Jehoram was thirty-two years of age when he began to reign in Jerusalem. As king, Jehoram "wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord." II Chronicles 21:6. As a result, the Lord smote him with an incurable disease and after two years, he died. His father before him did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. We choose whether to do that which is right or that which is evil. God is never pleased when we choose to do evil. The evil which Jehoram did was "in the eyes of the Lord." His actions violated God's standard of right. We are not to follow our thinking as to what is good or evil. God has established the pattern of right and wrong. And God takes notice of our actions. Recompense came because of the choice that he made. He made high places and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication. His evil spread as all evil does. His evil contaminated others as all evil does. Evil has a corrupting influence. It can corrupt an individual. It can corrupt a society. What Jehoram may have been able to do if he had done what was right and refrained himself from evil is unknown. We do know that the consequences would have been different.
Monday, November 23, 2015
"Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms." James 5:13. In life, there are times of merriment and also times of affliction. We know joy and we know sorrow. God gives us direction in those times and teaches us how to react to all situations. When afflicted, we are told to pray. God wants to know about our affliction. God offers consolation in affliction. God can and will help. Prayer gives us strength. Prayer lifts the spirit. Prayer keeps us hopeful until the affliction has passed. We could murmur about affliction, but that will not help. We are not to become bitter in affliction. We are to pray with the assurance and faith that God cares and will come to our aid. When we are merry, we are to sing. Singing is an exhibition of merriment. We are to sing psalms. Singing is adoration and praise unto God. Singing psalms encourages us. Singing psalms shows thankfulness and gratitude for blessings received. Singing is an outward show of inner peace and happiness. When afflicted, pray. When merry, sing.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
"I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat." Mark 8:2. The multitude had followed Jesus for three days and had listened to Him as He taught them. Jesus teaches those who will hear and learn. The desire of this multitude was to hear the words of Jesus. The words of Christ are vital to the soul of man. Our soul feeds on His words. His words give life. We must have an interest in the spiritual. While the physical part of man is in need of certain provisions, the soul is in need of the words from heaven. This multitude followed and listened. Now, Jesus sees that they need food. Jesus not only taught, but He cared for those whom He taught. Jesus was a person who was moved by the needs of individuals. He was concerned about the difficulties which people faced in their life. Jesus had a character that was compassionate. He helped the sick and the disturbed. Jesus reached out and offered His kindness. Heaven cares about our soul, but heaven also cares about us. Jesus is mindful of the pain and affliction in our life. As we seek the spiritual help of Christ, we can also find that He will help us through the difficulties and hardships because He has compassion.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
"Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's." II Corinthians 10:7. We are to belong to Christ. God gave the sacrifice of His Son, and His Son willingly gave Himself that we might belong to Christ. We must not hope that we belong to Christ, but we must be certain. As we keep His commandments, we know that we are His. However, we must not have an attitude of pride that we alone belong to Him. We are to strive that others become Christ's also. The wonderful duty and privilege of those who are Christ's is to seek that others become Christ's. Our hearts rejoice that we are Christ's and our hearts rejoice that others become Christ's. We lovingly share our faith with others. We seek to serve Christ through the sharing of the blessings that we have found in Christ. The more that we desire that others become Christ's, the greater our confidence that we are Christ's.
Monday, November 16, 2015
"But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?" Luke 5:22. This question was asked by Jesus of a group of Pharisees and scribes who accused Jesus of blasphemy. Jesus had witnessed the faith of men who had brought one sick of the palsy to Jesus. Jesus declared that his sins were forgiven. The Pharisees did not believe that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins. Jesus was able to perceive their thoughts. All of our thoughts are perceived by Jesus. That is a sobering truth. Jesus questioned the reasoning of their hearts. What do our hearts reason concerning Jesus? Do we perceive that He is indeed the Son of God and that He has power to forgive sin? Do we perceive that Jesus is a fraud? What do we reason about Jesus? Our perception of Him will determine our relationship with Him. That which we reason in our hearts about Jesus will affect our life now and the life to come.
Saturday, November 14, 2015
"And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much." I Kings 10:18. Baal was a false god. Jehovah was the true God and He alone was to be served. Did Ahab sin because he served Baal only a little? A little can make a difference regardless of what it may be. A little service to Baal diverted the heart of Ahab. A little sin can contaminate the soul. We are to serve God with all of our heart and all of our soul. God refuses to allow us to give Baal even the smallest amount of service. A little worldliness can corrupt our vow of commitment to God. A little slip can cause us to fall. God wants the total person. Being a jealous God, He wants all of our service. A little of Baal leaves no room for God. One may think that God is satisfied with a little service to Him. God does not want a little of our service. A little time for worship, a little time for Bible study, a little time for prayer, and a little time for service leaves a void. Baal is content to be served only a little. However, God is not.
Friday, November 13, 2015
"Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." Psalm 29:1-2. The mighty praise their own strength. The mighty glory in their power. The psalmist calls the mighty to understand the true source of all power and strength. That source is the Lord. The Lord is to be praised for His strength and power. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, divides the flames of fire, shakes the wilderness, makes the hinds to calve, and discovers the forests. What power does the Lord not possess? What strength can the Lord not exert? Glory is due unto Him for He has all glory. Strength is due unto Him for He has all strength. The Lord is to be worshipped for He is the Lord. The cedar cannot grow without Him. The fire cannot burn without Him. The calf cannot be born without Him. The wilderness and the forest exist because of Him. The Lord sits upon the flood and the Lord reigns as King forever. The Lord is to be worshipped in holiness for He is holy. The Lord is to be glorified for He is glory. Let the mighty come into His temple and praise Him.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12-13. One has the right to become a son of God because of Christ. Those who receive Christ become the sons of God. The sons of God are born into the family of God. This birth is not a physical birth. In a physical birth, blood and flesh are essential. However, the sons of God become such because of the will of God. God has made provision for humanity to believe on Jesus and become a child of God. Jesus lived and died so that all might have the privilege to become a son of God. Nothing higher can be attained. Nothing more noble can be accomplished. Only a few become the children of God because of the willingness to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. Only through Jesus can one become a son. This is the will of God. This is the grace of God. Not blood, not flesh, not man's will, but God only offers the beauty of becoming His child through Jesus Christ.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." John 3:5. Jesus always speaks the words of truth. If we would have a relationship with Him and have the hope of eternal life, we must follow His teaching. His teaching in this passage concerns the matter of rebirth. The birth involves the water and the Spirit. Jesus teaches us that unless one is born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is the church now and the future eternal abiding with God and Christ in heaven. To hold the prospect of that blessing requires the birth of water and the Spirit. The water is baptism or immersion. In this act of obedience, one is united with Christ and enjoys the forgiveness of sins. The old man of sin dies and the new man of holiness is born. When one is baptized into Christ, he is sealed with the Holy Spirit of God. The seal or gift of the Spirit is the assurance of our salvation. The new birth is an obedient act that opens for us a new life in Christ.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." John 7:24. The appearance can be misleading. God does not judge according to appearance, but rather according to the heart. We must judge certain doctrines and determine if the doctrine be from God. We must not believe a teaching that has not been authorized by heaven. Many false teachings envelope our world, and those doctrines will lead us astray from God. Only one doctrine or teaching can be right. We must judge our companions. Evil companions can corrupt us. The wrong associates can tarnish our reputation and blemish our character. One must decide if the actions of another are according to the rules of godliness. We must judge ourselves to make certain that our conduct is pleasing unto God. We exert influence and our behavior must be a righteous behavior. We must teach, associate, and work by the standard that has been given to us from God. Jesus taught, associated, and worked according to the will of God. Let us follow that divine example being cautious in that which we believe, cautious in those with whom we associate, and cautious in our activities. Righteous judgment is from God and He has given a standard that allows us to judge righteous judgment.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
"So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." John 8:7. The ones who brought the woman who had been taken in adultery knew the law. But, they brought her as a means of tempting Jesus so that they might accuse him. Jesus made them look at themselves. No one is without sin. There is the sinner and there is the forgiven sinner. The accusers wanted justice without mercy until they became the accused. The crowd dispersed. None were without sin. Jesus makes us look at our own life. He makes us see ourselves. Rather than condemning others, let us seek forgiveness for ourselves. May we ever be mindful of our own need of the redemption that is offered through Christ. Our own conscience must be right. Our own heart must be free of iniquity. Throwing stones at others does not justify us in the sight of God. Throwing stones at others does not free us from the sin of our own heart. Only the sinless can throw stones. And, there are none.
Monday, November 2, 2015
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." III John 2. Most people place physical prosperity above the prosperity of their soul. Many have no concern for their spiritual well being. We will see a doctor, take medicine, and follow all precautions for good health. But, we will neglect the soul. These beloved to whom John wrote this short letter had insured the prosperity of their soul. The soul was their first concern. After all, the soul will outlast our health and all of our physical possessions. Long after death has taken hold of us, our soul will abide. Isn't it wise to make sure that we are taking care of our soul? The soul will prosper when our relationship with God is prospering. This should always be our priority. We need to care for our health. We need a certain amount of prosperity. But, above all concerns, we need to make certain that our soul is prospering.