He hears your prayers and your cries, Make the Lord your refuge until these calamities pass by.

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   Meditating on Psalm 34 helped me during difficult trials. I know that every word of God is true. You can trust in Him. As Psalm 57 says, “My soul trusts in You, and in the shadow of Your wings I make my refuge until these calamities pass by. I will cry unto God Most High who performs all things for me, He shall send help from heaven to save me.”

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Psalm 34 

I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.
 I will boast only in the Lord;
    let all who are helpless take heart.
 Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together.

 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    He freed me from all my fears.
 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
 In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
    he saved me from all my troubles.
 For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
    he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
 Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
    for those who fear him will have all they need.
 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
    but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

 Come, my children, and listen to me,
    and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
 Does anyone want to live a life
    that is long and prosperous?
 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
    and your lips from telling lies!
 Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
    his ears are open to their cries for help.
 But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
    he will erase their memory from the earth.
 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.
 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
 he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

 The righteous person faces many troubles,
    but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
 For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
    not one of them is broken!

 Calamity will surely destroy the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
 But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
    No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Gun control in the bible

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Yes, it’s in there… okay,it was sword control.

Here is an example of weapon control in the book of Samuel when Saul became king of Israel: 1 Samuel 13:19-22

 There were no blacksmiths in the land of Israel in those days. The Philistines wouldn’t allow them for fear they would make swords and spears for the Hebrews. So whenever the Israelites needed to sharpen their plowshares, picks, axes, or sickles, they had to take them to a Philistine blacksmith.  The charges were as follows: a quarter of an ounce of silver for sharpening a plowshare or a pick, and an eighth of an ounce for sharpening an ax or making the point of an ox goad. So on the day of the battle none of the people of Israel had a sword or spear, except for Saul and Jonathan.

Just thoughts, just thoughts. The violence is horrible, but what’s the root ? It’s not the gun, it’s our people. Our streets are filled with violence, just as it was in Noah’s day.

 

Genesis 6:11-13 :Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence.  God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt.  So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!

Jeremiah 6:7-9: She spouts evil like a fountain. Her streets echo with the sounds of violence and destruction.  I always see her sickness and sores. Listen to this warning, Jerusalem, or I will turn from you in disgust. Listen, or I will turn you into a heap of ruins, a land where no one lives.”

Micah 6:12 : The rich among you have become wealthy through extortion and violence.
Your citizens are so used to lying that their tongues can no longer tell the truth.

Habakkuk’s Complaint Habakkuk1:2-5

 How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
    But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
    but you do not come to save.
 Must I forever see these evil deeds?
    Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
    I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
    who love to argue and fight.
 The law has become paralyzed,
    and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
    so that justice has become perverted.

The Lord’s Reply

 The Lord replied,
“Look around at the nations;
   look and be amazed!

For I am doing something in your own day,
    something you wouldn’t believe
    even if someone told you about it!

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Don’t give in response to pressure. 2 Cor 9:7

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   The tithing thing bothers me. It’s not that I don’t like tithing or giving, I do. It’s the way the pressure is put on some (a lot) the congregations.  I believe and feel confident that if churches, meaning here leaders, put their effort into leading the people to Christ, their hearts would be moved to give always and give cheerfully.  They wouldn’t need to pressure the people. Maybe…if you need to pressure you’re congregation—- the flock haven’t been feed properly or they have fallen away. I think so. If we’re truly walking with the Lord, the Holy Spirit prompts us to give, where to give and to give abundantly.

Don’t give in response to pressure. 2 Cor 9:7

This is the NLT version, so I decided to study further and look up the meaning of the Greek words as well as other versions of this passage. Sure enough, it means what it says.

According to the definition of words in the blue letter bible, 2 Cor 9:7 reads as follows:

Every man and all, according to their stores ( what they have) and their preference and purpose in their heart, according to what is moved in their heart to give should give, but God forbid that one gives with a grudge, being annoyed to give or to give with grief, and likewise, God forbid one give out imposed upon customs, laws, necessity, manipulation, shaken to give or forces. Yet instead, let it be from your heart both cheerfully and willingly. 

Image result for cheerful heartA cheerful heart,  that’s how we’re supposed to give, but let’s look at this meaning. The Greek word for cheerful is Hilaros- meaning merry, prompt willing. To go further, the root of that word is merciful, gracious and further study brings us to the word willing.

When we give, we should give willingly, with mercy for others and with a joyous happy heart.

 

I LOVE THIS VERSE IN ACTS 4:

“There were no needy people among them..those who had something to give, brought the money to the apostles to give to those in need.”…..

Will we ever get back to this place?

 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.  The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. 34 There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them 35 and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.

Keys to this verse:

First we must be united in Christ
Then we will understand that all we have belongs to the Lord
We will be prompted to SHARE – OH my gosh, do you know that some”Christian” parents teach their kids not to share. unbelievable! I see it out there people
And God’s great blessing was upon them all
There were NO more needy among them

I want that.

Will you be ready when Jesus Returns? Luke 12:35-48

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Which servant will you be?

1-The Wise Servant: To those servants who are found ready and waiting , they will be blessed and given the position of ruling over his household, this person will be made ruler of all He has.

2-The Faker Servant: To the servants who says – eh, He isn’t coming anytime, I know what I should do but….  I will treat people cruely and unfairly, I will eat, drink and be drunk- I have time.  This servant will be cut in two and given his portion with unbelievers

3-Slacker Servant: To the servant who knew God’s will but was not ready according to God’s will be beaten with many stripes.

4-Unintentional Servant: The servant who was unaware and unlearned in these things but did things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few.

In Luke 12, Jesus tell us to be ready at all times for His return. Jesus told Peter this warning is for the wise and faithful.

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Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;  and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.  But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.  Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people? And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?  Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.  Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.  But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”

Discern the Time :  Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. 56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?

Make Peace with Your Adversary: “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?58 When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.  I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”

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When Christ returns, will he find you in bitterness? anger? unforgiveness? pride? covetous? jealousy? lying? drinking? living in sin? Get rid of all sin, live a life to please the Lord and be the New Creation He created you to be- Holy and Righteous. Prepare your heart today and always be ready at all times.