Category Archives: Envy / Jealousy / Coveting

All Of Us Have But A Role To Play For Our King

All of us will die and face our King. None of us are going to live forever in our earthly lives. No matter how important we think we are or others think we are, the Lord can manage a proper handoff with others to continue His work. We are not indispensable.  For those of us who have accepted Yahweh as Lord and accepted the offer of grace and forgiveness through Yeshua… we each have but a role to play in service to our Lord. Let us find joy in playing it well and contentment (or even joy) in coming to face Him when it is our time to die.

Deuteronomy 34

The Death of Moses

      1Now Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, 2and all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, 3and the Negev and the plain in the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” 5So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. 6And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day. 7Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated. 8So the sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.

      9Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses. 10Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, 11for all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and all his land, 12and for all the mighty power and for all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

Moses was “one of a kind” in His relationship with the Lord. However, even He has but a role to play in the service of the King. He is one player on the stage which the Lord has established. Each of us has a role to play. Let us focus on what we are called to do and not envy or covet the role others have. Let us also remain humble that we are not indispensable to His work. It is His power and glory, not our own.

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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 Not Steal. It Is A Simple Concept.

It seems this should be no surprise. It is in keeping with the ten commandments and the principles of YHWH’s instruction throughout the Bible. Do not covet what others have. Do not steal. Do not even do small, nuanced things that are deceitful and cheat your neighbors. Do not cheat businesses or steal things just because “they are insured” or “they don’t need it as much as I do”. It really does not need to be complicated, but surprisingly, many people find excuses to rationalize why it is ok to cheat or steal from others It usually starts with coveting and selfishness.

Deuteronomy 19:14

      14“You shall not move your neighbor’s boundary mark, which the ancestors have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the LORD your God gives you to possess.

If you struggle in this area or know someone who does, start with prayer and a clear recognition of the truth of YHWH’s word. Call it out as wrong. Ask YHWH to help you change your behavior and obey you. If you have done wrong to someone, make it right and repay them. Do not cheat even over small matters, as that tends to reinforce the habit or behavior and normalizes it. Those who steal in small matters, will typically steal in larger matters later.

Stealing is wrong. Don’t make excuses to complicate what is simple. When you steal something, you hurt someone else.

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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.

The Gospel Is Preached

Ask the Spirit to help you share with boldness the truth of Christ. Give thanks for those who bring the truth of God’s word to people. Recognize, however, that there are many who teach it from false motives and sadly, many of them do not preach it in truth, but rather tell people what they want to hear.  Test everything you hear against the truth of scripture and keep that which is good and true.

Philippians 1:12-20

The Gospel Is Preached

     12Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, 13so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, 14and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. 15Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; 16the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; 17the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. 18What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will rejoice, 19for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

Rejoice that the gospel is preached. Pray for discernment in understanding the truth of the gospel. Do not just accept whatever is said about Christ, but test everything against the Bible. False teaching tickles the ears but leads people away from Christ, all the while they believe they are following Him.  Pray for the Spirit to be with those who share the gospel and give them wisdom and discernment and boldness and courage. Pray for Yeshua to be shared with the world boldly and truthfully, without filtering the message for fear of offending people with truth. Pray that the Lord would use even our personal suffering to His glory and the glory of the gospel of Christ.

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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.

You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

For those of you who read our article yesterday, the introduction to this companion article will be redundant, but we pivot to focus on the last 6 commandments in this article where we focused on the first 4 yesterday. (You Shall Love The Lord Your God With All Your Heart)

The ten commandments do not represent the sum total of God’s law or instruction for His people. However. He saw fit to focus on these 10 as He addressed the people. Much more detail was shared with the people through Moses and is available for us to study and learn in scripture. The point is, that learning and obeying these 10 commandments is not sufficient but it is a good place to start.

Some immediately want to say that this is out of date, “Didn’t Jesus say to love God and love others was all we need to do?”

Matthew 22:34-40

     34But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38“This is the great and foremost commandment. 39“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Context is important. This is not a new commandment replacing the others. Jesus lived obeying the law of Moses and quoting from it in His teaching. He explicitly said He did not come to change the law.

Matthew 5:17-19

      17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

What Jesus is essentially saying is that He can summarize God’s instruction down to loving God and loving one another. However, we don’t get to define what that means on our terms. All too often people today define that as accepting sin and encouraging people that they do not have to repent of sin to be in right relationship with God. God already defined what it means to love God and love one another. As a starting point, we can use the 10 commandments. The first four are about our relationship with God and the next 6 are about our relationship with each other. This is not an all inclusive list, but it is a good place to start and to a health check on our relationship with God and others. We focus today on our relationship with others.

Deuteronomy 5:16-21 (the last six commandments)

    16‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.

      17‘You shall not murder.

      18‘You shall not commit adultery.

      19‘You shall not steal.

      20‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

      21‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’

Let us first observe that loving God comes first, before loving others. This is true in the order in which the commandments were given by God and also the order in which Jesus spoke about them… love God and love one another… the order is important.

Honor your father and your mother. God has commanded us to honor our parents. In particular this is important for children when they are in the care of their parents before they grow in wisdom and relationship with the Lord. Their parents are there to protect and provide for and guide them. Even as adults we should honor father and mother. Children do not need to agree with parents in order to honor them.

You shall not murder. Too often this is mistranslated as “do not kill”. There is a difference between killing (e.g. in self defense) and murder. God’s people were often called to defend their nation in battle or to take the promised land at God’s command. God Himself provided a legal system in which some offenses are punishable by death. These are not the same as murder even though people die. On the other hand, abortion is the taking of an innocent life… it is murder. This will be tough for many to accept and internalize. However, keep in mind that Christ has died for our sins and so we can be forgiven.

You shall not commit adultery. Sadly, this should be obvious to anyone who loves their spouse, but our culture seems to be less and less concerned with calling out this sin. It is almost accepted as not ideal or flattering, but commonplace. It really should be considered a terrible offense and not lessened in significance just because so many fail in this area. It rips apart marriage, which is intended as a very close, personal bond between a man and a woman for life. It rips apart and damages families and children. It is very destructive on our society and culture.

You shall not steal. We do not love others by taking what is theirs. That is extremely selfish and hurtful.

Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Do not lie to get someone else in trouble. Speak the truth and treat people honestly and with integrity.

You shall not covet. Coveting is an everyday part of our lives. For America, and much of the world, it is the new favorite national pastime. Marketing constantly tries to make us covet what others have so we go buy it. People go deep into debt buying things they don’t need and can’t afford (e.g. houses, cars, clothes, phones, anything and everything) because they covet. People hate others and resent others because they covet. Do not let this sin sneak into your life because it is so accepted in our culture. Look for it and ask for God’s help for you to be content rather than coveting.

Think you are scoring well? Let’s take a look at how Jesus told us to judge against these commandments.

Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28

      21“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

      27“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Jesus shows us how high God’s standards are. We don’t get to redefine them so they are easy just because we fail. They are the righteous standard and good reference point to measure our progress in becoming more like Christ and less like the world. It should be clear by now that we all truly need the grace of Christ’s offer of forgiveness through grace by faith based on His death on the cross for us. None of us can meet God’s holy standard.

Consider this a health check on your relationship with God and others. Do you love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength? Do you love others as yourself? Most of us would admit we have further to go to live up to this standard… and we need God’s help to get there. Ask for Him to help you love Him more. Then look to understand more about how to demonstrate love for God through your decisions and attitudes of submission and obedience to Him.

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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.

Seek First The Kingdom Of God

A simple but revolutionary instruction. Yeshua tells us not to focus on money but on our relationship with the Father. Do not covet what others have or put your faith in large sums of money. Trust in the Lord and He will meet your needs. Set your finances aside to honor God and store up treasure in heaven and your heart will follow.

Luke 12:13-34

Covetousness Denounced

     13Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” 16And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17“And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18“Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

      22And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. 23“For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! 25“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? 26“If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? 27“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 28“But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! 29“And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. 30“For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. 31“But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.

      33“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. 34“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Pray the Lord helps you with this as it truly is against what we are taught growing up in this world. We are taught that money, not God, represents security and self reliance. We should not seek to be self reliant but rather dependent on the Father. Whether or not we realize it, we are dependent on the Father already… as with the man in the parable starting in verse 16, above.

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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.

Do Not Choose To Complain When God Calls You To Repent

Korah lead a rebellion in the beginning of Numbers 16. The Lord punished him and his family and those who also led the rebellion. They were swallowed up by the earth in a sign that could only be of the Lord. It was public and visible. One would assume then that the rest of the people who had been spared would be humble and repent before the Lord for their rebellion against Him. They did not. Instead they grumbled and complained, again jealous and blaming Moses and Aaron and never looking inward to judge the hardness of their own hearts in a way that could lead to repentance.

While it seems quite amazing, if you think about it in the lives of people around you every day, even those who say they believe and follow Jesus, you will see it is quite common. People have a tendency to excuse or overlook their sin and rebellion to God and blame others when things do not work out how they like. They do not internalize this issue of rebellion as originating with them… as their fault.

What an amazing response by Moses and Aaron… rather than just stand there and let God wipe out the rebellious people, they spring to action and make an intercessory offering and prayer on behalf of the sinful people. Though the people did not repent, the intercessory prayers of the righteous were enough for God to spare the people further destruction. What a great example of how we as God’s people should respond to those who struggle in their relationship with the Lord. Let us not be vengeful, but rather gracious in seeking to pray on their behalf before the Lord.

Numbers 16:41-50

Murmuring and Plague

     41But on the next day all the congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You are the ones who have caused the death of the LORD’S people.” 42It came about, however, when the congregation had assembled against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tent of meeting, and behold, the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD appeared. 43Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting, 44and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 45“Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.” Then they fell on their faces. 46Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from the LORD, the plague has begun!” 47Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. So he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked. 49But those who died by the plague were 14,700, besides those who died on account of Korah. 50Then Aaron returned to Moses at the doorway of the tent of meeting, for the plague had been checked.

When God calls you to repent, do not choose to complain instead. Take care not to be like those who sin and then grumble, always blaming the righteous for what goes wrong and never internalizing your own sin and relationship with the Lord.

Look also for the opportunity to pray for others, even those who would do you harm or say bad things to and about you. What a way to be a light to the world!

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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 In God’s Calling For You

We are all different. God has made us with different personalities, different passions, different skills, etc. He has made each of us for that which He wishes for us to pursue and accomplish on His behalf as part of the body of Christ. Take care to trust God, seek out His calling for your life, and be content … even joyful… with it. Envy not the role He has selected for others and seek not to force your own way for your own glory. When we focus our thoughts on ourselves instead of the Lord it is too easy to slip into rebellion with the Lord even if we try to position ourselves in ministry or the church.

Numbers 16:1-40

Korah’s Rebellion

     1Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took action, 2and they rose up before Moses, together with some of the sons of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, chosen in the assembly, men of renown. 3They assembled together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”

      4When Moses heard this, he fell on his face; 5and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning the LORD will show who is His, and who is holy, and will bring him near to Himself; even the one whom He will choose, He will bring near to Himself. 6“Do this: take censers for yourselves, Korah and all your company, 7and put fire in them, and lay incense upon them in the presence of the LORD tomorrow; and the man whom the LORD chooses shall be the one who is holy. You have gone far enough, you sons of Levi!”

      8Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi, 9is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them; 10and that He has brought you near, Korah, and all your brothers, sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking for the priesthood also? 11“Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the LORD; but as for Aaron, who is he that you grumble against him?”

      12Then Moses sent a summons to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab; but they said, “We will not come up. 13“Is it not enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to have us die in the wilderness, but you would also lord it over us? 14“Indeed, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor have you given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Would you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!”

      15Then Moses became very angry and said to the LORD, “Do not regard their offering! I have not taken a single donkey from them, nor have I done harm to any of them.” 16Moses said to Korah, “You and all your company be present before the LORD tomorrow, both you and they along with Aaron. 17“Each of you take his firepan and put incense on it, and each of you bring his censer before the LORD, two hundred and fifty firepans; also you and Aaron shall each bring his firepan.” 18So they each took his own censer and put fire on it, and laid incense on it; and they stood at the doorway of the tent of meeting, with Moses and Aaron. 19Thus Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the doorway of the tent of meeting. And the glory of the LORD appeared to all the congregation.

      20Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21“Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.” 22But they fell on their faces and said, “O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will You be angry with the entire congregation?”

      23Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24“Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’”

      25Then Moses arose and went to Dathan and Abiram, with the elders of Israel following him, 26and he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, or you will be swept away in all their sin.” 27So they got back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the doorway of their tents, along with their wives and their sons and their little ones. 28Moses said, “By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these deeds; for this is not my doing. 29“If these men die the death of all men or if they suffer the fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me. 30“But if the LORD brings about an entirely new thing and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that is theirs, and they descend alive into Sheol, then you will understand that these men have spurned the LORD.”

      31As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open; 32and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions. 33So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. 34All Israel who were around them fled at their outcry, for they said, “The earth may swallow us up!” 35Fire also came forth from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense.

      36Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 37“Say to Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, that he shall take up the censers out of the midst of the blaze, for they are holy; and you scatter the burning coals abroad. 38“As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered sheets for a plating of the altar, since they did present them before the LORD and they are holy; and they shall be for a sign to the sons of Israel.” 39So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers which the men who were burned had offered, and they hammered them out as a plating for the altar, 40as a reminder to the sons of Israel that no layman who is not of the descendants of Aaron should come near to burn incense before the LORD; so that he will not become like Korah and his company—just as the LORD had spoken to him through Moses.

What more can be said to reinforce the point? Rebellion against God’s will is bad. It angers Him and glorifies no one. Seek righteousness with humility and be content with how the Lord chooses to use you.

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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.

 

He Gives Us Over To The Stubbornness Of Our Hearts

Psalm 81 was written about God’s goodness and Israel’s waywardness… or behavior of going astray from God and pursuing ungodly things. God established Israel and provided for them through many mighty deeds and yet they continued to stray from Him to chase false gods and selfish pursuits. A Psalm like this one could very easily be written about the USA with a few minor changes to the historical references such as “coming out of Egypt”. Jehovah blessed our Christian nation at its birth and yet we as a nation continue to stray from God.

As a result of our rejection of Him as a nation, He gives us over to the stubbornness of our hearts and we now walk in our own devices… an immoral society overrun by sin which is normalized throughout the land. Many gods are worshipped… money, sex, power, sports, status, and perhaps most of all self. Coveting is the national pastime for many, always lusting after what others have rather than finding contentment with what God has provided.

Psalm 81

For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of Asaph.

     1Sing for joy to God our strength;
Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.

      2Raise a song, strike the timbrel,
The sweet sounding lyre with the harp.

      3Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
At the full moon, on our feast day.

      4For it is a statute for Israel,
An ordinance of the God of Jacob.

      5He established it for a testimony in Joseph
When he went throughout the land of Egypt.
I heard a language that I did not know:

      6“I relieved his shoulder of the burden,
His hands were freed from the basket.

      7“You called in trouble and I rescued you;
I answered you in the hiding place of thunder;
I proved you at the waters of Meribah.

Selah.

      8“Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you;
O Israel, if you would listen to Me!

      9“Let there be no strange god among you;
Nor shall you worship any foreign god.

      10“I, the LORD, am your God,
Who brought you up from the land of Egypt;
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

      11“But My people did not listen to My voice,
And Israel did not obey Me.

      12“So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart,
To walk in their own devices.

      13“Oh that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!

      14“I would quickly subdue their enemies
And turn My hand against their adversaries.

      15“Those who hate the LORD would pretend obedience to Him,
And their time of punishment would be forever.

      16“But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Pray for revival personally, in your family, in your local church, in your state, in the nation and across the world. Live out the revival in your daily life. Pray, study, spend time with our Lord. Ask for His guidance in your life and be prepared to give up your desires and your plans in favor of His. You may well find that what you desire was never really yours to begin with but only that which our culture indoctrinated you to pursue. What He wants for us is much better.

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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.

You Can’t “Out Give” God

It sounds cliché, but it really is true. You can not “out give” God. He is a generous and loving Father, an all powerful king of kings. He provides His people with gifts and blessings that far exceed what we could hope to give back to Him or give to others. We are but His servants. Let us pray for His help, His grace through the Spirit in us, to given and give generously to help others with joy in our hearts. Let not covetousness or personal greed get in our way of glorifying God as we look to help one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.

2 Corinthians 9

God Gives Most

      1For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints; 2for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3But I have sent the brethren, in order that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, so that, as I was saying, you may be prepared; 4otherwise if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to speak of you—will be put to shame by this confidence. 5So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness.

      6Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

9as it is written,
“HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR,
HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.”

10Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 12For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, 14while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Generous giving may include money or time and talent… or all three. Look for opportunities to help others generously… but don’t determine to do so on your own power and will alone. Seek God’s grace to help you through the Spirit within you. In His power we can do so much more and joyfully!

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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.

Envy Not The Wicked

Do not envy the wicked, no matter what appearances may be. We do not see all and we most often see only the temporary rather than the eternal. But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.” [Psalm 73:28]

Psalm 73

The End of the Wicked Contrasted with That of the Righteous.

A Psalm of Asaph.

1Surely God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!

      2But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.

      3For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

      4For there are no pains in their death,
And their body is fat.

      5They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like mankind.

      6Therefore pride is their necklace;
The garment of violence covers them.

      7Their eye bulges from fatness;
The imaginations of their heart run riot.

      8They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;
They speak from on high.

      9They have set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue parades through the earth.

      10Therefore his people return to this place,
And waters of abundance are drunk by them.

      11They say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge with the Most High?”

      12Behold, these are the wicked;
And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.

      13Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
And washed my hands in innocence;

      14For I have been stricken all day long
And chastened every morning.

      15If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.

      16When I pondered to understand this,
It was troublesome in my sight

      17Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.

      18Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.

      19How they are destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!

      20Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form.

      21When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within,

      22Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.

      23Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.

      24With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.

      25Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

      26My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

      27For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.

      28But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

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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.