Monthly Archives: October 2014
Be creative when worshiping the Lord. The Bible encourages us to sing new songs to the Lord. If you have the talent to write songs for God then continue to do so. If there’s someone who writes good songs for God then encourage them. Don’t be part of any legalistic bandwagon that hinders use of new spiritually wholesome songs at church. They are in clear violation of scriptures and must not be given heed to. Instead you walk in the freedom that Jesus gives you.
Let’s read Psalm 96:1-6 which says that:
O sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols;
but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Honor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
When you attend an unrated movie or don’t know what it’s about, you might have to make a choice. You may not always face this choice but whenever you do please make sure that you are ready for it. What am I talking about? Keep away from bad movies.
Yes keep away from bad movies. Any movie that glorifies falsehood, blasphemy, murder, theft, cheating, sexual immorality is a bad movie. Sometimes the movie is on a general note but there are certain scenes which may be vulgar and have excessive violence. Pray for your children and keep them away from deception. Children must avoid any such graphic scenes and their parents or caretakers must never allow them access to such movies. The ‘Adults only’ tag on certain movies only indicate which age group is allowed to watch it, what it doesn’t say is whether watching that movie will be a source of moral corruption to you. Remember very clearly, that your eyes are gateways to your soul, so if you are letting in darkness in then its your fault as you could have closed them or looked away. You can choose to use your eyes in a good way or a bad way. So look at what is worthy to look at and not what is unclean or unholy.
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light. (Luke 11:34-36)
This year the movie Noah (2014) was labelled as a ‘biblical’ movie but in reality it was not. It was blatantly promoting unbiblical things like showing that the Watchers (fallen angels) were helping Noah build the ark, when in fact God never in the Bible had asked them to help Noah. To learn more about how it contradicted the Bible please click here where christiananswers.net systematically goes on to give great and honest reviews of movies that you usually see in Hollywood. They got on to rate Christian movies too. I’d strongly recommend that you see a movie review at their website if you have doubts if a certain movie you want to see may not be morally right.
It’s just not worth it that you watch movies that are promoting false doctrines and heresy. The rule of thumb is that whatever promotes spiritual falsehood must not be given heed to but rather must be opposed. That which contradicts the Bible’s teaching must never be considered good. What is evil is evil. Don’t get into the people pleasing bandwagon that some lukewarm Christians are into. These people don’t realize that if they were in a minority in an area ruled by the deceived majority of false doctrines, they would be persecuted by the very same type they tried to protect in the name of tolerance.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
What are you to do if you are in situation where you realize that the movie is not good for your soul? It’s a very simple choice. If you see a bad movie then you walk out of the theater. Don’t bother about the opinion of others. There’s always a chance that you can explain to them later outside that such a movie goes against your beliefs and values that you stand for. If you are with your family or with close friends try to quickly convince them to leave along with you so that they too have a fair chance.
Now if you have a movie that you can watch on your TV or PC but it’s promoting unholy things then let that thing go to the dust and not watch it. Better not waste your time on such things. It wise to avoid vulgar comedies so that you giggle a little lesser and not sin rather than watch them and laugh your way to hell!
Let the Bible be the deciding factor when you are faced with the choice to watch a movie that has wicked scenes in it. I close in with Psalm 101:1-3 says that, I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues, for upon it, all others depend. – Winston Churchill.
Do you have feelings to do great things for God yet somehow don’t even start on it? Does a sermon for witnessing about Christ Jesus inspire you but you don’t end up talking about Christ to others? Do you keep quiet when its time for taking a righteous stand when there’s a moral crisis in the church? Do you find it difficult to say a strong NO when your friends incite you to sin? When its time for prayers do you feel shy because of what the not so spiritual people will say?
If you have answered YES to even one of these questions then you might be facing a courage issue. Not that you lack courage but that you need to exhibit courage at the right time. There’s an English proverb that says, ‘It is easy to be wise after the event’. Sometimes after you have faced a moral crisis or personal temptation you feel you should have been more assertive or less politically correct to shun out evil. Yet you know that the next time you want to set things right you may have to wait for your chance or use even more force. Here’s where you make up your mind that in the future you will be able to clearly recognize situations where you need to show courage. After which you will then be courageous right away.
You are still fortunate if you have chances to make amends. Sometimes all you can do is say “I’m sorry Lord Jesus” when you have failed the Lord. Not everyone gets that option. Because some people die in their sins due to being too cowardly to admit and confess their sins to God. They are more concerned about the ridicule of the world when its time to repent. They should realize that more important than the worlds opinions is reconciliation back to God.
We must always choose to be always on always ready Christians. This can help you serve God better and more effectively. Most importantly you must be ready for the return of Christ Jesus always.
I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8)
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:44)
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. (1 John 2:28)
To this effect there are a few things you might like to consider having. This will ensure that you are always on always ready for our Lord Jesus Christ.
1) Training regularly
Keep training yourself in the ways of godliness. For this, consistent training in the teachings and principles of the Bible is essential. While going to a weekly Bible class is good it might not be possible for everyone to attend. Try to read good books that teach you the things of the Christian faith. Joining a Christian library can help you get hold of such books. Though checking for Christian teachings online is a fine option you must take due diligence that what you are learning is worth it. I mean be cautious against heresy and legalism and any teaching that relaxes your guard against the evil of sin.
However I must add that nothing outdoes plain old fashioned Bible reading. Yes just reading and meditating on the words of the Bible. Commentaries are secondary. Here your objective must be to become more like Jesus Christ every time you read it. This is not a book to read and forget but rather to read, believe and be transformed into the person whom God wants you to be.
2) Mental state of faith
Have a frame of mind in which you can pray and intercede anytime. It might that be you’ve enjoyed a great dinner at home and are soon going off to sleep. When all of a sudden you get a message on your phone asking for prayer for a person who is injured in a train crash. Then before you sleep you can pray for the injured person. A short prayer said in faith should be enough. It’s vain to say that you are going to wake up in the morning and only then pray but won’t before you sleep.
This is not limited to prayer but to
any needs for self review, deeds of mercy and charity. You must be mentally focused on the will of God at all times.
You need to think very clearly about your actions and objectives for the Lord. Spend sufficient time to check on what and where you put on your efforts over to. Is it as per the deceitful things of the world or as per the will of God? Never be so drawn up in the entertainments, worries and passions of life that you are not able align yourself with the will of God. Because being too busy with work or play might make you distracted from God’s will if you are not going to make that choice to keep God first on a regular basis.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
4) Hard work and planning
You need to plan to follow God’s plan. Might seem odd but lots of people have their own ideas which contradict the Lord’s work in their life. For them its their way or the high way. They choose the easy way out such as steal instead of do a honest job to earn a decent living. May all who choose a life of sin for the sake of ease leave their evil ways lest they merit damnation in hell.
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. ( Proverbs 6:6-8)
Hard work must never be equated with legalism. Certain things that need you to work hard are either natural or from God’s grace. Yet some are legalistic so you must avoid legalistic hard work.
By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. ( Hebrews 11:7)
Each Christian has been assigned good works which only he or she can do. Keep trying to discover what new good deed you can do for Jesus Christ. You might be a volunteer at church events for the elderly but might have not got a chance to be in foreign mission. There might be a foreign missionary who must have missed on singing in the choir as a child. So never feel bad about not getting the chances others get. You never know what they missed on. But in all this just pray to know where you are needed and then work for the Lord God over there.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
5) Be joyful in the Lord
Are you joyful in the Lord? If not then something is missing. The joy of the Lord is something that you need to cherish in your life. This joy comes through the Holy Spirit by Jesus Christ.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)
So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
The joy of the Lord unlike any earthly joy gives you strength in times of adversity. Its not that you will be laughing or smiling every time but you will be able to overcome all hardships and struggles for God. Even Jesus could overcome so much because of the joy that was set before him by God.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
Now that you know these five principles put them to memory and put them to practice. Christ be with you!
When you are fasting unto the Lord Jesus you might be doing it to spend with him. You might want to get closer to him. Sometimes fasting is just so that you want to be undisturbed by the needs of the flesh so that you can concentrate on the Living God our Father. There’s always a good reason to fast. The Holy Spirit may lead you to fast and pray or sometimes require you to only pray without fasting. Listen to him and discern.
Never fast out of legalism or trying to earn salvation or forgiveness of sins for it won’t actually save you. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can save you from your sins. Fasting therefore must be done without guile and hypocrisy.
In Isaiah chapter 58, the Lord God condemns unworthy fasting but also sets the precedent on what fasting is considered pure. Lets read the following:
58 “Cry aloud; do not hold back;
lift up your voice like a trumpet;
declare to my people their transgression,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek me daily
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments;
they delight to draw near to God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
and oppress all your workers.
4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is such the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.
Jesus himself did not do away with fasting. In fact he set the standard for all of us who believe in him in Matthew 6:16-18
16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Never say you are too young to do the work of God. It’s not your ability but your willingness to do the will of God that matters. If God has called you do a specific thing for him, then he will enable you as per his specific will.
Remember how the prophet Jeremiah said he was too young to speak for God, yet God still encouraged him to be his prophet (Jeremiah 1:1-9).
1 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me,“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”
9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
Whether you are young or old, let the example of God in prophet Jeremiah’s life remind you of the greatness of God. For it is the glory of God to enable those whom the world call unworthy. He makes the unqualified into great men and women for him if only they believe he can do it for them. Happy are those whom the Lord has called to do his will and even more so those who actually do it.
When you are struggling with your faith when faced with worry, fear, stress, and anxiety go by the word of Christ at all times. Hold on to the words of the Bible. You can read various Scripture verses that encourage and guide you through the storms of life. Normally you can view them printed online or in a book but it’s equally good to hear them out. Even more better that you read and hear them out. This way you will retain the words of the Holy Scripture even more better.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
Note: Credit for the Youtube video goes to Rest Easy Ministries
You number my wanderings: put you my tears into your bottle: are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8)
The Lord God understands your sufferings. Due to the fallen nature of the world many a times people suffer to due to sins or are victims of other sinners. However in all this remember you who trust in Christ that you are not forgotten. You are not forgotten by God.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)
Whatever be the reason for your tears cast your burden unto the Lord. He cares for you. May he deliver you from sorrow in this life and especially more so in the life that is to come. Commend your spirit to Jesus Christ at all times.
Though this is not a topic that is preached that often, one must take heed to not to give into idolatry of any type. Never assume that only statues can be idols, an idol an be anything that you cherish more than the Lord God like money, fame, your achievements and works etc. Even at the end of the age we are warned of idolatry in the Book of Revelation. The very fabric of the world Babylonian system rests upon idolatry. Keep away from all idolatry and live a holy life in the eyes of Jesus.