Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
I was in a heated debate with an athiest who just couldn't understand that God inspired and spoke the Word to th I se whose hands put it into print. He did not understand that Scripture also contains science. The first sentence speaks a scientific formula for the universe. I am in the middle of research so i got one for you.. try and guess were God lets us in on the atom. Leave answers in the comments.
The 4th Commandment starts out simple, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”, but today’s world makes it ever so hard to do so. The day of Sabbath is traditionally Friday evening to Saturday night, it is on the weekend. For us it is the time for dates, dining out, games, concerts, and other things where people either work or watch others work. This is not what God had in mind. Sabbath is a day of rest and worship that must be taken to revere Our Father. As you read further you will see how Sabbath is transformed for Christians.
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it."
This is the fourth Commandment given to the Hebrew nation while running from Egypt. Each Seventh Day belongs to the Lord and is not a day of work but set apart as Holy. It is a day for rest and worship. There were many physical reasons for this as well as the main fact of the rest day of God after the creation. During the Exodus, the Hebrews traveled, gathered food and water in a six day period; but on the seventh they stayed still, rested and worshiped. Jews celebrate Sabbath on Friday sundown to Saturday evening. This is a time for a big meal and worship through a set of prayers songs and a reading.
"BUT I'M NOT JEWISH" Paul, when writing to the Christians in Colossi, said this, ”Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (Col 2:16-17).
Before you get crazy here, Paul did not say that Jesus says that ALL the Mosaic Laws are now cancelled. There is nothing there about the morality laws and Paul persistently ensured the morality laws are still adhered to. He was just saying that because we are under new management (the Covenant in Christ) we need not adhere to the dietary restrictions, required ritual celebrations, and sacrifices. With Christ, Paul even said, the 4th Commandment (Sabbath) is no longer needed to be celebrated because these were mere shadows pointing to Christ. Christ is the reality, the Truth and He set us free.
I am not saying that we do not need to observe the practice of rest and worship. We still need to take time for rest. It is good for the body and the soul to relax and reflect on Jesus and the day. The day of worship (thinking of, praying, praising, spending time with God) for us is every day, every moment, we must rest when we can and in our rest, worship.
Here is something that people who claim Jesus abolished the laws instead of fulfilling them read too much into. Paul says in Galatians 5:14,
“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." But he goes on to say, “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” This is what happens when a law is broken, judgement. If you do not love and break a law, I’m sorry, you have to deal with the consequences. Yes Jesus loves us but we must love Him back. Just because we accepted Him as Lord and Savior does not mean the slate is clean and you can sin all you want without truth in worship. He will stand for you but if you did not stand for Him in obedience then you will be like the goat who was separated never to see the master again.
Tell that one to the next person that says that they can ignore the morality because Jesus "abolished" them.
Rest easy in the Lord for He is our comfort, our refuge, and our strength. Abide in the Lord and He will give you rest.
But don't forget to worship Him in return.
We have all heard the saying that there are two constants in this world, Death and Taxes, but there is a third that many still do not see. GOD, for He is in Control. We see the t-shirts that start off with Keep Calm and...... well we need another one that say Keep Calm God's Got This. Without our creator watching over us, guiding us in His plan then we would truly be a lost civilization. Now we hear that in the last days sin will basically run rampant, men and women will dream prophetic dreams that are misinterpreted yet correct in most ways, and people will be trying to find peace where there is none. Brothers and Sisters, this is all preordained and so it is God's plan for us. Our final test is upon us and all we can do is believe. I believe that God will test us in these days and we should be listening closely to His Words maintaining our firm commitment to Him because, you guessed it, GOD's Got This.
Have you ever been in a church where you accidentally let out a darn or one of the less considered curse words and one of the older members of the congregation derided you and say that you are breaking a commandment? Someone needs to look at the Ten Commandments again….
Now, do not get me wrong because the vile tongue is covered in Scripture (39 times in fact) and is a big no-no for us, but it is not part of the Third Commandment. Before we go on, let us look at the NKJV translation of Exodus 20, Verse 7:
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (NKJV)
Reminder, the first four commandments are specifically covering God and worship. The other six are the short but concise morality laws from which come the 672 Mosaic Laws.
As you can see it says nothing about using vile (curse) words which are demeaning in nature. It isn’t meant to address the use of words, phrases, and even gestures that may be socially uncouth or vulgar. The Third Commandment is specifically addressing the misuse of God’s name.
The fact of the matter is that God didn’t want the Israelites to say that He’d said something that He, in fact, had not. This makes sense doesn’t it? God has a reputation to protect. He doesn’t want anyone saying, “Thus saith the Lord”, if the Lord has not spoken. From a legal standpoint do not commit perjury for God opposes it. If you make a vow in His name, KEEP IT.
We hear people today say that God told him or her this or that. Did He really say it? Supposed prophets or seers today use this for emphasis and getting people’s attention. All those dreamers on You Tube who swear up and down that “God said to me that the rapture will take place on such and such date.” The time passes and oops. Many are using God’s name to say that some disaster will happen on specific dates, the day passes and oops, wrong. These are just the minions of the false prophets that will come (some of which are already here). Misinterpretation of Scriptures that turn into gospels (i.e. Prosperity Gospel and others) are examples of misusing God’s name.
Some of the conversation starters to look out for are:
Now, this is not a license to use vulgar language (even young children now a days use OMG in their texts and social media). We still need to do right by the Father and keep our minds, hearts, and mouths clean from all forked tongues.
So what does this mean for us??
We are to be on our guard not to make false claims or promises we know we cannot keep in God’s name. If a vow is made in God’s name keep it (Ordinances, Sacraments, and Covenants). Tread lightly but understand we do not always walk on pins and needles, we will make mistakes.
This is a tough time in your lives. Some of you are preparing to graduate High School and some from college. It is a time when hard decisions must be made like what college to attend, what place will hire me, and not knowing if there will still be a home to go to. Decisions will be made to enter the service of the military and service to the Lord. Challenges to faith and the very fabric of your being are going to make you think both decent and deplorable things. Your body is not yours it belongs to God, do not corrupt it with the things that you will regret later in life. It is also a temple for Jesus, do not share it with just anyone. Be proud of who you are but do not let pride lead to transgression and sin.
Dear Children, you are loved and Jesus has your back. He treads where you dare not go and makes the way less difficult. He will give you challenges to help you grow, chide you in your disobedience, and test you to ensure you will not lose faith. So stay strong, steer straight, find balance, keep His Word on your heart and you will find success (see Joshua 1:1-9). You have so many people routing for you no matter what you may think.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we are in a most turbulent hour. God's creation is getting disruptive and is trying to get our attention. This is our time to show the world God's Love and mercy not His jealousy and vengeance, that is His. Show His tough and Agape Love to ensure an understanding that we are all His. Do not hate, be kind, and stay in the boundaries of His Law. Governments and people pass away but His Word stands firm forever.
Take care Brothers and Sisters, may the Love of God shower down upon you and guide you. May His patience and peace abide in you and grant you mercy and grace.
Moses went up on the mountain and stayed for many days worshipping and learning from God. Upon his return, Moses lifted two tablets and written on them were Ten Commandments. These commands are the basis for the Levitical Laws that cover rituals, morals and ethics, and the disciplinary actions which are set in place to ensure the laws were kept. Jesus came to fulfil, not abolish. What was He saying? Jesus fulfilled the ritual laws by opening the gates and becoming the mediator between us and God. This meant that no more sacrifices were needed, no more blood should be spilt to honor God. The moral and ethical laws remained in effect to keep us from committing them.
The world today has many objects and people we call idols. There is the popular T.V. show that finally ended. There are celebrities, money, fame, fortune, perversions, images, and many more things that take our attentions away from God. In simpler terms, anything that takes our focus, attention, desires, love, and worship, away from God could be considered an idol. Something to remember here though. God is not saying to ignore your family, just to understand that even though they are whom we love, we are to love and worship God.
How many idols did God tear down by human hands? Golden statues, graven images, wood and metal images. How many did He take out by His own power using nature as the hand?
I looked at Isaiah 44:6 in many different translations and they all proclaimed the same thing, “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.”
That’s right, and now look at what Jesus states in John 10: 30, “I and My Father are one.” So when Jesus came and put a stop to many things and becoming the final sacrifice, giving himself, God was showing that He was truly willing to give up everything for all of His creation. Now let me get straight to the point here:
Firstly there are three common idols in churches today,
1. The Place
The church building is over 100 years old and has been remodeled 3 times inside. Relocation is needed because the church is just too old and a bigger place is needed. This is an example of places of gathering moving from a tool for transformation to an object of worship. We must remind people that the building is not the church, His people are the church. God does not live in the place where we gather; He lives in the hearts of His people.
2. The Past
Living in traditional ways and not expanding with new revelations which help the Body of Christ increase is also an idol. Because the Lord worked in amazing ways in the past, the past can become an idol where people long for the past more than they long for the Lord. Old things pass away but their memories live on. Some traditions do not fit in today’s worldview of Christians.
3. The Programs
Because God changed lives through a program or event, people can elevate a program to an unhealthy place. Programs can become ends in themselves and not tools used in a church’s discipleship process. When this happens, they exist as modern-day bronze snakes. An example of this is when praise bands become the center-point of worship (become the celebrity) and the Word is not prevalent.
We are a lost generation trying to find our place in the universe. Why are we searching on earth and out in the stars when the best place to start is our own hearts? God wrote His Word on our hearts so we would never forget Him. Some have stained their hearts so black with sin that the transgressions have become their gods.
How do we help them wash away the stain? How can we, as Christians reach others? Did not God give us those instructions? Did not God make a sacrifice so that we all could be white as snow? We need to remember and conduct ourselves in the manor prescribed by the moral and ethical laws and above all give direct and all attention to the 10 Commandments while worshiping God. The other thing, paying attention and conducting ourselves in the teachings of God Incarnate (Jesus) and following the Great Commission. We do these things: giving our lives to Christ and taking up our crosses daily, sharing His Word, His Truth, and Hi(s)Story mixed with our redemption story then we are showing the proper love and will have No Other God Before Him.
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)
The word “hate” is a little harsh but I do not think that Jesus really meant an emotion that strong. Why would translators use that word if the meaning was a little less spiteful? The strong form of the word hate means to have an intense or passionate dislike for someone or something. We can use the word despise which is less intense. Jesus uses a negative form of “hate” when He tells us not to hate (despise) our enemies but love them. So are we to hate our parents but love our enemies??? Well….
In ancient Hebrew the word “hating” meant something like “loving less” or “loving in a less significant way”. The translation was from Greek and the individuals apparently did not pay attention to ancient Hebrew traditions or ways of life in speech. Jesus is thereby telling that we should still love our family, specifically our parents, but saying also that we should love Jesus more. Our full commitment should be towards Jesus. He is whom we should be more passionate for in our daily life. That would lead us to living a more Godly life. But where are our parents in all this?
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” This is the fifth commandment and the turning point in the Law of God. After this, the last five are morality and ethics but that is another talk. So it takes four Commandments to get to the respect for the earthly family. WOW!!
Families were a tighter unit than they are today. Yes we still have some areas that whole families live in but today we have families that live in all parts of the country and rarely talk. This is not what God meant. God wants to be part of the close knit family unit by having a personal relationship with us through Jesus Christ. This closeness creates the desire to live a godly life on this earth in preparation for our life in heaven. Even though we have parents and a family God is our number one priority even above our own selves!!!
Love the Lord our God more than anything or anyone. We owe our very lives to the Creator of the whole universe and I for one really do not want to get on His bad side. I fear (respect) the Lord my God and will follow Him all the days of my life. Though I live here on this earth I am not of this place; my heart, soul, and mind belong to my Father in Heaven. Where He leads me I will go.
Too many, Lord, abuse Your grace in this corrupt day.
And while they boast they see Your face, they turn their own away.
Your book displays a gracious light that can the blind restore; but these are dazzled by the sight,
And blinded still the more.
The pardon such presume upon, they do not beg, but steal;
And when they plead it at Your throne, Oh! Where’s the Spirit’s seal?
Was it for this, you lawless tribe, the dear Redeemer bled?
Is this the grace the saints imbibe from Christ the living head?
Ah, Lord, we know Your chosen few are fed with heavenly fare;
But these,—the wretched husks they chew, proclaim them what they are.
The liberty our hearts implore is not to live in sin;
But still to wait at Wisdom’s door, till Mercy calls us in.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
Does that sound familiar with what is going on today? In no way am I a speaker of prophesy I just report on the Word and how it reflects today’s world. There are people who are in it (the riches of the world) for themselves with no fear of God or the consequences of lacking in the knowledge of Jesus. These will eventually fall. They party hard and act immorally in many ways. Then there are those who claim to live a Christian life and turn around in blatant rejection of the ethical and morality laws that certain people say no longer apply.
There is a problem with lawlessness in this day and age. Some situations can be proven while others are boosted by false information but either way causing the masses to take up a cause without knowing the truth of the actions sometimes with unnecessary violence.
There are those who boast in their sin, speaking of it openly and forcing their sinful lifestyles upon us. They confuse the minds of the youth by saying, “it is alright that I am this way, God still loves me”. These then become socially accepted behaviors which is morally wrong. Yes it is true that God still loves but not true that it is alright to pronounce it openly and become a norm. This applies to ALL sinful behavior.
There are many levels of pride but it also depends on the definition. Pride is defined secularly as “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired”. Being prideful in one’s own self (especially when sinning openly) is a sin.
The advent of social media has made it possible for people to do or show things without regards for consequence. Some do it for increasing their popularity others for private reasons.
If you read on in the passage it says, “They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone (2 Timothy 3:6-9).”
It looks like the verses are talking about sexual predators at first but it is not. These are warnings of false teachers who speak false gospels. These false teachers either know little of the truth or know it but pervert it to meet their own objectives and desires. They get others to believe in them and forgo their correct (godly life) Christian behaviors. Funny how it says “worm their way into homes”; does that remind you of some televangelists. Not all are bad but some are just in it for the money.
The two men are the false idol teachers Moses dealt with when they had the Hebrews worship the Golden Calf in the desert. How quickly they were brought down. How long must we suffer with the false prophets of today? Notice how the truth is being revealed about some of the more money hungry ones who have been exposed for their wealth.
So, boasting and prideful behaviors are sins that result from simple human desires and temptations. Not saying we cannot have pride in our works but do not boast for yourself. Let others speak joyfully of your accomplishments. Do not speak in prideful behaviors about openly sinning.
Psalm 94:3-4 How long, O LORD? How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat? How long will they speak with arrogance? How long will these evil people boast?
Hopefully not much longer.
The messages on the blogs written on this page are within biblical adherence. Though the Scriptures listed in the blogs are directly from the Bible and other related religious writings the explanations and interpretations are in line with Biblical thinking as it relates to today’s world. The use of historical facts are to assist in the validity of the writings. The main writer of this blog site is an Ordained minister in one denomination though the views are related to all denominations so if something is said that does not fall in line with your denominational background, pray for personal discernment and understanding.