God, The Individual

God, The Individual

Romans 14:5-8

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

Paul addresses the fact that we all belong to the Lord.  We all come from and go to God.  But even though we all come from the same God, we are each unique individuals.  We have our own minds, we live our own lives as we choose to live it. Continue reading

Give Your Best

Give Your Best

Malachi 1:13-14

But you say, ‘What a weariness this is”, and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD.  Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.

I’m just about all the way through the Old Testament on this go round with the Bible.

This verse spoke to me beyond the literal interpretation.  Animal sacrifices are obviously an antiquated idea. They existed in Biblical times to drive home the seriousness of sin.  Through these sacrifices you atoned or paid for your sin.

The price was steep.  You sacrificed your best. You sacrificed your unblemished, your males who could produce quality off spring, the males that could grow your flock and enrich your wealth.

You give your best to God because God comes first.  By not giving your best you anger God and hurt yourself. Continue reading

A House Divided

A House Divided

Romans 16:17-18

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.  For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

I read these verses and I immediately thought of one thing, politics.

Paul is talking about those who wish to take control of the new Church of Christ, but really he is talking about any of those who wish to take power and control of others.  I guess this was Paul dealing with politics within the early Church. Continue reading

Set Your Heart

Set Your Heart

Daniel 10:12

Then he said to me “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard and I have come because of your words.”

I like the message in this verse.

People say, where is God, why hasn’t God done what I wanted?  Why hasn’t God taken care of me?  How could God let this happen to me?

They conclude “Since my life isn’t what I think it should be or what I want it to be, there must not be a God.”  The problem in that conclusion is the word “I”.  It’s not about you and you wanting your carefree life. Continue reading

An Idle Life

An Idle Life

2 Thessalonians 3:6-12

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

In this letter to the Thessalonians Paul is addressing something that Solomon had said thousands of years before.

In all the things that man can do and occupy his mind, in all things man can chase, all that really is important is your toil, being happy in your toil, your work.  For as Solomon said, all else is vanity and striving after wind.

But Paul is also addressing two other aspects of an idle life. Continue reading

They Look To The Earth

They Look To The Earth

Isaiah 8:19-22

And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.

Isaiah is speaking about those who choose to consult mediums and spiritualists, those who feel the dead can give foresight and insight to the living.  He is talking about those who choose not to have God in their hearts.  He informs them of the results of such a choice.  Isaiah is addressing what happens to us when times are tough, our faith is tested, and we have failed to let God into our hearts. Continue reading