“The Root of Prejudice” January 26

 

The Root of Prejudice - How did the nation of Israel go from being favored by the Egyptian leadership to suffering so much persecution and prejudice that they would end up enslaved by a nation that once welcomed them? And what does it say to us as Christians in our nation today?How did the nation of Israel go from being favored by the Egyptian leadership to suffering so much persecution and prejudice that they would end up enslaved by a nation that once welcomed them? And what does it say to us as Christians in our nation today?

Also …

What if you were arrested for being a Christian? Would the evidence be for you or against you? One day each of us will stand, either before the “Judgment Seat of Christ” or “The Great White Throne Judgment.”

Jesus said, “ “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” Will He be able to testify for you or have to testify against you?

 

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 1 & 2
Psalm 15.1-5
Proverbs 4.25-27
Matthew 17.1-27

 

The Root of Prejudice

 

Exodus 1 & 2:

Abraham, Joseph … now Moses

 

Now we begin another adventure into the Word of God!

God is getting ready to raise up Moses and remember:

“… whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15.4).

When we studied the life of Abraham, the Father of Faith, it helped us know and trust in the faithfulness of God to keep His promises. The Scripture says Abraham:

“Who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be’ ” (Rom. 4.18).

In Joseph we saw a picture, a shadow, of Christ, the Son who was willing to lay down his life for His brothers, to forgive though they caused His suffering.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5.8).

Now, through the life of Moses, we’ll begin to see more of God’s character. This time as our Deliverer—the One who sees our bondage and hears our cries and “in the fullness of time,” His perfect timing, He delivers us. We’ll talk more about this in the days to come.

 

The Root of Prejudice

 

But today let’s take another look at chapter 1.8-10:

8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.”

How did the nation of Israel go from being favored by the Egyptian leadership to suffering such persecution and prejudice? Continue reading

“Suffering & Sin” August 8

 

Suffering & Sin - While we don’t know another’s heart and can’t assume their suffering is the result of sin, ... can sin sometimes be the cause of our suffering?While we don’t know another’s heart and can’t assume their suffering is the result of sin, … can sin sometimes be the cause of our suffering?

Also, with broken families and the pressures of living in a post Christian world, older believers have a mission that has never been more important. If you are a senior adult, are you being a good steward of this responsibility?

And from our New Testament reading … Many people think they are children of God because they belong to a certain church, or because they were raised in a Christian home, or because they have “always believed in God,” or they have been baptized, or taken communion, or are “good people.” But can any of those things save us?

 

Today’s Readings:
Job 7 & 8
Psalm 92.8-15
Proverbs 22.17-21
Romans 9.1-15

 

Suffering & Sin

 

Job 7 & 8:

Soulcare

 

In chapter 7, Job pours out his complaints to his friends and to God and tries to justify his desire to die and bring all this suffering to an end.

Though there are times when we have to exhort, even rebuke, one another because we have gotten into excessive sorrow or self-pity, there are, also, times when we just need to listen and let them pour out their hearts. Bob Kellemen calls it “soulcare.”

In chapter 8, another of Job’s friends, Bildad, responds but with the same underlying belief that Job somehow brought this on himself. Though not everything he says is wrong, it is his assumption that Job caused his own suffering which was wrong. Remember God Himself said Job was, “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (1.1).

That doesn’t mean our suffering is never the result of sin. Often it is caused, or at least complicated, by our own sin. Mike Wilkerson, in his book Redemption
says we are all fellow sinners and fellow sufferers. It may be that we were sinned against, sometimes in grievous ways. But we can respond to the other person’s sin with anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness, with denial, by turning to drugs or alcohol, by acting out sexually, or other sinful and self-defeating ways.

confronting comfortingAnd there are times when we must lovingly confront one another, even when we understand that the person was also sinned against:

1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6.1-2).

 

How can we keep ourselves from being “overtaken in a trespass”?

 

How do we keep ourselves from ending up in the ditch because of some sin?

Continue reading

“Sin’s Connection to Anxiety & Depression” June 11

 

DepressionAre you or is someone you love struggling with depression or anxiety? Does the Bible have anything to say about those issues? Is it ever connected to sin in our lives?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Kings 9 & 10
Psalm 72.17-20
Proverbs 18.14-15
John 19.1-22

 

Sin’s Connection to Anxiety & Depression

 

Proverbs 18.14-15:

Verse 14, “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?”

As human beings, we are able to withstand great physical and circumstantial difficulties. And as believers, who better understand how to respond to those difficulties, all the more so.

But when we lose hope (Prov. 13.12) or are undergoing spiritual pressure, even lesser problems can seem too much to bear.

depressionCertainly spiritual pressure can be the enemy’s attempt to get us to quit when we are walking in obedience or stepping out in faith. That’s one reason why Scripture tells us to encourage one another (1 Thess. 5.11) and why we are not to forsake coming together with other believers, including church attendance and fellowship. Hebrews 10.23-25:

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

But spiritual pressure can also come from God Himself as He deals with us regarding sin. Hebrews 12.5-11:

5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

 

While I don’t want to imply that all depression has a sinful cause, sin can result in increased spiritual pressure, depression, and anxiety.

 

Mike Wilkerson in his book Redemption says that we are all fellow sufferers and fellow sinners. Sometimes it’s us who sins and sometimes we suffer because of the sins of others. But even when the initial sin wasn’t ours, we often respond sinfully. Sometimes with fear and worry, sometimes with anger and bitterness, sometimes we turn to alcohol, drugs, food or some other false god instead of turning to God.  Continue reading

March 26 “Your heart, your will & your mind”

“What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.” What has your will chosen that your mind is justifying? And what does it tell you about your heart?

the heart

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 13 & 14
Psalm 37.23-29
Proverbs 12.15-16
Luke 2.25-52

Deuteronomy 13 & 14:

Fortune tellers, palm readers, and other false prophets

Chapter 13, verses 1-4 talk about the false prophet who predicts something and it comes to pass. So many people assume that such a person must be from God, even though he or she says and does things that contradict biblical truth. But verse 3 says, “you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

fortune teller

There are still people out there today, claiming they can predict the future or they can tell you if your husband is cheating or give you a message from a deceased family member. They may even claim to believe in God, and perhaps they do. James 2.19 says, “… Even the demons believe—and tremble!” And in Matthew 8 when Jesus met two demon possessed men, the demons cried out, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

You can believe in God and not be of God. We are told to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5.11). A command we should, also, consider in other areas of life like our reading, movies and TV habits.

God is still testing our hearts today. Do you love truth and trust that God will reveal to you anything you need to know, or do you seek to know things that only God truly knows, fully understands, and will reveal as He sees fit to do so? Continue reading

January 26 “Persecution, prejudice & the evidence against you”

Evidence

What is one major root of prejudice and how does it relate to what’s going on in our country today? Where do you stand on the major issues involved?Would there be enough evidence against you to prove that you are a true believer?

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 1 & 2
Psalm 15.1-5
Proverbs 4.25-27
Matthew 17.1-27

Exodus 1 & 2:

Abraham, Joseph … now Moses

Now we begin another adventure into the Word of God! God is getting ready to raise up Moses. Remember, “… whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15.4).

When we study the life of Abraham, the Father of Faith, it can help us know and trust in the faithfulness of God to keep His promises. The Scripture says Abraham, “Who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be’ ” (Rom. 4.18).

In Joseph we saw a picture, a shadow, of Christ, the Son who was willing to lay down his life for His brothers, to forgive though they caused His suffering. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5.8).

Now, through the life of Moses, we’ll begin to see more of God as our Deliverer—the One who sees our bondage and hears our cries and “in the fullness of time,” His perfect timing, He delivers us. We’ll talk more about this in the days to come. Continue reading