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Category Archives: Thought for the Week
“Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is” Deut.10:14
Ultimately, God wants His children to be spiritually and physically prepared for natural and non-natural disasters that will occur in the end times. Being spiritually prepared is relying on God as our protector and restorer in the times of natural disaster, and trusting with full assurance that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Matthew 6:34 states, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” God knows all that we need in times of trouble and He bids us to do one thing which is to trust in His promises. God tells us in Luke 21:36, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” To watch is an action word which means to “to keep awake, especially for a purpose”. We have to keep awake in this world so that we do not fall asleep to its temporal pleasures. As we watch with a purpose of the signs of prophecy and world events that God warns us of in His word, we must pray that He helps us to be vigilant, undistracted, and steadfast in faith so that we are not overpowered with fear or doubt.
Physical preparation can be viewed in two ways. Preparing for our physical temples (the body), and to put in proper position our living environment for any natural disaster that may occur. When pertaining to our bodies as physical temples, we must take into account that there will be a short supply of food and water due to destruction. One example that God gives us to prepare for such cases is found in the story of Joseph. Joseph was warned and commanded by God to prepare for an extended drought of seven years that the Egyptians would have to endure by storing an immense amount of food (Gen.41). God tells us to take no thought for tomorrow because He most likely will provide us with the thought of how to take action in preparing for our physical temples when disaster occurs in the end times.
Now how are we to prepare for our physical domains for natural disasters? One of the very first examples that God gives to us is found in the story of “Noah and the Ark”. God told Noah to prepare for the storm that would take place by building an ark (Gen 6). Just as those who where outside of the ark perished, had Noah disobeyed God’s command, he and his family would have suffered death. Furthermore, depending on where one inhabits, he or she must be prepared for tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, and any other natural disaster that may cause serious physical damage to property and shelter. However, we can never be more secure with knowing if these disasters do occur, our tangible foundation may be destroyed but our spiritual foundation in Jesus will always help us remember God’s power to restore all things. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” (Matt 7:24). With God we can have full assurance that He will not only protect us during disastrous times, but that He will supply us with all of our needs and more. Trusting in Him is the first step in this assurance policy!
The month of March came and left, as we celebrated the strong, powerful, and influential women over the last 31 days.
In Proverbs 31, many of us are familiar with the virtuous woman. If you read from verses 10-31, you will see the true essence of womanhood. Countless churches have held bible studies and programs further exploring the characteristics and qualities needed to become such a woman.
Too often we look to the women of our days for wisdom, knowledge, and examples. We rarely ever look to the women of the bible. Ever wondered which woman you identify the most with?
Would it be Esther, a young Jewish woman who God called to save her people? Or how about Mary Magdalene, who had lost her way and showed how your life can be turned around if you accept God’s love and everlasting promise for eternal life? Let’s not forget Hannah who prayed to God for a child. She was ridiculed by everyone, for her inability to have children. Hannah never lost faith and God blessed her with three sons and two daughters. One of her sons, Samuel became a great man of God. Finally, Ruth who had lost her husband and stayed to look after Naomi, her mother-in-law despite her request to return home and seek a new husband. She did later marry another man named Boaz who cared for her and her in-law.
As the final days of this sinful earth quickly pass by, I see one woman who is too often emulated–Jezebel, a prophetess, seducer, and fornicator. Do you party like Herodias’ daughter? Some of our families are so desperate for marriage that they quickly find suitable men to freely offer their daughters like Delilah and Leah. Marriage is marriage, right? Don’t forget those of us who can’t wait to have children because we’re not getting any younger. So like Sarah, who did the opposite of Hannah, we take matters into our own hands. In Sarah’s case, she encouraged her husband, Abraham to sleep with their handmaid, Hagar. She didn’t trust that God would bless her with child. How many of us lack the trust and faith in Christ that in His time He will bless us with the things and people we ask for? Then there’s Eve who was naive enough to listen to a talking serpent in a tree who tempted her with the power to gain the knowledge of good and evil.
These are just a few of the many women and personalities in the Bible. Some had characteristics that we lack, while others share our same traits as today’s women that is contrary to how a Christian ought to be. So which women of the Bible do you identify with?
“Freud thought religion was the manifestation of an immature personality. ‘The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men,’ argued Freud, ‘The more widespread is the decline of religious belief.’” Let us examine Freud’s saying.
Freud mentioned that religion causes mankind to be undeveloped in character and that once we are exposed to knowledge; we no longer relinquish our personal control to what is considered to be sacred and pure. But instead, we choose to abandon the norms and values that religion has constructed. When I think of this “Fruit of Knowledge” that Freud addressed, my mind brings me back to the beautiful scenery pictured in the first book of God’s Holy word; Genesis. The story of life itself is manifested in the book of Genesis, where God created every living thing from nature, animal, and mankind. After His work, it was said, “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Gen 1:31.
Everything in heaven and in earth had been in excellent condition; however, God had commanded the man, which is later known as Adam, to refrain from doing one thing that would change matters for the worst by resulting in death. This was considered to be a warning to help protect Adam and Eve. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen. 2:16, 17.
Now God had given Adam and Eve many options to choose from, a selection of trees in the Garden of Eden, and had told them they were not to eat from just one; the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
“Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Gen 3:1-7).
Presented in these scriptures is the desire for one to gain power. The serpent had stated to the women that “ye shall be as gods”, this had brought to her attention that she would now be responsible for herself, no longer having to follow the commands of God, but now having similar characteristics as Him by “knowing good and evil”. Although in reality this was self-endangerment, it had appeared to be self-empowerment to the women.
The serpent had proven itself to be correct. After all the women had eaten from the fruit and was still left alive. This had given her even greater assurance to cause her husband to follow her actions. Little did the women and Adam know of the serious and now lasting consequences they would have to endure for not taking heed to God’s warning. It is through self-empowerment and rebellion that we seek to disobey God’s word. We desire to “open our eyes, to be as gods, knowing good and evil”. This is the fruit of knowledge that Freud is referring to! How selfish of mankind! This is what happens when we think so much about our self-gratification and instinctual needs.
God was not trying to restrict Adam and Eve from living freely; in fact, they did live freely before sin entered their bodies! God was merely trying to protect Adam and Eve from destroying and defiling mankind with this infectious disease called sin. He warned them from the snares of Satan in attempt to preserve their holiness. Freud was correct in his saying. He stated that, “The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief.” Were not Adam and Eve separated from the Father after they sinned? Eating from the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil had defiled their character, and caused their once mature and pure personality to become immature and impure.
Psalm 119:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” When we learn to do God’s will, wisdom comes to us freely from He owns wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5. If Freud were alive today, I would tell him to pick from the tree which bears fruit that does not only contain knowledge, but pure wisdom and knowledge; the tree of life, Jesus Christ! Not all fruits that look good, and taste good are good for the soul. But the Father bids us to “taste and see that the Lord is good…” Psalm 34:8.
As millions of people around the world wore red and pink, exchange flowers cards, or candies, there were many who refrained from observing this holiday–Valentine’s Day.
For some, it’s a painful reminder that they’re single. For others, it’s just another way for Hallmark to cash in. For Christians, however, the history behind Valentine’s Day is a contradiction to their faith.
Putting aside all the materialism, Catholic saints, and Roman rituals, do we really know true love–the basis of this holiday? Sadly, many of us would say yes ashamed to say otherwise.
The words, “I love you,” have been diluted. The words no longer hold as much meaning when they’re carelessly thrown around. True love has been exemplified through God’s love for His children–you and I.
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 3:16 KJV]
Love is sacrifice, pain, patience, understanding, kind, appreciation, forgiving, respect.
What many of us call love is anything but love. We’re just too heartbroken to admit it to ourselves.
It was nearly 8:30 pm on Wednesday night, when the message had just been preached. She was impressed by the Holy Spirit to sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” As I sat back and listened to the singing congregation, I gained a new understanding for the message behind the lyrics. Though we have sung this familiar song on more than one occasion, today the words to the song really stood out.
“I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. The world behind me, the cross before me. Though none go with me, still I will follow.” Do we really understand what that means?
Noah, Lot, and many of our ancestors did. How do I know? The bible tells of how they were faced with the very same decision. They had to choose to either follow God or get left behind. In the cases of Noah and Lot, they chose to follow God. Then, the world they knew was ultimately destroyed because of its sinful nature. That glimpse into their past, our past, shows us the lesson that hopefully our generation must learn before it’s too late. Any path or lifestyle that is not Christ-like will not lead to salvation but destruction.
As a Christian, you must decide to either get left behind or leave behind the things and people who will stand in your path towards salvation. We were born alone and so shall we be when we face His judgment. God is the only one who ought to stand before us. As Christians, we acknowledge that we are the followers of Christ and no one else.
It means that our parents, siblings, children, colleagues, spouses, friends, NO ONE can stand before us. We are to let no one cause us to get left behind. The end of time is near. Our probationary period is nearly over. Have you chosen a side yet? Christ or Satan? Heaven or Hell? Life or Death? Time waits for no one. Christ is preparing to leave His throne to return for His children, will you be among the ones that will step ahead or get left behind…forever?
For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. [Deuteronomy 32:28 KJV]
As the power of government changes from hand into another, many Americans are watching attentively to see what their new leadership will hold for their collective future.
Many people have grown anxious, fearing only the worst. While others feel that the change in power–from Democrat to Republican–will be a change for the better.
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. [Proverbs 29:2 KJV]
Though only time will tell which side made the correct assessment, there is one side, however, that hasn’t even been factored into the equation. While we argue which political party is evil, God was and will remain in control.
As Christians sadly, we have allowed the separation of church and state to be mirrored in our own lives. How could we, the bearers of His name, choose to place state over church? Though Christ never encouraged disobedience, He was never ashamed of His faith even at the brink of His crucifixion. Can you say the same?
While we as Christians debate between the victories and debacles of each political party, we have forgotten about the very words that we have recited in our nation’s Pledge of Allegiance since 1954. What ever happened to “one nation under God?”
Founded on Christian beliefs, the United States of America has lost its way. We are a lost people. Our only guide, the one true leader, reigns above the earth on His heavenly throne. The sooner we begin to accept Christ as our personal Savior, choosing to follow in His footsteps. the better our lives and the lives of our future generations will become.
Christ was no Democrat or Republican. He was indivisible. He is the king of kings, who became a condemned man in order to save all peoples.
Do not look unto our nation’s government for leadership, look towards Jesus and Jesus Christ alone.
Just four days shy of the new year, 2011, many Christians are undergoing what some may call a cleansing or purification process. It is always during the last few days of the year, that we take the time to reflect on the past and the many experiences we have witnessed. What have we learned? What were the lessons we walked away with? Have we changed?
It is during those last few days that we really begin to ponder on whether we have progressed or regressed. Have we taken a step forward or continue to move backwards? The truth of the matter is, we forget to reflect on one important factor…have we inched closer to or further from the cross?
Most of us remember the story of the thieves who were nailed to a cross and placed on both sides of Jesus Christ. Read Luke 23:33-43 KJV. As Jesus hung on His cross awaiting death, one of the thieves teased him, telling him to save himself and them as well. However, the other thief knew Jesus had done no wrong and didn’t deserve the cruel punishment he had received. The thief acknowledged his own sin and guilt. It was at that moment, when the thief confessed, Jesus said he would be saved and join Him in His kingdom.
As the years go by, do you know whether you have grown or shrunk spiritually? How? Your church attendance, the number of ministries you’re involved in, your praise team performance, or swaying sermon will not guarantee a place for you in the kingdom of God. The only actions that will save you and seal your place beside Him is the confessing of your sins; accepting Christ as your personal Savior; and submitting to His will each and every day, regardless of where you are.
Many of us are occasional Christians when we ought to be Christians 24/7. We put on a show when people surround us, but when we’re alone, we act like fools. Christ sees it all. Though we may fool ourselves and others, we cannot never fool He who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.
As 2010 comes to a conclusion, I challenge you to make a commitment–a covenant with Christ. One that you cannot break. For 2011, ask Him to help you inch closer to and not further from Him. I pray that your faith, your communication with Him through prayer, and knowledge of His word will increase. I pray that 2011 will be the year of rededication and consecration for all of us. We have all fallen short of the glory of God, but He is merciful towards us. He has given us many opportunities to seek Him, because He loves us.
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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [John 3:!6, 17 KJV]
Time is running out. Have you progressed or regressed?