Sunday, October 22, 2017
"So there was a division among the people because of Him." John 7:43. Some saw Jesus as a prophet. Others saw Him as the Christ. These observations were made based upon the Scripture that spoke of Him. Their judgment was divided. Does Jesus not cause division today? Many religious bodies exist because of the opinion that so many have about Jesus? Opinion is a feeling not based upon any truth. Some hold Jesus to be the Savior while others believe Him to be a mere man who did good in many respects. Some confess Him to be the Son of God that came in the flesh. Still others do not embrace that marvelous truth. People are divided over the words which were spoken by Jesus. His words interfere with the self will of man. Others are divided over the many miracles that He was able to perform. How can one not see by the miracles that Jesus had divine power. The world is divided over Jesus by obedience and disobedience. Some willingly follow Him, while many others do not. We must see Jesus as the Scriptures reveal Him to be. Our feeling of Him and our commitment to Him should come from a factual source, and the Bible is that source.
Friday, October 20, 2017
"Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph." Exodus 1:8. Joseph had prospered in Egypt after being sold by his brothers. He helped Egypt to prosper keeping them alive during the famine. Now, a new king arises after the death of Joseph. This king was not going to show kindness to the kin of Joseph. He was going to make their life difficult. Those who find themselves in seats of authority can make it very difficult for the people of God. A new king can seek to hinder us in our loyalty to God. This land through which we must travel to our eternal destination seeks to deter us on our journey. Because of kings, our land is polluted with violence and evil. Laws that establish evil are passed. Our faith in God must always sustain us in our fight against the evil forces around us. We must not allow a king that does not know us to interfere with our commitment to the eternal reward. While God wants us to be in submission to the laws of our society, He does not want us to violate His will. The new king in Egypt did not overthrow the descendants of Joseph. In their affliction, they cried unto God. God heard them and delivered them even as He will do for us.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" II Corinthians 13:5. A reprobate is one who is rejected by God. The reason for this rejection is that the reprobate is without Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ must be in us. We must be in Christ. We believe on Him and obey Him. We are in Christ and Christ is in us when we are baptized. Therefore, God accepts us. We are to know that we are in the faith. Our relationship with God and Jesus Christ is decided by this knowledge. The faith is the standard of our examination. We prove ourselves by the manner of life that we live holding our life to the standard of scripture. We are to constantly and righteously examine our life so that we know that we are in the faith. We must be awake lest we slip and slide out of the faith. If we depart from the faith, we become a reprobate. We are not to examine others. We do not justify ourselves by the actions of others. Our life must stand the test of our own examination. What others do and who others are must never be used to justify ourselves. We stand alone before God and Christ.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
"Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me." II Timothy 4:9. Paul is about to be offered, and his desire is to see Timothy. The time for Timothy to come was at hand. There are those actions in our life that require diligence. We must not procrastinate. We must be diligent in our salvation. We have no promise of more time in our life. We must insure that our souls are secure in Jesus. We must be diligent in our service unto God. Today is the opportunity that we have. We must walk with Him and do His will. We should be diligent in prayer. This is our access to the Father. God desires that we speak to Him making known our thanks and requests. We must be diligent in the study of God's word. God has spoken His divine mind unto us. Let us hear what He is saying unto us. Let us be diligent in our telling those near to us our love for them. Our future must have no regret when those whom we love are no longer with us. May we be ever diligent to serve and contribute to the lives of others. Compassion and mercy must be a gift that we are always willing to give. God help us to be diligent with the present moment that Thou has given unto us.
Monday, October 16, 2017
"He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth; but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he." Proverbs 14:21. When we mistreat our neighbors, who are our fellow travelers on the road of life, we sin. We are taught to love our neighbors. When we love them, we will show them kindness and goodness. We are ready to help and serve them if they have need. We take every opportunity to display toward our neighbor a service that will benefit him. This is called mercy. God's children are to be clothed with mercy. We show mercy for we have been shown mercy. One of our fellow travelers is the poor. To help them and provide for their need is also an act of unselfishness.We are willing to give rather than to receive. We help rather than be helped. These simple acts bring happiness. It really does not take great deeds to make one happy. Happiness is not found in the accumulation of temporal things. Happiness comes when we strive to please the Father above by rendering help to His creation. What do we have in our bag that will make us happy?
Sunday, October 15, 2017
"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Galatians 4:4-5. From times eternal, God had a plan to redeem humanity. That plan was in the making throughout the period of the Old Testament. God created a nation which would provide a seed for the Christ. When the time according to God's purpose came, God sent His Son being born of a virgin into the world. Jesus was born while the law of Moses was effective. But, God's purpose was for Christ to fulfill that law and replace the law of Moses with a new covenant. God was going to make new and better promises to those who would be adopted as sons. Our adoption into the family of God was because of God's eternal plan. Christ would die on the cross to redeem those who were under the law of Moses and make of them sons and daughters. The fulness of time brought a new redemption for humanity and a new covenant through Jesus Christ.
Friday, October 13, 2017
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." I John 4:1. A spirit is a voice. Voices speak to us. Not all speak the truth. A spirit may sound right. A spirit may sound sincere. But, many prophets speak lies and deception. We are to test every spirit. How do we prove the voice of a prophet? We use the divine standard that God has given. This rule is without error. The voice of God has stood every test, and continues to stand. The Bible will not fail us. The words of the Bible are true and right. Many non-believers have railed against the word of God. Their prophecies have failed. Their promises have proven untrue. Critics of the word of God come, and they go. The word continues to change the hearts of humanity. The word continues to comfort the distressed soul. The word continues to uplift the fainting. The lost find guidance in the word of God. Light is dispensed in darkness. Hopelessness finds its way into hope. False voices lead one away from God. False voices fail to fulfill the hope that can be found only in Christ. Test every word of every prophet.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15. Jesus has arisen from the dead on the third day following His crucifixion. He has spent forty days with His disciples, and is now returning to His heavenly Father. Gathering His disciples together, Jesus gives them this charge. Jesus had offered Himself so that all of humanity would have the opportunity to be saved. Salvation is in a message. That message is the gospel. This message is conveyed to everyone by preaching. The disciples were to preach this message to everyone everywhere. God wants all to be saved. The gospel must be preached, and must be believed. The Bible contains this gospel. One comes to an understanding of God's plan to save by either reading or hearing what the Bible teaches. No message other than the gospel will save. One must hear the gospel. God has chosen preaching to save those who will believe. This message contains three marvelous truths: the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The church continues to obey this instruction of Christ. The church seeks to preach the gospel to every creature.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
"And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" I Peter 4:18. In the eyes of God, only two classes of people exist. Those two groups are the righteous and the ungodly. The righteous seek to obey God and become godly. Godliness becomes the way of life for the righteous. The other class, the ungodly, do not seek the way of God. They have no thought of God. Their interest lies in sinfulness. The righteous are saved by grace through faith. This salvation is a gift of God. The righteous are not saved because of their own works. Their salvation is completely dependent upon God and the mercy that He has offered through Jesus Christ. The ungodly have no salvation. Since they are sinners, God does not know them and does not own them as His. Where shall they appear? The righteous are always within the presence of God. The sinner is not. The sinner, or ungodly, is without hope. Their fate is sealed because of their rejection of God. They refuse His grace and His pardon from sin. They are without Him in this world, and will be without Him in the world to come.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." III John 2. We all desire good health. We all need a certain degree of prosperity. But, our soul is far more important than either our health or our prosperity. Our soul has been given to us as the creation of God. Our soul is without end. We will all perish in body. Age will bring wear to our mortal frame. While this aging process takes its toll on our humanity, let us strive to insure that our soul is prospering. The value of the soul cannot be calculated. God has made a great sacrifice in offering up His only begotten Son for the salvation of our soul. This shows unto us how valuable our soul is to God and should be so to us. We want our soul to be secure in the care of God. As we devote ourselves unto God, we are making certain that our soul is prospering. As we diligently obey the instructions that God has delivered unto us, we are insuring the prosperity of our soul. We are securing our soul as we keep ourselves from the idols and impurity of this world. Our health and prosperity help us in this life. The prosperity of our soul helps us in this life and the one yet to come.
Monday, October 9, 2017
"Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God." Psalm 146:5. Because God is our help, we have hope. God conquers the enemies that seek our overthrow. God sustains us in times of weakness. God lifts us in times of falling. God is ever present and always mindful of us. We know that He will always help us when help is needed. And, in this world, that will always be a surety. The world cast a cloud of darkness over us. The world brings us sorrow and despair. But, God gives us hope because He is our help. We know that we will be delivered from the cares and frustrations that life brings our way. We know that God will uplift our hearts. God helps us to soar. God removes our doubt. God will plant us so that we cannot be moved. Our future is bright with God as our Lord. God gives us happiness in the face of sadness. We can laugh amidst the tears. Joy is always ours because of an established hope in the strength and faithfulness of God. Happy are we because of our confidence and assurance in the help of God.
Sunday, October 8, 2017
"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." Proverbs 29:18. Where there is vision, there is a clear goal and a path that will bring one to that goal. Vision considers the obstacles, and finds ways to overcome. Vision looks ahead rather than behind. Vision is a hope for betterment. Vision sees achievement rather than loss. Vision embraces victory rather than defeat. Vision accepts law and authority. God has given a law that He desires would establish our vision. To keep this law will bring happiness. This is true because God will help us to fulfill our vision. To keep this law will cause us to accept God's vision as our vision. A fulfilled life brings happiness. Keeping the law fulfills our life. The law gives insight to a better way to live and a higher plane upon which to travel. A guarded life brings happiness. The law of God guards us from the evils that seek our destruction. A successful life brings happiness. Vision gives birth to success. The law helps us in our search for success through the direction that the law prescribes. Let our vision be founded upon the law, and happiness will be our reward.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. Paul, the writer of this passage, is discussing contentment. In whatever situation Paul found himself, he had learned to be content. There was a reason for this. That reason was Jesus Christ. With the help and strength of Christ, Paul was able to endure those trials of life that came to him. We, in like manner, fall into temptations and trials. We must depend upon Christ. We must trust Jesus for our strength to deal with our adversities. We must seek the strength that Jesus supplies to aid us in difficult times. We must not simply depend upon Jesus when all is well and good. Jesus was able to suffer with God as His helper. The faithful of God have depended upon Jesus. We see Him as the One who travels with us and never leaves our side. By faith, we have access to His power and His willingness to deliver. Without Him, we are weak. With Him, we are strong. Without Him, our way is dark. With Him, we can see clearly. This statement made so long ago by one who believed in Jesus and was willing to do all things for Jesus is a statement of confidence and assurance. I can and I will do all things through Christ.
Monday, October 2, 2017
"The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant." Jeremiah 11:1-3. God delivered His word through the prophets. Today, His word is found in a book that is called the Bible. This book contains His word which we are to hear and to obey. The word of God is to be obeyed because God is the Lord. God has all power and authority. He is able to build and to destroy. God either saves or condemns. His salvation and condemnation depends upon obedience or disobedience to His word. Those who would not hear Jeremiah would be cursed. Those who will not hear God in our culture of today will also be cursed. As we hear and obey the words of His covenant, we are saved by His grace and love. Our lives are enriched by our service to Him. Our eternal destiny is secured by our obedience to His word.