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).
Everyone's Place In Time
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).
Mammie's Measuring Cup
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!
Resolutions to Make for the New Year
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!
Jesus Is the Reason for Every season
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).
Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness
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!
Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness
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!
Fruit of the Spirit: Patience
"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
Bible Correspondence Courses!!
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).
The Fruit of the Spirit:Peace
“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!
Fruit of the Spirit: Joy
“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!
Fruit of the Spirit: Love
“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).
At our local congregation, I teach the preschool/Kindergarten class which is made up of children between the ages of 3 and 5 years of age. One of the songs that I enjoy singing with the children is the “Fruit of the Spirit” song which helps the children remember the 9 different components of the fruit of the Spirit which are mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. Showing the “fruit of the Spirit” means that we are exemplifying the same traits that are mentioned in the Bible that the Holy Spirit possesses, which also means that we are shaping our inner selves to show more of Christ to others than of our own selves. The next series of articles will cover one of the 9 fruit of the Spirit. I will begin this article with the first fruit of the Spirit: Love.
We are to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 7:12). We are to show love towards others by helping them and teaching them about living the faithful Christian life. In English, the word “love” can be applied to various situations. The word “love” can be applied to your feelings toward your spouse, your parents, siblings, strangers, or even a cup of coffee. Koine Greek, which is the language that the writers of the New Testament used, designated a specific word for each version of love that we feel in different situations. Here are the Greek words that were used during Christ’s time to convey the meaning of the word “Love.
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." (I John 4:7).
In Part 2 of this series on the Fruit of the Spirit, I will be discussing the subject of Joy!
At some point in time, we have all been sick. If the sickness is not very
serious, most of us will stay home and try to get better on our own. When the
sickness becomes more serious, however, most will seek the help of a doctor
whom they trust. Like a medical physician whose expertise is to help the body
overcome physical sickness, Jesus is our Great Physician Who has the ability to
help us overcome physical and spiritual sickness. ““When Jesus heard it, he saith
unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are
sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17).
We become spiritually sick when we are weakened by sin and when we
allow the temporary cares of the world to take priority over God. When we become
spiritually sick, we need Christ as our Great Physician to help us overcome our
spiritual sickness and get better. In order to keep spiritually pure and healthy, we
have the following prescription from the Bible to follow;
1. Bible Reading: The Bible acts as a mirror in which we view our spiritual
selves. We have to read and study our Bibles everyday in order to gain the
full benefit of its teaching and instruction (II Timothy 2:15). Just as II
Timothy 2:15 says, God not only suggests that we study our Bibles
regularly, He commands it!
We may think that we are keeping spiritually pure in the sinful and
perverse world that we live in, but we can only know for sure if we are
spiritually healthy if we read our Bibles daily and examine ourselves
regularly to be sure that we are truly and accurately following God’s Word.
“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). I know that from my own personal experience, that after I do my daily bible study, my day goes so much better. My life is much more blessed now, and yours will be too if you take up daily bible study!
2. Pray : We are to pray daily and often. I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to, “Pray
without ceasing.” Whenever we are tempted to worry, we should pray about
it to God and lay all of our burdens upon Him to carry. “Be careful for
nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let
your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6). We should pray
about anything that we feel that we need help with, no matter how small of a
matter it may seem to us. When we are so troubled that we do not know
exactly what to pray for, we have the Holy Spirit to help us in our prayers by
interceding tot he Father on our behalf. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our
infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the
Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be
3. Going to a Solitary Place. Sometimes it is necessary for us to seek solitude
and to be by ourselves for awhile. Jesus did this at times so that He could
pray to God without interruption. “And in the morning, rising up a great
while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there
prayed.” (Mark 1:35). The apostles also sought a solitary place to pray such
as when Peter sat upon the rooftop to pray (Acts 10:9). Having quiet moments alone helps us to think more clearly as well as allow us some time
to focus on God.
4. Crying: It has been said that crying is therapeutic for the soul, and it surely is. When we are feeling sad, angry, overwhelmed, etc, a good cry cleanses us and makes us feel better. God allows us to go through sadness in our lives so that we can cry and release the pain that is harboring in our souls.
“Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the
heart is made better.” (Ecclesiastes 7:3). Sorrow also makes us better
Christians, because it causes us to assess and realign our priorities in life.
5. Laughing: Just as tears are therapeutic for the soul, laughter at appropriate
times can be a great relief during trying times. Laughter relieves our stress at
the moment, and helps us to feel better. Those who choose to be happy in
life will laugh often. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a
broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)
6. Christians Encouraging Other Christians: Having encouragement from our fellow sisters in Christ can help motivate us to continue being faithful to God, as well as see us through the many challenging times that we may face in this life. As Christians it is our duty to be encouraging to one another so that our bond is strengthened, and we can help one another go to Heaven! "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do" (I Thessalonians 5:11).
It is so sad to see Christians who only want to discourage other Christians. The practice of discouraging one another not only hurts the person being discouraged, but it shows the spiritual weakness that the discourager possesses. We are to be like Barnabas, whose great ability to encourage others gave him the name "son of consolation." (Acts 4:36)
7. Attend the Worship Services of the church of Christ Regularly. By regularly, I mean that you should be worshipping with the saints every Sunday that you are not sick or taking care of the sick, and any other time in the week that the men of your congregation set aside time for Bible Study, such as on a Wednesday night. We are commanded to worship with a congregation of the church of Christ. " 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 10:24-25). Just as daily Bible study will help God Bless you in your life even more than you are blessed already, going to worship services regularly will also help your life immensely. Show me a person who does not attend worship services regularly, and I will show you a person whose life will fall apart, at some point in time and things will not be going as good in that person's life as it would be if that person was faithful in his/her worship service attendance.
When you are tempted to stay home on Sunday to sleep in or stay home on Wednesday night for something other than being sick or taking care of the sick, please take the time to think about how if Jesus could die a cruel death on the cross for you, then the very least you could do is drive to a church building in your comfortable vehicle and sit in a comfortable pew in a temperature controlled building to worship Him, and to thank Him for all He has done for you!
When we, Christians study and pray daily, find solitude, allow ourselves to cry
and laugh when needed, and examine our spiritual selves regularly, we are blessed
to have Jesus, as our mediator between God and ourselves, bring us to the Father.
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ
Jesus;” (I Timothy 2:5). We also have Jesus as the best example we could ever
have in living the faithful Christian Life. No matter how much sorrow we have
here on the earth, it all pales in comparison to what Jesus went through in His short
33 years on the planet. During all of His struggles, however, He maintained the
“peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). We can also have the peace
that passes all understanding when we follow the prescription that the Great
Physician has given us, and work to be more like Christ each and every day that we
New Book Announcement!!!!
NEW BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT FOR LADIES!!! My newest book has just been published by SAIN PUBLICATIONS, and it is called THINK ON THESE THINGS: A CHRISTIAN WOMAN'S GUIDE TO GUARDING HER THOUGHTS. If you want to learn how to have a more positive attitude and mindset with God's Help, then check this book out!
It has questions at the end of each chapter which makes it great for Ladies Bible Classes!
If you would like a copy of this book, please contact Sain Publications at (931) 363-6905,
With backpacks, pencils, paper and other school supplies crowding the shelves at local stores, it is apparent that the school year is about to get underway. I remember getting all new school supplies as a kid and how exciting it was to have a new binder or backpack. I also remember getting a few new outfits and a brand new pair of shoes for each school year as well. While it is important that parents equip their children with the necessary materials they need to begin the school year right, the most important supplies that a student needs will most likely not be mentioned in a list or letter from a teacher. Spiritual supplies that will help a student of any age keep their mind focused on Jesus, and help them resist wrongdoing can only be found in the Word of God. Here is a supply list that could be used by parents to help students of all ages succeed in staying obedient to God.
1. Along with making sure that their children learn their lessons from secular school books, parents should also make sure that their children learn daily lessons from The Book! While studying secular subjects such as math, science, reading, English, social studies and so on every day are important, it is more important that parents make sure that their children study the Bible every day as well. While learning secular materials will prepare you for a test here on Earth, learning spiritual lessons will prepare you for an eternity in Heaven! “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15). As I’ve mentioned before in previous articles, my husband and I have had a daily Bible devotional where we pray, sing praises unto God, and read from the Scriptures, since the very night of our marriage, and we plan to continue this tradition with our children!
2. Along with new outfits, shoes, backpacks and lunch boxes, parents should make sure their children are also equipped with the armour of God. This is described in Ephesians 6:13-17; “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”. By giving children the knowledge of the Bible, he or she will be better able to discern right from wrong and make better decisions in their daily lives.
3. Finally, parents should also teach their children to live righteously by living righteously themselves. Teachers at school should not be a child’s only moral compasses. Parents should lead their children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). A child carries what they see inside the home to the outside world, so it is imperative that parents make sure that they are leading a godly home life for their children. That includes teaching children who are unaccountable the right way to live as a Christian in the hope that they will become a Christian when they are accountable, and teaching those that are at the age of accountability the importance of becoming a faithful Christian.
I hope that during these upcoming school days, and every day, parents are teaching their children to grow up to become faithful servants of God or if they are already Christians, teaching them to maintain faithfulness. Teachers, too, can be a positive influence on their students by living godly lives themselves. Let us all work together to help one another reach the goal of Eternal Life!
In I Corinthians 11:5-9, Paul discusses the subject of women wearing veils.
“But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
Some have speculated from these verses that women are commanded to wear veils on their head during worship and anywhere else in public in order to cover their hair. However, if we look onward to verse 9 of this chapter we see that Paul states “But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.” Paul is saying there that the wearing of veils during worship is not required of women. Then why did Paul discuss the subject of veils in the first place?
It is certainly not wrong for a woman to not wear a veil during worship. Our culture in the United States does not have the custom of women wearing veils, so for a Christian women to not wear one, would not be considered offensive by others. A woman leaving her hair uncovered is perfectly acceptable by God because her hair is her glory; “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering” (I Corinthians 11:15). However, if we were to go on a missionary trip to one of those countries that have the custom of women wearing veils, then we should also wear one, so that our message of the Word will not be hindered due to others in that culture being offended.
Paul was teaching us that we, women, should not dress ourselves in such a way that is considered “taboo” in our culture. In Paul’s culture, most women wore veils on their heads, just as they do today in that part of the world. To not wear a veil meant that a woman was going against the “social norms” of her culture, and thus, she would be compromising her reputation before her peers. Not only that, she could be placing a stumblingblock before those who believed that she was doing wrong by not wearing a veil. “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak” (I Corinthians 8:9).
If a Christian woman dresses in such a way that others would consider “going against the grain” of their culture’s expectations of how women should dress, then that Christian woman not only harms her influence before others, but she also runs the risk of influencing those who are spiritually weak to commit a sin themselves. Others may be influenced to commit actual sins because they believe that a Christian who dresses differently is committing a sin, so therefore it would be acceptable for them to commit a sin, also. We must ever be mindful of our influence before others, and that is why we should focus on spreading the Gospel and teaching others the way to Heaven more so than trying to appear different. Of course, in all things, we must always work to be modest (I Timothy 2:9-10).
Fearing God and keeping His commands and thereby helping others (and ourselves) go to Heaven should be our sole purpose in life (Ecclesiastes 12:13, Matthew 28:18-20). Our bodies are just temporary dwellings that we have been given while we live this temporary life on Earth. While it is important that we dress modestly, trying to be different in the eyes of others who share our culture is a waste of time, because we are then putting too much focus on the temporary, and too little focus on the eternal. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). May we all keep our eyes fixed on the prize of Heaven, and be sure that our outward appearance helps others to see more of Christ than ourselves.
As a parent of 5 children under 10 years of age, I find that much of my day is spent repeating things. Children can be easily distracted, so anything can draw their little attention spans away from the task at hand. I am often reminding them to put their shoes on, pull their shoes off and put them in a certain designated area, brush their teeth, etc. Our little ones are good and obedient children and for this, we are thankful. Is it best to repeat things to instill within them or is there some other way to help children adopt the behaviors that we want them to do in order for them to know how to do these things correctly when they are older? I love my children very much, and I want to be the best mother I can be for them, so I went to the Bible for help on this subject.
I love all of the books of the Bible, but I have to say that Philippians is my favorite. The apostle Paul shows us what it means to have a positive attitude in the face of adversity in this book. The book of Philippians is a letter written by Paul to the church at Philippi, while he was imprisoned by the Romans. In Philippians, Paul gives such great advice on how to persevere through any trial, because he, himself has done so many times. Philippians 4:13 is possibly the most well known verse in the book of Philippians, and it is my favorite verse in the Bible, “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.”
As I was looking over the book of Philippians, I noticed what Paul wrote in chapter 3 and verse 1, “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.” Reading this verse made me realize that Paul was not bothered at all by repeating the same things he had already told the Philippians, in fact, he said that it was “safe” for them or “confirmed.” So Paul is saying by his example that we should not be bothered by having to repeat ourselves over and over to anyone in order for them to learn, especially our children. Children are blessings from God (Psalm 127:3). We are to be humble like little children in order to go to Heaven (Matthew 18:4).
I know that all children are precious gifts from God, and they are certainly worth the time it takes to teach them all of the things they need to know in order to live happy, productive, and faithful lives before God. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Paul has taught me that I should never consider it a problem to repeat myself to little ones, when I have something important for them to know and to do. Giving them those reminders is safe and best for them, just as we as adults benefit from frequent reminders. May we all seek to be as little children so that we can have the humility necessary to fit into Heaven!
Here's Your Sign!
When my family and I were about to head to Florida for our family vacation a couple of weeks ago, we stopped by a restaurant for lunch. As we waited for our table, we noticed the various signs and wall decorations that hang all around us, and my husband noticed a sign in particular and took a picture of it, thinking this quote provides a good idea for a lesson. As you can see from the picture, the sign says, " No matter how far you've gone down the wrong road, turn around!" This sign is true in many ways, especially when it comes to our own spirituality.
God, through His Infinite Grace and Mercy, allows us to have free will in this life, where we either choose to follow Him, or follow the world. "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps." (Proverbs 16:9). If we follow God, then He will reward us with Heaven, however, if we choose to follow the world instead of God, we sin against Him and cannot enter into Heaven. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21).
What if a Christian falls away from God, and follows Satan down the "wrong road" of sin? Can a Christian ever turn back, and be saved again? The answer to this question can be found in various places in the Bible. For example, the apostle Peter, who loved Jesus and was a faithful follower of Christ, ended up denying Jesus three times before the rooster crowed, just as Jesus said he would do in Luke Chapter 22. Once the rooster crowed, however, Peter realized what he had done and "wept bitterly" (v. 62). Peter would go onto become an elder in the church of Christ ( I Peter 5:1) , and outside sources state that Peter died for the cause of Christ by being crucified upside down. In fact, in John 21:15-19, as Peter re-affirmed his love for the Savior, Christ makes it clear that Peter would suffer a death of giving his life for the Most Holy Cause of Christ. Earlier, the apostle Peter went down the wrong road of sinning against Christ, but "turned around" again by repenting of the wrong he had done. Instead of allowing the sin to bring him down permanently, Peter flourished as a Christian and defender of the faith until his death.
Like the sign at the restaurant we visited states, no matter how long we have been in sin, we can always turn back to God. God will receive us with open arms, and forgive us of our sins, IF we repent. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ( I John 1:9).
The key to a happy life, however, is to not waste time living your life for yourself, but living it for God. Only true and faithful Christians can know what it means to have the best lives here on the Earth (John 10:10). However, if you are a Christian, and you have drifted from the Way into an unholy life of sin and have fallen away from God, you can turn around and get back on the right path to eternal salvation through repentance of your sins and showing the fruits meet for repentance (Matthew 3:8). In order to show the fruits meet for repentance, you must show that you have changed, and have turned completely away from the sins you have committed.
In order for Christians to know if we are on the right road to Heaven, we must know God's Word through daily Bible study (Psalm 1, II Timothy 2:15), regular worship service attendance (Hebrews 10:25), a healthy prayer life (I Thessalonians 5:17), and being in the habit of self-examination to make sure that there is nothing amiss in our lives (II Corinthians 13:5). Everything that we can do here on the earth to make sure that we are not going down the "wrong road" is worth it when it comes to the wonderful bliss we will experience in Heaven! Do not ever feel that you have gone too far from the Lord to turn back! You CAN turn back!
So far, we have discussed the first two types of celestial beings we will meet in Heaven one day, which are the Angels and Cherubim. There is one more type of celestial being that we will meet in Heaven, and that is the Seraphim!
The Seraphim are first referenced in the Bible in Isaiah chapter 6. In this chapter, the Isaiah describes these celestial beings in this way;“Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” (Isaiah 6:2-8).
We see from this passage that the Seraphim love us and want us to have forgiveness of our sins. They represent the light of God.
Over the course of the last few articles, we have seen that all three of the celestial beings that reside in Heaven were created by God. All are similar in that they are created by God, and that their wisdom and knowledge is greater than ours. This is because they are spiritual beings that live in the spiritual realm and do not have finite, earthly bodies and minds like we have.
They differ in their appearance, as well as in the jobs that they have been given to do by God. Angels act as messengers to the faithful, the cherubim act as guardians, and the seraphim work to praise and proclaim the Word of God.
Angels, cherubim, and seraphims, are all wonderous and amazing creations of God to think about, and their true essence, appearance, and purpose is above our ability to understand while we are still in our earthly bodies. That is why it is truly exciting to think about how one day, if we continue to live a faithful Christian life unto death, that we will be blessed to see all of the holy angels, cherubims, and seraphims, and know fully the impact they have made upon our lives here on earth and in eternity!
June 24, 2022 will go down in the history books as a wonderful day for women’s rights, especially unborn women! There is nothing more innocent and defenseless as a baby, and the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of protecting unborn girls and boys from being mercilessly slaughtered by their cold-hearted mothers and the professional “hit-men” and “hit-women” who they hire to perform the murders.
Abortion was first legalized in the ruling of Roe V. Wade on January 22, 1973, despite nothing in the United States Constitution permitting abortions. In fact, the United States Constitution does the opposite, protecting life. Since 1973, the murder of innocent children has been upheld by the government of the United States, and more lives have been lost than any other war that the U.S. has been involved in combined. We understand from God’s Word most importantly that no matter how early on the mother is expecting, a person is a person from conception, so there is not a time that is acceptable for an expecting mother to murder her baby, because ending the life of any person, no matter how young or old is wrong (Psalm 51:5, 139:16; Luke 1:36, 41; James 2:26). “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,”(Proverbs 6:16-17). Romans 13:19 says, “Thou shalt not kill,”.
As a mental health counselor, I spoke with several women who chose to have abortions in the past. Most were unmarried women who felt as if they could not mentally and/or financially handle the child. I would rebuke a mother such as this by saying that instead of ending her child’s life, she should have given her child a chance by either deciding to raise that child, or at the very least, though she should have carried on the work of a mother toward the child, she could have allowed another family to adopt that child. Of course, the main trait that all of these women possessed was a keen sense of selfishness.
It takes a selfish and cold-hearted woman to decide that her child should be murdered, no matter how soon after conception has taken place. Even in the case of rape and incest, the baby is innocent of the mistakes of his or her parents, and should not have to pay the ultimate price for these mistakes. Rape and incest are both horrible acts that are committed upon women, and a woman who has conceived a child through rape or incest should focus on having the perpetrator punished for his wrongdoing, rather than punishing her own innocent child with death!
Therefore, I am so grateful unto God for allowing Roe v. Wade to be overturned, so that we can finally see states that have governments that care about God and all lives work to protect more babies, and so that we can see more people standing up for what is right in this world, rather than following Satan. This is indeed a wonderful day, not only for young girls and women of all ages today, but for the future of all mankind.
I hope that this text has helped you think about how horrible the idea of killing innocent children is, and how wonderful it is that the highest court in the United States has made it unlawful to commit murder on our precious little ones!
The Bible speaks of celestial beings known as the Cherubim. Popular culture will make you think that cherubs are “baby angels,” and they are often depicted as babies with wings on their backs, This is not the case, however, because the prophet Ezekiel describes the Cherubim in Ezekiel Chapter 1, verses 4-24 in this way:
“And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went. As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above. And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies. And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.”
Ezekiel identifies the amazing creatures that he sees as the cherubim in Ezekiel 10:1-2. The purpose of the cherubims as we can see from Scripture is to praise God and do what He wants them to do.
In Revelation Chapters 4-6, the apostle John sees beasts that are most likely the cherubim. Unlike the popular idea that cherubim are little baby angels with wings, the depiction that Ezekiel and John gave of the appearance of the cherubim was a creature that had the head of a lion, the head of an eagle, the head of an ox, and the head of a man. Each head of the cherubim represented the Supremacy of God. For example, the lion is the “king of the jungle,” so to speak, the ox is the superior of all of the work of animals, the eagle is the superior of all of the birds, and mankind is superior to all living creatures upon the Earth.
The cherubim are also depicted as having four wings, two of which covered their bodies, and two were outstretched. They also had four human hands underneath each wing, as well as feet like calves’ feet. Most notably, they had four wheels, and these wheels were described as a “wheel within a wheel.” These wheels allowed the cherubim to move around without turning around, which is symbolic of how God is every where at all times. Also, each wheel had many eyes, which is symbolic of God being able to see everything, and how He is ever watchful of the things going on upon the Earth! These wheels obviously do not refer to UFO’s and aliens like some think.
The cherubim were also used as guards in the Bible, such as when Adam and Eve are cast out of the garden of Eden, God placed cherubim wielding flaming swords in the eastern part of the garden, to keep them out. Genesis 3:24 makes this clear with these words, “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Depictions of cherubims are placed in either side of the ark of the covenant which was located in the most holy place in the temple as we see in Exodus 37.
Now, before I close this article and our time of study together, I want us to reflect in looking back on Ezekiel’s vision about which I referred earlier. Above the cherubim was placed a crystal-like “firmament” which was in the shape of a throne, and on the throne was the figure of a man who was clothed in a bright light with a rainbow above His Head (Ezekiel 1:25-28). Ezekiel states, by inspiration of God, “This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.” Also, Ezekiel 2:1-4 identifies this One as the Lord God. How wonderful it will be when we will be able to see these images for ourselves in Heaven! Let these thoughts motivate you to live every day for the Lord and to not “grow weary in well doing” (Galatians 6:9).