FEBRUARY 25 – Do Not Be Rebels


FEBRUARY 25 – Do Not Be Rebels

1Samuel 12:13  Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you. 

14  If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: 

15  But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers. 

We should always be aware of what we have chosen. Sometimes we choose because of pleasure. Other times we choose because of desire. Then there are times we choose because of rebellion.

1Samuel_15:23  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

This is the scripture of what Samuel told Saul. See the extreme wickedness that is applied to rebellion.

Samuel is instructing the nation about their rejection of God and desire for a king. Let me rephrase this for you. “I will give you one more chance. Follow my commands and be obedient and my hand will be with you. If you rebel, my hand will no longer be with you.

Let us apply this to individuals. If you will obey, I will be with you. If you rebel, I will withdraw my hand. This is a great responsibility that is put on an individual. Each individual is responsible to God for their obedience. You can not blame your rebellion on mother, father, Church or pastor. You are totally responsible.

Because an individual is responsible before God, the Church is not off the hook.

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THE VALUE OF EDUCATION


THE VALUE OF EDUCATION

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

From earliest times, opportunities and tremendous blessings from the Creator were underscored for those prepared to receive them. Recipients’ key requisites most often were education and faith in His word and works. It remains that way! Think with me a moment.
Antediluvian world folks, far afield from the primitive state imagined by modern man, show excellence in education. Adam must have been created with the equivalent of a Ph.D. since he gave names to everything in creation, Gen. 2:19. Jabal excelled in animal husbandry; Jubal in music, especially in harp and organ; Tubalcain was a master artificer in brass and iron; Nimrod built a city: on and on it goes. Then God called upon Noah to build an ark to the saving of air-breathing life. It was approximately 450 by 45 by 30 in foot dimensions. Now just what dumb-bunny was able to do that? Noah was a righteous man, but he was also an educated man and prepared for the job.
Looking at other instances, Moses stands out as exemplary of educational readiness. He had the best Egypt could provide plus 40 years of personally examining the terrain of Sinai. David was a mighty warrior, but also a master of strategy, faith, and music. Notice also that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) were specially selected by King Nebuchadnezzar, not because he knew them, but because they fit his criteria of service, to wit: “. . . no blemish, but well-favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had an ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” Daniel 1:4. They were ready for both spiritual and material education to seize upon opportunities to serve both God and man.
Finally, in the important initial evangelism of the first century world, God chose Saul of Tarsus, a Hebrew of Hebrews, more zealous in his faith that all his brethren, and who could not only evangelize with the New Testament doctrines after God got through teaching him, but who could by his excellent education in the tradition of his fathers persuade thousands of Jews and Gentiles alike to embrace New Testament faith. Men should excel in something, faith notwithstanding and underscored, and then use that excellence to help others as God provides opportunities which He most certainly will do.
Through brick and mortar institutions, and online educational offerings, the present generation has more information and outreach ability than all the past generations had in all their collective forms. Still, the propensity to submit to the lure of inertia manages to hinder both individual and church progress. Perhaps we all would do well to hear God’s still small voice to Elijah saying, “What are you doing here?”

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FEBRUARY 24 – Be Careful What You Want


FEBRUARY 24 – Be Careful What You Want

1Samuel 8:22  And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city. 

There is a very old saying, be careful what you wish for, you may get it. We are a fickle people. We want and desire and then find out that we really don’t like what we got. That happens with automobiles. For us men, it might be the horsepower and shape of aggressiveness. For the women, it might be the design, layout, and colors. We take possession of the automobile and find that it is a lemon. It continually breaks down and the color rapidly fades. We no longer want what we wanted.

Who remembers the progressive “churches” churches called the “Rock?” They all have just about faded out of existence. An interesting fact is, that as we grow and mature, the fascination of youth matures with us. What we found appealing then does not appeal any longer. That is why newer and more fascinating things have to be employed to attract youth. The senses mature and change. When the appeal is to the senses, we find a momentary fascination.

Look at Israel. They became unhappy with the sons of Samuel and want to make a serious change. Because of men, they no longer want the rule of God but have decided that they want a king like other, pagan nations have. The king leading the nation had that ability to lead them to God or away from God. Too often, it was away from God.

Teach the people. Drive them deep into the Word of God. May we ever be satisfied with God who orders our lives right.

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FEBRUARY 23 – Rejection


FEBRUARY 23 – Rejection

1Samuel 8:7  And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 

Rejection, what a terrible term to apply to anyone. When applied to a person it means they are not accepted. Rejection is one of the more difficult things to contend with. We all to a certain extent want to be accepted. We will deny that and argue that we don’t care, yet that is built within us.

We have to learn to handle rejection. We can not live life without experiencing rejection. When we are rejected, we need to examine the response to find the reason. Samuel appointed his sons judges and they were political, corrupt and took bribes. The people did not like these men. They rejected them. That was not the problem. What they wanted instead was the problem.

When we are rejected we need to examine ourselves to see if there is something about us that needs to be corrected. The real problem here is not that these men were rejected but that they reject God. So many brags about how much they love Jesus and they love God, but if they were under the rule of God and Jesus, how much would they love them then?

During the days of Jesus, many loved to worship, their type of worship. When Jesus came and established the Church, they hated and rejected Him. The majority of people rejected Him. They rejected His lifestyle and his teachings. They rejected His doctrine and His way of worship. He not only was rejected but was hung on a cross until He gave His life for those that rejected Him.

How about you? Do you want to live on this earth under King Jesus?

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Opinion


Opinion: It is my opinion that one reason we don’t want to admit that we have a heart problem in America is because you can’t pass any legislation to solve it. The only One who can take care of this heart problem is the Great Physician.

I think this settles the issue. It is a heart problem.

Matthew 15:19
“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, MURDERS, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:”

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FEBRUARY 22 – Ichabod


FEBRUARY 22 – Ichabod

1Samuel 4:21  And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. 

God gives instructions that are complete. All we have to do is look for them. David in wanting to move the ark to Jerusalem did not ask the proper way to move it. Tragedy struck. In the days of Eli, his sons removed the ark from the place that had instructed to put it. Tragedy struck. The two sons died in battle. The ark was taken and when Eli heard the news, he fell backwards and broke his neck and died.

Exodus_25:22  And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. Notice here that God revealed plainly where He would meet the people. The door of the tabernacle is used in Exodus and Leviticus many times. The Cloud that God was in came to the door of the tabernacle and when the people saw it they worshiped.

When the Ark was taken into battle, the Glory of the Lord and his presence was no longer in the tabernacle. He no longer came to the door. We need the presence of the Lord when we worship. I cringe when ever I hear “The Lord showed up today.” That statement lends the idea that the Lord is not necessarily there every time we worship Him. That begs the question – are we worshiping him according to the way He wants us to.

I do not want to see the Glory of the Lord depart from His Churches. We need to seriously examine our doctrine, who we are worshiping, and how we are worshiping. Are we preaching all the doctrine or keying on one and subjugating others to minority positions? Are we worshiping God or our selves and telling God he has to accept that worship. Are we worshiping the way God tells us to worship.

If it is all about us, then there is nothing there for God.

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FEBRUARY 21 -– Raising up faithfulness


FEBRUARY 21 -– Raising up faithfulness

1Sa 2:35  And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever. 

Every generation sees a period of unfaithfulness. It can be very discouraging. God is saying here that the priests have left the God approved way of service. Some would say that they simply changed their methods. Yet we find that God is truly particular about the way the priests served Him. We see the worship of Jeroboam rejected along with the attraction of the golden calves that drew the people and gave them an icon to kneel to.

Through out history, we find this happening. The Waldensians, at the beginning, had articles of faith like ours. After much persecution we find that later articles of faith had changed in some doctrines. Our own nation has gone through several periods of moving away from man of the ways of worship and the doctrines established by the Bible. This comes from man’s desire to have an “impact” where they are are.

We have been called to preach the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to convict and draw. God said “I will raise mu up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which in in mine heart and in my mind. We are to pursue the mind of God and His will and His way of worship and winning the lost. If we do it wrong we will be cut off just as Hophni and Phinehas was cut off.

We are called by God. We are to be separated from the world. We are work God’s way.

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FEBRUARY 20 – Redeemed


FEBRUARY 20 – Redeemed

Psalm 31:5  Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth. 

We like to speak of being redeemed in the area of being saved. Truly redemption of a lost person has everything to do with being saved. I am so pleased to have been redeemed from the penalty of sin. I have been set on a new path. My inheritance is heaven where Jesus has gone before me to prepare a place, a mansion for me. A place where the paving material is not asphalt but is pure gold. In this case David had already been saved and therefore this usage of redemption does not fit this passage.

Jesus uttered these words as He hung on the cross in Luke 23:46. “… Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit …” David uses this term as expressing his unshaken confidence in God. He rests on God’s faithfulness to His promises to His people. This is not the time of his departure from this earthly abode. What was David’s meaning when he uttered these words?

David was speaking of where he puts his trust and his deliverance. He was speaking of his life as he lived it at that time. His interest was deliverance from his enemies. He is calling to God to deliver him from his enemies. You and I face many enemies in this present world. Some present themselves as friends yet try to undo what we try to do for the Lord. We must labor for the Master. We will find enemies that hate us yet we must serve and that is why our prayer should be, “Into thine hand I commit my spirit…” We should acknowledge that our life has been redeemed from our enemy.

Have you been redeemed by the blood of the lamb? As you live this life of service to the Lord, do you see His work redeeming you from the enemy?

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UNEQUALLY YOKED A NO—NO!


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
UNEQUALLY YOKED A NO—NO!

In Old Testament Law, a number of commandments were written that cause modern men to scratch their head. However, they make perfect sense when considering that those things were types and shadows of the will of God for His people in New Testament times. Consider with me one such instance.
Deuteronomy 22:10 commands, “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.” This is not an uncommon occurrence in third world countries presently. Does God pity the ox or the ass for enduring unequal yokefellows or is it said for our sakes. Perhaps a better understanding of it is revealed in specific New Testament passages such as 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:. . .” This is usually taught to mean that believers should not be married to unbelievers (which is a good thing) but doubtless greater applications are intended, as is clarified in 1 Cor. 7:12-13. The marriage yoke should not be broken if all else is compatible.
What is specifically meant is written in terms that need not be misunderstood. The context of the verse is written to the church of the Living God at Corinth, and is to be interpreted in church context. Believers in the faith once delivered to the saints are not to be yoked together with those who not only fail to believe said faith, but vehemently reject many of the tenants of it. In short, true New Testament churches should not be co-laborers with those of unlike faith, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness: or what communion does light have with darkness? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? ( 2 Cor. 6:14-16 paraphrased).
Baptist churches are NOT Protestant churches. They have never been associated with Rome, nor will they ever be. But they can go astray as did the small group of them that created the Roman Catholic church, preferring to be married to the Roman Empire than to be separated to the Lord Jesus Christ.
True churches stand or fall in relationship to their creator and founder by how they embrace or lay aside the tenants of the faith once delivered to the saints. One of the quickest ways to fall is to esteem that faith of little value or as a roadblock to progress with other unlike religious organizations in the community.
Returning to 2 Cor. 6, the conclusion is inescapable. God says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” May two walk together in disagreement? To disregard God’s Word for the fellowship of others who disregard it, is to fly in the face of the Creator! To submit to an unequal yoke is a NO –NO!

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FEBRUARY 19 – What is Holiness


FEBRUARY 19 – What is Holiness

Psa 29:1  A Psalm of David. Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. 

2  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. 

Holiness is God’s nature or character. The Bible idea of Divine Holiness is perfect moral and spiritual excellence which is summed up by I John 1:5 – This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Our holiness is not of us but of God. It begins with our Consecration, our dedication and devotion to God. In this sense, things, places, times, ceremonies, as well as persons, are spoken of in the Old Testament as “holy to the Lord.” The ground around the burning bush was considered Holy as long as God’s presence was manifested there. Those utensils consecrated for service to God in the tabernacle and temple were Holy because of their purpose of service. I find it interesting that what man chose, such as high places, strange fire, and golden calves were never called Holy. Only the things where God’s presence resided were considered Holy.

Man has been called to be holy. That holiness God has called us to imitate. We cannot do that without becoming a new creature in Christ with new desires and new longings. To be holy means we need a personal purity, righteousness, goodness and true holiness requires us to be like God. Our acknowledgment that we are sinful like Isaiah said of himself in Isaiah 6:1-6 is the first step to holiness. Our adorning should be as in I Peter 3:4 – “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

God does care about our holiness. Let us strive to be holy.

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