I have been a Christian for 27 years, and during those 27 years, it appears to me that the culture in America is becoming more sinful with the passing of each day. It seems that the “cancel culture” or “WOKE culture” which is so popular in the mainstream media is penetrating every aspect of our lives, as well as in the lives of our children. For example, the new “Barbie” movie, which promotes vulgarity and homosexuality, tries to “normalize” these sins in the eyes of our young girls, while the promotion of homosexuality is also seen in children’s books and T.V. shows.
Even some of our beloved restaurants are supporting the LGBTQ agenda. At the same time, those who stand against these popular culture items and the sins that they promote are seen as “homophobic” and “too strict” and are not supported by those who support this “cancel culture.”
Even some Christians will not publicly support other Christians who speak out against sin being displayed in our popular culture for fear of being criticized by those who follow the mindset of the world. Thankfully, there are still Christians out there trying to shine their lights into this dark world of “wokeness,” no matter what the cost is to their social standing and reputation. Situations like these make it seem as if we are living in a time that is more perverse and corrupt than any other time in history. However, this is not the case. Perverse and corrupt societies have always been in existence, even in Bible times. The first case of this mentioned in the Bible is in the time of Noah in Genesis chapter 6.
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:5-7)
The world in Noah’s time was so corrupt that only Noah and his 7 other family members were faithful to God. When we compare our world today with the world of Noah, we can most likely think of more than 8 faithful Christians that we of which we alone are aware. We can take comfort in this as well as knowing that there are many more faithful Christians out there in the world that we do not even know about!
As we can see, the idea of a “cancel culture” that strives to normalize sin is nothing new. Even the prophet Isaiah saw this in the city of Jerusalem during his time. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”(Isaiah 5:20). As we can see from these verses, the promotion of homosexuality and other perverse sins is nothing new.
Something else that is not new is the trend in today’s American culture is to disregard and/or silence those who speak out against this “cancel culture.” For example, Christians who speak against homosexuality on social media may be attacked verbally in a public way by those who support the “cancel culture.” These attacks are intended to silence the Christian so that the corruption can continue without interruption. We can see in the Bible how various prophets of God, such as Elijah and Jeremiah, were seen as the enemy and beaten and imprisoned for speaking out against the “cancel culture” of their time. Thankfully, most Christians in America do not have to face beatings and death for speaking the Truth. Most of our persecutors will either verbally attack us, give us the “silent treatment,” or give us some variation of these two responses.
We can take comfort in the fact that we are not living in circumstances unseen by history. Many prophets, and Christians suffered persecution and even death for speaking out against the sinful “cancel culture” of their day, but no one dealt with this more than Jesus Christ. While in infancy, an attempt was made to get rid of Jesus by King Herod who, sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its coasts from two years old and under (Matthew 2:16).
Once Jesus had grown up and began to meekly reveal Himself as the Son of God, those evil and corrupt factions of the Jews who opposed Jesus tried to “cancel” Him out as well. Their agenda went so far as to have Jesus crucified, which they thought would silence Him forever. However, as all faithful Christians know, Christ gained the real Victory, and paved the way for us to follow His Example by continuing to openly speak out against the “cancel culture” of our time.
By fearlessly doing so, we can reach our reward in Heaven in the end! “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12) Let us rejoice in persecution! Let us support those standing for the Truth! In so doing, we shall be truly blessed by our Unchanging God!
If you want to start each day right, you need to study your Bible every day! A great way to learn more about the Bible is through Bible Correspondence Courses!
For years, I have used Bible Correspondence courses to teach people from all over the world about the Word of God. I am currently using 3 Bible Correspondence Courses, and they are as follows;
If you are interested in participating in any of these Bible Correspondence Courses, please click on "Contact Me!" in the upper right hand corner of this page and tell me your name, mailing address, and which correspondence course you would like to participate in. You can also email me this information at email@example.com Once I get your information, I will send you your first lesson to complete and send back to me for grading. After I have received and graded your work, I will send your graded work to you, along with the next lesson to complete until you have competed all 30 lessons in the course. After you have completed all 30 lessons of one course, you can begin the next correspondence course for free and complete all 30 lessons of that course. Once again, both Bible correspondence courses are free!
I hope that you will take time out of every day to study God’s Word so that you grow closer to God! You life will improve greatly if you do this! "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
King Jehu was an interesting person. He was the king of Israel for 28 years, and during his reign, he was on fire to do God’s Will. When Jehu was anointed King, he began to “clean house” when it came to the descendants of the evil King Ahab who ruled before him until his death.
First, King Jehu killed King Ahab’s sons, Joram and Ahaziah. King Ahab was already foretold of this even by the prophet Elijah in I Kings 21:21-22. Sure enough, as soon as Jehu got Joran in his sight, he drew back his bow and arrow and shot Joram in the chest and killed him. To further prove his point, Jehu had Joram’s body thrown into the vineyard that King Ahab had its owner, Naboth, killed over, in order to possess it (I Kings 21:16). Jehu also had Ahab’s son, Ahaziah, and his other children killed, as well as his wife, the evil queen Jezebel. By doing so, Jehu completely destroyed any possible heirs of the wicked king Ahab from ever taking control of Israel again (2 Kings 10:6-17).
After this was done, Jehu began to work on getting rid of idoltry in his kingdom. His sole purpose was to destroy the false god, Baal, and its worshippers. He did this by having all of the prophets of Baal and other worshippers come to him. After all of the worshippers of Baal came into the house that the false god was kept in, Jehu had every single worshipper killed, all of the statues and images of Baal broken and destroyed. For his grand finale, Jehu had the house of Baal torn down and turned into a public toilet (2 Kings 10:27).
Jehu showed great courage and made great sacrifices to fulfill God’s Will. We can say that Jehu abounded in good works when it came to ridding his kingdom of the evil influences of Satan. However, even though Jehu had done many, many great things for the Lord, he still did not “walk in the law of the Lord God of Isreal with all his heart” (2 Kings 10:31). This was because, even though Jehu was very willing to speak out and act against the sins of worshipping Baal, he chose to turn a blind eye toward the worship of golden calves. In other words, since Jehu stood against some sins but not all, he was still not totally faithful to God. As a result, Jehu caused Isreal to commit sin as well, and God allowed other kingdoms to punish Israel. He also began to cut the Kingdom short, due to his unfaithfulness (2 Kings 10:32-33).
We can learn much from the sad story of King Jehu. He was a man who had done so much for the Lord, only to fall short in his faithfulness due to his choice to overlook his “pet” sin.
“Pet sins” are sins that a person either chooses to overlook in others or ones that he or she continues to participate in, because he or she enjoys doing them and does not want to give those particular sins up. How many Christians today are like Jehu, in this way? They will very quickly and willingly speak out against sins such as fornication, profanity, homosexuality, drunkeness, and so forth, but at the same time, they are secretly holding onto to some other kind of sin, or they are condoning these sins in indirect ways themselves.
For instance, some Christians may speak openly against lust, but dress immodestly themselves. Others may work to help those who are alcoholics to get help for their addiction, but participate in social drinking themselves. There may also be Christians who would never want someone to use profanity, commit fornication, or participate in other lewd acts in front of themselves or their familes, but yet are perfectly fine with watching and listening to these things on T.V. programs, movies, and the radio.
We are commanded to do good works for God (Revelation 14:13). However, along with doing good works, we are to be obedient in all things (Matthew 7:21). God will not let us into Heaven due to the works we did for Him in our lives if we are not faithful and obedient in ALL aspects of our lives. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23). In other words, if we choose to stand against some sins, but look over our own pet sins, then we will fall into the same trap that King Jehu did. He worked so much to stand against some wrongdoing, while ignoring certain wrongs with which that he was perfectly fine. This made him wrong like a person who accepts all sins. We cannot be like Jehu and go to Heaven, because no sin can enter into Heaven (Revelation 21:27). That is why so few will enter into Heaven. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14). Instead, we should be like the apostle Paul, and do all we can every day to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
In II Corinthians 12:7-10, the apostle Paul talks about his “thorn in the flesh:”
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
In these verses, Paul reveals that he has prayed unto God three times for God to remove whatever his “thorn in the flesh” was. Paul never reveals what exactly this malady was, and various Bible scholars have given their own ideas about what exactly Paul was talking about here. No matter what the situation was, it was serious enough that Paul wanted it removed, because it was causing him a concern in some way.
When we think about our own lives, we may have physical ailments or disabilities that we feel hinder us in some way. We may have physical issues with our sight, hearing, or mobility. People may be having mental issues with depression, bipolar, or other mood disorders that affect the inward being from day to day. These issues may be pressing on us so much that we pray unto God to remove them. If we have been in this situation, we can surely relate to how Paul feels in these verses.
There was no one more faithful to God than the apostle Paul. He had given up his position as a high ranking Pharisee to become one of the people that he once persecuted. He risked death on numerous occasions to preach the Gospel. One would think that God would do as Paul had asked and remove his “thorn in the flesh,” because he was so faithful. This was not the case as we see in these verses.
Instead, God points out how Paul’s weakness makes him stronger. In other words, Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” allowed him to be less focused on this life and more focused on the life hereafter. Paul then chooses to think positively about his issues, and to understand that God is allowing him to suffer in order to glorify Him more!
When it comes to our own “thorn in the flesh,” we can choose to either be bitter about our circumstances in this life, or we can choose to follow the example of Paul and use our issues and ailments to help lead others to Christ. Having issues with our physical or mental health is challenging, and doing our basic daily tasks can be a challenge as well. Becoming depressed about the situation does not help; in fact, it will only make things worse! No matter what problems you may be facing on a daily basis, if you keep your focus on God, then you will not only help yourself go to Heaven, but you will be an inspiration to so many others to follow in your example! God will make a bad situation work out for your good if you are faithful to Him (Romans 8:28).
So, when we think about the issues whether physical, mental, or otherwise, that we face in this life, we can learn from the great example of Paul to rejoice in our infirmities and to focus on serving God and others, instead of ourselves. Keeping a positive attitude will help us feel much better, and it will help others feel good as well! A person who perseveres through great challenges is an inspiration to others. May we work each day to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ” as Paul did! (Philippians 3:14).
Just like so many others in this country who were following this story, I was so concerned about the five men who were at first considered trapped inside of the Titan submersable vessel over 13,000 feet in the ocean. These men were in this situation after paying around $250,000 apiece in order to catch a glimpse of the wreckage of the famous sunken ship, the Titanic. They boarded the vessel on a Sunday morning, planning on seeing the wreckage and then returning again to safety eight hours later. After the eight hours had elapsed, however, there was no sign of the vessal. It was still at the bottom of the ocean.
At first it was said that if unrescued, the men were in a situation where they could run out of air and/or freeze to death in the frigid waters. After several days of searching, however, it was determined that the vessel imploded upon itself on Sunday morning, just a couple of hours after going into the water.
All five men were financially very wealthy, and they had a great interest in seeing the wreckage of the Titanic. One of the men was even known as “Mr. Titanic” due to his love of everything to do with that famous ship. Even though being interested in ships and going underwater in a submersible vessal is not wrong at all, this story is still proof that even though these men were billionaires and one was the son of a billionaire, not one of them could buy one more minute of life when the submarine imploded on them. Nothing else mattered in that last moment except their relationship with God.
The saddest part about this situation is that all five men had more money than many people can dream of having, and yet, none of them could buy one more minute of their lives when the time of their deaths came upon them. This shows that when your life is over, you are not going to care about how much money you had, what your house looked like, what kind of car you had, or even what job you had. All that will matter in that moment is where you stand with God!
Many people in this world will learn too late that they had all of their priorities in this life completely backwards. Many people will work on Sundays and forsake assembling for worship services. Others will choose to spend their Sundays sleeping in or partaking in certain hobbies that they enjoy rather than spending that time serving the Lord. Some speak of having a personal relationship with the Lord, but you cannot have this without doing what He says do (John 14:15). Acts 20:7 tells us this, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” Hebrews 10:25-26 also tells us not refuse to assemble with other Christians for worship.
You do not have to have a lot of money to lose your soul. You can be rich or poor, but when it comes down to what you value most, if it isn’t God, then you are spiritually bankrupt. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”(Ecclesiastes 12:13).
The death of the five men on the Titan is tragic. Our hearts go out to the families of these five men. Our prayers go up to the Father for their comfort. Value the people in your lives. Never take a moment for granted.
Also, let us remember that these men who were financially well off could not take any of their worldly possessions with them when that submarine imploded. We can learn from this sad situation to not build our whole lives around acquiring worldly possessions. Being wealthy is not wrong, but we should work to build our lives around God, and He will bless our lives and provide for us in ways that we cannot even imagine! We have to get our priorties in this life in the right order. Instead of focusing just on the worldly things that interest us, we should instead put our focus on God, and do what He wants us to do first and foremost. After we do what we need to do to serve God, then we can spend time on our hobbies or other worldly things that are not contrary to God’s will. It is all about priorities, because you can never buy one more minute!
Earlier this month, the L.A. Dodgers honored an LGBTQ group known as the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” the night before their 10th annual “Pride Night.” Members of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” are homosexual men who are dressed in drag to look like flamboyantly dressed nuns. These men wear brightly colored nuns’ habits, as well as white makeup on their faces and designs drawn onto their faces. This group was given the “Community Hero Award” by the Dodgers for their work in the LGBTQ community.
The award was given out at the Dodgers stadium prior to the beginning of a game. In the seats, there were only about 50 people sitting to witness the honoring of this group whose motto is to “go and sin some more.” Dodgers’ representatives commented on the low number in attendance by saying that on any other night, there would be 10 times more people in the stadium seats. Meanwhile, as the 50 people sat in the stadium seats to cheer on these sinful award recipients, thousands of people protested the giving of this award outside of the stadium.
I believe that the fact that so few came to cheer on the celebration of homosexuality shows that the general public is becoming tired of having the LGBTQ agenda shoved down our throats almost on a daily basis. Not only are adults having to deal with pro-homosexuality propoganda, but even our children are targeted. My husband and I will not allow our children to watch the Nickelodeon station on TV this month, because there is a Pride commercial that comes on constantly because of June being designated as “Pride Month.” There should not be a month dedicated to being prideful about sin, and homosexuality is definitely a sin!
Homosexuality is a sin that should not be celebrated. Moses said in Leviticus 18:22, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Also, in Leviticus 20:13, we see that, under the Old Law, homosexuals were punished by death. This shows the seriousness of this sin, and how God views it. Homosexuality was also condemned in the New Testament:
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:26-32).
Homosexuality is also a choice. I Corinthians 6:9-10 says, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” We see from these verses that it is possible for people to leave homosexuality for homosexuality is completely against nature, and must be left by those who are of that persuasion. There is a difference between love and lust, and God is Love, and He has defined love for us. Those who are homosexuals are urged out of love to give up this sin. It is possible to change as some at Corinth had done in the First Century. Those who practice the sin of homosexuality have complete control of themselves and can stop having homosexual relationships at any time. Let us do what we can to help them stop, and remember, they have to want to stop to actually stop. Sadly, so many who practice this sin do not stop until it is too late.
Christians should also work to speak out against the sin of homosexuality as much as possible, without fear of facing criticism from those who support it. We will be blessed if we do not stay quiet on this issue and any other issue involving sin. As Matthew 5:14 teaches, let us work to be the light of the world!
I am an animal lover. Throughout my life, I’ve had various dogs, birds, and fish. I even had a cat for one day. I currently have two dogs, which my family and I love. So many people love their pets just as much as they love people, and there is a prosperous market out there that provides clothes, shoes, and other accessories for our pets. With that being said, some may wonder if their beloved Fido or Fluffy will be in Heaven with them. We can go to several places in the Bible to see the answer to the question, do our pets go to Heaven?
I have started a new group on Facebook called "Sisters Encouraging Sisters!" This group is for female members of the church to have a place where they can encourage one another to continue living the Christian life every day! If you would like to join this group ,please go to
With today being Good Friday, and this being Easter weekend, it is often the case that I will hear various people talk about how Jesus was crucified on the cross on Good Friday, and ressurected from the dead on Easter. It is true that Jesus died on a Friday, which was the day of preparation for the Passover (John 19:31). It is also true that Jesus was resurrected on a Sunday (Mark 16:9). However, does that mean that it is true that Godd Friday is the anniversary of Christ’s Death and Easter is the anniversary of His Resurrection? Also, should we celebrate Easter as a religious holiday?
As stated before, we know that Jesus died on a Friday and was risen from the dead on a Sunday. However, we are not told in the Bible the exact date of these two events. The Bible does not specifically mention a “Good Friday,” nor an “Easter” in the way that the word “Easter” is commonly used today. The King James Version of the Bible does mention “Easter” in Acts 12:4, however, the word here is for Passover.
It appears that in the 2nd century A.D., some professed Christians wanted to have celebrations of their own that were similar to the Jewish celebrations of Passover. The celebration that they created was called by the Greek word “Pasha,” which means Passover. However, in the 3rd century A.D., the Council of Nicea made this celebration that was started in the 2nd century a holiday that would take place on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. This new holiday would separate itself further from the Jewish Passover by observing Christ’s Resurrection from the dead.
Easter eggs are a tradition that began in Europe during the Middle Ages. It was a tradition in Eastern Europe to decorate eggs to signify “new life” during the Spring-time. This tradition was passed along to the U. S. with European immigrants. Other Easter traditions that children celebrate in the U. S. also came from Europe.
So, observing the holiday of Easter as a religious holiday is not commanded in the Bible, but was created over a century after Jesus died. With that being said, we cannot observe Easter Sunday as the exact day that Jesus was resurrected year after year. Afterall, have you not noticed that the date of Easter changes from year to year? More importantly, have you noticed that the Bible never commands us, nor authorizes us to observe Easter as a religious holiday (Colossians 3:17). We are to observe and honor Jesus’ resurrection every Sunday, not just one time out of the year on Easter. This makes Easter Sunday the same as every other Sunday of the year, and not a religious holiday. Therefore every Lord’s Day is important in that we honor the death and resurrection of Christ on the cruel cross of Calvary that we might all have remission of our sins through obedience (Acts 2:38, Hebrews 5:9). We honor Christ in this way by assembling with the saints for worship every Sunday (Hebrews 10:25), and we are commanded to remember the Lord’s death in partaking of the Lord’s Supper every first day of the Week (I Corinthians 11:26). Only showing up for worship services on Easter is not enough to honor Christ in the way that God wants.
Of course, it is a matter of personal judgment as to whether to observe Easter as in a non-religious way as a matter of cultural custom as a fun springime holiday for the kids, where they have an opportunity to decorate and hunt Easter eggs, for example. Romans 14:5 says, “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”
I hope that this article helps to shed some light on the origins of Easter and how that Easter Sunday is no more special than any other Sunday of the year. We are not commanded to observe Easter as a religious holiday, because it is not mentioned in the Bible. Let us be thankful for the Resurrection of Christ every Sunday, and every day!
With our 5 little ones, we always try to remind them to say “thank you” when they are given something. We want to teach our children to say “thank you” so that others will feel appreciated and loved. Also, those who are thanked after giving something to someone else, will be more willing to give to that person in the future, Just like people who do things for others like to be thanked, God also likes to be thanked for the blessings that He bestows upon us!
This reminds me of the account of Jesus and the ten lepers in Luke 17 11-19;
" And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.”
We see in this passage that the leper that took time to thank Jesus for His healing was more blessed than the other nine who did not thank Him. One of the many blessing of being a Christian is being able to go unto our Heavenly Father in prayer, and to ask Him for anything. In return, God answers our prayers according to what is best for us. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (I John 5:14-15.
Knowing that God will answer our prayers, encourages us as Christians to ask God for various things throughout the day, however, are we also taking the time to thank Him when He answers our prayers? God always wants to hear from us, and He also wants His children to give thanks unto Him for all of the blessings that He gives us! “ In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
So, let’s all try to be sure to remember to thank God every day, especially when He has answered our prayers! Just as we want to show others that we love and appreciate them, we also need to show God that we love and appreciate Him every day! Please make a habit every day of saying "thank you" to the Lord for all of His many blessings! Do this with a grateful heart every day, as you work to draw closer and closer to Him in your daily walk through this life!
You are invited to the 100 Yesr Anniversary Homecoming of the Campaign church of Christ! Please see flyer below for more information!
In America today, we live in an instant gratification society. We are used to having most things exactly when, where and how we want them. We can get virtually any food that we want at any time day or night. We have access to unlimited information about any subject at anytime, with just a click of a computer mouse. In times like these, it can be a challenge for some people, even Christians, to wait for the things that they ask God for in prayer. It is a tempation for some Christains to become impatient while waiting on the Lord, but the Bible shows us that we must wait for Him to do His Will.
God does everything on His own Time, because His Mind and Thoughts are so much greater than ours. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) God has promised to take care of faithful Christians, and when we pray, we must be sure to wait for God to work things out for our good. This may mean that He will give us a quick answer to our prayer, or it may mean that we will have to wait for a day, or a week, or even for months and years before we see God’s Will fulfilled. The main focus that we must have in these sitautions is to remain patient and to put our trust in God completely, because He will always work everything out for our good if we are obedient to Him at all times “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
There are many examples in the Bible of those who caused problems within their own lives because they insisted on putting God on their timetable rather than waiting patiently for God’s Timing to take place. The most famouse example in the Bible would be Abraham.
Abraham was already an old man when God told him that he would have many descendants. Genesis 15:3-6 says, “And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
Abraham believed that the Lord was True to His Word, however, he became impatient. Rather than waiting on the Lord to give him the child that He had promised to give him through his wife, Sarah, Abraham bore a child with Hagar the Egyptian. This child, named Ishmael, would grow up to have descendants that would cause trouble for the descendants of Abraham’s son, Isaac, who was the child that God had promised him. The opposition that these two groups faced throughout history can still be seen in the Middle East today.
All of this could have been avoided if Abraham had just waited on God to do what He saw fit to do in His own time. After God had told Abraham that he would have descendants, Abraham had to wait 25 years before being given Isaac. Some might consider twenty five years to be a long time to wait for a prayer to be answered, so Abraham’s example should encourage faithful Christians, to not get upset if we find that God chooses to not answer our prayers right away. A prayer request that is not answered the same day, or even the same week, month, or year in which we made the request was still heard by God, and He will give His answer in His own time. We should not become impaitient as Abraham did and continue to place our trust in our Heavenly Father, who will always give us everything we need in this Life and the one hereafter! “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”(Jeremiah 29:11).
It is an amazing feeling to be able to hold a Bible that belonged to 2 of my great grandparents. I was given this Bible about 20 years ago, and I look on it with fondness. It is an old Bible, being over 70 years old, however it is still in good condition. Although my great grandparents have been gone from this Earth over 20 years, they were faithful members of the church of Christ, and it is amazing to see that the same Book that guided their lives can still apply to mine today.
The Bible is the Living Word of God, and it has been given to us as an instruction manual on how to live the faithful Chrisitan life that God wants us to live. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (II Timothy 3:16). The Word of God never changes, and it is applicable to our every day lives. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.(Matthew 24:35).
My great grandparents’ Bible is a wonderful reminder to me that right now while I am living upon the earth, it is my time to serve God, just as they had done, and their ancestors before them. Think about it. We who are alive on the earth right now go through each and every day of our daily lives working, thinking, feeling, talking, sleeping, eating, and so on just as our ancestors had done during their times here on the earth. Our experiences in life are no different than those of our ancestors, because everything that can happen to a human being has been done before at some point in time. “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Therefore, the Bible applies to our lives today in the same way that it did for our ancestors, and for their ancestors before them for the duration of the time that the Bible has been on the Earth.
That helps to bring some things into perspective, at least for me. For example, I am constantly amazed at how much I learn about life and how to live the best life here on the earth through studying the Bible. Even when I reread a passage, I still find things that I did not notice in my last reading that helps to encourage and teach me. When I read the Bible, it is easy for me to think how that the Word of God is only applicable to this day and time, and how those who follow it today will be set apart from the rest of the world and go to Heaven. I often do not think of how the Bible was just as applicable to the lives of my ancestors who lived over 100 years ago as it is to my life today. I especially think about this when I see the notes that my great grandparents wrote in their Bible, which shows that they too, were working to apply the Bible to what was going on in their lives in that moment. It shows just a little glimpse in time where those who lived during that time were trying to go through their daily routines as best they could, just as we do today. I wonder if my ancestors who lived over 100 years ago thought about how their Bible that I now possess was just as applicable to their ancestors who lived 100 years before they did?
Thinking on these things has made me realize that now is my time to follow God. My great grandparents had their time until they passed from this Earth over 20 years ago. While they walked, talked, and breathed upon this Earth, it was their time to teach others and to do God’s Will in their journeys here. They now have their reward for doing these things. Now, today, it is my time, and the time of others who are alive today to do our part to carry the Cross of Jesus and teach and help to save the lost. When my time is over, the Cross will then remained to be carried by my children and to those who are living then, because it will be their time here and not mine. This will continue until the Judgment Day. This, to me, is an amazing thing to think about!
These facts make me even more humbled and appreciative of how God took the time to give us a Book that is so perfect that it can apply to everyone, no matter what time period they lived in or from where they came. No other book written by man can do this. It will be amazing to be in Heaven and to see and hear from everyone who ever lived upon the earth. We can then hear what it was like to live during their time, and we will see that their time was not so very different from our own. That is because we all had the same purpose in life, which was to put all of our focus on the Unchanging Christ rather than the every-changing world! “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8).
At times, I cannot help but notice how some people in the world today are growing colder and less friendly to their fellow man than in years gone by. Living in the South, it is a common occurrence to see strangers say “Hello” to one another on the street, but I have noticed that the small gestures of kindness that used to be so prevalent in our society 50 years ago are slowly fading away, even among members of the church of Christ. So, I have decided to focus this article on a list that I have put together of things that it doesn’t hurt anyone to do:
1. It doesn’t hurt anyone to say “Hello” in response to someone else’s greeting, or, dare I say it, be the first to say “Hello!” Verbalizing a greeting to one another should be one of the easiest things to do. You don’t have to be an extrovert to just say “Hello” to someone. You also do not have to wait for the other person to say “Hello” to you first. All you have to do is have enough love in your heart for others to want to show your love and friendliness towards them. Whether we see someone in town, or we have guests over at our home, we should ALWAYS greet them, even if they do not initiate the greeting themselves. “Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.”(I Peter 5:14).
2. It doesn’t hurt anyone to be encouraging to others: We should always try to say and do things to make others feel good. We never know what another person is facing in his or her life, even if that person seems to be happy and to “have it all.” We should always try to find ways to lift the spirits of others, which will in turn, lift our spirits up as well! We do not have to wait until people are upset or facing challenges in order to be encouraging to them. We can encourage others during their good times and challenging times! “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24).
As Christians, we should not be the type of people who sit back and expect encouragement to come to us. Rather, we should be willing to take the time to encourage others! When everything is said and done in your life, people will not remember you for all of the things that you accomplished, they will remember you the most according to how you made them feel! We should all strive to be like Barnabas, who in Acts 4:36 was called the "son of consolation" due to his great encouragement to the disciples of Christ!
3. It doesn’t hurt anyone to go out of their way to help others. This is something that is on the decline, even in the church. It used to be the case that people would go out of their way to help someone in need, whether it be to help them fix something, give them money or food, or even give them a way to attend church services. Today, there are some people out there, even Christians, who are only willing to help others when it is convenient for them (i.e. they get something in return, or it doesn’t require too much effort on their part). Jesus tells us to do MORE than what is asked of us for those in need. “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”(Matthew 5:41).
As Christians, we should always be willing to help when asked, especially when the help is being requested by another Christian. Christian women should always be ready to help in the church. Whether we are asked to teach a Bible class, VBS class, serve others food, or whatever the case may be, we should always be sure to put the needs of others ahead of ourselves. Philippians 2:3 tells us to "in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." We should think about how we would want to be treated if the shoe was on the other foot "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets" (Matthew 7:12)
4. It doesn’t hurt anyone to say, “I’m Sorry.” This is a big issue for some people who do not want to apologize for anything. When we have made a mistake or have done something wrong, we must be willing to apologize to anyone involved. I have seen it be the case in recent years that more people are less willing to show humility and apologize. We are to be humble servants of God rather than live with pride in our hearts. Those who are unwilling to apologize for their mistakes are doing so out of pride. “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble”. (James 4:6). In order for us to be faithful Christians, we must resist the urge to be prideful, but rather, embrace a meek and humble spirit. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10).
These are just a few examples of ways that I think some people in our world today can improve on the way they think, feel, and act. Our lives are temporary and “like a vapor” (James 4:14). Therefore, we should do all we can to help others and to serve God faithfully while we are still here on the earth. No matter what we have to give up or how much energy we have to use in order to serve God and help others, we will know that all of our efforts were worth it when we reach our home in Heaven! “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:12-14).
I have always loved antiques. I have various possessions that belonged to some of my ancestors, which are very old. These things may not be of much monetary value, but they are of great value to me. One of these items is a very old measuring cup. This measuring cup belonged to my great-great grandmother who was a faithful Christian throughout her life, and her life was certainly filled with many challenges. Our family called her “Mammie” and she died at the age of 90 when I was only 3 years old.
As I have said, Mammie was very faithful in her Christian faith. I was too young to remember her when she died, but those who do remember her say that she was a very sweet lady, who was never known to say anything negative about anyone. In her old age, she helped the younger women who attended the congregation of the church of Christ that she attended in various ways. She led a sewing class in the basement of the church building on Saturday afternoons in order to teach the young women how to sew quilts. She taught the women in this congregation as well as those in her family how to cook, and from the accounts I have been given, she was an excellent cook.
She was also very hospitable. The small house that Mammie shared with my great great grandfather and their children was always open to visitors. It was very common for a visitor to be sitting at their supper table every night of the week. One person even tried to play a joke on Mammie and my great-great grandfather by putting on fake glasses and a fake mustache and walking into their house and sitting down, waiting to see if either Mammie or my great-great grandfather would ask him who he was or why he was in their home. The only response he was given was Mammie inviting him to supper!
Mammie kept her faith in God through many challenges in her life. She was married at the age of 15, and she and my great-great grandfather had 9 children. However, Mammie would live to see her husband, 5 of her children, and one grandson die before her own death. Some people allow the death of a loved one to affect their faithfulness to God, but Mammie never did. When asked about how she will deal with a challenging situation that has been placed before her, Mammie was known to say “you just have to trust in God, and He will take care of you.” She was certainly willing to shine her light for the Lord, just as Matthew 5:16 tells us!
I have been told by family members about the wonderful faith that Mammie had throughout her life. This helps me to appreciate the measuring cup that she had even more. This measuring cup is different from my newer measuring cups in that it is made of thick glass, and it is very heavy. When I use this measuring cup (which is on very rare occasions), I try to picture in my mind Mammie using it to prepare her meals just as I am sure she had done for many, many years.
Although this measuring cup is old and has not been used for many years, could I still use it to make the same recipes that Mammie made 50 years ago? Of course! No matter how many years have passed, the measurements on the measuring cup are still the same. What was half a cup of sugar back then, is the same today! The rules never change. The same goes for our influence as a Christians, and our ability to teach others. When we pass from this life, we can leave behind us a clear path to Heaven for those who remain on the Earth by living a spiritually Godly life.
Ladies, if we are faithful to God in all aspects of our lives, which means we put God above our jobs, our families, or hobbies, and everything else, so that there is no questions about where we are going after we die, then generation after generation of women can look back at how we conducted ourselves in this life, and measure themselves up to our example to see if they are living for the Lord as faithfully as we did. Isn’t that a wonderful goal to have?
That is why it is so important that you examine yourselves frequently to make sure that you are doing exactly what God needs you to do. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (II Corinthians 13:5). You are not commanded to just work to save yourself, but you are commanded to help lead others to Christ as well (Matthew 28:19-20). Can your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so forth use your life as a way to know how to get to Heaven?
For you young ladies, can your family and friends use you as a measuring cup to know how to get to Heaven? Can others see that you are a Christian by the way you speak, by the way you dress, and by the company that you keep? Can they “measure themselves” up to you and know that if they follow your example exactly, then they will receive the blessing of eternal life? I hope so! We must all work to show more of Christ than ourselves each and every day of our lives. Only then will we be good measuring cups that our descendants can compare themselves to in order to determine how faithful they are to God. Let us all strive to be the best measuring cups we can be!
It’s that time again! If the Lord wills, the new year will ring in at midnight this Sunday morning, and I hope that the year 2023 will be a prosperous and wonderful time for everyone! Making New Years’ resolutions is a tradition that many people make at the beginning of each year, with varying levels of success in keeping those resolutions. Making New Years’ resolutions is a good way to try to improve one’s self and one’s life, but there are a few resolutions that we should all be making and keeping each and every year. All of the resolutions that I am talking about have to do with worshipping God as we need to, and being the faithful Christian that we all need to be!
1. Study your Bible everyday! II Timothy 2:15 says “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” We are to study our Bibles every day so that we can become spiritually stronger and also teach others about God. Studying our Bibles also helps us physically, mentally, and emotionally. I know that when I read my Bible every day, my day goes so much better, and my outlook is more positive throughout the day!
2. Pray often. I Thessalonians 5:17 states, “Pray without ceasing.” We should pray throughout the day, many times a day. Having a healthy prayer life helps to keep us spiritually strong, and it helps us bear the challenges in this life much easier. It is my goal to get to the point in my life where I have prayed so much during the course of a single day, that I lose track of how many prayers I have said in that day! We should pray in both prosperous times and in times of need. We should always thank God for all of our many blessings, and we all have many, many blessings bestowed unto us by God!
3. Attend worship services regularly. We are commanded in Hebrews 10:25 to not “forsake the assembling of ourselves together” meaning that we should not forsake the assembling of the church for worship services. We are to assemble together on the first day of the week (Sunday) as Jesus’ disciples did during the early days of the church. Allowing our jobs, school activities, or recreational activities keep us from attending worship services as we are commanded means that we are not putting God first in our lives as we are supposed to do. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
4. Strive to convert at least one person to Christ. We, as Christians, are required to seek out and help save the lost. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Matthew 28:19). We should do all we can to help those who are spiritually lost to learn more about what God expects them to do in order to go to Heaven. We should never take the stance that the spiritual state of others is none of our business. On the contrary, God will hold Christians accountable for the souls that they have failed to try to save (James 4:17). We will not be held accountable concerning whether or not the lost person does decide to become faithful, however, we will have to answer to God for not trying to teach others at all.
Please make the 2023 the year that you grow stronger as a Christian. Make sure that the four resolutions that I’ve mentioned above, be ones that you are sure to keep, for they are the most important things that you can do in this life. So, while the rest of the world are concerned about making New Years’ resolutions that involve the temporary things of this world, let us as children of God work to show more of Christ and less of ourselves in the New Year!
Since it is Christmas Day, I would like to talk about Christmas. I have often seen the phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season” at various times in reference to this holiday. Christmas is seen by many as Christ’s birthday, and many celebrate this holiday as such. The truth is, however, we do not know the actual time and date of Christ’s birth, and there is no reference in the Bible that tells us to celebrate this event at Christmas. What the Bible does tell us is to honor Jesus and celebrate everything He has done for us all the time and during every season@!
Jesus created us and created all of the universe, and we owe everything that we are and everything that we have to Him. Not only did He create us, but he died a cruel death on the cross so we could have forgiveness of sins and the opportunity for Everlasting Life! “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:7). “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1). With that being said, it is vitally important that we worship and honor Jesus during all seasons of the year, and not just during Christmas. We should honor and praise God every single day of our lives, and many times during the day. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31).
Something that is often seen close to Christmas is higher rates of worship service attendance. It is sometimes the case where people who do not attend worship services any other time of the year will show up around Christmas time. It is good that these people attend worship service at this time, but it is more important that they are in regular attendance all year round. By regular attendance, I mean that a person should attend every worship service on the first day of the week and at any other time that the leaders of their home congregation set aside for assembling (Acts 20:7, Hebrews 13:17). “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25).
It is certainly not wrong to glorify Christ and be to mindful of all the things He has done for us during Christmas, but we should make it a point to always have our minds on God and to work each and every day to be faithful servants of Him. The Holy Scriptures do not authorize us to celebrate December 25 as the date of the birth of Christ, but we should honor Christ every day and be thankful for His birth every day (Colossians 3:17, II Peter 3:18). I hope that this article helps to show the importance of remembering that Jesus is “the Reason for every season,” not just the Christmas season!
Merry Christmas, from my family to yours!
For the past few articles, I have covered the different characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit that is listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Today, I will cover the final characteristic which is temperance, or self control.
Self=control is an important character trait that faithful Christians must have. Living the faithful Christian life means that we have to think through everything that we do and say so that we do not commit sin.” Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded” (Titus 2:6). Christians are to deny themselves the pleasures of sin and not base their actions on impulse. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23). Acting impulsively, unfortunately, is something that is commonly seen in the world today.
Being impulsive is something that many people have a problem with today. The word “impulsive” comes from the word “impulse” which means “a sudden spontaneous inclination or incitement to some usually unpremeditated action” according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The practice of speaking or doing things “before we think” is a common thing among some people. They choose to say or do certain things without thinking of the consequences of their actions. This habit is not viewed favorably by God, and it can cause us a lot of problems if we go through life acting on impulse. In this article, I would like to discuss some ways that a Christian can act on impulse, and the dangers that an impulsive mindset can provide.
First of all, some Christians can have the negative habit of saying hurtful things to others before they think through all of the possible outcomes and consequences that their words will have on themselves and others. James 1:19 is a handy verse to have memorized in such a situation where a person may be tempted to speak negatively on impulse. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” It is often in times of anger that a person will “spout off at the mouth” so to speak and say things he or she will most likely regret later. The tongue is the one part of the body that cannot be tamed. “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8). We can cause a lot of hurt and permanent damage to relationships when we impulsively use our tongue to hurt others. We can also hurt our influence by using our tongues to curse and to take God’s Name in vain. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. “(Exodus 20:7). We should also not use our tongues to speak about perverted things. “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” (James 3:6).
God tells us to use our tongue wisely, and to not be impulsive in our speech. “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:” (I Peter 3:10). We are to think about what we are going to say before we say them. Anything that we say is a thought before we say it, so we must be sure to guard our thoughts as well. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8). We must guard our thoughts and guard our tongues against any corrupt or evil thing in order to be faithful Christians. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29). If we fail to do so, we will have to answer for our sinful words one day. “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36).
Unrighteous anger is another way that some people can act on impulse and commit sin. Just as we should monitor our speech, we can also learn from James 1:19 that we should be “slow to wrath.” By being “slow to wrath” we must make sure that we do not have unrighteous anger. We can, however, have righteous anger and not sin. What is the difference between righteous and unrighteous anger? Righteous anger occurs when we become angry at sin. Jesus showed righteous anger when He came into the temple and saw the moneychangers selling items to use in animal sacrifices. “And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Mark 11:15-17).
Jesus showed righteous anger because He became angry with sin. It is acceptable by God to show righteous anger as long as we do it in a way that we do not sin ourselves. For instance, we cannot become angry at sin and use profanity or mistreat the person who is committing the sin. On the contrary, we must treat everyone with respect and love, even when we are rebuking them regarding their sins. “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.” (Leviticus 19:17).
We commit sin when we have unrighteous anger. Unrighteous anger occurs when we become angry over matters of opinion rather than matters of biblical right and wrong in which we become angry about sinful things. For example, when I was a practicing mental health counselor, I saw many clients who were required to attend “anger management” therapy sessions. These sessions were often ineffective because the person who was under state probation often did not want to really change his or her pattern of behavior. The person merely wanted to attend the required number of therapy sessions necessary to please the probation officer and let that be it.
Anyways, I remember one client in particular who was already on state probation for offences that I cannot remember at the moment. He came to me for a certain number of therapy sessions that were centered on “anger management.” His probation officer made attending anger management therapy sessions with me a requirement in order to continue to be on probation and to not have to finish his sentence in jail. Why did this client have to see me for anger management? Because he had thrown an empty, plastic soda bottle at his girlfriend while they were arguing over something to do with the girlfriend’s dog, and she called the police. As you can imagine, the girlfriend was unharmed by the plastic soda bottle, but this client could have avoided the 5 or 6 sessions with me if he had just learned to control his anger. At first, I thought the story could have been made up by the client to cover up what he actually did to his girlfriend, but he brought me a copy of the police report to prove that his story was true. I tried to teach him ways to cope with his anger without doing something wrong, but he was one of those people who did not think he had a problem. This client would have done well to read Ephesians 4:26; “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
Finally, some people can do things on impulse that are wrong, when they actually meant to do something good. They mean to do something good, but they do not fully think through the process by which they will do the good as they should, and they end up doing wrong. For instance, I had a client that I had one therapy session with which was comprised of taking down information about him to give to the Nurse Practitioner that would be handling his medications. He was an elderly gentleman who was a member of the church of Christ. He was happy to see me because I was one of two therapists there that was a member of the church of Christ. Prior to seeing me, he had spent a couple of days in jail for breaking into cars that he found parked in the street near the apartment in which he lived. This man did not talk much, so I had to get most of my information from his son-in-law who was present during this session.
The son-in-law told me that the reason the elderly man was breaking into cars was because he wanted to leave religious tracts which taught about the churches of Christ on the car’s windshield in hopes of converting the owner, but since it was windy and raining on that particular day, the man was breaking the driver side window and leaving the tracts in the seats on the inside of each of the vehicles. This example shows a person who meant to do something good, but went about it the wrong way
We should always think things through before we say or do anything. We should always work to be more like Christ and less like the world in which we live every day. We can do this by praying every day, many times a day, and studying our Bibles every day.
With a good knowledge of the Bible, we can help ourselves be faithful Christians, as well as teach others to do the same. We can use the Bible to rebuke others as well, in a loving manner. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (II Timothy 3:16). Saying sinful things and having unrighteous anger will cause us to suffer punishment for eternity if we do not repent of these sins before we either die, or the Day of Judgment comes.
Acting in an impulsive manner, no matter the motive, is not worth losing our souls over. “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” (Colossians 3:8). If Christ would not say or do it, then we should not say or do it as well. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” (Ephesians 4:31). I hope that this lesson shows the importance of thinking things through and not acting out impulsively. We must all be sure to take time to think before we speak or act, so that we can let our Christian light shine before the world. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).
We are continuing our study of the Fruit of the Spirit, which can be seen in Galatians chapter 5. In the last article, we discussed the characteristics of “goodness” and “faithfulness.”The characteristic that is mentioned next, is“meekness” (Galatians 5:23). Meekness is a highly regarded in the Bible. In Matthew Chapter 5, verse 5, Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” The personality trait of meekness is very important for every Christian to have. However, what does it mean to be meek, and how are those who exemplify meekness viewed by the world?
First of all, what does it mean to be meek? The word “meek” that is used in this verse comes from the Greek word prays which means “mildness of disposition” or “gentleness of spirit.” The word “meek” can also mean “mild” and “humble.” One who shows meekness would not act in any way that would be considered arrogant or attention-seeking.
There are various places in the Bible that encourage us to show meekness. The apostle Paul admonishes us to show meekness in Colossians 3:12 when he says, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”. He encourages Timothy to do the same in I Timothy 6:11, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” We are encouraged to conduct ourselves before others in a meek manner, even when we are trying to help them see their mistakes. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Finally, we are to be like Christ, and Christ described Himself as One who is meek, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
A person who shows meekness has much spiritual strength, however, that same person may be seen as weak and a “pushover” by the world’s view. Many in the world today believe that in order to be considered strong, one must adopt an arrogant, loud, and self-centered personality. This cannot be further from the truth. People who conduct themselves in this manner are focused on the here-and-now and temporary things of this world. Those who behave in ways that are not meek cannot enter into Heaven. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Another good description of meekness is “strength under control.” A person does not have to be big, loud, and boisterous in order to be strong. There are those who are spiritually strong who exemplify the Christian attitude of meekness. In today’s world which exalts those who loudly speak their mind, striving for the last word, we should work to be different from the world and maintain a manner of meekness and humility, always keeping our focus on our Home in Heaven! “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”(II Corinthians 4:18)
In the past few articles, I have discusses several attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit, that we would do well as Christians to adapt into our own spiritual lives. The next two on the list are "goodness" and "faithfulness." I'm sure that all of us know what it means to be a "good" person. However, in order for us to be faithful Christians, we have to do more than just be a "good" person.
In order for Christians to be pleasing unto God, we must have faith.. “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22). We show our faith in God by trusting Him to take care of us, no matter what happens to us in this life. We draw ourselves near unto God through our faith in Him. “But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.” (Psalm 73:28)
Another way that we show our faith in God is being faithful to God. Being faithful to God mean that we are doing everything we can in this life to be obedient to His Commandments. As Christians, we are to examine our own spiritual lives and make sure that it lines up with God’s Word in the Bible. We are commanded to examine ourselves in II Corinthians 13:5. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
The word “reprobate” in this verse means “unapproved” by God. So, in order for us to remain faithful Christians from the point at which we are baptized to the point of our death, we have to take the time to think about how we conduct ourselves from day to day and determine if there is anything amiss in our lives.
To help you examine your spiritual standing with God, here are a few questions that may help. Ask yourself these questions to help determine if you are still living the life of a faithful Christian:
1. Are you keeping the greatest commandment which is to love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, and mind? (Matthew 22:37)
2. Is the Lord First in every list of your priorities? Does God come First with your money and time? “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).
3. Have you been keeping the second greatest commandment, which is to love my neighbor as myself? (Matthew 22:39)
4. Have you been seeking to teach others? “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Matthew 28:19).
5. Am you growing as a Christian? “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;” (II Peter 1:3-7). We should look to the 7 Christian Graces and working to grow in them every day. "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:5-8).
6. Have you not been forsaking the assembly of the church? “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”(Hebrews 10:25).
7. Do you do personal devotionals to God? Do you pray without ceasing? (I Thessalonians 5:17)? Do you study the Bible every day (II Timothy 2:15)?
8. Do you keep yourself free from sin? “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (I John 3:9) To keep oneself from sin, you have to watch everything you say and do, and the outside sources that you expose yourself to. You also have to guard what your children say and do as well, so that they can grow up to be faithful Christians throughout their lives.
9. Are you guarding your thoughts? “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (II Corinthians 10:5).
10. Do you diligently resist the temptation to sin? “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1-2). Whenever we are tempted to sin, God will always provide a way for us to escape the temptation without committing sin. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (I Corinthians 10:13).
We need to be self-monitoring ourselves frequently to make sure that we are living the most authentic, faithful Christian lives possible. Of course, we cannot earn heaven, but we can do God’s Will everyday of our lives, and through His Good Grace and Mercy, receive Heaven as our reward! Any persecution and pain that we suffer in this life will be worth it in the end!
Galatians 5:22 mentions gentleness as one of the Fruit of the Spirit. The word “gentleness” in the Merriam Webster Dictionary means to be “kind.” What does it mean to be kind? To be kind means to be good to others and to be considerate. Showing compassion towards others is one way that we can show kindness towards them.
When we look at what the Bible says about Jesus, we see that he had much kindness and compassion towards others. He always treated others well, even those who worked against Him, and He had a deep care and concern for the welfare of others. We see Christ’s compassion in Matthew 14:13-21:
" When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.”
We see here how Jesus showed kindness and compassion towards the multitude and He made a point to care for these people. How many times do we show kindness towards others in their time of need? How often do we see someone who is sick or suffering or in need and we feel compelled to do something about it? On the other hand, how many times have we seen someone in physical or emotional need and we choose to not reach out to them? By showing kindness and compassion towards others, we can shine our Christian light before others and help lead others to Christ.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”(Matthew 5:16). May we all work every day to shine our Christian lights to the world through our acts of kindness and compassion!
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19)
“Patience is a virtue.” This is not an actual verse in the Bible, but the Bible does speak about the importance of patience in a Christian’s life. The word “patience” comes from the Greek word, hupomone, which, according to Thayer’s Greek Dictionary means “steadfast, constancy, and endurance.
Patience, or, “longsuffering” is one of the descriptions of the Fruit of the Spirit; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith” (Galatians 5:22). As Christians, we are not to act in such a way that can cause us to be tempted to sin, or cause others to sin as well. Here are some ways that we can become more patient
If you want to start each day right, you need to study your Bible every day! A great way to learn more about the Bible is through Bible Correspondence Courses!
For years, I have used Bible Correspondence courses to teach people from all over the world about the Word of God. I am currently using 3 Bible Correspondence Courses, and they are as follows;
If you are interested in participating in any of these Bible Correspondence Courses, please email me your name, mailing address, and which correspondence course you would like to participate in. Once I get your information, I will send you your first lesson to complete and send back to me for grading. After I have received and graded your work, I will send your graded work to you, along with the next lesson to complete until you have competed all 30 lessons in the course. After you have completed all 30 lessons of one course, you can begin the next correspondence course for free and complete all 30 lessons of that course. Once again, both Bible correspondence courses are free!
I hope that you will take time out of every day to study God’s Word so that you grow closer to God! You life will improve greatly if you do this! "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15).
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
The next Fruit of the Spirit that Paul mentions in Galatians 5:22 is Peace. The fruits that we should have in our lives are listed with those being: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,and temperance.
Something that faithful Christians have that non-Christians and unfaithful Christians do not have is peace of mind. We, who are striving to live for Christ every day, have a peace within us and with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1) that cannot be taken away by external events and situations that may arise from time to time in our daily lives.
We have this peace of mind when we are spiritually right with God. This sense of peace is not only a wonderful emotion that we, who are living for the Lord, possess, but it is also an understanding that sin separates us from God (Ephesians 2:1-3), and by turning away from sin, and turning wholly towards Christ, we have the hope of Heaven in the end! “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”(Hebrews 5:9). If we trust in God and are obedient to Him unto death, then we can truly have the peace that passeth all understanding!
“Rejoice evermore” (I Thessalonians 5:16)
In Galatians 5:22, Paul, inspired by God, speaks about the Fruit of the Spirit. In the last article, I discussed the first Fruit of the Spirit that Paul mentioned, which is Love. The next Fruit of the Spirit on the list is Joy.
The apostle Paul epitomized what it means to choose joy in our lives, no matter what we may be facing on a daily basis. When the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to pen many of his epistles or books in the New Testament, he was being imprisoned by the Romans for merely preaching the Word of God. It is during this imprisonment that Paul tells us to “rejoice evermore” in I Thessalonians 5:16.” He also tells us, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13). In Philippians 4:4, Paul tells us to “rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.” We should always be rejoicing, because we have by the Grace of God through our obedience the forgive us of our sins, and if we “stay the course” and remain faithful unto death, we have our Hope of Heaven realized in the end! (Romans 12:12).
Other followers of Christ who were inspired by God to tell us to be joyful Christians are James, the earthly half-brother of Jesus. James did not become a follower of Christ until Christ’s death and resurrection, even though he was raised by the same earthly parents (Matthew 13:55). Of course, He is the half-brother of the Lord, because while his father was Joseph, the Father of Christ is God the Father (Matthew 1:19-25, John 3:16).
According to external sources, James was murdered during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Nero, for preaching the Gospel of Christ, and he faced many persecutions. It is said that his knees were callused due to the amount of time he spent on his knees in prayer every day. James tells us to be joyful even when we are being persecuted for being faithful Christians. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:2-4).
When we are being mistreated merely because we are faithful followers of Christ, we may find it challenging to be joyful, however, James shows us that it is indeed possible to choose joy in trying times.
How many of us would work to be joyful in the situations that Paul, James, and other followers of Christ faced throughout history? Often times, when the slightest thing doesn’t go our way, many of us allow this to affect how joyful we are. But, as Christians, we are to be joyful, just as these men tell us to be in the Holy Scriptures.
In times of happiness and prosperity in our lives, it is easy to be joyful. However, when we face trials and tribulations as Christians, we still have to choose joy, and learn to put things into the proper perspective. There will be times of weeping (Romans 12:15), but the blessings of Christ in our lives (Ephesians 1:3) bring us lives that are in general filled with joy.
When we put God First in our lives, everything else will fall into place. That doesn’t mean that we will not face persecution, or deal with tragedies and trials in our lives. What it means is that no matter what happens in this temporary world with its temporary problems, we have an eternal home and an eternity of joy and peace to look forward to after this life is over!
A very wise preacher once said that the meaning of Joy is this;
J = Jesus
O = Nothing
Y = You
In the word, JOY, the J stands for Jesus, the Y stands for You, and the O stands for Nothing. So, having JOY in your life means NOTHING stands between JESUS and YOU! May we all live our lives with the Joy that only faithful children of God can have, so that we can have the best lives here on the earth, help to convert others, and have the greatest Joy of all in eternity!