Category: New Life

Why Yahweh Gave the Bible

Why Yahweh Gave the Bible

Why did Yahweh give us the Bible? If you ask theologians and Bible scholars, they will give you several reasons why. However, we do not have to ask them; all we have to do is read what God has to say in His Word.

Bible Verse: Matthew 7:24, NKJV

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

I believe most of us are familiar with this verse and this is because we often hear this from our pastors. But what does this verse have to do with God’s reason for giving us the Bible?

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders
Photo Credit: Pinterest/Jesus and His Parables

In Matthew 7:24-29, Jesus made one important point: Our profession of faith in God will ultimately be tested.

Those who have trusted Christ and have proven their faith by their obedience will have nothing to fear. Founded on the rock, their house will stand. In contrast, those who have professed to trust Christ but have not obeyed God will be condemned.

God Gave Christians the Bible

Why did YHWH give Christians the Bible? He gave us a Life Manual. Before using a machine or equipment, we look at the manufacturer’s manual to guide us in the proper usage. Without God’s manual, we will not know how to use the life God gave as He intended.

It’s the same thing with God giving us the Bible – for us to know how to live our lives according to His purpose. We need the Bible because it can change us from the inside out. The question is – do we believe that the Bible is God’s Word and manual for living our lives? Do we want to be transformed?

Did we only get fire insurance when we got saved? Or did we genuinely want to be changed from a sinner to a saint?

The Bible Can Change Us

We all know we can’t change ourselves. Then the question is … how much time and effort do we put into fellowshipping with the ONE that can change us? YHWH gave us the Bible for a reason.

He changes us by making choices according to the WORD. This world is headed toward destruction for their rejection of Yeshua and the Word.

Many individual people have rejected YHWH and the Bible, which is evidenced by the Grammy’s a few days ago. Their own wisdom and devices will cause their own destruction.

But humanity is not smarter than YHWH. Since the Garden of Eden, humanity has been corrupted. Humanity has become worse than a greasy, black, rotten, banana peel that belongs in God’s dumpster.

Last Words

For the skeptics, how long are you going to gamble with your eternal destiny before you repent to YHWH for your sin? If you don’t, destruction is your final destination. Just like the foolish man who built his house on the sand, you will also fall.

For the believer, how much do we live like the Bible is true? Or are we mixing our own opinions with cherry-picked passages? We don’t have the right to believe only parts of the Bible and reject others. Either it is all God’s Word or none of it.

God can only bring us through the storms of life if we make choices like the Bible is true and reliable. Are you building your house on the rock? Then you are like the wise man.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur

Faithful, Focused Commentary on the Whole Bible

Serious students of Scripture can easily lose their focus among the many Bible commentaries available today, studying for hours yet discovering no meaningful application of God’s eternal truth.

This one-volume commentary on the entire Bible from one of America’s foremost Bible expositors offers instead a mini-library of understandable resources designed to convey the Bible’s overarching message with historical and theological clarity.

Pastor and teacher John MacArthur covers the complete Bible—every passage of the Old and New Testaments, phrase by phrase—in this valuable one-volume resource.

Hundreds of additional study tools complement the commentary, such as

  • Word studies
  • Charts, graphs, and brief articles
  • Overviews of each major division of the Bible
  • Introductions to each biblical book
  • A summary of essential Christian theology
  • Special sections on Jesus’s life and ministry
  • Harmonies of historical writings
  • Guidance in studying, applying, and teaching God’s Word

Readers benefit from the coherence a single commentator provides, finding faithful, understandable, and relevant resources for any passage from the entire Bible.

Consistent elements include exploring God’s character; seeing Christ in all Scripture; and identifying key doctrines, vital people, and touchstone Scripture passages.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary offers pastors, Bible teachers, serious Bible readers, and anyone seeking to read and understand the Scriptures a way to focus their studies while still seeing the entire Bible’s application to the Christian life.

Prepare to Meet Your Creator

Prepare to Meet Your Creator

Whether you believe in life after death or not, be ready to meet your Creator. Life does not end at death when the soul and spirit separate from the body. The common notion that everything, including humans, came as a result of the Big Bang has been debunked by scientists.

So, while we are still in this tent (our body), how do we prepare to meet God? We get ready by living in a way that pleases our Creator. But it’s easier said than done, isn’t it?

We are now living in a society where many people do not seem to care anymore about the consequences of their actions. It’s because they do not believe they will give an account of their life before the Judge.

I’m not only talking about unbelievers; there are those claiming to be followers of Jesus who are living as the world does. If you think you can get away with this, you are gravely mistaken.

If God did not spare His chosen people and judged them, what makes you think He will look the other way regarding sin?

Bible Verse: Amos 4:12, NKJV

“Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”

Amos’ second message to Israel was to denounce her sins. Consider some of the disciplines that God had sent to Israel to bring His people back to himself. They experience famine, drought, destruction of crops, sickness, defeat in war, catastrophe, and ultimate judgment.

God’s covenant with His people clearly stated that God would bless them if they obeyed His law and would discipline them if they disobeyed. (See Deuteronomy 27 – 29.) Unfortunately, they often spurned His love, rejected His warnings, and chose death.

You see, choices have consequences. God brings consequences to his disobedient children. Israel is God’s chosen people and yet their actions showed a rejection of God’s word and principles.

Indeed, the world is constantly rejecting YHWH’s love and salvation. But how often do Christians reject the Word so that we can live as we desire? Like the Old Testament was given to Israel to tell them how to live, how well does our Christian lifestyle compare to God’s Word?

Learning from the Jews

Like the people of Israel in the time of Amos and the people throughout history, we have the capacity for giving attention to external effects. And we do this while ignoring the issues of the heart. We evaluate by sight and feeling rather than by truth (see Samuel 16:7).

We can easily join a large, happy, religious crowd, enthusiastically sing rousing songs, and put money into the offering plate. Yet, not be changed in our hearts.

Whether we’re involved in evangelism, education, social action, world missions, or feeding the hungry, we must do it for the Lord. Let us always be reminded that everything the church accomplishes for the Lord flows out of worship. If the fountainhead of worship is polluted, the church’s entire ministry will be defiled.

Let us examine our hearts to make certain our motives are right and that whatever we do glorifies the Lord.

Being Christ’s Ambassadors

Christians are supposed to represent YHWH unto unbelievers but the question is how well do we do it? Every person is appointed once to die, then the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Since so few realize how quickly death can happen, we all need to be prepared to meet our Creator and Saviour.

So few people realize Nuclear World War 3 is about to happen. We see athletes kneeling over for no reason, toxic chemicals are being spilled everywhere, and strange blood clots are killing many people. And why is the news purposefully lying to cover up the truth?

Do you even know that infanticide is about to become legal in California and human trafficking is swept under the rug? It is only for God’s mercy that are we not consumed (Lamentations 3:22). Whether the world suffers the consequences of its own choices or the judgment of YHWH, they will still result in many people going to meet YHWH.

Yeshua came to earth so that every single person could have a relationship with YHWH but many Christians are doing their own things. How many Christians give the gospel to other people? Believers have the mandate to reach out to the lost with the gospel but many choose to live comfortably in their “own world.”

Things for the Believers to Ponder

How many Christians study the Bible so that they are not just blindly following a pastor? It’s sad to see how many so-called followers of Jesus are deceived into believing the lies that false teachers spew online.

And why do many Christians prefer being legalistic and picking fights with other believers so they can feel holier than thou? Are we forgetting what Jesus told His disciples before He went back to the Father?

John 13:34, NKJV

Paul also instructed Timothy to avoid foolish arguments that could lead to quarrels. Instead, be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people (2 Timothy 2:23-24).

How many Christians would rather follow a list of rules rather than have an intimate relationship with Yeshua?

What about Christians who would rather make excuses for themselves so they don’t have to make their life more difficult? How many Christians would rather chase the American Dream to fill a void that only YHWH can fill?

Are You Ready to Meet thy Maker?

How ready are Christians to meet their Saviour and YHWH?

I know there are many people not ready to meet their Maker. Revival does not need to happen at any specific location. It can happen anywhere.

If you know there is something you need to get right, please talk to YHWH and Yeshua about it.

Just ask Yeshua to change your heart and desires.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

One Less Grain of Sand: Fulfill God’s Purposes While You Have Time by Joey A. Perry Sr.

If you are a Christian who wants to do what God designed you to do, then One Less Grain of Sand: Fulfill God’s Purposes While You Have Time! is for you!

With each passing moment, one less grain of sand remains in your life’s hourglass. Therefore, you should make doing God’s will a priority every day!

As you read this powerful devotional, you will be…

  • Reminded daily that you should commit yourself to fulfilling God’s purposes.
  • Encouraged to do what pleases God instead of what pleases you.
  • Motivated to make the best use of the time God gives you.
  • Moved to serve God, and thereby make a positive impact on the people around you.
  • Filled with a sense of satisfaction that you are doing what God desires.

In addition to being a devotional, this book is also a journal! 

Each daily reading includes questions or statements for personal reflection. To make it easier for eBook readers to respond to the journal prompts, a free, downloadable, and printable journal is available. 

Print book readers can also use the downloadable journal if they choose not to write their responses directly in the devotional. The link to the downloadable journal can be found inside the book.

Humility Bears Sanctification

Humility Bears Sanctification

Do you know that the root word for “humiliation” is humility? Did it ever occur to you that to be humble, you need to humiliate yourself? You read that right; humility means humiliating yourself in the service of other people.

But it is also through humble service that we are sanctified because humility bears sanctification. The Lord Jesus exemplified this when He washed His disciples’ feet.

Bible Verse: John 13:14-15, NKJV

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”

By washing His disciples’ feet, Jesus put them on the same level as His. This is because the servant (slave) is not greater than his master. But if the master becomes the slave, he would be on the same level as the servant.

By becoming a servant, our Lord did not push us down. Instead, He lifted us up!

Keep in mind that the Romans had no use for humility, and the Greeks despised manual labor. Yet, Jesus combined these two when He washed the disciples’ feet.

Jesus: The Model of True Humility

Yeshua is the perfect example of humiliating himself so that His disciples would have a model of service to God and others. In John 13:1-20, only a few hours before Yeshua would be crucified, He taught His disciples how to have a humble heart.

Even though Yeshua is called God and Saviour in verse 13, that does not mean He acted proud or pious. There is nothing we can do that can match everything Yeshua has done for humanity and the Church. How humble do we compare to Yeshua?

Sure, many Christians will say, “We will serve the Lord and by extension love and serve others.” But how well are we doing it? It is one thing to say it, but it is another thing entirely to do it consistently.

Humility and Sanctification

Did you know that a servant’s heart will bear spiritual fruit in others? In John 13:10, the Lord emphasized the relationship between humility and sanctification.

The object lesson on foot washing had nothing to do with the cleanliness of the disciples’ bodies and feet but with salvation and sanctification.

When the sinner trusts in the Lord, he is “bathed all over” and his sins are washed away and forgiven. See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Titus 3:3-7; Hebrews 10:17; and Revelation 1:15.

However, as we journey in this world, we get defiled very easily. We do not need to be washed all over again; we just need to confess our sins and God will cleanse us as He promised (1 John 1:9).

Jesus did not have to stoop down to the level of a servant or slave; He did not have to wash His disciples’ feet. He did not have to “humiliate” Himself. But He did it to prepare them for what was about to happen. At this point, the disciples had no idea that Jesus would soon be dying to save mankind.

1 John 1:9, NIV

Growth and Sanctification

In Jon 13:10, Yeshua said Peter did not need to be washed from head to toe, only his feet.

As disciples of Yeshua, we are already washed from head to toe, only our feet get dirty as our feet are in contact with the world. People in those days wore sandals on their feet which would allow the dust of the ground to get on their feet.

As we go into the world to fulfill the Great Commission, our spiritual feet get dirty from the sinful habits we have. Hence, the need for humble Christians that are willing to wash the sinful habits that we have.

When was the last time we individually saw spiritual growth in a disciple of Yeshua? Sanctification should be a motive of all relationships between believers. A disciple is anyone that is truly born again and has started the journey of spiritual growth and sanctification.

How do we see sanctification in other believers? Love and serve them by washing their spiritual feet. How much effort do we put into washing others’ feet?

Closing Words

If you noticed, this post is a continuation of the previous post on humility and service. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that two different authors of this blog would tackle the same topic.

God knows what kind of message His people need to read and hear

We today, just like the disciples that night, desperately need this lesson on humility.

Sadly, the church is filled with a worldly spirit of competition and criticism as believers vie with one another to see who is the greatest. We are growing in knowledge but not in grace (2 Peter 3:18). Jesus served His disciples because of His humility and love.

Are we willing to “humiliate ourselves” to serve others as part of our sanctification process?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

The Power of Humility: Living like Jesus by R.T. Kendall

Pride is often the true reason why we get our feelings hurt, why we feel rejection, why we won’t admit to mistakes, why we want to be seen with certain people, and why we stay angry.

Jesus gives us the perfect example of a powerful life lived without conceit, smugness, or arrogance. So why do we not want to admit to our pride? It is because of our pride!

In The Power of Humility, R. T. Kendall challenges us to look deeply into our hearts and motives to recognize the pride and self-righteousness there. Using personal stories and enlightening examples from the Bible, he demonstrates how pride interferes with a close relationship with God and reveals how to overcome pride and become more like Jesus.  

Man’s Opinion vs. Biblical Fact

Man’s Opinion vs. Biblical Fact

I find it disheartening that today, people value man’s opinion over biblical fact. When it comes to important matters such as family values, people choose to listen to what the world says. In other words, people give more importance to man’s opinion over God’s.

But no matter what the world says, their opinions do not change the fact about God and the Bible.

Bible Verse: Hebrews 13:8, NKJV

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Both Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 declares that God is immutable; He is unchanging. God remains the same always and will never change. Everything else in the world will change but we can trust God to be always good, loving, faithful, merciful, kind, etc. 

God is Constant

We often hear people say that the only constant thing is change and it’s true. People may promise one thing today but turns around and say something different. Your life may be smooth-sailing and comfortable today but you’ll never know what tomorrow holds. A couple might be “over-the-moon” today but could end up in divorce in two years.

So, you see? Nothing is permanent; nothing remains the same. But God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

What Happened to America?

It is a shame that American society and much of the world have rejected many biblical principles. Many things have changed because we now live in the “Era of Post-Modernism” or a “Post-Christian Society.” These labels accurately depict the period we live in.

Post-Modernism emphasizes relativity and the encouragement to affirm everyone’s beliefs. It does not matter anymore if someone else’s opinions or beliefs are contrary to the truth. They are accepted and regarded as facts nonetheless.

Since society agrees with Post-Modernism, genuine Christianity has been largely rejected for being too exclusive. It’s no wonder then that Christians are labeled as bigots and intolerant for standing up for their faith.

We’ve heard of a Christian baker who was sued for not agreeing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. But this man did not do as asked not because he was discriminating against the gay couple or intolerant of them. Rather, he refused to bake a wedding cake because doing so goes against his Christian values.

America’s Rejection of God

What happened to the United States of America? Isn’t this country’s constitution founded on Judeo-Christian values? Aren’t the founders of this great nation Christians and they wanted it to value God and His statutes?

America has rejected God in so many different ways. Gone were the days when students are free to acknowledge God in their valedictory or salutatory addresses. Today, it is considered bigotry to recite from the Bible or pray in public.

Allowing children to Pray in School
Photo Credit: Change.Org

But no matter how much people hate God and want to get rid of Him completely, the truth remains. The truth does not change; God is still God! Are we all doomed to only find out the truth after we die? God forbid!

This is a wake-up call for everyone who claims to be a follower of Christ. It’s time to stand up for your faith and keep spreading the truth about God. Regardless of what the world thinks of you and says about you, go out there and share the Gospel with the lost.

Jesus is the Answer

We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) but thanks be to our Lord Jesus for redeeming us from sin. The only solution to humanity’s problem of sin is found in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

Jesus left His throne above, and came down to suffer and die so that we will be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18).

Indeed, Jesus is the answer to the problem of sin. No matter how good we think we are or how much good works we strive to do, it is never enough. This is because our salvation is not based on our good works but on the finished work of Christ. The Bible is clear that salvation is by grace through faith alone in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Do you know Jesus? Have you confessed your sin, received His forgiveness, and surrendered your life to Him?

Do not value the opinion of man over God’s because they cannot save you from your sin. Instead, you should start making biblical decisions because what you decide today will determine your tomorrow.

Final Thoughts

Christianity has become unpopular, but that does not change the fact that God still changes lives through the finished work of Jesus Christ. 

God has not abandoned His creation (Hebrews 13:5b) and He never will. He will continue to work through His people to accomplish His purpose. Even when things seem to be going in the wrong direction, rest assured that God is in control.

It does not matter what anyone’s beliefs are now. Time will come when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is God (Philippians 2:10-11).

Just because Jesus lived 200 years ago, does not change the fact that God has been revealed, The Bible is God’s Word, He still changes lives, and all will stand before a Holy, Righteous, and impartial Judge. 

Every person needs to choose whether Jesus will be their Judge or their Advocate.  Choose wisely for your own sake! Do exactly what God is asking. Repent from your sins, believe that Christ died to save you, and live your life to serve Him until He comes again.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Mission Possible One-Year Devotional: 365 Days of Inspiration for Pursuing Your God-Given Purpose by Tim Tebow and A. J. Gregory

In his first devotional, the New York Times bestselling author and athlete challenges you to find your mission and pursue a bolder, brighter, more fulfilling life—by building your faith every single day.

Tim Tebow knows a thing or two about living a mission-possible life. The two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner, first-round NFL draft pick, former professional baseball player, college football analyst, and New York Times bestselling author now shares what it takes to move toward your mission. 

Tim reveals how you can find your mission and take a step each day to reach your purpose and your best future.

Through 365 Bible-based readings, you’ll discover how to:

  • Align your responsibilities.
  • Identify your priorities.
  • Elevate your convictions.
  • Make decisive, wise choices.
  • Fuel your drive and passion.
  • Set your sights on eternity.

The secret to a truly meaningful life doesn’t involve more comfort or ease. It requires a clear focus on who God made you to be and a proven guide to get you there. Tim is ready to help you live that mission-possible life.

Dealing with the Storms of Life

Dealing with the Storms of Life

The Christian life is not at all a bed of roses. We will all face the storms of life as we journey with the Lord. But how should we deal with them? How should we respond when storms come and how do we overcome them?

In today’s post, we will look at the account of Paul as he sailed to Rome. It was indeed a challenging journey because of the hindrances they had to overcome. But it gives the believer some powerful lessons about the storms of life and how we should respond.

Paul Sails for Rome

In Acts chapter 27, we read of Paul’s journey to Rome along with Luke and the other prisoners. Paul was not the only prisoner that Julius and his men are taking to Rome (Acts 27:1).

They left on a ship whose home port was Adramyttium on the northwest coast of the province of Asia. And it was scheduled to make several stops at ports along the coast of the province. They passed along the province of Lycia and got on board an Egyptian ship bound for Italy.

Paul's Voyage to Rome Acts 27
Photo Credit: Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod

But arriving in Rome was easier said than done because of the wind and storm (Acts 27:2-5).

After many days of sailing, the strong winds hindered their progress, thus, taking them several days to get to Cnidus. The pilot then steered south-southwest to Crete passing Salmone and finally struggling into Fair Havens. It had been the most difficult voyage and a portent of things to come (Acts 27:9-10).

Lessons about the Storms of Life

What’s interesting about this account is how Luke, an accurate historian, presented the important facts of their voyage. Perhaps, the major purpose Luke had in mind was the presentation of Paul as a courageous leader.

Having said that, there are four lessons we can learn from Paul’s Journey to Rome.

1. Storms Come as a Result of Disobedience

First of all, storms come when we disobey the will of God. Needless to say, Jonah is a good example of this truth. Jonah had to experience being in the belly of a giant fish before obeying God.

In the case of Paul, he was not at fault. Rather, it was the centurion in charge of the ship. When Paul perceived that their voyage would end in disaster, he warned them (Acts 27:10). However, the centurion did not heed Paul’s warning. Instead, he followed the advice of the pilot and the owner of the ship (Acts 27:11).

Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided to sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. While at sea, the storm grew worse and they took a violent battering from the storm. This lasted for many days making the situation seemed hopeless. And it all happened because one man would not listen to God’s messenger.

What happened to Paul tells us that sometimes we suffer because of other people’s unbelief. You see, disobedience does not always have to come from our end. There are times when we go through the storms of life because somebody in the “boat” with us rebelled against God.

2. Storms Reveal Character

Second, storms have a way of revealing character.

On their journey to Rome through Cyprus and Crete, their ship was caught in a storm at sea. At first, the crew did everything they could to keep the ship afloat. They bound ropes around the hull of the ship to strengthen it and lowered the sea anchor to slow the ship (Acts 27:17).

In the following days as gale-force winds continued to batter the ship, they began throwing the cargo overboard. They even took some of the ship’s gear and threw it overboard (Acts 27:18-19). It is evident that everybody was terrified to death so they started throwing things overboard to lighten the ship’s load.

But the terrible storm continued to rage for many days, blotting out the sun and the stars. That was when the sailors and the crew thought that all hope was gone.

But Paul trusted God and obeyed His will. When God impressed in his heart that they were about to face trouble at sea, Paul warned the ship’s officers about it. But they did not listen to him.

Yet, he exemplified the true character of a leader by taking command of a difficult situation in a time of great crisis. What a difference when a person has faith in God. Instead of wishing for a change or selfishly trying to escape (Acts 27:29-30), Paul got ready for the demands that could come.

How do you respond to a situation like this? Do you easily get rattled? Do you keep your calm and be still? Will you trust God to instruct you on what you must do and then do exactly what He says?

Paul Shipwrecked at Malta
Photo Credit: IndependentdotComdotMt

3. Storms Cannot Hinder God’s Purpose

Third, even the worst storm cannot hide the face of God or hinder His purpose.

While at sea on a ship, Paul, Luke, and the other prisoners faced a terrible storm. After doing all they could, the situation remained hopeless and they finally gave up.

But a messenger from the Lord visited Paul and assured him that he would arrive safely in Rome. The ship and the cargo would be lost but all the passengers would be spared and cast on an island. God has purposed that Paul would stand trial before Caesar in Rome and no storm could hinder that.

God has a plan and purpose for every one of us and no matter what storms of life we may face along the way, God will overrule. As one pastor often says in his sermon, “There is nothing that is beyond God’s control. He may allow bad things to happen but in the end, His purpose will prevail.”

We can see this repeatedly illustrated in the lives of many of God’s people in both the Old and the New Testaments. If God did it before, He will do it today because He doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8).

4. Storms are Opportunities for Witnessing

Finally, storms can give us opportunities to serve others and bear witness to Jesus Christ.

On his voyage to Rome, Paul was with other prisoners placed in the custody of a Roman officer named Julius, a captain of the Imperial Regiment. But unlike Paul, they were most probably going to Rome to die and not to stand trial. What mercy that they met Paul who could tell them how to go to heaven when they died!

Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was also with them along with the ship’s captain and officer in charge of the prisoners.

As the weather was becoming dangerous for sea travel, Paul warned of trouble ahead. And when they were about to dock, the sailors selfishly tried to escape and save their own lives. But Paul assured them that the God he serves has granted safety to everyone sailing with him (Acts 27:24-25).

For the two weeks that they were at sea, no one ate because they were so worried and Paul urged them to eat. He took the bread and openly prayed and gave thanks to God (Acts 27:34-36). The sailors and officers joined him, and before long everybody felt better.

Paul saw an opportunity to share God’s goodness and he did not waste time. Offering thanksgiving to God openly is a good example for us to follow when we are eating in public places.

Whenever you face the storms of life, know that God does not only allow them to strengthen your faith in Him. Difficulties, trials, and even sufferings are doors of opportunity for you to share the Good News of the Kingdom of God with those in need.

Romans 1:16, NIV

Conclusion

The situation on the ship looked hopeless! But Paul was there and his presence made all the difference. He was the most valuable man on that ship! He knew how to pray, he had faith in God, and he was in touch with the Almighty.

At times, one dedicated believer can change the whole atmosphere of a situation simply by trusting God and making that faith visible.

Let the account of Paul’s voyage to Rome be a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness in carrying out His purpose. You may find yourself regularly battling the storms of life. But know that God is using these circumstances to teach you a lesson.

It could be that God wants to teach you the importance of obedience and submission to His will. He could be in the process of molding your character or allowing you to witness to others. God may also allow you to experience the rage of the storm to increase your faith and dependence on Him.

How do you respond to the storms of life knowing that through them, God is teaching you important lessons? Will you be like Paul who stood firm in his faith and trusted God to carry out His will?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: 

Trusting God in Dark Times: Transforming Devotions for a Lifetime by Montray Ashly

It’s easy to trust God when everything is going well, but can you trust God in dark times when a loved one passes away, your child goes astray, your marriage fails, you’re battling an addiction, you lose your job, or experience financial hardship?

God wants you to trust Him no matter what. He wants to share in your despair and know that He is right there with you every step of the way even when you can’t feel Him or see Him at work. He wants you to experience the light of His presence during your dark times and desires for you to draw close to Him so that the light of His love can cover you.

Oftentimes, you feel alone and that no one cares but God feels your pain and wants to show you His love in the most unmeasurable ways. He also desires to demonstrate His power to help you overcome the obstacles you face.

During your fiery trials, God will make uncalculated moves in your life that will catapult you into another spiritual dimension and change the trajectory of your journey. When He doesn’t take you out of the fire, He’ll accompany you in it.

It is then, you’ll realize that the dark times of trouble did not come to harm you but to ultimately bless you. What God will do in you and for you during tumultuous times will increase your faith, renew your strength and encourage your heart.

You’ll discover that God is a healer of brokenness, a deliverer in the wilderness, and a provider in barrenness. You can trust God in dark times.

Finding True Peace in God

Finding True Peace in God

Everybody wants peace to reign here on earth, especially during the Yuletide season. But what we need to understand is that we only find true peace in God.

It’s true; the world also offers some kind of peace. Isn’t that the theme of the Miss World and the Miss Universe beauty pageant? That’s why one of the common questions asked is how a contestant would help to achieve this should they win the crown.

Bible Verse: Luke 2:14, NKJV

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

The Jewish word shalom (“peace”) means much more than a truce in the battles of life. It means well-being, health, prosperity, security, soundness, and completeness. Peace has to do more with character than circumstances.

Life was difficult at that time just as it is today. Taxes were high, unemployment was high, morals were slipping lower, and the military state was in control.

Roman law, Greek philosophy, and even Jewish religion could not meet the needs of men’s hearts. Then God sent His Son.

Isaiah 9:6, NKJV

Jesus, God’s Greatest Gift

We all love gifts, don’t we? Gift-giving on Christmas day isn’t just for kids anymore but for adults too. This is why all over the world, exchanging gifts is a tradition that doesn’t seem to be going away.

Did you know that even people who claim to not believe in Christ enjoy Christmas as much as Christians do?

But as followers of Christ, we must never forget what Christmas is all about. More than 2 thousand years ago in Bethlehem, God’s greatest gift came down to save mankind from sin (John 3:16). Jesus, the eternal God, came to dwell among us and became the ultimate sacrifice for the redemption of man.

So you see, gift-giving started with God. But He did not give us the most precious gift because we deserve it. We don’t, but He gave anyway.

We may never be able to out-give God. But knowing what God sacrificed for you, what are you willing to give to Him as a sign of your gratitude? If God asks for your time and talent, are you willing to say yes?

Celebrating Christ

Is it just me or is the Christmas season the busiest time of the year? Is it just me or is it also a very stressful time of year as well? Why do we make it so stressful?

Instead of meditating on the greatest gift that we received from God, we are so occupied with all the preparations. We spend so much time shopping for Christmas presents and delicious food to serve.

I see nothing wrong with celebrating Christmas with family and friends. But if our excitement for the festivities overshadows our gratitude to God then we need to reevaluate our priorities.

Aren’t we supposed to be celebrating the Creator of the universe giving humanity peace?

What are you celebrating every Christmas season?


Peace from the Prince of Peace

Throughout history, humanity is always fighting with each other for their own fleshly sinful desires (James 4:1). And they continue to reject the Lord’s principles. Yet despite that, God still loves us anyway (Romans 5:8).

That is why the Lord sent peace down from above. Yeshua is the only one that could bring peace to this world and our hearts since He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Only Yeshua can bring reconciliation and peace between the Lord and humanity (John 14:6).

Conclusion

Are you seeking peace on earth and goodwill to men? Peace comes only from Christ. The peace that is from above is not only peace to be reconciled to God. It is also enough peace to overcome the stressful times of our life (John 16:33).

If you want peace, ask God and He will give it to you (Philippians 4:6-7).

Do you believe that the Lord can give you peace with God? Then you have to act like He can give you peace in all stressful circumstances just as He promised.


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Recommended Resource:

One Perfect Life: The Complete Story of the Lord Jesus by John F. MacArthur

Read the best news the world has ever been given about the most significant life in all history—Jesus Christ. In One Perfect Life, Dr. John MacArthur shares with us the complete story of the Eternal Christ from Genesis to Revelation.

Using Matthew as the base text, Dr. MacArthur blends the gospels and other biblical material about Jesus into one continuous story that will help you better understand Scripture and grow stronger in your faith.

No other harmony of the Gospels includes such extensive study notes to help you unpack the meaning of each verse.

Features include:

  • Verse-by-verse explanations from one of the most important pastor-teachers of our time
  • Every verse connected to Christ from Genesis to Revelation
  • A harmony of the Gospels that demonstrates the inerrancy of Scripture
  • New King James translation
Do You have to Go to Church to Go to Heaven?

Do You have to Go to Church to Go to Heaven?

In this post, let us answer the question, “Do you have to go to church to go to heaven?” In other words, do you have to go to church to be saved? Is church attendance a requirement for salvation?

This question is just one of the issues Protestants or born-again Christians and Roman Catholics disagree on. Catholics say that one needs to go to church to be saved while born-again Christians say you don’t. Interestingly, both groups use the Bible to justify their beliefs.

So, who is right?

Salvation by Faith Alone?

A couple of weeks ago, I landed on a website that claims the church is vital for salvation. Matthew, the author, went on to explain with several Bible verses why going to church is a requirement for entering heaven.

Here is part of what he wrote:

“Protestant Christianity believes in the principle of salvation by faith alone. Many Protestants interpret this to mean: ‘I don’t need the church to get me to heaven. All I need to do is believe in Christ. End of.’

Catholics and Orthodox Christians think differently here. In fact, there are probably a lot of Protestant groups that also disagree with this attitude toward the church.

For the Catholic and Orthodox mindsets, we believe that the Church is VITAL for salvation. And so, in conclusion, do we have to go to church to go to heaven?

ABSOLUTELY!

The only exceptions to this strict rule would be people who cannot get to Church, because of illness or other important matters.

The Church offers the world the holy sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist, plus others. We cannot get to heaven without the Church.

The Church is so important, that Catholics are bound – on pain of mortal sin – to attend Mass every Sunday and every holy day of obligation (of which there is about 5 yearly).

God loves us so much that he commands this of us with the highest kind of force: we must go to Church weekly if we want to be saved and go to heaven.”


Refuting a Catholic on Salvation

First of all, I have yet to hear a Protestant or born-again Christian interpret salvation by faith alone the way Matthew did in his article.

My comment on his article:

“I appreciate your boldness in tackling this very controversial topic.

Indeed, many people are asking this question: Does one need to go to church to go to heaven? 

The only place where we could find the answer to these questions is the Bible itself. If we believe that the Bible is the sole authority then there shouldn’t be any problem and we will arrive at the same answer.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that one needs to go to church to go to heaven.

If there’s any verse, please quote it to me.

Salvation is by grace through faith alone in Christ Jesus, not by works so that no one could boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). What Christ has accomplished was all that’s needed to redeem sinful man.

I am not saying that the church is irrelevant. We go to church for fellowship, listen to the Word of God, and edify and encourage other believers.

Also, we are exhorted not “to forsake our gathering together, so much more as we see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).

We go to church, get baptized, obey God’s command, and live according to God’s will. But we do all these not to gain passes to heaven or to be saved. God has already done the work for us to be saved.

Unfortunately, the author chose not to accept and publish my comment and noted the following reasons for rejecting it.

 “God bless you, but I’m not happy to accept this comment on my site. I don’t wish to get into debates on my site between Protestants and Catholics in the comments,  take care.”



Avoiding Debates

I do not mean to rant about him rejecting my comment. But when you publish a post like this on your website, you are already opening it up to debates. And you are not getting away with this that easily!

Just like when I published an article on the Difference between the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day. Using Scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments, I pointed out bluntly why Sabbatarians are wrong in their belief.

I received a comment from a Sabbatarian telling me how I am gravely mistaken for saying we do not have to keep the Sabbath. She also said that she doubts if I would even accept and publish her comment as it could be damaging to my site. But I approved her comment and explained further why I do not agree with her. 

Going back to Matthew’s rejection of my comment, I wrote another comment saying that if he is confident in what he and his church are teaching, there’s no need to shy away from opposing views.

Again, he refused to publish it. I guess, he just wanted comments that agree with his views. After all, his target audience is Roman Catholics based on his website’s name and URL

I understand that as the owner of his website, he has full control over what people can read either in the posts or comments. I just wish he’d be more open to differing views and then explain why he is correct and the other party is wrong. It would have been an opportunity for him to defend his views and shed light on some of the supposed misconceptions about Catholic beliefs.

How Do We Get Saved?

If going to church does not save, how then does one get saved? How do you know you are going to heaven? As I said in my comment on Matthew’s article, the only place where to find the answer is the Word of God.

So, let us look at what the Scriptures say about salvation, receiving eternal life, or going to heaven.

Be Born Again to Enter Heaven

I think we all know the story of Nicodemus, a Pharisee, and ruler of the Jews, who came to Jesus by night. Without Nicodemus asking directly how to get to heaven, Jesus plainly said he had to be born again (John 3:1-7).

Think about this for a moment; Nicodemus was a Pharisee and as such he strictly observed traditional rabbinic laws. Yet he had no assurance of salvation. In essence, he was asking Jesus what else he had to do or stop doing to earn a ticket to heaven.

Quote about Heaven

Jesus’ statement was imperative; there is nothing Nicodemus or you and I could do to gain entry to heaven. What we need to do is get born again and become a follower of Christ. But what did Jesus mean exactly when He said, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”?

May I refer you to these articles on this site:

Born Again: A New Religion
Nicodemus Transformed by Jesus

Salvation is by Grace through Faith

Ephesians 2:8-9 is just one of the passages that make explicit the truth of salvation by grace through faith alone in the Lord Jesus. Salvation is a gift from God; we do not deserve it nor can we earn it. I am pretty sure you have already heard many times that grace means “undeserved favor.”

The verse says salvation is not by works which simply means there is nothing you can do to earn it. Let me say it again; salvation is a gift from God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

And since it is a gift, all we have to do is receive it just like we do any gift that other people give to us.

For more on this, you can check out Romans 3:20, Galatians 2:16, and Titus 3:5.

Jesus is the Way to the Father in Heaven

Jesus’ statement in John 14:6 is also explicit. Thomas said they didn’t know where the Lord was going and asked how would they know. In response, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

God’s dwelling place is in heaven and Jesus said He was going back to the Father. If we can get to heaven by going to church, why did Jesus have to lead the way? Why did He have to leave His throne above, suffer and die at the hands of His creation just to redeem us from sin?

My Conversation with a Muslim

I am reminded of my conversation with a former colleague who was a Muslim while I was based in the Middle East. Muslims believe that your final destiny after your life here on earth depends on your works. In other words, they believe in work-based salvation.

To qualify for heaven where Allah is, your good deeds would have to outweigh your bad deeds. This means you’ll never know while you are alive if you are going to heaven when you die or not. All they can do is keep earning good points by following strictly the five pillars of Islam.

I said to my colleague that there are only two places where man will go after life on earth – heaven or hell. If she wanted assurance into heaven she would have to confess Christ as her Lord and accept His gift of salvation. This is because Jesus is the way to heaven; not one of the ways but the only way.

She got mad and started yelling, “So, you are sending me to hell?” To which I replied, “Going to hell is a choice and a personal decision. It’s not God’s will that anyone should perish in hell that is why He sent His Son to suffer and die for us. Would you accept His gift of salvation?”

She got pissed all the more so I had to shut up.


The Role of the Church

If going to church does not save, what then is its role in the Christian life?

First of all, the church can refer to the building where we gather for worship or the people of God. That’s right; you, me, and we are the “church.” But for this particular post, I will be referencing the building as the church.

As I said to Matthew, going to church is necessary because this is where we serve God and our fellow believers in Jesus. The church is where we are trained for service and ministry (Ephesians 4:12). We go to church to praise and worship the Lord and hear God’s Word. The church is where we learn the fundamental doctrines of Christianity and also where we observe the Lord’s Supper.

When we got born again, we were adopted into God’s family and became part of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). As members of God’s family, we are to encourage and edify one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11-15).

So I say the church, our spiritual family, plays a vital role in our spiritual growth. Perhaps, it’s also in the church where you first heard the Good News of salvation. Praise the Lord for the church!

Conclusion

Just as baptism does not save, going to church does not contribute to one’s salvation.

It is only through the finished works of Christ that salvation became available to anyone. The Bible makes it clear that we are not saved by doing good works.

Rather, we gain entry to heaven because of what Christ has accomplished on the cross. Jesus, who is God, came to live as a perfect human being, submitted to the will of God and redeemed us from sin.

This is why when Jesus breathed His last, He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). In essence, Jesus signaled the end of the Jewish sacrificial system and paid for all our sins.

But this does not mean we are to neglect to go to church. Just because we are already enjoying God’s gift of eternal life, we don’t need the church.

The church is our spiritual family and we are to care for it even more than our physical family.

Have you received God’s gift of eternal life by acknowledging you’re a sinner in need of salvation? Why don’t you do it right now? Confess your sins to God, receive His forgiveness, and surrender your life to Him as your Lord and Savior.


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Recommended Resource: 

The Doctrine of Salvation: By Grace Through Faith, the Gift of God by Dave Hunt and T. A. McMahon

GUARANTEED to be OUT OF THIS WORLD—Salvation is truly “the gift that keeps on giving”—not only in this life but for all eternity.

It is called “the gift of God,” but what did it really cost? How can we possibly receive so rich a reward? And is there any danger that such an invaluable treasure can be lost or stolen?

This delightful little volume features 50 daily readings on the Doctrine of Salvation—a wealth of Scripture knowledge describing God’s invaluable gift to the world.

Mined from the media vault of Search the Scriptures Daily radio broadcast and condensed into a convenient devotional format, this treasure chest of biblical insights by Dave Hunt and T. A. McMahon is artfully arranged as a string of precious pearls, interspersed with devotional prayers, hymns, and heartfelt reflection.

In these pages, readers will find genuine hope of their blessed assurance and discover (or rediscover) the joy of their salvation in this life—sealed by God’s Solid Rock guarantee. “The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.” —2 Samuel 22:47

Who Has Your Devotion?

Who Has Your Devotion?

If I ask you the question, “Who has your devotion?” what would your answer be? As a Christian, the answer to this question should be easy. You don’t even have to think deeply and hard.

Unless you have some other things or people in mind that you are devoted to.

I am reminded of the song “Hopelessly Devoted to You” by Olivia Newton-John. In this song, the woman who was left brokenhearted by the man couldn’t get over him. Her mind is telling her to forget him, but her heart is telling her to hold on and remain true and loyal to him.

But first, what is devotion, and what does it mean to be devoted to somebody or something?

Meaning of Devotion
Photo Credit: Merriam-Webster

Devotion and Devoted

Vocabulary Dot Com defines devotion as a commitment or dedication to some purpose or feelings of ardent love. As far as religion is concerned, devotion is a religious zeal that drives one to willingly serve God. To this extent, devotion can become cultic and idolatrous.

Thus, to be devoted means to be extremely loyal and loving to someone or something. It means being focused on that particular thing or person almost exclusively.

Devotion Equals Love

Our devotion as Christians should be first and foremost to God. Our Lord Jesus commanded us “to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength” (Mark 12:30).

Mark adds strength but this quote is from Deuteronomy 6:4-5. The use of these various terms, heart, soul, mind, and strength is not meant to delineate distinct human faculties. Rather, it is to underscore the completeness of the kind of love that is called for.

But what is love and what does it look like today? Is it just a feeling that can be lost? Is it just an affirmation that can be later rejected? No, love is a commitment despite all circumstances.

In other words, love is a form of worship and devotion to the One exalted above everything else. And that is God! Only God deserves that position as Exodus 20:3 says.

The Proper Object of Devotion

Did you know we could be devoted to almost anything? We can make idols out of anything. That makes us sinners before a Holy God. All of us have at some point made choices contrary to God’s Will.

The phrase, “before Me” (Exodus 20:3) is the most appropriate expression in the light of the next few verses. All false gods stand in opposition to the One true God and the worship of them is incomparable with the worship of Yahweh.

Yet the better question is whether we all individually have repented and devoted our lives to living biblically. By the way, a biblical life is a holy life as 1 Peter 1:14-15 says.

Living a Holy Life

A holy life is a life devoted to living according to the truth. A sincere unbeliever knows nothing in this world and gives ultimate purpose, meaning, or hope as Ecclesiastes 1:2 says.

Holiness essentially defines the Christian’s new nature and conduct in contrast with his/her pre-salvation lifestyle. The reason for practicing a holy manner of living is that Christians are associated with the holy God. Thus, they must treat Him and His Word with respect and reverence.

1 Peter 1:14-15, NKJV

Just a quick note; to be holy in the Lord does not mean what the world says. It’s not about going to church every Sunday and practicing all the rituals or keeping traditions that aren’t even biblical.

Living a holy life means not doing what the world does. That’s why Paul said in Romans 12:2 that followers of Christ should no longer conform to the patterns of this world. Take note that Christians are no longer citizens of this world but of heaven.

Conclusion

Who has your devotion? Your spouse or partner in life? Is it your kids and family? Perhaps your career or business?

There is nothing wrong with being extremely loving and loyal to those mentioned. But our devotion must be first and foremost to God. This is why the first and greatest commandment is loving God with all that we are. And the second is loving our fellowmen.

This just goes to show that we cannot truly love ourselves and others without loving God first.

God wants our devotion, and He deserves it because of who He is: our Saviour, God, and King!


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Recommended Resource:

Devoted to God by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Christians are transformed by the renewing of their minds. They understand that in large measure how they think about the gospel will determine how they will live for God’s glory.

They learn to allow the word of God to do its own work, informing and influencing the way they think in order to shape the way they live.

In a series of Scripture-enriched chapters, Sinclair B. Ferguson’s Devoted to God works out this principle in detail. It provides what he describes as ‘blueprints for sanctification’ an orderly exposition of central New Testament passages on holiness.

Devoted to God thus builds a strong and reliable structural framework for practical Christian living. It stresses the foundational importance of fundamental issues such as union with Christ, the rhythms of spiritual growth, the reality of spiritual conflict, and the role of God’s law.

Here is a fresh approach to an always relevant subject, and a working manual to which the Christian can turn again and again for biblical instruction and spiritual direction.

Busy But Not Blessed

Busy But Not Blessed

The Word of God never encourages idleness or laziness because it will not do us any good. Rather, it exhorts us to work hard and we will reap the blessings. See Proverbs 10:4-5; 12:11, 24; 14:23; 18:9; 19:15 and Romans 12:11.

But if working hard results in abundance, why are there so many hardworking people who are not living in comfort? No matter how many hours they spend working their butts off, they still seem to be living in “lack.” In other words, they are very busy but not blessed.

Unfortunately, many Christians are in the same boat. They have known the Lord for many years and are serving Him in their ministry. Yet, they are not living in abundance and victory.

Ready to Serve God

How long have you been born again? 5, 10, 15, or 20 years? I supposed that’s the same number of years that you have been serving the Lord. I am pretty sure you were very excited when you first came to know the Lord. You wanted to serve Him in any church ministry that He would put you in.

And you did not want to be stuck where you first began. But you wanted to take your service to God to another level. After all, isn’t that what Peter said about growing in the grace and knowledge of God (2 Peter 3:18)? Spiritual growth does involve growing in service to the Lord and His people.

Serving God with Gladness
Photo Credits: WhatDoesitMeantoServegod.com

Perhaps you started in the utility ministry – you know, arranging chairs and helping set up the worship hall. You were very eager to help in any way you could and never wanted to miss any church activity. In every Bible study, prayer and fasting, worship symposium, and worship service, you are always present. You read your Bible every day and meditate on it.

How do I know all this? It’s because I’ve been there too. Every new believer has this experience. I remember very well when I was first ushered in – the thought of being a child of God was overwhelming! Me? Yes; a sinner undeserving of God’s love and mercy. But God accepted me for who I am and wanted me to become the person He intended me to be.

That goes the same for you and everyone for whom God died to redeem from the power of sin and darkness.

A Balanced Christian Life

How far have you come in your service to God? Perhaps you are now a worship leader, which is a huge contrast to arranging chairs. You may be very occupied learning everything you can about worship leading. Or listening and mastering new praise and worship songs that you will include in your lineup.

I encourage you to keep growing in your ministry and equipping yourself to be a better worship leader. Praise be to God for the work He has done and still doing in your life.

But can you honestly say that you have maintained a balanced Christian life? Do you still attend small gatherings and cell groupings? How is your prayer life? Do you still have time to read and meditate on the Word of God the way you used to?

Or you don’t have time for other things anymore because you are busy learning new songs and practicing your lineup.

Isn’t it amazing that when we were new believers, we had all the time to pray, read the Bible, attend Bible studies, etc? Why is it that we almost do not have the time for the things we used to love and enjoy? We are so busy doing things we think are for the Lord but neglect the others that are of the same importance.

Contrasting Martha and Mary

The story of Martha and Mary is often used by preachers to point out the difference between a worshiper and a worker. In Luke 10:38-42, we read the contrast between the priorities of these two sisters.

When Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem, Martha welcomed them into her home. While Martha was busy preparing dinner, her sister Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to Him. Martha must have had so many things to do that she got irritated when her sister Mary did not bother to help her.

When she could not take it any longer, Martha approached Jesus and complained about Mary not helping her. To which Jesus replied, Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

In this case, Martha was busy but not blessed. This is because it is more blessed to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him.

Who is Mary?

A little background about Martha’s sister Mary; she is from Bethany and is seen three times in the Gospel record. On each occasion, she is in the same place: at the feet of Jesus.

Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His Word in Luke 10:39. In John 11:32, she fell at His feet and shared her woe. But the most striking story of Mary was when she anointed His feet with a very costly oil of spikenard and wiped it with her hair (John 12:3).

It is interesting to note that in each of these instances, there is some kind of fragrance. In Luke 10:39, it is food; in John 11:39, it is death, and in John 12:3, it is perfume. You see, the way we worship God and show appreciation to Him can take many forms. And take note that it can be expressed in many different circumstances.

Martha and Mary

Worshiper or Worker

What can we learn from Martha and Mary? These two sisters are often contrasted as though each believer must make a choice. Be a worker like Martha or be a worshiper like Mary.

Certainly, our personalities and gifts are different. But that does not mean the Christian life is an either/or situation. Just because you are a worship leader does not mean you do not need to study the Bible.

To be an effective worship leader, you need to know the right way to exhort and encourage the congregation. You do this by meditating on the book of Psalms as it is filled with so many “call to worship” exhortations. Many verses of the Bible also directly speak to the heart of the congregation to give to God their problems and worship Him.

On the other hand, if you are a pastor or a preacher, you should set aside time for personal worship. You don’t use up all your time reading the word and preparing your sermon and do not have time for personal worship.

So you see, we can be a worker and a worshiper at the same time. But when we have to choose between the two, Jesus said we have to choose the “good part.”

The key is to have the right priorities: Jesus Christ first, then others, then ourselves.

Conclusion

We can take a warning from the account of Martha and Mary. Perhaps in all our busyness, we have been ignoring the Lord. Martha’s problem was not that she had too much work to do. But she allowed her work to distract her and pull her apart. She was trying to serve two masters.

If serving Christ makes us difficult to live with, then something is terribly wrong with our service. It is vitally important that we spend time “at the feet of Jesus” every single day, letting Him share His Word with us.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg

A rare chance to know Jesus as His first disciples knew Him.

What would it be like to journey back to the first century and sit at the feet of Rabbi Jesus as one of His Jewish disciples?

How would your understanding of the gospel have been shaped by the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the Jewish culture in which you lived?

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus will change the way you read Scripture and deepen your understanding of the life of Jesus.

It will also help you to adapt the rich prayers and customs you learn about to your own life, in ways that both respect and enrich your Christian faith.

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus takes you on a fascinating tour of the Jewish world of Jesus, offering inspirational insights that can transform your faith.

Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg paint powerful scenes from Jesus’ ministry, immersing you in the prayers, feasts, history, culture, and customs that shaped Jesus and those who followed him.

God’s New Commandment: Love One Another

God’s New Commandment: Love One Another

Many times unbelievers ask Christians to prove God exists, considering we cannot observe or perform a test on Him. So, how do we answer them?

For theologians and Bible scholars, this should be easy because they have studied the evidence for the existence of God. They know what questions atheists usually ask and know exactly how to address them.

But what about believers who did not go to Bible school but love the Lord and are passionate about God’s work? If you love the Lord, you will also enjoy communicating with Him. How do Christians communicate with God? We do this through prayer and reading God’s Word.

When people ask you to prove God’s existence, know that Jesus already answered this question in John 13:34-35.

Evidence for God's Existence

Bible Verse: John 13:34-35, NKJV

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

After announcing His departure and insisting that His disciples could not come with Him, Jesus laid out His expectation on them. Jesus said He expected them to follow His directives after He leaves them. He said that love is to serve as the distinguishing characteristic of discipleship.

A New Commandment

The commandment to love was not new. Deuteronomy 6:5 commanded love for God. and Leviticus 19:18 commanded loving one’s neighbor as oneself. See also Matthew 22:34-40; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8.

However, Jesus’ command regarding love presented a distinctly new standard for two reasons:

  • It was sacrificial love modeled after His love (“as I have loved you,” John 15:13).
  • It is produced through the New Covenant by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 31:29-34; Ezekiel 36:24-26; Galatians 5:22).

What Jesus said in John 15:13 is the supreme evidence and expression of His love – His sacrificial death upon the cross. Christians are called to exemplify the same kind of sacrificial giving toward one another. Even if such sacrifice involves the laying down of one’s own life in imitation of Christ’s example (1 John 3:16).

The Evidence of God in Christians

The evidence of God is found in His children. It is human nature to hate, judge, lie, steal, and control. It’s also human nature to try to one-up somebody else to feel better about themselves. But Jesus taught the complete opposite of that.

We prove the existence of God by how well we love other believers. Since nobody deserves God’s unconditional love, it is miraculous to see believers unconditionally loving all other believers. The shameful reality is some Christians only love if we follow their list of rules. That is just hypocritical and judgmental.

Jesus never put conditions on when to love the brethren. He said we are to love one another at all times (Romans 12:9-10).

Devoted to One Another

Love is the supreme NT virtue, which centers completely on the needs and welfare of the one loved and does whatever is necessary to meet those needs. Christians should show their love purely and sincerely without self-centeredness or guile.

Romans 12:9-10

As Christians, we are to be devoted to one another in love. This means we must love other believers with a family sort of love, not based on personal attraction or desirability. This quality is the primary way the world can recognize us as followers of Christ.

We are to honor one another and show genuine appreciation, and admiration for fellow believers by putting them first (Philippians 2:3).

Concluding Words

I know how it feels to be judged falsely, and how it feels to be loved unconditionally.

I praise God for the fact that all believers will give account to God for how we loved others as Romans 14:12 says. Sure; we are not responsible for how others treat us. We are only responsible for how we respond to them.

I am reminded of how Jesus responded to the mockery and hatred of the Sanhedrin. He could have destroyed them all but He chose to suffer so that you and I could be born again.

Jesus did not have to die but He offered Himself so that we may have eternal life. That should humble us all to love the brethren despite their actions. This is God’s new but not new commandment. We should love one another as Jesus loved us and gave Himself up for us.

How well are we loving our brethren?


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Recommended Resource:

311 Ways to Be a “One-Another” Christian: Loving Others with the Love of Jesus by Stuart Scott and Andrew Jin

“Nobody reaches out to me when I go to church.” “This church really isn’t much of a family.”

Have you heard these kinds of comments? How sad if they are true, especially as God’s Word has so much to say about how believers should interact with one another!

An array of interpersonal problems between spouses, children, parents, siblings, friends, and coworkers can easily develop, but if you are a Christian, you can put the Bible’s message into practice and see how radically it transforms your relationships with others.

By carefully examining the “one another” commands in Scripture, the authors provide a Word-based understanding of what God intends for Christian relationships – showing not only what they look like, but also how to develop them.

Enjoy reading and sharing this book; it’s very well-suited for individuals, couples, and small groups.