A Naughty Tongue! #11

Sunday, July 19, 2020

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue” (Proverbs 17:4 KJV).

In today’s world of widespread social media, “wicked doer,” “false lips,” “liar,” and “naughty tongue” are all appropriate nouns!

Continue reading Ephesians’ “speech alway with grace” verses. Chapter 4 concludes: “[29] Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. [30] And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. [31] Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour [screaming, commotions], and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: [32] And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Move to chapter 5: “[1] Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; [2] And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. [3] But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; [4] Neither filthiness [obscenities], nor foolish talking, nor jesting [flippant, ridiculous words], which are not convenient [suitable]: but rather giving of thanks…. [19] Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; [20] Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; [21] Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

The “naughty tongue,” relaying its poppycock, interrupts “grace speech:” “But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers [uttering foolish, silly babblings!] also and busybodies [meddling gossips, blabbermouths!], speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary [unbeliever] to speak reproachfully (1 Timothy 5:11-14).

Let us see how God will deal with sinful man’s naughty tongue….

The Greatest War Hero

Monday, May 25, 2020

“For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 KJV).

In the United States, today is Memorial Day, when we remember those who sacrificed their time and lives to provide our physical freedom. Likewise, as Christians, we have spiritual freedom, which was more costly. Someone had to die to give us the eternal life we now enjoy….

Scripture describes a spiritual warfare between good and evil, God’s truth program versus Satan’s lie program: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [schemes] of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11,12; see also verses 13-20).

Satan distracts mankind from God’s pure Word, the Bible, keeping unbelievers lost (dead in their sins), and preventing unbelievers and Christians from knowing God’s will. The devil draws them away (seduces them) from God’s Word by using religious tradition and human “wisdom” (1 Timothy 4:1-3; cf. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Galatians 3:1-3).

God loves us, so at Calvary’s cross, Christ fought for us sinners, died in battle (today’s Scripture), shed His divine sinless blood, and eternally rescued us from Satan and sin: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:14,15).

Hebrews 9:12 says Jesus Christ has “obtained eternal redemption for us.”

If we have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). Now, God can use us for His glory for all eternity.

Beloved, let us rejoice in our victory over sin, death, and hell that Jesus Christ secured for us by going to Calvary’s rugged cross! Jesus Christ is now alive forevermore—He is our Hero, the Greatest Hero!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study “The Greatest Hero,” which can be read here or watched here.

Careful—But Not Careful! #15

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

“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).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

Even as Christians, we are never, ever guaranteed a life without pain, suffering, hardship, sickness, grief, or loss. Still, that does not mean God does not love us or care about us. We look to Calvary’s cross—not our circumstances—to see God’s love for us. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

No matter our surroundings—good or bad—Father God has fully equipped us with His grace to handle everything. Second Corinthians chapter 12: “[9] And he [the Lord Jesus] said unto me [Paul], My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Philippians chapter 4 again: “[11] Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. [12] 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. [13] I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Contentment is not automatic but rather something “learned.” Sound Bible doctrine must be continuously absorbed. It also takes a long time to sort through the deception, misinformation, and confusion that often distract us from God’s Word rightly divided. The more difficult the situation, the harder it is to correct the distortion associated with it. Remember, we must be prepared for Satan’s attacks. That evil work is subtle, but with Romans through Philemon, we have “the mind of Christ” and can thus overcome the Adversary (1 Corinthians 2:16)! 🙂

-FINIS-

Careful—But Not Careful! #14

Monday, April 20, 2020

“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).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

We should always use common sense. Being careful, or alert, is wise. We should do our best to preserve our health and life, and protect the health and lives of those around us. However, being “careful”—as in worrisome, consumed by hypervigilance—is unwise. Anxiety is actually counterproductive, as it weakens our health and shortens our life. Living in fear or paranoia is the very last thing God wants for us, members of the Church the Body of Christ.

Instead of fretting, we should take advantage of the provision our Heavenly Father already put in place for us. Worrying is the result of not knowing the future. However, if we are already familiar with Paul’s Epistles, Romans through Philemon, we know what God is doing with us now and what He will do with us later. Whatever else happens to us really does not matter. Eternity—that which never ends—outweighs anything and everything that could possibly come our way in this temporary world.

Taking a firm stand by faith in the sound Bible doctrine we have read, we now talk to our Heavenly Father. We know that He, as we keep reading that Divine revelation, will supply what we need—strength, wisdom, and so on. Since we have that assurance, we thank Him for it in advance. As long as we prayed the “Pauline way,” we will be neither surprised nor disappointed. If we failed to read and believe His words through Paul, then we had better go back and look to see what God is doing (lest we try to force Him to do something else, and wind up spiritually ruined!). Finally, we have God’s peace, inner tranquility, something far beyond human reasoning or explanation. Protected internally from all of Satan’s attacks—doubts, questions, concerns, and so on—we have the victory over every circumstance!

Let us now conclude this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain Titus 1:12?

Careful—But Not Careful! #13

Sunday, April 19, 2020

“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).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

When we scan Christendom—the professing “Church,” the tens of thousands of denominations that all claim to serve Jesus Christ—we see no spiritual strength. Some two billion church members worldwide all appeal to the Bible… and, yet, there is practically no unity among them. It is quite easy to figure out why! For the last 20 centuries, we have not been consistent in our handling of the Holy Scriptures. What we have done is treated the Bible as a buffet.

Snatching a “plate” in a frenzy, we grabbed from Scripture a little of “this”—but not too much! We clutched a little of “that” from the Bible—but not too much! Then, we simply “retranslated” or outright ignored whatever verses we found unappealing. Next, we heaped to ourselves assorted traditions and opinions of men. Finally, with our plate full, able to receive no more, we ran to sit and eat. Gobbling up that mess like starving animals, we violently wrench with sudden stomach pains. Expectedly, there is such disorder, disability, and disease!

We have utterly failed to obey 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Instead of “rightly dividing,” we have combined everything in the Bible and then “picked and chose” from that jumbled chaos. Had everyone simply followed the Apostle Paul as he follows Jesus Christ, there would be stability and unity. Christians could handle life’s problems—if they had only listened to and believed Pauline doctrine, Romans through Philemon!

Read Philippians 4:9: “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Here is the Holy Spirit writing through the Apostle Paul. Provided we listen to this sound Bible doctrine, “the God of peace” will be with us. Let us summarize this devotionals arc….

Careful—But Not Careful! #12

Saturday, April 18, 2020

“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).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

Let us read today’s Scripture with its subsequent verses: “[6] Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. [7] And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. [8] Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. [9] Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

Remember, our “mind” affords us the ability to know; our “heart” is what we use to exercise faith or trust. We can know information without actually believing it; however, if it is in our heart, it is communication we trust. Through Christ Jesus—knowing and believing the sound Bible doctrine that defines what He did for us at Calvary and all its resultant realities—we are protected. Provided we are concentrating on God’s Word rightly divided, Satan’s lies cannot penetrate our inner man.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” These are descriptions of the Holy Bible—whatever is “true” (factual, trustworthy), “honest” (honorable, dignified), “just” (right, correct), “pure” (uncorrupted, wholesome), “lovely” (acceptable, pleasing), and “of good report” (well spoken of). We are to think on that which is virtuous (upright) and praiseworthy (exemplary). Again, at all times, it is crucial for us Christians to have clear thinking in order to nullify Satan’s lies that threaten us….

Careful—But Not Careful! #11

Friday, April 17, 2020

“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).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

Satan cannot harm the Lord Jesus Christ. Nonetheless, he can do the next best thing—harm us, the Church that is His Body. We Christians are at war! Consider Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Turn to 2 Corinthians chapter 10 now: “[3] For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: [4] (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; ) [5] Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;….”

The evil world system attacks us internally—mentally. Just as in a physical battle, there are injuries and casualties. Usually, Christians are not thinking as their Heavenly Father designed them. They are not renewing their minds with His Word rightly divided. Hence, their Christian lives are functioning improperly—if at all. Romans chapter 12 reminds us: “[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.”

Instead of wasting our time with human wisdom, we enjoy God’s peace that exceeds human understanding. We “mind [think about] the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). Consequently, our Heavenly Father “shall keep [guard, protect from Satan’s assaults] [our] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” We have victory with God’s power, and we have God’s power when we arm ourselves with His words to us….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who was ‘Caesar?’

Careful—But Not Careful! #10

Thursday, April 16, 2020

“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).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

Human nature is weak. While we in our sinfulness like to think of ourselves as “gods”—independent, self-reliant, self-sustaining—we know deep down inside we are but feeble creatures. Once disaster strikes, we are jolted out of our fantasy world and have no choice but to see our many limitations. When there is no more strength and health in our physical bodies, no longer money in our bank account, and so on, then we realize we have to look beyond ourselves for stability and security. It is time to set our focus on something outside of this time-space continuum!

As Christians, we are absolutely not immune to suffering. Just like they trouble lost people, economic downturns, physical illness, natural disasters, and other traumatic experiences eventually affect us all. While our lot is the same, our response should be different. Whereas non-Christians have no personal relationship with the one true God, we do. In prayer, we may freely come to Him with our worries and give them to Him instead of carrying them around.

“What is happening? Where is God? What have I done wrong? Why me? What does the future hold? Will this ever end? How will I escape?” As opposed to such nagging questions besetting or overcoming us, we have “the peace of God” (today’s Scripture). That is because we read His Word rightly divided first, and then spoke to Him concerning our circumstances in accordance with that Word. Prayer underpins in our hearts and minds what we already know He said. We already know exactly what the future ultimately holds. We already know exactly where the Lord is. We already know precisely what He is doing. The Holy Spirit used Pauline doctrine to show us!

Instead of approaching our dire situations and circumstances with human wisdom, we encounter them having “the peace of God.” It is here that inner tranquility—that “which passeth all understanding,” an attitude beyond human description—becomes ours….

Careful—But Not Careful! #9

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

“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).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

Luke chapter 10 again: “[39] And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. [40] But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. [41] And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: [42] But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” As opposed to fretting about her circumstances, Martha should have been paying attention to Jesus Christ (like her sister Mary). Likewise, we should follow Mary’s example instead of Martha’s. We now listen to the Lord’s words spoken to us through the Apostle Paul.

Romans 5:1-5: “[1] Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: [2] By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. [3] And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; [4] And patience, experience; and experience, hope: [5] And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, we have “peace with God.” As we pray according to that truth, we have “the peace of God.”

Today’s Scripture again (verse 6): “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Provided we follow this, the result is (verse 7): “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Instead of being nervous or fearful, we have “the peace of God….”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is the ‘potter’s field?’

Careful—But Not Careful! #8

Saturday, April 4, 2020

“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).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

Prayer is the means whereby we express to Almighty God our understanding of His Word to us. However, when we listen to people pray, it is abundantly clear they have little to no understanding of the rightly-divided Scriptures. They are fervent in wanting to talk to God, and they want Him to give an ear to their words, but they have not been diligent in looking in the Bible and listening to what He has already said to them.

But, why would God care to hear us repeat to Him what He already told us? Does He not already know His own words to us? Indeed, He does. But, do we know His words to us? Prayer is not for God’s benefit but ours. We are giving the indwelling Holy Spirit opportunity to reinforce in our minds what we have read in Scripture earlier (after all, we did read it, yes?). Here is how prayer should work, how it was designed to work—but often does not function like that because we are too busy talking when we should have been listening to the Scriptures first.

The God of the Bible is not stingy or apathetic. He already knows what we need, and He is willing to provide it. When today’s Scripture says, “in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God,” it means we should pray in all circumstances (not just trials). “Prayer” is the general term for speaking to God in light of His words to us. “Supplications” (Latin, “supplicare”—“plead humbly”) are our asking Him to work concerning a particular matter. “Thanksgiving” is critical: He may not give us what we want but we can be absolutely sure He will furnish us with what we truly need. “Requests” are general, we asking Him to do what we need Him to do. Again, this is not for His benefit but our own….