See, the eyes of the lord are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine.
1 SAMUEL, Chapter 15, Verse 24
Saul admitted to Samuel: “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the command of the LORD and your instructions. I feared the people and obeyed them.
There are three lessons we can learn from the life of King Saul.
First, obey the Lord and seek to do His will. From the very start of his reign, Saul had the perfect opportunity to be the benchmark by which all future kings could be measured. All he had to do was to seek the Lord wholeheartedly, obey His commandments and align his will with that of God’s, and his rule would have been a God-honoring one. However, like so many others, Saul chose a different path and strayed away from God. We find a perfect example of his disobedience in the incident where God commanded him to kill all the Amalekites, but Saul kept the king and some of the spoils of war. Saul compounded his troubles by lying to Samuel over the incident. He claimed that it was the people that saved all of the animals (1 Samuel 15). This act, plus many others over the course of his rule, emphasized the fact that he could not be trusted to be an instrument of God’s will.
The second lesson we learn is not to misuse the power given to us. There is no question that King Saul abused the power God had entrusted to him. The over-riding reason for this is the pride often creeps into our hearts when people are serving and honoring us. In time, this type of “star treatment” can make us believe that we really are something special and worthy of praise. When this happens, we forget that God is the one who is really in control and that He alone rules over all. God may have chosen Saul because he was humble, but over time that humility was replaced by a self-serving and destructive pride that destroyed his rule.
The third lesson for us is to lead the way God wants us to lead. First Peter 5:2-10 is the ultimate guide for leading the people that God has placed in our charge: “Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” How much different Saul’s life would have turned out had he obeyed these principles. King Saul would have had no shortage of wise counsel available to him. By ignoring God and His wise counsel, Saul allowed the spiritual health of his people to deteriorate further, alienating them from God.
Why does Jesus greet His disciples with the words, “Peace be to you?” 1. Because He came to restore to men that peace with God, with themselves, with their neighbor, which sin had destroyed. 2. Because peace is a mark of the children of God, as discord is of sinners. 3. Because peace is the greatest of all goods. Therefore it is that He will have His apostles, after His example, give the greeting of peace on entering a house. 4. Finally, Because He desired to encourage His disciples to confidence by His friendliness.
Why did Our Savior retain the marks of His wounds after His resurrection? 1. To show that it was the same body which had been wounded during His passion, and to show that He was really risen from the dead. 2. To teach us that we too shall, in like manner, rise with our bodies. 3. To make known to us the greatness of His love, through which He has graven us, as it were, on His hands and feet, and in His heart (Isaias xlix. 16). 4. To impart to us confidence in His endless mercy, and to encourage us to combat against the world, the flesh, and the devil. 5. To prepare a place of refuge, and an inexhaustible fountain of consolation for all the miserable, afflicted, and tempted. 6. To terrify the impenitent, whom, on the Day of Judgment, He will show how much He has suffered for them, and that they have been the cause of their own destruction. Oh, let us endeavor to think often on the wounds of Jesus, that we may thereby be encouraged to lead pious lives acceptable to God.
O Jesus, grant that the precious blood which flowed from Thy wounds for me and all sinners may not be lost.
Instruction on what we ought to believe concerning the Holy Scriptures.
“He opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.” Luke xxiv. 45.
Is it free to everyone to read and explain Holy Scripture according to his own opinion? No; that must be done with submission and conformity to the teaching of the Church. Questions of faith cannot be settled by appealing to the Holy Scriptures alone, since they themselves are liable to be misunderstood. For this reason the Church has done wisely in making the printing, reading, and explaining of Holy Scripture depend upon the permission of lawful spiritual superiors.
What, therefore, must one do who desires to read the Holy Scriptures? 1. He must read them, only with the permission of the ecclesiastical superiors. 2. with the subjection of his own opinion to the decisions of the Church, and the interpretation of the holy fathers. 3. with suitable preparation, by prayer and fasting, as St. Thomas of Aquinas did, and with devotion and care.
Tax Day (Taxes Due)
Tax Day marks the last day to file income taxes in the United States. The history of US Income Tax dates back to the Civil War and the Revenue Act of 1861. This tax was imposed to help pay the costs of the war. After several repeals, new taxes, and subsequent repeals, the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified and went into law in 1913. This established the right of Congress to impose a Federal Income tax. The Income Tax remains the primary way that the US Government finances itself. To ensure that all monies due for the prior year are paid, a Tax Day was created. All US taxpayers are required to file taxes based on prior year’s earnings by this date. Traditionally this date has been on April 15 of each year. If this day falls on a weekend, the due date is extended to the following Monday. This date is also impacted by the Emancipation Day Holiday in Washington DC.
Tax Day (Taxes Due) Facts & Quotes
· The date of Tuesday April 17, 2017 represents the filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns. The date doesn't fall on Monday, because it is the District of Columbia Emancipation Day, which is regarded as federal holidays when it comes to federal income taxes.
· In 1913, the original US income tax rates were 1% for incomes over $3,000; 6% for incomes over $500,000.
· During World War I, around 1918, the highest income tax rate was over 77%.
The power of taxing people and their property is essential to the very existence of government.- James Madison, U.S. President
A tax loophole is something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you, it is tax reform.- Russell B. Long, U.S. Senator
Tax Day (Taxes Due) Top Events and Things to Do
· Be sure to mail your Tax Return before the midnight of the designated tax day.
· File for an extension before midnight, if needed.
· Visit Office Depot and shred your old documents for Free.
· Take advantage of Tax Day Freebies at local restaurants.
· Watch a movie that deals with taxes and the consequences of unpaid taxes. Our picks: Stranger Than Fiction (2006), Catch Me If You Can (2012), The Firm (1993), The Mating Game (1959)
Today bring to me the soul's of separated brethren.