Thursday, May 24, 2018

If It Makes You Happy?


  “God wants me to be happy”.


  You probably heard people make this comment as a justification. I can do this thing that is clearly a sin but it is OK because God wants me to be happy. Now there is some discussion there, but let’s assume God does want you happy. Wouldn’t he tell you how to be happy?

Let look at some verses:

But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye
1st Peter 3:14

If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you
1 Peter 4:14 

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.  Behold, we count them happy which endure.
James 5:10-11

Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
Romans 14:22

  These verses paint a different picture of how God says one is happy. Suffering for righteousness. Being insulted for the name of Christ. Happy because you endured hardship.  Because you did not ruin yourself in what you accepted as right. 
 
  To go even further, look at the Beatitudes. Blessed, or just as easily translated happy, is he who mourn, suffers, is insulted, is pure. It seems what God says will make us happy isn’t always what we think will make us happy.

  If God wants you to be happy, then He should know what true happiness is. If your thinking is God wants you to be happy, then you still very far off in your thinking if you think he wants you in sin.

  True happiness isn’t in man determination of what best but it holding to God standard no matter what the cost. The world may mock you, you might suffer, you might ‘miss out’ on something, it may be very hard, but God says it will truly make you happy.


  Don’t you really want to be happy?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

What Exactly Do You Do Around Here?

What Exactly Do You Do Around Here?

Get a Job! I'll Name a person you tell me their original occupation
  1. Amos

  2. Prophet
    Grower of sycamore figs
    Scribe
    Fisherman

  3. Peter

  4. Carpenter
    Knife Maker
    Fisherman
    Tent Maker

  5. Paul

  6. Tent Maker
    Scribe
    Lawyer
    Shephard

  7. David

  8. Nobleman
    Musician
    Potter
    Shephard

  9. Nehemiah

  10. Governor
    Soldier
    Cupbearer
    Priest

  11. Matthew

  12. Priest
    Tax Collector
    Scribe
    Fisherman

  13. Daniel

  14. Magican
    King
    Harp Player
    Baker

  15. Luke

  16. Scholar
    Sailor
    Physican
    Tutor

  17. Ethiopian Eunuch

  18. Bodyguard
    Landscaper
    Ambassador
    Treasurer

  19. Oholiab

  20. Engraver
    King
    Judge
    Priest

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Modern Day Parable


  A man had two sons

  The younger son of them felt he had earned his share of his father’s estate so he left home with Dad’s credit card and went out to find himself.

  It didn’t take long till the card was maxed out and the people that the younger son was indebted to didn’t seem to care too much about the younger son’s journey of discovery, and just wanted their money. Times were tough and it seemed a full of himself spoiled son wasn’t the resume material for an easy high paying job so the son had to get a low-end menial one.

  One day when he was scrubbing toilets, the younger son had an epiphany. His Dad was wealthy and raised him accustomed to that lifestyle. This wasn’t fair. He couldn't even afford an unlimited data plan on minimum wage. He shouldn’t have to work. His father had cursed him with affluenza. This was his fault! He should march right back to father house and lay the blame right square on him!

  So as texted his Father to tell him he was coming home. The Father jumped into his truck and drove all the way to pick him up. He saw him and hugged him and put his stuff in the back. “We sure have missed you missed you” began the Father, but before he could finish the younger son started in on his explanation of his condition and his expectation of his Father’s responsibility to fix the problem he had created. The Father listened all the way home, never interrupting or trying to defend himself, though he often had a very puzzled look about him. When they arrived at the house, the father said: “let’s go in and have some supper and see if we can’t help you out”.

  As they walked in the older brother peaked downstairs to see what the noise was about. When he saw his younger brother walk in, he was livid. The Father yelled for the older son to come and eat but he never did. So the Father went upstairs to check on the older brother.

  As soon as he opened his door the older brother threw a fit. What’s he doing here? Haven’t you done enough for him? All he does is waste our money. I’m not like him, the only thing I cost you is my mouthy X-box subscription. I never leave this room. He is the one going out on the town living it up. He’s just here to bleed you dry. I’m not buying new stuff all the time. At least you could upgrade the Wi-Fi connection so I would lag when I’m online.


   The Father let out an exasperated sigh. “I never made you work for anything and let you stay here for free,” he explained, “Your brother fell on some hard times and I think I can help him learn some responsibility. Shouldn't I try to do that?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

What Did I Just Read?


  It might just be the most shocking verse in the Bible. It is certainly one people don’t embroider on a throw pillow or sticker on the wall.

How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones Against the rock.
Psalms 137:9

  It’s violent overtone toward children. A prayer to God to harm others.  It’s gleeful delight in the worse happening to an enemy. Should such a bitter outburst belong in the Bible?

  To understand its place and inclusion, we need to examine the whole psalm. The 137th Psalm is the song of a people forced into captivity. Those ripped from their homes. Poets forced to sing songs about a homeland that now lies in ruins. To their captors they are just entertainment, but to the captives they are just pain.

  That is why they are lashing out. How can such a wicked people win? How can evil dominate? “God” they cry, “do something!”

  Pain doesn’t talk with reason. Agony does not come as a measure response.  Hurting people lash out. They express the hideousness of violence. Unless we feel the depths of the pain, we can’t understand the depths of God forgiveness or the terrible consequences of sin.

  You see that’s why the people of God were in this place. Their sin had led God to punish. That punishment was harsh. And so also would it be to those that would punished for their actions on the people of God.

  Hell is described as a place of “weeping and gnashing of teeth”. Where pain and suffering overcome all other feelings.  When we read lines like Psalm 137:9, we catch a tiny sliver of the retribution awaiting those separated from God. Yet it also shows us how God listens and cares even when we lash out in pain. When we hurt, he hears. His love tempers our pain.


  True loss and pain are understood by God. The cry for justice reaches his ears, but so do the cries for mercy. This passage only shows us one side of the coin. His mercy is great but so will be punishment for those outside of it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Bitter


Bitter

Hope this doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth...

  1. Who is described as bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword?

  2. An idol
    An adultress
    A false prophet
    A drunk king

  3. Who asked to be called Mara (meaning bitter) after she lost her husband and sons?

  4. Ruth
    Hannah
    Tamar
    Naomi

  5. What bitter tasting drink did Jesus refuse on the cross?

  6. Wine mixed with gall
    Water
    Milk
    Sour wine

  7. Who made the Israelites lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks?

  8. The Philistines
    The Babylonians
    The Egyptians
    The Romans

  9. Who cried out with a great and bitter cry when he realized his father had blessed his brother?

  10. Jacob
    Essau
    Benjamin
    Reuban

  11. What does Proverbs say to give to the perishing and whose life is bitter?

  12. Good Cheer
    A meal of soup
    Strong dink
    A quick death

  13. What prophet exclaimed woe on those that "substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter"?

  14. Isaiah
    Jeremiah
    Daniel
    Ezekiel

  15. During what feast were bitter herbs to be eaten along with a roasted lamb?

  16. Feast of Booths
    Feast of atonement
    Feast of Firstfruits
    The Passover

  17. Of what event was the prophecy "A voice is heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping" applied

  18. Death of Jesus
    The killing of the children by Herod the Great
    The destruction of Jerusalem
    The famine in the book of Acts

  19. What prophet referred to as the son of man was told to groan with bitter grief?

  20. Ezekiel
    Michah
    Haggai
    Zechariah