Monthly Archives: January 2014

Special Videos for Teachers, Students … and Parents

Well, that should cover just about everyone … Here’s a long over-due shout-out to those in education … often, the most under-rated … under-appreciated … yet, most influential people in our lives … our teachers …

I am reminded how often Jesus was referred to as “Teacher,” and, from the first message I ever preached, I used the text from John, chapter 3, when Nicodemus came to Jesus by night … Nicodemus began his questions with, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher … “

So many in my family are currently, or have been, teachers …

Here are a couple of special videos for you all, from fellow teacher, fellow author, and fellow poet Taylor Mali. Please enjoy them in the spirit in which they are intended:

The first presentation is Taylor Mali and “Miracle Workers”

Now, here’s Taylor Mali with “What Do Teachers Make?”

First /Last Resort/ Retort Report

As I look to the year ahead, I know two things that won’t change:
1. There are things I need to do more of.
2. There are things I need to do less of.

I need to always put God first. That, regardless of the situation I am facing, I must look to God first, not last:

“Prayer shouldn’t be our last “resort”. It should be our first “retort.”

I start each day with prayer, and most of the time I pray “between snoozes” before I get out of bed in the morning. Then, I start each day with that vital “alone time” in prayer and Bible study. But, I need to pray more, and study more, so that I can be more … like Jesus.

I need to continue this “attitude of prayer” all day, and I try. And, I fail. I want to always be thankful for the things I can take for granted. Things like electricity, heat, running water, etc.
We will always be tested, to allow God to show us “how we are doing.”
For example, last night, when I went to bed, it was -17 … that’s 17 degrees below zero … and, I was in a warmer spot in the North Country … I remember this morning, at about 10:00 AM, how thrilled I was that … yes … the temperature had made it all the way up to 0. It would get to around 11 degrees today (much, much warmer than yesterday) … if it had gotten to 15, I would have reached for a t-shirt …

Anyway, I noticed at around 9:30 this morning, that we didn’t have water. A few trickles downstairs, but none upstairs. If the water pipes were frozen, how many days would it be before the outside temperature would be above freezing?
My first response? Prayer? No … I called the water company. To show how small a town we live in, when you call the water department on a non-business day (today was Saturday) … the call is automatically routed to the police department … anyway, I left a message with police dispatch, and waited for a return call from whoever was on emergency call at the Water Company. My only concern was to find out if there was a problem somewhere which resulted in the Water Company shutting the water off, or if it was just my problem. In a few minutes, the Water Company called. The problem had to be a frozen pipe somewhere in the house. I thanked him for calling, and then went downstairs to check the only possible place the pipes may be exposed to an outside wall. I found the location, and, indeed, a small amount of ice had formed on the outside wall.

I mention this in detail to show that, in all this process, it never occurred to me to pray … not one time.
I was too concerned with the situation … or, really, I was too concerned trying to figure out the solution to the problem on my own, to pray. I was too busy with the circumstances; too busy looking around … to “look up” …
As I was getting a space heater to take downstairs, to place in front of the pipes, it occurred to me:
It suddenly occurred to me that often, I think enough about having running water to thank God for it … Why wouldn’t I pray to get it back? I mean, if it’s important to me, it’s important to Him…

So, I prayed … prayed for the pipes to “unfreeze.” In praying, and checking the pipes, I had to place my hands on the pipes … The pipes were cold … As I turned away to set the heater up … I heard water moving in the pipes … I thought this must be the downstairs water, as it was just a small amount of water moving in the pipes, and we did have a little running water downstairs …
Anyway, I turned on the heater, and went back upstairs. Instinctively, I turned on the water … and, it was there … full force!

I share this story to show that I need improvement in many areas, and “life” has a way of making sure to point these areas out to us. I need to think of God first, of prayer first, in every situation and circumstance that comes up. I know that God can do anything; there is nothing too hard for him. And, that includes healing. And, that includes thawing pipes … or, whatever we need.

So, yet again, a lesson to be learned. In any situation, my first reaction must be prayer. It must be the first reaction to any circumstance which confronts me.
My first response must always be prayer.
 “Prayer shouldn’t be our last “resort”. It should be our first “retort.”
I use the word “retort” in the noun usage of the word, which means “quick response; something spoken or written in reaction.”
Also, the synonyms for the word “retort” are “comeback, reply, response.”

Please let us follow the example of Jehoshaphat, as he prayed, and what a great prayer recorded in 2 Chronicles 20: “… neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee” (verse 12).

In closing, it is fitting and proper to thank, support, and praise those we respectfully call “first responders” to an emergency. And, to pray for their safety.
Yet, let us never forget that in our lives, in every situation, Jesus should be our “First Responder.”
Please let our first response be to Him, and for Him.

Blessings to you, and your family.
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Not Resolution … But, Revelation

“We don’t need a New Year’s resolution … we need a new Revelation … of who Jesus is … and, what we are, in Him.”
R.V.R..

Here is a summary of the facts, received from College of the Open Bible:
(Guess which Bible study I’m doing this week?)

Did you know that Jesus Christ was older than His mother and the same age as His Father when He was born?
Amazing biblical facts about Jesus Christ to share this season:

The most significant question of the universe continues to be: What think ye of Christ? Your answer to this most important question will not only determine your eternal destiny, but also reflects the way you live now. One of the most powerful thoughts a Christian possesses is the fact that Jesus Christ can never be less than who He is … He is LORD.

The Pre-existence of Jesus Christ as God:
1. As taught by John the Baptist: John 1:15.
2. As taught by the apostle John: John 1:1.
3. As taught by the apostle Paul: 1 Timothy 3:16.
4. As taught by Christ Himself: John 8:58.
What was Christ Jesus the Savior doing before His Bethlehem appearance?
a. He created the universe: John 1:3; Colossians 1:16. This creation included everything, from electrons to galaxies, and from angels to Adam.
b. He was controlling this created universe: Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17.
c. He was communing with the Father: John 17:24.

The Incarnation: That God the Son could take upon himself the full nature of man and yet retain the full nature of God. The Bible declares that Christ was as much God as if He had never been man, and as much man as if He had never been God. When God the Son joined himself to a body at Bethlehem, it was an eternal arrangement. He will continue to manifest Himself in this body (its resurrected state) throughout eternity.

The prophecies concerning the Incarnation:
a. Old Testament
* By Isaiah the prophet: Isaiah 7:14.
* By Micah the prophet: Micah 5:2.

b. New Testament: Heavenly announcements were given to at least eight individuals or groups concerning the Incarnation in the New Testament.
* To Zacharias: Luke 1:17, 76.
* To Mary: Luke 1:31-35.
* To Joseph: Matthew 1:20, 21.
* To the shepherds: Luke 2:10-12.

Why the virgin birth (Incarnation)?    God never does anything without a good reason, and in this case, there are profound reasons for the Incarnation.

a. To reveal the invisible God: John 1:18, 14:9.
b. To fulfill prophecy: Genesis 3:15.
c. To guarantee the Davidic covenant: Luke 1:31-33.
d. To make a sacrifice for our sins: 1 John 3:5.
e. To reconcile man to God: 1 Timothy 2:5-6.
f. To provide an example for believers: 1 Peter 2:21.
g. To provide the believer with a high priest: Hebrews 2:17.
h. To destroy the devil and his works: 1 John 3:8.
i. To escape the historical curse: Romans 5:12.
j. To heal the brokenhearted: Luke 4:18.
k. To set a liberty the bruised: Luke 4:18.
l. To give abundant life: John 3:36.
m. To glorify the Father: John 13:31, 17:4.

The Humanity of Jesus Christ: Jesus was a real man!
1. He had a human parentage: Luke 1:31; Galatians 4:4.
2. He had a human body, soul, and spirit: Matthew 26:12; John 12:27; Matthew 2:8.
3. He looked like a man: John 4:9, 20:15.
4. He possessed flesh and blood: Hebrews 2:14.
5. He grew: Luke 2:40.
6. He asked questions: Luke 2:46.
7. He prayed: John 17.
8. He was tempted: Matthew 4:1.
9. He hungered: Matthew 4:2.
10. He thirsted: John 4:7.
11. He was weary: John 4:6
12. He slept: Matthew 8:24.
13. He wept: John 11:35.
14. He suffered: 1 Peter 4:1.
15. He bled: John 19:34.
16. He died: Matthew 27:50.

The Deity of Jesus Christ: Jesus Is God!
1. Christ is Omnipotent (all powerful).
a. Over disease: Luke 4:39.
b. Over demons: Matthew 8:16-17.
c. Over men: Matthew 9:9; John 17:2.
d. Over nature: Matthew 8:26.
e. Over sin: Matthew 9:1-8.
f. Over traditions: Matthew 9:10-17.
g. Over death: Luke 7:14-15.
h. Over all your problems: Romans 8:28.
2. Christ is Omniscient (all knowing): John 2:24, 16:30.
3. Christ is Omnipresent: John 3:13, 14:20.
4. Christ is Worshipped as God:
a. By the angels: Hebrews 1:6.
b. By men: Luke 2:15; Matthew 2:2, 11.
5. Christ forgives sins: Mark 2:5, 11; 1 John 1:9.
6. Christ judges: John 5:22.
7. Christ saves: John 10:28.

The Death of Jesus Christ – The death of Christ has the prominent place in the Word of God. Indeed, the death of Christ is the essential foundation in Christianity. The death of Christ is the subject of supreme interest in heaven and must be in the hearts of believers.

The Old Testament reveals the plan of Christ crucified, while the New Testament reveals the man, Christ, crucified.

1. The Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) foreshadow Christ crucified.
2. The Prophets foretell of Christ crucified.
3. The Psalms express the feelings of Christ crucified.
4. The Gospels give the facts of Christ crucified.
5. The Epistles give the fruit of Christ crucified.

The death of Jesus Christ is important for three compelling and significant reasons:
1. Christ crucified satisfied our sin debt.
2. Christ crucified satisfied the holiness of God.
3. Christ crucified satisfied the human heart (those who receive Christ).

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ:
The importance of the resurrection: 1 Cor. 15:12-19.
If one denies the resurrection, he is forced to six horrible conclusions:

1. All gospel preaching has been, is now, and always will be, completely useless.
2. All past, present, and future faith is futile.
3. All preachers become notorious liars.
4. All living Christians are still in their sins.
5. All departed Christians are in hell.
6. All reason and purpose for life itself is destroyed.

The order of the resurrection: The resurrection of Christ is represented in 1 Corinthians 15:20-24 as being the first of its kind, thus indicating that previous miracles, such as the raising of Lazarus, were more on the order of restoring a dead mortal body to a living mortal body. True resurrection carries with it glorification.

There are three such resurrections:
1. The resurrection of Christ: Matthew 28:5-8.
2. The rapture / resurrection: 1 Corinthians 15:53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 18.
3. The pre-millennial resurrection of Old Testament and tribulation saints:  Rev 20:5-6.

The Ascension and Present Ministry of Jesus Christ:
a. The fact of His ascension and ministry: Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9; Romans 8:34.
b. The purpose of His ascension and ministry:
1. To be our Forerunner: Hebrews 6:19-20.
2. To prepare a place for us: John 14:2.
3. To give spiritual gifts to His followers: Ephesians 4:10-13.
4. To offer encouragement to His followers: Hebrews 4:14-16.
5. To make high priestly prayers for us: Romans 8:34.

The theme of God’s Word is Jesus Christ Crucified, God Satisfied, The Believing Sinner Justified.

Sincerely,
Dr. Arthur Belanger

College of the Open Bible

Visit College of the Open Bible

Visit College of the Open Bible