful. A typical day in a Christian camp will have some form of personal or group devotions, an evening chapel service, and a Scripture memorization program. This repeated use of the Word of God over a week’s time is very valuable in letting the Word dwell richly in the lives of the campers and staff (Colossians 3:16). God often orchestrates the various times in the Word to emphasize the same themes from different angles or to offer a variety of emphases that will meet different needs in the different individuals.


Why Should I Give Money to My Church? by Trevor Marsteller

 
Young sprout from a pile of coins.
If you’re a young adult, you may find yourself asking the question, “Why should I give to my church?” You may have answered that question (or heard it answered) in several different ways: I don’t need to give that much. I need the little money I have. I can’t afford to give. I don’t have to give to my church since I give elsewhere. I’ll give later when I have more money.

Notwithstanding the evasive answers that are like dribble from the mouths of young adults like you and I, there are some very good reasons why you should give to your church.

Giving follows receiving

You should give because God gives to you so that you would generously give to others. Paul testifies in 2 Cor. 9:11 that “being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” Have you received anything? Then you should give generously. God doesn’t want you to hoard anything. He structured his provision to not only be received, but also spread.