Archive for May, 2008

Keep in burning

May 12, 2008

“The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.” Leviticus 6:13

 How is the fire burning on the altar of your heart today? It must never go out, not for a vacation, not because of impurity or sin, nor covered by your head knowledge either. It must stay lit. Some days it may not be as bright, but do not ever let the flame of God be smothered. And just as the altar’s fire was visible to the world, so should your heart be ablaze before others. Let them see your heart consumed by love for God, not the contents of your head.

When better starts by being worse

May 12, 2008

Moses said… “Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.” Exodus 5:23

 Don’t stop praying. Sometimes the victory you seek is forged in trials and in time. Though you pray and it seems to grow worse and not better maybe it is a sign of God at work. Do not be discouraged, God has heard your cries and is in the process of bringing them to fruition, hold on to Him in the day of trouble and you will see the day of redemption.

Advance of Abram

May 12, 2008

“Terah took his son Abram…and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.” Genesis 11:31

 There are two types of spiritual people, those who purpose to go deeper, and those who do go deeper. Terah settled to be in between, Abram followed the will of God and went to Canaan. God is calling some of us to go ahead of where others have taken us, will you settle or venture out? Just remember, the journey is arduous, but our Guide promised to be with you and not to forsake you. Journey on.

The Golden Rule: Hillel verses Jesus

May 3, 2008

Jesus was not the first Rabbi to mention the Golden Rule, but His take on it was far better, if you look closely. Both Hillel and Jesus found the basis for the Golden Rule in the book of Leviticus (19:18), yet each came from a different perspective.

Hillel was asked by a Gentile to summarize the whole law “while standing on one foot.” Hillel answered, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Law; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”  (Shab. 31a) Jesus said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

On the surface they seem identical except for one is said in the negative and the other in the positive, but that is where all the difference makes the most difference. Hillel speaks in the negative and thus if followed could lead one to do very little loving. Jesus, on the other hand pushes us to love first. Jesus motivates us to pre-emptive strikes of loving-kindness. “Don’t do!” says Hillel, and so many do not go out of their way, but Jesus Christ exclaims, “Do!”

This Golden Rule is often called the law of reciprocity… but not from our Lord. It is not returning good or evil, its freely giving and hoping to receive good and not evil in return. Do not think of love and kindness as pay back, but as right living.

As children we were always told, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This then lead to “children should be seen and not heard.” But the Bible says, speak, and speak love. The Bible says, “out of the mouths of babes…” Let us urge one another on in loving-kindness and spread love, joy, and peace. Live the golden rule – love first before you only love after being loved, only encourage after being encouraged, only care after being cared for. Follow Jesus and live the positive – go and do unto others as you would want.

The Book of Numbers: 7 unfaithful acts

May 3, 2008

Within the narrative of the book of Numbers we find seven times when Israel fails to trust in the Lord. Four of the seven were tests that God wanted them to endure, and many of them came in the form of trusting God for food and water or for having greedy desires (11:1-3; 4-34; 20:1-13; 21:4-9). Two of the seven cases of distrust where in their refusal to accept God’s chosen leaders (12:1-16; 16). And the last and most grevious refusal of believing God’s best for them concerned their belief in the bad report of the promised land.

Often this pattern continues in our own life’s journey. Look back and see, when did you doubt God in the past? Was it when your faith was tested for the very necesities of life? When the finances were tight, when you desired more than your current estate could afford, did you have trouble keeping from grumbling or believing God through those hardships? When God placed leaders in your life for your own good, but you did not like their style of leadership or their personality, what have you – did you start to lose faith that God knew what He was doing? And when it came to believing in the promises God planted in your heart many years ago and it seems you will never get there, or when you do arrive the task of attaining that goal seems impossible, did you lose heart in the face of reality that God did promise and will see you through it? Take a lesson from those in the wilderness lest you to be burned alive by your unbelief by a God who desires to see you make the journey’s end. 

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