How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
When I was younger I use to seek the approval of others as validation of my skills and talents. I used this approval as validation of myself and what I was doing.
We all want to be liked by others.
We are social creatures and need to be part of the pack, the herd, the pride.
Our social order is based on the approval and validation of others. Those most accepted, those obtaining the glory from others are the ones who move up the chain. Continue reading
But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
My foot has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
Most of you are familiar with the Book of Job, or at least you have heard the saying, “He has the patience of Job.” If you’re not familiar with the story take some time to read the Book of Job in the Old Testament. In the meantime here is a quick overview.
Job is a righteous, God loving and seeking man. He has been very successful in his life both materially and spiritually. Job had wealth and a loving family.
Satan is allowed by God to take all of this away from Job, because Satan had argued with God that is was easy for Job to be such a righteous man and walk in the ways of the Lord. Job had all the comforts in life and faith comes easy when it’s not being challenged. Satan bet God that if you take all that away from Job he will curse God and lose his faith. God agrees to Satan’s challenge and tells Satan to do whatever he wants but do Job no harm. Continue reading
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
lest the Lord see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.
I read these verses and thought about how they fit into the theme of why does God let bad things happen to good people and vice versa. It also goes along with the whole balance of the universe and eventually, on God’s terms, there is a price to pay for sin.
Job questioned it throughout the Book of Job. He wondered why a good and righteous man such as himself, could have such horrible events happen to him. Remember Job lost all his possessions, which were extensive He lost his entire family except for his wife. Job questioned because he looked around and saw the wicked man living in the lap of luxury, while committing sins and having the time of his life. Continue reading
(I wrote this post four years ago and thought I would share it again this Christmas Day. Merry Christmas to all.)
This year is the first time I can ever remember not having much Christmas Spirit.
Honestly I’m not really sure what Christmas Spirit is so I thought I would write about it to see if it helps me figure it out.
I guess most people would say Christmas Spirit is the feeling of joy and the spirit of giving.
I know when I was a kid Christmas was the most anticipated time of the year. The joy and the spirit of giving wasn’t the reason for the excitement, it was the joy of getting.
I was a kid and that’s what Christmas was all about. It was the one time of the year (besides your birthday) that you got gifts, nice gifts.
But it wasn’t totally about me and what gifts I was going to receive. I also loved the family getting together, the lights, the trees and the special once a year food. (Steamed shrimp, yum / fried oysters and oyster pie, yuck) Christmas Eve was the only time of the year my grandma got out her fine punch bowl and filled it with ginger ale and scoops of orange sherbet.
I grew up but hung on to the love that I had for Christmas. Continue reading
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.
In previous posts I wrote about the phrase “fear of the Lord” and after reading this verse I thought I would touch on it again today.
Let’s look at the definition of “fear”: Continue reading
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
I have written before about these ideas that Paul, Christ and the prophets have been preaching for thousands of years. It is a common theme throughout religion, for religious beliefs are in the spirit, not in the flesh, the world. Continue reading
You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous.
God via Moses tries to impart this wisdom upon the Israelites. God knows what man is. God knows that governing produces power, which produces wealth, which produces greed and covetousness.
To those of you who put your faith in government I say read again Deuteronomy 16:19. Continue reading
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
In these two verses Paul sums up the very essence of love and our path back to the innocence of the Garden of Eden.
After God freed the Hebrews from the bondage of Egypt, God gave them ten simple laws that their entire society could be built upon. Nothing else was required. Follow these rules and all will be well. Continue reading
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.
God is telling Ezekiel he is the watchman for Israel and if he follows through by warning them of their impending doom then he will have no blood on his hands. But if he fails to warn them he is just as guilty as those that God is going to destroy.
To me this also speaks about our personal responsibilities. Continue reading
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
James, who is believed to be the half brother of Christ, wrote these words over 1900 years ago.
I find these words to ring true today, and I thought I would share how true they are for those who profess to serve us each day in the political world. The point I wanted to make with these prophetic words is to those who delude themselves into believing that our “representatives” and “leaders”, no matter which side, are there for some altruistic desire to make this world a better place for you and me.
That belief, that sentiment, is pure bullshit! Continue reading