David was referred to as a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22) yet he committed sin. Many today don’t even give God the chance to work in their life because they claim to “not be good enough.” In reality, nobody is “good enough” for God but God loves man, His created work, and wants all to do His will. David was not perfect and we are not perfect. Yet, why was David referred to as “a man after God’s own heart?” I believe that if we can understand why David could sin, yet still be pleasing to God, then it will help each one of us to better be able to overcome our trespasses knowing that we have hope as David did.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Jesus promises us that if we will confess Him before others, then He will confess us before His Father in heaven. However, if we deny Him before others then He will deny us before His Father in heaven (Matthew 10:32-33). It is not easy to be a Christian. Christians cannot blend in with the world. It may be that we will need to make some very difficult decisions in order to maintain our fellowship with Christ. Serving Christ in all aspects of our life may mean that we have to be enemies with our very own household. Listen to the words of Jesus: "For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 10:35-39). Jesus is teaching us that our love, devotion, and loyalty must be for Him, even above our own family members. There is a strong bond of love that usually exists within our physical family, but Jesus said the bond between us and Him must be stronger.
When we made the most important decision of our life to be baptized into Christ we made a commitment to be one with Him. That decision means that we cannot let our family, friends, and things of this world interfere with our love and service to Jesus. Can others truly see in each of us that our first priority is Jesus? God certainly knows the answer to that question (2 Corinthians 5:10; John 12:48).
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
During this time of year many, many people attend the “church of their choice” to “remember Jesus.” All year long there are those that go about their work only looking out for themselves and their family and not giving any thought to Jesus Christ. But then, that one day comes around once a year called “Christmas” and many people stop and think to themselves, “it’s time to remember Jesus.” This is really sad.
We are commanded to meet together on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7). The bread represents the body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23-24). Jesus said “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:24). We know from reading Acts 20:7 that we are to meet on the first day of the week - why? To break bread. What does the bread represent? Christ’s body. Therefore, when we partake of the bread which represents Christ’s body we can see from the scriptures that we are to do it in remembrance of Jesus on the first day of the week. How many first day of the weeks are there? 52, and sometimes 53. Therefore, how can one suddenly say to himself, today I need to stop and remember Jesus Christ - only once per year and keep the commandments of Jesus? The bread represents His body, the cup represents His blood which was shed for us on Calvary. We are remembering and proclaiming the Lord’s DEATH until He comes again (1 Corinthians 11:26) each time (first day of the week) that we partake of it.
We do not partake of the bread and cup in memory of His birth - whenever that was. It’s through His death that we have the opportunity for eternal life!
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Let’s face it; people do not always come to a Bible classes or worship services to hear the word of God. Some come to please someone else. Others come with an expectation of being entertained. Still others come looking for a chance to object to whatever is said or done. These are ungodly traits. Others do have ears to hear, and come in order to “sit at the feet of Jesus” and intently hear, learn and live the gospel of the Savior (Luke 8:8; 10:38-42).
God’s inspired word is designed to draw sinners to God and to the salvation in His Son. It is sufficient to the task (Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore, everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:44-45). To deny the power of the word of God to draw sinners to Christ is to deny the power of God.
Brethren must trust the word of God to draw the lost and to preserve the saved. It is the message that must draw the lost to salvation (1 Peter 1:22-25). For example, why is it some brethren prefer to use recreational activities to advertise and encourage young people to attend special services intended for their spiritual benefit? Are young people only interested in hearing the gospel when it is associated with wiener roasts, volleyball and overnight lock-in games and activities? I do not believe so, and those who are interested in feeding their souls will not be lured by offers intended to feed the belly (John 6:26). It is revealing that in the same context in which people thought they could come to Jesus to have their stomachs fed that Jesus said He feeds the soul as the bread of life (John 6:27-38). Jesus did not use food to draw people to Himself; we dare not attempt it today.
Some, while emphasizing faith in Jesus, tell us not to put our faith in the Bible. We cannot do one without the other. Jesus is “the Word” we must hear and follow (John 1:1-3, 14-18; 14:6). The inspired Psalmist said, “I have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your word” (Psalms 119:42). He put his faith in God’s word. We must, too. Jesus teaches us truth (Ephesians 4:20-21). Faith in Jesus is not and cannot be separated from faith in His word, the Bible (Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Like the apostles, we must go and “speak to the people all the words of this life” (Acts 5:20). We need not add games and gimmicks to the drawing power of God’s word. Divine truth is sufficient to draw good and honest hearts to Christ (Luke 8:14-15; Acts 17:11-12).
Written by: Joe Price
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
I have never met a religious person who would argue that we are not saved by faith. I believe completely that we are saved by faith. However, there is a real problem when people claim that we are saved by faith “only.” When you think about it, doesn’t it sound strange when some say that we are saved wholly by grace and then contradict themselves by saying that we are saved by faith only? That would beg the question “which way is it?” Well, the truth of the matter is that neither is true. The TRUTH is that we are saved both by God’s grace and by our faith which is fully demonstrated by our obedience to God’s Holy commands.
Our faith must not be a dead faith or a faith that is incomplete. God’s word says “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:20, 24). Some men teach that we are saved by faith only but God says we are not saved by faith only. Who will one believe — God or man?
It is also admitted that Naaman was saved from his leprosy by faith through obedience when he dipped seven times in the Jordan River. Naaman had faith and as a result of that faith he carried out the command to dip seven times in the water to be cleansed from his leprosy. Therefore, why not “by faith” obey the command of God to be baptized to be saved from our sins? Jesus said “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). In Acts 2:38 we are commanded by God to “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.” Have you “by faith” obeyed Jesus for remission of your sins? He is your Savior only IF you obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).
Yes, based on God’s word, faith without works is dead. This is so because God said so! Only a living faith that causes us to obey God will save us. The Poudre Valley church of Christ in Fort Collins, CO believes God and teaches that one must have faith which leads them to obey all of what God has said.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
As we struggle with the challenges of life and death, the most challenging question of all is this: What does God want of us in this life? God answers that question in the Bible. He has made it clear from the beginning until now that He wants our love, trust, and obedience.
Adam and Eve were commanded to care for the Garden of Eden, to enjoy its fruit, but not to eat “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”--a tree which drew the boundary between good and evil. When they ate of that tree, they were driven in shame from the Garden and suffered the ravages of death (Genesis 2-3). Later, God commended Abraham as one who “will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment” (Genesis 18:19). That is what God wants of all men.
The Bible is full of passages summarizing what God wants of us. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Our love, trust, and respect for God are shown by obeying His Word. Though God commands formal worship, He also teaches us to translate our worship into daily action. At all times and in all situations, we are to “hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate....let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:15, 24).
When God taught the Jews to bring animal sacrifices for sin, He made it clear that “thousands of rams” were no substitute for sincere, daily submission to His will. “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:6-8). Life is brief and uncertain, filled with “labor and sorrow.” Knowing our time is short, our prayer should be, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalms 90:10-12). We find God’s wisdom in God’s Word.
Jesus summed it all up in these words: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). All the commandments of God teach us the true meaning of love for God and for our fellowmen. To violate God’s Word is to violate that love.
Knowing we have sinned and yet wanting us to be saved, God desires all men to hear, believe, and obey the gospel of Christ. Christ died as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. On the basis of that faith, we must repent of all sin, confess Christ as God's Son, and be immersed in water to receive pardon through his atoning blood. Truly, God “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9; Acts 2:38; 8:37-38).
When we obey these first steps of the gospel, God adds us to the church of Christ and then teaches us how to worship Him and how to live for Him each day. Thus, He redeems us from the destiny of hell and leads us to an eternal home in heaven. Ultimately, that is what God wants--for us to spend eternity with Him in heaven!
Written by: Ron Halbrook
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
• Lies: making up information or giving information that is the opposite or very different from the truth.
• Equivocations: making an indirect, ambiguous, or contradictory statement.
• Exaggerations: overstatement or stretching the truth to a degree.
• Understatements: minimization or downplaying aspects of the truth.
• Concealments: omitting information that is important or relevant to the given context, or engaging in behavior that helps hide relevant information.
In the Bible, we can read where the authors of deception are said to be Satan (Revelation 12:9), evil men (2 Timothy 3:13) and false teachers (2 Corinthians 11:13). We know that individuals who practice deception are not pleasing to God and will give an account for their actions at the judgment day (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Who Is Deceived? There are several occurrences in the Bible that show us who it is that is deceived. We know that the one who hears the word but does not do it, deceives himself (James 1:22). The one who does not bridle his tongue deceives himself (James 1:26). If one thinks too highly of himself, he deceives himself (Galatians 6:3). If one says they have no sin, he deceives himself (1 John 1:8). And, if one expects to reap what he did not sow, he deceives himself (Galatians 6:7).
How Are People Deceived? There are many different ways in which an individual can be deceived. Most often it is the result of sin (Hebrews 3:13). Deception can also come from riches (Matthew 13:22), smooth words (Romans 16:18), false promises (2 Peter 2:18-19), empty words, (Ephesians 5:6), and even by our own selves (1 Corinthians 3:18).
We do not have to be deceived. In fact the Bible says “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (James 1:16). We must be determined to know the truth and practice the truth so that we will not be deceived. Let us not forget that we are to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
When the apostle Peter went to the household of Cornelius he stated, “.....In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35). Peter points out that the only ones that will be accepted by God are those who “fear Him” and “work righteousness.” We must understand that each and every one of us “....must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). We further learn that in James 4:4 the Word of God says, “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” These inspired Bible passages teach us that in order for us to go to heaven we must do what God tells us to do. We cannot compromise, nor can we tolerate anything that will keep us from being in the proper fellowship with God. Friends are good to have, but we must choose our friends wisely. A true friend is one who will look out for our best interests also. A friend will not want us to do anything that will compromise our values or jeopardize us from being with our Lord eternally. In Proverbs 1:7 it says that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” The Christian that does “fear God” will increase in knowledge so as to ensure an eternity with Him. Are the things we are doing in our body (the things we say, the things we wear, the things we do) pleasing to God? Let’s make sure they are so that we can look forward to our eternal home with Him!
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Besides letting God know how thankful we are for all the blessings that He has given us, we should also pray for guidance. We have an example of the apostles seeking guidance from God when they were ready to select the apostle to replace Judas. The text says, And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen” (Acts 1:24). We too should petition God in prayer to help us make good decisions in our day to day life. One of the best ways that we can get closer to God and increase our faith is to talk to Him often. How is your prayer life?
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Most of us probably have several Bible verses that have been among our favorites for many years. I can recall as a teenager one particular verse that helped me make good decisions in my life and service to Jesus. The verse for me was and continues to be Romans 13:14. “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Once I put on Christ in baptism (Galatians 3:27), this verse helped me tremendously in making the right choices as a young Christian. I was determined to remove myself from any situation that may cause me to succumb to sin. This verse should help every Christian in so many ways to do the same. If we don’t want to be a slave to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, etc., then we will not take that first drink, smoke that first cigarette, or begin using any illegal or dangerous drugs. We will not have to be concerned with fulfilling our lusts if we do not make any provision for those things in the first place.
In the 12th verse of the 13th chapter of Romans Paul begins the verse by saying “Let us walk properly, as in the day….” When we are walking properly, in the footsteps of Christ, then we will strive to not let anything cause us to fulfill our lusts and cause us to sin. Peter wrote, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 1:21). What would Jesus do? That is THE question that should be in our head constantly. When we are determined to follow in His steps, allowing Him to be our priority in life, then we will have peace of mind and a good conscience toward God, knowing that we are truly doing His will (Matthew 7:21-23). Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). I encourage you to let your light shine brightly for Christ, making no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts!
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Whether we want to admit it or not, we are responsible for our actions. As Christians we must first understand that we are accountable to God. In Romans 14:12 it says, “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” Since we know that we are accountable to God we then must realize what the areas are in our life where we must take personal responsibility. Let’s examine a few of these:
For what we say: “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36).
For what we do: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
For what we own: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
For what we think: “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
For what we know to do: “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).
Sincere, devoted, and loyal Christians understand that we will give an account of ourselves to almighty God one day. Therefore, we should strive to examine ourselves daily to ensure that we are making the right choices, knowing that is our personal responsibility.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
There is so much to worry and fret about in life. The pace of day to day pursuits has been likened to a rat race where only the rats are winning. We work hard to gain stuff and the only thing we gain is stuff to worry about. Our barns are never big enough and we tear them down to build bigger ones and after time those are not quite what we need (Luke 12:15-21). Barn building is big business and expends so much of our lives.
Jesus warned His disciples about tearing barns down and building new ones. “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds” (Luke 12:22-24)? When we stop to smell the roses (and we should) we should watch the birds.
The lessons we learn from the sparrows and the ravens are eternal. They are not farmers and they do not shop at Walmart. Most take note: they do not build barns. There is no need for a barn in their lives because they are not worried about where to put their stuff - they have no stuff. Jesus illustrates through His own creation that birds are cared for by the gracious hand of God. Birds do not have worry lines above their eyebrows. They do not have to visit the doctor to get medicine for anxiety and worry about stuff of life.
Birds teach the lesson penned by the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 6:6-8: “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” These creatures of God are content because they trust and rely upon God to feed them. The provisions of life are found in the providential care of a loving Creator. Our contentment must come from being satisfied. The man who tore down his barns in Luke 12:15-21 was never satisfied. He wanted more. Then he wanted more of the more. His definition of “enough” was always a little more than he had.
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me” (Hebrews 13:5-6). Have you ever seen a covetousness bird? The only time you will ever see a bird excited about a $100 bill is when he finds one to make wallpaper in his nest with. He knows that the true worth of money is nothing more than paper with dead Presidents (and a few others) on it. He does not worry about money because God takes care of him.
There is a saying that goes, “God promised to feed the sparrows but He never promised to bring the feed to the nest.” Jesus was not suggesting that man not work because the Lord requires man to work (Ephesians 4:28). Even in the time of Jesus people worried themselves sick about their stuff. We need to learn the lesson about the birds - they do not live in mansions. They are simple creatures who have a simple trust in the real meaning of life. Sadly, birds are creatures of the earth alone. When they die they return to the dust from whence they came. Man however, continues to live on in eternity. The Lord will judge men - not birds. But the Lord will use birds to judge a man when He compares the heart of the man. “But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you” (Luke 12:31).
Written by: Kent Heaton
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
How pure and holy should Christians really be? Peter answers that question by saying, “as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16). The apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1). When Christians understand the tremendous sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf then we should be extremely motivated to make sure that we live our lives pure and holy for Jesus. He suffered and gave His life so that we can have our sins forgiven and what He expects from us that we appreciate what He did for us, and be determined to live holy lives so that we can gain an eternal home with our Lord and Savior one day.
In addition, every Christian is a saint (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:1; 2:19). When we realize that we are holy saints then we should ensure that we absolutely set ourselves apart in full service to God. Peter writes, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10). The point I am trying to make in these short lessons is that we must understand that Christians are a special people and should strive to please Jesus in every single thing that we do. Before doing anything we should ask ourselves this very important question: “Would Jesus do it?” If we really want to please Him, then we will answer the question honestly, knowing that Jesus sits in judgment (John 12:48). May we all strive to "perfect holiness" in our day to day lives!
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
What is my responsibility toward error and sin? The Bible teaches that we are to expose it. Paul writes, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). When one commits sin, any sin, then one is not in the right relationship (fellowship) with God. It is very important that we are in the proper fellowship with God because if we are not, then we will be condemned. John writes, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7). Christians need to be thinking about this on a daily basis. We must ensure that we are in fact in the proper fellowship with God. There is no room in the Christian’s life for darkness (sin). When we confessed before God that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and then buried in the watery grave of baptism all of our sins were washed away. We arose from the water free of sin, and determined to live a life devoted in service to God. We now are living a new life dedicated to His service and determined to expose sin! Romans 6:3-11 shows us how we are now changed to live fully and completely for Jesus. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every Christian took their baptism and “new” life seriously, understanding that sin is no longer part of our life in any way? Every Christian should now be devoted to Christ, following in His steps, as evidenced by our every action. We need more Christians to stand up and truly be counted as loyal members of the body of Christ. Can others really see Christ living in us?
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
We often talk about the fact that we must obey God and for the most part every Christian will quickly agree that this is a fact. Unfortunately there are many Christians who are not obeying God in all aspects of their life. We cannot say that obedience to God is necessary and then not try to obey God. Jesus clearly stated that we cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). The disciples were willing to be severely persecuted, even put to death, for the honor and privilege to be able to proclaim God’s Holy and inspired word so that others may be saved (Acts 5:29).
Why is it so important that we obey all the teachings of God? Because Jesus clearly tells us that He will only save those who obey Him. The Hebrew writer says, “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). Jesus will judge us by His word. He said, “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). We must take this very seriously. If we go through life here on earth understanding that Jesus will judge us according to what we have done, then we must DO His will and not just talk about it. We will only be able to reap the benefits of eternal life with our Lord when we are truly faithful to Him as we live here on earth (Revelation 2:10). I want to encourage all of us to please think about what we are doing. Does God really see us living in such a way that we are 100% committed in our life and service to Him? Remember, Jesus will judge us and His judgment is fair.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
God has promised us that if we are with Him then He will be with us. Azariah the prophet of God spoke to King Asa and said, “The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you” (2 Chronicles 15:2). One can read about King Asa in chapters 14-16 of 2 Chronicles. When Asa sought God then he was blessed in all that he did. He was able to destroy an Egyptian army of a million men because he sought God first. As a result of his reliance on God, he and the kingdom of Judah enjoyed 35 years of peace. In chapter 16 we learn that God forsook Asa because he began to leave God out of his decisions. In the 41st year of Asa’s reign, he became diseased in his feet and still did not seek the Lord’s help. Asa died having devoted the first 35 years of his life in faithful service to God but unfortunately he made some very foolish decisions, not relying on God as he did earlier in his life and service as the King of Judah.
The life of King Asa should teach all of us something today. Hanani, the prophet spoke these powerful words: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him...” (2 Chronicles 16:9). We can know that if we will dedicate our life fully and completely to God, then He will prosper us. But if we choose to put anyone or anything ahead of Him, then we will not prosper. To the loyal Christian, God is our strength, hope, and salvation. Stay the course! Continue to be “.....steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). We must be faithful until the very end of our life here on earth in order to receive the crown of righteousness (Revelation 2:10)!
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
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, we 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?
Monday, August 17, 2020
At the conclusion of Joshua’s life he told the Israelites, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). God made each of us with the freedom of choice. God is pleased when we make the choice in life to serve and be loyal to Him above our family or friends. Unfortunately far too many Christians are not making the right choices in their life on a daily basis. We need more Christians who are ready and willing to confess Christ no matter what their family or friends may think (Matthew 10:32-39). The apostle Paul instructed the Christians in Rome concerning the proper way to behave when he said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
We too should ensure that we are living our lives holy (set apart) and sacrificially for God which is what we are expected to do. We must not become conformed to the ways of those in the world in any way, shape, or form. When we read and study God’s Word on a daily basis then our mind will soon become transformed so that we will prove by our words and actions that we are righteous before God. Before saying, wearing, or doing anything, we should ask ourselves, “would Jesus say, wear, or do what I am about to?” If Jesus is really the one we love and live for (above all others), then we will make the right decisions because He is the one instructing and guiding us. Do we really love Jesus? If so, we will be determined to “walk in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).
Thursday, August 6, 2020
If apostasy wasn't a real problem then it would not be addressed so often in the word of God. There are different types of apostasy. The Hebrew writer says "For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins," (Hebrews 10:26). Apostasy usually comes about as a result of an individual who willfully strays from God's word but we can also see that apostasy can come in other ways such as deceptiveness. "But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:13).
Apostasy is known by other terms such as "shipwreck" as Paul points out to young Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:19. It is also described as a "falling away" in Hebrews 6:6. James refers to individuals that slip into apostasy as "erring" (James 5:19). As we see various terms associated with this word apostasy - one thing is for certain and that is "one has abandoned their faith in God!"
Now that we know what apostasy is, we need to find out what causes this awful thing to happen to God's children. In today's society there is an endless list of things that can cause someone to turn away from God because their faith is not as strong as it should be. False teachers that are on the television networks and around every corner are being fueled by Satan himself to cause you to fall away from God. Jesus talks about the false prophet in Matthew 24:11 when he says; "...many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many". This is just one cause that will confront the Christian on a day to day basis. There are many, many others such as; the love of this world (2 Timothy 4:10), ignorance (Romans 10:3), carelessness (1 Corinthians 10:12), discouragements (Matthew 24:12), temptations of all kinds (Luke 8:13), developing an attitude of "unbelief" (1 Timothy 1:19), impure hearts (1 Timothy 1:5-6), and the lack of a good conscience before God (1 Timothy 1:19), just to name a few.
But there is a remedy for apostasy and that is to repent and turn back to God's way before it is everlastingly too late (Revelation 2:5)! As Christians, if we would concentrate on adding the Christian characteristics to our lives, then we would not be so easily swayed into apostasy from one form or another. Read 2 Peter 1:5-10 and add these characteristics to your life. Apostasy is real and can happen to anyone that has a weak faith and isn't growing in the ways of Christ!
Friday, July 31, 2020
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Friday, May 29, 2020
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
The Eunuch understood enough to KNOW that he needed to be baptized to be saved (v36). At this point Philip said: “If you believe with all your heart, you may” The Eunuch answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (v37). Then in verse 38 the action resulting from the Eunuch’s belief in Jesus was accomplished. It says: “And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.” The Eunuch never “felt” saved until he was baptized! And the fact of the matter is, he was not saved until he was baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:26-27). Have you been baptized into Christ? If not, you are not saved in accordance with God’s New Testament teaching. Jesus is “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). Have you obeyed Jesus?
Friday, May 1, 2020
The Christian life is also a life of self-denial. Jesus said that “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). Some have trouble living the Christian life because they have NOT determined to really let Jesus rule their life, denying anything that would stand between them and their service to the Savior.
Peter writes: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8). The Christian realizes that Satan is active and working to destroy all those that try to do good. The Christian life is not an easy life. The apostle Paul told Timothy: “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). If we feel that we are suffering some type of persecution as we live our Christian life, then we must be doing something right. “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials and tribulations” (James 1:2).
The Christian life is also a life of prayer. Every Christian should be spending time talking to God every day (Matthew 26:41). God wants and expects us to pray to Him (1 Timothy 2:8). Are you spending time talking to God? When we talk to God it shows Him that we are trying to do His will and we are seeking his help and guidance, along with praising Him for all that He has done for us. The Christian life is a life of obedience to God, knowing that Jesus is the “author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).
In addition to all these things, the Christian life is a life of growth (1 Peter 2:2), and a life of abiding in Christ (John 15:5-6). May we all strive to live the Christian life because after all, we are wearing Christ’s name aren’t we? Are we really living the kind of life that our Savior Jesus Christ would be pleased with?
Thursday, April 23, 2020
We know that we are not to entertain men with our singing, but rather we are commanded to sing to praise God. The Hebrew writer said: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You” (Hebrews 2:12). When we sing to God we must sing with the spirit and understanding. Paul wrote to the Corinthian brethren and said to them: “What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:15). We must also sing with grace in our hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16).
Singing is a vital part of our worship to God. When we sing praises to God with the proper spirit and understanding, with grace in our heart, then our song service will be joyful, meaningful, and able to teach and admonish one another. But if we don’t have the proper attitude and prepare ourselves to sing to God, then our song service will be dull and not able to lift each other up. Let’s all strive to prepare ourselves to give God and each other our very best in our song service!
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
It is very interesting to note that the Bible mentions several things that man is saved by. We not are saved by faith or even baptism alone. Faith and Baptism are pieces to the overall puzzle of those things which God says saves us. The Bible teaches that man is saved by:
hope (Romans 8:24
grace (Ephesians 2:8)
faith (Acts 16:31)
mercy (Titus 3:5)
words Acts 11:14)
baptism (1 Peter 3:21)
the word (James 1:21)
the truth (John 8:32)
hearing (John 5:24)
obedience (Hebrews 5:9)
the gospel (Romans 1:16-17)
knowledge (1 Timothy 2:4)
belief and baptism (Mark 16:16)
repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38)
calling on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13)
the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5)
being born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5)
faithfulness (Revelation 2:10
God (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:21)
the Holy Spirit (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)
the blood of Jesus (Matthew 26:28)
Jesus stated very plainly “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). All of the things above “saves us.” Are we ready to accept what Jesus said and do the will of the Father? Our eternity (heaven or hell) will be determined by Christ (John 12:48). It is important that we make the right choice and listen to and then obey the words of God!