Thursday, August 31, 2017

Turning to Bible Passages for Comfort, God Knows When the Timing is Right, and Our Love for Jesus Isn't a Private Secret posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.  Psalm, Chapter 23, verses 1-6.

I like this passage because it’s so comforting.  Sometimes when I’m afraid in the dark, I think of this passage.  (Sometimes when my husband goes out of town for conferences, I hear noises that scare me in the night.)
No, I haven’t memorized it all word for word.  I don’t think a person has to be able to do that in order to be close to God.  (It is nice to be able to do that though, because it’s like carrying special messages from God with you all the time.  Bible passages are handy to know in case a friend needs to be comforted by them.)  Even though I don’t know this passage by heart, God comforts me when I think about it.  Then I don’t seem to be afraid anymore.
Here are some related passages:

*Lead me in Thy Truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my Salvation: on Thee do I wait all the day.  Remember, O LORD, Thy tender mercies and Thy loving kindnesses: for they have been ever of old.  Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to Thy mercy remember Thou me for Thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.  Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will He teach sinners in the way.  The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way. All the paths of the LORD are mercy and Truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.  Psalm, Chapter 25, verses 5-10.
*Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.  Psalm, Chapter 31, verse 24.
*The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.  Psalm, Chapter 34, verse 7.
*The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry.  Psalm, Chapter 34, verse 15.
*But the Salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: He is their strength in the time of trouble.  And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him.  Psalm, Chapter 37, verses 39-40.
*He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my defence; I shall not be moved.  In God is my Salvation and my glory: the Rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God.  Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us.  Selah.  Psalm, Chapter 62, verses 6-8.

The LORD, is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the strength of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?  Psalm, Chapter 27: 1.

When I’m confused and afraid I’m going to make the wrong decision, I pray and God Lights the way for me.  He gives me a feeling of what to do.  No, He doesn’t say, “Debbie, this is what you should do.”  When I talk to Him, my prayers tend to be less formal and more like a conversation with God, except for when I say the Lord’s Prayer.

When I’m stressed and God doesn’t want me to worry, He gives me a calm feeling I call the Peace Which Passes All Understanding.

After I pray, asking God for guidance, I try to listen to the instincts that God gives me.  If I get a calm feeling, I move forward on it.  If I have an unsettling feeling, I wait because sometimes it’s not God’s Will or the timing just isn’t right.  God always sees the Big Picture and knows when the timing is right for us.  When I trust the instincts that God gives me, my life seems much more stress-free and things seem to fall into place.

Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.  Psalm, Chapter 32, verse 11.

Sometimes, we Christians walk around like our love for Jesus is this private secret that we keep to ourselves, lest anyone think we are religious fanatics.  I know that I have been guilty of this myself.  God wants us to be excited about all the wonderful things that He does in our lives and not to hide our joy.  This is something I still need to focus on.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Nothing to Worry About, Do the Words Out of My Mouth Reflect My Faith in Jesus? Old Testament Verses that Predict Jesus' Birth, Death, and Resurrection posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth!  Who hast set Thy glory above the heavens.  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.  When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels and hast crowned him with glory and honour.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.  O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth!  Psalm, Chapter 8, verses 1-9.

Reading this makes me think of how foolish it is for me to worry.  If God can do all of this, surely He can take care of my concerns.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my Redeemer.  Psalm, Chapter 19, verse 14.

I have said something similar to this in church for years, but do I always think about what I’m really saying or do I just rattle it off in a routine fashion?  I hate to admit it, but sometimes the latter is true.  Yet, I would like the words that come out of my mouth and all my thoughts to be ones that glorify God and make Him proud of me.
I also find myself thinking and saying things that don’t glorify God and don’t make me the best example of my love for Him.  Maybe if I put more thought into what I’m saying at church, I might be a better example of what I think and say elsewhere.
Here are some related passages:
*And He called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.  Matthew, Chapter 15, verses 10-11.
*Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.  Matthew, Chapter 15, verses 17-20.

GOD, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? why art Thou so far from helping Me, and from the Words of My roaring? Psalm, Chapter 22, verse 1. 
For dogs have compassed Me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed Me: they pierced My hands and My feet.  I may tell all My bones: they look and stare upon Me.  They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture.  But be not Thou far from Me, O LORD, O My strength, haste Thee to help Me.  Psalm, Chapter 22, verses 16-19.

When I read this in Psalm, 22, I’m confused and amazed at the same time!  David is talking about when Jesus is crucified yet it’s many, many years before Jesus is even born.  I don’t profess to be a theologian, but I remember Jesus saying He had to fulfill the Scriptures.  So, I guess David and others told of the details that would happen to Jesus long before He was born.  Then, when Jesus had accomplished these prophesies, people would truly know He is the Son of God.
It’s distressing that so many people are looking for proof that Jesus is the Savior.  It’s like they want Jesus to come and touch them on the shoulder and say, “Sally, I want you to quit doubting My existence.  Now that you have seen Me, you know that I’m your Savior.”
It’s sad that they are missing out on a relationship with Him because they don’t read the Bible and are not aware of Jesus’ love for us through His death and Resurrection.  The Bible has so many passages that foretold of the birth, life, death and Resurrection of Jesus and how these Scriptures have been fulfilled that it would be difficult for skeptics to continue to ignore the Truth.

Here are some other passages that foretell of Jesus in the Old Testament:

*Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel.  Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.  Isaiah, Chapter 7, verses 14-15.
*For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Isaiah, Chapter 9, verse 6.
*Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the Arm of the LORD revealed?  For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him,  He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.  Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His Mouth: He is brought as a Lamb to the slaughter, and as a Sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His Mouth.  He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken.  And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, either was any deceit in His Mouth.  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His Soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.  He shall see of the travail of His Soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my Righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.  Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors: and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.  Isaiah, Chapter 53, verses 1-12.
*Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His Name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Jeremiah, Chapter 23, verses 5-6.
*And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for His only Son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for His first born.  Zechariah, Chapter 12, verse 10.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Satan Works a Subtle Wedge When We Talk About Others, Needing to Listen Respectfully to the Advice of My Elders, and God Is Always Willing to Take Us Back posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.  1 Peter, Chapter 4, verses 15-16.

It’s easy to become self-righteous thinking, “Well, at least I haven’t killed anyone or stolen anything.”  It’s humbling to read how God feels that busybodies are just as sinful.  Getting caught up in talking about others is one of the ways that Satan works a subtle wedge in the lives of Christians.  It’s easy to get caught up in gossip, but we need to take a stand.  Sometimes just ignoring a situation is condoning that behavior.  It’s not always easy to let people know that you feel uncomfortable talking about others, but God will give you the words, if you let Him.
Here are some related passages:
*Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  Ephesians, Chapter 4, verse 29.
*Let all bitterness, and wrath and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians, Chapter 4, verses 31-32.

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.  Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.  1 Peter, Chapter 5, verses 5-7.

I remember becoming frustrated with people who were older who gave me common sense advice.  I thought that they must think I’m stupid.
Later, God showed me that I needed to listen respectfully to the advice of my elders.  It didn’t hurt me to listen, even though I already knew what they were telling me.  It made them feel better, because they were passing on some insight that they felt would be helpful to me.  I now realize that they do this out of love.
When I’m older, I sure wouldn’t want younger people treating me as if my advice didn’t matter.  I think this passage is important to remember.  If we aren’t good role models to the younger generation about being respectful to our elders, how will they know to be respectful to us when we’re older?

And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you.  And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.  But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find Him. If thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.  When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto His Voice: (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which He sware unto them.  Deuteronomy, Chapter 4, verses 27-31.

I love reading passages like this.  God tells us how angry He is when we turn away from Him, but He also loves us and is willing to forgive us if we turn back to Him.  I think it’s appropriate that we call Him, God the Father, because He loves us as a parent would, only in a much more pure and consistent way.
When we were kids and ran through the house, knocking over a lamp and breaking it, our parents were unhappy.  We might have had a consequence for not following the rules, but our parents still loved us.  That was even more evident after we came to them to apologize for breaking the rules.
God is always willing to take us back and forgive us no matter how many times we missed church, used His Name in vain or acted in unchristian ways.  If we truly turn to Him, God is always there to forgive us and accept us, but we need to be committed enough to try to be examples of how He works in our lives.
Here are some related passages:
*Go and proclaim these Words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause Mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.  Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed My Voice, saith the LORD.  Jeremiah, Chapter 3, verses 12-13.
*If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent Me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.  Jeremiah, Chapter 26, verse 3.
*Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God?  shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?  Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the first of my body for the sin of my soul?  He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?  Micah, Chapter 6, verses 6-8.

Monday, August 21, 2017

When We Truly Ask Him, God Forgives Us All of Our Past, Not Blaming God for Our Problems, Are Our Heads Turned Because of Flattery? posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humblest himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And prayed unto Him: and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD, He was God. 2 Chronicles, Chapter 33, verses 11-13.

This is the most amazing passage! Manasseh used witchcraft, used people who contacted the dead, cast spells, were into Astrology and had his children walk through fire as some ritualistic show of loyalty, which really made God upset. After Manasseh was captured and became humble, he asked God to forgive him and God did. Pure and simple!

Even if we have made some pretty poor choices in our lives, God will forgive us, just as He did Manasseh if we turn to Him and truly turn our lives around.

All the while my breath is in me, and the Spirit of God is in my nostrils; My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I won’t remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live. Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous. For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Job, Chapter 27, verses 3-9.

This is when Job had suffered many tribulations and his so-called friends were trying to help him. They challenged Job and his beliefs, but Job never wavered. He wouldn’t turn away from believing in God, even amidst his tragic situation. I want God to always keep my focus on Him. I never want to turn my back on God or to blame Him for my problems.

Lead me, O LORD, in Thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make Thy way straight before my face.  For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.  Psalm, Chapter 5, verses 8-9.

People’s flattery of us does not always reflect their true intent.
Here is a related passage:

*Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.  Psalm, Chapter 62, verse 9.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

How Does God Feel About Trying to Contact Dead Relatives? Do People Have to Have Monumental Miracles Before They Are Willing to Believe in God? Is God Trying to Get Our Attention? posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the Word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it: And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse. 1 Chronicles, Chapter 10, verses 13-14.

Saul had his servant contact a woman with a familiar spirit (my Bible refers to her as a witch.)  She called Samuel up from the dead to answer Saul’s questions, but God did NOT like this, which was the major reason that God had Saul die. Not only did Saul turn to someone who could conjure people from the dead, but he did this rather than turning to God to ask His will.

I’m including this passage because it reinforces my belief that God wouldn’t be appreciative of people who get involved in watching TV shows where dead relatives are contacted, even though they try to make it sound positive with some religious connection. We are turning to these shows rather than turning to God. I think God lets us know in this passage that He doesn’t take kindly to us turning to anything other than Him. Actually, why would we want to turn to anything else besides God? God takes care of our every need!

Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the Glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the Glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the Glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped and praised the LORD, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever. 2 Chronicles, Chapter 7, verses 1-3.

This passage never really hit me before, but when I read it this time it left a stronger impact on me. I started thinking about how God has had to do all of these very dramatic miracles to get people to believe He is the One True God. I guess if I weren’t too sure of my faith and I saw fire come down from heaven and burn up a slab of meat, there would be no doubt in my mind that God was responsible for it, even if I had doubted before!

Do people have to have these monumental miracles before they believe in God? It’s kind of sad that some of us have a Missouri (the “Show-Me State”) mentality. Do I have to have God “Show-Me” miracles before I’m truly willing to believe in Him and not doubt His existence?

God does all types of miracles in my life each and every day. When I was taking a heavy class-load of difficult teacher preparatory classes, I didn’t know how I would get through all of them. I had petitioned the college to take 23 units that semester, so that I could have the required classes to start student teaching the next semester. I was praying to God about this on the way home from college one day. God put the thought in my mind that I wasn’t supposed to worry about it, because He was going to give me straight A’s.

I thought, “How could You do this? These are some of the hardest courses I have ever taken and I don’t have enough time to properly study for all of them.” Then the thought that God had in my mind was that He could do it, He’s God and He could do anything. I relaxed after I thought about it a few minutes. He can do anything, provided I trust Him to. I didn’t want to be like Peter who sank when he got fearful, so I asked God for the willingness to trust that He would take care of me.

I would pray a quick prayer over each homework and test question, something like, “God please take care of this one,” and the answer or the way to solve the statistical problem would just be in my mind. God did give me straight A’s through all of that. It was just like the thought He gave me those many months earlier in the car.

God works in my life in a variety of ways. I don’t always say formal prayers to God when I have something on my mind. I just talk to Him and I know God hears me. God answers me in lots of different ways, but I don’t hear the actual Voice of God from heaven saying, “Debbie, this is what you are supposed to do.”

Sometimes He answers me by having things happen, like my stalled car starts right after I pray about it. Sometimes He has things not happen, like when my first husband and I didn’t get a house we were trying to buy. We were so disappointed at the time, but six months afterward my husband got laid-off of work. Later, I realized that it was a good thing we hadn’t gotten the house, because we could have lost everything we owned. When things don’t turn out the way I ask, usually God will show me why at a later time, as in this example. Sometimes, God just puts thoughts or ideas in my mind, just like when God let me know that He was going to give me straight A’s. Sometimes He guides me by the instincts He gives me. The important thing is that I have to listen to them and not go off in my own direction, ignoring those instincts.

God does all types of miracles in our lives every day, if we would only open our eyes to see them. Do we have the “Show-Me” mentality where we need fire to come down from the sky before we believe in God?

And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to Myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people; If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now Mine Eyes shall be open, and Mine Ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that My Name may be there forever: and Mine Eyes and Mine Heart shall be there perpetually. 2 Chronicles, Chapter 7, verses 12-16.
And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath He brought all this evil upon them. 2 Chronicles, Chapter 7, verse 22.
This sounds like sometimes when we have droughts, floods or pestilence like locusts, etc., God is trying to get our attention. I feel like it’s His way of saying, “People down on Earth, you are losing your focus on Me. You are getting caught up in worldly things and doubt My existence by taking credit for the things I do.” God, who is infinitely merciful, goes on to say that if we turn back to Him, He will forgive us.

Monday, August 14, 2017

God Has a Different Idea, Trying to Validate Things That We Know Are Wrong, Do We Condone Rude Behavior? posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

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!

Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him. And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house. And this woman’s child died in the night; because she overlaid it. And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear. And the other woman said, Nay: but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No, but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king. Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living. And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other. Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof. 1 Kings, Chapter 3, verses 16-27.

This story of Solomon’s great wisdom reminds me of when I was little. My sister and I had metal globe banks. (I know this is dating me some.) Our banks were kept at the top of our bedroom closet. I remember climbing on something and taking the money out of my sister’s bank, because I wanted to go to the “Candy Store.” (I was oblivious to the fact that they sold anything other than candy.)
I was almost out the front door when my mother stopped me. She asked me where I was going and I told her that I was going to the “Candy Store.” She asked me where I got the money to buy the candy. Now, I thought I was pretty clever when I told my mother that Sally down the street had given me the money, because there really was no one named Sally. I had made it up. Well, my mother is definitely much smarter than that! She told me that she knew Sally, and Sally had told her that she hadn’t given me the money. Boy was my mother ever quick on her feet. I had been caught in the middle of a lie.
I think God is quicker on His feet than even my mother was! He knows what we think and what we do. I don’t know why we make these lame excuses. Do we really think that God is truly going to buy them? “Ah, I’m not going to include this income on my tax statement because Uncle Sam gets more than his fair share anyway; besides this was just a side job for a friend.” Or, “I really like these fine point pens they have at work. I think I’ll take a few-oh yeah, I need them for a work project I’m going to do at home.” (I’m guilty of this one.) Why do we even try these things? Who do we think we are fooling anyway? God knows everything and still we find ourselves trying to validate doing things that we know are wrong.

                                   Do We Condone Rude Behavior?

And he went up from thence unto Bethel and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the Name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.  2 Kings, Chapter 2, verses 23-24.

This passage addresses hateful children who torment others. Elisha didn’t say, “Oh, poor children. They must have parents who haven’t paid enough attention to them.” When Elisha cursed them for tormenting him, God had a bear come and destroy them. Although, this passage demonstrates an extremely dramatic consequence for the inappropriate taunting behavior of the children, I think it’s important for us to note how this situation was handled.
What would happen today? Have we become so accustomed to rude and tormenting behavior from children that hearing they behaved this way doesn’t seem out of place? Isn’t that scary? I’ve seen too many talk shows where kids have been suicidal or wanted to seek revenge because they have been tormented for years by their peers at school. Are we allowing our children to grow up to be rude, insulting and insensitive to others? I don’t think we would want God to deal with our children the same way that He did with the children in the passage.
Maybe we need to take a more active role in making sure our children are raised to respect others. Maybe there would be less violence in schools if everyone was committed to enforcing appropriate guidelines with their children from infancy on. Something to think about!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Are People Becoming Complacent About Violent Crimes? Do We Seek Vain Things? God Wants Us to Obey Him, Not to Do Our Own Thing, Instead posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

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!

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?

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.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

God Doesn't Like People Reading Horoscopes Even If It's Just for Fun, God Doesn't Like Anything Related to Witchcraft, Even Shows, We Should Be Cautious about the religious Advice We Listen To posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

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.

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.

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.

How to Know Jesus Is God's Son

Christian Overeaters Past and Present Support Link

Christian Overeaters Past and Present Support Link
Read 100s of Christian Overeaters Past and Present Blog Posts and You Tube Videos


Empower Orphans to Raise Their Siblings


A Gift of an Animal Can Change People's Lives