by Kevin Pauley
Then he turned to his critics and asked, "Is it legal to do good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing harm? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?" But they wouldn't answer him. He looked around at them angrily, because he was deeply disturbed by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, "Reach out your hand." The man reached out his hand, and it became normal again! At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to discuss plans for killing Jesus. – Mark 3:4-6
A great tzaddik (holy person) once traveled to ( Click for more )
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these. – 2 Timothy 3:1-5
An incident in Iraq was made much of in the news. Apparently, a group of young soldiers planned ( Click for more )
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke of the Spirit… John 7:38-39a One day a group of missionaries journeyed into northern Chad in order to reach a particular group of people. The trip took them into some of the most arid and intimidating territory that brutal country has. It is said that Land Rovers and Jeeps go to this area to commit suicide. The temperatures routinely reach 120 degrees in the shade (when you can find it), so water was running short and tongues began to thicken. Concern ( Click for more )
"But now your reign will not endure. The LORD has found a man loyal to Him, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not done what the LORD commanded." - 1 Samuel 13:14 HCSB God desired a relationship with humanity. Adam and Eve messed it up and God had to kick them out of the garden but that didn’t change His overall plan to have a relationship with humanity. Two individuals were kicked out, but God’s plan for mankind continued. Elohim still sought a relationship with Man but mankind was so evil that He had to ( Click for more )
Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. - Matthew 7:21
We celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ on Christmas. But is it really His birth we should celebrate or His life? What if the Master had been born, but then took the devil up on his offer to make the stones into bread, or to seize the rule of the kingdoms of the earth, or to do some fantastically publicized but self-glorifying deed? It is because ( Click for more )
I can’t carry all these people by myself! The load is far too heavy! I’d rather you killed me than treat me like this. Please spare me this misery!” – Numbers 11:14 -15
We saw how the Israelites were condemned by God for their arrogant whining. But just nine verses later, Moses whined and got help! How can that be? Why should the Israelites get scorched and Moses get saved? As always, context is everything.
Moses had to feed, water and shelter at least three and a half million people in the middle of a desert. It would have taken five hundred tons ( Click for more )
The people soon began to complain to the Lord about their hardships; and when the Lord heard them, his anger blazed against them. Fire from the Lord raged among them and destroyed the outskirts of the camp. – Numbers 11:1
The people of Israel had just been miraculously delivered from Egypt. They had been subject to systematic racism, considered second-class citizens, not unlike the “apartheid” in South Africa. Bigotry became slavery and they were forced to build Egypt’s storehouse cities. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the pharaoh ordered the midwives ( Click for more )
“For I know the plans I have for you, “ says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
We are often reticent in our prayers because we are unsure of our standing with God. “What does He intend for me?” we ask. “What if His calling for me is to do some terrible thing, like travel to a foreign country where I will be persecuted?” “What if He wants me ( Click for more )
Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "My son, your sins are forgiven." – Mark 2:5
Jesus was back in his adopted home town called Capernaum after a quick tour of Galilee (Mark 1:35-39; Luke 4:42-44; Matthew 4:23-25). As usual, the news spread quickly that he was home and soon, the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door.
Four men arrived, carrying a paralyzed friend on a sleeping mat. Realizing that they could not approach Jesus the normal way due to the crowds, they climbed ( Click for more )
When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor. – James 4:10
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said -- "two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert ... near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lips, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words ( Click for more )
It is better to be patient than powerful; it is better to have self-control than to conquer a city. – Proverbs 16:32
Many years ago, a French company decided it was going to mine the desert. It brought in its machines, pushed aside the huge dunes building in their place an airstrip and a building complex. They hooked up huge diesel-powered generators and began digging.
But the Sahara has been around a while and is unimpressed by our civilization. After all, it has seen many human empires come and go. Like a dragon sleeping on its hoard, it jealously guards millions ( Click for more )
The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! - Isaiah 55:10-12 One day a very gifted, very skilled fiddler began playing in a park. His devotion to his music was such that ( Click for more )
The kind of fasting I want calls you to free those who are wrongly imprisoned and to stop oppressing those who work for you. Treat them fairly and give them what they earn. I want you to share your food with the hungry and to welcome poor wanderers into your homes. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. – Isaiah 58:6-7
There once lived a wealthy business man who took $1,500 (a fabulous sum in the day) to a distant city in order to conduct some business. While there, he happened to see on the street a remarkable elderly ( Click for more )
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
The work of the Son brings glory to the Father. That seems like a truism but when you put it together with what Jesus says in verse twelve, you begin to realize how important our role is in the universe. We exist to bring glory to the Father. We are to worship Him, ( Click for more )
Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise you! Psalm 63:3 A person who recognizes God’s unfailing love in his life is on his way to wisdom. He will discover that peace comes from knowing that God has his best interest at heart. He will find joy because he is now at liberty to pursue the interests that develop from his natural gifts and talents. He will be patient in that pursuit because he understands that he is immortal and has all eternity to develop his skills. He is kind to his fellow man because he can afford to be. Their petty slights are ( Click for more )
Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. - Luke 10:33-34
In the story of the Good Samaritan, we see three very distinct perspectives on life. There were the thieves who mugged the poor man, taking his things and leaving him for dead. They are like those who care nothing for the poor, but deliberately exploit them. Their view is “What’s yours is mine ( Click for more )
Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. – James 4:8a Have you ever tried to grapple a 300-pound gorilla? It would be like wrestling under water. When you push, instead of moving your opponent, you actually end up moving yourself. I understand that this same effect is found in space. Astronauts end up spending many, many hours in huge pools, trying to get used to the difference in leverage.
Unfortunately, many Christians have not learned how to use the different leverage that is found in prayer. We believe that by praying, we are going to move God to perform ( Click for more )
This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand or perform. It is not up in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go to heaven and bring it down so we can hear and obey it?’ It is not beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear and obey it?’ The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it. – Deuteronomy 30:11-14
Sometimes people come to me complaining about their struggle with sin. They talk about their ( Click for more )
And I assure you of this: If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I, the Son of Man, will openly acknowledge that person in the presence of God’s angels. But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before God’s angels. – Luke 12:8-9 A couple hundred years ago, in the southern French town of Aigues-Mortes, a young girl named Marie Durant was dragged before the court and charged with heresy. Marie was a Huguenot. She was bright, attractive and only fourteen years old. In those days, fourteen was marriageable. She was commanded to ( Click for more )
Asserting in pride and in arrogance of heart: “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with smooth stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars." Therefore the LORD raises against them adversaries – Isaiah 9:9b-11a
Ugly often works better. Though my current service dog is a pure bred Golden Labrador, some of the best dogs I have ever owned have been Heinz-57 mutts. In my experience, the best trucks are the beat up old rust pots that just never say die. The M-16A2 is a beautifully precise rifle. But if you even think ( Click for more )
“The Lord demands fairness in every business deal; he sets the standard.” – Proverbs 16:11
Quentin O’Connor, the noted lawyer, died and went to heaven. He had no sooner gotten inside the Pearly Gates when a tremendous chorus of angels began to sing gloriously in his honor. The air was filled with a golden aura, clouds of incense wafted everywhere, and approaching O’Connor was St. Peter himself.
“O’Connor,” said the celestial gatekeeper, “we have long been awaiting you. You are the first human being ever to break ( Click for more )
This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught. – Mark 1:1; Luke 1:1-4 There once was a great rabbi named Hillel who loved learning the Scriptures above all else. In his day, ( Click for more )
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. - Revelation 3:15-16 In the 18th century, smallpox was a killer. Those infected would become covered in horrible pustules and die a painful death. Those who were fortunate enough to recover were left with ugly scars called “poc marks” on their skin.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu had seen people in Turkey deliberately infect themselves with a mild form of smallpox in order to develop immunity ( Click for more )
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