1 Corinthians 7:19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.
Want to deal with something real quick, this idea of the commandments. Quite simply when you look at the word commandments in scripture it is usually accompanied by an action word (i.e. do, keep, obey, etc.). Yet there are those who would say that keeping the commandments doesn’t matter. So why would scripture almost ALWAYS have an action word near the word commandments? Could it be that God expects us to not only talk about it but be about it? I mean these two things are together always.
What is wrong with us is that far too many of us are talking about the commandments and not enough of us are doing the commandments. And you cannot do, because we have not fully given ourselves to Christ. We are not together always with Him and as such our keeping of the commandments suffers. As I recognize this in my own walk, I understand that I must die daily and allow Christ to be the ruler of my life, in order to obey the commandments.
And when Christ is the ruler of my life it is EASY to:
1. Have no other gods besides God
2. Not make graven images of God
3. Not take the name of the Lord my God in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. The 7th day (commonly known as Saturday in the English language).
5. Honor my father and mother
6. Not to kill
7. Not to commit adultery
8. Not to steal
9. Not to bear false witness (aka lie)
10. Not to covet
I guarantee that when Christ is the ruler of your life, when you are together always, you will find these things easy too.
Where is the love?
1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need AND shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
There have been a lot of people running around screaming about how people need to stop living off others, stop living off the government, etc. And I understand why people would have those feelings. But the word of God says something else to those of us who are called into His wonderful light. IF we have this world’s goods AND we see our brothers and sisters in need AND we do nothing, how can we claim the love of God abides in us? I mean, where is the love? We are to be known by our love and that for us includes helping one another and helping strangers in need. After all, is that not what Christ did? Christ was giving on so many levels, (time, healing, spiritual growth, etc.) that there was no question as to whether or not love abounded in His heart.
But can the same be said for us? Are we truly Christians meaning that we follow Christ’s example of loving all and not shutting up our hearts?
History repeats itself
Ezekiel 22:27, 29 Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice.
I was listening to Pastor Seth Yelorda break down this scripture and it got me to thinking….man this sounds an awful lot like the country I live in right now. “Elite” class people who destroy lives to get dishonest gain, oppression of the poor AND needy and extortion of the foreigner without justice. Yup these are all things that I see going on in the USA. And what the text is really getting at is not the problems that the land is facing but the lack of people (men in particular) who are willing to stand up and call what is going on wrong.
Far too often now if you try to call something out as being wrong or immoral you get labelled as a bully or a hatemonger. Standing on the word of God is never wrong. Saying thus saith the Lord is never wrong. There needs to be more people who are willing to stand up and make that stand and call sin by its right name. God is looking for a people who are loving and care for others but also those that are not afraid to hold fast to His Word.
Interestingly Ezekiel 22 closes with this statement: 30 And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. 31 Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord God.”
Now I don’t want to speak for everyone but God pouring out His indignation doesn’t seem like the way to go.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
There are times when I often wonder how this world is being allowed to continue on. The love of many has indeed gone cold and you see evil increasing on the earth. And then I am reminded about this text in 2 Peter 3. The delay in God’s promised return has everything to do with God wanting you to come to repentance. Think about that for a second. God is holding off on wrapping this thing up so that you have multiple opportunities to come to Him and be saved. Somewhere out there today is someone who will stand up and say, I’m sick of this place and want more. I want Jesus as my savior. And heaven itself will rejoice because one more sinner has come home. And the pause will have been worth it.
Bet you love can make it better…..
The Lord works in mysterious ways. Was listening to Bag Lady by Erykah Badu this AM and the hook came in…Bet you love can make it better…and it made me think of how true that statement really is. Love can and does make it better. Check out 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love makes everything better. It is the necessary element to take something from good to great. A man and a woman who like each other will be friends, but if you add love to that mix then you get marriage which is something that God Himself gave to mankind. You can rescue someone from danger and be good but add love and you will lay down your life for that same person.
If you made a bet that love can make it better, yeah, it actually can.
Deja Vu all over again…….
Genesis 20:2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
Genesis 26:7 When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he feared to say, “My wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah,” because she was attractive in appearance.
Have you ever dealt with someone and they did something to you and you wondered if the whole family was like that, only to deal with someone else in the family and they did the exact same thing? Now add to that a dash of God speaking to you and saying you are a dead man and you have the situation of Abimelech. I never noticed this before in scripture but you have to feel bad for Abimelech. Here he was opening up his country to this man and said “hey I like your sister want to make her my queen, etc.” only to find out that it is actually his wife. So imagine Abimelech’s surprise when THE SAME THING happened to his people again with Isaac.
But the real question is are we learning from the mistakes of our parents? Or are we causing people to experience Deja Vu all over again?
God is….part 2
Genesis 21:22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do.”
So I have this question, can people see that God is with you in all that you do? Is it that obvious to people? If you continue reading you notice in the passages that Abimelech returns to the land of the Philistines. Not only that he was king of the philistines. So again I ask, is it clear to people that God is with you in all that you do?