Keeping our eyes on what's important: not getting ourselves distracted by the worries of the world

I am sure I am not the only one that has struggled a lot with worries and negativity (and still do).  I have been reading the devotional of "The Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyer over the past few weeks. This has helped me a lot. Certainly, reading the Bible is incredibly helpful in a general sense, but I have also felt immensely helped by Joyce Meyer's book for that specific problem of the battlefield of the mind.

In that devotional, I learned that it is deceptively easy for us to get tricked by Satan into turning our attention away from God and into the worries of the world. Sometimes this can even happen due to good intentions on our part, e.g. a desire to empathize and be compassionate. However, if we are not careful, we can all too easily become distracted with all of the negative things that are happening around us, without any thought for a) God and Jesus, or b) any of the positive things that are also happening.

Now I realize that God never meant for us to …

The Bible tells us THAT something will happen, but not necessarily HOW or WHEN

The events predicted in the Bible have so far all come to pass, except of course for the ones yet to happen in the future. However, some people are upset that every detail of the predicted events is not made available to us in the Bible. This is true that every detail is not available. But that does not mean the Bible is false. The Bible tells us that something will happen, but does not usually tell us how or exactly when.

There is good reason for this. As mentioned in a previous post, if every detail of every predicted event were to be revealed, the Bible would wind up as a lengthy tome which no-one could reasonably manage to read in their lifetime. Instead, just the parts that are important for us to know are in there. 
When a prediction is made, it does not make it any less true if it happens by highly unusual means. Likewise, it also does not make it any less true if the prediction occurs via what might seem like "ordinary" or "explainable" means.

One specific …

Would any of us be as faithful as Mary when there was no room at the inn?

Every Christmas season, I reflect on the great faith of Mary. She was told by the angel Gabriel that she was to bear Jesus.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”  The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, an…

Will the end of the world involve an alien invasion?

No. According to the Bible, there is nothing there about an alien invasion. You can read more about End of Times in other posts, and there is nothing to indicate an alien invasion. So, if you've watched Stranger Things or other shows like that, then no, our world will not end with an invasion of the type hinted at there.

However, there is one particular area which could suggest the presence of a single alien entity (as opposed to an invasion). This is the emergence of a new ruler at the End of Days as written in Revelation; one which tries to make it compulsory to have the Mark of the Beast on all humans. Read here for why you must never, ever, agree to receive the mark of the beast, no matter how tempted you may be.

Where does the possibility of an alien come in? It's because this leader is succeeded by second leader, whose identity not made completely clear in the Bible. Let's see what Revelation has to say about this:

Then I saw another beast that rose out of the earth; …

The church is not God...

...but the church is the bride of Christ.

The reason I wanted to talk about this is that sometimes church can seem unnecessarily complicated. Usually, this is just us making it complicated for ourselves. Firstly, it's important to remember that the church is not God. Far from it. The church is a family of people, none of whom are perfect. That's to be expected, since we are all human and all sinners. So, we shouldn't be trying to worship the church itself, or get the church confused with God. The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum of saints. Our worship should be directed only to God and Jesus.

At the same time, the church is very dear to God. Of course it is: Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He surely wouldn't have died on the cross for our sins if he didn't care for us and was just ho-hum about the human race in general. Make no mistake: he didn't choose to die for us because of anything inherently good in ourselves, or because we in any way …

Thinking long-term: this means going beyond our deaths

Do you frequently hear people advocating long-term planning, yet theirs does not go beyond the point of their death? That is not long-term planning; it's short-term planning!

Long-term planning should go far beyond our deaths, and it is far more important than any will or inheritance we plan to leave to our loved ones.

One day we will leave this world, and go to a world beyond, where we will meet God. It's crucial that we are prepared for that time. Getting our earthly affairs in order is merely short-term planning; dealing with spiritual matters is long-term planning which has eternal consequences.

If we expect to plan for the long term, our focus must be on the long term, not on the short term. This means keeping a focus on spiritual matters. This is not always easy to do, as day-to-day living can quite easily take up 110% of our time, effort and energy.

Also, it is necessary to work in the earthly world, raise our children, and so on. I am not advocating taking time away fr…

Where was the Garden of Eden located?

On my third time reading the Bible all the way through, I noticed that there is some description of where the Garden of Eden was located. Due to the fact that Adam and Eve were sent away from the Garden of Eden, it's not something we would be able to find if we went looking for it. However, it's certainly interesting to find out generally where it was located.

Let's examine what the Bible has to say about this:

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

A river flows out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides and becomes four branches. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one that flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone…