Picture of eagle's head with text, "Bible studies"

Part 2

(Newest ones are last)
Part 1 Part 1:  Bible Studies on Day to Day Living
Coming Back to Square One Coming Back to Square One
Don't Be a Slug Don't Be a Slug
Free Medicine Free Medicine
Copying Jesus:  Yes or No? Copying Jesus:  Yes or No?

10/21/09  Coming Back to Square One
"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen"
Jude 1:24-25
Praises to God for what He is able to do.  He can keep us from falling!  He is able to present us before Himself as faultless and with EXCEEDING joy!  What do you think?  Is that joy His or ours?  I'd say BOTH!

Ps 103:8-14 tells us more about God's love for us and His willingness to forgive us:
"The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.  He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.  He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.  For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.  Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.  For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust."

 This is exciting!  That was the Old Testament.  It gets even better!  Let's look into the New Testament which shows that Jesus made it even better.  This is in Heb 10:16-22:

"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."

Thanks to Jesus' sacrifice our sins are not only as far away from us as the east is from the west they aren't even remembered by God!! 

So, when we are repentant and ask forgiveness for our sins what does God say?  I'd like to think that He says, "What sins?"

God knows that we are "dust" and that we are surrounded by temptations to sin.  Jesus, too, was tempted as we are (Heb 4:15).  That means God knows exactly what we are going through and how hard it is to face those temptations.

Yes, it is possible to not sin (see the study A Call to Holiness) but, when we do, God provides us with a way to come back to square one.  When we repent and ask forgiveness then the sins that we committed are gone.  Until we sin again we are sinless.  When life gets us down and we are too weak to stand up to temptation there is a way back, thank God!

He is worthy of our praise!  He is our Daddy, our Abba.  In spite of the fact that He is GOD ALMIGHTY, MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, He loves each and every one of us.  He wants us to enter in to His presence so He can rejoice with us!  Let it sink in and you'll want to shout and dance!!
Link to 10/21/09 welcome message

1/12/10  Don't Be a Slug
"And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises."
Hebrews 6:11-12
According to dictionary.com diligence is:   "constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind."  So, we are being shown something that we are supposed to be continually doing.  Let's find out what that is.

What is "assurance of hope"?  We must be assuring ourselves (to cause to know surely) that we have hope.  How do you get that assurance?  We have to know God.  We have to know what God has planned for us so we can diligently hope for it in full assurance that our hope will become sight.  (See Romans 8:24)  We must look ahead to the promises that God has made.

It says we may become slothful (sluggardly; indolent; lazy) if we don't remain diligent.  Verse 10 is an observation on what the Hebrews had been doing that sparked this warning.  They were ministering to the saints.  That work was referred to as a labour of love in Jesus' name.

I think of people I have known that thought that all God required of them was to go to church once a week.  They thought that was their "labour of love".

Verse 12 says we should be followers of those who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises.  Abraham is mentioned after that.  Do you know the story of Abraham?  If you don't then how can you learn from his example?  Do you know the story of any others who had great faith and patience?  If you don't then you need to get serious about reading your Bible!

Here's an interesting scripture about hope you may want to ponder on your own:
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
Romans 5:1-5

I will end with something that God shared with me.  I was in Alaska in 2002.  Alaska has some mighty big slugs there called Banana Slugs.  The one I saw was the size of an actual banana.  I had been enjoying seeing bald eagles during my trip there.  God asked me a question that got my attention.  He wanted to know if I was going to be like the slug (crawling slowly across the ground seeing only what was in front of its nose) or like the eagle (flying high and seeing miles in every direction).  I had not been seeking what He wanted me to be doing every day.  His question shocked me into a closer relationship with Him.
Link to 1/12/10 welcome message

3/10/11  Free Medicine
"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken."
Proverbs 15:13
Most of the Proverbs are relevant today, many many years after they were written.  Some even seem to be more meaningful today than they would have been back when they were written.

There are so many more things "attacking" us every day that sometimes it is all we can do to be cheerful.  We have so many electronic things in our lives that it is inevitable that one of them will mess up fairly regularly.

My computer sometimes changes some of its setting so it goes offline and I have to correct them.  Sometimes when I am talking on the phone my phone says it is "out of range" and seems to put the person I'm talking with on hold.  I have to start pushing buttons to get the conversation back.  My cell phone's battery is needing to be charged sooner and sooner and it isn't even a year old yet.  I still haven't figured out how to put someone on hold to answer another call.

Then there are the bills for everything that we have to check since the automatic billing systems aren't always correct.  Our cable company was charging "rent" for a modem that I never got from them.  It seems I have to be making phone calls to straighten things out on a regular basis.

I've got to keep track of my extended warranties so I know where to take something when it breaks and whether or not I have to pay for it.  If the Department of Motor Vehicles forgets to send us a renewal for one of our vehicles it is our fault for not renewing it in time. 

I have warranty books, receipts, and instructions for all sorts of things that need to be filed.  My bank recently decided to start charging for my "free" account so I had to find another bank. 

I've got empty cans of paint in the attic because the outdoor house paint had a lifetime guarantee.... if you keep the cans.  My vacuum had a five year warranty, if you cut the warranty information off the cardboard box it came in.  That's enough examples.  I'm depressing myself.

I choose to laugh.  I choose to find the humor in things and laugh.  Yes, I can usually find something funny in bad things that are happening.

The other thing I choose is to turn away from the depressing things and enjoy things like flowers, sunshine, my pets, and other things I like.  They make me smile.

I know people who don't see the humor in things.  I've joked around with some people and they don't smile or laugh.  Some people are just so serious that they don't seem to know how to laugh.  I feel bad for them.

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."
Prov 17:22

"All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast."
Prov 15:15

Doctors have found that depression is an actual illness.  It can be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.

As you read things here at the Clarion Call that I have written (things that don't have another author's name on them) you will see my sense of humor.  It can be pretty crazy.  Even with the sense of humor that I have, even with the strong willpower I have, even with my relationship with God I have suffered from depression.

If I listed all the things that have happened to me, my friends, and my family you would probably understand how difficult it has been for me to keep a happy attitude.  I'm not going to list them.  The two years I took away from the Clarion Call were the worst two years of all.  Not only was I in a spiritual depression I had some horrible things happening that just knocked me down.

My doctor put me on anti-depressants.  They helped me to put things in perspective.  I'm able to handle the bad things much better.  Yes, the bad things just keep on coming.  Our enemy, satan, wants to keep me away from the Clarion Call.  That's the way it goes.  The more people someone touches for God the more satan wants to stop them.

I've had people ask me why I need anti-depressants when God could cure me.  God hasn't cured me.  He also hasn't cured me from my deteriorating discs in my lower back, my arthritis pain, my allergies, or my high blood pressure.  I'm on medication for those things, too.

If you allow yourself to sink into a depression, a pity party, or allow yourself to be consumed by your circumstances then watch out.  Your spiritual and mental "bones" will dry out.  It only gets worse unless you grab hold of something to pull yourself out.

Many times finding joy in things is enough to help.  Other times it just takes focusing on God, reading your Bible, and singing praises.  Then there are the times when you need some medical help.  I've begun an article on why we aren't walking in the health and happiness that the Bible speaks about.  Why isn't God healing us?  But, that's another study that isn't done quite yet.

If you don't smile and laugh every day then watch out.... you become weak and dried up.  Want a little help for today?  Check out the Clarion Call's humor section.
Link to 3/10/11 welcome message

3/11/12  Copying Jesus:  Yes or No?
"For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."
John 13:15
We are told to assemble together.  (Heb 10:25-26)  I have been told on more than one occasion that you are my "church".  What am I doing?  I'm exhorting you to find God's will for your life.  That's behind everything I do here at the Clarion Call.  Does that mean I shouldn't keep looking for a church home?  No.  Much good can be done in churches when the Body of Christ physically comes together.  However, I am still in contact with, and commune with, other Christians.

People send me emails and write in my guestbook and most of them are encouraging, exhorting me right back.  The Bible uses terminology and descriptions based on then-current knowledge and understanding.  In other words, they didn't have Internet and wouldn't have understood how you could commune with someone directly without ever meeting them.  So, you and I are actually assembling together, just not physically.

In a church building not every person speaks to every other person.  As a matter of fact, sometimes there are certain people that come in late and leave early so they don't have to speak with anyone.  There are others that I refer to as pew warmers, that come to church to hear someone teach and then they go home and do nothing with what they learned.  The only thing they are doing that the Bible tells us to do is assemble together.

I've been told that I need to do things the way Jesus did them.  One time it was regarding baptism, whether sprinkling was acceptable or dunking was mandatory.  Well, if dunking was mandatory because Jesus was dunked, is it also mandatory to be dunked in the Jordan River?

More recently I was told by a woman (from the denomination that is told they must go by two's door to door to talk to people) that because Jesus and the disciples went two-by-two door-to-door that I am to do the same.  Well, taking what she said a step further, Jesus and the disciples never got into a car.  They always walked.  Shouldn't that be part of the "rule"?  Oh, and she also even mentioned Philip when he got in the chariot with the eunuch.  Where was the second disciple?  (Acts 8)  Let's not forget that Jesus met the woman at the well by Himself, not with a second disciple.  (John 4)

We can't get so locked into an idea that we close our mind to what God wants us to do right now!  When I told the woman that I am sharing with people all around the world through the Clarion Call she let me know that wasn't acceptable.  I was to do "like Jesus did" and meet in a church with others and go door to door to spread the gospel. 

We can't get stuck with closed minds or we will miss God's will.  Let's pretend we are closed-minded and must only do what Jesus did or what Jesus commanded his disciples to do:

Arrow Communion will be with wine, not grape juice.  Jesus didn't drink the wine, so maybe we shouldn't, either.  Also, we need to be in an upper room for communion.  (Luke 22)

Arrow We can't have a home of our own.  (Matthew 8:20)

Arrow We must live at the house where we are sharing the gospel.  (Luke 9:4)  By the way, in Luke 9:1-10, it didn't say that Jesus told them to go out by two's.

Arrow When we are going out in two's we must not carry money or shoes.  We are not to speak to people on the way.  We are to stay and eat at the homes we visit and are not to go house to house.  (Luke 10)

I, for one, refuse to miss what God wants me to be doing right now just because I am stuck in a holding pattern.  The Bible is chock full of good information and guidance and is certainly worth studying.  However, God's mouth didn't fall off and He is still wanting to communicate with us today.  If you don't believe that then I suggest you ask Him.  What can it hurt?

Link to 3/11/12 welcome message


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