Proverbs 7:26 KJV — For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
Just think how much better life would be if we would not have to deal with the temptation to do wrong or participate in immorality.
The divorce rate would plummet, rehabs would not be necessary, and the jails would be empty.
How ever temptation will be here as long as sin is here. And even if you are not looking for it, it has a way of working itself into your life. Notice how the woman speaks in Proverbs 7.
Proverbs 7:15 KJV — Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
But we must remember that the key to defeating and conquering temptation doesn't come from our own strength or ability, but from the Lord!
Temptation has captured men with stronger mental fortitudes than you and I, but the Lord has never given into temptation.
When temptation finds you trust in the One that has never give in and not in your own fortitude!
Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV — To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
It is very evident right now that the seasons are beginning to change. To most of us who simply tolerate the heat of summer, it has been a very welcomed change! But as the shorter, darker, colder days of winter carry on in the next few months, I will begin to yearn for the warmer, longer, brighter, days of spring and summer.
Nature doesn't just have seasons but so does our life, but if all we ever do is yearn for a season that we are not currently in, we will miss out on the beauty and the purpose of the one we are in now. Not every season is enjoyable, but every season is purposeful!
To borrow from a well known cliché, what is the reason for season that you are currently in?
Ecclesiastes 4:9 KJV — Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
Talk about a time tested piece of advice. How many times has someone told us, "two is better than one"?
Most people don't know that this phrase comes from the Bible, but they are willing to agree to with it.
Yet it is a great reminder to us that, we don't have to go through the Christian life isolated or as a loner. We are encouraged to find and have some one to go through with us. It may be a spouse, a mentor, or a friend. Just know that the Lord has no issues with you having like-minded and God-honoring friends.
When done correctly they will be a great source of encouragement and accountability. They will aid you in your walk with Christ and not drag you away or down!
So be wise and prayerful in choosing, but know that God has a 2 for your 1!
Ecclesiastes 5:4 KJV — When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
"Put your money where your mouth is!"
That is a phrase that I have heard many times in my life. It means to back up your talk with action or proof.
We should have this same attitude when it comes to serving the Lord! If we tell Him we are going to do something for Him, then we ought to try our best to carry that out. How many times have we offered up hollow promises to the Lord?
Did you say that you would read the Bible more? - then do it.
Did you say that you were going to be faithful to the House of God - then be faithful
Did you promise to pray more? - then pray more
Put your money where your mouth is!
Ecclesiastes 7:19 KJV — Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.
Physicality. That's how most men compare themselves to each other. Who's taller? Who's older? Who's stronger? Who's faster?
Yet, physical skills and attributes can only get you so far. What we really need is wisdom, and Godly wisdom at that! Its great if you can bench press 300 pounds, but how is that going to help if your family is falling apart? So what if you can 40 yards in under 5 seconds, but you choose not to run away from temptation?
We need wisdom! And thankfully we are told how to obtain it...
James 1:5 KJV — If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
So ask for it and then seek for it in God's Word!
Ecclesiastes 8:4 KJV — Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?
What authority are you functioning under?
Where do you get your marching orders from?
If we are only self-willed and self-directed, then we can not expect much power! For according to the scriptures we are weak, but when we functioned under the authority of God's Word, we are linked in to a great source of power!
So step out of your own power, and into the King's power, He can do more than you ever thought possible, plus there is nothing that anybody else can do about it! You are under His authority!
Ecclesiastes 9:17 KJV — The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.
When is your quiet time?
Odd question, I know. We are all busy, we have jobs, families, programs, and schedules that must be maintained! But let me ask you again, when is your quiet time?
When do you, with purpose sit down with the Word of God and no outside distractions, and prayerfully seek wisdom from the Lord?
We often just live with the mentality, that if God wants me to have wisdom, I'm going to need Him to just tuck it somewhere into my busy life, so I can see it while I'm going. We treat it like a drive thru hamburger or gas station coffee. We enjoy it for a few moments but it probably spends more time on the floor board than in our hands.
The wisdom of God is not to be viewed as just some cheap product, that is a dime a dozen, but view it as it really is. Priceless, valuable, needed, and necessary!
Don't just expect it to fall in your lap, but rather pursue it, search for it, and seek it! If you seriously want wisdom, you are going to have to have a quiet time, where you can let the Lord speak to you through His Word!
So let me ask you one more time, when is your quiet time?
Ecclesiastes 10:10 KJV — If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.
I remember a time, when the boss of the company I was working for, asked to borrow my pocket knife to cut open a package. I had used that knife quite a bit, and for more than just cutting things. Needless to say, it wasn't very sharp. After he struggled to cut the plastic tape from the box, he handed my knife back to me and asked, "Why do you even have that thing?"
I thought to myself, "Atleast, I had a knife!" But in reality, my super dull knife was almost as effective as having no knife at all.
Look at your life like that knife. You may have Christ living on the inside, but how effective, how sharp, how noticeably different are you? It may be time to sharpen up.
I don't just want to be a knife, I want to be a sharp knife for the glory of God!
Ecclesiastes 11:4 KJV — He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
As the rain just continues to fall today, I'm reminded of how many times rain has put a damper on so many peoples plans.
But what if we always canceled our plans because we thought there would be a possibility of rain. I mean you can never be too cautious right?
Sometimes we have that same mentality, when it come to serving the Lord. We allow the "what ifs" to keep us from carrying out the great commission.
Don't hide behind the uncertainties, rather stand boldly on the promises of God!
Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV — Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
As the "preacher" begins to wrap up the book of Ecclesiastes, he delivers his final announcement concerning everything that has been talked about and covered with in this book. And it is one simple, but extremely profound statement.
Everything that is done outside of this truth is vanity, but when we function out of fear for the Lord, we will desire to keep His commandments and please Him.
Remember this fear is a reverential respect for the Lord, not an emotional response to something that frightens us.
If you really respect someone, you will have no problem, honoring and obeying them!
One of the greatest keys to a successful Christian life is to "fear God"!
2 Thessalonians 2:15 KJV — Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
Growing up our family had some traditions. The one I remember most is that we would eat chili or oyster stew on Christmas eve. We would also eat the same things when the Nebraska Cornhuskers were playing in a bowl game. Needless to say, that one hasn't happened lately!
Yet, the tradition wasn't started so we could just eat good food one day out of the year, but rather it was done so that our family would gather together and enjoy each other's company.
See traditions aren't always a bad thing. It is when the action becomes more important then the purpose that the problems start.
You might have your traditions, but if they don't bring glory to the Lord, it might be time to reevaluate!
2 Thessalonians 3:1 KJV — Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
The other day, we drove through Cincinnati, Ohio, and truthfully, if I never have to do that again I will die a very happy man! Between the layout, the construction, and the other people on the road it made one feel very restricted and uneasy. You just wanted to make it safe to your destination, and not even worry about sight seeing. There was no freedom of the open road.
I wonder if that is how it is with us and the Word of God sometimes. We put up Do Not Enter signs, block off certain parts of our heart, and try to just fly from one place to another without ever slowing down.
If we are going to let the Word of God have its full effect in our lives we must let it have free course! The same Word that convicts you will be the same Word that comforts you, but only if you let it!
Genesis 1:1 KJV — In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
This verse is often one that we negate to children, who often memorize it for Sunday School or Children's church. But this verse contains a tremendous promise to every believer.
God has no problem beginning things!
Whether it was the creation of Earth, man, or salvation, He is the one who brought forth the beginnings.
Don't you remember the moment that He began a new life in you?
But He more than just a good beginner, He is also the authoritative finisher.
Hebrews 12:2 KJV — Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
So if He was begun something in your life, stick with Him, for He will carry you to the finish line!
Philippians 1:6 KJV — Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 5:7 KJV — Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Have you ever been brought to the place where there is more going on then what you can seemingly handle?
What a terrible feeling it can be when the cares(issues) of this life are all seemingly landing square on your shoulders.
Then you add to that weight, the lies of Satan and our problems just seem to grow exponentially!
Satan will lead you to believe that you have it worse than anybody around you!
Satan will tell you that you are all alone, and the Lord has left you by yourself!
Satan will remind you how pathetic of a Christian you really are!
May I remind you that Satan is a liar, and all of those statements can be refuted by the Word Of God!
Christ can identify and sympathize with your suffering!
Acts 26:23 KJV — That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
You might be separated from all other people, but you are not alone!
Hebrews 13:5 KJV — Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Salvation isn't based on your skill, but the grace of God
1 Corinthians 15:10 KJV — But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
So if you are weighed done and burdened this morning, take it to Jesus, and give it to Him. Quit trying to carry a load, that you have been instructed hand off to the Lord!
Psalm 116:1 KJV — I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
Have you ever had somebody call you and all they say is "Hey!"? With caller ID if we have their contact information, we already know who it is before we answer. However if we don't, we are left to wonder who is speaking to us on the other line, and we are trying to figure out whose voice that is.
Yet, God has never experienced that situation with you! If you have ever called out to Him, and not addressed the fact that it was you who was speaking, don't worry, He knew it was you!
In reality He knows you better than you know yourself! He formed you and made you! He knows your voice and is listening!
Psalm 116:12 KJV — What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
This Psalm along with a few others are commonly referred to as the "Egyptian Hallel". They were sung while the Passover lambs were being slain. Just get that image in your head this morning of a spotless lamb being slain, whose blood would be atonement for the sins of Israel
Now go to Calvary, and see the perfect, spotless Lamb of God, hanging on a tree, dying for the sins of every man, whose blood would purchase our redemption!
Now ask yourself the same question the Psalmist did...
"What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?"
He wants more than just your money, He wants more than just your time, He wants more than just your talent. He wants you and all of you!
Romans 12:1 KJV — I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
How much of you is the Lord going to get today?
Psalm 119:45 KJV — And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
We have all probably heard it said in one fashion or another that being a Christian means you have to follow a bunch of rules.
Christianity is nothing more than trying not to break a bunch of "Thou shall nots..."
But I find it very interesting that the opposite is true, as I follow and apply the Word of God to my life, I walk in liberty!
Think about this way, I'm able to enjoy liberty and freedom with my family, because I have not committed murder, and therefore I have not been sentenced to prison.
But remember Jesus took that law even further, and dealt with malice in our hearts. Yet the principle is still the same, if I apply the Word of God to my life, then I can live in liberty and free from the prison of bitterness, envy, hate, and jealousy.
The world might view the Word of God as nothing more than a rule book, but for me it is my source of liberty
2 Corinthians 9:6 KJV — But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
This verse is one that has been hijacked by the Prosperity Gospel false teachers, and is typically limited to only the aspect of financial giving. If you sow a seed of a $1,000, the Lord will bless you with a $10,000 return!
Yet, nowhere in the Scriptures are we given any indications, that our financial gifts will be returned to us after God tacks on some interest. As a matter of fact, we are told to give simply, or without any strings attached or just by simple obedience to direction of the Holy Spirit.
Yet, this verse does deal with the thought of investment. It illustrates to us that the amount of what we put in or invest, has a direct correlation to what we get out.
If you have only a spare moments prayer life, you will more than likely live a life of constant worry and fear. If you participate in a convenience only Bible reading, you Christian walk will be full of doubt and uncertainty of the promises of God!
How much are you willing to put in today? How much are you willing to invest?
1 John 2:16 KJV — For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
What does the world really have to offer me?
According to this verse, no matter how the world advertises it, it can't be of God!
But I noticed something interesting as I came across this verse, while reading my Bible.
All the world can really offer is ideas and no real substance, like steam in that you see it but you can't hold within your hands!.
We see the word "lust" and "pride" mentioned here, which both speak of desires that want satisfaction. See the world can give you the things, but it cannot give you satisfaction, it can not completely satisfy your desires! That is why all it can really offer you is "lust" and "pride"!
But God, He doesn't operate like the world!
His grace, though not tangible, is sufficient!
His love, though not fully comprehended by our finite minds, is experienced at, and after salvation!
His peace, that goes beyond our understanding, is still enjoyed as we walk through our trials!
Don't live your life for this world, it will never bring real satisfaction! Live your life for Jesus!
1 John 5:3 KJV — For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
"Rules were meant to be broken!" I've heard that saying numerous times in my life.
It is normally said by someone who has broken an established rule to accommodate a personal want or desire. Its often said with a hint of pride, if we are going to be honest about it.
And yet, here in the Scriptures we are instructed that our love for God can be expressed by our willingness to play by the rules, but in actuality it goes further than that.
We are to be grateful for those rules in our life and not to look at them as grievous! Can you remember how your life was without and guidelines or boundaries?
Praise the Lord for His Commandments! They bring order and safety to my life! They keep me in the middle of road, and out of the ditches, they keep me from turning down the wrong road, they lead me to an expected end.
The world doesn't like commandments, but Christians thrive when we follow them, with a desire to please the
2 John 1:8 KJV — Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
Now we know and understand that Biblical salvation is a permanent thing, you cannot lose your salvation!
However, there are things that we are able to forfeit in our Christian life by the choices we make.
We can forfeit the peace of God, by trusting in our own understanding and relying on our own ability.
We can forfeit our assurance by trusting in our feelings instead of the truths of Word of God.
We can forfeit our real purpose by chasing selfish wants and desires.
Yet it doesn't have to be so! We don't have to give those things up, matter of fact we can have a full reward! I don't just want all the promises of heaven, I want to have all that God wants me to have while I'm here! I want to have a full reward!
Are you giving back or are you getting all?
Proverbs 12:25 KJV — Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
There is a great deal of things and issues, that way heavy on us.
There are personal things, like finances and strained relationships that might way heavy on us.
There are society issues that might weigh heavy on us. With just about every news report we are reminded about all the issues and problems that currently going on around us.
What is our solution, how can we still be glad with so much heaviness on and around us?
We must have a relationship with the Word of God!
If you need...
Open up the Bible, the Lord has a Word for you! His Word will make you glad!
Titus 1:16 KJV — They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Talks cheap! That is a statement that we have all heard at least once in our lives. It definitely is a true statement!
There are lot of people who claim to know the Lord and and there a lot of people who label themselves as Christian, but their actions or even ideas don't match up with Word of God. Do I think Christians are going to be perfect, well of course not! But a Christian should have no problem with aligning with God's Word!
God doesn't give us permission to excuse ourselves from certain truths and doctrines of His Word, because we simply disagree with them or don't like them!
A Christian should have no problem with being a functional part of a local church, a consistent witness of the Gospel, and participate in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Don't just be a nominal Christian, but be a Christian, both in word and action!
Acts 2:21 KJV — And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
There is a lot going in Acts 2. There is the speaking of tongues by the Apostles, which has been in some cases pulled out of context and used to build up an unnecessary doctrine. Then there are the phenomenon of nature, that have often been used as false indicators to pinpoint the exact day that the Lord is going to return. But tucked away in the middle of this very active chapter is the point of all of it.
A "whosoever" will Gospel!
See when we get fixated on the minor things we often neglect the major thing! We could spend countless hours debating the action of speaking in tongues or the possible date of the return of Christ, but we have a greater mission. That mission is the proclamation of the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
So keep the main thing the main thing! Go tell somebody about Jesus!
Acts 3:4 KJV — And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
We know the account that this verse comes out of. Peter and John are about to head to the temple to preach the Gospel, and on the way in they are called on by a handicapped man for alms.
The simple solution would be to just throw some money his way and wish him the best.
Yet the Bible says the Peter "fastened" his eyes upon him. He stared intently at this man. He wasn't trying to determine if he was a legit beggar or just a con artist, this gaze was to see what his real issue was!
He needed the Lord and to experience His great power!
When you and I quit fastening our eyes on lost people in compassion, we will lose our burden! We will stick simply to superficial means of help! People need more than just surface issues resolved, they need Jesus!
Lord help us to never lose focus on the great need of those around us!
Acts 4:13 KJV — Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
After seeing the evidence of the miraculous healing of the crippled man and hearing first hand the power with which Peter preached, those who had come against them came to two conclusions.
These "disciples" were not as ignorant as their place in society would have dictated. Who is this fisherman, that could preach with such authority and boldness as he stood before the social and religious hierarchy of his day? If you had to stand before the great scholars of our day, would you do so with such boldness that Peter and John did?
The second observation is actually one that every Christian should desire to have said about them. "...That they had been with Jesus." Though they were trying to stop the spread of this new message, they could not deny that these messengers had been with the Messiah!
I wonder if after meeting somebody, they have held the same view about us. I wonder if it has ever been evidenced that we have been with Jesus?
Get alone with Him today, and let your time spent with Him, show in your relationships with others!
Acts 5:29 KJV — Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
The context of this verse is pretty interesting. The Apostles have been told by the religious and political powers of the day to be quiet, and quit teaching about that man named Jesus!
We have heard this verse used and quoted recently concerning the reopening of churches for worship. No doubt there is a biblical precedence and instruction for the corporate worship of the local church. Thank God for a church that still wants to worship together!
Yet, these men weren't be attacked for assembling together, but for preaching the Gospel!
We have all been told that there are 2 things we never should bring up in conversation with strangers, on the job, or at Thanksgiving, and that is religion and politics.
Many of have bought into this mantra, but in reality we have been commanded and commissioned to spread the Gospel to those around us. You don't have to be rude and crude with your presentation, I personally think compassion and sincerity go a lot farther anyways, but we must not be silent! We must obey God, rather than men!
But what if you are mocked, ridiculed, or made fun of? Have the same attitude as the apostles!
Acts 5:41 KJV — And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Do your job today, and work hard, but don't let fear keep you silent!
Acts 6:15 KJV — And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
This verse is describing the face of Stephen, who after doing miracles and wonders, and teaching with great and unresistable wisdom, is taken to a Kangaroo court and accused of blasphemy and heresy!
Here is a man who has been lied on, and villianized for nothing more than preaching the Gospel and yet even those who have come against him can't help but notice his countenance.
He is not turning red with anger, he is not screaming at the injustice of his accusations, he isn't flying off the handle. He is just sitting there peacefully. My question is how?
He chose the peace of God over a quick, but often destructive fleshly reaction. Now none of us are perfect, but we will all make same decision when it comes to how we react.
No matter which way we react, we will make an impact, the question is, will our reactions point others toward Christ or away from Christ. You may not always get it right, and for that we have the privilege of confession and reconciliation, but we should always have a desire to do that which is right!