Thursday, October 27, 2022

Avoiding Problems

"Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them,
saying, "Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives."

Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul.
Acts 27:9-11 (NKJV)

No intelligent person would go into a situation that they knew would be harmful to them.  No one would intentionally do something that they knew would result in something bad happening to them.  For example, nobody would purposely invest in something where they would lose all of their money, eat something that would make them sick, or touch something that is so hot it would burn them.  If it was possible, we would all avoid anything that we knew ahead of time would be dangerous or harmful to us, or to someone else we cared about.

The Bible says that believers are led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14), that the Holy Spirit will tell us about things to come (John 16:13), and that God will teach us the way to go and guide us (Psalm 32:8).  We see a good example of this in Acts 27:9-11 where Paul said that he knew that the trip they planned to take was a bad idea.  Paul knew this because he was listening to the direction that God was giving him.  We might think that this is a great story about the Apostle Paul, but God can work the same way in our lives too.

Proverbs 22:3 says, "A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished."  We want to avoid being the simple, foolish person who just keeps moving forward without any wisdom and ends up having problems.  God always knows the best way to go and to do things, and because He loves us, He will help us to avoid problems and difficultiesWe need to be people who follow the wisdom of God's Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit to live a life free of unnecessary difficulties.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Uncovering Our True Identity

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1-3 (NKJV)

If you left something on a beach, it could eventually be covered by sand.  If you left something out in a field or lying in a forest, eventually it could be covered by dirt, leaves, or even branches.  Sometimes, to see something we first have to uncover it by removing the things that have accumulated over it and that have covered it up.  There may be something valuable lying on the ground, but if it is covered by something else, we will have to uncover that thing before we can see what it really is.

In the book of Colossians, Christians are encouraged to seek things above; we are told to set our minds on heavenly things and not on earthly things.  The reason for this is because we have been raised with Christ and our life is hidden with Christ in God.  Our true identity, who we were really created to be, is found in Christ, and we have to discover that identity.  The problem is that sometimes our true identity in Christ can be hard for us to see, because so many other things have covered up who we really are. 

Sometimes, because of past experiences, wrong teaching, or even because of how we were raised, our true identity and who God has created us to be is covered up and hidden.  We need to have a regular time of reading and studying God's Word, and we need to allow the Holy Spirit to show us who we really are and help us uncover our true identity and purpose in Christ.  By discovering who we really are in Christ, and living in our true identity, we can fulfill the will of God and live the life that God has planned for us. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

The King Of The Hill?

"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."
Colossians 2:8 (NKJV)

When I was a child, there was a game we played, especially in the Winter, called, "The King of the Hill".  We made as big of a pile of snow as we could, and then one person would get on top of the snow pile to be the king of the hill.  After that, the rest of us would do everything we could to get up the hill and knock that person off the top, so that we could be the king of the hill.  Fortunately, because the snow was usually fairly soft, no one got hurt and we all had a lot of fun playing this game.

The Bible contains the information we need to learn the truth about who we are in Christ, and how that because of what Jesus did for us, we have right standing with God and we are His children.  But there are a lot of Christians who are trying to play a spiritual game of king of the hill, thinking that believers have to do everything they can to get up to the top of the spiritual hill, so to speak, and conquer the devil and life's problems.  The only thing is that, because of Jesus, we are already on the top of the spiritual hill! 

As Paul wrote to the Colossians, we need to be careful not to let anyone "cheat" us, or literally "to carry us off as a slave".  The Bible shows us what our true spiritual position in Christ is, while the wrong kind of teaching can move us away from that truth.  The life of a Christian is not trying to fight our way into some spiritual position, but we need to take a stand in Christ concerning what belongs to us, and not let anything move us away from that position.  We need to know who we are in Christ, what belongs to us through Jesus, and take our stand there so that nothing moves us away.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Look What's Inside

"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."
1 John 4:4 (NKJV)

When shopping for a computer, tablet, or phone, one thing that you will notice is that the device is not just sitting in a display with a price on it and nothing else.  Normally there are some details given about what is inside of the device, as far as things like the storage space and the type of camera.  The majority of people who are interested in buying one of these devices never buy it just based on how the product looks, they would want to know what is on the inside, because that is what really matters.

When someone becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit comes to live within them, they become the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16).  Whether someone feels like it or not, the Holy Spirit is there.  In 1 John 4:4, the Apostle John referred to the Holy Spirit as the "greater" One.  But, are we always aware of that?  Do we realize what is inside of us as a follower of Jesus?  Do we realize that the One in us is greater that he who is in the world, referring to the devil?  Too often the answer is no, we are not aware of that fact

Because we live in this natural world, we can become more aware of physical realities than we are of spiritual realities.  We need to look inside and realize that God has given us a Helper who will teach us (John 14:26), One who will lead us into the truth (John 16:13), and the One who will lead us in life (Romans 8:14).  We need to turn our focus from the external to the internal and recognize that the Greater One does indeed live in us, and He will help us, teach us, guide us into the truth, and lead us in life.  We need to look inside and see what God has given us!