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Showing posts from May 1, 2016

Two Sams

There once were two Sams with several similarities yet many differences. Their similarities were that both their mothers were unable to have children although both were promised they would have a child. When delivered, they set that child apart for God's use, and both did not allow their Sam's hair to be cut. They both became deliverers of Israel. Their differences were what made them unique to their calling. The first Sam killed thousands of Philistines, performed miraculous feats, and eventually broke Israel's bondage to the Philistines. However, he gave into his passion of being with a woman, was engaged to be married to a Philistine, then stayed with a prostitute, and then "fell in love" with another woman who would become complicit in his demise. He was angry, arrogant, revengeful, and disrespectful of his parents. When captured, he was abused and died a terrible death. His brothers and father's family found his body and brought it back for burial in thei…

Under the Circumstances

What is your feeling under your present circumstances? What is happening in your soul, are you shaken and pressed down? We have to be careful about our feelings under circumstances, for it is easy to be burdened by them and for them to darken our heart. Naomi was caused to be under disappointing circumstances. Israel was in famine so her husband, Elimelech, chose to move away from famine and into Moab. They took their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion with them and as they resided in Moab found wives. Then the pressure got greater. All three men, husband and two sons, died. Naomi now is even more distressed and sees no more future in Moab, so departs to return to where she was before, Bethlehem. Isn't that what happens when we step away from God? We have to return to the place where that happened in order to right our life. On the way back with two daughter-in-laws in tow, she stops to urge them to return to Moab for she considers that she has nothing she can give them. Orpah, whose name m…

Envy

Do you ever find yourself envying the success of someone who came after you in your business. Maybe they just have a winsome personality or are quicker than you at developing the skills necessary to be great at business. Possibly even, you mentored them and now it's hard to deal with the success they have "on your shoulders." John the Baptizer had this opportunity, so let's look at his response. John, who was six months older than Jesus, had a thriving ministry out in the wilderness. He was busy baptizing lots of people as many were repenting and following him. Then Jesus came to him to be baptized also. John was hesitant and humble by Jesus' requests and submitted to do it for him. Later, as Jesus' ministry grew, they found themselves near each other with their followers. Several of John's followers came to him and said, "Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone i…

The Ultimate Gift

In childhood many of us memorized John 3:16. It is a verse packed with meaning and yet simple to commit to memory. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Here we see that the ultimate person, "God," "so loved" with the ultimate emotion, the ultimate people, "the world," and God in that love "gave" the ultimate gift of His only Son, so that whoever believed in him could have the ultimate eternity having obtained "eternal life." This verse, spoken to Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council and one who was in search of understanding Jesus, revealed Jesus' ultimate purpose in the world. He was not to become another one of the Rabbis and train many followers and make a mark on his community. He was to give his life for the whole world of people, past, present, and future and provide a solution to their sin problem. Nicodemus go…