Dec 28, 2017

Why I Love to Sing "Amazing Grace"

When I consider the crucial thing I did not want or care about seeing, that is, my sin, and the injustice of it before a holy God; and that is was only by God's grace that this was revealed to me,

When I think back to the fear I had of God's judgment that was coming my way as my just reward, and that it was Gods' grace that I could see that; and that it was by His Grace that the way of salvation from the wrath I deserved was through His Son, Jesus;

When I remember how it felt when I first believed, to have that fear removed and replaced with that perfect love that casts out all fear of judgment, that Grace was precious to me.

When past and present sins, failings and injustices I have perpetrated come to mind, and
When I consider that He now deals with me as a loving Father raises and disciplines his son, that Grace is precious to me.

When I experience various trials, temptations and struggles, and I realize that same Grace that first revealed to me my need for God's mercy is the same Grace that has gotten me this far, and will lead me until I arrive blameless before my Heavenly Father.....

I sing with all my heart, "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me"!

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

 Amazing Grace was written by John Newton and published in 1779.  The final verse by an unknown author, around 1829, was also found in "Uncle Tom's Cabin", by Harriet Beecher Stowe, published in 1859.

May 28, 2014

Esther: We're Not Evloved


It could be observed that this 2,400 year old story is excellent evidence that mankind at his core cannot, and has not changed over time. 

Only his technology has.

For all our present day chest thumping about how evolved we are, and how much better we are going to be, the Well that was poisoned at Eden remains so today, with the result that we are not, and cannot on our own "evolve" in the sense of getting morally better and better, whether we drink from a gourd or a Starbuck's cup.  Our only hope for real change is in Christ, and the regeneration and sanctification produced by salvation. --Jim Canter 5/2014

Mar 26, 2012

Bible Contradictions

We are at times puzzled when we encounter passages in the bible that seem to contradict one another. Skeptics are quick to point these out as evidence that the bible cannot be true. This is not new.
As a case in point, Josephus, in his first century A.D. “Jewish Antiquities” relates how Zedekiah, the thirty-two-year-old final King of Jerusalem did not believe the prophecies of Ezekiel and Jeremiah regarding the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (ca. 586-587 BC) because there was a seeming contradiction in the prophecies of the two men:
“It happened that the two prophets agreed with one another in what they said as in all other things, that the city should be taken, and Zedekiah himself should be taken captive; but Ezekiel disagreed with him, and said that Zedekiah should not see Babylon, while Jeremiah said to him that the king of Babylon should carry him away there in bonds. And because they did not both say the same thing as to this circumstance, he disbelieved what they both appeared to agree in, and condemned them as not speaking truth therein….” (Jewish Antiquities, Book 10, Chapter 7.2)
Here is the prophecy by Jeremiah:
Thus says the LORD, “Behold, I am about to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will take it; 4 and Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but he will surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will speak with him [a]face to face and see him eye to eye; 5 and he will take Zedekiah to Babylon, and he will be there until I visit him,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 32:3-4, NASB)
Here is the prophecy by Ezekiel:
12 The prince who is among them will load his baggage on his shoulder in the dark and go out. [g]They will dig a hole through the wall to bring it out. He will cover his face so that he can not see the land with his eyes. 13 I will also spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. And I will bring him to Babylon in the land of the Chaldeans; yet he will not see it, though he will die there. (Ezekiel 12:12-13,NASB)
One might presume the king of Babylon to be in Babylon; however, he was actually headquartered in Riblah on the northern frontier of Israel (2 Kings 25:6). So,when Zedekiah was captured, he was taken to Riblah, where he was sentenced by Nebuchadnezzar. His sons were then slaughtered before his eyes.  Zedekiah was then blinded, bound in bronze fetters and taken to Babylon.

The outcome was that BOTH prophets were right. He would see Nebuchadnezzar but not Babylon, though he would be taken there.

As we study God’s word, there will always be questions, but let’s not be too hasty to disregard it or challenge it’s relevance because we think we see a contradiction. Study carefully.  God’s word cannot fail, and He will fulfill His word in remarkable ways.

Oct 13, 2011



Forgetfulness about God’s faithfulness to us seems to be a human condition.  The Israelites forgot God as soon as they occupied the Promised Land, followed by a cycle of kindness by the Lord and forgetfulness of that kindness as soon as the distress was gone.

We Christians also find ourselves forgetful about all that God has and is doing for each of us.  We find ourselves facing trials or suffering allowed by the Lord for our benefit and His glory; we call out to him for guidance and deliverance.  He proves His loving care for us and His faithfulness on our behalf; we learn from the experience, and then forget what He has already done when we hit the next snag.

Having found myself in this miserable condition recently, I began to write a list of all the things I could remember that God had and was giving me.  As the list grew long, I was ashamed of my forgetfulness.  This passage came to mind:

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
(Psalm 103:1-2 NASB)

What follows is a list of things that came to mind as I meditated on what God has given:

Breath of Life

Genesis 2:7; Job 12:10; Job 33:4; Isaiah 42:5; Acts 17:25

Blessings of Nature

Psalm 8; Job 12:7-11

A measure of faith

Romans 12:3; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:8

Every good and perfect gift

James 1:17


Once to die, and then the judgment

Hebrews 9:27


His only begotten Son

John 3:16



John 1:17; 1 Corinthians 1:4


Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 32:1, Psalm 130:4; Daniel 9:9; Matthew 26:28; Acts 5:31



Psalm 11:9; Psalm 130:7


Romans 4:25; Romans 5:18;

Peace with God

Romans 5:1

Peace of God

Philippians 4:7-9

Eternal life

John 3:16; John 3:36


Romans 15:4, 15:12; 15:13


Adoption into God’s Family

Ephesians 1:5; Romans 8:15;

Discipline as God’s Child

Hebrew’s 12:7-9

To suffer for His Name

Philippians 1:29; 3:8


The mind of Christ

1 Corinthians 2:16)


All that Pertains to life and godliness

2 Peter 1:3

My daily bread

Matthew 16:11


Psalm 23)

Deliverance from evil

Psalm 23; Matthew 6:13


God’s Word

2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19

God’s promises

2 Corinthians 1:20; 2Peter 1:)


The Holy Spirit as a pledge of things to come for us

Romans 5:1-5; Ephesians 1:13-14 1Corinthians 6:19

Power to be Witnesses of the Gospel

Acts 1:8

Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Self-control, etc.

Galatians 5:22

Gifts of the Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:4-11



Revelation 1:6, 5:10; 20:6


Revelation 5:10; 20:6

To be glorified with Jesus when He is revealed in Glory

Colossians 3:4

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Sep 1, 2011


battle-trenton During the Revolutionary War, a loyalist spy appeared at the headquarters of Hessian commander Colonel Johann Rall, carrying an urgent message. General George Washington and his Continental army had secretly crossed the Delaware River that morning and were advancing on Trenton, New Jersey where the Hessians were encamped. The spy was denied an audience with the commander and instead wrote his message on a piece of paper. A porter took the note to the Hessian colonel, but because Rall was involved in a poker game he stuffed the unread note into his pocket. When the guards at the Hessian camp began firing their muskets in a futile attempt to stop Washington's army, Rall was still playing cards.

Without time to organize, the Hessian army was captured. The battle occurred the day after Christmas, 1776, giving the colonists a late present--their first major victory of the war.  (From: Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 21.)

Jesus warned the disciples, and Paul and Peter both warned the saints to be on the alert.  In our distracted, careless society these are important warnings for Christians.  So what does it mean to be “on the alert”, and what are we to be alert for? 

To be alert means to be: watchful, observant, undistracted, on guard, quick, sharp, vigilant, wary, prepared; in other words aware of what is going on around you.

The opposite condition is to be: sleepy, distracted, unaware, incognizant, careless, sluggish, falsely secure.

According to Scripture, we should be alert:

1. For the Lord’s coming (Matthew 24:41-43, Matthew 25:13, Mark 13: 33-35, Luke 12:37)
2. In prayer (Luke 21:36; Colossians 4:2, Ephesians 6:17-19)
3. In teaching the truth and guarding against deceivers (Acts 20:28-31)
4. Against temptation (1 Peter 5:8)
5. Against an unforgiving heart (2 Corinthians 2:8-11)

At the same time, we are not to be anxious.  Being anxious is not the same as being alert. Instead, staying watchful depends on our being in constant contact with the Lord, our first Love, who is the source of all the strength we need, and staying in His word (which is how we know what He wants).  In this way, we can stay both alert and at peace. 

Jun 11, 2011

What Money Can’t Buy and Death Can’t Take Away

infinity clock
 A pastor friend of mine in Tennessee had a cross-stitched hanging on his living room wall that simply read “PASSING AWAY”.  Being in my early 20’s at the time, I thought that was just a zealous saying; impractical to consider.  I was just beginning get the things I wanted.  But through the years, the experiences of life have enlightened me a bit.  Careers, family, friends, finances, health, respect, human love; all seem to live so briefly.  They appear and then disappear long before we are ready for them to.
I happened on a radio program last week.  The speaker, the late Adrian Rodgers, was encouraging listeners to make a list of all the things (we have) that money couldn’t buy and that death could not take away.  I thought on this for a good while and could only arrive at a very short list that met both criteria.  Essentially these things would have to be both un-purchased, that is gifts, and eternal.  Three scriptures came to mind. The first clearly sets out three things that are eternal: Faith, Hope, and Love:
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (I Corinthians 13:12, NASB)
The second explains the eternal basis for the first three, the Word of God:
The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:8, NASB)
The third gives us the benefit of the greatest of Faith, Hope, and Love:
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38, NASB)
So, here is my short list:
  1. God’s love, graciously shown to me when I was without hope, and had no use for Him;
  2. God’s righteousness, freely give to me through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One;
  3. Fellowship with God now, in this life;
  4. An enduring Hope: Eternal life in the presence of the One who has given these gifts.
So, whatever comes my way (or leaves me), I can now rest assured that I have an eternal and loving God and Father, who has first given me Himself and then bestowed on me the finest gifts; practical, strong and enduring—just what I always wanted but couldn’t quite see it.
Scripture Quotations from the New American Standard Bible.

Jan 4, 2011

Peace of God; God of Peace



King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, (other than Christ) wrote:

He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 5:10, NASB)

We may protest that we do not love money in that way, and believe we can excuse ourselves from this futility; but, the implication of this passage, in context with the rest of the book, is that we can substitute anything we want for the word “money” (except, of course God) and the passage still applies.

Solomon was clear that money, sex, knowledge, notoriety, work or status, while not bad in themselves, could not satisfy him; and he had them all in abundance.

Many of us are living troubled, futile and out-of-focus lives because we are still trying to fill ourselves with things that cannot satisfy our real need: to know Christ and His Word, and to live out that Word every day.

Do you feel you have no peace lately?  Are you worried, troubled and anxious?  Do you believe God is not blessing your efforts, and that everything you attempt ends poorly?  Here’s the cure:

6Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

7And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

8For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].

9Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you. (Phillipians 4:6-9, Amplified Bible)

To sum up: Are you anxious? Do you lack peace? Pray and be thankful.  Do you feel God is not with you or blessing your efforts?  Try practicing the things you have learned from scripture.

*End Note: This post is for Christians.  If you haven’t believed the Gospel, and don’t know Christ Jesus, peace can’t be yours.  But if you will believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died for your sins, and rose from the dead, the peace of God will be yours and will grow as you listen to and obey the Word of God.

Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE


Why I Love to Sing "Amazing Grace"

When I consider the crucial thing I did not want or care about seeing, that is, my sin, and the injustice of it before a holy God; and that...