Bible Verses about Mothers

Cindy K. Sproles

Take time to learn about mothers and their supportive roles. These verses are examples of the love of a mother.

Bible Verses on a Mother’s Role in the Family

Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. – Genesis 3:20 NIV

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24 NIV

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12 NIV

Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God. – Leviticus 19:3 NIV

The Faithfulness and Love of a Mother

Each year his mother made him [Samuel] a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. – 1 Samuel 2:19 NIV

Turn to me and have mercy on me; show your strength in behalf of your servant; save me, because I serve you just as my mother did. – Psalm 86:16 NIV

While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, waiting to speak to him. – Matthew 12:46 NIV

The Joy of a Mother in Her Children

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. – Psalm 139:13 NIV

For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. – Proverbs 4:3 NIV

May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful! – Proverbs 23:25 NIV

Mary, the Mother of Jesus

…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. – Matthew 1:16 NIV

Pointing to his [Jesus] disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. – Matthew 12:49 NIV

But why am I [Mary, mother of Jesus] so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Luke 1:43 NIV

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” – Luke 11:27 NIV

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. John 19:25 NIV

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Running The Race

By Discerning Dad Jan 29, 2021

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 NLT

Inclusivity training in a common standard in businesses and recently we had one at my work. The goal of this training was to help the employees understand that both employee and customer bring bias into their situations at work and how to navigate this bias so it does not display itself in a negative way. Bias has a negative connotation but it does not have to be. Everyone has bias. Bias can be defined as “a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned that can affect a person’s actions.” We all have bias and opinion based on our interests, upbringing, affiliations, activities, career, place of residence, and the list goes on and on. The trick is to not let your bias treat anyone differently.

People have no shortage of opinions on things and Christians are not any different. Christians usually have an answer for what they believe and why. They can tell you all about what sin is, what political party to vote for, what grace is and is not, if you can lose your salvation, what denomination to follow, what the end times are going to look like, and especially how OTHER Christians are supposed to behave!

This is especially the case on social media, from what I have seen, the typical Christian typing away responses to online forums or posts to either believers or non, has no shortage of opinions and “facts” based reasons why someone else is wrong and why they are right.

The missing piece to this formula is love…

But what’s love got to do with it?

With discernment, it is very important to know what you believe and why. You should be able to give an answer for the hope that lies within you (1 Peter 3:15). The world, the Internet, and books are filled with more information that you can absorb in one lifetime. The Bible has to be the foundation for which all this information is discerned. As we grow in maturity as Christians, we will be more and more confident, moving from milk to solid food as the Bible talks about.

“Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to truck us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” Ephesians 4:14

As we build a solid foundation in our faith, how does that affect how we treat others?

We should grow in truth but how do we share it?

One of my favorite quotes on this matter is:

“Truth becomes hard if it is not softened by love; love becomes soft if it is not strengthened by truth” John Stott

It’s important to note that not all Christians are in the same phase of their walk with the Lord. We are “running the race” as Romans explains, a race has runners at various stages. We can’t look at our position in the race and ridicule them for not being as far along. Encouragement goes a lot farther than discouragement.

This doesn’t mean you have to ignore heretical statements spoken by another Christian but maybe it does? It depends on the situation. If it happens online, you can simply log off or scroll past. If it’s a fellow Christian who has given you a platform to be able to speak in their life, then provide correction with love if they are in a position to hear.

Someone who has been a Christian for a long time can forget what it was like to be first saved. It can be overwhelming at first trying to understand the Bible, the world will tell you that it is filled with contradictions and antiquated ideas that aren’t relevant today. Newer Christians sometimes don’t know where to start, what to study, or even what to believe. If you include the fact that many churches focus on a “salvation message” without encouraging discipleship, newer Christians are left at the starting line without any fellow believers to help them on their journey.

When considering the parallels with a race and our Christian walk a few things come to mind:

• Conditioning– Reading the Bible, exercising your faith, praying, worship, etc. are all ways we grow and practice before “the big game.” We are all in the main event race our whole life but there are smaller races I believe we take part in. These include callings to a new ministry or phase of life, struggling with a battle of health or finances, and facing rejection.

• Endurance– Galatians 6:9 states, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” A marathon is tough and grueling and many just want to quit. Some estimates say that between 10-30% of participants in a marathon do not finish. Christians are falling away from the faith at a record rate. Some have been in the race their whole life and some are newer Christians who decided the cost was too much. We are called to ENDURE!

• Psychological– A big aspect to running a race is not only physical but mental! A runner can be their own worst enemy if they let their mind control their motivation during the race. You’ve heard the phrase “mind over matter”. Your willingness to push yourself can cause you to go further than you thought was physically possible. The same is true in our Christian walk, our doubts and fears can sometimes get the best of us and make us want to quit.

• Encouragement- Do you see the crowds that cheer runners on the side of the road? They cheer, give high fives, and throw water bottles at them as a sign of encouragement. You often see many runners as well encouraging each other along the way, sometimes even finishing with another runner hugging onto their shoulders. Runners can have sponsors as well, which is a close analogy to Christian mentors. We have a “crowd of witnesses” as Hebrews 12:1 states. These are men and women of faith who have gone before us, our family who we long to see again, the men and women of the Bible, and many we don’t even know! They endured the race and made it to the end, cheering us on through the example they set before us. The onus is on us as runners to encourage those around us, realizing we are heading to the same goal.

Paul knew what he was talking about when he compared our Christian walk to a race! Jesus waits for us to finish, ready to say “well done good and faithful servant.” Every pain we face, every doubt we overcome, every battle we wage is worth patiently enduring the journey to get to the finish line and see our Savior at last!

Discerning Reflection: What areas of my life hinder my race? Is there sin that I need to let go of that slows me down? How can I encourage other Christians around me? Who specifically is God calling on me to mentor and disciple?

Prayer: Lord, help me overcome sin that ensnares my race. Let me see with clarity what my eternal goal really is. May I not be consumed with earthly goals that distract me. Help me be an encouragement to those around me while being conscious of the fact that they are in different stages of their race.

Tim Ferrara

Discerning Dad

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Can A Born Again Christian Fall Away and Be Lost?

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Christians have debated for centuries over whether a truly saved person can lose their salvation. Probably the strongest Biblical passage for that position is Hebrews 6:4-6. This is what the text says,

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

 Now, exactly what does this passage mean? It seems to indicate that a saved person who has experienced all the blessings in vs.4-5 can in the end fall away and be lost. In this blog I want to refer you to two principles of Biblical interpretation:

1) Remember that Scripture will never contradict Scripture; and

2) Remember that context rules

Scripture Will Never Contradict Scripture:

That first rule of interpretation about Scripture not contradicting Scripture comes into play because there are other passages in Hebrews which seem to teach the opposite position. Let’s take a look at a few other passages which seem to teach that a born again Christian can’t lose their salvation, because they will persevere in faith to the end.

 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end (Heb. 3:14)

This text speaks about something that has already taken place (have become partakers of Christ) if the following condition is met (we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end). The text is not saying that we will become a partaker of Christ if we go on to hold fast the assurance of our faith until the end. Rather, we have already become partakers of Christ if we go on to persevere in faith. Thus, a person who does not hold fast their assurance firm until the end never became a partaker of Christ. Thus Hebrews 3:14 seems to be saying the exact opposite of Hebrews 6:4-6. Now, two mutually exclusive positions can not both be true. Either one of them is wrong, or both are wrong, but both can’t be true. Either it is possible for a true believer to fall away and lose their salvation, or it is not possible for a true believer to fall away and lose their salvation, but it is one or the other.

Furthermore, Hebrews 10:14 says, For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified (ESV).

If it is true that Jesus’ offering up of Himself on the cross has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified, then it is not possible for those same persons to fall away and lose their salvation. For those who are indwelt, regenerated and sanctified by the Spirit, they possess a perfect standing before God based on the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, and it is “for all time”! They were not perfected until they fall away, but for all time.

Hebrews 13:20-21 tells us,

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen

This text mentions the “eternal covenant.” Well, in Jeremiah 32:40 we also read of the “everlasting covenant”, which I would presume refers to the same thing. What is the nature of the everlasting covenant?

I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.

This covenant includes two things:

1) God will not turn away from them to do them good; and

2) Those with whom this everlasting covenant is made will not turn away from God because God will put the fear of Him in their hearts.

Now, if God promises that He will never turn away from them, and that they will never turn away from Him, what is our only conclusion? That these people will never fall away and be lost.

I’ve said all of this to highlight our first principle of Biblical interpretation – “remember that Scripture will never contradict Scripture.” It appears that Scripture is contradicting Scripture. But that’s just it. It must be only an appearance of a contradiction. Our understanding of one or more of these texts must be wrong, because God who inspired all of these texts is a God of truth, and doesn’t contradict Himself. So what are we to do? We need to go back to the drawing room, and decide if we have understood Hebrews 6:4-6 correctly.

Context Rules:

In order to do that, let’s utilize our second rule of Biblical interpretation – “remember that context rules.” So, let’s go back and look at the context of this passage to see if we can uncover any clues as to its proper interpretation.

Hebrews 5:11-14 – in this section we discover several things about the recipients of this letter.

1) they were dull of hearing

2) they should have advanced to teachers by then

3) instead they needed someone to teach them the elementary principles of the Word of God

4) they were spiritual infants and unable to consume anything except for milk

5) they were spiritually immature.

Now, remember the whole situation in which this letter was written. The Letter to the Hebrews was written to Jewish believers who were being tempted to forsake Christ and go back to Judaism. That’s why all the way through the author keeps emphasizing the word “better.” Christ is better than the angels, better than Moses, better than the Aaronic priesthood, He brings in a better covenant, a better hope, better promises, and is a better sacrifice. The author of this letter is urging these new Jewish believers not to forsake Christ and go back to Judaism, for that would mean their spiritual destruction.

Hebrews 6:1-3 – Here the author exhorts his readers to press on to maturity (vs. 1). In other words, they must make progress in their faith. They should have been at the point where they could be teaching others, but were still spiritual babies. They needed to mature.

Hebrews 6:4-6 – Notice that vs. 4 begins with the word “for”, which tells us that the author is giving us a reason why the readers must press on to maturity. It is because if they have received great and precious privileges and blessings, and then have fallen away, they are lost forever. This is a very serious and solemn passage. The author of Hebrews is urgently exhorting his readers to mature in their faith and bear fruit of their salvation, because it is possible that some of them who do not do this may “fall away” and prove that they were never truly saved to begin with.

But you might be thinking, “Brian, how in the world can verses 4-5 be speaking of a person who is not truly saved? Well, let’s look at them. What are these great blessings they had experienced?

1) Enlightenment

2) Tasted of the heavenly gift (probably the gift of the Holy Spirit- Acts 2:38)

3) Partakers of the Holy Spirit

4) Tasted the good word of God

5) Tasted the powers of the age to come

Notice that these readers had “tasted” several of these blessings. Is it possible for someone to taste something, swish it around in their mouth for a while, and then spit it out? Of course it is. No doubt these readers were participating in a Christian church in which the gospel was preached (enlightened, tasted the good word of God), and the power of the Holy Spirit was manifest (tasted the heavenly gift, partakers of the Holy Spirit, tasted the powers of the age to come). So, if we were to boil down these blessings we could reduce them to two – the gospel was proclaimed and the Spirit was working. And these professing Christians had continually heard the Word and seen the Spirit work. Yet, there was still the possibility that they could “fall away” and find it impossible to be renewed again to repentance.

Many find the expression “it is impossible to renew them again to repentance” to be ironclad proof that these people were truly saved. After all, they had already repented. However, in 2 Cor. 7:10 Paul says, “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” Evidently there are two kinds of sorrow – one leading to salvation and the other leading to death. Just as there is a saving faith which ushers in a life of good works, and a non-saving faith which does not usher in good works, so there is a true repentance which leads to salvation and a worldly repentance which is merely regret for the misery their sin has caused them.

The author goes on to say, “since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.” Note the little word “and.” These people had once put the Son of God to open shame by valuing other things of the world more than Him. Then they professed faith in Christ and conversion. If they fell away after that, they would be doing the same thing they had done originally, by showing that they valued the rituals and laws of Judaism more than Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 6:7-8 – Notice again that vs. 7 begins with the word “for.” That tells us that he is going to explain what he meant in verses 4-6. Here he gives a little parable of two different kinds of fields. Both of these fields received abundant rains. However, only one field brought forth useful vegetation, while the other brought forth only worthless thorns and thistles. The first kind of field receives a blessing from God, while the latter is close to being cursed and ends up being burned. The author is explaining the person in vs. 4-6 who received the abundant rains of hearing the Word of God, and seeing the works of the Spirit. However, if he did not produce fruit in his life his end would be that of being “cursed” and “burned” (Mt.25:41). This brings us to the final piece of context which we need to examine.

Hebrews 6:9-12 – The author says in vs. 9, “But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.” The author believed that his readers were the fruitful and blessed field, not the barren and cursed field. Notice how he puts it – “we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation.” Now, what are the “better things” he’s referring to? Fruitfulness and persevering faith! And, notice that these are the things that “accompany salvation.” When an individual receives salvation, he will produce fruit, and he will persevere to the end, which is exactly what Hebrews 3:14; 10:14; 13:20-21 and Jer. 32:40 all teach.

So, to sum up, I believe that Hebrews 6:4-6 is a strong, sobering, warning for any professing Christian who seems to remain in a spiritually immature condition, rather than pressing on to maturity, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and persevering in faith to the end. To any professing Christian who has heard the Word of God continually, and seen the powers of the Holy Spirit, and then falls away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance. Why? Because they have already received all the light they can receive, and then they have turned their backs on it, and deserted Christ to go back from where they came. They have proven that the things of the world are more valuable to them than Jesus. Thus, repentance becomes impossible for them. [ The author seems to outline an unpardonable sin of falling away which seems to contradict the teaching of the Prodigal Son  Luke 15:11-31 ]

I hope this blog is more than an exercise in Biblical Hermeneutics for you. I hope it gives us all a needed and sobering reminder that true saving faith always results in a transformed life, and that we “must show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end (Heb.6:11).” None of us want to hear those terrifying words out of the mouth of our Lord, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness”!

Original here

VIDEO Rev 17 – A City By Its Name – “MYSTERY, BABYLON,” or “a mystery, BABYLON”

 

Equipping Site January 6, 2020

I. Opening Video Information. A Testimony. An Outspoken Jew for Jesus. Dec 3, 2007. The 700 Club. Bob Siegel was a Jew whose mind was poisoned against Jesus at an early age. Then, in college, two strangers shared a message that changed his heart.

II. Subject scripture. Rev 17:5. There are many opinions of this verse. We will discuss the factors of the verse, as well as those of the total 17th Chapter of Revelation. We will consider the worldwide ecumenical religion that is driven by the forces of the antichrist, that will be responsible for the persecution and murder of Jews and Gentiles which choose not to become a follower of this worldwide religion, and will not worship the image of the beast (Rev 13:4-17), but whom come to saving faith in Christ during the tribulation.

A. Revelation 17:5 (NKJV)
5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

B. Revelation 17:5 (NAS77)
5. and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

III. Consider “mystery.”

A. Text. Matthew 13:11 (NAS95)
11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

B. Note. MacArthur Study Bible. the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. “Mysteries” are those truths which have been hidden from all ages in the past and revealed in the NT.

1. Consider “kingdom.” The following verses relate to mysteries being revealed during the time of the Gospels and following times. The Kingdom Of God had been taught to Jews by Old Testament writers. Christ began teaching on the Kingdom Age, which was a mystery to those whom were in His audience of Jews. It was the Gospel of the Kingdom that Christ directed His disciples to teach to Jews (Matt 10:1-8). It is the Gospel of the Kingdom Age that must be taught to all during the tribulation, and will precede the return of Christ to earth at the end of the tribulation (Matt 24:14). It is important to know that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God was taught to Jews prior to his ascension to Heaven (Acts 1:3-7). It is the context of Isa 2:2 (below) that tells of the Kingdom Age (the Kingdom of God). The Gospel of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, with evidence of His being seen (1 Cor 15:1-8), is the “good news” (Gospel) that the apostles and their disciples began to teach to unbelieving Jews and Gentiles, in obedience to Christ’s “great commission” (Acts 1:8, Matt 28:18-20).

2. Consider the “Kingdom Age” mystery, which is also known as the “thousand year” Millennial Reign Of Christ.

a. Isaiah 2:2. (NAS77)
2 In the last days, The mountain of the house of the Lord Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it.

b. Note. MacArthur Study Bible. 2:2 in the latter days. The “latter (or last) days” is a time designation looking forward to the messianic era (Ezek. 38:16; Hos. 3:5; Mic. 4:1).

c. Other Mystery Texts. Mark 4:11; Luke 8:10; Rom 11:25, 16:25. 1 Cor 2:7, 15:51; Eph 1:9, 3:3-4, 3:9, 5:32, 6:19; Col 1:26-27, 2:2, 4:3; 2 Thes 2:7; 1 Tim 3:9, 16; Rev 1:20, 10:7, 17:5, 17:7.

d. Note. 4:11 mystery…parables. A “mystery” in the NT refers to something previously hidden and unknown but revealed in the NT

3. Consider scripture translation of Rev 17:5. “a mystery, Babylon” and “MYSTERY, BABYLON.”

a. Greek Interlinear states, “a mystery” Babylon https://biblehub.com/interlinear/revelation/17-5.htm
b. NIV, NASB, CSB, NET translations state, “a mystery, Babylon.” (The NIV 2011 translation).
c. NKJV, KJV, KJV 2000, American KJV, ASV, ERV translations state, “MYSTERY, BABYLON.”
d. Necessary conclusions.

(1) What is the correct Bible translation that relates to Rev 17:5?
(2) What is the mystery of Babylon?

4. Location Considerations.

a. The city of Babylon.
b. There are 259 OT scriptures that identify the literal place of Babylon. In the NT, the following verses clearly identify the literal location of Babylon (Matt 1:11, 12, 17; Acts 7:43; 1 Pet 5:13; Rev 18:10).

(1) 1 Peter 5:13 (NASB) “She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark.”
(2) Rev 18:10, “Babylon, the strong city!” 18:21, “Babylon, the great city.”

c. Babylon, “no great city.” Some may say that there is no such city in Iraq that represents the Revelation depiction of Babylon. The following link discusses how quickly cities can be built in the Middle East.
https://www.businessinsider.com/dubai-rapid-development-skyscrapers-expansion-warning-2018-12

IV. Full Text. Revelation 17 (NASB) (Notes taken from MacArthur Study Bible).

A. The Doom of Babylon. Chapters 17, 18 focus on one aspect of those bowl judgments, the judgment of Babylon.

1. Verses 1-7.

1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” 3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, 5 and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” 6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. 7 And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.

2. Notes: 17:1-7.

vs 1: “great harlot.” Prostitution frequently symbolizes idolatry or religious apostasy. “sits on many waters.” This picture emphasizes the sovereign power of the harlot. The picture is of a ruler seated on a throne, ruling the waters, which symbolize the nations of the world (see v. 15)
vs 2. “committed fornication.” The harlot will ally herself with the world’s political leaders. Fornication here does not refer to sexual sin, but to idolatry. All the world rulers will be absorbed into the empire of Satan’s false christ. “wine of her fornication.” The harlot’s influence will extend beyond the world’s rulers to the rest of mankind. The imagery does not describe actual wine and sexual sin, but pictures the world’s people being swept up into the intoxication and sin of a false system of religion.
vs 3. “a woman.” The harlot of v. 1, Babylon. “scarlet beast.” The Antichrist, who for a time will support and use the false religious system to effect world unity. Then he will assume political control (cf. v. 16). “having seven heads and ten horns.” This pictures the extent of Antichrist’s political alliances.
vs 5. “forehead.” It was customary for Roman prostitutes to wear a headband with their name on it. The harlot’s forehead is emblazoned with a 3-fold title descriptive of the world’s final false religious system. “MYSTERY.” A NT mystery is truth once hidden, but in the NT revealed. Spiritual Babylon’s true identity is yet to be revealed. Thus, the precise details of how it will be manifested in the world are not yet known. “BABYLON THE GREAT.” This Babylon is distinct from the historical, geographical city of Babylon (which still existed in John’s day). “MOTHER OF HARLOTS.” All false religion stems ultimately from Babel, or Babylon (cf. Gen. 11; see note on 14:8).
vs 6. “the blood of the saints…martyrs of Jesus.” Some see the first group as OT saints, and the second as NT saints—an unimportant distinction since this pictures the martyrs of the Tribulation. John’s point is that the harlot is a murderer. False religion has killed millions of believers over the centuries, and the final false system will be far more deadly than any that preceded it.
vs 7. “mystery.” Not that Babylon is a false system of religion, because that is already known, but that the beast will fully support the harlot and together exert vast influence over the whole earth.

3. Verses 8-13.

8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. 9 Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, 10 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. 11 The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. 12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. 13 These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast.

4. Notes: Verses 8-13.

vs 8. “The beast.” Both a king and kingdom are referred to by this term. was, and is not, and will ascend. A reference to the Antichrist’s false resurrection (13:3, 4, 12–14). “out of the bottomless pit.” After his “resurrection,” the Antichrist will become possessed by a great demon from the abyss. “perdition.” “Eternal destruction. “This is the lake of fire, the place of Antichrist’s destruction (19:20). “Book of Life.” Written in eternity past by God.
vs 9. “seven mountains.” The Gr. word is often used of hills. the final worldwide system of false religion includes. the 7 mountains in context likely symbolize the 7 kingdoms and their kings of v. 10.
vs 10. “seven kings.” Representatives of the 7 great world empires (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and that of the Antichrist). Cf. Daniel’s image in Dan. 2:37–45. Five have fallen, one is, and the other. When John wrote, the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian and Greek empires had gone out of existence; Rome still existed; and the Antichrist’s empire had not yet come. When it does, it will be brief (12:12; 13:5) and he will end in perdition.
vs 11. “and is not…the eighth.” The Antichrist’s kingdom is said to be both the seventh and eighth kingdoms because of his supposed demise and resurrection. He is the seventh king before and the eighth king after his “resurrection” when he destroys the harlot’s religious empire and demands exclusive worship of himself (v. 16).
vs 12. “ten kings.” (cf. Dan. 2:41, 42). These kings are sub-rulers under the Antichrist, whose empire will apparently be divided into 10 administrative districts. “no kingdom as yet.” Thus, the kings cannot be identified with any historical figures. “one hour.” Symbolic of the brief 3½ year period of time (cf. 11:2, 3; 12:6, 12, 14; 13:5; 18:10, 17, 19).
.
B. Victory for the Lamb.

1. Verses 14-18.

14 These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” 15 And he *said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. 17 For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled. 18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

2. Notes. Verses 14-18.

vs 14. “make war.” A reference to the battle of Armageddon (16:14–16), where the Lamb will utterly destroy the kings (19:17–21). “Lord of lords and King of kings.” A title for God (19:16) that emphasizes His sovereignty over all other rulers to whom He has delegated authority.
vs 16. “these will hate the harlot.” After using the false religious system to unify the world kingdoms and gain control of all, the Antichrist—with the help of his 10 sub-rulers—will turn against the system, plunder and destroy it, and seize all power and worship for himself. They will be carrying out God’s will (v. 17). Cf. Gen. 50:20.
vs 18. “great city.” Here is another identification of the capital city of Babylon, centerpiece of Antichrist’s empire.

V. Conclusions.

A. Conclusion 1. “Babylon means Babylon.” The NIV (2011 Translation), NASB, CSB, and NET are correct in their translation of Rev 17:5, “a mystery, Babylon.” The closing video, that is provided by Dr. Andy Woods, provides a clarifying discussion of this subject. Check out my Equipping Site Page, “About Sources,” to see Andy’s credentials, “degrees and linked experiences.”

B. Conclusion 2. The MacArthur note on verse 7 provides the answer to the question about the mystery of the text: “mystery.” Not that Babylon is a false system of religion, because that is already known, but that the beast will fully support the harlot and together exert vast influence over the whole earth.

VI. Closing Video.

A. This video digs deep into the facts that reveal the location of Rev 17 Babylon.

B. Closing Video. This video has a duration of 29:31.

Andy Woods – Revelation (Crash Course) Part IX: Chapter 17-19. Oct 11, 2019. 29:31.
Unravelations. Dr. Andy Woods teaches 10 sessions of 30 minutes covering the entire Book of Revelation. These presentations were featured on the College of Biblical Studies’ TV program entitled “Up With the Son.”

Please follow the Equipping Site.

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/06/rev-17-a-city-by-its-name-mystery-babylon-or-a-mystery-babylon/

What if the Holy Book didn’t exist?

 

In their book, What If the Bible Had Never Been Written, the late Dr. D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe write:

Rev. Mark H. Creech is executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina Inc. | Courtesy of Mark Creech 

“The impact of the Bible on our culture, on our nation, on world history has been enormous. Author and former Yale professor Williams Lyons Phelps observed, ‘Our civilization is founded upon the Bible. More of our ideas, our wisdom, our philosophy, our literature, our art, and our ideals come from the Bible than from all the other books combined.’

“But what if the Bible had never been written? That’s a frightening thought! And yet, with Christian-bashing the only safe form of bigotry in practice today, it seems that many people wish that were the case.”

Indeed, many do wish that were the case. Last week, various news media carried the shocking story of Portland protesters burning stacks of Bibles and the American flag.

Twitter user Ian Cheong, who posted a video of the Bible burning, asked, “I don’t know what burning the Bible has to do with protesting against police brutality. Do not be under the illusion that these protests and riots are anything but an attempt to dismantle all of Western Civilization and upend centuries of tradition and freedom of religion.”

Amidst the destruction of the sacred Scriptures, there were silent voices which weren’t that way a decade ago when the pastor of Dove World Outreach Center, Terry Jones, announced his plan to burn copies of the Koran.

Then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decried the plan, saying that it was “outrageous and distressful,” and a “disgraceful plan.”

Then-President Barack Obama said of Jones, “I just hope he understands that what he is proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans, that this country has been built on the notions of religious freedom and religious tolerance.”

Crickets. Crickets. Where are these voices today on the burning of Bibles? What does it say about the Democratic Party when its flag bearers are mute on an issue of such significance? Seems the Presidential nominee for the Democratic Party, Joe Biden, is silent too. Does silence equal violence in this case?

No book in human history has suffered more from suppression and the attempt to destroy it than the Bible. Evil men hate it because of its essential goodness. It advocates the rights of the individual, claiming that even the humblest and lowest of society is of the utmost value to God. Its content has always been, and will forever remain, a rebuke and irritant to the tyrannical.

Over and again, throughout the centuries, there have been efforts to get rid of the Bible.

Roman emperors decreed that along with the early church and its sacred writings, the Scriptures should be hunted down and torched.

Later came the nefarious forces inside the church itself that bitterly opposed every effort to translate the Bible into the common language and make it readily available to the masses. The worst of this opposition, unfortunately, came from the religious authorities. Thank God for courageous men like John Wycliffe, the English scholar and theologian, whose purpose was to translate the Bible and get it into the hands of everyone possible. He was so despised for his work and love of the Bible, after his death his body was exhumed and burned.

William Tyndale, who was also well-known for his translation of the Bible from its original languages, was the object of much disdain. He was tied to a stake, strangled with a rope, and then burned. The bishop of London had ordered that every copy of Tyndale’s translation be collected and burned. Nevertheless, the Scriptures and Tyndale’s translation for the commoners survived and would later be immortalized in the King James Version.

Foxes Book of Martyrs tells the stories of a seemingly exhaustive number of people who gave their lives at a time when even the possession of Holy Writ was a crime. Yet despite the persecutions, and the Bible burning that went on in those days, the sacred book lives on.

In more recent years, at least until Portland, the attack on the Bible was less direct, and more of an effort to discredit its content. There have been assaults on its historicity, claims that it is anti-science and full of myths and fables. But repeatedly, contrary to the claims of the so-called experts, the sciences have proven the Bible’s claims, and never successfully disproven any of them.

John Clifford’s poem, The Anvil of God’s Word, has a pointed message for the current generation of Bible haters:

Last eve I paused beside a blacksmith’s door,
And I heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
Then looking in, I saw upon the floor,
Old hammers worn with beating years of time.

“How many anvils have you had,” said I,
“To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”

“And so,” I thought, “The Anvil of God’s Word,
For ages skeptic blows have beat upon,
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
“The Anvil is unchanged, the hammers gone.”

The Bible burners in Portland have no concept of the futility to which they set their hands when they literally and symbolically struck a match to its pages.

“What if the Bible had never been written? Consider the implications of such a scenario,” concluded Kennedy and Newcombe. All of these things came about because of the Bible:

“There would be no salvation, no Salvation Army, no YMCA, virtually no charity, no modern science, no Red Cross. There would likely be no hospitals, for hospitals as we know them were born in the Christian era, and Christians have built hundreds of hospitals all over the globe. There would be no universities; they were created in the Middle Ages in order to reconcile Christian theology with the writings of Aristotle. There would probably be no capitalism, no accounting, no free enterprise. Millions of people would have been killed off by STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) – without any kind of inhibition against sexual promiscuity. Literacy and education might well be the exclusive domain of the elite. Many of the languages around the globe would never have been written down because there would have been no motive to do so. Many of the barbarians the world over would have never been civilized. Cannibalism and human sacrifice and the abandonment of children would still be widespread, even as abortion and infanticide plague us as we continue to move away from the Bible. Slavery might still be practiced, as it is in pockets of the world where the Bible is forbidden. And we might not even be in the New World – as Columbus clearly stated, it was the Lord who inspired him to make his historic voyage. If the Bible had never been written, there would be no Wilberforces, no George Washingtons, no Lincolns, no Dantes, no Miltons, no Shakespeare’s, no Dickenses. [We might also add no Frederick Douglas’, no Booker T. Washingtons, no Martin Luther King, Jrs.] Above all, if the Bible had never been written, we would be cut off from God, groping in the darkness and without hope.”

Burning Bibles is not just wishing away its incomparable message on vast subject matter fundamental to human happiness; its not only wishing away what made Americans the most liberated people on record, its the same as wishing away hope!

God forbid that these foolish people would be allowed to deprive us of our hope. The Bible will survive their assaults, but we won’t survive without the Bible.

Rev. Mark H. Creech is executive director of the Raleigh-based Christian Action League of North Carolina Inc.

https://www.christianpost.com/voices/burning-bibles-in-portland-what-if-holy-book-didnt-exist.html


What Real Love Means – God is Real!

By Jared C. Wilson -July 22, 2021

what real love means

Have you ever wondered where love comes from?

If our atheist friends are right, love is in large part just sort of a trick our chemistry plays on us. It is simply a feeling generated by attachment or conditioning or evolutionary expediency. Imagine a little boy running up to his mother and crying out, “Mommy, I love you!” What would you think of the mother who responded, “Yes, I feel a release of serotonin in a conditioned biological response to my familial attachment to you, as well?”

I have a friend who on Facebook always tells people “Happy Birthday” by posting, “Congratulations on the completion of your gestation!” The point of the joke is to sort of take the romance out of the whole event.

What Real Love Means

It’s in religion generally that we learn that love comes from somewhere. Not from the right firing of the chemical lightning in the goop of our genes, not from the conditioned response to social attachments and the furtherance of the species, but from a kind of outer space, from outside of ourselves, from a place like heaven, actually. Most religious people believe love comes from outside of humans and is put inside of them. There are a variety of feelings about this. The monotheistic religions believe that love in some way comes from God.

But only Christianity holds that the one God is actually a community of three Persons who eternally and co-equally love each other so much that this love overspilled the bounds of their perfect relationship into the world they created to reflect their own love. And only Christianity believes that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, come to embody this love of God in the flesh and love his neighbors and love his Father perfectly, that he might bridge the gap created by sin between mankind and the Father, that mankind might have the Father’s love and that the Father might have the love of men.

I confess I feel a little breathless just writing that! And I think that’s kind of the point. I don’t think it’s right to talk about love in dispassionate, disconnected ways. Christians believe that humans love because God has put the capacity to know and give love inside of them. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

We are made in the image of God, but Jesus Christ is the perfect image of God (Colossians 1:15). This is not only unparalleled among religious worldviews, but is offensive to many of them. But biblical Christianity will not shy away from this, because we know to have love that never lets us down, love that will forgive us forever, love that will sustain us and secure us and satisfy us, the kind of perfect love that is described in 1 Corinthians 13, it must come from someone who is perfect. And only Jesus Christ fits the bill, because only God is perfect.

If you are compelled to love in a truly sacrificial way but find yourself balking at the truth claims of Christianity, I would urge you not to put down your philosophical musings and logical reasoning, but to add alongside it a focus on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Because I believe that if God is calling you through Jesus, you will find your arguments answered in the meanwhile. I love this testimony from Francis Collins, one of the world’s foremost scientists and the leader of the Human Genome Project, himself a former atheist:

I grew up in a home where faith was not an important part of my experience. And when I got to college and people began discussing late at night in the dorm whether God exists, there were lots of challenges to that idea, and I decided I had no need for that. I was already moving in the direction of becoming a scientist, and it seemed to me that anything that really mattered could be measured by the tools of science.

I went on to become a graduate student in physical chemistry, and as I got more into this reductionist mode of thinking that characterizes a lot of the physical and biological sciences, it was even more attractive to just dismiss the concept of anything outside of the natural world. So I became a committed materialist and an obnoxious atheist, and it sounded very convenient to be so, because that meant I didn’t have to be responsible to anybody other than myself.

It was a sneaking process. As a medical student I had the responsibility of taking care of patients who had terrible diseases. I watched some of these people really leaning on their faiths as a rock in the storm, and it didn’t seem like some kind of psychological crutch. It seemed very real, and I was puzzled by that.

At one point, one of my patients challenged me, asking me what I believed, and I realized, as I stammered out something about “I don’t believe any of this,” that it all sounded rather thin in the face of this person’s clearly very strong, dedicated belief in God. That forced me to recognize that I had done something that a scientist is not supposed to do: I had drawn a conclusion without looking at the data. I had decided to be an atheist without really understanding what the arguments were for and against the existence of God.

With the full intention of shoring up my atheism, I decided I’d better investigate this thing called faith so that I could shoot it down more effectively and not have another one of those awkward moments. I read about the major world religions, and I found it all very confusing. It didn’t occur to me to read the original texts — I was in a hurry. But I did ultimately go and knock on the door of a Methodist minister who lived down the street and asked him if he could make any recommendations for somebody who, like me, was looking for some arguments for or against faith.

He took a book off his shelf — Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Lewis had been an atheist [and] set out as I did to convince himself of the correctness of his position and accidentally converted himself. I took the book home, and in the first few pages realized that all of my arguments in favor of atheism were quickly reduced to rubble by the simple logic of this clear-thinking Oxford scholar. I realized, “I’ve got to start over again here. Everything that I had based my position upon is really flawed to the core.”

What’s interesting is that Collins did not abandon science. It is not as if becoming a believer in Jesus meant losing his mind. But it meant that what he was finding in scientific pursuit was not answering the deepest cries of his heart the way what these ailing patients had did. In the end, he still had his science, still had his logic and his reason. But he also discovered that materialism cannot produce the kind of enduring love that comes from outside of us, the kind that comes from heaven.

Nancy Pearcey shares her story of conversion this way:

While still at L’Abri, I had once accosted another student, demanding that he explain why he had converted to Christianity. A pale, thin young man with a strong South African accent, he responded simply, “They shot down all my arguments.”

I continued gazing at him somewhat quizzically, expecting something more, well, dramatic. “It’s not always a big emotional experience, you know,” he said with an apologetic smile. “I just came to see that a better case could be made for Christianity than for any of the other ideas I came here with.” It was the first time I had encountered someone whose conversion had been strictly intellectual, and little did I know at the time that my own conversion would be similar.

Back in the States, as I tested out Schaeffer’s ideas in the classroom, I was also reading works by C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Os Guinness, James Sire, and other apologists. But inwardly, I also had a young person’s hunger for reality, and one day I picked up David Wilkerson’s The Cross and the Switchblade. Now, here was a story exciting enough to suit anyone’s taste for the dramatic—stories of Christians braving the slums and witnessing supernatural healings from drug addiction. Fired up with the hope that maybe God would do something equally spectacular in my own life, that night I begged Him, if He was real, to perform some supernatural sign for me—promising that if He did, I would believe in Him. Thinking that maybe this sort of thing worked better with an aggressive approach, I vowed to stay up all night until He gave me a sign.

Midnight passed, then one o’clock, two o’clock, four o’clock … my eyes were close in spite of myself, and still no spectacular sign had appeared. Finally, rather chagrined about engaging in such theatrics, I abandoned the vigil. And as I did, suddenly I found myself speaking to God simply and directly from the depths of my spirit, with a profound sense of His presence. I acknowledged that I did not really need external signs and wonders because, in my heart of hearts, I had to admit (rather ruefully) that I was already convinced that Christianity was true. Through the discussions at L’Abri and my readings in apologetics, I had come to realize there were good and sufficient arguments against moral relativism, physical determinism, epistemological subjectivism, and a host of other isms I had been carrying around in my head. As my South African friend had put it, all my own ideas had been shot down. The only step that remained was to acknowledge that I had been persuaded—and then give my life to the Lord of Truth.

So, at about four-thirty that morning, I quietly admitted that God had won the argument.

God had won the argument, and he will use any means to do so, including the intellect. Because he created it! He certainly can win souls through it. But in the end, even those who come to faith through these kinds of means are finding something more than simply an intellectual satisfaction. They are finding their souls satisfied.

They are finding the fountain of love.

Maybe God is calling you too. Maybe you’ve got good arguments against trusting in Jesus. But if he is wooing you, I think you will find these arguments answered. In the meantime, his love is calling you. If you were face to him honestly, you would see, I think, that there is no single person ever to live like Jesus Christ. Simply considering the things he said and did will prove this. And in the end, he didn’t come to win the argument, but to win you.

There are many good and compelling arguments for the existence of God and the unique truth of Christianity, and one of them is this: nothing explains the powerful existence of love like the powerful existence of the triune God who in love sent the Son to die for sinners.

Bible app banned as Muslim extremism surges

National policy of religious tolerance facing headwinds

A decision to prevent citizens of Indonesia from being able to access a Bible application for cell phones and mobile devices is sparking arguments amid that nation’s openly tolerant campaign to allow people to choose their own faith and practice it.

The worldwide Christian ministry Barnabas Fund is reporting that the Bible application for the Minangkabau people was removed from the Google Play Store for residents of Indonesia following a demand from Irwan Prayitno, the governor of West Sumatra.

He claimed it was causing discomfort in the Minangkabau people who are living in his province, the majority of whom are Muslim.

Only about 1.43% of the people there, about 69,000, are Christian.

The Indonesian Ulema Council supported the censorship by the nation’s Communication and Information Ministry, with a statement of secretary general Anwar Abbas that said, “The guidance of the Minangkabau people is not the Bible. Hopefully there will not be a Bible [published] in the Minangkabau language.”

“The decision to ban the Minangkabau Bible App failed to take into account the rights of Minangkabau Christians,” the Barnabas Fund reported.

And the decision was criticized by the chief of the nation’s longtime Agency for Pancasila Ideology Education, which advocates for tolerance.

That agency’s opinion is that holy books could be translated into any language as long as they were not misinterpreted.

The chief of the agency said, “Every individual is given the freedom to observe their beliefs as long as they do not cause disruption in the public. And, of course, some of the residents of West Sumatra are also Christian, and the governor himself is governor to everyone, not a certain ethnicity or religious belief.”

Pancasila is a formal doctrine instituted in Indonesia to encourage tolerance for religions – and discourage extremism. It prevailed for many years, with Christians and Muslims living as equals. That started changing only a few years ago.

Then, Barnabas Fund reported, the nation saw “a rise in hard-line Islamic ideology in recent years. A generation ago, Muslims and Christians lived peaceably as equals in accordance with Pancasila.”

“In 2019, the government took several steps to counter the spread of fundamentalism by urging members of the public to report extremist content posted online by civil servants and taking action to replace school textbooks deemed to contain radical material.”

That battle against “hard-line Islamist ideology” includes requests to the public to “report extremist content posted online by civil servants and taking action to replace school textbooks deemed to contain radical material,” Barnabas Fund said.

Indonesian Communications Minister Johnny G. Plate said the intention was “to bring together and improve the performance of our civil servants, as well as to foster higher levels of nationalism.”

Indonesia has the world’s biggest population of Muslims, and reports suggest that 19% of civil servants and 3% of military personnel favor an Indonesia under Islamic rule. About 18% of private employees and 23% of students share the view.

Bible app banned as Muslim extremism surges

Love does not think evil of others

April 29, 2021Author: Nehemiah Zion

Love does not think evil of others.
Nor keeps a record of evil.

Are there people in your life you really want to take revenge on? You still have feelings where you want to get back at them. Even in a small way? Like, maybe, “when I get a chance I will show her ” types?

  • Joseph’s brothers conspired against him
  • King Saul was desperate to kill King David
  • Hamaan had evil desires against Mordecai
  • The Jews looked for ways to bring Jesus down

Joseph’s brothers were irritated by his constant tattling and showing off (Jacob expressed great love for Joseph). Eventually their harmful thoughts against Joseph led to evil.

King Saul loved David initially. When David would play the harp and drive the evil spirit away. Overtime, as David was being used by God and praised greatly by the people, Saul began to hate him and plotted evil against him.

Haman hated the Jews. He wanted them all killed. Haman had hatched an evil plan against Mordecai, only to fail miserably. The very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai became his death sentence. (Esther 6)

The Jews were plotting to kill Jesus (John 7:1). The Jews claimed to be superior in their religiosity, though they followed the law, they did not understand the love in the law.

Love does not think evil of others

The power of resurrection is the power of love that raised Jesus from the dead. How blessed we are to receive such a great love. Are we living the love powered by the Holy Spirit? Time to examine our lives and live these last days being fruitful for the kingdom of God, till the very end.

Let go now; do not host evil thoughts against anyone. The Love of God always heals the hearts and minds of those who trust in God. The end is near. Maranatha, Praise God and Amen.

Love is not easily provoked

April 28, 2021Author: Nehemiah Zion

Love is not easily provoked. Are you EASILY provoked? We all get provoked but it gets harmful for us if we are easily provoked. The repercussions of hosting evil spirits like hatred, anger and the likes weaken us spiritually.

Love protects our heart from wicked provocation. While we may not always have wicked people attack us; what about those in church or family who you dislike?

When Believers are easily provoked …

Peter was easily provoked when Samaria rejected Jesus (Luke 9:55). He was so enraged because his Master Jesus was rejected he wanted Jesus to bring fire down from heaven. Forgetting the very fact that Jesus had come to save and not to destroy.

“For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.” (Luke‬ ‭9:56‬) ‭

Moses was easily provoked when he killed the Egyptian who bullied his brethren (Exodus 2:11,12). He had grown up in the house of pharaoh. An upbringing that was fully carnal and filled with earthly pride and violence. The same Moses, 40 years later was called the humblest man on earth. While he did lead Israel having shed all the older carnal natures. He was tested again by his own people. He was again provoked to smite the Rock for water. Rather than speak to the rock. This disobedience cost him his physically entering Canaan.

We live in a world where the slightest provocation causes issues to trend online. Many issues have gone beyond the online world into offline where people have ended up killing the innocent. Outrage is the currency of those who want to divide the world and control the mass population.

It’s a sad sinful world we live in. Not for long. Jesus is coming soon. Turn to Him in prayer and supplication for a broken world. Maranatha, Praise God and Amen!

Love is not easily provoked

What Else Does Your Light Convey?

  by Joe Rodriguez

This functional baseball bat-shaped beacon is known as the Chirma Hang “Baseball” Lighthouse and it is located in Busan, South Korea. It, along along with a sculpture of a ball and a glove, was built to symbolize the importance of baseball to Busan and to commemorate Korea’s first ever gold medal in Olympic baseball at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Many other lighthouses have been built in the image of something important to a particular town or province.

Red horse lighthouse in Jehu City, South Korea commemorates the Korean Jehu Horse.

The Baby Bottle Lighthouse is also in Busan, South Korea. It was built to signify the importance of childbirth as well as encourage it. [Read my devotion on this lighthouse titled, The Light of Life)

Once used as lighthouses, The Rostral Columns in St. Petersburg, Russia, were erected to commemorate a naval victory. They each have four pairs of ships prows that represent the four major Russian Rivers.

True followers of Jesus Christ are like lighthouses for God in this world.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”

Matthew 5:14

And even though we shine the light of Christ by spreading the Good News of His salvation, we also portray an image that can either complement or contradict the message we proclaim. Our actions, reactions, and passions play a vital part in demonstrating to the world the genuineness of our faith and the true saving and transforming power of the Gospel.

“Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

James 2:12

“…[I]n speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”

1 Timothy 4:12b

What would others notice when they first meet you? What would they say is your true passion after spending some time with you? What do your casual conversations and work and social ethics declare about you as a Christian? Be honest, if someone was to build a lighthouse that depicts what you are passionate about, what would it look like (shape/accents)? Would it include an image of the Bible, a cross, or praying hands? Would it be accented with flowers (if you are an avid gardener)? Or, bald eagles and Siberian tigers (if you advocate for endangered species)? Would it be painted to resemble the inside of a library (if you love books)?

Faro de Ajo is an active lighthouse located in Spain. It was painted with over 70 colors to show off the cultural diversity of the area. It also alludes to the natural wealth of the region by representing local fauna.

There is nothing wrong for a Christian to have a passion for something or support a cause that is non-spiritual. The problem arises when it overshadows spiritual/heavenly devotion.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

Matthew 6:33

“Set your minds (hearts) on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth.”

Colossians 3:2

Or when it opposes (in any form) the holy precepts of God as revealed in Scriptures.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but continuously be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is—what is proper, pleasing, and perfect.”

Romans 12:2

“Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” AMP

1 John 2:15

Unfortunately, there are many professing Christians whose true passions shine brighter than the light of Christ. Like those whose love for bling is glaringly obvious. Their lighthouses would most likely be over-laid in gold and accented with precious jewels and all that glitters. What’s even worse, is that there are also those whose lighthouses would be heart-breaking or even offensive to look at. Like those of abortion advocates. Imagine what images those would exhibit!

Hopefully, your lighthouse would first convey your evident love for God and His word by shinning bright and steadily. Then, it would be accented with things that you are really fond of or are devoted to. Maybe it would have images of your favorite animals, foods, vehicles, super heroes, or countries you’ve visited, etc.

God created us for His glory and to enjoy and take care of the earth, not to worship it. He should have first place in our hearts and minds. He also created us uniquely different. That means that our lighthouses can be shaped and adorned in a variety of ways. Just let us make sure that what people notice first is HIS light. Then, whatever else it conveys, it includes things that compliment our love for Him and for others.

By the way, my lighthouse would also convey my love for…lighthouses! 

White lighthouse photoshopped by me to include images of lighthouses.

What else would your lighthouse convey (look like)? I’d like to know. Please share your answer in the comment section below. 

Prayer: Father of light, thank you for who I am in you. May my earthly passions never hinder my love and devotion for you so that your light may continue to shine brightly in and through me. Help me to remain faithful to you and your Word. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.

Related links
The Light of Life

A Reflection of You

https://lighthousedevotions.blog/2021/04/06/what-else-does-your-lighthouse-convey/