Posts Tagged ‘Gospel’

12
Jul

Where Does Wisdom Come From?

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Fanciful depiction of Solomon on his throne
Image via Wikipedia

King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived—except for Jesus. He recorded much of his wisdom in the Book of Proverbs, God‘s Book of Wisdom. The Bible explains how Solomon came to be so wise.

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.

. . . I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in . . . Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him,

Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast thou asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;

Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.  (1 Kings 3:5,7,9-13)

Wisdom comes from God, and there is no true wisdom apart from him. That explains why everything is in such a mess. Our leaders have no wisdom and no understanding.

God is amazingly generous. He offers wisdom to everyone who seeks it.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  (James 1:5)

If only they would ask God for wisdom. Some of them don’t believe that God exists, and others don’t know him. All they have is their own so-called wisdom.


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16
Jun

Uncertain Riches

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Wall Street Bull
Image by PittCaleb via Flickr

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. (1 Timothy 6:17)

I know that, as Chistians, we are not supposed to put our trust in money. But I have to confess that I did it anyway—just a little bit.

My 401k was like one of my children, in that I was amazed at how fast it was growing. And I thought, “Here’s some security for the wife and I in our old age.”

That’s what I get for thinking. My 401k became a 201k. Then I was amazed how quickly our money had disappeared. Once again, life experience confirms that what the Bible says is true. There is no such thing as security apart from God.

Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.  (Proverbs 23:4-5)

We were disappointed, but we got over it. This is just another bump in the road of life. We still have the true riches of life which are in Christ Jesus. He is the only true security. That’s because his word will not fail, and he is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

Be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

Don’t let the financial crisis get you down. You still have the Bible, and you still have the Holy Spirit. God is always with you, and he will help you make a comeback.


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2
Jun

Do You Believe God or Darwin?

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Charles Darwin, photographed by Julia Margaret...
Image via Wikipedia

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air; and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:7-10)

Charles Darwin observed these things and concluded that we were not created by God. He said that we evolved from lower forms of life by unguided natural means.

Darwin’s theory is spoken of as science, but it is not science at all. It is a material philosophy, even a kind of religion. Even though it has been discredited, it is still generally accepted as true and taught in school as if it were a fact. It is a lie that is passed off as truth by scientists and educators.

This all started with one man, who could see no evidence of God’s creation–even though he was standing on it and surrounded by it. After a hundred and fifty years, there is still no proof that Darwinism is true. Yet, there are millions of Darwinists. They have no idea as to how life began. All they know is how it did not happen. It is inconceivable to them that God is the author of life; because, to them, there is no such thing as God.

Darwin has always had a cult following among those who hate God and reject the Bible. He was a major influence on Adolph Hitler, Karl Marx, and many others.

Atheists cling to his theory, because it is all they have. The only other alternative is to believe that God created us, just like the Bible says.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

Charles Darwin is dead, but God is very much alive. Which one are you going to believe?

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19
May

Do You Know the Lord?

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Jesus Christ Knocks the door
Image by angelofsweetbitter2009 via Flickr.

Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

I used to think that Jesus was saying that he is at the door of the lost person’s heart, waiting to come into his life. And, I also thought that since I had received him as my Lord and Savior, that was the end of the matter.

I knew that I was a Christian, and when I died, I would go to heaven. I didn’t want to go to hell, and I wanted to make sure that none of my children go there. That was pretty much all that I knew.

I didn’t know the Bible, and I didn’t know the Lord.  I wasted years of my life because of my lack of knowledge. I didn’t know that our eternal salvation is not the end, it is the beginning. God gives us the gift of Eternal Life up front.

Now that I know the Lord, I see this verse as his appeal to Christians who don’t know him. He wants to fellowship with all of us, and be a part of our lives—to counsel and comfort us, to help us, deliver us, and empower us.

Knowing the Lord has been the greatest experience of my life. Just like the song says, he does “walk with me and talk with me, and he tells me I am his own.” It is the best part of being a Christian. This is how you get the love, and joy and peace that God supplies. You can experience this for yourself.

How do you get to know the Lord? Show God that you love him, by keeping his commandments. Spend time with him in his word. Read the Bible for yourself. Start with the following verse.

“If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23)


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12
May

My Testimony

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

A 6th century mosaic of :en:Jesus at Church Sa...
Image via Wikipedia

I had worked for Uncle Sam for thirty years before I became a disgruntled postal worker.  God rescued me from that situation. My wife, Marie, got me to the Doctor. The Doctor told me, “Don’t even think of going back there. You are through.”

He diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and said that it is common among us veterans of the VietNam war.

That was when I hit the bottom in every way possible—mentally, emotionally and financially. I was sick and broke and in my fifties. I kept beating myself up over every decision I had ever made thinking, “If only I had done this, if only I had not done that.”

What about Romans 8:28, I thought? All things were supposed work together for my good. I was a Christian. Why had God allowed  these things to happen to me? And why wasn’t I seeing the promises of God fulfilled in my life?

I asked God to tell me what I was doing wrong. I asked him to show me what he wanted me to do, so I could do it. Then I started reading and studying the Bible for hours every day.

Reading an author’s work makes you feel like you know him, because he reveals himself through his work. This is especially true of the Holy Spirit, the Author of the Bible. I spent a lot of time with him in his word. I got to know him and his ways. I was pigging out at God’s spiritual buffet and I was loving it.

When I wasn’t reading the Bible, I was thinking about it. I was meditating on the word day and night, just like it says in Psalm One. And that’s when the miracle happened.

I used to be angry all the time. I was very impatient with people and rude to them. I was mad when I when I got up in the morning, and I was mad when I went to sleep at night. But God healed me of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

During this time that I was delighting in the Bible, I woke up one morning and my anger was gone. I went to bed crazy as a loon, and woke up perfectly sane. The anger that had been my constant companion for thirty years was gone. It’s still gone, and it is so wonderful to be normal. Now, I am happy all the time because Jesus healed me, and I will never stop thanking him for it.

I am a recipient of God’s love and it is the greatest thing on earth.  Jesus knows me personally and he has changed my life forever. I was broken and he repaired me. He took away my anger and filled my heart with love, and joy, and peace, and self-control. He has equipped me to be patient and kind to others.

All I did was show God some love by spending time with him in his word. He responded to my love by intervening in my life and doing something to help me. That is how good our God is.

It was just like Jesus said in John 14:21,”He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

So that is what I was doing wrong all those years. I was violating the Love Commandment, by not loving God and by not loving my neighbor as myself. And that prevented God from showing me his favor.

Our eternal salvation is a free gift. But God’s other promises are contingent upon obedience to the Love Commandment. If you want to receive what God has promised, you have to love him. You have to love him with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength. And you have to love your neighbor as yourself.

You might think that you love God. But if you have never spent any time with him in his word, then you are not keeping the Love Commandment.

Look at the completed thought that is found in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. . .”

And look at the last part of Psalm 91, where God promises to protect us from all evil. God says, “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16)

I could fill a book with the things the Spirit of God has taught me since the time I got to know him. In fact, I have filled a book with them.

First, I selected a thousand Bible verses and organized them into topics. Then, I explained how to apply them to your life. The title of the book is The Bible Believer’s Handbook. God helped me write it, and it was published in 2008.

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27
Apr

The Homeschool Kids and the Tea Party

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

I went to the Tax Day Tea Party, along with my daughter Jennifer and her daughters Katie, 8, Beverly, 10, and Haley, 12. This was a homeschool teaching project, since we are studying the American Revolution. It was a gathering of people from the Memphis area who love America and want to help preserve our American culture.

As we listened to the speeches of local patriots, I could not help but think how much we have in common with the residents of Boston in 1773. Our government does not have the right to confiscate our money any more than King George did.

I enjoyed being there with my three little granddaughters. But it made me sick to think about how greedy our elected representatives are. Our US Congress couldn’t wait for these girls to grow up. They’ve already spent these children’s money before they’ve even had time to earn it. We are little more than livestock to them.

I don’t think that they get it. These ungodly people obviously do not understand that we are fed up with them. Beginning in November of 2010, we will vote them out of office. Then, in 2012, we will remove more of them from office.

The Bible tells us to pray for all who are in authority. My prayer for them is that God will either save them, or remove them from their place of authority. I am not going to name names. God knows who they are.

“Lord, give us godly people to represent us in the US Congress. In Jesus name, Amen.”

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21
Apr

I Want the Old America Back

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

One night last week, I was home alone. The house was unusually quiet and I was tired. I went to bed early and just before I fell asleep, these words came to me. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” I knew they were from the Bible, but where were they coming from? These were not words that I had recently read. A few days later, it happened again, except this time the words were different. “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” If only the Darwinists could understand that, I thought, as I drifted off to sleep.

The next day, I knew where those words had come from and it is a fond memory. I had learned them in school more than fifty years ago.

You have to understand that, in those days, schoolteachers taught us directly from the Bible.  It had been the primary textbook for American schools from the beginning. Parents sent their children to school to learn to read so they could learn how to read the Bible. We were a nation of Bible believers.

My fellow Baby Boomers and I are the last generation of Americans to have been taught from the Bible in the public schools. Our teachers were Christians, and they loved us like we were their own dear children. They were not imposing their morality on us. They were teaching us that there is no morality apart from God and the Bible. Abraham Lincoln said it like this. “If not for the Bible, we would not know the difference between right and wrong.”

In 1955, I was eight years old and in the third grade. It was a wonderful time to be alive and to live in America. I was very happy that I had recently learned to read.

First, we were assigned to memorize the Twenty-third Psalm and recite it to the class. Then, we did the same thing with the One Hundredth Psalm. Whenever a student asked her why we were doing this, she told him that we were “hiding God’s word in our hearts that we might not sin against him.”

Thank God for that woman, Mrs. Seward. She planted the word of God in my heart fifty-four years ago, and it is still in there. The word of God has stayed with me all these years and guided me throughout my life. And do you know that everything that Psalm 23 says about me is true? The Lord is my shepherd and I do not want. His goodness and his mercy have followed me all the days of my life.

As you read the words of Psalm 100, imagine the millions of American children who learned it in school. When I was eight years old, I knew it by heart.

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord he is good: his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”

The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Psalm 22:6) That is what educators were doing in the schools fifty years ago. They had perfected the art of educating children. They gave us an excellent education. The Bible was the foundation on which it was built, just as it is the foundation on which excellent lives and nations are built.

We learned how to read and write, and do math; and we learned the difference between right and wrong. Our teachers didn’t undermine what our parents taught us, that it is God who has made us and not we ourselves.

When the Supreme Court kicked God and the Bible out of our schools, the eliminated the most essential part of education. They enabled the Secular Progressives to impose their immorality on us. They deny the existence of God, and reject the wisdom of the Bible. They have dismantled the most effective educational system in the world and recreated it in their own image.

I really hate their Brave New World. I want the old America back.

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24
Mar

God Rewards Everyone Who Loves Him

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

So I finally found the answer to the question, “What am I doing wrong? Why am I not seeing the promises of God fulfilled in my life? I had done a lot of things to gain God’s favor, but I had left out the most important thing of all, which is to love God. That is what he has commanded us to do.

I had to read through the Bible several times, and study my core of Bible verses, before I saw it. The Holy Spirit had to reveal it to me. But when he did, I saw it everywhere I looked. Of course! This is what I had missed. Look at what Romans 8:28 actually says. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE GOD . . .”  This promise does not apply to everyone, but it does apply to everyone who loves God. This is one of God’s most amazing promises, that he will intervene in the circumstances of your life.

In Psalm 91, God has promised to protect you from all kinds of harm. But this promise is conditional too. Look at what God says in verses 14-16. “Because he hath set his love on me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath know my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”

God’s promise of divine protection is contingent upon your obedience to his commandment. That commandment is to love him by loving your neighbor as yourself.

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10
Mar

The Most Valuable Thing in Life

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

What do you think is the most valuable thing in life? Many people would think it would be their own eternal salvation.

Is it wisdom? That is certainly important. Is it wealth and riches? Is it good health? Is it happiness?

Is it to know the Lord, or to live a godly life? Now we are getting closer to the truth. It has taken me thirty years to find it and experience it in my own life. I want to pass it on to everyone who will listen. You can benefit from it today. The most valuable thing you can do in life is to love God.

I have been a Christian for many years. I believed all the promises of God and expected that they would be fulfilled in my life and in the lives of my children. But there were times when we desperately needed God’s help and there was no help. I am not saying that God let us down. I knew that I had let us down. I was doing something wrong.

But what was it? I had to find out what it was so I could fix it. I began to study the word of God intently to find out what was missing. I discovered that the Bible tells us everything we need to know about life and living, and that it’s all about Jesus. And, I have a strong desire to teach these things to everyone who will hear them.

I had been a Christian for years and, if I had died, I would have gone to heaven. But I have to say that I didn’t know the Lord very well until this time. The Holy Spirit began to explain to me what I was reading, just like the Bible said he would. But we have to know what’s in the Bible before he can “bring all things to your remembrance.”

My most immediate problem was my personal ignorance of the Bible. I always relied on what other people told me it said. When I read the Bible for myself, I found what I was looking for. “Everyone who seeks, finds.”

First, I got to know what Jesus is like and how he thinks. Then, I realized that not only does he know me, but that he also cares about me personally.

Finally, I reached the point where I love Jesus more than anything else, and I want to please him. I am willing to love my neighbor as myself, because I love God. It’s easy for me to love God by loving my neighbor as myself.

What I was doing wrong  for all of these years was that I was not loving God. This was the missing piece in the puzzle of life.

Now that I love the Lord, he has changed my life. I recommend it to everyone. The most valuable thing in life is to love God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength. Jesus said that this is the greatest commandment.

It will improve your relationship with God, and it will change the circumstances of your life. These words spoken by God in Psalm 91:14-16 will apply to you:

“Because he loves me, I will rescue him; I will make him great because he trusts in my name. When he calls on me, I will answer; I will be with him in trouble and rescue him and honor him. I will satisfy him with a full life and give him my salvation.”

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17
Feb

You Shall Come Forth As Gold

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

I was at home, building a tool shed, when God‘s still small voice spoke to me inside. “You shall come forth as gold.” I knew that it was God for two reasons. It was completely out of context with what was going on in my thought life; and, it was a direct reference to a Bible verse. “When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10) I knew that something important was about to happen to me. I just didn’t know what it was.

I am always excited to hear from the Lord, but I was uneasy about this “fire” business. Immediately, I told my wife, Marie, “Good news, we’re going to come forth as gold. The not-so-good news is that, apparently, we are about to go through some kind of fire.”

The first thing we thought of was King Nebucannezzar’s fiery furnace. But we were sure that we had already been there and done that. This was something that had not happened yet. I knew of two verses where Jesus is associated with fire. But I had never understood either of them.

This is what John the Baptist said about Jesus. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall Baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:” (Matthew 3:11). But the verse that bothered most was this one, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughtly purge his floor, and gather his wheat unto the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” ( Matthew 3:12)  Honestly, I was afraid of that fire.

I should have known that the Lord would not do anything to hurt me. He would never throw me into a burning fiery furnace. He was doing something to help me. God’s fire is on the inside and he doesn’t burn us. But he does destroy evil desires, addictions, and cravings. That is the most effective way for us to get rid of them. He is a purifying fire who burns up all the trash that’s in our hearts, and leaves only the good things of God.

Here’s an example of what the fire of God has done for me. I used to have a terrible problem with anger. I was like a volcano that could erupt at any time. My wife and kids, and co-workers were terrorized by my fits of rage. That was the first thing to go. It was obvious that God did it because it disappeared overnight, and it has never come back.

I am telling you this because I know that God will do the same for you. He makes it possible for us to live the the Christian life. The Bible is true, and you can apply everything it says to your life.

Let me show you something I find fascinating. John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament prophets. There was a long period where God was silent between the time of Malachi, and that of Jesus and John the Baptist. Look at what God said through his prophet Malachi.

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” (Malachi 3:1-3)

God said that Jesus would refine us like silver and gold, which means, burning away all the impurtities. It excites me to realize that he is presently doing what God said he would do in my life, and in the lives of everyone who is born of God. It’s something that he does for us because he loves us.

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