Archive | March, 2013

The Savor of Salt

March 15, 2013

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An extreme measure had to be taken with the sinful children of Israel. The very thing that got them dropped from God’s good grace – the thing that got them captured – the thing that was going to get them destroyed once and for all had to be dealt with.

As soon as they got back to their own land they began to intermarry with the idolaters that lived nearby.

Ezra took care of it by having them put away those wives. It was expressly forbidden to intermarry if one was a Jew. (Ezra 10)

In the same way the God’s chosen people were to be different, we Christians are to be a peculiar people or a chosen people. We are to influence and be leaders. This is the savor in the salt that Jesus was talking about (Matthew 5:13) When we join with the world, we lose that ability.

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God is Great, God is Good

March 14, 2013

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God is Great,
God is Good,
Let us thank Him for our food.
By His hands we all are fed,
Give us Lord our Daily Bread.

Adults tend to forget the simplicity and core truth of this children’s mealtime prayer.

Like the author of Psalm 73, we might question the prosperity of the ungodly. Many stumble completely away from God because of the question.

The writer wants us to remember that this life is not about this life. It is ALL about the next life and the preparation to get there. If we remember the prosperity enjoyed by many in this is temporary, we can focus on the real reward waiting for us after the judgment.

Just like the lovely ending of the Psalm says, (Psalm 73:28) our time here is to tell others about him:

But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.

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God Loves You

March 13, 2013

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Paul said a lot of loving things to the addressee of his letters. I wish we were all ready with the words to comfort those facing difficulties like Paul was.

The closing of Romans 8 (Romans 8:38-39) may be some of his best work:

38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


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Get into Christ

March 12, 2013

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Paul talks a lot about being in Christ. Between Romans 3 and Romans 6, Paul has given us seven significant ideas about being in Christ.

  • Faith (Romans 3:26)
  • Redemption (Romans 3:24)
  • Peace (Romans 5:1)
  • Rejoicing in God (Romans 5:11)
  • Abundance of grace, gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17)
  • Being alive unto God (Romans 6:11)
  • Eternal life (Romans 6:22)

Romans 8 opens with “No condemnation”.

Understanding what it means to be in Christ might be the key bit you need to really understand Paul’s writings. To take a stab at it:

Being in Christ is to be included in the Lord’s church. The church is the social organism which forms Christ’s earthly body now. Once one is incorporated into it by baptism, the Christian is in Christ himself. (1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 6:3, Galatians 3:26-27)

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Sin Recognition

March 11, 2013

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Sin entered the world through the first two people.

Sin was present the very moment Israel started wandering in the desert. They couldn’t even follow directions in how to gather the manna. (Exodus 16)

God gave Moses the law so we could recognize sin and understand what is expected of us. All this in preparation for Christ’s sacrifice to release us form the law. (Romans 7)

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5 Things My Church Attendance Says I Love

March 10, 2013

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The greatest commandments are to love God and love your neighbor. What does love have to do with church attendance?

My church attendance says I love:

  1. My Physical Family (Ephesians 6:4)
  2. My Spiritual Family (Colossians 3:16, Romans 15:14, Romans 14:19, Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 10:24-25)
  3. My Soul (Colossians 3:16, Hebrews 10:25-26)
  4. My Neighbor (Matthew 5:16)
  5. God (Matthew 16:24-26)
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Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

March 9, 2013

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When people live without boundaries, they are unable to recognize when they are astray. Paul points out in Romans 5:12-21 that the law of Moses was given by God to highlight sin. The idea was for them to understand how sin abounds and to be appreciative of Christ when he came.

Now that Christ has come and brought us the gospel, we enjoy being within his boundaries of grace, light and love.

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Beautiful Deeds

March 7, 2013

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As I read Psalm 66 I can’t help but think about all of the beautiful weather and scenery pictures I see from my friends all around the world. Just today my Facebook stream was full of snowy mountains from Virginia.

God’s deeds are awesome – both in the way the world works with finely tuned precision, to the great miracles recorded for us in the Bible to prove his word. (Mark 16:20)

Even more awesome, is how he answers prayers for those that depend on him. (Psalm 66:13-20)

Even Jesus said we have access directly to the Father (Mark 16:23)

And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

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A Gracious Gift

March 6, 2013

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Through God’s grace, we were given the ultimate sacrifice for our redemption. He understood that we all are sinners and need his help. (Romans 3:23)

God has asked us to take this gift, so he can show us his righteousness and give us salvation – if we follow Jesus. (Romans 3:26)

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Sinful Men Doing God’s Will

March 5, 2013

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Isn’t it hard to believe that the Pharaoh’s heart was so hard that he could say no to Moses after so many plagues? If you remember from Exodus 4:21, God told Moses that he would harden Pharaoh’s heart. It worked so well that the Pharaoh allowed the plague of frogs to stay an extra night when he could have ended it immediately. (Exodus 8:9-10)

God delivered “Shock and Awe” to the world with power and control like none alive at the time had ever seen. This is a good place to start when trying to figure out how to apply it, but it goes so much deeper. I hope you noticed it:

God can do his work through evil men just as easily as he can work through his followers!

Romans 13:1-7 authorizes governments without defining what model they use – It could be a democracy or a dictatorship. It also reminds us that that power is God-given. Sooo … What does that mean for us?

We don’t have to despair when we are governed by sinners. Keep God in view and focus on doing his will and he will deal with the rest.

Bonus: David addresses a similar theme in Psalm 64

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You Are My God.

March 4, 2013

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Davide e Golia - ca 1625 - Tanzio da Varallo (1575-1633)

Davide e Golia – ca 1625 – Tanzio da Varallo (1575-1633)

In Psalm 63, David calls out to God and doesn’t hesitate to use the possessive form. How great is it to be able to say “You are my God” in a prayer?

God will be your God, but you have to do something first – You have to seek him diligently. Read Matthew 7:7-11 to understand how.




Three ways to get God to uphold us in his hand (Psalm 63:8)

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5 Things Your Absence from Church Affects Other than Yourself

March 3, 2013

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When you skip church, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. (Psalm 127:1, 1 Corinthians 9:27) Did you know you are affecting others when you choose to skip worship?

  1. You affect God (Hebrews 10:25-27)
  2. You affect those who aren’t even members yet (1 Peter 4:17-18, 1 Corinthians 10:32-33)
  3. You affect the church where you are a member (Colossians 3:1, Philippians 4:8)
  4. You affect your family (Ephesians 6:4, 1 Peter 3:1)
  5. You affect the elders (Hebrews 13:17)

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One Choice to Make

March 2, 2013

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Here’s just a quick thought to take away after reading Romans 1:21-22 – man gets only one major life defining opportunity. We get a choice of believing in God and honoring him and his commands or not. Those who choose “not” no longer have anything relevant to contribute to eternity. Finish the chapter to see how that lifestyle turns out.

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Faith Opens the Door

March 1, 2013

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Faith wasn’t exactly Moses’ strong suit when he first spoke to God. God had to give Moses the power to do miracles and then he had to use Aaron to speak for him. (Exodus 4:10-17)

Luckily we have the benefit of hindsight. We have the Gospel – which is the power of God. (Romans 1:16) The revelation of the Gospel is the source of faith, built from faith (Romans 1:17)

Reading the Scriptures living by faith easier than it ever has been in history.

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