Daniel and Joseph are two of my greatest Biblical heroes. I admire their impeccable character, inspiring faith, strong understanding of God’s sovereignty and consistent obedience to God’s will. Both of them excelled as leaders. Daniel was so highly esteemed by God that when he asked Him questions the Lord dispatched Gabriel, one of the most powerful angelic beings, to answer his concerns. Imagine praying and then having an angel walk in your room with God’s response!
Honor seems to be a lost concept in these decaying days. As she declines cynicism ascends to ravage our land. People watch their heroes fall to lust, haughtiness and hypocrisy to the point that scandal has become ho-hum. Of course, this makes sense for honor cannot be owned long by anything infected by sin. When people conclude it is hopeless to live a virtuous life they must find some means to justify their tainted tastes. Rather than fight an insatiable flesh some condone it as natural and reinvent virtue in defiled ways. "They devise crimes and say, “We have perfected a secret plan.” The inner man and the heart are mysterious" (Psalm 64:6). Whenever evil is called good understand that honor is despised as intolerant. Thus, the mother who decries the neighborhood pedophile is labeled by sexual deviants as hateful.
In 1725, Franciscan monks established the Convent of Ocopa to evangelize and civilize the tribes of the Peruvian jungle. Located about 45 minutes from the city of Huancayo in the central Andes, this monastery contains a library with over 25,000 volumes of antique literature. Adorning many of the walls of the splendid building are paintings that date 200-300 years in age. It is a most impressive place where the walls literally seem to breathe with stories.
I don’t know about you, but I personally find it a challenge to submit my reputation, rights and responsibility to God’s authority. When wronged by someone else, my instinct is to seek retribution. For most of my life I’ve possessed a fierce need to defend myself. If my family, friends or teachers pointed out flaws in my conduct or character I was adept at making excuses. Of course all of this posturing can be explained by one word—PRIDE.
Freddie recently conversed with a gas station attendant. The man told him that he could never place his trust in the Bible because it was inaccurate. He claimed that in 2 Chronicles 4:2, the circumference measurements listed for the circular Sea of cast metal (used by the priests for their ceremonial washing), did not match up. This greatly disturbed Freddie. Knowing God’s Word was on the line challenged his own faith. So he studied the disputed passage. He discovered that the measurements were from brim to brim and not rim to rim. The circumference distance was precisely accurate. Freddie was elated! Soon he’ll share his discovery with that petro-pumper.
In our culture it is common for people to exchange business cards. Those tree-descended pieces tell others what we do, who we are and how we can be contacted. The information had better be good if we hope to prosper.
Psalm 8:1,9--Yahweh, our Lord,how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth! You have covered the heavens with Your majesty . . . Yahweh, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!
The beginning of the year is a time when people in our society reflect. For many, new resolutions and goals are forged on the gold-embossed pages of a new journal. Yet as the past is closed for the door of tomorrow a timeless God is not concerned with another year. His word makes His question clear—are we loyal to Him?
Across the table sat a man of large girth and hostile demeanor—one who formerly had served as his platoon sergeant. This noncommissioned officer faced legal charges that if successful, would eject him from the army dishonorably. He had been caught stealing equipment from his own soldiers, lying and shirking his duties. Now, less than a year later, enough charges had accumulated to bring him to trial.