Pure and Defiled Worship

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33 While they continued to fear the Lord, they served their own gods, following the custom of the nations whom they had carried away from there.- 2 Kings 17:33 ISV
2 Kings 17:29-40 ISV
Again and again, God allowed other kings to invade and conquer portions of Israel.  He did this because they refused to obey His laws and they refused to keep His commandments.  Finally, God allowed the king of Assyria to remove all of Israel to other countries.  After doing this, the king of Assyria brought in foreigners to settle the land of Israel.  God did not like this, so God sent lions in to destroy the foreigners.  The king was informed that this was happening because the new settlers did not know how to worship God correctly.  He brought in an Israelite priest to instruct them in proper worship.  They learned and practiced the proper worship procedures, but they also continued to worship the idols of each of their respective homelands.  God will not stand for impurities in any worship service or offering to Him.  Either He is our God or He is not, there is no middle ground.  Our God is a jealous God and He will not allow any other god(s) to be a part of our love affair with Him.  Our God deserves worship from hearts that are pure and undefiled.  When we celebrate Jesus, our celebrations must be in obedience to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  We must lift up holy hands in His honor.  There can be no spots in our love feasts.  Everything must honor Him and Him alone.Jude:10-13 NKJV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-10- 2018

God’s Way – One Jesus – One Way

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 But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand and steadied the Ark of God. Then the Lord’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him dead because of this. So Uzzah died right there beside the Ark of God.  — 2 Samuel 6:6,7 NLT

When we read these verses, it seems that God was mighty harsh on Uzzah for trying to do the right thing and steady the Ark so that it would not fall.  But when God instructed Moses to build the Ark, he also gave Moses specific instructions on how to build it and who could carry it.  David and the Israelis were aware of this.  

1 Chron, 15:11-15  

 First of all, David was wrong in letting anyone but the Levites carry the Ark and the Levites were supposed to carry it on their shoulders with the poles that were stuck through the rings on the side of the Ark.  The Ark should never have been on a cart.  If the Ark had not been on the cart, then Uzzah would not have been tempted to sin.  When we decide to something to honor God, we must saturate it in prayer and be sure that we are doing it God’s way and in His timing.  There is only one letter difference in “good” things and “God” things.  The letter “o’, but oh!, what a difference that can make in our efforts ending in a success or a failure.  When God says there is only one way to do something, then we must pay heed and not accept or condone anything less. When Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come to the Father except through me.”,  He was completely truthful and serious.  There is no other way;  not Mohammed, not Buddha, not Rev. Moon, not Mother Earth, and definitely not ourselves.  In a world of chaos and uncertainty, there is a Solid Rock that never changes or moves.  Place your faith in and your feet on that Solid Rock and refuse to be moved.  Don’t doubt, don’t dapple, don’t touch anything else.  He is the same God yesterday, today and He will be the same God tomorrow and He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Let us make that same promise to Him.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-13-2018

Show Appreciation for the Church Elders

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12 Brothers, we ask you to show your appreciation for those who work among you, set an example for you in the Lord, and instruct you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard, loving them because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
 – 1 Thess. 5:12-13 IVS
We are instructed to pray for and respect those that are in leadership positions and have authority over us. This is true in the natural and spiritual areas of our lives. It is God that has lifted them up or has allowed them to be lifted up to those positions. God can use these people, be they good or evil, to accomplish His plans and purposes. As long as their instructions to us do not violate man’s law or the Word of God, we should follow their directives.  So, it is imperative for us to pray for and support our pastoral staffs as long as they hold to Biblical principles. Our support should not only be financial, but we should support them with our time and our presence at the activities they have planned for the church.  Love them, pray for them and  be there for them when they need someone. The leaders of the church are worthy of double honor.
 
 17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” — 1 Timothy 5:17, 18

God has raised them up and if they are no longer worthy of that position, He is their judge and He will bring them down. We should live in peace, not only with the leaders of our congregation, but also with our brothers and sisters in our church, our community and throughout the world.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-18-2018

Thoughts Eventually Lead to Actions

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Each of you must know how to control his own body in a holy and honorable manner, not with passion and lust like the gentiles who do not know God. – 1 Thess. 4:4 ISV
 
 
Paul, in his letters, to the churches reminds them of the things he has taught them about how to live a Christian lifestyle. He continually encourages them to study, to pray for and encourage each other.  These letters were written to churches whose members understood persecution.  They lived with it every day. He was a great example to them because of all the beatings and persecutions that he endured on an almost daily basis.  We don’t have to face those types of offenses every day like they did. But, the temptations of the flesh that Paul warns them against are just as real today as they were then.  As long as we are on this earth, we will be tempted to sin. But, we are also told that we will never be tempted above that which we can bear and there is always a way out, if we want to avoid the sin badly enough. Our flesh tempts in some many areas, we can sin when we gossip, when we hate others, when we withhold our abundance of worldly goods from those around us, when we see others hurting and don’t take the time to comfort them. When we think unkind thoughts about others, even though we don’t say the words, the harm is done to us and our relationship with God. The world is a cesspool of temptations for the flesh.  All of these sins are outside the body, except for sexual sin, which defiles the temple of the living God, Our bodies were created by God to glorify God.  When we participate in illicit sexual activity, whether in thought or action, our bodies and souls are bound with those bodies and desecrate the Temple.

 
 15 Surely you know that your bodies are parts of Christ himself. So I must never take the parts of Christ and join them to a prostitute! 16 It is written in the Scriptures, “The two will become one body.” So you should know that anyone who joins with a prostitute becomes one body with the prostitute. 17 But the one who joins with the Lord is one spirit with the Lord.. — 1 Cor. 6:15-17 NCV

So, we must be careful to avoid all temptations, but, especially sexual temptations.  So, when you feel that nudge to walk away from a situation, don’t just walk away, Run!

 

18 So run away from sexual sin. Every other sin people do is outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies. 19 You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves, 20 because you were bought by God for a price. So honor God with your bodies. — 1 Cor. 6:18-2​0

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 07-15-2018

“Render Unto Caesar…”

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17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.– 1 Peter 2:17 NLT
We should obey the laws of the land unless they contradict the Scriptures. We do this so that people who are watching will not have a reason to criticize the body of Christ. We are free to live as we choose, but that does not give us a license to go around violating the laws of the land. Violation of the law is a sin in God’s eyes. Our lives should reflect the example that Jesus showed us while He was here on earth. As hard as the religious leaders looked, they could not find one legitimate reason to arrest and/or imprison our Savior much less put Him to death on the cross.  They had to resort to hiring people to lie against him on the witness stand. We may or may not agree with the official holding the office, but we are still to respect the office and give due honor to it. Paul shows us this example in the book of Acts:

4 Those who were standing near Paul said, “How dare you insult God’s high priest!”  5 Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’ — Acts 23:4,5 NIV

We must constantly battle the flesh to show love and respect for those with whom we disagree. But we must never use the freedom we have in Christ Jesus to do anything that would cast the slightest shadow on His Name. Fearing God requires us to show others respect and love.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-18-2018

Honor Your Leaders But Fear God

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15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.–1 Peter 2:15-17 NIV

Jesus instructed each of us to “render unto Caeser that which is Caeser’s” and that we must do. We need to pay our taxes in an attempt to keep our nation free. We need to obey the law to prevent chaos. But there is a line we cannot cross. It might have been legal for the money changers to conduct business in the Temple (at least, it was allowed by law), but it did not keep Jesus from chasing them out of the Temple.  
​Dr. James Dobson said:  “​We will render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but in no wise will we render unto Caesar that which belongs to God.​”
1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.–Gal. 5:1 NIV
This nation is on a path to become a slave to greed and lust. Whether it is an individual or a nation, that path is a dead end street.

15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.–James 1:15 NASB
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 03-19-2018

“The Truth and Nothing But the Truth”

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18 Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. – John 7:18 NLT
 

It doesn’t seem to matter how many miracles Jesus had performed or how many times He had spoken, the people were always surprised when they heard Him. Jesus told them that the message He was giving them was not His own but it came from God the Father who had sent Him. Jesus reminded them that they had Moses law which said “Thou shalt not kill” but the leaders were determined to have Him killed, thus disobeying the law handed down by Moses. In today’s world, we must follow the example Jesus set. We must deliver a message based on truth as given to us by the Holy Scriptures. Our message should not glorify us, but it should glorify our Father, who is in heaven. As John the Baptist said:

30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.–John 3:30 (NLT)


When we speak the truth as it is given to us by the Holy Spirit to speak and that message is rejected, it is not us that is being rejected, but, rather, it is Jesus that is being rejected. So, don’t be concerned about being offended, just speak the truth in love and God will take care of the results.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 09-14-2017