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Showing posts from June 28, 2015

True Security

On this Independence Day here is an important truth to review. It has been present in every nation throughout the world's existence. Citizens give up their rights and their money to governments which then rule over them. The most important task of a national government is to be the maintainer of a military force to protect its people. But all governments grasp more power if you let them. Note this Biblical example: “Jehoiakim paid Pharaoh Neco the silver and gold he demanded. In order to do so, he taxed the land and exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land according to their assessments.” (2 Kings 23:35)  The “government” has no money; all that it has is taken from its citizens. In order to continue to live a somewhat free life King Jehoiakim paid a bribe to Pharaoh Neco of Egypt. Here's the interesting fact: This money was wasted because within another chapter of 2 Kings Nebuchadnezzar comes from Babylon (Iraq) and conquers Judah, making it a vassal state. Pe…

Your Assignment

We attribute our freedom to the millions of men and women who have taken up arms to make it so. Each one has been given an assignment, whether open or secret, and carried it out to the best of their abilities. Some have lost their life in the pursuit of freedom and on this independence weekend, we honor both the living and the dead. Paul had been smitten with the light of Jesus Christ’s glory on the road to Damascus. “’Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’” (Acts 22:10) He obeys and later Ananias comes to believing Paul and heals him from his physical blindness. In the midst of this activity God said to Paul, “you have an assignment.” The question for you and I is, "Was he the only believer to ever be given an assignment by God?" The answer is a resounding, "Absolutely not." Every believer has an “assignment” from God. It may entail speaking in large meetings, such as did Billy Graham or wor…

Who's Really in Charge?

We think sometimes that the world has gone to hell and there is no coming back. Islamist rage over their own lands and kill or put into servitude "infidels." We wonder, is God able to control these forces? Is He on vacation or just not interested in His creation? What assures us of His presence, power and persistence with this reckless world? Sennacherib king of Assyria [north of Israel] marched up against Judah [the Southern Kingdom] ruled by King Hezekiah. The Northern Kingdom of Israel has already been taken into captivity and the commander of Sennacherib sends a message for Jerusalem to surrender to Assyrian rule or be ravaged. Hezekiah puts on sack cloth and ashes and goes to prayer, humbling himself before God. He asks direction of the prophet Isaiah who responds by sharing God's words concerning Sennacherib, "Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass…” (2 Kings 19:25) What is Isaiah saying? Here it is…God has ordained…

A Free Life

What's it like to have real freedom? There are many that do not have it and desire it but are controlled by an inside or outside force that keeps them in shackles. True freedom begins when the heart finds rest. This is only accomplished when God is allowed to enter, abide and direct your life. David said, “He makes me lie down in green pastures..” (Psalm 23:2) In order for a sheep to "lie down" they need to be free from four different challenges, otherwise they anxiously remain on their feet ready to bolt at the slightest danger. One, they need to be free from fear as they are easily scared by the unexpected and quickly panic with a herd mentality. Two, they need to be free from conflicts created by rivalry and tension of more bold sheep against the more timid ones. Three, they need to be free from torment by pests. The shepherd’s application of insect repellents, dips for their heavy coats, and the development of shelter areas of trees and bushes provide refuge from pe…

A Trivial Pursuit Life

An idol is anything that takes over the prominent place of God in our lives. It can be physical, emotional, mental, a person or something else. It is not particular and will bend to what best puts you into its clutches. When God is in His rightful place, we operate with purpose, direction, and feel valued. We see ourselves as worth something because we are united with the Ultimate Being who knows and sees all. His love flows through us to others as we submit to this way of life. We see with His eyes the great value in every life and meaning in being connected to Him. BUT, when He is not willingly given the place of honor and other things are, i.e. money, job, possessions, etc., our lives turn into ourselves and we lose true fulfillment ending up longing for something to fill the "void."   The Old Testament writer speaking of the increasing trend of idolatry in the Northern Kingdom of Israel said, “They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless.” (2 Kings 17:…