Consequences for good intentions?

A New York EMT was reprimanded and ultimately suspended without pay for … wait for it … trying to save the life of a child!

That’s right; an EMT was actually suspended for trying to save the life of a dying person. But how does Qwasi Reid view the consequences for his good intentions? He said, “I’d do it again. If I know there’s a child choking, I’m going to do my best to help her.

Consequences for doing good? Can it be? You better believe it! In this world, with its own version of rules and regulations, there will be times when good intentions do nothing but lead to bad results. Not because the intention is misinformed, misconstrued or even mishandled. But solely because the intent of the intention is good at its very nature.

I don’t know the spiritual condition of Mr. Qwasi Reid (he obviously understands what’s at the heart of being an EMT better than his employer) but I do know that this world of darkness will always look for ways to shun the light of God’s goodness, and nevertheless we’re called to still let our light shine.

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” (Philippians 2:14-16)

#christian-living, #doing-good, #news

Advice applicable for all

I enjoy keeping up with friends on the Internet. Facebook has been a very enjoyable experience for me. I don’t do Twitter or any of those other popular sites.

This past week I saw an excellent scripture reference come across my desk that I wanted to share with you.

Diane Stark wrote the following and titled it “Crushes.”

When my daughter had a crush on a boy, I asked her to place his name in 1 Corinthians 13:4-6.

She did. Sean is patient and kind; Sean does not envy or boast; Sean is not arrogant or rude. Sean does not insist on his own way; Sean is not irritable or resentful; Sean does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

She frowned. “I saw him pick on another boy in the hallway. I guess he wasn’t very kind.” She began to rethink her interest in him.

This verse has not only given my daughter greater discernment about others, but it also has helped her reflect on her own behavior. I asked my daughter to substitute her own name into that passage. Then I explained that when we become more like Jesus, we become the right type of person for someone else to like.”

I think this is excellent advice for our children, or anyone, to try. We might like to insert our own name in the scripture and see how we measure up and if we are the right type of person for someone else to like.

#christian-living, #love, #marriage

What does the Bible say about Christian living

By: Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me’” (Matthew 16:24).

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

“Do not love the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2:15).

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

“Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

We become a Christian by hearing, believing, repenting, confessing our faith, and being baptized for the forgiveness of sins, and then we must live for Jesus each day of our lives. The above scriptures give us information about this, and in fact most of the New Testament, 21 letters, is given to teach us how to live for Jesus and with our fellow man.

Someone gave their idea of Christian living by saying, “Christianity is putting Christ on the inside, and then letting Him show on the outside.” Isn’t this what Paul is saying in Galatians 2:20?

The song exhorts us to, “Live for Jesus, in life’s morning. At the noon-tide hour be His, and at eve, when day is turning, and inherit endless bliss. Live for Jesus, Give Him all thou hast to give; on the cross the world’s Redeemer, gave His life that thou mightest  live.”

This is the life that is God’s purpose for us; it is the life that is lived joyfully; it is the life that is lived abundantly; it is the life that is lived in hope of heaven; it is all of this and much more because we live for Jesus.

God bless us all as we obey Jesus and live for Him who died for us.

#christian-living, #faithfulness, #obedience

A lesson in learning

We enjoyed hearing Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon, speak at the Faulkner Benefit Dinner Thursday evening in Montgomery. Procedures are being done today in pediatric neurosurgery that he created. Lives are being saved because of it.

Dr. Carson told quite a bit about his life, and how they didn’t have much. He said his mother worked two jobs, but she encouraged her children to read two books a week, and then write a book report on what they had read. She marked the reports with yellow markers and underlined things as she checked them. He said they didn’t learn until much later that she couldn’t read! She did learn to read later and went on to get her GED, and holds an honorary doctorate, and he proudly said, “She is Dr. Carson also.”

Near the end of his one hour speech, Dr. Carson encouraged us to read 30 minutes a day about something that would help us learn, something more than just for entertainment. With an acrostic, Dr. Carson spelled out his philosophy of living.

T – Talents/time: Recognize them as gifts.
H – Hope for all good things and be honest
I – Insight from people and good books
N – Be nice to all people.
K – Knowledge: Recognize it as the key to living.

B – Books: Read them actively.
I – In-depth learning skills: Develop them.
G – God: Never get too big for Him.

What if we set aside 30 minutes a day to read the Bible? How much spiritual growth would we increase in a year? What if in the church we started to “think big?” What if we used our talents; were honest in everything we do; if we invested our time in good things; if we were nice to others; if we tried to grow in knowledge? What if we were just ourselves, and didn’t pretend to be someone we are not? What if we made a concentrated effort to grow the church as the Lord would have us do? Soon our building couldn’t hold the people.

John Wesley stated it this way: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

#christian-living, #god, #knowledge

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(#206) The Proverbs of Solomon 30:29-31-Walk the Royal Walk

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 30:29-31: “There are three things which are majestic in pace, Yes, four which are stately in walk: A lion, which is mighty among beasts And does not turn away from any; A greyhound, A male goat also, And a king whose troops are with him.”

Walking regally is an indication of inner confidence and fearlessness. Regality is born out of security, violence from hatred and fear. There is a reason for these four to illustrate “majestic pace” which Christians, especially, should add to their lives:

“A lion” because of strength and power. As our “adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), so the wicked “have closed up their fat hearts; With their mouths they speak proudly. They have now surrounded us in our steps; They have set their eyes, crouching down to the earth, As a lion is eager to tear his prey, And like a young lion lurking in secret places (Psalm 17:10-12). Those who follow God should have every reason to be secure. “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge” (Proverbs 14:26); “The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1); “But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict (1 Thessalonians 2:2). Christians must realize that we are to “abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).

“A greyhound” because of speed and agility. God hates “feet that are swift in running to evil” (Proverbs 6:18), but faithful followers of God, who are “swift to hear” (James 1:19), often receive help from Him quickly. “In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me” (Psalm 86:7); Answer me speedily, O LORD; My spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from me, Lest I be like those who go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You” (Psalm 143:7-8); “For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12).

“A male goat” because of place and leadership. A man was created first (1 Timothy 2:13), and should be the leader of righteousness in his home (Ephesians 5:22-24). Those who refuse this God-given responsibility are rejected by God. “For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD, But His secret counsel is with the upright” (Proverbs 3:32).

“A king” because of trust and loyalty. “If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them” (Ecclesiastes 5:8). All government officials should take care to rule with righteousness, lest their enemies come from within.

These four illustrations give a “majestic” walk to the faithful. “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield” (Psalm 115:11). “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).

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

#bible-study, #christian-living, #god, #majestic, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #walk

Oil and Water – Light and Darkness

Some things just don’t mix and some things have no business mingling. Even the word of God says so (1 Corinthians 15:33, 2 Corinthians 6:17-18).

This thought came to mind last night when I saw a story on a local News station about one of the videos that has been nominated for the “Christian Music” award named after a particular bird. The video actually featured and praised a prominent homosexual for their example of overcoming a physical illness – not their sin!

That’s cheap religion. That’s a promotion void of godliness. That’s an emotional plea that casts the necessity of repentance to the side. And that’s why the majority of religious people are walking the broad way that leads to Hell (Matthew 7:13-14).

God’s grace, our faith and the salvation that’s meant to follow is not about us living the way our flesh decides and then going to Heaven when life is over. It’s about a determinate decision to respond to the grace of God which teaches us, through faith, that we should be “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:12-13).

Experience has shown me that the vast majority of what’s called “Christian Music” is a label that’s woefully deceptive. It promotes false doctrine. It appeals to the masses as cutting edge. And, as this “nominated video” has plainly revealed, it’s a tool of the Devil that’s used to bring glory to the message of entertainers and entertainment instead of glory to God and the gospel message of sin, repentance, restoration, righteousness, service and salvation.

 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” (Ephesians 5:8-12)

#christian-living, #christian-music, #conformity, #worldliness

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(#198) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:24-Wanna Abet?

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 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 29:24: “Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing.”

Solomon has already judged against agreeing to uphold someone else’s debt (Proverbs 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26-27; 27:13), now he warns against sharing in someone’s sin! The gang members, driver of the get-away vehicle, owner/renter of a meth lab house, participants in the crime, are all as guilty as the one who actually commits the sin! This proverb shows that the one who shares in “thievery,” for instance, will end up losing his/her honesty and integrity by swearing “to tell the truth, but reveal[ing] nothing.”

The truth of this proverb remains unchanged in the New Testament Law of Jesus Christ: “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22); “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11); “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:28-32). Saul of Tarsus may not have stoned the first martyr for Jesus Christ, Stephen, but Saul protected the coats of those who did the stoning (Acts 7:54-60)! This still bothered him toward the end of his spiritually-productive life (1 Timothy 1:12-16)!

Choose your associates and friends carefully; be well aware of what they’re up to; have the courage to avoid damning situations! They may actually “think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:4).

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

#bible-study, #christian-living, #guilt, #honesty, #integrity, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #sharing, #sins, #wisdom