Author Archives: Amasains

About Amasains

"Love so amazing so divine, demands my soul, my heart, my all"

1 Chronicles 9, 10; Hebrews 12; Amos 6; Luke 1: 39-80

Today’s piece I’m going to keep short and sweet. It doesn’t happen often, but I am so blessed to visit with my family in South Africa for a few weeks. This allows me the opportunity to discuss the readings with my Dad face to face. His insights are invaluable. Our discussion on today’s readings led me to a theme of complete opposites. I’m talking about the contrast between the demise of mighty Saul and the rise of humble Mary. This is what I’d like to share today.

1 Chronicles 10: 13-14

 13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

Luke 1: 46-55

46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

A great and wonderful example of how we should behave as Christians isn’t it? Humbling ourselves to the Lord and the world because as we see in these passages above how the mighty are humbled and the humble made mighty. Let us be humble and follow the Almighty and He will lift us up and we will be mighty!

God bless

Neil

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2 Kings 16; Titus 2; Hosea 9; Psalm 126-128

2 Kings 16

  10Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. He saw an altar in Damascus and sent to Uriah the priest a sketch of the altar, with detailed plans for its construction. 11 So Uriah the priest built an altar in accordance with all the plans that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus and finished it before King Ahaz returned. 12 When the king came back from Damascus and saw the altar, he approached it and presented offerings on it. 13 He offered up his burnt offering and grain offering, poured out his drink offering, and splashed the blood of his fellowship offerings against the altar. 14 As for the bronze altar that stood before the Lord, he brought it from the front of the temple—from between the new altar and the temple of the Lord—and put it on the north side of the new altar. 15 King Ahaz then gave these orders to Uriah the priest: “On the large new altar, offer the morning burnt offering and the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and his grain offering, and the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their grain offering and their drink offering. Splash against this altar the blood of all the burnt offerings and sacrifices. But I will use the bronze altar for seeking guidance.” 16 And Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz had ordered.

Evil King Ahaz demonstrated a callous disregard for God’s commands. We condemn Ahaz for his action, but we act the same way if we try to mould God’s message to fit our personal preferences. We must worship God for who he is, not what we would selfishly like him to be.

Titus 2

  2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.

5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

 Self-control is an important aspect of living the Christian life. The Christian community, then and now, is made up of people from differing backgrounds and viewpoints, making conflict inevitable. We live in a pagan and often hostile world. To stay above reproach, believers need wisdom and discernment to be discreet, and to master their wills, tongues, and passions so that Christ would not be dishonored. How’s your self-control?

Hosea 9

  7 The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired person a maniac.

 By the time Israel began to experience the consequences of its sins, it was no longer listening to God’s messengers. We all listen and read selectively-focusing on what seems to support our present lifestyle, ignoring what demands a radical reordering of our priorities. In doing this we are likely to miss the warnings we need most… Ask yourself, “Is God speaking to me through these speakers and writers? Is there something I need to change?”

Psalm 126

God’s ability to restore life is beyond our understanding. Forests burn down and are able to grow back. Broken bones heal. Even grief is not a permanent condition. Our tears can be seeds that grow into harvests of joy because God is able to bring good out of tragedy. When burdened by sorrow, know that your times of grief will end and that you will again find joy. We must be patient as we wait. God’s great harvest of joy is coming!

  5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

 Psalm 127

2In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.

 God is not against human effort. Hard work honours God. But working to the exclusion of rest or to the neglect of family may be a cover-up for an inability to rust God to provide for our needs. We all need adequate rest and times of spiritual refreshment. On the other hand this verse is not an excuse to be lazy. Be careful to maintain a balance: work while trusting God, and also rest while trusting him….

Psalm 128

A good family life is a reward for following God. The values outlined in God’s Word include love, service, honesty, integrity, and prayer. These help all relationships, and they are especially vital to home life. Is your home life heavenly or hectic? Reading and obeying God’s Word is a good place to start to make your family all that it should be.

God Bless

Neil

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2 Kings 1; 2 Thessalonians 1; Daniel 5; Psalm 110, 111

2 Kings 1

13 So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. “Man of God,” he begged, “please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants! 14 See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!” 15 The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king.

Attitude! Notice how the third captain went to Elijah. Although the other two captains called Elijah “man of God,” they were not being genuine – God was not in their hearts. The third captain also called him “man of God,” but he humbly begged for mercy. His attitude showed respect for God and his power and saved the lives of his men. Effective living begins with a right attitude toward God. Before religious words come to your mouth, make sure they are from your heart. Let respect, humility, and servant hood characterize your attitude toward God and others.

2 Thessalonians 1

5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.

 As we live for Christ, we will experience troubles because we are trying to be God’s people in a perverse world. Some people say that troubles are the result of sin and lack of faith, but Paul teaches that they may be part of God’s plan for believers. Our problems can help us look upward and forward, instead of inward, and they can provide us with opportunities to comfort others who are also struggling. Your struggles might be an indication that you are taking a stand for Christ. When you do so, you are experiencing the privilege of showing that you are worthy of God’s kingdom.

Daniel 5

5 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6 His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking

Yes I also had to take a double take on this one. A human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall. Freaky, but got me thinking. Have you heard the saying “The writing is on the wall”? I have heard it many times and was taken aback when I saw it mentioned here in Daniel 5. So I went and looked it up on Wikipedia and look what it says:  “The writing on the wall” is an idiomatic expression that suggests a portent of doom or misfortune, based on the story of Belshazzar’s feast in the book of Daniel. Just a little snippet of information right there.

The Lord works in mysterious ways, doesn’t He? How awesome are you when you can make a human hand appear and write a message on a wall? Our God is awesome!

Psalm 110

This is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament because of it’s clear reference to the messiah.

Psalm 111

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise

The only way to become truly wise is to fear (revere) God. Too often people want to skip this step, thinking they can become wise by life experience and academic knowledge alone. But if we do not acknowledge God as the source of wisdom, then our foundation for making wise decisions is shaky, and we are prone to mistakes and foolish choices.

God Bless

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1 Kings 9; Ephesians 6; Ezekiel 39; Psalm 90

1 Kings 9

I still struggle with the concept of the Lord appearing to people and telling them to do stuff. Maybe because the Lord has never “appeared” to me. Yet I can say without hesitation and with absolute certainty He has “told” me what to do in many different forms in many situations and circumstances. Maybe this is your experience too? How awesome it must be if the Lord chooses to appear to you and instruct you “face to face”? In 1 Kings 9 we read that this is the second time the Lord appeared to Solomon. “Face to face” He makes a promise to Solomon.

 4 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, 5 I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’

Solomon also finds out, as we should, that meeting with the Lord face to face also comes with great responsibility.

6 “But if you or your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 8 This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 9People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them.’ ”

Ephesians 6

Paul’s instructions encourage responsibility and integrity on the job. Christian employees should do their jobs as if Jesus Christ were their supervisor. And Christian employers should treat their employees fairly and with respect. Can you be trusted to do your best, even when the boss is not around? Do you work hard and with enthusiasm? Do you treat your employees as people not machines? Remember that no matter whom you work for, and no matter who works for you, the One you ultimately should want to please is your Father in heaven.

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favour when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favouritism with him.

 Ezekiel 39

12 “  ‘For seven months the Israelites will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. 13All the people of the land will bury them, and the day I display my glory will be a memorable day for them, declares the Sovereign Lord. 14 People will be continually employed in cleansing the land. They will spread out across the land and, along with others, they will bury any bodies that are lying on the ground.  “  ‘After the seven months they will carry out a more detailed search. 15 As they go through the land, anyone who sees a human bone will leave a marker beside it until the gravediggers bury it in the Valley of Hamon Gog, 16 near a town called Hamonah. And so they will cleanse the land.’

Two themes are intertwined: God’s total victory over his enemies, and the need to cleanse the land to make it holy. This message is exciting for us: with God on our side, we are assured of ultimate victory over his foes because God will fight on our behalf.

Psalm 90

8 You have set our iniquities before you , our secret sins in the light of your presence.

God knows all our sins as if they were spread out before him, even the secret ones. We don’t need to cover up our sins before him because we can talk openly and honestly with him. But while he knows all the terrible information about us, God still loves us and wants to forgive us. This should encourage us to come to him rather than frighten us into covering up our sin

 God Bless

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2 Samuel 18, 2 Corinthians 11, Ezekiel 25, Psalms 73

2 Samuel 18

12 But the man replied, “Even if a thousand were weighed out into my hands, I would not lay a hand on the king’s son. In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for my sake. 13 And if I had put my life in and nothing is hidden from the king you would have kept your distance from me.” 14 Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this for you.” So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree.

This man had caught Joab in his hypocrisy. He knew Joab would have turned on him for killing the man if the king had found out about it. Joab could not answer, but only dismissed him. Those about to do evil often do not take the time to consider what they are about to do. They don’t care whether or not it is right or lawful. Don’t rush into action without thinking. Consider whether what you are about to do is right or wrong.

2 Corinthians 11

It astounds me how many false preachers are out there spewing out false doctrine and misleading Christians all over the world. I saw a “Prophet” the other day “prophesying” on facebook live while showing himself driving in his flashy new expensive car. You would think by now we cannot be fooled because we have the bible to refer to right? This is where they are so cunning. They “use” the bible to further their falsities and we don’t even take the time to check and are misled easily, in my opinion. Just as in the bible times we tend to judge preachers by the amount of money they make.  Paul would have none of this and separated himself from all wrong doing by not asking for a penny from the Corinthian church. Jesus himself taught that we should support our leaders that minister to us (Matthew 10:10), but we should always ask ourselves if their lifestyles are consistent with Biblical morality and if their teachings confirm Scripture and not judge them by worldly measures.

7 Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!

12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about.

 Ezekiel 25

4 therefore I am going to give you to the people of the East as a possession. They will set up their camps and pitch their tents among you; they will eat your fruit and drink your milk. 5 I will turn Rabbah into a pasture for camels and Ammon into a resting place for sheep. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 6 For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet, rejoicing with all the malice of your heart against the land of Israel, 7 therefore I will stretch out my hand against you and give you as plunder to the nations. I will wipe you out from among the nations and exterminate you from the countries. I will destroy you, and you will know that I am the Lord.’ ”

What better way to follow 2 Corinthians 11 with Ezekiel 25 and then Psalms 73. Seems pretty self-explanatory to me….  Heed the warnings of the Lord you false prophets and evil doers of the world. Your time is coming.

Psalms 73

1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity their evil imaginations have no limits.8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance, 11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” 12 This is what the wicked are like — always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments. 15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children. 16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. 18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. 19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! 20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.

Faithful people often wonder why they bother being good as they see the wicked prosper, the wealth of the wicked looks so inviting. At death suddenly all is made clear. The wicked suddenly lose all power and wealth whereas the faithful receive rewards beyond imagination and these rewards take on eternal value. What seemed like wealth is now waste and what seemed worthless now lasts forever. Personally I choose eternal wealth….

God Bless

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2 Samuel 18, 2 Corinthians 11, Ezekiel 25, Psalms 73

2 Samuel 18

12 But the man replied, “Even if a thousand were weighed out into my hands, I would not lay a hand on the king’s son. In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for my sake. 13 And if I had put my life in and nothing is hidden from the king you would have kept your distance from me.” 14 Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this for you.” So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree.

This man had caught Joab in his hypocrisy. He knew Joab would have turned on him for killing the man if the king had found out about it. Joab could not answer, but only dismissed him. Those about to do evil often do not take the time to consider what they are about to do. They don’t care whether or not it is right or lawful. Don’t rush into action without thinking. Consider whether what you are about to do is right or wrong.

2 Corinthians 11

It astounds me how many false preachers are out there spewing out false doctrine and misleading Christians all over the world. I saw a “Prophet” the other day “prophesying” on facebook live while showing himself driving in his flashy new expensive car. You would think by now we cannot be fooled because we have the bible to refer to right? This is where they are so cunning. They “use” the bible to further their falsities and we don’t even take the time to check and are misled easily, in my opinion. Just as in the bible times we tend to judge preachers by the amount of money they make.  Paul would have none of this and separated himself from all wrong doing by not asking for a penny from the Corinthian church. Jesus himself taught that we should support our leaders that minister to us (Matthew 10:10), but we should always ask ourselves if their lifestyles are consistent with Biblical morality and if their teachings confirm Scripture and not judge them by worldly measures.

7 Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!

12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about.

 Ezekiel 25

4 therefore I am going to give you to the people of the East as a possession. They will set up their camps and pitch their tents among you; they will eat your fruit and drink your milk. 5 I will turn Rabbah into a pasture for camels and Ammon into a resting place for sheep. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 6 For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet, rejoicing with all the malice of your heart against the land of Israel, 7 therefore I will stretch out my hand against you and give you as plunder to the nations. I will wipe you out from among the nations and exterminate you from the countries. I will destroy you, and you will know that I am the Lord.’ ”

What better way to follow 2 Corinthians 11 with Ezekiel 25 and then Psalms 73. Seems pretty self-explanatory to me….  Heed the warnings of the Lord you false prophets and evil doers of the world. Your time is coming.

Psalms 73

1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity their evil imaginations have no limits.8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance, 11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” 12 This is what the wicked are like — always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments. 15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children. 16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. 18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. 19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! 20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.

Faithful people often wonder why they bother being good as they see the wicked prosper, the wealth of the wicked looks so inviting. At death suddenly all is made clear. The wicked suddenly lose all power and wealth whereas the faithful receive rewards beyond imagination and these rewards take on eternal value. What seemed like wealth is now waste and what seemed worthless now lasts forever. Personally I choose eternal wealth….

 God Bless

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1 Samuel 17, Romans 15, Lamentations 2, Psalms 33

1 Samuel 17

26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

What a difference perspective can make. Most of the onlookers saw only a giant, David, however saw a mortal man defying God. I bet he was thinking Goliath was a target too big to miss. He knew he would not be alone when he faced Goliath. God would fight with him. He looked at his situation from God’s point of view. Who or what are the “giants” in your life? Viewing these impossible situations from Gods point of view helps us put giant problems in perspective. Once we see clearly, we can fight more effectively

Romans 15

4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

The knowledge of the scriptures affects our attitude toward the present and the future. The more we know about what the Lord has done in years past, the greater the confidence we have about what he will do in the days ahead. We should read our Bibles diligently to increase our trust that God’s will is the best for us.

Lamentations 2

7 The Lord has rejected his altar and abandoned his sanctuary. He has given the walls of her palaces into the hands of the enemy; they have raised a shout in the house of the Lord as on the day of an appointed festival. 

Our place of worship is not as important to God as our priorities in worship. A church building may be beautiful, but if it’s people don’t sincerely follow God, the church will decay from within. The people of Judah, despite their stunning temple, had rejected in their daily lives what they proclaimed in their worship rituals. Thus their worship had turned into a mocking lie. When you worship, are you saying words you do not mean? Do you pray for help you don’t really believe will come? Do you express love for God you don’t really have? Earnestly seek God and catch a fresh vision of his love and care. Then worship him wholeheartedly.

Psalms 33

4 For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

All Gods words are just and true- they can be trusted. The bible is reliable because, unlike people, God does not lie, forget, change his words or leave his promises unfulfilled. We can trust the Bible because it contains the words of a holy, trustworthy, and unchangeable God.

God Bless

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