Posts

Showing posts from December 6, 2015

Soul Time

When have you sat quietly and waited on the Lord to speak to you? When have you quieted your surroundings and your thoughts to just be still? In our day it seems impossible to get away from sounds of people. Cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers, people talking, music penetrating your car from what seems to be a virtual boom box on wheels in the next lane all give us a busy mind. Man is noisy and insistent on being heard but what about God? The Psalmist said, “My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul.” (Psalm 131:1-2)  It is not pride and desire (the undervaluing of others) or the important and difficult (the overestimating and overreaching of one’s self) that is where the Psalmist is focusing. He seeks to find genuine rest for his soul by stilling and quieting his internal tempest and focusing his attention on God. To still and quiet your soul is to refuse to lis…

Hasty Words

When was the last time that words came out of your mouth that you regretted the moment they were heard entering your ears? When did your words get you into trouble, not because you were standing on integrity but because you did not carefully choose them? Every word that is formed on our lips needs to be measured. It needs to be carefully chosen and slowly considered because more than your life is at stake in the words that come out of your mouth. Solomon studied those who spoke hastily. He said, "Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him." (Proverbs 29:20) It is true that sometimes our words skip being monitored by our reason and flow directly out of our heart without due consideration and too much passion. These become regrettable times. A brother, James, said this in his faith and works book, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that G…

Godly Instruction

We all have been instructed by a number of teachers starting in Elementary school through High School, and for some on into College, University and even graduate school. We heard the things our instructors said and we read the many books required of us. All of it brought to us a host of wise instruction but all of it failed in one regard because most of the time, if not all the time, it left out godly instruction. Solomon makes this statement, "Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law." (Proverbs 29:18) Other translations say, "Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keeps the law, happy is he." These words have been used in many sermons but what exactly is Solomon saying? "Vision" is interpreted by the contrasting final statement to be Divine instruction, the law in their case. "Perish" is interpreted as to be let loose or left to run wild. We can be taught many ethical prec…

Duty

Hosea has some striking pictures throughout it. One of those is the picture of Jacob who continually sought the favor of God during his lifetime. In his mother's womb he sought the blessing of God by grabbing his brother's heel seeking to be the first born. Then, in his adulthood, coming back from Laban's home, he wrestled with God and wouldn't let him go until He blessed him. Jacob sought after God even in his weakness and faltering. Hosea uses Jacob's life to illustrate that seeking God was always possible, however the people of Israel, descendants of Jacob, never were able to understand this truth and so ran after idols and into sinfulness. God desired them to come to Him but they perpetually turned away. His challenge to the people was three-fold: 1) "Return to your God." This would be accomplished by seeing God for who He is, the provider, caretaker, creator, and Lord over them and moving toward instead of away from Him. This would lead to challenge 2)…

Imitation

What are the things around us that are imitations?  Could they be jewelry, silicon bodies, voice imitations, paintings, generic drugs, foods, furs, boots, and more? In the dictionary the meaning of imitation is, "to endeavor to follow or try to follow in action or manner; to copy, mimic, or counterfeit." What is the purpose of imitation? To deceive or trick another person. To make money at low cost, as in "it's a cheap imitation." Purveyors of quality goods fight this battle all the time. Imitation might also be done to create a laugh as "he sounds and acts just like President Bush." Or, it may be used to bolster someone else's self-image, as in "imitation is a form of flattery." John the Apostle when speaking to his dear friend Gaius said, "Do not imitate what is evil but what is good." (3 John 11) Two other men are spoken of in this book, Diotrephes and Demetrius. Diotrephes loved to be first, ignored the reality around him, g…