Saturday, August 28, 2010

Warning After Warning

Monday, August 30, 2010: Jeremiah 17:2425 (NKJV)

“And it shall be, if you heed Me carefully,” says the Lord, “to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it, then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, accompanied by the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain forever.

Background: Jeremiah the prophet has warned the people of Judah and Israel of the impending judgment of God on an unrepentant people in vain.

What was connected with keeping the Sabbath holy? The Kings of Israel would be sovereign over a peaceful nation. This is one with open gates and honored Kings. This is God’s provision.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010: Jeremiah 18:5 – 8 (NKJV)

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.

Background: Sent by God to a potter, Jeremiah sees a flawed vessel reshaped by the potter.

What does God desire? Repentance for evil, not sacrifice no some great work. He provides.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010: Jeremiah 18:11 (NKJV)

“Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.”

Is the warning from God without a way out? No: God, in His mercy calls on each person or nation to repent or turn around to the good pathway. He will provide.

Thursday, September 2, 2010: 2 Chronicles 36:16 (NKJV)

But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.

What does no remedy imply? There is a point of no return after God, in His longsuffering has waited: then comes judgment.

Friday, September 3, 2010: Galatians 1:3 – 6 (NKJV)

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel

If the gospel is that our Lord gave Himself for our sins, what is turning away from the gospel mean? It means that you start to believe that what good you do can provide a way to heaven.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Rechabites

Monday, August 23, 2010: Jeremiah 35:1 – 2 (NKJV)

The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, “Go to the house of the Rechabites, speak to them, and bring them into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.”

Background: Israel worshipped idols in violation of the first and second commandments God gave them.

What could have happened to the Rechabites? Drunk in God’s temple.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010: Jeremiah 35:6 – 7 (NKJV)

But they said, “We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, ‘You shall drink no wine, you nor your sons, forever. You shall not build a house, sow seed, plant a vineyard, nor have any of these; but all your days you shall dwell in tents, that you may live many days in the land where you are sojourners.’

What did Jonadab the son of Rechab tell his children to do? Abstain from wine and trust God’s provision so that they live long in the promised land.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010: Jeremiah 35:8 – 10 (NKJV)

Thus we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; nor do we have vineyard, field, or seed. But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.

What did the children of Rechab do? They faithfully obeyed their forefather’s command.

Thursday, August 26, 2010: Jeremiah 35:11 (NKJV)

But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, ‘Come, let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and for fear of the army of the Syrians.’ So we dwell at Jerusalem.”

But what were they doing now? Without disobedience and still faithful, they lived within the safety of the walls of Jerusalem.

Friday, August 27, 2010: Jeremiah 35:18 – 19 (NKJV)

And Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts and done according to all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever.”’”

What was God’s reward to the Rechabites? Their family name would never perish from the world. More importantly, children are God’s gifts to the obedient. This doesn’t mean that the opposite will be true: if you disobey, you will not have children.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Strife.

Monday, August 16, 2010: 1 Timothy 6:3 – 5 (NKJV)

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

Who is a source of strife? What’s the suggested remedy? A proud man, thinking he knows it all, but is a compulsive disputer is a cause of strife. We are simply asked to withdraw from such, without continuing any argument.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010: 2 Timothy 2:14 – 16 (NKJV)

Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

What diffuses strife? If we avoid what we recognize as useless words that will not profit the hearer, we will not enter into strife.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010: 2 Timothy 2:23 – 26 (NKJV)

But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

What generates strife? What’s the suggested remedy? Foolish disputes over matters that no one knows much about generate strife. Use gentleness to show the disputer the futility of argument: they will escape the trap laid by the devil.

Thursday, August 19, 2010: Proverbs 28:25, 29:22, 10:12 (NKJV)

He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife

But he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered.

An angry man stirs up strife

And a furious man abounds in transgression.

Hatred stirs up strife

But love covers all sins.

Who stirs up strife? What’s the suggested remedy? Pride, anger and hatred stir up strife: love in return will cover such sins.

Friday, August 20, 2010: Proverbs 26:20

Where there is no wood, the fire goes out;

And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.

How can strife and reproach cease? Stop being a tattletale.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Circumstances

Monday, August 9, 2010: Colossians 4:8 – 9 (NKJV)

I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here.

What is the cure for circumstances that we find ourselves surrounded by? Comfort in these circumstances is what is expressed here. The underlying concept is to let God’s messenger soothe you: God knows and will see you through.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010: Philippians 1:27 – 28 (NKJV)

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.

Why are you often in frustrating circumstances? We are in a struggle against adversaries and need to stand fast spiritually and strive not singly but with unity with other believers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010: 1 Thessalonians 4:9 (NKJV)

But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another

Is hearing someone teach about brotherly love enough? No, we have to practice loving our brothers which is sometimes very hard to do.

Thursday, August 12, 2010: 1 Timothy 6:3 – 5 (NKJV)

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

Who is proud while knowing nothing? One obsessed with arguments. Such people have the list of negative traits such as arguing over semantics and so on.

Friday, August 13, 2010: 1 Corinthians 8:4 (NKJV)

Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one.

Why do so many believers have food arguments? Let such argue about food: keep away from such arguments but don’t trip up a young believer who thinks certain foods are wrong to eat.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Living Drop-Outs

Monday, August 2, 2010: Mark 7:20 – 23 (NKJV)

And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

Background: Jesus Christ spoke a parable about eating ‘unclean’ things, concluding that it is not what goes in that defiles a man.

Where do pride and foolishness emerge? Pride and foolish behaviors emerge from the heart of man. This leads to a crybaby attitude in Church members.

Tuesday, August 2, 2010: 1 John 2:15 – 16 (NKJV)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

If we are not to love the world, lest we fall into the trap of pride, what should we do? We should see the world with the perspective of the Father’s love.

Wednesday, August 2, 2010: James 4:15 – 16 (NKJV)

Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

What type of boasting and pride is this? This refers to boasting about tomorrow and what you will do with the attitude that nothing will stop you.

Thursday, August 2, 2010: Romans 1:30 – 32 (NKJV)

backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Background: these verses speak about those who have rejected God.

What extent do these people go to? They encourage others who reject God to practice similar evil.

Friday, August 2, 2010: 2 Timothy 3:1 – 5 (NKJV)

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

What has a form of godliness but denies its power? Such are ‘good’ neighbors, living seemingly normal lives, till you get to know the real person behind the fa├žade.