Monday, July 20, 2015

The Bible Says "Do Not" Because We Do

Our pastor said yesterday, that the Bible says, "do not" because we do.  I started thinking about that and decided to make a list of the "do nots" in the chapter of Proverbs where he preached from. I may add to this list over time, so check back from time to time for updates. This is a big project, so it will take some time.

Proverbs 3
Do not forget my teaching v1
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you v3


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Marsha's Musings: Living in a Morally Decaying Society Psalm 37

Our society is crumbling and with the new sexual revolution upon us it is becoming more difficult to live as a true Christian. We are bombarded daily with troubling news.

How are we to live in peace with all of these things going on around us?  I read Psalm 37:1-11 and found great encouragement in it.

1. Fret not yourself because of evil doers. v.1
It is so easy to get wrought up about what is happening in our society.  Yes, it is troubling, but we are not to dwell on it in our minds, turning it over and over in our heads.  This only tends toward anxiety.

2. Be not envious toward wrong-doers v.1
It's easy to be envious because they always seem to get what they want while we often get shoved off to the side and marginalized.

3. For they will wither quickly like the grass and face like the green herb v.2 
Fix your perspective.  They will soon be gone.  Maybe not in our life time, but in the bigger scheme of things, they will not last. 

4. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.v. 3
Do  what you know is right and good in the eyes of the Lord.  Be faithful in doing good. When all around you are being unfaithful in various areas of their lives...it is important as Christians that we are faithful. 

5. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.v4
When we delight ourselves in the Lord, our desires align with His desires and He will gives us the desires of our hearts.

6. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.v.5
He wil do His will, therefore commit your way to Him.

7. Rest in the Lord and wait paitiently for Him. v. 7
God's time table is not my time table.  He is working His plan quietly in the background while all of this mayhem is taking place in our society.  I need to rest in Him and be patient while He works His plan.

8. Fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way. V.7
Don't go around wringing your hands because evil doers prosper.  Their time is coming.  God is in control. 

9. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath. v. 8
Righteous anger is fine, but I think this is talking about sinful anger because in the next part of the verse it talks about fretting again and says it only leads to evil doing.  What might our anger cause us to do?  It has caused me to say things that are not very nice or necessary about those who are in leadership. 

10. The humble will inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant prosperity. v.11
Does this mean that we will ultimately come out on top in this world?  No.  Because many of us will die before the wicked  fade away.  But we have heaven to look forward to where the wicked will not dwell and continue their reign of terror.

11. Here is the perspective of the we must maintian in order to not fall into dispair.

“The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.

But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.”
Psalms 37:12-15, 17, 20 KJV
http://bible.com/1/psa.37.12-15,17,20.kjv

12. This is the perspective of the righteous we must maintain:

“A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.”
Psalms 37:16, 18-19, 23-26, 29, 35-36 KJV
http://bible.com/1/psa.37.16,18-19,23-26,29,35-36.kjv






Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Two Rainbows



We see rainbows everywhere in response to a recent Supreme Court ruling. Is it a deliberate shaking of the fist in God's face or was the rainbow chosen ignorantly?  

 

You see the symbol they chose is connected to God's judgment. It was the symbol that God chose to make a covenant with Noah that He would never again destroy all of mankind except for Noah's family. Why did He destroy the earth? Because mankind had become so utterly wicked, flagrantly defying the laws of God and worshipping other things and gods instead of God Himself. So He destroyed everyone except for those in the ark.

 

The rainbow is a symbol of God's grace and mercy in that He promised to never destroy the earth again by flood in response to man's wickedness. But now we see His covenant symbol being used to flagrantly snub people's noses at God.

 

God will judge us. His promise was that He wouldn't do it by flood. God can and will judge the earth by other means. 2 Peter says in the last days the earth will be melted with a fervent heat. God may choose to judge our nation before the end times. We see it in smaller ways already....natural disasters, erosion of freedoms, invasion of enemies such as ISIS all point to coming judgement for our unfaithfulness to God and His Word.

 

Back to the rainbow. How will you embrace it? Will you embrace it as a symbol of in your face rebellion against God or will you embrace it as a symbol of God's judgment and mercy and turn from your sin? The choice is yours.


Scripture related to this:


And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:21-22 KJV)


And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth. (Genesis 9:12-17 KJV)


Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (2 Peter 3:3-12 KJV)




Friday, June 19, 2015

Real Encouragement~Let Others See Christ In Me

1 Corinthians 2
Real encouragement is more about sightedness than it is about explanation. When I talk about sightedness, I am not talking about physical eyes, but the eyes of the heart. God has given us the capacity to “see” unseen spiritual realities that are as real and vital as any physical thing we can see or touch. Spiritual sightedness is a precious gift. 

We get overwhelmed and discouraged in relationships not because we don’t understand what is going on, but because we don’t see Christ. We see the husband who barely communicates. We see the friend who has been disloyal. We see the child who rebels. We see the boss who is unrelentingly critical. We see the wife who is bitter and angry. We see the small group frozen in casual relationships. We see neighbors more concerned about boundaries than community. Our relationship problems can loom so large that they obstruct our view of the one thing that can give us the hope and courage to go on—Christ. 

Encouragement is about giving struggling people the eyes to see an unseen Christ. He is the only hope when the call of relationship has taken me way beyond my own wisdom, strength, and character. As we live with each other in the middle of the already and the not yet, we need eyes to see this one amazing reality: we are Christ’s and he is ours.
~Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp

Thursday, June 18, 2015

...All Scripture is fulfilled in the gospel

I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:7 NASB)

...All Scripture is fulfilled in the gospel, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Everything points to this event...

...You can’t doubt that God loves at the cross. And, as God himself argues, if he demonstrated sacrificial love then, how could you think he would leave you on your own now? God argues that he did not deliver us so that we could be left to ourselves. He delivered us so that we would belong to him and receive all the benefits of being brought into God’s family.

Edward T. Welch



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

From My Devotional Reading Today

From "Heart of the Matter"...a daily devotional


Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; (1 Peter 2:11 KJV)

...How does anxiety misfire? Anxiety can serve a useful function when it alerts us to trouble and drives us to bring those troubles to God. But usually anxiety is also part of the trouble. First, we overreact to real trouble. Second, we become upset about things that ought not to trouble us. In both cases, our bad anxiety reaction reveals what is really going on in our hearts. In every situation where you feel sinfully anxious, you believe something is threatening your world. Your world feels out of control; you are afraid something bad might happen; and you are trying to control your world to keep that bad thing from taking place. How do you respond when you don’t get what you want? Or when you get what you don’t want? Are you full of fear, anxiety, and worry? Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you become obsessed with your problem? Does your mind go over your troubles again and again? All of these responses give you a window into your heart. They help you see which of your hopes, dreams, and wishes you have organized your life around. They tell you what it is that you believe you can’t do without. They let you know which of your desires has become your master. The Bible has a very graphic phrase for those desires. It calls them the “lusts of our flesh” (Ephesians 2:3; 1 Peter 2:11 nasb).~David Rowlison

Monday, June 01, 2015

Marsha's Musings: God's Provisions (Isaiah 43:19-20)


This is a comforting scripture to meditate on when it seems like life is turned upside down.  

Are you becoming tired of the process?  God is going to do a new thing.

Do things look impossible?  God will make a way.

Is your energy spent?  God will give refreshment.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Marsha's Musings: Simplicity (2 Cor. 1:12)



For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. -2 Corinthians 1:12

When I read this the word simplicity stood out to me. I looked up the Greek word for it and learned that it means 

1) singleness, simplicity, sincerity, mental honesty

a) the virtue of one who is free from pretence and hypocrisy

2) not self seeking, openness of heart manifesting itself by generousity

It seems that all of the above meanings can fit in this verse.  The definition that sticks out to me is number 2.  

You see, I have difficulty with this in the area of hospitality.  As Flylady (the homemaking guru) puts it.  I have CHAOS...Can't Have Anybody Over Syndrome.  

This makes me embarrassed to invite others over, therefore causing me to not have an openess of heart and a lack of generosity in sharing my home with others.  The Bible says we are to be hospitable, but CHAOS prevents that.

This word simplicity means more to me than just the Greek meanings.  It means I need to simplify my life...get rid of things I don't need and make my home easier to clean and neaten up so that CHAOS is banished. How can I be generous with my home if I am always concerned about  the mess it is in?  How can I be generous and open with others if my thoughts are about the clutter that pervades my life?

Simplicity...This is what I want for my home and life.  What can I do today to work toward that goal, so that my home will be a place I can bring people into and  serve them with godly sincerity and hospitality without worrying about the CHAOS.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Marsha's Musings: Be Mature In Your Thinking (1 Cor. 14:20


I won't re-type the verse since it is pictured above.  This verse comes from the context where Paul is giving instructions about speaking in tongues and prophesying.  Apparently things were getting a bit chaotic and out of order with people popping up all the place to say their piece.  They were acting immature and disorderly.

This verse has great application for the church today.  Many church fights could be avoided just by applying this scripture to be infants in evil and mature in your thinking.  

So often, as in the Corinthian church, immature thinking leads to selfish motives and actions.  There is always someone who thinks they should control the direction of the church or the people in it and when they can't get their way they set about to stir up trouble. This is the result of immature thinking.

Let's take care that we are mature in our thinking and innocent when it comes to evil.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Marsha's Musings: How Then Shall We Live? (2 Cor. 7:1)



Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1 KJV)

What promises does Paul talk about?

Here they are:

God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:16-18 KJV)

In light of these promises we are to do the following:

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; 

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing;
(2 Corinthians 6:16-18 KJV)

Most people in the U.S. and Canada don't bow before idols in their worship, however, there are many religions that do on this continent as well as around the world.  

What is an idol?  It is anything that you allow to take the place of Jesus Christ or that you esteem as more important than your than Jesus Christ and His Word (the Bible)

I am so guilty of this from time to time!  When I get too busy trying to keep up with my day to day activities that I fail to take time to read my Bible, meditate on what God is saying to me through His Word and spend time in prayer, then I have made my schedule and activities into an idol. 

You see, bowing in prayer before an idol of Mary, Budda, etc. is not the only way to put idols in the place of Jesus Christ.

We can make an idol out of our Sunday dinner when we sit in church planning in our minds what we are going to fix or how we are going to fix it.  We elevate the dinner above paying attention to God's Word being preached. It becomes an idol. We do the same thing with our weekly schedule, allowing it to take over our thoughts instead of worshipping God with all our mind and heart.

I think you get my drift. There are so many ways that we can put people, things and activities over and above God in our lives.

And that is to say nothing of sinful behaviors that are done in private by some. Pornography, lusting after others, coveting other's possessions and spouses are idols because these activities are done in direct disobedience to God's Word. It is to elevate one's desires above God's desires.

So, in light of the promises that God will be in you and be your God, receive you and you will be His people and He will be a Father to you and you will be His sons and daughters, how are we to live?

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1 KJV)

Friday, May 08, 2015

Marsha's Musings: God Says Even The Feeble Member is Necessary!



For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: (1 Corinthians 12:12-18, 21-22 KJV)

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Marsha's Musings: How to Escape Temptations (I Corinthians 10:6-14, 23-24, 31 NKJV)


Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:6-14, 23-24, 31 NKJV)

Idolatry is at the root of sexual immorality, testing the Lord, and complaining.  Each one of these sins stems from idolizing and wanting that which we do not have and want.  It is a discontentment with what God has provided.

Then we have this:  No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

What is the way to escape?  Verse 14 gives us the answer: Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
Verses 23-24, 31 give further instruction for the escape of temptation:
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 

In review, how do we escape temptation?
1. Flee idolatry
2. Realize that lawful things are not always helpful or edifying
3. Seek other's well-being over your own
4. Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God


Monday, May 04, 2015

Marsha's Musings: How to Run The Race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV)




Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV)

1. Run in such a way to obtain the prize
    A. Exercise self-control in all things
         1. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. (2 Peter 1:5-10 ESV)
         2.  For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14 ESV)
        3. The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. (1 Peter 4:7 ESV)
        
    B. Have a purpose don't be aimless
         1. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. (Proverbs 19:21 ESV)
          2. For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, (Acts 13:36 ESV)
           3. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)
           4. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, (2 Timothy 1:8-9 ESV)

I see that self-control means that I remember that I have been cleansed from my former sins and therefore am humbled by this to where I want to be self-controlled so as to not fall back into those old ways.  Self control is a patient waiting for the appearing of Jesus Christ, while living an upright and godly life. It is realizing that we are in the last days, praying for strength to endure and be godly, exercising self control so as to not nullify my prayers in this regard.

To run with purpose means to pursue God's purpose for my life.  The way to do that is to "...love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27 ESV)