Friday, March 31, 2017

Who's a Fool?

                       Who’s a Fool?
                                        Psalm 14:1a
            The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

The Bible has so much to say about being a fool. The word fool can mean: senseless, blockhead, dope, dummy and so on. A fool is someone who disregards God’s Word and whose heart continually turns toward foolishness. Fools do not always learn their lessons as seen in Proverbs 26:11, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” Fools continue to do the same foolish things over and over again leading to their own destruction.

A fool hates knowledge, enjoys wicked devices and cause themselves trouble with their proud speech. Foolish people have a quick temper, mock sin and bring grief to their parents. The Bible is very clear in warning individuals not to associate with fools according to (Proverbs 14:7). If you walk with the wise you will become wise, but if you walk with those that are fools you will suffer the consequences of their folly––harm (Proverbs 13:20).

The most notable definition of a fool is found in Psalm 14:1 and 53:1 which gives an account of what the fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” Their ways are vile, corrupt and there is not one that does good. There is a distinction between the biblical definition of a fool and the word Jesus used in Matthew 5:22.  Jesus forbid the used of the word (raca) to describe a Christian brother.

This word implied utter worthlessness or beyond the reach of God being condemned forever. We have no power to condemn anyone to eternal damnation because that judgment belongs to God. We should be exhibiting love and compassion towards those that have turned their hearts away from God and are demonstrating evidence of foolish behavior. Christians that walk in wisdom may be instrumental in turning a heart away from destruction to eternal salvation (James 5:20).

Lord, may I walk in Your wisdom before a lost and dying world.



Friday, March 24, 2017

"Fear"

                                "Fear"

                                        Proverbs 29:25
“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”


The Definition of Fear: An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone.

How often do we experience the crippling effect of fear? What circumstances or situations send us into uncontrollable waves of anxiety? Can we let go of this overwhelming fear or, are we afraid of what might happen? Does the fear of man have such power over our lives that it paralyses us to the point of despair? We are encouraged through the Word of God to depend upon the power of God which keeps us from the fear of man.

May I assure you that God is working in and through every aspect of your life. You can trust Him with all that He has allowed to come across your path. It is not easy to trust God in times of adversity because no one enjoys pain or suffering to be sure. Having such a relationship with a God that allows you to walk through any trial with confidence, gives assurance that He is there with you through every situation. God never walks away and leaves you to chance or random circumstances, but moves in your life to accomplish His purpose and bring glory due His name.

We must not fear the unknown, nor sickness, nor the loss of life, nor any unfavorable experience laid at our feet–––for with all adversity comes a deeper relationship with our God. His faithfulness sustains us for we are not independent of God but dependent upon His continuing power to give us life and breath.

Lord, may I trust Your Word in knowing that You are with me no matter what fear or trial may come my way.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Hypocrisy, Unbelievable Deception

   Hypocrisy, Unbelievable Deception

                                       Matthew 23:13
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
  

What is a hypocrite? The dictionary describes a hypocrite as a: dissembler, (concealing one's true motives, feelings, or beliefs), deceiver, liar, sanctimonious person, a phony, fraud, and a fake. Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or spiritual beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform. This is a false display of feelings, attitudes, or intentions to make something that is not genuine or sincere appear to be true.

How did our Lord treat hypocrites and those pretending to be something they were not? Christ’s warnings to those pretending to be something else were words of harsh judgment and wrath. He exposed their hypocrisies, deceit, and lies and repeatedly warned teachers who were empty of the knowledge of God. They said they offered salvation to others but were void of the salvation they claimed to proclaim. False spiritual leaders were cursed for keeping people out of heaven.

False leaders develop reasonings that pervert the truth. God is a God of truth, a God who cannot lie, and who hates lying (Proverbs 6:16-19). God is a God who speaks truth and so any false system is a lying system. False teaching results in dead works and though many may appear to be good, God sees their heart and knows their motives behind the deeds. Hypocrisy is outwardly naming the name of God but inwardly perverting the truth of the Gospel and deceiving people into believing lies. “Woe,” unto those who are hypocrites for their judgment will be fathomless and imponderable!

Have you slipped into this type of life style, saying one thing and living another?  Scripture gives warning that trouble, misery and sorrow will arise, if you don’t consider your ways.

Lord, search my heart to see if there be any grievous or hypocritical way within me.

Friday, March 10, 2017

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

  His Steadfast Love Endures Forever
                                    Psalm 136:26
O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy (steadfast love) endureth for ever. 

The Bible’s account of the Exodus, as described by Moses is one of the most significant stories ever told. The book is written so that we may trust in God, acknowledge His power, see the extent of His strength and experience His extraordinary love. Through this testimony, God’s mercy and enduring affection is shown towards His children and will remain true throughout eternity.

The Israelites had been enslaved for about 400 years and had lost faith in the God of their fathers. They believed in God but doubted that He could or would deliver them from their horrible bondage. The Egyptians, like many other pagan cultures, worshiped a wide variety of nature-gods. Idolatry is anything that replaces the one, true and living God.

The 10 plagues sent upon Egypt in Chapters 7-12 of Exodus were written down to give Israel hope in their God. They would be a reminder to the generations that followed of the mighty works of YAHWEH, the Self-existent One. In the last plague, the firstborn male child and animal would be struck down in death. God commanded each family to take an unblemished male lamb and kill it. The blood of the lamb was to be put on the top and sides of their doorposts, and the lamb was to be roasted and eaten that same night. Any family that did not follow God’s instructions would suffer in the last plague.

In the tenth plague, God was teaching the Israelites a deep spiritual lesson that pointed to the coming Christ. Unlike the other plagues, the last plague would take an act of faith by them to follow God’s directions.  In the New Testament, Jesus would literally become the last Passover Lamb to die for our sins and deliver us from it’s bondage. The most spectacular picture of redeeming love ever shown is the substitutionary death of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Lord, thank You for Your unwavering love for us.

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Psalm of David

                   A Psalm of David
                                        Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth  his handiwork.

David is the author of this wonderful psalm. He is writing to the Master of the service of song, the choirmaster in the sanctuary. David, while watching his father’s sheep, must have peered into the heavens noting the beauty of God’s handiwork. There, he declared the glory of God being surrounded by the work of His creation. This vast expanse of space illustrates the existence of ELOHIM, the Strong Creator. It is the heavens proclaiming to all mankind the actuality of an Almighty God.

Another fascinating distinctive of our Strong Creator is in Isaiah 40:22, which mentions the “circle of the earth.”  When the earth is viewed from space, it always appears circular. Because the earth is round, it makes God’s description,  picture perfect. An additional verse indicating the earth is round is Job 26:10. “He hath compassed (to describe a circle) the waters, with bounds. . .” The boundary between light and darkness (day and night) is called the “terminator.” If you were standing on the terminator, you would be experiencing either a glorious sunrise or a breath taking sunset.

The things that we see every day should lead us to reflect on the beauty of the heavens, and the magnificent design of our great Creator. God’s divine power shows the foolishness of the atheist who sees the heavens and yet says, "There is no God’’ (Psalm 53:1). Our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln wrote: “I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained (set in place); What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest (cares for) him” (Psalm 8:3,4)?

Lord, the beauty of Your heavens declare Your glory forever.