Archive for January 2017

Peer Pressure Temptation

January 25, 2017

We are wrong to think that peer pressure is something new. People emulate those they most admire. In turn, they want them to gain their approval. This is most noticeable in the adolescence and teenage years. Words wound; personal stories of the ‘fear of ridicule and rejection’ give credence to peer pressure scenarios. Adults can also be easily swayed.

Consider the case of Apostle Peter.

 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.  And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, ‘If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (Galatians 2:11-16 NKJV).”  

I am free in Christ. His love reigns.

 

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Breaking the Bondage of Idolatry

January 18, 2017

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The bondage of idolatry is difficult to break.

“Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and called for the elders of Israel, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River, led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac (Joshua 24:1-3 NKJV).”

Abraham’s father, Terah, served false gods (with a little g).

Joshua did not mince his words.

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15 NKJV).”

Severing the chains of bondage to idolatry…

“And the people said to Joshua, ‘No, but we will serve the Lord!’

 So Joshua said to the people, ‘You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord for yourselves, to serve Him.’

And they said, ‘We are witnesses!’

‘Now therefore,’ he said, ‘put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel (Joshua 24:21-23 NKJV).”

 

Do Not Touch!

January 7, 2017

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Do not touch!

If the command paid financial dividends, parents would be wealthy.

I find no evidence of the heavenly Father voicing the command to Adam and Eve.

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’

And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’

Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings (Genesis 3:1-7 NKJV).”

Seeds of doubt quickly bore fruit; both Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit.

What did God say?

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die (Genesis 2:16-17 NKJV).”

Maybe, just maybe… Adam added the ‘Do not touch’ when instructing Eve.

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