All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
To the Reader:
I do realize that some may disagree on what’s contained in this article. However, we should not divide over this, but instead realize we’re not all at the same level of faith yet. For Paul said: Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. (Romans 14:1-2) God help us to be a people of unity and not divide over the non-major things. Amen.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:5-6)
What did Jesus mean by saying "except a man be born of water and the Spirit? Well it's very simple, for Jesus explains it in the next verse when he said: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6) You first have to be naturally born into this world in order to be Spiritually born. And it’s only when you're Spiritually born can you enter into God’s kingdom. So, being born of the water is simply in reference to the natural birth. We can see this to be true when a pregnant woman's water brakes prior to delivering her baby. And we’re born of the Spirit when we are converted and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. For you must first come into existence before you can know who God is. And then you must turn your life over to him and be "born again." We must simply Interpret scripture with scripture because it's all there in God's word for us. Amen.
Now, I know this raises that question, “are we going to see stillborn and aborted babies in heaven?” Well, not according to the words of Jesus above. For he made it clear that one must be birthed into this world and then be born of the Spirit of God in order to enter heaven. Now, this is in no way saying that they are going to hell. For only those who have the capacity of choice are either going to heaven or hell. This should make the act of abortion that much more horrible. For it not only extinguishes the life of a child, but robs that child of a chance to know and experience God. Now, that’s murder in the first degree.
BELOW IS A MESSAGE BY CHUCK SMITH WHO WAS PASTOR OF CALVARY CHAPEL OF COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA BEFORE HE PASSED AWAY:
Jesus said, "Unless a man is born of the water and of the Spirit." Now, what does He mean water and Spirit? We know what it is to be born of the Spirit. What is He referring to being born of the water? There are those who declare that He is talking about water baptism. Unless you have been baptized in water, you’re not going to see the kingdom of heaven, and that born of the water refers to water baptism. I do not believe that Jesus is referring to water baptism here, because I believe that there are people who have gone through the ritual of water baptism who are not going to see the kingdom of heaven. It was only a ritual. But it would seem to me that being born of the water would be a reference to our natural birth, as the fetus is in that water sac being protected, and then there is the water bursting and the child is born. To be born of the water would refer to the natural birth, because in context then, Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, but that which born of the Spirit is spirit.” And so, He's talking about the two births: born of the water, and born of the Spirit. And that the born of the Spirit is referring to the new birth, the spiritual birth that we have, where born of the water would refer to the fleshly birth.
This is one of those subjects that has been misunderstood by the church at large. For there are those who say that drinking alcoholic beverage is wrong. They even declare that the wine that Jesus made was only grape juice and not fermented. And of course, this is not scriptural. I do believe however that these same people are sincere in their faith and mean well, for wine and other alcoholic beverages have caused many problems. So, we must not look down on those who choose not to drink and to be careful not to stumble them with our drinking. But to twist scripture in such a way as to fit ones own theological view is wrong also. So, whether we choose to drink or not, let us not look down or judge each other on this issue. For God has given us freedom in this area.
So that being said, getting drunk is a sin and should be abhorred. And if abused to the point of one being a continued drunkard (one who willfully gets drunk), it can harm that person’s relationship with God and may even keep him (or her) from entering the Kingdom of God (1Corinthians 6:9-10). However, that does not mean that you throw the baby out with the bathwater. We should not demonize something just because there are those that abuse it. Anything can be abused, and whatever you do abuse may end up being a sin. And the reason should be clear. If what you do causes you to be unfruitful and even harmful, then you are being counterproductive. Jesus said if any branch in me does not bear fruit then it is removed. Also, he goes on to say that the will of the Father is that you bear much fruit (John 15).
Therefore, whatever causes you to be unfruitful is a sin. This would include excessive drinking, wrongful sexual activity, watching ungodly movies, or anything else that is counterproductive. You may already know that there are warnings in the bible concerning sexual misconduct. Now does that mean we are to refrain from it all together? I firmly believe that sexual misbehavior has caused much harm upon this earth. It has been used to violate woman, young children, men, as well as animals. But again, should we condemn it and encourage everyone to become celibate? Of course not. So why do that with wine or any other alcoholic drinks?
Closing words on drinking wine
Enjoying a glass of wine or a bottle of beer is not a sin as long as you refrain from getting drunk. Jesus Himself admits to drinking fermented wine and it’s recorded that he made some at a wedding in Cana of Galilee (Matthew 11:19, John 2:1-11). Now I have to admit, drinking is not for everyone. There are those who may feel the need to refrain from alcohol for whatever reason. But, those who choose not to drink, shouldn’t condemn or look down on those who have the liberty to do so. Nor, should anyone put the pressure on an individual to make them drink when they feel uncomfortable about it.
CONSIDER SOME SCRIPTURE ON THIS MATTER:
Old Testament speaks on the benefits of wine: He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart. (Psalm 104:14-15)
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
There is an unfortunate teaching in our church assemblies concerning Communion. How many of us have heard it preached that we must first examine ourselves for any sin before partaking of it? However, if we simply read what Paul is saying here, we would see this not to be true. First, Paul starts off saying: “When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.” (1 Corinthians 11:20-21) Then Paul says: “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:26-27) So, what is that unworthy manner which Paul mentions here? Well, it plainly says: “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.” (1 Corinthians 11:29) So, we read that the unworthy manner is not some unconfessed sin in your life, but partaking of communion while “not discerning the Lordʼs body.”
Therefore, we need to stop teaching this false doctrine of unconfessed sin. This should be important for us because it could bring unnecessary guilty and condemnation on a brother or sister in Christ. I say this because there may be some unconfessed sin that comes to mind during or even after we have partaken. Yet, because of this false teaching, we could end up feeling guilty that we offended God. For let's face it, if we really had to examine ourselves to see if there is any unconfessed sin in our lives, could any of us partake of communion? So please, let's keep things in context and not stumble one another. God help us, amen.
The bible is clear that there should be a distinction between the hair length of the sexes. For we read: “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.” (1 Corinthians 11:4-5) This is aseptically true within a church setting. For a woman with short hair blurs the distinction between who is in authority and who is in subjection. Therefore, a woman “dishonoureth her head” (referring to the man) by wearing her hair short like a man. On the flip side, long hair on men is a shame and dishonoring to God as well. For a man is supposed to represent the Glory of God in the form of authority and not in the form of subjection as a woman. Therefore, let’s not come to the conclusion that this is talking about head coverings, such as wearing a scarf. For Paul makes it clear that it’s hair he is talking about. For we read: “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” (1 Corinthians 11:14-15)
So again, God wants a distinction between men and woman. We can see this also to be true where we read: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” (Deuteronomy 22:5) So, why are churches ignoring this important truth that God’s word teaches? Let’s remember that we are to be the “salt of the earth.” "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. (Matthew 5:13) God help us all, amen.
A VIDEO CONCERNING HAIR LENGTH:
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)
There are those in the church who view that one must be celibate in order to be a spiritual leader in a church. This practice was enforced by those in the early church who viewed sex as being base. We can read this from the writings of such notables as Tertullian, Ambrose, and Jerome, all of whom believed that, even within marriage, intercourse necessarily involved sin. This attitude toward marital intimacy, which dominated the church for more than ten centuries, inevitably led to the glorification of virginity and celibacy.
However, as we can see from scripture, this practice of forbidding marriage within the clergy is demonic and destructive. I say this because look at the harm that has occurred in the Catholic Church regarding sexual misconducts. I do believe God allowed this to happen to expose their teaching of heresy concerning marriage within the clergy. The unfortunate thing is however, many innocent lives have been marred through this, and yet do we see any changes in their views today. If celibacy is to be practiced, it has to be by choice and not required or enforced. Let's face it, not all have this gift.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1-3). Also, in Hebrews we read: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4) Now, from these two scriptures alone we can clearly see that marriage is honorable whether you're a priest or a peasant.
Paul does tell us that if one is able to remain celibate, this would be a benefit. For such a one could devote more of his time and energy focusing on the work of the Lord without the distractions of marriage. This would include both a man or a woman. For the word of God says: “But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. There isa a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.” (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)
However, God word says that “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge, ”thus it’s not to be looked down upon but held in honor. (Hebrew 13:4) “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28). “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) So, sex is a part of “everything” that God has made. Therefore, sex must be “very good” as well.
SOME SCRIPTURES & ARTICLES TO CONSIDER ON THE TOPIC OF SEXUAL INTIMACY:
It has health benefits both for the man and the woman which we can see through these health articles below:
And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out [his] hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (Matthew 26:51-52)
We Christians are a unique group of people in which God called use to shine the light of Jesus Christ. In fact, because of our uniqueness, we are persecuted by this worlds system just as Jesus was in his time. Therefore, our soul mission in life is to present the Gospel, even if faced of persecution. Jesus said: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel." (Mark 16:15) But again, he also said: “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. (Luke 6:22) So, if you’re one who believes that the average Christian can take up arms, I would caution you to rethink this through. For we are to turn the other cheek, for Jesus said: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38-39) So, are mission is to focus on preaching Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Now, there are those who are serving in our defense system whether it be our local police or in the armed forces. So, if a person is called to serve in this area, then so be it. For the Bible does says that there are those who are called for this service. "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing." (Romans 13:4-6) But, are these “minister of God” Christians or just people whom God has appointed for this work? I personally don’t know for sure.
So, if God chooses certain Christians to be involved in armed forces, then who are we to judge them. Also, when John the Baptist was confronted by soldiers who were asking him what must they do in their situation, he said: “do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” (Luke 3:14) So as we can see, John the Baptist didn’t tell them to lay down their arms if they want to get right with God. But again, should the average Christian citizen take up arms? Well, I believe we are not to. For it should be only for those who are called to take up the sword. For we shouldn’t want to kill anyone who is threatening harm to us, but we should want to preach Christ to them instead (even with our last breath if it be God's will). This in hope that they would be convicted and repent.
So again, I don't see any New Testament scriptures giving us Christian citizens any right to "take up the sword." God help us to always know what to do you in every situation, living our lives in a manner that honors God. “As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” (Romans 8:36)
BELOW ARE SOME MORE SCRIPTURES TO CONSIDER:
Watch these two videos based on what was mentioned above:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
To the Reader: I do realize that some may disagree on the things contained in this article. However, we shouldn’t divide over this but realize not everybody has attained the same level of faith. For Paul said: Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. (Romans 14:1-2) God help us to be a people of unity and not divide over the non-major things.
He put a new song in my mouth, A hymn to our God; many will see and be afraid, and shall hope in the Lord. (Psalm 39:4)
Why do Christian musicians collect royalties and claim ownership for music and songs they don’t own? For God Himself is the true Author and Owner of them as David declares in that verse above. For it is he, that puts the new songs in our hearts as we see above in Psalm 39:4. Therefore, God has freely given us these songs to share in order to: ”Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)” Yes, Jesus did say “the workman is worthy of his meat,” but He also said “freely ye have received, freely give.”(Matthew 10:7-10) So, let's consider what this means. Jesus sent out his disciples to preach, heal, raise the dead and casting out devils. So, they receive wages not for the power or the message Jesus gave them, but for the work that was associated with delivering it. In the same way, the leadership of a church does not own the sermons they receive from God. Thus, their wages would only be due for faithfully preparing and delivering it.
So, it’s the same with Christian music. God puts it upon our hearts and we faithfully deliver it to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, we should get wages for the performance and delivery, but not for the song itself. For as said before, we’re not the true owners of it, but God is. Once that song reaches another church body, it’s now theirs to share. So, let’s stop this collecting of royalties fellow Christians. Could you imagine the negative reaction if Paul the apostle demanded royalties for his letters being read or copied? “Copyright: Apostle Paul's Apostolic Ministries. Any Duplication or Use without Prior Permission from the Copyright Owner is prohibited by Law.” Thank God that Paul never ended his letters this way. For if he did, there may have been a big portion of the New Testament missing. This holds true for all the other scriptures as well. For I don't see any copyright notices or any royalties demanded at the end of any of the songs or scriptures except from the publishers of the Bible themselves (which needs to stop as well).
Let’s remember what Jesus Himself said to those who were selling things in the temple: “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:13) He said this to those who were making money off of the people by selling things that were to be used for religious service. This can be applied to music as well. For if you're making money off the songs itself in which God is the originator, you're taking money for something that doesn’t belong to you. So, wouldn't that fall into the category of “a den of thieves” as mentioned above? For Jesus also said to: Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.’ (John 2:16) Therefore, our time of gathering should be for worship and praise and not for a means of financial gain. Amen.
In closing, I would like to say that I do love all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are penning and singing these songs for the sake of the church and the world. I myself love to sing and worship God as well as listen to the music of my fellow Christian. But please, let’s not mirror how the world operates or does things but let us live our lives as true children of the Light. For Jesus is calling us to come out of the world and be separate. And my prayer is for that.
Jesus said: But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36)
Saying something that has no value or meaning would be unfruitful and unproductive. So, when Jesus spoke of the rich man and Lazarus, would he be just throwing out some name without any intent for the listener to eventually discover who that man is? For Jesus is actually mentioning someone by name in that passage above. This has never happened in any of His parables. Now, please notice that Lazarus both died and was raised from the dead. So, could this be the same person who was laid not only at the rich man’s gate, but who was Marry and Martha’s brother as well? Something to ponder on.
Some scripture to consider concerning this:
These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. (Jude 1:16)
After our church quire sang a song in church, I was approached by a friend of mine (who was involved in a secular music group) who told me the song we sang did nothing for her. Though she was a professing Christian, she still missed a very important point. For that song we song was not for our entertainment, but for the glory and praise of God. You see, so many times we come to church with a worldly mentality. Thus, we expect a church to be a place of entertainment instead of a place to worship God. In fact, if you find yourself in a church that's geared toward entertainment, chances are you will come out of there no closer to God than when you first went in. May God help us to come to church with an attitude to worship and pray, always desiring to hear from God. For a church shouldn’t be a place of entertainment or to have our ears tickled. But a church should be a place that prepares us to bring God's message to the world. So, if you're attending a church that is based on entertainment, you may need to find a new church.
Some scripture to consider concerning this:
He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. (Psalm 147:10-11)
This verse above is so true. So, why do we think that the Almighty God who created us is impressed with our athletic abilities or worldly feats? Come on people he made us, he already knows what we can and can’t do. So, when it comes to the Bible verse, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13), we shouldn’t come to the false conclusion that this can be applied to our athletic abilities. Because let’s face it, there are many athletes who are opposed to God’s truth, yet have been successful in one degree or another. And what about those teams that have confessing Christians on both sides who may be praying for a win? So, if God does make a choice, wouldn’t that go against his word which say: For God does not show favoritism (Romans 2:11)?
I was one of those whose life was wrapped up in competition sports. However, I found that all of them are based on pride and arrogance which God hates. But when it comes to the opposition that we may receive for sharing the Gospel, only through the strength of God can we endure and have true victory, even if faced with death. That’s what we can do through Christ who strengthens us. And yes, there are many Christian athletes who point to the sky or give statement that give God the glory. However, as said before, even those who are ungodly have been successful just the same, maybe even giving glory to their false gods. And let’s take heed to what the apostle Peter said: And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (1 Peter 1:17-19)
So, as mentioned earlier, there are people not only in sports, but who are involved in other areas of life who are very successful and yet don’t have a relationship with God. Lance Armstrong who was very successful and may have inspired others said: “If there was a God, I’d still have both nuts.” Then we have the famous Bruce Lee who was asked if he believed in God, in which he said: “To be perfectly frank, I really do not.” And there is the MMA fighter Frank Mir who called religion “the retarded stepchild of philosophy.”
So again, brothers and sisters in Christ, the bible verse: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13) has nothing to do with competition sports or any other vain pursuits of this life. Instead it’s all about the strength we receive through Jesus Christ when we’re faced against the ungodly oppositions of this world.
Competition sports are built on pride which God hates as His word says: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18) And let’s consider how many people have been injured and even died through sports. Such a one would be pro-surfer Bethany Hamilton. This sister in Christ (according to the movie) was so caught up in her upcoming surfing competition that she canceled her mission trip that she first committed to. And most of us know what happened after that. For a shark bit her arm off that day while out surfing.
But please, let me make myself clear. I’m not saying this in order for us to pass judgment on Bethany. For “we all stumble in many things” as the bible says in James 3:1-2. But I’m using this as an example in order for us not put our vain worldly pursuits above the work of the Lord. And I thank God that he had mercy upon her by allowing her to survive. I’m also thankful to God that she ended up doing some mission work afterwards as well. And yes, I myself am a witness of the devastation that a sport injury can cause an individual and their family. For a close member of our family took their own life after much suffering from a High School football injury.
For more information on this topic as well as some information on those who died in sports, click on this link.
Below are some scriptures against competition sports:
Do all things without murmurings and disputing’s: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (Philippians 2:14-15)
“Hold the pickles hold the lettuce, special orders don't upset us, all we ask is that you let us have it your way.” Some of you may remember that little jingle from a Burger King commercial a while back. Simply put, Burger King is saying choose how you want your burger to be made. And though this may sound good for a burger restaurant, it's not really that good for a church. For there is only One who is to have His way in the church, and that's God Himself. But so many times we still bring this mentality into church. For there is nitpicking and complaining about the music, the temperature, the ones who are preaching and so on and so forth, expecting things to be done our way. But if we would just come to church walking in the Spirit and seeking God's will, we would find ourselves in a state of worship, and in prayer, wanting to hear from God instead of having everybody hearing from us.
Wouldn’t it be so nice if the church would just get back to the basics? It’s all about being in love with God and being filled with His Holy Spirit, totally loving Jesus Christ. For it was Jesus who died on the cross for our sins (because all have sinned) and rose again from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father making intersection for us, praise God. So, let’s die to ourselves and pick up our cross and follow Him. Because a church is not a Burger King.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psalm 139:14)
God is an Awesome Creator, a Master Craftsman. The earth is His canvas, and we are His living artwork on display for all the universe (including us here on earth) to see and marvel at. And not only that, but we are made in His image, with the skills and gifts to build upon what He has already created. So, having said all that, I realize that everything that I see around me is in one form or another, God's artwork. However, we must be careful that we glorify Him in everything we do. Don’t let the works of your hands, or anything else you do, bring glory to yourself or the evil one, but to the One who gave you the ability to express your love for Him in everything you do.
So, to all of us who are painters, sculptors, photographers, home decorators, or whatever craft or skill you may be involved with; just keep doing what you’re doing in a way that's brings glory to God; and let it be your way of showing off his handy work to the world.
Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him. (Proverbs 29:20) “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” (Proverbs 18:21 NLT)
This is a sobering passage because it’s so easy for us to say things off the top of our head. For there are so many people who have spoken in hast and may have regretted it afterwards. Such a one is Pastor that I sat under who was over a very large church. For he said during one of his sermons “why panic and cry out, ‘why me Lord’ when the doctor tells you it’s cancer.” Then he said something which I believe he shouldn’t have said. For he said that he would say, “hmm cancer, an interesting way to go.” And after I heard him say this, I thought on all those in his congregation who were or may know someone who is suffering with cancer. The radiation treatments, the chemotherapy and the withering away of one’s body. No people, cancer is not an interesting way to go but a horrible way to go. And sure enough, he eventually suffered and died from lung cancer though he never smoked a day in his life. And let me make myself clear here as well. I’m not bring this up in order for us to pass judgment on this Pastor (nor the radio talk host mentioned below). For he was one outstanding Preacher whom I admired and loved. But I’m using this as an example in order for us to learn not to speak things off the top of our head.
Also, there was a famous Christian radio talk host who was discussing the immortality of the soul on the air. For he brought up a hypothetical scenario saying: “I mean look, you guys know I ride a motorcycle don’t you? So, at any moment, especially with the idiot people who cross the diamond lane into my lane, all right, without any blinkers – not that I’m angry about it – at any minute I could be spread all over the 210, but that’s not me, that’s my body parts.” And unfortunately, that evening he sustained injuries when his motorcycle was sideswiped by a car in the carpool lane on the 210 freeway.
Now, there are those who claim that he (the radio host) was prophesying his death. But how can this be true? I say this because he didn’t die that night nor was his body parts scattered over the 210 freeway as mentioned. For he died almost a month later while being in a coma. Therefore, this I believe was not a prophecy. For let’s take heed to what God’s word also says: “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” (Proverbs 18:21 NLT) So, I do love these two guys and believe that they are now among the saints who have died in faith. But again, we must not be hasty with our words but keep a guard over our mouths. For God’s word says: “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3) And again: I said, "I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me." (Psalm 39:1)
And yes, I to spoke hastily at one point in my life which I do regret also. For while I was caught up in the vain sport of Racquetball, I made a comment to a couple of guys that my partner and I were getting ready to play against. For I carelessly said something of this manner: “you are going to regret playing against us tonight.” And sure enough, my partner hit a ball that landed in the eye of one on the opposing team. The impact busted his eye open, shattering his glass contact lenses into his eyeball. We took him to the hospital that night and I never seen nor heard of him again. I ate my hasty words. God forgive me. Amen
Now, if we hear a curse spoken over us, rebuke it in the name of Jesus, asking God that it wouldn't come to pass. Or, if you spoke something in haste pertaining to yourself or someone else, ask God to forgive you and that it wouldn't come to pass as well. He will hear our prayer. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) and Jesus said, "And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." (Matthew 21:22) And again Jesus said, "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14)
Below are a few verses on this subject above:
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
Reading that passage above, what does the writer of Hebrews has to say concerning our Savior Jesus and the cross in which He bore. Doesn’t it say that “He endured the cross, despising the shame.” Now, what does it mean to “endure” something? Doesn't it mean to put up with something that may be unpleasant or hard to bear? Secondly, what does it mean to despise something? Doesn't it mean to hate or loath that thing.” So, we can see by this passage in Hebrews, that Jesus Himself because of His great love toward us endured the agony, the shame and the mockery that was associated with the cross.
So, what should our attitude be in view of the cross itself? Shouldn't we be totally humbled because of what took place on it? So, I ask you fellow Christians, why would we want to sing of our love for the cross. Or just as bad, why would we sing how wonderful, mighty, and awesome it is? People, this is wrong. Why are we highly esteeming something Jesus Himself endured and even despised? We should not be exulting and adoring the cross, but only He who endured it for our sake.
Now, let’s not forget what took place in the garden of Gethsemane on the night He was betrayed. For Jesus Himself being in agony, was sweating as it were great drops of blood praying that the Father would, if possible, remove the cup that He was about to drink. And we know that the cross was a part of that which He endured for us. Well you might say, did not Paul say "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ?" And I would have to say yes, he did. However, if we read it in its full context, we would see that it's not giving us a license to glorify the cross itself. For Paul is boasting in that which Jesus accomplished on it, for he says: “by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. So, it’s all about what Jesus has done and not the cross in itself.
Something to Consider
What if Jesus came to earth in our lifetime or even a few generations ago to give his life a ransom for our sins? What kind of death would he die? Wouldn't it be through a hanging, or an electric chair or even a firing squad? Would you then be willing to singing "Oh the wonderful noose” or the “Wonderful electric chair?” Wouldn’t people call you sick and morbid. How much more would the early church as well as the unbelievers do the same. So, let’s stop singing how wonderful the cross is, and instead sing how wonderful Christ is. Amen.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)