Nor did they know how to blush…

Bible text on paper hole

On two occasions in the book of Jeremiah, the writer records that the children of Israel did not know how to blush (Jeremiah 6:15; 8:12). To blush is to exhibit embarrassment or shame, it is when your face turns all different shades of red. This can happen when someone is complimented, or when someone is caught doing something wrong. In the case of Jeremiah it was in reference to the actions of the children of Israel. They had turned away from God, they were involved in all kinds of sin. They had gotten to the point where it did not even bother them anymore.

Folks, when we become so num to the things around us, that we no longer even wince when God’s name is used in vain, or a curse word is spouted off, or we hear of someone stealing, murdering, committing adultery or the like, when it no longer bothers us, we have forgotten how to blush. We have become as those that Paul spoke of in 1 Timothy 4:2, having our conscience seared with a hot iron.

What about sin in your own life, have you come to a point where you try to justify your actions. Have you come to a point where you think God will simply overlook whatever it is you are doing? Friends, one thing is certain, no matter how we try to dress sin up in our lives, God will only forgive those who seek Him. He will only forgive those who realize that sin is not something take lightly. He will only forgive those who do not lose their ability to blush when it comes to sin.

“For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isaiah 57:15)

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When would be a good time for you?

In Acts 24:25, Paul was reasoning with Felix about “righteousness, self-control, and the judgement to come, and the text tells us that Felix was afraid. Yet, just after this we read some of the saddest words, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” We are told that Felix called for him often v.26, but it was because he hope Paul would pay him for his release.

So far as we know, that convenient time to continue hearing about those important things never came about.

How is it with you?

Are you waiting for a convenient time to study God’s word, pray, or maybe even to give your life over to God.

Folks, that convenient time may never come…

If your desire is for heaven to be your home, you better make time to learn about God and His will, NOW!

Be like Paul, upon hearing what he must do, Ananias asked, “Why are you waiting, arise and be baptized washing away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16)

No better time than the present to become a Christian and live the abundant life.

Have a great day!

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“Be still, and know…”

In Psalm 46:10, the Psalmist declares, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” In the context of this verse we see an awesome picture of the Almighty unfold before us. It is a Psalm of encouragement and comfort. It gives us a glimpse of the power and majesty of God. Then we read verse 10, and it is evident that God, the God of heaven is the one and only God, he will be exalted among all nations and in all the earth. He is “our refuge and strength,” He is there during our struggles and our problems. However, in our society today we are a busy people in general.
We go here and go there, we have to go to work, run to the store, take the kids to this activity or that activity. We have to get home, cook dinner, get in bed, so we can get up the next day and do it all over again, and always in a hurry. During all this hurrying about, during all this running around could it be that sometimes we forget to “be still, and know God?”

As Christians, children of God, we are privileged to some of the greatest blessings and opportunities that can be afforded to mere human beings. To know that we have on our side the God of the universe. The one who is our refuge, our strength, our help in times of trouble. The one who speaks and the earth melts, the one who makes wars cease. He is with us, just as He was with those in days gone by.

So during are hustle and bustle lifestyles. During our running here, and going there. Let us take time to “be still, and know God.” He wants us to know Him, He wants us to have a close personal relationship with Him. He desires to be a MAJOR part of our lives, and He deserves that and so much more. After all, it is because of Him that we have the time to go do all those things we do. God wants us to know His Son, and the sacrifice that He made for us. God might very well be looking down at us a saying, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

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For What Will It Profit?

In Mark 8:36-37 these words of Jesus are recorded for us to behold. There He states, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? In these two verses there are two different ideas that need to be discussed and pondered. The first is in verse 36, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” Of course the quick answer is nothing; there is absolutely no profit in gaining everything this world has to offer while at the same time condemning our soul. No greater possession has been entrusted to man. Man’s soul is that which will live on past this life and in to eternity. This being the case each person has a responsibility to be the best possible steward he/she can be with their soul that God has given. Yet there are countless souls who wonder about this world seeking all it has to offer, and never once give any thought to preparation for the life to come. In Matthew 6:24 Christ said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” While there are many things in this world that are bad and of no benefit there are also those things that are good and can be of benefit to each person. However, one must be careful how much stock is put in to those things, the bad must be shunned at all cost; the good must be approached in moderation. If one is not careful worldly things can take over and hinder the pursuit of heaven. Every person should heed the words of the writer of Ecclesiastes, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all” (Ecc. 12:13). Some translations say this is the “whole duty of man.” The apostle John stated it this way, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). The second idea is expressed in verse 37, “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul.” Again the quick answer is nothing; there is nothing more valuable than a person’s soul. Yet, there are many who are willing to sell their soul to the devil. Willing to exchange their soul for a job, for family, for money, and on the list could go. These are not wrong in and of themselves, but it is the priority that these hold in one’s life. Judas was willing to exchange his soul for thirty pieces of silver; Demas was willing to exchange his soul for the love of the world. What will you do?

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A Bad Day…

Just remember when you are having a bad day: You could be up against an army (Exodus 14), a giant (1 Sam. 17), facing a lion (Judges 14) or a thousand enemies (Judges 15), or a den of lions (Dan. 6), or maybe just an every day struggle. Here is the important thing to remember, you can get through it all with God on your side.

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For All Its Worth

Sorry posts are a little behind, having said that here is a thought. What about when we leave God’s word behind. We forget to pick it up and read it one day, then the next day comes and we are just too busy, so we say, well tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and you get the idea. Before long we leave it on the table and it becomes a dust catcher. May I suggest that we pick it back up, dust it off, open it up and read it and study it for all its worth. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

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Faithful or Unfaithful?

In chapter 10 of 1 Chronicles Saul is in battle with his enemies, the Philistines, it is during this battle that Saul and his sons are killed. Then in the final verses of this chapter we find this statment:

“So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. But he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.” (1 Chronicles 10:13-14)

In these verses I see some things that I believe ought to get our attention:

First, each of us has an appointment with physical death (Hebrews 9:27). At that point we will either have lived a life faithful to God or unfaithful to God. With Saul he made the decision to die unfaithful, for this reason the Bible tells us, God killed him.

Secondly, notice the reasons given for his unfaithfulness. He did not keep the word of the Lord. Each of us have this same decision to make, will we keep the word of the Lord or reject it? Christ said in John 12:48, “He who rejects me and does not receive My words, has that which judges him–the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” Each one of us will one day give an account for how we lived (2 Corinthians 5:10). Make sure you make the right decision in this life.

However, not only did he refrain from keeping the word of the Lord, he consulted a medium for guidance, instead of the Lord. There is a lesson here for us all as well. Many today seek guidance from anyone and anything they can, without seeking guidance from God through his word. God’s word is the only true guide for man today (Psalm 119:105) that can lead man to truth (John 17:17). No man made creed, religion, or philosophy will ever be a proper guide.

In conclusion because of Saul’s disobedience he was cut off from the land of the living, and no doubt from his eternal reward. Don’t let this to happen to you, seek the counsel of God, obey His word, and He will reward you in the end (Matthew 7:21, James 1:22)

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Be careful!

In 1 Corinthians 10:12 Paul states, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” In essence Paul is saying watch out or be careful when you think you have it made because you might just slip. I find it interesting that this leads right into verse 13 were Paul speaks about temptation and makes it clear that there is nothing new. In verse 13 he states, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” In consideration of verse 13 I would like for us to consider a few points.

First, notice that there is no temptation that someone, somewhere has not had to deal with. This reminds me of the statement made by the Ecclesiastical writer when he said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Truly, at times we feel as though we are the only ones in the world that are having problems with something, at times we think there is no one that understands; but on the contrary there have been and are hundreds if not thousands that are having the same problem. So never think you are alone.

Secondly, “God is faithful” to the extent specifically in this context that we will not be “tempted beyond” what we can handle. Since God is the One who sustains us, the One Who created everything; He understands us, His crown and jewel of creation, the only created entity that is said to have been made in His image. However what must be realized is that the temptations that come upon us always have an escape hatch. That’s the point, when temptation rears its ugly head; God is faithful in that there will always be a way out. Also, sometimes the way out might not look like the best to us, remember Joseph and Potiphar’s wife? When his wife tried to seduce Joseph he fled from the presence of the temptation and into the jail. Might not have been what Joseph had in mind but it kept him from sinning.

Lastly, we notice the reason the temptation is bearable is because of the way of escape. As Paul concludes verse 13 let us notice it again in its entirety. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” The final phrase is key, the reason that we are able to bear any temptation that is presented, is because there is always a way of escape. I am often reminded of what the Psalmist declared in Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!” If we will truly meditate upon the word of God and apply it to our lives, the way of escape will be easily seen.
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

by: John Ratliff
Evangelist Prescott church of Christ,
Prescott, AR

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Train Up A Child…

In recent news we have been told about the coming out of a five-year old girl who thinks she is a boy. The parents say as early as the age of two their daughter thought she was a boy. She liked spider man, and playing with trucks, and so she must be a boy trapped in a girls body. So what do respectable, responsible, adult, parents do? Well they do what any respectable, responsible, adult, parent would, they indulge this action and promote it, because after all, a child that age knows exactly who they are, understands the differences in sexuality, and knows exactly what they want to be when they grow up. Well not really…

A child this age is still very impressionable, under the direct supervision of his or her parents, and the parents are in control. What do you think, do you believe that this child went out and got her hair cut and then bought the clothes and so forth. No her parents did, her parents were in charge of her hair cut, her parents were in charge of her clothes. A child becomes what they are trained to be.

The proverb writer made it clear that a child is to be trained (Proverbs 22:6). The Psalmist declared, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children’s of one’s youth (Psalm 127:4). In Ephesian 6:1, Paul said to “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

Come on parents, start being parents!


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You Can Understand it, But Can You Accept It

Many today want to accept the invitation of Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30), but when it really comes down to it, they want to do it on their terms. Just a casual read through the Bible tells us that God has never accepted man on his terms, it has always been on His (God’s) terms. Jesus Himself said, “if you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Some have taken this to mean only the ones I like. Friends, let us remove the “I” syndrome and replace it with the attitude of I will do whatever you ask of me.

If you desire to accept the invitation of Jesus simply do what He commanded. “He that believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16). It is as simple as that…then live your life in accordance to His will, always studying (2 Timothy 2:15), always submitting (James 4:7), never tiring (1 Corinthians 15:58)

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