Two Moral Restraints

October 27, 2018

Two Moral Restraints

Farmers put up fences to keep their animals from going astray. Human beings also need restraints to keep them from going beyond what is decent moral behavior. The reason for that is found in Jeremiah 17:9.The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Modern men like to think that men are basically good. This verse tells us that they are wrong about that. The prominence of moral and social problems also attests to the truth of Jeremiah 17:9

There are two moral restraints placed on people. One is inner and the other is exterior. I like to call the inner restraint self induced moral restraint. The exterior restraints are those that society places on human behavior. They are civil laws and public or private rebuke.

Those who are saved and surrendered to do the will of God accept and obey the commandments of God. Even many who aren’t saved and surrendered respect and obey the moral laws found in the Bible. They are called Judeo – Christian moral principles. As people get farther and farther away from God they tend to abandon those moral principles.

A peaceful prosperous society accepts the fact that there are absolute moral laws. Our culture is more and more corrupt because of the rejection of the fact that there are absolute moral values. Children in public schools are being taught the philosophy of humanism. Christianity and humanism don’t agree about moral values. The following is cited from an article in the web site www.allaboutphilosophy.org/humanism.htm. “Humanism maintains that no objective or universal values exist. A person may be moral if he or she creates a system of values and lives according to them. A humanist would maintain that no one is obligated to be moral. Therefore, humanism fails to provide moral objections to immoral behavior. Obviously, if no moral absolutes exist, you can’t demonstrate that anything is wrong or evil. Thus, in a humanist society, no one can really judge or condemn the choices or actions of others.”

There are two types of self induced moral restraints. There are those we place upon ourselves because we feel that it is our duty. It may be because the law says I can’t do it. It may just be because we have been taught that it is our duty.

For God’s people, there is a second type of self induced moral restraint. It stems from our relationship with God. Jesus said, in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” If we keep God’s commandments because we love him, then I John 5:3 will be true in our life. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

Psalm 119:97-102 says, “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou, through thy commandments, hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.This the highest self induced moral restraint. These verses also tell us that a love for God’s laws increases our understanding. There is a hymn that says “God never moves without purpose or plan.” His laws also are with purpose and plan. By keeping God’s laws a society enjoys peace and prosperity.

It is important that we have self induced moral restraints. If not, we are certain to find ourselves in serious trouble. It may just come from those around us. It may also come because we have violated civil laws. I know a prisoner who told me that he was doing time because a patrolman tried to stop him. Instead of stopping, he stepped on the accelerator and tried to outrun him. He was also arrested for shop lifting. He said he was on drugs when he did that. Because of prison ministry, he now acknowledges his wrongdoing, has repented, and is now ready to live his life as it was meant to be lived.

It should be obvious that we are failing to teach children and young people the need of having self induced moral restraints. The prison population continues to increase. Part of the blame falls on parents. Another part of the blame falls on public school teachers. Children aren’t being taught to think for themselves. The result is that they don’t know how to discern between good and bad; right and wrong. They make foolish choices like being addicted to cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. They don’t see the need of applying themselves to their studies. Instead they waste their time with electronic devices. They aren’t prepared to make their way in life.

Do you have self induced moral restraints? If not, you need to.

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The Good Life

July 14, 2017

The Good Life

Every one wants to live a good life, but due to ignorance of what constitutes a good life, and what is required of us, many don’t get to enjoy it. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” God, our Creator, wants us to enjoy the good life. He has made it possible. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

The problem for many people is that they have an erroneous concept of what constitutes a good life. Their expectations are too high. We can’t expect to have a good life if we aren’t willing to make any investments in it.

We must face reality. No one has a right to expect that they will pass through life with no anxieties. Jesus said in John 16:33 “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” It seems that some have more tribulations than others. There are things we can and should do to protect ourselves, but even then we will have some hardships.

God has promised great things to those who are his. Psalm 1:3 says that the blessed man; “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.” The same Psalm tells us the things the blessed man does and doesn’t do. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

If we aren’t willing to obey God we have no right to claim his promises. The concept some have of the good life is that it would leave them free to live their life as they please with no restrictions. The Christian life has no attraction for those who think that way. It would put too many restrictions on them. A life that makes no demands of you would make slaves of those around you. Romans 14:7 says “For none of us liveth to himself.” You are living in a fantasy world if you think everyone is obligated to serve you and that they have no right to demand anything of you. We need one another. We give and get. If we aren’t willing to give, we have no right to expect to get anything. Jesus said in Luke 6:38 “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.” He also said “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Those who have a realistic concept of the good life will agree with Jesus who said “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). We should find satisfaction in giving. If we do, The good life will be one that enables us to give.

The hope of living a life without pain and grief is getting farther out of reach for us because of the deterioration of the moral standards in our culture. When people depart from God they leave behind the high moral values they once had. The founding fathers of our country were convinced of that.

On June 20, 1785 James Madison declared “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institution upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” Sited from the book “One nation Under God” compiled and written by the staff of the Christian Defense Fund pp. 41-42 On June 17, 1843 Daniel Webster declared, “The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of special revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man.” op site pp. 76-77

Young people who have surrendered their lives to the Lord don’t bring anguish and shame upon their parents by giving in to the lusts of the flesh. Every day there are parents who are forced to pour out tears of grief beside the casket of a son or daughter that ended their life prematurely by substance abuse. Those who surrender their lives to God and live for him don’t waste their lives in riotous living. They are a blessing and not a burden to society.

It is alarming to take note of the way our moral standards have fallen and continue to fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that “The drug overdose death rate increased significantly in the last few years from 12.3 deaths per 100,000 population in 2010 to 16.3 in 2015.” Think what a dramatic change it would make in our society if everyone stopped taking drugs!

Drugs, of course, aren’t the only moral problem facing us. Many other anti-social behavior patterns are a menace to the good life for most all of us. Like it or not, the truth is that we live better if we live the way God says we should.

Take my word for it. I have lived a little over 80 years. From my own experience, and from my observation of thousands of people I have known, I have come to this conclusion. The good life is one that is lived in a happy, harmonious relationship with God, family, and with others. If you want to have it any other way you will be disappointing.

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Be Not Weary In Well Doing

Galatians 6:9 says “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

We all grow weary at times. With all of us there is a limit to our physical strength. If we consistently go beyond our limit we can damage our body. To get physically exhausted in well doing obviously isn’t what God has in mind in this verse. He doesn’t expect us to go beyond the limits of our physical strength in well doing. What does he mean then?

More often than not we grow weary in well doing due to a heart problem. It isn’t a physical problem. They say “Where there is a will there is a way.” We lack will power. We aren’t highly motivated when it comes to well doing. There are things we would rather do.

Some feel they are justified in growing weary in well doing because no one shows appreciation for what they are doing. That is discouraging, but keep in mind that it is God who promises the reward. He never forgets what we do. If we don’t get appreciation for the good we do, perhaps we should learn from it, and show appreciation to those who are occupied in well doing.

Some people, by nature, are humanitarian at heart. They have a tender heart. When they see people suffering they want to do something to relieve their suffering. God wants all his people to be that way. When we surrender our will to God he begins to change our will. Romans 12:1 tells us that we need to present our bodies to God. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” If he has our bodies, he will have our will.

By well doing we serve others, and in turn they serve us. Galatians 6:2 says we are to bear one another’s burdens. “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” When God saves us he equips us to be occupied in well doing. In Ephesians 2:8-10 we read that we are saved by God’s grace. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Then it says that he equips us to serve him.

In John 14:15 Jesus said “If ye love me, keep my commandments. What are his commandments? In Mark 12:29-31 he gave us two commandments, “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 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. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

In I Corinthians 12 we read that God has placed his people in what is called the body of Christ. Verse 27 says “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” Technically all believers are included in the body of Christ. In our earthly experience it manifests itself in the local church. It is God’s plan that all of his children be members of a local church. There we have an opportunity to exercise the spiritual gifts or talents that we read about also in I Corinthians chapter twelve.

Some might ask, “What is meant by well doing?” First of all, it seems obvious that the opposite would be evil doing. There is no limit to what can and should be included in well doing. God wants to use us in well doing. In Mark 10:21 Jesus said “Take up thy cross and follow me.” Sometimes he gives us a heavy cross to bear. If we love him, as we should, we will be willing to do what he asks of us. I have known several people whose cross was that of caring for a sick marriage partner. When old age approaches some are stricken with dementia and other ailments.

The promise is that we shall reap if we faint not. God may reward us by sending someone to make sacrifices for us when we desperately need it. On the other hand, we may not get our reward until we get to heaven. In either case, we will get our reward if we don’t faint.

Obviously the word faint used here doesn’t mean to faint physically. It means to relax or let down on doing our duty. It is debatable about what will happen if we faint. One commentary, (Matthew Henry) gives the impression that if we faint we will lose all the rewards we have gained. I would rather believe that our rewards are laid up secure in heaven.

Don’t grow weary in well doing. God still has work for you to do. There is much to gain by serving God and others. When you get to heaven you will be very glad you didn’t grow weary in well doing. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).

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Initiative – Do You Have It?

Initiative is what common people call “get up and go.” It is an introductory act or step leading to action. The word initiative doesn’t appear in the Bible, but much of what it says gives us reason to believe that it is something God expects us to have. The word “diligence” appears a number of times in the Bible and it has a meaning similar to the word initiative. Proverbs 10:4 says “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” Also Proverbs 12:24 says “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. Again in Proverbs13:4 we read “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.”

To be without initiative is to be slothful. That word appears in one of the verses above. Slothfulness means to be lazy. The lazy person just does what he finds enjoyment in doing. Proverbs 12:27 says “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.” Without initiative we won’t make any accomplishments in life. We will just do what is our obligation to do and stop there. The one who has initiative gets things done. He doesn’t wait for someone else to do it. He takes responsibility.

Children need to be taught to have initiative. We need to have goals in life. There needs to be a desire to achieve. Sometimes we need to suggest goals for children. For example, give a child a sheet of paper and a pencil and ask him to draw a picture of a leaf or a snow man. His drawing may be crude, but praise him anyhow. As a result he may set goals for himself to draw something. Children need to have goals in school. If they don’t get a good education it will be difficult for them to achieve. The result will be that they will have a low self esteem. That will discourage people from having initiative. They will think, “I can’t do it so I may as well not try.”

People with initiative are the makers and shakers in society. They get things done and they encourage others to get things done. They are people we look up to because of their achievements. Every house you see as you drive down the road is there because someone had the initiative to build a house there. Every book you see in a library is there because someone had the initiative to write a book.

People without initiative are a burden to our society. Most of the people on welfare are there because they don’t have the initiative to go out and look for work, or maybe they are looking for a job but can’t find one because they don’t meet the qualifications. They don’t meet the qualifications because they didn’t have the initiative to study and get an education.

It is unfortunate that there are people groups in our society who are lacking in initiative. Sometimes employers are accused of discriminating against them because they don’t give them a job. The problem, however, is that they don’t meet the qualifications for the jobs that are available. Colleges are accused of discriminating against them because they aren’t accepted as students. The problem is that they can’t pass the entrance exams. They don’t have the initiative to study and prepare themselves to contribute something to society. Now they are left in poverty. We are supposed to feel sorry for them, but it is largely their own fault that they are poor.

Don’t expect society to take care of you if you didn’t have the initiative to prepare yourself to have something to offer to the job market. If you don’t have initiative to work the Bible tells us that you have no one to blame but yourself if you are hungry. II Thessalonians 3:10 says, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

It was a mistake on the part of our government when they started the welfare program. It encourages slothfulness because people feel they have a right to what are called “entitlements.” Few people died of starvation before the welfare program was put in place. People worked to meet their needs. If they couldn’t work they were at the mercy of society. It is our duty to care for the handicapped. God has promised to bless the merciful. Matthew 5:7 says “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” In Acts 20:35 we are told to labor to support the weak. “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Do you have initiative? If you don’t, you need it. If you don’t have it, ask God to forgive you and help you to have it. Apply yourself. Don’t wait or expect others to do for you what you should do for yourself. If you are handicapped and can’t work and meet your needs it’s alright to receive help from society. If others are meeting your needs you owe a debt of gratitude to them.

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The Longing To Be Independent

February 25, 2017

The Longing To Be Independent

Yes, you want to be independent, but are you ready for it? Independence is something that must be earned. Your parents want you to be independent. They don’t want you to be dependent on them the rest of your life.

What you really want is the freedom to make your own decisions. Isn’t that right? Are you sure you have the discernment that is needed to make wise decisions? The decisions many young people are making clearly indicate that they are lacking in discernment.

Discernment is the ability to for see what the outcome will be from the decisions we make. Hebrews 5:14 says that we need to be able to discern between both good and evil. Sometimes we make a decision to do something based only on the anticipated excitement that we will derive from it. No thought is given as to what the outcome might be.

Let’s suppose that one of your friends in high school gets the bright idea of decorating with toilette paper a small tree that is in front of the principal’s house. He invites you and a number of his friends to join him in it. You may think “That sounds like it would be a lot of fun. It would just be a practical joke. He is a fun loving guy. He should take it alright.” After school you all go to the store in your friends car and buy two bags of toilette paper. You split the cost. A little after 10:00 at night you all drive by the principal’s house. The lights are all off so you assume that he must be in bed. You drive around the block again and stop in front of his house. You all get out with two or three rolls of toilette paper under your arms. The tree is only half decorated when all of a sudden two police cars stop in front of the house and turn their flashing lights on. Before you can say “Well done” you are all hauled off to the police station.

You are all charged with illegal entry or trespassing. You may not go to jail for it, but it will go on your police record. If you had asked your parents permission to be involved in the prank, do you think they would have given you permission? It is doubtful. Proverbs 1:10 says “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” What an embarrassment it would be if your mug shot came out in the local newspaper saying you had been arrested and charged with trespassing.

Your parents are responsible for you if you are a teenager living at home. Be thankful for all they do for you. They have a right to put limits on your liberty. They do it because they love you and want the best for you.

As your parents see you mature, they will most likely give you more liberty because they see that you can be trusted. Proverbs 6:20-21 says “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.” Your parents are a better judge of your maturity than you are. The following are some suggestions of things you can do to give your parents reason to think you can be trusted:

1. Ask your parents for advise and take their advise

2. Do things around the house that need to be done without being told.

3. Do your best to obey the rules your parents set for you.

4. Be diligent in completing with your responsibility.

a. Try hard to get good grades in school.

b. Be careful in the way you spend the money that is entrusted to you.

c. Be courteous and go out of your way to do things for others

5. Make friends with those who have high standards and are respected.

Be thankful if you have parents who put limits on your liberty. That shows that they love you. Some parents put little or no limits on their children. Later they are ashamed of them, but it is too late to do anything about it.

Be patient. The time will come when you will have your independence. Your parents want to teach you now so you will have wisdom to make good decisions when you have your independence. Later you will be glad your parents didn’t let you do all the things you wanted to do. Then you will be able to say what Solomon said in Proverbs 4:3-4. “For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.” Children, brought up under the supervision of wise caring parents, will be the responsible adults of tomorrow.

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A Life Surrendered To God

August 26, 2016

A Life Surrendered To God

Some time after he accepted Christ as his Savior, D. L. Moody said, “The world has yet to see what God can do in and through a man totally surrendered to God. By God’s grace, I want to be that man.” Thousands of people came to know Christ as their Savior through his ministry.

The first step for a young person must always be that of accepting Christ as his Savior. It shouldn’t just be some words spoken that don’t come from the heart. It must begin in his heart and then it will be manifest in his life. The second step is when he surrenders his life to God to be willing to do his will. Altogether too often young people want to reserve for themselves the right to make their own decisions and do what they want to do. When they go that way their life is a sad story of what could have been. They make many make many foolish decisions and show a great lack of discernment.

Young people who aren’t believers in Christ are easily influenced by their friends. Even those who are believers are also influenced. It is unfortunate, but many young people of this world don’t give much thought to what they would like to do with their life. For that reason, they aren’t motivated to study and get an education. Somehow they like to think they will get a good job with good pay and live well without making any preparation for it.

Young man, young lady, if you have accepted Christ as your Savior he wants to guide you. You need his direction. In Romans 12:1-2 he offers to give it to you. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” No one is more capable of guiding you than God. In Psalm 143:10 David said “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” For some reason, many Christian young people are afraid to surrender their life to God. Maybe it’s because they think he may ask them to do something they wouldn’t want to do. It is a lie of Satan. In Psalm 40:8 David said “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” In Romans 12:2 we read that God’s will is both good and acceptable. It also says it is perfect. If you are surrendered to God, it will be a delight to do what he asks you to do.

The leading reason for why we have such a lack of Christian workers is that few Christian young people are willing to surrender their life to God. He isn’t going to guide all who surrender to him into some type of spiritual ministry. God also needs Christian lawyers, doctors, nurses, mechanics and truck drivers. All should feel that they are serving God by what they do. If you surrender your life to God he isn’t going to call you to be a good for nothing bum and a burden to society. He is going to make it possible for you to contribute something to society.

Not all my readers are young people. Something needs to be said also to those who are middle aged. Many of them wonder if they haven’t missed God’s calling for them. If you fall into that category, there is still time for you to surrender your life to God. You don’t have as much of your life to give to God as young people do, but you can give him the rest of your life. I know a man who was a successful farmer in his late 20s, when he felt that God had something better for him to do. He surrendered his life to God. God led him to put his farm up for sale and sell at public auction almost everything he had. Then God led him to go to a mission field where he used his talents as a mechanic and in construction. Later God led him to other places where he did the same. He is now nearing retirement age, but he is still active as a helper in Christian work projects. He made wise investments of the money he received from the sale of his farm and equipment. As a result, for the most part, he has been self supporting.

When your life’s work is over, will you have anything to show for it? In I Corinthians 3:15 we read of some who “shall be saved, yet as by fire.” If you surrender your life to God, in the end you will hear him say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21).

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The Danger of the Dance

June 28, 2016

The Dangers of the Dance

A genuine Christian should feel out of place in a dance hall. This article was written to tell you why. It is a dangerous place for a good Christian to be. He is in danger of being overcome by temptation. Romans 13:14 tells us that we should “make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

In spite of what some say, what attracts people to dance halls is sexual excitement. For a man, it is an exciting experience to move with the music with his arm around a woman. For a woman, the excitement comes from giving herself to a man and letting him control the movement of her body across the dance floor. One seldom sees men dancing with men or women with women. Dancing excites fleshly passions that some young people, even adults, can’t control.

Dance halls are often a hang out for prostitutes. Often it is there that young girls are lured into prostitution. That alone should tell any right thinking Christian that the dance hall is not a good environment for him or her. The Bible verse in the first paragraph of this article tells us that we should make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.

Another danger of the dance hall is that there many young people are offered alcohol or drugs for the first time. They may be enticed by someone telling them “It will make you dance better.” It is almost certain that there will be no one there to warn them of the danger of addiction. Alcohol lowers a prson’s resistance and ability to think clearly.

It is almost certain that rock music will be played loudly at the dance hall. It stimulates thoughts of illicit acts.

Some man may say, “My wife and I go to the dances, but we just dance with one another.” If you find enjoyment in that, there is a better way to do it. After you finish your evening meal, and wash the dishes, push the table and chairs in the dining room to one corner of the room and clear a space for dancing. Put on some dance music and you can dance until you are exhausted. That will save you making the trip to the dance hall and buying the tickets. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you perhaps you need to ask yourself what there is about the environment at the dance hall that makes a difference?

Some seek to justify dancing by quoting verses from the Bible. They use verses like II Samuel 6:14. “And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.” When David danced on that occasion it was for joy that the ark was being returned to Israel. There is no comparrison between that and what takes place in a dance hall. Another Bible verse that is cited is Ecclesiastes 3:4. “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” In the Old Testament to dance was a way of expressing great joy. It is here contrasted with a time to mourn. It wasn’t a form of entertainment.

The Bible gives us good admonition about how to keep ourselves from temptation. The following are some verses to take into consideration.

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14).

Abstain from all appearance of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22).

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:16).

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” ( I John 2:15-16).

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (I Peter 2:11).

It can’t be denied that there is pleasure in dancing, but there is danger with it. There is pleasure in sin. In Hebrews 11:25 we read that Moses chose to “suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” God has a plan for our life. Included in his plan is all the pleasure we need. II Peter 1:3 says, “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.” The pleasure God has for us is not sinful; neither does it put us in an environment where we will be tempted above that which we can resist. There is pleasure and satisfaction in doing good. Psalm 16:11 says, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

If you have questions or comments you can send them to our e-mail address.  It is: rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

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The Law of Sowing and Reaping

The Bible gives us a law that we do well to take heed to. It is found in Galatians 6:7-8. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” If we are at all observant we will see the truth of that law in our life and in the experience of others around us. To put the law into terms that all of us can understand we can say, “Good comes to those who do right and suffering and heartache is the lot of those who do evil.”

We see the truth of that law expressed in similar words in other parts of the Bible. In Proverbs 11:31 we read, “Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.” We get what we have coming to us, whether it be good or bad. There are two verses in Proverbs chapter 12. The first one is in verse 7. “The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.” Also verse 13 says, “The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.”

There is also what is called the law of cause and effect. It says that for every effect there is a cause, It is a law that those in the medical profession need to take heed to. If someone goes to the doctor and tells him, “I have pain in my stomach,” he needs to find out what is causing the pain. If we do wrong, we should expect that we will suffer for it. It is true that, because of injustice in our society, there are those who get away with wrong doing. We have confidence, however, that if they don’t pay in this life they will be judged in the after life and made to pay. The same is true of those who do good and aren’t rewarded, or even suffer for it. They too will be judged and rewarded for it.

To have the assurance that we will be rewarded for the good we have done in life, we need to be among those who have their sins forgiven and will go to heaven. We need to be saved from the condemnation that results from our sin. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Also Titus 3:5 says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” We need to come to God in prayer and ask him to forgive us of our sins and make us a child of his on the merits of the righteousness of Christ which he purchased for us when he died on the cross.

If we keep our eyes and ears open every day we will see that the just are favored. They live in peace because they haven’t given others reason for taking vengeance on them. They are respected and loved by a host of friends. For the most part, they aren’t ashamed of what they have done. In Psalm 1:3 good is promised to the righteous. “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.”

There is also abundant testimony to the truth of what we read in Proverbs 13:15. “The way of transgressors is hard.” Suffering and heartache is increasingly more common as more and more depart from God. Not all hurting people are in hospitals. If it were possible to go up and down the residential streets of our cities and talk to people one would find an innumerable number of suffering people. Parents are hurting because their teen age sons and daughters are ruining their lives by taking drugs. Marriage partners are hurting because of the infidelity of their marriage partner. Countless others are hurting because of the abuse of alcohol. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

It is unfortunate that there are so many who don’t take heed to the law of sowing and reaping. Sin is wrong, not just because God says so. It is wrong also because of the terrible consequences that come from it. Proverbs 14:16 says “A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.”

It is true that there are some unjust and foolish laws, but most of them are for our good. We violate them at our own peril. Hosea 14:9 says. “Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.”

The Scripture we cited at the beginning of this article says, “Be not deceived.” Dear reader, I plead with you, be not deceived. Don’t be without wisdom. God offers to give it to you. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” No matter how old you are, you can be among them of full age. Hebrews 5:14 says “Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

If you have questions or comments you can send them to our e-mail address.  It is: rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

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The Thinker and the Tinker

February 24, 2016

                              The Thinker and the Tinker

Thinker and Tinker are brothers.  They have the same parents and live in the same house.  They get along well, but they don’t think alike.  Their names aren’t really Thinker and Tinker, but I have given them those names to illustrate the contrast between the two.  I trust you understand what a thinker is.  A tinker is a name that is often given to one who occupies much of this time in things that aren’t of great importance.  Originally the word referred to one who mended metal pots and pans.  The two boys go to the same school, but Thinker is a year ahead of Tinker.

When they get home from school Thinker most often sits down to do his homework.  Tinker likes to go down the street to play marbles with some of his friends.

One Saturday afternoon their father asked them if they would like to go along to work with him.  Their father was a mechanic.  They liked that idea.  When they got to work there was a car waiting for their father to fix.  Thinker went with his father to watch him fix the car.  His father put the car on what is called an engine analyzer.  It is like a computer that determines what is wrong with a car.  The analyzer determined that the alternator wasn’t charging enough to charge the battery.  Thinker helped his father take the alternator out of the car.  They put it in the vise on the work bench and took it apart.  They replaced a defective part and put it back together again.  Then they put it back on the car.  They started the car up and looked at the engine analyzer.  It indicated that everything was A-ok.  While they were working on the car Tinker was in the customer waiting room reading the sports magazines.  On their way home that evening their father asked the boys what they learned that afternoon.  Tinker said he learned which teams would most likely be going to the World Series.  Thinker said he learned how to fix a car.  Can you guess who learned the most practical lesson?

One summer the boys went on vacation with their parents.  Before they went, their mother suggested that it would be good for them to collect literature from all the sites of interest where they planned to go.  They did that faithfully.  The week after they returned from their vacation Thinker went to work and pasted the literature he had collected in a spiral notebook.  He also wrote some notes about each day’s activities and what he had learned.  Tinker looked at his bag of literature a time or two, but decided to throw it away because he didn’t think it was of much interest to him.

When the boys were in high school they both received new laptop computers for Christmas.  They were exactly alike.  The first day they worked together, learning how to use them.  The next day Tinker went to the app store on the computer and down loaded some fun games.  Thinker also went to the app store, but he downloaded a program for reading E – books.  While Tinker was playing games, Thinker was reading books.

It is not that Thinker never did anything for entertainment.  Sometimes he and Tinker went out in the yard and played catch.  On the cold winter days they sometimes played checkers or some other table games.  Thinker also liked to go to the ball games at school and root for the school team.

In his last year in high school Thinker worked hard at his studies so he would have time to take some on line courses.  He began studying to be a pharmacist.  Tinker used his computer to do research for some of his high school courses.  When he had extra time he played computer games.

When Thinker finished high school he continued his studies to be a pharmacist.  He got a job at a pharmacy in town. He was able to get Tinker a job stocking shelves at the pharmacy.

Which of the two boys do you think has the best future ahead of him?  Do you think that Tinker might be jealous of his brother because he had a better paying job?  Would he have a right to be jealous of him?

Young man, young lady, this article was written to motivate you to think about your future.  The way you use your time will determine where you will be ten years from now.  Some of you may even be thinking about dropping out of school.  Would that be a wise decision?  Do you think you know all you need to know to be a success in life?

In the Bible, in the book of Proverbs, there is a word that appears seven times.  It is a word that should be in your vocabulary.  It should characterize your life.  It is the word diligent.  I challenge you to read all the verses in the book of Proverbs where the word diligent it found.  They are the following:

10:4

12:24

12:27

13:4

21:5

22:29

27:23

It takes diligence to be a thinker.  Don’t be without it.

If you have questions or comments you can send them to us at the following address: rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

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                    Dangers of the “I Don’t Care” Attitude

Does it matter to you that others are hurt by your actions?  If it doesn’t, then I’m sorry, but you have an “I don’t care” attitude.  Maybe you say, “I just hurt people I don’t know.” Even then, you eventually hurt yourself and those who love you.  There are laws against hurting people, even those you don’t know.  Sooner or later you will fall under the clutches of the long arm of the law.

All over the country broken hearted parents are in the waiting rooms of county jails.  They are there because a son or daughter has been arrested and incarcerated.  They love their son or daughter or they wouldn’t be there.  Many times they are willing to pay a lawyer and bail them out.  They can’t believe a child of theirs would do such a thing, but they have to face reality.

The law is usually lenient on “first offenders.” Sometimes they just go to jail for a short time for “shock treatment.”  It is hoped that with that they will repent and never do it again.  That works for some, but those with the “I don’t care” attitude will be back again.

God, our maker, has given us freedom of the will.  That means when you get out from under the supervision of your parents you can make your own choices.  Trees and plants don’t have freedom of the will.  To a certain extent, animals have it.  Sometimes dogs run away and get run over on the highway.  Cats may jump up on the kitchen counter and eat food that was prepared for human consumption.  When they do, they may be chased out of the house with a broom and left out in the rain.  You too, if you make bad choices, will face the consequences.  You need to know how to put limits on your liberty.  (See my article on this web page entitled “Liberty With Limits” under “Various Themes”)

You are poorly educated if you haven’t learned to place limits on our liberty.  You are in danger of hurting yourself and others; even those who love you.  Most parents make an effort to teach their children that there are limits to their liberty.  Many times they don’t make as much of an effort as they should.  In our society, they are somewhat limited because the law doesn’t always let them use corporal (physical) discipline.  Our society is then forced to resort to jail time as an effort to teach people lessons they could have learned in childhood when they were much more teachable.  A young tree can be made to grow in a different direction, but once it is older it’s almost impossible.

Don’t blame your parents or society.  If you are going to enjoy life, you will need to educate yourself as to the limits you need to put on your liberty.  The best and quickest way to learn that is found in the word “love.” It isn’t romantic love, but the love you owe to others.  Romans 12:9-10 says, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.” We won’t want to hurt those we love.

Our first obligation is to love God.  In Matthew 22:37-39  Jesus reduced the Ten Commandments to two.  They are these, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.   This is the first and great commandment.   And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”  With God’s help, we can even love our enemies.  That’s what God tells us to do in Luke 6:27.  “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.”  If you have love in your heart for your family, your friends, even your enemies, it will give you a great deal of discernment about what is right and wrong.

A great turning around takes place when you come into the right relationship with God.  Don’t ignore the fact that God loves you more than anyone on earth.  John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” He loved you so much that he was willing to give his son, Jesus, to die in your place so you could be forgiven and have everlasting life.  God loves you, but you have hurt him over and over again by things you have said and done.  You need to come to him and ask him to forgive you.  Then ask him to make you a child of his as it says in John 1:12.  “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”  In John 14:15 Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” It isn’t hard to obey someone we love.

Love for God and others will give you victory over the “I don’t care” attitude.  You can’t undo the past, but with God’s help you can get your life turned around.  You can stop hurting others, especially those who love you, because you love them.  II Corinthians 6:2 says, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”  Don’t wait until tomorrow.  Why don’t you pray now and ask God to forgive you?  It will be the beginning of a new and wonderful life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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