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Form of Sound Words (2 Tim 1:13)
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Other Sites
Now Playing: Quotes to consider
Topic: Administrative
During the current limited postings, please browse other resources which can be found at http://dondegr8.tripod.com/plainpath & http://dondegr8.tripod.com/wordoftruth
Note that links and content may be duplicated at times, although each "site" has a slightly different focus and target audience. Most content is simply what has been a help in my own walk.

Posted by dondegr8 at 8:02 AM EST
Monday, February 16, 2004
Routine Change
Now Playing: Taking a breather for a while
Topic: Administrative
This past Friday, I accepted a new job in the Toronto area, starting tomorrow. My new routine will adjust the frequency of my postings until my new schedule has been in effect for a time. Please read previous postings (from December & January) and enjoy some of the profitable content on the various links.

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:04 PM EST
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Frequency
Now Playing: Only so much time available
Topic: Administrative
Due to a transition in work responsibilities, I will likely have less frequent postings over the next few months. The pace should pick up in the spring. These entries should continue at least once a week.

Posted by dondegr8 at 8:48 AM EST
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Purity
Now Playing: Are our actions characterized by purity ?
Topic: Purity
We all wish to believe we act with the best motives. However, the eye of God looks at each action, each thought, each motive, and discerns what directs our lives and the thoughts, words, and actions which fill our daily activities. When we consider what God desires in our lives, the following verses are ones on which we may profit by meditating and seeking to walk in purity.

The Lord Jesus spoke to the multitudes, "(v.3) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (v.4) Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (v.5) Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (v.6) Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (v.7) Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (v.8) Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:3-8)

Paul spoke to the elders at Ephesus, "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men." (Acts 20:24) Those at Philippi were admonished, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8)

In his 2 letters to Timothy, Paul exhorted, "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:" (1 Timothy 1:5) "Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience." (1 Timothy 3:9) "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12) "Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure." (1 Timothy 5:22)

"I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;" (2 Timothy 1:3) "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:22)

In his epistle to Titus, Paul wrote, "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled." (Titus 1:15)

The epistle to the Hebrews records, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:22)

James exhorted in his epistle, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27) "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." (James 3:17)

The apostle Peter admonished, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:" (1 Peter 1:22) "This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:" (2 Peter 3:1)

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." (1 John 3:3)

May we daily, hourly strive for purity in every aspect of our walk and ways.

Work in progess...

Posted by dondegr8 at 4:28 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, June 9, 2004 4:42 PM EDT
Monday, February 9, 2004
Flourish
Now Playing: Are we truly flourishing in our lives?
Topic: Prosper
Any farmer or gardener can tell you about when their efforts flourish or result in a disappointing outcome. Much intricate effort goes in to every stage of the process. Ploughing, tilling, planting, watering, weeding, hedging, are all part of the process, well before the final outcome. Today we will look at some verses in scripture about what does and does not flourish.

David wrote in the Psalms, "(v.5) They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. (v.6) He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. (v.7) In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. (v.8) He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. (v.9) They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. (v.10) The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. (v.11) Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. (v.12) For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. (v.13) He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. (v.14) He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight. (v.15) And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised(v.16) There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. (v.17) His name shall endure for ever: His name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call Him blessed. (v.18) Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. (v.19) And blessed be His glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen, and Amen." (Psalm 72:5-19)

"(v.1) IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD, AND TO SING PRAISES UNTO THY NAME, O MOST HIGH: (v.2) To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, (v.3) Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. (v.4) For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. (v.5) O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. (v.6) A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this. (v.7) When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: (v.8) But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore. (v.9) For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. (v.10) But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil. (v.11) Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me. (v.12) The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. (v.13) Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. (v.14) They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; (v.15) To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him." (Psalm 92:1-15)

Solomon recorded in the Proverbs, "(v.24) There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. (v.25) The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. (v.26) He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it. (v.27) He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him. (v.28) He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. (v.29) He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. (v.30) The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." (Proverbs 11:24-30)

Solomon also wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes, "(v.1) Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; (v.2) While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: (v.3) In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, (v.4) And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low; (v.5) Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: (v.6) Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern." (Ecclesiastes 12:1-6)

He also wrote, "(v.10) I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. (v.11) Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. (v.12) Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves." (Song of Solomon 7:10-12)

The prophet Isaiah warned, "(v.7) At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. (v.8) And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images. (v.9) In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation. (v.10) Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips: (v.11) In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow. (v.12) Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! (v.13) The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind." (Isaiah 17:7-13)

"(v.12) For thus saith the LORD, 'Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. (v.13) As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.' (v.14) And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies. (v.15) For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. (v.16) For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. (v.17) 'They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together,' saith the LORD. (v.18) For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory." (Isaiah 66:12-18)

The prophet Ezekiel anticipated, "(v.22) Thus saith the Lord GOD; 'I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent: (v.23) In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. (v.24) And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it'." (Ezekiel 17:22-24)

May the Lord give us each to flourish in our spiritual lives and bear fruit for Him!

Work in progress...

Posted by dondegr8 at 3:16 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, June 9, 2004 4:49 PM EDT
Friday, February 6, 2004
Walk in the Epistles
Now Playing: How should we walk to please God?
Topic: Follow
The following are some verses from the New Testament on how we should (and should not) walk as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4)

"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:4)

"Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." (Romans 13:13-14)

"For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
(1 Corinthians 3:3)

"But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches."
(1 Corinthians 7:17)

"(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)"
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

"And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, 'I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people'." (2 Corinthians 6:16)

"(v.3) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (v.4) (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (v.5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

"This I say then, 'Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh'." (Galations 5:16)

"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." (Galations 5:25)

"And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God." (Galations 6:16)

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)

"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called," (Ephesians 4:1)

"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind," (Ephesians 4:17)

"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." (Ephesians 5:2)

"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:" (Ephesians 5:8)

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise," (Ephesians 5:15)

"Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing." (Philippians 3:16)

"Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample." (Philippians 3:17)

"(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:"
(Philippians 3:18)

"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" (Colossians 1:10)

"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:" (Colossians 2:6)

"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time." (Colossians 4:5)

"That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." (1 Thes. 2:12)

"Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more." (1 Thes. 4:1)

"That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."
(1 Thes. 4:12)

"For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies." (1 Thes. 3:11)

"But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities." (2 Peter 2:10)

"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:" (1 John 1:6)

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

"He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." (1 John 2:6)

"And this is love, that we walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it." (2 John 1:6)

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 4)

"How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts." (Jude 18)

"Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy." (Rev. 3:4)

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:19 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, June 9, 2004 4:43 PM EDT
Restore
Now Playing: Is there anything which should be restored?
Topic: Restore
We like to feel like we "have it all together". We don't want others to perceive that we have flaws or have made mistakes that require correction. However, sometimes we simply come to the point where we realize something is not right and must be changed, hopefully for the glory of God. Today we look at a few verses on the subject of restoration in its varied forms.

We read in the book of Samuel, "(v.5) And Samuel said, 'Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD.' (v.6) And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, 'We have sinned against the LORD.' And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh. (v.7) And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. (v.8) And the children of Israel said to Samuel, 'Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.' (v.9) And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him. (v.10) And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel. (v.11) And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar. (v.12) Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. (v.13) So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. (v.14) And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites. (v.15) And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life." (1 Samuel 7:5-15)

Ezra has recorded, "And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God." (Ezra 6:5)

Nehemiah writes about the following conflict, "(v.6) And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. (v.7) Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, 'Ye exact usury, every one of his brother.' And I set a great assembly against them. (v.8) And I said unto them, 'We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us?' Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer. (v.9) Also I said, 'It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?' (v.10) I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury. (v.11) Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. (v.12) Then said they, 'We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest.' Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise. (v.13) Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, 'Amen', and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise." (Nehemiah 5:6-13)

The prophet Joel has admonished, "(v.21) Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things. (v.22) Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. (v.23) Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. (v.24) And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. (v.25) And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. (v.26) And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. (v.27) And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed." (Joel 2:21-27)

Paul wrote to the Galations, "(v.1) Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (v.2) Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (v.3) For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. (v.4) But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. (v.5) For every man shall bear his own burden." (Galations 6:1-5)

Finally, the prophet Isaiah has instructed, "(v.15)For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; 'I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.' (v.16) For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. (v.17) For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. (v.18) I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. (v.19) I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him." (Isaiah 57:15-19)

Work in progress...

Posted by dondegr8 at 11:19 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, June 9, 2004 4:44 PM EDT
Thursday, February 5, 2004
Serve
Now Playing: Who are we serving in our lives?
Topic: Service
Every one of us have responsibilities, whether to our parents, our employer, to our government, or to a close family member. But not all service is easy or fun, and we need to consider how we are truly serving in our lives. When we get away from the Lord, we can end up "serving sin", and throw our energies into that which will one day be "burned up" (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

We are admonished in the book of Exodus, "(v.24) Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. (v.25) And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. (v.26) There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. (v.27) I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. (v.28) And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. (v.29) I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. (v.30) By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land." (Exodus 23:24-30)

Moses recorded in the book of Deuteronomy, "(v.6) I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (v.7) Thou shalt have none other gods before me. (v.8) Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: (v.9) Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, (v.10) And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments" (Deuteronomy 5:6-10).

"(v.11) And the LORD said unto me, 'Arise, take thy journey before the people, that they may go in and possess the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give unto them.' (v.12) And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, (v.13) To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? (v.14) Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. (v.15) Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. (v.19) Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. (v.20) Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave, and swear by His name. (v.21) He is thy praise, and He is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen. (v.22) Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude." (Deuteronomy 10:11-15, 19-22)

Joshua has recorded in the book that bears his name, "(v.12) And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. (v.13) And I have given you a land for which ye did not labor, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat. (v.14) Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. (v.15) And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (v.16) And the people answered and said, 'God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;' (v.17) For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: (v.18) And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God." (Joshua 24:12-18)

Samuel has written, "(v.3) And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, 'If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only:' and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. (v.4) Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only. (v.5) And Samuel said, 'Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD.' (v.6) And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, 'We have sinned against the LORD.' And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh." (1 Samuel 7:3-6)

The book of Chronicles records, "(v.29) Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. (v.30) And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD.(v.31) And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. (v.32) And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. (v.33) And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers." (2 Chronicles 34:29-33)

David wrote in the Psalms, "(v.1) Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.(v.2) Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. (v.3) Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (v.4) Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. (v.5) For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." (Psalm 100:1-5)

Daniel recorded for our blessing, "(v.13) Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. (v.14) Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, 'Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? (v.15) Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?' (v.16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. (v.17) If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. (v.18) But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up'." (Daniel 3:13-18)

The gospels warn us, "(v.19) Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (v.20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (v.21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (v.22) The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. (v.23) But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (v.24) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6:19-24) "(v.25) He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. (v.26) If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour." (John 12:25-26)

Paul has written in his epistles, "(v.17) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (v.18) For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (v.19) For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil." (Romans 16:17-19) "(v.23) And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; (v.24) Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." (Colossians 3:23-24)

The book of Hebrews tells us, "(v.11) But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; (v.12) Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (v.13) For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: (v.14) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:10-14) "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:" (Hebrews 12:28). May we each desire to serve Him in the fear of the Lord!

Work in progress...

Posted by dondegr8 at 2:59 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, June 9, 2004 4:45 PM EDT
Tuesday, February 3, 2004
Provoke
Now Playing: What type of response are we producing?
Topic: Motivate
In science, they teach that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. We find in our families, our Christian fellowship, and with our friends and co-workers some of the same factors at work. Whatever we say or do or how we live our lives affects one another. The Lord would seek to produce in us the proper response, although sometimes all that happens is that the depths of our sinfulness is manifested. Here are some verses on which we can meditate for our profit.

"(v.20) Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. (v.21) Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. (v.22) But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries." (Exodus 23:20-22)

"(v.1) And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. (v.2) And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, 'Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! (v.3) And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?' (v.4) And they said one to another, 'Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.' (v.5) Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.(v.6) And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: (v.7) And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, 'The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. (v.8) If the LORD delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. (v.9) Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.' (v.10) But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. (v.11) And the LORD said unto Moses, 'How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them? (v.12) I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.' (v.13) And Moses said unto the LORD, "Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) (v.14) And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. (v.15) Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, (v.16) 'Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which He sware unto them, therefore He hath slain them in the wilderness.' (v.17) And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, (v.18) 'The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. (v.19) Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now'." (v.20) And the LORD said, 'I have pardoned according to thy word: (v.21) But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. (v.22) Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; (v.23) Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: (v.24) But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it'." (Numbers 14:1-24)

"(v.19) Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. (v.20) For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant. (v.21) And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware. (v.22) Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel." (Deuteronomy 31:19-22)

"(v.1) But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. (v.2) And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, 'What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?' (v.3) Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, 'Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.' (v.4) Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: (v.5) And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders. (v.6) So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. (v.7) But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, (v.8) And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. (v.9) Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them." (Nehemiah 4:1-9)

May we earnestly desire that our actions do not provoke the sad consequences of the governmental hand of God upon our lives. May we provoke to "love and good works" (Hebrews 10:24)

More on this topic on another day

Posted by dondegr8 at 9:45 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, June 9, 2004 4:47 PM EDT
Monday, February 2, 2004
Sorrow
Now Playing: How do we feel; how should we feel?
Topic: Sorrow
On various occasions, nearly all of us have received that announcement, that phone call, that letter, to inform us that one we care deeply about has passed from this scene, to their eternal abode in heaven. The feelings that pass throught our hearts and minds are deep thoughts, often of sorrow for the grief and loss which has occurred. There are many passages in scripture on the subject, although some are in a different context than that of death. Today we will consider a few from the New Testament.

The Gentile physician Luke records, "(v.39) And He came out, and went, as He was wont, to the mount of Olives; and His disciples also followed him. (v.40) And when He was at the place, he said unto them, 'Pray that ye enter not into temptation.' (v.41) And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, (v.42) Saying, 'Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.' (v.43) And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening Him. (v.44) And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (v.45) And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow, (v.46) And said unto them, 'Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation'." (Luke 22:39-46)

We read in the gospel of John, "(v.4) But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. (v.5) But now I go my way to Him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, 'Whither goest thou?' (v.6) But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. (v.7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. (v.8) And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (v.9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (v.10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (v.11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (v.12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." (John 16:4-12) "(V.19) Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask Him, and said unto them, 'Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? (V.20) Verily, verily, I say unto you, 'That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.' (V.21) A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. (V.22) And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. (v.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.' (v.24)Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full'." (John 16:19-24)

The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, "(v.1) I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, (v.2) That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.(v.3) For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (v.4) Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; (v.5) Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." (Romans 9:1-5)

To the Corinthians, he wrote, "(v.1) But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. (v.2) For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me? (v.3) And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. (v.4) For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. (v.5) But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. (v.6) Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. (v.7) So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. (v.8)Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him." (2 Corinthians 2:1-8) We also read, "(v.1) Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (v.2) Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. (v.3) I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you. (v.4) Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. (v.5) For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. (v.6) Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; (v.7) And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more. (v.8) For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. (v.9) Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. (v.10) For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (v.11) For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (v.12) Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you." (2 Corinthians 7:1-12)

Paul exhorted those in Philippi, "(v.20) For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. (v.21) For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. (v.22) But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. (v.23) Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. (v.24) But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly. (v.25) Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. (v.26) For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
(v.27) For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. (v.28) I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. (v.29) Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: (v.30) Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me." (Philippians 2:21-30)

Those in Thessalonica were admonished, "(v.9) But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. (v.10) And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; (v.11) And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; (v.12) That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. (v.13) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." (1 Thessalonians 4:9-13)

We can rejoice that we are told by the apostle John, "(v.3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.' (v.4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (v.5) And he that sat upon the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And he said unto me, 'Write: for these words are true and faithful'."

How wonderful that we have One who passed through much sorrow Himself (Matthew 26:38-39, John 11:33-35, shares in our own sorrows (Hebrews 4:15, 2 Corinthians 1:3-6), and will one day banish sorrow from His presence! (Revelation 21:4)

Posted by dondegr8 at 6:13 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, June 9, 2004 4:46 PM EDT
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Wonderful
Now Playing: What is really worth getting excited about?
Topic: Overflowing
Each of us have something which "pushes our buttons" either for good or for ill. Perhaps certain re-occurring events really upset us, or really get us all excited. We have passions and patterns which characterize each one of us. Today we will look at what is described in scripture as being "wonderful".

Solomon desired to do a great work, "...great is our God above all gods. (v.6) But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him? (v.7) Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide. (v.8) Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants, (v.9) Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great." (2 Chronicles 2:5-9)

Job spoke clearly, "Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not." (Job 42:3) David has said, "I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." (2 Samuel 1:26).

David wrote in the Psalms, "Many, O LORD my God, are Thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and Thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered." (Psalm 40:5) "We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength, and His wonderful works that he hath done." (Psalm 78:4) "Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psalm 107:8,15,21,31) "He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion." (Psalm 111:4) "Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them." (Psalm 119:129) "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." (Psalm 139:6)

Solomon has given us some unique insight, "(v.18) There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: (v.19) The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid. (v.24) There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: (v.25) The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; (v.26) The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; (v.27) The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; (v.28) The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces." (Proverbs 30:18-19, 24-28)

The prophet Isaiah has recorded, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6) "O LORD, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth." (Isaiah 25:1) "This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." (Isaiah 28:29)

Of the Lord Jesus, we read, "And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, 'Hosanna to the Son of David'; they were sore displeased..." (Matthew 21:15) In the book of Acts, we find, "(v11)...we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. (v.12) And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? (v.13) Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. (v.14) But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, 'Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words':" (Acts 2:11-14)

We should be thankful for the wonderful works which God has done, and be less occupied with the wonderful things we may desire for our own satisfaction and comfort, unless our desire is for His glory and the encouragement of His people.

Work in progress...

Posted by dondegr8 at 2:27 PM EST
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Safety
Now Playing: Are we dwelling in safety?
Topic: Protection
When the weather rears its head as it has in many parts of the East and Midwest this week, one of the first thoughts we have is of our safety and of that of our loved ones. While our physical safety is of great importance, how much more is that of our spiritual safety. The scriptures give us some good thoughts to consider.

"Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety" (Leviticus 25:18). In the book of Deuteronomy we read, "(v.12) And of Benjamin he said, 'The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.' (v.13) And of Joseph he said, 'Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, (v.14) And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, (v.15) And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, (v.16) And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren'." (Deuteronomy 33:12-16)

We also read in the book of Job, "(v.16) Because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away: (v.17) And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday: thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning. (v.18) And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety. (v.19) Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid; yea, many shall make suit unto thee" (Job 11:16-19). Also, "(v.22) He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no man is sure of life. (v.23) Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth; yet His eyes are upon their ways" (Job 24:22-23).

David has recorded in the Psalms, "(v.3) But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for Himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto Him. (v.4) Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. (v.5) Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. (v.6) There be many that say, 'Who will shew us any good?' LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. (v.7) Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. (v.8) I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:3-8).

We are also encouraged, (v.11) "The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations. (v.12) Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance. (v.13) The LORD looketh from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men. (v.14) From the place of His habitation He looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. (v.15) He fashioneth their hearts alike; He considereth all their works. (v.16) There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. (v.17) An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. (v.18) Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy;" (Psalm 33:11-18).

Solomon has instructed us in the book of Proverbs, "(v.10) When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting. (v.11) By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. (v.12) He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace. (v.13) A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. (v.14)Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." (Proverbs 11:10-14)

Later on in the same chapter we find, "(v.30) There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. (v.31) The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD (Proverbs 11:30-31)." Near the end of the book of Proverbs we read, "(v.3) Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: (v.4) And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (v.5) A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. (v.6) For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety" (Proverbs 24:3-6). May we find safety in casting each trouble and circumstance on the Lord and seeking His wise guidance and counselor to help us through each day!


Work in progress...

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:49 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 6:26 PM EST
Saturday, January 24, 2004
Building
Now Playing: What are we building ?
Topic: Laboring
When history records the years of our life, we want to involve ourselves in something worthwhile, and which has genuine value, don't we? The following are a few verses to consider on what we are building in our lives. There will be more on this topic at a later time.

First, consider Abraham: "(v.8) By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. (v.9) By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: (v.10) For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:8-10).

Next, consider Nehemiah (chapter 4): "(v.6) So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. (v.7) But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, (v.8) And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.

(v.9) Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. (v.10) And Judah said, 'The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.' (v.11) And our adversaries said, 'They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.'

(v.12) And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, 'From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you. (v.13) Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.' (v.14) And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, 'Be not ye afraid of them: remember the LORD, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.'

(v.15) And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work. (v.16) And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. (v.17) They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. (v.18) For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. (v.19) And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, 'The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. (v.20) In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us'." (Nehemiah 4:3-20)

Finally, consider God's desire for our families: "(v.1) Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. (v.2) It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep. (v.3) Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. (v.4) As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. (v.5) Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate (Psalm 127:1-5). May we build for Him in our families and among His people, that He might work in blessing!


Posted by dondegr8 at 1:56 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 24, 2004 1:37 PM EST
Friday, January 23, 2004
Understanding
Now Playing: Can we understand His ways?
Topic: Wisdom
What do we do when we cannot figure something out? We pull out a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia. We go to the library, check on the internet, call one of our friends, or simply experiment. But in spiritual matters, the Lord can help us to find understanding about the struggles and issues we face every day.

We have a good example for us in Nehemiah. "(v.3) And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. (v.6) And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, 'Amen, Amen,' with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. (v.8) So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading". (Nehemiah 8:3,6,8)

King David counsels us, "Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD" (Psalm 107:43). "Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works" (Psalm 119:27). "I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts" (Psalm 119:100).

Solomon adds his advice, Proverbs chapter 2 ==> "(v.1) My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; (v.2) So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; (v.3) Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; (v.4) If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; (v.5) Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. (v.6) For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (v.7) He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. (v.8) He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of His saints. (v.9) Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. (v.10) When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; (v.11) Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee. " (Proverbs 2:4-11) " (v.19) A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer. (v.20) Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him". (Proverbs 29:19-20)

The prophet Isaiah warns, "(v.9) Whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. (v.10) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: (v.16) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.' (v.26) For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him." (Isaiah 28:9-10,16,26). And we find in chapter 44 of Isaiah, "(v.6) Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and His redeemer the LORD of hosts; 'I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. (v.7) And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. (v.8) Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.' (v.18) They have not known nor understood: for He hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. (v.19) And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding..." (Isaiah 44:6-8,18-19).

Daniel has recorded for our blessing, "(v.9) Yet heard I the voice of His words: and when I heard the voice of His words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. (v.10) And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. (v.11) And He said unto me, 'O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent.' And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. (v.12) Then said he unto me, 'Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words'." (Daniel 10:9-12)

The prophet Hosea instructed God's people, "(v.7) They that dwell under His shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. (v.8) Ephraim shall say, 'What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard Him, and observed Him:' I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. (v.9) Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein" (Hosea 14:7-9).

In Luke chapter 24 (read it all) we also find instruction and encouragement. "(v.14) And they talked together of all these things which had happened. (v.15) And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them. (v.16) But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself. (v.28) And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and He made as though He would have gone further. (v.29) But they constrained Him, saying, 'Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.' And He went in to tarry with them. (v.30) And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. (v.31) And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. (v.45) Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures" (Luke 24:45).

We also learn from the apostle Paul exhorting those at Philippi, "(v.9) And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; (v.10) That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. (v.11) Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (v.12) But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;" (Philippians 1:9-12). To the Corinthians, he admonishes, "(v.1) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. (v.2) And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:1-2)

The Hebrew people were instructed, "(v.1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (v.2) For by it the elders obtained a good report. (v.3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (v.39) And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (v.40) God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (v.1) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (v.2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." (Hebrews 11:1-3,39-40,12:1-2).

The Lord Jesus Himself taught, "(v.14) And when He had called all the people unto Him, He said unto them, 'Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: (v.15) There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. (v.16) If any man have ears to hear, let him hear'." (Mark 7:14-16) May God give us "ears to hear" what He has to say that we might find understand to walk in a way well-pleasing unto Him!

Posted by dondegr8 at 6:16 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 24, 2004 2:25 PM EST
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Discernment
Now Playing: Can we discern or judge wisely ?
Topic: Wisdom
Choices aren't always easy. We make many somewhat trivial choices such as what kind of food to eat or clothes to wear. This may affect our health, or our perception by our friends or co-workers, but it will likely not do us any spiritual harm. But life often gives us a "fork in the road" where the decisions we come upon have genuine meaning. It is in these places where discernment becomes increasingly important. So how can we understand the mind of God and see what is an appropriate course of action to live our lives in obedience to the scriptures?

Some verses from the Old Testament may prove beneficial. "Then thine handmaid said, 'The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee' " (2 Samuel 14:17). "(v.9) Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? (v.11) And God said unto him, 'Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment. (v.12) Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.' " (1 Kings 3:9,11-12).

A few more examples include, "Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?" (Job 6:30). "And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean" (Ezekiel 44:23). "Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not" (Malachi 3:18).

We have similar admonishment in the gospels. "And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. 'O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?' " (Matthew 16:3). "Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?" (Luke 12:56).

The epistles contain more instruction, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14). "(v.28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. (v.29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. (v.30) For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (v.31) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (v.32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:28-32).

The book of Hebrews gives us some very good advice, "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14). "For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). May we seek from the Lord discernment to understand His ways and to do His will!

Posted by dondegr8 at 1:25 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 24, 2004 2:09 PM EST

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