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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                 Young People Need a Reason for Living

We all need a reason for living, but it is especially important that young people have a good reason for living.  It enables them to get their life oriented so they can make the best of it.

Some young people have an inadequate reason for living.  In high school some young people live to get   attention.  This gives them a fame that is like a flame that soon burns out and they are forgotten.

A life without a reason is a life without a vision.  The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”   Young people without a noble reason for living are frustrated with life.  It has no meaning.  They are bored.

A life without a noble reason for living lacks motivation.  Young people have no desire to excel.  They don’t see that they will gain anything by it.  They ask, “What is there in it for me?”

A life without a noble reason for living doesn’t give satisfaction.  If one has no goals in life there will be few endeavors.  Without endeavors there will be few accomplishments.  Without accomplishments, there will be no satisfaction.

Young people need to see their potential.  An acorn has the potential of producing a forest.  A young person has the potential of producing an entire generation of benefactors to humanity.

The stigma of being a welfare recipient has been taken away.  As a result, young people are left with reason for thinking, “I’ll always have the option of applying for welfare benefits.” They don’t realize that that is taking something from humanity instead of contributing something to it. The welfare system is apt to collapse for lack of funds.  Young people need to be challenged to be givers, not takers. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

There are many young people, as well as adults, who live for selfish reasons.  The accumulation of wealth is their goal.   When young people give consideration to a career, their primary concern is “What pays the most?”  Their concern is not “How can I best serve those around me?” It is “How can I get rich quick?”  There is nothing wrong with making money.  It can be used to serve humanity.  Most occupations serve humanity in one way 0r another.  Life with the greatest satisfaction is that lived to serve others in some way.

Young people with no good reason for living are a burden to our schools.  They don’t want to be there.  They would prefer to stay home and play electronic games.  They have no desire to learn.  They graduate regardless of whether they have learned anything.  Then they are a burden to society.

The solution to the problem begins in the home. Parents need to instill in their children a reason for living.  A life with a noble reason for living starts with a love for God and a desire to serve him. Children also need to be taught to have moral integrity.  Without it they can easily yield to temptations that will bring them to shame and defeat.  Parents who have had the most success in instilling these values in their children are those who are genuine Christians.  They take their children to church regularly with them.  There they are taught to have a Christian world view and the proper relationship to God and those around them.

We serve God by serving others.  A life lived in service to God is a life that makes a tremendous contribution to the wellbeing of humanity.  Jesus broke the Ten Commandments down to two.  They are found in Mark 12:29-31.  “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.”

Children need to be taught to set their sails when they are young and impressionable.  They need to be taught to have a love for others and their country.  They need to be motivated to show love to the elderly and handicapped without thinking of getting anything in return.  Young man, young lady, do you have a good reason for living?  Parents, do your children have a good reason for living.  Reflect on this article.

 

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Excellence

December 24, 2015

                                                Excellence

Why settle for mediocre when, with a little more effort, you can excel? God wants us to excel. I Corinthians 14:12 says, “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”  Excellence doesn’t come about by happen stance.  We have to make it happen.  The result of our work depends on the way we go about it.

To strive for excellence is not the same as being a perfectionist. Only God can do perfect work.  Perfectionists subject themselves to undo stress when they are striving for perfection

Excellence is found more in the process than in the product.   If we are striving to do our best, we need not worry about the product.  In our work we should strive for excellence and not just “good enough.”  We are often tempted to stop with good enough.  My father taught me a lesson in excellence when I was a boy.  It may be that he wasn’t deliberately trying to teach me, but I learned from him.  Many times I went with him to load the hay rack with hay and haul it in to feed the cows.  It was in the worst of winter and my hands were cold. I was anxious to start the journey home and  warm my hands.  When the hay rack was about full he would often say, “Well, I expect that’s about enough,” but he didn’t stop.  He went on throwing more hay on the rack until it could hold no more.  That taught me that when we reach the “that’s probably enough” it is still possible to exert a little more effort.

Talent isn’t all that is needed to reach excellence. It also requires character, integrity, righteousness, honesty and a high level of ethical standards. These are virtues that we need to keep adding to our life.  The apostle Peter exhorts us to keep adding things to our lives.  In II Peter 1:5-8 we read, “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.” How we do a job depends on who we are.  If we are weak in character it will be reflected in the work we do.

We are always capable of learning how to do a job better. I once thought I knew how to fillet fish.  Once we were invited to spend a few days with a lady who has a resort on a lake in Minnesota.  She let me use one of her boats and go out on the lake to fish.  I brought in some fish.  She showed me how to fillet them on her kitchen counter.  I realized that my way of going about it was very crude compared to her way of doing it.  We do well by watching a craftsman do jobs we think we know how to  do.

We are often surrounded by lazy people who try to get by with doing the least possible. It may appear as though they do the job much faster than we can, but if we examine their work we will find that there are flaws in it.  It isn’t wise to follow their example.  If we love God, we want to do our best for him.

At times we may be criticized if we strive for excellence. Lazy people are embarrassed when our work exceeds theirs.  They don’t want us to put out more or better work than they do.  Don’t let them pull you down.  The time will come when we shall give account for our work.  Romans 14:12 says, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” I Peter 4:4-5 also says, “Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:    Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.” Take heed to the Word of God and “run not with them to the same profligacy.”

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

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                Christians Need To Have Convictions

If you have ever been shocked by electricity, I’m sure you don’t need to be told to be careful around bare wires. Touching a bare wire is just something you don’t do. It is the same way with moral convictions. We are thoroughly convinced of their importance. They are beliefs that we don’t easily violate.

A Christian without convictions isn’t easily deceived. He isn’t easily tempted to do wrong. He doesn’t make decisions without giving serious thought to whether it is right or wrong. When he is faced with the temptation to do something wrong he doesn’t spend time debating about whether he should do it. He just says, “No, I don’t do that,” and moves on.

Firm convictions rest on sound reasoning. Perhaps a new Christian might say, “I don’t do that because I have observed that other Christians don’t do it.” That isn’t sufficient. He needs to be convinced in his own mind about what is right and wrong. Only then will it be a firm conviction. Perhaps he hears that good Christians get married instead of just living together. As time goes on he sees that Christians have good reason for their convictions about marriage.

There are two foundations that sustain firm convictions. First of all, we observe that those with strong convictions have a happy, successful life because they don’t make as many foolish decisions. It is a matter of discernment to see that immoral behavior has a negative result and that acts of virtue have a positive result.

For genuine Christians, firm convictions also rest on what the Bible says. They are convinced that the Bible is divine revelation and they want to respect and please God because they love him. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15)

More and more people in our day are without firm convictions because they are told that there are no absolute moral standards. Some years ago we heard about “situation ethics.” By that, they were saying that it depends on the situation. Sometimes what is right is wrong and sometimes what is wrong is right. That leaves us in confusion. Many in our day are saying that Christians are too judgmental. They say also that Christianity puts too many restrictions on people. They insist that we should have liberty to make our own decisions about right and wrong. What is right for one is wrong for another, and vice versa. That also leaves society in confusion.

Having convictions enables us to have integrity. In case you aren’t sure what integrity is, let me explain. The word means to be complete; not lacking in any essential part. For example, let’s say that a house wife has a blender. It looks clean and almost new. It runs. The only problem is that the rubber gasket is broken. Without it, it is useless. If we are lacking in some attribute of character it hurts our testimony and we are passed over when a search is made for someone to fill an important position. We may have a number of good qualities, but if we are lacking in one that is important, we are disqualified. The more good qualities we have, the more qualified we are.

It would be impossible to make a list of all the convictions we should have. There are both negative and positive convictions. Some are basic, like honesty. Under honesty one could add a number of sub convictions. As we mature in life, we need to keep adding convictions as we see the need for them.

Parents who want the best for their children need to be diligent in teaching their children to have convictions. They may not call them convictions, but when they catch their children telling a lie, they need to be quick to teach them that it’s wrong. The same is true of other moral qualities. As children mature they need to develop their own convictions and not just refrain from doing wrong because they fear they will be punished for it.

The Bible teaches submission. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” In I Peter 5:5 we read, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” The obedient Christian has made submission to the will of God one of his convictions. In so doing, a multitude of other does and don’t are included. Some like to call that legalism. If it is done from the heart, it isn’t legalistic. To the one who doesn’t love God, and desire to please him, it may appear to be legalistic.

What controls your behavior? Is it the fear of punishment? Is it the desire to be praised? If we have convictions, our conscience will control our behavior. Our minds are programed to do what our conscience tells us we should or shouldn’t do. That makes us consistent in our behavior. We do what we should, almost without thinking about it.

Don’t be without convictions. You need them as much as you need clothes on your back. Your life will be richer and more productive with them.

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

 

 

 

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A Time To Fear

August 4, 2015

                                                A Time To Fear

“Fear not; be of good courage” is the advice we are often given. That is good advice, but there is a time to fear. For our safety and emotional well-being we need to know when and what to fear and when and what not to fear.

The word “fear” occurs 516 times in the Bible. That should tell us that it is a subject that merits our attention. In the majority of the references to fear in the Bible it is telling us that we should fear.

Fear is a natural instinct in men and animals. All of us fear death. That is for our protection. Therefore we have to admit that there is a time to fear.

To know what to fear, we need to know what has the potential to do us harm. If you see a black swirling cloud approaching you better fear and run for shelter. Not all threatening dangers are as obvious as tornado clouds. Sometimes young people are confused about what they should fear. Sometimes they succumb to an immediate threat and expose themselves to a much greater threat in the future. For example, if young people are invited by their peers to take illicit drugs they often give in to peer pressure. It would be much more prudent to risk their disapproval than put themselves in danger of becoming a drug addict.

Many are badly lacking in discernment. Before you embark on a course of life, you should ask yourself, “Where will this take me?” Buying on credit may lead to the day when you will have to declare bankruptcy. Living on junk food may destroy your health. Illicit sex may expose you to venereal disease. These are just a few examples. We need to fear the consequences of our actions. In Matthew 10:28 Jesus tells us whom to fear and whom not to fear. “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

The Bible tells us that there is a time to take heed and fear the consequences. Matthew 24:4 says, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” Mark 8:15 says, “he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” The word “leaven,” as it is used here, means wickedness. Just because influential people do something doesn’t make it right. Some prominent politicians are liars. That doesn’t make it right.

If we have discernment we don’t need to live with fear. II Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” We just need to take heed to that which has the potential of robing us of peace and well-being. If we fear the Lord and keep his commandments we don’t need to fear anything or anyone. To fear the Lord means to hold him in reverence. He merits reverance because of who he is and what he has done. Deuteronomy 6:2 says, “That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee.” Proverbs 3:7 says, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” To obey the Lord may result in trials, but God has promised to supply our needs. In Philippians 4:13 he promises strength sufficient for every need. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” In II Corinthians 12:9 he promises to give us grace in spite of our weakness. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

There is much to learn about fear. Our peace can be taken from us if we have fears that are unfounded. It can also be taken from us if we don’t fear that which should be feared. You need to learn what to fear and what not to fear.

If you have questions or comments you can direct them to us at the following web site:  rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

 

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A Full Life

July 3, 2015

                                              A Full Life

When it comes to our life, what they say is true.  We only go around once. We all want to get the most we can out of life.  In this article we will consider what constitutes a good life and what we need to do to live it.  We need to determine what our philosophy of life is.  What do you expect to get from life?  What, for some, constitutes a good life is not the same for everyone.

You need to think of your life as a long journey.  When you reach the end of your journey, will you be where you want to be?  What will be your reaction?  Will it have been a profitable journey, or a wasted life?  Many arrive at the end and conclude that theirs has been an empty life.  Don’t let that happen to you.  It will most certainly be your experience if your goal is to get all you can for yourself.  The goal of many is to accumulate wealth.  For them, success is measured in wealth.  If you are thinking that way, you need to give serious consideration to what Proverbs 23:5 says.  “Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.”

I read once about a rich man who knew that his remaining days on earth were few.  He told his wife that he wanted her to put all his money in his coffin before they closed the lid for the last time.  After the funeral some friends of his wife asked her if she had complied with his wishes.  She said “Yes I did.  I had him write a check in the name of cash.  I went to the bank with it and drew out all his money in cash.  Then I put it all in my account.  Then I wrote out a check to him for that amount and slipped it into his coffin when they let me see him for the last time.”

If you live your life selfishly others will be hurt by it.  It may be your life partner or your children.  To avoid that happening, you need to set down some basic convictions that you will abide by throughout your life.  Convictions are firm beliefs that control your life.  They are principles that guide you in making decisions.  They are decisions you make and abide by   like, “I will not steal, I will always tell the truth, I will keep myself pure.” Genuine Christians make convictions to accept the Bible as the word of God and pattern their life according to its precepts.  In the Bible they find guide posts and they are convinced that if they violate them it will be to their own peril.

I have found that Luke 6:38 is a tremendous key to a full, happy life.  It 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.” This is a promise that God has given to those who love him.  It includes more than money.  It also includes time, love, attention, and a host of other things that we can give.  It is a promise that we need to claim.  A word of caution needs to be given.  We don’t always get back what we give.  If we give money, for example, God may give us health in return.  We may not even realize that we have received our recompense. God also gives us friends who do a lot for us.  Proverbs 11:24-25 says, “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.   The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”

Some are afraid to give their life to God.  They say, “What will happen if after all the promise of life after death is nothing but a delusion?” The truth is that the majority of Bible believing Christians find joy and satisfaction in living the Christian life.  They haven’t wasted their life.  When they reach the end of their life they will have no regrets.  They have little to be ashamed of.  Even if there were no life after death, they haven’t lost anything.

For the born again Christian, death isn’t the end.  It is just the day of their home going.  Jesus gives us these assuring words in John 14:1-6.  “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.   In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.    And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.    And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.    Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  When we die we go to enjoy the rewards we have been laying up while we were living a full life here on earth.  Jesus said, “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 don’t get to heaven by living a full life.  We get there by putting our trust in the sacrifice Christ made for us when he died on the cross.

The following are some sayings that you would do well to contemplate and appropriate them for your life.

  • “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot
  • Just one life. It will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
  • “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
  • “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

If you aren’t a child of God you are losing something of tremendous value every day.  At death you will hear Jesus pronounce these heart rending words. “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23).  I want you to have a full life.  There is no better way to have it than by being a child of God and living the Christian life. God has made it possible for you to have a full life.  It begins by humbly coming to God, trusting him for the forgiveness of your sins, and surrendering your life to him.  Why don’t you do it now?

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

 

 

 

 

 

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                                                                              Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

To say to someone, “You are just a burden to society,” would be offensive. The truth is, however, that our society is more and more burdened with people who have a weak moral conscience. This article was written to help you see the need of strengthening your moral conscience.

The Bible makes mention of our need of a good conscience. What is a good conscience? I Timothy 1:5 says, “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”

Our conscience is meant to be an inner faculty that governs our conduct. It is that inner voice that approves or disapproves of what we are thinking of doing. Therefore, it is extremely important that it function right. We might compare it to the automatic pilot on an airplane. If it is programed right, it will take the plane to where the pilot wants to go. Meanwhile he can be doing other things. If it isn’t programed right, it may take him somewhere where he doesn’t want to be. He might find himself a long way from an airport with a short supply of fuel.

Your conscience needs to be properly programed to function right. When it is rightly programed it will greatly simplify your life. It will make decisions for you. To rightly program your conscience, you need to have convictions about right and wrong. When a pilot programs his auto pilot, he checks his charts to see how many degrees to the right or left he needs to go to arrive at his destination. We need to set our course by means of the Bible. That is where we get our convictions about right and wrong.

Convictions are firm beliefs about something. If we have convictions about not doing something, we don’t need to debate about it every time the temptation presents itself. That greatly simplifies our life. Our conscience makes that decision for us. Our mind can be occupied in other things.

When I was a young man there was a hit song on the radio that said, “Let your conscience be your guide. Don’t do things you’ll have to hide.” That’s all I remember of it. If our conscience isn’t properly programed, it can’t guide us the way it should. In our day, we are often told that there are no fixed moral laws. If we buy into that theory, our conscience will be hindered in guiding us.

Some years ago a bad theory was dumped on our society. Many people accepted it. It was called “situation ethics.” The theory said that the situation determines whether something is good or bad. That leaves us in a sea of uncertainty. That leaves our conscience without any fixed laws by which to operate. The truth is that what is moral or immoral doesn’t change. What was morally wrong for your parents and grandparents is still wrong for you.

The conscience of a child is programed, in great part, by the conscience of his or her parents. When the child goes to school he is exposed to some new moral principles. He may or may not accept them, but they tend to weaken his convictions. As he goes on in life, his convictions are formed. His convictions may be that there are no fixed moral principles. If so, he will never have a good conscience. A good conscience is one that functions well because its decisions are based on absolute moral convictions. If not, our conscience can’t convict us the way John 8:9 says it should. “ And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”

Teenager, you are in danger if you have a weak conscience. I Corinthians 8:7 says your conscience is in danger of being defiled. “Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.” In the context of this verse, the conscience is weak because of the fear of offending an idol. Teens today often make decisions based on how their peers will accept them. That is called “peer pressure.” Many are lured into the drug culture because of the fear of being called a chicken. If your conscience is programed to say “no” to drugs, it won’t matter what your friends think of you when you say no to drugs.

If we really love and respect God, our conscience will reflect what God says. I Peter 2:19 makes mention of a conscience toward God. “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.”   The epistle of I Peter was written to prepare God’s people to endure the suffering of persecution. Those who have a conscience toward God will do his will, even if they have to suffer for it. I Peter 3:16 says a good conscience doesn’t change even when people speak evil of us. “Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”

Young man, young lady, your future depends, in great measure, on how your conscience is programed. Program it with strong convictions about right and wrong. If you do, the time will come when you will be glad you did what your conscience told you to do or not to do.

If you have questions or comments they can be sent to us at the following address: rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

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