Tag Archives: Bible

Restoring a Brother/Sister

I liked the heading in my Bible for Matthew 18:15 – Restoring a Brother. Jesus is talking to His disciples about how to restore a relationship with another Christian that has gone bad. It may have just went bad a little, or a situation that is big and been around for some time.

As humans we have issues because of disagreements or just plain misunderstandings.

The point in Jesus’ teaching is there is a right way to restore that relationship. Follow the teaching of Jesus and watch out God takes care of the situation in ways we could never imagine!

Restoring Christian relationships

Pray Scriptures

One technique to be able to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18) is to pray God’s Word back to Him.  Suggestions on how to do this is the theme of today’s video from Digging Disciples.

Merry Christmas

I wish you a Merry Christmas !

Merry Christmas wreathWe hear it this time of year, but what does wishing a merry Christmas mean?  What does it mean to you?

To me there are several things in mind when I wish you a Merry Christmas.

First and foremost I am wishing you well wishes at a time we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus the Christ, who came to earth as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  Without His birth in the way and the manner in which it happened, then He would not be qualified as a perfect sacrifice.

John 3:16-17 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” No other man do we celebrate this way, and no other man should we celebrate this way.

Secondly wishing your Christmas to be merry means I hope that the way you celebrate His arrival brings joy and peace in a festive way!  I hope you celebrate His gift by giving to those you love!  Sometimes that means we buy things they would like and present them as gifts, but it also means giving of your time and attention.  That is why I am glad we eat and play at Christmas parties and family gatherings – enjoy each other with lighthearted fun!

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Lastly I wish you a merry Christmas season.  Not just a day, but a time to celebrate, give thanks and share love.  To do that right it will take more than just a day – it will take a well orchestrated season.  A day can be built up and fall so anti-climatic, and you will have to stuff so much into one day.  But in a season you will have time to enjoy and share with more people – more time to spread the love as Jesus taught us!

So from me and my family of four – we wish you a Merry Christmas!

Temptation leads to pain

I wish I could remember who shared with me this wisdom of truth in life.

With temptation comes pain.

I guess I was aware that there was pain associated with temptation, but when this person said it out loud I stopped to look at what tempts me and realized they were right.

We all are tempted.  Each and every day, and we all have different things that tempt us.  Some temptations are strong and some just annoy us.  From lust, to envy, hate, gossip, gluttony, laziness, pride, idolatry and more – we have temptations that take away from our relationship with our Creator, Savior and King.

But I have learned one way to fight temptation is to realize there will be pain, and endure just a little while – without giving into the temptation.

The pain is going to come either way…

God gave me a picture that shows where pain comes in.  I have shared it with some folks and it really makes sense to me.

Pain in Temptation

Knowing we all have temptations we will take one of two paths – giving in to the temptation or denying the temptation.

Giving in to the temptation

If we are weak in the flesh and give in to the temptation, what immediately follows is pleasure.  That’s what makes the temptation so strong is the thought, taste or feel of the pleasure.  No doubt we enjoy the pleasure for a time.  Sometimes it is short-lived and sometimes we really dwell in it, but we do experience the pleasure.  But then comes the pain.

After we have squeezed all the pleasure out of that sin we face the reality that we have disappointed God.  If that does not pain you then your relationship with Jesus should be evaluated.  By giving in to the temptation and experiencing the sin, I experience some kind of pain.  Sometimes just bothered by what I did, and sometimes grieved to tears.  Some people even hold on to that pain for years without knowing how to get rid of it.

Of course what should come next is repentance to God and those offended by my actions.  Even more pain!

Denying the temptation

The other option we have with a temptation is to deny the lure and not give in or experience the pleasure.  That of course creates pain for us by not allowing us the pleasure that we know can come with the temptation.  Here again, sometimes these pains are just a nuisance, but sometimes we have a really hard time saying no.  By saying no I know that I will not get to experience the pleasure that was on the other side of the temptation, and that hurts.

The good news is that when we say no to the temptation and know that pain is coming we can prepare ourselves.  For example I can say to myself – I know that if I hold my tongue for about 10 minutes I will not hurt anyone’s feelings and I will have avoided the temptation of hateful talk.

James 4:7 says Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Submit to what God says – do not sin.  Take a little pain by denying the temptation.  Then according to the Bible – satan will flee from you!

So – do I just need to deny satan one time and he is out of my life?  No, that is not the case.  We are told by Jesus in Luke 9:23 to daily deny ourselves (deny sin), get about the business He has in store for each of us, and follow Him.

Jim Rohn said “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

Choose the option of pain by denying temptation.  In the long run your life will be more richer and satisfying!

 

Fellowship: the core of a local church

Fellowship hall, fellowship time, fellowship church, fellowship app, academic fellowship, fellowship college, right hand of fellowship ….

Just what is Fellowship?IMG_1634

With the help of the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary and Merriam Webster I would define fellowship as:

  • Joining in membership with a local church
  • Communion together at the Lord’s Supper 
  • Giving of tithes and offerings
  • Ministering to the saints
  • Suffering together

 


Join in membership with a local church [Hebrews 10:24-25]

First let me qualify that my look at fellowship is only from the view of a church member. With that in mind, I think everyone needs to join a local church to enjoy the fellowship of a church. Thom Rainer outlined very well what it means to be a church member in his great little book I Am A Church Member. Thom says a healthy church member will:

  • Be a functioning church member

By studying God’s word, praying, eating, serving, sacrificing, giving, sharing, and ministering with other church members.

  • Seek unity in my church
  • Not let my church be about my preferences and desires
  • Pray for my church leaders
  • Lead my family to be healthy church members
  • Treasure church membership as a gift

 

Communion together at the Lord’s Supper [1Corinthians 10:16-17]

To take the Lord’s Supper you need to have professed faith in Jesus. So for those who take the supper together; we are saying to one another that we have accepted the same gift of life eternal through the sacrifice of Jesus, have given our life to the service of Jesus, and are together in observing the sacrifice He made for me.

 

Giving of tithes and offerings [2Corinthians 9:6-15]

God says we should give generously. The Old Testament gave the guideline 10% of our first fruits (earnings) are to be given back to Him. The New Testament says to be a generous cheerful giver. Does that mean only 10% – no I say 10% is only a starting point. Give to make God pleased, as much and as often as you can.

 

Ministering to the saints [Hebrews 6:10-12]

Who else in this world will come to the aide of Christians – only other Christians. It is our duty to love and help our fellow brothers and sisters. We need to minister to Christians by listening to them, helping them financially, mentally and spiritually, and praying for them.

We should be ministering not only to the other members in our church, but should be lifting up other churches. There again – who will help a failing church … only another church. We should also be ministering to the missionaries who go and who live to spread the Gospel in places other than their local community.

 

Suffering together [Philippians 3:7-11]

Are we going to suffer here on earth – you bet. Jesus suffered … why would we avoid such? When we suffer we need fellow Christians surrounding us to listen and guide. When you are the one suffering you know it makes things easier if we have a friend to share the burden with. Our burdens range from being uncomfortable all the way to the point of death.

Where should we come along and share a burden with a friend – whenever you feel led that they need support. I don’t know about you, but the problem I have with that is that I need to be more in tune with God to be able to listen when He says go and suffer with someone.

Part of praying to God is to listen, and by listening I can be directed to go suffer with someone.

This Ain’t Heaven

Man life sure can be tough some times.

Amen?

Amen (I’ll go ahead and credit you that one).

Just recently I have spoken with friends and relatives who have been through tough times:

cancer, job loss, marital infidelity, death of a loved one, friend whose parent is sick, job cut back, lay off, loss of trust from a friend, family corruption, drugs, alcohol, disease, unwanted pregnancy, heart problems, broken bones, mower won’t start, car wreck, and the list could just go on…

Some people have asked me and I could tell some were thinking it but just did not ask – why does God let bad things happen?  Some will even ask – why does God let bad things happen to good people?

I submit there is a simple answer that is hard for some to believe or even accept.IMG_5262

In Genesis 2 God told Adam and Eve to work and watch over the garden of Eden, but not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  In Genesis 3 we see their disobedience and followed the advice of satan by eating the forbidden fruit.  And we assume sin entered earth then.  But the more difficult question if you think about it is this – where did that serpent come from?  How did satan get to the middle of the garden that God made to tempt humans?  If satan had not tempted, then maybe humans would not have sinned and we would be in a much better place.  Maybe so.

But the fact of the matter, is that God did create all things – even satan himself.  Now why on earth would God do that?  And even more so why did He allow him here on earth?

I think the answer to many of the questions I have asked here can be answered by three words.

   This ain’t Heaven.

In Heaven there is no sin.  There is no pain.  There is no death!  There are no wasps, snakes, hornets or skunks.  There are no jobs, and our only desire will be God!  Man that is heaven!

But this earth just ain’t Heaven.  Do you see?  Do you agree?  Here on our 3rd rock from our sun we have a lot of things that make us uncomfortable.  And they will always be here on earth.  We do however, have a comforter here who is the Holy Spirit.  He will guide us and help us in our daily walk – while we inhabit this earthly vessel we call a body.  But one day this body will expire for all of us.

And when it does – we will all end up in one of two places.       Heaven or Hell         That choice is ours to make while we are still living and breathing in this earthly vessel.