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Showing posts from January 15, 2017

Clear Conscience

The story of Joseph has many lessons for us. It speaks to anguish in a family system, jealousy, punishment, God's will, guidance and reconciliation. When the brothers had first come down to Egypt to buy grain, they spoke with Joseph although they did not recognize him because he had become Egyptian in all his ways. In order to test their honesty, he required Simeon to stay in prison until they returned with their youngest brother, Benjamin. As they discussed this they said within Joseph's hearing, "Clearly we are being punished because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his anguish when he pleaded for his life, but we wouldn't listen. That's why we're in this trouble. (Genesis 42:21) Their feelings can be identified as a guilty conscience, which happens when there is someone you have hurt or they have hurt you and you have not resolved the matter. It does not go away. These brothers were approximately 22 years away from the original incident where they so…

Results

What are the results of the lives we chose to live? We have seen it often that those who break the law eventually pay for their wrongs. Justice obtains its balance eventually. Wrong is ultimately righted. So as a believer who has committed him or herself to the Lord, what can be the results of that kind of life? Solomon saw many situations with people and was able to evaluate what God did in them. He said, "The Lord curses the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the upright. The Lord mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble. The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!" (Proverbs 3:33-35) So putting it clearly, what happens to people who are dedicated to the Lord? One, the upright are blessed. This is not saying the "perfect" are blessed, but the righteous. We have no righteousness within us and it is only when Christ comes in and provides His righteousness to cover us do we become upright and are blessed for that. Two, the humble are given g…

Security

There are perpetual commercials on home security. You can get a service to monitor your home or buy a system that you can monitor yourself. Beyond that you can get a security system for your car which will make a lot of noise if someone breaks in, but if you can't hear the noise they can still act quickly to start your car and zoom away. You can get a security company to protect your computer from viruses and thefts but we know there are many hackers that can get around these systems. The USDA is supposed to secure the fact that our meats are clean, pure and protect us from diseases but there are still cases where meat is contaminated. Security guards can be hired at your work or as personal body guards for you. We are desirous of being secure and can make all kinds of efforts to insure it, but there are always people who take it as a challenge to break through any systems we create for protection. How then can we be secure? Solomon has proposed an answer, he said, "You need not…

Unfailing Love

What an action to contemplate. Love is above all things, to begin with. It is here seen on the highest plane. Three levels  of love begin with love used in the physical sense, erotic love. Second level is phileo love or brotherly love. This is why Philadelphia is called the city of "brotherly love." It is a horizontal love across human kind. The highest level is agape love which is a love beyond measure, always seeking the greatest good out of all involved. This is God's love for man and can be man's love for man if God is involved in their lives. So with love explained, we have to understand the word "unfailing." This is the way it is translated in the New Living Translation. In other translations it is called "mercy" or "faithfulness." David speaks of it here related to the long-standing commitment that God has made to him; a covenant commitment. He says, "I trust in your unfailing love." (Psalm 13:5a) The Davidic covenant was …