Thursday, March 26, 2015

Is That Really True?

"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 17:11 (NKJV)

Whenever I see something on the Internet or hear something that someone claims to be true, and especially if it seems a bit odd, I always want to check its accuracy.  How can I know that this thing is really true?  I would rather do a thorough check on something than just to accept what someone claims to be factual.  In the past people could make outrageous claims or say things that were hard to prove as to whether they were true or false.  Today almost anything someone says can be researched through various websites and search engines to see how accurate those things really are.

Over the years I have heard many things that people claim to be in the Bible itself or Bible based that had no basis in the Bible at all.  No matter who it is that tells us about what the Bible has to say we need to check it for ourselves and not just blindly accept everything anyone says as actually being from the Bible.  This is what we see in Acts 17 where it talks about the people of Berea.  These people did not just accept whatever they heard, they searched the scriptures to see if it was so.  That is a great example for us to follow. 

Too many Christians do not know much about the Bible and what it actually says, that is very sad but it is also easy to fix.  Today Bibles are easily available and we can search the scriptures for ourselves as the Bereans did.  We don't have to just listen to other people to know what the Bible says.  We can read and study the Bible for ourselves and check to see if what we hear is really Bible based.  Doing this will enable us to have a solid foundation of the Word of God in our life and this will help us to live the victorious Christian life that God has planned for us.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

How Much Can You Help?

"A man of great wrath shall suffer the penalty, for if you deliver him [from the consequences] he will [feel free to] cause you to do it again."
Proverbs 19:19 (Amplified)

No one likes to see other people suffer or go through problems in life; when we are around a person who has some type of difficulty we want to find a way to help.  A person would have to be cold and callous to not want to help someone who is in trouble.  But the question is not just if we can help someone when they have a problem.  The real issue is how much can we actually help someone and for how long.  We should do what we can to help other people but there will come a time when we cannot help someone any longer and that person needs to help themselves.

The Bible does tell us to bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2) but it also shows us that we need to bear our own burden (Galatians 6:5).  In a normal situation where someone faces challenges in life that person has to come to the point where they have to deal with their problems on their own or they will never get anywhere in life.  This does not mean we do not care about people but are we really helping someone who has some problem if that same person will not do anything to help themselves?  Is it right to always come to someone's rescue and not expect them to do anything themselves? 

Certainly there are times when we can and should help other people but each person needs to learn how to apply biblical principles for themselves and to become someone who is able to help others and not just receive help.  We should be ready to lend a helping hand to those in need, to pray for others, and give a word of encouragement.  But our goal is not to build a dependency on ourselves but to help others learn to do these things for themselves.  It is good and right to help others but the time will come when they have to help themselves and that is the point we need to bring them to.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Walking In Love - Speaking The Best About Others

"He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends."
Proverbs 17:9 (NKJV)

We all face choices every day about different things: what we do, where we go, and what we say.  Some of the choices we make may not be entirely up to us because of obligations and commitments we have.  What we do depends on who we are, whether we are single or married, have children, and so on.  Where we go also depends somewhat on other factors, like what our occupation is, where we live, and things like this.  But one choice that all of us have, that is really just up to us, is the choice of what we will say about ourselves and others; no one chooses our words for us.

We should say the right things about ourselves, based on what the Bible says, but do we realize the importance of how we talk about others?  Do our words help or hurt?  Do we talk about other people the way we would like them to talk about us?  What do we do when we hear something negative about another person?  We have all heard bad things about others, whether it was something they had intentionally done wrong or just a mistake.  But should we repeat everything we hear?  Do we think about what the results will be if we repeat something bad that we have heard about someone else? 

We have a choice with what we hear, are we just going to repeat it to others and possibly create more problems or are we going to walk in love and watch our words?  This does not mean that we overlook problems or ignore something that is wrong, but it does mean that we don't have to repeat everything negative we hear or know about other people.  Our words can help keep people together or our words can separate even close friends and family members.  Walking in love means that we speak the best about others, even when we know something about them that is not so good.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

In Like A Lamb And Out Like A Lion

"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
John 1:29 (NKJV)

"But one of the elders said to me, Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."
Revelation 5:5 (NKJV)

There is a saying that people have for the weather in the month of March that goes like this, "In like a lion and out like a lamb".  What people mean is that the weather in the beginning of March is usually worse than the weather at the end of the month.  This is because typically winter weather is still seen in the early part of the March while at the end of March the weather is milder and more like what is seen in the spring.  This difference in how the weather changes from the start to the end of March is seen in other things where the way something starts is different from how it finishes.

In John 1:29 John the Baptist referred to Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  In 1 Peter 1:18, 19 it tells us that Jesus redeemed us by His blood.  In the Old Testament sin was only covered by the blood of the sacrificial lamb but through the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, our sins have been washed away!  However, what Jesus did for us did not end at the removing of our sins; Jesus overcame sin, sickness, depression, lack, and anything else that would hinder us from living the abundant life He came to provide for us (John 10:10).

Jesus paid the price for our sins as the Lamb of God and as the conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah, as He called in Revelation 5:5, He also gave us the ability to live a life free from the domination and oppression of the devil and sin.  Jesus is the victor over sin, is seated at the Father's right hand, and has all authority in heaven and on earth.  While Jesus did come into the world as a lamb, He finished His work and went out like a lion.  We need to read and study the Word of God to get a full understanding of everything Jesus did for us and then walk in the benefits He provided for us.