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Showing posts from March 6, 2016

The Breath of Life - Life Series #11

The average person takes between 17,280 and 23,040 breaths a day. That's 720 to 960 breaths per hour and getting it down to where the air meets the lungs, that's 12 to 16 breaths per minute. You're taking one right now, aren't you? You sneaky person. Breath is a no brainer, well, it's more a subconscious brainer started when you emerged from your mother and your doctor slapped you on the rump. From that time on you haven't had to think about it. Where did you get breath? God "formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7) It's also interesting that animals have the breath of life in them, "And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." (1:30) God spread out the earth and "gives breath to its people…

Idol - Powerful Word Series #2

If you were to choose the greatest stumbling block to Old Testament people, what would you choose? Would it be gold, power, sex or position? Well, you would be wrong if you chose one of these. It is idol worship, also identified as idolatry. The words "idolater" and other forms to "idolatry" appear 19 times in the Bible. Further, the word "idol" appears 39 times and its plural, "idols," appears 213 times (195 in the O.T. and 19 in the N.T.). The psalmist separated idolatry from the purity necessary for true worship of God when he said, "He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false." (Psalm 24:4) There were two prohibitions given in the first and second commandments of the Ten Commandments. The first command prohibited Israel from worshiping any other god than the Lord, (Exodus 20:3) eliminating false forms of idolatrous religion. The second command prohibited the worship o…

Wholehearted - Powerful Word Series #1

The people of Israel upon completing the Temple in the wilderness and receiving of the 10 Commandments, set out toward the Promise Land. They camped in the Desert of Paran and Moses, at the Lord's prompting, sent out 12 men to explore the land of Canaan. (Numbers 13:1) Among them were Joshua and Caleb. After 40 days surveying the land, the 12 returned and reported. Ten affirmed that it flowed with milk and honey, but expressed deep concern because the people of the land were powerful and the cities were large and fortified. They spread a bad report and expressed their inability to believe they could conquer what they now called, the giants in the land. They said, "We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them." (Numbers 13:33) They were full of "stinkin thinkin." Only Caleb and Joshua spoke positively about going up into the land and conquering its inhabitants. Their confidence was in the Lord who had led them out of Egypt and for 2 …

True Sacrifice

True Sacrifice  David sinned against God by committing adultery with Bathsheba and by murdering her husband Uriah. Today everyone knows this because this story has been told through the ages and in David's day word passed quickly after Nathan, the prophet, came to him and pointed out his sinfulness. The guilt had eaten away at his heart and he wasted away as he groaned all day long. (Psalm 32:3) He felt God's hand heavy on him and his strength was sapped as it was by summer's heat. Psalm 51 expresses the repentant attitude of David. It is a soul reaching out to God knowing that he had sinned against the Lord. He had "done evil in your [God's] sight." (51:4) He desired the creation of a "pure heart" and the renewal of a "steadfast spirit." (51:10) He illuminated one of the deepest spiritual principles in the Old Testament when he said, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.…

Thanks - Being Like Jesus Series #21

How many times a day do you find yourself thankful? Are you thanking God for the good and the bad that enters your life? It seems we have a tendency to go ballistic when things don’t go right but in Jesus' life thankfulness was a way of life; a daily occurrence. Jesus was thankful when seen participating in the Lord's Supper. He was grateful to God the Father as he ate the bread and drank the wine. At the resurrection of Lazarus from the grave Jesus prayed, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me." (John 11:41)  Following that moment, he called out for Lazarus to come out of the tomb, which he did while his hands and feet were still wrapped with strips of linen and there was a cloth around his face. It seems that a thankful heart can draw out even the dead. In the Old Testament sacrificial system a thank offering was a type of peace offering along with vows or freewill offerings. These offerings were not given as a covering for sin but given after the person was alr…

Ransom

Many stories have been told of family members who have been kidnapped and held for ransom. The idea of profiting off of the life of another and preying on the compassion of a family for them is dreadfully wrong. There are enormous sums of money that are requested and families willingly raise it to have their loved one back. There is a concept within the Psalms concerning the value of life. The psalmist said, "No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him—the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—that he should live on forever and not see decay." (Psalm 49:7-9) When we turn to the words of Jesus we find an understanding of this concept and also a willingness to pay the price. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45) "The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I lay down my life for the sheep…I lay it down of my own accord…" (John…