King David was not a perfect man. Some time after taking the throne of Israel as God’s king, he sinned grievously against Him. Sins of adultery and murder are not trivial, and yet it is acknowledged that David was a man after God’s “own heart, who will do all My will” (cf. Acts 13:22). The second book of Samuel notes of David’s reign, “So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered judgment and justice to all his people” (8:15).
Despite the documented failings of David, he can rightly be described as a righteous man. As such, he enjoyed God’s favor and protection, even as he was compassed about by his enemies. We are familiar with examples of the providential care shown Him by Jehovah.
Continue reading » God is Our Protector!
“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
1 Peter 5:10
Peter’s letter acknowledged the existence of persecution at that time. He noted that his readers had been “grieved by various trials” (1:6). He told them, “do not think it strange concerning the fiery trail which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (4:12). His words in (5:10) summarize the truth regarding persecution. It is inevitable that we will suffer for our faith, (“all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution,” 2 Timothy 3:12); but, that persecution is momentary. In the end, we will be called to “eternal glory”!
So, as we accept the inevitable, but temporary nature of our suffering on earth, how should we handle these efforts to destroy us and our faith? Consider Peter’s admonitions…
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:13).
“…But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God” (2:20).
Considering how our response should mirror that of our Lord, Peter wrote, “when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten” (2:23).
Truly, it is “better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (3:15). If we suffer for the cause of Christ, it is reason to rejoice, for we “are blessed” (3:14).
Paul wrote in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
His words are an interesting contrast to those of Jesus in John 5:39-40, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”
There is no contradiction here. The gospel is powerful in that it is the means by which a sinner comes to Christ. We are saved by grace through faith (cf. Ephesians 2:8-9). There is no magic in the incantation of words. The Bible is not to be confused with the magician’s abracadabra.
Paul wrote, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The purpose of messianic prophecy, and the four gospels of the New Testament is to bring us to a knowledge of, and acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We must be noble as the Bereans (cf. Acts 17:11), and accept the truths that are contained in scripture. As Jesus notes, the scripture testifies of Him, and we must be willing to come to Him that we “may have life.”
Belief in Jesus requires belief in his virgin birth, sinless life, sacrificial death, resurrection from the dead, and His ascension to God’s right hand. Will you come to Him?
Social Media in our day and time is ubiquitous. In December of last year, Facebook boasted an average of over 1.23 Billion daily users. That is about 4 times the entire population of the United States, every day! Other popular Social Media sites include Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
With such ubiquity comes the danger of abuse and sin. Christians need to be aware of the potential pitfalls of using these sites, lest we “fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:7).
Continue reading » Social Media Guidelines
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).
Paul’s instruction here is coupled with the previous exhortation, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside” (vs. 5). So, the graceful speech under consideration here has special application to interaction with those who are not Christians. Consider the instructions…
“Let your speech always be with grace.” The word “grace” here is defined by Thayer, “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm.” The Christian is to be inoffensive in his manner of speech. That does not mean that the gospel of Christ will not offend. What it does mean is that such offense, if it comes, is the fault of the hearer, not the speaker. Our purpose is not to win arguments or to tell people off – it is to plant and water that God may give “the increase” (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:6).
“Seasoned with salt.” Albert Barnes makes a good point about this. He notes that although we don’t always talk about religion and our faith, piety should always be “sprinkled” in our conversations. In other words, our faith should always be the spice of our communication with others. They hear what we say, and see Christ in us.
“That you may know how to answer each one.” Three things to note here. 1) We can’t “know” unless we have studied. 2) We can pray for wisdom (cf. James 1:5) with the confidence that God will supply us with what we lack. 3) Practice leads to proficiency. In order to get good at our spiritual communication with the lost, we have to share the saving gospel with them.
So, let’s get to it!
“I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 89:1).
The poet’s proclamation was made within the specific context of the promises made by God to King David. “I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: Your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations” (verse 3).
God is certainly faithful concerning His promises to man. He always has, and always will do as He says. The “Son of David”, Jesus the Christ, reigns in Heaven today.
Consider this truth, and remember the promise of mercy that God has given to us. As Paul wrote:
“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8)..
Click below to…
A life lived for Jesus Christ brings blessings, both while we live upon the earth He created, and most importantly, in eternity!
Part 1 (AM) Audio – 1
Part 2 (PM) Audio – 2
“An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. He devises wickedness on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not abhor evil.” (Psalm 36:1-4)
The Psalmist refers to the sins of the wicked, that they speak to him. It may be that the transgressions harmed him personally. He expresses an intimate knowledge of the evil done.
How can a man do wickedness, and flatter himself? How can he think highly of himself when he hates others? When he deceives? When he rebels against his Creator?
While it seems incredible, the debased mind is commonly found in every nation and in every age. Paul knew why, because men “did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Romans 1:28). It is foolish, but does explain the current state of our society. In contrast, the righteous fear the Lord! (cf. Proverbs 3:7).
Click below to…
There are consequences to men who do not understand their place in relation to God. Too often men seek their own counsel, and pay no respect to the One who made them. “Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the Lord, and their works are in the dark; they say, ‘Who sees us?’ and, ‘Who knows us?’ Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; for shall the thing made say of him who made it, ‘He did not make me’? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?” (Isaiah, 29:15-16).
Continue reading » Depending Upon the Word of God
Principles such as love, trustworthiness, empathy and honesty are discussed as we seek as Christians to deepen our friendships with one another.