You have probably heard the phrase “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”? This is a legal principle saying that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because he was unaware of it. You also have probably heard the very similar scripture verse in Hosea 4:6 that says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..”. The NLT says it this way “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me.” But there is much more to this verse than simple ignorance or lack of knowledge. The verse goes on to say “Because you have rejected knowledge…because you have forgotten the law of your God”….or the NLT says “Because you refuse to know me…” It wasn’t just a lack of knowledge, they purposefully rejected it. And in the verbiage of the NLT, they rejected God. That sounds very familiar in this day. People refusing to know God, to honor Him and keep His Word. They know the Word, but refuse to do it. In Hosea’s day, the result would be that God would lift His blessing from them and their children. And He did and the Israelites were conquered by Assyria. God said if you don’t want Me, fine, I’ll go. But along with His presence goes His blessing. May we never allow this in America!
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. Hosea 4:6 (NKJV)
6 My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children. Hosea 4:6 (NLT)
25 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 16:25 (NKJV)
One of the most important things to do and often the hardest thing to remember in this Christian walk is to keep our eyes on God. This is especially true when we are experiencing times of lack. Because we live in a natural world, our eyes are continually drawn to the natural. In other words, we focus on what little we do have and we miss what God can do with it. We know that God is a Spirit and the spirit realm is impossible to see through our natural eyes. One story from the Bible that teaches us to not allow our natural circumstances to dictate the possibilities in life is the story of the boy who shared his 5 loaves and 2 fishes to feed 5,000. And in reality there were many more than 5,000 people because the account in Matthew tells us that those who ate were 5,000 men besides women and children. This miracle was so significant that, besides the resurrection, it is the only other miracle of Jesus that is mentioned in all four Gospels. The people ate as much as they wanted until they were all satisfied! Jesus met this need not just adequately but abundantly. If you have a need that seems impossible to meet with the little you have, give what you have to God. Stand back and allow God to take it and multiply it according to HIs riches, not yours! God has given you access to His resources!
This story found in: Mt. 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15
19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NLT)
Have you ever wanted to get back into someone’s good graces? What does that mean exactly? It usually means you’ve done something to put a wedge between you and them and there’s really nothing you can do to mend it. You have to hope they will extend favor to you on their own. So grace can be defined as favor or blessing that is unearned or unmerited meaning it is not because you’ve been good enough to deserve it. It’s only because of the goodness and graciousness of the person offering it to you. Scripture says we are saved by grace through faith. Salvation is nothing we can earn. There’s absolutely nothing we can do to deserve it. So this wonderful grace is out there so how do we access it? Through faith! You just have to trust God. Christ did everything required for you to “get back into God’s good graces”! You just have to believe it. If you are trying to do “good works” or in other words, trying to be good enough to earn God’s salvation, know that nothing you will ever do could compare to what Jesus has already done on the cross! God knows that and therefore He offers salvation to you through His wonderful grace. Just receive it through faith!
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV)
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)
This week, in listening to a local radio sportscaster commenting on the recent tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of nine precious people, the sportscaster made the comment “God works in mysterious ways.” This is all too often the comment that you hear after tragic events. Why is it that God gets blamed for tragedy or devastation because nothing could be farther from the truth? Many times, people are simply at a loss for words at times like this and don’t really know what to say. But mostly, it is lack of knowledge of who God is. Because anyone who has a relationship with God and who knows the Word of God knows that God isn’t the cause of tragedy or for that matter of sickness or disease. But remember that there is an enemy of mankind who is the god (little g) of this world and he is called the devil or Satan. And there is nothing mysterious about him. His motive is clear: steal, kill and destroy! If you have or are facing tragedy or illness, know that God is not the cause or source of it – He is your hope and your comfort. Our prayer for the families of those lost is that God will mend their broken hearts and rescue their crushed spirits. God is not the source of your trial. But He is the One who can see you through it.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. 19 The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time. Psalm 34:18-19 (NLT)
3 He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. Psalm 147:3 (NLT)
0 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV)
4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
20 My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. 21 Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, 22 for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22 (NLT)
The past week marked the 47th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Roe Vs. Wade making abortion legal in the United States. The issue of abortion is often in the headlines during election time. And it is always difficult to understand the number of Christians who vote for candidates who support abortion. The response most often given when asked how one can support a candidate who supports abortion is “I don’t support abortion but abortion isn’t the only issue.” If you support a candidate who supports abortion, then you are supporting abortion. Food for Thought isn’t going to debate the evils of abortion because the scriptures do a fine job of that. But a person must decide for him/herself what he or she believes, what and whom he or she supports and what he or she is willing to compromise on. As we are well aware, election time is upon us. It is up to each of us to find out how candidates feel about critical issues dealing with the sanctity of life whether these issues are in the headlines or not. How candidates feel about these issues gets to the core of their character. As a Christian, the Bible is your standard. Find out if a candidate’s stance on an issue violates the Word of God. Do your due diligence and vote prayerfully and vote scripturally. It’s between you and God.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)
13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. Hebrews 4:13 (NLT)
My grandchildren recently began ice skating lessons. I had purchased new skates for them. The children in the class are all small, most about 4 and 5 years old, and of course at the first lesson they were all falling a lot. At the second lesson, we notice that most of the children were improving, but my grandchildren continued to fall. The coach mentioned it and said it could be the skates. So we checked the reviews on their skates and found the same thing over and over – the kids were all falling due to the blades. So we looked at the blades and saw that they were unusually proportioned to the boot of the skate and very curved at the back and could see why they were always falling. I returned those skates and we purchased new ones. We went for a practice skate with the kids and the improvement was instant and remarkable. If I had checked the reviews first, I could have avoided the whole situation. It is so much nicer to learn from others’ bad experiences than to have to learn the hard way. If you find yourself falling a lot in your journey with Christ, go back and read the Book! There are plenty of people, like Peter and Paul, or David who have fallen plenty of times and wrote about it so we could steer clear of the same mistakes. We can avoid so many spills and falls if we’d just read the Book first!
9 Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. Proverbs 9:9 (NLT)
10 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever! Psalm 111:10 (NLT)
13 “But true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his. Job 12:13 (NLT)
28 For you are God, O Sovereign LORD. Your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 2 Samuel 7:28 (NLT)
160 The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever. Psalm 119:160 (NLT)
21 “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. Luke 20:21 (NLT)
One mistake that people often make is falling into the trap of believing that God is in control of everything so whatever happens must be His will. But just look around the world – the unrest, the evil done by one person toward another or one country toward another, the devastation by severe weather, earthquakes and hurricanes, and other horrible tragedies and illnesses that take or destroy the lives of young and old alike. Is it really possible that all of these horrible events are God’s will? The truth is God is not in control of this world. Scripture tells us that there is a god of this world – and that god is Satan. Scriptures tells us that the world around us is under Satan’s control and we know that his main goal is to steal, kill and destroy. BUT…we are children of God and His Son Jesus has a secure hold on us and the evil one cannot touch us! Satan has no authority to work in the lives of Christians UNLESS we yield to him. In the wilderness (Luke 4-1-13), Satan wanted so badly for Jesus to yield to him just once. But He would not! He resisted! Resist him and he MUST flee – and keep resisting for our foe is persistent. Satan is not the horrifying, controlling, all-powerful, creature that Hollywood portrays him to be for then you would recognize him. So don’t be fooled if he comes around as an angel of light. Jesus gave us authority over the enemy, so let’s walk it!
4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NLT)
19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. 1 John 5:19 (NLT)
5 Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. Luke 4:5-6 (NLT)
18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. I John 5:18 (NLT)
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10 (NLT)
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NLT)
14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 (NLT)
19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. Luke 10:19 (NLT)
The new year and a new decade is here! A new year is a great time to make a fresh start. Be careful not to bring regrets with you into your new year. Looking back at things can stifle your growth and delay the plans God has for your life. Lot’s wife is a great example of the consequences of looking back. The Hebrew word in this portion of scripture (Genesis 19:26) is Nabat. This word doesn’t just mean a brief looking back, but it means to look intently at, to behold, to consider. Yesterday is history and cannot be retrieved so don’t dwell on it. You can’t change your yesterdays, but you can use them to determine the course of your tomorrows. Don’t allow your past to paralyze you and keep you from moving forward. Determine to have a fresh start and a new beginning right now. Remember, God’s mercy to you is new and fresh every single morning. Don’t allow yesterday’s failures and disappointments to hold you back this year!
26 But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26 (NLT)22
The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)
The year 2019 has flown by very quickly and if you are like most people, there are probably still things on your to-do list for 2019 that are not yet crossed off. And there could be many reasons why, some very good reasons. Sometimes, there are more important things that come up than what is on the to-do list. Yesterday, I spent most of the day doing my Christmas baking – cookies and candy for the family. While I was done with the baking and beginning my clean up (I can’t stand to leave a dirty kitchen), my little grandson was calling me – “Grama, come sit with me!”. My first response was “In a couple of minutes. Grama’s almost done!”. Then several minutes later I heard again – “Grama come sit with me!”. I realized at that moment that, though I hate a dirty kitchen, there were more pressing issues at that moment – a little boy that needed his grama to sit with him! These moments are precious and don’t last forever and if you delay for even just a few minutes, you might lose an opportunity that may not return. For 2020, go ahead and make your to-do lists. And hopefully you’ll get a few checked off. But when little interruptions arise that mess with your list, don’t pass them by or you might regret it. Keep your eyes on what’s really important. These little interruptions might just be golden opportunities!
41 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. 42 One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (MSG)
34 It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. Luke 12:34 (MSG)
2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. Hebrews 12:2 (MSG)
Here’s our annual reminder to remember the Reason for the season!
‘Tis the week before Christmas, and all through my mind
whirl thoughts about presents I still need to find!
There’s a checklist for groceries and one for the gifts
And just to make sure, a checklist for my list!
Decorations and stockings were hung just in time
The last minute cleaning is the next thing in line.
Did I purchase the cranberries, the cider, and nog?
A fire is a nice touch, must purchase a log!
Everything must be perfect, my plans all in sync.
Must have all the items for food and for drink.
But nagging inside me, way back in my mind
it seems there’s still something that I’ve left behind.
What detail escapes me, what’s missing I plea?
My head is just throbbing, what in heaven could it be?
Wait a minute! In heaven… in heaven indeed.
How could I forget the one thing that I need!
With the flurry of planning and shopping galore
I’ve omitted that gift I should never ignore.
The gift that was born on one cold starry night.
to a world lost in darkness and filled it with light!
The gift that costs nothing, yet is priceless for sure.
The gift that was given to all of the world.
Oh, thank you Dear Jesus, for leaving your throne.
And coming to earth to make heaven my home.
Oh God, please forgive me for losing my way
and help me put Christ back into Christmas day!
Have a very Blessed Christmas