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Saturday, January 20, 2018

THINK ON THESE THINGS – PHIL 4:8-9


~ By James Fire

PHIL 4:1-9
Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always: and again, I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful about nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you
.

Paul the apostle, in writing this epistle to the church at Philippi, pours out his heart to these saints – here in chapter 4 he calls them “dearly beloved” twice in verse 1; also “longed for” “my joy” and “my crown”. He exhorts them in this chapter to “stand fast”, “to rejoice in the LORD”, “to not be anxious for anything”. He encourages them to “prayer and supplication”, and to “thanksgiving”. He reminds them that the peace of God is available to them and can “keep their hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

WALKING WITHOUT STUMBLING Part 2 of 4: A Four Part Series Examining the Lives of Samson, Saul, Solomon and the Savior

~ By James Fire

PART II-A: WALKING WITHOUT STUMBLING – SAUL: HIS HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

We now turn to the second character in this study, the person of Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin. We begin this study in 1 SAM 8, where we find the prophet (and judge) of Israel, Samuel, in his old age – and he had appointed his sons as judges over Israel, but they did not walk in the ways of their father (vs. 3).
It was then that the elders of Israel came to Samuel in Ramah:

1 SAM 8:5-9
5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now
make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. 
7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. 9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

This is heartbreaking to read, particularly when we think on all that the LORD did for these people, according to His tender mercies and grace – and yet for all that, the people reject Him as their King, wanting a mere man instead – just like the other nations.
It is an indictment against Israel, and even more so against the church of Jesus Christ today, when we look to the world and desire to model ourselves after them. We adopt their music, we admit their philosophies, we accept their amorality, we agree with their view of the Scriptures – all because we want to be ‘seeker-sensitive’ and not ‘offend’ them.

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