Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Today Reminder (Important) – 23 August 2017

A reminder for today
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. (1 Timothy 4:8)

It is Wednesday and my body thinks it should be Saturday. This week is suddenly way too long. How are things on your side, my friend? I do hope you are getting enough rest and that you are well. This morning my Bible app send me this verse and I read it just before I went to the gym. By now you should know I am a little fanatic. I train twice a day for six days and when I am not in my pre-contest preparation I rest in Sundays otherwise you will find me in the gym doing cardio on a Sunday too.
So, when I got this verse it just stomped me for a moment. It is easy to forget verses and when you see them again they can really make you think. As it is we are struggling financially. I guess like many other, since everything is so expensive nowadays and it keeps getting more expensive, yet our increases remain small and pretty insignificant to inflation. What made me think?

You see, in our material and possession orientated world we tend to make things important that is of no importance to God. We seek and desire stuff that is not important and in most cases, we do not even need it. What is important then? 

You see I wake up every morning to train and yes physical exercise is important, but is it to God? God said that your body is His temple and in this He meant that you must keep it holy and not allow sin to control your body. By this He wants us to remain pure and clean. Do not abuse substances and stay away from drugs and sexual immortality. If you keep your body healthy and fit it is a huge plus. But still, what is important to God?

To God godliness is the most important thing. Let’s look at the word godliness. Godliness means the quality of being devoutly religious; piety. Synonyms include devotion, righteousness and goodness. To God it is most important that we are devout to Him and that we remain faithful to Him and His word. It is important that we accept Jesus as our savour and live our lives in goodness and righteousness, because it is profitable. This means that it not only gives us all we need it fulfils all our needs and desires and finally it gives the promise of life. That is life, now and forever. 

So, above all things it is imperative that we focus our energy and effort on the prize of life. Life with Jesus in eternity. So, come with me today as we change our needs and desires to God and God alone. Let Him be the one thing you desire most and let His way be the way you live your life. Focus on goodness and righteousness as you live a life full of godliness. If this is in place all else will follow, but make this your priority.

Lord, thank you for reminding me that you are the most important thing in my life and that you must be first in all that I do. We thank you for all the privileges and blessings we receive from your grace. Be with us today and help us so that we will remain focussed on you. In Jesus name.  

Have an awesome day, dear friend of Jesus. 


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Today Reminder (The Case) – 22 August 2017

A reminder for today
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39)

It is Tuesday and I am really tired. Work is keeping me busy and our workout’s intensity increased this week pushing my limitations to the boundary. I love a tough workout so I am in my element this week, but it is really exhausting. Just as it is exhausting seeking a reason to discredit the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I watched “The case for Christ” this weekend which a true story based on the life of Lee Strobel as he turned from a critic to a believer. In the move one of his colleagues asked him how much evidence is enough. How much evidence do you need when there is overwhelming evidence for Jesus. In the move Lee is faced with evidence of Jesus as he tries to prove it as a hoax. Instead of proving it all wrong, he ended up with so much overwhelming evidence that he realised he was wrong all the time. 

Now let me leave you with 10 reasons to authenticate the resurrection and help you in your case for Jesus Christ:

  1. The First Eyewitnesses were Women. The first eyewitnesses of the resurrection were women. All the Gospels note that the first individuals to discover the tomb empty were women. Matthew notes that “After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb…The angel told the women, ‘Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the play where he lay” (Matthew 28:1, 5-6). Women were not held in high esteem. In Greco-Roman culture, a woman’s testimony was not admissible in court. In Jewish circles, it took the testimony of two women to equate that of one man. If one were to invent a story, the last people one would place as the first witnesses would have been women, unless it were otherwise true.
  2. Minimal Facts Concerning the Resurrection. Gary Habermas has popularized the so-called minimal facts argument for the resurrection. The minimal facts are those things that are accepted by nearly all New Testament scholars. The minimal facts are “1. Jesus died by crucifixion. 2. Jesus’ disciples believed that he rose and appeared to them. 3. The church persecutor Paul was suddenly changed. 4. The skeptic James, brother of Jesus, was suddenly changed. 5. The tomb was empty.” These facts are nearly universally accepted by New Testament scholars, including liberals.
  3. Transformation of the Early Disciples. As noted in the minimal facts, James, the brother of Jesus, was changed from a skeptic to a believer because of the resurrection. James along with his brothers did not believe in Jesus during Jesus’s early ministry (see John 7:5). However, Jesus appeared to James (1 Corinthians 15:3-9) and James became a leader in the early Jerusalem church. His death is recorded by Josephus. Paul is another example of one who was completely transformed by the resurrection of Jesus. Paul had been a persecutor of the church. After witnessing the risen Jesus, Paul became a proclaimer for the church.
  4. Embarrassing Details of the Resurrection. Historically speaking, embarrassing details add veracity to a historical claim. The fact that women were the first witnesses, that a member of the Sanhedrin (the same Sanhedrin that executed Jesus) had to give Jesus a proper burial, and that the disciples were fearful and fled all serve as embarrassing factors for the resurrection account.
  5. Willingness to Die for What Was Known. Many people will die for what they believe to be true. But no one will die for something they erroneously invented. The disciples knew if they were telling the truth. Yet, one finds that the disciples were willing to die for what they knew to be true. Stephen died by stoning (Acts 7:54-60), James of Zebedee died by the sword at the hands of Herod (Acts 12:2), James the brother of Jesus died, and Peter and Paul died at the hands of Nero.
  6. Documentary Evidence. The documentary evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is quite good. The historian seeks to find how many primary and secondary sources can be gathered for an event to determine the event’s historicity. Concerning primary sources, the resurrection has Matthew’s account, John’s account, and Paul’s account in 1 Corinthians 15, including the additional references by James (if one accepts that James wrote the letter attributed to him) and Jude. The following are secondary sources for the resurrection: Luke, Mark, Clement of Rome, and to a lesser degree Ignatius and Irenaeus.
  7. Circumstantial Evidence. Douglas Groothius notes that circumstantial evidence for the historicity of the resurrection is “namely, the practice of the early church in observing baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and Sunday worship.” Baptism is based upon the analogy of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. The Lord’s Supper is a symbol of Christ’s sacrificial death. In addition, it is quite odd that faithful Jews would move their worship from a Friday evening into Saturday to a Sunday morning unless something major had occurred on a Sunday morning. The major Sunday morning event was Jesus’s resurrection.
  8. The Missing Motive. J. Warner Wallace has noted in his lectures and books that when a conspiracy is formed, three motivating factors are behinds such a move—power, greed, and/or lust. The disciples would hold no power behind claiming the resurrection as history. They were running around while often being threatened by the Jewish and Roman authorities. As far as greed, they taught that one should not desire earthly possessions, but spiritual ones. Lust was not a factor, either. They taught celibacy before marriage and marital fidelity after marriage. In fact, N. T. Wright notes in his classic book, The Resurrection of the Son of God, that the disciples had no theological motivation behind claiming that Jesus had risen from the dead as they were anticipating a military hero and a final resurrection at the end of time. What motivating factors existed for these disciples to invent such a story? None! The only reason the disciples taught the resurrection of Jesus was because Jesus’s resurrection had occurred.
  9. Enemy Attestation of the Resurrection. Historically speaking, if one holds enemy attestation to an event, then the event is strengthened. When one considers the claims of the authorities that the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus (Matthew 28:11-15), the testimony of the resurrection is strengthened. The early belief that the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus is strengthened by the discovery of the Nazareth Inscription that orders capital punishment for anyone who steals a body from a tomb. In addition, several refences to Jesus and his resurrection include citations from Josephus, Tacitus, and Suetonius among others (including the Babylonian Talmud).
  10. Multiple Post-Resurrection Eyewitnesses. Finally, there is multiple eyewitness testimony pertaining to the resurrection of Jesus. Several people had seen Jesus alive for a period of 40 days. The eyewitnesses include Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18), the women at the tomb accompanying Mary (Matthew 28:1-10), the Roman guards (Matthew 28:4), the Eleven disciples (John 21), the two men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), an indeterminate number of disciples (Matthew 28:16-20); over five-hundred disciples (1 Corinthains 15:6), to James (1 Corinthians 15:7) and to Paul (1 Corinthians 15:8-9). I am certain that there were many other witnesses that are unnamed.
Finally, I want to say that it is medically proven that Jesus died on that cross with the injuries He sustained and the effect of being crucified. The blood and water that came out of His body when they stabbed in with the spear is due to prior to death, the sustained rapid heartbeat caused by hypovolemic shock also causes fluid to gather in the sack around the heart and around the lungs. This gathering of fluid in the membrane around the heart is called pericardial effusion, and the fluid gathering around the lungs is called pleural effusion. This explains why, after Jesus died and a Roman soldier thrust a spear through Jesus’ side, piercing both the lungs and the heart, blood and water came from His side just as John recorded in his Gospel (John 19:34).

Therefore, you are worshipping a living God that became a man and gave His life for you and all of us. He died an excruciatingly painful death to take the burden of sin away from you. How much evidence is enough and how much love does it take?

Lord, we are on our knees and in awe of what you have done for us. We love you with all our hearts and all our minds. We love you with all we are and we worship you and you alone. In you we trust and in with you we will carry your message everywhere we go. In Jesus name. 

Have an awesome day, dear friend of Jesus. 


Monday, 21 August 2017

Today Reminder (The Beetle) – 21 August 2017

A reminder for today
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Revelation 1:18)

It is Monday and our weekend was basically learn, learn and learn. My son is writing a test today and we had to study for it. Yesterday was my cheat day and boy did I do it well. I love barone cake and yes, I had some and it was awesome. It is good to break routine and keep the body guessing.
We live I a world where the enemy is hard at work to turn people away from God and present them with lies such as evolution has been trying for so long. Here is an example of God’s amazing creation that makes evolution the nonsense it is. Meet the Bombardier Beetle. 

The sinister toad closes in on the beetle. Instead of a futile attempt to scurry away, the beetle waits, as though surrendering. Just before the toad’s tongue flicks out to snag its victim, the beetle fires its cannon. Pop! Pop! Pop! Out shoots burning gas. The emissions fire in pulsation, 500 times per second, but the defensive attack is complete before one second passes. Rather than getting a tasty snack, the defeated toad hops away with a mouthful of noxious gasses.

The bombardier beetle’s tail end is equipped with twin “spray nozzles” (or gland openings) to shoot its gaseous ammunition. The gas comes from two reactant chemicals—hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone. When the beetle contracts its sphincter muscle, these two chemicals mix with catalytic enzymes. The ensuing chemical reaction brings the temperature up to water’s boiling point. While the one-way valve closes to protect the beetle’s organs, out fires the mixture of gas and steam at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100°C). Some types of bombardier beetles can swivel their gland openings and shoot in nearly all directions using deflection plates. All types hit their target with a marksman’s precision.

Creationists have frequently pointed to the bombardier beetle as an example of divine design. How could the “ammunition” and “cannon” have evolved, since all the specific ingredients and mechanisms would need to be present at once to work properly? From the evolutionary worldview, the functionless machinery would have been selected against, since it would add no survival value until all of the necessary components were in place.

If your evolutionist friend refuses to see God’s handiwork in the design of the bombardier beetle, remember that the battle is in the heart more than the mind. Romans 1 says that people inherently know God from creation, yet they suppress that truth. Evolution is a convenient smokescreen for people to live as if the Creator, Law-Giver, and Judge did not exist. If God created us, we are obligated to live according to his standards for his glory. Yet we have all fallen short of God’s glory, rebelling against Him to go our own way in unbelief and disobedience (Romans 3:23).

Lord, once again we are amazed at the wonder of your creation and we love the evidence that you placed all over for us to find and share. Lord, let us glorify you in this day and show the world we love a living God, the creator of heaven and earth. In Jesus name. 

Have an awesome day, dear friend of Jesus.