Wise Living in Evil Times

Everything is in His Plan

There are numerous Scriptures that highlight this simple truth, that everything is being worked out according to God’s plan. Despite all the turmoil and interventions of people, Jesus is still in control.

God alone is the person to fear and not man. For what can man do to you that has not been given by the permission of the Almighty ? As Jesus said to Pilot; ” You would have no power over me unless it has been given to you by God. “

Have faith and rest in this simple truth

The Ten Commandments

Tribute to the Holy Spirit

Halloween

‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

Jesus ChristMatthew 22:32

Pr 4:23 – Guard your Heart

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

There are some things to keep in mind when attending to our heart.

It can decieve us
It can be deceived
It can become hard
It can become wicked
It can be hurt which can lead to hardness

But, it can be healed
It can love
It can be stilled
It can be at peace
It can be filled with joy and a wellspring of life

Remember, you are responsible for the governance of your heart. Don’t let your heart be responsible for governing you.

Pr 3:5-6 Assurance in your Direction

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

One of the great blessings in life is the assurance that a direction you take or a decision you make is the right one.

While most of us hope we have chosen our direction well, we do not always have the assurance that the choice we made was a good one. Can we have this assurance?

This proverb holds the key that gives us the assurance that every decision we make will be a good one. That is an incredible assurance. Doing the following things sets us up to make the right choice every time.

  • Simply trust in the Lord Jesus and not yourself.
  • Acknowledge God the Father in all your ways (choices)

When we trust in the Lord, He place the right decisions in our hearts as long as there is no willfulness on our part but complete surrender. He knows the right direction that is best for us more than we do.

Acknowledging God’s leading and direction in our lives reinforces our faith in the decisions we have made and keeps doubt of our decisions away.

Remember that doubt always leads us to human reasoning when it comes to decisions.

Ex 21:12 – Deadly Consequences

Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death.

While I know there is much debate around this specific law and whether the death penalty should be employed or not; That is a subject for another post.

As we read through these laws I will be focusing on those whose penalty is death specifically.

The point in this, that while you may have broken some of these laws and not received the physical penalty of death, a spirit of death and destruction may still be hanging over you.

Jesus paid the price for all our sin and absorbed in himself the penalty for our sin so we could walk free, certainly from a spiritual point of view.

It does however require acknowledgment, confession, and faith in Christ and His sacrifice to free us from the consequence of these sins.

My hope is that as you read these laws and identify perhaps where you have broken them, that confession and faith will release you from any destructive spirit that may be hanging over you.

1. Intentional Murder – it is important to note that Jesus included reputational murder in this category.

Matthew 5:22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

2. Vs 15 & 17 – Attacking or cursing your Parents

3. Vs 16 – Kidnapping

4. Ch 22: 18 Wichcraft and Sorcery

5. Ch 22: 19 Sexual relations with an animal

6.Ch 22: 18 Idolatry

7. Oppressing widows and orphans, will cause God Himself to put you to death

Exo 22:22 — Exo 22:24
“Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.

Ps 122:1 – The House of the Lord

I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

I recently heard a comment by a well meaning pastor that the church is not the gathering of the people but the people who make up the church.

To a degree this is true. The church remains the church whether it is gathered or not. But, it is not completely true.

The word church comes from the Greek ekklesia, meaning ‘called out(or together) It became common for people to refer to the word as an assembly. Some argue that strictly speaking assembly is not the right interpretation.

While we may argue semantics, certainly the assembling of God’s people together is without doubt the intention in scripture, and we see this here in the first line of the Psalm.

David is exceedingly happy with those who were encouraging him to go with them to the place of gathering before the Lord.

The measure of our spiritual maturity , is our response to those who encourage us to go to gather before the Lord.

Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

This habit should be a weekly one, and should not for any, but very unusual circumstances, be broken.

2 Cor 12:7 – Power in Weakness

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

We don’t know what Paul’s thorn was but we do know that its origin was demonic and that it troubled him sufficiently for him to call fervently, on three occasions, in concerted prayer for God to remove it.

In this life we will have to deal with weakness no matter how spiritual we are. (The weakness we are dealing with here is not sin but areas of limitation beyond our control)

Faith in God should be of such a robust nature that we are not afraid to ask God why?

Points to Consider 

  • Weakness can lead us to despair and depression.
    • If we have faith in ourselves then weakness leads to despair and depression
    • Weakness can be a faith reducing mechanism if we allow it.
  • In weakness we learn humility but in strength we are tempted to pride .
    • Psa 18:27 For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.
    • Psa 25:9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
    • Psa 149:4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.
    • Ch 26:14-16 And Uzziah prepared for all the army shields, spears, helmets, coats of mail, bows, and stones for slinging. In Jerusalem he made engines, invented by skilful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and great stones. And his fame spread far, for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
  • It’s in weakness we learn our limitations.
    • Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 (NIV) What does the worker gain from his toil? [10] I have seen the burden God has laid on men. [11] He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
    • Nothing in this life will ever be perfect and even the things that we perceive are perfect don’t remain perfect for very long.
  • It is in weakness that the possibility for faith exists.
    • Unfortunately it is often when we become strong and lack weakness that we lose our need of God.
    • Matthew 11:25 (NIV) At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
    • 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NIV) But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. [28] He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, [29] so that no one may boast before him.
  • It is in weakness that the Holy Spirit helps us
    • Romans 8:26 (NIV)In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
  • Paul did not come across in strength but in weakness
    • 1 Corinthians 2:3 (NIV) I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
  • The way we view the weaknesses of others leads to judgement or love
    • Most judgement and criticism of others stems from the way we view their weakness. Rom 15:1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
  • Our boast in weakness leads to the exaltation of God
    • 2 Corinthians 12:5 (NIV) …………, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.
    • Psa 34:2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.
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For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you.