Once again I titled my blog and then made absolutley no reference to it in the body of the text.  Bad boy!  But actually I was leading up to it and now after 3 freeze outs on the computer I hope to complete the thought today.  My wife is a life-saver tech person!  Otherwise, someone may have found a laptop floating in the creek outside our porch!!  Not really.  But just maybe…!  This just goads me…there’s the word for today.  It can be found in Eccles. 12:11(I use the NIV  translation in almost all my blogs) where Solomon says under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that “the words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails–given by One Shepherd.”  Like goads…a sharp metal tip attached to a wooden handle.  A goad was used to keep the cattle moving in the right direction.  By a shepherd to keep the flock together and not wander off into dangerous and useless places.  We as Christians know that the Bible is God’s love letters to us.  But some portions seem more like tough love, with an edge to its meaning, a prod and poke to keep moving in God’s direction instead of way off in never,never land of trials and troubles which I can stumble into with no help from anyone else at all.  I marvel at how easily and quickly I get off course.  It’s true that I have a terrible sense of direction.  Just ask anyone in my family.  Actually, a few are snickering right now.  Terrible to have smart-alecks in the family!!  But seriously,  with no effort at all, and I’m off course  far from God and His ways.  Did I hear an ‘amen’…I mean, about your life as well?  I thought I heard you!  The Bible couldn’t be clearer…’we have ALL sinned and come short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).  And ‘all’ means all.  Period.  So, when you feel that goad from the Bible, ok, wince a bit but then let the Lord move you back where He wants you to be.  Turn to 2 Timothy 3:16 (another 3:16!)where the Apostle Paul writes to young pastor Timothy that  ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…’ The Apostle is saying that the Bible, in its entirety from God, will teach and train us.  And in addition like a goad it will rebuke and correct.  Don’t be surprised if the Bible, which I hope you are reading every day, stings a bit at times.  There are places in all our lives where we put out the ”do not disturb” sign!  There are issues in our society and churches right now that will require us stand up and stand firm on the Word of God taking the name-calling and ridicule that will come our way.  Get ready.  The One Shepherd has spoken…His words are  likefirmly embedded nails…words that act like goads keeping us on God’s good path. Are you ready?  Stand up…speak up…

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