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Last week, we asked the question, “What would this world have been like if God had not intervened?” Noah’s world gives some insight into this when every thought of mankind was continually evil. God did not leave this world without hope and revealed His expectation of holiness through Moses and the prophets. Yet, in spite of this, the world almost totally forgot about Him. Had God’s people listened, the history of mankind could have been so different.
 
It is by the Power of God, His Word, that man has hope. Yet, man continually forgets.
 
It was God’s plan for the Levites to teach His ways to Israel. When the Promised Land was divided among the Jews, the priestly tribe was not given a portion. Instead, they were scattered throughout Israel in 48 cities. Moses described their work in these words, “They shall teach Jacob Your judgments…” (Deut. 33:10). Read the history of the Jews to see what happened when Israel was not taught God’s word.
 
It was God’s plan for parents to teach His way to their children. Deuteronomy chapter six showed that God intended for the homes of Israel to be a place where families openly talked about God—when sitting in their houses, when walking outside their homes, every night and every morning.
 
What happened when the first generation after Moses gave these words failed to do them? The first two chapters of Judges showed that the generation after Joshua was untaught, and the nation left God in one generation! The history of Israel showed what happened when Israel was not taught God’s word.
 
It was God’s plan for the entire nation to assemble and read the entire Bible together. One of the annual feasts of the Jews was the Feast of Tabernacles. Every seventh year they were commanded to assemble and live in booths made of tree branches and publically read the Bible. This included all the men, all the women and all their little ones (Deut. 33:11-12).
 
How did this turn out? Nehemiah chapter eight reveals that for the next 900 years after Joshua this was not done! Read the history of the Jews to see what happened when Israel was not taught God’s word. Imagine what would happen if our nation devoted time to read the Bible publicly together!
 
It is God’s plan for us to teach His ways to the world. Our holy God did not leave this world without direction, but those most trusted with being part of the plan failed. Having looked at God’s plan for His words to be taught, next week we will take time to specifically look as His plan for you to help Him. The history of the Jews shows what happened when Israel was not taught. There is an amazing parallel in the history of untaught America. Think about it!

Did you know that there are 1,440 minutes in each and every day?  That seems like a lot of time, so why is it that we have such a difficult time finding a few minutes for God each twenty-four hour period?  You say, “Well, life is busy.”  Indeed, with school, extracurricular activities, homework, church, downtime with friends, etc . . . there are so many things one can do that there is hardly enough time for sleeping and eating, let alone spending a few minutes with our Maker.  So, in your busy life, you have to consciously make time.
 
Are you spending time with what you love the most? Is it God?
 
Grab a calender.  If you don’t have one, buy one and write “ Time With God ” (TWG) every day for the next month.  Begin with five or ten minutes of prayer and Bible study.  For as Paul said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom . . .” (Colossians 3:16).  You see, once you make an appointment with God, you are more likely to keep it.  Soon, you will look forward to spending time with God and may even wish to increase that time.
 
But, something else happens when you make time for God.  It seems that He multiples your time right back to you as a reward for your faithfulness to Him.  A woman once shared that she committed herself to reading the four Gospel accounts each month.  But, on one occasion, they had to move, and pack everything up and then unpack everything after the move.  In addition, she was raising two small children at home and working on a rather large furniture project.  Yet, she still managed to read the Gospel accounts in thirty days.
 
God will help you make the most of your time if you give Him some time each day.  Make Him first on your list of priorities.

The story Jesus told about the man who had two sons is well understood by most parents. The father in this story wanted both of his sons to go work in the vineyard, so he told both of them to immediately go to work. The first son said, “I will not,” and the second son said, “I will” (Matt. 21:28-29). The rebellious son later changed his mind and went to work in the vineyard. The second son, while saying he would obey, did not do it.
 
Do your actions match your words?
 
When Jesus asked the Jews which son did the will of his father, the answer was obvious. He wanted the Jews to see the difference in simply saying the right word and doing the right thing.
 
Words of obedience from the lips must become actions of obedience in life. There is a vast difference in saying, “Thy will be done on earth as it is heaven,” and then manifesting these words in one’s life. Many can so beautifully sing in the assembly, “Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way,” yet once they leave the assembly, there is little evidence of submission. God help us to use words of obedience and help us to live lives of obedience.
 
Words about providence from the lips must be manifested in daily lives. Ezra had gone before King Artaxerxes and been given permission to lead a second group of Jews from Babylonian captivity. When those Jews assembled, it became obvious how dangerous it would be for them because of the vast amount of gold and silver they were taking to the holy city. Should Ezra make an additional request for the king’s help in providing protection? Ezra said, “I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldier and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king saying, ‘The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsaken Him’” (Ezra 8:22).
 
It is not enough to sing It is Well With My Soul, nor simply to quote Psalm 23, the Shepherd Psalm, and then for our outlook for the future to be as filled with anxiety as the ungodly.  God help us to talk openly about His providence, but even more importantly, God help us to show it in our lives!
 
There are the words of faith about obedience and the words of faith about providence. Yet, words of faith must become actions of faith. Obviously, while there are times when faith is weak and our lives may not always openly manifest the depths of our devotion, His mercy is so abundant. May we always have hearts of devotion and not lives of rebellion toward Him. Perhaps the words of John sum it up perfectly. “My little children, let us love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

Is there anything more frustrating in conversation than someone who can’t seem to get to the point? I have listened to some preachers who preach an entire lesson and leave you wondering “What’s the point?”. In fact, in everyday conversation I like some-one to say what they mean, get to the point, and be understandable. One thing rings true from the book of James…he doesn’t mince words; he is clear, concise, and practical.
 
God’s principles for a good life are simple. Are you teachable?
 
We as individual Christians, and the church as a whole, would be in far better spiritual health if we started living the biblically inspired principles therein. 1) Friendship with the world puts you at odds with God. 2) God opposes the proud but gives grace and lifts up the humble. 3) Draw near to God, cleanse your hands, purify your hearts, and God will draw near to you. 4) Understand that life is short and should be lived in view of the eternity beyond this life and those things that are pleasing to God. 5) Knowing good and not doing it is sin. 6) Be patient. 7) Keep you word! 8) Pray and sing. 9) Confess your faults to one another. 10) Save yourself and others.
 
It’s not that we can’t know what to do or that we can’t do what is pleasing to God. The problem is often our “teachability” and our willingness to do God’s will. Are you teachable? Listen, it’s not thank we can’t know, it’s are we humble enough to submit to the teaching of God and then do it. We have much to do and the forest at times seems overwhelming. But God gave us His Son, He gave us His word, and He has given us the church. One step at a time friends, keeping God and eternity in focus. Be faithful!

There is no speech or language spoken anywhere on this earth where the heavens and earth do not declare there is a God (Psa. 19:1). By simply looking around, every man can know that God exists. However, though nature reveals His existence, it does not reveal His will for me. Yet, for me to serve God, I must know His will and what He wants me to do.
 
Look at the following truths about knowing His will.
 
Has God’s will for me been revealed?
 
For me to know His will He must reveal it to me. Without a revelation from Him, I cannot even be sure of His nature. Do I judge Him by the ravaging storms with their attendant thunder, lightning and destruction or by the beauty of the sun rising or setting? Do I judge Him by the blessings of children or by the untimely death of a child? There must be more than nature. I can know God exists, but until He shows His will, there is nothing I can do to know how to serve Him.
 
God must reveal Himself to me in a way I can know His revelation is really from Him. It stands to reason that part of His revelation demands that I can know that the Creator truly has spoken to me. Common sense shows that this revelation cannot be surrounded by subjective ideas which come into my head. If He fails to show His will in a way that I can know the message is from Him, then it must be given to me in uncertainty with “holy hunches” being His method. How could I ever be sure it is from Him and not from evil, anti-
 
God forces in this world? There must be accompanying evidences of His power when He reveals Himself.
 
God must reveal His will to me in a way I can understand it. If God’s revelation is only to a few chosen ones, then there is no way for me to find it if I am not one of those few. If He reveals Himself only to those highly educated or those having great riches, then most of mankind will be left out. There are millions with greater education and greater wealth than me. For the common man to know His will, it must be understandable for him.
 
What if He has not revealed Himself? If God has not revealed His will in a way I can know it is from Him and can understand it, then I stand helpless before Him. I have no roadmap or compass for my life, and there is no need for me to seek to find one. He might exist, but I have no choice except to ignore Him.
 
What if He has revealed Himself? On the other hand, if God has revealed His will to me in a way I can know it is from Him and can understand it, then I must seek to please Him. Will you take time to think about the fact that a man named Jesus lived on this earth and claimed He was God’s avenue of revelation of Himself? Sober-minded men must examine the evidence.
Are you sober-minded?
Are you ignoring Him?
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