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God Became A Man

image of four smooth stones stacked on top of each other

The Greatest Story in History

What is the greatest non-fiction story in history? The answer is when God became a man to redeem humanity. Isn’t it amazing what God did? He became human to rid our lives of the eternal consequences of sin. Thereby, we could experience His life and be with Him forever. If not for this spectacular event, no one could be saved.
 
I think about this often. What God has done for us is utterly amazing! How could the God of the Universe become like one of us? The God who is all-powerful and infinitely complex. Nonetheless, the Creator chose to dwell within human flesh.

What Jesus Endured

We know that Jesus Christ, who was fully God, became fully human. Jesus became the perfect sacrifice, our substitute. Jesus took the punishment we deserved. As a result, He made a way for us, redeeming us from our sin. He could do this because he was born without sin and lived a life without sin.

As we approach this Easter season I am so grateful. God loved us so much He chose to live as a man for eternity. Consider all that Jesus endured. Firstly, Jesus was tempted by sin. Second, he was unjustly tried as a revolutionary and false teacher. Third, Jesus suffered many hardships. He was beaten with rods, cut with whips, mocked by cruel soldiers. Lastly, he died a gruesome death on the cross. He took the sin of the world upon His shoulders, all because of His love for us. There is no greater love than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.

The Greatest Gift

Philippians 2:6-8 (NASB) “[Jesus] who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

This Easter season let’s remember what He did for us: God became a man. Therefore, He saved us from the penalty of sin and gave us abundant life. Let’s be thankful, daily, for this wonderful gift.
 
By Pastor Scott Peterson
 
In its original form, this article was first published in “Pastor’s Corner” of the Owatonna People’s Press on March 28th, 2017.

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Mobile Apps and Websites for Kids

Updated June 29, 2020.

Bible App for Kids: Audio & Interactive Stories

Summary: Download the most popular kids Bible app for FREE, and help your kids (4+) fall in love with God’s Word. The Bible App for Kids is so much more than an app. Find episodes to stream or download and fun downloadable resources to help your kids fall in love with God.
Website: http://Bible.com/kids
Available Formats:
Desktop Browser, iOS (Apple) and Android tablets and smartphones 
Includes: Video Episodes, Coloring Sheets, Adventure Books, Parent Guides + For Purchase Books
Publisher: Life.Church

Superbook Kids Bible, Videos & Games

Summary: This FREE app for kids (4+) is a media-rich experience that helps bring the Bible to life with videos and images from the Emmy-nominated SUPERBOOK animation series as well as engaging interactive games.
Website (Desktop Browser, Games): https://us-en.superbook.cbn.com/games
Available Format: Desktop Browser, iOS (Apple) and Android tablets and smartphone, Kindle devices
Includes: 20 Bible Games, 39 Full-length Free Episodes, Interactive Bible Engagement, Personalization, and more.
Publisher: The Christian Broadcasting Network

Guardians of Ancora

Summary: An amazing, FREE virtual world that 8 to 11 year-olds can enter, and a place where the Bible stories come alive. Kids have daily opportunities to discover Jesus and engage with the Bible.
Available Format: iOS (Apple) and Android tablets and smartphone
Includes: Immersive Gameplay, New Content Regularly, Creative Hub, and more.
Publisher: Scripture Union England & Wales Ltd | Dubit Ltd

Adventure Bible

Summary: A great place for kids, educators and parents to have fun while learning about God and His Word.
Available Format: Desktop Browser
Includes: Bible Search, Games, Bible Activities (downloadable) + For Purchase Bibles and Devotionals
Publisher: Zondervan | HarperCollins Publishers
 

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How Do You Reignite the Romance in Your Marriage?

What do you do when your marriage has gone sour? How do you rekindle that first love?   You do what Jesus told the church at Ephesus when the church had lost its first love.   Revelation 2:4-5 “You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen? Repent and do the things you did at first.”  This says three things:  remember, repent, do.”   The same three things apply to marriage. First you remember the good times. You relive the experiences, the happy feelings when you first fell in love.   Then you Repent. This means to deliberately change your attitude towards your mate.  You choose to turn it around. You choose to act in a loving way. You choose to act in a romantic way even if you don’t feel romantic.   Then it says to Do the things you did at first. Act the same way towards your mate that you used to. What you did to fall in love, you must continue to do to stay in love. And if you act romantic you will begin to feel romantic. Not vice versa. You act your way into a feeling you don’t feel your way into an action.   When you first fell in love you did five things. So do them again.
  1. Focus on them, give them prominence or make them the priority.
  1. Encourage them, give them approval or recognize their good qualities.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)  “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

  1. Give them affection. And not only that which leads to the bedroom. Who cares if you weren’t raised that way? Change anyway.
  1. Give them some fun. Don’t be so boring. Be adventurous with your spouse.

And finally… 

  1. Make an effort to live in spiritual oneness by putting Christ first place in both of your lives. And begin praying for one another, together.

If you’ll do those five things, the romance will come back. By the way, is Christ first place in your life? Have you asked him to forgive you? Do you have your trust in Christ for your salvation?  Because that should be your first step. Get your life right with God first then the spark will be on the way. 


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The Ten Commandments and Salvation

“God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, was the essence of the gospel proclamation of Wesley, Moody, Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards, all these men that God so greatly used. They said that if you don’t use the Law, you’ll almost certainly lead to false conversions. 

“This great tragedy has happened, simply because we haven’t followed the Biblical example of sharing the law with the unsaved. We are to preach law to the proud and grace to the humble. Whenever Jesus approached a proud arrogant self-righteous person with the gospel, He gave law before grace, always.  With the law He broke the hard heart, and with the gospel He healed the broken heart.” The moral law shows them they are sinners and God’s grace shows them how they can be saved.

That is why the scriptures say, The law is a schoolmaster that leads us to Christ (Gal 3:24) and once we are led to Christ His Goodness leads us to repentance (Rom 2:4) They both work together. First you need the Law with those who think they are good enough to make it on their own merits but then God’s goodness can lead them to repentance.

Why did He Jesus share the moral law? “Because He always did those things that were pleasing in the Father’s sight, He did those things that God approved of. And our Father God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. We see this so often in Scripture, the rich young ruler, the arrogant self-righteous lawyer that stood up and tempted Jesus. Both times, Jesus gave the Law. He gave the Ten Commandments. But when they came to Him with humility, with a knowledge of sin by the Law, that is the Godly Jews, he gave them grace.”

Once the law humbles you God can give you grace and save you as you repent, trust and follow Him.

“Paul says in Romans 7:7, “I had not known sin except by the Law.” Charles Finney said, “Evermore the Law must prepare the way for the gospel.” And Finney had an 80% retention rate. He said, “Evermore the Law must prepare the way for the gospel. To overlook this in instructing souls is almost certain to result in false hope, the introduction of a false standard of Christian experience, and to fill the church with false converts.” 

I hope today you will come to Christ knowing you are a sinner because you know you have broken the moral law. Yet, He came to save sinners, that’s all of us. Won’t you humble yourself today and say God please forgive me of my sins I know I am a sinner and in need of your grace. Make me into the kind of person you want me to be. A loving follower of Jesus. I trust you to be my Savior today. Amen

He will then save you from a certain eternal destiny in hell and give you everlasting life with Him. 

Attribution to words in quotes: True and False Conversion by Ray Comfort https://www.livingwaters.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/TrueAndFalseConversion.pdf True and False Conversion is non-copyrighted. www.LivingWaters.com – Living Waters Publications, P.O. Box 1172, Bellflower, CA 90706 


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Never Vilify Your Friends and Neighbors

Three nearby churches on a hot summer day had their windows open and were trying to outsing the others. The Baptists were singing, “Will There Be Any Stars in My Crown?” Then the Presbyterians began singing, “No, Not One. No, Not One.” And the Methodists began singing “Oh, That Will Be Glory for Me.”

All humor aside it’s not fun to be put down or criticized.  When we are criticized and maligned our natural inclination is to do the same. As Christians, however, we are instructed to do the opposite. When provoked, we are not supposed to talk about someone behind their back. Instead, we are to bless them.

The word “bless” literally means “speak well of”. We ask God to bless people, but did you know that you yourself can actually bless a person? You can bless people by the way you talk about them. When someone ridicules you and puts you down, speak well of them. George Washington Carver said, “I will never allow another man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.”  

While we can’t control what others say about us, we can control what we say in response. That’s what God will hold us accountable for. When somebody criticizes another, the other person shouldn’t go around bad-mouthing him. Instead, bless him. Find something you can approve of in their life. To find a reason to criticize is easy–anyone can do that. To find a reason to affirm can require a bit more creativity.

James 4:11a NIV – “Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law (God’s Moral law) and judges it.”

If you are a follower of Christ, you don’t have any business judging one another. There is a higher walk in this life: bless don’t curse. For what a man sows that shall he also reap.


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