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Tidbits from the Book of James – Part 5

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Today’s tidbit is concerning faith and works. Works have absolutely nothing to do with our Salvation, other than as fruit of our Salvation; works will not get us to Heaven. But, once we are saved, we ought to want to work for Christ, and our works are evidence of our faith in Jesus unto Salvation. Our works are our fruits of our Salvation. So faith without works is dead. All born-again saints will stand before Jesus and have our works (after Salvation) tested by the fire. Those works born out of wrong motivation and not glorifying Christ will be burned up. Those works done for the sake of Christ and the Gospel will come out of the fire and we will receive our crowns for them. I look forward to laying those crowns at the feet of Jesus in gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice He paid for me so that I can live eternally with Him as my Lord and King.

James 2:14-26

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (This is a great example of when a brother or sister says to us that they have a need and we respond with, “I will pray for you.” That is all good and well. We are to pray for our brethren. But what about actually using some of the increase that God has blessed us with to put our prayers into action and help them by supplying their need, as the Holy Spirit leads. God blesses us and provides well for us in order for us to help those less fortunate, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.)

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

Those are wrong who put a mere notional belief of the gospel for the whole of evangelical religion, as many now do. No doubt, true faith alone, whereby men have part in Christ’s righteousness, atonement, and grace, saves their souls; but it produces holy fruits, and is shown to be real by its effect on their works; while mere assent to any form of doctrine, or mere historical belief of any facts, wholly differs from this saving faith.

A bare profession may gain the good opinion of pious people; and it may procure, in some cases, worldly good things; but what profit will it be, for any to gain the whole world, and to lose their souls? Can this faith save him? All things should be accounted profitable or unprofitable to us, as they tend to forward or hinder the salvation of our souls. This place of Scripture plainly shows that an opinion, or assent to the gospel, without works, is not faith. There is no way to show we really believe in Christ, but by being diligent in good works, from gospel motives, and for gospel purposes.

Men may boast to others, and be conceited of that which they really have not. There is not only to be assent in faith, but consent; not only an assent to the truth of the word, but a consent to take Christ. True believing is not an act of the understanding only, but a work of the whole heart.

That a justifying faith cannot be without works, is shown from two examples, Abraham and Rahab. Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. Faith, producing such works, advanced him to peculiar favours. We see then, in verse 24 , how that by works a man is justified, not by a bare opinion or profession, or believing without obeying; but by having such faith as produces good works. And to have to deny his own reason, affections, and interests, is an action fit to try a believer.

Observe here, the wonderful power of faith in changing sinners. Rahab’s conduct proved her faith to be living, or having power; it showed that she believed with her heart, not merely by an assent of the understanding. Let us then take heed, for the best works, without faith, are dead; they want root and principle. By faith any thing we do is really good; as done in obedience to God, and aiming at his acceptance: the root is as though it were dead, when there is no fruit.

Faith is the root, good works are the fruits; and we must see to it that we have both. This is the grace of God wherein we stand, and we should stand to it. There is no middle state. Every one must either live God’s friend, or God’s enemy. Living to God, as it is the consequence of faith, which justifies and will save, obliges us to do nothing against him, but every thing for him and to him.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Tidbits from the Book of James-Part 1

The Epistle of James always helps remind me of many of God’s wonderful guidelines on how to live Godly in this sinful world. These tidbits can bring needed, though uncomfortable, conviction to the believer’s heart. That’s why some tend to shy away from it. I did that for a time myself. Each time I read this Book, God does a little something different in my heart. I will attempt, over the next however long the Spirit leads, to share what He shows me.

First, let us consider and understand who James was. He was the half-brother of Jesus and he did not accept Christ as Saviour until after Jesus rose again. (I have often considered the heartache Jesus must have felt when He began His ministry and many of His family members disowned Him for His claims of Christ-hood. But that is for another time.) James did become an elder of the church in Jerusalem and he was respected as a leader among and Council member of the early churches in Jerusalem – Acts 15:6-21. James may possibly be the first New Testament book to be written.

This Epistle offers words of encouragement to us as we try to be firm in our Christian faith while we are persecuted for it. He urges us to focus on the victory that we will attain through what Jesus did. James also provides practical advice to unite all believers so that our fellowship will not be threatened by a lack of love, un-christlike speech, and bitter attitudes.

James teaches us to develop our faith by seeking wisdom from God. He reminds us that we have a choice: we can either give in to sin and suffer tragic consequences, or we can stand firm and therefore experience maturity of our faith by accepting the trials that will inevitably come. He maintains that our trials will produce patience and they will ultimately perfect and complete us as Christians. The prevalent theme of James is how to develop an enduring faith.

Today we will look at James 1:1-8

James 1:1-8

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. (James could have given himself more credit by making sure we know that he is Jesus’ brother here, or he could have even boasted about his leadership in the reputable Jerusalem church. Instead, he proudly referred to himself as a “servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Servant here means “bondservant,” like slaves who had been released from their obligation, but willingly remain servants to their masters out of respect for them. Likewise, James gladly offered his life to be bound to serving God, who gave him his freedom. He expressed his willingness to obey, laid aside his own rights to follow God’s will, and he pledged his loyalty to the Lord regardless of personal loss, humiliation, or danger.)

2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (Woah, hold on there you say! Count it all joy?! Yes, we are to count it all joy when several trials and temptations come, and sometimes several of them come at once. Remember when Paul and Silas were beaten and cast into stocks in the inner prison? What did they do? They sang praises to God and were set free. I have experienced the release and help that Jesus gives when we praise Him during tough times. There is nothing like to to build your faith.)

3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (So all Christians learn as we grow that trials usually come so as to build our character and patience. This is never fun to experience, but if we praise God during the trials and ask Him what He is trying to teach us, He gives us the grace we need to grow as we move through them. I used to pray, God please give me patience. And then I would freak out because almost immediately something would happen that I really did not like, and as I whined about it to a more mature Christian, I would be reminded that every time we ask for patience we can expect a trial to develop that patience in us. Now I ask for grace as He teaches me the patience I still need.)

4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (As Christ-like women, we come to realize that we all have the potential and that it is our God-given destiny to continually be maturing in our walk with our Lord. This is a goal that only God can help us reach.)

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (I am also understanding more the importance of growing in Godly wisdom. And all I have to do is ask for it. I used to think that the Scripture that says to ask and you shall receive was about asking for things and happiness, etc., but I have come to understand that while we do ask for those things, it is also speaking of wisdom in dealing with things that come up throughout our daily lives, as well as sharing the Lord with others and live out our faith.)

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. (When we ask, we are to ask believing, like it is already happening. Oh how many times do I ask the Lord for answers in fervent prayer and then take it back and fret about it and get myself into a tizzy. How silly that is. If I ask something of the Lord, I need to trust Him with it without doubt; if I take it back and start fretting about it then I am not trusting Him.)

8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (Double-minded=wavering in mind : undecided, vacillating. It is a human weakness and a characteristic of the hypocrite. One might say one thing while acting completely opposite, making one “unstable in all his ways.” God has no use for a double-minded person. Jesus spoke of double minded behaviour in Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” We are to know what we believe and why we believe it, hopefully because God says it in His Word, and we are to stand firm in those Godly beliefs, not wavering.)

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Forever Thankful!

I have been under the weather for several days now. I was not up to joining my brethren at Faith Baptist Church this Sunday. But, I am so thankful that the sermons are recorded on our church website!

Thank you Pastor Rainey and all those involved in recording and uploading these wonderful Biblical teachings! One was the Sunday School lesson and the other was the morning service message.

Let Not Man Put Asunder

Take it to the Lord

As you can see, there are many other messages you may listen to and learn straight from God’s KJV Word.

Enjoy! I sure did.

Service Times

314 South Circle Drive
Colorado Springs, Co 80910

719-632-1844

Sunday School 10:00 A.M.
Sunday MorningWorship 11:00 A.M.
Sunday Evening Worship 6:30 P.M.

Wednesday Evening 7:00 P.M.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2018 in God's Love

 

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Only God Jehovah Knows Everything About Us

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Hello all. I feel like I have been away for a while, but no, just busy enjoying life in the Lord. Spending time with precious grandchildren, crocheting Christmas gifts, and have started a new writing course. As usual, God is Good.

I had some very special sharing time with my son this morning on the subject of letting life’s hurts keep us from our Lord. We talked about how David cried out to the Lord when his son, and others, were trying to kill him and take his throne and how he must have been overcome with discouragement, wondering why God did not intervene, in David’s timing. We, too, can become disappointed and/or angry with God and decide to run and hide from Him instead of obeying His purpose for us, and therefore miss out on His blessings. There is nowhere we can hide that the Lord is not there. Though I believe it is okay to question the Lord and perhaps be a brat for a time and try to run away from Him and His purpose for our lives, we must not stay in that dark questioning place. We must make the choice to converse with Jesus and ask Him why He may have allowed something horrible in our lives, and how He can help us turn it around to help others. Then, we are able to receive the healing that only God can bring.

As I was looking through some of my morning devotions, the Lord led me to one on Psalm 139. I said, “Aha, look, this is what we were discussing this morning!” And, of course, I just had to share it with all.

Psalm 139

1 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2017 in God's Truth

 

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God Never Changes!

That’s right! God never changes! Why do we limit Him and go our own way without Him until trials come and then fall on our knees calling out to Him? He is with us every day in every way. One of the greatest lessons I have learned over my lifetime is to talk with God every day, or the “little days” when everything seems okay, not just crying out to Him in the midst of trials when I have strayed too far from Him or life just happens. God is the same every day, no matter what goes on in my life. He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, forever!

I recall being very young and thinking I was invincible, as we all do at that point in our lives. I went my own way, which was the way of the world, but after a time my Lord let me find out the hard way that the world’s way is the devil’s way, and hence we face trials that bring us back to our loving and merciful God Jehovah. But, just as God was forgiving time and time again with the children of Israel, so He is with us. When we humble ourselves and repent from our sin of turning away from Him, He always welcomes us back with open arms and withholds our much deserved wrath and punishment. I find such great joy in my golden years as I spend precious time with Him each day and grow so fond of His presence.

As I look back over trials in the past few years such as loss of loved ones and straying adult children and grandchildren, I am amazed at how the Lord has bathed me in His grace and peace that passes understanding. He tells me “Peace be still” and “Pray. Leave it with me and let me be God.” When we spend time with our Lord every “little” day, He gives us His strength through those bigger, badder days of trial. I love Mark Bishop’s song about this. So very true! Enjoy!

 

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2017 in God's Love

 

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All is Vanity

Towards the end of his life Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes as the “Preacher” to teach us what he had learned with all the wisdom and knowledge God blessed him with. As I read Chapter 2 this morning, I became aware of the greatest thing we can learn from him, and that is that anything and everything of this world is vanity and cannot bring true happiness. The only way to true happiness is to know and grow in our LORD and the things He teaches in His Word. I like the comments from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary for added thoughts.

Ecclesiastes 2

1 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.

2 I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?

3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:

5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:

6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:

7 I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:

8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.

10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. (Solomon soon found mirth and pleasure to be vanity. What does noisy, flashy mirth towards making a man happy? The manifold devices of men’s hearts, to get satisfaction from the world, and their changing from one thing to another, are like the restlessness of a man in a fever. Perceiving it was folly to give himself to wine, he next tried the costly amusements of princes. The poor, when they read such a description, are ready to feel discontent. But the remedy against all such feelings is in the estimate of it all by the owner himself. All was vanity and vexation of spirit: and the same things would yield the same result to us, as to Solomon. Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content. His wisdom remained with him; a strong understanding, with great human knowledge. But every earthly pleasure, when unconnected with better blessings, leaves the mind as eager and unsatisfied as before. Happiness arises not from the situation in which we are placed. It is only through Jesus Christ that final blessedness can be attained.)

12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.

13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.

17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit. (Solomon found that knowledge and prudence were preferable to ignorance and folly, though human wisdom and knowledge will not make a man happy. The most learned of men, who dies a stranger to Christ Jesus, will perish equally with the most ignorant; and what good can commendations on earth do to the body in the grave, or the soul in hell? And the spirits of just men made perfect cannot want them. So that if this were all, we might be led to hate our life, as it is all vanity and vexation of spirit.)

18 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.

19 And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.

20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.

21 For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.

22 For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?

23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?

26 For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit. (Our hearts are very loth to quit their expectations of great things from the creature; but Solomon came to this at length. The world is a vale of tears, even to those that have much of it. See what fools they are, who make themselves drudges to the world, which affords a man nothing better than subsistence for the body. And the utmost he can attain in this respect is to allow himself a sober, cheerful use thereof, according to his rank and condition. But we must enjoy good in our labour; we must use those things to make us diligent and cheerful in worldly business. And this is the gift of God. Riches are a blessing or a curse to a man, according as he has, or has not, a heart to make a good use of them. To those that are accepted of the Lord, he gives joy and satisfaction in the knowledge and love of him. But to the sinner he allots labour, sorrow, vanity, and vexation, in seeking a worldly portion, which yet afterwards comes into better hands. Let the sinner seriously consider his latter end. To seek a lasting portion in the love of Christ and the blessings it bestows, is the only way to true and satisfying enjoyment even of this present world.)

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Posted by on April 25, 2017 in God's Love

 

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Being Aware of Faith-Friendly Companies Helps us to be Better Stewards of God’s Money

So I suppose I should say happy Black Friday. Except I never really cared much for this day. Kudos to those who have the courage to do it.

My thoughts today are strongly on how God intervened in this Presidential election and had mercy on His children. Not only am I certain that God intervened to try and turn this country around for the good and bring Him back into it, but I also believe He woke many of His children up to finally take a stand before the progressives would totally destroy what God began here. It appears that there really are many more Christians in this country than we were sure of over the past couple of decades.

I would encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to stay strong in doing right and continue to take a stand for Godly values and not expect those in charge to do it for us. God heard our prayers and answered them, because we stood up and said “Enough!” He has won this battle, but there are many more to overcome in the near future. It will take all of us on our knees and attempting to live a truly Christ-like life to bring about the needed changes in this blessed land. “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine!” ought to be a song in all our hearts. Can the Lord continue to count on us to do our part?

It appears that many are not aware of some of the resources at our disposal to stand for Godly principles and really make our country great again. As many are out there trying to get the best deals for their loved ones to have a happy Christmas, I wonder how many are aware of the companies who are “faith-friendly.” We can be encouraged by the fact that for every company used by evil there is an alternative for Christians to turn to.

We must understand that when we give the money that God blesses us with to those companies who attack God’s morals and therefore His children, we are encouraging them to think that it is okay with us that they destroy the lives of those who strive to live out their Christ-like beliefs in these tumultuous times. After all they do not hide the fact that they take our money to further the agenda of the progressive left. It should really bother us that the money God gives us helps contribute to groups, such as the homosexuals, who sue our brothers and sisters out of business, and in the process destroy their livelihoods, because they do not agree with their lifestyle. We know that that group of people is only between 1% and 2% of our total population, yet they seem to get more done for evil than God’s children do for God’s Kingdom. We must also make ourselves aware of those judges who stand for God or evil.

Let us not stop shining for Jehovah God just because the election appears to have went the way we wanted it to. The evil ones are right now trying to influence those in power to try and undo the results of this election. I believe that our mighty God is more powerful than they, and He will not let that happen. But He needs each and everyone of us to live for Him, and continue to stand up and make our voices heard for Him. There are many more of us than there are those influenced by evil.

Some would say, “There are many companies who contribute to the devil’s evil agenda. We can’t know them all, so it does not matter if we spend God’s money there.” (I know, hardly makes any sense at all does it.) Well, there are resources to make us aware, and I will share one shortly. My answer is, “We may not know all of those doing satan’s work, but there are many who are blatantly open about their “agenda.” We have empowered them by saying nothing and supporting their cause with God’s money! So because we do not know all of them, should we still choose to give God’s money to those we are aware of and help them further evil in our country?!” I would say that is just plain laziness on the part of the Christian.

Luke 16:10 “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”

When we are made aware of even one who goes against Godly values and furthers satan’s values, we have a choice to make. We can either say no and refuse to contribute to their agenda, with God’s money, or we can say we do not care, like we have in the past, and then when things are gone awry and we suffer the consequences of sticking our heads in the sand, we will again ask, “How did this happen?” Really?!

I have shared this information before, and I feel led to do it again. The Faith Driven Consumer organization works very hard to do the work required to help us be aware of faith-friendly, and not so faith friendly companies that help us to make the Godly choices this country so badly needs to get back to following a Holy God. “Because He is Holy, we are to be Holy.” Although this is just one area where we can choose to make a Godly difference, it is a very important starting place.

If we are putting God first in all areas of our lives, this is not a hard choice to make. Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

I am sure there are more organizations like this out there. Please share any that you know of.

 

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2016 in Call to Action

 

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