Showing posts from July 22, 2012

A Father's Legacy

What are you experiencing as a result of your father’s life?
There are two different ripple effects that a father’s life can have upon his children. The Old Testament speaks several times about the “sins of the father” are compounded upon his children. But Proverbs 20:7 indicates there is a positive effect a father can have, too, “The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.”
The difference of blessing rather than cursing which the child receives has to do with the decisions of the father. In order to bless the children the father must lead a “blameless life.” This is identified as a life of integrity. The word “integrity” stems from the word “sincere” and in the Bible that word can be translated “without wax.”
Shopping for a new water pot in a first century bazaar, the shopper would lift up the pot and let the sun shine into its mouth. He would then turn the pot 360 degrees to see if the sun was lighting up any cracks that had been filled with wax and co…

Revealing the Lies

Deception is a part of the makeup of evil hearts. It is amazing how we can be convinced by another of their truthfulness to us and not be able to discern their real purposes. Solomon spoke to this when he said, “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5
Jonathan was convinced by his father Saul that he had no evil intent towards David. Jonathan later found that out to be a lie. David was smooth talked by his son Absalom and it only ended up hurting him. Daniel’s enemies went before Darius and used flattery to convince him to create a new rule that he only could be worshipped. This ended up causing Daniel to be in the lion’s den. Herod was so convincing to the wise men of his desire to also worship the new born king that they ended up needing angelic help to get home. Ananias and Sapphira were convincing to man but not to God that they had donated all the money of a sale to the church at Jerusalem. That ended up causing them…

Dousing the Fire

“It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” Proverbs 20:3 Society tells us that we cannot allow a person to bad mouth us. It says we are a coward if we don’t stand up to them. The way of the world is to meet strife with more strife. To be “quick to quarrel” is dangerous to you and those around you. Anger produces adrenalin and that natural drug narrows the thinking and causes the “fight or flight” syndrome.
Charles Bridges in his commentary on Proverbs responds, “But how much more commonly is strife fed by the folly of man’s pride, than extinguished by a peaceful and loving spirit.” In this respect, note the response of Gideon in Judges 8:1 and following. He was confronted with strife from others but did not create more strife by his response; rather he found a way within him to pursue a peaceful resolution to the strife.
How do you respond when the tempest of strife blows into your world? Think about one such time and the outcome. What could you do to …

Valuable Bible

What do you think is the value of the Word of God which we call the Bible? Many see no value in it. Others consider it limited in value as a wise book. The few find it of greater value than any amount of wealth or power could give. Here the word “law” is not describing the “Law” or the Ten Commandments but rather the Word of the Lord in general.
Hidden in plain sight are several statements about its worth found in Psalm 19:7-11. There is a repeating pattern in these verses initiating with a distinctive name for the law, connecting it to an appropriate adjective about the law, and following with a beneficial effect of the law. Pause on each one and gather the depths of their words:
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.” Vs. 7aIt has the ability to completely cover all aspects of life and restore the soul daily with its truths.
“The statues of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” Vs. 7bIt reminds the reader of the trustworthiness of God and of how sure His word…

Fixing A Mess

Sometimes we get ourselves into situations which are all our fault, and they are not working out to the good, so, we try to correct the problem even when we know there is nothing more we can do about it. It’s like water being spilled into the sand where there is no way we can gather it back up.
Rehoboam, the successor to the throne of Solomon, listened to the request of Jeroboam to relieve the people of their heavy tax burden under his new reign but Rehoboam decided instead to increase the taxes on the people. This led to the rebellion of the ten northern tribes and the establishment of Jeroboam as their king. It also led to Rehoboam trying to keep them by force in his kingdom. Shemaiah, the man of God, was told to speak to Rehoboam and say, “This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.” (2 Chronicles 11:4)
Rehoboam had caused this situation with his strong handed tactics and now wanted to put the broken kingdo…

True Environmentalists

For several decades “environmentalists,” so called, have convinced us that man has a distinct impact on nature. They have sought to lessen that impact by changes in the way we align with nature. Our fuel, our education, our garbage, our religious beliefs, our way of life has been adjusted to include their suggestions, but all of this has not been able to release nature from its troubles and does not address the prime cause of creation’s problems.
Paul, in the first century, spoke to this struggle when he said, “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Romans 8:20-21)
The human race and the natural world are connected. Creation, which was declared good by God in Genesis, and over which man was given responsibility, is now groaning but not because of what it has done but becaus…

Lawful Life

Laws on the books of a nation, state or city are there to direct good living and protect against evil, curbing it and provide penalty for anyone who crosses legal boundaries. So it is with the Law that was given by God to Israel on Mount Sinai. God wanted his people to be different and made in His image, holy, good and righteous.
But as the nation fashioned itself under the Law, it became sterile, interpreting the Law to suit their own wills, and living in the supposed “cracks” of the Law to their own selfish advantage. This was why Jesus spoke so harshly to the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were intent on fulfilling all the “rules” they had placed on top of the law and forgot one very important aspect of the Law of God.
That aspect is so simply stated by Paul that we can miss its impact…”the law is spiritual…” (Romans 7:14). What does this mean? In Romans 7:12, Paul has stated that “the commandment is holy, righteous and good.” That was all about outward actions but here in verse 14 wh…

New Life Guaranteed

When January 1 rolls around there is a certain portion of the population that determines to make a new start. Whether it is related to achieving success in their job or marriage or achieving release from a negative habit, a new life is what is sought. The sad thing is that most never complete the journey to their desired ends but revert back to the rut of their present existence.
Those of us that have found Christ as our savior don’t have to experience this up and down to life. Christ has promised us new life and it is not a pipe dream but a reality that only he can give through his death and resurrection. “We were …buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4) New life…it’s what we all want but whether we obtain it or not will be determined by who is in charge of our life. Do you want to go through every January 1st seeking it or do you want it guaranteed by th…

Giving with Integrity

As David completes his forty years of rule as King over Israel, he gathers together all the leaders of Israel at Jerusalem and proclaims Solomon as the new king. He ties this with the initiation of the building of the Temple. 

In the midst of this celebratory event, he tells the people what he is personally giving toward the Temple’s construction. He also asks them to give toward the Temple, which they do “freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord.” (1 Chronicles 29:9) He notes emphatically that all that they have given really came from God’s hand anyway. 

This is the first good way to look at your money, as on loan from God. “Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” (1 Chronicles 29:14b) You are only giving back a part of what He has already given to you.

The second good way to look at your giving is then enumerated by David. “I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with hone…

Friendship Lost?

Everyone of us has at sometime felt like a friend was ignoring us or choosing to be with others rather than with us. It brought sadness to our hearts, struggle in our minds and an earnest desire to restore the seemingly lost friendship.
The Psalmist felt that way about God. He asked the question in Psalm 13, “How long...will you forget me forever?...will you hid your face from me? How long will I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?” (Psalm 13:1-2)
The desire to meet with God, hear His voice, and feel the benefit of that in his soul was what the Psalmist was looking for. He prayed, “Look on me and answer…give light to my eyes.” (13:3) He wanted to feel the vibrancy of a close relationship; the energy provided by mutual friendship.
However, in the midst of this internal struggle, he realized that feeling God was not as important as trusting God. He had to trust that God loved him unreservedly and that He was there, whether he felt Him or not. So, his response wa…

Most Valued Gift

There is a difference between the value of gifts and some of that stems from the one who gives it. “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 19:14)
Great gifts of inheritance, like houses and money, can be given by parents. They are the result of their past success in business, diligent saving, and possibly creative invention. The parent generation knows that it will pass and usually desires to leave something more for their children, so they do what is necessary to make their desires become a reality, and the children “reap where they have not sown.”
God gives gifts too. They go beyond the temporal becoming more valuable than the inheritance that a parent can give because they address the future. One of these gifts is identified by the author of Proverbs as the gift of a wise wife.
A “prudent wife” is spoken of in Proverbs 31 as one who works wisely with her resources and provides for the needs of her family. She is not boisterous, b…