Saturday, August 30, 2008
Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women? (Nehemiah 13:27).
The nations among whom Israel was called to live were unusually degenerate. They practiced public lewdness. Their immorality had spread diseases among their people. They killed their children by throwing them alive into furnaces of fire in worship to their god Molech. To protect the Israelites from these dangerous practices, God had told them not to intermarry with these peoples. Though intermarriage might look right and proper to us, it would introduce to the Israelites attitudes and concepts that would ultimately undermine their faith and destroy them and their nation. This is what happened. Though Solomon, David's own son, was said to be the wisest man who ever lived, he contracted over a thousand marriages with foreign women who brought their gods with them and eventually introduced pagan practices into the worship of Israel. By the time Solomon's son came to the throne, the nation was so divided it could no longer exist as one but was separated into two. So this was a very wise pledge to make.
This command is actually repeated in Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, not concerning racial distinctions, but religious. He says, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? (2 Corinthians 6:14-16). Many Christians have ignored that to their own detriment by intermarrying with others of a different faith. They have thereby so undermined their own faith that evil in many ways has ultimately crept in and destroyed their marriages. There is no guarantee that if you marry a Christian you are going to have a happy marriage, because there are other principles involved. But it is much more likely that two Christians will be happy together because there are principles and practices taught to us in the Word that make for happiness in marriage. It is certain that if you disobey this command, however, you are opening the door to much heartache, struggle, and misery. There are passages designed to help people who have disobeyed this principle because God is very practical and merciful. He recognizes that for various reasons, intermarriage may occur. There are guidelines to help handle those situations. But by and large this is practical wisdom that needs to be adhered to today. Marry those who share the same faith you have, because faith is the basis for all of life.
He leads us because He loves us.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
".... the truth that will deliver us from the pressures of the times. We must hold things lightly. We must not think that houses, cars, money, and material gain are all that important. Even if we lack these things, the great treasures of our life remain untouched. To strive constantly to gain what everyone else has is a mistake. God teaches us to hold these things lightly. We must never forget that we are in the world but not of it. We are never to settle down here for good. I love the way C. S. Lewis has put it: "Our kind heavenly Father has provided many wonderful inns for us along our journey, but he takes special care to see that we never mistake any of them for home." We are pilgrims and strangers, passing through this world. We are involved in it, deeply sometimes, but we are never to see ourselves as a part of it.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
From The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis
"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Giving when you feel like keeping
Praying for others when you need prayer
Feeding others when your soul is hungry
Hurting with others when your own hurt can't be spoken
Keeping your word when it is not convenient
Being faithful when your soul wants to run away
Brought to my attention by Guy at the M Blog and found here by him.
The Christian soon learns that if he would be victorious as a son of heaven among men on earth he must not follow the common pattern of mankind, but rather the contrary. That he may be safe he puts himself in jeopardy; he loses his life to save it and is in danger of losing it if he attempts to preserve it. He goes down to get up. If he refuses to go down he is already down, but when he starts down he is on his way up.
He is strongest when he is weakest and weakest when he is strong. Though poor he has the power to make others rich but when he becomes rich his ability to enrich others vanishes. He has most after he has given most away and has least when he possesses most.
He may be and often is highest when he feels lowest and most sinless when he is most conscious of sin. He is wisest when he knows that he knows not and knows least when he has acquired the greatest amount of knowledge. He sometimes does most by doing nothing and goes furtherest when standing still. In heaviness he manages to rejoice and keeps his heart glad even in sorrow.
He believes he is saved now, nevertheless he expects to be saved later and looks forward joyfully to complete salvation. He fears God but is not afraid of Him. In God's presence he feels overwhelmed and undone, yet there is nowhere he would rather be than in that presence. He knows that he has been cleansed from his sin, yet he is painfully conscious that in his flesh dwells no good thing.
He loves supremely One whom he has never seen, and though himself poor and lowly he talks familiarly with the One who is King of all kinds and Lord of all lord, and is aware of no incongruity in doing so. He feels he is in his own right altogether less than nothing, yet he believes without question that he is the apple of God's eye and that for him the Eternal Son became flesh and died on the cross of shame."
from the writings of A.W. Tozer in his timely classic, THAT INCREDIBLE CHRISTIAN