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Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Let the Older Teach the Younger, A Thought on Our Divisions…

I know it’s been awhile since my last post. I was sharing this thought this morning with some friends and brothers in Christ and the Lord has really laid it on my heart so I thought I’d blog it!  So here it goes…

“That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
‭Titus 2:2-8 KJV‬

We’ve reached a time similar to what Isaiah spoke of when he said, “…the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.” Isaiah ‭3:5‬ ‭KJV. I think in some ways our churches have contributed to us/them mentality by separating out our youth, creating a division that can lead to the idea, if we’re not careful, t‬hat they need something more modern and up to date, on their level than the Bible and they need younger folks to teach them. Paul however has a different take.

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Cleaning Up Our House

Magic_Broom

It has been awhile since my last post.  It may be a while yet before my next.  I am going through a valley right now and covet the prayers of those who know Christ.  Here is a word that was upon my heart today.  May it be food for thought…

For those of us who still long to see a real movement of God, there is a major problem which exists in many churches and amongst Christians in general that is holding back the healing rain of the Spirit we so desire. Sin in the camp. In our present age, we hear people beat the drum within Christian and secular society saying, “We shouldn’t judge!” The problem is that it is almost always taken out of context and is the very thing that has allowed sin to be in our midst amongst churches. In the Old Testament, we are all familiar with how God brought down the walls of Jericho. And some of us may even remember how a man named Achan hid a wedge of gold and a Babylonianish garment under his tent. No one knew except God and Achan. However, when Israel went to defeat the next town, Ai, they lost and many of their men were killed. Joshua began to pray, wondering why God had not been in their midst fighting their battles. “And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.” (Josua 7:10-12) Notice the Lord says “Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.”
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And They Rose Up to Play…

Adoration of the Golden Calf Andrea di Lione, artist

I Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

This Sunday morning, referred to as the Lord’s day in Revelation 1:10, will unfortunately be a time when many who call Him ‘Lord, Lord’ forsake His altar and instead, like the children of Israel at the base of Sinai, will rise up to worship the golden calf gods of this world ie. the beach, the lake, the ball field. They will, like Paul says here, rise up to play.

Would to God they showed as much devotion to the one they have been known to call ‘Lord’.  Many Christians have supposed in this day and age, possibly due to the humanistic style of gospel preaching and teaching, that their happiness is paramount in God’s eyes and that, as long as they ‘love’ the Lord, they can do what makes them happy.  Faithfulness in their intentions rather than actions is considered sufficient.  They suppose that being faithful to God’s house is not as important as being faithful to tell others they love the Lord and His church.  Many have supposed that being a faithful servant or bearing the disciple’s cross is archaic and no longer required of the modern American Christian.  Why is this?  Why, my friends, would you suppose that when we have scriptural evidence to the contrary?  Take Luke’s gospel for instance: Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Have You Died Yet?

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Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

The modern social gospel being promoted across the land in many churches today speaks of a religion that has no costs, brings no change, and seems to give all glory to the wrong party… us.  In fact, to hear most Christians discuss styles of worship, contemporary or traditional, you would think that worship itself was for the sole benefit of man.  The humanism that has crept into the contemporary sermons, has led many a lost soul to believe that they need only to believe and they have their ticket punched for glory.  Most then fall well short of what the apostle Paul called the ‘new creature in Christ Jesus’.

Why is this so?  It goes all the way back to the Old Testament.  Many of our gospel songs speak of crossing the Jordan River as though it was the passage from life on earth to life in eternity in heaven.  This is flawed because unlike Canaan, Heaven doesn’t have enemies to be destroyed.  Rather, the crossing of the Jordan River in the book of Joshua more aptly typifies our passage from the death of sin to the newness of life in Christ Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Latrine Duty – Nehemiah 2:7 – 4:6

Introduction

Where in the world would you get a lesson title of “Latrine Duty” out of the bible?  I’ll answer that a little later.

One of my favorite movies of all time is “No time for Sergeants – Warner Brothers 1958” starring the late Andy Griffith.  In the movie Will Stockdale was given the post of “Permanent Latrine Orderly” by his drill Sergeant.  The Sergeant thought Will, played by Andy Griffith, was a country bumpkin and assigned the job with the intent of making fun of him.

Latrine Duty

Will accepted the assignment and took pride in his work.  Ultimately the scheme backfired on the Sergeant when the commanding officer found out.

The question posed by the movie was “how could a person accept such a loathsome job, perform the work with passion and take pride in the accomplishment?” As it turns out we have a bible account closely related to the job Will Stockdale received. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Our Highest Priority – Nehemiah 1:1 – 2:8

Introduction

Today in our study we will be in the book of Nehemiah.  Contained within our scripture text is a man who found God’s highest priority for his life.  We will never be at peace unless we live in God’s highest priority for our life.

Let’s start with a quick history lesson.  As the book of Nehemiah opens it has been 90 plus years since King Cyrus made the original decree allowing the children of Israel to leave the land of their captivity and return to their home land.  The book of Ezra records that only a fraction of the children of Israel heeded the call, 42,360, and were led by a man named Zerubbabel. Upon their arrival they went right to work restoring the altar and laying the foundation for the temple walls.  When God’s people get serious about serving and honoring God it is only a matter of time before Satan comes calling.  The neighboring communities, stirred up by Satan, assemble the lawyers and went to work trying to stop the children of Israel from building the Temple.  A temporary injunction was obtained and the work stopped. Ultimately a search of the official records was performed and the original decree from Cyrus was found granting permission for Israel to go and rebuild.  Well great, the good guys win! While it is true the injunction was overturned the children of Israel became their own worst enemy.  The prophet Haggai informs us the people put themselves first and God was offered leftovers.  Poor choices allowed the work of God to languish for many years leading up to the scripture text in Nehemiah.  People lived and died around them never knowing the one true God because Israel was busy collecting this world’s goods. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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“I have written to him the great things of my law; but they were counted as a strange thing.”–Hosea 8:12

BiblesRUs

There are over 400 different versions and paraphrases of all or part of the the Bible in the English language today. Some think this is a positive development, but I think it has served to create confusion as to which represents the true word of God. The devil is the author of confusion… 1Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” The production of so many different versions and paraphrases has also led to a culture within modern Christendom of ‘tailored’ Bibles. In other words, man is searching for something to worship that he has control over. This is part of our sinful nature and is not too different from the pagans in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 10:2-5), or even today in foreign lands, who go into the woods, cut down a tree, and carve themselves a god to worship. These efforts by publishers to produce ‘Bibles’ tailored to particular audiences are also copied by many churches who, worshiping the ‘god of growth’, tailor music, sermons, and services to the tastes of the world in an effort to be ‘seeker friendly’.

All of these things are, in essence, putting the cart before the proverbial horse. First, Christ told us in John 3 that man loves darkness rather than light. Our sinful nature would rather the truth bend to our will than the other way around. Second, the apostle Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Paul was explaining that the unsaved man cannot understand God’s word and that it is foolish to him. Fallen man, since the tower of Babel, has been trying to reach heaven on his own efforts or works, to justify himself. But God has preserved His word and we should seek for the truth, not for a version of the truth which will justify our lives. For that kind of ‘truth’ is not truth. The only way we can know justification is for Jesus Christ to save us. Then we will know the truth and the truth will make us free.

Charles Spurgeon said it best, “Strange that there should be men so vile as to use the penknife of Jehoiakim to cut passages out of the word, because they are unpalatable. O ye who dislike certain portions of Holy Writ, rest assured that your taste is corrupt, and that God will not stay for your little opinion. Your dislike is the very reason why God wrote it, because you ought not to be suited; you have no right to be pleased. God wrote what you do not like; he wrote the truth. Oh! let us bend in reverence before it, for God inspired it. It is pure truth. Here from this fountain gushes aqua vitae–the water of life–without a single particle of earth; here from this sun cometh forth rays of radiance, without the mixture of darkness. Blessed Bible! thou art all truth.” (from the sermon ‘The Bible’ delivered Sunday evening March 18, 1855)

“I have written to him the great things of my law; but they were counted as a strange thing.”–Hosea 8:12

Think on these things …

 

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“They feared the LORD, and served their own gods…”

In II Kings 17 we have the record of the ten northern tribes of Israel being carried away captive by Shalmaneser king of Assyria.  It was the Assyrian way to remove a majority of the conquered people and to place Assyrian colonists in the lands they conquered.  When the colonists in this case moved into the land, bad things began to happen to them as the Lord sent lions among them to devour them because they didn’t fear Him.  So the king of Assyria sent one of the priests of Israel back to the land to teach them how they should fear God.  This was basically the blind leading the blind however since when the Israelites had lived there they didn’t live right either.  Before being led away into captivity, the northern tribes had become very idolatrous.  Now this priest has gone back to teach the heathen how to fear God…  Well this passage goes on to indicate that they learned how to ‘fear’ God but they continued to serve their own gods.  The men from Babylon worshiped Succothbenoth, the men of Cuth worshiped Nergal, the men of Hamath served Ashima, the Avites served Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.  This last thing was particularly troubling.  Their worship involved human sacrifice of their own children in order to have a hope of higher status among society ie. “the pride of life”.

“Well what has this got to do with us today?” you might say… My friend here in America we who call ourselves Christians are like these Assyrians. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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When the Light of the world came to decorate the greatest Christmas Tree…

Luke 2:1-14 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.  2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)  5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

This peace is not ‘world peace’ that everyone including Miss America contestants always say they want, but rather the multitude of angels were declaring that God has now sent His son to accomplish peace between God and His enemy… us. He sent His Son to die while we were yet His enemies so that there might be, for the first time since the garden of Eden, peace and good will toward men who believe. He sent the Light of the World to decorate the greatest Christmas tree ever in order to grant we who believe everlasting life and peace through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

THINK ON THESE THINGS… (and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!)

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The Wise Still Seek Him

wise-men

Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Matthew sets forth an historical account of the visit of the wise men here in chapter two.  Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the king, or Herod the Great.  Herod was the son of Antipater, an Idumean or Edomite.  In other words, Herod was a descendant of Esau and since he was elected king of Judaea in 40-39 B.C. by the Roman senate most orthodox Jews didn’t consider him Jewish.  In fact, he was a very cruel king who by this time had exiled his first wife Doris and killed his second wife Miriamne I due to his jealousy.  He had also killed Miriamne’s mother Alexandra and his two sons by Miriamne I for suspected treason.  He also ended up five days before his own painful death, killing his firstborn son Antipater II.  He was considered by this time to be very suspicious and paranoid by this time of anything that might be a threat against his rule. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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