Monday, July 30, 2012

What happens when a young person intercedes...

I believe that those Christians who spend their time and strength in intercession are doing a more valuable work than those who are too busy doing "great things" for God to take the time to intercede.  This "knee work" lays the proper foundation for a life of obedience with results given by God. 
Without the struggle to leave its cocoon, the butterfly would never have the strength to fly in life.
Some Christians spend their lives busy for God and then near the end of their days they finally take the time to intercede.  Great indeed is the young person who forsakes all youthful busyness in order to bear the yoke of intercession in their youth.  His/her life is marked and blessed eternally due to interceding before God.  And they bear fruit early which other gifted young people never see in a lifetime. 

Young person, let me beg of you, please carve out time and learn to spend much time with God in prayer.

The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 
It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.  
(Lamentations 3:25,27) 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Original purpose of schooling

photo credit:
“...if the study of the Bible is to be excluded from all state schools; if the inculcation of the principles of Christianity is to have no place in the daily program; if the worship of God is to form no part of the general exercises of these public elementary schools; then the good of the state would be better served by restoring all schools to church control.” - National Education Association (NEA), 1892
-Thanks to Jim.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

If you want to have a big harvest...

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  Galatians 6:9 (see below picture for more verses.)

He that sows sparingly will reap sparingly.
He that sows liberally will reap liberally,

Whether it be sowing via.
seeds, giving, investing in souls, prayer, preaching, fasting,
study, the training and blessing of your children, family altar,
habits of honesty, hard work,
or in much more.

Keep sowing with all of your might!
"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days."  Ecclesiastes 11:1
"In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand:"  Ecclesiastes 11:6
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  Galatians 6:9
"The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself."  Proverbs 11:25
"He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame."  Proverbs 10:4-5
"Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house."  Proverbs 24:27
"Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters,"  Isaiah 32:20

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What does God say about Gambling?

  1.  God presents work as the normal way to get the money we need (Eph 4:28; II Thess. 3:12; Prov. 31). When a person cannot work, the second choice is prayer (Phil. 4:6, 19).
  2. All my income belongs to God, not me (Psa. 24:1), and I am not free to use it as I wish. I am a steward, who should use it for God's purposes. Christians are called on to meet the needs of their family (I Tim. 5:8), and share with others, particularly Christians who have needs (2 Cor 8-9; Gal. 6:6-10; 3 John).
Ask: Does God want me to use His money to buy me a lottery ticket?
  1. God uses money to accomplish important purposes in my life:
    1. Meet basic needs (Matt. 6:11; I Tim. 6:8).
    2. Build character (Phil 4:10-13)
    3. Give direction, by providing or withholding resources.
    4. Helping others through me.
    5. Show His power by providing miraculously.
Ask: Does gambling accomplish these results? Am I looking to God or to the lottery for my needs?
  1. Greed and covetousness are sin (Ex. 20:18; I Tim. 6:9; Heb 13:5), and these are motives in most gambling.
  2. Proverbs warns of disaster for people who want to get rich quickly (28:20,22).
  3. Wealth that comes easily goes just as easily (Prov. 13:11).
  4. Wealth gained the wrong way breaks up families (Prov. 15:27).
  5. Gambling can be addictive, and even if you don't fall prey to it as a compulsive habit, your example may cause others to be enslaved by it (I Cor. 8:9, 13).
Studies show that lotteries are the favorite legal gambling game for teenagers. Statistically, one of seven who play will become addicted. But teenagers aren't the only ones affected. One out of 10 adults who gamble will become addicted too. In fact, gambling is the fastest growing addiction in America. Like alcoholism and drug addiction, compulsive gambling is costly to the economy. Families are the ones who suffer the most. Many people feel gambling is only a game that is fun, but the Bible tells us this evil is a terrible sin that will lead to poverty.
"He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him" (Proverbs 28:22).
Gambling in our nation is spreading as the number of states operating lotteries has more than doubled since 1980, making them the ultimate "get-rich-quick" schemes. As gambling spreads to more and more states, Christians need to have the Bible's instruction about this money robber. The Bible declares that it is wrong to bet money on the possibility of becoming instantly rich.
"He who oppresses the poor to get gain for himself, and he who gives to the rich will surely come to want" (Proverbs 22:16).
States who legalize lotteries and gambling are oppressing the poor for gain. According to a 1988 study of the Michigan lottery, that state sells the greatest number of tickets in low-income and ethnic neighborhoods in urban areas. Lottery tickets made available in grocery marts and drive-in markets make it easy for people to purchase these "chances to win the big hit." Some spend money on the lottery tickets instead of groceries for their families. Many compulsive gamblers wreck their lives and their families as they are encouraged to risk money that they usually cannot afford to lose. An estimated 15 million people are compulsive gamblers.
The lie that is used to promote this evil in our society is that legalized gambling doesn't promote crime and will lower taxes. Actually just the opposite is true -- gambling promotes other vices which attract the criminal element. This results in higher, not lower taxes as the cost for additional policing must be increased. Indian reservations and the big gambling centers of Las Vegas and Atlantic City are taking in billions of dollars. Casinos rob those who play the games with them as the odds are stacked 80% to 90% in favor of the casino. Even those that do win big on occasion statistics have proven that within two years most winners have totally spent the money they won.
Proverbs 21:20 says, "There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up."
People who gamble give to the pool of money that composes great wealth. This causes them to give to the rich and as Proverbs 22:16 says "...he who gives to the rich will surely come to want." Our states are also reaping a type of "poverty" where gambling exists because it undermines the American work ethic. The result is lowered productivity, use of work time to gamble, absenteeism, high rates of business failure, and repeated non-payment of loans, mortgages and other financial obligations. Gambling is, to many, a scheme to escape labor.
Some Christians argue that gambling does no harm. However, the scripture is clear that this activity is sinful. Anytime someone is enticed to gain money at someone's else's certain loss, this is definitely not practicing the principals taught by Christ. Also, the practice of gambling takes away from the Bible's principals of economics -- working, saving and giving. Discipline and accountability for spending are ignored. Gambling preys on the weakness of others.
Let me mention here that entering free sweepstakes or drawings are not sinful as they are advertising ploys paid for by the sponsors. They use these to advertise their products while giving their customers a chance to win in a drawing. There is no gambling involved as the participants give no money for a chance to win the prize.
However, many Christians are guilty of supporting lotteries, bingo, horse racing, and even playing at the casinos. Video poker has become so popular it is now referred to as "the crack cocaine of gambling." Some do not realize the gravity of their sin. They justify gambling simply because they have needs that cannot be met through their present earned income. The Lord desires to meet those needs for them and will give them a plan for becoming debt free if they seek him and His economic principles in the Bible.
The Lord can bring deliverance to those caught in this web of compulsive gambling. Through admission of this sin and repentance God will break the bondage of it in those who desire to be set free. Gamblers need love and acceptance but they must repent in order to be free. The Lord loves those who are addicted to gambling and will help all that call upon Him for deliverance.
The above is not original with me, but I cannot remember who to give credit to.  I will happily give credit if shown the author.  Thanks, Phillip
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