Friday, May 13, 2016

Obedience

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 “But Samuel replied: ‘Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of the rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.’”
1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NIV)

o·be·di·ence
əˈbēdēəns,ōˈbēdēəns/
noun
  1. compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another's authority.
    "children were taught to show their parents obedience"
    synonyms:complianceacquiescence, tractability, amenability; More
    • observance of a monastic rule.
      "vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience"(1)

               Samuel carries a message to King Saul. This message is at least two-fold. The prophet relates that obedience is better than sacrifice.
This comes across that God does not want any gifts from His people; rather, He wants His people to obey His direction and His Word. Samuel compares the people’s heeding to being better than any offering they can give.

               The second part of this message speaks of rebellion against God being on the same level as seeking knowledge of the future—a pagan counterpart of prophecy. 2. Samuel also equates thinking too highly of oneself equal to idolatry-paying divine honor to any created thing.3

               What does this mean to us who live in the 21st Century? We see actions taken and deeds done that are not according to God’s word or His direction. We see people choosing to honor ‘things’ rather than God. We hear of people taking lives, for no reason. We also read of others who set themselves above others just because it is their choice.

               We need to approach God’s throne and beg His forgiveness for these sins by our society. Moreover, we need to learn to practice obedience.
___________________
1.www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=obedience%20definition

2.            The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago, revised 1988, page 313

3.            Op. Cit., page 602

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Integrity



“I know that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.” 1 Chronicles 29:17 (NIV)

in·teg·ri·ty
inˈteɡrədē/
noun
  1. 1.
    the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
    "he is known to be a man of integrity"
    synonyms:honestyprobityrectitudehonor, good character, principle(s), ethics,morals, righteousnessmoralityvirtuedecency, fairness,scrupulousness, sinceritytruthfulness, trustworthiness
    "I never doubted his integrity"
  2. 2.
    the state of being whole and undivided.
    "upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty"
    synonyms:unityunificationcoherencecohesiontogethernesssolidarity
    "the integrity of the federation" (1)



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            David prayed these words toward the end of a prayer of praise, shortly before his death. God had told him that he would not be the one to build His temple. God’s reason for not allowing David to do this was that David was a warrior and had shed blood. (1 Chron. 28:3)

            The shepherd king writes of God testing the heart. God still tests the hearts of those who live for Him. Due to one of my health issues, I cannot put certain foods into my system. Hubby teases me daily about getting me a treat from the doughnut shop. He knows what can happen if I partake of those treats. That is why I believe he teases me. However, if he were not teasing, I still would have to say, “No!” Because, I know God tests my heart, I know I have to keep myself as healthy as I can.

            God is pleased when we respond to a situation and show integrity. In the Bible “the term has various shades of meaning: simplicity or sincerity; entirety as represented by Job under grievous trial.”(2.)

            In our 21st Century, we as a society need to have integrity in all our works and in our pastimes. We need to apply the Golden Rule to all our actions—business, recreational, and interpersonal. I have stated this before; I believe keeping the teachings of the Bible to the forefront of our lives could change our world.

1.www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=integrity%20definition


2. The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago, revised 1988, Page 623

Monday, May 9, 2016

Holiness

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“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God; the benefits you reap lead to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Romans 6:22 (NIV)

Holiness [N] [T]
in the highest sense belongs to God ( Isaiah 6:3 ; Revelation 15:4 ), and to Christians as consecrated to God's service, and in so far as they are conformed in all things to the will of God ( Romans 6:19 Romans 6:22 ; Ephesians 1:4 ; Titus 1:8 ; 1 Peter 1:15 ). Personal holiness is a work of gradual development. It is carried on under many hindrances, hence the frequent admonitions to watchfulness, prayer, and perseverance ( 1 Corinthians 1:30 ; 2 co 7:1 ; Ephesians 4:23 Ephesians 4:24 ). (See SANCTIFICATION .)1

               Paul writes to the believers in Rome. He reminds them God set them free from their sinful pasts. Further, he relates they have become God’s servants.

               When people ask Jesus to come into their hearts, they receive certain “benefits.” Believers have peace, wholeness, eternal life, and the Holy Spirit and His gifts. These benefits work together in our hearts to set us apart for God’s service. We become sanctified—separated from the secular and the sinful for a sacred purpose. 2

               Recently, in Sunday school, we heard of Mother Teresa’s history. Her father died when she was 8 years old. She felt called by God to go to India to minister to the people there. She never saw her homeland in Macedonia again. She felt called of God to spend her life in His service.
I have always admired her for her work and for her living out her faith. God prepared her for the task He gave her to do.
_________________________

1. http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/holiness/

2  The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago, revised 1988, page 1124   

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us

scpeanutgallery.com  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...