We Could Learn A Lot From An Addict

Although I use addiction to further illustrate a biblical example given by Paul, please know that I take that issue very seriously. In fact, here is a link to a great national ministry, founded and led by a fellow church member, Dr. Tim Clinton, which can help you or someone you know who is battling an addiction: http://lightcounseling.net

I once read in a N.Y. Times article how heroin addicts in African cities were so desperate to get high or to stave off withdrawal symptoms that they injected themselves with the blood of another addict who recently did the drug. We should earnestly pray for those people!

http://www.correiodosmunicipios-al.com.br/dados/bancoDeMidia//e/f/9/0/e/c/2/7/%7Bef90ec279906d6563daef548e206d1eb%7D_drogadito1.jpg

I mention this because in I Corinthians 16:13-16, the apostle Paul spoke about something that a particular household did which caught his attention and also deserves ours. But before I go into that passage, I’d like to talk briefly about some behaviors of an addict.

It doesn’t matter if a person is a gambling, drug, alcohol, or sex addict. They all have some things in common that are worth noting:

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God’s Way: Does The Majority Rule? Or Does The Majority Fool?

In Matthew 7:14, Jesus said that “…the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.”

image courtesy of depositphotos.com/happystock

image courtesy of depositphotos.com/happystock

Merriam-Webster’s defines the word conscience as the moral consciousness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good.

Satan, from the beginning has always been a master of distraction and deception of conscience. In the beginning, he knew that at the center of God’s good garden, there existed two trees—The Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowledge (or consciousness) of Good and Evil.

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The American Bible Challenge

This post is in no way written as a criticism of the game show, “The American Bible Challenge” starring Jeff Foxworthy. I think that it is a great american TV show, and that it should be broadcast on all the major networks. But there is another american Bible challenge that comes to mind which I believe is a very important one for american Christians to consider.

image courtesy of Game Show Network

image courtesy of Game Show Network

First, a passage of Scripture…

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do” (2 Tim. 3:16-17, NLT). 

What Paul is saying to Timothy, and to us is that God’s word is the all-sufficient rule for living the life God intends for us. Yet, there are people who would do all that they can to shun the Bible, despite the fact that people who have dedicated themselves to the study and obedience of it tend to be the most honest, loving, kind, sacrificially giving, and dedicated people they know.

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The Time Is At Hand: A Brief Bible Lesson

Take a look at the tragedy and heartache around the world today, and you will see what has come to be accepted simply as the way things are. Yet, for the Believer in Christ who chooses to delve into the word of God, these terrible times are prophecy almost completely unfolded!

image courtesy of depositphotos.com/maurus

image courtesy of depositphotos.com/maurus

But I won’t waste time recounting the obvious with which, by way of digital media and the web, we are completely saturated. Turn on the news at any given time of the day, and you can have access to all of the painful truth you ever need to see and hear about humanity’s steady and rapid decline.

I will instead focus on a good old fashioned Bible lesson; which lets you know right from the start that this post is not for the (religiously) squeamish!

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It Is More Blessed To Forgive Than To Deceive…

We know that the Bible tells us that “it is more blessed to give than to receive”. But there is something infinitely more blessed than giving of your possessions, and that is, in my own words, it is more blessed to forgive than to deceive. And while this catch-phrase that I think I am coining may or may not be catchy, it is still chock full of biblical truth. Let me explain…

image courtesy of depositphotos.com/michaeljung

image courtesy of depositphotos.com/michaeljung

You see whenever we obey a command of God, it involves some sort of giving. When God tells us to go into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature and make disciples, it involves “giving” of ourselves to the Great Commission and giving the gospel to the world. When God tells us to honor our mother and father for a long and good life, it involves “giving” parents the proper respect and reverence.

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Stop Letting People “Once Upon A Time…” You Out Of Effectiveness

Is there someone you know who is refusing to let go of your past mistakes today? It could be that they are not the only things they are “holding”. They could be holding you back from accomplishing your God-ordained purpose in life!

image courtesy of iStockphoto

Right from the start of their first meeting with Saul after his Damascus road experience, the Jerusalem disciples remembered all of the things that Saul did to persecute the church.

All that he carried out–from approving and probably arranging for Stephen’s stoning for preaching Christ (Acts 8:1), to going from house to house and dragging men and women off to prison for proclaiming a relationship with Christ (Acts 8:3)–was likely called to mind by the Jerusalem saints. But right from the start they also forgot something much more important…

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When They’d Rather Have A Piece Of You Than Peace With You

Face it; in a sinful world there will always be somebody who just doesn’t like you. You may have even given them good reason to feel that way about you. Yet it may have been years ago that you offended them, and since that time you’ve apologized, and maybe even continued to try to make things right with them. Still, despite your efforts, they choose to make the relationship all about them and their unwillingness to let go of the past.

image courtesy of depositphotos.com/photography33

image courtesy of depositphotos.com/photography33

You sense they would rather have a piece of you than peace with you. You’ve even seen them at their happiest when you were saddest. You never see them smile at you until you express to them how hurt you are by their ongoing grudge.

What do you do in situations like that? Well, first of all you need to remind yourself that your life is to be lived to the glory of God, not to please people. Secondly, you need to remember that it is not flesh and blood that you fight against; it is spiritual warfare, and Satan is behind it all. Third, as much as possible, as you are able to do so, you are to live at peace with everyone.

Yet there are some caveats, and I think that Commentator John Gill says it better than I could. Listen to his take on Romans 12:18:

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably, &c.] Or be at peace, seek after peace, pursue it, and cultivate it:

with all [people]; with those that we are immediately concerned with, in a natural relation; so husbands should live peaceably with their wives, and wives with their husbands; parents with their children, and children with their parents; masters with their servants, and servants with their masters; and one brother, relation, and friend, with another: and so with all we are concerned with in a spiritual relation, as members of Christ, and in the same church state; such should be at peace among themselves, (1 Thessalonians 5:13) ; peace should rule in their hearts, (Colossians 3:15) , and they should study to keep “the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace”, (Ephesians 4:3) : yea, with all we are concerned in a civil sense; saints should live peaceably in the neighborhood, towns, cities, and countries, where they dwell, and show themselves to be the quiet in the land; should pray for the peace of the place where they are; and do all that in them lies to promote it, by living themselves peaceably and quietly, in all godliness and honesty; yea, they should live peaceably with their very enemies, “if it be possible”; which is rightly put, for there are some persons of such tempers and dispositions, that it is impossible to live peaceably with; for when others are for peace, they are for war; and in some cases it is not only impracticable, but would be unlawful; as when it cannot be done consistent with holiness of life and conversation, with the edification of others, the truths of the Gospel, the interest of religion, and the glory of God; these are things that are never to be sacrificed for the sake of peace with men: the apostle adds another limitation of this rule, “as much as lieth in you”; for more than this is not required of us; nothing should be wanting on our parts; every step should be taken to cultivate and maintain peace; the blame should lie wholly on the other side; it becomes the saints to live peaceably themselves, if others will not with them.

I truly like that last statement, don’t you?

 It becomes the saints to live peaceably themselves, if others will not with them.”

That’s good stuff! And it is so freeing!

Christian, Jesus spoke of you when He said, “whom the Son sets free is free indeed” (John 8:36). Live like it by loving like it. Love those who hate you. Do good to and pray for those who persecute and speak evil of you. That’s all you are required to do… God will do the rest.

When somebody wants a piece of you, give them the peace of God!

Question: Is there someone on your radar who refuses to forgive you? How do you handle it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

The “Don’t Judge Me” Defense: How Christ Agrees With It

In today’s age of “tolerance”, there is a very popular phrase used by both saint and sinner alike when confronted about something that is not quite characteristic of one executing sound discretion.  The phrase is “Don’t judge me!”

That is often the easy and sometimes comical escape people use to avoid having to deal with an important issue in their lives.

For the record, let us realize that the word of God does not forbid judging people. It simply says that we should make sure that our judgment is righteous or accurate judgment (Jn. 7:24), and that we should realize that whatever way we judge others (righteously or un-righteously) is the way we will also be judged (Matt. 7:2).

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What A Christian Does When Someone They Know Blows It

Why was it that the Lord didn’t ride into this realm of time and space on a mighty warhorse, but chose to ride on a young donkey (Jn. 12:15)?  Why was it that He didn’t “break off a bent reed or put out a dying flame… (Mt. 12:20, CEV)?

Why did the Lord enter our sinful world in meekness rather than in malice, and in gentleness rather than in judgment (Mt. 21:5)?  And why did the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:1 entreat the saints “by the meekness and gentleness of Christ” when his apostleship was being attacked and falsely accused? Was it because our Lord is some mushy gushy God who tolerates everything and judges no one? Absolutely not.

In fact there is coming a day when He will not enter our world riding a donkey, but “on a white horse judging and making war” (Rev 19:11).  There is coming a day when He will not come in gentleness but in judgment of all mankind (Jn. 5:22; 2 Tim. 4:1).

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