After God created Adam and Eve, He gave them simple instructions to follow - Do not eat (Genesis 2:16-17). They failed to follow these instructions were tossed out from the Garden of Eden into the harsh world. But God did not abandon them. While not specified, the Bible indicates that He provided further instructions to Adam and Eve about how they were to live their lives in a pleasing manner to Him (Genesis 4:1-7).
When the Israelites left Egypt, God realized the need for further instruction; clear cut rules for the Israelites to follow. Thus, God delivered to Moses, by word, instructions on nearly every facet of life. Ten of these instructions, from which all other instructions stem, are called the 10 Commandments. Two of those commandments were instructions on how we are to use our words. God knew that power that words hold. He used that power to create the world we now live in! Because of that power, God wants us to be aware and accountable of what we say.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain…You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:7,16 ESV)
The first commandment to instruct on how we are to use words, focuses on how we are to use the Lord’s name. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7) Upon hearing this commandment, most people think that we are not to use the Lord’s name as a curse. After all, how would you feel if people starting using your name as a swear word? God’s name is Holy! Just like your name, it is His identity, which is greater than we can comprehend! Sadly, it is nearly impossible to turn on a television show or movie and not hear His name, or His Son’s name, taken in vain.
June 22, 2018: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Ezekiel 7-12
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Commentary: Chapter 7 is a prophecy of judgment about to fall on Israel. It can be broken into six sections: God's determination to bring judgment (1-4), repeated call for judgment to come (5-9), imminence and certainty of judgment (10-13), total destruction of the nation (14-18), uselessness of physical resources (19-22), and the fall of Jerusalem (23-27). Chapter 8 begins a three chapter vision of the sins being committed in the temple and the ultimate response by the Lord. In chapter 8, the vision is introduced (1-4), God is jealous (5-6), and there is cultic worship of animals (7-13), Tammuz (14-15), and the sun (16-18), likely by the temple priests. Chapter 9 foretells of those who commit idolatry being killed. Chapter 10, the ultimate punishment, can be broken into four parts: the coming of the man in white (1-2), the glory of God (3-8), the cherubim (9-17), and the glory of God and cherubim. Chapter 11 tells of coming judgment on Jerusalem, it leaders and inhabitants (1-13), offers hope (14-21), and foretells the departure of the glory of God (22-25). In chapter 12, Ezekiel acts out a symbolism of the coming exile. The reader is told of the rebellious people (1-2), the first drama with luggage is acted out (3-7), followed by an explanation (8-16), then a second drama, a nervous eater, is acted out (17-20), and finally a prophecy is given against false proverbs.
Focus Verses: 9:1-11 Does God’s judgement and punishment ever seem harsh? Why does it appear that way to us? How does the sin appear to the Lord? Is God’s judgement just? Why?
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 9:57 am EDT
Clifton Lamar Williams' execution was scheduled to occur at 6 pm CDT, on Thursday, June 21, 2018, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. His execution has been stayed. Thirty-four-year-old Clifton is convicted of murder of 93-year-old Cecilia Schneider, in her home in Tyler, Texas on July 9, 2005. Clifton has spent the last 11 years of his life on Texas’ death row.
Clifton's execution was stayed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals due to claims that Clifton lacks the mental competency to be executed. In 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Texas' standard for determining mental competency is substandard. Texas has since implemented a new standard, however, lawyers for Clifton are arguing that under the new standards, Clifton would be considered mentally incompetency and therefore ineligible to be executed. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ordered a lower court to consider the matter.
Clifton dropped out of high school after the 11th grade. He worked as a laborer prior to his arrested. Clifton did not have a prior criminal record. Clifton was addicted to crack cocaine at the time of the murder.
On July 9, 2005, Clifton Williams broke into the home Cecilia Schneider. When he discovered Cecilia in the home, Williams beat, strangled, and stabbed her to death. Authorities also believe that she had been raped, although they were unable to confirm their suspicions as Williams laid her body on the bed and set it on fire before fleeing the home in Cecilia’s car. Williams also stole Cecilia’s purse.
After his arrest, Williams claimed that an acquaintance, Jamarist “Monterrall” Paxton, forced Williams to accompany him to the home. Paxton then killed Cecilia and forced Williams to cut his hand, leaving DNA evidence at the crime scene. Williams also alleged that Paxton forced Williams to drive Cecilia’s car during their escape. Williams unsuccessfully attempted to argue that he should not be convicted of murder, much less sentenced to death, because there was no DNA evidence at the crime scene, and that Paxton was the one who actually committed the murder.
Williams was previously scheduled to be executed in July 2015, however his execution was halted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in order to examine the claim that incorrect statistical evidence was presented at his trial. That stay was lifted in 2017.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Cecilia Schneider. Please pray for the family of Clifton Williams. Please pray that if Clifton is innocent, lacks the mental competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Clifton will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.
Who is the most influential man in your life? No, seriously. Think about it! It doesn't have to be your father or even a relative. He can even be someone younger than you. What man has made a difference in your life? How would you feel if that man was suddenly ripped away from you - forever! How would you feel if you knew that his death could have been prevented?
According to the Center for Disease Control, in eight out of the top ten leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, strokes, diabetes, alzheimer’s, pneumonia/flu, suicide, homicide, and HIV/AIDS), men have a higher rate of death than women. Alzheimers is the only ailment where women are more likely to die, and men and women have a nearly equal chance at dying from a stroke. Some refer to these statistics as the Silent Health Crisis.
Women will, on average, live five years longer than men By the age of 100 women outnumber men 8 to 1. This is likely do to the far greater willingness of women, to have annual exams, which can detect health problems earlier, allowing treatment to be more effective. That’s right men - your tough macho act can actually kill you!
So this month, men get yourself checked out! Make an appointment and talk to a doctor about that nagging problem you have been ignoring! Nothing is off limits when you talk to a doctor about your health. Because never forget - to someone, YOU are that inspirational man!
Do you aspire to be a “better Christian?” Do you want to deepen and strengthen your relationship with the Lord? Well, I’ve got good news for you! It is possible! In as little as one year, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries can help you transform your relationship with the Lord!
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)
Right there! That is how you are going to grow and deepen your relationship with the Lord! You have to take the first steps and draw near to Him! You have to actively seek after a relationship with the Lord. How?
A great starting point is simple: daily study of His Word, the Bible. God has given us the Bible as a history book, a textbook, a praise book, a philosophy book, a book of warning of the coming future, and so much more! By following along with our “52 Week Bible Reading Plan” (available here), daily study will allow you to completely read through the Bible in one year. It is perfect for beginners who don’t know where to start, or for those who have already read the Bible a couple dozen times. Each reading, each study can bring new meaning and realization.
The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries wants to help you! Each day, we will post a summary of the day’s reading on our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org. We will also post specific verses to focus on each day. Read through the entirety of the day’s reading. Then come back and re-read the focus verses. Prayerfully contemplate the questions asked about the reading. If you miss a day, don’t worry! Past commentary can be found under our “Scriptures” tab.
Our 2018 Daily Bible Study begins on December 31, 2017, but join us anytime! So, are you ready to deepen and strengthen your relationship with the Lord this upcoming year? Then let’s go!
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 10:01 am EDT
Daniel “Danny” Paul Bible's execution is scheduled for 6 pm CDT, on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Sixty-six-year-old Danny was sentenced to death for the murder and sexual assault of 20-year-old Inez Deaton on May 27, 1989, in Houston, Texas. Danny has spent the last 14 years on Texas’ death row.
Danny graduated from high school and worked in a warehouse, as an electrician, and as a laborer, prior to his arrest.
On May 27, 1989, police discovered the body of Inez Deaton, posed in a field by water in Houston, Texas. She was partial clad and had been stabbed 11 times with an ice pick. The body was identified as Inez, who had disappeared days earlier after going to her neighbor’s house, that of Danny Bible, to use his phone. She was never seen alive again.
After murdering, Inez, Bible fled to Wyoming and got a girlfriend. He was violent towards her, once punching her face so badly that she needed stitches. He also once set her car on fire because he disliked her new haircut. After the relationship ended, Bible moved to Weatherford, Texas, where he secured a job.
In 1983, Bible murdered his sister-in-law, Tracy Powers, her infant son, Justin, and Tracy’s roommate Pam Hudgins. He left Pam’s body hanging from a roadside fence. Bible again fled Texas, this time going to Montana. While in Montana, Bible kidnapped a woman and raped an 11-year-old girl. Bible was arrested in 1984, for the murder of Pam and sentenced to 25 years for murder after pleading guilty. Bible was released on parole just eight years later, in February 1992.