Showing posts with label choices. Show all posts
Showing posts with label choices. Show all posts

28 November 2020

A Few Thoughts about Choices

Proverbs 14:12 MKJV There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end of it is the ways of death.

Our decisions seem so correct, but…

Our foolish or wrong decisions rarely lead to physical death. The Hebrew word for death is מָוֶת mâveth. This word means poetically personified death (Psalm 49:14), things that kill (Psalm 7:13), death compared to physical sleep (Psalm 13:3), a place of death as Sheol (Isaiah 38:18 and Proverbs 7:27), fatal disease (Jeremiah 15:2), and destruction (Proverbs 11:19, Proverbs 12:28, Exodus 10:15-17 (regarding the plagues of destruction)), etc. So here, it does not necessary mean physical, though it can be), but usually poor outcomes, hurt feelings, depression, loss of money, loss of joy, setbacks, others hurt, etc.

Many times, our choices result in foolish and hurtful things.

So, what do we do?

Proverbs 2:11 NLT Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. (Most translations have discretion or similar. The Hebrew word in the good sense is defined as sagacity (Strong)).

Wisdom and wise choices are related. God has good, perfect, and complete wisdom (omnisapience). His choices are based on wisdom, love, and holiness.

B1 Proverbs 3:21 ESV My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion.

B2 Proverbs 8:12 ESV I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.

B3 Romans 8:28 ESV And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

B4 Isaiah 28:29 GNB All this wisdom comes from the LORD Almighty. The plans God makes are wise, and they always succeed.

B5 James 3:17 GNB But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy.

We need to make our choices by

B1 Knowing what God commands what we must or must not do. Example: Ephesians 5:3-4 NLT Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

B2 Knowing His principles for applications of what we must do or must not do. Consider the teachings from the book of Proverbs.

B3 Knowing examples of successful and unsuccessful choices.

C1 Good choice. Learning wisdom. Luke 10:38-42 GNB As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him in her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat down at the feet of the Lord and listened to his teaching. 40 Martha was upset over all the work she had to do, so she came and said, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!" 41 The Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha! You are worried and troubled over so many things, 42 but just one is needed. Mary has chosen the right thing, and it will not be taken away from her."

C2 Bad choice. Food and the immediate over God’s blessing. Genesis 25:29-34 ESV Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) 31 Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” 32 Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

We need to ask God for help (James 1:5).

We need to wait (if we can, for impulsive choices frequently are poor choices), we need counsel from those who have made similar decisions, and we must practice doing God’s rules (to recognize wisdom from foolishness.

We need to study God’s wisdom, be taught God’s wisdom, and be tested (God does test us).

B1 Be a student.

C1 Old Testament: Romans 15:4 GNB Everything written in the Scriptures was written to teach us, in order that we might have hope through the patience and encouragement which the Scriptures give us.

C2 2 Timothy 3:16-17 GNB All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, 17 so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.

C3 Colossians 3:16 NRSV Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

B2 Be taught. Psalms 119:130 LITV The entering of Your Word gives light, giving discernment to the simple.

B3 Be tested. Philip had been taught already but the teaching and deeds of the Lord Jesus. John 6:5-7 NLT Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!

Be Humble

B1 We need to acknowledge that we made a poor choice.

B2 We need to ask forgiveness if it violates a law.

B3 We need to repay what might have been lost by others.

B4 We need to remember our mistake, error, poor choice, etc. so we don’t do it again and warn others.

B5 We need to believe we are forgiven, for God says so.


B1 Learn from mistakes: Proverbs 26:11 GNB A fool doing some stupid thing a second time is like a dog going back to its vomit.

B2 Don’t brood over past mistakes: Philippians 3:13 ICB Brothers, I know that I have not yet reached that goal. But there is one thing I always do: I forget the things that are past. I try as hard as I can to reach the goal that is before me.

B3 We may fail, but we must continue. Proverbs 24:16 LEB For seven times the righteous will fall, but he will rise, but the wicked will be overthrown by calamity.

B4 The more we learn from Scriptures, the more we can avoid poor choices. We learn, we apply, we sense a poor choice. Proverbs 14:16 NLT The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.

B5 God does help us. Psalms 54:4 GW God is my helper! The Lord is the provider for my life.

B6 We must have an attitude that today we must live a Christian life: Ephesians 5:15-17 GW So then, be very careful how you live. Don't live like foolish people but like wise people. 16 Make the most of your opportunities because these are evil days. 17 So don't be foolish, but understand what the Lord wants.

B7 The Scriptures are our truth and wisdom. The more we know; the more we can make a wise choice. Psalms 119:105 GNB Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path.

04 October 2019

Job and His Suffering Part 3 + 21 Tips on Finding Good Advice

B1 F. B. Meyer summarizes Elihu well:
The controversy between Job and his counselors is now at an end. They have failed in making out their case; but before God Himself takes up the argument there is another side of the case to be presented by the fervid life of a younger generation. The name Elihu means, “My God is He.” He had preserved a respectful silence while his elders were speaking; but he was so conscious of the uprising of the divine that he could refrain no longer.
Elihu was greatly indignant, first with Job for not justifying God, Job 32:2; and then with his friends for their inability to cope with him, Job 32:5. But in addition to these criticisms, he has some positive contribution to make to the debate, and must needs make it. Silence is golden, but there is a time to speak. Be sure in inbreathe the Spirit of God as one long imprisoned in a close chamber inhales the breath of the salt sea. Do not speak, as John Woolman says, beyond the divine openings.
B2 Job’s errors, according to Elihu, are assuming that God is doing this, He is your enemy, and you are without sin. Job 33:9-11 NLT You said, 'I am pure; I am without sin; I am innocent; I have no guilt. God is picking a quarrel with me, and he considers me his enemy. He puts my feet in the stocks and watches my every move.
C1 This is descriptive, not prescriptive. This is applied to Job and the situation he is experiencing. It is not meant for all people who suffer.
C2 Truth is important. Job and the 3 friends also missed that fact.
C3 When horrible things happen, we need to ask why. Seriously, we will ask why, but we need to ask why. It seems (I’m probably wrong) there are 3 possibilities.
D1 I made a bad decision, and the consequences were not good. Perhaps, I text while driving, have an accident, and my family and I are injured. I can’t blame God for my own poor choice.
D2 Someone else made a bad choice, and the consequences were not good. Perhaps, someone else is texting while driving, has an accident, and my family and I are injured. I can’t blame God for someone else’s poor choice. There are those who blame God, though, by claiming that He could have prevented it, but God is not a micromanager. He gives us choice. In our history of Job, God allows us to see behind the scenes. There, we see satan making a poor decision, and as a result many suffered. Satan did not have to do this evil; he chose to.
D3 It is the result of living in a cursed world.
C4 Applying the 3 possibilities to Job’s situation:
D1 Did Job made a bad choice? If so, there is nothing to indicate this, yet his 3 friends(?) thought he had. Maybe we should say assumed that Job made a bad decision (did evil).
D2 Did someone else make a bad choice? This is the most reasonable, because all the tragedies happened in a very short time.
D3 Regarding the third choice, it is difficult to find this reasonable, since all the tragedies happened in a short time. Job 1:13 (one day) and Job 2:1 (one day).
C5 A few verses on making decisions (judgment) and truth
D1 The advice of the Lord Jesus, so this is a rule for us today: John 7:24 GW Stop judging by outward appearance! Instead, judge correctly.
D2 A principle, but not an interpretation of this passage, is to be looking for for the reason. We don’t need details other than what is offered and to clarify what is said. 1 Samuel 16:7 GW But the LORD told Samuel, "Don't look at his appearance or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see. Humans look at outward appearances, but the LORD looks into the heart.
E1 Job’s outward situation was considered by the friends, but not Job’s attitudes or motives. These three friends(?) had nothing reasonable to base their decision.
E2 Appearances can be deceptive.
E3 The example of good decisions and judgment is found in Messiah Jesus: Isaiah 11:2-5 GW The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of advice and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the LORD.  3  He will gladly bear the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear.  4  He will judge the poor justly. He will make fair decisions for the humble people on earth. He will strike the earth with a rod from his mouth. He will kill the wicked with the breath from his lips.  5  Justice will be the belt around his waist. Faithfulness will be the belt around his hips.
C6 This is something for us to remember in difficult times: Job 34:12 NLT Truly, God will not do wrong. The Almighty will not twist justice.
C7 Elihu points out an wrong attitude in Job. We must learn, for we tend to have this very same attitude: Job 34:37 NLT For you have added rebellion to your sin; you show no respect, and you speak many angry words against God.
C8 All of God’s decisions are based on truth, wisdom, and love. He does not make decisions to gain something or to prove His sovereignty and great power (He is King of the Universe).
C9 When faced with horrible situations, we must rest in God, confide to true friends, and seek counsel from those Christians who are wise.
C10 Some tips for seeking wise advice:
D1 Many will claim to be wise or be promoted to be wise, but are they?
D2 What has been the results of their advice?
D3 How has their decision helped the victim spiritually, emotionally, and physically?
D4 How have others been helped by this person’s advice?
D5 Do they practice what they preach?
D6 Avoid those seeking to sell something or to influence one to buy anything.
D7 Do they give advice based on truth, wisdom, and love?
D8 Do they belittle, scoff, not listen, seek intimate details? If so avoid them.
D9 Do they truly understand?
D10 Have they experienced anything similar?
D11 Do they seek to overpower you or control you? If so, avoid them.
D12 Do they admit they are not perfect, that they have made mistakes? Or, to they put on an air that they would never do something like that?
D13 Don’t just seek advice from one age group. Ask someone older or younger. You might be surprised at what they can offer.
D14 Don’t assume that an “expert” is the best counselor. As a nurse, I learned from aides, patients, patient’s family, visitors, etc. even though supposedly, I was the expert.
D15 Sometimes we do need professional help. This is especially true for any type of emotional, spiritual, or other type trauma.
D16 Are they telling you what your decision must be? If so, avoid them. A advice counselor is to help someone make a better and informed decision.
D17 Just because someone is a pastor or religious leader doesn’t guarantee that the advice is the best.
D18 Are they pressuring you to make a decision right now? Avoid those people.
D19 Do they offer a starting step? Good counselors will offer some steps leading to a better decision.
D20 Do they clarify what you are saying? You need to make sure they understand you.
D21 Seek multiple trusted people for advice, not just your friends.

03 October 2019

Job and His Suffering Part 2

B1 This long section is the advice(?) of Job’s 3 friends(?) and Job’s replies to them.
B2 Basically, they accuse Job of great sin that has been hidden from everyone except God. God is now punishing Job for his evil. Job needs to confess his sin and get right with God.
C1 The grief and emotional burden of Job: Job 3:24-26 GNB Instead of eating, I mourn, and I can never stop groaning. 25 Everything I fear and dread comes true. 26 I have no peace, no rest, and my troubles never end.
C2 The “abuse the victim” starts with Eliphaz: Job 4:7-11 GNB Think back now. Name a single case where someone righteous met with disaster. 8 I have seen people plow fields of evil and plant wickedness like seed; now they harvest wickedness and evil. 9 Like a storm, God destroys them in his anger. 10 The wicked roar and growl like lions, but God silences them and breaks their teeth. 11 Like lions with nothing to kill and eat, they die, and all their children are scattered.
C3 These friends(?) are victim-shaming. The Lord Jesus addresses this here: Luke 13:1-4 GNB At that time some people were there who told Jesus about the Galileans whom Pilate had killed while they were offering sacrifices to God. 2 Jesus answered them, "Because those Galileans were killed in that way, do you think it proves that they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3 No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did. 4 What about those eighteen people in Siloam who were killed when the tower fell on them? Do you suppose this proves that they were worse than all the other people living in Jerusalem? 
D1 Just because bad things happen to good people (this said in human terms, not God’s definition), does not mean that they deserve it, did something that caused it, or God is punishing them.
D2 Good things happen to evil people as well.
D3 A rather long passage, but it explains the feelings of one who is a believer and observe evil people having it good in life. Psalms 73:1-15 GNB God is indeed good to Israel, to those who have pure hearts. 2 But I had nearly lost confidence; my faith was almost gone 3 because I was jealous of the proud when I saw that things go well for the wicked. 4 They do not suffer pain; they are strong and healthy. 5 They do not suffer as other people do; they do not have the troubles that others have. 6 And so they wear pride like a necklace and violence like a robe; 7 their hearts pour out evil, and their minds are busy with wicked schemes. 8 They laugh at other people and speak of evil things; they are proud and make plans to oppress others. 9 They speak evil of God in heaven and give arrogant orders to everyone on earth, 10 so that even God's people turn to them and eagerly believe whatever they say. 11 They say, "God will not know; the Most High will not find out." 12 That is what the wicked are like. They have plenty and are always getting more. 13 Is it for nothing, then, that I have kept myself pure and have not committed sin? 14 O God, you have made me suffer all day long; every morning you have punished me. 15 If I had said such things, I would not be acting as one of your people.
D4 Nevertheless, he understood something that we can learn: Psalms 73:16-28 GNB I tried to think this problem through, but it was too difficult for me 17 until I went into your Temple. Then I understood what will happen to the wicked. 18 You will put them in slippery places and make them fall to destruction! 19 They are instantly destroyed; they go down to a horrible end. 20 They are like a dream that goes away in the morning; when you rouse yourself, O Lord, they disappear. 21 When my thoughts were bitter and my feelings were hurt, 22 I was as stupid as an animal; I did not understand you. 23 Yet I always stay close to you, and you hold me by the hand. 24 You guide me with your instruction and at the end you will receive me with honor. 25 What else do I have in heaven but you? Since I have you, what else could I want on earth? 26 My mind and my body may grow weak, but God is my strength; he is all I ever need. 27 Those who abandon you will certainly perish; you will destroy those who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, how wonderful to be near God, to find protection with the Sovereign LORD and to proclaim all that he has done! 
C4 A few more quotes from his friends(?):
D1 Bildad speaking to Job. “Job you are evil to the core, and your children, too. God punished those bastards as they deserved.” Job 8:1-7 GNB (1-2) Are you finally through with your windy speech? 3 God never twists justice; he never fails to do what is right. 4 Your children must have sinned against God, and so he punished them as they deserved. 5 But turn now and plead with Almighty God; 6 if you are so honest and pure, then God will come and help you and restore your household as your reward. 7 All the wealth you lost will be nothing compared with what God will give you then.
D2 Zophar’s turn to revictimize. Look at his poor judgment. Let us learn, O Lord, not to do this! Job 11:1-5 GNB (1-2) Will no one answer all this nonsense? Does talking so much put you in the right? 3 Job, do you think we can't answer you? That your mocking words will leave us speechless? 4 You claim that what you say is true; you claim you are pure in the sight of God. 5 How I wish God would answer you! 
D2 Eliphaz again: Job 22:4-5 GNB It is not because you stand in awe of God that he reprimands you and brings you to trial. 5 No, it's because you have sinned so much; it's because of all the evil you do.
C5 Job speaks, but they do not believe. Victims experience the same much too often. We need to listen and to believe. Always start there.
C6 Job finally appeals to God, “Why, are you doing this to me.” Job knows he did nothing to deserve this.
C7 Read this and sense the Job’s pain at this revictimization. Job 16:1-8 GNB (1-2) I have heard words like that before; the comfort you give is only torment. 3 Are you going to keep on talking forever? Do you always have to have the last word? 4 If you were in my place and I in yours, I could say everything you are saying. I could shake my head wisely and drown you with a flood of words. 5 I could strengthen you with advice and keep talking to comfort you. 6 But nothing I say helps, and being silent does not calm my pain. 7 You have worn me out, God; you have let my family be killed. 8 You have seized me; you are my enemy. I am skin and bones, and people take that as proof of my guilt.
B3 Some things to learn
C1 God does not victimize. He does punish, but He does not victimize. He does not abuse. He hates abuse. Psalm 11:5 NIV The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.
C2 God hates those who plan evil: Micah 2:1 NIV Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning's light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it.
C3 satan and those who follow his ways will be punished:
D1 Revelation 20:10 GNB Then the Devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had already been thrown; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
D2 Revelation 20:14-15 GNB Then death and the world of the dead were thrown into the lake of fire. (This lake of fire is the second death.) 15 Those who did not have their name written in the book of the living were thrown into the lake of fire.
D3 Revelation 21:8 GNB But cowards, traitors, perverts, murderers, the immoral, those who practice magic, those who worship idols, and all liars—the place for them is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
C4 Here is a warning from God. If you are an abuser, God will deal with you. If, like Job’s friends(?), you do this in ignorance, then repent. God knows that abusers fake repentance. Beware. Proverbs 6:16 GNB (16-19) There are seven things that the LORD hates and cannot tolerate: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people, a mind that thinks up wicked plans, feet that hurry off to do evil, a witness who tells one lie after another, and someone who stirs up trouble among friends. 
B4 As Christians we can practice these principles:
C1 Speak truth (Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
C2 Listen (Proverbs 18:13)
C3 Be slow to speak and  slow to anger (James 1:19)
C4 Be understanding (Proverbs 20:5, John 7:24)
C5 Give encouragement (Hebrews 3:13)
C6 Have fellowship (Hebrews 10:25) This would include the idea of a support group
C7 Ask for wisdom (Psalm 16:7)
C8 Asking appropriate questions (Proverbs 20:5) This would include open questions
C9 Clarifying This would include paraphrasing (restating what the speaker said using different words) and summarizing (repeating the main points of the speaker)
C10 Show compassion (Colossians 3:12)
C11 Give wise answers (1 Peter 3:15)

02 October 2019

Job and His Suffering Part 1

What we can learn about suffering today.
A 4 part series:
B1 Job and his sufferingbehind the scenes Job 1:1-
B2 Job and his sufferingEliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar respond Job 4:1-31:40
B3 Job and his sufferingElihu responds Job 32:1-37:24
B4 Job and his sufferingGod responds Job 38:1-42:17
Some questions answered
B1 Why do good people suffer?
B2 Why does God allow suffering?
B3 Why do friends abuse the victim?
B4 Why
B5 Why it is important to know the truth. Assumption can be dangerous.

A1 Job Part 1behind the scenes Job 1:1-3:26

B1 Job is blessed. He is blessed spiritually and emotionally, with health, wealth, and wisdom. He is blessed with a good wife, many children, and many friends. He is blessed to know God, have fellowship with God, not physically, but spiritually. He understood about sin, judgment, punishment, and substitution (a sacrifice). He knew the King of the Universe!
C1 Treasure of salvation (deliverance from God’s wrath): Psalm 3:8 CSB Salvation belongs to the LORD; may your blessing be on your people. Selah 
C2 Treasures of material wealth. God does not guarantee material wealth, but all believers can have spiritual wealth.
D1 Proverbs 10:22 NET The blessing from the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow to it. 
D2 Matthew 6:20 CSB "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.
C3 Treasures of having the fear of the Lord (salvation), wisdom, and knowledge: Isaiah 33:6 NLT In that day he will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the LORD will be your treasure.
C4 Spiritual treasures from doing the will of God: 2 Corinthians 6:10 NLT Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
C5 Treasures of assurance and the knowledge of Messiah: Colossians 2:2-3 WEL That their hearts may be comforted by being knit together in love and into the all the riches of the full assurance of understanding, into the full knowledge of the mystery of God and of the Father and of Christ 3 In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
B2 The devil, satan, having access to heaven slanders Job and blasphemes God’s character by claiming that God has made Job secure and successful and that is the only reason that Job worships and serves God.
B3 Two times satan requests God to curse Job. God refuses but does allow satan to do so.
C1 satan did not have to afflict Job, instigate murder, theft, loss of possessions, etc. satan wanted to do this in his hate for God and for those who serve God.
D1 satan and his followers are liars and murders. Have you ever noted how many people believe the answer to a problem is murder. We see this in abortion to murders at work, at events, at school, at home, etc. John 8:44 NET You people are from your father the devil, and you want to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.
D2 An evil heart leads to evil thoughts which lead to evil actions: Matthew 15:19 WEL For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. 
D3 satan loves to oppose God’s work and God’s people: Zechariah 3:1 LEB And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Yahweh; and Satan was standing on his right to accuse him.
D4 satan loves to pretend he is god, so shows himself as angel of light, which is deceptive, seductive, and disastrous to anyone. This is why we must know God and His character traits well. His followers also will pretend to be real apostles. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NIV For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
C2 Why did God allow satan the opportunity to hurt Job, kill his family, cause a loss of all his goods?
D1 God did not want this to happen. It was not His decreed will; it was His will.
D2 Evil
E1 Evil is the absence of good.
E2 Evil is a punishment. Adam was warned by God not to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam did not believe God. Because of Adam’s sin, the world was cursed.
E3 Some evils that happen to us are from our bad choices.
E4 Some evils that happen to us are from another’s bad choices.
E5 Some evils that happen to us are from the curse on the universe, as hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, etc.
E6 Some evils are because satan hates anything good, so he wants to cause pain and affliction. You can see this very thing in abusers. It doesn’t make any difference what kind of abusers. The abusers may be a pastor (pastoral abuse), domestic abuse of all types, parental abuse, child abuse, etc. Note how narcissists, psychopaths, and others do evil. They are doing the evil that satan loves. If you are an abuser, pastor, spouse, parent, boss, leader, whatever, you are doing satan’s will, and you will go to hell to be tormented for eternity.
D3 God allowed it. Why?
E1 The universe is cursed. A promised time is coming when
F1 Revelation 21:3-5 CSB Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God's dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.  Then the one seated on the throne said, "Look, I am making everything new." He also said, "Write, because these words are faithful and true.
F2 2 Peter 3:13 LEB But according to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness resides.
F3 Revelation 22:3 NIV No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.
E2 God is not a micro-manager as some Calvinists teach. WCF III 1. God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass...  Read the confession. Read it in context. God ordained whatever comes to pass including sending most humans to hell to roast and barbecue for eternity without ever having a chance to repent.
F1 Do words mean anything? Doesn’t God always tell the truth. God says this to the prophet: 1 Chronicles 21:10 NET Go, tell David, 'This is what the LORD says: "I am offering you three forms of judgment from which to choose. Pick one of them.
F2 From a real offer choice that was spurned: Proverbs 1:29-31 NET Because they hated moral knowledge, and did not choose to fear the LORD, they did not comply with my advice, they spurned all my rebuke. Therefore they will eat from the fruit of their way, and they will be stuffed full of their own counsel.
E3 Sometimes we can look back at a bad choice we made, even after praying for God to help us to not make a wrong choice.
F1 There may have been warning signs that we ignored.
F2 The warning signs were new and unknown to us, so we didn’t recognize them. This is a good reason to be aware.
G3 Some abusers are very subtle. They want to deceive. If one has any gut feeling that all is not good, they should leave the relationship.
G5 The actions of love, real love as defined by God. How do WE measure? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is very patient and kind; love is not envious; love doesn’t brag about itself, is not haughty, 5 Doesn’t behave improperly, is not self-seeking; love isn’t easily aggravated, doesn’t keep a list of wrongs, 6 Doesn’t rejoice in injustice, but rejoices in the truth, 7 Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, calmly endures all things. 8 Love never ends...
B4 We must know that Job did not give up the faith. Quite a number of people leave Christianity over abuse, thinking that God could have prevented this. Why didn’t God do this for you or me? I don’t know. But, I do know that if we have a commitment to God, persecution will not cause us to permanently give up the faith.
B5 Please read Job chapter 3, for it shows the utter, total personal experience of spiritual, emotional, and physical pain. His words have been repeated many times throughout history, though most would not recognize.
B6 Pain is real. If you are suffering, find someone who will really listen without interruption, offering unasked advice, and someone who is protective of your character.
B7 Hebrews 10:25 LEB not abandoning our meeting together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging each other, and by so much more as you see the day drawing near. 
B8 Romans 12:15 NET Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 
B9 James 1:19 CSB My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,
B10 Proverbs 18:13 GW Whoever gives an answer before he listens is stupid and shameful.
B11 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NET Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

07 February 2019

Two Kingdoms, Two Gods

1 John 5:19 NRSV We know that we are God's children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one.


We are living in a world with two kingdoms.
B1 Devil’s
C1 1 John 5:19 NRSV We know that we are God's children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one.
C2 Matthew 12:26 NRSV If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?
B2 God’s
C1 1 Chronicles 29:11 CSB Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to you. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom, and you are exalted as head over all.
C2 Psalm 45:6 CSB Your throne, God, is forever and ever; the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice.
C3 Psalm 145:13 CSB Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; your rule is for all generations. The LORD is faithful in all his words and gracious in all his actions.
C4 Matthew 26:64 CSB You have said it," Jesus told him. "But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.

Characteristics of the two kingdoms

B1 Devil’s
C1 Hates God. Reason? God reveals to them that they are evil and are doing evil in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. John 7:7 NRSV The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil.
C2 Refuse God’s leadership and kingship (This is from the Parable of the Ten Talents): Luke 19:14 GNB Now, his own people hated him, and so they sent messengers after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.'
C3 Hate Christians: John 17:14 NRSV I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
C4 In darkness and the power of satan: Acts 26:18 NRSV to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
C5 Evil desires for fleshly happiness and satisfaction, what we see will our eyes (I want ____ fill in the blank), pride, financial riches and goods: 1 John 2:15-17 NRSV Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; 16 for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.
C6 Claims all the kingdoms of the world: Matthew 4:8-10 NRSV Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9 and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." 10 Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! for it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.
B2 God’s
C1 Truth (reality)
D1 John 14:17 GW That helper is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it doesn't see or know him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be in you.
D2 Titus 1:2 WEL In hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began.
C2 An abandonment of the world system, lifestyle, and desires for what God wants and loves: 1 John 2:15-17 NRSV Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; 16 for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.
C3 God, Yahweh, is greater in every conceivable way. He overcomes all enemies. We are now not of the world as our King is not of this world’s system and kingdom. We are God’s children. Rebirthed by the work of the Holy Spirit. We have and follow the Spirit of Truth. 1 John 4:4-6 NRSV Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
C4 Wins the conflict over the devil: John 12:31 NRSV Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.

Two Kings

B1 Devil
C1 A murderer from the beginning (of creation) who is unable to tell the truth: John 8:44 GW You come from your father, the devil, and you desire to do what your father wants you to do. The devil was a murderer from the beginning. He has never been truthful. He doesn't know what the truth is. Whenever he tells a lie, he's doing what comes naturally to him. He's a liar and the father of lies.
C2 Blinds people to truth, God, and Gospel: 2 Corinthians 4:4 NRSV In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
C3 Brought death to the world, through, Adam’s sin: Hebrews 2:14-15 NRSV Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.
C4 Deceiver: Revelation 20:7-8 NRSV When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, in order to gather them for battle; they are as numerous as the sands of the sea.
C5 Enslaves people and totally controls them: Matthew 8:28-29 GW When he arrived in the territory of the Gadarenes on the other side of the Sea of Galilee, two men met him. They were possessed by demons and had come out of the tombs. No one could travel along that road because the men were so dangerous. 29 They shouted, "Why are you bothering us now, Son of God? Did you come here to torture us before it is time?"
C6 Pretends to be holy: 2 Corinthians 11:14 NRSV And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
B2 God
C1 Destroys satan: Hebrews 2:14-15 NRSV Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.
C2 Casts out satan: Matthew 12:26-28 NRSV If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27 If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
C3 Declares believers to be His children (we are adopted): Romans 8:16 NRSV it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
C4 Prays for us:
D1 For deliverance from satan: John 17:15 NRSV I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.
D2 Romans 8:34 NRSV Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
C5 Gives us victory: 1 Corinthians 15:57 NRSV But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
C6 God loves us, so He will come back for us: John 14:28 GW You heard me tell you, 'I'm going away, but I'm coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I'm going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am.

Two Decisions

B1 Resist God
C1 John 5:39-40 WEL Search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, and they are the very ones that testify about me. 40 You are not willing to come to me, that you might have life.
C2 Luke 13:34 NKJV O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!
B2 Believe God
C1 God, Yahweh, rescues, transfers, redeems, and forgives us from the devil’s kingdom, power, and sin to the kingdom of Jesus, the beloved Son, Colossians 1:13-14 NRSV He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
C2 John 14:1 GW Don't be troubled. Believe in God, and believe in me.

Two Outcomes

B1 Of the Devil’s Kingdom (those who do not believe God):
C1 Revelation 20:10 NRSV And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
C2 Matthew 25:41, 46 CSB Then he will also say to those on the left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels! ... "And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
B2 Of God’s Kingdom (those who believe)
C1 Daniel 7:18 CSB But the holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess it forever, yes, forever and ever.
C2 1 Peter 1:3-4 CSB Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.
C3 John 3:15-16 WPNT so that everyone who believes into Him should not be wasted but should have eternal life. Because God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes into Him should not be wasted but should have eternal life.

2 Corinthians 6:2 WEB for he says, “At an acceptable time I listened to you, in a day of salvation I helped you.”Behold, now is the acceptable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:2 GNB Hear what God says: "When the time came for me to show you favor, I heard you; when the day arrived for me to save you, I helped you." Listen! This is the hour to receive God's favor; today is the day to be saved!

Today is the day to be saved!

Matthew 25:41, 46 CSB - "Then he will also say to those on the left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels! ... "And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."