Do Not Be Like Ephraim

Donkey

The prophet Hosea warned the people of Israel (Ephraim) about God’s judgment that was coming against them because of their sin. In the passages we will discuss in this article, he compared the people to different things – the dew, a dove, and a donkey.

These things have been “written for our instruction” (Romans 15:4; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). The warning for us is this: Do not be like Ephraim!
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Joshua’s Challenge to the People

Joshua 24:15

Most of us probably remember Joshua’s statement: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). His mind was already settled. No matter what the rest of the people decided when he challenged them, “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve,” he was determined to follow God.

But what did serving the Lord include? What was he challenging the people to do? Notice Joshua’s entire statement:
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A Letter to Little Children

1 John

Seven times in John’s first epistle, he referred to his audience as “little children.” He was not writing to actual “little children.” He was writing to Christians. But Christians are to be like “little children” – innocent and in need of guidance and protection. We are also “children of God” (1 John 3:1). In this article, I want us to consider the seven instructions that John gave to the “little children” and see what we should also do today.
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The Root of the Problem (Part 10): Materialism

The Root of the Problem: Why We Sin & How We Can Overcome

We live in a materialistic society. So apparent is this reality that I believe examples need not be given. As Christians we must be careful that we do not follow after the world in this regard. Paul gives us a sobering warning about having a materialistic attitude:
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The Foundation for a Godly Society

Moses and the Ten CommandmentsThe Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) – the laws engraved onto stone which God delivered to Moses for the children of Israel – give us the blueprint for the foundation of any godly or righteous society. These Ten Commandments are regularly assaulted by those on the “left” as having no place in our government or our schools. The stated reason for their opposition is that the Ten Commandments represent a religious element that has no place in anything related to government. Yet the Ten Commandments represent more than just religion. The reason there is such strong opposition to the display of the Ten Commandments by the “left” is because the Ten Commandments stand in direct opposition to the Liberal’s ideal for society.

Many today view the Ten Commandments as part of the foundation of our religion. Yet they are part of the Old Law which was nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14). Does this mean they are of no value for us today? Certainly not! But we must use them properly. The Old Testament was written and is preserved “for our instruction” (Romans 15:4). When we study the Ten Commandments, we find the foundations of a godly society.
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New Year’s Resolutions: Start, Stop, Improve

2014Often when people make New Year’s resolutions, they begin with the words start, stop, or improve (or synonyms of these words) – start exercising, stop smoking, improve spending habits, etc. As we grow and mature, it is good to improve in all areas of our lives; but it is particularly important to improve our spiritual lives. So as we begin a new year, I want to suggest some resolutions for all of us to consider as we seek to please the Lord.
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Committing Adultery with Stones and Trees (8/7)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Jeremiah 1-3.

Judgment was coming against the people of Judah for their infidelity. Though they should have learned from the mistakes of their brethren in Israel, they ignored their sins and God’s punishment for them and continued along the same path.

And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. Because of the lightness of her harlotries, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees” (Jeremiah 3:8-9).

Idolatry to God is spiritual adultery. While the people Jeremiah addressed generally served graven images, there are many different things that can be made into idols that we must guard ourselves against today (1 John 5:21). Any idol, when reduced to its most basic form, is something common and ordinary (“stones and trees“). It is something that has been created by God.
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