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Pride Cometh Before a Fall!

Yes indeed, pride comes before we fall; we see it over and over as we read through God’s Word, how so many could have continued on in God’s blessings, but because of pride, they were brought low.

I am still reading Kings and Chronicles as they are meant to go together. I find that Chronicles has a bit more detail than Kings. I guess that is why we see repeatedly in Kings, “Now the rest of the acts of King such and such which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings…”

I get so excited when I read, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD…” And there were some who continued doing right, but there were so many kings who turned to the ways of the world and God had to smite the whole country because of it.

I also notice each time I read about the Kings in the Old Testament that God always mentioned the Kings’ mothers’ names. That shows the importance God places on mothers. ūüôā

Recently I read 2 Chronicles 26 about Uzziah, who was only 16 years old when he began to reign and he reigned 52 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. “And he did¬†that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did. And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.”

Then we read how he won wars against God’s enemies and became strong and made Jerusalem strong and built high towers. And here it begins in verse 16 that “when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense. And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore (80) priests of the LORD,¬†that were valiant men:” Now we all know that only God’s high priests, who had been consecrated could burn incense to the LORD, for He is Holy.

Oh, but Uzziah had become so full of himself that he thought he was so great and could do that whatsoever he chose because he was the king. This happens to so many, especially when we make the world our friend. Do we not understand that to be friends with the world means we are enemies of God?

Well, just as there are always consequences to our sin against God, we see that there were consequences for Uzziah as well. Beginning in verse 19 “Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priest, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and behold he¬†was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.¬†And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house,¬†being¬†a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son¬†was¬†over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.”

What a broken heart Uzziah’s mother must have suffered. If only he had stayed strong in God’s law (Word) and close to the LORD, he would have had many more wonderful years as king. Not only did Uzziah have to face the dire consequence of leprosy, God also had to call another to do His work in His Kingdom.

If you are running from God’s call to do His Work for His Kingdom today, because you find the things of the world more enticing, I urge you to turn back and follow God’s will. The things of this world are only fun for a season. I ask you to consider that the LORD will have to call someone else to do the work He initially called you for. How sad it will be in that day when you see Him face to face and give account of why you chose the world over Him.

2 Chronicles 26

1 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.
2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.
4 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.
5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.
6 And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
7 And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.
8 And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.
9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.
10 Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry.
11 Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their account by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains.
12 The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred.
13 And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
14 And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.
15 And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.
16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:
18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.
19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.
20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.
21 And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.
22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.
23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.

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Posted by on May 27, 2017 in God's Truth

 

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Holy Unto God

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What does God’s Word say about being Holy? First let us look at how God is Holy.¬†1 John 1:5 “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” There is no sin in God at all. He is totally separate from anything evil. For us to have fellowship with Him, we must strive to be Holy. When we live in sin, we break fellowship with Him. Understand that we cannot be perfect as He is until we go to be with Him. But we must, with all our hearts, live each day trying to live separate from sin so that we may have fellowship with God. My devotion this morning touched on daily cleansing ourselves of sin so that we may have fellowship with God. The cleansing comes from examining myself each day and confessing and repenting of my sins, as well as asking God to show me of any un-confessed sin that I need to bring before Him. Since I am born with a sinful, fleshly nature, I am bound to commit some sin every day of my life. So, I need a daily cleansing. This is part of trying to be holy unto God.

1 Peter 1:16 “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Quotes¬†Leviticus 19:2 “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.” We see that because God is holy, He calls us to be holy. If we are living under the influence of this world, we are apart from God and cannot be holy. The only way we can live holy unto God is by the power of His Holy Spirit. Therefore, we must first be saved by the blood of Jesus and filled with His Spirit to be able to even try to live a holy life. God reveals any un-confessed sin in our lives through His Holy Spirit. If we try to just “be good people” we are doing things on our own. Being good does not get us to Heaven.¬†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.”

Once we are saved, then the Holy Spirit’s power aids us in living holy or righteously for God.¬†1 Peter 1:14-16 “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; (not just in our speech, but in how we live our lives) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” We can be holy by being obedient to God in ALL areas of our lives. To be able to obey God, we must KNOW God –¬†Psalm 119:9-12 “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.¬†With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.¬†Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.” To know God’s Word, is to know God.

If we are truly spending time with our Lord each day and in His Word and hiding it in our hearts, it will show outwardly and some in this world will see and possibly come to know Him too. Our speech will change, our faces will probably smile more because our hearts are smiling more. Our dress when we come into His house will change as well. When we first start walking with the Lord, we may not understand that how we dress in His house and in His Service reflects where we are in our walk with Him. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict a child of God of things in our outward appearance as to where we are in our holiness. If we are dressing like we are going to a back yard B-B-Q instead of wearing our best to His house, we still need work in our hearts. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. That is why we pray for each other in these areas. As we grow closer to Him, we understand that, and are happy to show Him respect by giving Him our best when we come to His house, or when we serve Him. That comes with time. I have always pondered how some can have no problem whatsoever dressing nice and respectful for a friend’s wedding, for example, but coming to the house of our Holy God Jehovah in disrespect and immodesty. But, that is something I leave to the Lord. It is my responsibility to act according to God’s direction and set an holy example for Him. I have to remind myself that children are not being taught, as I was, that when we come into God’s house, we show Him respect, by dressing in our best.

Psalms 99

1 The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.

2 The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.

3 Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.

4 The king’s strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.

5 Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.

6 Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.

7 He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.

8 Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.

9 Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.
***

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2017 in God's Truth

 

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Returning to God

Renewal

The corruption of today’s church is ever increasing. The pattern found in Scripture and throughout church history, however, is this: Again and again God’s people have done what is right in¬†their own eyes –¬†Judges 21:25¬†“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” and God must call them back to obedience time and time again. The Law is given and the prophets are sent.

The message of John the Baptist, then Jesus, is delivered to the lost sheep of Israel –¬†Matthew 3:2¬†“Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The New Testament epistles are full of warnings against rejecting God’s laws and principles, disunity, and immorality. Yet, we let our fleshly desires reign and lead us away from the Godly morals that are really for our own good. This country is right there on the verge of God’s allowing the heathen nations to attack and take our great country captive in order to bring us to our knees in repentance, and draw us back to Him.

The prophet Hosea’s long-suffering love for Gomer is a parable of the price God will pay to woo His people back to Him –¬†Hosea 3:1-5¬†“Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.¬†So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley:¬†And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee.¬†For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:¬†Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.”¬†What a sad state of affairs that our loving God must woo mankind back to a right and good relationship with Him.

The prophet must show Israel their sin; show it to be exceedingly hateful. Their idolatry is the sin they are here charged with. Giving that glory to any creature which is due to God alone, is an injury and affront to God; such as for a wife to take a stranger, is to her husband. The Lord, doubtless, had good reasons for giving such a command to the prophet; it would form an affecting picture of the Lord’s unmerited goodness and unwearied patience, and of the perverseness and ingratitude of Israel. We should be broken and wearied with half that perverseness from others, with which we try the patience and grieve the Spirit of our God. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

One of the key roles of Christ today is to sanctify and cleanse the church –¬†Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;¬†That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,¬†That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Scripture strongly condemns religious leaders who lead others astray –¬†Matthew 23:24, 27, 33Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.;¬†Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness;¬†Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”¬†Very strong words there stating how these who are leading astray will be held accountable even be sent to hell.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in God's Truth

 

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He will Help us Escape the Corruption of this World

Once we are born-again by the blood of Jesus, we continuously grow to know God more. Being saved does not mean that we are not still sinners, or that we will not be tempted to sin. We are still human with a worldly flesh that we must battle constantly. But, God promises to give us His divine power through His Holy Spirit to escape the sin of this world. On our own, we do not have power against evil, but just the name of Jesus sends evil fleeing from us.

II Peter 1:3-4¬†“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:¬†Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Jesus made many magnificent promises to those of us who believe in Him. Believers are promised a portion of His moral goodness in this life on earth, and in His glory for Eternity in Heaven. As Believers, we can claim God’s precious promises. The phrase in verse 4, “partakers of the divine nature,” does not indicate that we become “gods.” Rather, Peter is teaching that to repent and believe is to enter into a family relationship with God where we, His children, are to live out the characteristics of our Heavenly Father –¬†Romans 8:8-10¬†“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.¬†But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.¬†And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Through the sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross.)¬†Galatians¬†2:20¬†“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”¬†So, once we are Saved, we have a desire to live for Christ, but we still have a weak flesh, therefore, we need the power from God to help us live for Christ.

HOLY SPIRIT

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2016 in God's Love

 

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Be Not Deceived by satan’s tools!

Elisha’s Encounters with Children (2)

“Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burn offering upon the wall…”

The Moabites were an army deceived by what appeared to be a blood-drenched battlefield (vss. 21 & 22). The mistake soon turned into a rout! The king of Moab, then took his oldest boy, his heir and sacrificed him! Here we are confronted with a¬†child of some upbringing, a king’s son, who is sacrificed.

Elisha was the designer of the battle plan, per the Lord’s instructions, that brought about the confusion in the looming conflict (vs. 16ff). As a side note, an important feature of this God-directed plan was music. In verse 15, a minstrel played and God’s hand rested on the man of God. I know I’m considered by many as old fuddy-duddy, but music plays an important role in the lives of its listeners as well as the participants. Nothing I can write or say will change your mind; it’s like concrete–thoroughly mixed up and firmly set! But, God help you parents to at least know what your teens and pre-teens are listening to.

Some children have been raised properly to a point and then for whatever reason parents waver from the way of right, decency and good sense. Discipline that was once demanded becomes ignored. Consistency is perhaps the most important ingredient of all in child rearing. Sometimes. self-indulgence, self-pity or self-love replace discipline, consistency and tough-love. The sacrifice of a child shadows a foreboding future with regret. –Dr. Tim Green

On the subject of music, I can testify to the very firm fact that music does, indeed, play a major role in human behavior. Let us not forget that satan was the angel of music at one time, and he certainly knows how to entice and captivate the human mind, leading us astray in whatever weakness we may have. Music is just like anything else in this world. If it is taking first place over the Lord, it is an idol. When my girls were teenagers I made it a point to know exactly what they were listening to. Many is the time I threw their music in the trash, and taught them to take notice of what was going on in their minds and behaviors, and how their moods changed, when they listened to the heavy metal, rap, or any other worldly trash of the day. “Garbage in, garbage out!”

I was raised on old-time country music, and let me tell you that when I hear some of it today, I am reminded of some pretty bad memories from my past because of poor choices. For me, if it is not about the Lord, I usually do not have a desire to hear it. And every time I try, for just a bit, to listen to some old 70s favorites it does not take long for a sad or bad memory to surface, and I am led back to the good old uplifting songs of faith. AND, do not be deceived! Many of the very successful artists of this worldly music have admittedly sold their souls to that old devil and they use their music for his purpose. They do not hide it! They receive fame and fortune in return, but sadly, their souls will spend eternity in hell with their deceiver unless they turn from it. Is that the road we want our children to go down, or ourselves for that matter?! BE INFORMED:

GREAT INFORMATION TO KNOW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MzsVoeFwjk

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2016 in God's Truth

 

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“The Peace of God OR Your Peace”

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of “God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

“I have peace about what I’m doing,” is often the answer for anyone that is seeking to justify their wrong behavior or actions. After all, if one “feels” good about what they are doing it must be good or right! Yet, that which makes something wrong is Scripture. If the Word of God forbids or condemns something, it is sin, and thus wrong. How one “feels” is inconsequential to whether something is right or wrong. This peace that is being experienced is not the peace of God. One does not have the peace of God by doing what is contrary to God’s Word. The peace they have may be peace of mind. They possess this peace because they have thrown out the evidence of the Bible that would convict them of the sin they have done or are doing. They, therefore, are not convicted of their sin and are at peace with themselves. This is the peace the world gives, contrary to “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you;…”¬†(John 14:27).

The peace of God comes from submission and obedience to the Word of God. Notice this peace is not understood by most folk. We are to let this peace of God rule in our hearts, not the peace of mind or of the world.¬†“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” (Colossians 3:15).” –Pastor Murray Douglas

The “peace of mind or of this world” comes when we turn away from church attendance, and soon to follow, searching His Word and spending time with our Lord. I know this because I have been “in the world” and experienced the peace of the world. That peace is nothing compared to the peace of God. Isn’t it something how we can be so easily taken in by satan’s lies and the lies some turn to in the corrupt versions of God’s Word which leave out and change much of God’s original Words that convict. God has preserved His true incorruptible Word in His KJV Word for centuries, and it is “quick” which means it is alive, and it convicts us to get us back on the right track with Him. So many are fooled by “feelings” and “feeling good.” That is just what our, and God’s, enemy wants. After having experienced God’s peace, I have no desire to ever again experience the “false peace” that this world offers.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2015 in God's Truth

 

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Do You Know Him Today!?

Please Don’t Turn Him Away!

Recognize your condition – “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 No one is good enough to go to Heaven on his own merit. No matter how much good we do, we still fall short.

Realize that there is a penalty for sin – “For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23 Just as there are wages for good, there is punishment for wrong. The penalty for our sin is eternal death in a place called Hell.

Believe that Christ died for you – “But God commendeth His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 Christ’s great love for us was shown when He died on the cross to pay our debt to sin.

Trust Christ alone as your Saviour. “For the wages of sin is death; BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” Romans 6:23; and “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13 Everlasting life is a gift purchased by the blood of Jesus and offered freely to those who call upon Him by faith.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.¬†For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

If you do not remember a time in your life when you asked Jesus to be your Saviour and Lord, please do so now and let me know so I can pray for you.

Pray now and confess that you are a sinner, and ask God to save you, and believe that you will receive Christ as your Saviour!

picture jesus greg olson

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in God's Love

 

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