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Archive for March, 2013

Here is a scholarly article on why religion is so critically important in the lives of people.  This article only affirms and confirms what the entirety of Scripture has taught for the past 3,000 years anyway (Is. 26:3-4; Ps. 119:165): 

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2006/12/why-religion-matters-even-more-the-impact-of-religious-practice-on-social-stability

 

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Modified and updated by Rev. Brad Matthew Abley, 2011

Known as St. Patrick, this English boy was captured by Irish slaveholders at the age of 16 in the middle of the night on his own native soil.  Having worked as a swine-herder on a farm in Northern Ireland, Patrick prayed earnestly to God for deliverance.

He eventually escaped, traveling on foot 200 miles to the coast, where he persuaded the captain of a ship carrying dogs to allow him to travel, under condition that he work as a dog tender.

He ended up in France and lived there for several years in a monastery, where the Lord spoke to him in a dream to return to Ireland and convert the Irish – then bands of warring tribes. In 432 AD, he returned to Ireland, where he converted approximately 120,000 Irish to Christ and established 300 churches and a monastery.

From that monastery, Columba, an Irishman, was sent to convert the Northern part of England, a country that in turn changed the world through the printing of the Bible in English, by sending out the first Protestant missionaries to India, Africa and China, and establishing Law, Politics and Economics upon Scriptural principles.

From England came Boniface, the Apostle to Germany, John Wycliffe, the first translator of portions of Scripture into English; William Tyndale, who completed the translation of the Bible into English; the Pilgrims, who settled America, and John Bunyan and his classic, The Pilgrim’s Progress.

In addition, Issac Watts is known as the father of modern worship music; John Wesley, one of history’s greatest and most effective preachers, who preached approximately 40,000 sermons, rode 250,000 miles on horseback to preach and who planted thousands of churches and won an untold amount of souls to Jesus.

His brother, Charles Wesley, wrote 10,000 hymns and together, they founded the Methodist Church; William Carey was the founder of the modern missions movement; William Wilberforce led the movement to abolish slavery in Western Civilization; George Whitefield was the leader of America’s first Great Awakening.

Hudson Taylor was known as the Apostle to China; Sir Issac Newton was a strong Christian and the father of modern science and mathematics, and many other Christians of great note that have changed the world!

All this from one heavenly vision, given to one obedient man, who has paved the way for us!

Here is his prayer, modified:

We arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Holy Trinity,[1]

Through a belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness[2] of the Creator of creation.

We arise today, Father, through Your strength to pilot us; Your might to uphold us,[3]

Your wisdom to guide us,[4] Your eye to look before us,[5] Your ear to hear us,[6] Your Word to speak to us,[7]

Your hand to guard us,[8] Your way to lie before us,[9] Your shield to protect us,[10] Your hosts to save us,[11]

From snares of the devil, from temptations of vices, from everyone who desires us ill, afar and anear,

Alone or in a multitude.

We arise today, Lord Jesus, through the strength of Your birth[12] and Your baptism,[13]

Through the strength of Your crucifixion and Your burial,[14] through the strength of Your resurrection and Your ascension,[15] through the strength of Your return for us,[16] of our millennial reign with You,[17]

Through the strength of Your judgment of the devil and his demons, and of the wicked who have rejected You.[18]

We arise today, Holy Spirit, through Your presence and power to anoint us,[19] to lead us and to teach us,[20]

All to do Your work, in Your power, to glorify Jesus.[21]

We arise today, Holy Trinity,[22] through the strength of Your Word,[23] through the power and joy of prayer,[24]

Through the freedom of praise and worship,[25] through the blessing of obedience,[26] as Your priests[27] and saints.[28]

We arise today through the strength of Your angels – ministering spirits for the heirs of salvation,[29]

In the prayers of those who have gone before us, and in the prayers of Your Church today.

We summon now all these powers between us and evil,

Against every cruel, merciless power that opposes our body and soul,

Against incantations of spiritists and false prophets, against evil laws of pagandom,

Against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry, against spells of the wicked,

Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ shield us today, against all evil, sickness, disease and calamity,

And over all the powers of darkness.[30]

Jesus with us,[31] Jesus before us, Jesus behind us,[32] Jesus in us,[33]

Jesus above us, Jesus beneath us, Jesus on our right,[34] Jesus on our left,

Jesus for our minds, Jesus for our hearts, Jesus for our attitudes,[35]

Jesus for our eyes, Jesus for our mouths, Jesus for our ears.

Jesus when we lie down, Jesus when we sit down, Jesus when we rise,

Jesus in the heart of every man who thinks of us,

Jesus in the mouth of every man who speaks of us,

Jesus in the eye that sees us, Jesus in the ear that hears us.

We arise today,

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Holy Trinity,

Through a belief in the Threeness, through a confession of the Oneness,

Of the Creator of creation, in Jesus’ name, amen!

 

 


[1] 2 Cor. 13:14

[2] See, e.g. Gen. 1:1, 26; Dt. 6:4; John 10:30

[3] Is. 41:9-10

[4] James 1:2-5

[5] Ps. 32:8

[6] Ps. 65:2

[7] John 1:1-3; 1 John 1:1; Ps. 119:105

[8] Is. 41:10

[9] Ps. 25:12

[10] Eph. 6:10-18; Zech. 2:5

[11] Ps. 91

[12] Mt. 1:21;

[13] Mt. 3:15.  He came to identify with us.

[14] Rom. 6:1-11.  We identify with Him in His death, burial and resurrection, symbolized in baptism.

[15] Ibid.

[16] 1 Thess. 4:16-18

[17] Rev. 20:1-6

[18] Rev. 20:11-15; cf. 1 Cor. 6:2-3

[19] Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; 2:39, etc.

[20] Rom. 8:14; John 14:16

[21] John 15:26

[22] 2 Cor. 13:14

[23] 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21; Mt. 24:35

[24] Ps. 16:11

[25] See, e.g. Ps. 5:11-12

[26] John 14:21

[27] 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6

[28] See, e.g. 1 Cor. 1:2, etc.

[29] Heb. 1:14

[30] Ps. 91

[31] See, e.g. Heb. 13:5; Mt. 1:23; 28:20

[32] Ps. 139:5

[33] E.g. Col. 1:27

[34] E.g. Ps. 73:23; Is. 41:8-10

[35] Phil. 4:8

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Is it possible to succinctly summarize the Christian life – but allow such a summary to inspire one to delve deeply into this life – especially in the most rewarding pursuit in all of life – enjoying and understanding the Bible?

I will make an attempt here to summarize the Christian life.[1]  The Christian life is not a slavish response to moral commands but a humble, grateful response to a Person – the living God – for His gracious redemption of a person who was enslave to sin but now is freed from sin to live for God.

The Bible itself is not so much a book about morality as it is reality: a living Presence to whom man joyfully responds.  The relationship between man and God changes everything about man that sin destroys and therefore enables him to be God’s blessing to others (Mt. 22:37-39).

Thus, the Christian life brings glory and honor to God and blessing to everything and everyone in life – if it is indeed lived in grateful dependence upon Him.


[1] I italicize the word “life” because the Greek word for life – zoe – refers to the unique quality of life resident in God alone, but which He freely and continually shares with those who belong to Him through Jesus Christ.  It is the most rewarding kind of life there is.

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