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Showing posts from November 5, 2017

Motivating Others

We all get discouraged and need the encouragement of others to help us lift ourselves back up and keep walking on the journey of faith. It seems a no-brainer to do this, but the writer of Hebrews felt it necessary to make it one of the four "let us" challenges he gave in Hebrews 10. He first said, "Let us go right into the presence of God…" (Hebrews 10:22) This was a clear challenge to pray to God confidently because of what Jesus had done to open up the doors of heaven to our prayers. Then he said, "Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm…" (10:23) God can be trusted so there is no reason to waver in hope. Hang on. Fourth he said, "Let us not neglect our meeting together…" (10:25) Attendance at the fellowship of believers was essential to each believer and to the others that would be there. But you probably noticed I skipped number three. Here it is, he said, "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love an…

Tenderhearted

We all have had a tough piece of meat to eat. It was hard to cut, hard to chew and dry to the taste. We tenderize meat to avoid this. We do that by beating it with a mallet and then soaking it in milk, wine and spices. It is a process that takes several steps to get it to just the right tenderness to make it enjoyable to eat. Pharaoh's heart was hardened as the Egyptians experienced the many plagues of God through nature and the angel of death. He was not willing to bow his knee to the God of the universe controlling nature and release His people. This hardness caused a huge toll on his empire. Some say it was never as strong as it was before God dealt with it. Paul gives the challenge to the believers at Ephesus to "get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."(Ephesians 4:31-32) The process of becomi…

Resentment

This is a cruel master. It takes a supposed hurt and turns it into hatred with dashes of envy. It is defined as a feeling of displeasure and indignation from a sense of being injured or offended. This is felt by the fool but normally not caused through a conscious act of another person against them. Solomon said of this, "A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier." (Proverbs 27:3) It presses down on the heart and requires revenge. Consider Cain who in Genesis 4 gave a gift of vegetables to God but resented Abel because his gift, which was a lamb and was the correct sacrifice, was accepted, while his was not. He resented Abel and soon after killed him. Consider Absalom who resented Amnon his step-brother for treating his sister, Tamar, horribly and then dismissing her. 2 Samuel 13 reveals Absalom let if fester for two years and then killed Amnon. Consider the eleven brothers of Joseph who resented him and decided to sell him into s…