Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

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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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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27
Jan

How to Obtain God’s Favor

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

I thought that all I had to do was to believe in Jesus and what the Bible says about him. Then, all the promises of God would be fulfilled in my life. But, I didn’t realize how shallow my “belief” was. It was just mental assent to the truth of God’s word. You really couldn’t call it “faith,” which is belief in action.

I was expecting to see good things—peace. and joy, and prosperity, but I wasn’t receiving them. I knew that something was wrong, but I had no idea what it was. I had a desire to please God, but I didn’t know how.

I took my family to church every time the doors were open. I was a tither. I sang in the choir, passed the collection plate, and worked in the nursery. I did everything I could think of to obtain God’s favor. But I had missed the most important thing of all.

Eventually I found out what I was doing wrong. I want to pass it on to you, so you can benefit from my mistake. When I was doing all those things, I wasn’t motivated by love for others. I was doing them for me.  I was crying out to God saying, “Lord, bless me, bless my family, prosper me, prosper my family.” I wasn’t really doing anything that benefited anybody but myself. I didn’t dislike other people, I just didn’t notice they were there. I wasn’t loving my neighbor, I was just loving myself.

I was violating the Love Commandment, and that prevented God from blessing me. How could God bless the people who were obeying him, and then bless me while I was disobeying him.

I was sinning and I didn’t even know it. But God delivered me from it. That’s when I began to learn the value of the Love Commandment. God showed me that it is appears throughout the Bible. For example, Romans 8:28, “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God . . .”

So, this promise doesn’t apply to everyone. It applies to those who love God. We know that loving God means keeping his commandments, and by keeping the Love Commandment, we fulfill them all.

Look at what God says in 2 Chronicles 24:20, “And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you.” God cannot possibly bless you while you are violating his Love Commandment.

The Love Commandment is not optional, it’s mandatory. It’s the main thing that he requires. If you want to obtain God’s favor, you have to observe the Love Commandment.

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20
Jan

Do You Have the Inward Witness?

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead. You have to know whether He lives in you, or not. But how can you tell?

This is what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, and you know that the Bible is true.

“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.”  (1 John 4:13)

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (Romans 8:16)

“And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. And there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”  (1 John 5:6-7)

Here is something from my own experience that might be helpful.

I used to be self-absorbed. My thought life was all about me and my interests. I was always thinking about fulfilling my goals, and my hopes and dreams. Always asking myself, “Now what am I going to do for me?”

When I was a young man, just getting out of the Army, I needed a job to support my family. In desperation, I cried out to God for help. He answered my prayer. He gave me a job, and a whole lot more.

I really did appreciate his help and I told him so. I started paying attention to God and reading his word. I read about the Holy Spirit and I believed that was alive in me. But I was still the same selfish person I had always been.

After a while, I could see that I was changing. Instead of being so self-centered, I was genuinely interested in the people around me. I was patient and kind to them, instead of grouchy and impatient. I knew that I had not changed myself. This could only be the work of the Holy Spirit. I was glad to know for sure that he was definitely alive in me.

The Lord was changing from the inside. He was changing my interests and my desires. He was providing me everything I needed. He was providing me faith to believe his word, and love for others that wasn’t there before. And he is still doing these things for me

That is how I knew for sure that I had experienced the new birth.

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