Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Resurrection of Jesus

The angel at the empty tomb said, "Do not be afraid, for I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said when He was with you in Galilee" John 28:5-6 and Luke 24:5-8.

Historian Kenneth Scott Latourette said, "It was the conviction of the resurrection of Jesus which lifted His followers out of the despair into which His death had cast them ... But for their profound belief that the crucified had risen from the dead and that they had seen Him and talked with Him, the death of Jesus and even Jesus Himself would probably have been all but forgotten."

Jesus Christ transformed the lives of His disciples, and for the last 2,000 years He has done the same for others. The established fact of changed lives is only one of many credible reasons for believing in the resurrection.

Why does the resurrection matter?


"... if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!" [and guilty before God] -- 1 Corinthians 15:17


"According to God's great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you" 1 Peter 1:3-4

Ponder that, and have a wonder resurrection day. – David Shropshire

A 12' x 40' painting of the resurrection by internationally-known artist, Ron DiCianni, will be displayed in the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, Texas. Watch the artist describe his painting.

"God has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And He has already appointed the judge [Jesus], confirming Him before everyone by raising Him from the dead." Acts 17:31 (MSG)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Message of the Cross

"The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out." 1 Cor 1:18 (The Message Bible)

The cross-centered life and teaching of Jean Norment inspired this edition of Points to Ponder. We are sponsoring Jean in person, one week from today. The cross has been her constant message, and God has opened doors for her to proclaim it all over the world the last 17 years. Don't miss it! See Montgomery meeting details below.

Jean writes: "PRIDE IS THE ENEMY OF REVIVAL! Rick Joyner recently said, 'The truth of the finished work of the cross is the first truth that must be restored to the church today before revival comes.' Why? It prepares the heart! God has deliberately chosen the cross of Christ and the Christ of the cross to destroy the wisdom of the world, put the proud to shame and conquer the mighty. Why? So that no man can boast in His presence.

"The cross is the center and the basis from which the Holy Spirit works in every area of our lives, enabling us to not only know who we are in Christ, but BELIEVE it and enjoy our inheritance in Him. He alone can reveal its power and glory to a humble seeking heart!"

Ponder that. – David Shropshire


Jean's Montgomery schedule, June 2010:

Fri Jun 4th, 7 pm, and Sat Jun 5th, 9 am until 2:30 (no child-care)

Gateway Baptist, 3300 Bell Rd, is one block south of Vaughn Rd.

Sunday June 6th, Vaughn Forest Church (Bible study group, 9:30 am)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Holy Spirit Is A Person

"When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth ...", John 16:13.

"Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen." The Gloria Patri.

Do you worship the Holy Spirit as a person? If not, you are robbing Him of His due. The biblical view of the Holy Spirit is that He is a person of great majesty, and worthy of our worship and praise. Many Christians think of Him as an 'it'. The difference is huge.

If we think of the Holy Spirit as merely an influence or power, our motive will be to get hold of the Holy Spirit and use 'it' for our advantage. The result is pride. But if we think of the Holy Spirit correctly, our motive will be to surrender ourselves to Him so He can use us for whatever purpose He chooses. The result is humility.

That is something to ponder. – David Shropshire

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." 2 Corinthians 13:14

Monday, May 18, 2009

If The Foundations Are Destroyed

"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Psalm 11:3(NKJV)

Grand-baby number seven arrived this week. I wonder, what kind of world Nathan Luke will find when he is a man? Will it be like an overseas country a friend visited recently, where few people smiled and despair hung over the land like a dark cloud? There is a reason a society experiences civil freedom and social happiness, or conversely, hopelessness and despair.

Jedediah Morse, "The Father of American Geography" said: "To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys.... All efforts to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present ... forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them."

It appears to me the foundations are under serious attack, and for many weeks I have been pondering the question: If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? Then I 'discovered' that same question in Psalm 11 verse 3. I had forgotten that the psalmist David had asked it. Eagerly I read the remaining few verses to find the answer. Surely God would not raise the question without giving an answer. At first glance, I did not see an answer. It was as if the writer had changed the subject. Then I saw it!

What can the righteous do? Keep on trusting God. Keep your eyes on Him. He is on His throne, is still in charge, so learn to see everything from His perspective. Yes, grieve over the injustice and evil around us, but don't fret. God sees, and will vindicate the righteous and will judge His enemies. Meanwhile, be an overcomer by the blood of the lamb and the word of your testimony (Rev 12:11).

That is something to ponder. – David Shropshire

“The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15, NKJV).

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hobab or the Cloud - Led By The Spirit

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8 (New KJV)

We are living in perilous times, and learning how to be led by the Holy Spirit of God has never been more critical.

Moses trusted God to lead Israel in the desert with a cloud, a symbol of the Holy Spirit. "... when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they set out. Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time ... when it lifted they set out" (Numbers 9:21-22, ESV). God’s guidance to Israel in the desert was unmistakable.

But Moses does something really dumb. Moses asks Hobab to guide them: “Please do not leave us, for you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will serve as eyes for us" (10:31). Hobab was Moses’ brother-in-law, a Midianite familiar with the desert. Hobab could make sense to me if God had not already clearly indicated His method of leading in the desert.
(I can’t be too critical of Moses, because I can do dumb things too. When we flunk a test God does not condemn us [see Rom 8:1], He just lets us retake the test.)

I think God gave us this illustration to contrast two ways of making decisions in life. The Hobab way makes sense; it is logical; your friends and family will understand when you explain it. But lets face it, following a cloud does not make sense. Explain that method to your friends and they will think you are crazy.

Sometimes God will send us a Hobab, a trusted, knowledgeable advisor. But don’t put your trust in the advisor, put your trust in God. Learn to be led by the Spirit of God. That is something to ponder.
– David

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14, ESV).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Following In The Wilderness

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (English Standard Version)

When God led Israel out of Egypt, He led them with a cloud – a puffy one at day and a fiery one at night. “... the cloud lifted... and the cloud settle down in the wilderness...” (Numbers 10:11-12). It was impossible to miss God’s leading. The people’s problem was not lack of direction, it was lack of trusting God as they went. Sometimes we are like that, especially when He leads us into the wilderness.

It is wonderful when God leads us into green pastures beside still waters (Psalm 23:2), but at times He leads us into the wilderness, just as His Spirit led Jesus there (Mark 1:12). Sometimes we end up in the wilderness due to our own stupidity, but sometimes it is because God sent us. Regardless of the reason, to benefit we must embrace the wilderness, not fight against it. Embrace it because a loving God who is all wise and all powerful is leading, and will cause all things to work for our good when we surrender to Him. Ponder that. – David

"Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord"
(Romans 8:35-39 NLT)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pondering Following Jesus

Oh, how I love all you've revealed; I reverently ponder it all the day long. Your commands give me an edge on my enemies; they never become obsolete. I've even become smarter than my teachers since I've pondered and absorbed your counsel. I've become wiser than the wise old sages simply by doing what you tell me. Psalms 119:97-100 (The Message Bible)

"Trust your own vision as you follow the Lord. ... Don't try to plan your life, but follow Jesus and you will find yourself being moved along by God. ... Keep your humility intact, and keep your mind on God. He will use people to assist the vision, but He is the source. ... Open your heart and let Jesus speak through you. Don't try to build up great plans for yourself; He has plans you cannot imagine." They were the last words of council my dad gave me before he went to be with the Lord a few years ago.

Jesus beckons us to follow Him. Much of the time it is not clear to us where He is going or what He is doing. We may have a general idea, but the details are often very unclear or even confusing. Consider how Joseph must have felt looking frantically for lodging that evening in Bethlehem. As Mary’s labor pains intensified, I can imagine Joseph screaming at God, “Hey, where are you? Don’t you know this is an emergency? Where is the plan?” That stressful hour for Joseph and Mary was part of God's perfect plan.
Maybe you are in a stressful hour, trying to find God's perfect plan. Maybe you are in the middle of it and don't recognize it. God is always at work even in the mundane affairs of life. His plans are usually hidden, disguised as ordinary circumstances. Ponder that. – David

Jesus said: I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me... John 12:24-26 (NLT)