The above video preaching by Danny Castle exposes the seduction by Social Media. This is a warning about how things go wrong with various modern means of communication when they get misused. It might not exactly sound like music to ones ears but yes, things do get misused and people miss out on the Bible and things of the Kingdom of God. Do watch the video to get a clear understanding on this topic.
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:21)
“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.” (1 Peter 3:10)
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)
For some to control one’s tongue when its pleasant all around is difficult. How much more difficult for them to keep it in check when their heart is filled with bitterness? As for the rest its still an achievement to control themselves when there is bitterness in their life.
However if we remember the words of the Bible then we should know the consequences of speaking the wrong things, the bad things and evil things. Let me make it real to you; there are considerable divorce cases going on which could have been prevented if either or both of the spouses would have not insulted each other by a very wide degree. Or there are people or children who keep running away from their parents because the parents love to speak evil words to them. Now, I don’t justify divorce nor unnecessary running away on account of such things but yes I do strongly recommend control of one’s tongue to prevent any further damage to oneself and others.
Some may say they didn’t actually mean it when they said things that were hurtful to others. That’s exactly my point. Don’t say things that you don’t mean to say in the first place and don’t make any of your emotions whether happiness or bitterness as your excuse for the same!
Make a decision this day to use your tongue more wisely. The benefits are many; better relationships, peace in your dealings with others, living clean and giving glory to God all in all. It’s up to you to control your speech but do pray to the Lord God for his healing and deliverance in this area.
You may pray like this:
O Lord God I ask through your Son Jesus Christ that I be holy as you are holy. Make my tongue an instrument of peace. Help me to speak words that are wise and life giving. Empower me by your Holy Spirit to not have be deceived by emotions whether they are mine or of others. In the name of Jesus, I cast out the spirit of discord and perversion of tongue from my life and totally reject the influence of all that is earthly, sensual and demonic. I pray that I be victorious in my life on the inside and the outside so that God be glorified all in all. Amen.
Every Christian should consider the Biblical call to avoid laziness and overcome it. Now laziness is not the same thing as resting after a hard days work. Laziness is rather idleness and the quality of being unwilling to work or use effort and energy. For some unwitting people a holiday means a time to be lazy and avoid all work including house work, while others just carry their work (via a laptop or smartphone) together with them. Now this doesn’t mean each Christian ought to avoid holidays or be a workaholic who works until he or she is completely drained out. That would be too extreme, isn’t it?
The key to a balanced Christian life would be to live a life consistent with the principles of the Bible. Now there are four areas of life where a Christian can and must avoid laziness, which are as follows:
1. The Spiritual life.
2. The Emotional life.
3. The Physical life.
4. The Financial life.
I’ll explain what each of them mean and what can be done to avoid laziness in them but first let’s get to know a few Bible verses about laziness. Here’s the first one:
How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:9-11)
Plus here are a few more Bible verses about laziness to consider:
* A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. (Proverbs 10:4)
* Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. (Proverbs 19:15)
* The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. (Proverbs 20:4)
From the above verses you’d notice that laziness can bring in eventual poverty, hunger and lack. At the same time diligence can make you rich. What would you prefer? For those who want to not be in poverty, hunger and lack which come due to lack of action in the right direction, there’s where the teachings of the Bible come to use. I’ll now explain the four key areas in detail:-
1. The Spiritual life
This is the most important area of life a man, woman or child could ever have. Whatever you do in your present spiritual life can have dramatic consequences in the after life. The problem is that some people are very busy in all areas of their life except that of the spirit. They neglect their prayers unto God, forget to give thanks to the Lord, and even avoid doing good works. The usual excuse is that they are too busy or don’t have time. But whatever be the reason, if you be lazy in your spiritual life then do not expect a good commendation from the Lord God. A few verses to reflect and act upon:
1. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16)
2. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
3. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. (Romans 12:11)
4. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17
2. The Emotional life
Your emotional life is the next most important area. Many people make life changing decisions based on their impulses instead of wisdom. This causes them a lot of hardship later on while it may be possible they might enjoy themselves temporarily. Because people are too lazy to cultivate and safeguard their emotions they easily break in the face of adversity. The people of God are called to be vigilant and wise instead. It’s wise to know your current emotional state towards yourself and the Lord God and even your fellow human beings and animals and so on. This can give you the opportunity to either groom or correct your emotions. A few verses to ponder and work upon:
1. So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
2. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
3. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and the evil out of the evil brings forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
4. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)
3. The Physical life
There are people who are very good in their spiritual and emotional life but are lacking in their physical life. Then you hear that such people are finding difficulty in walking or running or climbing and so on. I wish they work on their physical frame as well. So what is the physical life I speak of? It’s basically the physical well-being of the body in terms of nutrition and exercise. While I do agree that it’s given to man to die once and then comes the resurrection of the just (and the unjust for those who die in their sin) it does not mean we neglect our physical bodies in the mean time. The Bible never tells us to neglect our body once we get saved, in fact we are told that we who believe in Christ Jesus are nothing less than the temple of the Holy Spirit. Read the following Bible verses and use them to your benefit:
1. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19)
2. For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:8)
3. A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might (Proverbs 24:5)
4. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong (Proverbs 31:17)
4. The Financial life
The area of finance is something that people give way too much importance to. However the areas of spirit, emotions and physical life should not be neglected while working on the area of finance. Some get into debt because they sleep or laze around instead of working when it’s the time to work. There are others who awake enough to earn their living but asleep enough to not check their overspending or even getting into debts that they can easily avoid. As a result there is a lot of strain in terms of money in their life which affects their families too. So don’t love money at all but instead be diligent in earning it and saving it and only spend it wisely. A few verses in this area that you can act upon:
1. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. (Proverbs 10:5)
2. In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. (Proverbs 14:23)
3. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12)
4. But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:26-30)
“So many people concentrate on knowing who a good preacher or a bad preacher is and so many people concentrate on knowing what the word of God is! The former is good but the latter is noble. The latter is the best answer to the former. The real duty of man is never to know man but to know God through Christ Jesus! Knowing the word of God is the true way to knowing God!” – Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Votes are taken not just in a democracy. You also have them in socialism, classrooms, trade unions, sports governing bodies etc. This is done to select a main leader or a set of leaders. Generally voting involves assessing the strengths and the merits of the people standing up for the election. But not always.
Sympathy Vote (definition): an occasion when a lot of people vote for or support a particular person because he or she has suffered recently.(source: dictionary.cambridge.org)
There are people in various walks of life who end up giving Sympathy votes to a candidate just because the other candidate who was contesting the elections against him or her ended up using insulting language against him or her. This is a very foolish practice and let me explain why.
Such people believe that they are punishing the abusive candidate by electing the non abusive candidate instead. This is where the overzealous ‘do not judge’ folks are surprisingly silent about such things. Why not leave the punishment to God instead? And also if you want to ‘punish’ the abusive candidate why not ask from his or her disqualification from the election? Isn’t that more ethical?
The fallacy of the Sympathy Vote is that a person who previously had little or no merit to win the votes, suddenly obtains votes which he or she was not going to get under normal circumstances. Such a person doesn’t even need to promise development or anything good for the people who vote. All they need to do is play the victim card well.
Then after they get to power by virtue of being elected, they may turn to be even worse than the abusive candidate. And the people act shocked as to how did that come to happen. I’ll say it’s because they never bothered to check if the person whom they elected is fit to perform the job or receive the honour that they are supposed to. I still maintain the candidate who tricked the people by putting on a nice initial behaviour is totally responsible for his or her actions later on.
However, I don’t entirely put the blame on such a Sympathy Vote candidate. I’d blame the people who selected him or her even more. No where in the Word of God are the people told to give up their discernment (checking things up) for what so ever reason, which includes the occasions where Sympathy Votes are solicited.
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. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:1-3)
The above Bible verses are not just talking about evil spirits alone. These also point out that the human spirit too needs to be tested. So why not discern as to which man or woman is God sent and which ones are not? It’ll save you a lot of trouble and effort if you select the right person at the right time. Do not be a simpleton! But rather be prudent in all you do.
The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. (Proverbs 14:15)
Though the Sympathy Vote is seen more in a political context, I’d say that is not the only arena of life to be careful about. Often in the religious world (or let me use the term ‘the Christian world), there are instances of Sympathy Votes. I don’t know where, when or how you may have to use such discernment in the religious world but when and if you do, remember that Bible doesn’t encourage Sympathy Votes.
I myself have to come to know of one such instance in a Christian circle, where there was an election of a high ranking clergy person among various contenders. Just because it went down to the final two and both of them were in strong contention to win, one of them despite being over forty years old, end up using the most disgusting language to belittle the other candidate. Immediately, the next time the lots were cast, the candidate who was insulted won the high rank and the abusive candidate when sent away to a far away place, another continent!
In due course of time, this pleasant mannered person who won the religious elections discreetly stole from the church funds and later on also started using profane language. So as a result after a few years that person was relieved of the high rank in the church structure. (On a side note, I now realize that just because someone has grown in age doesn’t necessarily mean they grow in manners too). If that election were happen now with the same two candidates it would be best to cancel the election and wait it out till things settle down instead of selecting ‘the lesser of two evils’ on the spur of the moment.
And, to set the record straight, the Bible never ever tells us to choose ‘the lesser of two evils’. If fact if you choose the lesser of two evils you are still choosing evil. Avoid the Sympathy Vote and live well!
I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. (Revelation 2:2)
This book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it by day and by night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall act wisely. (Joshua 1:8)
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.(Psalm 63:6)
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.(Psalm 145:5)
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
You might have heard the song “Last Christmas” in the past few years. Originally it was sung by the musical duo called Wham! in 1984. In later years, even other singers have tried their luck with it. It’s very popular in most of the world. The musical score seems pleasant overall despite it having elements of a relationship gone bad. However, I do find it odd now in terms of the Bible and I’ll tell you why.
Let’s read a few of the lyrics of that song:
Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day, you gave it away
This year, to save me from tears I
‘ll give it to someone special
So this about a love relationship between a couple gone bad. Doesn’t seem they were married yet but this was a beginning in their relationship. However, this was short and now the person whose heart got broke got a plan. To avoid the previous year’s hurt, it will be new relationship with a new person. The thing that looks weird is that of all the days in the world, they had to decide on the relationship at the time we ponder upon the Savior’s coming into the world.
No wonder, I really find this concept odd. Basically, this song tells us that instead of praying and rejoicing in remembrance of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ this person bothered instead to propose someone for marriage. Further still, the couple had mutual acceptance of the proposal in the time when people come to celebrate at church. Were they away from church at time? Or where they too attracted to each other that they got distracted from Christ? A yes to any one of this question speaks volumes about the priority they gave to Christ.
They didn’t keep Christ first at all!
Now compare their behaviour with the follow Bible verses:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
I’m not against people proposing each other for marriage legally. In fact I like seeing the boy or at times the girl, popping the relationship question at the restaurant or at the beach or just after the opera as long as its done safely. But I do not support people giving up on their prayer or worship time which only belongs to God, and then using such time to get into love relationships. Chances are they didn’t keep the Lord first at all and then in due course of time even their relationship perished. Then came sadness and heartache into their life etc.
[New edit to this post]: Radio DJ plays Wham’s Last Christmas 24 times in row after barricading himself in studio He only gave up when his own four-year-old daughter phoned in to say she didn’t like the song. I just now am doubly sure that this song’s really odd with this DJ’s foolish behavior. Read about this on the below link:
My point is that we must not like a song for the sake of liking it. We must check the context in which the song was sung. A pleasant feeling music video may not always be sinful but it may not always be good either. One needs to meditate on the Holy Scriptures all day. It doesn’t mean you have to sit and close your eyes the entire day thinking about so and so Bible verse. There may be a time you can allot for this in the day or the week. However, you have to put Christ first and remember his words whether you are at work or at play or at a party or wherever. Any book, article, song, artwork etc which keeps you entertained while going against the morally sound values of the Bible, must totally be avoided by you. Maybe you once didn’t know all this but this time do check properly on what is mere entertainment on the outside but is foolishness on the inside.
Christ be with you, always!
In prayer we express to God our praise and love of him. We also bring forth our needs and petitions unto him. It’s wise to cast your worries and anxieties unto the Lord Jesus Christ for he cares for you.
Now the aim of prayer always must be to give glory to God. Some people however are way too focused on their problems and needs that they miss out on the essence of prayer, which is to give glory to God. For them prayer is just a transaction instead of a sign of a relationship with God. One cannot have a wrong focus like this if one wants to worship God in spirit and in truth. This does not mean that you never bring your problems and needs before the Lord God. What this means is that your focus on these must never be the whole and sole reason you pray to God.
Problem or Problem Solver
Are you going to keep worrying about your problem or look up to the Problem Solver in heaven above? If you are going to keep worrying about your problem instead of trusting God for such situations then you are not exhibiting the faith that you need to have in God. Never get too emotionally overwhelmed that you are crying about your problem but are not expressing your faith in God. It’s normal and reasonable to acknowledge your emotions about the problem. However, making your emotions the central point of your prayer will make you focus on yourself instead of looking up to God to help you.
Healing or the Healer
When it comes to healing what is more important, your sickness or the One who can heal you? It is God indeed who gives cures and healing. He can give cures supernaturally or by way of a physician who give dues medical treatment. It is right it ask for healing but what is not right is that you make a drama about your sickness. Trust me there are a lot of people who are sick but face their illness without making themselves or others miserable. Some of them face terminal illness and yet are calm for the sake their family, friends etc. And now knowing this, one must not worry so much on their healing that they see past the Healer. One must know the will of God for their healing and move forward in faith then.
Comfort or the Comforter
There is no true comfort without the Comforter. The Holy Spirit comforts us with the peace of Christ in this fallen world that we live in. He gives us hope within when the external conditions look hopeless. It is unwise, then that a person desires comfort so badly that he doesn’t want to honor the Comforter but only sees him as a means to an end. If you seek the Holy Spirit who is the Comforter from God, you will have his comfort for your own.
We live in an age where instant coffee is highly coveted. Because people do not want to wait for it being prepared the normal way. However, these very people will waste hours chatting over cups of instant coffee in some downtown cafe. One wonders why do they hurry to get the coffee then. And then we have the issue of instant gratification. The world puts a premium on instant gratification. Like taking a loan for an overseas luxury vacation and then pounding your way at work once you’re back so that you can pay off the loan. This approach applied to prayer will make you look impulsive instead of discerning. You may have instant coffee from a coffee vending machine but don’t ever treat God like a miracle vending machine. He is NOT a machine but a loving, powerful, merciful and wise God. Don’t let your desire for instant gratification of your needs get the better of you when praying to God then.
A suggested prayer:
Dear Lord God, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ your Son. Forgive me of all my sins, including the times and occasions when I focused more on my problems and needs instead of focusing on you. I desire to say a firm and solemn yes to your will for me all times. Guide and comfort me by your Holy Spirit who brings forth the peace of Christ in those who believe in you. I surrender all my worries and anxieties unto you, knowing that you are Lord of all and nothing is greater than you. I trust in you for my health in all aspects of life, be it physical, mental or spiritual. You have made me the head and not the tail by the saving grace of Christ. So then let not evil nor sin reign over me but you O Lord God always reign over me and protect me from all dangers.
Amen and amen.