Thursday, October 24, 2019

Dost Thou Believe?

"Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?"  John 9:35.  Jesus had healed the blind man, and because of his faith in Christ, the Pharisees had cast him out of the temple.  The Pharisees were the enemies of Christ.  Today, Jesus Christ still has enemies who do not want others to believe on Him.  The blind man stood by his conviction that he had been healed by the Son of God.  Jesus found the blind man, and asked for a confession of faith.  That is what the Lord wants from us.  Jesus wants us to believe on Him despite what others may say or do.  We must confess Him as the Son of God.  Did not the healing prove that He was the Son of God?  Is there any doubt today that Jesus is the Son of God?  As we believe on Him and confess Him, we have the blessing of salvation.  Just as the blind man washed his eyes in the pool of Siloam and was cured, so when we through our faith are washed in the water of baptism, we are free from sin.  Our deliverance like that of the blind man comes by believing that Jesus is the Son of God.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Where Is My Treasure?

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  Luke 12:34.  Jesus speaks of earthly matters.  Many times we only look at what is around us.  We spend our days in the pursuit of something.  We all have different dreams.  If we are not careful, our dreams of earthly pursuits can drown out our heavenly pursuits.  The Lord understands that we need some earthly things such as food and clothing.  But, how much do we really need.  The Lord in His teaching wanted us to concentrate on daily needs rather than needs for tomorrow or even next year.  God wants us to have a treasure in heaven.  If we do, then our heart will be set upon that treasure.  The eternal treasure will be the priority of our life.  In fact, that heavenly treasure will decide how we look at the earthly pursuits.  Heaven in our life must be before all things.  Truly, we will be willing to sacrifice the fleeing things of earth in order to obtain a heavenly treasure.  The heart seeks what the heart truly loves.  Our heart must be right if God will be served, and His promise of heaven will truly ever be ours.

Friday, October 18, 2019

If I Wash Thee Not

"Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet.  Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me."  John 13:8.  As a demonstration of the humility and care that we should have toward all, Jesus washed His disciples' feet.  Peter was going to object, but Christ taught him that he must submit to the will of Christ.  The great gift of Christ is not the cleansing of feet, but the cleansing of the heart from sin.  To be a part of Christ, we must willingly allow Him to cleanse us from sin through His blood.  When we obey Christ in baptism, we are allowing Him to cleanse us from the sin that separates us from Him.  Jesus shed His blood upon the cross so that we might have the forgiveness of sins.  There is truly power in the blood of Christ.  When we submit to Him in obedience to His will, we become a part of Him.  We share in all of the blessings that come through being made clean by Him.  Jesus seeks not to wash our feet, but to wash our soul.  To deny Him this act of grace is to refuse Him and not be a part of Him.

Who Can Say?

"Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?"  Proverbs 20:9.  Indeed, who can say such?  Do we have power to clean our heart and remove our sin?  Do we have any power to perform such mighty spiritual acts?  We make filthy our heart by the thoughts that we have.  The heart is the fountain of every evil act.  These evil thoughts become sin.  We are the one who has defiled the heart.  Only by grace can the cleansing come.  From the throne of mercy, the heart is washed in the cleansing flow.  God makes clean that which we defile.  No act can we do that will make us clean and hence, pure.  We are but vile children of the dust who depend upon the love of the Almighty.  We must come to Him and beg for His mercy so that we might be pure.  We must never be self deceived in believing that we can cleanse and purify the heart from sin.  Only God can cleanse the unclean and purify the impure.  Let us not say, I, but rather, let us humbly confess to God who has the power of cleansing and purifying.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Rose Of Sharon

"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.  As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters."  Song of Solomon 2:1-2.  The rose and the lily are among the most beautiful of flowers.  God has provided these flowers of beauty to grace His creation.  There are thorns in this world.  These thorns pierce our lives.  Just as a real thorn on a rose can cause discomfort to those who are pierced by them, so the thorns of life bring discomfort.  But, among the lilies is the love of God.  In this world, God has poured out His love upon us.  That love graces our life, and heals the piercing thorns of life.  We see Jesus as the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley.  As the rose and the lily brighten our life, so Jesus brightens our life.  In the rose and the lily, we see hope and beauty.  In Jesus, we see God's love for us and the beauty that He brings to us.  The rose and the lily of earth will lose their beauty over time, but the love of God never fades.  How amazing that God shows us in such simple ways how much He cares and loves us each day.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Have Salt In Yourselves

"Salt is good: but if the salt  have lost his saltness, wherewith shall ye season it?  Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another."  Mark 9:50.  I like salt to season my food.  However, I have noticed that sometimes the salt seems to have lost its flavor.  Jesus uses the term "his saltness."  Our master has taught us that we are salt, which is used to alter the taste of food, and also, to preserve.  The disciples of Jesus have the unique calling to alter the society in which we live.  Our lives are to make a difference.  We are to be an influence for good, and not for evil.  We are to live in a way that others can see our relationship to Jesus, and desire to possess that lifestyle themselves.  We must not lose our saltness.  We must continue to serve, honor, and glorify the Savior by living lives that make a difference.  By this life, we also have the power to preserve.  Society will be better by the life that we live.  The principles of good will benefit our society, and those people who serve God will enjoy His blessings.  A people can stand or fall by the manner in which they choose to live.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Way Of The Wicked

"The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord; but the prayer of the upright is his delight.  The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord; but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness."  Proverbs 15:8-9.  All of us have two paths that we can take in life.  We can either choose to be wicked or righteous, but we can not choose both.  God, of course, wants us to choose the way of righteousness.  As we choose this path, we delight in His law and obey His instructions.  God will delight in us, and He will hear our prayers unto Him.  The way of wickedness is an abomination in His sight.  The character of God cannot delight in the way of wickedness.  God turns His face from those who do not delight in Him and follow His rule of law.  God will not accept the sacrifices that the wicked make unto Him.  Our sacrifice is accepted depending upon the character that we possess.  We cannot claim to know God if we are not guided by the instructions that He gives for righteousness.  Which path is ours?  Are we an abomination or a delight?

Monday, October 14, 2019

They Had Left

"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love."  Revelation 2:4.  It is indeed true that some of God's people leave Him.  Many have fallen victim to sin's enticement, and have returned to their old life.  God writes to His church in Ephesus, and tells them that they have left Him.  God has not forgotten them.  The heavenly Father desires that they repent and return.  When one chooses to leave God, he must repent and return.  God allows those who leave to return.  It is His desire that they who leave come home.  These in this passage had fallen.  The saved can fall, and if one remains in this departure will be lost.  God warns that if the Ephesians did not repent, He would remove their candlestick.  The candlestick was the church, and therefore, they would cease to be His church.  God's people today are known as the church.  We must remain faithful and loyal to Him so that He will know us and own us.  Falling away from God is a very real danger, and we must be very cautious that we do not leave our first love.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Unto Him Be Glory

"To whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen."  Galatians 1:5.  God is worthy of glory and the glory given to Him is to be constant and continuing.  We give glory to God because He is God and there is no other.  God is the supreme being of the universe.  The universe is His because of His divine power.  With a word, the heavens and the earth came to be.  By His power all that we know and do not know, all that we see, and do not see is sustained and held in place by His divine will.  We give glory unto Him because of His deliverance.  From the bondage of sin, God has delivered us.  From the toil of trials, He has delivered us.  From the ignorance of wrongdoing, He has delivered us.  God has emancipated us, and unto Him be the glory both now and forever.  God has enlightened us.  God has shown us life that is full and abundant.  God pours joy into our hearts.  Even in hardship, we can find joy in giving glory unto Him.  We give God glory because of the wonderful and enduring promises that He has made to us.  Those promises sustain us and give birth to a lasting hope.  Truly, unto Him be glory for ever and ever.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Come To Jesus

"Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28.  What a grand privilege it is to be able to come to Christ.  But notice that we must come.  We must surrender our heart and life unto Him.  He came to earth that we might come to Him.  He invites any and all to come.  He respects the person of no one.  No one is better than another.  We are all made equal in our coming unto Him.  The conditions for coming are the same for everyone.  The blessings which are bestowed are the same for everyone.  The promises made are the same for everyone.  The sins which we have committed that have separated us from God are different, but nonetheless, we still may come.  Let us come now, without delay.  We come so that we might receive His rest from our sins and from our guilt.  And, if are faithful to our coming, we will have that eternal rest that is promised through Him. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Bible Is Inspired

"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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."  II Timothy 3:16-17.  The Bible has been given so that we might live a life that is acceptable unto God.  The Bible is the mind of God that has been revealed through the Holy Spirit unto us.  The Bible has come by revelation from God.  It is not a work of man, neither has it come from the mind of man.  Man is not capable of thinking on such a high plane.  Because the Bible is inspired of God, it is to be regarded as accurate and authoritative.  Nothing other than the Bible is needed for our relationship with God.  The Bible teaches us, reproves us, corrects us, and instructs us in God's righteousness.  We, therefore, are to hear what the Bible says, and do as the Bible teaches.  No other work can lead us to the character that God desires.  No other work can reveal unto us what is needful that we might be accepted of God, and enjoy the blessings that He has so richly promised.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Make Your Calling Sure

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall."  II Peter 1:10.  There is nothing more comforting to the heart than assurance.  We are called of God by the gospel.  Our election to salvation comes by the gospel.  We are assured of the validity of the gospel, and also, the power of the gospel.  We can be assured of our salvation through the knowledge and understanding of the will of God which has been manifested by the gospel.  This must be the diligent pursuit of our life.  We must study God's plan for our salvation.  We must labor to achieve that plan in our heart.  We must continue with diligence to abide within that plan.  Making our calling and election sure is not something that we do once, but that we constantly pursue.  The writer speaks of the possibility of falling.  We can fall from our election.  Our assurance against falling is our diligent endeavor to make sure our calling and election.  As long as we engage in our election to God's high calling, we will not fall.

Monday, July 1, 2019

What Must I Do?

"And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"  Acts 16:30.  Have you asked this question?  The answer is contained within the Bible, the word of God.  The religious world offers different answers to this question.  We must ask, "What does God say?"  His answer is the only answer that matters.  This man was told to "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ."  Many want to stop at that point and proceed no further.  However, the Bible has more to say on this subject.  Notice that "they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and then took him the same hour of the night and baptized him."  When we study the word of the Lord, we come to understand that one must not only believe, but also repent.  Repentance means that we turn away from sin so that we can follow the Holy God.  We must also confess that Jesus is the Son of God.  And, then as with this man, we must be baptized into the name of Jesus Christ.  These actions place one into a saved relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the Savior of the world.  This is a serious question, and requires a serious answer.  It requires a Bible answer.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Fear Thou God

"For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities, but fear thou God."  Ecclesiastes 5:7.  Much of life is mere emptiness.  Multitudes spent their time and their pursuit of life in various vain ways.  While many endeavors of life are useless, the main objective for all of us is to "fear God."  Rather than seeking after the vain and empty, we must pursue God.  God should be feared because we are His creation.  We are all here because of His divine power.  Nothing is outside the possibility of God to perform.  God is without equal.  There is no other in power, love, and wisdom.  God has the might to build and to destroy.  God can cause things to rise and also to fall.  God controls the whole of nature.  Rivers flow at His command.  Stars shine because of His will.  Should not indeed such a God be feared?  Only God can save the soul.  Only God can purge the iniquity of the heart.  God knows the events of yesterday and that which shall come to pass on the morrow.  God sees all and knows all.  Such knowledge of Him should indeed cause us to revere, respect, and fear Him.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Enemies Are Reconciled

"And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled."  Colossians 1:21.  Wicked works will make us the enemy of God.  The very character of God is such that is opposed to evil.  When one chooses to walk in the way of wickedness, that one becomes alienated from God.  To be alienated from God means to be cut off from God.  All such are the enemies of God because evil opposes God and fights against God.  God commissioned Jesus Christ to reconcile that condition.  In Christ, we become the friends of God.  Jesus through His power enables us to overcome evil.  When one is reconciled unto God, that one chooses to walk in the way of God and always do that which is pleasing to God.  Reconciliation means that we are redeemed of God, and all wickedness committed by us in the past has been forgiven.  Reconciliation means that we seek after God, and to possess His character in our lives.  The reconciled walk in the way of God, and oppose evil even as God does.  No longer alienated, but reconciled.  No longer an enemy, but a friend.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Save Yourself From Iniquity

"And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation."  Acts 2:40.  The gospel has been preached by the apostle Peter.  He has spoken of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It is now decision time.  Many people want to blame others for their relationship with Jesus Christ.  But, each person is responsible for their own destiny in life.  The gospel is a message that must be heard and obeyed by each one.  If one is going to be saved, he must save himself.  Christ has made the sacrifice so that all can be saved.  God's salvation comes to us in a word.  Each one must hear and obey for themselves.  The generation was an evil one.  Each generation is an evil generation.  The devil walks to and fro upon the earth.  But, the gospel will save those who choose to be saved.  The word which is preached by God's faithful messengers must be received into the heart and lived in outward life.  The believer will be baptized as the word is gladly received.  Hear the exhortation of truth, Save Yourselves.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Partaker Of The Inheritance

"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:"  Colossians 1:12.  We give thanks unto the Father for every blessing both spiritual and material.  The church of God has a promise of an inheritance.  This inheritance is not physical, but rather it is spiritual.  Our inheritance is a heavenly home in the eternal world.  God will one day close out earthly history.  We have no information as to when this event will take place, but rather, as a thief comes, so will Christ come.  When Jesus comes again, He will reward His servants with this inheritance that will not diminish in glory nor fade in radiance.  God through His grace and love has made us meet to be a partaker of this inheritance.  As many as have obeyed the gospel and lived a life of faithful service will be rewarded with an inheritance that God has prepared.  We should be thankful for such a wonderful promise.  We should live a righteous life all of our days so that we might be fit to enter into this heavenly rest.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Good Name

"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold."  Proverbs 22:1.  We are individuals who make choices.  Consideration must be given in the making of choices.  Choices always have consequences.  The wise writer of this proverb makes us aware of the importance of our name.  God has always placed great importance upon the name.  We are very familiar with the names of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus.  These are the names of those who were used by God to promote His eternal cause.  We are also mindful of the names of Jezebel, Herod, and Judas Iscariot.  These were the names of people who opposed God.  Judas Iscariot chose silver rather than faithful discipleship to Christ.  Silver, gold, and great riches are temporal things.  These items are here and then gone.  But, our name will be long remembered.  Our name will be passed to future generations.  Will our children and grandchildren want to wear our name?  Will God remember our name?  A good name is a blessing both in time and eternity.