Dear Brethren, I know the folks who need help. They come from wonderful Christian families and are themselves very faithful Christians. If you can help, the information is given in this letter. Ted Knight Continue reading
“Realize that the Lord shows the godly special favor; the Lord responds when I cry out to him.”
David speaks to those who seek to bring shame upon him, v 2. He appeals for their repentance, v. 4.
God hears his people’s prayers. They alone are so privileged. He helps those who seek him. What pleas do you make to God today?
“Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners” (Psalm 146:5-7 NKJV). God gives “help,” a word meaning “to run at a cry.” The Creator God is the source of life, truth, justice, food, and freedom. In the Apostle Paul’s vision “A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Acts 16:9-10 NKJV). God hears cries of “Help!” for either physical or spiritual needs.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
Some things that we can do to send discouragement packing doesn’t have anything to do with getting things – it has everything to do with getting rid of things:
- One, since misery loves company, we need to quit hanging around people who discourage us from doing or thinking right (think along the lines of Galatians 5:7 or 1 Corinthians 15:33 when it comes to the ability of others to influence us negatively) – if people can’t talk right or be anything but a downer towards you, then don’t talk to them.
- Two, as best as possible, forget the critics and remember the encouragers of life (there will always be more critics than encouragers).
- Three, don’t dwell on the past – if the past helps, good; if the past hinders let it go (read Philippians 3:13 or think about the 2nd stanza of the song “Higher Ground”).
- Four, get rid of the idea that says everything is supposed to be fine all the time and that problems are signs of weakness (that type of reality isn’t the reality of this dead and dying world – Job 14:1).
“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)
One of the most honest people (if not the most honest in many ways) that Jesus ever dealt with is found in Mark 9:17-27.
Who is this man? We don’t much about him, but we know enough. He was a father who needed help for his child. He was a man caught in a situation that he could not fix by himself. He was a man who was heading in the right direction when he came to Jesus.
So what makes this man so honest? It was his willingness to admit his weakness!
“Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”” (Mark 9:23-24).
The man knew he needed stronger faith. The man knew that pride would get him nowhere in this situation. The man knew there was only one place to go, not only for his child, but for himself as well. That’s why this man was one honest man!
This isn’t an opportunity to talk about how a person can do whatever they want if they just have the faith. It’s an opportunity to learn that if God wills something to be done, then He can provide us with the faith to see it through – if we’re willing to be honest with Him that is.
Just how honest, brothers and sisters, are we willing to be with ourselves? Lord, help us with our unbelief!
“For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:3)
During our last gospel meeting, we had a television commercial that pointed out the Bible was the only how-to book someone needs to learn how to become a better person.
Often, the Apostle Paul’s inspired direction to Christians came in simple statements. They were designed to help people improve themselves. A good example of this is Colossians 4:1-6.
- “Grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.” Few of us have slaves these days, but shouldn’t our dealings with all men be just and fair? When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus combined two into one by saying, “The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these,” Mark 12:29-30). We must remember we have a Master in heaven who expects us to do what is right.
- “Devote yourselves to prayer…” The components of this devotion include steadfastness and watchfulness with thanksgiving. The word “steadfastly” was also used in Mark 3:9, describing how the little boat was to keep close to the shore, ready to be used by the Master. This is the kind of devotion we should have. Watchfulness is a component, too, a present active participle, meaning we should never stop.
- “Walk in wisdom…” The Bible often uses the word “walk” to indicate how we should conduct ourselves as Christians. We are being watched. People are making judgments about Christianity based on what they see in our lives. A large part of that conduct is composed of what we do with our speech, isn’t it? It is how we speak that determines what people think.
- “Seasoned with salt…” The two important parts of speech are grace and salt. Of this verse, A.T. Robertson said, “Grace and wit make an ideal combination.” Adam Clarke said the Christian’s speech must not only be holy, “but wise, gracious, and intelligent.” Salt seasons food, but it also prepares it. Good speech prepares us to influence others for Christ.
Grant, devote, conduct, seasoned are simple words, but the wisdom they communicate is beyond human attempts to order peoples’ lives. The Bible is, indeed, the only how-to book that can help us all become better people and fit our souls for heaven.
A good marital sacrifice, is when one mate is incapacitated for a period of time, to take over the chore of cleaning the house, washing the dishes, buying the groceries, preparing the meals, etc.
The “little ones” in my life is my congregation of loving and caring people who help me when I’m in financial straits. Conversely, I help them in preaching and teaching the sound gospel of Christ (or whatever else needs to be done). We help one another, and in so doing, both of us are richly blessed by the Lord.
My most useful gift was a Dickson Bible that my wife and father-in-law gave me on Christmas Day in 1981. It contains many Bible helps that today’s cheaper Bibles do not have. I’ve used it very extensively in Bible class teaching.
My favorite hymn is “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand” by F.L.Eiland: http://www.scripturessay.com/song/2-19Track19.mp3
The lyrics of the song are taken from Hebrews 13:5-8, where the Hebrew writer talks about the fact that we need to be satisfied with what God has provided us (Matthew 6:19-34). For us not to worry about the necessities of life, because the unchanging God we serve, will never leave us or forsake us – always there to help us when we need help.
Yesterday I spoke on hope in troubled times, focusing on passages that give me hope.
The words I long to hear more than any other: “Well done.” Christianity for the two-talent and the five-talent people was a blessing. Christianity is a livable religion with a bearable yoke. You can go to heaven. 2 Tim. 4:6-8 tells of an awards day. The Day of Judgment is not all negative; there are judgments of life too.
When things were at their worst, Jeremiah sang in his Lament the beautiful passage from 3:21-24… The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercy never comes to an end…