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

Personal Responsibility

Personal Responsibility

James 1:13-15

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

What is James talking about in these verses?  He is talking about personal responsibility.

He is telling us that temptation and sin are of our own doing.  We are not puppets and God is pulling the strings.  We are all free individuals able to make our own decisions and choices.  And with freedom comes responsibility, personal responsibility. Continue reading

God’s Gift To You

God’s Gift To You

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13

What gain has the worker from his toil?  I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.  I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books in the entire Bible and King Solomon is one of my favorite persons in the Old Testament.

The above passage talks about the most recurring theme from all of King Solomon’s writing.

The theme that’s been my words to live by, which is summed up in verse 13. Continue reading

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit

Romans 8:5

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.

This verse caught my attention when I read it.  What made me stop and write it down was the paradigm shift I had when I read it.

I originally thought this verse to mean you think and act according to worldly wants and desires and you pay the price.  You think and act of God and you are saved.

I still believe that, but this time I saw an affirmation of my belief in the simplicity of life and God.  I saw the simplicity of getting your relationship with God and in doing so you are filled with the energy, the will, the Holy Spirit of God. Continue reading

Simple Lesson of Life

Simple Lesson of Life

Philippians 4:11-13

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well feed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Why Paul is saying this to the Philippians is not important to what I am writing.  But in the verse that precedes these verses Paul writes:

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me.  Indeed you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.

Paul is glad the Philippians have taken an interest in him, not because he wants them to take care of him, but because he knows he can lead them to God and Christ and show them the contentment he has discovered in getting his relationship with God and Christ.

This is what led me to write down these verses. Continue reading

A Commandment Taught By Men

A Commandment Taught By Men

Isaiah 29:13

And the Lord said, because these people draw near with their mouth

And honor me with their lips

While their hearts are far from me

And their fear of me is a commandment taught by men

 

When I read these lines I wrote down the book, chapter and verse.  At the time I wasn’t quite sure why I wanted to remember this verse I just knew I did.

The more I read it I came to the conclusion that I wanted to remember this one because it prophesizes my disillusion with the organizations that call themselves a church.

This verse is Isaiah telling the people of God’s disdain, for they are just going through the motions.  They have God on their lips but not in their hearts. Continue reading

The Bible Antiquated?

The Bible Antiquated?

People will tell you that the Bible is antiquated.

What does antiquated mean?

“Very old and no longer useful, popular or accepted: very old fashion, obsolete”

Or how about this definition:

“Outmoded or discredited by reason of age; being out of style of fashion”

Many people do consider the Bible to be very old, no longer popular or accepted.  Many consider it to be out of style and out of fashion.

But to say it is no longer useful or to discredit it by reason of age is foolish.

The Bible is not antiquated. Continue reading