Children of Light #8

Sunday, September 1, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

First Thessalonians chapter 5 contains the final occurrence: “[1] But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. [2] For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. [3] For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. [5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”

We are not in darkness or ignorance concerning the end times, after our Dispensation of Grace. As members of the Church the Body of Christ, we will not be susceptible to the spiritual darkness that will come after our mystery program. The Antichrist—key figure in Satan’s future plans—will not deceive us or catch us by surprise. We will be in Heaven by that time (see chapter 4). If we are not a part of the lie program (and we are not), then it does not make sense for us to behave as though we were or are.

Here is what the future holds for Israel. Isaiah 2:5: “O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.” Chapter 9, verse 8: “The LORD sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.” Chapter 42, verse 6: “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;….” Chapter 60, verses 1 and 3: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee…. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

Bible Q&A #445: “What Bible Book should I read first?

Children of Light #7

Saturday, August 31, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

Saints, before we came to faith in Christ, we were in Satan’s darkness. Now, as “children of light,” we should act accordingly. Ephesians 6:12 speaks of Satan’s minions, “the rulers of the darkness of this world.” Second Corinthians 6:14 says we as “light” have no communion with “darkness.” Romans 13:12 tells us: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Ephesians 4:17,18: “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:….”

Ephesians chapter 5: “[8] For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: [9] (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; ) [10] Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. [11] And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. [12] For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. [13] But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. [14] Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Philippians 2:15 exhorts us, “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;….” Brethren, we should be careful to maintain good works. If we properly represent Father God in this present evil world, we will not repeat Israel’s mistakes of preferring darkness.

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How could John the Baptist question if Jesus really is Christ?

Minimum Wage Hike? #10

Monday, August 12, 2019

“He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor” (Proverbs 14:31 KJV).

Is this a good verse to support minimum wage increases?

We have easily demonstrated how politicians, religious leaders, or any other “public Bible-quoters” can appeal to verses and misrepresent them. If we are not careful, friends, we too are liable to use the Scriptures to teach anything and everything we want. The truth will be sacrificed to preserve pet theological beliefs. It has happened innumerable times in history, and all kinds of cults and sects and denominations have thus sprung forth.

If we want lies instead of the truth, God will give us over to our heart’s desire (Hebrews 4:12,13). His Word can be our spiritual lifeline, or it can be our spiritual death trap! If we remove verses from their dispensational contexts, those passages will be quite distorted. We can quote the Bible and still be out of God’s will. In fact, when the Lord sees His words “wrested,” perverted to mean something else entirely, it is as unsightly to Him as the human body mangled and disfigured on the rack! Friends, we had better think twice before carelessly grabbing Bible passages and applying them to ourselves.

Second Timothy 2:15 commands, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” If we seek man’s approval, then we will “name and claim” whatever convenient verse we can find to support our theology. However, if we desire God’s approval, then we will “rightly divide the word of truth.” We will be sure to keep “the Dispensation of the Grace of God”—committed to the Apostle Paul’s trust (Ephesians 3:1,2)—separate and distinct from the other dispensations or sets of Divine instructions found in Scripture.

Furthermore, we will recognize Paul as “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13), the Lord’s spokesman to us. We will see his epistles, Romans through Philemon, as to and about us. If we want some insightful passages concerning the workplace (employers and employees), Ephesians 6:5-9 and Colossians 3:22–4:1 are verses applicable to us in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God. Today’s Scripture, however, is another matter entirely!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is a ‘besom?’

An Ambassador Turns 31!

🎂 Wednesday, August 7, 2019 🎂 

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 KJV).

Someone is celebrating a birthday! (Can you guess who?)

Dear brethren and friends, I am now one year into my 30s. These past 12 months have been quite a learning experience. We (hopefully) have all grown a tad wiser since we were on this date exactly one year ago. Here is a greater realization to which I have come thus far.

Recently, I read a statistic about my generation, the Millennials (born 1980–2000). A staggering 70 percent claim they suffer from depression and anxiety. We need not wonder why. As I converse with my peers, they have no idea what is really going on in the world. While there are precious exceptions, most have grown up without grounding in the Holy Bible. How they lack spiritual stability! Spoiled and egocentric, everything “offends” them. Scheming politicians and professors exploit their ignorance and emotions. Deceived and disappointed, it is obvious why miseries and worries abound in their souls!

Today’s Scripture shows us the key to having a stable, healthy life. Fretting about the here and now is profitless because what we see with our physical eyes will not last. Emphasizing the natural and ignoring the spiritual is most foolish. Living for self is silly. Through the eyes of faith, we see the purpose of God as though it has already been fully brought to pass. “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8). In the Scriptures, we find information of eternal worth. Therein, not we but Jesus Christ is glorified as the center of the universe. Whatever time we are given here, dear friends, may we always remember to live with eternity and the Lord Jesus Christ in mind! 🙂

P.S.: You may read the devotional I wrote for my 30th birthday here.

Days of Usefulness #5

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;… (Ecclesiastes 12:1 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

Current average global human lifespan is between 70 and 80 years (women being the elder). Seventy years translate to 25,550 days or 613,200 hours; eighty years are 29,200 days or 700,800 hours. Here is the maximum amount of time most people have to serve the Lord on Earth. Unfortunately, much—usually all—of that is squandered. Decades spent seeking knowledge in philosophy, but the Bible is ignored. Lavish parties, exotic vacations, and pricey entertainment bought, and no lasting peace. Several marriages later, but they still look for happiness.

No, dear friends, we cannot revisit the past, we cannot undo mistakes, and we cannot reverse aging. We know it as well as Solomon. Yet, we have more Divine revelation than Israel’s wisest—and most foolish—king. If we have trusted Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins, then we are forgiven of all our sins: “God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32), “having forgiven you all trespasses” (Colossians 2:13).

We are saved forever, justified eternally, bound for Heaven, but we will not be spared the earthly consequences of sins. Saints, never do we as members of the Body of Christ have to worry about going to Hell, the eternal penalty for sin. Yet, reckless earthly living will indeed pay off in this life: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7,8). It is important to learn this fact now, especially as young people, before we age and find ourselves forced to deal with the outcomes of horrible decisions.

Dear readers, grow familiar with Romans through Philemon, the principles of grace, as soon as possible in life. Apply them to life by faith as much as possible. Reach as many young people with those truths as you can. You therefore maximize your days of usefulness… and their days of usefulness, too!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How did Eli honor his sons more than he honor God?

Waste Not Your Time!

Friday, July 5, 2019

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (Ephesians 5:15-18 KJV).

A brother in Christ recently informed me that he had cancelled his cable television subscription. He had grown tired of getting upset with the filthy programming and sensational news shows! Whether 20 centuries ago, or right now, today’s Scripture is sound advice….

With the various technological advancements in recent decades, the Holy Spirit is that much more likely to be ignored. All too often, the Bible is set aside. Radio, television, computer and internet, smartphones, and social media increasingly take away precious time from reading and studying God’s Word. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying electronic devices, Christians are spending far too much time concentrating on trivialities and nonsense. They are more familiar with the world’s affairs than with the Scriptures. Preoccupied about this and that and everything else but the Bible, they are exactly where Satan’s evil world system was designed to bring them. Divorced from God’s Word, they are without His power, and thus no bother to Satan!

Even during Bible days, the saints of God were falling for various distractions. This necessitated the Apostle Paul to issue today’s Scripture. Satan himself and all the actions he endorses have—his evil world system has—stolen the time that would have been used to glorify Jesus Christ. By understanding and following God’s will, we can “redeem” (buy back) that time. Saints, if we are not careful though, if we waste time, then we are just as negligent as the Devil himself. We are cooperating with his lie program.

When we are “filled with the Spirit,” thinking like God Himself thinks, that will empower us to walk according to the verses we read and believed (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Let us heed today’s Scripture, now more than ever, dear brethren. Be quite careful to make wise use of your time. Watching news programming for hours on end, is wasteful. Endlessly playing smart-phone games is not wise. These will profit us nothing in eternity!

Liberated to Serve

Thursday, July 4, 2019

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13 KJV).

Today, as we in the United States celebrate the 243rd anniversary of our nation’s independence, we invite our Christian brethren worldwide to rejoice with us concerning our freedom in Jesus Christ.

When we proclaim Romans 6:14—“Ye are not under the law, but under grace”—people tend to assume “loose living.” Does “grace living” really mean we can now live any way we want? Lest anyone be misled in that regard, God the Holy Spirit moved the Apostle Paul to write in the next verse, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid [May God never let that happen!]” (Romans 6:15). Grace living is not Law-keeping, but it certainly is not Law-breaking either.

God still cares how we live, albeit He is not operating the “weak and beggarly” system of “bondage” (Law) that He once did with Israel (Galatians 4:9). God proved to the entire world that since Israel could not keep His commandments perfectly, no other sons of Adam (the Gentiles) could either: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them [Israel] who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world [Gentiles] may become guilty before God (Romans 3:19).

We sinners cannot keep the Law. However, God in His grace provided us a way to escape that condemnation by sending Jesus Christ to offer Himself on Calvary’s cruel cross to pay for our sins. By simple faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the fully-satisfying payment for our sins, we can now be “made the righteousness of God in [Christ]” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We can be delivered from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire) and the power of sin (flesh-walking).

Why are we Christians free? To selfishly live any way we want? NO! Today’s Scripture says we are liberated to now serve others, especially our Christian brethren, just as Jesus Christ selflessly served His Father and selflessly died on our behalf. That is grace living!!!!

Please see our 2011 Fourth of July Bible study “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land,” which can be watched here or read here.