The attribute of humility is one that every Christian should possess. We read over and over again how the “haughty” and “stiff necked” are contrary to God (2 Chro 30:8, Ps 18:27).
Being humble leads us to selflessness. The humble person doesn’t exalt themselves but, because of their good works, others, including God exalt them (Jam 4:10). A person who is puffed up only desires to be exalted so that they can boast. A person who is humble desires only to do the works of God and IF they are exalted by others then so be it. We want to be humble and not haughty and we should not do things just so that others can see our works (Mt 6:2-4).
Being humble leads a person to righteousness. A person who is truly humble will desire to do what God has commanded. One of the biggest obstacles for people is their pride. Sadly, many allow their pride to get in the way and, as a result, they refuse to obey God (Pro 16:18). A person who is humble will submit to the teachings of God and not reject them (Isa 30:10). Are we humble enough to obey God when we realize we are not following His Word?
Being humble leads us to everlasting life. A person who is humble is willing and ready to repent when they realize they have committed sin. No doubt there are those who do not want to acknowledge that they have sinned. However, the proud cannot repent unless they humble themselves before God. Felix is a shining example of what happens when we are too proud to make ourselves right with God (Acts 24:25).
By these three points we see that being humble causes a person to be a better worker for God, a better student of His Word, and causes us to be closer to God through our humble repentance. Do you have humility? Are we striving to have more humility?
The Bible tells us Christ was humble for our sakes (Phil 2:8). Are we humble for the sake of the Kingdom of God?
It is important to realize that the Christian must stand upon the word of God. This must be our guide and standard in all of life for the Christian. “For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name's sake, Lead me and guide me.” Psalms 31:3 There are many today who stand for truth and have proven that fact by standing faithfully on God’s Word.
However, there are also those who do not. There exists those who claim to follow and stand on God’s Word but do not. Instead of adhering to the Word of God they redefine terms and interpret scripture to say things that do not fit the context but instead fit the standards of man. This is done for many reasons but it generally comes back to the idea of simply trying to please men.
We must remember it is always important to make sure we stand on the solid rock of God & His word and not on the every shifting sands of the doctrines, ideas and opinions of men. If we hope to ever have heaven as our home we cannot reach it unless we are standing on God’s Word and truly follow it.
For that reason I plan to discuss in this article and others where the Christian must stand if they are to be pleasing to God. With that in mind, today we will begin with the Word of God itself.
Notice the following verses which so many of us probably already know by heart. “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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.“ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 A simple word study reveals that the word “inspiration” literally means “God breathed”. Thus, God breathed out what He wants man to know. The words He has breathed out to man are profitable. These words are not merely opinion or advice they are commands from God. Thus the Bible is not the collections of teachings of men, but is in fact the Word of God. Consider the words of the Apostle Peter when he said “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables...” 2 Peter 2:16a
Why write about the Bible being from God? There are many today it seems that need to be reminded of this fact. There are those today who are rejecting portions of God’s Word and are substituting their own ideas, etc. For that reason we need to be minded that the Bible is not just “some old book” but it contains the Word of God that, when obeyed, saves the soul of man, “…and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:21b
Let’s never forget where the Christian should stand. The Bible is from God that is a fact. The Bible contains the commandments of God that is a fact. The Bible must be followed, this too is a fact. If we take a stance that declares that the Bible is not from God or that the creeds of men are equal to the Word of God then friends you are standing on the shifting sand of selfish ideas and opinions and those will not provide you entrance into eternal life with our Lord.
Join me next time as we discuss “Where I Stand” regarding the church and the Kingdom.
Gospel preaching is powerful because God designed it that way and man cannot design anything more powerful. For we see that through Gospel preaching men are saved from sin (1 Cor. 1:18-21). Since that is the case (and it is), we do not need less preaching, we need more (Acts 6:7). A sermonette by a preacherette will only make Christianettes. We not only need more preaching, but we need more bold preaching—after all that is what the church of the Bible prayed for (Acts 4:29) and God answered their prayer (v. 31). If that’s the way God wanted it then, then that’s the way it needs to be now. Preaching that does not reprove, rebuke and exhort is not Gospel preaching (2 Tim. 4:1-2). It is worthless and we do not need that which has no value. (these are a few facts about preaching we need to remember).
Mothers come in all shapes and sizes. She works in the kitchen preparing your meals and in the laundry room washing and folding your clothes. She supervises your homework, cheers for you at the game, nurses you when you are sick, helps you solve life’s problems, makes delicious cookies for you, checks your report card, gives you your vitamins, holds you when you hurt, and hugs you when you go to bed. No one seems to understand you as good as your mom.
But a Christian mother does even more. Not only do you see her work diligently with her hands, but she also reads to you from the Bible, prays for you to be kept safe, instills in you moral principles that will make you honest, fair and true. She shows you how to have courage in your despair and how to have strength in times of weakness. She demonstrates how to be strong and yet gentle at the same time. Her example shows you how to have peace in your heart even when trouble threatens. Her faith is seen daily and that is helping you to understand how important trusting and serving God really is.
In worship she sings so sincerely the spiritual songs and hymns. As the sermon is given she listens so attentively and respectfully. She requires that you sit still in your seat during the message from God’s word. In doing this she has taught you respect for the Heavenly Father. She speaks to all a cheerful word when worship services are over. Mothers that serve the Lord are women that help the sick, befriend the lonely, and have a genuine concern for all.
A godly mother supplies strength to her family and to the church. In this way she seeks first God’s kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33).
The Bible speaks of such a woman and calls her “a virtuous woman.” It says that her worth is “far above rubies” (Prov. 31:10). Of such a woman, the Bible says, “Her children arise up, and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her” (Prov. 31:28). The Bible says that those closest to her should recognize her value and praise her. In other words, a godly mother should be honored because of her influence for good.
Let every day be mother’s day. Don’t save all of your love and praise for only one day. One day is good, but each day is better. But also, follow her example as she follows the word of God.
The New Testament abounds with lessons from which we can profit concerning the church of our Lord. One of the very best examples we have concerning New Testament Christianity in action is that of the church in Jerusalem. This is the very first congregation established by our Lord upon earth through the apostles (Acts 2). By studying this infant congregation of the Lord's people, we can learn many principles that should be applied today. Growing our faith together makes us strong.
The church in Jerusalem was a church that was concerned. It was concerned in their efforts to do God's will in all things. That concern was so high, that nothing else really mattered. So great was their concern for apostolic teaching, the scriptures show that they continued “steadfastly in the apostles doctrine” (Acts 2:42). They were concerned for the fellowship with their brethren, and in their worship of God. Verse 42 states that they “continued in fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers.”
They were concerned with meeting the needs of others. When there was a need, many sold their possessions and gave what they had to those in need. But most outstanding of all was when opposition to the gospel came, and persecution was upon those good brethren because of their unwavering faith in Jesus, they did not give up. They did not wallow in self-pity and despair. They were scattered abroad and went everywhere preaching the word (Acts 8:4). They grew in spite of persecution. When they were tested, they withstood the trials. James stated, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:3). The church will grow when we stand and pass the trials of our faith. Our concern for truth and one another will add to our strength.
Lessons are of no value unless they are applied. So, let us notice that the early church grew because they were dedicated to the cause of Christ, and were concerned for the lost. They did not simply offer lip-service, but were doers of that which was good and true (James 1:22). If we simply talk about our Christianity, we deceive ourselves and those around us. We may think that we serve Christ, but in reality, we serve Satan when we do not act (James 1:21-25).
Do we want to be genuine in our Christian? Do we really want the church to grow? Sometimes the way is hard, but we can be encouraged by Paul’s inspired word, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). There will be trials, but there is no other life which offers so many blessings and rich rewards. The Lord expects the church to grow. Concern is the way to make it possible. Be concerned for your own soul and for the souls of all mankind. When we really get concerned -- just watch the church grow.
If any man will serve Christ, the way is clear. You begin by taking up the cross of submission and obedience to Him. Then repent of your sins, confess Jesus as Lord, and then be baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38). It is now that you will be added to the church of Christ (Acts 2:47).
It is not uncommon, sadly, that some brethren (brothers & sisters) have developed a bad habit of talking to others in a rude & hurtful way. While this may not be intentional, if it is a continual action, it causes the hearer to begin to wonder does it not? Notice the definition of the word rude, “offensively impolite or ill-mannered” (bing.com). Not only are some rude today, some “talk down” to others, this is often done when trying to make the other person feel ignorant or inferior. Isn’t it sad that such attitudes exist in the Lord’s church today?
Sadly, the first example that comes to mind is preachers & teachers. Some today have developed the habit of talking to other preachers, teachers and members in such a way as to convey the idea that they are not intelligent. That’s putting it politely. When questions are asked, some respond with rudeness that includes mocking, poking fun or implying that the individual is stupid for asking such a question. What’s interesting is that often this rudeness does not include an answer to the question at all. Poor manners do not make for a proper answer to any question.
Others can project the attitude of arrogance for multiple reasons. A trend that’s too common today is a preacher being arrogant and rude because of his education. Just because someone attended a school and received a degree does not make that person educated in the scriptures. This point has been illustrated repeatedly and very clearly.
The second example is from individual church members. For example, while it is a good idea to encourage others to read and study their Bible daily, it must be done with love. It’s hard for others to feel love if they are being belittled repeatedly. Another example, is to imply that others do or do not study the Bible because the individual asks a question.
We must be careful to not misunderstand or misinterpret someone’s intentions. A proclamation of Bible truth is not being rude simply because it steps on your toes. Some people say things in a rude way while others believe you are rude for simply saying anything at all, the two are not the same.
The problem it seems for some is that their attitude towards others is not according to the word of God. Some believe the “truth in love” approach is saying the truth because you love them, and that gives them the right to be harsh, aggressive, arrogant, and rude. This is not biblical. Truth in love is just that, we warn, teach, or preach the truth of God’s Word and present it in a loving manner. Just because you have the truth or know the truth does not give you the right to be rude. I have yet to see anyone won for Christ with this approach. Neither will there be many who are encouraged with such an approach.
The solution is one that will seem probably “weak” to those who enjoy the rude approach to which they are accustomed. Brethren need to be encouraged to read and study and questions need to be answered with love. Doing things in love must include love, if it does not we should not be surprised when those who are treated poorly leave the congregation or even goes back into the world. Why attend a congregation where someone’s idea of encouragement is harsh and rude?
Those who have such an approach need to examine themselves and decide if they will change their approach to brethren or not, this would include apologies and repentance to those to whom they have treated so harshly. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1).
If we love the brethren we will encourage them and build them up in the faith with love in our hearts and not with rudeness on our lips.
When you think of wrath what comes to your mind? We may think of someone who is red in the face. Someone who is yelling & screaming foul language. You may also picture someone who has lost their temper.
What is wrath? Merriam-Webster defines wrath as “strong vengeful anger or indignation”. It’s interesting that wrath includes the idea of vengeance. It’s much more than just losing one’s temper, though that can certainly lead to wrath, it is an excited anger that may lead to lashing out on others.
Have you ever seen someone lash out at someone else? When stressed, frustrated or flustered one may become quick tempered and lash out if they are not careful. It is always easier to talk about controlling one’s anger but it’s much more difficult to actually do it.
What warnings does the Bible give about wrath and anger? Let’s look at a few examples together.
He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29) When a person becomes angry, especially to the point of wrath, it’s common for mistakes (folly) to be made. This is just another reason to try desperately to control one’s anger.
A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
When talking with others we should not intentionally say or do things simply to get someone “fired up” such an attitude is not only wrong but is not the proper attitude of any Christian.
A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again. (Proverbs 19:19) There are some that you sometimes have to try to calm down, to try to help an individual see reason and relax, the Bible warns that there are those who you may have to “rescue” in this way, time and time again. Let us not be one who needs such rescuing.
While it is not sinful to be upset over some things: sin, false teaching, promotion of error, etc. The Christian will be unable to win people for Christ if their anger is not in control.
Wrath causes harm to himself/herself, to the family at home, the Christian family at the local congregation and is displeasing to God. When dealing with wrath one should consider first why he/she is angry. Is it worthy being upset about? Having wrath because of the weather or a spilled glass of milk is not a good reason for wrath. We may be upset by it or disappointed but anger is not justified.
Second, consider if you are upset about something that has just taken place or it is a result of others things compounded that resulted in you coming to wrath.
Third, let us consider that if we deal with issues or concerns as they come and not all at once, wrath and anger in general will be much easier to keep at bay.
Fourth, keep in mind that those who have a problem with wrath, most often look foolish. A man/woman succumbing to wrath over something for example like sports…will indeed only look foolish.
Let us remember when it comes to wrath, it is a danger that must be kept at bay.
A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, But a fool's wrath is heavier than both of them. (Proverbs 27:3)
By Russ Earl
Throughout history we see repeatedly that man can be and often is, a slow learner. We sometimes take a long time to grasp what the answer is, I am not talking about a math problem.
Man, sometimes must try things, experience things. This is not the best course of action. Though this is often what takes place before he decides, if he ever does, that some experiences are not just overrated, they are sinful and damnable actions.
When faced with sin, man often plunges deeper into the mire of wickedness, before finally surfacing to consider the option of ending any sinful action. Man, sometimes will not consider such until he realizes an action not just as being sinful, but the consequences of it. Man, may see the reality of hell awaiting him because of his actions, or he may not.
Man, will only learn when he accepts the darkness of sin. When we talk about sin being “dark” we mean it’s seriousness, its consequences and the evil actions that define sin. Sin is dark for several reasons.
First, it is dark because it is rooted in evil. Anything that separates man from God is evil and sin certainly separates man from God (Isa 59:2). Second, it is dark because sin does not exist in the light. Throughout the Bible those who are in the light is those working righteousness, not so for those committing sin (Jn 3:20). Third, sin is dark because that’s one of the ways the Bible describes it. (1 Jn 1:6).
Sin is dark because no one can live in sin and walk in the light at the same time. One has to first leave the light, that is walk away from God. “From those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness;” Pro 2:13. Man must realize that the battle is real. It’s not something that is imaginary. Sin and its temptations are right before us. Even our own government tempts us to sin by making laws that easily allow us to do so. We must realize the battle against sin is all around us from the world and from Satan himself. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Eph 6:12
This battle against the darkness that is sin is one that must be won if a person expects to see heaven.
When a person obeys the gospel, they put on the armor of God and begin waging the war against darkness. Against sin, wickedness, evil and all those who support and promote damnable acts. Unlike some systems of belief, the Christian doesn’t fight with physical objects but with the word of God and the truth found within its pages.
Today, let us realize, finally the seriousness of sin. We must realize that with darkness in our lives we can never be pleasing to God. Friend, not one person will enter Heaven unless they are pleasing to God. The darkness of sin and its consequences rest entirely on our shoulders. However, through obedience to the gospel we encounter the blood of Christ. His blood removes our sin and lifts the damnable shade of darkness that has hung over our lives until now. Today, is the day to act. Now is the time for you to climb out of the mire of sin and wickedness. When we obey the Gospel, Christ will lift us up out of the mire much like He lifted Peter from the water during the storm (Mt 14:30-31). Sin is serious, sin is dark, sin is evil. Today, through obedience allow God to bring you out of sin and darkness and into the Kingdom. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,” Col 1:13.
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