Category Archives: Perspective

Attributes of Good Soldiers

  • Experience warriors (1 Chron. 12:2)
    • Practical insight and exposure to warfare
  • Expert with shields & spears (12:8)
    • Expert with the shield of Faith & the spear of Prayer
  • Fierce as lions (12:8)
    • powerful, aggressive, violent, forceful, and not wimpy
  • Swift as deer on the mountains (12:8)
    • quick to listen, instantaneous in action, rapid response
  • The weakest could take on 100 regular troops (12:14)
    • leader perhaps a captain
  • The strongest could take on 1000 regular troops (12:14)
    • leader perhaps a general
  • Others were fully armed and prepared for battle and completely loyal to David (12:33)
    • state of readiness, faithful, true, and devoted
  • The spirit came upon the leader of the 30 (12:18)
    • filled with the Holy Spirit
  • They were all brave and able warriors who became commanders in his army (12:21)
    • lionhearted, courageous, and valiant
  • They were all eager to see David become king (12:30)
    • enthusiastic 
  • Came with a single purpose of making David the king over all Israel
    • focused
  • All prepared for battle armed with shields and spears (12:35, 37)
    • in a state of readiness with faith and prayer
  • Each was highly respected in his one clan
    • admired and honored
  • Some understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take (12:32)
    • wisdom and discernment

What can God Do with Ordinary Men?

 

Ordinary Life

What can the military do with Ordinary Young men?

How many of you knew everything you needed to know about the military before you enlisted?

What did you learn about the military?

What were some of the things that you had to do before you could graduate and become a warrior?

After you became a warrior were you ready for service?

What else did you have to do before you were able to be a bonafid true warrior?

Think of what the military was able to do with you in a short amount of time, and then for those who made a career out of it the true warriors understand that it is the process of becoming.

So what can God do with an ordinary man?

Examples:

A child born of slaves, murderer and given to fits of rage (Moses)

A person who lacked confidence in his ability to rule (King Saul)

A runt (David)

A dreamer (Joseph)

The servant and follower of Moses (Joshua)

The impulsive one (Peter)

The mean and overzealous one (Paul)

So what can God do with you?

What gifts has He given you?

What is your purpose?

What training has He put you through?

Did you graduate?

Are you really ready for the role of warrior?

What have you learned about your role as warrior?

How’s your weapons?

Do you have a full complement of arms to deal with your adversary?

Are you skill in using the provided weapons that you have?

How are you at close order combat?

Do you really know how to use your shield

Are you skilled at using your sword

How well verse are you in using the spear

Those shoes of the gospel, have you led someone to Christ, or told someone about the good news of Jesus?

The Breastplate is it intact and ready for an attack of the enemy

How’s your belt, is it too tight or just right?

Wait, are you saved and know what that means? Do you even have the helmet on?

Are you anointed and fill with the gift of the Holy Spirit?

Do you see the evidence of His work in your life?  Ordinary to extraordinary!  In other words able to accomplish God’s tasks with Gods help.

Acts Chapter 4

Scene 1 Act 4

Man Crippled from birth, healed miraculously! Acts 3:7-10

 

By what power, or in whose  name, have you done this? Acts 4:7

Do you want to know how he was healed? Acts 4:9

  • Peter and John were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees (v. 1)
  • The leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John where teaching the people that through Jesus there is resurrection of the dead (v. 2)
  • The leaders arrested them (v. 3)
  • Many of the people who heard their message believed it (v. 4)
  • So the number of believers now totaled about 5,000 men not counting women & children (v. 4)

Cast of Characters 

  • Peter and John
  • The council
  • The captaining of the temple guard
  • Some of the Sadducees
  • Many of the people
  • All the rulers and the teachers of the law
  • Annas the high priest – Then Annas sent him, with his hands tied, to Caiaphas the high priest (John 18:24)
  • Caiaphas – was the person who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one man die for the people (John 18:14)
  • John – a member of the Sanhedrin
  • Alexander – was kin to the high priest, his name meant man defender
  • Other relatives of the high priest

The Question

  • By what power, or in whose  name, have you done this (v. 7)

  • Verses 8 – 12
    • Filled with the Holy Spirit
    • Rulers and elders  of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man?
    • Do you want to know how he was healed?
    • Clearly stated he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead
    • There is salvation in no one else!
    • God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved

The Council’s Response 

  • Verse 13 – 15
    • They were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John
    • They could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures
    • They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus

The Proof

  • Verse 14
    • Since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say

Another question

  • Verse 16
    • What should we do with these men?
    • We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it

The Response to the Proof

  • Verse 17
    • But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again

The Council’s Solutions 

  • Verse 18
    • So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak in the name of Jesus

The disciples’ response to the solution

  • Verses 19, 20
    • Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him?
    • We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard

The council’s rebuttal 

  • Verses 21, 22
    • The council threatened them further, but finally let them go because they didn’t know how to punish them without starting a riot.
    • For everyone was praising God for this miraculous sign–the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years

  The prayer for courage

  • Verses 23 – 30
    • When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God
    • O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them
    • And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants great boldness in preaching your word
    • Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus

God’s response to the Prayer

  • Verse 31
    • After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
    • Then they preached the word of God with boldness

  • Verses 32-35
    • All the believers were united in heart and mind
    • And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had
    • The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all
    • There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need

Reflect  

  • Are the people around you amazed by the boldness that the Holy Spirit has empowered  you with?
  • Do others see you as ordinary with no special training but gifted with the extra-ordinary power of God?
  • Are you recognized as people who had been with Jesus?
  • How has our society today tried to keep modern day saints from spreading what they call propaganda?
  • How has our society today tried to keep us from speaking in Jesus’ name?
  • Are you obeying God are your society?
  • Have you stop telling people about everything you have seen and heard in the spirit?
  • Have you stop telling people about the love of God? John 3:16
  • Do you put Christ first in the major areas of your life and are you taking steps to separate from sin?
  • Do you maintain a consistent devotional life and are you growing in faith and intercessory prayer?
  • Are you openly identified with Jesus Christ where you live, work, and do you manifest a heart for witnessing?
  • Do you know how to give your testimony clearly?
  • Do you present the gospel regularly with increasing effectiveness?

Your thoughts:  

   My prayer 

  • O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them
  • Give us, your servants great boldness in preaching your word
  • Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name  of your holy servant Jesus
  • Shake this meeting place Father God and fill us with the Holy Spirit that we may preached the word of God with boldness, in Jesus’ Name!  Amen!

Proverbs 21 – Holy Heart Exam

Hello everyone, it is the 21st day of the month and today we will be looking at chapter 21 of Proverbs.

After praying and reading this chapter I found myself focusing on verses 2 and 3.  It states, “People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart.  The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.”

heart_exam

Theme:  Holy Heart Examination

Key Learning: Right in their own eyes, and doing what is right and just key2success

Right in their own eyes people:

  • haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions
  • hasty shortcuts
  • wealth created by a lying tongue
  • violence of the wicked
  • those who refuse to do what is just
  • the guilty who walk crooked paths
  • a quarrelsome  complaining wife
  • evil people who desire evil
  • those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor
  • evildoers who are terrified by justice
  • those who stray from common sense
  • those who love pleasure
  • those who love wine and luxury
  • fools who spend whatever they get
  • the strong whose trust is in their fortress
  • those who do not watch their tongue
  • mockers who are proud haughty, and act with boundless arrogance
  • the lazy who refuse to work
  • those who are greedy for more
  • the evil person who offers a sacrifice with wrong motives
  • a false witness
  • the wicked who bluff their way through
  • those who think that human wisdom or understanding can stand against the LORD

Doing what is right and just people:

  • those who do good planning and work hard
  • the innocent who travel a straight road
  • the wise who are easily instructed
  • those who understand the value of a secret gift
  • the godly who gain great joy from justice
  • the godly trade places with the wicked who will receive the punishment
  • the honest who trade places with the traitors for the good
  • the wise have wealth and luxury
  • those who find life by pursuing righteousness and unfailing love
  • the wise who conquer the city of the strong
  • those who watch their tongue and keep their mouth shut
  • the godly who love to give
  • those who are credible witnesses
  • the virtuous who think before they act (see the virtuous post)
  • those who understand that no human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD

Review:  

  1. When God examines your heart, does he find that you may be right in your own eyes?
  2. Do you offer the LORD sacrifices, while not doing what is right and just?
  3. As God does his examination of your heart, is he apt to find a proud heart and evil actions?
  4. Have you been plagued by hasty shortcuts and notice that poverty is sneaking up on you?
  5. Have you created wealth with a lying tongue and then wonder why it seems to be vanishing?
  6. Have you notice that the wicked seem to be swept away lately?
  7. Ever notice the neighbors of evil people never get mercy from these folks?
  8. Did you know that the Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked?
  9. Do you want to be ignored in your time of need?
  10. Have you shut your ears to the cries of the poor lately?

Nuggets of Gold:

  • The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases
  • The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them
  • Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers
  • The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead.
  • The wicked are punished in place of the godly, and traitors in place of the honest
  • Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble
  • No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD
  • The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD

As you review this list more than once, I hope you will began to see that being right in your own eyes can cost you dearly.

Please read this chapter more than once and then ask the LORD to help you to really understand what it is that he is saying to us and then begin praying for application the “Doing what is Right and Just,” you will be much better off.

1eb7be86834c351f00d84c3db9cf2346   So, it’s Prayer Time!

 

Proverbs 20 – Steps Directed/Hidden Motives Exposed

Good morning everyone,  Bless the name of our Lord.  What a great day it is.  Well it’s the 20th day of the month, and we all should be studying and praying about chapter 20 of Proverbs.

step_motive

Theme: Director of our steps, hidden motives exposed

In today’s study, verses 24 & 27  present  the Director of our steps and the light that penetrates our human spirit to expose every hidden motive.

Key Learning: Steps taken and motives behind actions key2success

Lesson #1: Motives behind the situations in this chapter:

  • Those being led astray by drink cannot be wise (v.1)
  • Your misguided motives that rouses the king’s anger (v.2)
  • The fools insistence on quarreling (v.3)
  • Those too lazy to plow in the right season (v.4)
  • The person with understanding knows how to draw out good advice (v.5)
  • Those who say they are loyal friends, why do they say it instead of just being a loyal friend? (v.6)
  • The godly who walk with integrity (v.7) (see post on integrity)
  • The ability of the king to distinguished the bad from the good (v.8)
  • Those who say, “I have cleansed my heart.” Are they really pure and free from sin? (v.9)
  • Those who use double standards of every kind, Why? (v.10)
  • Children are known by the way they act (v.11)
  • Those who love sleep and poverty (v.13)
  • The buyer who haggles and then says that the item Is worthless (v.14)
  • Why get security from one who guarantees a stranger’s debt (v.16)
  • Plans that succeed through good counsel (v.18) (see post on plans)
  • Why does a gossip go around telling secrets (v.19) (see post on gossip)
  • Why you should not hang around with chatterers (v.19)
  • Why your light will be snuffed out in total darkness (v.20)
  • Why obtaining an inheritance too early in life is not a blessing in the end (v.21)
  • Why you should not get even but wait for the LORD to handle the matter (v.22)
  • Why the LORD is not pleased by dishonest scales, he detest double standards! (v.23)
  • Why try to understand everything alone the way, when the LORD directs our steps? (v.24)
  • Why making rash promises to God traps you (v.25)
  • Why the wise king runs his threshing wheel over the wicked like wheat (v.26)
  • How the LORD’s light exposes every hidden motive (v.27)
  • How strength is the glory of the young (v.29)
  • How the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old (v.29)

Lesson #2: Misc. thoughts that you just might want to take heed to

  • Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies (v.15)
  • Stolen bread tastes sweet, but it turns to gravel in the mouth (v.17)
  • Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king; his throne is made secure through love (v.28)
  • Physical punishment cleanses away evil; such discipline purifies the heart (v.30)

We can fake each other out, but there is no faking the penetrating light of the All Seeing and All Powerful one who looks right through us into our inner man.

So for me I had to admit that my motives were not up to par and that I had the wrong motives in mind.  God’s light convicted me and I had to repent.

  Review

  1. Now consider that the LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive, what do you think he sees in your life?
  2. How about you, as you read this chapter, are you questioning your motives?
  3. Are you looking at you or others?
  4. Is this something that you can use to improve your serve?

Please don’t look at the motives of others, you cannot do a thing about who they are nor can you force them to change.  You only have one that you can completely control, you!

Let’s pray now! The King is sitting in judgment, not me.  He is weighing all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good. His penetrating light is searching for those hidden motives.

I am praying about the bad that is holding me back , and praising Him for the good that is producing the manifold(lots of)  blessings in my life.  Your Turn!

1eb7be86834c351f00d84c3db9cf2346   It’s Prayer Time!

Proverbs 19 – Foolishness Ruins lives

It’s the 19th day of the month and that means we all should be in the 19th chapter of Proverbs.

Theme:  25 things that can ruin your life

ruinlives

Verse 3 is the foundational starting point today.  It states, “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness then are angry at the LORD.”

Let’s look at the 25 Ways one can ruin one’s life according to this chapter of Proverbs.

Key Learning:  Foolishness that ruins your life key2success

These things can ruin your life by:

  1. being dishonest and a fool
  2. having enthusiasm without knowledge
  3. being hasty and making mistakes
  4. allowing ones foolishness to cause them to be angry at the LORD
  5. Being in poverty which drives your friends away
  6. being a false witness and a liar
  7. despising your poor relatives and friends
  8. being a fool who lives in luxury
  9. being a foolish child
  10. being a quarrelsome wife
  11. being lazy and sleeping soundly
  12. being idle
  13. despising the commandments
  14. not disciplining your children
  15. being hot-tempered (see post on hot-tempered)
  16. not getting all the advice and instruction you can
  17. making many plans and not considering the LORD’s purpose
  18. not being loyal
  19. being dishonest
  20. being a mocker, and simpleminded
  21. mistreating your father and chasing away your mother
  22. not listening to instructions
  23. being a corrupt witness and making a mockery of justice
  24. having the mouth of the wicked that gulps down evil
  25. not understanding that mockers are made for punishment and the backs of fools are made to be beaten

Review 

  1. Are you honest in all of your dealings?
  2. Have you ever notice that you have rush out so excited that you forget to get all of the information needed to complete the task?
  3. Does your hasty ways cause you to make a multitude of mistakes?
  4. Do you find that you are regularly angry with the LORD?
  5. Do you have your foolishness in check?
  6. How’s your relationship with your father and mother these days?
  7. How well do you listen to instructions?
  8. What is your Loyalty based on, honesty or dishonesty?
  9. Has your hot-tempered ways caused you to pay the penalty lately?
  10. Do you help the poor on a regular basis

General observations that you just might want to consider:

  • To acquire wisdom is to love yourself
  • People who cherish understanding will prosper
  • Keep your life by keeping the commandments
  • When you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD and he will repay you
  • Discipline your children while there is hope, otherwise you will ruin their lives
  • Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life
  • You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail
  • Loyalty makes a person attractive
  • Fear of the LORD leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm

Enough Said!  1eb7be86834c351f00d84c3db9cf2346  It is truly Prayer Time!

Proverbs 18 – Strong Fortress the godly run to

Good Morning on this 18th day of the month.  I will be sharing my thoughts on the 18th Chapter of Proverbs today.

fortress

We will focus on verse 10 which states, “The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.”

Theme:  Strong fortress the godly run to!

So why would the godly need to run to the LORD in this chapter?  Could it be because of the people around them?

Key Learning: Run from those who throw caution to the wind key2success

What Is it that the godly need to be kept safe from?

They need to be kept safe from:

  • Unfriendly people who care only about themselves
  • Those who lash out at common sense
  • Fools who have no interest in understanding
  • Those who only want to air their own opinions
  • Those who are disgrace by doing wrong
  • Those who bring contempt by their scandalous behavior
  • Those who acquit the guilty or deny justice to the innocent
  • The  constant quarrels of fools
  • Fools who trap themselves with their own foolish lips
  • Those who allow the dainty morsels of rumors to sink deep into their hearts
  • A lazy person who is as bad as someone who destroys things
  • The rich who think that their wealth is a strong defense
  • People who are haughty and are headed for destruction
  • Those who spout off before listening to the facts
  • Those with crushed spirits
  • An offended friend
  • Arguments that separate friends
  • Those who love to talk, who do not understand that death or life is in the tongue (see new post on the tongue)
  • The rich who answer with insults
  • Friends who destroy each other

Nugget of Gold:  One must consider the wisdom found in this chapter that is from on high

  • Wise words are like deep waters; wisdom flows from  the wise like a bubbling brook
  • Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor
  • Intelligent people are always ready to learn.  Their ears are open for knowledge
  • Giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people!
  • Flipping a coin can end arguments; it settles disputes between powerful opponents
  • Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction
  • The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD
  • There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother

Review:  

  1. Do you show yourself friendly or unfriendly in your neighborhood?
  2. Have you ever lash out at someone who was operating with good common sense?
  3. Do you find that you are only interested in airing your own opinions?
  4. Do you have any scandalous behavior in your past that you wish would just go away?
  5. Do you use words that cause constant quarrels?
  6. Has your mouth set any traps lately that you know will ruin you?
  7. Are you still working on the last dainty morsel of a rumor that has sunk into your heart
  8. Do you imagine that your wealth or income is a strong defense that will keep you safe?
  9. Have you ever being known for spouting off without first listening to the facts?
  10. Are your ears really open for knowledge?

If you look up the word for Strong in this chapter you will find that the Hebrew word for strong is OZE, which means strength in various applications, such as i.e.. force, security, majesty, praise, boldness, loud, mighty, power, strength, strong.

The Hebrew word OZE also had it shorten version to OZ which really surprise me seeing how the movie Wizard of OZ was a favorite as I grew up. But I wonder if this was Hollywood’s way of saying that God was a little man behind curtains, faking out others making them thing that he was all powerful and yet weak and just a man.

Of course we know better, but people who don’t know or understand the Existing One, “Jehovah” are not aware that  He is not to be played with nor to be made fun of, the consequences are staggering!  Just ask history how God dealt with societies that took him for granted.  Their high ideals crash down around them, and left them wondering what happen.

This is one of  the reasons I love to stay in Proverbs, the wisdom here continues to put me in check.

So, who are you running to for safety?

Do you recognize the need for protection from those in the list above?

OK, let me hush because,  1eb7be86834c351f00d84c3db9cf2346  It’s Prayer Time. 

Blessing on you all.