Thursday, April 29, 2021

How To Succeed

"Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner."
John 5:19 (NKJV)

Have you ever made a mistake and done something wrong?  You might say that is a foolish question, because everyone makes mistakes and does things wrong.   It is just a fact of life, no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, and no one has 100% success.  Success is something we all want, but 100% success is not really attainable and not something that will be achieved in any long-term way.  But no one wants to fail; everyone wants to succeed and to know how to succeed.

The Bible gives us many great examples with the lives of the people we see in the Bible.  Sometimes we see positive examples and sometimes it is a negative example, but we can learn why some people succeeded and some did not.  The best example in the Bible of how to succeed comes to us from Jesus: He was successful in His life and ministry.  The reason Jesus did so well is because He only did what His Father directed Him to do.  Jesus was successful because He followed God's plan.

Too often, the reason we do not succeed is because we are not fully following God's plan but we are following our own plans and ideas.  The key to success in the life of Jesus was His obedience to doing the Father's will and not His own.  Jesus knew the Scriptures and He spent time with God in prayer, which is how He learned the Father's will.  How can we have a successful life and ministry today?  We need to follow the example of Jesus and learn from our Heavenly Father what His will is and then do it; that is how we succeed.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Choosing Sides

"Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?".
When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you?"
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"
But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.

John 6:60-61, 66-68 (NKJV)

Whether it be a political issue, views on how to live a healthy lifestyle, what is the best type of music, or biblical issues, people are always choosing sides.  What usually happen is that people have some ideas of their own, and then they hear someone else express similar views.  The first person then identifies with the second person who has the same view. The first person has chosen to be on the side of the second person because they have similar views on things.

In John 6, we see some people who chose to stop following Jesus because they did not like what He said.  We see others, including Peter, who chose to stay with Jesus because they recognized that Jesus had the words of eternal life.  Both groups chose a side based on what Jesus said.  The real problem was that some were choosing sides based on whether or not they liked what Jesus had said, while people like Peter made a wise decision based on what was right and true.

Unfortunately, some people choose sides for or against Jesus because they like or dislike something.  Some people follow God because they see benefits in their own life, but when a problem comes, they struggle in their relationship with God, because so much of their choice was based on positive things in their life and not a foundation of truth.  We need to be like Peter and choose to follow Jesus because it is the right thing to do and Jesus does have the words of life.  We have a decision of whose side we will choose, choosing to be on God's side is always the right choice.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Leading To Edification

"We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification."
Romans 15:1-2 (NKJV)

Truth is absolute, but people's perception of the truth is not.  It is true that if you add two of one thing to two more of those things you will have a total of four, that is the truth.  But what if someone was very bad at math and they thought that two plus two is three, or five?  That person may be convinced that two plus two is three or five, even though that is not accurate or true.  The solution in this situation is not to start an argument or debate, but to find a way to show the person that the correct answer really is four.

Christians, and people in general, can have different ideas and perceptions of what is true and false. Unfortunately, what often happens is that people will argue about something, trying to prove that what they are saying is true.  Very often the issue is not resolved and people only end up offended and upset, which is not the same as helping people and leading them to edificationHumility and kindness can go a long way in helping people see and understand the truth, without creating a problem in the process.

Some people believe that the main point is to show people what is right and wrong, and if they don't like it, then that is the other person's problem.  But in Romans 15, Paul said that the "strong" people should not just try to please themselves, but work towards pleasing others and edifying them.  There may come a point where we need to take a very strong stand for the truth, but that is not the first step in dealing with other people.  We need to bring the truth to people in a way that will help them clearly see right and wrong, and that will lead them to being edified by knowing the truth.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Our Refuge

"I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."
Psalm 91:2 (NKJV)

When you fly on an airplane, they show you where the exits are located.  In buildings, you can find the emergency exits, which are not the normal way to leave the building, but they are the exits you will have to use in an emergency situation.  Some buildings are listed as being shelters in a storm, or as the place to go if there is a tornado.  All of these things are good and beneficial, but if you don't know where the exits and shelters are located, and how to get there, you can have a problem.

In Psalm 91 it talks about God's protection.  God is talked about as our refuge and our fortress.  A refuge is good, and a fortress is good, but if you don't know they exist, or how to get to the place of refuge, or the fortress, then you can have a problem.  In Hosea 4:6, God said that "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge".  Some Christians do not even know about Psalm 91 and what God has said, and some believers think that it is up to God to protect us, if He wants to, otherwise we just suffer with our problems.

As Christians, we need to know and understand that God loves us so much, that He sent Jesus to die in our place and pay the price for our sin, so that we could live in a relationship with God.  We need to know and understand all that God will do for us, and how He wants to help us in every situationGod has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to show us what to do, and how to do it, in the time of trouble, so that when we face adversity that God can guide us into a place of refuge and be our fortress to protect and deliver us from whatever may come.

Thursday, April 1, 2021


"Forever, O Lord, your Word is settled in heaven."
Psalm 119:89 (NKJV)

Something that is unpredictable is something that unreliable, it is something you are uncertain of.  For example, the weather can be unpredictable and it can be hard to say with any accuracy what the weather will really be like a day or two from today.  If something is unpredictable, you cannot know exactly how it will act.  On the other hand, if something is predictable, such as the sun rising in the East and setting in the West, then it is something that is a certainty and can be depended upon.

We all want things that are important for us to be dependable and reliable, but if they are unpredictable, they can be a problem.  People themselves and what they do and say are often unpredictable.  But one thing is certain, God and His Word are predictable.  What God has said in His Word is something we can depend on and it is reliable.  We don't have to be concerned that what God said in His Word will change from year to year or work differently in our life today than it did before.

We can accurately predict that 1 John 5:14-15 will work today just as it always has and that by praying according to God's Word, He will hear us and answer our prayer.  We can predict and depend on the fact that those who call on the Name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13) and that God is ready to perform His Word as He watches over it (Jeremiah 1:12).  There are many things we can say about God's Word, but it is not unpredictable; God will always do what He has said in His Word!