Archive | February, 2013

Sing and be Happy

February 27, 2013

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When King Saul was pursuing David to kill him, David prayed only to be delivered – He did not seek the death of Saul, God’s anointed king. Psalm 59:5-15.

How do we handle our enemies?

  • We shouldn’t seek vengeance
  • We shouldn’t curse God
  • We can’t ignore their error, else we’ll no longer blush (Jeremiah 6:15)

We can take the opportunity to be like Christ and love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48)

Enemies seem powerful because they have no fear of God. Rebuke or warnings do no good because they have no belief. We just trust that God will take care of it. (Romans 12:17-21)

David reacted by singing. No matter how much talent you have, singing to God from the heart is an excellent strength building exercise. (Psalm 59:16-17) Peter and Silas made it famous while in jail one night. (Acts 16:25) Worship God and wait for Him.

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The Judge

February 27, 2013

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In our New Testament world we take the “loving” approach to sinners and our enemies. (Matthew 5:43-48) This worldview makes David’s request for God’s swift judgment in Psalm 58 sound a little harsh.

In Psalm 58:6-7 the request from the psalmist is to make the enemy powerless. Let’s think about Jesus in the wilderness countering the temptations of Satan. (Matthew 4:1-11) He turned every attack into harmless chatter with no substance. To follow this example is to teach the scriptures, discredit false interpretation of the Bible and try to make sinners see the way.

In the end, when we pray for others (especially those we care about) that are sinners, we cannot pray for God’s to make an unrighteous judgment. We need to pray for their conversion because God is a righteous judge.

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The Grasp of God’s Hand

February 26, 2013

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God demonstrated through Joseph that His will cannot be foiled through the results of sin. (Genesis 41-50) In Exodus 1, God’s plan is under attack once more from the King of Egypt. Notice that it only took a few little actions to keep God’s will on track and frustrate the Pharaoh:

  • They multiplied despite hard labor and slavery v12
  • The midwives disobeyed the king and didn’t kill the newborn boys v17
  • Moses was hid (Exodus 2:1-3)

God is on our side when we teach His word and help His kingdom grow despite the attempts Satan makes to block us.

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God Will Not Be Stopped

February 25, 2013

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The last part of Joseph’s life was very comfortable and he had a lot of power. (Genesis 41-50) God used the sin of Jacob’s sons to save them so they could become the fathers of the children of Israel. Perhaps one of the most powerful acknowledgements of God’s providence was Joseph’s response to his brothers when they pled for their lives after Jacob’s death:

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today – Genesis 50:20

How encouraging to know God’s plan cannot be foiled by sin!

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Eight Reasons Not to Skip Bible Study

February 24, 2013

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Paul never missed an opportunity to do a Bible study. (Granted, his Bible was in his head, put there by the Holy Spirit) In fact, even when he was in jail he converted the jailer  (Acts 16:31-34) During his travels Paul made sure he was somewhere to worship with the saints on the first day of the week. (References throughout Acts) Paul knew this was how to build churches and Christians (Acts 20:32)

As you prepare to attend Bible study (Sunday school, Wednesday evening service) at the next opportunity, (especially if you are deciding whether to go) think about these reasons you should be there, ready to participate:

  1. It is a rewarding privilege
  2. If we don’t, we cast our vote to stop scheduling it.
  3. Our influence and contributions to the Lord’s work is dependent on attending.
  4. It helps lead the lost to Christ.
  5. Jesus would attend if He were here.
  6. It’s not optional.
  7. It stabilizes our homes.
  8. It part of the example we set.

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The Whole Truth

February 23, 2013

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During Paul’s last meeting with the Ephesians, he told them he had taught them everything they needed to know and he was therefore “Innocent of the blood of all.” (Acts 20:26)

Paul’s example was to teach the full counsel of God. He never let his students continue in sin without a warning. He taught everything:

Not just the popular parts.

Not just the easy parts.

Not just the fun parts.

Would it break your heart on the last day to have your best friend ask, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

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The Truth Hurts

February 22, 2013

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So there Paul was in Ephesus – teaching and converting people to Christianity like a pro. The problem was the little statues of the Greek gods were becoming obsolete because people began worshiping the one true God. They created a stir so loud and large that some people didn’t even know why they were rioting. (Acts 19:21-41)

I just today saw in the local TV news that an outspoken evangelist is being accused of hate speech. While there are no actual witnesses to these things, the rumor is that he leads vicious rallies targeted at homosexuals. His contention is that homosexuality a sin – along with premarital sex and adultery. He says that he doesn’t hate gay people, but the New Testament clearly makes that lifestyle a sin. He has created a lot of enemies by teaching the truth and they are talking about protesting the church where he works.

Some things never change.

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Improving God’s Teachers

February 21, 2013

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Those of us who read and study the Scripture have a duty to pass it on to others. (2 Timothy 2:2, 2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 4:2, Philippians 4:9, etc.) Our spiritual maturity will continue to increase as we study and teach – along with our confidence.

Apollos was a man who was very confident and willing to teach, but he was getting something wrong. A fine couple approaches him and teaches him “the way of God more accurately”. (Acts 18: 24-28) He goes on, even more capable of refuting the Jews’ false teaching.

This lesson can be taken two ways:

  1. Always be willing to reexamine what you “know” to be true against the Scriptures when someone approaches you.
  2. Always be willing to help others that are teaching an error.

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Teaching is Difficult

February 20, 2013

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Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:2 to follow the example of the apostles and teach God’s word. Paul was a very persuasive teacher and really knew his stuff. His skill didn’t keep him from facing difficult situations though, did it? Paul was beaten, mocked, run out of town, arrested. (Acts 16, 17, 18) But he kept teaching  – and that is the example he wants us to follow.

The next time you need a little boost in your courage, think about Paul and Silas as they travel through tough terrain converting some tough people.

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Two Faces

February 19, 2013

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24 Those who hate you may try to fool you with their words,
but in their minds they are planning evil.
25 People’s words may be kind, but don’t believe them,
because their minds are full of evil thoughts.
26 Lies can hide hate,
but the evil will be plain to everyone.
 – Proverbs 26:24-26 NCV


Instead of focusing on the obvious warning of who to avoid, let us look inward. To be godly and loving – the opposite of what this passage describes – we should…

  • …follow through on our promises
  • …tell the whole truth
  • …avoid setting others up to fail

Allowing these basics to erode will lead us dangerously close to the two faced nature the proverb writer describes.

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The Things We Worry About

February 18, 2013

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God’s word calls us, much like Psalm 49, to hear about the priorities we need to have. The psalmist reminds us that things we once worried about when we were younger don’t seem so important today. And later, the same will hold true for what worries us right now.

Jesus taught us not to worry because we are the most important thing to God (Matthew 6:25-34).

God’s invitation then, is to learn from his word – the earlier the better, so we spend our years on better things than worry.

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5 More Tips for Effective Prayer

February 17, 2013

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In the previous article, 5 Tips for Effective Prayer, we saw some qualities our prayer should have when making our requests from God. A quality prayer that pleases God contains much more than personal requests to satisfy our needs and wants. God is pleased with praise of his name and of his majesty, much like we read in Psalm 48. Let’s take some time today to think about the part of our prayers that do not ask anything but offer the Lord our everything.

Here are five tips that will help:

  1. Speak to Him reverently (Matthew 6:9)
  2. Praise for Him (Matthew 6:13b – For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. The NIV and other versions do not include this part of the verse)
  3. Offered with a merciful spirit (James 2:13)
  4. Not offered to be seen of others (Matthew 6:6)
  5. Prayer is to be accompanied by personal action (Luke 6:46)
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5 Tips for Effective Prayer

February 16, 2013


As Jehoshaphat was watching the enemy amass themselves against him, he turned to God in prayer (2 Chronicles 20). He was in a period where he was leading well and teaching his people to fear God, so God obliterates the enemy. Jehoshaphat’s reign was always either hot or cold in its relationship with the Lord – so why did God so completely respond to that prayer?

The Bible is full of tips on how to pray. Here are five:

  1. The prayer of the righteous is effective (James 5:16)
  2. Prayer is to be offered in Thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 )
  3. Prayer should be continuous (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  4. Prayer should be offered Sincerely (Matthew 6:5)
  5. Prayer should be offered with humility (Luke 18:10-14)

Here is  5 More Tips for Effective Prayer

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Guilt by Association

February 14, 2013

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Ahab and Jehoshaphat tried to change the word of God, just like the people of the world are today. Ahab tried to have his own desires forced on God, but then attempted to hide when he realized it wasn’t going to work out for him. (2 Chronicles 18, 1 Kings 22)

The things God has deemed as sinful will still be counted as sins on the judgment day no matter how much society tries to convinces us of the  contrary.

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Reflecting God’s Image

February 13, 2013

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Consistent application of God’s word earns respect and tolerance from others. God’s image is seen first in a godly person. When Jehoshaphat demonstrated this, he even had the Philistines and Arabians paying tribute to his kingdom (2 Chronicles 17:10-13).

Some ways to apply this might be:

  1. Be careful in your language.
  2. Be willing to teach when you have an opportunity
  3. Show the qualities of Jesus in your actions

Daily Bible Reading for Feb 13

Joseph interprets two prisoners’ dreams. Jehoshaphat begins his reign in Judah and teaches the Scriptures to all the land. The house of Cornelius is converted (The First Gentiles).

Psalm 44
Genesis 40
2 Chronicles 17
Acts 10:1-11:18

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