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Damaris – A Brave Believer

Areopagus Hill
By O.Mustafin

Damaris was a woman from Athens who became a believer in Jesus after she heard Paul’s sermon at Mars’ Hill, the highest court in Athens – Acts 17:19 “And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?” She was an idol worshiper who heard, and accepted by faith, Paul’s message, while the disbelieving crowds belittled him and called him a “babbler.” (Acts 17:18)

We have to wonder who this womanly spectator was who listened so intently to Paul’s preaching at the Areopagus. Scripture mentions her in the same verse with the Athenian judge, Dionysius. This suggests that she was quite a woman of distinction and prominence. She could have been one of the hetairoi (a group of intellectual women who associated with philosophers and politicians), and as free women, they may have been part of such a gathering as this one at Mars’ Hill.

On the other hand, Luke, the author of Acts, refers to Damaris merely as “a woman,” which, though unlikely in this setting and context, could have implied that she was a “public woman,” perhaps one of low moral character, or even a prostitute. Refined, respectable women of that day would not usually attend a public gathering such as the one Paul addressed – Acts 17:22 – “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.”

Whether Damaris was a prominent woman or a public woman, she listened carefully to the Gospel message of Salvation. Then, with rare courage and God-given wisdom, she chose to oppose the mocking debaters and to express her commitment to the resurrected Christ! (And God is no respecter of persons. He will use whom He will, whomever is willing to share His Gospel.) Like other believing women, Damaris became more than just a spectator of Paul’s ministry. She became a teammate, a woman in the early church who helped to further the Cause of Christ. The power of God’s Holy Spirit moves in each of His children, when we are willing and obedient, to give courage and strength and a burning desire to share the Good News without fear!

Throughout God’s Word there are accounts of how He chose to use women for His glory: Abigail, Esther, Ruth, Deborah, Mary, and many others. What an honor!

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2019 in Godly Women

 

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Trust In God’s Will When Choosing a Profession

TRUST IN GOD

WE CAN ONLY SEE A LITTLE BIT DOWN THE ROAD

BUT GOD CAN SEE AROUND EVERY CURVE

As Children of God, we are to trust God and let Him guide us in choosing a profession. This will always make our lives and our work much easier and more enjoyable, for He knows all things about us and about our lives that we do not know. The Bible provides many examples of professions and jobs. In most instances, professions in the Old Testament were “inherited” or passed down from father to son or mother to daughter in a mentoring manner or apprenticeship relationship. On occasion, a person’s special talents in a particular area or the call of God on a person’s life were noted, and the person was then singled out for a unique position, as when Deborah became a judge of Israel – Judges 4:4, 5 “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.”

In the New Testament, women and men enjoyed much more independence in choosing a line of work or a profession. Lydia was a notable businesswoman in the textile industry – Acts 16:14 “And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.” Dorcas was a well-respected seamstress – Acts 9:39 “Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.” And, Priscilla worked in the ten-making trade – Acts 18:2, 3 “And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.”

The New Testament believers understood that their entire lives were subject to God’s command and direction, including their choices of careers. They fully relied on the Holy Spirit both for direction and timing. They did not regard their “career paths” as something that they must engineer on their own, rather, they looked at it as something that flowed naturally from a person’s talents and abilities and in response to opportunities that came into their lives. We are to be motivated in our work by a desire to use our abilities to their fullest for the glory of God, rather than being motivated by positions on corporate ladders, work incentives, higher salaries, or cultural standards of prestige and status.

The Bible clearly warns against worshiping the work of our hands or exalting what we have created or earned to the place of supreme honor in our lives. God is to have that place. Psalms 115:1-8 “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” they are nothing. Jeremiah 25:6, 7 – “And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt. Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.”

If we keep our Lord God Jehovah first in all things, all else will fall into place. One of my favorite verses is Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” That really does say it all.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2019 in Truth and Common Sense

 

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True Worship Glorifies God

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All of the great religions of the world claim to worship god. In our society, any form of worship, when sincerely practiced, is thought to be acceptable The Bible tells us otherwise! It teaches that God Himself commands how He is to be worshiped. He also tells us how to dress when we worship Him, in a Holy manner – in modesty and humility. Not dancing around on a stage with tambourines, drums and electric guitars blasting over the loud speakers while we shake ourselves about, as if putting on a concert. This is bringing the world into God’s church and trying to bring Him down to our level instead of lifting Him up with praiseful Holy words to help prepare our hearts for the man of God’s message given him from on high.

Too many today use entertainment to draw the crowds with itching ears who only want a show and only want to hear that God loves them. Heaven forbid they are told that God hates our sin! They might leave and then the church would be out the money. And if you think God is present for these shows, you are sadly mistaken. He is at enmity with the world and therefore so are we His children. If we bring the world into a place meant for Holy worship, it is no longer Holy unto God and He cannot be there.

God called His people Israel to forsake other religions. He commanded them from the beginning not to worship the Lord as other peoples worship their “gods” – Deuteronomy 12:3, 31 “And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place…Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.”

The Lord instructed that His people were to worship only in the place He chooses to make His name abide and that they come with blood sacrifices – Deuteronomy 12:5, 11, 14, 18, 26 “But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:…Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:… But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee…But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto…Only thy holy things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the LORD shall choose:”

Worshiping God in any way we may choose is still not acceptable to Him. God must be worshiped where He chooses to make His name abide. God still requires an atoning sacrifice for sin. As God’s work in history progressed, He revealed Jesus Christ, the “name which is above every name” – Philippians 2:9 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”, as the final atoning Sacrifice for sin – Hebrews 9:12 “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

Though there are many competing religions in the world, Jesus Christ came to reveal that He is the one and only way to the Father – John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” It is the job of God’s church to lead the lost to Salvation and healing through the Gospel/Good News of Jesus Christ. When so many are putting on a circus and trying to tickle the itching ears, they neglect to let the lost know that they need a Saviour. But, those false teachers calling themselves pastors, who only tell people that God loves them and teaches them out of worldly self-help books and corrupted versions of what once was God’s True Word, as they let the lost continue to be lost, will stand before Jesus on That day and give account. I sure would not want to be in their shoes. Can you imagine how it will feel as we, God’s Saints, have to stand and watch the lost we did not give the Good News to dragged into eternal hell and damnation as they look at us and ask, “Why did you not tell me?”

Christians can be assured that worship centered around Christ, and not for self-edification and euphoria, will glorify and please God, and that is what true worship is meant to be-glorifying and pleasing to God:

Luke 19:28-38 “And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”

Ephesians 1:6 “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

Many of these feel-good churches of today are confusing the masses with all the different corrupt versions of God’s Word and they are deceiving them instead of leading them to Salvation through Christ. And we wonder why our country is in the Godless sinful state it is today, tolerating all sin “because God loves us!” Shame on the churches who confuse and deceive! Repent and turn to true and Holy worship that prepares hearts for the message of Salvation. We are running out of time.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Prayers of the Unrighteous

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God will not hear the prayers of the unrighteous who refuse to confess and let go of sin in their lives. Do today’s Christians really understand what God’s Word says about how to make sure God will hear and answer our prayers? It seems that people forget now a-days that God is Holy and therefore we are to be Holy. Because He is Holy, He will not hear our prayers if there is some sin that we have not confessed or that we refuse to let go of. Our prayers do not go any higher than our ceiling if we are living as the unrighteous. It is a good habit to get into each day to go before our Lord and ask Him to search our hearts, as we search our hearts for un-confessed sin.

To live righteously simply means to do our best to live right according to our Lord and his Word; to live by Godly morals and values that He teaches in His Word. When we ignore sin in our lives and live according to this world’s low standards, therefore satan’s standards, we create a separation or break in fellowship with the Lord God and He will not hear our prayers.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. See what His Word says for yourselves. And if you are not sure if some of the things you are doing are sin, just go to Him and ask Him and He will sure let you know.

John 9:31 “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.”

Proverbs 28:9 ” He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”

I Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”

Psalms 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”

Proverbs 15:29 “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Lot’s Disobedient Wife

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Lot’s wife personifies the classic wisdom “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). Jesus used her as an example of someone who started the right way, but looked back, because she was not completely willing to give up her old ways to follow God in obedience – Luke 17:31-33 “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”

Okay, we read in God’s Word that Lot was a rich and very influential man, but nowhere does it say much about his wife. We see no mention of her name, nor her family or even her race. However, it is indicated that she was a worldly, materialistic woman. She definitely failed in the spiritual nurturing of her children – her daughters married men of Sodom, and then committed incest with their own father – Genesis 19:30-35 “And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.”

This also speaks to us about the effects of alcohol on our minds, and why God’s Word warns us against even looking at it – Proverbs 23:29-35 “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. LOOK NOT thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.”

SIDE NOTE: Way too many Christians fail to understand that most places the Bible mentions wine, like when Jesus turned water into wine, that it is not speaking of alcohol. This Scripture in Proverbs explains about the wine that has turned to alcohol and why we are to not even look upon it. What Jesus made for the wedding was grape juice. Jesus is pure and holy, He would never make something that is unholy and corrupts men’s minds. When grape juice turns to alcohol, it becomes something rotten. Wine in the Bible when used in the right sense speaks of “the pure blood of the grape.” Our Saviour who, throughout the Bible, urges people not to drink would certainly not create something to contradict His own word and to ruin the men He came to save! I spent many years of my life letting the enemy deceive me into thinking that because the Bible says not to be ‘drunk’ with wine, it was okay in moderation. Jesus has revealed His truth to me that even in moderation, it is not what He and His Word are telling us at all. He tells us to be filled with His Holy Spirit. If we consume even one sip of alcohol, or any substance that affects our minds, it grieves the Holy Spirit to the point that we are not Spirit-filled. He is there, but he is numbed. And I have learned by experience that the joy that comes with being Spirit-filled far surpasses any temporary high that this sinful world has to offer. AND, there is no convicting guilt!

Lot’s wife did not have to die. She was offered a choice–obedience and life or disobedience and death in pursuit of the pleasures of the world. We do not know where Lot met his wife, nor when they were married, but we do know that they had two daughters (Genesis 19:16). The kidnapping of Lot and his family (Genesis 14) would have included his wife, and she would have been among the company that was rescued by Abraham since Abraham “brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people” (Genesis 14:16) This means that she may well have heard Melchizedek’s witness for God (Genesis 14:19, 20). In other words, she was well aware of the Lord and His dealings with Abraham. BUT the lifestyle of Sodom had a strong hold on her.

Sodom was a sophisticated town, offering a wide variety of cultural opportunities. The immorality had degenerated to the lowest point of sexual perversion so much that our term “sodomy” comes from the name of this city. (Today, Sodomites have twisted and changed the word to describe their lifestyle as gay and homosexual, so in their minds it does not sound so bad, and more people will accept their sin.)

Lot, though called a “righteous man,” seemed also to be entangled in the grip of Sodom’s influence – 2 Peter 2:7, 8 – “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)”

Unfortunately, Lot chose to raise his family in Sodom, even though it’s reputation for depravity was well known. Still, the Lord sent messengers to rescue this family from their own destructive choices.

God wanted to save Lot’s wife. He sent angels to warn, to escort, and finally they had to physically pull her out of harm’s way. Whether she understood exactly what would happen is uncertain, but being escorted by angels in this fashion surely had to alert her to something supernatural.

The destruction most likely began with a violent earthquake, which set fire to the gases and sulphur. Firebrands were falling around her. Though she had followed her husband into the wilderness, she had the same problem the Israelites did in the wilderness as they “in their hearts turned back again into Egypt” (Acts 7:39). Just like the Israelites, she was destroyed. But she did not have to be.

This can be an example to us that once we are saved, we must never let ourselves look back and yearn for Egypt (our past sinful ways). We must stay the course until we see Him face to face!

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2018 in God's Truth, Uncategorized

 

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Honour and Happiness of God’s Saints

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As I near the end of God’s Word again in Revelation, as usual, I am learning new things from Him and being reminded of things I may have forgotten.

Today Revelation 7:13-17 spoke very powerfully to me about those who will be left behind in the Rapture of God’s church, but will be brought to Salvation during the Great Tribulation. God is revealing things that will happen in the end of times to John for our knowledge and encouragement.

Here we see a description of the honour and happiness of those who have faithfully served the Lord Jesus Christ, and suffered for His Great Cause-Martyrs.

Though it is just a few short verses, there is much to glean from it. I have shared some of Matthew Henry’s commentary as it touched my soul and he puts it into words I never could. I find it encouraging as it helps me through the times when my selfish flesh wants to say, “Why bother?” after so long a time of witnessing to and praying for lost souls, and in my finite, human mind, not seeing the results I think I should see, when I think I should see them. Weeping only lasts until the morning! One day, we will stand before our Lord and be glad for anything we may have done to further His precious Gospel! Unlike these martyrs, I have not been called on to lay down my life for it. I must hope that I will trust in the Grace of God to get me through, should I ever be faced with that.

Revelation 7:13-17

13 “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?” (A question asked by one of the elders, not for his own information, but for John’s instruction. Now the question has two parts:– 1. What are these that are arrayed in white robes? 2. Whence came they? It seems to be spoken by way of admiration, as in Song of Solomon 3:6 – Who is this that cometh out of the winderness!)

14 “And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest.” (The answer returned by the apostle, in which he tacitly acknowledges his own ignorance, and sues to this elder for information: Thou knowest, Those who would gain knowledge must not be ashamed to own their ignorance, nor to desire instruction from any that are able to give it.)

“And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (The account given to the apostle concerning that noble army of martyrs who stand before the throne of God in white robes, with palms of victory in their hands: and notice is taken here of:

(1. The low and desolate state they had formerly been in, they had been in great tribulation, persecuted by men, tempted by satan, sometimes troubled in their own spirits. They had suffered the spoiling of their goods, the imprisonment of their persons, yea, the loss of life itself. The way to Heaven lies through many tribulations, but tribulation, how great soever, shall not separate us from the love of God. Tribulation, when gone through well, will make Heaven more welcome and more glorious.)

(2. The means by which they had been prepared for the great honour and happiness they now enjoyed: they had washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, Revelation 7:14. It is not the blood of the martyrs themselves nor anything the martyrs did, but the blood of the Lamb, that can wash away sin, and make the soul pure and clean in the sight of God. This is the only blood that makes the robes of the saints white and clean.)

15 “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” (The blessedness to which they are now advanced, being thus prepared for it. They are happy in their station, for they are before the throne of God night and day and He dwells among them. They are in that presence where there is fullness of joy! They are happy in their employment, for they serve God continually, and that without weakness, drowsiness, or weariness. Heaven is a state of service, though not of suffering. It is a state of rest, but not of sloth. It is a praising, delightful rest.)

16 “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.” (They are happy in their freedom from all the inconveniences of this present life: from all want and sense of want: They hunger and thirst no more, all their wants are supplied, and all the uneasiness caused thereby is removed; from all sickness and pain. They shall never be scorched by the heat of the sun any more.)

17 “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (They are happy in the love and guidance of the Lord Jesus: He shall feed them, he shall lead them to living fountains of waters, He shall put them into the possession of every thing that is pleasant and refreshing to their souls, and therefore, they shall hunger and thirst no more. They are happy in being delivered from all sorrow or occasion of it: God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. They have formerly had their sorrows, and shed many tears, both upon the account of sin and affliction. But God Himself, with his own gentle and gracious hand, will wipe those tears away, and they shall return no more for ever, and they would not have been without those tears, when God comes to wipe them away.)

(In this He deals with them as a tender Father who finds His beloved child in tears. He comforts him, He wipes his eyes, and turns his sorrow into rejoicing. This should moderate the Christian’s sorrow in his present state, and support him under all the troubles of it for those that sow in tears shall reap in joy and those that now go forth weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again, rejoicing, bringing their sheaves with them.) THESE THOUGHTS ARE VERY COMFORTING TO THOSE OF US WHO SOW THE SEED AND CONTINUALLY PRAY AND WEEP FOR GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT TO ACCOMPLISH HIS WORK AND HIS WILL THROUGH OUR EFFORTS!

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2018 in God's Love

 

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Tidbits from the Book of James – Part 3

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Great tidbits on dealing with wrath/anger in times of trial and stress, being doers and not just hearers of the Word, liberty but not to sin, and what religion really means.

James 1:19-27

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: (During our trials, or in times of dispute with others, our flesh’s first reaction is to become angry, but anger is most counter-productive at those times. We must remember to take a breath and have a little talk with Jesus and ask Him what He may be teaching us during these times. If we are in a dispute with someone, it is best to walk away and take some time to chill so we do not say things we will regret and cannot take back. I have had my share of flying off the handle and before I know it, ugliness has come spewing forth from my mouth and I have had to go back and ask forgiveness. In any event, it behooves us much to cool down and get with God before allowing our anger to cause us to sin.)

20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. (This is just common sense. If we give way to our wrath, God’s righteousness cannot abide in us, as with any sin we allow in our lives.)

21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (Here our Lord implores us to lay apart, and to cast off as a filthy garment, all sinful actions and habits. It includes sinful thoughts that lead to sinful actions as well as our words. His Spirit and His Word empower us to then “receive with meekness” His engrafted Word. Engrafted=Cause to grow together; Fix or set securely or deeply.)

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: (In a glass, blurry, unclear)

24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. (If we were to have the privilege of listening to a sermon given by an angel from Heaven every day of the week, but, we heard it only, that would never get us to heaven. Hearing without the doing makes us mere self-deceivers; and self-deceit is the worst deceit of all. When we dedicate private time to God’s Word it will reveal to each of us our corrupt nature, what our priorities are, and it will tell us plainly what we are. Once our sins are revealed, it is of utmost importance that we go to Jesus for forgiveness and cleansing and make the needed changes. If we go away, and ignore what God has revealed through His Word, instead of washing them off and applying what He shows us, we hear in vain. This is speaking of those who do not hear the word as they ought.)

25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (In hearing the word, we look into it for guidance and direction, and as we study it, it points to our spiritual life. As we are shown the things we need to work on, we make the needed changes in our character so as to continue to be more and more like Jesus. So, when we stay in the Word of God and let it influence us spiritually we are, and shall be, blessed in all our ways.)

26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. (Oh boy, we sure could say a lot about the smallest member of our body and the tremendous harm that we are capable of doing–oh the power of our words! It takes a strong walk with the Lord and the power of His Holy Spirit to help us bridle our tongues.)

27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (Ahh, this word religion can really be misinterpreted, usually by those who are convicted by the Holy Spirit about it. They will use it to justify their lack of a true relationship with Jesus. How often do we hear, “I do not believe in organized religion because of the hypocrites, or I was hurt so badly at my last church.” But they have no problem going other places where there are hypocrites and mean people who hurt us. For are there not hypocrites, and all types of characters, every where we go? And they do not stop us from going there!

But that is not what God is speaking of here. The reason for going to church is so that we may sit under the teaching and preaching of a true man of God who preaches from God’s one true Word, the King James Bible, without watering it down for ‘itching ears.’ Once we are saved, we need to grow stronger in our relationship with Jesus, and a truly Godly church and Pastor will help us do that. The purpose of God’s church is to save souls from hell, and to teach His Children so that they can go and tell the Good News to others. We also have the prayers, love, and support of our brothers and sisters in Christ during tough times. True religion teaches us that we must do every thing as if we are we are in God’s presence, for once we are born-again, His Holy Spirit comes to live in us and He experiences everything we do. That is why we try to keep ourselves “unspotted” from the world and try to do good things like visiting the fatherless and widows and help them in their affliction.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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