Category Archives: Practical living
About presumptuous sins
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12 )
Presuming things have caused people lots of harm and heart break. Let me make it real to you;
1) Some people assumed that not wearing the seat belt is harmless, and then got hurt severely in the car that they were in.
2) Some people have assumed that they can speak anything to their spouses and get away from it, and then have been fighting nasty divorce cases instead.
3) I know of people who’ve spoken vile words to their father and that very day their father died later in the same day due to a heart attack. And now these people forever regret their harsh words.
4) Some girls and boys in have tried drugs that are very much illegal just for fun but died on their very first try. And their parents have been in grief ever since that.
The sin of King Saul:
And then we have the case of the first King of Israel Saul who presumed what he felt was right in doing and thereby rejected the whole instruction of the Lord God. And so the Prophet Samuel was sent to him to inform him of God’s punishment for the sin of presumption. You can read the whole of 1 Samuel Chapter 15 to get the details on this.
Because King Saul acted very presumptuously against the commandment of the Lord God he had to hear the following from the Prophet Samuel;
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king.”
Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may bow before the Lord.” And Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” As Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore. And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.” (1 Samuel 15:22-29)
If you think by the coming of Jesus Christ and with the preaching of the Gospel, we need not bother about presumptuous sins, are you unfortunately in the wrong.
The Sin of Ananias and Sapphira:
You can refer to Acts 5:1-11 about The Sin of Ananias and Sapphira
A man by the name of Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold some land. 2 He kept back part of the money for himself. His wife knew it also. The other part he took to the missionaries. 3 Peter said to Ananias, “Why did you let Satan fill your heart? He made you lie to the Holy Spirit. You kept back part of the money you got from your land. 4 Was not the land yours before you sold it? After it was sold, you could have done what you wanted to do with the money. Why did you allow your heart to do this? You have lied to God, not to men.”
5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down dead. Much fear came on all those who heard what was done. 6 The young men got up and covered his body and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in. She did not know what had happened.
8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, did you sell the land for this amount of money?” She said, “Yes.” 9 Then Peter said to her, “How could you two have talked together about lying to the Holy Spirit? See! Those who buried your husband are standing at the door and they will carry you out also.” 10 At once she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in, they found that she was dead. They took her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Much fear came on all the church and on all who heard it.
Ananias and Sapphira presumed that they could lie to the Holy Spirit about withholding their offerings towards the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Why do people presume that the Holy Spirit cannot take action against those who sin against Him?
Maybe they have forgotten that each judgement that the Lord God has ever taken, be it against the Fallen Angels, Adam and Eve, the vile Pharaoh of Egypt, the Holy Spirit has never contradicted the Word of God when it comes to judgement against sin. But you O people of God, do not forget this lest you suffer the same fate as Saul or even like that of Ananias and Sapphira.
Verses for reflection:
- Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:13)
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:12-13)
- Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
- Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16)
Jesus – the Lord of vengeance
Often we think of Jesus as merciful and rightfully so. Because he took upon himself the sins of the world. He is the Son of God who gives us real salvation.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10)
However there’s another side to this. Jesus is also the Lord of vengeance. Because where there is injustice there follow the judgements from God. For though God is merciful he is also holy. Due his holiness God won’t forever stay his sword of judgement. Jesus is not trigger happy. He does give time for people to repent but if they keep ignoring the call to holiness then he can and will execute justice.
Let’s read Nahum 1: 2-6 which says;
The Lord is a jealous and…
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Never rashly presume things to be holy especially when making vows in marriage
It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,” and to reflect only after making vows. (Proverbs 20:25)
There are people at times who rush into getting married. These rashly say they are doing what is holy since they love their soon-to-be spouse and their soon-to-be spouse loves them. And five years post marriage, there are arguments in their marriage, with the eventual divorce.
These never checked each others temperament nor adaptability before marriage. They just only “saw” love but didn’t both to check the truth. I mean the truth about being long term, even till death do them apart upon getting married. These are the one’s who make their wedding vows first and only few years later reflect if they made the right decision. “A few years later”, yes that’s correct.
Instead of checking things out before marriage they only do their assessment of marriage much later. Now not every divorce happens due to rash decisions going into marriage, there could be other things which might have not been possible to detect earlier, but I do hope you get the idea that faulty plans can get into faulty marriages.
Yet, if these couples who are thinking of divorce get Bible based counsel or just pray with sincerity to the Lord God they can save their marriages from ending into disaster.
Now, the Biblical warning mentioned above in Proverbs 20:25 is not limited to marriage vows. It can be your business decisions, various types of contracts, friendship agreements and anything that involves taking oaths, including taking the oath of speaking the truth in the court of law.
Be wise everywhere for the glory of God!
God gave us material things to bless others
“God gave us material things to bless others. Earthly things have their maximum value only when they are used to bless and help others and not when they are used merely for ourselves and our families.”
― Zac Poonen, The Day of Small Beginnings’
If you keep asking for God’s blessings for yourself but are only interested to use it for yourself and your families then don’t even call yourself a believer of Jesus Christ. Such a behavior is not fitting the attributes of a true Christian.
Some people are so vile or maybe ignorant that they say ‘God bless me with ‘just’ enough for me and my family’. Because somehow they feel that they can then excuse themselves when others are in need saying that they don’t have anything to spare.
Perhaps they have never heard about Jesus speaking about the Good Samaritan who helped the man who was robbed and left for half dead. Or perhaps they they know but don’t feel it applies to them. I have news for you – being generous to others who are in need is not optional for those who claim to profess the Christ faith! And this is confirmed by the Holy Scriptures as given in Matthew 25:31-46 below:
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
Blessed are the peace makers
Do you cause peace or the lack of it?
If you believe in God you should always strive for peace.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
Wherever you go pray for peace. The world needs peace but lacks intercessors.
Will you intercede for peace for your family? If yes then good.
Will you intercede for peace for your country? If yes then better.
Will you intercede for peace for the nations of the world? If yes then best.
Remember that charity begins at home. If you love peace for your family, you’ll naturally love peace for the world.
A child of God always act in wisdom wherever he or she goes. Don’t spread falsehood or rumors that damage relationships between other’s. Will causing ill will between people cause you to be blessed by God? Obviously not!
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)
True peace is always God centered and doesn’t dwell on deception or cowardice.
Never forget that you don’t try for peace for the sake of it. You are be of good intentions and have no partiality nor hypocrisy when working out peace for yourself and and others.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)
Bad Counsel And It’s Evil Effects
There are people who seek good advice. But then there are people who instead use bad counsel. One must totally avoid all usage of bad counsel because its evil.
What is bad counsel?
Bad counsel includes all the things, all the thoughts and all the philosophies that are based on falsehood, greed, immorality, hate and deception. There are the very things that go against the counsel of the Holy Spirit of God.
For example; listening to thieves and then stealing from others is following bad counsel. Reading books that teach you to use deceptive methods to get money illegally is acting on bad counsel.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)
What makes bad counsel so evil?
Bad counsel is against the will of God
Following the counsel which involves sin and darkness, is completely against the will of God. Do note that the Lord God won’t bless anyone who walks in the counsel of the wicked.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers (Psalm 1:1)
Bad counsel leads to eternal damnation
There are some who follow bad counsel who speak about the short team benefits they get, such as cheap fame and quick money. However what they totally miss out is that the counsel of the wicked leads to eternal damnation.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8)
Bad counsel may even lead to punishment on earth
Some people think they can wait until the end of their lives, and then face the consequences. The truth is, following bad counsel may even lead to punishment when one is still alive. And this punishment can be painful too.
For example; If caught stealing from a house, many a times the people of the household and the neighbors are known to beat up the thief mercilessly. And if the police arrive, then won’t charge those people with anything but instead arrest the thief.
People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house. (Proverbs 6:30-31)
If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him (Exodus 22:1-2)
Follow only good counsel because that is will of God for you. That way you won’t be liable for eternal damnation nor fear any punishment on earth for your bad actions.
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17)
Quick Reminder : Wait patiently for the Lord
Surely none who wait for You will be put to shame; but those who are faithless without cause will be disgraced. (Psalm 25:3)
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:13-14)
Wait for the LORD and keep His way, and He will raise you up to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. (Psalm 37:34)
I waited patiently for the LORD; He inclined to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)
Rest in God alone, O my soul, for my hope comes from Him. (Psalm 62:5)
I wait for the LORD; my soul does wait, and in His word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5)
Do not say, “I will avenge this evil!” Wait on the LORD, and He will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22)
And in that day it will be said, “Surely this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He has saved us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited. Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9)
For the vision awaits an appointed time; it testifies of the end, and will not lie. Though it lingers, wait for it, since it will surely come and not delay. (Habakkuk 2:3)
Respond to God’s calling!
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for thy servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
And the Lord came and stood forth, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for thy servant hears.” Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel, at which the two ears of every one that hears it will tingle. (1 Samuel 3:7-11)
The great man of God, the prophet Samuel had his calling from God. O how many times God called him? O what if Samuel would have not taken help of Eli to understand God’s calling? O if Samuel would have never responded to God’s calling? Then God’s will for Israel by the prophet Samuel would have been affected. What a shame to lose God’s calling.
Be humble to enough to ask help of those serving the Lord God, to understand God’s will for you. Never feel to small to still yourself and keep away from the chaos of the world, to hear God’s voice. And when you finally come to know God’s for yourself, do not even hesitate to do it, fair and square. All for the glory of God!
Just because times are tough do not live in fear
I keep hearing and seeing the news all around the world. Some places there have been earth quakes, some bush fires while now of this writing, the Corona Virus (Covid-19) has been causing devastation and death wherever it can. While the danger is real, you don’t need to live in fear. Firstly put your trust in God who can deliver you from evil. And then continue with prayer and thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus. Obviously, you are to also take due precautions and not deliberately land yourself in trouble.
Fear leads to worry and worrying won’t help you
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” ~ Luke 12:22-26
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” ~ Mark 4:39-40
Fear makes the problem seem more than what it is
By being fearful you don’t end up getting your problems solved. Not a bit. You need to focus on the right steps to help yourself. Remind yourself that you are loved by God and he will be there for you in the hardest of times, if you only believe in him.
“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” ~ Psalm 34:4
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” ~ Romans 8:38-39
Fear of man (or woman) only keeps you down in life
Fear no man nor woman because it is not worth it. Such fear is a trap. People lose a lot of things, even their souls due to this, because they keep confirming to the sinister schemes of the sinful world. Reject this fear of man (or woman) and be a true believer in God.
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. (Proverbs 29:25)
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
Fear can keep you away from the Will of God
Beware of fear, because it can keep you away from the Will of God. Be strong and courageous for the Lord God and reject any fear of people and society when it comes to doing all the good things God has planned for you.
Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished. (1 Chronicles 28:20)
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15)
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
I pray that you are able to make a decision to live without fear for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God be with you!
Avoid worrying over worldly things
O believer in God, worrying over worldly things is the last thing you ever need to be doing. The world worries over the things of the world and gets into panic and despair. Be not like them, for they are sheep in need of the Good Shepherd. But you are already in the care of the One True Shepherd Jesus Christ. So put your trust in Jesus, instead of banking on your worries.
Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 6:25-34 the following words about dealing with worry:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Meditate on the words of Jesus about worry. And you will by faith be able to overcome worry. Act on the words of Jesus, so that you receive true peace!