Guarded

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6,7 KJV).

With today’s Scripture in our hearts and minds, those hearts and minds are guarded!

Second Timothy 3:12 tells us: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Acts 14:22 says of Paul and Barnabas: “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Whenever we purpose to live godly in Christ Jesus, we will suffer persecution. This is a fact of Christian doctrine, even though the popular idea in “churchianity” today is that God wants to remove all of our problems (or remove us from them).

If Satan cannot cause us to change or pervert the doctrine that we teach and preach, then he will do his best in using whatever he can to stop us from teaching and preaching. In other words, after unsuccessfully attacking the message, he proceeds to attack the messenger. Should we worry? Should that bother us? Should we fret? Should that discourage us from even trying to do right at all? No, dear friends, no! Today’s Scripture reminds us not to be “careful”—we should not be anxious, worrisome, taking thought of it.

In our circumstances, regardless of our circumstances, we are “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving [to] let [our] requests be made known unto God.” Why? Prayer is not designed to change our circumstances, as commonly thought, but it is to change us within as we endure those circumstances. “The peace of God, which passeth understanding, shall keep [our] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The idea here with “keep” is guard. Satan is out to harm us internally (mentally and spiritually). Thankfully, God has given us the ability—through His written Word and us praying according to it rightly divided—so we can ward off his attacks. Ultimately, it will cause us to think of our circumstances the way God Himself does.

Shopping for Souls

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

“But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;” (Philippians 1:12,13 KJV).

For most, the only pleasant visit to a store is when an item is on sale or free. But, for the Christian, shopping trips are always a wonderful time to share the Lord Jesus Christ!

At least one store clerk is dead in trespasses and sins, and he or she is waiting to hear about Calvary’s finished crosswork… from your lips! There is another customer somewhere struggling to understand the Bible, eager to learn dispensational Bible study if you would just speak up. You can especially find interesting persons scanning the “Christian” book section. Strike up a conversation with them with, “Looking for anything good to read?” “Would you like to read about how to have your sins forgiven and have a home in heaven?” (I have learned that 99.99% of the time they will listen!)

We have a faithful reader and Christian sister who operates a fireworks stand with her husband. They open for business twice a year—Christmas/New Year’s and July 4th. Every chance she gets, she gives her customers a Gospel tract, a Bible study pamphlet, some ministry websites, something Bible-related. She tells her testimony to any individual who mentions spiritual matters. When she gets tough questions, I am always a phone call away, and she has put many people on the phone with me! (And there have been some “strange” people I can assure you!)

In closing his epistle to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul wrote, “All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household” (4:22). Paul was in prison in Rome. Yet, even some of the members of the Emperor’s household had heard the Gospel of the Grace of God. If Paul had the courage to preach Jesus Christ in prison (today’s Scripture), surely, brother or sister, you can do so in a store! 🙂

You may see our archived Bible Q&A: “Should Christians observe Lent?

Persistence of Resistance for Maintenance of Coexistence

Thursday, June 25, 2015

“Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Amos 4:12b KJV).

As divine judgment found rebellious Israel, mankind today will not escape either!

Genesis documents the four divine institutions that govern man’s existence. In chapters 1 and 2, we read about free will, marriage, and family/parenting. Chapters 9-11 discuss nationalism (human government). Satan, the sneaky Devil, has attacked all four. May we not wonder why society is in such pitiful shape today.

God designed FREE WILL to be the means whereby man could exercise faith or doubt, believing or rejecting God’s Word. Today, Calvinists (in pagan circles, “Fatalists”) deny man’s free will by saying that God has already determined every little detail beforehand—who does what, what they do, who goes to heaven and who goes to hell, et cetera. Instead of blaming sinners, just blame God! MARRIAGE, the most intimate human relationship, was designed by God for the bearing of children. Homosexual activity in no way produces children. Period. Even if we knew not a single Bible verse, nature teaches us that humans were never created to be homosexuals. Heterosexual marriages are necessary, lest the human race die out. FAMILY/CHILDBEARING was intended by God to be the means whereby society would expand and mankind would multiply worldwide. Abortion attacks this intention of God. Even if we were, like most, Bible ignorant, nature teaches us that no species will survive if it kills its offspring. God created NATIONALISM as a means to convey order and justice. Due to political corruption, God’s purpose in governments is not being fulfilled today. Hence, Jesus Christ will have to come back one day, and straighten it out!

Despite the constant plea/demand today for “tolerance” of others’ beliefs, hypocritically, not one of these “coexisters” is “tolerant” of the Creator God’s designs! Everyone is entitled to “free speech” but the God of the universe! Let them enjoy God’s grace today. Let them blame God today. Let them laugh and mock Jesus Christ today. Let them act however, marry whomever, kill whomever, oppress whomever today. Jesus Christ may just return tomorrow in wrath, finding them doing “however and “whatever!” Friends, God will not allow such “intolerance” of His will, to go unpunished forever (Romans 2:1-11; Ephesians 5:3-6).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is the difference between ‘the Kingdom of God’ and ‘the Kingdom of Heaven?’

Our Weakness and God’s Strength

Friday, March 27, 2015

“Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake” (John 13:37 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, Peter makes a daring claim, but the Lord knows the frailty of our humanity.

It is not uncommon to exalt Christian leaders as though they were super-humans. No, they do not have sinless lives and “constant faith to move mountains.” Even the Bible characters we love the most, save for the Lord Jesus Christ, they all faltered and stumbled at some point. Peter, the chief of Israel’s apostles, was no exception.

In the Upper Room, just hours before Jesus was betrayed and executed, He told His disciples that He was going away (verse 33). Peter, ignorant of Calvary, and all the events leading up to it, inquires, “Lord, whither goest thou?” Verse 36 continues, “Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.” Today’s Scripture is Peter’s response: Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.”

Jesus tells Peter, “Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice” (verse 38). And yes, despite Peter’s great efforts to fight off Jesus’ arresters with a sword (John 18:10-11), Peter lost his courage. All the disciples fled, actually (Mark 14:50). To make matters worse, Peter three times denied knowing Jesus (Luke 22:54-62). The poor man “wept bitterly” when he heard the rooster crow. As his Lord’s eyes fixed on him, he remembered the prediction, “The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.” We can only imagine Peter’s anguish and Jesus’ sadness!

Dear friends, we can make to God all the promises we want, but we will fail at some point. Thank goodness He does not fail us like we fail Him! “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep [guard] that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:11).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Are all Christians ‘ambassadors?’

His Blood Be Upon Us… Not!

Monday, February 2, 2015

“And when they had brought them [the apostles], they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us (Acts 5:27,28 KJV).

Did not Israel’s religious leadership remember that they condemned themselves long before the Lord’s apostles did?

Several months prior to today’s Scripture, Jesus’ trial occurred: “[24] When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. [25] Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children (Matthew 27:24,25).

Luke 23:20-24 supplements Matthew’s account: “[20] Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. [21] But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. [22] And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. [23] And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. [24] And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.”

At Jesus’ trial, Israel’s religious leaders cried, “His blood be on us, and on our children!” Today’s Scripture says they now, nearly a year later, are recanting their “guilty plea.” Now, they pretend to be innocent! In today’s Scripture, Israel’s high priest admits he greatly objects to the apostles’ preaching that Israel killed Messiah Jesus (cf. Acts 2:22-24,32,36; Acts 3:12-18; Acts 4:10-12). Rather than admitting wrong-doing, they blame-shift and say the apostles’ message is flawed. Peter, in the verses following today’s Scripture, again reaffirmed Israel did indeed kill her Messiah (verses 29-32).

Friends, do not be surprised when lost people—especially religious people—tell you they are “not that bad.” Israel’s religious leaders tried to use the same “escape-hatch” with the apostles. Let us not be discouraged, but preach God’s grace in love, meekness, and boldness! 🙂

Instant Christians #15

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

“Instant” is defined as, “happening or coming immediately, prepared quickly and with little effort.” Being “instant” means the Christian is so skilled in God’s Word rightly divided, so in tune with His Father’s Word, that he or she daily has a greater comprehension and delight in that Word, and that Word is so integral in his or her thinking that it is not a burden to speak of its doctrine with clarity and conciseness, that he or she has read it so much that numerous verses and/or passages can be quoted without a printed Bible present (today’s Scripture).

It is these skilled Christians that the church lacks. Why? The average Christian is weak, unable to take a solid stand on doctrine because he or she does not even know sound Bible doctrine (the individual’s fault and the local church’s fault). Now we see why the world is not interested in hearing someone who “loves the Bible” but knows nothing about it!

The “instant” Christian is one who has studied and still studies the entire King James Bible, but he or she will study especially Romans through Philemon. This will be followed by prayer, speaking to God by repeating His Word back to Him, and applying it to life by faith. He or she will grow more and more familiar with God’s Word rightly divided. As the years pass, he or she will speak of Bible verses and topics with greater depth and wisdom, ready to give an answer to both the curious and the critical. As a soldier arms himself or herself with the proper equipment, so we arm ourselves with the “sword of the Spirit,” that we “fight the good fight of faith!”

We answer their objections (or get them to someone who can), we urge them check everything we say against the Bible. Dispensational Bible study withstands all scrutiny, and we have full confidence in God’s truth. Let us be “instant” Christians, prepared to speak God’s Word authoritatively, skillfully, and charitably. 🙂

By the way, in the near future, we plan to have a follow-up devotionals arc that will expand on these concepts. Stay tuned!

Instant Christians #13

Sunday, January 18, 2015

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).

In this day and age of “instant this and instant that,” we need more “instant” Christians!

How do we make “instant” Christians? As with anything instant (coffee, rice, photos, messaging, et cetera), some work is necessary! It takes a dedicated preacher or teacher to actually teach his people the Bible instead of giving them “Bible chats and pep talks” (Christendom’s failure). It takes studying the Bible instead of reading books about the Bible (another blunder). It takes reading the Bible instead of singing and dancing about the Bible (another failure).

We read in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 what the Holy Spirit would have us do once we are “instant” Christians, skilled in the Word of His Grace: “[24] And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, [25] In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; [26] And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” We, as “instant” Christians, are to make “instant” Christians, people who are just as well-versed and well-grounded in the Bible rightly divided as we!

Lost people live contrary to God’s will for them, and saved people in denominational circles live contrary to what God gave them in Christ. Yet, they can be freed from such error. We are to teach the verses they need to believe to escape Satan’s trap: the lost should be saved from their sins and the denominational Christians saved from doctrinal error. They can then enjoy the grace, love, mercy, eternal life, hope, security, peace, joy, forgiveness, Bible clarity, and righteousness that God offers them in Jesus Christ!

Remember, our ministry is not to force God’s Word rightly divided on anyone. We share the verses in compassion, not in spite or strife, picking fights. We “teach” them, very patiently, gently, meekly. It is time-consuming, but it is ever so worth it, and we will never know the true value of “instant” Christians until we reach heaven….