I have neglected this site for some time now. I have been working on my book, The Simplicity of God’s Plan. I am doing a correction of it, and then I plan to put it back on Amazon for $.99. Look for it soon. I will then put it on B&N and other sites. I welcome all comments and feedback.
WHY WON’T PEOPLE SEEK THE LORD?
Proverbs 1: 7—The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1: 28—Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord.
It makes me sad to know so many people who are indifferent to the Word and to the Lord. They live as if they don’t need Him, or as if they already know all they want to know of Him. I see people in my own family who are like this, and it hurts my heart.
I know many people who just don’t want the name of the Lord mentioned around them. Why? Only God really knows this. But I wonder at their love for the Lord if they never want any words about Him or our Father, God spoken in their presence.
I don’t preach to people, especially those in my family. But something as simple as saying that the Lord brought a thing, or just “Praise the Lord” is enough to some to say not to say that. Any mention of God or Jesus is like a burning brand to their skin.
How can these people say they have accepted Jesus as their Savior? How can they believe, or say they believe, when they don’t even want to talk about Him? Our Lord is so precious, so wonderful, that those who really know Him can’t help but talk about Him.
There is so much talk by people every day, but little talk about our Lord or our God. And it is these two persons who make our life possible; who lead us in our paths. People cannot love anything or anyone they refuse to talk about. This is my opinion.
Proverbs says that these people are “fools” and despise wisdom. Yet, when they get into trouble, they do as is said in verses 28 – 29, they call on God for help, and He refuses to hear them. How can people ignore God in their daily lives and then expect help when they want it? How can they live in eternity with the Lord Jesus and our Father, God if they can’t stand to be with them while in this life? This escapes my ability to understand.
But this is why those whose names are not written in God’s Book of Life will spend eternity in the darkness and fire of hell. It is not God’s choice to send them there. They made that choice while in their earthly bodies.
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HOW ARE YOU LOOKING AT THE NEW YEAR?
We are not promised another day, much less another year. But all of us at this time of the old year think about the New Year ahead. And this is right. Some people make resolutions that will probably be broken in the first week. This is just what some do. But there are some things we need to think about before planning for the New Year.
I am using some thoughts I heard in a sermon today, but I am putting it into my own words. Look at the book of James in the Bible: James 4: 13-17 -
In these verses we read that we “ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”
But most people do not take God into consideration when making their plans. They figure what they want to do, how to do it, and other particulars that will cause them to succeed. But, I heard Adrian Rogers say today that failure is succeeding at the wrong thing.
There are millions of people in the world today that seem to be successes at what they do. Others look at them and see success. But if they did not consider what God has called them to do, God sees them as failures.
When people plan without seeking the guidance of God in Heaven, they are doing so in their own knowledge and will. This leaves God out. Some may ask God to bless their plans. But God will not bless what He does not authorize.
Most people live divided lives. They have one department that says Worship, and they have another larger department that says Business or Personal. They put their worship of God into the time on Sundays and maybe on Wednesday night. Then they do everything else by their own thinking.
This self-confidence is sin.
Sin began when Adam chose to do it his way instead of God’s way. And when a person decided to do anything without seeking God’s will, it is sin. Self-centered work is not of God. And Satan will delight in giving success to a person who makes his own plans. This gives Satan the power over that person. He may stay in the background and not cause the person trouble, but this is because he knows that as long as that person is not doing God’s will, he has them.
The plans made without God are called presumptuous sins. Each morning as I talk to my Heavenly Father, I ask Him to keep me from these sins. I know my past inclination to run ahead of God and do what I think He wants me to do. I have failed too many times to want to do that again.
In Proverbs 27: 1, we read, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Do not presume to know what God wants of you if you do not seek His will.
Another thing we need to avoid in our lives is self-complacence. This is procrastination. In James 4: 15-18, we read about where true wisdom comes from. Wisdom that does not come from God is “earthly, sensual, devilish. It causes envying and strife, confusion and every evil work.” But the wisdom that is from God produces is “pure, peaceable, full of mercy, and easy to be intreated, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”
James 3:18 says that if a man knows what to do and does not do it, that is sin. This is a very deceptive sin; it is the reason people are lost. They just put off accepting Jesus because they think they have plenty of time to think about that. What they don’t realize is that this one moment in time may be their last.
God made our minds so that we cannot think two thoughts at the same time. If we are thinking thoughts that are of God and His will, we cannot be thinking of evil. Conversely, if we think thought is self-will, we are not thinking thoughts from God.
Each person has a choice. He may make the plans for the New Year seeking God’s will for him. Or he may go on as he wants to and make his plans without God. It may be that only in the time of Judgment to come will we know who was of God and who was of self.
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At this time of year, many people get sad, frustrated, and worried. This is not the way to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. When you feel these things come upon you, put on some Christian Christmas music. If you can, sing along. Alas, my voice is gone, but I sit at the piano and play songs to the Lord.
Music is worship. And what better way to get rid of the blues than to worship our Lord. Play these songs on your stereo if you can. Play them loud enough to hear all through the house. If someone in your house objects to this, put on headphones and play them on a Walkman or cd player.
It is vital to praise Jesus during this time of year. The world has woes enough. We don’t want to have them. Worship banished sadness and frustrations. Hurrying through the stores looking for gifts wears us out. I don’t do it. I order online.
The greatest gift we can ever have had been given to us by our Father, God. He came to earth as a baby to show us how much He loves us. He taught us about God, and He taught us that our worship must be from our hearts. He went to the cross willingly to die in our place. He paid for our sin nature so our spirits are made alive. He is in Heaven interceding for us. What more can He give?
Nothing we buy can bring us peace. Most of it is tossed aside in a week or two. But the gift God gave us is eternal. I know it is hard in some families, including mine, to tell about the gift God gave us at Christmas. But I do it anyway.
Christmas cards and banners usually have the word Peace on them. But there is no peace apart from Jesus. This world will never have peace. But we can have it when we accept Jesus as our Savior. Only by this can a person know real peace.
Peace is not the absence of troubles. In this world we will have troubles. But with Jesus we have peace and joy in the midst of troubles. Daniel had this peace in the lion’s den. The three Hebrew children had this peace in the fiery furnace. Peace is ours no matter what the situation. But it is our choice to have peace. If we belong to Jesus and still fret and worry over buying presents and things at Christmas, what kind of Happy Birthday Jesus are we giving Him?
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We are accountable for what we know. The knowledge God has given us is a Truth that can change a person’s life and determine his destiny. If we have the opportunity to tell someone the Truth, and we don’t, we will have to give answer to Jesus for this.
Romans 14: 12
Matthew 25: 14-30
These Scriptures give us verses about our accountability. Accountability is a system of checks and balances to keep us from doing harm to ourselves and others. We must be trustworthy is anyone is to listen to us. And we must be known to be honest. We cannot be in denial about what is in our life (soul) that needs to come out and be cleansed from us. Let the Holy Spirit convict you of everything that hinders your relationship with God. Then you will be prepared to share the Truth as God gives you the opportunity.
All people are accountable to God. Some may not think so now, but one day each person will appear at the Great White Throne Judgment Seat of God. There God will judge that person by his decisions in this life. God will look for that person’s name in His Book of Life. If it is not found there, the person will be sent away from God forever and to the place prepared for Satan and his demons – to hell that is a lake of fire.
We cannot avoid accountability. It is good to have someone in your life to be accountable to. A good friend can often point out things that we need to change or be cleansed of in our personalities and habits. We must not be in denial. We must want to be free of everything that hinders our relationship with our Father and Lord Jesus. Then, we can tell the Truth to all we meet.
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THE STUDY OF THE BOOK OF JAMES, CHAPTER 5
As I conclude this study of the book of James in our Holy Bible, I want to say to all who read this that the time when Jesus will come for His Bride is very near. I know they said this in the Bible, and many today think He will not come because it has been promised for so long. But do not be fooled, He is coming. And all those who know the signs of the end times know that this coming is soon. Therefore, be ready.
In Chapter 5 of James, the rich are warned. Why would the rich be warned? I feel it is because no one will get rich if he or she gives to the needs of others around them. They will not amass riches for themselves if they see a world of hurting people and try to relieve that hurt. They will give freely to those in need and give to relieve the suffering they know goes on in other parts of the world.
But some will say, “Is it my duty to do for those?” The Bible says it is. The rich in this chapter have held back the money they should have paid their workers. They have lived in excess beyond what is good for a person to have. They have condemned and killed the just. They are without God’s compassion.
Riches are wrong when a person gets them with a wrong attitude. (Luke 12: 15)
They are wrong when gotten by ill means. (Col 3: 5)
They are bad when used for wrong reasons. (Eccl. 5: 13)
See Genesis 3: 2 for right ways to use your resources.
This warning is given to the rich because the coming of the Lord will do away with their riches. All that will be left when a person goes to be with Jesus is what he/she has done that was in the will of God.
The last part of this chapter has caused some preachers to do harm to others in the name of healing. There is healing for the sick, but it is only done by God’s design. Call upon the leaders of your congregation. Follow the chain of command. The military man who came to Jesus to get healing for someone told Jesus he knew about authority. We must obey the chain of authority in our lives if we are to live in a right relationship with God.
A person cannot live just any way and then expect to go to a service where healing is supposedly being done and expect to get in on that. God has a plan, a way, and He works through authority.
This ending stresses getting oneself right with God. The confessing of sins is a necessity. A person who is living in sin cannot expect any good thing from God. And the “name it and claim it” people are just wrong. They interpret the Bible to suit themselves and their ministry.
God will heal us. But He does it in His time and His way. I have been healed from many illnesses. But I didn’t go to a healing service. I went to God, asked Him to reveal anything that was standing in the way, and then waited upon Him to heal me. It sometimes takes a while, so we must be patient and not waver in our faith. Healing does not always come. We want to question God about this. But God has the right to do whatever He wants. And I know that He always wants what is best for us.
Be patient in everything. Trust God. Never doubt. You will find that you can endure and go on through it all when you do this.
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THE STUDY OF THE BOOK OF JAMES, CHAPTER 4
In this fourth chapter of James we see what is causing the woes of the world. It is fleshly desires- lusts. These cause wars and fightings among the people. They even cause a war within the person. Unrest, strife and other damaging emotions exist in a person with lusts of the flesh.
The second verse says you lust and have not; you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not because you ask not. And when you ask, you do not get what you ask for because you ask with a wrong motive: that you may consume it upon your lusts.
Some people think God is a vending machine. They ignore Him until they need something, then they put their coin (little prayer) in and expect what they need to come out. God is not like that. Those who do not value God for who He is never get to know Him truly.
It takes knowledge of who God is, how He works, and what is His will in order to seek Him properly. This takes time. You cannot know God if you are not willing to spent time with Him.
Think of one of you good friends. What if you never called this person and never really thought of him/her until you needed something. Then, you call and expect to get what you need just because you say he/she is your friend. “A friend loveth at all times.” Friends care about each other. They keep in touch – not living in each other’s pocket, but knowing if the other person is well or not.
If you neglect your friend(s), they will leave you and you will not even know it. God expects you to be His friend. To have a friend, you must be a friend. To be a friend, you will want to keep in touch, spend time with, and communicate with that person. You will get to know that person intimately.
This is how we need to be with God. We need to read and know His Word. We must come to Him, preferably early each new morning, and talk to Him. In this we learn who He is. We must learn to communicate with our God. He made us to be His friends. He wants a relationship with us.
Verse 4 says that friendship of the world is enmity with God. Does mean we cannot have friends in the world? No. But it does mean that we cannot put the things of this world before God. We are IN this world, but we are not OF this world. We belong to another world – the world of God, heaven.
Some people want to run their own lives, control their own destinies. They think they can, but in reality, they cannot. There are only two ways to live our lives.
1. In submission to God
2. As a puppet of Satan.
We will do one or the other. Man cannot control his own life. God will not control as in the meaning of the word in a negative connotation. God doesn’t want to control us, but He wants to have the leadership role in our lives. This is because He created us for His own. He is always right and wants what is best for each person. He will guide us to develop our talents and gifts and use them in the very best way. This will bring glory to Him.
Satan wants to control us strictly. He wants us to bow down and worship him as god of this world. He wants us to leave God and do whatever he tells us. Oh, he can give people riches, power, fame, and many things people think they want. But in the end, one must pay his price. And this is spending eternity in hell with him. Satan will do everything he can to get people away from God.
In verse 5 of Chapter 4, we read, “Do you think that the scripture says in vain, ‘The spirit that dwells in us lusts to envy?’” We must know that the word “lust” here is not to be interpreted like the word “lust” in verse 1. The Bible uses words that are spelled the same but have different meaning. This is critical in studying the Word. In the worldly meaning, “lust” is used to mean a strong desire for something. It is usually used in a bad way,
However, in reference to God, the word “lust” must be used in a positive way. This is because God has no evil in Himself. He cannot look upon sin. So, when the Word speaks of God lusting after us, it means He strongly desires us to do what is good, not necessarily for Himself, but for our good.
Verse 6 is a promise to us: “Wherefore He says, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Being humble means lowly of mind, not thinking highly of yourself in relation to others. What does being proud mean? Lots of people use the word “proud” in reference to their children: We are proud of our children. Or as in the way they are “proud” of their accomplishments. It is not sin for a person to be proud of their kids or something they have achieved. The word “proud” is not really a sin when used as a word like this. But being “proud” is a sin when it applies to one’s personality and behavior. Such “pride” produces selfishness, a quest for power and riches, an act of achieving at the expense of others.
Pride is a source of so many of the evils in our world. If people could be humble and give others equal status and rights, there would be much less strife. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” This truth in verse 7 is one that we all need to remember. If we resist the thing we seek in our pride, God will give us grace to deny ourselves that sin. “Draw nigh (close) to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
The sin of pride is considered such a bad thing that instructions are given in verse 9 on how to be rid of it: “Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” God hates pride. It caused Lucifer, who was an angel of light and worship in heaven, to think he could be like God. Lucifer sinned in this and a third of the angels in heaven agreed with him, thus sinning also. These, along with Lucifer were cast out of heaven. They were thrown to the earth, and Lucifer became Satan. Adam gave him the control over the earth when Adam obeyed Satan rather than God in the Garden.
When one has finished with the mourning and weeping for the sin of pride, he may “humble (himself) in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” This is a joyful result of seeing pride for what it is. God doesn’t want us to walk around with our heads hanging down in self-deprecation. He wants us to be joyful, full of enthusiasm, and prosperity. Humbleness doesn’t mean being a doormat for people. It is the quality of a personality that God loves.
The rest of the fifth chapter of James is a warning about speaking badly about one another and judging one another. It stresses that God is the judge. We must not get full of ourselves and begin doing God’s job. If we are letting God direct our lives, we can think of what we will do on tomorrow or the next week. But in actuality, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We live in the present.
This is where we are to live each day. We cannot make our own plans, for we don’t know what God wants us to do the next day. It may be a task or a way that we have not even thought of. We must be willing to go that way, do that task when God shows us.
In order to live a life obedient to the will of God, we must:
1. …be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. He is the One who guides and teaches us.
2. …be submissive to God
3. …stand against the devil
4. …be separated from the world in our desires and behavior
5. …get serious about our praying, our relationship with God, and our Bible study.
Verse 17: “Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin. Sins of omission are just as bad in God’s eyes as sins of commission. We must not neglect to do what we know is good. And we must not do what we know is evil. This is pleasing to God.
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