It is written down

Ex 17:14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua,

Written signs dominate your life.
Stop, yield, one way, and do not enter are some you see on roadways.
Push, pull, enter, or authorized personnel only are some you might see at a store.
I don’t know when writing a language began.
Writing things down is very handy to direct others or remember things you need to do, appointments, and items to pick up at the store.
I like for people to text me if they need something, that way I have a record of it in their words.
It would have been really handy for a ‘No Trespassing” sign to have been posted at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil back when the serpent tempted Eve.
Instead of relying on memory, she could have read the sign and knew it was a bad idea.
Moses was told to write something down in a book so everyone would remember what happened.
Indeed, instead of relying on word of mouth, God had all you need to know written down so you will know the definition of sin and a sinner, His holy rules, what is needed for salvation, and how to live every day.
Sure, there is much information not found in the Bible – gaps in the writing here and there, but God is interested in giving you what you need for a restored relationship with Him rather than filling in gaps.
So, read His written word.

Dressing casual suits me.

Matt 6:28 “So why do you worry about clothing?”

There was a time, as a pastor, I dressed up in a suit every Sunday – three-piece with tie and shiny black shoes.
I had ties for Christmas, shirts for the 4th of July, and tie clasps for different occasions.
When I began preaching at Crossroads I began dressing more casually with slacks and a collared shirt.
That eventually gave over to blue jeans and pullover collared shirts.
Now you’ll see me in overalls most of the time.
One of the reasons I don’t wear a suit and have started wearing overalls is to remove an excuse.
You see, I have heard it many times when I invite someone to church – “I don’t have anything to wear!”
So, why do you worry about clothing?
It’s not what you wear, it’s that you’re there!
As long as what you wear is modest.
I’ll admit I have had to talk to a few young ladies about revealing clothing and a few young men about sloppy clothing.
Dress nice, dress casually, and don’t let clothing keep you from church.

A Proverb for Today

Prov 18:17 The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.

I was doing show prep for next week’s radio show and adding Proverbs to the lineup.
I came upon this verse that caused me to stop and think.
I don’t recall reading it before.
Better yet, I never paused and thought about it.
How true this nugget of wisdom for today.
Anyone can claim anything they want to but under cross-examination from someone else that also has some knowledge of the subject, things may change.
I think this scripture is important to use in the discovery of false prophets or errant teachers.
Someone can claim that God said this or that but does it cross-examine with God’s word.
Too many are willing to accept the word of a minister without examining it for themselves.
It’s easy not to do anything when a minister spouts Hebrew word here and Greek word there.
Languages we don’t understand seem daunting to try and define.
So it’s just easier to believe the minister.
It is important to seek the truth yourself.
If it agrees with the minister, you do well.
If not…

Words of Authority

Matt 8:8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.”

This soldier, that encountered Jesus, knew the power of words.
As an example, he said he could give an order and it was carried out.
The centurion’s word contained authority.
He knew Jesus’ word contained authority.
The centurion knew it and Jesus knew it but many Christians do not know they, too, have authority in their word.
Titus was told, “Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.” Titus 2:15
Use your words in authority.
As a Christian, you can change lives by speaking the word of God to others.
Don’t be haughty or prideful but let God’s word from your mouth be as the Proverbs say – Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. Prov 16:24

By your words

Matt 12:37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

The old adage says sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.
I don’t think that is totally true.
I understand the meaning behind it but words are powerful weapons too.
Solomon, the wisest man ever, said, “You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth.” Prov 6:2
James also pointed out the importance of words in saying, “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” James 3:10
With words, you can build up or tear down someone.
By your words, you encourage or discourage.
Through your words, you bless or curse.
James 3:2 says if anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
The ability to control what you say is a pathway to perfection.
The absolute best words you can speak are God’s words as every word of God is pure; Prov 30:5
So speak blessings today.

The Spoken Word

Rom 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

I learned something in Sunday School yesterday and hope everyone else did too.
David pointed out in the scripture the last three words “word of God” is from the Greek “Reema Christos“, or spoken word of the Anointed (Messiah).
I’ve meditated on it and have some thoughts.
Hearing is not just sound waves entering your ears and stimulating the auditory organs and brain.
Hearing is understanding and knowing what you heard.
So, when the word speaks to you and causes you to react in faith, that means you finally heard it.
Although you can read the Bible with your eyes and mind, you must have understanding for it to have spoken to you.
And there is something different about the spoken word.
By the spoken word of God, He created everything.
The plagues of Egypt were just plagues but because Moses spoke God’s word before each one, the disasters became powerful.
The prophets wrote down many things but not until after they spoke what God said.
Jesus cast out demons, calmed storms, and raised the dead with a spoken word.
Your faith is demonstrated when you speak the word too!
So, speak God’s word aloud and clear today to someone!

Weed out your own garden

Matt 13:24-25 “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.”

In a previous parable, Jesus said the good seed was the word of God planted in the heart of the listener.
Likewise, in this parable, the enemy also sows seed.
As both seeds sprout it is difficult to tell them apart.
You know the weeds will overgrow and choke out the good plants.
The servants wanted to do it immediately but the owner said they would end up pulling up the good plants with the weeds.
Given time, you will tell the difference between the two and weed out the bad.
God’s word is truth but the enemy, Satan, wants you to believe his word is true.
In my life, I have heard many “preachers” and read many books that seem true in relating to the word of God.
But as I grew I discovered inconsistencies in some of those teachings and writings, when I compare them to God’s word.
I had to weed out the bad before it choked the word of God in me.
Do not automatically believe every minister or every author that says, “Thus says the Lord!”
This includes me!
But check out for yourself with prayer, study, and the meditation of reading God’s word yourself to see if those things told you are true.
You must weed out your own garden!

Be Better

John 9:1-3 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

It was, and often still is, common thought that birth defects, deformities, tragedies, and accidents are a result of sin.
Certainly sin effects every person but not necessarily in the way you think.
Sin attacks health, that is, without sin there would be no sickness, no deformities, and no death.
When the reign of sin ends those things will also end – Rev 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Now back to the man born blind; although he is a sinner it wasn’t his sin or his parents sins that caused him to be born blind.
Sin is like a virus or a cancer
Paul said, “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.” Rom 7:11-12
Sin is like a virus or a cancer.
It spreads and takes it toll on everyone.
But the lesson learned from todays scripture is you can be better – you can do better.
You do not need to let sin destroy you.
Jesus came to destroy sin and give you a more abundant life.
There are many people that overcome deformities, accidents, and tragedies.
Do not let them define you but allow Jesus to define you through those things.
Be better!

Early with God

John 8:2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.

While reading early this morning (3:30 am) I came upon this verse and was reminded about all the other verses with “early” in them.
Gen 19:27 – And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD.
Gen 28:18 – Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.
Ex 24:4 – And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain,
Josh 6:12 – And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
Mark 16:2 – Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
Early means different times to different people.
Early for me would mean 3-4 in the morning.
But if my wife says, “Let’s leave early”, I think more toward 7:30 am.
For others, early may mean mid-morning.
I don’t know what time Jesus arrived at the temple but people also came early to hear Him.
That tells me no matter what time you call early, the important thing is to spend time with God first.

Personal Demons

Acts 19:16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

I believe in demons because Jesus has dealings with them, as did Paul.
Today’s scripture is what happened to some men who dealt with a demon without the benefit of the blood of Christ covering their lives.
Indeed, many people have personal demons they deal with every day with the same results.
Personal demons like alcoholism or drugs leap on the host and overpower them.
They are prevailed upon by these demons until they are exposed and wounded by them.
Certainly, there are great institutions and people that help individuals overcome these demons.
However, nothing is better for overcoming demons than a relationship with Christ – for even the demons are subject to you in His name.
And, although it is great when someone overcomes their alcoholism or drug habit, it is even better when they can say their name is written in heaven.