Tempting Someone Is Not Good

LUKE 12VS2

“And he said to his disciples, ‘Temptations to sin are sure to come, BUT WOE TO THE ONE THROUGH WHOM THEY COME!’ It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.'” -Luke 17:1-2 (ESV) 

 

Do NOT be foolish to tempt someone to do what he/she knows is evil in the eyes of GOD, and do NOT be foolish to tempt someone to do what you know is evil in the eyes of GOD. Just like someone does not escape the consequences of their choice to give into temptation and sin, you won’t escape the consequences of tempting him/her and causing him/her to stumble or fall.

God looks to the intents and motives of your heart, and He will not be mocked.

 

“Live as free people, but don’t hide behind your freedom when you do evil. Instead, use your freedom to serve God.” -1 Peter 2:16 (GW)

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The Problem With Masks & Costumes

MASK 3Every Halloween, it’s a mad dash to get out of the house as fast as possible by exactly 4:30 p.m. to avoid Trick or Treaters.  I am one who absolutely loathes Halloween as does my husband.  We don’t celebrate Halloween, and the idea of passing out candy every two minutes for four and a half hours doesn’t sound appealing at all… EVER.

The first year we were at our current residence, we were leaving the house, and I caught a glimpse of a parent with his child in his arms.  Something about seeing a child dressed as a vampire was highly disturbing, and the fake blood on the fangs just made it worse until I saw a newborn dressed as an ax murderer and found myself shuddering.

Figuratively speaking, people wear masks and costumes all the time.  The masks conceal what the person’s face actually looks like versus how the person shows him/herself to others.  For instance, when someone is wearing a mask/costume, he can portray himself as if he is an angel.   When in actuality, he lacks compassion, has the intrusive nature of a cockroach, and has the character of a shark and alligator combined.  If someone is shy, she may not be shy when wearing a mask.  She can feel free to be outgoing and speak her mind because no one knows it’s her, allowing her not to fear rejection, and being able to share her thoughts and ideas without anyone trying to stop her from talking, and there’s no one to stop her from meeting other people who are wearing masks and costumes just like her.

WOLF 2HOWEVER, THE PROBLEM WITH MASKS AND COSTUMES is eventually they have to be taken off.  When masks and costumes are stripped off, be careful because you may find the person was a wolf for the entire time you knew them.  At that point, you have to decide what you will do.  You will either stick around and be devoured by the wolf until there is nothing left of you except a skeleton, or you will run and get away from the ravenous wolf who is staring at you like you are dinner with its fangs exposed and ready to pounce on you.

If you choose the second option, you, at least, have a chance of survival.

 

Linda A. Knowles

 

 

 

Huldah & King Josiah

HULDAHShe inspired King Josiah and a nation to repent.  Her name?  Huldah, a prophetess who lived in the 2nd District of Jerusalem during the time of King Josiah’s reign.  Not a lot is said about her.  However, her role in the nation of Judah was one of great significance.

Here is their story:  King Josiah, eight years old, had become king and reigned for 31 years.  He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s eyes, followed the example of his ancestor King David, and continued doing what was right.  (Reference 2 Kings 22:1-7)

Fast forward to the 18th year of his reign,

“Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple!’  Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it.  Shaphan went to the king and reported, ‘Your officials have turned over the money collected at the Temple of the Lord to the workers and supervisors at the Temple.’  Shaphan also told the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.’  So Shaphan read it to the king.   When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.   Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: ‘Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah.  Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found.  For the Lord’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll.  We have not been doing everything it says we must do.’” -2 Kings 22:8-11

Josiah’s response was a fitting response given the fact He had heard the Words of the Lord.  He listened to the Book of the Law which was now found, filled with despair, he tears in clothes in act of remorse.  The king was not dignified in that moment of despair.  Even Josiah himself took note, “We have not been doing everything it says we must do.”  King Josiah wanted to know what they should do.  As a result, he sent Hilkiah, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah to go to the temple, speak to the Lord for him (King Josiah), the people, and Judah.  King Josiah had recognized God was angry at them because of their ancestors’ disobedience to the Words written on the scroll.

The men made their way over to consult Huldah about what they had found.  For them to go to her, it was obvious she was respected, and she had a message from the Lord for them,

“She said to them, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken! Go back and tell the man who sent you, This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this city and its people.  All the words written in the scroll that the king of Judah has read will come true. For my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done.  My anger will burn against this place, and it will not be quenched.  But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: You were sorry and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this city and its people—that this land would be cursed and become desolate.  You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance.  And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord.  So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace.  You will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city.  So they took her message back to the king.’” -2 Kings 22:15-20

Huldah spoke boldly and confidently.  She gave the men the message the Lord had her to give without hesitation.  The message the Lord gave her was clear, and she had the courage to tell them exactly what God wanted.  Huldah was willing to be used.

King Josiah’s response to the message God gave Huldah to give him is remarkable:

“Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And the king went up to the Temple of the Lord with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, along with the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the Lord’s Temple. 3 The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the Lord’s presence. He pledged to obey the Lord by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. In this way, he confirmed all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll, and all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.”  -2 Kings 23:1-3 

He took the warning Huldah gave and he acted on the Word of the Lord.  King Josiah took the lead, called everyone together in one place for the reading of the Word of God, and they pledged themselves to the Covenant.  The King vowed to keep the commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul in the presence of God.  King Josiah gave himself over to the ways of God.  He removed the idolatrous priests who offered sacrifices to pagan gods, removed pagan worship and shrines of prostitution from the Temple of the Lord, idolatrous priests were not allowed to eat of the unleavened bread with the other priests, destroyed altars on the palace roof and the upper room of the palace and any other altar for worship to other gods, and the list goes on of the actions King Josiah made.  He took drastic action.  (Reference 2 Kings 23)

Like Huldah, are you willing to be used by the Lord to carry out the task He has given you?

Are you willing to be shaped and molded by the Lord like King Josiah was?

Will you, like Josiah, set your face like stone determined to do the will of God?

Will you push aside God’s Word, or will you draw close to Him and take immediate action on what needs to change in your life?

Is there anything you have to do so your life falls in line with God’s Word?

Remember our God never fails.  He is the One who strengthens you and delivers you. You need only to go to Him and call out to Him.  But if you go to the Lord for counsel and He tells you what to do, then be prepared to jump into action and follow every instruction He gives you.

“And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” -1 Samuel 15:22

 

L.A. Knowles

I Choose His Joy My Strength

JOY 1

 

CHOOSE JOY.

I choose joy because I know the GOD who created me has EVERYTHING under HIS control and because the joy of the LORD is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). I choose joy because the GOD of Heaven and Earth is mindful of me (Psalm 8) and has told me I can trust in HIM (Psalm 33:4-6); and because HE is the GOD of the Impossible (Luke 18:27), HIS arm is not shortened (Isaiah 59:1).

Count your blessings and learn to praise HIM. It’s amazing how praising GOD and giving glory to GOD can lift your faith and your countenance and fill you with joy as you readjust your focus to set your sight on GOD. Let the Holy Spirit bring to your remembrance the promises of GOD and all that GOD has done for you.

“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy, now that you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

1 Peter 1:8-9 (Berean Study Bible)

Set Your Face Like Flint Determined To Do His Will!

Romans 8.31NEVER apologize for obeying what God has told you to do (“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” -Galatians 1:10 and “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 6:8).

Always take your complaints and problems to the Lord because He is the one who can guide your steps and give your soul rest (“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'” -Matthew 11:28-30 and “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”).

Keep your mind fixed on the things of God because He keeps you in perfect peace (“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” -Isaiah 26:3-4).

It doesn’t matter what any man or woman says about you, what matters is what God has to say about what you do and say, and it’s more important for you to know God (“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts'” -Isaiah 55:8-9 and “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” -Hosea 6:6).

WHAT MATTERS MOST is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5) and “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14).