Thursday, August 28, 2014

God Doesn't Like People Reading Horoscopes Even If It's Just for Fun...

If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing His covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired diligently, and behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 17, verses 2-5.

This passage is important to me because it lets me know clearly that God doesn’t like people being involved with horoscopes or other celestial things.  It doesn’t sound like God thinks, “I’m not going to get too upset by this.  They just like to read their horoscope for fun, which really isn’t the same thing.”  This passage talks about stoning people to death for doing this abomination.  The sad thing is there are people who don’t even realize that reading their horoscope or calling people to predict their future is directly opposed to their Christian faith.
You wouldn’t believe the number of Christians who read their horoscope each day.  Most people that I’ve talked to think that reading their horoscope is harmless, something they do as a joke.  It’s kind of scary to think how insidious a thing like reading a horoscope can be. 
Sometimes people start reading it just for fun.  Then it starts creeping into their mind.  They think things like, “I probably shouldn’t do this thing today because my horoscope said it isn’t a good day to do things like this.”  Then they find themselves not doing things because they didn’t read their horoscope that morning and they don’t want to make any major decisions until they’ve read it.  They probably don’t even realize that they are being led astray by turning to something other than God for guidance.  It’s worth assessing the little things that we do that allow our focus to be pulled away from God.
Here are some related passages:
*And he [Manasseh] did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.  For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.  2 Kings, Chapter 21, verses 2-3.

*And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the hosts of heaven.  2 Kings, Chapter 23, verse 5.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.



This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Monday, August 25, 2014

Images That God Hates...

Neither shalt thou set thee up any image: which the LORD thy God hateth.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 16, verse 22.

I trust God to guide me on this one.  I do know from everything I have read that God wouldn’t want me to have a statue of Buddha or a Greek or Roman god or goddess in my house, even if they are just for decorative purposes.
I don’t feel He wants us to pray to any religious article thinking that article is God, Himself.  I wear a cross around my neck but I don’t pray to it.  It just reminds me of what an important part Jesus plays in my everyday life.  I have pictures of Jesus in my house.  I get a pleasant feeling when I look at them, because they remind me of all Jesus has done for us.  I don’t pray to the picture or think the picture is Jesus.

You and God alone know whether you are being led astray by these objects or not.  Let God be your guide on this one.  He will give you good instincts, if you let Him.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.



This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I Wish All Politicians and Judges Adhered to Rules Like These...

Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.  Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the Words of the righteous.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 16, verses 18-19.

I wish all politicians and judges adhered to rules like these; not that there aren’t some who do.  It would make everything much easier if nothing interfered with the political decisions that are made.
I read a book written by someone who used to work in a prison.  He talked about how some of the prisoners would deliberately make friends with the guards.  Being a guard has to be a thankless job.  I doubt if any of the prisoners say, “Thank you so much, Mr. Guard, for keeping me in here to protect society from me.”  Anyway, some prisoners manipulate guards by planning to have pleasant interactions with them, standing in distinct contrast to the negative ones they usually encounter.
They get to know the guards pretty well, playing on that particular guard’s sympathy.  When the timing is right, the prisoner asks the guard to send a birthday card to his ailing mother, which is against the prison rules.  When the guard does this, there is some kind of rationalization that goes on for the guard to justify his actions to himself, since this is an unethical thing to do.  Once this happens, the prisoner knows he’s got the guard wrapped around his little finger.  He knows that the guard is even more vulnerable to do other things for him in the future.  (Remember I said, not all guards or prisoners do this, but it’s an example of how little things can undermine the clear thinking of those in authority.)
Politicians and judges are just as human.  So are teachers, for that matter.  It’s probably a lot harder for a teacher to flunk a child of a very involved parent who volunteers for room parties and lavishes the teacher with all types of gifts and compliments, on every occasion.  I think that everyone in a position of power or judgment might become vulnerable when there are gifts or favors done.  I think that God had the right idea when He said, For a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.”  That’s definitely something to think about.
Here are some related passages:
*A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.  Proverbs, Chapter 17, verse 23.

*Many will entreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.  Proverbs, Chapter 19, verse 6. 

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Monday, August 18, 2014

Some People Make It Hard to Give God the Credit...

Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; Who led thee through that great terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; Who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that He might humble thee, and that He might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; And thou say in thine heart, my power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.  But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.  And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 8, verses 14-19.

It’s kind of like a high school student who buys a term paper from another student rather than doing their own assignment.  They are tickled when the teacher hands back their paper and they have received an A.  When the teacher refers to their paper as an example of exemplary work and dedication, they puff up with pride as if they had written the term paper themselves, but they hadn’t.
God knew how human we were.  He knew that the Israelites would see all the miracles that He had provided for them in the wilderness and the bounty He provided in the Promised Land.  God knew that they would take credit for it, as if they had accomplished these on their own.  He also knew that they would forget to thank Him and they would take credit for all their good fortune, and He was right.
Do we do this in our own lives?  I have, more times than I care to mention.  God has gotten me through many difficult situations and when they’re over, I either forget about what God had done for me, or what is even worse, I take credit for them myself.
Some people make it hard to give God the credit.  People have complimented me for particular ideas or actions.  I tell them that God gave me the idea or God got me through the particular situation but they argue with me, telling me, “No, god helps him who helps himself.”  Well, you already know how I stand on that one! 
We can easily fall into the trap of not appreciating all that God has done for us.  God can lead us out this trap if we let Him, just like He led the Israelites to the Promised Land.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Thursday, August 14, 2014

God Is Never Going to Stop Loving Us...

And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.  Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 8, verses 3-4.
Can you imagine how the Israelites could have walked and lived in the wilderness for forty years and their clothes and shoes never wore out?  It’s so awe inspiring when I think of how God took care of their every need, like manna from the sky-because they wanted bread and flocks of quail-when they wanted meat.  He took care of all their basic needs, despite the fact that they turned away from Him many times in the forty years that they were in the wilderness.
God never stopped loving them, the same way that God is never going to stop loving us, even when we do some really sinful things.  God knows what’s in our hearts and will forgive us our sins if we have a penitent spirit and try to make the necessary changes that reflect our love of Jesus.
Here is a related passage:

*And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes aren’t waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 29, verse 5.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Monday, August 11, 2014

Do We Leave God in the Background?

And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which He sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildest not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantest not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 6, verses 10-12.

We may read this Bible passage and think it really doesn’t apply to us and our daily lives, but that’s incorrect.  How many times do we turn to God when things are going badly in our lives, our jobs or when a loved one is very ill?  We ask God to take care of these desperate situations and He does so in the way that He determines is best.  When things are resolved, do we spend the same amount of time focusing on God, or do we leave Him in the background until the next traumatic situation arises?  That’s something to think about.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Loving God With All Our Heart, Soul, and Might...

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these Words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 6, verses 4-7.

God wants us not only to love Him with all our heart, all our soul and all our might; but He wants us to raise our children with this same love of Him.  I have heard all too many people say that they aren’t raising their children with any religious education because they are letting their children decide for themselves when they’re older.
Since I’m an educator, I’m in the position of hearing lots of conversations about what is happening to the youth of today and concerns for their well-being.  If the parents don’t set the foundation for their child’s religious beliefs when they are young, how will the child learn to turn to God when they are faced with issues like drinking, smoking, drugs, sexual involvement, etc?
Children learn by their parent’s example and those around them.  If they don’t see the people around them making God a priority in their lives, then the example they follow may be of peers who say that doing a little “Meth,” “Ecstasy” or other drug will help them unwind and get more in touch with themselves.  I’ve watched all too many talk shows where parents are tearfully expressing their regrets about their child who was lost to an overdose.
Maybe we are doing a huge disservice to our children by waiting until they are old enough to make their own choices about God.  Maybe we need to take an active role in our children’s religious education now!
Here is a related passage:

*Therefore shall ye lay up these My Words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 11, verses 18-19.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Monday, August 4, 2014

Taking Our Vows Seriously

If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.  Numbers, Chapter 30, verse 2.

After reading this, it became very apparent to me that God really wants us to take our vows seriously and to actually do what we say we are going to do.  We aren’t to say things in a stressful situation like, “God, if you just get me through this IRS audit, I promise I will give money to the poor.”  When the audit is over, the person is relieved and forgets all about the vow they made.  We don’t have to make promises to God when we pray, but if we do, we are to make sure that we take our vows seriously.

Here is a related passage:

*When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.  Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.  Ecclesiastes, Chapter 5, verses 4-5.


Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

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