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Meditation Moment - GOD BLESS AMERICA

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GOD BLESS AMERICA

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” (Psalms 33:12)  While the above words were spoken of Israel specifically, we make a mistake if we assume they should have no application to any nation that would choose to honor God, recognizing Him as sovereign and respecting His laws.  Our nation, from its founding, and contrary to the assertions we
hear so much today, has been one that has recognized God and sought His blessings.

I believe God’s protective hand has been on this country through its long history.  A South America president was quoted as saying “South America was settled by men who
were seeking gold, but North America was settled by men who were seeking God.”

Through our history we have been blessed uniquely.  We take for granted the freedoms we have, and the blessings other people can only dream of.  But who can doubt that the Christian ideals we once honored are rapidly being eroded away?  Someone once observed that we have only gone off the gold standard, this weakening our economy, but, more importantly, we have gone off the God-standard, jeopardizing our nation.  The religion of secular humanism has become our state religion.

In our rush to “separate church and state”, we have succeeded in separating state from God!  Many countries, once considered to be largely “Christian”, are now under the threat of Islam, and our country may not be far behind.  Should we be surprised if the blessings we have cherished are lost?  Are we not already in the process?  For God to bless America, it is vital that America begin again to bless God.  “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”  (Prov. 14:34)

Glenville Church of Christ
211 Powell Street, Glenville WV
Noel Roberts - Phone 304.462.8136

Meditation Moment - EXAMINE OURSELVES #4

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EXAMINE OURSELVES #4

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith…” (2 Cor. 13:5)  Our examination will show us that we must be careful in the use of our words.  What a powerful thing words are!  “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man
be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”  (James 1:19) Too many of us are swift to speak.  “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matt. 12:36,37)

The examination will tell us how we are living and how we should live.  “For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.” (1 Cor. 8:21)  We should live honestly and uprightly in the sight of men and in the sight of God.  How are you living? Have you obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ by faith. (Rom. 10:17), repent of your sins (2 cor. 7:10), confessed Jesus (Matt. 10:32,33) and been baptized (Mark 16:16)?  If you have done this, you have been added to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, and were then made free from your old sins.

Do you attend the services of the church regularly?  If not, you are in danger in this world and in that one which is to come.  Does an honest examination show that you study the word and pray daily?  Do you visit the sick and care for the poor?  Are you vitally concerned in having the gospel preached to all?  Are you really putting much money into this?  Do the books of heaven show this?  Are you exceedingly careful about your words? Do you measure each word before speaking it?  Do folks who really know you know that you are living an honest and upright life?  Again I say: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith.” 

Glenville Church of Christ
211 Powell Street, Glenville WV
Noel Roberts - Phone 304.462.8136

G-MM™: Meditation Moment

The Free Press WV

This much, O heaven — if I should brood or rave,
Pity me not; but let the world be fed,
Yea, in my madness if I strike me dead,
Heed you the grass that grows upon my grave.

If I dare snarl between this sun and sod,
Whimper and clamour; give me grace to own,
In sun and rain and fruit in season shown, The shining silence of the mercy of God.

Thank God the stars are set beyond my power,
If I must travail in a night of wrath,
Thank God my tears will never vex a moth,
Nor any curse of mine cut down a flower.

Men say the sun was darkened: yet I had
Thought it beat brightly, even on Calvary:
And He that hung upon the Torturing Tree
Heard all the crickets singing, and was glad.
Amen.


Genesis 30:14-43 (TLB)
The Story of Jacob [5] - Jacob’s Flocks

One day during the wheat harvest, Reuben found some mandrakesMandrake is a leafy plant whose roots look peculiarly like a human being. This gave rise to a peasant superstition that a woman who ate mandrake was more likely to conceive a child. (See the illustration below.) growing in a field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel begged Leah to give some of them to her.

But Leah angrily replied, “Wasn’t it enough to steal my husband? And now will you steal my son’s mandrakes too?”

That evening as Jacob was coming home from the fields, Leah went out to meet him. “You must sleep with me tonight!” she said; “for I am hiring you with some mandrakes my son has found!” So he did. And God answered her prayers and she became pregnant again, and gave birth to her fifth son. She named him Issachar (meaning “Wages”), for she said, “God has repaid me for giving my slave girl to my husband.” Then once again she became pregnant, with a sixth son. She named him Zebulun (meaning “Gifts”), for she said, “God has given me good gifts for my husband. Now he will honor me, for I have given him six sons.” Afterwards she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

Then God remembered about Rachel’s plight, and answered her prayers by giving her a child. For she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. “God has removed the dark slur against my name,” she said. And she named him Joseph (meaning “May I also have another!”), for she said, “May Jehovah give me another son.”

Soon after the birth of Joseph to Rachel, Jacob said to Laban, “I want to go back home. Let me take my wives and children—for I earned them from you—and be gone, for you know how fully I have paid for them with my service to you.”

“Please don’t leave me,” Laban replied, “for a fortune-teller that I consulted told me that the many blessings I’ve been enjoying are all because of your being here. How much of a raise do you need to get you to stay? Whatever it is, I’ll pay it.”

Jacob replied, “You know how faithfully I’ve served you through these many years, and how your flocks and herds have grown. For it was little indeed you had before I came, and your wealth has increased enormously; Jehovah has blessed you from everything I do! But now, what about me? When should I provide for my own family?”

What wages do you want?” Laban asked again. Jacob replied, “If you will do one thing, I’ll go back to work for you. Let me go out among your flocks today and remove all the goats that are speckled or spotted, and all the black sheep. Give them to me as my wages. Then if you ever find any white goats or sheep in my flock, you will know that I have stolen them from you!”

“All right!” Laban replied. “It shall be as you have said!”

So that very day Laban went out and formed a flock for Jacob of all the male goats that were ringed and spotted, and the females that were speckled and spotted with any white patches, and all of the black sheep. He gave them to Jacob’s sons to take them three days’ distance, and Jacob stayed and cared for Laban’s flock. Then Jacob took fresh shoots from poplar, almond, and sycamore trees, and peeled white streaks in them, and placed these rods beside the watering troughs so that Laban’s flocks would see them when they came to drink; for that is when they mated.

So the flocks mated before the white-streaked rods, and their offspring were streaked and spotted, and Jacob added them to his flock. Then he divided out the ewes from Laban’s flock and segregated them from the rams, and let them mate only with Jacob’s black rams. Thus he built his flocks from Laban’s. Moreover, he watched for the stronger animals to mate, and placed the peeled branches before them, but didn’t with the feebler ones. So the less healthy lambs were Laban’s and the stronger ones were Jacob’s! As a result, Jacob’s flocks increased rapidly and he became very wealthy, with many servants, camels, and donkeys.


Notes on the Scripture

There is a lot of “Bible story” in the history of Jacob, and not a lot of theological content; so we will have long readings, in the easy-to-read Living Bible translation, and not a lot of commentary.

It is a bit shocking to see all the trickery and superstition among the ancestors of Christ. Jacob is practically a con man! Once again, this illustrates the understanding of morality that first came to human beings through the law of Moses.

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