Albert Barnes’ Definition of Faith

Though each theologian has their own issues with doctrinal differences, this quote from Albert Barnes’ “Notes on the Bible” seemed quite pertinent for people today who make a claim of having faith in God.

“In one word, faith is feeling and acting as if there were a God, a Saviour, a heaven, a hell; as if we were sinners and must die; as if we deserved eternal death and were in danger of it; and, in view of all, casting our eternal interests on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus. To do this is to be a Christian: not to do it is to be an infidel.” —Albert Barnes “Notes on the Bible” for Mark 16:16.

I Will Give Them Clean Water – Expound! Jesus Well Campaign

We started a campaign to build a Jesus Well through Gospel for Asia.

Please Click Here to Visit Our Jesus Well Campaign Page

Before starting the campaign to raise $1,400 to build a fresh water well in an impoverished Asian village I contacted Gospel for Asia asking them how the money is used. Below is a copy of the email I received in response to my questions. Continue reading “I Will Give Them Clean Water – Expound! Jesus Well Campaign”

OCD and Other Brain Disorders in the Church?

The Lord has placed something on my heart for some time concerning Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other such disorders in the church. Mild cases of it are obviously rampant in the general population.  Quite a number of people who have the disorder suffer with it to a degree where it hinders functionality in daily life. Just a few questions reveals any tendencies toward it, and simple observation can reveal it in those taking great strides to conceal it. Not only is it easily found in the general population, but it is found within the church too.

Understand from the get-go, I have zero professional training in this. Anything I know or think I know is from the Lord and self-education. So, take that for what you think it is worth. The point is, this is something I feel impressed by the Lord to address. However, before doing that, I need to explain what led to my interest in this type of subject in the first place.

Going back to childhood I have had an interest in medical science. My parents had me later in life, and I spent part of my childhood and teen years caring for my father. Then, my mother’s kidneys failed. Learning about the Alzheimer’s my father suffered from and the kidney issues my mother suffered from helped me understand what was going on in their bodies. I had a desire to know how all things worked from my earliest memories, and this includes how our bodies and minds function. Wanting to know how things worked helped me hone observational and analytical skills over the years. Continue reading “OCD and Other Brain Disorders in the Church?”

An Example of Applying God’s Word to Your Life

In Matthew chapter 18 Jesus is responding to the question the disciples posed of who is going to be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. There is so much that can be learned from this chapter, but the goal here is to point out how at least one disciple paid attention and applied this word to his life.

Peter was obviously paying attention to the lesson. In Matthew 18:21 he asks Jesus a question about what Jesus just said about forgiving others. Peter wanted to know to what degree he should extend forgiveness. Different takes have been used when expounding this passage. Some may see Peter as wanting an out for how many times he should forgive someone. Maybe he just wanted clarification. We still do that today as we learn God’s word. We often want to know how much or to what degree or where we should draw lines.

Peter got his clarification on how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him. The common teaching of the day was to forgive three times. Peter went to a greater degree and asked Jesus if he should forgive seven times. Jesus, when he replied to forgive “seventy times seven times” (490 times) was not actually giving a set number for people to follow. Rather, he was teaching unlimited forgiveness in a way that could be understood by the degrees he and Peter were discussing. Remember, the teaching of the day was to forgive three times, Peter more than doubled the degree when he asked about forgiving others, and Jesus extended Peter’s amount another seventy times.

The entire chapter is about how every individual believer is supremely important to God. So much so that Jesus told Peter in Matthew 18:14 that our Father in heaven is not willing that even one of these little ones should perish. Not one! Peter took this word being taught in that moment and assimilated it into his being. How is that known? We see it when we read what Peter wrote much later when he was teaching the early church. Peter writes later in his life in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Peter remembered the lesson Jesus taught that day. He remembered what Jesus said—the words quoted of him in Matthew 18:14. It became a part of him because he desired it and allowed it. If it were not part of of him, he would not likely have left with the Gentile men to go to preach the Gospel to Cornelius no matter what vision he had. He would have followed his own thought up degrees and boundaries rather than what Jesus taught him (Read Acts 10:1-11:18).

What are you allowing God’s word to accomplish in your life? What degrees have you set in following Jesus? What boundaries have you established? Are they based on God’s word? Do you even know what God’s word teaches about the issues that are personal to you and your walk in faith?

Two Minute Bible – The Lying Spirit

There is a lying spirit fixed over this land. You do not have to believe the lies. Put your faith in the Lord Jesus. This little video exposes the source behind the trouble in so many lives. For the world, the lying spirit is trying to convince them of hopelessness, to get them to engage in destructive behaviors and to commit horrendous acts of violence. All of this is done with the goal of getting people to end up in hell. In the church, the lying spirit is trying to destroy faith to render the church ineffective at the Great Commission of spreading the Gospel message. You DO NOT have to believe the lies!

Two Minute Bible – Walking on Water and Faith in Jesus

We had a moment of putting faith into practice right after this video was made. We were trying to record this without the radio-controlled plane flying overhead drowning out my voice. I was already competing with the sound of the water flowing in the creek. The plane had me talking much louder than I am used to. I was a bit frustrated, but I prayed that we could successfully finish the segment.

When we were picking up our gear to walk back to our vehicle, a woman asked us what we were taking pictures of. In addition to telling her about photos we take in the area, I felt lead to tell her that we were also shooting short little Two Minute Bible segments teaching scripture and Christian concepts. She told us that she knew she had to stop and talk to us. She then told us how her sister had just passed away that very day. I do not even see the possibility for coincidences, so I know it was the Holy Spirit that made that moment possible.

Here is the video that was made just moments before the encounter.

Jesus is Lord!

Follow the Word and see . . .

First the Psalm. Make a mental note of the words/phrases, “heathen, “kings,” “rulers” “Thou art my son,” “rod of iron” and “Kiss the Son.” Notice that “Son” is capitalized. David is prophesying of Jesus the Christ, the Holy One of God.

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
Psalms 2:1-12

Now in Acts we see the people lifting up their voices with one accord after Peter and John through the name of Jesus heal the lame beggar at the temple gate called “Beautiful.” The Sadducees, who do not believe in resurrection from the dead, along with the priests and temple captain put Peter and John in prison overnight and had them give account of what was done the next day.

The religious leaders counseled to stop them from teaching in the name of Jesus. However, we know that the truth of Jesus of Nazareth being the Christ and risen from the dead could not be held back. Though the heathen, kings of the earth and rulers resist, God wins! Here we see who the “Son” in Psalm chapter two is.

“And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”
Acts 4:24-31

Now, let us see how it all turns out.

Remember “rod of iron”?

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Revelation 19:11-16

Remember “Kiss the Son”?

As servants of the Most High God we willingly bow to Jesus as our King. To kiss the son is making a gesture of obedience to our Lord. As Christians it is our heart’s desire to serve our King. Look at the “mind” that should be in us. See what will come. Isaiah foretold of it.

“I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”
Isaiah 45:23

Paul shows where we should be in our mindset as servants of Christ and what is to come to all living things.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Philippians 2:5-12