Design of the Week – Praise (In His Presence)

July 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s special design is called Praise (In His Presence).

The design uses some simple graphic elements as well as color to portray the love and joy of being in the presence of God and praising Him for what He’s done for us. As Christians, we have the privilege to come before the throne of God with boldness/confidence to ask Him for grace and mercy in times of need (Heb. 4:16). We also have the joy of praising Him for protecting us, providing for us, and most of all saving us from certain destruction. He has given us much to be thankful for and deserves to be praised just for who He is, much less what He’s done.

If you’re having a rough day, you can still praise God for who He is. Life in itself is a blessing. He is good to us and even disciplines us because He loves us. If you are having a great day, then rejoice! It is a perfect time to lift up your voice and sing to the Lord of Heaven.

If you’re not born again, then much of this probably doesn’t make sense. Christians rejoice because God has, in His grace, decided to forgive us of our sins and erase them. He has cleared our consciences of guilt and made us His own. He has saved us from His wrath and allowed us to have the assurance that we will be in heaven when we die. If you don’t have any of that, then you are in danger, regardless of how great your life is. The Bible says that it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment (Heb. 9:27). Once you stand before God, He will judge you for every thought, word, and deed committed in your life. All the lies, lusting, theft, disobeying your parents, hatred, and other sins will be laid bare before God and if you have no way to pay for them, you will be cast into hell for eternity. This may seem unfair, but it would to a criminal wouldn’t it? It is right because God is holy, just, righteous, and perfect. He is eternal as well, so punishment in hell is the only just action to be taken. But, God has made a way for you and I to be spared this tragic end.

If you will repent of your sins (turn from them) and put your faith in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross to pay for your sins, the Bible says that you will be born again and that you can have the same assurance that when you die, you will be saved from hell and enter heaven; not because of what you did, but because of what Christ did. Will you do it? Will you repent of your sins and put your faith in Christ? If so, then you and I can praise God together today!

What has Jesus done for me? (long)

April 22, 2011 at 11:08 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It seems that more and more these days people are asking one simple question. It may take a few different forms, but at it’s root, it’s all the same: “What has Jesus done for me?”. Sometimes it comes out in the attitudes, sometimes in actual words but it’s there none the less. Man’s pride puts himself at the top of the pyramid with everything else beneath him. Even family and friends are often under self. Some that ask this question, do so because they can’t see how Jesus has done anything for them. They think that they are responsible for their own success. Ironically, they always seem to blame God for their failures. Continue Reading What has Jesus done for me? (long)…

Genesis 8:1-12

February 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided. Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained; and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased. In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. The water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible. Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made; and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself. So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.

This week, we will look at the end of the Flood. First, let’s recap a little bit. The world was full of violence and man’s thoughts were evil continually. God has warned Noah that He was going to be sending a flood that would destroy everything living thing on the planet unless it was in the ark. He gave Noah the dimensions and specifics for building the ark. Noah and his sons have started building the ark and while this is going on, Noah preaches righteousness to those around him. He warns them of the wrath of God and the coming judgment. Finally, the 120 years that God has allotted man in order for him to repent has come to an end. The food has been gathered, the animals have boarded the ark, and Noah and his family enter the ark. God Himself shuts the door behind them as the rain starts falling.

Up to this point in the history of the world, no one has every seen it rain. The ground has been watered by the dew. Now, it begins to pour down like a faucet. The seas are roiling as the “fountains of the deep” burst open. The windows of heaven open as well sending down more water. Mankind and many land animals move to the higher ground in the hopes that the Flood will subside, but it is to no avail. The entire earth is in turmoil as the continent splits into pieces, the water rises to the point of covering the highest mountains, and God’s judgment is carried out. It has rained for 40 days and nights and every living thing on the face of the planet is now dead.

Noah and his family are safe on the ark with the animals. For five months, Noah and his family float on the waters and the changes to the planet continue. But God hasn’t forgotten Noah and his family or the animals with them. God closes the windows of heaven, the fountains of the great deep, and causes a wind to pass over the earth. The water slowly but steadily decreases (most likely to the basins of the oceans dropping down and collecting water). After five months, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. At this point, the tops of the mountains were still not visible, but it wouldn’t be long. On the first day of the tenth month, the tops of the mountains finally became visible. Forty days later, Noah opens the window and sends out a raven to check for land. The scripture says that the raven flew and flew until the water was dried up from the earth. This could be because ravens will eat carrion and would have found rest on the multitude of dead animals and people that would have been in the water. He then sends out a dove, but the dove can’t find a place to land so it returns to Noah. A week later, Noah sends the dove out again and it comes back to him with an olive leaf in its beak. Noah waits another week and sends the dove out again and, this time, it doesn’t return to him. This tell him that the water has abated from the earth.

In the face of such turmoil, God had preserved Noah and his family in relative comfort. He provided for them in so many ways. Today, God does the same for us. Just like the ark, God has provided us a way to escape His wrath and judgment. This way is His only Son, Jesus Christ. Like the days of Noah, the Bible warns of a time in the future when God will again judge the world. There will be many who mock and ignore the warnings; and they will pay for it with their eternal lives. Just like Noah in his day, there are many who are calling for people to repent. This is the only chance that any one has. The Bible says that if you will repent of your sins (lying, stealing, lusting, hatred, idolatry, murder, adultery, etc) and put your faith in Christ alone to save you, you will be saved. You can know without a shadow of a doubt that when you die you will go to heaven. If you wait, you will be too late. Today is the day of salvation and it is the only day that you are guaranteed. Please, look at your life in honesty. See the multitude of sins that you’ve committed and know that God’s wrath is building. One day, it will burst forth and consume you unless you repent….

Genesis 6:5-8

January 31, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

This week, we pick up with Genesis chapter six. We’ve seen that things have gone downhill, but it seems like they just keep getting worse. Man has become violent. Whether you believe that the sons of God were the descendants of Seth or fallen angels, the result was vileness and violence. Things have gotten so bad that every thought of man’s heart was evil. Many people will read that and think, “Wow, that must have been a horrible time to live. Everyone was only thinking evil in their hearts continually”. The truth is, nothing has changed! Look around today in America alone. Pornography runs rampant and rakes in billions of dollars a year from men and women. Abortion, the legal right to kill your unborn (or almost born) child has become commonplace to many people. Homosexuality is a stain on our nation. Men committing lewd acts with other men, women committing the same acts with other women, in outright rebellion to God’s order of Creation. Marriages are torn apart by infidelity and adultery. Idols are raised almost on a daily basis as people try to find a “god” that will let them live exactly how they want to live. Evolution is touted as fact, even though there is little evidence (and the story continues to change), and few stop to realize that it’s a religion just like any other. Continue Reading Genesis 6:5-8…

Genesis 5:1-17

January 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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For this week’s study, we’ll begin looking at Genesis 5:

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died. Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan. Then Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years after he became the father of Kenan, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, and he died. Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel. Then Kenan lived eight hundred and forty years after he became the father of Mahalalel, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years, and he died. Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared. Then Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Jared, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died. (Genesis 5:1-17) Continue Reading Genesis 5:1-17…

Boys or men?

October 19, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It seems that the definition of what it means to be a man has changed over the last 50 years. When I was growing up, a man was someone who worked hard to support his family, taught his children right and wrong, and disciplined them when they were misbehaving. Men were those who acted with honor, integrity, and dignity. They were protectors and role models and people looked up to them. They knew about sacrifice and were willing to do without so that family, friends, and even complete strangers could be helped. They married one woman for life and, barring death, stayed with her through everything; not just for the sake of the kids, but because he loved her. While this definition of a man still fits some, it seems to be a dying breed.

In America it is common now to see single mothers trying to eke out an existence on their own, working to support their kids and hardly having the time to spend with them to nurture and guide them. While there are the strange cases where the mothers don’t want a man around to help them (which I really can’t figure out…), a large percentage of them are due to the “man” leaving the woman and children to fend for themselves. Marriages are getting to be less common then they were and divorce is rampant (many due to “irreconcilable differences”). Now, “men” go around in fancy cars, designer clothes, and spend a lot of money in an effort to “get the girl” for a few weeks or months and when the newness wears off, they’re out. Some don’t even wait that long. They act like bigger versions of their high school selves with all the drama and tension.

When did men forget what it means to be a man?

Before someone gets mad at me, I’m not saying that all men that have nice cars, designer clothes, or spend a lot of money are boys in bigger bodies. Seriously though, when did men forget what it means to be a man? When did it become “cool” to leave the woman you professed to love yesterday for the new woman you met this morning? When did it become fashionable to leave the kids that need you so that you can go “do your own thing”? When did your word become so meaningless to you that you are willing to break your vows or walk out of a marriage? I just don’t get it. Look, I know that there have always been men that have been adulterers (the Bible shows me that). And I know that there have always been men that have requested divorces from their wives (the Bible tells me that too). I don’t recall there being much talk about what is currently going on though (and it’s not just America). The stories that I hear about many of the “men” in America are appalling. It’s like they’ve never grown up or learned to take responsibility for their actions. It’s like they are still back in high school playing all the little games that the kids play. And then there are the “men” who just don’t care. Where did this all start?

I actually think that I know when and where this all started, at least in America. This all started back in the early sixties when they began removing God from our public lives. When God and the Ten Commandments were removed from the schools, a number of troubling things started happening. Teen pregnacies rose by hundreds of percentage points. Sexually transmitted diseases rose too. Promiscuity and vulgarity weren’t far behind. I wonder how many people know that back in the early days of movies there were actually laws that prohibited the blasphemy of God’s name? They also prohibited profanity and other shameful things that have become commonplace in the “entertainment” industry. Because we removed God, He removed His hand and we’re reaping the results of that. Our kids are growing up in an increasingly immoral society. They are taught (and even raised) by immoral people who came from the same system. Back when it began, there were still reminants of the decency that comes from a fear of God. Now, those things are all but gone. Sins like homosexuality, pornography, fornication, and adultery are not only condoned, they’re celebrated (If that doesn’t sound like Romans 1 then I don’t know what does)! Greed and covetousness rule the political, industrial, and individual lives of many Americans. Murder is nothing to us anymore and to see that someone died is just another “normal” day.

The fact that our nation has thrown out its morals is the reason that we no longer see men being men. Now our many of the “men” in this nation are monsters, animals (which is what they’ve been taught through the evolutionary indoctrination they get from public school – so much for public schools being religion free…), or effeminate. They have become nothing like the men who used to be here. And the saddest part of all of this is the fact that more often than not, these same “men” are in the church! Some of them are actually leading “churches”. The church is full of men who let their sexual desires run rampant with no concern for themselves, the women, or God. It is full of boys in mens’ bodies who think they know what it means to be a man and are really nothing but a shadow of what they could (and should) be. It is filling up with “men” who love other “men”, “men” who have denied the way that God has defined them and chosen to let their depraved minds lead them down a path of sin. Marriages are torn apart by “men” who spend more time looking at pornography than they do with their wives trying to build their marriage up. Is it any wonder that our country is like it is when the “men” of the church are playing the roles they should be? I think that it’s somewhat amusing that there are many inside and outside the church who talk about what it means to be a man and each of them have their own definition. Oftentimes, these definitions contradict one another, but who cares right? I mean, as long as my definition of a man fits me and appeals to me, what else is there? What these “men” don’t realize is that it’s not their definition of what a man is that counts. The atheists, evolutionists, and secular humanists can talk all they want about how man is just a glorified monkey, but that definition isn’t true. Other’s talk about how a “man” is the one with the biggest house, the newest car, and the most money/toys; but that’s not the true definition of a man either. See, in our post-modern world, we’ve been taught that we can define everything however we see fit. If we don’t like something, we can redefine it. We see this is everything from public schools to the presidency. But that’s not how things work.

If something already has a definition, then that is how it is defined, whether I like it or not. A square is defined as a geometric shape with four sides that are all the same length. If I see a shape that has five sides then it’s not a square. If I see another that has four sides of differing lengths then that’s not a square either. The only things that are truly squares are those things that fit the definition of a square, regardless of how hard or how many times we try to redefine what a square is. The same is true for men. While we can try as hard as we want to define what a man is so that it suits us, if it doesn’t fit the true definition of a man, it’s not one. The true definition of a man is found nowhere else but in scripture. The Bible tells us exactly what a man is and what it’s not. If the “men” in our country don’t fit that definition then they aren’t men. Period. They can talk all they want, they can whine about it and how it’s not fair, but that doesn’t change the definition of a man. God has defined what man is and that’s that.

So what is a man? Here are some scriptures that will help make the definition of a man clear:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-7)

-Man is made in the image of God. This means that we are like Him in many ways. It also means that while we are in His image, we are not exactly like Him. Unlike what many of the prosperity preachers seem to think, we are not “little gods” or “god’s with a little ‘g'”. We cannot create anything from nothing. We can’t “speak things into existence” or command wind and waves like God can. We can be relational. We can communicate and even create.

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.” (Gen. 9:6)

-Here we see that God values the life of man. If God values the lives of men (and women and children), then a true man will too. They will protect the innocent and the defenseless.

He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. (Deut. 8:3)

-Regardless of what some “scientists” and other mockers of God say, every person on the planet owes their very life to God. A true man knows this and respects God.

 Every man is to give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you. (Deut 16:17)

-A true man is generous. He gives as much as he is able to help those in need because he wants to. He doesn’t have to be forced to give or guilted into giving. He doesn’t hoard the things that he has because he knows that God has given them to him and can just as easily take them away (Job 1:21).

Blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1)

-A true man will not give an ear to the wicked. He will keep himself from their schemes and the calamity that comes with them. He will not live his life in a way that will keep sinful man from coming to repentance. While he will be truthful and call things as they are, he will not mock or scoff like so many boys do. A true man meditates on the Law of God and keeps it in front of him day and night that he may not sin against the Lord.

What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! (Psalm 8:4-5)

-A true man recognizes his place and does not see himself any higher than he should. While confident, a true man is humble enough to see his shortcomings and admit them.

A man will not be established in wickedness, but the root of the righteous will not be moved. (Proverbs 12:3)

-A real man does not depend on wicked deeds or schemes to build his life. Instead, he does those things that are right in God’s eyes, knowing that it is these things that will keep him strong in the toughest trials and worst storms.

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. (Proverbs 13:22)

-A true man thinks of his wife, children, and family before himself. He endeavors to leave his children better off than he was. He doesn’t do this just with material things because he knows that those things are fleeting. He leads his family in the way of the Lord, teaching them the things of God so that they spend their lives glorifying Him.

A good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. (Matt. 12:35)

-A true man knows that his heart is the source of evil things like murder, adultery, theft, fornication and other sins (Mark 7:21). He understand that his heart must be changed by God so that it will bring forth the good treasure that he and those around him need.

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

-A true man does not live by his intelligence alone. He knows that this is foolishness because his heart and mind can deceive him. Becasue of this, he lives by faith, not in himself, but in the truth as revealed to Him in the scriptures of the Bible. This faith is not blind, but is the 20/20 vision that he needs to see through the veil of lies the world weaves.

Blessed is the man who’s sin the Lord will not take into account. (Rom. 4:8)

-A true man knows that he is forgiven. He knows that no work that he has done has merited him the free gift of salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). He understands, through the cross, the manifold grace and mercy of God that has been directed toward a sinner like him.

When I was child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; but when I became a man, I did away with childish things. (1 Cor. 13:11)

-A true man knows that maturity is one of his hallmarks. He doesn’t think like a child. He thinks like a mature adult. He doesn’t use the reason that he used to because he’s grown up and gained knowledge and wisdom. He has respect for God and for others and because of this, he does away with childish speech, thinking, and reasoning.

Do not be deceived,  God is not mocked; whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. (Gal. 6:7)

-A true man is not deceived. He is honest about himself and others. He knows that his actions have effects not only in his life, but in the lives of those that he loves. He knows that his actions can hurt others and therefore strives to live like God calls him to live so that he blesses those around him.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

-A true man understands that although he strives to live holy before God, trials come to test him and glorify God. He understands that others actions and choices can affect his life and takes everything that happens to him in light of the scriptures so that he can walk in righteousness.

While these scriptures are no exhaustive, they are an indication that the definition of a man does not come from anatomy alone. According to God’s definition, the definition of a man has nothing to do with the money that he makes or any other material thing. Instead, a man by God’s definition is so much more. The definition that the scriptures give for a man is not something that will be easy to live up to. It is something that will cause a man to choose difficult things and make him look at himself in the purest light. But a true man will make those choices becasue he loves God, loves his family, and loves the lost.

If our nation is to become a place that we desire our children to grow up in, then it will need men to act like men. The church needs the same thing. It is time for the “men” in church to grow up and stop playing. It is time for them to act like men as defined in scripture so that their children will grow up to do the same.

If you think that this is ust about men, you’re wrong. This is about women too. Women need to be women. They don’t need to try and fill the roles that men do. They have their own roles to fill and can find many graces and blessings in doing so. It won’t be until men are men and women are women (inside and outside the church) that things will truly change.

Play the man (or woman)!

Ten Commandments #10

October 13, 2008 at 6:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This week will be the final part of our look at the Ten Commandments. Of course, we’ll be looking at the tenth commandment:

 

Exo 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

 

Coveting is lusting after something that belongs to someone else or something that you don’t have. It is not being content with what you have to the point of constantly thinking about the object and doing everything you can to get that thing.

 

Covetousness is a subtle sin that is often the basis of many other sins. Coveting after someone’s wife often leads to adultery. Coveting after something that someone else has can lead to theft. Coveting a lifestyle that goes against scripture can lead to idolatry. The problem with covetousness isn’t just the fact that it’s subtle (most of the time), it’s the fact that our “modern” society has been conditioned to think that covetousness is ok. Our advertising companies and media outlets make everything from TVs to movies to beauty to cars to houses things that we “can’t live without”. We are trained from a young age to not be happy with what we have. If we don’t have the newest, most up-to-date model car/computer/look, then we are “out of touch” and “behind the times”. Covetousness is basically the “grass is always greener” syndrome. We are driven by the technology and society to be instantly gratified. If we can’t get it now, then we get frustrated and mad. We can’t wait for anything anymore. Not only that, but in many churches the same thing is taught. More and more, “pastors” and “preachers” are telling their congregations that it is our “right” to be blessed. We should be healthy and wealthy and have more than enough. This is not only unscriptural, but it’s ridiculous…

Covetousness can be glaring at times and I think that the current situation in America is evidence of this. Today, many companies are being lead by men and women that don’t care anything about anyone other than themselves. They are in it to get the money and that’s all. There is no loyalty and no concern for others. CEOs are selling out their companies to get millions of dollars and don’t seem to give a rip about the people that are working for them. It’s becoming more and more common to hear things like this. The whole government bailout that just took place is based on covetousness. I am not an economic whiz and I’m not a big-money businessman, but it is my understanding that if you have a business and you don’t what needs to be done to make sure that your business stays afloat, it goes under. That’s it. No bailout. The US has just decided to pay 700 billion dollars to bailout the floundering economy. The funny thing is, I saw an article from Dave Ramsey that had a solution for the current problem that would only cost 50 billion dollars. While that is still a lot of money, it leads me to wonder something. If one Christian man can come up with a solution that only costs 50 billion dollars, then why can’t 100+ men and women who are leading our country do the same? What is that extra 650 billion dollars for? I can’t help but think that it will not be going to the things that it’s supposed to. I don’t think that any of the companies being bailed out by the government should be getting a cent. The reason is more than just the fact that it will be the American people that have to pay for it. The current situation that the US finds itself in is based on covetousness. The real estate problems are due to the fact that the government wanted to “make housing affordable”. What it did was to make it possible for people who couldn’t afford a house to buy one. That’s a great idea. The problem is that this made it possible for people who couldn’t pay for a house to get a house that was well over what they can pay. When the rates went up, they could no longer afford it. People coveted houses that were bigger and more expensive than they could get. That’s covetousness. It didn’t just happen with housing either. It’s happened with cars and other items. It happens with credit cards as well. People buy things they can’t afford on credit because they have to have it. Then, because of the interest rates, they end up paying three to five times as much for the next 5 to ten years. That’s covetousness.

 

So, what does God say about covetousness?

 

Eph 5:3  But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

Eph 5:4  and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

Eph 5:5  For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

 

1Co 6:9  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

1Co 6:10  nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

 

Covetousness is just as bad as any other sin and will be something that will send someone to hell just like adultery and thievery will. To stop the growing covetousness of our nation and our personal lives we need to have a biblical understanding that everything we have is given to us by God. We need to understand and be grateful for what we have. That doesn’t mean that we can’t want new things or that we can’t buy the newest, hottest things. What it means is that we cannot make those things so important to us that they become a “god”. We need to study the Word and teach our kids what the biblical point of view is and then live by it.

Ten Commandments #8

September 29, 2008 at 6:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This week, we’ll be looking at the eighth commandment. This commandment is simple:

 

Exo 20:15  “You shall not steal.

 

Lev 19:11  ‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.

 

Obviously, God says that stealing is something that His people do not do.  So, what is theft? If you asked many people (although it seems to be less than it used to be), they would tell you that theft is taking something that belongs to someone else without their permission. The size of the item taken is irrelevant. The time that has elapsed between the present and the time of the act is also irrelevant.  Theft can also be the withholding of something. If you promise something and don’t provide it all, you are stealing (Ananias and Sapphira).

 

But, why do people steal from others? The main reason that people steal is greed. They see things that they want and will do whatever they need to do to get those things. It is greed that caused the debacle at Enron. It is greed that caused two teenage girls to steal money from a girl scout. Not everyone steals for greed though. Some people steal for the thrill of it. They love the “rush” they get from taking something and knowing that they may get caught. Others steal because they think that they deserve the things that they’ve taken from others, and they often think that the victims of their theft don’t deserve them. Still others steal because they think that they won’t get caught. They often delude themselves into thinking that they are smart enough to have planned for everything. What those people don’t realize is that even if man never solves the caper, God knows what they’ve done.

 

Theft has been happening for a long time. Examples of theft in scripture include: Jacob stealing Esau’s birthright and blessing (Genesis 25:31/Genesis 27), Rachel stealing the idols from her father’s house (Genesis 31:19), Achan stealing some of the things under the ban in Ai (Joshua 7:1), Ananias and Sapphira holding back some of the money from land they sold, even though they promised all of it (Acts 5).

 

Whether people rob a bank or “skim off the top” and change the books, theft is still happening today. People steal everything they can get their hands on. Money, cars, jewels, and even identities are being stolen on a daily basis. The news stations in cities around the world broadcast instances of theft almost everyday. The sad thing is that theft and other sins have become so commonplace that we often turn a blind eye to it and don’t give it a second thought. It seems that many people who steal today, don’t care or don’t know about the results that will occur when they steal. The civil consequences for stealing could be anything from community service to jail time, depending on the severity of the crime and the extenuating circumstances. The problem is that while most people realize that there are consequences, they don’t seem to understand that there are spiritual and eternal consequences that result from theft.

 

In the Old Testament, we see God making it clear what He thinks of theft:

 

Deu 24:7  “If a man is caught kidnapping any of his countrymen of the sons of Israel, and he deals with him violently or sells him, then that thief shall die; so you shall purge the evil from among you.

 

Pro 29:24  He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He hears the oath but tells nothing.

 

1Co 6:9  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

1Co 6:10  nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

 

The Bible says that thieves will not inherit the kingdom of God. It doesn’t differentiate between someone who steals a piece of candy and someone who steals a car. They are both thieves and will not inherit the kingdom of God unless they repent and put their trust in Jesus. So how do we stop thievery? The first thing that we need to do is to teach our kids that it is wrong, even when it is something small. We need to teach them what the scripture says about not only stealing, but also about all sin. We need to tell everyone about the truth of sin and what will happen if they commit sin. We need to stand up and be examples of the truth of scripture so that others will understand clearly and have no excuse. We cannot coddle those who are unsaved. We have to tell them the truth (that is love!) and help them understand. If they understand the truth, they will be open to the gospel and can receive the gift of salvation offered by Jesus.


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