Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Sabbath

                Today, many people continually work on Sundays. Some people actually have to in order to pay for bills and support families. When you work on the Sabbath, you are breaking the fourth commandment, and a covenant that the Lord made with His people. That’s right. The Sabbath was a covenant made by the Lord so that His people could remember Him and revere Him.

“This will be a sign between me and you for the generations
to come, so you may know that I am the
Lord, who makes you holy.”

-Exodus 31:13

“There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day
is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You
are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the Lord.”

-Leviticus 21:11

                The Lord had created the earth in six days, and on the seventh day He rested and declared it a holy day. In the book of Exodus, the Lord tells Moses to inform the Israelites to observe the Lord’s Sabbath. The Law says that anyone who works on the Sabbath shall be put to death and be separated from their people. Whoever works on the Sabbath has broken the covenant and is an outlaw. They shall not receive the privileges that everyone else receives. The Sabbath day, recognized as Saturday by the Jews and Sunday by the Christians, should not just be seen as another day of the week. It should be seen as a holy day to revere the Lord and to respect the covenant that God had made for rejuvenation and rest.  

                But does this law still apply? Jesus and his disciples worked and performed many miracles on the Sabbath day, receiving criticism from the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Some say that according to Paul, in a letter to the Colossians, it is not punishable if someone does not observe the Sabbath; it is their own choice. Christ has made them complete, not their observance of a holy day.

“Therefore, do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink,
or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.”

-Colossians 2:16

                There is no evidence from this passage that he would teach that there was no obligation to observe any holy time, for there is not the slightest reason to believe that he meant to teach that one of the Ten Commandments had ceased to be binding on mankind. If he had used the word in the singular term - "the Sabbath," it would then have been clear that he meant to teach that the commandment had ceased to be binding, and that a Sabbath was no longer to be observed. But the use of the term in the plural number, and the connection, shows that he had his eye on the great number of days which were observed by the Hebrews as festivals, as a part of their ceremonial and typical law, and not to the moral law, or the Ten Commandments. No part of the moral law - not one of the Ten Commandments could be spoken of as "a shadow of good things to come." These commandments are of perpetual and universal obligation. It can never be superseded but by the final termination of time. As it is a type of that rest which remains for the people of God, of an eternity of bliss, it must continue in full force.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Not All Sin is Equal

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point
is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not
commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery
but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.”

-James 2:10-11

                This verse is not saying that all sins are equal. What it is saying is that if a man keeps all of the laws of God except for one, he must be judged as guilty. There is supposed to be universal obedience and any one offense is against the whole law of God. This does not mean that all sinners are of equal grade. The meaning is that he is guilty of violating God’s law and does not have the true spirit of obedience; he will be judged and penalized according to the law. He may have obeyed all of God’s other laws but that alone will not save him from judgment because he has disrespected the authority of God. He cannot use, as reasons he should not be punished, that he obeyed all other commandments. If a man lies to one person but was honest to everyone else, he cannot offset the sin by pleading that he was honest in another case. He must answer for the specific charge against him. So how do we know that this verse is not telling us that all sin is equal? The bible tells us that not all sins are equal in 1 John.

“All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.”

-1 John 5:17

                If we commit one sin, it spreads like gangrene and we fall into more temptation. 2 Timothy 2:20-21 compares a church to a house. Every one of God’s people is used for different purposes. One can perform healing and another can speak in tongues. We are constantly taking in different things through our eyes and ears. The bible does say that what comes out of our mouth is what makes us unclean, not what goes in. But what about our eyes and ears? What we take in can affect how we think. Mark 4:24 warns us to be careful about what we listen to. There are so many secular songs that put down the existence of Jesus and God and raises humans higher. What do I do when I hear this music? I turn it off. I don’t want to pollute my temple and begin to believe what is said. I want to be a vase, not a toilet. They are both made of ceramic but it’s what goes into them that makes them what they are. It’s not what we listen to or see. It’s what we let our minds dwell on and what we do to our bodies. The Lord wants us to be cleansed and sanctified and remove anything that could tear us down. Sanctified means to be separated and set aside for God’s use. Do you want to be sanctified and used for God’s glorious works or do you just want to be an average person in God’s eyes living day by day for your own pleasure?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The True Meaning of 'Daddy's Girl'

                Many people call me a daddy’s girl. I work with my father every opportunity I get. I’m almost 20 but I still call him daddy. We have the same interests and taste in music. We have the same allergy and we even both have acute asthma. But what does “Daddy’s” really mean? Is it a possessive form that affirms that Daddy is my owner?

                The answer to this question will bring us to the answer to the propriety of courtship for a daughter’s pre-marriage relationship. In today’s society, many daughters do not feel that their father has any right to have a say in her dating life, especially once she is 18. Courtship is an establishment of a relationship with a father agreeing to work with the young man to win his daughter’s heart. The father’s approval is needed. I once felt that I did not need my father’s approval but now I see that I am owned by my father until he gives my hand in marriage to an approved man. I now rejoice in that truth and if someone is interested in me, he should see him not me.

                This might make you cringe and might say to get with the times. But, let’s not dismiss the idea. The Christian worldview is informed by scripture and no part of life is exempt from God’s sovereignty. We must obey His law even if it means opposing popular culture and going against the grain. But the Bible tells us that we need to be ready to live against the norms of unbelief. The word of God teaches us that the creator of something has certain rights. For example, God is sovereign over all things because he created all things.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell
in it, for He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.”

-Psalm 24:1

                The same idea is seen in Romans 9:21. The potter can do as he pleases with the pottery that he makes, since he created it. Human ownership is always under the ownership of God. However, God has declared that the rights of the parents are to be honored and revered for the fact that they are the immediate generative source of individuals.

                Fathers are supposed to have a different relationship with their daughters than they do their sons. He must raise his sons to be a provider while he has to raise his daughters to be submissive, godly wives. Independence is not something that should be seeked for by a woman of God. She is supposed to allow headship to her husband. But if she does not agree with that than she will certainly not agree with the father having authority over her. They will find the idea of courtship offensive. But those who acknowledge God’s way is right will come to terms and agree with it.

“All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged
that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by
John. But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose
for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.”

-Luke 7:29-30

                People who are secular find it repulsive that as Christians we give our life and spirit to Jesus Christ and we are not our own. They say that means we can’t do what we want but that is not true. God gives us our own will to do as we please. We give ourselves as a living sacrifice to the Lord willingly.

                Now, back to authority over a daughter. A daughter is not obliged to obey commands from any source binding her to sin, even her own father. Some argue, “What is God tells the girl through signs and visions that she is to marry a particular man? Wouldn’t God’s will supersede her earthly father’s will?” Simply no. In a relationship of father and daughter, God takes a back seat. God has created hierarchy that the daughter is directly answerable to her father and then her father answers to God. This make the father responsible for himself and his daughter.

                You may say that there is scripture that states that the child is not punished for the parent’s sin and the parent is not responsible for the child’s. However, with the way God has set up this form of relationship, the daughter is not punished for anything her father has done. The father may tell a daughter to or not to do something so therefore it is not her own will and doing so he answers because it was his will.

“Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall
children be put to death for their father.”

-Deuteronomy 2:16

                The father’s ownership is so he can raise her to fear the Lord, protect her from harm, other men, and even from herself and foolish decisions she may make. Numbers 30 helps us understand God’s view of the father/daughter relationship.

“When a young woman still living in her father’s house makes a vow to the Lord
or obligates herself by a pledge and her father hears about her
vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every
pledge by which she obligated herself will stand.
But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she
obligated herself to will stand; the Lord will release her because
her father has forbidden her.”

-Numbers 30:3-5

                The girl has promised something to the Most High but is forgiven because her father has forbidden her from completing the promise. God says “You heard your father. No.” The will of the father is the will of God if he is living according to biblical terms and God’s own will on his life.  In modern “dating” the girl is seen as being to herself. Therefore, most people believe the man just has to ask her permission. But, according to rules of God, the young man must also seek the father’s approval. Since the father has to give himself approval, the man knows he’s being watched and will prove himself worthy of a beautiful gem (Proverbs 31:10). Simple things like sweet words might win over the daughter but that is because she goes by emotions as most other woman. But to get past Daddy’s tests is going to be tougher because he goes by reasoning and wants to make sure the man that takes his daughter’s hand is worthy. A godly father is aware of his daughters abilities and needs and can often determine if the man and daughter complement each other well.

                No man can approach me as my own boss because I belong, until marriage, to my father. That is why the father walks the bride down the aisle. At the time of my marriage, my father gives me to my husband through a lawful change of ownership. Reading further into Numbers 30 we see there is no free time for the female to gallivant on her own apart from a covenant head. How do we know the daughter belongs to the father until marriage? Further into Numbers 30, the husband gains the same authority over the wife that the father once had.

“If a woman living with her husband makes a vow or obligates herself by
a pledge under oath and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her and
does not forbid her, then all her vows or the pledges by
which she obligated herself will stand. But if her husband nullifies
them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges
that came from her lips will stand. Her husband
has nullified them, and the Lord will release her. Her husband may
confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn
pledge to deny herself…If however
he nullifies them some time after he hears about
them, then he is responsible for her guilt”

-Numbers 30:10-13…15

                You might not be completely in sync with your Dad. Maybe you’re just like your mom or are a mix of both. But you should be no less of a Daddy’s girl than any other young female. You may get married at 18 or you might not get married at all. Either way, you are under your father’s care until you are given into marriage or the Lord takes you from this life. Your responsibility as a daughter is this: Do the will of your father on earth so that you may do the will of Your Father in heaven.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Treatment of Aliens

                 A couple of weeks ago I did a post on illegal immigration. One reader asked me this:

“I've read about Christians who will help illegal immigrants because they believe they are
helping the disenfranchised. That doesn't seem right to me but how could I turn someone down
who needs food or shelter? What do you think”

                To answer this question, I have turned to the Bible. The Old Testament is often called the Book of Laws and the New Testament is referred to as the New Covenant. This has caused many people to abolish the laws of the Old Testament and only read the New Testament. However, the Old Testament is full of the testimonies of lives of godly people and laws that should still apply to our lives today because God is unchanging and unmoving. You may wonder why I am saying all of this. It’s because the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy have verses that refer to the treatment of aliens. I am not talking about extraterrestrials-those don’t exist. What I am talking about are residents born in or belonging to another country who have not acquired citizenship by naturalization.

“Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels
to be aliens, being you were aliens in Egypt.”

-Exodus 23:9

“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves
the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to
love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.”

-Deuteronomy 10:18-19

                We all have ancestors, or even parents and grandparents, who came to America from another country. They were all immigrants at some point. Illegal immigrants are hurting our economy and breaking God’s law as well as our country’s law by residing here without documentation. However, we are not to degrade them or keep them from having food and a safe place to stay. I’ll admit, at one point I did feel that we should not even do that for these people because they are here illegally. I still do not support their way of living in America illegally but after reading the verses I am sharing with you, my mindset changed. They helped me realized that the aliens still share the same God as us and God wants us to help everyone as He does. America is God’s land! If we show them compassion then we are showing God’s grace. This does not mean to allow them to stay here illegally, but rather encourage them to go through the naturalization process as our families did. 

Illegal Immigration 

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Worker of God

“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

-Matthew 9:37-38

                Jesus had turned to his disciples and said this after he saw the horrible treatment and conditions of the people he was preaching to. He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. They had no guidance.

                The harvest is mentioned multiple times throughout the New Testament. It is a metaphor to the gathering of God’s people and His chosen elect. We are promised success through a harvest. There was a multitude of people flocking to hear the ministry of Jesus and so many more that God wants to reach. However, we need more people committed to God to help reach out to these people. These people don’t have to be ordained ministers. He or she can be just an ordinary person that lives for God and are willing to spend their life to do God’s works. They don’t have to spend every waking moment preaching to people but they diligently do so when they have the ability and opportunity to give glory to God. They meditate in the scripture and pray with a faithful heart. They shine like lamps for God’s glory, not their own. It’s important that as a worker of God we have compassion.

                What does a farmer gather when he harvests his crop? The ripe portions that are ready for consumption. Therefore, we must help ripen the spirits that are called to Him through preaching, witnessing, and testifying the name of the Lord. The harvesting field is not just the area of the globe that Jesus ministered to but rather the whole earth. We cannot deprive anyone of the opportunity to hear the gospel and receive God’s promises.

“…in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to knowledge of the truth.”

-2 Timothy 2:25

                Missionary work is not the only way to reach out to His people. Prayer is just as important as the preaching of the Gospel to help touch hearts.  In Mark 9:17-29 Jesus heals a boy of an evil spirit. The disciples had previously tried to cast it out but they could not. Jesus said, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Someone devoted to prayer is a good worker of the Lord.

                2 Timothy lets us know some of the qualities of a good worker.

-          do not quarrel about words; it only destroys those who hear
-          do not be ashamed of the Word
-          avoid godless chatter to avoid becoming ungodly
-          do not destroy the faith of others
-          cleanse yourself of useless and unclean things
-          do not partake in youthful things like rebellion
-          seek righteousness, faith, love, and peace
-          avoid stupid and foolish arguments
-          be kind to everyone and be able to teach with gentleness

                Throughout the ages, the laborers for the Lord have been few compared to the loiterers. We can’t let it be this way and we must become good workers of Christ.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Did Jesus Mean by 'Heart Like a Child'?

“And he said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become
like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

-Matthew 18:3

                All too often, I hear people asking what Jesus really meant when he said to have a child-like heart. He does not mean to be childish and immature in your actions or intelligence. So, what does Jesus really mean?
                Children are totally dependent on their parents for food, clothing, and shelter, as well as guidance and protection. A child doesn’t worry about these things; they just assume they will be delivered. In the same way, we are to trust God as our heavenly Father, our parent. Children run to their parents first when frightened or hurt and in the same way we are to turn to God. When we become dependent on God, we have faith in Him.

                Children, when they hear about Jesus and God, often don’t question their existence until they grow older and start hearing other beliefs and viewpoints. We should not second guess the true existence of God; we must have faith in what is unseen. Children are filled with love and can sense the presence of it. They are humble and open to learning from elders. In the same way, we are to learn from God and the Holy Spirit. Children ask questions and receive an answer that will be for their own good. When we ask God a question, he will give us an answer that is for our own well-being.

                When a child is away from a parent, they keep an unquestioning hope-the promise of the parent’s return-because they have brought them home so many other times. They trust the promise that the parent makes. We are to trust that God will keep his promises and not second guess Him.

                To surrender to God a person has to empty himself or herself; their heart and mind must be in  total submission to God’s authority, just as a child is supposed to respect and honor their parents’ rules. 


Wednesday, July 25, 2012


                       The bible calls women to be modest in their actions and their dress. In today’s society it is the norm to reveal a lot of skin and provoke the opposite sex to have lustful feelings. The bible, however, calls women to be modest in their actions and their dress. All too often I seen females of all ages walking into church with a pair of super short shorts, face caked with make-up,  and tight low cut shirts. But God wants us to be more modest so that the world can truly see or purity and we won’t lead others into sin.

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as
braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine
clothes. Instead, it should be that of you inner self, the unfading beauty of
a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

-1 Peter 3:3-4

“I also want women to dress modestly, with decency
and propriety, not with braided hair or gold
or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate
for women who profess to worship God.”

-1 Timothy 2:9-10

                What is modesty? Modesty is freedom from vanity and boastfulness with regard for decency of behavior speech, and dress. It is simplicity designed to prevent inadvertent exposure of parts of the body. It’s having a reserved behaving and making proper and responsible choices and being humble in spirit about what you have been blessed with. What is there to be boastful about? If a girl knows she is pretty, she should not try to draw further attention to herself.

                The bible is not saying to walk around in a cloth sack and not fix your hair. It is saying, first, that true beauty is inner beauty. Personality. Character. Attitude. You can still be beautiful while dressing modestly.  Beauty doesn’t mean wearing tight pants, short skirts, and low cut shirts. If you want to wear make-up, go for natural shades and put it on light. You can wear a fashionable but loose blouse with a neckline that doesn’t reveal cleavage. You can wear nice, flowing skirts that go down to your knees and accentuate your femininity. You may say that you’re covered up but your clothes are tight. You’re allowing others to imagine what’s underneath that clothing. When the opposite sex looks at you when you’re not dressing modestly, they are most likely looking at you with lust. If that happens, they are already committing adultery.

“But, I say to you, that whoever looks at a woman to
lust after her committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

-Matthew 5:28

                Therefore, if we dress inappropriately, we are leading someone to sin. The Bible tells us that we, as believers in Christ who have dedicated our lives to Him, are not to lead others into sin. I

“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does
not become a stumbling block to the weak.”

-1 Corinthians 8:9

                Proverbs 11:22 says that a beautiful woman that shows no discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout. If a “ring of gold” is put in a pig’s nose, it wouldn’t be seen as pretty because of the filth that most pigs live in. No matter how pretty a woman is, she will quickly lose that beauty because of her lack of modesty, humility, responsibility, and integrity. She is abusing the beauty that God bestowed upon her by having no discretion.

                It’s not all about getting the attention of males, but some females want to be attractive to guys. They turn to dressing with tight and revealing clothes to fit in with everyone else. It's not all about finding a relationship but it is thrown in young people's faces by society so it's important to be discussed. You shouldn’t be focused on what others think of you, but if you are curious, I’d like to let you know about some survey results. I want to help steer you away from dressing indecently.  Is modesty a lost cause? No. According to a survey, the majority of men would be more interested in a girl who dresses modestly.

-          97.4% of guys say that girls can dress attractively without being immodest.
-          91.5% of guys say despite rampant immodesty all around us, girls who choose to dress modestly do make a difference.
-          95.4% of guys say that modesty is an important quality for their future wife to have.
-          75.6% of guys say that they have less respect for an immodest girl than for a modest one.

                So show some more self-respect and cover up. Show maturity and care for your body. If someone is attracted to your body, then they’re most likely not attracted to you. A lot of guys look to girls just for their outward appearance and that’s not what relationships should be based on; they’re not based on love and they won’t last. Also, many people judge you based on your physical appearance. If you dress “sexy” you must be sexual. This may not be the truth but it’s an assumption that many guys make. A lot of girls who expose too much get mad when a boy looks at them and stares. What I’d like to say to them is if you don’t like being looked at in a demeaning way, don’t dress without modesty. You’ll be seen as just an object and not respected for who you really are. If a boy looks at you and you’re dressing modestly, then he is most likely looking at you for your true beauty. So, don’t send the wrong message and carry yourself as light for God. You are supposed to be His temple so show some respect to Him.

“Don’t let anyone look down upon you because you are young,
but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

-Timothy 4:12

                            Most importantly, we need to impress God. According to 1 Samuel we need not worry about outward appearance. We shouldn’t be worried about what people think here on earth. We need to focus on our everlasting life and where we’ll end up when we’re dead.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for
I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things
people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

-1 Samuel 16:7

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Lesson Learned From Habakkuk

                 Habakkuk was a prophet in the Old Testament. He was the eighth of the twelve minor prophets collected in the Old Testament. Little is known about him besides what facts we can gather from the book of Habakkuk. It is uncertain about the period of time that he lived but it is assumed that it was around 612 B.C. The book contains five oracles about the Babylonians and this was around the time of their rise in power. Although the book only contains three short chapters it is still important. We should live by his example in our prayer life.

“How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do
not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’
but you do not save? Why do
you make me look at injustice?”

-Habakkuk 1:1-3

                In the first four verses of the book, Habakkuk is questioning God how He can tolerate the sin and evil that is happening. He tells God there is no justice and great strife. The Lord’s reply is that He has plans for the Babylonians. He tries to console Habakkuk and put peace in his heart.

“Look at the nations and watch- be utterly
amazed. For I am going to do
something in your days that you would no believe,
even if you were told.”

-Habakkuk 1:5

                Habakkuk makes a second complaint. He says that the Lord just looks on at the violence and the strife that is among the people of Jerusalem. Habakkuk compares Babylonians like fishermen and the rest of the world like fish. He says that the Babylonians conquer nations and destroys them as they get rich off of them.

“You have made men like fish in the sea, like sea creatures
that have no ruler. The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he
catches them in his net, he gathers them up in
his dragnet; and so rejoices and is glad.”

-Habakkuk 1:15

                God, in return, says that Babylon will eventually be judged and destroyed. The Babylonians work in vain and will be judged for gaining unearned wealth. The Babylonians worship idols and cause others to fall into sin. This won’t last long though according to 2:3. The end will not come right away but it will happen at its appointed time. In the third and final chapter, Habakkuk realizes that everything happens according to God’s will.

“Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.”

-Habakkuk 3:16

                We can relate this story to the leadership of our country or the terrorist attacks that happened on 2001. We can even relate it to bullies in our schools and workplace. We can pray and pray that God will change their hearts or punish them. Sometimes we might feel God is taking too long and we never cease to encounter conflict. We lose hope and question how God can let these people bring harm to His people. God will take care of them in due time. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us that there is a time for everything.

                At first, Habakkuk complained and tried to move the hand of God. In the end, however, he came to realize the truth and reality that we should all recognize. If our prayers aren’t answered right away, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t hear us. He will answer them if and when He sees fit. It doesn’t mean He loves us any less; after all, He gave His one and only begotten son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Although from the Old Testament, the testimonies throughout this part of the Bible can be related to our everyday lives in 2012 and beyond.

“Consider what God has done:
Who can make straight what God has made crooked?”

-Ecclesiastes 7:13