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Showing posts from August 12, 2012

The Future

Is God preparing the way ahead of you? If we really believe that God is present in our life and directing it to His own glory and in His own time, then we would trust Him more.
The story of Esther is a great example of God’s hand preparing the future. In the book of Esther several time designations are given that help us chart God’s working over a decade ahead to save His people through Esther. Note them:
“in the third year of his reign” (reign of King Xerxes) a banquet is given which results in Queen Vashti losing her position, Esther 1:3 Esther becomes a concubine of the King and “she was taken to King Xerxes…in the tenth month…in the seventh year” and through that is made the new queen, Esther 2:16“twelfth year…in the first month” the lot was cast in the presence of Haman for the day of the annihilation of the Jews, Esther 3:7It was to happen on “the thirteenth day of the twelfth month” of the twelfth year 3:7,13
The rest of the story we kn…

Pleasure

Can a believer live a life full of pleasure? Can she totally saturate and focus her life on the temporal and at the same time be appropriating the eternal. No, for this is a double-mindedness of effort.
Solomon, who had sought every pleasure as explained in the book of Ecclesiastes, stated in Proverbs 21:17 that, “he who loves pleasure will become poor…” This was not a statement that all pleasure was wrong but that pleasure was dangerous. The key word here is “loves” because it signifies a dedication of the heart.
To pursue pleasure is to be full of selfishness and to be unable to distinguish between an illusion and the real thing. There is no satisfaction of pleasure; there is only want for more. The rich man and Lazarus had different lives, one dedicated to pleasure and the other eking out a living but Jesus pulled back the curtain and allowed us to hear the final words which separated the two, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received…

Fear of the Lord

There is a difference in lifestyle and ending for those who fear the Lord and those who do not. So, how is this “fear” developed? In Psalm 34:11 the writer calls us to listen to him and he will “teach” us the fear of the Lord.

The fear of the Lord causes a person to turn from rebellion and seek peace. Therefore he keeps his tongue from evil and does not lie. He is aware of God’s discipline of those who do.
The one that is reverential towards the Lord knows that God’s eye is always on him and that God is always listening to his prayers therefore he can trust God to avenge evil works done to him or around him.
“He also understands that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) His fear of the Lord allows him confidence that God is there when he is in trouble. He knows that God does not stop trouble from happening to him but does deliver him through it.
His fear of the Lord helps him to be drawn to Him and take refuge in the Lord and ex…

Unique Sins

Sometimes we think that the sins in our lives are unique to us; that over the thousands of years of human existence no one else has ever experienced the feelings, thoughts and willful acts that we do. But we are wrong, big time.
As Paul expressed to the Corinthians the positive similarity the Jews experienced in the wilderness: all being under the cloud that led them, all passing through the Red Sea, all under the leadership of Moses, all “drinking” spiritually from the second person of the Trinity, Christ, he also expressed their similarity in sinful behavior.
Four roots of multiple sins were what they set their hearts on:
Idolatry in desiring pagan gods to lead themImmorality in disrespecting each other’s bodiesInsolence by testing God’s faithfulnessIngratitude through their grumbling about their circumstances
We are susceptible to each one of these and its underlings and from these four roots spring the sins of our life. But Paul went on to say that “no temptation h…

Recognition

In the mid-seventeenth century in England, Lord Herbert of Cherbury expressed in his writings an unorthodox religious view called Deism. It referred to the acceptance of a certain body of religious knowledge acquired solely by the use of reason rather than through revelation or the teaching of the church.
It emphasized the clockmaker type of relationship that God had with His creation. He had wound it up once at the beginning and now it was ticking down to its last moments without His further involvement.
Psalm 33 has several statements that would disagree with this understanding of God’s connection to His creation. “From his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth,” vs. 14. “He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do,” vs. 15. “The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine,” vs. 18-19. The involvement of God did not stop at the world’s creation. In fact,…

Leading Well

We see today in Washington, D.C. that many individuals go there to enrich themselves. They go to build their own kingdom and promote and protect their own personal interests. That’s why some say, “Washington is broke.” It doesn’t work.
Nehemiah traveled to Jerusalem which had been devastated by the war with Babylon. Its leaders had been taken captive in three massive exiles. Now that a new world ruler was sympathetic to them, some had returned. Nehemiah went back to become their governor and what he found was leaders who sought their own welfare and oppressed rather than helped the people. They had heavily taxed the people and demanded food and wine from them. Even their underling assistants took on the same attitude and lorded it over the people.
Nehemiah’s idea of political service was different. It was based on something far more significant than his own welfare or positioning: “But out of reverence for God I did not act like that.” (Nehemiah 5:15c) Respect or reverence of God had a …