OYB May 7

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: I Samuel 1, I Samuel 2:1-21
NT: John 5:1-23
Ps: Psalm 105:37-45
Pr: Proverbs 14:28-29

Gospel Thread - OT:

those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.

I Samuel 4:10 (NIV)

Hannah's song of worship at the dedication of Samuel could certainly be considered to be, one at least one level, a messianic reference - especially these closing lines.

Gospel Thread - NT:

For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.

John 5:21 (NIV)

Life - eternal, spiritual life - comes through Christ alone. Fortunately for us, He chose to make that life available to every one who will come to Him.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

43 He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
44 he gave them the lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for-
45 that they might keep his precepts and observe his laws. Praise the LORD.

Psalm 105:43-45 (NIV)

God fulfilled His promise to Abraham through the Israelites - he redeemed and rescued and blessed them - for this purpose: that they might keep His precepts and observe His laws. It is for this same reason that God redeems and blesses us: that we might be Holy, as He is holy.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB May 6

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Ruth 2-4
NT: John 4:43-54
Ps: Psalm 105:16-36
Pr: Proverbs 14:26-27

Gospel Thread - OT:

Although it is true that I am near of kin, there is a kinsman-redeemer nearer than I.

Ruth 3:12 (NIV)

The book of Ruth truly is a beautiful story of love, loyalty, and redemption. The historical importance of this story is the genealogy of King David; however, I believe the story of the kinsman-redeemer is also allegorical for our kinsman-redeemer: Jesus Christ.

Gospel Thread - NT:

Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will live." The man took Jesus at his word and departed.

John 4:50 (NIV)

Jesus tests this man's faith in this exchange. The official demonstrates his faith in two ways: in both his words (verse 49) and in his actions (verse 50). When his servants tell him the exact time his son's fever broke, the official realizes that it is at the exact moment that Jesus tells him that his son will live (verse 53). However, I think equally important is the coincidence between the fever breaking and the man's actions that demonstrated his faith. In other words, had he not demonstrated his belief in Jesus' ability to heal his son by turning to leave, I do not believe Jesus would have healed him. It is the principle that faith without works is dead: that faith must be evidenced by the action resulting from the working of that faith (James 2:14-25).

Likewise, our salvation requires both faith in Christ as Lord and Savior, and also the confession of that faith and the deeds demonstrating the changes in our lives resulting from that faith.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.

Proverbs 14:27 (NIV)

"Fear of the Lord" is both reverence for God and also a sober understanding of the consequences of our sin with respect to our standing before a Holy God. Thus, when our thinking is properly aligned with reality, we understand our need for God's plan of salvation. Proper "fear of the Lord" prevents us from justifying or rationalizing our standing before God against some man-made standard. We must realize that God's standard is perfection, because God Himself is perfect and holy. Thus, we realize that we are helpless and without hope on our own - and it is in this state of realization that we are prepared for the saving work of God's grace through Jesus Christ.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB May 5

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Judges 21, Ruth 1
NT: John 4:4-42
Ps: Psalm 105:1-15
Pr: Proverbs 14:25

Gospel Thread - OT:

No direct gospel reference in today's Old Testament reading.

Gospel Thread - NT:

13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

John 4:13-14 (NIV)

Jesus is the source of eternal life. We are created in God's image as spiritual beings. However, due to sin, we are spiritually dead, and separated from God. Through Jesus, we are given new life: a new spirit, the Holy Spirit, in and through whom we have eternal life.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Psalm 105:1 (NIV)

Part of the obligation of salvation is to share the gospel so that salvation might be spread throughout the whole world.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB May 4

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Judges 19-20
NT: John 3:22-36, John 4:1-3
Ps: Psalm 104:24-35
Pr: Proverbs 14:22-23

Gospel Thread - OT:

No direct gospel reference in today's Old Testament reading.

Gospel Thread - NT:

He must become greater; I must become less.

John 3:30 (NIV)

This principle, spoken by John the Baptist, encapsulates the key to pursuing holiness in Christ: he must increase, we must decrease - in will, in desire, in thought, in every aspect of our lives. This is the part of the Gospel plan in which we make our savior Jesus truly the Lord of our lives.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works

Psalm 104:31 (NIV)

Ultimately, the purpose of creation and for God's plan for man's redemption - the purpose of everything is to bring glory to God. Satan has attempted to deny God's glory and to glorify himself instead, by inducing man to fall into sin; but God glorifies Himself in redeeming us and restoring us to His holiness.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB May 3

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Judges 17-18
NT: John 3:1-21
Ps: Psalm 104
Pr: Proverbs 14:20-21

Gospel Thread - OT:

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.

Judges 17:6 (NIV)

The phrase "Israel had no king" is used four times in these closing chapters of Judges. The phrase always jumps out at me each time it is used, because it coincides with the continual downward spiral of a nation moving farther and farther away from their call as God's chosen people. If only Israel had pursued God, and walked in His ways, they never would have needed an earthly king. Eventually, even the earthly kings God would establish over Israel would themselves lead the nation further into depravity. This outcome served to prove that Israel - and the rest of the world - did not need earthly kings, but rather a spiritual one: God Himself, through Jesus Christ, our eternal prophet, high priest, and king.

Gospel Thread - NT:

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

John 3:16-18 (NIV)

I believe these words of Jesus are self-explanatory.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

No direct gospel reference in today's Psalms/Proverbs reading.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB May 2

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Judges 15-16
NT: John 2
Ps: Psalm 103
Pr: Proverbs 14:17-19

Gospel Thread - OT:

No direct gospel reference in today's Old Testament reading.

Gospel Thread - NT:

His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."

John 2:17 (NIV)

According to the NIV footnotes, Jesus' clearing of the temple fulfills Psalm 69:9.

Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."

John 2:19 (NIV)

Jesus is predicting his resurrection on the third day following His death.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion

Psalm 103:2-4 (NIV)

These three verses beautifully encapsulate the message of the Gospel.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

I’m a Blogiversary Prize Winner!

Filed in PersonalTags: Health/Nutrition, Low Carb

Jimmy Moore over at the Livin' La Vida Low-Carb blog threw a big second-blogiversary prize contest, and what do you know, but I was one of the winners!

I won a case of Olivado Omega Plus Oil, part of Prize Bundle #3.

I just happened to stumble upon his web site shortly after he announced the contest, and on a whim decided to enter, just for fun. Looking at the prizes, there are actually few I would rather have than the one that I won. I'm actually looking forward to experimenting with some recipes with the oil.

Thanks, Jimmy!

Post-Dispatch Misleads on Anti-Cloning Measure

Filed in Politics, Science, Social IssuesTags: Clone The Truth, Cloning, Media Bias, Missouri, Sanctity of Life, Stem Cells

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today reported that MO House Bill HJR11 was killed in committee yesterday. Unfortunately, the P-D could not see past its own bias in order to report accurately on the measure. Ironically, in order to spin the truth, the article exposes the hypocrisy and deception of Amendment 2.

To begin with, take the opening paragraphs of the article:

A House committee killed legislation Monday designed to largely invalidate a new constitutional amendment protecting stem cell research.

The 3-4 vote by the House Rules Committee all but ends efforts this legislative session to overturn Amendment 2, which 51 percent of voters approved in November.

Based on this reporting, one would infer that the measure refers either to Amendment 2 in particular or stem cell research in general. To the contrary, the wording of HJR11 references neither stem cells nor Amendment 2. In fact, the words "stem cell" - or any derivation thereof - do not appear anywhere within the text of the measure:

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring therein:

That at the next general election to be held in the state of Missouri, on Tuesday next following the first Monday in November, 2008, or at a special election to be called by the governor for that purpose, there is hereby submitted to the qualified voters of this state, for adoption or rejection, the following amendment to article III of the Constitution of the state of Missouri:

Section A. Article III, Constitution of Missouri, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 38(e), to read as follows:

Section 38(e). 1. The general assembly may enact laws concerning health care research, including controlling taxation, appropriations, and use of public resources for health care research, and regulating research that could pose a risk to human life or health.

2. It is unlawful to engage in human cloning. For the purposes of this section and section 38(d) of this article, "human cloning" means the creation of a human zygote, human blastocyst, or human embryo by any means other than the fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm.

3. The provisions of this section supersede any provision of section 38(d) of this article that is inconsistent with this section.

As you can see, the measure makes no mention of either Amendment 2 or stem cells. How on earth, then, could the author make such a claim? Examine the next paragraph for the answer:

Opponents of Amendment 2 had wanted lawmakers to send a ballot measure to voters in November 2008. The proposed amendment would have asked the public to ban all forms of human cloning, including when the research is used solely to produce embryonic stem cells. Voters specifically protected that form of research by passing Amendment 2 last year.

The deception seems to get ever more subtle. To wit [emphasis added]:

The proposed amendment would have asked the public to ban all forms of human cloning, including when the research is used solely to produce embryonic stem cells.

Did you catch it? The problem with this statement is that "the research" - that is, human cloning - is never used "solely to produce embryonic stem cells", since the result of human cloning is - always and by definition - a human embryo, not just embryonic stem cells.

The problem with this rationalization is the same problem that the proponents of Amendment 2 had during their 30 million dollar campaign of deception: the claim that Amendment 2 would "strictly ban human cloning". In fact, as both an educated reading of the wording of the amendment as well as the double-speak found in this P-D article reveal, Amendment 2 not only did no such thing, it actually made human cloning constitutionally protected in the state of Missouri.

This duplicity is further revealed by the actions of the house committee that killed the measure [emphasis added]:

"I'd say that a third (of House members) will be happy they don't have to vote on this," said Shannon Cooper, R-Clinton.

Cooper, who serves as chairman of the House Rules Committee, said he voted against the measure simply because he supports Amendment 2.

If Amendment 2 "strictly bans human cloning" - as its supporters claims it to do - why would an Amendment 2 supporter vote against a measure that would allow Missouri voters explicitly to ban all forms of human cloning? Any proponent of Amendment 2 could only oppose such a measure if in fact human cloning were a part of Amendment 2. That supporters of Amendment 2 oppose this measure demonstrates that their claim that Amendment 2 "strictly bans human cloning" was an outright lie.

Cooper - and those like him - should be ashamed of himself, and is a disgrace to the Missouri Republican party. Duplicity, hypocrisy, lying, and subverting the democratic process have no place in the Republican Party. For one, if his beloved Amendment 2 "strictly bans human cloning" then what does he have to oppose in HJR11? For another, even if he legitimately opposes HJR11, how dare he deny the voters of Missouri the opportunity to exercise our democratic right?

The truth, which should now be plainly evident to all, is that Amendment 2 constitutionally protected human cloning for the purpose of human-embryo-destructive research, and that the proponents of Amendment 2 knew this truth and intentionally mislead Missouri voters into believing that passing Amendment 2 would "strictly ban human cloning".

OYB May 1

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Judges 13-14
NT: John 1:29-51
Ps: Psalm 102
Pr: Proverbs 14:15-16

Gospel Thread - OT:

4 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, 5 because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.

Judges 13:4-5 (NIV)

One of the most notable and important aspects of the story of Samson is that he was set apart to God in order to fulfill God's purpose for his life. God decreed that Samson was to be a Nazirite (Numbers 6:1-21) from the moment of conception; that is, he was to be set apart as "holy unto the Lord."

In fact, the concept of "setting apart" is foundational to God's intent for His people: repeatedly in His enumeration of the Law to the Israelites, God states, "Be Holy, for the Lord your God is Holy". Holiness - the state of being set apart from sin - is both God's intent and desire for mankind and also the ultimate purpose of God's plan of redemption. It is holiness to which we are called, and holiness to which we are to aspire.

Gospel Thread - NT:

Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

John 1:45 (NIV)

The Israelites understood the Old Testament scriptures - both the Law and the Prophets - to refer to the Messiah Who was to come. (Note that the purpose of this Messiah is found in verse 29 of this chapter: to take away the sin of the world.)

He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

John 1:51 (NIV)

Jesus here is alluding to Jacob's Ladder (Genesis 28:11-13), and in so doing is implying that He is the means by which one ascends and descends between heaven and earth. Jesus will later make a more explicit statement that He is the only way through which to access the Father in heaven (John 14:6).

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

No direct gospel reference in today's Psalms/Proverbs reading.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.