Whether we want to admit it or not and in spite of all the insurances of our eternal security, our behavior does matter to God. In fact our behavior on this earth is a direct reflection of just how important our salvation is and how much we love Him. As stated in Gal. 6:5 “For we are each responsible for our own conduct”. And more directly, 2 Cor. 7:1, “Therefore, since we have these promises dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit perfecting holiness out of reverence for God”. The Bible indicates “contamination of body and spirit” stems from all these elements of sinful life: Pride, Hate, Cruelty, Licentiousness, Impure words, Filthiness, Foolish talking, Idolatry, Adultery, Fornication, Incest, Sodomy, Murder, Drunkeness, Lusts, Malice, Envy, Covetousness, Haughtiness, Socery, Hostility, Quarreling, Jealousy Outbursts of anger, Selfish ambition, Dissension, and Division.
Many don’t realize it but the Apostle Paul was the first “born again” Christian. The other Apostles lived with Jesus and came to believe in Him thru actual experience. Paul like we Christians today experienced the same Spiritual rebirth the same way we do. That is by the direct revelation of faith thru His Holy Spirit. This is God’s deposit in us signifying the beginning of our direct relationship with Him and enables us to know and do His will. Oddly enough when this happened to Paul he was in an isolated place on his way to Damascus. And, even more oddly he didn’t go running to the then Apostles in charge. Instead, the Bible says in Galatians 1:17, he went to Arabia or directly to the desert to commune with the Lord free from interference and distraction from other experts in religious matters. Thus he got the whole truth and nothing but the truth from Jesus directly. Aren’t we glad! This faith sustained him thru the hardest and most brutal of life experiences. He had desert faith. He didn’t need constant reassurance from others. He had no radio, TV, religious publications, sermonettes, revivals, church planning programs or counseling for three years at least. However today many Christians find it difficult to get from Sunday to Sunday with their faith still intact. Maybe we can’t allow Jesus to guide and sustain us instead of leaning on the faith of others for support, but again that calls for desert faith.
There are now many more than the 2010 count of 40,267,984 folks over 65. Since the Government began paying 90% of Hospice care the cost has risen from about $1,000,000,000 to $15,000,000,000 per year. Which raises the issue among we Christians, are we really honoring our parents when we tuck them out of sight in some assisted living enterprise excusing our own responsibilities? Of course there are situations where no other choice is appropriate. But surely our own comfort shouldn’t be one of them. The temptation is to conclude we’re not equipped for such care, so the “out of sight out of mind” choice begins their “imprisonment” and we really think they’re better off. But does that square with what the Bible says? “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you”. (Exo.20:12 NLT) That’s OT but it doesn’t end there. “Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.” ( 1 Tim. 5:3 NLT) “But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers”.(1Tim. 4:8 NLT). Yep, tough stuff.
Jesus said “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
Imitate God, therefore in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. (Eph.5:1,2)
Think for just a minute, what does the logo for Steve Jobs Apple Computers look like? It’s an apple with a bite taken from it, which could stand for Adam and Eve’s big mistake. Or, could it be representing the highest measure of man’s current quest for more and more knowledge and his final mistake, as the beginning of this prophesy indicates?
“But you Daniel, keep the prophecy a secret, seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there and knowledge will increase. . . . . (Dan. 12:4)
Remember when you were a child and the grown ups told us to be quiet and sit still? That somehow silence was “golden”, and children should be seen and not heard. And that ever recurring shout, “shut up and listen”! Ever wonder where that wisdom came from in the first place? God. To wit:
Be silent before the Lord God, for the day of the Lord is near. Zeph. 1:7
It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord. Lam. 3:26
Let everyone be quick to hear and slow to speak. James 1:19
The tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body and sets on fire the course of our life and is set on fire by hell. James 3:6
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth for the Lord is a God of knowledge and with Him actions are weighed. 1 Sam 2:3
When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable. But he who restrains his lips is wise. Prov. 10:19
But prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James 1:22
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Matt 6:7
“Those unwilling to work will not get to eat. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn a living.” (2 Thes, 3:10,12)
Mentioned 27 times in the New Testament, highly prized by Jesus and typical of the Early Church, has “HUMILITY” gotten overlooked in our zeal, enthusiasm and passion for the Gospel? The Greek for this word is simply defined in general as “lowly in spirit”, “lowly in mind” and sometimes “orderly” and “courteous”. Our English dictionary defines it as, a modest sense of one’s own merit, and free from pride or vanity, modest, meek, unassuming, unpretentious and respectful. Try to remember the last time you heard a teaching or Bible lesson on this subject..
This sounds like a contradiction to all evangelical and loving principles, yet the Lord thru Paul states that “believers” should avoid those people who exhibit these traits. Love of money or self; are boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; and holding to a form of religion, although denying it’s power. (2 Tim 3:1-5) It seems the Lord has made His point rather emphatically. Perhaps He’s referring to the instruction that “bad company always corrupts good company”.