This event is a picture of the mistake we make in thinking that the ultimate God wants of us is the sacrifice of death. What God wants is the sacrifice through death which enables us to do what Jesus did, that is, sacrifice our lives, Not---"Lord, I am ready to go with You . . . to death" (Luke 22:33). But---"I am willing to be identified with Your death so that I may sacrifice my life to God."
We seem to think that God wants us to give up things! God purified Abraham from this error, and the same process is at work in our lives. God never tells us to give up things just for the sake of giving them up, but He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having, namely, life with Himself. It is a matter of loosening the bands that hold back our lives. Those bands are loosened immediately by identification with the death of Jesus. Then we enter into a relationship with God whereby we may sacrifice our lives to Him.
It is of no value to God to give Him your life for death. He wants you to be a "living sacrifice"---to let Him have all your strengths that have been saved and sanctified through Jesus (Romans 12:1). This is what is acceptable to God.
Your whole spirit . . ." The great, mysterious work of the Holy Spirit is in the deep recesses of our being which we cannot reach. Read Psalm 139. The psalmist implies---"O Lord, You are the God of the early mornings, the God of the late nights, the God of the mountain peaks, and the God of the sea. But, my God, my soul has horizons further away than those of early mornings, deeper darkness than the nights of earth, higher peaks than any mountain peaks, greater depths than any sea in nature. You who are the God of all these, be my God. I cannot reach to the heights or to the depths; there are motives I cannot discover, dreams I cannot realize. My God, search me."
Do we believe that God can fortify and protect our thought processes far beyond where we can go? ". . . the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). If this verse means cleansing only on our conscious level, may God have mercy on us. The man who has been dulled by sin will say that he is not even conscious of it. But the cleansing from sin we experience will reach to the heights and depths of our spirit if we will "walk in the light as He is in the light" (1:7). The same spirit that fed the life of Jesus Christ will feed the life of our spirit. It is only when we are protected by God with the miraculous sacredness of the Holy Spirit that our spirit, soul, and body can be preserved in pure uprightness until the coming of Jesus---no longer condemned in Godís sight.
We should more frequently allow our minds to meditate on these great,
massive truths of God.
This verse is the greatest example of the true essence of the message of a disciple of Jesus Christ in all of the New Testament.
Godís first sovereign work of grace is summed up in the words, ". . . that they may receive forgiveness of sins . . ." When a person fails in his personal Christian life, it is usually because he has never received anything. The only sign that a person is saved is that he has received something from Jesus Christ. Our job as workers for God is to open peopleís eyes so that they may turn themselves from darkness to light.
But that is not salvation; it is conversion---only the effort of an awakened human being. I do not think it is too broad a statement to say that the majority of so-called Christians are like this. Their eyes are open, but they have received nothing. Conversion is not regeneration. This is a neglected fact in our preaching today. When a person is born again, he knows that it is because he has received something as a gift from Almighty God and not because of his own decision. People may make vows and promises, and may be determined to follow through, but none of this is salvation. Salvation means that we are brought to the place where we are able to receive something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ, namely, forgiveness of sins.
This is followed by Godís second mighty work of grace: ". . . an inheritance among those who are sanctified . . ." In sanctification, the one who has been born again deliberately gives up his right to himself to Jesus Christ, and identifies himself entirely with Godís ministry to others.
"As they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon . . . and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus" (Luke 23:26).
If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the pain begins. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything----it is a delight. But to those who do not love Him, our obedience does cost a great deal. If we obey God, it will mean that other peopleís plans are upset. They will ridicule us as if to say, "You call this Christianity?" We could prevent the suffering, but not if we are obedient to God. We must let the cost be paid.
When our obedience begins to cost others, our human pride entrenches itself and we say, "I will never accept anything from anyone." But we must, or disobey God. We have no right to think that the type of relationships we have with others should be any different from those the Lord Himself had (see Luke 8:1-3).
A lack of progress in our spiritual life results when we try to bear all the costs ourselves. And actually, we cannot. Because we are so involved in the universal purposes of God, others are immediately affected by our obedience to Him. Will we remain faithful in our obedience to God and be willing to suffer the humiliation of refusing to be independent? Or will we do just the opposite and say, "I will not cause other people to suffer"? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but it will grieve our Lord. If, however, we obey God, He will care for those who have suffered the consequences of our obedience. We must simply obey and leave all the consequences with Him.
Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would
allow as a condition of your obedience to Him.
No one will dispute this statement, for it would be unseemly for
the servant to be exalted above his Master. When our Lord was on
earth, what was the treatment he received? Were his claims
acknowledged, his instructions followed, his perfections
worshipped, by those whom he came to bless? No; "He was despised
and rejected of men." Outside the camp was his place:
cross-bearing was his occupation.
Did the world yield him solace and rest? "Foxes have holes, and
the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not
where to lay his head." This inhospitable country afforded him no
shelter: it cast him out and crucified him. Such-if you are a
follower of Jesus, and maintain a consistent, Christ-like walk
and conversation-you must expect to be the lot of that part of
your spiritual life which, in its outward development, comes
under the observation of men.
They will treat it as they treated the Saviour-they will despise
it. Dream not that worldlings will admire you, or that the more
holy and the more Christ-like you are, the more peaceably people
will act towards you. They prized not the polished gem, how
should they value the jewel in the rough? "If they have called
the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call
them of his household?" If we were more like Christ, we should be
more hated by his enemies.
It is a sad dishonour to a child of God to be the world's
favourite. It is a very ill omen to hear a wicked world clap its
hands and shout "Well done" to the Christian man. He may begin to
look to his character, and wonder whether he has not been doing
wrong, when the unrighteous give him their approbation.
Let us be true to our Master, and have no friendship with a blind
and base world which scorns and rejects him. Far be it from us to
seek a crown of honour where our Lord found a coronet of thorn.
Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what youdo with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love-gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard it for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded (see Exodus 16:20). God will never allow you to keep a spiritual blessing completely for yourself. It must be given back to Him so that He can make it a blessing to others.
Bethel is the symbol of fellowship with God; Ai is the symbol of the world. Abram "pitched his tent: between the two. The lasting value of our public service for God is measured by the depth of the intimacy of our private times of fellowship and oneness with Him. Rushing in and out of worship is wrong every time----there is always plenty of time to worship God. Days set apart for quiet can be a trap, detracting from the need to have daily quiet time with God. That is why we must "Pitch our tents" where we will always have quiet times with Him, however noisy our times with the world may be. There are not three levels of spiritual life---worship, waiting, and work. Yet some of us seem to jump like spiritual frogs from worship to waiting, and from waiting to work. God´s idea is that the three should go together as one. They were always together in the life of our Lord and in perfect harmony. It is a discipline that must be developed; it will not happen overnight.
I usually begin a study of selected verses with a study of the words,, so I went to my trusty 1828 Webster's Dictionary- in that I found:
REPROVE--To blame, to censure, to charge with a fault to face, to chide to reprehend, to convince of a fault or to make it manifest.. to refute, to disprove.
REBUKE--a chiding reproof for faults, reprehension. In Scripture--chastisement, punishment affliction for the purpose of restraint and correction (Ezek and Hosea)
EXHORT--to incite by words or advice to animate or urge . To advise, to warn, to caution, by arguments.
LONGSUFFERING-- long endurance patience of offence.
Now that being clear, in verse 4 of this same passage it is speaking of them turning away from the truth...and turned to fables. ....and why was that? Because we find it verse 3 that they didn't ENDURE in sound doctrine.
In 1 Tim we hear Paul again.. in verse 20 talking to Timothy...
1Ti 6:20-21 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21. Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
again we are admonished to avoid such things of those that deny the truth of the Word of God.
The whole chapter of 1 Tim 4 has often been named "The walk of a good minister of Jesus Christ " well said I think =) In verse verse 1 of that chapter we find the reason we need to be very careful of our "unequal yolks" we need to have descernment that only the scriptures can teach us and prayer can lead us. verse 1 says:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
and in verse 6 we see:
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
I am the first to admit that this is not the way to gain popularity.. But it is the best way to deal with ppl since it is Gods way amen?
In verse 10 of chapter 4 we also find:
For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
again many wont be happy with our stand and rebukes, but that is ok because we read in verse 16:
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
This salvation is not the salvation from eternal damnation.. it is the salvation from the ponder of sin.. for ourselves and anyone else that is present.
This is where I ended my study.. I have always prayed that God would give me the compassion of Christ.. however, I also know that there is time for rebuke.. reproof.. reproach.. and from the scriptures God showed me that "that time" is when after my "long suffering" with a situation or individual, there comes a time when I need to consider "On who I stand".
It's wonderful because my sins are forgiven! It is the mercy of God that sent His son to shed His blood for us!
Its wonderful to be a Christian because I am not going to Hell!
It's wonderful to be a Christian because I am going to Heaven! Never again to be sick, in pain, having to work, no more tears, NO more SIN, NO more TEMPTATION!
It's wonderful to be a Christian because God is my Father! He calls US son/daughter! We have a Father that we can be proud of.
It's wonderful to be a Christian because Jesus is my Lord! There is no one like Him amen?
It's wonderful to be a Christian because the Holy Spirit is my hope and comfort! He leads. Don't take Him for granted!
It's wonderful to be a Christian because I have the WORD OF GOD! He preserved a PERFECT BOOK. A love letter written just to me/you.
It's wonderful to be a Christian because He put me in a great church! Every time the doors are open I want to be there. It's great because of its music, its ministries, My preacher!
It's wonderful to be a Christian because I have a wonderful family!
Most importantly since my salvation, It is wonderful to be a Christian because I have the PRIVILEGE of telling others that salvation can be theirs too!
Do your neighbors know this? Do your children? How about at work? At school? In the places you frequent? The stores, banks? Wherever you go?
SHOW THE WORLD THAT IT IS WONDERFUL TO BE A CHRISTIAN!
Do you let your feelings control you? I hope not, because people who follow their feelings:
1. Don't last long (quitters)....The truth is we are to be crucified with Christ!
2. An important fact to remember is that we are not born with character, we need to acquire it.
3. God won't bless laziness! "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." 2Th 3:10 Parents, we ought to teach our kids to work, not only in teaching them the 'doing of it' but in our example before them.
4. You should stay married! "The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Mt 19:3-6
Again, what you do is more important than how you feel! God hates broken marriages, " Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth." Mal 2:14 I'm not saying that their aren't circumstances, what i'm saying here is that there is a way to get that 'fire' burning again! Find it!
So you say you believe the Bible? You claim to be a Bible Believer?
A Bible believer is a DOER! Nehemiah said I'm doing a great work! (God's) no matter what the people tried or did. Don't let a broken heart stop you!
Even when you are worn out.. don't quit being a doer! "And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them." Jg 8:4 Don't let the wheel keep turning but the hamster be dead! "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Php 3:14 Don't quit going for God until it is over!
Don't let being discouraged stop you! David lost not only his wife, but they wanted to kill him... "And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God." 1Sa 30:6 What did he do? He encouraged himself in the LORD!
How about Noah? He preached 120 years and NO one listened but he kept going didn't he? Are you feeling spiritually empty? There we go with feelings again. God never promised us that we would always be on the mountain tops did He? Just like when the snow falls, JUST PLOUGH THROUGH! "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Ga 6:9
We are called....saved....commissioned for life! God hates quitters! Think of Jesus... He went all the way! And what did He say to us? FOLLOW ME!
Our physical senses are very important in that we relate to our physical world. They allow us to communicate with and to nature without another human present. Without our five senses, we would live in a world void of sensation.
As important as our physical senses are in our physical, we have within each of us that have been born again spiritual senses as well. These play a much more important eternal role than our physical. What makes our spiritual senses more important eternally is when one of them is absent from our daily walk, we do NOT give the lost world the entire picture of what it means to be saved. We fail to communicate the joys of Jesus. Thus many lost people look at Christians and get a false concept of what it means to be born again.
Each of us should make it a part of our daily living to give a clear picture in all areas of our lives of what it means to live for Jesus with our entire being. Jude 1:24 "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen."
When the lost world looks at us, what colors do they see? The only color that the lost world can understand dwelling in the lives of people that proclaim to be born again is WHITE. Professing Christians ought to live an unspotted life from the sins of the world. James 1:27, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
Jesus told the people that to see Him was to see the Father. What does this mean for professing Christians? It means that the lost world should look at Christians and see the attributes of Christ in all areas of our lives. We need to present to the lost world purity. Rev 19:7, "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
How does touch relate to our Christian life? Christians ought to use wisdom so that they will know when to have a **soft touch** when dealing with others. Prov 15:1, "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."
We also need to know when to use a strong touch. Rom 15:1, "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves." Professing Christians need to be aware of how they reach out and touch someone. We ought to be gentle with those we encounter; especially those we want to win to the Lord. 2 Tim 4:2, Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" We were not told to beat the lost world to death with the word. Just preach it everyday. Some times it is necessary to touch the saved with gentle rebuke and if necessary exhort them. Gal. 5:22, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith." Furthermore, the aged saints of God need to know how to touch the babes in Christ to inspire them to greater joys.
Has someone ever left a bad taste in your mouth? Well, as Christian, what kind of taste do we leave people with? What should Christians taste like? The answer is salt.
One of the qualities of salt is it makes people thirsty. If we live our lives as Christians, we will make people thirsty. At the end of the day each professing Christian ought to examine their day and ask this question: "Did I make anyone thirsty today for the Lord?" Have we as a church body made anyone thirsty lately?
Once we make someone thirsty, we can lead them to the eternal Water where they can drink and never thirst again. Mat 5:13, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."
ARE WE MAKING PEOPLE THIRSTY? John 4:14-15, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw."
Upon opening our mouths to speak, what is it that the lost world hears coming from us? Do we speak with the forked-tongue of the serpent? James 3:10-12, "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh."
Have lashed out with our tongue for good or evil? Prov 10:20, "The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth." Luke 6:45, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh."
The lost world should hear our testimony of Him. If we have anything to say to a lost and doomed world it is that Jesus loves them. Rom 10:14, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? What does the world hear from blood bought born again Christians?
What should a Christian smell like? I believe the odor of the Christian life is myrrh. Myrrh produces a sweet and pleasant odor. Our life should be a sweet smelling savor to our Saviour.
Too many times professing Christians smell like the world: dirty, rotten, musty, and evil. King David was once forced to live in a cave, 1 Sam. 22. The Lord sent the prophet Gad and told him to not abide in the hold, 1 Sam. 22:5. The Lord knew that David would begin to smell like the cave where in he lived.
Where is the sweet fragrance that should be about us? King Solomon wrote about his love for his beloved. He used the same word to describe their love for each other. Song 5:5, "I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock." Song 5:13, "His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh."
The church is the beloved, the bride of Christ, Eph 5:27, "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Who would want to marry a bride that looked, tasted, and smelled as if she spent her nights in a corner bar?
Who would want a bride with a rough voice and coarse touch? Someone who liked that type of woman, of course. Proverbs describes this type of woman and men that love such as fools. The Lord's bride, the church, does not act as such.
Each of us should seriously examine our five spiritual senses of regarding our Christian life and see what picture we present to those with whom we communicate. If one of these senses is missing, if one of these senses is not a reflection of Jesus, what is the message we communicate to the lost?
James 1:23-25, "For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT WHEN:
In the heat of anger;
Pr 14:17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
You dont have all the facts:
Pr 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
You haven't verified the story:
Pr 29:20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
Tempted to joke about sin:
Pr 14:9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
Ashamed of your words later:
Pr 18:8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
You want to appear wise:
Pr 17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
It would destroy a friendship:
Pr 16:28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
It would destroy a reputation:
Pr 16:27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.
When you may have to eat your words later:
Pr 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
More than once:
Pr 19:13 A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping. (ugh funny how it always mentions a wife with this nagging huh?)
It's time to listen:
Pr 13:1 A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
When you should be working instead, and when there will be ALL talk and NO do!:
Pr 14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
Of course these have mostly been used "after the fact" with my children, but hey its worth the lesson in most cases!
P.S. and one that has nothing to do with those HOWEVER, same text, Proverbs 11, verse 21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.
maybe "hands across America?" ahhhhhh love love love!
The Bible says:
Ac 8:38-39 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
One Sunday, the Minister was giving a sermon on baptism and in the coarse of his sermon he was illustrating the fact that baptism should take place by sprinkling and not by immersion. He pointed out some instances in the Bible. He said that when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the River Jordan, it didn't mean in - it meant close to, round about, or nearby. And again when it says in the Bible that Philip baptized the eunuch in the river, it didn't mean in - it meant close to, round about, or nearby.
After the service, a man came up to the minister and told him it was a great sermon, one of the best he had ever heard, and that it had cleared up a great many mysteries he had encountered in the Bible.
"For instance," he said, "the story about Jonah getting swallowed by the whale has always bothered me. Now I know that Jonah wasn't really in the whale, but close to, round about, or nearby, swimming in the water.
Then there is the story about the three young Hebrew boys who were thrown into the furious furnace, but were not burned. Now I see that they were not really in the fire, just close to, round about, or nearby, just keeping warm.
But the hardest of all the stories for me to believe has always been the story of Daniel getting thrown into the lions" den. But now I see that he wasn't really in the lions' den, but close to, round about, or nearby, like at the zoo.
The revealing of these mysteries have been a real comfort me because I am a wicked man. Now I am gratified to know that I won't be in Hell, but close to, round about, or nearby. And next Sunday, I won't have to be in church, just close to, round about, or nearby. Thanks. You have really put my mind at ease.
ANSWER: [by a pastor]
At Pentecost, those present were impressed by the spiritual power of the Apostles. They asked how they could receive similar power. They were told to repent (repent and belief are fruits of each other), be baptized, and they would realize the benefits of a Spirit-filled life. So to get the Holy Ghost one must believe AND THEN be baptized.
Paul was asked by the Philippian jailer how to be saved. Note, he was NOT asked how to get the Holy Ghost. The questions in these passages are not the same. The Philippian jailer only wanted salvation and so he asked and Paul said, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." THEN LATER he was baptized.
John asked for fruits of repentance (salvation) and THEN he baptized. The Etheopian Enich was first saved, THEN LATER baptized.
Please read your Bible more carefully in the future since you are obviously so deeply entrenched in a theological system that you are missing blatantly obvious Bible incidents. Rule #1- The simple interpretation based on a literal rendering of the passage is almost always the correct one. Do NOT go looking for complicated explanations and "doctrines" when simple answers are easily found in scripture.
Also notice that in Mark 16:16 Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Why did He not say instead that he who is not baptized is damned? It can be taken for granted that a true believer will be baptized. But the damnation, if it is to come, will be because of a lack of faith, not for lack of baptism. You are making claims for this passage that simply are not there. Nowhere in the passage does it say that those not baptized are lost. It ONLY says unbelievers are lost.
God truly is to be praised for perfection. I have not known many great men in my life however I'm sure that there must be many. It probably has more to do with the circles of people I've chosen to be in during the earlier years of my life. Men are fallen and no matter how great a man someone is they to are going to make mistakes and in some cases even wrong someone else. That some one may be you. In that case the man that has done wrong is not to be punished by you or talked bad about behind his back. He is to be confronted personally and ultimately admonished and restored. Astonishingly that is not the way that it is with God. God will never wrong you. He will never lie, never make a mistake, or mislead you at all. He is absolutely trustworthy and even for your own good he demands your trusting in him. God is perfect and therefore his standard is perfection toward us. Mt 5:48
Heb 6:18, "That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us."
Tit 1:2-3, "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour."
With God we are without excuse. Because he loves us he is cut and dry with us. Yes he will have grace toward us and wink an eye at our immaturity, but because there is no place of neutral ground in this battle of spiritual warfare he commands us to go only forward at all times. The only way that peoples lives are truly changed is through the preaching of the cross and God's coming kingdom. Therefore the way of progress is through the preaching of that gospel. We are commanded of God as his children to strive for perfection, as fallen men, by this means. 1 Jo 2:3-6, "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."
Jas 1:16-18, "Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."
God is to be praised that in him there "is no variableness, nor shadow of turning." That means that he doesn't make excuses and neither should you. When God so clearly calls you it is time to go. You should that God is always calling you to do more than what you have been doing and most of us haven't even been doing what we are supposed to up to this point. It is time to get on with the business of God.
Php 1:20-21, "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Introduction: It is an unusual statement to say the least. It is found only twice in the Bible, and both times, it is used in the same context.
"They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is
under their lips. Selah." (Psalm 140:3)
"Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips." (Romans 3:13)
The asp is a poisonous snake. Pretty, perhaps, to look at, but deadly if you happen to get bitten by one. You want to avoid keeping company with an asp. This is just common sense.
The Bible refers to the tongue in this light. James 3:8 says, "But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." Psalm 140 and Romans 3 both teach that under the tongue is a deadly poison.
Jesus spoke of the tongue and its power to poison. "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:34-37)
The Christian's mouth problem starts in his heart, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) The tongue can bring blessings and good, but it can also be used in a very destructive way. Since the heart is the source of wickedness, and "as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he," then the tongue merely communicates the message of the heart.
In this message, I want to share with you several poisonous bites of the Christian tongue.
1. Deceitful flattery. - Proverbs 26:23-24
"Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him."
- "Burning lips" speak of warm professions. A "potsherd" is a piece of pottery scrap. In other words, sweet words from a wicked person are like broken pieces of useless junk covered with silver dross. These are insincere compliments with an agenda.
- Solomon warns his son Rehoboam about giving insincere compliments to gain favor in the eyes of others.
- It is a poisonous bite!
- If you feel the need to use deceitful flattery, your tongue is filled with the poison of asps!
2. Slander, talebearing, and gossip. - Proverbs 6:12-14
"A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord."
- There are some things that just ought never be repeated! "He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends." (Proverbs 17:9)
- One of the things that is an abomination to God is one who sows discord [tension or strife resulting from a lack of agreement; dissension] among other Christians. "A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Proverbs 6:19)
- If God hates it, you ought to avoid being involved with it.
- If you feel the need to slander, gossip, and criticize, your tongue is filled with the poison of asps!
3. Arguments, strife, and angry words. - Proverbs 18:6-7
"A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul."
- The foolish Christian is always getting into fights and arguments. He always wants to argue about something. He will not listen to others.
- Notice it says, "A fool's lips enter into contention..." Proverbs 13:10 speaks plainly of this. "Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom."
- If you feel the need to argue, strive, and use angry words, your tongue is filled with the poison of asps!
4. Boasting and foolish talk. - Proverbs 25:14
"Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain."
- When I was a youth pastor in Minnesota, the teens taught me a song that I will never forget. It was sung in jest, but it rings true for many Christians today.
We're great, but no one knows it, no one knows it so far. Someday, they'll realize how wonderful we are! They'll look at us and point at us, and then they'll shout, "Hooray!" We're great, but no one knows it, but they will some day!
- If you feel the need to blow your own horn, your tongue is filled with the poison of asps!
5. Vulgarity and profanity. - Proverbs 30:11-14
"There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men."
- Solomon was right, "there is a generation that...," and that generation is today's generation!
- It is not just those without Christ who use foul language, it is also those who profess Christ. What a Christ-dishonoring shame!
- Dirty talk, about sensual things, leads to immorality. We teach the children the following song in Children's Church:
Walk, walk, walk the Bible way;
Read your Bible daily; don't forget to pray!
Walk, walk, walk the Bible way;
Read your Bible every day.
Smoking, drinking, fist-fights, and dirty talk
They all make you walk the dirty walk.
Smoking, drinking, fist-fights, and dirty talk
Jesus says, "No! No! Don't do it!"
- Dirty jokes and suggestive words ought not be a part of a Christian's vocabulary. Leave gutter language in the gutters where it belongs!
- If you feel the need to use vulgarity and profanity, your tongue is filled with the poison of asps!
6. Lies. - Proverbs 6:16-19
"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."
- You just might find it interesting that, of the seven things that are abominations to God, three are about the tongue!
- God hates a lying tongue.
- Do you really believe that there are white and black lies in God's mind? I don't think so!
Conclusion: These are six poisons found under the lips of the saved. If your saved, born-again, blood-washed mouths have any or all of these poisons lurking in them, what can you do?
- Admit that you have a problem with your tongue.
- Take steps to control your tongue.
* Keep your heart clean with God's Word. "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word...Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." (Psalm 119:9 & 11)
* Think before you speak! Abraham Lincoln said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." The Bible says, "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." (Proverbs 17:28)
Remember, the Christian's mouth problem starts in his heart, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) The tongue can bring blessings and good, but it can also be used in a very destructive way. Since the heart is the source of wickedness, and "as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he," then the tongue merely communicates the message of the heart. Don't allow your tongue to poison anyone else!
** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!
"Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me."
When John D. Rockefeller ran the Standard Oil Company, one of his senior executives made a mistake which cost them over $2 million. Most of the other executives thought Rockefeller would come down on him 'like a ton of bricks.' But, they were wrong! Before he called the man in, he sat down, took a notepad and wrote across the top of it - points in favour of this man! Then he listed the man's virtues, including how he'd helped the company make the right decision on other occasions and earned them millions in profits.
One of the senior executives who witnessed it, later said, "Whenever I'm tempted to 'rip into' someone, I force myself first to sit down to compile a list of the good qualities they have. By the time I've finished, I have the right perspective and best of all, my anger is under control. I can't tell you how many times this habit has prevented me from committing one of life's costliest of mistakes - losing my temper! I recommend it to anyone who must deal with people."
Good lesson to remember huh? ;-)
George Whitefield (1714-1770) was a very famous preacher in England and America. He travelled from town to town, often preaching several times each day. Thousands of people flocked to hear him, but some people laughed and mocked him.
At Rotherham a number of young men met in a tavern to mock Whitefield. They made bets to see who could mimic his sermons the best. Each one had to stand on a table, open the Bible and pretend to preach like Whitefield, while the others laughed and clapped at his performance.
A young man named Thorpe was the last to act. He jumped onto the table saying, "I will beat you all." He opened the Bible and read the first verse he saw, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3) Suddenly he realised the solemn truth of the text, and was deeply convicted of his lost condition. He tried to preach, but instead of making fun, he spoke very seriously. Great quietness and solemnity spread over the whole group, and those who had come to scoff went away in tears, deeply troubled about their sins.
Thorpe was wonderfully saved by the Lord. He later became a faithful preacher of the gospel and laboured for many years in the ministry, and came to be a friend of George Whitefield.
[David Gibbs is Chief Counsel for the Christian Law Association.]
The US Supreme Court classifies all religious beliefs as either preferences or convictions. When is a Belief a Preference? A belief is a preference when, under certain circumstances, that belief can be changed. A belief may be strong and intense and may still be a preference.
The five circumstances noted by the court that most often cause one to change his beliefs are: peer pressure, family pressure, litigation pressure, jail pressure, and death pressure.
When the disapproval of others causes one to bend their beliefs, their beliefs are simply preferences.
It is often pressure from within a family-from a spouse, parent, or child-that will cause one to lessen his beliefs. The court held that if family pressure causes one to change, that belief is merely a preference.
When one faces an intimidating legal battle, he often re-evaluates his beliefs. If a lawsuit changes your beliefs, they are preferences.
Would you be willing to suffer a jail sentence for your belief? If not, your belief is just a preference.
The ultimate test of a belief is whether you would be willing to die for it-like many Christian martyrs have done throughout history. Would you be willing to die for your belief? If not, your belief is not a conviction.
When is a Belief a Conviction?
CONVICTIONS ARE SELF-DETERMINED
You need other people to stand with you, your belief is not a conviction. A conviction must be self-determined, not influenced by what others do or by what others ask of you.
CONVICTIONS ARE NON-NEGOTIABLE
If you are willing to even discuss the option of dishonouring your belief, your belief is not a conviction but only a preference.
CONVICTIONS ARE VICTORIOUS
Victory is standing for what you believe is right, regardless of the cost. If you need earthly victory to remain true to what you believe, you do not have a conviction.
CONVICTIONS ARE LIFESTYLES
The court held that if a man holds true to his beliefs, those beliefs will evidence themselves in a life which is consistent with those beliefs. Convictions must control a person's life.
If religious liberty in America is to be passed on to the next generation, it is critical that American believers study what the Bible teaches so they know what they believe, live consistent lives according to what the Bible teaches, and stand firmly for what the Bible teaches. Only then will the world recognize God's people to be people of conviction and find our faith sufficient to pass the test of conviction versus preference.
Good friends can be hard to find. Acquaintances, associates, partners, and colleagues are found in abundance. But a true friend is scarce, and to be treasured. If friendships are to become good and lasting, both friends need to work at being good friends.
What makes a good friend (GF)?
A GF makes time. Most friendships fail because of neglect. Making time means getting off work early to accompany a friend to an anxiety-provoking doctor's appointment, or canceling another commitment to attend a friend's acting debut at an amateur playhouse. A friend will make time for the other's significant life events, moments of crisis, and - equally meaningful - in the midst of the mundane.
A GF keeps a secret. Sharing your secrets helps you explore what's troubling you and get reaction to what you've been holding in your heart. You need to tell your secrets to people who are trustworthy, consider it a privilege to hear what's on your mind, and leave it at that.
A GF cares deeply. Without care friendship is impossible. Caring involves both your heart and your head. Care says that whatever happens to you happens to me. When you are sad, I am sad. When something terrific happens to you, I rejoice myself.
A GF provides space.Overly engaged and emotionally needy friends, who don't know the meaning of giving another space, smother you with their very presence. Their constant companionship becomes oppressive - and possessive.
A GF speaks the truth. Honesty is a prerequisite to a friendship. There must be a willingness to speak the truth, and a willingness to hear the truth. Friends who do not care enough to confront may save themselves a little awkwardness in the present but will end up losing their friendships in the future.
A GF forgives faults. Every friend you have will eventually disappoint you. You can count on it. They are ordinary people. That's why a lasting friendship depends on forgiveness. Some slights need only be overlooked and forgotten; others need profound forgiveness. The friendship may not continue unless there is also reconciliation, which requires that your friend own up to the truth of the fault and see the pain it caused.
A GF remains faithful. They don't desert you, even when you are in trouble, or when it costs them something to remain your friend.
A GF laughs easily.Laughter is the fuel that keeps good friendships going once they are born. It's what enables friends to help each other cope in the midst of crisis and monotony.
A GF celebrates success. A defining trait of a good friend is the ability to stick with you in the bad times. But sometimes the true test of a friend's staying power is in his or her ability to be supportive when things are going well. A good friend will spread the good news and be happy for your achievements.
A GF says a prayer. Prayer catapults friendship into the deepest and highest work of the human spirit. It involves God in the relationship, and makes all these traits do-able.
Pr 27:6 "Faithful are the wounds of a friend......"
Pr 18:24 "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
In today's society, you are no longer responsible for what or how you think -- it is a medical disorder. Fortunately, you can treated with medication! Anti-depressants are billion-dollar drugs these days and someone wants to keep sales up.
This depression self-test was received by all employees just before the holidays, see how you score. Remember if you answer yes to any one of these you may suffer from depression!
Are you overtired and lack energy?
Do you sleep too much or too little?
Has your appetite changed recently?
Are you sad or melancholy?
Do you take a long time to do simple tasks?
Well, apparently we have a church full of depressed people!!
Note: This in no way should discount those who have a real medical problem. They do exist!
Key Verse for Christians: Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
There are 5 areas that if Christians will be obedient and commit their works unto the Lord, they can get rid of what plagues their minds.
1. Unpaid Debt
Proverbs 6:1-5 My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, 2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. 3 Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. 4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. 5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
If you owe someone money pay them ASAP. You won't have that hanging over your head and causing you to lose sleep.
2. Unfinished Work
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Make sure you finish what you start! If the Lord has led you to do something, do it.
3. Unequally Yoked
James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
How can you have peace of mind when you are trying to please the Lord while not offending the world? Do you follow the world's fashions? Do you act like the world acts? Do you stand up for Jesus Christ when it's not convenient?
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
4. Unconquered Sin
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Confess and forsake all sin!
5. Uncommitted Prayer
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Pray about everything. If you lack peace of mind about something take it to the Lord!
To bear, carry or remove from one place to another. It is applied to the removal of a bishop from one see to another.
Conveyed from one place to another; removed to heaven without dying; rendered into another language.
The removal of a person to heaven without subjecting him to death.
The Bible is our finale authority in ALL matters. In the Bible we find that the word translate is found 5 times in 3 places, Let's take a look at that.
2Sa 3:9-10 "So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the LORD hath sworn to David, even so I do to him; To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba."
This has to do with the transfer of a Kingdom... the original condition was that it was 'split' -- that was NOT God's will. So we find here that the *translation* was that David would reign. (another words it is BETTER now)
Col 1:13 "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:"
In our original condition, we were bound in sin. AFTER translation it was BETTER!
Heb 11:5 "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
When we think of the rapture and compare it to what could be... We can always say "Thank God for the *translation* it is BETTER than the original!
Jer 2:13 "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
What has been done in this day of "modern versions"?
When we consider the *corrections* that man has made in regards to the BIBLE, we find this:
***NKJV makes 2Sam 3;10 say *transfer* ... that is incorrect, ie: Just as we do not 'transfer' our money/treasures to Heaven.... it is TRANSLATED in the form of souls, and such. TRANSFER; To convey from one place or person to another; to transport or remove to another place or person; as, to transfer the laws of one country to another. The seat of government was transferred from New York to Albany. We say, a war is transferred from France to Germany. Pain or the seat of disease in the body, is often transferred from one part to another.
***NASV makes Col 1:13 say *transferred*, that is NOT the same thing as being translated, we are CHANGED! NOT moved over...us! TRANSFERRED Conveyed from one to another.
***NIV makes Heb 11:5 say *taken*, it is NOT the same thing. The reason was so Enoch would NOT see Death. If Enoch was *taken* he would have never made it into Heaved w/o a glorified body, thus, he would need to die first. TAKEN; Received; caught; apprehended; captivated.
2Co 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Php 3:21 "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, ...."
I just wish people would accept God at His Word, be willing to change themselves rather than change Him (His Word) to suit their lifestyles or desires. Even so come Lord Jesus!
2. It is far more durable! Paper rather than pappers.... that stuff fell apart in your hands, and forget about jotting notes down on it.
3. We have the chapter and verse markings. Can you imagine searching the scrolls to do your studies?
4. Our Bible is in English! More ppl speak English than EVER spoke Greek or Hebrew.
5. It is better -- NO far superior because we CAN ALL have a copy in our hands. It is God's will.
I'm not just glad He inspired the original .... I'm glad that he translated it to an IMPROVEMENT!! Aren't you?
Ps 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
The virtuous woman's great price comes not from jewels or costly array she may wear, or in her fancy hair-do. In fact, although neat and in order, they may be hand me downs. Her worth is so great because of the value of what she possesses. Wisdom and knowledge from the Lord, being of greater price than even rubies, make the virtuous woman priceless. It's not in anything material that she may possess, but rather what she knows, how she uses what she knows, and where that knowledge came from!
The key word throughout Proverbs is wisdom;
Proverbs 1:7 Proverbs 28:5 ...but they that seek the Lord understand all things.
WISDOM'S definition from Webster's 1828 dictionary:
Wisdom is true religion; godliness; piety; the knowledge and fear of God, sincere and uniform obedience to his commands. If you want to acquire it, it is the knowledge and use of what is best, most just, most proper, most conductive to prosperity or happiness.
It is evident that the Proverbs woman is dedicated to the welfare of her household. God does not unreasonably expect more from us that he has given us the ability and strength to do. Verse 13 says she "worketh willingly with her hands". Working willingly is a mental attitude. It is being pleased with housework, having a desire to do it and taking delight in doing it-- all for the purpose of glorifying God. No one expects a woman to like everything she has to do - good thing huh? ;-) However, God does expect Christian women to do these things willingly as unto him. When you do these things with a willing spirit, your husband is confident, your children are learning by good example. This will play a major part in their walk in life.
In verse 21 we start with her making mention that she doesn't fear the cold weather because her family is clothed in the best available. This woman has peace of mind! Can you imagine that? She is READY. She isn't thinking of how bad it was the last time the weather got bad, she like Paul,she forgets those things which are behind.. pressing forward. A woman that is this confident, that is this prepared in her heart not only tends to the physical needs of her family but also the spiritual needs. The most important responsibility we have is to make sure our children learn the gospel of Jesus Christ and learn how to accept Him as their own personal Saviour. And we can be sure that as she did her preparations, she was busy in prayer for her husband and her children!
(Proverbs 31:22) She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
Then we follow the thought to verse 22. here we get personal!!!
Her coverings here are making mention of her bed..... and the silk and purple are about her clothing for such.... here is where it gets to be a married woman only study... the silk and purple in regards to bedroom ware, to remain exciting! ... things that are associated with luxury. Just a note... the word tapestry is only mentioned one other time in the Bible and that is in Prv. 7 :16 talking about how the Harlot entraps our men. I think this is where many of us ladies fall short in our relationships with our husbands... the old saying is true "keep them happy at home". This woman is determined to please him so no one else EVER has a chance to lure him. He will be satisfied AT HOME. Yes, if we keep them happy with the things that she (the harlot) knows makes them happy, then we protect them from those.... so why should they go there if they have those things at home? Americans have been taught that our man can look and not touch.... well we know that is wrong but it makes them prime for the snare... and we have to protect them from that very thing.
It is obvious that she is talking about having the best for her family and then the BEST for her husband. In doing so, she creates a home that is at 'rest'. Husband is content, children feel secure, and the Holy Spirit has free course. Let us all strive to make our home what it CAN be.
There was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it.
A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight of the train lights. He stepped to the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely in position it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people aboard.
He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man's strength.
Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. "Daddy, where are you?" His four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, "Run! Run!" But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left his lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety.
But he realized that he could not get back to the lever. Either the people on the train or his little son must die. He took a moment to make his decision. The train sped safely and swiftly on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed.
They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked: to tell his wife how their son had brutally died.
Now if you comprehend the emotions which went this man's heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Father in Heaven when He sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died?
How does He feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ?
Ge 35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. 2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: 3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. 4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. 5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
VS. 1 ARISE: It is a place of resurection, it is alive! When you get saved you leave the place you were...when you sing, If you teach, in giving tithes AND offernings, whatever it is BE ALIVE!! You should be an instrument of ressurection. Get up!, Get going!, GO TO CHURCH!!
Vs. 1 GO UP: Anything to do with God is UP! However TV, sports, politics.. they all end up down. The team will eventually loose, the program will 'cancel' one day, the actor/actress will no longer be, we all know how politics are! They will all bring you mentaly down! So get off your backside, and GO UP, if your church has a calling program...GO! If not, then go on your own! You can't go wrong in God's business, spending time in servive for Him is never going to end up down... GO UP, that is where He is! Even if you don't feel like it on any given day.. you WILL feel better AFTER you GO!.
VS. 1 DWELL THERE: Church is a LIFETIME thing! Church is better than fishing, camping, vacations or whatever it is that takes you away from it. Not that these things shouldn't be a part of your life, but how often? How often does it take you from the House of God? You should go to church to DWELL THERE because YOU ARE DIFFERENT NOW!
Ps 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Vs. 1 MAKE AN ALTAR: Everyone needs to be a builder! Do you teach a Sunday School class? BUILD IT! Is there a calling program? BUILD IT! Listen, when you get saved, that salvation does NOT impart Character to you, you need to BUILD IT, with preaching, study, prayer, and attendance in the House of God for encouragement! You have family? BUILD IT! Reach others in your family (extended also) for Christ. Build your family in Heaven! See that they all get there, through Salvation in Christ!. Your family doesn't have to stop with blood, what about your neighbors? those you work with? How about those missionaries, are you praying for their fruits? BUILD BUILD BUILD. Building speaks of something PERMANANT!
Our world is filled with quitters, don't be one of them. Mostly because of being afaid of failing, if your intentions are pure, 'unto the Lord' You WILL build permantly if you stay steadfast, you will 'reap what you sow". Good or bad, you will reap! Why not build for Him, your home, lost people, your church, yourSELF!
Vs. 2 UNTO HIS HOUSEHOLD: Be an influence! There was an old man, now there is a new man in Christ Jesus.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
Let this separation show in your behaviour! In your looks! Not just in church, but in LIFE, day in and day out. You are different yes? You are not the same once you are saved! Don't look the same, don't act the same, dont BE the same.
I brought this devotion to our ladies at our church during a Baby Shower:
(Begin by talking about the children's scrap books they are working on, how it brings back memories, days we can not change, bla bla bla
In Ec 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
*******We find here a man that lived most of his life foolishly and was left to live the rest of his days in regret.
This verse has always caused me to fear
How often have we heard someone say:
"Oh, how I wish I had done it differently?"
Instead, let's just say now
I WILL wish I had done it, so I'll do it now!"
What I would like to do here is look at a few ways that we can remove REGRET from our future, when it comes to raising our children.
Picture ourselves w/o our children
it will cause us to 'see' what kind of memories we would like them to have once they are gone. What kind of memories we would like to have in our "golden years".
1. Make our relationship with our children the most important thing in life. In one of my old notebooks I found this, and thought it applied well here.
"1. it is easy to use patients to build a hospital- BUT- It is the purpose of the hospital to heal patients 2. it is easy to use pupils to build a school -BUT- It is the purpose of the school to educate the student 3. and it is easy to use a family to keep a house clean -BUT - it is the purpose of the house to care for children"
This says: ---The individual is ALL-important.
---If our relationship with our children is the most important thing in our life, we will be more diligent in the decisions we make, and with more diligence we will have less regret.
2. Plan our Relationship with our children! Doctors, Teachers, lawyers, spend YEARS preparing for their calling, why should we do less? We have the greatest calling there is! Training children to become Christians.
Naturally, when we find ourselves expecting a baby we think about bedding, car seats, clothes, Most of us don't start thinking seriously about bicycles, schools, dating/courtship and cars do we?
But you know what? Then show pictures (Laura baby/Laura bride) there is not really much time between this and this
much less than you think. Believe me I know!
Our babies are born and before you know it we are
Packing away the outfit they came home in, you blink and
.. In no time at all they go from rolling to crawling and then walking. Then they are off to school, on to graduation, maybe college, and eventually marriage.
As Christian parents our goal is that our children come to know Christ as their Saviour, and love Him above all else. In order to do this we should
PLAN AHEAD OF TIME HOW TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN!
1. Do everything we do on purpose. Purposely Make going to church the center of your lives.
By example, teach your children to love their Pastor and church.
Teach them to love their missionaries, they will begin to understand how one looses their life to Christ. (give our examples in our home)
Choose your friends carefully, those you surround yourself with, your children will learn from also. (I dont have friends that are not christians outside of family) --( those that work outside of home may that is fine but they should not be who we spend our time with in fellowship)
If we are not prepared --- we will find ourselves acting on feelings, and we all know how those change! (like the weather)
2. We need to be prepared in prayer,
Samuel, Samson's and John the Baptist were all consecrated to God in prayer by their mothers. They all went on to do great things for God. IT IS NEVER TO LATE TO DO THIS MY HARDEST PRAYER
(tell of telling God, whatever it takes...)
3. In our choice of counsel, Watch and find those that have gone through it, ask questions! Seek godly counsel. (not spock, magizines...)
Most important counsel is our Bible reading, we find our guidelines for discipline, and building character in our children. A Proverb a day is a great way to start, it is filled with so much about raising children. The books of Romans, Galatians and Ephesians talk to us about being a good example to our children and the first they look to.
We need to prepare our hearts and minds, we need to line ourselves up with what God would have us to do in regards to our children.
So the Bible is our "How to" book, and we find in:
De 6:6-7 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Before we know it our children are grown and raising a family of their own, let's build memories that they can remember and pass on to their children, our grandchildren! So when we look back, we have few regrets and great memories!
Instead of being like the man in Ec., who didn't want to live with his past, prayerfully we can say what Paul did, in 2Ti 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
"If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place, I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker. If I only have time for waxing and polishing, my children will learn of cleanliness, not godliness. Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh. Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on the newly cleaned window. Love is the key that opens salvation's message to a child's heart. Before I became a mother, I took glory in my house of perfection; but now, I glory in God's perfection of my child"