Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Feb. 28, 2007 - Child Favoritism

Feb 28, 2007

Gen 25:27-28 NET
(27) When the boys grew up, Esau became a skilled hunter, a man of the open fields, but Jacob was an even-tempered man, living in tents.
(28) Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for fresh game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.
Issac and Rebekah had twin boys, the older being Esau, a hunter and a man of the field. The younger was Jacob who was a more studious man. While Esau was a man who liked to get his hands dirty, Jacob was more a man who would figure out how to get it done without getting a sweat up. Is one type better than the other? If you are a hunter, sportsman, or any outdoor type at all, then you probably think that Esau is more like you. If you like to do stuff on the computer, work out complex number problems or any non-outdoor type, then you will most likely think Jacob is the one you like.

Note that the King James does a disservice in verse 27 (as do most translations) saying he was a plain man. The Strong's numbering indicates many ways the word plain could be translated, and in fact, complete is most likely a better word to use. Esau was a one-dimensional man. Jacob, as we can see in his later life, had a more complete knowledge in many things. Again, there is no crime here in what they were. You can be a good person either way.

Our problem here is really with verse 28. The fact that the parents had favorites is not good. Now I know as a parent it is not easy to not have a favorite child, there is always one you like better than the rest. The situation here was not a slight favoritism, nor even an attempt to hide it. This was out and out take one side against the other. Issac like Esau and Rebekah liked Jacob. In situations like this, only trouble can break out.

Does this happen in every day life as well, I mean when someone is not dealing with children? You bet it does. I took a class recently in Critical Conversations. When someone speaks or does something we often create a story based on our experiences. This story can get well rehearsed in our brain and become our 'child.' Meanwhile, the other side is rehearsing their story and another 'child' is born. We each have our favorites and we are willing to duke it out to get our 'child' to be the prominent one. Maybe we need to stop and not make our 'child' the favorite one. Maybe we need to take the time to see if the other persons story is a real thing that needs to be dealt with and stop promoting ours. And yes, maybe the other side does too. I have a better idea, lets not have favorites and we can stay out of these situations. Think on that the next time you get in a situation at work or home.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Feb. 27, 2007 - Is there Marah in your life

Feb 27, 2007

Exo 15:23-25 KJV

(23) And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.

(24) And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?

(25) And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,

Have you ever come to a bitter place in your life? The Israelites did. In fact it was so bitter they named it after the Hebrew word for bitter, marah. Now it is true that it was the water that was bitter, but it holds so much of a parallel for our lives. Water is what provides life and without it life will shrivel up and go away. That is true with any form of life, from plants to humans.

Notice the first thing that the people did. Did they look around to find a solution? Did they pray to the God who walked them through the Red Sea? Did they have hope that they could make it through? No to all of those. They complained to the man in charge, Moses.

And what did Moses do? Well to his credit, though he did not try to find a way to get out of the situation, he did pray to God. Then God showed him a tree that when he put it in the water, would make the water sweet to drink. Now some will ask what it was that did it, I really do not care, because the kills the point I will try to make here.

Where was that tree when the Israelites complained to Moses? Where was that tree when Moses prayed to God? It was right in front of them! Anyone of them could have taken that tree and put it in the water, none of them did. The solution to their problems was right in front of them and they did not recognize it. And not only did they not recognize it, they did not even try to look for it. The people of Israel just started complaining. All Moses did was take the complaint and bring it to God.

You see, very often the answer to your prayer is right in front of you. We become so insensitive to things that in stead of looking for it we complain and gripe that city hall does not solve this, or the government should step in and take care of it. Maybe those complaints will make it to a person of God and what do they do? Do they take action and try to solve it or do they just pass it off as a prayer to God.

You have a tree around you some place that can take the bitter and make it sweet. You just have to look around to find it.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Feb. 26, 2007

Feb. 26, 2007

Joh 6:9-13

(9) "There is a little boy here who has five barley loaves and a couple of fish, but what are they among so many?"

(10) Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was plenty of grass at the spot; so the men, about five thousand, threw themselves down.

(11) Then Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks, and distributed them among the people who were sitting on the ground; so too with the fish as much as they wanted.

(12) When they had plenty, He said to His disciples, "Pick up the pieces that are left, that nothing be wasted."

(13) So they picked them up and filled twelve baskets with the pieces that were left from the five barley loaves, which were more than the eaters wanted.

Williams New Testament

Have you thought about how great a miracle this is? There were thousands of people at this gathering as we can tell from other accounts in the Gospels. All they had to feed all these people was a little boys lunch. I call this the 'Happy Meal' miracle because what he had was the equivalent of one. Though I have read and re-read it so many times, it hit home today as I read it again to my children. Think about the size of a Happy Meal. I know it would take a couple of them to fill me up. When I thought about an event that I went to today I realized just how big a miracle it was.

Today was 3V Sunday at church. Our children's pastor has these once a month for 'Vision, Vittles and Volunteers, ' and as I am a new volunteer I took my family to it. The children's Pastor, Pastor Jeremy, mentioned that he was thinking of cutting this back to once a quarter because of the cost, but someone had come up with and pledged the $300 a month that he would need to keep it going once a month. Now I am not great at estimates, but I would say there was about 150 people there. There was a pretty good spread of food there and very little left over afterwards.

Now, picture Pastor Jeremy walking up in front of this crowd with a Happy Meal box. As he walks around to the people he puts his hand in the box and when he pulls it out he has some food. He does this for each person there and even has left overs. He just saved someone about $295 dollars. I know it may be hard to picture it as you were not there, but picture a crowd of about 150 people and all of them fed for around $5.

What a miracle working God we have. How amazing that this could be done. Do you think that He can do the same for you today.

Feb. 25, 2007

Psa 73:27-28 ESV
(27) For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
(28) But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Since I work with computers, I tend to think of things in a computer way some times. In computers we have a command called ping. It is used to see if two computers can talk to each other on a network like the Internet. If I wanted to know if the Google site was available to my machine I would type ping It would send a packet of information to the remote computer and then the remote computer sends it back. In this way the time can be measured for how long it takes to get between the two computers. In theory, the further away you are from the remote computer, the longer it will take to receive the signal back.

It is kind of a good test for Christians also. Have you tried to ping God lately. How long does it take your signal to get through to Him? More importantly, how long before you get a reply from Him. To me, God is always near me. It does not take long for my signal to get to God. He is never far away from me at all. Sometimes I tend to wander away from Him. Somehow, someway, He can be close enough to hear me, but there is some interference in my getting the signal back from Him. I may be watching to mutch TV, to involved in my work, or anything else that keeps me from spending time with God each day. As this continues each day, though I may say a quick prayer, do I really expect a response.

There is another command we use in computers. It is called tracert and stands for trace route. Like the ping command it sends a packet of information to a remote computer. Instead of getting a reply from it though, it gets a reply from every computer that it has to go through to get to the remote computer. Of course, the more computers it has to go through, the longer it is going to take to go through things. As noted above, God may have to get through a lot of stuff to get to me. Each layer that I add on, it takes that much longer.

So what is your ping rate with God? Better yet, what would a tracert show?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Feb. 24, 2007 - How Short A Life

Feb 24, 2007

Psalms 39
4 "Please, LORD, show me my future. Will I soon be
5 You made my life short, so brief that the time means
nothing to you. "Human life is but a breath,
6 and it disappears
like a shadow. Our struggles are senseless; we store up more and more, without
ever knowing who will get it all.
7 "What am I waiting for? I
depend on you, Lord!
Contemporary English Version

David writes that our time on this earth is known by God. He knows just how much time we have. We do not know. When my son made a decision to stay in Indonesia I prayed that he was making the right decision. After all, the news from there is scary. Tsunamis, ferries that catch on fire, Muslim fanatics, all can be something that puts worry in a dad for his son and family. God gently nudged me and said, you know he could come home and be hit by a car. My son is doings God's work and when his done, God well bring him home.

Even though God knows how much time we have left, to Him it just as long as a breath is to us. Since we have a beginning it is a hard concept to understand a God who has always existed. Even though a life is so short, He knows each of us personally.

So since life is so preciously short, what do we do with it? We spend Most of our time trying to got her stuff! Stuff that we cannot take with as when our lives come to an end. Stuff that someone else will get. Do not get me wrong. I like stuff also. When getting that stuff gets in the way of relationships I need to draw a deep line in the sand. And that includes our relationships with people as well as God. Remember, many of the people we relationships with now, we will spend eternity with. What will think of ourselves then?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Feb. 23, 2007 - Wearing our witness

Feb. 23, 2007

Deu 11:18-19 KJV
(18) Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
(19) And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
God wanted the people of Israel to wear the proof of their faith as something that other people could see. Not just anyone, their children were to see these signs of their faith. They were to take the Words of God and put them into a prominent place, on their forehead and on their hands. By the time of Jesus the religious leaders had made a big show of hit to show how religious they were. They would try to outdo each other with how noticeable they could make these signs. Isn't it great that we do not do that today.

One day I sat in church and looked at some of the t-shirts that the people were wearing. One 20 something person was wearing a t-shirt mentioning 'Abercrombie and Finch.' I recalled that they had a catalogue that appealed to this group and it was under fire because they had nudity in the pictures in it. I looked around some more. There were scatterings of 'Planet Hollywood' and "Eskimo Joe's" shirts. Last I knew, both of these places were bars. I said to myself, are these a good witness to others? Would Jesus be happy that we were wearing things like this? Even some of our Christian t-shirts can be marginal. I once saw a woman wearing a shirt that said "I am the wretch that the song talks about." I knew she like country music so I tried to think about what song she was talking about. When I asked her she said, "Amazing Grace."

You see Deut. 11:18-19 has not been removed from a fact just because we are not under the law. What we wear is a testimony to who we are. People see us in these t-shirts and make decisions about us. Even some very important people, our children. Are we going to go to hell for wearing such a shirt? I do not think so? But the devil can use things like this to steal our witness. What do you wear out in public? Would God be happy with it? More importantly, what does it say about you?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Feb. 22, 2007

Feb. 22, 2007

Gen 1:1-3 The Scriptures '98+
(1) In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.
(2) And the earth came to be1 formless and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Elohim was moving on the face of the waters.
Footnote: 1 Or the earth became.
(3) And Elohim said, “Let light come to be,” and light came to be.
• "Scripture taken from The Scriptures, Copyright by Institute for Scripture Research. Used by permission".
The other day I came across a news article from a Christian News website. I thought that they being Christian's would use sources that were reliable. The article had to do with a Kentucky college student who had, the article claimed, a strong theory that proved that Genesis 1: 1-3 were really how things happened. It stated how further information was available at his website but the basic theory is that sound (God speaking) passing through water (The Spirit) in a certain fashion would produce luminescence . I thought from the way the article read that he had strong support from many areas. I thought that I needed to blog about this but then thought better. I then meditated it on a while and felt there needed to be a devotional about it. Science has met religion finally. Like so much else, the Bible was being proved right.

In preparation for doing this devotional I went back to the news page and noticed that though they mentioned the student's web site, they did not provide a link or even the address. A search on his name produced many results, not just his web page. I realized why as I went to his site. It was basically an ad for his book that would prove that the Genesis account was real. For just $29.95 you could get an 86 page book that showed how God was right and science was wrong. You could not read his theory anyplace on the site though he had testimonials from his teachers.

A quick look at the other sites showed why. Both Christians and non-Christians had looked at the book and said that it really had nothing of substance to it. While the web page and news article said that it was a proven fact that sound sent through water a certain way would produce light, the facts were that it is a scientific theory that has yet to be proven. With that, I got a little down because there went my devotional. Time to meditate on what God wants me to write about now.

God replied to do it on the article and Genesis 1: 1- 3. I had what I refer to as a Moses moment (that will be explained in a future devotional) and told God that the article was a bunch of garbage and that it was not suitable to be used. And then that still small voice in me said, "I know, so write about it." It took me a long time to realize what God was trying to say to me but I finally did. You see, I had put my faith on a news article that proved the Bible was right. If I did that, how many others, who did not take the time to follow up on reading the original web site, did the same thing I did? Does it really matter what science can prove and not prove? Is my faith in God any less because the article was not real honest in what they said?

Years ago there was a bumper stick that turned me off as a young Christian. It seemed so arrogant. It stated: God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It. I now see the wisdom in those words (thought I still think they are a little arrogant, especially on a bumper sticker). God said 'light come to be" and it did. Why do I need science to prove it to me? All I need is faith that God did what He said He did. I know that I am not alone on this, it is just that others have it a different way. They might think that if I get the money I need to pay the bills, they I will believe in a God who supplies all my needs. Or maybe they think that if you want me to stay in this marriage God you need to change my mate's heart. God does not need to prove to you that He is, you have to have the faith that what it says in His Word, will turn the light bulb on in your head and say that no matter what, God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It. My God is ElShadi , the God who is more than enough. The Word says there are three things, Faith, Hope, and Love, but the greatest of these is Love.

We need to get off the prove it to me and get on to the Word.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Feb. 21, 2007

Feb 21, 2007

Psa 32:9 NET
(9) Do not be like an unintelligent horse or mule,
which will not obey you
unless they are controlled by a bridle and bit.

NET Bible is available at
First off, if you have not found the NET Bible on the internet, go to . It is an excellent translation, complete with notes as to why it is translated the way that it was. In the printer version I have, one page has more notes on the translation than it does verses.

God does not want us to be like an animal that has to be forced into doing things against our will. As a new Christian it sometimes becomes necessary to be trained in the right things to do. God however will never force His will on you. He does not want to yank you with a reign and move you in the direction should go. In doing that you are acting like an unitelligent animal.

God has always given us free will. We can turn away from Him anytime we want to. We can persue the world's way of doing things and He will just step aside and let us do it. I know, for I did it. You know what, God paiently waited for me to turn around and meet Him again. I do not recomend it as a way of doing things. It has taken me years to get back to a point that I can easily trust myself that I am hearing Him and knowing what His will is. If I had just followed along on my walk with Him I would have been so much further on with my life.

Has God had to wait for you? If He had used a bridle and bit on you do you think you would have followed along or resisted? What would it take for you to be broekn to do what He needs you to do? Would it really be you doing what He wanted you to do or would it be Him forcing you. God is a gentleman you know.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Feb. 20, 2007

Feb 20, 2007

Dan 5:16-17
(16) And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.
(17) Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
That Daniel had wisdom in matters supernatural is clear to even a casual reader of Daniel. That he knew that these powers came from God should be fairly evident. What might not be so evident is that Daniel did not seek after rewards for he knew the abilities he had came from God. While what Belshazzar says to Daniel here does come true, it is not because Daniel desired it. Daniel waited for God to put him in the places that God wanted him and then did as God asked.

If Daniel had not been where he was, then Belshazzar would not be able to have his death sentence from God explained to him. As it was, when his life ended that night, he knew exactly why it had happened. Some may say that Daniel knew that he had a bad report for the king and that is why he would not take anything. A look at Daniel's life would show otherwise. He did not have to go to the lion's den, he could have stopped praying to God. He could have looked the other way and ate the food sacrificed to other gods. His life was one of worship to God and letting God do the advancement. When someone is in that position it is so easy to look the other way and take what he or she needs for themselves in life. God will never be pleased with that. If the gift is promised so that you will say something nice, it is not worth the sin on your life. Live your life so that all will know your honesty. If you receive a gift, take it, God got it to you. This is a concept I have trouble with often. I try to say what did I do to deserve this gift? The answer is often the same as what I did to receive salvation; nothing. If I can accept salvation, why can I not accept a gift from God when it is given by a man?

God puts us where He needs us to be for a reason. You do not have to know why He does. When you are where you are supposed to be and doing what you are supposed to be doing, God can and will provide gifts when you use your talents for Him.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Feb. 18, 2007

Feb. 19, 2007

Mat 5:17-18
(17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
(18) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
While many who read these words will find the words I type today no great revelation, I can tell you they set me free a few months ago. When I was a young Christian I was hungry for any Bible study material I could find. I found some information from a group that basically teaches that if you do not worship on Saturday you can not be a Christian. As one of their proof texts they used today's verse. They taught that the law has never been changed and since Jesus had not come to change the law then the Sabbath rule was still in place. I got this teaching and though I knew that we did not live under the law still this teaching stuck in my craw and this verse continued to bother me for years. We do not live under the law, yet Jesus did not come to abolish the law. How could these two facts be true.

This is what happens when you take one part of a verse and run with the partial truth that it gives. Yes it is true that Jesus did not come to destroy the law. Yes it is true that every jot and tittle could not be changed. What is also true is that Jesus came to fulfill the law. If He came to fulfill the law we do not have to live under it any more. Is the law bad? No. Are there some parts of it that we can still use? Yes. In reading through the Bible tonight with my children, we read some laws that appear not to have made sense to us. My youngest asked me why there was a law that you could eat meat on the day it was offered and the 2ND day, but the third day it was unclean. I had to ask God as I had not thought about it. Answer I got; there was no refrigeration in those days. After 2 days the food would begin to spoil. It was basically a law so that the Israelites would not eat rotten food.

We do not have to live by these laws anymore as Jesus has fulfilled them all. In reading them we should try to understand why they were put in by God so we can see where following them may help us in our daily lives.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Feb. 18, 2007

Feb. 18, 2007

Mat 14:22-23
(22) And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
(23) And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Yesterday we looked at Jesus having compassion for the multitude and how He was able to draw from the well when it came to being able to do so when He himself was down. The general thrust is that because he had spent so much time with the Father that when he was at his lowest point He would be able to draw from His reserves. Even Jesus had to recharge His spiritual batteries though. Our verse for today follows shortly after yesterdays. After the incident we talked about yesterday Jesus helped the disciples feed the people with the equivalent of a child's happy meal (maybe that should be another devotion), then after the clean up, our verses from today take place. First he gets the disciples off on a boat and then he sends the multitudes of people away. Now remember He is at an all time low and He has ministered to the people and then had to feed them. Jesus has gone deep into His spiritual well at this point in time.

At this point he climbs a mountain and just gets fed. Not food like you or I would, but spiritual food, and He stays in it for a long time. He sent the people away while it was day, and he sent the disciples away before that. We find out in the verses after these that Jesus came to them in the boat at about 3:00 AM. He must have been in prayer to the Father a good 6 or 7 hours. The well was dry and He went to the source that He needed to refresh it. What did the two of them talk about? The Bible does not say. I can speculate about it. Maybe He asked about John the Baptist and why he was taken away. Maybe He talked about the problems with disciples that just did not get it. Maybe He just sat in the refreshing love that was coming from the Father, we just do not know. What we do know is that he took the time to do it. He could not keep giving out with out getting something to refresh Himself.

As people we cannot minister to others till we have received ministry ourselves. You need to take time each day to get into fellowship with the Father and speak to Him, and even more important to listen to Him. If it was good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for us as well.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Feb. 17, 2007

Feb. 17, 2007

Mat 14:10-14
(10) And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
(11) And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.
(12) And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
(13) When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.
(14) And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

If any one had a reason to be depressed at this time it was definitely Jesus. In the two chapters before we find out about two major cities in the area that because of their unbelief they were not able to get any one healed except for small problems (headache types). Then he moves on into the his own home town and though He preaches quite powerfully, in they end they say that this was Joseph and Mary's child, how can he be so important? Now in this chapter, Jesus looses his ministry partner, the one who has believed in him since before he started the ministry. He has lost him to a very senseless death because a drunken man could not keep his mouth shut. At this point He is most likely worn out and wondering why He is doing all this because right now, nothing seems to be going right.

What do you do when nothing seems to be going right in your life, when your spouse seems to not care about you any more, or your best friend seems to forgotten that you even exist anymore? What do you do when the medical reports come back negative in stead of positive? Not to sound like an old trite phrase from a few years back, but, what would Jesus do?

Jesus took the steps that we all should take, He tried to get Himself to a place where He could talk to His Father. When all the problems of life just seem to hit at once, it is time to take time off and just seek God and get your strength back by listening to Him and what he has for you. This had better not be the only time that you do this though. The devil will use any thing to wear you out. All of a sudden Jesus had multitudes of people come and follow Him because they wanted Him to heal them. Did Jesus run away when this happened, like so many of us would because we need to be alone. No, he had his time with the Father and He could feed off of that. He had compassion and took the time to heal them.

There will be times in our Christian walk that we will need to feed off of the times with the Father that we have had. Take time to do it when you can. You never know when you will need to take care of the multitudes when you are at a low point.

Feb. 16, 2007

Feb. 16, 2007

Psalm 1
2 But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.

“Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible."

Yesterday we looked at Psalm 1:1. In reflecting on it, we saw sin was progressive. It could be deemed that yesterday's devotion was quit negative, but God is a positive God, so lets look at the other side of the coin. Verse 2 says that the man from verse one that does not do those evil things does these positive things:

  • Wants to follow the laws of the Lord - What is the law of the Lord? Well the translation could easily mean the first five books of the OldTestament , or as they were known to the Hebrew people, the Pentateuch. In fact, the word here for law is Torah, another name for the same set of books. Think though, about what Jesus said was the mostimportant laws:
    Mar 12:30-31
    (30) And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
    (31) And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

    Jesus even went on to say that these two laws sum up all the other laws. In fact, if you walk in love to all people (sometimes it is the hardest thing to do), then you cannot be breaking any of the laws, you will not be sinning. That sure is a tall order.

  • We are to meditate on the law every day and every night. What does it mean to meditate? I chose the Amplified version for this reading for the reason that it details what one is to do. We are to ponder it and study. Strongs Concordance even suggests that we are to mutter it. It is in looking at a devotional like this and thinking on it as you go though your day that we ponder the word. Or find yourself some scriptures to look at and ask God to give you insight on them. I will from time to time grab a verse before I go to bed at night. While laying there awake I will think about what it means to me. A very useful tool because the devil does not want you strong and will put you to sleep real quick. Besides that, meditating on the Word will not let you meditate on the problems you may have since you cannot think of two things at the same time.

Take some time to ponder the Word the next few days. It is a good habit to get into.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Feb. 15, 2007

Feb. 15, 2007

Psa 1:1
(1) Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

This verse clearly shows that sin is progressive in nature. In order to wind up sitting with those who scorn God, you have to have been standing among those sinful people to start with. In order to be standing amongst them, one has to walk the path to get to them. One does not start out sitting in the wrong place, he had to get there in progressive steps.

A husband or a wife does not cheat on their spouse on purpose. It starts by walking in the counsel of the ungodly. The person says, "my mate does not understand me, they do not love me anymore," at least to themselves. Next, the stand in the way of sinners, they find someone who makes them feel good about themselves and rather than get out of there, they stand there enjoying it. The next step is inevitable, they sit with the scornful. "God will not mind my sin," they say, "my mate does not love me, and God is love, so I need to get it where I can." At that point they are fully into their sin. They will not see that it is unless they get caught by human beings. God is aways watching though.

This can apply to anything in our lives, not just adultery. One does not get into wasteful spending habits with out going through the steps till they final are broke. One does not over-eat without walking to the table first. In all the situations in your life, look for those that are leading you to sin, and then cut them out of your life.

Is there a way out, yes, go back to the point where the sin was not there. Cut that part out of your life like it was a part of your body that was putting poison into it. Will it hurt? Does any surgery hurt? Jesus once said that it was better to enter into heaven with one hand missing than to enter into hell. If you try to stay in the sin, you will only let the poison continue to flow, you can not walk in the best that God has for you.

Is there a sin in progress in your life? It may be time to get some scissors.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Feb. 14, 2007

Feb 14, 2007

Luke 13
This led Him to say, What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?

19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the wild birds found shelter and roosted and nested in its branches.

20 And again He said, To what shall I liken the kingdom of God?

21 It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of wheat flour or meal until it was all leavened (fermented).

“Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible."

Jesus here was trying to explain to His followers what the kingdom of God was like. So many things that I have read suggest that He was trying to say that Jesus was saying here that the Kingdom would be like this huge tree grown from a small seed that all the birds (people) would be able to come to it. That does not mesh with the next thing he say, that the Kingdom would be like yeast in bread dough. Whenever Jesus mentioned leaven it usually was in connection with the religious leaders of the time. They took a pure religion that God had made and corrupted it with their own religion. They wanted to control the way that man would react to God, they wanted to inject their poison into what was good.

So what does man controlling things have to do with our idyllic mustard tree. A lot if you try to look back at what a mustard tree looked like in the times that Jesus lived. In those days it was more like a shrub than a tree. Shrubs can grow quite high, so it could be called a tree by many. There were many different types of mustard 'trees' but the one that was around in Jesus day was one that when planted it tried to take over the garden. It was much like the modern day plant in the SE United States, Kudzu. Once it got planted in a garden, it would try to take over and man would have to try and control it.

So what was Jesus really trying to say here? My guess: the kingdom of heaven is like something man is going to try to control, something that if he does get in and control it will be like a poison in the system that will spread throughout the whole thing and ruin it. Jesus was trying to say to his disciples to not let man's religion get into your relationship with God. If it does, poison will enter in and wreck your relationship with God.

In what ways do you try to control the Kingdom of God?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Feb. 13, 2007

Feb. 13, 2007
Mustard Seed Faith

Mat 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Luk 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
My daughter loves these verses and the third one that Jesus says about what the Kingdom of Heaven is like and comparing it to a mustard seed. We will look at the others tomorrow, but for now, lets look at what Jesus says in these.

In Luke's account, they were asking to have their faith increased. Jesus gave them a similar answer to Matthew's, substituting a large tree for a mountain. In Matthew's verse, the disciples had just come to Jesus and asked why they could not heal a particular person, Jesus responds by saying that it is because of their unbelief. Unbelief is not translated really well here. We would translate it as a littleness of faith. They did not have the faith to do what they needed to. The thing about faith is that it is like muscles in the body. We all have the same amount of faith just like we all have the same amounts of muscle and bones. Jesus was not talking about having a small amount of faith here, he was saying that if we had the smallest amount of faith, that if developed properly we could literally move mountains. I can have a small amount of faith, just like I can cut out a small piece of muscle from my body. That small amount of faith, not even the whole amount that I have, is enough to move things if and when it gets properly developed.

To put it another way, a baby has a muscle in its body that should help it to stand up. Until that muscle is developed, it cannot stand. Is there any difference in the amount of muscle it has before or after it first stands up? Nope, the amount is the same. The difference is that the muscle has been developed and that gives the baby strength to stand up. Latter it will strengthen them even more and allow the child to walk, again with no ascertainable difference in the amount of muscle.

So why does someone seem to have more faith than others. Well, if you go to a gym to workout, why does it appear that someone has more muscle than you do. They have taken the time to workout and develop their muscle. We must learn to do the same. You do not go in the gym and expect to lift 200 pound weights. You start small and work your way up to larger ones. In the same way, faith must be built upon. The person who expects to believe for a healing for cancer had better learn to believe to be healed of a headache first. The one who wants to be able to pay the rent, had better start with asking in faith for a candy bar.

What faith muscle do you want to develop today. Start small and work your way up.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Feb. 12, 2007

Proverbs 1

20Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:

21She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,

22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

Where can you find wisdom? Ever ask yourself where wisdom can be found. Many think it can come from college or reading some book. Many will even tell you that it can be found in the Bible. But the Bible teaches us that wisdom in out in the streets, and she cries to us to find her. If we continue to act as simpletons, we will never get wisdom as we will not want it.

So what does it mean that wisdom is out in the streets. In every day life, wisdom will speak to you in ways that may not make sense. Your children may say something wise. Maybe a spouse or co-worker will say something that you need to hear. If you are not ready to hear it, you will miss it. Put yourself in a mode that you can learn from others. As a part time instructor of computers, I will tell you the hardest to teach students are the ones that think that they know it all. From the 1st class I tell them, you will learn something new in this class, and after 2 weeks I ask the ones that say I can not teach them anything new if they have learned something new. About 99% of them do, and I have got them hooked for they now know if they listen they will learn something new.
This came to me one day as I was watching an Anime show my step-son introduced me to, Full Metal Alchemist. The quote is as follows:
Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is Alchemy's First Law of Equivalent Exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one, and only, truth.
While not a Christian show, there are many central Christian concepts that can be learned in a show. As a Christian, what can I learn from this quote? The wisdom here is the basic premise on the show, in order to obtain, something of equal value must be lost. In order for me to gain salvation in heaven in my sinful state, something of equal value had to be lost. In order for me to go to heaven, I had to have a substitute, there had to be an equivalent value for me for me to have my sins removed. There is only one equivalent for my sin fill life to be wiped clean of sins, one who had no sins. That one is Jesus. Have you accepted Him as your equivalent exchange? If you have what does it mean to you?

Sunday Feb. 11, 2007

Jdg 6:11-15
(11) And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abi-ezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
Did you ever stop to wonder what Gideon was doing in a winepress? A winepress was a large container taller than a man that the grapes would be put into and then crushed to make wine. This is not a good place to be threshing wheat because it would involve throwing the grain in the air so that the good part could drop down and the unusable part could be blown away in the wind. You see, there would be no wind in the winepress. So why would you thresh wheat there? Because you did not want your enemy, the Midianites, to know because they would come and steal your wheat. You see, Gideon saw himself as a coward.
(12) And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.
What is important is how God sees us. The angel of the LORD made a special effort to to find Gideon and tell him what the LORD thought of him. And you know what, God sees us the same way. Think about it, God is not a respecter of people, if He sees Gideon as a might man of valor, how does he see you? The more important thing here is how do you see yourself in comparison with how God sees you?
(13) And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
Gideon continues to look at himself as a failure. Do you do the same when you know that God says you are good? Not only does he continue to put himself down, he puts down all of Israel and tells God that He has failed Israel in the process. Read Judges and find out the real story. God had not failed them, they turned away from God and God let their enemies defeat them. It is a regular pattern that flows through the book of Judges. They were in the following false gods period at this time. Gideon blames God for what they have done to themselves.
(14) And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
(15) And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.
The same problem again. God tells him just how good he was and Gideon puts himself down. He is from a poor family and he is the least in it. He just can not get the image that God has of him and put it in himself. How do you do when God tells you how good you are? Eventually Gideon got to see just how good he was, but he had to test God, and God had to test him before he did.

Take some time today and see yourself as God sees you.