“Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.” Eccl 12:13-14
It can be a struggle to be righteous (acting in accord with divine or moral law) in world that seems to celebrate, encourage and even reward unbecoming behavior, self-gratification and divisiveness. We must, however, remember to keep God’s commandments even if it means standing alone. The opinions of our peers, parents, bosses, or spouses should not cause us to waver from doing what is right in eyes of the Lord. To know what is right requires Bible study so that you do not fall victim to dogmatic speech presented as God’s Word but, in reality, is far from it. To keep God’s commandments requires one to reject man’s reasoning, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” 1 Cor 4:19. Unfortunately, rejecting man’s reasoning can lead to man rejecting you. That can hurt, especially if you are being rejected by your loved ones. However, the temporary sting of man’s rejection does not compare to being rejected by God for eternity. Man’s love is fickle. It changes over time. God’s love stands. And our love for Him compels us to meditate on His precepts. It moves us to live honorably. All of our works will be judged by God, the good and the bad. Let your works be good. It is better to stand alone with God than with a group poised for damnation.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
I was listening to a morning radio program yesterday as the hosts interviewed a young, Christian rapper. He was asked his opinion of several currents events, including his thoughts of drinking alcohol, the controversial new reality series “Preachers of LA” and other topics. The hosts, who readily admitted to not regularly studying the Bible, brought up the seven deadly sins and wanted to know what they were. The young rapper quickly dismissed the question and stated he didn’t think that was listed anywhere in the Bible and that it was a “cultural thing”. Not exactly.
Proverbs 6:16-19 lists six things the Lord hates; seven that are detestable to Him.” The detestable acts aren’t titled “The 7 Deadly Sins” and they are not named as the world has been taught to remember, but they are provided in the Word. The young rapper had a brilliant opportunity to educate an audience that desperately needed it and missed it. I don’t know if his missed opportunity stemmed from ignorance of the Word or his excitement of promoting his new record, but it was a golden moment to introduce the Lord to listeners who didn’t know Him for themselves. Paul further delves into these things as well as the fruit of Spirit in Galatians 5:19-23.
This is a wordy post, but I felt it worthy because it provides a real-life example of why it is important to not just read your Bible and memorize Scripture, but to study it for understanding.
Have a blessed day!
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” 1 Corinthians 3:19
In the wake of the deadly tornadoes that decimated Moore, OK, a popular comedian and noted atheist mocked those who prayed for the tornado victims and challenged people to actually do something for the ravaged community. Many people expressed similar sentiments, questioning the usefulness and power of prayer. In their minds, why pray to an entity that allowed such a tragedy to happen in the first place? To them, it just didn’t make sense.
I’m glad I live in a country that embraces free will and the right express one’s opinion. In the spirit of exercising this basic right, I will say that, as a Christian, I find this type of thinking foolish and dangerous. To me, prayer and belief in God gives one the strength to withstand life’s inevitable storms. Belief in God does not mean you will not face worldly tragedies or disappointments. Belief in God helps you react to such circumstances with the hope, knowledge and comfort that He is with you and will see you through according to His will. That, in itself, seems to be the biggest hurdle many face in their faith- God’s will versus our will. When God’s will supersedes our will – which it always does – one’s faith can become rattled especially if there isn’t a full understanding of Scripture. Those with no faith place their hopes within themselves or upon other people. The problem with this is man’s abilities are limited; placing one’s faith in him will leave one empty. The man of faith prostrates himself before the Lord and receives the comfort and answers that give him the strength to accept and persevere. God’s power and mercies are limitless. He does not leave us, even when we are facing unspeaking hardships, pain and losses.
Praying to God is doing something. For it is during these moments that we receive instructions placed upon our hearts, not to be seen and praised by men but to please God. Doing something may be more than donating to a charitable organization. One may be prompted to also give their time, spiritual gifts or talents to help rebuild lives and communities up close rather than from afar.
That makes sense.
Covenant: the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture.
“And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember My covenant between Me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 12-15, NIV
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
During the Good Morning America broadcast yesterday morning, the anchors warmly congratulated the weather anchor, Sam Champion on his engagement to another man, Rubem Robierb. One news anchor embraced Champion; another seemed very excited at the prospect of helping him plan the nuptials. There were shots of the two betrothed men during several segments. They appeared very happy and content. Champion thanked everyone for the outpouring of support for his upcomimg union.
I understand the need for Good Morning America to support this colleague and foster a one big happy family persona for its viewers. One, it’s good for ratings. Two, Champion has been with the program for while and is good at his job. He presents himself in a dignified and professional manner while also being very personable. He seems to be a very nice guy annd I am sure the love shown him is genuine.
However, as a Christian, I am disheartened by this current tide of homosexual acceptance. In an attempt to stem the damaging effects of childhood bullying, we are sliding into dangerous territory. Make no doubt that singling out individuals for physical and verbal abuse is wrong and should stopped. However, accepting behavior that God has deemed an abomination (Leviticus 18:22), is not helpful to the person nor is it helpful to the nation as a whole.
The proliferation of wickedness and selfishness in the world has desensitized many to God’s Word. As in Malachi 3: 13-15:
“You have said harsh things against me,” says the Lord.
Yet you ask, “What have we said against you?”
You have said, “It is futile to serve God. What did we gain
by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners
before the Lord Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed.
Certainly, the evildoers prosper and even those who challenge God escape.”
The truth is, homosexuality is wrong. I know that is not a popular sentiment today. I do not support homosexuality, but I don’t advocate violence against them. Although some argue, it is possible to love the sinner but not the sin. God is our example for this as he still showers us with undeserved mercy and grace, though we sin daily – intentionally and unintentionally. I have known and been friendly with homosexuals, but have not and will not support the lifestyle they have chosen. Just as I love various family members who have run afoul with law ennforcement. I love them, but in no way do I support or condone thier actions.
As Christians, we are in the world but not of the world. Social attitudes change, but the word of God stands forever and His promises remain unbroken, as stated further in Malachi (3:17):
“They will be mine,” says the Lord Almighty, “in the day when I make
up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion
a man spares his some who serves him. And you will again see the
distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those
who serve God and those who do not.”
As Christians, we will have those who sharply disagree with us and may even despise us, just as our Savior was despised and crucified. We are not people-pleasers, we are servers of God. Do not let your compassion for man turn into disregard of the Word. God’s Word is not old-fashioned; it is timely, relevant and desperately needed.
May the Lord be with you today.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
You believe in God. You trust in God. There is nothing, NOTHING, that can shatter your faith.
Or so you thought.
Then there was that car accident that wrecked your car. How about the bad report from your doctor regarding that routine test you took last week? Maybe, you were laid off and now the money from your (meager) savings has run dry. You may have experienced all three scenarios, back-to-back-to-back.
Wait, you say to yourself, I’ve done everything I was supposed to do. I go to church, I tithe, I volunteer my time and money, I’ve shunned the people and activities that I know leads me down the wrong path. I study my Bible daily. I pray daily and I keep the Lord’s commands. Why is all of this happening to me? What have I done to deserve this?
The answer to that is simple. You live. Belief and trust in God does not keep trying times from you, rather it provides you with the confidence and assurance that God is with you during those hard times. That confidence and assurance gives you peace and strenthens your faith. What is your personal goal as a Christian? Are you looking for a “spiritual insurance policy” that ensures nothing but rainbows and blue skies? Or, are you seeking a deep, meaningful relationship with God steeped in love and the promise of spending eternity praising Him? This is not to imply that those who seek God aren’t sometimes rattled by the inevitable twists in life. However, if a relationship with God is present, those who seek Him can draw on His Word and not their emotions for guidance and reassurance.
If this is your season for trying and diffult times, don’t wallow in, “Why me?” Use this moment to draw closer to God and experience the comfort in knowing He will see you through.
May the Lord be with you today and always.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Our Savior is never far from us. While we cannot avoid life’s trials, we can take comfort in knowing Someone is there to Guide us through difficult times. As the notes on John 14:27 in the Life Application Study Bible (Tyndale House Publishers Inc and Zondervan, 2005) counsel: “Sin, fear, uncertainty, doubt and numerous other forces are at war within us. The peace of God moves into our hearts and lives to restrain these hostile forces and offer comfort in place of conflict. Jesus says He will give us that peace if we are willing to accept it from Him. If your life is full of stress, allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with Christ’s peace.”
May the Lord’s peace be with you today.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He Who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
Strengthen yourself in the midst of your struggles. Don’t allow doubt and worry to cause you to lose sight and fall away from the Lord. Steadfast faith will keep us from growing weary. Persevere. God is with with us.
“But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.” Job 28: 12-13
Man understands on his level. His wisdom is his own. Many well-intentioned people will offer you guidance and wisdom during your trials and tribulations. Although they mean well, their understanding is limited. Much like the advice offered to the suffering Job by his friends Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and Elihu, human wisdom cannot provide complete answers or comfort. Only God is able to provide us with the endurance, strength, discernment, and peace needed to persevere through life’s inevitable troubles. We don’t have to always reject a sincere friend’s guidance, but the only truth we should accept is God’s. Turn to Him now.
May the Lord be with you.