God’s Most Notable Attribute


Christopher Perdue (thebiblestop):

Want to know why evil exists if God is so good? Here is an article that explains it from a different angle than most.

Originally posted on The Life Project:

I originally ran this post back on August 16, 2013, yet I thought that it may be of interest to you again today, particularly since so many of you weren’t readers of this blog back then. This is a critical point in understanding Scripture, a point that is well worth reconsidering every so often, so here goes. I hope you find re-examining it as useful as I have…

I used to ask seminary students this question, “What is God’s most notable attribute from the ancient Hebrew point of view?”

Nobody ever got it right the first time around!

I got answers that contained wonderful divine attributes and these always included love, mercy, kindness and the sharper ones would chime in with faithfulness.  But theologically speaking, these are all subcategories of the one I was looking for.

To the Hebrew, God’s most notable attribute is restraint.

Without restraint, God (and man, for…

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Another Conspiracy, Oh No!


Isaiah 8:12-14a: Do not say, “A conspiracy,” concerning all that this people call a conspiracy. Nor in fear or terror or in dread.

The LORD of Hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. He will be as a sanctuary.

Everywhere you look, you can find a new conspiracy, some new scheme to come after you or trick you. Someone dies and it is big news? It is being used to hide something else going on. The latest war? It was really instigated by the C.I.A. Then there is the dreaded planet Nabiru/ Planet X, which every couple years is about to hit earth in a month or two, and the scientists are keeping it a secret. And so on.

Some people are so caught up by all the “conspiracies” that they live in fear of what is or may be coming at any moment. Now mind you, some of these conspiracies are real – don’t think that I am one of those who are blind to what is happening in the world. But some people are so caught up in all these conspiracies that they are losing sight of the One who should be their focus.

Be wise as serpents. Be sober-minded. Pay attention, in other words. We should be aware of what is happening in the world. But our focus should be on our God, on Jesus Christ our Lord. He will be a holy abode, a sanctuary for us.

Romans 8:35, 37 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Yes, we may have to face difficult times for our faith. Yes, some of these conspiracies will come to fruition, one day, perhaps soon. If we focus on the tribulation and trial, then we are in danger of being conquered by that tribulation. But if our focus is on our Lord, He will certainly give us the strength to endure.
Do not fear what men can do to you, but fear God. People can hurt you and kill your body, true. But if your faith is in Christ, they cannot harm you, for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2Corinthians 5:8).
When our focus is on Christ, and on abiding in Him, then the fruit of the Spirit will grow, which includes love, joy, and peace. A peace that passes all understanding, that can strengthen us even in tribulations.

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Robin Williams and Depressive Disorders


Robin Williams, a famous actor and comedian, struggled with severe depressive disorder most of his life. The other day, the depression won, and he committed suicide.
robin-williams
Most people have enough compassion, or at least enough humanity, that they offer condolences, even if they don’t really feel sadness at his death. But I have seen some making comments that essentially ridicule him and those who offer condolences.

On Facebook, one speaks of a horrible news story of a man holding his beheaded child in his arms as Muslims try to force him to convert to Islam. He then contrasted this to all the meme’s remembering Robin Williams, who had everything and had a “good” life, but committed suicide. He commented, all they have to do is call on Jesus for strength to endure. While there is a certain amount of truth, this showed a profound lack of compassion or understanding from someone who does not even begin to comprehend genuine depression.

Certainly, what that family had to face is horrible beyond imagination, but that does nothing to help those with depression. It is like telling someone is bound to a wheelchair for the rest of their life, “Look at so and so, his wife died. You should not feel so bad about being in a wheelchair and in constant pain.”

I also have a depressive disorder. And I certainly do call on Jesus for strength to endure, for strength to carry on. My disorder is perhaps not as severe as Robin Williams’ was, but it is still there. And I must live day by day seeking strength from Christ.

Most of the time, I do not think about the depression, because it is self-feeding. When you let the feeling arise, it just keeps building and building, reinforcing itself. But it is always there, right under the surface, waiting for opportunity to rear its ugly head.

Even when you go through a period of happy times, times of victories and accomplishments, it sits there, waiting. … Waiting for the elation to fade so it can resurface. It is like a living thing, there to tell you that you are nothing, a nobody. I am not talking about mere low self esteem. It goes even deeper than that.

Depression is attached to the natural man, the sin nature within every person. Most people have other strongholds that dominate that nature, those things they must always watch for if they engage in spiritual battle. It could be lying, or gossip, or anger, or lust. Any number of things.

But only a few things create such a battle as depression. Just as the love of money is a root of every kind of evil, so is depression. It can lead to murder, to suicide, to overeating or starving yourself, to sexual sins. Anything that might alleviate the pain for just a few moments, that might make you feel better about yourself, if only just briefly. Then, eventually, the depression comes right back in like a flood.

Through faith in Christ, I find a reason to keep fighting the good fight, even when I want to just curl up in a ball and shut out the world, shut out life. He is my hope, my certainty, that one day healing will come, in this life perhaps, but certainly when I fully enter into eternal life. If I endure to the end, as Scripture repeatedly says. If I keep on keeping on.

He is my source of strength when my depression arises. Many do not have that hope within, that certainty through faith that God loves them, regardless of what their feelings tell them. Others, who are believers, can be overwhelmed and briefly forget this truth, and then in their moment of weakness fall prey to suicidal thoughts. It would be so easy to just give in, to quit fighting. The fight, at times, can be quite hard.

There is a Michael Card song that says, “I swear by all that’s holy, I will not give up the fight. I will drink down death like water before I ever come again, to that dark place where I might make the choice for life to end.”

My sincere condolences to the family of Robin Williams from someone who understands that fight.

UPDATE: More to the story. On top of the depression he had to fight every day, he had just found out he had Parkinson’s disease, a very debilitating condition. So, we have the trigger, the thing he could not face.

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Spiritual Gifts: Gifts And Fruits For Use Today (Part #5)


Christopher Perdue (thebiblestop):

A timely article for today. Check it out!

Originally posted on SettledInHeaven.org Blog:

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

In our last few studies, we have been looking at the Spiritual Gifts that the Lord gives us for our usage today.   In our lesson today, we will be looking at Spiritual Fruit that is borne by all genuine believers in Christ.  We have previously summarized the differences between Spiritual Gifts and Spiritual Fruits in the following chart:

The following table helps us to understand the difference between the talents, fruits and gifts we are given by God through the Spirit’s intervention…

This chart is given to quickly illustrate there is a distinct difference between the “Spiritual Gifts”, which is the theme of this Bible study, and the “Fruits of the Spirit” and “Physical Talents” all of which are given by God to man.

Please note that some of the differences between Spiritual Gifts and Fruits include:

Difference Spiritual Gift Spiritual Fruit
When Is The Fruit/Gift Received ? Spiritual…

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A great, short video. Check it out!


 

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