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AskMe #2063962 05/27/08 05:34 AM
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2 Peter 1:5-11 (NLT)
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. 10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Peter writes to believers who share their faith in Christ. He points out they should make every effort to trust in God’s promises and put their faith into action. They should not forget how Christ has cleansed them of their sins and how they should work hard for God to show others they are believers in Christ.

On June 19 of 2007 the Catholic Church released a statement on the Ten Commandments of driving. The commandments are as follows:

01. You shall not kill.
02. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
03. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
04. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
05. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
06. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
07. Support the families of accident victims.
08. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
09. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
10. Feel responsible toward others.

It brings to mind a story about a patrolman who observed a woman blowing her horn, swearing, and making obscene gestures to the car in front of them for not moving the instant the light turned green. The patrolman stopped her, arrested her and took her to jail. Later he came back to talk to the woman. “I apologize for arresting you, but when I saw your car with the “I LOVE JESUS’ sticker and the fish emblem and the “I LOVE BEING A SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER” I thought surely the car had to be stolen the way you were acting towards the person at the stoplight. If we don’t act different in this world, how will others know we have the love of Christ inside of us.

AskMe #2065073 05/29/08 04:55 AM
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Acts 18:24-28 (NLT)
24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. 27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

The apostle Paul met Aquila and his wife Priscilla in Corinth. Because they were tentmakers as Paul, Paul stayed and worked with them. No doubt they carried on many conversations about Christ as they worked together. Every Sabbath Paul would go to the synagogue to reason with the Jews as this couple listened. This couple went on the first missionary trips with Paul. In Ephesus they met a man named Apollos. Apollos was educated, an eloquent speaker and had a desire to tell others about Christ, but he was limited in his knowledge. He possibly had heard the preaching’s of John the Baptist proclaiming the coming of Christ. He may have even been baptized by John the Baptist and picked up more information along the way, but he was incomplete in his knowledge of the Lord. So Priscilla and Aquila invited Apollos to their home to explain the way of God more adequately.

A letter written by a woman in South Africa to Marriage Missions International, www.marriagemissions.com:

“I want to share with you a wonderful testimony. My husband and I had been going through a rough patch because we had allowed the devil to come in between us through a VERY minor issue. This issue grew so much that we both had resentment for each other and we always fought for no apparent reason.
“One day I was complaining to God about this marriage, my innocence in the whole matter, and how unfair all this was to me. God suddenly said something that left me stumped. As I was repeatedly claiming my innocence, God reminded me of the verse that says that we have all fallen short of his glory. That was an awesome revelation for me and I realized how I had totally missed it.
“Soon after that I sent my husband a message (as I couldn’t wait till I saw him in the evening) and confessed that I was also responsible for the situation in our marriage. I think God was also working on him because when we met in the evening, we both let go of our hurt and we forgave each other. For a moment the devil had blinded us to the truth that God wants us to have a happy marriage, to enjoy and not endure every moment we share together. I so love my husband, but I have learned that I can never love him enough with my human love because I am limited as a person, but I surrender my love to God and he will work through us in an amazing way.”
God wants husbands and wives to be one in marriage. He wants marriage to be a blessing and illustrate the love of Christ to others. This woman’s testimony showed how God revealed to her difficulties she had to also accept responsibility for. Satan wants to destroy marriages because then there would be no one like Aquila and Priscilla to tell others the full truth about Christ. Pray your marriage might be strengthened and take responsibility for your actions and confess your sins to God. May God bless you and keep you whole unto Him.

AskMe #2065670 05/30/08 06:20 AM
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Colossians 2:16-19 (NLT)
16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. 18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, 19 and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.

These are the words of the apostle Paul to those in Colosse. Although Paul was not a founder of the church; Paul cared for the people as though they were special to him. In these verses he warns of those who try to impose rules which become yokes of burden. He warns of those who would say only angels could be mediators with God when Christ is due full honor as our savior and mediator. Paul also warns of those who would think highly of themselves; sinning due to their pride. He reminds them it is Christ who holds together those who are in Him.

Urban Legends are stories, mostly false, people have come to believe. Many baby boomers still remember the show Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins. There was an Urban Legend he was once bitten by a venomous snake on one of the shows and rushed to the hospital. Perkins wrote in his autobiography about this belief: “An interesting after-reaction to this episode is the fact that even today I meet people who in all seriousness tell me that they sat there in front of their television receivers and watched that rattlesnake sink his fangs into my finger. At first, I used to correct them and explain I wasn't on the show that day that the bite occurred before we were on the air. But these people are so sure in their own minds that they have seen this thing happen that I now just let it pass and don't try to correct them. Perhaps this shows the power of suggestion.” As Paul warned those in Colosse we must be careful in accepting urban legends as trust. Instead we must seek out God and Christ on a very personal level where we know them intimately.


AskMe #2066740 06/02/08 05:45 AM
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Mark 6:18-26 (NLT)
18 John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias bore a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But without Herod’s approval she was powerless, 20 for Herod respected John; and knowing that he was a good and holy man, he protected him. Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him. 21 Herodias’s chance finally came on Herod’s birthday. He gave a party for his high government officials, army officers, and the leading citizens of Galilee. 22 Then his daughter, also named Herodias, came in and performed a dance that greatly pleased Herod and his guests. “Ask me for anything you like,” the king said to the girl, “and I will give it to you.” 23 He even vowed, “I will give you whatever you ask, up to half my kingdom!” 24 She went out and asked her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother told her, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist!” 25 So the girl hurried back to the king and told him, “I want the head of John the Baptist, right now, on a tray!” 26 Then the king deeply regretted what he had said; but because of the vows he had made in front of his guests, he couldn’t refuse her.

Herod a powerful King misguided by his wife and daughter executed John the Baptist because of a promise to do anything for his daughter if she would dance for the guests. Even John’s faithfulness of pointing out Herod’s faults had not swayed Herod to kill John, but those fears became a threat to his wife and what she might loose. Herod having made his promise in front of his guests felt compelled to follow through on his daughters request to have John the Baptist beheaded. But it was something he deeply regretted.

Herod felt regret over his promise. The feeling of regret can be strong. It is a feeling of sorrow for an action made in the past. It can lead to severe shame and sorrow over the choices that were made. In 2 Corinthians 7:8-11 Paul said, “I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 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. Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.” We can let the regrets of our past either destroy us or lead us forward. Paul almost regretted speaking out against the sins of the Corinthians, but once he saw the change they made he was overjoyed. Instead of letting regrets pull you down let them motivate you to have a desire to follow God even more closely. Regret can separate you from God or you can let it pull you closer.

AskMe #2067241 06/03/08 05:38 AM
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Proverbs 3:27-29 (The Message)
27 -29 Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God's hand for that person. Don't tell your neighbor "Maybe some other time" or "Try me tomorrow" when the money's right there in your pocket. Don't figure ways of taking advantage of your neighbor when he's sitting there trusting and unsuspecting.

The Message Translation of the Bible puts this proverb into simple English, help those who need help, because our hands are God’s hands. We are to look for opportunities to serve others when possible and we are not to take advantage of their trust.

Recently a college softball game made the news as one team demonstrated unprecedented sportsmanship. There were two girls already on base as Sarah Tucholsky walked up to the plate. She took the first pitch as a strike, but on the second pitch she did something she had never done before. She hit the ball over the fence for what looked like a 3 man homerun. As she ran towards first base she missed placing her foot on the bag as she watched the ball sail way beyond the fence. Knowing she had to touch first base she stopped quickly to turn around and that is when she twisted her knee and collapsed to the ground in pain. The rules of the game state no one from the player’s own team can assist the player around the bases. So everyone watched as Sarah crawled through the dirt and pain back to first base. The umpire’s only option was to state a substitute could be placed on first base, but the home run would be lost. Sarah’s first and only homerun would become non-existent. Then the first baseman asked the umpire a question, “What if the opposing team carried her around the bases?” The umpire responded there was not rule regarding the other team helping. In a selfish act the other team picked up Sarah, carried her to each base, and allowed her to touch the base to redeem her homerun. The field became silent and the fans filled with tears as they watched such a selfish act take place. “Those girls did something awesome to help me get my first home run," Sarah said. "It makes you look at athletes in a different way. It is not always all about winning but rather helping someone in a situation like that." Christ put Himself aside for the sake of others. Selfishly He could have avoided the cross, but He reached out to us to help carry us into heaven. When others need help we need to reach out with the hands of Christ just as Christ reached out to us.

AskMe #2068556 06/05/08 05:18 AM
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Romans 5:18-19 (The Message)
Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.

In these verses the apostle compares Adam to Christ. The one sinful act of Adam brought death to everyone. However the one righteous act of Christ brought life for everyone.

In the September 2006 edition of Readers Digest, comedian and actor Bob Newhart tells about a part of his life upon finishing college. He had attended Loyola College and received a management degree so he took a job as a bookkeeper. Part of his responsibility was handling the petty cash drawer. As salesmen turned in their expense receipts during the day, Bob would exchange them for cash. At the end of the day he would have to reconcile the cash with the receipts, but he found it never seemed to balance. So he got creative; if the drawer was short $2, he would put in $2 of his own personal money. If the drawer was over by $3, he would take $3 out. His boss finally caught on and lectured him on not following sound accounting principles. We became out of balance in our relationship with God when Adam sinned. Many have believed if I do this right thing then I am making up the difference, but the truth is we all have fallen short of the glory of God. We all continue to sin and we can never put things back into balance on our own. Our methods are wrong when we think we can balance good deeds versus sins. You can’t do a little more good today and if things work out tomorrow maybe you receive a little bit back. It is why Christ stepped in and paid the debt in full. Christ restored the balance of our relationship with God. We can be with God because Christ made right, what Adam made wrong.

AskMe #2070408 06/09/08 06:34 AM
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John 8:1-11 (The Message)
1-2 Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them. 3 -6 The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, "Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?" They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him. 6 -8Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, "The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone." Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt. 9 -10 Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. "Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?" 11 "No one, Master." "Neither do I," said Jesus. "Go on your way. From now on, don't sin."

One of the Ten Commandments given to Moses and the people of Israel is that one should not commit adultery. In Leviticus 20: 10 it says, “If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man and the woman who have committed adultery must be put to death.” Note that according to the law both the man and woman should be put to death. The words are clear in John she was caught in the midst of the adulterous act, yet the man had not been presented as an offender. According to the law the witnesses to the act were to be the first to throw the stone for the guilt would be laid on them if the had not been truthful.

There are those in this world who are ready to condemn the actions of others. They are zealous in their efforts to bring condemnation for what they feel is wrong. Yet they are just as guilty of many sins themselves and they are not any better than those they self condemn, for all have sinned. They act as the judge and jury passing sentence and executing it. Jesus pointed this out to the accusers of the woman. It was true they had caught her in adultery. It was true according to the law they had the right to stone her for her actions, but the witness had to go first and the witnesses were the religious leaders. They didn’t want to be the first to stone the woman. They would rather incite others to have hate and bitterness towards her. As soon as Jesus said let the sinless among you throw the first stone their own sins were exposed from their hearts. They began walking away one by one until no one was left but Jesus and the woman. Instead of condemning her Jesus sent told her to go on her way and not to sin again. In Matthew 7:1-2 Jesus had this to say, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” In others words, show compassion and compassion will be granted to you, but show contempt and contempt will find you.

AskMe #2070962 06/10/08 05:34 AM
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James 5:10-11 (NLT)
10 For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.

James speaks of those who endured suffering. He mentions the prophets who spoke out for God in the face of adversity. The Lord honored them for enduring the suffering they went through. James then mentions Job who was a good and honorable man. He was a man God found to be worthy. But God allowed Job to suffer at the hands of Satan to show His glory. Because in the end God restored Job’s health and gave back to him double that which he had for Job endured his suffering patiently.

According to Webster’s, perseverance is to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement. The counterinfluence in Job’s life was Satan as he attacked his possessions, family, and life Although Job had done nothing wrong Satan hoped Job would fail because God saw Job as a worthy and honorable man. God knew Job’s heart. God knew Job would hold fast even in the midst of his suffering. It was those around Job watching his suffering who could not face what they were watching. His wife told Job to curse God and die. His friends accused him of wrong doing and spoke of him in contempt. There will be some who face adversity head on and depend on God to get them through. There will be some who turn away because they fear the suffering they see. And others will show the love and mercy of God as they reach out to those afflicted. As I watched the news this weekend a woman who was engaged to be married was dying quickly from cancer. Her last wish was to be married to the man she loved. Her fiancée stood with her in the midst of her pain and suffering. Through what almost seemed like a hopeless effort he secured the documents to marry her before she passed away and he did so. He stood with her in her suffering just as God stands with us. God is full of tenderness and mercy if we just allow Him into our lives as we endure the sufferings of life.

AskMe #2072205 06/12/08 06:24 AM
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Genesis 3:11-19
11 God said, "Who told you you were naked? Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?" 12 The Man said, "The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes, I ate it." God said to the Woman, "What is this that you've done?" 13 "The serpent seduced me," she said, "and I ate." 14 -15 God told the serpent: "Because you've done this, you're cursed, cursed beyond all cattle and wild animals, Cursed to slink on your belly and eat dirt all your life. I'm declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He'll wound your head, you'll wound his heel." 16 He told the Woman: "I'll multiply your pains in childbirth; you'll give birth to your babies in pain. You'll want to please your husband, but he'll lord it over you." 17 -19 He told the Man: "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree That I commanded you not to eat from, “Don't eat from this tree,' The very ground is cursed because of you; getting food from the ground Will be as painful as having babies is for your wife; you'll be working in pain all your life long. The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you'll get your food the hard way, Planting and tilling and harvesting, sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk, Until you return to that ground yourself, dead and buried; you started out as dirt, you'll end up dirt."

From these verses in Genesis we find the fall of mankind. God had made it clear to Adam what Adam should not do. But we find Adam saying to God it was this woman you gave me. We see Eve saying it was the serpent who seduced me. Neither one wanted to take responsibility for their sin. Because of the sin there were consequences for Adam and Eve that also reached out to all future generations.

When life is going wrong who do you blame? Do you take responsibility for your past actions which may have led you to where you are or do you try to place the blame on someone else? Have you ever heard someone blame God for their difficult circumstances and the pain and suffering they are going through? Whose fault is it? Surely someone is to blame, right? All the pain, suffering and death came through the actions of Adam and Eve. Man is to blame for his own actions. But through Christ came mercy, grace and the hope of eternal life. God gave His son to redeem man’s sins. God is watching out for us and while we still experience pain, suffering and death Christ fully understands what we are going through. He experienced the same for our sake although Christ did not deserve such treatment. So if you hear someone want to blame God for their problems, help them remember where the real problem came from man and the resolution came from Christ. Remember these words from James, “Don't let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, "God is trying to trip me up." God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one's way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer. So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.”

AskMe #2072964 06/13/08 06:24 AM
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2 Corinthians 4:5-12 (NLT)
5 You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

Paul writes to the Corinthians about how they are fragile jars of clay containing the great treasure of Christ. He further explains we have received from God and not of ourselves. He talks about our struggles, our pains, and our frustrations, but that God never abandons us. It is through our death we receive an eternal life through Christ. And even though we are in constant danger, at risk of dying, and facing death we can count of a life that is eternally lasting because we are not abandoned.

If you are familiar with the TV sitcom Everyone Loves Raymond; there is an episode where Robbie is performing ventriloquism with his Police puppet. He starts out trying to demonstrate the driving class he was teaching, but as his family mocked him the Police puppet started to speak out for Robbie. The puppet asked him mom, what do you do when you get into a car. She responded, that is easy, you buckle your seatbelt, check the mirrors, and look before you start driving. The puppet asked what else. She said I think that is it. The puppet turns to Robbie and says she thinks that is all. The puppet then yells, “what about making sure your son is still not in the restroom at a New Mexico truck stop before you drive off and its 2 hours before you return to get him!” Obviously Robbie was expressing the frustration of his abandonment through the puppet that hurt him deeply as a child. Abandonment is a wound that is often hard to heal. But God will never leave us nor forsake us. He never abandons us to be on our own. We may suffer, we may have to endure, but He is there watching over and strengthening us. Let us praise a God who cares about us and never leaves us defeated even in the face of death.

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Amos 2:4-8 (NLT)
4 This is what the Lord says: “The people of Judah have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They have rejected the instruction of the Lord, refusing to obey his decrees. They have been led astray by the same lies that deceived their ancestors. 5 So I will send down fire on Judah, and all the fortresses of Jerusalem will be destroyed.” 6 This is what the Lord says: “The people of Israel have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They sell honorable people for silver and poor people for a pair of sandals. 7 They trample helpless people in the dust and shove the oppressed out of the way. Both father and son sleep with the same woman, corrupting my holy name. 8 At their religious festivals, they lounge in clothing their debtors put up as security. In the house of their god, they drink wine bought with unjust fines.

Amos was a shepherd during the reign of Uzziah over Judah. Amos had visions from the Lord, which he proclaimed to the people. In chapter 1 of Amos he announces the Lords intent to punish the neighbors of Israel. He calls out the sins of Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, and Moab. But then the words of the Lord are turned towards Judah and Israel for the sins they have committed.

Imagine as the people of Israel listened to Amos speak the words the Lord had given him. He starts out with Damascus and says the following, “This is what the Lord says: “The people of Damascus have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They beat down my people in Gilead as grain is threshed with iron sledges. So I will send down fire on King Hazael’s palace, and the fortresses of King Ben-hadad will be destroyed. I will break down the gates of Damascus and slaughter the people in the valley of Aven. I will destroy the ruler in Beth-eden, and the people of Aram will go as captives to Kir,” says the Lord. He then continues on one by one speaking out against the others who have opposed Judah and Israel.” The people of Judah and Israel were probably thinking, ALRIGHT! IT IS ABOUT TIME GOD GOES AFTER OUR ENIMIES. However, I imagine they got pretty quiet when the words turned on them as Amos proclaimed the sins of Judah and Israel. Suddenly they were faced with the things they had done and the punishment they would receive. Are we no different today? We see the sins of others and become glad when consequences strike. But we loose sight of our own sins and the consequences we deserve. Jesus said, “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

AskMe #2074669 06/17/08 06:27 AM
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Galatians 6:7-10 (NLT)
7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

In the final chapter of his writing, Paul encourages the Galatians to watch after those who have been led to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. In the verses above Paul starts out by saying, “you cannot mock the justice of God.” This is a reminder not to be deceived by ones own sin. Some people may have believed they had no great sins to account for and therefore did not have any responsibility for others within the church. As Paul continues he reminds the Galatians not to tire and give up on the work they are doing for God. He tells them, “whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone.” Our service to God should be from our faith and wanting to please God.

In Christianity today there was a story of a woman who enjoyed bargain shopping at garage sales and selling her items on EBAY. One day she came across a saxophone being sold for $20. Not knowing the value of the instrument she called her husband and asked him to search for similar items. He told her he could not find anything. Reluctantly she bought the sax and as she was leaving an older man stopped her to ask how much she paid for the saxophone. When she told him, he said he would give her $40 for the saxophone, which she quickly took. When she got home she searched for the saxophone to see if she had made a good deal, but quickly found out similar items were selling for $500 and up. She showed her husband and found out he had searched incorrectly. Suddenly the blessing of selling the sax for a profit turned into disappointment. She began to harbor ill feelings towards the man thinking surely he knew what the sax was worth. She worked hard searching for bargains and wondered why this opportunity was stolen from her. She was worn out and tired trying to stretch the family’s budget with the extra income. Her thoughts even turned to searching for the man to offer him $60 to buy the sax back. Why did I loose this good deal, she asked herself? As she was reading Galatians 6, God gave her an answer, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.” As she thought about the verse she also thought about 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you.” She let go of the burden knowing she had sold the sax to the man fairly. She even let go of her anger towards her husband for his mistake. Months later at another garage sale she saw the man who had purchased the sax from her looking at some items. She tried to avoid him, but he recognized her and asked her if she had found any good treasures. Wanting to be gracious, she said no in a kind manner. The man then took hold of her arm and said he wanted to thank her; she had given him back his love for the saxophone. He was retired and was now volunteering to teach kids how to play. She realized he didn’t make the purchase to take from her, but to give back to others. A blessing had been given back to her. It was not money, but the joy of knowing she helped someone who was helping others.

AskMe #2075935 06/19/08 05:41 AM
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Ephesians 6:1-4 (NLT)
1 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. 2 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

In this chapter of Ephesians the apostle Paul proceeds to direct family members in their duties to each other. Children should obey their parents following the Lord’s directive to do so. Good relationships bring peace and harmony. When there is a need, there will be a place to fall back to if relationships have not been severed. Parents, especially fathers are not to be harsh towards their children. Parents are to participate in their children’s lives in order that the child may grow in wisdom of the Lord. The father as leader of the home should set a godly example for their children.

Proverbs says a child should be directed down the right path so when they face difficult circumstances in their life they are able to go the right way. This means as parents we have the responsibility to make time for our children and teach them lessons about life. We must have clear plans for our children that follow God’s will and not our own. We should seek to instill a love for God by demonstrating our own love for God. Proverbs also tells husbands to let your wife be a fountain of blessing and for them to rejoice in the wife of their youth. Fathers by demonstrating love for your wife and children you teach your children the love of God by example. You instill in them values that remain for a lifetime. In our busy lives we often neglect the things we should do. Sometimes we are just selfish and forget our children need time from us. Can you imagine if you were in need of God and His answer came back, “sorry I am too busy for you now?” Make time for your children so they are not provoked by the way you treat them. Spend enjoyable time with them. They need to see the good in life. They need to know we care. It is much easier for a child to accept discipline when they know the parent cares deeply for them. Most of all pray for your family. Pray they would understand who God is. Pray they would understand the salvation of Jesus Christ. Pray for God’s protection in your family’s life. Pray God watches over your family and directs them on the right path. Fathers stand firm as leaders for your children and you will be rewarded.

AskMe #2076555 06/20/08 06:36 AM
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Philippians 4:10-14 (The Message Bible)
10 -14 I'm glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you're again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don't mean that your help didn't mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.

Paul writes to the Philippians about contentment. He starts out by thanking them for all they have done. Then he goes on to say he appreciates what they did, but that he has also learned to be happy with what he has. Even imprisoned Paul is able to deal with it and remain content about his situation. Paul points out that Christ is the one who makes him what he is and because of Christ he can patiently wait and be content in any situation.

Webster’s says contentment is the state of feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation. Socrates said that contentment is natural wealth whereas luxury is artificial poverty. If you are able to be content then you can experience happiness in circumstance others might dread. And while some people have all the luxuries of life they sometimes find no contentment, but a desire to have more. Through Christ Paul was able to find contentment in his circumstances. Then when something special came his way he was able to see the beauty in what another did for him. Many people today are in debt beyond their means because they lack contentment. The problems seen in the housing and mortgage business today are because people wanted more than they could afford. Pray the Lord will provide contentment in your life. Pray you will find joy in those things you have without the need to have more.

AskMe #2077860 06/23/08 07:29 AM
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1 John 5:1-5 (NLT)
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

As this chapter of John begins he lays out the idea that because of the eminent relationship we have with God and Christ we are to follow God in our love for others. John reminds us keepings God’s commandments are not there to place burdens on us, but instead help us through life. This world is full of sin and the only way to victory is through our faith in the Father and in the Son.

In a battle the enemy plots how they might overrun those they are attempting to overtake. There are strategies for war and how it will proceed. The enemy attempts to create snares and paths of resistance in order to move those they oppose to the place they want them to be. Surrounded they become captive to the enemy and those who remain become fewer in their fight. We have an enemy named Satan. Satan is out to overtake us and our lives. He plans strategies that bring temptations into our lives that we may fall into snares. He attempts to lure us away from God in hopes there will be fewer and fewer who stand up for God and Christ. But John tells us through faith we can have victory. Through faith in Christ we can stand firm to defeat the evil in this world. And through faith in Christ we can will the battle against the world. Pray God will help you to stand firm. Pray Christ might strengthen you and keep you from temptation.

AskMe #2078402 06/24/08 06:07 AM
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PSALM 19:12-13 (NLT)
12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.

In this psalm King David asks God a question, “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?” David was familiar with sin in his life, but he didn’t always recognize the sin even when it was in front of him. However once David understood his sin he was quick to confess it to God. But this question is a valid question, how does he know all the sins? God gave laws and commandments, but even then a person does not always recognize their own faults. So David asks God not to let those hidden sins make him deliberately sin. David wants to be free from the guilt of sin, but realizes that is only a task God can help him with.

Luke 5 has the following story about Jesus: “Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them. But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?” Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” Jesus was saying there are people who know they have sin hidden away in their lives, but they don’t know how to deal with it. They want to be free and they want to repent. So Jesus said I have come for those people and not the ones who think they are religious and think there is any need for repentance. I have come to heal those who know they are sick. Do you have sin in your life hidden away that you know you need to repent from. Christ the Lord is waiting with open arms to accept you, show you His love, His mercy and His grace. Don’t wait, turn to Christ today!

AskMe #2079784 06/26/08 05:53 AM
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Acts 11:4-10 (NLT)
4 Then Peter told them exactly what had happened. 5 “I was in the town of Joppa,” he said, “and while I was praying, I went into a trance and saw a vision. Something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners from the sky. And it came right down to me. 6 When I looked inside the sheet, I saw all sorts of small animals, wild animals, reptiles, and birds. 7 And I heard a voice say, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.’ 8 “‘No, Lord,’ I replied. ‘I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure or unclean.’ 9 “But the voice from heaven spoke again: ‘Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.’ 10 This happened three times before the sheet and all it contained was pulled back up to heaven.

These verses recount a vision Peter had from God. As he was praying he saw a blanket let down from the sky and on it were all types of animals, reptiles and birds that would have been considered unclean by Jewish standards. God told Peter to go take from the animals, kill and eat. Peter refused saying he had always followed Jewish law and had never partaken of something considered unclean. But a voice from heaven said, “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.”

What we believe is right versus what is right according to God are two different things. In the verses above Peter believed he knew the correct answer when he heard the voice tell him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” Peter had followed Jewish tradition all of his life eating only food that was considered to be kosher and now he was being told to do something totally contrary to his belief. He even protested to God and said, “NO, LORD” it wasn’t something he wanted to do. Peter was acting according to his previous beliefs, but God had revealed something new to Peter. He was letting him know we must act according to Christ working in us and not be so wedded to our own opinions that we prejudice ourselves against what God has revealed to us. God spoke to Peter 3 times to convince him it was ok to eat that which was laid out for him. It also meant Peter was to go to others who were different, such as the Gentiles to spread the message of the gospel. The sheet with all the animals was even pulled back up to heaven as a sign that what was there was acceptable before God. We need to take the time to listen to God and not ourselves. We need to hear what God is telling us and be open enough to let it into our hearts. Pray God will speak to you about your life and allow Christ to work in you.

AskMe #2080442 06/27/08 06:23 AM
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Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

In his letter to the Colossians the apostle Paul lists some qualities a Christian should have. They should be merciful, kind, humble, gentle, patient, forgiving and loving towards others. He reminds them to let Christ rule in their hearts so all can live in peace and be thankful towards each other.

One very cold day I was walking out of my office building to grab some lunch. As I walked out the door a man who appeared to be homeless stopped and asked me if I could give him some money for something to eat. I usually won’t give money because sometimes there are alternate purposes for the money, such as drugs or alcohol. In fact I once witnessed a man trying to return a meal someone bought him because he wanted to buy cigarettes. So I asked this man if I could walk with him to buy him something to eat instead of giving him money. The man quickly said yes and I pointed to a few of the restaurants around and asked which one he wanted to go to. He said he wanted to go to the chicken place because he saw they had a sign up for a chicken wing special. I walked with the man to the restaurant and when we got to the door he didn’t want to go in. He just stopped and froze at the door. I asked him why he didn’t want to go in and he said usually they would kick him back out on the street, especially when he was just going in to get warm. So I told him I would walk in with him, pay for his meal and tell the people in the restaurant he was a welcome customer who could take his time eating. I let the man order and I knew when he asked for 8 biscuits along with his wing special that he was hungry and was going to save a few biscuits for later. I told him to get some warm coffee, find a place to sit and enjoy his meal in the peace and comfort of the warm restaurant. I was ensured by those who worked in the restaurant they would give him plenty of time to eat and warm up. For me it was one of those eye opening experiences that we need to be patient and gentle with people. There are people with real needs and problems who are looking for help. They need someone to be kind, gentle and patient. I even got to tell him Christ loved him because I knew Christ was using me to help that man. What a blessing I gained and how thankful I was I didn’t just pass the man by.

AskMe #2081792 06/30/08 07:07 AM
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Colossians 2:8-10 (NLT)
8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

The apostle speaks about those who try to deceive the believer. Satan spoils the souls of individuals by deceiving and misleading their thoughts. Satan is a master of confusion. He influences others who try to corrupt others with their human thoughts instead of the words that come from God. Paul reminds the Colossians that Christ dwells in those who believe in Him. Therefore Christ being the head over all can lead us correctly. So we should seek to listen to Christ and not depend upon man.

Proverbs 10:1 says, “My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! King Solomon understood the deceit of man and the influence Satan directs through man. This is a warning to all of us to make sure we seek out what God desires and not what man desires. In Acts 11:4-10 it says the following about Peter: So Peter, starting from the beginning, laid it out for them step-by-step: "Recently I was in the town of Joppa praying. I fell into a trance and saw a vision: Something like a huge blanket, lowered by ropes at its four corners, came down out of heaven and settled on the ground in front of me. Milling around on the blanket were farm animals, wild animals, reptiles, birds—you name it, it was there. Fascinated, I took it all in. Then I heard a voice: 'Go to it, Peter—kill and eat.' I said, 'Oh, no, Master. I've never so much as tasted food that wasn't kosher.' The voice spoke again: 'If God says it's okay, it's okay.' This happened three times, and then the blanket was pulled back up into the sky.” Over time the Law of Moses had developed into rules. Here we see Peter saying I have followed the rules of Moses all my life and I’m not ready to change what I have been taught. But God tells Peter 3 times “If God says it’s okay, it’s okay!” Peter wasn’t listening to God; he was listening to what he had been taught by others. But if God tells us what to do then it is God we should follow. Notice the blanket with animals Peter thought was unclean was taken back up into heaven by God. He was even showing Peter by example that it was ok to do what He had said. Pray you will follow God and His word and not the word of man. Pray Christ will direct you and lead you in the proper directions of life.

AskMe #2085730 07/07/08 06:11 AM
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Malachi 2:13-16 (NLT)
13 Here is another thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, weeping and groaning because he pays no attention to your offerings and doesn’t accept them with pleasure. 14 You cry out, “Why doesn’t the Lord accept my worship?” I’ll tell you why! Because the Lord witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows. 15 Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. 16 “For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”

In these verses from the Prophet Malachi he tells the people that they spend their time crying and groaning over problems in their life. They have brought the problems upon themselves by breaking their marriage vows they made before God. God wants godly children from a strong and pure marriage and in a broken marriage that becomes a difficult task. So God says he hates divorce and to divorce one’s wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty.


Back in May of 2007 a billboard peered down into a trendy bar section of Chicago. The billboard was sponsored by an all female law firm specializing in divorce. The sign read, “LIFE’S SHORT. GET A DIVORCE” The ad campaign was defended by one of the firm’s partners saying, “Law firm advertising is boring…Everything's always the same. It is lawyers in libraries with a suit on and the law books behind them. They don't say anything. What, I should hire you because you have a law degree? C'mon. So we wanted to try something different." A clinical social worker speaking out against the sign stated how the billboard trivialized divorce. He said in his work they try to help people go through divorce with some integrity, try to help restore it if possible and help them grieve their loss when it is inevitable. One lawyer challenged the ad through the Attorney Disciplinary Committee of the courts saying it was a perversion of the image of marriage. He said sure the female lawyer drew a lot of attention with the billboard, but it is like the guy who spits on your table. He draws a lot of attention, but what kind of attention is it? Somewhere in America we have lost what it means to make a vow before God and commit ourselves to marriage. Then when things fall apart we cry before God asking why, when deep down we know the reasons for the failure of the marriage. Pray God will help you to see where you can make a difference in your marriage. Pray for the Lord’s guidance that you might maintain your vows in a godly manner.

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