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AskMe #1516827 05/14/07 06:13 AM
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Proverbs 22:6 (21st Century King James)
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

King Solomon provides a piece of wisdom. Parents who take time to teach their children the correct ways to live will at some point return to what they have learned. The wisdom given by the parent is something which will return and guide them through their life.

As God’s children, God teaches us and trains us in the directions we should go. He has given us His word in scriptures so that we would know the paths of righteousness to follow. God has given us examples of those who strayed from His word so that we might know the consequences of our actions when we also stray. And once we have taken His words to heart they are always with us. There is story after story of soldiers taken captive and in their hopeless moments the words of God came back to them as reassurance He was there with them. In our desperate moments God comes and comforts us with reminders from His words. So encourage your children and pass on to them the wisdom, the love, the grace and the mercy that comes from our Lord. Pray that God would give you the wisdom and words to speak.

AskMe #1516828 05/15/07 06:17 AM
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Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Here in Jeremiah God states He has good plans for Israel. God knows His thoughts and His actions agree with them. He does according to His will, His plan, and His desire. And for Israel God reassures them His plan is to provide them a future and a hope.

Which is more true for you, 1) you fear God concerning your future because you feel He is against you due to your sins, or 2) or you understand God’s love is so great that He has thoughts of love towards you and not evil. His thoughts, His actions are working towards an intended purpose. What we sometimes consider evil, God has purposed for good. Joseph was sold into captivity by his brothers. Joseph was falsely accused of wrongful actions and placed into prison. Yet Joseph understood God’s love for Him. As Joseph stood reunited with his brothers he said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” God had a plan to save many lives through Joseph, which even included his brothers who sought to harm Joseph. God’s plans are for the good of us all. And while we may face suffering, hardships and pains, He is faithful and just. Praise God for loving you. Praise Him that He has a plan for your life. Praise Him for His mercy and grace.

AskMe #1516829 05/17/07 06:51 AM
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Matthew 26:40-41 (NLT)
40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

Jesus and the disciples are in the garden of Gethsemane. It is the final moments before Jesus will be taken captive to face torture and execution. Jesus had gone off to pray alone, but He had asked the disciples to pray also. But each time He came back to check on them they were asleep. Even Peter who was always so quick to act was asleep as Jesus woke him to tell him he should pray not to give into temptation.

James tells us “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.” Satan may tempt us, but it is our own desire which reaches out and takes hold of the sin. Satan never forced Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Instead they reached out and took hold of the fruit of the tree on their own. They gave into their desires that enticed them and they were pulled away from God into eternal sin. In the verses above Jesus had warned the disciples they were going to face temptation. Jesus himself had faced many temptations, but He was always able to overcome them. It says in Luke 4:13, "Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time." Satan is always looking for an opportunity to tempt us. It is why we must stand vigilant, defended by prayer and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul said in Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Are you praying against the temptations you might be faced with? Pray God would strengthen you and protect you from the temptations that come your way. Ask God to help you endure against your own desires. Pray always so that Satan may not have an opportunity to come against you.

AskMe #1516830 05/21/07 06:27 AM
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Titus 3:4-7 (NLT)
4 But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”

The apostle Paul is writing to Titus to say everyone should show gentleness and humility. They are to be obedient to the laws and follow the officials who lead the government. But Paul also gives the reminder that Christ saved us because of His mercy and not the good things we had done.

Let’s say you died and arrived at the gates of heaven. God is standing there with Jesus. You look upon the beautiful city wondering if you will be allowed to enter. Then God looks at you and says, “Why should I let you into my heaven?” For years you have hear every explanation anyone has ever given. Some have said they were good enough to enter heaven. Some said they never mistreated anyone so surely God would open the gates for them. But as you look towards Jesus His hand is reaching out in your direction. It is then you remember His mercy and grace. You remember the love and compassion Jesus has always shown you. You remember your faith in the one who loved you so much He died for your sins. You turn to God and say, “I believe Jesus paid the price for me to enter heaven. He paid the debt of my sin. He poured out His Holy Spirit on me when I accepted Him on faith. And because of His grace he declared me to be righteous and gave me the confidence heaven will be where I spend my eternal life.” God looks towards Jesus as He motions for you to come forward and you hear God say, “Welcome home my child.”

AskMe #1516831 05/22/07 06:36 AM
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Hebrews 11:27 (NLT)
27 It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.

Here the Apostle Paul is writing to the Hebrews to encourage them in their faith of God. Paul provides examples of people who exhibited faith as a means for understanding. In the verse above Moses was once such example of great faith as he led the Israelites out of Egypt.

Because of sin that entered the world, Man believes he must do something to deserve salvation. Many of the religions of the world encourage their followers to perform duties in order to gain “God’s” approval. The problem becomes that the person who does the work is the person who receives credit. So if Man performs what he thinks is necessary for salvation then he gets the credit and not God. Jesus says in John 8:54, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me”. God has provided what is needed for salvation through Jesus Christ. Everything necessary for justification and freedom from sin is found in Him. We receive this free gift of salvation through faith. Faith is accepting the testimony of the invisible God as truth. Faith is not the same as trust in that trust follows faith. Faith is the acceptance of what God has done, while trust is the expectation of what God will do. Faith is not the same as believing, because one can believe facts and then never trust. James 2:19 says, “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” So when one has faith they follow God trusting what He will do in their lives. Do you trust what God can do in your life? If so you are following in faith. Praise God for the precious salvation of Jesus Christ. Keep your faith in what Christ has done and not of yourself. Walk in trust proving your faith.

AskMe #1516832 05/24/07 06:49 AM
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Ephesians 2:17-18
17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

The apostle Paul is writing to the Ephesians about salvation, which has also been offered to the Gentiles. The Jews were the first to receive the word of salvation, but those who didn’t know about it were now offered it as well. Paul tells us because of Christ’s work the Holy Spirit will indwell within us to draw us near to God.

There are some in this world who don’t agree God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all God. It is a mystery hard for man to understand. In our limited understanding we even might ask the question, “How can 3 things be 1?” But we can look to the basic egg as an answer. We can hold an egg in our hand as one object. But while it is one egg, the egg is made up of a shell, a white, and a yoke; three separate parts, but all one egg. So as man we can believe a simple object like an egg as being uniquely one, but with three distinct parts. Jesus Christ is God; He had all the powers of God, He is righteous and holy as God is; and He has the awareness of God. He is the Son of God, fully God, but limited in some ways by His earthly form. The Father has all knowledge and revealed that knowledge as He chose. Because of faith in Christ the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within the believer. The Bible tells us the Holy Spirit is in direct communication with God and makes intercession on our behalf. The Bible also says Christ makes intercession on our behalf. As unique as each is, God the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit is all God. 2 Corinthians 13:14 says, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Peter 1:21 says, “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 4:6, “Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.” All three are always present working together in our lives.

AskMe #1516833 05/25/07 07:06 AM
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Matthew 12:41
41 “The people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent.

The city of Nineveh had been at a sinful high. The Lord had planned to destroy the people of the city, but was giving it a change to repent through the preaching of Jonah. Jesus was telling these Jews that the city of Nineveh did repent because of Jonah’s preaching and now He, the Son of God, was there preaching and they were refusing to repent.

God rejoices over those who repent of their sins. In Luke 15:7 Jesus says, “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!” When a person repents they change their mind for the better and place it in agreement with God. They feel sorrow and remorse for their actions. It’s only through genuine sorrow and remorse one is able to accept the grace and mercy of God. But a person can also be sorrowful without repentance. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 7:10, “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” So those who continue to say they are sorry, but never change their attitude, never changing in their hearts due to their sins will slowly die a spiritual death. They continue to keep walking the opposite direction from God and never come to agree with Him about their sins. But the Lord is gracious and gives ample opportunity for repentance. It says in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” God is loving, merciful and kind. He is patient towards us and wants us to change and agree with Him on the sins in our life. Pray and confess your sins to God. Agree with Him that your sinful nature is the wrong direction to go and turn in His direction.

AskMe #1516834 06/04/07 06:31 AM
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Psalms 139:23-24 (NLT)
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Psalms 139 is David’s meditation on the omniscient power of God. He recognizes God is everywhere, He knows all. He made us therefore He knows us. In these verses He points out that those who walk in righteousness can take comfort as God observes them and knows their heart.

In the 1983 sci-fi movie Brainstorm researchers developed the Brainstorm System of recording and playing back the actual experiences in the mind of someone else. Every sense was recorded: smell, taste, sight, hearing, touch. These thoughts were then played back and relived by whoever the recorded session was being played for. At one point in the movie Christopher Walken was trying to understand his estranged spouse played by Natalie Wood, so he recorded a segment of her thoughts as she was angry at him. As he played them back in his own mind he finally understood her feelings. Just think we have a God who is able to know and understand all of our thoughts. He knows everything we are feeling and He knows everything we have done. What a blessing it is to have a God who so intimately knows us and cares about us.

AskMe #1516835 06/05/07 06:20 AM
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Proverbs 27:12 (The Message)
12 A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.

The Message translation gives a clear illustration of King Solomon’s words. A prudent person will move away from temptation, but for those that don’t, they walk into sin and get clobbered by it. There are consequences for sin and the person who falls into the temptation will eventually face the consequences.

When I was a teen, a man I knew came into the gas station where I worked wearing a bandage on his head. I asked him what happened and he said he had just left a movie and was walking down Main Street during the evening; suddenly a man stepped out of the alley and hit him over the head with a 2x4 board. The next thing this man remembered was waking up in the alley at 3am and his wallet was gone. I’ll never forget his next words, “I knew things like that happened, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen to me. I guess I just wasn’t paying attention.” It’s a good illustration of the temptation of sin. We know people can be tempted by sin. We have even seen others who have been tempted and fallen into sin, but we thought it wouldn’t happen to us. Then because we are not paying attention we fall into the temptation and sin whacks us over the head with a 2x4. Are you paying attention to the temptations that are coming at you? Pray God will open your eyes to see the dangers of sin that await you. Pray He will preserve you in those moments of temptation. Pray that you will endure and stay strong in the Lord.

AskMe #1516836 06/07/07 07:04 AM
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Matthew 10:32-33 (NLT)
32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.

Here in these verses we find Jesus speaking to the disciples. Jesus is sending them out with the authority to cast out demons and heal illnesses. He has given them some practical advice to carry along with them concerning people in the cities where they will go. Then Jesus goes on to say those who deny His existence, His presence as God, His right as Lord, they will not be recognized before God the Father when they have died.

There was a Charlie Brown Christmas special cartoon written by Charles Schultz that had Charlie Brown looking for the meaning of Christmas. After Charlie Brown had searched and searched for the meaning of Christmas, he finally threw up his hands and exclaimed, “Everything I do is a disaster, I guess I don’t know what Christmas is all about. Is there any one here who knows what Christmas is all about?” Everyone was quiet. And then Linus, with his blanket, came forward and said, “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” And then the camera backed up to show Linus standing alone at center stage, and from memory he recited the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2. Then Linus concluded, “That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.” That’s what Christmas is all about. It was in 1965 when that cartoon was made and it almost didn’t make it to TV because the producers were afraid someone would be offended by Linus reading the Christmas Story from the gospel of Luke. They even wanted Charles Schultz to rewrite the ending, but he refused and said the scripture must stay in. Charles Schultz refused to deny Christ. We should be so bold as Charles Schultz, refusing to deny Christ.

AskMe #1516837 06/11/07 06:30 AM
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Colossians 4:5-6 (NLT)
5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

In these verses we find the Apostle Paul encouraging the church to conduct their actions in a way that does not cause those outside of the church to think wrongly of the church. They were to take every opportunity to do well and make use of their time in a proper manner. The King James Version says our speech should always be with grace and seasoned with salt. Our words should be such that we preserve others and allow them the grace to come to know Christ.

Contained within the undergraduate catalog of Charleston Southern University is a list of “Life Preparation Concepts” for the students attending the college. One of those concepts cites Colossians 4:4-5 and gives these words of wisdom. “The term "communication” refers primarily to the exchange of ideas orally, visually, or in writing. People associated with a Christian institution should concern themselves with ethical and practical qualities of communication. They should dedicate themselves to an ideal which stresses not only clarity and persuasiveness, but also accuracy and truth. Effective communication should take place in the classroom, within the University family and between the University and the public.” This is the concept Paul was trying to get across to the church. Our words, our actions, our speech should reflect the body of Christ and extend grace to all those who need Christ in their lives. Our life is to be truth in the midst of darkness and deceit. Our words are to attract others to Christ and not turn them away. Like salt we are to preserve others and turn them from a life of destruction. Pray God will use you to be salt, preserving others you come in contact with. Pray your words will show them Christ in your life. Pray you would extend grace and mercy to those in need.

AskMe #1516838 06/12/07 06:36 AM
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Lamentations 3:40-42 (NLT)
40 Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord. 41 Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven and say, 42 “We have sinned and rebelled, and you have not forgiven us.

Jeremiah has been lamenting over God’s displeasure with the people and the fruits lacking in their lives. Here in these verses he says we should look carefully at why God brings afflictions upon and when we recognize those afflictions we should pray to God expecting His answer of mercy and grace. He says sin should be acknowledged. While they felt their sins unforgivable, God was always willing to forgive.

Jesus tells the story of a son who demanded his inheritance before his father died. So the father divided his wealth among his two sons. The rebellious son left and wasted all of the money he had on wild living. The son finally realized the mess he had placed himself into when even the slop meant for the pigs appeared appetizing. At this point he decided to return to his father and accept punishment for his deeds in order that he might eat. But instead of punishment, his father welcomed him back; dressed him in fine clothes; and put on a celebration because he had returned. The punishment the son thought he would receive was instead met with thanksgiving and joy of his return. And while there was no punishment, the consequences of his actions still remained because he had spent all he had, while his brother still retained his father’s property. God welcomes us back with joy when we return to him from our sins. We still have to deal with the consequences of our actions, but the belief God will be displeased with us for our return is false. He opens His arms with love and welcomes us back just as the father welcomed his son back from his wild ways. Have you examined your life and recognized the sins that are present? Pray God will forgive those sins and accept His grace and mercy as He forgives each one.

AskMe #1516839 06/18/07 07:05 AM
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Isaiah 29:15-16 (NLT)
15 What sorrow awaits those who try to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their evil deeds in the dark! “The Lord can’t see us,” they say. “He doesn’t know what’s going on!” 16 How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”?

These verses from Isaiah show the folly in man’s thoughts. He believes since he can potentially hide his sins from man by performing the actions in the dark; God can’t see what is taking place. Isaiah says God is the potter, the creator, the one who formed us and yet we want to believe we are smarted than Him.

In Matthew 6:33 Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” In other words our thoughts are to be placed on God first and then ourselves. God is our source of wisdom. He knows us intimately down to the last hair on our head. Jesus even reminds us in Matthew 10:30, “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” So God knows us at every level of our life; from our creation, to who we are and what we are at this very moment. Yet many want to pretend God does not know they exist or that He is blind to their actions. They discount the role God has had all throughout their lives and they give Him no credit for being their creator. They try to hide their actions of sin thinking surely God won’t know. Yet our Lord sees everything. While we try to discount His presence He is pursuing us, calling us to be close to Him. Praise God that He loves us so dearly He is always extending His mercy and grace.

AskMe #1516840 06/19/07 06:47 AM
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Romans 8:1-4 (NLT)
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The Law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

The apostle says there is no condemnation for those who belong to Jesus. He has given life over death to those who believe in Him. Unable to do so ourselves because of our weak sinful nature, we could not fulfill The Law of Moses. So God provided His son as the final sacrifice that the requirements of the law might be fulfilled.

When Christ comes into our lives we are given the desire to please God; for Christ also wanted to please the Father. Philippians 2:8 says, “he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Christ who was obedient even unto death lives inside the heart of the Christian calling them closer to the Father. It is no wonder those who take their Christian walk seriously feel the struggle taking place inside them. Their old sinful nature is at odds with the Spirit and for some it becomes overwhelming. They desire so much to please God, but they also see their own failures and Satan takes advantage of that to attack those feelings and destroy their self-image as a Christian. Galatians 5:17 says, “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” But we have to remember what Romans 8:1 said, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ.” We may want to condemn ourselves for our sinful nature, but God has already forgiven us. There is no condemnation so we need to learn not to let Satan grab a foothold and trick us into believing we are condemned.

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2 Timothy 4:16-18 (NLT)
16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Paul recounts to Timothy that he had gone on appeal to Caesar and no man came to stand with him in court. As good a man as Paul was, respected by many only, a Christian, a Roman citizen, the Lord was the only one there with him. But Paul knew it was a matter of weakness that one might not come to another’s defense so he asked that others may pardon those who should have come. Then Paul gives the glory to God for all He had done.

The movie Drumline is about a college band playing at Atlanta A and T university. As the highlights for the movie states, “Like a quarterback leading his team to victory, the drumline, a group of talented percussionists, whose cadenced rhythm rocks the rafters of any dome, bring crowds to their feet with their daring feats of music and athleticism.” The synchronization and the unity of the band are shown as being critical. One person out of tune, one person performing alone, and the entire band suffers. Along comes Devon a very talented drummer, but also very undisciplined. During the first half-time show the band starts out as they practiced, but at the end young Devon decides to steal a solo from another player and does it where he gains attention from everyone. Of course the attention he gains from the director is not very pleasant, but condemning. In the verses above Paul was saying Christians should work together like a band in harmony. Their duty was to stand together helping one another and not thinking of their own self. Their work was to be directed to the glory of God and not glory for themselves. But no matter what happens, God is always there to provide deliverance and mercy. Pray that God might help you work in harmony with others. Pray your work will be for His glory and not your glory alone.

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Acts 2:22-28 (NLT)
22 “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. 24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. 25 King David said this about him: ‘I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. 26 No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. 27 For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. 28 You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’

God had just poured out the Holy Spirit on the believers that were present for Pentecost. As each spoke in their own language, God made it possible for everyone to understand the other as they declared how wonderful God was. The devote Jews were amazed and perplexed and others looked on and declared the people drunk. So Peter steps forward to preach to the crowd. And in the verses above, Peter tells them how their sins had nailed Jesus to the cross, but it was all in God’s plan. He quotes King David to let them know that David understood the salvation God had in mind and that there was a way of life waiting for them filled with the joy of God. There were 3,000 that came to believe in Christ that day.

Today there are many people who will tell you, “do this and you will find the way to happiness.” People start to think if I can just follow that secret I’ll know the way; but they keep looking and seeking never quite finding the joy and happiness. They may find the way to stay busy or the way to keep their mind occupied. Still something lacks and that something is a relationship with God. King David knew God had shown him the way to joy and happiness through a relationship with Him. David knew God could meet His every need and fill the voids of His life. His relationship was so close with God he knew that God was right there with him and he was delighted. He knew the hope of eternal life because of God’s promise of salvation and that promise was fulfilled through Jesus Christ. So if anyone knew the way, it was David. Do you know the way? Have you created a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? If you have then look for Him to fill you with the joy of His presence. Give praise to God and let your heart be filled with His love.

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Job 31:9-12 (NLT)
9 “If my heart has been seduced by a woman, or if I have lusted for my neighbor’s wife,
10 then let my wife belong to another man; let other men sleep with her. 11 For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. 12 It is a fire that burns all the way to ******. It would wipe out everything I own.

Job is going back through his life looking for some place of failure that may have caused his current condition of suffering. But Job states his integrity in several matters and one of those is his faithfulness to his wife. Even in a time when having a concubine was accepted, Job said another woman never seduced his heart. He felt adultery was a shameful sin, a crime that required punishment. And there Job sat with his friends; haunted by an afflicting illness; feeling as if he were being punished for something he had done.

Job had remained pure in his life. It was said of Job that he was blameless; was a man of complete integrity; that he feared God and stayed away from evil. God said of King David that he was a man after His own heart. God blessed Job with much and made him richer than he ever had been. And while God also blessed King David, David allowed himself to fall to the temptation of adultery. David tried to self-maximize his own life by analyzing what benefit or gain he would receive. Maximizers are looking for what they think will bring them happiness and contentment. They see an affair as an opportunity to love when they feel a spouse has forgotten what love is about; to find passion when a marriage seems dull; to find richness in life where life seems stifled. God had given a commandment for every one to follow including David, which was “thou shall not commit adultery”. What David had done was turn away from God’s commandment to follow his own desires. The question which comes about is do we want to be a covenant keeper like Job or one who tries to maximize our own lives like David. Our goal should be to follow the desires of God and keep His commandments.

AskMe #1516844 06/26/07 06:17 AM
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Matthew 27:3-7 (NLT)
3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 4 "I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood." "What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility." 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. 6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money." 7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners.

Judas fell to the temptation of the love of money as he accepted thirty pieces of silver to betray the location of Jesus. But then Judas saw Jesus was going to be condemned to death, which he had not expected. All the other times Jesus had been confronted by the religious leaders they were unable to hold anything against Him. But now God’s plan was being fulfilled and there was no stopping the plan of salvation. Judas remorseful, but not repentant tried to return the money. The leaders, who should have been leading a person away from sin, instead left Judas to face his own conscience. And they ignored their sin as they acknowledged it was blood money. Judas distraught over his actions committed suicide and the religious leaders took his money to buy a potters field.

If you have ever lived in a new subdivision you may have watched as a building supply truck dropped off supplies for a new home to be built. There on the lot they will place mortar, lumber, nails, roofing material and sheathing for the house. Eventually a builder who has a plan shows up at the site with his workers and he starts to direct how all the parts of the home will come together. Without the builder and his plan, the materials would just sit in the yard unused. Like a builder, God has a master plan. Some of it was revealed to the prophets, such as Zechariah. In Zechariah 11:12-13 it says, “And I said to them, “If you like, give me my wages, whatever I am worth; but only if you want to.” So they counted out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter]”—this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potter in the Temple of the Lord.” God knew all along what Judas was going to do and it was a part of God’s plan to bring salvation to the world. Even Jesus knew when Judas got up to leave the dinner table that he was going to betray Him. We don’t always understand the plan and how it’s going to unfold, but God does. Like a builder God has everything set in place and ready to be put together. Trust in God and the plan He has put in place. Pray God would let you see His work unfold in front of your eyes.

AskMe #1516845 06/28/07 07:21 AM
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2 Samuel 18:33
33 The king was stunned. Heartbroken, he went up to the room over the gate and wept. As he wept he cried out, O my son Absalom, my dear, dear son Absalom! Why not me rather than you, my death and not yours, O Absalom, my dear, dear son!

David weeps over the loss of his son Absalom after being killed in battle against David’s army. David is heartbroken over the news and wishes it had been his own death and not the death of his son.

David was sometimes slow to realize the impact of his own sin. Just like his actions with Bathsheba, it wasn’t until he was confronted by Nathan did he grieve over the extent of his sin. It was then that he lost the son born of Bathsheba. And now he has lost even another child as he failed to carry out his responsibilities as king. It has brought extreme grief once again into his life. The problem David had with Absalom is that instead of following God and depending on Him for guiding David’s family, David instead took his own course of action. David should have been following God and dealt wisely with all of his children, but instead he allowed issues that should have been addressed to pass. Look to God for answers concerning your family and lean not on your own understanding. God will give you the wisdom if you seek Him and ask for the wisdom you need.

AskMe #1516846 06/29/07 07:24 AM
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Job 1:6-8
6 One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. 7 “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan. Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” 8 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”

In a rare glimpse of the heavenly realm, Satan approaches God and God asks Satan if he has noticed His servant Job. God then goes on to create what would seem like an impeccable resume for Job: the finest man in all the earth; blameless; complete integrity; fears God; and stays away from evil. God was saying Job was a good man.

Sometimes people ask, “WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?” We see in the book of Job God allowed Satan to test Job. “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence. Satan went on to kill all of the animals on Job’s farm, along with all of Job’s servants and workers. Satan even took the lives of Job’s children, whom Job cherished. Job’s response was to fall down and worship saying, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Wow, praising God in the midst of extreme adversity. How many of us could do what Job did? Job realized whatever he had was the Lord’s and the Lord had the right to take it away from Him. Job even spoke out about his misery to his friends saying, “But who can teach a lesson to God, since he judges even the most powerful? One person dies in prosperity, completely comfortable and secure, the picture of good health, vigorous and fit. Another person dies in bitter poverty, never having tasted the good life. But both are buried in the same dust, both eaten by the same maggots. “Look, I know what you’re thinking. I know the schemes you plot against me. You will tell me of rich and wicked people whose houses have vanished because of their sins. But ask those who have been around, and they will tell you the truth. Evil people are spared in times of calamity and are allowed to escape disaster. No one criticizes them openly or pays them back for what they have done. When they are carried to the grave, an honor guard keeps watch at their tomb. A great funeral procession goes to the cemetery. Many pay their respects as the body is laid to rest, and the earth gives sweet repose. Job is saying, it doesn’t matter, good or evil, it seems unjust things happen, but everyone will eventually go to the grave. Even King Solomon said, “I also noticed that under the sun there is evil in the courtroom. Yes, even the courts of law are corrupt! I said to myself, “In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.” Indeed a time will come for every man to be judged. And it won’t matter if the person was rich or poor, good or evil, healthy or sick, each will be judged fairly by God.

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