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(#202) The Proverbs of Solomon-30:11-14-Generation D(estroyed)

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 30:11-14: “There is a generation that curses its father, And does not bless its mother. 12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness. 13 There is a generation-oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. 14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, And whose fangs are like knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, And the needy from among men.”

After Jacob had worked 14 years to “earn” his wife, his father-in-law, Laban, said, “I have learned by experience that the LORD has blessed me for your sake” (Genesis 30:27). “Experience” is a great teacher, and often, a hard teacher. It has been truly said, “Happiness will never come to those who do not appreciate what they already have.” “A generation” without the experiences of life becomes (v.11) Loveless; (v.12) Hypocritical; (v.13) Arrogant; and (v.14) Cruel, and will need few enemies, for it will self-destruct. Children whose world consists of a video screen, whose mind is filled with make-believe, and whose heart seldom connects with real people, have no experiences to help them grow, and become slaves who serve without conscience! It is a lost generation that never sees “the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied” (Ecclesiastes 3:10).

Verse 11: Those who disrespect the two who gave them life will not appreciate The God, His plan, and the life they have been given, “For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God” (1 Corinthians 11:12). Although the prevalence of divorce and single-parenthood has shattered the “DNA” of marriage, and taught successive generations this disrespect, those who turn to God’s Way will start a new generation of parental respect. It is when sin abounds that “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).

Verse 12: It is difficult, almost impossible, for one to see one’s own sins. To such a generation, God send Jeremiah to say: “’For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, Yet your iniquity is marked before Me,’ says the Lord God. How can you say, ‘I am not polluted’” (Jeremiah 2:22-23). The Apostle Paul wrote: “For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:4). Any generation that is known for major problems with drunkenness, irresponsibility, sexually-transmitted diseases, drug abuses, recklessness, and hatefulness (Titus 3:3) has its hands full and should not be pointing fingers at the previous generation(s)! Jesus Christ condemned those who “outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:28).

Verse 13: Jesus Christ described this attitude when He said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:29-33) While a generation may protest against their parents sins, it becomes guilty of its own sins, many of which are even worse than before (1 Kings 16:25)!

Verse 14: The cruelty is seen because they don’t care about the “poor” and “needy.” Selfishness is so narrow-minded that it cannot admit, nor allow, others to benefit who have greater needs. Jesus Christ said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation” (Matthew 23:14)!

A generation may be changed if enough of them “are converted and become as little children…Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4). Obeying the command to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” will let a soul “Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:38, 40).

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

#baptism, #bible-study, #christianity, #experience, #generation, #god, #jeremiah, #jesus-christ, #just-a-minute, #life, #love, #marriage, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #salvation, #sin, #wisdom

That’s Messed Up!

I had the chance last week to attend the “Leadercast” event which is held in Atlanta but then broadcast live throughout America and other parts of the world.

This was the second time that I was able to attend the event, and if my mind’s not slipping me; maybe it is, I want to do as I did last time and share a few thoughts about my experience.

Most often, especially in Middle Tennessee, the simulcast events are held at church buildings due to locality and other logistically related issues such as seating. So as the case was last year, this year’s venue was a church building in a neighboring county.

The thought that I would like to share this morning comes from something the church’s pastor said to the people in attendance. He invited everyone to visit the church and then added this caveat: if you’re not messed up don’t visit our church, we don’t want you here, cause we’re a bunch of messed up people.

My first reaction to that was, “That’s messed up.” My feelings had nothing to do with a self-righteous, high-horse, better-than-you attitude. It had to do with the fact that if a person is looking for some spiritual guidance then they need to find it from others who have it together – not from people who are messed up.

This has nothing to do with believing that I’m sinless (outside of the sinlessness that the blood of Jesus provides). This has nothing to do with believing that I’m perfect (outside of the perfection that is found in Jesus). This has nothing to do with with believing that I’m a “holier than thou” individual (outside of the holiness attained and provided through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Jesus as the provider of the church). It has everything to do with the responsibility of the church’s membership to be distinctly and inherently different from the world (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). You know, the very things than an apostle of Jesus Christ corrected the church at Corinth for doing – they were messed up and Paul said that that was messed up!

But before you say Paul was messed up (as it seems a whole lot of religious people like to do), I would like to remind you that it wasn’t only Paul who felt that way – so did Peter (1 Peter 1:13-17), so did John (1 John 2:15-17), so did James (James 1:27, 4:1-4), and so did Jude (Jude 16-18). That doesn’t even include the recorded words of Jesus in the gospels that call us out of our messes and into his light. I can’t resist (Luke 13:1-5).

When I’m having car troubles I don’t want to take my vehicle to someone who has never had car problems. But then again, I don’t want to take it to someone who doesn’t know how to keep their car in good running condition! That doesn’t mean their car never has problems, but it does mean that when the problems come up they know where to order the parts from to fix them.

I’m not looking for a church that’s full of messed up people and neither should you. I’m looking for a church where the people have it together, and doesn’t mean…well, back up three paragraphs because I’m not going to rehash that hot-potato.

Am I messed up for feeling this way? Share your thoughts if you think so, or even if you don’t.

#christianity, #church-family, #church-issues, #holiness, #religion

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Calendar Apostasy (finis)

Joseph, let me finish this conversation on “fellowshiproom.org” with some comments, and if you have further questions, we can privately discuss them.

Original article:

If they did so [continued celebrating Passover], it was without any authority from God. From Colossians 2:13-17 we learn that the cross of Christ: (1) “wiped out” Moses’ Law with none remaining (just like a sinner’s sins, Acts 3:19); (2) took Moses’ Law “out of the way” (removed it from further use, like sins, John 1:29); (3) “nailed” Moses’ Law at the same time (if there is no “judgment,” there is no law to enforce, Romans 4:15)

 You said: I think that’s a pretty radical reading of Colossians 2:13–17. [Joseph, it’s not “radical reading” to stress the exact words of the text, and then accept it’s teaching. You seem to resort to “radical reading” by looking into the words “bond,” “curse,” “elemental spirits” in passages you use. It is hardly objective to call my procedure “radical reading” and resort to the same thing yourself!] Let’s look at what the Scripture actually says (I’ll even be nice and use a good Protestant translation, the ESV):[What you term “a good Protestant translation” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely accurate. I find the NKJV a more consistently accurate translation.]

You said: The “bond” is the record of those trespasses, which under the Law, we were legally bound to expiate. What Jesus canceled was not the Law, but this bond, and the legal requirements of the Law upon a Christian. [If what Christ “wiped out” was a written record of our personal sins, how would this prevent being judged “in food or in drink,” “a festival or a new moon or sabbaths?” And if that was the “shadow of things to come,” what was to come? Your interpretation is not consistent with this context. But if what Christ “wiped out” was Moses’ Law, then Christ’s death frees from personal sin and  the food and drink, festival, new moon, and sabbaths requirements of Moses’ Law. AND Christians should no longer follow the “shadow,” but the “substance” of Christ’s Law!] As he says in Galatians, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law” (Galatians 3:13) — He did not “wipe away” the Law itself. [Moses’ Law contained “the curse,”(Deuteronomy 21:23). Jesus became “the curse of the law” when He was crucified (Galatians 3:13-14). If the “curse” is removed, then the law with that “curse” is removed. If not, why not?] If that were the case, why would the Law itself (the Torah) still be an essential part of Christian Bibles? [“to bring us to Christ” (Galatians 3:19-29)]

 What is called a “Christian calendar” is the Catholic calendar of their designated times for spiritual emphasis. However, the New Testament church of Christ never re-enacted events in Jesus’ life, but preached His life, death, resurrection and ascension into Heaven,  that people could believe in Him (Luke 1:1-4; John 20:30-31; 21:25; Mark 16:15-16). Jesus was born, lived, and died under Moses’ Law (Galatians 4:4-5), but in His death, He removed that Law (Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 10:9-10). According to Hebrews 10:9, what “first” did Jesus “take away” and what did Jesus “establish” as the “second” which saves us today?

 It is easy to slip into unscriptural practices by imitating those who practice false religious ways, as Paul warned (2 Timothy 4:1-5), instead of imitating those who are pleasing to God (1 Corinthians 4:15-16; 2 Corinthians 10:18).

—–John T. Polk II

#bible-study, #christianity, #church-of-christ, #obedience, #preaching, #religion

Loving our Neighbor is no Joke!

So a priest, a Levite and a Samaritan are walking down the Jericho road…but there’s no rim-shot that follows this line up. In a lesson about eternal life, loving God and loving one’s neighbor, Jesus tells a story that is still reverberating up to this day, and Jesus’ main point is that loving our neighbor is no joke!

Loving our neighbor forces us to cross ethnic and racial lines. Loving our neighbor forces us to cross economic and social status lines. Loving our neighbor forces us to cross unconventional and personally uncomfortable lines.

Hands get dirty when love enters the picture. Resources get used when love enters the picture.  Lives change when love enters the picture. And this is only for those who are willing to show it. Even the self-justification seeking, or maybe we could say excuse giving, lawyer of Moses’ Law had to admit this!

So the next time we have the opportunity to laugh at the misfortune of those with whom we don’t “gee and haw” we may need to stop and reconsider who the joke may end up being on if we fail to have a heart that sees the seriousness of loving our neighbor.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20)

#christ-like, #christian-living, #christianity, #eternal-life, #great-commandment, #love, #neighbor

More on the sinfulness of the sinner’s prayer

The sinner’s prayer most often finds its advocates in the corner of those who espouse the grace only and faith only doctrines.

These particular doctrines basically say that an individual can personally do nothing to “earn” his or her salvation, hence the need for repentance, confession, baptism and even faithfulness becomes a “fruit” of salvation rather than “seeds” which lead to it.

But isn’t it funny how those who teach that there is “nothing that a person can do to earn their salvation” also teach that the same person “must” say a prayer to be saved?

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.” (Romans 6:16-17)

#christianity, #doctrinal-contradictions, #false-teaching, #salvation, #sinners-prayer

It’s a sin to teach someone to pray the sinner’s prayer

Other than inserts written inside the front or back page cover of a Bible, the “sinner’s prayer” is completely foreign to the gospel of Christ.

Can you find sinner’s praying in the pages of the New Testament? Sure you can, but you won’t find the “sinner’s prayer” being said. Not one time can a person be found who is told to “pray this prayer” much less any prayer to be saved.

You will find people being told to believe (John 8:24), people being told to repent (Acts 2:38), people being told to confess (Romans 10:10), people being told to get baptized (Acts 22:16) and people being told to live faithfully even if it cost them his or her life (Revelation 2:10), but you can’t find someone being told to pray to be saved!

Is there anything wrong with saying a prayer before or after responding to the gospel call of Christ? You’d be hard pressed to convince me so – but the scriptures themselves have convinced me that it is wrong to tell someone to pray to be saved when they respond to the message of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection (Mark 16:15-16).

The sinner’s prayer is a dangerous stumbling block that can prevent a person with a genuine heart and genuine intentions from coming to the faith that has been once and for all delivered into the world for the saints of God (Jude 3). It clouds the heart. It confuses the mind. It strengthens ignorance.

To those who are teaching that the sinner’s prayer opens the door to the salvation provided by Jesus – stop! You have no right, no authority and no honest reason to be teaching others to the contrary.

To those who have been taught that you were saved by saying one version of a hundred different prayers, take it from someone who was once told to say the same thing as you – read through the book of Acts and through the New Testament epistles and see if anyone ever “prayed” themselves unto salvation.

If faith comes by hearing the word of God, and it does (Romans 10:17), and the word of God says nothing about the sinner’s prayer, then how can the “sinner’s prayer” be anything but a sin that’s being taught by those who do not know or obey the truth of the gospel?

If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11)

#christianity, #denominational-errors, #false-teaching, #salvation, #sinners-prayer

SIGNIFICANCE OF A FEW!

Power and significance in outcomes is not always associated with large numbers. God brought some great victories for Israel with just a few. Remember the victory He brought through Gideon with only 300 men. (Judges 7:7-8) Also, prior to entering the promised land, Israel was reminded of what had been done because God had been with them, in that one had been able to chase a thousand and two to have put ten thousand to flight. (Deuteronomy 32:30) This was to be a reminder that with God it mattered not what the count looked like; whether it be few or many.

Let us also remember all it would have taken was the presence of ten righteous souls to have spared the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities. (Genesis 18:32) What if Abraham had asked if God would have spared for the sake of four: Lot, his wife, and their two daughters?

Now, consider a focus during the days of the prophet Jeremiah where we read. . .

“(1) Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to SEE IF YOU CAN FIND A MAN, ONE WHO DOES JUSTICE AND SEEKS TRUTH, THAT I MAY PARDON HER.” (Jeremiah 5:1 ESV)

The New Living Translation reads, “”Run up and down every street in Jerusalem,” says the LORD. “Look high and low; search throughout the city! IF YOU CAN FIND EVEN ONE JUST AND HONEST PERSON, I WILL NOT DESTROY THE CITY.”” (NLT) Find JUST ONE? Only ONE would have made the difference? How sad that at this time Jerusalem refused to repent and a period of captivity followed.

Consider the significance of OUR OWN LIFE in connection with our trust in God. Regardless of what the world around us might be doing, let us never underestimate the significance of our continued living by God’s standard. Though God has made clear there is a day coming for His judgment (1 Peter 3:10), perhaps — in His patience (2 Peter 3:9) — He is presently sparing the world because He wants our godliness to have more OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE a few more souls around us.

Let us not give up living according to what God has revealed to be right. Those around us need to come to grips with that! With our life lived for Him, His work of sparing souls can still take place. To Him be the glory!

Have a great day BEING ONE FOUND TO BE HONEST AND JUST! – Carl Hanson

“teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

#christian-living, #christianity, #holy-living, #judgment-of-god, #making-a-difference, #righteousness, #spiritual-influence, #the-power-of-influence

‘The church is plagued with unpracticed Christianity,’ says Charles Box

failure-to-practice-jesus-wordsby Charles Box, Greenville AL

The church of Christ as found in the scriptures was a living body made up of souls who had been converted to Jesus. Those who made up the first cen­tury church were redeemed from sin by being washed in the blood of the Lamb.  God was real to these early Christians. Jesus Christ was literally their life. Paul wrote,

“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)

These early Christians practiced Christianity. Today the church of Christ is plagued with “unpracticed Christian­ity.” Continue reading

#charles-box, #christian-practice, #christianity, #obedience

rocky mountain low

According to the Huffington Post, Colorado is now filled with a puffing host! The article gives the full statistics for the first month of recreational marijuana sales in the Centennial State, along with projected uses of tax revenue from the product. Ironically enough, the first $40 million in taxes is promised away for school construction–now that’s what you call a “higher” education. The Holy Spirit through Paul outlined what is surely a more effective educational strategy:

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, 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, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)

#christianity, #colorado, #drugs, #education, #huffington-post, #marijuana-sales, #recreational-marijuana, #sin-taxes, #sober, #sobriety

What must I do to be…a member of the Baptist Church?

Is it “easier” to get into heaven or into the Baptist Church? Well, according to a book-marker sized tract that I have the Baptist Church is a little more particular than heaven when it comes to what a person must do to enjoy membership with them!

The book-marker tells its reader “How to Join” the particular “First Baptist Church” that the tract came from. And even though it’s not the gospel there’s good news for those who are interested because there are four ways that this can be done: 1) Profession of Faith and Baptism which says “I have accepted Christ and would like to join ________ and be baptized by immersion.” 2) Baptism from Another Denomination which says, “I am a Christian but have never been baptized by immersion. I would like to join and be baptized by immersion.” 3) Transfer of Letter which says, “I am a member of a Southern Baptist church and would like to transfer my membership to ______.” and 4) Statement of Faith which says , “I am a Christian and have been baptized by immersion. I would like to join ______.

That’s some interesting stuff to me for several reasons, but the primary one is that apparently it’s easier (fewer restrictions/requirements) to get saved and become a member of the kingdom of God than it is to become a member at that particular Baptist Church! For according to them Heaven doesn’t require a person to be immersed to enjoy salvation but immersion is required to enjoy their fellowship.

The truth of the matter, when it comes to salvation and faith and baptism, is that if one desires to become a child of God and be added to his church then one does not have to worry with meeting the guidelines or requirements of man; all one has to do is listen to the instructions that a Holy Spirit inspired preacher gave so long ago when he told a salvation seeking people, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

According to the scriptures of God a person is not saved and then baptized – they are baptized and then they are saved! Acts 2:41,42 goes on to proclaim, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” This is in complete harmony with Mark 16:16. And that is completely contrary to what the Baptist Church teaches.

So although, according to their own teaching, it may be easier to become a Christian than to become a member of the Baptist Church, the real question should be, “Do I want to be added to a man-made church by their rules and regulations, or do I want to be added to God’s church by the Lord?” Because the answer that one receives to the latter will not be the same answer that one receives to the former. Let heaven declare the particulars and the way to salvation will be revealed by the word of the Lord.

“…And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)

#baptism, #baptist-church, #christianity, #how-to-become-a-christian, #salvation

Israel’s land survey

I purchased a house last year, and the seller split his larger property into two lots, selling me the smaller of the two. To make this happen, the property had to be surveyed, and a description had to be drawn up specifying the exact locations of the borders. I could describe the borders in one sentence, but the surveyors have to be much more precise. The document they created describes in very technical language the latitude, longitude, angles, curves, etc. from corner to corner of the property, and is quite lengthy. The precision is a result not only of the desire to establish a clear understanding between buyer and seller, but to prevent future disagreements about the exact locations of the border.

When the children of Israel conquered the land of Canaan, there were twelve tribes. The conquered land had to be divvied up between them. I used to read Joshua 13-21 with dread, trudging through the city names and border descriptions with only the purpose of getting through it. Not so anymore. As I struggle to pronounce dozens and dozens (if not hundreds) of city and village names, I think of the towns, cities, suburbs, metropolises, counties, and states in my own country and the different climates, accents, histories, cultures, landscapes, laws, traditions, products, arts, disciplines, stereotypes, etc. peculiar to each one. I imagine what conversations may have sounded like in ancient Israel. Did the young Issacharians in Tabor ever complain about how there was nothing to do in their town? Did they long for the day when their parents considered them big enough to go with big brother and his friends to Shahazumah where they could fish or swim in the Jordan River (I may be misrepresenting the geography here). Which one of the cities on the Great Sea did people vacation to the most (think of Myrtle Beach or Gulf Shores)? Were Manassehites arrogant like Texans because of the size of their inheritance? Was there trash talk among the tribes about whose land was, as we sometimes say, “God’s country”?

These 9 chapters are a testimony of the Israelites’ desire for accuracy, understanding, and peace between the tribes. We are given the bare details, but they open up speculation about what life was like as they settled into their new territories. God’s current people have not yet crossed their Jordan. We, too, will settle a new territory one day, but I don’t think we’ll be as concerned about borderlines as they were.

#book-of-joshua, #borderlines, #children-of-israel, #christianity, #heaven, #jordan-river, #land-of-canaan, #land-survey, #old-testament, #promised-land, #tribes-of-israel

Hugh’s News & Views (Purpose)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

A RE-STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The first issue of “Hugh’s News & Views” was sent out on Thursday, November 11, 2010. The next issue was mailed on Tuesday, November 16, 2010. Since that time “News & Views” has gone out every Tuesday (and frequently an early mailing to some recipients on Monday) except for those weeks when I have been out of town. As of this date, 166 issues have gone forth.

In that initial issue I said, “These occasional mailings will go out to family, friends, neighbors, fellow members of the church of Christ, as well as those who are not members of the church of Christ. I will use these ‘send-outs’ as a means of staying in touch, as well as a way of letting others know my thinking about the matters that I choose to discuss. I will talk about Biblical texts and my understanding of what they teach, things that are happening in the churches of Christ, things that are transpiring in the larger religious world, political and social issues, moral issues, local, state, national, and international news items, sports items, personal and family matters (where deemed appropriate), as well as any thing else that might tend to cross my mind when I sit down to write.”

I went on to say, Continue reading

#christianity, #hughfulford, #news-views

spiritual rash

If you’ve ever had a rash, your experience may have gone something like this: you notice yourself scratching at the irritated part of your skin and it dawns on you that it’s been itching a lot. You realize the rash is there. You put cream of some kind on it to treat it and make a conscious effort not to scratch it. Your concentration on not scratching it makes it itch more. You hold yourself back, but your self control eventually breaks down and you scratch feverishly until it attains that raw, hot, yet strangely soothing painful sensation that you know deep down means it’s going to be twice as bad tomorrow. You’re relieved for a moment, yet you know that you’ve done the worst thing you could have done to it.

Sin is sort of like that.

Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)

For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want…. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:19,24-25)

Lord, give us the self control to let Your Spirit dictate our actions when we are in the throes of temptation.

#christianity, #guilt, #itch, #rash, #self-control, #sin, #skin, #temptation

the whole counsel of God

Joshua 8 records the battle the children of Israel fought against the people of Ai. It is an interesting study in military strategy, but more importantly, the end of the chapter provides a lesson for us regarding our spiritual lives. After the victory, Joshua built an altar, wrote a new copy of the law of Moses, and the nation held a ceremony in which the law was read to the people. According to the last verse of the chapter, “There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them.” It was not enough to know some of the law. The people needed to know ALL of the law. As the Lord told Moses, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3).

Lord, make us hungry to glean everything we can from the pages of Scripture, for we do not live by some of Your words, but by all of them.

#battle-of-ai, #bible-study, #book-of-joshua, #children-of-israel, #christianity, #joshua, #land-of-canaan, #old-testament

A mindset that will cost many their souls

With a title given for an article like the one above there are sure to be some who would immediately write me off as being too judgmental, a legalist, or even a heretic. But what if I were to say that the title above is based on a plainly written piece of the scriptures? Would it cause you to stop and think and read and think some more? Let’s find out.

There are many people in Christendom (I’ve heard it myself) who believe that the love of God is all that matters when it comes to one’s doctrine, practice, profession and salvation. And while saying that the love of God does not play the largest role in these items is furthest thing from my point, my major point is that there’s more to sound doctrine, an active practice, a holy profession and eternal salvation than the love of God for us. What I’m saying is that a mindset that says, “The love of God is all that matters” can and will cost many people their soul.

So where do I get the audacity to say such a thing? Well, to be perfectly honest it’s not my audacity that’s saying it. It’s not Matthew’s, Mark’s, Luke’s, Paul’s, James’, Jude’s, Peter’s or John’s audacity either. Neither is it an audacious “Old Testament” commandment! The warning comes straight from the mouth of Jesus:

Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will go into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the pleasure of my Father in heaven. A great number will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, were we not prophets in your name, and did we not by your name send out evil spirits, and by your name do works of power? And then will I say to them, I never had knowledge of you: go from me, you workers of evil.” (Matthew 7:21-23 – BBE)

Is the love of God all that matters according to Jesus’ admonition? Or does our love for God and doing His will actually play a much more serious role than what some present? Am I still being too judgmental, or a legalist, or am I still a heretic now? If you believe so then I would earnestly encourage you lay aside the costly lessons of men and women and take a seat with the rest of Jesus’ disciples at the foot of the mountain (Matthew 5-7) because it’s there that you’ll find that our mindset towards God can cost us as much as God is willing to pay for us.

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” (John 14:23-24)

#christianity, #error, #god, #love, #mindset, #salvation