Illustration results for wicked ways
I found a great article which addresses the question “Does God Play Favorites? On page 1562 in the Quest Study Bible: Listen to what it says: The whole Bible teaches that God is fair and just (Psalm 11:7). It also states that God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 18:23), but that he wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). Therefore, the idea of God’s purpose in election (v. 11) raises some hard questions, such as “How can God choose some and pass on others?” People have attempted to explain God’s election in several ways. Some hold the view that God elects some to be saved because he knows beforehand that they will choose to accept Christ (8:29). Their election, according to this view, is based on God’s foreknowledge (Arminianism). Others conclude that God, in his wise and sovereign will, chooses some but not others for reasons we cannot understand. His selection may seem unfair, but that is simply because we have limited perspective. Humans, bound in sin. Do not naturally seek God (3:11), but when God’s grace comes to the elect, it frees them to choose God (Calvinism). Still others emphasize that God elected Jesus, his Son, and that all those who are in Christ by faith share in that corporate election. What about Pharaoh (vv. 17-18)? While the Bible clearly states that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (v. 18; see Exodus 9:12), it also records Pharaoh’s own decision to harden his heart (Exodus 8:15). The mystery of how God works in election is not easily resolved. Difficult questions continue to confound us. In the end we may need to confess that our understanding is limited, that we may be missing some key part of God’s plan that would allow us to understand election better (page 1562, Quest Study Bible).
"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." --George Washington
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity and freedom of worship here." --Patrick Henry
"We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." --James Madison
"There is a striking parallel between the condition of the country and the church. As the Constitution means little to Americans today, so too the Bible means little to the average church member. Church members generally are as ignorant of the Bible as are Americans of the Constitution. Too many people within our borders are Americans in name but un-American in their hearts and anti-American in their conduct. The church has a corresponding ailment, Christians in name, but in reality are only once -born children of Adam. The American spirit is sadly eroded today by distrust, by corruption in high places, by moral decay. It won’t be restored merely by flag-wavings and drum-beatings and Fourth of July speeches. It may not be possible to raise a new crop of patriots in such shallow soil. It may take disaster to make us realize what we had. There is also a Christian spirit in the church that has that need. When in the nation and in the church we humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways, then God will hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land." --Vance Havner
Psa 17:1 A prayer of David. Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer-- it does not rise from deceitful lips. May my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right. Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. As for the deeds of men-- by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent. My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped. I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a great lion crouching in cover. Rise up, O LORD, confront them, bring them down; rescue me from the wicked by your sword. O LORD, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children. And I--in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.
God's Cures/Remedies for...
* Worry: John 14:1, "Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me..."
* A broken heart: Psalm 147:3-6, "He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! The LORD supports the humble, but he brings the wicked down into the dust."
* A broken heart: Psalms 34:18: "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
* Fear: 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
* Doubt: Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path."
* Loneliness: Matthew 28:20, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
* Loneliness: Joshua 1:5b, "I will not leave you, nor forsake (abandon) you."
* Hurt: Isaiah 53:4-5, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with...
Katrina: God's Judgment on America
The hurricane was an act of God upon a sin-loving and rebellious nation. It’s a warning--and a call to repent. (Source: by David Crowe, reprinted with permission of Restore America.)
All America watched with concern--wondering what the outcome would be--as Hurricane Katrina swept through the waters of the Caribbean and slammed into the Gulf Coast states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. And now we know...or do we?
The devastation of property, the disruption of commerce, the ensuing misery of tens of thousands, was reported continuously on television along with the tragic effects upon families, children, the elderly, the poor, the infirm and even those called to serve. Uncontrollable looting, murder, and rape, the ransacking of hospitals by the lawless seeking drugs--even gunshots fired at the police and emergency servers--followed the breakdown of law enforcement. Radio and television talking heads, bureaucrats, victimologists, columnists, pundits, politicians, and poor alike, all pointed fingers. As at the time of the attack on the Twin Towers, however, many thoughtful Americans are asking, "Why did this happen?"
There is an answer to this question, but with the answer comes another question, whether we--and our leaders--will choose to heed it. The answer is found in understanding that man is not in control. God is! Everything in the sky, the sea and on earth is subject to His control. Psalm 107:25-33 says, "He raiseth the stormy wind which lifted up the waves of the sea...He turns rivers into a desert, and springs of water into a thirsty ground; a fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it."
Was there wickedness in New Orleans, Alabama and Mississippi? Well, let's see. There was the burgeoning Gulf Coast gambling industry, with a new casino that was to open on Labor Day weekend. But of course, what is a little gambling if it supports 'education' and brings revenue into government coffers? And then there was the 34th Annual gay, lesbian and transgender "Southern Decadence" Labor Day gala to be held from August 31st to September 5th. Welcomed by the last three mayors and City Council, this socially and politically acceptable flaunting of depravity--that has grown each year--was expected to draw 100,000 visitors and millions of dollars to the New Orleans business community and local government. But what is a little sodomy and immorality if it brings in money to the temple and gives everyone a little fun? Further, there is the well-known corruption, drugs, and immoral playground of the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, and New Orleans itself, one of America's wink-and-a smile getaways for fun and pagan pleasure...and more money for business and government.
The Psalmist goes on to say in v. 39: "When they (the people) are diminished and bowed down through oppression, misery, and sorrow, He pours contempt upon their princes (business and government leaders), and makes them wander in a pathless waste." What Americans observed on their television sets was a stunning, even prophetic snapshot of precisely what the Psalmist--over 2000 years ago--depicted for a people who are under ungodly leadership...a window into the future of all Americans under the anti-God, morally challenged, secular princes in state, local and federal government. Far too many of our elected officials erroneously believe we can profitably engage in government-approved sin, without consequence for both the righteous and the unrighteous!
Why did this happen? When a people--particularly those in positions of leadership and responsibility--scorn and reject the One to whom they will one day answer, embracing instead what He has declared wrong and abominable--for pleasure and money--God will act in judgment, using all at his disposal to accomplish His will, including the wind and the waves. Katrina was an act of God upon a sin-loving and rebellious nation, a warning to all who foolishly and arrogantly believe there is no God, and that if He did exist, "would not have done such a thing!" It is also a serious call to repent, to turn away from our wicked ways, from the heart of a loving Father. The writer of Psalm 107 closes by saying, "Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, and consider the loving kindness of the LORD."
Cups of the Lord
Cup of Wrath
Psalms 75:8 says, "In the hand of the Lord is a cup... He pours it out and all the wicked of the earth drink it down..."
"Cup" is often used figuratively in the Bible for that which is portioned out and of which one is to partake. "Cup" can be meant to refer to the judgments of God (Revelations 14:10). Jesus used the word "cup" in referring to His suffering (Matthew 26:39). Dr. Dewight Jones tells us that there are some 32 cups mentioned in the Word of God. Over the next three weeks we are going to consider just three of them: 1.) The Cup of Wrath. 2.) The Cup of Salvation and 3.) The Cup of Blessing.
If you are going to fully enjoy all that God has done for you through Christ's sacrificial death on the Cross, you must take time to remember just what Jesus Christ redeemed Christians from. Jesus said, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." (John 3:36) "Wrath" refers to that divine judgment that is inflicted upon the unbeliever. The wrath of God is not an uncontrolled, unthinking, or a violent reaction. It is a deep, thoughtful controlled righteous anger that is good and deals justly with all who reject Christ as Savior and Lord. It will be permanent for all who die in disbelief and disobedience.
God's wrath is on the "disobedient," those who have a willful unbelief and are in the condition of being unpersuaded. Romans 1:18 says, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness." The Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to write, "For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened... Therefore, God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another... God gave them over to shameful lusts... Women [exchange] natural relations for unnatural relations... men also abandoned natural relations with women and [become] inflamed with lust for one another... Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind... They have become filled... with evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents... Although they knew God's righteous degrees... they continue to do these things [and] approve of those who practice them." (Romans 1: 21,24-32)
For these sins and many others Jesus drank His "cup" on the cross. His shed blood is a cleansing blood that not only covers the sins of mankind but can purify the heart of any sinner so they are no longer bound by such sins.
Do you find that the wrath of God has surrendered you over to the lust of your flesh, to the lures of this world? Have you traded the truth of God's Word for the lies of the devil? Today is the day of Salvation! You can escape God's eternal wrath. Agree with God that you are a sinner. Ask for His forgiveness. Trust in Jesus Christ to save you. Invite Him into your heart and life today to be both Savior and Lord.