What can you say about…Jochebed?

What can you say about Jochebed?

Well, the woman mentioned twice by name in the scriptures (Exodus 6:20, Numbers 26:59) was born in Egypt and bore three children, who grew up to become some spiritually heavy-hitters as well. She made tough choices, she knew the providence of God and her faith must have been a topic mentioned at her funeral (Exodus 2:1-9, Hebrews 11:23).

This is why Jochebed stands as an example to every woman who knows the value of fearing God despite the feelings of the culture that surrounds her. EA

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

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What can you say about…Jabez?

What can you say about, Jabez? Well, there’s the place (1 Chronicles 2:55), and then there’s the person (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)…the person is a lot more interesting despite the fact we’re told very little about him biblically speaking.

But in light of what we’re told, here are a couple of things you could say about him: One, something about him reminded his mother of great sorrow. Maybe his birth was costly, physically speaking. Maybe it was a family situation. Regardless of the cause, the name of sorrow (the literal meaning of Jabez) was given at his birth, but it would be a name that he would outgrow because the second thing we can say about Jabez is that he became a faithful, a praying, a blessed and a protected man of a God.

We can’t honestly say much else, but what we can say is worth being listened to. EA

Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)

“Get a PH.D. in knowing Me”

It’s hard to believe, but there was a time other than today when higher education abounded yet so many remained ignorant of the simple principles of life – to be brutally honest, many such times have existed throughout history. Such a time even existed during the days of Jeremiah the prophet.

Jeremiah preached to an educated people. But, in a huge twist of irony, for all the learning that Jeremiah’s audience was capable of doing, one major class that the people flunked out of was Theology 101. So the Lord’s message (in my own “word on the street translation”) to his people was this – “Get a PH.D. in knowing me and then you’ll have a diploma worth bragging about.” EA

Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24

You do good by thinking of others

“…And so we went toward Rome. And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.” (Acts 28:14-15)

When’s the last you “traveled” to “Appii Forum” and “The Three Inns” to encourage someone who could use the support? Can’t remember? Then it’s time to start traveling!

Many of the church’s worship attendance, giving, volunteering, parenting and forgiveness problems stem from members who never leave the communities of “me” and “I” when it comes to thinking of others. Reality is though, when we fail to think of others, we fail to remember who we’re called to be in Jesus – old fashioned good thinkers and do-gooders (1 Corinthians 13:5).

You see, there are always people traveling on a lonely road to “Rome”, but they don’t have anyone who thinks enough of them to encourage them along the way. But that could change, and you could be the one to do it. EA

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,” (Hebrews 10:24)

L-O-V-E: The four-letter word that the world needs to hear a little more of

It took precedence over miracles, it identifies a follower of Jesus and it has conquered the highest haughty spirits – it’s love! (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, John 13:35, Philippians 2:1-4)

Love is the most unprofane four letter word that can be spoken…and it bears repeating as oft as it’s needed. It binds, it cures and it cleanses – and that goes for the ones who give it and for those to whom it is given to. (Ephesians 4:16, 1 John 3:10-11, 1 Peter 1:22)

Love isn’t lust. It’s not even something that’s always a feeling – it’s something that’s guided, something that’s godly and something that expresses goodness in the face hatred. (1 John 5:3, Romans 12:9, Matthew 5:44-45)

Clean your ears out with this: for God so loved the world that…you’ve heard the rest, right? EA

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” 1 John 4:20

What happened to the diversity of thought being a good thing?

An athlete can come out as a cross-dressing homosexual and they are praised by the media as being a heroic example, while another athlete speaks out as a cross promoting Christian and they are castigated by the media as being a bigot and are told to keep their beliefs at home.

A politician that sees no sin in anyone other than those who call a spade a spade can sing “Amazing Grace” and they’re called the “reverend-in-chief”, while another politician who sees and calls out the sin that causes humanity’s need for amazing grace and they’re called a “homophobe” who clings to an out-of-date book.

A law can be created to “protect” an individual’s lifestyle from those who disagree with it and it’s seen as just and fair, while the same law can force those who disagree with being forced into doing something that goes against their lifestyle into doing that very thing and somehow there’s no inequality or injustice in it.

So what happened to that idea that said diversity of thought was a good thing? I guess it’s only good until the thought differs from the desired diversity…which doesn’t sound very diverse at the end of the day, now does it? EA

He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan. Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice, but a companion of harlots wastes his wealth.” (Proverbs 29:1-3)

That’s not what John 3:16 says!

Sinners Prayer

While doing some evangelistic work at a local festival I was given the above piece of paper (which, by the way, also happens to be a fake $100 bill on the other side) by an individual who had stopped at our congregation’s booth. After reading the piece of paper, I decided to look up John 3:16 because the wording under the scripture reference seemed to be a little longer than what I remembered the actual verse saying, and just as I suspected – it’s not what John 3:16 says!

The prayer and the promise on this paper is as fake as the $100 bill on the other side. And like the fake $100 bill, these tactics seem real until you open them up to the light of God’s word so don’t fall for it. No apostle or prophet of Jesus Christ ever taught anyone to pray a made-up sinner’s prayer to be saved; and not one time in the New Testament can a verse be found that says faith alone saves anyone. Peter didn’t say, “believe and pray to Jesus for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” in Acts 2:38. And Paul wasn’t told to, “arise and pray some more, washing away your sins, calling upon the name of the Lord” in Acts 22:16. So why should anyone say anything close to that today?

John’s gospel is full of people who believed in various ways but they still weren’t saved, so don’t miss the point of John 3:16 (which happens to include the new birth that was discussed at the beginning of the chapter)! The point of John 3:16 is about opportunity. It’s an opportunity to find salvation from the effects of sin by listening to God’s instructions which have been given unto us by the Son who was lifted up on the cross to be the answer to our sins.

Believing in Jesus involves actions, and these actions don’t include some prayer written by the inspiration of some man or woman. And this why you’ll find sinners praying in the New Testament, but you won’t find the sinner’s prayer because that’s not what John 3:16 says.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:14-17)