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Showing posts from June 17, 2012

Enjoying---Abstaining

What is it that distinguishes you from unbelievers and how do you show your love for believers in your community? These two questions swirl around us all the time as we make our way through life.
Some have encouraged us to be like those around us so that we can bring them to Christ, but when those around us see no difference between them and us then there is no incentive to be like us…they already are. Others say our liberty in Christ allows us to do and eat anything. This is an argument that satisfies the flesh and not the spirit.
As the gospel spread in the first years after Christ’s death and resurrection, the church was faced with the challenge of cultures other than the Jewish one influencing the actions of believers. The church at Jerusalem provided wisdom for new believers in the pagan cultures of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia.
They sent a letter with four requirements for these new Gentile believers. “You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of str…

Friends and Enemies

Do you really know who are your friends and enemies? It would seem logical that your friends are those who agree with you and encourage you to do what you want to do but they might be more your enemies than your friends.
Notice the story of Elijah and Ahab. Ahab was the king of the northern Kingdom of Israel. His wife Jezebel got for him the field of Naboth, a close neighbor, by deception and accusation. Naboth was killed and Ahab acquired his land and vineyards pretending to be innocent.
Elijah came to Ahab and challenged him concerning the deceit and theft and “when Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.” (1Kings 21:27)
Elijah revealed that Ahab’s actions were evil and that God saw them. He brought reality back to Ahab and the result was that he began to repent and fast for his sins. He was drawn to God and away from his evil deeds. He reconciled with God in such a way that God withheld His judgment from him…

Ministry at Work

How can you be used by God to accomplish His purposes in the current place you work? You might say, “That is totally impossible!” or “I can’t see it even though I want to see it.” It is important to understand God’s divine placement of each of us in job settings that can become outposts of ministry.
Note the story of Obadiah, one “who was in charge of his [Ahab, King of Israel’s] palace. (Obadiah was a devout believer in the Lord. While Jezebel was killing off the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.)” 1Kings 18:3-4
Here is a “devout believer” “in charge” of the palace of Ahab. The king had deepened the worship of Baal and other gods in the northern kingdom. He had allowed his wife, Jezebel, to carry out mass assassinations of God’s prophets in the kingdom. I’m sure Obadiah thought much about this and how he could be used of God in his position. So, he hides and feeds one-hundred goo…