God Cares About Justice

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by Max Lucado

A mother says, I’m so sorry for abandoning you—could we possibly get together?

Her daughter thinks to herself, That’s it? She wants to get together and I’m supposed to just forgive her?

Seems too easy. Doesn’t mom need to experience what she gave? Spend a few years wondering if she’ll see her daughter again? Some pain-filled nights? A bit of justice? Isn’t some vengeance in order? Of course it is. God cares about justice more than we do.

In Romans 12:17, Paul tells us to never pay back evil for evil. Leave that to God, for He has said that he will repay those who deserve it.

We fear the evildoer will slip into the night, unknown and unpunished. Not to worry. God will repay—not He might repay. God will execute justice on behalf of truth and fairness. Fix your enemies? That’s God’s job. Forgive your enemies? Ahh, that’s where you and I come in. We forgive.

Bible Study

Entitlement 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12

The Bible is always relevant and our text for clarifies questions concerning welfare and entitlement. 
We live in the day of “Entitlement.”   Such is the cracked foundation of a socialistic governments.  I called it “Robin Hood Economics.”  The character, Robin Hood, robbed the rich and gave to the poor and became a hero to many people. 
The act of taking away from those who have rightfully earned (it matters not what you think about rich people, if they earned it or inherited it, it belongs to them!) and give to those who refuse to earn!  You have the “makers” and the “takers” in a perpetual war with one another. 
Let’s see what the Bible says about the subject.  Why is it so important to us in our day?  Because we have been given the same ideology through the years. 

Entitlement defined:  the condition of having the right to have, to do, or to get something.  The feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something.  A type of financial help provided by the government for members of a particular group.  (Merriam-Webster)

Socialism is a slow, creeping plague that begins slowly but brings a nation down quickly in the end. 

1.  Why, because a “welfare state” cannot work.  Fully socialistic nations have proven this beyond a doubt.  We have a hybrid “capitalistic-socialistic” state or nation.  While a little more stable for a while, it will eventually become unsustainable.  I do not want this to become a political lesson but the subject matter is important enough that God dealt with it. 

2.  As the dependent population grows, the productive population begins to decline and you end up with more takers than makers.  You must begin borrowing money to feed the poor who will not work and, at that time, you have crossed the line.  Eventually, money must be borrowed to sustain the economy and the economy begins to collapse. 

Now, let us take the text to its context: Paul is writing to a local church.

1.  I watch a local church in our city who has a “food bank” giving out free groceries all the time.  On a certain day of the week or month, they bag up free food for all who come.  The church parking lot is full of people who will not attend that church.  It is also full of people who live off welfare and food stamps!

2.  People call the church all the time asking for money for food, gas, utilities, etc. and I question them thoroughly.  Very few ever get help because they have family or other sources from which to get help.

What does the Bible say about entitlement?  Nothing! 

1.  We have seen the bumper sticker that says that the Christian’s “retirement is out of this world.”  Heaven is not going to be saved people sitting on the bank of the River of Life with their feet dangling in the water while talking or just doing nothing. 

2.  I have often said that heaven will be a busy place and this eternal earth will be busy also.  God did not make man to just do nothing but eat and sleep.

F.  What does God have for us?

1.  God established the principle of labor before the Fall.  In Genesis, chapter 2, before the fall, God gave Adam a job!  Genesis 2:15  And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.  (In the perfection and innocence of the Garden of Eden, God established the principle of work.  Adam did not get a “free ride.”  I do not know exactly what needed to be done in the utopia called “The Garden of Eden,” but Adam had a specific work to do.)

2.  The Command of Labor.  In Genesis, chapter 3, after the fall, God gave commandment that a man is to work for a living.  This was not the establishment of a Biblical principle but a clear Biblical command to work.  Genesis 3:19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.  (Not only was the man to work, he was to work hard [sweat] and long [till thou return unto the ground].)

3.  The Satisfaction of Labor.  Psalms 128:2  For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.  (Someone said that if you work a job, in about two weeks, you will suddenly come into some money.  I can honestly say that all that we have ever had came through hard and continual work.)

4.  The Sleep of Labor.  Ecclesiastes 5:12  The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.  (You do not have to rock hard working men and women to sleep at night!)

5.  The Mindset of Laziness.  Proverbs 26:13-16  The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.  (14)  As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.  (15)  The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.  (16)  The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.  (A man who will not work has more excuses for not working that “Carter has little pills.”  Constantly turning in one’s bed is because he/she has slept enough and needs to get up and go to work.)

6.  The Curse of Laziness.  Proverbs 24:30-31  I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;  (31)  And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.  (A lazy person takes no pride in their home!  The condition of what they have is a reflection of their character.)

7.  The Poverty of Laziness.  Proverbs 24:32-34  Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.  (33)  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:  (34)  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.  (Poverty comes slowly but surely to those who are too lazy to work a job.)

8.  The Cure of Laziness.  Proverbs 20:4  The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.  (He may beg but deserves to go hungry!)

1 Timothy 5:8  But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

2 Thessalonians 3:10-11  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.  (11)  For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

Wade’s Wednesday

When Death Becomes Birth

by Max Lucado

You live one final breath from your own funeral. Which, from God’s perspective, is nothing to grieve. He responds to these grave facts with this great news: “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.” (Eccles. 7:1).

Now there is a twist. Heaven enjoys a maternity-ward reaction to funerals. Angels watch body burials the same way grandparents monitor delivery-room doors. “He’ll be coming through any minute!” They can’t wait to see the new arrival. While we’re driving hearses and wearing black, they’re hanging pink and blue streamers and passing out cigars. We don’t grieve when babies enter the world. The hosts of heaven don’t weep when we leave it.

Oh, but many of us weep at the thought of death. Do you? Do you dread your death? And is your dread of death robbing your joy of life? Jesus came to “deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying”.

Your death may surprise you and sadden others, but heaven knows no untimely death: You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Dread of death ends when you know heaven is your true home. In all my air travels I’ve never seen one passenger weep when the plane landed. Never. No one clings to the armrests and begs, “Don’t make me leave. Don’t make me leave. Let me stay and eat more peanuts.” We’re willing to exit because the plane has no permanent mailing address. Nor does this world. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.

Why don’t you do this: give God your death. Imagine your last breath, envision your final minutes, and offer them to him. Deliberately. Regularly. “Lord, I receive your work on the cross and in your resurrection. I entrust you with my departure from earth.” With Christ as your friend and heaven as your home, the day of death becomes sweeter than the day of birth.

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

Put It In God’s Hand

Put it in God’s hand, in everything you may face,

Rest assured, you’ll be lead by His amazing grace;

So when you are weak with things going wrong,

Just His holy presence will make your spirit strong!

Put it in God’s hand, whatever life brings your way,

You’ll find peace as He leads in what to do & say;

There are no errors in anything He has done,

No mistakes in God’s handiwork, no, not one!

Put it in God’s hand, when you have a special need,

There’s nothing God’s able hand cannot meet;

Our heart may get concerned, then worry & fret,

But there’s not one need God hasn’t answered yet!

Put it in God’s hand, & leave it there to stay,

We are so much wiser to let Him lead the way;

Yes, we’ll see our life go so much better,

If we let Him have His way altogether!

 

J.H. Jowett’s Daily Meditation

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THE HANDFUL OF MEAL

WHAT marvelous “coincidences” are prepared by Providential grace! The poor widow is unconsciously ordained to entertain the prophet! The ravens will be guided to the brook Cherith! “I have commanded them to feed thee there.” Our road is full of surprises. We see the frowning, precipitous hill, and we fear it, but when we arrive at its base we find a refreshing spring! The Lord of the way had gone before the pilgrim. “I go to prepare … for you.”

But how strange that a widow with only “a handful of meal” should be “commanded” to offer hospitality! It is once again “the impossible” which is set before us. It would have been a dull commonplace to have fed the prophet from the overflowing larder of the rich man’s palace. But to work from an almost empty cupboard! That is the surprising way of the Lord. He delights to hang great weights on apparently slender wires, to have great events turn on seeming trifles, and to make poverty the minister of “the indescribable riches of Christ.”

The poor widow sacrificed her “handful of meal,” and received an unfailing supply. And this, too, is the way of the Lord.

“Whatever, Lord, we lend to Thee, Repaid a thousand fold will be.”

Be Angry And Sin Not

By Adrian Rogers

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Ephesians 4:26

God’s Word tells us to be “slow to wrath” (Proverbs 14:29, James 1:19). There’s nothing that will do more damage to your relationships than unwanted, unwarranted anger. If you are given to anger, let me tell you a couple of things the Bible says, and it won’t be flattering.

First, the Bible says you are foolish. Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, “For anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”

Second, you have a weak character. Proverbs 16:32 says, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”

Uncontrolled anger is like throwing a rock into a wasp’s nest.

Do you have a short fuse? If so, confess it to the Lord. Don’t let Satan get a stronghold in your life. If you get angry today, ask yourself, “What need is not being met?” Give that need to the Lord

The call to holiness is easy to ignore in a world which lives by much different standards. Satan gets us to compare our lifestyle with those around us, deluding us into devaluing our sins in comparison to others.

But the issue is not comparison shopping our sin; the issue is a thankful heart that has been cleansed by the Holy Spirit and saved by grace.

Ignoring, or toning down, the Spirit’s call for holiness is rejecting God. Let’s be passionate about holiness in our lives, both because it is what God wants and also because it is what we should seek.

From the messages of Adrian Rogers.© 2015 Used by permission of
Love Worth Finding Ministries  PO Box 38300  Memphis, TN 38183-0300

KINDNESS

Daily Deeds of Kindness

By Max Lucado

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”Matthew 5:16

In the final days of Jesus’ life, he shared a meal with his friends Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. Within the week he would feel the sting of the Roman whip, the point of the thorny crown, and the iron of the executioner’s nail. But on this evening, he felt the love of three friends.

For Mary, however, giving the dinner was not enough. “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.” (John 12:3). . . .

Judas criticized the deed as wasteful. Not Jesus. He received the gesture as an extravagant demonstration of love, a friend surrendering her most treasured gift. As Jesus hung on the cross, we wonder, Did he detect the fragrance on his skin?

Follow Mary’s example.

There is an elderly man in your community who just lost his wife. An hour of your time would mean the world to him.

Some kids in your city have no dad. No father takes them to movies or baseball games. Maybe you can. They can’t pay you back. They can’t even afford the popcorn or sodas. But they’ll smile like a cantaloupe slice at your kindness.

Or how about this one? Down the hall from your bedroom is a person who shares your last name. Shock that person with kindness. Something outlandish. Your homework done with no complaints. Coffee served before he awakens. A love letter written to her for no special reason. Alabaster poured, just because.

Daily do a deed for which you cannot be repaid.  (from Great Day Every Day)

Precious Savior, we pass people every day who need a demonstration of your love. May we search for ways to show extravagant gestures of gracious love, and outlandish acts of kindness. Make us people who set a goal of doing daily deeds for which we cannot be repaid. Set our hearts on fire for people who do not know you. Consume us with compassion for the desperate and downtrodden. Let us pour our lives out in love . . . just because, amen.

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart…I Peter 1:22

From He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado UpWords from Max Lucado (©2016 by Crosswalk.com)

Friday Funnies

VET VISIT

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird’s chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, “I’m sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has   passed away.” The distressed woman wailed, “Are you sure?”   “Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead,” replied the vet.

“How can you be so sure?” she protested. “I mean you haven’t done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something.”

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck’s owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room.

A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, “I’m sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck.”

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman.. The duck’s owner, still in shock, took the bill. “$150!” she cried, “$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!”

The vet shrugged, “I’m sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it’s now $150.”

MEMORY

An elderly couple had dinner at another couple’s house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went  into the kitchen. The two gentlemen were  talking, and one said,

“Last night  we went out to a new restaurant and it was really  great. I would  recommend it very highly.” The other man said, “What is the name of the  restaurant?”

The first man thought and thought and finally said, “What  is the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know… the  one that’s red and has thorns.” “Do you mean a rose?” “Yes, that’s the one,” replied the man.

He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, “Rose,  what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last  night?”

Married Four Times

The local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married for the fourth time.

The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt like to be marrying again at 80, and then about her new husband’s occupation.. “He’s a funeral director,” she answered. “Interesting,” the newsman thought… He then asked her if she wouldn’t mind telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living.

She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years. After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she had first married a banker when she was in her 20’s, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40’s, and a preacher when in her 60’s, and now – in her 80’s – a funeral director.

The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had married four men with such diverse careers.

She smiled and explained, “I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go.”

Bible Study

Troubled Hearts John 14:1-6
 
I believe that all of God’s people, at one time or another-in one way or the other, have troubled hearts.

  1. Moses, a man who spoke to God face to face, was troubled. Numbers 11:11 And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?
  2. David, a man after God’s own heart, was troubled. 1 Samuel 27:1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.
  3. John the Baptist, the greatest preacher born of woman, was troubled. Luke 7:19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
  4. Paul, the greatest missionary who ever lived, was troubled. 2 Corinthians 7:5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.

The list could go on but I think we all get the message. There are times when each of us has a troubled heart.

One of the signs of the last days (I know that this verse is speaking of the Tribulation Period and I am simply making application) is “Men’s hearts failing them for fear.” With great knowledge comes great fear. With our ability to see or hear the news in a moment’s time lends to more and more worries. When I was a boy, people did not know what was going on around the world like they do now.

The number one killer in America today is stress related problems. God’s people are not exempt and I know of even preachers who have taken their own lives when their fears were not handled properly. People are different and their areas of concern are often diverse.

Some people are strong in certain areas while having weakness in others. We can have great faith in one area of live and then have a trembling soul in another. This makes it easy for us to indict others when they become troubled or worried while we worry about our problems in other areas.

  1. Fearful Concerning Our Health
  2. Fearful Concerning Our Finances
  3. Fearful Concerning Our Families
  4. Fearful Concerning Our Future
  5. Fearful Concerning Our Foes
  6. Fearful Concerning Our Failures

The key to peace of heart could be summed up in one word: TRUST! Trust is a big word! Troubled and fearful are the exact opposites of trust. God’s Word says much about trust and we will tie those verses to those concerning fears.

Fear is a hard taskmaster that can both control and ruin the lives of God’s people. Even those who have placed into the Lord’s hands the safe keeping of their souls have concerns and fears. Fear and faith are polar opposites and cannot cohabitate.

Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable-and, most of all, fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in its God.

Martha, the sister of Lazarus, was troubled about “many things.” Luke 10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things.

Some people worry about not having anything to worry about while others live in a more peaceful existence. One of the main culprits in this area of worry and distress is found in Psalms 25:17, which reads, “The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.” (Notice that the troubles were enlarged in the heart. Not that the problems were enlarged for they remained constant but they became enlarged when the heart became troubled and fearful. The more you worry about something the bigger and worse it seems to get.)

God’s Word commands us not to worry – Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

  1. There Is The Certainty Of Troubled Hearts – “be troubled” – 2 Corinthians 7:5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. (Notice I said, “The certainty of troubled hearts.” Everyone is plagued with this problem. Even God’s men are troubled in heart at times.)
  2. There Is The Choice Of Troubled Hearts – “Let not” – John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (It is simply up to us when and how much we worry! We can either have a trusting heart or a troubled one.)
  3. There Is The Cause Of Troubled Hearts – “if it were not so” (Troubled hearts are a result of unbelief and mistrust.)

Mark 4:35-38 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

a. They Relied Upon Their Own Strength – “so that it was now full.” (They rowed and bailed until all hope was gone before awaking the Lord.)

b. They Failed To Realize Who Was With Them – “Master” (Dear Lord, you got us into trouble again!)

1) The Realization Of His Omnipresence
2) The Realization Of His Omniscience
3) The Realization Of His Omnipotence

c. They Forgot Who They Were – “carest thou not” (You had better believe that He cares! Oh, yes He cares!)

d. They Forgot His Promise – “Let us pass over unto the other side.”

  1. There Is The Cure Of Troubled Hearts – “ye believe in God, believe also in me”

a. Trust In The Lord – Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Psalms 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psalms 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

b. Rest In The Lord – Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

c. Commit Unto The Lord – Psalms 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Job 23:10-11 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

Victory Baptist Church 19 May 2021 victorypalmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

The Weight of Glory

by Max Lucado

Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 
(2 Corinthians 4:17)

The words “weight of glory” conjure up images of the ancient pan scale.  Remember the blindfolded lady of justice?  She holds a pan scale- two pans, one on either side of the needle.  The weight of a purchase would be determined by placing weights on one side and the purchase on the other.

God does the same with your struggles. On one side he stacks all your burdens.  Famines.  Firings.  Parents who forgot you.  Bosses who ignored you.  Bad breaks, bad health, bad days.  Stack them up, and watch one side of the pan scale plummet.

Now witness God’s response.  Does he remove them?  Eliminate the burdens?  No, rather than take them, he offsets them.  He places an eternal weight of glory on the other side.  Endless joy.  Measureless peace.  An eternity of him.  Watch what happens as he sets eternity on your scale.

Everything changes!  The burdens lift.  The heavy becomes light when weighed against eternity.  If life is “just a moment,” can’t we endure any challenge for a moment?

We can be sick for just a moment.

We can be lonely for just a moment.

We can be persecuted for just a moment.

We can struggle for just a moment.

Can’t we?

Can’t we wait for our peace? It’s not about
us anyway. And it’s certainly not about now.