Transgenderism

June 12, 2021

Transgenderism

By Russell George

Young people, I have written this article especially for you in hopes that I can spare you from a trauma that you don’t need to experience. If you are in a secular school you may be told that you need to decide what gender you want to be. You may also get it from social media. In other words, if you are a girl, they will tell you that you need to decide if you would rather be a boy. If you are a boy, they will tell you that you need to decide whether you would rather be a girl.

This is something that has been invented within the past 50 years. When I was a boy, I never heard of it. Ask your grandparents. I’m quite sure they will tell you the same thing.

This isn’t a decision for you to make. It was made for you by God in the moment when you were conceived in your mother’s womb. Thanks to modern technology, many parents already know what gender their child will be before he or she is born. Your anatomy tells you whether you are a boy or a girl.

You will never be happy trying to be what you aren’t. If you are a girl, you have many exciting things to anticipate. Put forward your best effort to get a good education. Most girls look forward to the day when the young man God has prepared for them asks them for their hand in marriage. If you are a boy, you too need to get a good education. Seek God’s will for the role in life he has for you. Seek out the girl God wants you to share your life with.

If we do life God’s way, it will render a great deal of satisfaction. Marriage is something young people should plan for and anticipate. If marriage is entered into and practiced God’s way it will be an extremely rewarding experience. It gives you companionship as you share your lives with one another. Ephesians 5:22-25 tells us how we should practice marriage. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” If each one does his or her part, they will make a tremendous contribution to one another.

Marriage isn’t in God’s plan for some. If you are one of them, be assured, there are other ways of finding fulfillment in life. God has a plan for all of us. If we find that plan, and do our best to fulfill God’s calling, we will find satisfaction in life.

Some people aren’t giving sex its proper place in life. It is out of place if it isn’t practiced in a lawful marriage. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Some men just get the pleasure of sex whenever and wherever they can. Some women are willing to make it available to them. When done this way it is just a momentary experience of pleasure. When it is done within the bonds of marriage it is also an act of love and making one another happy.

In our day, more and more couples just start living together. They don’t submit to a legal commitment or one solemnized in a public ceremony. That way they feel no guilt in stepping out of the relationship any time. Men leave women with children to bring up and care for without doing their part. Children don’t feel the security of being loved and cared for. The result is that they are poorly prepared to face life and are often a menace to society. Social problems are rapidly increasing because marriage isn’t being entered into or practiced the way God meant for it to be.

Face the facts, young people. Those who try to change their gender are experiencing some tremendous frustrations, conflicts, even trauma. You can get some good information about transgenderism by going to yahoo.com and typing in transgenderism. There is an article there under the title “Transgenderism: a dangerous new fad”, written by Edward Kennelly. In the article he has this to say, “Per capita, more transgender people have attempted suicide – 22% – 43% of them than any other demographic.” People don’t attempt suicide unless they are suffering from a tremendous trauma. At the beginning I told you that this is one trauma that you don’t need to suffer. Accept how God made you. There is no better way.

Parents and grandparents, I encourage you to make copies of this article and give it to your children and grandchildren. You may spare them from a trauma in their lives.

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Initiative, Do You Have It?

By Russell George

Maybe you say, “I’m not sure what it

nitiative is.” Ok, I’ll give you a definition. It is to have motivation to do what we can and should do. When something comes to our mind that we should do, it’s easy to say, “But I don’t want to do it.” If we continually give into the “I don’t want to do it,” we will eventually find ourselves in a precarious situation. We may be left in want or disgrace.

Our big cities are struggling with the problem of what to do with what are called “homeless people”. They sleep in tents on the sidewalks and live on what they can steal or salvage from trash cans. How did they get in that situation? They gave into the “I don’t want to do it.” It’s because they didn’t have initiative. In their childhood and youth, they weren’t obligated to put forth effort to do what they should do. They didn’t study and get an education. They weren’t willing to learn a trade. They don’t have anything to offer to society. They can’t get a job. Now they are a burden to society.

Initiative gives us the motivation to get up and go and do what we can and should do. Many times in life there are things that don’t have to be done, but if we have initiative we will do them anyhow. It’s often easy to find an excuse for not doing what we are obligated to do. I have a friend who, as a boy, lost his right arm when he got it caught in the power take off of a tractor. Throughout his life there must have been many times when he could have said, “I can’t do that with only one hand.” But no. Each time he said, “There’s got to be a way”, and he found a way. He got a good education and for many years he and his wife were missionaries in Argentina. He did a good work there. He learned to drive with just one hand. I have ridden with him when he was driving, and I never felt in danger. He is now retired, but he and his wife are still helping in a Spanish work in Nebraska. Obviously he had, and still has initiative.

My wife and I spent 37 years as missionaries in Argentina. Every morning I got up excited about what I was going to do that day. I might have been sitting at my desk and preparing a sermon outline or a Sunday school lesson. I might have filled my shoulder bag with literature to go out door to door talking to people. I wasn’t paid by the hour. What I did each day made no changes in how much I was paid at the end of each month. No one was looking over my shoulder to see if I was doing anything. I felt motivated to complete my mission, my reason for being there in Argentina. It took initiative to do that.

Having initiative makes us successful in life. It keeps us going and doing what we can and should do. We don’t just work to get; we work because we want to work. If we work by the hour, and have initiative, we will keep on doing our best whether the boss is around or not.

The word initiative isn’t found in the Bible. The Bible word that is most equivalent to it is “diligence.” The following verses from the book of Proverbs help us see how important it is to be diligent. He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich” (Proverbs 10:4). “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute” (Proverbs 12:24). “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious” (Prov. 12:27). “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat” (Prov. 13:4). “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (Proverbs 22:29). I claim those promises because I want what being diligent will do for me.

Maybe, after reading this article, you can say, “Yes, I have initiative.” But do you have as much of it as you could or should? Nearly all of us could be more diligent. Ask God to show you if there is something more you could and should do.

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Virtue

May 4, 2021

Virtue

By Russell George

The last article I wrote was on ignorance. I began the article by saying, “There isn’t much good that can be said about ignorance.” To the contrary, there is much good that can be said about virtue. Ignorance is detrimental, whereas virtue is beneficial. My motive for writing about ignorance was to motivate people to replace ignorance with knowledge. My motive for writing about virtue is to motivate you to add it to your life.

The meaning of the Greek word for virtue, used in the Bible, means excellence or praise. It is a strength of character that gives us value. In the book of Proverbs there are two verses that speak of a virtuous woman. Proverbs 12:4 says, A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” In Proverbs 31:10 it says, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband. Her price is far above rubies.

In II Peter 1:3-8 it says that we should add virtue. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” If all these other things that are mentioned are evident in our life, we will be a virtuous person. Verse eight says that, “If these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful.” The word “barren” means to be idle. In other words, there is nothing we can do because we have nothing to offer. That’s a deplorable situation to be in.

The fruit of the Spirit, mentioned in Galatians 5:22-24, enable us to bear fruit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

Some people are willing to live in this deplorable situation. They run with a crowd that thinks the same way, so they have no shame. Their deplorable situation may have begun because their parents didn’t motivate them or insist that they study and get an education. They drifted along and made little effort to prepare themselves to be useful. Now they are enabled to remain in that deplorable situation because the government is willing to give them a welfare check each month so they can keep body and soul together. They call it an entitlement, so they feel entitled to it. Under no circumstances are they entitled to it.

God wants His people to be virtuous. The more we become the kind of person God wants us to be the more virtuous we will be. He enables us to be virtuous. Verse three, in II Peter one that we quoted earlier, says that God, by His divine power has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. Unsaved people can have some virtues, but Christians can excel in them. God want his people to stand out above all others. He is honored when they do. All we have to do is ask for it and let God work it out in our lives. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

One reason why God saved us is so that we could be used by him. He can’t use us if we don’t have the strength of character to do what he wants us to do. If we try to serve God in our own strength we will fail.

None of us ever have all the virtue that we possibly could. If we let God continue to do His work in our life, He will add more virtue. That enables us to better serve God as well as those around us. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” A good name: that’s virtue. It will do us more good than great riches. It’s doubtful that we will ever have great riches, but with God’s help, we can have virtue. Choose virtue!

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Ignorance

April 15, 2021

Ignorance

By Russell George

Not much good can be said for ignorance. The only advantage might be that if you are accused of doing something wrong you would be justified in saying, “I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to do that.” You would still have to suffer the consequences of your wrongdoing so that wipes out the advantage.

Let me caution you against thinking you have arrived because you have learned to dress yourself and tie your shoes. I’m sorry, but you still have a long way to go. All our life we go on gaining knowledge. The harder we work at it the more we learn. I still remember the day my mother took me up the road to the little one room country school to get me registered to start to school in the fall. I’m sure I wasn’t thinking, “Now I’m going to start getting an education.” I just thought that “it’s just something that all children do.” Somewhere in my childhood I began to understand the great advantage I would have by increasing my knowledge.

The ignorant person, that is without an education, is greatly handicapped in life. He is among the poor. He can’t get a job, or if he has a job, it doesn’t pay enough to give him much of a life. He is handicapped for no fault but his own. When people are asked to help the poor, they feel much more inclined to help those who are poor because of something that happened that hinders them from working. They don’t feel much inclined to help one who made no effort to get an education.

It is possible to be educated and yet be ignorant. The Apostle Paul was educated in the school of a man by the name of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), yet he had to confess in I Timothy 1:13 that he was ignorant. “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” It is unfortunate in our day that so many are even graduating from college and yet they are ignorant. They are ignorant because they haven’t been taught to think for themselves. That leaves them at the mercy of others when it comes time to make decisions. People who can’t think for themselves accept what they are told, even though it doesn’t make common sense. For example, many today are willing to believe that we should defund the police and open our borders and let whosoever will come in. Those who can think for themselves can forsee the tragedy that will result from doing this.

We need to be constantly motivated to add knowledge. You can’t get too much of it. It is God’s will that we add knowledge. II Peter 1:5-8 says. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

These things give us worth. “They make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful.” We have something to offer people. The ignorant person is good for nothing. Not the one who has these things. People will look up to us because of what we do for them.

An excellent way to add knowledge is to read. Not only should we read the Bible, but other books written by mature servants of God. They have learned a lot, and they have a lot to teach us. There are lots of good books that can be found in secondhand stores. They can be yours for a fraction of what it would cost to buy them new. Electronic books are also available that you can read on your tablet or smart phone. Used books and electronic books are much cheaper.

No one can say that they have all the knowledge they need. It’s always to our advantage to add more. We need to be familiar with who the good authors are. As you read good books, you will often find quotes from other good authors. Make a note of them and look for books written by them.

If you are motivated to learn, it will be easy to sacrifice time watching television and spend it reading. You will gain much more from it than you will from watching television.

In spite of all the good that can be said for knowledge, there is one precaution that the Bible gives us. It is found in I Corinthians 8:1. “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” “Knowledge puffeth up.” That means it can make us proud. No one ever boasts of his ignorance. Be careful about being proud of your knowledge. God doesn’t want us to have knowledge so we can glory in how much we know. He wants us to have knowledge so that we can better glorify Him.

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Irreconcilable Truths

April 3, 2021

Irreconcilable Truths

By Russell George

There are truths in the Bible that we can’t understand or explain. Psalm 139:6 says, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” Romans 11:33 says, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Just because we can’t understand or explain some truths doesn’t leave us justified in rejecting them.

Can you explain how a radio or television can pick up radio waves and television waves from the air? Most of us can’t. There are technicians who can do a much better job of explaining that than most of us can. We would be laughed at if we were to refuse to buy a radio or television saying, “I can’t believe that thing will do what they claim it will do.”

I would like to call to your attention two irreconcilable truths that are found in the Bible. Psalm 139:7-10 tells us that God is everywhere at the same time. “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 23:4 says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Should I struggle with claiming this promise because I can’t understand how God can be with me and everywhere else at the same time? My mind can’t grasp that.

We could also have doubts about how God can hear and answer our prayers if we take into account that at the same time there are thousands of other people praying to Him around the world, often in different languages. How can God hear all those people at the same time? “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”

Another irreconcilable Biblical truth that some Christians are struggling with is between the election of God and the free will of man. Both truths are clearly found in the Bible. We find election in the following verses. “For the children, being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.” (Romans 9:11) “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” (Romans 11:5) “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” (Ephesians 1:4) The word “election isn’t in that verse but it does say we are chosen from the beginning.

What is called the “free will of man” is found in the following verses. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9) “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5) “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15)

It would be easy for us to sit back in indifference and say, “if they are chosen of God, they will be saved regardless of human effort.” However, we can’t overlook the commands of God. The great commission in Matthew 28:19-20 command us, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”

We need to accept the truth of Romans 11:33 that we read in the beginning. Sometimes His judgments are unsearchable and His ways past finding out. In Psalm 139:6 we found that there is knowledge that we can’t attain unto. We need to accept what we can’t understand or explain. We also need to obey and do the will of God. Jesus said in John 7:17, “If any ma n will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself. God is so superior to us that there is no comparison. We need to accept what God’s Word says and do His will.

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Investments

March 22, 2021

Investments

By Russell George

We make investments in hopes of getting a good return from them. Many, throughout their life, invest money in things like mutual funds. It is wise to choose a financial adviser who studies the markets to know which investments will give the best returns. When it comes time for us to retire, it is a great consolation to know that we have money set aside for retirement.

This article deals with spiritual investments. They always have a good rate of return. There are a number of ways that we can make spiritual investments. If we have a disciplined Christian life, we will take time each day for a personal devotional time. It is a time when we read the Bible and spend time in prayer. Some of the time can be spent in praising the Lord for all he has done for you and what he continues to do for you. Some time will also be spent in sharing our needs and seeking God’s direction in decisions we need to make. Throughout every day we make decisions. We need to ask God to help us make the right decisions. Our personal devotional time is an investment we make. In return we get a closer personal relationship with God. We gain knowledge from God’s Word that helps us have discernment. That is of great value.

In the first Psalm, in speaking of the blessed man, says in verses 2-3 thatHis delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” God wants to bless us, but what we get from God depends, in some measure, in what we give to him. The time we spend in personal devotions is an investment of our time. The two basic investments we make are in time and money.

Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Another investment a good Christian makes is in faithful church attendance. There may be some financial investment, but most of it is in our time. We should go to church to worship and praise the Lord, but as a result of it, we shall grow spiritually from the teaching and preaching of God’s Word. Don’t go to church for what you expect to get from the church, but you will be richly blessed if you go.

Christian parents can testify to the rich dividends they receive from their investment in the spiritual nurture and growth of their children. My mother-in-law made the mistake of marrying an unsaved man so she didn’t have his help in the spiritual nurture of her nine children. She made a tremendous investment in them by taking them to Sunday school and church every Sunday. She had a daily devotional time with them. She taught them how to pray and helped each one make a decision to accept Christ as his or her Savior. To this day they all follow the Lord faithfully.

My wife and I can testify to the tremendous blessing we have received from the investment we made in the spiritual needs of our six children. They have all continued to walk with God. Some Christian parents have had the unfortunate experience of seeing one or more of their children leave God out of their lives in spite of the investment they made in them. That is the exception rather than the normal. Christian parents who invest time and money in the spiritual growth of their children are much less likely to suffer from the heartache of having a wayward child.

The investment Christian parents make in their children is more often in time than in money. There may be some monetary investment in them. They need to buy them Bibles and good reading material. Another monetary investment they can make in their children is in sending them to a good Christian school or home schooling them. The result of that is that they will get a much better education than most children are getting in public schools.

Another spiritual investment we can make is in terms of our giving. Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Caution; don’t give just for the expectation of getting. What God gives back to us is not always money. He has many other ways of blessing us. We should never think of spiritual investments in terms of what we hope to get in return. We should serve the Lord because we love him and want to please him. The better part of our spiritual investments will come to us after we get to heaven. Matthew 6:19-20 says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” We will have all eternity to enjoy those dividends.

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Keep Your Heart

March 22, 2021

Keep Your Heart

By Russell George

Just as good housewives are diligent about housekeeping, all Christians need to be diligent about heart keeping. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” It means we need to keep it clean. A clean heart is a tremendous asset to any life. It gives peace of mind, knowing that we aren’t going about doing things we know we ought not to do.

In the spiritual realm, there is a close relationship between the heart and the mind. Mark 12:30 says,And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” The heart is sometimes called “the seat of the affections, but where is it? There is no reason to think that it refers to our physical heart. Proverbs 23:7 gives us further reason to say that there is a close relationship between the heart and the mind. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” We think with our mind. Possibly we could say that the heart has to do with our affections and the mind has to do with the intellect. The mind enables us to think and do things rationally. We give thought to what we do. The heart motivates us to want to serve and please God.

We need to keep our heart because the issues of life proceed from it. With our heart we decide what we should and shouldn’t do. We decide what should have priority. If our heart is corrupt, we will let corruption be a part of our life. Matthew 15:18-20 mentions some of the evil things that can proceed out of our heart. “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” That’s another reason why we need to clean our heart and keep it clean.

Jeremiah’s admonition should help us understand why we need to keep our heart with all diligence. He says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” He says that the heart is deceitful. That means that we may think our heart is clean when it isn’t.

Before we can keep our heart clean, we need to be sure that it is clean. Psalm 139:23-24 gives us a prayer of David. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” We too need to pray this prayer and let God speak to our hearts. Often we are doing things without realizing that they aren’t pleasing to God. They may not be outward sins that those around us can see. It is easy to sin in our thought life. We can let our minds dwell on things that we know we shouldn’t do.

These are called phantasms. We know that it’s something we shouldn’t do in real life, but just thinking about it is pleasing to us. You live the experience of it in your mind even though you don’t do it in real life. Letting ourselves think these thoughts weakens our resistance. If we are ever faced with the temptation to do it in real life it will be hard to resist. We couldn’t honestly say, “I wouldn’t even think about doing such a thing.” You have already been thinking about it.

We can’t expect to enjoy the full measure of joy that the Christian life offers us if we don’t keep our heart clean. Don’t neglect your heart. As we have seen, there are evils that can come out of our heart. We need to keep the law of God in our heart, as it says in Psalm 40:8. “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” The first part of that verse says that if the law of God is in our heart we will delight to do the will of God. We will never go wrong if we do the will of God.

Christians have a great advantage in that they can call upon God to help them keep their heart. The prayer of David, that we have included in this article, is a good example. We also have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. If we are surrendered to him, he will convict us if we have thoughts and things in our heart that ought not to be there. Romans 8:26-27 tells us how the Spirit guards our hearts. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

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Confirmation In the Gospel

February 19, 2021

Confirmation in the Gospel

By Russell George

Confirmation doesn’t mean the same thing to all of us. For some it is a sacrament in the church. In our Bible we don’t read anything about sacraments. In Philipians 1:7 we find the word “confirmation.” “Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.”

To be confirmed in the gospel, means to be so convinced that the gospel is true that nothing will move us from it. The gospel is the good news that Christ died for our sins and that if we put our faith in him God will forgive us of our sins, and make us a child of his. If we are confirmed in the gospel, we have no doubts about it. Nothing that anyone says or that we read will convince us otherwise.

The word also means to establish. When a farmer sets a post in the ground, he tamps the dirt around it as he throws it in. He wants it to be established so that when he drives staples in it so it won’t move. If the post has been treated with creosote, he can have good reason to think that it will be there the rest of his life. In Acts 16:5 we read about churches being established in the faith. “And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.” To be establish in the faith includes more than the gospel. It includes all the truth we find in the Bible. It means that the time will never come when someone will come along and convince them to believe something contrary to the truth they have received.

God wants his people to be confirmed in the gospel. That means there will never come a time when we cast off our faith in the gospel and start believing something contrary.

It is doubtful that we will ever be confirmed in the gospel unless we have accepted the Bible as the Word of God. II Timothy 3:16-17 says, “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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” God’s Word never changes. A faithful and honest interpretation of it shouldn’t change either. The gospel is based on what we read in the Bible.

The longer we live the Christian life the more we are confirmed in it. It becomes our way of life. We feel comfortable with it. We enjoy the benefits of it. We grow in our love for the Lord and look for ways to please him.

We are also confirmed in the gospel by faithful church attendance. There we grow in our knowledge of God’s Word by means of the teaching and preaching we hear. We build relationships with other Christians in the church who strengthen us. In the church, we find opportunities to serve the Lord and use our talents. We start sharing the gospel with others. We spend time with those we win to Christ and help them be confirmed in the gospel.

It is thrilling to read church history and read of others who were confirmed in the gospel to the point that persecution didn’t turn them away from it. Some even paid the supreme sacrifice of giving their life rather than turn from the faith. Fox’s Book of Martyrs tells the thrilling story of multitudes who remained faithful. Some chose to let them chop off their heads. Others were burned at the stake. Polycarp was one of the early martyrs of the Christian faith. When he had to make a decision between being burned at the stake or denying Christ he said, “Eighty six years I have served him, and he has done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King and Savior?” He was burned at the stake. Even today, in Communist and Muslim countries, Christians are proving that they are confirmed in the gospel to the point that they are willing to suffer persecution rather than deny their Lord.

Where are you in regard to being confirmed in the gospel? Are you better established than you were a year ago at this time? What are you doing to be more confirmed in the gospel?

I became a Christian when I was 18 years old. I can’t recall any time when I even gave any thought to turning my back on it. It has been such a rewarding experience that I never want to leave it. I’m sure I have neglected many opportunities to be more established in the faith. I’m sure there are many Christians who have a closer walk with the Lord than I do, but I can’t imagine that the time will ever come when I will consider breaking off my relationship with the Lord. If you have never trusted in Christ for salvation. I strongly urge you to do so. You will never regret it.

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Rational Versus Irrational Thinking

By Russell George

Many people aren’t thinking right. If we don’t think right, we don’t do right. Rational thinking is that which stands to reason. Those who think rationally have good reason for thinking the way they do. To the contrary, irrational thinking is thinking that doesn’t stand to reason. In this article we are going to consider some irrational ways that people are thinking.

Perhaps you have heard someone say, or read the words, “If it feels good do it.” Some think that means that if something feels good to them they should have a right to do it. They haven’t stopped to think that they have to put some limits on that. When we are tired after a long day’s work, it sure feels good to go to bed and sleep. There are other things that feel good and are legitimate, but not all things are legitimate just because they make us feel good.

Think of the bad behavior that can and does result from this irrational way of thinking. What’s to stop a man from thinking he has a right to rape a woman because it makes him feel good? Those with rational thinking ask, “What does that do to women’s rights?”

Teenagers suffer from irrational thinking. A teenager sits down beside a friend of his and hands him a pill. He says, “Hey, take this. It will make you feel good.” He takes it and, sure enough, it makes him feel good. He seeks out his friend and asks for more of those pills. He is willing to pay money for them. He ends up being a drug addict with all the bad effects. If he had been thinking rationally, before he took that first pill, he would have asked himself, “Where will this lead to?”

The same tragic end comes to those who start drinking alcohol because it makes them feel good. Thousands of lives are being snuffed out every day as the result of alcohol and drug abuse. Tragically innocent people are also losing their lives every day on the highways because drug or alcohol addicts crash into them.

The news media is making us increasingly more aware of another manifestation of irrational thinking. Somehow some have accepted the irrational notion that we can fight bad behavior with bad behavior. Those who have a rational mind know that we correct bad behavior by means of law and order. That’s the way it has been done in the past with good results.

This all started some months ago when a bad policeman in Minneapolis, Minnesota killed a man by keeping his knee on his neck until he suffocated. As a result, some people started responding with violent protests in the streets to protest “police brutality.” It looks highly suspicious that it was planned as a means of taking down the police.

It is irrational thinking to think we don’t need the police. The founders of our country included the judicial as one of the three branches of our government. Their duty is to see that the laws are enforced. They can’t do that without the police. They knew that men, by nature, are wicked. Adam’s sin was passed on to the entire human race. The Bible clearly says that men, by nature are evil. Romans 3:10-12 says. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Crime is rapidly increasing in cities where the police are restricted. Bad people hate and fear the police but good people are grateful for police because they are peace keepers. Letting criminals have their way will relieve the problem of over crowded prisons, but we will have to build bigger cemeteries to make room for all those who loose their lives because of man’s inhumanity to man. On what side do you think rational thinking people should be?

Bad behavior is best corrected by law and order. That way the one practicing bad behavior is made to pay. The irrational way in which some are responding today is like children who throw a temper tantrum when they don’t get their way. If parents respond by giving in to the child they will live to regret it. It is sad that some homes today are ruled by the children, not the parents.

Irrational thinking has always been a part of the human race, but it seems as though we are seeing more of it in our day. If we look for an explanation for the reason we can’t help but lay the blame on the way children are being educated in our public schools. Our public schools are not teaching children how to reason and think for themselves. In years gone by nearly all the high schools taught a course on logic. It isn’t being taught any more. One reason for that is that most colleges and universities have been taken over by liberals. That’s where teachers receive their training.

To do some research on this subject, I went to google.com and typed in “Logic in secular education.” I found a site that asks people why they think logic isn’t taught in our schools. I think only one person said that they thought it was because the liberals want to produce a generation of people who will willingly subject themselves to the ruling class. Personally, I think that is the main reason for not teaching logic. Some said that it’s because logic is contrary to people’s religious beliefs.

The truth is that, as Christians, there are things that we believe that unbelievers don’t think are logical. That may be true, but it’s because we believe in an all-powerful, all-wise God. With God, there is nothing impossible. Matthew 19:26 says, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

The truth is that God wants us to be rational thinkers. Proverbs 2:5-6 says, “Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Just because something seems right doesn’t make it right.

In Isaiah 1:18 we read, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” When we reason with someone, we present the truth we want them to accept. Then we ask, “Now, doesn’t that stand to reason?” God is gracious. He doesn’t demand that we accept what he says just because he says it. Often we should, but God also asks us to think about it and ask ourselves, “Now isn’t that to your advantage?”

Let’s get back to rational thinking. It promotes peace and harmony in society. Have you asked God to forgive your sins? If not, why not. There is much to gain and nothing to lose. Jesus has paid the penalty. All you need to do is accept it. If you think rationally you will say, “Yes, God. I need your forgiveness.”

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Let’s Learn from History

September 17, 2020

Let’s Learn from History

By Russell George

We can and should learn by observing what is going on around us. There is also a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and discernment that we can obtain from history. We can learn what works and what doesn’t. An ignorance of history causes us to make the same mistakes our forefathers made. Seldom is anything gained by making mistakes. Often we hear our senior citizens say, “Don’t make the same mistake I made.” We won’t hear those words from our forefathers who lived before we were born. We must read history to learn from them.

History can be a boring subject if it is just presented to us in books that state the facts of what worked in the past and what didn’t work. We can learn from those books, but it is much more interesting if we read it in books about people. There are biographies and autobiographies. A biography is a book written about a person. An autobiography is a book written by someone about his life. Both are interesting because they are about people. We can learn what made them successful. We can also learn from the mistakes they made.

It is unfortunate that many public schools aren’t teaching history. If they do teach it, it is an abbreviated version of it. Some books are being written that are a perverted version of history. They are written to put forth an ideology that the author wants to propagate. They aren’t an honest version of history.

A knowledge of history gives us discernment. It is especially beneficial for young people because there are many paths in life they can take. If they have a knowledge of history, they can learn from others who took the path they are thinking about taking and see where it leads to.

I grew up in the sand hills of Nebraska. My friends and I sometimes talked about how much fun we could have if a city boy moved into the neighborhood, or even if he was just in the neighborhood visiting his grandparents for a week. We would invite him to go snipe hunting with us. If he asks any questions about it, we would tell him, “We will tell you how we do it before we leave.” We would ask him to come to one of our houses where our mother had prepared a meal. All of our friends would be there also. After the meal, we would say, “Now let’s go snipe hunting.” As we made our way out to the pasture after dark, we would put a burlap sack in his hands. We would tell him, “Snipes are little animals that live out here in the hills. They are about the size of a bunny rabbit. They live in holes in the ground. They feed on cow piles. After dark they like to come out and run up and down the cow paths looking for cow piles. We catch them in a sack like we put in your hands. You will need to straddle the cow path and hold the sack open over the cow path. We will go on over the hill and if we see any we will chase them your way. Oh, here is a cow path. You need to stand here and hold the bag open over the path. We will go on over the hill and chase them over the hill.”

After we got over the hill out of his sight we would run around the back side of the hill and go back home, leaving him out there holding the bag.

For you city slickers, I need to explain some things to you. Snipes aren’t animals. They are birds that live in swampy areas. Animals don’t feed on cow piles. If you don’t know what cow piles are, I’m sorry but I can’t think of the proper words to explain that to you. If you are ignorant of history, you may find yourself out some night holding a bag over a cow path or an even worse situation.

History is a part of life. All of us have a history from the day we were born until the present. Everyone who has ever lived has a history of his life. It may not have been recorded or written but those who knew him know his history. All of us have had successes and failures. We can learn from one another; even those we have never known if we read their history.

From history we can learn to appreciate what our forefathers did for us. Those who came before us had to clear the forests where farmers now cultivate their crops. Some cleared the forests to make pasture where their cattle could feed. It might have taken two men several days to cut down a big tree and cut off the branches. They just had their axes and what was called a “crosscut saw” that two men used. They used their horses to drag off the branches and the trunk to a place where they could burn it. Then they had to dig around the stump, cut off the roots, and tie their horses to the stump to see if they could pull it out. If they couldn’t, they had to dig some more and cut off the tap root. With the power tools we have today, three men might be able to clear out 50 trees in a day. We have chain saws to cut down the trees and cut off the branches. Then a man comes in with a power caterpillar tractor and drags it all off to the burn pile.

It was hard labor also that enabled our forefathers to build roads for us. They had to clear a path through the trees to make the roads. The hills were partly leveled with dirt scoops pulled by horses. They had two handles on them that the operator lifted when he wanted it to bite the dirt and fill the scoop. Then he walked behind it while the horses pulled it down to the valley where they dumped it by lifting the two handles to make it bite the dirt and turn upside down. It would take about a half a yard of dirt at a time. The operator spent the day walking up and down the hill behind that scoop. Several other men worked with him at the same time. Today just one man with a modern earth mover in just a day or two could do what it took several men 10 or 20 days to do.

Our forefathers didn’t complain about the work they did. They did it with an eye on the future. They might have gotten paid for building roads. If they staked a claim on an acreage of forest land they had to clear the trees without getting paid for it. As they worked, they anticipated the day when the land they cleared would be green pasture or a field of corn.

Reading history makes us appreciate what we have today. We should be willing to do our part to make this world a better place for our children and grandchildren. History also helps us make wise decisions. You can’t afford to be ignorant of what history can teach you.

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