“HOW DO YOU KNOW THE BIBLE IS TRUE?”

For one thing, archaeological data proves it. There are over 14,000 New Testament manuscript copies in existence today. And when scholars compare them, they can’t find more than a paragraph’s worth of difference- and most of those are misspellings or alternate spellings. None of them affect basic doctrinal issues. All the evidence points to the conclusion that we have an accurate text. The first manuscript fragment of the gospel of john is dated only about 40 years from the time it was written.

Even though we know the Bible is 100% true, we need to realize that we can’t force people to accept it as true. If they don’t want to accept it, they won’t, no matter how much evidence we give them. Every time we offer evidence, they will ask for more- because they don’t want to believe.

When i run into intellectual skeptics, i remember that they’re tough, angry, and confused, and that they’ve been given a lot of misinformation,

When a leading lawyer at Harvard University decided to hold a mock trial to see if there was enough evidence to prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ, do you know what he concluded? He said that beyond a shadow of doubt, the preponderance of evidence exists to show that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. But he said, “I choose not to believe it.”

You can’y make anybody believe anything. You could try to convince me that Abraham Lincoln lived, but if I didn’t want to believe it I wouldn’t.

It’s a practiced defence.

“When the world beats you down, open up your Bible.” -Lysa TerKeurst

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SYMPATHY AND EMPATHY

THE STORY OF A PUPPY

A boy went to the pet store to buy a puppy. Four puppies were sitting together, priced at $50 each. Then there was one sitting alone in a corner. The boy asked if that was from the same litter, if it was for sale, and why it was sitting alone. The store owner replied that it was from the same litter and that it was a deformed one, and not for sale.

The boy asked what the deformity was. The store owner replied that the puppy was born without a hip socket and had a leg missing. The boy asked, “What will you do with this one?” The reply was it would be put to sleep. The boy asked if he could play with that puppy. The Pet Store owner said, “sure.” The boy picked the puppy up and the puppy licked him on his cheek. Instantly the boy decided that was the puppy he wanted to buy. The store owner said “That is not for sale!” The boy insisted.

The store owner agreed. The boy pulled out $2 from his pocket and ran to get $48 from his mother. As he reached the door, the store owner shouted after him, “I don’t understand why you would pay full money for this one when you could buy a good one for the same price.” The boy didn’t say a word. He just lifted his left trouser leg and he was wearing a brace. The pet store owner said, “I understand. Go ahead, take this one.” This is empathy.

When you share sorrow, it divides; when you share happiness, it multiplies.

THE DIFFERENCE :

Sympathy is, “I understand how you feel.” Empathy is, “I feel how you feel.” Both sympathy and empathy are important. But of the two, empathy is certainly more important.

When we empathize with our customers, employers and families, what happens to our relationships? They improve. It generates understanding and peace of mind, resulting in higher productivity.

Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged. Because some time in our lives we would have been all of these ourselves. – Lloyd Shearer, 1986

SWEET SCENT

Author Rita Snowden tells a delightful story about visiting a small village in Dover, England. Sitting outside a cafe one afternoon enjoying a cup of tea, she became aware of a beautiful scent. Rita asked a waiter where it was coming from, and was told it was the people she could see passing by. Most of the villagers were employed at a nearby perfume factory. As they walked home, they carried the fragrance that permeated their clothes out into the street.

What a beautiful image of the christian life! As the apostle Paul says, we are the aroma of Christ, spreading His fragrance everywhere(2 COR. 02:15). Paul uses the image of a king returning from battle, his soldiers and captives in tow, wafting the smell of celebratory incense in the air, declaring the king’s greatness(V.14).

We spread the aroma of Christ in two ways. First,through our words: telling others about the one who is beautiful. Second, through our lives: doing deeds of Christlike sacrifice(EPH. 05:1-2). While not everyone will appreciate the divine fragrance we share, it will bring life to many.

Rita Snowden caught a scent and was driven to seek its source. As we follow Jesus we too become permeated with His fragrance, and we carry His aroma into the streets through our words and deeds.

We are the aroma of Christ to others.

CHRIST’S COMPASSION

Why is it that when we hear about someone who is suffering, we are more interested in the details of what, when, why, and where than we are about how we can help?

When the disciples passed the blind beggar (John 09:1), their curiosity about why he was suffering outweighed the prospect of reaching out to help him. “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” they asked. Their pop quiz for Jesus revealed that they were dreadfully out of step with their Master’s heart. In fact, lurking beneath their question was a judgemental spirit- a desire to know who to blame- as if that would make anyone feel better!

Thankfully, Jesus delivered a compassionate response. Rather than speculation and condemnation, He arranged his resources to help, which in this case meant complete healing. He made it clear that the man’s blindness was intended to provide a moment for God to be magnified through Jesus’s compassionate touch.

Feeling curious about somebody’s problem? Shift into Jesus’s mode, and move past the point of curiosity to his or her point of need.

Reach out and touch someone’s pain. Show the compassionate love of Jesus in action. – – Joe Stowell ( Our Daily Bread )

LOOKING FOR SHORTCUTS IN LIFE?

The Easier Way May Actually Be the Tougher Way

Once there was a lark singing in the forest. A farmer came by with a box full of worms. The lark stopped him and asked, “What do you have in the box and where are you going?” The farmer replied that he had worms and that he was going to the market to trade them for some feathers. The lark said, “I have many feathers. I will pluck one and give it to you and that will save me looking for worms.” The farmer gave the worms to the lark and the lark plucked a feather and gave it in return. The next day the same thing happened and the day after and on and on until a day came that the lark had no more feathers. Now it could no longer fly to go hunting for worms. It started looking ugly and stopped singing and very soon it died.

The moral of this story is quite clear-what the lark thought was an easy way to get food turned out to be the tougher way after all.

Isn’t the same thing true in our lives?Many times we look for the easier way, which really ends up being the tougher way.

AN ALTERNATIVE TO ANGER

One morning in Perth, Australia, Fionn Mulholland discovered his car was missing. That’s when he realized he had mistakenly parked in a restricted zone and his car had been towed away. After considering the situation and the 600$ towing and parking fine-Mulholland was frustrated, but he decided not to be angry with the person he would work with to retrieve his car. Instead of venting his feelings, Mulholland wrote a humorous poem about the situation and read it to the worker he met at the tow yard. The worker liked the poem, and a possible ugly confrontation never took place.

The book of Proverbs teaches, “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife” (Proverbs 20:3). Strife is that friction that either simmers under the surface or explodes in the open between people who disagree about something.

God has given us the resources to live peacefully with other people. His word assures us that it’s possible to feel anger without letting it boil over into rage(Eph. 4:26). His spirit enables us to override the sparks of fury that prompts us to do and say things to strike out at people who upsets us. And God has given us His example to follow when we feel provoked(I Peter 2:23). He is compassionate, gracious, and slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness(PS. 86:15) – Jennifer Benson ( Inspired from Our Daily Bread ).

Dear God, Please help me to manage my anger in a way that does not lead me into sin. Give me self control through the power of your holy spirit.

SWEET COMPANY

The elderly woman in the nursing home didn’t speak to anyone or request anything. It seemed she merely existed, rocking in her creaky old chair. She didn’t have many visitors, so one young nurse would often go into her room on her breaks. Without asking the woman questions to try to get her to talk, she simply pulled up another chair and rocked with her. After several months, the elderly woman said to her, “Thank you for rocking with me.” She was grateful for the companionship.

Before Jesus went back to heaven, Jesus promised to send a constant companion to his disciples. He told them He would not leave them alone but would send the Holy Spirit to be in them. That promise is still true for believers in Jesus today. Jesus said that the triune God makes His “home” in us.

The Lord is our close and faithful companion throughout our entire life. He will guide us in our deepest struggles, forgive our sin, hear each silent prayer, and shoulder the burdens we cannot bear.

We can enjoy his sweet company today – Our Daily Bread

HOW DOES AUTO-SUGGESTIONS TUNES OUR MIND?

What is auto-suggestion? An auto-suggestion is a statement made in the present tense, of the kind of person you want to be. Auto-suggestions are like writing a commercial about yourself, for yourself. They influence both your conscious and subconscious mind that, in turn, influence attitude and behaviour. Auto-suggestions are a way to program your subconscious mind. They can either positive or negative.

Examples of negative auto-suggestions are: I’m tired, I’m not an athlete, I have a poor memory, I’m not smart, I have a poor memory, I’m a failure. etc

When you give yourself a negative auto-suggestion, your subconscious mind believes it and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and starts reflecting in your behaviour. For example, when a person who gives himself the auto-suggestion, “I have a poor memory,” is introduced to a new person, he will not make the effort to remember the name because he tells himself, “I have a poor memory, so there’s no point in even trying to remember.” Of course, he won’t remember the person’s name the next time they meet, and will again tell himself, “I have a poor memory.” It’s a never-ending cycle-a self fulfilling prophecy.

Auto-suggestions are a process of repetition. If you repeat a statement often enough, it sinks into your subconscious mind. For example, if you tell yourself, “I am relaxed. I am cool, calm and collected,” you will start responding to situations in a cool, calm and collected manner.

Make your auto-suggestions in the present tense. Why? Because our mind cannot tell the difference between a real experience and an imagined one.

For example, parents are expecting their child to come home at 09:30 p.m. but the kid is not home and it is now 1 a.m. What is going through the parents’ mind? They are probably hoping everything’s okay. Suppose they , auto-suggest like “I hope the kid didn’t get into an accident.” What is happening to their blood pressure? It is going up! This is an imagined experience. The reality could be that the kid is having fun at a party, is irresponsible. Supposing the kid was actually coming home at 09:30 p.m. but got into an accident. What is happening to the parents blood pressure? It is still going up! In the first scenario the imagined experience was not true. In the second scenario it was true. The body’s response in both cases was identical. Our subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between a real and an imagined experience.

Auto-suggestions can be used to eliminate negative habits and develop positive ones. Success depends on our ability to concentrate and repeat the process.

It’s when the discomfort strikes that they realize a strong mind is the most powerful weapon of all.” ―Chrissie Wellington

Jesus – Looking for the Lonely

Many people feel terribly isolated from their fellow human beings, even though they have people all around them. They are lonely in a crowd.

Zacchaeus the tax collector must have felt the same way. His fellow citizens would have nothing to do with him. They despised Jewish people who collected taxes for the Roman government and made themselves rich in the process. When a tax collector stood in a crowd, he would soon have sore shins from being kicked. Therefore, being short was only one of the reasons Zacchaeus climbed the sycamore tree. Sitting up there by himself, he probably felt estranged and alone. Imagine his excitement, then, when Jesus said, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”

Jesus was always looking for lonely people. He touched untouchable lepers-men and women who were barred from contact with fellow humans. He talked with despised sinners, showing them they were important.

As His followers, we must be aware of lonely people. Maybe it’s a little boy who just can’t seem to make a friend. Or the woman whose husband makes her feel unwanted. There are mothers and children left by a husband and father to shift for themselves . They need a smile, a kind word, a loving deed, an invitation to dinner. Even the smallest kindness, done in Christlike love, can break the chain of loneliness.

JESUS – MORE THAN A HERO

In 2017 Star Wars fans around the world eagerly awaited the release of Episode 8, “The Last Jedi.” People analyzed the remarkable success of these films dating back to 1977. Frank Pallotta, media reporter for CNN Money, said that Star Wars connects with many who long for “a new hope and a force of good at a time when the world needs heroes.”

At the time of Jesus’s birth, the people of Israel were oppressed and longing for their long-promised Messiah. Many anticipated a hero to deliver them from Roman tyranny, but Jesus did not come as a political or military hero. Instead, He came as a baby to the town of Bethlehem. As a result, many missed who He was. The apostle John wrote, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (JOHN 1:11).

More than a hero, Jesus came as our Savior. He was born to bring God’s light into the darkness and to give His life so that everyone who receives Him could be forgiven and freed from the power of sin. John called Him “the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”

“To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”. Indeed, Jesus is the one true hope the world needs. – Our Daily Bread