Saturday, May 31, 2014
Friday, May 30, 2014
Was the One Year Bible inspired by God so we could read these stories side by side? Our reading in the Old Testament is about David being told by Ziba that Mephibosheth has turned on David. You can imagine how much this hurt David to hear this news from Ziba, that the one who he extended his arm too, the man who said to David "why do you take interest in a dog like me", this man Mephibosheth, that David cleaned up, gave him his inheritance from his grandfather Saul, made him a member of his own household and had Mephibosheth sit as this table to eat with him, a King. David is thinking his charity, mercy and grace has all been in vain and in a time when his own son has turned on him, this is just more bad news. David tells Ziba, "all that was Mephibosheth's is now yours!" This is exactly what Ziba wanted. However, as we come to find out later, this was all a deception, Ziba was very impure in his motives and I find it interesting, that we read in Psalm 119 today, about how much David hates falsehood. David writes, "I hate those with divided loyalties". Jesus teaches in "The Beatitudes" about "the pure in heart" and Jesus is not speaking about sexual purity, Jesus is speaking about falsehood, Jesus is speaking about people who say one thing, but their intent is something completely different. The Beatitudes is Jesus getting to the deep core issues of what a Christian is, below, deep below, the surface. Much of the drama that we experience in our relationships, inside the Church too, is because people are speaking words, with an intent to deceive, with an intent to get someone on their side, with an intent, to get someone upset at someone else, with an intent to hurt that person, with an intent to stir strife. Ziba's whole conversation with David has been well concocted by Ziba. In the eyes of David the conversation is an impromptu, but to Ziba, every word he is speaking has been well thought over, to get an intended result. The result Ziba is looking for is to turn David against Mephibosheth, to get David on his side and get his master's inheritance. David is the victim of Ziba's well crafted act. How many of us have fallen prey to other people's well crafted acts and have been manipulated into doing things and saying things, that we were set up for. David falls for Ziba's ploy, "everything I gave to Mephibosheth is now yours". David will have to go back later an undo this statement as bad as it may make him look.The lesson we need to learn here, is not everyone says what they mean and means what they say, Christians included! We are not all Pure in Heart. Christians have done away with allot of the superficial sins, but some of the deeper sins, the ones that nobody can detect, but Jesus, still are very active and this is why Jesus says, "you must be pure in heart" this is why David says, " I hate those that are false, I hate those that have divided loyalties" because he has experienced himself, the hurt and the damage that is caused by people who practice such. Today, we have the unusual opportunity to read about David being conned by falsehood and we have the opportunity, to also read about David's thoughts towards such people and actions and can now fully understand why he wrote, what he wrote in Psalm 119. Chances are, sooner or later, you will be tempted to premeditate what and how you're going to say something to try to get an intended outcome (we are all masters at this) and/or answer and when you are faced with that temptation, remember the words of David, remember the damage it does and remember the offense you will bring to Jesus, "Blessed are the Pure in Heart, for THEY will see God", where does that leave you?
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Coincidence or not, you tell me; that the day after we finish reading about David’s transgression with Bathsheba, do we read about David’s son’s transgression with Tamar. David Looked upon Bathsheba with raging lust and had to have her. David inquiries to find out who she is and when he is told it is Uriah’s wife, one of his soldiers, he still persists to sleep with her. Bathsheba was married and not only married, but married to one of his soldiers that was fighting in a war, that David should have been fighting. While David’s soldier is risking his life on the battle field, David is at home having sex with his wife. This is the stuff movies are made up of, but yet this is true life. Why did David do this? According to David, “he could not resist her”, she was too beautiful. Fast forward a few years down the road and we have Amnon, saying those same words about his half sister Tamar, who apparently, was strikingly beautiful, as was Bathsheba. Amnon cannot deprive himself from her, thought he has many reasons he should deprive himself of her, just like his father had many reasons of depriving himself of Bathsheba, but like his Father David, Amnon has to have her. And you will notice that although the Bible says that David was angry, David never deals with his son about his wanton lust, after all, what is he to say to his son that his son won’t immediately lash back out as his father, “you hypocrite, you committed adultery, murdered a man and then took his wife and you are going to sit here and lecture me on my wanton lusts?” This is not something David wants to deal with and so he doesn’t. David lets the transgression go unpunished and many are not happy with that, first and foremost, Tamar’s brother, Absalom. Absalom eventually takes matters into his own hands, since David will not judge rightly, and Absalom plans and ambush for Amnon and strikes him down dead. Did David have any forethought to any of this before committing this great sin with Bathsheba, ….the answer is NO. However, we should know better, we who study the Bible and now have God’s Word to study; we have plenty of warning and wisdom that can guide us through life and save us from royally messing up not only our lives but the lives of our children and our children’s children. Your sins, your wanton lusts, your fleshly appetites, your hypocrisy, “we know now” will effect your life and the lives of your descendants and if you will not hold back for your own sake, then next time you are tempted, think twice, think about the effect your sins will have upon your children and may that stop you if nothing else does.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Friday, May 23, 2014
Thursday, May 22, 2014
The Voice was for you! “the wow effect” is normally for the crowd that you don’t want to be identified with. Jesus is quick to tell them, “the whole voice thing, that was for you…not for me”. We would say, “You mean that’s not the way it normally is? God’s not always talking to you in an audible voice?” Jesus’ answer would be, “no, that’s
Whoever thinks all day long, “I must breathe, I must breathe” we only think like that when there is a “breathing problem”, but when things are right, it’s natural. So how did God, the Father speak to Jesus? The same way He speaks to those today who are truly spiritual, He speaks to us not in an audible voice, but speaks to us internally and yet His voice comes through loud and clear, as if it were audible. The only voice these people could here from God was an Audible Voice, because only people with a relationship with God, with the Holy Spirit, can hear from God from the inside, “For in Him and through Him, we have our being”.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Without trying to be "melodramatic" this is a Life Changing event for David. David is set to go to war against Israel. However, in God's Grace, Mercy and Providence He prevents David from making probably the worse decision of his life (aside from Bathsheba & Uriah). It is a "Pivotal Moment" in David's life and God is behind it all orchestrating. God is the Master Orchestrator! Not only does David not go to war against Israel, but when he returns to Ziklag he finds that Ziklag has been raided and his family and the family of his men are taken captive. The scripture indicates that his own men are getting ready to turn on David and stone him. At this moment David decides to seek God, the God of Israel, that is! The scripture says, "David encouraged himself in the Lord, at Ziklag!" Had David gone to fight in the battle against Israel, he would never have been back at Ziklag, desperate, seeking his God and getting reconciled/right with the God of Israel. As we read on about the War with the Israelites, we come to find out, that in this very War, that David wanted to fight in, against the Israelites, that Saul is Killed. Thence, David becomes King of Israel. However, how would it have ended if David had been allowed to go fight, with the Philistines, against Israel and Saul had been killed in that war, by the Philistines, aided by David himself? How would destiny have worked out for David then? Each one of us will have pivotal moments in our life, in which we desperately hope and pray that God steers us away or in the right direction, when those moments come. They are life changing and destiny altering. This story also reveals to us, that God can work with someone who is messed up in his head, but still has a right heart. This whole idea that David has to fight with Israel reveals how messed up David is in his head. He's been hurt, wounded and is in spiritual turmoil, read the Psalms he wrote during this season in his life! But as screwed up as David is in his head, his heart remains in tact and God can work with that. Although we are not God and cannot fully understand what is taking place inside of man, it would be wise at times, to make this distinction before we write people off. The question to ask or to try to discern is, "are they just messed up in their heads right now because of what they've gone through" or "has their heart gone bad?". In our reading today, we read about David coming inches away from sealing away any opportunity to ever become King of Israel. The hope that we can have is that even in our worse moments, when we are getting ready to mess up our lives and mess up our destinies, if our hearts are right, God is still faithful and able to steer us away from harm and right into the very center, of his will for our lives.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Monday, May 19, 2014
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Thursday, May 15, 2014
“You will die in your sins” I have heard that mentioned in many altar calls and one on one witnessing but never quite heard it from Jesus, even though I’ve read over this passage, many times. I looked it up in the King James Translation and there too, it is written, “you will die in your sins”. Dieing in your sins….as apposed to……dieing outside of your sin? We understand what Jesus means, but do they? Do the people we work with, live with and go to school with? “To die in your sin”, is not a verse of forgiveness. First thing we would say to explain Jesus’ phrase here is, “well basically it means that if you die unforgiven, you will not make Heaven your home”. Sorry, not the right interpretation! This verse has nothing to do with forgiveness, it has to do exactly with what is mentioned, ‘in sin” as apposed to “out of sin”. “If you die in your sin”.
One of the most popular message Christians preach is God forgiveness, but an equally important message is that God has come to get you “out of your sin”. If you were to ask my father if he felt forgiven, his religion would have taught him to easily respond, “yes” but yet he still died an alcoholic, with 3 ravaged marriages and children all over the State of
California. Many people claim forgiveness, many people claim
God’s Grace, but yet are still in their sin. Make no mistake, it is easier for
the drunk to believe that God forgives him, than to believe that God can
deliver him. Alcoholics Anonymous is filled with “so called” Christians that
believe they are forgiven by God, who believe in a “Higher Power” while at the
same time believing they are still alcoholics. They can believe God to forgive
him, because that’s easy, how can we put a finger on that? Fogiven….I guess I
am? It’s very subjective, but deliverance is not subjective, it’s objective,
you either “is” or you “aint” you either are in your sin or out of your sin!
Well how do I get out of my sin? Jesus has the answer for that in the text, “believe in Him”. See this is true belief! The Bible declares that many in the last days will acknowledge God but deny Him His power. Well, you can’t have both. You can’t believe in God and then deny Him His power. You can’t believe God to forgive you, but not believe in God to be able to set you free. Thence, this verse today is about dieing in our sin. Well, I may die immoral, I may die a drunk, I may die bound in pornography, but at least I’m forgiven, ie: I am going to Heaven. If you believe this you are deluded in your thinking. Forgiveness and deliverance go hand in hand. Jesus comes to bring deliverance and forgiveness together. Because if there is no deliverance, there can be no forgiveness because how can there be forgiveness if you keep repeating the sin? That’s why Jesus offers forgiveness and deliverance. God would not call us “to repent” if He was not able to offer us the deliverance. The call to repent would merely be a cruel tease to humanity. However, this is not the case. Many people have peace about their sin because of the doctrine of God’s Grace & Forgiveness, but yet, if we die in our sin, we are eternally loss. So today, let’s not asks ourselves, “am I forgiven” let’s ask ourselves “am I in my sin” and the answer to that, will answer the other question, “do you believe in Him who was sent by The Father?” You do? Then why are you still in your sin and why is Jesus telling these men that they are going to die in their sin?
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
I don't know maybe it's just me, but I can relate to Saul in this story. I possess all the negative traits that Saul displays in this text, how about you? We are all prone, if we will be honest, to selective listening and partial obedience. Authority, Headship, they are not merely there for "window dressing" as the expression goes. We can become too familiar with authority and become wise in our own eyes, as the years pass on. Never would Saul have argued with Samuel, in the beginning! Never! And never would Saul have thought that "Samuel's way was 100% percent, the best way!". Saul is even at the point where he begins to argue with Samuel, "that He did do what He was told" and what Saul is really saying here is "I did do what I was told, that was utmost necessary, at least in my opinion. I defeated the Amalekites. The rest, about not keeping the plunder, killing everyone, not so sure about that, to be honest". How many times have I been given explicit instructions on what to do and then I filtered through those instructions and weeded out what I may not have necessarily agreed with; and followed through on the rest. As a Leader, I myself find it very frustrating when I give explicit directions to someone only to have them listen and obey to the parts they felt most important and leave the rest undone or done, but done differently that my instructions. It seems the longer we are around The Church & Ministry, the more likely we are to become "wise in our own eyes". It's not the young Christians arguing with the Pastor or causing church splits, it's the Christians that have been around now for a while and now know a thing or two. That same Pastor/Leader that we used to think was the wisest man in the world, now that same man, is not so wise in our eyes and we, of course, have become much wiser. If we will be honest, it is hard to fully (100%) listen to another man, once we have been around for a while. We, over the years become more confident and secure in ourselves, form our own opinions, have our own ideas and when we are now told to do something, in a way that we don't necessarily agree with, it is hard to fully obey. Early on, the thought of not agreeing, was not a thought! Now, as the years go by, it is actually quite common. So what do you do? Saul does as we would have done, he does what is for sure, the main instruction, "destroy the Amalekites" and picks and chooses the rest of what he will follow according to his own opinion. "Obviously destroy the Amalekites, I agree with that, by why kill all the cattle & sheep, that makes no sense, and why kill the King, that makes no sense either, it would make much more sense to bring the King back; alive, as a trophy". And had Saul brought these different view points to Samuel, and asked Samuel why, Samuel would have said, "because I say so, that's why! Is that good enough for you, Saul?" And of course Saul's answer would have been "it used to be good enough, when I was younger, but no, that's not good enough anymore!". Now I/we need an explanation and I/we need an explanation I/we agree with if I will obey". And that pretty much wraps it up right there, that is where most of us live, if we will be honest. Doesn't mean it's right (and we know it's not), doesn't mean it's excusable or we should accept it in ourselves, but that's where most of us live. Every day, we must make a conscientious effort to obey our employers, Pastor's and Leaders. Of course we don't obey if it goes against God's Word or is dishonest, immoral etc......but disobeying, because it's not how you would do it or because you have a different opinion is wrong. Basically at the root of all this is Rebellion. The man or woman that states that he/she has no problem with rebellion is the biggest rebel in the room. We all struggle with selective listening and selective obedience, not just Saul. The problem is, the higher we are in leadership and responsibility, the graver the consequences when we don't fully obey instructions. Try to make it a point, as a subordinate, a disciple, an employee, layman, whether at work, at home or at church, to make it a point to fully obey, with no reservations (unless of course it's unethical, immoral, etc..etc..) and what a blessing you will be, to your Employer, your Pastor, your wife, your husband, your church,.........what a blessing you will be TO GOD!
Monday, May 12, 2014
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Friday, May 9, 2014
You would think that in the first instance where they put the Ark of God in the house of Dagon and twice found the "Supposed" god Dagon, fallen of his face and broken up that they would have realized that their god was nothing more than an idol, but the God of Israel was the true and the living God, but these people are dagon stupid! (punn intended). They can't put 1+1 together to equal 2. Or maybe they're not stupid and they just don't care. Quite often we give people the benefit of thinking "they care" about the truth, about what's wrong and what's right and if we could only prove to them, somehow show them then they would believe, repent and come to church with you and be forever more, your new Christian BFFL. In our text is all the evidence we would ever pray or want for our friends or relatives to see, but yet in our text we do not read about one person converting over to the God of Israel all we read about is the people not wanting him around. Isn't this what happened to Jesus. They wanted miracles He gave them miracles. They wanted healing, He gave them healing, in the end, when He had showed them all the proof they would ever need, first they sent Him away and when He came back, they crucified Him. No doubt there are a few truth seekers out there, there are some that if they were to hear, know and perceive the Truth, they would turn and you are probably one of those. However, you cannot assume that just because your ignorance kept you in the dark, that that is the case for all. You cannot give everyone the benefit of assuming they sin because "they just don't know" and you would pray "oh Lord, if you would just show yourself real to them they would turn" well He has, many times, even before you came to know them, He had and yet they still have not turned, they would rather send him away. In our story today, we learn # 1. That people can be dagon (pun intended) stupid, in the midst of great miracles, still not get it and # 2. We learn that some folks simply don't care about what's true and what's false, they are perfectly content with their sin and their false religion and you could show them all the proof in the world and they would not change.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
"And Samuel, the boy grew in stature and favor, with both God and Man". I have always been a big fan of this scripture and have prayed this over my life and my son's life, very often. The truth is we don't all have to be hated because we are Christians. Yes, we will always have our enemies, but God's scripture teaches that while we will have enemies, we can also have favor with men and that favor comes from God as we are rightly related to Him . What is interesting is that this scripture comes in the midst of a horrific description of Eli's sons, sleeping with women at the Temple. These boys, Hophni and Phineas as some bad, bad boys. To make matters worse, they are the Pastor's sons, so to speak. They are Eli's sons, the Priest, the Priest that Samuel is under. Samuel has been growing up under Eli, with his sons, his whole life. It would have been so easy for Samuel to think, "well if this is how Eli's sons behave, then it must be okay, after all, they are the sons of Eli and they are involved in high level ministry in the Church. The lesson is, we can be living in the midst of corruption, perversion and immorality and yet still be living clean and not allowing those ungodly influences to affect the way we serve God. The lesson to learn is that we are not justified in using "our supposed examples" as a reason to sin ourselves. The lesson to learn is that in the midst of corruption, hypocrisy and scandalous living, we ourselves, can be rising up in the midst of a group of Christians that are falling and going nowhere but down. The Law of Life, at least in God's Kingdom, is that while others may be falling, we can be rising. While other's are coming to ruin, we are entering into God's blessings. Make no mistake, that the scripture about a man "growing in favor and stature with both God and Man" is slipped in, right between two other verses about scandalous and lewd behavior and judgement to come, but yet God in his wisdom, slips in a scripture, right in the middle of that........in the middle of corruption, perversion and immorality, we can still be growing in stature and favor with both God and Man. And the secret, later on we read, "that Samuel, let none of God's word, fall to the ground". Samuel may not have had the example he needed, but Samuel had God's word and God's example in His Word and the scripture tells us, "he held to those words" and that was what sustained him. This scripture in today's reading is so relevant to us today. These are the times we live in. It's all about perversion & sexual immorality, outside the church (of course) but sometimes inside the church too, but we know now, that in the midst of corruption and hypocrisy, we can be growing, in favor, with both God and Man, and while others are falling, we are rising!