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AskMe #1516887 10/11/07 05:46 AM
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Jeremiah 5:20-25 (NLT)
20 “Make this announcement to Israel, and say this to Judah: 21 Listen, you foolish and senseless people, with eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear. 22 Have you no respect for me? Why don’t you tremble in my presence? I, the Lord, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set. 23 But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned away and abandoned me. 24 They do not say from the heart, ‘Let us live in awe of the Lord our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.’ 25 Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings. Your sin has robbed you of all these good things.

The prophet Jeremiah has warned the people of their sins and the judgment, which will come. Now Jeremiah makes a statement to the people that they need to fear God. As he speaks for God Jeremiah reminds them of God’s great creations and how He is in control. They have even forgotten to give thanks for the rain, which brings the harvest at the right time of the year. Their sins have robbed them and taken them away from God.

The Atlanta Constitution and Journal reports Atlanta’s main source of water, which comes from Lake Sidney Lanier, has about 3 months supply left. The seriousness of it is 3 months are left of water for homes, 3 months left for hydro generation from the lake, and 3 months before the river below dries up in parts. The drought has been so bad the Environment Protection Center Director, Carol Couch, said “We’ve never experienced this situation before.” Companies are being affected as they are now starting to face restrictions on the use of water. Companies such as Pepsi and Coke are looking at contingency plans. Could it be we have forgotten to praise God for those things we have taken for granted? Should we listen to Jeremiah who said, “Let us live in awe of the Lord our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall.”? Maybe we need to examine ourselves and take time to praise our God and give Him the respect He is due.

AskMe #1516888 10/12/07 06:15 AM
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Proverbs 12:24 (NLT) Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.

King Solomon had applied his own words of wisdom to his life. In 1 Kings 11:28 it says, “Jeroboam was a very capable young man, and when Solomon saw how industrious he was, he put him in charge of the labor force from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the descendants of Joseph.” King Solomon saw Jeroboam work hard and that he was capable of doing the tasks he needed, so he was put as a leader. God saw his leadership and was willing to take away ten of the tribes of Israel from King Solomon and give them to Jeroboam. For it says in 1 Kings 11:33, “For Solomon has abandoned me and worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians; Chemosh, the god of Moab; and Molech, the god of the Ammonites. He has not followed my ways and done what is pleasing in my sight. He has not obeyed my decrees and regulations as David his father did.” So Jeroboam was recognized as a hard worker who deserved to be a leader.

The proverb also says a lazy person will become a slave. Those who do not work and run up debt become a slave to their lazy ways. The debts they accumulate begin to control them and eventually cause them financial ruin. They are subject to their creditors and will spend hours in labor trying to repay their moments of laziness.

AskMe #1516889 10/15/07 06:23 AM
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Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT)
9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Through the verses King Solomon has been examining life. He has pondered the many conditions of life and he now comes to a point where he considers the companionship of marriage. He says two are better off than one, for is one person falls there is no one to pick the other up. Two people can provide comfort to each other, but loneliness brings none. Two people are able to defend themselves against others. One watches the front, while one watches the back. And if God is included as a third their bond is even stronger than the two of them standing alone.

Scientifically this world is turning into a virtual world. It is now possible to hold meeting on computers instead of seeing someone face to face. Even Dr. Phil will frequently use a webcam and “chat software” to communicate with others who are far away. It is something familiar to many people. People have started working more from their homes and communicating over phone, pc, wireless and other methods. The bonds people once created from working side by side are becoming lost. Even in dating people are searching for others on the internet, because it is easier not to interact with a real person. They have found a virtual world where have the comfort of their home and still talk to someone. There once was a science fiction story where a war was talking place on a planet by the use of virtual reality. What the people didn’t know is there were only two of them left alive and everyone had had died. Solomon tells us we need relationships, and we need relationships that include God. We need to be close to others and bond with other whether it is for friendship or marriage. Pray God would help you make your relationships with others meaning and lasting.

AskMe #1516890 10/16/07 04:56 AM
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Daniel 2:27-29 (NLT)
27 Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed. 29 “While Your Majesty was sleeping, you dreamed about coming events. He who reveals secrets has shown you what is going to happen. 30 And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart.

King Nebuchadnezzar wanted to understand a dream that was disturbing him to the point that he could not sleep. He called all the wisest of men, magicians, astrologers, enchanters, and sorcerers; yet none of them could discern the dream nor reveal its meaning. The frustrated king decided to execute all those who were wise men, because obviously they did not hold wisdom. When the commander of the king’s army came for Daniel, Daniel asked why the king would issue such a harsh decree. Once Daniel knew the king was looking for an answer to his dream, Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened. He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon. That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. And Daniel was able to tell King Nebuchadnezzar about his dream because God wanted Nebuchadnezzar to understand what was in his heart.

We all have had dreams. Some of us dream of a perfect life. Some dream and see nothing but nightmares of reality that face them. Some dream and are disappointed their dreams did not come true. But no matter what dream you have God wants you to understand what is in your heart. God wants to grant you understanding about yourself and who you are. Daniel stopped to take the time to pray with his friends that God might reveal the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar. Have you stopped to pray and ask God about your life and where it is headed? If not, take the time to ask God. And when God reveals the secrets of your life give Him praise for the wisdom He provides. Praise God because He is in control.

AskMe #1516891 10/18/07 06:13 AM
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1 Peter 1:17-20 (NLT)
17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.

In these verses the apostle says when it comes to salvation God has no favorites. For those who have chosen God as Father, Judge and Savior, we should be living in respect of Him knowing we are not where we are suppose to be. The apostle also reminds us Christ gave His precious and sinless life so we could be freed from the sins which captured us.

When Adam and Eve took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they sinned. God says in Genesis 3, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil.” Man suddenly knew both good and evil where he had only known good before. Man had been capable of sin, but did not know anything about it. But now like God, man could now distinguish the difference between what was good and what was evil. There was a difference though between God and man: God was without sin; man had already sinned in his actions. Forever on man would know the difference between good an evil, and he would also be tempted to follow evil in favor of good. Sin holds us captive until we place our faith in Jesus Christ. Christ paid the debt to ransom us from sin by giving His life on the cross. Like man Christ knew the difference between good and evil. Like man Christ could be tempted by evil, but unlike man Christ never fell to the temptation of evil. And because Christ was a perfect sacrifice He was able to pay the debt of sin. We need to always praise Christ for being able to do what we could not do.

AskMe #1516892 10/19/07 06:25 AM
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Proverbs 19:2
2 Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.

Throughout Proverbs King Solomon provides good wisdom on relationships, life, and ethics relating to morals and work. In this verse King Solomon discusses running off to perform a task before you have even thought about it. In most businesses today there is a reinforced effort for people to plan. Project plans are created to show details of work, people needs, material needs and critical paths. There are even sayings related to King Solomon’s quote, such as “failure to plan is planning for failure.” People do see the truth in the words of wisdom God gave him. Unfortunately they do not always apply them in all the ways they can. While Proverb 19:2 could be about work, it could also be about relationships. Maybe you have a little bit of information or just an assumption, but it is enough to create emotions like anger or rage towards someone. Without a plan and without proper information you run to the person because you want to express your emotions with this little bit of knowledge you have. You angrily confront them and make accusations towards them. Then suddenly they stop you as their anger has risen and fill in the details you didn’t know and desperately needed to hear before coming to a conclusion. Now with all the information in front of you there is a realization you have made a mistake. It’s time to apologize, but you have already caused injury and pain. So next time take the time to gain complete knowledge of something before you act. Understand what you need to know, because in your haste you may make mistakes you regret. Pray for wisdom, understanding and grace to lead you ahead.

AskMe #1516893 10/22/07 05:32 AM
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1 Peter 3:13-17 (NLT)
13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!

Peter reminds the believers he is writing that those who are eager to do good are less likely to be harmed than those who continue in evil ways. And even if there is some suffering for the sake of doing good, God himself will provide a reward. He reminds everyone to be ready to explain the hope of salvation that is in them. The sharing of the gospel should be done in a gentle and respectful manner to others. And believers should try to keep themselves free from sin so their lives become a testimony to those who witness their lives. Peter once again emphasizes, “It is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong.”

Doing the right thing is sometimes difficult. Recently I read about a woman walking along a waste dump road where she worked and found a bag filled with over $85,000. When she picked it up she saw many pictures of Franklins and Grants staring back at her. Just one wrapper was marked that it contained $10,000. She called the sheriffs department and deputies found the money had somehow fallen from an armored car. Her other co-workers said Ms. Cole was the type of person who would do the right thing. They were not surprised she would return the money even though there was no reward. Her supervisor said she was a good woman and while she was a government employee and could not receive cash compensation they were going to provide her with some time off for her good deed. The money was more than two years of a salary for Ms. Cole, she could have kept it, but instead she did the right thing. We all are tempted to NOT do what we should. Sin pulls us in and holds us captive. We may even try to hide sins we have done. We may take what is not ours or talk about others in gossiping ways. But God is watching and He is pleased when we choose to walk in righteousness. Pray that all believers may walk in the ways of Christ. Always trying to obey, always trying to do the right thing.

AskMe #1516894 10/23/07 05:15 AM
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Proverbs 23:22-25 (NLT)
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old. 23 Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment. 24 The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise. 25 So give your father and mother joy! May she who gave you birth be happy.

This proverb is a reminder of the commandment, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12) Fathers were considered the leaders, the one to guide the family and direct them in the ways of the Lord. Mothers were caregivers who watched over the family. Therefore a child who followed wisdom, discipline and good judgment brought honor to their parents, because it was a reflection of the parent’s lives. And if the parents followed God then the children also become a reflection of God’s character from generation to generation.

As an example of how people are not reflecting God in their lives, in 2001 a prestigious day school in Manhattan’s Upper West Side sent a letter to the homes of the parents of the children in the school. The content of the letter explained Mother’s Day would no longer be celebrated at school. The letter went on to discuss how families were changing and that homes were not always made up of a father and a mother. Now there were homes with 2 dads, 2 moms or just a single mom or dad. Because they felt there were so many different make ups of families, celebrating Mother’s Day might be a bad experience for some children. Somewhere the idea of honoring one’s father and one’s mother was lost in sin. Pray God will strengthen and rebuild families. Pray mothers and fathers will once again take their place of honor. Pray their lives will reflect God and be a reflection in their children.

AskMe #1516895 10/25/07 05:47 AM
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John 4:46-54 (NLT)
46 As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die. 48 Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?” 49 The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.” 50 Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home. 51 While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well. 52 He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, “Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!” 53 Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus. 54 This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea.

In these verses we find Jesus being asked to heal the son of an official, someone probably of great importance and wealth. This story is only recorded here in John, but it referred to in Matthew as it says Jesus healed the sick. The boy was dying and more than likely this man of great wealth had tried everything. And now he was asking Jesus to come and heal his son.

It does not matter who you are in this world there is no one who can escape the infirmities of this world. Sickness and death abound and everyone in this world is subject to it. The official above saw Jesus as his last hope. But he lacked the full understanding and faith in Jesus; for he asked Jesus to go with him to heal his son. This man came as a beggar looking for help, willing to take whatever help was given, but he did not realize the full power and authority of Christ. So Christ gently rebuked the official by asking if he needed to see miraculous signs and wonders. Again the man pleaded with Jesus to come to his home. But Jesus told him to go back home and he would find his son alive and well. The man believed and in faith he started walking towards home. Even though Christ rebuked this man who was as a beggar before him, Christ showed tenderness, compassion and love. The man’s faith first had to be healed and then Christ healed the son. And the healing extended even to the man’s family as his entire household became to believe in Jesus. We need to remember Christ has all authority. Ephesians 1:21 says,
“Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.” Never forget what Christ can do. Always humble yourself before Him and ask in faith for what you need.

AskMe #1516896 10/26/07 06:22 AM
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Nehemiah 13:17-18 (NLT)
17 So I confronted the nobles of Judah. “Why are you profaning the Sabbath in this evil way?” I asked. 18 “Wasn’t it just this sort of thing that your ancestors did that caused our God to bring all this trouble upon us and our city? Now you are bringing even more wrath upon Israel by permitting the Sabbath to be desecrated in this way!”

Nehemiah was the king’s cup bearer and he was given news about the city of Jerusalem. The city lay in ruins and things were not going well for the people. Nehemiah mourned for the city and the people, but he had a vision for restoration. And so he went to Jerusalem and led the rebuilding of the city and the restoration of the people. After time Nehemiah returned to the king as promised. But once again the people of Jerusalem had begun to fall to sin so Nehemiah took leave and returned to confront those in charge.

On October 31st of a certain year, a group of people gathered. They separated themselves from those they considered to be foreign as they drew together. They clothed themselves in very unusual dress. They covered themselves in the dust of the earth as they came together for this unique day. They stood in silence for over three hours as one person read to them and then they stood for another three hours as they cried out in loud voices. No, these people were not celebrating Halloween; this was the account of the people of Jerusalem gathering to hear the Book of the Law of their Lord God read to them. They heard their trespasses and confessed openly to God about their sins. They committed to once again to worship and follow God. This was the account told in Nehemiah 9; but as seen in Nehemiah 13 the people had once again started to fall away from God. Nehemiah did what should be done; he confronted to leadership for their failure to keep their word. He reminded them of their promises and helped them understand their failures. Pray we might be able to confront our leaders when they fall away from their promises. Pray they will be the leaders they need to be.

AskMe #1516897 10/29/07 05:59 AM
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Proverbs 29:1 (NLT)
1 Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.

These are the words of King Solomon as he points out how stubborn those are who turn themselves over to wicked ways. Often there have been attempts by parents, friends, courts, pastors and even God to turn them from their destructive paths. Yet as the Hebrew words say, they have hardened their neck against the warnings placed against them by their sins. Those who continue in this way should expect a destruction of their lives and no hope for recovery.

Over many years there were warnings about the inadequacy of the levees protecting New Orleans from flooding. For years the Army Corp of Engineers, state and federal officials ignored the potential risks. Appropriations for the levee system had been cut multiple times because the government considered the costs outweighed the risks. Even as people were being warned the city might not be safe many elected to stay and some even partied through the night thinking with Hurricane Katrina behind them the worst was over. Although warnings were repeated over and over many lost their lives and the city was devastated to a point almost beyond recovery. Often warnings are given to us about our personal lives. We hear someone telling us the disasters which wait ahead, but we ignore them thinking our sinful enjoyment outweighs the risks. Then disaster takes place and we realize we should have heeded the warnings we were given, but now it’s too late. Pray you will be open to hear the reproofs and rebukes of others. Pray you will consider God’s words and apply them as a guide to your life. Pray that you might not harden your neck, but instead be ready to flex when needed.

AskMe #1516898 10/30/07 07:26 AM
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Proverbs 30:33 (NLT)

33 As the beating of cream yields butter and striking the nose causes bleeding, so stirring up anger causes quarrels.



This chapter of Proverbs was said to be penned by Agur Ben Jakeh. Some say Agur is not his name, but his character. It indicates he was a gatherer, a collector. He possibly did not write proverbs of his own, but instead collected words of wisdom. In this proverb he presents and he lists things which are commonly known, such as churning cream makes butter and being struck in the nose will cause it to bleed. He then goes on to say stirring up anger causes troubles. In other words you know what causes the other actions to take place, you must also understand the cause of quarrels.



According to police reports, an incident occurred 02/29/2004 at the Spring Haven Retirement Center in Winter Haven, Florida. Senior Citizen Lee Thoss, was playing in the greens at the salar bar where others were waiting to fix their salads. William Hocker, one of the residents, told Thoss others would not want to eat the food he was playing with. Thoss then became verbally aggressive and proceeded to strike Hocker. Arlene Thoss, Lee Thoss’s mother, intervened trying to help stop her son, but was also hurt in the incident. Allen Croft, a 79 year old resident, was bitten by Thoss as he tried to intervene and stop the fight. Another man who was in the area was also struck as Thoss flailed his arms. A few words of asking for the respect of others turned to anger, and then into an embittered quarrel. Even at an age where wisdom should be abundant, angry words still held the proverb true.

AskMe #1516899 11/01/07 05:46 AM
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Numbers 20:1-5 (NLT)
1 In the first month of the year, the whole community of Israel arrived in the wilderness of Zin and camped at Kadesh. While they were there, Miriam died and was buried. 2 There was no water for the people to drink at that place, so they rebelled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The people blamed Moses and said, “If only we had died in the Lord’s presence with our brothers! 4 Why have you brought the congregation of the Lord’s people into this wilderness to die, along with all our livestock? 5 Why did you make us leave Egypt and bring us here to this terrible place? This land has no grain, no figs, no grapes, no pomegranates, and no water to drink!”

In these verses we find the sister of Moses has died. The people were not far off from where they started when they began their journey 38 years prior. They had watched God supply water when there was no water, and they had water when it was available in the land. Now they were complaining, asking why they left Egypt where they had been in slavery in order to be in a place where they feared what was going to happen to them. They had already forgotten the hardships they had endured in Egypt and now they were looking for someone to complain to.

When we endure hardships in life it is so easy to want to blame someone. Instead of looking to God for answers we complain about our situation. For 38 years God had watched over the people of Israel and taken care of them. Yet they continued to forget what God had done for them. We all have a nature to desire and want from this world; but we must learn that wherever we are there will be hardships and times that life is inconvenient. Even in our lives today we sometimes find the inconvenience of not having enough water to do all the things we want. But usually we have enough to take care of the things that are important. Thank God for His mercy and gifts in our lives. Praise Him for meeting our needs and reminding us of His mercy when He meets those needs in our desperation.

AskMe #1516900 11/02/07 05:18 AM
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Proverbs 2:3-5 (NLT)
3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. 5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.

The Hebew word used for “cry out” is qara’ which means to cry out in such a way to summon, invite or call. In other words dedicate prayer to God asking for insight and understanding to live daily. They are gracious gifts and valuable to life. And with insight and understanding comes a reverence and respect of God.

Famous lead guitarist for the Beatles George Harrison died at the age of 58 in November of 2001 from throat cancer. He was named one of the greatest guitarists of all times by Rolling Stone magazine. When he died his family made this statement, “He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends. He often said, 'Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.'” Harrison wrote the song, MY SWEET LORD. The song starts out as if it is a praise to Christ, but turns into a Hare Krishna mantra. In his 1982 interview with the Hare Krishna organization he said, "I wanted to show that Hallelujah and Hare Krishna are quite the same thing. I DID THE VOICES SINGING 'HALLELUJAH' AND THEN THE CHANGE TO 'HARE KRISHNA' SO THAT PEOPLE WOULD BE CHANTING THE MAHA-MANTRA BEFORE THEY KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON! . . . My idea in 'My Sweet Lord,' because it sounded like a 'pop song,' was to sneak up on them a bit. The point was to have the people not offended by 'Hallelujah,' and by the time it gets to 'Hare Krishna,' they're already hooked, and their foot's tapping, and they're already singing along 'Hallelujah,' to kind of lull them into a sense of false security. And then suddenly it turns into 'Hare Krishna," and they will all be singing that before they know what's happened, and they will think, 'Hey, I thought I wasn't supposed to like Hare Krishna! . . . It was just a little trick really"

In 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 Paul said, “But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.” Pray God will always lead you along the right paths. Pray for insight and understanding that you would know and fear the true God, and the true Christ. Pray you would be influenced by God alone and not the ways of the world.

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Titus 2:6-8 (NIV)
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Here we find the apostle giving Titus charge as to how he should direct younger men to behave. Proper examples should be set by older leaders for the younger men to follow. It is hard for someone to oppose those who are living righteously. They become examples that are unashamed.

A church was ordered to pay 11 million dollars in damages to the family of a soldier killed in battle. The church had sent protesters to stand outside the funeral of the fallen soldier, a young man, a father’s son, someone who believed in protecting our country in order to shout words of hate. Their belief is those who die have been judged for their sin. They shout harsh words and wave anti-gay banners saying God is judging American’s for its sins. This behavior has been going on for years by the 75 member congregation as they use funerals of soldiers as a platform to criticize homosexuals as immoral and damned. While God may be judging those in America for their sins, people should be encouragers to those who need direction in their lives. Proverbs 10:12 says, “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.” There need to be men who are willing to reach out to other men and show them masculinity in a loving manner. There needs to be leaders who stand firm on God’s word, but can be good examples to others. Instead of hate, reach out to those who are different and love them as Christ would love you.

AskMe #1516902 11/06/07 06:01 AM
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Matthew 4:1-11 (NLT)
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. 3 During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” 7 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’” 8 Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” 10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” 11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.

This is the account of the temptation of Jesus. During a time of fasting Satan came to Jesus. His first offer was to satisfy his hunger. The second time Satan tempted Jesus by saying if you will jump from this highest point, God will send angels to protect you. And the third time Satan offered something not even his; he offered Jesus the world.

Jesus said, “What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting.” Temptations are something each of us will experience. James tells us temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. As Jesus taught the disciples to pray he said, “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.” Paul said, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more that you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so you can endure.” Temptation is not sin. There are many people who probably think when they are tempted by the thought of power, by the thought of fulfilling desires, or any other self serving thought they have sinned. But Jesus was tempted and did not sin. Jesus had to think about his hunger and the bread being offered Him, but he refused to use His power to meet His own need. In his weakness He undoubtedly thought about how the angels could minister to Him, but he waited on God to send them. James also tells us “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life God has promised to those who love Him.” Pray you might be able to pass by the temptations of the world. But also pray when you do face temptations that God will see you through. Pray you would find strength in knowing you did not give into temptation and did not consider it to be a sin.

AskMe #1516903 11/08/07 06:29 AM
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Proverbs 8:8 (NLT)
8 My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it.

This verse speaks about wisdom which God has founded. The wisdom of God is right, just and vindicated. There is nothing twisted, or distorted about it. Wisdom can form advice which is wholesome and useful to a person’s life.

Have you ever tried to assemble something complicated without instructions? I have seen people make the attempt to do so only to find themselves part way through the assembly and they have to go back to the instructions and start over. Once they start following the instructions pieces are found easier and other parts just seem to fall into place. God gives us wisdom in His words for our lives. If we fail to read the words He has given us then it is like trying to assemble the complicated item without instructions. We might start in the wrong place; we might have the wrong conceptual view; we might just really make a mess of things. But when we take God’s wisdom to heart we have a sure way of knowing what is right and what is wrong. And the more we study God’s word, the more wisdom we gain about Him.

AskMe #1516904 11/12/07 07:05 AM
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Proverbs 12:15
15 Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

Solomon says fools follow in their own ways believing their actions to always be right. But those who are wise listen to the advice of others and reconcile it with the lives to see if they are living a wisely.

Paul wrote the following in Romans 14:10-18, “So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘‘as surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.’” Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” Paul says we are to live a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If we are wise we search for the happiness he describes and learn to love Christ with all our heart. And the things we often believe right we may find are only right at times or that we have been mistaken as we allow God to guide and correct us. Pray that you might be wise and be able to discern what God would have you do as opposed to the world. Learn to live by the Spirit of God and not the desires of man.

AskMe #1516905 11/13/07 06:37 AM
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Hebrews 11:24-32 (NLT)
24 It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. 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. 28 It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons. 29 It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned. 30 It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down. 31 It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. 32 How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets.

The apostle writes about those whose faith lead them forward in life. Moses had the temptation to be a powerful ruler of Egypt, but instead he chose to share the oppression of God’s people having faith God would provide something greater. By faith the people of Israel walked through on a dry seabed with walls of water all around them. Jericho fell by faith, yet Rahab and her family who lived there were spared because of their faith.

Many of the people listed in the verses above faced hard times during their lives. Moses was nearly put to death as a child. He was raised apart from his family as a part of the Pharaoh’s household. But then he gave all that up as he saw one of his own people being mistreated. Rahab lived as a prostitute. She had heard of the God of Israel and at a critical time she trusted Him and she became a part of the linage of Christ. Many others placed their faith in God to take care of them in moments of desperation. Webster’s dictionary says faith is a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. We may not immediately see the work God is doing, but when we have a firm belief in Him, He is faithful to prove He is there with us. Let your faith in God grow. Trust Him and believe in His promises.

AskMe #1516906 11/15/07 06:23 AM
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2 Corinthians 4:13-15 (NLT)
13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

The Apostle Paul refers to Kind David when he said, “I have believed, and therefore have I spoken”. It is faith, belief in Christ that keeps them motivated to tell others about The Savior. They know that even through their suffering their work is a benefit for all. For as God’s word reaches people and more people accept Christ as savior there will be great thanksgiving and God will be glorified.

John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, where he first sensed God's call to enter the ministry. He is quoted as saying, “What shall we be known for? Let it be that we are willing to die for Christ and, even more, that we are willing to live for him in loving his people—and his enemies.” Secondly, “God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him. This is the motor that drives my ministry as Pastor. It affects everything I do.” We must go beyond our faith and find satisfaction in what God has given us. We must let Christ rule in our heart and be our motivation to reach out to others. And as others find Christ through our work God will be glorified and praises of thanksgiving will ring out in heaven.

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