Fools - 2

(Prov 7:22-23)  He goeth after her (the strange woman)  straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; {23} Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

 

      The Hebrew word for “fool” here is ‘eviyl and means literally, “one who hates wisdom; one who mocks when guilty”; we call this a silly fool because they have missed the mark morally speaking. This person’s curiosity and rejection of authority have caused them to violate moral purity. We see this throughout our society today – in young people and older alike. They want to be their own boss and reject any authority over them. They reject the bonds of purity (waiting until marriage to be sexually active) and or reject the vows they have made after marriage. They mock at their guilt in immoral activity and ridicule any and all who would try to help them see their accountability before God. Our society has aided these in their foolish behavior by the immoral laws that have been put in place through the years and now they

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Fools

(Psa 53:1)  The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

 

      Jesus warned against calling anyone a fool to insult or degrade that person – “whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” God says that anyone who denies there is a God is a fool and Solomon says – “a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” The word destroyed means “broken” as ruined – whether it be physically, financially, relationally or spiritually. Since the fool says there is no God then when things happen in life they attribute them to luck, bad luck, karma or anything else other than the hand of God and thus anyone who keeps company with them and accepts their doctrine, will also believe that those things that God allows or permits in their life to instruct, chasten or turn them around from their sin is simply happenstances and not the hand of a loving, heavenly Father. And in this way the enemy leads the erring child of God deeper into sin and away from God.

      The first fool to look at

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Valleys

Psa 23:4)  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 

        Christian or not, we all go through valley experiences in this life. These experiences can often define who we are or become as individuals. They represent those low times or times of suffering or sorrow in our life. It is an experience opposite of what we call the mountain top. Being a Christian does not exempt us from going through these times of sorrow or suffering.

      There are various valleys mentioned in Scripture and typify different situations in life. One such valley is found in our text – the valley of the shadow of death. It is a time of deep sorrow and loss. It represents separation from the living in this world and for many it represents darkness and the unknown. Paul tells us that our comfort in this valley is the truth about the resurrection of Christ and those who die in Christ will also experience a resurrection. To those who survive the ones going through this valley he says, “Comfort one another

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Reasons for leaving the faith

(Prov 3:5)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

(Prov 3:7)  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

 

      People have departed from the faith simply because they were proud and thought they were able to run their own life. They feel they are strong enough to wage this spiritual war on their own. They needed the Lord to save them but from here on they could handle it.

      Solomon tells us not to trust our own understanding and strength. We are finite creatures with very limited knowledge and understanding. The oldest of us have lived only a century and most less on this earth. We may have had a broad background of experience in life, but there is none that have enough wisdom, understanding or knowledge to make it on our own.

      Peter warns of the devil walking about seeking whom he can devour because his stealth is as that of a lion. Lions are large, strong, quick and very clever predators. They are able to see at night and can move softly through the terrain and come upon their prey

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Reasons people leave the faith

(Heb 12:1)  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

 

      The writer of Hebrews speaks of sins that “beset” us – or skillfully surround us; a particular ain that easily preys upon us or engulfs us. This will not be the same for all or everyone. Many may share that same weakness but no matter about others it is a besetting sin for us. It is an anrea in our life that the enemy knows weakens us spiritually and can bring us down quickly and many times easily.

      In this passage the writer speaks of weights along with besetting sins. Weights are areas or things that are not wrong or sinful but something that can weigh us down in our spiritual life. Years ago during a revival service two yoyng landies came to the altar and the end of the service for their own particular need. They were close to one another but not next to each other. After the altar ended

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Reasons people depart from the faith

(1 Cor 15:33)  Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

 

      As we continue to examine reasons that people depart from the Christian faith, we come to a Scripture that needs to be proclaimed loud and long throughout the Christian world; to adults and teens alike.  Wrong relationships can cause us to depart from the faith and often without really knowing what happened.

      When Samson fell in love with Delilah, he became blinded to what an association with this woman would do to him. He was God’s judge for that particular time and God used him to destroy many Philistines and even through a relationship with a questionable woman. When Samson sought a wife the first time his father and mother were grieved that he chose a woman that was not of Israel, but the Scripture tells us that this was of God because God would use this situation to destroy of the enemy – “But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.” Samson may have thought that this was another one of

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Reasons people depart from the faith

(Mat 13:22)  He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

 

      Jesus taught by the use of parables and in this parable, the Sower and the Seed, Jesus told of people who once they have received the word of truth and have been changed by coming to Christ, become unfruitful because of the “cares of life”.

      The cares of life can be both good and bad. We all have responsibilities in life that require our attention and time. If you are married, then you have a responsibility to your spouse and family.  Paul tells us that if a Christian does not provide for his own house then he is worse than an unbeliever -- (1 Tim 5:8) “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Providing for them includes many things – food, clothing, shelter, protection, emotional and spiritual welfare, education and other important and necessary areas of living. This requires time and money and

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The blessed nation

The Blessed nation 

 (Psa 33:12)  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

 

     America’s roots are in God and His word and because we began that way God’s hand of blessing has been upon this nation and the many who have found refuge in it and owned it as their own land. The Scripture is clear, “blessed is the nation whose God (Elohim – the all-powerful Creator of all) is the LORD (Jehovah – the self-existing One). A sign recently mistakenly read: “Blessed is the nation whose God is their Lord.” This could mean any country that worships any god – such as Arab countries or India and etc.

America’s boundaries were established by the Founders of this nation – Godly Christian men and God-fearing men – who knew that any nation is doomed that does not put the Creator God first and the truths of this Creator God into the very fabric of a country’s life. So they set boundaries to guide this infant country toward a path of blessing. Some of those boundaries involved the qualifications of those who were

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The blessed nation

The Blessed nation 

 (Psa 33:12)  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

 

     America’s roots are in God and His word and because we began that way God’s hand of blessing has been upon this nation and the many who have found refuge in it and owned it as their own land. The Scripture is clear, “blessed is the nation whose God (Elohim – the all-powerful Creator of all) is the LORD (Jehovah – the self-existing One). A sign recently mistakenly read: “Blessed is the nation whose God is their Lord.” This could mean any country that worships any god – such as Arab countries or India and etc.

America’s boundaries were established by the Founders of this nation – Godly Christian men and God-fearing men – who knew that any nation is doomed that does not put the Creator God first and the truths of this Creator God into the very fabric of a country’s life. So they set boundaries to guide this infant country toward a path of blessing. Some of those boundaries involved the qualifications of those who were

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Reasons for leaving the faith

Reasons for leaving the faith 

 

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

 

      There are several reasons why some have departed from the faith  -- whether it be the body of truth, the trust in God or a life devoted to Christ and His teachings.  Our text tells us that there will be, and already have been, those who have departed from the faith because they have given heed (to turn the mind to) seducing spirits and doctrines of demon.  Paul lists only two in the passage – they forbid them to marry and also forbid them to eat meat (simply a term for food in general). These false groups, under the guise of Christian, demand of their followers that they remain celibate and also to fast all food – perhaps to the point of emaciation.

      There are groups proclaiming to be based upon the Bible who demand this of their followers. One such was called the Shakers who demanded that anyone entering their body or group live celibate lives. If they entered as a married couple they were

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Living by faith

Living by faith 

 

(Rom 1:17)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

 

      The phrase “the just shall live by faith” is recorded in four separate passages in the Bible – once in the Old Testament and three times in the New. The message is that we do not always see and know God’s plan and working, nor do we know or understand why things are going the way they are, but we live with confidence in God and not doubt Him in any way.

      Present faith is built upon past records of God’s working either in real time in our life or as recorded in Scripture. We know what God has done in the past and we have experienced God’s blessings and working in our life, so we should be able to live by faith in each present situation in the wilderness to satisfy nearly two million people plus livestock. They had experienced the bounty of quail for their meat and manna for food. They saw the glory of God come down upon the tabernacle their built and saw the wrath

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Three aspects of faith: obedient, moral lifestyle

Three aspects of faith – obedient, moral lifestyle 

 

This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck. (1 Timothy 1:18-19)

 

      The third aspect of faith is our conduct or everyday living out of our trust in God and acceptance of the body of truth recorded in the Bible. We might say “living out our faith”.

      There is a belief today that says you can accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and then it’s all finished, you can live any way you want and still be assured of heaven. It has been termed the “easy believism” of Christianity. Numbers of churches promote this doctrine and are sincerely attempting to win souls to Christ by this teaching. They invest time and money into programs, services, outreaches and other venues to bring the gospel to the unsaved. They do this seriously and with great conviction that they are fulfilling the Great Commission, however they are not making true believers, only decisions. Years ago in Harrisburg,

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Body of truth

Three aspects of faith – Body of truth  

 

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all  (Eph 4:4-6)

 

      The second aspect of faith is the body of truth contained in Scripture – Paul says “there is one faith” of body of truth concerning the Christian faith. This does not mean that there is only one denomination that has a patent on Scriptural interpretation; but the basics of Christian belief is one body of truth.

      Paul spoke a little about this to his young preacher, Timothy, when writing to him about problems within the church –“ Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” The false teaching by some of his day that said the resurrection (the resurrection from the dead of believers was past and those at that time had missed it) had brought confusion and discouragement to the believers. Paul wrote to set the record straight and encourage them

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Aspects of faith

Aspects of faith

 

(Luke 18:8)  Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

 

      When we use the word “faith” we usually think of it as “believing, trusting” and this would accurate as far as it goes. But there are three aspects of faith as the word is used in Scripture.

      One meaning for faith is just that – belief or trust. The second aspect as used in Scripture means “the body of truth as taught in Scripture”. The third aspect is in relation to an obedient moral lifer, the way we live. All three are present in a true experience of saving grace. Today we will address the first aspect of faith, that regarding belief or trust.

      Belief or trust is an important part of our salvation experience, but we must not stop with just a belief. There are many, unfortunately, who have bought into the false salvation of simply saying they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for the sin of the world and He is God and etc. Faith is not empty, the writer of Hebrews tells us – “Now faith

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Memorials

(Mat 26:6-13)  Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, {7} There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. {8} But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? {9} For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. {10} When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. {11} For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. {12} For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. {13} Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

 

      Our text today is about a woman who did something extravagant for Jesus that He said would be a memorial for her wherever the gospel would be preached.  It was extravagant in its cost and the sacrifice

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Changing ourself

(Jer 13:23)  Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

 

      Most have seen or heard the saga of decathlete, Bruce Jenner, when he announced that he is now a woman. This Olympic gold medalist has or is going through medical procedures to change his body into that of a woman – hormonal therapy, breast implants, and etc. He claims that God thought it would be his cross or suffering to place him (a woman) in a man’s body; and now through the scientific community and know-how he is changing that situation.

      The secular media hail him as a hero and others mock him, but if all were honest they would emphasize with him. Jenner is trying to remedy what all humans have experienced in life – dissatisfaction with who they are or have been.

      The Scripture from Jeremiah asks a question about the Ethiopian changing his skin color or a leopard changing his spots – in essence changing who they are – and being unable to do this small matter as much as they can (on their own) live a righteous

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Hannah, a true mother

Hannah a true mother 

 

(1 Sam 1:1-2)  Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: {2} And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

 

      We will take a week break from discipleship to Mother’s Day devotion. We will look at Hannah one of many in the Bible as an example of motherhood. Booker T. Washington said, If I’ve done anything in life worth attention, I feel sure that I inherited the disposition from my mother. He recognized the great influence his mother had upon him. Mothers do not become successful by learning a 10-point lesson on raising children. Success is related to who they are more than what they accomplish. Hannah is an example of this principle.

      Hannah was a woman who desired to be a mother but was barren and she was a woman under trial.  She was grieved because she could not bear children. Too often today young

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Discipleship -- new relationships

(Luke 14:26-27)  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. {27} And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

 

      Families are important which all Christian acknowledge as well as right-minded and thinking sinners. The family is the basic of human institutions being the first one established by God when He created Adam and formed Eve from his rib, then commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. From the family developed schools, hospitals, government and other basic institutions. The family was the first school and hospital and the order in the family was the first governmental system. There is an old saying that goes like this: “As goes the family, so goes society. How true this is and we see the decline in society traceable back to the decline in the home.

      Jesus’ call to discipleship is difficult to reconcile with God’s love for and creation of the family. It goes against the intent of God as well as natural feelings and the law of love. Many

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Discipleship -- path of humility

Discipleship – path of humility 

 

(Mat 20:25-28)  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. {26} But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; {27} And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: {28} Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

      All through His earthly ministry Jesus’ disciples were jockeying for position – each wanted to be first or most important. It seemed there was an on-going dispute among the disciples as to who was the greatest – And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? {34} But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.” Even at the last supper they were disputing over who was the greatest –And there was also

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Easter is proof

Easter is proof 

 

(Rom 1:1-4)  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, {2} (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) {3} Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; {4} And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

 

      People around the world will celebrate Easter is various ways. Some will color eggs and hide them for children; others will give candy to others (especially children) others will fast something during the days preceding Easter (Lent) and many will attend some type of religious service (for many it will be one of only two times they attend a church service). But in all these things will people really see or understand the significance of the resurrection.

      Jesus resurrected from the dead and He alone experienced a resurrection. There were others that experienced being raised to life by Jesus, but each one had to die again later. Jesus arose never to die again and has a glorified body

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