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nChrist
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« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2005, 08:22:58 AM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Moses
Scripture: Exodus 18:22 Galatians 6:2 1 Peter 5:7

Burden Bearers

Exodus 18:22

And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.

Burden Bearers

Andrew C. Davison wrote about an encounter with Dr. Albert Schweitzer at Lambarene, on the banks of the Ogowe River. It was about noon and the sun was beating down mercilessly as a group walked up a hill with Dr. Schweitzer. Suddenly the doctor strode across the slope to where an African woman was struggling with a load of wood for the cooking fires. The 85-year-old doctor took the entire burden and carried it up the hill for the relieved woman. When they reached the top of the hill, someone asked Dr. Schweitzer why he did things like that, implying that in that heat and at his age he should not. Albert Schweitzer pointed to the woman and said simply, "No one should have to carry a burden like that alone."

That was Mosesí problemóhe was trying to carry his burden alone. It took the wise insight of his father-in-law, Jethro, to point out the fact that others "will bear the burden with you."

Godís people were never meant to carry their burdens alone. Thatís why we have the privilege of prayer. Peter urged us to cast "all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:7). Bearing burdens is also the role of the Church. Paul instructed believers, "Bear one anotherís burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2).

Are you willing to help others bear their burdens? Perhaps even today there is someone who needs you to pray with him, cook a meal or provide transportation for him. Itís not hard to spot burdens that need to be borne when you are looking for them. Our responsibility is to do whatever it takes to make a burden lighter. Thatís a responsibility that brings great satisfaction now and eternal reward in the future.

A burden shared is a lighter load.

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« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2005, 08:27:46 AM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Moses
Scripture: Exodus 19:3-4 Isaiah 40:31

No Obstacles Allowed

Exodus 19:3-4

And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: ĎYou have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eaglesí wings and brought you to Myself.í"

No Obstacles Allowed

A friend told me that when he was a young boy, he lived on one side of his small town and the school he attended was located on the other. Bus transportation was limited to the students who lived out of the city limit, so he had to walk many blocks both to and from school. "After a tiring day at school," my friend explained, "I would sometimes fantasize on my way home of having wings that would lift me over all the houses and trees and deposit me directly on my front porch."

It was wings like these that God figuratively used to bring Israel to Himself. In spite of the obstruction of Pharaoh and his army, through the barrier of a seemingly uncrossable sea, over the hurdle of a dry and barren wilderness, God lifted His people up and brought them safely to their destination. No obstacle was allowed to stand between Him and those He loved.

Are you facing obstacles today that threaten your joy as a Christian? Maybe these obstacles are health problems, financial struggles or family relationships. Perhaps you are frustrated by circumstances beyond your control. Well, donít fantasize as my friend did. Instead, look to Godís mighty wings to lift you up and carry you to where He wants you to be. Remember the promise of Isaiah 40:31: "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Claim that promise today.

What you canít go through, God will help you fly over.

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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2005, 10:03:28 PM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Moses
Scripture: Exodus 19:10-11 Matthew 28:20 John 1:14 Matthew 18:20

The God Who Is Near

Exodus 19:10-11

Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people."

The God Who Is Near

A supposedly true story tells that a very rich man in London died and left a large gift to one of the hospitals there. His will stipulated, however, that as a condition for the gift, his ashes were to be brought to the board room for each board meeting and placed at the head of the table. Accordingly, for more than 100 years the secretary of the board added these words to the minutes of each meeting: "Jeremy Benthan, present but not voting."

While this ongoing request may seem a bit ludicrous to you and me, the God of Israel also desired to be present with His people, and that wasnít ludicrous at all. As they prepared to receive His law, He came down upon Mount Sinai in such a way that everyone knew He was present in their midst. In a very visible manner, God demonstrated His desire to have fellowship with His people.

John made the same observation about Jesus. When it was time to redeem the human race, the apostle said, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). Jesus promised, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:20). And again He said, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20).

Do you see the evidences of Godís presence in your life? Have you felt the warmth of His presence, the gentleness of His touch or the strength of His everlasting arms? Take both joy and comfort in knowing that you have a God who not only loves you but also wants to be with you.

When you put your hand in Godís hand, you will never walk alone.

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« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2005, 01:58:49 PM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Moses
Scripture: Exodus 20:1-3 Matthew 6:33

Priority One

Exodus 20:1-3

And God spoke all these words, saying: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me."

Priority One

John Wanamaker was a man who had his priorities straight. In the late 19th century he opened a department store in Philadelphia. Within a few years the enterprise became one of the most successful businesses in the country. But operating his store wasnít Wanamakerís only responsibility. He was also named Postmaster General of the United States and served as the superintendent for what was then the largest Sunday school in the world at Bethany Presbyterian Church. When someone asked him how he could hold all these positions at once, he explained, "Early in life I read, ĎBut seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to youí [Matt. 6:33]. Thatís what Iíve done." In the midst of a busy life, Mr. Wanamaker made God his number-one priority and the results speak for themselves.

As the Israelites began their new life of freedom, God instructed them to "have no other gods before Me." This was not for His benefit, but for theirs. To live life successfully, we must know whatís most important. All of our other priorities will be out of kilter until we get our first priority straight. When we know what comes first, the rest will fall into place. God must always come first in our lives, in our daily schedules, our checkbooks, our estate plans, our thoughts and our actions. He is priority one.

If your life is chaotic, it may indicate your priorities are jumbled. Make God priority one in your life and you may be surprised at how easily everything else comes together. Only by starting your priorities right can you hope to end them right.

Everything begins with the right priorities, and right priorities begin with God.

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« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2005, 05:47:39 PM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Moses
Scripture: Exodus 20:14 Psalms 119:11 Matthew 5:8 Galatians 5:19-21 Hebrews 13:4 Matthew 5:27-28 1 Timothy 5:22

An Undefiled Bed

Exodus 20:14

You shall not commit adultery.

An Undefiled Bed

A newspaper publisher offered a prize for the best answer to the question, "Why is a newspaper like a good woman?" The winning answer was, "Because every man should have one of his own and not look at his neighborís!"

While the publisherís contest may not have been in the best of taste, the winning answer certainly contains an important truth. As the Israelites moved out into pagan nations that worshiped fertility gods and goddesses, God knew they would face strong temptations to sexual immorality. Therefore He bluntly commanded them, "You shall not commit adultery."

This same command is repeated in a number of ways in the New Testament. The writer of Hebrews says, "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Heb. 13:4). The apostle Paul ranks adultery on the same level as idolatry, sorcery, murder, and drunkenness, among other sins of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21). We must also remember that Jesus expanded the meaning of adultery beyond the physical act to include lusting in our hearts (Matt. 5:27-28). In fact, almost all adultery begins in the heart.

In our own day, when adultery and almost every other form of sexual immorality is accepted as commonplace, Christians need to walk carefully as well. Satan will use everything including the scantily clad person on the beach, the pornographic magazines sold at the local gas station or the suggestive shows on television to cause you to stumble.

If you struggle with sexual temptation, begin to memorize Godís Word, especially verses that talk about purity (such as Matt. 5:8 and 1 Tim. 5:22). If the problem begins in the heart, hide Godís Word there so you can nip temptation at the point of origin (Ps. 119:11). Share your struggle with a trusted friend who can both keep your confidence and keep you accountable. Whatever it might cost in terms of wounded pride and denied desires, it will be worth it all.

When adultery walks in, everything worth having walks out.

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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2005, 11:24:21 PM »

 Amen Tom!

I love these studies, thanks for all your effort and hard work in getting them to us my brother.

John
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« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2005, 12:45:25 AM »

You are most welcome Brother John. I like them also and get quite a few really good ideas for additional Bible study with them. At the very least, they provide good thoughts for various times of the day.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Ephesians 2:19-22 ASV  So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone;  in whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord;  in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.
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« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2005, 07:25:00 AM »

Quote
If you struggle with sexual temptation, begin to memorize Godís Word, especially verses that talk about purity (such as Matt. 5:8 and 1 Tim. 5:22). If the problem begins in the heart, hide Godís Word there so you can nip temptation at the point of origin (Ps. 119:11). Share your struggle with a trusted friend who can both keep your confidence and keep you accountable. Whatever it might cost in terms of wounded pride and denied desires, it will be worth it all.

When adultery walks in, everything worth having walks out.
Amen brother! These studies from, "Back to the Bible" are some of the best!

Resting, with out fear.
Bob

1 Timothy 5:20 As for those who are guilty and persist in sin, rebuke and admonish them in the presence of all, so that the rest may be warned and stand in wholesome awe and fear.
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« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2005, 09:21:30 AM »

Title: Keep Your Cool
Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Esther
Esther 1:17-18


Keep Your Cool

Esther 1:17-18

"For the queen's behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when they report, 'King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come.' This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media will say to all the king's officials that they have heard of the behavior of the queen. Thus there will be excessive contempt and wrath."

Keep Your Cool

Overreacting can have unexpected results. One mother related that she came home from a shopping trip to find her five children in a huddle. Curious as to what could be so intriguing, she slipped up behind them and peeked over their shoulders. To her horror she saw the kids had captured five baby skunks. "Quick, children, run!" she shouted. Thinking some disaster was about to happen, they scattered to all parts of the house--each with a baby skunk in his arms. The mother's overreaction insured that every room got its share of the spray.

When King Ahasuerus' advisors overreacted, they created an equally odious situation. What could have been merely a personal family matter was blown into an issue of national security. Consequently, their suggestion to remove Vashti as queen (v. 19) far exceeded the crime.

Often the intensity of the moment causes situations to loom far larger than they really are. When we overreact to such circumstances, sometimes justice gets trampled in the stampede. Then we regret our responses when we later view them more objectively.

Are there things in your life that seem unbearable? Does someone always rub you the wrong way? Before you overreact, ask God to show you His purpose in your frustrations. View them with eternity's telescope. Get God's viewpoint before you react.

A moment of prayerful reflection can prevent a lifetime of bitter regret.

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« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2005, 11:59:33 PM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Esther
Scripture: Ephesians 5:33 Esther 1:20-22

Standing on the Inside

Esther 1:20-22

"'When the king's decree which he will make is proclaimed throughout all his empire (for it is great), all wives will honor their husbands, both great and small.' And the reply pleased the king and the princes, and the king did according to the word of Memucan. Then he sent letters to all the king's provinces, to each province in its own script, and to every people in their own language, that each man should be master in his own house, and speak in the language of his own people."

Standing on the Inside

A little boy misbehaved until finally his mother told him to go sit in the corner. Reluctantly he went to the corner, but he refused to sit. "David," his mother said firmly, "I told you to sit in the corner, not stand." David remained standing. "David, I said sit." The boy stood stubbornly.

Finally, the mother came over, placed her hands firmly on his shoulder and sat him in his chair. As she turned to leave, however, she heard him say softly to himself, "I may be sitting on the outside, but I'm standing on the inside."

Force can create outward compliance, but it can't change inward attitudes. King Ahasuerus was the most powerful man in the Persian Empire. His edict was law. No one dared disobey him outwardly. When the proclamation came demanding that wives respect their husbands, you can be sure there was outward obedience, but nothing changed on the inside.

Scripture says, "Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband" (Eph. 5:33). Notice that respect follows love. Unless a husband is satisfied with just outward conformity, he has to earn that respect by loving his wife, treating her fairly and kindly and exercising godly leadership in his family.

If you are a wife, treat your husband with the respect desired by God. If you are a husband, prove you are worthy of your wife's respect by the way you treat her. You can never enjoy respect by demanding it, but you can earn it.

When respect is earned, it will first be evident on the inside.

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« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2005, 08:49:08 AM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Esther
Scripture: Esther 2:1 Galatians 6:10

Vain Regret

Esther 2:1

After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decreed against her.

Vain Regret

A man never opened the car door for his wife nor did any of the other little niceties that wives appreciate. He felt such a show of chivalry was silly. "Besides," he said, "she doesn't have two broken arms." This went on for many years until finally his wife died. At the funeral, the family waited at the hearse for the pallbearers. When they came, the mortician called the husband by name and asked, "Open the door for her, will you?" The man reached for the door handle and suddenly froze. Regret came crashing in on him. He realized he had never opened the car door for her in her life; now in her death it would be the first, last and only time.

How painful such regrets can be. King Ahasuerus experienced them when he came to his senses and realized how foolish he had been in banishing Queen Vashti. His regrets were in vain, however, because the law of the Medes and the Persians could not be changed. For the rest of his life he would live with the remorse of having wronged his queen.

Rare is the individual who makes it through life without having said or done something he regrets. If it's within our power, we should right such wrongs. An apology, a change in behavior, even an offer of restitution may take the sting out of our regrets. But sometimes it won't happen; sometimes it's just too late.

As Christians, we must live so as to minimize regrets. And when we experience them, we should be quick to ask for God's forgiveness and for forgiveness from those we wrong. Let's live by the Galatians 6:10 principle: "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."

Live thoughtfully today and you won't have to live regretfully tomorrow.

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« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2005, 10:15:08 PM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Esther
Scripture: Esther 2:8-9

Make Lemonade

Esther 2:8-9

"So it was, when the king's command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king's palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women. Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king's palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women."

Make Lemonade

Those who find the greatest joy in life are people who refuse to be discouraged by their circumstances. Author Zig Ziglar says, "If life hands you a lemon, take the lemon and make lemonade."

Esther was handed a lemon. King Ahasuerus decreed that all the beautiful young virgins in his kingdom should be brought to Shushan for his inspection. He was looking for a new queen, and a beauty pageant was his method of choice. Esther was part of these degrading procedures. But in spite of what must have been an ordeal for a young Jewish woman, she kept her sweet spirit. Her attitude so impressed Hegai, the custodian of the women, that she became a favorite.

Others have learned this secret as well. Charles Goodyear's lemon was a prison sentence resulting from a contempt of court citation. Instead of complaining, he became an assistant in the kitchen. He then used this sour situation to work on an idea for vulcanizing rubber. His lemon became our lemonade. Because of Charles Goodyear, we have better tires, which means better travel and a better way of life.

God doesn't exempt us from experiencing sour fruit. We live in a fallen world and that means we may find ourselves in situations as tart as lemons. But God can help us keep our spirits sweet. Ask Him to help you. A sweet testimony can squeeze the juice out of a sour world.

Nothing is so sour that it can't be sweetened by a good attitude.

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« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2005, 03:46:10 AM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Esther
Scripture: Esther 2:21-23

Because It's Right

Esther 2:21-23

"In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king's gate, two of the king's eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai's name. And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king."

Because It's Right

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) created a code of morality based on self-interest. He believed that only individuals and their particular interests were important, and those interests could be determined by whatever maximized their pleasure and minimized their pain.

This stands in stark contrast to the philosophy by which Mordecai lived. When Mordecai learned that a plot against the king's life was being planned, he immediately informed the king through Queen Esther. He risked everything, including the retaliation of the conspirator's families after the men were executed. And for what? His name was written in a book. No reward, no thanks. Although God eventually brought Mordecai's valor to the king's attention, for the moment the loyal Jew's only satisfaction was knowing he did what was right. But for Mordecai, knowing he had done the right thing was sufficient.

Our society in general lives by the standards expressed by John Stuart Mill. Someone summarized it in the expression "Get all you can. Can all you get." But God calls Christians to live selflessly. Today we may have to settle for the satisfaction of knowing what we have done is right; in the future, the God who keeps impeccable records will take care of the rewards.

Are you facing a thankless task? Are your efforts going unsung and unpraised? Don't be concerned. Do what you know is right and remember that, someday, your Heavenly Father will see to your rewards.


A man all wrapped up in himself makes a pretty small package.

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« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2005, 06:49:43 AM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Esther
Scripture: Esther 3:2-4

Not Ashamed

Esther 3:2-4

"And all the king's servants who were within the king's gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage. Then the king's servants who were within the king's gate said to Mordecai, "Why do you transgress the king's command?" Now it happened, when they spoke to him daily and he would not listen to them, that they told it to Haman, to see whether Mordecai's words would stand; for Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew."

Not Ashamed

Frederick the Great invited some notable people, including his top-ranking generals, to a royal banquet. One of them, Hans von Zieten, declined the invitation because he wanted to partake of Communion at his church. Sometime later, at another banquet, Frederick and his guests mocked the Lord and the general for his religious scruples. Despite the peril to his life, the officer stood to his feet and said respectfully to the monarch, "My lord, there is a greater King than you, a King to whom I have sworn allegiance even unto death. I am a Christian, and I cannot sit quietly as the Lord's name is dishonored and His character belittled."

Instead of flying into a rage as the guests feared, the king grasped the hand of this courageous general and asked his forgiveness. He promised that he would never again allow a travesty to be made of sacred things.

Mordecai demonstrated the same courage. While he did not flaunt his Jewish heritage, neither was he ashamed of it. When push came to shove, he chose to be true to his faith rather than sacrifice it for the convenience of the moment. Even though it meant earning the enmity of the powerful Haman, Mordecai felt it was more important to stand for his beliefs than to be well-liked by his contemporaries.

Once it was Mordecai. Then it was Hans von Zieten. Now it's your turn. Are you willing to stand and be counted for your faith. Do your coworkers know you are a Christian by what you say and how you live? This is a time for action, not a time to be ashamed.

God has no place for undercover agents.

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« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2005, 12:50:47 PM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Esther
Scripture: Esther 3:5 Esther 5:13 Esther 3:1

Focus on the Positive

Esther 3:5

"When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath."

Focus on the Positive

A group of people were shown a large sheet of white cardboard with a small, black dot in the center. The leader of the group asked them, "What do you see?" Everyone responded that they saw a black dot. "Yes," replied the leader, "but what about all the white cardboard around it?"

It's easy to focus on the "black dot" and forget the rest. Haman did. We aren't told why, but he was elevated above all the other princes in the land (Esther 3:1). Since it took place shortly after the plot on the king's life was discovered, he may have taken credit for uncovering the scheme. Authority, wealth and recognition rolled into his coffers. He enjoyed having others bow and scrape before him, and it bothered him extremely when Mordecai refused to join the group. In fact, after sharing with his family and friends about all his wealth and honors, he concluded, "Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate" (Esther 5:13). One negative outweighed all the positive.

How foolish we are when we allow a single flaw to destroy the many blessings that God has brought into our lives. We discredit our family when all we can see are their faults. We show disrespect for our pastor when we focus on his weakness and forget his many strengths. Most of all we do a disservice to God when all that is negative engulfs us and all that is positive escapes us.

Are you letting the negatives in your life outweigh the positives? Try focusing on all the good that comes from your circumstances and thank God for that. You may be gratified to discover that the "white space" in your life is far greater than the "black dot."

Concentrate on counting your blessings and you'll have little time to count anything else.

_________________________

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