Category: Christian Living

A Wife With Noble Character

A Wife With Noble Character

The poem about a wife of noble character found in Proverbs 31:10-31 is part of the sayings of King Lemuel which his mother taught him. This poem is an acrostic with the initial words of the twenty-two verses all beginning with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

This acrostic form was a device to help people commit the passage to memory. Perhaps Jewish parents instructed their sons and daughters to memorize this poem and use it as a guide for their lives and in their homes.

Who is King Lemuel?

We don’t know much about King Lemuel, other than what is revealed in Proverbs 31. He is not included in the recorded list of the kings of Israel or Judah but his name means “belonging to God” or “devoted to God.”

Although some commentators proposed that King Lemuel is actually King Solomon and his mother was Bathsheba, there is no evidence whatever that the name Lemuel means Solomon. Furthermore, the time of the writing of Proverbs 31 seems to be much later than the time of King Solomon.

Like Timothy (2 Timothy 1:5), perhaps Lemuel’s mother was Jewish and she taught him the fear of the Lord and God’s wisdom.

The Profile of a Wife Worthy of Honor

What kind of wife is described in Proverbs 31:10-31? The following notes develop the profile of a virtuous wife.

A virtuous wife is a woman of character.

Proverbs 31:10-12 “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Just as wisdom is more important than wealth (Proverbs 3:15), so character is more important than jewels.

How to be a Virtuous Woman

In his first epistle, the apostle Peter gave this same counsel to Christian wives in his day (1 Peter 3:1-6). Marriage doesn’t change a person’s character. If the husband or the wife has character weaknesses, marriage will only reveal and accentuate them. A husband or wife who hopes to change his or her spouse after the honeymoon is destined for disappointment.

A virtuous wife is trustworthy.

Proverbs 31:11 “The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.”

If the husband and wife trust each other, they will live in harmony. The husband will have no fears or suspicions as she is busy with her work because he knows she has character and will do nothing but good for him and their children.

If brides and grooms take seriously the vows of love and loyalty they repeat to each other and to God at the altar, they will have a wall of confidence around their marriage that will keep out every enemy.

A virtuous wife is a woman who isn’t afraid to work.

Proverbs 31:13b “And willingly works with her hands.”

Whether it’s going to the market for food (Proverbs 31:14-15), buying real estate or planting a vineyard (Proverbs 31:16), she’s up early and busy with her chores. We get the impression that the night before she makes a “to do” list and doesn’t waste a minute in idleness.

She sets about her work energetically (Proverbs 31:17), whether spinning thread, helping the poor, or providing a wardrobe for her children. She prepares the very best for her family, and they have no reason to be ashamed.

A virtuous wife is generous.

Proverbs 31:20 “She extends her hand to the poor. Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.”

As she ministers to her family, she keeps her eyes open for people who have needs, and she does what she can to help them. Happiness comes to those who have mercy on the poor (Proverbs 14:21), and nothing given to the Lord for them will ever be lost (Proverbs 19:17).

A virtuous wife makes it easy for her husband to do his work.

Proverbs 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.”

The city gate was the place where civic business was transacted, so her husband was one of the elders in the community (see Ruth 4). While no such restrictions exist today, in that day a woman never would have sat on the “city council.” But his loyal wife didn’t want to take her husband’s place; she just did her work and made it easier for him to do his.

A husband and wife should complement each other as they seek to fulfill their roles in the will of God. Wise is the husband who recognizes his wife’s strengths and lets her compensate for his weaknesses. Doing this isn’t a sign of personal failure, nor is it rebellion against the divine order (1 Corinthians 11:3).

Both leadership and submission in a home are evidences of love and obedience, and the one doesn’t nullify the other.

A virtuous wife is confident as she faces the future.

Proverbs 31:25 “Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.”

In the Bible, to be “clothed” with something means that it is a part of a person’s life and reveals itself in that person’s character and conduct (see Colossians 3:8-14, 1 Timothy 2:9-10).

A Wife Worthy of Honor

This wife can laugh at future problems and troubles because she has strength of character and because she is prepared for emergencies. She is a woman of faith who knows that God is with her and her family.

A virtuous wife is a capable teacher of wisdom.

Proverbs 31:26 “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”

She certainly teaches her children the wisdom of God, especially the daughters, preparing them for the time when they will have families of their own. But she probably also shares her insights with her husband, and he’s wise enough to listen.

Remember that earlier in the book, King Solomon used a beautiful woman to personify wisdom (Proverbs 1:20-33; 9:1-6); this godly wife does the same.

A virtuous wife attentively oversees her household.

Proverbs 31:27 “She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

She isn’t idle, and nothing in the household escapes her notice, whether it’s food, finances, clothing or school lessons. Managing the household is an exacting job, and she does her work faithfully day and night.

Any husband and father who thinks that his wife has it easy should take her responsibilities for a week or two and discover how wrong he is.

A Wife of Noble Character

I’m reminded of the story of a husband who felt that his stay-at-home wife wasn’t working as hard as he was. So he prayed to God and asked to trade places with his “lazy wife.” He wanted to teach her a lesson so she’d know what it’s like to work as hard as he does every day. God granted him his wish, only for the husband to soon realize that he’s the one about to learn a lesson.

You can read the full story here: Husband Asks to Trade Places with His Lazy Wife

A virtuous wife is a woman worthy of praise.

Proverbs 31:28-29 “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.’”

It’s a wonderful thing when the husband and his children can praise the wife and mother for her faithful ministry in their home. The suggestion here is that this praise was expressed regularly and spontaneously and not just on special occasions.

They did not have Mother’s Day in Israel so every day should be Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Tragically, often members of the family take each other for granted and fail to show sincere appreciation.

The father ought to set an example for their children and always thank his wife for what she does for the family. He should see in her the woman who surpasses them all.

Finally, the life of a virtuous wife is a testimony to others.

Proverbs 31:31 “Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Her husband and children acknowledge her value and praise her, but so do the other people in the community. Even the leaders at the city gate recognize her good works and honor her.

God sees to it that the woman who faithfully serves Him and her family is properly honored, and certainly she will have even greater honor when she stands before her Lord.

Conclusion

This poem in Proverbs 31:10-31 which is a beautiful tribute to the godly wife and mother gives us the finest description of the ideal wife. But these qualities may seem too high for anyone to attain. What is the secret?

The answer is in Proverbs 31:30. The secret of a virtuous and capable wife’s life is that she fears the Lord. Having charm and beauty is wonderful; the possession of these qualities is not a sin. But the woman who walks with the Lord and seeks to please Him has a beauty that never fades (1 Peter 3:1-6).

A Wife with Noble Character

This passage also describes for every Christian man the kind of wife for whom he ought to be looking and praying. But it also reminds the prospective husband that he’d better be walking with the Lord and growing in his spiritual life so that he will be worthy of such a wife if and when God brings her to him.

The man who has a wife who daily reads the Scriptures, meditates, prays, and seeks to obey God’s will has a treasure that is indeed beyond the price of rubies.


*Reference: The Transformation Study Bible (General Editor: Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe)

*Recommended Resource:

A Woman of Noble Character: Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman in Todays Busy World
By Susan Sikes

Women today have such busy lives and great responsibilities, yet so many still strive to be the Proverbs 31 women spoken of in the Bible. A Woman of Noble Character gives women practical ways to fulfill their role as wife, mother, or keeper of the house in a busy world.

Practically all areas of home life are covered with quick and easy tips to help. A few of the topics are Priorities/Godly Character, Decorating, Cleaning, Finances, Organizing, Cooking/Recipes, and many other helps and tips. Whether you work within or outside the home, this book makes a great resource to managing a home. 

The Context is Love

The Context is Love

Whenever asked if we love our family, we immediately say, “Of course I do.” Our relationships in the family need to be marked by love. Husbands are to love their wives and wives must love their husbands. Parents, children, and siblings must love one another.

But do we love one another the biblical way?

Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 13:6-8a (NKJV)

“Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

Reflection

Divorced from its context, 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 becomes “a hymn to love” or a sentimental sermon on Christian brotherhood. What many people fail to see is that Paul was still dealing with the Corinthians’ problems when he penned these words.

There was division in the church, abuse of the gift of tongues, envy of others’ gifts, selfishness, impatience with one another in the public meetings, and behavior that was disgracing the Lord. Paul tells the believers in Corinth that the only way spiritual gifts can be used creatively is when they are motivated by love.

Characteristics of Biblical Love

1) Love is enriching.

In 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Paul mentions five spiritual gifts: tongues, prophecy, knowledge, faith, and giving (sacrifice). The Corinthian believers were captivated with spiritual gifts; particularly the gift of tongues and Paul reminds them that without love, the exercise of these gifts is nothing. 

The Context is Love

A person may speak with the gift of tongues, but without love, it is as meaningless as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. It is just a lot of noise (1 Corinthians 13:1). It is love that enriches the gift and that gives it value.

Ministry without love cheapens both the minister and those who are touched by it, but ministry with love enriches the whole church.

2) Love is edifying.

While knowledge puffs up, it is love that edifies (1 Corinthians 8:1b). The purpose of spiritual gifts is the edification (strengthening) of the church (1 Corinthians 12:7; 14:3, 5, 12, 17, 26). This means we must not think of ourselves, but of others; and this demands love.

3) Love encourages.

Christians do not understand love. God hopes that all would get saved, in spite of the fact He knew not all would. God was willing to bear the sin of the whole world even though some would not accept.

Love does not nag. God does not nag people to get saved, even though it is good for them. God knows the best for everyone, but God does not force or nag anyone to do something they don’t want to do.

Challenge & Application

The issue I have with many Christian women today is that they nag a lot. They may know what the Bible says on what godly men should do and they try to play the part of the Holy Spirit in their spouse or significant other. Your spouse wants your love and respect and he deserves it.

Love bears all things. In other words, love does not harp on sin issues in your life. Making certain issues a broken record is the perfect way to become a nag. Don’t do it.

Love believes all things. That is, love trusts your spouse’s word. Your spouse is busy just like you. Whether you like it or not you both have two different sets of priorities. Your spouse is responsible to God first. You are second. Stop nagging about the insignificant details. You want to be a godly wife, trust his word.

Love hopes. God is working on your spouse. Both you and your spouse are sinners with issues. Why don’t you love them enough to watch God work in your spouse’s life? When you try to change your spouse, they get hurt because you are trying to act the part of the Holy Spirit, thus making it harder for them to listen to the Holy Spirit.

Love also forgives, and forgives, and forgives many times over without holding grudges. We do not understand how God changes us or in what order. The path of sanctification is different for every person. You do not get to determine what should change in your spouse. Stop playing the Holy Spirit in your spouse’s life.

The Context is Love

Lastly, love does not end. God never stops loving us. Our love for our spouse should not either. If you have true love for someone, you will not stop showing it in these ways. It is true that since we are sinners, we can’t do this perfectly like Jesus, but we need to strive to love our spouses this way. Love does not have a list of expectations.

It is true that God tells us what is good for us, but He still allows us to make choices, whether they result in good or bad. That does not mean God loves us less. God loves us in spite of us. Can you love your spouse by encouraging without nagging?

God does not nag. God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son to suffer and die on the cross so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

*Read here: The Cross Makes Love Believable

God knows and wants what’s best for everyone, yet He does not force or nag anyone to do something they don’t want to do. God does not nag people to be saved. He wants us to willingly accept His gift of eternal life.

Biblical love suffers long and is kind, does not envy, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, rejoices not in iniquity but in the truth, believes all things, bears all things, hopes all things and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Closing Thoughts

Spiritual gifts, no matter how exciting and wonderful, are useless and even destructive if they are not ministered in love. In his letter, the apostle Paul gave great emphasis on love.

The main evidence of maturity in the Christian life is a growing love for God and for God’s people, as well as a love for lost souls. It has well been said that love is the “circulatory system” of the body of Christ.

Are you practicing biblical love?

Teach Well Your Children

Teach Well Your Children

In today’s society where abortion, child abuse, divorce and other sins against these little ones seem to be acceptable, it has become apparent that our culture places little value on the lives of these gifts from the Lord.

Bible Verse: Psalm 127:3-4

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.”

Reflection

Charles Spurgeon QuotesChildren are precious; they are a heritage and they make the home a treasury. But they are also useful – like fruits and arrows – and make the home a garden and an armory. If parents do not raise their children to know and love the truth, who will plant the seeds of truth and fight the battles against lies and evil in the years to come?

Parents are to preserve the best of the past and invest it in the future. Every baby born is God’s vote for the future of mankind and an opportunity for parents to help make some new beginnings.

Teach Your Children Well

Line upon line, precept upon precept, it is your job as parents to teach your children to walk in the ways of the Lord (Isaiah 28:9-10). What could be the most effective tool for doing exactly that? It’s your own walk with the Lord.

Our children are smart; they copy what we do, repeat what we say, follow where we go, and learn of God as we study His Word and praise Him. Parents who boast of their of past sins with a smirk on their face and their children at their feet have no idea the damage they are causing.

Children soak up every word they hear. Parents set a benchmark for either righteousness or wickedness on how they live before their children. That is why parents are not only to bring their children to church, they are to teach them the Word of God in their homes (Deuteronomy 11:19).

Raising Godly Children

This is not to say that every child who grew up in a Christian home will automatically become a worship leader or a pastor. We have heard of pastors’ kids who have gone out of their way to become gang leaders and drug addicts. There are also kids who grew up in the streets but ended up being elders and deacons in their church.

The point is, while it is the responsibility of parents to raise their children in accordance with the will of God, it is no guarantee that they won’t get lost along the way. However, the Bible also assures us that a child who was trained according to God’s standards may go astray at some point in his life but will eventually find his way back into the truth (Proverbs 22:6).

A Godly Heritage

A godly man, husband, and father, knows that having the right relationship with the Savior means a healthy relationship with his family. He would care for and nurture his children not just by teaching them to love God. More importantly, he would show them every day by the way he lives his life and conducts himself.

Philippine pride, Manny “The Pacman” Pacquiao, is a well-known champion in the field of boxing. And while I am very proud of his accomplishments as a boxer and for the honor he has given our nation, what I admire the most about him is his faith in the Lord, which is reflecting in the way he is now raising his kids to love God and His Word, the way he does.

Raising Godly Children

Make Room for Family

Parents must always make room in their lives for family. Sometimes a business or social calendars need readjusting. I have heard stories about parents who walk around with their mobile phones in constant operation, thereby rendering “conversation across the dinner table” a lost art.

A man who had just lost his wife of many years to cancer was sitting in a hotel room with a friend twenty-five years his junior a few weeks after the funeral. The younger friend had his own family, a wife and two sons.

The older gentleman wept tears of regret and said, “Friend, take time to enjoy your family now, for they will be gone all too soon. Don’t let the busy-ness of your life steal you from them now, lest you regret it later.”

Learn to appreciate what God has blessed you with. The dirty hand prints on the wall and the muddy socks under the bed are signs of healthy, active children who are yours but for a short while.

Create for these precious gifts a Christian home where the love of Jesus is taught. Love them deeply. Give yourself to them completely.

Closing Thoughts

Reproducing a child does not make a parent – that is reproduction, not parenting. In other words, you can have a child or children but that does not mean you’re a parent.

On the other hand, you may not have a child of your own but when you raise a child in a way that pleases and honors God, you are a parent, a godly one for that matter.


*Recommended Resource:

Fearless Parenting: How to Raise Faithful Kids in a Secular Culture – eBook
By George Barna & Jimmy Myers

Product Description:

Today’s Christian parents face an uphill battle in raising godly kids. How can we teach children to live out their faith in a morally bankrupt culture? Offering expert insights, Barna and Myers help you foster your youngsters’ spiritual growth and encourage them to develop their gifts; prioritize family relationships; reject materialism; and rethink social media.

How Peculiar Are You?

How Peculiar Are You?

The Bible says that God’s people are a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9 KJV). But what does it mean to be peculiar? When we use the word “peculiar” in the English language, it often means “odd,” “weird” or “strange.” And true enough, God’s people do sometimes seem peculiar to the world’s way of thinking.

But in Biblical English, “peculiar people” means a people possessed by God and particularly prized by Him. The word translated peculiar in Titus 2:14 (KJV) and 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) is the Hebrew word segullah which carries the meaning of the saints being the Lord’s own special people or treasure.

We are a chosen generation and royal priesthood

Believers in Christ are said to be peculiar or special people because they were chosen from before the foundation of the earth to be God’s own possession. Born again Christians are different from the world around them because they are being led by the Holy Spirit that dwells in them.

Only God Can Change Us

“Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” – Titus 2:14 

It is true that personal standards are just that personal. They are between you and God. That is true. It is also true that the attitudes and standards will show as Matthew 7:20 says.

As I have found, it is human nature to not change. That is why salvation is a miracle. It does not happen without God doing it. When we get saved, we were telling God we wanted to change but could not change ourselves. That is why addictions are near impossible to break for unbelievers. It is human nature to go back to what we know and enjoy. That is why we make habits in the first place.

Over the years, God has taught me that as members of the Church, we are not to judge one another nor put a stumbling block and cause others to fall away. Instead, we must work together, encourage and build each other up. We are to keep the peace but not accept mediocrity.

How Peculiar Are You

This is just the reason why Cain was wrong when He said, “Am I my brother’s keeper” (Genesis 4:9)? As members of the Church, we are each others’ keeper. We all need encouragement. Thus we all need to be encouraged or challenged, because of the mediocrities and sin issues in our lives.

An old pastor of mine had a perfect illustration that fits this encouragement. Challenge each other to be purple people. Challenge each other to be peculiar for God. Not in skin color but in our habits and standards, even down to the clothes we wear. God wants us to be peculiar in every way.

Modesty in heart and clothes profess godliness (1 Timothy 2:10). I know too many people that choose clothes to fit in or to be “normal.” God created all people unique even down to our genetic makeup. There is no definition of normal. God made you unique. Live like it. Since God made you unique and calls us to be peculiar, how peculiar are you?

How Bright is Your Light?

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

Throughout all time, all people were and are sinners. That does not mean God is any less powerful. We cannot frustrate God’s plan. Sometimes He does change us to fulfill His plan. Before we got saved, we had no light of our own. After salvation, God imputes His righteousness to us so that we may live like it and show His light.

There are many examples in the Bible of sinners that were used to point to Jesus. God uses His fallen creation to point to Jesus. The evidence of a changed life only points to an all-powerful God that can enable anyone, including us.

Without God, our good works are filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). God changes our rags to a beautiful testimony of what God has done in our lives. Our good works are the evidence of the imputed righteousness of God in our lives. That is the light mentioned in Matthew 5:16.

*Related Article: How to Let Your Light Shine

We can’t take credit for this change. Only God deserves that credit. Do you give all the honor and praise to God for what He has done and is doing in your life?

As we grow spiritually and apply God’s word to our lives, He keeps on changing us more and more into His image. Our mind needs to be renewed continually (Romans 12:2). It is an ongoing process.

Thus, our light needs to become brighter and brighter until we meet God. A candle, a spotlight, headlights, and a lighthouse all give off light but only God gives off the most light. All Christians give off some light, but some give off more than others.

That light points to Jesus, who has changed you. How bright is your light?

Yes, It is Possible

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

Recently I heard the question, “Is love even possible?” I know for a fact that based on this verse it is.

Life is difficult. If we let it happen, almost everyone can become cynical about life. This is also true for Christians. This cynical attitude about life can affect our perspective of everything. Not just life, but also God, society, men, women, police, etc. To me that is a hopeless existence when we doubt God or others. Close relationships end up being nearly impossible because we are not able to trust anyone.

I am here to say God is love. He loves you and will never fail you. He died to save you from your sin. You can trust Him no matter your circumstances. How much do you trust God?

God's Love is Unconditional

On top of that, God is in the people-changing business. People will hurt us in life, but that is not the end of the story. God is changing His children back into His loving image. As we grow spiritually in the knowledge and understanding of who God is, He is changing us into His likeness, starting with how we love each other.

As we give more and more control of our lives over to God, we will be amazed how much easier it will be to love others and live the Christian life. God is not interested in us following rules. He wants to change our heart and this enables us to live the peculiar life.

Are you being enabled as Philippians 4:13 says?

Wait on God

And the firstborn said unto the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.” – Genesis 19:31-32

It is human nature to desire close relationships. More often than not, we look for those relationships in all the wrong places. God created us to have a relationship with Him, but if we don’t communicate, do we truly have a relationship with Him? How is your communication with God?

Lot’s two daughters are a perfect example of a good desire fulfilled in the wrong way. Since they lived in the sexualized society of Sodom, they wanted a relationship now. It would have been impossible to tell them to wait on the Lord. They were worried about the future.

I have done this myself. I am 32 yrs old and have never been married. I have wanted to be married since graduating from college 7 years ago. Most of my closest friends are all married. I have seen the beauty of a close godly marriage relationship. It is amazing!

*Read here: What is the Will Of God in Marriage

Most people in my shoes would think God has forgotten about my relationship needs. I don’t though. God has become more and more precious to me. That is one reason I have been able to write this article. I have the time to do so. Worrying about relationships makes an idol out of relationships.

In Genesis 19:32 we can see where Lot’s daughters made a sinful choice by committing incest with their dad, just because of worrying about their relationships. Trusting God and waiting on Him is true for all of us because we all desire something.

But God has not forgotten about our needs. God wants us to be patient and wait on Him. Let us not be like Lot’s daughters that took the first available choice to have children. We all will make sinful life-altering choices if we do not wait on God.

As a Christian, you have the opportunity to make better choices and be unique for God’s sake. How well are we waiting on God?

Conclusion

What makes believers peculiar is the fact that they are set apart from the world. They have made a deep commitment to God – to obey Him and submit to Him in everything.

Believers in Christ are God’s treasured possession, they are a peculiar people who are not bound by sin and death, and they do not walk, talk, or act like people who are. They are a holy, consecrated people! They are free and they are blessed!

How peculiar are you? 

Hidden Messages in Genesis 5

Hidden Messages in Genesis 5

The fifth chapter of Genesis includes the first genealogy in Scripture and introduces “the written account of the descendants of Adam.” Ten generations are listed here, from Adam to Noah, just as ten generations are listed from Shem to Abraham in the “account of Shem’s family” (Genesis 11:10-26).

But how true is it that there are actually hidden messages in Genesis 5? Adam and his descendants lived a long time but Methuselah lived the longest. Methuselah is well-known as the oldest man in the Bible, yet he died before his father. How can that be?

Enoch didn’t Die

Enoch, Methuselah’s father, didn’t die; he was transferred directly to heaven without passing through death (“raptured,” as some would say). Instead of the echoed words “and then he died,” Enoch’s life’s story ends with the statement, “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).

It was “by faith” that Enoch was taken to heaven (Hebrews 11:5). He believed God, walked with God, and went to be with God, which is an example for all of us to follow. It must have been difficult to live in close fellowship with God during those years before the flood when vice and violence were prevalent and only a remnant of people believed God (Genesis 6:5).

Hidden Messages in Genesis 5

But Enoch’s life of faith wasn’t a private thing, for he boldly announced that God would come to judge the world’s sins. Isn’t it interesting that the oldest prophecy in the Bible was uttered by Enoch before the flood of Noah concerning the Second Coming of Christ?

It is not found here in Genesis but in the next-to-last book of the Bible, Jude.

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” – Jude 14-15

Enoch’s life and witness remind us that it is possible to be faithful to God “in a world full of crooked and perverse people” (Philippians 2:15).

The Birth of Methuselah

The birth of Methuselah when Enoch was 65 was a turning point in his life because he then began to live “in close fellowship with God.” The Bible says, “After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years” (Genesis 5:21-22).

Hidden Messages in Genesis 5

“If men walk contrary to God, he will not walk with them, but contrary to them. Walking together implies amity, friendship, intimacy, love, and these cannot exist between God and the soul unless the man is acceptable unto the Lord.” – Charles Spurgeon

Did the responsibility of raising a son in such a godless world so challenged Enoch that he knew he needed God’s help? Or when the baby was born, did God give Enoch insight into the future so that he knew the flood was coming? We do not know, but we do know that (as history has repeatedly demonstrated) the arrival of Methuselah changed his father’s life.

What’s in a Name?

Enoch named his son using two Hebrew roots: muth, which means “his death,” and shellac, which is a verb form that means “bring,” or “sent forth.” So the name Methuselah means, “his death shall bring.”

It seems that when Methuselah was born, Enoch was told that as long as his son was alive, the forthcoming judgment of the flood (the Flood of Noah) would be withheld. So as we can see, the flood of Noah did not come as a surprise; it had been predicted for four generations.

This significance behind the name Methuselah also hints that a message might be hidden behind these other names found in chapter 5 of Genesis. Adam had a son named Seth; Seth had a son named Enoch, and so on.

The problem with Genesis 5 is that these proper names are not translated for the reader from their Hebrew meanings, so you have to unravel these by digging into the meaning of the Hebrew roots that make up the names.

  • Adam: (adomah) “man”
  • Seth: “appointed” (Genesis 4:25)
  • Enosh: (from root anash, “to be incurable”) “mortal,” “frail,” “miserable”
  • Kenan: “sorrow,” “dirge,” “elegy”
  • Mahalal’el: “the Blessed God” – (mahalal) “blessed”; (El) the name of God
  • Jared: (from the verb yaradh) “shall come down”
  • Enoch: “commencement” or “teaching”
  • Methuselah: “his death shall bring”muth, a root that means “death”; shalach means “bring” or “send forth”
  • Lamech: “despairing” (from which we get “lament” or “lamentation”)
  • Noah: (derived from nacham) “comfort” or “rest” (Genesis 5:29)

We now can look at the genealogy with more insight. The sequence: Adam > Seth > Enosh > Kenan > Mahalaleel > Jared > Enoch > Methuselah > Lamech > Noah reads, in English, “Man [is] appointed mortal sorrow; [but] the blessed God shall come down teaching [that] His death shall bring [the] despairing rest.”

Hidden in the meaning of the names in the genealogy is a beautiful presentation of the Gospel of God’s saving grace.

Lessons in Genesis 5

There are several profound lessons here. First, here is a summary of the New Testament Gospel tucked away in a genealogy in the Torah. This demonstrates something we will encounter throughout all the Scripture: every detail is there by design.

It was only after Methuselah died that the flood came. This tells us one thing: It was no accident that Methuselah lived for nine hundred and sixty-nine years. God kept him alive longer than anybody to give people as long as possible to repent.

It also tells us that God’s plan of redemption was not a knee-jerk reaction to Genesis chapter 3 (The Fall of Man). God had ordained it before the foundation of the world.

It is also noteworthy that the words “and he died” occur eight times in this chapter, emphasizing the fact that death was now reigning over mankind because of Adam’s sin (see Romans 5:12-17, 21). Sin and death still rule today, but through Jesus Christ, we can “live in triumph over sin and death” (Romans 5:17).

God's Plan of Redemption Revealed in Genesis

Conclusion

There are hidden messages in the Bible, and they’re not just the equidistant letter sequences that have caused such controversies in recent years. There are dozens of other kinds of codes that don’t require a computer to decipher; they are there if we know how to look.

The Scripture is inexhaustible – we can never get to the bottom of its depth. And this is exactly what every Bible reader would expect from God.

As Chuck Missler and Perry Stone always say, “The New Testament is the Old Testament concealed, and the Old Testament is the New Testament revealed.”

In other words, many things in the Old Testament do not make sense until you illuminate them with the New Testament.


*Reference:  

Learn the Bible in 24 Hours by Dr. Chuck Missler

For those who have tried and failed to follow through on a plan to study the entire Bible, Chuck Missler has the answer. Learn the Bible in 24 Hours is an ideal study aid to help you grasp the big picture of Scripture. Each chapter is designed for study in an hour or less.

Features include:

  • Sound, fresh teaching on Scripture
  • Historical and cultural insight into biblical passages
  • Sidebars that highlight the primary concepts of the chapter
What is the Significance of the Lord’s Supper?

What is the Significance of the Lord’s Supper?

Among the two ordinances established by Jesus Christ and observed by Evangelical Churches is the Lord’s Supper. (The other one is Baptism.) So what is the significance of the Lord’s Supper and why do Christians celebrate it?

Biblical Basis for the Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper, which is actually the Last Supper that Jesus had with His disciples the night before He died, is recorded in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-25 and Luke 22:14-20).

Each Gospel writer describes Jesus giving thanks, blessing the bread and the cup and giving them to His disciples and saying that the bread is His body and the cup is the new covenant in His blood which is shed for many. In Luke 22:19, Jesus says, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

What is the Significance of the Lord's Supper
Photo Credits: graceexposed.org

From the earliest records, we can tell that the church did exactly what Jesus said: they reenacted that Last Supper in remembrance of Jesus and His death. This is evident not only in Acts 20:7 but also in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

The Lord’s Supper is not just some afterthought on the part of the church leaders to give the Christian faith more appeal or character. It is not also an ordinance which has somehow evolved with the passing of time. Jesus Himself instituted it and commanded it to be continued.

Elements Used in Celebrating the Lord’s Supper

At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ took the bread and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

In the same manner, He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25).

There are two elements used in celebrating the Lord’s Supper: bread and wine (or grape juice). Note that nothing is specified about the kind of bread or wine to be used. But a great deal has been given through the years as to whether the bread should be unleavened or the wine should be fermented or unfermented.

Some say that using unleavened bread seems reasonable to use based on the fact that it is what the ancient Hebrew people who fled from Egypt have used to commemorate the “First Passover.”

Since the physical is only a figure of the spiritual, the choice of elements is secondary. It does not really matter if regular bread or unleavened is used. What we should be concerned about is using playful substitutes like bagels and the like.

What about the wine? We have good reason to believe that the wine mentioned in the New Testament was different from the wine we have come to be familiar with today. One of the early church fathers, Justin Martyr, described the Lord’s Supper around A.D. 150, “Bread is brought, and wine and water, and the president sends up prayers and thanksgiving.”

In Jesus’ day, grape juice could not be kept without fermenting it for they had no modern canning and preserving facilities. So He must have used the very common beverage during those times. However, it was very customary to mix in a ratio of three parts water to one part of wine – the normal mixture in the Passover ritual.

If Jesus used wine, why can’t we also use it today? Because of the problem of alcoholism, it might be the better part of wisdom to avoid the temptation with the use of grape juice to commemorate the Last Supper. Grape juice is easily accessible, inexpensive, and nonalcoholic.

Remembering Christ at Communion

Things to Consider When Partaking of the Lord’s Supper

On the night in which He was betrayed, Jesus took the cup and the bread – the ingredients of a common meal in that day – and transformed them into a meaningful spiritual experience for believers.

However, the value of the experience depends on the condition of the hearts of those who participate. So what are the things we need to consider when partaking of the Lord’s Supper?

1) We should look back (1 Corinthians 11:23-26a).

The broken bread reminds us of Christ’s body, given for us; and the cup reminds us of His blood that was shed. It is a remarkable thing that Jesus wants His followers to remember His death.

Most of us try to forget how those we love died, but Jesus wants us to remember how He died. Why? Because everything we have as Christians centers in that death. We are to consciously call to mind the person of Jesus and His death as a means for the forgiveness of our sins.

2) We should look ahead (1 Corinthians 11:26b).

We observe the Lord’s Supper “until Jesus comes again.” The return of Jesus Christ is the blessed hope of the church and the individual Christian (Titus 2:13). Jesus did not only die for us, but He arose again and ascended to heaven.

And one day He shall return to take us to heaven at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 14:2-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53) for the rewarding ceremony at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10), and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).

Today, we are not all that we should be; but when we see Him we will be like Him (1 John 3:2).

3) We should look within (1 Corinthians 11:27-28, 31-32).

The apostle Paul did not say we had to be worthy to partake of the bread and cup, but only that we should partake in a worthy manner. If we are to participate in a worthy manner, we must examine our own hearts, judge our sins, and confess them to the Lord.

To come to communion with unconfessed sin in our lives is to be guilty of Christ’s body and blood, for it was sin that nailed Him to the cross. If we will not judge our own sins, then God will judge us and chasten us until we do confess and forsake our sins.

The believers at Corinth neglected to examine themselves, but they were experts at examining everybody else. When the church gathers together, we must be careful not to become “religious detectives” who watch others while failing to acknowledge our own sins.

No one ought to come to Communion who is not a true believer. Nor should a true believer come to Communion if his heart is not right with God and with his fellow Christians. This is why we are given a time of spiritual preparation before partaking of the Lord’s Supper, lest any of us bring chastening on ourselves.

We are to treat the Lord’s Supper with reverence and to practice it in a spirit of self-examination. If we eat and drink in an unworthy manner, we eat and drink judgment to ourselves, and that is nothing to take lightly.

4) We should look around (1 Corinthians 11:33-34).

We should not look around in order to criticize other believers but in order to honor the Lord’s body (1 Corinthians 11:29b). This perhaps has a dual meaning. We should honor Jesus’ body as symbolized in the bread, but also in the church around us – for the church is the body of Christ.

The Last Supper should be a demonstration of the unity of the church – but there was not much unity in the Corinthian church. In fact, their celebration of the Lord’s Supper was only a demonstration of their disunity.

It isn’t only good manners to wait for one another when partaking of the Lord’s Supper; it also shows love towards others. If we wait for one another, then each one can receive an equal share.

5) We partake of it as often as we can (1 Corinthians 11:25b).

Nothing is said in the New Testament about the frequency of the Lord’s Supper. Some believe it would be good to do it weekly; others practice it quarterly and still, others celebrate it on the first Sunday of each month.

I believe we are free in this matter. But since we take the Lord’s Supper to remember Christ’s death, we should take it fairly often and regularly. In any case, it’s not the frequency that matters but the attitude of our hearts.

Purpose of the Lord’s Supper

1) A Remembrance

First of all, the Lord’s Supper is a remembrance, a recollection. As we partake, we are to dismiss from our thoughts the care of everyday life and focus our attention completely on the Lord Jesus, foundationally remembering His death on the cross for us.

Let us not forget as some often do, how much our Lord has sacrificed for us at Calvary. The Lord in His gracious wisdom instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper as a loving reminder of His death, resurrection and soon-to-be return.

2) Spiritual Nourishment and Inspiration

Just as certain foods are essential to physical well-being, so we need spiritual foods to nourish our spiritual life. Prayer, Bible study and fellowship are a few of these, but the Lord’s Supper is also an important part of our spiritual diet and we should not neglect it.

3) Fellowship

The Lord’s Supper is a means of fellowship with one another in Christ. It is a sign of the union of believers with Christ, their head.

Since the beginning of the church, it was customary for the believers to eat together (Acts 2:42, 46). It was an opportunity for fellowship and for sharing with those who were less privileged.

They called these meals “fellowship meals” since the main emphasis was commemorating the Lord’s love and showing love for the saints by sharing with one another (Jude 12).

4) Means of Preaching the Gospel

Jesus said in 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” The word translated “show” in the original language is actually the word for “preach.” So basically, Jesus is saying, “You do preach the Lord’s death until He comes.”

We need to understand that each time we do Communion we are actually preaching a sermon declaring that Christ died for the sins of the world, that He rose from the grave and He is coming again.

Significance of the Lord's Supper

Conclusion

The Lord’s Supper was a supper with great symbolic meaning attached to it. The two prominent symbols being the bread, which is broken into pieces and shared by all, and the wine poured into a common cup and drunk by all.

Jesus taught His disciples that the bread represents His physical body which was given for us so that we might be saved. The wine, on the other hand, represents His blood which was poured out for the atonement of our sins.

Jesus, the eternal Son of God, took on human flesh, adding perfect, sinless humanity to His undiminished deity. He took on a sinless body so that He could die in our place by taking our sins upon Himself.

When we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we celebrate our Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary for our unmerited benefit and blessing.

Here’s a beautiful song by Matt Redman called “Remembrance.” Listen and be blessed.

Trusting God With All Your Heart

Trusting God With All Your Heart

When life gets tough, we need to trust someone. And that someone is none other than God. When we are going through one of life’s storms, the Great Physician has a prescription in Proverbs 3:5

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”

You can trust God with your heart because He is trustworthy. He knows the burdens you carry and the tears you shed. He suffered a broken heart and even had a dear friend betray Him. He is the healer of broken heart, broken dreams, and broken lives. You can trust Him for He never fails.

In Psalm 31:1, David affirms his trust in the Lord, “In You, O Lord, I put my trust.” We do not know the precise nature of the trouble David was in, but it severely afflicted him and made him despair of life.

*Related Article: Why We Should Trust The Lord

Trusting in the Wrong Things

Some people place their trust in the wrong things such as money, wealth, power, etc. The apostle Paul wrote, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).

Why are riches “uncertain?” It’s because billionaires are one stock market crash away from being broke. Money can buy a bed of gold, but only God can give us rest. Money can buy the best physicians, but only God can give us health.

Mr. Chee Tat Ng (also known as Philip), the richest man in Singapore, said that he was always in search of a better life, a better purpose, a better everything, but realized he was just looking at all the wrong things. After receiving Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, He said he has found the missing piece in his life.

Mr Chee Tat Ng

Some people place their trust in education but education without God only produces intellectual barbarians. Take Hitler’s Nazis for instance. They were well educated, and yet they threw Jewish children alive into the blazing ovens of Auschwitz. They had obtained scholarly degrees, but they were educated heathens with hearts of stone.

Public schools in America have thrown the Bible out the back door and brought condoms in the front. Without much imagination, we can see where public schools are heading. Without God, they will produce human beings with little moral fortitude.

Trusting God Completely

Trust must be complete or it is not trust.

A farmer went to the county fair and saw a sign that read, “Airplane rides for $50.” He told the pilot the price was too high. The pilot said, “I’ll make you a deal. If you trust me enough to ride without screaming, the ride is free. If you scream, you pay double.”

The farmer agreed to the deal. The pilot took off and took the plane through a series of aerobatic maneuvers. After the plane landed, the pilot said to the farmer, “I’m amazed; you didn’t scream once.” The farmer replied, “I almost screamed on that barrel roll when my wife fell out.”

God asks but one thing of us – that we should trust Him. He does not ask that we understand Him or explain Him or vindicate Him, just that we trust Him.

Trust  in Me Lyrics and Chords

Unbelief: The Opposite of Trust

The opposite of trust is unbelief. What does God think of people who will not trust Him? Revelation 21:8 says, “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Unbelief releases fear, doubt, and suspicion. Unbelief binds the hands of God and releases the demons of hell.

The woman who doubts her husband’s love and loyalty does not sing for joy. Her face is haggard, her heart is broken, and her eyes are flooded with tears. That’s emotional.

The person filled with self-doubt is not a picture of joy. He is withdrawn, fearful of other people, angry, and seething with resentment. Again, that’s emotional.

The Knowledge of God Builds Trust

Trust is not emotional. It is based on knowledge. We know that God is faithful, and trust is born in faithfulness.

When David was facing great trials, he remembered the faithfulness of God in times past (Psalm 31:15). When the lion roared against David’s sheep, God came. When the bear appeared, God came through. When Goliath mocked Israel, God gave David victory (1 Samuel 17:34-37, 48-50).

Closing Thoughts

All relationships are built on trust. We trust our spouse, our friends, our co-workers, and our family members. If we do not trust them, our relationships wither and die, choked by suspicion, jealousy, and fear.

In the same way, our relationship with God is based on trust. We are saved by trusting in Jesus. We are healed by trusting in His Word. We are delivered by trusting in the power of His name.

Trusting God with Your Heart

We are forgiven by trusting in the power of His blood. We have hope for the future because we trust He is all-powerful and sovereign.

When we are facing a crisis, we need to remember how many times God has come through for us. God is faithful. He paid our sin debt at Calvary. He conquered death in the grave. And He is coming again with power and great glory.

Do you trust God with all your heart?


*Taken from Diamonds for Daily Living, NKJV Prophecy Study Bible

The Fully Armed Life

The Fully Armed Life

Christians are engaged in a great spiritual battle, with Ephesians 6:10-17 giving the clearest definition of the spiritual war, penned by the apostle Paul. This passage emphasizes a fully armed spiritual life.

We are not only assured of the reality of a spiritual warfare with Satan and his demons but are also warned to never underestimate the power of the devil. The devil is not compared to a lion and a dragon just for fun that is why we need the power of God to be able to stand against him; we need to be fully armed with the whole armor of God.

Be Prepared by Standing Firm

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” – Ephesians 6:10

Paul wants believers to understand that they cannot win the battle through human strength but in God’s strength alone. We are in great danger when we think we can stand in our own strength, rather than in the strength that God provides.

The Christian’s Armour Sermon

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated him in heavenly places over the enemy is in every believer because of the Holy Spirit residing in them.

But just like any other warfare, a soldier cannot emerge victorious without preparation. Soldiers would need to undergo rigid training, both mentally and physically before they go to the battlefield. It’s the same thing with Christians – they need to be spiritually prepared.

Sadly, many lose this battle simply because of failure to prepare.

The Full Armor of God

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” – Ephesians 6:11-13

The Christian in Complete Armour
Photo Credits: homedepot.com

Most times when someone refers to being armed, it has the connotation of owning a gun but this passage has nothing to do with it. Christians are at not at war with evil people; our primary opponents are the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

We do not wear literal pieces of armor the way the Roman soldiers did, but each piece has spiritual significance that must be “PUT ON” on a regular basis to be effective.

In so many words, this entire list must be part of your lifestyle or else you will be vulnerable to Satan’s methods.

In this passage, God has provided instructions on how to stand for God in spite of the raging war around us. The only question we have to ask ourselves is, do we want to stand for God or be crippled and useless for God?

The Belt of Truth

“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth.” – Ephesians 6:14a

Roman soldiers had a harness that was attached to all the other pieces of armor. It showed to their observers that the soldier was prepared for battle.

This is also true of Christians. There is a spiritual war for the souls of men. Some philosophers say there is no truth, even though that is an absolute statement itself. That still leaves the question, “What is truth?”

The Fully Armed Life

God’s word is true as Jesus said. Why not believe it and study it as 2 Timothy 2:15 says? This truth prepares us for the spiritual battles we will go through. If we don’t know the truth, our armor CAN’T stay on us.

God does not automatically put the truth in our mind. We must search and study. Bible literacy is at an all-time low. Can we recite the 66 books in the Bible? How can we be righteous without knowing what righteousness is?

What does it mean to live by faith or be faithful? Only biblical knowledge and understanding can answer those questions. Are you girded with truth?

The Righteous Life

“Having put on the breastplate of righteousness.” – Ephesians 6:14b

This verse does not sound like an ongoing action I realize, but that does not mean Christians don’t have to live righteously. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that when we receive Jesus’ righteousness we become new. Since we are still sinners, our choices need to be continuously made new. Aka live righteously.

Some might ask what or who is always right? If you are a Christian, you should believe the Bible is God’s word and always right. If you are not a Christian, I would encourage you to choose to repent of your sin and turn to Jesus. You never know when your last opportunity will be.

Who is the main subject of the Bible? Obviously, it’s Jesus. Jesus is the only man that was perfectly righteous. Why not live according to His words? God’s word is the final word.

The Christian in Full Armor

This is why we should personally know God’s word well. How can we live righteously if we don’t know what is right? Not to mention, why trust man’s words when you could know the truth. Nobody has to trust anyone else’s word if you already know the truth.

Even pastors claim to know the truth but don’t. Go find the truth for yourself. You don’t need to be controlled by any other man if you are controlled by God. God gives us His righteousness when we give Him control. Are we putting on the breastplate of righteousness?

Preparing to Move

“And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” – Ephesians 6:15

Feet were the original form of transportation and many people still use them a lot. The only downside to feet is that people can be greatly hindered if your feet become injured.

God also gave us the Gospel so that we would reach the world so that all would have the opportunity to get saved. As more people get saved, the greater the opportunity to reach the world.

But how do we reach the world without being able to Share the Gospel with others? I am not talking about the different methods of how to share but rather, do you have a method?

*Related Article: Understanding the Great Commission

Due to the fact that the gospel cannot be changed, the only thing that can be prepared is how to share it with others. This verse is specifically saying that without being able to give the gospel for whatever reason, we are removing the protection from our feet.

Since Satan attacks us at our vulnerabilities, the church will end up retreating and thus won’t be able to reach the world as effectively because our feet are not protected. I have heard a statistic that only 2% of Christians know how to share their faith. To me that is embarrassing. God made us His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) to tell the world His message.

What is His message? The gospel says that all have fallen short of God’s holiness because of our sin (Romans 3:23). Then Jesus, the Holy God in the flesh, died and rose again to pay the penalty of our sin (Romans 6:23). Just ask for that free gift of salvation and God will change your sinful heart to be like Him.

The question still remains; do we know how to share the gospel to the unsaved?

Faith 1, Temptation 0

“Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” – Ephesians 6:16

We need to remember that these pieces of armor are to be put on regularly. They are not put on once and done. We do not defeat Satan just because we are saved. Many Christians have been defeated by him by causing them to sin.

The shield of faith is the right response for any temptation. This is why it also might be the most important piece of armor based on the phrase, “Above All,” at the beginning of the verse.

I also know that many Christians do not practice their faith. Either because they are not truly saved or not living like it. Another reason is that so many Christians are crippled by worry.

Philippians 4:6-7 says that we should be anxious for nothing but we should take all of our concerns to God and He will give us peace that passes ALL human understanding. The one thing He always wants us to have is a calm spirit. Is your spirit calm or anxious?

Taking up the Shield of Faith

The shield of faith is also used to protect us from all other fiery darts as. Satan attacks us with many things: compromise, doubt, dissatisfaction, false doctrine, lust, lies, and every other sin.

It takes an act of faith to refuse to act upon those temptations. It takes faith to do the right thing, especially when you do it on your own. Do you trust God to guide you to the right desires or are you just going to compromise at any pressure?

Do you trust God’s promises to take care of His children? Are you satisfied with what God has given you in spite of being surrounded by materialism? Do you trust God enough to study and know true doctrine? Do you trust God with all of your relationships?

Do you trust that God would never lead you in the wrong direction? Putting on the shield of faith is a regular practice. How faithful are you to God?

Do You Know You are Saved?

“And take the helmet of salvation.” – Ephesians 6:17a

Due to the fact that Satan attacks us throughout our entire Christian life, we always need to be prepared. Each piece must be put on regularly. It is not a “once and done” thing. As humans, we take these articles of armor off when we sin. That is why we need to confess and put the armor back on.

This is also true of the helmet of salvation. Not that we could ever lose our salvation, but that we can live like we don’t have it. 1 John 5:13 says we can know we have eternal life.

The Christian’s Armour Sermon

If we can know we have eternal life and yet still sin, we need to actively trust God’s promises for deliverance. It is a lifestyle of knowing you are saved then living like it.

Since God can deliver us from our own sin, is there anything that He can’t deliver us from? Deliverance also implies protection. God just showed me another verse. Psalm 5:12, “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor, You will surround him as with a shield.”

Compass means to protect on all sides, but what was the qualifier? It is only those that live righteously. Aka, those that wear the armor. Do you know you are saved? And if so, do you live like it?

The Unused Weapon

“And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” – Ephesians 6:17b

Without all the practical pieces of armor for born again Christians, we will be hindered or defeated by Satan, if we don’t use our sword.

Why is it important to constantly put on the “sword of the Spirit?” Christians need to be prepared. More and more the world system is challenging us in every arena of life. 1 Peter 3:15 says we need to be ready “always” to answer these questions and threats.

How can we answer these questions or threats without knowing what the Word actually says?

The Christian in Full Armor

Considering that biblical literacy is at a record low among Christians, how do we get to know God’s word? The excuse answer is ‘Talk to the pastor.” The biblical response is found in 2 Timothy 2:15. Study God’s word so we will know the Truth.

Many Christians have no idea that they are in the midst of a spiritual war for their soul and mind. If they are not built up or strengthened, Satan will render them ineffective for Christ. Christians need to be fighting to build each other up.

It’s just sad that too many churches are fighting with each other, rendering one another useless. Not to mention the spiritual war for the heart of America. The Christian heritage of America has been almost erased. Are we going to go the way of atheistic and socialistic Europe or worse the Soviet Union?

At what point are we going to wake up and realize the church is losing because we are not using the only weapon at our disposal?

Does Truth Exist?

The world does not even believe that Truth even exists. Why? We are not taking the truth to the world. We have retreated back into our church buildings because that is still acceptable until it isn’t.

The Truth is still true in politics, education, society, law, the home, etc. God told individual Christians to be light and salt to a lost and dying world, by taking all of God’s truth to them as Matthew 5:13-16 says.

That Truth will convert and change hearts as Psalm 19:7 says. He just wants messengers to take the Truth to the world.

*Here’s a short clip of Dr. Frank Turek answering the question: “Is truth true for you but not for me?”

It does not matter what the world says. The scientists say we evolved. God said He made man in His image then we sinned, which brought death. The ACLU says separation of God and Government.

God says righteousness in government exalts a nation (Proverbs 14:34). The Supreme Court says marriage can be almost anything you want it to be. God says marriage is between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24). The world says we need to stay in church, God says Go and be my ambassadors and proclaim my message by word and deed (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Closing Words

We are in a spiritual warfare and we must put on the whole armor of God in order to stand against the enemy. Jesus has already won the victory through His suffering, death, and resurrection. But while we are still in the flesh and living here on earth, we are constantly under attack by Satan and his demons.

In one sense, “every piece of God’s armor” is a picture of Jesus Christ. Christ is the Truth (John 14:6), He is our righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), and our peace (Ephesians 2:14). His faithfulness makes possible our faith (Galatians 2:20); He is our salvation (Luke 2:30); and He is the word of God (John 1:1, 14).

Putting on the whole armor of God means we are actually putting on Christ.

God’s Generosity and Man’s Jealousy

God’s Generosity and Man’s Jealousy

The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard found in Matthew 20:1-16 deals with a very common human problem – jealousy. Contrast it with God’s generosity and the true meaning of pure grace.

The parable emphasizes a right attitude in service. Note that two kinds of workers were hired that day: those who wanted a contract and agreed to work for a normal wage for a day (Matthew 20:2) and those who had no contract and agreed to take whatever the landowner thought was right.

Man’s Jealousy

Technically, the main lesson of this passage is not about government-set minimum wage, but the application still exists. I think it is interesting that Jesus even mentions how the workers grumbled about their wage because other people did less work for the same money. Does that not sound like today?

When we receive grace, of course, we are very happy and thankful. But why is it that when others receive grace our reaction is the complete opposite? We are unhappy and jealous (envious) because we think they do not deserve it.

Note: Grace is something we receive which we do not deserve.

Often times we tend to compare ourselves with other people in terms of our struggles, trials, difficulties, etc. or in terms of the work we do. But who should be our standard and to whom are we accountable?

Learning to be Content

In the parable, the owner was not obligated to pay those who came in late a full day’s wage but he did it anyway. He gave all the workers the same amount. Of course, those who worked the longest complained! The truth is that they had no argument because they had agreed to work for the normal daily wage. They received what they asked for.

There are a lot of discontent workers that want more money but won’t work harder for it. I think it is funny that Jesus gave employers that choice. That is the employer’s prerogative.

God's Generosity and Man's Jealousy

So the next time Socialists say that God wants equal pay for everyone that is not true. Employers have the right to pay what is agreed upon. God would never condone governments requiring certain wages for anyone as socialists say.

Need more money, work more or get a better job. The God of the universe said that employers have the right to determine an employee’s wage. If you don’t like it, get a new job.

God’s Generosity

The main point of the parable is God’s generosity. God is infinitely generous and gracious and will always give us better than we deserve. Had the early workers trusted the goodness of the owner, they would have received far more.

As God’s children, we should not serve Him because we want to receive and expected a reward. We should not also insist on knowing what we will get. Our loving Father is loving and generous. All that we are and have are gifts from Him, which we do not deserve.

What kind of workers are we in God’s vineyard?

Salvation is for Everyone Who Believes

Jesus was also illustrating in this parable that new believers get saved from the beginning up to the end of time. Some will have less time than others yet the reward is still living with Jesus for all eternity even if you have been saved a long or short time.

Heaven is only heaven because it is Jesus’ home. God is welcoming us into His home. That is an amazing thought. If you have been born again, are you glad you are on your way to heaven? Our thankful spirit should show so that the world will know we are glad to be saved.

God did not save us to be an Eeyore. Do you have that joy in your heart? If not, are you truly saved? Why not turn from your sins and accept Jesus as your personal Savior?

Serving Others First

This passage also continued by Jesus exposing a “Me first” attitude in the disciples (Matthew 20:20-28). Jesus is anything but proud.

All twelve wanted the best two spots in heaven, but Jesus turned it into a teaching moment. I think it is interesting that Jesus did not harshly rebuke them. He lovingly used it as a way to teach them about humility.

Jesus highlighted being a “servant.” The word here means “slave,” and our English word “deacon” comes from it. Not every servant was a slave, but every slave was a servant.

*Read here: Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

Sadly in the church today we have many celebrities but very few servants. There are many who want to “flaunt their authority” (Matthew 20:25), but few who want to take the towel and basin and wash feet.

Many people wrong us, but are we humble enough to try to encourage them in spite of their actions?

God's Generosity and Man's Jealousy

Jesus as the ruler of the universe has every right to be proud but is not. There is no reason for us to be proud toward any other person and yet we are. How humble are you? That humility will lead to showing more and more love and sacrifice for others. How well do you honestly love and serve others?

What We Believe in Life Matters

What We Believe in Life Matters

Do you notice how relativistic our society has become today? Society says that all religions lead to God. Actually, they lead to gods. They say it does not matter that we believe; it does not also matter that we believe different things.

Know what? Jesus came to earth to tell mankind that what we believe in life does matter.

Bible Verse: John 14:6 (NKJV)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Reflection

The idea that all religious views are equally valid and all that matters is that we’re sincere in what we believe is so absurd. Sincerely believing in something does not make you right. No matter how sincere you are in your belief that the answer to the mathematical equation two plus two is four does not make you right.

In the same way, sincerely believing that you will go to heaven without Jesus Christ in your life because you and your good deeds are enough does not make your claim true.

Good Enough

It is human nature to think that “I am good enough.” They say it does not matter that the Bible says, “You must be born again” (John 3:3). It does not matter to them that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. They think they are good enough.

Guess what, we aren’t. If we were, there would be no need for the Son to come down to the earth He created, live a life of perfect obedience to the Father and suffer and die on the cross to purchase man’s redemption.

The world needs to hear that they’re dead in their sin and they need a Savior. But many won’t listen. They say it does not matter what the Bible says. But it matters!

God will lead a handful to Himself but have you done your part? Have you told someone the truth recently?

The Challenge

The real problem is that the relativistic mindset has gotten into the minds of Christians. It is true that we have been born again, but since we are still sinners, we still have sin issues. Where is our humility to admit we all have our issues?

We would not be able to criticize other believers if we were humble. Each denomination has its members and pastors that brag about being more right than anyone else. That is just pride.

What You and I Believe Matters

Not to mention, it is beside the point. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 says it is pointless to be more right than other Christians if you do not have love. Love translates into humility.

If our walk does not match our talk, we are just as bad as the unbelieving Pharisees, who Jesus called hypocrites in the gospels.

It is not the business of any other church or individual to criticize other peoples’ personal standards. I will be honest. I did that for years till God showed me that they are responsible for themselves.

Closing Words

What we believe in life does matter. More importantly, what we believe about the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit matters. Jesus made a strong statement in John 8:24: “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

Jesus claimed to be God and unless you believe He is, you are not going to heaven. Jesus is the only way to heaven and no one comes to the Father but by Him as John 14:6 says.

The next time you hear other people say that it does not matter what they believe, tell them that it does!