Thursday, June 29, 2023

Who Opened The Door?

"Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord,"
2 Corinthians 2:12 (NKJV)

Doors can be found in many different places, there are many different types of doors, and, usually, all doors can be opened and closed.  If a door is closed, and someone wants to go through the door, then someone has to open the door.  In some places, certain people are given the job of opening a door, and there are some doors that only certain people have access to.  Doors lead to rooms, hallways, and other areas, but if a door is not open, no one is able to go through it to what is beyond the door.

In 2 Corinthians 2:12, Paul talked about going to the city of Troas to preach the Gospel, and how God had opened a door for him, God opened up an opportunity for Paul, which most likely had to do with Paul preaching the Gospel.  Paul could have said that he opened the door himself or that someone else opened a door for him, but Paul said it was God that opened the door.  Paul went to Troas with the goal of preaching the Gospel, but the opportunity Paul had there in Troas was given to him by God.

Christians are sometimes like Paul where they have a goal in mind, but they need an opportunity, they need a door to open for them.  Too often, people try to create a door, or open a door themselves, and they do not have the success that they want or should have.  The best thing is that we know what we should do, and we are prepared to do it, but we allow God to open the door of opportunity we need, to do what we plan to do.  We need to trust God, not only to follow His direction in our life, but to allow Him to open the door we need, to be able to do what He has directed us to do.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

That Is True, But ...

"And they reported to him and said, we came to the land where you sent us, and indeed it is flowing with milk and honey; and this is its fruit.
But the people that live in the land are fierce, and the cities are walled up, very great.  And also we have seen the children of Anak there.
Numbers 13:27-28 (NKJV)

Things that are true are just that, true.  Two plus two equals four, even though whatever you are counting may be different than what someone else is counting.  Adding two of one thing to two more of that thing is always four.  It would be foolish to spend time debating if two plus two of one thing is the same as two plus two of something else, and then acting as though the sum of two plus two is not always four.  We just need to take the truth we know and make use of it in our life.

In the Old Testament, God led Israel to the Promised Land.  God told His people about all of the great things that would be there in the land for them, and He said that He would be with them and help them.  But, when the people who were sent to look over the land came back with their report, they did not just agree with God that this was their promised land, they talked about the natural challenges and really disagreed with God saying they could not take the land.  Those people basically said that what God said was true, but it would not work for them. 

God never said our life would be easy, or even fair, but God has told us in His Word that He is with us, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, God will supply everything we need, and that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us.  Our attitude should never be that, "Yes what God said is true, but ...".  Instead of focusing on the challenges and problems in life, we need to keep our focus on God's Word and make sure that it is our standard of truth, realizing that no matter what may happen in life, God and His Word will never fail us!

Thursday, June 15, 2023

What Are The User Reviews?

"Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips."
Proverbs 27:2 (NKJV)

When you go somewhere to buy something, you expect the salesperson to be positive about what they are selling you.  No matter what the product might be, the people working for the company will tell you how great the thing that they are selling is, and why you should buy it.  But the real question is, what kind of reviews has that product and that company received from people who have bought that product and have used it?  It is always good to check the user reviews about something, and not just listen to what the people with the product have to say.

As Proverbs 27:2 tells us, it is not right for us to just praise ourselves and talk about how wonderful we are, that gets into pride.  We may really be wonderful people, but it is not so wonderful if we are the only one who is always talking about how great we are.  The real question is, what do others say about us?  What kind of "user reviews" are we getting from other people?  We may talk about how great we are, but if everyone else who knows us has nothing positive to say, then we have a problem.

It is interesting to see how often character and reputation are talked about in the Bible.  Acts 6:3; 1 Timothy 3:1-2, 7, 10 all talk about looking for people with good reputations to fill places of service and leadership.  Someone may tell you about their talent and what they have done, but, what kind of "user reviews" have they received?  While we should not do things to just try and get other people to praise us, or live our life for the approval of others, what others say about us shows what kind of reputation we have, which impacts our influence on, and ability to help, others.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Not Too High, And Not Too Low

"For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith."
Romans 12:3 (NKJV)

Keeping things in their proper setting is important.  There is a normal reading for things like a person's temperature, and a proper setting for how hot or cold some foods should be kept.  If your temperature got too high, or too low, it would be an indication of a problem.  If some foods are kept at the wrong temperature, they could spoil.  But the first thing that is necessary, is to know the proper reading for your temperature and the proper temperature for keeping food.  This same principle applies in other areas of life too.

In Romans 12, Paul wrote that it is important for a person to not think more highly of themselves than they ought to think, which means that there is a proper way to think about ourselves which would not be too high, or too low.  Thinking wrongly about ourselves is a bad thing to do, and can have negative consequences.  We need a proper view of who we are in Christ, as well as seeing other people the way that God sees them, and have the right perspective on everything.

As Paul points out in Romans 12, we should not think too highly of ourselves.  And it is also true that we need to be sure we do not think too little, or too low, about ourselves.  The only way to do this is by learning what God's standards are for ourselves, others, and everything in life.  By knowing what God thinks about things, we can see how we should think.  We do not want to think wrongly about anything, including ourselves, and we need a proper, biblical view to have the right view and not think too highly, or too lowly, about ourselves.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Something For Everyone

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)

Some stores specialize in certain things, while other stores offer a larger variety of items.  For example, you can go to a bookstore to buy books, a shoe store to buy shoes, or a pet store to buy a pet, or what you need to take care of a pet.  But you would not go to a bookstore if you were looking for shoes or a pet.  But there are some stores, which in the past were called variety stores, that offer many different things, and practically everyone can find something that they need in this type of a store.

There are many misunderstandings that people have about God and the Bible.  One big misunderstanding that people have is about how God deals with people and what the Bible is all about.  There are people, including Christians, who believe that there are different classifications of Christians and that the Bible is mainly directed towards a certain group of people that God sees as a higher, or different, class of Christian.  This is completely wrong, because every believer is a part of the Body of Christ and the Bible was written for all of us. 

Many people think that the Bible is mainly for some type of super spiritual people, like pastors, missionaries, or Bible teachers.  People often fail to understand that the Bible has something for everyone.  As 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, all Scripture is given by God, and it is given to equip the people of God for every good work.  God has given us His Word so that we can be prepared to do everything that we need to do in every area of our life. God's Word has something for everyone, and God's Word will equip us to do what God has planned for us to do.