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Showing posts from June 16, 2013

Connection

In the Old Testament there is a connection revealed between three elements that make up the corners of a triangle. Obviously the first corner of the triangle is God, who creates, blesses, empowers, protects, directs and much more. He stands at the top of the triangle reigning over the other two corners.
The right corner is God's people. He loves them and blesses them when their heart is right towards Him. He notices their loyalty and faith and when they move away from Him into idolatry He deals with them in judgment.
The left corner is the Land. It acts like a spiritual thermometer, registering the people's degree of obedience to God. It was blessed by God to have abundance or lack thereof, evidenced by a famine, when the people disobeyed Him. Its possession or capture was directly related to the people's faithfulness to God. It was developed or devastated. Although its security was thought to be based on the size of the army, the reality was that its security was provided b…

Finding Your Purpose

David's rise to prominence and eventually becoming the King of Israel is a golden story. David writes in Psalm 138:8, "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me..." David had confidence to believe that his purpose was intertwined with the purpose of God and that as he lived out his purpose to the fullest then God's purpose was being accomplished.

Paul while in Pisidian Antioch spoke in the synagogue about David's purpose also. He rehearsed the development of the people of Israel under the hand of God. He stated it this way:
· God chose Israel
· God made Israel prosper in Egypt
· God led them out of Egypt
· God endured their conduct for 40 years
· God overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to Israel
· God gave them judges
· God gave them kings: Saul and David
· God brought to Israel through David the Savior Jesus Christ
This process was begun approximately 1,900 years before Christ. At the end of Paul's message in the synagogue he makes this statement: &qu…

Fool's Money

It is a curious thing to watch some university students pay large sums of money to obtain an education presumably to make them wise and yet see them idle away their time. And, it is even a more curious thing to watch professional athletes make millions of dollars but have no plan for their future and end their career having nothing but injuries to show for it.
"Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?" (Proverbs 17:16) Putting money in a fool's hand is the quickest way to see it disappear. Money can afford opportunities to its owner. When used properly it can increase much and release one from debt but when used improperly can destroy health, character, and your future.
We are aware that the "love of money is the root of all kinds of evil" (1 Timothy 6:10) and that it has caused many people to be pierced with much grief. So, what should we do with money? It must be respected because it does have power. It must be carefully…

Repentance

In the book of Joel the writer prophecies about a day when Israel will be devastated. An invasion of insects will destroy all the food sources for man and beast and an invasion of the Assyrian army will kill or take captive the people. It is referred to as the Day of the Lord.
This "day" is spoken about dramatically in Joel's prophecies. It comes upon the people of Israel because of their persistence in allowing idols and other things to come between them and God. In the midst of this message of devastation you can feel the people crying out for a solution and Joel provides it with the following two verses: "return to me [the Lord] with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments." Joel 2:12-13
Joel makes a distinction between an outward showing of repentance by the tearing of garments, which the Pharisees did several times in the Scriptures, and an inward turning that involves the mind, emotion and will. The Psalm…

Idolatry

Can you feel yourself move away from God? Throughout the Old Testament the word "idolatry" is used to identify the action of wandering from God.
Idols then were made of silver and gold. They were made such so that they would be valued but as the Psalmist's says, "they have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths." (Psalm 135:16-17) They were useless and it doesn't matter what they were made of, it was all eventually going to turn to dust.
Idolatry was a perpetual problem among the Israelites. They would be focused on God and then slowly idols would creep into their lives. This would be met by God with discipline and the challenge to a strong believer to destroy idols and return to God. They would do this and then that slow creep would soon begin again.
We can translate this to us today. Our idols are not so much made of gold and silver but are anything to which our hearts wander…

Promoting Love

What is it about us humans that more often than not we end up concentrating on what has been done wrong to us rather than on what has been done right? It seems we all desire to be loved but we don't always extend love to others. It seems to be a one way street towards us and away from others.
Solomon challenged his readers with a powerful statement about promoting love. He said, "He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends." (Proverbs 17:9)
There are several elements to promoting love. One is than an offense once done cannot be taken back. It is like pouring water onto sand which dissipates so quickly there is no way to retrieve it. Two, the one who is offended must answer an important question: "What should I do now that this has happened?" The Bible speaks of confronting a person who has done wrong or done you wrong and clearing the air. It also speaks of then putting that offense out of your mind forever.