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
When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the Lord and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the Lord. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”
What has Jeremiah said or done to make the officials of Judah want to have him perish? Well, let’s look back at Jeremiah 26:4-6: Continue reading
Because I know that you are obstinate,
and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass,
This is Isaiah summing up man.
In Isaiah 48, Isaiah is telling the Israelites how God has shown them miracles, brought them out of bondage, and informed them of the consequences of their actions. God reminds them that all the things told to them and shown to them have come to pass. The Israelites knew of the consequences of their actions and chose to ignore them, they turned to man-made idols for their salvation. Continue reading
“With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
I made a note about these three verses but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write. Now, as I read them and begin to write this piece, I realize just how simple a message it is, yet so eloquently stated.
In the English Standard Version of the Bible, these verses are titled, “What Does the Lord Require?” Continue reading
Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the Lord,
that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
You have plowed iniquity;
you have reaped injustice;
you have eaten the fruit of lies.
Because you have trusted in your own way
and in the multitude of your warriors,
When Hosea became a prophet, the first thing he was instructed to do by God was to make a prostitute his wife. He was then told to have children with his adulterous wife. This was to signify how Israel had whored after false Gods, seeking pleasures of the flesh over the love of righteousness. These two verses are another example of self responsibility and the individual having to bear the consequences of their actions. Continue reading
(This is a previous post, but I thought its sentiments are a good start for 2019.)
The other evening I read 2 Samuel Chapters 11 and 12. It’s the story of King David, Bathsheba and the price David paid for his sins.
If you’re not familiar with the story here is a recap.
One day King David is up on the roof of his house looking around. He looks down and sees Bathsheba taking a bath. She is described as “very beautiful”. David wants to know who she is. He asks and is told she is the wife of another man. This doesn’t stop David, he has her brought to him and then next thing you know Bathsheba is pregnant with David’s baby.
David knows that this isn’t going to look good. The holy king knocking up another man’s wife. Continue reading
“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?’ 11 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.
These verses help solidify my belief that the Bible is a manual for the individual. In my previous post, Stand On Its Own, I wrote about these verses, but today I wanted to write some more as I feel strongly about the individual. Verses like these speak of the individual and how the individual is responsible for their actions. Although each day circumstances beyond our control are thrown at us, how we respond to those circumstances is what we can control. Our response is what makes us who we are. Continue reading