Thursday, May 16, 2019

tEST HOW YOU THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE


QUIZ* WHAT DO YOU EXPECT IN YOUR FUTURE?

EXCERPT FROM ADA BROWNELL'S BOOK IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU


Chapter Two


1.     Did Joseph deserve his brothers’ hatred? Why or why not?

2.     If you have good character, will it show even when you are mistreated? How will it be shown?

3.     Why do you suppose God allowed Joseph to stay in prison for something he didn’t do? Should he have hated the butler for forgetting him?

4.     What was Joseph’s biggest dream after he was taken away from his family?

5.     What makes us remember Joseph?

6.     Where is the most important place your name can appear? How do you go about getting your name there?

7.     Do you know the meaning of your name? (You might be able to find out the meaning on the Internet or in a book of baby names.)

8.     Do you have a nickname? Does it have anything to do with who you are?

9.     How about your family name? Do you have a name to live up to, or to which you’d like to restore respect?

10.  If you have a bad reputation associated with your name because of your actions, what can you do?

*ANSWERS WILL BE PUBLISHED AT THE END OF ALL THE BOOK QUIZZES


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

TEST HOW YOU THINK ABOUT TOMORROW


Quiz on the book Imagine the Future You

Excerpted from the book by Ada Brownell 
Also available in Audio. Read or listen to first chapter free! #Teens #Family #DevotionsLinks: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1489558284    http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

ARE YOU PREPARED FOR TOMORROW?
By Ada Brownell


QUESTIONS: TEST YOURSELF


Use a separate paper or notebook to take the tests. Answers follow the questions so you can grade yourself. If you’re using this book as a group study, you can use these questions for discussion. May God be with you on your exciting journey with Him!

Answers will be published at the end of the book quiz.



Chapter One


1. Do I think only of today, or do I consider the future? Why?

2. Did I dream more about my future as a child, or now? Why do you think that is?

3. List dreams for your future, starting with the most important, even if you don’t know for sure what you want to do with your life.

4. How will you go about achieving your desires?

5. Which is more important: desire or talent?

6. Are people who achieve their dreams just lucky?

7. How do my decisions affect my future?

8. Are my bad habits anything to worry about? Why?

9. How do my good habits help?

10. Can I reach my dreams even though I am poor, my parents aren’t perfect, and I’ll have to work at receiving the education I need?


Thursday, May 9, 2019

A GIFT THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR FUTURE



By Ada Brownell

(Excerpt from Ada Brownell's book Imagine the Future You)

Salvation from sin and for eternity is not something that can be earned.
 It is a gift from the Lord Jesus Christ we receive when we accept Him as Savior. We can't earn it.


Good works have a part in the Christian life, but after we become a Christian.[1] If works had been sufficient, a new covenant would not have re­placed the Old Testament law and Christ would not have had to come and, shed his blood, and die for our sins.
One time a fellow was talking to me about a false religion and said, "What difference does it make? We're all  going to the same place, aren't we?"
"If that's true, God sure did a number on His Son when He sent Him to the cross to die for our sins!"
Immediately after Adam sinned, God the Father promised a Redeemer who would forgive sins and give back the immortality they lost.[2] You know what happened: “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”[3]

Salvation as we experience it today took many generations to become reality. But the moment Christ died after shedding his precious blood, the veil in the tem­ple was ripped from top to bottom. The veil separated ordinary men from the Holy of Holies, where the priests entered the presence of God and sprinkled the blood of bulls and goats to absolve the people of their sins for a year.

The torn veil signifies we can go directly to God for forgiveness, because Jesus is our high priest. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”[4]

All the necessary arrangements for our salvation already have been made, and that gives us the opportunity to build our lives on the proper foundation.

We can go di­rectly to our high priest.

Talk to Jesus. He’s listening. Even though he already knows about them, tell him about your sins. Ask for forgiveness. Believe His Word and know your sins are forgiven and wiped from the record.

Then tell someone you have accepted Christ as your Savior.

 If you’ll do those things, something will happen. You’ll be clean, born again, and will experience salvation. A new redeemed person.

But God doesn’t want us to remain spiritual babies. Get involved in a good church that preaches the Gospel. Build your life on the Rock Christ Jesus. Study the Bible. Pray. Share your testimony and take your friends and family to heaven with you.

If you do these things, you’ll be prepared for storms of life that may come because Jesus will be with you. God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

You can be your best.




[1] See Ephesians 2:8,9KJ
[2] See Genesis 3:15
[3] John 3:16KJ
[4] Hebrews 4:14,16KJ

Buy the Book:  http://ow.ly/TY6uO

NEXT: A quiz to see what you've learned from this study.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Holy Rollers: CHARACTER: WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL SELF?


10. IMAGINE ENTERING THE FUTURE AT YOUR BEST


An excerpt from the book Imagine the Future You

By Ada Brownell

E-book, paper and audible. Read or listen to first chapter free! Great narrator.


What is your best like?


In my teens, I worked in a peach-packing shed. All day long I stood beside a conveyor belt sorting beautiful peaches from those with split seeds, bad spots, wormholes, and other undesirable markings.

At the end of the conveyor belt all the “good” peaches went through a defuzzer, then were packed in wooden boxes. By the time I was off work, hundreds of boxes of beautiful peaches stood ready for market, and I was covered in sweat, dirt, and itchy peach fuzz. Peach fuzz makes you miserable. How wonderful it was to go home and wash all the misery away!

We’d all be filthy if we didn’t take baths frequently—and we’d smell, too.

A bath is one of the first things done after a baby’s birth. And that’s the first thing God does for us when we are born again. All our sins are washed away and we become so clean we’re said to be “new creatures.”[1]

When you’re clean you get pretty close to being your best on the outside and God can make you beautiful inside as well. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from every sin.[2]

Do you doubt that God can change people?

A university psychology professor decided to stage a religious meeting supposedly to expose the deceitful “psychological” techniques used by ministers to persuade people to become Christians. Each student was to contribute something to the meeting.

One Christian student accepted his assignment with horror and rushed to his pastor’s home.

“What am I going to do?” he asked the pastor’s wife after he explained the situation.

She chuckled as the Holy Spirit dropped something into her heart.

“Tell your teacher you’ll bring a derelict from skid row, and the pro­fessor can change him!”

She reminded the student of the people in their church whose lives had been changed instantly by the power of God.

The staged revival meeting was canceled when the student made his offer. The professor knew he couldn’t change anyone. But Jesus can. In churches I’ve attended were people who had been drunkards. There were former wife beaters, thieves, child abusers, adulterers, and one who had seriously contemplated murder.

I admit churches still have people who claim to be Christians who commit horrendous sin. John wrote, “He who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’”[3]

The church used to sing songs of testimony where the composers told how their lives were changed such as, Since Jesus Came into my Heart, Joy Unspeakable and He Set me Free. That’s the reason there was so much loud singing, clapping, dancing and shouting of praises to God that some dubbed the people  “Holy Rollers.”

In my youth I was called a Holy Roller. Our church, right in the middle of our small town, almost quaked with the music. People would peek in windows and often come inside and go to the altar to accept Jesus.

Truth is, I only saw one person roll in church in my life, and that was in another denomination. He was a teenager who became so joyful when he received the Holy Spirit he rolled all over the place, even under the pews!

Usually such an experience changes the person’s life. If I remember correctly, this youth was called into the ministry that night.

WHAT DO YOU NEED GOD TO DO FOR YOU?

First, you need to think some about who you are.

Below is a little profile I did of myself, and you can create a similar one for you, pointing out why you are the person you at least think you are.

1. I’ve been known to be a little scatterbrained. For instance, I once turned off the water that my husband kept running in the bathtub to keep the water pipes from freezing. I forgot to turn the water back on after I took a bath. I threw a big coat over my nightgown and went out to thaw out the pipes (my husband was working out of town). The door froze shut and I was locked outside in 30-below freezing temperatures at 2 o’clock in the morning.

2. I’m fun loving. I’ve always loved games. I play board and card games like Rook, but my favorites are action games such as tennis, volleyball, badminton, swimming, baseball. I even enjoy walking, jogging, swinging.

3. I have a sense of humor. In high school, I won a trophy for being best actress in a one-act play contest. A judge took me aside and told me I could go to Hollywood as another Lucille Ball. Was she thinking talent or red hair?

4. I enjoy working and seeing things done, everything polished and organized. I used to say turning a kitchen from messy to clean is like creating a piece of art. After marriage, a clean nicely decorated house is connected to my self image.

5. I’m a germ-o-phobe. In my mind there’s no need for people to be ill with colds and flu, especially if there is a disease like asthma in the house. Wash those hands. Sanitize. After writing on the medical beat for seven years also I believe in using bleach on everything after preparing meat in the kitchen, or after a person with a cold visits our house. Guess that brings up bacteria-o-phobe. No rare meat, especially hamburger--and chicken juices should run clear when cooked. No red or pink anywhere. I always have grilled chicken heated twice when eating out. I came down with salmonella from grilled chicken about a half dozen times from restaurants. No more. Heat it twice, or I order deep fried. Grease is better than germs.

6. I’m a seeker of knowledge. I’ve been a student of the Bible since I was about 14, and prayed for wisdom all my adult life. I enjoy picking people’s brains, in-depth research, and anything that keeps me filled with truth.

7. I love romance. To me the most romantic words ever spoken are “I love you. I want to marry you and I will love only you until death parts us.” My husband and I made that vow and kept to it now for many decades.  I read squeaky clean inspirational historical romance books with a lead character I like and sympathize with who has a big problem that needs solved.

I could go on and on. This will give you some idea of how to probe who you are. Think about it and write down what pops into your head, then review and rewrite to get to your core.

Ask yourself: What or who do I fear? What do I value? What is most important to me? What do I cry about? What makes me laugh? What have I done that I enjoyed? What have I done that I’m proud of? What is the one thing I would like to do before Jesus comes or I die? When I am sad, who do I talk to? Who would I like to help? Who have you helped that you didn’t have to?

What do I know that I would like to share? What would I like to learn? Do I want God in my life? How has not knowing or knowing Jesus affected me?

IMAGINE YOU TOMORROW

When you’ve answered all the questions or others you choose, write a description of who you are now. In another column or on another page write what sort of person you would like to become and how you plan to accomplish this change.

If you don’t know Jesus, think about how He showed His love for you by dying on the cross so you could live forever. Have you experienced the floods of joy that the writer of Since Jesus Came into My Heart[4] wrote about when he said “floods of joy o’er my soul like sea billows roll?”

Like Lazarus, whose body had been lying cold, still, and stinking in the tomb, then at Jesus’s command came alive, the sinner awakens to new life.

Baptism is a testimony to the whole world that you have experienced that spiritual resurrection. The newness of life comes through our Redeemer, who is the only One who can rescue humans from sin and death. Peter said it right after Pentecost, “Neither is there Salvation in any other; for there is no other name given among men, whereby we must be saved.”[5]



[1] 2 Corinthians 5:16–18
[2] 1 John 1:7
[3] 1 John 2:4
[4] The Rodeheaver Co. Copyright 1905; Renewal 1933. Words: Ru­fus H. Mc­Dan­i­el, 1914. Music: Charles H. Gabriel, 1914.

[5] Acts 4:10–12KJ

Saturday, April 27, 2019

WHY WE NEED JESUS


9. IMAGINE WHY BELIEVING IN JESUS CHANGES EVERYTHING

An excerpt from the book Imagine the Future You


E-book, paper and audible. Read or listen to first chapter free! Great narrator.




By Ada Brownell


Why we need Jesus



“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things you can see and the things we can’t see—kings, kingdoms, rulers and authorities. Everything has been created through him and for him. He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together” (Colossians 15:17NLT).

We only need to listen to or watch the news to know we need Jesus.

So many worrisome things are occurring, even beyond economic problems, unemployment, staggering national debt, terrorists’ bombings and nations who hate America accumulating nuclear bombs.

I worry about the spiritual state of our nation, where it seems everyone—even those who claim to be Christians—use the Lord’s name in vain for every emotion under the sun.

 Furthermore, secularism (yes, it used to be listed among religions in encyclopedias) has become the religion of the United States, and freedom of religion is in danger.

Where will you fit in these perilous times?

The Bible describes the future this way:

 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4)

IMAGINE “BEAMED UP” WITH THE CHURCH

Do you love God? Do you believe Jesus will be involved in your future as prophesies about His catching away of the church and the second coming indicate?

From 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 

His first coming certainly impacted the world.

When I think of Jesus and his sacrifice to come to earth, I think of the big, husky evangelist who was a dinner guest at a home the same time we were eating there. The man piled his plate high with delicious food and then started de­vouring it.

“When you look at me now,” he said between chomps, knowing we all watched, “it’s hard to realize I was once helpless and flat on my back.”

“You were?” someone asked in amazement.

He grinned. “Yes. I was a baby once.”

It is even more amazing to realize the Lord Jesus Christ—who was there when the universe was created (the verse above and John 1)—gave up all his supernatural strength and wisdom to become a baby.

Last Christmas when I pondered with amazement the thought that He would become completely helpless—with his whole existence dependent upon humans—I realized it wasn’t so amazing after all. Jesus, as God the Son,[1] downloaded the instincts and programmed parents’ brains so a baby’s cry would be so irritating they would do al­most anything to stop the sound. They would offer food. They would change the diaper. They would hold the infant.

He also knew parents’ love is so deep they want to see their offspring tenderly and adequately cared for.

IMAGINE EVENTS THAT AFFECT YOUR LIFE FORETOLD

But how do we know Jesus was no ordinary baby?

If you have studied religion at all, you know many religions recognize Jesus as a prophet, but deny He is God. Only Christians recognize Him as God’s son and our Lord. Almost anyone will tell you He was a good man.

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis proclaimed, "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg--or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.”

 Some religions try to give you another Christ, which the Bible calls an antichrist, a false prophet, and false god. But the Bible says, “There is no other name given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

One way we know Jesus was no ordinary baby is God the Son fulfilled prophecy written hundreds of years before He came.

IMAGINE EVIDENCE THAT IMPACTS YOU

Josh McDowell, in his book Evidence That Demands a Verdict,[2] states that the Old Testament contains over three hundred references to the Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus, and all of these prophecies were written at least 250 years before Christ was born.

Among these prophecies are his virgin birth, his ancestry, his birth­place, his presentation of gifts from the East, the massacre of infants by Herod, his name, the flight into Egypt, a messenger would precede his ministry, his ministry would begin in Galilee, he would teach in the temple, he would teach in parables, he would enter Jerusalem on a donkey, he would be a stone of stumbling to the Jews and light to the Gentiles, he would have a Resurrec­tion, and he would ascend into heaven.

The events of his trial and events preceding his death were foretold. He would be sold for thirty pieces of silver and betrayed by a friend. The money would be thrown in the house of the Lord. The silver would purchase a potter’s field for burial. False witnesses would accuse him, and he would not answer them. He would be mocked, wounded, bruised, smitten, and spit upon. The weight of the cross would be too much for his beaten body.


His manner of death was foretold, as well as the piercing of his hands, feet, and side, but no bones would be broken.

Here is the scripture from the Old Testament about the piercing: “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son” (Zechariah 12:10).

When John related the story of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, he wrote, “But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the Roman soldiers pierced his side with a spear and immediately blood and water came out.…For these things were done that the scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of his bones shall be broken.’ And again another scripture says, ‘They shall look on him whom they pierced’” (John 33:37NKJ).

When the soldier decided not to bother to break his legs, he had no idea he fulfilled prophecy.

The darkness that fell over the land at noon when Jesus died also was foretold by prophets hundreds of years earlier. The burial in the rich man’s tomb was predicted.

But was Jesus actually the Son of God and God the Son?

IMAGINE JESUS BLESSING PEOPLE TODAY

 Emilie Griffin, in her book Turning,[3] tells how she came from atheism to accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of her life. After realizing there had to be a Designer, she wondered whether a genuine relationship was possible between God and man.

“I wanted to know who Jesus was, what he actually said, and how that made people willing to die for his sake,” she explains. Her own starting point was whether one might believe God acted in history and Jesus was in any real sense His Son.

She read the New Testament and saw the Gospels had a firmer historical validity than she had been led to believe. The Book of Acts and the Epistles opened her eyes.

“Paul lived at the same time as others who knew Jesus,” she writes. “Paul was acquainted with men and women who witnessed the events of the Crucifixion and who insisted upon the fact of the Resurrection. I began to feel these letters were either a true account—or the most extraordinary fabrication ever concocted.

“By this time I was reading straight through the New Testament, and it was affecting me deeply. I could not get over the conviction that Jesus was real.”

Those who study the New Testament soon see Jesus claimed to be God, his claims were confirmed by others, and other indirect claims say He is God the Son.

WHAT A FUTURE! IMAGINE NEVER DYING

Who do you say I am?” Jesus asked Peter at Philippi.

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” Peter answered.

“You are blessed, Simon, son of John,” Jesus told him, "Because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.”[4]

Jesus claimed to be God at other times in his ministry. When Jesus told the Jews that if they kept His sayings, they would not see death, they were outraged.[5] (He spoke of our souls and spirits living forever.)

“Now we know you are possessed by a demon,” they said. “Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say that those who obey your teaching will never die? Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Are you greater than the prophets, who died? Who do you think you are?”

Jesus answered, “If I am merely boasting about myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who says these glorious things about me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ but you do not even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But it is true—I know him and obey him. Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it, and was glad.”

“You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you’ve seen Abraham?” the Jews asked.

Jesus answered, “The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!”

Then they took up stones to throw at him.

Later, at his trial, Jesus acknowledged his divinity.
“Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
“I am,” Jesus said.[1]
Jesus showed his claim to being the Messiah and His divinity in other ways also. In the entire Bible, Jesus is the only person who accepted worship from others.
Jesus made other indirect claims to his divinity. He forgave sins. He said He was the Giver of Life. Judgment has been assigned to him by the Fa­ther, according to the teachings of Jesus.
The claims made by Jesus were substantiated by others. John the Bap­tist proclaimed Him to be the Messiah. Peter confirmed that he believed Jesus to be the Son of God. Stephen preached that Jesus was the Messiah and testified he saw Jesus sitting at the right hand of God. Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” as he lay dying after he was stoned.
The apostle Paul (previously called Saul) was one of the Jews who stirred up the people who killed Stephen. But soon Paul also became a believer and pro­claimed Jesus as the Son of God. Paul was imprisoned and given the death penalty because of his faith in Jesus Christ.
IMAGINE DEMONS TREMBLING
Demons even acknowledge knowing Jesus, and they tremble.[2]
To the Jews He proclaimed that He would rise from the dead if they destroyed Him.[3] He also taught His disciples in private that He would be killed and after three days rise again.[4] The disciples would not listen to such teachings, though.
After Jesus died and buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, the chief priests and Pharisees asked Pilate to guard and seal the tomb. They said, “We remember that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’”[5]
Despite the guards and the seal, the Lord Jesus Christ did walk out of that tomb, alive forevermore.
Yet, Easter still is a mystery. From a purely physical point of view, if there was no Resurrection, what happened to Christ’s body? And if he didn’t come out of the grave triumphant, why would the disci­ples, who were so wishy-washy before his death, suddenly become strong enough to give their lives for their faith in Jesus?
Josh McDowell, author of Evidence that Demands a Verdict,[6] wrote great in-depth studies on the Resurrection and other historical evidences for the Christian faith. He said people will die for a religious leader they think is equal to God, but if Jesus had not risen from the dead his disciples would have known it, and people will not give their lives for belief in a person they know is a fraud.
 According to the Bible, history, and tradition, all of the twelve disciples of Jesus except Saint John and Judas were martyrs. John died a natural death while imprisoned on Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. Judas, who sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, committed suicide.
Jesus’s resurrection is an amazing fact. But so is the wonder of life’s origins.


[1] Mark 14:61–62
[2] Matthew 8:29; James 2:18–20
[3] John 2:18–22
[4] Matthew 16:21
[5] Matthew 27:63
[6] Josh McDowell, Campus Crusade for Christ, Here’s Life Publishers, Inc., 1979



[1] There is only one God, but in three persons known as the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, and they are eternal with no beginning and no end. Jesus said He and Father are one and if you know Him, we also know the Father. See John 14:5-12.
[2] San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life Publishers Inc.
[3] Emilie Griffin, Doubleday, 1980.
[4] Matthew 16:16–17
[5] John 8:51–58

BUY THE BOOK:

Thursday, April 25, 2019

WHY FAITH IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR FUTURE

THE IMPORTANCE OF FAITH
By Ada Brownell
Excerpt from the book Imagine the Future You
Links: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1489558284    http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06



God prevents people from proving He exists Because faith is necessary for salvation. The Bible states, “Without faith it is impossible to please him. For he that cometh to him must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”[3]

In another scripture the Bible says, “All who believe in God’s Son have everlasting life.”[4]

If God’s existence could be proved, there would be no reason for faith!

When the whole matter of man’s existence on Earth is questioned, there is nothing to settle it—but faith. So why not believe in God? It’s the only thing that makes sense.

Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, said he has never seen a single individual who has honestly considered the evidence who was unable to believe in God. But he has seen some who are unwilling to believe.[5]

Belief is a matter of the will. God created man with freedom of choice. We aren’t forced to serve or obey him. Adam and Eve had that choice from the beginning, and so do we. We can serve false gods, Satan, or ourselves if we choose.

It is only when we choose to believe in the Creator that we begin to build our life on the Rock where the hurricanes of life can’t destroy us.

God’s love was demonstrated when He sent His only Son to die, arise from the tomb, and be the Savior of sinful men. Belief in God the Father is not enough, however. Devils believe and tremble (James 2:19). We also must believe and confess Jesus Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9) and obediently follow Him and His Word.




[1] CNN report by A. Chris Gajilan on April 4, 2007.
[2] 2 Corinthians 517
[3] Hebrews 11:6KJ
[4] John 3:36
[5] Josh McDowell, Foreword, Evidence That Demands a Verdict (San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers Inc., San Bernardino, CA, 1979).

Monday, April 22, 2019

EVIDENCE FOR FAITH


Excerpt from Ada Brownell's book, Imagine the Future YOU



IMAGINE EVIDENCE FOR FAITH
By ADA BROWNELL



It is not difficult to believe in God. Archaeology has found evidence for many decades to support much of the Bible’s historical information. Cities mentioned in the Bible have been discovered. According to the Biblical Archaeology Society, on July 18, 2013, the Israel Antiquities Authority reported in a news release: King David’s Palace was uncovered in the Judean Shephelah.

The Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed a blind man was discovered after excavations in the Jerusalem. From reports, another pool was thought to be the Pool of Siloam, but when this one about the size of two football fields was discovered along with a series of steps leading down to the pool. The pool was uncovered by a Jerusalem utility crew. Work was halted and archaeologists took over.

The pool is at the end of an amazing aqueduct discovered in 1838 by American biblical scholar Edward Robinson. The tunnel was far more spectacular than anyone imagined, hewn out of solid rock and 1,750 feet long. Skeptics claim the tunnel must have been created more recently than 1,700 years ago, but analysis of the ancient writing found in the tunnel, carbon 14 dating of the plant life disrupted by the tunnel, and uranium-thorium dating of stalactites and stalagmites that grew after completing of the tunnel, support a date of around 700 BC, the date given in the Bible.

Why did Hezekiah build the canal?

At about that time, the Assyrian Army led by King Sennacherib conquered nearly every prominent town in the southern kingdom of Judah. Israel lay in ruins. Sennacherib’s strategy was to cut off all food and water outside the fortified city walls, then when the people inside were near death from thirst and starvation, begin the siege.

When King Hezekiah heard what was happening around Jerusalem, he sought the Lord, and built a tunnel, a canal, from the springs outside the city through solid rock to bring water under the wall and to the people. You can read about it in 2 Kings 18-20 and 2 Chronicles 32.

There is much more archaeological evidence to support the Bible.  Ancient writings also have been found that verify people mentioned in scripture lived at the time described.

 Archaeologists have found so much evidence for the Bible accuracy it takes books to tell it.

 Fulfilled prophecies also show the Bible is something on which we can depend. The Jews returning from being scattered over the earth after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and Israel becoming a nation in 1948 fulfill Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning the valley of dry bones. You may remember the song about the “dry bones” connecting.

 Fervent study of scripture reveals many fulfilled prophecies.

IMAGINE EARTH THE WAY GOD MADE IT



Anyone who will look with an open mind will see that creation is “programmed” the way God designed it. Species reproduce only after their kind. The body returns to dust—from which the Bible says it came.

If we look at creation, there is too much perfection to be attributed to chance. 


It is with awe toward the Creator that we see not one but two kinds of humans, animals, insects, reptiles, birds, and fish—which keep reproducing to populate Earth. Doesn’t it take too much faith to believe two kinds evolved so per­fectly so as to join together and have the capacity to create others just like them?

Any part of the human body or any other part of cre­ation defies explanation outside of the design of Almighty God.

 More evidence for faith surrounds us. The power of God at work in the lives of men and women today is a great testimony. First, a personal relationship with God is the only thing that really satisfies the soul of man. Even if we have access to everything the world has to offer, if we don’t know God, we have emptiness.

IMAGINE WHY FAITH IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR FUTURE

Dr. Andrew Newberg, neuroscientist and author of Why We Believe What We Believe, says our brains seem to have a special place for faith. He has tracked how the human brain processes religion and spirituality. It's all part of a new field called neurotheology.[1]

Newberg says the frontal lobe, the area right behind our foreheads, helps us focus our attention in prayer and meditation. The parietal lobe, located near the back of our skulls, is the seat of our sensory information. He says this place in the brain is involved in that feeling of becoming part of something greater than one’s self. The limbic system, nestled deep in the center, regulates our emotions and is responsible for feelings of awe and joy.

Newberg says similar areas of the brain are affected during prayer and meditation. He suggests brain scans may provide proof that our brains are built to believe in God. He says there may be universal features of the human mind that actually make it easier for us to believe in a higher power.

 I believe people search for God because of the “God-shaped void” within. If they haven’t heard the Gospel or reject it, they worship the earth, an idol they know is nothing but a figure humans created, or devise their own religion—even making unbelief into doctrine.

IMAGINE GOD GIVING YOU JOY AND PEACE

Besides satisfying the longings deep within us, we can see other results of the Lord in the lives of men and women today. When people accept Jesus Christ as Savior, their lives are changed for the better. They won’t be perfect, but they will be much better individuals than they were before they came to know God.

Parents who neglected their families begin to care for them. They clean up their lives and become solid, dependable individuals. The Bible says they are “new creatures in Christ Jesus. Old things are passed away. Behold all things become new.”[2]

 If someone claims to be a Christian but doesn’t turn from sin, however, he probably didn’t submit himself to God. By the same token if they say they know God, and no longer walk in obedience to Him, they are not Christians.

In addition to changed lives, if a person gets to know a Christian well he will learn of many answers to prayer. In most Bible-believing churches, all you would need to do is ask, “What is the greatest answer to prayer you’ve experienced?” I’ve done that and discovered many wonderful testimonies: God turning a forest fire from a home; a man with a head injury from a motorcycle accident back to work in six weeks—after doctors said he probably would never work again; a slowly dying child healed; God keeping a rainstorm behind a highway paving machine for three days so a man with a large family could work. 

We’ve experienced miracles in our family—a daughter thought to have multiple sclerosis totally healthy years later; a son where tests showed he had only 40 percent kidney function, but later tests determined his kidneys worked perfectly. Our six youngest grandchildren are miracles, four because of pregnancy issues of their mothers, and the last two loving gifts of adoption.

God doesn’t always work the way we wish. We lost a daughter to cancer, but the Lord was our Comforter and gave peace. He does great things in answer to prayer.

In the church, especially, one can see the work of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus promised He would send when He went away, drawing men and women to salvation, filling them with power, and teaching them.

When all information for belief in God or all information for belief in atheism is given, however, there is still room for doubt.

Why would God leave room for doubt?
The answer next time.



[1] CNN report by A. Chris Gajilan on April 4, 2007.
[2] 2 Corinthians 517


IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU
By Ada Brownell

A GREAT GIFT FOR TEENS OR FAMILY WORSHIP. This motivational Bible study will help youth discover evidence for faith; how to look and be their best; who can help; interesting information about dating, love and marriage; choosing a career; how to deposit good things into the brain you can spend; and how to avoid hazards that jeopardize a successful life on earth and for eternity, all mingled with true stories that bring a smile.

E-book, paper and audible. Read or listen to first chapter free! Great narrator.