Archives for October 2008

Evidence the Bible is the Word of God, Part 2

Indirect Evidence for the Bible’s Inspiration

We have considered some “direct” evidence of the Bible being God’s Word; let us now consider some “indirect” evidence––evidence that, though secondary, still indicates that the Bible was written by inspiration of God.

1. THE EVIDENCE OF FULFILLED PROPHECY. Prophecy is the writing of history before it happens, and the Bible, unique among all “religious books” in our world, is filled with prophecy. With daring boldness, the Bible tells what would happen to individuals, cities, and nations, hundreds––even thousands––of years before those events happened. A study of Bible prophecy leads to the unavoidable question, “Who could have written such a book?”

The prophecies concerning Jesus alone––dozens and dozens of them, and fulfilled in exact, specific detail in Jesus’ life and actions––should prove to any reasonable, honest person that the writing of the Bible requires a foresight higher and greater than mortal man.

2. THE EVIDENCE OF SCIENTIFIC ACCURACY. While the Bible is not a science textbook (that is not its scope or purpose), what it says concerning scientific matters is accurate; in fact, in instance after instance, the Bible proves itself ahead of its time. It records many scientific truths hundreds of years before man, in his intellectual quest, discovered or proved them. Consider some examples:

a. The Bible says the earth is suspended in space (Job 26:7);
b. The Bible declares the earth to be round (Isaiah 40:2; Luke 17:26);
c. The Bible teaches all nations of men are of “one blood” (Acts 17:26);
d. The Bible asserts that “life” is “in the blood” (Leviticus 17:10–16);
e. The Bible announces the process of rain, evaporation and condensation (Ecclesiastes 1:2-7).

These and many other examples are, again, evidences of the Bible as a product of wisdom and intelligence higher and greater than man.

3. THE EVIDENCE OF MORAL TEACHING AND INFLUENCE. The Bible has lifted the moral standing of man among all peoples and nations where its influence has gone. And its influence on this world has been phenomenal!

The Bible has made better husbands, wives, children, neighbors, citizens––these have been produced where the Bible has been taught and practiced. Has any book influenced this world like the Bible? No one has been made worse by truly following its teachings; but millions have been lifted from misery, despair, hopelessness, greed, and hatred.

What other book has turned a hovel into a home, alcohol into shoes, drugs into groceries, or thieves into laborers, and liars into honest men? This is the amazing power of the Bible. What other book can wrest a human soul from the brink destruction and transport it into the bliss of hope? The Bible humbles the proud, enriches the poor, turns the hater into a lover of men.

4. THE EVIDENCE OF INDESTRUCTIBILITY. The Bible has been in existence for thousands of years, yet has never become obsolete––it is still read, used, studied, taught, practiced, and loved. No book has stood the test of time like the Bible. Critics have poured over the Bible in microscopic detail in efforts to destroy it, but still it stands. No other book has survived the centuries unaltered as has the Bible, and the very fact of its existence is an evidence of its divinity. It has survived empires, kingdoms, wars, dark ages, renaissance, modernism, and skepticism.

The Bible cannot be destroyed (read Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:24–25). Indeed, there is one thing upon which death and decay cannot lay its rotting finger: the living, penetrating, and incorruptible Word of God.

5. THE EVIDENCE OF THE WONDER OF THE BIBLE. Consider the wonder of its formation and unity (written by different people in different cultures and times, yet coming together to form one theme––a library of 66 books, yet one Book and one Author!). Consider the wonder of its age (it is the most ancient of books, yet always fresh and relevant) or the wonder of its interest (read and loved by all classes of man). Consider the wonder of its language (largely written by uneducated men, yet a literary masterpiece!).

The Bible is unique among all the literature of the world

6. THE EVIDENCE OF ITS EXISTENCE. That the Bible exists, no one, obviously, can deny. So we ask: how did it get here, and who wrote it? If God is not its author, then who is? Anyone denying the authorship of God must explain the existence of the Bible by some other means.

The evidences of Scripture point to an authorship superior to man, and the testimony of the Bible itself states that authorship is God.

Conclusion:

We invite all to examine the Bible––to examine its claims, its evidences, and its inspiration––and we’re convinced you’ll be driven to the conclusion that it is indeed the living Word of the living God.

By John M. Brown

Good Morals – Bad Company

As far as “Bad company corrupting good morals,” my sister wants her 14 yr old daughter (not a Christian) to join a Christian youth group. I wouldn’t want my daughter in a youth group with a bad girl like her. Where do you suggest the bad girl go to be under good influences without corrupting those around her? Isn’t it true that it’s easier to be dragged down than lifted up? She currently lives out-of-state with her non-Christian dad and his family. Please help if you can!
– Andromeda

Andromeda,

First, let me say that I understand your concern. I do think that, as Christians, we should be discerning about who we choose to spend our time with. “Bad company corrupts good character” (I Corinthians 15:33).

However, I also think that, as Christians, we are commanded to share the gospel with the lost. “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:14-16).

Your sister’s daughter sounds like she really needs good influences in her life. She needs God. And we are commanded to share Him––-not wait for others to do so. As long as she is not disruptive, disrespectful, or defiant while in the youth group class, I think that she should be reached out to and included. There were many opportunities for “bad people” to have rubbed off on Jesus, yet He knew the importance of reaching out to the lost and chose to do that. I know we tend to think that Jesus was too superhuman for this to apply to, but the Bible tells us He was a man and was tempted just as we are tempted. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

I think that this could also be a challenge to the youth group. It could be an opportunity for them to develop a closer bond with each other to withstand ungodly influences. It should also challenge them to study the Word more so that they can recognize when something is not in tune with what God says. I know many youth groups are too comfortable being with fellow believers and are not concerned enough about sharing God with the lost. This could be a wonderful opportunity for them. I don’t know of any better place for a lost sinner to be than with believers. Christians are warned against being unequally yoked with non-believers. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:4) but in this case, your niece will be the one who is unequally yoked, which is a good thing!

Again, if she joins this youth group and is disrespectful and disruptive, then her heart is still hard to listening about and accepting Jesus. Pray for her that she will be open to hearing about His love for her, and convicted that she is a sinner. Also, pray for your own heart, that you will be open to showing her God’s love, and that your heart with be softened to see the positive things about your niece. Be a godly example for her, and encourage your children to be a godly example as well. Pray for your sister, who is most likely having a hard time dealing with a disobedient daughter. And lastly, pray for this girl’s father and his family. Remember, there are specific examples in the Bible of when a new believer helped lead his lost family to Jesus. This could be one such occasion. God works wonders in people’s hearts, and there is nobody who is so far removed from Him that they can’t come to Him if they desire to and are willing to repent.

– Lisa Grimenstein

To Keep Ourselves Virtuous

It’s now October. We’re far enough into the school year to know our routines pretty well and we can juggle more stuff that comes up. Autumn is just starting—it’s getting chillier and the leaves are starting to change colors. This month’s project is to “adopt” a young girl from your congregation and encourage her to be virtuous.

Before you get started, however, you need to examine yourself and pray that God will reveal to you where you might be lacking in this area. We cannot teach and encourage others if we are not willing to be virtuous ourselves.

Once you choose which girl to spend time with, ask your parents if it would be okay for her to come home with you for a few hours. Then ask her parents and explain to them what you would like to achieve by spending that day with their daughter. It doesn’t have to be all day; just a few hours would be fine. Respect the schedule of her parents and yours. Once you’ve received permission from both parents, it’s time to explain to the girl what being virtuous means, and ask her if she’d like to spend the day with you. Another great idea would be to involve the girl’s sisters! If both girls are at an age where they could understand and benefit from what you’re planning to talk about, ask the parents if you can take both girls for the day.

Talk to the girl(s) in a way she will understand. Give her ideas on how to be modest, to think before she speaks, and to remain calm and focused when agitated. For example, talk to her about praying to the Lord for relief and peace when she is angry, agitated, or sad. Talk to her about having a thankful heart and praising God in the happy times. This will (hopefully) help get her into a habit of praying to the Lord regularly, and will encourage her to have a reliance on God at a much younger age, therefore creating a closer relationship. If the young girl doesn’t understand something you’re talking about, try to come up with an example to show her what you mean.

By encouraging the younger generation, we’re helping to ensure the church’s future. The younger people (that are now kids to us) are the ones that are going to be responsible for spreading the gospel in the future. Their actions and how we encourage them to be godly will influence their decisions for the rest of their lives. We’re going to be the older, wiser people of the church that will be there for the younger ones even as we age. We all should be striving to the goal and challenge of keeping the church alive and interesting in the hearts of the younger people. Think of where we would be if someone hadn’t talked to us about Christ and showed us the true Light. Let’s encourage others to remain steadfast in being virtuous young women, just as someone else has encouraged us.

“And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.” Ruth 3:11

By: Alyssa Sturgill

Tales of Mary – Episode 5

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge.

I am the Vine

The following song is by Knowles Shaw. When I think of virtue, one thing I think of is bearing fruit for Jesus. Think about the words and what they mean in your life.

“I am the vine and ye are the branches,”
Bear precious fruit for Jesus today;
Branches in Him no fruit ever bearing,
Jesus hath said, “He taketh way.”

“Now ye are clean thro’ words I have spoken;
Living in Me, much fruit ye shall bear;
Dwelling in you, My promise unbroken,
Glory in heav’n with Me ye shall share.”

Yes, by your fruits the world is to know you,
Walking in love as children of day;
Follow your Guide, He passeth before you,
Leading to realms of glorious day.

“I am the vine and ye are the branches;
I am the vine, be faithful and true;
Ask what ye will, your pray’r shall be granted,
The Father loved me, so I have loved you.”

I want you to read the next passage with God in your heart. These are the virtues that every one of us should display or be striving for in our daily lives.

Romans 12:9-21 “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Think about your life every day––what do you do to show the world that you are God’s?

By Megan Skinner

More Precious than Rubies

Proverbs 31:10 “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”

Photos 1-4 from National geographic

Azurite

Azurite

Gypsum

Gypsum

Mesolite

Mesolite

Pink Chancendony

Pink Chancendony

Photos 5-8 Submitted by Shelby Garrett

Lily
Pink Flower

Depression

The following passage is from the book of Proverbs. It is about being a virtuous woman. I want you to notice that she is always busy, always doing something with her time. She’s helping others who are in need. She is healthy and confident, joyful and wise.

The Virtuous Woman

“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31:10-31

What’s stopping you?

Although this type of woman is one that we should all strive to be, many times we have a hard time being virtuous and joyful and productive. For many women, depression can interfere with their ability to become a Proverbs 31 woman.

According to depression.com, women are almost twice as likely to become depressed as men. The higher risk may be due partly to hormonal changes brought on by puberty, menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy. It is normal to feel “depressed” occasionally; however, depression is a much more serious problem. Review the following list and consider how often you experience any or all of these thoughts or feelings.

Depression symptoms:

  • constant feelings of sadness, irritability, or tension
  • decreased interest or pleasure in usual activities or hobbies
  • loss of energy, feeling tired despite lack of activity
  • a change in appetite, with significant weight loss or weight gain
  • a change in sleeping patterns, such as difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or sleeping too much
  • restlessness or feeling slowed down
  • decreased ability to make decisions or concentrate
  • feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or guilt
  • thoughts of suicide or death

Although we all tend to experience some of these feelings from time to time, for many people, these feelings and thoughts are constant and debilitating. If you think that you suffer from depression, seek help from a doctor or a therapist. Talk to a parent, friend, or school guidance counselor about it first, if that helps.

Food of the Month: Pumpkin

Pumpkins have a lot of beta-carotene, which is a form of vitamin A. According to Pumpkins and More, “current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protection against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases, as well as some degenerative aspects of aging.” So, help yourself to another slice of that pumpkin pie!

To find out more, visit Color Me Pumpkin or Pumpkins and More.

By Megan Skinner

Have you read the book of Proverbs?

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Have you ever experienced depression?

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Strive to be Virtuous

10. Help other girls in their journey to become virtuous women. Begin a Bible study with girls in your youth group. Be an example to those who are younger then you.

9. Show maturity beyond your age. Develop the ability to take on real-world problems and show that you can handle what life brings.

8. Have self confidence. Be proud of who you are in Christ.

7. Put others before yourself. Be willing to help someone else before doing things for yourself.

6. Be trustworthy. Always keep others’ trust and don’t do anything to betray it, unless the secret is about a harmful situation.

5. Choose a boyfriend who will encourage you to be virtuous. Date a guy who respects you and encourages you.

4. Always arise to a challenge when doing charity work. Take on a charity project, like organizing a community service project for your youth group.

3. Always give before you receive. Be willing to give to those who are in need before taking what you want.

2. Be a good friend, daughter, sister, and granddaughter, so you may be live up to your virtuous title.

1. Serve God before anything else.

-Kim Cook

Paint A Pumpkin

Pumpkin Painting Instructions:

  1. Purchase desired pumpkins or gourds
  2. Purchase washable paints
  3. Find paintbrushes
  4. Begin painting!

Pumpkin Painting Ideas:

Have a pumpkin painting party where you supply the paints, and everyone else brings their own pumpkins and a snack to share. Everyone can make two pumpkins – one to keep and one to give away! Invite younger siblings and parents to this activity, because this is an event every age can enjoy. Give everyone a chance to discover their gift of painting!

Give simple prizes or certificates for the pumpkins, such as most original, silliest, most professional, etc. The pumpkin pictured won first place for the most colorful pumpkin!

Caution:

Do not leave these painted pumpkins outside! The paint will wash off in the rain. Depending on their size, the pumpkins can be used as a table centerpiece, an office paperweight, or a fireplace decoration.

Your Turn!

Paint your own pumpkins, take pictures, and contact us to receive simple submission directions, so your pumpkin can also be featured in our Gifted Girls section.

Future Note:

We will be featuring homemade cards in our December 2008 issue. If you’ve ever made a card for someone else, or would like to try making a card, take a picture of it and send it to us no later than November 15th for consideration.

– Davonne Parks

What color(s) do pumpkins come in?

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