Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Joy of Being a Christian

Our delight, day in and day out, should be in the ways of the Lord. Christians should definitely have peace of mind and be the happiest of all people who inhabit the earth. When we rise up in the morning until we lay our head down to sleep at night we should be mindful that it is the Lord God of heaven that we diligently serve. It should be our desire to want to love and be obedient to all of God’s teachings. It is our desire to want to read from the holy pages of His inspired word every single day. We look forward to starting each day in communication through prayer to our almighty God. The Christian life is a life of joy as we continue to develop a Christ-like character with each passing day! The Psalmist wrote, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3). Christians love God and appreciate His law. We enjoy meditating on His word because it is so refreshing to us. Christians are thankful that we are saved through the blood of Christ, having been obedient to God’s plan of salvation, so that we can live forever with Jesus when our life on this earth is over. Being a Christian is truly a delight and that is why we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30)!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Danger of Social Networks: Improper Encouragement of Relationships

Social networks may result in improper encouragement of relationships. According to researchers, Facebook, which connects old friends, and allows users to make new ones, is being blamed for an increasing number of broken marriages. Online flirtation tempts people to cheat on their partners. Additionally, other problems may arise, such as having “friends” who have been disfellowshipped, or are otherwise out of duty. Affairs may occur when one goes too near the door of another person with whom they have no rights of intimacy. “Therefore hear me now, my children, And do not depart from the words of my mouth. Remove your way far from her, And do not go near the door of her house, Lest you give your honor to others, And your years to the cruel one; Lest aliens be filled with your wealth, And your labors go to the house of a foreigner; And you mourn at last, When your flesh and your body are consumed, And say: "How I have hated instruction, And my heart despised correction! I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! I was on the verge of total ruin, In the midst of the assembly and congregation” (Proverbs 5:7-14).  One can be captivated by another in a variety of ways. “To keep you from the evil woman, From the flattering tongue of a seductress. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, Nor let her allure you with her eyelids. For by means of a harlot A man is reduced to a crust of bread; And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life. Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned?  Can one walk on hot coals, And his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; Whoever touches her shall not be innocent” (Proverbs 6:24-29). We must also recognize the dangers of sinful entanglements. “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). Evil companions inevitably corrupt good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33-34).

Communication technologies enrich our lives in many ways, making the world smaller, providing opportunities for teaching, keeping us in touch with those whom we love, etc. However, these tools can also become a stumbling-block, involving slothfulness and sinful speech, immodesty and immorality, improper associations and evil entanglements. Regardless of your age, gender, or position in life, be an example. “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things--that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you” (Titus 2:1-8). Let your light shine! “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16).