A Filling—Not a Feeling!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (Ephesians 5:18,19 KJV).

Notice, dear friends, this is a filling not a feeling!

A Christian woman approached me recently to ask if I believed in “the filling of the Holy Ghost.” I told her that I most certainly did, as the Bible does tell us to be “filled with the Spirit” (cf. today’s Scripture). However, knowing her background, I quickly added, “But there is no loss of self-control with this filling.” Whether today, or thousands of years ago, Satan’s religious system always has its counterfeits. While “praise dancing” feels good, while “holy laughter” brings some people happiness, feelings and emotions do not have the authority to gauge truth. What does it mean to be “filled with the Spirit?”

If we turn to the companion passage of today’s Scripture, we see the term defined for us. Colossians 3:16 says: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” To be “filled with the Spirit” is to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” In other words, His thinking controls us because we have studied and memorized His Holy Word. The Bible says that we need to “mind the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5-8). This is how the Spirit of God leads us. By recalling what we read, we walk in line with what His Word says today in the Dispensation of Grace (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon).

How sad it is when people reduce the role of the Holy Spirit to nothing more than some strange feeling that causes one to engage in some pretty wild, disorderly, absurd behaviors. Religious tradition is so intoxicating, so inebriating, it causes people to lose all sense of reason. Nevertheless, when we “let the word of Christ dwell in [us] richly in all wisdom,” it becomes a filling rather than a feeling!

Think!

Friday, August 4, 2017

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 12:2 KJV).

Christian friend, it is only “reasonable” that ye “be… transformed by the renewing of your mind!”

Someone recently asked me why so many people blindly follow a certain individual who is so exceptionally corrupt. To say that she was amazed is an understatement. She just could not figure out why they could not see past the mirage and notice what was really there. My answer to her was one word: “emotions.” People are using their hearts rather than their heads.

Emotions in and of themselves are not sinful, but sin has tainted them. They want to control us in a negative way. Emotions have no brain: they are dumb and constantly changing. Do we really want something so unstable and unreliable running our life? Yet, we yield to emotions and do all sorts of foolish things and embrace all kinds of nonsense. We Christians conducting our lives according to our emotions is ever so dangerous. Our changed minds should be guiding us! God does not want “know-nothing” children, people dependent on ignorant emotions. Saints must be taught sound Bible doctrine so they can think properly. How tragic it is that the Body of Christ has had the completed Bible for 2,000 years, and how pitifully ignorant Christian believers still are concerning it! No wonder we have so much difficulty concerning what to believe or do.

Today’s Scripture says in context: “[1] 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. [2] 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.” After delivering 11 chapters of doctrine, the Holy Spirit says, “Now that you know what Jesus Christ has done for you and what He wants to do with you, think on it, believe it, and then walk in accordance with it!” Regardless of our emotions, friends, we walk in these truths.

Mother: A Virtuous Woman

Sunday, May 14, 2017

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10 KJV).

Today is Mother’s Day, so we dedicate this devotional to godly women (specifically mothers). I especially dedicate this to the virtuous woman who has been in my life for almost 29 years… my mom!

Today’s Scripture is the first verse of the Bible’s “Virtuous Woman” passage (Proverbs 31:10-31). King Solomon explained that the virtuous woman:

  • has a husband who safely trusts in her (verses 11,12).
  • is not lazy, but is strong because she works to feed and clothe her family and herself (verses 13-19,21,22,24,25,27).
  • pities the poor and needy (verse 20).
  • has a husband who is well-known because of her godly lifestyle (verse 23).
  • opens her mouth with wisdom, and speaks kindly and lovingly (verse 26).
  • has children and a husband who praise her (verse 28).
  • excels in what she does (verse 29).
  • has works that praise her (verse 31).

Verse 30 explains the virtuous woman is “a woman that feareth the LORD.”

The Apostle Paul wrote that godly women should: not slander/gossip, not be controlled by alcohol and emotions (sober minded), be teachers of good things, love their husbands and children, be cautious and modest, maintain the home, be “good,” and should obey (respect) their husbands… “that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5). A Christian woman, especially a mother, should be a virtuous woman in beliefs as well as in deed. She needs to set an example for her children (especially her daughters).

A Christian woman and/or Christian mother places her faith in this sound Bible doctrine, the indwelling Holy Spirit will then take that doctrine and transform her for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Her mind will be renewed by sound Bible doctrine, and that will transform her outward activity (Romans 12:1,2).

Are you a Christian woman or Christian mother who desires to be the woman God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest!

 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO OUR READERS WHO ARE MOTHERS!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

Already Revealed

Friday, May 12, 2017

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself (Ephesians 1:9 KJV).

Have you ever known anyone who constantly begged God to show him or her His will? (“I already have!”) Do you know anyone who prays for God to give him or her wisdom for life? (“I already have!”)

Deuteronomy 29:29 says: “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Some 1500 years later, Paul wrote: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). The Holy Spirit through Paul also said in Acts 20:27: “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” With all of God’s will now made known to man through the completed Scriptures, God expects us to follow that Word.

Alas, people enter prayer closets, expecting God to strike them on the back of the neck with the lightning of doctrine. They need to exit their closets and go read the Book! They kneel and grovel at a church “altar” (a misnomer anyway), pleading for divine revelation and victory over sin. They need to get off their knees and go read the Book! They watch numerous televangelists. They need to cut off the television and the computer, and go read the Book! They purchase volumes upon volumes of “Christian” material. They need to set aside the “Christian” bestsellers and go read the Book! If they want to know God’s will, they need to get into God’s Word.

They have been taught to rely on their emotions, inner impressions, hunches, and “signposts” (God supposedly manipulating circumstances to guide them in life). Frankly, this is the why the Body of Christ is so deceived, impotent, and irrelevant. Since it has divorced itself from God’s Word, it is also separated itself from the God’s will and God’s power! They need to appreciate what God has already revealed!

Be Wise, Beloved

Thursday, March 16, 2017

“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” (Ephesians 5:15-17 KJV).

My brethren, be very careful!

Saints, it has come to my attention these last few weeks that a certain “fad” belief is circulating throughout online “Christian” groups. An ancient and controversial discussion of science and Scripture, it has seen resurgence on social media and video-sharing websites. While I in this study purposely withhold that issue’s name, an article dealing with it is currently being prepared and will be released (hopefully) in the near future. (As a scientist, I cannot resist remarking extensively on this most serious matter!)

What concerns me most is that professing Christians—some no doubt are genuine Christians—are reposting and sharing information without being Bereans. Instead of researching and using critical thinking, they are caught up in a mad frenzy of exposing “conspiracies.” Sadly, in their zeal, they have made God’s Word vulnerable to scoffing by the lost world that is witnessing their statements and actions. As with any denominational system or theological speculation, they are so totally twisting the Bible text out of shape to fit their view. People who do not even believe the Bible are correcting Christians for misrepresenting clear Bible verses! What started off as good intentions is now an all-out war against the Scriptures—a conflict led by “Christians!!”

Today’s Scripture could not be clearer. We must use our time “wisely.” Once we become sidetracked by all sorts of wild ideas, stirred up in our emotions and hasty in our actions and words, we run the risk of not only making fools out of ourselves. No, we make our dear Lord Jesus Christ look foolish! Our Saviour is not foolish, so neither should we be. We must stay in God’s Word, and be very careful that our words and actions cause those around us to hear and see the plain truths of that Word. It is unwise to carelessly circulate information without investigating it for ourselves. If ever we are hasty in spreading false information, we will not need to wonder why no one cares to hear us talk about “God’s truth.”

Your Mind, Not Your Emotions

Sunday, February 19, 2017

“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 KJV).

A renewed mind, not domineering emotions, is the key to Christian living!

Some television shows and films are so well written and visually vivid that they seem to be real-life. Our emotions get involved, and these works of fiction become even more realistic. A humorous example involves a Christian couple I knew many years ago when I was a small child. This couple, friends of my parents, enjoyed watching a particular soap opera. On that television show, a man and his lover were having persistent relationship difficulties. So, the Christian couple, in their nightly prayers, suddenly found themselves asking God to repair the relationship of those two fictional television characters! These Christians decided they were just too enthralled by that show, so they gave it up completely.

Friends, as the above anecdote demonstrates, our emotions do not have a mind. It is therefore unwise to base our life on (shifting and deceptive) emotions. What we need to do is take the Word of God rightly divided, use it to renew our minds (correct our thinking), and make a conscious choice (exercise free will) to believe it. No matter what our emotions urge us to do, they are not meant to govern our lives. The Word of God and the Spirit of God are to control us. Jesus Christ said, “…The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63). These life-giving words of God are the Holy Bible, as Hebrews 4:12 affirms, “…The word of God is quick [living and life-giving, active] and powerful….”

Brethren, let us walk—not by emotions and engaging in rash behavior—but with a firm understanding and trust in the Word of God rightly divided. The renewed spirit of our mind, governed by the Holy Spirit, is sure to produce a life that is pleasing in Father God’s sight.

Father God

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:3-6 KJV).

Behold, the perfect Father!

Sadly, many parents today are “without natural affection” (2 Timothy 3:3). They think nothing of a medical doctor butchering their unborn child in his or her mother’s womb! To them, it is totally acceptable to leave babies and small children at people’s doorstep! They even abandon them in parking lots, places of business, and trashcans! If they choose to keep them at home, they abuse them physically, spiritually, and/or emotionally. Older people still carrying such massive emotional baggage, deep wounds and horrific scars from their childhood, is ever so disturbing for a saint to hear.

How the God of the Bible grieves that individuals who were appointed to maintain the home and family—parents—are often nothing more than “sex-gamete donors.” They contributed sperm and eggs, but never extended a guiding hand or listening ear. For their children, there was no loving heart or vigilant eye. These offspring wandered the streets, sought acceptance in gangs and associated with other “wrong crowds,” and went on to hurt others by engaging in such lifestyles.

Our world abounds with millions damaged by cruel and uncaring parents. Their parents did not accept them, and perhaps they still reject them. Friends, yes, some of us still struggle with the memories of an awful childhood. Nevertheless, what ultimately matters is not the shortcomings of our sinful parents. We need to understand and rejoice in today’s Scripture. If we have trusted Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork as sufficient payment for our sins, Father God has “accepted” us forever in Christ. He is the perfect Father, more than able (and so willing) to take the place of us who never truly had “parents.” There is unconditional, permanent acceptance with Him! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is ‘peeping’ and ‘muttering?’