“But God wants me to be happy, doesn’t He“? I have heard people declare this many times, in the form of a question of course, even though their minds are already made up. Mantras like “YOLO” were popular at one time. “If it feels good, do it” was another popular saying for a time. If you do not know, YOLO means “you only live once” which implies, have fun at all costs because you only get one time around. Each older generation declares that the younger generations are selfish, unlike themselves, when they were younger. I want to look at a passage of Scripture that speaks of people about 3,000 years ago. According to our modern way of thinking, the people 3,000 years ago should have been much less selfish than we are today because each generation claims that the next generation is much more selfish. Let’s take a practical look at the people of Israel, almost 3,000 years ago. Continue reading
Balak was a pagan king who took preventative measures (in his own mind) by trying to harm the children of Israel. God had done some amazing things in the lives of the children of Israel. His Name became famous among the pagan nations of the Near East. Egypt, the world powerhouse of the time was brought to its knees by the power of God. They never made a recovery. The pagan nations of the Near East were afraid of the Lord because of His power and might. They also hated the Jewish people because they were sided with the eternal enemy of God, since they were pagans and idol worshipers and God had promised to bring mankind’s Rescuer through the Jewish nation. The people of Moab were terrified because they assumed that the children of Israel would attack them. They stirred up their king, Balak, to take preventative Continue reading
In our previous lesson, we looked at Numbers 13-14, specifically at the contrast between the children of Israel and Caleb and Joshua. The people had the chance to enter the Promised Land and, as a result of their unbelief, they are cursed to wander in the wilderness until they perish. Now, we get to Numbers 21. God is still faithful yet, the people have not changed. Some of our previous lessons are: Continue reading
If you saw Russel Crowe in Gladiator back in the year 2000, you remember that line that the title of this article is from. The Romans loved to be entertained. That is our human nature. That is our sin nature. The children of Israel were no different. We are also no different today. We have a way of justifying our idols today, similarly to the way that the children of Israel justified their idols. Continue reading
As we celebrate Memorial Day, I would like to write about a soldier who impacted the future of a country and ultimately the world. We celebrate the brave men and women who gave up their lives to protect our freedoms and offer us a better future. Although Joshua did not give up his life on the battlefield, he did invest his life in the people of his nation, a nation that has become a blessing to the entire world. I am very appreciative to all of the people in my own family who served our great country in the military. I am grateful for my friends who currently serve in the military. The Gospel teaches us to be servants in all that we do, serving the good of the people around us and that is exactly what the men and women who serve in the military do. God bless you for your service. I salute you. I respect you because your service is similar to a hero of mine, Joshua. I would like to share some principles of his life and service, a service which brought about my freedom, many thousands of years later. Continue reading
We live during days that are very similar days to the days of the prophet Joel, even though many centuries separate us, our cultures are very similar. At one time during the history of the USA, there was a very healthy fear of the Lord. Children used to pray at school even if they did not come from families that were faithful to God. Many children learned how to read using the Bible as their guide. Bible stories were once the bedtime stories that children heard from their parents. Somewhere along the way, people stopped seeking fellowship with God. It did not happen overnight. It happened little by little until social/secular life became separate from spiritual life and many just completely moved away from spirituality. This discretion is a mirror image of what happened in Israel during the life of the prophet Joel. Society was falling apart then as it seems to be doing now. I would like to examine the root of the problem and see what solution God offers to right was has been made wrong by us, the people. Continue reading
Last night, I had the privilege of leading our youth meeting. As the young men of the youth group, we organized a special event for the girls in honor of the 8th of March, International Women’s Day. It was a fun night. One of the guys composed a poem to honor mothers. One of the praise and worship team members played a few “romantic” solos on his saxophone. The girls were surprised to receive flowers on behalf of the men of the youth group. Our special guest speaker was the Senior pastor of Good News church, Vasile Filat.
I went to teach two eighth grade classes today at our local public high school. I really enjoy teaching these two classes, even though it is very difficult to keep them focused. I teach them once a week during their civics class. Part of the class involves human sexuality so I was invited to teach about the Bible and human sexuality. Today, we covered the story of Amnan and Tamar. Continue reading
Some (atheists) dislike Israel for the fact that they have a special blessing from God upon them (not because God likes them more but because it is part of His plan to bless the entire world). As you can see in the following text, this person has no idea what God has in mind when He says that through the “seed” of Abraham, the entire world will be blessed. Continue reading
I had an interesting discussion with a pastor friend of mine the other day about the kings of the Old Testament which prodded me to write this short but much needed article. In fact I will also preach on this subject this coming Sunday morning. Many people continue to say that the Bible is an old book and is no longer relevant to the 21st century. I strongly disagree with this statement and I will explain why, simply using the O.T. as evidence. Those who claim that the Bible is not relevant have usually never actually read the Bible. They base their information on what others have said. This is very dangerous because what you “hear/read” from others may not necessarily be true. Here we go.
I. Israel was a nation founded on godly principles from the Word of God.
It is not difficult to see this with a simple reading of the first 5 books of the Old Testament. God carved out this nation and set down the guidelines for daily life. The people accepted God’s plan and followed it. The nation was formed and grew to power. The main thing that the nation of Israel was to do was to continue following God’s plan as laid out in the Scripture. They did a descent job but they revolted in the fact that they wanted a king in order to be like the other nations. God allowed them to have their king and the first one was a disaster. It got better with David and most of Solomon’s reign. Something happened during Solomon’s reign. The USA has followed the same pattern. America was founded on godly principles and those principles were to be passed on throughout each generation. God carved out a nation of people who were following Him and the nation prospered greatly, into the world’s superpower but somewhere along the way America fell into the same trap that Israel did. America has not learned that history repeats itself if people do not know history and try to avoid the mistakes of the past.