“Why Have You…?”

19 Why didn’t you obey the Lord? Why have you taken their belongings and done what the Lord considers evil?” – 1 Samuel 15:19 GW

1 Samuel 15:17-23 GW

When our plans go awry or when we are having a bad day, do we stop and consider that perhaps what we are doing is not pleasing to the Lord? Maybe our failures have more to do with our reasons for doing something than we want to believe. Saul was doing a “good” thing, but because he didn’t complete it as God had instructed, it was not a “God” thing. We start down the Godly path but then we see something that the flesh desires and we hang on to that instead of God. That “thing” or “person” becomes our “god” because we desired it or them more than we desired God. When this happens we are guilty of rebellion and stubbornness. Just as this led Saul to worship idols later in his life, so will our rebellion lead us into idol worship. We would deny that we have idols in our lives, but most every home is full of the signs and symbols of who our “gods” really are.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Be Still…”

7 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. — Psalm 37:7 NLT

In our busy, busy world, how do we find the time to just sit in the presence of the Lord? Many times in the Scriptures, God admonishes us to just be still. Jesus set the example for us, He would often go out into the gardens and spend time alone communing with God. If He needed that, how much more do we need it? We not only need those times of rest and refreshing, but we need to know Jesus on a personal level. There is a huge difference in knowing about Jesus and really knowing Jesus. And to really know anyone, we have to spend time with them. Bask in His presence and you will start to get a grasp of the depth of His love for you. The knowledge of His love for us will sustain us through the tough times.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God!  I will be honored by every nation.  I will be honored throughout the world.”— Psalm 46:10 NLT

“Don’t Be Impressed With Your Own Wisdom.”

7  Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.  Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. — Proverbs 3:7 NLT 

Proverbs 3:5-8 NLT

Verses 5 and 6 are well-known verses from Proverbs but how many times a day do we violate those scriptures? Instead of taking a second to whisper or just think a prayer, do we just react to a situation and say or do something that is unkind? In our modern, hurry, hurry society, we just don’t have the time to do that, do we? But, you see, it really takes a lot less time to do it right (seek His will) the first time then it does to have to go back and correct all those situations.
We are so impressed with our own wisdom that we think we can go through most of our day with little or no contact with God. How much is a computer worth to you when you have no internet connection? Your brain is the most amazing computer known but unless it is connected to the Spiritual internet (God) it isn’t worth nearly as much to you as it could be. There are some functions you can do on a computer without the internet, but you probably would not have purchased one for any of those functions. There are some life functions that the brain performs on its own, but it can’t make the proper decisions without being connected to the Great Server in the heavens. If you stay connected, you will truly find “healing for your body and strength for your bones”. And you will also find something else, a peace that passes understanding which is worth more than gold.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Solomon Did What Was Evil”

even-smaller-bug-light1

6 In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely, as his father, David, had done. — 1 Kings 11:6 NLT

1 Kings 11:1-11

Just in case, we should think that we are capable of handling great wealth easily, look at what happened to Solomon in his old age.  The wisest man in the world turned from the God who had blessed him abundantly with worldly goods, wisdom, power and fame.  If he couldn’t handle it, then we need to be very careful in our walk in this world.  Sure, Solomon still had plenty of money, after all, what was there to buy or to do with all that cash?  Even with all of his wisdom, he was still, somehow, not fulfilled. We can’t imagine his abundance but with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can see that his failure was due to the desires of the flesh. Notice that in verse 4, it reads “they turned his heart to worship other gods”. Solomon came to the point that pleasing his wives was more important to him than being obedient to the God of Israel.  In all of his wisdom, Solomon forgot that God had said that the king must not take many wives or buy many horses. And the king must not accumulate large amounts of wealth for himself. But, the king must copy the scriptures and study them daily.

Deuteronomy 17:14-20

We have to wonder if Solomon had kept up the practice of reading God’s Word daily. It is only when we keep the Word of God first in our lives that we can overcome the desires of the flesh.  His Word must be our light, our guide and our advisor. Without His Word as a constant reminder of who He is and who we are, the flesh will dominate and we will end up in the same situation in which Solomon found himself in his old age. Daily, diligent meditation on His Word is our only hope for deliverance from evil.“​The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Must Keep His Tongue From Evil”

even-smaller-bug-light1

​1​0“For the person who wants to love life    and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.  ​- 1 Peter 3:10 ISV

1 Peter 3:10-12 ISV

Somehow, somewhere, it seems that we have gotten the idea that it is not necessary for us to be careful of the words we speak and the tone of voice we use when we speak those words.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  When I become frustrated and/or angry, I hear myself speaking unkind words in a tone that I should not be using.  I am always convicted of the words and the attitude that caused me to speak those careless words.  Not always immediately, but the Holy Spirit does not leave me alone until I agree with Him and confess my sin. I am so grateful that God loves me enough to discipline me, no matter how long it takes. The passage of scripture quoted here in 1 Peter (originally from Psalm 34:12-16) reminds me that as a Christian, I should not be guilty of speaking words in that tone of voice.  If I truly “love life” and want to “see good days”, I must “keep my tongue from evil and my lips from deceitful speech”.  I must “seek peace and pursue it”, then God’s eyes will be on me and He will hear my prayers.  If I continue to rebel against God with unkind words and a bad attitude,  I have no basis to expect Him to do anything for me. God seems to be teaching me a lesson that “bad things happen to good people” sometimes because He disciplines His children.  The obverse of this is that He doesn’t discipline those that are not His children, but they will receive the full brunt of His wrath in the fullness of time.  Our part, then, is to remain obedient and faithful and He will do His part. As the Psalmist puts it:

8  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.  9  For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.  10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.  11  But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. — Psalm 37:8-11 NIV

 “The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Abstain From Evil Desires”

even-smaller-bug-light1

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. — 1 Peter 2:11-12 NIV

As sons, daughters and heirs of God, we should act accordingly.  Jesus gave up all of His glory in heaven, came to earth and lived as a human and an exile here. He did this so that He might become the first born of the new covenant and the head of the church.

18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. — Col. 1:18-20 NIV

As the first born, He is our example to follow.  He lived a sinless life.  We, as humans, cannot obtain perfection as long as we live in these fleshly tents.  We are in a daily battle to overcome our fleshly desires. It should be our hearts’ desire to get as close to that goal as we can.  Not only are we foreigners and exiles, but we are ambassadors of God and our home country, heaven. Our thoughts, words and actions should reflect the character of the leaders of that country.  If we strive to do that on a daily basis, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, God will be glorified.  When we do this with humility and love, it will cause others to want what we have.  As souls are added to the Kingdom, God will receive more and more glory.  When a soul is saved, it is as if God has visited us because there is a little more of heaven on earth.

 “The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Never Pay Back Evil”

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable – Romans 12:17 NLT

Romans 12:17-21 NLT

When we feel that we have been wronged by someone, usually the first thing we feel is anger. Where we go from there depends on the habit patterns we have developed. Our flesh rises up and demands retribution. It takes a lot of prayer and practice to learn to respond and not react.  Most of us will never get it completely right and certainly not all the time. Nevertheless, our commitment to Jesus Christ requires us to keep trying. We must learn to make every attempt to bring about a peaceful resolution to the issue.  If the other(s) involved won’t allow this, then we must pray for them.  Never, never, never hold a grudge which will eventually become a root of bitterness in your life. The longer the root is allowed to stay there, the harder it is to remove. Revenge is God’s business, not ours and He never fails to take care of His business. God, alone, is good and He is the only one that can completely overcome evil. Forgive immediately, pray for as long as it takes and trust God with the rest.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Remove the Evil Person”

13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you. – 1 Cor. 5:13 NLT

1 Cor. 5:9-13 NLT

Paul is not suggesting that we never associate with worldly people whose lives are controlled by their fleshly desires. Just as Jesus said, we “are in the world but not of the world”. We hold ourselves to different standards. We are not to think of ourselves as “better than” nor are we to think of ourselves as “holier than” anyone. What we are to do is to separate ourselves from our Christian brothers and sisters who have chosen to live unholy lifestyles. We are as Paul puts it to “expel the wicked person from among you.” This seems harsh to us. We had rather hide behind verses such as “judge not lest you be judged” and “pull the plank out of your own eye before you point out the toothpick in your brother’s eye”. (my paraphrase) We must keep the Temple of Christ clean and holy.

1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.—2 Cor. 7:1 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Don’t Forget What You Have Heard”

25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. – James 1:25 NLT

James 1:19-25 NLT

Never say that someone or something made you mad. If you get angry, it is because you didn’t control your emotions. There certainly can be a righteous anger, but, we have to be honest because we know that most of our anger is from our pride. We also know that in our times of anger, we think and say things that we should not have said and those words are often very vile and evil. We must plant God’s Word in our hearts because it is out of the heart that the mouth speaks. Don’t just plant the Word, but water it and feed it everyday. That means that we have to spend time meditating on God’s Word so that we remember it and act accordingly. If we study, meditate and act according to that word, God can and will bless us.

Psalm 1:1-3 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-19-2019

“Foolish and Disobedient”

3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. — Titus 3:3 NLT

Titus 3:1-7 NLT

Repentance is feeling remorse for our wrong actions, But, in a Biblical sense, it goes much deeper than that. It requires not only feeling remorse and turning away from our old lifestyle but it requires us to turn to something new and different. That something new is a holy lifestyle. We place ourselves under a new authority. We turn from being led by our flesh to being led by God’s Holy Spirit. His leading will cause us to submit to those put in authority over us in the home, the church, the workplace, school. and society. We should no longer use foul language or be quarrelsome. Remember that we were once slaves to all kinds of lust and pleasures. We were mean-spirited and jealous. Lovers of ourselves and haters of everyone else. Sometimes we might think, “Oh, I was never that way”. If we truly believe that then we would also have to believe that Jesus died in vain. But we know that God gave His only Son to save us. Not because we deserve it, but just because He loves us. We walk in the Spirit, but sometimes we need to be reminded of where we once were.

1 “Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance—
    all who seek the Lord!
Consider the rock from which you were cut,
    the quarry from which you were mined. – Isaiah 51:1

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 11-07-2019