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Showing posts from January 12, 2014

Talk

We all know what it means when we say "talk is cheap." It means the talker will not necessarily do what they say. It also means that we want to see the actions that follow the talk. So talk may be cheap but it is also revealing. It shows others what is in your heart. Jesus told the Pharisees that "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." He also said, "men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." (Matthew 12:34, 36) The phrase "careless word" is defined as idle words or words that accomplish nothing or are vain, thoughtless and useless. In Jesus' case it was used as the Pharisees accused him of accomplishing his healings through the devil. That was contrary to the truth and so "careless word" meant here wicked, injurious, false, or malicious talk. Warren Wiersbe states in his commentary on this passage, "it is by our conversation at unguarded moments that we reveal…

Value

Value  Do you value all persons the same or do you see worth in some and no worth in others? Are you constrained by your misinterpretations of what is right to not act when you should act with moral goodness? Jesus was in a synagogue when asked by the Pharisees, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" (Matthew 12:10) There stood among them a man with a shriveled hand and they asked this of Jesus to trap him in what they thought for him was a no win situation. They made the assumption that the Sabbath as a day of rest did not allow for anyone to do any work and they watched others closely to accuse them of failing to keep it. Jesus reminds them of David taking the consecrated bread from the Tabernacle; of the priests who actually do a lot of work on the Sabbath yet they are innocent of breaking the law; and of the greatness of mercy over sacrifice with regard to the law of the Sabbath. Don't men rescue a sheep fallen in a pit on the Sabbath? This sheep, alone or even as a …

Sacred Moments

Do you have sacred moments in your life where things changed? Maybe it was arriving at a new place to live or an event such as marriage or the birth of your child. These moments impact our lives. We identify them as turning points. The same is true for biblical characters. Jacob had at least three sacred moments where life changed for him. The first was on his escape from the wrath of Esau on the journey to stay with his uncle Laban. He was tired of running and stopped to sleep. "He called that place Bethel," which means house of God. (Genesis 28:19) Here he had a vision of angels ascending and descending from God on a ladder. God spoke and promised him the land on which he laid, protection on his journey, and that He would bring him back from his uncle's. The second moment didn't take place until 20 years later. He was escaping from his uncle Laban's secretly. When Laban was made aware of his flight, he gathered a band of men and came after him. They met, had …

Do you fear?

Jesus calls the twelve disciples to him, gives them their instructions and then addresses the very present fear that is lurking deep within them. "What if…" is what they say and fear is what they feel gathering inside them. How does Jesus address fears? He addresses them by revealing two small facts about the depth of God's care for His creation. One is His care for sparrows. "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father." (Matthew 10:29) Sparrows in his area are small but numerous. They are tame, intrusive and seek a home in every nook or cranny. These birds are captured and two are sold for a penny and are so insignificant that five are sold for two pennies. They are destroyed as a worthless nuisances yet God the Father cares for them and yes not even one dies outside His will. Two is His identification of every hair on the human head. "And even the hairs of your head are all numbe…

Wisdom

How do you acquire this? It is not sold in stores, purchased on the stock market or order from the internet. It just occurs, if the right work has been done ahead of time. How can wisdom be present in you and out from you? Solomon explained that "happy is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her." (Proverbs 3:13-15) The value of having wisdom outdoes the returns of silver or gold. It is more valuable than precious gems. You are so blessed when you have it because it takes you to places of beauty, strength and honor. When you think of the rewards of possessions, sex, power, thrills of any kind, they cannot compare with the rewards of wisdom. Wisdom is not acquired, it is revealed. It comes as a result of the hard work of gaining knowledge and understanding. Wisdom is the application of these to life at the rig…

Worried?

Our society is in chaos. All the pillars of strength that support this society, i.e. marriage, values, honesty, ethics, trust and more are being diluted and decayed before our eyes. What is a believer to do as they see this happening? The psalmist asked the same question, "When the foundations [of society] are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3) It's an honest question. It could be said another way, "What can one person do against the onslaught of evil?" The answer to this worried question is found in the next verses of Psalm 11. One, see God in his temple and see Him on His throne. (vs. 4a) He has not been removed or subjugated. He is still in the place He has always been. His power and authority have not dwindled or been destroyed. When we see Him this way it will encourage us and cause us to have confidence in His ability to act when and where He needs to. Second, know that He "observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them.&quo…

Telling the Truth

Do you ever say things that are not true about yourself or people you know? That can be consequential as they can come back to bite you. John, the writer of 1 John, made three "if" – "then" statements about life for a believer. He said, "If we [that's you and I] claim to have fellowship with [God] yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth." 1 John 1:6"If we claim to be without sin [nature], we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8"If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives." 1 John 1:10 These are revealing truths. First, we are saying that we are in fellowship with God but yet our actions say the opposite, so we are lying to others. Second, we say that the sin nature does not exist in us, so we are lying to ourselves. Third, we say that we do not do acts of sin, so we are making God out to be a liar by den…