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

Power, Corruption, Sin, Truth

Power, Corruption, Sin, Truth

Jeremiah 26:10-11

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

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

The LOVE Of Money

The LOVE Of Money

1 Timothy 6:10

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

I think this verse is one of the most misquoted verses of the Bible.

I know as a child and a teenager I often misquoted this verse and I remember my grandmother correcting me.

Most people paraphrase this verse especially when trying to make a compelling case against corporations, profits and capitalism.

They will leave out the one key word.  They will say “Money is the root of all evil”.  But if you read above, you will notice they omitted “love”. Continue reading

Hard Headed

Hard Headed

Isaiah 48:4

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

The Fall – A Loss Of Innocence

The Fall – A Loss Of Innocence

Genesis 3 deals with what is simply known as “The Fall”.

I am sure most everyone knows this story.  The story of how God gave man the Garden of Eden. A paradise which contained everything man would need to fulfill his spiritual and physical needs.

Genesis 2:15-17

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

God had given man all that he needed, just as Solomon realized thousands of years later, God had given man everything from the moment of creation.  In the Garden of Eden man had all he needed to eat and drink and be happy in his toil.

But vanity took its toll on Eve as the serpent enticed her with covetousness, enticed her to seek and want that which she did not have, that which she did not need. Continue reading

Evil Will Always Be There

Evil Will Always Be There

Ecclesiastes 4:1-3

Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.  And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive.  But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

Solomon is writing about the evil that exists in the world.  When I read these verses I wrote the following note to myself: “Evil always has and always will exist in the world.”  Solomon writes that those who are dead and those who have not been born are better off than the living.  Why does he say this?  Because from birth to death we will always come in contact with evil.  Only those who no longer exist or those who never existed will be void of evil. Continue reading