King Solomon’s Advice (poem by me)

Wise King Solomon had something to say,
About how man wasted his day,
He warned us long ago of the emptiness chasing things brings,
Things like: Multiple advanced degrees,
Fancy wine and brie cheese,
Deep tissue massages,
And big houses with boat garages,
You may ask: Then what shall we do with our time and such?
Be thankful to God whether in little or much.

*Based on Ecclesiastes

© 2015 Kim Bond

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Biblical Argument for Celebrating Christ’s Birth on December 25

The Bible does not tell us the exact day of Jesus’ birth, but it gives us clues.

Clue#1 The first chapter of Luke in the Holy Bible tells us that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb six months after his cousin, John the Baptist. (See Luke 1:26-40.)

Clue#2 John the Baptist was conceived shortly after his father, Zechariah, received the message from the angel Gabriel.  It is written that Zechariah met with Gabriel while he served in the temple. (See Luke 1:8-25).

Theory Based on the Biblical description of Zechariah’s service in the temple, some scholars believe he served during Yom Kippur (in September or October). This means John the Baptist would have been conceived in September or October.

Conclusion If John the Baptist was conceived in October and Jesus was conceived six months later, Jesus was conceived in Mary’s womb by the Holy Spirit in April. If Mary conceived on April 2, Jesus would have been born on December 25.

I hope this nerdy calculation helps you draw closer to Christ and glorify God this holiday season. May your Christmas be merry and meaningful!

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More Than Luck

Psalm 121:7 says, “The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life…”

The sound of screeching tires sends a chill down my spine. The terror probably started with the car accident I experienced as a child. My dad was driving my brother and me home from a Christmas party when our car was hit by a drunk driver. The car was incredibly mangled, and my dad and I were hospitalized for awhile. Yet when I look at the picture of that car, I wonder how we survived at all! People have always said we were lucky, and for a number of years I agreed. Now, I am absolutely positive it was not luck. It was the Lord who protected our lives.

A similar experience happened again when I was a teenager. I was driving at night down a curvy, two-lane road when suddenly my car slipped off the edge of the pavement into a small ditch. I over-corrected by pulling the steering wheel too much and flipped the car completely upside down!  My door was jammed, but I was able to crawl out of the window. My only injury was a tiny scratch. For years, I considered myself merely lucky.

It wasn’t until I saw how the Lord protected my son that I truly understood how God has kept watch over me and my loved ones. I could be called somewhat of a “helicopter mom” because of the way I have always watched over my son. That’s not my nature, but it is something I have learned because of his inordinate attraction to dangerous situations.

I suppose this can be said of many boys, but with my kid it seems like something more. It like there is an invisible force that means to do him harm. If I shared every harrowing encounter he has experienced, we would be here all day so I will just share a few examples. He nearly choked to death—thanks to God, he lived. He nearly drowned while swimming in a river when he was pinned under by the current—thanks to God, he still lives. Then there is his asthma—thanks to God, he is well.

I trust God’s Word to do exactly what He says in Psalm 121:7. Psalm 121:7 says, “The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life…” I need only reflect on the wonderful ways the Lord has kept this promise (even before I knew Him). What greater love is there than this? Only that He would lay His own life down for us that we may have eternal life.

Although our physical bodies may one day die, we can fully trust in God’s protection over our eternal lives if we have received salvation. If we accept Christ’s blood as payment for our sins, we can know that we will receive the promise of eternal life. God is full of love, true to His promises, and never lies. I pray your life and the life of your loved ones is anointed by the protection offered in Psalm 121:7 and that all of you accept His blood as payment for your sins that you all may receive eternal life. God bless!

*Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Divine Providence

“…Freely you have received; freely give.”—Matthew 10:8

My brother and I were raised by a single mother with little or no child support. Our car was a lot older than my friends’ cars. For most of my elementary years, I qualified for and received a free lunch from my school. My classmates wore name brand clothing, but I knew better than to even ask for it. Yet, I never went to bed hungry for lack of food a day in my life. I always had warm clothes to wear, and we always owned a car. I suppose my humble background inspires a deep understanding of what it means to have very little, but it also gave fruit to a great faith in God’s provision.

Even after I graduated from college, I struggled financially for many years. It still amazes me to see the strange and funny ways the Lord provides for me at just the right time. Once I had absolutely no money, and someone in my family sent me a check without knowing my circumstance. Another time, an electronics company reimbursed the full price of my electronic because of some defect that had been found in some of the products. (Mine worked fine.) Another time, my car insurance paid for my vehicle because of a little hail damage. Those are just a few of many examples of how God blessed me with provision that had His signature—the unexpected miracles when I needed them most.  Freely I have received so freely I try to give.

I still am not swimming in cash, but what I do have— I give to God. Sometimes it is things I donate to the Salvation Army. Other times, I donate some time to volunteer to help someone out. Also, I like to share my inspiration and talent to write. That’s how this website got started. Recently I was also blessed to be able to contribute a story for an anthology that is giving 100% of the profit to a charity that assists the poor. (If interested in learning more about this book, click Birds of Passage.)

I hope you, dear reader, will freely receive grace, forgiveness, help, treasures, and talent. Then, in turn, I pray you will freely give all of those wonderful gifts in obedience to God’s Holy Word. I can personally tell you that both giving and receiving glorify God, help us draw near to Christ, and inspire a deep fulfillment in one’s being. Have a blessed weekend!

*Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Curse of Childbirth

“To the woman he said, ‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children….'” — Genesis 3:16

I became a Christian before I became a mother, which afforded me the opportunity to naively consider the above verse before I actually experienced it. One such unenlightened thought is this: Is it still a curse with the development of modern medicine?

My unlearned mind continued to question and explore the weight of this curse. Every mother had endured this pain. How painful could it really be? Many eager mothers continue to have multiple children even though birth control is readily available and effective. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and have endured various types of pain in my lifetime. I consider myself “tough.”

In the delivery room, my thoughts abruptly changed. Yes, pain in childbirth is still a severe curse. After all, you experience hours of painful contractions before an epidural can be administered (if you choose to get one). Yes, indeed! It is still a curse. For such a natural process, nothing quite seems to happen too naturally. How do all mothers make it thought that pain? I salute them all and confess it was my prideful thoughts.

As the Bible says in John 16:21, a woman does forget the pains of birth because of the joy that a child is born into the world. Sometimes the forgetfulness may not be immediate. It may happen after a mother has overcome the fears, surrenders to the sacrifices that must be made, and develops a relationship with her baby. Yet the joy is real and just as sure as the pain!

I reflect on the birth of my first child as such a miracle and blessing even though the process was cursed with pain. It was such a blessing, in fact, that I also chose to have a second child. We are now blessed with a family of four.

Over all of these thousands of years, the curse on Eve has not been lifted while the miracle of birth still triumphs over pain. I am equally convinced the curse of sin is death while the miracle of Christ’s sacrifice triumphs over the penalty of eternal punishment. God’s Word stands and—just as it says—not one stroke of it will disappear until everything is accomplished (Matthew 5:18).

I wrote this article to share my heart about God’s Word and my personal experiences. After reading it, I am realizing it could be intimidating to a mother who is pregnant for the first time especially if the mother is not in the perfect situation. For that reason, I want to encourage pregnant women that giving birth is the best decision and give you a link to a local group of special people who can help you in your circumstance. Contact Hand N Hand Pregnancy Help Center (Missouri) or a pregnancy help center in your area. There is no need to go through it alone. Joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Thanks for reading and  God bless!

Homosexuality & Other Issues

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As a longtime online religious forum contributor, I can honestly say I have witnessed a fair share of people state they reject Christ because of their opinions on homosexuality or abortion or some other other political issue. As a longtime church member, I can also say I have heard the true-life stories of a fair share of people stating they are homosexual or that they received abortions—yet they still committed their lives to Christ. It seems ironic that people would feel so strongly that they must defend someone else’s political rights that they themselves would reject their God and opportunity to obtain eternal life based on the “Christian view” of certain political issues. This is especially disturbing considering the fact that opinions of Christians vary so greatly. Today, I want to implore the strong-minded, Non-Christian political activists reading this blog to reconsider their rejection of Christ. I am not asking you to abandon your political views about any issue—just your view of Christ.

Take a moment to consider how God feels about you. Maybe you feel unsure about God’s feelings for you. Well, let’s look at what Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) says about it: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. If God will not let anything in all creation separate you from His love, then why would you let political issues come in between you and your Creator?

 If you have decided you no longer want political issues or anything else to stand in the way of your acceptance of Christ and His promise of eternal life, then pray this prayer: “God, I accept Jesus as my Savior. I believe Jesus is the Son of God. I believe He died on the cross and rose from the dead. I believe His death is the sacrifice that paid for my sins and His resurrection is a promise of eternal life. I choose to commit my life to You, Lord. Thank You for my salvation. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Submission

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When Christians hear the word submission, their minds may automatically jump to the controversial subject of submission of wives to their husbands. However, all Christians are called into a lifetime of submission. Christians are called to submit first and foremost to God as stated in James 4: 7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God….”.  Jesus lived in perfect submission to His Father. He never argued with Him about His rights or rebelled against Him. Instead, He yielded to His Father’s will because He trusted Him. He is our example.

We are called to submit to the government and other authorities. Romans 13: 1 states, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” This means everything from following speed limits to paying taxes. It means we cannot use our own judgment or take what is entitled to us.

Common sense tells us to submit to our bosses, but Christians are called to do even more than submit but to “serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people…” in Ephesians 6:7. Putting forth our best efforts is a testimony to our boss and coworkers that God is good. If you think you are being treated unfairly, do not seek revenge with poor efforts.

Christian children must obey their parents as it says in Ephesians 6:1 , “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” This basic relationship teaches us to know our place.

Submission is an attitude fortified with humility and obedience. These are characteristics God wants to instill in us because we cannot live in a proper relationship with the Lord unless we are trained in submission. If we cannot submit to earthly authority, how can we submit to God?

Ephesians 5: 22 states, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” As women’s rights gained prominence, the above verse became increasingly controversial. Some non-Christians think it is demeaning to women. Even some Christians think this is a verse that was meant for the time period it was written in and does not apply to us. I do not think it is demeaning or outdated.

Our Creator gave a masterful order to the universe. He instituted the laws of gravity. Our Father in heaven also established an order in families. Jesus should be the head of every household. Husbands are called to submit to Him, wives should submit to their husbands, and children must obey their parents.

Women have been given the gift of beauty, the ability to bear children, and a powerful influence over their children’s lives. Yet, women are called to submit to husbands. This does not mean wives should become robotically compliant to their husbands. It means they should yield to their husbands.

Husbands should never misuse their authority to control or abuse women. Rather, they should delegate authority to other people in the household. They should seek the opinions of household members before making decisions. In this way, they become a good Christian husband and father.

Christian wives will become unhappy if they must assume a leadership position because a husband is refusing to lead. When both husband and wife struggle for power, households are too argumentative. Christians who feel their household is out of balance should seek their God-given assigned identity in Christ by meditating on Scripture and praying for ways to conform to God’s design for families.

Christians should have an attitude of submission towards God. Our earthly authority provides a great training ground to learn how to submit. When we submit to authority, we humbly obey God as we should. Whether it is the federal government or our boss or a husband, we respect God’s plan for order when we yield to their authority.

But what about when the authority figure or law goes against God’s Word? What then? God is the highest authority in the Christian’s life. Christians should always obey God even when authorities in your life command you to go against what God or His Word is telling you to do.

In the book of Daniel, we read about Daniel’s character. He was faithful to God and submitted to authority. He worked hard and behaved righteously. His qualities earned him a promotion. The jealous officials inspired a decree which forbid Daniel to pray to God. Yet Daniel ignored the decree that lead him away from God and kept on praying! He feared God more than man so God rescued him from the mouth of lions.

Christians must always fear God more than man. Christians should never depend on the law to tell us what is right or wrong, but we should rely on God’s Word. Believers should tell corrupt bosses they will not break the law to help their bottom line. Christian women should not quietly submit to abusive husbands but seek God’s will in their lives. Those are exceptions in which acting righteously and justly according to God’s Word is more important than submitting to authority.

In most circumstances, submission to authority is a useful tool to help us draw near to the Lord. If we love the Lord, we will submit to authority. In doing so, we are a good example and witness to others. Throughout our lives, we must remember our King in heaven is our ultimate authority. Our Father who loves us deserves our undivided loyalty.

PRAYER: Lord, Help us to draw near to You by submitting to authority. Give us the courage to stand firm on the Word when authority leads us astray. Thank You, Lord, that You hear our prayers. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!