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Are You Acridophobic? – Ecclesiastes 12:5, Daniel Chapters 1-5

Introduction

The Preacher who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes ended his writings with a grim reminder of our mortality. Chapter 12 refers to our senior years as “evil days”.  The Preacher is so encouraging as he reminds us of what awaits; diminished eyesight, weak bones, curved spines, losing teeth, having trouble sleeping and loss of hearing.

Our lesson title comes from verse 5 which talks about various fears.  Midway through the verse the Preacher uses grasshoppers to illustrate how small things can become a very big deal.  What was once considered little things now become a fear or burden.  By the way, Acridophobia is the fear of grasshoppers.

In this lesson I want to confront the realities of our mortality, understand it and know that God can use anyone of any age to fulfill His purposes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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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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The Day God Ran Out of Patience

Judges 10 – 12:7

Introduction
If you are familiar with the book of Judges there is a repeating theme: Israel does evil, God becomes angry, they are oppressed, they cry to God and God raises up a deliverer.  Our lesson subject today follows this pattern but this time there is a new wrinkle.

In chapter 10:6 Israel drifts away from God to act like the world around them.  In this case, at this point in time, it was worshipping the false gods of Baal and Ashtaroth to name a couple.  If we can set aside the specific sin and see it generally as acting like everyone else around them I believe we would be better served.  When we think of them bowing down to a stone or wood image we tend to think of it as not applicable to us whereas when we substitute the specific act with wanting to fit in then it applies to us today.  We can all relate to the drawing power Satan has against us to fit in.  The specifics of those temptations are different but the basic temptation is the same, wanting to act like, and fitting in with, the world. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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No Revival without Reformation

The following is an excerpt written by A.W. Tozer which I shared with a few men of God a while back but felt led to share with you all now. It sums up what is truly the dire need of today among Christians.

No Revival without Reformation – A.W. Tozer

“WHEREVER Christians meet these days one word is sure to be heard constantly repeated; that word is revival. In sermon, song and prayer we are forever reminding the Lord and each other that what we must have to solve all our spiritual problems is It “mighty, old-time revival.” The religious press, too, has largely gone over to the proposition that revival is the one great need of the hour, and anyone who is capable of preparing a brief for revival is sure to find many editors who will publish it…

…I believe that the imperative need of the day is not simply revival, but a radical reformation that will go to the root of our moral and spiritual maladies and deal with causes rather than with consequences, with the disease rather than with symptoms. It is my considered opinion that under the present circumstances we do not want revival at all. A widespread revival of the kind of Christianity we know today in America might prove to be a moral tragedy from which we would not recover in a hundred years. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Is This All There Is? Is there nothing more?

Ecclesiastes 2:11

Introduction
Have you come to a point in your life when you are asking “Is this all there is?” “Is there nothing more?” A very rich and powerful king asked the same questions and recorded his pursuits for our reading. This man’s vast wealth allowed him to try anything his heart desired in his quest for the meaning of life. I hope you will join me as we look in on his journey to the meaning of life.

What we find in the book of Ecclesiastes is not God’s conclusions but rather man’s conclusions about the vanity of life when God is not the driving force. I am going to spill the beans a bit and let you in on the main theme…Life without a relationship with God is empty.

What do we really want out of life? I suspect I would get many answers to this question but they usually boil down to a few things: we want to feel secure, we want a purpose, we want to be happy and we want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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The Cain Mutiny – Genesis 4:1-16

Introduction

Our lesson title comes from a book by Herman Wouk, published in 1951, chronicling the mutiny aboard the USS Caine, a Navy minesweeper in the Pacific during WWII.  This is not to be confused with Mutiny on the Bounty with Mr. Christian and Captain Bligh.

As you might expect we will not be arguing the merits of Captain Philip Francis Queeg or the actions taken by Steve Maryk.  We will be examining a mutiny of sorts that took place by Cain, son of Adam and Eve. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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A Sin Autopsy – Genesis 3:1-24

Introduction
When we hear the word autopsy we think of one thing, examining a body, internal and external, to answer one or more questions: how did they die, when did death occur, etc.  If you look the word up Merriam-Webster agrees and lists this as the 1st definition.  The second definition reads as follows…” a critical examination, evaluation, or assessment of someone or something past”.  What we are going to do today is more closely related to definition number two.

The thought of watching an autopsy, definition number one, would not be a pleasant thing.  An autopsy of sin isn’t going to be pretty either.  We know that sin has consequences. Unfortunately we have made bad choices and suffered the consequences for it.  In our critical examination we want to answer some questions as well: What was the sin, who did it, why did they do it and what were the consequences?  Our “something past” occurs all the way back in Genesis chapter three. The bible describes a temptation, the choice that was made and the consequences for that choice. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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The Greatest Commandment – Mark 12:29-30

I have a brother in Christ who not only loves the Lord, but also loves His word as well.  The Lord has given him several good studies and he wanted to share some of them.  He wishes to remain anonymous as he desires all credit and therefore glory to be given to the Lord.  So starting tonight, I will from time to time post some of his lessons and studies under the name ‘The Servant’.  Both he and I pray that these will be a blessing to the reader and covet your prayers.  Tonight’s post, ‘The Greatest Commandment’, marks the first of what will be many posts from The Servant, good Lord willing.

Jesus was asked about the first or greatest commandment; unfortunately the Scribe’s motive was not pure but Jesus answered him anyway.  What Jesus says next is the crown jewel of Christian maturity.  Mark 12:29-30  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 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. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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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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