“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” I Peter 3:8-9. This passage is not suggesting approving of false doctrine or failing to stand for the Truth of God’s Word to maintain unity among Believers but have, as William MacDonald in the “Believer’s Bible Commentary” states, “in fundamentals, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in everything, love.” Further, we are to always have love for and have sympathy with (“suffer with”) all persons while always maintaining a tender heart sensitive to the needs and feelings of others with a spirit of humility.
As Christians, we are not to revile anyone but rather be persons who bless others. This is not to bless someones sinful life or wrongful acts but “to speak well of” a person to the extent possible while desiring their well-being. The old Read More »
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him”. I John 5:14-15.
This passage in I John encourages Christians to make their requests known to God in confidence. He promises to grant our requests that are made according to His will. Our duty is to walk close to God
to be better able to better ascertain what God’s will is, with the help of
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“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution … Live as people who are free not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God … Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.” I Peter 2: 13-18.
We are called to be subject/submissive to the authorities that have been placed above us, such as government authorities and workplace bosses, whether they are just or not. Further, we are not to rebel in our hearts against the authorities Read More »
I often become distressed these days when I watch the news. Few people in Government or in the media seem concerned for the good of America but rather only want to promote their own agendas. Combined with the moral decay of our country I sometimes find myself becoming discouraged and even angry. The Holy Spirit has convicted me that this is an entirely wrong reaction for a Christian. The Word of God gives us the proper way for a Christian to conduct themselves. “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one Read More »
I recently finished reading “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence. It was a tremendous blessing. Bother Lawrence was a very devout Christian who lived in the 17th Century and spent most of his life in a monastery to totally devote himself to God. This book is considered a Christian classic.
The following are some points he made in the book related to the Christian walk that I thought particularly significant:
1. He established himself in a sense of God’s Presence by continually conversing with Him and not letting trifles and fooleries distract him. Prayer was not just Read More »
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Phil 2: 12-13.
We know salvation is of grace, the free gift of God, and not of works (Ephesians 2: 8-9). So what does it mean to work out own salvation with fear and trembling? The Greek verb rendered “work out” means “to continually work to bring something to fulfillment or completion.” In Matthew 24: 11-13 we are told that “… many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one Read More »
In the “A Charlie Brown Christmas” television special Charlie Brown cannot get into the spirit of Christmas and eventually exclaims – “Can’t anyone tell me what Christmas is about?” His little brother, Linus, says that he can tell him what Christmas is about.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings
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“…because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5.
F. B. Meyer has said, “God does not fill with His Holy Spirit those who believe in the fullness of the Spirit, or those who desire Him, but those who obey Him.” Corrie Ten Boom of Holland was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp in Germany for hiding Jews and after surviving the war was led by God to travel the world to tell her story and help bring others to Christ. One of the first places God led her was back to Germany, the one place Corrie asked God not to send her after she answered His call. Corrie ultimately relented and went to Germany and was able to be a mighty witness there with her message Read More »
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. ” Proverbs 24:16. Although this verse is primarily speaking about a just man falling into trouble rather than sin, it still has an application to Christians which commit “acts” of sin but confess them and then get back up onto the straight and narrow path. We know that if we confess our sins God with forgive and cleanse us. I John 1:9.
C.S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity” notes that perfect virtue will not be obtained by any merely human efforts but only with God’s help. He goes on to say – “After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often Read More »
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:3. “Poor in spirit” translated here literally means “to crouch or cower as one helpless.” In Galatians 4:9 it is translated “beggarly.” It is a humble spirit that all believers should have where they understand that only through God’s grace can they be saved and their lives have any meaning. This verse calls on Christians to recognize that there is no room for pride in their lives or any faith in themselves to be good or otherwise worthy without God.
John McArthur has described poor in spirit as “The opposite of self-sufficiency. This speaks of the deep humility of recognizing Read More »
“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his Read More »
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4.
As I grow older, approaching my 60’s, my thoughts turn more and more to my mortality. It is comforting to note that, if one is a Believer, God has promised to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). In Psalm 23 this extends even to when we die as the Lord leads us through the “shadow of death” while comforting us with his rod and staff. The rod and staff were used by a shepherd as Read More »
We see in Matthew 20:1-16 the Parable of the Laborers. A landowner went out to hire workers for his vineyard. He first went out early in the morning, and then again at several different times during the day, including one hour before quitting time, and hired more laborers. At the end of the day he paid the last hired the same as the first hired even though the first hired worked longer and during the heat of the day. Matthew 20:13-16 describes the landowner’s Read More »
Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 contain God’s messages to the seven churches. In those two chapters there is also a description given at the end of the message to each church of the benefits of being one who “overcomes”. These include:
- Allowed to eat from the tree of lifeRead More »
God calls us to be industrious in all we do in life. Romans 12:11 commands Christians to be “Not Slothful in business…”. Colossians 3:23 states “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…”. Proverbs 14:23 states “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” In addition, Proverbs 22:29 tells us that “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men”.
The phrase “skilled in his work” is better translated “prompt in his business” or in other words someone who is diligent/industrious. The Proverbs promise Read More »
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16-17.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing Read More »
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” Lamentations 3:22.
“For thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Psalm 86:5.
“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:36.
God is merciful to us even though we do not deserve it including in providing a means for our salvation from our sins (Titus 3:4-5). The Hebrew word for mercy is a comprehensive term that encompasses Read More »
“But 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 raiment let us be therewith content.” I Timothy 6:6-8.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5.
“Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.” Proverbs 30:8.
Contentment is a choice for a Christian. God has promised to meet our needs (Philippians 4:19) so only our wants Read More »
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” I Corinthians 6:9. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48.
Salvation and good works go hand in hand. Once we are saved by grace through belief in Christ’s death on the cross for our sins, we will Read More »
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26.
These verses are written in the context of Jesus telling his disciples that he was going back to Heaven to prepare a place for him. However, to believers, he has left behind the Holy Spirit Read More »
“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit….” I Corinthians 12:8.
These are two related Gifts of the Spirit that are not directly defined in scripture but are clearly speaking gifts from the use of “word”. The Greek word for knowledge used here means simply knowledge and understanding. The Greek word for wisdom means the application of knowledge and understanding. Therefore, knowledge focuses on a gift of understanding the deep-truths of Scripture Read More »
“And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” I Corinthians 12:28.
The Greek word for the spiritual gift of administration or governments is a unique term that refers to a shipmaster or captain, one who steers a ship. It is a gift of being able to guide people toward a common goal or destination. The Holy Spirit enables those with this gift to organize and lead others in various ministries Read More »
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Hebrews 11:3.
In the essay “Is Theology Poetry” C. S. Lewis discusses his view of the universal evolution theory – “By universal evolutionism I mean the belief that the very formula of universal process is from imperfect to perfect, from small beginnings to great endings, from the rudimentary to the elaborate, the belief which makes people Read More »
“For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” I Corinthians 12:8-10.
The Gift of Discernment of Spirits is the capacity to distinguish the source of a spiritual manifestation – whether it emanates from a good or evil spirit. All Christians have the responsibility to “test the spirits” to see if a message being delivered conforms to the Word of God – “Beloved, do not believe Read More »
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit…” I Corinthians 12:7-9.
The gift of faith mentioned here as one of the Gifts of the Spirit is not specifically defined in Scripture. This gift is to be distinguished from saving faith given to all believers and is apparently a gift whereby the Spirit provides Christians with extraordinary assurance that God will answer their prayers and allows them to take heroic stands for God’s work in the church. It is a supernatural capacity for believing God. Hebrews Chapter 11 lists many examples of Read More »