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The Way

    by Kevin Pauley

May 23, 2023

Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit…You have not lied to men but to God. And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last. Acts 5:3-5a There’s an old Jewish midrash out of Tanna d’Bei Eliyahu about Abraham and his father, Terah. It says that Abraham’s father, Terah, was an idol worshipper. In fact, he owned a shop where people could buy idols of whatever god they chose to worship. One day, Terah had to go somewhere and he left Abraham in charge. Abraham had doubted the power of these idols for a while,…  ( Click for more )

He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him. – John 14:21

A man approached a tzaddick, wanting to be reassured that he was on the right path. When the elder gently pointed out sins that the young man was contentedly living with, he answered, “Yeah, I know that those are probably sins, but I attend church, I provide for my wife and I don’t steal. So, I think that in the end God will accept me.”

The tzaddik was nonplussed by this…  ( Click for more )

May 9, 2023

“The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. Yes ask anything in my name, and I will do it!” John 14:12-14

Did you notice that a couple elements are necessary for us to receive answers to our prayers? The first is that the Lord had to return to the Father. Jesus said He had to go so that we could receive the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s role…  ( Click for more )

May 2, 2023

“Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise You!” Psalm 63:3 There are few things in life that are more irritating than a spoiled brat. We hate hearing that whining tone from our kids. So, why do we use the same tone with God? He gives us so much. How grateful are we? Every time something comes along that we don’t particularly care for, we murmur and complain. “Why me?” we ask. We develop negative attitudes and wonder why we haven’t heard from God lately. We should be grateful for anything we get. We were the ones…  ( Click for more )

April 25, 2023

The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: - Matthew 1:1 A tzaddik was called to be the elder of a wealthy church in a large metropolitan city. Shortly after his arrival, some of the more prominent members invited him to lunch. Hoping to impress their new elder, they each began listing their various exalted positions within the social strata of that great city. As the conversation progressed, they started discussing their heritage. “My ancestors came over on the Mayflower” claimed one. “I list Robert the Bruce as…  ( Click for more )

April 18, 2023

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…A time to keep and a time to throw away. - Ecclesiastes 3:1,6 Most people think of hippopotami as fat, lumbering, slow, inoffensive creatures. But they can actually be very fast and very dangerous. They can become a serious problem when humans and hippos try to share the same space.

Many years ago in the country of Chad, a hippo had been kicked out of its territory by other hippos. It decided to take up residence in an area of the river where the villagers swam, washed…  ( Click for more )

April 11, 2023

He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be stripped of everything when I die. The Lord gave me everything I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21 Once, a fox discovered a vineyard. It was completely enclosed by a wall, except for one small hole. When the fox tried to enter the hole, he discovered he could not. It was too small. So he decided to fast for three days until he became thin enough to enter through the hole. He began fasting and, after three days, was scrawny enough to make it. He entered the…  ( Click for more )

Why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? Matthew 7:3 A man went to his doctor for a physical examination. The doctor gave him an initial exam and then sent him to five other physicians, who checked him out in their areas of specialty. A week later, the man returned for a report on the results.

Sitting behind his desk, the doctor fingered several sheets of reports, lingering over a few pages. Finally, he closed the manila folder and reported, “You are in fine shape – your heart, your lungs, all those things are in…  ( Click for more )

March 28, 2023

…they are without excuse. - Romans 1:20 We are all skilled in the art of making excuses. We try to obtain exemption or release for what we know we should have done. Excuses are offered by the very young for failure to do household chores. As children grow older, they are confronted by more situations in life which often require excuses; such as being late or failing to do one's homework. Adults find it necessary to offer excuses for being late to work, or being late in paying bills, or forgetting appointments. We have heard most of the excuses; they are all too familiar.…  ( Click for more )

March 21, 2023

“If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me.” Jeremiah 29:13 How many times have you tried to pray only to find yourself thinking of something else instead? How many times have you caught yourself asleep when you intended to meditate? We are so easily distracted. We are like babies whose eyes follow whatever is moving without true understanding. A fly buzzes and we are distracted from our conversation with the Sovereign God. A drip from a faucet can ruin our meditation.

God promises that in the great game of hide and seek He will be…  ( Click for more )

March 14, 2023

He said to another person, “Come, be my disciple.” The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” Jesus replied, “Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead. Your duty is to go and preach the coming of the Kingdom of God.” Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:59-62) Have you ever noticed how often…  ( Click for more )

March 7, 2023

Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” - Jeremiah 31:3 They say hind sight is 20/20. We look back on our lives and see God at work. Those situations that we thought would be the end of us turned out to be our finest hour. Those people that we mistakenly thought were our best friends or the loves of our lives, ended up being jerks. We were heartbroken when we lost them and shook our little fists at God and cried “Why, God? Why are you doing this to me?”…  ( Click for more )

February 28, 2023

Do not brag that you are better than those branches. But if you do brag--you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you. Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." True enough; they were broken off by unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either. - Romans 11:18-21 HCSB

Sometimes, people will suggest that if they leave a church, that church will not function. They feel that theirs is the only way and are threatened by what…  ( Click for more )

February 21, 2023

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. – Colossians 2:8 There once was a man who was so lazy he would scarcely roll out of bed. One day he sat under a tree on the edge of the savannah and watched all the antelope go by. He wished he had one to eat but he couldn’t be bothered to actually get up and shoot, for he felt it was simply too hot. But as he continued to sit, he observed a cheetah on the prowl.…  ( Click for more )

February 14, 2023

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. – Revelation 3:20

There are few activities that are more intimate, more bonding than sharing a meal with someone. Inviting them in, serving them, sharing your resources with them, eating with them, swapping stories, learning from each other – no wonder that hospitality is one of the qualities actually required of church elders! (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; 1 Peter 4:9)

I would however like to take a slightly…  ( Click for more )

February 7, 2023
…You will tell people about me everywhere…to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 When man was first created, he was given a command intended for each succeeding generation. Men were to be fruitful and multiply and, while filling the earth, subdue it to the service of God (Genesis 1:28). After mankind’s depravity pushed God to destroy them with a cataclysmic flood, He reiterated to Noah His wish for us to fill the planet in Genesis 9:1. Instead, man decided in Genesis 11:4 to build a city and a tower whose top would reach the sky so that they would not be scattered…  ( Click for more )
January 31, 2023

Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

A small fish caught in a net said to the fisherman, “I am too little to be a good meal. Even if you boil me or roast me – I won’t be enough to truly satisfy your hunger for long. Let me go and keep growing. I promise to return to you two years from now. You will find me in this same spot, large and seven times as fat. If you wait till then to eat me, it will be like a great feast in your house, and…  ( Click for more )

I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds. - Psalm 77:11-12 We instinctively know that listening is an important marital skill. In an unsuccessful marriage, both individuals are constantly talking “at” each other. They announce their needs, their desires and complaints when they should be sharing their needs. To share means there must be some listening going on. Listening is also necessary in our devotional lives. We need to set aside time when we listen TO God and…  ( Click for more )

January 17, 2023
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord. – Lamentations 3:25-26 A contractor recently stood before our city’s council and presented his petition. He started out well; being clean-cut, well dressed and well spoken. But the answer to his request was delayed. It was not denied - simply delayed. The politeness drained out of him like dishwater through a colander. It was truly astonishing to witness. Instead of acknowledging that he had presented his request too late to appear…  ( Click for more )
January 10, 2023
"Leave this work on the house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. Moreover, I issue a decree concerning what you are to do for these elders of Judah in the rebuilding of this house of God: the full cost is to be paid to these people from the royal treasury out of the taxes of the provinces beyond the River, and that without delay.” - Ezra 6:7-8 As we saw in the previous blog, “Acceptable Worship,” God had Cyrus order the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. The Jews obeyed, returned…  ( Click for more )
January 3, 2023
“You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves will together build to the Lord God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia has commanded us.” - Ezra 4:3 Around 537 BC, King Cyrus issued a decree to rebuild God’s temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1). The Jews, who had been taken into Babylonian captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar years earlier, gathered and returned to Israel, each to their own city. They went back through the records and determined who among them were qualified to be priests (Ezra 2). Then with huge fanfare, they…  ( Click for more )
December 27, 2022

How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the LORD's instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. - Psalm 1:1-3 HCSB

Adonaists (those who worship Christ as Lord, Adonai) believe that the practice of meditation is advocated in the Scriptures. The vast majority of Scriptural teaching on the practice of meditation being found…  ( Click for more )

December 20, 2022
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” - Matthew 11:15 I am slowly and inexorably going deaf. I finally admitted this a couple of years ago. I got tired of pretending to hear what people were saying; tired of people getting aggravated with me because I simply nodded and smiled when I failed to catch what they had said, and then didn’t show up when I was supposed to. My wife ended up being the deciding factor. “You’re hard of hearing.” She explained as though to a child. “You need hearing aids. It’s not the end of the world.”…  ( Click for more )
December 13, 2022

(Elohim – The Strong One) In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth. The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of Elohim was hovering over its surface. Then Elohim said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And Elohim saw that it was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. Elohim called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” Together these made up one day. - Genesis 1:1-5 Does the sum total of our purchases actually produce happiness? We are assured by the marketing…  ( Click for more )

December 6, 2022

"Leave this work on the house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. Moreover, I issue a decree concerning what you are to do for these elders of Judah in the rebuilding of this house of God: the full cost is to be paid to these people from the royal treasury out of the taxes of the provinces beyond the River, and that without delay.” - Ezra 6:7-8 God had Cyrus order the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. The Jews obeyed, returned to Israel, chose priests, established the altar and began to…  ( Click for more )

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