“Every word that I am commanding YOU is what YOU should be careful to do.
YOU must not add to it nor take away from it.”
“That is why it is necessary for us to pay more than the usual attention
to the things heard by us, that we may never drift away.”
Mankind has an innate desire to worship God, but he wants to be free to do it according to the dictates of his own mind. The result is a wide variety of religions–in actuality, mass confusion as to which is the true religion–and a world in which true values are lost in an ocean of conflicting opinions about how to live. This, in turn, has helped persuade many people to reach the conclusion that all gods are equally good, or its counterpart, that everybody is worshipping the same god.
We all know God is not pleased with this situation, but He allows it to continue. However, even while allowing it to continue, He is calling people out of it. He has shown His called-out ones that they have been redeemed from the bondage to traditions, described in I Peter 1:18 as “vain,” “aimless,” or “futile,” depending on the translation. However, in the vast majority of cases, someone, presumptuously taking it upon himself to inaugurate a tradition, began practicing them, sincerely thinking he was improving his life. We have all followed these traditions, but the Christian is responsible not to allow the world to squeeze him into its mold of conduct, character, and attitude.
Proverbs 21:16 describes the way many presumptuous sins begin: “A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the congregation of the dead.” Like this man, most people do not deliberately set out to depart from God. Nevertheless, carelessness invariably enters the picture, and a person drifts from his former sure fix on his goal. Once his focus on the goal is blurred, he is more easily deceived into foolishly assuming certain things. An especially sad part of this is that the result is the same as if he were deliberately presumptuous.
The author of Hebrews uses a metaphor in Hebrews 2:1-3, portraying a boat slipping from its moorings and drifting away. A person “neglect[s] so great salvation” by allowing himself to be caught in the current of the world’s attitudes and conduct. Presumption frequently begins with careless drifting, but the drifting quickly advances from neglect to presumption unless one carefully checks whether he actually has God’s permission to behave as he does.
In Proverbs 8, wisdom is personified as a woman crying out to people along the way–to God’s Kingdom?–to take heed to her instruction. In verse 36, she utters a profound warning: “But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death.” None of us likes to think of himself as foolishly loving death. However, the Bible consistently shows that those who do not consciously, purposefully, and carefully direct their lives toward obedience to God do indeed love death rather than life! Such a person is in effect presuming that all is well with him in relation to God. God does not like being taken for granted–just as you and everyone else don’t like to be taken for granted!
*John W. Ritenbaugh*
ISAIAH 66 : 1-2
This is what Jehovah has said:
“The heavens are my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
Where, then, is the house that YOU people can build for me,
and where, then, is the place as a resting-place for me?”
“Now all these things my own hand has made,
so that all these came to be,” is the utterance of Jehovah.
“To this one, then, I shall look, to the one afflicted and
contrite in spirit and trembling at my word.”
Humility is the key to oneness with God.
Consequently, it is also the key to oneness with our brethren.
God’s way of achieving oneness is for each person to be so
attuned to God that he is motivated to do everything possible
to ensure that the relationship (with God or fellow man) is not
only unbroken, but constantly becoming ever closer.
We should do this because we are striving to become like Him,
and that is how He is.
Each person is responsible
for cleaning up his character and
humbling himself before God.
*clipart from http://www.christart.com*
Each is not responsible for judging his brother so critically it
drives a wedge between them and separates them.
Such a person does not even see his own sin! In such a case,
he could not be in God’s Kingdom because that manner of thinking
would continue right on into it, and God will not allow it there.
*John W. Ritenbaugh*
“MAN MUST LIVE, NOT ON BREAD ALONE,
BUT ON EVERY UTTERANCE COMING FORTH
THROUGH JEHOVAH’S MOUTH” (MATTHEW 4:4) – NWT
66 books of the BIBLE : ALL SCRIPTURES ARE INSPIRED BY GOD
”If we (freely) admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just
(true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins (dismiss our lawlessness)
and (continuously) cleanse us from all unrighteousness (everything not in conformity to
His will in purpose, thought, and action)”
(1 John 1:9)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous so as to forgive us our
sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – NWT
Cleaning the oven is not my favorite thing to do. In fact, it slides down to bottom of my
“to do” list several times before I actually make it a priority. I know I am not the only
person who feels this way. The owner of the house we moved into obviously disliked
cleaning ovens even more than I do. It was very dirty and hadn’t been cleaned for a
long time. I put it through the self-clean cycle then used SOS pads to clean the build
up around the edges. But the build up on the front bottom part of the oven and door
were so caked on that I had to take a screwdriver to scratch it off.
Finally it was clean.
As I was scrubbing the oven, I compared the dirty oven with our hearts. People can’t
see inside our ovens, or our hearts, but God can and it can be pretty dirty. I remember
so vividly the time when I asked Jesus into my life at the age of 12. I asked Him to
forgive my sins. He cleansed me and I felt so clean. At the age of 30, I learned about
spiritual breathing (confessing our sins and appropriating the Holy Spirit). I learned
I could be “clean” all the time – moment by moment.
However, sometimes we become so busy that we don’t spend time daily with the
Lord and His Word. We become sloppy and accumulate ungodly habits that are like
the caked on grease at the bottom of my oven. You have to work at getting rid of those.
Worry, ungratefulness, critical attitudes, etc. We need to confess them immediately
and begin thanking the Lord for all His blessings, start thinking “good, pure thought”
and focus our thoughts on God and His sufficiency.
If we spend quiet time with the Lord and His Word, He will point them out to us.
Many, many times a day, we have to do this to change our ungodly habits.
Don’t let your oven (heart) get dirty – keep it clean.
What are your “caked on” habits?
Admit your sins and He will cleanse you.
*** Katherine Kehler ***
♥ ♥ ♥
TEN BIBLICAL RULES FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE
Never bring up mistakes of the past. Stop criticizing others or it will come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven.
Neglect the whole world rather than each other. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process?
Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled. And don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.
At least once a day, try to say something complimentary to your spouse. Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Never meet without an affectionate welcome. Kiss me again and again, your love is sweeter than wine.
(Song of Solomon 1:2)
“For richer or poorer” – rejoice in every moment that God has given you together. A bowl of soup with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.
If you have a choice between making yourself or your mate look good, choose your mate. Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.
If they’re breathing, your mate will eventually offend you. Learn to forgive. I am warning you, if another believer sins, rebuke him; then if he repents, forgive him. Even if he wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, forgive him.
Don’t use faith, the Bible, or God as a hammer. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
Let love be your guidepost. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
(1 Corinthians 13:4,5)
Pray, don’t find fault with the man that limps
Or stumbles along the road.
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
Or struggled beneath his load.
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt
Though hidden away from view.
Or the burden he bears placed on your back
Might cause you to stumble too.
Don’t sneer at the man who’s down today
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall or felt the shame
That only the fallen know.
You may be strong but still the blows
That was his if dealt to you
In the selfsame way, at the selfsame time
Might cause you to stagger too.
Don’t be too harsh with the man that sins
Or pelt him with word or stone
Unless you are sure – yea, doubly sure –
That you have no sins of your own.
For you know, perhaps,
If the tempter’s voice should whisper as soft to you
As it did to him when he went astray
It might cause you to falter too.
If Satan had not desired to be on equal status and wanted to be God; Jesus would not have to be the atonement for mankind’s sin.
If Eve had not been tempted and Adam being influenced; mankind would not have to toil and toil and spin and spin.
If one third of the angels have not followed the Devil and mated with humans; magic and sorcery would not have emerged.
If humans have listened to the words of God; He would not have wanted humans purged.
If God wasn’t a merciful and full of loving-kindness God; He would not have kept Noah and his family safe from the Big Flood.
If the scribes and Pharisees weren’t eager for man’s glory and Judas’s blatant greed, Jesus our Lord would not have to spill His precious blood.
If not for the power and miracle work of God; Israel would not have birthed in 1948, as prophesied, as a nation again.
If time of the end is upon us soon and humans do not feel the need to repent of their sins, Jesus’ sacrifice in death would have been pointless and in vain.
If God and Jesus have not fought and battled hard with the Devil for our souls, we humans would have ceased in our own raging wars and sins.
If this present wicked violent world ends, it would be Jesus and His armies from the heavens having conquered the Devil and on that note, God wins.
© Keziah Boey January 16 2008
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