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Showing posts from January 5, 2014

Extending Your Life

What would you do to extend the years of your life? There are many advertisements of various pills and foods that claim to extend the life of the one who swallows them but there is no guarantee for any specific drug. Solomon in the book of Proverbs offers a different avenue to extending your life. It demands locking into your heart certain principles of life and obeying them. He said, "do not forget my teaching but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity." (Proverbs 3:1-2) He goes on in this chapter to enumerate at least twelve: "Let love and faithfulness never leave you" vs. 3                      Love"Trust in the Lord with all your heart" vs. 5                             Dependency"Do not be wise in your own eyes" vs. 7                                 Humility"Honor the Lord with your wealth" vs. 9                                 Giving"Do not…

Liar, Liar

What happens when you lie? We talk about this with children and stress the importance of them being truthful but they still lie and we have to talk to them again. What happens when an adult lies? Abraham moved around in the Promised Land and traveled into the Negev region living in Gerar which was just inside Philistine territory. He met King Abimelech of Gerar and "said of his wife Sarah, 'She is my sister.' Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her." (Genesis 20:2) Abraham and Sarah had the same father but a different mother so they were related but Abraham had married Sarah so she was more than his sister. Abraham feared Abimelech so he told a "half-truth." Instead of it getting him out of danger, it put him in more danger and not him only but Abimelech and his household. The king had the right to take into his harem any single woman and so he "acquired" Sarah even though she was over 76 years old. A previous incident where Haga…

"Golden Rule"

What is one of the basic principles of life for you? Is it, do to others before they can do to you? Or, is it stay away from others and hope they stay away from you? In the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus spoke to a large crowd, he spoke of many issues faced by individuals but there was one phrase that has transcended the centuries. Jesus  said, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…" (Matthew 7:12) This has been called the Golden Rule and identified as a principle that could govern our attitudes and actions toward others. This principle has to do with expectations and desires of others in similar circumstances. It is an entirely general statement, however, if acted out would be like being in the other person's shoes and wanting what they want. The principle intends to make you impartial, unbiased and just. You would be doing what is right and just and fair" (Proverbs 2:9) for others. This is hard for all of us because we are so selfish…

Timing

Abraham was merely sitting at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day by the forest of Mamre when three strangers appeared. Being hospitable, he provided water to clean off their feet and a meal to quench their assumed hunger. We find later this to be the Lord (the pre-incarnate Son of God) and two angels who have come to notify Abraham of the pending doom of Sodom and Gomorrah. Possibly Abraham had thought that the hope of a son was going to come through Lot who is in the city to be destroyed, so the Lord comes again to assure Abraham that he will have a son by Sarah. The Lord speaks loud enough for Sarah, behind the tent wall, to hear the promise for herself.  As she listens her mind cynically responds, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?" (Genesis 17:12) She laughs inside as she considers this impossibility. The timing is off from her point of view. The Lord challenges this by saying, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'W…

Live by the Truth

What's it like to work with a person or know someone close to you who seems to always be skirting the truth? You cannot trust their stories about life to be the truth and you cannot depend on them to come through on their promises. John wrote a small letter that was sent around to believers in many locations. It was a message that would be read to them and discussed. It dealt with the contrast of darkness and light, truth and lie. He used the words "walk in the darkness" and "walk in the light" (1 John 1:6-7) to show what it means to live by the truth. Walking in darkness refers to living a life that is characterized by sinful acts and thoughts while walking in the light is characterized by living in connection to God. If, as John says, "you claim to have fellowship with him [God] yet walk in the darkness, you lie and do not live by the truth." (1 John 1:6) It is important that our words and actions match. To live by the truth about yourself means yo…

Light of the World

In the natural world the sun is the light of the world. Earth has been placed by God in what scientists call the "Goldilocks" zone because it is not too hot and not too cold to not be able to support life. In this zone the sun is meant to warm and energize along with the obvious properties of light to render objects visible, reveal their form and nature, their beauty and their deformity. Recently the amount of planets in "Goldilocks" zones in various solar systems has decreased because of new understandings concerning highly-ionizing UV radiation which rapidly destroys organic molecules. Massive stars output massive amounts of this and it destroys the possibility of life on otherwise "G" zoned planets. In the spiritual world the believer is the light for our world. Jesus said, "You are the light of the world….In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)…