Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, September 14, 2013


     Stella was sitting in her favorite chair watching her favorite television show. To her , life couldn't be better for Harold had been grounded and since he couldn't leave his room, he couldn't bother her. Yes, Stella thought life was just great or at least it was until she was startled by someone banging on the front door, causing her to spill a glass of grape juice all over her favorite outfit.

     “Quick, I need to see Harold!” Mindy said as she pushed the door open, knocking Stella to the floor. “Where is he?” “You can't see him!” Stella snapped back, “He's grounded and isn't aloud out of his room and no one is allowed in it. Now help me up!” “But I need to see him now.” Mindy said as she gave Stella her hand to help her up.”

     “Why would you want to see Harold?” Stella asked, “Do you need to kill him?” “No way.” Mindy said, “I need him alive so he can help me.” “Well,” Stella growled, you'll have to wait until next month and look what you made me do to my shirt.” “Next Month!” Mindy exclaimed, “I need to see him now as in N O W, now!”

     “What in the world could you possibly need Harold’s help for.” Stella asked, “Are you trying to get yourself into trouble so you'll be grounded?” “Well,” Mindy stuttered, “There is this new toy at the store and I just have to have it.” “You just have to have it?” Stella questioned. Are you sure you have to have it?”

     “Everybody’s getting one.” Mindy claimed. “Everybody?” Stella asked. “Yes!” Mindy exclaimed, “Everybody is getting one and I need Harold's help.” “Why?” Stella asked, “why don't you just go and get one.” “Uhm,” Mindy hesitated, “Because mom and dad won’t let me get one.” “They won't!” Stella exclaimed “No.” Mindy said, “They won't”

     “So.” Stella said, “What makes you think that Harold would be able to help you get one?” “That's easy.” Mindy answered, “Your mom and dad let him have whatever he wants.” “Not really.” Stella injected, “And when they don't he always figures out away to get things.” Mindy completed.

     “That's true.” Stella said in agreement, “But you need to remember, that he's always getting into trouble for doing it.” “Better him than me.” Mindy said but then her eye caught glimpse of something. “Hey, is that one of those new toys over there?” “Over where?” Stella asked looking to see what Mindy just saw.

     “I bet somebody lost it and I found it.” Mindy exclaimed with glee, “Finders keepers you know.” “What?” Stella exclaimed, “Wait a minute, that's not lost that's mine.” “Well it's mine now.” Mindy said as she ran to grab it. “It is not!” Stella screamed running after her, tackling her before she could get to it.

     Matthew 7:7-12 - "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (ESV)

     God likes to give gifts, especially to those who ask but God doesn't give everybody everything. There are times when God doesn't want us to have something and then we decide otherwise. These three men did just that.

     Achan was told before destroying Jericho that all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD.- Joshua 6:19 (ESV) but... Achan answered Joshua, "Truly I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath." Joshua 7:20-21 (ESV) Achan wanted what was not his, took it and lost his life.

     Gehazi served Elisha and when Naaman, the commander of the army of the king of Syria was cured. And Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, "See, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not accepting from his hand what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him." So Gehazi followed Naaman. And when Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and said, "Is all well?" And he said, "All is well. My master has sent me to say, 'There have just now come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two festal garments.' " 2 Kings 5:20-22 (ESV) Gehazi wanted what was not his, took it and received leprosy.

     Ahab was a king in 1 Kings 21. He wanted a vineyard but when he asked for it he was told no. His wife, the wicked Jezebel, had the owner of the vineyard killed and seized the land for him. Ahab did and God pronounced punishment on him for doing so.

     The last of the ten commandments says - You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's. Exodus 20:17 (ESV) All of these men and many others have coveted – wanted something that wasn't theirs and went and took it and there in lies the biggest problem of coveting.

     The worst part about coveting what another has is things don't satisfy. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. (ESV)

     The Bible reminds us that instead of coveting what others have we should simply be content with what we have.
  • Hebrews 13:5 - Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (ESV)
     When there are things we would like to have – work for them, ask God for them but don't covet them.

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • What are the things that you covet?
  • Are you content with all that you have?

Saturday, September 7, 2013


     Sergeant Halfway couldn't believe the report when he saw it. “That just doesn't sound like something he would do.” Robert thought to himself. “I better go check this out.” he said out loud and hopped into his police car and headed over Barney's house. When he knocked on the door, a rather sad looking boy answered and let him in.

     “It’s all Harold’s fault you know.” Barney said as he let the Sergeant in. “I do?” Robert questioned. “Of course.” Barney answered, “Who else would go to such lengths to get out of any kind of work. He spends more time trying to come up with ways to get out of work than the time it would take to do the work.”

     “I’ve been around a few people like that.” Sergeant Halfway said, “I even work with a few of them. “Well, this time he went to far,” Barney said, “And now I have to suffer. I’m grounded for a whole month because of Harold. ” “I wondered if Harold was connected to all this.” Halfway said, “Tell me exactly what happened and maybe the police can help get you ungrounded.”

     “What's to say,” Barney started, “Harold blew up the sewer.” “Kaboom!” Robert exclaimed when he heard that. “Something like that.” Barney continued, “And then when he got caught he told everybody I did it. And now I’m grounded.” “How in the world did he get anybody to believe him?” Robert wondered out loud, “Everybody knows what kind of trouble he is always getting into.”

     “He hid the gas can in my tree house.” Barney told Sergeant Halfway, “And then told everybody the reason my hair is black is by cause I burned it in the explosion.” “But your hair is always black.” Robert interrupted. “I know.” Barney continued, “But try telling that to a bunch of angry people.”

     “Why in the world would Harold blow up the sewer anyways?” Robert asked next. “Trying to get out of work.” Barney told him. “What kind of work could you possibly get out of by blowing up the sewer?” asked scratching his head. “What else.” Barney answered, “Cleaning his bathroom. And now his bathroom is a bigger mess and so is everybody else's.”

     “Do you know if anybody saw him?” Sergeant halfway asked. “I think so.” Barney answered rather sadly, “But he was wearing my clothes and a black wig. He took the clothes from our clothes line and who knows where he found the wig.”

     “Well, I believe you're innocent.” Robert said, “And knowing Harold, I'm 95 percent sure he will slip up and let the truth out.” “I sure hope so.” Barney said hopefully, “This grounding is boring.”

      While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss is the man; seize him." And he came up to Jesus at once and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, "Friend, do what you came to do." Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. - Matthew 26:47-50 (ESV)

     Jesus had been spending His last free moments on earth with His disciples. He had eaten with them, sang with them and prayed with them. Then Judas and a band of men came and took Jesus away. Off He went to trial. But what did He do wrong?

     Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.' " And the high priest stood up and said, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?" But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?" They answered, "He deserves death."
Matthew 26:57-66 (ESV)

      As of today, Jesus is still perfect. The chief priests and council tried to get FALSE testimony against Jesus. Theses are the people who should have know better, they were the people who studied God's laws, taught God's laws. They got many false witnesses to came forward but only two agreed and then they twisted Jesus words, words we find in John 2:19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (ESV) And finally they convicted Him on a false charge.

     So what does the law say, the law they should have known inside and out. - Exodus 20:16 - You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (ESV)

     But there is more they should have known and we need to know as well.
  • Proverbs 6:16-19 - There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (ESV)
  • Proverbs 25:18 - A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow. (ESV)
  • Proverbs 19:9 - A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish. (ESV)
     Jesus said that the religious leaders of the day were not of God but of the devil and that is why they couldn't stand the truth. - John 8:44-45 - You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. (ESV)

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • How often do you lie getting someone else in trouble?
  • In what ways do you appreciate it when others lie about you?