www.madetodisciple.com

What’s Your Goliath?

Are you in a battle? A conflict? A hard place?

Is something or someone threatening your peace, your security?

Does a Goliath of sorts loom before you?

Do you seem so small, so insignificant, so impotent in comparison?

Look within. Maybe the Holy Spirit is not dwelling within? Is He not your resident Helper, your on-call Comforter? Has He not offered you His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control?

Remember,  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit still rule.

Face your “Goliath” say,  “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts…” (1 Samuel 17:45).

God has given you His name — His name which reveals His character and His ways. That’s where you are to look. Look at who God is and what God is. When David faces Goliath, he remembers that God is the almighty, the Lord of hosts, which means He is the Captain of all — all principalities, powers, and spiritual forces and places. Every angelic being, good and evil, is under His control. The power and authority belong to God, not to angels or to you or to me.

What is your Goliath?

I was adopted and have never met my biological dad. In fact, I actually found his brother on Facebook and after gave me the phone number to my biological dad, I reached out and found he had another son and named him “Zach.” From the time I was 15, I’ve lost my dad in active duty and practically felt at times I had lost 2 of my 6 brothers from certain actions. I’ve been hurt and let down in the past like no other and at times, felt as if I physically wouldn’t be able to lift my self off the ground. You could say that I’ve been to rock bottom a few times: jail, feeling the lack of self worth, low confidence along with other issues. While this is my goliath, I promise you God has a plan for you and will ALWAYS let you defeat your goliath. Look at me for instance once again, at my lowest point when I physical thought I couldn’t possibly move on, God sent me this the most perfect woman for me in Ashleigh E. She was exactly what I needed, She has help me see the significance of having a God based relationship, while making me more confident in myself. God will and ALWAYS provides in order to defeat you goliath. call upon Christ for peace and understanding. Can God not handle even the biggest Goliaths?

When David brought Goliath down with a single stone, remember it was an action of faith and Christ alone which downed Him

Stop and think about it. The other Israelites had the same God on their side that David had on his, so what was the difference? David trusted in what He knew about God. Remember, Saul, Israel’s king, tried to dress David in his armor, to equip him with his sword. Saul was trusting in the arm of flesh. David knew that the weapons of his warfare were not fleshly but mighty through God.

You’ll never be the Christian you can be without those “Goliaths.” You’ll never know God intimately apart from them. It’s the trial, the conflicts, the adversities, the “no-way-out” situation, the impossibilities that drive us to God where we discover who His is and what He is. Not to run to Him means to miss knowing Him and experiencing His power, His glory, His majesty, His sufficiency.

Twitter

Facebook

Website

Old Testament

Is The Old Testament Corrupted?

It never ceases to amaze me how often various people in cults or false religious systems always state that the Bible has been corrupted. Muslims, Mormons, and Wiccans are three of the most common religious groups which I have encountered that make such claims.1

Why do they claim this? Well, I suspect that it is because the teachings of the New Testament specifically are at extreme variance with their beliefs. For Muslims, they do not believe that Jesus is God since the Qur’an claims that it is an unforgivable sin to “assign partners with God” (Surah 10:30). Also, the Qur’an claims that Jesus was not crucified (Surah 4:156-157). However, the New Testament teaches that Jesus was Divine (cf. John 1:1; 8:24, 58; 10:30; 20:28; Rom. 9:5) and He literally was crucified (1 Cor. 15:3-4).

Mormons believe that there are many gods in existence and salvation is not being saved from the wrath of God upon sinners, but being exalted to the highest degree of heaven through keeping the sacraments and ordinances of the church. In other words, salvation is by works. However, the Bible clearly teaches that there is one God in the entire universe (cf. Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8; Mk. 12:29) and salvation is actually receiving forgiveness from the wrath of God upon sinners (John 3:36), not being exalted to a higher degree of heaven. Furthermore, the Bible teaches that salvation is a free gift, not attainable by works (Rom. 4:5; Eph. 2:8-9).

Wiccans, though an extremely diverse conglomeration of religious beliefs, generally believe that there are many paths to “the One” or “the All” as they refer to their deity. “The One” or “the All” actually is part of the universe and is not distinct from it. However, the Bible teaches that there is one God who is separate from space, time, and matter since He created them from nothing (ex nihilo) (Gen. 1:1; cf. Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-17). Furthermore, the Bible teaches that there is only one way to be saved, and that is through Jesus (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
Has the New Testament been Corrupted?

The short answer is no. To answer this question in more detail, let me give you some background. The New Testament is an ancient book. During ancient times, there were no Xerox copy machines, and the way the Bible was preserved was through hand by hand copying. As a result of this copying process, errors would occur by accident or intention. However, these errors in the text do not affect any major Christian doctrine such as the Trinity, Deity of Christ, salvation by faith alone, etc. Unfortunately, we do not have any original copies of any of the books of the New Testament. In other words, we do not have “the original manuscript copy” of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, or an original copy of the Gospel of Matthew, etc.
The way Ancient Texts were Copied

A helpful way to look at the New Testament’s textual history is to compare it to other documents of antiquity. For most ancient documents, we have about a thousand year gap between the writing of the document and the first available copy that archaeologists find. For example, with a Roman historian called Tacitus, our first manuscript copy of his work comes from around 1100 A.D. and we have 20 total manuscript copies today. Interestingly, Tacitus actually wrote his works around 100 A.D. Most historians do not doubt that we have a really good idea what Tacitus actually wrote, even though we only have about 20 total partial or complete manuscripts and the earliest manuscript comes about 1,000 years after the original writing.

In comparison, our first manuscript copy of the New Testament (John Ryland’s Papyri, dates from 117-138 A.D.) comes about 30-40 years after the original book was written (i.e. the Gospel of John in about 90-95 A.D.). Also, we actually have over 5,700 Greek New Testament manuscripts! In addition to all of the Latin, Coptic, Syriac, and other languages, we have about 25,000 total New Testament manuscripts! This literally blows the competition out of the water!
Go ahead, destroy the New Testament Manuscripts

However, if these 25,000 manuscripts were destroyed, we still would know what the New Testament writers actually wrote. We would then go to the writings of the Church Fathers.2 These early Church Fathers wrote numerous books and letters in which they made over 38,000 quotations from the New Testament. From their writings alone we could reconstruct the entire New Testament minus about 11 verses.

So for religions and cults to claim that the Bible has been inaccurately copied to such an extent of corrupting the entire message of the Bible, is just blatantly ridiculous due to the 25,000 manuscripts and numerous early quotations. In spite of the misinformed claims of the critics, the Bible that you hold in your hand is an accurate copy of what the original Biblical authors actually wrote.

Website
Facebook
Twitter

www.madetodisciple.com

The 2nd Most Important Decision Of Your Life

If you’re single and you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, then I can assure you, God is extremely interested in your choice of a marriage partner. He wants to reveal the person He has chosen for you, but it’s important to go slowly and carefully into that decision. Next to committing your life to Jesus Christ, it’s the most important decision you’ll ever make.

God’s first desire for everyone, married or single, is a total commitment to Jesus Christ. As followers of Christ, we must be willing to accept God’s will, even if it’s contrary to ours (Matthew 16:24). However, we need to realize an important truth about God’s will: His will is good because He is good (Psalm 34:8). Some people are afraid of God’s will. They fear that once they submit to God’s plans, He will force them to do something miserable. That’s a warped concept of God. He loves you. You are not a victim of chance, hoping you’ll be lucky enough to find a good mate. God has a plan and a purpose for you, and His plans are better than any you could imagine for yourself.

Just as important as God’s will is God’s timing. Until God reveals His choice for you, He wants you to find contentment in your unmarried state. Single people often envy those who are married, and married people often envy those who are single. But the Bible tells us, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ ” (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV).

Many, in their desire to be married, have become desperate in their search for the right person. But the singles’ scene, from nightclubs to mindless TV programs that only emphasize sex, offers nothing but emptiness. Not only is it shallow, it’s also spiritually harmful. Don’t let this world tell you what to look for (Colossians 2:8).

I know it’s hard sometimes. It gets lonely. You might be thinking, “I’m tired of waiting. I’m just going to go out and find someone and hope I make the right decision.” Please throw on the brakes. Slow down. Don’t make that mistake. Rushing into marriage without the proper timing is like building a house without the proper foundation.

Some people are called to be single their entire lives. This is rare, but it happens, and its a special calling from the Lord. However, this isn’t God’s calling for everyone. Just as surely as God has created you with a void in your life for Him, He also has created you with a void in your life for a companion, someone with whom to share your life (Genesis 2:18).

If you’re single and want to be married, then I believe that God has handpicked someone just for you. It might be someone you’ve never met. You might meet that person next week, next month, or next year. You might meet that person today. Or, perhaps it’s someone you’ve known for years. Whoever it may be, God will reveal that person in His timing.

Until then, it’s so important to follow God’s way and wait on His timing. Be faithful to Him and live the way He wants you to live. Seek to live a life that pleases Him (Matthew 6:33). He will bring that person into your life. Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

www.madetodisciple.com

Seperating Truths From Lies

What are the things in your life worth fighting for? In the book of Jude, Jesus’ half brother writes to believers to urge them to fight against an invasion of lies that were invading the church. Jude knew that Christians had to be ready to do battle against unbiblical teaching in order to keep the church pure.

This warning is just as relevant today as mainline churches dilute Biblical Truth to make it more appealing, user friendly, and comfortable. Sin is defined as a ‘lifestyle choice’ and those who cling to God’s Truth are labeled intolerant. However, only God’s truth is valid, offering eternal life and giving one the power to live life victoriously now.

To be effective against false teaching, you must first know and believe the Truth. Stop and take a moment to read Jude 1:1-24.

God is the author and source of all truth. Some churches, however, are flying the banner of man-made theology and it is attracting hordes of people by blurring the lines of truth. The message is intentionally kept ambiguous in order not to alienate anyone who might find Biblical teachings challenging or counter to their lifestyle. This new version of the church is adapting the Christian faith to culture instead of calling the culture to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God does not tolerate creative tampering with His truth. There is no truth but His truth.

There are no small exceptions to Biblical Truth. The consequence of tolerating ‘small exceptions’ to the Truth is eventual and complete departure from the Truth. A half-truth is a lie. Downplaying God’s Truth to appeal to unbelievers has eternal consequences.

Truth is objective not subjective. Truth is absolute and not a sliding scale. The truth is not open to be redefined to make it more winsome to new believers. The truth may not seem politically correct because it does not tell people who cling to false versions of the truth that they are safe in believing lies. Truth is not trendy. It is not your job to make the truth easier or more attractive. It is your job to love people by remaining faithful to the Truth; the Holy Spirit will do the rest.

The ultimate Truth that cannot be compromised is that Jesus is our eternal hope. There are not many paths to God. There is only one and that is through Jesus Christ, God’s son, who died for us. Jesus himself told us in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This truth is unequivocal, unambiguous, and unavoidable.

Have you ever been made to feel intolerant or unloving because you held fast to this truth? You are not alone. If you contend for the faith by lovingly telling others the undiluted truth they need, you may face criticism. What are you willing to endure in order to share truth with others in your workplace or neighborhood? Have you ever experienced rejection when you have tried to share the truth with someone?

Pray for the ability to understand and defend the truth. Ask God for discernment and for wisdom to live by His truth in a secular world.

Verse: John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

www.madetodisciple.com

God And America

Like Israel of old, America has lost her glory. The glory of Israel was the blessing of God and, therefore, the glory of God. Now I see a striking similarity between Israel of old and America.

No other nation had such a Christian beginning as America. In the Mayflower Compact, our Pilgrim forefathers said their express purpose in coming to these shores was to propagate the gospel. The glory of God was upon America.

The Glory Is Gone
But we have abandoned God, and the glory is gone. Like Israel in the days of the judges, America is doing “that which was right in [its] own eyes” (Judges 17:6).

In fact, in Judges 9, I see a striking parallel to the condition of America today. I want to show you three things that characterized Israel in those days and that characterize America today. These problems suggest three needs we must address before we can talk about bringing the glory back to America.

The Need for Gratitude
Judges 9 is the story of Abimelech, an ungodly man who seized power in Israel through violence and deceit and led the nation straight into God’s judgment. The amazing thing is that all of this happened on the heels of Gideon’s great victory.

The key to Israel’s slide is found in Judges 8:33-35, where we read that as soon as Gideon was dead, the Israelites forgot the God who gave them victory and chased after other gods.

In other words, they became an unthankful people whose ingratitude led them into apostasy. America has become a thankless nation. We have forgotten the God who made us a great nation. We must become a thankful people again.

The Need for Godly Leaders
Israel’s “reward” for its thanklessness was Abimelech, whose arrogant and ungodly reign is detailed in Judges 9.

Now I’m not pointing any fingers, but Abimelech built his reign on a godless coalition in which he bough his supporters with silver (Judges 9:2-4) and the blood of the innocent (v.5). America is being built on the “silver” and the blood of the innocent unborn. We must elect godly leaders who have the courage to put a stop to this ungodliness.

The Need for Committed People
In Judges 9:7-15, a prophet named Jotham stood up and told a parable of the trees. All of the trees and the vines were too busy doing nice, but unnecessary, things to take the reins of leadership. So the bramble — a useless, thorn-covered bush — gladly agreed to be king.

The apathy of Israel has its parallel in the apathy I seen in America. Apathy is the twin sister of ungratefulness. Edmund Burke’s great statement is still true. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. You and I — and every Christian in America — have the responsibility before God to take the action of voting in order to place godly people in positions of leadership.

Returing to the Source of Glory
If the glory is to return to America, we must return to God, the source of glory. He is waiting for us to return to Him. God does not work through the unsaved. He works on the unsaved, but works through His people.

The book of Judges reveals that God would rather forgive than judge a nation or a people. If we will stain heaven with our prayers and if we will press the battle, we can take this country back for Jesus Christ. Let’s pray that God will send America a a godly leader…and preferably a republican.

www.madetodisciple.com

ABORTION : Is It Really That Complicated?!

Honestly and personally, I believe that one has to be pro-life to be a committed and obedient Christian.

Why? Well, because, duh.

I mean, is it really necessary to go into deep biblical study over this issue? Is it necessary to quote Exodus 21:22-23, or Psalm 139:13-15, or Matthew 18:10, or Jeremiah 1:5? Is there even really anything to argue about? I think the big “argument” about whether you can be a Christian and be pro-choice is absurd. I think deep down, every Christian who knows the truth of abortion and the 10 Commandments knows the answer to this.

Let me put it this way…Can any of us really imagine Jesus Christ holding a woman’s hand and encouraging her to have an abortion?

I recently did some research and was astounded to discover there were denominations of Christianity that were not explicitly pro-life and even more shocked when I learned some were explicitly pro-choice.

According to large denominations of Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Quakers, and more, abortion is not incompatible with Christianity, which is the same as saying abortion is not incompatible with Christ.

Do you honestly believe that? Do you believe that pro-choice Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, etc all actually believe that?

I don’t and personally, I don’t buy it for a second. I don’t think for the slightest moment that if Jesus Christ appeared before a congregation of “pro-choice Christians” and asked them their opinion on abortion, they would look Jesus in the eye and say abortion is okay. I also don’t believe a “pro-choice Christian” would stand in a clinic with Jesus Christ and watch a woman have an abortion.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they have really convinced themselves that abortion is kindness to women, and somehow not cruelty to the child and the killing of an innocent, dependent human being.

Jesus wanted Christians to be kind. No one argues with that. But kind to whom, exactly? And what does “kind” mean? Just going around being “nice” to everyone is lovely if you’re a Tibetan monk, or a spaced-out hippie, but if you’re the slightest bit aware, and if you have any concept of justice, you must admit that “kindness to the wicked is cruelty to the righteous.” We have to get over this idea that encouraging terrible behavior is ever kind.

So, if we apply this truth – “Kindness to the wicked is cruelty to the righteous” – to abortion, who is the wicked, the mother or the child? The mother, obviously. Now before you all freak out and talk about how much of a jerk Zach is, realize I don’t mean that she’s utterly sinful and repulsive, but it is never the innocent child’s fault. Also, if we choose to do “kindness” to her instead of the child, someone will die. If we choose to do kindness to the child, no one will die.

Then there is this: choosing to do “kindness” to the mother by encouraging or allowing her to abort her child is not kindness. It is telling her that doing something despicable and wrong is okay and will help her. That is a lie, and kids…lying is wrong.

Some find it amusing to pretend Jesus was a misty-eyed hippie. Except He wasn’t. The culture we live in tells us Jesus was okay with, for example, adultery, because He saved a woman from being stoned to death for committing it. They leave out the part where He told her to “sin no more,” because nowadays the only sin is believing in sin. Our culture too often confuses mercy with leniency. They are not the same thing.

I have no doubt that Jesus was kind, but I don’t think he was nice – not in the way we mean it today. He told us to love everyone. Loving everyone does not mean smiling and shrugging at everyone’s sin. I don’t expect mine to be smiled and shrugged at. If I wanted that, I would be a Unitarian Universalist. Telling people that it’s okay to kill their babies is not loving. It’s not true. It’s not righteous. It’s not Christian.

Saying publicly that abortion is not Christian is judgmental and mean, or so I have been told repeatedly. Well, I’m judgmental and mean, I guess.

Look, I know I am a sinner. I sin all the time. I’m horrible and lowly. I fail constantly. But I am a Christian, and I rely on the mercy of Christ to save me.

What I don’t do is pretend my sins are not sins. I have done it before – we all have, probably – and I had to repent. You can’t go around indignantly declaring that grave, life-destroying sins are fine with Jesus because it makes you more modern and hip and “with it,” or because it sounds “nice.”

I could be really super-wrong about this, I guess. I could stand before God on Judgment Day and He could be all, “You were gravely mistaken, my child. I love abortion.” But somehow I doubt it.

If I were a pro-choice Christian, I would pray a lot: to know if I was wrong; to be led to the truth, no matter how inconvenient; and to sin no more.

 

Like us on Facebook!

Follow us on Twitter!

Check out our website!