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Is truth reality and is it found in Jesus?

Jesus is the Truth

The new covenant encompasses the Greek idea of truth as reality, as well as the Hebraic concepts of faithfulness and reliability. Jesus the Messiah is shown as “the Truth” and the apostles present the good news as “truth”.

I know the Truth because I know Jesus. Jesus is the Truth of God. Jesus promises me that I will know the Truth.  

“If you abide in My word continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then you are truly My disciples.And you will know the truth regarding salvation, and the truth will set you free from the penalty of sin.” | John 8:32

Truth — It is reality and it is Jesus

Truth corresponds to reality or “what is.” It is real. Truth is also correspondent in nature. In other words, it matches its object and is known by its referent.

For example, a teacher facing a class may say, “Now the only exit to this room is on the right.” For the class that may be facing the teacher, the exit door may be on their left, but it’s absolutely true that the door, for the professor, is on the right.

  • Hebrews 9:24  — For the Messiah did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.
  • John 1:9  — There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
  • John 4:23  — “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.”
  • John 17:3  — “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus the Messiah whom You have sent.”
  • Ephesians 4:24  — And put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

What is truth?

The question Pontius Pilate asked centuries ago needs to be rephrased in order to be completely accurate. The Roman governor’s remark “What is truth?” overlooks the fact that many things can have the truth, but only one thing can actually be the Truth. Truth must originate from somewhere.

The stark reality is that Pilate was looking directly at the Origin of all Truth on that early morning over two thousand years ago. Not long before being arrested and brought to the governor, Jesus had made the simple statement “I am the truth” (John 14:6), which was a rather incredible statement.

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

The most effective way to learn a foreign language is through immersion. In complete immersion, students spend all their time hearing and speaking a new. The goal is to become not only a proficient speaker, but to acquire an appreciation and understanding of a new culture. This approach describes the training and experiential discipleship process at the Christian Training Center.

How do we make an impact?

  • We give a college age students (summer) a residential position as an intern. It is open to Christian candidates who want to deepen and develop their faith while experiencing the demands of day-to-day ministry. These individuals help serve and mentor during our summer programs.
  • We help impact college students during Heroes Semester. It is a 10-week semester program. This program is focused on personal and spiritual development for young adults. While immersed in a way of life that emphasizes the Word of God, prayer, relationships, family, servanthood and personal discipline, young adults are renewed, trained, and challenged to walk with God in a deeper way.
  • We help impact teens through Heroes of Today Week long summer program Teens learn new life skills and they will discover more about their identity in Jesus and what it means to live as one of God’s Heroes of today.
  • Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Your gift will help bring healing and restoration to families all around the world.

Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱέ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν

Translation: Master Jesus the Messiah, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Do we have the keys of the kingdom of God?

Jesus is King

The Apostle Peter rightly declares the Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed one from God. Anointed to be King in the Kingdom of God. This is a huge deal and a turning point for the disciples. I must do the same. I must bow down to Jesus our King. It is a turning point for me as well.

Jesus responds. Jesus gives a great gift. Jesus gives Peter the keys to the Kingdom. Peter will be able to unlock anything he wants.

Why? Because Peter, and the others, have figured out that Jesus is King and in control.

Whoa Nelly, now that is something. That is good news.

Simon Peter said, “You’re the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.

“And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.” He swore the disciples to secrecy. He made them promise they would tell no one that he was the Messiah. | Matthew 16:16-20

What does this all mean?

  • Jesus must be a king if He is the Messiah.
  • Jesus was from Judah, the kingly tribe.
  • When Jesus was born, wise men from the East came looking for the King of the Jews.
    • “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:1–2).
  • Jesus taught that He would one day sit on a glorious throne.
    • “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19:28;
    • “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.” (Matthew 25:31).
  • Many people in Israel saw Jesus as their long-awaited king and expected Him to set up His rule immediately
    • “While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.” (Luke 19:11),
    • Although Jesus’ kingdom is currently not of this world. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” (John 18:36).
  • At the end of Jesus’ life, during His trial before Pilate, Jesus did not defend Himself except to answer affirmatively when Pilate asked if He was the King of the Jews
    • Pilate questioned Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him, “It is as you say.” (Mark 15:2).

Peter figured it all out. Have I?

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Wednesday Prayer – April 8, 2020 – Please pray with us.

Here is what we are praying for at the Christian Training Center.

Please join us.

Praying for our country

1 Kings 18:41-46 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

41 Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a rainstorm.”

42 So Ahab went to eat and drink, but Elijah went up to the summit of Carmel. He bent down on the ground and put his face between his knees. 43 Then he said to his servant, “Go up and look toward the sea.”

So he went up, looked, and said, “There’s nothing.”

Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”

44 On the seventh time, he reported, “There’s a cloud as small as a man’s hand coming up from the sea.”

Then Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Get your chariot ready and go down so the rain doesn’t stop you.’”

45 In a little while, the sky grew dark with clouds and wind, and there was a downpour. So Ahab got in his chariot and went to Jezreel. 46 The power of the Lord was on Elijah, and he tucked his mantle under his belt and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Is coveting linked with other sins like idolatry and pride?

Covet

We covet. It is not very pretty. We do it. We see something and we want it, even though it isn’t ours.

The key to understanding this commandment is in the definition of the word “covet.” Two different Hebrew words are used in the passages condemning coveting (Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21), and both mean “to lust after or to long for with great desire.” It is in relation to wanting something that belongs to someone else.

Since the commandments are given as “you shall not’s,” the desire in this case is for something that is not the property of the desirer and not rightfully his to long after.

Are you ready for Marriage and Family the Jesus Way? 

This is truly an amazingly crazy time! How many of us plan for a pandemic? Through this ministry, we receive numerous prayer requests, and we agonize with those who are suffering. Our hearts and prayers are turned to those who need hope and victory.

More detail here: https://ctcilife.org/marriage-and-family-the-jesus-way/

But, not surprisingly, this terrible virus is not the only thing we have not planned for. Look at these actual quotes:

How do we find grace and mercy in our lives?

Grace

I don’t deserve God’s grace. In fact, that is what it means. It is a gift to me from Jesus the Messiah. Undeserved but given to me anyway.

χάρις, charis; it means “grace, undeserved favor, graciousness, goodwill”. It is the gracious or merciful behavior of a more powerful person toward another. Displayed by the Master Jesus toward humankind and by people towards each other in the Old Testament. Used to describe God or the Messiah in their merciful character or actions toward humankind in the New Covenant.

Spiritual gifts are described as “graces.” It is a literary device used at the beginning or end of many New Covenant letters. It is all over the place in scripture. It is a big deal.

Why must we get ready for trouble now?

Image result for get ready for trouble Jesus

There is a time to get prepared. That time is when trouble is on the way. I must listen and act on what Jesus is saying. It is time for me to get ready for trouble.

Jesus knew what was coming. He had warned the disciples. He was about to be treated like a criminal. The very Son of God and the anointed King would be crucified.

Jesus knew they weren’t ready for what was about to happen.

What kind of attitude do we need when we fast?

Fasting

The purpose of fasting should be to take our eyes off the things of this world to focus completely on God. Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God, and to ourselves, that we are serious about our relationship with Him. Fasting helps us gain a new perspective and a renewed reliance upon God.

I am thinking this part of the bible has been ripped out of most Evangelical and Protestant bibles. I don’t know the last time I’ve heard a sermon or teaching on fasting. This is a Jesus thing, not an old covenant thing.

Why couldn’t Jesus do anything of His own initiative?

Jesus is completely obedient to the will of His Father. 24/7 it is all about what does God want right now. We must think radically different about how Jesus can help us understand God’s will.

I have a lot to learn about obedience. I have a great teacher in Jesus the Messiah. Will I allow Him to lead me?

Now this is some good news. Jesus is my model and guide in all of this.

Is peace is a natural result for the disciple of Jesus?

Radical Jesus

I am to be a disciple. That is the goal that Jesus has for me. Making disciples is important because it is the Master’s chosen method of spreading the Good News of salvation through Jesus the Messiah. During His public ministry, Jesus spent more than three years making disciples — teaching and training His chosen ones.

Jesus gave them many convincing proofs that He was the Son of God, the promised Messiah; they believed on Him, though imperfectly. He spoke to the crowds, but often He drew the disciples aside privately to teach them the meaning of His parables and miracles. He sent them out on ministry assignments.

Will possessions and riches make it difficult to enter the kingdom of God?

We have to be careful. Materialistic seduction can happen. We live in America and that is clear.

If materialism was ever to satisfy anyone, it would have been Solomon, the richest king the world has ever known. He had absolutely everything and had more of it than anyone, and yet he found it was all worthless and futile.

It did not produce happiness or the satisfaction our souls long for. He declared, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

How do we change our way of thinking about Jesus?

Repent
Repent

Jesus challenges us to radically change our way of thinking. Repentance (the original Greek means radically changing our thinking) is of central importance because missing God’s goal (sin) brings God’s judgment. Fellowship with God is only possible through full and sincere repentance (radically changing my thinking) and acting differently.

Jesus is clear about this.

Jesus says to me: “Radically change your thinking, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. I’m the King. I’m in control, not you.”

God, through his servants, calls me to change my mind as the only way to escape the judgment and receive the forgiveness and restoration which he offers. Jesus is clear that He is the Way. Jesus is the Truth. Jesus is Life.

Is the called-out assembly of disciples (aka church) unified?

Unity
Jesus alone is Master

Jesus is pretty clear. Jesus wants His followers and disciples to be unified and one.

Jesus wants us perfected in unity. I must take this seriously. What am I doing to make it happen?

It is important for His message and for the world to see this so they know that God sent Jesus and loves them.

31 Questions that Jesus Asks in the Good News According to Luke

Question
Jesus asks a question

It is stunning how masterfully our Master Jesus, the Messiah, uses questions (read more here) to teach vital spiritual truths.  Jesus never asked a question because he needed to know the answer.  He used questions the way a surgeon uses a scalpel, to delicately cut into a new level of understanding.

Compiled here is a list of questions Jesus asked in Luke.  Though it is probably not exhaustive, it is an extensive collection of interrogations still demanding answers of us.

I find myself stunned at the power of these questions to cut into my soul.  I’d love to hear which question most jumps off the page and leaves you pondering as you read today.

Questions that Jesus Asks in the Good News According to Luke

  • Why were you searching for me? (Luke 2:49)
  • Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? (Luke 2:49)
  • Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? (Luke 5:22)
  • Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? (Luke 5:23)
  • Why do you call me, ‘Master, Master,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)
  • Where is your faith? (Luke 8:25)
  • What is your name? (Luke 8:30)
  • Who touched me? (Luke 8:45)
  • Will you be lifted up to the skies? (Luke 10:15)
  • What is written in the Law? How do you read it? (Luke 10:26)
  • Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? (Luke 10:36)
  • Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? (Luke 11:40)
  • Who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you? (Luke 12:14-15)
  • Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Luke 12:25)
  • Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? (Luke 12:57)
  • Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? (Luke 14:31)
  • Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? (Luke 14:34)
  • Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? (Luke 15:4)
  • Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? (Luke 15:8)
  • So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? (Luke 16:11)
  • Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? (Luke 17:17)
  • And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? (Luke 18:7)
  • However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8)
  • For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? (Luke 22:27)
  • Why are you sleeping?  (Luke 22:46)
  • For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry? (Luke 23:31)
  • What are you discussing together as you walk along? (Luke 24:17)
  • What things? (Luke 24:19)
  • Did not the the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? (Luke 24:26)
  • Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? (Luke 24:38)
  • Do you have anything here to eat? (Luke 24:41)

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

The lessons taught at CTCI are not designed to be learned just in the classroom. They are not simply taught in a week or a month program. Rather, they come through the furnace of daily living and are hammered into useful form on the anvil of unrelenting daily life and common struggles. The hammer must fall repetitively over and over before the shape takes form. This type of experiential learning is formative.

Learning is driven by an insatiable curiosity in God’s ways. The value of hard work and the merits of creative problem-solving are by-products of “fleshing out” Biblical principles and watching them come to life through God’s creative power. Families are transformed and young people are reformed.

When given the right conditions of sunlight and good soil, an acorn grows into a mighty oak. When the same acorn is crowded out by larger trees and the elements for health are lacking, the tree grows crooked and deformed.

When a family arrives tattered and worn, we provide the sunshine and nourishment of God’s word in daily life experiences – and the transformation is nothing short of remarkable.

When a young person arrives soiled in the mud and mire of worldly ways, we provide the nutrients which build character and integrity for future leaders – and the reformation is nothing short of miraculous.

This is what we do: Transformation and Reformation. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Are the followers of Jesus slaves?

It is hard to get the issue of being a slave in my mind. In the Greek-speaking world of the first century AD, there was a critical difference between free (eleutheros) and slave (doulos). Each represented a very familiar legal status, with all the social and cultural baggage that implied.

That distinction is rather hard to follow in English translations precisely because outright legal slavery does not exist in Western society, and the concept is absent from our language, except in the loosest metaphorical sense.

As detestable as it sounds, I am going to be a slave. I can be a slave to sin and the religious legalistic culture OR I can be a slave to Jesus. I am going to be owned. Jesus is clear on this. I get to choose.

Believers as slaves of God — We are owned by God: What makes this such a thorny problem is that in its various forms, doulos is a common word in the New Testament, most prominently in Matthew, Luke, and Revelation. Strong’s Concordance gives 126 instances through the whole Testament, including every occurrence that English commonly renders as “servant,” as in “Well done, thou good and faithful doulos.” The Book of Revelation was revealed to God’s doulos, John. Jude, author of the Epistle, was a doulos of Jesus the Messiah. In the Magnificat, Mary praised God for his mercy towards her, his doula.

  • Romans 6:22 — But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
  • Matthew 6:24 — “No one can be a slave to two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be a slave to God and wealth.”
  • Romans 1:1 — Paul, a slave of the Messiah Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the good news of God.
  • Colossians 3:23–24 — Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Master rather than for men, knowing that from the Master you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Master the Messiah whom you are a slave to.
  • James 1:1 — James, a slave of God and of the Master Jesus the Messiah, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
  • 1 Peter 2:16 — Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as slaves of God.
  • 2 Peter 1:1 — Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus the Messiah, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus the Messiah.

When I confess Jesus as Master, I confess myself to be a slave — A slave who is a friend and a son and an heir and a joint-heir and a citizen of that eternal kingdom, and who is loved, having been captured, enslaved. His captor is a despot of love and a master of mercy, and one day He’ll gather us in, Matthew 25:21, and say, “Well done, good and faithful slave.”

Jesus Slave
Slave

In Luke 17, once you understand this, you’ll start to see this unfold as you go through the Scriptures and the good news books and through the rest. You can go through the book of Revelation, there are references to believers in every age up until the last age before the return of the Messiah, and we’re identified as slaves. So it’s a long-lasting identification. 

Luke 17:7, “Which of you having a slave” … This is because it’s the actual slave in this little illustration; it’s translated correctly … “Which of you having a slave plowing or tending sheep will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat?’” No, no; would he not say to him, “Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself”…Go get cleaned up…“and serve me while I eat and drink and afterward you may eat and drink.” 

That’s what slaves did, right? They served their masters. He doesn’t thank the slave because he did the things commanded, does he? He’s not like above and beyond the call of duty to be obedient, is it? To do that which pleases your master?

“So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say this,“We’re unworthy slaves, we only did what we should have done.’” Wow! Kind of deals a death-blow to the self-esteem notion, doesn’t it?

You say, “Well, I thought we were free in the Messiah.” You are — you are free to do what your Master desires.

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

What does it mean to be quarantined with the Lord? 

This video is about Susan Pons on what it means to be quarantined with the Lord.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Matthew 6:33 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

What does salvation cost? How much do we have to pay?

Under the New Covenant (or New Agreement), we are given the opportunity to receive salvation as a free gift. No cost to us. It is a gift.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8–9).

That is some very, very stunning news. God is good, all the time. He has an agreement with me. It is all His doing but I’ve got it in writing. It is signed, sealed and delivered by the blood of King Jesus on the cross. It is a blood covenant.

My responsibility is to exercise faith in the Messiah, the One who fulfilled the Law on our behalf and brought an end to the Law’s sacrifices through His own sacrificial death.

The superior blessings of the new covenant — God’s grace, mercy and complete forgiveness

Through the life-giving Holy Spirit who lives in all believers , I share in the inheritance of the Messiah and enjoy a permanent, unbroken relationship with God. God has shown me grace, mercy and complete forgiveness.

Now that is some VERY good news.

  • Romans 8:9-11 — However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of the Messiah, he does not belong to Him. If the Messiah is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised the Messiah Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you
  • Hebrews 12:24  — And to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
  • Hebrews 8:12  — “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.
  • Hebrews 9:15  —  For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
  • Jeremiah 31:34  — “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
  • Romans 11:27  — “This is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.
  • Hebrews 10:17  — “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.

What is a covenant? 

A covenant (διαθήκη diathēkē) is an agreement or contract between two parties. In the scriptures, it is between God and His people or certain specific individuals. The fulfilment of God’s purposes of salvation expressed in the covenants (διαθήκη diathēkē) of the scriptures, mediated by Jesus the Messiah and sealed in his blood.

It is a covenant of grace, the benefits of which include forgiveness, a renewed relationship with God and, through the Holy Spirit, an inward transformation that enables obedience to its demands and so ensures that it will not again be broken.

Jesus the Messiah, the new covenant sealed in Jesus blood — Blood was an important element in sealing the Sinaitic covenant.

And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”

Luke 22:20

The New Covenant (or New Agreement) is the promise that God makes with humanity that He will forgive sin and restore fellowship with those whose hearts are turned toward Him. Jesus the Messiah is the mediator of the New Agreement, and His death on the cross is the basis of the promise (Luke 22:20). The New Agreement was predicted while the Old Agreement was still in effect — the prophets Moses, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel all allude to the New Agreement.

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Best Known Methods for Existing at Home — Guest article by Katherine and Sonny Ramsay

Best Known Methods for Existing at Home

by Katherine and Sonny Ramsay

With the country in a state of quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic people are finding themselves involuntarily working from home and families homeschooling for an undetermined amount of time.  My best advice to you is to slow down! 

There is not many times you will be given the opportunity like this.  Use this opportunity to reconnect and build special memories with your closest loved ones.  Or take time to learn something new.

How do we react in this time of crisis? Is God faithful? 

Please prayerfully consider giving to this ministry today.

https://ctcilife.org/give/

The most effective way to learn a foreign language is through immersion. In complete immersion, students spend all their time hearing and speaking a new. The goal is to become not only a proficient speaker, but to acquire an appreciation and understanding of a new culture. This approach describes the training and experiential discipleship process at the Christian Training Center.

Why is Jesus full of compassion and mercy?

Mercy - 02
God’s mercy

Nothing moves me to forgive like the stunning knowledge that I have myself been forgiven. Nothing proves more clearly that I have been forgiven than my own readiness to forgive.

To forgive and to be forgiven, to show mercy and to receive mercy: these belong indissolubly together, as Jesus illustrated in his parable of the unmerciful servant.

Interpreted in the context of the beatitudes, it is ‘the meek’ who are also ‘the merciful’. For to be meek is to acknowledge to others that I am a sinner; to be merciful is to have compassion on others, for they are sinners too.

Is immaturity the cause of backsliding?

Mature
Mature

I started out strong. I imagine you did too. And then …

Something happened. Or several things. We went off to college to new found freedom. A parent dies and we feel lost. Our marriage didn’t turn out like we thought it would.

It could be the worries and distractions of the world and the deceitfulness the superficial pleasures and delight of riches choke the word of Jesus out of us. And it yields no fruit. We stop growing.

What Is the Sin Virus? 

Erica Wilson, Program Director at the Christian Training Center, shares about the virus that is sin, which has affected the world since the beginning. There is the cure for the sin virus that is Jesus the Messiah!

We have already been cured from it, because Jesus died on the cross and took all our sin from us so that we might have everlasting life.

No virus — Stock Photo © studioarz #48118373

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus Way: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

What should we do about those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which we learned?

Deception

They are smooth. They are slick. They flatter me.

What’s the problem? I need to be discerning. There are those who want to deceive me. They want to lead me astray.

We have a lot to learn here. There is a rabbit hole. We seem to keep jumping down it, expecting a different outcome. It isn’t working.

Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Master the Messiah but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. | Romans 16:17-20

What is the good news? Jesus leads me, through the Holy Spirit, into His Truth. Jesus is the Truth. I can take refuge in Him.

Jesus is clear that I can tell a tree by its fruit. “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” (Matthew 7:17)

How do I know there is a problem? One clue is the fruit of dissension. Dissension here (from the Greek) means divisions which wrongly separate people into pointless (groundless) factions.

Uh Oh! I see a whole lot of this going on. I get sucked into it many days. Ye Gads!

What am I to do about it?

Paul is clear. Turn away from them. They have set a trap for me to hinder me in my growth in the Messiah. I need to be wise. I need to focus on the good.

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Our Mission & Vision

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships

Our Vision is to see generations of leaders victoriously modeling Jesus in their families and communities.

Our Mission is training believers to live a victorious life through biblical Truth, experiential discipleship, and family relationships. 

Values

Life is:

1) Relationships

2) Personal Holiness

3) Biblical

4) Authentic

5) Relevant

Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Are you on the train to heaven? Will you take it all the way to its destination?

What should we learn from the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16?

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Let’s think about the account told by Jesus of a very rich man who lived a life of extreme luxury. It is found in Luke 16.

Laid outside the gate of this rich man’s house was an extremely poor man named Lazarus who simply hoped “to eat what fell from the rich man’s table” (v. 21). The rich man was completely indifferent to the plight of Lazarus, showing him no love, sympathy, or compassion whatsoever.

They both died. Lazarus went to heaven, and the rich man went to hell. Appealing to “Father Abraham” in heaven, the rich man requested that Lazarus be sent to cool his tongue with a drop of water to lessen his “agony in this fire.” The rich man also asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to warn his brothers to repent so that they would never join him in hell.

Is there a conflict between grace and the law?

Grace - 02
Grace

The purpose of the Law was, basically, to bring us to the Messiah. It is essential to start here. Once I understand the purpose of the law, I can move on.

What would I move on to? How about grace? That would be a good start.

With the result that the Law has become our tutor and our disciplinarian to guide us to the Messiah, so that we may be justified, that is, declared free of the guilt of missing God’s goal (aka sin) and its penalty, and placed in right standing with God by faith. (Galatians 3:24).

How will we see God? What does it take?

Man after Gods heart
A man after God’s heart

Jesus is clear. His apostle John is clear. My heart testifies to me what I ought to do. There is no lack of clarity what Jesus commands regarding love and compassion. It is written on my heart by God.

The Bible mentions the human heart almost 300 times. In essence, this is what it says: the heart is that spiritual part of us where our emotions and desires dwell.

How do we gain insight, wisdom or knowledge?

Image result for spiritual insight

Insight is the spiritual quality that enables me to appreciate God’s mind and will. I will know about matters of behavior, truth and providence, especially where right perception is not obvious.

Insight is akin to wisdom and understanding. It is the “why” of the heart of God.

It is given by God and is to be sought by believers.

Gaining insight into the Bible is important because the scripture is God’s Word. When I open the Bible, I read God’s message. What could be more important than insight into what the Creator of the universe has to say?

Am I afraid?

In the Bible, courage is also called “good cheer” as in Mark 6:50 when Jesus gave the command to the disciples who saw Him walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee and coming toward them.

Am I afraid? Yes, many days I am. The good news is that Jesus gives me courage. I have the power of the Holy Spirit in my life.

What does ‘woe’ mean and why does Jesus use it so much?

Woe
Woe

When we see the word WOE in the scripture, particularly when Jesus uses it, we know we better pay attention. Jesus has lots to say, all prefaced with WOE! Jesus is speaking to the leaders of the day. Jesus is speaking to the elites.

I am going to pay attention. Jesus is talking to me. I must learn.

This is critical in my life. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.

Whenever we see the word “woe” in the New Testament, then it is always a translation of the Greek word “ouai“. This Greek word “ouai” is used 47 times in the New Testament: 41 times in 33 verses it is translated as “woe“, and six times in three verses it is translated as “alas“.

Why has God has chosen the foolish things of the world?

God's Wisdom
God’s Wisdom

So here we go. Let’s check off the list.

  • I am not wise.
  • I am not mighty.
  • I am not noble.
  • I am weak.
  • I am base and despised.

These items, it seems, are a good thing in God’s world.

My only boast is in the Master Jesus. I am here to shame the wise and smart people of the world by my very presence.

Blessed to have been ministering for 50 years! 

Hosts of the Inn’s 50th celebration, Cal and Beau Huge, share their own testimony of the impact the Christian Training Center has had in their lives while they have lined up for our celebration taking place this fall!

We have special guest speakers, 2019 NBA hall of fame Bobby Jones and renowned author/businessman John Beckett joining us!

https://ctcilife.org/50th-anniversary/

What does it mean to listen to God’s word and his spokesmen?

What does Jesus want from us? Jesus wants us to listen. Jesus wants us to be a good and faithful servant.

My mission is to do what Master Jesus wants me to do, today and every day. Listening involves doing. Loving my neighbor involves action.

To hear God’s voice I must belong to God. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

What should we learn from the stunning resurrection of Lazarus?

jesus-friend-request
Jesus Friend Request

Here I see the care and compassion of my Master. It appeared somewhat callous to begin with.

Lazarus is sick. Jesus intentionally delays going to see him. The disciples don’t understand at all what is going on.

Jesus knows what is going to happen. Jesus knows the power of God will raise Lazarus from the dead. Fasten your seat belts, it is all going down in an amazing way.

After 4 days in the grave, Jesus is going to raise Lazarus from the dead. This will shock everyone. Many are going to believe Jesus because of this amazing show of the power of God.

We need your help today 

Thank you for being a part of Christian Training Center International’s mission and vision. You’re making a difference! Our vision is to see generations of leaders victoriously modeling Christ in their families and communities.

Our mission is training believers to live a victorious life through biblical Truth, experiential discipleship, and family relationships. You can make your donation.

Please give today!

Hands holding a gift box isolated on black background

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Is our faith on cruise control?

Image result for test yourself

I shouldn’t let my faith go on cruise control. The Apostle Paul urges disciples of Jesus to examine themselves. I need to be critical of how I am doing in my walk with Jesus. I need others to help me.

Is it possible to start strong and end weak?

Is it just about the beginning?

What if I run out of energy and can’t finish the race?

Do I think that going to church once a week and occasionally reading the bible is enough?

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus the Messiah is in you — unless indeed you fail the test?

2 Corinthians 13:5

Is self-denial a requirement of following Jesus the Messiah?

Self Denial

There is much to be said about self denial and the scripture repeats this theme over and over.

Jesus is clear.

The Apostles and their letters are clear.

God is clear.

The Holy Spirit is clear.

Do I get it?

Self-Denial — Is it a requirement of following Jesus the Messiah?

Gospel Choir Jam 2020

Join CTCI for our first annual “Gospel Jam Choir” July 31, 2020 at Parker Meadows Complex in Franklin, NC. If you are interested in signing, sign up at this link

https://ctcilife.org/gospel-choir-jam/

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There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

What happens when you refuse to know God?

This sad. It breaks God’s heart.

There are a lot of people who simply refuse to know God. Despite all the love and patience, they just refuse. They hear the good news of Jesus. They refuse to believe. God speaks to them … they don’t listen.

It is possible to live a life of ever increasing depravity. There is a spiral. Refusing to know God leads a spiral where rejection of God’s goals for us are the rule. It is a state of confusion. It is a fog. It is darkness. Wandering around not seeing clearly or at all.

When life and light is rejected, the alternative is death and darkness. Many are living there. We all see it every day.

It seems to start slowly but that is the destination. It is a journey over time. Slow and insidious.

They are empty of God. They are empty of love. They are godless and loveless.

God calls us all to speak the truth and present the opportunity of life in Jesus.

What is at stake? Eternity!

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

The lessons taught at CTCI are not designed to be learned just in the classroom. They are not simply taught in a week or a month program. Rather, they come through the furnace of daily living and are hammered into useful form on the anvil of unrelenting daily life and common struggles. The hammer must fall repetitively over and over before the shape takes form. This type of experiential learning is formative.

Learning is driven by an insatiable curiosity in God’s ways. The value of hard work and the merits of creative problem-solving are by-products of “fleshing out” Biblical principles and watching them come to life through God’s creative power. Families are transformed and young people are reformed.

When given the right conditions of sunlight and good soil, an acorn grows into a mighty oak. When the same acorn is crowded out by larger trees and the elements for health are lacking, the tree grows crooked and deformed.

When a family arrives tattered and worn, we provide the sunshine and nourishment of God’s word in daily life experiences – and the transformation is nothing short of remarkable.

When a young person arrives soiled in the mud and mire of worldly ways, we provide the nutrients which build character and integrity for future leaders – and the reformation is nothing short of miraculous.

This is what we do: Transformation and Reformation. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

How far must we go in following Jesus?

Image result for child with jesus

How far must we go in following Jesus? I need to do whatever it takes. Nothing is more important than the child-like faith in Jesus. Nothing. Not a thing.

Isn’t what Jesus is saying extreme? No, Jesus means it. Nothing can get in the way of honestly following Jesus. We may have to sacrifice a lot to be the servant of Jesus. Jesus challenges us to get rid of anything that gets in the way. This is one of the great themes of Jesus and his manifesto. God is God. Period.

What is the consequence of not taking Jesus seriously? This isn’t pleasant, but Jesus is clear. My lack of sacrifice will lead me to the fire of Hell. I don’t think Jesus is using a metaphor here. Jesus is clear and Jesus is serious. Am I?

How do we make our faith visible?

John nails it, as always. John knows it is all about love. How many times does he remind me? Constantly.

How do I make faith visible? By loving the followers of Jesus, even if I don’t know them. How am I doing on the kindness-meter? Perhaps I should do a daily assessment and track progress.

I need to find some followers of Jesus who need a meal and a place to stay. I need to be on the look out for how I can grow in hospitality. I need to hold myself accountable. Here is a quick list of ideas:

Why this level of hate of Jesus by the religious leaders?

Image result for religious leaders

Jesus was constantly getting under the skin of the religious leaders and scholars. At the conclusion of the story Jesus tells, they wanted to stone him.

Why this level of hate of Jesus by the religious leaders? Jesus saw what was in their heart, pointed it out clearly, and wouldn’t back down. They were constantly being embarrassed and the people loved Jesus.

How should we approach suffering?

Image result for embrace suffering

Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?

Source: Mark 8:34-37 (The Message)

God has a goal in mind for me. God’s goal includes suffering. God’s goal includes victory. It isn’t either/or. It is yes/and.

What is the outcome if we act on what Jesus commanded?

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What is God’s goal for me? My job is to be a servant of God. That is it. There is nothing else to it. Jesus made that clear in his example of how he lived his life. Jesus was only here to do what God had in mind. Here is the problem. I like to be served and not be a servant. I love a great meal and the wonderful service of an amazing restaurant. So … I’ve got a problem, don’t I.

Why should we stand up straight and take the truth from Jesus?

Image result for perfect love

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

Source: John 8:31-33 NASB

There is a special arrogance that believes I am not enslaved … to anyone. It is special because it is flat out wrong. It is a lie and it comes from the evil one.

Who’s way should I seek?

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Who’s way should I seek? King David knows it is God’s way and not his way. Jesus challenges me to put Jesus in charge.

God has made Jesus the ruler of God’s country (aka Kingdom). My goal is to do what Jesus wants me to. Some days I just don’t want to. Some days that isn’t my priority.

God is gracious and kind to me. Jesus has sent the Power of the Holy Spirit to help me. Now that is some good news.

What is wrong with my way? God is God. God is the only one who knows the plan from start to finish. God is Great. Nothing is impossible with God. Out of nothing God created the universe. I am in no position to questions God’s plan.