Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sure am glad I am not like them!

Scripture Read: Judges 8:22-23 then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, both you and your son, also your son’s son, for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian.” But Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you.”
Application: It is amazing how we water...seem to always sink to the lowest level. We deceive ourselves into believing that our ideas and ways are more correct and wiser than God’s. One of the dangers that happens when we read passages like this is, either; we fool ourselves into thinking we would do something very different; or we are so spiritually arrogant that we believe ourselves more godly than the ones we are reading about. I am not saying that it is not possible to NOT repeat the same mistake as these folks do, but what I am concerned about is that many of us think we would never act the same way. The problem is, that kind of thinking brings several problems with it. 
First, the Scriptures make it clear that ALL humans fall short...not just some. So when we think we cannot do what any other sinner has done, we elevate ourselves into a false reality. That will make our fall all that much harder. Second, the Scriptures tell us that all of these stories and facts were written for examples to us so we would not make the same mistakes. If we think we are beyond those same mistakes...we will read passages like this and not take heed. We will only arrogantly shake our head at “these foolish sinners” and as we are shaking our head we will not notice we are on the same path. Third, history clearly shows us that the Scriptures are true. Time and time again, any person can do the most sinful or foolish thing.  Whether it be a man “after God’s own heart” running into murder and adultery, a prophet thinking he can run and hide from God, a disciple that only has head knowledge but no relationship selling himself for 30 pieces of silver, or even two great missionaries becoming embroiled in an egotistical argument and breaking fellowship with each other. Anyone of those could be anyone of us. Here, after watching what God did through Gideon the people do not turn to God and ask Him to continue to lead them. They turn to a human, which they can see. Living by faith is always more difficult, so having a human king is for the eyes, and humans think that makes life easier. Maybe it does...but “easier never equals better” In their future the Israelites insist. They demand that Samuel appoint a human king:

1 Samuel 8:5–9 Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. “Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. “Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.”

God tells Samuel to do it, but also tells him to explain to the people what a human king will do to them and their children. Samuel does this, yet the people still insist:

1 Samuel 8:18–22 “Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the Lord’s hearing. The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

Let’s not trust our eyes – Trust God!

Meditation Questions: Do you believe you could fall into any sin? Why? Why Not? When you see someone fall, what do you think? What does that say? When you see someone fall what questions should go through your mind? Is there an OT story that God has used to teach you, that kept you from making the same mistake? Think about all the scriptures you have read, how are you allowing them to give you insight so you do not repeat the same mistakes? Do you think if you kept a journal of lessons learned, it might help? 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Just change the terminology and you can do what you want.

Probing Proverbs 8:14-16 Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine. Because of me, kings reign, and rulers make just decrees. Rulers lead with my help, and nobles make righteous                                                                  judgments.

The possessions of wisdom are incredible and it’s worth our time to look at each one.

“Common sense” it seems, in the world we live today, is one of the most valued qualities that is lacking. Common sense states that 1+1= 2…but not anymore! Now it depends on what is popular, en vogue, politically correct or what some famous person thinks. To steal from the “Golden rule of hermeneutics” when the plain sense of life makes common sense, seek no other sense, lest you make nonsense! Sometimes I stand in awe of how someone can be so dishonest about reality. I’m not saying the big issues in this world have easy answers; they do not. Yet, there is no chance of ever dealing with them without a very honest discussion. Let me give you an example… and I know I’m treading on ground that some may become angry with me. That’s okay, let’s just agree to disagree if we have to, but at least let’s have an honest, common sense discussion about it. I just saw a show with a famous Hollywood individual that is very pro-abortion. She owns a farm, and there was a pig ruining her crops.  Her help and her family hunted the pig and caught it. When she found out they were going to kill it, cook it, and eat it… She demanded they release it because she would not be guilty of murdering the pig. 

So let me understand this… A woman has the right to take another human being – it’s not her body, it’s another human being living in her body – and at 8 months she can have the baby pulled out except for it’s head and have it killed. That is someone’s right, and you’ll call hunting, killing and eating a pig murder? It’s the woman’s right to have sex or not have sex, THAT is her right. But that human in her has rights also. If I go into the nest of a bald eagle and destroy the eggs in that nest I will be fined and go to jail. I once saw a nature show where a mother whale was killed on the deck of a ship, the woman watching with me, saw when they opened the mother whale up, there was a baby whale inside her. The woman, who I knew to be pro-abortion, complained, “See they killed two whales.” I said, “No they didn’t, they killed one whale and a fetus.” She turned bright red… because she saw the stupidity of an argument that called a human baby “a fetus” yet an unborn whale IS a whale! Oh yeah, let’s not forget that if you’re pro-life, you’re a hypocrite if you are for capital punishment. Yes, that makes common sense, a brand-new created human being in the womb is exactly the same as a man that kidnaps children, rapes and tortures them to death! Now comes the greatest ploy, “what about rape and incest?” There is no easy answer here, but don’t pretend that even 1% of abortions are done because of this. 

Until we can have a common sense discussion on whether or not all babies have the right to live, we will never be able to discuss those instances that are so difficult to resolve. If a fertilized human egg is not “human life” then what kind of life is it…insect…reptile? I have no problem accepting that God has given every one of us the right to our opinion. Can we at least discuss it honestly and with common sense? Remember, when you answer for your decisions and opinions to the only Person that is the final judge, whether get you votes or not won’t matter anymore!

Common Sense is the arm of Wisdom that teaches us how to use the Data (knowledge) we have. With knowledge only…we actually think we can come up with when exactly does a “worthwhile life” begin…didn’t a monster in Europe, in the 1930’s, have the same idea? As several Presidents have stated that’s above their pay scale…their right! So, doesn’t Common Sense support benefit of the doubt go to the innocent one? The baby did not conceive itself. 

The adults did…so they should pay the 9 months and then give the baby to individuals that want children. There are lots of those folks…oh I forget…that might inconvenience some adults for 9 months and cost a lot of doctors their 6 figures. So the common sense thing to do is to make the baby pay…it cost the baby everything! How tragic that such an important issue will not have a honest, common sense discussion. Instead, politicians, celebrities and movements control the dialogue, and they are agenda driven.

We have three more possessions of Wisdom to look at and then we will examine the results.