Monday, August 16, 2010

Slide commeth before the fall

Okay, so that is not exactly how Proverbs 16:18 records it, but the title is still true today, especially in light of the 73rd Psalm. I want to focus on Psalm 73:2  But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. We read in this verse an honest confession from the psalmist on his own personal life and struggles. 

But as I read his words and confession this morning, I was reminded that we often only focus on the aftermath of a life that is in trouble. We see the family that is separated, the marriage that is estranged, or maybe the dependency upon drugs and alcohol. But what we fail to often realize is that before a person, family, and a life falls apart, it begins with a small, backwards slide. The Bible tells us in the Song of Solomon 2:15  ...the little foxes, that spoil the vines:... It is usually the little steps that lead a person over the edge of the cliff of sin, not some giant leap. It starts with the little things: missing a church service here or there, not reading our Bible or praying on certain days because we get too busy, etc. Sometimes we can even be so focused on serving God and busy with "ministry" that we don't recognize that we have slowly slidden further and further away from God in our own personal relationship with Him.

Often, we are so focused on the big picture that we fail to notice the little things that lead us closer and closer to destruction. When many Christians think of the invitation at the end of a church service, or hear the word "repentance," they think those things are just for those who are in deep, dark sin. But the truth of the matter is that if we don't daily confess those "little" sins and stop the slide, we once day will find ourselves in the middle of a deep dark fall.

Monday, August 9, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Life Application Bible Studies - 1 & 2 Thessalonians/Philemon

The Life Application Bible Study series covering 1 & 2 Thessalonians and Philemon is a good study material for the Christian in coming to a better knowledge of these three letters. I really appreciated, and have used, another book written by one of the authors this book whose name is David Veerman. He authored "How To Apply The Bible." While I am not a fan of the "New Living Translation," the method used for biblical application is very helpful. This work seems to take the same approach to not only understanding these three letters, but making the correct application. The lessons in this Bible study would be good for not only for Sunday School/Bible Study Groups, but also very good for personal Bible Study.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Political Scene of Today

Isaiah 30:1-2  Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:  (2)  That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!

Isaiah chapter 30 is the continuation of warnings that were given to Judah and Jerusalem of impending discipline that was coming their way. Chapters 29-31 lay out the reasons why, and what would happen.

As I was reading this portion of Scripture this morning, I thought about what I heard on our local news last night and this morning. Certain political experts were hypothesizing why certain candidates won and lost. In their discussion, they claimed that certain candidates won because they appealed to certain groups. One of those groups were those who claim to be "Pro-Choice" (which is just really pro-murder!). Certain politicians lost because they would not capitulate to these immoral, ungodly organizations.

As I thought more about it, we are plagued today in America in that we have people and politicians who are taking counsel from immoral, ungodly agencies and organizations while ignoring the council of God and His Word. Society is spending most of its time, money, and energy trying to cover its sin with more sin while ignoring the direction and leadership of the Holy Spirit. The strength of Egypt and Pharaoh (the world) will not be strong enough to overturn what awaits those who turn on God.

With that being said, I would think that myself and most of my readers would not fall into this category...or do we? How often do we get into trouble and seek the counsel of other men and women (who are usually struggling with the same things we are!) while ignoring the counsel of God? How often do we seek new ideas and implementations from the world in how to raise our children and build the church?  How often do we worry and fret over difficulties and situations as if God has no strength and ability to intercede? How often do we seek the shadow of the world for our comfort while fleeing the sweet Spirit of God?

May we, as the children of a holy, just, and sovereign God, forsake this world's ideologies and seek His Spirit and counsel in all that we say and do.