Talking With Dictation Taken

Monday, September 26, 2022

“The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness” (Proverbs 15:2 KJV).

We can talk with sense—or talk nonsense….

One researcher estimated the average person spends in excess of 13 years talking overall. Roughly 18,000 words are used during daily conversation—equivalent to a 54-page book. Annually, each person generally speaks over 6.5 million words—some 66 books of 300 pages each! The most talkative men can utter more than 47,000 words a day—a staggering 17 million words every year (66 books of 770 pages each). Concerning the least talkative people, they may speak as few as 500 words daily—approximately one 550-page book a year.

Dear friends, if the above “books” of our individual days and entire lifetimes were actually printed and available for purchase, would we care to buy them and read them ourselves? Under what genres (categories) would they be listed—fiction, romance, thriller, satire, drama, spirituality, horror, mystery? Having read what we spoke that day, or even that lifetime, would we be proud of those words or ashamed and wishing a “do-over?”

The following has been rightly observed: since we have two ears and one mouth, we ought to listen twice as much as we speak. This is wise counsel that parents should especially impart to their children. We would also be prudent to take particular care that we are “using knowledge aright [properly],” not “pouring out foolishness” (today’s Scripture). Are we communicating sound Bible doctrine we read and heard (good), or something else we read and heard (evil)?

Addressing unbelieving Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ alerted: “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle [unprofitable, useless, worthless, unhelpful] word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:34-37). The world’s people would do quite well to remember their words are being recorded—those aforementioned “books” exist!!!

Bible Q&A #995: “What is a ‘latchet?’

The Thing Which is Good

Monday, September 5, 2022

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28 KJV).

On this Labor Day, we talk about work, “the thing which is good.”

In this day and age of increasing “government assistance,” people are becoming less and less aware of our hard work being the Lord Jesus’ preferred method of the source of our incomes. While the physically and mentally disabled are obvious exceptions, the God of the Bible expects all of us to contribute labor in order to provide for ourselves. For children and young adults, even being a student in school is work enough!

Observe the doctrine being communicated in today’s Scripture. The grace life does not merely teach us to quit doing bad things, but it also instructs us to start doing good things (Titus 2:11,12). Once a thief trusts the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork as sufficient payment for his sins, then God expects that thief to quit stealing and find a job so he can provide for his needs!

The God of creation calls work “the thing which is good” (today’s Scripture). Work is not something to be avoided; it is something to be embraced for the Lord’s glory!

When the Lord Jesus Christ put the first man, Adam, on earth, that man had a divine commission. Adam was not to simply loaf around and do nothing: “And the LORD God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Adam was to protect that garden, to till its ground, to prepare it for Jesus Christ to come down and dwell in with he and Eve (because of sin, that earthly kingdom over which Jesus Christ will rule is still awaiting fulfillment!).

Saints, may we work to provide for our families (1 Timothy 5:8), and may we work to help those who truly are needy (today’s Scripture). In the words of God the Holy Spirit, that is “good!” 🙂

For Students This is Safe

Monday, August 8, 2022

“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:128 KJV).

As a new school year dawns, let us awake unto spiritual truth!

Although the autumnal equinox is still over a month away here in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is finally beginning to wind down for most of us. Students—with long faces and deep sighs—have returned or are beginning to return to school. As students return to the classroom, they need to be particularly mindful of the following.

Firstly, learning in and of itself is not a sin. Moses was “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). Luke was a medical doctor (Colossians 4:14). Daniel and his companions were skilled in science (Daniel 1:4). Adam was the first taxonomist (Genesis 2:19,20). The God of the Bible is never against learning new things—remember, He gave us His Holy Bible so we can have plenty to learn for all of eternity!

Secondly, what the God of the Bible opposes is when we believe/trust ideas that do not seek our best interests, that contradict the way He designed our lives to function. Certainly, we Christians should never go around believing anything and everything heard and seen. Just because the professor, preacher, pope, or president says it is true, that does not make it so. Scientific consensus has been wrong before, religion has been wrong before, politicians have been wrong before. Much of the ideas that permeate our world today are wrong.

Lastly, there are many wonderful, exciting ideas and concepts out there—medical advancements, technological breakthroughs, and so on—but there are equally detrimental ideas that will mess up your life—religious traditions, secular humanism, and other philosophies. Daily intake of the King James Bible rightly divided will cleanse our souls of the filth and foolishness that we hear and see day in and day out in this evil world system. We highly exalt God’s Word, we know it is right “concerning all things,” and we hate and ignore the error.

Have a wonderful school year in our Lord Jesus Christ! 🙂

*P.S.—Yes, the coronavirus pandemic has caused things to be quite different than usual. Some of you will be returning to in-person classrooms; others will be learning from home, via computer or other electronic devices. Please know that I will be in special prayer for you in these unique circumstances. God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)!

Get Them to Think!

Friday, July 29, 2022

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11 KJV).

Let us stop and think: may we get them to stop and think!

I just spoke with a Christian brother who came to trust the Gospel of Grace no more than 10 years ago. He explained how he is growing in the Scriptures rightly divided and trying to reach his family members with sound Bible doctrine. Except his wife, his relatives still belong to his former works-religion “Christian” cult. His daughter is particularly opposed to Christianity, and has no interest in the Bible. Nevertheless, he used his renewed mind to better approach her. Recently, he was having difficulty with an electronic machine he had purchased. When he asked her for advice, she directed him to read the instruction manual. He responded, “If you want to know how life works, you need to read the instruction manual—the Holy Bible!” While she is still lost, she certainly stopped and thought of the parallel.

Long ago, when I was just a few years into the ministry and recounting my “adventures” in college and elsewhere, a much older Christian brother (in ministry far longer than I) gave me some counsel I have never forgotten. “Shawn, you do not have to convince them. Just get them thinking about the truth!” Even if it is a single Bible verse, or just a phrase from the Scriptures, if we can see how it applies to the people we reach, then it is our privilege to share it with them. In doing so, they will gain a chance to learn something they have likely never considered before. As long as we are repeating the words of the Holy Spirit as found in the rightly divided Scriptures, He will do the rest. In the words of another Christian brother, “Let the lion out of his cage, and he will take care of himself!” Just remember, dear brethren, if we only give the Holy Bible a chance, it will revolutionize us and those around us throughout the endless ages to come. Try it and see!

Our latest Bible Q&As: “What does ‘cumbered’ mean?” and “Can you explain ‘holden?’

Liberated to Serve

Monday, July 4, 2022

“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 246th 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.

Preach with Conviction!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

“And all bare him [the Lord Jesus Christ] witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:22 KJV).

Saints, may we preach with conviction!

Many years back, a man approached the pastor after church service and expressed the following observation: “You delivered your message with such conviction that you sounded like you actually believed what you said, like there was no alternate view.” The preacher replied, “If I thought and believed it was some other way, I would have taught it that other way!”

It is rather unfortunate, but that man had grown so accustomed to hearing ministers use the Bible flippantly or lightheartedly. For example, he was in the habit of hearing words to the effect of, “Some believe this verse means this, but others teach it means that, so you can pick and choose what you believe.” (To wit, the preacher is just as unskilled in the Word as his congregation!) Therefore, when the man heard a Spirit-filled preacher use the Scriptures solemnly and deliver an authoritative or well-founded sermon that actually made sense, he was rather shocked. (Likewise, so were the synagogue attendees when the Lord addressed them in today’s Scripture!)

Dear brethren, the preacher’s response encapsulates what should constitute our ministry. Lost people may be spiritually blind, but, sad to say, they are more willing to spot a religious hypocrite from a much farther distance than the average professing Christian. Just as we would not care to hear some boring speaker talk about a topic they have no real passion to teach, individuals know when someone is faking or guessing in the pulpit and they will thus turn away with increasing cynicism. By the tone of our voice, by the depth of our material, and by the authority with which we preach, our audience will know if we are sincere and actually trust what we exhort them to hear from us. If they can sense we doubt what we are telling them, they will fail to appreciate—yea, actually detest—the Scriptures and will see no reason to believe them either. Let us not be hypocrites in the church building… particularly in the pulpit!

Father: A Godly Man

Sunday, June 19, 2022

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 KJV).

Since today is Father’s Day, we dedicate today’s devotional to the godly (Christian) fathers.

What is a godly father? Oftentimes, fathers are either too authoritative (very strict) or too carefree (little to no concern for their children). According to the Bible (today’s Scripture in particular), fathers must have a balance between setting boundaries and enforcing them, and refraining from being a heartless tyrant.

  • On one hand, the Christian father is to “bring [his children] up in the nurture of the Lord.” “Nurture” is simply defined as “caring for and encouraging their growth or development.” All too often, fathers (sadly) ignore this, usually being too rough, or even, apathetic (unconcerned).
  • On the other hand, the Christian father is to “bring [his children] up in the admonition of the Lord.” “Admonition” is simply defined as “authoritative counsel or warning.” He is to lovingly guide them in life, instructing them from God’s Word rightly divided.

A father is not simply one who procreates. God’s Word makes it very clear that they should serve a lifelong, active role in their children’s lives. A Christian man, especially a father, should be a godly man in beliefs as well as in deed. He needs to set an example for his children (especially his sons): it is his duty as an older Christian man to set an example for younger men.

He should be a hard worker, he should meditate on the things of God (the Bible), his speech should conform to sound Bible doctrine, he should be hospitable and caring, kind and loving, he should respect and love his wife, he should love his children, and he should be reserved and cautious in his actions.

Are you a Christian man or Christian father who desires to be the man God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest! Then, you will become the godly man described on the pages of Scripture.

*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 fatherhood?

Teach Your Children #3

Sunday, May 29, 2022

“And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 11:19 KJV).

If single-parent homes are a calamity, “no-parent” homes are even more catastrophic!

Contrary to popular belief, the greatest gift that parents could ever (!!) provide their kids is not substantial bank accounts, expansive properties, lavish mansions, or even good genes. While wonderful to have, and there is nothing wrong in possessing them if we do not confound them with Almighty God, the fact of the matter is that they are all temporary. Inflation and irresponsibility diminish funds, taxes and upkeep make real estate a burden, buildings deteriorate with age and so require daily maintenance, and even the “best” DNA can be traced back to Adam (sin and ultimate death).

Long after Mom and Dad are gone (no longer there to advise), and their children remain, what will those younger generations do with their chronic sin problem? Have they ever been taught about the Lord Jesus Christ, how He paid for their sins in full at Calvary, and how the only way they can have victory over sin is by placing their faith in Him alone? Will they have a final authority, something solid and certain on which to build their lives? Have they ever been encouraged to read, study, and trust the Holy Bible rightly divided? Are they proficient in the Apostle Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, the principles of grace living? Or, like so many billions now, will they drift from this group to that group, aimlessly and hopelessly floating on that vast sea of error, struggling in vain to fill that God-shaped vacuum in their heart, to eternally perish once they drown in sin?

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3). Teach your children sound Bible doctrine, that they may teach their own children, and so on. If this we fail to do, remember well, we ourselves have contributed to the overall global problem.

Teach Your Children #2

Saturday, May 28, 2022

“And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 11:19 KJV).

If single-parent homes are a calamity, “no-parent” homes are even more catastrophic!

Consider these analogous passages. “Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children (Deuteronomy 4:10). “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:7).

If these Jewish youth were not thoroughly educated in the words of JEHOVAH God, they would adopt their Gentile neighbors’ pagan belief systems. With each passing generation, the nation Israel would become more compromised, gradually but eventually losing its identity to Satan’s evil world system. As history testifies, it did happen. The standards and norms confused, there was nothing but inescapable societal collapse. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

We find ourselves today in a world just as disorderly. Right is wrong, wrong is right, man is woman, woman is man, child is parent, parent is child, life is non-life, non-life is life, Creator is creature, creature is Creator, wisdom is foolishness, foolishness is wisdom, and on and on. Over a decade ago, it was estimated that, by the end of four years of college, some 70 percent (!) of evangelical Christian youth were being lost to non-Bible views. It is a safe assumption that that figure has increased since then. The problem, as always, started at homelong before any professors delivered secular, humanistic lectures to those precious unsuspecting minds and hearts. Frankly, our current world is the product of a lengthy series of failed parenting….

Teach Your Children #1

Friday, May 27, 2022

“And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 11:19 KJV).

If single-parent homes are a calamity, “no-parent” homes are even more catastrophic!

Surely, it is no secret that “wayward youth” is one of our society’s most problematic issues. It only took us about 50 years before we noticed it. Moreover, we have yet to realize poor (actually, “no!”) parenting is the more serious matter. Consider what a university president stated when he addressed a parents’ group a century ago: “I get many letters from you parents about your children. You want to know why we people up here in [college name] can’t make more out of them and do more for them. Let me tell you the reason we can’t. It may shock you just a little, but I am not trying to be rude. The reason is that they are your sons, reared in your homes, blood of your blood, bone of your bone. They have absorbed the ideals of your homes. You have formed and fashioned them. They are your sons. In those malleable, moldable years of their lives you have forever left your imprint upon them.”

Let us think of another true story, one much more pointed. A 76-year-old man died in prison after eight years of incarceration. His wife served a lengthy sentence in that same facility. Their daughter was confined there. Lastly, their seven sons were inmates at that complex too! Without a doubt, “Mom and Dad” had left quite a memorable legacy in the world.

In today’s Scripture, the LORD knew the great potential sin had in the hearts of youth who lacked His words. The human soul, left to itself, will devise all kinds of evil thoughts and transform them into despicable actions—growing worse as the years pass. To counter this, God’s words were to so fill the Jewish parents that they could not help but teach their children to value that Divine revelation too, constantly reminding them of the Holy Scriptures and the issue of obeying final authority….

Bible Q&A #955: “For him hath God the Father sealed?