2 Chronicles 18:1 How to Say “No”

2 Chronicles 18:1 (KJV)
Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.

We will soon learn that God was not pleased with Jehoshaphat’s affinity with Ahab. However, at this point in Scripture we have heard nothing negative concerning him. He walked with the Lord; led in a movement to publish God’s Word around the land and God had blessed him with both riches and peace.

Jehoshaphat had, as I see it, just one problem; he was too kind. Reaching out to influence Ahab with the Word of God may have been a noble act. But Jehoshaphat didn’t know how to say “No”.

  • Maybe he didn’t want to offend Ahab.
  • Maybe he was afraid if he said no he would not have another chance to witness to Ahab.
  • Maybe he was just not a confrontational type of person

Whatever it was that would have possessed him to agree to go to war with Ahab and even openly make himself the target by wearing royal clothing while Ahab was disguised, Jehoshaphat was playing the fool.

Too many Christians have a Jehoshaphat type personality. They earnestly seek to walk with God and honestly attempt to reach the lost and backslidden but they are too kind to tell them what they need to hear and they are too soft to say “No”. More often than not it leads them, not into the saving of the one they hope to reach, but into their own separation with God.

Jude 1:23 KJV
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Chronicles 18:1 How to Say “No”

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Acts 16:1-5 Disagreement Does Not Equal Hatred

Acts 16:1-5 (KJV)
Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.
And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

We tend to think nothing good can ever come from dissension and disputation but that is not always the case. The United States of America is the result of decades of dissension that led to a revolution that forged in the minds of her founders certain principles that, though not accepted worldwide, have worldwide influence today.

The previous chapter begins with a dispute Paul and Barnabas had with certain men … From Judea and ends with a dispute Paul and Barnabas had with each other. The contention was so sharp that Barnabas and Paul parted ways never, so far as the Bible records, to come together again. However, Paul’s most notable pupil, Timothy, is discovered and recruited in the very next episode of Paul’s life.

Disputation is never pleasant but its results are not always negative.

 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 16:1-5 Disagreement Does Not Equal Hatred

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Acts 15:2 (KJV) Be Different

Acts 15:2 (KJV)
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

The chapter begins with a dispute Paul and Barnabas had with certain men from Judea, and ends with a dispute Paul and Barnabas had with each other. Apparently having sharp dissension is not the evil modern Christians make it out to be.

I don’t want to make it sound like dissension is good or that it is preferred. Dissension certainly hurts. But I would like to suggest that it is often necessary and that it is only because of our:

  • Mamby-pamby
  • Soft societied
  • Sissy

generation that we see dissension as more evil than toleration of evil.

Come on people let’s get some backbone! Let’s:

  • Study God’s Word
  • Come to some convictions and
  • Be vocal enough about them that others of like conviction find and join us

Let’s make a difference in our world because we’re not embarrassed to be different.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 15:2 (KJV) Be Different

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1 Kings 13:9-10 (KJV) God Has Not Now Approved Compromise

1 Kings 13:9-10 (KJV)
For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.
So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.

The tragic and perhaps not so subtle lesson of this passage is that company with compromised faith is as dangerous as company with overt rebellion.

The prophet was charged with a task and some very specific instructions. He was to go to Bethel, deliver his message to Jeroboam, and return without eating bread or even drinking water in the northern kingdom.

  • He obeyed that command when tempted by Jeroboam
  • He did not when tempted by the old prophet

Why he would  have thought that God would change his word through this prophet it is impossible to tell but we do know that many give in to this same temptation today:

  • A preacher with a skilled presentation
  • A preacher with a successful organization
  • A preacher with a scholarly credential

And many a young believer has been led to believe that God has somehow now approved compromise.

God changes not.

Find God’s truth and stand firm.

 

To my reader:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

1 Kings 13:9-10 (KJV) God Has Not Now Approved Compromise

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Mark 3:21 (KJV) Jesus Had Friends?

Mark 3:21 (KJV)
And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.

Does it amaze us that Christ would have friends who were not (at least at this time) believers? He had grow up from a small child in Nazareth. There He had relatives through His mother and nearly kin through His stepfather, Joseph.  No doubt during those years Jesus had become well acquainted with people who cared for Him as the good person He surely was even though they probably thought His ideas fanciful and maybe immature. “He will grow out of them.” They may have said among themselves.

It is unlikely we have lived long without making some friendships on this level. At school or work or in some other public setting we have likely made friendships that exist despite and not because of our faith. These friends are well meaning but, like those of Christ, may try to hinder our spiritual life.

There came this point in time when the relationship with those friends came to a make or break point. They tried to rescue Jesus from the consequences of His faith; He remained steadfast in that faith. I believe many of those friends came to accept Him as Saviour after this. I am sure many others gave up on Him and walked away.

As we live for the Lord our friends who are not of the faith will almost certainly find themselves at a crossroads at some point; they will come to urge us not to get too wrapped up in our Christianity. They will think they are protecting us to keep us from going overboard in our belief. We must stand firm and true to Christ and when we do, many of them will give up on us. But others will come to trust the Saviour upon which we rest.

 

To my reader:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

Mark 3:21 (KJV) Jesus Had Friends?

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Matthew 16:12 KJV A Little Leaven

Matthew 16:12 KJV
Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 

Verses one through twelve are taken up completely with both the Pharisees and Sadducees who, though nearly opposite in doctrine and philosophy, united in their opposition to Christ. The passage ends with Christ warning them that the doctrines of both are like leaven.

Albert Barnes writes:
“Erroneous doctrines are like leaven in the following respects:

  1. They are at first slight and unimportant in appearance, just as leaven is small in quantity as compared with the mass that is to be leavened.
  2. They are insinuated into the soul unawares and silently, and are difficult of detection.
  3. They act gradually.
  4. They act most certainly.
  5. They will pervade all the soul, and bring all the faculties under their control.”

I am here interested in that, though on opposite ends of the doctrinal spectrum, Jesus calls both leaven. It teaches us that it does not matter if a person is extremely right or extremely left. What matters is that a person is doctrinally correct. It doesn’t even matter that a person finds balance, common ground between the two, what matters is that a person has the correct relationship with Jesus Christ.

Leaven is an insidious thing. It can seem harmless. A little may even seem desirable. But leaven is never satisfied unless and until it leavens the whole lump.

We need no leaven. We need Christ.

 

To my reader:
It is so easy for us to get off on one doctrinal “leaven” or another. Are you staying Christ centered? I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

Matthew 16:12 KJV A Little Leaven

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The Duty to Break Fellowship

2 Thessalonians 3:6 KJV

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

 

Sometimes Paul exhorted and urged believers to do a thing. Sometimes he besought them. In this case Paul used the strongest term; he commanded them to withdraw from other Christians who would not follow after and live according to the traditions Paul had given them.

 

Paul later says that in doing so we are not to think of them as enemies, for they are not, yet we still mark them and have no fellowship with them.

 

Christianity in our day is becoming so feeble minded that the very idea of being commanded to do a thing is offensive to us. To be commanded to withdraw from someone and not to fellowship with them would be considered unspeakably harsh. What I see is the importance Paul places on this practice. It’s not a suggestion or even a request. This is so important to the advancement of the Gospel that he issues a command. It is important because it is necessary to prevent the decline of Christian faith and practice into anything a person might want to call Christianity. We have no right, no authority to create our own traditions and culture around our faith. We are duty bound, obligated yes, even commanded to carry on our faith exactly as we have received it.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Separation