Christian

Is The Bible Relevant in the 21st Century?

I recently heard a pastor say something that sent shock waves through me. In an attempt to draw unchurched people to Christ, this popular pastor is teaching his flock that the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is not essential to following Jesus. (I find that really hard to accept since Jesus Himself taught from the Old Testament!)

Even more shocking, is how easily people accept it! That’s why I feel I have to talk about it on my blog. The Old Testament is vitally important because everything in it points to Jesus. The better we understand it, the better we will understand our walk with God.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT

Once the enemy convinces the church that we shouldn’t base our beliefs on the Bible, he can bring forth all kinds of deception and lies that will be gobbled up by itching ears. Without the Bible, the church is destined to embark on a path that gradually looks more and more like the world and less and less like Christ.

The importance of Bible reading can not be overemphasized. And if we read more books about the Bible than the actual Bible, well, we are treading on dangerous ground. But isn’t that what people like to do? It’s the lazy way out. Don’t let someone tell you what the Bible says, unless you have read it for yourself first.

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 NIV

Yes, maybe our churches will grow bigger and faster if we present a message that mirrors the world view and culture, but is that really a good idea?

Jesus said,

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13 NIV

My purpose in writing this post is not to criticize, but to highlight the vital importance of reading, studying, and knowing God’s Word for yourself; and to warn against any teaching that does not honor God’s Holy Word. A cursory knowledge of the Bible is not good enough. For the Bible is our guide to discerning truth from error.

I challenge you to read the entire Bible within one year. It’s easier than you think! I did it last year and I’m doing it again this year. In fact, I plan on doing it every year from now on. Why? It’s so easy to do! And once you do it, you’ll want to do it again. I promise!

I personally like the One Year Reading Plan here. Using this chronological reading plan, you will study the Bible in the order that events happened. I found it very helpful to better understand the Biblical timeline. And it requires only a few minutes each day.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 NIV

The Bible guides us through life and teaches us what is true. It is indispensable!

As always, comments are welcomed and appreciated.

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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Christian

Psychics and Witchcraft: Is It Harmless?

Every Christian should know that divination is an abomination to God. But do they?

This subject was brought to my mind when I read 1 Chronicles 10. It is the story of King Saul’s last day on Earth. He is wounded by the enemy and then kills himself to keep from being captured. The next day, the Philistines stripped him and took his head. Verses 13 and 14 say,

“Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance,  and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.”

There are many Scriptures that make it clear that all types of divination are a sin and an abomination to God. Here are a few.

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.  Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,  or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.” Deuteronomy 18:9-11 NIV

Witchcraft

“I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people.” Leviticus 20:6 NIV

“Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:31 NIV

Tarot Cards

God calls these things detestable. Yet people swarm to fortune tellers and psychics by the millions. According to an article by Paul Thagard, PhD in Psychology Today, “4 out of 10 people believe that psychics are effective and billions of dollars are spent yearly by people desperate to have psychics help them with their problems.”

Dr. Thagard explains the deceptive practices psychics use, but I’d like to point out that whether the psychics use trickery or not is immaterial. God says it is an abomination to consult them.

Christians should look to God for guidance, not demons. Consider these verses from Acts 16:16-18 (NIV):

“Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.  She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”  She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.”

The devil will entice God’s people to sin any way he can. One of his favorite ways is to make the sin seem innocent. (It’s just for fun!) But it’s not innocent fun, and sin has consequences.

Methods of divination include psychics, tarot cards, ouija boards, reading tea leaves, astrology, horoscopes, zodiac signs, the occult, fortune tellers, drug use and others.

Horoscope

God wants to protect His people from demonic forces. I believe that people can open a door to evil spirits by participating in these things. (Paul associates fortune-telling with demons in Acts 16 above.)

When I was a teenager, I participated in a seance with friends. They said there would be someone there who really knew how to do it. That night I was overcome by an intense fear that I had never experienced before or since. I knew I was doing something I shouldn’t be doing.

I repented of this sin and I would never, never do it again. I learned my lesson well.

If you know someone who is troubled by unusual fear, make sure they are not opening the door to the occult in some way. If they are, they need to study the Scripture, pray, and repent.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NIV

Remember, sorcery of any kind is not innocent fun. God’s Word is our guide.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.  But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6 NLT

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
 Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6
NLT

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8 NLT

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
    and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog  

Paul Thagard, Psychology Today, Should You Believe in Psychics? April 24, 2019

Photos from Unsplash and Pexels

Christian

Trusting God for Guidance

Do you ever feel like God isn’t there? When we can’t seem to hear His voice or sense His leading, that’s when it’s time for faith to take charge!

God is always speaking to us in the sense that His Word is alive and all we have to do is open our Bible to hear God’s Word. Today, as I sought the Lord regarding what to write about, I realized that He is always leading me, even when I can’t “feel” it.

How do I know? Because He has promised me He would. If I look to His Word, He speaks. Psalm 119 is about God’s Word, but it also promises that those who love His Word will be rewarded with counsel, wisdom, insight, guidance, and peace.

“Your statutes are my delight;
    they are my counselors.” Psalm 119:24

“Your commands are always with me
    and make me wiser than my enemies.
 I have more insight than all my teachers,
    for I meditate on your statutes.” Psalm 119:98-99

“Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

“Great peace have those who love your law,
    and nothing
can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165

“Your promises have been thoroughly tested,
    and your servant loves them.” Psalm 119:140

I will trust Him to lead me because I have surrendered to His will for my life and I love the Word of God. So during times when all I hear is silence, I will trust that He is still leading me through the darkness. I believe His promises are true.

“For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?
    His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” Isaiah 14:27

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9

“From the east I summon a bird of prey;
    from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
    what I have planned, that I will do.” Isaiah 46:11

“He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3

“He who has compassion on them will guide them
    and lead them beside springs of water.” Isaiah 49:10b

“The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.” Isaiah 58:11a

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Your Watchful Eye Will Lead Me

Your watchful eye will lead me.
You never look away.
I turn to you for guidance
Every single day.

Because I love your Word,
And seek to know it well,
I trust your hand to guide me,
For in my heart Christ dwells.

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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All Scripture references are from the NIV.

Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

Christian

Worry Is Like a Rocking Chair

Corrie Ten Boom was a prisoner and survivor of Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. If anyone ever had an excuse to worry, it was her. Corrie, her sister, and their elderly father were whisked from their home and sent to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, “the deepest hell that man can create”¹ because they were caught hiding Jews during WWII. Following are some quotes on worry from Corrie.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. It does not enable us to escape evil. It makes us unfit to face evil when it comes. It is the interest you pay on trouble before it comes.”

“Worry is like a rocking chair; it keeps you busy but does not bring you farther.”

Corrie Ten Boom’s book, The Hiding Place, had a profound effect on me as a young adult. Her faith and trust in Jesus Christ will encourage you through any trial you may find yourself in today.

Corrie lived her life, before and after Ravensbruck, serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” Philippians 4:6-7 AMP

So many times, people say, “I’m a worrier. I worry about everybody.” It’s as if they think it’s a badge of honor. It’s not! To worry means we are not trusting God. To please God, we must have faith. We must trust Him.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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1The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom

Christian

Why Do Christians Drift Away?

While at the beach one summer, my two sons insisted on renting a small boat. They were told to stay close, but eventually they began to drift. We started yelling at them and waving our arms, but they didn’t see us and kept drifting farther and farther away, unaware.

That’s the bad thing about drifting, you can end up far from where you started and unaware of how far you’ve drifted.

“… we must pay much closer attention than ever to the things that we have heard, so that we do not [in any way] drift away from truth.” Hebrews 2:1 AMP

Today we have the entire Bible to keep us on course, but do we neglect it? C.S. Lewis said,

As a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?”

Mere christianity

We can so easily drift away from God and toward the ways of the world: thinking like the world, acting like the world, even speaking like the world. How? Compromise, open-mindedness, tolerance for what is evil in the eyes of the Lord, the desire to fit in.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV

Thinking back on my past, I can see how drifting away from God was a result of drifting farther and farther away from God’s Word. Drifting happens so easily, not because of anything we do, as much as what we don’t do. We neglect Bible study, neglect church fellowship, neglect worship, neglect prayer.

My boys finally saw us waving wildly and came back in, but others have not been so lucky.

In his article, 9 Fortunate Souls Who Survived Being Lost at Sea, Avery Thompson said this,

“The sea is like a wet desert. There’s no food. There’s no shelter. Nothing to drink. In every direction, the view is the same: nothing. Plus, dangerous predators lurk just beneath the depths.  A shipwreck out on the open ocean can be a death sentence. If rescue doesn’t come in the first 48 hours, it probably never will.”

We can compare this to drifting spiritually. No spiritual food to eat, no living water to drink, demons lurking just beneath …

That’s why the writer of Hebrews says, “ we must pay much closer attention than ever to the things that we have heard“. We must be reading our Bible and renewing our minds. These words are as true today as they were when first written.

The worse thing about being a drifter is that you probably won’t even notice what you’ve become or how far you have drifted. So in this time, as in the first century, Christians “must pay much closer attention than ever.”

Are you paying attention?

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian

Daily Scripture, 4/15/19

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Jonathan Sharp on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog 


Christian

Daily Scripture, 4/14/19

“A righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112: 6-7

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog