Strengthening Your Righteousness Muscle

Strengthening Your Righteousness Muscle

Jeremiah 12:1-4

Righteous are you, O Lord,
    when I complain to you;
    yet I would plead my case before you.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
    Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
You plant them, and they take root;
    they grow and produce fruit;
you are near in their mouth
    and far from their heart.
But you, O Lord, know me;
    you see me, and test my heart toward you.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
    and set them apart for the day of slaughter.
How long will the land mourn
    and the grass of every field wither?
For the evil of those who dwell in it
    the beasts and the birds are swept away,
    because they said, “He will not see our latter end.”

The English Standard Version of the Bible gives verses one through four the title: “Jeremiah’s Complaint”.  Some of the commentaries I have read about these verses state that this is not Jeremiah quarreling with God, or attempting to quarrel with God, but it is a plea.  I would say a plea for justice. Continue reading

The Glory Of Man

The Glory Of Man

John 12:42-43

Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

The glory of man, this is what we love.  We love the accolades, the compliments, and the admiration of others.  We love it so much that we are willing to literally stand naked in front of others just for the attention.  It feeds our vanity and it feeds our covetousness.  We covet the attention received by others and want it for ourselves.  We will deny ourselves and righteousness just to get our fifteen minutes of fame. Continue reading

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

We Abandon God

We Abandon God

Lamentations 3:31-33

For the Lord will not
    cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
    according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not afflict from his heart
    or grieve the children of men.

I have previously written about Lamentations, Chapter 3, verses 25 through 27.  In that post I wrote about seeking God and the consequences of your actions.  I then followed that post by writing about verses 28 through 30, which was about taking the responsibility for the consequences of your actions and then learning from those consequences.

Now today I want to write about the three verses at the beginning of this post, Lamentations, Chapter 3, verses 31 through 33. Continue reading

Render Unto Caesar

Render Unto Caesar

Mark 12:17

Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.

This verse is spoken by Jesus, after the Pharisees and the Scribes attempted to lure him into saying something against the Roman rulers.  They wanted to get a comment from Jesus to use against him and have him arrested.

Politics hasn’t changed one bit in the last 2000 years.

But Christ’s answer did not give them the ammo they thought they were going to get. Continue reading

Presumption Is As Iniquity

Presumption Is As Iniquity

1 Samuel 15:22-23

And Samuel said,

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,

as in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

and to listen than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of divination,

and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,

he has also rejected you from being king.”

Saul has just been anointed the first king of Israel.  One of the first things he was instructed to do was pay back the city of Amalek for opposing the Israelites as they made their exodus from Egypt to the promised land.  His instructions were to totally destroy everything in the city, men, women, children and livestock.

Saul totally annihilates the residents but keeps the best of the livestock, figuring they would make good sacrifices to God. Continue reading