That You May Know

We have started a podcast site for those who prefer hearing a short message on the go.

It’s called, “THAT YOU MAY KNOW.”

Many of the podcast will be about 12 minutes long, divided into two 6 minute sections. (Except the first episode, which was the test run to learn how the website worked.)

The first half will be about a particular Bible text.

The second half will be applications drawn from the text.

Our aim is to provide an additional method for you to discover more of God’s word, THAT YOU MAY KNOW the truth and that the truth shall set you free.

Does it MATTER what one Believes?

Does it MATTER what we Believe? part one.

Toward the end of nearly every discussion about the divisive state of the religious world, one will usually say something like this…

“You can’t tell me my sweet grandma (could be neighbor, friend or relative), who never went to church (or did go to a denomination ‘religiously’), who was kind to people and animals, who never said a bad word or did a bad thing, who helped anyone that asked, is lost. She was so very sincere in what she believed.”

Instead of approaching the idea of whether sincerity saves, let’s ask the question:

Does it MATTER what one believes?

Usually in these discussions we can agree that certain very wicked people are lost (the Hitlers and the pedophiles of the world). Are the kind and the sincere who didn’t follow the bible totally saved because of their sincerity and goodness?

We’ll set aside the fact that those who say this are suggesting a ‘works based’ salvation, which they would normally condemn. We will just look at the Bible and ask, does it MATTER?

Does it MATTER what we believe?

Most would agree that we ought to obey GOD rather than MAN. (Acts 5:29). Jesus was critical of those that created doctrines contrary to the doctrine of God.

Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…” (Mark 7:7-8a)

Usually, they will agree with this point that you have to believe in God, in Christ and in the Bible. But when it comes to saying that the non-Christian religious people are lost, they stop short saying; “I’m not the judge.” This is the fallacy of equivocation. We’re not judging their hearts, we’re making righteous judgment with the Word of God. (cf. Mat 7:1-2)

Paul had ‘judged’ that the Jews of his day were not saved; “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” (Rom 10:1-2). He had discerned from the Truth of God’s word that they had not obeyed the gospel and therefore were not saved.

Which brings us to our next point about “does it MATTER,” does your belief AGREE with the Doctrine of Christ?

In both Old and the New Testaments, one had to have a ‘thus saith the Lord’ for their beliefs and actions. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:17) When King David desired to build a Permanent Temple for God, he was prohibited because he didn’t have a command from God, there was no scriptural command to do this good thing. Therefore, it was a wrong thing. (2Sam 7:1-7)

Here’s the point, God’s word is Objective Truth. It is transparent, researchable, universal to all, for the thinking person, and it is heavenly (cf. James 3:17). Compare the objective Word of God to the subjective, shifting sand of a person’s heart. (Mat 7:24-29) “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Eph 4:14)

David appealed to the subjective standard of his feelings. He was pointed toward the OBJECTIVE, fixed standard of God’s Word. We’re told not to go beyond what is written (2Cor 4:13), speak as the oracles of God (1Pet 4:11), the commandments of the Lord (1Cor 14:37), the inspired Scriptures (2Tim 3:16-17), using the words chosen by the Holy Spirit (1Cor 2:9-13), and not to add to nor take away from the Word (Rev 22:18-19).

Then, in this 3rd point, when we have an objective standard, called the TRUTH (John 17:17), we have an ability to search the scripture to find out if what we feel is true (Acts 17:11).

Did you know it’s possible to feel secure and not know the Lord has departed from you? (Judges 16:20) Did you know it’s possible to believe a lie? (1Kings 13:18; cf. 2Thess 2:9-12)

By reading & studying God’s word, we can Know the truth and be set free from the bondage of lies, sin, and the corruption of this life. (John 8:32; 12:48; cf. James 1:25; 2:12)

WALK as other gentiles

Paul wrote in Ephesians four:

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”

This is one of the 7 WALKS found in Ephesians. Let’s break down this WALK of the other Gentiles to find what we may learn.

THE FUTILE WALK. Eph 4:17-19

The first thing that jumps out is verse 17, WALKING in the VANITY of their minds. This word vanity refers to our modern word ‘FUTILITY.’ Futile means; incapable of producing any result; ineffective; useless; not successful; trifling; frivolous; unimportant. Once you see that, you can immediately recognize this problem with so many of us. We focus on the minors, ignoring the majors. We know more about the celebrities of pop culture than we do of the heroes of faith (cf. Heb 11). Keeping up with the Kardashians will not help any go to heaven.

In one sense, everything is trivial when compared to an eternity in Heaven or Hell. If we elevate any activity above serving the Lord, it is WALKING IN FUTILITY. Politics, Pop Culture or even your Papa can become vanity when we view them as our savior.  Jesus said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matt 10:37). Paul wrote, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Col 1:18)

The next glaring condition is, “being ALIENATED from the life of God.” Paul’s theme in the opening chapters of Ephesians are about ALIENS being reconciled to God. “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” He finishes by saying, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (Eph 2:11-13) being ALIENATED from God is a hopeless existence and to be greatly avoided.

Next, Paul describes the walk of the other gentiles as giving themselves over to “LASCIVIOUSNESS, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” (4:19). This describes LEWD behavior coupled with greediness. Greed is exemplifying self.

Paul will write to the Galatians about the lust of the flesh, one of which is ‘selfish ambitions’ (emulations kjv). Look at the other lists in Romans 1:20-32; 1Corinthians 6:9-10; 2Timothy 3:1-9 et al. LEWD & GREED together opens the door to all kinds of debauchery in hedonism.

Lastly, intermixed with all of the above is that their understanding is darkened. Their KNOWLEDGE of God, His Love, His Promises, His Sacrifice is as blindness of the heart. He also calls it ‘ignorance.’ It’s one thing to be ignorant, this text suggests ignorance because they don’t want to know. Someone who will not see has no advantage over the one that cannot see.

The most common problem I notice when talking to folks is the complete lack of interest in the reading of God’s word. This among those who claim to love the Lord. They often refer to what they think the bible says, what their pastor said, what they think they know, but seldom do they actually know. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

The bible says this about the Word, “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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

6 Point Spiritual Check-Up

Point Spiritual Check Up.

The New Testament has more than a few passages about performing a Spiritual CHECK-UP to avoid becoming spiritually sick, or even dying spiritually.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;” 2Cor 13:5

But let a man examine himself.” 1Cor 11:28

For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” 1Co 11:30

Here are 6 areas from scripture that the Growing Christian CHECKS in their Spiritual life.

“Say AHH.” One of the first thing a doctor checks is your throat & mouth. Spiritually speaking, we are to check our own mouth and our CONVERSATIONS. We need check the words that we use with others.

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

[Jas 3:12; cf. Col 4:6]

Another thing he checks is you HEIGHT. Jesus refers to one’s height when discussing worry & anxiety. “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? [Matt 6:27]

None of us can change our height by worry, neither can we change our situation with it. We are to be active in our seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness. [cf. Eph 3:18]

The EYES will also be examined. How are the EYES of your understanding?

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” [Eph 1:18; cf. 2Peter 1:9; 1John 2:9,11]

Our WEIGHT will also be measured. God WEIGHS us spiritually in His balance. [cf. Prov 16:2; cr. Dan 5:27; 1Sam 2:3; Job 31:6]

In another sense, weight is a metaphor for the COMPLICATIONS & Distractions of life.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every WEIGHT, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” [Heb 12:1]

Every check up includes a checking of the Heart. The Proverbs writer said,

KEEP thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” [Prov 4:23; emph mine seb. cf. Mt 12:34; Mr 7:21]

 We need to KEEP our hearts. We cannot KEEP it from God. “Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men,” [Acts 1:24]

Lastly, an examination will include taking our Temperature. Spiritually speaking, this is like checking our SPIRIT or our zeal.

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” [Rev 3:15-16; cf. Titus 2:14; 3:8]

This article was written to help us take a tangible look at our spiritual lives. Our Eternal Lives are on the line. We must avoid becoming spiritually sick, or worse, spiritually dead!!

For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” [1Cor 11:30]

A Life out of BALANCE for Christ




“And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.” (1Cor 7:35)

Take a look at the self-help section of your local book store and you’ll find any number of books about getting your life back into balance.

What they mean by balance is having a life where you can somehow do all the things you want to do without neglecting your family, your health, or your finances.

While this is good in principle, there is a better perspective that says your life should be OUT of BALANCE for Christ. Let me explain.

What if I told you that there is a way to be OUT of BALANCE with the world that would bring you more peace and BALANCE with God and would bring more peace in your life? Would you believe it? Well, there is.

First, we need to recognize that God never tells us to be IN BALANCE with the world.

  • (Mark 4:19) “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”
  • (Jas 4:4b) “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.” [cf. Mat 10:34-37]
  • (1Peter 2:9) “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

However, He does want us to have peace in our lives. “…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1Tim 2:2) But how do we have peace with a life OUT of BALANCE with the world? Here are 7 strategies:

ONE: Regular BIBLE reading to replace some (most / all) of our Secular TV or Reading. The Bereans were “more noble” in that they searched the scriptures daily. (Acts 17:11; 2Tim 2:15)

TWO: We can simplify life by disentangling ourselves from some of the busy AFFAIRS of this life. “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2Tim 2:4). We can replace them by setting “your AFFECTION on things above, not on things on the earth. (Col 3:1)

THREE: We can all put our LOVE for God back into its proper place, above everything and everyone. (cf. Mt 10:37; Col 1:18; John 14:15; 1John 5:3; 1John 4:7-12)

FOUR: We can stop trying to be ALL THINGS to ALL MEN so we can be ‘menpleasers’. The Bible says, “for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Gal 1:10b). Paul sought to be ALL THINGS to ALL MEN so that he might “by ALL MEANS save some.” (cf. 1Cor 9:19-23; Eph 6:6; Col 3:22).

FIVE: We could change who is in our NETWORK of friends. God teaches through His word that friendship with the world and the corrupt of the world can negatively influence us. (cf. Gal 5:9; Jas 4:4; Joh 15:19; 17:14; Ga 1:10; 1Jo 2:15). He also tells us that we are not to separate from everyone in the world, otherwise there’d be no evangelism and you’d have to leave the world completely (1Cor 5:10). The warning is about allowing our NETWORK of friends to draw us away from serving God.

SIXTH: While it’s true we’re commanded to work and to take care of our homes, there is a warning about allowing the CARES and the worries of this world to become a distraction that takes us away from serving God, jeopardizing our soul. (cf. Mark 4:13-20; Mat 6:24-33)

SEVENTH: Related to the 6th, but deserving its own category is the warning about money. ECONOMICS is important and there’s no condemnation of wealth. However, there is a stern warning about allowing money to become our master or placing our trust in our ECONOMIC abilities. (cf. Mat 6:19; 1Tim 6:17; Eph 4:28. 1Tim 6:10-19).

A life out of balance with the world will keep us from falling out of BALANCE with God.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1Cor 10:12; cf. Eph 4:14; 2Pe 1:10-12; 2Pe 3:17)

6 Verses that COMPEL me

When speaking about being compelled, we often think that someone is forcibly moving us to do something we don’t want to do.

God doesn’t do that. We obey God because of our love for Him, and because of our reverential belief in who He is, and what He can and will do.

We do this willingly because we believe Him.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

We’re willing participants.

Another way of saying compelled is with the word motivation. I am emotionally motivated by God’s word. We know the will of God only through His divine word. The Bible has many motivating passages, but I wanted to look at just 6 passages that COMPEL (motivates) me to be a better child of God.

The first is what CHRIST said He will say on the judgment day. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46; cf. Mat 7:21-23)

Another equally compelling passage is about OBEYING the gospel. “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” (2Thess 1:8; Heb 5:8-9). False teachers claim that there’s nothing a person can do to be saved. But that’s why they’re false teachers.

Moving on to living Godly in Christ, this next passage compels me to do better. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” (Col 3:5). To MORTIFY your members is to kill off sin in your life. That’s serious language. He’s not advocating self-harm, rather he’s illustrating the seriousness of sin.

Within this same chapter, Paul adds details that continue to motivate me to living Godly, “PUT off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” “PUT on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;” (Col 3:8-17)

Some wonder why I’m so vocal about the Bible. When we realize our helpless condition, and the salvation only through Christ Jesus, we are compelled to obey the Gospel. Then comes the realization that people you love are lost if they die in their sins. Therefore, I’m compelled to EVANGELIZE to the lost world. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1Cor 6:9-11; cf. Mat 28:18-19)

The last, but certainly not the least passage that compels me is actually several; those passages about LOVE. It’s best to read them and let them be their own commentary…

  1. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Mat 22:37)
  2. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (1John 5:3)
  3. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1John 4:7-8)
  4. But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,” (Luke 6:27)
  5. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1John 2:15-17)

Which bible passages compel you?

4 Wise Little Creatures pt4/4 Spiders are BOLD

God uses nature to teach spiritual lessons. “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee.” (Job 12:7).

This article looks at another wise creature, the Spider (or perhaps a “lizard” ASV?); “The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.” (Prov 30:28)

The wording can either mean, the creature can grab, or it means that it can be caught easily in your two hands. In either case, the wisdom of the spider is about being BOLD & cunning. Even though it is small, it is found in the King’s own palace!

The need for bravery cannot be overstated. The scriptures teach that vocal Christians (and even non-vocal) shall face persecutions from their preaching. Consider the words of our Lord; “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15 18); and “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2Tim 3:12). From these passages we can see the need for boldness.

How do we become BOLD? Here are four keys we can use to become BOLD.

The first key is to repent and be BLAMELESS before God. Knowledge is power, and through the knowledge of God we can know how to be BLAMELESS before him. Consider these passages…

Fear is an indication that some action must be taken. When we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then we can be BOLD.

The second Key, going along with the first, is we must OBEY GOD even when we’re afraid. When you recognize that God’s commands are for our good, then any fears we may have in doing them will evaporate. His commandments are not burdensome. Look at the command to have no fear…

When God commands us, we can have confidence & boldness.

FEAR of loss demotivated the one talent man – Matt. 25:24-31.

FEAR of doing difficult things makes us useless in the service of God: “fearful and afraid” (Judges 7:3) – 22,000 departed.

The third key is LOVE, perfect love casts out fear. (1John 4:18.) We are to Love God, Mat 22:37; Love others, Mat 22:39; Love enemies, Luke 6:27; and it’s love that spreads the Gospel.

The fourth key is to place your trust in God by DRAWING NEAR to Him, (James 4:8). We try to become bold through wealth, but those are uncertain. (1Tim 6:17) We trust only our own selves, but that will end in disaster, (Prov 3:5) “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;” We sometimes replace God with Gov, but that’s no help. (Daniel 4:17; Acts 5:29). And certainly, the world is not to be trusted: “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.” (Prov 29:25)

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” (Phil 1:20).

4 Wise Little Creatures pt3/4 Locusts

the UNITY of the Locusts.

God uses nature to teach spiritual lessons. “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee.” (Job 12:7).

This article looks at another wise creature, the Locusts; “The locusts have no king, Yet go they forth all of them by bands;” (Prov 30:27)

The wisdom of the Locusts is about UNITY. Today, our society has a perverted view of UNITY. It’s being defined as having conflicting goals, conflicting agendas, and conflicting beliefs yet calling ourselves one. Is that what the Bible says?

While there’s something to be said about being kind to people with different beliefs, biblical UNITY is about so much more.

We are to be kind and to live in peace with all; “If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men.” (Rom 12:18) However, biblical UNITY stretches far beyond just living at peace with folks. Unity could be explained on a spectrum…

UNIVERSALLY, we’re all living creatures, but are we in unity just because we have existence? Let’s ask the wolf & the lamb.

We often times define unity on a NATIONAL level, but we all recognize that this kind of unity is fleeting.

Unity can be seen by the INSTITUTIONS people agree together to support. This gets us closer to understanding unity.

TRUTH has the best chance of bringing about unity, but we have trouble unifying when everybody has their own truth.

A final approach to unity can be defined as two or more YEARNING for the same goal, agenda, or purpose. This is where we will learn the wisdom of the LOCUSTS, Unity through a desire for the same thing.

Calling for UNITY requires those unifying to come together under a set of core values and goals. What are some unifying qualities found in the scriptures?

A great place to start is with the words of Paul found in Ephesians 4; “I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Here we see that unity is UNITY of the Spirit. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul writes about the ONENESS of the body, the Spirit, hope, Lord, Faith, Baptism and One God and Father of all. Here we learn that UNITY of the Spirit is more about God and less about self.

We try to define UNITY through our own agenda, but this would lead to as many agendas as there are people in the world. Biblical Unity is UNITED with the purposes of God.

This brings us to a second idea about how to find UNITY; we will never find unity through NARCISSISM. Biblical UNITY is seen in selflessness not selfishness, Christ being the best example. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

A third passage that clearly defines UNITY is 1Cor 1:10; “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” This UNITY only works IN Christ.

Building on these three we realize the need for this fourth piece of UNITY. An orchestra cannot be in unity while everyone plays from a different sheet of music, so too the church cannot be united without the TIMELESS Word of God, His Scripture. “The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” (Psalm 119:160).

Lastly, People coming together with varying levels of maturity can achieve UNITY if we all have a YEARNING to do the Will of the Lord. “Putting away therefore all wickedness, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation;” (1Peter 2:1-2). May this wisdom of the Locusts can help us to develop Biblical Unity.

4 Wise Little Creatures pt2/4 ROCK badger

God uses nature to teach spiritual lessons. “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee.” (Job 12:7).

This article looks at another wise creature, the ROCK Badger; “The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks.” (Prov 30:26)

While we may not readily recognize this animal, we do know that they are considered weak, yet make their houses among the rocks.

It is these qualities that will be the focus of this article.

The obvious lesson has two elements. The first is easy, we are the “feeble folk,” “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Rom 5:6).

The second element is a little bit trickier, but all relate to one another. The ROCK in the New Testament is spoken of in 3 ways; 1) Christ is the ROCK, (1Cor 10:4), 2) The sayings of Christ are also called a ROCK (Mat 7:24; Luke 6:48), and 3) The good confession that Jesus is the Christ, as made by Peter, is a ROCK (Mat 16:18). Any one of which works to understand the wisdom of the Rock Badger. Let’s begin by using the reference that most closely matches the illustration, that of “BUILDING OUR HOUSE ON THE ROCK” as used in Mat 7:24-29.

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” (Mat 7:24).

From this passage we see the first part, RAISE you house upon a Rock. Every builder knows that every building needs a firm foundation to protect it from shifting sand, torrential rains, tempestuous winds and crashing flood waters. The conies found protection for their weakness in the strong rock homes. The sayings of Christ offer us protection from being “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Eph 4:14).

Our world is full of error and sophistry. By building our spiritual house upon the sayings of Christ, we can find protection from these troublesome winds of false doctrine.

The next thing we see is the necessity of being doers of the word and not hearers only. The builder that lost his house was like one that heard and did them not. True followers of Christ are OBEDIENT to His word. In this is our love for Him demonstrated; “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (1John 5:3; John 14:15). Before speaking about building on the Rock, Jesus had asked, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)

It still amazes me every time a supposed follower of Christ tells me it’s unnecessary to keep the commands of God.

Third, CHRIST is our spiritual ROCK. “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1Cor 10:4). In another passage, CHRIST is called the CHIEF CORNER STONE of God’s holy temple, (Eph 2:19-22). “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Building on the CHIEF CORNERSTONE is to build on His teachings, His doctrine, His sayings. (cf, 2Jno 9)

The fourth thing to note about building our house on the ROCK, is that we are to KEEP building. We are to continue to build, mature, and to grow. Paul wrote the church to take heed how we build, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” (1Cor 3:9-15).

Let us learn from the wisdom of the ROCK Badger, although we are weak, we can be safe and secure on the ROCK which is Christ, His sayings and the good confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.                                                       Amen.

4 Wise Creatures Pt1/4 the ANTS

Wise Little Creatures pt1/4

ANTS

God uses nature to teach spiritual lessons. “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee.” (Job 12:7).

In Proverbs 30 there are several lessons being taught using nature. This article and the next 3 will look at “four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise.”

(Prov 30:24-28)

The first little creature in the text are the ANTS (25; cf. Prov 6:6-11).

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;”

The ANTS are among 4 little creatures that are called exceedingly wise. What makes that so? Here are at least 4 lessons from the ANTS.

ANTS are ALL in ALL the time. Not only do they gather enough for their current needs, they also gather for the coming winter. “Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” (Prov 6:8)

What are the lessons for us? There are two types of lessons, physical and spiritual. First the physical lesson; We ought to be working while we can and while we’re able more than our present needs. The scriptures point out a few physical needs. 1) Needs of others. “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” (Eph 4:28; cf. Ac 20:35; 1Th 4:11) and 2) Needs of our family when we can no longer work, the winter of life. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1Tim 5:8-16). The spiritual lesson is in the third point.

The second lesson from the ANTS is that they NEVER give up. If you try to block the way of a line of ants, they will climb over, go around, he’ll go under, or move whatever is blocking them. They NEVER quit. That’s a great lesson for us. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,” (Eph 5:15). They press on, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:14). They fight the good fight, they run and they strive for their purpose.

A third lesson from the ANTS is they THINK ahead in the summer. (I don’t know what an ant thinks, but the proverb tells us what they do) “…they prepare their meat in the summer;” “Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” (Prov 30:25; 6:8)

The spiritual application is what’s important. Man doesn’t live forever on the earth and must make arrangements for eternal life. We can’t be so naïve as to believe that summer lasts forever, neither does our physical life. The Hebrew writer wrote, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Heb 9:27). Paul wrote, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;” (2Cor 5:10-11). The wisdom from the ANTS instructs us to be reconciled to God through obeying the gospel of Christ before it’s too late. (cf. Heb 5:9; 2Thess 1:8-9).

The fourth lesson from the ANTS is they START immediately. On the first warm day of spring, they’re out working. At the first opportunity, the ANTS go marching on to find their food. The proverb writers contrasts those that slumber too much with the diligent effort of the ANTS. “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?” (Prov 6:9). In the NT, sleep is a metaphor for those that are dead spiritually (1Cor 11:30) and for those that aren’t watching (1Th 5:6). “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” (Rom 13:11).

You can easily tell which denominations believe that baptism is not necessary for salvation; THEY SCHEDULE BAPTISMS. That is completely opposite to what the scriptures teach. “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.” (Acts 16:33). The Eunuch, upon hearing about Jesus asked, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” When your ‘pastor’ teaches about salvation, will his hearers have the same response as the Eunuch? The lesson of the ANTS is that they START immediately. When is the best time to obey the gospel? TODAY! “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2Cor 6:2).

What’s LOVE got to do with it?

Love does not…

EVERYTHING!!

Love is the first & great commandment.

Paul calls love, “a more excellent way” [1Cor 12:31; 13:13].

“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” [Mark 12:29-31]

The best commentary on Love is found in the Scriptures. Let’s see love from four perspectives.

  1. God’s Love for us
    1. God is Love – 1Jo 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. Titus 3:4-6
    1. God Gave His son – 1Jo 4:9, 10 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, John 3:16, 17; Rom 5:8; Eph 2:4,5
    1. God blesses His children – 1Jo 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: Eph 1:3 every spiritual blessings
    1. Every good thing – James 1:17 – comes from above; Acts 17:28
    1. God sends sun & rain – Mt 5:45 for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
  • Christ’s Love for us
    • Passes knowledge– Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
    • As Father loved Him – Joh 15:9, 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
    • He gave Himself – Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.; Eph 5:2; 1Joh 3:16; Rev 1:5
    • His own– Joh 13:1, 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
    • Those who obey – Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
  • Man’s love for God & Christ
    • Great command– 1Jo 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. Mark 12:28-30; Mt 22:36-40
    • Good thing for those that do – Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, 1Corinthians 2:9 ings which God hath prepared for them that love him.
    • Crown of life / Kingdom – Jas 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? [1:12]
    • Love displayed through obedience – 1Jo 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:
      • 2Joh 6; John 14:15, 21, 23
    • Love for truth – 2Th 2:10-12 because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
  • Man’s love for others
    • Brethren – 1Th 4:9; 1Th 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
      • John 13:34; 15:12; 1Pe 1:22; 2:17;
      • 1Jo 2:10, 3:11, 14, 23; 4:11, 12
      • 2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
    • Husbands & Wives – Eph 5:25, 28, 33; Col 3:19; Tit 2:3,4
    • Neighbor – Ro 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
      • [Mr 12:31; James 2:8]
    • Enemies – Lu 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest:
      • Mt 5:43, 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;