Posted in theology

What are oracles?

By Elizabeth Prata

An oracle is on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment. Proverbs 16:10

And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his discourse and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened (Numbers 24:2).

The Lexham Bible Dictionary defines oracle as

A divine message communicated through a human mediator to one or more human recipients.

Wells, S. (2016). Oracle. In The Lexham Bible Dictionary.

So how an oracle different from a prophecy? Technically they both are divine messages delivered from the mind of God to the tongues of man, with intent to proclaim His revelation to a wider audience. God is using a human instrument for His tongue.

However, oracles were usually something that humans sought from God, instead of Him delivering a message unprompted by human inquiry, as usually happened with prophecy. These oracles were specific, someone was seeking an answer to a specific question, rather than the sweeping prophecies given that covered a general time frame. Of course, exceptions to this abound.

Many oracles were sought by kings and leaders for political purposes (“Will I win this battle?”) but the lay-people also sought oracles too. (e.g. 1 Kings 22:1-7)

Since some prophets or seers received compensation for oracles, the tendency was to then deliver favorable oracles to the consumer so the money would keep flowing.

Scholars like Westermann and Sweeney have identified a variety of subgenres for prophetic speech Two subgenres of judgment speech are:

  1. oracles against foreign nations, best known from their collections in the major prophets (Isa 13–23; Jer 46–51; Ezek 25–32)

  2. the woe oracle, which identifies wrongdoing and announces punishment much like typical judgment speech and is marked by the exclamation “woe” (e.g., Amos 5:18–20; Ezek 16:23). The New Testament also includes woe oracles spoken against individuals or groups (e.g., Luke 10:13; Matt 23:13–36). Wells, S. (2016). Oracle. The Lexham Bible Dictionary.

You might remember the Magic 8 Ball. It was a black ball made of hard plastic that a child could hold in two hands. It had a clear window at the top and you asked it a question, shook the ball, and waited until an icosahedron  floated tot he window with a message in it. The answers always disappointed me as a kid. “Try again later,” or “Maybe.” The ancient world was rife with oracle locations. The two most famous were the oracles of Apollo at Delphi and Zeus at Dodona. When seekers arrived and asked the oracle a question, answers that came were often vague. So if you were frustrated as a kid receiving vague answers from the Magic 8 Ball, imagine the seekers at Delphi or Dodona!  Yet still, many thousands still came to seek answers from the ‘gods.’

Of course, the only God there is, is Yahweh, and His answers (oracles) are true and specific. Romans 3:2 says

To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God, meaning, the Jews were entrusted to receive messages from God via a human medium, usually a prophet or a priest. How wonderful that He has grafted the Gentiles in, so now we can understand the oracles of God, His word via the Holy Spirit.

When we come back to the New Testament, we see that Christian teachers, functioning as prophets, also spoke the “oracles” of God. Peter said, “Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11, NASB). The author of Hebrews also used the word oracles to describe the words of God that had originally been communicated to the believers (Hebrews 5:12). Source: In Holman treasury of key Bible words

 

Posted in theology

Peace and War, War and Peace

By Elizabeth Prata

When people say, “There is peace and security,” destruction will strike them as suddenly as labor pains come to a pregnant woman, and they will not be able to escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

The world will always be seeking the increasingly elusive quality of peace and security. The word security is from the Greek compound word, meaning not and totter. The notion behind the word is they will be looking for a ‘firmness that equates to security.’ There is nothing on the earth that offers a foundational firmness that equates to security. There is no treaty, no house, no nation, no leader, no idea, no government that will offer the security that God does. The only security there is, is God. That is why the drive to find peace and security ratchets up at a frenzied pace as time marches on, because as the world crumbles into not-peace (war) and not-safety (chaos), they look toward something, anything, that will provide security.

We know war does come. There is no peace. The Tribulation opens with a horseman riding on the waves of war, unleashing it upon the world. (Revelation 6:3-4). Damascus is destroyed, (Isaiah 17), The Middle East goes to war (Psalm 83), Iran attacks Israel (Ezekiel 38-39), and the rest of the world is drawn into war after war (Matthew 24:6).

Jeremiah 8:10b-12 speaks of conditions that mirror ours today,

“From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the Lord.”

The Old Testament priests and prophets spoke of superficial things, not getting to the heart of the matter, which was their sin and their failure to repent. We have that today, preachers refusing to speak of sin but instead treating the people with a bandage when what they need is a tourniquet. They dress the wound as if the people are not dying. They focus on stamping our social ills, proclaiming a ‘woke theology’ which is no theology,  refraining from speaking true Gospel words such as sin and repent.

The false prophets speak of peace (“God loves you”) but there is no peace, none inside themselves with God and none outside themselves with each other. They are so seared with sin that they don’t even blush anymore. They have no shame at their deeds, and they will be brought down and punished. As it was then, it will be again.

Jesus is the author of time, the conductor of events, the creator of all the universe. He knows what will happen because He created the plan for it happening, and He told us about it. We can trust it because He cannot lie. The stunning thing is that He shares His intentions with us at all! He did so in the Bible, and if you own one, read it. It will make you love our Savior all the more.

If you are not saved, then the Bible will never make sense to you but you can turn on the linguistic translator almost instantly, by repenting and submitting to Jesus as Forgiver of your sins. He will send the Holy Spirit to you to indwell you and reveal the truths of His word. Then you will understand it.

And what of us, still here, still walking in His light on this side of the veil? Well, we continue to do what we do. We raise our children, we love our families, we share His name and His truths where He has planted us. Until He uproots us through death or catches us up through rapture, we persevere, fighting the good fight. These are exciting times, because His word is vibrantly flowing from His book to life and beyond. The true prophets (in this ea, pastors and teachers) are going aobut their business and fulfilling their ministry.

Praise Him that we have His word, can read it, cling to it, and through it, look toward the most important person of the Universe: Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected. And soon to return.

What a day that will be!

peace 4 verse

Posted in theology

Goodbye for now, Nahum

By Elizabeth Prata

assyria01

King Sennacherib and his crown prince Arda-Mullissi after the battle of Lachish in 701 BC. From the palace at Nineveh. Source Looklex Encyclopedia
Who is Nahum?

He was an Old Testament prophet about whom we know little. Nahum the Elkoshite is a short form of the name Nehemiah. His name means ‘consolation’ and he might have been from Capernaum, which means ‘town of Nahum’ or he might have been from Al-Qosh in modern-day Iraq. No one knows for sure. What we do know for sure is that his book of prophecy, technically, an oracle’ is a prophecy against Nineveh of the Assyrian empire, for persecuting God’s people of Judah.

Of his prophecy, we know a lot. His three chapter oracle against that mighty capital city is muscular, vivid, and tough to read. God’s character is on sharp display here, and part of His character is His wrath. Gregory Cook named his commentary “Severe Compassion” because of God’s severity in dealing with His enemies and His compassion in dealing with His people. Nahum shows this in all its starkness.

Jonah preached God’s coming judgment to the Ninevites and they repented, from the King to the lowest slave. God stayed His hand of judgment. Unfortunately, about 100 years after Jonah’s preaching, the Ninevites had returned to the God-dishonoring ways and the judgment Jonah had promised was coming. Nahum preached that, to the Ninevites through preaching to Judah, whom Assyria was harassing and persecuting. Nahum’s oracle promised Judah and end once for all of the wars and torment by the Assyrians.

When John MacArthur preached a sermon called “Who Is God?” he began with Nahum.

Roy Gingrich was a pastor and Bible teacher who is known for having created outlines for the books of the Bible, including the Major and Minor prophetical books. I find them extremely helpful. Here, Gingrich introduces Nahum’s book and I comment after each line-

A. IT IS POETICAL IN ITS FORM—It is the most poetic of all the prophetic writings.

I found it a wonder to read because of its language and poetry.

B. IT IS VIVID AND FORCEFUL IN ITS STYLE—We can see the actions described by Nahum.

It takes your breath away in parts, it is so vivid. You can almost hear the clatter and strorm of invading chariots and the screams and cries of the Assyrians.

C. IT IS ANIMATED AND LIFE-LIKE IN ITS PRESENTATION—There is nothing artificial or unrealistic in the book’s descriptions.

Yes. Despite the war materiel being antiquated it is very present-day.

D. IT IS RAPID IN ITS MOVEMENT—It moves from scene to scene with lightning-like rapidity.

I use the term muscular. Like the book of Mark, with its use of the word ‘immediately’ and its short active sentences, Nahum ‘s poetry is less Elizabeth Barrett Browning and more modern-day war poet Sigfried Sassoon.

E. IT IS MAJESTIC IN ITS MORAL DESCRIPTIONS OF GOD—No other Bible book excels Nahum in this respect.

Soaring in its powerful descriptions of the power of God, I agree, no other book has an equal in showing God’s moral character

F. IT IS UNITARY IN ITS THEME—It has one theme, the soon-coming destruction of Nineveh.

Woe to God’s enemies! This book made me grateful I am not His enemy but by His grace, I am His friend!!

X. THE VALUE OF THE BOOK
The book has great value because of its teachings concerning God’s righteousness. It teaches that God ultimately destroys the wicked and delivers the righteous. It teaches that God is severe to His enemies and good to His friends. (Gingrich)

You can buy Gingrich’s outlines on Amazon here Kindle editions, or through his web page here. They are also available through Logos software.

If you would like to read reviews of Cook’s commentary Severe Compassion, some are here on Goodreads.

I pray you read Nahum, even better, Jonah then Nahum, and move on to other Minor Prophets. These books are so named not because they are less-than but because of their brevity compared to the Major Prophets such as Isaiah or Ezekiel. God’s moral character, His severe compassion, and His power. Nineveh was destroyed and obliterated so thoroughly that the city itself as never even found until 1845, 2000 years after the prophecy came true.

Yet, look at this. God is great in love and compassion. Only three nations are mentioned in the future literal 1000 year kingdom to come, Israel, Egypt, and…Assyria:

In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:23-25)

Posted in end time, theology

Daniel’s 70 weeks and Tribulation explanations

I can’t wait to see what you all look like when you are glorified! I can’t wait to see the glassy sea, the angels who have helped me, the face of Jesus! I can’t wait to be free from pain and shed of my sin nature. I can’t wait to be in eternity! However, I will await His timing. We all must await the number of our days to be up and His determination of when we enter glory. More on that below.

The Tribulation is prophesied to be a period where many things will happen. One of them is that the earth and heavens themselves will be wildly disrupted. Landforms disappear. Weather patterns evaporate. Orbits cease. And more.

The outline of what Jesus will be doing at that time is presented to us in Daniel 9:24. The Lord will do 6 things:

“Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city,
1. To finish the transgression,
2. To make an end of sins,
3. To make reconciliation for iniquity,
4. To bring in everlasting righteousness,
5. To seal up vision and prophecy,
6. And to anoint the Most Holy.”

Notice several things. First, it is a period where though the times will seem chaotic, it will actually be orderly. It is all in control of God. The three series of 7-judgments apiece (Seals, Trumpets, Bowls; perhaps four sets if the Seven Thunders of Revelation 10:3-4 are actually judgments) will be delivered in orderly fashion. The judgments unleash chaos, but their deliverance is orderly and controlled.

The Tribulation is the time for it all to come to the conclusion that God exists, He is angry with sinners, and to repent. So it will be a time of demonstrable wrath and the conclusion of the 6 things. In further orderliness, He stopped His prophetic timetable clock at 483 years. In Daniel 9:24a the angel declared to Daniel it would be 7X70 or 7 bundles of 7’s (a shavuim). But nowhere was it promised to be 490 consecutive years! But they should have known that, because the interruption was stated. In Daniel 9:25-26, a mere verse later, the angel told Daniel that after seven sevens and 62 sevens, Messiah will be cut off (vernacular for died) and the people of the prince who is to come (antichrist) shall destroy the city.

Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem was 483 years to the day and then the clock stopped. Since then, Jesus has been taking 2000 years to build His church. When the church reaches His quota of people inhabiting it, (Romans 11:25) He will snatch us away from this earth, and He will finish that last 7 years of the prophesied 70 weeks and accomplish the rest of the 6 things.

The angel also explained to Daniel that it is a time when God directs His attention to “your people” and “your holy city” (Jerusalem). That does not mean He isn’t paying attention to non-believers or non-Jews during the Tribulation, or that nothing will happen to them during the Tribulation. Not at all. Jeremiah 30:7 calls it the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, though, and its point is for the LORD to finish His promises to His people. #1 is to finish the transgression, and #2 says He will make an end to sins. This making an end to sins is an even that will affect everyone on the planet. God always sees the world through the lens of His people the Jews and through the central location of the Holy City. But all the world will be affected.

In addition, note the progression of the 6 things on the list. At the beginning, He allows the transgression to have its full expression. By the end, the Most Holy is anointed. The Most Holy is Jesus. Ahhh, what a day that will be! The Tribulation is the cap-stone to the final age of man where He allows the total outcome of rejection of the Holy Spirit to take its full course. Like in Noah’s day, where all of man’s thoughts were only evil continually, (Gen 6:5) so it shall be again at the end of days (Matthew 24:37). But in the Tribulation, man will actually act out all his evil in his heart, it won’t remain there. He who holds back lawlessness will be taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:7) ,another way of saying He will release His restraining hold against sin.)

Can you even imagine how drastic that time period will be? Just as we can’t imagine in our finite mind the full scale of His glory in heaven, we cannot imagine that bottomless, putrid pit in which sin flows forth. /shudder/. Better to not think of it.

The Daniel 9:26 verse also promises that the end will come like a flood. This does not mean that there will be a flood of actual waters as in the first global judgment. He promised Noah that he would never drown the world again. (Gen 9:13). However, as part of the cataclysmic geo-physical upheavals during the Tribulation there will be floods and tides and hurricanes and tsunamis. However, the verse uses figurative language.The Hebrew word in Dan 9:26 is “sheteph; from shataph; a deluge (literally or figuratively) — flood, outrageous, overflowing.” He means that SIN will have its outrageous overflowing.

This flood language mirrors the language in Revelation 12:15. Midway through the Tribulation, the antichrist tears up the peace treaty he had confirmed with the Jews at the beginning of the Tribulation. He then persecutes them with all unholiness and evil. He goes after the Jews with an evil vengeance that makes the WWII Holocaust look like a picnic. Rev 12:15 says- “And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.” Satan pours out his evil and sin flows over the world like a flood.

Floods have waters that rise, and rise and rise, eventually washing away all that is in its path. Even tsunamis which travel at jet speeds have waters that flow and rise accordingly. The end began when Jesus ascended, but it has been 2000 years and we can see that the flood waters of sin are not lapping at our toes…are not sweeping against our waists…but the flood waters of sin seem like they are actually crashing over our heads by this point in time. It is like the famous photo of the lighthouse and its keeper

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But we are not destined for wrath! (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Though sin tries to engulf us, it will not prevail against His church! (Matthew 16:18). Notice where the keeper is: INSIDE the Lighthouse. Would you want to be anywhere else when the wages of sin try to engulf you? No. You would not survive that wave. You would not survive the hidden reefs under the wave. (Jude 1:12). Being in the Lighthouse is the only safe place to be, in ages past and in this present age. Blessedly, Jesus removes His bride from the earth before the Tribulation begins. We are not condemned, nor will we be punished for sins that He forgave us for. It will be the unbelieving world who will suffer the consequences of their rejection of the Savior.

Jude says, the unbelievers and apostates are “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” (Jude 1:12).

Peter says, “These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.” (2 Peter 2:17).

Isaiah says, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud.” (Isaiah 57:20).

What of us, individually? His word says that Hades will not prevail against His church. Some days, though, sin prevails against me. What about you? Each of us struggles against sin every day. Some days it truly feels like it will engulf me. Here is the remedy: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).

We are Light keepers, and our job is never more important than during the storm! We are in Christ as THE Light, but we keep His word hidden in our hearts. We are ambassadors of His glory and His truths. We keep His commands. We keep His flame alive on earth by staying in Him and close to Him. It is important to be brighter during the storm and so let us be bright, by being full of peace and joy in these stormy times. Let the waves crash! We have the eternal Strength of the Light. Let others see, and hear the Good News, and come to Him.

Posted in bible reading plan, Uncategorized

Bible Reading Plan thoughts: Prophecy for Egypt

Our daily Bible Reading Plan for today is Isaiah 18-22. Isaiah 19 is one of my most favorite chapters in the Bible. I love God’s prophecies and this one at the end of chapter 19 is a great one.

The near future of Egypt is extremely dim. If you read Isaiah 19 it foretells of some dire things for the Egyptian people. The prophetic chapter is easy to read and understand. Toward the end of the chapter, the future becomes gloriously brighter as we read verse 20 to verse 25:

“When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”

Those are the only three nations to be specifically mentioned as existing in the Millennium Kingdom and even more incredible is that each receives a specific compliment from the Lord unique to them. He considers Egypt His people…and why not, Hosea 11:1 reminds us, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” He allowed Egypt to shelter His own Son when Herod was chasing Him.

The fact that He calls Egypt back to Himself in the above verses is so wonderful to read. Tears come to my eyes when I read of how specific His plans are and how perfectly they all come together.

There will be a highway…worshipers will flow to the Source.

highway.jpg

Posted in bible reading plan, Uncategorized

Bible Reading Plan thoughts: Till Shiloh Comes

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them. (Joshua 18:1)

Our Bible Reading Plan for today is Joshua 16-20. There is a lot of land-giving and border-setting in these passages. The Land is extremely important. But even more interesting to me is the mention of Shiloh.

This mention of the city 25 or so miles north of Jerusalem intrigues me. This is partly because it was the location of the tabernacle for 400 years. From this point on and for the next 4 centuries. the Israelites worshiped here.

And I’m intrigued partly because it could be a prophetic, Messianic title for Jesus. Genesis 49:10 KJV has the prophecy-

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

For some reason the phrase “till Shiloh come” moves me. I certainly have no real knowledge of either the city of Shiloh nor the prophecy as stated in Genesis 49. So let’s dig in. Here is what we know about the place of Shiloh-

SHILOH A town in Mount Ephraim. Its location is described in the Bible as ‘a place which is on the north side of Beth-El, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Beth-El to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah’ (Judg. 21:19). Shiloh was a religious center of the tribes and after the conquest of the country by Joshua the tabernacle of the congregation was set up there (Josh. 18:1). It was there also that Joshua distributed allotments to the tribes who had not previously received them (Josh. 18:2–10). The house of God (Judg. 18:31) in which Eli and his sons officiated was at Shiloh, and God appeared there before Samuel (1 Sam. 1:19; 3:1 ff.). Source: Negev, A. (1990). In The Archaeological encyclopedia of the Holy Land

Shiloh itself as a name or a word has been difficult to interpret with lots of academic discussion.

The only possible mention of Shiloh in the Pentateuch is at Gen 49:10, where the word occurs within Jacob’s blessing of Judah. However, the interpretation of this word is contested. There are five interpretations of this word (Fitzmyer, The One, 29):

• It is a personal name.
• It is the name of the city.
• It is an Akkadian loanword meaning “ruler” or “prince.”
• It means “to whom it belongs,” referring to the scepter.
• It should appear as two words meaning “tribute to him.”

If the occurrence in Gen 49:10 is a reference to the city of Shiloh, then it is spelled differently here than elsewhere in the Old Testament. Source The Lexham Bible Dictionary.

And one more:

The book of Psalms contains one reference to Shiloh (Psa 78:60), and the book of Jeremiah contains five. Besides the passing geographical reference in Jer 41:5, all of the references in these two books indicate that Yahweh purposely rejected Shiloh as the place where He would make His name dwell, choosing Jerusalem instead (Psa 78:60; Jer 7:12, 14; 26:6, 9). Schley suggests Psalm 78 refers to Yahweh’s abandonment of Shiloh with the loss of the ark (Psa 78:60–61), while Jeremiah refers to the later destruction of the city (Schley, Shiloh, 171–72). Finkelstein disagrees, arguing instead that they refer to the same incident (Finkelstein, Shiloh, 385–387). Ultimately, both texts speak of the theological reality of the importance of Jerusalem. Source: The Lexham Bible Dictionary.

shiloh.png
Ruins of an ancient synagogue at the site of the city of Shiloh.
Source Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 1487).

What happened to the city of Shiloh?

No explicit biblical reference was made to Shiloh’s final fate. According to archaeological evidence, Shiloh apparently was destroyed about 1050 B.C. by the Philistines. Supporting this was the fact that when the Philistines finally returned the ark of the covenant, it was housed at Kiriathjearim rather than Shiloh (1 Sam. 7:1). Also, Jeremiah warned Jerusalem that it might suffer the same destructive fate as Shiloh (7:12).
Centuries later, Jeremiah used Shiloh and the tabernacle as illustrations to warn Jerusalem that it was not safe merely because it housed the temple (7:12–14). Hearing the same message again, the people sought to kill Jeremiah (26:6–9). Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary

That was Shiloh the place. What about Shiloh the Messiah, if that is how the word is to be interpreted?

nor a lawgiver from between His feet until Shiloh come,” that’s the messianic promise. Shiloh means the one who is right it is or the one to whom it belongs. There’s going to be a king and He’s going to hold the sceptre and He’ll be from the line of Judah. Now watch the end of the verse, “unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.” Listen to me, the first time Jesus came was the gathering of the people to Him. No, John says He came unto His own and what? His own received Him not. He was in the world, the world was made by Him and what? The world knew Him not. That prophecy has not yet been fulfilled beloved. Therefore He must return. ~John MacArthur

Praise God for the soon return of Shiloh, the messiah, Jesus the Christ.

Posted in potpourri, Uncategorized

Prata Potpourri: Hate watching, Loving our neighbor, Four reasons why, Bible books in 1 word, more

He said He will come, He said to look up when we see these things come to pass, and He IS coming soon. When the rapture happens, the unbelieving world will be left confused, injured, unhinged, and devastated. Now is the time to urge those who do not believe to seek truth. Truth resides in Jesus and in Him alone. And aren’t we who know Him blessed with the most wonderful relationship of which we can possibly conceive? Even if we do not have opportunity to witness in a particular moment, let us reflect Him in our demeanor and smile. We are rejoicing always!

I always want to remind myself and others that we are temporarily living on this earth as it is. Our lives may seem long, but they are short, but a passing breath. So I always remind us that Jesus may return immediately, in the next few moments of time. Alternately, the breath may leave our nostrils at any moment, our days are numbered.

Therefore, we pray, Lord, Thy kingdom come…but until that moment, Your will be done.

Here are a few reading resources for you. Enjoy!

Musician Dallas Holm muses about God’s Will in the hard as well as the easy.

Shane Pruitt at Already Am wonders if the statement ‘believe in yourself’ does more harm than good.

Jen Oshman discusses parenting when there are so many disasters and fear in the world in her article Fear, My News Feed, and Psalm 46

Samuel James has some thoughts on hate watching the Emmys…

Julia at Steak & A Bible has some suggestions about reading the rest of Romans 6

Nick at Reformation 21 shares deep truths about loving your neighbor as yourself with a reminder that it is the second greatest commandment.

From Zachary Bartels, “I’ve previously shared with you the best advice I ever got about preaching: my homiletics professor told us, “Gentlemen, when you’ve finished your sermon and think it’s just about ready to preach, read it over and ask yourself this . . . Could this message still be true and make sense if Jesus had not died and risen again for our salvation? If the answer is yes, then throw it out and start over, because it’s not a Christian sermon. It’s self-help or life-coaching or tips for family dynamics, but it’s not a cross-centered message, which is what we are called to proclaim.” Read on for the context and the point in The Jets, the Sharks, and Jesus

Housewife Theologian Aimee Byrd explores Four Reasons Why Every Christian Should Study Psalm 110

Garrett Kell at All Things for Good lists Every Book of the Bible in One Word

World Magazine reviews the documentary Fallen
A dangerous duty: Fallen spotlights the risks police officers face—and the sacrifices they make

Enjoy the day! Let’s remember this simple, profound, timeless, wonderful truth:

painting john 316 verse
EPrata painting