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Archive for February, 2012

verse 20: “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

Sometimes on my drive home to/from work, I’ll turn the radio on. Among the radio commercials I’ll hear is one for a certain insurance product that uses a talking gecko as its pitchman (you know the one). In the midst of talking about his possessions once (using the British brogue he is famous for), he used the phrase “bad mama jamma’s…..did I just say bad mama jamma’s?….you ever have one of those times when you wish you could take back something you said? This is one of those.”

What’s worse than someone who says something wrong or inappropriate, but yet realizes their error, is someone who rants and raves, says something wrong or inappropriate, and keeps on going! Solomon says “there is more hope for a fool than for him.” Someone with a tongue like that (read the book of James for some really good illustrations about the tongue!) will continually draw trouble. Let our prayer be the words of James 1:19: “…But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger;”.

Or to put it the way that I pray sometimes: “Lord, let me know when to speak, when to listen,…and when to shut up!” 🙂

Something to think about.

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verse 10: “Men of bloodshed hate the blameless, But the upright are concerned for his life.”

“Oh no, what we gonna do?
The king likes Daniel more than me and you.
Oh no, what we gonna do?
We gotta get him out of here.”
The wisemen’s song from the VeggieTales cartoon “Where’s God When I’m Scared?”

I don’t think I will soon forget the “wisemen’s” song from the VeggieTales rendition of the story of Daniel and the lions’ den. The message was easy to see; the wisemen hated Daniel because he was able to interpret King Darius’s dream (through the divine help of God), and now Darius favored his counsel over theirs. They wanted revenge, but Daniel lived his life holy and with integrity, and they had to resort to trickery just to show Daniel “breaking the law”.

Jesus Christ, when he walked this earth in human form, lived a perfect life. The religious leaders of the day wanted to get rid of Him; His holy life and ministry pointed out the sins in their own lives, and they couldn’t stand the truth.

When you have given your life to Jesus, you’re going to have a big ol’ bull’s-eye painted on your back, that the devil will take aim at daily with his fiery arrows. But take heart….Jesus already took those arrows for you…and extinguished them.

Have a great day in Him!

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verse 8: “Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger.”

If you search for “Vancouver riots 2011 news”, you will still find plenty of information on the aftermath of the NHL Vancouver Canucks’ loss to the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. Unfortunately in the last several years, we have seen scenes of the winning team’s fans going nuts in the streets, prompting some police arrests. However, the Vancouver riots were from the losing team’s fans! There were some accounts as well that some general anarchists and hooligans used the loss and the fans’ initial rioting to engage in mayhem as well. Scenes from Vancouver of violence and fires seemed to fill television and Internet news programs. Local residents were appalled at the behavior and saddened at the “black eye” it gave the city of Vancouver.

The term scorn, according to Merriam-Webster online, means:
1. open dislike and disrespect or derision often mixed with indignation
2. an expression of contempt or derision
3. an object of extreme disdain, contempt, or derision : something contemptible
( See http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scorn)

I can see examples of that daily in the news as we enter the national presidential campaigns, as we hear the saber-rattling of nations against other nations, as we see the receding of calm discussion and debate give way to the yelling “sound-bite” of the moment. More than ever, this is when we need cooler heads to prevail. Solomon, the wisest man in the world at the time, recognized this. Always remember, too, that above all the din…God is still in control. Pray that our leaders would seek His wisdom to keep the city from being set aflame, so to speak.

Something to think about.

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verse 1: “A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.”

What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?

In a recent incarnation of Justice League of America, Solomon Grundy thought he was that immovable object, trying to take on the Red Tornado. But when the Tornado fired wind vortexes at him in excess of an F-5 tornado (somewhere over 225 miles an hour?), he literally was torn apart.

In the Bible, Pharaoh thought he was that immovable object. Even after God warned him through Moses and the ten plagues to let the children of Israel go, he wouldn’t relent. Finally he did, but then tried to pursue them and kill them. Pharaoh’s army met the irresistible force of God in the form of the parted Red Sea crashing down on them.

There’s a footnote in my Bible referring to 1 Samuel 2:25 and this verse. That’s the verse where Eli is warning his wicked sons to turn from their evil. They didn’t, and they were met by the irresistible force of God’s judgment.

God is true and just and will rebuke us. He also is willing to forgive us if we will just repent and seek His forgiveness. But if we think we can stubbornly be immovable, set in our sin…then get ready for the irresistible force of God’s judgment and wrath.

What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? You may not want to find out; don’t be that immovable!

Something to think about.

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verse 23: “He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor Than he who flatters with the tongue.”

Did you ever think that after rebuking someone, that they would THANK you?

I read an article in the newspaper recently about a local juvenile court judge in our area who was retiring after decades of service. On top of the usual accolades and congratulations that you expect to read about at such a retirement, I saw one portion where a former defendant who had served time (prescribed by the judge) also showed up to thank the judge for caring. He admitted that the punishment he received as a juvenile and the fact that the judge cared about all those youths who came through his court was just what he needed at the time to turn his life around. Today, the man is an upstanding citizen. He was grateful for the judge’s rebuke and caring attitude.

There are times we need rebuking, and God is faithful to bring us in line! But God does it because He truly loves and cares about us. Parents should mimic that type of Fatherly love in their parenting. Friends should mimic that type of love in their relationships as well. You may not want to hear the rebuke, but sometimes you just have to “take your medicine”.

Something to think about.

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verse 17: “A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him.”

There was one person who came to mind when I read the above verse. The world’s first murderer – Cain. Bible students know the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4; how Cain murdered his brother. In punishment for his crime, God denied him his livelihood (Cain had been a tiller of the ground, a farmer), that the ground would no longer yield crops for his efforts. He told him he would be a vagrant, a wanderer. Cain cried out that his punishment was too great, and that whoever found him would kill him. God, in His mercy, placed a sign that would protect Cain, allowing him to live. Still, Cain had to live with the memory and results of his rash act until his dying day.

Our pastor is currently doing a sermon series on the book of James, and in his sermon on James 1:12-20, he stated something that I had to write down. He said, “God will forgive you of your sin if you ask, but He may not give you crop failure for what seeds you have sown!” Wow. That is true. Forgiveness is there for Christians, if they sincerely repent and ask. However, you still may or may not have to deal with the effects of your sin. That’s the double-whammy of sin; it has immediate effects and “delayed reactions”. That’s why it is so important to keep our minds and our hearts focused on Jesus Christ.

Temptation to sin is a fork in the road. Make sure you take the right path!

Something to think about.

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