Category Archives: Complaining

Let Us Sanctify Ourselves To Be Useful To The Master

Let us sanctify ourselves to be useful to the master, to be prepared for every good work. Let us make ready to be the vessels of honor rather than dishonor. We do not set our standard based on those around us, but based on the holy word of YHWH.

2 Timothy 2:14-26

An Unashamed Workman

     14Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 19Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

      20Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

We are not to wait around for YHWH to change us. We are to seek him and to study his word and live according to his ways so that we will be sanctified and ready for his use.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Shall We Chose His Ways or Our Own?

Our strength and protection come from the LORD. He will be with the righteous, those who pursue his ways rather than their own. Those who turn aside to their own ways will face consequences.

This is a simple message, repeated throughout the Biblical texts. The LORD will not treat the righteous and the wicked the same way. He will respond and treat us differently based on our response and attitude toward him. Will we pursue righteousness, which is doing things his way, or will we pursue our own ways?

This is an important question we should ask ourselves often. We should ask the Spirit to help us with this. His ways may be strange to us as our culture, even within the church, has separated in many ways from doing things his way and continues to evolve or change things to suit the culture of people today. To seek his ways is to be on a much less traveled path. Even Christians will challenge you as most have become deeply accustomed to certain ways or traditions of man accepted in the church over time.

We see examples in which Sabbath has been given up and no longer has practical meaning to most. Now with regards to homosexuality and transgender, rather than helping these people as our LORD would want us to do, we see more churches accepting and celebrating them to remain in sin and confusion. The same is true with many (almost all) traditional holidays that church going Christians still partake of. Their are many pagan roots based on worship of false gods, but we have relabeled them and declare that they mean something else to us now. However, we must remember that it is not what it means to us that matters. It is what it means to YHWH that matters. We need to seek to understand what it means to him, rather than hold on to something based on what it means to us.

Psalm 125

The LORD Surrounds His People.

A Song of Ascents.

1Those who trust in the LORD
Are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever.

2As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the LORD surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever.

3For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest upon the land of the righteous,
So that the righteous will not put forth their hands to do wrong.

4Do good, O LORD, to those who are good
And to those who are upright in their hearts.

5But as for those who turn aside to their crooked ways,
The LORD will lead them away with the doers of iniquity.
Peace be upon Israel.

Pray that YHWH would open your eyes to any areas in which you are turning aside from his ways to your own crooked ways. Truly reflect on it and be willing to change. Seek to define your life to match what is written in the Bible and lived out by Yeshua rather than defining yourself by simply what you grew up considering to be “normal” or “Christian”. This is hard. It takes YHWH’s help. It takes a truly submissive heart that is willing to surrender some things that you like and want so that you can instead pursue what he likes and wants. You will have to walk away from some things that you have accepted as good your whole life and try out some new things which seem strange at first.

It is not a journey for the faint of heart and most are not willing to really make the transition. Pray for his help and give yourself time to change. You will not get everything right but go in with a desire to please him and submit fully and a willingness to change and a willingness to be humble and learn and get better at it.  Do so humbly and joyfully and without bitterness or complaint.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

To Stand Boldly With and For Christ Means Others Will Come Against You

Today we are digging in a bit deeper into John 7. In a previous article, we highlighted that Yeshua was documented as participating in the appointed times of YHWH as laid out in Leviticus 23, in this case Feast of Booths or Tabernacles. Though this has largely been dropped from mainstream Christianity, those who seek truth by following Christ’s example should study more and consider participating in the appointed times as Yeshua did. My family has been doing so for years now and it is very rewarding, though a bit awkward as you get started.

There are a few main points I want to highlight as we dive a bit deeper into the beginning of John 7.

  • For those facing persecution for their faith in Christ, note that Christ in this chapter also chose the time and place for His teaching. He knew there were those who wanted to harm him. He was clearly actively proclaiming the truth of the gospel, but did so strategically and at times remained private or hidden. We should take care not to use this as an excuse to avoid standing for YHWH. Clearly Yeshua proclaimed His ways publicly.
  • For many of us who come to know Christ and then proclaim the truth of His message, the fullness of His instruction, our own families and friends may reject us. It is uncomfortable for many who claim to follow Christ, and perhaps genuinely do, to accept that much of what the church has taught them is wrong and they should change based on study of the whole word of YHWH, the whole Bible. The appointed times are a great example. You will face resistance and discouragement from some for pursuing the same celebrations of YHWH that Yeshua participated in just because they are not wanting to face the change themselves. Do not be discouraged. For Yeshua, even His own brothers were not believing in Him.
  • Do not fear rejection. Ask YHWH for the grace to accept and deal with it, as Christ did. The world will hate us, as it did Yeshua, if we testify that their deeds are evil. You can see it plainly today. If you share with someone the love of Christ for unborn children and the fact that abortion is offensive to YHWH and should be to us… you will be likely scorned by half the population not just as “disagreeing” but labeled all sorts of mean and nasty things. They will say you hate women and such. None the less, we must stand up for the ways of YHWH as Christ did.
  • If we teach the full word of YHWH it will be different from what most Christians are now accustomed to. Many ignore Sabbath. Those that don’t, celebrate on Sunday instead of Saturday (as Christ and His disciples did), gluttony is a significant problem in our culture but it is taboo to say anything, sexual relations outside of a husband and wife relationship are out of control in society, and coveting is practically a national pastime more than baseball. Our society does not accept rebuke or correction, each claiming offense if someone tries to point out where they may be in need of repentance.  People don’t like change and they like admitting they are wrong even less. Though some people will agree with you and say good things, so too will many disagree with you, grumble and say bad things about you… as they did Yeshua. Be prepared for this and ask YHWH to help you with it.

You can not preach the truth of the gospel without offending those who reject it or accept only parts of it. To stand boldly for Christ means others will come against you. If no one is coming against you, you may want to reflect if you are really living and speaking boldly for Christ in your daily life and if you are doing so to those that do not necessarily already agree with you.

John 7:1-13

Jesus Teaches at the Feast

     1After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. 2Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. 3Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. 4“For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5For not even His brothers were believing in Him. 6So Jesus said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. 7“The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. 8“Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.” 9Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee.

      10But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret. 11So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, “Where is He?” 12There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, “He is a good man”; others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.” 13Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Do All Things Without Grumbling or Complaining

Once we choose to serve and follow Yeshua, let us do so without grumbling and complaining. Let us follow Him with rejoicing, even through tough circumstances. In this way we will glorify Him all the more and set ourselves apart from the world.

Philippians 2:14-18

      14Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 17But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

How Will You Treat The Vineyard Owner?

The Israelites at times turned their backs on YHWH. They rejected his prophets and then killed His son, Yeshua. The Jewish people largely rejected Christ. As such, YHWH invited the gentiles to be grafted in to be His people in their place. If YHWH will allow His chosen people, Israel, to be replaced, none of us should be so arrogant as to think we can dictate the terms of our relationship to YHWH. He invites and accepts people on His own terms, which are outlined in the Bible.

YHWH will not force any to remain in relationship with Him. Nor will He hold back judgment for those who reject His offer through Christ of forgiveness by grace

Luke 20:9-18

Parable of the Vine-growers

     9And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. 10“At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11“And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. 12“And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. 13“The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14“But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ 15“So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16“He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.” When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!”

17But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,
THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone’?

18“Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”

Those who reject Christ may feel as though they are having a victory in this world for a time. They may laugh and reassure themselves that they are in control. However, YHWH will hold them accountable for their sin should they continue their rejection of Christ’s offer of forgiveness through grace.

What decision will you make? How will you treat the vineyard owner and His messengers? His son?

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

“I Would Never Act That Way”

Hollywood could not dream up a story as wild and exciting, with as many surprise turns, as that of the Lord delivering His people from Egypt to the promised land. A persecuted slave class of people being lifted up out of bondage through plagues and mighty miracles. Through moments of faith and moments where the faith utterly fails and they are disciplined by the Lord. A righteous man, Moses, interceding on their behalf each time they repent. There was no easy road. What irony that they were too afraid to take the promised land but then had to fight many other nations along their now extended journey. Don’t skip the details, read back through… the ground swallowed up some who rebelled, and not snakes through the camp causing mayhem and repentance. A bronze serpent as a symbol to save them… what a wild ride… and it’s all true, historical events.

We get the opportunity  to learn from the Lord through exciting and unexpected plot twists that His people actually experienced first hand.

As we read the historical events of Numbers 21, we once again see a roller coaster ride for the Israelites. They are attacked by Arad and beaten initially. They turn to the Lord and He gives them absolute victory. Then not long after, the people get impatient again and speak against the Lord. What a tiresome bunch for the Lord to tolerate… but let’s take care, as we still often act in much the same way. We forget His last blessing or victory so quickly once the next challenge or wait is in front of us. We are naturally impatient and selfish and often do not long remember the victories He has given us.

With rebellion in speaking out against the Lord, comes punishment… righteous punishment. All of us deserve correction from time to time, and a loving Father disciplines those He loves. Then comes the question of how we receive that rebuke… with humility leading to repentance or with resentment leading to further separation from the Lord. The Israelites at least turn toward the Lord for help again once they punishment of the snakes was upon them. Moses interceded for them with the Lord and the Lord forgave them.

At least for awhile, they remained more patient on their ongoing journey.

Numbers 21:1-20

Arad Conquered

     1When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, then he fought against Israel and took some of them captive. 2So Israel made a vow to the LORD and said, “If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.” 3The LORD heard the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites; then they utterly destroyed them and their cities. Thus the name of the place was called Hormah.

      4Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey. 5The people spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.”

The Bronze Serpent

     6The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded for the people. 8Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.” 9And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.

      10Now the sons of Israel moved out and camped in Oboth. 11They journeyed from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness which is opposite Moab, to the east. 12From there they set out and camped in Wadi Zered. 13From there they journeyed and camped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that comes out of the border of the Amorites, for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.

14Therefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the LORD,
“Waheb in Suphah,
And the wadis of the Arnon,

      15And the slope of the wadis
That extends to the site of Ar,
And leans to the border of Moab.”

      16From there they continued to Beer, that is the well where the LORD said to Moses, “Assemble the people, that I may give them water.”

      17Then Israel sang this song:
“Spring up, O well! Sing to it!

      18“The well, which the leaders sank,
Which the nobles of the people dug,
With the scepter and with their staffs.”
And from the wilderness they continued to Mattanah,

19and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the land of Moab, at the top of Pisgah which overlooks the wasteland.

Don’t fool yourself that each of us is not able to act in similar fashion as the Israelites did in Numbers 21. It is all too easy to declare, “I would never act that way.” We are still vulnerable toward focusing on our selves rather than God, focusing on our current challenge rather than our past victories with Him, grumbling against Him when things are not going how we want them to go. Pray for the Spirit to help us remain faithful to the Lord through even the tough times, remain thankful for all the victories He has handed to us in the past, and trust in Him that He will be with us through to the end of our current and future challenges. He is a loving Father! Let us rejoice and praise Him and not speak against Him!

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Trust God In The Desert; Faith and Obedience Bring Us To The Promised Land

Have you ever gone through a tough situation, one that was really emotionally and physically draining? It may have even lasted months or years. Let us remember to cling to God in these situations, trusting that if we are faithful He can turn all things to use for good.

Romans 8:28

  28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Let us take care not to complain and whine or worse… rebel against where God is leading us or bringing us through. Think back on the Israelites as the Lord led them out of Egypt and into the promised land. He performed many mighty miracles and yet as time passed, the people continued to stumble and make mistakes. They continued to complain and at times rebel against God. They saw only their immediate, short term struggles and kept focusing on those rather than focusing on and trusting the Lord who was leading them through the desert. They could not seem to focus and trust that the promised land was theirs at the end of the journey.

In fact, they even completely ignore their own accountability in making the journey take 40 years! God delivered them to the promised land and they disobeyed and did not take it because they were afraid of the people living there. They did not trust the Lord. Their journey got much longer. But as they complain in Numbers 20, they blame Moses and God rather than their own mistakes in disobeying the Lord.

Numbers 20:2-5

      2There was no water for the congregation, and they assembled themselves against Moses and Aaron. 3The people thus contended with Moses and spoke, saying, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the LORD! 4“Why then have you brought the LORD’S assembly into this wilderness, for us and our beasts to die here? 5“Why have you made us come up from Egypt, to bring us in to this wretched place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water to drink.”

How callously they chastise Moses and defame the Lord’s reputation and character, implicitly in their complaints about “It is not a place of grain or figs or vines …” in contrast to God’s promised land. They take no accountability for their actions being the cause of why they are in the desert still. Should not they be saying… “O’ Lord, forgive us and have mercy on us for our disobedience and lack of faith resulted in our remaining in the desert”?

Let each of us take care in our relationship with the Lord. Sometimes our actions create the bad situation we don’t like or make it much worse. The answer is not to get mad at God and complain. Turn to God and ask Him for forgiveness and help to get through the challenge. Ask Him for joy and encouragement. As Him for mercy and grace. These things He will give to a submitted and repentant heart.  God is indeed just, but He is also compassionate and kind.

Pray that He would use the difficult circumstances for good, for His glory through you. Pray He would bring good from the hard times. Then patiently and faithfully trust that He can and He will, even if it may not look like what we want in the situation. Let us cling to the Lord, knowing He may simply be bringing us through personal growth or to a place even better than where we started… as He was bringing the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the promised land. Rather than complain and blame the Lord, we should pray for the Spirit to help us be patient along the journey.

Trust God in the desert. Faith and obedience bring us to the promised land.

P.S. Want to know how God responded to the unrighteous complaints of the people? Read on further in Numbers 20. Once a righteous man interceded and asked the Lord for help, He provided them water, despite their general lack of faith and active complaining. I believe He did so to try to continue showing the people His glory to help lead them to trust and follow Him. Only in trusting Him would their journey truly get any easier as they continued in the desert.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Accept All Things That Come From The Lord With Joy and Without Grumbling

What a tremendous moment for Zacharias and Elizabeth… the birth of John. Zacharias was unable to speak for months, tongue tied by the Lord. Now with the birth of his son, and his final step of obedience to the Lord in naming his son John, he is able to speak again. He had quite a lot to say.

Was he grumbling and complaining about “being punished” for making a mistake when the angel told him about John? Was he saying it was “unfair” what happened to him. Certainly not! Zacharias took the sign as confirmation of all the angel had said and burst forth with confidence to prophecy over his son. I get the picture in my head that he was positively joyful in celebrating this moment and in serving the Lord.

Any of us may receive some difficulty at the hands of the Lord, as Zacharias did. Are we ready to receive it as correction or guidance from a loving Father? or are we so focused on ourselves that any inconvenience or difficulty makes us angry and impatient for it to be removed?

Luke 1:57-80

John Is Born

     57Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son. 58Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her.

      59And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, after his father. 60But his mother answered and said, “No indeed; but he shall be called John.” 61And they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name.” 62And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. 63And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, “His name is John.” And they were all astonished. 64And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God. 65Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. 66All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.

Zacharias’s Prophecy

     67And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

      68“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,

      69And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of David His servant—

      70As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old—

      71Salvation FROM OUR ENEMIES,
And FROM THE HAND OF ALL WHO HATE US;

      72To show mercy toward our fathers,
And to remember His holy covenant,

      73The oath which He swore to Abraham our father,

      74To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,

      75In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.

      76“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you will go on BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS;

      77To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,

      78Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,

      79TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

      80And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

When each of us receives discipline or guidance from the Lord by way of difficult circumstances, let us pray for the Spirit to help guide us in our response… that we would be filled with joy nonetheless and focus on our Lord and His desires and that He loves us enough to discipline us as His children. Let us accept all things from the Lord with joy and without grumbling.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Jehovah Speaks On Life and Conduct

Our Father loves us dearly. He has provided us with His word to guide us, His Spirit to fill us and help us, and the death of His son to make a way to forgive us. Let us never take that for granted, being complacent in our own way of living according to the ways of the world. The world if sinful and not righteous. Let us take His fatherly advice and change how we are living to be more like He instructs for us.

Proverbs 19

On Life and Conduct

1Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool.

      2Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge,
And he who hurries his footsteps errs.

      3The foolishness of man ruins his way,
And his heart rages against the LORD.

      4Wealth adds many friends,
But a poor man is separated from his friend.

      5A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will not escape.

      6Many will seek the favor of a generous man,
And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.

      7All the brothers of a poor man hate him;
How much more do his friends abandon him!
He pursues them with words, but they are gone.

      8He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good.

      9A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will perish.

      10Luxury is not fitting for a fool;
Much less for a slave to rule over princes.

      11A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,
And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.

      12The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like dew on the grass.

      13A foolish son is destruction to his father,
And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping.

      14House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the LORD.

      15Laziness casts into a deep sleep,
And an idle man will suffer hunger.

      16He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who is careless of conduct will die.

      17One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD,
And He will repay him for his good deed.

      18Discipline your son while there is hope,
And do not desire his death.

      19A man of great anger will bear the penalty,
For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.

      20Listen to counsel and accept discipline,
That you may be wise the rest of your days.

      21Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the LORD will stand.

      22What is desirable in a man is his kindness,
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.

      23The fear of the LORD leads to life,
So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

      24The sluggard buries his hand in the dish,
But will not even bring it back to his mouth.

      25Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd,
But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge.

      26He who assaults his father and drives his mother away
Is a shameful and disgraceful son.

      27Cease listening, my son, to discipline,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.

      28A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice,
And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity.

      29Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
And blows for the back of fools.

Take time and dwell on each verse. Which one or two strike you the most as relevant in your life. Pray the Lord helps you to deal with this area of your life and continue your transformation to be more like Him!

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Displining and Encouraging His People

I think people often forget that our God never changes. He is immutable. To say He is a God of grace and forgiveness now, after Christ, but imply He was not before Christ when people had the law only and not yet the Holy Spirit is to be mistaken. He is the same Lord yesterday, today, and tomorrow. There are many examples of Him showing grace and forgiveness to the people. However, people also tend to overlook that Christ spoke often about hell and called people to repent. It was His first message at the beginning of His ministry and He continued to preach it throughout His ministry. Repent in this context means to turn away from sin and back to God. For those who do not, there is judgment and accountability for they have rejected Christ’s offer of forgiveness through grace.

The God of the Old Testament is no different than the God of the New Testament. He does not change.

Numbers 16 includes an historical account about rebellion of the people against God, murmuring and complaining and even a plague that the Lord sends to discipline the rebels.  The people did not want to submit to Moses and Aaron as God’s chosen leaders. Then in numbers 17 Jehovah provides a clear sign to address the ongoing complaints of the people. He is trying to discipline them and also love them… they are His children. There is a path to grace and forgiveness but they need first to submit to Him and stop demanding their own way, not content with what He has called for them to do. If He had not grace and mercy than it is a wonder He would not have wiped them all out and started over.

Numbers 17

Aaron’s Rod Buds

     1Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to the sons of Israel, and get from them a rod for each father’s household: twelve rods, from all their leaders according to their fathers’ households. You shall write each name on his rod, 3and write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi; for there is one rod for the head of each of their fathers’ households. 4“You shall then deposit them in the tent of meeting in front of the testimony, where I meet with you. 5“It will come about that the rod of the man whom I choose will sprout. Thus I will lessen from upon Myself the grumblings of the sons of Israel, who are grumbling against you.” 6Moses therefore spoke to the sons of Israel, and all their leaders gave him a rod apiece, for each leader according to their fathers’ households, twelve rods, with the rod of Aaron among their rods. 7So Moses deposited the rods before the LORD in the tent of the testimony.

      8Now on the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. 9Moses then brought out all the rods from the presence of the LORD to all the sons of Israel; and they looked, and each man took his rod. 10But the LORD said to Moses, “Put back the rod of Aaron before the testimony to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put an end to their grumblings against Me, so that they will not die.” 11Thus Moses did; just as the LORD had commanded him, so he did.

      12Then the sons of Israel spoke to Moses, saying, “Behold, we perish, we are dying, we are all dying! 13“Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the LORD, must die. Are we to perish completely?”

Pray that the Spirit would encourage and guide you to strengthen your faith and obedience toward the Lord. Accept joyfully the evidence already presented in historical accounts, archaeology, the biblical text, etc. that He is Lord! Do not continue in rebellion against Him, but rather submit to Him as the first step in a lifelong relationship with Him. Submit to Him all aspects of your life, not just a few. Become a willing vessel to be used for His purposes and covet not what others may be called to do that you may prefer.

As a simple parable… I am a Father. I have four children. There are times when there is a lot of clean up needs to be done. If I send all four to do the same task, then who will do the other work which needs to be done? Some are called to lead, as Moses and Aaron were, others to support, others to lead within their families and so on. Some to care for the temple and some to fight and defend God’s people. Some to a variety of skills for music or creating beautiful things such as those made for the temple.

We could explore the same parable for any sports team.  How would the football team fare if all the lineman went out to run routes to catch a pass and left no one to block for the quarterback? What if no one on a soccer team wanted to play goalie because they all wanted to go get glory by scoring goals?  So too with the body of believers that make up God’s people. Let us accept the role He has for each of us and do our part that the team (the body of Christ) should bring glory for our Lord by working together.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.