Category Archives: Gifts

Gifts – God’s . to us, Part III

In mentioning gifts from God, let’s appreciate his Gift of Forgiveness.  Matthew 1:21 said that the Son born to Mary would be called Jesus because he would save his people from their sins.  Whatever we may say the meaning of Christmas is, the Bible says it means Jesus came to save us from sin.  Remember that.  Never forget that.  Remind people of that when they say “the real meaning of Christmas” is….

In his short story, “I’m A Fool”, Sherwood Anderson told of lying to impress a girl he met.  He felt deceit necessary because the girl lived in a social and economic class above him.  He indeed impressed her, but didn’t know:  was it because of him or because of the story he created about himself?  He did know he wouldn’t see her again when she left by train to go home.  Because he couldn’t summon the courage to admit his deceit.  Gateway to the Great Books, Vol. 2, 511

Humanity loves to act before God; to pretend we’re something we’re not.  Defense lawyers make millions pretending that indicted criminals didn’t really commit that crime; that the sentenced criminals hadn’t really been bad as the sentence received.  We all excel at trying to convince God we’re really not sinners deserving punishment.  That we’re not as bad as the guy next to us.  That we deserve a break, etc., etc., etc.

Jesus coming as Savior means we should  never pose before God.  Never explain WHY we sinned.  Never justify our behavior.  He loves us when we say, “Father, I have sinned against you and am no longer worthy to be your child.”  He doesn’t care what sin we confess so long as we confess it, not excuse, justify or explain it.   He doesn’t care what we ARE when we come to him if we’re willing to let him remake us in his Son’s likeness.

Jane Eyre thought she could return to aristocrat Edward Rochester since she had become independently wealthy by inheriting 5000 Pounds—a real fortune for that time.  People think about themselves vis à vis God that way.  They delay coming to Jesus because their lives are a mess, they can’t do anything right, they’re working at getting better, and when they are, they’ll become Christians.

Wrong!  Never delay coming to Jesus because we’re sinners, we’re unworthy, we’re unrighteous.  Only those admitting the above qualify as recipients of his grace.  And only then do we get better by coming to him in our sinful state.  For in forgiveness God declares us righteous.     – Fini –

 Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.ulydogpro.com 

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts – God’s to us, Part II

Unappreciated by most, God’s Gift of Predictability in creation makes life substantial and dependable.  How would anyone plan if we couldn’t depend on God’s faithfulness in the seasons?  Consider today God’s Gift of Grace.  Ephesians 2:8 embodies it.  It’s by Grace alone through faith—not by Faith alone through Grace—that we have been saved.

A May, 2015 story in the San Diego U-T reported carelessness of cops in Washington D.C.  While a cop’s gun is his lifeline; while it’s like an added layer of his skin; while it distinguishes him from civilians; while he keeps it with him at all times; while he surrenders it only if he’s unconscious or dead, D.C. cops kept leaving theirs in rest rooms after a nature-call.  It got so bad that the Chief instituted a five-day suspension for any officer guilty of the oversight.  It continued to get worse until he instituted a 30-day suspension for the first offense, then considered termination for the second.  5.21.15

The spiritual lesson is obvious.  Policemen are judged by the law they represent and enforce.  When failing their responsibility, we can only say, “C’mon guys; get your act together or you’re fired!”  Christians are judged by the far-more merciful Grace of Jesus.  We can always say to ourselves, “C’mon, guys, repent of your sin, confess it to Jesus, and get back out there and try again!”

Christian discovered that in Pilgrim’s Progress.  While Satan stood on one side of the wall, throwing water on grace, Jesus stood on the other side, secretly fueling grace with a continual supply of oil.  The point being that Christ’s grace always excels Satan’s power and our sins. p.35

The allegory—which, by the way, is based on Zechariah 4—is that we can’t be a worse sinner than Jesus is a greater Savior—and Satan can never keep us from God’s presence if we want to retain fellowship with him.

Thus, when God wanted to temporarily overlook sins, he used a scapegoat.  When he wanted to forgive absolutely he sent his Son, who came as the powerful solution Galatians 4:4-5 text declares.

Law convicts us of sin.  Grace alone forgives and removes sin.  Never appeal to law for forgiveness.  It sole purpose is to IDENTIFY sins and convict the sinner.  That’s why God’s Grace in Christ freed us from the Law of Moses.  Under Moses we could always count the many ways we sin.  And while Law offered protection from the harm others would inflict on us, it could never justify us before God for our sins against him.   – End Part III –

 Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Gifts – God’s . to us, Part I

We’re talking gifts in this blog.  Especially God’s gifts to humanity; particularly God’s gifts to his Christ-like people.  Let’s introduce the subject by thanking him for his Gift of Predictability in creation.  It’s seen in many ways.  One is this week 21 December, when the Winter Solstice brings the shortest day of the year in the Northern and longest in the Southern hemisphere.  It happens every year.  What are the chances that Chance could make it happen every year at the same time?

Another is the King Tides that occur when the moon is closest to the earth.  They occur in San Diego in late December and at the beginning and end of January and February.  However, the biggest tides will occur between 29 December, 2017 and 5 January, 2018.  The peak will be at 07.52 hours on 01, 2018.  U-T, 12/16/17.

Only creation by God’s design provides such predictability.  Chance never could.  Evolutionists, including many oceanographers, may have no use for God in their personal lives, but they rely on the predictability of God’s creation when studying their sciences.  How else could they predict to the moment when the highest of the high King tides will hit San Diego beaches?

Consider also God’s Gift of Hope.  They most ancient of all hope started when God warned Satan in Genesis 3:15 that he would “put enmity between” him and the woman and between his offspring and hers.  That enmity—adversary, opponent, conqueror—would crush Satan’s head while he only struck the enmity’s heelThat enmity is none other than Jesus Christ.  His arrival and mission accomplished God’s purpose, as Paul noted in Romans 16:20a.

God later confirmed that hope to the Jews, but including it in the Garden meant he promised it to the nations and creation.  That hope…of that adversary coming to encounter, confront, contest and overwhelm Satan…resonated in every Hebrew generation.  Each remembered it and never forgot it and gradually concentrated it in MESSIAH—The Coming Emmanuel, the Long-Expected Jesus.     –  End Part I –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349