Friday, April 19, 2019

Gaining a Deeper Faith

John wrote: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31). If you desire to have a deeper faith (belief) in Jesus Christ then you must be determined to know about Christ. In order to know of Jesus you must read of Him. The only way that we can gain faith is to hear the Word of God and that comes by reading and studying (Romans 10:17). Those individuals that John addressed in chapter four stated: “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world” (John 4:42)

Faith Comes By Hearing
Throughout the pages of the New Testament we find example after example of people being converted to Christ as a result of believing in Him. In order for us to be truly converted to Christ we too must first believe and then have that belief strengthened through continuous study of His Word. Faith cannot be produced in the absence of testimony. All agree that one must have faith, or be lost. Man is saved by faith, but Christ is the Savior. It follows, then, since Christ is the Savior and we are saved by faith, that Christ is the author of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). I would like to encourage all of us to open our Bible on a regular basis and read about our blessed Savior, Jesus Christ. The more we read, the more we study, the greater our faith will be in Him, and the more dedicated we will be in the service of His kingdom. May we all strive to gain a deeper faith in our Lord!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Things to Think On

Every waking hour of our life our mind is thinking of something. How good it is when we can train our mind to think on good things. Paul said “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). A Christian’s thoughts should be centered on godly things, not evil. Some may ask “Can our thoughts be controlled?” In 2 Corinthians 10:5 we read: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” From what Paul said it is obvious that we can control our thoughts if we work at it.

Why Think On The Good Things?
We should think on good things first of all because we are commanded to do so. Paul said “if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Paul is speaking through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, therefore we must treat what he says as a command of God. We also need to think on good things because we are as we think. Solomon wrote: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

If we are thinking of good things then we won't be defiled (Matthew 15:19-20). God knows our thoughts and knowing that God knows our thoughts should motivate us to only want to think on the good things (1 Corinthians 3:20). And if we think on the good things there will be less chance of us sinning. For when we sin then we must ask God to forgive us of that sin. In Acts 8:22 we can read where evil thoughts need to be repented of. “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” If we would take Paul's advice (command) and think on the good things then we would not have to repent of evil thoughts.

What Should We Think On?
We should train our mind to think on the Lord’s thoughts. Isaiah said “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:7-9). We need to remember that God's thoughts are not like ours. Where man would see no problem in doing something, God does see a problem with it and has set forth His way of worshiping Him in His written word, the Bible. We must ensure that we strive to think as the Lord would think and then do it. We should think on honorable things (Romans 12:17). We need to think about our savior Jesus Christ and why He came to this earth. He came and suffered, bled, and died so that we can have forgiveness of sins (Romans 6:3-4).

Our mind will always be thinking of different things as we go about our daily business. But let us train our mind to think on the good things that Paul stressed in Philippians 4:8. If we would allow God to direct our every step in life (Jeremiah 10:23), then it would be so much easier. Let us resolve now to give our heart and mind over to Jesus and let His example lead us each day as we strive to be the right influence before others. Won’t you be determined now to set your mind on thinking of good things and to follow the teachings of Jesus?