June 30, 2007
Why does it seem that it takes such a long time to get our answers met by God? Why does it seem that others seem to get them right away. Is there something wrong with those who do not get their answers quickly? What are the ones who get answers doing right?
Deu 2:14 Complete Apostles' Bible
(14) And the days in which we traveled from Kadesh Barnea, till we crossed the valley of Zered, were thirty-eight years, until the whole generation of the men of war failed, dying out of the camp, as the Lord God swore to them.
Our verse today is part of the history lesson that Moses is giving to the children of Israel. He is letting them know that for 38 years they traveled in the wilderness. Why did they have to do that. God had to remove all the people who had spoken their unbelief into the situation. The ones that were getting ready to go into the promise land were not the ones that left Egypt, they were their children. These people had no real reference point as to what living in Egypt was like. But their parents did.
Are we not like those people. We have our reference point, the way the world was before we became Christians. And now as children of God with a citizenship in heaven, we have to focus on the way God wants us to do it. Much of what we have to go through probably is the removal of the equivalent of the people who left Egypt. Until we can get Egypt out of our system we cannot cross over into what God wants us to do.
So, do you need to take another trip around Mount Sinai till you learn your lesson?
The Apostles' Bible
A Modern English Translation of the Greek Septuagint
Translated by Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton
Revised and Edited by Paul W. Esposito, and,
The English Majority Text Version (EMTV) of the Holy Bible, New Testament.
Copyright © 2002-2004 Paul W. Esposito.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
June 29, 2007
Have you ever thought that the God does not have a purpose for you. He does you know. The Psalmist tells us so.
Psalm 138:8(NIV) “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.”
God has a plan for your life. What is it? I do not know. I do not even know what the plan is for my life. I do know he has a plan. It is like I am a piece on a cosmic chess board and He has me do what He needs me to do. The difference between a chess board and life is that the pieces on the chess board can not tell the chess player they do not want to move. They do what they are told. The player must have a plan and it may involve pain for the piece. I have a choice. I can tell God that I do not want to do what He wants me to do, that it will cause pain. I can walk away and God can use another piece. In doing that though, I will not have the best plan for what God has for my life. I need to work thorough what ever pain that will come my way. In only that can I see the results that He has for me. What is good though is even if I am not in the plan, He will not abandon me. I am the work of His hands.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
June 28, 2007
Ever take a test and not know the answer? Ever have a interview and not know what to say? Turn to God for advice.
Isa 40:28 NET
(28) Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is an eternal God,
the creator of the whole earth.
He does not get tired or weary;
there is no limit to his wisdom.
The is no limit to His wisdom. Ask of Him and you will receive it. As one who has had to go for many job interviews of late, when I get a question sometimes, I have to stop, draw in my thoughts real quick, and turn what comes out of me over to Him. I am not saying that He speaks through me, but that He gives me the right words to say.
And he does not grow weary. He is ready to talk with you about any wisdom you need 24/7/365. Turn to him when you have a need. He will be with you and speak what you need to hear.
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. www.bible.org . All rights reserved.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
June 27, 2007
We would never be like the people of Judah and Israel, would we? I mean, they had to be reprimanded by God all the time. The prophets, like Jeremiah would come and say:
Jer 2:5 GW
(5) This is what the LORD says: What did your ancestors find wrong with me that they went so far away from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.
Realize of course, that today's person is the ancestor of a person 20 or 30 years down the road (or even more). You do realize that there are eyes watching you all the time. Young children, even those who may not be your own, watch what you do on a day to day basis. What do those young people see. Do they see a person who worships God? Do they see someone that cheats on taxes? How about cursing?
We need to realize that it was not the big things that caused Israel to fall to idolatry. In fact it was not following the little things that God told them to do on a day by day basis. They had been told not to marry people that were not of Israel or they would start to follow their gods. Solomon married many foreign wives, thinking he could resist. In the end, the man who was given riches and wisdom by God had the kingdom torn from his son's hands. He could not resist following their gods and they led him away from the real one. And the children saw this and they walked away as well.
So what are you doing to keep the next generation following God (or are you leading them away from Him)?
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
June 26, 2007
You ever notice the little things. Some of say that we do, but often we do not have as good a handle on them as we think we do. For example take this verse from Revelation.
Rev 1:20 KJV
(20) The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Now most people would look at that verse and yawn a little bit. Yes, we know that the the sever here over and over and over again means the seven churches in Asia. I have heard that the churches represent the seven church eras, the seven type of churches, heck say what you want and your guess could be as good as anything else. So why am I pointing this out. Do a word study on the word Angels in the verse. Many translations say it is angels, some say it is messenger, but a look at Strong's shows something interesting:
G32 ἄγγελος aggelos ang'-el-os
From ἀγγέλλω aggellō (probably derived from G71; compare G34; to bring tidings); a messenger; especially an “angel”; by implication a pastor: - angel, messenger.
Did you see that. It can be translated pastor. Next time that your pastor is going under a strain from the job that he is doing, go up to him and tell him that he is in Jesus right hand. Your pastor is in Jesus right hand, and no one can snatch him from Jesus hand. Give your pastor some encouragement.
Monday, June 25, 2007
June 25, 2007
Ever wonder if something you felt like something you were supposed to do was of God or not and you just stalled on it, waiting for God to speak. I got a clue for you, go do it.
2Ki 7:3-5 JPS
(3) Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said one to another: 'Why sit we here until we die?
(4) If we say: We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there; and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Arameans; if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.'
(5) And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Arameans; and when they were come to the outermost part of the camp of the Arameans, behold, there was no man there.
The King of Aram had Samaria of Israel under siege. They had gotten down to boiling children in Samaria to eat so they could survive.
The three lepers had three choices.
- Do nothing - die
- Go back into the city though they were unclean - die
- Go into the enemy camp - they had food, maybe they would be taken prisoner and live, maybe they would die.
So two of the three choices they die and the third one is a fifty-fifty chance. Rather than sit there and die, they took there chances.
And that is often what God wants us to do. Take our chances. What is the worst thing that you can do if you take a chance for God. I will tell you, it is fail. But remember something. If you do not know failure, you will not know victory either. Think on this. Basketball great Michael Jordan has the record for most winning baskets at the end of the game. That is a great record. Did you know that he also has the most missed baskets at the end of a game that would have won it also. He took the chance, and we need to as well.
1917 by The Jewish Publication Society (JPS)
Sunday, June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
Have you ever been out working on a summer day. You went to reach for a drink of water and found it to be lukewarm, not cold. While it will quench the thirst, it does not taste good. That drink is a lot like a lot of us. God has a plan for us, and he wants us to follow it. God wants us to make a choice for Him. It made it so clear to the church at Laodicea.
Rev 3:15-16 GW
(15) I know what you have done, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot.
(16) But since you are lukewarm and not hot or cold, I'm going to spit you out of my mouth.
I can sit and do nothing, or I can try to find out what His will is for my life. Or, I cannot submit to Him at all. Not submitting to him means I am cold. Submitting and doing what he asks, that is hot. But when we submit to him, and then do not do what he asks, we are lukewarm. God just wants to take that and spit it out, it does not please Him at all.
So are you cold or hot? I know none of these readers are lukewarm? Or are they?
Copyright © 1995 by GOD'S WORD to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.
GOD'S WORD to the Nations Bible Society
P.O. Box 30699
Cleveland, Ohio 44130-0699
Saturday, June 23, 2007
June 23, 2007
To often we want to be popular, to be rich, to be noticed by people. God does not want that you know. God wants us to seek after people and how to help them. When Solomon offered his sacrifices to God, God asked him what he wanted in return. The answer was really simple.
1Ki 3:9 KJV
(9) Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
Solomon knew that he was not ready for the job. He could have asked for a lot of things, but he asked for what he would need to lead the people. Because of that, God gave him more than he asked for.
What do you need in life? Is it what would be needed to help the people around you.
Friday, June 22, 2007
June 22, 2007
Sometimes after we have our highest spiritual highs we have our lowest spiritual lows. Such is the case with Elisha. He has wiped out the prophets of Baal. In a story we did not look at he stops the drought and calls the rain down, all while outracing a horse and chariot . But then Queen Jezebel decides that what happened to the prophets of Baal should happen to him. Now he is faced with what he should do. He is the man of God, isn't he. Couldn't he call down fire from heaven and wipe her out. Maybe he could invoke God's protection around him so he could not be harmed. After all, he has just finished a pair of major miracles here.
So faced with a major problem that we know God could work with him to solve, what does the man of God do?
He runs away. And to make matters worse, when God asks him why, he repeats a lie.
1Ki 19:9-18 KJV
(9) And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?
(10) And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
If you remember from a few days ago he told this same lie, he was the only one to defend God. If you repeat a lie long enough, I guess you will believe it. We know that Obadiah said that he had 100 that he had hid, and we will find out that there were others. But stop and think a moment. Even if he was the only one, couldn't the God who answered by fire to prove he was God protect him from someone.
So what does God tell him to do?
(11) And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
(12) And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
(13) And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
God tries to point out to him that He is not in the big events. While God did what was needed for the sacrifice, God is not in that. He wants to speak to us in the everyday things that we do. And then, to emphasize it even more, God asks him again, what is he doing here?
(14) And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
Elijah can not get out of the pity party that he is in. He repeats that lie again. What will God do in return?
(15) And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:
(16) And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.
If God can not trust Elijah to trust Him, then it is time to move on to the next person. God always has a plan B, though He may not call it that. When I did not do what God told me to do by going to Bible school years ago, did it set in motion someone else from doing what I was to do? In this case, though, God says, look, you willanoint Elisha to replace you. You are done Elijah. And he was. He is not heard of for a while after this, till just before he dies. Elisha stays with him through all that, and when the end comes, God calls him up to heaven in his full body. God still had plans for him. Even if he did not pass the test.
What makes this worse, is the fact that God tells him just how wrong he was...
(17) And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.
(18) Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
There were 7,000 people who were not worshiping Baal. God had it under control. He was not alone.
Remember God has it under control at all times. When the devil tells you that you are the only one, you are not, trust me.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
June 21, 2007
Continuing on with Elijah, we find among other things God has a sense of humor.
After challenging the prophets of Baal, Elijah then sets the ground rules. Two bulls, one for each, prepare them for sacrifice but do not light the fire underneath. What ever God answers by fire will be the true God.
When ever you know you are in the right, you can walk with God in confidence that he can do the seemingly impossible. You can also do a lot of smack talking. Elijah let them go first They did there thing all morning and then Elijah does a champion put down.
1Ki 18:27 CEV
(27) At noon, Elijah began making fun of them. "Pray louder!" he said. "Baal must be a god. Maybe he's day-dreaming or using the toilet or traveling somewhere. Or maybe he's asleep, and you have to wake him up."
I do not know about you, but the idea of a god day-dreaming, or even worse, going to the bathroom just seems not to god-like to me. My youngest two children laughed loudly when we read this the other day. But, is this not much different than what so many of us do in day to day life. We think that the money we have will keep us going. Or that the TV will keep us happy. They will not.
The prophets never did get Baal to show up. In stead, Elijah steps up:
1Ki 18:33-39 CEV
(33) He placed the wood on the altar, then they cut the bull into pieces and laid the meat on the wood. He told the people, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it over the meat and the wood." After they did this,
(34) he told them to do it two more times. They did exactly as he said
(35) until finally, the water ran down the altar and filled the ditch.
(36) When it was time for the evening sacrifice, Elijah prayed: Our LORD, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Now, prove that you are the God of this nation, and that I, your servant, have done this at your command.
(37) Please answer me, so these people will know that you are the LORD God, and that you will turn their hearts back to you.
(38) The LORD immediately sent fire, and it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones. It scorched the ground everywhere around the altar and dried up every drop of water in the ditch.
(39) When the crowd saw what had happened, they all bowed down and shouted, "The LORD is God! The LORD is God!"
Elijah not only did the impossible, he added to it. The salt water drenched the wood and all around it. God came down in fire and not only consumed the sacrifice but destroyed all around it as well.
When you need a miracle in your life know two things. God can provide more than you need for what you need. The other is that when people see that miracle, they will turn to God.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
June 20, 2007
While I did not mean to make this a study in Elijah, God seems to be leading me in a different path. Elijah, however, is one of my favorite old testament people, maybe because at times i feel a lot of the same emotions that he did.
Today, Elijah tells a great truth and then a big lie.
To set our scene, King Ahab, one of the split kingdom of Israel's worst kings, has survived the drought talked about the last two days. He and his servant Obadiah go looking for land that has water so that they can graze what is left of their animals. Obadiah does not find water but he does find Elijah who tells him to go get the king. Obadiah knows that if he goes, Elijah will disappear and the king will kill him so he asks Elijah why, after all he was working for God:
1Ki 18:13 KJV
(13) Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD'S prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?
Elijah reassures him that will not happen, the king comes, and Elijah challenges him to a battle of the gods.
1Ki 18:21 KJV
(21) And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
We can read those verses and say to ourselves, well we all know that God is God and those gods are not. But what in our lives keeps us from God. We could say, 'if the TV is god then follow him,' or 'if money is god follow it.' Maybe even 'if my church is god, follow it.' Now am I saying that any of those things are bad. Not on your life. What I as saying is that if anything, computer, TV, church, etc., get in the way of your time with God, they you are following it and you stand between two opinions. Jesus in the book of Revelation, says of one of the churches, you are neither hot or cold for me so I will spit you out of my mouth. It is possible to be a good Christian and follow other gods you see. Even Elijah can be that way:
1Ki 18:22 KJV
(22) Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
In order to make his challenge that is coming up seem even more powerful, he tells a lie. How do we know it is a lie? Obadiah had told him that he had put 100 prophets in two caves to him just a little bit earlier. He was trying to make it like a huge tag team wrestling match.
"In this corner, wearing the royal purple tights.. Elijah, prophet of God. And in this corner, wearing their Baal t-shirts, 450 people who follow the mighty god Baal!. Let's get ready to rummmmmmbbbbbblllllleeeee. "
And in doing that, he makes one big mistake. He starts to follow a god that he should not. He starts to follow himself. We will see in the next few days, though he has a great victory for God right after this, these events are the start of his downfall.
So, what gods to we follow? Do you follow the god of doing things in your own power?
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
June 19, 2007
Yesterday we looked at Elisha and the widow woman and how God provided food for a year and the supply never went away. This to most people would be a major miracle. At least I thought so, but as I read it to my kids the other day, my youngest one, Israel, say no dad, someone could be sneaking back in and refilling the food. I guess he is right. The story continues though. If the widow had a chance to doubt God, she has it taken away now.
1Ki 17:17-24 KJV
(17) And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.
(18) And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?
Why do people always blame the man of God when something goes wrong. Why can they not look to their own faults and failings. After all, this woman has doubted that God could feed her.
(19) And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.
Even though Elijah is not the fault, it is a chance to show God's power and he takes the bull by the horns.
(20) And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?
(21) And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.
(22) And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
When a person of God speaks and asks in faith, God hears it and responds.
(23) And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.
(24) And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.
This finally convinces the widow. She now knows that Elijah is a man of God, he speaks the truth. The funny thing is that to me a non-emptying food bin would have been enough. I guess some people need more than others. Remember that not everyone has had the same life experiences we have. It may take more or less experience for them to walk in the same faith that you have.
Monday, June 18, 2007
June 18, 2007
Are you aware that when you fail to do what God asks you to do, you will often get a second chance to make it right (and maybe a third or a forth).
In my own personal experiences, I know that I was called into ministry years ago. I never did follow through on it for some personal reasons, and in fact I ran away from God. Today's story from the Bible is not unlike that.
1Ki 17:9-16 KJV
(9) Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
Elijah's food and water supply has dried up so God tells him to get a move on. God has told a widow that she will need to feed Elijah.
(10) So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
Elijah knew who this person was to be. Picked her out of the crowd of people. He asked her for what she could supply knowing that she was to offer him more.
(11) And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
She does not offer what she is supposed to. I imagine she could not believe that she heard from God. With what she had left, she was going to feed another mouth. So Elijah had to prompt her what she was to do.
(12) And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
She makes excuses, she is going to make a little cake and then die. You want me to give you that too!
(13) And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
(14) For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
Elijah calls out the big card here. He is going to win this one cause he is working for God. And God is going to provide.
(15) And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
(16) And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.
I do not know why she did what he asked. She might of thought that a little cake of bread between her and her son was not going to keep them alive much longer so she might as well give it to him. Or maybe she saw that he was a man of God and the words he spoke were the same ones that God did. Who knows. What we do know is that when everyone else was still starving, she, her son, and the man of God kept eating. It took her many tries to get the obedience she needed. But when she did it, God provided.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
June 17, 2007
I have written about my father before here so it is no surprise that I can say that my father was not the best one there was, and I hope I have done better with all my children. How we see our fathers though can affect how we see God. I learned this while going through a book with my friend and councilor Chuck a few years ago. Recently in a random verse pop-up on my computer came the following verse:
Psalm 103:13 (Amplified Bible)
13 As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe].
This verse is sort of the reverse. God can only see us fathers in the way that we minister to our children. I cannot say how my dad viewed me, I can only say how I see my children. If God loves me a tenth of what I love my own kids, I have too much love already.
So, maybe, we need to turn that view of God around. Not how I view my father and compare him to how I view God. Instead, compare how I view my children to how God views me.
So, men, how does God view you?
"Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible,
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
June 16, 2007
There was an interesting story on the local TV channel Friday night. While you can see the whole thing at http://www.kotv.com/e-clips/?id=6761, (warning video is 45 min. long), the basic story is this. 50 years ago, the people of Tulsa buried a time capsule. It was not any average one, nope Tulsa had to do it up big. They buried a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere . They even put in some gas and oil so that in our age of flying cars, we would know how to make it run. It was put into a vault that was built to withstand an atomic blast. Nothing was to leak in, nothing!
Unfortunately, water seeped in. and when it got in, it had no way to drain out easily. And even though the car was wrapped in a plastic to keep it covered, the water made it past that as well. The car was so rusted that the glove box which was supposed to contain the contents of an average woman's purse had diapered and the contents, what was left, were all over the floor. Though men had tried their best to lay up a treasure for the future, it was not there.
I think you know the scripture that I am going to with this...
Mat 6:19-21 AUV-NT
(19) “Do not store your valuables [here] on earth, where moths can eat them and where rust can corrode them, and where burglars can break in and steal [them].
(20) But [rather] store up your valuables in heaven [i.e., by investing your life in spiritual things], where neither moths can eat nor rust corrode, nor burglars break in and steal,
(21) for wherever [you store] your valuables, that is where your heart [i.e., your real concern] will be also.
The announcers during the show talk about how when they started the project 18 months ago, they all felt that a pristine car was coming out of the ground. We as humans can make plans for the future. We have to learn though, that our plans are not God's plans. Rust can happen. What once was perfect is no longer. Our treasures in heaven on the other hand can never be taken away from us. Where are your treasures today? Are they in a place that can rust them away like an old car, or in heaven?
The New Testament: An Understandable Version,
© 1994 by William E. Paul,
Post Office Box 30526
Seattle, Washington 98103
Friday, June 15, 2007
June 15, 2007
So often we can feel so secure in what can do for ourselves. We may be able to get great wealth, a good job, great friends, a nice house. All those things we seem to have gotten for ourselves. Obadiah faced this same problem when he spoke to the people of Edom.
Oba 1:3 NET
(3) Your presumptuous heart12 has deceived you —
you who reside in the safety of the rocky cliffs,13
whose home is high in the mountains.14
You think to yourself,15
'No one can16 bring me down to the ground!'17
The people of Edom lived in the mountain areas. They had set themselves and there cities up high where they could see the enemy approaching. By the time they got close the people had their defenses already set and could stop them. They thought that no one could take them down. They were wrong.
Oba 1:4 NET
(4) Even if you were to soar high like an eagle,18
even if you19 were to make your nest among the stars,
I can bring you down even from there!" says the LORD.
Pride is a sin. When we think that we are the ones that can do it all, we are wrong. Now understand, these people were direct descendants of Essu, Jacob's brother. They were not the children of the promise, but they did not have to live in such arrogance either.
In the end, when you sin, God can forgive, but stay in that sin, and live in it, then know that God can call you up short on it.
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. www.bible.org . All rights reserved.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
June 14, 2007
When God gives you a word of what He wants you to do, often it is not good to tell others about it.
Today, the story is about a prophet of God. Judah and Israel have just split apart because Solomon would not follow God like he should have. His son had lost all but Judah to Jeroboam, who has become king of Israel with God's blessing. But with the blessing came a command, follow God. Not even a year goes by and he is afraid of loosing power to Judah's king when the people travel there to worship at Jerusalem, so he makes golden calves as gods for the people to worship.
Into this come a man of God, he is not named, it is not important. He makes a prophecy to King Jeroboam about what will happen. As I tell my kids, he comes in, fires his guns and rides off into the sunset. And that would be a great story as the prophecy came true, but it does not end there. A old prophet hears of what happens and goes after the new prophet.
1Ki 13:14-24 ESV
(14) And he went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak. And he said to him, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?" And he said, "I am."
(15) Then he said to him, "Come home with me and eat bread."
(16) And he said, "I may not return with you, or go in with you, neither will I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place,
(17) for it was said to me by the word of the LORD, 'You shall neither eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by the way that you came.'"
This is the second time that he has said this. He knows that God told him to do this. It is clear to him.
(18) And he said to him, "I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water.'" But he lied to him.
Do you find it interesting that God spoke to the old prophet to tell him something but did not speak to new one. Very simple reason. The old one lied. Why? Who knows. Maybe he was jealous of what the the young man had done. Maybe he was disappointed in himself for not speaking against the king for the evil that was being done. But one thing is clear with what happens next.
(19) So he went back with him and ate bread in his house and drank water.
(20) And as they sat at the table, the word of the LORD came to the prophet who had brought him back.
(21) And he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, "Thus says the LORD, 'Because you have disobeyed the word of the LORD and have not kept the command that the LORD your God commanded you,
(22) but have come back and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to you, "Eat no bread and drink no water," your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.'"
(23) And after he had eaten bread and drunk, he saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back.
(24) And as he went away a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his body was thrown in the road, and the donkey stood beside it; the lion also stood beside the body.
First lesson here: when God speaks to you, do not let anyone else try to steal that vision from you. I speak from experience on that one. Other people can speak to you and say that they speak from God. If God is speaking to you, he will use another way to confirm it if someone else says they speak from God. Do not change your plans to God speaks to you.
Another less and one many would not notice, God can use people who are not 'good' Christians, ones who are worldly, who are not church attenders anymore, to speak. Notice the old prophet lied first, but then God used him to speak what would happen because of the new prophet's mistake. Do not throw out what a person says just because of their status with the Lord (or what you perceive that status to be).
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
June 13, 2007
Who do you take your council from? Who do you get your advice from? Rehoboam I am sure, wishes that he had taken advice from others in stead of the people he did. It resulted in a lot of problems.
1Ki 12:13-16 KJV
(13) And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him;
(14) And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
(15) Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake byAhijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
(16) So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.
It is too bad that he did not seek advice from the words of his father.
Pro 17:4 ESV
(4) An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
You see, wise council comes from wise people. If a plan seems to be harmful to others, it is probably not a good idea to do. Take your advice from people who who advise things that are not harmful.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
June 12, 2007
1Jn 1:6-7 KJV
(6) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
(7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
We cannot walk in God and His light and also walk in sin. It is just not possible. That is not to say that we will not sin, to say that will be a lie. We all will sin, what is being talked about here is when we sin continually doing the same thing over and over again. We can not do this. Over and over the same sin is done and over and over we say 'I am sorry' to God. This is the darkness that we are talking about. We cannot walk this way and be with God.
Only when we give up those sins, most of them of a secret nature, then we can walk in the light that is God and we can receive the blessings of God.
So do you have a secret sin to confess and stop doing? God is waiting for you if you are.
Monday, June 11, 2007
June 11, 2007
Sometimes I think that what God does is not fair. I mean why do bad things happen to good people? Let's look at what happened to people in the book of Acts.
Act 8:1 ESV
(1) And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Why did this happen to these people? Were they not Christians that were talking about God in Jerusalem?
It is really easy to blame God, but Ezekiel said it best when he said these words:
Eze 18:25 ESV
(25) "Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?
When we think God is unfair, we need to think again. What were the last words that Jesus said to these people being scattered? He told them to go in to "all the world". And here they were staying home! Next time it looks like God is persecuting you, you might want to see if you have something to get to doing.
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
Sunday, June 10, 2007
June 10, 2007
Pro 14:4 ESV
(4) Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
I have heard this verse many times as a joke verse to get a congregation to laugh. There is so much truth in it though. A stall will be clean when you do not have an animal in it. there will be no manure to clean and no food to get eaten by rodents and other animals. In truth, a clean stall is so nice.
The problem comes in there is no work being done if we have a clean stall. There is no animal out there doing work to bring in the increase in income. So if we want increase it comes at a cost.
Every day that I sit down to write these devotionals I look at an empty stall. It is very tempting to leave it clean. The word processor that I use has a nice blank open space for me to work from. If I type I will misspell things, maybe offend someone, who knows what will happen? In the end, that clean slate gets messed up. Words get moved around and things work out. In the end, God speaks to me even if He speaks to none of you. My stall is messed up. I learn. What stall do you need to dirty up a little today?
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Have you ever made plans? We all do. The thing is that we should never plan something and assume that because we know God, it will come to pass. A King of Israel had that problem one time.
2Ch 18:26-27 KJV
(26) And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace.
(27) And Micaiah said, If thou certainly return in peace, then hath not the LORD spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, all ye people.
In this case Israel's king was going to war with the King of Judah against a enemy of them both. Both of them knew God though Judah would have had a better history with that. The prophet of God was brought to them along with many false prophets. When Micaiah gave God's word, they would not listen and the King of Israel said the words shown above. Though I have not put the rest of the story here I am sure that you can guess it. The King of Israel never returned, he was killed in battle, even though he disguised himself and made the King of Judah the bigger target.
The moral? Better make sure that the plans that you have are the ones that God wants you to do.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Where is God
Sometimes I know myself that I feel that the world is against me. I feel that I am having to fight the situations all by myself. I have learned that is not true.
Jer 1:19 KJV
(19) And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.
God is with me in whatever goes wrong in my life. And even when I feel that it is going to whip me and put me down, I know that it will never be able to defeat me. The Lord is with me and nothing will prevail against me.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Faith can be a powerful force. The thing is to continue to use it even when it does not look like things will change. I can remember a story that Rev. Charles Capps used to tell. In it, a neighbor had to dig a foundation for the home he was building and had put a mountain of dirt at the side of his property, right outside Capps's window. He got upset about it, talked to the man, and nothing was done. Then one day, he read this verse:
Mat 21:21 KJV
(21) Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
So he spoke to the mountain to be picked up and to be moved away. Every day, for a few days he did this. Then one day, a big truck showed up, loaded that mountain of dirt up and drove off with it. You might say it was coincidence, or you might say it was faith. Either way, faith seemed to move that mountain.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
I have heard so many people say that if I could just see Pastor so and so that I could get healed. This would imply that a person could heal them. My Bible says that is not so.
Act 3:6 KJV
(6) Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
It was not the faith of the man, he had not heard of Jesus that we know of and the only faith that he had was for money. It was not Peter, he has no power in himself. But Peter himself says who it is. It is Jesus, and the use of that name that caused the miracle in the beggars life.
Act 3:7 KJV
(7) And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
You can use the Name of Jesus on yourself in what ever situation you are. When you do, it will require that you take action of some sort so that it shows that you have faith that it can be done.
This works in all areas, not just health.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Trust in God
Day to day life can get scary sometimes. In my own life, I have been unemployed recently. The prospect of a few weeks without income put me into a panic. Then, the truth of today's verse came through.
Psa 56:3 KJV
(3) What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
I have had more than before to trust in God. When I first heard of the layoff, I thought my income was gone. I teach part time so I would have some more income, but it only had a few students. My medical benefits were canceled.
Then I found out, I had severance pay. Income would continue. They were making preparations for me to take a different class that had more students. And even though I lost benefits, the state of Oklahoma where I live has a medical program for under-insured children and their parents.
I could panic, I could be afraid, or I could trust in God. I think trusting God was the better plan. What do you think?
Monday, June 4, 2007
God is the one who adds to the church. I can remember when I was a member of church that tried to grow from doing plans. We had to ask so many people to visit each week. We had plans to have dinners to ask people to so that we do not have to ask them to church. He even had us do a talent show. All of these were plans of men not of God.
Act 2:47 KJV
(47) Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
We as people can do nothing. We can listen to God and do as He wants us to, but when we try to do things in our own plans, they will never work.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Chance Bank runs adds on TV trying to tell us that there bank gives us Freedom when you use their credit card (never mind that it enslaves us to a debt system). Can we ever have true freedom? Yes we can.
2Co 3:17 ISV
(17) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord's Spirit is, there is freedom.
When we are where the Spirit of the Lord is, we are in freedom. This is not the freedom to change our credit card bonus from cash back to points when ever we want. This is different. We have freedom from what ever is binding us down. He may be an addiction that you have. It may be an attitude that says that you are not good enough to be anything. It may be any thing that chains you to a life of failure and defeat.
If you know Jesus as your savior, you have freedom. Now go and take it.
International Standard Version v1.2.2
Copyright © 1996-2001 The ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Do you think that you can see Jesus in every situation that He is present in your life? If so, do you think that you are better than those who knew Him in the flesh?
Joh 20:13-14 ALT
(13) And they say to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She says to them, "Because they took away my Lord, and I do not know where they put Him."
(14) And these things having said, she was turned to the [things] behind and sees Jesus having stood [there], but she did not know that it is Jesus.
The time is just after Jesus had died on the cross. Mary had led John and Peter to the tomb showing that Jesus had been taken. She was wrapped up in her grief in the situation. And Jesus talked to her. He asked her why she was crying. Though she had supped with her on numerous occasions, herd Him speak many times, she could not recognize His voice speaking to her in her grief.
Are you going some grief today? Do you think that you could hear God speaking to you while you are going through it? Would Jesus' voice ring out through your sorrow? If you are not going through grief today, maybe you need to practice talking to and listen for it. Even those who knew Jesus in the flesh had problems.
Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament of the Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1999-2001 by Gary F. Zeolla of Darkness to Light ministry (www.dtl.org). The ALT is available in hardcopy format from the publisher 1stBooks (www.1stbooks.com) and from conventional and online bookstores. For background information on the ALT, see www.dtl.org/alt/.
Friday, June 1, 2007
Don't Burn Up
Moses looked upon a burning bush one time. The bush did not burn. That bush represents you and me you know.
Act 7:30-31 BBE
(30) At the end of forty years, an angel came to him in the waste land of Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn-tree.
(31) And Moses, seeing it, was full of wonder, and when he came up to have a nearer view of it, the voice of the Lord came to him, saying,
You see, there are going to be times of fire, trials that come to us. There is one thing to realize in all of this. That fire, and God's voice spoke from that fire so it must be from God, neverconsumed the bush. Whatever trials and tribulations you may be going through, remember one thing, you will not be consumed either. When you get through with the burning, you will be better fit for what God has planned for your life today.