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Showing posts from June 24, 2012

End Game

When you see a nation or a person go downhill, do you wonder what the back story was to their demise? We can attribute problems with just being in the wrong place at the wrong time...coincidence. That may be the case one in a great while but for most the problems a nation or a person faces are brought on by themselves.
This is clearly explained in 2 Kings 17 as the writer reveals the reasons why the Northern Kingdom of Israel went into captivity. “All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” 2 Kings 17:7 This is the key reason…sin.
He goes on to enumerate it and here are just a few details:
Worshiped other gods vs 7bFollowed the practices of other nations vs. 8Secretly did things against the Lord…that were not right vs.9Did wicked things that provoked the Lord to anger vs. 11Would not listen and were stiff-necked vs. 14Rejected His decree…

Fake Worship

There is always a desire from a younger generation to “add some spice to worship.” It was true of my generation and I have witnessed it in the emerging generations since. It is in our nature to refresh and adjust religious worship to our own desires and dreams. This can spark new life when done carefully and with God’s glory still the central feature but can become a syncretist hodge podge of seemingly religious elements when that is not the case.
“King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. He saw an altar in Damascus and sent to Uriah the priest a sketch of the altar, with detailed plans for its construction.” (2 Kings 16:10) It was built and ready for service when he returned. Ahaz usurped the office of the priest by presenting offerings on it himself and directing the priest to do all the regular offerings on it also. Then, he changed the setting and use of the bronze altar for his witchcraft divination. All the elements of worship in the Temple had signific…

Prayer’s Way

What are your impressions of prayer? Does it have a significant place in your life or is it something you “join in” with a congregation, and then only for a moment? Prayer is important and necessary for every one of us. It is not an action that can be ignored or which we can be flippant about.
There are two truths that are found in prayer, many more I’m sure but two that we want to emphasize. From Psalm 145:8 to verse 21 there are many things said about “the Lord” and His activities with individuals. Verse 18 speaks specifically about prayer, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”
God is immediately present in the heart of one who calls on Him. This is seen in other Psalms like 34:18 and 119:151. His presence may not be physically or spiritually discerned but He is there because His love for us and desire that we might communicate with Him causes Him to be there. This is a comforting assurance, whether we “feel” Him or not, that as soon as we begin t…

Rehabilitation

Accidents happen in life causing injury to the body and loss of function and that can only be restored when it is rehabilitated. Most of us have had this happen whether in a small or large sense. It is defined as “to be restored to a healthy working state through training.” I remember a knee operation that caused my leg muscles to atrophy as I laid in bed recovering. I had to do exercises routinely to bring that leg back into a healthy working condition.
In the same way we may seek deeper rehabilitation. Emotional hurt causes injury too and requires us to work out the pain so that we can be healthy again. In Psalm 143:10 the author identifies the rehabilitation process when he says, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”
We must allow instruction in order to get better, submitting our self to the teacher, to be guided to health. It is hard to “get over” hurts and painful remembrances but it is essential in order to move forward in …

A Miracle in Your Hand

Do you believe in miracles? Do you recognize them when they happen in your life or do you consider it luck or a coincidence?
There are six miracles that Elisha performed in 2Kings 4-6: the widow’s oil continued to flow until the draught ended, the Shunammite’s son was brought back to life, a group of prophets stew was purified from being poison, twenty loaves of bread were broken by Elisha to feed one-hundred men, Naaman, commander of the army of Aram, was cured of leprosy, and then Elisha made an axhead float. Note the story of the last in the collection.
“As one of them [a prophet] was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. ‘Oh my lord,’ he cried out, ‘it was borrowed!’ The man of God [Elisha] asked, ‘Where did it fall?’ when he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. ‘Lift it out,’ he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.” 2Kings 6:5-7
Obviously iron does not float. Obviously the Jordan is a good depth and…