Articles

 

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” (New International Version)

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (New King James Version)

“No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (The Living Bible)

That is an awesome requirement; it is God’s will - in all circumstances, in everything, no matter what happens. In 1 Thess. 4:3, the same word for “will” is used: “”It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.” We don’t pick and choose the commands of God we want to keep. You might say, “I have avoided sexual immorality, but thankfulness is not for me.” It doesn’t work that way.

Every command of God comes with power. For example, Jesus was walking on the water. Peter was in the boat and called to Jesus to invite him out on the water. Jesus said, “Come!” So Peter climbed over the side and walked on the water. Now, we cannot walk on water. Peter could not walk on water. But at the command of Jesus, he did. With the command flowed the power. The command to “give thanks in all circumstances” does not care what the circumstances are. The power flows no matter what they are.

The tougher the circumstances, the mightier the power. You can give thanks because the key is that you are “in Christ Jesus.” The question is: Will you appropriate the power to give thanks? You can live defeated, or you can live victorious. The choice is yours.                - Mike

Gossip usually has an element of truth, just distorted enough to give the wrong impression.

Here’s some indicators that you might be having a conversation with Mr. or Mrs. Gossip:

  • If someone’s failure improves the opinion they have of themselves.
  • If someone’s failure decreases their concern for their own faults.
  • If someone’s failure makes them eager to tell others.

Proverbs 18:8 states, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.” Gossip is very seductive. Someone wants to tell you something in “confidence.” They are not sharing this with just anybody but with you and a few select people. You are in a special circle of trust.

Mr. and Mrs. Gossip are sharing because they are “concerned,” and it can’t be gossip if it’s the “truth.”  News flash…. It can be gossip and be the “truth.” If you can’t be a part of the solution, you do not need to know the problem. The root of gossip is stated in Proverbs 10:18, “He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.”

What do you do about Mr. or Mrs. Gossip? Avoid them. (Proverbs 20:19)

 

 

Solomon gave that advice in Proverbs to the lazy: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” (6:6-8)

 

By instinct the ant works during the summer so it can survive during the winter. Instinctively the ant recognizes the time. There is a time to gather and store, and there is a time when that cannot be done.

 

Solomon told the sluggard to go to the classroom of the ant and learn. What are we to learn? Prepare for the future because all time is not the same. The lazy regard all time as the same. The present will simply continue into the future and you will always have time to do what you want or need to do. So if you feel the present is inconvenient to do what you need to do, don’t worry. You have time.

 

Professor Ant teaches us something else. Summer time is not the same as winter time. If you depend on green plants for food, you had better gather that food in the summer. In winter, it is impossible

 

Repent of my sins? I have time. Baptized? I have time. Get serious about Bible study and prayer? I have time. Get back into the habit of meeting with the church? I have time. The lazy believe all time is the same and there is plenty of it.

 

Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4)  Is all time the same? Night time is coming. Is your work done?                             - Mike

 

 

 

 

Kathy Griffin, comedienne, received an Emmy in 2007. In her acceptance speech, she made fun of people who thank Jesus for their success and then made a vile comment about Jesus. Kathy Griffin is just one in a long line of public figures who have mocked God. Of course, this past two weeks she was all over the news about a picture of her with the severed head of the President. That picture got her in hot water with advertisers and lost her bookings.

Did she get in hot water for mocking Jesus? Did she pay a price for mocking Jesus? Not yet but she will. God’s Word states (Gal. 6:7-8): “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction.”

Does it grieve you to hear God mocked? First, it dishonors our Creator and Redeemer. Second, it identifies another sinner for whom Christ died  who will be lost for all eternity unless . . . unless they surrender to Christ.

The way of acceptance is surrender. There is no negotiated peace with God. It is all about total and unconditional surrender. You come to God  in the way he demands (John 14:6): “No one comes to the Father except through me [Jesus].” The blood of Jesus makes you acceptable, and you must claim his death as your death.

So what is our response to God being mocked? Pray as Jesus commanded (Matthew 9:37-38): "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Ask God to send workers to the lost. Jesus commanded us to pray. We do not need to know how it works or why it works or if it works. We only need to know he said to do it. And we will do it and trust him with the results.                                                                         - Mike

 

 

The cross made you acceptable; the resurrection made you alive.

 

When it comes to Christ’s death on the cross and his resurrection, I think we understand half of it. We understand the cross half. We understand that through the cross our sins are forgiven: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace” (Ephesians 1:7). But do we understand the resurrection half?

 

Some have a limited view of the resurrection of Christ. They see in him our future resurrection from the dead but not much more. “But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits ; then, when he comes, those who belong to him” (1 Cor. 15:23). But there is more.

 

Jesus promised: “`Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive” (John 7:38-39). The resurrection fills us with power for living right now. So here’s the question: Are you acceptable and living naturally, or are you acceptable and living supernaturally?

 

Consider the problems and obstacles you face. Will you overcome them in your own natural power? You can operate in your own power if you want, but as a disciple, the resurrection gives you the supernatural power that raised Christ from the dead. If you have resurrection faith, you have risen power. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power” (1 Cor. 4:20).

 

Don’t live defeated. Live expectantly and  triumphantly. The power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in you.                               

 

Go to top