A Prayer for Reformation Day

A Prayer for Reformation Day

by Nathan Busenitz

Four hundred and ninety five years ago, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg.

The Theses were originally written in Latin, and were intended to be part of a scholarly debate about the local sale of indulgences. But it was not long before they were translated into German and, thanks to the printing press, disseminated widely throughout Saxony — and eventually all of Europe.

The rest, as they say, is Reformation history.

Four years later, in 1521, Martin Luther was summoned to the Diet of Worms to stand trial for his assault on Roman Catholic teaching and papal authority. It was here that he would make a bold defense for gospel truth. His famous words, uttered on April 18, 1521, were filled with courage and conviction.

“Here I stand, I can do no other.”

Yet, one day earlier, his faith nearly failed him as he considered the powerful men who opposed him, and the sobering reality that he would likely be condemned to death. In the midst of his consternation, Luther cried out to God for strength and help.

Here is part of Luther’s poignant prayer:

Almighty, eternal God! How dreadful is the world! Behold how its mouth opens to swallow me up, and how small is my faith in You!

O the weakness of the flesh and the power of Satan! If I am to depend upon any strength from this world, all is lost. O my God! Help me against all the wisdom of this world. Do this, I beg You.

The work is not mine, but Yours. I have no business here. I have nothing to contend for with these great men of the world! I would gladly pass my days in happiness and peace. But the cause is Yours, my Lord; and it is righteous and everlasting! Stand by me! O faithful and unchangeable God! I lean not upon man. It would be vain!

You have chosen me for this work. I know it! Therefore, O God, accomplish Your own will! Stand by me in the name of Jesus Christ, who will be my shelter and my shield, yes, my mighty fortress, through the might and strengthening of the Holy Spirit.

I am ready, even to lay down my life for this cause, patient as a little lamb. For the cause is holy. It is Your own. Though this world be filled with devils, and though my body, originally the work and creation of Your hands, go to destruction in this cause — yes, though it be shattered into pieces — Your Word and Your Spirit they are good to me still! It concerns only the body. The soul is Yours. It belongs to You and will also remain with You forever. God help me. Amen.

Though Martin Luther would not pen his famous hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, until several years later — the theological roots of that timeless lyric are clearly seen in this prayer.

Nearly five centuries later, Luther’s prayer reminds us of God’s sovereignty, our frailty, and the constant need to wholly depend on Christ. When our faith is tested or our hearts are tempted to despair, we too can stand on same the truth that strengthened the embattled Reformer.

The Lord is our shelter. He is our shield. He is our mighty fortress.


A leading rabbinical thinker says Europe is no longer a Christian cont

A leading rabbinical thinker says Europe is no longer a Christian continent

October 31, 2012

Rabbi David Rosen, a leading Jewish thinker, says that the continent of Europe has diversified religiously and is no longer a Christian continent since there are now 13 million Muslims and over one million Jews among the 370 million who tell pollsters that they are Christians, but I must tell you that church attendance is almost nil.

EU institutions avoid God, however in some European member states as well as those nations wanting to join the EU, Christian origins are still politically important.

Some EU leaders voiced concern about the growth of Islam on the European continent and fear the increase of Muslims with the possible entrance of Albania, Kosovo, and Turkey into the membership of the EU.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

The subject of religion and its connection to the continent of Europe has a significance in the end times events that are found in Bible prophecy.

A leading rabbinical thinker, David Rosen, says that the continent of Europe has diversified religiously in recent years and is no longer a Christian continent. For hundreds of years, Christianity was headquartered on the European continent and it was the center of missionary activity around the world. With the emergence of the common market in Europe and the ratification of the EU, religion has played less of a role in this part of the world, however the Catholic church has for years worked to make sure that religion played a major role in the EU. Many EU leaders have voiced concerns about the growth of the Muslim population in Europe at this time in history.

This unfolding story echoes what the Bible lays out for the last days scenario on the continent of Europe. Daniel 7:7-24 speaks of the revived Roman Empire that has a major religious element in its makeup. Revelation 13 and 17 both reveal the key role that religion plays in the end times. In fact, in the first 3 1/2 years of the 7 year Tribulation there will be a world religion that will be headquartered in Rome, Italy.

Religion does play a major role in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.


October 31, 2012 Bible Reading

October 31

Reading for Today:

Jeremiah 47:1–48:47

Psalm 119:113-120

Proverbs 28:5

2 Timothy 4:1-22


Jeremiah 48:11, 12- This wine-making imagery is vivid. In the production of sweet wine, the juice was left in a wineskin until the sediment or dregs settled onto the bottom. Then it was poured into another skin until more dregs were separated. This process continued until the dregs were all removed and a pure, sweet wine obtained. Moab was not taken from suffering to suffering so that her bitter dregs would be removed through the purging of pain. Thus the nation was settled into the thickness and bitterness of its own sin. Judgment from God was coming to smash them.

2 Timothy 4:2- the word. The entire written Word of God, His complete revealed truth as contained in the Bible (3:15, 16; Acts 20:27). Be ready. The Greek word has a broad range of meanings, including suddenness or forcefulness. Here the form of the verb suggests the complementary ideas of urgency, preparedness, and readiness. It was used of a soldier prepared to go into battle or a guard who was continually alert for any surprise attack—attitudes which are imperative for a faithful preacher. in season and out of season. The faithful preacher must proclaim the Word when it is popular and/or convenient and when it is not; when it seems suitable to do so and when it seems not. The dictates of popular culture, tradition, reputation, acceptance, or esteem in the community (or in the church) must never alter the true preacher’s commitment to proclaim God’s Word. Convince, rebuke. The negative side of preaching the Word (the “reproof” and “correction”; 3:16). The Greek word for “convince” refers to correcting behavior or false doctrine by using careful biblical argument to help a person understand the error of his actions. The Greek word for “rebuke” deals more with correcting the person’s motives by convicting him of his sin and leading him to repentance.

DAY 31: Describe how Paul recaps his life in 2 Timothy 4:6–8.

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering” (v. 6). Meaning his death was imminent. In the Old Testament sacrificial system, a drink offering was the final offering that followed the burnt and grain offerings prescribed for the people of Israel (Num. 15:1–16). Paul saw his coming death as his final offering to God in a life that had already been full of sacrifices to Him. “My departure” speaks of Paul’s death. The Greek word essentially refers to the loosening of something, such as the mooring ropes of a ship or the ropes of a tent; thus it eventually acquired the secondary meaning of “departure.”

“I have fought…have finished…have kept” (v. 7). The form of the 3 Greek verbs indicates completed action with continuing results. Paul saw his life as complete—he had been able to accomplish through the Lord’s power all that God called him to do. He was a soldier, an athlete, and a guardian. “The faith.” The truths and standards of the revealed Word of God.

“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” (v. 8). The Greek word for “crown” literally means “surrounding,” and it was used of the plaited wreaths or garlands placed on the heads of dignitaries and victorious military officers or athletes. Linguistically, “of righteousness” can mean either that righteousness is the source of the crown or that righteousness is the nature of the crown. The crown represents eternal righteousness received through the imputed righteousness of Christ at salvation (Rom. 4:6, 11). The Holy Spirit works practical righteousness (sanctification) in the believer throughout his lifetime of struggle with sin (Rom. 6:13, 19; 8:4). But only when the struggle is complete will the Christian receive Christ’s righteousness perfected in him (glorification) when he enters heaven (Gal. 5:5).


Training in Righteousness

Training in Righteousness

[COLOR=Red]”All Scripture is . . . profitable for . . . training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).

We conclude our study of the character and benefits of God’s Word by focusing on the benefit that ties all the others together: training in righteousness. Everything the Word accomplishes in you through teaching, reproof, and correction is aimed at increasing your righteousness so you’ll “be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17, NIV).

“Training” refers to training or educating a child. The New Testament also uses the term to speak of chastening, which is another important element in both child rearing and spiritual growth (Heb. 12:5-11). The idea is that from spiritual infancy to maturity, Scripture trains and educates believers in godly living.

Scripture is your spiritual nourishment. Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Peter exhorted us to be like newborn babes, longing “for the pure milk of the word, that by it [we] may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Pet. 2:2).

You should crave the Word just like a baby craves milk. But Peter prefaced that statement with an exhortation to put “aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander” (v. 1). That’s the prerequisite. James taught the same principle: “Putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word” (James 1:21). Attempting to feast on Scripture without confessing your sin is like attempting to eat a meal while wearing a muzzle.

Either the Word will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Word. Deal with sin immediately so it doesn’t spoil your appetite for God’s Word. And even if you know the Bible well, be regularly refreshed by its power and reminded of its truths. That’s the key to enjoying spiritual health and victory.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Thank God for the nourishment His Word provides.

Seek His wisdom and grace in dealing with personal sin. Don’t ignore it, for it will diminish your desire for biblical truth.

For Further Study:

Read Philippians 3:1 and 2 Peter 1:12-15.

What did Paul and Peter say about the importance of being reminded of biblical truths you’ve already learned?

Do you follow that advice?[/COLOR]


The Arab League warns Israel: Don't touch the Muslim Temple Mount

The Arab League warns Israel: Don’t touch the Muslim Temple Mount

October 30, 2012

The Arab League made up of twenty-two Arab member states has issued a warning to Israel to stay away from al -Aqsa Mosque which is located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This location is a very sacred spot for the Jewish people and the location of the first and second Jewish Temples over a one thousand year period of time.

Surprisingly, the Arab League’s statement termed, “the Mosque on the Temple Mount” – the holiest of the Arab and Islamic holy sites which is contrary to Islamic law that sets Mecca as Islam’s holiest site. The Arab League statement said al-Aqsa Mosque is a red line that must not be crossed and any attack would endanger the safety and the stability of the entire Middle Eastern region.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

The Arab League’s warning to Israel not to touch the Muslim Temple Mount is contradictory to history and Bible prophecy as well.

The Arab League, an organization of 22 Arab states, is very strong in the Middle East and when they issue a warning, it should get everybody’s attention. The Muslim world does have custodial responsibility over the Temple Mount but not to the extent that it can be referred to as the Muslim Temple Mount. History contradicts these Muslim claims.

The Bible states that King David captured the Jebusite stronghold of Jerusalem in 1048 BC. This is the time when David made Jerusalem the political capital of the Jewish people, II Samuel 5. Several years later, King David made Jerusalem the spiritual capital of the Jewish people when he brought the Ark of the Covenant into the city. In 1012 BC, Solomon, David’s son, built a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount referred to as Mt. Moriah in II Chronicles 3:1. Mt. Moriah is that sacred spot where Abraham offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice unto the Lord, Genesis 22 in 1872 BC. This history lesson proves that the Temple Mount belongs to the Jews and has belonged to them for almost 4000 years. In addition to that, Bible prophecy says the Temple Mount will be where the Lord will dwell among the Jewish people, His people forever, Psalm 132:13-14.

History has been recorded and Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.


October 30, 2012 Bible Reading

October 30

Reading for Today:

Jeremiah 45:1–46:28

Psalm 119:105-112

Proverbs 28:4

2 Timothy 3:1-17


Jeremiah 45:3- Woe is me now! Baruch felt anxiety as his own cherished plans of a bright future were apparently dashed; even death became a darkening peril (v. 5). Also, he was possibly pressed by human questionings about God carrying through with such calamity (v. 4). Jeremiah spoke to encourage him (v. 2).

Jeremiah 45:5 you seek great things. Baruch had his expectations far too high and that made the disasters harder to bear. It is enough that he be content just to live. Jeremiah, who once also complained, learned by his own suffering to encourage complainers.

2 Timothy 3:1- the last days. This phrase refers to this age, the time since the First Coming of the Lord Jesus. perilous times. “Perilous” is used to describe the savage nature of two demon-possessed men (Matt. 8:28). The word for “times” had to do with epochs rather than clock or calendar time. Such savage, dangerous eras or epochs will increase in frequency and severity as the return of Christ approaches (v. 13). The church age is fraught with these dangerous movements accumulating strength as the end nears.

2 Timothy 3:8- Jannes and Jambres. Although their names are not mentioned in the Old Testament, they were likely two of the Egyptian magicians that opposed Moses (Ex. 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18, 19; 9:11). According to Jewish tradition, they pretended to become Jewish proselytes, instigated the worship of the golden calf, and were killed with the rest of the idolaters (Ex. 32). Paul’s choice of them as examples may indicate the false teachers at Ephesus were practicing deceiving signs and wonders.

DAY 30: How does 2 Timothy 3:16 describe Scripture?

“All Scripture”—both Old Testament and New Testament Scripture are included (2 Pet. 3:15, 16, which identify New Testament writings as Scripture). “Is given by inspiration of God.” Literally, “breathed out by God” or “God-breathed.” Sometimes God told the Bible writers the exact words to say (Jer. 1:9), but more often He used their minds, vocabularies, and experiences to produce His own infallible, inerrant Word (1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21). It is important to note that inspiration applies only to the original autographs of Scripture, not the Bible writers; there are no inspired Scripture writers, only inspired Scripture. So identified is God with His Word that when Scripture speaks, God speaks (Rom. 9:17; Gal. 3:8). Scripture is called “the oracles of God” (Rom. 3:2; 1 Pet. 4:11) and cannot be altered (John 10:35; Matt. 5:17, 18; Luke 16:17; Rev. 22:18, 19).

“And is profitable for doctrine.” The divine instruction or doctrinal content of both the Old Testament and the New Testament (2:15; Acts 20:18, 20, 21, 27; 1 Cor. 2:14–16; Col. 3:16; 1 John 2:20, 24, 27). The Scripture provides the comprehensive and complete body of divine truth necessary for life and godliness. “For reproof.” Rebuke for wrong behavior or wrong belief. The Scripture exposes sin (Heb. 4:12, 13) that can then be dealt with through confession and repentance. “For correction.” The restoration of something to its proper condition. The word appears only here in the New Testament, but was used in extrabiblical Greek of righting a fallen object or helping back to their feet those who had stumbled. Scripture not only rebukes wrong behavior but also points the way back to godly living. “For instruction in righteousness.” Scripture provides positive training (“instruction” originally referred to training a child) in godly behavior, not merely rebuke and correction of wrong behavior (Acts 20:32; 1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Pet. 2:1, 2).


Increasing Your Spiritual Strength

Increasing Your Spiritual Strength

[COLOR=Red]”All Scripture is . . . profitable for . . . correction” (2 Tim. 3:16)

If you’re a gardening buff, you know that skillful pruning promotes the overall growth and productivity of a plant. Jesus assumed His audience knew as much when He said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:1-3).

Jesus was comparing believers to branches, which the Father prunes for maximum productivity. The Word is His pruning shear, which He applies with skill and precision to remove our imperfections and promote godliness. He wants to eliminate anything from our lives that may restrict our spiritual growth.

The word translated “correction” in 2 Timothy 3:16 speaks of the strengthening work of God’s Word. Scripture not only exposes your sin, but it also strengthens you and restores you to a proper spiritual posture. It convicts you and then gives you instruction to build you up again.

Job 17:9 says, “The righteous shall hold to his way, and he who has clean hands shall grow stronger and stronger.” Paul added, “I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).

As the Spirit uses Scripture to expose sin in your life, forsake that sin and follow what Scripture says to do instead. You will be strengthened in your spiritual walk as a result. To aid in that process be “constantly nourished on the words of the faith and . . . sound doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:6).

I firmly believe that any weaknesses you have can become areas of great strength as you allow God’s Word to do its sanctifying work within you.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Thank God for the strengthening and restoring power of His Word.

If there’s an area of your life that is weak and vulnerable to temptation, confess it to the Lord and begin today to strengthen it according to the Word.

For Further Study:

Read Ephesians 1:18-23 and 3:14-21.

What did Paul pray for?

How did God demonstrate His power toward believers?

Is God’s power sufficient for all your spiritual needs? Explain.[/COLOR]


The Islamist Egyptian president was insulted by a video that promotes

The Islamist Egyptian president was insulted by a video that promotes the building of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem

October 29, 2012

The Temple Institute, a Jewish organization who is preparing to build a temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, produced a 90 second video promoting the project and it used the images of two children at the beach building a sand model of the Jewish Temple.

The video concluded the short presentation with the Temple made out of sand and the caption reading, “The children are ready”, indicating even the Jewish children are looking for the next Temple.

This promotional piece supposedly irritated the Islamist Egyptian President Morsi who has said in the past that there will not be a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem but instead the Temple Mount will be the headquarters for an Islamic global kingdom.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

The Islamist Egyptian President Morsi does not want a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem as called for in a new promotional video, evidence that Bible prophecy is getting very close to being fulfilled.

The Temple Institute, the leaders of the Jewish community who want to build a Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, produced a promotional video that encourages the Jewish people to move ahead with this project. The video depicts two children on the beach building what seems to be a sand castle but instead, the finished product is a sand model of the Temple. The final scene of this 90 second video has the caption, “The children are ready”. This video was seen by Egyptian officials who say that it irritated the Islamist Egyptian President Morsi who in the past has called for a global Islamic caliphate, a worldwide kingdom to be headquartered in Jerusalem, not a Jewish Temple.

However, Bible prophecy is absolute that there will be a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount. Zechariah 1:16 says that the Messiah will return to Jerusalem and build a Temple. Ezekiel 40-46, 202 verses, describe the Kingdom Temple where the Messiah will rule and reign forever, Zechariah 6:13. Even before the Kingdom Temple, the ancient Jewish prophets foretold of a Temple in Jerusalem, Daniel 9:27, II Thessalonians 2:4, and Revelation 11:1.

Arab world leaders may not like it, but there will be a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.


October 29, 2012 Bible Reading

October 29

Reading for Today:

Jeremiah 43:1–44:30

Psalm 119:97-104

Proverbs 28:3

2 Timothy 2:1-26


Jeremiah 43:1–7- when Jeremiah…stopped speaking. The incorrigible, disobedient leaders accused him of deceit and forced Jeremiah and the remnant to go to Egypt, despite the fact that all his prophecies regarding Babylon had come to pass. In so doing, they went out of God’s protection into His judgment, as all who are disobedient to His Word do.

Proverbs 28:3- oppresses the poor. When the poor come to power and oppress their own, it is as bad as a destructive storm washing the fields clean instead of watering the crop.

2 Timothy 2:2- faithful men who will be able to teach others. Timothy was to take the divine revelation he had learned from Paul and teach it to other faithful men—men with proven spiritual character and giftedness, who would in turn pass on those truths to another generation. From Paul to Timothy to faithful men to others encompasses 4 generations of godly leaders. That process of spiritual reproduction, which began in the early church, is to continue until the Lord returns.

2 Timothy 2:8- Remember…Jesus Christ. The supreme model of a faithful teacher (v. 2), soldier (vv. 3, 4), athlete (v. 5), and farmer (v. 6). Timothy was to follow His example in teaching, suffering, pursuing the prize, and planting the seeds of truth for a spiritual harvest. of the seed of David. As David’s descendant, Jesus is the rightful heir to his throne (Luke 1:32, 33). The Lord’s humanity is stressed. raised from the dead. The resurrection of Christ is the central truth of the Christian faith (1 Cor. 15:3, 4, 17, 19). By it, God affirmed the perfect redemptive work of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:4).

DAY 29: How is the Christian life compared to being a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer?

“Endure hardship as a good soldier” (2 Tim. 2:3). The metaphor of the Christian life as warfare (against the evil world system, the believer’s sinful human nature, and Satan) is a familiar one in the New Testament (2 Cor. 10:3–5; Eph. 6:10–20; 1 Thess. 4:8; 1 Tim. 1:18; 4:7; 6:12). Here Paul is dealing with the conflict against the hostile world and the persecution. “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself” (v. 4). Just as a soldier called to duty is completely severed from the normal affairs of civilian life, so also must the good soldier of Jesus Christ refuse to allow the things of the world to distract him (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15–17).

“If anyone competes in athletics” (v. 5). The Greek verb expresses the effort and determination needed to compete successfully in an athletic event (1 Cor. 9:24). This is a useful picture of spiritual effort and untiring pursuit of the victory to those familiar with events such as the Olympic Games and the Isthmian Games (held in Corinth). “Crowned…rules.” All an athlete’s hard work and discipline will be wasted if he or she fails to compete according to the rules. This is a call to obey the Word of God in the pursuit of spiritual victory.

“The hardworking farmer” (v. 6). “Hardworking” is from a Greek verb meaning “to labor to the point of exhaustion.” Ancient farmers worked long hours of backbreaking labor under all kinds of conditions with the hope that their physical effort would be rewarded by a good harvest. Paul is urging Timothy not to be lazy or indolent but to labor intensely (Col. 1:28, 29) with a view to the harvest.


Reproving Sinful Conduct

Reproving Sinful Conduct

[COLOR=Red]”All Scripture is . . . profitable for . . . reproof” (2 Tim. 3:16).

Paul instructed Timothy to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Tim. 4:2). He knew a time was coming when many people would reject sound doctrine, and “wanting to have their ears tickled, [would] accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and . . . turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths” (vv. 3-4).

That’s certainly true of our day. Many who profess to love Christ seem intolerant of His Word. Often they fall into spiritual complacency and surround themselves with teachers who tell them exactly what they want to hear. If they can’t find a comfortable message, they drift from church to church or simply abandon it altogether.

Such people have exchanged conviction for comfort, and need to examine themselves to see if they are genuine believers (2 Cor. 13:5). Their attitude toward the Word is in stark contrast to those who truly love Christ and come to the Word with an earnest desire to learn its truths and live accordingly.

But even true believers can fall into the trap of negligence and compromise. Perhaps you’ve noticed how sinning Christians often try to avoid exposure to God’s Word. Sometimes they’ll temporarily stop attending church or Bible studies. They also try to avoid other believers–especially those who will hold them accountable to what they know to be true.

But like any loving parent, God won’t allow His children to remain in sin for long without disciplining them (Heb. 12:5-11). Sooner or later they must repent and be reconciled to Him.

An important element in reconciling sinning Christians to God is the faithful prayers of other believers. God may choose to use you in that way, so always be ready to pray, and eager to restore others in a spirit of gentleness (Gal. 6:1).

Suggestions for Prayer:

Do you know a Christian who is being disobedient to God’s Word? If so, ask God to bring him or her to repentance. Assure the person of your prayers and concern, and be available to be further used in the restoration process if the Lord wills.

For Further Study:

What does Matthew 18:15-20 say about how to confront a sinning Christian?[/COLOR]