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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • Recommended Reading

Aliens In Today’s Western World

Dinesh D'Souza

Quoting Dinesh D’Souza:

The effort by secularists to teach our children hostility to religion, and specifically to Christianity, is especially strange considering that Western civilization was built by Christianity. Don’t take my word for it. This, from the world’s leading social theorist, Jurgen Habermas:

Christianity and nothing else is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Time of Transitions

The problem is not that our young people know too much about Christianity, but that they know too little. In America we do not have the problem of the Muslim madrassas, where only the Koran is studied. Rather, we live in a religiously illiterate society in which the Bible is rarely taught. Consequently many people in America and the West cannot name five of the Ten Commandments or recognize Genesis as the first book of the Bible. There’s no point in even asking about the meaning of the Trinity. One in ten Americans apparently believes that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. Ignorance of this kind has made many Westerners aliens in their own civilization, as they no longer know the literature, history, and philosophy that made the West the civilization it is today. (“Adrift”)

Washington And The Hand of Providence

 

George Washington

George Washington wrote this in a letter to Thomas Nelson August 20, 1778:

The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.

Living Godly Lives In This Present Age

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-15, ESV)

Our culture is enamored by pleasure and the stress free life. If we are unhappy, we simply want to get rid of whatever is the source. “After all,” we tell ourselves, “God doesn’t want me to be unhappy!” I have actually heard these words from men and women walking out on their husband, or wife and children. I often wonder if it is stress or responsibility they are running out on. Our society wants the “good life” without responsibilities.

Some people come to Christ because they think He will prevent problems from coming into their lives. They believe that God will always keep them healthy and prosperous. This assumption is biblically unsound. When the next crisis comes into their lives they think: “I’m a Christian now. This should not be happening to me!” Their incorrect thinking then causes them to drop out of church where they might have learned the Word of God correctly.

Most people who are really successful in their profession, family life or ministry have endurance. They are self-disciplined when they face trials and tribulations. They have confidence that when they walk through fire and flood – God is with them. They will go to God in prayer and ask for wisdom concerning the obstacles they face. (James 1:5) “Wisdom” is the right use of knowledge. In the case of a Christian, it is the spiritual perception given by God.

The providence of God has designed every circumstance that comes into your life. You may know the general truths of life in Christ, but the truth of God’s providential care is one of the most comforting to the believer. It requires, however, that you put on humility (You are not the most special person in the universe!), face your problems, cast off self-sufficiency, and ask God for the wisdom to deal appropriately with your situation.

No where in the Bible does it say that the Christian will always live in health, wealth and good times. The providential trials that face us, however, are designed to make us grow in maturity to become more like Christ. Our lives may be stressful, but we are not alone. Jesus reminds us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

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