What’s the difference between Christianity and religion?

GENESIS CHAPTER 11

Genesis 11:1-4   The whole earth was of one language and the people. The people said let us build for ourselves a tower, which reaches to the Heavens, so that we can be famous and make a name for ourselves.  According to Bible commentaries they planned, organized, and purposed in their hearts to elevate their status to become gods.  This tower would symbolize a new kind of religion that defiled the Lord God.

According to some research in 1876 Babylonian scientists discovered the actual site and place of the tower of Babel. These ruins showed the base was 900 feet by 1156 feet.  There was a giant gate on each of the four sides and the height of the tower from its base itself was over 300 feet tall. According to this the signs of the zodiac were embedded into the walls. An ancient Babylonians tablet reads, “The building of this illustrious tower offended all the gods.

Then one night all the people threw down their instruments for building.  The people were scattered abroad and they made strange sounds of speech because they could no longer communicate with each other.  The people intended to make a name for themselves and call themselves gods.  They planned to work their way into Heaven through the building of a tower and elevate themselves as superior beings.

Religion is man reaching up to God in his own way and own terms, on his own merit and in his own strength.  Christianity is a personal relationship with Christ or Christ reaching down to man.

Genesis 11:5-7

The Lord came down and said now nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. By confusing their language, God put a stop to the evil they intended to do.

God warned the world of impending judgment. “Come let us go down there and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” This verse confirms again the trinity, God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “Let us go down.”

 

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MAYBE GOD DOESN’T WANT US TO KNOW

A family member said, “Hurricane Florence will hit here Sunday morning. You can’t drive to New York.”

“If you’re still going north you should leave Friday.”

“No, you should leave Saturday morning and drive ahead of the hurricane,” said another family member.

“Leave Tuesday when it’s all over. That’s the safest.”

Having received several pieces of great wisdom, it was hard to know which one was the best. I prayed and asked God to show me what to do. Watching the news wasn’t helpful because the storm could do one of several things at that point.

Maybe we’re not supposed to know the future. We’re supposed to trust God and go forward in faith.  God is SOVEREIGN and in charge whether we recognize it or not. With a word He can dissolve the storm or send it back to the ocean. Right?

I had planned to leave on Sunday and after much prayer I decided if I could get everything done I needed before the trip that’s when I would leave. I prepared for the writers class, made handouts, paid the electric bill, drove to the bank, returned books, went to the laundromat to wash clothes, informed the office manager I’d be gone, had my car checked out, bought  gas, updated addresses and phone numbers, emptied the refrigerator, and packed. Regular tasks everyone does before a trip.

I had peace about leaving Sunday morning and had finished everything on my list except one little job that I’d forgotten. After packing my car, I left. It was raining so lightly I could run between the drops. Thank you Lord the biggest part of the storm has passed.

But the longer I drove, the heavier the rain fell.

Ooops I forgot to buy those windshield wipers.

 

THERE’S A FINE LINE BETWEEN FAITH AND TAKING RISKS

When I left home that morning I felt like I was stepping into a river that God had already begun to open for me, so I could walk through on dry ground. I trusted God to stop the rain.

Some people might wait for the river to open all the way so they could see the other side. Not me. God would open the river as I went and I would walk across.

But it rained more and more and heavier and heavier the longer I drove.  With signs posted. “Warning. Flash floods ahead.” Slow down. I did.

Driving through South and North Carolina was like driving through the Red Sea without it parting. Having lived in Africa for many years I’d been in heavy rain storms, but I’d never driven through one that heavy or one that lasted so long.

Maybe I was a fool. Maybe I didn’t have faith to believe. The windshield wipers grew worse with the bottoms and tops of the strips breaking away. Visibility reducing by the minute.

Praise God. The seven hour drive to mid-Virginia took ten hours, but I reached the hotel safe and sound and fell into bed.

I called my brother, who said, “Tomorrow will be just as bad. You must find an Auto Zone and get wipers.”

“This is a big city. I’ve never been here. I don’t have an address for an Auto Zone.”

I started at seven in the morning and trusted God to keep the windshield wipers together.

An hour later, I drove off the exit for gas and coffee. Right there on the left hand side was an Auto Zone. They were just opening at 8 and I zipped in there. THIS IS A MIRACLE.

As the man put the new wipers on, he said, “I don’t know how this wiper held together. It’s falling to pieces.”

“He sustains and holds all things together by His powerful Word.” (Hebrews 1:3)

There’s a fine line between faith and risk-taking, which some folks label as foolishness.

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)

THE SON–SUN-SON-SUN-SON-SUN IS ALWAYS THERE.

After my second long day on the road.  It was late afternoon and I hadn’t had lunch when the rain stopped. I usually pull in to a rest stop along the way and walk from one end to the other to stretch my legs, but I couldn’t do it in a storm.  So I stopped and bought a salad and stood outside eating it from the hood of my car.

As I stood there chewing my food and enjoying a few minutes of fresh air without rain, I looked up at the dark sky and threatening gray clouds. I knew the sun was behind those clouds. The sun was always there. We don’t see it at night because the planet has turned. We don’t see it during a storm because clouds cover it, but the sun is still there.

The sun is always there like the Son is always there. Jesus is always there. We may not see Him or even sense His presence in a difficult time.  Our circumstances and tragedies may get in the way so we don’t sense or see Jesus, but the Son of God, Jesus Christ is always there.

We only have to call out to Him and He will answer.

PS After eating I got back on the highway and it started raining again. But I know the sun-Son is always there.

Thanks for your prayers. I arrived safe and sound in New York.

 

 

 

 

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He prospered

This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God. 21In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered. (2 Chronicles 31:20-21)

It is often easy to get bogged down with long genealogies and laws that were exclusively for the Jews of the time, but there are occasions when we can pick up wonderful encouragement from books like Leviticus or Chronicles.

As I read this I thought this would be a lovely phrase to put on someone’s headstone.

How many people do you know are remembered for seeking the Lord and working wholeheartedly for God?

If you had to pick a Bible verse to place on your headstone, which one would you select?But that would mean you’d have to think about death. For some people that might not be pleasant. It’s a lot easier to think that you will never die.

As Christians we believe our soul or spirit is eternal and will live on forever and ever. We believe this from studying God’s Word. We will pass from death unto life, and go on living in our new body. It sounds great to me so I don’t fear death. I’ll pass into Heaven for eternity.

But where will you live?

 

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