Wedding Vows Are to Be Honored

[357 words] “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife…through sickness and health, until death do you part?” “I do.” “Do you take this man…until death do you part?” “I do.” “Before God and these witnesses, I now pronounce you man and wife.” Of course, you have heard or spoken similar words at your own or someone’s wedding. That moment when someone confirms their vow and intent with “I do” is a little tense. It is a big responsibility to take on. That’s the point isn’t it? “I do” has to mean something. No one replies “I...

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Following at a Distance

[371 words] “And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes. 54 But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire” (Mark 14:53-54). Peter, who once had told Jesus that He would never forsake Him, watched as His Lord was taken prisoner. Because he didn’t want to suffer any harm or persecution, he followed Jesus at a distance. He wanted to be a “secret” follower of Christ when...

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Prison Ministries

[448 words] “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’” (Matthew 25:37-40). There are good brethren who have “prison ministries” where they...

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What Should We Do About Sin?

[485 words] If you, as a Christian, know for a fact that your brother or sister is living in sin, what are you to do? Depending on the sin, you might say. If it is a private matter, Matthew 18:15 and following give the prescription for the matter. If the brother or sister refuse to listen, there are potentially drastic steps to be taken. Galatians 6:1-2 tells us to go and bear up a brother who is in trespass. It tells us to do it gently or meekly. We are after his/her soul, not to just beat on him or...

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True Forgiveness

[441 words] “For if you forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).”Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent’ you shall forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4). Often people will quote the first set of passages and thus conclude that forgiveness must be extended in a “blank...

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Life Isn’t Fair, But It Isn’t God’s Fault!

[387 words] The atheist would argue that the reason life isn’t fair is because there is no God. The agnostic would say that life’s “unfairness” is “evidence” of why he or she can’t make his/her mind up about God. The apathetic, religious person would point to life’s lack of fairness as the reason why he can’t get excited about God and be busy about His work. I can remember a few well known charities across the nation that were found stealing money from their prospective funds. Of course, only a few people were involved, but the theft gave the charities...

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Why Do You Go to Worship?

[300 words] Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation” (Psalm 111:1). We gather and worship on a different day than those spoke of in the passage above. Yet, God’s people have always been commanded to worship Him in a prescribed manner. The New Testament gives examples of what, when, why, and how to worship. Most Christians understand these things, yet, often many brethren go to worship out of a sense of “got to.” Think about our giving and the prescribed attitude we are to have...

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Are We Being Consistent with Sin?

[404 words] My son is in school at Bear Valley Bible Institute. He told me of a student that went to the president of the school with an idea that might be too controversial. The president okayed it because it raised a tremendous point. This student was to bring a lesson in one of his classes. Students are assigned to make new sermons and often deliver them in class for grades. This young man wanted to present a “new” way to sing and with a guitar. The class got terribly quiet. He said that he and one other student would...

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Benevolence: A Great Responsibility of the Church

[370 words] We are commanded as a group and individually to help others. There are people who are truly in need and we are to be God’s “hands” in these situations.“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). If we see someone in need, we are warned about not doing anything.“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and...

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Trickle Down Economics?

[430 words] Although I do believe the theory of “Trickle Down Economics” in finances is legitimate, I could hardly attach that mentality to God’s blessings. They do come “down” from above (Ephesians 1:3; James 1:17), but we certainly couldn’t call the amount of blessings He sends a “trickle.” Many of us take for granted the things God gives us. If you listen to some folks, God is portrayed as a being who hands out treats in a random fashion to some while ignoring others. It couldn’t be further from the truth! We as Christians must remember that some blessings are...

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Jump Start!

[361 words] Recently I was shopping at our local dollar store and there was a young woman and her two very young daughters in the store. They were traveling and their car had broken down in the parking lot. It was very cold and I went out to have a look. It seemed her battery was low, but not dead. Her lights worked and so did the horn, but the car wouldn’t quite turn over. Long story short, we jump started the car very easily and she was on her way. This incident got me to thinking… There are times...

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Is the Young Man, Absalom, Safe?

  [368 words] The question above comes from 2 Samuel 18:32. Absalom, David’s son, had tried to wrest the kingdom from his father. He had slept with the ten concubines (wives) of his father. David had to flee his home when he heard Absalom was staging a coup and left these women to tend the house/palace. There is no doubt that Absalom was a danger to his father the king or anyone else for that matter. David finally takes advice from his military commanders to go to war with his son, Absalom and his soldiers. Before his commanders take the...

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True Idol Worship…Here!

[369 words] It would be foolish to believe that there hasn’t been any worship of graven images, statues, etc. in this country. It has usually been kept very private. We’ve always preached that in this country, our idol worship is material things; activities; money; etc. But now, true idol worshipers have become very public in our country. Worshipers of Satan are planning on securing a building for their temple in Detroit, where they will have public worship and activities. This same group is planning on something in the Oklahoma City area. What makes this story much worse is that there...

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They Just Won’t Listen

  [388 words] “Then He said to me: ‘Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and...

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The Biblical Way of Dealing with a Brother Who Has Sinned Against You

  [338 words] “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15-17). How often is this passage ignored? Often, a...

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What is the Standard for Our Morality?

  [376 words] “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21). It seems since the beginning of time that people who turn from God are confused about the question of this article. Man isn’t wise enough, and at times, honest enough, to discern between right and wrong or good and evil. Jeremiah 10:23 tells us that “it is not in man that...

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Biblical Meditation: The Cure for What Ails You

  [392 words] “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9). Our minds, much like a junk drawer or an old shoe box, can be a catchall for junk or trash. We are inundated with sights, sounds, etc. that become...

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God’s Word Waits for No One

  [444 words] “Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.’ Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so, Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul...

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Four Commands We Must Live By

  [367 words] “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:13-17). Peter tells us that...

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Let God Handle It

  [412 words] “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans...

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Benevolence, or Enabling Bad Behavior?

  [401 words] “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this; If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever“ (1Timothy 5:8). There are numerous passages in the Bible that show that God expects us to work and provide for ourselves. Even when you study Genesis, Adam had a job and that was tending the garden. I don’t know how much it needed, but Adam was given responsibilities. He...

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How to Lose Your Kingdom

  [399 words] “So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. But he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse” (1 Chronicles 10:13). Saul lost his physical life and his physical kingdom because of his unfaithfulness, not keeping the word of God and for seeking guidance from mankind (a witch/medium) instead of God Himself. He also lost his spiritual life and spiritual...

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Another Act of Pure Evil

[357 words] The tragedy in the Floridian public school saddens the nation.  As we look on as Christians, we know the root of this evil act and that is Satan. Sin came into this world through his trickery and Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God. Since then, horrible disease, evil acts, death, etc., entered the world.  Blaming guns or bombs or other inanimate objects will not move us one inch towards a true solution. Until this nation decides to turn back to God, this type of behavior will only get worse.  We are living in a modern-day version of Judges that we...

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Enabling Bad Behavior is as Sinful as the Behavior

[324 words] You’ve probably watched a few programs on TV. or heard of them where families make interventions for a loved one who has an addiction problem. Years of coddling a child, friend, or loved one who has an addiction, only adds to the problem. It seems that the sooner a person hits rock‐bottom the sooner they may possibly make the turn to sobriety and clean living. It’s hard to say no to people. That’s why so many remain addicted because people who care about them don’t want them suffer. Whether it is food, shelter, clothing, etc., we just can’t...

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It’s Hard to Give it to God

[364 words] Sometimes when we go through tough stretches (often made by our own hands!), we procrastinate about turning to God. We think that because we make dumb decisions that we must always figure out a way on our own. God would help us if we would tum to Him. At least if we turned to Him, we would be more likely to hold ourselves more accountable and stop making unwise decisions. Matthew 7:7 tells us to seek and ask God and He will answer. He doesn’t always answer in the way we expect, but we can be confident that...

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Do Non-Christians and Christians Stand on Equal Footing with God?

The Bible seems pretty clear about this question. We can read for ourselves the answer. The real question is: Do we accept the answer? The world doesn’t see the difference at times. Sadly, there are some within the church who can’t tell the difference either. Let me start with a scripture. Galatians 6:10 reads, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Can we not see a subtle difference? We are to prefer one another. Why? Because our Savior sees a difference! In Matthew 12:47‐50, we...

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Paul’s Test for What’s On Your Mind

[333 words] In Philippians, Paul gave us a litmus test, so to speak, for what should be on or in our minds. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). My question is: “If I am to focus my mind on these things, can I practice or support anything that wouldn’t make this list?” I believe we know the answer to this. “Whatever things...

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