Education Watch by Ms. Annette
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up - Deuteronomy 6:4-7.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! - Isaiah 5:20,21.
God didn't suggest that we teach our children His statutes. He commanded us to do this. Failure to do this brings dire consequences. Life itself will not go well with us, nor for our children. Our days on this earth will be shortened.
Instead of teaching our children God's commandments our culture is teaching them that evil is good and good is evil. For example, in California recently, a bill was introduced that would require students in public schools be taught a "positive" attitude about homosexuality. Romans 1:26-32 emphatically teaches that God has not ordained homosexuality. God hates sin, but loves the sinner. When mankind changes the truth of God into a lie and when we do not like to retain God in our knowledge, God gives us over to a reprobate mind which leads to a searing of our conscience (1 Timothy 4:1-3). Once this happens we become so hardened that we cannot tell the difference in right and wrong. This is multiplied by millions, thus creating a culture that promotes evil and demotes good.
Violence becomes more rampant. Pedophilia becomes acceptable. Children are no longer revered as gifts from God. Each generation becomes more suceptible to even more degenerate life styles. When this happens persecution of those who still stand for righteousness becomes a part of our society.
All it takes is confession and repentance to turn this around. Ninevah was spared from total destruction and given an additional hundred years when they heeded Jonah's warning and repented in sackcloth and ashes.
America was founded on godly principles. Our founding fathers' intention for this nation was for us to be God-fearing people. As long as we kept God in our homes, schools and government we were blessed. Now that we are turning our backs on Him, we are seeing calamities that this nation has never experienced before. God has promised to bless any nation who honors Him, but destruction comes upon those who turn away from practicing the laws and commandments that He has given us.
Let us return unto the Lord and He will deliver us from the hands of our enemies. We have been blessed as a nation because we love the Lord. Now that love is waxing cold. What can we expect in return?
We must teach God's laws to our children and our grandchildren. The future of this nation lies with them.
The Fowler's Snare
By: Annette Griswold
Scripture References: Psalm 91:3, Psalm 19:13
Lord, keep us from the Fowler's snare and keep us from presumptuous sins. So many times we imagine things to be a certain way when, in fact, it is not as we imagined. We are quick to presume what others are thinking and are suspicious of their actions. We become so paranoid that we cannot function in our full potential in what the Lord has called us to do.
We Christians, many times, carry our feelings on our sleeves, taking offense at the least thing. Like fear, offense is a spirit which can control us if we let it. The fowler, the devil, ensnares us with offenses, both those we give to others and those we allow to attach to us. Offenses come from people, both intentional and unintentional. So often people don't even realize that they have offended us. How we handle it affects our relationship with others and, most importantly, with God. If we recognize that taking offense is exactly what Satan wants us to do, we can, with the Lord's help, take it captive instead of allowing it to take us captive. It destroys relationships, creates ill will, and separates us from the fellowship of other Christians and even the fellowship of our Lord.
Biblical history would have been quite different if some really great people in the Bible had let offenses take control of their lives. Joseph could have been highly offended with his brothers for wanting to kill him and then changing their minds and selling him into slavery. His older brothers took offense at his visions. Even his father, Jacob, chided him for being so arrogant as to tell his brothers that they would someday bow down to him. Joseph, instead of carrying a grudge against his brothers and seeking revenge, told them later when they did actually bow down before him begging for bread, "Don't blame yourselves. God, not you, put me in this place for such a time as this." He saved his entire family from starvation.
We are too quick to take offense, even though it might at times seem justified. Even though the offender did intend to hurt us, it is we who must not let it fester and become a trap for us. God gives us a means of escape from this snare of the fowler if we ask Him. We become mature in the Lord when we can say to ourselves, "I refuse to let this person's words and/or actions offend me." Jesus tells us to return good for evil (Romans 12:17-21). This only works if we are loving and sincere in returning something good to the offender. Jesus also tells us to bless them and curse them not (Matthew 5:43-35).
We must learn to genuinely forgive those who offend or hurt us, not carry that hurt around the rest of our lives. We must pray, "Father, I choose not to be offended. I choose to forgive them without them asking." We can count on God helping us with this.
It is better not to repeat the offense to others as this creates strife in their lives. The devil jumps up and down when we do this. His favorite past time is dividing homes and churches. Revelation 12 tells us that he knows his time is short and he pours out his wrath on us.
We must ask for discernment from the Lord so we can recognize the snares of the fowler and avoid them. Refusing to be offended, learning to be forgiving, and believing that God will help us with this frees us to be all He intended for us to be. When we grasp this revelation we are free, free indeed, from the snare of the fowler and can soar like eagles. As Jerry Clower would have said, "Ain't God good!"