Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The Children of Israel were reminded that they were His children. Not only were they to behave like God’s children, but they were to not do anything to hinder their family resemblance. They were not to scar, mar or tattoo their bodies. Man was created in the likeness of God.
Why do you suppose that people disfigure their God-made bodies? Could it be the influence of a devil that hates the very image of God? I believe so. Satan not only hates God but seeks to destroy the likeness of God in mankind. He wants to make ugly and defiled what should resemble its creator.
There is an epidemic of scarring and tattooing of bodies today. To do so makes more of a resemblance to children of the world than children of God. Many religions mark their members with some form of symbol or unique clothing. That was true of the false religions in Bible days as well. Israel was to avoid such customs. As a Christian, we must remember that we too are God’s children but also, He lives within our bodies. We should not look like the children of this world but show forth His praise. Isaiah 43:21 says, This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.
Though many Christians have gotten marks of the past life upon their bodies, it should remind them that they have been forgiven by the scars put upon the body of Jesus. By His stripes we are healed.
Lord Jesus, thank you for being scarred to make me a child of God. Help me to look and behave more like God’s child every day that you let me live. Amen.
Ge 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Some religions such as Mormonism, promotes polygamy. God forbids such practices in the Bible. In every example where there was disobedience in the matter, there were negative consequences. Perhaps the most severe consequence for a man to have multiple wives would be that he would have multiple Mother-in Laws!
God designed, in the first marriage union, the principle that every marriage should be based. One man and one woman to become one flesh for the rest of their life. Any intrusion into the union of marriage brings confusion and disrupts the union. Consider the warning of bringing another person into the perfect union of “one man and one woman and one flesh” given in 1Corinthians 6:16, “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.” In this case a man brings a harlot into his marriage and the oneness is broken. Two is companionship but three is a crowd!
Every marriage should endeavor to apply the three principles of God’s first design for marriage. The first principle is to leave all other relationships to inter the marriage union. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother…” Never allow intrusions to divide whether they are sinful pleasures or interfering relatives.
The second principle give is to cleave. That means to be bonded or glued into one. It is like epoxy, part A and part B, that when mixed together bonds two pieces into one whole. Never let anything to separate that union.
The Third principle is to be one flesh. Never see yourself apart from the other. Never be two halves, striving for equality, but one whole, complete in harmony and in love.
Lord thank you for making me whole in giving me my helpmeet, my completer. Help me to make my union stronger like unto the example you have given in the first union and our union in Christ. Guard my marriage against all intrusions, in Jesus Name, Amen.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
The Danger of Falling Asleep in Church
Acts 20:9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. 10) And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. 11) When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. 12) And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.
A man went to see the doctor for his snoring problem. “Does it disturb your wife?” the doctor asked. “No, it embarrasses her,” he replied. “It is the preacher and the rest of the church that it disturbs!”
It has proven to be dangerous to fall asleep in church. In this passage a man named Eutychus fell asleep and fell out of church and died. Eutychus like many Christians, was sitting too close to the world. If he had fallen asleep in the middle of the congregation, someone could have propped him up and kept him from falling. Perhaps from his window seat he had a good view of what was going on in the world rather than listening to the preaching of God’s Word. Notice too, he fell into slumber before he fell to his death. We are warned by the preaching to be sober. I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
It is ironic that his name means “fortunate”. For many Christians who fall out of church they are not as fortunate as Eutychus. He was fortunate because there were Christians there who cared and sought to restore him to the fellowship of the church again. Notice too, that his restoration to fellowship and testimony was of great encouragement to the rest of the Church.
Lord help me to stay alert and attentive to the preaching of God’s Word away from the influence of the world and to stay in the center of your service. Thank you for a Church that cares and seeks to restore the fallen.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Mt 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38) This is the first and great commandment. 39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Mt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. In Vacation Bible School, little four year-old Sarah held her hand on top of her head during the pledge of allegiance to the American Flag. Her teacher asked her why she did that. Little Sarah replied, “Because, that is where my heart is. My mother always puts her hand on top of my head and says, ‘Bless your little heart, Sarah.’ ”
As the human heart is the center of vitality in the human body, so is the spiritual heart the very center of vitality in the spiritual life of a Christian. It is from there, that we choose our allegiances, make our choices and decisions. It is from the heart we apply the emotion and fervency to those decisions and choices.
The problem we encounter is our depraved nature. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” There must be a conversion of the heart to bring it under allegiance to God. Romans 10:9 say, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” When a person trusts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, God quickens the heart and makes it spiritually alive. However, a Christian has still his old nature to contend with. It is from the heart that allegiance of life is made.
From the heart, we choose our love and with our love, our devotion and from our devotion, our allegiance and from our allegiance, our obedience. The key to allegiance is surrender. When we consider, the love of God in giving His only begotten Son to save us from our sinful state, how can we not yield to him the love of our hearts.
Lord, I yield my heart in love to thee today. Give me wisdom in my heart to serve you with all my might. Amen
Monday, February 23, 2009
Nu 22:31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. 32) And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: 33) And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.
Evangelist Billy Kelly, well known for his humor, was introduced before preaching by a pastor who wanted to rib him for his newly received Doctors degree. “Our evangelist tonight has recently received his Doctors degree. He is now an official veterinarian. He treats donkeys, monkeys and baboons.” Billy Kelly, who never could be outwitted, said, “Thank you for that introduction pastor. That is the first time I have ever been introduced by one of my patients!”
In the story of Balaam and his “talking mule”, we see hindrances to Balaam going his stubborn way. God had already forbidden Balaam to seek the fortunes and fame of those who would curse God and His people. Yet Balaam sought for a way to get his desire and avoid consequences of disobedience. It becomes evident that Balaam was more stubborn and blind to the will of God than his donkey. Yet, God in mercy allowed him to be hindered by a humble creature that cared for his safety.
We too are often hindered. Our hindrances may be a little child needing our attention or a fender bender or being denied a loan we so desperately desire. Perhaps when our intended destinations are hindered we should stop to examine whether we are truly in the will of God. Most of our angry frustrations with these aggravating hindrances are like Balaam striking his mule. It just might be God trying to get our attention to turn us from a destructive course.
Dear Lord, open my eyes like you did Balaam and his donkey. Let me see clearly your will and reveal the stubbornness of my own way. Thank you for the hindrances that come in my way. Lord Jesus, I surrender to your will, not my will but thine be done. Amen.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Two young ladies were having a conversation about face-lifts. “My mother had a face-lift by the famous, Dr. Larry D. Longman.” The other young lady replied, “My uncle also had a face-lift by a famous man.” “Who was it,” asked the first? “Mr. Harry D. Hangman!” said the second.
How wonderful for God to give us a spiritual face-lift. There are times when our faces are down cast. Ezra realized the spiritual condition of the remnant that had returned from 70 years of captivity in the world. Though they had returned to the land to rebuild the temple, a good cause, yet they still retained the bondage of sin in their lives. Ezra blushed before a Holy God. Perhaps, as one would look into a mirror, recognizing that life and time had wearied the face causing it to droop, so, sin and weariness had worn and scarred the face of Israel.
When in need of a spiritual face-lift we must do three things. First, we need to look honestly into the mirror of the Word of God and see ourselves as we truly are. There is no need to kid ourselves. The mirror doesn’t lie. It matters not, though we think our neighbor needs the spiritual procedure more.
Second, we must seek the Great Physician’s services. All others will fail. No need to try to cover with deceitful cosmetics such as, “I’m OK and your OK cream” or put on a hypocritical face mask. You must seek the best services and don’t settle for less. Ps 27:8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
Thirdly, you must trust Him and yield to Him. Let, the Greatest Surgeon ever, remove the ugly excess, cleanse the shame from the face and replace the world-worn likeness with the brightness of His countenance, the beauty of His face. Ps 90:17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: Ps 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
Heavenly Father, change my countenance. Let the beauty of thy holiness shine on my face. May others see the likeness of thy Son in me, in Jesus Name, amen.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I Thessalonians 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
One employee complained to another, “I’ve had my nose to the grind for a whole year.” “It must have been a beauty when you started,” was the reply.
One of my mom’s pet peeves was, “don’t pick your nose!” Well, it may be bad manners to pick your nose but it certainly is worse to pick someone else's.
Evidently, the church at Thessalonica had a problem with keeping their nose out of each others business. Paul reminds us as well, that we have more business that God has given each of us to do in our lifetime, than we will ever get done. Oft times we get sidetracked by what someone else is doing or not doing. Perhaps, it may be that we have never fully considered God’s will for our life. When one is completely engaged in accomplishing God’s will for their life, they become more focused and less distracted by others.
Each of us is distinctively different. God created us that way. Therefore we cannot fully know no one else’s business but our own. We each will stand before God to give account for our own business and not another man’s. However we must not forget, since God created us, my business is God’s business. Each of us should be about, “my Father’s business.”
It is not an easy task to be quiet. Paul said we must study to be quiet. That is an art form. Studying is hard work! To help us mind our own business and not someone else’s Paul said we need to study or think about it.
He also said we need to work hard, with our hands. If we accomplish our business we will have little time to meddle with someone else. It is often idle hands that meddle. We must busy them in The Father’s business.
Heavenly Father, forgive the intermeddling. Command my hands and give me the discernment to know your will for my life. I yield to your will, in Jesus name, amen.