Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Allergic To....

There are many people today who are allergic to all kinds of things. Some are allergic to various kinds of foods such as milk products, peanuts, etc. Others may be allergic to different animals such as dogs and cats and most people suffer seasonal allergies from various types of pollen. While all these types of allergies are related to our physical well-being, every true disciple of Christ realizes that there are various dangers that we need to stay away from in order to maintain good spiritual health.

The scriptures give us a clear indication of what we are “allergic to” spiritually. These cause us great discomfort because we know that we are not being pleasing to God when we allow ourselves to get involved with any of these.

Every Kind of Evil “Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). This should cause us to think about the choices we make, because taking part in what is clearly evil is not good for our spiritual vitality. All we need to do is ask ourselves if the practice we are about to engage in is something that Jesus would do. To the one really trying to live a life devoted to Christ, the answer is an obvious one. If Jesus would not practice or sanction it, then it is evil, and we must abstain from it!

Foolish Disputes and Arguments “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2 Timothy 2:23) “But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless” (Titus 3:9). This takes discernment, for some arguments have merit in defending the faith. But those for which there is no answer or which have no bearing on truth only cause dissension.

Sexual Immorality “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). The Bible clearly says that any sexual activity outside the boundaries of marriage between a man and a woman is immoral (Genesis 2:24; Exodus 20:14; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Hebrews 13:4). 

Are we willing to make the effort to steer clear of things we are spiritually “allergic to” which will cost us our very soul? The word of God clearly shows us what is right and wrong according to our heavenly Father. If we want to live our eternity in heaven with Jesus then we must recognize and accept that it is Jesus Christ who will be our judge in 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).

Today avoid sin's tempting lures
And evil thoughts subdue,
Or sinful things may take control
And someday master you!
-- Bosch


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Speaking For Christ

It is always easier to walk with the crowd, to agree when everyone else is agreeing, to go with the flow. However, it is how we stand when we have to stand in opposition that is often the real test of our faith in God. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). To be a true Christian means to oppose evil. To stand with Christ often means to stand against people and ideas that are set against Him. While a Christian is to be patient and loving, he or she is not to be passive. A Christian is a soldier in a war. Christ displayed such a character. While He was meek and gentle, He could also be aggressive and bold: “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3); “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men — the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do” (Mark 7:8); “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves"(Matthew 23:15). It was not that Jesus was trying to be offensive, but in standing for what was right it was necessary for Him to oppose certain beliefs, teachings, and even people. It was necessary to tell people what they needed to hear rather than what they wanted to hear.

Some religious people who claim to follow Christ are not willing to oppose anything or anybody. They believe the way of Christ dictates a totally positive approach where one never challenges any belief or practice, even if it is in clear opposition to the way of Christ. How much do you believe in God? How much do you trust the Bible as God’s Word? How convinced are you that Jesus is God’s Son? How committed are you to the Bible’s standard of righteousness? If you are truly faithful to God and firm in your devotion to His will, then you must stand against whatever opposes these things.

It is easy to speak up for Christ when others are doing the same. The real test, though, comes when we must speak for Him when others are speaking against Him or His Word. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). May we always stand up for Jesus, after all, He stayed the course and stood for us!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Good Speech

In the book of Proverbs, Solomon shared his wisdom by saying “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). Good speech might be defined as the expression of thought in well chosen words. We should know and understand that people are judged by the words they speak and by what they do. These are the two things we have by which to know the mind or heart of others. Jesus said, “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).

The importance of good speech was emphasized by the apostle Paul. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). Solomon also let us know the importance of choosing our words carefully; “Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 29:20).

The act of choosing our words wisely is important based on what Jesus said in Matthew 12:36-37. “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” All of us need to make sure that we are very careful with the words that we speak. The fact is – God hears us and we will give an account of our words at the great judgment day. Remember, anyone can use profanity and act foolishly, but the wise individual will think before speaking, making sure that their speech imparts grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29).

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

God's Gift to Us -- Our Gift to God

The story is told of a clever woman named Martha Berry who started the Berry School in Rome, Georgia, by scraping together funds from every source she possibly could. One day she asked Henry Ford for a contribution. Patronizingly, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a dime. Rather than be insulted or discouraged by the “gift,” Miss Berry bought a package of seed peanuts with it. The seeds were planted and tended, and they yielded a large crop of peanuts which Miss Berry sold. Again she called on Mr. Ford. “Here’s the dime you gave me last year,” she said handing him the coin. Then she told him of the return she had realized from his meager investment. Ford was so impressed that in the years that followed, he gave millions of dollars to the school.

Now, who was clever? The woman who took a meager dime and spent it wisely for the school, or the man who recognized her potential and invested a great amount in a worthy cause?

A. R. Bernard once said "Life is God’s gift to us; what we do with it is our gift to God."

The apostle Paul wrote the following: “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:24-31).

What are we doing with the life that God has given us? Have we stopped living for ourselves and started to live for Him — demonstrating true repentance?

We all must realize that we will be judged by how we have lived our lives on this earth. “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).

There is a Gospel Hymn that many of us have sung over the years entitled “All To Jesus I Surrender.” Have we really surrendered all to Jesus? It is important that we consider the value of our soul and turn our life over to God now before it is everlastingly too late. God knows our potential. Therefore, we must use it for Him!