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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Judah and Tamar: Big Mistake

August 20

(Genesis 38:1-2 NIV)  "At that time, Judah left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam named Hirah. {2} There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. He married her and lay with her;"

(2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NIV)  "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? {15} What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? {16} What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." {17} "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." {18} "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.""

Judah, son of Jacob, grandson of Isaac, and great-grandson of Abraham, had quite a spiritual legacy. But in keeping with his family tree, Judah was far from perfect. He left home and went “down” to live in pagan territory. His walk with God deteriorated rapidly after that. Moving away from God’s family and God’s will is always a step “down”. Judah married an unbelieving Canaanite woman and fathered a family filled with chaos. The Canaanites were a people of many gods, and in the end, a people of many gods are people without the Lord. A culture can be very religious and still be very godless. If faith really matters to us, it ought to matter greatly in marriage. God’s admonition not to be yoked together with unbelievers should be taken seriously. You can mess around with God on this one if you want to, but when we mess with God, we eventually end up in a mess. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Lot of Mercy

August 19

(2 Peter 2:4-9 NIV)  "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; {5} if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; {6} if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; {7} and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men {8} (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)-- {9} if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment."

Lot lived most of his life on the wrong side of God, but he ended up on the right side. God declared him righteous. That’s a Lot of mercy. This means that we must accept this truth: God is sovereign and will have mercy on whom He chooses to have mercy. God does not need our approval or our permission to declare someone forgiven. Frankly, our opinion is irrelevant. That may come as a shock, because from where we sit, some people look guilty as sin, and seem like ideal candidates for hell. But then Jesus comes along and says to us, "Excuse me, but you’re sitting in my seat”. We are then forced to get up, step down, and join those we’ve been declaring deficient. How many people are on your "written off" list? How did they get there? Did God put them there, or did you? We would be wise to stay off the judgment seat. It is already taken. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Lot of Foolishness

August 18

(Genesis 13:5-13 NIV)  "Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. {6} But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. {7} And quarreling arose between Abram's herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. {8} So Abram said to Lot, "Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. {9} Is not the whole land before you? Let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left." {10} Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) {11} So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: {12} Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. {13} Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord."

Lot’s life is proof positive that what looks the best to our eyes is not always what’s best for our soul. Lot saw prosperity and moved toward Sodom. It turned out to be a disastrous hell-hole. When our decisions are based on sight, rather than on faith, we will always fall short of God’s best for us. The direction we travel determines our destination. Where we pitch our tent determines our destiny. The people we surround ourselves with make a difference. Who we believe and what we believe matters to our soul. Our children don’t just live with our genes -- they live with our choices. Too often, they pay the price for our foolishness. When we sow the wind, someone always reaps the whirlwind. Sin always has a price, even if the bill comes due years later. Change your direction and you can change your final destination. As long as you live and breathe, there is still time to change. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Esau: Fatal Flaws

August 17

(Genesis 33:4 NIV)  "But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept."

(Romans 9:13 NIV)  "Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.""

(Hebrews 12:14-17 NIV)  "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. {15} See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. {16} See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. {17} Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears."

Esau had a fatal flaw that only God could see. The flaw was so bad that God said he “hated” Esau. How does one reach the point where they end up being hated by the One who “so loved the world”? Esau took God’s blessing for granted. He despised his birthright and squandered his inheritance. He lived his life as if God did not exist, but yet he presumed upon God’s mercy. He may have been considered a good man by many around him, but he was not a godly man. His priorities were upside down. His sensual desires took precedence over his spiritual decisions. He lived in the flesh, not in the Spirit. He allowed his bitterness over losses in life to contaminate his thinking. When bitterness takes root and grows in us, it causes trouble and “defiles many”. Bitterness is like the addict who shares dirty needles -- we keep giving our disease to others. Get rid of the dirty needle! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day