Posts

Showing posts from July 5, 2015

Folly-ness

From that very moment in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil up until today and forever after we all rather blame God for our sinful actions than ourselves. Why did he place that one tree in the garden but give permission to eat of all others but it? Certainly God was not being gracious to do this. Do you really believe that? Solomon found a rule that is enforced on every man and woman, no matter how high or how low of stature they are. He said, "A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord." (Proverbs 19:3) Curious isn't it that when caught in a disobedient action a child will always blame someone or something else. Where did he get this from? The answer is obvious, it lives within him. Charles Bridges in his commentary on Proverbs calls it the "wicked will." His nature is wicked, and he is willing that it should be so. "If he perishes, it is not in his weakness…

Rich or Poor?

A telling story of the realities of life is the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. Jesus tells it clearly, "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day." (vs. 19) A stark contrast between the haves and the have nots is here illustrated. Purple and fine linen were the clothing of kings and influencers. This particular man, who is never named, lived a luxurious life "every day." Not one day was he in pain, hungry, or worried; everything was provided every day. But the people brought to his gate "a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table." (vs. 20-21) They must have felt the rich man would have mercy on one so down on his luck. They must have thought good of the rich man but his actions were according to the wisdom of Solomon, "The poor man pleads for mercy, but a rich man answers harshly." (Proverbs 18:23) The rich man was …

Trust in God

Today we want to do something different, so go to youtube.com and search for the song "We will not be shaken" by Bethel.  Be sure and click on the video that has the lyrics. Get it all ready to play and then come back and read the paragraph below first, then listen to this great song as you think on Paul's situation. Paul was not shaken although he was in chains on his way to Rome, in a terrible storm on the Mediterranean Sea. He was on a ship that would eventually break up and be completely destroyed. However, "Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.' [Then Paul said] So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me." (Acts 27:23-25) We should always trust in God whatever the circumstance for we know He is not out to destroy us but you …

Words

Words  How valuable are the words that come out of your mouth? If you were to put a dollar amount on each one, would they be one dollar, five-hundred dollars, one million dollars? That may seem a little extreme but consider what words have done. Words have incited to war or to peace. They have caused people to dream, envision a different future. They have also driven family members away, discouraged and destroyed them and are forever repeated in the minds of the abused. Consider a promise accompanied by a hand shake in business that leads to profit for both sides. Consider a judge that brings down a heavy sentence or declares a "not guilty" verdict. The witness to a crime brings punishment on the perpetrator. The truth teller brings freedom while the false teacher brings bondage. Solomon said, "The tongue has the power of life and death…" (Proverbs 18:21) There is no word spoken by the tongue that should be called trifling. There are no neutral words. They bring li…

A Name

We have no influence over the circumstances of our birth and neither do we have say in what name we are given. Some are given great names and some are given names that might lead us to be suspect. Often times we don't know why we were given our name. The name is not the important thing, it is rather the place of beginning from which we live up to or exceed the expectations associated with its meaning. In the middle of multiple lineages, Ezra the writer of Chronicles halts the procession of births and names to emphasize one. It is Jabez, a name meaning "pain," given to him by his mother who obviously experienced pain in his birthing. Apparently it was out of the ordinary or she had no clue how hard birthing would be. Now, everyone would know what his name meant and everyone could anticipate he might cause a lot of pain because of his name but Jabez knew better than to allow things out of his control (like the name he was given) to dictate his future. Jabez is recognized …

Coinsidences?

Paul testified to his salvation experience before the Sanhedrin and they caused a riot so large that the commander of the Roman troops, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces, stepped in and escorted him to the Roman barracks. That night "the Lord stood near Paul and said, 'Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.'" (Acts 23:11) Coincidently, (I think not), "the next morning the Jews formed a conspiracy …to kill Paul." (23:12) The Sanhedrin, the Jewish leaders, played their part in this by asking the commander to bring Paul to them so they could gain more information from him. But, this was a ruse to allow forty men, who had bound themselves with an oath, to kill Paul while being transported to the assembly. Coincidently, (I think not), Paul's young nephew overheard their plot and came to Paul who sent him to the commander to tell what he knew. Upon hearing this, the commander organized a troop of 2…