Monthly Archives: August 2019

A Few Barrier To Answered Prayer

Each of these verses deal with provision from the Lord, we need new strength, comfort, wisdom, material provisions and all types pf different needs we may have. All these can be truly met in Jesus Christ.

Starting off in the book of James it says we should ask believing and not doubting.

James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

A significant barrier to receiving from the Lord is being in doubt about what we ask for. There are a few reasons we may doubt, but let’s use this as an example: can we truly have faith God will give us something Scripture clearly frowns upon? Obviously, we should have doubts in praying for something we know the Bible clearly says dishonors God.

Yet, even something good, such as wisdom, if we do not trust God to provide it and doubt Him, we see here God won’t honor a prayer for even something He would delight to give.

To understand the first part of James where it uses “double minded” it may be helpful to see that the term double minded is later used in James.

If we go to James chapter 4, we encounter a passage again dealing with “Asking” of God.

James 4:1-9 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.

Look at another barrier to prayer and receiving: “You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives,

1.) Failure to ask

2.) Wrong motives

It then in this passage uses the term “double minded” yet again. Now look at how it is used in context.

He uses terms such as

• “that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. ”

• “friendship with the world”

Don’t these two things contradict the Christian life? Being self centered? Fitting in with sinful secular society? These are against Christ. For Jesus Christ calls us to be like him –

Mark 10:42-45 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Does Jesus Christ call us to seek the world’s approval and be like the world? Certainly not!

We are called to be “holy” which means “Set apart”—

In Jesus’s prayer in John chapter 17 we see him say:

John 17:14-19 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

So when it comes to having prayer answered we must always ask, does my prayer focus on the good of others, the body of Christ, the glory of God? Or is my prayer tainted with self centeredness that hinges on myself? If God was to answer my prayer would it make me more like Jesus Christ or the world around me.

Think about it, if God gave you success, more money, or this or that, then how would you use it? To honor Him, seek His kingdom and seek to advance his goals? Or would you just use the blessing to spoil yourself?

Do you want a new house, better car, or whatever it is, to compete and keep up with the “Jones” family. Are you trying to make others envious? Will you puff up with pride and feel like you are all that? Then, your motivation is worldly!

Yet if we can say “I want this to serve God better with and help me better live for Him.” For example wisdom or strength to live a godly life. Then if you can have no doubts God will answer.

Another thing, it is not wrong to desire things that are not prohibited in Scripture as wrong in and of themselves. Example, a godly wife if your a single man, or a godly husband if your a single woman. Or suppose you are married and praying for a child. All good gifts of God. Perhaps it is an open door for greater service and ministry, and that is a decent request. Then it often is a matter of waiting on the Lord till he decides we are ready.

This does not mean God blesses everyone with marriage or kids yet more likely then not, He does so often and may delay in providing.

The same is also true when it comes to open doors in greater service. The Lord often bids us to wait for seasons as He purifies us and prepares us to handle well such gifts he gives.

Yet, we should never seek any of His blessings to “complete us” or compete with others! Inferiority may drive people to grab for this or that to feel like a “somebody” or feel valuable and worthy.

These are never healthy reasons to want more “Blessings” or “This” or “that”! If we seek God’s blessings and gifts like they make us worthy, significant, or have purpose- then these become idols.

God also is not inclined to bless us with XYZ if it leads to us growing proud, arrogant or self indulgent.

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Teamwork

When it comes down to the Body of Christ, the Bible speaks of how we each have been given spiritual gifts to help build up the Body of believers.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free —and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

1 Corinthians 12:12-20 –

Think of it this way, imagine running a company and having only one department, for example “Sales department.” If there was only sales representatives in a business, then where would the finance and accounting department be? A company needs managers and supervisors too. A company or business needs a Human Resource department. Not everyone can be supervisor and manager. Not everyone can be sales associates. Not everyone works in payroll or accounting and not everyone is Human resources.

No organization or business can operate if every employee does the exact same thing.

Or imagine a an auto-mechanic who only has one type of tool in his equipment? What if all he had was a socket wrench and only a certain size socket. He would not be able to fix much if he only had one kind of tool.

What if a man wanted to build a house and only had boards? He would need more then just a hammer and nails. He would need a drill, screws, concrete, and plenty of other tools to successfully build a house.

That house would need an architect t to draw a design and the architect would need a professional contractor to build the house. The contractor building the house would need other help too, other people to help him build the house. Otherwise it take him forever to build it. There would need to be a plumber. There would need to be also a skilled electrician to wire things properly and other steps taken to meet the code of law to ensure the house is safe.

We are as believers God’s house, the temple of the Holy Spirit. His Church is His greatest building project, and we all are called to play our role in building the kingdom of Christ together.

We are not in competition but co-laborers. We should work hand in hand and we all have a valuable role to play in this.

In chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians, Paul writes about how believers all have a role to play and have a spiritual gift. Lets go back to the third chapter of 1 Corinthians. It says:

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 –

What is Paul speaking of? What does he mean by saying “I laid a foundation as a wise builder.”? Well Paul had been commissioned (Sent) by Jesus Christ to bring the message of salvation (The Gospel) to the Gentiles (Non Jews, Non Israelite people)

Many responded and believed the Gospel and in this particular letter became the early church in Corinth. These Corinthian believers though needed to grow and mature. The Apostle Paul who often traveled much could not often just stay in one place and do all the work in helping these believers grow. God had sent Paul to preach the Gospel, He moved him often from one place to another.

So God used “Apollos” to help build up the believers there. Yet unfortunately the early church of Corinth had believers arguing about who their favorite “leader was”

Paul wrote the letter to remind them:

“Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly —mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:1-9)

The truth the Apostle Paul conveys is that Jesus is Lord and the one who has established them. He reminds them, that Paul and his fellow Apollos are just Christ’s servants-

So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future —all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. (1 Corinthians 3:21-23)

“All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas” let’s focus mainly here and unpack this. Paul is writing and explaining that he, Apollos, and Cephas (Peter) are all there for these people’s growth and spiritual thriving. Paul basically says “We all belong to you for your good, no need to boast of one of us over the other, Jesus has appointed us all to all of you for your good. So stop arguing among yourselves and picking favorite leaders to brag about. We are all yours!”

And as believers we all belong to one another- as a body of people who make up the People of God.

Put Your Faith In Christ, Not Merely His Followers

King Joash seemingly had a great start to following the Lord in his reign, but finished his reign in wicked unfaithfulness to the Lord.

We see in [2 Chronicles 24:17- 20]

After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and he listened to them. They abandoned the temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols. Because of their guilt, God’s anger came on Judah and Jerusalem. Although the Lord sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen. Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the Lord , he has forsaken you.’”

God’s presence departed from Joash because he forsook and turned his back on God. As long as Jehoiada was there to mentor him and instruct Him, Joash walked faithfully before God.

It says: “Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years of Jehoiada the priest.” (2 Chronicles 24:2)

However, when Jehoiada died, Joash shows his true colors and listens to ungodly counselors and officials and turns away from the Lord.

We hear many people say things like “I once was a Christian” and they may then give you some explanation as to why they left the faith. Faith is rooted in Christ, not someone who follows Christ. As we see, when Jehoaida a godly man dies, Joash abandons the fear of the Lord and becomes faithless.

So true it will also be for anyone who does not have personal faith in Jesus Christ as their own, but hitches a ride on someone elses faith. Many say, “Well I do not believe because Christians let me down.” Yet we can never be so foolish to put our ultimate hope and trust in another human being. Human beings, no matter how upright or solid they seem, can still die or let us down.

If King Joash’s faith had been truly in God, he would have stayed true to the Lord even after Jehoaida died.

Psalm 107 Sermon, “Each Redeemed Soul Has A Story.”

Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

Psalm 107:4-9 –

The Psalm talks of some wandering in desert wastelands, then transitions into,

Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High. So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron. (Psalm 107:10-16)

Then we see: Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy. (Psalm 107:17-22)

Then lastly: Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders. He turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground, and fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who lived there. He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; there he brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle. They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest; he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and he did not let their herds diminish. (Psalm 107:23-38)

Each section of the Psalm gives a different scenario of the people in Israel who throughout time God used certain means to turn their hearts to Himself.

We have the “some wandered in desert wastelands,” and then “Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains,” then after the other group, it says “Then we see: Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.” Lastly it says of the last cluster “Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end.”

Yet each scenario concludes with hope for each set of people described. It concludes each section saying “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.”

God has a way of getting each of us where we are and often uses storms, afflictions, or wastelands of restlessness to get our attention. The moment where a sinner is at “their wits end” is often the moment God does His amazing work to get the attention of such a person. Then when we turn to the Lord and humble ourselves, repent of our sins and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are transformed! The Lord turns our barren wrestles dry hearts into lush vegetation, “He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; there he brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle.”

He brings us into His family and we now have fellowship with Jesus Christ and the people of God!

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

John 7:37-39 –

Hay! Overhear.

These are hay bales. We often see these kind of things driving through Kansas or other places but they have a important use. These are food for livestock such as cows, horses, sheep and other types of large animals to feed from.

Yet there is something about these that made me start thinking one day. People who teach the Word of God often will bring forth a message, lay it out there and let those who come to feed on spiritual food and truth.

We see a good farmer or someone who tends sheep or cows does his hard work to make sure food is there for the animals to eat.

Now people are not livestock, we are not goats, cows or horses. Jesus often refers to us though as “sheep.”

Shepherds were very common in the days of Scripture and both in the old and new Testament the sheep analogy was used to illustrate people.

For example in 1 Chronicles 21 vs 17, after David sinned by taking the census pleads with the Lord to spare the “sheep” that God had made him king over.

David said to God, “Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? I, the shepherd, have sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Lord my God, let your hand fall on me and my family, but do not let this plague remain on your people.”

1 Chronicles 21:17 –

The role of the king and the priests in the Old Testament was to be a human leaders with supreme authority to direct the subjects he ruled over to follow the Lord God and point them to Him. Some kings, in Israel, though, unfortunately used their power to be self centered and do wrong.

The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end? (Jeremiah 5:31)

In modern terms the king was the executive power and priests had more of a legislative role. So there was things a king could do that priests could not and likewise roles that priests had that even a king could not usurp. We see a prime example in the story of King Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:16-19)

Ideally God did not have in mind the people asking for a human king and it gave them trouble years down the road. He finally consented and Israel then had their first king, Saul. Saul failed at doing what God had designated him to do. So God raised up David who became a great king and standard that kings were compared to when it came to being a good king.

Though ultimately, the true King came from the line of David. Jesus Christ is the perfect King, he is also the “Great High Priest” and “Sacrificial lamb” who shed His blood to bring forgiveness of sin and abolish the need for animal sacrifice.

Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. Hebrews 7:22-28 –

The New Testament book of Hebrews was written to a largely Jewish audience who had a understanding of Old Testament Law and customs. To truly understand this book of the Bible, it is helpful to know some of the Old Testament to shed light on what is being spoken of.

Jesus came to put an end to the need to offer sacrifice and through faith in Him we can be forgiven of sin and saved through His blood! We then turn our lives over to Him to live for Him.

Now days we do not have literal priests who offer sacrifices or teach the law. We do have preachers and Bible teachers that in a way are there to help us understand the way of God and inspire us to live for Him. They often present their message like a farmer puts out a hay bale. Yet the farmer cannot force any of the sheep or cows or horses to eat. He makes the food available. He does his job to roll up the hay and bundle it- then places it there for the animals to feed.

Yet this is kind of a metaphor for the teaching of the Word or evangelism. No one can be forced into eating what they do not want. Yet to teach and preach carries a responsibility to do the work in properly putting the message and truth out so that they that will come have an opportunity to do so!

Unique

A bunch of ladies got together one day and they started comparing themselves to the others. Then a wise old lady overhears the convo at the table nearby and she says, “I could not help but hear you all comparing which one of you looked best and whose outfit was better. Yet may I ask each of you, when your husbands buy you flowers, which do you all prefer?”

One lady replies, “Well I love roses, I love it when my husband comes home with roses for me.”

Then the second lady responds, “I prefer a lily. I love how they differ from the average flower.”

Another lady responds, “Well me, I love a bouquet of sunflowers. It makes me feel like Im out in a sunny field in summer time.”

Then the old woman responds, “See, you all have different tastes for flowers and each has it’s own beauty unique to itself, now why do you compare each other and quarrel over who looks the best? After all, are you guys all the same? Isn’t each flower unique and has a form of elegance of her own. Why then would you compare each other as if God had not made you all as unique in your own way like all your differing choices of flowers.”

How Belief In Afterlife Affects How You Live Presently

Ecclesiastes 4:2-4 So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living. 3But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun. 4Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

There is so much wisdom in these three verses. It take hours to probably fully unpack it yet, we see if there is no life after death, and heavenly comfort to follow- then yes the stillborn child is happier then those who live to a full age to have seen a span of 80 years that have much human sorrow in them. Solomon draws this from an Old Testament limited amount of revelation of the afterlife. After all, the people in Old Testament times had not yet been shown the truths we so treasure today as modern Christians.

Yet, if this life is all there is, then it is a meaningless existence that has nothing to it really but just pleasure and trying to make the most of things. After all, what good is building a name for oneself and accomplishing much, and doing something worthwhile with life to outlive oneself if when we are dead, we do not get to enjoy it? The dead do not live to enjoy the great things they seemed to do while they were alive, do they?

Not if there is no eternal life after. Not for the one who dies in their sin never making peace with God. For the unrepentant and the wicked, hell will be their permanent eternal residence and they wont enjoy anything in such a place.

Yet for those who receive the Lord Jesus and have their sins forgiven, we will see in eternity how nothing we did for His namesake was ever meaningless.

Let us examine though the dark outlook of one who believes after death we just cease to exist- what then drives their living here? Merely a mindset that says, “I only have this life and then I will no longer exist at all.” Many non Christians live their lives this way. And it is no wonder why not surprising many live for just pleasure and the moment,

The Apostle Paul writes here in 1 Corinthians 15:29-32

Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? I face death every day —yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (1 Corinthians 15:29-32)

In the concluding verses, vs 58 he says:

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58 )

Therefore we must realize that living for Jesus Christ in this present life is not a waste of time or useless, but eternally we will reap the good that comes from this!

Non Christians do not have such hope, and Old characters were not shown the truths we often take for granted. Though there seems to be a hint of an idea from people of faith in Old Testament times that there was afterlife, it was not as clearly known as we know as Christ followers today.

Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits. They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments. If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children. When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:1-26)

The Psalmist almost sinned in his thinking and thought it was pointless doing right and serving the Lord. After all he suffered in his life and looked at those who rejected God who seemed to be succeeding, but the Lord gave him proper perspective and showed Him, it was not worth it to live wickedly.

Ebed-Melek

Today’s Sermon: God Has No Favorite Persons.

Even in the Old Testament we see how God did not pick favorites. Though He chose to make himself predominantly known to the nation of Israel, we see God did not exclude individuals from other nations who trusted Him and turned to follow Him and do His will. We see this with people like Ruth who was originally from Moab, as well as Ebed Melek from our passage today.

In our text today, we have a man named Ebed Melek who was a “Cushite.” The land of Cush is what we now know today as Ethiopia. Ethiopia is an east African country and used to be known as “the land of Cush.”

Yet before Jerusalem was taken by the Babylonian army, God sends Jeremiah with a very special message just for Ebed Melek. He tells him “But I will rescue you on that day, declares the Lord, you will not be given into the hands of those you fear. I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life because you trust me, declares the Lord.”

Ebed Melek showed how he trusted the Lord earlier on. When Jeremiah had been thrown into the cistern/well earlier on, Ebed Melek goes to the rescue!

But Ebed-Melek, a Cushite, an official in the royal palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate, Ebed-Melek went out of the palace and said to him, “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have thrown him into a cistern, where he will starve to death when there is no longer any bread in the city.” Then the king commanded Ebed-Melek the Cushite, “Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.” So Ebed-Melek took the men with him and went to a room under the treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothes from there and let them down with ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. Ebed-Melek the Cushite said to Jeremiah, “Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes.” Jeremiah did so, and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard. (Jeremiah 38:7-13)

We see how God used this man who honored and revered him to help Jeremiah the prophet. God later rewards him for his faithful act that demonstrates he was true to the Lord God.

The truth also is that God gladly accepts anyone from any nation, origin or background that chooses to love Him and have faith in Him. The Lord has no favorites in His kingdom and shows no partiality

As we see later on in Acts, Peter says “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.

Acts 10:34-35 –

It is revealed to Peter very shortly prior that the Gospel needed to go out to those who were not just Jews but “Gentiles” (Non Jews, Non Israelites) as well.

We see how God loves people regardless of where they live in the world or what their background is, and that Jesus Christ came to bring hope not only to His people Israel but to other nations and people too!

Job’s Daughters

Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

Job 42:15 –

In the beginning of this book of the Bible, we see how Job was considered “blameless and upright”

Job does stand out from many OT godly people even in the sense Job does something that is not common in his day. He gives an inheritance to even his daughters. This I feel is noteworthy.

Job showed no partiality between his male heirs or his female heirs but loved them equally. It is very reflective of the heart of God. God is not partial or a picker of favorites. He loves people equally and does not favor men over women or this group of people over that group but honors everyone who loves and trusts him, and walks obediently toward Him.

This passage in Job 42:15 reflects what God will do for all of those whom have become His sons and daughters adopted through Jesus Christ, He will give us an inheritance in heaven and not favor anyone of us over the other. Each of us will be rewarded according to the good we do as a result of our faith. Whether the poor old grandma who is a kindhearted selfless soul- to the preacher in the pulpit. It does not matter what gift he has given us to serve His cause nearly as much as what we do with what He has entrusted to us.

God looks at the effort and motive of the heart. Not the size of a ministry or how big it seems.

Even the smallest act of kindness for His name sake, Jesus said that person wont lose their reward

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 10:40-42 –

There is no need for Christians to compete, compare, or envy each other. We all must be busy and diligent to do the best where God has assigned us and when we do, we will receive His approval!