Tuesday, September 25, 2012

                         Pleasure Now, Or Pleasure Later

Today, I am going to talk about a portion of the story of Jacob and Esau and draw some lessons from it. Let's read the story from Genesis 25:29-34, "And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware to him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright." 
   So Esau was returning home from hunting really hungry. Now was there anything with feeling hungry and wanting something to eat? No. But Esau was so caught up in his present state of hunger, that he could think of nothing more than satisfying his ravenous appetite.  There was much more food in his father's camp which would take, at most, a short time to get ready, but since he was so carried away with the sensation of starvation, that he even thought that he would die in just a few minutes if he didn't get food immediately.  Esau was just thinking of the present, so Jacob thought this an advantage to bargain for the birthright. And Esau hardly hesitated in bargaining for it in just about a heartbeat. So his appetite appeased, He 'despised his birthright'. We tend to think that Esau was rather stupid for doing such a thing, but I began think that whenever we think that this old world is worth living for, and we don't want to go to heaven that bad, we're really doing the same thing that Esau did. We can live in this world from seventy to maybe as much as ninety years, but sooner or later, we are going to die and our 'party' on earth will soon end. But  Praise the Lord, God has given us the gift of eternal life, through Jesus' sacrifice. And if we live for Him in this life and not for ourselves, we will inherit eternal life in a world that will be so glorious, that we cannot begin to understand how wonderful it will be!  2 Corinthians 4:17,18 says,"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

                                    Shall He Not Avenge Us?

"And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.  And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, 'Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me,I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge His Own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith in the earth? Luke 18:1-8.  First of all, what exactly does avenge mean? Well, the root word is vengeance, so it means to bring about justice. So this judge did not deliver this widow from her adversary, because he cared for her, but because he knew that the woman would keep pestering him, so he decided to get it over with.  He also was worried that his reputation as a judge would be ruined. So he did it out of pure self-interest.  So if a worldly judge delivered a needy one, how much more will our Heavenly Father who loves more than we could ever understand, deliver His people from their enemies, and problems!
    One thing that struck me when I read this passage today, is that if we have a heavy burden, or struggle, or affliction of any kind, Jesus wants us to bring that petition to Him every day and night!  Sometimes I tend to think,'Well, doesn't God already know what I want?' Of course He does know what we want, but He wants us to let Him know how serious we are in trusting Him. And sometimes if we don't trust Him, He might delay the gratification of your want, to 'wake' us up. Psalm 72:12 says, "For He shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and the needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight." So God will deliver us when we cry to Him for it.  Jeremiah 29:12,13 says,"Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."  What a promise! Let's claim it today!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

                           Jesus, The Source of Strength

We often don't realize that Jesus had to begin each day communing with His Heavenly Father. He daily asked for strength to do the work that His Heavenly Father had appointed Him to do. Here is an example of this in Mark 1:35,"And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." Jesus of Himself could do nothing, He daily drew from the Source of Strength. We read in John 5:30,"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."  So if our Savior, in His earthly ministry, each morning prayed for hours; how much more we, sinful human beings, must commune with our Heavenly Father!
   Everyday, we must feed on the Bread of Life, and daily surrender our lives to Him. John 6:35 says,"And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life:he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst."

Monday, September 3, 2012

I am going to talk about what Jesus had to go through, before His Crucifixion. Satan did all he could to tempt Jesus to give up and not sacrifice Himself, whether he used wicked people or even His own disciples to tempt Him to give up. Let's turn to Matthew 16:21-24,"From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and  be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, 'Be it far from the Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee. But He turned, and said unto Peter, 'Get thee behind me Satan: thou art an offence unto me:for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." So Satan was speaking thorough one of His most faithful disciples! How shocking! Satan was telling Jesus that He was the Lord of the universe, and that it would be absolutely stupid to die and His Life of healing and teaching that thousands of people so desperately needed would come to an end. Satan also insinuated that Jesus' work had just begun, why stop doing such a good work? Satan doesn't care whether he uses ways that directly transgress God's Law to turn us away from God, or tempting us to do things that are okay, or even right to do in themselves, but if it doesn't agree with God's plan, it is sin.