Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quiet Reflections

Today's Reading:
  • Psalm 78:32 - 78:55
  • Proverbs 12:21 - 23
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Psalm 78:32 - 78:55
This psalm continues the story of all things the Israelites did to grieve the Lord and invoke His wrath against them. It invokes the same feelings I spoke about just a few days ago-- and since it angers me I'm not going to repeat my rant so soon.  I will say that this story is being told beautifully, and I am really enjoying how this story is being told.  I think I have two more reading sessions before I am finished with this psalm.

Proverbs 12:21 - 23
21  No harm comes to the godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
22  The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.
23  The wise don't make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness.
 Be godly.  Speak the truth.  Be wise.  These things are pleasing to the Lord. 

I don't have many words to speak today on these readings. The proverbs give great advice and the psalm is beautifully written. I guess I am just in more of a quiet reflection mode today.  Quiet, peaceful reflection.  It's a good place to be :-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Unforgivable Sin - Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 12:8 -12:34
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Luke 12:8 - 12:34
There were a few topics covered in the verses I read today.  First we are told that we must acknowledge Jesus on earth if we are to be acknowledged in heaven.  That's something to really keep in mind -- we can't privately be Christians, and then act differently to the rest of the world.  We need to acknowledge Jesus to others, so that Jesus will acknowledge us later.

In verse 12:10, we are once again told about the unforgivable sin -- blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  So far I think I've read and commented on this twice (post1, post2).  I still don't have anymore insight into what that sin actually is.  In my original quick research, it appears to be knowingly  attributing the work of the Lord to that of Satan.  But that's only what I've read from other people.  I really wish I would find more in the bible that will help me to grasp a better understanding.  That will come in due time I guess, for I still have a lot more of the bible to read!

Jesus then talks about greed and possessions.  Verse 12:21 states:
"Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God."
Jesus then goes on to say that we should trust the Lord for provision.  Even if we are running out of food to eat and clothes to wear, we should not worry -- for the Lord will provide.  In 12:15, Jesus says:
"Beware!  Guard against every kind of greed.  Life is not measured by how much you own."
 I still don't know how I feel about wealth and Christianity.  Should we be poor?  Should we be rich?  How does being rich affect our relationship with the Lord?  One thing is for certain; however -- as wealth increases, one needs to constantly reevaluate his or her relationship with the Lord.  We need to make sure that we are still prepared to (1) Recognize that the wealth is not our own, nor our doing -- no matter how hard we have worked.  It is instead a blessing; and (2) Evaluate what condition our soul would be in should we lose everything. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

When God Offers Hamburgers

Today's Reading:
  • Psalm 78:1 - 31
  • Proverbs 12:19 - 20
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Psalm 78:1 - 31
This psalm of Asaph is broken into a few parts.  Today's reading covered the first 20 verses of the psalm.  This part of the psalm serves as a reminder to the people what the Lord has done for the Israelites.  The people are told not to forget the rebellious things that their ancestors did.

Looking back at these things, at the way these people challenged God -- it still angers me, almost as much as when I was reading it in the Old Testament.  I will never understand the way those people acted and how they could be so full of rebellion and to keep challenging the Lord and complaining about absolutely everything.

I know a few people like that -- no matter what you do for them, you just can't do enough.  And the moment something isn't exactly how they want it, then to them it seems there is nothing good left -- everything is a bust.  I've been dealing with some very hard people this past week, and someone said to me:  "They don't want the hamburger unless they can have the whole cow."  I thought that was a hilarious and very fitting analogy.  Sometimes the Lord give us hamburgers instead of the whole cow.  And you know what, I'm okay with that -- at least that means I am provided for, and that I get to eat.  That my family gets to eat.  So thank you, Lord, for giving us hamburgers!

Proverbs 12:19 - 20
19  Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.
20  Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace!
 Simple lessons here -- speak the truth and not lies.  Plot for good things and not for evil schemes.  The result is life that is happy is filled with much more joy.  I like joy, what about you?!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Eternal Punishment and the Choice of Life

Today's Reading:
  • Deuteronomy 31:1 - 32:1
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Deuteronomy 31:1 - 32:1
The Lord told Moses that he was soon to die.  Moses was 120 years old when he addressed the people and told him that it was soon his time to go.  It pains me that Moses did not get to go to the promised land himself because one of his previous actions greatly angered the Lord.  But the Lord told Moses that his time was near, and Moses was to prepare for it.

The Lord also told Moses that the people will break His covenant when they enter the new land.  They were continually breaking His laws when Moses was there; once he was gone it was going to get much worse, until the point comes where the Lord has to pour down the curses he warned them of.  The reading ends with the Lord giving Moses a song to teach the people, so that when all that has been promised comes to pass, that they know why it has happened and so they know that the Lord has turned away from them. 

That's such a scary thought -- being told by the Lord that these horrible things will come to pass because of how you acted.  If the Lord told YOU of the things that would come to pass if you turned away from Him, would you listen before it becomes too late? 

My last reading in Deuteronomy was about the choice between life and death.  In that passage Moses warns the people to fear the Lord -- suffering on earth is only temporary; but the Lord deals out in eternal punishment. 

Eternal punishment -- that is not a topic I focus on much at all.  I believe whole-hardheartedly in Jesus Christ, and I tend to focus on the great things the Lord provides to me and my family.  He blesses us, He provisions for us, and He protects us.  That being said, I would greatly fear the wrath of the Lord if I wasn't on His side. 

The Lord does warn us about what will happen if we don't follow Him.  It's called Hell - and it is an eternal punishment greater than any curse that we might deal with on the earth.  We are warned, and we need to take heed of that warning.  Do we take the blessings of the Lord?  Do we stand at His side, allow Him to provide for us, and live for eternity in a world with no suffering?  Or do we choose eternal punishment?  The choice for me is clear -- it is a choice of life.