Showing posts with label articles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label articles. Show all posts
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Remember Jesus on Valentines Day Prayer

valentines-s-day-christian-wallpaper
Pray this Prayer along with you partner and be blessed.
Dear loving Father, thank you for Saint Valentines Day when we celebrate and share love. Thank you for that love goes deeper than romance and that, through Christ, all love grows deeper and stronger daily. I thank you today for the following people who have loved me unconditionally no matter what happens in my life (specify each one of them here and thank God).

Thank you for the special love of family members. Thank you for the elders in my family who have taught me how to love through thick and thin, even when the word “love” wasn’t specifically spoken out loud. Here is one special act of love they taught me that I want to pass on to others (specify the most memorable special act of love you remember in your life).

Thank you for the pure, open-hearted love of young children. Thank you for scribbled drawings, sticky hugs and wet kisses on the cheek. Here are the ways I would like to be more like a child in sharing love with others (specify how you plan to show innocent love to others around you).

I often need help in expressing love. I want to find the right words to say and also the right deeds, prayers, support and encouragement to share. May your Holy Spirit guide me to be part of your perfect timing in showing others I care at the very moment of their greatest need. Please bring to my mind one such divine deed as I listen for your guidance (remain calm praising God as you listen for His voice).

christian-valentines-s-day-wallpaper
Teach me to love myself. Help me to do healthy, nurturing things for my physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Here is one issue I need your help with so I can better love and care for myself (specify your issue).

Sometimes I have a hard time loving everyone. Give me strength and grace to love the following people (specify the people whom you hate or dislike).

Thank you for hearing my prayer and empowering me today and forever with the great love of Jesus, who died for me and for all of his other beloved children here on earth. Jesus, I love you.
Amen.

Valentines Day Prayers for you

Valentines Day Prayers 
Valentines Day Prayer 1
Praise to the One whose love stirs the ancient embers
Sparks the breath of prayer
Praise to the One whose love entices the wandering
Beckons the confused
Praise to the One whose love grows wings on the weary
Dreams hope in the discouraged
Praise to the One whose love soothes with the ointment of mercy
Transforms with the touch of compassion
Praise to the One whose love threads the energy of friendship
Stitches the strength of fidelity
Praise to the One whose love tickles the soul with laughter
Urges the heart toward joy
Praise to the one whose love embraces the untamed
Dances with the passionate
All praise to this Gracious One
All gratitude to this Beloved
All love to this Mentor of Friendship
All devotion to this Shaper of Hearts.

gods-favorite-valentines-day
Valentines Day Prayer 2
I said a Valentine prayer for you
And asked the Lord above
To fill your heart and bless your soul
With the precious gift of love.
I asked Him for sincere love
The kind that’s meant to stay
Just like the generous love
You give to those you touch each day.
I prayed for love from family
And from every cherished friend
Then I asked the Lord to give you
His love that knows no end.

Valentines Day Prayer 3
God of power and might,
Thank you for the gift of Love
This Valentine’s Day,
And for all the people
Whose love shines in my life.
Continue to fill
My heart with Your love
And let me share that love
With the world
This Valentine’s Day and always.
Amen.

love-of-christ-valentines-day 
Valentines Day Prayer 4
Dearest Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for the precious gift of love you have given to the world and to me. Thank you for blessing me every day with this love and the power and strength that I get from you every single day. Without your love for me I can’t be….I can’t function….I can’t even breathe…because I NEED your love to sustain me. It’s like food and medicine for my soul Lord.
Please continue to let me feel your comforting love in my life and Lord I give myself over to you to perfect in me this gift of love…that I may be able to express it and share it with others. Lord…I have not always been good at this…forgive me. Lord…some people are harder to love than others…but I want to be like your Son Jesus…so please continue the work you are doing in my heart so my heart will be like yours. In Jesus name I pray. Father, I love you so much!

Valentines Day Prayer 5
Pray, then, O holy Martyr, for the Faithful, who are so persevering in celebrating thy memory. The day of Judgment will reveal to us all thy glorious merits. Oh! intercede for us, that we may then be made thy companions at the right hand of the Great Judge, and be united with thee eternally in heaven.
Antiphon: This Saint fought, even unto death, for the law of his God, and feared not the words of the wicked; for he was set upon a firm rock.
Let us pray: Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we who solemnize the festival of blessed Valentine, Thy Martyr, may, by his intercession, be delivered from all the evils that threaten us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Holy Spirit - A Blessing Sermon for Palm Sunday and Easter

the_decent_of_the_holy_spirit_on_to_jesus_disciplesHere is another Sermon titled "The Holy Spirit" which inspires ones mind and body. Jesus says, “I will not leave you orphaned!”.. Lord Jesus will be with us all the time, follows like a shadow and protects us with his spirit.

Sermon Details ::

Sermon Theme :: The Holy Spirit

Time Sensitivity :: Best - end or March, before Palm Sunday and Easter

Courtesy :: Christopher Ian Chenoweth


The final mission of Jesus was to introduce the Holy Spirit into your mind, into your body, and into your life.

John 14:15-21, 23-26. It is the promise of the Holy Spirit to you.

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. I will not leave you orphaned; . . ."

jesus never leave you orphanedHe says, “I will not leave you orphaned!”

Sometimes we have felt orphaned. But it has not been God that has separated from us we ourselves have separated our attention from God. The Bible says that we are children of God. The promise of God is, "I will not leave you orphaned." I am with you at all times.

"I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them."

The Bible continues, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me."

Jesus is saying, "Listen, the human part of me that you see is not the one talking here. Something's talking through me.

"I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you."

Jesus told His followers that after the ascension they were to go to the upper room in Jerusalem. He says the same thing to you. Today, the upper room is a high, peaceful place of consciousness INSIDE of you. Think of yourself—as our Bible says—"you are the temple of the living God." Where is the upper room? It is inside of you. You can visit the upper room at any time in prayer, and have a high spiritual experience with God. This is where the Holy Spirit comes, where the Holy Spirit descends, (from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet,) upon you and you find new power.

We possess a dynamic power beyond anything we can imagine. A few years ago, Sir Oliver Lodge was quoted as saying this: "There is energy enough in one cubic inch of ether to run a forty-horsepower engine for 40 million years." I like that. The power that is available to us in God is beyond all human conception. It is beyond our comprehension, even for those who are serving in the ministry because as much as we know, there is much more to God. There is more to our realization of this Power that can come to us at any time.

Jesus says to you, that all power should be given to you. This carries with it the idea in your life of unlimited spiritual and human capacity. For mastery and dominion over all the circumstances in your life, you need the power of the Holy Spirit.

There is a tremendous, unused potential power available to you at all times. This is the power of the Holy Spirit. It doesn't come into expression, though, until through consenting in your free-will, you call upon it. Now, anyone who has felt the baptism of the Holy Spirit can witness to you that it's a beautiful and extraordinary experience.

Jesus knew you needed a personal helper, a very individual helper. This individual helper is yours this morning. It is the power of the Holy Spirit.

People often ask, "Who is this Holy Spirit? What is this power that has been given to us by Jesus Christ?" The apostles knew the Holy Spirit as the third person in the trinity. The Father is always the first, the Son is second, and the Holy Spirit is third. God is everywhere present. You have God’s Word speaking in you right now. It has spoken in you in the past. This Word says to you, "My child, with Me you can get through this challenge. With Me, you can be healed." You've heard that Word many times in your life.

The Holy Spirit is the movement of that Holy/Whole activity of God inside of you, outside of you, into manifestation and demonstration. The terms “Father” and “Son” express an eternal relationship. The Holy Spirit is the infinite "breath" of God, as the Son is the infinite "Word." This morning, recognize that you are not alone, that you are not orphaned, that you have a Divine power that is with you. It seals you to a new self identification that forever changes you and who you think you are. It unites you with the idea that you are more than flesh and bones, that you are not out there alone trying to recreate everything and rebuild the wheel. You are immersed in a help that is ever-present and available to you right now.

To the extent that you and I identify ourselves with this Mind of God, the only source of existence, we become Spirit in expression, until finally the union is so perfect that it attains a perfection. That is the time we can say with Jesus Christ, "I and the Father are one." In making your demonstrations in prayer, you work with the conviction in your heart that you are one with God.

In the times of the silence of prayer, you know that you are one with God, and you know that all will be revealed to you.

In the Bible, ideas are sometimes symbolized by fish. Fish are a good simple for God's Divine ideas given to you freely. They are plentiful and unlimited, of all forms and sizes. An idea is an original, a primary, or an unlimited thought of being. In God Mind, it is the eternal word or the logos. In the idea are all the potentialities that are, and can be, evolved through you. Ideas are catching. We are all heavily charged with ideas. You are charged with ideas right now that could change your life; ideas that can revolutionize your existence. You are charged with them. A battery’s power is electric; a human’s power is God's ideas charging the mind with new excitement, energy, and motivation towards higher thought and expression. When these ideas are released, they spring forth and pass from mind to mind, being recorded as they fly. When they are expressed, the whole consciousness of humanity is lifted up.

You cannot find God without lifting up everyone around you because of what you are radiating in your consciousness. The only way to really convert another person to God is to show forth evidence of God within yourself. These true ideas are charged with an uplifting Spirit. You are bringing Divine ideas into manifestation just by your willingness to sit here this morning and accept some of these ideas for yourself.

Jesus said that we are co-existing with God. Jesus said that we are interacting, inter-communicating with God at all times. He also said that there is a highness spiritually of this experience. The highness is to receive the Holy Spirit. "He breathed on them and said unto them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" Listen to the power of the spoken word for you this morning.

In the presence and the power of the Christ, you proclaim your perfection.

Through Jesus Christ, you are the master of every realm of consciousness in your being. Through Jesus Christ, you enter into a full and complete understanding of how to handle all states of consciousness inside of you to the glory, and for the glory of God.

You are illumined with the light of Spirit. You reign in every thought - into spiritual captivity, to the obedience of the Christ. You commit all your works unto God’s good, and your purposes are established. Every plane of consciousness in you is transformed by the renewing of your mind.

And so it is.

The power of the spoken word is spiritually co-create with God, lies within every one of us. We can begin by freeing the little small ideas we have and fill our minds with thoughts of God’s plenty. We must realize that all power is given to us in heaven and on earth, as Jesus said. He told His apostles that they should receive power when the Holy Spirit had come upon them. They were told to go to that upper room, within us we find the upper consciousness where spiritual forces begin the formation of new ideas.

After you get into spiritual consciousness and receive the quickening, speak the word with authority and with power, concentrating the attention on the power of God to do all things correctly. When the soul makes complete union with God, there is always an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is the true glorification, which comes by the acknowledgement that God is with me; true glorification, the acknowledgment of God that the Child is indeed lifted up and glorified.

Thus you can be assured of an inner guide that is willing to direct you. We are talking about you individually; you, the individual sitting here this morning, not just the disciples, or followers of 2,000 years ago. This is more than a theory or possibility. This is an assurance given to you directly by Jesus Christ. There is NOW an inner guide with you, that is willing to direct you, and speak through you. But you must be open and receptive in your mind, and listen to this wonderful helper.

Many choose, for whatever reason, to stop short of the full spiritual experience.

When you let the Holy Spirit come into your consciousness, God's perfect plan will unfold in your life. All the good thoughts, words, and prayers are put into positive action with power and authority. The Holy Spirit is very important to anyone who has a need of healing. We all need to be filled and refilled with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. As we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, we are renewed, healed, and restored in mind, body, and soul.

Lord Jesus Christ blessing the small childrenSay: I receive Ye, The Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit will take over when you let it speak through you, lead you, heal you, and fill your heart with love, compassion, and understanding. Since the Holy Spirit represents God in action, we need to use this power to act through us, to heal us, and to speak through us. When we have prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to take over, it's going to flood our whole being, not so much with excessive emotional feeling, but as a warm, loving presence that literally speaks and acts through us.

The person who would have fruit from the tree of life, must reach up and get it. He or she must aspire to it first, and then in prayer and true word, must go right ahead [living] the Gospel, healing the sick, the sick part of ourselves, and helping to heal the sick part of others.

When the disciples of Jesus wanted to forbid those who were doing works in His name, He said, 'Forbid them not.' So everyone who goes ahead and does the very best he knows in the name of the Most High Good, will by virtue of their works, draw down upon himself the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

What is this going to give you? It is going to give you an inner revelation of your power and the possibilities of your own being. It is the light that is going to bring to your notice the inner mechanism of your soul and body. Where your eyes have seen only flesh, blood, and bones, the searchlight of this Holy Spirit discloses the presence of secret springs and living streams of energy and life. You will awaken from your dream of sense consciousness and begin to visit the different rooms in the temple in which you live, but you know so little about with a whole new eye of realization of what this temple is. You are permitted to do so through “the light which lighteth every man and woman, coming into the world."

Let us pray.

Receive Ye, The Holy Spirit
Listen to these words, because I'm talking directly to your consciousness. I am talking directly to you, your mind, and your body. The Word of Truth in you is not idle, but it is quietly spreading from point to point and the process will continue until your whole consciousness is vitalized by the Holy Spirit. The rejuvenating power of the Holy Spirit is now at work inside of you, in every atom and function of your body. It is making you alive. You are radiant with life and wholeness. There is an inspiration of the Holy Spirit that is right now reaching to the individual depth of your soul, and it satisfies your every need.

Receive Ye, The Holy Spirit

We pray, this morning, to the Holy Spirit. We turn problems over to the Holy Spirit. We are able to relax and let the Holy Spirit direct the outworking. The comforting, sustaining presence of the Holy Spirit is now uplifting you. It is strengthening you. You are feeling a power, you are feeling a strengthening now, in this place, and it's nothing I am doing or you are doing; it is the Holy Spirit.

Receive Ye, The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is expressing itself through you. It is touching you and all that concerns you. It is bringing order and harmony into your life and work. The Holy Spirit is taking command of your affairs, and you are prospered through new avenues of supply. This loving, powerful action of the Holy Spirit is taking command in your body, and you are renewed and restored.

Receive Ye, The Holy Spirit

In this acceptance this morning, you accept this power. I pray that it only accelerates and expands in you as this day goes forward. As this service ends, there is a new beginning in you. The experience and the religious service are continuing in the true church of Christ which is the temple of the living Lord, your physical body temple.

In Jesus Christ's name . . .Amen.

Prayer/Meditation____________________________________

As you rest in the presence of God, listen to these words of the Psalmist.

"Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me" [Psalms 139:7-10].

Feel, now, a special leading of the Spirit.

These words of the Psalmist express his faith in the guiding, protecting presence of God. They inspire us even more when we realize that the author was writing during a time of conflict and great danger.

God is your help.

God is your inspiration.

Place yourself, your loved ones, and your friends in God's loving care.

Entrust the day to God's keeping and acknowledge God's protecting Spirit from this attitude of calm, poise and prayer.

Rest in the silence of prayer. . .

This spiritual minute you are gaining new strength and power. You are having the realization of the assurance, a conviction, and a realization that you, your life, and all you hold dear are safe and secure in God's loving presence.

Realize that you live, move, and have your being in God.

This spiritual realization brings you to a sense of peace and security. If you have thoughts of fear or pain this day, realize that you abide eternally in the protecting presence of God.

Rest in the silence of prayer. . .

Dear God, this minute as never before, I am giving myself to You. I am putting my whole trust in You, not only for myself, but for my loved ones and friends. I know that everyone, including myself, is safe and secure. I know, God, that You are watching over us, shielding us, and guiding us.

Fill me now with wisdom to know this, and good judgment to always choose this right and higher way. Fill me with the guidance to bring me safely through every experience.

"Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit, or whither shall I flee from Thy Presence."

God's presence is instantly available to me right now. The presence of God, Divine intelligence within my mind, gives an instant answer to every thought. Your mind is poised in God. It is established in a citadel of strength against which nothing can prevail. God's promise of protection is standing in you. God is answering your prayer. There is faith and trust inside of you. The eternal God is your dwelling place.

Underneath are the everlasting arms.

Rest, now, for a moment in the silence and feel the presence of God. . .

You feel a sense of peace that comes from power, the power of God everywhere present, within you, blessing you, protecting you, radiating from you to bless and protect others. You are in God's loving care. Your family and your friends are in the same care. You are all safe in God's loving care, and you are blessed and secure.

The goodness of God is everywhere present in your life. The love of God comes through you touching everyone in your life. The power of God works through you to produce greatness in your world. The presence of God never leaves you. Wherever you are, God is with you!

In this moment, we pray. In this moment, we know.

Through the power of Jesus Christ . . . Amen.


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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The choosen One - Jesus Christ

The choosen One - Jesus Christ (a short article)The choosen One - Jesus Christ (a short article)
Welcome to the new season of Lent. As everyone knows that lent season is an temptation period for all of us. Be spiritual, be holy, be confident in lord Jesus Christ and he'll help in all the aspects to place in the kingdom of his own.

The passion Jesus showed in the garden is something Christians should never forget because it reminds us of How much He loves us. This write up just tells us a little about how it was put in Heb 5:7-9, and with a couple of John Wesley's side of it. Here's how a view to it.

It wasn't easy for him not because of the shame, the pain or the hatred shown to Him but the fact that He was to carry the sin of the whole world, and being separated from a holy God who was a God of Justice and could not behold sin, not even while His son was carrying the sin of the world.So just know definitely that if Jesus could it carry the sin of the world-your sin inclusive on His spotless soul, then there is nothing He would not be willing to do for you. Thank you Jesus.If you, then evil know how to give good gifts to your children how much more your heavenly father would give to you..........Matt 7:11, Luke 11:13.

I will learn to trust Him with all my heart and live a Holy life, no matter what i might have done,He has paid the price for me, I can feel His passion, love and suffering for me, and I want to carry that burden too, so i can feel how much he aches for me to know him,to feel his love for me, drink it, He's calling to me(Rev 3:20), like a groom that is calling to His bride despite the fact she has done wrong and has been found guilty for acts of infidelity but is still looking for a way to reconcile her back to Himself like as if nothing ever happened.

Remember that Christ Loves us so much and wants to make you His immaculate bride. God bless you.

Alone with God - A short Bible Study

Alone with God - A short Bible StudyAlone with God - A short Bible Study
Hi Everyone, Today i want to share a story as a part of bible study. I recently read this article which is actually a letter from the LORD to mankind and it blessed me so much, I believe as you read this piece you will know more about God’s love to us. I believe that God desires more from us as His children, to live in Righteousness and Holiness, I believe that as you read through, you would be blessed mightily. One last thing could you please hold a bible close to you, so that you can read the passages listed below.


sharing bible study classes. hold the bible along with you in bible studysharing bible study classes. hold the bible along with you in bible study
Here goes-

My Child, you don’t have to be clever to please Me. All you have to do is love Me. Just speak to Me as you would to anyone with whom you are very familiar.

Are there people you want to pray for? Mention their names to Me, and ask of Me as much as you like. I am generous and I know all their needs. All I want, is to show My love to them and trust Me to do what I know is best.

Tell Me about the needy, the sick and the sinners and if you have lost the friendship or affection of anyone, tell Me about that too. Is there anything you want for your soul? If you like you can write out a long list of all your needs and read it to Me. Tell Me about your pride, faults, self-centeredness, Meanness and laziness. Don’t be ashamed there are many saints in heaven that had the same fault as you, they prayed to Me and little by little, their faults were corrected.

Don’t hesitate to ask Me for blessing for your spirit, soul and body: ask for health, wisdom, success and understanding. I can give everything needed to make your soul holier.

alone with God - a short story in a bible studyalone with God - a short story in a bible study
What is it that you want today? Tell Me, for I long to do good to you- Jer. 29:11. What are your plans? Tell Me about them. Is there anyone who maltreated you and failed to do the things expected of them? Tell it all to Me; for I care and want to do all that will benefit you. Don’t you want to do a little good to the souls of your friend who perhaps have forgotten Me or know nothing about Me. Tell Me about your failure and I will show you the cause of them. What are your worries and things you’re anxious about?

Who has caused you pains? Tell me about it add that you will forgive and forget and I will bless you.

Are you afraid of anything? Are you tormented by unbearable fears? Trust yourself to me. I am there, I see everything I will not leave you no matter what.

Have you no joy, tell me about it? Why don’t you share your happiness and success with Me? Tell Me what happened yesterday to cheer and comfort you. Whatever it was; big or small, I want to hear it.

Are you determined to remind your neighbor about My second coming? To take home all that love me for a reward. Well, go along now with your work; be more quiet, more humble and more submissive; and come back soon with a more devoted heart and I shall have more blessing for you.

Remember, all that I have told you My child, do not also forget that I hate sin, but I do not hate the sinner that is why sent My Son to die for you, that through Him you might have eternal life.

Don’t forget that the last days are here and My second coming is at hand so prepare yourself for it, because I want you to be in My kingdom. Remember My word says “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom” Luke 12:32. I desire to bless you, so speak to Me more.

Bible Passages:1 John 4:10, 1:8-9, Isa. 41:10-13, 1 Thess. 14:11, Rom 8:32, Matt 6:12, Luke 12:22-48

Now that you have this understanding, surrender yourself to God's hand. Be Born Again that you may be accepted to Him.

Pray this prayer:Lord Jesus I come to you today, come into my heart and into my life. I accept you as my Lord and Saviour, Amen.

I hope this post has blessed you tremendously, thank you for reading it, Hope you enjoyed it too, May God Himself keep you in His love and will and may His presence follow you always.Remain Blessed.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Real Hero JOB: Righteous Job and the Rock Star

Real hero JOB Righteous Job and the Rock StarReal hero JOB Righteous Job and the Rock Star
When he lost his ten children to a wind storm (like hurricane Mitch) that crushed them to death, Job rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon the ground and worshiped. And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return; the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21). Then when he was struck with boils from head to toe, Job said to his God-cursing wife, "Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord and not receive evil?" (Job 2:10). In both cases the author of the book of Job adds, "Job did not sin" in these bold assertions of God's sovereignty (1:22; 2:10).


What are the main influences on young people today in this regard? What message is coming through concerning God's rule over all things and his rights as Creator to give and take and govern the world? Tori Amos, alternative rock star and daughter of a North Carolina Methodist minister, miscarried two years ago. To the idea that this painful event may have been in God's will she responds, "If it was, then I'm going to kick his ..., because I'm not interested in 'thy will be done.' As mother of this child, I wanted my will, not thy will" (Foster's Sunday Citizen, Nov. 15, 1998).

Later Job speaks about people like his wife and Tori Amos. They are prosperous, not realizing that every breath they take is a gift of grace that they do not deserve. They do not live lives of continual gratitude for God's patience and forbearance (Romans 2:4). They take pleasure for granted and take pain as an occasion to blaspheme the Almighty. Thus Job says of them, "They say to God, 'Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?'" (Job 21:14-15).

What is the Almighty that we should serve him? Good question, depending on the tone of voice. Here's part of the answer.

He is the reason you came into being. "By Him all things were created" (Col. 1:16).

He is the reason you stay in being. "He upholds all things by the word of His power" (Heb. 1:3).

He decides why you have being and makes your being serve his aims. "All things have been created for Him" (Col. 1:16).

He supplies you with life and breath and everything to keep you alive. "He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).

He is the governor of all the authorities on the earth who seem so influential. "Jesus Christ the ruler of the kings of the earth" (Rev. 1:5).

He alone has authority to forgive sins. "Who can forgive sins but God alone? The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" (Mark 2:10).

It is utter folly to oppose God. "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:13).

It is utter wisdom to love him and draw near to him. "In His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Ps. 16:11).

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8).

Trembling with joy under the mighty hand of God,

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Warrior Mystic : Joshua The Bible Hero

joshua jericho bible hero posterjoshua jericho bible hero poster
Joshua is a minor character in Exodus. But what we see is amazing. It is surely intended to show us what makes a leader. First, we meet him as a warrior: “And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.” He was no pansy. He shouted. He flashed a sword and spear. He was a fighter all his life. But that is not what made him a leader in Israel.


In Exodus 24:12 God calls Moses to leave Aaron part way up the mountain and come up further. Moses takes Joshua, his personal minister, and goes up. But in verse 18 Moses leaves Joshua and goes on by himself into the cloud of God. Aaron and the elders are nearer the bottom. Joshua is nearer the top. And Moses is alone at the top.

Forty days and forty nights pass. Aaron abandons his place (contrary to Moses’ instructions, 24:14). He winds up making a golden calf. Now where is Joshua all this time? According to 32:17, when Moses comes down to the camp at the end of forty days Joshua is with him! While Moses met with God, Joshua kept his place alone. He waited at the outskirts of God’s glory. He did not forsake the ministry of waiting. He was near the Lord and that was enough. He loved the glory of God! The warrior had a heart for God. O men of Bethlehem, be like Joshua! Powerful in his work and deeply in love with the glory of God.

But wait a minute. Aren’t you reading too much into this story? I might be, if it weren’t for Exodus 33:11. At that time there was a tent where Moses met God (a sort of portable Mt. Sinai). Exodus 33:11 says, “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tent.” Why? Because Joshua loved the glory of God! He was a kind of warrior mystic. He loved the mountain and the tent. He loved nature and church. He had a heart for God. Wherever he smelled the aroma of God he lingered.

Where are the Joshuas? The warrior mystics of Bethlehem—the men and women whose hearts are aflame with the conquest and who linger at the tent? Where are the men and women whose knees are as calloused as their hands?

Look to Joshua this Christmas for a new hero.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Dispensationalism, Covenant Theology and New Covenant Theology

Dispensationalism, covenant theology and new covenant theologyDispensationalism, covenant theology and new covenant theology
There are three main theological camps on the issues of law, gospel, and the structuring of God's redemptive relationship with humankind: dispensationalism, covenant theology, and new covenant theology. Many have written to us asking about the differences between these three views, and so before discussing John Piper's perspective we will give an overview of each.


Dispensationalism
It can be hard to summarize dispensational theology as a whole because in recent years multiple forms of it have developed. In general, there are three main distinctives.

First, dispensationalism sees God as structuring His relationship with mankind through several stages of revelation which mark off different dispensations, or stewardship arrangements. Each dispensation is a "test" of mankind to be faithful to the particular revelation given at the time. Generally, seven dispensations are distinguished: innocence (before the fall), conscience (Adam to Noah), government (Noah to Babel), promise (Abraham to Moses), Law (Moses to Christ), grace (Pentecost to the rapture), and the millennium.

Second, dispensationalism holds to a literal interpretation of Scripture. This does not deny the existence of figures of speech and non-literal language in the Bible, but rather means that there is a literal meaning behind the figurative passages.

Third, as a result of this literal interpretation of Scripture, dispensationalism holds to a distinction between Israel (even believing Israel) and the church. On this view, the promises made to Israel in the OT were not intended as prophecies about what God would do spiritually for the church, but will literally be fulfilled by Israel itself (largely in the millennium). For example, the promise of the land is interpreted to mean that God will one day fully restore Israel to Palestine. In contrast, non-dispensationalists typically see the land promise as intended by God to prophesy, in shadowy Old-covenant-form, the greater reality that He would one day make the entire church, Jews and Gentiles, heirs of the whole renewed world (cf. Romans 4:13).

In many ways it is thus accurate to say that dispensationalism believes in "two peoples of God." Although both Jews and Gentiles are saved by Christ through faith, believing Israel will be the recipient of additional "earthly" promises (such as prosperity in the specific land of Palestine, to be fully realized in the millennium) that do not apply to believing Gentiles, whose primary inheritance is thus "heavenly."

Covenant Theology
Covenant theology believes that God has structured his relationship with humanity by covenants rather than dispensations. For example, in Scripture we explicitly read of various covenants functioning as the major stages in redemptive history, such as the covenant with Abraham, the giving of the law, the covenant with David, and the new covenant. These post-fall covenants are not new tests of man's faithfulness to each new stage of revelation (as are the dispensations in dispensationalism), but are rather differing administrations of the single, overarching covenant of grace.

The covenant of grace is one of two fundamental covenants in covenant theology. It structures God's post-fall relationship to mankind; pre-fall, God structured His relationship by the covenant of works. The covenant of grace is best understood in relation to the covenant of works.

The covenant of works, instituted in the Garden of Eden, was the promise that perfect obedience would be rewarded with eternal life. Adam was created sinless but with the capability of falling into sin. Had he remained faithful in the time of temptation in the Garden (the "probationary period"), he would have been made incapable of sinning and secured in an eternal and unbreakable right standing with God.

But Adam sinned and broke the covenant, and thereby subjected himself and all his descendants to the penalty for covenant-breaking, condemnation. God in His mercy therefore instituted the "covenant of grace," which is the promise of redemption and eternal life to those who would believe in the (coming) redeemer. The requirement of perfect obedience for eternal life is not annulled by the covenant of grace, but is rather fulfilled by Christ on behalf of His people, since now that all are sinners no one can meet the condition of perfect obedience by his own performance. The covenant of grace, then, does not set aside the covenant of works but rather fulfills it.

As mentioned above, covenant theology emphasizes that there is only one covenant of grace, and that all of the various redemptive covenants that we read of in the Scripture are simply differing administrations of this one covenant. In support, it is pointed out that a covenant is in essence simply a sovereignly given promise (usually with stipulations), and since there is only one promise of salvation (namely, by grace through faith), it follows that there is therefore only one covenant of grace. All of the specific redemptive covenants we read of (the Abrahamic, Mosaic, etc.) are various and culminating expressions of the covenant of grace.

New Covenant Theology
New covenant theology typically does not hold to a covenant of works or one overarching covenant of grace (although they would still argue for only one way of salvation). The essential difference between New Covenant Theology (hereafter NCT) and Covenant Theology (CT), however, concerns the Mosaic Law. CT holds that the Mosaic Law can be divided into three groups of laws--those regulating the government of Israel (civil laws), ceremonial laws, and moral laws. The ceremonial law and civil law are no longer in force because the former was fulfilled in Christ and the latter only applied to Israel's theocracy, which is now defunct. But the moral law continues.

NCT argues that one cannot divide the law up in that way, as though part of the Mosaic Law can be abrogated while the rest remains in force. The Mosaic Law is a unity, they say, and so if part of it is canceled, all of it must be canceled. On top of this, they say that the New Testament clearly teaches that the Mosaic Law as a whole is superseded in Christ. It is, in other words, no longer our direct and immediate source of guidance. The Mosaic Law, as a law, is no longer binding on the believer.

Does this mean that believers are not bound by any divine law? No, because the Mosaic Law has been replaced by the law of Christ. NCT makes a distinction between the eternal moral law of God and the code in which God expresses that law to us. The Mosaic Law is an expression of God's eternal moral law as a particular code which also contains positive regulations pertinent to the code's particular temporal purpose, and therefore the cancellation of the Mosaic Law does not mean that the eternal moral law is itself canceled. Rather, upon canceling the Mosaic Law, God gave us a different expression of his eternal moral law--namely, the Law of Christ, consisting in the moral instructions of Christ's teaching and the New Testament. The key issue that NCT seeks to raise is: Where do we look to see the expression of God's eternal moral law today--do we look to Moses, or to Christ? NCT says we look to Christ.

There are many similarities between the Law of Christ and Mosaic Law, but that does not change the fact that the Mosaic Law has been canceled and that, therefore, we are not to look to it for direct guidance but rather to the New Testament. For example, England and the US have many similar laws (for example, murder is illegal in both countries). Nonetheless, the English are not under the laws of America, but of England. If an English citizen murders in England, he is held accountable for breaking England's law against murder, not America's law against murder.

The benefit of NCT, its advocates argue, is that it solves the difficulty of trying to figure out which of the Mosaic laws apply to us today. On their understanding, since the Mosaic Law is no longer a direct and immediate source of guidance, we look to the Law of Christ for our direct guidance. Although the Mosaic Law is no longer a binding law code in the NT era, it still has the authority, not of law, but of prophetic witness. As such, it fills out and explains certain concepts in both the old and new covenant law.

John Piper's position
John Piper has some things in common with each of these views, but does not classify himself within any of these three camps. He is probably the furthest away from dispensationalism, although he does agree with dispensationalism that there will be a millennium.

Many of his theological heroes have been covenant theologians (for example, many of the Puritans), and he does see some merit in the concept of a pre-fall covenant of works, but he has not taken a position on their specific conception of the covenant of grace.

In regards to his views on the Mosaic Law, he seems closer to new covenant theology than covenant theology, although once again it would not work to say that he precisely falls within that category.

Further Resources

On covenant theology:

O. Palmer Robertson, Christ of the Covenants
Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 7
Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology
Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology
The Covenants: The Structure of Redemption

On dispensationalism:

Craig Blaising and Darrell Bock, Progressive Dispensationalism
Vern Poythress, Understanding Dispensationalists

On new covenant theology:

Sound of Grace
What is New Covenant Theology?
Sola Gratia's New Covenant Theology Page
John Reisenger, Abraham's Four Seeds
Tom Wells and Fred Zaspel, New Covenant Theology: Description, Definition, Defense

On a biblical theology of the Mosaic Law:

Tom Schreiner, The Law and Its Fulfillment
Frank Thielman, Paul & the Law
Wayne Strickland, ed., Five Views on Law and Gospel

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Counting the Ten Commandments

Ten commandments which the god gave to moses

One of the most enduring elements of the Bible and the Judaeo-Christian worldview within Western culture is the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments. Even if one can't recite them all, most people have seen the fiery finger of God etch the commandments into two stone tablets as Moses—for many of us, Charlton Heston—watches in awe.

It seems to go without saying that the list of the Ten Commandments is something that Judaism and Christianity have always agreed upon. Well, that is not exactly true.

One of the most enduring elements of the Bible and the Judaeo-Christian worldview within Western culture is the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments. Even if one can't recite them all, most people have seen the fiery finger of God etch the commandments into two stone tablets as Moses—for many of us, Charlton Heston—watches in awe.

It seems to go without saying that the list of the Ten Commandments is something that Judaism and Christianity have always agreed upon. Well, that is not exactly true.

Historically speaking, Jews and Christians—and even denominations within Christianity—have disagreed on exactly how the Ten Commandments should be listed and expressed. In fact, how to precisely spell out the commandments was an issue of considerable importance during the Protestant Reformation. The difference concerns how many commands are to be found in the first six verses and last two verses of Exod 20:2-17, the initial listing of the commandments received by Moses at Sinai (with respect to the second listing of the commandments in Deut 5, this issue concerns Deut 5:6-21).


One point of context is required before we can understand the thinking behind the differences in the listing and expression of the commandments. Any listing of the commandments must result in a total of ten, because three other passages of Scripture fix the number of commandments at ten. Exodus 34:28, Deut 4:13, and Deut 10:4 each clearly tell us that God gave Moses ‘asereth hadvarim ("ten words"; "ten statements") at Sinai.

Interestingly, the Jewish tradition treats the statement in Exod 20:2 (compare Deut 5:6) as a command when the wording has no imperative force to it at all. This latitude arises from the fact that the Hebrew text of the Old Testament exclusively uses ‘asereth hadvarim ("ten words") instead of ‘asereth hamitsvot ("ten commandments") with respect to the contents of Exod 20 and Deut 5. After regarding Exod 20:2 as the first "word" of the ten, verses 3-6 are then thematically understood as speaking to a single prohibition: making idols for worship.

There are actually three imperative statements in this group of verses ("You shall have no other gods before me"; "You shall not make for yourself a carved image"; "You shall not bow down to them or serve them"), but to consider them as separate commands would move the total beyond ten.

Christian perceptions of Exod 20 are not rooted in the Hebrew terminology ‘asereth hadvarim ("ten words"), and so Christian formulations do not regard verse one as the first point of the Decalogue. As a result, all of Exod 20:2-6 is considered the starting point, and the imperative wording ("You shall not") prompted the "commandment" terminology so widely known and used today (Orthodox churches do not consider verse 2 a prefatory comment. Rather, all of verses 2-3 are considered the first commandment).

The enumeration adopted by Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism originated with Augustine. While they prefer it, the enumeration of Augustine is not a point of dogma. Section 2066 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is representative of the acknowledgement that, "The division and numbering of the Commandments have varied in the course of history" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed. (Doubleday, 2003). See also note 20a in The Jerusalem Bible (Doubleday, 1966) on Exod 20). Reformed Protestants and Greek Orthodox Christians also reject verse 1 as a command, but distinguish verse 3 from verses 4-6 as the first and second commands. This position is likewise not dogmatically taken.

The last two verses are the other major point of divergence in expressing the number and contents of the commandments. Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism divide Exod 20:17 into two commands to achieve the number ten, a necessity in view of seeing Exod 20:2-6 as the first command. This dichotomy is perhaps puzzling, since the entirety of the content of verse 17 speaks about one's household and possessions, and in light of the thematic grouping at the beginning of the Decalogue. Thematic grouping at the beginning of the Decalogue and thematic splitting at the end doesn't make sense—unless one keeps in mind the need to wind up with ten!

Despite the numerical disagreement over how to count the commandments, the moral core of the Judaeo-Christian ethic has never been in doubt among those Jews and Christians who take the Bible seriously. A lack of certainty on how to count the Ten Commandments is no impediment to understanding their importance for honoring God and our fellow human beings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hebrews : A Compelling Reason for Rigorous Training of the Mind

Bible articles and sermonsI was reading and meditating on the book of Hebrews recently, when it hit me forcefully that a basic and compelling reason for education—the rigorous training of the mind—is so that a person can read the Bible with understanding.

This sounds too obvious to be useful or compelling. But that's just because we take the preciousness of reading so for granted; or, even more, because we appreciate so little the kind of thinking that a complex Bible passage requires of us.

The book of Hebrews, for example, is an intellectually challenging argument from Old Testament texts. The points that the author makes hang on biblical observations that come only from rigorous reading, not light skimming. And the understanding of these Old Testament interpretations in the text of Hebrews requires rigorous thought and mental effort. The same could be said for the extended argumentation of Romans and Galatians and the other books of the Bible.




This is an overwhelming argument for giving our children a disciplined and rigorous training in how to think an author's thoughts after him from a text—especially a biblical text. An alphabet must be learned, as well as vocabulary, grammar, syntax, the rudiments of logic, and the way meaning is imparted through sustained connections of sentences and paragraphs.

The reason Christians have always planted schools where they have planted churches is because we are a people of THE BOOK. It is true that THE BOOK will never have its proper effect without prayer and the Holy Spirit. It is not a textbook to be debated; it is a fountain for spiritual thirst, and food for the soul, and a revelation of God, and a living power, and a two-edged sword. But none of this changes the fact: apart from the discipline of reading, the Bible is as powerless as paper. Someone might have to read it for you; but without reading, the meaning and the power of it are locked up.

Is it not remarkable how often Jesus settled great issues with a reference to reading? For example, in the issue of the Sabbath he said, "Have you not read what David did?" (Matthew 12:3). In the issue of divorce and remarriage he said, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?" (Matthew 19:4). In the issue of true worship and praise he said, "Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes you have prepared praise for yourself'?" (Matthew 21:16). In the issue of the resurrection he said, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone'?" (Matthew 21:42). And to the lawyer who queried him about eternal life he said, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" (Luke 10:26).

The apostle Paul also gave reading a great place in the life of the church. For example, he said to the Corinthians, "We write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end" (2 Corinthians 1:13). To the Ephesians he said, "When you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ" (Ephesians 3:3). To the Colossians he said, "When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea" (Colossians 4:16). Reading the letters of Paul was so important that he commands it with an oath: "I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren" (1 Thessalonians 5:27).

The ability to read does not come intuitively. It must be taught. And learning to read with understanding is a life-long labor. The implications for Christians are immense. Education of the mind in the rigorous discipline of thoughtful reading is a primary goal of school. The church of Jesus is debilitated when his people are lulled into thinking that it is humble or democratic or relevant to give a merely practical education that does not involve the rigorous training of the mind to think hard and to construe meaning from difficult texts.

The issue of earning a living is not nearly so important as whether the next generation has direct access to the meaning of the Word of God. We need an education that puts the highest premium under God on knowing the meaning of God's Book, and growing in the abilities that will unlock its riches for a lifetime. It would be better to starve for lack of food than to fail to grasp the meaning of the book of Romans. Lord, let us not fail the next generation!

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Yesu Piluchuchunnadu Melodies by Bro DGS Dhinakaran telugu christian songs download

DGS Dhinakaran presents Yesu pilachuchunnadu tv program audio songs download for freeDGS Dhinakaran presents Yesu pilachuchunnadu tv program audio songs download for free
D. G. S. Dhinakaran (July 1, 1935 - February 20, 2008) was a Indian Christian evangelist and founder of Karunya University. He was also the founder of the Jesus Calls ministry. He is the father of Paul Dhinakaran.

Album :: Collection of DGS Dhinakaran albums

Artist :: DGS Dhinakaran & family


Genre :: Christian Melodies

Label :: Jesus calls Ministries


Producer :: Jesus Calls

Location :: 16, Greenways road, Chennai, India



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History::

Dr.D.G.S.Dhinakaran is the founder of the Jesus Calls Ministry. Born on July 1, 1935, he had a very tough life being torn by the ailments of poverty and agony of unemployment.

Born :: July 1, 1935

Died :: February 20, 2008

Location :: Chennai, India

Occupation :: Evangelist

Unable to bear the agony of these problems, on February 11, 1955, Dr.D.G.S.Dhinakaran decided to put an end to his life. He started towards the nearest railway track in his village to throw himself before the speeding train when he was stopped by his uncle who introduced Jesus Christ. He experienced a sudden wave of divine peace and hope, flood his heart. His mind was transformed and he returned home enlightened.

After this incident, things started happening in him supernaturally. There arose an unquenchable thirst in him to spend hours together poring over the life-transforming pages of eternal Truth - The Bible, discovering secrets that could revolutionize human life. He spent hours talking to God and sought Him with all his heart.

DGS Dhinakaran and his parents and his siblings
DGS Dhinakaran and his parents
The High Calling ::

Seven years of diligently seeking the Lord Jesus Christ!

Dr. D.G.S.Dhinakaran On October 9, 1962, he tarried at the feet of the Lord Jesus in prayer till midnight. He pleaded persistently. "Lord! Hear my prayer now and grant me Your power! Or else, slay me! I don't want to live as a powerless and phoney Christian!" Next day dawned. 10th October 1962! After an exacting day in the bank, he returned home at 9.30 in the night. Supper over, he joined the family prayers. He longed to have a glimpse of blessed vision of Jesus. The very next moment, a divine presence appeared in front of him! He was thrown into an ecstasy of joy. The Lord opened His eyes and with a radiant face, addressed him with a smile:

"My beloved son! I am Christ! Because you have been seeking Me diligently, I have come seeking you Myself, to bless you".

Yes! For three full hours he saw Lord Jesus face to face. The Lord gave His commission that has made his life a continual blessing to countless.

"My son! People might have heard of My love, but they haven't tasted it. So, I pour My love and compassion in your heart! This love will console their broken hearts and heal their diseased bodies. You will be witness to the power of My Holy Spirit."

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Tracklisting ::

There are a collection of 42 songs from the album of Bro. DGS Dhinakaran.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

The Story of Jacob and Esau

jacob taking blessing from his father issac
 The story of Jacob and Esau was a little leaned on Jacob's side of the balance. After all, he was the one who got the birthright in exchange of lentil porridge, and he tricked his father in giving him a final blessing. It was very unfair to Esau, but it seems God didn't seem to care Jacob was getting all the good luck. He even called to him and blessed him and his future inheritors. 
God promised: "I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee..." (Genesis 28:13-15).
Jacob and Esau the sons of issac
 Still, God seemed to have everything planned, because he made Jacob work to gain his right as one of God's blessed. Laban made him work for seven years in order to earn Rebecca’s hand in marriage, but Laban forced him to marry his first daughter Leah. To get Rebecca he had to work seven more years, and to get enough animals he had to work six more years. How did he agree to that exploitation? Maybe he new he deserved it for all his past stunts against his brother.
The fight between Leah and Rebecca for being the favorite was impressive. Leah started to have lots of children while Rebecca was barren (God interference). Then Rebecca used her handmaid to have children with Jacob on her name. Leah started doing the same, and then Leah used her own handmaid. Finally, God opened Rebecca’s womb and she too had kids. I wonder how Jacob was feeling about all of this. I guess he was just happy getting more and more inheritors for his new generation. In the end he had four wives and twelve kids!
jacob taking blessings from his father issac
As the Bible clearly stated: "Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun: The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin: And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali: And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padan-aram." (Genesis 35:22-26).
I'm very glad Jacob and Esau were able to make up in the end. Jacob's actions were cruel, but Esau found it in his heart (helped by the huge amount of animals Jacob sent him) to forgive his younger brother, and there would be no resent between them. It was actually a very happy ending for Isaac's family. Apart that his grandsons destroyed a whole city (to protect their sister's honor), he probably died feeling proud of his family.

The Exodus By God : Moses separating the Red Sea

moses commanding the red sea to get separated
Exodus is a story that I've known for years. I know by heart the incident of the flaming bush, the miracle of the serpent/rod, the bloody river and the seven plagues. It was all perfectly clear to me until I read the King James Bible, and discovered the story wasn't as simple as I thought.
First of all, God was the one who caused everything. It is true the Pharaoh had the Israelites as his slaves, and God was trying to free his people from the Egyptian oppression. But the following quote, which was repeated many times, left me very confused:

the isralites are passing into the red sea
 "And the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land." (Exodus 11:10)(This quote is similarly repeated in Exodus 7:13, 9:7, 9:35 and 10:20,). I don't understand why the Lord would harden Pharaoh's heart? What was the need of it? What I understand of the story was that God wanted to free the Israelites and send them to the Promised Land. Like he said when he appeared in the flaming bush to Moses:

"I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 3:8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey;" (Exodus 3:7-8).

He gave Moses signs so people would believe his story, and he walked with him to speak. If he indeed wanted to free his people, then instead of hardening the Pharaoh's heart, couldn't he have softened it? Maybe he needed the plagues to show all his power to the people, and make everyone see he is more powerful than any other god they worshipped. After all, he did say, "I the LORD thy God am a jealous God..." (Exodus 20:5). Still, I think that after the locust plague, when the Pharaoh asked for forgiveness and let the Israelites go, God again hardened his heart and decided to give him more plagues. If you think about it, the Pharaoh repented at least twice, and if God hadn't intervened, the Israelites would have gone from Egypt sooner. In the end, I think the Israelites wouldn't have made the journey to the Promised Land if God hadn't shown all his power and created so much fear amidst the people.

So I think Exodus was God's way to herd the people out of Egypt into the Promised Land where they could live in a covenant with him.

The Story of David and Goliath - Bible Story

David and Goliath 1 samuel 17:1-58 scripture reading in bible
 The story of David is a story of courage, jealousy, loyalty, betrayal and forgiveness. Courage is a small shepherd deciding to fight a 6 cubit and a span tall giant. David, the youngest of the sons of Jesse, was brave enough (or stupid enough) to accept Goliath's challenge. One man from each side would fight, and the winner would let his side subdue the looser side. I still don't understand how they let the crazy kid go. It was almost an impossible situation.  As Saul said, "Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. " (Samuel I 17:32).

David and Goliath in war field. David defeated Goliath
Obviously David did have the advantage of being on God's side, so in the end, the duel was very unfair, but for the Philistine's side. Saul let David go on his quest to kill Goliath, and later was very thankful. However, this gave David a lot more popularity than Saul had ever gained. What's worse is that David was a better than Saul in pretty much everything. Even the women were aware of this and they happily sang, "Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands." (Samuel I 18:7). This made Saul go green with envy. Such were his feelings of hate and envy, he attempted murder two times, sent him on a suicide mission (although it didn't end up too bad for David) and later laid a heavy pursuit on him. All of his attempts to destroy David were rebutted by David's excellent behaviour and God's help. Like the book said, "And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely:" (Samuel I 18:5). In the end, Saul was never able to kill David or get rid of his jealousy.
This story is very divided into loyalty ad betrayal. David was very loyal to Saul, and he worked for him as a loyal servant. However, he did go to the Philistine side when Saul started hunting him down, betraying the Israelites. Jonathan was also involved in a loyalty/betrayal dilemma. He "loved" his friend David, and became a truly loyal friend. As the book said, "Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul." (Samuel I 18:3). This loyalty however, was intercepted with a duty to his father. He couldn't be a loyal friend and at the same time a loyal son, especially since Saul wanted to kill David. When Jonathan helped David escape, he did remain a true friend, but he betrayed his father.
In the end, it all came down to one thing: forgiveness. After his heavy pursuit, Saul was found by David helpless, but he decide not to kill him. He forgave him for all he made him suffer (and run), and let him live. In return, Saul promised not to hunt him down again, and they both reconciled. David remained a loyal friend and servant, because even after all Saul had done to him, he went back to give him a proper burial after he'd been murdered at war. David found all the pieces of Saul and Jonathan's bodies (which had been cut in pieces ad hung in different places) and buried them.

The Crimes of King David

the King David with his harp
 Time has changed David a lot. I remember when he first appeared as the youngest of Jesse's sons. He was so young and so devoted to God he intended to kill Goliath with a simple stone. As soon as he started becoming older, his morals began changing. They didn't seem much at first. He sacked the house of one of his wives husband, but that didn't seem to have a negative impact on his image. He still was very devoted to God and respected him so much. For example, he didn't kill Saul because he was "one of God's anointed." (Samuel I 26:23). And then he became king.
Greediness and ambition can really twist a person's morals. When he finally gets to be king, he starts spreading his territory rapidly. In doing so, he kills thousands of innocent people, and sacks city after city. He even turned the lame and the blind into his personal enemies. Why would he do that? He literally said so, "the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s soul," (Samuel II 5:8). Isn't a king supposed to have mercy on the week and the less fortunate? He conquered city after city mercilessly. Like he did with Metheg-ammah city:
"David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines. And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought gifts." (Samuel II 8:1-2).
During this time, merciless conquering isn't so bad. It's actually part of forming nations, and nobody takes it so seriously. Some think it's even justifiable. What David did that really messed everything up was commit adultery against Uriah. He lay with his wife Bathsheba, and she became pregnant. What's worse is that he then tries (and succeeds) to kill Uriah. David marries Bathsheba, and she has his son. It's so unfair that David, a king who has all the riches in the world and a lot of wives, can take the only precious thing Uriah had, which was his beloved wife. Like Nathan's metaphor said:
"There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter." (Samuel II 12.1-4).
It's actually fair that God gives him all that punishment for his crimes. Apart from making his kingdom full of turmoil, he killed his son. David deserved it for being such a greedy and ambitious pig. So much power went into his head and finished all the morals he had. Most men in power tend to loose their morals.