Friday, July 31, 2015

Bridling Our Tongue

To some, speaking profanity and vulgarity is as normal as saying, "Good morning". As profanity and vulgarity increase, sensitivity toward it decreases, so that even many Christians, if not actually using profanity or vulgarity, are not particularly disturbed by it. In fact, many Christians will watch TV programs and movies where vulgarity and profanity is used.

With the flood of foul language used on television, we must be very alert to the speech habits our children pick up. We need to recognize that the filth that comes out of the mouth first fills the heart. Jesus said in Matthew 12:34-36, "Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment."

What is going into our heart? Several hours of watching television and/or movies each day? Bad thoughts, words or jokes heard at work or school, and immoral lyrics of modern music? Do we know what needs to go into our heart? That which is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praise worthy should fill our minds according to Philippians 4:8. Our speech should be that which can be used to the edifying of others according to Ephesians 4:29-30.

James 1:26 says, "If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless." The best way to guard our tongues is to fill our hearts with an abundance of good things. No better information can fill our hearts than that which is found in the pages of the Bible.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Are You Prepared?

Salvation has been prepared for us by God Himself. Zacharias prophesied long ago that Christ would come to prepare a way so that we may have eternal salvation (Luke 1:76). Jesus prepared His kingdom for us (Matthew 25:34) because it is God's desire that all of us will live our lives here on earth in such a way that when we die we will be with Him eternally. But are we prepared RIGHT NOW to be with Christ eternally when our day of death comes? One may say "just give me time". Well, God is giving us time and we don't know when that time will stop for us, therefore we MUST be prepared now (2 Corinthians 6:2). We prepare for heaven by reading the gospel and obeying the truths contained therein. "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work" (2 Timothy 2:21). One must purge himself of worldliness and obey God's Word or there will be no hope of eternal life with Jesus! We must be watching (Matthew 25:1-11) because we do not know when he will return (Matthew 24:44). Are you prepared to meet God? Prepare now before it is everlastingly too late.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Doing the Will of the Lord

I’m sure you have probably heard someone say "it’s my life, I can do what I want to." While it is true that the life we have is ours,cannot do what we want to with it if we really want to be pleasing to God. The Bible says, "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are" 1 Corinthians 3:16-17). Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in us. God created us and expects us to be obedient to Him in all things. The inspired apostle Paul wrote, "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We need to understand that we are here only because God created us and that our obligation in life is to make sure that we please Him in all things. Christians have been baptized into Christ and have made a vow before God to live for Christ each day for the rest of our life. Baptism puts us into Christ (Galatians 3:27) and into His body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23). When we die, our soul will return to God who gave it to us in the first place (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Our eternal resting place will be in heaven or hell, depending on who we have really served while on this earth (2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 6:24). As Bible Christians, we must ensure that we are living our lives for Christ, not for ourselves or others. Jesus will judge us in the last day, nobody else (John 12:48). Can it be said that we are REALLY doing the will of the Lord?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Spiritual Growth

Do you want spiritual growth? Let me suggest to you that God's book, the Bible is the only guide that will lead you to true spiritual growth. Reading and studying the Scriptures is vital to growing in the grace and knowledge of God.

Job said, "I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." (Job 23:12). The Psalmist said, "Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day." (Psalm 119:97). Paul said, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15). Peter said, "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby..." (1 Peter 2:2).

We need to study the Bible daily so that our mind will be filled with God's word. The Lord gave Joshua directions that would lead him to mature spiritual growth. "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." (Joshua 1:8).

Psalm 1:1-2 says, "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." Paul instructed the young man Timothy, "Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all." (1 Timothy 4:15).

Let us desire God's word as new born babies desire milk. Let us read, study, and meditate on His word day and night. Thereby, God will approve of us, and our spiritual growth and understanding of His word will become evident to all.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

The apostle wrote, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). When one hears the word of God, believes, repents from sin, confesses Jesus, and is immersed in water (baptized), then all their sins are forgiven. One is now a Christian! They now will be able to enjoy every spiritual blessing by being in Christ. Only Christians are blessed with this privilege. Christians have so much to be thankful for and so very much to look forward to. The apostle Paul serves as a great inspiration to all Christians. He said "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).

After his conversion to Christ, Paul lived his life for Christ, longing for the prize that would be awaiting him at the end of his life. He understood that he did things in his past that were contrary to the will of God, but after his conversion he knew that he was forgiven and now enjoyed every spiritual blessing in Christ. That helped him get through every day and it should also help us get through every day. After all, when all is said and done in our life, all that really matters is whether we are going to be able to be in heaven with our Lord for eternity. Christians who live their life fully dedicated to Christ know and understand that day will be a reality. We can have confidence in that by the very words of Paul. He said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Paul assures us that if we too will live our life for Christ to the very end, keeping the faith, having loved His appearing, that there will be a crown of righteousness waiting for us.

Eternity with Christ is the absolute greatest blessing that we will have by being in Christ. No matter what has happened in our past we can have great confidence that if we will just be obedient, faithful, loving, and loyal to Jesus, that we will one day be with those "few" who have submitted to His authority (Matthew 7:13-14; 28:18-20).