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  • TFRStaff 3:52 pm on 2016-02-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study, , ,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Shooting First . . .) 

    SHOOTING FIRST, THEN DRAWING THE BULL’S-EYE

    The story is told of a stranger driving through a small southern town and observing that many of the large trees along the streets, as well as the sides of old abandoned buildings, had a “bull’s-eye” on them with a shooter’s mark in the dead center of every one of them. Thinking there must be a “dead eye” shooter in the town the stranger stopped and asked a local citizen about the matter. The local explained that what the stranger was seeing were the exploits of the village idiot who shot first, then drew the “bull’s-eye” around his mark!

    The story reminds me of how some folks approach the study of the Bible: they decide first what they want to believe about a matter; then they find the text that “supports” what they have already made up their mind to believe about that matter. My “News & Views” of last week (“We Have Re-studied The Issue“) is a classic example of what I am talking about. A few churches of Christ have decided to begin using instrumental music in some or all of their services. Under the guise of a “re-study,” they adopt a course of action they had already decided on: “We intend to have instrumental music in our services”! (More …)

     
  • TFRStaff 4:54 am on 2016-02-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study, , ,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Re-studied The Issue) 

    “WE HAVE RE-STUDIED THE ISSUE”

    From the very beginning of the effort to restore original New Testament Christianity, churches of Christ have stood opposed to the use of mechanical instruments of music in worship. This is the case because the churches of Christ in New Testament times did not use instrumental music in their worship. There is no passage in the New Testament that authorizes the use of instruments in worship, and there is no example of instrumental music being used by the early congregations. The music of the church for the first several centuries after its establishment was strictly a cappella (vocal only). (See Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 13:15; et al).

    It is generally recognized that Pope Vitalian (657-672) was the first to introduce the use of instrumental music in worship in about 670. However, many church historians now think that it was not until the tenth century that instrumental music began to be used. Either date puts it well this side of the New Testament.

    When the Protestant Reformation was launched, Martin Luther opposed the use of instruments in worship. When the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist denominations began, they all opposed the use of instrumental music in worship, and did so for several years after their beginning. (For example, Charles H. Spurgeon, arguably the greatest Baptist preacher to ever live, and who preached to thousands every Sunday at the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle in London for thirty-eight years, never permitted a mechanical instrument to be used in his services.) So, churches of Christ have not always been alone in their opposition to instrumental music in worship!

    Thus, it comes as a shock to read of some churches of Christ beginning to adopt the use of instrumental music in some of their worship assemblies. The elders of these churches, in collaboration with their minister (and often at his instigation), have allegedly “re-studied” the issue and have decided that instrumental music is permissible. It is interesting to note that so far, to the best of my knowledge, no congregation that has “re-studied” the matter has reached the conclusion that the congregation had been right all along in not using the instrument! Rather, because of a clamor from the younger members to adopt the instrument and because of the delusion that its adoption would enable them to hold on to their young people and reach others, the conclusion of the “re-study” seems to have been reached before the re-study was ever done! The decision had already been made before the “re-study” was ever done: “We plan to begin using the instrument in some of our worship assemblies.” How is that for intellectual honesty?

    The study and re-study of Bible subjects is always in order. According to the King James Version of II Timothy 2:15 we are to “study to show [ourselves] approved unto God.” The word “study” in this context does not refer so much to reading, analyzing, and determining the meaning of a text, as it means to give thought to, to be diligent, and to make an earnest effort to be approved of God (see NKJV, ASV, NASB, et al). However, no one can be approved of God who does not study God’s word and does not come to an understanding of His will. Like the Bereans, we are to search/examine the Scriptures daily to determine the things that are so (Acts 17:11), because not everything taught, believed, and practiced in the realm of religion is “so” (cf. I Thessalonians 5:21; I John 4:1). We are to “not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17). We are to be ready always to give an answer/defense to everyone who asks us for a reason for the hope within us (I Peter 3:15). In other words, we are to know (based on the Scriptures) WHAT we believe and WHY we believe it!

    But God’s word does not change and truth does not change. The New Testament still says what it has always said about worship that is acceptable to God (John 4:24; 17:17; Acts 2:42; 20:7; Ephesians 5:19; I Corinthians 16:1-2). It needs to be duly noted that not all worship is pleasing and acceptable to God. There is such a thing as “vain worship” (Matthew 15:8-9), “ignorant worship” (Acts 17:23), and “will worship” (Colossians 2:23 [KJV, ASV]). Those who have “re-studied” the question of instrumental music in worship have not produced a passage from the New Testament that authorizes the instrument in the worship of the church. They have not produced an example from the New Testament of any congregation in apostolic times that used instrumental music in its worship.

    Along with a re-study of the matter of the kind of music that is acceptable to God in the Christian age, I would urge elders, preachers, and all members of the body of Christ to re-study what the Bible says about the necessity of having Bible authority for all that we do in religion. I would urge them to re-study how the Scriptures authorize a thing as being pleasing and acceptable to God. The authority in religion is not what I like or do not like, what I agree with or do not agree with, what I see or do not see anything wrong with, what my parents or grandparents believed about a matter, what “my church” has always taught about a matter, or what some creed, catechism, or church manual says about a matter.

    Re-studied the matter? Indeed, I hope so . . . not just the matter of what is pleasing to God in worship, but what the Scriptures teach on a whole host of subjects. One just might discover that the Bible does not teach what one has always been told or what one has always believed or what one has always thought or how one has always “felt” about any number of matters.

    Hugh Fulford

    February 23, 2016

     
    • Matt Clifton 7:33 am on 2016-02-23 Permalink | Reply

      Amen

    • Ashby Camp 8:16 am on 2016-02-23 Permalink | Reply

      As I have written in “Music in Christian Worship” (http://theoutlet.us/MusicinChristianWorshipJuly2012.pdf), the claim that the organ was admitted into the church in the seventh century by Pope Vitalian is rooted in a history of the popes that was written by Bartolomei Sacchi (known as Platina) and first published in 1474. As Peter Williams explains in The King of Instruments: How churches came to have organs (London: SPCK, 1993), 44-46, Platina relied on the earlier Italian historian Tolomeo of Lucca, whose ultimate source was the “Life of St. Gregory” written around 880 by Johannes Hymmonides (known as John the Deacon). However, the phrase in Johannes’s work that has been taken as connecting Vitalian with organs – modulationis organum – meant “surely not some kind of instrument (organum), nor even vocal counterpoint (organum), but most probably the approved chant itself and/or its text.” In other words, “the whole story [of Vitalian’s introduction of the organ] seems to be based on a misunderstanding.” It was not until centuries after Vitalian that the organ was introduced.

    • docmgphillips 9:09 am on 2016-02-23 Permalink | Reply

      Would we not be better off if every member of the Lord’s church would sit down and study the Bible for themselves? Why do we insist on believing that “the preacher cannot be wrong?” Have we, like the rest of the world, come to believe that it is the preacher and not the Word that is the final authority? May it never be!

    • Tim Coucke 10:38 am on 2017-02-09 Permalink | Reply

      It is never a waste of time to restudy any subject in light of scripture. It is helpful to include the context of any quotes from the old testament. It is also helpful to include the Hebrew or Greek word meanings. Word meanings from Strong’s inserted into the text…

      Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in a set piece of music or sacred ode (accompanied with the voice, harp or other instrument; a “psalm”) and celebrate or sing non-carnal songs, singing and playing on a stringed instrument in your heart to the Lord;

      Colossians 3:16 Let the word of the anointed inhabit in you copiously in all wisdom; teaching (learning) and putting in mind (caution or reprove gently) one another a set piece of music, that is, a sacred ode (accompanied with the voice, harp or other instrument; a “psalm”) and celebrate non-carnal songs, singing with graciousness in your hearts to the Lord.

      Tim

  • TFRStaff 1:29 pm on 2015-12-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible knkowledge, , Bible study,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Feeding . . . Starving) 

    ARE YOU FEEDING YOUR BODY AND STARVING YOUR SOUL?

    If it is true that “man shall not live by bread (synecdoche for all foods, hf) alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (and undoubtedly it is, for Christ Himself said so) (Matthew 4:4), then there are multiplied millions of people who are feeding their bodies and starving their souls! While many Americans and citizens of other advanced nations are well fed physically, their souls are malnourished because they have neglected the reading and study of the Bible, God’s inspired word to mankind. (More …)

     
  • TFRStaff 2:47 am on 2015-12-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study,   

    Desire to study the Bible shows desire to know God 

    Those who would know God must study the Bible.

    The first step toward knowing God is Bible study. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) (More …)

     
  • Glenda Williams 4:56 pm on 2015-11-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study   

    What does the Bible say about Thanksgiving? 

    By: Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

    “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2).

    “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

    “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:4).

    “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5).

    “Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 7:12).

    In the above verses, and many others, we are taught to be thankful unto God for his manifold blessings, as we realize that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17).

    Thanksgiving is the act of giving thanks to others, but especially to God, as prayers are offered as we express gratitude. Thanksgiving further signifies an acknowledging and confessing, with gladness, the benefits and mercies, which God bestows on all.

    We will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week. This reminds us of the early settlers of our country and for the blessings of God in their bountiful harvests. For many years there was no regular national Thanksgiving Day, but many people promoted the idea including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who proclaimed the last Thursday in November, 1863, as “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.” Congress ruled that after 1941 the fourth Thursday of November would be observed as Thanksgiving Day, and would be a legal federal holiday.

    Our thanksgiving should be continued throughout the year as long as we live. Let us never be like the pig eating acorns, but never looking up to see from whence they come! Ingratitude is a terrible sin, and so unnecessary as Jesus taught in Luke 17:12-19, when the ten lepers were cleansed and only one returned to give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 2:48 pm on 2015-10-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study, ,   

    Write the verse again and again and again 

    Writing enhances memory. The act of writing seems to fix the information more firmly in the mind, say both the scientists and personal experience. So perhaps as a part of the process of storing up the word of God in our hearts — heart here representing the whole person including the mind — we might want to consider writing scriptures more often. (More …)

     
  • Glenda Williams 3:32 pm on 2015-10-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study   

    What does the Bible say about the Bible 

    “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” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

    “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).

    The Bible repeatedly shows us that the Bible is indeed the word of God. Inspiration is from a Greek word that means “God-breathed,” which shows the transition of the mind of God to men that were directed, without error, by the Holy Spirit to write God’s message to mankind. This means that God is the real author of the Bible.

    Inspiration is difficult to explain, and is a concept that the human mind probably cannot completely understand. But God was able, in some way, to use men with their own writing abilities. At the same time God was in control so that the will of God’s mind was transmitted to men as they wrote it (2 Corinthians 2:9-13).

    The fact that we cannot fully understand some things about the Bible shows that “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). And the Bible says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but these things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).

    God’s revelation to us, that is free of error or contradiction is the result of inspiration. God inspired, men wrote, so that the Bible is the verbally, and plenary (every word) inspired, inerrant, authoritative, word of God.

    When we consider the lack of respect for God and His word, and the sinful condition of our world, we can realize the need for us to understand that the Bible is God’s word. Obedience to the Bible is the only way sins can be forgiven; lives be elevated; and conduct changed for better as the Bible teaches.

    Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

     
  • Glenda Williams 1:37 pm on 2015-09-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study, ,   

    Are we gambling with God? 

    Funerals always make us think about life and dying more seriously. As we traveled to Andalusia Friday to attend a funeral, I thought about how people gamble with different aspects of their lives. Oh, I’m not talking about going to the casinos and doing whatever they do there, but rather about the ways we gamble with ourselves and God. So I pose the question here, Are we gambling with God?

    About our soul? About our becoming a Christian? Procrastination, waiting until the last hours. “Let no man despise your youth, but be an example in faith, purity, etc. (1 Tim.5:22). Saturday a lady brought me up to date on the spiritual status of her family. “But my husband still hasn’t become a Christian. He says he is going to wait longer before becoming a Christian.” I remember it was his daddy who made basically the same comment. He died of a massive heart attack and NEVER made things right with God. Don’t gamble with God. He will win every time!

    About our dedication to God? “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…” (Matthew 6:33) We are gambling with God if we don’t put him first. He will not have any other place. Not attending the services of the church, but being able to visit friends or family, or doing something else, shows we are gambling with God.

    About our marriage status. One man and one woman for life. No one who dies in an adulterous relationship will enter heaven (Gal. 5:19-21). Widows are to marry only in the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:39). Adulterous relationships are gambling with God.

    About our church. Are we gambling with God with the church in which we pledge our allegiance? Jesus built one church. It was not a denomination, nor is it now. Holding on to family traditions and failing to obey the truth of the gospel will cause one to lose their soul. Gambling with God. He will win every time

    If the Bible is the book we are going to be judged by, and we know it is, “The words I have spoken will judge you in the last day,” (John 12:48); If the Bible is true, and we know it is for the Bible says, “all scripture is given by the inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16); If the Bible sets forth a marked pattern of salvation, and we know it does by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17), Believing (John 8:24), Repenting of our sins (Luke 13:3), Confessing that Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 10:32) and being baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16), then we are gambling with God if we don’t take His words seriously, and we will lose our souls in Hell.

    Don’t gamble with God. He will win every time!

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:56 am on 2015-07-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Bible study   

    Look at the context to get the picture 

    My 3-year-old daughter and I (in an extremely rare moment) were sitting quietly while drawing on a scratch piece of paper when I decided to show her what a “stick-man” looked like. So after asking her if she knew how to draw a “stick-man”, I proceeded to illustrate one for her. I thought my piece of artistry was quite good…all she could think about (which was made obvious by her interrogating questions) was why my drawing would be called a “stick-man” if he didn’t have a stick in his hand!

    There are times in the Bible when scripture isn’t meant to be taken with the literal surface approach that it seems to be saying. For example, Jesus, while discussing the dangers of adultery, urged his followers to remove their own eye and to cut off their own hand if either of the two caused them to sin (Matthew 5:27-30). The context of Jesus’ admonition (which happens to be the Sermon on the Mount) shows that Jesus’ emphasis is on the avoidance of sin at all costs, not the literal removal of the flesh – which wouldn’t have corrected the spiritual problem anyways! The Sermon on the Mount is absolutely filled with illustrations and figures of speech and idioms that are meant, by implication, to convey a very serious spiritual point without the listener or reader taking what’s being said to the fullest literal extent; to get the picture of what’s being said, the context has to be considered.

    So remember the “stick-man” and look for the picture that God is trying to draw within our heart and upon our mind when the scriptures present a lesson that may make us look for the “stick” when we should be looking at the context.

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 10:44 am on 2015-05-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study, , ,   

    Convenience and connectivity cost too much 

    Convenience comes at a price. It may seem paradoxical, but usually that price is measured in the loss of health. Convenience purports to save time, but we don’t seem to be better off in that area, do we? Often, too, we pay dearly in monetary cost. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 12:33 pm on 2014-12-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study, way of Christ, ways of God   

    The word "way" in the Bible. Your input invited. 

    What Bible texts about the term “way” do you find especially meaningful? What truths or principles do you find from these texts?

    I’m preparing a series of Bible studies for next year on the word. The title for the series will probably be either “The Ways of God” or “The Way of Christ.” I’ll be pulling passages from both Testaments.

    So any input you have will be more than welcome.

     
    • Ron Thomas 2:26 pm on 2014-12-20 Permalink | Reply

      Randal ,

      Not sure if this will be of any use to you, and it does not have the word “way” within it, but it sure does spell out the “way” that I approach tomorrow. Philippians 3:12-14

      • J. Randal Matheny 3:36 pm on 2014-12-20 Permalink | Reply

        Ron, if we back up to verse 10, it would tie in with a verse I plan to use, Hb 10.20, which one writer identified as access to communion with God.

    • Eugene Adkins 3:45 pm on 2014-12-20 Permalink | Reply

      How about Exodus 13:21 when it comes to our course in life? Plenty of other scriptures, both Old and New, that could tie into that such as Exodus 23:20.

  • Eugene Adkins 7:16 am on 2014-11-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study, ,   

    When it doesn't sound right, demand a recount 

    When I was a kid there was a bet (a little game really) that went something like, “I can count to 100 in 5 seconds.” When the “bet” was called, the challenger would simply say, “1, 2, skip a few, 99, 100.” And voila, there you had it!

    To kids the game is harmless, but unfortunately there are a lot of adults who still make this “bet” when it comes to biblical issues such as salvation by faith alone, whether or not the 10 Commandments (and other aspects of Moses’ Law) are still in effect, women’s roles in public worship, and the sinfulness of unholy sexual behavior. Such issues are advocated on the basis of having biblical support. And how do the advocates get away with it? The same way a kid can still count to 100 in 5 seconds!

    When it comes to studying biblical issues, it’s in everyone’s best interest to study verses in their context – the verse, and even the chapter, before and after can change what words mean. This also includes keeping in mind what God’s apostles and prophets taught the church in the other letters that make up the Bible.

    So when something that someone teaches doesn’t sound right, demand a recount; because more often than not, you’ll find a few number of verses that have gotten skipped in between their introduction and their conclusion.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2014-11-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study, , judge righteously, , , poor and needy, , ,   

    (#210) The Proverbs of Solomon 31:8-9-Listen to Your Mama About Words 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 31:8-9: “Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

    Step up and speak up for those who are less fortunate, specifically those who have: no voice, no parent, no justice, or no necessities of life. It is emphatic and an action of mercy to help the helpless. All leaders of government should admit that: “Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne” (Proverbs 20:28). God has always required this of His people: “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15); “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17); “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

    The “speechless” are those who have no voice or ability to defend themselves. They are easily victimized by all who would misrepresent their case;

    Those “appointed to die” are people without possessions or permanence. According to the Hebrew expression, these may be strangers just passing through or orphans who cannot support themselves. God is mindful of such and required this of Israelites (Deuteronomy 10:17-19). Solomon wisely ruled: “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard” (Proverbs 21:13). Never was this clearer than when Israelites were taken from their Promised Land because: “The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger” (Ezekiel 22:29);

    “Judge righteously” should be the outcry of all of God’s people. All judges and legal personnel should hear this command. Jesus has said: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24), for “in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:5);

    “Plead the cause of the poor and needy,” for they cannot afford their own defense. The “poor and needy” are NOT those who demand their “right” to have the same possessions as those who have worked for what they have! The essentials of food and clothing are NOT in the same category as video games, big screen TV’s, cable, Internet, cars, or brand-name clothes!

    No nation or people will stand when citizens have little or no recourse for their grievances!

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 9:51 am on 2014-11-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study, government agents, government officials, , , ,   

    (#209) The Proverbs of Solomon 31:4-7-Listen to Your Mother About Wine 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 31:4-7: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; 5 Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart. 7 Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more.”

    Verses 4-5: The difference between “wine” and “intoxicating drink” was often what was added to increase its chemical strength, or the process by which it had been made. There is little, if any, difference between the two as to its dangerous effect: “forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted.” The regular practice of using alcoholic beverages dulls ones judgment and blurs both the lines created by “law,” and fair and balanced judgment of “the afflicted.” NOT ONLY ALCOHOL, but other things have the same effect, that is, being drunk with: authority; control; popularity; fame; beauty; pride; supremacy! Government officials and agents who refuse (or neglect) to obey the laws, and consider themselves above the justice they should provide (either by bribes or reputation) are openly showing they do not serve the public, but themselves, as though they were intoxicated by something.

    Verses 6-7: Show proper, limited uses of alcohol: “strong drink” (more alcoholic than “wine”) to a dying patient or “wine,” (a milder level of alcohol than “strong drink”) to a depressed person. There is nothing wrong with administering pain-relieving drugs to someone dying in pain! There IS everything wrong with administering death-causing drugs to hasten someone’s death! Relieving pain leaves the door open for God to heal, causing the death is “playing God” by making that decision for Him!
    Those who “are bitter of heart” have boxed themselves in with their emotions, and a mild form of alcohol (“wine”) can bring an easing of tension, thus allowing patients to re-think their problem(s).

    A spiritual alternative to alcohol is seen in Hannah, who “in bitterness of soul…prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish” (1 Samuel 1:10). The New Testament tells Christians to: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Opening the Holy Spirit’s Bible is always better than opening the “spirits” in a long-necked bottle!

    Truly, Wisdom still says, “do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • Ron Thomas 10:00 am on 2014-11-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible study, , wrong side of an issue, wrong side of the bed   

    The Wrong Side of the Bed 

     

    Have you ever been asked: “Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?” The question is asked because one’s disposition is short and irritable. I suppose we all have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed on occasion. The wrong side of the bed can turn out okay as the day progresses, but that is not often the case with one who is on the wrong side of an issue.

    Those on the wrong side of an issue take the quickest exception to that which is said by another, especially the preacher. Those who are emotionally and/or spiritually insecure can quickly interpret that which is said by another in the worst sort of way. Unfortunate though it is, the problem is with the one who is insecure and on the wrong side of an issue.

    The wrong side of an issue, in this case, is in direct relation to what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches a particular point (and it makes no difference what the particular teaching is), and this point is sustained in discussion and study, but the one who wants to hold on to a contrary point then begins to find fault, sometimes even leaving the fellowship. I know of churches with a leadership that would be on the wrong side of Bible teaching, have others point it out, but refuse to talk and study the Scriptures further. Why would they do this? Because there is a desire to leave the Lord’s fellowship and go along with a more popular opinion.  This is not always the case, of course.

    In any case, by and large, in a local congregation, those on the wrong side of an issue can fail to see the forest because of the trees. That means there is a failure to see the Lord’s way (the forest) because the trees (personal desire) gets in the way. It is bad when one is on the wrong side of an issue, but it is disastrous when that one, or those ones, is on the wrong side on Judgment Day.

     

     
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