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Showing posts from July 31, 2016

Move Forward

Do you understand the moves you are making in life? Do you know who you will influence in the next year and what will become of them because of your influence? Solomon understood and proclaimed, “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?” (Proverbs 20:24) “Coincidences” are of divine origin and take place regularly that favor God’s outcome. Pharaoh’s daughter decides to wash in the river but is drawn there by God just as Moses is committed to the river in a basket. Rebekah comes to their well just at the moment that Abraham’s servant arrives and she becomes the wife of Isaac. God moves on Cyrus's heart as king of Persia to send the Israelites who were in captivity back to Israel and gives to them most of the items taken from the Temple so that they may restore its worship to God. Caesar Augustus issues a decree that a census should take place and so Joseph and Mary pay their taxes in Bethlehem being drawn there by God so that Jesus is born …

Revenge

Revenge is the cherished lust of the flesh. It is a cruel master, keeping food from us, brutally reminding us of previous pain, and driving us to passions which birth the cycle in others. It is the wasted energy of a dirty soul and evidence of a lack of faith in God. Consider the following. When the people of Israel conquered the Promised Land God directed them to establish six cities of refuge. Three on the west side of the Jordan River and three on the eastern side. These were places a person who had committed harm could run to and stay until proper trial was given. They helped to curb revenge which would ignite more cycles of the same. Think of Joseph who when revealing himself to his brothers and reemphasizing it again after his father, Jacob, had died said, "But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance." (Genesis 40:7; 50:19-20) He did not need revenge because he understood the higher purpose of God i…

Boldness

What a word. It brings up pictures of strong-willed men and women that don't back down. They say what they mean and they mean what they say. There is no testing of the temperature and situation surrounding them; they are bold in God's power in their circumstances. David's made this statement in Psalm 138:3, "When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted." Derek Kidner says in his commentary on the Psalms, "It is not always the situation which most needs changing; it is, as often as not, the man involved in it." Isaiah said, "He [the Lord] gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." (Isaiah 40:29) The story of Elijah standing before the 800 prophets of Baal and calling on God to show Himself concerning the sacrifice revealed his boldness. "Fire of the Lord fell, burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench." (1 Kings 18:38) Boldness is…

Responsive Heart

Josiah was eight years old when he became King of Judah, sixteen when he began to seek God, and twenty when he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles, carved idols and cast images. When he was twenty-six he began to restore the Temple of God which had fallen into ruin. While about their business of repair, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law and brought it to Shaphan and he brought it to the King. It lay in the ruins of the Temple and awaited its return to the hearts of men. It was not in a prominent place where it could be seen. And so upon being found, it was brought to the King and he listened to its words read by Shaphan. His heart was immediately convicted about his predecessor's failure to do what was written in the Word and the judgment coming on the people because of that. He searched out the prophetess Huldah seeking understanding of what lay ahead because of this disobedience. She told him that great disaster was going to happen on Jerusa…

Surrender

Does the apple not fall far from the tree? Is the statement, "like father, like son" true in every instance? Hezekiah was faithful to the responsibilities God had given him as King of Judah. He sought to protect his people and hide natural resources, like water, from invading armies. Sennacherib of Assyria laid siege to Hezekiah's fortified cities and eventually ended up outside the capital, Jerusalem. He tried to create fear and discouragement among the people and vowed to take the city using his past conquests of nations and their gods as examples. Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah cried out to God and "the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king." (2 Chronicles 32:21) After this, Hezekiah became well respected in the community of nations and many brought to him riches and honor. Then, Hezekiah was gone and Manasseh, his son at the age of twelve, took over the reins of government. He w…

Overflow with Hope

What differentiates you from those around you? It should be hope. Not a mystical hope or a pipe dream hope, but a hope based on solid facts. Facts about what God has done through the people of Israel, making them His nation. Facts about the death and resurrection of Christ and its benefits. Facts about the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives who have believed. Facts about God's love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and discipline. God is hope-filled because He knows the beginning, middle and end of all things. He is confident in His abilities, victorious in His actions, and certain about the future. David said, "my hope is in you [God my Savior] all day long." (Psalm 25:5) Paul said to the Roman believers, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13) To overflow is to exceed a fixed number or measure, and to exist in abundance. How do we get this &quo…

Final Word - New Life Series #7

Final Word – New Life Series #7  It has been said, "sow a thought, reap an action, sow an action, reap a habit, sow a habit, reap a character, sow a character, reap a destiny." (Stephen R. Covey)  This is the process of the mind. We dream and envision actions before we make them a reality in our lives. Some don't think, therefore, they go nowhere. Some rationalize their thoughts and the actions that follow after them. Paul said to his Roman brothers, "do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature." (Romans 13:14b) He knew that if the "strong desires of the flesh, the eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does" (1 John 2:16) is what you perpetually think about, then you will fulfill them eventually on a regular basis. The object here is to not think about how you can fulfill your wrong desires. James said there is a process to a thought becoming a sin. He said, "each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged…