18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. 19 Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. 20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Deuteronomy 17:8-13 NIV
8 If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge—whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults—take them to the place the Lord your God will choose. 9 Go to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict.
10 You must act according to the decisions they give you at the place the Lord will choose. Be careful to do everything they instruct you to do. 11 Act according to whatever they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left.
12 Anyone who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the Lord your God is to be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel. 13 All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again.
1 For you yourselves, brethren, know that our visit to you did not fail of its purpose. 2 But, as you will remember, after we had already met with suffering and outrage at Philippi, we summoned up boldness, by the help of our God, to tell you God’s Good News amid much opposition. 3 For our preaching was not grounded on a delusion, nor prompted by mingled motives, nor was there fraud in it. 4 But as God tested and approved us before entrusting us with His Good News, so in what we say we are seeking not to please men but to please God, who tests and approves our motives. 5 For, as you are well aware, we have never used the language of flattery nor have we found pretexts for enriching ourselves–God is our witness; 6 nor did we seek glory either from you or from any other mere men, although we might have stood on our dignity as Christ’s Apostles. 7 On the contrary, in our relations to you we showed ourselves as gentle as a mother is when she tenderly nurses her own children. 8 Seeing that we were thus drawn affectionately towards you, it would have been a joy to us to have imparted to you not only God’s Good News, but to have given our very lives also, because you had become very dear to us. 9 For you remember, brethren, our labour and toil: how, working night and day so as not to become a burden to any one of you, we came and proclaimed among you God’s Good News. 10 You yourselves are witnesses–and God is witness–how holy and upright and blameless our dealings with you believers were. 11 For you know that we acted towards every one of you as a father does towards his own children, encouraging and cheering you, 12 and imploring you to live lives worthy of fellowship with God who is inviting you to share His own Kingship and glory. 13 And for this further reason we render unceasing thanks to God, that when you received God’s Message from our lips, it was as no mere message from men that you embraced it, but as–what it really is–God’s Message, which also does its work in the hearts of you who believe. 14 For you, brethren, followed the example of the Churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judaea; seeing that you endured the same ill-treatment at the hands of your countrymen, as they did at the hands of the Jews. 15 Those Jewish persecutors killed both the Lord Jesus and the Prophets, and drove us out of their midst. They are displeasing to God, and are the enemies of all mankind; 16 for they still try to prevent our preaching to the Gentiles so that they may find salvation. They thus continually fill up the measure of their own sins, and God’s anger in its severest form has overtaken them. 17 But we, brethren, having been for a short time separated from you in bodily presence, though not in heart, endeavoured all the more earnestly, with intense longing, to see you face to face. 18 On this account we wanted to come to you–at least I Paul wanted again and again to do so–but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope or joy, or the crown of which we boast? Is it not you yourselves in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His Coming? 20 Yes, you are our glory and our joy.
Transsexualism, also known as transgenderism, Gender Identity Disorder (GID), or gender dysphoria, is a feeling that your biological/genetic/ physiological gender does not match the gender you identify with and/or perceive yourself to be.
Transsexuals/transgenders often describe themselves as feeling “trapped” in a body that does not match their true gender. They often practice transvestism/transvestitism and may also seek hormone therapy and/or gender reassignment surgery to bring their bodies into conformity with their perceived gender.
The Bible nowhere explicitly mentions transgenderism or describes anyone as having transgender feelings. However, the Bible has plenty to say about human sexuality.
Most basic to our understanding of gender is that God created two (and only two) genders: “male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). All the modern-day speculation about numerous genders or gender fluidity—or even a gender “continuum” with unlimited genders—is foreign to the Bible.
So, while the Bible does not directly mention transgenderism, when it mentions other instances of gender “confusion,” it clearly and explicitly identifies them as sin.
What about the possibility that those suffering with transgenderism have a brain that functions as one gender while the rest of the body is biologically the other gender? The Bible does not even hint at such a possibility.
However, neither does the Bible mention hermaphroditism (a condition in which a person has both male and female sexual organs), which undeniably occurs (although extremely rarely).
Further, people can be born with or develop all kinds of different brain defects or malfunctions. How can it be said that it is impossible for a female brain to be in a male body (or vice versa)?
With hermaphroditism as evidence, it cannot be said that if the Bible does not mention something it does not occur. So, it might be possible for a person to be born with a brain wired in such a way that it contributes to gender dysphoria.
This could also be an explanation for some instances of homosexuality. However, just because something might have a biological cause does not mean embracing the effects is the right thing to do.
Some people are wired with a sexuality on hyper-drive. That does not make it right for them to engage in sexual immorality. It is scientifically proven that some psychopaths/sociopaths have brains with severely weakened impulse-control mechanisms. That does not make it right for them to engage in every deviant behavior that crosses their minds.
No matter if the gender distortion has a genetic, hormonal, physiological, psychological, or spiritual cause, it can be overcome and healed through faith in Christ and continued reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit.
Healing can be received, sin can be overcome, and lives can be changed through the salvation that Jesus provides, even if there are biological/ physiological factors.
The Corinthian believers are an example of such a change: “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). There is hope for everyone, transsexuals, transgenders, those with gender identity disorder, and transvestites included, because of God’s forgiveness available in Jesus Christ.
23 “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.
2 “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, 3 and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit.
4 “If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. 5 If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.
6 “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. 7 Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.
8 “Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.
9 “Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.
10 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, 11 but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.
12 “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.
1 Peter 3:8-12 NIV
Suffering for Doing Good
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”[a]
The first Black performer to win the Academy Award for best actor, for “Lilies of the Field,” he once said he felt “as if I were representing 15, 18 million people with every move I made.”
Sidney Poitier, whose portrayal of resolute heroes in films like “To Sir With Love,” “In the Heat of the Night” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” established him as Hollywood’s first Black matinee idol.
Sydney Poitier, was the First Black Man to Win an Oscar and a Titan of Cinema, and Hollywood.
He helped open the door for Black actors in the film industry, died on Thursday night at his home in Los Angeles. He was 94.
It is interesting that a much higher percentage of people believe in the existence of heaven than believe in the existence of hell. According to the Bible, though, hell is just as real as heaven.
The Bible clearly and explicitly teaches that hell is a real place to which the wicked/unbelieving are sent after death. We have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23).
The just punishment for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). Since all of our sin is ultimately against God (Psalm 51:4), and since God is an infinite and eternal Being, the punishment for sin, death, must also be infinite and eternal. Hell is this infinite and eternal death which we have earned because of our sin.
The punishment of the wicked in hell is as never ending as the bliss of the righteous in heaven. Jesus Himself indicates that punishment in hell is just as everlasting as life in heaven (Matthew 25:46).
The wicked are forever subject to the fury and the wrath of God. Those in hell will acknowledge the perfect justice of God (Psalm 76:10). Those who are in hell will know that their punishment is just and that they alone are to blame (Deuteronomy 32:3-5).
Yes, hell is real. Yes, hell is a place of torment and punishment that lasts forever and ever, with no end. Praise God that, through Jesus, we can escape this eternal fate (John 3:16, 18, 36).
8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”
11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring[a] will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”
14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she[b] began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer.
The story is told of a group of people who went in to see Beethoven’s home in Germany.
After the tour guide had showed them Beethoven’s piano and had finished his lecture, he asked if any of them would like to come up and sit at the piano for a moment and play a chord or two.
There was a sudden rush to the piano by all the people except a gray-haired gentleman with long, flowing hair.
The guide finally asked him, “Wouldn’t you like to sit down at the piano and play a few notes?” He answered, “No, I don’t feel worthy.”
That man was “Paderewski”, the great Polish statesman and pianist and the only man in the group who was really worthy to play the piano of Beethoven.
Humility of mind in its distilled essence means a mind brought low. A gentle person is one whose emotions are under control. It describes the attitude that submits to God’s dealings without rebellion, and to man’s unkindness without retaliation.
It is best seen in the life of our Lord Who said, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls”.
How often people rush in and do things when they have no gift for doing them. We say we have difficulty in finding folk who will do the work of the society, but there is another extreme – folk who attempt to do things for which they have no gift.
We need to walk in lowliness of mind. – Precept Austin “The humble person is not one who thinks meanly of himself; he simply does not think of himself at all!” — Andrew Murray
Lillian Trasher (1887-1961) was a formidable lady. In 1910, she arrived in Egypt and began to care for orphans in the following year. She often saw God in action when the need was great.
During the Second World War, the Italians (partners with Germany) invaded Egypt. The War caused great hardship. The orphanage now cared for some 900 children, and often required food and clothing.
By September 1941, many of the children’s clothes were worn and they had little food.
One evening at supper, Lillian announced that all school and work would be suspended for twenty-four hours so that everyone could seriously pray about the situation. Lillian heard some earnest praying that evening in the girls’ dormitory.
A little girl named Figa, whose head had been shaved because of a skin disease, prayed beautifully: “Lord, You have said that when our mothers and fathers forsake us, You will take us up [Psalm 27:10]. We need you to provide for us right now because Mama [Lillian] says there is no one else who can help us.”
Tears came to Lillian’s eyes; how right Figa was. A miracle alone could assist them.
The children and staff continued to pray. In the morning, a telegram arrived from the American Ambassador to Egypt: “Miss Trasher, please visit me tomorrow for lunch.” Lillian hoped this had something to do with all their prayers. She took the midnight train to Cairo and arrived at his place just before midday.
The Ambassador had important news to share with Lillian. Greece had just fallen to the Germans. A Red Cross ship near Greece got word of this, and was ordered back to Alexandria, Egypt.
Then a fear arose that the ships in Alexandria’s harbor would be attacked, and the ship was ordered to dump its cargo and head out to sea while it was still dark. A young Scottish sailor on the ship begged the captain to unload the cargo, rather than dump it.
He knew about the orphanage, and had a mother praying for it daily. At first, the captain did not want to do so, but the sailor insisted. He assured the captain that they could unload the ship and make it out of port before sunrise. The ship was quickly unloaded and the supplies placed in a warehouse.
“Tell me, Miss Trasher,” the Ambassador queried, “do you have a need for food and clothing at this time?”
What a marvelous provision—so many supplies for the orphanage! A little while later, Lillian, the Ambassador, and a Red Cross representative were standing together, looking at crates of supplies. There were thousands of items of clothing and blankets, and masses of powdered milk and rice. Lillian burst into tears.
The Ambassador kindly declared that he would pay the delivery costs. When the children heard the good news, the children cheered! Then as they waited to open the containers after delivery, Lillian said a prayer of thanks. How thankful she was to God for His supply.
4 Adam[a] made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.[b] She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth[c] a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”
13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear.
Actor Denzel Washington does not mince words when it comes to his faith in God. And in a recent interview with the New York Times, Washington reiterated that he is a “God-fearing man” while also warning people to not become too self-focused.
“This is spiritual warfare. So, I’m not looking at it from an earthly perspective,” he said in the interview. “If you don’t have a spiritual anchor you’ll be easily blown by the wind and you’ll be led to depression.”
As CBN News has reported, Washington gave his life to God early on, but it took a few years for him to understand the weight of that decision.
“Three times…I think we all go through that. I was filled with the Holy Ghost and it scared me,” he said. “I didn’t want to go this deep…I want to party. It was a supernatural, once in this lifetime experience that I couldn’t completely understand at the time.”
Now, the 64-year-old actor lives out his tenets of faith daily.
“I’m a God-fearing man,” he told NYT. “I try not to worry. Fear is contaminated faith.”
Washington goes out of his way to help others and encourage them.
Actor Corey Hawkins, who plays opposite of Denzel in “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” told the New York Times the actor prays with him.
“Sometimes we get talking and you see the preacher in him,” he said. “He’s just a natural-born charismatic leader who is not afraid to talk about his own faults or misgivings or shortcomings.”
Washington has become more outspoken about the pitfalls of social media.
During his American Film Institute Life Achievement Award acceptance speech, he warned against the “twitter-tweet meme-mean world that we’ve created for our children.”
“The least we can do is consider what we have done and think about the young people,” the two-time Academy Award-winning actor said.
He also recently shared scripture encouraging people not to get too focused on social media.
“The Bible says in the last days — I don’t know if it’s the last days, it’s not my place to know — but it says we’ll be lovers of ourselves,” he said. “The No. 1 photograph today is a selfie, ‘Oh, me at the protest.’ ‘Me with the fire.’ ‘Follow me.’ ‘Listen to me.’”
“We’re living in a time where people are willing to do anything to get followed. What is the long or short-term effect of too much information? It’s going fast and it can be manipulated obviously in a myriad of ways. And people are led like sheep to slaughter,” Washington added.
His focus has become more heaven-bound.
“There are going to be two lines, the long line and the short line, and I’m interested in being in the short line.”
“HAPPY NEW YEAR AND MAY THE LORD GRANT YOU YOUR REQUEST FOR 2022”
Who Was Jabez in the Bible? Jabez is a very minor character in the Bible. He was only ever mentioned a few times, all in the book of 1 Chronicle. In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, it is said that “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, ‘I gave birth to him in pain.’”
In Hebrew, the equivalent for Jabez means “he causes pain”. Also, in Jewish culture, it is common to give symbolic names for one’s children. So, for the reason that her mother took great pain in giving birth to her son – more pain than the usual childbirth – she named him Jabez.
Also, in ancient Jewish customs, the name of a person somehow foretells his future. By naming her son Jabez, the mother is probably giving a vision of what is yet to come for her son. She may have seen that her son would have a bleak future, with his life full of pains and sorrows.
However, this was not so. Jabez defied all odds, including his supposed destiny, and became a man of fervent prayer. He believed so strongly in the power of God that he cried out to him boldly.
Because of his good relationship with God, Jabez was described as honorable; in fact, “more honorable than his brothers.” For the author of the book of Chronicles to mention him, even briefly, tells us of the extraordinary character that this man displayed during his life. And the fact that he was named in the book means he had a very important role to fulfill as well.