Friday, July 13, 2018

LOGIC – Sean McDowell


When you think of logic, who comes to mind?  Probably someone like Sherlock Homes who uses his wit and mind to outsmart his opponents.  Maybe you feel this way when you’ve had a conversation with someone with a different belief system or when you’re sharing your faith.  It’s as if you’re jockeying back and forth trying to outsmart each other with logic.  Well, this can certainly happen, but technically, logic is just the careful and proper use of reason.   Logic is important for Christians so we can arrive at truthful beliefs ourselves, but it’s also important in conversations with other people so we can help them arrive at truth in a loving manner.

Let me share a story that might help.  Some time ago when I was a graduate student studying philosophy I had a memorable conversation with a professor from an Ivy League school.  He said to me, “I think it’s great you’re studying philosophy as a Christian.  Maybe you’d want to study Buddhist philosophy because all religions are true.” 

Now that struck me as very odd.  I thought for a minute, “How can all religions be true when they contradict on such fundamental teachings about God, the afterlife, and how you get salvation.”  So I simply asked him a question.  I asked, “How can all religions be true, namely Islam and Christianity?  Muslims say if you believe Jesus is God, you’ve committed the sin of Shirk, and you’re certainly going to Hell.  I say Christians say that that you can’t get to Heaven unless you believe Jesus is God.  How could both of these be true?” 

He kind of fumbled around a little bit, and we kept talking.  Eventually, he looked at me and said, “Here’s the deal.  Religion aside, what is really true is cultural relativism.  Therefore, you should be tolerant.”

Now stop and think about this.  Use your mind and your logic to analyze this claim.  He said he believed in cultural relativism which says morality and truth depend upon the culture.  But then he turned to me and said, therefore, because morality is relative, I should be tolerant.  Now, do you see the inconsistency?  If morality is relative, he can’t turn to me and say I ought to be tolerant because he’s appealing to tolerant as if it’s a universal truth claim that everybody should follow.  On the flip side, if he says that everybody should be tolerant, then he doesn’t actually believe morality is relative because he’s appealing the universal principle or standard of tolerance.

Friends, people hold a lot of different views about God, religion, and morality.  One important thing to do is to listen to their views and draw it out.  What we often see is that their views will lead to inconsistency and sometimes even to logical absurdity. 

For example in Matthew 22:41- 45[1] Jesus uses the known logical principle of reductio ad absurdum.  Now that sounds really fancy, but essentially what it means is reducing a position to absurdity.  In this passage in Matthew Jesus is having a conversation with the Pharisees and he asks them, “Who do you think the Messiah is? Is the Messiah the son of David?” 

And they say, “Yes, the Messiah is the son of David.”  And what Jesus said was to draw out their view, to show that it leads to absurdity.  Now how does he do this?  He quotes from Psalm 110:1[2] in which David, who wrote that Psalm, says that Messiah is his Lord.  And Jesus said, “Wait a minute.  You just said that the Messiah is the son of David, but now we have David calling the Messiah Lord.  How can that be?”  Jesus is saying that if you think the Messiah is merely the son of David, then that leads to absurdity.  But, rather, it’s more reasonable to conclude that, yes, the Messiah is the son of David, but He’s more than human.  He actually is LORD as David himself says in Psalm 110:1.  In my conversation with the Ivy League professor, I was trying to show that he held two views in contradiction that when drawn to their logical conclusion led to absurdity.  This is exactly what Jesus was doing with the Pharisees. 

This is why the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:14-15 says, “We are not to be like children in terms of our thinking tossed to and fro by different waves of doctrine.”  Rather, we are to grow up and be mature in the way we think.  Paul also says in this passage that we are to speak truth in love.  In other words, we are called to speak truth.  We can’t compromise truth.  We don’t speak truth just to win arguments.  We don’t speak truth just to prove people wrong.  We do it because we know that it is only truth that can set men free.  

And keep in mind that your conversations will not always go as smoothly as it seemed to go with mine with the Ivy League professor.  In fact more often than not, after I have a conversation with somebody I will step away and go, “Oh, I should have said this.  Oh, next time I’ll say that.”  Learning to love God with our minds and learning to use logic is a lifelong process.  

You’re learning some powerful stuff about truth and defending the faith in this entire study that we’re going through.  It’s easy to think, “I’m going to write this down.  I’m going to go online.  I’m going to go in person to my parents, my friends, and other nonbelievers and win some arguments.  If that’s what your thinking, you are missing the point.  The point of this is not to go out and win arguments.  The point of this is to, number one, know the truth for ourselves and then second to speak that truth in love—to use reason, to use logic to love people.  That way as people draw closer to you, learn more about your faith, they will find something genuine and real that is not easily put out.   



[1]  
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ?  Whose Son is He?”
They said to Him, “The Son of David.”
43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:
44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’?
45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”
[2] 
The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

Saturday, July 7, 2018

John 3 Being born of water and the Spirit

Additional note: Being born of water and the Spirit

There have been four main ways in which this expression has been interpreted:
1. Baptism in water by John the Baptist and baptism in the Spirit by Jesus. In support of this view is the fact that all previous references to ‘water’ in this Gospel relate to John’s baptizing ministry (1:26, 31, 33), and in 1:33 his baptizing ministry with water is compared to Jesus’ baptizing ministry with the Spirit. Accordingly, Jesus is saying that entrance to the kingdom involves submission to John’s baptism with water for repentance and Jesus’ baptism with the Spirit.
2. Christian water baptism and spiritual regeneration. In support of this view it can be said that the original readers of this Gospel would have seen in the reference to water an allusion to Christian baptism (rather than John’s baptism), and so the reference to being born of water and the Spirit would denote submission to Christian baptism, which in the early church was connected with the reception of the Spirit (Acts 2:38).
3. Natural birth and spiritual regeneration. Being born of water is a metaphor for natural human birth, water being an allusion either to amniotic fluid or semen, so Jesus was saying that to enter the kingdom one must be born spiritually as well as physically; by the Spirit as well as by water. In support of this view is the fact that in 3:6 Jesus contrasts being born of the flesh (physical birth) with being born of the Spirit (spiritual regeneration).
4. Spiritual regeneration alone is depicted with a double metaphor. In support of this view is the fact that elsewhere in this Gospel water functions as a metaphor for the Spirit (4:10, 13–15; 7:38) as it also does in places in the OT (e.g. Ezek. 36:25–27). The expression ‘water and the Spirit’ is a hendiadys, a figure of speech using two different words to denote one thing, something suggested by the fact that both ‘water’ and ‘Spirit’ are anarthrous (without the article) and governed by the one preposition (lit. ‘of water and spirit’, ex hydatos kai pneumatos).19 Jesus is saying that to enter the kingdom one must be born of water, i.e. of the Spirit. This view is also supported by the fact that in this passage Jesus uses a number of parallel expressions that are all related to seeing and entering the kingdom: 3:3: ‘born again / from above’; 3:5: ‘born of water and the Spirit’; 3:7: ‘born again / from above’; 3:8: ‘born of the Spirit’. If all these expressions are in fact parallel and synonymous, then to be ‘born again / from above’ and to be ‘born of water and the Spirit’ mean the same as to be ‘born of the Spirit’.


Colin G. Kruse, John: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 4, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 108–110.

What is truth?


https://www.str.org/blog/what-truth#.W0GGptVKj4J


Three Views on Truth by Aaron Brake

Historically, there have been three dominant theories of truth put forth by philosophers:[1]

First, there is the pragmatic theory of truth: truth is what works. 

Second, there is the coherence theory of truth: truth is logical consistency (coherence) among a set of beliefs an individual holds. 

Finally, there is the correspondence theory of truth: truth is when an idea, belief, or statement matches (or corresponds with) the way the world actually is (reality).

Our belief in the resurrection is not true simply because it works for us (the pragmatic view) nor because it is consistent with our web of Christian belief (the coherence view). The Christian belief in the resurrection of Christ is true because it is an objective fact of history that corresponds with reality! Indeed, how could the early Christians point to the empty tomb as verifiable evidence of the resurrection unless, in fact, the tomb was empty?

Monday, July 2, 2018

TRUTH - Sean McDowell


advocates.awanaym.org/truth
2,000 years ago Jesus said, “I am one of the ways, one of the truths, and one possible life.  If you want to come to the mother or the father through me that’s cool.  Go forth and live according to whatever feels right to you.”  Clearly, Jesus didn’t say that.  In fact, he said quite the opposite.  If you look in the New Testament you will find at least a hundred verses that make it clear that Jesus is the only way to God and the only way to experience an eternal relationship with the Father.  Truth is vitally important because eternity is at stake. 
Now philosophers use a term that seems fancy but I think you will find common sense, what’s called the correspondence theory of truth.  All this means is you have essentially a belief, an idea you hold about the world.  But then you have the world over here.  This is reality.  Now, truth is not a belief.  Truth is not a reality.  Truth is when your belief matches up with reality.  That’s what we mean by truth.  Have you ever noticed how much you base your entire life down to details, daily decisions on what you think is true? 
What if somebody says it is cold outside?  Have you checked whether that is true or whether that is false?  You can look at a weather app and see what information it gives you, or you could actually walk outside and see it for yourself.  If it is cold outside then your belief is truth.  If it is not cold outside then the belief is false.  We do this with historical issues such as the claim that Jesus rose from the grave, and we do this with scientific matters such as the claim, the belief that the universe had a beginning.  We actually do this on all sorts of issues.  We have a variety of beliefs and then we go see if the world is the way we take it to be.  If our beliefs match up they are true and if they don’t match up they’re false.  Remember our beliefs don’t create reality, but rather our beliefs should reflect reality. 
But, you might be thinking, "Wait a minute, when it comes to religious beliefs can’t you have your beliefs and I have mine?"  Aren’t your beliefs true for you, but my religious beliefs are true for me?  Not too long ago my father was speaking at a leadership event for about four hundred high school students, and in his session, my dad decided to walk out into the audience and interact with the students.  And he started by asking a simple question to a student that was there.  He said, “Do you think the Bible is true?” 
The student jumped in and said, “Yes, I think the Bible is true.” 
My dad said, “You think it’s scientific and historically accurate in everything it teaches that we properly understand.” 
And the student looked back at him and said, “Of course.” 
Then my dad looked back at him and said, “Why?”  And the student had no answer.  My dad went around the room and not a single student had a thoughtful answer about why he or she believed the Bible was true. 
Well, the session was done and my dad was walking toward the door in the back of the auditorium and the student comes running up to my father.  He goes, “Josh, Josh, I know the answer.  I know why the Bible is true.”    
He said, “Great. Why is the Bible true?” 
He looks at my father and says, “The Bible is true because I believe it.” 
My dad says, “Wait a minute.  The Bible is true because you believe it?  What about a Quran and a Muslim who believes the Quran?” 
This student looked my dad right back in the eyes and said, “If a Muslim believes the Quran is true then the Quran is true for him.” 
Now my dad gave back to the student a memorable and powerful response.  He said, “Here’s the difference between me and you.  You think the Bible is true because you believe it, but I believe the Bible because I think it is true.”  You see nothing is true or false because we believe it.  Our beliefs don’t change reality, but given how important truth is, let’s hope our beliefs match up with reality.
We’ve been talking about why truth is important, but let me share a story about my mom to help make this point really sink in.  So, my mom has come a long way with technology, but she honestly used to be afraid of anything technologically speaking.  When my mom picked up new technology, she would read the instructions letter by letter and follow it the best as she can.  Well, she got a computer up pops something that says close all windows.  So my mom decides to, and I think you see where this is going, get up from her chair, walk around the house, and close all the windows in the house.  When she told this story, I was a little bit embarrassed. We realized that truth has consequences.  In this case, I realized that truth has consequences.  But in many cases, confusing truth can lead to devastating consequences.  But when we know the truth, we are set free.  A computer is created to function in a certain way.  When we use it according to its design we are set free so we can accomplish things.  When we don’t know its design like in the story with my mom, what happens?  Confusion, frustrations, and sometimes significant consequences. 
I think one of the greatest lies and confusion of our age deals with the question of “What is freedom?” Have you ever thought in your life “What is real freedom?”  When I ask students to define freedom, they will say to me, “Freedom is being able to do whatever you what to do so long as no one is telling you how to live your life.  If it feels good, do it, and you’re free.”  Friends, that’s not freedom.  Living according to whatever feels good is going to enslave you to your passions.  Real freedom is when we embrace God’s design for our life which is to love him and to love other people.  That’s why Jesus said in John chapter three that if we live according to his design for our life, we live according to His truth.  Our works will be known to the world.  Real freedom is not living according to whatever we think is right but embracing God’s design for our life.  Real freedom is when we live in light of truth. 

Greek to Me

I recommend both of these as supplements to help you memorize endings and vocabulary even if you are using a different textbook.

GREEK TEXT BOOK:
For many students in seminary and Bible colleges, as well as self-taught students, Greek is the language of never-ending endings as well as being the seemingly impossible requirement of ans inflexible curriculum. The grammar in Greek to Me aims to encourage and motivate students to learn both grammar and vocabulary of Koine Greek in a new and productive way. The approach is new, yet it has been tried and tested with hundreds of students and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Greek to Me-by Lyle Story on Amazon 

GREEK VOCAB CARDS WITH MNEMONIC PICTURES:
I don't think that the physical cards are available anymore, but you can access them on the iPhone App "Biblical Greek Flashcards."  Each card has a picture that creates a mnemonic connection between the pronunciation and meaning.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

July 2018 TBC Connection Group Discussion Questions

CONNECTION Discussion Notes
Philippians 1:9-18; Matthew 6:6
July 1, 2018
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Philippians 1:9-11: “Judge not what is best by pleasure.  The world teaches that pleasure brings joy, but it is conformity to God that fulfills and brings joy.
1. How do knowledge, discernment, and the approval of things that are excellent relate to love?  What do verses 9-10a teach us about the nature of love?
2. We may tend to think of “pure” and “blameless” as descriptions of what is not present.  Paul attaches them to the active “works of righteousness.”  How can we be pure and blameless in our relationships with others?
Philippians 1:12-18 --When we have the understanding that God is not finished, our focus can be on rejoicing and joining God in what He is doing.
3. How did God use Paul's unplanned difficulties in these verses?  Can you think of times God has used “unplanned difficulties in your life to further His purposes?
4. What perspective helped Paul to rejoice even when the Gospel was preached by those who wanted to harm him? 
Matthew 6:6 – Not if, But when thou pray... “The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day is to have my soul happy in the Lord.”  ― George Müller
5. What are some characteristics and benefits of consistent “trysting” times with God?
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Philippians 1 (NASB)
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole [b]palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.
Matthew 6:6 (ESV)
6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
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Extra Notes and References:
2.
Purity and completeness of character:
Internal heart – purity, sincere, unhypocritical, absence of divided allegiance, unalloyed – integrity, wholeness, positive completeness
                        External Relationally – to be free from blame, not causing others to stumble
Means – filled full of Jesus ethical, moral, relational righteousness flowing from the positional righteous standing of justification
4.
“But if Paul’s example is to count for anything, it must teach us to rejoice if Christ is proclaimed, even by those who do it out of less than worthy motives and who seem to dishonor the gospel in their methods [or motives].”[1]
5.
Tryst: a meeting held at a specified time and place, esp. a secret meeting of lovers; rendezvous.  --wordsmyth.net
“Matthew six compares two types of people in prayer: showboating vs. seeking.”  “The entirety of your relationship with is what happens in your time alone with Him.”
Psalm 84:4 (ESV)
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
    ever singing your praise! Selah
Song of Solomon 2:3  (ESV)
As an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
    so is my beloved among the young men.
With great delight I sat in his shadow,
    and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
John 14:23 (ESV)
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
Revelation 3:20 (ESV)
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.



[1] Boice, James Montgomery. Philippians: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000. Print.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Does God change His mind? -- Check out GotQuestions.org

Question: "Does God change His mind?"
Answer: Malachi 3:6 declares, “I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” Similarly, James 1:17 tells us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Numbers 23:19 is clear: “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” Based on these verses, no, God does not change. God is unchanging and unchangeable. He is also all-wise. So He cannot “change His mind” in the sense of realizing a mistake, backtracking, and trying a new tack.
How then do we explain verses that seem to say that God does change His mind? Verses such as Genesis 6:6, “The LORD was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain.” Also, Exodus 32:14 proclaims, “Then the LORD relented and did not bring on His people the disaster He had threatened.” These verses speak of the Lord “repenting” or “relenting” of something and seem to contradict the doctrine of God’s immutability.
Another passage that is often used to show that God changes His mind is the story of Jonah. Through His prophet, God had told Nineveh He would destroy the city in forty days (Jonah 3:4). However, Nineveh repented of their sin (verses 5–9). In response to the Assyrians’ repentance, God relented: “He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened” (verse 10).
There are two important considerations involving the passages that say God changed His mind. First, we can say statements such as “the LORD was grieved that He had made man on the earth” (Genesis 6:6) are examples of anthropopathism (or anthropopatheia). Anthropopathism is a figure of speech in which the feelings or thought processes of finite humanity are ascribed to the infinite God. It’s a way to help us understand God’s work from a human perspective. In Genesis 6:6 specifically, we understand God’s sorrow over man’s sin. God obviously did not reverse His decision to create man. The fact that we are alive today is proof that God did not “change His mind” about the creation.
Second, we must make a distinction between conditional declarations of God and unconditionaldeterminations of God. In other words, when God said, “I will destroy Nineveh in forty days,” He was speaking conditionally upon the Assyrians’ response. We know this because the Assyrians repented and God did not, in fact, mete out the judgment. God did not change His mind; rather, His message to Nineveh was a warning meant to provoke repentance, and His warning was successful.
An example of an unconditional declaration of God is the Lord’s promise to David, “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16). There is no qualification expressed or implied in this declaration. No matter what David did or did not do, the word of the Lord would come to pass.
God tells us of the cautionary nature of some of His declarations and the fact that He will act in accordance with our choices: “If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it. Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions’” (Jeremiah 18:7– 11). Note the conditional word if: “If that nation I warned repents [like Assyria in Jonah 3] . . . then I will relent.” Conversely, God may tell a nation they will be blessed, but “if it does evil in my sight [like Israel in Micah 1] . . . then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do.”
The bottom line is that God is entirely consistent. In His holiness, God was going to judge Nineveh. However, Nineveh repented and changed its ways. As a result, God, in His holiness, had mercy on Nineveh and spared them. This “change of mind” is entirely consistent with His character. His holiness did not waver one iota.
The fact that God changes His treatment of us in response to our choices has nothing to do with His character. In fact, because God does not change, He must treat the righteous differently from the unrighteous. If someone repents, God consistently forgives; if someone refuses to repent, God consistently judges. He is unchanging in His nature, His plan, and His being. He cannot one day be pleased with the contrite and the next day be angry with the contrite. That would show Him to be mutable and untrustworthy. For God to tell Nineveh, “I’m going to judge you,” and then (after they repent) refuse to judge them may look like God changed His mind. In reality, God was simply staying true to His character. He loves mercy and forgives the penitent. “Has God forgotten to be merciful?” (Psalm 77:9). The answer is, no.
At one time we were all enemies of God due to our sin (Romans 8:7). God warned us of the wages of sin (Romans 6:23) in order to cause us to repent. When we repented and trusted Christ for salvation, God “changed His mind” about us, and now we are no longer enemies but His beloved children (John 1:12). As it would be contrary to God’s character to not punish us had we continued in sin, so it would be contrary to His character to punish us after we repent. Does our change of heart mean that God changes? No, if anything, our salvation points to the fact that God does not change, because had He not saved us for the sake of Christ, He would have acted contrary to His character.

Recommended Resource: 
Knowing God by J.I. Packer

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Tulsa Bible Church Call to a Day of Fasting

Day of Personal Prayer and Fasting
Wednesday, June 27th, 2018
Would you consider a personal day of fasting and prayer for Tulsa Bible Church?  The Elders are asking each of us to fast and pray throughout the day on Wednesday, June 27th.  Fasting is a time to set aside to seek God’s will, focusing on increased intimacy with the Lord.

PRAISE: Lord I praise you for Your perfect...
Holy (transcendent and pure)
Definition: God is exalted* and sinless pure.   *in the sense that He is separate from and above everything else
Key verses: Psalm 24:3-4a “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart…”
Explanation: This verse shows the two parts of God’s holiness.  He is far above us and He is without any sin. The part that talks about “ascending into the hill of the Lord” emphasizes that God is above and beyond us.  The part that talks about “clean hands and a pure heart” shows that God cannot sin or be around sin.

Good: (Love, Mercy, Grace)
Definition: God desires to do good things for us.
Key verses:O give thanks to the Lord; for He is good; for His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 118:1; 136:1 (Psalm 100:5; 106:1; 118:29; 145:9 are have close to the same wording)
Explanation: God is full of good will toward men. (It may not be very theological, but the word “kind” is one that the children will understand.) God’s goodness and benevolence are shown in at least three ways: His Love: (others are His primary concern.),   His Mercy (compassionate), and His Grace (giving gifts even when we do not deserve it).

True (faithful)
Definition:  Everything that God says will happen.
Key verse:  Psalm 33:4 “For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth.”
Explanation:  Emphasize that God speaks the truth and keeps His word. Numbers 23:19 and Titus 1:2 both say that God cannot lie. However, God is not only accurate in what he says. He is also steady and faithful in what he does and how he keeps His word. 

Just (righteousness)
Definition:  God does what is right and rewards everyone for what they do.
Key verses:  Proverbs 21:2b-3 “... the Lord weighs the hearts. To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”
Explanation:  This verse doesn’t follow the “God is …” formula often used to proof text an attribute of God, but it helps us emphasize two things.  First, God is considering (“weighs the heart”) our actions, words, and thoughts.  Second, being righteous and just is important to God.

Eternal
Definition:  God has no beginning or ending.
Key verse:  “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come...” Revelation 1:8
Explanation:   "There is a difference between being immortal and being eternal. Man is immortal—that is, his soul will never die; but God is eternal—He has neither beginning nor ending.”   Jesus said “Before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:59)  The laws of time do not affect God.

Immutable
Definition:  God never changes..
Key verses:  Malachi 3:6a “...I the Lord do not change…”
Explanation:    God is unchanging in His being (what He is), His perfections, His purposes, and His promises.  He responds to events and choices we make, but is always consistent in His response.  Immutable does not mean immobile.

Infinite
(Omniscience, Omnipresent, Omnipotent)
Definition:  God cannot be measured.
Key verses:  "Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than heaven--what can you do?” Job 11:7b-8a
Explanation:   God is without any limits. There is no end or limits to his knowledge, strength, location and other perfections. Emphasize the “omni” terms and their meanings. (omniscient-all knowing), (omnipotent-nothing is too hard for God, even though He chooses not to do some things.) (omnipresent-God does not fill up the universe like water fills a glass, but he is present everywhere we are or can be.)

Sovereign
Definition:  God does all that He pleases.
Key verses:  “I am God, and there is no other... My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,”  Isaiah 46:9-10
Explanation:  God governs the world and works through our choices to accomplish His purposes. God has the ability, the authority and the freedom to do everything He chooses.


PRAYER:
·       Pray that these verses would be true of TBC.
I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to walk in a manner worthy
of the calling to which you have been called,
with all humility and gentleness,
with patience, bearing with one another in love,
eager to maintain the unity of Spirit in the bond of peace
.” – Ephesians 4:1-3
·       Pray for the Elders as they prepare for and proceed with a senior pastor search
(Brian Shoop, Forrest Cowan, Mike McCloskey, David Sargent, and Phil Martin)
·       Pray for Dr. John Conner as he brings the Word in the morning service each week
·       Pray for Pastor Phil and Pastor Kade as they shepherd the body of Christ
·       Pray that our Christ-like love would abound still more and more
·       Pray that we would be sincere (pure) and without offence until the Day of Christ.
·       Pray for healing:
He gives power to the weak,
and to those who have no might He increases strength
.” - Isaiah 40:29
·       Pray for hope:
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. 
You have heard of the steadfastness of Job,
and you have seen the purpose of the Lord,
how the Lord is compassionate and merciful
” – James 5:11
·       Pray that TBC members would share the Gospel this week and see hearts changed for Christ

·       Pray for our Church to be unified, one in Christ, so that we might bring Him glory. 
that they may be one, even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.” – John 17:21

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Cautions: It is very important to drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated when fasting.
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“Don't fast, even for a short time, if you have diabetes because it can lead to dangerous dips and spikes in blood sugar.  Other people who should not fast include women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, anyone with a chronic disease, the elderly, and children.  Before you go on a new diet, particularly one that involves fasting, ask your doctor if it's a good choice for you. You can also ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian, who can show you how to design a healthy eating plan.”  https://www.webmd.com/diet/fasting#1-3
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It is important to remember that some people simply cannot refrain from eating and drinking in any degree at any time. This is usually due to certain medications that they cannot cease taking and often have to ingest only after eating. If you have unique physical problems that would make fasting dangerous or unhealthy, please do not alter your prescribed regimen of medication or of eating and drinking without first consulting with your physician. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you cannot fast in regard to food and drink. Simply choose another way to fast, such as those noted above.  https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/what-christians-need-to-know-about-fasting.html
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If you are unable to abstain from food, you may consider other forms of fasting, such as abstaining from computer games, social media, and or TV.  Most importantly, you should also make a point to set aside a extra time for prayer.