”But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. “ (2 Corinthians 3:18)


          Greetings again my Brethren.  I cannot believe this year of 2023 is quickly slipping away.  I guess it is true the older we get the faster time slips through our fingers.  It only seemed like yesterday we moved to Germany, but that was 1996. It only seemed like yesterday our four kids:  Dave, Daniel Constance, and Joshua were born and our seven grand kids.  It only seems like yesterday I married the most beautiful woman in the world, but that was 9 November 1979. It only seemed like yesterday I gave my heart to the LORD, but that was 63 years ago.  Time has a way of passing and humbling us.  Okay enough of thinking of the past and let us get back to what the LORD has for us in September. Last month we looked at the law of our heart that God has built within us to keep His holiness and righteousness within our thoughts as a guide to navigate life.  What a blessing the law of God is in our lives, without it we would be lost and have no hope of salvation. Like the Holy Spirit and conviction. Without the power of the Holy Spirit there would be no conviction in our lives and we would be left to our own desires and wants not knowing Godliness from ungodliness, holiness from unholiness, and righteousness from unrighteousness and of course be lost.  So this month we will look at some examples God uses or the diversity of examples in general God uses to communicate with us. Paul in 1 Corinthians gives us some examples,             “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-10) Here the LORD brought things (what I call His dealings and judgments) into the lives of the Children of Israel so that God could approve or qualify them for what He had for them. My friend nothing is free in God!  Everything we get from God will cost us something. God will bring or allow things into our lives so that we can suffer. Suffering softens our heart, but not to suffer for sufferings sake, oh no it is God’s intention for these things that He allows or brings into our lives to teach us His way.  Here is verse six Paul says, God allowed these things in the lives of the Children of Israel so that the Church at Corinth would learn from them and not make the same mistakes. Now many would say God would never do that, well my friend just read the Bible and you will see time and time again God does or allows things to happen as a learning tool for our benefit.  Believe it or not every bad thing (what we would consider bad) in the Bible is given to us as an example so that we too would not do or follow after whatever led to God’s judgement and punishment.  Just name it. The story of Lot in the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah? Yes, of course. Homosexuality is evil in the eyes of God and He will judge it and punish all that have their hand and heart in this evil perversion. How about the stories of David and Bathsheba?  Oh no, not the story of King David the most beloved King of all Israel.  Well, yes.  David committed adultery and made way for one of his generals to be killed some would say he committed murder, and by the way David was a horrible father just look at his sons:  The oldest son, Amnon who raped his half-sister Tamar and    Absolom who tried and almost succeeded in taking the kingdom from Him.  I know these two examples are in extremes, but make no mistake I could have used any story in the Old or New Testament to prove my point.  My friend God brings things (what we would call the good and the bad things) into our lives and people are to look at them and if a Believer believes it or not we are to judge them (the situation and the people) so that we can separate ourselves (from the people or situation) if need be or embrace them.  You know there are some places you cannot go and be a Believer.  There are some people you cannot hang around and be a Believer. But God will give us examples, allows things in our lives so that we can study and learn from others mistakes. So, I ask, what is God bringing into your life?  What examples are you learning from?  It matters my friend.  I always said, it matters who your teacher is.                                Next month we will end up this section by looking at human instruments and then we will move on to how the word is received in a diversity of circumstances. He is speaking to us, but do we have the hearing ears to hear what the LORD is saying to us?                                    Written by David Stahl