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True Worship Glorifies God

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All of the great religions of the world claim to worship god. In our society, any form of worship, when sincerely practiced, is thought to be acceptable The Bible tells us otherwise! It teaches that God Himself commands how He is to be worshiped. He also tells us how to dress when we worship Him, in a Holy manner – in modesty and humility. Not dancing around on a stage with tambourines, drums and electric guitars blasting over the loud speakers while we shake ourselves about, as if putting on a concert. This is bringing the world into God’s church and trying to bring Him down to our level instead of lifting Him up with praiseful Holy words to help prepare our hearts for the man of God’s message given him from on high.

Too many today use entertainment to draw the crowds with itching ears who only want a show and only want to hear that God loves them. Heaven forbid they are told that God hates our sin! They might leave and then the church would be out the money. And if you think God is present for these shows, you are sadly mistaken. He is at enmity with the world and therefore so are we His children. If we bring the world into a place meant for Holy worship, it is no longer Holy unto God and He cannot be there.

God called His people Israel to forsake other religions. He commanded them from the beginning not to worship the Lord as other peoples worship their “gods” – Deuteronomy 12:3, 31 “And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place…Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.”

The Lord instructed that His people were to worship only in the place He chooses to make His name abide and that they come with blood sacrifices – Deuteronomy 12:5, 11, 14, 18, 26 “But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:…Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:… But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee…But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto…Only thy holy things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the LORD shall choose:”

Worshiping God in any way we may choose is still not acceptable to Him. God must be worshiped where He chooses to make His name abide. God still requires an atoning sacrifice for sin. As God’s work in history progressed, He revealed Jesus Christ, the “name which is above every name” – Philippians 2:9 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”, as the final atoning Sacrifice for sin – Hebrews 9:12 “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.”

Though there are many competing religions in the world, Jesus Christ came to reveal that He is the one and only way to the Father – John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” It is the job of God’s church to lead the lost to Salvation and healing through the Gospel/Good News of Jesus Christ. When so many are putting on a circus and trying to tickle the itching ears, they neglect to let the lost know that they need a Saviour. But, those false teachers calling themselves pastors, who only tell people that God loves them and teaches them out of worldly self-help books and corrupted versions of what once was God’s True Word, as they let the lost continue to be lost, will stand before Jesus on That day and give account. I sure would not want to be in their shoes. Can you imagine how it will feel as we, God’s Saints, have to stand and watch the lost we did not give the Good News to dragged into eternal hell and damnation as they look at us and ask, “Why did you not tell me?”

Christians can be assured that worship centered around Christ, and not for self-edification and euphoria, will glorify and please God, and that is what true worship is meant to be-glorifying and pleasing to God:

Luke 19:28-38 “And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”

Ephesians 1:6 “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

Many of these feel-good churches of today are confusing the masses with all the different corrupt versions of God’s Word and they are deceiving them instead of leading them to Salvation through Christ. And we wonder why our country is in the Godless sinful state it is today, tolerating all sin “because God loves us!” Shame on the churches who confuse and deceive! Repent and turn to true and Holy worship that prepares hearts for the message of Salvation. We are running out of time.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Holiness – Set Apart

“And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him;

and they were full of eyes within:

and they rest not day and night, saying,

Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty,

which was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:8

We are to be holy or “set apart” unto the Lord. We are not to be conformed to this evil world. When we choose not to try and live holy as He is holy, the Holy Spirit within us convicts us and we cannot be happy and experience the joy of the Lord. What a sad way to live. Holiness is the character of God and the code for our Christian conduct. Our KJV Scriptures show us the holiness of God and express God’s desire for His children to develop a similar holiness:

Exodus 19:6 – “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Leviticus 11:44, 45 – “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 19:1, 2 – “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15 – “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;”

The word holiness has several different meanings. In terms of our individual relationship to God, it means “set apart.” God is the “wholly other” or totally different One, unlike any other. Holiness also describes a way to live. Christians are called to live according to a different set of principles and standards than the ungodly world–to lead a pure life in accordance with God’s call, commandments, and consequences. This “set apart” life of righteousness is of God and from God. 1 Corinthians 1:2 – “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:” 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 – “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” And let us not forget what the word Christian means – to be Christ-like. These days, that word gets thrown around very loosely so that many do not take it as seriously as it is meant to be. The world looks at many of today’s so-called Christians and laughs at them, saying, “If that is Christianity, I want no part of it.” So many think it is okay to live with one foot in the world and the other in the Kingdom of Heaven because so many of today’s feel-good churches teach them that they can do whatever they want because God loves them. Yes God loves us, but He hates our sin, and if we say we are Christian and continue in any sin, we have broken fellowship with our Lord. And we have ruined our testimony for Him in the eyes of this world. A holy life is a life that always chooses to do what God desires, just as Jesus did when He came here from Heaven and lived a holy life as an example for us.

Obedient believers are instructed to NO LONGER be conformed to their old desires and patterns of thinking and behaving 1 Peter 1:13-16 – “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” We see over and over in God’s Word that we are to be holy, as He is holy. The conforming to a life of holiness, however, requires more than the “will” of a person to “change.” It is the work of the Holy Spirit made possible through Christ’s death on the cross. So if we are putting substances in our bodies that affect our minds, we are numbing that Holy Spirit. That is when we choose to do our own thing and go the way of the world, instead of conforming our minds and hearts to the heart of Christ. How sad that the precious Holy Spirit of God gets drug through every bad choice we make.

True happiness is illustrated only in God, though the Holy Spirit empowers His children to pursue holiness 1 Thessalonians 4:7, 8 – “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.” The good news is that as we seek to be holy and invite the Holy Spirit to do His work in us, the Lord responds by cleansing us, leading us into His righteous and holy ways, and strengthening us to withstand the temptation to return to our former “ungoldly lives.”

We cannot make ourselves holy; but, if we desire to become holy and set our wills toward following the Lord, He will make us holy. The Lord never commands us to do something that He does not enable us to do Romans 4:21 – “And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” God always prepares the way and provides us with His resources to accomplish His plan. The Holy Spirit is our greatest resource for living a holy life unto God. So many forget that God’s saints will live a holy life with Him in Heaven for eternity. Why not start practicing living holy unto Him now.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Leah the Unchosen Wife

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Poor Leah. While we experience righteous indignation at Jacob and Rachel being tricked, we cannot help but feel sorry for Leah. Though her father was supposedly looking out for her best interests by putting her in Rachel’s place as wife to Jacob, she had to know that she would never be first in Jacob’s heart. Although she must have been at least willing to be part of this deceit, she could have also been just being an obedient daughter. I am sure she did not look forward to being considered the “old maid” of the family because she was the older daughter. She probably felt like she would not have much chance finding a suitable husband in the short-term.

Of course, had Leah’s father been obedient to God’s plan for marriage being one man-one woman, this would never have had to happen in the first place. Had he truly been a faithful servant of God, he would have went to Jehovah and trusted Him to bring a husband for Leah. But alas, another story for another time.

The Bible describes Leah as having “tender” or “weak” eyes – Genesis 29:17 “Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.” This could infer that she had poor eyesight, but as I read “but Rachel was beautiful…” I am inclined to think that Leah was more plain looking compared to Rachel. As time went on, she grew to love Jacob and became a devoted wife throughout their marriage, even though her soul must have withered knowing that she was a disappointment and scorn to him, as well as being the tool that her scheming father used to get both of his daughters married off.

Leah lived with the constant comparison to her unusually beautiful sister, but she was nevertheless, not ever hidden from God’s caring eyes. In God’s all-knowing wisdom, He allowed her to conceive while he made Rachel’s womb temporarily barren. Though Leah had the honor of mothering Jacob’s oldest son, she wrongly assumed that it would earn her her husband’s love – Genesis 29:32 “And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.” (I have seen women strive to become pregnant to save their marriage, but instead they usually end up dealing with much heartache.)

Leah faced her second childbirth more realistically, but apparently a deep desire still gnawed at her – Genesis 29:33 “And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.” Then she exclaimed with her third pregnancy “Now this time will my husband be joined unto me.” (Verse 34) She never completely gave up on her hope and longing for her husband to return her love. What a sad state of affairs to have to live through.

She had begun her marriage by focusing on what she lacked and feeling miserable, but she changed her heart and focus to what God had given her as she determined to praise the Lord. Leah did not really learn to trust Yahweh until the birth of her fourth son, Judah. Genesis 29:35 “And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.” If we trace the Messianic Lineage, we can rejoice with Leah as her faithfulness was rewarded. “The Lion of the tribe of Judah,” Jesus the Messiah, came through her offspring, Judah, and the priesthood through her son, Levi. Revelation 5:5 “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”

Leah embodied for every woman our crucial need to live primarily for God and his glory. Though she may have been unattractive in appearance, unloved, unwanted, and even despised, God saw her inner beauty which equipped her to carry out his plan – Genesis 29:31 “And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.” She could not change Jacob, but she could change herself and recognize God’s hand in her life – Genesis 30:13 “And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.” She did not let the attitudes of others distract her from the task God had given her, as he turned all the wrong choices that were made on her behalf into part of His wondrous plan for the Hebrew Nation.

There are times in our lives when things happen to us that we see as unfair, but God is faithful and He always turns them around for His purpose and, of course, to make us the better for them. There have been times in my life that I have made very bad choices and faced some dire consequences, but every one of them I have seen God turn to good for His glory and for growing me to be more like Jesus.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2018 in God's Love

 

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Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes?

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Proverbs 23:29-32 “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, (don’t even look at it) when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.”

When I was much younger, it was difficult for me to take much time in the Book of Proverbs. I think we all know why. It is all purely common sense that God shares with us about anything and everything we could think of to get ourselves into in this world. I used to be deceived about the use of wine/alcohol in my own life. I used to believe the phrase, “Everything in moderation.” After spending much time with my Lord and His Word, I do not see God condoning us to put any type of alcohol nor anything harmful into our bodies. He tells us that our bodies are His temple if we are saved, His Holy Spirit dwells in us. What we do to ourselves we do to the Holy Spirit. And the effects of alcohol definitely quench/numb the Holy Spirit in us. Therefore, we make horrible fleshly decisions while under it’s effect. God’s Word tell us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Even one drop of alcohol grieves our Holy Spirit. Sigh, why must some of us choose to go our own way, which means we learn lessons the hard way, and only see the truth when we are aged?

To begin my thoughts on this subject, I want to first point out that the word wine in the Bible is not always referring to fermented alcohol, it is referring to the fruit of the vine, grape juice. A study of the Greek words used in context with the Scripture tells us that for the most part, it is speaking of grape juice. And we need to understand that they had wells as their source for water in most parts then, and it was terrible for their stomachs. Research has shown that there is an enzyme in grape juice that is very good for the stomach’s digestive system. Some use it for an excuse to drink wine, but we do not have to have the wine to get it, it is in the grape juice. So be aware that wine in the Bible is not always referring to the wine when it is red.

Oh, and here is something else I used to use to condone drinking, “Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding in Cana. So it must be okay.” The first thing I learned about that being false is that in Proverbs 20:1 God tells us exactly what He thinks about us drinking wine, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” So we see that He is giving us the free will to drink alcohol, but He is not telling us that He condones it. He is actually telling us how it will affect us, and that we are indeed fools/not wise if we choose to imbibe in it and thereby be deceived. We will face the consequences. I have seen too much harm to loved ones and family from the use of alcohol.

God also says in Proverbs 23:31Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.” Of course we know He is speaking of fermented alcohol here.

Now you are reading me saying that “God has said” because God did indeed write His Word, okay? So why would He tell us in one instance why we ought not do something and then send His perfect and Holy only begotten Son to make the substance He told us to not even look upon, and serve it to people? God does not contradict Himself! Neither would He say, “Here ya go, drink this fermented wine.”

Something else God has revealed to me in this Scripture is that the celebration had been going on for some time and they ran out of wine, and at that point many of them were quite drunk. Do we really believe that Jesus would really make more alcohol for them to drink and become more drunk on?! At one point in my life, I worked in a bar and when some had too much to drink, we had to shut them off, for their own safety and for the safety of others. If we as humans have that rule, do we really believe Jesus is going to make and give them more alcohol to drink? See, common sense!

So what it all boils down to is this, we all have free will and God lets us learn things the hard way, if we choose to do so. We do not have to wait for Him to speak to us each individually whether He wants us to do something or not. He has laid it all out in His Word for us to know. And once we know the truth, the best choice we can make, if we truly love and want to obey God is to accept and surrender to His will and not our own.

Some who are too involved in the things of this world mock me for these kinds of beliefs. That’s okay. If you truly seek the truth, He will show you too. It matters not to me what others think. I do not look down on you, as I was once where you are. That is between you and the Lord. I am not responsible for anyone else, only myself and my own walk with my Lord. I will end with this Scripture:

Galatians 1:10 “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Rachel – an Honored daughter of Yahweh

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The name Rachel means ewe-a female sheep. Gee I’m not sure I would appreciate that, but, she was a shepherdess caring for her father’s sheep in Haran when an unexpected visitor appeared. Her cousin, Jacob, was looking for his family, and he ran smack dab into them. It seems he was hit by the “love at first sight” bug. Genesis 29:10-12 “And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son: and she ran and told her father.” It also seems as though Rachel was quite smitten with Jacob.

Jacob had agreed with Rachel’s father, Laban, to work for seven years to earn the right to ask for the hand of the beautiful shepherdess – Genesis 29:20 “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.” According to local tradition, the wedding ceremony proceeded, allowing the men to celebrate, while keeping the bride out of sight until the groom entered her darkened tent.

Only after it was too late, did Jacob realize that Laban had deceived him. He had actually married Laban’s older daughter, Leah, whom he did not love. But, here we see how “what comes around goes around.” He now knows what it feels like to be deceived as he had deceived his father and brother. But, alas, another story for another time. A week after their marriage, Jacob received Rachel as his wife. It must have been agony for Rachel after having waited those seven years, only to have her dreams dashed by her father’s trickery. The rivalry and jealousy between Rachel and Leah, and perhaps a desire on Rachel’s part for retaliation against her father for his deception must have put a tremendous strain on the family.

To add insult to injury, Rachel was unable to bear children! Genesis 29:31 “And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.” Okay, so God had compassion on Leah because Jacob loved Rachel more. Had I been in Rachel’s shoes, I would have had a very hard time with that. It is not hard to understand the jealousy she must have felt. At the same time, it would have been far better for them all had Rachel put her full trust in the LORD. Instead, she first blamed her husband, and then she allowed her maid to bear children for her. Genesis 30:1-5 “And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?
And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her. And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son.” Now I know I could never have done that, but it was a different culture than what I know.

Rachel finally did become pregnant and gave birth to Joseph, who became Jacob’s favorite (and that’s another story for another time ;-).) – Genesis 30:22-24 “And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son.”

In due time, Jacob decided to return to his homeland. After Jacob’s departure, Laban found his household gods missing. Jacob did not know that Rachel had put the gods in her saddlebags, then sat on top of them astride the camel. When Jacob gave Laban permission to search through their belongings, Rachel pleaded weakness because of her menstrual cycle, and she did not dismount from her camel. It was believed that whatever a menstruating woman sat upon was unclean, so of course they did not make her move.

Some believe that those small idols Rachel had stolen from her father were customarily kept in their homes, and were essential evidence for a claim to the family inheritance. But, some also believe that Rachel was a secret believer in pagan superstitions. If this were true, she would have believed that the images would give her and her family safety in their travels and prosperity in their new home.

So, the family returned to Jacob’s homeland, but sometime later, when they were moving again, Rachel became pregnant with Benjamin. The travel in the hilly country was difficult under any circumstances, but it would have been very hard on a woman far along with child. As they approached Ephrath (Bethlehem), Rachel went into hard labor and died while giving birth. She was buried there in Bethlehem – Genesis 35:19 “And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.”

Rachel was a woman greatly loved by her husband, and she gave the world two outstanding sons. Despite her flaws, she stands as an honored daughter of Yahweh. It just goes to show how much God loves us all, even in spite of our wrong choices we may make in our journey in this world. He knows that each of us must go through trials and testings on the road to knowing Him more and coming to the point of total surrender and obedience.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2018 in Women of the Bible

 

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Prayers of the Unrighteous

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God will not hear the prayers of the unrighteous who refuse to confess and let go of sin in their lives. Do today’s Christians really understand what God’s Word says about how to make sure God will hear and answer our prayers? It seems that people forget now a-days that God is Holy and therefore we are to be Holy. Because He is Holy, He will not hear our prayers if there is some sin that we have not confessed or that we refuse to let go of. Our prayers do not go any higher than our ceiling if we are living as the unrighteous. It is a good habit to get into each day to go before our Lord and ask Him to search our hearts, as we search our hearts for un-confessed sin.

To live righteously simply means to do our best to live right according to our Lord and his Word; to live by Godly morals and values that He teaches in His Word. When we ignore sin in our lives and live according to this world’s low standards, therefore satan’s standards, we create a separation or break in fellowship with the Lord God and He will not hear our prayers.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. See what His Word says for yourselves. And if you are not sure if some of the things you are doing are sin, just go to Him and ask Him and He will sure let you know.

John 9:31 “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.”

Proverbs 28:9 ” He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”

I Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”

Psalms 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”

Proverbs 15:29 “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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A Woman of Wavering Faith-Rebekah

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Rebekah was certainly one of the most appealing young women in Scripture. She is portrayed as chaste and beautiful, courteous and helpful, hard-working, hospitable, as well as responsive and trusting. She was chosen as the intended bride for Isaac – Genesis 24:15-20 “And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.” I recommend reading the whole chapter 24 to see the story unfold, and how God accomplished His plan for His choice of wife for Isaac.

Verse 28 hints that her family ties were very close, as her first response when she returned from the well was to share with the women in her household all about her encounter with Abraham’s servant. For a girl to be chosen for marriage to a wealthy relative was indeed considered a blessing from God. Her father and brother also knew that this was from God – Verse 50 “Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.” But, the choice to leave home was Rebekah’s to make. This tells us how the young women in her culture enjoyed autonomy. (Verses 57, 58)

Rebekah volunteered a lowly service giving the camels water in verse 19. This was not a quick nor an easy chore for a young woman to accomplish. “And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.” This opened a lofty destiny to her as God worked His plan for her life through her mundane daily responsibilities. Her courage and faith at that time motivated her to venture from the familiarity of her family and friends to the unknown new life in a strange land.

God rewarded Rebekah’s faithfulness with a monogamous marriage that began with romance and loving affection (verse 67; Genesis 26:8). Also, in answer to Isaac’s prayer for his wife’s fertility, God removed her barrenness with the birth of twins, Esau and Jacob – Genesis 25:20, 21 “And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.”

It was in her later years that Rebekah’s unwavering faith of her youth faltered. Of course, I am sure it did not happen suddenly but over time as our falling out of close fellowship with God always comes about gradually. Her taking things into her own hands which direction her sons’ futures would take, instead of trusting God, showed a lack of reverence and respect for her husband and his leadership.

The thing I find so very sad about this whole situation is how both parents showed such strong favoritism to their sons. Naturally, this brought rivalry, deceit, and contention into their home – Genesis 25:28 “And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.” Proverbs 28:21 gives us some wisdom about favoring one person over another – “To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.” And that definitely took place in this instance!

A few thoughts here may help us to understand Rebekah’s motivation for her deceit: perhaps her discernment of her sons–that is, recognizing Esau as worldly and adventuresome and Jacob as having potential for spiritual sensitivity, or her own close connection to one son over the other, or maybe even a strong faith in God’s revealed plan in Genesis 24:23.

In any case, the deceiving of her husband was without excuse and her poor example to her sons was a far-reaching tragedy. Even if her motives was pure, her action was wrong. Sadly, she paid a bitter price in living out her final years in separation from the son whose presence she desired, in alienation from the son who would ever remember his mother’s deception toward him, and in broken fellowship from a husband who had loved her devotedly. You see, there is no way of escaping the consequences of our actions. Those consequences very often extend out to future generations as well.

As always when we take things into our own hands to bring about our best laid plans, God turns things around and uses it all for His purpose. But we sure can save ourselves some pain and heartache if we just leave things in His all-knowing and caring hands. Try not to let your faith waver.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2018 in Women of the Bible

 

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