|Posted by nextstepministrieslv on November 24, 2011 at 3:00 PM||comments (0)|
Ever wonder when christian parents, who take their children to church, bible study, prayed, and read the word of God with their children, and teach them about Jesus. Then take photos of Santa Clause, the Easter bunny, and get money from the tooth fairy. The child then grows up walks away from the faith and may denounce Jesus. The parents then say "I'm not sure what went wrong we took them to Church, read the bible, told them about Jesus." STOP lying to your children.
Proverbs 12:22(NKJV) 22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
It is amazing to me some of the negative response to this, there have been Christ followers who admit they love their children but yet want to deceive them and continue to lie to them.
John 8:44(NKJV) 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-11(NKJV) 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
Some want to bend God's word to fit their life.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
New King James Version (NKJV) 1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at[a] His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Do you really love your children? STOP lying to them.
f your pastor, teacher tell you it is OK to tell your children about santa clause please leave that church and do NOT go back.
Proverbs 12:22 (NKJV)22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
|Posted by nextstepministrieslv on March 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM||comments (0)|
I didn’t tell very many people that my wife was pregnant due to complications with the pregnancy, and this morning we found out from the doctor that the baby died. Those of you who knew we thank you for your prayers and support. We don’t write this as a plea for sympathy, but to update you on the status of the pregnancy and to edify you through our personal testimony of the sovereignty of God.
We find our comfort knowing that God is both good and sovereign and that He did not merely see into the future that this would happen but that He actually foreordained/caused our child to die in the womb. It is God who actively knits a baby together in his mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13) and it is He who gives life and it is He who has every right to take it away, still He is good (Job 1:21). We know that death is the direct result of sin (Genesis 2:17, Romans 5:12) and that our baby could not have died if he did not have a sin nature (Psalm 51:5). My wife and I both affirm that we all deserved to die in the womb and that we all deserve Hell for our personal rebellion against God (our own sin) and our inherited rebellion against God (Adam’s sin), and anything less than that is God’s mercy, love and grace. Not only did God allow us to live up until this point, but He also sacrificed the Son of God in our place for our sins and gave us His infinite righteousness as a free gift by our faith (Ephesians 2:8) so that we will have eternal life and not experience God’s wrath in Hell!
Although the Bible is silent as to whether all babies who die go to heaven, we know that God chooses at least some to, like King David said when his child died, “I shall go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23). Whether God has chosen to apply Christ’s blood to our baby because of his ignorance of the Gospel, or whether He has chosen to mold our child as a “vessel of wrath prepared for destruction” (Romans 9:22), still “blessed be the name of the Lord!” We believe that whatever God chooses to do with our baby’s soul it is the most righteous judgment: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18:25). Through this we better understand God’s mercy toward us as guilty sinners, and even His mercy that this miscarriage wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Please keep my wife and I in your prayers as we grieve the loss of our child and pray that He will see it fit to give us more children like He gave Solomon to David (2 Samuel 12:24).
|Posted by nextstepministrieslv on July 16, 2010 at 9:44 PM||comments (1)|
Some people say, "Well, I'm a Christian. I believe in the Ten Commandments. I try to keep the Golden Rule."
The belief that goodness earns eternal salvation is the single most prevalent misconception about Christian teaching. The question is, by whose standard are you "good"—God's perfect standard or man's imperfect one? Jesus commands us to "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Yet, as Jesus was implying, no one can meet this standard. No one is good enough to earn salvation. Paul, in Romans 3:10b-11 says, "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God."
You either think you are perfect, or you are asking God to accept some evil, some imperfection. In either case, the sin of pride would condemn us. Sin is anything that fails to meet God's perfect standard. It is sin that separates us from God.
In law and in theology, even a single violation renders a guilty verdict. Christianity recognizes the further truth that our guilt is more than just one or two trespasses, but a continual condition of sinfulness. Not a day passes but each person fails to measure up in some way.
Most people who say they try to follow the Ten Commandments couldn't even name more than two or three of them. Certainly nobody keeps all the Ten Commandments all the time. Yet Christ teaches us an even more profound meaning of sin. He made us aware of the sins of the heart. If we hate or are angry with our brother we have committed murder in our heart. The sin of lust is adultery in the heart.
These characteristics expose the true nature of what is in each of us: prejudice, resentment, jealousy, envy, arrogance, self-centeredness, self-indulgence, greed, covetousness, malice, backbiting, deceit, sloth, unfaithfulness, thoughtlessness, hurtfulness, failure to forgive, rejection of God, and idolatry. If these things were not enough by themselves, our failure to admit our shortcomings is lying. An aspect of our sin is our effort to justify our failings.
Christianity teaches that the sins of omission are as important as the sins of commission. For example, failure to do something good for one's neighbor is as much of a sin as harming one's neighbor. Whom do you know that loves every person in the world as much as he loves himself, and loves God with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30-31)? That is the standard of goodness set by Jesus!
Of all religions or worldviews, only Christianity has as its foundation an understanding that all men are sinners and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23, also Genesis 6:5, 8:21, 1 Kings 8:46, Job 25:4-6, Psalm 14, 51:5, 53:1-3, 58:3, 130:3, Proverbs 14:12, 20:9, Ecclesiastes 7:20, 7:29, 9:3, Isaiah 53:6, 55:8-9, 64:6, Jeremiah 17:9, Mark 7:20-23, John 3:19, 8:34, 44, Romans 3:9-12, 5:12-21, 7:14-25, Ephesians 2:1-3, 1 John 1:8). The question is—Is this true?
Consider this. Would you be willing to let everyone see your thoughts for the last 24 hours projected on the wall in living color? Samuel Johnson used a one-liner, "Every man knows that of himself which he dare not tell his dearest friend."And G.K. Chesterton in his book Orthodoxy, p.15, states, "Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved."
There is a dark side to humanity. God's light reveals everything about us, including our dark side. Yet we tend to run away from the light.
One way to expose the lie that man is really basically good, is to look at communism. Based on the notion that man will work toward the common good (or is at least perfectible through law and evolution), communism has been the greatest failure to those under its ideology.
The evidence of man's sinful nature is overwhelming, as world history cries out to this truth. Anthropologists tell us that one-third of all humans who ever lived died at the hands of other humans. In the twentieth century alone, the most advanced ("enlightened") in all history, well over 100 million people have been murdered by their own governments (Russia, Germany, China, Cambodia, etc). Every day the newspaper headlines prove the truth of man's sin nature. Ninety-nine percent of Americans will be a victim of theft at least once. John Stott (see resource list) notes that every house in America not only has a door, but a lock as well.
We are reminded that hell is a reality. Jesus discussed hell more than any other biblical writer. Hell was in fact his most discussed topic (with angels being number two and love number three). It cannot be overstated that we are so far from the standard of God's holiness that we all deserve eternal punishment in hell. This is very serious business indeed.
The Christian message is one of human beings created "very good" by God, but who are separated from God by their own sin and must be redeemed to become what they were meant to be. Ask yourself whether you are perfect and living a life pleasing to a holy God. Are you absolutely honest, pure, loving, and selfless? Do you love your neighbor as yourself? The human condition is that there are no innocent people. The need for a Savior is evident. Only Christianity provides an ultimate resolution to this dilemma (Romans 3:23-24, 5:8, 6:23, Colossians 1:13-14).
"Because morality has been sublimated into ideology, great numbers of people, the young and educated especially, feel they have an adequate moral identity merely because they hold the 'right' views....They may lead narrow, self-indulgent lives, obsessed with their physical health, material comforts, and personal growth, yet still feel a moral advantage over those who actively work to help the needy but who are, in their eyes, ideologically unsound." --Christina Hoff Summers, "Where Have All the Good Deeds Gone?"
"He that wishes to attain right views about Christian holiness must begin by examining the vast and solemn subject of sin. He must dig down very low if he would build high. A mistake here is most mischievous. Wrong views about holiness are generally traceable to wrong views about human corruption. I make no apology for beginning this volume of papers about holiness by making some plain statements about sin.
"The plain truth is that a right knowledge of sin lies at the root of all saving Christianity. Without it such doctrines as justification, conversion, sanctification, are 'words and names' which convey no meaning to the mind. The first thing, therefore, that God does when he makes anyone a new creature in Christ, is to send light into his heart, and show him that he is a guilty sinner." --J.C. Ryle, Holiness, James Clarke, Cambridge, 1952, p. 1
|Posted by nextstepministrieslv on January 28, 2010 at 8:32 PM||comments (2)|
Acts 2:42-45 (New American Standard Bible)
42They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.
44And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;
45and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
I have been spending time thinking about the above passage. What if the church stepped up, (when I say the church I mean people I never refer to the church as a building) and instead of feeling sorry for our brother or sister or even the lost in our community when they have lost a job, we actually pay their rent, car payment, electric bill, or bought them food, for thirty or sixty, or even 90 days?
I am strongly against dependence on government, but all too often we, the church, send people to the welfare office, or some government building for assistance, when all along we should be the ones stepping up.
Others may say that is what the church buildings are doing.(this would be nice, but it is not what most of them are doing.) In most buildings you have to join their club in order to receive help and that is not what it states in the above bible passage.
I know many Christ followers are involved in small groups. I personally always looked at theses small groups as the "church". What if someone was truly hurting in your small group? Would you step up and give to them or would you send them to the welfare office, or a "church building"? As saints, where would our responsibility start and end?
1 Corinthians 13 (New American Standard Bible)
1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
Can you imagine if the saints (we who are saved) truly stepped out of their comfort zone and gave to a person or a family until they got back on their feet, and we became the welfare office?
Not too long ago I made $42,000 a year, in 2009 I made $12,000, and not too much has changed, just got rid of a lot of stuff I truly did not need along with every credit card and the stupid bills that would go with them. We all have the resources to help others out, but most of us are stuck to our stuff, or some idea of what our lifestyle should be.
|Posted by nextstepministrieslv on January 12, 2010 at 9:55 AM||comments (0)|
I welcome ALL comments to our blogs, I only ask that you read them before you comment.
It seems that the depressive aspect of the bipolar diagnosis is its most damaging element. The anxiety and worry that cripples individuals is of great concern. The Bible is not silent on this issue of anxiety and worry. Matthew 6:25-34 provides instruction for those tempted to worry by providing a context for hope. If an individual is focused on the kingdom of God, then those things that tend to beat a person down have less impact. Philippians 4:6-9 deals with the contrast of anxiety and peace. The instruction in this case refers to the decisions of the mind. In each of these passages it is clear that the believer has a responsibility for personal mind control. This is a different attitude than that of being a victim of the mind.
Psychology considers bipolar to be a disorder of the brain. Without debating the accuracy of that statement, (that would be another blog.) one should still conclude that regardless of the affliction that might be upon the physical brain, there are certain responsibilities placed upon an individual to choose what things will be the focus of attention. Therefore, a believer should be concerned about the expectations and instructions that God has about depressive responses. Bringing the mind into obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), renewing thinking (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:15), meditating on proper things (Philippians 4:8), and adjusting the focus of thoughts (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:1) are God’s gift to overcoming depressive episodes.
Signs of Depression or a Depressive Episode:
Feeling hopeless, sad, discouraged, or empty; inability to experience pleasure. Nothing seems to be of interest anymore, including former hobbies, social activities, and sex; significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month; insomnia or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia); being “keyed up,” unable to sit still, anxious, restless or sluggish, slow speech and body movements, lack of responsiveness; feeling physically drained, even small tasks are exhausting; can`t do things as quickly as before; strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt; harsh criticism of perceived faults and mistakes; inability to focus; difficulty making decisions; can’t “think straight;” memory problems.
Worry and despondency is a regular theme in the Bible. Matthew 6, Philippians 4, and 1 Peter 5 are examples of Scriptures that warn against worry. Elijah in 1 Kings 19 provides an example of someone who expressed a “depressive episode.” He desired to give up and die. This episode actually took place after he was victorious over 450 prophets of Baal in a contest on Mount Carmel. And he expended an extreme amount of energy running faster than chariots and covering dozens of miles. Others who showed highs and lows include the following: David (Psalms); King Saul (episodes of usurping the authority of the prophet – 1 Samuel 13 and 15 then deep depression in chapter 16); Peter, as he was willing to step out on the water at one time, then act irrationally with fear at the trial of Jesus.
A sinful lifestyle can be one cause of depression or anxiety. In the case of a true believer in Christ, the person needs to realize that God is waiting for him to confess his sins, repent of them, and return to Him. Doing so will result in the spiritual, mental, and emotional healing a person seeks. Demonic influence is another potential cause of mental illness (2 Corinthians 4:4). A Christian can be influenced and/or oppressed by demons to the point of mental illness. It is important to remember, though, that Christians cannot be possessed by demons or influenced beyond a bearable amount of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). This is because believers already possess the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9-11), and the Holy Spirit will not share His “residence” with
Are you born again?As Jesus talked with Nicodemus, He said, “’I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water (we are ALL born of water, our mothers water broke, thus we are born.) and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh,(meaning born of the water from our mother) but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:3-7).
The phrase "born again" literally means "born from above." Nicodemus had a real need. He needed a change of his heart—a spiritual transformation. New birth, being born again, is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the person who believes (2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1-4, 18). John 1:12,13 indicates that "born again" also carries the idea "to become children of God" through trust in the name of Jesus Christ.
The question logically comes, "Why does a person need to be born again?" The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:1 says, "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins..." (NKJV). To the Romans in Romans 3:23, the Apostle wrote, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." So, a person needs to be born again in order to have their sins forgiven and have a relationship with God.
There is a fine line between using medicine for healing purposes and continual reliance upon medicine for daily living. We need to recognize God as the Great Physician, and know that He alone holds the power to truly heal (John 4:14). We need to look to God first and foremost for our healing. Medicine used to treat a case of panic attack should only be used to the extent that it allows the sufferer to deal with the root cause of fear. It should be used to give back control to the sufferer. However, many sufferers take medicine in order to avoid dealing with the true cause of their ailment; this would be denying responsibility, denying God's healing, and possibly denying others the freedom of forgiveness or closure to some past event that could be contributing to the ailment. This, then, does become sin, as it is based on selfishness.
By taking medicine on a limited basis in order to treat the symptoms, then relying upon the Word of God and wise counsel to enact transformation in one's heart and mind, gradually the need for the medicine will diminish. The believer's position in Christ is affirmed, and God brings healing into those troubled areas of the heart and mind which are causing the ailment. God's Word has much to say about fear and its place in a believer's life. Reading through the following Scriptures and meditating on them is the universal cure. The following verses give confidence, and illuminate the truth behind what being a child of God entails: Proverbs 29:25; Matthew 6:34; John 8:32; Romans 8:28-39; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:4-9; Colossians 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 1:6-8;Hebrews 13:5-6; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 5:7; 2 Peter 1:3-4; 1 John 1:9; 4:18-19.
God can heal supernaturally and miraculously. We should pray to that end.
|Posted by nextstepministrieslv on January 2, 2010 at 7:48 PM||comments (7)|
This blog is for those who say JESUS is Lord. Bi polar, depression, manic, and so on...for those of you who think you may know someone with the above or some doctor who needs a job told you this is what you have. As a Christ follower I'm going to him and HIS word first before I ever trust a doctor and put drugs into my mouth.
Could demons be involved here? Usually the first thought here "oh no not me, demons can NEVER be in me." But we will trust the doctor and drugs first.
Luke 8 (New King James Version)
43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
Western cultures probably do not take satanic involvement in people’s lives seriously enough. There is a wide variety of possible symptoms of demon possession, such as a physical impairment that cannot be attributed to an actual physiological problem, a personality change such as depression or aggression, supernatural strength, immodesty, antisocial behavior, and perhaps the ability to share information that one has no natural way of knowing.
Read (1 Samuel 16:14-15; 18:10-11
1 Samuel 19: 9 But an evila spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the harp, 10Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.
King Saul, after rebelling against the LORD, was troubled by an evil spirit, with the apparent effect of a depressed mood and an increased desire to kill David.
In addition to these physical or emotional distinctions, one can also look at spiritual attributes showing demonic influence. These may include a refusal to forgive 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 and the belief in and spread of false doctrine, especially concerning Jesus Christ and His atoning work.
2 Corinthians 11:3 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
So as a christian you don't think you can be influenced by the devil? Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Demon possession also seems to be related to the worship of heathen idols and the possession of occult materials. Scripture repeatedly relates idol worship to the actual worship of demons(Leviticus 17:7; Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:37; 1 Corinthians 10:20), so it should not be surprising that involvement with idolatry could lead to demon possession.
Based on the above scriptural passages we can conclude that many people open their lives up to demon involvement through the embracing of some sin or through cultic involvement (either knowingly or unknowingly). Examples may include immorality, drug/alcohol abuse that alters one’s state of consciousness, rebellion, and bitterness. If we pursue God, if we are clothing ourselves with His armor and relying upon His strength (Ephesians 6:10-18), we have nothing to fear from the evil ones, for God rules over all!
Psychotic drugs have been reported to cause Dyscrasia, from ancient Greek medicine with the word "dyskrasia", meaning bad mixture. This is causing YOUR white blood cells to deteriorate THEY WIIL NOT RETURN. Using these drugs will cause YOUR brain to slowly deteriorate.
|Posted by nextstepministrieslv on October 20, 2009 at 8:13 PM||comments (3)|
Many pastors are afraid to teach the true message that the bible hold because they fear rejection from the congregation. 2Timothy 4:3, and 4 speaks of this and shows the true wisdom off God in preparing us for it: "There will be a time when they will not put up with healthful teaching but according to their own desires will accumulate teachers for themselves to satisfy their itching ears..." This means people will dictate what they want to hear from the pulpit and won't accept anyone who doesn't teach them as they want to be taught. How ridiculous! You wouldn't allow that in school, so why does it occur within the church where our very salvation is at issue? Did Jesus or the prophets cater to what the people wanted to hear? Or rather, did they not BOLDLY deliver the true message from God?
|Posted by nextstepministrieslv on October 4, 2009 at 6:09 PM||comments (0)|
We should read and study the Bible because it is God's Word to us. The Bible is literally "God-breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16). In other words, it is God's very words to us. There are so many questions that philosophers have asked that God answers for us in Scripture. What is the purpose to life? Where did I come from? Is there life after death? How do I get to heaven? Why is the world full of evil? Why do I struggle to do good? In addition to these "big" questions, the Bible gives much practical advice in areas such as: What do I look for in a mate? How can I have a successful marriage? How can I be a good friend? How can I be a good parent? What is success and how do I achieve it? How can I change? What really matters in life? How can I live so that I do not look back with regret? How can I handle the unfair circumstances and bad events of life victoriously?
We should read and study the Bible because it is totally reliable and without error. The Bible is unique among so-called "holy" books in that it does not merely give moral teaching and say, "Trust me." Rather, we have the ability to test it by checking the hundreds of detailed prophecies that it makes, by checking the historical accounts it records, and by checking the scientific facts it relates. Those who say the Bible has errors have their ears closed to the truth. Jesus once asked which is easier to say, "Your sins are forgiven you," or "Rise, take up your bed and walk." Then He proved He had the ability to forgive sins (something we cannot see with our eyes) by healing the paralytic (something those around Him could test with their eyes). Similarly, we are given assurance that God's Word is true when it discusses spiritual areas that we cannot test with our senses by showing itself true in those areas that we can test, such as historical accuracy, scientific accuracy, and prophetic accuracy.
We should read and study the Bible because God does not change and because mankind's nature does not change; it is as relevant for us as it was when it was written. While technology changes, mankind's nature and desires do not change. We find, as we read the pages of biblical history, that whether we are talking about one-on-one relationships or societies, "there is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9). And while mankind as a whole continues to seek love and satisfaction in all of the wrong places, God?our good and gracious Creator?tells us what will bring us lasting joy. His revealed Word, the Bible, is so important that Jesus said of it, "Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). In other words, if we want to live life to the fullest, as God intended, we must listen to and heed God's written Word.
We should read and study the Bible because there is so much false teaching.
The Bible gives us the measuring stick by which we can distinguish truth from error. It tells us what God is like. To have a wrong impression of God is to worship an idol or false god. We are worshiping something that He is not. The Bible tells us how one truly gets to heaven, and it is not by being good or by being baptized or by anything else we do (John 14:6; Ephesians 2:1-10; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10-18, 5:8, 6:23,10:9-13). Along this line, God's Word shows us just how much God loves us (Romans 5:6-8; John 3:16). And it is in learning this that we are drawn to love Him in return (1 John 4:19).
The Bible equips us to serve God (2 Timothy 3:17; Ephesians 6:17;Hebrews 4:12). It helps us know how to be saved from our sin and its ultimate consequence (2 Timothy 3:15). Meditating on God?s Word and obeying its teachings will bring success in life (Joshua 1:8; James 1:25). God?s Word helps us see sin in our lives and helps us get rid of it (Psalm 119:9, 11). It gives us guidance in life, making us wiser than our teachers (Psalm 32:8, 119:99; Proverbs 1:6). The Bible keeps us from wasting years of our lives on that which does not matter and will not last (Matthew 7:24-27).
Reading and studying the Bible helps us see beyond the attractive "bait" to the painful "hook" in sinful temptations, so that we can learn from others' mistakes rather than making them ourselves. Experience is a great teacher, but when it comes to learning from sin, it is a terribly hard teacher. It is so much better to learn from others' mistakes. There are so many Bible characters to learn from, some of whom can serve as both positive and negative role models at different times in their lives. For example, David, in his defeat of Goliath, teaches us that God is greater than anything He asks us to face (1 Samuel 17), while his giving in to the temptation to commit adultery with Bathsheba reveals just how long-lasting and terrible the consequences of a moment's sinful pleasure can be (2 Samuel 11).
The Bible is a book that is not merely for reading. It is a book for studying so that it can be applied. Otherwise, it is like swallowing food without chewing and then spitting it back out again?no nutritional value is gained by it. The Bible is God's Word. As such, it is as binding as the laws of nature. We can ignore it, but we do so to our own detriment, just as we would if we ignored the law of gravity. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough just how important the Bible is to our lives. Studying the Bible can be compared to mining for gold. If we make little effort and merely "sift through the pebbles in a stream," we will only find a little gold dust. But the more we make an effort to really dig into it, the more reward we will gain for our effort.
|Posted by nextstepministrieslv on January 19, 2009 at 9:01 PM||comments (3)|
On Thursday August 27, 2009 I was involved in a facebook discussion, which was started by a pastor of a large church in Las Vegas Nevada. The pastor implied that people trust God with their life's but won't trust him with their tithe.
Tithing is an Old Testament concept. The tithe was a requirement of the law in which all Israelites were to give 10 percent of everything they earned and grew to the Tabernacle/Temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26;Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5). In fact, the Old Testament Law required multiple tithes which would have pushed the total to around 23.3 percent, not the 10 percent which is generally considered the tithe amount today. Some understand the Old Testament tithe as a method of taxation to provide for the needs of the priests and Levites in the sacrificial system.
The New Testament nowhere commands, or even recommends, that Christians submit to a legalistic tithe system. Paul states that believers should set aside a portion of their income in order to support the church (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
The New Testament nowhere designates a percentage of income a person should set aside, but only says it is to be in keeping with income (1 Corinthians 16:2). Some in the Christian church have taken the 10 percent figure from the Old Testament tithe and applied it as a recommended minimum for Christians in their giving. The
New Testament talks about the importance and benefits of giving. We are to give as we are able. Sometimes that means giving more than 10 percent; sometimes that may mean giving less. It all depends on the ability of the Christian and the needs of the church. Every Christian should diligently pray and seek God's wisdom in the matter of participating in tithing and/or how much to give (James 1:5). Above all, all tithes and offerings should be given with pure motives and an attitude of worship to God and service to the body of Christ. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver? (2 Corinthians 9:7).
The pastor removed the discussion and removed me as a friend, and all I did was to post the above. I am left thinking that he really did not want his congregation to know the absolute truth! Why would you think that would be? And if I am wrong why would he not take the time to teach me?