If we look at the Word of God carefully and truthfully, it will tell us exactly what and who we are.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Wednesday, August 21
Tuesday, August 20
Knowing Jesus Is Coming Again Changes Us
“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works,” Titus 2:14.
Zeal is the necessary qualification of positive duty or acts of goodness in the life of every believer. It does not matter if it is taking out the trash or singing in the praise band, choir or standing behind the pulpit, both the motive and the enthusiasm is judged by God.
What God loves is a willing heart and body, one that is willing to get into the hedges and highways, to tell the good news of the gospel. Take Brother Bill for example. Bill is an older man confined to a wheelchair due to a breathing disorder. It took three men to baptize him because of his disability. He cannot physically work, but he uses what he has available to work for the Lord. He rides his scooter about five or six blocks to church with a handwritten sign on the back that reads, Follow me to Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. He will not let us pick him up in the church van. He uses Facebook to post positive, uplifting Scripture messages and sends messages of encouragement to others. Even with his disability, he is enthusiastic
REFLECTION: How about you? Me? Do we live and work like we believe Jesus is coming? It is high time to get busy!
A child of God has something to hope for in any situation
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Today, we are going to talk about Lot just a bit. I say just a bit because we could write volumes about Abraham’s nephew Lot, and see a thousand lessons in his story; actually, many people have done just that. But, there is just one incident I want to focus on in this story. We do have to recap Lot’s life just a bit first though, to put this in context. I’ll reference Scripture, and readers can read the recap for themselves.
Lot first appears in Genesis 12:1-4 when God tells Abram to depart Haran and head to as yet undisclosed location.
We see Lot again, when his shepherds and those of Abram quarreled over good pasture land in the area they had gone to. In Genesis 13 we see the selfish decision Lot made in regard to the parcel of land he and his group desired. Lot “pitched his tent toward Sodom.” Verse 12. Looking back, we know this was the beginning of the troubles for Lot.
Our first indication that Lot had done more than just set up camp in the countryside comes in Genesis 14 when there was a rebellion and war among some kings in the Sodom area. The victorious king took the goods and people of Sodom, and because Lot was now actually living in Sodom, he and his family were also taken. “And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.” Verse 12.
As we fast forward to Genesis 19, we see that Lot is deeply entrenched in the business and culture doings of the sinful city of Sodom. The angels sent by God to extract Lot and his family from the imminent destruction of the city found Lot at the gate, with the other prominent businessmen of the city. He was entrenched deeply. “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;” Verse 1.
Like we have done in others in this series, let’s talk about the call of Lot. Was he? Well sure he was. We know this because God sent angels to save him out of the destruction. The Holy Spirit revealed that also to Peter as he wrote one of his Epistles. “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexeyld his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” 2 Peter 2:7-8. So, yes, this one easy, God Himself through His Word tells us that, despite himself and his actions, the Lot was a called and righteous man.
All this makes one incident in this story all the more amazing, and sadder than sad. The two angels briefed Lot on what was to happen to his city, and Lot began to gather and inform his family. This happened:
“And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.” Genesis 19:14
That seems completely nuts, doesn’t it? His sons in law literally laughed at Lot. Clearly, this was the first time they had heard any talk of God, or sin or judgment…EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE MARRIED TO HIS DAUGHTERS! Let’s not let his girls off the hook either; even though righteous themselves(they were saved from the destruction,) they obviously had never mentioned those issues either.
We can sit here a few thousand years later and talk about how this sounds crazy, and waggle our fingers at Lot for allowing such a thing to happen. But, friends, when we do we need to make sure we aren’t being big hypocrites when we do. I can testify personally to dozens of people who profess to belong to God, yet never mention his name in their own families; this would include parents who profess Christ, yet never expose their children to the Gospel.
Here is a quote that might put this issue into perspective:
“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?
“I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”
Who said that? Some famous evangelist or noted preacher? Some great commentary writer? Well, no that’s a quote from atheist Penn Jillette, of the magician duo, Penn & Teller. (and a pretty funny guy honestly)
That’s awkward, isn’t it?
by Beverly Barnett
Tuesday, August 20
Our Duty Until Jesus Returns
“And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading,” Luke 19:15.
God gives every one of His children, abilities, opportunities, time, talents and a place to impact and enlarge His kingdom until death or He returns. It is up to us to waste or multiply what He has given us.
What if Jesus were to contact you today and say, I gave you something to use until I call you to me, now what have you done to glorify me or build My kingdom? How would you answer? Believers are to be an active participant in the kingdom of God. God gives each of us the ways and means to give Him glory, no excuses.
In this parable, Jesus tells of a nobleman that went to a far country, but before leaving he gave ten servants, ten pounds and asked them to invest in something that would draw interest and he would collect it when he returned. Jesus is the nobleman and we are the servants in this parable. Jesus has gone to Heaven to prepare a place for us. He gives the Holy Spirit to live within each believer, and together as the Holy Spirit guides, encourages and protects, we are to enlarge His kingdom by spreading the gospel. We do this by coming alongside new believers, supporting His church with money, attendance and participation.
But, what will we have to show Him when He returns? Empty pews and hoarded bank accounts?
REFLECTION: “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).
IB, this is so true, and such an encouraging thing. That is why “In the Garden,” is a favorite of mine. Here it is, sung by a favorite of mine. Great post, thanks so much.
Anybody ever read that tale, “The Secret Garden,” by Francis Hodgson Burnett? It’s one of my favorites. The other day I watched a visually stunning movie, telling the story in all its gloomy Victorian, gothic wonder.
For a plot spoiler, our heroine is the neglected child of some wealthy parents in India. She is orphaned and sent to live in England on the edge of a remote moor, in a strange and lonely household, marked by nothing but tragedy and suffering. There she discovers the secret garden and her cousin Colin who is an invalid, but he is an invalid because he has been told he is one. His mother died in child birth, he barely survived himself, so those around him have wrapped him in so much fear, guilt, and shame, that he has been crippled by all their perceptions and projections.
Mary, Mary, quite contrary, restores the secret…
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