The Good Shepherd

“I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” John 10:11 (KJB)

Today, on this topic of the Good Shepherd I will share with you the thoughts said by brighter minds than my own…

From F. B. Meyer on John 10:7-18:

“He who came in by the door which John the Baptist opened has become the door. It stands open to all comers-if any man. The salvation here mentioned refers to the entire process of soul-health: go in for fellowship; go out for service.
Wherever destruction is uppermost in speech or act, you may detect the presence of the great enemy of souls. Christ is ever constructive, saving, life-giving. Let us not be content until our life has become abundant life. Our life cost the Shepherd’s life. He did not hesitate to interpose Himself between the sheep and the wolf of hell. There is possible between our Lord and ourselves an intimacy of knowledge which can be compared to nothing less than that which subsists between the Father and Himself.
Note how our Lord looked beyond the hurdles of the Jewish fold and thought tenderly of the Gentile sheep that were far away. In the revelation committed to the Apostle Paul He gave vent to His love, and through the succeeding centuries He has ever sought them. There may be many folds, but there can be only one flock. Men die because they cannot help it; Christ was born that He might die; He died because He would.” THROUGH THE BIBLE DAY BY DAY

From John Gill on John 10:11:

I am the good shepherd,…. A shepherd of his Father’s appointing, calling, and sending, to whom the care of all his sheep, or chosen ones, was committed; who was set up as a shepherd over them by him, and was entrusted with them; and who being called, undertook to feed them; and being promised, was sent unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel; and under the character of a shepherd, died for them, and rose again, and is accountable to his Father for everyone of them; the shepherd, the great and chief shepherd, the famous one, so often spoken and prophesied of, Gen_49:24. And discharging his office aright, he is the good shepherd; as appears in his providing good pasture, and a good fold for his sheep; in protecting them from their enemies; in healing all their diseases; in restoring their souls when strayed from him; in watching over them in the night seasons, lest any hurt them; in searching for them, when they have been driven, or scattered in the dark and cloudy day; in caring for them, so that he lose none of them; and in nothing more than in what follows,
the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep: not only exposes it to danger, as David did his, for the sake of his father’s flock, but gives it away freely and voluntarily, for the sake of the sheep; in their room and stead, as a ransom for them, that they may be delivered from death, and might have eternal life: the Ethiopic version renders it, “the good shepherd gives his life for the redemption of his sheep”; so Nonnus paraphrases it, the “ransom price of his own sheep”: this belongs to Christ’s priestly office, and with the Jews priests were sometimes shepherds hence we read (q) of רועים כהנים, “shepherds that were priests”. Philo the Jew speaks (r) of God as a shepherd and king; and of his setting his word, his firstborn Son, over the holy flock, to take care of it: and a good shepherd is thus described by the (s) Jews;
“as רועה טוב, “a good shepherd”, delivers the flock from the wolf, and from the lions, (see Joh_10:12) so he that leads Israel, if he is good, delivers them from the idolatrous nations, and from judgment below and above, and leads them to the life of the world to come, or eternal life; (see Joh_10:10).”
Which description agrees with Christ, the good shepherd; and so the Lord is said to be רועה טוב, “the good shepherd”, and merciful, and there is none like him (t).” John Gill’s EXPOSITION OF THE WHOLE BIBLE

In Our Weakness

“Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.  My soul is also sore vexed: but You, O LORD, how long?”  Psalm 6:2-3 (KJV)

For today I will let a man who is dead, but he still speaks in his wisdom from the LORD, and his writings of days gone by…

“Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak.” Though I deserve destruction, yet let thy mercy pity my frailty. This is the right way to plead with God if we would prevail. Urge not your goodness or your greatness, but plead your sin and your littleness. Cry, “I am weak,” therefore O Lord, give me strength and crush me not. Send not forth the fury of thy tempest against so weak a vessel. Temper the wind to the shorn lamb. Be tender and pitiful to a poor withering flower, and break it not from its stem. Surely this is the plea that a sick man would urge to move the pity of his fellow if he were striving with him, “Deal gently with me, ‘for I am weak.’” A sense of sin had so spoiled the Psalmist’s pride, so taken away his vaunted strength, that he found himself weak to obey the law, weak through the sorrow that was in him, too weak, perhaps, to lay hold on the promise. “I am weak.” The original may be read, “I am one who droops,” or withered like a blighted plant. Ah! beloved, we know what this means, for we, too, have seen our glory stained, and our beauty like a faded flower.

“O Lord heal me; for my bones are vexed.” Here he prays for healing, not merely the mitigation of the ills he endured, but their entire removal, and the curing of the wounds which had arisen therefrom. His bones were “shaken,” as the Hebrew has it. His terror had become so great that his very bones shook; not only did his flesh quiver, but the bones, the solid pillars of the house of manhood, were made to tremble. “My bones are shaken.” Ah, when the soul has a sense of sin, it is enough to make the bones shake; it is enough to make a man’s hair stand up on end to see the flames of hell beneath him, an angry God above him, and danger and doubt surrounding him. Well might he say, “My bones are shaken.” Lest, however, we should imagine that it was merely bodily sickness – although bodily sickness might be the outward sign – the Psalmist goes on to say, “My soul is also sore vexed.” Soul-trouble is the very soul of trouble. It matters not that the bones shake if the soul be firm, but when the soul itself is also sore vexed this is agony indeed. “But thou, O Lord, how long?” This sentence ends abruptly, for words failed, and grief drowned the little comfort which dawned upon him. The Psalmist had still, however, some hope; but that hope was only in his God. He therefore cries. “O Lord, how long?” The coming of Christ into the soul in his priestly robes of grace is the grand hope of the penitent soul; and, indeed, in some form or other, Christ’s appearance is, and ever has been, the hope of the saints.

Calvin’s favourite exclamation was “Domine usque quo” – “O Lord, how long?” Nor could his sharpest pains, during a life of anguish, force from him any other word. Surely this is the cry of the saints under the altar, “O Lord, how long?” And this should be the cry of the saints waiting for the millennial glories, “Why are his chariots so long in coming; Lord, how long?” Those of us who have passed through conviction of sin knew what it was to count our minutes hours, and our hours years, while mercy delayed its coming. We watched for the dawn of grace, as they that watch for the morning. Earnestly did our anxious spirits ask, “O Lord, how long?”  From the Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon  (e-Sword)

 

Consider the Work of God

Days of prosperity often cause us to be joyful.  Prosperity is not always dealing with gold, silver, precious jewels, fine homes and fine cars.  Prosperity can just as well mean, a place to live, protected from the elements; food on the table, clothes on your back, and a wonderful family who loves you; and realizing every day that God in heaven loves, and keeps you.  That is the best of prosperity.

Adversity – troubles, sorrows, pains, family troubles, health troubles, financial hardships, all of these come to us all at some point in life.  I want us to see what the wisest of men; and one the most prosperous (in material wealth) had to say about both prosperity and adversity…

“Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 (KJV)

We out always see, to look at; to inspect the work of God.  In order to do so one must see the work of God.  Do you see the work of God?  First consider yourself as a work of God.  Look in the mirror.  That image you see is in the image of God.  Your body is made up of a very intricate system that works keeping these tents, moving, seeing, working, breathing, heart beating, legs moving, arms and  hands busy.  Consider.  No one can make straight what God has made crooked.  We must consider that what has been made crooked can be straightened by God Himself.

In these verses we can see that both prosperity and adversity have a place in God’s plan for humanity.  Both are a work of God.  They are opposite of one another, and so that we might not be able to know what lies ahead in our lives.  We plan, we can save money, but no one knows what is coming tomorrow.  Not even the wealthiest of us.  The wealthiest man or woman in the world could pass into eternity before the sun sets this evening.  Their wealth cannot prevent it.  The same is true with the poorest of men and women.

“Consider the work of God….”

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. John 6:29

The One whom God sent is Jesus Christ His Son, God the Son, and He died on the cross, was buried, and rose again for you and me that we might have fellowship with God, the Creator of all things.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Seventy and Six

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:1-2ff

It is amazing to me how there are some people who cry out, “Do not judge”, yet out of their statement they are judging the one to whom, or of whom they are speaking.

What do I want for Christmas?

Since there must be judgments made, I want to make clear judgments of  people, and the content of their character, situations, and never judge by conditions of poverty (or bankruptcy), riches, health, or sickness; I want the color of a persons skin to never enter into the judgments that I make; I want to make righteous judgments; I want to first judge myself.

Lord, help me to never condemn anyone, even when they hurt or offend me.

The Light of the Sun

As I was preparing for my Sunday evening sermon Isaiah 30:26 took on a whole new light for me.

“Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.”  Isaiah 30:26 (KJV)

I noticed that verses 18 – 26 have to do with the prophecy of the millennial kingdom of Christ on earth.  It is not called that in the text, but it is speaking of a future day of blessing for Israel when they will all turn to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Messiah.

In our day we are being warned to not go out into the sunlight for too long at a time.  “You can get skin cancer”, we are told; and that may be true, but look at the verse above.

I have for years thought this to be a part of the judgment to come on the earth due to mankinds rebellion against God and disobedience to His Word.  However, I do see now that this is speaking of the sun being a healing agent during this wonderful time of Christ’s blessing.

Notice that it says the “Light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun”.  The night sky will be so bright as to help crops grow even during the night. Also see that the “Light of the sun shall be sevenfold”.  If that means seven times brighter during the day; just imagine the perfection of the sunlight during that time.

No more need to worry about the affects of sunlight, but there will be rejoicing, and healing in the sunlight.

Even in our day there is a need for the sunlight, and there has been much of it recently.  Without the sun we would freeze to death, and not even exist.

Without the Son of God we would be forever condemned, and die and go to hell forever.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Observations From Matthew – 031211

Today’s Reading is from Matthew 26 – 28.

In looking at the life of Jesus Christ one cannot help but notice that the life of Jesus is completely submitted to the will of His Father.  He is about fulfilling God’s will for His life as a human being on earth.  Now, if we want a good example then, Jesus is the one to follow.  He is however, much more than an example to follow.  He is, in fact, the very only begotten Son of God (John 1:1-5, 14; 3:16).  Part of His submission to the Father as man is His heart and will to fulfill Scriptures and we see that in the following verses,

“Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took Him.  And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear.  Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.  Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels?  But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?  In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take Me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on Me.  But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.”  Matthew 26:50-56

In this short passage we see the statement twice, “But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled…?” and then, “But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled”, and all this was at the time of His betrayal and arrest.

Though the name of the sword wielder is not given, we know from the testimony of the apostle John (John 18:10-11) that it is Peter who was overly protective of His Lord.  If we think Peter only meant to cut off that man’s ear, we would be gravely mistaken.  Peter was not a highly trained soldier in handling a sword; but his intent was to divide that man’s head.

The intent and purpose of Jesus was to fulfill Scripture and glorify His Father.  In that act He would also make a way for those who will believe to have fellowship with God the Father.  By way of the cross Scripture, all of Scripture would be fulfilled, the sin debt would be paid, God would be honored, and glorified; and there is a way of salvation from the condemnation of sin.

The event of the above Scriptures follow a time of great trial in our Lord’s life.  It was a time of the “press”.  In a place where the olives were pressed for the oil, the very fragrance of Heaven was being pressed in doing the will of Heaven.  Jesus was about doing the will of God.  His mind, His heart, His soul, and His strength was going to see that all Scripture would be fulfilled.

In the press, by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, we can be about fulfilling the will and word of God in our lives.  Be strong in faith, believe God, trust every word He has said; that He will fulfill every word that, even now, has yet to be fulfilled.  Believe it will be; and live accordingly.  No matter what trial or tribulation may come; economic failure, employment fails, health fails, earthquake or flood, or fire.  God’s Word – all of Scripture will be fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Observations From Matthew – 030911

Reading today from Matthew 17 – 19

Sometimes it is difficult deciding which of the verses Jesus spoke to write from.  I seek His direction, and it seems that it doesn’t matter; because it all from Him.

In chapter 18 Jesus says this about “…become as little children…” and that seems to confuse many.  Let’s take a look at that:

“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”  18:3

Let’s think about little children.  They are cute, lovable, forgiving, and would start wars at the drop of a hat, if some other child takes their stuff.  Jesus certainly did not intend us to be immature in our lives.

Jesus was, of course, speaking of the little child’s heart that is loving, forgiving, trusting.  Trusting is the key here.  Especially when it comes to trusting Him.  For the most part small children are dependent.  They are dependent upon their parents for their food, shelter, clothing, health, and every other need or want that you can think of.  They are unable to go out and defend themselves against intruders, thieves, killers and muggers, in most cases.

As adult believers; followers of Jesus Christ we need to be dependent upon our Lord for our needs.  We also need to be trusting Him for everything from salvation to finances, shelter, healthcare.

Jesus goes on and says,

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”  18:6

Though Jesus is talking about those who would follow Him, trusting Him for and in all things; there is  a more than subtle word here to anyone who would abuse, misuse, mistreat, or harm a child in any way.  We hear in the news of people who abuse children, both sexual and beating, them till they die; and sometimes leaving them dead in their spirits.  Jesus says, “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and drowned in the depth of the sea”.

As adults we should have respect for our children.  They can be contrary at times; however, I have seen a few adults who are contrary, evil, mean, and just downright ugly in demeanor and character.  We all can be at times.  We are still to treat one another with respect; and the children too.  When I use the word “respect”  I mean by that that we treat them as being a special human being in God’s eyes; and should be in our own as well.  We are to disciple children, teaching them and leading them toward God and His righteousness.

Determine to follow Jesus; trusting solely in Him, being dependent upon Him and no other.  Trust Him when everything seems to be falling apart; when your health is failing; when the checkbook is depleted; when you’re unemployed; when the house is being foreclosed on; the bank is coming for your car; when the hospital bills are running out your ears.  You can trust and know that He loves and cares for you.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Ashamed To Ask A King

Wouldn’t it be great if every citizen of the United States of America was ashamed to ask our government anything, but for those things which, God requires of government?  It would indeed.  And the government would be in much better shape financially.

Our trust, as Christians, is in God; not government.  We cannot trust the gov to provide  our health care, nor any of our financial security.  These are areas we trust our Lord to provide by giving us strength for the day to do our jobs; creative minds to better ourselves; and a good motivation for helping our fellow man.

The answer for the problems of the USA is not more gov; but more of God and trusting Him through His Son Jesus Christ.

Nehemiah – the king’s cupbearer has written,

“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.  For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.  So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.”  Ezra 8:21-23 (KJV)

When we boast of a great God, bigger than any Government, bigger than any king; then, we ought to be ashamed to call on any government aid to do the LORD’s will.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Without Faith In Jesus

Jesus had been on the Mount where three disciples who were with Him had seen His glory.  He was transfigured before their eyes; and He spoke with Moses and Elijah concerning the matter of His coming death and resurrection (Luke 9:30-31).  While down below, at the foot of the mount, the other nine disciples were being unsuccessful delivering a man from the power, and torment of an evil spirit – a demon.

When Jesus came down from the encounter with His glory, Moses and Elijah; and Peter, James and John; He finds disappointment with the others.  He says,

“O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.”  Matthew 17:17 (KJV)

and then delivers the young man from this demon.

Here was a father with a son who is tormented by a demon, the disciples “faithless and unbelieving” and Jesus in His glory [temporarily] to give us a lesson of faith.

Jesus knew of His impending death on the cross and the following resurrection, and that He was going away.  In His absence -bodily – we would need faith.  The disciples left at the foot of the mountain could be you and me, who are believing in Him, in the world today; and we have troubled people all around us.

People plagued by marriages, failing marriages, children, troubled children, elderly parents, sickness, disease, joblessness, fear; various fears concerning health, finances, world troubles, and as believers it seems sometimes that we have not much to offer a hopeless world.  At least that is how we are seen.

After the disciples and Jesus leave the mountain they ask Jesus a question and He answers them –

“Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.  Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”  Matthew 17:19-21 (KJV)

Why do we seem so powerless in this day of trouble?  Because we are not practicing the things of God.  Prayer and fasting is often the farthest thing from our minds, and hearts.  Prayer and fasting requires that our heart be on the things of Christ.  If there is ever a time for prayer, communicating with our Lord, and denying ourselves the desires of the world it should be now.

Jesus is away from us bodily, but with us in His Spirit, living within guiding, comforting, convicting, teaching, and showing us all things concerning Jesus Christ.  Are we listening?  When we listen do we do what we know to do?  What do we do when we don’t know what to do?  Do what we know to do?

We are the disciples at the foot of the mountain awaiting the return of our King.  Will He return and say to us,

“O faithless and perverse generation…”?

I pray not.

Let us who are the disciples of Jesus Christ be a people of faith, believing that Jesus will soon return, praying, fasting from the pleasures, and “tastiness” of this world; hearing the Lord Jesus speaking the words of peace as only He can.  Get into His Word, read it, study it; let the Word by the Spirit of God read you; believe it, practice it, and let others see Jesus in you.  When the world brings their problems – demons – to us then, by and in the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ – cast those demons – problems – out.

Let’s appropriate the power of the Spirit of Christ in us with that faith that declares Jesus is coming soon.  The focus of genuine faith is Jesus Christ.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The LORD On His Throne

Sometimes kings and presidents are loved and admired by many and hated and despised by many more. As a matter of fact that is the way it is most of the time. When you have a political leader who does not push for moral issues and what is right, but is rather loose on these things, then you have many who believe these things do not matter; being flamboyantly for him. The man who stands for right and what he believes in will have the support and backing of those who believe courage stands for something, they believe the leader is going as his heart for God, righteousness, justice, and love leads him.

That is the way Isaiah seems to have viewed king Uzziah. Uzziah was a godly king who had grieved God by going into the temple and burning “incense on the altar of incense” (2 Chronicles 26:16b). Because of this grievous sin, God placed the judgment of leprosy upon him for the rest of his life (2 Chronicles 26:21). You can see that the Scriptures says, “…He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD…” (26:4). Though, he had sinned in this one thing of offering the incense, when it was not his place to do so; Isaiah still mourns his death.

Whether Isaiah’s call is before or after the first five chapters could be important. I personally believe that having seen, and having wrote what is written in those first five chapters, he hears the voice of God ever so clearly, and knows without a doubt that he has God’s call to go to God’s people with God’s Word. It comes at a time of tragedy for the Nation. The king has died. Any time the chief leader of a nation dies, or is sick or wounded, the nation grieves; at least in most cases. On March 31, 1981 (I think this is the correct day and year) President Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded by John Hinckley. I can remember thinking, “That’s terrible. How could someone do anything like that?” The Nation was on its knees, and I believe we were mourning. It should have been an eye-opening experience.

Here are the words of Isaiah:

“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.“ Isaiah 6:1-3 (KJV)

Isaiah had a burden for his people. He had a burden for God’s people to get back to God, get right with God and then live in the glory of God.

Many of us can see the problems of our nation and the world, but we have not yet caught a vision of God that drives us to our knees, and helps us see God for who He is. He is the exalted One, the Holy One – thrice holy One; He is the Glorious One, and without Him we have no glory. We need to see that it is God who is on the throne. It is He who rules, and has everything under control – His control for His plan, not yours and mine. He is the one who sees the BIG PICTURE. Since the angels, seraphim recognize Him as holy, holy, holy we need to do so as well.

Have we sacrificed holiness for democracy, safety, health, security, and celebration?

Bow on your knees and cry HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Quickly Perishing

When I look at our society today I see so many who are quickly perishing, and are completely unaware of it. Why do I say they are unaware of it? They live as though there was no end. They live as though there is no God. They live as though they will answer to no one.

We are all fickle at times. We can so easily be led astray, be deceived and deluded. There is something we all must realize and that is, that, there is more to life, than “Me”. “Me” will one day end, and then what. Hear what the apostle Peter has written,

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” 1 Peter 1:24-25 (KJV).

It is a terrible thing for man who is quickly perishing to give so much confidence and power to things which we cannot take with us. I heard the story of a woman who was married to a wealthy man, on his death bed, who wasn’t leaving anything to her, and wanted it all cashed out before he died and, then, put into his coffin with him at his burial. She went and cashed everything out, and the day of the funeral put a box in the coffin before they closed the lid. A friend who was with her asked, “What was in the box?”, and she proceeded to tell her of her deceased husband’s request, and that she had placed it in the box. She went on to say, “I deposited the money in my checking account, and wrote him a check. Now he can cash it any time he chooses.”

Any one with any sense knows when you die, that, silver, gold, or paper money will be of no service to you. It too will rot, rust, decay, and one day blow away in the wind with the rest of the dust.

There is only the “word of the Lord” that endures for ever, and that will be in the lives of those who put their faith and trust in Him through His Son Jesus Christ, and His death, burial and resurrection. “Forever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89). Those who will come to God the Father through God the Son will have an eternity with Him in glory. Call on His name today.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Jesus, The Commandments and Tradition

In verses one and two the scribes and Pharisees had travelled to Galilee from Jerusalem to confront Jesus with the issue of eating meals with “unwashed hands”.  They would suddenly find themselves confronted by the  holy God in person Jesus the Christ.

It is something that happens, of which they seem very slow to learn.  You don’t ask Jesus questions without questions being asked by Him.  In doing this Jesus knew their motives.  It was evident by the way they lived their lives and by the way they asked the questions. 

These hypocrites concerned over the absence of unwashed hands before eating a meal, had no problem whatsoever deceiving their  parents, and of that is what Jesus speaks in verses three and four:

“But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.” Matthew 15: 3-4(KJV).

The matter of washing hands was a man made tradition.  The only basis for it was the ceremonial cleansing/washing of the hands and feet of the priests of Exodus 30, and the brazen laver.  There is nothing concerning washing of hands before a meal for the average Hebrew man or woman.

The fifth commandment, however, gives us clear command, and guidance concerning our parents; and that is that we are to honor them.

These so called law keepers, legalists is what they were; and especially when it came to Jesus, tricked, deceived and manipulated their wealth – little or much – so that when a parent had a need the son could say, “I have dedicated all I have to God”.  In saying that they were saying to their parents that since it was dedicated to God it could not be used to help them out.  This was not honoring to their parents.  God is not pleased with such deception, manipulation, and just plain ole, outright SIN.

Hear the indictment Jesus brings against them:

“But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.”  Matthew 15:5-6 (KJV)

By their tradition they condemn a man and his followers for not washing their hands before they eat a meal.  By the word of God, men are condemned for not washing in the eternal Word of God (Ephesians 5:26).

It was their tradition which condemned Jesus for eating with unwashed hands; and it was their tradition that let them withhold what was due to their parents.  Neither were righteous; and neither stood the muster before the Lord Jesus.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Precious Life

It is my opinion that the value of human life is on a low scale among humans.  It comes across at times that the lives of animals – dogs, cats, horses, etc. – are of more value than the human being who may not be able to “contribute much to society…”  If they are going to be born with a medical problem many parents are now given the suggestion “Abort this baby.  He/she is not going to be able to contribute much to society” or something similar to that.

The following is a quote from the mother of a child with Down syndrome:

“I’d much prefer society eradicate prejudice than eradicate all babies with Down syndrome. I could go into all the ways our son has made our lives better — and certainly our hearts bigger. Our lives would not be better if, as we were advised even before we declined the recommended test, we never had him. But society won’t listen.”

The quote if from an article in Baptist Press by Andrea Higgins, titled, “Don’t Use The ‘R’ Word”.  If you would like to read the article you may by going to Baptist Press.  I think you will enjoy the article.

Another thing, back off of Sarah Palin.  She is a responsible mother, and the fact that her oldest daughter is having a child shows that our youth today have a problem.  No one’s young people are exempt, not even a Presidential or Vice Predential candidate.

The daughter has determined to keep the child, and raise him/her, with a husband and the father, themselves.  Applaud her, but don’t condemn her or her mother.  You better look at your own life before you condemn.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Sorrow Of Heart

We have all at one time or another, and maybe more times than not experienced SORROW OF HEART. Why do we experience these things? Our financial condition? Our health? The health of a friend or relative? A family problem or situation, etc.? Have we ever really experienced SORROW OF HEART for the spiritual condition of our nation, our family, or friends? Probably not as often as we should have.

 

Jeremiah experienced sorrow for his people. They had drifted away from God and in some things, just flat out rejected God, His Word, His prophets, and His law. They had decided that the Law of God was a reproach to them (See chapter 6). Have you ever heard anyone say something like this, “If it taste good, looks good, smells good, sounds good or feels good; its wrong”. That is really just a snide comment against God and His Word. God spells out clearly in His Word what is right and what is wrong, and these are based on His right and wrong. There are some things which are right or wrong in their time and place. For example; God has decreed that the “Marriage bed is undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4), so the right time for the marriage act is with one’s spouse following the wedding, and it is right and good. It is wrong, however, to assume the marriage bed without the benefit of marriage – one man and one woman; that too is clearly defined by Scriptures.

The only reason the word of God could be a “reproach” is because one wants to live their life free of any boundaries. You and yours and everyone around you will be the ones your actions will affect.

 

Hear the words of the prophet:

 

“For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” Jeremiah 4:22 (NKJV)

     

When people begin departing from the LORD after they have received the knowledge of Him, their path is always downward. They may have a great education, a great job, a marvelous house in which to live. They may have all that is necessary for living in this life, but without God, they are perishing.

 

The prophet is grieved by the condition of the people’s hearts. God is grieved by the condition of the people’s hearts and lives. God even says, “My people are foolish…” How can anyone who has ever truly known God depart from God, never return? They are educated but not in God. God goes on and says, “They are silly children…”. God sees those who believe and trust Him as His children, and we are; however, we are silly children when we choose to do our own thing, and get away from our Father.

 

The prophet Hosea said,

 

“Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.” Hosea 4:1 (KJV)

     

The prophet Hosea continues,

 

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Hosea 4:6 (KJV)

     

Is it any wonder that people turn away from the LORD when they do not care to read, study, and apply His Word to their lives? The writer of Proverbs wrote, “Where there is no vision the people perish” Proverbs 29:18, or as the NKJV records it, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.” When the Word of God grows cold in your life, so will your love for God, righteousness, and holiness.

 

People who refuse God, His Word, and His revelation are “wise to do evil”, should we all not rather be wise to do that which is good and godly; and that is doing all that we do for the glory of the LORD. Personal attention, or popularity, or power, and/or prestige is out of the picture when all we are seeking is the glory of the LORD.

 

Being wise to do good will end a whole lot of mess in relationships. Families, churches, communities, countries, and the world will be a better place when the glory of the LORD is everyone’s goal.  According to Scripture (Romans 3:10ff) we all fall short of the glory of God, but His Son, Jesus Christ was His glory and through faith in His finished work on the cross, and the power of His bodily resurrection, that glory is restored.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Scientist Playing God

It seems to me that in the 1940’s there was a man who was trying to perfect a certain race. According to him there were some people who were not worthy of living and thus, he proceeded to have 11,000,000 people murdered. Some were burned alive, some were gassed, and it seems that some may have been buried alive. There are people of our race [the human race] who want to deny these events ever happened, but what planet were they born on.?

Just recently I read the story of a British woman who selected a “cancer free” embryo, and destroyed the ones remaining. Are doctors and scientist playing like they are God now? Is this not what Hitler was trying to do as well. The only difference being it is being done earlier in the stage of human life.

Let me give you an excerpt from the article I read:

“A London woman is carrying Great Britain’s first baby guaranteed not to inherit breast cancer, but she had to eliminate several of her other embryonic offspring to do so.

Doctors used preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a controversial screening method, to determine which of the 11 embryos created by means of in vitro fertilization (IVF) had the gene that would have resulted in a female child having a 50 to 85 percent chance of developing breast cancer, according to The Times of London.

Six of the embryos tested positive for the gene and were rejected. Two embryos without the gene were implanted, producing a pregnancy of 14 weeks as of June 29, and two others were frozen, The Times reported.

The 27-year-old mother, who desires to remain unnamed, and her 28-year-old husband are fertile, but they chose IVF and PGD because of the prevalence of breast cancer on one side of the family. The husband had tested positive for the gene, known as BRCA-1.

“For the past three generations, every single woman in my husband’s family has had breast cancer, as early as 27 and 29,” the mother said, according to The Times. “We felt that, if there was a possibility of eliminating this for our children, then that was a route we had to go down.’”

If you would like to read the rest of the article you may go to Cancer free Child .

I can understand people not wanting to have children with diseases, but those things are out of our hands. Life and death are in God’s hands, and until we realize that and we continue on the path of selection for our children or others, this is going to lead to a destruction of human life far beyond that of the Jewish Holocaust. It already has through the abortion of the unborn babies of America and the rest of the world. Now, in the name of science and health, there will be another. Again, let’s stop playing God, and let God give the life and take the life, when He chooses.

-Tim A. Blankenship