Tag Archives: disobedience

Scrambled Eggs

A message summary of April 10, 2016 from Mr. Paul Buzzi:

This church is blessed with many different things. If you know that you have been blessed beyond belief, then you should share with others.

Today, we are going to talk about scrambled eggs, about life, about death and about living.

(Holding up a bible) What is this? Yes, it is a bible, and it is a Book of Instruction. I was reminded that the Lord has taught me a lot of lessons. You have to be willing to hear His Word and do it. Don’t add a question mark to something where God has a period!

My wife tells me not to brag about anything, but I am willing to brag about what the Lord Jesus has done in my life.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not rely on your own understanding;

think about Him in all your ways,

and He will guide you on the right paths.

We are all a bunch of Humpty Dumptys. We scramble our eggs, and we don’t know how to unscramble them. Jesus knows how to do it.

Romans 3:23

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

I have had to ask the Lord for forgiveness for my behavior with my wife and even for the questions I have asked that made known my positions in a selfish manner.

To be forgiven is to experience freedom. When I was called to speak at a church, He told me that I needed to ask that congregation for forgiveness, as well, because of how I felt in my heart.

There is healing that needed to take place. God is the One who unscrambles the eggs.

1 Corinthians 2:12-16

Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from Gods Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. For

who has known the Lords mind,

that he may instruct Him?

But we have the mind of Christ.

My wife and I are two different people, but we are joined together as one spirit in marriage. God proclaimed it, and it has been very good.

We need the Spirit of God in order to understand His Word; otherwise, it is a mystery. And, we cannot figure it out on our own.

God gave me the gift of evangelism and the gift of prophecy, and I don’t know if I like that! Because where much is given, much is required.

What are the wages of sin? The answer, of course, is death (Romans 6:23).

All of us are sinners, of course.

Once you are dead, you are dead. There are no degrees of dead. It’s all the same.

Thankfully, all of us received grace through our Savior, Jesus Christ, who took away our penalty of death.

I was asked to represent a person who was caught in a bank drive through with stolen checks and was high on meth. I went to the jail where the person was, and I told him that there is not much that I can do for you except tell you about Jesus.

Forgiveness is for both the perpetrator of sin and also the victim. It lifts a burden for both of them when there is complete forgiveness.

Ephesians 5:25-26

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.

When you learn to forgive your wife in the way that Christ forgave those as He was being crucified, you understand how much love you need to give to your wife.

Luke 23:34

Then Jesus said, Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing. And they divided His clothes and cast lots.

Hebrews 4:11-13

Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.

1 Corinthians 3:19-20

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, since it is written: He catches the wise in their craftiness; and again, The Lord knows that the reasonings of the wise are meaningless.

1 John 5:11-12

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesnt have the Son of God does not have life.

He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son is perishing.

He is only the Lord of your life when you make Him Lord.

The fields are ripe with the harvest of those that need Jesus. The devil will tell you that it is too much trouble to witness for Christ. It is a lie from the devil.

One week after I accepted Christ, I was representing a young man who had a long juvenile record who was sent to jail. God spoke to me and told me to go back and speak to him about Me. I hesitated twice because I knew so little about Christ, but I was able to speak to him and he accepted Christ. We were holding hands in prayer in a jail cell and he made a decision for Him.

Psalm 127:3-5

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,

children, a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior

are the sons born in ones youth.

Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them.

Such men will never be put to shame

when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.

If you leave church today alive, you won’t be half-dead. Be sure to share the Bible with everyone you come into contact with–to see people pass from death into life.

Make sure that you leave church today alive in a life for Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:1-10

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is Gods giftnot from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.

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The Fourth Seal: Death & Hades

Today’s message summary of October 25, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Revelation 6:7-8

When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come! And I looked, and there was a pale green horse. The horseman on it was named Death, and Hades was following after him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill by the sword, by famine, by plague, and by the wild animals of the earth.

Death is coming eventually.  It is comes in many different ways, but God is greater than death.

Jeremiah 14:14-17

But the Lord said to me, These prophets are prophesying a lie in My name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, worthless divination, the deceit of their own minds. Therefore, this is what the Lord says concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, though I did not send them, and who say, There will never be sword or famine in this land. By sword and famine these prophets will meet their end. The people they are prophesying to will be thrown into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword. There will be no one to bury themthey, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. I will pour out their own evil on them. You are to speak this word to them:
Let my eyes overflow with tears;
day and night may they not stop,
for the virgin daughter of my people
has been destroyed by a great disaster,
an extremely severe wound.

 

Hosea 13:12-14

Ephraims guilt is preserved;
his sin is stored up.
Labor pains come on him.
He is not a wise son;
when the time comes,
he will not be born.

I will ransom them from the power of Sheol.
I will redeem them from death.
Death, where are your barbs?
Sheol, where is your sting?
Compassion is hidden from My eyes.

 

People need to be able to turn the right way to the Lord in order to live.  Without the Lord, they are lost.  God will rescue those who seek Him and declare Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

God is so close to coming back, and many do not know what to do.  Even though God has compassion for those who have sought for Him, He will show no compassion for those who do not know Him.

The pale green horse referred to in Revelation 6 is noted as a sickly color.  In the Phillips translation it uses the word “grave” instead of “Hades.”

Deuteronomy 32:34-43

Is it not stored up with Me,
sealed up in My vaults?
Vengeance
 belongs to Me; I will repay.
In time their foot will slip,
for their day of disaster is near,
and their doom is coming quickly.

The
 Lord will indeed vindicate His people
and have compassion on His servants
when He sees that their strength is gone
and no one is left
slave or free.
He will say:
Where are their gods,
the
rock they found refuge in?
Who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offerings?
Let them rise up and help you;
let it
 be a shelter for you.
See now that I alone am He;
there is no God but Me.
I bring death and I give life;
I wound and I heal.
No one can rescue anyone from My hand.
I raise My hand to heaven and declare:
As surely as I live forever,
when I sharpen My flashing sword,
and My hand takes hold of judgment,
I will take vengeance on My adversaries
and repay those who hate Me.
I will make My arrows drunk with blood
while My sword devours flesh

the blood of the slain and the captives,
the heads of the enemy leaders.

Rejoice, you nations, concerning His people,
for He will avenge the blood of His servants.
He will take vengeance on His adversaries;
He will purify His land and His people.

 

As noted in this passage, the day of the world’s disaster is coming soon.

Note that the book of Revelation is not a book of doom, but a book of revelation, salvation and how God is to be glorified in how He will keep His people.

Referring back to Revelation 6:7-8…the pale horse’s rider is Death.  Death is coming in such a way that it is unforeseen and in an unprecedented way.

The fourth seal talks about a mass death, or one-fourth of the world’s population.  In 2009, the world population was reported to be 6,783,421,727 people.  One fourth of that number would be 1.8 billion people, which is about the same number of people as in the United States and in China.

Matthew 24:22

Unless those days were limited, no one would survive. But those days will be limited because of the elect.

 

It is still the time of God’s salvation.  Today is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:2

For He says:

I heard you in an acceptable time,
and I helped you in the day of salvation.

 

Isaiah 49:8-9

This is what the Lord says:

I will answer you in a time of favor,
and I will help you in the day of salvation.
I will keep you, and I will appoint you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land,
to make them possess the desolate inheritances,
saying to the prisoners: Come out,
and to those who are in darkness: Show yourselves.
They will feed along the pathways,
and their pastures will be on all the barren heights.

 

The first seal represents conquest.

The second seal removed peace and men were to slay one another.

The third seal represents famine.

Death is the fourth seal.

With the seal of death following the first three seals, Revelation reflects the emergence of different types of death to be experienced by different people.

Today, death is taking place in a variety of ways that we have not seen before.

Death may come about:

  1. By the sword. The weapon of that day.  Note that the weapons of today are guns, bombs, knives, etc.
  2. By famine. People will be unable to eat–there will be no farming.  There will be food shortages.  War will destroy farmland, and there will be no one to work the land.
  3. By plague. Gangrene, infection, bacteria that ravages the body, including new diseases not previously experienced.

Because of man’s disobedience, death is naturally happening.

Revelation also notes that there will be death by wild beasts, as well.  Wild animals normally follow their own food chain, but there will be a need for food by bears, rats, bobcats, wolves, etc.  This is another way that people will experience death because of disobedience.  God will give correction and grab the attention of others who are witnesses.

Ezekiel 14:21

For this is what the Lord God says: How much worse will it be when I send My four devastating judgments against Jerusalemsword, famine, dangerous animals, and plaguein order to wipe out both man and animal from it!

 

Leviticus 26:23-24

If in spite of these things you do not accept My discipline, but act with hostility toward Me,  then I will act with hostility toward you; I also will strike you seven times for your sins.

 

Christians at that time will also experience death in this same way, but God is able to rescue them from the grave!

In Revelation Chapter 6, Hades follows death.  Hades refers to the grave, which is not a place of punishment or torment.  While the body goes to the grave:

2 Corinthians 5:7-9

For we walk by faith, not by sight, and we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord. Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him.

 

Philippians 1:21-24

For me, living is Christ and dying is gain. Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I dont know which one I should choose. I am pressured by both. I have the desire to depart and be with Christwhich is far betterbut to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.

 

Psalm 49:15

But God will redeem my life from the power of Sheol, for He will take me. Selah

 

Revelation 1:17-18

When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. He laid His right hand on me and said, “Dont be afraid! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but lookI am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.

 

Who is in control of it all?  God is.

Job 19:25-27

But I know my living Redeemer,
and He will stand on the dust at last,
Even after my skin has been destroyed,
yet I will see God in my flesh.

I will see Him myself;
my eyes will look at Him, and not as a stranger.
My heart longs within me.


Obedience is Learned Through Temptation

What Jesus encountered in His life on earth as a human is an example for each of us as we live our lives faithfully in our obedience to Him.None of us wants to go through a “wilderness” experience. A wilderness experience is when we are uncomfortable and the circumstances of the event are difficult to bear. It is at these times when we may experience temptation, and it is an opportunity where we can see the relevance of obedience of God’s Word in our handling temptation.Jesus went through His wilderness experience to show that He is well aware of what we go through in our temptation.

Hebrews 4:15

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.

The word “tempted” means “to try” or “to make proof of.” In the negative context of the word, it means to entice, solicit, or provoke to sin.  In Matthew 4:3, Satan is called “the tempter.” The One being tempted is Jesus.

The wilderness experience in Matthew 4 is a part of an ongoing growth and preparation process taking place in the life of Jesus and in His ministry. This ongoing growth and preparation brings Him approval from God as Jesus grows into a perfection, after all of the testing and trials, where He is complete as Lord and Savior.

Hebrews 5:8-9

8 Though a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. 9 After He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.

Adam knew no sin at the time of his creation. From the time that he was created until the time when sin was introduced, he was without sin. The tempter, the serpent, made the fruit of the tree enticing, which caused Adam to sin because he was disobedient to God’s command (Genesis 2:17); therefore, we can conclude that sin was a choice that was made. The first Adam would have been “perfected” or passed from capability of not sinning to the incapability of sinning by obedience.

Jesus (the second Adam) was incapable of sin, yet, He had to undergo the temptation (Matthew 4). Not until the fortieth day, when the human body is weak and hungry, did the tempter, Satan, appear before Jesus. We are tempted at our weakest moments.

2 Corinthians 5:21

He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

1 Peter 2:22

He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.

After Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to allow for the temptation of the Devil. This was a plan that God allowed as an important part of Jesus’ growth. His power was being perfected in His weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 10 So because of Christ, I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in catastrophes, in persecutions, and in pressures. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Why was this temptation of Jesus appointed by God?

  • To show the benefit of absolute submission to the Holy Spirit.
  • What God has appointed, He supports our participation in it.
  • Jesus allows Himself to be led by the Spirit (Matthew 4:1), as we are to do the same in our training and ministry.

Wherever the Spirit of God leads you, be willing to follow. God’s will is never accomplished through the flesh. It is accomplished often in areas that are not as comfortable or convenient. It is a challenge to our level of obedience. Jesus put aside His position to allow Himself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, in the same way that we are to trust the Holy Spirit in all things. He will meet your physical needs.

Deuteronomy 8:3

He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

Matthew 4:3-4

3 Then the tempter approached Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

    4 But He answered, “It is written:

    Man must not live on bread alone

    but on every word that comes

    from the mouth of God.”

Have you ever trusted God’s protection over you? He does state that He keeps His promises (Malachi 3:10). There is a change that has taken place where we are transformed through our obedience to God as one of His own. You really learn most about God and how much He loves you when you are going through difficulty.

Matthew 4:5-7

5 Then the Devil took Him to the holy city, [a] had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

    He will give His angels orders concerning you and,

    they will support you with their hands

    so that you will not strike

    your foot against a stone. “

    7 Jesus told him, “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God.”

Deuteronomy 6:16

Do not test the LORD your God as you tested [Him] at Massah.

Our service is our worship. Our worship is our service. What we worship, we serve.

Matthew 4:8-10

8 Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 And he said to Him, “I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me.”

    10 Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written:

    Worship the Lord your God,

    and serve only Him.”

Deuteronomy 6:13-15

13 Fear the LORD your God, worship Him, and take [your] oaths in His name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you, 15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God. Otherwise, the LORD your God will become angry with you and wipe you off the face of the earth.

When Satan proclaimed in Matthew 4:9 that he would give Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world, he was trying to tempt Jesus with a shortcut that would bypass being obedient to God’s will. Satan’s goal was to influence the work of Jesus. Spiritual trials must precede spiritual elevation. Reaching the goal, in a Divine manner, according to God’s will, is what Jesus remained faithful to in His obedience to God (Revelation 11:15). Jesus declares that He will serve and worship God and God only. If Jesus had taken it upon Himself to do what He wanted to do in His moment of temptation, He would have been obedient to Satan and disobedient to God. An act of obedience to God is to truly die to self and live for Christ.

1 John 3:5-8

5 You know that He was revealed so that He might take away sins, and there is no sin in Him. 6 Everyone who remains in Him does not sin; everyone who sins has not seen Him or known Him.

    7 Little children, let no one deceive you! The one who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.

God expects us to remain Christlike in our actions and behavior. Our worship is in our acts of kindness towards others as we are fulfilling ministry on behalf of Jesus Christ.

God is the all-sufficient God who declared that everything He was doing was according to God’s will.

John 6:32-35, 37-40

32 Jesus said to them, ” I assure you: Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

    34 Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always!”

    35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.

37 Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”


The Purpose of Faith is To Honor God

What do you think faith really is? Scripture reminds us that without faith, it is not possible to please God. It is important to understand that faith is not just obtaining something because you believe in it. The main purpose of faith is to honor God. We honor God through our obedience to Him. If we are disobedient to His commands, we subject ourselves to being disciplined by God, sometimes even publicly.A point of clarification…sin does not absolutely disqualify us from being covered by the blood of Christ in salvation; instead, we should note that sinful behavior for a believer in Jesus Christ is more of a lack of faith and a refusal to take refuge in His Word.To do what God would require of us is vital, especially as we live our lives in front of others. Our lives are to honor Him, and when we honor Him with our lives and in our behavior, He honors us. He blesses us and keeps us.

Galatians 2:20

…and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Philippians 1:20

My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.

It takes courage to live as a believer, the exception to that of the world, and the goal is that God is honored in life and in death, for all that is done. In following this way of living before others…

1 Peter 3:13-17

13 And who will harm you if you are passionate for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, 15 but set apart the Messiah as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

God is honored in such a way where others can see Him as holy in how we are living our lives. It is God speaking through you. Through your reverence of Him, you make God look good to the observers, and He becomes desirable to others. When we do not honor Him with our behavior, it is a poor testimony to those who would observe us.

Moses wanted to step into the promised land with Joshua and Caleb, and desired it very much, yet he missed the promise because of sin and a lack of faith. God punished Moses, even publicly, and told him that he could not go there. Everyone in Israel observed this, and it caused Moses to be hurt and ashamed, and pleaded with the Lord (Deuteronomy 3:23-28). In fact, God told Moses to encourage Joshua to lead the people, and without complaint. In the same way, your public sin may cause you to be punished publicly. Ultimately, it is when we fail to honor God with our actions and our behavior that are outside of God’s Word.

What was the tipping point of Moses’ sin that resulted in his punishment? Most commentaries lead to the following:

Numbers 20:2-8

2 There was no water for the community, so they assembled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The people quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the LORD. 4 Why have you brought the LORD’s assembly into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? 5 Why have you led us up from Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It’s not a place of grain, figs, vines, and pomegranates, and there is no water to drink!”

    6 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting. They fell down with their faces [to the ground], and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. 7 The LORD spoke to Moses, 8 “Take the staff and assemble the community. You and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock while they watch, and it will yield its water. You will bring out water for them from the rock and provide drink for the community and their livestock.”

Moses was arguing with a new generation of Israelites, and he had gone through this before (Exodus 17:2-7). Here, the children’s sin is the same as that of their fathers. The children had not even been to Egypt! Moses was told by God to SPEAK to the rock (not strike it as he was commanded to do before in Exodus 17). The purpose was for God to show to the people something that they needed to see in order to grow their faith. The people were ultimately not quarreling with Moses–they were quarreling with God (Exodus 17:2-4, 7; Numbers 20:2-5, 13). It is important for you to know who the real battle is against when dealing with matters pertaining to the Lord. Listen to what the Lord has to say to you in every situation. Even if the circumstances are the same, you still need to make sure that you are listening to how to respond to Him.

The people in Exodus 17 and in Numbers 20 were asking the same question…will God take care of us? Moses was to allow the people to see God’s power in speaking to the rock, but he took it upon himself, which was contrary to God’s instruction:

Numbers 20:9-12

9 So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence just as He had commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron summoned the assembly in front of the rock, and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels! Must we bring water out of this rock for you?” 11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, so that a great amount of water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

    12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust Me to show My holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.”

Moses was not gentle with the people, and his anger, frustration and resentment of the people overshadowed what God had intended as His testimony; as a result, God made it clear that Moses failed to trust in the Lord and honor Him as holy, and Moses was reprimanded and punished.

Numbers 27:14

14 When the community quarreled in the Wilderness of Zin, both of you rebelled against My command to show My holiness in their sight at the waters.” Those were the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin.

The way that you live, act, and speak can either honor God or dishonor Him. If you make a testimony that God is to be honored and your actions reflect the exact opposite, you are contradicting your own words and removing focus on the holiness of God and His importance and relevance in your life. For as you live for the Lord, or choose not to live for Him, others will see the example to follow.

Your faith and my obedience to the Lord will take you to places that you can only begin to imagine. It starts with the way you are living for Him and honoring Him in everything that you do. You are a servant of the living God and an ambassador for Jesus Christ. Your honor is received in honoring Him in your work for everyone to see.


Your Decisions Lead to Others Making Decisions

Every decision that you make will bring about a response in the form of decisions made by others. It is important to remember that whatever decision you make is in accord with God’s Word and with His will. Your decisions should be according to Jeremiah 29:11

“‘For I know the plans I have for you’–this is the LORD’S declaration–‘plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'”

Decisions can be made whether you believe God’s Word or not–even more specifically, they can be made whether or not you choose to follow God’s Word. Whatever decision is made, His Word is consistent:

Galatians 6:7

“Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked.  For whatever a man sows he will also reap.”

God reminds us that we are to remain obedient to Him and His Word, which means that we are to be set apart from those who choose not to follow God.

Joshua 6:17-19

“But the city and everything in it are set apart to the LORD for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and everyone with her in the house will live, because she hid the men we sent. But keep yourselves from the things set apart, or you will be set apart for destruction. If you take any of those things, you will set apart the camp of Israel for destruction and bring disaster on it. For all the silver and gold, and the articles of bronze and iron, are dedicated to the LORD and must go into the LORD’s treasury.”

Look at this example and see how decisions made can have a profound effect on others.

Joshua 7:1

“The Israelites, however, were unfaithful regarding the things set apart for destruction. Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of what was set apart, and the LORD’s anger burned against the Israelites.”

It only takes one person to bring failure, shame, and embarrassment to a family, group, or community. Here, because of the acts of Achan, all of Israel was considered to be unfaithful, because someone took something that God said not to take. One person represented Israel, and in the same way, the way you act or behave has much to say about the family you come from.

Joshua 7:3-9

After returning to Joshua they reported to him, “Don’t send all the people, but send about 2,000 or 3,000 men to attack Ai. Since the people of Ai are so few, don’t wear out all our people there.” So about 3,000 men went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai. The men of Ai struck down about 36 of them and chased them from outside the gate to the quarries, striking them down on the descent. As a result, the people’s hearts melted and became like water.  Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell before the ark of the LORD with his face to the ground until evening, as did the elders of Israel; they all put dust on their heads. “Oh, Lord GOD ,” Joshua said, “why did You ever bring these people across the Jordan to hand us over to the Amorites for our destruction? If only we had been content to remain on the other side of the Jordan! What can I say, Lord, now that Israel has turned its back [and run] from its enemies? When the Canaanites and all who live in the land hear about this, they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. Then what will You do about Your great name?”

Because of the decision of one, 36 Israelites lost their lives. There was the shame of those remaining after the destruction and the fear of others that would hear about this (v. 9), and what it would do for God’s name. Joshua thought he was praying to God, but he was really complaining about his circumstances. Unfortunately, secret sins can affect an entire group because God will not bless the household unless everyone is committed to living a holy and righteous life. While we cannot control what others say or think about us, we can control what we do in how we live for God.

Joshua 7:10-12

The LORD then said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why are you on the ground? Israel has sinned. They have violated My covenant that I appointed for them. They have taken some of what was set apart. They have stolen, deceived, and put [the things] with their own belongings. This is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies. They will turn their backs [and run] from their enemies, because they have been set apart for destruction. I will no longer be with you unless you remove from you what is set apart.

God tells Joshua to get up and stop complaining and feeling sorry for himself. He told him that Israel had sinned and was disobedient. While it seemed to be the right thing to do, the prayer should have been directed more at what has kept Israel from being victorious. Sometimes we need to ask what is it that is impeding our progress in following Christ. Seek God and ask Him what is keeping you from moving forward. You will ultimately have to make a decision to deal with sin in your life, or you will live a defeated life.

The sin that Achan committed was a violation of the covenant. He had lied and had taken some of the devoted things and mixed them in with his own possessions. God held all of Israel accountable for what had happened. There comes a point where all of us, as a family and as a group, to act once the sin is discovered.

Joshua 7:13

“Go and consecrate the people. Tell them to consecrate themselves tomorrow, for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘There are among you, Israel, things set apart. You will not be able to stand against your enemies until you remove what is set apart.

God makes the decision that He will not be with Israel unless they remove what is keeping them from fellowship with Him. The people, as a result, have to decide whether they will be on God’s side or on Achan’s side. We have to remember to do this very thing when it comes to following Christ. The decision to follow Christ will sometimes separate us from those who are close to us that choose not to follow Christ.

Joshua 7:19

So Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and make a confession to Him. I urge you, tell me what you have done. Don’t hide anything from me.”

Sin may be hidden from men, but never from God. Give God the glory for who He is…don’t play around with Him. God pointed out to Joshua that Achan was the person who committed the sin.

Joshua 7:20-21

Achan replied to Joshua, “It is true. I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I did: When I saw among the spoils a beautiful cloak from Babylon, 200 silver shekels, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, I coveted them and took them.  You can see for yourself. They are concealed in the ground inside my tent, with the money under the cloak.”

Achan’s confession was the result of Joshua’s confrontation with him. He confessed that he was greedy and lusted for things that he thought would be good for him. He failed to see what God had already provided for him and his family.

Your decision, no matter what it is, will come down to whether or not you support God or not. It requires making choices about your personal life, your family and even your job. There is a cost of sin (Joshua 7:24-26), and it will require hard decisions to be made. Achan and his entire family had to endure his affliction as a result of his actions. Because of the consequences of sin, we should never allow sinful behavior to continue around us if we have the ability to confront it and address it.

When God speaks, it is always to be taken seriously. Listening to Him and being obedient to Him will always lead to making good decisions, which will be good for you and even for those around you.

We pray that you will seek God in all things and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us as we make decisions in our life and order your steps. In doing so, you will be a good and faithful servant, and you will, in turn, glorify God with your actions.


Decisions With (Or Without) God in the Process

Decisions take place throughout our entire lives. How we make our decisions can have a profound effect on our lives. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, it requires making a decision to live a life that honors Christ. Are there circumstances that get in the way of making decisions according to living as Christ would have you to live? Are you living as God’s Word would have you to live, or are you “going with the flow” or living life “off the top of your head”? Does fear, confusion or a lack of commitment affect your decision-making?

Real problems sometimes require difficult decisions. Christians, however, need to remember not to remove God from the process. Decisions should always be in consultation with God in prayer. It is also important to allow for Scriptural information and insight in the process. God’s Word helps us to remain in fellowship with Him and to provide guidance in our lives. We are also to make an honest assessment of who you are as you are making decisions. You should not expect to be making good and effective decisions if you are not living according to God’s Word and not in a right relationship with Him. Decision-making should also occur without the element of human emotion or human attraction. Emotions will always cloud the vision of the decision-maker and the process.

Life is full of problems and solutions (Job 5:7, 14:1). It is our process of coming up with solutions through the authority of God’s Word that is of greatest importance. The wrong decisions are a sign of carnality (Proverbs 14:12) and lead to disorder (1 Corinthians 14:40). Decisions should always lead to peace and order, and our God is not a god of confusion.

People who place themselves under the authority of God will make good decisions. Why?

1. To have authority from God means that you have the legal right to act. The decisions made in this authority will not just affect you but also have an impact upon others…they will have a ripple effect on the lives of others and even for the Kingdom of God.
2. To act is to make a decision and carry out an action.
3. Jesus has complete authority (Matthew 28:18); therefore, you can act on this authority with confidence.

It is fair to conclude that any decision made without Jesus is a decision made incorrectly and without His authority.

In 2 Chronicles, Solomon was in fellowship with God, and in that relationship God elevated Solomon to be a great king and leader (2 Chronicles 1:1). As long as Solomon followed the Lord, he was highly successful. When we see Solomon’s life change and begin to make poor decisions, it was because he moved away from God’s teaching and instruction (1 Kings 11:1-13). Solomon loved women outside of Israel–women of foreign lands who were worshiping other gods and idols. God had forbidden this in the beginning because He knew that the love and desire for them would cause Solomon to follow after them and their practices.

There are four steps towards poor decision-making:

1. Not taking God’s Word seriously (2 Corinthians 6:14)
2. The heart is captive to something other than God (1 Kings 11:4)
3. The devotion for God is lost (1 Kings 11:4)
4. The desire to commit evil (1 Kings 11:6).

Solomon’s poor decisions aroused God’s anger towards him, and led to God taking away his kingdom from him (1 Kings 11:9, 11), and the Lord raised up an adversary against him (1 Kings 11:28, 40).

Solomon’s decision-making was driven by his emotions and acted accordingly. His heart was turned away from God, which created in him a heart of double-mindedness (James 1:5-8). The decisions that were made were not good for him; in fact, they only brought about destruction to his doorstep. Solomon, who was once praised for his great wisdom, became foolish in his evil actions and poor decision-making, all because he decided not to follow and trust God.

When you make the commitment to desire God’s will over your own will and desires, you will be able to make the best decisions for your life and the lives of others around you (Psalm 1:6).

As He (Jesus Christ) was saying these things, many believed in Him. So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him, ‘If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free‘” (John 8:30-32).

Pray for the Lord’s guidance in all decisions that you make, and for His will to be prominent throughout the entire process.


A Nation In Trouble

Why are Christians losing their zeal for the Lord? It can be argued that the church, specifically the body of Christ in America, has lost its way. We need to remind ourselves of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for all of us. Unfortunately, today, we’re having a hard time making our way to Calvary, let alone picturing Christ being on the cross. As a church, and as a nation, we need to find our way back to Calvary.

Whether we care to admit it or not, we’re in trouble as a nation. Its people are also in trouble. We’re in trouble because of the lack of church leadership in bringing forth persons to serve in leadership positions in government for our country. We have relied on today’s government to provide this leadership, but this is only part of the problem.

As a nation, we’re spoiled. On our worst day, we are doing better than three-fourths of the rest of the world. We consume a lot of food, and we also waste food. We spend a lot of money, but we also create a lot of debt. We need to realize, however, that our lifestyle has plunged us into debt as a nation. The US raised its debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion in 2010. Our nation owes money to China, Japan, India and Russia.

Over the course of history. nations have failed and civilizations met their demise for three basic reasons: a lack of military strength, a lack of morality and poor standards of behavior, and a lack of financial viability and/or capability. The United States is presently suffering through visible symptoms of all three of these issues. All of these problems will ultimately have the greatest impact in our youth, as they will be the ones most affected in the future. Note that prices are still increasing (inflation) while wages are decreasing, and we are in debt, as a nation, by $13 trillion, with no relief in sight.

What reference to Scripture is there about our nation going into debt?

Deuteronomy 15:6

When the Lord your God blesses you as He has promised you, you will lend to many nations but not borrow; you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.

The United States began to borrow money from other countries in 1963. In addition to this, a change took place culturally in this nation with our lifestyle.  Note the conditional verse just before Deuteronomy 15:6:

Deuteronomy 15:5

–if only you obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow every one of these commands I am giving you today.

If we are honest about where we are as a country, it is clear that we have lost sight of God and His commands.

Proverbs 22:7

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender.

Once you are in debt, someone has control over you. You lose out on the freedom of your life because of the debt you incurred. This is the state of our country today. Essentially, we are servants to other nations because of the debt we owe to them.

When you forget who you are as a nation and as a people who God is and how He has blessed us, we bring ruin unto ourselves. Christians that become “satisfied” with their life tend to forget where their blessings have come from. There should not be debates over issues amongst believers that are clearly defined within Scripture; yet, this is a symptom of our growing satisfaction and pride that tends to draw us towards the things of this world rather than pursuing what God would have you to pursue. Who gave you the ability and wisdom to work each day and to make a living? Who brought you out of your previous circumstances to where you are today? How many different ways has God blessed you and enabled you?

Deuteronomy 8:10-20

When you eat and are full, you will praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you. “Be careful that you don’t forget the Lord your God by failing to keep His command —the ordinances and statutes —I am giving you today.  When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.  He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint-like rock for you.  He fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end He might cause you to prosper.  You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm His covenant He swore to your fathers, as it is today.  If you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods to worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will perish.  Like the nations the Lord is about to destroy before you, you will perish if you do not obey the Lord your God.

Have we forgotten how God has blessed us? As an example, while you may not have participated in the civil rights movement of the 60s, many of the blessings that you receive today came through God’s leadership through the actions of those civil rights leaders. We are able to achieve what we have today because of God’s blessings working through those who came before us and through the sacrifices and prayers of the participants, their families, and their supporters. God gives us the ability and perseverance to handle everything that we encounter as we trust in Him.  When it comes to our finances, we need to pray for direction on how to spend the money we earn. If we fail to follow God and forget about Him, we are removing from ourselves His covering and protection.

Deuteronomy 32:15

Then Jeshurun became fat and rebelled — you became fat, bloated, and gorged. He abandoned the God who made him and scorned the Rock of his salvation.

We are at the point where we have become so content with everything that we have, we have rejected the One who has provided all of the very things that we enjoy. We are likely forgetting that Jesus is coming back as He said He will do, and that we are paying attention to other people or circumstances that take our focus away from God (2 Peter 3:4, 8-9).

We need to remember the standards that we should use as a people, as a church, and as a nation.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you except to fear the Lord your God by walking in all His ways, to love Him, and to worship the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul?  Keep the Lord’s commands and statutes I am giving you today, for your own good.

We need to live in such a way that Jesus is coming very soon, and to never forget it (Matthew 24:37-44).

There needs to be a fear, reverence and respect for God. As a nation, we have lost this, and it is even scarce amongst believers in Jesus Christ. In having a reverence for God, we are to walk with Him, love Him and serve Him. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). We need to love Jesus, and listen to Him through His Word and through our fellowship with Him in prayer. We show our love for Jesus by serving Him as He served us (Matthew 20:26-28). There are many ways to serve Him by just loving others and conducting yourself publicly as His faithful servant, for your work is not for men, but for God Himself (John 15:9-12).