Monday, September 29, 2014

God Had a Different Idea...

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel, Chapter 16, verse 7.

This is when God had asked Samuel to anoint the future king. Samuel looked at David’s brothers (David was young and was tending sheep at the time.) Samuel thought surely God had chosen one of David’s brothers who were older and stronger, but God had a different idea.
God explained to Samuel that He doesn’t look at people by how tall, strong or attractive they are; like men do. God looks at the person’s heart. That’s how God can tell what type of person we are. It makes me think of Jesus being the one true Equal Opportunity Savior of all! We aren’t judged by our race, culture, sex, age, gender, skin color, wealth, height, weight, etc. God looks into our heart and knows who we truly are!


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, September 25, 2014

God Wants Us to Obey Him, Not to Do Our Own Thing, Instead

And Samuel said, Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the Word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king. 1 Samuel 15:22-23.


This chapter is basically about God telling Saul (through Samuel) to conquer Amalek. They were to destroy everything and not to take anything from there. Well, Saul was an independent thinker. He won the battle but kept the king and the best of the sheep and the oxen after God had already told him not to take anything.

Samuel tells Saul that God isn’t happy with him because he took the spoil of the land against God's wishes. Saul, being the fast thinker that he was, said the reason that he kept all the best of the sheep and oxen was because he brought them back to sacrifice them to God. Then Samuel tells Saul that God wants us to us to follow Him and do exactly what He asks of us. He goes on to ask Saul (paraphrased), “Which is more important, offering sacrifices to God or doing what He asks you to do?” God wants us to obey Him, not to be independent thinkers and do our own thing, trying to rationalize our actions.

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, September 22, 2014

Do We Seek Vain Things?

And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. 1 Samuel, Chapter 12, verses 20-21.


At times we go after vain things ourselves. Some examples would be: wealth, prestige, jobs, social status, etc., which can’t bring us Salvation. Sometimes God-fearing people get so focused on their career goals that they lose sight of their faith, their family and their ethics in the name of getting ahead.

Are wealth, prestige and social status really worth it? Is this the lifestyle you really want to model for your children and your grandchildren?


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, September 18, 2014

Are People Becoming Complacent About Violent Crimes?

And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds. Judges, Chapter 19, verse 30.


The rest of the chapter tells about a group of men who abuse and rape a Levite man’s concubine (mistress) until she died. God tells us through this Bible passage that we are to speak our minds on issues of this nature.

It might not seem like these things are socially acceptable, but they really are, more so than you think. Think of how easy it is for us to hear about another case of date rape and shrug our shoulders. Our complacent and helpless attitudes toward things of this nature help to perpetuate the growth of these crimes. People start to view it as something that guys do when they are out drinking too much. Well, guess what? Rape or crimes of aggression aren’t acceptable under any circumstance! I think we need to raise our children with a clear message on this!



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, September 15, 2014

Getting a Greater Sense of God's Involvement in Our Lives

And when he [Samson] came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men. And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men. And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi. And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised? But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof En-hakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day. And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years. Judges, Chapter 15, verses 14-20.

This isn’t the story we focused on in Sunday school about Samson and Delilah. This was before that time in Samson’s life. I like this passage because it shows me how powerful God is. Samson was bound and the Philistines wanted to kill him. Sampson was tied up and God made the cords come off of Samson’s arms easily, which is the first miracle in this passage. The next miracle is when God allowed Samson to kill a thousand Philistines all by himself with just the jawbone of an ass.
I’ve seen lots of war shows with one group fighting against the other. The whole screen is filled with people fighting and lots die. In this case, the movie screen would have been filled with a thousand people trying to kill Samson. Samson would be fighting them all by himself with only a jawbone of an ass, a skeleton he found there. Samson killed each and every one of them by himself. Of course, Samson really wasn’t alone; God gave him this ability. After this was over, Samson thought he was going to die of thirst. Then, God had the third miracle happen. Water came out of the skeleton (jawbone of the ass) so that Samson could drink the water and be refreshed.
It is easy for me to read right through this passage and not pay any attention to how God had His hand in these situations. This gives me a greater sense of God’s involvement in our lives and what He is capable of. If He can have one man conquer an army of a thousand, He can surely take care of our daily needs!


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, September 11, 2014

We Don't Always Stop to Realize That God Is Taking Care of Us...

And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against Me, saying, mine own hand hath saved me. Judges, Chapter 7, verse 2.

This is an interesting passage when you know why God said this. Gideon was going to fight the Midianites for God. He called all his soldiers (the Israelites) and a large army gathered. God said, (paraphrased) “If I have the Israelites win the battle against the Midianites while you have lots of soldiers, you won’t realize the victory is because I had you overpower them. Instead, the Israelites will think that they had won the battle because of their large army.
“I want you to weed out the majority of your soldiers so that there is only a small band of your soldiers left fighting against the Midianites. Then they will know that only I, the One True God, was in control of having your small band of men win the battle against the huge army of Midianites.”
The small band of Israelites did overpower the huge army of Midianites. God staged all of this so that the Israelites would have conclusive proof that He is the One True God. (Feel free to read Judges, Chapters 7 and 8, to find out more about this.)
It wasn’t the war part that impressed me so much. It was that God went to such great lengths to show the Israelites that He was looking after them. I think God does this in our everyday lives, as well. I don’t think we always stop to realize that it’s God taking care of us. I think we chalk it off to coincidence or have some other way of rationalizing it. I think God wants us to open our eyes and see how He works in our lives each and everyday. God isn’t just some holy figure way off in heaven, but is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives.

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, September 8, 2014

Following Through on Logical Consequences Instead of Dealing With Extreme Behaviors

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. Deuteronomy, Chapter 21, verses 18-21.

I don’t want people to get the wrong impression of God because He is both loving and forgiving. I think that God is referring to extreme situations that are similar today. Situations where someone’s grown children are addicted to drugs or alcohol and they don’t work and are defiant. Some make choices that threaten the lives of others. Some beat their parents, some steal and some abuse or neglect their own children.
I know it would be difficult for any parent to consider this extreme of a consequence-no matter how many faults their adult child had. This passage makes me think about how it would be so much easier for parents to address their children’s behavior by setting limitations and having logical consequences while they are still young, so they never get to this point of unruliness.
It seems that some parents are lax about disciplining their children on a consistent basis. I always thought that it was better to make sure that my children grew up respecting laws and were a productive part of society than to have them thrown into prison for stealing to get their next fix. (In this example, the defiant, unproductive adult isn’t stoned to death but is dealt with by society through the penal system.) Who wants that for their children?
I know it takes a lot more effort when parents are already tired after a long day at work. Parents may not want to deal with a child who argues with them when they follow through on consequences. Isn’t it better to deal with that than to see your child have a miserable life later on, dealing with the law or maybe running from it? They are our children and they’re worth the extra effort!!!!

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, September 4, 2014

We Should Be Cautious About the Religious Advice We Listen To...

But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in My Name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, verse 20.

This passage reminds us to be cautious about the religious advice we listen to.  There are many different people out there who say that they know God’s Will for us, but these people tell us totally opposite things.  Obviously, everyone who says that they know God’s Will for us; can’t ALL be right.  This dilemma confused me for years.  I started reading the Bible in 1980, to find out for myself what God’s Will was.  That way, I could trust the instincts that God gave me as I read the Bible.  This is much better than listening to other people’s opinions in order to figure out who is right and who is wrong.

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, September 1, 2014

God Doesn't Like Anything Related to Witchcraft, Even Shows...

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer, For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.  Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.  For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, verses 10-14.

This doesn’t lead me to feel that God would approve of watching a “cute” show about a teenage witch.  I have noticed that there are more and more TV shows and movies with witchcraft and Satanic themes, lately.  There is even a show where someone is trying to contact the dead, which is what a necromancer is, and God considers this an abomination.  When we are watching these things on TV or at the movies, we aren’t focusing on God.  In fact, we are focusing on something that might pull us away from our relationship with God.
Watching these “cute” shows on witchcraft or Satanism may have the potential of making our society more vulnerable to cults.  When I was younger, although it probably existed, I never heard of people actually believing in witchcraft or Satanism.  It seems like I heard much more about cults after the popular TV show based on a witch that made it look fun to cast spells and have magical things happen. (I can’t say that the increase in the popularity of cults is directly related to this TV show but it did, in my opinion, make witchcraft look like a “fun” thing.)
My children used to get frustrated when I asked them not to watch the re-runs of this show, but I would much rather that they be frustrated with me than to be vulnerable to being led astray.  Sometimes as parents, we just have to take a stand because we love our children!

Here are some related passages:
*And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.  2 Kings, Chapter 21, verse 6.
*Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the Words of the Law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.  2 Kings, Chapter 23, verse 24.
And he [Manasseh] caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.         2 Chronicles, Chapter 33, verse 6.

*And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers.  Micah, Chapter 5, verse 12.

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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