Archives For Bible

Exodus 31:12-13
God spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites, ‘Above all, keep my Sabbaths, the sign between me and you, generation after generation, to keep the knowledge alive that I am the God who makes you holy.

This is something I break about every week. To keep the Sabbath is one of the 10 commandments but it’s something I fall short of all the time.

To keep the Sabbath in the Hebrew tradition, meant to not work on the designated day and to use it for rest. Those who didn’t keep it were excommunicated from the nation of Israel.

I bet I would be excommunicated. I wonder if God looks at America in our justified lifestyles and wishes we wouldn’t work the extra hours to pay for the 2 car garage and the shiny pieces of sheet metal that reside in them, and use the time to rest and reflect.

Rest from the toil of making a living and providing. Then reflect on who God is and what Jesus, His Son, has done for us.

As I read this verse at 12:30am this morning, I must say, I’m convicted. Keeping the Sabbath is directly tied to Holiness. And the New Testament author says that without holiness, no one will see the Lord.

Maybe it’s time for a change of schedule.

I have a box in my basement that is full of trophies and plaques I accumulated through my teenage years. Most are sport related and a few are for things like passing a course. I’ve kept them in the box for years.

You might not be like me. You might be one who has a trophy case where you display your trophies so when you walk by and see them you instantly recall the game winning Gand Slam (I actually have several of these moment – but I don’t think they are as exciting in slowpitch softball) or for the degree you earned at college.

In life, these trophies and plaques can instantly make you recall the events pertaining to that piece of cheap plastic.

In Genesis 28 Jacob has a dream where he sees a vision. At the end of his dream he takes the stone he used as a pillow and stands it upright.

He took the stone he had used for his pillow and stood it up as a memorial pillar and poured oil over it.

He stood it up as a memorial pillar so he would remember this as the place where God dwells. (I wonder if this is where we get the term “milestone?”)

Every time Jacob or his ancestors would pass this stone, it would serve as a reminder of this event.

Throughout scripture there are many accounts of God’s people setting up memorials to be a reminder of what God did for them. When they left Egypt they used the Passover to remind them of the miracles God did to get them out. When the crossed the Jordan river, they set 12 stones up in the middle of the river so people would see them years later and remember God’s provision.

In your life, how do you remember God’s provision when you needed it most. What do you use to recall him healing you or financially providing when you didn’t know what to do?

Some might journal, others may use a picture while some may post it on FACEBOOK and twitter.

Whatever the method may be, we need to remember to set up memorials in our lives for when God does something as simple as helping you pass a test or as big as helping you land a job.

As we see these trophies in life and recall God’s work in them our faith will become stronger and you’ll be able to believe that He will work it out again.

If you have any methods of remembering God working in your life, I’d love to have you share them by commenting on this post.

Craig Groeschel, Pastor of Lifechurch.tv, in the series Masquerade, mentions two reasons we need to confess our short-comings.

Confession to God = Forgiveness

When we tell God we missed the mark, he is faithful to forgive us.

1 John 1:9
9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Confession to People = Healing

There is a weight that is lifted when we reveal what we have been hiding. You can be forgiven, but still can be hurt. Healing begins when we let someone else know the sin and ask for them to pray with us as we turn from our sin.

James 5:14
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

2 Chronicles 27:6
Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God.

Not that I desire power or fame, but so I can live to my full potential – I want to walk steadfastly before God.

A faithful follower of Jesus. Obedient and trustworthy, full of His Spirit and love.

You’ve seen them. You’ve been them. You may be one now. Everyone of us has seen someone right out of college with all the energy, a fresh degree, and a head-full of untapped knowledge who is anxious to gain success as fast as he/she can.

We watch them pitch their ideas, confront the status quo, and question every philosophy. In doing so, they are looking to assert themselves and hopefully gain the influence of their peer’s and eventually become a successful leader.

In 1 Kings, we see the story of a young King, probably right out of King college, trying to make an impression in the business world of his day. And like all aspiring, young professionals, he wants to gain the respect of his peers and followers as fast as he can.

When approached by the people he was to lead, the request was made to lighten the work load of they carried. The young King Rehoboam calls in his father’s advisers, who helped successfully advise his dad during his reign. They give the young entrepreneur advice for the fast-track to success.

1 Kings 13

4 “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”

5 Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.

6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.

7 They replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”
8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.

Unfortunately, the young King, listened to his young, out-of-kingdom-college friends what they thought best and rejected the wise counsel of the aged advisers. This prideful move led to a rebellion against the kings house that lasted for a long time.

The wise old sages gave the young King the secret to get on the fast-track to success. It was to serve those he led.

When we serve those we want to lead by doing something that is not expected or deserved, we influence their life which builds our credibility and trust. When our credibility and trust are high with people, they will follow.

They will follow your crazy young ideas. They will buy into the vision that will cost them money and time. They will follow you into uncharted territory.

But you first must serve them.

2 Thessalonians 2:13
But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

Why do we read the Bible? Because it is Truth.

In a society where there are many so-called “ways to heaven” and in a culture where there are no absolute truth the scriptures have remained as what is truth. The truth we read in scriptures was sent to man to reveal God’s redemption plan.

What we read determines what we believe. What we believe enables how we live and how we live is the evidence of who we serve.

1 Thessalonians5:12
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.

Let’s show our appreciation for the pastors, leaders, Sunday School teachers, children’s workers, student ministers, Bible study leaders, life group leaders, mentors and coaches who care for our spiritual development and dedicate their time and lives to see people become more like Christ.

It could be as simple as a thank you during a handshake as you are greeted by them at church. Or it could be a card with how their life and time has influenced you. However you think, let’s give it up for those who dedicate time and energy to minister to others.

2 Samuel 22:26ff

26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,

27 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.

28 You save the humble,
but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.

29 You, Lord, are my lamp;
the Lord turns my darkness into light.

30 With your help I can advance against a troop ;
with my God I can scale a wall.

31 “As for God, his way is perfect;
the Lord ’s word is flawless.
He shields all who take refuge in him.

32 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?

God is…

  • God is faithful to us when we are faithful to Him.
  • God is true to those who live in truth before Him.
  • God’s favor is on the humble.
  • God is our light.
  • God is our strategy and strength.
  • God’s Word is flawless and is my protector.
  • God is the only one we can place our security on.

Have you ever thought: “What made King Solomon ask for wisdom?”

If you were asked this question, would you ask for it? I wouldn’t.

If you don’t know the story or King Solomon, read this to catch up.

Here is the young King sitting on Daddy David’s throne and the same God that helped his dad kill a giant, and led David to win many battles, now asks King Solomon for whatever he wants. And Solomon asks for wisdom.

But why? Well, if you go back a couple of verses, I believe that you will discover why King Solomon asked for wisdom.

1 Kings 2:9
(David Speaking to Solomon)
But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him.”

Did you see that? “You are a man of wisdom.” Before Solomon ever asks God for wisdom, David is telling Solomon that he is a man of wisdom. This is the second time King David tells Solomon to rely on wisdom (1 Kings 2:6).

Could it have been that David knew that Solomon would need wisdom to lead Israel and was planting these seeds in Solomon? Was David developing a future for Solomon by speaking positive words to Solomon? I believe so. The truth is:

Our words create direction.

  • What we say about our husbands/wives, puts your marriages on a path to a specific destination.
  • What you tell your kids, creates a path for them to travel down.
  • The words you speak are defining a destination.

So dad, when it’s tense at home, what are you going to say to your kids? Or your wife?

Mom, what words are you going to chose when your kid comes home with a grade that you think is “not acceptable?” What direction are you going to tell your kid?

I think the wisest man to ever live was the product of the words his dad spoke to him and King Solomon knew it. Maybe this is why he said this:

Proverbs 18:21
21
The tongue has the power of life and death, 
and those who love it will eat its fruit.

What direction will your words take you?

What direction will your words take your family?

What direction will your words take your job?

Your words are the stepping stones on which the future will be established.

This is why I call this blog p341. It’s my life verse. (Psalm 34:1)

Are you prone to arguments? Do you feel you are always in conflict with people? Do you ever feel like you have an issue to pick with everyone? What is at the root of most arguments and quarrels?

James says it’s our desires that lay the foundations for most of our conflicts.

James 4:1
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

Selfishness can find itself as the source of a majority of our arguments. Do you find yourself always having to be right? Are there just as many times that you can acknowledge you were wrong and tell someone you were?

A wise man once said “When Bob has a problem with everyone, Bob’s the problem.” And most of the time the problem with Bob is he’s selfish.

The next time you find yourself in a heated discussion, ask yourself, “Am I arguing for the sake of winning the argument, or am I arguing for the sake of a value?”

Remember to pick your battles because you can be your own enemy.