Posts

Showing posts from May 31, 2015

Seem Right

When have you had to make an important decision that would affect your life in a deep way? Maybe it was a job change, a marriage, the purchase of a home, or even standing up for what is right. If you are a believer you can go to God for wisdom and guidance.  He will answer, yet not always on our timetable. So, what do you do? Saul, in 1 Samuel 15, spared Agag King of the Amalekites and everything that was good that he had and later told Samuel that he did it so that he could “sacrifice them to the Lord.” He mistook the rationalizations of his mind with complete obedience to God. Solomon said, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 16:25) The important words here are “seems right.” It seems right because we have worked out what we think are all the "good" reasons to do it, but what about God's unseen plan and His power to rearrange life? It “seemed” right to Saul to do what he did but the ultimate result destroyed him. W…

Pumped Up

What really pumps you up? What makes you excited and feel like you could leap over a building? Is it an energy drink? A Starbucks coffee? A thought of the one who loves you? A positive financial surprise? A hot car? A child that does good? A spouse that shows they care? Well, as you can see there are many circumstantial things that boost our emotions, so….can there be anything else that pumps us up? King David exclaimed this, “You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” (2 Samuel 22:29-30) Ah, darkness to daylight, advancement, scaling a wall, figuratively speaking, that's what happened when David thought about the Lord. It wasn't just getting out of bed to a good circumstance; it was something else that drove him forward. God turned his darkness into light, and we all know that we have “darkness” within us and coming upon us during the days that we live. But when God, as our la…

Resurrection

Time has a way of dulling our senses to the truth. We have textbooks that have removed much of the history that took place around the founding fathers of America. An alternate reality has been proposed which rearranges the truth of those times. These false truths about America's history are not the only time this has been done. It also happened in the early days of the Christian church. There were different stories that emerged about Jesus disappearance from the grave. They stated, he never really died, just was in a deep sleep, or he did die but was hidden by his disciples so all would think he had risen as he said. Baloney never stops being baloney. Luke, the writer of the book of Luke which is the only sequential story of Jesus, made clear the truth of the moments after Jesus' resurrection from the grave to a new kind of life in his second book, the book of Acts. He said, "After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was …

Guard Duty

Playing with fire will get you burned. I remember coming home from a wilderness camping experience and noticing that the hair on my right hand was singed. I couldn't remember a time when this could have happened but apparently at some point I got too close to the fire. The evidence was clear. Like fire is wrong doing. We don't expect to get burned but we do. So, our path of choice either protects or makes us vulnerable to evil. Solomon said, "The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life." (Proverbs 16:17) Avoidance of evil is guarding; staying alert for it; recognizing it when it comes. It is being watchful in our daily steps. We choose to avoid rather than confront sinful ways straight on, knowing their powers of persuasion. As believers, we are to live in the world, but not let the world live in us. Asking daily for discernment, for wisdom in the way, for good influences in our life and helpful companions is a need. Guarding your wa…

Problem Solving

Have you ever wanted to solve someone else's problem? If you did, how did it turn out? Absalom had killed his brother Amnon for defiling his sister, Tamar.  Amnon thought he loved her but it was just his lust speaking. So, Absalom devised a plan and carried it out but then was not welcomed back by King David, so departed to live with his grandfather, Talmai, King of Geshur. “Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart longed for Absalom. So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and had a wise woman brought from there.” (2 Samuel 14:1-2) Joab sought to solve the pain of David by using this woman to tell a story that would soften King David's heart and then allow Absalom to come back to Jerusalem. Joab’s effort to solve David’s problem created another problem. Absalom began to usurp the King’s authority in Jerusalem and eventually drew Israel (the northern tribes) away from loyalty to David. This led to war, and while the King’s army was battling Absalom’s army, Absalom in retreat got …

Who Rules?

When was the last time you made a bad decision? Think about it. To what do you attribute that action? How did it turn out? What could you have done to not make that bad decision? All of us fall prey to sin. It is bound up in our nature and we are weak on our own against it. God said to Cain when he was angry about his unaccepted sacrifice of vegetables as worship, "if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." (Genesis 4:7) Cain did not master it but it mastered him causing him to murder his brother, Abel. This one act had a huge impact on the rest of his life. The psalmist desired to be kept "from willful sins" and desired that "they not rule over" him. (Psalm 19:13) And again in Psalm 119:133 he requested, "Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me." How does sin rule over us? It demands fulfillment; determines to act independent of what is really bes…