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Tempers Fly.

This week has been a tough week! I got into a spat with someone at work and put someone else down for coming up short with something they said they would do. As if I have never come up short or broken a promise!  Yet in the mix of all this week had to offer; I sat up straight and looked on as though I am better than these other two people. What audacity!

God however is still working on me and has shown me a couple of bible verses and some ways for me to apply them.

In the book of James, Jesus’s brother says,”For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”(James 3:7‭-‬10 ESV)

I love the book of James, he does a great job of simplifying things.  And God uses it so well in my life . In the past God has also pointed me to this nugget of truth in dealing with other choices I have made; “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”(James 4:17 ESV)

So the way I dealt with these two people was sin for me. I complained about both of them behind their backs and put them down. I was putting people down who were made in the image of my heavenly Father. 

God then showed me two instances in King David’s life. The first one is what not to do and as you will see God moved a person to redirect David’s anger. Where as the second instance we see how a more mature David deals with the person in a Godly manner. 

First we find King David about to kill Nabal for his rudeness to David and those whom were with him. This  bit of Bible history is worth reading and can be found at 1st Samuel 25. So in 1st Samuel 25 God uses a lady named Abigail to advert David’s anger and to save her husband. It says,”When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. She fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my Lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. Let not my Lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name, and folly is with him. But I your servant did not see the young men of my Lord, whom you sent.”(1 Samuel 25:23‭-‬25 ESV)

My great wife has played Abigail a lot in my life and I praise God for her. See Abigail met King David;  and when she met him she did so in a  humble and meek way. She took the blame and also brought the food with her that David had asked Nabal her husband for. In the End David’s fierce anger was subdued and Nabal did not die by his hand. 

The second occurrence was between a man named Shimei  when David was fleeing from Absalom. It is found in the 16th chapter of 2 Samuel. Shimei came out cursing and throwing stones at King David and those whom were with him. And when  Abishai the head of David’s army wanted to behead Shimei for his actions King David replied,” If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so? And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to.(2 Samuel 16:5-11. ESV )

Was this the case did God really telling Shimei to act the way he was acting or has David just learned how to holster his temper and tongue? 

I have never had something so bad as my son rise up to over throw my  position as father and spiritual leader of my household, but I have had people in the work place curse me and treat me as Shimei and Nabal were treating David and those whom were with him. And I have acted more like David against Nabal at those times(especially  this week) rather than reacting like David in dealing with Shimei. God has shown me this week and continues to shows me that his holiness is a pursuit that He will leads me through. After all He says,”Be holy for I am holy.” (Leviticus 20:7)

Prayer;

Oh Abba, Father, please continue to lead me, please continue to draw me closers to you; all the while transforming me more into your image. In Jesus name, Amen 

Part 2 of Devoted to Destruction 

In the book of Romans, Paul says that “without the law;  he would not have known what it meant to covet.” (7:7)

Over the years the best definition for covet by far(in my mind) comes from a book by James Macdonald called Lord Change My Attitude Before It Is To Late. James says,”that when you covet something you are saying that God is not enough (p.86,2001). 

A couple of weeks ago we had a ice storm that came through and  cancelled church. So that day when I was spending time in the Word, God brought me to the part of the book of Joshua dealing with Achin( ch7). 

At this point in the book of Joshua: Israel has started to enter the promise land, God had torn down the mighty walls of Jericho and gave the command that everything inside the walls was to be devoted to destruction. Israel was to keep nothing for themselves and only the silver,the gold, the bronze vessels and the iron was to be placed into the treasury of the LORD(vs. 18,19). 

More over God was bringing Israel into possess  a land flowing with milk and honey( Deut 26:9) Into a land in which they did not labor, to dwell in cities they had not built and to eat food from fields, vineyards and orchards they had not sown( Joshua 24;13).

Israel was on the brink of being completely blessed by God; this man Achin was on the brink of being given all these blessings. Blessings he did not earn. 

So what did Achin do? He took some of the things that were to be devoted to destruction as well as some of the things that were to be devoted to the LORD. 

I love Achin’s excuse;  he said,” Truly I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoils a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a gold bar weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them(7:20,21).”

What was Achin’s downfall? It was that all God was bringing him and his family into was not enough. He was going to live in a house he did not build and he was going to reap crops he did not plant. He was on the verge of something so great yet he wanted more, he wanted things he was never meant to have.

I have been here. I  have said that God is not enough in my life through my actions and thoughts, and this has brought hard times into my life. It has put a separation between the God I love and myself. It has stifled my relationship with Him and sometimes with my wife and children. 

Over the past couple of years God has been working on this in my life, because He offers eternal life through Jesus Christ; an un-merritted blessing. Still there are times when I seek after things that are wood, hay, and stubble. I guess I should put it this way; there are times where I feel this big whole in my life and instead of filling it with God, I fill it with other stuff, non eternal stuff, stuff that will just burn up. Stuff that rusts, that moths eat and thieves break in to steal. And that is coveting. 

Prayer:

Father, thank you for showing me these things and I pray that you will continue to smooth these dumps out in my life. You are the Potter and I am the clay, LORD mold me the way you see fit to be used for purposes that will further your kingdom. And I pray this all in the wonderful name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

James Macdonald quote from LORD, Change My Attitude Before It Is To Late, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois,2001

    Devote to Destruction part one

    I have a very addictive personality, except when it comes to eating right or exercise. But that will be another blog for another time. The bible is clear that we are to run from temptations. Some examples of this are;

    1. Flee from idolatry(1 corinthians 10:14)
    2.  We are told to flee from the love of money (1 Timothy 6:11) or
    3.  How about fleeing from sexual immortality(1 corinthians 6:18)

    Jesus even  himself said, “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.” (Mark 9:43-4)

    In other words, do what you can to eliminate the things that cause you to stumble, or flee from the things causing you to stumble. Devote them to Destruction!!

    When you read the historical books of the old testament, especially the parts where Israel is entering the promise land, you cannot ignore God’s command to them to utterly destroy the inhabitants that already live in the land. See, like us the Israelites are weak in their hearts and proven to follow other gods and worship at foreign altars (I mean they were not out of Egypt long before they had Arron fashion them idols to worship.) ( Deuter 9:16)

    As for us, when we choose to only celebrate the attributes of God that best suits us, that is idolatry. An example of this, is only recognizing God’s love without recognizing His truth. Guess what? Without His truth there is no love. God is not just loving, he is also just, sovereign (in complete control all of the time), and holy. Hey, let us not forget holy! I think Roman’s 2:4 point this out perfectly, “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant lead you to repentance.”

    Back to where I was going:

    Israel was told to put these nations to the sword and to destroy all of their cities and possessions in order that Israel would serve the LORD wholeheartedly.

    Deuteronomy 7 says, “And when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, you must devote them completely to destruction.  You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them….for they would turn away your son’s from following me, to serve other gods.“(2-4)

    Israel did not obey this command and so there were times when God’s hand was against them. Almost the whole book of Judges and great portions of 1st and 2nd Kings are based on this fact. There is also, I am willing to bet, some of this in your lives and there has been some in mine.

    Two posts ago, I stated that this past year was a year of backsliding in my relationship with God. In my house, because of my addictive behavior to fleshly things, we have filtering software on our computers, and on my phone, and my beautiful wife has set my Netflix account so pg-13 is as high as I can go for my viewing pleasures.

    I guess you could say that I was fleeing from sexual immortality, but until a month ago, I still had my Xbox and there were no filtering programs for it (not to mention I would play video games literally for hours, I would get lost in them). I had always wondered why it was so hard to wholeheartedly follow after the LORD, why I was not able to go to the next level of faithfulness in our relationship. The problem was staring me right in the eyes. I had not completely devoted the possessions of my pre-resurrected life to destruction. I left something alive that could pull my heart from the LORD. Well, the Xbox is gone!

    Maybe you are longing to go deeper in your relationship with our heavenly Father but something is holding you back. Let me ask, have you devoted to destruction the things that could creep up and create a bigger separation between you and God?

    Jesus did say,”If your eye cause you to sin, tear it out!”(Mark 9:47)

    Prayer:

    Oh Abba, Father, I have not devoted to destruction the things that I should have and now I am asking for your strength, your power and your fortitude to cut these things down. LORD I wish to draw closer to you help me to make that possible. In Jesus name, amen.

    And Behind Door Number…..

    And Behind Door Number…

    In 1963, America fell in love with a game show that literally asked them to chose between two choices. On one side, you would have the show’s host with a wad of money, and on the other side, there would be a curtain with some prize behind it. Now, the contestant would have to choose between the sum of money and what was behind the curtain. Now, it is important to point out that the contestant knew neither how much money was in the host’s hand or what was behind the curtain. They had to guess.

    This illustrates perfectly what I want to share with you this week. I want to tell you about two doors found at opposite ends of the Bible.

    The first door is found in the book of Genesis, God is speaking to both Cain and to us. In chapter 4, God says,”If you do well, will you not be accepted. And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door and it’s desire is for you but you must rule over it.”

    This is door one and it is the door that I have stumbled upon plenty of times in my life. And I am sure that if you are honest, you have as well. The door is appealing to the eyes and to the heart, but it is not the door in which we really wish to walk through. Its promises are fleeting, and they never are quite honest. After consuming whatever is behind this door, we are left with a bigger feeling of disappointment.

    In Matthew 7, Jesus says, “wide is the gate that leads to destruction.” And if we continue entering through this door, this is exactly what we will reap.

    I would also like to point out, this sin crouching at the door sounds a lot like Satan prowling around like a roaring lion looking for souls to devour. (1 Peter 5:7)

    Now for the second door, it is a door found in the book of Revelations, chapter 3. Jesus is saying to the church of Laodicea (as well as us), “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me.”

    This is a plain wood door. When the world thinks about this door they would compare it to the janitor’s closest door. It is that door that everyone passes by without noticing it. This door could disappear and no one would miss it. It only draws those to it who know its importance. Jesus is standing behind this door. He said in John 10, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatched them out of my hand.” He also said that, “He is the way, truth and the life. And that no one comes to the Father except through him.” (14:6) Sees you walk through the doors many times in order to protect the things behind them.

    Jesus also bids us to enter through the narrow gate. Gates are another type of door.

    This whole message has me thinking of Joshua at the end of his life standing before all of Israel telling them to chose. Joshua said, “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, chose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your father’s served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house we will serve the LORD.”(24:15).

    So I am putting it this way. Decide today, right now which door you will enter!

    Prayer

    God, thank you for showing this to me and allowing me to share it. I pray that it would edify people about your love for us and help them to chose the right door, the only door that leads to you; Jesus. Please bless us all with more of you grace, mercy and love. And definitely more of you. In Jesus name, amen.

    Lampstands.


    Lampstands

    A couple of weeks ago at 7 am, I was standing outside of the receiving areas of one of the stores I serve, waiting to get in. I noticed this overhead light. I have been serving this account for years and never quite looked at this light in the same way. See, where I live the days are starting to get longer and it is getting brighter earlier in the morning. Which is probably one of the reasons I noticed the light, because it was out.

         If you look closely you can make out that this light has the word – or should I say it contains – the name of one of the seven churches that Jesus rebukes in the beginning of the book of Revelations.

    In Revelations 2,  Jesus is talking to the church  at Ephesus. He says:

    I know your works your toils, and your patient endurance and how you can not bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who have called themselves apostles and are not, and have found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore where you have fallen; repent and do the works you did at first. If not I will come to you and remove your lampstand  from its place unless you repent.

    Now if I am honest, I feel like this is a sign for me. I fit this perfectly. I believe Jesus was showing me that I  have abandoned the love for him that I once had. I mean, the light is out. Look again, it is easy, just scroll to the top of this message and see for yourself.

    Up until this wake-up call,  I had been struggling to be focused in prayer, in delving into the Word, in talking about Jesus to the people I encounter on a daily basis (at least for the past year or so). My actions were Corbin (saying that I was rendering this stuff to God), however, I had just become lazy. I would say stuff like, “I will read tomorrow.” Alternately, I would spend little to no time in prayer or they would just be surface prayers.

    This  Lampstand  opened my eyes. Jesus has, does, and will always call me out on my stuff. So, for the past couple of weeks, I have been actively falling back in love with the love that I had abandoned. My prayer is deeper, I am spending loads more time in God’s Word, and I am serving at our local food pantry (where upon sharing this photo and story with the director and her husband has opened a door for me to be able to share the Gospel with others whom are volunteering there).

    Maybe you are now just seeing this picture. My prayer is that our Father will use it the same way in your life as He has been using it in mine.

    Now may our FATHER bless you with more grace, more mercy, more love and more of Him. In Jesus name, amen!

    Walk and Not Faint

    The title for this site is special in my life. If you’re giving me a chance and reading this you will see and maybe even acknowledge in your own life that at times you have only been able to walk and not grow faint. When I think about it I don’t remember many times in my life where I soared on the wings of eagles. There have been times where I’ve run and not grown weary but mostly the things I dwell on or the times that stick out in my mind were times of walking. And you know what, God has supplied the strength even in those times.

    This is  not a site of woe is me, in fact it is a site that hopefully will be used by God to illuminate or unveil His glory in our lives. So saying this I  would like to spend time in the book of Psalms. Our Father is a lifter of heavy spirits(of which mine is not).

    Psalm 30 line 2 resonates well with this thought. It reads, “Oh LORD my God, I cried to you for help and you have healed me. Oh LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you have restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.” A little further and David says that, “joy comes in the morning.”(5)

    In writing this David wasn’t actually in the pit, he wasn’t actually at the place of death, he was merely just stating that, this is how his soul felt. David felt that the world was just closing in around him, that the circumstances were unbearable. We have been there, and there have been times in my life where I felt that the world was against me. But at those times I am reminded of one of God’s names, El Rohi, it means the God that sees me. And just visualizing that name brings me to Psalm 139. Which reads, ” Oh LORD,  you have search me and know  me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you just dicern my thoughts from afar. You search out my paths and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” This Psalm goes on to state that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.(100 name of God, Rose publishing)

    How great is that, next time you are down in the dumps remember that line. Next time you feel as you are invisible remember God sees you, your heavenly Father sees you.