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Showing posts from April 1, 2018

Nations

Maybe you're not like me, but I wonder a lot. When I read any book or hear anyone speak, statements are made that make me curious. I reflect and say, "What does that mean?" "How would I understand that?" So, here is one such statement near the beginning of a song which Moses wrote in one day for the people of Israel to sing which would help them grasp how much God loves them and how bad they can become if they don't obey Him. These lyrics are part of that song, "When the Most High assigned lands to the nations, when he divided up the human race, He established the boundaries of the peoples according to the number in his heavenly court." (Deuteronomy 32:8) What does this mean? Apparently Moses knew history because he wrote about this in Genesis (Moses is the author of Genesis – Deuteronomy). Adam and Eve were ushered out of the Garden of Eden and started a family and that family had more families and they kept multiplying until the time of the flood.…

Persistence

I'm sure you have experienced the persistence of a child or teen. They have focused their eyes on something, like a driver's license, a toy, a visit to the zoo, and they shamelessly keep asking about it. It is irritating but their persistence pays off with the prize. Jesus always gave his disciples more than they asked for. Luke shares the story of them coming to him after he was finished praying and asking him to "teach us to pray." (Luke 11:1) Jesus shares the simple prayer which today is called The Lord's Prayer. But in the following verses he taught them more about prayer. He taught them to be persistent in prayer. He tells the story of a man who goes to his neighbor at midnight to ask for three loaves of bread. The neighbor is in bed and not ready to fulfill the request. He tells the friend to go away empty handed. But the friend keeps knocking and eventually his persistence pays off as his neighbor gives him the bread. Jesus states the following after this sto…

Live Rightly

How is this accomplished in your life? Perhaps a story will help. Moses speaks to the people of Israel in his last days. He has led them 40 years and he has final instructions for them before Joshua takes over. He stands before the people of this new nation and speaks to their future actions in the Promised Land. He explains the three musts about the treatment of their enemies which are so logical but easily missed. First, they were to make no treaties with them. A treaty is a formal agreement between two entities for peace, alliance and trade. It would connect them to these people and provide for them something to hold over Israel's head. Joshua found that out when he did make a treaty with the people of Gibeon. (Joshua 9) Second, they were to show them no mercy to them because mercy would cause them to refrain from harming or punishing these people. That would be seen by their enemies as weakness and would allow these nations to regain their strength to fight them again. And third…

Witness

When you find something good that has been of benefit to you, you tell others about it, whether it is a restaurant, grocery store, specialty shop, car dealership, hair stylist, or any other thing. It is exciting to tell them because you "love it" and now you want that same thing to happen to them. But is that true of what God has done for you? Are you open with family, friends and strangers about what He has done for you? Sometimes we may feel we don't know how to be a witness. We have a difficult time with words or the direction of conversations. It helps to have an illustration of how to witness, which could come from another person's testimony or a testimony found in a book. The psalmist suggested several ways that he worshiped and praised God, he said: "You [God] are my rock and my fortress" (Psalm 71:3)"You alone are my hope. I've trusted you…" (71:5)"You are my strength and protection." (71:7)He was showing that he …

Easter Series 3 - Resurrection

On this Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This is not the celebration of a fairy tale but the celebration of an actual event that took place around 33 A.D.  It was prophesied by the Old Testament in the psalms, "for you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave" (Psalm 16:10) which is what Peter repeated in Acts 2:27 in his message to the people of Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. All the power of the Godhead was involved in the resurrection of Jesus, as it always is in the most important events of human history such as creation, Jesus' conception in Mary, his baptism, and now the resurrection. Paul said, "just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father" (Romans 6:4). He said it in a different way later, "by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead." (Galatians 1:1) Jesus said to Martha when he came to raise Lazarus, "I am the resurrection a…