VIDEO Better to Obey

Better to Obey

So Samuel said [to Saul]: “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 heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22

Author and pastor Ben Patterson was mountain climbing with three friends when he took an ill-advised short-cut and got separated from the others and found himself trapped on an icy ledge. When his friends finally found him, they talked him off the ledge, telling him where to put his feet (which he couldn’t see) as he inched off the ledge. Only by obeying the instructions of his more-experienced friends was he saved from certain death.

There is value in obedience. Often we think we have a better idea or plan than God. But once we execute our plan we lose the opportunity of seeing how beneficial God’s plan would have been. Saul, the first king of Israel, learned the hard way that God delights in obedience more than anything else. When Saul substituted his plan for God’s, it cost him the throne of Israel (1 Samuel 15).

One of the greatest challenges of the Christian life is to learn that God says what He says for a reason. Better to take Him at His word.

Beware of reasoning about God’s Word—obey it! Oswald Chambers

Paul Matson – 1 Samuel 15:22-23

What Do God & Jesus Say about Tolerance and Inclusion?

Everywhere one turns these days, they hear about being tolerant to everyone else and to include everyone regardless of their ethnicity, religion or gender identification. We are told to accept everyone and anyone who doesn’t is called a hater, bigot, racist, homophobe, islamophobe and more.

It’s interesting to note here that those hollering the loudest for tolerance and inclusion are the most intolerant and exclusive of all when it comes to conservatives and Christians. When it comes to people like myself, who are politically very conservative and a devout conservative Christian, those calling for tolerance instantly reject me and often refuse to even listen to my views while trying push their own views on me. Basically, they demand that everyone be tolerant of them and their liberalism, socialism, Marxist, hedonism and Godless views, but woe to anyone who disagrees with them.

The ideas of tolerance and inclusion have also been infiltrating the Christian community. I’m sure you’ve all had someone identifying themselves as Christians saying that as Christians we are to love and respect everyone because that is what Christ taught. They use this to embrace and accept homosexuals along with ordaining homosexuals. I’ve even seen so-called Christian churches hold a joint worship service with Muslims, but they were careful not to say or do anything to offend the Muslims.

Yes, Jesus did teach love and told us to love our enemies, but He never told us to include our enemies into our homes or places of worship as equals. In fact, Jesus taught exclusion. How many times did He speak of separating the sheep from the goats, the wheat from chaff – believers from nonbelievers (Matthew 3:12Matthew 13:24-30Matthew 25:32-33Luke 3:17).

Earlier is Scripture, we have some references of what God told us how He felt about inclusion and tolerance of those who do not believe the same as His people:

Deut. 7:1-4:

“When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire.” [emphasis mine]

Deut. 20:16-18:

“But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded, that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the Lord your God.” [emphasis mine]

Deut. 30:15-18:

“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.”

When I have brought these versus up to so-called Christians, who defend tolerance and inclusion in the name of Jesus, they instantly say that the Law of the Old Testament no longer governs us because Jesus fulfilled the Law. That’s when I point out to them that Jesus stated in His Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:17-19:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

The New Testament calls us to set ourselves apart from the world and not to be part of this world:

John 15:18-19:

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

Romans: 12:2:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

It is clear and plain that neither God nor Jesus ever taught tolerance or inclusion and neither did any of those whom God inspired to write His teachings.

Therefore, those who profess to be Christians who support tolerance and inclusion are wrong and are rejecting the teachings of God and Jesus. Tolerance and inclusion are NOT biblical and should never be embraced, especially when justified on erroneous understandings of Scripture.

by David Jolly

Be Careful How You Walk

Matthew 18:1-7

We might think our sins affect no one but ourselves, yet that’s not true. What we do impacts others whether we know it or not. And Jesus used strong terms to warn us: He said causing another person to sin would leave us worse off than if we were “drowned in the depth of the sea” with a millstone around our neck (Matt. 18:6).

People observe what we do, and who of us is without sin? We may try to excuse ourselves by claiming that most of our sin is trivial—hardly a blip on the screen—so such small indiscretions will not be noticed by others, let alone be damaging to them. But let’s consider how some of our common sins can lead others down the wrong path.

• Our lack of forgiveness towards someone could cause a close friend or family member to take up our cause and feel resentful too.

• Anger that flares up in us at regular intervals may be copied by our children, who then think they, too, have the right to express their tempers whenever they want.

• Lies we tell to get out of tight situations send a message—especially to children—that truth is optional, depending on the circumstances.

• Conversations rife with gossip can severely damage the reputations of other people and cause listeners to sin by spreading the rumors.

The Lord’s warning should be taken seriously. We should consider the consequences of our actions and attitudes and then turn toward Jesus in confession and repentance. When we ask, He will give us the grace and strength to walk in His ways and influence others toward righteousness.

Learn to Trust

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.” (Psalm 138:7)

David makes three simple points in his final admonition to those who struggle with trusting in God’s lovingkindness and truth.

First, God loves His saints, but those with a pride problem are not going to gain His attention (Psalm 138:6). This is somewhat basic to Christian doctrine. Pride is one of the seven things that God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19). God responds to the desire of the humble person (Psalm 10:17), and He stays near to those who have a broken heart or a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:17).

Second, God will revive us when we are in trouble (our text). The promise is about the reviving and the saving. That is, we may gain God’s sufficient grace to endure (as in the case of Paul’s “thorn in the flesh,” 2 Corinthians 12:7) rather than a physical cure. We may receive the ability to be victorious in the face of opposition (as during Paul’s ministry to Ephesus, 1 Corinthians 16:8-9) rather than relief from the circumstances. We may, indeed, be delivered from the pressure of the enemies or have God’s miracle performed in our lives, but whatever the circumstantial occasion, God will respond for our good.

Third, God will bring about our perfection (Psalm 138:8). That term, both in the Old and the New Testaments, relates to completing God’s work or purpose. Here, it is specifically related to that which concerns the saints of God. The sovereign Lord will see to it that His chosen will make it (1 Peter 2:9). There is no question about this. God’s mercy is always refreshed. There is no limit to His forgiveness. Nothing about who we are will defeat God’s plan for us (Philippians 2:13). HMM III

Good Public Reading of Scripture

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

—1 Timothy 4:13

Of course we of this generation cannot know by firsthand experience how the Word of God was read in other times. But it would be hard to conceive of our fathers having done a poorer job than we do when it comes to the public reading of the Scriptures. Most of us read the Scriptures so badly that a good performance draws attention by its rarity.

It could be argued that since everyone these days owns his own copy of the Scriptures, the need for the public reading of the Word is not as great as formerly. If that is true, then let us not bother to read the Scriptures at all in our churches. But if we are going to read the Word publicly, then it is incumbent upon us to read it well. A mumbled, badly articulated and unintelligent reading of the Sacred Scriptures will do more than we think to give the listeners the idea that the Word is not important….

We should by all means read it, and we should make the reading a memorable experience for those who hear.   NCA027

Lord, as we read the Scriptures publicly, we are both declaring the very Word of God Himself and drawing people into an experience of worship. Help us never to take that lightly or address it carelessly. Amen.


I have given you an example

I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.—John 13:15.


There are often bound to us, in the closest intimacy of social or family ties, natures hard and ungenial, with whom sympathy is impossible, and whose daily presence necessitates a constant conflict with an adverse influence. There are, too, enemies,—open or secret,—whose enmity we may feel yet cannot define. Our Lord, going before us in this hard way, showed us how we should walk. It will be appropriate to the solemn self-examination of the period of Lent to ask ourselves, Is there any false friend or covert enemy whom we must learn to tolerate, to forbear with, to pity and forgive? Can we in silent offices of love wash their feet as our Master washed the feet of Judas? And, if we have no real enemies, are there any bound to us in the relations of life whose habits and ways are annoying and distasteful to us? Can we bear with them in love? Can we avoid harsh judgments, and harsh speech, and the making known to others our annoyance? The examination will probably teach us to feel the infinite distance between us and our divine Ideal, and change censorious-ness of others into prayer for ourselves.

Harriet Beecher Stowe.


Care of the Poor

“The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing.” Ps. 41:3

Remember that this is a promise to the man who considers the poor. Are you one of these? Then take home the text.

See how in the hour of sickness the God of the poor will bless the man who cares for the poor! The everlasting arms shall stay up his soul as friendly hands and downy pillows stay up the body of the sick. How tender and sympathizing is this image; how near it brings our God to our infirmities and sicknesses! Whoever heard this of the old heathen Jove, or of the gods of India, or China? This is language peculiar to the God of Israel; He it is who deigns to become nurse and attendant upon good men. If He smites with one hand, He sustains with the other. Oh, it is blessed fainting when one falls upon the Lord’s own bosom, and is borne thereon! Grace is the best of restoratives; divine love is the safest stimulant for a languishing patient; it makes the soul strong as a giant, even when the bones are breaking through the skin. No physician like the Lord, no tonic like His promise, no wine like His love.

If the reader has failed in his duty to the poor, let him see what he is losing, and at once become their friend and helper