All posts by broboinhawaii

Bible believing christian worshiping God in Hawaii

June 6, 2011 – Begg

Even the Outcasts

Behold, I am of small account.

Job 40:4

Here is a cheering word for you, poor lost sinner! You think you shouldn’t come to God because you are of small account.

Now, there is not a saint alive on earth who has not felt this way. If Job and Isaiah and Paul were all obliged to say, “I am of small account,” then, sinner, will you be ashamed to join in the same confession? If divine grace does not eradicate all sin from the believer, how do you hope to do it yourself? And if God loves His people while they are of small account, do you think your condition will prevent Him from loving you?

Believe on Jesus, you outcast of the world’s society! Jesus calls you, and just as you are.

Not the righteous, not the righteous;
Sinners, Jesus came to call.

Declare, even now, “You have died for sinners. I am a sinner, Lord Jesus; sprinkle Your blood on me.” If you will confess your sin, you will find pardon. If now, with all your heart, you will say, “I am unclean, wash me,” you will be washed now. If the Holy Spirit enables you to cry from your heart

Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

you will rise from reading this morning’s portion with all your sins pardoned; and though you woke this morning with every sin that man has ever committed on your head, you will rest tonight accepted in the Beloved. Although you were once degraded with the rags of sin, you will be adorned with a robe of righteousness and appear as white as the angels are.

For “now,” mark it, “Now is the favorable time.”1 If you “trust him who justifies the ungodly,”2 you are saved. May the Holy Spirit give you saving faith in Him who receives those who are of small account.

12 Corinthians 6:2
2Romans 4:5

June 4, 2011 – Stanley

God Is Speaking to You    PSALM 85:8   Our concept of God determines how we relate to Him. Those who see Him as distant and impersonal may be surprised to know He “speaks” personally to everyone—even to those who deny His existence. Since He wants us to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him, He continually seeks to communicate with us. But without hearing His voice audibly, many people are unaware of Him. Even Christians can develop insensitive spiritual ears.

For those who are willing to hear, God’s voice can be discerned through a variety of sources. The most obvious one is the Bible, but He can also call to us through the spoken or written words of other believers. He even speaks through circumstances and the wonders of His creation. I think we would all be amazed if we knew how many different ways our loving heavenly Father tries to get our attention.

He calls with a quiet voice that speaks into our hearts and minds. Although His words can be directed to a crowd, He has a specific, individualized message for each person. That’s why two people can hear the same sermon or read the same verses yet come away with two different applications of the message. God doesn’t dish out generalities; He communicates specific ideas meant just for you.

Busyness is a big hindrances to receptivity. When our lives are filled with the clamor of this world, God’s quiet voice can’t be heard. Set aside time today to listen for His call, consider what He’s saying through your circumstances, and respond in gratitude because He delights to speak with you

June 4, 2011 – Begg

Fellowship with Jesus

The goodness and loving kindness of God our savior.

Titus 3:4

How sweet it is to see Jesus fellowshiping with His own beloved people! There can be nothing more delightful than when the Holy Spirit leads us into this fertile field of delight. Let the mind for a moment consider the history of the Redeemer’s love, and a thousand evidences of His kindness will come to mind. The purpose of them all has been to draw us to Christ and to weave the mind of Christ into the thoughts and emotions of the renewed soul.

When we meditate upon this amazing love and see the Head of the church endowing her with all His wealth and power, our souls may well faint for joy. Who is able to endure such a weight of love? Even a partial sense of it, which the Holy Spirit sometimes grants us, is more than the soul can contain; how transforming a complete view of it must be! When the soul shall learn to discern all the Savior’s gifts and is granted the wisdom to fathom them and the time to meditate upon them, such as heaven will afford us, we will then commune with Jesus in a more intimate manner than at present.

But who can imagine the sweetness of such fellowship? It must be one of the things that have not entered into the heart of man, but that God has prepared for them that love Him. If we could burst open the door of our Joseph’s granaries and see the plenty that He has stored up for us, we would be overwhelmed with His love. By faith we see, as in a mirror dimly, the reflected image of His unbounded treasures, but when we actually see the heavenly things themselves, with our own eyes, how deep will be the stream of fellowship in which our soul shall bathe! Until then our loudest songs shall be reserved for our loving benefactor, Jesus Christ our Lord, whose love to us is wonderful, surpassing the love of a man for a woman

June 3, 2011 – Stanley

Feasting on the Word    1 PETER 2:2-3      Did you ever watch an infant take a feeding? Hungry little ones clutch the bottle, smack their lips, and make soft contented noises. They thoroughly enjoy their nourishment. But there comes a time when milk isn’t enough to satiate baby’s appetite anymore. That’s when a whole world of culinary possibilities opens up.

Comparing new believers to babies, Peter said that they “long for the pure milk of the word” (v. 2). You wouldn’t feed a newborn steak and spinach, would you? Well, baby Christians must sip scriptural truths that they understand. Then, like a growing child, they shoot up as they feast on Bible passages, gradually taking in more and meatier principles and topics.

Believers are not left alone to make sense of Scripture any more than babies and young children are expected to get their own meals. The Holy Spirit, who indwells God’s followers, illuminates the Word. That is, He makes the meaning clear to those who seek to understand. Moreover, according to Ephesians 4:11-16, God has given gifted Christians to the church to act as pastors and teachers. They are charged with equipping the saints for service (v. 12). These leaders instruct, clarify, and motivate people to grow in their personal faith and to fulfill the church’s purpose of reaching the lost.

God’s Word is a feast for our heart, mind, and spirit. This is one banquet table where there is no such thing as taking too much. In fact, the advice many parents give their children at the dinner table applies to the Christian life as well: “Eat up! Scriptural food makes you grow strong.

June 3, 2011 – Begg

Serve Where He Set You

These were the potters [who] lived there in the king’s service.

1 Chronicles 4:23

Potters were among the ranks of manual workers, but the king needed potters, and therefore they were elevated to royal service, although the material upon which they worked was nothing but clay. In the same way we also may be engaged in the most menial part of the Lord’s work, but it is a great privilege to do anything for the King; and therefore we will play our part, hoping that, although we live among the pots, we will soar in the service of our Master. These people dwelt among plants and hedges and had rough, rustic hedging and ditching work to do. They may have wanted to live in the city, amid its life, society, and refinement, but they kept their assigned places because they were doing the king’s work. There is no ideal place for us to serve God except the place He sets us down. We are not to run from it on a whim or sudden notion, but we should serve the Lord in it by being a blessing to those among whom we live. These potters and gardeners had royal company, for they lived with the king, and although among hedges and plants, they lived with the king there. No lawful place or gracious occupation, however menial, can keep us from communion with our Lord. In hovels, run-down neighborhoods, and jails, we may keep company with the King. In all works of faith we can count upon Jesus’ fellowship. It is when we are in His work that we may reckon on His smile. You unknown workers who are serving the Lord amid the dirt and wretchedness of the lowest of the low, be of good cheer, for jewels have often been found among rubbish, earthen pots have been filled with heavenly treasure, and ugly weeds have been transformed into precious flowers. Dwell with the King and do His work, and when He writes His chronicles, your name shall be recorded

June 2, 2011 – Stanley

God’s Compass for the Heart and Mind    PROVERBS 3:7-12    Yesterday we discussed the importance of depending on the Word of God as our compass throughout life. Following the Lord’s directions will change behavior and challenge our thinking, attitudes, and desires. He leads us to think differently about ourselves, our values, and even the difficulties facing us.

We naturally want to determine our own course in life. It seems like the only logical way to get where we want to go. But being wise in our own eyes is pride. To combat this tendency, the Lord instructs us to fear Him and turn away from evil (v. 7). This “fear” is not a horrified dread of the Father, but an attitude of respect that motivates us to obey Him for both our good and His glory.

We naturally want to keep our money for ourselves. A desire for a better lifestyle or fear of not having enough leads us to hang onto everything we get. But our compass directs us to honor God by giving Him the first part of all we have, trusting Him to provide for our needs (vv. 9-10).

We naturally hate God’s discipline. His painful reproofs seem to prove that He doesn’t care about us. But our heavenly Father says His discipline is the evidence that confirms His love and delight in us as His children (vv. 11-12).

Sometimes in our desire to follow the Lord, we focus on obedient actions—doing what He says—but miss His directions concerning our attitudes and thought patterns. To stay on God’s path for our lives, we must make course corrections not only in our behavior but also in our hearts and minds

June 2, 2011 – Begg

A Constant Struggle

For the desires of the flesh are against the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh.

Galatians 5:17

In every believer’s heart there is a constant struggle between the old nature and the new. The old nature is very active and loses no opportunity of employing all the weapons in its deadly arsenal against newborn grace; while on the other hand, the new nature is always on the lookout to resist and destroy its enemy. Grace within us will employ prayer and faith and hope and love to cast out the evil; it takes to itself “the whole armor of God”1 and wrestles vigorously. These two opposing natures will never stop struggling as long as we are in this world.

Bunyan’s Christian fought Apollyon in a battle lasting three hours, but the battle of Christian with himself lasted all the way from the entry Gate to the River Jordan. The enemy is so securely entrenched within us that he can never be driven out while we are in this body: But although we are closely followed, and often in fierce conflict, we have an Almighty helper, Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, who is always with us and who assures us that we shall eventually be more than conquerors through Him. With such assistance the newborn nature is more than a match for its enemies.

Are you fighting with the adversary today? Are Satan, the world, and the flesh all against you? Do not be discouraged nor dismayed. Fight on! For God Himself is with you. Jehovah Nissi is your banner, and Jehovah Rophi is the healer of your wounds. Do not fear, you will overcome, for who can defeat Omnipotence? Fight on, “looking to Jesus”;2 and although the conflict is long and tough, the victory will be sweet, and the promised reward will be glorious.

From strength to strength go on;
Wrestle, and fight, and pray,
Tread all the powers of darkness down,
And win the well-fought day.

1Ephesians 6:11
2Hebrews12:2

June 1, 2011 – Begg

A Compass for Life’s Journey     PROVERBS 3:1-6      If you’ve ever been lost in the woods, you know the concerns, confusion, and panic this situation causes. Now think what a difference it would have made to know that a compass was in your pocket.

Spiritually speaking, we have such a compass—God’s Word. But it does no good unless we let it guide us. Yet at times, we may fail to follow its direction because of . . .

1. Neglect. Sometimes we are so busy walking through life that we forget to look at God’s compass to make sure we’re headed in the right direction.

2. Pride. Oftentimes we want to determine the destiny ourselves. Relying on our own strength, understanding, and abilities, we plan our own route.

3. Distractions. God’s path of obedience isn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes it can be extremely challenging. Satan offers other trails that promise pleasure and ease if we will just ignore the compass and follow him. Although these trails seem pleasant at first, they lead to heartbreak and discouragement.

4. Difficulties. Whenever obstacles appear on the trail, our natural tendency is to try and find a way around them. But by ignoring God’s compass and stepping off the path, we’ll miss the blessings He wants to give us through the rough patches—strong faith and godly character.

Why should we wander when the Lord’s compass is available? Let Scripture be your guide on life’s journey. God promises to give you productive days and fruitful years if you follow His path. He’ll direct each step of your way, and His peace will sustain you, even during the difficult times

June 1, 2011 – Stanley

Light & Darkness

And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Genesis 1:5

Was it so even in the beginning? Did light and darkness divide the realm of time in the first day? Then it should be no surprise if I have also changes in my circumstances from the sunshine of prosperity to the midnight of adversity. It will not always be the sunshine of noonday, even in my soul; I must expect at times to mourn the absence of my former joys and seek my Beloved in the night. I am not alone in this, for all the Lord’s loved ones have had to sing the mingled song of judgment and mercy, of trial and deliverance, of mourning and delight. It is one of the arrangements of divine providence that day and night will not cease either in the spiritual or natural creation until we reach the land of which it is written, “there will be no night there.”1 What our heavenly Father ordains is wise and good.
What, then, my soul, is it best for you to do? Learn first to be content with this divine order and be willing, with Job, to receive evil from the hand of the Lord as well as good. Then work at beginning and ending your days with joy. Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it rises and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is beauty in both sunrise and sunset; sing of it, and glorify the Lord. Like the nightingale, sound your notes at all hours. Believe that the night is as useful as the day. The dews of grace fall heavily in the night of sorrow. The stars of promise shine forth gloriously against the darkness of grief. Continue your service under all circumstances. If in the day your watchword is work, at night exchange it for watch. Every hour has its duty; so continue in your calling as the Lord’s servant until He shall suddenly appear in His glory. My soul, your evening of old age and death is drawing near; do not dread it, for it is part of the day, and the Lord has said in essence, “I will cover him all the day long.”

1 Revelation 21:25

May 31, 2011 – Stanley

Walking in the Word     PSALM 119:97-104     People make a lot of decisions on any given day. Most choices present themselves quickly, leaving little time to weigh pros and cons. So we “go with our gut.” However, believers who desire to walk wisely through the perils of this world require something more reliable than flesh-based instinct. We need godly knowledge and principles to guide us, which is why we must meditate on the Word.

I mention meditating on Scripture often in my writing and preaching—and for good reason. The Bible is the key to knowing God and following His will. Believers simply cannot neglect spending time poring over its words. If you want to be certain of God’s perspective on an issue, you go to the source book to fill your mind with truth.

All of us have a sort of grid around our minds. It’s made up of the principles we were taught as children, the habits we’ve formed, and the information we accept as true. New knowledge coming our way passes through that grid and is either assimilated or rejected. Think about TV commercials—those persuasive ads full of beautiful people are designed to steal past your mind’s defenses. Well, the Devil has the same goal of getting past your grid and gaining a mental and spiritual foothold.

Some of the darts that Satan aims at your mind seem harmless or even good—that’s why “going with your gut” is so dangerous. A mental grid plastered with biblical truth is essential for Christians, because it identifies and rejects whatever is sinful, poorly timed, or simply not fit for God’s children

May 31, 2011 – Begg

Courage and Triumph

And the king crossed the Brook Kidron.

2 Samuel 15:23

David passed that gloomy brook when fleeing with his sorry company from his traitorous son. The man after God’s own heart was not exempt from trouble; in fact, his life was full of it. He was both the Lord’s Anointed and the Lord’s Afflicted. Why then should we expect to escape? At sorrow’s gates the noblest of our race have waited with ashes on their heads. Why then should we complain as though some strange thing had happened unto us?

The King of kings Himself was not favored with a more cheerful or royal road. He passed over the filthy ditch of Kidron, through which the filth of Jerusalem flowed. God had one Son without sin, but not a single child without the rod. It is a great joy to believe that Jesus has been tempted in all points just as we are.

What is our Kidron this morning? Is it a faithless friend, a sad bereavement, a slanderous reproach, a dark foreboding? The King has passed over all these. Is it bodily pain, poverty, persecution, or contempt? Over each of these Kidrons the King has gone before us. “In all their affliction he was afflicted.”1 The idea that trials are an unusual experience should be banished at once and forever, for He who is the Head of all saints knows by experience the grief that we consider so peculiar. All the citizens of Zion must be free of the Honorable Company of Mourners, of which the Prince Immanuel is Head and Captain.

Although David was abased, yet he returned in triumph to his city, and David’s Lord rose victorious from the grave; so let us then be of good courage, for we also shall win the day. We will joyfully draw water out of the wells of salvation, even though we are presently faced with the harmful streams of sin and sorrow. Courage, soldiers of the Cross, the King himself triumphed after going over Kidron, and so will you.

1Isaiah 63:9

May 30, 2011 – Stanley

How to Walk Wisely     PROVERBS 28:26  Believers are to walk by faith, according to 2 Corinthians 5:7. However, with so many voices clamoring for us to follow worldly paths, we sometimes struggle to hear and apply God’s wisdom. For example, our natural impulse to withhold mercy is hard to ignore, even though the Lord demands that we forgive (Eph. 4:32).

Godly wisdom is the capacity to view things as the Lord does and to respond according to biblical principles. This discernment isn’t automatic. Yes, God’s Spirit lives inside believers to prompt them to do right. However, each individual chooses whether or not to pursue the wise way.

If a person is going to walk wisely, he or she must commit to remaining on the right path—that is, to determine in the heart, “I will follow God no matter what.” Pleasing the Lord and conforming to His likeness are always the right things to do.

Resolving to honor the Lord transforms the way that believers make decisions. Instead of following instincts or impulses, I choose to seek God’s viewpoint in a given situation. Moreover, rather than relying on other people’s advice, I choose to search Scripture for verification of what I hear Him saying to me. As a result, the Holy Spirit’s quiet voice becomes easier to discern, and those worldly shouts fade.

You have a loving heavenly Father who honors the heartfelt commitment to walk according to His will. God assumes responsibility for offering His children sought-after wisdom and enabling them to keep walking on the right path (Prov. 3:5-6). Following Him is always the best decision

May 30, 2011 – Begg

Little Sins

Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards.

Song of Songs 2:15

A little thorn can cause much suffering. A small cloud may hide the sun. Tiny foxes spoil the vineyards; and little sins do mischief to the tender heart. These small sins burrow in the soul and fill it with what is hateful to Christ, and thus our comfortable fellowship and communion with Him is spoiled. A great sin cannot destroy a Christian, but a little sin can make him miserable.

Jesus will not walk with His people unless they drive out every known sin. He says, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”1 Some Christians rarely enjoy their Savior’s presence. How is this? Surely it must be an affliction for a tender child to be separated from his father. Are you a child of God, and yet satisfied to live without seeing your Father’s face?

What! You are the spouse of Christ, and yet content to be absent from His company! Surely, you have fallen into a sad state, for the pure spouse of Christ mourns like a dove without her mate when he has left her.

Here is the question: What has driven Christ from you? He hides His face behind the wall of your sins. That wall may be made up of little pebbles as easily as of great stones. The sea is made of drops; the rocks are made of grains: And the sea that divides you from Christ may be filled with the drops of your little sins; and the rock that almost wrecked the vessel of your life may have been made by the daily working of the coral insects of your little sins.

If you would live with Christ and walk with Christ and see Christ and have fellowship with Christ, pay attention to “the little foxes that spoil the vineyard, for our vineyards are in blossom.” Jesus invites you to go with Him against them. He will surely, like Samson, take the foxes at once and easily. Go with Him to the hunting.

1John 15:10

May 28, 2011 – Stanley

God Is Always In Control    ISAIAH 45:5-7     I admit that I often don’t understand why bad things happen. Even so, I believe that God has a purpose for everything He does or permits. My faith is rooted in the biblical principle that says the Lord is sovereign (Ps. 22:28). He is in absolute control of this universe, the natural and political climate of this earth, and my life and yours.

When we are in the midst of a trial, it is hard to resist crying out, “God, Why is this happening?” Sometimes we get the answer and sometimes we don’t. What we can be sure of is that nothing happens by accident or coincidence. He has a purpose for even our most painful experiences. Moreover, we have His promise to “cause all things to work together for good to those who love God” (Rom. 8:28).

Seeing in advance how the Lord will work evil or hurt for our benefit is very difficult, if not impossible. My limited human perspective doesn’t allow me to grasp His greater plan. However, I can confirm the truth of this biblical promise because the Father’s good handiwork appears all through my pain, hardship, and loss. I have experienced Him turn mourning into gladness and have seen Him reap bountiful blessings and benefits from my darkest hours.

As believers, we must accept that God won’t always make sense to us. Isaiah teaches that His ways and thoughts are higher than our own (Isa. 55:9). He sees the beautifully completed big picture. We can rely on the fact that God is in control, no matter how wildly off-kilter our world seems to spin

May 28, 2011 – Begg

Your Troubles will End Soon

Whom he justified he also glorified.

Romans 8:30

Here is a precious truth for you, believer. You may be poor or suffering or unknown, but for your encouragement take a moment to review your calling and the consequences that flow from it, and especially the blessed result spoken of here. As surely as you are God’s child today, so surely will all your trials soon come to an end, and you shall be rich to an extent that is hard to imagine.

Wait awhile, and your weary head will wear the crown of glory, and the worker’s hand shall grasp the palm-branch of victory. Do not bemoan your troubles, but rather rejoice that before long you will be where no longer “shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore.”1 The chariots of fire are at your door, and it will take only a moment to transport you to the glorified. The everlasting song is almost on your lip. The portals of heaven stand open for you.

Do not think that you can fail to enter into your rest. If He has called you, nothing can divide you from His love. Distress cannot sever the bond; the fire of persecution cannot burn the link; the hammer of hell cannot break the chain. You are secure; that voice which called you at first shall call you yet again from earth to heaven, from death’s dark gloom to immortality’s unuttered splendors. Rest assured, the heart of Him who has justified you beats with infinite love toward you. You will soon be with the glorified, where your portion is; you are only waiting here to be made ready for the inheritance, and with that done, the wings of angels shall carry you far away, to the mount of peace and joy and blessedness, where

Far from a world of grief and sin,
With God eternally shut in,

you shall rest forever and ever.

1Revelation 21:4

May 27, 2011 – Stanley

Why Does God Allow Evil?    GENESIS 2:15-17    When Christians discuss how and when evil entered the world, they most often point to the serpent’s temptation of Eve. But in fact, we must go back a bit further to the moment when God planted the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. By offering Adam and Eve a choice between obedience and rebellion, the Lord allowed for evil to enter His perfect creation.

Now, you are probably asking the very question that plagues many people, believers and unbelievers alike: Why does a loving God allow evil? Some unsatisfactory answers have been put forward over the years—for example, that the Lord doesn’t care or that He’s helpless to prevent evil. Such responses contradict what God says about Himself in Scripture (Rom. 5:8; Ps. 47:8). The truth is, our loving Father wields absolute authority over this world.

God had a purpose for letting wickedness enter the world. The Tree of Knowledge was a testing ground. Adam and Eve had to choose between rebellion and love, evil and righteousness, disobedience and obedience. Because the Lord desired love from the human beings He created, He had to offer a choice. Genuine love is given freely. The alternatives were either to skip the whole creation process or to program mankind like robots to give Him glory and praise.

The Lord gives two assurances regarding evil. First, His purpose is not for us to sin (James 1:13). He desires that we live with righteous intent so that evil can find no room in our hearts. Second, when we are touched by evil, He will cause the experience to work for our good (Rom. 8:28)

May 27, 2011 – Begg

Mephibosheth’s Example

So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.

2 Samuel 9:13

Mephibosheth was not an attractive guest at the royal table; yet he had an open invitation because King David could see in his face the features of the beloved Jonathan. Like Mephibosheth, we may exclaim to the King of Glory, “What is Your servant, that You should show regard for a dead dog such as I?” But still the Lord invites us to share intimately with Him, because He sees in our countenances the remembrance of His dearly-beloved Jesus.

It is on account of Jesus that the Lord’s people are dear to God. Such is the love that the Father bears to His only begotten that for His sake He raises His lowly brothers and sisters from poverty and exile to enjoy the king’s court, noble rank, and royal provision. Their deformity shall not rob them of their privileges. Lameness is no bar to sonship; the disabled is as much the heir as if he could run like a gazelle.

Our ability to enter may be impaired but not our right of entry. A king’s table is a noble hiding-place for lame legs, and at the gospel feast we learn to rejoice in infirmities because the power of Christ rests upon us. Yet serious disability may spoil the journey of the best-loved saints. Here is one feasted by David, and yet so lame in both his feet that he could not go up with the king when he fled from the city and was therefore maligned and injured by his servant.

Saints whose faith is weak and whose knowledge is limited are great losers; they are exposed to many enemies and cannot follow the king wherever he goes. This disease is frequently the result of a fall. Bad nursing in their spiritual infancy often causes converts to fall into a despondency from which they never recover, and sin in other cases brings broken bones. Lord, help the lame to leap like the hart, and satisfy all Your people with the bread of Your table!

May 26, 2011 – Stanley

When a Nation Turns Its Back on God      2 CHRONICLES 33:1-25   Hezekiah was a god-fearing king who brought about reformation among the Israelites. His son Manasseh, however, was an evil ruler. He had watched his father walk with God and live according to Scripture. Yet he chose to ignore the Lord.

Manasseh worshipped false gods, even to the point of sacrificing his sons by fire in order to praise Molech. He practiced much evil—including witchcraft and sorcery— and led Israel astray, thereby provoking God to anger. The king, along with the people, paid a high price for his rebellion.

This story illustrates the Lord’s intolerance of a nation’s disregard toward Him. Now consider our country. We, too, are a nation that pushes God aside—one that has turned away from the only true God and embraced idols. Perhaps these aren’t statues of stone, but we worship money, sports ability, fame, and reputation, to name a few.

The United States of America was founded on biblical principles with the intent to guarantee freedom of worship. But over time, we have removed the Lord from many aspects of public life. Prayer in schools, for instance, was deemed unconstitutional. What was once a “nation under God” has turned into a country that tolerates a growing number of sins and yet belittles absolute truth.

If a nation turns its back on the Lord, His judgment is inevitable unless the people repent and make Him Lord once again. As believers, our responsibility is to pray that God would draw the heart of our country back to Himself—and to help the gospel and truth spread through our land

May 26, 2011 – Begg

Do You Care Too Much?

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you.

Psalms 55:22

Care, even when addressed to legitimate matters, if it is carried to excess, has in it the nature of sin. Again and again Jesus exhorted His followers to avoid anxious care. The apostles reiterated the call; and it is one that cannot be neglected without involving transgression: For the very essence of anxious care is imagining that we are wiser than God and putting ourselves in His place as if we could do for Him what He has undertaken to do for us. We attempt to think of things that we imagine Him forgetting; we work to take upon ourselves a heavy burden, as if He were unable or unwilling to take it for us.

Now this disobedience to His plain precept, this unbelief in His Word, this presumption that intrudes upon His province, is all sinful. But more than this, anxious care often leads to acts of sin. If we cannot calmly leave our affairs in God’s hand but attempt to carry our own burden, we will be tempted to use wrong means to help ourselves. This sin leads to a forsaking of God as our counselor and resorting instead to human wisdom. This is going to the broken well instead of to the fountain, a sin of which Israel was guilty in the past.

Anxiety makes us doubt God’s loving-kindness, and so our love to Him grows cold; we feel mistrust, and in this we grieve the Spirit of God, so that our prayers are hindered, our consistent example spoiled, and our life one of self-seeking. Such lack of confidence in God leads us to wander far from Him; but if through simple faith in His promise we cast each burden as it comes upon Him and are “not . . . anxious about anything”1 because He undertakes to care for us, it will keep us close to Him and strengthen us against temptation. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”2

1Philippians 4:6
2Isaih 26:1

May 25, 2011 – Stanley

When We Ignore God    JAMES 4:17    Have you ever felt ignored? Everyone longs for love, acceptance, and attention, but perhaps a friend or close relative has shown little interest in you or what you have to say. Such treatment is hurtful and can lead to feelings of inadequacy.

There’s something even worse, though, than displaying no concern for others: disregarding God. Yet all of us have done this. One way we disregard Him is by failing to obey when we know His instructions. For example, if we are feeling cornered, we can be tempted to justify a white lie, but once falsehood has left our lips, we’ve ignored the Lord. The same principle holds true when we sense His leading but do not follow. And unless we discipline ourselves to spend time with our Father in His Word and in prayer, we are neglecting Him again.

The consequences are painful. For one thing, neglect grieves God because He is our heavenly Father, who desires closeness with each of His children. We also miss out on the best for our lives. Since connection with the Lord is like being “plugged into” the source of life, ignoring Him will mean missing out on His best for us. And then we shortchange ourselves out of fulfilling the purpose for which He created us—glorifying Him. And remember, we eventually will be held accountable for our actions.

How are you choosing to live—do you heed what the Almighty says, or are you living with your own set of standards? Your conscious choices affect your walk with Jesus. If you tune your spirit to listen and discipline yourself to obey, you will enjoy great intimacy with the Lord