25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. Definitely the best holiday of the year. Hope you had a great one. Just wanted to pass along a thought I had yesterday. Decided I'd look up the first mention of any form of the word "thank" in the Bible. It's Leviticus 7:12 If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried.

So the first mention of thanksgiving has to do with sacrifice. I thought that was interesting.

I'm glad that somewhere in our history, the leaders of this nation thought it important to set aside a special day and give thanks to God. And I'm glad that there are still those who celebrate it for what it is – a day of thanksgiving to the God who has blessed us in so many ways.

But if you think about it, the way in which we celebrate a day of thanksgiving has little to do with sacrifice. Not saying there's anything wrong with feasting. God ordained some of those for the Jews in the OT. Not saying there's anything wrong with getting together with family and friends for a meal and good times. The Lord encouraged His people to do it.

But I believe we'd do well to take note of the fact that in the Bible the giving of thanks is closely associated with the word "sacrifice." So let's be sure to include some of that, both today, and every day, as we humbly acknowledge God as the giver of so many good and perfect gifts. Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 107:22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Psalm 116:17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Click here to listen to an excellent lesson on Biblical Thanksgiving by Brother Wade Shiu.

02 November 2010

Biblical Decision Making

Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

Going through some lessons in an excellent workbook entitled Christian Manhood (click here) with our young men on a once-a-month basis. The lesson this past Sunday night was on decision making. Here are some notes I gathered in my study.


There is nothing we do more than make decisions. It would be impossible to calculate the number of decisions we make throughout the course of the day. Some are made subconsciously without even realizing it. Others are made very carefully and thoughtfully and deliberately. Some are seemingly inconsequential. Others can and will drastically alter the course of our entire lives.

Since we cannot escape making decisions; since we make them on a momentary basis; since the decisions we make all carry consequences and shape the course of our lives here on earth and into eternity, it’s important that we study how to make good, wise, biblical decisions.



1. Follow the word of God. Psalm 119:133; Psalm 119:105

2. Make a habit of self-denial. Luke 9:23; 1 Corinthians 9:25-27

3. In ALL things seek to glorify God. 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17; Revelation 4:11

4. Beware of slothfulness. Do hard things. Proverbs 26; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Colossians 3:23-24

5. Learn to be resourceful. Avoid wasting. Proverbs 18:9

6. Beware of the crowd. 1 John 5:19; Exodus 23:2


Truths About Temptation:

1. Temptation is common to all. 1 Corinthians 10:13; James 1:14

2. It presents us with a choice – to yield or to resist. 1 Corinthians 10:13; James 1:14-15

3. God will provide a way of escape, but it’s up to us to take it. 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 2:9; Hebrews 2:18

Making the Right Choices Regarding Temptation:

1. Do not put yourself in compromising situations. Proverbs 22:3; Romans 13:14; Matthew 6:13

2. Run from them when necessary. 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Corinthians 6:18

3. Decide ahead of time how you will respond. Daniel 1:8


1. Salvation – choose to place your trust in Jesus Christ while you still have opportunity. Romans 10:9-10; Isaiah 55:6-7; John 6:44; 2 Corinthians 6:2

2. Conviction – choose to agree with the Holy Spirit when He puts His finger on something in your life, and work to get it right immediately. 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 3:21; Genesis 6:3

3. Surrender – on a daily basis, renew your commitment to doing God’s will, not your own. Romans 12:1-2

4. Direction – decide to act on the promptings the Holy Spirit will place on your heart. Ephesians 5:18


1. Our problem is that we are halt between two opinions. 1 Kings 18:21

2. We must be single-minded. Matthew 6:24, 33; James 1:8; Psalm 86:11

3. God over everything else. Matthew 23:27; Matthew 4:10

4. Spiritual over temporal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Romans 8:6

5. Others over self. Philippians 2:1-5

6. What is best over what is OK. Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:12


How to determine where to go to college, what type of career to pursue, who to marry, where to live, whether or not to take that job, etc. Weighty decisions that will drastically affect your life.

1. Follow the word of God. Psalm 119:133; Psalm 119:105

2. Seek out and give heed to sound, Biblical counsel. Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 20:5

3. Devote much prayer to the matter. Philippians 4:6-7; 1 John 5:14

4. Coupled with prayer, trust the Lord. Psalm 62:8; Proverbs 3:5-7

5. Walk in the light God has given you. If your actions prove you are not interested in following God’s instructions, He is under no obligation to provide further instruction. Proverbs 2:7; Proverbs 3:5-7; Ephesians 5:17

Proverbs 2:7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.


1. To serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

2. The blessings of obedience. Deuteronomy 30:19

3. The fear of the Lord. Proverbs 1:29

4. A good name. Proverbs 22:1

5. Things that please God. Isaiah 56:4; 66:4