Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Kindness is from the Heart

I have often thought to myself “what is the one thing that really draws and keeps Christians together?” Well, it didn't take me long to think of the word kindness. When I think of the word kindness I am also reminded of the passage in Ephesians 4:32 which reads “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” To be kind takes a sincere effort on the part of each individual. Because of that, when kindness is shown to another, one can see that the heart of the individual doing the kind deed is the way God wants it to be. The passage continues to say that we should be tenderhearted which means to have sympathy or pity for another. It would be like seeing a little puppy with a hurt leg limping across a yard, and being moved with tenderness, you would help fix the puppy's leg so it could heal properly.

In the same manner we should want to help our brothers and sisters when they are hurting. When we have a sincere, loving concern for another individual then we will naturally be a forgiving person. We know that God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten son for us (John 3:16). God is willing and wants to forgive us as we stumble through our walk of life, but we must be willing to forgive others first (Matthew 6:14-15). When an individual Christian can grasp the love of God then the love of God will be able to pour forth from the Christian. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Devoted to God

Enoch was a man who “walked with God” according to Genesis 5:21-24. The Hebrew writer, in Hebrews 11:5 tells us what that phrase means. He said, “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” 

The apostle Paul’s ambition was to be well-pleasing to God. He said in 2 Corinthians 5:9, “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.” Every child of God ought to have that same ambition. We, too, can walk with God if we’ll devote ourselves to pleasing Him on a daily basis. 

The term “devotion” is sometimes used to describe a spiritual activity, but the word is better defined as an attitude that produces proper activity. Our word “devote” is derived from the Latin word “devotus” whose root means “to vow.” Enoch and Paul had vowed (devoted or consecrated) their lives to God. God was at the center of their every thought and activity. Every duty, no matter how menial or trivial, was done to the glory of God. Pleasing their heavenly Father was the motivation behind every action. 

Let us all be truly devoted and consecrated to God. Let us have a fervent desire to please our heavenly Father. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

Friday, March 10, 2017

What Sin Does to Us

Sin is a terrible thing! It is the worse thing that an individual can do because it separates us from our God (Isaiah 59:2). The Bible teaches that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). If one chooses to remain in a sinful condition, then one should expect to receive the eternal death that comes as a result of it. Notice the teaching of God which says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23), and “when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:15). At the final judgment, punishment will be delivered to those who are not in fellowship with God because they are in sin. Jesus has said, “I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:23  -  See also Matthew 25:41-46). We all need to understand that sin, which is a transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4), will bring with it an eternal separation from God when Jesus, our righteous judge, judges us based on His word at the last day. “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

How Can We Free Ourselves of Sin?
We can only be freed from sin by the blood of Christ (1 John 1:7). This takes faith in Jesus (Acts 10:43), which results in being repentant of our sins and being baptized into Christ. “Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Once we are baptized into Christ, then we need to pray and ask for forgiveness of any sins committed after we become a Christian (Acts 8:22-23).