In This Issue:
Why Do I Have To Be on That Leash?
What Are You Doing with the Seed?
Old Testament Commandments
Volume: 825 August 30, 2021
Theme: Obeying God
This world is in a mess! The only hope it has is if more were to hear and heed what God’s Word says. That is the mission of this 27+ year ministry — to tell as many as possible!
I daily labor to reach the world with God’s truth. Three websites, a radio broadcast (WLVF – https://gospel903.com/), FREE daily devotions (available in 100+ different languages), the weekly Bible View church bulletin insert, Sunday school lessons, and social media postings (links only to my sites) are used to attempt to reach more with what the Bible teaches.
As with most attempts to reach others, this ministry has battled opposition aimed at halting the outreach. A large tech. company has caused the mass-e-mailing ministry (2,000+ recipients) to cease. Facebook has closed my account more than once. Now it appears they are discrediting the biblical devotions (see what FB included with my posting), or is it censorship?
I am considering finding a company to handle the mass e-mails (2,000+ in the past, 165 different countries) for those who request daily devotions to be e-mailed. Although, I do not believe I can afford it, please pray that God’s will and way will be done.
Thank you in advance. If we do not tell others about the Gospel, who will?
Learn more about this ministry.
Why Do I Have To Be on That Leash?
“C’mon, girl, let’s go for a walk,” I beckoned to the tail-wagging Labrador Retriever.
After I clipped the short leash to her collar, I walked off, expecting her to follow. Quickly, I realized there was no dog on the other end. Buddi had tucked her head and slipped out of her collar.
“Hmmm.” I put the collar back on, with the leash still clipped on. As I again tried to take her for a walk, she firmly sat, refusing to go. Her tail wagged seriously. She apparently wanted to roam the walking path; she did not want to be hooked to the restricting tether. Buddi wanted to run wherever she wanted to go in the woods.
Then we had the master to dog talk. “Listen, Buddi, I see you want to go out,” her tail wagged in agreement, “but you have to be on the leash. You don’t understand what could happen out there without my protection. Why a snake could strike you as you curiously inspect a slithering reptile that you never saw before. Or you could walk in some tall weeds and pick up a load of ticks. And if you go to the wrong place, you just might get sprayed by Mr. Skunk near the grapes. Buddi, this leash is for your protection. I can guide you safely as we walk, if you would just trust me to lead you.”
Folks, and even Christians, are much like the rebellious dog. They do not want anyone telling them what to do, especially God. Why? They believe his commandments will clamp their style, although most have never read about His will and way found in the Bible. Many see God’s commandments as a leash limiting their freedom and “fun.”
What little they may know about what God requires may have been heard from an unreliable source. Often, they may have heard part of His Word or never stopped to consider the context of the Bible verse. Quickly, they jump to a conclusion that is not biblical. Even if they do hear a clear biblical commandment, they still will not obey their unseen Creator.
Most people are naturally rebellious to anyone telling them what to do. Many give little credence to certain laws, what parents say, school rules, employer’s requirements, and anyone else that hampers their doing their own “thing.”
However, God is not like anyone else. He created man. He knows mankind’s limitations, what lurks unseen in their lives that will hurt them, and what will help them. The watch care offered by our Maker is for our good.
God’s “leash” is not meant to be burdensome. His guiding help is from an all-seeing and knowing God that wants to keep us safe and help us. Our aimless, often temptation-led life can lead us to harm. He loves us more than we can imagine and wants the best for us.
Follow His will and way for a productive and better life. Lose the rebellious attitude and obey the One that only desires what will help and bless you!
What Are You Doing with the Seed?
Mark 4 sums up how people may deal with God’s Word. Jesus explained those ways using the “Parable of the Sower.”
The farmer in this teaching parable was Jesus. Matthew 13:37 identifies the “sower” of seeds to be the Saviour.
“He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;” Mat. 13:37
In the parable, the sower went into a field and disbursed seed. The seed represents the Word of God.
Jesus summarized (Mark 4:3-8) what folks do with God’s truths. Later, in Mark 4:14-20, the Son of God explained what the parable meant.
The four choices one can make in obeying God’s commandments and truths are:
- “And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:” Mark 4:4
Some hear God’s Word, perhaps accidentally. Before applying His Truths to one’s life, or before they are mulled over, Satan robs those thoughts out of one’s mind. Perhaps it is another’s snide remark Satan uses that invalidates obeying a verse that is heard. Maybe it is a school teacher who has told his students not to believe anything in that “old antiquated” book. However the hearer is distracted, one may do nothing with what he has heard.
“The sower soweth the word. 15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.” Mark 4:14-15
- “And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.” Mark 4:5-6
Others hear God’s will and way, and for a short time, heed it. However, because they are not following it for the right reasons or have not heard the whole truth, they abandon obedience when problems and hard times inflict them. Perhaps they were not saved or were just following what a denomination taught. They had no “root” and drifted away from doing what the Bible commanded.
“And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.” Mark 4:16-17
- “And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.” Mark 4:7
Many are devastated because, although they have heard what the Lord requires of them, they get their priorities wrong. They focus on the temporary things of this world and forget their eternal future. The shiny trinkets this world offers deceive and rob them of what they could have.
“And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” Mark 4:18-19
- “And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.” Mark 4:8
Praise the Lord, many hear God’s Truths and do what It commands. They live to please the Lord, remove sin from their lives, and have a very fruitful spiritual life because of their obedience.
“And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” Mark 4:20
Many are without excuse. They have heard some of God’s Truths but, for whatever reason, have not obeyed or made it a priority in their lives. However, it does not have to be that way. God has preserved His Truths for a reason. We are not only to hear them; we are to heed them.
What have you done with the Word of God? Have you obeyed it for a while, ignored it, forgotten it, or joyfully done what you could to follow it?
“The study of God’s Word, for the purpose of discovering God’s will, is the secret discipline which has formed the greatest characters.” — J. W. Alexander
Old Testament Commandments
There are many commandments in the Old Testament. Some sources declare there are 613. After my attempt at counting them, I have found that it depends on the counter and his criteria for what is considered a commandment from God.
Although my list is only in the 300’s, and others have counted 603 and 613, we all have to agree that there are more than ten commandments that God has given men. Somehow, the number ten sticks in the mind of most people. Many think, along with their other misunderstandings of God’s Old Testament commandments, that they are only responsible for some of those God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai.
Here are several truths about the Ten Commandments:
- Obedience to these ten commandments is necessary for all men to live together in unity. They are the moral laws that God has given man. If they are not followed, there will be problems in society. If the sixth commandment is not honored, then anyone can kill anyone for any reason. When the seventh commandment is ignored, families will be destroyed by rampant adultery. If the eighth is not enforced or taught, no inhibitions will prevent anyone from stealing what they want. On and on society will degrade, as it has today because the basic moral commandments are not universally followed.
- Following these commandments will not guarantee anyone Heaven. So many, when asked if they are bound for Heaven, declare they are because they obey the Ten Commandments. Surprisingly, few even know what they are and are shocked that there are many of them.
We are in a different time, a different dispensation. We are not under God’s law; we are under God’s grace. The way to Heaven is trusting in Christ’s payment for our sins; not anything we can do. God’s laws were intended to give Old Testament believers a glimpse (a shadow) of how the perfect worship would one day be. They also were a “schoolmaster,” teaching what was right and wrong and what God wanted us to avoid.
“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” Hebrews 10:1
- Those commandments gave people an idea of what God likes and does not like. The desire of all Christians should be to please God. The commandments clearly show us the preferences and wisdom of the Creator.
- Some say there are over 600 Old Testament commandments. It is nearly impossible to know all of them, let alone keep them all.
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10