Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jealousy Kills


For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, 
are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 
- 1 Corinthians 3:3 - 

The self-destructive emotion of jealousy had the potential of tearing apart the Corinthian church.

These believers had received the gospel but had not allowed the Holy Spirit to change their hearts.

As a result, they became jealous of one another, which led to a divided community.

Paul identified their jealousy as a sign of immaturity and worldliness.

These believers were not acting like people who had been transformed by the gospel.

*******

One of the clearest indicators that the Holy Spirit is working in our lives is our contentment and our thankfulness for what we have.

Then, instead of experiencing jealousy, we are able to genuinely celebrate the gifts and blessings of others.

The remedy for jealousy is thankfulness to God.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Withhold No Correction


Why do you . . . honor your sons more than Me, 
to make yourselves fat 
with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people? 
- 1 Samuel 2:29 - 

We don’t know what the high priest Eli was like as a father when his boys were young. But he failed to properly deal with their behavior as grown men serving in God’s temple. They were selfish, lustful, and rebellious, putting their own needs ahead of God’s Word and the needs of the people.

At first, Eli rebuked them but they would not listen. Instead of removing them from service, he looked the other way and let them continue in their sin.

As a result of his sons’ sins and because Eli honored his sons above the Lord (1 Sam. 2:29), the Lord warned Eli that his family would suffer judgment (1 Sam. 2:34; 4:17-18).

As Christian parents, we have the responsibility to lovingly discipline our children. Failure to discipline our children is a failure to love them.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

God Alone Is Good


You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You.
- Psalm 16:2 -


There are plenty of good things in life. But they will soon be gone. Even the best of them can afterward leave us feeling empty and regretful.

Only God alone is the ultimate good in our life.

The Psalmist in Psalm 16 said God is our preserver (v.1), our total goodness-giver (v.2), our counsel and instruction (v.7), and the One who makes known the path of life and fills us with joy in His presence (v.11).

Very often we let the lesser goods eclipse our acceptance of the everlasting goodness of God in our lives. But the fleeting nature of the lesser goods will ultimately disappoint us.

Only God alone is truly good!
Never settle for second best.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

God's Grace


The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son,
who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- John 1:14 -

Grace is God’s best gift to the world.

It is the practical outworking of our lives; grace changes us from within.

With God’s grace,
  • we appreciate better God’s gifts to us.
  • we make room for others to make their own choices and decisions.
  • we learn to agree with those who disagree.
  • we become more mature.
We learn to avoid legalism, expectations, traditionalism, manipulation, demands, negativism, control, comparison, perfectionism, competition, criticism, pettiness and a host of others.

We also learn to avoid pride, fear, resentment, bitterness, an unforgiving spirit, insecurity, fleshly effort, guilt, shame, gossip, hypocrisy, and many more.


Friday, September 7, 2012

The Hidden Entrance To Sin


Blessed is the man who endures temptation. —James 1:12

The temptation to sin and do things that dishonor our Lord haunts us all.

We are all capable of turning our testimony for Jesus into a sham.

We are all vulnerable to temptation.

How do we avoid giving in?
  • We must acknowledge the universality of temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).
  • We must recognize the dangerous results of giving in to sin (James 1:13-15).
  • We must keep accountable to fellow believers (Eccl. 4:9-12).
  • And we must plead with God for help not to fall (Matt. 26:41).

Only God’s grace and power can keep us from falling and pick us up when we do.

Each sin has its door of entrance.

Let’s keep that door closed.