When things in life turn sour, people are apt to complain: “God, why would You allow this to happen? You can’t be in this!” Don’t be so sure.
Let’s look at an episode in the life of Jacob. After he tricked his older brother into giving him the right of the firstborn, he fled to where his relative Laban lived. You probably know the story: Jacob fell in love with Laban’s beautiful young daughter, Rachel. He then served Laban fourteen long years for both Leah and Rachel, though he really only loved Rachel. After Rachel bore their son Joseph, Jacob told Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my country” (Gen. 30:25). Laban convinced him to stay for another six years, and that’s where we find him in Genesis 31.
Ever since Jacob began living with Laban, there had been tension between the two, though they seemed to adjust to it. But in Genesis 31, we see that tension turn into friction: “And Jacob saw the countenance of Laban, and indeed it was not favorable toward him as before. Then the Lord said to Jacob, ‘Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you’” (Gen. 31:2-3).
Notice how God prepared Jacob to move back to his home. The first thing He did was put the desire in Jacob’s heart. After Joseph was born, Jacob had said, “I need to go back home. My heart is there. I need to be back in the covenant land of Abraham and Isaac.” But he didn’t go back. However, that desire never left him. He didn’t act too quickly on it, but God put the desire deep in his heart.
This is an important principle in our lives. The first thing God does to move us from one experience to another or one place to another is put a desire deep within. David wrote in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” When you delight yourself in the Lord, the desires you have are the desires God plants within your heart. However, those desires need to be confirmed; you don’t want to impulsively act on every desire you have.
For Jacob, the nest was getting stirred up, so he thought, It’s time to get out of here. What I feel in my heart is now being confirmed by the circumstances the Lord has placed around me. The friction between him and Laban caused Jacob to seek a new direction. Here’s the principle: the Lord stirs things up by circumstances. They may not be favorable, but it could be that the Lord is doing something to move you along.
"Then the Lord said to Jacob, ‘Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you’" (Gen. 31:3). The word of the Lord came to Jacob and confirmed what he felt in his heart and what the circumstances were telling him. When life turns sour, God may have some sweet blessings right around the corner. Don’t complain. Don’t moan. Just say, "What opportunities might God have in store if I trust Him and move forward?"
After this, Jacob talked to his wives, and they confirmed what he heard from God and felt in his heart (see Gen. 31:14-16). After God puts something in your heart, after the circumstances line up, and after you hear the voice of God through His Word, seek confirmation from God’s family. The Bible says, “In the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14). Get counsel from the body of Christ. Run it by somebody who has maturity and insight.
Eventually, the Lord did bring Jacob back to the land of his fathers. So here’s food for thought: maybe you’ve been praying that God would do something different and great and move powerfully in your life, yet something unfavorable or unpleasant has happened. Have you ever thought that this could be part of the answer to that prayer? That God is going to put something in your heart (or perhaps already has), that the circumstances are lining up with that desire, and that now God will speak through His Word and confirm it with His people? I encourage you to let God move. Let Him stir the nest.
I really enjoyed this devotional from Pastor Skip Heitzig! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
I found this article from Sola Sisters and I wanted to share it with you all. I have been having my doubt about John Piper and he is one that I can no longer get behind his teaching. Here is the article from Sola sister and I agree with them.
So said my sister in a phone call shortly after the start of this year’s Passion Conference, taking place now in Atlanta, GA (Jan 1-4). I’m sure she said this with all due respect to Dr. Piper, who has long been looked to as a solid teacher of the Reformed tradition. And yet in recent years, Dr. Piper has gone about giving his stamp of approval to various and sundry teachers, many of them solid and trustworthy, but some of them quite dangerous.
This stamp of approval first reared its ugly head when Dr. Piper brought out a young whippersnapper named Mark Driscoll as his keynote speaker at a Desiring God conference, years ago. In 2006, to be exact. This was the same Driscoll who went on later to shock us with his pornographic divinations and his fascist like handling of church members. And yet, no public rebuking or distancing has gone on, that I know of, between Dr. Piper and his protégé .
Then Rick Warren got Dr. Piper’s stamp of approval at the 2010 Desiring God Conference. Yes, that’s right, Rick Warren. To paraphrase my friend Pastor Bob DeWaay, what made this particular alliance so very shocking was that Dr. Piper, who has long been regarded as one of the faithful few guarding the flock against false teaching was the very one who had opened the pen gate and ushered the wolf (Warren) right into the fold of his Desiring God conference.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:15
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” Gal 1:8
“Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” 2 John 1:8-11
“I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.” Romans 16:17
Then, out came the approval stamp again at last year’s Passion 2012 Conference, when Dr. Piper stood benignly by on stage as Louie Giglio exhorted the audience members to “(hear) the voice of God speak,” during a Lectio Divina-ish type mystical exercise.
And now we have this year’s Passion 2013 Conference, currently underway in Atlanta, GA, at which John Piper is sharing the stage with false teachers Jesus Culture. Don’t know who Jesus Culture is? Oh well, let me fill you in: Jesus Culture is an offshoot group out of Bill Johnson’s heretical Bethel Church in Redding, CA. That’s right, the same Bill Johnson of the glory dust and the angel feathers fame.
“For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:7-9
So why doesn’t Dr. Piper storm out on the stage like a man on fire and rebuke this madness? Or, he could leave the conference and write an eloquent and heartfelt apology for his part in confusing the flock in his care by knowingly linking with false teachers. I’d be all for that. And yes, I get that he’s just a man, and no man is perfect. I’m not expecting perfection, but what I do desire to see is him seriously taking to heart the admonition in Scripture that not all should teach because those who do are judged more strictly (James 3:1). BUT, if Dr. Piper is unwilling to repent of going around giving false teachers his stamp of approval, then maybe one of our Godly pastors could fly to Minneapolis and wrestle the stamp away from him to keep him from further harming the flock. Just a thought.
Source:By Christian Research Network contributor Christine Pack of Sola Sisters
This is a repost of an original article on Sola Sisters
Over 30 rockets rain on Israel since Wednesday; IDF moves ‘HQ, not field level’ officers to Gaza in ‘defensive’ move.
Israel carried out a troop deployment towards the Gaza border on Thursday, as rockets from the Hamas enclave continue to fall in a recent escalation of attacks.
"We are moving and we have moved forces in order to serve defense activities and forward preparation, but we have no interest in escalation," IDF spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told AFP.
The spokesperson added that the reinforcements consist of reserve officers at “headquarter level, not in the field,” adding the move was intended defensively.
"We have no interest in deepening the conflict with Gaza," said Lerner.
In response to the rocket escalation, the IAF conducted an airstrike on southern Gaza Thursday afternoon, targeting several suspicious areas near the Rafiah border crossing to Sinai. The IDF announced the airstrike was meant as an act of deterrence against the rocket fire.
Over 30 rockets have peppered southern Israel from Gaza during the course of Wednesday and Thursday. The most recent fell Thursday afternoon in open area in the Merhavim Regional Council area, after a rocket hit open area right next to the Sderot industrial area mere hours earlier. No injuries were reported in either incident.
Sderot’s industrial area took a harsh blow on Saturday night, when a direct hit was recorded on a plastics factory, burning it completely to the ground. Another rocket hit a summer day camp on Thursday, only moments before children were to arrive.
While there has been an ongoing rocket escalation since the three Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah (19), Naftali Frenkel (16) and Gilad Sha’ar (16) were abducted and murdered by Hamas terrorists on June 12, the recent blitz since Wednesday began the day that Mohammed Abu Khder of Beit Hanina, Jerusalem was found burned to death after having been abducted.
There have been wide accusations of Jewish “revenge” being behind the murder, but a senior former police official familiar with Abu Khder’s family told Arutz Sheva it was a family with a long police record, known for violent internal clashes, adding ”I have no doubt that as time passes it will be clarified that the murder was criminal and nothing more.”
In a little-noticed report on Channel Two Wednesday night, reporter Moshe Nussbaum cited contradictory statements by the youth’s parents, who both told police different stories about another attempted kidnapping – that of Muhammad’s nine year old brother – that may or may not have taken place.
During the ensuing riots in Beit Hanina and Shuafat after theannouncement of the murder, several Arab residents reportedly attacked a young local Arab, possibly indicating the internal clashes the source spoke of.
READ MORE At Our Facebook Group Rapture Bound… Israel is the Timepiece
Bad News for the Big Bang: Secular Scientists Claim Universe Shouldn’t Exist
As previously reported, scientists in Europe announced in 2012 that they had detected the Higgs boson, then confirmed their findings last year. The Higgs boson, also known as “the God particle,” was widely heralded as a key to understanding the origins of the universe.
However, in a major setback to the secular Big Bang theory, scientists with King’s College in London announced this month that Higgs boson physics cannot account for the universe’s existence. The scientists came to this conclusion after modeling the hypothetical conditions of the universe immediately after the Big Bang.
“During the early universe, we expected cosmic inflation—this is a rapid expansion of the universe right after the Big Bang,” Robert Hogan, a physicist with King’s College, told LiveScience. “This expansion causes lots of stuff to shake around.”
However, Hogan added, the “shaking around” caused by the Big Bang would have brought catastrophic consequences to the early universe.
“If we shake it too much, we could go into this new energy space, which could cause the universe to collapse,” he said.
“What [the scientists] found was bad news for, well, everything,” LiveSciencereports. “The newborn universe should have experienced an intense jittering in the energy field, known as quantum fluctuation. Those jitters, in turn, could have disrupted the Higgs field, in essence rolling the entire system into a much lower energy state that would make the collapse of the universe inevitable.”
Hogan plans to share his findings today at the Royal Astronomical Society meeting in Portsmouth, England. Meanwhile, some suggest that these findings are evidence that the Big Bang theory is a flawed model which cannot account for the origin of the universe.
“Of course another possibility is a creative designer,” one online commenter succinctly noted.
Dr. Danny Faulkner, an astronomer with Answers in Genesis, says the Big Bang theory has repeatedly conflicted with observational evidence.
“When we hear the term big bang theory, many people assume it was conceived in its present form and has remained unassailed ever since,” Faulker wrote in a recent article.
“In reality,” he continued, “it is a very pliable model. Several assumed variables in the equations have been changed to make the numbers match new findings. Today’s big bang model little resembles the one your grandfather learned, and it is likely to continue morphing. Are these improvements, or just rescuing devices?”
Likewise, Drs. Jake Hebert and Jason Lisle with the Institute for Creation Research propose that a belief in God—not the Big Bang theory—is ultimately foundational for understanding the universe’s existence.
“If God chooses to use a Higgs field to set the masses of all particles, He can certainly do so,” they wrote in an online article. “The fact that such physics is possible or even meaningful would only make sense in a created universe that is controlled by the mind of God anyway. The study of how God upholds the universe today is the very essence of science.”
READ MORE At Our Facebook Group Rapture Bound… Israel is the Timepiece
Make it Count
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. —1 Corinthians 10:31
I remember when, as a young Christian, I would sit in the pews at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa and listen to Senior Pastor Chuck Smith speak. I would think to myself, I wonder if God would ever use me? I wonder if the Lord would ever speak through me? Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that God would allow me to be a pastor and someone who has the privilege of proclaiming the gospel. It was beyond my own dreams, beyond my own aspirations, even.
If you are planning your future right now, if you are thinking about what course you want to follow in life, ask God for His direction. Say, “Lord, I want to be the person that You want me to be. I want to marry the person You want me to marry. I want to be in the center of Your will. I don’t want to go out there and blow it. Help me to do Your will.” God’s plans for you are better than anything you have ever planned for yourself.
God has given each of us certain abilities, talents, and resources. The question is, what are you doing with them? Are you seeking to use them for His glory? Are you offering your resources and future to Him?
I’m not saying that you have to be a pastor. But whatever you do, whether you are a doctor, an architect, a secretary, a computer programmer, a builder, a musician, or something else, you should want to serve the Lord and do it for the glory of God. That is what matters. Your life can be a testimony and a witness for Jesus.
Love this teaching from Pastor Greg!!! I agree God can use us right where we are if we only allow Him to!!! Can you even imagine the impact on the world if each one of us shared Jesus with someone? Think about it. I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Is the ‘Gay Gene’ a Myth? Scientists Say Homosexuality Impossible to Determine by DNA
CHICAGO – The results of a comprehensive scientific study released earlier this year suggest that homosexuality cannot be directly traced to a ‘gay gene,’ but is instead dependent on a variety of factors, including environmental and social influences.
Pro-homosexual activists have long claimed that homosexuality and abnormal “sexual orientations” are primarily caused by genetic factors. They argue that individuals with a hereditary “gay gene” are predisposed toward same-sex attractions and thus unable to appreciate traditional marriages.
However, scientific findings released earlier this year during the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago call this premise into question. During the meeting, Michael Bailey of Northwestern University unveiled comprehensive research results which suggest that genetics alone do not determine “sexual orientation.”
In his research, Bailey and other scientists examined the DNA of 400 men who described themselves as homosexual. Ultimately, the researchers concluded that homosexuality cannot be traced to specific genes.
“The genes were neither sufficient, nor necessary, to make any of the men gay,” wrote Ian Sample, science correspondent for The Guardian.
The findings show that it is impossible to accurately predict a person’s sexual behavior by solely examining DNA.
“The flawed thinking behind a genetic test for sexual orientation is clear from studies of twins, which show that the identical twin of a gay man, who carries an exact replica of his brother’s DNA, is more likely to be straight than gay,” The Guardian article continues. “That means even a perfect genetic test that picked up every gene linked to sexual orientation would still be less effective than flipping a coin.”
Alan Sanders, a Northwestern University professor who led the recent study, confirmed that the “gay gene” theory is largely unfounded.
“We don’t think genetics is the whole story,” Sanders stated, according to The Telegraph. “It’s not.”
Though the scientists maintained that genetics do at least partly influence sexual orientation, these recent findings undermine the belief that homosexuality is predetermined. Environmental factors, such as the absence of a father or an unhealthy domestic upbringing, might play significant roles.
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association says the scientific findings show that homosexual behavior is ultimately an individual choice.
“Without a genetic causation, sexual preference in behavior is clearly a choice, a choice which no one is compelled to make,” Fischer wrote in a column last week. “And that choice can be evaluated in any number of ways, including whether or not it is good for human health and whether or not same-sex households are sub-optimal nurturing environments for vulnerable young children.”
“If homosexual conduct is ultimately a matter of choice,” Fischer continued, “then the homosexual lobby has nothing, because homosexual conduct is clearly harmful to human beings in any number of ways, not the least of which is serving as the leading cause of HIV/AIDS, which can leave young men disease-ridden and destined for an early grave.”
“I am not persuaded that genes are even a contributing factor,” he added. “But even if they are, the great news is that if individuals are not biologically predetermined to pursue the homosexual lifestyle, then change is possible as a matter of scientific fact. This leads to one simple, salient truth: there is hope for the homosexual.”
READ MORE At Our Facebook Group Rapture Bound… Israel is the Timepiece
Remembering Names, Part Two
by Charles R. Swindoll
Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20
Okay … there you stand, getting introduced to someone. How are you going to remember the person’s name? Well, you’re already of the mind-set that this meeting and the person are very important. You remember that from yesterday, right? Okay, so now zero in first on one major thing—-the name, nothing else, for a few seconds. Ignore all distractions and peripheral activity. Listen for one thing, the name. That is your goal, after all.
Now then, I’ll pass on a simple little process that works for me. It is not original with me, but I have found that it is successful when I concentrate. Three steps are involved in the process of cementing a name and the face into my mind:
1. Impression. Allow the name to make an impression—-a dent—-on your mind. Do this by being sure you have heard the name correctly. Repeat it. If necessary, spell it to the person, asking if that is the correct spelling. As you shake hands and talk for a few moments, picture the name in your mind. Secure the exact pronunciation.
2. Association. Here’s where the fun comes. Think of an association you can link with the name. Visualize the name and think of something that sounds like it or rhymes with it. The crazier the better! Mr. Steinhaus (“stone house”). Frank Baer (“he’s a big and hairy fella”). The Haughtons (they seem “haughty”). John Lincoln (“he is tall like President Lincoln”). Marlene Moody (“she is sad-looking … moody”). Ed Neuenschwander (“how can I forget a name like that?”).
3. Repetition. As you talk together, use the person’s name frequently in the conversation. You might introduce the individual to others in the group, and again distinctly repeat the name.
This is no guarantee … in fact, it may even backfire on you at times. But more often than not it will enable you to grab the other person’s “handle” at that moment of panic when the two of you meet again.
Maybe you’re thinking, “A name isn’t that important … what I’m interested in is his soul.” Listen, as I mentioned yesterday, one of the keys that unlocks a person’s soul is the realization that you are interested enough to call him or her by name!
Furthermore, the Bible is filled with thousands of people who had names … and those names often had associated meanings: Simon—-later Peter … Jacob—-later Israel … Saul—-later Paul. And what about the angel’s firm command in Matthew 1:21, “You shall call His name Jesus.”
When the eternal books are opened, earthly names will be read (Revelation 20:15; 21:27). When we are ushered into heaven, new names will be given to each one (Revelation 2:17).
If the Lord thinks enough of our names to write every one of them in His record, is it asking too much to learn a few as we travel here below? Of course this means that we must consider the other person important enough to remember. If you struggle with that, you have a problem far more serious than a faulty memory!
I really enjoyed this conclusion today!!! I think that Pastor Chuck is an amazing teacher!!! I hope that all of you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
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