Offer God your spirit, mind and body,
So that your faith is genuine not shoddy.
Have mercy on the poor and needy,
Do not emulate the vile and greedy.
Good deeds whether they be small or profound,
In Christ’s name you do all around.
Please him without doubting his goodness and existence,
Lest from heaven you be at an unpassable distance.
Make a fragrant offering to the Lord God above,
For the blood of bulls and goats he doesn’t love.
Rather give unto God a sincere offering of praise,
By holiness and good works till the end of your days.
When tempted to reveal a secret out of pride,
Then instead in the Word of God abide.
When holding the confidence of others in honor,
Then never let faithlessness be in your corner.
When God tells you to refrain,
Then telling your secret is insane.
When secrets can cause strife,
Then have regard for your life.
When the Holy Spirit wants you to be tactful,
Then with your words be thoughtful.
When hidden things can cause sin,
Then except for the Lord hold them all within.
When Jesus’ word in the Gospel does remind,
Then let not your good deeds anyone find.
When you know you shouldn’t gossip bad,
Then don’t be a selfish lass or lad.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. (Proverbs 11:13)
People say that they have nothing to hide but yet they may have things on them which may endanger their good standing before their spouse, relatives and even the society they live in. Let me make it real to you; a politician is considered the best leader of the state for many years. But all of a sudden a secret which only his former aide knows comes out. The politician was once a drug addict in his teenage years and had to be rehabilitated but eventually overcame it all. However the politician’s former worker out of a evil heart bent on making money would tell about the drug addiction part but not mention that how the politician overcame his habit. Now there could be huge controversy in the media and political world, leading to the politician losing the confidence of his people and eventually having to resign and retire as well. However this could be averted by either of the two ways:
- The politician should have not trusted his former aide with his secret.
- The aide should have kept quiet.
I’d like to focus now on the part of keeping quiet. Imagine if you will, things didn’t work out well for the aide and instead he got sued for over a million and even landed in jail for not keeping privacy. Things like these too happen.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. (Proverbs 11:13)
An employee giving out secrets of a banking corporation in terms of their hidden plan to enter the equities market, can result in big time losses to that corporation or undue advantage to its competitors. If such an employee is found out, you can only imagine the lawsuits and jail time such a person would be getting. And also, there would hardly be any other bank that would then try to ever employ such a traitor of an employee. But what if in the first place, such a corrupt employee would never be given access to the banking corporation’s expansion plans? There are certain banks which give information to only select staff members about their tactical future plan and not to everyone in their employ. Then obviously there would very less a chance of information leaking to the public and competitors.
Imagine if an army general while being drunk at a party tells of the location of the nuclear warhead codes to anyone who gives him a drink. And then person who gave him the drink turns out to be a spy of an evil nation. Then there could be loss of life to the nation or innocents in other world regions, thanks to one incompetent general. No matter how much the general pleads, the army judge won’t give him a chance at normal life. And obviously, the army will do everything in its power to punish the general. Retirement benefits are out of the question of such secret revealing general.
This is the point, I’d like to make; keep quiet on your secrets when you have to keep quiet on them.
Let me make it real to you. Remember the incident in the Bible about Samson and Delilah (Refer the entire chapter of Judges Chapter 16) and you’d understand how the great warrior Samson who been given tremendous strength by the Lord God to defend Israel lost it all. And how did he lose it? The woman Delilah (as traitorous like Judas) tricked Samson by means of much fake love and concern into giving out the secret of his power. And the consequences were very nasty for Samson. Let’s read the following:
15 And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” 16 And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. 17 And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.”
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21 And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.
Now if you read the entire chapter of Judges 16, you’d know that Samson already lost his internal discipline due to getting into illegal affairs with women of perverse nature, Delilah being one of them. What makes Delilah more vicious is that she faked her love for him at the bidding of the Philistines only to wait for the opportunity to find out the secret of Samson’s strength. You will need internal discipline to ensure that you ward off any repeated attempts by vile people to away your secrets. Yes, be ready for repeated attempts if you have to.
There might be some people who might say why don’t you see how the Lord God still blessed Samson when he repented and due to that Samson took down with him at his death even more than those whom he had killed during his life? I’d say to them, I do not overlook the mercy of God in such a case. For the Lord God is even merciful to the very end. And by the Lord did Samson destroy the enemies of God’s people even at the last hour of his life. But here’s what I have to say; do not put your Lord your God to test by citing the example of Samson in giving away secrets that should never be given at all. Remember dear reader, that Samson’s eyes were gouged out. Eyes! A pin prick can cause much pain to most people, how much more the horrendous removing of eyes.
Now the Bible does not speak of Delilah’s repentance. See and make note, there are some people who never repent for the damage they cause by misusing secrets. Don’t think that Delilah went to heaven, unless the Bible clearly says so. There are people so hardened of heart that they just do not care if they made wrong use of your secret or of anyone else.
If Samson were given the option to turn back time after all that happened to him (unfortunately who even gets this option) I think he would first off never be friends with the wrong women and never have given off his God given secret of strength to anyone! Don’t want to hide this but there are many in this world who wish they could only turn back time to prevent themselves giving out their secrets which may have caused them great shame, vast disrepute and even major financial losses. They won’t be able to turn back time by themselves. But at least if they then decide to be wiser and call upon the name of the Lord God they would stand a chance to live in faith and honor.
Now that you know this, please avoid giving out your secrets when you do not have to. Some secrets in fact must never be given out (to be covered in a later post). And trust in the Lord God and do not put him to the test.
Christ be with you!
A secret is like money, it can be used wisely or misused wickedly. There are secrets which (ironically) should not be kept as secrets while there are secrets which can and must be kept secret. The people of God need to know how to discern between both such types of secrets. This will be covered in detail in series of ‘Keeping Secrets’ posts which I’m writing up. However for now I share a few good reasons for keeping secrets. This basically comes from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6. So here we go:
1) Keep secret your good deeds of charity so that you don’t seek pride nor fame in your acts which causes you to lose your reward from the Lord God.
“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-4)
2) Keep secret your prayer life in a such a way that you pray like how the Lord God wants you to pray without being a self seeking hypocrite but rather exalt the name of God alone. This will ensure your reward from the Lord God.
5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread;
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
13 And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:5-14)
3) Keep secret your fasting so that you don’t get undue praise by people and so miss out on your reward from your Heavenly Father the Lord God.
16 “And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. 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 men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The three reasons above are good enough to consider keeping secrets that are meant not to be paraded before people so that you indulge in self glory and so lose your reward from your Father in heaven who is none but the Lord God. I hope this make you realize the importance of keeping secrets. Keep yourself open to the will and counsel of the Lord God manifest in the Bible so that you learn to keep secrets wisely.
Christ be with you!
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)
Your good works don’t earn you into Heaven, but your bad works CAN disqualify you, if not repented of. From Scripture we know that grace comes to those who repent, and God’s love comes to those who are surrendered to Him (the cross). Teaching people that Grace can come by other means than repentance is irresponsible, and it’s a dangerous doctrine to tell others that God’s love is not dependant on surrendering to Him. (quote by Robert Brownell)
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10)
All praise and adoration unto the Lord God and to Christ Jesus his only begotten Son. Keep us O Lord from all wrong thoughts and intentions in everything that we do. Lead by the Holy Spirit into all truth. Amen.
12 Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults.13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-13)
One must take care that one’s motivations are always pure before the Lord. All vanity and pride must cast away from your way of thinking. Be pure in thought, words and deeds always.
Wrongful thoughts of the heart lead to wrongful actions.
14 And Jesus called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy,slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:14-23)
Good works must be accompanied by good intentions.
It could be that you and another person are doing the same thing and yet only one stands justified before God. You see a blind child trying to cross the road and you help him out of pity. Then, we have the other person, who too sees a blind child also trying to cross the road but helps him only to gain the admiration of fellow street walkers. The average person on the street would like that you both help the blind kids out there. However, the Lord God knows the human heart and its secret intentions. The person who had no pity but only wanted fame out of this good act had done in essence what’s called as dead work, spiritual dead work in the eyes of God.
You’d be rewarded for your act of kindnesses towards the blind kid but the person who desired selfish fame won’t be rewarded by God. As to when you’ll receive your reward, it could be any time as per God’s will. Even if you might remember a past good deed that you did with good intentions which is not yet rewarded, do not feel low as God will surely reward you for that on the Day of Judgement.
8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:8-15)