Christian

Do We Want a Golden Calf?

Do we mold God into who we want Him to be, rather than seeking out who He truly is? Let’s look at what God’s people did shortly after their miraculous deliverance from slavery in Egypt.

“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods[a] who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” Exodus 32:1 NIV

The people don’t like waiting, so they demand an idol who will fit their selfish desires. Aaron is pressured into giving the people the kind of god they want.

“Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,[b] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” Exodus 32:2-4 NIV

“When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward, they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” Exodus 32:5-6 NIV

Aaron calls this idol “the Lord”. Why? Because he isn’t giving them a new god. He is making God fit the image of God they want. This corruption leads to revelry.

“The Hebrew word rendered indulge in revelry … can refer to words that have sexual implications. Here it implies sexual acts done in the worship of pagan gods. Immorality often accompanies idolatry, even today.” David Jeremiah

“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.” Romans 1:22-24 NIV

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corruptThey have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’” Exodus 32:7-8 NIV

The question that comes to mind is this: When God’s people create an image of God to fit what they want Him to be, (but still call that image “God”, even “Jesus”), are they worshipping the true Jesus, or a counterfeit Jesus? Paul warned Christians concerning false apostles who would preach about a Jesus who is not the real Jesus of the Bible.

“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

“For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold” 2 Timothy 4:3 AMP

Not everything being taught in Christian churches today is “sound doctrine”. There is only one way to recognize false teaching when you hear it, and it is this: You must read and study the Bible for yourself. That means reading the Word of God every day. It means reading the Word of God more than you read books about the Word of God.

When you read a popular Christian author more than you read the Bible, you begin to interpret the Bible through their “lens”. If it is false, it can take years to “unlearn” what you have been taught. On the other hand, if you read and study the Bible for yourself, you will recognize false teaching right away.

Many new Christians, in their excitement of knowing Christ as their Savior, read many books about the Bible. I believe the devil takes advantage of their hunger for God to lead them astray through false, yet entertaining, books that are so widely available today.

The only real protection against this is to read and study the Bible for yourself, love the Truth, and follow Jesus. Jesus said,

“If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].” Luke 9:23 AMP

With Love, Cindy

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

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Christian

Monday’s Verse, 12/7/20

“Teach me your ways, O Lord,
    that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
    so that I may honor you.” Psalm 86:11 NLT

With Love,

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

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Christian

Is My Sin Too Great for God to Forgive?

Today’s post isn’t for everyone. If you grew up in church and lived life on the straight and narrow, this post may not interest you. But if you made major detours from the right path like I did, this is for you. Or if you know someone who thinks their sin is too great for God to forgive, pass this on.

In your past, did you commit a sin that haunts you? You may have asked Jesus to forgive you, but you can’t forgive yourself. I’m not talking about some little thing. I’m talking about something big, something that you can’t believe you were capable of.

Let God’s Words speak to your heart today:

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,     slow to anger, abounding in love… he does not treat us as our sins deserve     or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth,     so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west,     so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children,     so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;  Psalm 103:8-13

Though your sins are like scarlet,     they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson,     they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:18

All of us are capable of doing things that we would like to forget (usually done to save ourselves from pain or trouble). We justify our behavior in our mind. “I had to do it. There was no other way. I needed this.”

King David committed adultery and murder. Yes, a man “after God’s own heart” did this! In Psalm 51:14-17 David wrote,

Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,     you who are God my Savior,     and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord,     and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;     you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;     a broken and contrite heart     you, God, will not despise.

A Prayer

Dear Lord,     I stand in awe of your great love. You forgive my sins and remember them no more. Great is your love, O God. Who can understand your great mercy? Without it surely I would die in anguish, but your forgiveness and mercy washed over me and made me clean.

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7 NLT

No matter how great your sin, God will forgive you. God isn’t waiting to judge you. He isn’t waiting to condemn you. He wants to receive you – with mercy, with love, with open arms.

With Love,

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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

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Christian

Monday’s Verse, 10/26/20

“Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.” Psalm 25:5 NLT

With Love,

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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

Photo by Alistair Dent on Unsplash

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Christian

Sunday’s Memory Verse, 10/4/20

“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.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 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?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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Christian

A True Story You Won’t Forget

Once there was a very popular preacher. So many people crowded into his church services, the church had to be enlarged. He frequently preached at other churches, as is often the case with popular ministers.

The preacher wrote beautiful Christian songs, that were also popular with churchgoers.  Soon be began a series of weekly prayer meetings in addition to regular services.

What made this preacher so special? I believe it was his life journey.

All the experiences in our past have shaped us into the person we are today. This preacher, at one time, was a vile sinner, cruel and having a hardened heart; a man without compassion or mercy.

Is it possible for such a person to have a complete turnaround? Can a hardened sinner become a saint? Can a depraved evildoer become a man (or woman) of God?

Ask the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair,  anointing them with costly perfume. When an indignant Pharisee questioned Jesus about allowing this sinful woman (probably a prostitute) to touch him, Jesus said this:

 “I tell you that her many sins are forgiven, so she showed great love. But the person who is forgiven only a little will love only a little.” Luke 7:47

Read the full story HERE.

Have you guessed the identity of the preacher, yet? You won’t find him on YouTube or TV. He was born in 1725.

Before he gave his life to Christ, he was the captain of slave ships. I can only imagine the horror of such ships, but it is well documented that slave ships provided such wretched accommodations that many men, women, and children died before arriving at their intended destination. In the words of a former slave, Olaudah Equiano, “The shrieks of the women, and the groans of the dying rendered the whole scene of horror almost inconceivable.”

Who was this forgiven reprobate turned preacher-songwriter?

His name is John Newton and he wrote these famous words:  Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.”

This celebrated hymn touches my soul because I know that what God’s grace and mercy did for John Newton, He did for me.

As you listen to Amazing Grace, thank God for his mercy and forgiveness. The more we have been forgiven, the more we love Him. That’s what Jesus said.

“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 KJV

“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:5 NIV

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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

Story reposted from January 2019

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Photo by Tomas Jasovsky on Unsplash

From Amazing Grace: The Story of John Newton by Al Rogers

A Verse For Today, Christian

A Verse for Today, 3/8/20

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:15-17 NIV

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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

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Christian

Discerning Believers Beware

What started out as pleasant conversation ended in hurt feelings, tears, misunderstanding, and a chill between myself and someone I dearly love. Oh, how I wished I could take back my words!

I apologized, but the damage was already done. A heated theological discussion got out of hand and it was my fault. It wasn’t as much what I said, but how I presented it.

My harsh comments about a popular preacher with whom I disagree did more harm than good. My friend was hurt by what I said about someone she liked and learned from. I realized I had approached it all wrong. And now I couldn’t get out of my mess.

The next day, quite by “accident”, I stumbled across something written by Hannah Anderson. Her words stung. I want to share them with you.

Discerning people use their insight to serve those around them . . . They use knowledge to build up and unify – not tear down or create division . . . Sometimes this means having the patience to wait while others think through what you already know . . . Sometimes it means foregoing your preferences for the good of others. Sometimes it might even mean being misunderstood precisely because others can’t yet see what you do . . . They resist the temptation to flaunt knowledge or prove themselves right.”

Hannah Anderson, All That’s Good

All I can say is, “Ouch!”

(Side note: It always amazes me how God will put something I need to know right before my eyes even though I wasn’t looking for it!)

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:2 NIV

Yes, God pruned the branches that needed pruning so that I would bear more fruit. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.

We must learn what it means to love one another in every form it might take. Even in speaking Truth, we must think of others above ourselves. We must always ask ourselves, “Am I walking in love?”

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 ESV

I think of the Apostle Paul who said,

“Knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” 1 Corinthians 8:1 NIV

Am I saying we shouldn’t speak the Truth? Not at all! The Bible teaches us to correct and rebuke.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15 NIV

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16 NIV

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.  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 4:2-4 NIV

What I Learned

  1. People who are hungry for God often read lots of books by Bible Teachers and listen to a variety of popular preachers. Be careful in your zeal for Truth not to crush their spirit.
  2. Give careful thought to how you approach a controversial topic.
  3. You don’t have to share everything you know. Sometimes it’s best to stay silent. Build on the Truth you share.
  4. Discussions go best when your opinion is asked for.

May the Lord speak to our hearts and teach us how to interact with one another in love. May we become more like Him everyday, overflowing with humility, gentleness, respect, patience and kindness.

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  

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Christian

Abundant Life is Relationship With God

I have a very specific reason for writing this post. A friend wrote to me and said she didn’t understand why God had not answered her desperate prayer. This post is for her.

Teach me about your love
the gift that's from above.
When sorrow fills my heart,
your comfort alone can part
the sea of pain.
You lead me on dry ground
to the Promise Land.
In this life, you will provide
the manna and the quail.
That nourishes my soul
until I see
the Promise Land.

” . . . as for me, I trust in the Lord.
 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
    for you saw my affliction
    and knew the anguish of my soul.” Psalm 31:6-7

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.“Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV

“Every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” refers to spiritual food. It is your relationship with God through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, who teaches us all things.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

Abundant life is relationship with God. It is knowing the Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe, the King of King and Lord of Lords. It is being able to talk to Him at any time and in any place. It is the privilege of saying, “My Father” and knowing He is listening intently. It is for now and forever.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 NIV

A relationship with God should never be trivialized. Nothing can compare to such a glorious blessing, certainly not things (cars, houses, etc.). Our God is not Amazon.com. He isn’t here to be our Cosmic Santa Claus. Jesus didn’t sacrifice His life in order for us to prosper materially here on Earth. He didn’t have to die to accomplish that. He died to give us eternal life through a right relationship with the Living God which will last forever. May we know the true gift of God.

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” 1 Peter 3:18 NIV

“You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
  Psalm 73:24-25 NIV

Sometimes, God does not do things the way we want. Why? We may never know while here on Earth. But many times, we understand later, even years later. God is more interested in our character development than in giving us a cushy life here on Earth. We must trust Him.

I had a friend once who was desperate to save his marriage. He was convinced that by going to church and “believing” God, by having enough faith, God would save his marriage. He gave it his all.

But God did not save his marriage. No matter how hard he tried to “just have faith”, it didn’t happen.

Guess what happened to him? He left the church and was never seen again. From his perspective, God and faith didn’t work. That’s because he saw God and faith as a way to get what he wanted. He didn’t understand the true gift of God.

Do you see the disillusionment this can bring and why it causes people to abandon their faith in God? And this is the point! Truth is vital. That’s why we must be like the Bereans, who . . .

“received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11

Jesus said, We must “worship God in Spirit and in truth”. As you read the familiar passage below about the Samaritan woman, I want you to notice four things.

  1. Jesus reveals to her the “gift of God”. (v. 10)
  2. She thinks Jesus is talking about natural things, but he is talking about spiritual things. (v.11)
  3. Jesus shows her the superiority of a spiritual gift compared to a natural gift. (v.13-14)
  4. Jesus reveals to her the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. (v.23-24)

“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a]) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” John 4 NIV

Lord, Help us to study your Word daily and love the Truth. Help us to appreciate our relationship with you and to understand your love.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 KJV

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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

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