Turning Blessings into Curses

Honey

Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, that you not have it in excess and vomit it” (Proverbs 25:16).

In the Bible, honey is often used to symbolize God’s great blessings for man. When God told Moses of His plan to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and to the promised land of Canaan, He emphasized the goodness of the land by describing it as “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8). Yet as the wise man pointed out in the verse above, that same blessing can be turned into something with a negative impact on us.

It is possible to take the good things with which God blesses us and turn them into something bad for us. This can be done by misuse, abuse, or excess. In this article, I would like to notice a few examples of how this can be done with certain blessings.Continue Reading

A Year of Jubilee

Year of Jubilee

The start of a new year is seen by many as a time to restart – enact changes, make resolutions, set goals, and so on. Obviously, these things can be done any time of the year; but the start of a calendar year makes a natural break that can be used to spur us on to start anew in some way.

In the Law of Moses, there were instructions about a time to “restart” or begin again. It was the year of jubilee that occurred every fifty years.

You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. You shall then sound a ram’s horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land.

You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field” (Leviticus 25:8-12).

As we begin a new year, there are several lessons that are good for us to learn from this year of jubilee.Continue Reading

Regular Christians (Part 2): Philemon

Regular Christians

Philemon was one who used his possessions to help others. We can read about this man in the short letter written to him by the apostle Paul.

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker…and to the church in your house” (Philemon 1-2).

At the same time also prepare me a lodging, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given to you” (Philemon 22).

Continue Reading

How Blessed Is the Man Who Finds Wisdom (Season 11, Episode 3)

How Blessed Is the Man Who Finds Wisdom (Season 11, Episode 3)

 
 
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How Blessed Is the Man Who Finds Wisdom (Season 11, Episode 3)

In this season, we’re discussing some lessons from the book of Proverbs.

Wisdom is not valuable simply because it has been arbitrarily declared to be valuable. It is valuable because of the rewards that come for following after it. In Proverbs 3:13-26, the wise man explained how wisdom causes one to be blessed.

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Great Days in History (Part 8): Today

Great Days in History

For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me’” (Hebrews 3:14-15).

In this final lesson, we are not going to keep moving further down a timeline. There is nothing past the day of eternity. Instead, we are going to talk about today to see what we need to do with what we have learned in this series.Continue Reading

Through Many Tribulations (Part 3): Sacrifices

Through Many Tribulations

When we first read of Paul in the New Testament – then referred to as Saul – he was looking on with approval as Stephen was stoned to death (Acts 7:58-8:1). Following that event, he began a zealous campaign against the church that took him to Damascus in order to find “any belonging to the Way” and “bring them bound to Jerusalem” (Acts 9:2). While on the road to Damascus, the Lord appeared to him and told him to go to the city where he would be told “what [he] must do” (Acts 9:6). The Lord then instructed Ananias to go to Saul to deliver His message to him (Acts 9:10-12; 22:12-16).

Paul was “a chosen instrument” of the Lord’s (Acts 9:15). Specifically, this meant that he was “called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” (1 Corinthians 1:1). However, this did not mean that the Lord was going to see to it that Paul had an easy and comfortable life as he served Him. Instead, He told Ananias, “For I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:16). When we think of the sufferings of Paul, we typically think of the persecutions he endured [we will discuss these in the next lesson]. Yet there were other sacrifices that Paul made that would be included in the things he was going to “suffer.Continue Reading

“If God Is For Us”

Man on a mountain

Paul’s words at the end of Romans 8 were meant to be a source of encouragement for the saints in Rome. They ought to be for us as well.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31).

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

We must always remember that “God is for us.” Knowing this, we can make it through any challenge that may come against us. Let us take a closer look at the text.Continue Reading