Undisciplined children

Parents,

Proverbs 13:18 – [Pro 13:18 KJV] 18 Poverty and shame [shall be to] him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

Children who choose to disregard instruction face shame (correction consequences) and poverty (lack of knowledge and lack of learning) both of which shows in the final assessments (grades). Children who choose to listen and exercise self-control need only to be told once and learn. They too face consequences; honor, for as they are able to listen they learn, they have knowledge and they apply it. In the final assessments (grades) it shows. They are honored in many ways one of which is the honor roll. They are also developing into individuals who will succeed at what they do. It is a choice. When we block the natural consequences, we harm them. We teach them self-control is not important, it will be overlooked time and again and they become adults who if they make any gains make them at the expense of others, for that is what they have learned. Forbearing one another, treating one another with kindness, preferring one another is foreign to them. They have been catered to and believe that is how it should be. What and how are we teaching our children? My experience in the classroom says we are not following scripture. My experience in the classroom says we are spoiling the child. Our natural love gets in the way of what is best for the child. It is hard to discipline a wayward child. They are cute, they are ours, they are masters at manipulation, they persevere till they get what they want,

[Pro 22:15 KJV] 15 Foolishness [is] bound in the heart of a child; [but] the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

That rod can come in many forms. It does not always have to be corporal punishment. It is a rod of correction, it is reproof, it teaches consequences, it follows God’s Word. Time to take a close look at what we are doing to prepare our children for their future.

Consequences of foolish counsel…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 19:11-15

  The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;

the wisest counselors of Pharaoh

give stupid counsel.

How can you say to Pharaoh,

“I am a son of the wise,

a son of ancient kings”?

 Where then are your wise men?

Let them tell you

that they might know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt.

 The princes of Zoan have become fools,

and the princes of Memphis are deluded;

those who are the cornerstones of her tribes

have made Egypt stagger.

 The LORD has mingled within her

a spirit of confusion,

and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds,

 as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.

  And there will be nothing for Egypt

that head or tail, palm branch or reed,

may do.

When foolish counsel is given and heeded there can no good come from it.

“…The princes of Zoan have become fools,

and the princes of Memphis are deluded; …”

These are those to give counsel to Pharoah, the head of the people.  We have the same.  Advisors to our leaders who are foolish and delusional.  God’s word says when these are heeded and their advice is followed:

“…there will be nothing…

that head or tail, palm branch or reed,

may do. …”

Consequences of poor advice, advice that is given based upon man’s abilities and pride, when followed will come.  Those consequences are given over and over in scripture.  The unbeliever has no recourse.

For the believer there are many promises of provision, refuge, care, love given by God to his people.  Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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consequences bring change…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 13:19-22

And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
    the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans,
will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
   when God overthrew them.

It will never be inhabited
   or lived in for all generations;
no Arab will pitch his tent there;
       no shepherds will make their
     flocks lie down there.

But wild animals will lie down there,
      and their houses will be full of howling creatures;
There ostriches will dwell,
          and there wild goats will dance.
Hyenas will cry in its towers,
        and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
its time is close at hand
              and its days will not be prolonged.

What can we take away from this? When we are so full of ourselves we no longer recognize or give credit to our Creator, we face the consequences of our actions, attitudes, words and deeds. Those consequences were told us at the very beginning of creation. We lose everything even when we think we have gained everything. Our only hope lies in Christ and Him alone. We die with Him to this world and rise with Him to new life. And the new begins a change even in the old. Our desires change, our view of life changes, we treat one another with love and respect, we honor our God at all times and begin to see that in all things we are being taught by Him. We can live in the middle of death. We can love in the midst of hate. We can grow while others diminish. And it isn’t our doing; it is the Lord!

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Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it,

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Isaiah 10:15-19

 Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it,

 or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?

 As if a rod should wield him who lifts it,

or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!

 Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors,

and under his glory a burning will be kindled,

 like the burning of fire.

 The light of Israel will become a fire,

 and his Holy One a flame,

 and it will burn and devour

his thorns and briers in one day.

 The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land

 the LORD will destroy,

 both soul and body,

and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.

  The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few

that a child can write them down.

Narrow is the way and few there be that find it – Jesus

A mighty nation made up of many nations is likened to a forest of many trees.  The king who was used to punish Israel is compared to an axe in God’s hands used as an instrument of judgment.  And the axe begins to boast of its strength…

Do we not fully realize who God is?  Would we as the axe and rod in this passage elevate ourselves over the one who created us?  The king became arrogant and haughty, taking credit for what had been accomplished; the conqueror of many nations.  Did he not know God?  Did he not realize who it was that used him for His will?  Perhaps not, perhaps so.  Either way he was not now giving credit to the God who made him strong but taking credit for his own strength.  God now turns to him and requires of him an accounting.  We cannot boast of our own deeds as if we were responsible for our accomplishments without honoring the one who gave us the abilities to do what we have done.  Did we create ourselves?

And now, God levies that same judgment against the king who was used to deliver God’s punishment against Israel.  The message is quite clear; God hates and does not tolerate haughtiness and arrogance.  There is a spiritual law at work here.  There are consequences for breaking laws.  Jump from a high place; we will go down and suffer harm.  Would we the created count ourselves greater than the Creator?  There are consequences that follow such an attitude, such behavior.

We can learn from this.  We can be sure to honor our Creator and Savior.  We can be grateful for the graces and gifts he has given us.  We serve an awesome God who is capable of mighty things; who has set in motion laws of nature and spirit that we at times cannot fathom.  We can know and honor who He is and what He does.  We can be aware of His love and mercy to those who acknowledge Him.

Will we be the remnant who stand, who will not compromise, who will acknowledge the God of the universe and will remain true to Him giving Him honor and glory, receiving His grace.

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Webs of deception…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Ezra 10:16-44

  Then the returned exiles did so. Ezra the priest selected men, heads of fathers’ houses, according to their fathers’ houses, each of them designated by name. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to examine the matter;  and by the first day of the first month they had come to the end of all the men who had married foreign women.

  Now there were found some of the sons of the priests who had married foreign women: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah, some of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brothers.  They pledged themselves to put away their wives, and their guilt offering was a ram of the flock for their guilt.   Of the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah.   Of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah.  Of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.  

 Of the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (that is, Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.  Of the singers: Eliashib. Of the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem, and Uri.

   And of Israel: of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Hashabiah, and Benaiah.  Of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah.   Of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza.   Of the sons of Bebai were Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai.  Of the sons of Bani were Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth.   Of the sons of Pahath-moab: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh.   Of the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,  Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah.  Of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei.   Of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, Uel, Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi,   Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,   Mattaniah, Mattenai, Jaasu.  Of the sons of Binnui: Shimei, Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah,  Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,  Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah, Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph.   Of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah.

  All these had married foreign women, and some of the women had even borne children.

There is a place in scriptures that talks of the sins of the fathers affecting the children.  What a hard place to be!  However, history shows how this intimate relationship among God’s people time and again eroded their relationship with God.  It brought judgment, pain, and destruction.  Can we learn from the past?  We cannot have intimate relationships with that which God has commanded abstinence from;  whatever it may be.  Can we  see that it is for our own protection and the protection of our relationship with Him?  Our relationship with God is paramount.  Knowledge is the key.  Did these men not know scripture?  We have free access to God’s Word; we can know truth and what is righteous.  They had it available and disobeyed.  It caused them pain to make their relationship with God right.  Let us not be caught in the same web of deception!

webs of deception entangle

webs of deception entangle

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There are consequences…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Ezra 10:1-5

 While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly.   And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, addressed Ezra: “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this.  Therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God, and let it be done according to the Law. Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.”  Then Ezra arose and made the leading priests and Levites and all Israel take an oath that they would do as had been said. So they took the oath.

Be sure the consequences of sin, of turning aside from the commands of God to follow our own way, will be hard to bear.  We can rejoice that what Christ did for us is done.  We can rejoice that we have forgiveness and redemption.  But be sure we too, will suffer consequences of sin as surely as we would suffer consequences of pain were we to defy the law of gravity!  However, our God is faithful to take us through the pain to new life as all who have traveled that road can testify!

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Rejoicing at another’s loss?….never

Ezekiel 25:1-6

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them. 3 Say to the Ammonites, ‘Hear the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you said, ‘Aha!’ against My sanctuary when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel when it was desolate, and against the house of Judah when they went into captivity, 4 indeed, therefore, I will deliver you as a possession to the men of the East, and they shall set their encampments among you and make their dwellings among you; they shall eat your fruit, and they shall drink your milk. 5 And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels and Ammon a resting place for flocks. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”

6 ‘For thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you clapped your hands, stamped your feet, and rejoiced in heart with all your disdain for the land of Israel, 7 indeed, therefore, I will stretch out My hand against you, and give you as plunder to the nations; I will cut you off from the peoples, and I will cause you to perish from the countries; I will destroy you, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=25&t=nkjvp>

Take away: It is not possible to come against God’s people anywhere without a paying a penalty.  Take this to the very basic level and we find one who is rejoicing over another’s shame and destruction.  Love the Lord and you neighbor leaves no room for joy over another’s fall.  Though we suffer extreme pain at the hands of another,  the love of God needs to shine through.  Jerusalem crucified Jesus, he knew they would, yet he cried over them.  God does not will that any should perish.  Our own actions bring on us the consequences for those actions.  Therefore, may our actions and words always give evidence to the love God has placed in our hearts.  May we learn not to take offense, but rather to look on the other with sorrow for the extreme lack in their life of a love they could have chosen.

Consequences…

Romans 1:26-32

 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;  being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

The consequences of rejecting the righteous God are listed.  These are not the death penalty; but they bring the death penalty.  When we remove the existence of God from our time and space we open up the door to a plethora of evil practices and inventions.  Looking at the actions listed by Paul we see a progression from gossip to murder, both of which accomplish the same;death. Specifically, the death of physical life and the death of another’s reputation in society which are evidence of the harm brought to others rather than good.  We are presented with a clearly defined picture of our own day and time.  There is plenty of evidence even within our personal lives to validate the existence of this evil.

Evil is the counterfeit of the real.  At first glance it doesn’t seem harmful, but it grows until it is bringing harm not only to the victims but also to the perpetrators.  Removing God from our world leaves us bankrupt of joy and peace.  God is still there with or without our acknowledgment.  So what is our take away from what appears to be a very depressing passage?  Is it to determine to avoid contamination?  God cannot look on sin; should we?  How do we protect our young and encourage righteous living?  At what point will we be required to leave as Lot was commanded, and where will we go to?  Faith in God is trust in Him.  This passage provides us with knowledge but not fear.  There is a shelter and fortress in our God.  We are promised his protection.  We can provide the young with a firm knowledge of His existence and protection.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High

Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;

My God, in Him I will trust.” – Psalm 91

And find the knowledge of God.

For the LORD gives wisdom;

From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.
Discretion will preserve you;

Understanding will keep you,
To deliver you from the way of evil,

From the man who speaks perverse things,
From those who leave the paths of uprightness

To walk in the ways of darkness;
Who rejoice in doing evil,

And delight in the perversity of the wicked;
(…)
keep to the paths of righteousness.
For the upright will dwell in the land,
And the blameless will remain in it;
But the wicked will be cut off from the earth,

And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it. – Proverbs 2
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Under attack…

Acts 16:16 – 21

Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.  This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days.

But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.  But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.

And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.”

 This is the killing of the Golden Goose.  This young girl was the golden goose, laying golden eggs for her masters.  They did not prevent her from harassing the two sent to that town by the Holy Spirit, Paul and Silas.  The spirit that enabled her to be a source of income was not of God and Paul obeys the prompting of the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus  it leaves the girl and with it  goes the income for the owners.  Freedom for the girl from the bondage of darkness is obtained, but the bondage to love of money continues for the owners.  Freedom comes with a price.  Freeing the cripple to walk, freeing the sick, now freeing from spiritual bondage all brought conflict and suffering to the messengers.  Paul finds himself brought before the magistrates, facing the arm of the law for removing the source of income.  There is no mercy for the young slave and before this no mercy for the ill.  The law reigns supreme; man’s law.   And those freed from the law find themselves in conflict with it and facing suffering at the hands of humanity.

 When we share we risk the same conflict.  The work of the Holy Spirit can bring us to a place of suffering as we are obedient.  Are we prepared to face that conflict and that suffering?  Our laws  today begin to strangle the message of freedom and salvation through Christ.  Some already face consequences within our legal system for their sharing of the word of God.  Are we prepared, is our love for Christ deep enough?  Questions to take us into a place of reflection and searching.  If we are allowing the everyday things of this life to interfere now, how can we withstand a conflict that becomes more personal and potentially harmful?  The tree that continues to stand in spite of drought, floods, wind storms, heat and cold, is a tree that is rooted and strong.  Let us take care to be that tree planted by the stream that brings forth fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither  Remain close to the stream of life found in scripture, become fruitful as we study, pray and learn of the Holy Spirit what God has for us, and our leaves will not wither with the storms, we will remain strong in Him.

The law has not lost its force…

Luke 16:16-18

 “Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in.  But that doesn’t mean that the law has lost its force. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest point of God’s law to be overturned.

 “For example, a man who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery. And anyone who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

 “… that doesn’t mean that the law has lost its force. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest point of God’s law to be overturned….” 

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. ” We recognize His authority and the authority of the law that was given by Him.  We also recognize the forgiveness from sin given through the sacrifice of His son.  How then shall we live?  His Son, Jesus, clearly lays it out for us.  The law was not done away with, it was fulfilled.  Are we following the commands of Christ? If not, we need the law for we are lawless in that place.  Forgiveness remains, done once and offered for all time.  The consequences of breaking the law, the need for a constant shedding of blood is covered in Christ’s death and resurrection.  But the law hasn’t lost its force.  Following the teachings of Christ places us in compliance with the law.   The question that arises for each of us to answer, truthfully, honestly between ourselves and God is this; are we following the teachings of Christ? 

 The answer to that question shows in our daily walk through life.  How then shall we live?  The answers are seen by all in our conversation, our actions which give proof to our thoughts.  How are we known?  Can others see Christ in us?  Are we His hands reaching, His voice teaching, His feet going, His body of believers doing?  Or do we look more like the Pharisee;”…You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God…?   …the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in…”  We are the Good News, do those who cross our paths hear and see it?