Posts Tagged ‘Daily Motivation’


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 18:13,15,17 – 13) He who answers before listening-that is his folly and his shame
15) The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.
17) The first to present his case seems right , till another comes forward and questions him

In these concise statements, there are three basic principles for making sound decisions:

(1) get the facts before answering;
(2) be open to new ideas;
(3) make sure you hear both sides of the story before judging.

All three principles center around seeking additional information. This is difficult work, but the only alternative is prejudice-judging before getting the facts.


Under Gods Command

    1There was a certain man from Ramathaim, Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.    
3Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD. 4Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. 5But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb. 6Because the LORD had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.
 

The book of 1 Samuel begins in the days when the judges still ruled Israel, possibly during the closing years of Samson’s life. Samuel was Israel’s last judge and the first priest and prophet to serve during the time of a king. He was the best example of what a good judge should be, governing the people by God’s Word and not by his own impulses. Samuel was the man who anointed Saul as Israel’s first king.

Although many great Old Testament leaders (such as Abraham, Jacob, and David) had more than one wife, this was not God’s original intention for marriage. Genesis 2:24 states that in marriage, two people become one flesh. Why then did polygamy exist among God’s people? First, it was to produce more offspring to help in the man’s work and to assure the continuation of the man’s family line. Numerous children were a symbol of status and wealth. Second, in societies where many young men were killed in battle, polygamy became an accepted way of supporting women who otherwise would have remained unmarried and, very likely, destitute. Nevertheless, polygamy often caused serious family problems, as we see in this story of Hannah and Peninnah.

The tabernacle (Tent of Meeting) was located at Shiloh, the religious center of the nation (see Joshua 18:1). Three times a year all Israelite men were required to attend a religious festival held at the tabernacle: the Passover with the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16). Elkanah made this pilgrimage regularly to fulfill God’s commands. (See Exodus 23:14-17 for the regulations concerning the pilgrimage, and see the note on Exodus 40:34 for more on the tabernacle.)

Hannah had been unable to conceive children, and in Old Testament times, a childless woman was considered a failure. Her barrenness was a social embarrassment for her husband. Children were a very important part of the society’s economic structure. They were a source of labor for the family, and it was their duty to care for their parents in their old age. If a wife could not bear children, she was often obligated by ancient Middle Eastern custom to give one of her servant girls to her husband to bear children for her. Although Elkanah could have left Hannah (a husband was permitted to divorce a barren wife), he remained lovingly devoted to her despite social criticism and his rights under civil law.

Part of God’s plan for Hannah involved postponing her years of childbearing. While Peninnah and Elkanah looked at Hannah’s outward circumstances, God was moving ahead with his plan.

Lets Bring it Home: Think of those in your world who are struggling with God’s timing in answering their prayers and who need your love and help. By supporting those who are struggling, you may help them remain steadfast in their faith and confident in his timing to bring fulfillment to their lives.


Under Gods Command

Luke 12:47-48 The servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Here is one that hits home Hard, and we wonder why we got so many issues in our life, it’s because some of us know better. How many times we tell our children “You know better than that “and spank them on the backside, especially after you already given instructions. Same goes for us today with the Lord. We know better! So once someone brings something to our attention that we are doing wrong, we need to Pray and ask God to take it away. Something’s are easy, but some need the power of God because of our weakness, but we have to give it to him.

Jesus has told us how to live until he comes: we must watch for him, work diligently, and obey his commands. Such attitudes are especially necessary for leaders. Watchful and faithful leaders will be given increased opportunities and responsibilities. The more resources, talents, and understanding we have, the more we are responsible to use them effectively. God will not hold us responsibly for gifts he has not given us, but all of us have enough gifts and duties to keep us busy until Jesus returns.

Lets Bring it Home: Once God had told you, be prepared for more blows in your life for not being obedient to His word. And we wonder why we have so many issues in our life.


Under Gods Command

 JESUS DROPPED THE CHARGES

John 8:3-11 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such woman. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

This is a significant statement about judging others. Because Jesus upheld the legal penalty for adultery, stoning, he could not be accused of being against the law. But by saying that only a sinless person could throw the first stone, he highlighted the importance of compassion and forgiveness. When others are caught in sin, are you quick to pass judgment? To do so is to act as through you have never sinned. It is God’s role to judge, not ours. Our role is to show forgiveness and compassion. Take an honest look at your life. Recognize your sinful nature, and look for ways to help others rather than hurt them.

Jesus didn’t condemn the woman accused of adultery, but neither did he ignore or condone her sin. He told her to leave her life of sin. Jesus stands ready to forgive any sin in your life, but confession and repentance mean a change of heart. With God’s help we can accept Christ’s forgiveness and stop our wrongdoing.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

 

 


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:30 I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment

Your actions and assets reveal your character and wisdom. You cannot deceive anyone. If you are lazy, it shows clearly in various ways. If you are foolish, it is obvious to those around you. Solomon could identify a slothful or ignorant man by his fields. It does not matter what men think or say about themselves; their actions and assets tell the truth.

Solomon, in his effort to train his son and the nation for success, warned against folly and slothfulness. Both are self-destructive traits that will take a man down. In this proverb, he showed his son that he could discern the sleep habits of a man by viewing his field or vineyard (Pr 24:30-34). You cannot hide bad habits in the privacy of your bedroom!

Lazy men and fools think highly of themselves. In fact, arrogance is their ruin (Pr 12:15; 26:12,16). The sluggard believes he works harder than other men, and the fool believes he is wiser than other men. Their self-confidence and self-promotion are deceitful and destructive. They always have excuses as to why they have done so poorly in life. But all you have to do is look at their actions and assets to see their laziness or foolishness.

Solomon saw a field and vineyard overgrown with thorns, covered with nettles, and with its protective wall broken down (Pr 24:31). When he considered the neglected condition of these income-producing assets, he gained valuable insight into the life of the owner (Pr 24:32). The owner loved to sleep in his bed in the morning (Pr 24:33). Solomon knew without any doubts that poverty and pain were coming soon for that man (Pr 24:34).

Most men want to be known as hardworking and wise. They believe these things about themselves, and they are quick to tell others, if there are any doubts (Pr 20:6). But actions speak much louder than words (Pr 20:11). And actions can be verified by the condition and prosperity of your estate (Pr 24:30-34). You cannot hide your faults and failures; they are very visible to those simply observing your assets, friends, relationships, and career.

A diligent man rises to the top (Pr 22:29), gets promoted (Pr 12:24), and becomes rich (Pr 10:4). A man that loves pleasure or spending will be poor (Pr 21:17,20). A man that pursues get-rich-quick schemes will be poor (Pr 28:19,22). A man that loves sleep will be poor (Pr 20:13). A man that talks about business a lot will be poor (Pr 14:23). Those that believe testimonials will be poor (Pr 14:15; 19:2). Optimists will get punished (Pr 22:3).

Gracious persons are praised and have many friends (Pr 11:16; 18:24; 22:11). A strong man does not lose money (Pr 11:16). An odious woman is despised (Pr 21:19; 27:15; 30:21-23). Shameful children prove no training (Pr 29:15,17). A good reputation reflects wise priorities (Pr 22:1). Faithful employees prove wise management (Pr 29:21). A virtuous woman cannot be hid (Pr 12:4), but neither can an obnoxious one (Pr 27:15-16).

Fools defend themselves by saying, “You don’t know my heart,” as if there were something noble in them others cannot see (Pr 10:20). Hah! The heart is easy to know – just look at a person’s actions and results. A diligent and wise man will be rich and successful. A faithful and gracious man will have loving relationships. A fool or sluggard will not get close to these things! He destroys himself by folly (Pr 13:15; 15:19; 22:5).

Fools also defend themselves by saying, “You don’t know the acts of God in my life,” as if circumstances caused their failure. Some use poor parents or race as an excuse, which means little to nothing (Pr 14:35; 17:2). All men face obstacles, but fools and sluggards avoid dealing with them (Pr 20:4; 22:13; 26:13). There is only one Job in the history of the world, in spite of fools and sluggards claiming a repeat of his trials in their lives.

If a man or woman has few friends, it is not the fault of others. It is their fault (Pr 11:16; 18:24). If a man has no estate, it is not the fault of others. It is his fault (Pr 11:16; 21:20). If a man is married to an odious woman, it is not her fault. It is his fault (Pr 11:16,22; 30:21-23; 31:30). Neither fools nor sluggards deceived Solomon. He identified the cause-and-effect of riches or poverty, friends or enemies, success or failure.

Reader, what is your character? It has nothing to do with what you think or say about yourself. That is the most deceitful and stupid measure of all, and others do not believe it (Pr 14:12; 16:25; 21:2; Jer 17:9). Actions speak louder than words, and so do results. You are known by your assets, friends, relationships, and/or career. What would Solomon know about your heart and habits by observing your life? You can change the picture!

Your character and wisdom are known by the cleanliness and orderliness of your house; the neatness and accuracy of your checkbook; the clutter in your drawers, closets, basement, or car trunk; the mechanical repair of your car; your career progression; your bodyweight and fitness; your handshake; what is at the back of the bottom shelf of your refrigerator; your credit rating; the size of your savings account; and other such things.

Your character and wisdom are known by the character of your children; the esteem you receive from others; your number of friends; the happiness and helpfulness of your spouse; your reputation in various circles; the opinions of your parents; the opinions of your children; your demand as a counselor; the respect and thankfulness of neighbors and business associates; the number of requests for leadership roles; and other such things.

Your spiritual condition is also known by your assets and results. Do you bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)? How many souls have been converted through your efforts (Jas 5:19-20)? Do your children fear the Lord (Ps 34:11; Eph 6:4)? Are you able to teach, or are you still crawling with elementary knowledge (Titus 2:3-5; Heb 5:12-14)? Do others see Jesus Christ in you more than last year (Eph 4:13)? Are you glorious in overlooking the faults of others (Pr 19:11)? Or do you complain and fight as habits (Phil 2:14-16)?

A slothful or foolish man in financial matters will be poor. A slothful or foolish man in spiritual matters will be ignorant and fruitless. But both situations can be changed by grabbing something that should be done and doing it and doing it well! Right now! Do not delay another hour. Do something good and productive right now. You can change your life situation by God’s blessing on your diligent and wise efforts. Go for it!


Under Gods Command                                                                                                

1 Corinthians 10:28-33 But if anyone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience’ sake-the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness why am I denounced because of something I thank God for? So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God-even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Why should we be limited by another person’s conscience? Simply because we are to do all things for God’s glory, even our eating and drinking. Nothing we do should cause another believer to stumble. We do what is best for others, so that they might be saved. We should also be sensitive to the meaning of our actions to new Christians who are sorting out how to renounce sinful ways from the past and live for Christ. However, Christians should not make a career out of being the offended people with oversensitive consciences.

Believers must not project their standards onto others. Many believers who have been Christians for years are still oversensitive and judgmental of others. Instead of being the offended weaker brothers and sisters, they are no more than offended “Pharisees.”

Christian leaders and teachers should carefully teach about the freedom Christians have in matters not expressly forbidden by Scripture. New or weak Christians should not remain in a weak or sensitive state but should grow into maturity and discernment lest they prove to be an unnecessary burden on others’ freedom in Christ.

 Lets Bring it Home: God’s love must so permeate our motives that all we do will be for his glory. Keep this as a guiding principle by asking, “Is this action glorifying God?” or “How can I honor God through this action?”

 

 


Under Gods Command
Warning from Israel’s History

1 Corinthians 10:1-10

1-5: For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wildernesses.

The cloud and the sea mentioned here refer to Israel’s escape from slavery in Egypt when God led them by a cloud and brought them safely through the Red Sea (Exodus 14). The spiritual food and drink are the miraculous provisions God gave as they traveled through the desert (Exodus 15; 16).10:2 “Baptized into Moses” means that just as we are united in Christ by baptism, so the Israelites were united under Moses’ leadership in the events of the exodus.10:7–10

6-10: Now these things occurred as examples’ to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

The incident referred to in 10:7 took place when the Israelites made a golden calf and worshiped it in the desert (Exodus 32). The incident in 10:8 is recorded in Numbers 25:1–9 when the Israelites worshiped Baal of Peor and engaged in sexual immorality with Moabite women. The reference in 10:9 is to the Israelites’ complaint about their food (Numbers 21:5, 6). They put the Lord to the test by seeing how far they could go. In 10:10, Paul refers to when the people complained against Moses and Aaron, and the plague that resulted (Numbers 14:2, 36; 16:41–50). The destroying angel is referred to in Exodus 12:23. 10:10 Paul warned the Corinthian believers not to complain. We start to complain when our attention shifts from what we have to what we don’t have. The people of Israel didn’t seem to notice what God was doing for them—setting them free, making them a nation, giving them a new land—because they were so wrapped up in what God wasn’t doing for them. They could think of nothing but the delicious Egyptian food they had left behind (Numbers 11:5).

Lets Bring it Home: Before we judge the Israelites too harshly, it’s helpful to think about what occupies our attention most of the time. Are we grateful for what God has given us, or are we always thinking about what we would like to have? Don’t allow your unfulfilled desires to cause you to forget God’s gifts of life, family, friends, food, health, and work.