Of the two, which are we the most like?

I’ve always loved the story of the prodigal son.  Do you?  Are you like the father or the older brother?  The father allowed his son to have his inheritance.  If only we could listen in on the conversation the two must have had before his son left to make decisions on his own and to spend his inheritance with wild abandon.  I’m quite sure the father tried his best to talk his younger son out of such a foolish decision.  The younger boy focused only on himself and the good times he would have with his so-called friends, forgetting his father would be brokenhearted at his leaving.  Eventually he realized the friends he thought he had were false friends.  Once his inheritance was spent, the world became cold and uncaring.

“And He said, A certain man had two sons:  And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.  And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.”   Luke 15:11-15Luke 15:11-15
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11 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. 15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  

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This is what happens if we depart from the Father and make friends with the world.  The world is not any better than the people who spent time with the younger son.  The world is, in a sense, a wilderness.  Many a sin can ensnare us posing as a good time, but as the younger son, we too, soon find out, when we have no place else to turn, that we come to ourselves and want to return to the place where those who truly loved us are waiting and longing for our return.

“And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat:  and no man gave unto him.  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my fathers have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son:  make me as one of thy hired servants.”      Luke 15:16-19Luke 15:16-19
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16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.  

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“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:  a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”     Psalm 51:17Psalm 51:17
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17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.  

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In the following verses, we see the younger son returning to his father.  He knew he sinned before heaven and his father.  His heart was broken.  He humbled himself, asked forgiveness, and was content to be a hired servant.  This story is one of the most compassionate, loving examples of our Father’s care for His own.  He loves us and desires for us to stay close to Him.  If we choose to leave, the decision is entirely up to us.  If and when we come to ourselves, He rushes to meet us and is filled with compassion and forgiveness.  He is exceedingly joyful at our return to the fold.

“And he arose, and came to his father.  But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.  And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in Thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him:  and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.  And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.  And they began to be merry.”    Luke 15:20-24Luke 15:20-24
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20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.  

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If we are not like the father, are we like the elder son?  Are we resentful, envious, proud, angry and jealous when a brother or sister returns from the wilderness of sin?  Do we rush to hug them and welcome them back as the father in Lk. 15?  The elder son was so angry he refused to join the celebration of his brother’s return to the fold. May we never be as the elder son, for he allowed Satan to enter his heart and fill him with many sins.  The devil looks for every opportunity to ensnare a soul.  The elder son was no different.  If the devil couldn’t get one, the younger, he went for the elder.

The father told the elder son:

“And he said unto him Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.  It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad:  for this by brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”     Luke 15:31-32Luke 15:31-32
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31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.  

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“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”    Luke 15:7Luke 15:7
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7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.  

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“There is a choice that you have to make in everything you do.  So keep in the mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.”      ~ Wooden

Eileen Light

 

Break a china dish

I once knew a woman, a member of the church, who worked as a Home Economics teacher in a high school.  She went to San Antonio to buy a couch for her family, and a beautiful couch it was.  I saw the pictures.  However, she would not allow her family to sit on the couch, nor any church members.  I have thought of her many times since moving from south Texas and wondered if anyone ever became worthy enough to sit on her beautiful couch.  The thought always stayed in the back of my mind, “Who was she expecting, the president, the Queen of England, who?”

My adoptive mother was like this as well.  The living room was off limits.  The chairs, silk, had plastic sheeting on them, and for the time I lived with them the room was never used.  She had boxes of crystal, expensive plates, goblets, and fine china which were never used.  We ate from plastic plates.  I remember it well, and in the process learned a very valuable lesson in life.  We know the importance we have by how we are treated.  My youngest son once told me, after he heard this story, and he is right, we make time and do things for those who are important to us.

“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.”      Romans 12:10-21Romans 12:10-21
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10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; with...: or, in the love of the brethren 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. condescend...: or, be contented with mean things 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.  

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Who would be more important to serve than your brothers and sisters in Christ, your Christian family?  Why would one not desire to set china before their husband and children, parents and grandparents, Christian friends?  And why does it have to be only on holidays?  We are only here for a short while.  Why not make use of those things God has blessed us with and carve our names on hearts instead of marble?  Why not give them flowers now?  Why not allow them to sit on the expensive couch?  Why not use the expensive china and crystal?  While one lives is the time to appreciate our loved ones and show them how much we love them in word and deed.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”    I Corinthians 13:1

I once heard it said, and believe it to be true.  If you have a complete set of crystal and china, take one piece and break it and then use the rest.  I never ate from the crystal nor the china my adoptive mother had stored away.  Always plastic plates.  Sometimes pottery, but mainly plastic.  I admired the china and crystal.  They were lovely in the cardboard box, and absolutely useless.  Love is not love until we give it away.  Until we share and give of ourselves to others without thought of return, we will never know the true meaning of love.  This is the truth our Lord lived and taught.

The same truth applies to God’s Word.  There are limitless truths in His Word, direction, comfort, admonishment, warnings and instruction, bound up in beautiful leather covers, but absolutely useless if we don’t open the cover and study them.  Make it a habit to read those precious truths every day and live them out in your life.

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”    Psalms 119:105Psalms 119:105
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NUN. 105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. lamp: or, candle  

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When we hold our selves back either through material possessions or the giving of ourselves, we miss out on love and memories and the joyfulness of just giving to others.  To love others comes with risk, but it is  a risk worth taking.  Our Lord loved us so much, that without thought to His comfort and well-being, He went to the cross and took the sins of the world upon Himself, that we might, through obedience to His Word have the hope of eternal life.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”   John 3:16John 3:16
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16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  

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“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.  He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.”       ~ Buscaglia

Eileen Light

 

Are You Root Bound?

Two or three times a year my mother comes to visit us to help me with gardening. We usually begin with tending to the plants and flowers. Once she came upon a sad looking potted plant and said, “This plant is root bound.” She went to work taking it out of the pot that was too small, and loosening some of the roots. She got a bigger pot, put in the plant, and added new potting soil. Last, she added plant food and water. In the coming days it flourished.

Did you know that potted plants are not the only things that can become root bound? People, families, and churches can become root bound, too.

How do you know if you are a person that is spiritually root bound? If you become so wrapped up in yourself that you neglect to serve others, study the Bible, worship consistently, or share the good news with others, you are probably root bound. No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (Matt. 6:24Matt. 6:24
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24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  

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How do you know if your family is root bound? If it is focused solely on its desires and achievements, it might be root bound. If the parents are bound by materialism, wrapped up in social activities or hobbies, they may be root bound. If the children are consumed with social events and academic pursuits, to the neglect of spiritual things, they may be root bound. If the family prioritizes worldly things, leaving little time for home Bible study, faithful worship, and church activities that build godly relationships, they are probably root bound. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matt. 6:33Matt. 6:33
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33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  

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How do you know if your church family is root bound? If it is satisfied with “the way things have always been,” and not open to new Bible-based ideas and plans, it is probably root bound. If it is controlled by a few members who insist on having their way, it is probably root bound. If it is comfortable with feel-good, milky preaching, it is severely root bound. Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity… (Hebrews 6:1Hebrews 6:1
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6 1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, principles...: or, word of the beginning of  

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What will fix the problem? They do not need to be repotted. They need to repent and refocus on spiritual things. They should end friendships and activities that are spiritually toxic, and surround themselves with good soil, that is, hearts that are anxious to receive God’s word and please Him. They should prioritize serving others. Finally, they need to immerse themselves in God’s word, the living water, allowing it to guide every thought and action of the individual Christian, the family, and the church. These things are sure to fix or prevent the root bound problem and cause them to flourish!

Today’s Verse:  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; (Phil. 3:14-15Phil. 3:14-15
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14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.  

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by Teresa Hampton

Audios available at www.christianwomanaudiodevotionals.abiblecommentary.com

Can you be bought?

I want you to contemplate a question. I want you to ask yourself what it would take for someone to purchase your loyalty. Would it take money, possessions, fame, or position?

Maybe it wouldn’t take any of these things. Maybe you could be bought just for the satisfaction of doing something for a particular person because of who they are. Maybe you could be bought out of fear.

Let’s look at two examples of men who were bought, one out of greed and the second out of fear.

The first is Judas Iscariot. “Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?’ And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him” (Matthew 26:14-16Matthew 26:14-16
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14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.  

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Judas was a man chosen by the Lord Himself to be with Him during His ministry on earth. He was an insider. He saw the miracles, heard the parables, and travelled with the other chosen eleven.

Judas was the one that complained when Mary took a pound of expensive perfume and anointed the feet of Jesus. He said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” (John 12:6John 12:6
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6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.  

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). John said there was a reason for Judas’ reaction. He did it, “Not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it” (John 12:6John 12:6
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6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.  

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Judas was chosen, but he didn’t live up to his calling. He not only could be bought, he sold his services willingly and with mischief in mind from the beginning.

The second example is found in Matthew 28. After the crucifixion and resurrection, the guards appointed to watch the tomb of Jesus went into the city to the chief priests. They wanted to make their report of what had transpired at the tomb.

They were in a difficult place since they would be killed if they lost the one to whom they were assigned. In this case, they were to secure the tomb. They failed in their responsibility.

The chief priests assembled the elders, and together they came up with a plan. They said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble” (Matthew 28:13-14Matthew 28:13-14
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13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.  

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These are the same chief priests to whom Judas had gone. So it should not surprise us that they bought these soldiers. The King James Version says they were offered a large sum of money. “So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day” (Matthew 28:15Matthew 28:15
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15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.  

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Could you be bought so easily? Could you have taken money to identify the Son of God? Could you have lied about the Lord’s resurrection?

We won’t ever know the answer to either of those questions, but I have another question for you. Did you know you have been bought?

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (First Corinthians 6:19-20).

A slave that is purchased for money becomes the property of the one who bought him. As a slave, one would be obligated to obey his master and to serve him in whatever way he demands.

No price for a slave is as great as the price Jesus paid for us. He gave His life for us, dying on a cross to be the sacrifice for our sins.

We, unlike the slave, have a choice. We can choose to obey Him, or we can choose a life of sin. When we choose a life of sin, we become servants of men, not Christ. Paul said, “You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men” (First Corinthians 7:23).

Here are some ways we can be obedient as those bought by the blood of Christ from First Thessalonians 5:12-22:

• Respect those who are over us.
• Admonish the idle.
• Encourage the fainthearted.
• Help the weak.
• Be patient.
• Do not repay evil for evil.
• Always seek to do good.
• Rejoice always.
• Pray without ceasing.
• Give thanks in all circumstances.
• Do not quench the Spirit.
• Do not despise prophecies.
• Test everything.
• Hold to what is good.
• Abstain from every appearance of evil.

Our challenge is to not be bought by fame and fortune, or from greed or position, or even from fear. We have all already been bought by the blood of Jesus, and may we seek to serve Him and only Him.

Sandra Oliver

HOW GOD DEALS WITH HIS PEOPLE IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS

Information related to this article is available from one of our “Deeper Studies” posts.

 

 LESSON 1

People have been puzzled for generations about whether both Old and New Testaments are still in effect today.  Do we have to obey both of them?  Do we still have to go to Jerusalem three times a year?  Do we still have to offer animal sacrifice for our sins?  There is an Old Testament and a New Testament (Heb. 7:22Heb. 7:22
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22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.  

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; Heb. 8:1-5Heb. 8:1-5
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8 1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. of the sanctuary: or, of holy things 3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: there...: or, they are priests 5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.  

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; Heb. 8:6-13Heb. 8:6-13
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6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. covenant: or, testament 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: put: Gr. give in: or, upon 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.  

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; Heb. 9:14-15Heb. 9:14-15
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14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? spot: or, fault 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.  

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; Heb. 12:24Heb. 12:24
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24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. covenant: or, testament  

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Various labels have been given to the Old Testament Law.  It is sometimes called a covenant, an agreement, a testament, the Mosaic Law, the commandments, etc.  Each of these is a correct label for the laws that governed God’s chosen people between Mt. Sinai and the death of Christ.  The laws are found in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.  Some classify the book of Genesis as a book of law, but it is truly the history of the Israelite nation.  The Mosaic Law formed a constitution on which the civil government of the Israelites was founded, and according to which rulers were required to rule (Deut. 17:18-20Deut. 17:18-20
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18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.  

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; 2 Kings 11:122 Kings 11:12
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12 And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king. God...: Heb. Let the king live  

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; 2 Chro. 23:11ro. 23:11
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Izbrano poglavje ne obstaja!

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).  It was received by the disposition of angels (Deut. 33:2Deut. 33:2
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2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them. a fiery...: Heb. a fire of law  

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; Psa. 68:17Psa. 68:17
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17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. even...: or, even many thousands  

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; Acts 7:53Acts 7:53
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53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.  

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; Gal. 3:19Gal. 3:19
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19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.  

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; Heb. 2:2-3Heb. 2:2-3
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2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;  

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). (from Nave’s Topical Bible, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1990 by Biblesoft and TriStar Publishing)

We do not in any way want to discredit God or the way He worked with the Israelite nation before the Cross.  We know that God’s wisdom, understanding and righteousness are unsurpassed from the beginning of time.  His commandments in the Old Law were wise and a glory and honor to His name (Deut. 4:5-8Deut. 4:5-8
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5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. 6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. 7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? 8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?  

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).  By inspiration of God, Moses said:

Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

We know it takes a righteous Lawgiver to give righteous laws to His people.  We also know that the righteousness of the OT Law is fulfilled in us (Rom. 8:4Rom. 8:4
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4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  

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) if we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.  Do we make void the Law through faith?  Romans 3:31Romans 3:31
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31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.  

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says we establish the law.  Romans 13:8-10Romans 13:8-10
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8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.  

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says love is the fulfillment of the Law.

Using the scriptures, answer the following questions:

  1. What are the various labels for the agreement, which God made with the Israelites?
  2. Which books contain the Law of Moses?
  3. How was the Law a glory to God and His chosen nation?
  4. Consider the English words ‘covenant’ and ‘testament’ (7:22; Heb. 8:6Heb. 8:6
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    6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. covenant: or, testament  

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    ). Do they mean the same thing?
  5. Did the Israelites initially agree to keep their part of the covenant? (Ex. 20:18-19Ex. 20:18-19
    English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

    18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.  

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    ; Deut. 5:2-3Deut. 5:2-3
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    2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. 3 The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.  

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    ; 27)
  6. How did God give Moses the pattern for the tabernacle? (Ex. 26:30Ex. 26:30
    English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

    30 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount.  

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    ; Exo. 39:32Exo. 39:32
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    32 Thus was all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation finished: and the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.  

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    ; Exo. 39:42-43Exo. 39:42-43
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    42 According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work. 43 And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them.  

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    ; Acts 7:44Acts 7:44
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    44 Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. speaking: or, who spake  

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    ; Heb. 8:5Heb. 8:5
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    5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.  

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    )
  7. What is now established on better promises? (Heb. 8:6Heb. 8:6
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    6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. covenant: or, testament  

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    )
  8. Explain why there needed to be a second covenant (Heb. 7:12Heb. 7:12
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    12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.  

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  9. Did God give a reason for making a second covenant? (Heb. 8:7Heb. 8:7
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    7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.  

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  10. Who was the mediator (one who brought) of the second covenant?
    (Heb. 9:14-15Heb. 9:14-15
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    14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? spot: or, fault 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.  

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    ; Heb. 12:24Heb. 12:24
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    24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. covenant: or, testament  

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    ; 1 Tim. 2:51 Tim. 2:5
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    5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  

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  11. Does God declare that one covenant would be better than the other? (Heb. 8:6Heb. 8:6
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    6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. covenant: or, testament  

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    ).
  12. Does God find fault with the first covenant he made? (Heb. 8:7Heb. 8:7
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    7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.  

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    -8)
  13. What fault did God find with the first covenant? (Heb. 8:9Heb. 8:9
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    9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.  

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  14. Did God promise to make the second covenant different from the first covenant? (Heb. 8:8-9Heb. 8:8-9
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    8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.  

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  15. Did the second covenant have any laws for the people to obey? (Heb. 8:10Heb. 8:10
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    10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: put: Gr. give in: or, upon  

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  16. How many would know God under the second covenant? ( 8:11)
  17. At the time of writing the book of Hebrews, what was happening to the first covenant? (Heb. 8:13Heb. 8:13
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    13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.  

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  18. Find a scripture that would prove whether or not the first covenant has disappeared completely?

–Beth Johnson

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Beautiful words not backed by meaningful deeds mean nothing.

I can’t remember where I heard this statement, from a sermon I believe, but nevertheless, they said Christians should be “green and growing, and not allow the fruit to become rotten, for rotten fruit is good for nothing, and a barren tree too is good for nothing.”

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do man gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit;but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
Matthew 7:16-19Matthew 7:16-19
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16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  

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We cannot produce fruit apart from Jesus. I taught this lesson a couple of weeks ago to my class on Lord’s Day. One of my students could not understand the pruning process in that it will produce more fruit.

“I Am the True Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye except ye abide in Me. I Am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:1-11John 15:1-11
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15 1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. without me: or, severed from me 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  

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No farmer, nor gardener will keep plants or crops which are not producing. These will be replaced by others which will produce. A farmer especially cannot lose a crop and keep planting non producing crops as he would soon be out of business.

“Mama kept a garden which to people sounds romantic who have never held a hoe.” ~ Rick Bragg

The same applies to ranchers and other businesses. In ranching, herds are culled for cows that are non producing. The rancher is in business to make money. If he has a cow that is non producing due to age or she is barren, or if the bull is non productive, it goes as well. Otherwise they lose a calving season. They cannot continue to feed animals if they do not produce and the same applies in non productive businesses.

“Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth.”

I have a humorous side note to this article. My friend was married just shy of 60 years. He lost his wife to diabetes. Nevertheless, one day as he was passing through their den, he overheard his wife tell her friend. “I have to keep being productive, for if I don’t my husband will take me to the sale barn.” I have laughed at that so many times. She was also the one that didn’t produce a caramel pie to his liking, and never made one again in all of those years of marriage. That too tells us about non production. Never say to your wife, “It’s not the way my mother baked it.” It cost him in production of caramel pies.

“And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.” Matthew 21:19Matthew 21:19
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19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. a fig tree: Gr. one fig tree  

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A sobering Scripture!

 

“Behavior is the fruit of the tree which unmistakably tells us the kind of tree that produced it. But there are exceptions, just as one defective apple on a tree does not indict the tree. Occasionally there is an abnormality. So it is with man. A mistake may not picture his true self. However, constant behavior is truly a mirror; it reflects what a person is. I say constant behavior because everyone occasionally acts either worse or better than himself.

Beautiful words not backed by meaningful deeds mean nothing. An ounce of do is worth a pound of talk. People may doubt what you say but not what you do.

Personal behavior is the backbone of our society. Our nation was given to us by the behavior of our founding fathers. Let’s hope that it’s not destroyed by the behavior of their floundering children.” ~ Leroy Brownlow

Eileen Light

 

No one is better than his word.

You can’t straddle the fence.  The devil owns the fence.

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served behind the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.  But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”     Joshua 24:15Joshua 24:15
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15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.  

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You cannot be great without serving.

“But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”     Matthew 23:11Matthew 23:11
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11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.  

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“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither He that is sent greater than He that sent Him.”       John 13:14-16John 13:14-16
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14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.  

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No one can shine and not be seen.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”       Matthew 5:16Matthew 5:16
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16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  

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A house built on the sand will not stand.

“And everyone that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:   And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell:  and great was the fall of it.”      Matthew 7:26-27Matthew 7:26-27
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26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.  

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There is no ease in walking the transgressor’s way.

“Good understanding giveth favour:  but the way of transgressors is hard.”   Proverbs 13:15Proverbs 13:15
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15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.  

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No one is better than his word.

“Lying lips are abomination to the Lord:  but they that deal truly are His delight.”   Proverbs 12:22Proverbs 12:22
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22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.  

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“Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.”   Proverbs 19:1Proverbs 19:1
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19 1 Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.  

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“Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”    II Corinthians 8:21

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”   Exodus 20:16Exodus 20:16
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16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.  

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No one can serve God in Satan’s kingdom

“No man can serve two masters:  for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”      Matthew 6:24Matthew 6:24
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24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  

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You can’t move forward while you are looking back.

“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”      Luke 9:62Luke 9:62
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62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.  

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“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”     Philippians 3:14Philippians 3:14
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14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  

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“If you would find today tolerable and tomorrow tenable, give yourself unreservedly to Truth.  Falsehood may take the day, but not tomorrow.  Only the Truth outlasts the days.

The world may try to turn off and leave the Truth, but on the earth’s completion of another cycle the unadorned realities will still be standing there and demanding that they be faced.

Truth is indestructible:  club it, beat it, knife it, shoot it, strap it in the electric chair, but it refuses to die.  It is immortal.”        ~ Leroy Brownlow

Eileen Light

 

Whose garden is it, anyway?

Why do we dig in the dirt and lovingly plant gardens? For ourselves?

The reason we take care of our plants in the garden is for our own use and pleasure. However, we must understand and respect the needs of the plant, or our efforts may well be in vain.

God demands respect. He wants us to worship him and is clear in scripture how that is to happen. (Spoiler alert here: it’s all about God, not about us.)

Jesus gravely warned us not to be like some in his generation. “In vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the precepts of men” (Matthew 15:9Matthew 15:9
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9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  

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NASB).

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24John 4:24
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24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.  

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The scriptures tell us that worship “in spirit” is not enough; it must also be “in truth.” No matter what we feel during worship, we must be more concerned with what God feels. He wants to be worshipped in truth.

This picture is decidedly not like the worship recently described by the wife of a famous “prosperity gospel” preacher. The couple is known for their “positive thinking” message. Lately, this message went far over the line. Mrs. O. stated that we don’t come to worship for God’s sake, but our own. She thinks that this is what makes God happy, when we make ourselves happy.

There are many ways that a garden can fail when it is planted for our own instant pleasure. We have all seen, at the garden centers, potted arrangements of plants which look nice when they are sold, but soon are crowded together until they yellow and die.

Instant gratification is a death knell to a garden. It requires quite an artistic eye to anticipate how plants will grow, and what the garden will look like both now and when it has matured.

Springtime seems to be the prime season for everyone to be interested in planting a garden. People excitedly till up a spot, put in a few things that look nice in April or May, and wonder why everything is brown by July. It is because those perennial flowers that are blooming at the time are not necessarily beautiful all year. The selfish gardener wanted it all to look pretty all at once and is sorry later for her early choices.

Gardeners with lofty ideals based on glib promises will fail when they choose plants that look nice in catalogs but are not suited to the climate where they are to be planted. A responsible nursery or garden center will not sell Edelweiss in Pittsburgh without warning the buyer that the plant may not thrive.

Our activities in horticulture may ultimately bring pleasure to us, but if we don’t have a healthy respect for the way things grow, we will be defeated before we start. In worship, we must respect and revere the object of our worship, even though he ultimately wants to bless us.

The term “worship” in the Greek language literally means to “kiss toward” the object of our devotion. Are we blowing our kisses into the mirror?

Of course God loves us and wants us to be happy. He prepared mansions in Heaven for us, and then sent his own Son to suffer and die to purchase our way into it. But that doesn’t mean that it’s all about us.

We worship God because he is worthy (Revelation 5:12Revelation 5:12
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12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.  

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). Our happiness is secondary. Trust God to make you happy eternally. That’s what he does! It’s not really our job.

Christine (Tina) Berglund

HOW DID GOD DEAL WITH THE FOREIGN NATIONS?

Here are a few references to show the Lord has always been interested in all souls, even though the Jews were his “chosen” people.

Jeremiah gives a picture of God’s work through his prophets.

“The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. 9 The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him” (Jer. 28:8-9Jer. 28:8-9
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8 The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. 9 The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.  

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The prophet’s primary work was to rebuke Israel for evil and try to get them to return to him.

Israel was not the only nation who had God’s prophets.

God looks through all the earth for those who seek him.

“The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God” (Psa. 14:2Psa. 14:2
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2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.  

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God sent Jeremiah personally to many nations to prophesy.

“For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. 16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.  17 Then took I the cup at the LORD’s hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me: 18 To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day; 19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people; 20 And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod, 21 Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon, 21 And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea,  22 Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that are in the utmost corners, 24 And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert, 25  And all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes, 26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them (Jer. 25:15-26Jer. 25:15-26
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15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. 16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. 17 Then took I the cup at the LORD'S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me: 18 To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day; 19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people; 20 And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod, 21 Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon, 22 And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea, isles: or, region by the sea side 23 Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that are in the utmost corners, that...: Heb. cut off into corners, or, having the corners of the hair polled 24 And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert, 25 And all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes, 26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.  

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Jonah prophesied to Nineveh at God’s command.

God prophesied to many nations in the scriptures themselves.

Babylon

“The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see” (Isa. 13:1Isa. 13:1
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13 1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.  

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Moab

“The burden of Moab Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence;” (Isa. 15:1Isa. 15:1
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15 1 The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; brought...: or, cut off  

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Damascus

“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isa. 17:1Isa. 17:1
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17 1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.  

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Egypt

“The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it” (Isa. 19:1Isa. 19:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

19 1 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.  

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Elam and Media

“The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land. 2. A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease” (Isa. 21:1-2Isa. 21:1-2
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21 1 The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land. 2 A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease. grievous: Heb. hard  

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Dumah is probably connected with Syria

“The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?” (Isa. 21:11Isa. 21:11
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11 The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?  

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Arabia

“The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim” (Isa. 21:13Isa. 21:13
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13 The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.  

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Tyre

“The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them” (Isa. 23:1Isa. 23:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

23 1 The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.  

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Nineveh

“The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite” (Nah. 1:1Nah. 1:1
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Nahum 1 1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.  

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Ammonites

“Concerning the Ammonites, thus saith the LORD; Hath Israel no sons? hath he no heir? why then doth their king inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities?” (Jer. 49:1Jer. 49:1
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49 1 Concerning the Ammonites, thus saith the LORD; Hath Israel no sons? hath he no heir? why then doth their king inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities? Concerning: or, Against their king: or, Melcom  

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Moab

“Against Moab thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe unto Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded and taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed” (Jer. 48:1Jer. 48:1
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48 1 Against Moab thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe unto Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded and taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed. Misgab: or, the high place  

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Moab

“Fear, and the pit, and the snare, shall be upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab, saith the LORD” (Jer. 48:43Jer. 48:43
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43 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, shall be upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab, saith the LORD.  

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Egypt

“The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Gentiles; Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaoh-necho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah” (Jer. 46:1-2Jer. 46:1-2
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46 1 The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Gentiles; 2 Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaohnecho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah.  

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Philistines

“The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Philistines, before that Pharaoh smote Gaza” (Jer. 47:1Jer. 47:1
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47 1 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Philistines, before that Pharaoh smote Gaza. Gaza: Heb. Azzah  

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Moab

“Against Moab thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe unto Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded and taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed” (Jer. 48:1Jer. 48:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

48 1 Against Moab thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe unto Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded and taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed. Misgab: or, the high place  

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Babylon

“The word that the LORD spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet…” (Jer. 50:1Jer. 50:1
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50 1 The word that the LORD spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet. by...: Heb. by the hand of Jeremiah  

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The whole book of Obadiah is a prophecy of Edom, not Israel

“The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle” (Obadiah 1).

–Beth Johnson

MULIEBRAL STUDIES  http://pilgrimstranger.wordpress.com/
MULIEBRAL VIEWPOINT  http://pilgrimstranger39.wordpress.com/  or http://helpmeettohim.org
BOOKS  http://tinyurl.com/km5bly

THE SIN OF COMPLAINING

About two years ago, I attended a ladies’ class taught by a lady that serves her state in a political capacity. She is an excellent speaker, and she knows how to get to the heart of the matter.

I don’t remember her topic, but about half way through her class she told us something that I wanted to immediately put into practice. I have to admit; I’m still working on it.

She said that she realized that she complained more than she knew she should; but, she said, I go on and on with my complaining. So she decided to limit her complaining. She allows herself ten minutes to grumble about whatever is bothering her. When her ten minutes are up, she stops!

I decided that was a wonderful idea, so I went home determined to do the same thing. She encouraged us to tell someone to whom we are close so they could hold us accountable. I did. I told my husband.

As I have studied this subject, I have realized that even that ten minutes is too much complaining.

In First Corinthians 10:1-5, Paul talks about the Israelites and how they were overthrown in the wilderness. They sinned in many ways, but one of their sins was their complaining.

Remember that God had delivered the Children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. They began complaining right after the celebration of their delivery in Exodus 15. They complained because the water in the wilderness of Shur was bitter (Exodus 15:22-23Exodus 15:22-23
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22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. 23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. Marah: that is Bitterness  

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Next they travelled to the wilderness of Sin. Here they were hungry, and they complained that they would have been better off in Egypt.

Once again God provided for their needs. He sent quail and manna to feed the people (Exodus 16). Later, in Numbers 11, it says they complained about the manna.

In Exodus 32, we find Moses on Mount Sinai with God and the people at the foot of the mountain complaining that Moses is taking too long. They responded to Moses brother, Aaron, as he fashioned a golden calf from their jewelry. They actually gave this golden calf credit for bringing them out of Egypt!

In Numbers 21, the people once again complained that there was no bread or water. “And the people spoke against God and against 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 worthless food.’ Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died” (Numbers 21:5-6Numbers 21:5-6
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5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. 6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.  

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–ESV).

When they were punished for their complaining, the Israelites would repent and beg Moses to talk to God for them. That’s exactly what they did when they were bitten by the fiery serpents, and Moses did talk to God on their behalf.

There is a point to these examples. In our opening passage in First Corinthians 10, we find the reason we need to not be complainers. In verses 6-11, we find these statements:

• “These things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.”
• “Do not be idolaters as some of them were.”
• “We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did.”
• “We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did.”
• “Nor grumble, as some of them did.”
• “These things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction.”

Paul tells us in Philippians 2:14-15Philippians 2:14-15
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14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; harmless: or, sincere ye shine: or, shine ye  

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, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”

Complaining is on the outside, but it is a result of what is on the inside. In the passage in First Corinthians 10, grumbling is placed in the list with idolatry and sexual immorality.

James makes similar statements in James 3:16James 3:16
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16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. confusion: Gr. tumult, unquietness  

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. “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

Let’s face it! We do complain. Complaining is a sin. It comes from within. How do we change it? Be like Jesus.

Sandra Oliver