Friday, November 17, 2017

The Love of God

Have you ever tried to understand the extent of God’s love for man? The truth is, we can’t wholly grasp the depths of God’s love for us. His love is infinite. Our comprehension is finite.

It seems that true devotion to God is not attainable without a personal awareness of God’s love. I must understand that God loves me. Please notice Paul’s use of the personal pronouns I and me in 1 Timothy 1:12-17: “I thank Christ Jesus...I was formerly a blasphemer...but I obtained mercy...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief...I obtained mercy, that in me first Christ Jesus might show all longsuffering.” Paul was aware of his own sinfulness and unworthiness. This awareness served to magnify his conception of God’s love and mercy. 

Every child of God needs to reflect on the unconditional nature of God’s love. 1 John 4:9-10 tells us, “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 

We did not, nor can we ever, earn divine love. God’s gift to sinners is His Son, Jesus Christ. God greatly desires to save those who are sinking in sin. Jesus was, and is, the only way for God’s desire to be accomplished. God put Jesus on the cross for you and me. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). 

Let us be devoted in our love for God. We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Friday, November 10, 2017

Glad to Worship God

Several years ago when we were living in Ridgway, CO I talked with several people who said they worshiped God by hiking along the mountain trails on Saturday and Sunday. They believed that was how they became close to God. They, along with many others have told me that they didn't need to go to worship services in order to draw near to God. In fact, some have suggested that going to church hinders them from truly communing with God.

How we feel about this matter isn’t the determining factor as to whether or not we’re correct in our thinking. God’s word ultimately must decide whether we need to be regular in our worship with other Christians. 

Long ago, David left us a good example about worshiping God. He said in Psalms 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.’” In the New Testament we read in Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” 

The instruction is clear for all who want to understand the will of God. We need to come to God in Christ by obeying the first principles of the gospel of Christ, and we must be faithful to our God as long as we live. A part of this faithfulness is assembling with the saints and worshiping God in spirit and in truth. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24). 

How about you? Do you worship God on a regular basis? If not, why not resolve in your heart to begin doing so? May God, in all things, be glorified in our lives (Matthew 5:16).

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Lord's Supper

In Acts 20:7, we're given the example of the early church gathering together to break bread on the first day of the week. Lets look at the Lord’s supper and what it should mean to us. As we gather around the Lord’s table, Christ is with us as the central figure. He is the Son over his own house, whose house we are according to Hebrews 3:6. When Jesus instituted His supper, He said, “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom” (Matthew 26:29). His kingdom is here, and He communes with us. He has promised to be with us as meet in His name (Matthew 18:20).

As Christians partake of His body and blood, through the eye of faith, he has communion with every other Christian who is partaking. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 says, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.” Thus, the Lord’s supper is a most beautiful expression of unity and fellowship. Every heart is directed to the one sacrifice made for all.

To partake of the Lord’s supper is a confession of our faith. We show the Lord’s death until He comes. 1 Corinthians 11:26 says, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” Thus, as long as faithful Christians continue to partake of the Lord’s supper on the first day of the week, they are keeping the remembrance of His death alive. This great memorial feast instituted by our Lord will continue until our Lord returns. Do you remember the Lord’s death each Lord’s day as the early Christians did?

Monday, October 30, 2017

History and Geography of the Bible Story on CD

I have just put the "History and Geography of the Bible Story on CD" on sale! This is the first time I have sold this CD for this price. Now until December 31, 2017 you can only purchase the CD for $20.00 from my website http://www.thetfordcountry.com/HistoryGeography.html

This CD contains over 1,300 PowerPoint charts dealing with the history and geography of the Bible story and compliments the popular "History and Geography of the Bible Story" study manual by Bob and Sandra Waldron. You can read more about it on the website.

This CD would make a great gift for any Bible student. The CD will be shipped to anyone in the United States free of charge. After December 31st the price will return to $25.00.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Moral Issues

Moral issues have become very clouded in today's society. Many sins are now looked upon as little more than unavoidable illnesses. Some may be pushing this philosophy in an attempt to sooth their consciences, but God gives them no comfort from His Holy word.

For example, homosexuality is one such sin that seems to be looked upon as an alternate lifestyle rather than moral perversion. I am not trying to emphasize one sin above another, but I am emphasizing that sin is sin. Isaiah 5:20 says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"

Homosexuality, along with many other similar sins, is clearly condemned in God's word. The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."

If any of these sins are part of your life, you need to stop and come to Jesus for washing, sanctification, and justification. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 says, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor..." 2 Corinthians 7:1 says, "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." It is imperative that we live our lives according to the teaching of God. Our heavenly Father has given us every opportunity to be obedient to Him during our days on this earth. Therefore, let us all have no part of immorality and strive to let our lights shine for Christ. Our eternal destiny depends upon it. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Value of God's Word

Have you ever had something you valued very highly and were afraid that you might lose it? Most of us take great care in protecting what we highly treasure, and try to learn the best way to protect it. Sometimes our efforts to preserve and keep our treasures are useless due to ignorance or neglect of the correct measures to be taken. Therefore, that which provided great benefit and was of much value is lost and can't be recovered no matter how hard we try.

Atheists, secular humanists, and others who don’t want to hear anything about God or His standard for living, enjoy the all the benefits that come from a society that generally practices the teachings of the Bible. These people are willfully ignorant of the knowledge that the Bible and its teachings restrain evil and bring order to society. They’re ignorant that the Bible sets forth the individual as being very valuable. This country is based upon this very idea, and its laws are constituted to protect the individual.

If, as the Atheists and others in ignorance desire, Bible teaching is removed from the great majority of our society, that removal will eventually destroy the value of the individual. When the value of the individual is destroyed, our orderly society and freedoms will be gone. Anarchy, violence and lawlessness will replace the order and freedom, and a dictatorship or other type of oppressive government will take over.

Do you value God's word? Do you want your children, and grandchildren to grow up with freedom to practice what the Bible teaches? If you do, store up the word of God in your heart, and teach your children God’s word, morning, noon and night. It all begins with each one of us. Before our homes can function properly, we must first function properly in the ways and teachings of God. When we are practicing godliness and are truly loyal to Christ, then our homes will reflect that. When our homes reflect Christ, then our local congregations will also reflect Him. It all starts with “ME.”

God’s people long ago were instructed to put Him first above others and all things (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). In the New Testament, Jesus said “And you shall love the lord your god with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' this is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ there is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). If we will truly value God’s precious word in all aspects of our lives, we will never regret it. We’ll not only save our own children and grandchildren, but we'll help keep this great country of ours free, and under the protection of God.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Choice is Ours

Our lives are full of choices. Every day we come face to face with a decision, a choice, that we must make. The same is true in regard to religious things. Jesus asks us to make choices on whether to accept His way or another way. In Matthew 7:13-14 He pleads for us to “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” When asked if there are few who will be saved, He replied saying, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able” (Luke 13:24).

Ultimately, the choice is ours. Will we strive to enter by the narrow gate or, will we go in the way of destruction? Thus, in the words of Joshua, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). Also, in the words of Elijah, “....How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him....” (1 Kings 18:21). As we go through life making choices, we must make sure that we are making the right choice in regards to our life and service for Jesus Christ. The choice to serve and obey Him has to take precedence over everyone and everything else (Matthew 10:34-39).

Finally, listen to the words of Jesus as he says, “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23). If we will make the choice to be faithful to Him now, then He will ensure that a mansion is reserved in heaven for us when our life comes to an end here on this earth (John 14:1-3). Make the right choice, the choice to be with Jesus.