Playing the Blame Game…

Playing the Blame Game….

What is the first thing people young and old do when caught in the act of sin? Pass the blame to someone or something else of course. Blaming society, family, friends, anyone and anything other than me for my sins is not a new thing. Listen to who Adam and Eve sought to blame when they were confronted with their sin.

Gen 3:11-13 “And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded that you should not eat? Then the man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate. And the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

The most ability is responsibility. Nothing happens until someone steps forward and says, “I am responsible for my actions.”
_____

The celebrated historian Barbara Tuchman called our times, “The Age of Disruption, a period when we’ve lost belief in certain kinds of moral understanding of good and bad.” A reporter for The Indianapolis Star once asked the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner what she thought was most needed in the next century.

“Probably personal responsibility,” she replied, explaining that this means “taking responsibility for your behavior and your expenditures and your actions, and not forever supposing that society must forgive you because it’s not your fault.”

We may try to hide our sins on this earth, but we will be personally accountable regardless of who we attempt to blame.

Romans 14:12 “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

So the next time you sin step up and confess.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”

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Take the Ant you Sluggard…

II Tim 3:16,17 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be made perfect, thoroughly furnished until all good works.”

Take the Ant you Sluggard

Taken from a note written by Dr Dewey Hodges with minor additions.

This was created mainly for the high school
students wanting to make a good impression during
the first few weeks of the new school year. But as
you will see if offers yet another piece of evidence
for those needing it that our God is real.

Science was never my strong suit, but a few
years ago I learned some fascinating things
about ants. It’s likely that you have never
heard this before, and you can share something
totally new with your class (of course, adults
can impress their friends with this as well).

Here’s a condensed version of some basic
information about ants, taken from a Web site
at the University of Arizona, entitled “Adult
Males and Females”, and from your home encyclopedia.

When ant colonies reproduce, the new queens
and males may be found in the colony. These are
“flying ants” and have two pairs of wings.

Males generally have small heads, large eyes,
large thoraces, and a pair of claspers at the end of
the gaster. Once they fly (and mate), males do not
live very long.

After mating, new queens break off their wings
and never fly again. Without wings, they can
generally be distinguished from workers by their
larger body size, larger thorax and larger abdomen.
All workers are females.

Most of us who have had the most basic science
classes in high school and college (that would
definitely include me) have heard about the
dominance of female ants over males. I don’t
know exactly when this first became accepted as
fact by the scientific community, but given the
size of an ant, it makes sense that it has been
since the advent of the microscope, which has
been within the past 300 or so years.

Now go back about 3,000 years, to the book of
Proverbs, the sixth chapter, verses 6-8: “Go to the ant,
thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which
having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provides her meat
in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest”.

At first glance, some people might say, “So?
There are verses about ants in the Bible. Big deal.”
But look at how the ants in these verses are identified.
There has been a bit of controversy in recent months over
a new translation of the Bible which removes virtually
every reference to gender. It has been well-received in
some circles and highly criticized in others.

Part of the motivation for creating this new
translation was the long-standing allegation that the
Bible has always been sexist. Of course, that is a pile
of garbage, but a look at the use of gender-specific
language in the King James Version, which I have quoted
here, is relevant to our discussion.

The pronouns she and her are used 2,442 times in
the entire Bible, according to a search engine at bible.com.
The pronouns he, him and his are used 21,182 times. That’s
a huge difference, which some might say fuels the gender
discrimination argument.

But if you believe that every word in the Bible is
important and inspired by God the Holy Spirit, or even if
you don’t, you can easily gather from these numbers that
whenever a female pronoun is used in the Bible, it is used
intentionally. That brings us back to our ants.

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways,
and be wise …

The ant cited in Proverbs is a female ant. If the
Bible were sexist, wouldn’t it assume the important ants
were male? Perhaps, unless the Author, who is God, knew for
a fact that the females were the ones he was talking about.
And the Author inspired His scribe to record this fact. A
Creator usually would know those facts.

How did Solomon know? He didn’t have a microscope
back then. There was absolutely no way humanly possible
to find out. So he either took a wild guess, or he found
out from God.

II Peter 1;20,21 tells us that God is the Author of
scripture and those privileged to be the scribes were
actually documenting God’s word instead of their own wisdom.
Now we’re starting to walk by faith and likely making many
uncomfortable. The letters of Paul, John, Peter, etc are in
actuality not their teachings but that of God. Scripture
takes on a much more meaningful tone with that in mind and
as we also keep from giving credit for its content and power
to men versus God. And of course that explains how Solomon
knew about those ants.

And of course this further means there actually is a
God, and He may be the Creator after all. We’re getting way
beyond science now. According to evolutionists and nearly
everybody else who determines what passes for science in
schools, we’re dabbling dangerously close to religion.

Maybe it is catastrophic to remove God from the origin
teaching in our schools. Or by allowing the public school
to be the tool to educate our families on topics they are
not equipped to teach on. Better stop that right now.

On second thought, forget about mentioning this
in class, especially in a public school. There’s no
telling what the reaction would be. Or just maybe it is
an appropriate topic if we are to be the light and the
salt of this world!!?? Remembering that if the salt has
lost its seasoning power than what good is it??

II Tim 3:16,17 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God…”
Gen 1:1a”In the beginning God created…” Amen!

How is your seasoning this morning?

Abortion, Children and God…

With another new year comes the result that Roe vs Wade has assisted in the death of

In America alone?? MILLION lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  3,300 children die each day

You will not find the word fetus in God’s vocabulary found in the Bible. Why is that? Just how does our Lord view the child in the womb and even before the womb?

Caution: God at Work!!

 Psalm 139:13-15a “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your  works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was  made in secret…”

 An example of God designing a purpose for lives BEFORE they are born.

Note, God calls them twins, not a pair of fetuses.

Rom 9:11 “For though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or  bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls.”

A step further. A design for life even before conception.

Jer 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Other passages;        Ex 21:22

Ecc 11:5

Mat 1:18

Lk 1:41 & 2:21

Gen 25:21-24

Psa 22:9

The emotional arguments have swayed many a mind but you never justify sinning based on the removal or the results of another sin. The end does not justify the means.

So, what can I do? First of all be aware that abortion at any stage and for any reason goes against God’s will and then pray for individual and national forgiveness. The next steps are up His leading in your life. But remember the first church did not spend its valuable time attacking the terribly Godless Roman government. Remember while we are to pray for its end and be the salt and light of our Godless world and nation we are first and foremost to;

Mat 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

One Sacrifice is Acceptable for Sin…

One Sacrifice is Acceptable for Sin….

Satan’s biggest lie is that we are good enough to work off the penalty we place upon ourselves when we sin. The book of Romans and other passages of scripture note that the penalty is spiritual and physical death (Rom 3:23, 6:23) The most urgent question for each of us should be. Can I atone for my sins or does it take someone other than me to make atonement for my sins?

Isaiah 64:6 “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is Eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The lie that we can work off our sins has another wrinkle. Maybe some organization or church can do it for me. What does God say?

Heb 10:11,12,14 “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. For by ONE offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”

Another lie is that we must have someone to go between us and God when we ask for forgiveness of our sins. Again, what does God say? Who is the Mediator for me to go through to reach God to obtain forgiveness for my sins?

I Tim 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

The question of the ages is whether the church or my deeds can replace the sacrifice needed to wipe my sins away.

II Cor 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Eph 2:8,9 “For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone would boast.”

Have you first recognized your sin and then Who are you trusting in this morning for forgiveness of those sins?

The Gospel and the Bridge of Life…

John 3:16a “For God so loved the world…”

The Gospel in Layman’s Terms||||

The Gospel and the Bridge of Life:

There once was this turntable bridge which spanned a large river. For most
of the day, the bridge sat perpendicular to the tracks, allowing ships to pass
freely on both sides. But at certain times each day a train would come along,
and the bridge would be turned across the river allowing the trains to cross.

A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated
the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed.
One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come;
he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight
of the train’s light. He stepped to the controls and waited until the train was
within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge into position. He
turned the bridge, but to his horror, found that the locking control didn’t
work. If the bridge was not locked into position securely it would cause the
train to jump the track and go crashing into the river and the train was a
passenger train with many people aboard.

He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to
the other side of the river where there was a lever he could use to operate the
lock manually. He could hear the rumble of the train now. Grabbing hold of the
lever he leaned backward to apply pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many
lives depended on this man’s strength.

Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack he
heard a sound that made his blood run cold; “Daddy, where are you?” His four
year old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was
to cry out to the child, “Run, Run|” But the train was to close, his tiny legs
would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost lifted from the
lever to run and snatch up his son, and carry him to safety, but he realized he
could not get back to the lever in time. Either the people from the train or
his son must die.

He took just a moment to make a decision. The train sped swiftly and safely
on its way, and no one aboard was aware of the tiny, broken bones thrown
mercilessly into the river by the rushing train. Nor were they aware of the
pitiful figure of a sobbing father still clinging tightly to the little boy long after the train had passed. They didn’t see him walking home more slowly
than he had ever walked, to tell his wife how he had sacrificed their son.

Now if you can comprehend the feelings which went through this man you can
understand some the feelings our Heavenly Father had when He sacrificed His Son
to BRIDGE THE GAP between us and eternal life caused by our sins. How does He
feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done
for us through His Son, Jesus Christ? Can there be any wonder that He caused
the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His only Son died?

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have life everlasting.”

The Ten Commandments and the 21st Century…

Luke 10:25-28 “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

Ten Commandments and the 21st Century

There is a feeling among many people that the 10 Commandments that God gave to our world are not relevant for today. Why would that be? First and foremost is the fact that the god of the world today, satan (II Corinthians 4:3, 4) does not want us feeling that God’s truths have value for our lives. But when you read them it only makes sense that they point out the wrong that mankind can do or as God calls it sin.

Some feel that truth can change down through the ages and the commandments were given to Israel 3500 years ago so they do not see them as relevant for our modern society.  They see them as a history for ages past. If you believe in God and His word it refutes that error by proclaiming that God never changes and the truths He reveals in His word in the Bible never change (Malachi 3:6, II Timothy 3:16, 17). That being the case then the truths God revealed in the Ten Commandments are as relevant today as they were 3500 years ago. It is important to understand that if the Bible appears to be foolish to follow or study that is probably because you are not a ‘born again’ CHRISTIAN. Check it out in I Corinthians 2:14.

Some simply do not believe that God exists. I find that sad and mind boggling. In Romans 1:20 we are told that all you need to do is look around you and you understand that the complexity of our world, the animal kingdom and mankind had to have a Creator.  It takes faith to believe in God and faith to believe He does not exist. But those believing the lie that He does not exist are in for a shock when they have to stand at their judgment seat (Revelation 20:11-14) and understand their rejection of their Creator. Mankind was created in God’s image and for that I am eternity grateful. How’s that for an awesome truth about your complexity and nature? Believing you evolved from a lower form of life simply gives you a reason to accept sinful behavior but that behavior does not fly with a Holy God and you will be held accountable (Romans 14:12).

Some in Christian circles feel that when the NT portion of the Bible says that they are free from the law that they are no longer obligated to it or subject to the consequences of breaking it. That also is fallacy.  Their eternal destiny may not be changed by breaking the laws called sinning but they are still subject to the consequences of doing so (Phil 6:7). The law and commandments as God tells us in His word were given to us so that we would understand what sin is. They are as relevant in the NT age we live in as they were in the OT.

Noted below are the Ten Commandments and just some of the NT parallels for each. Many take it a step further in that the mind can and does create the same sin that the body can. So, if anything the NT expands the truth of and need for obeying the Ten Commandments today.

  1. Exodus 20:3 ‘You Shall have no other gods before Me”
    1. Mat 4:10 “Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only”
  2. Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them”
    1. I John 5:21 “Little children, keep yourselves from ”
  3. Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain”
    1. John 20:30, 31 “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name”
  4. Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.
    1. Mark 2:27, 28 “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
  5. Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and mother that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
    1. Eph 6:2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:
  6. Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder”
    1. Mat 5:22 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
  7. Exodus 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery”
    1. Mat 5:28 “Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”
  8. Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal”
    1. Mat 5:40 “If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well”
  9. Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
    1. Rev 22:14, 15 “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a ”
  10. Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
    1. Luke 12:15 “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed”

How Cold is Sin…

Heb 12:1a “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…”

How Cold is Sin…..?

It was Christmas Eve in Korea. An expectant mother walked through the snow to the home of a missionary friend where she knew she could find help. A short way down the road from the mission house was a deep gully spanned by a bridge. As the young woman stumbled forward, birth pains overcame her. She realized she could go no farther. She crawled under the bridge.

There alone between the trestles she gave birth to a baby boy. She had nothing with her except the heavy padded clothes she was wearing. One by one she removed the pieces of her clothing and wrapped them around her tiny son around and around, like a cumbersome cocoon.

Then, finding a discarded piece of burlap, she pulled it over herself, and lay exhausted beside her baby.

The next morning the missionary drove across the bridge in her Jeep to take Christmas basket to a Korean family. On the way back, as she neared the bridge, the Jeep sputtered and died, out of gas. Getting out of the Jeep she started to walk across the bridge, and heard a faint cry beneath her. She crawled under the bridge to investigate.

There she found the tiny baby, warm but hungry, and the young mother frozen to death.

The missionary took the baby home and cared for him. As the boy grew, he often asked his adopted mother to tell him the story of how she had found him.

On Christmas Day, his 12th birthday, he asked the missionary to take him to his mother’s grave. Once there he asked her to wait a distance away while he went to pray. The boy stood beside the grave with bowed head, weeping.

Then he began to disrobe. As the astonished missionary watched, the boy took off his warm clothing, piece by piece, and laid it on his mother’s grave. Surely he won’t take off all his clothing, the missionary thought. He’ll freeze! But the boy stripped himself of everything, putting all his warm clothing on the grave. He knelt naked and shivering in the snow.

As the missionary went to him to help him dress again, she heard him cry out to the mother he never knew: “Were you colder than this for me, my mother?” And he wept bitterly.

When Christ came, He stripped himself of every royal garment and entered into our world of hatred and cold indifference. Why did He do it? Because He saw centuries of broken lives needing a Savior. And then He died as a sacrifice for sins He did not commit. How could this be?

The sin of human hearts. The long history of men making slaves of other men. Centuries of cannibalism and cruelty. Starvation and suffering. The worship of false gods in temples made with hands. War, bloodshed, crime, and greed, those things broke the heart of Christ. But so did we.

Our coldness broke His heart and now it freezes Him out. We complacent Americans who are saved, satisfied, and sitting! We who pray, “Give us compassion for a lost world,” and then “sacrifice” a dollar for missions. We with our elegant homes and brimming garbage cans. We who have the money, knowledge, and manpower to take the gospel to every creature, and yet we don’t. We who say we love the lost, and neglect to tell a lost neighbor about a loving Savior.

Jesus love lies frozen between trestle lips that ought to be warm to speak for Him. Lord, we take off our garments of pride and self-righteousness, glittering but transparently filthy rags that they are, and lay them at Your feet. In our naked need we cry, “Were you colder than this because of us, Lord?” And we weep bitterly, because we know You were.

by Ruth Seamands

Heb 12:1,2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God.”