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Showing posts from August 23, 2015

Fragrance of Life

I'm sure you have, as I have, sat beside a woman or passed by a woman who emitted a strong fragrance. It might have seemed she soaked all night in a fragrance so that her smell was sweet and strong, even overpowering. On the other hand, you as well as I have at some time been in the presence of a person who put off a putrid odor the result of not bathing or being in the same clothes for days. Fragrance is evident from them both but has a distinctly different response from us. Paul said that "through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him." (2 Corinthians 2:14) He associates this with a triumphal entry of a victorious general returning home with captives walking behind him. In the movie, Patton, he uses this picture to show the beauty of triumph over enemies but also states that beside the general was a slave stating that fame is fleeting. The triumphal victory march was accompanied by incense in the form of flowers strewn on the pathway and also swe…

Satan's Schemes

Satan's Schemes  We all know the motto which explains the essence of the show Survivor. It is to "outwit, outplay, outlast" the other's in the game. Did you know that Satan seeks to outwit you, outplay you, and certainly outlast you? Paul said, "I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us." And how is Paul saying that he can keep from being outwitted? By forgiving and not holding a grudge against a brother. Because, Paul says, "we are not unaware of his schemes." (2 Corinthians 2:11) What are some of Satan's schemes besides holding a grudge and not forgiving another person? Several are revealed throughout the Bible? Here's a start: Create a prideful heartin you – David counted his army because he was trusting in human resources rather than in God. (1 Chronicles 21:1) Inflict pain, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, on you when God gives him permission to do so - See Job …

Trouble's Blessing

What happens when you experience trouble in your life, whether in your health, finances, relationships, job, or temptation? A normal response is to say, "Why me?" or "This is not my fault?" We look inward rather than outward. We struggle because the normality of our life has been interrupted. We don't see the blessing in the trouble. But, here IS the blessing in the trouble. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about his own troubles which were ongoing. He had been targeted for assassination. He was beaten and thrown out of cities. He was mocked, ridiculed, and challenged. Yet, he was able to obtain perspective on his trouble. He said, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) First, Paul is able to praise God because God is never ou…

Winning Side

Who doesn't want to be on the winning side? We cheer on winners whether in World Cup Soccer, Golf, Basketball, Football, and even in business as thousands are drawn to Donald Trump because he is a winner. But note the real winning side which is reference by Solomon in Proverbs, "There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord." (Proverbs 21:30) Do you believe it or is that just "spiritual talk?" Let's see this truth in light of human events. Noah was "a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time" but in his day God chose to bring a worldwide flood, destroying those who's "hearts were only evil all the time." (Genesis 6:5b) And even after that, men who had one language chose to build a tower in Babel that reaches to the heavens…but the Lord came down…confused their language…and scattered them from there over all the earth." (Genesis 11:1-9) Much later Sennacherib came from Assyria and encamp…

Friends

What are your friends like? I mean, can they be trusted to encourage you when you are facing trouble? Is their compassion in them or will they walk away from you and your problems? Job faced serious difficulties when his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, servants and sons and daughters were violently taken from him. But it only got worse when he was afflicted with boils and sores on his body. He was left alone with his wife who one day said, "Curse God and die!" (Job 2:9) He wept and cried out to God to understand His purpose in allowing this to happen. His friends came to him and sat with him; to be present in his trouble. That was the best they could do because the rest of what they did was to impugn his integrity. They were going to get to the bottom of Job's "problem." They all felt he had sinned against God and that is why he was in trouble. They suggested he "pony up" and get with the truth. But Job would not let them sway him from loyalty to God …