Tag Archive for faith

A Proper Perspective On Thanksgiving

The hero of Thanksgiving is not Indian or Pilgrim, but God

The story of the first Thanksgiving is something that is woven into the fabric of our nation. As a kid, I remember going to school the day before Thanksgiving dressed as a pilgrim or Indian. We would set up a long table down the main hall way of the school and we would all eat lunch together. It was cute and in some sense it did scratch the surface of what actually happened long, long ago.There is, however, a tremendous story about Thanksgiving that has been largely untold. This story surrounds the life of a somewhat obscure Patuxet indian named Tisquantum aka Squanto.

As much as I would like the privilege of telling Squanto’s story, author Eric Metaxas, has beaten me to the punch with his book, Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving. Take a few minutes to watch the video below that tells how God’s providential hand was all over Squanto and how his story puts the celebration of Thanksgiving into a proper perspective.

HT: Justin Taylor

The Sin Of Unbelief

Unbelief robs us of our peace and robs God of His glory. It is a canker that eats at the very fabric of our souls. It is subtle and sadistic and is more prevalent than we realize. Consider the following warning concerning unbelief:

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”

– Hebrews 3:12-14

This passage warns us that the only remedy against unbelief and the deceitfulness of sin is faith in Jesus Christ. If you place your faith in Christ to be your substitute and to exchange your sinfulness for His righteousness, then you will persevere and not be overcome by the deceitfulness of sin. Genuine faith is lasting faith and can never be lost (John 10:27-29; Ephesians 1:4).

Unbelief, however, is not just a danger for those without faith. It is not just a tool that Satan uses to keep people from heaven, but it is also his weapon to keep Christians from enjoying the fellowship of their Savior. The gospel of Matthew gives us a perfect example:

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Matthew 8:23-27

The disciples who had spent time with Jesus, who had witnessed His power, and who had seen his miracles were afraid of a storm. I have no doubt that had you or I been there, we would have been just as afraid as the disciples, but therein lies our comfort and our caution. If the very 12 men whom Jesus chose to carry out His work struggled with unbelief, then we should not be surprised to find that we also share in this struggle. It is common to all Christians regardless of their station.

If unbelief is the cancer then faith must be its cure. Every time we are attacked by satan with unbelief, we must counter with faith. This is a surefire way to glorify God and see His provision realized in our circumstances. The great Puritan pastor Thomas Watson states the case thus:

“He that believes flies to God’s mercy and truth, as to an altar of refuge; he engarrisons himself in the promises, and trusts all he has with God (Psalm 31:3-4)…This is a great way of bringing glory to God, and God honors faith because faith honors Him.”

You may be going through some difficult circumstances that have shaken your faith but rest assured that little faith is great faith when it rests in a great God. Jesus is tender and merciful to act on the slightest evidence of faith. We know this from what is recorded in Mark 9:22-27.

In this passage, a man brings his son to Jesus to be healed. Look at what he says to Jesus:

“…But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Anyone else might have taken offense at this mans statement and sent him on his way, but not Jesus look at His response:

And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”

Jesus confronted this mans unbelief because He knew that this sin was robbing the man of his peace and God of His glory. After Jesus admonition the man responds by saying:

“I believe; help my unbelief!”

This is a very weak but very real admission about his faith in Jesus but it is enough to see the mercy and grace of Jesus realized. Immediately following this confession, Jesus goes and heals the man’s son. The little faith of this man was enough to satisfy Jesus and result in a great miracle. This should give us much hope.

The sin of unbelief is real and potent but it can be conquered by a little faith. If you have never trusted Christ as your savior exercise a little faith and call on Him today. If you are a Christian whose joy is being stolen by doubt, worry, or stress weak as it may, be exercise your faith and call on Him today to be your protector and deliverer. Don’t be a victim of the sin of unbelief.

250th Birthday of William Wilberforce

WilliamWilberforce This week marks the 250th birthday of the great conservative politician William Wilberforce. It was his labors that led to the end of the slave trade in the United Kingdom. His life and faith have inspired many people in the service of God’s kingdom this author not excluded. Please take a few minutes to view the following video about the life of Wilberforce. It will be the best 10 minute investment you have made in a long time.


William Wilberforce Video

It’s All In Your Head

thinker

“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”

– Romans 1:21-23

If you believe in God, its all in your head. At least that is what some scientists are trying to prove. Rather than actually considering that they may be some justification for faith, scientists are trying to isolate certain chemicals in the brain that effect why people seek God and how the concept of God is perceived.

This study was noted recently in an article in USA Today placed oddly enough in the opinion section. The article highlights the research of Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman. According to their findings, how a person perceives God can cause positive or negative neurological and emotional consequences. People who tend to see God as benevolent and caring and non-judgemental tend to have a positive outlook on life, while those who see Him as a God of wrath and judgement tend to have a negative outlook on life. Essentially what the scientists are saying is that people who believe in a Holy God who hates sin and will judge it accordingly are being guided by an evolutionary neuro-chemical creation that causes them to be negative.

Commenting on this article on his own site, Dr. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote:

Let’s be clear: If religious belief is nothing more than a biological process and if God is nothing more than a concept originating inside the neurobiological process of the brain, then we should simply wish for more persons to hold to what might be considered healthy understandings of God as compared to those which might be considered unhealthy. Of course, it is at this very point that the logic breaks down. Thinking in purely conceptual terms, virtually any sane person would take greater comfort in a God who is both benevolent and judgmental. After all, do we not all yearn for God to bring judgment upon mass murderers, child molesters, and the perpetrators of vast economic fraud?

The functional view of religion reduces belief in God to its potential personal and social utility. According to Andrew Newberg, certain forms of religion can indeed offer positive benefits, while other forms of belief bring both personal and social harms. Newberg and Waldman are at least honest in acknowledging that their understanding of religion is completely independent of the question of God’s existence or nonexistence.

No amount of laboratory research can isolate the origin of God. This is especially true if the hypothesis is predicated on the workings of the human brain. The good scientists would have just as easy a time searching for an aircraft carrier in cupboard. I hate to break it to the good gentlemen but their hypothesis is all in their heads.

HT: Dr. Al Mohler