Here is a reminder to all Christians, especially when they are under attack and feel everything is just too much. When you reach that point where you think you can’t go on, you need to remember that we are at war.
The war we are fighting is not against the people of this world, but is a spiritual war. We are contending against a spiritual enemy whose whole purpose is to try and tear us away from the Lord Jesus and His salvation.
Those who choose to follow Christ have not chosen an easy path. Christians are put down, ridiculed, presented as pariahs, and treated as if they are of no account. Christian views are stomped on by those who oppose the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet they believe they are in the right to do so. However, if a Christian were to dare stand up for himself or herself, we are falsely accused of all manner of evil. That is why we must always remember this is not a worldly war and we should ask ourselves the question… Continue reading “A Spiritual War”
This would be one of the few verses that most people would know and recognise, even among those who are not Christians in this world.
It is a fundamental principle among people that if you are to give anything for any good reason, then it needs to be given cheerfully. Too often people have ulterior motives for giving. They give to get something in return, or to win favour, or perhaps to be looked at as someone special, even to assuage guilt.
But what is important in the eyes of the Lord is not that you should gain through giving, but that you should give cheerfully. And those who do so do indeed gain many things, as we will see. But the gain should never be the reason for the giving. Any gain at all is simply a by-product of the giving, nit the purpose for it.
This scripture speaks about reaping and sowing, as do many other verses in the Bible. It is an important point that all people, and Christians especially need to know and understand. The verse says this:
”The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)
Jesus used many analogies with sowing and reaping and so too the Apostles who followed Him, who were charged with the sowing of the Gospel and the reaping of disciples, also spoke in similar terms. And there are some interesting things we can learn from this verse and others, including a little piece of poor translation that sheds a different light on this verse.
Have you ever heard the expression “belts and braces?” It refers to the process of ensuring that something is checked and then double-checked to ensure it is right.
If you look at the concept from a clothing perspective, it is like a man who is worried that his trousers might fall down. To ensure they don’t, he wears a belt AND he wears braces to hold his pants up. Are both belts and braces necessary? Probably not, but by wearing both he is making doubly certain that he will not be embarrassed if gravity takes a hold of his trousers!
In business, especially among engineers, the concept of “belts and braces” is often seen. When they want to make sure something is done correctly, or a design will work correctly and safely, they go to greater extremes than might otherwise be necessary. And in some cases this is what we want, especially to ensure something is safe.
How should the church be financed? What is the means by which the church should receive it’s funding?
Even though we know that money is not a priority in the Lord, there is a basic financial need in the church for it to operate. We need to pay for premises, whether rented or bought, we need money for songbooks, equipment, and wages for those who do the ministry. But what is the right way of raising these funds so that firstly, we are acting in accord with the gospel, and secondly, that greed and the love of money do not raise their ugly heads.
This is an important issue and it is done badly in many churches because they do not understand the processes that were established by the Lord to nesure this function is in harmony with the gospel. In fact it is so important that the wrong methodology can be devastating to a church, even when or if it appears to coincide with what the bible states! Continue reading “Church Financing”
There are many people in the church today who suffer needlessly. They believe that they are sinners and could never be acceptable to God, and so they live lives of gulit and self-condemnation.
I am aware also of some churches that preach a similar dogma, stating that it is virtually impossible to be perfect. Some teach that the only people who will be saved will be the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation. Others claim that you cannot be baptised in water until you have cleansed all sin from your bodies, and are virtually perfect. As such only a few of their members are baptised.
Such teaching is wrong and such thinking is destructive. In Christ we were and are accepted for who we are and what we are. We do not have to be perfect to come to Him because the work of the New Covenant and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what brings us to perfection. We come in weakness and are transformed into perfection as the Holy Spirit works in and with us as individuals.
Who can hide from God? Who can go somewhere or do something without God knowing? Nobody can because God is watching all of the time.
This short section of scripture speaks of the comfort and confidence Paul has in the church at Corinth because they are obedient and working to ensure they are following the sure word as taught. We need to do likewise and so prove to be following the Lord correctly.
Obedience to the words of the Lord and seeking the truth that will please God is critical. God is watching everything that goes on in this world. He is in control of all the events taking place in the world on both the grand scale as well as in the smallest details in the lives of every individual. Continue reading “God Is Watching”
One of the guarantees of this life is that there will be troubles. We will suffer afflictions that cause us to grieve that are both internally and externally generated. External events can cause us grief, such as the loss of a loved one, and we can cause grief within ourselves through stress, worry and anxiety.
But there are two types of grief as we see explained in this section of scripture. There is worldly grief and there is a godly grief, and the outcomes of each of these is quite different.
Likewise, in Christ we have a comfort that is not available to the unbelievers of this world. People who are suffering seek comfort because they want the suffering to cease. But the comfort that comes through the knowledge of Jesus Christ goes deeper than any comfort that the world can give.
The great commandment in the law, as described by Jesus, is to love God with all your heart, mind and strength. He then adds that there is a second commandment that goes with this one, which is to love your neighbour as yourself.
The foundation on which both of these commandments are built is love, and indeed all of the commandments of God were based upon love, either love for God or love for our fellow man.
So we see that if we are to emulate Jesus Christ and be transformed into His image, we must learn to love as God loves us. To do this we need to develop love as the base attitude of the heart and so be guided by love as we live out the love of God. Continue reading “Attitude of The Heart”
Many times I have written that the purpose of the Christian faith is aimed at making believers perfect. In Christ we have the ability to become perfect, and we are told by Jesus Christ that we MUST become perfect if we are to stand before God.
Jesus made tis comment as one of the teachings in the sermon on the mount, saying, “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) Perfection was not indicated as a suggestion for us. He did not say it would be nice if we could be perfect. Jesus told us clearly that you MUST be perfect.
So given that this was a command of the Lord, we need to seek and find the way that this can be done. We are fortunate that the work of perfection is not ours alone, but we still need to seek how this is to be done in Jesus Christ, and to understand what this perfection is. The verse in 2 Corinthians 7:1 gives us some clues.