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Archive for the ‘warning’ Category

THE GENESIS RECORD

1When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.
Genesis 6:1-2 (NIV)

The sons of God, the angels, slept with the “daughters of men.” This was referenced by Jude as he wrote about the ways of the wicked and wayward who strayed from God.  Peter makes reference to it in his second epistle when he says: “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned.”  There were angels who took it upon themselves to do as they wished, not keeping to their assigned tasks ordained by the Almighty.

Read on in Genesis 6 and see how much the inhabitants of the earth displeased God.  Then, take a long and hard look at our society today.  Are we living in violent and chaotic times? Has sexual immorality taken a hold of our people, spewing with infidelity and pornographic images? Look at it. 

What was going on among the people bothered God.  It grieved God.  It made God sorry that He had made mankind and put them on earth.  It broke his heart.

Let’s stop the madness and mayhem.  Let’s do our part to live differently.  Jude wrote it as a reminder to us.  Peter wrote it as a warning.  We need to live in truth and not falsehood.  We need to live for God, upholding what we know of Him and clinging to Him with utter dependence for all that we do not know and cannot foresee.

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Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 
Malachi 3:8 (KJV)
 
 
Recently, I took some serious devotional and Bible study time to read Malachi. That’s a major undertaking when you consider what the Lord has to say through Malachi and to whom He is directing His words. The primary points of the biblical book are an accusation and warning to God’s people to act like people of God. Whew! That’s heavy stuff, even for seminary students, Sunday school teachers and simple, set apart and sanctified saints.
 
 
Old school Baptists sum up the prophetic book with quasi-biblical phrases such as: robbing God, opening up the windows of heaven, and bring all of the tithes into the storehouse.  These are certainly not verbatim and definitely not theologically sound when used in convenient contextual arenas.  Tithers hold fast to Malachi chapter 3, primarily verses 8-10, but this has nothing to do with introducing or ordaining the tithe.  It is about trusting God and upholding the practice of tithing as means of seeing that God is true to His promises
 
 
People have been utilizing such passages of the Bible to bully and beat up those who do not tithe for years.  Unfortunately, this is due to a failure to maintain a contextual view of the biblical passage and explore an expository and exhaustive explanation of the text in light of audience, intent and culture and history.  Some things may be lost in translation, but one has to keep in mind what type of Bible or study tools one uses.  A paraphrase will not give you an accurate translation since its main goal is to translate thought for thought, while a literal translation seeks to translate and interpret word for word. 
 
 
I would also like to add a warning about commentaries, especially when one is seeking a clear understanding of the text and its surrounding passages.  Understand what type of tool you have and how to use it.  The root word of commentary is comment.  When you read Matthew Henry’s commentary, it is just a comment by Matthew Henry on that book of the Bible or the entire Bible itself.  What you get is an insight into that particular person’s views on it.  If i use Matthew Henry, I am limited to the depths of Matthew Henry and the prevailing theology of his time.  Ever hear about the Dead Sea Scrolls? Were they discovered before or after Mathew Henry’s commentary? How about Martin Luther’s? Commentary usage requires careful steps to avoid slippery slopes.
 
 
Clearly, once one reads Malachi as an entire study, it becomes as glaring as Jeremiah or Isaiah, even Hosea.  The message is about God’s relationship with His people.  God desires a restored relationship with His people, but if they keep going the way that they have been going there’s no redemption or reconciliation.  God has to stop the nonsense and put the challenge before the people about testing and trying Him to see if He is faithful in delivering His promises.

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Patience is more than endurance.– Oswald Chambers

Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience.- James 1:3 (ASV)

Patience can present a problem. Patience becomes a problem when it leads to pitfalls. You have to be careful to exercise patience to the right degree in the right situation.

Do not allow your patience to turn into:

  • Passivity
  • Pessimism
  • Procrastination

Keep your patience in proper perspective.  Do not allow your patience become a pitfall that lets you fall into a problematic trap.

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“. . . And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
Joshua 4:7 NKJV

The children of Israel needed these stones. They didn’t need them erected as an idol. They needed these stones to serve as a reminder, a memorial of what God had done on their behalf. These stones would not simply serve as a conversation piece. Joshua shared: They will be a sign among you. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these rocks mean?’ These stones would allow the children of Israel to share their testimony with their children and their children’s children.

It’s one thing to have testimony, but many of us need to have lives that serve as a voiceless testimony of God’s goodness to us. People need to see God in our lives as much as they hear about Him from us. We need to demonstrate and display the change that God has made in our lives. People will see it. Although they may not recognize it, they will see it as something different that sets us apart from others.

Proverbs warns us not to remove the landmark set in place by our forefathers. In Proverbs 22:28, the Word teaches that the landmark was set in place for a reason that was given to those who came before us. Let us learn about that reason before we set our hearts and minds on removing it. In Proverbs 23:10, greed is addressed by warning people not to remove the ‘ancient landmark’ or oppress the poor by taking their land. Our obsession with accumulation may make us oblivious to the way we treat others, even our ancestors and their legacy.

With a lifestyle that respects the past, people will see us as blessed and ask what does it mean and how did we arrive at such a place in this life. We will be able to share about His goodness and His mercy towards us. God wants to work through us to reach others. Let the ancient landmark serve as a reminder to us that our lives our on display before the entire world. Keep it as a memorial.

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“As a man thinketh. . .” seems to be the type of quote that leads to a lot of discussion on mental stability versus instability, illness versus wellness, and overall mental health issues. Truly, it does not bring much philosphy to mind. However, it address some philosophical junk that has been piling up for years. Descartes sahred: ” I think, therefore, I am” as a means of explaining his very existence. Even the African proverb that says,”Man, know thyself” places knowledge and awareness together as akin or at least bedfellows. For the Christian, however, we must remain in think on the things above. not earthly things. Consider where your mind wanders. Think about how things come to mind for a short time, and then they are gone. Let your mind focus on the things above, not the things on earth.

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Isaiah was clear and concise with Hezekiah with a word from the Lord:
Get your house in order. The swiftness of Hezekiah’s actions speaks volumes to many astute Bible readers and others. This episode serves as a reminder of how futile life may be and how we must live in the moment, not for the moment.
Has God given you a similar warning? Was it that heart attack that felt like “gas” at first? How about when God got your attention by causing you grief on your job? Or, what about all of those funerals that you had to attend week after week? did you get the message? Was it clear to you?
Listen to God and do exactly what He says for you to do. As the famed theologian John Wesley stated: “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, … you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.”
Read James 1:22. We are to be doers of His Word, not hearers only.
To God be the glory. . . Now and forever.
Rev. Bruce Jackson
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