Tuesday, March 31, 2020

What Manner of Persons Should We Be?

Christians should be the most loving and kindest of all people on earth. We should always strive to see the best in others and be willing to work out our differences in a spirit of love for our souls. We all want to go to heaven and in order to go there we must care for others as God has cared for us. In 1 Peter 5:7 it says "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." Therefore we can learn from scripture what manner of persons we ought to be.

We Ought To Be....
Attentive (Hebrews 2:1), Obedient (Matthew 23:23), One who imitates Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:7), Holy (2 Peter 3:11), Pleasing to God (1 Thessalonians 4:1), Helpful (Acts 20:35), Godly (2 Peter 3:11), Prayerful (Luke 18:1), Peaceable (2 Peter 3:14), Humble (John 13:14), Blameless (2 Peter 3:14), Loving (1 John 3:16), and Faithful (Matthew 25:14-27) to name just a few.

Why Should We Be This Way?
We should strive to be this manner of person because we know that “all things will be dissolved” someday (2 Peter 3:11). Christ is going to come again (2 Peter 3:12), and we want to gain a home in heaven with Him (2 Peter 3:13). Let us strive to live a godly Christian life here on earth so we can live with our Father forever (Revelation 2:10; 2 Peter 3:8-9). Keep the faith and stay the course because if we do, our heavenly home will be our reward!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Love the Lord Your God

If every Christian’s true goal in life is to ensure eternal life, then we would be focused to make the right decisions here on earth. We can have the proper focus in life when and if we truly receive and impart the kind of training that Moses instructed for the Israelites. Listen carefully to his words: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

 If we receive this kind of training and then in turn train our children this way, then we would develop in our lives affections set toward heaven. No matter what we do during the course of a day we would make sure that it would not interfere with receiving our eternal citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 11:13). Paul wrote to the Colossians, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). No matter what we might accomplish and gain here on earth it will mean absolutely nothing if we miss heaven! We must be willing to make whatever sacrifices we have to in order to hear Jesus say to us on the great judgment day “.....Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

We must live in such a way that we are literally reaching for the ultimate prize. It would be good to possess the same kind of attitude that the apostle Paul had when 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). We have been so very blessed by our heavenly Father. We can now show our love, loyalty, and dedication to Him by living our lives in such a way that will show Him that we truly love the Lord our God and have our affections set toward heaven!

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Testing of Things

The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 "Test all things; hold fast what is good." The Christian's daily walk should be a walk where "testing" is continually done. We find in scripture where God tests man "But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts" (1 Thessalonians 2:4). In addition, man is to test himself; "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-- unless indeed you are disqualified" (2 Corinthians 13:5). God tests our hearts to know if we are in fact loyal to Him (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:1-2). We are to continually test ourselves to ensure that we are in "the faith."

What Is To Be Tested?
We have learned from 1 Thessalonians 2:4 that our hearts are to be tested because God certainly does. But what else can we learn that should be "tested" in our Christian walk? In 1 John 4:1 it says: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." This certainly is good advice for all of us. Test the teachings of man to make sure that those things being taught are in fact from God's Holy inspired Word and not something that man has made up on his own. Our faith is tested on a daily basis. How should we respond when our faith is tested? With JOY! Why? Because it produces endurance within us when we overcome. Each and every test of faith that we confront and overcome, we become a much stronger Christian (James 1:2-4). Our works must also stand the test before God. Paul wrote: "each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is" (1 Corinthians 3:13) and "But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and  not in another" Galatians 6:4). How does our work stand up for Christ?

One thing that is for sure, it will be tested on the day of judgment and each one of us will give an account of our deeds, good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Why Test Things?
As stated in our opening scripture, things should be tested so that we will know whether those things are good or evil. We want to hold fast to those that are good and discard the evil. Another reason we should test all things is to make sure that we do not become deceived. In 1 John 4:1-6 it says: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." The Bible tells us plainly why we should test things. It is only through our testing of things that we can be glorified. Peter writes: "that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." Let's make sure that we test all things to ensure that we are doing ALL to the glory of God!

By What Are Things Tested?
Before you and I can test something we must first know what the standard is that we should test these things by. The Word of God is THE standard in which all things must be tested by (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:15-16). Human standards do not cut it. After all, who will we be judged by in eternity? The answer is GOD not man! Paul wrote: "For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise" (2 Corinthians 10:12). The wise thing to do is to "Test all things; hold fast what is good," because our eternal destiny depends upon it!