Archive for November, 2021

A Word to the Wise

11-24-2021 – A Word to the Wise – On Ps 145

Recently I was reading Psalm 145 and was reminded while reading verses 10-12 that it had been a while since I had recounted the Lord’s mighty deeds in my life. Remember me sharing the story how when I was about 7 being involved in a rock fight and getting hit in the eye? Mother rushed me to the hospital where they bandaged it and told her that I might well lose the eye.

We went home and she had me pray about it and the Lord said he would heal it, which he did.

Fast forward sixty-five years. I have had diabetes for nearly 35 years. In 2016 I was having problems with my eyesight and went to a specialist. My retina in both eyes were swelling. The probable outcome; blindness. The treatment, with no promises, eye injections. What is that?

Remember when you received one of those vaccine injections how it felt when that cold liquid was going into your arm?

Well, these injections were going directly into my eyes. To say it was excruciating is an understatement. Lisa and Mary would just cringe to see that long needle going in my eyeballs.

For 18 months, monthly, this went on finally I could not take it anymore and ask the Lord to intervene.

Last week I went in and had my usual eye exam. Dr. Chong came in after the test and said “it has been two years since the last injection, and your vision is now 20/20 in both eyes.” That is extremely rare, in fact usually the injections are continued monthly until death. The Lord did that.

I am also reminded of another intervention at this time of year something just as impossible, almost never heard of. Sixteen years ago, today. My beloved brother came into town and took me for a ride. We came to Rockwall, drove up to Deer Ridge Street, and he informed me that we were sitting in front of a home, a brand-new home, and told me this was my new home, paid for in cash for me and my family. The Lord had put it in his heart to provide it. It has been a true blessing.

Nothing is impossible with the Lord, nothing and this is only two of those impossible stories. Maybe in the future I will share a few more, or if not ask Lisa after I am gone to take a picture of Ps 136 and the printing beside the text in my Bible, or better than that, why not turn to the 136th Psalm and list a few impossible personal deeds accomplished by the Lord for you.

It is important to testify to others as this Psalm says, of the great and wonderful deeds of the Lord accomplished often through His children. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

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A Word to the Wise

11-24-2021 – A Word to the Wise – On porn

Have you found yourself in a lifelong battle with some form of sin? Have your ever wondered why no matter how hard you try the sin keeps creaking back into your life?

Perhaps it is because we forget that Satan is very deceptive. He will let us think the sin we are committing is the most heinous and cannot really be conquered. He will let us win a few engagements then it returns.

Consider please the possibility that you have identified and fight a battle against the incorrect sin. What is the outcome? You completely miss the mark and there is no lasting solution.

Example: many find that they have been fighting a lifelong battle with porn and wonder why it keeps coming back to haunt them. Satan would have one believe that the core issue is a moral one and so the battle goes on.

The reality is that often the true sin the root sin is not a moral one and so the issue is never resolved. It is sort of like killing the weeds in your yard. You poison them stomp on them, even curse them before you know it, they are back again. The only solution is to dig weeds out by the root.

The root sin with porn is not a moral one rather it is a violation of the 10th Commandment. That is a completely different type of sin and must be dealt with in a far different manner. Look it up, see what you can learn about that sin and then do some weed digging.

Want a hint? First, Exodus 20:17 then spend some time with Jesus and the parable found in Matthew 13:24ff. Now visit what Paul says in Colossians 2:21-23.

When you engage the enemy, you must avoid his battleground. He is the great deceiver

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A Word to the Wise

11-10-2021 – A Word to the Wise – On Warfare.

This week we as a nation we have chosen to honor our veterans. God’s word has much to say about warfare. In every major engagement in the battles of the Bible God expected His army to chase the enemy from the battlefield and to keep on until they were destroyed. God’s harshest criticism is reserved for those who quit. The enemy is to be destroyed. Not bargained with. Not preserved. No treaties made. The battles of Joshua and Judges emphatically teach this 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 no where to go–then destroy him.

This is why God’s army was to be composed of fearless warriors. Warriors who can withstand the onslaught then follow up with sustained attacks that do not end until the enemy is completely destroyed.

These principles taught by God seem to have been lost on America. Following the end of World War II practically every national engagement has ended in failure because we decided to bargain with the enemy instead of destroying him. Just recently this has occurred.

Now how is this principle pertinent to each of us today in our individual battles?

Because our personal struggles with sin and its continually reoccurring part of our life illustrate this same failure. Whether its temper, gossip, addiction, or morality our past haunts us over again.

Satan is the enemy and seeks to utterly destroy us. Thus we must practice this important principle when engaging the enemy. James 4:7 tells us to resist the devil and he will flee. Peace is not acceptable. No, the Christian pursues and chases the adversary and his army until it ceases to exist. Are you prepared for battle?

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A Word to the Wise

11-8-2021 – A Word to the Wise – There are some stories that just grab your heart and turn you upside down. One such story appears in Acts 12. Perhaps because it so accurately describes us.

Let me retell the story for you. It is around the first of May. King Herod (Agrippa (41-44 A.D.) is having a jolly time going after Christians. He kills James, the brother of John, and then has Peter arrested and thrown into prison. It was shortly before Passover, and as if being imprisoned wasn’t enough- he also had him placed in shackles and linked by chains to two guards and then had two more guards with them inside the cell.

It is the night before Passover, and can you believe that Peter is asleep in his prison cell? He is going to be killed the next day, he’s chained to two guards, and is sleeping like a baby! Some people can sleep absolutely anywhere!

Meanwhile, close friends, faithful followers of Jesus are praying for Peter- begging the Lord to intervene. Their prayers go on past midnight.

Back at the prison, Peter’s personal guardian angel appears!

The angel sees the situation, walks over and kicks Peter in the side. “Get up, now. sleepy-head!”

Peter feels the chains fall off, and gets up. The angel tells him to get dressed, hurry putting on his sandals! “Come on, Peter we need to get out of here.”

The angel then leads him past two other sleeping guards, brings him to a locked iron gate. It swings open and the two walk down the street. Can you just imagine the sight of this huge angel, with his arms around Peter walking down an empty street? How would you like to see a Facebook picture of that scene!

This whole time, Peter thinks he’s having a vision. Peter finally figures out that it’s no vision- that indeed, the Lord sent his angel to rescue him.

He goes to the home of the mother of John Mark, where a large group of Christians are praying for Peter. I suppose they are praying that his death would be quick. A maid answers the door where Peter was pounding. Rhoda recognizes Peter and delirious with joy runs to tell the praying group that Peter is here!

The group tells her she is crazy, that it’s just his angel, Peter is dead. Peter finally convinces this group, which has been praying for him, that indeed he is alive and had been rescued by a bad-tempered angel.

Now isn’t that just like us, we beg and pray, and cry to the Lord. He gives what we beseech him for and we do not even recognize it.

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A Word to the Wise

11-3-2021 – A Word to the Wise – On Envy

There are some sins rarely addressed in society. One of those sins is envy. It is not that envy is unimportant for we will see it is frequently listed among the most horrible of transgression. No, I think the real problem is that envy is not really understood, nor defined.

Some classify it along with jealousy however there is no similarity between the two. God may be defined as a jealous God, but never envious.

Envy is related to covetousness, in that to covet is to desire that which is another’s. Envy not only wants that which is another’s but seeks to destroy in the process the other person.

Solomon put it this way; Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. Ecclesiastes 4:4

So, what gives birth to envy? Paul states it this way “: he is puffed up with conceit, he knows nothing; he has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, 1 Timothy 6:4

Simply, some types of envy are born of controversy which then results in slander of another.

But another form takes on a more sinister role. Proverbs 3:31 Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways; This bit of wisdom warns about looking at men of violence and wanting to copy their behavior. Note please the link of envy with violence. The two go together.

One other link that we should of be aware of. “Therefore, as I live, says the Lord GOD, I will deal with you according to the anger and envy which you showed because of your hatred against them; and I will make myself known among you, when I judge you. Ezekiel 35:11. We see thus that envy, anger, and hatred all dwell together.

Paul sums up the matter and states all of these share a common root: “They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips,

Notice please that we see a pattern here; first malice, strife, deceit, covetousness, leading to murder. Oh, I left out gossip, now is that not odd. Who would have known that gossip and envy are bedfellows!

Finally, the death of Jesus was brought about by envious men. “For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up.” Matthew 27:18

Near the end of Proverbs, we find a cure or perhaps an insulation from envy; that is striving after fear of the Lord. Proverbs 23:17 Let not your heart envy sinners but continue in the fear of the LORD all day. Let’s do fear the Lord, for we will have a deep sense of peace something unknown to the one who envies.

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A Word to the Wise

11-2-2021 – A Word to the Wise – What does it matter?

Consider please Is there really any problem with grumbling? Or what about just a touch of thievery?

Surely a white lie is not really all that bad. And let’s face it a little adultery is an accepted practice, surely there is nothing really bad about it. And I can say with all confidence just a bit of complaining never hurt anything.

So it is we tend to cover up our lack of discretions, and excuse the seriousness of them. O, I forgot gluttony, greed, pride and a bit of anger. Yet all of these unrepentant acts will get us a place in the lake of fire whose ongoing temperature exceeds the comfort level.

The problem in our time is that there is a lack of voices to cry out against wickedness. It is not to be heard in the homes, in the church or society as a whole. I wonder if the Lord is weary of this lack of self-judgement and tolerance of evil?

Actually the bible is quite clear in numerous places that those who do such things will not be wearing white robes! So take warning and stop excusing misbehavior for it is a certainty that the Lord will not excuse it on that great judgement day when all behavior good and bad will be laid open for all to see.

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