Crouching at the door

To ‘crouch’ means “to lower your body to the ground by bending your legs. Of an animal, it is to lie on the stomach close to the ground with the legs bent.” The whole idea is sneak up on a prey as though you’re going to attack. 

I visualize the cat sneaking up on its prey getting ready to pounce. You watch and you wait until just the right moment and the cat leaps, catches its prey by surprise and dominates its life. 

The Pounce

The same picture is painted in Genesis 4:7, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”” 

There are two brief remarks I want to make. The first is this. Without question there are times when sin sneaks up on you ready to pounce on your life and dominate you. As the scripture tells us, ‘we must master it.’  Therefore walk as you are the prey and sin is indeed crouching at the door. Be ready. Be prepared. Be strong in the faith. 

A second observation I have is sin is not always ‘crouching at the door.’ Sometimes it “stands up” and announces itself as speaking through a bullhorn! We see it coming a long distance away. We know what it is and what could come of it if we fall prey to its domination. Instead of resisting the sin, more and more people are embracing sin, announcing their sinfulness and expect others to embrace it! It’s almost like sin is a praise report? Look at me and what I’ve done. Should Christina’s clap with celebration? Christians,  remember to love the people who has sinned without embracing their sin. 

Friends, to object to the sin and to stand against sin is not to reject a person nor to stand against a person. It is the sin that destroys. Anger can be a loving response when under the control of the Holy Spirit.  I don’t appreciate when people take offense to someone standing against sin as though that someone is standing against them. It is not true for the genuine mature Christian who understands the devastation sin has on a life. 

I also don’t appreciate people thinking others should embrace their sin as though it is a good thing. People announcing sin like it’s a reason for celebration in a slap to the holy face of God. While I’m not trying to make enemies, I no doubt will at the very least offend. Though not my intent, I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and will consider Him first and foremost. 

It breaks my heart and discourages me when I see people willingly take the road of life that opposes the God who loves them and created them. Praise Him for His long suffering and merciful love and forgiveness. 

Dear one, don’t let sin reign in you. Confess, repent and seek forgiveness. Live for God who gave His Son Jesus Christ to die for you. 

Until next time,

Hoss

Posted in Christian, Discipleship, Faith, God's Favor, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life's Lessons, love, Religious, Scripture | Leave a comment

God’s Jewelry Box 

They come in all sizes, shapes and colors. From inexpensive to the outrageous. Jewelry boxes! Mostly owned by women these boxes are used to store and house jewelry. Some come equip with latches to try to keep priceless treasures safe. 

Have you ever given thought to God’s jewelry box. Maybe I’m a little out there on this one. Maybe I’m thinking outside the box. Jewelry box? 

Consider this passage… 

“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” Malachi‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Other translation use words like treasure, greatest possessions, and my own special treasure in place of jewels. 

Which I think of God’s chosen possessions, He treasures as jewels which belong to Him I cannot help but think how we view the death of God’s child as lying in a ‘casket’ when God must see it as one of His “Jewelry” boxes. While I know the souls is with the Lord, the flesh that remains once housed God’s jewel. 

Are you one of God’s jewels? 

Until next time,

Hoss

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Ingredients of total surrender 

  • 12: “”This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 
  • 13: Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 
  • 14: You are My friends if you do what I command you. 
  • 15: No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:12-15 NASB

I feel ill-equipped to speak on this subject today. To talk of giving ones life for another is a position I’ve not put myself in like those who gave their life serving in our armed forces. 

When I listen to those who speak of their friends who died by their side as they both hunkered down in a foxhole somewhere or was shot down trying to take a hill or mountain or some parcel of land. 

These are lives we cannot put a $ value on. They were lives surrendered for a specific purpose. This is Memorial Day weekend. It is a time we reflect on those who lost their lives serving our country. It is not the time to honor those who served for that is done at Veterans Day. 

Each man or woman who laid down their lives have certain qualities that you and I as God-fearing, born again children of God ought to exhibit. These qualities were also seen in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All of these qualities are ingredients found within the act of total surrender. 

I. Courage 

You think of the courage our military men and women had to had to put their lives on the line and then to give it up for us in their service for our country. 

They stood firm in the face of danger, challenges and opposition.

Wars are full of heroic acts on the land, sea, and the air. 

I submit to you our Lord Jesus Christ showed the quality of courage. Jesus Christ had the courage to speak when He needed to and the courage to be silent as well. In the face of His enemies, the tremendous beating, flogging and the carrying of His Cross to Calvary we see great Courage. 

We also see great love! 

II. Comradeship 

I’m told and no doubt believe in the special connection between those who serve in the military. Especially those who serve for many years. 

It is a comradeship worth remembering. People from all walks of life coming together for a common cause. 

Jesus gave His life that we might live. That we might have life and it more abundantly. (John10:10b) 

Jesus lives again that we might live with Him in eternity. There have been no doubt great Comrades formed among those in the armed forces but none can compare to the one we can have when Jesus is our comrade in the battle against sin. We partner with Jesus to defeat death, hell, and the grave. 

III. Dedication 

Our country has faced terrifying responsibilities. Our country has faced enormous odds. 

Yet because of the dedication of men and women across our nation we are free today to experience liberty. Their wholehearted dedication trumpets the call for us to honor their lives given for us by using our freedom in honorable ways. 

Our Lord dedicated Himself to His Father. (Mt. 26:39) We need the same dedication. 

IV. Sacrifice 

The men and women who served our country and paid the ultimate cost losing their lives did not want to die. Yet the supreme sacrifice was paid. Multitudes have given their lives. 

Our Lord gave His life. Voluntarily John 10:17,18 

Far too often you and I chose not to sacrifice. 

Surely we must realize that we are called to Courage – Comradeship – Dedication – and Sacrifice 

We need to see the enemy, the danger before us. We need repentance, confession, and reconciliation. 

Until next time,

Hoss

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Obedience better than sacrifice

Sermon on 1 Samuel 15:1-25 

I. God’s Command. 1-3“Then Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'”” 1 Samuel 15:1-3 NASB

  1. The Lord remembers wrong done to His people.
  2. The Lord will punish those who do wrong to His people.
  3. The Lord is exact in His execution of judgment. 

II. Saul’s Conquest. 4-9

“Then Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah. Saul came to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the valley. Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites, so that I do not destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to all the sons of Israel when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. So Saul defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah as you go to Shur, which is east of Egypt. He captured Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.” 1 Samuel 15:4-9 NASB

  • Saul remembers those who showed kindness to God’s people.
  • Saul has a ‘better’ idea?
  • Sometimes we think we have a better idea.
  • Sometimes we forget what God told us?

III. Samuel’s Concern. 10-23

“Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands.” And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the LORD all night. Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on down to Gilgal.” Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have carried out the command of the LORD.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; but the rest we have utterly destroyed.” Then Samuel said to Saul, “Wait, and let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak!” Samuel said, “Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the LORD anointed you king over Israel, and the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the LORD?” Then Saul said to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of the LORD, and went on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal.” Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.”” 1 Samuel 15:10-23 NASB

  • How can the Lord ‘regret’ making Saul a king over Israel? We know why!
  • Have you caused the Lord regret?
  • When’s the last time you had an all night crying spell over someone?
  • Saul was quite proud of himself. Let’s build a monument!
  • Saul, “I did…”
  • “The people …”
  • Saul, You Lose!

IV. Saul’s Confession. 21-25

“But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal.” Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.” Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice. Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me, that I may worship the LORD.” But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.” As Samuel turned to go, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you.” 1 Samuel 15:21-28 NASB 
Until next time,

Hoss

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A Woman of Titus Two

My husband will not talk to me! I’ve got a 25lb. turkey to cook for our family reunion! 

The two year old is throwing a temper tantrum. 

Every body wants me to do for them but no one wants to do any thing for me! 

I need a listening ear. I need to make a call. 

Who am I going to call? I’m calling a W.O.T.T. = A Woman Of Titus Two 

A most honorable position in the early Church is the position given to older women. They are the natural advisers to the young of both sexes. 

3. “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 

4. so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 

5. to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” Titus 2:3-5 NASB 

 I. Characteristics of older women in Titus two. Verses 3

  1. Reverent Behavior Holy – close relationship with God, not promiscuous 
  2. Watches her tongue Does not spread tales, gossips. Malicious or otherwise. It is not an indication of a woman who possesses the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Resolve to say nothing at all about people if you cannot find anything good to say.

    Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? 

  3. Abstains from drinking She does not drink wine. A word of caution here It is not fair to females when people say that it is worse for a woman to drink, smoke, etc. then for a man! 
  4. Teaches what is good Because she wants to be an encourager. Because she wants to be an example to younger women. This is not a do as I say do but a do as I do proposition.  

II. Challenge given to younger women of Titus two. Verses 4b-5 

  1. Encouraged to love their husband. To be ‘in love with.’ It is more than physical love. 
  2. Encouraged to love their children. To be ‘in love with.’ It is more than a proud attraction.

    It is an awesome responsibility and commitment to raise a child not as your doll to handle as an object to do as you please and impose your will onto but as a creation of God where you have become a partner with Him to raise a living being to Honor Him in obedience to His will.

    To the unmarried = behave as someone who has been separated unto God. It will involve how you dress, how you act, and certainly to practice abstinence. 

  3.  Sensible. ‘Act like you got some sense.’
  4. Pure. Keep yourself completely for your own husband. This is not something you are doing for him as much as you are doing it for yourself and for your love for God. 
  5. Keepers of the home 

    There are many women who will find these remarks as offensive. It is not my intent to offend but to communicate a clear perspective God has on bringing a homemaker. There is no greater responsibility and privilege in this world than to make a home and especially to make it a Christian home.

  6. Kind 
  7. Submissive 
  • Being submissive to your own husband is a role relationship and not one which measures equality. God is no respecter of persons. Therefore all men and women, husbands and wives are equal in his eyes. 
  • Being subject to your own husband is an act of obedience to the command of God found in Ephesians 5:22, 24 

DO NOT DISHONOR THE WORD OF GOD. 
“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5 KJV 
Until next time,

Hoss

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Work of the Holy Spirit 

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit had a ‘come and go’ ministry. At Pentecost He came to indwell believers and abide in the living Church of Jesus Christ. 

Old Testament ‘Come and Go’ 

“So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him.” Judges 6:34 NASB 

“Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him.” 1 Samuel 16:14 NASB 

“Now the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, so that he passed through Gilead and Manasseh; then he passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he went on to the sons of Ammon.” Judges 11:29 NASB 

“Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” Psalms 51:11 NASB 

New Testament ‘Here to stay’ 

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 NASB 

We are not reservoirs for the Holy Spirit but channels. 

Conversion first, then filling, and overflowing. 

  • Resisting has to do with the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. 
  • Grieving has to do with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 
  • Quenching has to do with the endowment of the Holy Spirit for service. 

In practice many Christians have an unofficial theology which looks upon the Spirit as being of a lower essence than are the Father and the Son. 

In effect the Trinity is visualized as FATHER, SON and holy spirit. 

FATHER                       SON                   Holy Spirit 

“It is my conviction the ministry of the Holy Spirit is first and foremost that of service to God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son now sent through his born again children.” We need to live in constant communion with the Holy Spirit.

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God’s Prescription for Loneliness


4. “Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him. 

5. A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation. 

6. God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.” Psalms 68:4-6 NASB 

A mother enters her home and finds her four children have been executed. Ages 16, 14, 13, and 10. Couple of days later the father is found floating in a reservoir. It was ruled a multiple murder/suicide. Why? The reasons could be many. Someone suggested it was loneliness. There is no excuse for such a horrific act as this. Loneliness doesn’t even seem to fit. Loneliness is listed as one of the ten saddest words in the English language.http://www.dictionary.com/slideshows/sad-words?param=flyout%23lonely (Click on link) 

Loneliness is evil. It is the poorest of companions.  

Biblically it was experienced by Moses [exile], Elijah [depression] and the greatest gravity of loneliness was experienced by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ while dying on the cross for our sins, He was separated from God the Father!  

It is profitable for us to consider God’s Prescription for loneliness. 

I.  Know the Causes of Loneliness. 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to 
a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

a. It can be self-inflicted. [Talking to oneself is okay. Don’t answer] 

b. It can be caused by difficulty in communicating with others. 

c. Separation from God. “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”” Genesis 2:18 NASB 

d. Separation from family. 

II. Know the Results of Loneliness. 

a. Some people become violent, bitter and angry. 

b. Some people just become severely depressed. Withdrawn 

c. Some people develop low-self esteem 

Seventy two (72%) present of Americans experience loneliness each week! http://www.cbsnews.com/news/many-americans-are-lonely-survey-finds/  Those in the nursing home, those without good friends, those with no church family to associate with and those who during the holidays will experience the loneliness of separation from loved ones. 

III. Know the Treatment for Loneliness.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 

a. Reconciliation Our ministry is one of reconciliation:

1. To God. John 15:15

2. To family and individuals.

b. Develop a quiet time

c. Seek a meaningful place of service 

d. Focus on the needs of others 

e. Strengthen family bonds 

f. Maintain the proper perspective 

Conclusion
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:13, 20-21 NASB 

When we say we have a living hope we are indicating our confidence in the future, our consistent trust in Jesus, our patient endurance of life’ struggles on a daily basis. 

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