Archive for September, 2020

A Word to the Wise

9-28-2020 – A Word to the Wise – Recently I have been listening to the ESV Bible on Audible. The book of Psalms, more lately, and discovered that hearing the Psalms particularly the passages from the lips of King David, about the utter despair he felt about the criticism from his enemies. How it parallels how President Trump must feel. For no matter where he turns he hears the most vile accusations.

It makes no difference which person you will vote for, do not assail the opponent. The most important thing is the commands of the Bible and not to speak evil of authorities. Somehow that lesson is ignored but the consequences will be the same. If one cannot honor a God given position then I assure you that anytime you are in a position of authority the Lord will see what you experience is the very same abuse you give out. The book of James makes it clear the tongue is an organ set on fire by hell. James goes on to say do not speak evil against one another he that speaks evil or judges speaks evil against the law.

Read Full Post »

A Word to the Wise

9-23-2020 – A Word to the Wise – Somethings are worth repeating. This is one of those things. I think our relationship with the Lord is important. How he thinks of us is important at least to me. So who

Who Did Jesus not Like

Most of us feel loved by the Lord. We have been taught all of our lives “For God so loved the world…. Yet I firmly believe there is a difference in being loved by the Lord and being liked by the Lord.

Even among the apostles there were those singled out for a special relationship. This is seen in the events surrounding the Transfiguration and then again in the Garden before His death. There are some in scripture who befriend Jesus. John at Jesus death the women who provided for His ministry are but a few.

It is obvious that there are those who Jesus forms bonds with, those He is fond of. His family members were not a part of this group. In fact they are often at odds with Jesus and His ministry. There are others as well.

In John 5 we meet a man who Jesus heals then singles out for a later admonition. In verse 14 Jesus warns the man not to return to his sinful behavior or he will be worse off. The man then turns and betrays Jesus to His enemies. I doubt Jesus liked the man…He loved him, used His power to heal him, yet Jesus is not fond of the man.

In contrast John 9 gives us another personal encounter. Jesus heals the man and goes on His way. Subsequently the man is challenged and ridiculed by the Pharisees. Jesus makes a special effort to find the man and talk to him. There is a bond between the two.

The healing of the demoniac reveals this same type of encounter between Jesus and another person.

These few form quick and long lasting bonds with the Lord.

The enemies of Jesus, though He died for them, it is evident that He did not like them. I suspect in our time the same may be true. Those the Lord loves are many those He likes are few. Which are you?

Read Full Post »

A Word to the Wise

9-17-2020 A Word to the Wise – In every major engagement in the battles of the Bible God expects His army to chase the enemy from the battlefield and to keep on until they quit. The enemy is to be destroyed. Not bargained with. Not preserved. Not the subject of treaties. The battles of Joshua and Judges emphatically teach these principle. Pursue the enemy until you physically drop until you can no longer lift your weapon. Give no refuge to the enemy. Chase him until he has nowhere to go then destroy him.

We are entered into an important engagement. Set before us are moral choices that will determine the future for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We cannot depend on others to teach our children morals, ethics, or respect for our government, teachers, elders, spouses and those in authority. Those responsibilities fall on our shoulders

Moses makes a couple of statements in Deuteronomy which are just as important for us today as it was for God’s people 3500 years ago listen to them:

See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ 7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? 8 And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?

Then Moses speaking for the Lord tells us how this is to be accomplished:

The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[b] 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

It is our failure today to follow this in our daily lives, and those of our children that result in the predicaments of the day.

It is time to return to the old paths.

Read Full Post »

A Word to the Wise

9-10-2020 – A Word to the Wise – Have you noticed that there are some sins we do not talk about? Now which ones do you suspect we never mention? Sex? That one is worked to death. Anger? No I think that one comes up on occasion.

How long has it been since you heard a sermon on gossip? Slander? Proverbs 26:20-22.

For lack of wood the fire goes out,

and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.

21 As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,

so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.

22 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;

they go down into the inner parts of the body. (ESV)

Years ago, perhaps 50, I heard a sermon on gossip that burnt a hole in my heart. In fact the only lesson I have ever heard on the subject.

You see Solomon makes it clear gossip is a burning fire that creates quarreling. It is sweet to the taste, and in the end makes one sick, nauseated. Gossip destroys friendships, and all manner of relationships. The core motivation is hatred.

Most of us deny two attributes; we insist we have no enemies and hate no one. Yet we pass gossip around like it is a favorite food wipe our mouths and say we have done nothing wrong.

Listen to the words of the brother of Jesus, James 3:

5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so.

James is talking about gossip and its destructive nature. The problem with gossip is there is no way that it can be taken back. Once spoken it is far too late.

Let me give an example. Consider all of the gossip that is put forth about President Trump. Regardless of your position about him you must admit there is no lack of evil spoken about the president. This violates two major scriptural teaching: One you do not gossip, and two you never speak evil about a leader that the Lord has placed in authority. It makes no difference if the person is good or bad. One just does not do it. Need a example?

Take for instance King Cyrus. Isaiah 44 -45 says of him

“who says of Cyrus He is my shepherd,” or again “Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus whose right hand I have grasp”.

Lofty words right? Well go look him up in a ancient history book, look this King up. You will find he is anything but godly.

You do not speak evil of those in authority; whether they are police officers, governors, or presidents. Neither do you speak evil of friends, enemies, or acquaintances. There are something a Christian must not do. It will get you the hot place for a final resting place.

Read Full Post »

A Word to the Wise

9-1-2020 – A Word to the Wise – For some of us, those who have experienced sin, who are sickened by the past and the weakness, and failures of the past find there are certain words, perhaps phrases that resonate.

There is a long forgotten hymn that speaks to my soul when I need to be reminded not to return to the old ways. The song was written by William Kirkpatrick in 1892. I would encourage you to look it up in your hymnal.

The opening phase goes something like this; “I have wandered far away from God, the paths of sin too long I’ve trod.”

I think for some of us, those who hate sin in self, often remind self of the old days, the old ways and never wish to return to the old paths.

We need those reminders, but more than that we wish to reach out to others and warn them not to go there. Some listen, others do not.

The purpose of my words are not to judge or condemn, no far from it, rather just to encourage and remind when weak or sorrowful that Jesus brought you out of the old life, purchased and then made a new person out of you and it is that person who knows they will no longer stray.

Have a good day.

Read Full Post »