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AskMe #2340529 03/22/10 05:55 AM
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Ezekiel 13:1-3 (NLT)
1 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 �Son of man, prophesy against the false prophets of Israel who are inventing their own prophecies. Say to them, �Listen to the word of the Lord. 3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: What sorrow awaits the false prophets who are following their own imaginations and have seen nothing at all!�

The people of Israel had allowed themselves to fall victim to vain visions and flattering prophecies from false prophets. This chapter of Ezekiel is levied against those prophets for soothing the sins of Israel when they should have been bringing the people back to God. The messages they delivered pleased themselves, coming from their own imagination while ignoring any concern for God.

Jeremiah 23:25-30 gives one of the best descriptions of how God feels against those who would declare prophecy in His name that did not originate from him. Jeremiah says, �I have heard these prophets say, �Listen to the dream I had from God last night.� And then they proceed to tell lies in my name. How long will this go on? If they are prophets, they are prophets of deceit, inventing everything they say. By telling these false dreams, they are trying to get my people to forget me, just as their ancestors did by worshiping the idols of Baal. �Let these false prophets tell their dreams, but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word. There is a difference between straw and grain! Does not my word burn like fire?� says the Lord. �Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces? �Therefore,� says the Lord, �I am against these prophets who steal messages from each other and claim they are from me. I am against these smooth-tongued prophets who say, �This prophecy is from the Lord!� I am against these false prophets. Their imaginary dreams are flagrant lies that lead my people into sin. I did not send or appoint them, and they have no message at all for my people. I, the Lord have spoken!� We should all understand there will always be those who will try to lead us from God by proclaiming their own words in God�s name. It is our relationship with God, reading His scriptures, and praying for answers that will help us understand those who are for God and those who are against God. Pray for wisdom and insight that you may know the difference.

AskMe #2341082 03/23/10 06:18 AM
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2 Corinthians 10:18 (NLT)
18 When people commend themselves, it doesn�t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.


In this chapter of Corinthians the Apostle Paul writes about his authority, the authority of others and how some misuse their authority for their own pride. Paul has acknowledged that those who say they belong to Christ have as much right as anyone else to make that claim. The problem enters when pride steps before God�s work and the person looks at their accomplishments for themselves rather than for God.


There is a memorable lesson from Chicago Daily News columnist Sydney J. Harris. He wrote: �I walked with my friend, a Quaker, to the newsstand the other night, and he bought a paper, thanking the newsie politely. The newsie didn�t even acknowledge it. �A sullen fellow, isn�t he?� I commented. �Oh, he�s that way every night,� shrugged my friend. �Then why do you continue to be so polite to him?� I asked. �Why not?� inquired my friend. �Why should I let him decide how I�m going to act?� As I thought about this incident later, it occurred to me that the important word was �act.� My friend acts toward people; most of us react toward them. He has a sense of inner balance which is lacking in most of us; he knows who he is, what he stands for, how he should behave. He refuses to return incivility for incivility, because then he would no longer be in command of his conduct� [�Do You Act�Or React?� condensed from the Chicago Daily News]. We want to behave such that God commends us for our behavior. Our actions should follow what the Lord would have us to do and not what others might think we should do. The Quaker�s friend thought why continue to be polite to a person who is rude; yet our Lord would have continued to love that person day after day.

AskMe #2341750 03/24/10 06:28 AM
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James 3:13-18 (The Message)
13 -16 Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here's what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It's the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn't wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn't wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn't wisdom. It's the furthest thing from wisdom�it's animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you're trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others' throats. 17-18 Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.


The Apostle James gives instructions on how to live wise and well. He speaks to us about what wisdom is and is not. It is not mean-spirited; it is not boastful; it is not wrapped in lies; it is not being prideful. Real wisdom comes from a holy life dedicated to God, learning to abide with others. Real wisdom is gentle, contains mercy and blessings for others and is always truthful.


There is something to be said about integrity. It is a set of carefully defined set of responsible moral values to which one adheres and lives their life by. Those values which we appreciate as integrity have been taught as wisdom for many years through the words of God. The Bible tells us things like treat people fairly; use honesty in business dealings; treat neighbors with respect; and love others in a way that you yourself would want to be treated. Integrity comes from the wisdom of God contained in each of us. It is up to us to follow that wisdom and not follow the desires of the world. Pray God will lead you in integrity so that you may treat all with dignity and honor. May God bless your day with many blessings and mercy.

AskMe #2342359 03/25/10 06:50 AM
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Mark 11:11,15-17 (The Message)
11 He entered Jerusalem, then entered the Temple. He looked around, taking it all in. But by now it was late, so he went back to Bethany with the Twelve. 15-7 They arrived at Jerusalem. Immediately on entering the Temple Jesus started throwing out everyone who had set up shop there, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of the bankers and the stalls of the pigeon merchants. He didn't let anyone even carry a basket through the Temple. And then he taught them, quoting this text: My house was designated a house of prayer for the nations; You've turned it into a hangout for thieves.

The bible tells us Jesus would go out early in the morning to pray. Mark 1:35 says, �Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.� In the verses above, Jesus had entered the temple of Jerusalem at evening and saw the terrible practices that were taking place. Yet Jesus took no action at that time. It wasn�t until Jesus had time to talk with God His Father in prayer that He returned to the temple to put a stop to the wrong deeds that were taking place. He let the people know God�s house was a place for worship and prayer; not a place to profit and steal from others.

What happens when most of us see something that angers us, we react. Instead of taking time to think through the situation, or search for answers from God and wait on wisdom; we react to anger and usually sin. The bible tells us we should not sin in anger. Jesus was obviously angry at the actions taking place in the temple, but he did not react nor did He sin. Instead He acted upon what He knew was the right actions to take. He knew those actions were right because He had sought wisdom and answers from God His Father. God gave us the emotion of anger, but God wants us to come to Him with that emotion so we may know how to properly handle it. Next time you find yourself angry realize it is a warning to seek God�s advice. Pray how you should act instead of reacting to your feelings of anger.

AskMe #2343044 03/26/10 06:20 AM
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2 Corinthians 9:6-9 (NLT)
6 Remember this�a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don�t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. �For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.� 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say, �They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.�

The apostle speaks to the church of Corinth explaining what is right and acceptable concerning charity. Those who give will find a good return on what they do. Those who are generous will find a greater abundance of favorable return. Yet each person must give out of the cheerfulness of their heart and not give begrudgingly because they felt enticed to do so. God says He himself will provide what is needed for those who share with others.

My wife�s grandmother loved the Lord and showed it through her charity to the church and her help to others. She lived on a very modest retirement from a mill where she retired. I was always amazed at how she would faithfully give her donations to the church; even sending them with someone else on those Sundays she could not attend church. She donated to other charities that were meant to serve the Lord. And while she didn�t possess riches or wealth; her needs were always met. She always seemed to have a little extra to help when someone needed something. She was content with life and gave cheerfully, which is what the Lord asks us to do. I know now that she is in heaven she has seen the fruit of her gifts and the harvest she help to produce.

AskMe #2345793 03/31/10 07:06 AM
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1 Thessalonians 5:12-18 (NASV)
12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

The apostle gives charge to the Christians at Thessaloniki. He describes they should appreciate those who work diligently for them and show love for the work they do. They should also encourage the unruly in the right direction that they may live in peace with others. They should watch over the actions of others to ensure evil is not repaid with evil. And they should always rejoice in the Lord, giving thanks for the work God and Christ perform in your life. He ends by says this is God�s will for those who believe in Jesus Christ.

Often we want to know God�s will for our life. The apostle has given us some thoughts towards this. We often look for what we think are difficult answers; but the apostle lets us know wherever we are our service is to the Lord. We are to love others, live in peace, encourage, and take care of the way we respond such that we seek good for all. We are to pray constantly to know how to perform these functions and carry them out in the name of Jesus. No matter where we are, prison, another country, away from home we know how to live our God�s will through these words. Pray that you may follow these words therefore fulfilling the will of God.

AskMe #2348359 04/05/10 06:06 AM
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Nehemiah 8:9-10 (NLT)
9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, �Don�t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.� For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. 10 And Nehemiah continued, �Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don�t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!�

The people had completed rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. A census had been taken of the families. And now was to be a time of celebration as the words of God were once again available for the people to hear. As they listened they weep and mourned for the words reminded them of them failures. Yet Ezra reminded the people this was a day to celebrate for they had come back to God and the Lord was the joy of their strength.

Less than a week before Martin Burnham's abduction by Muslim guerrillas on the Philippine island of Palawan in May 2001, the New Tribes missionary gave the devotional at a Wednesday evening service at Rose Hill Bible Church in his small hometown outside Wichita, Kansas.
Some of Burnham's last words in the United States were also the last words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of John, said Ralph Burnham, Martin's uncle, during yesterday morning's service at the church. "His very last words were, 'Follow thou me.'" Ralph Burnham said, his voice choking up. "Martin not only spoke of following him, but he took on that responsibility. Of course, at that time neither he nor any of us expected how far he was going to be required to go to. But he was willing to go."
Martin Burnham, 42, kept that attitude throughout the 376 days he and his wife, Gracia, 43, were held captive by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.
Just before a Philippine military raid on the kidnappers that led to Martin's death and Gracia's freedom, the two huddled together in a hammock under a makeshift tent.
"Martin and Gracia had really been thinking that there would be a chance that they would not make it out alive," said Martin's brother, Doug, relying on a phone conversation with Gracia. "Martin said to Gracia, 'The Bible says to serve the Lord with gladness. Let's go out all the way. Let's serve him all the way with gladness.'"
The two then prayed in their hammock, recited Scripture verses to each other, and sang. They laid down to rest. Then the rescue assault began and bullets began to fly, puncturing Gracia's leg and Martin's chest.
"That was Gracia's last [memory] of Martin, that to the very end he served the Lord with gladness," Doug Burnham said. "And she was very proud of him for that." [Source: www.christianity.today, "Families, church eager for reunion with Gracia today" Ted Olsen | posted 6/01/2002 12:00AM]



AskMe #2348909 04/06/10 07:20 AM
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2 Corinthians 7:8:10 (NLT)
8 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. 9 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. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There�s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

The Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian Church about a previous letter he had sent. In the letter he had spelled out changes they needed to make within the church and in the lives of the people. Paul knew saying those things would cause regret and sorrow. However, in the long term it would lead to a sorrow God wants us to experience to lead us away from those sins which would harm us.

There are two ways to deal with regret and sorrow. The first is to allow the regret and sorrow take hold of your life; dominating your thoughts and leading towards more self destructive behavior. Take for instance a person on a diet. There are some who if they cheat once will begin to regret their failure. The sorrow turns into an excuse to binge and they fall away from the diet. The second is to allow the regret and sorrow to be a reminder of what not to do knowing God wants to teach us a lesson. In the same example a person cheats on their diet, but this time instead of binging they see their mistake and take actions to correct the problem. They face what they did head on and they allow the sorrow to lead them away from problems instead of being drawn to them. In the same way God wants our sorrow to lead us from sin and back towards Him.

AskMe #2349721 04/07/10 06:28 AM
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James 2:25-26 (NLT)
25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.

James uses the account of Rahab from the book of Joshua to illustrate how this woman had faith in God. She trusted God whom she had heard of and helped the Israelites. Her good works kept those who spied on Jericho safe until it was later destroyed by God. Because of her good works, which came by faith, she and her family were spared from destruction.

Rahab married Salmon and had a son Boaz who was a faithful man of God. Boaz married Ruth and had a son Obed who was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of King David who was promised by God that a Savior for all mankind would descend from his lineage. Amazingly Rahab, a former prostitute, became something all Israelite women would hope for and that was to be a mother in the line of the Messiah, our savior, Jesus Christ. Rahab�s past did not define who she was. Instead the faith she placed in God defined her. She is an example of God�s mercy and grace. She was saved from destruction when the walls of Jericho fell and given an honorable place in the history of God�s people. Let us all learn our past should not define us; but instead trust Christ and let Him be the one to transform us into who we should be.

AskMe #2350492 04/08/10 06:13 AM
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Romans 8:28 (KJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Paul is making reference to the afflictions which still trouble the children of God. The Holy Spirit is always making intercession, yet some issues always seem to remain. There is a purpose and a reason God allows these things to continue so that good may prevail.

So often people think because a person has given their life to Christ life should get easy and simple. Yet it often proves to be just the opposite. Paul gave his life to Christ and yet was held a prisoner for no real crime. However as a prisoner Paul was able to minister to those around him, which brought about good. He was able to witness to Roman guards about Christ. He witnessed to men who were in powerful positions and because these men came to know Christ they were able to tell others Paul might not have reached. God has a plan and purpose and even in the course of our afflictions as we continue to love God; God uses those afflictions for good. Pray as you face afflictions in your life that God will provide you comfort knowing good will still be the result.

AskMe #2351213 04/09/10 07:13 AM
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1 John 4:20-21 (NLT)
20 If someone says, �I love God,� but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don�t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

The Greek word miseo is used for hate. It means to hate, pursue with hatred, detest. The Apostle John tells us a person cannot both love God and hate another Christian who has the essence of God living in them. He says those who love God must also love their fellow Christian�s.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were both Founding Fathers of America and both believed in God and the Christian faith. They were both born on the same day and died on the same day. At one point the two men went from being good friends to becoming bitter rivals. There were long periods of silence between the two men in which they remained estranged from each other. Benjamin Rush, a Founding Father, a devote Christian and a friend to both Jefferson and Adams, helped reconcile the two men. Prior to the reconciliation of Jefferson and Adams, John Adams wrote the following to Rush, �My friend, there is something very serious in this business. The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost, Who is transmitted from age to age by laying the hands of the Bishop on the heads of candidates for the ministry. . . . There is no authority, civil or religious � there can be no legitimate government � but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it � all without it is rebellion and perdition, or, in more orthodox words, damnation. . . Your prophecy, my dear friend, has not become history as yet. I have no resentment of animosity against the gentleman [Jefferson] and abhor the idea of blackening his character or transmitting him in odious colors to posterity. But I write with difficulty and am afraid of diffusing myself in too many correspondences. If I should receive a letter from him, however, I should not fail to acknowledge and answer it.� Rush encouraged the two men to write each other and finally in 1813 the two men were once again having friendly correspondence between each other that continued until their deaths. If someone says, �I love God,� but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don�t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? The two men found the love for their friendship once again because of their love for God. They acknowledged their differences of opinion and found a renewed appreciation for one another.

AskMe #2352745 04/12/10 05:59 AM
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Ephesians 5:25 (NLT)
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her

The Apostle Paul compares marriage to how Christ loved the church. Christ gave up his life so that God�s plan of salvation could be fulfilled for the church. In the same way a husband should be ready to give up any aspect of his life that hinders the love between him and his wife.

Christ spoke to many people while He was here on earth. Some people came to believe He was the Messiah, the Holy One, who would bring them salvation. Others chose not to believe in Christ; instead they rejected Jesus over and over again. Yet even as Christ was about to face death on the cross He prayed the following, �Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.� Jesus was praying for those who had rejected Him time after time again that they may know salvation. Jesus continued to love and reach out to others even though He knew people would spit in His face as He approached the cross. We might ask how we love someone who rejects us. How do I love a spouse when I keep giving and giving and they keep rejecting. The answer is,�The same way Christ did, time and time again even in the face of rejection�. Do not allow rejections in your life to control your actions and responses to your spouse. Instead do as Christ did and continue to love even in the face of rejection. Since Christ understands rejection, turn to him for help instead of turning to the world for answers.

AskMe #2353453 04/13/10 06:37 AM
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James 3:3-5 A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything�or destroy it!

James, the brother of Jesus comments on how words can accomplish the task to benefit or to destroy. Words seem so small, but they are powerful and have a lot of control similar to the rudder of a boat, which guides a large ship�s destination. The wrong words no matter how small can destroy hopes, trust, dreams, faith and much more.

For the movie Fireproof, William Barfield wrote a song called �Love is not a fight.� Parts of the lyrics say, �No, love is not a fight but something worth fighting for. I would fight for you. Would you fight for me? It�s worth fighting for.� Many times our words can lead to intense fights with others. As more words are said, the more hurtful they become. Have you ever thought about stopping in the midst of an argument and saying, �This isn�t worth fighting about, but our love is worth fighting for?� Even though the tongue is small it can say powerful and hurtful words. Yet from the same mouth gentle, kind, caring, loving words can proceed. Choose today whether you wish to destroy with words or bring peace and healing. No one can choose the words you speak except for yourself. Ask God to help you choose wisely, giving you wisdom to know when to speak, when to remain silent and how to speak without destruction.

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Ephesians 5:31:29-33 (The Message)
29 -33 No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That's how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become "one flesh." This is a huge mystery, and I don't pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

The Apostle Paul tells us no sound man abuses his own body. Instead he takes care of it, feeding, nourishing, clothing and doing what is good for it. Because we are a part of the body of Christ�s church, Jesus loves us and cares for us. Similarly a man should love his wife because the two have become one through God. He should care for her as he would himself. He should love her as he would himself. The husband does this because he understands what Christ has done for him. And because of the love and respect a husband gives his wife; the wife will learn to honor her husband. This does not mean they neglect other relationships, but instead Christ comes first, the marriage relationship next, and all other relationships follow.

The marriages which sadden me most is where either the husband or the wife is doing all they can to make a marriage work while the spouse seems bent on destroying it. My first message is to husbands. Look at how Jesus continues to love you no matter how many times you sin; no matter how many times you fail; no matter how many times you reject Him. JESUS ALWAYS LOVES YOU. If you are following Jesus then love your wives as Christ loves you. When you are rejected by your spouse, keep on loving her. When your wife fails you, keep on loving her. When your wife sins guide her gently back to God. When your wife puts you last keep on loving; for you have often done the same to the Lord and He still loves you. And even though the Lord could overpower you he does not because of his love for you. In the same way be gentle towards your wife. The second message is for wives. Honor your husband by sharing your needs, expressing your feelings and praying for him asking the Lord to give you and him understanding. If your husband is honoring Christ through his actions of love for you, then wives should be able to honor, respect, love, cherish, and place their husband before themselves and all others. The Bible says for husbands and wives to submit to one another. The Bible says husband and wife are to honor God and then honor each other through their marriage. May God bless your marriage, restore the failures, and heal the wounds.

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Job 22:21 (Amplified Bible)
21 Acquaint now yourself with Him [agree with God and show yourself to be conformed to His will] and be at peace; by that [you shall prosper and great] good shall come to you.

As Job was suffering at the hands of Satan, his friends believed it was because of a sins Job committed. While his friends gave good advice they were mistaken about the condition for which Job was suffering. Job�s faith was being tested because he was pointed out to be a good and righteous man by God. Yet Satan challenged God and God allowed Satan to test Job. His friends while trying to help were making it more difficult by placing blame where blame was not due.

Job 22:21 is true in that a person who conforms to God�s will and is at peace with God with prosper with good. At the end of Job�s suffering God restored all Job had lost plus increased what Job had. God found Job stood faithfully with Him and was at peace with God. Friends can have good intentions, but unless they understand everything taking place their advice is sometimes misappropriated. The Bible tells us not to judge others. We are not supposed to guess if they have sinned and if they did sin did that cause their problem. We are instead to reach out in love and understanding. Never should we guess about the condition of another, but instead turn it over to God.

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Psalm 25:14 (KJV)
�The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.�

Jesus said in the book of John if any man does the will of God then he will know and understand the doctrine of God. David knew this from his relationship with God. If a person receives the truth of God, loves it, and experiences the power of it; they also best understand the mysteries around it. These know God�s purpose for their lives and what God is doing with them. In Genesis 18:17 God said, �Shall I hide these things from Abraham?� Yet because of Abraham�s commitment and love of God, God revealed what would take place through Abraham�s heirs.

King David continued in verse 15 of Psalm 25 by saying, �Mine eyes are ever towards the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.� While David did not always follow God�s desires for him, David was at least looking to God for answers. David knew God was always the one to take care of him and protect him. David had faith in God�s plan for his life and accepted what God had to say. For instance David had an affair with Bathsheba, which was out of God�s will. As a result Bathsheba became pregnant and David had her husband killed to cover his sin. When David and Bathsheba�s child was dying; David prayed but God did not answer. When the child died David accepted God�s decision. David loved God and knew even when God was not answering as he desired it was for his best interest. Because of David�s continued love for God, God revealed to him The Messiah would be born though his linage. God does not hold back secrets from those who fear Him in love and God shares his covenant faithful with those who accept His son Jesus Christ. If you know Jesus Christ then God has shared at least one promise with you and that is the hope of salvation. Continue to love God and He will show you even more.

AskMe #2357185 04/19/10 06:38 AM
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Numbers 12:9-14 (NLT)
9 The Lord was very angry with them, and he departed. 10 As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy. When Aaron saw what had happened to her, 11 he cried out to Moses, �Oh, my master! Please don�t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Don�t let her be like a stillborn baby, already decayed at birth.� 13 So Moses cried out to the Lord, �O God, I beg you, please heal her!� 14 But the Lord said to Moses, �If her father had done nothing more than spit in her face, wouldn�t she be defiled for seven days? So keep her outside the camp for seven days, and after that she may be accepted back.�

Miriam and Aaron, brother and sister of Moses, had been complaining to each other about the Cushite woman Moses had married. They began to think highly of themselves; even thinking maybe they should be the ones talking with God instead of Moses. God became angry with them for their lack of humility and called Moses, Miriam and Aaron together so they would all know what was taking place.

The example above of Miriam and Aaron is something that typically takes place in families. Family members may talk about another family member without that person present. They start drawing their own conclusions and ideas about the other family member. Then those who are gossiping start to come up with other beliefs that are just not true. God set things straight by bringing them all together. And Moses showed his forgiveness when he begged the Lord for mercy on Aaron and Miriam. If Miriam and Aaron had just gone and talked to Moses things could have been resolved peacefully. How do you handle these situations in your family? Do you come together to talk peacefully or do certain family members gossip about others and never resolve problems?

AskMe #2357922 04/20/10 06:12 AM
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Deuteronomy 8:11-14 (NLT)
11 �But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. 12 For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, 13 and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! 14 Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.

The people of Israel are reminded to not forget the Lord and all that He has done for them. God is ready to entrust them with land and prosperity. But in that prosperity it is easy to become complacent, proud and forget it was God and not yourself who brought about the rescue.

When times are easy it becomes easier to put God aside. We see the fruits of our efforts and come to believe we can accomplish much on our own. We become proud and put God aside thinking we can do things without Him. But then the hard times come and we see our failures. We suddenly realize we cannot make it on our own and that is when we usually cry out to God for help. We are to always remember the Lord in good times and bad times; always giving Him credit; and always giving Him praise.

AskMe #2358577 04/21/10 05:56 AM
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Psalm 126:5-6 (NLT)
5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. 6 They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

This psalm was written about the great deliverance of the people of God out of bondage their bondage and distress. Those who came out of captivity are to be thankful. Those who remain captive are prayed for with hope of bringing them home.

This psalm could apply to the church in the joy it feels when a person is freed from the bondage of sin by accepting Jesus Christ upon faith. It is also a reminder there are those who are still held captive to sin and have yet to be released. There is always hope God will reach out to them and deliver them from the sins that bind them. Reflect upon this song by Homer L. Cox as you give praise for the joy, the salvation and peace Christ has brought to your own life.

Oh, how well do I remember how I doubted day by day,
For I did not know for certain that my sins were washed away;
When the Spirit tried to tell me, I would not the truth receive;
I endeavored to be happy, and to make myself believe.

Refrain:
But it�s real, it�s real;
Oh, I know it�s real;
Praise God, the doubts are settled,
For I know, I know it�s real!

When the truth came close and searching, all my joy would disappear,
For I did not have the witness of the Spirit bright and clear;
If at times the coming judgment would appear before my mind,
Oh, it made me so uneasy, for God�s smile I could not find.
When the Lord sent faithful servants who would dare to preach the truth,
How my heart do so condemn me as the Spirit gave reproof!
Satan said at once, � �Twill ruin you to now confess your state;
Keep on working and professing, and you�ll enter heaven�s gate.�
But at last I tired of living such a life of fear and doubt,
For I wanted God to give me something I would know about,
So the truth would make me happy and the light would clearly shine,
And the Spirit give assurance that I�m His and He is mine.
So I prayed to God in earnest, and not caring what folks said;
I was hungry for the blessing; my poor soul, it must be fed;
Then at last by faith I touched Him, and, like sparks from smitten steel,
Just so quick salvation reached me, oh, bless God, I know it�s real!

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Psalm 130:3-4 (NLT)
3 Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? 4 But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.

The Psalmist calls to the Lord twice, first as Yahh and then as Adonay. It shows first the respect for the Lord�s name and then awe and reverence of who God is. The psalmist acknowledges the sin everyone partakes of and he thanks the Lord that God is not one to keep a record, but will forgive and forget each sin as we ask. It is because of that forgiveness that the psalmist respects and admires the Lord for both His patience and longsuffering towards us.

The book of Romans tells us Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God�s way. For the Scriptures tell us, �Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.� When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it: �Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.� The Bible tells us also for grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. We cannot do enough good works to work away our sins, but we can place faith in God the salvation He gave through Christ His Son that our sins are washed away and remembered no more.

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