Friday, February 22, 2013

Happy Friday

Lingering Sins
Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! - -Hosea 14:1-2

Years ago, I memorized Numbers 33:55 as a warning to my own soul: "But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come to pass that those whom ye let remain of them shall be as pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell" (KJV).

I memorized that verse because I was working with a group of guys and was trying to get across to them the importance of confessing sin to God--of keeping short accounts with the Lord and living a clean life before Him.

If you and I harbor sin in our lives, this verse says our vision for the work of God will be clouded, our forward progress will be hindered, and the sin that remains in our lives will be a constant vexation to us, both in our fellowship with God and in our service to Him.

Some people hear this verse and think back to a time in their lives when they should have dealt with a certain sin, and didn't. They become tremendously discouraged when they see what has happened in their lives and the wasted years of being out of fellowship with the Lord. That may be exactly how you're feeling.

Psalm 119:97 says, "Oh how I love thy law, it is my meditation all the day" (KJV). One reason I love this verse is because it's first-person singular, present tense. Oh, how I love thy law means it is right now--currently, today--my meditation. That can be your experience, too, if you choose it. It's never too late to come back to where you once were with the Lord.

Lord, reveal to me my unconfessed sin so that I may stay in close fellowship with You and be effectively used in the lives of others. Amen.

God can't use us to accomplish His purposes if we have lingering sin in our lives.

Daily Smile:
After dating a young lady for some time a young man decides it is time to marry her. 

He proceeds with all the necessary plans and finally the day comes.
On the day of the wedding the young man has yet to pay the pastor for performing the ceremony. However the pastor has a plan.
The service proceeds as planned the vows are exchanged etc. Now it is time for the groom to kiss his bride. The pastor sees this as the perfect opportunity to ask to be paid. He pulls the young man aside and asks him. Can you please pay me?

Not wanting to create a scene the young man asked. How much do I owe you?

The pastor thinks quickly and replies, pay me according to your wife's beauty.

The young man discretely pulled out five dollars and gave it to the pastor.

Although annoyed by this, the pastor continues the ceremony and says; you may now kiss the bride. At this point the veil is lifted from the brides face to allow the groom to kiss her. As the groom is about to kiss his new bride the pastor interrupts and promptly hand the groom four dollars and fifty cents.

In  The News:

80 Congressmen Urge Secretary of State Kerry to Seek Release of Imprisoned American Pastor
More than 80 U.S. senators and representatives have sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to "exhaust every possible option" to secure the release of American pastor Saeed Abedini, who is facing a lengthy prison sentence in Iran because of his Christian faith, the American Center for Law and Justice reports. "This is a significant bipartisan effort to secure the freedom of a U.S. citizen who faces incredible torture and life-threatening punishment in one of Iran's most brutal prisons -- simply because of his Christian beliefs," said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the ACLJ. "This letter from a politically broad spectrum of members of Congress underscores the real issue here: the U.S. government must protect its citizens and exercise every diplomatic tool available to secure the freedom of Pastor Saeed. We are very grateful for the Congressional support and urge Secretary Kerry to act without delay. Pastor Saeed's life hangs in the balance. Secretary Kerry's personal involvement in this case is critical to securing the freedom of this American."

Singles Survey Reveals Casual Views on Sex
A new survey done for is shedding some light on what singles are saying about their sexual behavior, CBN News reports. According to the survey, 42 percent would not date a virgin, 47 percent report having a "friends with benefits" relationship, and 44 percent of women and 63 percent of men have had one-night stands. Almost a third say they've had sex by the third date and almost half said they had sex by the sixth date. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control released two new studies Wednesday showing that the United States faces an ongoing and severe epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases. More than 19 million new infections are reported every year, up from 15 million in 1996, and half of the new cases affect people ages 15 to 24.

U.S. Government Extends Federal Benefits to Homosexuals in Military
The U.S. government announced last week that it was extending a number of federal benefits to homosexuals in the military, the Christian News Network reports. The announcement was made by outgoing Department of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who stated that he would like to see the accommodations implemented by October 1, if not before. Among the 22 total benefits include hospital visitations, military child care and legal services, participation in family groups on base and privileges in commissaries. Because the federal Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the government from recognizing any other relationship outside of one man and one woman as being in a marriage, certain other benefits could not be extended, including assistance with housing and the provision of healthcare benefits. DOMA is currently being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to hear an oral argument on the issue next month and rule on the matter in June.

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