• 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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  • March 2023
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading

Focus On The Christ Of Christmas

John MacArthur

From the desk of John MacArthur:

“There is no connection between the worship of idols and the use of Christmas trees. We should not be anxious about baseless arguments against Christmas decorations. Rather, we should be focused on the Christ of Christmas and giving all diligence to remembering the real reason for the season.”

Congress And Our Money

The Black Hole of Government Theft Through Taxes

The Declaration of Independence, particularly the second sentence, provides us with a sweeping statement of individual human rights:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The implication here is that God is the source of the rights of men and thus it is wrong to violate a human being’s self-ownership. This would include forcibly taking the fruits of one man’s labor to be used by another (which makes the first man a slave to the latter). Walter E. Williams explains further:

Do farmers and businessmen have a right to congressional handouts? Does a person have a right to congressional handouts for housing, food and medical care?

First, let’s ask: Where does Congress get handout money? One thing for sure, it’s not from the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus nor is it congressmen reaching into their own pockets. The only way for Congress to give one American one dollar is to first, through the tax code, take that dollar from some other American. It must forcibly use one American to serve another American. Forcibly using one person to serve another is one way to describe slavery. As such, it violates self-ownership. . . .

Some might argue that Congress forcing us to help one another and forcing us to take care of ourselves are good ideas. But my question to you is: When congressmen and presidents take their oaths of office, is that oath to uphold and defend good ideas or the U.S. Constitution?

When the principles of self-ownership are taken into account, two-thirds to three-quarters of what Congress does violate those principles to one degree or another as well as the Constitution to which they’ve sworn to uphold and defend. In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist some French refugees, James Madison, the father of our Constitution, stood on the floor of the House to object, saying, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” Did James Madison miss something in the Constitution?

You might answer, “He forgot the general welfare clause.” No, he had that covered, saying, “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one.”

Continue reading. . . .

A Christmas Blessing

Quoting Wilda English:

God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith; the warmth of Christmas, which is love; the radiance of Christmas, which is purity; the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice; the belief in Christmas, which is truth; the all of Christmas, which is Christ.

The Christmas Possibility

Quoting Dennis Bratcher:

I think that the true meaning of Christmas is about possibility. It is not the kind of possibility that comes from a confidence in our own skill, knowledge, ability, or a positive mental attitude. It is possibility that comes solely from the fact that God is God, and that he is the kind of God who comes into our own human existence to reveal himself and call us to himself.

Christmas Is About Grace

The story of the birth of Jesus Christ upon which, I hope, we all meditate to a greater degree during this time of year is particularly a story of grace. Unfortunately, not everyone reads it this way. There are those people who think of it as a pleasant fantasy similar in meaning to the legend of Santa Claus. Then there are those who see it as symbolic of a business contract in which two parties are bound by oaths and laws to keep the conditions of an agreement.

Fortunately for us, however, God is not balancing our failures against His standard of righteousness if the babe born in Bethlehem is our Savior. This is the wonderful meaning and message of Christmas. Christmas is all about grace; a grace that allows us to have a relationship with God.

The utterly amazing thing about this relationship is that God was the initiator who sought out this relationship with human beings. Christmas is the point of grace where we discover the object of God’s desire – a redeemed people He will call His own. Without Christmas and finally the cross, we would never have known the depth of God’s love and the magnitude of His grace.

Grace was given while we were sinning against God. Grace was given while we rebelled against God. Grace was given even as we hated God. God gave us grace in the condition he found us. There was nothing to commend us to Him, yet his grace was freely given through Jesus Christ. At the time, very few understood the meaning of that first Christmas but an angel proclaimed to the lowly shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

On this first Christmas night a Savior was born into our world who embodied the fullness of God’s grace towards us. God came to earth as the son of man in the person of Jesus Christ to complete His divine plan. The One born this night would change the course of the world by extending God’s love and grace to thousands upon thousands down through the course of history. At Bethlehem we find an intersection between God and man which is of cosmic significance.

During this Christmas season, we, who are Christians, will gather in small groups, by the hundreds, and by the thousands in churches across America. We will celebrate the communion of the saints, the eternal embrace of Christ’s love, and God’s never ending grace that seals our citizenship forever in the kingdom of Heaven. If you do not know the loving grace of the Christ child this Christmas, please visit a local Christian Church and ask the pastor to guide you in coming to know the forgiveness and grace of God.

Christmas And Christ

Quoting Stuart Briscoe:

The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world.

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