A Higher Education: It Is Up to You!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12 KJV).

Sixteen years ago today, I graduated high school. Consequently, we dedicate this devotional to high school students who are nearing graduation.

Are you about to graduate high school? What would God have you do afterward? Go to college? Trade school? Something else? What career should you pursue? If you do plan on education after high school, where should you attend school? These are tough questions, and while God’s Word does not answer them, you can make decisions that conform to sound Bible doctrine—that is God’s will.

In today’s Scripture, Paul encourages downcast Timothy. Timothy was considerably younger than the Apostle Paul. Older people who are teaching false doctrine are intimidating young Timothy: “Tim, you are too young to teach God’s Word. Let us handle it.” Young Timothy conceded, became silent, and allowed the (“older and wiser”) false teachers to continue teaching their damnable heresies (cf. 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 1:5-8). Paul replied, “Timothy, Speak up! Let no man despise thy youth!”

Christian youth can be just as effectual in their station in life as Christian adults. The lost world is watching us Christians, and we need to be sure that our actions are in accordance with the sound Bible doctrine we claim to believe (lest we be guilty of confusing the already-puzzled unbelievers). Whether “young or old,” our speech, our lifestyle, our acts of love, our determination, our belief in sound Bible doctrine, and our separation from that which God hates, is the way we communicate to the lost world God’s Word and its preeminence in our lives and hearts (today’s Scripture).

Above all, dear graduates, whatever you do post-graduation, “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). After all, it really is not your life—it is Christ’s life in you (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4), so He alone deserves the glory! 🙂

*Based on a Bible study by the same name, which can be read here. Also, see the study “The Spirit-Filled Student.”

By the way, you may also be interested in reading this archived special-edition study about my own college experience.

Mother: A Virtuous Woman

Sunday, May 8, 2022

“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 34 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.

Archived: “What does the Bible say about motherhood?

A Delight That is Right #4

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8 KJV).

What is the “delight” that is right?

The Lord Jesus Christ is the most unique Person in all the universe: He is the God-Man, undiminished Deity and full humanity. The Gospel Record of Luke prominently features His human qualities. For instance, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him…. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:40,52). As we grow and learn, so Jesus developed physically and mentally.

Isaiah the Prophet, 700 years before, quoted Christ: “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back” (chapter 50, verses 4,5). In complete submission to His Heavenly Father, He learned exactly what His Father had planned for Him. Jesus took particular interest in studying the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament Scriptures, His Father’s preserved words. “Yea, thy law is within my heart” (today’s Scripture).

One fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit is “joy” (Galatians 5:22). In other words, if He is working in us, we will rejoice or take delight in what God is doing. Yet, we cannot know what God is doing until we first find His words to and about us. The Apostle Paul is God’s spokesman to us Gentiles in the mystery program (Romans 11:13; Ephesians 3:1,2). We study the entire Bible, but we pay special attention to the Pauline Epistles, Romans through Philemon, God’s current dealings with man. As Jesus Christ conducted His earthly ministry, He knew exactly where He was in the purpose and program of Father God. Similarly, we can find immense satisfaction in knowing where we are on that Divine timeline for the ages. Of all the pleasures and thrills in this life, dear friends, nothing else even comes close to the delight that is right!

A Delight That is Right #3

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8 KJV).

What is the “delight” that is right?

Today’s Scripture reveals the key to delighting to do God’s will. We must first know God’s will, having His “law” (that is, His words) within our heart. Addressing the saints at Rome, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul penned, “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Romans 6:17). The Roman believers, as lost people, had trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Hence, they passed from death to life, Adam to Christ, Satan to God. Here is the first part of God’s will for any person: “…God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved…” (1 Timothy 2:3,4a).

Here is the second part of God’s will for us: “…God our Saviour; Who will have all men… to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). This is victorious Christian living—learning, understanding, and believing sound Bible doctrine that will give us daily victory over sin. We have eternal life in Christ, so now that life of God is expressed in and through us as we walk by faith in these His words to and about us. In Ephesians 1:1-12, we read of “the good pleasure of [God’s] will” (verses 5,9). Ultimately, our Heavenly Father desires to have spiritually mature believers who can glorify His Son Jesus Christ in the heavenly places throughout the endless ages to come.

For now, we are on Earth, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). “Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:…” (2 Thessalonians 1:11). If we want to do God’s will, we simply find out what He enjoys doing, and, by faith, go do that, and thus we will do God’s will and have the delight that is right….

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

333’s 3900th – The Path to Maturation

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

“[God our Saviour] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4 KJV).

Dear saints and readers, only by God’s grace, “333 Words of Grace” celebrates its 3900th devotional today!

What is the Lord doing right now? Exactly what would He have us do at this moment? The average church member would likely give incorrect answers—or no answers at all. In fact, even most genuine Christians would find these questions challenging and intimidating. There are three reasons for Bible illiteracy.

Firstly, they really have no idea what the clear Gospel of Grace even is. “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Instead of this pure, straightforward message, they have heard various pseudo-gospels. “Make Jesus the Lord of your life, repent and turn to God, recite the ‘sinner’s prayer,’ confess your sins.” As long as they have an adulterated Gospel message, there is no adequate basis for faith or trust, so they remain dead in their trespasses and sins. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit, they lack spiritual discernment.

Secondly, they are not using the inspired, preserved words of God. In English, these are the words of the Authorized Version King James Bible. Unfortunately, they have believed the “scholars” and purchased some alleged “easier-to-read” contemporary English version—nothing but a perverted, natural-man, watered-down, ever-changing text that only the spiritually naïve value. The result is weak, confused, immature Bible students, aware of general “Divine thoughts” as opposed to trained in specific Divine words.

Finally, if they do they have the indwelling Holy Spirit, and do use the proper Bible text, they are not “study[ing]… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Since they have failed to recognize the dispensational distinctions God has placed in His Word, they have no clue concerning where they are in His purpose and program. They have not been told—or they refuse to see—the Apostle Paul is God’s spokesman to them (Romans 11:13), Romans through Philemon God’s words to and about them!

Brethren, over the course of these last 3900 days, we have striven here to correct all three deficiencies. Though we have come far, we still have a long way remaining. Onward to devotional #4000! 🙂

A Decision to Embrace Right Division

Sunday, January 23, 2022

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

We give a hearty “Amen!” to today’s Scripture….

Having trusted Jesus Christ alone as my personal Saviour just a few weeks shy of age seven, I spent the first 12 years of my Christian life in utter spiritual shallowness, immaturity, and confusion. Denominational systems had been so detrimental to my inner man! One day, the Lord mightily used a dear brother in Christ to introduce my parents and me to dispensational Bible study. Later that year, another Christian brother showed us even more advanced sound Bible doctrine. Recently, we marked 15 years since first coming to understand right division. To say the least, it has been quite the journey this last decade and a half!

What we have discovered through the years of talking with others in ministry is countless souls within churches are “too comfortable” where they are. Religious tradition is most difficult to relinquish—but we left our vain theological systems and they can do just the same if they so choose. However, it is far easier to keep “praise and worship” services, “humbling” ceremonies, mindless church attendance, light or “feel-good” sermons, philosophical counseling sessions, and all the rest that strokes the ego of sinful flesh. To embrace the truth is to lose so many relatives and “friends”—and that intimidation factor keeps many people right where they are in their spiritual life (if they even have one!).

Dear friends, the Bible laid out on a timeline is most helpful, and respecting the dispensational boundaries God the Holy Spirit has placed in His Word is how we understand and enjoy the Scriptures. If nothing else, we know the Apostle Paul is God’s spokesman to us (Romans 11:13), and Romans through Philemon are God’s words to and about us. We study all 66 Bible Books, but we study them rightly divided, and we seek God’s approval instead of man’s approval (today’s Scripture). Indeed, we all have more growing to do with regards to learning God’s plan for the ages, but we are well on our way. Let us remember to continue on this path without turning to the right or the left—at least for another 15 years! 🙂

Certainty!

Saturday, January 22, 2022

“Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed” (Luke 1:1-4 KJV).

According to pagan philosophers, nothing can be known for certain. Truth is relative, not absolute. Consequently, the “narrowminded” Holy Bible is immensely unpopular (to put it mildly, of course!).

The Holy Spirit is superintending as Doctor Luke addresses one “Theophilus” (a Gentile or Greek whose name means “lover of God”). Almost nothing else is known about Theophilus, although his title “most excellent” may suggest he occupies a high-ranking political office within the Roman Empire (cf. Acts 23:26; Acts 24:3; Acts 26:25). Theophilus is a Christian believer who has been taught basic Bible truth, but lacks a firm, systematic understanding of spiritual matters. Consequently, the Holy Ghost deemed it most beneficial to have the Gospel Record of Luke penned directly to him. Luke, having interviewed firsthand and secondhand witnesses of Christ’s earthly ministry, collates his information into one volume—and be sure to note the Holy Spirit (not Luke!) had the final say in what was included and what was not included in this third Gospel Record!

Today’s culture does not know what to believe—and that is because its sponsors tossed aside God’s words and (like vacuum cleaners) sucked up everything else. At this point, it is far too costly to limit themselves to one belief system—for then they must (humbly) admit they were wrong about all others! Thankfully, as the Holy Spirit wrote to ensure Theophilus would “know the certainty [sureness, firmness, undoubted truth, stability] of those things” in which he had been educated, so the Scriptures tell us everything the one true God would have us know. “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” (Ephesians 4:14). “Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

Redeem the Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

“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).

What great advice for 2022!

Despite 2,000 years of Bible schools and seminaries, 2,000 years of a completed Bible canon, 2,000 years of Bible reading in churches, several decades of “Christian” television and radio, and just over a decade of widespread use of “Christian” websites, how sad that Bible ignorance is still quite extensive (it is as if God never gave His Word to start with!).

Frankly, the Church the Body of Christ needs to wake up! The verse previous to today’s Scripture says, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (verse 14). Paul, loosely quoting Isaiah 60:1, reminded us that the spiritual ignorance that gripped Israel in Isaiah’s day seized Christians in his day—and it still grips Christians 20 centuries later. Feel-good sermons, enjoyable “worship” services, and rites, rituals, and ceremonies will NOT solve this problem—they exacerbate it!

“[God] will have all men to be saved…” (1 Timothy 2:4a). Do you want this New Year to count for God’s glory? First, you need to get saved from sins and hell! You need to become a Christian by trusting in and relying on Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). That is only part of God’s will for you, for 1 Timothy 2:4b continues, “[God] will have all men… to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Now, God’s will for your Christian life is daily, personal Bible study to renew your mind, so your faith in those verses can cause God to work in your life—it will be His life, thus making you “perfect [spiritually mature], throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

Today’s Scripture urges us to buy back the time Satan has robbed from God (time created for God’s glory). By faith, we need to make that time glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by applying His Word, particularly Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon, to our lives. Have a good year in Christ! 🙂

You can download our free “One-Year Bible Reading Schedule.”

See our archived Bible Q&A: “What Scriptural advice can you give me for the New Year?

The Person of the Year

Friday, December 31, 2021

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:9,10a KJV).

Let us praise the 2021 Person of the Year—our Lord Jesus Christ!

Society’s most stressful time of year, the Christmas Season, is winding down. The year 2021 is nearly over, and a new year, 2022, will dawn soon. At this time every year, various groups and publications feature their particular choice for “Person of the Year.” Whether a chief of state, a philanthropist, a religious leader, a distinguished author or scientist, a television or radio personality, or some other “professional” who impacted society in a negative or positive way the most during the past year, they are all still people with limitations and frailties. One can accomplish all sorts of praiseworthy, generous, and awe-inspiring feats. However, what carries the most weight is the attitude, the heart, underlying the action, not the action. Was it Jesus Christ, or simply the flesh?

The one single event in history that pleased God the Father most was when His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, went by faith in His Word, to an awful Roman cross to suffer the worst possible and most graphic death a human ever experienced, to pay for our sins. “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Mark 1:11). It is through that finished crosswork of Jesus Christ that He is still doing mighty works, 20 centuries later. How our Lord Jesus Christ has saved countless souls from sins and hell this past year, and how He has saved innumerable Christian souls from false doctrine and spiritual ruin.

Jesus Christ, who in death defeated His greatest enemy (Satan), was raised by God the Father and is now the ascended and glorified Lord Jesus Christ (today’s Scripture). Saints, may we ever thank and praise our Saviour Jesus Christ for what He has done for us, what He has done with us, and what He will do with us next year… and all the countless ages thereafter….

NOTE: Saints, believe it or not, we close yet another year of grace ministry. Thank you for your continued prayer and encouragement these last 12 months. We surely needed it. While we have come so very far, we still have so much more ground to cover, so much more sound Bible doctrine to learn and believe, and we look forward to serving you here for at least another year (provided our Lord Jesus Christ wills it). So, with that, I sign off for 2021. See you in 2022! 🙂

‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas

Sunday, December 19, 2021

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15 KJV).

Let us not be so sidetracked by religion and commercialization that we miss the reason for the Christmas Season….

During the Christmas Season, we wonder how many people are visiting church for the second time this year (the other being Easter Sunday). How many will be going to church today—the Sunday before Christmas—just to feel “religious” or “holy?” How many really know Jesus Christ? For many, visiting a church building is just an obligation; they do not have faith in God’s Word and have no interest in God’s Word.

We do not go to church to “feel closer to God,” for if we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we cannot be any closer to God than we already are in Christ! “[Before salvation, we were] without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh [close to God] by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12,13).

Furthermore, we do not go to church in order to get God’s blessings, for God has already given us “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). We go to church, not because we are keeping Israel’s Sabbath day, since we are not obligated to observe Israel’s religious days (Colossians 2:16). We go to church to fellowship with like-minded believers and hear sound doctrine… more than twice a year, by the way.

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy that whenever he would assemble with fellow Christians, certain behavior was acceptable and other types of behavior were not (described throughout the epistle of 1 Timothy). Recall that when the Bible refers to “the church,” it refers to the body of believers, not the physical building in which they meet.

As we get opportunities, let us make an effort to reach these dear souls misled by all the vain religious tradition and Christmas commercialization, and may we tell them of the wonderful Christ Jesus whose name is found in Christmas!

*Based on the poem “‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas.”