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Through Faith… What Does The Bible Say?

Sunday---What-Does-The-Bible-Say-GraceEphesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” 

These were two of the first verses I memorized as a young Christian.  I was eager to share my faith and the truth that we cannot save ourselves through good works was a critical part of the message.  Most of us are familiar with these verses.  And they get thrown around a lot in theological discussions. 

“It’s not by works!  Salvation isn’t by works and sanctification isn’t by works either!  Its’ all grace-it’s not by your works!”

And that’s true, as far as it goes.  But the discussion is often left very incomplete because the very next verse in Ephesians 2 is left out of the passage.  Verse 10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

So we are emphatically not saved BY good works.  But while we’re pontificating on that great truth, let’s not forget another one:  though we’re not saved BY good works, we are most definitely saved FOR good works.

Theologians will argue forever over the part good works play or don’t play in our spiritual growth.  But the undeniable fact is that we are saved for the purpose of doing good works in Christ’s name. 

Take whatever theological stand seems right to you, but at the same time—get to work.

 

 

 

He Was No Side Show ~ Saturday Stories

Saturday-Stories-BullSitting Bull was a famous fighting Indian chief, a great leader of the Sioux nation.

But after many years of warring against the American government, Sitting Bull was finally compelled to yield to superior numbers and surrender. A few years after his people gave up the warpath, he was befriended by Buffalo Bill Cody. Cody had been an army scout and had done his share of fighting against the Indians. But he held no malice toward the red man, and wanted to see him treated with fairness by the government and his rights respected.

A born showman, Cody put together Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, a sort of circus that included mock battles between real Indians and Bluecoat soldiers, stage coach robberies, buffalo hunts and gunfights. Wish I could have been there.

Buffalo Bill prevailed upon the old chief Sitting Bull to be a part of this show, rightly figuring that the famous chief would be a huge attraction for the crowd of Eastern show-goers who delighted in seeing a real live piece of the Wild West. Bill and Bull often traveled together from city to city between shows.

Whenever the train pulled into another town to take on passengers, fuel or water, Cody and the chief would step out onto the platform, address the crowd and shake hands in an attempt to generate interest in their show. Sitting Bull was indeed a huge attraction. People nearly trampled each other to crowd close for a look at the famous fighter. They shouted out offers of large amounts of money for a lock of his hair.

The Chief had experienced enough threats to his scalp to have grown very attached to it, so he politely declined such offers. However, he graciously offered a button off his coat for $5.00. This was a considerable amount of money in those days, but there was no shortage of takers. The Chief sold every button at one stop. As the train pulled away, people who had been disappointed in not having obtained one of the prized souvenirs would gang around the successful buyers and offer them far more than the $5 they had spent for a button. But some miles down the line, another town and another crowd was waiting. These people would want souvenirs too, and they wouldn’t be disappointed.

Because old Chief Sitting Bull was still just as cagey as he had ever been on the warpath.

As the train pulled out of town, he reached into his pocket for several more buttons and began to patiently sew them on his coat for the next crowd.

 

 

Teaching Preschoolers With Older Kids ~ Preschool Thursday with Marilyn Boyer

Reading to the kidsWhen teaching preschoolers with older kids, I spent 10 minutes with my preschoolers while the older kids were picking up clutter and getting ready to begin school.

Halfway through the morning, the older kids had snack time and again I would spend 10 minutes with my preschoolers. When the morning was over, the older kids would assemble sandwiches for lunch and I again spent 10 minutes with my preschoolers.

Knowing they would have these 3 times during the morning of my undivided attention, made it easier for them to do other activities while I spent time teaching the older ones school.

#Preschool #MarilynBoyer

Absolutely Pleasing In Every Way! ~ What Does The Bible Say…

Sunday---What-Does-The-Bible-Say-BaptismMatthew 3:17: “and behold, a voice out of the heavens saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Of course the scene here is the baptism of the Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit has just descended upon Him as a dove and it seems the perfect time for the Father to announce to the world that Jesus is indeed His only begotten son. And that He is pleased with His son.

It was a wonderful and never-to-be repeated occasion. The Son of God has been announced to the world. This is who He is. And the heavenly Father finds Him absolutely pleasing to Him in every way.

It would be well for all of us parents to make such public statements of pleasure about our children. We can be so quick to criticize and condemn—even in public, if we’re not careful.

How many times have our children heard us praise them publicly?

Do they know that we are happy to proclaim to the world: “Hey world! This is my child! He’s a good one! I’m so glad he’s mine!”

What could make them happier?

 

His Signature Cost Him Everything – Saturday Stories

Saturday-Stories-HartJohn Hart of New Jersey was one of the most persecuted of the Signers by the British. Hart had gained his early education at home and apparently took it much farther by his own efforts, judging by the later offices he held.   But for the most part, he was a farmer and content to be one.

He and his wife had thirteen children, a large and happy family. Then Hart was selected Read More…

Hey Little Buddies, Take Time To Say Thank You!

Its-Unlce-RickJust last week my wife, my daughter Kasey and I returned from a trip to Texas. We were there speaking and telling stories at a home schooling conference. On the way home, we stopped in New Orleans to visit the National World War II museum. It was breathtaking!

World War II ended just a few years before I was born. When I was your age, there were lots and lots of Read More…