Monthly Archives: April 2020

Why Do We Still Struggle With Sin As Christians? Video.

Illustration. Many wonder why we still sin if we are new in Christ. Well there was a news story long ago where there was a young woman who was horribly neglected by her parents. When police found her, she was living in a dog house with dogs. She crawled on all fours like a dog, tried to bark like a dog. Yet she was so used to being treated like a dog, in her mimd she thought she was a dog.

Now that is how she was living all her life. It probably took extensive time and professional intervention to help her become like a normal human being.

Yet spiritually, we too have gotten so used to sinning by nature, we do not just unlearn that over night. Christ saves us the moment we believe the gospel, and continues to work with us to restore us from the effects sin has had on us all our lives up until we get saved. So through persevering we unlearn old patterns and behaviors and grow to more and more reflect our true new identity

“But God did not give David into his hands”

Today’s Sermon:
“but God did not give David into his hands”
What are you facing reader?

Do you feel your enemies are relentless in hot pursuit? Do you feel overwhelmed by what you see in the news? Or maybe perhaps your in your own personal wilderness dealing with struggles few know. Whatever the threat maybe, we are that relying on the Lord is where we will find strength. Whether you face fears of what this virus has caused. Whether you may be facing some human adversary. Whatever we face whether fear of future or present crushing problems around us, David sets an example for us all as believers.
After years of being hunted by jealous king Saul, whom God protected him from, David faces other challenges in addition.
We will look at 1 Samuel 30, David and his men came back to where they were staying and found the Amalekites had raided the land. The men returned to find “When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. (1 Samuel 30:3-4)
David is not only distraught himself but things get worse, for it says: “David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
1 Samuel 30:6 –
David was their leader, but they started to take their pain and frustration out on him. Have you ever been in that position? First lets ask, “How often when we are in a dire place and hard place so easily look for someone to blame!” The men who followed David too their frustration out on their leader and almost stoned him. Yet David “Found strength in the Lord his God”
Ah, yes, the situation was not fully resolved till a little later, but David found strength in the Lord to cope in the meantime. It is called the “mean” time for a reason. During seasons of great pressure, time seems to prolong the agony of what we may be dealing with- but never as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ do we have to be without aid or help from on high.
God can often do several things when we face challenges beyond our ability to cope. One is he answers an urgent prayer and solves the problem with a quick solution. Yet, often, he may instead give us strength and grace to get through, tell us to wait in patience until he leads us out of it. Or, he may give us strength to presently endure it and then like He did with David call for a step of faith and obedience.
Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod. ” Abiathar brought it to him, and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue. ”
1 Samuel 30:7-8 –
Lets examine this, if David had not done what God advised and commanded, then this story would end tragically here. Yet he trusted God and obeyed Him fully and God gives those Amalekites into the hands of David and his fighting men, we see this
David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 1 Samuel 30:17-19 –
Yet lets also look at how the men with David also did right, they chose to follow the Lord’s instructions and follow David into battle.
If they had gone through with blaming him for their hardship and stoning him, they would never recover what the Amalekites stole. So they pushed the discouragement aside and chose to follow David even though at the moment they feel he let them down!
Ah and dear readers, maybe you feel let down by your leader, your Lord, your master today. You may say well, “Why trust the Lord cause he seems to have let me down!” Yet do not turn back following Him because of temporary disappointment in where He has seemed to lead you,- though he leads us into troubled waters at time, that is not the time for giving up and despair or losing faith in Him. After all David’s men still followed their imperfect leader again when the odds were stacked against them, and they recovered so much! Yet dare we have leas faith in our commander who is perfect then these men had in their imperfect commander David?
Indeed some of us are too easily put off or shocked by hardness, that we fail to persevere to finally see the glorious outcome. So dear reader, let it not be said of you, but let it be said rather, you persevered and overcame and inherited a blessing through it.

Helpful Bible Tools To Understand The Old Testament

Notice here in the map there is only 11 tribes allocated sections of land in Israel. Why is that?

Well the Lord gave this direction to Moses concerning the tribe of Levi

The Lord said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites. “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.
Numbers 18:20-21 –

So what does this mean, Levi was the only tribe among the 11 that did not get their own section of land names after them.

Each of these 12 tribes came to be names after Jacob’s sons, Levi, Judah, Benjamin, Simeon, Asher, Naphtali, Gad, Reuben, Dan.

Joseph son of Jacob, had two sons, Ephraim and Mannaseh

So Jacob before he died said to Joseph,

“Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers.
Genesis 48:5-6 –

Knowing this information helps us understand what Jacob actually meant when he said Joseph’s two sons, “Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine,”

Meaning that those two boys would have tribes named after them in the Promised land.

We must also understand where we get the term “Israel” from. Yes Israel is an actual nation/country. But Israel at one time was a singular person

We see Jacob had a name change in Genesis 32

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
Genesis 32:28 –

So Jacob and Israel are synonymous when speaking about a singular person, that is Abraham’s grandson.

Hope you find this information helpful when you read through the Old Testament. Some of the Old Testament can be very confusing and it helps to have the tools to properly cut a steak well, so too we need to use certain tools to dig into the meat of God’s Word before we can properly chew it and digest what we read

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 1 Samuel 3:7
When it came to the prophet Samuel. He too had to start somewhere in his journey to become the man of God that the Lord selected him to be.
It says “The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him” and so it is true with anyone else also who must hear the Word of God and come to faith. In James in the New Teatament we see, “ He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
James 1:18 –
So we could assume that by Samuel hearing the Word of God, His heart became believing in the Lord. And as it teaches in the New Testament
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Romans 10:17 –
So in Samuel’s case, He heard the Word of The Lord and was born into God’s purpose and life he was called to be!
Ah but also Samuel’s physical birth was also a miracle. His mother Hannah prayed in tears for a child and then made good on her promise that if the Lord gave her a son, she would dedicate him back to the Lord!
Ah, we see how her prayers were answered and Samuel became not just an answer to a barren woman’s desperate prayer for a child but he became a part of God’s overarching plan He had in mind.
Many times believing parents worry over their will turn out. Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord after she had weaned him, she then releases him into the care of the Lord.
Ah but we also must understand, those who have children, and are trying so hard to instill godly values and hopefully these children turn out to be followers of the Lord also. You can give these young children the weaning of godly example, teaching them and imparting to them knowledge of God’s Word, yet there comes a time, where a godly parent can do nothing more but release their children into God’s hands and hope that
“the word of the Lord” will come, and they too will be saved by it. In Hannah’s case she literally breast fed the baby Samuel and after he was weaned turned him trustingly over the the hands of the Lord. Yet many parents in a metaphorical since will try to nourish their children with the milk of good example, godly upbringing and teaching them who the Lord is and what the Bible says
Yet there comes a time where that son pr daughter is grown and reaches an age they must decide themselves. Yet that hold true for all our loved ones who “do not yet know the Lord”
We can only really impart the truth and knlwledge we know, we can live godly lives and be examples, but like young Samuel, only a visitation from the Spirit of God and His Word from His mouth can convince them.
I reiterate: “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 1 Samuel 3:7
So what happened? The Lord came to Samuel personally as Samuel lay down to sleep. The Lord came in his alone moment and revealed Himself to young Samuel!
And so it is the case with each of us, we all too must have that personal encounter – we were once not believers but God’s Word at last came in that mysterious way only He could bring about, and we became aware we were sinners, needing forgiveness and we felt the love of Christ draw our hearts. We became new and our lives became devoted to the Lord!
What could Hannah do though? Well obviously she was such a godly mother and example. Ah and she regularly came to see him and obviously had such a mother’s heart to her
Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.
1 Samuel 2:19 –
Yet she could not do what only God could to, that was to take Samuel and bring His Word into Samuel’s heart and by doing so, bring a spiritual birth. Jesus said “Unless a man be born again, he will not see the kingdom of God”
And only the Holy Spirit of God can take the seeds of the Word sown in hearts of people and breath on them and cause their to be growth!
Ah, but what Hannah did was not useless, her efforts were valueble. And so too we must follow that example to be a godly example, and be a person of prayer like she was. Dare not think Hannah who prayed for that boy to be born from the start gave up praying for him after he was born! Hannah could trust the Lord to open her womb to give her Samuel to begin with, and obviously she trusted that same God enough with the future of her beloved boy!!
So we too should do what we can for our loved ones and share God’s Word with them, we cannot though force them to decide, only God can bring about that miracle of spiritual rebirth, and we ought to continue praying for our loved ones, our children, and those around us who hear the Word shared. – Yet we trust God for the actual results of our efforts. Without Him involved, our efforts are indeed in vain.
It did not stop there though, we see later:
The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
1 Samuel 3:19-21 –
Samuel continued to grow in his knowledge of the Lord and it says “The Lord contninued to appear in Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word”
So we start at coming to faith, but as Jesus said
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32 –
The moment we come to faith in Christ we start our journey and should be always growing in our knowledge, our love, our devotion to Him! We will keep growing if we continue in that path.

Banished Lion

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
1 Peter 5:8-9 –

Interesting fact about lions, male lions can sometimes become solitary if one loses in a competition to be leader of the pride. The lion who is defeated male often will be forced out of the group and roam solitary.

This depiction Peter uses to describe the devil is very appropriate. The devil was ousted from heaven for his attempts to become just like the Most High. The Lion of Judah, often used to describe Christ has defeated this foe.

Yet the devil does prowl the earth in efforts to deceive and devour prey

Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Revelation 12:12 –

Though the devil has no fighting chance against God, he still tries to do as much harm as he can until God has him thrown into the pit.

Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy, but I have came to give you life and life abundantly.”

Satan is a thief that desires to steal, kill, and destroy. He seeks to steal people for his evil purposes, and get them to kill their souls by going where he will end up. He desires to destroy faith and families and people through all sorts of harmful desires and vices.

Yet as Christians we have a message of hope and restoration we should go forth and keep sharing. Jesus came to restore us, heal us and free us from sin that benefits us in no way. Sin destroys lives, family, people and nations. Yet Jesus offers true life and purpose. Jesus wants to free us from deadly things we are so prone to be drawn into.

There is hope in the gospel of Christ. Tomorrow we will remember how Jesus Christ rose again after he died in our place. He has been victorious over the devil, that old prowling ousted lion.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Psalm 91:9-13 –

We who have been saved by Christ have his power to “Tread on the lion” and “the cobra”

Jesus said it like this: “19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Luke 10:19-20 –

Jesus was saying to his disciples who had believed in Him and followed Him that they had power over all the “power of the enemy” but not focus on Satan but rejoice they had eternal life through him.

We too can have this joy. We too have power of Christ to overcome sin and all temptations we face. We have victory through Him!

Encounter With Power

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13 –

Ah unschooled and ordinary were Peter and John, but they were close to the Lord and became mightily strong. Time with Jesus is truly the key, and in His presence we will truly be free. They amazed those who saw them and left them greatly amazed, when the saw they were just average men who on Jesus had gazed.

Ah true power is not in ourself or what we do know, but whom we follow will cause us to glow. Beholding the face of the Lord is our true and only source of success- look to Him continually and truly be blessed.

The Psalmist does say “Look to the Lord continually, seek his strength always” and behold our power comes when on Him do we gaze.

For as it is written, “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6)

Do you feel weak today my dear reader, do you feel underprepared? Turned to the Lord and seek Him in prayer.

Do you feel overwhelmed and defeated with in, draw close to Christ and wholly seek Him.

Do you feel overwhelmed with foes from without or temptations from within, then call unto the Lord for He will defend.

Do you feel like you lack something that you truly need to survive, well turn to your shepherd and he will provide.

For truly dear reader if you belong to Christ and claim Him as your own, even in suffering light will be sown

For behold it says “But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.
Job 36:15 –

We may pass through troubled waters, stormy winds about, yet in our distress we must call to the Lord and lift up a shout.

Though we pass through the fires and the flames burn so hot, we must not forget His words of encouragement that He graciously taught

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 –

Well then dear reader, if He has overcome the world and he holds you by the hand, then he will lead you forth to victory also and into a better land.

Here in this life we see many troubles and trials, but fret not, only for a season and a little while.

Be strong and take heart, heaven is ahead. Yet fear not now either, he will provide today our daily bread.

Trust Him and follow and fear not what is in the future to come, because you can have confidence in the Son.

Stress not right now, worry not for then, fix your eyes only truly on Him.

Early Message From God

They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”
1 Samuel 9:26-27

“Stay here for a while, so I may give you a message from God” Ah and we should see the significance here. In those days if a person was to receive a a special word from the Lord, he would go to the prophet. Yet we too can learn from this story. The servant of Saul was sent ahead of him so the prophet could give him a “message from God”

Yet we too can seperate ourselves too each day to receive a message from God. We must spend time alone, and prepare our hearts to hear what God may speak.

We must send ourselves away from others and give God a chance to speak to us one on one, through His Word, and through time in prayer. We must let ourselves be alone and undisturbed so often. Had Saul not sent his servant ahead, Samuel would not have given him the important message. We too can send away all people and distractions so we can hear the Lord in our waking firsf moments of our days.

It says “They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” Yet before Samuel sent Saul on his way, he had to give him the message from God. It was early, at daybreak-

And we too at day break can go meet with the Lord and find new strength, to prepare us to be sent on our way- doing what He would call us to do. For when we first connect with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, we find we are better equiped to go our way in fresh strength and guidance.

Lie-sol And Gossip Gone Viral

“Do not go about spreading slander among your people. “‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:16 –

We all have been advised to try to stay at home and prevent further spread of COVID19. Rightly so we should be concerned of the lives our neighbors. Yet this is also true with rumors and slander, things like this spread fast and can at times, endanger people’s lives and reputations.

The aim of this command was to prevent the spread of unfounded, unproven or untrue words spoken of somebody else. The fact is whenever we open our mouths, we should speak what is true and beneficial. Everytime we gossip, in a way we ingest the contaminated secrets of someone and go off and start coughing it out to others.

During this pandemic we are probably warry of people who cough too much, but the Proverb says it is in our best interest to also avoid a one who talks too much

A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.
Proverbs 20:19 –

How do you quarantine a gossip, or a malicious tongue? You let whatever they speak die as soon as it hits your ear, yoi stop the spread. You choose to kill whatever gossip they shared but refusal to listen. It’s just that simple. The way the actual virus infects people is by getting into their body. Yet actual viruses can only stay alive a period of time outside a human host, and they eventually die if they remain on just an ordinary surface. Yet everytime we choose to entertain gossip and rumors we let the viral words of a motor mouth infect our minds and change how we see the person being spoken of. Pretty soon we may spread that info to others not being able to prove it is actually true.

Yet if we let it bounce of our ears we can keep evil from spreading so often.

Eager Volunteers

God is not looking for people with talent or strength but willing commited people

He does the strengthening!

When God gave Isaiah the prophet a revelation and asked who he would send to preach to the people, look at what Isaiah’s response was

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? ” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Isaiah 6:8 –

And The Lord took him up on that offer. We too should be eager volunteers. God is not looking for the most influencial qualified or talented people, he is looking for true and sincere hearts who are eager to do His will!

Maybe you readers today desire to do the Lord’s work but have feelings of inadequacy. Maybe you feel that you just are not skilled or talented enough, yet you feel God’s call on your life. Well my encouragement is take the step of faith you feel called to and pray God’s strength will do all the heavy lifting- He truly deserves all the glory for any success we have anyways, after all

Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
Isaiah 26:12 –

God’s not after proud self sufficient people but humble volunteers. So my encouragement is if you feel less then able, do as God told Gideon

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
Judges 6:14 –

In moments you feel too weak to go on, pray like Nehemiah: “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah 6:9 –

God wont call us to do what he does not provide by His power the ability for us to do!