Saturday, December 3, 2022

December 3, 2022

Though we were exhausted from the day's activities, my neighbor invited us to a boxing match last night. Boxing is not my thing, but there is always something to be learned, so I began trying to figure out what lesson we could take from it. Out of all the fights we watched, only one was evenly matched, so the outcome was unknown until the end. Then came the main event of the evening; one guy had won every round but the last one, and I was sure the judges might rule in his favor because of his final showing. We were pleasantly surprised that they were fair and saw what we saw. 

Many crazy things are happening in this world that make no sense, but we must remember that the enemy has been losing every round. Though it looks like he's winning right now, we can be sure that we have a fair judge, and he will lose in the end. This comparison is interesting because the winner's stage name was Great White, as in Great White Throne Judgment! This night was a living prophecy; we can look forward to winning because God never loses!

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. Revelation 20:11

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:1-3

Friday, December 2, 2022

December 2, 2022

The activity surrounding the auction has been exhilarating. All the moving parts have created a circus-like atmosphere. Today is the preview and, likely, the longest day. People are flying in from all over the country for an opportunity to bid on a unique piece of Americana. The passion and excitement that many are feeling over these relics of the past is something I've only seen in my father-in-law before he passed away. The gearheads are thrilled! I'm elated; this is fun! It's easy to get wrapped up in worldly affairs, so we must keep our enthusiasm in check and ensure we give credit where credit is due. Our family knows God provided us with this fun as a blessing and a relief from all the hardships we've dealt with over this past year, and he deserves all the glory. He is allowing us to honor the legacy of our loved one by sending him a farewell that he would have loved. The Lord is good and has blessed us; may we continue to realize from where our help comes.

yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4:14

Thursday, December 1, 2022

December 1, 2022

Our family decided to continue a tradition my father-in-law started as a memorial to him. So my daughter and I, who have always shopped for him, went out yesterday to finish getting the gifts. When I got up this morning, my credit card company sent me a text in the middle of the night alerting me of possible fraud. I’m not surprised because we were all over the place preparing for Christmas and the upcoming auction, so we made some unusual purchases. Although it is aggravating, there have been times when there was a fraud on my card, so I’m thankful they keep watch. Some malicious actors will try to steal from innocent people; it’s too bad that the world has made them think they need material things and caused them to become thieves.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. James 3:14-16

One day, we will all find out how we needlessly worked in excess for material things that make us comfortable. I imagine we will be shocked at how simple life could have been if we followed God’s lead. We all need to wake up to his wisdom.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

November 30, 2022

Growing up around cattle, I know how powerful they can be, but even as big as they are, if you start training them young, you can control them with a halter. Yesterday, I watched the cattleman who keeps his Brangus cows on our property lead a new mother with a rope and her calf to the feed trough so he could care for them, and she is enormous!

In the book of James, it says it is easier to tame animals than it is to tame the human tongue. 

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:7-8

I’m sure most people believe this portion of scripture is referring to your choice of expletives, but it’s referring to false teaching. Indeed your reputation as a Christ-follower will become sullied if you use cuss words, but God is mainly concerned with you spreading lies and false teachings. It is easy to take the Bible out of context and highly important to consider when it comes to biblical interpretation. An important lesson I learned in Bible Training is to read the entire chapter and sometimes the chapter before to determine the context of the scripture. A teacher will face severe scrutiny and judgment for their teachings. So be careful of the messages you share.

Notice that the following scriptures come before the first ones I shared.

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. James 3:1-2

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

November 29, 2022

The English language can be complex and confusing, especially when a word is spelled the same but has entirely different meanings. For example, dove: can mean a type of bird or a way of swimming into the water. Minute: can refer to time or something very tiny. Tear: can refer to crying or something torn. So, when the Bible refers to works, I believe we see different meanings for the same word.

James says, "So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead," James 2:17, but Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-9, "for by grace you have been saved through faith… not a result of works." How do we reconcile the two seemingly opposing views? One word, fruit. Paul is talking about working to keep the law of Moses, and James refers to the natural result of faith in God, which is a fruit of the Spirit. According to James, the examples he uses to prove that point: "works" are the "fruit" or result of faith. "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?" James 2:21 "Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way." James 2:25 What may have seemed like a biblical contradiction is confirmed to be words with different meanings.

Monday, November 28, 2022

November 28, 2022

Last night, we had our family over for an after-Thanksgiving Christmas kickoff meal. It was loud but fun. Richard is an instigator, getting the boys all riled up with tickles and rough playing. If all five of the grand-boys had been there, they would have all gotten involved in the madness. They love it, Richard loves it, but the rest of us need noise-canceling earmuffs. 

Did you know that it’s a sin to show partiality? That includes treating poor people the same as rich people. Years ago, I observed something that taught me that lesson. I was at the grocery store and saw a grimy-looking man who looked like he had been living on the street. When I left, I saw him come out of the store and get into his sparkling brand new, red Cadillac sports car. Later, I found out he was a wealthy business owner who worked very hard for his money. 

Be careful to treat everyone you meet with respect. Show no partiality, whether it’s your children, grandchildren, or a passerby; everyone deserves to feel the love of Jesus through you. 

But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. James 2:10-11

Sunday, November 27, 2022

November 27, 2022

We have a long driveway, and you must drive through an electronic gate to get in. Friday evening, some workers were leaving, and a man hurried in before the gate closed behind them. He wanted to look at the cars, but the auction preview is not until this Friday. If it had been the right day, he wouldn’t have had to sneak in because the gate would be open. He didn’t receive a friendly welcome and got rushed off the property. Heaven’s gates are the same way. If you try to enter in some form other than through Jesus, you will get ushered off the property and be considered a thief or robber. Two things to note: you will not enter the gate before God calls you, and if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior, the gate will remain closed. The key to this is without Jesus; you do not have the right to enter his kingdom. Any religion that teaches otherwise is a fraud, and they lie. Don’t trust your eternity to anyone but Jesus, and accept him as your Savior today, or the gate of Heaven will be closed to you.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. John 10:1-3

Also see Revelation 22:15-16