Don’t Slip on the Words of a Smooth Talker

Some people see a ring on the finger and they respect the boundary that it represents.

Some see a ring on the finger and they see as it a challenge.

To such a person the “game” begins with the end goal in sight: false flattery, ego inflation, and an up-tick in excitement which reaches a point of infatuation that ignores the obvious – righteousness and the cost.

Such is the danger of allowing our heart to slip on the words of a smooth talker that has no regard for our soul. EA

My son, pay attention to my wisdom; lend your ear to my understanding, that you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of hell.” Proverbs 5:1-5

 

What Are The Ingredients That Make Up Gilead’s Balm?

After throwing Joseph into a pit, ten brothers saw some traders heading to Egypt with it (Genesis 37:25). In a sad twist of irony, multiplied centuries down the line, the brother’s descendants, along with the nation of Egypt, would metaphorically be at a loss without it (Jeremiah 8:22, 46:11). And millennia later, numerous songs have mentioned it, and even a modern-day pharmaceutical company bears its name. What is it? It’s the much sought after balm of Gilead.

Although originating as a literal and highly sought-after medicinal salve produced in the mountainous regions of north-eastern Israel, the reputation of, and reference to, Gilead’s balm became a symbolic medium and antidote to the sickening effects of sin due to the fact that no worldly medicine could help a dead or dying soul – the spiritual problem demanded a spiritual solution! Thus, Gilead’s balm was the name of the soul-saving prescription that could only be written and administered by God.

So what were the spiritual ingredients that made up the medicine of God? The same ingredients that it contains today:

Read the list of scriptures for yourself. They don’t take long to read, and their theme is easily recognizable because the ingredients of Gilead’s balm are clear and understandable which is the way God designed it to be.

And one last thing, keep in mind that the Great Physician from Galilee is the only one today who still offers and is able to write the prescription for the same balm that contains salvation’s salve for a sinful and dead soul. EA

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:21-24)

Freedom from sin – before or after?

Read Exodus 14:9-31 and 1 Corinthians 10:1-4.

Now, when did Egypt lose their power over Israel? Before or after Israel was baptized into Moses?

When did Israel find their freedom from bondage? Before or after they were baptized into Moses?

How did Israel end up receiving their God-given freedom from slavery? By faith before being baptized into Moses, or by faith after being baptized into Moses?

Now think about those answers and exchange Egypt with Satan, Israel with your name and Moses with Jesus, then read Romans 6:1-18 and answer the same questions to figure out if freedom from sin comes before or after being baptized into Jesus. EA

Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:34-36

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16

Are you a lightning-bug Christian?

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve discovered that catching a lighting-bug after the sun has gone down isn’t as easy as I remember it being as a kid.

Maybe nostalgia has skewed my memories, but the flying light-bulbs just don’t seem to stay lit as long as they used to!

Truth be told, now it seems they act more like some Christians in the church – you see their light shining in the dark, but before you can make your way to them they turn out their light. EA

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” (Matthew 5:14-15)

A contest that you’ll lose…eventually

Ever heard the word misnomer? Ever heard the phrase popularity contest? You can use one to figure out the other.

Let me further explain in case you’re not getting my point. A misnomer is “a wrong or inaccurate use of a name or term”. A popularity contest sounds like something you can win, but the thing is, you can’t truly win a contest that never ends.

You see, the majority of the today’s audience has neither knowledge nor desire for yesterday’s Top 40; today’s politician may study historical races, but they have to gain the vote of today’s people; the “big-man” on the football team soon becomes a legend in his own mind as his old records are described as just that – old. And it’s all thanks to pop-culture.

When the culture changes (and it will), you lose the contest! This is why the right thing to do isn’t always the popular thing that gets done, and this is why God doesn’t try to win a popularity contest with people, nor should we as a Christian (Matthew 7:13-14). EA

Better a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more. For he comes out of prison to be king, although he was born poor in his kingdom. I saw all the living who walk under the sun; they were with the second youth who stands in his place. There was no end of all the people over whom he was made king; yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind.Ecclesiastes 4:13-16

Waiting is a virtue for a reason!

We were about four cars back from the drive-thru menu-board when my daughter’s hungry belly led her to inform us that she didn’t like to wait. In turn we told her that the wait would be worth it. By the time we were finished eating, she had eaten more of what she ordered than she ever had before.

For those who hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6), waiting may not always be the easiest thing to do when we’re hungry for results. Instead of waiting with patience, many seek to fill their appetite in the ways of unrighteousness.

As a matter of fact, waiting has been a major factor for some in the departure from their faith in God (1 Samuel 13:5-14), and it continues to do so to this day (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Waiting is a virtue for a reason, and that reason will be revealed when we get that opportunity to satisfy our righteous appetite in Heaven. EA

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.Revelation 22:14

Are you missing Sunday?

The other day my daughter asked me and my wife, “What day is it?” When we replied, “Tuesday”, she said, “I’ve been missing Sunday.”

What about you?

Do you long for worship?

Do you enjoy coming to encourage your brothers and sisters when we gather?

Does the church cross your mind before Saturday night?

Do you ever miss Sunday, or does Sunday mostly miss you? EA

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)