Friday, April 24, 2015

The Works of the Flesh

What's wrong with fornication, adultery, and homosexuality? These things are wrong and sinful because God's law condemns them! When the civil laws are enacted, and judgement is rendered by the courts on such things, those laws and judgements are only what men in their human reasoning have decided the people want or are what they think is best for the people. This does not determine the right or wrong of the matter. We must turn back to God's word in order to find the truth about these things.

Galatians 5:19-21 says, "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says, "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."

Regardless of what man says or laws he enacts, when God says a thing is wrong, it is wrong!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Can God Count on You?

Do you love God? How much? Are you willing to be fully committed to him in every way? Is there anything you would not do for God (Mark 12:29-30)? We live in a world that is constantly at war, at war with sin (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Whose side are you on?

Can God count on you to increase your knowledge of his word so you can defend it against false teachers and their disciples? "You must continue growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). God wants us to go beyond a state of spiritual infancy and advance to maturity (Hebrews 5:11-14). We do this when we pray, study, and apply the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). Will you resolve to study the Scriptures on a daily basis?

Can God count on you to defend the truth against every foe? Too many people will defend the gospel if someone they do not like is perverting it. But, if one of their friends perverts God's word, they tend to be very tolerant, or they will make excuses for them. When truth is at stake, we should have no friends except God. Do you find yourself wetting a finger and sticking it in the air to see which way the wind is blowing before you take a stand on a controversial issue? The Bible says stand (Ephesians 6:13-14; Jude 3)!

Can God count on you to take an active role in the work and worship of the local congregation? God has not placed the responsibility for building up the local congregation on the shoulders of only one person. The evangelist's role is to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:1-5); the elders oversee (Acts 20:17, 28-32); the deacons serve (Acts 6:1-6), and everybody is to work! In short, everybody must work if we are going to grow.

Can God count on you to be uncompromising in the fight against sin, shame, and immorality? When people in the work place laugh at homosexuality, unscriptural multiple marriages, the use of alcohol and drugs among the nation's youth, teen pregnancy out of wedlock, do you go with the flow or do you plead God's case (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:9-21)? If God can count on you, prove it!

Written by: Ron Daly

Monday, April 6, 2015

Treasures in Heaven

In general, people have become very materialistic. Their trust is being placed in things that exist now, things which are visible and can be touched. Little or no thought is given to the importance of seeking and finding spiritual values. The worldly-minded person is more interested in his assets, the making of money, and having of a "good time" than he is in God.

When a person realizes that the pursuit of worldly riches and fame is useless, what will he use to replace the material treasures he's always sought after? Jesus gave the answer in Matthew 6:19-21 when he said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Peter said in 1 Peter 1:13, "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ..." John said in 1 John 3:2-3, "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."

Life can be a beautiful and rewarding experience if one will put spiritual service to God first, and allow the remainder of his existence to revolve around Jesus Christ. There is a life to be lived, deeds to be done, a goal to be reached, commands to be obeyed, and a home in heaven to look forward to. Anything so temporary as the material possessions of this life must not be allowed to take away from the marvelous blessings of an eternity with God, our Father.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

From Virtue to Knowledge

Once we obtain virtue which is in fact "moral excellence" then we should add knowledge. In 2 Peter 1:4-11, the Apostle Peter shares with us some valuable information that we should take to heart. " all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge..." (2 Peter 1:5). Knowledge is a clear understanding of a truth or fact; the act or state of knowing; that which has been perceived or grasped mentally; learning. We must understand that God granted us His precious and magnificent promises. Why? So that we might become partakers of the divine nature. God wants us to do the best we can and to grow each day of our lives to become more Christ like.

Continue in the Christian Characteristics
After we achieve moral excellence then it is very important that we strive to gain as much knowledge of God and Jesus as we possibly can. But we can't stop there because what would we be if we only had knowledge and not the other qualities that go with it. From knowledge we can see in this reading that we are to gain "self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love" (2 Peter 1:6-7). Yes, we need to ultimately have love because if we don't have the love that goes with all these other characteristics, then we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2). If these qualities are yours and increasing you will be useful and fruitful. Those that are lacking these qualities are blind and don't know real Christianity. Peter tells us in verse 10 that we'll never stumble if we practice these things.