Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pure Religion or Willful Refusal to do Good

James 4:17  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

A good biblical example of failure to do right is found in the story of the good Samaritan. You will remember the priest and the Levite who could have helped the mugging victim, but chose to go on their way and not be bothered while the half-breed Samaritan pitched right in and made a change in the afflicted man’s world.

If we are confronted with the opportunity to turn a good deed for a truly needy individual and we know we should roll up our sleeves and jump in to the rescue, but don't, to us, it is sin.

Why would we not do good when we ought to?

*I might choose to conserve my resources.
*I might opt to withhold my mercy and kindness.
*I may decide to turn my back to the need so I am no longer confronted by it.
*I may avoid the issue by passing by on the other side of the street.
*I might use a useless platitude such as, "be ye warmed and filled."
*I might judge the need as unworthy of my attention.
*I might feel an inability to contribute with a good deed.
*I may decide the good deed is outside of my comfort zone.
*I might feel as if I am too busy, I don't need to be bothered, this ministry is not on my list of things to do, it is not a priority.
*I could shrug my shoulders and say, “It is not my gift.”
*I could hope that someone else will deal with it.
*And I may even feel the person in need is not worth my efforts.

Obviously, there are needs on every hand and we cannot take in every stray dog, fund every plea or single-handedly save the world. So, when must I intervene with a good work? If the need passes all 3 of these tests, we must act.

1.     When the need arises and I am confronted with it.
2.     When the Holy Spirit prompts me to make a difference.
3.     When I have the wherewithal to perform a good work.

What might be some of the needs we come across on a daily basis where our inaction might be considered sin?

Ø Lost souls in need of a Savior Who encouraged us with, “Freely ye have received, freely give.”
Ø Suffering people who could use our effectual, fervent prayers.
Ø Missionary efforts with which the Lord would have us to partner.
Ø Poor and needy folks who have fallen on hard times, exposed to us when we have the resources to help. 

We might add that those needs that we cannot meet, or are not prompted by the Spirit to assist with, should be left up to the Lord and we don't have to feel guilty about our inaction. That does not mean that we cannot have compassion and pray about them.

Remember that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The day I skipped church....

I disobeyed God.
I forsook the assembling of myself together with other believers.
I missed out on some good fellowship.
I greatly disappointed and hurt my pastor and my teacher.
I missed the blessing God had in store especially for me.
I was a bad example to the young believers and the children.
I showed how lazy I am.
I showed what my priorities really are.
I failed to exhort and be exhorted.
I showed I don't love Jesus because I didn't keep His commandment.
I took another step toward being backslidden.
I put a chink in my armour.
I let the devil have a victory.
I showed that I don't love his bride like He loves his bride.
I missed a good meal that was fixed especially for me...I was invited, but I blew it off.
I showed that I don't support the work whole-heartedly.
I missed a life being changed, a should being saved, a family being reunited, a body being healed, a revival taking root.
I opted not to worship Jesus.
I didn't get to sing praises, give a testimony, respond to the message, take some useful notes or contribute to the offering.
But hey, I watched some TV, didn't have to get all dressed up, stayed comfortable, and wasn't taken on a guilt trip. But now I feel guilty.

Monday, August 4, 2014

“Faithful Sayings” From the Bible:

1. Jesus Saves!
1Tim 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

2. Live for God!
1Tim 4:8  For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 9  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

3. Heaven is for Real!
2 Tim 2:11  It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

4. Do Right!
Titus 3:8  This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

God is faithful, His Word is faithful and these four sayings are faithful.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Living Like Royalty

Partakers of the Heavenly Calling

Heb 3:1  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

1. We are Called to be Saints of God.  Rom 1:7, I Cor 1:2
2. We are Called to be Sons of God.  Gal 4:5, 6
3. We are Called to be Friends of God. Jn 15:15
4. We are Called to be Joint-Heirs with Christ.  Rom 8:17

Friend, we are currently royalty in waiting, presumably partakers of all the promises of God and presently seated in the heavenlies.

Ours is but to live up to our stature. Princes and princesses are not expected to be perfect, but there is an expectation that they carry themselves as royalty. Their status prohibits them from behaving like back alley low-lifes, partaking in guttery amusements. 

The Lord has made us kings and priests unto Himself, let's live accordingly. 

In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery. "Your Majesty," said Prior Richard, "do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king."

"I understand," said Henry. "The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you."

"Then I will tell you what to do," said Prior Richard. "Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you." When King Henry died, a statement was written: "The King learned to rule by being obedient." When we tire of our roles and responsibilities, it helps to remember God has planted us in a certain place and told us to be a good accountant or teacher or mother or father. Christ expects us to be faithful where he puts us, and when He returns, we'll rule together with him. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Sure Foundation

II Tim 3:15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

I weary of these wise-achers who spend inordinate amounts of time critiquing the pure Word of the Lord, claiming it to be inspired and yet chocked full of mistakes.

Just in this chapter, II Timothy 3, I find several descriptive monikers for them: boasters, proud, blasphemers, despisers of those that are good, heady, high-minded, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, seducers, deceiving and being deceived.

Let me tell you about my Bible:
1. It is able to make me wise concerning salvation through faith. The Bible-bashers cannot poke enough holes in the Word to take away its efficacy in its teaching in matters of salvation.
2. It is given by inspiration of God. God breathed His quickening into the pages of Holy Writ. No Bible-thrasher's pen knife can un-inspire the wonderful Words of Life.
3. It is profitable. Helpful, serviceable, advantageous. I can trust it thoroughly in matters of doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. There are no holes, no flaws, no errors, no mistakes in my Bible to halt the progress of the double-edged work it does in the life of the believer.
4. The Bible, which is perfect, makes the man of God complete. If the Bible was as flawed as the professors say it is, it would not have the wherewithal to perfect its adherents.
5. It throughly furnishes God's workers to do His work. How could and incomplete, corrupted manuscript completely equip those who study it?

My Bible does the job! If you have a watered down, altered and twisted imitation of the Word of God, shelve that thing and get you a real Bible. It's the one that spurred the greatest revivals of history. It's the one that is inspired and perfectly preserved. It will teach you solid doctrine, warn you when you go astray, guide you as to how to return to the proper path and instruct you in how to stay on that path. The Book will mature you into a complete believer and give you what you need to serve Him.

Don't listen to the Bible-correctors as they spew their doubtful disputations upon God's Book. Trust the One Who has promised you a perfectly preserved Word which will not fail and is settled forever in heaven.