Friday, September 30, 2016

ATHENAGORAS: DIVORCE, ABORTION, FREE-WILL

This early Christian wrote his "The Apology" in 176 a.d.
On second marriage, "calls it a 'respectable form of adultery,' or a "decent adultery,"
On abortion, "He says, 'We call it murder and say it will be accountable to God if women use instruments to procure abortion.'"
On free will, "Freedom faces us with responsibility so we are judged for every action. If man falls into evil, he is judged, and thrown into the fire of eternity as his spirit does not vanish, and if he follows God, he lives in the heavenly eternity."

THE DEITY OF CHRIST AND THE SUBORDINATE ROLE HE PLAYS TO THE FATHER, Dan Mayfield

Hebrews 1:6 says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” God is speaking of the Son, Jesus Christ. He said He has all authority in heaven and earth, Mt 28:18. Jesus said he that has seen Me, has seen the Father.
"8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long * with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father '? Jn 14.
The Father and Son are two persons of the Godhead, distinct and separate, but Jesus has all the attributes of God so that even the angels worship Him. He is the one through whom all things were made, Colossians 1:16. John says "apart from Him [Jesus], nothing came into being that has come into being." The Scriptures are clear that Jesus is deity and co-equal to the Father.
The rule of Jesus above all rulers...
"17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." Eph 1:17ff
"20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all." 1 Cor. 15:20-28
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the three persons of the Godhead each have a distinct role they fill in the Godhead. It's not questionable that the Son and Holy Spirit were there in the Creation, Genesis 1. It's also true that the Son subordinated Himself to the Father in the scheme of redemption, making Himself obedient to the Father as an example to us. And it also appears that this subordinate role will continue into eternity based on 1 Cor. 15.
The makeup of the Godhead, 3 person in 1 God, is complex and more mysterious than we can fathom in this fintie world we are trapped in. Still it is clear that God the Father calls Jesus God. Hebrews 1:8 says, "But of the Son He says, "YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM."
So I recognize the deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit, who is also called God in Acts 5:3-4, while also recognizing the distinct roles they in their wisdom decided long ago to fill for our benefit.
If anyone comes with a different doctrine about Jesus, one that suggest anything but that God became flesh, making Him less than God, he is condemned.
"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting;" 2 John 1:10

IS IT A CONCERN IF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS ARE ADDED TO WORSHIP? Dan Mayfield

Someone asked me if people will go to the lake of fire for worshipping with musical instruments.
God says we must not worship in vain, Mt 15:7-9. God says must worship in truth, Jn 4:23,24. God says not to add to His word, Rev 22:18ff. God killed a couple of men for offering strange fire, Lev 10:1ff. God said not to exceed what is written so that one isn't puffed up against another, 1 Cor 4:6. God said not to cause division, 1 Cor 1:10ff. Knowing God did not authorize the use of instruments and the Catholics, history is unanimous on this, were the first to introduce them, what do you think God will do?
What does God is the spiritual music for the church? Colossians 3:16; Eph 5:19; 1 Cor 14:15.

WHEN DO WE COME TO KNOW THE LORD? by Dan Mayfield

What does it mean Samuel did not yet know the Lord? 1 Samuel 3:7.
Most commentators say it didn't mean he wasn't a believer, but only that he had not yet known the Lord through divine messages.
"So they were saying to Him, "Where is Your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also." Jn 8:19
On the topic of Samuel not yet knowing the Lord, one such commentator said, "Samuel had no thought of anything extraordinary, and the explanation of his slowness of apprehension is given in the statement that he “did not yet know the Lord,” which can only mean that he had not received any Divine communications; for absolute ignorance cannot be supposed in one who had ministered to the Lord all his life. Youth should be slow to believe that its impressions are divine messages."
To the suggestion that Samuel was either in a state of "absolute ignorance" or that the saying meant he didn't yet know God through revelation is a false dilemma since there is a third option for the meaning.
The third option. We know that the sons of Eli "did not know the Lord" but they were not in a state of absolute ignorance. So "not knowing the Lord" doesn't imply "absolute ignorance". Samuel it says three times in the lead up to this verse that he was ministering to the Lord. A particular weakness of the Old Covenant, according to Jeremiah, is that many did not know the LORD but that with the New Covenant everyone would. Under the Old Covenant into which one was born, coming "to know the Lord" takes a time for maturing into it.
To know the Lord comes not with learning the rudiments of the Faith as a young child might do. But knowing the Lord refers to a third option which is the coming to the commonly experienced place of personal Faith. Yada, to know, is the word for intimate relationship between a husband and wife, and metaphorically for the people of God to know Him. Even a young child who is raised in the church will come to his or her own moment of faith and conviction to choose to believe in the Lord. Until that time, because he does not yet have saving faith, he does not know the Lord.
In other words, I believe, "he knew not the Lord" indicates Samuel had not yet come to the place of personal Faith. This comes at an age of personal accountability which takes time for Samuel to come to.
For Jews the coming of age was at 12 years old. It was at this age that Jesus comes to the temple and impresses the people with his knowledge and wisdom. When his parents find him at the temple, Jesus said, "did you not know that I must be about my Father's house?" This is recorded in Luke 2. This was the age of coming to maturity, manhood, where personal faith begins to rise up in the young person. Later in Luke 2 it describes Jesus, saying, "And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." That's Jesus at twelve years of age when the boy is considered to be becoming a man with his own faith.
Here's an interesting thing about Samuel the boy. He's very much like Jesus. Jesus was to be a prophet, priest and king. Samuel would be a prophet, priest, and judge. And it says of Samuel the boy who is ministering in the tabernacle, "Now the boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the LORD and with men." The comparison between Christ and Samuel is unmistakable. And how old was Jesus? He was twelve which is the age of manhood and faith. For this reason I think it's very likely that when it says Samuel did not yet know the Lord, I think it meant he was only now ready to cross that threshold of faith.
Many Jews would never cross that threshold moment. The sons of Eli wouldn't ever come to know the Lord, 1 Sam. 2:12. Jeremiah laments that it is a problem that would be fixed with the New Covenant, Jer. 31:31-34. But Samuel if at the age of 12 or thereabout hasn't yet come to know the Lord, it's expected as a natural part of the maturing process.
Our young people who grow up in the church may very well pray, give, sing and talk about the Lord. But we know, and we pray for the moment in their growing up for the time that they confess their own faith, are baptized, and continue to follow Jesus. Only then will they really "know the Lord" in the full sense of that word.
P.S.
If it appears I have erred by suggesting that Samuel wasn't yet in the saved condition that occurs at different times in different people, then let me know. Most commentators believe Samuel most definitely was already having a saving faith and that this statement "did not yet know the Lord" means something narrow that He didn't know God through revelation.
I was talking to a man who believes children are born with sin and that at an early age of four he came to believe and was baptized. So he took issue with my suggestion that this salvation isn't necessary for a small child who is innocent and that only a young man who reaches a certain age of spiritual, emotional, and intellectual maturity can be needful of and ready for being saved by God. This young man took issue with my point here because it dismissed his own need to identify with a very small child being saved.
So comment and correct me if I need it. Thank you.

TO BE FREE FROM PRIDE, by Dan Mayfield

David said he was free from pride. "1 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. 2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me. 3 O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever." Psalm 131:1-3.
This is the only way to salvation for if there is pride in us, we will fight God and we will fight any man who tells us our faults. David by being humble was ready for Nathan the Prophet to tell him of his sin. When the King was confronted, David responded, "I have sinned against the LORD." 2 Sam. 12:13. Forgiveness and salvation is only possible if we are humble before the LORD.
And what about the sins that are hidden even to us? For none of us are perfect. A humble man will seek for God to make these things known. David said, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Ps. 139:23,24.
It's easy to be insulted if we are prideful. It's easy to justify ourselves if we have pride. It's easy to miss the logs in our eyes if we have pride. It's easy to feel superior and better than others if we have pride. It's no wonder that the Scriptures speak so strongly against pride.
"There are six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look,..." Pro. 6:16-17.
The proud look tells so much. And God is absolutely opposed to it. Let us pray that we get to the place of spiritual maturity that we can say with David, "O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty."

HISTORY OF MAN IS RECORDED IN THE RELIABLE BIBLE: MIZRAIM, by Dan Mayfield

MIZRAIM - Son of Ham and grandson of Noah. The Jews up to the 6th century B.C. and the Babylonians referred to Egypt as MIZRAIM. The grandson of Noah would be the father of the Egyptians.
From Wikipedia, "Mizraim (Hebrew: מִצְרַיִם / מִצְרָיִם, Modern Mitzráyim Tiberian Miṣrāyim / Miṣráyim ; cf. Arabic مصر, Miṣr) is the Israeli Hebrew and Aramaic name for the land of Egypt, with the dual suffix -āyim, perhaps referring to the "two Egypts": Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Neo-Babylonian texts use the term Mizraim for Egypt.[1] The name was for instance inscribed in the famous Ishtar gate of Babylon." - Mizraim, Wikipedia
Another grandson of Noah through Ham was Cush whose own son, Nimrod, would be the father of the Babylonains. "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.", Gen 10:10. And Nimrod also built Nineveh, Gen 10:11. Another son of Ham was Canaan through whom came the Canaanites whose land encompassed the cities of Sidon, Gaza, Sodom, Gomorrah and other famous cities.
The historicity of the Bible is remarkable. For no good reason does the world reject the Bible as a reliable historical document. These places of Babylon, Nineveh, Egypt, and the land of the Canaanites are important in the history of Israel. The time after the flood is about 5,000 years ago and we still can find the ruins and read their own histories.
The great flood of Noah is remembered by people in all continents and peoples around the world. Why shouldn't such a thing be told from one generation and passed to the next. When they were dispersed at Babel and with the "dividing" of the earth (Gen 10:25), the story of Noah and his sons would be legendary so over time would have the sense of myth because of the greatness and fantastic nature of the events.
After the tower of Babel when God confused the languages and caused the people to disperse over the face of the earth, we understand how Noah's descendents would be found all over the earth. God forced the dispersion and population of the earth to spread out. The tongues of people led to the population of the earth to become divided.
It's interesting that the great builder Nimrod and his people tried building a massive tower to heaven. And then in the area of Egypt his Uncle Mizraim and his people build massive "mountains" called pyramids. Then across the great ocean, what is called the Atlantic, people are building giant mountain pyramids that suggest a connection between them and the Egyptians and people at Babel.
And the grandson of Shem, and great grandson of Noah, was Eber through whom the Hebrew people came (Eber=Hebrew), Gen 10:24-25. And born to Eber was Peleg who in his day the earth was divided.
So the original builder of Egypt is easily traced back to a son of Noah. When Joseph goes to Egypt and becomes second only to the Pharaoh, he was with kinfolk, separated by a millenium or so. And when Abraham leaves Ur of the Chaldees (Chaldeans), he was from a place just south of Babylon.
I KNOW YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO KEITH SISMAN'S DEVIL'S DOOR BOOK BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO SEE HOW THE WORLD AND IT'S RELIGIONS (EVEN THINGS IN DENOMINATIONALISM AND CATHOLICISM) ARE TRACED BACK TO THE NOAH AND BEFORE.

IT'S LOVE: WITH ALL YOUR BEING, by Dan Mayfield

Paul said for the Romans to present themselves as living sacrifices to God, 12:1f. Imagine if we only presented ourselves in part to God. Imagine if all we presented to God was our intellect and not our heart. Each of us are mind, body, soul, and heart. We are physical and spiritual. We are intellect and emotion. When we pray and sing and offer worship to God without all of our being, it is impossible that it's pleasing to God. He wants and deserves our full attention. If I allow myself to be divided during my time of worship and prayer, then I might as well divide myself between two gods.
"LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND" - Lk 10:27
Coming to Christ for salvation is like this too. The message of the Gospel affects the entire being. It challenges the thinking. It stirs the heart. It moves the body. And it cleanses the soul that's seeking the spiritual. With all of your being you must come to God for salvation or else it is useless.
For this reason a person must be at a certain level of maturity to need or receive salvation. A child cannot know the Lord. A child is innocent and saved, this can't be denied. But when the child is old enough to be accountable to sin, the same must be able to martial his or her entire being to the obedience of the Gospel of Christ.
If you plan to worship God tomorrow, don't come with 3/4 or 1/2 of you. Come and worship God in spirit and truth with all of your being. This is love for God.

THE SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST AND THE 7TH DAY OF THE WEEK, Dan Mayfield

One silly argument SDA uses against Sunday is that it's named after a pagan deity. Of course, Saturday is named after the Roman pagan deity Saturn, god of agriculture, who was the Greeks Cronus. Name of the first and last day of the week is a non issue.
It was in the law of Moses that God's people learned of keeping the Sabbath Day.
Nehemiah 9:13-14 says, 13“Then You came down on Mount Sinai, And spoke with them from heaven; You gave them just ordinances and true laws, Good statutes and commandments. 14“So You made known to them Your holy sabbath, And laid down for them commandments, statutes and law, Through Your servant Moses."
What did God give and make known to them? The Holy Sabbath, the fourth of the ten commandments.
But maybe It was given as a reminder of What they already knew?
Moses said in the Deuteronomy retelling of the Commandments, "2The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3“The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today."
Moses says not only was the Sabbath observance given on the mountain, but Moses says it wasn't given to the previous generation. And in fact, it was not observed prior to the Ten Commandments.
Once the New Covenant is established, Christians were never told to keep it.
In Acts 15:5-11 the Gentiles are told nothing of keeping a Sabbath. Additionally, Paul says to the Colossians in ch. 2, "16Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." The Sabbath was a "mere shadow" of something fulfilled in Christ.
The Sabbath day for the Jews was a time of rest and worship. If a Jew broke the Sabbath, that breaking it brought the death penalty for any who engaged in work, even the gathering of sticks, Exod 31:14-15; Num 15:32,35. I wonder if the SDA and the SDB (Baptist) do no work at all? In fact, it was a time to stay home
God bless you.
________
Exodus 31
12 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 13 "But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. 14 'Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death [DEATH PENALTY FOR BREAKING IT, DM]; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 'For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. 16 'So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.' 17 "It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever [GOD GAVE IT TO ISRAEL, DM]; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed." 18 When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.
Exodus 16
22 Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 then he said to them, "This is what the LORD meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning." 24 So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul nor was there any worm in it. 25 Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. 26 "Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none." 27 It came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 Then the LORD said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions? [NO GATHERING OF FOOD ON THE SABBATH, DM] 29 "See, the LORD has given you the sabbath; therefore * He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." 30 So the people rested on the seventh day. 31 The house of Israel named * it manna, and it was like coriander seed, white, and its taste was like wafers with honey. 32 Then Moses said, "This is what * the LORD has commanded, 'Let an omerful of it be kept throughout your generations, that they may see the bread that I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.' " 33 Moses said to Aaron, "Take a jar and put an omerful of manna in it, and place it before the LORD to be kept throughout your generations." 34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the Testimony, to be kept. 35 The sons of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36 (Now an omer is a tenth of an ephah.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

MY GOOD WOMAN BRINGS LIFE, Dan Mayfield


Everywhere i look in my home is proof that a woman is working hard. Plants are growing. Everything is clean and in place. Good food is made, and is in the fridge or on the stove. The woman is a marvel of God. She gives and gives. You can't outgive her. She is a walking and talking blessing. From her body came my five children. God made her to make life and she gladly did. Through so much pain and trouble she did it well. With the fifth child, all of her hair fell out. And despite the negative prognosis from the dermatologist, God gave her back her hair. Her words are always thoughtful, encouraging, and valued by all who know her. She is filled with life and she shares her life with children, friends, the church. Children especially love her. If your are sick, she will be the nurse. Hungry and she will feed you. Lonely and she will listen. If you are having trouble, rest assured she's bringing it to God. If you are blessed, she will rejoice. I have been with this woman for 37 years and I am still amazed. See the little puppy in the picture. Hazel is the dog's best friend. The dog always has water and food and checkups and grooming. She's also my best friend, before the dog. Hazel is a life giver. She is a life saver. She is the daughter of Jesus. I'm a hundred percent certain in saying that when God looks down on Hazel, He smiles.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

WE ARE ALL GUILTY AND NEED A GOOD ADVOCATE, Dan Mayfield

None of us are innocent. We have all gone astray and there is none righteous, not one.

"If one man sins against another, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?” 1 Sam 2:25.

Before the court of men, we might escape judgment even when guilty. But not when we stand before God.

Anyone can take up his case against God, but still he will lose. We can cry out and declare our innocence, but in the face of God all we can do is be silent.

"2 In truth I know that this is so; But how can a man be in the right before God? 3 “If one wished to dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times." Job 9:2-3

He makes counselors walk barefoot, And makes fools of judges." Job 12:17.

The Gospel is called Good News because through Christ we have the very best person to stand beside us in the judgment. Jesus Christ is the Advocate, the counselor, who wins every case He takes up.

"1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." 1 Jn 2:1-2.

People of faith know their utter depravity in the sight of God. We are all guilty before the Almighty God. We cannot have a hope in heaven unless we believe in Jesus Christ and trust only in His righteousness. But if we are resistant, and choose to practice sin, then there will be none to take up our case at the judgment.

Once God had spoken to Job, the man who wished to make his case before God, now said, "Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth." Job 40:4.

We are all sinners and as correct as we feel we might be, still before God we are undone. Habakkuk might think he knows best, but when standing before God, says rightly, "I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected." Hab 2:1.  See, God is always right.  And before God on judgment day we will all be found undone if we stand there without a really good Advocate.

So believe, confess your sins, repent and turn to the path of righteousness, and be immersed in the waters of baptism, calling on His name, and God will make you clean and pure because of Christ. Jesus Christ will ably defend those who by faith obey His will. Jesus doesn't defend the perfect, they don't need a defender, Rom. 4:4. That's the ideal that's only been practiced by one person.  And that one person is our Advocate if we honestly come to Him for help.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TEMPTATION, THE DEVIL WILL RUIN YOU IF YOU GET PROUD, by Dan Mayfield

1 Chronicles 21:1,2

The devil will tempt a man to count and number and measure and then to boast in strength do that he did not trust in God. 

Lord, teach me to trust in nothing but your strength. I know Lord, as Paul did, Your power is perfected in weakness. So make me weak. If I won't submit, send upon me a thorn, so that I glory in what you do.

David had a great heart for God. But even such a man can give in to temptation. I know this very well and so this morning I look to God.

"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you I'm due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him steadfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world." 1 Peter 5:6-9.

At the end of David's life in 1 Chronicles 28-29, we see a very spiritual old man in David. He reminds Solomon to be faithful and he praises God, saying, "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty, for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all." 1 Chronicles 29:11.

The proud can be tempted to trust in the flesh. But men can also learn and turn back to God. The believer trust in the strength of God. Stay humble and tell the devil to go away.

Text in graphic is 1 Chronicles 21.

IT MIGHT BE OF GOD, by Dan Mayfield

"13So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the LORD, because of the word of the LORD which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it, 14and did not inquire of the LORD. Therefore He killed him and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse." 1 Chronicles 10
No one likes to take responsibility for bad that has happened. The very last reason we look to is often the very first reason. And even when we are clearly wrong, even then we soften it and seek to justify it. But God never is fooled and He never misplaces blame.
When king Saul and his sons were killed by the Philistines, their demise wasn't because the army failed. It wasn't because the weather worked against them. They didn't die because the god of the Philistines was stronger. It wasn't for any reason except that Saul was unfaithful to the LORD and God struck him down. If God removes his hand from blessing and protection, the man is going to fall. It is the justice of God.
If trouble has come upon us, understand it might be from God and look first to self.
O Father, open my eyes to see my faults. Discipline me with the rod of your love but do not destroy me. Help me, Father, to humbly to see my error and I will confess it and I will sacrifice to You. Thank you for your righteousness that comforts me. You are just and the rock I trust. I pray always come to you through Christ Your Son, Amen.

HARD THINGS REQUIRE SPECIAL MEASURES, DM

"But this kind goeth not out save by prayer and fasting." Mt 17:21.
When the challenge is extra difficult, the regular approach won't do. When the obstacle proves especially difficult, try praying and fasting. God will bless.

IF YOU HAD FIVE MINUTES... by Dan Mayfield

What if in five minutes you breathed your last breath? And what if in five minutes you were met by angelic beings to carry you to meet God? In five minutes there would be no more words spoken. There would be no more apologies or making amends. No more second chances to put God first. No more wishing.
What if in four minutes the fun and games were done. The last softball game and the last jog through the park would be behind you. In four minutes your back and neck pain would be gone. In four minutes the debt and chores would be left to others. Personally, I apologize for those who have to clean my office and have to sort through the junk to find a few treasures.
What if in three minutes there isn't a tomorrow and yesterday for you? In three minutes you would be in the eternal now. In three minutes plans and calendars on your phone and desk would be tossed in the trash bag. They weren't as important as you thought.
And then in two minutes you would never, ever be seen again by a living person. In two minutes you would not see most of your loved ones at a dinner table or rising in the morning. In two minutes your little babies and grand babies would know you only as a memory.
And if so, then in one minute all that would really matter is did you follow Jesus. All that would matter in one minute is did Jesus know you, Mt 7:23. Did you do the Father's will? Did you forgive when asked to, Lk 17:3,4? Did you do get baptized like Paul, Acts 22:16? Did you always live with a clean conscience, Acts 24:16? Did you get rid of the idols in your heart, Ezek 14:3-7? Did you repent of backbiting and gossip and malice against others? Did you love the church? Did we love all of God's children? Did we properly responded to the message of the cross? Or did you put it off for something else? Is something amiss that we knowingly have put aside for "a more convenient season"?
You and I could be finished with this life in five minutes. It's why the Bible tells us to always be ready. We should always fear God, Pro. 23:17. We should always rejoice in the Lord, Phil. 4:4. We should always have the Lord in our mind and heart, Pro. 16:8 . We should always be alert and praying, Lk 21:36. We should always bear in our body the dying of Jesus, 2 Cor. 4:10. We should always abound in the work of the Lord. God said always. So we should do these always.
Because in five minutes I might be dead, I need to live my faith without regrets. It is why the Hebrews writer says, "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts", Heb 13:7,13; 4:7? And why did Paul remind that, "Behold, now is the time of favor; now is the day of salvation!", 2 Cor. 6:2? The reason is that no one has tomorrow. We could be gone in five minutes.
Now if you are a Christian, in five minutes you could experience your first taste of eternal joy that never ends. "For now salvation is nearer than we first believed", Rom 13:11. But time is passing and today we are all closer to eternity than yesterday.
If this simple message is pricking your heart, run to God and do His will immediately. Do no put it off until tonight or tomorrow. I say this in love.

YOU ARE SICK AND DO YOU TURN TO GOD? Dan Mayfield

When Ephraim saw his sickness,
And Judah his wound,
Then Ephraim went to Assyria

And sent to King Jareb.
But he is unable to heal you,
Or to cure you of your wound.
- Hosea 5:13
When something isn't right in mind, body, or soul, turn to God first and show if you have faith.

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