In Every Thing Give Thanks

Thursday, November 28, 2019

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).

Dear saints, take a moment this Thanksgiving to learn a valuable lesson from the Holy Scriptures!

God wants “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). To be “saved” here means you have been rescued from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire), and that you have a home in heaven, because you have trusted the death, shed blood, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for your sins. To “come unto the knowledge of the truth” is when a person who has trusted Christ, begins to understand why God saved him or her, and how God will use him or her for His glory. Although soul salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity is a life-long process (that is especially true regarding handling difficulties, the grace way!).

It is human nature to avoid difficulties and stress, to flee them, rather than confront them. This self-preservation is advantageous, particularly in “life or death” situations. However, running from troubling circumstances is not the way God has designed our life in Christ to function. Today’s Scripture says, In every thing give thanks,” notFor every thing give thanks.” We do not thank God for our troubles; we thank God while we are enduring those troubles. This is tough, I know, but it takes time for us to learn it. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn this.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Be thankful in every thing. God’s grace is sufficient for you, dear saint, in all of life’s circumstances. When you learn this, you are “[coming] unto the knowledge of the truth.”

*Excerpted from our Thanksgiving 2012 Bible study with the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

You may also see, “What are our spiritual blessings in Christ?

Share with Care!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:10,11 KJV).

Friend, be careful what you share on social media!

Not long ago, a dear brother in Christ was telling me how he had shared something “Christian” on social media. Then, he actually read what he had posted and passed on to others. He realized it was not Christian at all—just “Christian” in name only (religious tradition and man’s opinions being passed off as Christianity). He quickly deleted the post, but, by then, people had already been exposed to it and had associated him with it.

We would do well to take note of the above scenario. It happens more often than we care to think. We can never be too cautious online. If we are not careful, we will inadvertently aid the Devil in his cause! It is a sad reality, brought to pass most easily. There are Bible believers who accidentally share false teaching, but can we find a false teacher who unintentionally shares Bible truth?

Over the last few years, we have heard much about the propagation of “fake news.” People are peddling unverified or outright fabricated information as though it were true—especially in the field of so-called “journalism.” Extensive damage is inflicted. It might have been a simple, unintentional error. Unfortunately, if recurrent, malice is likely involved, and apologetic “fake-news organizations and individuals” are merely “sorry they got caught!”

Saints, before you share anything on social media—and pay extremely close attention here—read the whole article or watch the entire video. If you are not judicious, you may wind up endorsing something you actually disagree with. In the event that you are unsure of something, it is better not to “share” it with others until you can verify it. Compare it with the Bible rightly divided, “searching the scriptures daily, whether those things [are] so” (today’s Scripture). If you are still unsure, the safest action to take is not share it all because more harm than good may result. Share with care!

Bible Q&A #670: “Will living in Heaven forever be boring?

Delight and Forget Not!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

“I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word” (Psalm 119:16 KJV).

Dear friends, let us follow the example of the Psalmist!

Read the verse previous to today’s Scripture: “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways” (verse 15). For many people—yea, most—Bible study is “boring” because amusement is preferred. No thinking is required with entertainment. However, “meditate” implies someone is engaging in deep thought. There are simply too many individuals who possess the Bible but are not thinking critically about it. If they do read it, they really make no mental effort therein. For most, Bible reading is just a “necessary task” because it is “Christian” to do it. Do they not burn inside to understand the words of the eternal God, genuinely seeking His wisdom? Or, have they set out in the Scriptures merely to prove some pet theological belief or denominational tenet?

The Psalmist determined to “delight” in the LORD’S statutes (words, instructions). To him, learning Scripture was not done grudgingly or of necessity. In fact, he purposed to remember the Divine revelation to which he had been exposed. Moreover, the Psalmist decided to “have respect unto [God’s] ways.” It was not mindless memorization or dry repetition, but reverential appreciation. We too would do well, saints, to open the Bible every day and better acquaint ourselves with it. Considering the bombardment of lies we experience daily—from internet sites, television programs, printed material, and so on—we should renew our minds with the Word of God rightly divided.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1,2). “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine…. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:13,15,16).

Signs of Shallowness #10

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:11-14 KJV).

Behold the signs of shallowness!

Dear friends and brethren, we grow spiritually by understanding and appreciating the completed Bible canon—particularly the Pauline epistles (Romans through Philemon) that closed it. Unless we notice God’s most recent revelation, we cannot know what He is doing today.

The Holy Spirit instructed and encouraged the baby saints at Corinth (who enjoyed being entertained with spiritual nonsense): “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:8-13).

In New Testament Greek culture (the Corinthians’ background), childhood ended for girls and boys at age 13. They would gather their toys and leave them at a pagan temple, signaling they were now adults. Dear friends, if we let the Bible rightly divided impact our minds and hearts, believing it (!), we too will “put away childish things.” Moving from shallow waters, we thus plumb the depths of God’s mystery wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:6-8)! 🙂

Signs of Shallowness #9

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:11-14 KJV).

Behold the signs of shallowness!

Ephesians chapter 4: “[11] And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; [12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [13] Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: [14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; [15] But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: [16] From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

Here is one enormous sentence in Greek! In short, the Lord Jesus Christ gave church leaders for the purpose of bringing the Church the Body of Christ to a place of “edifying” (building up) and “perfection” (spiritual maturity). At one time, there was no completed Bible—now there is. We thus have no reason to be “children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” Indeed, if we are shallow in the Scripture, we are vulnerable to such spiritual lies. Just look at church history and modern Christendom!

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Signs of Shallowness #8

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:11-14 KJV).

Behold the signs of shallowness!

The writer of the Book of Hebrews could have written more about Jesus Christ, but national Israel was unable to handle it. So, it was necessary to start with the basics (higher doctrine would be presented later). Hebrews itself is the most fundamental treatise—a “beginner’s guide”—to the work of Christ with respect to Israel. Like Romans does for us the Church the Body of Christ, Hebrews underscores Calvary’s crosswork for Israel. As we do not stop in our edification in Romans, so Israel does not stay in Hebrews-level doctrine. They are to further mature, grasping the Books of James through Revelation.

Building on today’s Scripture (the close of chapter 5), the Holy Spirit began chapter 6: “[1] Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, [2] Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. [3] And this will we do, if God permit.” The “perfection” here is not sinlessness but spiritual maturity. God gave the Bible to Israel to grow her spiritually, and to mature us the Body of Christ spiritually.

Indeed, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That [purpose/intent] the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). We know exactly what God is doing, and we need not be shallow in our understanding….

Signs of Shallowness #7

Monday, November 18, 2019

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:11-14 KJV).

Behold the signs of shallowness!

Obviously, babies cannot recognize their limited condition. They are unable to understand they should eventually mature to become adults who can take care of themselves. Unfortunately, here are most professing Christians. They do not realize it, but vain religious tradition has caused their Christian lives to be dead! Only when someone shows them sound Bible doctrine do they really get a chance to see where they are. It is further tragic—and it happens more often than not—that they obstinately refuse to escape that nursery. Surely, it is easier to depend on others (preachers) than stand and fight the good fight of faith yourself (1 Timothy 6:12)!

Grow up, Christian friend, grow up! Dispensational Bible study will free you from perpetual spiritual childishness. You can be founded and stabilized in God’s Word if you so desire (Romans 16:25,26). Paul’s Gospel—Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day—is the first step in edification. We see those details in Romans through Galatians. The second step to spiritual growth is “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery”—laid out in Ephesians through Colossians. Finally, God will use “the scriptures of the prophets” (all the Bible in light of Pauline doctrine) to mature us (Thessalonians).

If we ignore the Apostle Paul’s special ministry and message—like most of the Body of Christ has done for 20 centuries—we do not have a hope or prayer in the world of ever avoiding Satan’s lies. It is that serious….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did God place a curse on creation?