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In Ruth 1, we read that the husband of Naomi died in the land of Moab. Naomi’s two sons, the husbands of Ruth and Orpah, also died. Naomi then chose to return to Israel and encouraged her daughters-in-law to return to their families. In verse 8 she says, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me.”

Initially, both Ruth and Orpah refused, saying, “We will go back with you to your people” (Ruth 1:10). Naomi then argued that she could provide no more husbands for Ruth and Orpah. From Naomi’s perspective, Ruth and Orpah would remain widowed and childless unless they returned to the homes of their parents. After Naomi’s continued encouragement, Orpah agreed and returned to her family (Ruth 1:14).

Naomi then told Ruth, “Look . . . your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her” (Ruth 1:15). Ruth’s response revealed the difference between Orpah and herself. Ruth said, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me” (Ruth 1:16–17).

This response reveals an important detail about Ruth. In the first statement, in which Ruth and Orpah both said they would return to Israel with Naomi, they said they would return to “your people” (Ruth 1:10). But when Ruth answered this second time, she also added that Naomi’s God would be her God. She agreed to live with Naomi’s people and to follow the Lord.

Naomi and Ruth returned to the humblest of circumstances, yet God used this situation to work in a remarkable way. Ruth would not only join Naomi’s people; she would later marry one of Naomi’s relatives and give birth to a son named Obed—who became the grandfather of King David.

Ruth’s response is a powerful example of how we are to give allegiance to God even when we do not know what the future holds. When we surrender to Him, God sometimes works in unexpected ways to show His power and reveal His love.

We can learn a lot from the relationship of Ruth and Naomi. Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi. When both of their husbands died, Naomi planned to return to Israel from Moab and encouraged Ruth to return to her mother’s family. Instead, Ruth answered, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me” (Ruth 1:16–17). These beautiful words of commitment, which are sometimes included in wedding vows, show the deep loyalty between Ruth and Naomi.

Ruth and Naomi were family. They had lived closely for some time due to Ruth’s marriage to Naomi’s son. There had already been a strong relationship prior to this decision by Ruth to return to Israel with her mother-in-law. Ruth 2:11 says that Ruth “left [her] father and mother and [her] homeland and came to live with a people [she] did not know before.” Ruth certainly cared deeply for Naomi and had a close relationship with her both before and after the deaths of their husbands.

Ruth made a vow or covenant to remain with Naomi, calling judgment upon herself if she ever left her (Ruth 1:17). Once this vow had been made, she would have felt an obligation to keep this commitment to Naomi.

Ruth apparently had made a commitment to follow Naomi’s God as well. In her vow, she told Naomi, “Your God, my God.” Naomi was convinced Ruth was serious, too. Ruth 1:18 notes, “When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.”

This commitment to follow Naomi’s God is also seen in Naomi’s response prior to Ruth’s commitment. After further encouragement, Ruth’s sister, Orpah, returned to her family. Then Naomi said, “Look . . . your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her” (Ruth 1:15). Ruth contrasted Orpah’s commitment to the gods of her family with her own commitment to follow Naomi’s God.

Ruth’s loyalty certainly resulted in long-term good. In an unexpected way, God allowed Ruth to remarry and give birth to a son named Obed who became grandfather to King David. Despite Ruth’s status as a non-Israelite woman, God worked through her life to change many. Ruth serves as clear proof that God desires those from all backgrounds to follow Him and that He can work in our lives in important ways to influence the lives of many.

The story of Naomi appears in the Bible in the book of Ruth. Naomi lived during the time of the judges. She was the wife of a man named Elimelek, and they lived in Bethlehem with their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. Naomi’s life illustrates the power of God to bring something good out of bitter circumstances.

When a famine hits Judea, Elimelek and Naomi and their two boys relocate to Moab (Ruth 1:1). There, Mahlon and Kilion marry two Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. After about ten years, tragedy strikes. Elimelek dies, and both of Naomi’s sons also die, leaving Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah widows (Ruth 1:3–5). Naomi, hearing that the famine in Judea was over, decides to return home (Ruth 1:6). Orpah stays in Moab, but Ruth choses to move to the land of Israel with Naomi. The book of Ruth is the story of Naomi and Ruth returning to Bethlehem and how Ruth married a man named Boaz and bore a son, Obed, who became the grandfather of David and the ancestor of Jesus Christ.

The name Naomi means “sweet, pleasant,” which gives us an idea of Naomi’s basic character. We see her giving her blessing to Ruth and Orpah when she tells them to return to their mothers’ homes so that they might find new husbands: she kisses them and asks that the Lord deal kindly with them (Ruth 1:8–14). But her heartache in Moab was more than Naomi could bear. When she and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem, the women of the town greet Naomi by name, but she cries, “Don’t call me Naomi. . . . Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me” (Ruth 1:20–21). The name Mara means “bitter.” The cup of affliction is a bitter cup, but Naomi understood that the affliction came from the God who is sovereign in all things. Little did she know that from this bitter sorrow great blessings would come to her, her descendants, and the world through Jesus Christ.

Ruth meets a local landowner, Boaz, who is very kind to her. Naomi again recognizes the providence of God in providing a kinsman-redeemer for Ruth. Naomi declares that the Lord “has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead” (Ruth 2:20) Seeing God’s hand in these events, Naomi encourages Ruth to go to Boaz as he slept in the threshing floor in order to request that he redeem her and her property. Naomi’s concern was for Ruth’s future, that Ruth would gain a husband and provider (Ruth 3).

Naomi’s bitterness is turned to joy. In the end, she gains a son-in-law who would provide for both her and Ruth. She also becomes a grandmother to Ruth’s son, Obed. Then the women of Bethlehem say to Naomi, “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth” (Ruth 4:14–15). Naomi was no longer Mara. Her life again became sweet and pleasant, blessed by God.

The book of Ruth largely focuses on the relationship between Ruth and Boaz. Ruth was a Moabite woman had come to Israel as the widow of an Israelite man. She had returned with her mother-in-law, Naomi, who had also lost her husband. They lived together in a humble situation, and Ruth would go to the fields each day to glean food in the fields during the harvest.

Boaz was a landowner where Ruth came to find grain. He knew of her situation and told his workers to leave plenty of grain for her to find. Boaz also offered her food with the other workers and encouraged her to work in the safety of his fields throughout the harvest.

Naomi noted that Boaz was a close relative who, according to Jewish law, had the right to marry Ruth after the death of her husband. Naomi encouraged Ruth to go to Boaz in the evening and present herself willing to accept a marriage proposal from him. When she did, he was pleased, yet noted that there was one relative who was closer in line to marry Ruth.

The next day, Boaz met with this relative and presented the situation. The relative turned down the offer as he felt it would cause harm to his own family situation. Boaz then made a commitment in front of the town’s leaders that he would take Ruth as his wife.

Boaz and Ruth were married and soon had a son named Obed. Naomi’s misfortune had turned to joy as she became a grandmother. Obed would later become the grandfather of King David, who would also serve as an ancestor of Jesus Christ.

Ruth is one of four women specifically named in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus. Matthew 1:5–6 says, “Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.”

The story of Ruth and Boaz offers many wonderful insights for today. Among them is the principle that God often works through those who have endured tragic situations to change the lives of many others. Second, God will work through unlikely means. Ruth was a poor widow and a foreigner, yet God used her as part of the family line of both David and Jesus. Third, God’s sovereign power can be seen. He is in control of everything that happens, even when we do not understand the situation.

We know lying is a sin (Leviticus 19:11; Proverbs 12:22). But what about those “little white lies” that involve an ever-so-slight stretching of the truth? Do the small lies matter, or are they harmless? What if telling the truth might hurt someone?

Lying is defined as “making an untrue statement with the intent to deceive.” A white lie is an untrue statement, but it is usually considered unimportant because it does not cover up a serious wrongdoing. A white lie is deceptive, but it may also be polite or diplomatic at the same time. It could be a “tactful” lie told to keep the peace in a relationship; it could be a “helpful” lie to ostensibly benefit someone else; it could be a “minor” lie to make oneself look better in some area.

Some white lies are common: lying about one’s age, for example, or the size of the fish that got away. We live in a society that conditions us to lie by telling us that, in many situations, lies are justified. The secretary “covers” for the boss who doesn’t want to be disturbed; the salesman exaggerates the qualities of his product; the job applicant pads his résumé. The reasoning is, as long as no one is hurt or the result is good, little lies are fine.

It is true that some sins bring about worse consequences than others. And it is true that telling a white lie will not have the same serious effect as, say, murdering someone. But all sins are equally offensive to God (Romans 6:23a), and there are good reasons to avoid telling white lies.

First, the belief that a white lie is “helpful” is rooted in the idea that the end justifies the means. If the lie results in a perceived “good,” then the lie was justified. However, God’s condemnation of lying in Proverbs 6:16–19 contains no exception clause. Also, who defines the “good” that results from the lie? A salesman telling white lies may sell his product—a “good” thing for him—but what about the customer who was taken advantage of?

Telling a white lie to be “tactful” or to spare someone’s feelings is also a foolish thing to do. A person who consistently lies to make people feel good will eventually be seen for what he is: a liar. Those who traffic in white lies will damage their credibility.

White lies have a way of propagating themselves. Telling more lies to cover up the original lie is standard procedure, and the lies get progressively less “white.” Trying to remember what lies were told to what person also complicates relationships and makes further lying even more likely.

Telling a white lie to benefit oneself is nothing but selfishness. When our words are motivated by the pride of life, we are falling into temptation (1 John 2:16).

Little white lies are often told to preserve the peace, as if telling the truth would in some way destroy peace. Yet the Bible presents truth and peace as existing together: “Love truth and peace” (Zechariah 8:19). Tellers of white lies believe they are speaking lies out of “love”; however, the Bible tells us to speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

Sometimes telling the truth is not easy; in fact, it can be downright unpleasant. But we are called to be truth-tellers. Being truthful is precious to God (Proverbs 12:22); it demonstrates the fear of Lord. Furthermore, to tell the truth is not a suggestion, it is a command (Psalm 15:2; Zechariah 8:16; Ephesians 4:25). Being truthful flies in the face of Satan, the “father of lies” (John 8:44). Being truthful honors the Lord, who is the “God of truth” (Psalm 31:5, ISV).

Bearing false witness is mentioned many times in the Bible, exclusively as something bad. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” is the ninth of the Ten Commandments that Moses brought back with him from his encounter with God on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20:16). False witness, or spreading a false report, is associated with being allied with the wicked (Exodus 23:1), willing to do violence to others (Psalm 27:12), and sowing discord among brothers (Proverbs 6:19). The Bible calls bearing false witness lying (Proverbs 14:5) and compares a man who bears false witness against his neighbor to a violent weapon (Proverbs 25:18). Lies harm people.

A false witness is one who stands up and swears before others that something untrue is true, especially with the intention of hurting someone else or ruining his reputation. This happened to David (Psalm 27:12), Jesus (Matthew 26:60; Mark 14:56), and Paul (Acts 6:13). When the wicked Queen Jezebel wished to procure a vineyard for her sulking husband, King Ahab, she employed two false witnesses. Naboth, the rightful owner of the vineyard, was seated in an honorable place on a day of fasting, but “then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, ‘Naboth has cursed both God and the king.’ So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death” (1 Kings 21:13). What the “scoundrels” said against Naboth was absolutely untrue; they were bearing false witness with impunity and with the queen’s blessing. As a result, an innocent man was killed. When a person is righteous and his enemies can find nothing with which to blame him, bearing false witness is a common weapon.

The lies told by a false witness come from the sinful human heart—along with murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, slander, and evil thoughts (Matthew 15:19). Jesus said that man is defiled by these evil things that come from the heart. The only possible cure for an evil heart that bears false witness is to receive a new, pure heart, which can only be given by God (Ezekiel 36:26). When a person is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, he will be like a fresh spring or a fruitful tree or a budding vine, bursting with good things (John 7:38; Psalm 1:1–6; John 15:4–5). The old is gone, and the new takes its place (Ephesians 4:22–24). Those who are in Christ have a new heart that speaks the truth: “Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor” (Ephesians 4:25). A person who bears false witness is controlled by the flesh rather than by the Spirit of God, and he should repent of that sin and turn to Christ.

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him…a lying tongue…a false witness who breathes out lies…” (Proverbs 6:16–19).

Nimrod in the Bible was the son of Cush, the great-grandson of Noah through the line of Ham, Noah’s cursed son (Genesis 9:25), and Canaan. Nimrod is described as the first of the “mighty men” to appear on the earth after the great flood. Previous to the flood, there had been giants and mighty men on the earth, and “also afterward” (Genesis 6:4). From examination of the biblical texts and other ancient documents, it is clear that Nimrod was one of these mighty men, and there is also evidence that he was much larger than the average man—a giant, so to speak.

The Bible calls Nimrod “a mighty hunter before the Lord.” Nimrod established a great kingdom that included “Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar” (Genesis 10:9–10). He later extended his kingdom into Assyria, where he built the cities of “Ninevah, Rehoboth Ir, Calah and Resen” (verses 11–12). Nimrod was obviously a skilled man and an ambitious leader. Besides being the founder of the infamous Babel and many other cities, Nimrod was a mighty man with great physical strength and great strength of will. If he was also of giant stature, then that would be another reason why the people of his time would follow him—and why so many legends would spring up around him.

There are other instances of giants in Scripture, and they appear to be connected to the line of Ham, through Nimrod. When Moses sent the spies into the land of Canaan, they reported seeing the “sons of Anak” there (Numbers 13:28). The sons of Anak were giants, before whom the spies said they felt “like grasshoppers” (Numbers 13:33). The Canaanites were descended from Canaan, son of Ham, and thus related to Nimrod. Other passages refer to the Rephaim, and, of course, David had to face a giant named Goliath, who had four brothers (2 Samuel 21:15–22).

As the leader of the kingdom of Babel, Nimrod is also connected with the Tower of Babel (Genesis 6). According to the historian Josephus, Nimrod “said he would be revenged on God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high for the waters to reach. And that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers” (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 1, Chapter 4). The motive, according to Josephus, for building the Tower of Babel was to protect humanity against another flood. But the reason for the first flood was humanity’s wickedness and rebellion (Genesis 6:5–6), from which humanity refused to repent. Nimrod was rebellious against God, just like his antediluvian forebears, and, according to Josephus, he “persuaded [his subjects] not to ascribe [their strength] to God, as if it were through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness” (op. cit.). Construction of the Tower of Babel ended with a show of God’s power: the Lord confused the languages of the people, making it impossible for them to communicate effectively enough to finish the construction of the tower. So, Nimrod was proved wrong—all of man’s strength and ability, even the strength of the mightiest of men, is a gift from God that He can choose to revoke at any time.

Nimrod has lent his name to our vocabulary: today, a “nimrod” is “a hunting expert or devotee.” (And, for a brief time in the 1980s, nimrod was a less-than-heroic slang term for “geek” or “socially awkward person.”) Nimrod appears as a character in the mythology of many ancient cultures; he shows up in Hungarian, Greek, Arabic, Syrian, and Armenian legends. There is evidence that the Epic of Gilgamesh and the myth of Hercules both find their origins in Nimrod’s life. Nimrod was undoubtedly a powerful, charismatic hero-figure of the ancient world who actually attempted to build a tower to heaven, hoping to thwart the plans of God. It isn’t hard to see why so many myths and legends would spring up in the wake of such a man. In the end, however, Nimrod’s power and glory came to nothing, because God is stronger than even the mightiest of men, and He cannot be thwarted. Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord, but humility before the Lord is the posture of the wise (Proverbs 3:34; 11:2; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).

Second Samuel 23:8–39 and 1 Chronicles 11:10–47 list a group of people known as mighty men of David or David’s mighty men. They are also referred to as the “thirty chiefs” (1 Chronicles 11:15) and simply “the Thirty” (1 Chronicles 12:4). These mighty men of David were a group of David’s toughest military warriors who were credited with heroic feats, including Josheb-basshebeth, who killed 800 men in one battle with a spear (2 Samuel 23:8).

Additional notable actions listed include the deeds of a man named Eleazar, who stayed on the battlefield when other warriors fled and killed Philistines until his hand was stuck clenched around his sword (2 Samuel 23:9–10); and the exploits of Abishai, the leader of the mighty men, who killed 300 men with a spear (23:18).

Benaiah was known for going into a pit on a snowy day and killing a lion and for killing a powerful Egyptian man with the man’s own spear (2 Samuel 23:20–21). He also served as leader of David’s bodyguards (23:23).

Within this list of mighty men are three men who served as a special elite group: Josheb-basshebeth, Eleazar, and Shammah. Their exact roles are not made clear, but they were certainly seen as stand-outs among David’s mighty men.

Although the mighty men are called “the Thirty,” a total of 37 men are listed, meaning that not all of these men were on the team the entire time. Some of them, like Uriah, were killed in battle during David’s reign. Another explanation may be that David’s elite group of mighty men numbered approximately 30, a figure was not meant to be exact.

Some of these mighty men of David had considerable military skill and the blessing of God. David’s mighty men served an important role in protecting the king and fighting for the freedom of their nation, the land of Israel.

The full list of the mighty men of David is located in 2 Samuel 23 and includes the following names:

1. Josheb-basshebeth, a Tahchemonite
2. Eleazar, the son of Dodo
3. Shammah, the son of Agee the Hararite
4. Abishai
5. Benaiah
6. Asahel
7. Elhanan
8. Shammah of Harod
9. Elika of Harod
10. Helez the Paltite
11. Ira, the son of Ikkesh of Tekoa
12. Abiezer of Anthoth
13. Mebunnai the Hushathite
14. Zalmon the Ahohite
15. Maharai of Netophah
16. Heleb, the son of Baanah of Netophah
17. Ittai, the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the people of Benjamin
18. Benaiah of Pirathon
19. Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash
20. Abi-albon the Arbathite
21. Azmaveth of Bahurim
22. Eliahba the Shaalbonite
23. The sons of Jashen
24. Jonathan
25. Shammah the Hararite
26. Ahiam, the son of Sharar the Hararite
27. Eliphelet, the son of Ahasbai of Maacha
28. Eliam, the son of Ahithophel of Gilo
29. Hezro of Carmel
30. Paarai the Arbite
31. Igal, the son of Nathan of Zobah
32. Bani the Gadite
33. Zelek the Ammonite
34. Naharai of Beeroth
35. Ira the Ithrite
36. Gareb the Ithrite
37. Uriah the Hittite

Every Day is Election Day for the Christian  

Our text today has a profound message for the Christian. Our true salvation and security does not come from Washington DC. It is not dependent on who is in the White House and some political office.  

 “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”

Next year, November 2016, Americans are going to elect a president that will lead our country for the next four years. All elections are important, but they are in the past and they had a important part in bringing our nation to its present condition.

      This coming election, too, is important; especially because of the great threat our world is facing and because it is in such unsettling times.

There is much at stake. Our nation for many years has been moving further and further away from the biblical principles on which is was founded and which made it the most powerful nation in the world.

At stake is the advancement of the Devil’s agenda for the destruction of this country.

What is at stake in our nation is the advancement of the agenda of those who have made the murder of innocent unborn children legal and socially acceptable.

At stake is the advancement of the Devil’s agenda of bringing homosexual behavior to the point of being fully accepted not only in our society, but in churches as well.

At stake is the future of our children. Who are being bombarded by the those of the homosexual community who have taken over our schools, our courts and government. Yes, I did not say they were trying to take them over….they have already won these institutions.

America is in fact fast becoming the rebirth of Sodom and Gomorrah. No nation or civilization has lasted that allowed homosexuality (and gay marriage) to become part of its society. God said He would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah if only then righteous people could be found. That shows the influence of Christians on their nation. Lot lost most of his family…and that shows the destructive influence this gross sin has even on the families of the righteous.

I encourage you to go to the polls in 2016 and vote the way God directs us in His word to vote. Vote for those who best reflect the morality and principles of God who Created us.

But our text today has a profound message for the Christian. Our true salvation and security does not come from Washington DC. It is not dependent on who is in the White House and some political office. Yes, it is important to have those in public office who are moral, decent God-fearing persons and we pray that they will be the one’s who govern us….but sadly those kind of people rarely get elected. The immoral times we live in is reflected in the immoral leaders that have been elected. Our government is full of openly homosexual people.

How then does God instruct us?

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”

I. What is more important…..a Christian president or you as a child of God living a godly life? Each of us here today is voting everyday of our lives……we are voting for righteousness and for the Lord…..or we are voting for Satan. Our vote either honors God or it honors Satan.

      A. “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” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

B. What does that verse say will bring the blessings of God?

      1. “If my people.” Who are “my” people?
      2. God answers His question. “Which are called by my name.”
      3. How many of us here call ourselves “Christians?”
      4. What does the name Christian mean? It means those who identify themselves with Jesus the Christ….God incarnate in the flesh, our Savior, our Lord and our God.
      5. Certainly this passage is addressing those who call themselves Christians.

C. The verse presents three promises of God.

      1. He promises to “….hear from heaven”
      2. He promises to “….forgive their sins.”
      3. He promises to ” ….heal their land”

D. Dear friends do not we today, in this land, and in this church, and in our families, and in our personal lives….need God to hear us? Do we need God’s forgiveness? Do we not need our land to be healed?

E. I want also to point out that when God offers us His blessings it is always because we have a need…..and He is offering to help us, to take our burden, to bless us. Further with the offer of His good blessing there is always qualifications for receiving the blessings.

      1. God cannot bless error, nor sin, nor those who ignore Him and will not live by faith. Hebrews 11:6 plainly states it is impossible to please God without faith.
      2. What faith? A faith that daily lives for the Lord. A faith that produces faithfulness in our lives. A faith that gets us to church, a faith that longs to express itself in worship and thanksgiving to the Lord for all He has done for us. It is a faith that controls our mouths, that orders our steps. It is a faith that takes the God given responsibility to raise our children to love the Lord. It is a faith that rejects worldliness and worldly pursuits that rob us of giving God His place in our lives.

II. What are the conditions God states for giving His blessings?

A. God says “If we will humble ourselves…” The presence of humility in a believer’s life is the heart and soul his being able to live the good and wonderful life God has ordained for us.

1. Oh what pain and heartache the believer bears who will not submit themselves humbly to the Lord.

2. How many professing Christians are in a constant war with God? Knowing what is right…yet fighting with God, trying to justify our sins and unfaithfulness.

3. How many professing Christians are miserable because there is unconfessed sin in their lives. Sin that separates us from the peace and joy of knowing God. To proud to repent as 1 John 1:9 says and admit our sins to the Lord and ask Him to remove them from us.

4. How many folks in churches are too proud to forgive others. The importance of forgiveness is clearly emphasized in the Model Prayer the Lord gave His disciples. Jesus said to forgive others their trespasses against us…just like God has forgiven the believer. He also said….if we refused, He could not forgive us. What should we forgive….what trespasses….all of them without exception.

5. What a wonderful thing it is to be as peace with others….to hold no grudges, to put aside bitterness and anguish. To have the darkness of an unforgiving spirit be removed. When we forgive, turn the matter over to the Lord…it is like a fresh summer breeze that invigorates and lifts our spirits

B. If my people will pray.

1:James 4:2-3  says “. . . yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

2. Living by faith means being dependent on God. Being dependent on God means consulting Him daily as we live our lives. It means to involve Him moment by moment in all we do.

3. It means expressing our thanksgiving to the Lord for thanking Him constantly for His suffering and sacrifice for us. How calloused we can be….living without having a grateful heart and expressing it to the Lord.

4. How foolish we are too…in that we do not ask for God’s help. We go about our business in our own self sufficiency ignoring God. This results then in God not being able to strengthen and help us…..we rob ourselves of His blessing and then cry and blame God for not helping us…..when the problem is not with God but with us.

5. What a wonderful thing it is to live praying always to God as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”

D. “…if will seek my face” This is not simply rhetoric. What does it mean to “seek God’s face.”

1. This is stated in the New Testament also. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at  the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” Col. 3:1–2).

2. When you see someone’s face you are standing in front of them. It means you are in their presence. It means they are looking at you and you have their attention.

3. In Revelation 22: 4-5 God gives us a glimpse of the future heaven He has promised to those who believe in Him. The passage says, “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

4. It means to be able to stand unashamed in the present of God in all His righteousness and holiness.

Psalm 34:1-6.

1: I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

E. ” and turn from their wicked ways.”

        1. We want to gloss over sin. Often we try to justify our unfaithfulness to the Lord.
        2. We make all kinds of excuses as to why we allow sin in our lives.
        3. We often read this passage and say to ourselves that we are not wicked….because this refers to gross sins. But dear friend…it that really what it means?
        4. It is not wicked to leave God out of our daily lives. It is not wicked to shun worship. It is not wicked to take His day, Sunday, a day of worship and spend it like the world does.
        5. Is it not wicked when there is little or no difference in our lives than the lost around us.
        6. What a joy to be in fellowship with the Lord. What a peace comes from being reconciled to Him. What an example we are for the Lord in our families, church and neighbors when we turn from wickedness unto godly faithful living.Conclusion: God’s sure promises.

A. How many of us here really want God to hear us, forgive our sins and heal our land.

B. How many here are tired of the Devil’s substitutes. How many are tired of being miserable inside, in constant conflict with ourselves and those around us.

1. How many of us want the peace and joy of our salvation?

2. How many of us want to see our children, our families, our neighbors saved and living for the Lord?

C. God’s promises are sure. He our God and Creator has told us the way to peace and to live the best life we can.

      1. Do we believe Him?
      2. Do we really want His blessings?
      3. The choice is ours.

D. God puts the conditions on His blessing because He will not violate our wills. He will not force Himself on us, nor make us live good and godly lives. He wants it for us….He died on the cross to make it available to us….but He will not force you or me to do right.

E. If God spoke in a audible voice to you this morning. If He beckoned you to turn wholly to Him….to turn in repentance to serving Him…would you do it.

      Do you believe I have preached this passage correctly? I will answer the question myself….. YES absolutely. God has spoken here this morning.

The hope of our nation will not be determined by any Tuesday’s election….but daily, as those who profess to be Christians, vote their true hearts by how they live their lives.

Every day is Election Day for the Christian….We are electing to serve the Lord or to serve our Enemy Satan. We are casting our vote at God’s polling place. That polling place is where we live. Our families, neighborhoods, work place, community and yes….in our church.

The choice is living in the blessings of God….or the under the destructive curse of sin and unfaithfulness. It is a choice of honoring Jesus Christ who suffered and died for us…or living with a callous which ignores God’s love and why He wants to help us live godly, successful, lives of peace and joy.

 

There are two women named Salome in the Bible, but only one is mentioned by that name. One Salome was righteous; the other unrighteous.

The righteous Salome was the wife of Zebedee (Matthew 27:56), the mother of the disciples James and John, and a female follower of Jesus. This Salome was the one who came to Jesus with the request that her sons sit in places of honor in the kingdom (Matthew 20:20–21). She was also one of the women “looking on from a distance” when Jesus was being crucified—with her were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph and James (Mark 15:40). These same women were together on the third day after that, bringing spices to Jesus’ tomb to anoint Him. When they encountered the angel, who told them that Jesus was risen, they ran to tell the disciples the good news (Mark 16:1–8). Mark’s Gospel is the only one that mentions Salome by name.

The other, unrighteous Salome is not mentioned by name in the Bible, but we read about what she did in Mark 6. This Salome was part the Herod dynasty, and her family history was convoluted: Herod Antipas (the “King Herod” of Mark 6:14) had divorced his wife and married Herodias, who was the wife of his half-brother Philip (Mark 6:17). However, Herodias herself was the daughter of another of Herod’s half-brothers, Aristobulus, making her not only the wife but the niece of both Philip and Herod—and a sister-in-law of Herod. Salome was Herodias’s daughter through Philip. Thus, Salome was the daughter (and grandniece) of Philip and the step-daughter (and grandniece by marriage) of Herod; she was also both daughter and grandniece to her own mother. When Herodias came to live with Herod Antipas, Salome came with her. This royal family is significant in Bible history because it figures into the story of the death of John the Baptist. John the Baptist had publicly criticized King Herod for his divorce and remarriage to his niece/sister-in-law, and Herodias was enraged. Herod Antipas had John thrown into prison to placate his wife/niece/sister-in-law, Herodias.

John the Baptist’s fate was decided when Herodias’s daughter (Salome) danced for Herod at his birthday banquet. Pleased with the girl’s performance, Herod offered her a rash boon. Salome went to Herodias to ask her advice on what the gift should be, and Herodias told her to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Salome obediently asked Herod for this grisly gift, and, though the Bible says Herod was grieved, he honored his promise. John was beheaded in prison, and his head given to Herodias’s daughter who took it to her mother (Mark 6:21–28). Though Salome is not mentioned by name in the biblical record, the historian Josephus tells us her name.