Why We Lose Our Peace

There’s only one way to experience an abiding peace that transcends circumstances—by faith. Faith is the foundation for living in God’s peace—an active, confident trust in His presence and power to sustain and comfort you, no matter the circumstance you face. There are, however, certain issues that can undermine our faith and rob us of our peace. Let’s consider a few of them:

1. Sudden Fear—Some people are so accustomed to responding to every little dip and rise of life with fear and small doses of panic that they can’t even imagine there’s another way to respond. They’re so upset by change of all types that it never dawns on them they can live with greater emotional stability.

2. The Enemy—We can be attacked by our enemy, the devil, who may use various means to cause us to doubt and lose faith in our God. But we must stand up to him. Scripture urges us to resist the devil, and when we do, he will flee from us (James 4:7). 

3. Sin—Peace and rebellion cannot co-exist. The only recourse is to confess sin to God, surrender to Him, and ask for His help in turning from and resisting all temptation. Then, God’s peace can flow once again. 

4. Giving Up Peace—In times of crisis, we sometimes lay down our peace willingly. We give it up. Concede it. Abandon it. Always remember that no one can take our peace from us; we have to surrender it. And as such, we’re the only ones who can take it back.

5. Losing Focus—We can allow the myriad of bad-news scenarios we hear and read about every day to cause us to lose our correct focus. Instead of having our minds set on God and trusting Him for His peace and presence, we allow our thoughts to get sidetracked and galvanized by the negative news and circumstances we see and hear. 

Because God is with us, we don’t have to give in to, sink beneath, or become defeated by our troubles. We can face, confront, challenge, deal, and in the end overcome them in the power of the cross. Jesus taught His followers that all troubles are passing in nature for a season … and a reason. So “let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:27). Hold on to the peace that God gives, confident that He’s watching, directing, and caring for those who trust and believe in Him.

The Christian’s Duty to Obey and Disobey

Many Christians believe that we should submit to whatever our government says because God has established them per Romans 13. Therefore, we should not resist or disobey the government. But is that the correct biblical position? No, it is not. In fact, the Scriptures contain many instances of true believers defying the ‘governmental’ authorities. I will take a look at this in-depth. But, first, let’s take a look at Romans 13:1-2, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves…“. 

The general principle we derive from Romans 13 is that to submit to civil authority is to submit to God and not disobey any government requirement. This is consistent with the Old Testament. Consider Daniel 2:21 that says it is God who “removes kings and establishes kings.” Therefore, to submit to authority is to submit to God. So far, so good. However…

Resistance to ungodly leaders is biblical: Peter (Acts 5:29)

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men…” (Acts 5:29).

The apostles had been put in jail for healing people (Acts 5:16-18). An angel opened the prison gates and commanded the apostles to go to the temple to speak about the “message of this Life,” (v. 20). They did so (v. 21, 25) and were apprehended and brought before the religious council (v. 27). The council reminded the apostles that they had been given orders not to preach in Christ’s name (v. 28). But Peter answered, “We must obey God rather than men,” (v. 29). He disobeyed their command.

So we see that the apostles resisted the religious authorities because God, through the angel, had commanded they preach the gospel. Let me remind you that Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19). He has commanded us all to preach the gospel. Doing so will sometimes mean that we do not submit to everything our government tells us to do or not do.

The Jewish Midwives disobeyed the order to kill male children (Exodus 1:15-17)

In the Old Testament, we see where the king of Egypt had ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill all male newborn babies. But, though the functioning’ civil government ‘required this, the people of God disobeyed.

Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other was named Puah; and he said, ‘When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live,” (Exodus 1:15–17). They disobeyed their government because murder is forbidden per God in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:13). The midwives deliberately disobeyed the governing authority represented by the king of Egypt because it contradicted God’s law. (Though the Ten Commandments had not yet been written down, there were obvious laws in place against murder.)

This truth against murder applies to the issue of the secular abomination of abortion. Christians should resist and disobey any civil authorities in this matter and not just submit to it.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego disobeyed Nebuchadnezzar’s order to worship false gods (Daniel 3:14-18)

As is often the case, people in authority demand obedience. In the case of Nebuchadnezzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego disobeyed the order to worship false gods. King Nebuchadnezzar then threatened to kill them. But, even in the face of death, they would not comply. Instead, they trusted in God. They knew there was no guarantee that He would deliver them. Yet, they were willing to face death rather than obey the civil authority and worship false gods in violation of Scripture. Take a look at what is recorded. 

Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? “Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?” “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up,” (Daniel 3:14–18). 

As Christians, we cannot bow down and worship any false god. But, you might ask, “Where does the government demand us to worship a false god?” It doesn’t. Or does it? To worship is to give honor and glory to something and trust in it for deliverance from suffering, hunger, sickness, and more. Is it that much of a stretch to say that our government has become that which lessens our suffering, hunger, and sickness? I cannot help but wonder that far too many people put their hope and trust in the secular government rather than Christ to be their savior and provider. This is worth exploring, but for now, we must understand what Christ said. “…render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s,” (Matthew 22:21).

Of course, our government does not actually force us to bow down before graven images and worship them under the penalty of death. But, our government pushes secularism, promotes the killing of the unborn, promotes homosexuality, and penalizes conservatives, especially Christians, who resist. Functionally, our government sometimes acts as though it is God with its demands of submission, obedience, and compliance. But, we must resist all that is ungodly in any government.

Christians disobeyed the Kings order to seize Paul (2 Corinthians 11:32-33)

In Damascus, the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands,” (2 Corinthians 11:32-33). Damascus is a city in Syria outside of Israel. An ethnarch is a ruler who someone from another country gives authority. Aretas was an Arabian King and the father-in-law of Herod Antipas. So, when Paul was in Damascus preaching about Jesus, the Jews there plotted to “do away with him,” (Acts 9:23). But, his disciples lowered him in a large basket through an opening in a wall so that he escaped (Acts 9:22–25).

We see here that a ruler, in concert with the Jews, sought to apprehend Paul. Instead of obeying the wishes of the civil magistrate, Paul’s disciples helped him escape. They did not submit to the governing authority because, again, it violated Scripture.

Does the word of God contradict itself?

In one sense, we are to obey the civil magistrates, but in another, we are not. The dividing line is simple. Whenever the government advocates something that is against Scripture, we are to disobey it. Our obligation is to follow God rather than man (Acts 5:29). 

Therefore, when any government advocates abortion, we are to resist it. When the state approves of homosexuality, we are to resist it. If the state approves of same-sex marriage, we are to resist it. This is significant, especially since the government is promoting and legislating ungodliness.

  • State-approved abortion 
    • Roe v. Wade: The Constitutional Right to Access Safe, Legal Abortion
    • Taxpayers subsidize roughly 24% of all abortion costs in the U.S.
    • State Funding of Abortion Under Medicaid
  • State-approved homosexuality
    • The military holds an event marking gay pride. 
    • “Since 2012…the American government has spent more than $41 million specifically to promote gay rights globally,”
    • Final Rule to Revise the Definition of “Spouse” Under the FMLA
    • President Obama proclaims June 2016 as LGBTQ Pride month
  • State-approved Same-Sex Marriage
    • Federal Marriage Amendment to define marriage between one man and one woman fails to pass in U.S. Congress in 2015
    • Supreme Court Affirms Constitutionality of Gay Marriage
    • Same-Sex Marriage Legalization by Country

Our Christian Duty

Our duty as Christians is to resist and even disobey ungodliness wherever it may be, even in our government. But this does not mean being violent. It does mean that we pray, vote, petition, and show our grievances in compliance with the laws of our land. We are not to be idle and passive. But, like the men and women of the Old Testament and apostles of the New, we are to do what is right in God’s eyes – which sometimes means disobeying the commands of our leaders.

Remember, Scripture reveals that we are to “defend the rights of the afflicted and needy,” (Proverbs 31:9), “reprove the ruthless and defend the orphan,” (Isaiah 1:17), “do justice to the afflicted and destitute…and deliver them out of the hand of the wicked,” (Psalm 82:3-4). We are to have no other gods but the true and living God (Exodus 20:3). We are to resist the sin of abortion (Exodus 20:13; Psalm 82:3-4). We are to resist the rise and promotion of homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13; 2 Peter 2:6-9). We are to resist the redefinition of marriage to accommodate sin (Mark 10:6). Resistance is biblical when it means to defy the decrees, laws, and commands of the ungodly leaders above us ( Exodus 1:15-21; 1 Samuel 14:24, 43-46; Jeremiah 26:10-16; Daniel 3:14-18; Matthew 2:7-12; 2 Corinthians 11:32-33).

Yet, whenever possible, we are to be at peace with all men (Romans 12:18) and obey the civil authorities (Romans 13:1-4). But, we don’t submit to leadership if it means compromising the truth of God’s word. “We must obey God rather than man,” (Acts 5:29). 

The information contained in this message was obtained from the Christian Apologetics Research Ministry.

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The Real State of the Union, 2021

Within the next few weeks, the President of the USA will give Congress a State of the Union. No doubt, he will not tell the truth. So, I thought I would give you the real state of the union. 

The United States is in turmoil. The people are divided. A new president-elect and vice-president-elect, who most certainly did not win the election fairly, have been certified. Progressive liberals have taken control of the Country and are actively doing everything they can to suppress the opposition. Corruption runs rampant throughout Congress as well as state legislatures. Activist Judges across the Country openly refuse to judge fair and impartial and legislate from the bench instead. The Supreme Court refuses to do its job. Groups like BLM and Antifa are called peaceful despite rioting, looting, terrorizing, and killing for months on end. Violent crime rates are increasing everywhere. The LGBTQ lifestyle is accepted as normal, and those that oppose it are marginalized. More than 61,500,000 babies have been murdered by abortion since 1973. The education system has been dumbed down exponentially. The greatest economy in history has been destroyed. We are more than $27,000,000,000,000,000 in debt and continue to increase the deficit without any regard for the consequences. We have not been debt-free since 1835 under President Andrew Jackson. The federal government has operated with a budget only twice in the last 15 years (2007, 2015). Whew! That’s a lot of stuff, and I’ve only scratched the surface. 

How did we get here? It didn’t happen overnight. It started more than 100 years ago with the progressive agenda. Those that adopted it knew it would take a long time to attain, so that’s how they planned. We have gotten here a little at a time. They have killed the Republic “with a thousand paper cuts.” Now that they have achieved victory, there is nothing to stop the rest of their agenda. Despite what the progressive liberals say, The United States of America was founded on Christian-Judeo principles. The Holy Bible, God’s inerrant, infallible Word, has the answer on how we got here. 

We are following in the path of former empires that destroyed themselves from the inside out. The Book of Romans gives us a picture of what started the downfall of that empire as well as what is happening to us. 

The Bible tells us in Romans 1:18-25 (ESV), “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. [19] For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. [20] For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. [21] For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. [22] Claiming to be wise, they became fools…[25] Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, [25] because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”  

We have arrogantly substituted the truth about God with a lie. People have stifled the truth God naturally reveals to everyone in order to support their own self-centered way of living. This is sin, and God cannot tolerate sin because of His holy, perfect nature. He has designed the best way for people to live in harmony with him and with each other. He cannot ignore or condone willful rebellion. God’s justified anger has turned on the USA, which persists in going its own way. 

The Bible goes on the explain precisely what has happened to our Country. Romans 1:26-32 (ESV), “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; [27] and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. [28] And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. [29] They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, [30] slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, [31] foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. [32] Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Who is to blame for this mess? We are. The Christians that make up the church. We sit comfortably in our padded pews and chairs while we listen to some sterilized sermonette nodding our heads and raising our hands in agreement. Then we leave and do nothing. We don’t bother to read the Bible for ourselves to see if we are being told the truth or not. We sit idly by while we allow politicians to lie and steal without any consequences (see my previous post). We sit idly by while our education system is dumbed down and history is rewritten. We don’t stand up to evil. Instead of calling on the name of Jesus to save us and guide us, we do nothing. 

We look down our noses at the heathen, considering ourselves more civilized, educated, and refined. We condemn others for their gross behavior, yet we are equally guilty, though perhaps in a more sophisticated way. We can see faults in others more readily than in ourselves. Things hideous and repulsive in the lives of others seem quite respectable in our own. But the fact that we can judge sins in others shows that we know the difference between right and wrong. If we know that it is wrong for someone to steal our property, then we know it is wrong for us to steal someone else’s property. The sins of church people are essentially the same as those of the heathen. Although a moralist may argue that he has not committed every sin in the book, we should remember the following facts:

  1. We are capable of committing them all.
  2. By breaking one commandment, we are guilty of all (James 2:10).
  3. We have committed sins of thought which we may never have committed in actual deed, and the Word forbids these. Jesus taught that the lustful look, for instance, is tantamount to adultery (Matthew 5:28).

So then, what is the Christian to do? We must live our lives according to the Bible’s teaching. If we did that, we would have the impact needed to save our Country and bring it back into submission under God. The Bible says, Colossians 3:1-25 (ESV), “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. [2] Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. [3] For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. [4] When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. [5] Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. [6] On account of these the wrath of God is coming. [7] In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. [8] But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. [9] Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices [10] and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. [11] Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. [12] Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, [13] bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. [14] And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. [15] And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. [16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. [17] And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. [18] Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. [19] Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. [20] Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. [21] Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. [22] Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. [23] Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, [24] knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. [25] For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters, we are the light in a darkened world. We are ambassadors for Jesus Christ to this world. It’s time we stood up for Him. Perhaps if we all did that, the next state of the union might be different. 

Scott Harris

A What?

The progressive liberals have lost their minds. If by chance you have not heard the opening prayer of the 117 Congress by Methodist Reverend (I kid you not) Emanuel Cleaver then you must see and hear it to believe it. Not only does he pray to others gods (blasphemy), but he makes a mockery of the Latin word “amen” that is generally used to end prayer. “Amen” is translated as “so be it” and has nothing to do with gender at all.

For this man to call himself a reverend in a mainline Christian denomination is a farce. Of course, it is just another example of how the once great United Methodist Church has fallen into apostasy. It is a sad state of the church when the leaders bow to Satan and openly mock God.

Without further ado, here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDBJPvI92as

Scott Harris

Invitation to Bible Study

Several current television shows highlight the secondhand retail industry. The stars of the shows shop for bargains in barns, flea markets, and pawn stores. They are looking for treasures among items that most people would deem used up or worthless. Most of the shows save one final purchase for the end of the program, when the star of the show stumbles upon an item of great price, purchases it, and repurposes it to highlight its value to the new owner. These shows highlight the concept of redemption. This week we begin our new study of chapters 1–9 in the Book of Luke. I hope you’ll join us as we discuss how God’s promises point to His redemptive plan for His creation.

This study commences on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at 9:00 A.M. via Zoom. It will last about an hour. Everyone is welcome! If you are interested, please let me know by leaving a comment on this post at Word Press or email me at S_E_Harris@hotmail.com. Feel free to share this with someone that ma in interested.

Start your New Year’s resolutions now as we will learn about the real meaning of Christmas.

Scott Harris

Are You a Member of the Family?

Are you a member of the family of God? During this tumultuous time in our Country where we are staunchly divided into members of the Democrat family or Republican family, only one family makes a difference in the big picture. President Obama famously said, “Elections have consequences.” He was correct. The outcomes of elections here in the USA will determine what type of Country we will be and how it will be run; however, this is a temporary situation. New leaders will inevitably be chosen, and they will have their ideas of how things will be. But one day, it will all end. There will no longer be Democrats or Republicans or even a United States of America. But when this all ends here on Earth, there will still be an eternity. Then, the question will be, “Are you a member of the family of God?” 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. He left Heaven, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect, sinless life, was tortured, crucified, and killed, paid the penalty of sin, was buried, rose from the dead, and in now sitting at the right hand of God the Father interceding for His family. To become an adopted member of this family, all you have to do is believe that Jesus paid that price for you and believe that He was resurrected from the dead, defeating death, and now intercedes on your behalf. But what about all this election and predestination stuff? Let’s take a look. 

Election and predestination are both biblical teachings. The English “predestination” is translated from the Greek word proorizo, which means 1) to predetermine, decide beforehand; 2) in the NT, of God decreeing from eternity; 3) to foreordain, appoint beforehand. Predestination, then, is the biblical teaching that God predestines certain events and people to accomplish what He so desires. The word proorizo occurs six times in the New Testament, each time demonstrating that God is the one who is foreordaining and bringing about specific events:

  1. Acts 4:28, “to do whatever Your hand and purpose predestined to occur.”
  2. Romans 8:29, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren; 
  3. Romans 8:30, “and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
  4. 1 Corinthians 2:7, “but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory.”
  5. Ephesians 1:5, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”
  6. Ephesians 1:11, “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”

The word “election,” or “elect,” comes from the Greek word eklectos and occurs about 25 times in the New Testament. It signifies “to pick out, choose, to pick or choose out for one’s self, a choosing one out of many.” The one who does the choosing, the electing, is God.

  1. John 13:18, “I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ˜He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.”
  2. Ephesians 1:4, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.”
  3. 1 Timothy 5:21, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.”

Again, there is debate within Christianity as to the means and purpose of God’s election. Some say that God elects individuals and others say He only elects nations and/or groups of people. If God elects individuals, this means that God is predestining them, electing them into salvation, and He is not electing others. This does not sit well with many Christians. On the other hand, some Christians state that God elects based upon a foreknowledge of what an individual will do.

Whichever side you believe, remember that predestination and election are biblical concepts. You must also not forget that how you believe in predestination and/or election does not affect your salvation. Therefore, you should be gracious to other Christians who differ from you on this subject.

While there are numerous ideas of precisely what election means regarding salvation, the fact that believers are chosen is indisputable. Simply put, the doctrine of election is that God chooses/determines/elects/predestines who will be saved. Therefore, the question is, “How can I know if I am one of the elect?” The answer is exceedingly simple: believe!

The Bible nowhere instructs us to be concerned regarding our status of elect vs. non-elect. Instead, God calls us to believe, to receive Jesus Christ as Savior, by grace through faith (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). If a person truly trusts in Jesus alone for salvation, that person is one of the elect. Whether belief secures election or election causes belief – that is another debate. But what is sure is that belief is evidence of election. No one can receive Jesus as Savior unless God draws him or her (John 6:44). God calls/draws those whom He has predestined/elected (Romans 8:29-30). Saving faith is not possible without divine election. Therefore, saving faith is evidence of election.

The idea of a person wanting to be saved but being unable to do so due to not being one of the elect is foreign to the Bible. No one seeks after God’s plan of salvation on his own accord (Romans 3:10-18). Those without Christ are blind to their need for salvation (2 Corinthians 4:4). This only changes when God begins drawing a person to Himself. It is God who opens eyes and enlightens minds to the need for Jesus Christ as Savior. A person cannot repent (change the mind about sin and the need for salvation) unless God grants repentance (Acts 11:18). Therefore, if you understand God’s plan of salvation, recognize your need for it, and feel compelled to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, then believe, and you are saved.

If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior, trusting Him alone for salvation, believing that His sacrifice is the full payment for your sins – congratulations, you are one of the elect.

Committed

1We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. 2People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. 3Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. 4The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster. 5The Lord detests the proud; they will surely be punished. 6Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the Lord, people avoid evil. 7When people’s lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them. 8Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest. 9We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

Proverbs 16:1-9

Many people fear getting married. Marriage changes everything—for the rest of your life. No one should blame a bride or groom for being nervous. Uncertainty over the future is the most nerve-racking kind of all. How do they know this will work? So many marriages don’t last. Will theirs?

Predicting the future has many hazards. A better approach would be to consider the advice in Proverbs 16 about committing your way (or future) to God.

In this chapter you will also learn about making plans; dealing with pride; being fair in business; using pleasant words; and strengthening the bond between friends.

Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” What does this mean? To “commit your work to the Lord” means to dedicate everything you do to God’s purposes through prayer—turning it over to him. It also means doing your best for God’s glory and depending on him for the results.

What work should you commit to God? Any plan, task, or endeavor that you want to succeed: buying a car, starting school, initiating a new church program, getting engaged or married, going on vacation, changing jobs, entering retirement—these all qualify.

Think of a specific effort in which you are involved right now—how might you commit it to the Lord?

Onward Christian Soldiers…

There is a war raging all around us — for our Country, for our morals, and most importantly, our souls. All you have to do is turn on the news, and you see it everywhere. What was once honorable, right, and noble, are now turned upside down. We have people in government who no longer care about running the Country. They are only interested in getting elected and reelected. And, some wish to destroy everything that the USA has accomplished in its history. 

The United States of America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. These principles are scattered throughout the works of the founding fathers and are the bedrock up which this Country was built. So, what happened? As with many things, the further you get from the beginning, the weaker things become. I believe this has most certainly happened with Christianity. The Reformation in the 1500s reignited the fire that was smoldering. Sadly, I think the flame of Christianity here in the USA is on the verge of being extinguished. We have lost the courage to stand for our beliefs. Weak preaching and teaching have allowed our beautiful Country to fall into chaos. 

I am a member of a church that associates with the Southern Baptist Convention. This once great institution has been infiltrated with wolves in sheep’s clothing. Instead of focusing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the principles laid out in His Word, the SBC now teaches about and supports such ideas as Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter. Both of these ideologies are based on lies and wish to destroy the USA. There are leaders in the SBC that openly support the Democrat Party — the party that promotes abortion, homosexuality (and all its variations), welfare, and the destruction of the family unit. These are things that other Christian Denominations have already supported and fallen into apostasy. Now the SBC is on the fast track to the same fate. What we need are men who will stand firm in The Word and not compromise.

I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— [7] not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. [8] But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! [9] As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him! [10] For am I now trying to persuade people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. 

Galatians 1:6-10 CSB

May God raise up men with courage and fortitude to stand for what’s right in the eyes of God Almighty. That is our only hope.