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Showing posts from February 28, 2016

Love vs Sacrifice

When it all comes down to the heart of any matter do you act because you love? Or, do you think sacrifices to God are more important? An expert in the law, a Pharisee, came to Jesus and asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" (Mark 12:28) Jesus' replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (12:30) This pleased the Pharisee and he repeated what Jesus had said and then added, "…is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." (12:33) Burnt offerings and sacrifices were commanded in the Old Testament. It was the way in the law that you reconciled with God and gave Him honor by recognizing Him as responsible for the successes you had in raising crops and livestock. There were offerings and sacrifices for everything. But here, and not …

Who's in Charge?

There is consternation in many hearts as they view our current President Obama and the rulers of other nations which are democratic, monarchic, oligarchic, or dictatorial. Who is in charge and where are they taking the people of the world? One person has suggested that we are moving toward a battle between Christianity, Islam, and Naturalist. That is the view from the ground, but the view from heaven is much different. Psalm 47:7-8 explained, "For God is the king of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne." When John the apostle was allowed to see God in heaven he saw before him "a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian...from the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder." (Revelation 4:2-5) This view shows a God not pacing back and forth wringing His hands, perplexed as what to do. He is not an impoten…

Trouble of Life

When have you been discouraged or disgusted with your lot in life? We all have those hopefully brief times when darkness gathers around us and our thoughts go negative. It seems there is a futile-ness about life. Job, Joseph, Solomon writing in Ecclesiastes, Jonah and Elijah to mention just a few all had fleeting moments of discontent. David too experienced a down time. He sought to "muzzle" his mouth from saying things hastily that he really didn't believe but that were populating his thinking. He said, "Show me, O Lord, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath." (Psalm 39:4-5) Life events brought this to bear on him. Possibly he was physically exhausted from being pursued by Saul's army. Maybe saddened by the death in battle of his best friend, Jonathan. It could have been a response to the d…

Boast

What do you boast about? Is it your car whether real old or brand new, your stylist, your home, job, wife, husband, children, a restaurant, your earned degrees, the weather, your city, your dog? All these animate and inanimate objects are made of dust and will perish. They can be seen as idols in our lives. Consider this before you boast about any of them. Have any of them created you or paid sin's price for you? Have they brought peace and joy to the depths of your heart? I believe the Psalmist got it when he said, "In God we make our boast all day long and we will praise your name forever." (Psalm 44:8) He understood what a person should be genuinely proud of and that was that God cares about him and made him righteous by the death and resurrection of Jesus. In our previous church we used to sing this song: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this…