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Friday, September 14, 2007

Religion or Jesus?

A prominent news TV commentator asked a well-known Christian clergyman if he believed Muslims and Jews would go to heaven. The clergyman replied, “Jesus said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ So, unless an individual trusts in Jesus Christ, he cannot enter heaven.”
“I don’t believe that,” the commentator retorted. “Jesus preached tolerance and acceptance. So I believe anyone who sincerely follows his religion and lives a good life will end up in heaven. I expect to see a lot of Muslims and Jews there.”
Who was right, the clergyman or the commentator? Perhaps we should ask who was right, the commentator or Jesus? Don’t you agree that Jesus, who never sinned and always spoke the truth, is the reliable authority? The fact is, only those who trust in Jesus as Savior will live forever in heaven. Neither religious affiliation nor religious fervor issues passports to heaven. Only believers in Jesus enter that beautiful and eternal home.
You have heard that all roads lead to Rome, but don’t try to get there by following Route 66 or I-70 or I-80 or I-90 or some other U.S. highway. Similarly, don’t try to get to heaven by any way that bypasses Jesus. Read John 14:6 and Acts 4:12.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jesus Values Seniors

“So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them” (Mark 1:31).

The senior population is booming in the United States. According to a prediction quoted in Senior Journal, by mid-century, people age 65 and older will account for about 15 percent of the world’s population.
Clearly, adults are living longer, but are our senior citizens respected and allowed to contribute their wisdom and skills to society? Do corporations and even churches accept seniors as they should and let them work and serve as long as they can? These are questions for Human Resource managers and pastors, but Jesus left no doubt that He valued seniors. Trace His steps through the Gospels and see how He ministered to older people.
For example, upon entering the home of Simon and Andrew, Jesus learned Simon’s mother-in-law was gravely ill and confined to bed. He showed He cared about her by taking her by the hand and lifting her up. Immediately, the fever that had racked her body left her.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Simon’s mother-in-law rolled out the hospitality mat and “began to wait” on Jesus and His disciples (Mark 1:31).
Consider what Jesus has done for you, and serve Him today. No one is too young or too old to do so.

—From The Anchor, "Jesus Cares," written by Jim Dyet and published by Haven Ministries. Used by permission. copyright 2007.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Did Shakespeare Leave His Mark on the Bible?

Scholars differ about Shakespeare’s contribution to the translation of the King James Version of the Bible. Some believe he was a contributing writer. Others insist he was just one of King James’ closest friends. It is interesting, however, to conjecture whether the KJV translators or the bard himself slipped Shakespeare’s name into Psalm 46.
William was 46 when the King James Version of the Bible was translated. If you examine Psalm 46 in the KJV and count forward to the 46th word, you come to the word “shake,” and if you count 46 words from the end of Psalm 46, you come to the word “spear.”
It is interesting to conjecture whether Shakespeare left his mark on the Bible, but in the final analysis the matter lacks eternal significance. What is eternally significant is whether the Bible leaves its mark on us. After all, God gave the Bible to show us how to enter into a peaceful, eternal relationship with Him (2 Timothy 3:15). He also gave the Bible to instruct us in righteousness and to equip us for a spiritually productive life (verses 16, 17).
You and I may be the only Bibles some people read. Let’s live in such a way that they read a clear message about our Savior.

“But his delight in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:2, 3).

P.S. Fly the flag today! Let’s show the world we are proud to be “one nation under God” and determined to “let freedom ring.”

copyright 2007 James Dyet

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