Tuesday, July 28, 2020

James Chapter 2: Do Not Discriminate

Read James Chapter 2 by clicking HERE

In this day of debating the ethics of "Black Lives Matter" verses "ALL Lives Matter", I think it is time we stop to remember Jesus Christ and how He died because "ALL SOULS MATTER".

Below, Mark Yule gives a great sermon on James 2.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Leviticus 25:14 Business Exploitation

Leviticus 25:14

“And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour's hand, ye shall not oppress one another:”

If you are looking to start or do any kind of business as a Christian, then you should make sure to consult The Word in everything you do.

Leviticus 25:14 talks about exploiting your customers. According to God, that is not the way business should be done. I went to Bible Gateway to get all the translations of the verse I could in order to get a better understanding of this verse given the content.

Let's look at the word "exploitation" to fully understand its meaning. According to Bing, it is "the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work."

Most business owners are opportunists. It is not a bad thing to be an opportunist, as long as the business is done fairly. If you have a shortage of bread in your city and you decide to become a baker because the opportunity is ripe for it, that is not a bad thing. But to sell that bread for more than 100% profit is not fair to your customers. To sell it for less than profitable is not fair to YOU. While seeking to do right by your customers, make sure that you are also holding the customer accountable by making sure he or she does right by you, and vice versa.

Check out the video below for more information in Christian business principles:

Monday, June 8, 2020

Genesis Chapter 3:1-6 The Great Fall

Genesis 3:1

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
Did God say that? No. He didn't. Let's back track:

Genesis 2
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The Human mind is tricky. It will make you question what you remember. "Did God say that to me? How exactly did He put it? Maybe this is what He meant?"

Genesis 3
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
God doesn't say what He doesn't mean, and He always makes Himself clear. He told them they could have anything they wanted to eat in the garden from the trees; but that there was ONE tree that they were not to eat from. He didn't tell them they couldn't touch it. Eve added that in there. Eve's mind said that if she didn't touch it, she would be safe from eating it. But one lie deserves another lie to build a rationalization. Satan knew if she was willing to cling to even the tiniest of lies for safety, he could edge the door wider.

Genesis 3
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
As teenagers, most of us remember the thoughts that ran through our minds when our parents told us not to do something. "They just don't want me to enjoy myself" is what it came down to most of the time back then. We rationalized that it was okay to dis-obey because our parents were wrong to do that.

Just like our parents, though, God wanted so much better for Adam and Eve. He wanted them to have a life free from stress and worry, free from sickness and disease, free from danger and free from struggle. Adam and Eve, much like us when we were teenagers, had not experienced the world like that. They couldn't conceive of life going wrong. They couldn't understand why rules were enacted.

Sure, God could have removed the tree from their reach, but would that have taught them anything? Would that have proved their obedience to Him? Would it have proved their love? A lack of options is not a choice. God didn't want robots, He wanted authenticity in His relationship.

He still does.

Satan did a good job of giving Eve different thoughts to muddle her rationalization skills.

Adam and Eve were the beginning of the human race. Whatever they did would effect their progeny forever.

Genesis 3:6

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

Eve, who had rationalized in her mind that just touching the fruit was dangerous, touched the fruit and did not die. Seeing it caused her no harm, she took a bite. If we add to the Word of God enough, we start to believe it. This is why Revelation says not to add to or take from the Word of God. Our minds can be tricked by Satan to believe a lie.

How hard was it to follow His instruction? Think about that the next time you tell your 3-year-old not to push a button.

It is important to take God at His every word. It is important to follow His command. It is important to KNOW the Word of God so that when Satan presents over-rationalizations, you can refer to it in it's correct form and maintain the straight path of obedience.

1 Samual 15

22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

The Reasons for Plagues

God visits plagues on people for several different reasons.

Exodus 9

13 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
14 For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.

The Pharaoh of Egypt was asked not to let Israel go and be a free people, but to let Israel go for a time of worship. They would return when they were done, if only he'd let them go. But the Pharaoh wanted to control Israel and saw the need to worship God as a petty thing, not worthy of his attention or permission. So, God freed the people of Israel so that they could worship any time they wanted to. A plague was just one way He did this.

The United States has recently entered into a time of petty persecutions for prayer. Schools have disallowed prayer, public events have omitted prayer out of fear of offending those who don't. Nativity sets in public places have been condemned. Bakers who choose to follow Christian guidelines have been sued. Is it surprising, then, that God would send a plague to visit us?

So, those who are on the fence should look at what has happened here as a warning. If the citizens of the United States do not turn from their sins and revere and respect God, it just might get worse.

Leviticus 26:21
“And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.”

Churches in America have an important function to play: It is their job to pray for America, to intercede for those who refuse to take God seriously, and to lead God's children into righteousness, so that plagues do not affect them as a people.

It is NOT the church's job to test God and defy common sense when it comes to how to prevent the plague. Continuing to hold public services in spite of stay-at-home measures, social distancing instructions and good hygiene practices is not the way to prevent plagues.

Holding God in front of them and continuing to worship in spite of the chaos around them is.

We must remember, church is not a place you go to. Church is who you are.

Numbers 8
19 And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of the congregation, and to make an atonement for the children of Israel: that there be no plague among the children of Israel, when the children of Israel come nigh unto the sanctuary.

There is so much to be thankful for. The Lord does not like complainers. The Lord likes contentment. The Lord provides everything we need when we need it -- food, shelter, clothing. Does it matter, then, if your clothes are not name-brand? Does it cover your body sufficiently? Does it matter, then, that your home is not fancy, or that it is small and in need of painting? When the storms come, does it protect you? Does it matter that you are not eating steak or don't have the variety of food you long for? Does it keep you healthy enough to survive?

Read the 11th Chapter of Numbers
Numbers 11:33
“And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.”

When God sends you to do a mighty work, and you are too fearful to do it, it could stir His anger. God does not like the naysayer. He doesn't like those who are negative, or those who stir up fear for those who need to move forward in order to accomplish what He has set out for them to do.

Numbers 14
36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,
37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.

God will not tolerate false teachers. He will not tolerate bad influences, either. Anyone who causes the children of Israel to think that sinning is more greatly to be desired than obedience is endangering the body of Christ as a whole.

Numbers 31
14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.
15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

God has given us the Bible, which contains His Word. Bible is an acronym which stands for "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth". He expects us to read and meditate on His word, and to obey His commands from it!

Deuteronomy 28
58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;
59 Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.
60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.
61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.

God has said "Fear Not" 365 times in the Bible. That is one time for every day of the year. It is a command. He commands us to worship Him, and to move forward in faith, where ever we are, and whatever we are called to do.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

It Is Finished

Only one person in history has ever finished everything God gave Him to do.

John 19:30
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

Unfinished business is a way of life for most of us.

What we must come to realize is that unfinished business is finished business. It's time to stop dwelling on projects that have aged to such a degree that to try to finish it will further deteriorate it.

It is finished.

The best you can hope for, if you really want to try to build on an old project, is to renew the project. Remodel it. Rebuild it. Start over. Make it new. Make it into something that suits your present purposes -- because the old needs and wants you had no longer exist.

It is finished.

Each night, before you go to sleep, you pray to God -- and you say, Amen. It is finished. The day is done. All your needs have been met for the day. All your hopes have been voiced and laid at God's Feet.

It is finished.

You cannot move forward until you accept that what was is done -- over with -- finished. Now it is time to make room for new -- fresh -- and innovative.

It is finished.

What we have left undone, God nurtures in His own time and proportion. We can give God a broken heart, and He can nurture it into a lesson learned -- a new dream -- a great friendship -- a different and better future. We can give Him a disappointed day and He can nurture it into the food for the soul that we need for a better tomorrow.

But, we must move past the past works of unfinished business in order to build something more useful and worthy of our time.

Jesus finished His business on earth. Every year we acknowledge the resurrection of the soul and the newness of life after accepting His sacrifice.

Now it is time to accept the finished business of your own past in order to bring about needed change for the abundant life ahead that He has in store!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Dr. Dobson Shares An Easter Message of Great Hope

By Dr. James Dobson

We are living in surreal times—it is a moment in history when America and nations around the world have been shut down. Families are under restrictions to stay home, and many workplaces have closed their doors. People are frightened and concerned about what might happen next. Yet for Christians, there is great hope!

Over 2,000 years ago, God the Father sent His one and only Son to bear the sins of all mankind on the cruel cross of Calvary. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ transcends life's circumstances and represents a historical marker that lies at the center of everything we believe. During His earthly ministry, Jesus walked the roads of Galilee teaching a message of repentance and performing miracles. People were desperate just to touch the hem of His robe. They gathered in small and large groups to hear His words, and with open arms, Jesus received young children, tax collectors, the infirmed, the curious, and the criminal.

As Jesus' time to be tried and crucified approached, the disciples were fearful and confused. Was this really the purpose for which the Messiah had come? The future looked bleak and frightening.

Many of us are experiencing our own concerns today. We are facing a pandemic like nothing we have ever seen. While recent news reports are revealing a potential light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, there are still many questions about this disease that remain unanswered. Will we see family members or friends afflicted by the coronavirus? When will a sense of normalcy return to our lives?

While Jesus' mother and the disciples witnessed His brutal suffering on the cross, I can only imagine that they also experienced waves of fear and uncertainty. Yet beyond the darkness that veiled their skies, God was carrying out His plan of redemption. And three days later, light overcame darkness and hope conquered fear as Jesus rose from the dead! Fast forward to today, and God is still on His throne weaving His redemptive threads through our lives. He loves you and has a plan for you.

This is the magnificence of Easter—the same hands that were pierced by our rebellion now reach out to us in compassion and forgiveness. God sent His Son to become one of us to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. Truly, we can say with the prophet Isaiah, "But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).

To those of you who are overwhelmed by the cares of life right now and are burdened by the weight of the world during this season of uncertainty, I urge you to look to the risen Christ. He is our eternal hope! May His grace and peace surround you and your loved ones, not only on Easter Sunday but every day of the year.