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Showing posts from September 2, 2012

Against God

Remember the last time you went to another person and confessed that you had sinned against them. Possibly you stole something of theirs or you gossiped about them and deep inside you knew you had to make it right. That is a guilty conscience and it can be of benefit in purifying your life. However difficult the clearing of your conscience was and how sweet the peace that ensued after it, it is even more powerful to recognize that your sin was first and primarily against God. You disobeyed His laws and denied Him of His glory by pushing you away from His grace.
David in Psalm 51:4 after being confronted by Nathan the prophet about his moral failure with Bathsheba declared, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…”David understood this principle of sin being against God first. Here are other places in Scripture where this is emphasized:
In discussion with Potiphar’s wife and her desire for Joseph, he said, ”How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin…

God

Here is something to think about. In Psalm 50:1, the writer opens with a trinity of names for God. “The Mighty One, God, the LORD speaks and summons the earth…”
The “Mighty One” uses the word El which references His supreme power, his all powerfulness. There is no one else who has this ability than EL. The word “God” is Elohim which is the God of creation. He has a responsibility as creator to oversee His creation. And the word “LORD” is the word Yahweh which is used in relationship to his responsibility as covenant keeping God.
This trinity speaks to all the earth, both believer and non-believer. He does this because of His power but also because He is its creator and has made a covenant with a number of people on it.
Verse 4 tells us that He is summoning them so that He might judge them and His three names give Him both the power and the responsibility to do so.
Have you considered these three names when you think or respond to God in prayer. Do you recognize His all powerfulness over y…

Giving

At some time in our lives most of us have thought about what we should give back to God. The pay checks come in and we divide them up to pay for utilities, a car and gas, food, entertainment, clothing, rent or house payment, emergencies and possibly what we are going to give back to God. It has been stated that giving in the church is tied to the 80/20 ratio. 80 percent of the people give 20 percent of the dollars and 20 percent of the people give 80 percent of the dollars.
In considering everything we earn in income as a blessing of God, how much should we be giving back to Him? In 2 Corinthians 8 Paul writes to the church at Corinth about theirs and the Macedonian church’s giving by using several key phrases that can help us to evaluate our own giving:
The Macedonian church had rich generosity – vs. 2 “their overflowing joy and extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity”They “gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability” - vs. 3“Excel in th…

Going to Church

The writer of Ecclesiastes had visited several places through chapter four of the book to observe and give his impressions of those present; the courtroom, the marketplace, the highway and the palace. He now enters the Temple area to watch and then share related to its attendees.
In chapter 5:1 he states, “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.”
There is a general challenge to be careful of your actions when you go to God’s house. The emphasis should be on listening, which would also include the obeying of what you listen to. He says that “listening” is preferable to offering the “sacrifice of fools.”
Sacrifices dealt with human needs. They sought forgiveness, expressed thanksgiving, and often fulfilled vows. But he speaks here of an empty sacrifice, one where the person went through the ritual of sacrifice but their heart was not in it. This sacrifice was only outward and not a…

Discipline

We hear this word and cringe whether it is for us or for our children. Our nature does not desire discipline; it wishes its strong desires push us wherever it wants. In this we see the true nature of us all, received from our ancient mother and father, Adam and Eve. Pushing the boundaries, being willfully disobedient and living off our own pleasures is what we do, not realizing the consequences of our actions just beyond the crest of the hill.
Is it any different for a child? Solomon stated that “folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15) Every parent has to decide the truth of this statement. Folly or foolishness is identified as a propensity to do wrong. Living out wrong principles, forming bad habits and entering into an ungodly course is the way of folly and discipline is a way of abating it.
So what is the truth about discipline?
First, let’s recognize that discipline is never an easy action to take but is…