The word of God stands forever

Read Isaiah 40:7-8

The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the Word of our God stands forever.

 

Man likes to revel in his beauty or his strength. We talk about the most beautiful woman, or the most handsome man. Nations speak of their strength and their power in the world. But as history has shown us, those things don’t last. We think of the world empires of history, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Romans; we think of the great maritime empires, the Dutch, the French, the English. We think of the beauty of the actresses of Hollywood in the past and of the beauty of television stars when we were young. But when we look now, those great ancient empires are past. They have blown away as the dust. The rulers, the pharaohs, the emperors, the kings are only memories. The beauty of the movie stars of the 20s and 30s is gone. They have aged and passed away. The power and the beauty is only temporary.

In our area, our rainy season is very short. Some years, we get very little rain at all. But when we do get rain, the mountainsides break forth with beautiful wildflowers. The hills abound with vibrant colors. The grass grows lush and green. But very shortly, that beauty fades. The hills turn brown and the grass dies. As our passage says, “the grass withers, the flowers fade”.  Their beauty does not last. The bible says that man is like that. Our life withers, it fades away. We may live to be 100 years old, but we will fade away. It is the destiny of man. There is something, however, that does not fade away, that never gets old. Our passage says, “The Word of our God stands forever”. The word that God spoke to Adam and to Moses, still stands today. The promises that God made to man, so many thousands of years ago, still stands today. Man has tried to destroy it, they have tried to outlaw it, they have ridiculed it and critics have tried to change it into the words of men. But the Word of God stands. In 1778, Voltaire said that 100 years from then, Christianity would be swept for existence and the Bible would be a forgotten book. But the Word of our God stands. God’s word will never pass away. How important is God’s word? In Psalms 138:2, the Bible says – “I will worship towards your hold temple, and praise your name. For your lovingkindness and your truth; for You have magnified your word above all your name”. Imagine that, God has magnified His Word above even His Name. His Word is how he has spoken to us, how He has made His promises to us. And even His Son is called The Word of God. Jesus is the living Word of God. The Bible is the written Word of God. They never contradict, they never oppose one another. And they never fall. For the Word of our God stands forever.


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Abigail – A Godly Example

The story of Abigail is one that shows us an example of Godliness. Her story is told in 1 Samuel 25. She was the wife of Nabal, who the Bible describes as “churlish ( cruel ) and evil in his doings”. But Abigail was not like her husband. She is described as “a woman of good understanding and of a beautiful countenance”. The story in this chapter shows us exactly how true that is. David was on the run from Saul, who was trying to kill him. David had a lot of followers and they provided for themselves by protecting landowners from robbers in exchange for food and supplies. One of the flocks that they protected was owned by Nabal. When shearing time came, David sent some of his men to Nabal to ask for food in exchange for the protection that they had provided. Nabal, being evil, refused to provide for them and sent them away. When they told David what had happened, David became angry and prepared to attack Nabal. Surely, everyone in the household of Nabal would have been killed by the next morning.

Now enters Abigail. One of Nabal’s servants went to Abigail and told her what had happened between Nabal and David’s men.  Of course, Abigail knew what kind of man her husband was and wasn’t surprised. But she knew what the right thing to do was. She acted “in haste” the bible says, and loaded up food and rode with the supplies to David’s camp. She threw herself at David’s feet and told him to lay the blame for the situation on her instead of on Nabal. She asked David not to shed blood, but to accept the provision that she had brought. She asked that David allow God to judge Nabal. David praised her, and told her that he had accepted her gift and no harm would come to Nabal by David’s hand.

The next day, when Abigail told Nabal what had happened, the bible said that his heart died within him and he became as a stone. We don’t know exactly, but perhaps he had a stroke or a heart attack. We do know that it was a judgment of God and that 10 days later, Nabal died. When David heard that Nabal was dead, he praised God for preventing him from taking vengeance on Nabal. He also sent messengers to Abigail, asking her to come and be David’s wife. The bible says that Abigail “hasted” and went with David’s men and became his wife.

Abigail knew that what Nabal had done was wrong. She knew that David’s men deserved to be blessed and repaid. She also knew that it would be wrong for David to take revenge. She was willing to let God judge the wrongdoing of her husband. She was willing to take the fault of her husband on herself and to stand before David and ask forgiveness. In spite of her husband’s lack of character, she remained faithful to him while he lived. She was a woman of great character and God blessed her by making her David’s wife.


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Assurance Forever

Read Isaiah 32:17 – And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and peace for ever.

 

Many Christians struggle with the matter of eternal security. I’ve written a previous blog on the matter, but under the understanding that you can never hear too much truth, I wanted to speak on it again today. Isaiah, in this chapter, speaks of a coming king who will rule in righteousness. In the literal sense, he may have been speaking of Hezekiah, or perhaps Josiah. But in a true sense, he was looking past Israel’s kings and looking to a King who one day will rule in true righteousness. But we know as Christians, that He should be ruling in our lives now. Then he speaks of God pouring out His Spirit upon His people. When you were saved, God poured out His Spirit upon you. You got all of the Holy Spirit that you will ever have. The reason that some people seem to be more Spirit filled is not that they have more of the Holy Spirit, but is because they are more yielded to the Spirit that all of us have.

Then, in verse 17, he speaks of the work and the effect of righteousness. Of course, we know that the work of righteousness is peace. Through His righteousness, we have peace with God. Our relationship with Him has been restored through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Paul says in Romans 5:1, Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The word “peace” has a sense of movement to it. God has peace toward us. Not because of any righteousness we have, but because of His righteousness. Then Isaiah give us the effect or the result of God’s righteousness – quietness and assurance for ever.

The word quietness means just what we would think it means, to be quiet, undisturbed, calm. The word assurance, likewise means what we would assume, security, safety, confidence. Not because of what we have done, but because of what God has done. We can have quietness and assurance of our salvation. For how long? For ever.


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Dare to be a Daniel

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Here we find out more about Daniel than in any other place in the Bible. We know from Ezekiel 14 that Daniel was a righteous man. We know from Matthew 24 that Jesus considered Daniel a prophet, but here we see the overwhelming characteristic of Daniel; He was a man of conviction. Read more…


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A divided kingdom

After the death of Solomon, the nation of Israel suffered a split. Approximately 922 BC, the nation was divided into two parts; Israel to the north and Judah to the south. The capitol of Israel was Shechem (later moved to Samaria), and the capitol of Judah was Jerusalem. Rehoboam, son of Solomon was king of the southern kingdom of Judah. Jeroboam, who, in 1 Kings 12, famously ignored the advice of the older, wiser men and followed the advice of the younger men, was king of the northern kingdom of Israel. Starting in 1 Kings 12:1, we see the story of these two nations. Read more…


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Examine yourself

Many times when we have communion, we read 1 Corinthians chapter 11. And when we read it, many times we read all the way through verse 30. Part of that last section is verse 28, which reads “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” We apply that by saying that we should not take the Lord’s supper with sin in our lives or with any ill feelings toward another believer. Of course, that is true. But it’s not only during communion time that we need to make that internal examination. That is something that needs to be part of our life on a regular basis. Read more…


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Three attitudes toward the Christ child

Last Sunday evening, as we looked at the Biblical story of the visit of the wise men, we saw that there were three different attitudes shown towards the Christ child. First, there was the open hostility of Herod. He saw the news of the birth of Christ as a threat to his rule. And Herod was not a man to sit idly by when he saw a threat. He was a man who had one of his wives and three of his sons killed, supposedly because they planned to kill him. But when he heard from the wise men that they were seeking a king who was born, he told them to find this king and return word to him so that he could go and worship the child himself. As they would say on “Snopes”, that was a “pants of fire”. Read more…


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An exception to the rule

Back in 1993, I was a high school teacher at a Christian School. We rotated giving the devotions at our morning staff meeting. On one of the days it was my turn, I gave a devotion on what I thought was the reason that most students got in trouble. As I later discussed it with another teacher, it came to us that it wasn’t just the young people who got into trouble for this philosophy, but adult Christians as well. I prepared a chapel message on it for use later in the year. What was the belief that caused these people to fall? The belief was that they were “an exception to the rule”. They knew what the rules were, they knew that there was a punishment for breaking the rules, but they didn’t believe that the rules should apply to them.   Read more…


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Running a race – Part Two

If you haven’t already, please read part one before reading this entry.   In order to do more for the Lord, we must realize how we can improve. Look at the people who run, and run well.   The best runners use best equipment and training. They don’t wear high top hiking boots when running. There is a place for those, but if runners want to be successful, they use the proper equipment. They use high tech materials. They use the best materials available. Cotton is great material, for its purpose. Wool is wonderful material, for its purpose. Read more…


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Three Dark Days

God knew that the early church would need a leader. Someone who would be educated. Someone who would be driven. Someone who would be committed to teaching and preaching and building churches. Someone who wouldn’t let problems or difficulties stop him. Someone who could counsel and clearly write out the doctrines and principles the young believers would need. Saul was that man. God chose him to be the man to reach multitudes for Him. But Saul wasn’t ready. Oh, he was committed. He was driven. But he wasn’t yet ready for the work that God had for him. God had some more shaping to do. Some more molding and forming on this lump of clay who would come to be known as one of the greatest Christians of all time. Read more…


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