Oct 26, 2009

Cut off Temptation

"And have no Fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." ~Ephesians 5:11
Take a moment and do a general evaluation of you life as to whether or not it falls into one of the following categories.

"But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them." ~Ephesians 5:3-7
Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you." ~Titus 2:6-8
(There are other passages that speak of what is good and what is bad, but they are too many to mention.)

Now think on these questions:
  1. Take a specific point from your life.
  2. Does Scripture commend or condone it?
  3. If you're unsure, ask for others' opinions
  4. If this is a good habit or trait, keep and cultivate it. If it is a bad trait, immediately seek to destroy it.
Many people, including Christians, struggle with earthly things. Still more struggle with the thought that their things are "harmless". What this really means is that it is useless. Now I'm not talking about kitchen utensils. I don't think that the rich young ruler would have classified them in his wealth.

"Yes, I have 45,692 Cutco knives, 61,783 Pampered Chef serving spoons, and 101,101 Oxo cheese graters."

Other things may not necessarily be habits or traits, but they can be a temptation. For instance, our family decided to not have TV. We still watch videos, but we felt that being able to choose what went on screen was something that TV didn't have. Now some things like TIVO gave this trait. We were also watching a show in our car the other day. But after the bible study we were at was over, (which is where I got the topic) my mom asked us about the show. We decided that the show wasn't very good and actually fell into some of the "bad" categories. Many things evade our gaze for a long time. Sometimes I have thought something was okay, but then some passage or something that someone says, "Jumps Out" at me and shows me that what I thought was good, is actually the opposite. We must constantly evaluate what will encourage us to become more like Christ. If anything is a stumbling block we must get rid of it, or in Paul's words, "Cut it off." May you always be evaluating your activities and may you always know what will be profitable and what won't. God bless!

Your Brother in Christ

Oct 20, 2009

Words are Important!

"In the Multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, the heart of the wicked is with little. The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of wisdom. The blessing of the Lord makes me rich, and He adds no sorrow with it." ~ Prov. 10:19-22
Yesterday I was talking with my mom about a pamphlet Mr. Kayser wrote. It is called Leader Development. It is basically a checklist for young men (though it can also be used for men, not just young ones) to evaluate what they need to work on in order to become godly leaders. The very first section is titled "Communication". After I went through the list, I found just what I expected; I don't talk enough. My favorite question was, "I don't always speak my mind but instead seek to be short on words." I got a perfect score on that one.

There are some benefits to little speaking, but also many weak points. As the passage above says, "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise." But as my mom pointed out, we communicate, fellowship, relate to, encourage, evangelize, teach, lead, and understand people because of words. So there is a fine line between speaking the right amount and speaking too little. But we should not go to the other extreme of talking too much. Looking at the first line at the top, we see that Proverbs says that "in a multitude of words sin is not lacking" So we draw another line between speaking the right amount and speaking too much.
"Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding" ~ Prov. 10:13
The passage up top says that the words of the righteous are like "choice silver." Our words should be like honey to those who hear us. Even if we speak correctively, we should be able to have it be loving correction. There is an old saying which I am sure you have heard:
"If you have nothing nice to say, don't say it."
But I think it should go like this,
"If what you have to say will harm someone needlessly, don't let your mouth speak. But if what you have to say will build up and not in the least destroy, don't hesitate to say it."
May you bring every thought and word captive. God bless you in all you do!

Your Brother in Christ,

Oct 18, 2009

"Life isn't fair"

“Life isn’t fair’” ~Many, many, many people

Dear Corey,

Many of us, at one time or another, have heard the quote above. In most contexts we have heard it as a disappointment, when someone does or gets something we want as well. We should not be sorry that the world is unfair. On the contrary, we should be praising God at the top of our lungs. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” If we accept these to be true, as we should, we see that; everyone has sinned and deserves death and nothing w can do will save us. If the world and life was fair we would ALL burn in hell.

So next time you think life is unfair, praise God that it is and congratulate the people/person that received the blessing.

Your BIC,


Oct 13, 2009

An Encouragement to Share the Gospel

"Go Therefore and Make Disciples of all the Nations..." Matthew 28:19

We have often heard this passage spoken on, we have read it, and we know what it basically means. I say basically because we cannot always fully draw out all the meaning from it for a long time. Think about this passage: we are to go and make disciples. Of who? All Nations. Does this mean we have to move to a different continent and be missionaries? Of Course not. Evangelism takes place anywhere and everywhere. No matter the time or place, you can share the gospel.

When do we start evangelizing? Hudson Taylor told a story of a Chinese Pastor he had met who encouraged people to witness as soon as they were Christians. This is how the story goes:
"Once upon meeting a young convert, the pastor inquired, 'Brother, how long have you been saved?' the man answered that he had been saved for about three months. 'And how many have you won to the savior?' 'Oh, I'm only a learner.' the convert responded. Shaking his head in disapproval, the pastor said, 'Young man, the Lord doesn't expect you to be a full-fledged pastor, but He does expect you to be a faithful witness. Tell me, when does a candle begin to shine-when it's already half burned up?' 'No, as soon as it's lit.' came the reply. 'That's right, so let your light shine right away.'"

This somewhat lengthy illustration shares a good point: it is never to soon to start sharing the Good News. Constant excuses fill our minds however. "I'm not a good speaker." " I get too nervous doing those things." "That's what other people are paid to do." "I wouldn't know where to start" "I don't know enough about theology to say anything important." These, as I said, are merely excuses. But, as with all excuses, there is a solution. Starting with the first question, I will give some ideas as to how to solve each dilemma: "You don't have to be outstanding, pray for help and God will give you strength." "Again, God will give you strength to conquer all fear." "True, a few are paid to, but that does not exclude you. All Christians are commanded to share teh gospel, regardless of who else is. If you are the only witness, how much more harvest will the Lord bring to You." "Start with Prayer and then go up to someone and ask a simple question such as, Are you Saved?" "If you don't know the answer to a question go to the Bible or to someone who does know."

I Personally have a lot of trouble going up to a stranger to ask them a question, especially if it is about faith. I cannot say or claim that I have harvested one grain of wheat for saved. The disciples were sent out to be fishers of men immediately after Jesus called them. How much more willing should we be, who have been disciples most of our lives.

Your Brother in Christ

Oct 3, 2009

Of Friends and Brothers...

"There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother." -Proverbs 18:24B

There are many times when your friends stick closer than your brothers. Although this is not often as true when you are younger, it is very important when you are older. While you are young (Before 20 or so), you make the most friends, which will hopefully be friends who are willing to lay down their lives for you when you get older (Above 20 or so) you strengthen your relationships. Now say that house prices went down in another state and you decide to move there. The friends in that state would be more comforting to you in times of need, because of the distance between your brothers. This does not mean that brothers are somehow less loyal than friends. As a brother, I not only want to be looked to for help by my friends, but also by my brothers. Although the above example is sometimes true the next example is always true: In Christ, your friends are "Brothers and Sisters". This means that a friend sticks as close as a brother. Your siblings should also be your best friends, which means that a brother sticks as close as a friend. Many times people may pretend to be your friend in order to seek some benefit. Don't rely on friendships that just scratch the surface, but seek out the ones that seem to join you as a brother.

Your Brother in Christ

How to Combat Doubt

"Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree in the garden?'" -Genesis 3:1B

Doubt is a dangerous weapon of the enemy. Satan understood the bower of doubt and used it against Eve. You could even say that, because of doubt, sin entered the world.

"He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind." James 1:6B

James understood the power of doubt and its danger to a believer. Very few people are exempt from doubt, but those who experience it still need to know a way to combat it.

1. Confess the doubt to God as Sin "He who doubts is condemned... ... for whatever is not from faith is sin." -Romans 14:23
2. Study the Gospels, especially the later part where Christ has conquered death. It is good to read these constantly to remind us what we believe.

My admonition, Pray to God and Study his Word. These are things we can always do more of.

Your Brother in Christ,