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Wipe our Debt

You are a slave to the Lender!

Turn to and read Proverbs 22:7.  If there ever was a verse addressing the spendthrift yuppie generation it is this one.  We somehow think we can spend ourselves rich.  We want right now what our parents worked a lifetime for.  And there is a quick way to get it–charge it.  So quickly we mount huge debt.  Through the use of plastic it doesn’t even seem like spending money, but a $7,000 or $10,000 limit is quickly reached.  We are financially enslaved to our bank cards. 

Read a very interesting verse, Proverbs 22:27 – If you have nothing with which to pay, then CHARGE IT!  a commercial might say.  But not Proverbs; “why should he (the lender or creditor) take your bed from under you?”  It is as if the one with “nothing to pay with” has used for collateral the very thing which gives sleep, comfort, and rest.  Perhaps it is describing the sleepless nights spent worrying about the debt accumulated from borrowing.  In a figurative way, the creditor has “taken your bed from under you.”

Be careful with debt.  Don’t spend more than you make.  If we complain about the huge federal deficit can we be so two-faced and spend ourselves into debt?  If in seeming uncontrolled debt then get some professional help.  Many bankruptcy attorneys offer methods in family financial planning short of bankruptcy.  Seek out some help.  The avoidance of debt, or getting our debt under control is one way to make your money grow.

Saving gives you Freedom

Another way to make your money grow is by saving it. Encouragement to saving money is imaginatively stated in Proverbs 13:22.  Read it for yourself.

An attorney friend of mine who handled many personal bankruptcy cases first fully analyzed a client’s financial situation.  More often than not he was able to consolidate their debts, arrange their accounts and payment structure so that not only was filing bankruptcy unnecessary, but also provided a way for them to start a family saving program!  Admittedly, it was usually not much (maybe only $50 or $100 per month) but it was something.  More importantly was an attitude they developed.  Most people want to save, but they would not think of not paying on their accounts.  This attorney advised them to “think of yourself as one of your creditors.”  Such a mindset allowed them to grow their money through savings.

Amazing things happen to savings which generate interest and accumulate over time.  Even with relatively modest amounts, figures of compound interest are sometimes startling!  Yes it is possible even with an ordinary income to make your money grow through savings, and leave an inheritance for your children.

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Honor God with Money

Generous Living

How to Give in a way that Grows — what Proverbs Proclaims

One way to “honor the Lord with your wealth” is by being benevolent to those who are poor.  Read it for yourself in Proverbs 3:27-28 and 11:24-25.  Generosity was a sign of righteousness and an act of one rightly related to the Lord.  It fulfills the general principle of Proverbs 3:9.

 

Notice in these two passages another truth: by honoring the Lord with your wealth through generosity the Lord will honor you! The fact that the Lord is generous to the generous is more clearly stated in another passage.  Read Proverbs 19:17.  The Lord repays! Read on in Proverbs 22:9 and 28:27.  This is not prosperity theology (that if you are a believer He will bless you), but does confirm the principle in Proverbs 3:5,6 that the Lord takes care of those who trust in Him.

 

It is unfortunate that Christians are not known for their generosity.  Our giving is considered first a tax deduction, and second a burden.  We find it difficult enough to give to the church, let alone ever consider giving to the poor!  What we give is what we don’t need; what is left over, rather than being the “first of all our produce,” Proverbs 3:10.

 

David and Jeannie were on furlough from their missionary work in Kenya, traveling the country to visit and thank those who had supported their work.  One Sunday they walked into a supportive church wearing what we would consider rags.  David had on a badly worn jacket with blown out pockets and holes in the elbows. Jeanie wore stockings which gathered around her ankles and had several runs in them.  Her dress was filthy; its color was faded. They began addressing the congregation by thanking them for their support and for the care packages they received.  “In fact,” David said, “to show our appreciation we thought we would wear for you the clothes you have sent us.”  Christians are cheap.  Who would ever think of getting the size of a missionary and buying them a new coat or dress.  Instead, we give what we don’t need–what we have left over.

 

Christians today are not known for their generosity.  Yet Proverbs is clear. One way to “honor the Lord with your wealth” is our generosity, giving or benevolence.

 

Father’s Day

“No servant is greater than his master,” strikes me as one of the strangest sayings of Jesus (John 13:16).  After all, my goal, as a father, is to teach my children so they will exceed me in every way.

Sports – I’ve always told my kids, “Someday you will run, swim, throw, kick better than me.”  As teenagers, they already do.

Education – I’ve warned them, “You will learn things that will make my education seem childish.”  They already have.

Arts – They play music, draw better, see better than me.

Character – They haven’t told the lies I’ve told.

Spirituality – While they have a lifetime to go in understanding Scripture, they love the Lord, I think more than me.

So it struck me this Father’s day—my greatest joy?  Watching my children pass me bye: A joy they will not exceed me!

Your accuser may say, “You are only sorry for what you’ve done because you were caught.” How do we understand this challenge?

The Bible portrays Esau as one sorry for what he did because he was caught.  His lament was not for what he did in giving up his birthright, but for the consequences that followed.

“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.” (Hebrews 13:15-17)

If there were no consequences he would not have been sorry.  So preachers extrapolate, “Better contrition is for the sin itself, not because of the feeling the consequences.”

This is absolute self-righteous hubris nonsense!  There a clear relationship in feeling sorry between the sin and the contrition that feeling the consequence produces.  The consequences bring home the impact of our sin and sinfulness.  Let me demonstrate.

Have you ever stolen anything at work?  Ever taken a pen, or paper?  Ever used the copy machine to copy your tax return or some other personal use?  Have you ever answered a personal phone call, or did an email search for some personal issue and thereby stolen time that was due your employer.  Do you feel the pain of the sin from your theft?  Have you even ever confessed this as sin?  Have you ever stood before your employer and begged for forgiveness for your thievery?  Unlikely!  Why?  Only because you were not caught.  But if you were caught, and brought in before your superior or the HR Director for a reprimand, you would certainly then be sorry.  If it went into your permanent employee file that would affect your opportunity for promotion or advancement in your career you would be real sorry!  Being known as a thief would be serious in your professional career.  But that is what you are!  Oh Thief, is it the sin that pricks your conscience, or the consequences that you feel bad about?  God uses the consequences of public exposure to bring home the significance of your sin.  Only those who re-write “sin” accuse Esau of something short of sincere contrition by feeling sorry only for the consequence.  It turns out you are just like Esau.

Need another example?

Do you lie or always tell the truth?  You no doubt will assert that you are a truth teller.  Have you ever told a lie?  Of course; everyone has.  More than once?  Of course.  Twice?  Countless times.  How about at work?  How about stretching the truth; what we call little white lies or “sales puffing” to your clients?  How about not telling someone the truth, the “whole truth” which causes them to reach to a false conclusion that they would not necessarily reach if you did not withhold information?  You are a liar, deceiver, and manipulator of others.  You are certainly not to be trusted.  Should we put that in your employee file too?  Are you Esau, or have you felt remorse for your sin apart from the consequences?  Maybe if you had to feel some consequences it would make you realize how twisted you are, oh Liar.

How about one more.  Have you ever lusted for a woman?  Of course you have.  More than once?  Certainly.  Have you lusted for her at church?  Perhaps the woman singing the solo?  The woman in the row in front of you?  Or at work?  Do you think of her when you make love to your wife?  How about when you take a shower?  And you hold yourself out as a trusted church member, or employee.  You lust, and are a mental adulterer.  You pervert.  Whose wife is safe from your gaze?  What woman at work can feel comfortable around you?  Have you felt enough remorse for your sin, Esau, or does it take some consequences for you to feel its sting?  What if we posted in next week’s church bulletin a detailed description of your lust?  Or should we post it on your company’s website, or have it distributed on an interoffice memo?   Or have you repented enough, and adequately demonstrated to everyone’s satisfaction the sincerity of your contrition?  I don’t think so, oh Adulterer.

You may never face any consequences for most of your acts, thoughts, or words of sin.  Too bad.  You have missed a tremendous blessing — the sting of consequences grants the opportunity for intimacy with the Lord.  May God expose you, Esau.

Romans 4:16 — The God’s Dependable Promise

My daughter promised to give me a million dollars if I got her a rabbit for her birthday.  You’ve got to be kidding.  A rabbit!  Is a million dollars would be worth it?  Even if I agreed, there was no way she could fulfill her promise.  Broken promises, appointment, and commitments are part of being human.  We are all at fault.  Even promises we can fulfill, whether it’s an appointment we miss, or maybe a promise in marriage, we are all guilty of breaking them.

But there is ONE about whom we can be fully assured will never break his promise.  The Bible says, “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham.” (Romans 4:16)

God gave Abraham and Sarah a promise that seemed impossible to fulfill.  But, like the promise recorded way back in Genesis that the Lord gave to 90 year old couple that they would have a son, rest assured, his promises to you are sure.  The Bible is full of God’s gracious promises to you.  Know this… He loves you and that love will never fail.  He will never leave you; never forsake you.

English: Sarah and Abraham hosting three angels

God’s Promises are SURE!

Does “Washing for Regeneration” Mean that Baptism is Necessary for Salvation?

Dr. Jay A. Quine

 Titus 3:5

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.

 The word “regeneration” is a noun of action (like “love,” or “war” or “wash”).  When put in the genitive case, it can be taken two ways:  either subjective genitive or objective genitive.

If it were objective genitive (“regeneration” as the object of the verbal thought) it would read, “washing for regeneration,” where the washing produces the regeneration.

If it were subjective genitive (“regeneration” as the subject of the verbal thought) it would read, “washing of (or even “by”) regeneration,” where the regeneration produces the cleansing.

Which is it?

The answer is found in the next phrase!  CONTEXT saves the day once again!!!

Baptism is not necessary for salvation

The phrase “renewing by the Holy Spirit” is the exact same kind of genitive construction.  This cannot be taken as an objective genitive or else you would have “renewing for the Holy Spirit.”  But clearly it is the Holy Spirit who does the renewing, not that we are renewed then receive the Holy Spirit.  So this phrase must be a subjective genitive “renewing of (or even “by”) the Holy Spirit.”

Since this second phrase is subjective genitive it is VERY LIKELY that Paul intended the two phrases to be subjective genitive.  This would be normal Greek syntax.  Furthermore, Paul frequently strings many genitives together to be used the same way as here.  It would be VERY UNUSUAL for him to use one and then the other uses of the genitive case back to back.

Therefore, Titus 3:5 is not saying that baptism (the “washing”) is FOR regeneration, but that the washing is of what regeneration produces, namely, washing BY regeneration.

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Do you think God would provide us with an impossible-to-keep diet (like the no carbs diet or the no chocolate diet!)?  Do you think the Lord in His simplicity would provide us with a diet so complex that no one can figure out (I just heard one that corresponds to your blood type and DNA mapping).  It the Bible’s straightforward and simple manner which is always clear, we bring you the “2012 Biblical Diet” to adopt for your new New Year’s Resolution.

It’s simple:  Don’t eat so much.  That’s right.  Eat what you want, but not so much.  Just because it is in the fridge, doesn’t mean it has to be eaten.  Just because it is really good doesn’t mean it’s all for you.  Did you miss dessert?  It’s okay.

The Lord God Almighty’s diet is simple: Don’t eat so God-awful much!

Here are some motivational principles (and additions):

Proverbs 25:28  “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls (or a bulging belly and pants that don’t fit).”

Galatians 5:22-23  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, se

God's "Don't Eat So Much" Diet

lf-control; against such things there is no law (there is no law that says you have to eat everything on you plate!).”

1Corinthians 6:19  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own (so put down the fork).”

There are no restrictions on what we eat.  We can enjoy the variety of fruit, vegetables of all kinds, meat, and seafood, breads and desserts!  But temperance in the amount you eat. Consider splitting an entree at the restaurant.  Just because it is offered doesn’t mean you need to take it.  Your new diet will be balanced, and biblical.

1Corinthians 10:31  “So whether you  E A T  or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

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