Stands On Its Own

Stands On Its Own

Ezekiel 33:10-12

“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’ Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

“And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins.

Every time I read through the Bible, the more I realize it comes down to personal responsibility.  Each of us is responsible for our lives.  Circumstances vary, forces outside of our control can act upon us, but how we react or how proactive we are is what makes us who we are. Continue reading

The Widow’s Offering, The Individual

The Widow’s Offering, The Individual

Luke 21:1-4

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

These verses are known as, “The Widow’s Offering”.  It demonstrates how so little can mean so much.  It speaks of how it’s not how much you give, but how much of yourself you give to God. Continue reading

God’s Offspring

God’s Offspring

Acts 17:21-31

Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

I read this story and was intrigued by the twenty first verse that talks about the Athenians and foreigners who “would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new”.

I assume the writer is trying to convey to the reader that these were opened minded people and willing to listen to anything they hadn’t heard before.  This was fertile ground for Paul to spread his words.

Paul tries to enlighten them and what he says about God is how I felt for years. Continue reading

Sharpen the Saw, Strengthen the Soul

Sharpen the Saw, Strengthen the Soul

Luke 12:19-21

And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’  So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

These verse remind me of Stephen Covey’s seven habits.

Habit number seven is, Sharpen The Saw.  The Franklin Covey website explains Habit Seven as this:

“Sharpening the saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have — you.  It means having a balanced program for your self renewal in the four areas of your life; physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual.” Continue reading

The Whip Will Not Come To Us

The Whip Will Not Come To Us

Isaiah 28:14-15

Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers,
    who rule this people in Jerusalem!
Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
    and with Sheol we have an agreement,
when the overwhelming whip passes through
    it will not come to us,
for we have made lies our refuge,
    and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;

Isaiah is reprimanding the leaders in Jerusalem.  Isaiah lived during the time of 740 to 680 BC.  So Isaiah’s words speak of what was going on in ancient times.  But Isaiah could go to D.C. today, stand on the steps of the Capitol Building, speak these words and they would still be applicable.

Isaiah addresses the leaders as scoffers, those who scoff, speak of God scornfully, derisively and mockingly.  The leaders who scoff at righteousness and wish to make themselves gods who will define for all, their idea of righteousness.  And by all they mean everyone except themselves.  They will set the moral standards by which the unwashed masses will live their lives.  For the people they govern are uneducated and unenlightened. They cannot see the vision of the self-proclaimed gods. Continue reading

Rejoice in Faith

Rejoice in Faith

Luke 10:19-20

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

In the beginning of Luke, Chapter 10, we read about Christ appointing 72 followers to go to the towns that Christ is about to visit.  I guess they were like an advance team, sent to let the citizens know what was coming and to give them a glimpse into the Kingdom of God. Continue reading

Bear The Yoke

Bear The Yoke

Lamentations 3:28-30

Let him sit alone in silence,
    for the Lord has laid it on him.
Let him bury his face in the dust—
    there may yet be hope.
Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,

    and let him be filled with disgrace.

This post is a follow-up to my post, Waiting For You.  In that post I wrote about verses 25 through 27 which precede the above verses.  I wrote about the long, never-ending journey of seeking the Lord, and how you find the Lord bit by bit each day.  The Lord is always there waiting for us to find God.  The post also referenced, “bearing the yoke” of consequences of your decisions, particularly your bad decisions.  It is better to suffer and learn in your youth when you have time to recover. Continue reading