Wednesday, January 27, 2016

For Christ's Sake: Think It Not Strange - Part 2



For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Jeremiah 29:11




This is the 2nd in a discussion on the many reasons why we suffer.  Peter tells us the life of a believer or follower of Jesus should prepare for it; should get it in our minds that we will suffer even as Jesus suffered:


Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;  1 Peter 4:1


Apostle Paul lets us know that dispite what may come our way in terms of suffering tests and trials, tribulations, persecution, frustration, fear in the way of people or situations, our faith should keep us fully persuaded:


For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39


In the first blog, we began a list of 5 reasons why we suffer.  We covered

  • OTHERS AROUND YOU
  • CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE
  • YOUR MINISTRY
The last 2 reasons are listed below:

®        DIRECT SATANIC ACTIVITY:

Suffering can also enter our life as a result of direct Satanic activity.  

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:  Luke 22:31


This is never more true than when you read the account of Job. This book begs the question, "Why do the righteous suffer?" God's testimony of Job was such that he was a righteous man (Job 1-2). Job did not suffer because he had sinned, as his friends claimed. They believed if Job repented, his circumstances would change.  Job did not suffer because of anything he had done. Job was a righteous man. This was God's testimony of Job, Job's testimony of himself, and his reputation before man. Behind the scenes in the spiritual realm was the true cause of Job's suffering. There was a spiritual battle going on over the heart, mind, and allegiance of Job.

An important truth evident in Job's suffering is that nothing can enter the life of a believer without the knowledge of God. God does not cause your suffering. It is inflicted by Satan, but its limits are set by God.God's power is greater than that of Satan, and you will experience victory if you continue to trust Him.

®        YOUR OWN SIN:

The fifth way suffering enters your life, and unfortunately the reason we don’t want to admit, is because of our own sin and disobedience.  Jonah is an example of such suffering. In disobedience to God, Jonah headed the opposite direction from Nineveh where he had been commanded to go and preach repentance. He experienced a terrible storm at sea and ended up in the belly of a great fish because of his own sin (Jonah 1-2).

Trouble should always be treated as a call to consider your ways and examine your heart before God. You may be suffering because of your own sin. The Bible reveals that God chastises those who live in disobedience to His Word. Chastise means to discipline, reprove, and correct:   

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
 (Hebrews 12:11)

God uses suffering to correct us and bring us back to His will for our life:

Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept thy Word. . .

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. . .

I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that THOU in faithfulness hast afflicted me. (Psalms 119:67, 71, 75)

In these instances when we suffer due to our sin, keep this in mind that there is a price to pay:


Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  Hebrews 6:7

Keeping in mind that there are 4 other primary reasons that we suffer; after careful examination remember, trouble is not necessarily a sign of being sinful. Keep in mind, the Bible also declares, 

"many are the afflictions of the righteous" (Psalms 34:19).

When we suffer innocently and not because of our own sin, you should maintain a proper attitude towards suffering. The real test of our spirituality is how we respond in the day of adversity and distress:

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. (Proverbs 24:10)

The Bible describes the attitude we should have when we suffer as a believer within the will of God: 

v      You should not be ashamed:  

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. (I Peter 4:16)

v       You should commit your soul (your suffering) to God, knowing He works all things for your good:  

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing as unto a faithful Creator.
 (I Peter 4:19)

v       You should be happy when you suffer according to the will of God:  

And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
 (Acts 5:41)

Apostle Paul who understood by his experiences had this to say:   

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.
 
(Romans 12:12)

And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 
 (I Corinthians 4:12)

But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, (II Corinthians 6:4)

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.
   (II Timothy 1:8)

That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. (I Thessalonians 3:3)

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (II Timothy 4:5)

v       You should not think it strange when you experience suffering:  

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you, but rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed ye may be glad with exceeding joy.
 (I Peter 4:12-13)

Apostle Paul summarizes the proper attitude toward suffering when he explains:   

For which cause we faint not; 
but though our outward man perish, 
yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, 
worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: 
for the things which are seen are temporal; 
but the things which are not seen are eternal.  
(II Corinthians 4:16-18)

Be encouraged in Jesus Christ knowing that that 5th season called 'due' will come:

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  Galatians 6:9




(Bible Studies) 

02/23/17

Saturday, January 9, 2016

. . . Be Acceptable In Thy Sight




And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?  Luke 4:22





The word of God is full of wisdom, instruction, illustration and guidance on how to live a life that is pleasing to God that in the process allows for a much more productive and satisfying way of life.  Today, we continue from ‘Let The Words Of My Mouth’ with God’s word on how to bring our tongue under subjection.

→    Pattern Your Conversation After Jesus:

Jesus spoke gracious words:

And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth, And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?              (Luke 4:22)

He spoke words of authority about God:

And they were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one that had authority and not as the scribes. (Mark 1:22)

There was no guile (sinful speaking) found in His mouth:

Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth; Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to him that judgeth righteously. (I Peter 2:22-23)

USE YOUR TONGUE FOR GOOD:

Speak words of wisdom and kindness:

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. (Proverbs 31:26)

My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.   (Psalms 49:3)

Talk about God:

I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. (Psalms 145:5)

My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. (Psalms 71:15)

My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt. (Psalms 71:24)

Speak of God's Word:

My tongue shall speak of thy Word; for all thy commandments are righteousness. (Psalms 119:172)

With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.        (Psalms 119:13)

I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. (Psalms 119:46)

Speak words of comfort from God's Word:

Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (I Thessalonians 4:18)

Speak of the Kingdom of God:

They shall speak of the glory of thy Kingdom, and talk of thy power.  (Psalms 145:11)

Let your lips be filled with praise to God:

My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord; and let all flesh bless His holy name for ever and ever. (Psalms 145:21)

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand. (Psalms 149:6)

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. (Psalms 89:1)

I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will praise Him among the multitude. (Psalms 109:30)

My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.  (Psalms 119:171)

Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. (Psalms 63:3)

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: (Psalms 63:5)

I cried unto Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. (Psalms 66:17)

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honor all the day.   (Psalms 71:8)

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. (Psalms 71:23)

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Psalms 34:1)

→    Before You Speak, Ask These Questions:

     *        Will what I am about to say bring glory to God?

And whatsoever ye do in WORD or deed, do ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  (Colossians 3:17)

     *        Is it the truth?
     *        Is it fair to all concerned?
     *        Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
     *        Will it edify others (result in good will and better friendships)?
     *        If you are talking about another person, have you said the same thing to him or her?
     *        Do you know that what you are saying is a fact or have you arrived at your own conclusions after hearing rumors?
     *        If you have something against your brother or sister, have you attempted to be reconciled to them before discussing it with others?
     *        Is it absolutely necessary that you say this?

→    Remember These Verses:

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. (Psalms 139:4)

The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. (Proverbs 16:21)

The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. (Proverbs 16:23)

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth; and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! (Proverbs 15:23)

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. (II Peter 3:11)

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.   (Proverbs 25:11)

Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. (Proverbs 21:23)

He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life; but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. (Proverbs 13:3)

→    Claim These Promises:

Hear; For I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.  For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.  All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. (Proverbs 8:6-8)

→    Pray These Prayers:

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.  (Psalms 141:3)

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalms 19:14)

→    Establish This Purpose:

Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou has tried me, and shalt find nothing: I AM PURPOSED THAT MY MOUTH SHALL NOT TRANSGRESS. (Psalms 17:3)

King David, in all of his battles, hard life situations, and sin, had many things to pray for and yet he included the taming of his tongue in his prayers to God:

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.  Psalms 19:14


(Biblical Studies)

06/06/17

(See 'Let The Words of My Mouth)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Let The Words Of My Mouth . . .




For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.  James 3:2





We all know that the tongue, when not properly controlled, can have detrimental effects on not only others but also ourselves.  There are biblical ways that we can overcome this most powerful weapon. 
 
The first step in gaining victory over the tongue is to get your heart right with God:

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies; These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.  (Matthew 15:18-20)

Your mouth will speak what is in your heart. If your heart is not right, your tongue will reveal it. Use your tongue to get your heart right with God:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth, the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)

→    Recognize Your Responsibility:

Recognize you will be held responsible for the words that come out of your mouth:

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37)

And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: (Luke 19:22)

→    Realize Your Words Reflect On The Gospel:

As long as you believe your tongue is not important, you will not gain control of it. You must realize your conversation reflects on the Gospel of Jesus:

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (Philippians 1:27)

Because of this, you should set a good example by your conversation:

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (I Timothy 4:12)

What comes out of your mouth is noted by those who may not have a relationship with God:

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. (Psalms 126:2)

You can actually win others to the Lord Jesus Christ by your conversation:

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.       (I Peter 3:1-2)

→    Keep Your Words Few And Simple:

It really is ok not to verbalize every thought.

In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. (Proverbs 10:19)

But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. (Matthew 5:37)

→    Think Before You Speak:

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear; slow to speak, slow to wrath. (James 1:19)

If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth. (Proverbs 30:32)

The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things. (Proverbs 15:28)

Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
(Proverbs 17:28)

→    Separate Yourself:

Separate yourself from those who cannot control their tongue:

Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. (Proverbs 14:7)

→    Learn The Power Of Peaceful Words:

Peaceful words are more powerful than words of anger:

By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.
 (Proverbs 25:15)

→    Recognize Your Tongue Is A Weapon:

Your tongue is a weapon you can use to overcome the enemy instead of being defeated by him:

And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
 (Revelations 12:11)

If you control your tongue, it will put to shame those who falsely accuse you:

Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.     (I Peter 3:16)

→    Take Control Of Your Tongue:

With God's help, we can control the tongue. But we must take action to control our own tongue. The following verses indicate action from us:

For he that will love life, and see good days, LET HIM refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. (I Peter 3:10)

To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
 (Titus 3:2)

SPEAK NOT EVIL one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law; but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (James 4:11-12)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (Philippians 1:27)

That YE PUT OFF concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that YE PUT ON the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  Wherefore PUTTING AWAY lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor for we are members one of another.  (Ephesians 4:22-25)

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. (Colossians 3:8)

LET no corrupt communication proceed out of YOUR mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  (Ephesians 4:31)

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (I Peter 1:15-16)

PUT AWAY from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.  (Proverbs 4:24)

KEEP thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.       (Psalms 34:13)

I said, I WILL TAKE HEED to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.  (Psalms 39:1)

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me; and to HIM THAT ORDERETH his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
 (Psalms 50:23)

THOU shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7)

THOU shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)

It is a truth that the word of God equips us to overcome, defeat the tactics of the enemy and ourselves.   

(Biblical Studies)
06/01/17