Archive for the ‘Attitude’ Category

You might think that she would have lived her life as a bitter woman because a “Doctor” gave here the wrong medication which caused her to go blind at a very young age (six weeks old). But instead, with the help of her godly grandmother, who taught her about God and His Word, she allowed the Lord to use her “handicap” to bless the lives of countless others through the six thousand Gospel songs she wrote. Included in the list were these: Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine,” “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour,” and “Rescue The Perishing.”

“Rescue The Perishing” was written after she had met a young, blue collar worker at one of her speaking engagements. During her talk, she felt compelled to ask, “If there is a dear boy here tonight who has perchance wandered away from his mother’s home and his mother’s teaching, please come at the end of the service and talk to me.”

When the meeting was over, a young man (18 years old) approached her. “Did you mean me?” he asked. “I promised my mother that I would meet her in heaven, but the way I have been living, I don’t think that will be possible now.” This blind lady then had the joy of leading that young man to Christ. Upon returning to her room that night, all she could think about was the theme “Rescue The Perishing.” (See Jude 1:22, 23). So she wrote the words to the song we often sing in church. [1]

Rescue the perishing.” God the Father loved the people of this world who had sinned (acted lawlessly) against Him (John 3:16; See 1 John 3:4). He wanted to rescue us so that we wouldn’t have to spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (1 Timothy 2:4; Matthew 25:41, 46). He saw us in a desperate condition. To make this deliverance possible, One of the members in the Godhead needed to come down to this earth (Philippians 2:5-11), add to His deity at true human nature and a real body (John 1:1-18; Hebrews 10:7, 9). He needed to be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23), and live a sinless life Himself (Hebrews 4:15). Then He would need to die as our Substitute to satisfy God’s outraged holiness against our sin nature and our sins/acts of lawlessness (1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:2, 4:10). So God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ volunteered to die for our sins. But without His bodily resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:17), He wouldn’t be able to save to the uttermost those who would come to Him by faith (Hebrews 7:25; 11:6). That is why He rose again from the dead and now sits at God the Father’s right hand in heaven (Romans 4:25; Colossians 3:1).

Care for the dying.” Not only are we all dying physically a little bit each day, every baby who comes into this world is born spiritually dead and separated from God (Ephesians 2:1). We all need to be “born again from above” (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:23). Being born of Christian parents doesn’t guarantee our salvation. God has no grandchildren. It’s an individual decision we must make for ourselves – Believe in/on Him as our personal Savior, or reject Him and His offer of salvation. Why would anyone do this? Could it be because they love darkness rather than light (John 1:12; 3:19). What about you?

Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave.” God looks with grace, mercy, and pity on us sinners and has done everything necessary for us to be saved and to live a godly, Christian life (2 Peter 1:3, 4). No amount of good works can save us (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). All we need to do is “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, and we will be saved” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Have you done this yet? If not, why not trust in Him right now?

Weep o’er the erring one.” So few Christians ever weep for lost people as Jesus did when He looked over the city of Jerusalem and said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37; See Romans 9:1-3). Jude, the Lord’s half-brother wrote: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude 1:20-23). Has your love for God, for other Christians, and for lost people grown cold or indifferent (John 13:34, 35; 1 John 3:16, 17; Revelation 2:4)? If it has, renew it and let God live His life through your life (Romans 5:5; Galatians 2:20).

Lift up the fallen.” We’ve all fallen into sin and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). As Jesus cast out a demon from a young man and lifted up him up (Mark 9:17-27), so may we be in a position to lift up the fallen and…

Tell them of Jesus.” Jesus said, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus is the only One who can save us eternally (Acts 4:12). The false Christs and a false gospel message leads to everlasting destruction (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). False teachers “are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 1:12, 13).

The mighty to save.” Jesus, along with the other two Members in the Godhead, is the omnipotent God (Revelation 1:8), who created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1- 3; Colossians 1:15-17). There is no one whom He can’t save no matter how bad a person has been. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; See 1 John 3:4-9). When we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone to be saved, we are judicially forgiven (Ephesians 1:7) and cannot be condemned (Romans 8:1). Family forgiveness is based on a Christian’s honest confession of his/her sins to God the Father (1 John 1:9).

Feeling Useless? Fanny Crosby, [2] the blind author of this song and many of the other hymns we still sing, might have thought at one time that maybe God couldn’t use someone like her for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). But she didn’t allow the devil to defeat her and become bitter or to have an unforgiving spirit toward the “Doctor” who was responsible for her being blind (Hebrews 12:15; See Ephesians 6:17). Once she was saved, she dedicated her life to God (Romans 12:1, 2), and He used her in a mighty way to bless others (See 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).

Do you feel like God couldn’t possibly use you (See Ephesians 3:20; 1 Peter 4:10)? If so, consider these Bible characters whom God used for His glory:

Noah got drunk, Abraham was too old, Isaac was a daydreamer, Jacob was a liar, Leah was ugly, Joseph was abused, Moses had a stuttering problem, Gideon was afraid, Samson was a womanizer, Rahab was a prostitute, Jeremiah and Timothy were too young, David was an adulterer and a murderer, Elijah was suicidal, Jonah ran from God, Naomi was a widow, Job went bankrupt, John the Baptist ate bugs, Peter denied Christ, the disciples fell asleep while praying, Martha worried about everything, the Samaritan woman was divorced (more than once), Zacchaeus was too small, Paul was a blasphemer and a murderer, Timothy had an ulcer, and Lazarus was dead! [3]

Application. All of us have challenges, hardships, trials, and testings in this life that could easily cause us to become bitter, angry, rebellious, cynical, and hateful toward others who have hurt us. But we’re not alone (1 Corinthians 10:13). Think for a moment about those who have hurt you deeply or let you down in life. Have they treated you as badly and as often as you’ve treated God? Has God forgiven you? If you’ve been forgiven, then why are you unwilling to forgive others (See Matthew 18:21-35; Ephesians 4:32)?

If you are a true Christian, is your bad attitude (B.A.) keeping you from having and exhibiting the nine parts of the “Fruit of the Spirt” (Galatians 5:22, 23) in your life? Are you looking for an opportunity to take vengeance into your own hands (Romans 12:19-21)? How is your bad attitude affecting the unsaved people around you? Do you grumble, gripe, and complain often in their hearing as the children of Israel did while they were in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:1-12)? Are you suffering physically or mentally and about to die prematurely because of your rebellious, and unforgiving spirit (See 1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16; 1 Samuel 15:23)? Do you know that God wants us, as believers, to bless and pray for those who persecute us (Romans 12:14; Matthew 5:44)? Is honest confession to God and others (if necessary) in order (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13)?

When we are tempted by the devil to be bitter or have an unforgiving spirit, we need to put on the whole “armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-17). The “helmet of salvation” is the piece of the armor that helps us overcome these two temptations (Ephesians 6:17).

If you are saved, and rightly related to God the Holy Spirit (1 John 1:9; Galatians 5:16, 25; Ephesians 5:18), you are in a position to help someone who has a bad attitude (B.A.) and take part in adjusting his/her thinking before sin is involved (Galatians 6:1 ff; 1 John 3:4). You could keep a person from dying prematurely (1 John 5:15; James 5:19, 20) so he/she can live a productive life for the glory of God and good of others.

One ship sails east

One ship sails west

Regardless of how the winds blow.

It is the set of the sail

And not the gale

That determines the way we go.”

Charles R. Swindoll [4]

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change if necessary (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you have questions and/or comments, we can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, please SHARE it with others.

[1] “Rescue The Perishing” story. Robert J. Morgan, “Then Sings My Soul” Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, p. 175

[2] Fanny Crosby https://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/bcrosby15.html

[3] https://www.jollynotes.com/biblical-examples-of-imperfect-people-god-used-in-the-bible/

[4] Charles R. Swindoll, Laugh Again, Word Publishing, Dallas, 1992, p. 34

Bad News & Good News” https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/the-bad-news-the-good-news/

Music Video: Rescue The Perishing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMFRt2aLuMI

*Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.  Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Recently I had a man, who lives in another state, whom I had led to the Lord for salvation several years ago, call me to tell me about a frightening experience he had. In the middle of the night he felt like he was being attacked mentally by the devil or demons. He wanted to know what the Scriptures have to say about such things. I pointed out to him from the Bible that while Christians can’t be “demon possessed (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; John 14:23; 1 John 4:4 ) they can be “demon oppressed” (1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:10-17; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Acts 10:38). Maybe you, or someone you know, has had such an experience yourself. If so, read on. God’s Word offers hope.

Thoughts. This is where the devil or demons usually attack Christians (Ephesians 6:10-17; See 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 2:11). Thankfully they need permission from God to tempt us (Luke 22:31; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 6:13). It might be for us to be bitter toward God and blame Him or someone else because of a bad experience we’ve had in life (Hebrews 12:14, 15), or they might tempt us to have an unforgiving spirit toward someone who has hurt us deeply, whether it be physically, emotionally, or mentally (2 Corinthians 2:10, 11).

Language. The devil or demons also can tempt believers to engage in filthy speech (Ephesians 4:27-29). “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45; See James 3:10; Ephesians 4:15).

Personalize. Has someone hurt you very badly? Are you looking for an opportunity to take vengeance on him/her? If so, this bad attitude will eat you up and hurt you far more than the person whom you want to hurt. Maturing, spiritual Christians can/should help such believers so they don’t let the trespass become a sin (Galatians 6:1-4; See Ephesians 2:1). Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Do you really believe that God will do this for you in His time and in His way?

Tools. Here is a strange question. Have you ever given thanks for the person who hurt you (1 Timothy 2:1) or considered that God may want to use him/her as a hammer, chisel, saw, or sandpaper to help conform you into Christ’s image (Romans 8:29; 12:1, 2)? If you’re a Christian, do you have and are you displaying the “Fruit of the Spirt” toward that individual? (Read Galatians 5:22, 23.) How might the Lord Himself act and/or react if He were standing in your place (Philippians 2:5 ff)? Are you suffering for doing what is right or for something wrong (1 Peter 2:19 ff; 4:12 ff; Philippians 1:29)? Is confession in order (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13)?

Torture. Christians who have an unforgiving spirit or bitterness in their heart can be afflicted by the torturers (Matthew 18:21-35). This could involve demonic oppression and torment (Examples: King Saul who wanted to kill David – 1 Samuel 16:14, 23; 19:9; Satanically ensnared Christians – 2 Timothy 2:24-26). Keep this in mind. No one has ever wronged us to the same degree that we have wronged and sinned against God. “Sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). God wants His children to “… be kind to one another, tenderhearted, [graciously] forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32; 1:7; See Luke 23:34; 1 Corinthians 2:8). Are you doing this? If not, why?

Forgiveness. Let’s back up some. At the time of our salvation we are judicially forgiven once for all (Ephesians 1:7; See Romans 8:1). But we need family forgiveness when we sin as God’s children so we can get back in fellowship with Him (1 John 1:5-10). When God forgives us He doesn’t remember our sins against us (Ezekiel 33:16), but He doesn’t forget what we did because He is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24; Psalm 139). He will usually allow us to be tempted again in the same area to give us another opportunity to display either our love for Him or for our love of the pleasure we derive from engaging in a particular sin (1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 John 2:15-17; Hebrews 11:25; James 1:12). We have a choice to make – to sin and grieve God (Ephesians 4:30) or to gain victory and please God (2 Corinthians 5:9). There is a “sin unto [a premature, physical] death” that defiant Christians can commit (1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16; Proverbs 29:1).

Carnality. The Christians in the church at Corinth were told to disassociate themselves from the “Christian man” who had been committing incest with his mother and to “deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh” (1 Corinthians 5:1-8; See Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Timothy 1:20). Apparently, after they did this, he repented (changed his mind) and confessed his sins to God and to the church (2 Corinthians 2:1-11; 1 John 1:9; James 5:16). Once he did this, the Apostle Paul admonished them to forgive him and take him back into their fellowship. If they refused to do this, he warned them about the devil’s attempt to take advantage of them and cause them to be “demonically oppressed” (2 Corinthians 2:1-11). Are you Satanically oppressed or ensnared right now (2 Timothy 2:24-26)?

Attacks. When Satan, or more likely a demon, attacks our minds with any of these particular temptations: to have an unforgiving spirit, to be bitter, disappointed, discouraged, or to act cowardly, we must put on the whole armor of God and focus our attention on the “helmet of salvation” to overcome them (Ephesians 6:17). We need to think about all the spiritual blessings we have in our “salvation package” (Ephesians 1:3 ff).

Biblical Meditation. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, … noble, … just, … pure,  lovely, … of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Are you doing this? If not, with God’s help why not start now?

Song. “O soul are you weary and troubled? / No light in the darkness you see? / There’s light for a look at the Savior / And life more abundant and free / Turn you eyes upon Jesus / Look full in His wonderful face / And the things of earth will grow strangely dim / In the light of His glory and grace.” – Helen Lemmel

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change if necessary (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to get new articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Please SHARE this with others.

Gospel. If you’re not saved yet, please read this article carefully: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/the-bad-news-the-good-news/

Believe it or not, you can learn a lot about a person by discovering what makes him/her angry, what makes him/her cry, and what makes him/her laugh. Apply this to yourself.

“A real test of the genuineness of Christian profession is witnessed when one finds himself under pressure, provocation, or persecution…Our reaction to a sudden, unexpected change of condition or circumstances shows up a weakness in many of us.  Some Christians are thrown completely off balance if anyone disagrees with them, and under more trying circumstances they go completely to pieces.” – Dr. Lehman Strauss. What sets you off?

Attitude. A key to the problems of life has to do with the attitude. What is your attitude when you are suddenly stopped short of your goal that was part of your planning? Do you resent the circumstances? Do you become angry with God or with others because you didn’t get your way? Be honest. “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Is it your way or the highway? Is it God’s way or your way as one secular song suggests?

Submission. One songwriter put it this way: “Not what wish to be / Nor we are wish to go /For who am That should choose my way? / The Lord will choose for me / ‘Tis better far I know, / So let him bid me go or stay!” When facing the cross, Jesus said, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Are you interested in doing God’s will or your will? How often are God’s thoughts and ways brought into your decision making (Isaiah 55:7-9)?

Reactions. The Apostle Paul’s response of rejoicing in the Lord in the midst of his circumstances had a profound effect on some unbelievers, some believers, and even upon himself. Ask yourself, “What are others learning about me by my words, actions, and reactions?” Do they bring glory to God or do they grieve Him (1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 4:30; Psalm 19:14)?

Guards. Being under house arrest (Acts 28:30), Paul was chained to many, elite Roman soldiers. They were his captive audience. They observed him day and night and soon learned that he wasn’t an ordinary prisoner but was there because of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his passion to spread the Gospel to others. Many were saved by Paul’s life and the Gospel that came forth from his lips.

In Prison. Some Bible teachers believe that Paul was in prison because he didn’t heed the warnings that had been given to him by the Holy Spirit (Acts 21:4, 12-14). Even though he was willing to die for Christ, “To want to die for Christ is all wrong when God wants you to live and preach the Gospel.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer. “For as many as are [habitually being] led by the Spirit of God, these are [maturing] sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

Blessing. But even when we mess things up, God has a way of turning them around for good for His children who love Him (Romas 8:28). Paul needed a rest and some time to reflect/meditate (See Psalm 1:2; 46:10; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:15). So he used his time to write letters to churches and individuals to instruct them and to share with them grace teaching/truths that He had received from the Lord during his time with the Lord in Arabia (Galatians 1:17). Could you write a letter, call someone, or give a word of encouragement to someone in need? (See 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4; Hebrews 10:24, 25) If you can, will you do it? When? Today?  What is really important to you – other people in need or your own personal pleasures?

Satan. He will try to convince some unsaved people that they aren’t savable and could never be forgiven for the sins they’ve committed. He often reminds Christians of past failures that have been forgiven (Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9) and would cause us to become disappointed, discouraged, and even to doubt God and His Word. When he or demons tempt us, we must put on the armor that God has provided for us to be victorious (Ephesians 6:10-17). Do you also know how to overcome temptations that come from your sin nature, and from the present world system? Being tempted isn’t a sin, but yielding to sinful temptations is sin (“Sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4; Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23).

Plans/Goals. “Make plans and set goals which are in keeping with God’s written Word. Arrange them into priorities. Plan your strategy. Submit your goals to God’s sovereign will. If God providentially hinders you from accomplishing your goals, assume that the delay was part of God’s sovereign will. This will free you from discouragement. All you’ll need to do is adjust your time table.” – Adapted from Gary Friesen, Decision Making And The Will of God. p. 239

Effects. Paul’s attitude of rejoicing in the midst of his imprisonment stimulated other believers to become more bold in their witness for the Lord (See Acts 4:13-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). He wasn’t discouraged because God’s love had been shed abroad in his life and this helped him overcome his fears (Romans 5:5; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18).

Motives. Yes, there were some people who were proclaiming the Gospel from envy and strife, but others were proclaiming it from goodwill (Philippians 1:15; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 1:16). Either way, he was glad that others were learning about Christ and His offer of salvation to all mankind (1 Timothy 2:4; 1 John 2:2). We should always be ready to give an answer to those who ask us about our hope/confident expectation in Christ (1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 4:2). Are you prepared to do this? Have you ever led another person to Christ for salvation? Would you like to learn more so you can do this and earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20; Ephesians 4:11)?

Formula. For someone to be saved from having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8) and to go to heaven to be with God (John 14:1-3), one needs to use the right formula. “Grace + Faith = Salvation + Good Works (Ephesians 2:8-10). It is not “Grace + Faith + Good Works = Salvation” (Titus 3:5). Note the difference.  Make sure the Gospel for salvation is presented clearly to them.

25 Words. These few words could result in a dying person’s or anyone’s instant salvation. “My Friend, You have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. M. Kober [1]. (Read Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31; 1 John 5:13; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14.)

Witnesses. Jesus wants every Christian to be a witness to unbelievers so they can be saved (Acts 1:8). The devil will try to intimidate and discourage you (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 5:8), but with God’s help you can do what He wants you to do (Philippians 4:13). The Apostle Paul was willing to endure all things so others could be saved (2 Timothy 2:10). To what extent would you go so others could be saved?

Investment. Why not invest your life in others? Chuck Swindoll gives these suggestions: “Ask God to give you a sensitive spirit for identifying someone to disciple. Be on the alert – don’t scratch anybody off your list of possibilities [as long as they are still alive]. Reach out slowly and informally. Before your time together is over, make specific plans to meet again.” – Discipleship, p. 99

Questions. What makes you angry/mad? What makes you sad and causes you to cry? What makes you laugh and rejoice in the Lord? Are you truly saved or just a “professing Christian?” If you’re truly saved, are you growing spiritually, and serving God and others?  Are you regularly sharing the Gospel with the lost? Do you have all your known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13; 29:1)? Do you want to do God’s will more than anything else? Are you struggling with sinful temptations (See 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 1:3)? Are you tired of living a defeated life? If so –

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com with your questions/comments. Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies. Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out. Send us your questions/comments. If this has helped you, please share it with others.

[1] Dr. Manfred Kober, https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

(Philippians –  Lesson #8)

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired all the time? Has all the happiness and joy in life been drained out of you? Would you like to have God’s quality of life and have it more abundantly (John 3:16; 10:10)? Perhaps you’ve heard this song by Joseph D. Carlson: “If you want joy, real joy, wonderful joy, / Let Jesus come into your heart. (Repeat) / Your sins He’ll wash away, / Your night He’ll turn to day, / Your life He’ll make it over anew. / If you want joy, real joy, wonderful joy, / Let Jesus come into your heart.” [1]

New Heart. Sadly, he didn’t quite get it right. God doesn’t want to come into our sinful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). Instead He wants to give us a new heart (mind, will, emotions) and a new nature from above (2 Peter 1:4; John 3:3-6). This occurs when we place our faith exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Although we still retain our old sin nature even after we are saved (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25), we have a new potential to please God (2 Corinthians 5:9) and to do the desirous will of God for our lives. Are you doing it or doing what you want to do independently of God?

Happiness. This can be an elusive feeling that comes from having things going our own way. But there is a way that seems right but that can lead to death (Proverbs 14:12; Judges 21:25).

Joy. This is one of nine things that God the Holy Spirit produces in the life of a Spirit filled believer (Ephesians 5:18) and it’s known as The Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). Likeagape” love, this joy that comes from God, needs to directed properly toward the right objects, at the right time, for the right reasons. Just as God’s love can be misdirected toward the present world system (1 John 2:15-17), so true joy can be misdirected away from God, His Word, and His children, to the temporal and vanishing things of this life.

Me Worry? The Apostle Paul wrote, Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). When the believer’s delight is in the Lord and His Word (Psalm 1:2) and as we think and meditate about all that He has done for us (Ephesians 1:3 ff; Colossians 3:1 ff), there is nothing that can shake us and cause us to worry and fear (Philippians 4:6-8; 1 Timothy 4:15; Romans 8:35-39). No trial, temptation, or challenge can come our way without His approval or permission (James 1:12-15; 1 Corinthians 10:13). When we, as believers, successfully overcome temptations that come from the devilour old sin nature, or the present world system, we let God know that we love Him more than the temporary pleasures that this life offers (Hebrews 11:25). This pleases God (2 Corinthians 5:9). Sadly, many Christians grieve God (Ephesians 4:30).

On Being Joyful

The Apostle Paul encouraged the believers in Philippi to follow his example and be joyful Christians (Philippians 4:4). Here are a few things that helped him do this.

Self Image (Philippians 1:1). He knew what he had been prior to His encounter with the Lord. He considered himself to be a chief sinner” (1 Timothy 1:15). Having been saved, he voluntarily became a bondservant of Jesus Christ” (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Peter 3:15; See Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy15:17). He demonstrated his servanthood to God by serving for the advantage of other believers as the steward of this dispensation of grace” (Ephesians 3:1 ff; Galatians 5:13; 6:10). He also saw himself as being part of the New Creation” (Ephesians 2:15; 2 Corinthians 5:17), and a member in the Body of Christ, the true Church” (Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13).

Grace & Peace (Philippians 1:2). Paul knew that his salvation was due to the grace of God which he didn’t deserve (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Upon his becoming a Christian, he had peace with God” and no longer was he God’s enemy (Romans 5:1, 10). He could enjoy the peace of God” as long as he was filled by the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) and walked by means of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25). Yes, there were times when the Apostle Paul struggled with and gave in to the temptations that came from his sin nature (Romans 7:15-25). God doesn’t want us to sin, but He knows that we will sin periodically. This is why we have an Advocate with the Father who satisfied His outraged holiness against our sin nature (1 John 2:1 ff). Jesus is the one and only Mediator between us and God (1 Timothy 2:5). All true Christians are priests who are to offer spiritual sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16) and Jesus is the High Priest (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Hebrews 7:25, 26; 4:15, 16).

A Thankful Heart (Philippians 1:3). Paul wrote, I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” [Philippians 1:3). He was responsible, from a human standpoint, of bringing these people to Christ. They knew how he and Silas were mistreated and beaten there in Philippi for the cause of Christ so they could be saved (Acts 16:16 ff; 2 Timothy 2:10; 3:12). One of the evidences of being filled with the Spirit” is that a believer will have a singing, thankful, and submissive heart (Ephesians 5:18-21). We’re instructed to give thanks in all situations (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things (sin apart) and for all men (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 2:1 ff).

Prayer (Philippians 1:4). God has given believers eight ways to communicate with Him: worship, praise, thanksgiving, supplication, intercession, asking in Jesus’ name, confession, and making vows. It’s a shame that so many Christians limit their communication with Him to asking and receiving” and then failing to give thanks to Him for His good and perfect gifts that come from above (James 1:17).

Fellowship (Philippians 1:5). Too often fellowship is associated with potluck meals” rather than sharing spiritual things in common with God and other believers. (See Ephesians 4:1-6) If Christians are to have fellowship with God, we must walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7). We must order our lives by the standard that God has given to us. They involve grace principles” rather than by law principles” (Romans 6:14; 3 John 1:4). See our “Understanding The Times – Dispensations Chart” on our website.

Confidence (Philippians 1:6). God always finishes what He begins. Our salvation comes to us in three phases. When we place our faith and trust in Christ alone as our personal Savior, we are immediately saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1). We are being saved from the power of sin (Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:16). We shall be saved from the presence of sin when we die or are raptured (Romans 8:23).

Concern (Philippians 1:7, 8). When we have God’s love operating in our lives, we should direct it back to God and His children first (John 13:34, 35; 1 John 3:16, 17; Galatians 6:10), rather than toward the present world system (1 John 2:15-17). We won’t /shouldn’t think of ourselves more highly than we should think (Romans 12:3). Perhaps you remember this song by B. Metzger. Jesus and others and you, What a wonderful way to spell joy! Jesus and others and you, in the life of each girl and each boy. “J” is for Jesus, for He has first place, “O” is for others you meet face to face, “Y” is for you, in whatever you do. Put yourself third and spell JOY.”

Expectations (Philippians 1:9-11). The Apostle Paul knew that God could do far more than he could ask or think in the lives of those who were submissive to Him (Ephesians 3:20; James 4:7). His prayer was that their love might abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that they might approve the things that are excellent, that they might be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, and that they might be filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Glory (Philippians 1:11). God’s primary purpose/objective is to make Himself known to His creatures – both human and spirit beings (John 14:13; 17:4; Philippians 2:11). It ought to be every Christian’s purpose/goal/objective in life to glorify God through everything that we say and do (1 Corinthians 10:31; John 15:8; Psalm 19:14).

Gospel (Philippians 1:12-15). Even though Paul was in prison for the cause of Christ, his bold witness to the elite Roman soldiers resulted in some of them being saved. They were Paul’s captive audience. They observed how he lived and related to those who came to visit him in prison (Acts 28:30). He told them about Christ and why he was there for insisting that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah who died for our sins and rose again bodily from the dead (2 Timothy 2:8-10).

Quote. Joy is a matter of attitude that stems from one’s confidence in God – that He is at work, that He is in full control, that He is in the midst of whatever has happened, is happening, and will happen.” – Chuck Swindoll, Laugh Again, p. 34

Your Sail. One ship sails east. One ship sails west. Regardless of how the winds blow, it is the set of the sail, and not the gale that determines the way that we go.” – C.R.S. In which direction will your sail be set – for Joy or for Sorrow.

Help. We’re her to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 25; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies.

[1] https://hymnary.org/text/if_you_want_joy_real_joy_wonderful_joy 

 

(Philippians – Lesson #7)

One ship sails east

One ship sails west

Regardless of how the winds blow.

It is the set of the sail

And not the gale

That determines the way we go.” [1]

During my summer vacations, when I was a teenager growing up in Japan, I loved to go out on a small sailboat on Lake Nojiri in the Japan Alps. [2] It was a little bigger than a surf board and had a center board, a rudder, and a sail. I’d lie down on it and steer it with my feet. I got pretty good at it and could go almost anywhere as long as there was a wind and if I had set my sail properly.

Storms. Life throws a lot of adverse winds at us and the devil wants to discourage, disappoint, and cause us to doubt God and His Word. But when we, as believers, put on the whole armor of God, and resist the devil, we can overcome him and live a life that pleases God (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17; 2 Corinthians 5:9). Are you grieving God (Ephesians 4:30) or pleasing Him?

Choices. We all have choices to make every day. We can get all upset, complain, and question God and His plan for our lives just as the Jews in the wilderness did. If we do, we can/should expect to suffer similar consequences as they did (1 Corinthians 10). On the other hand we can give thanks with a grateful heart and let others know that we have a God who is bigger than all our challenges in life (1 John 4:4). God wants us, as believers, to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things and people that He allows to come into our lives (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 2:1). The Apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13; See Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10 NKJV). Are you giving thanks to God with a grateful heart? [3] From prison he wrote to some believers and encouraged them to rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4).

Freedom. Having had virtually everything stripped from him during his concentration camp experience in World War II, Dr. Victor Frankl wrote, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…”.

Pride/Humility. The once proud King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon leaned his lesson well when he shared his personal testimony after God humbled him. “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Daniel 4:37 NKJV). Pharaoh, who wouldn’t humble himself before God, was brought down by the mighty hand of God and he and his soldiers perished in the Red Sea (Exodus 15:4).  

Application. Are you proud of your race, place, or face? Wait just a minute. “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it” (1 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV)? Furthermore, “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:7 NKJV).  

Outlook. We, as Christians, can look at life from a human perspective or through God’s eyes knowing that “…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV). Read that again slowly. “Our troubles didn’t come to stay, but to pass.” But not so for those who die physically without the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (Read Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

Bad News/Good News. “Friend, You have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober [4].  Have you shared this information with an unbeliever recently? Apart from the Gospel, no one can be saved (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:16, 17; 10:9-17).

Promises. [5]“God will keep His promises whether we believe them or not.” Knowing them and claiming the ones that were given to us as New Testament Christians can result in a “worry free life.” “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6, 7 NKJV).

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as them come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible Studies.

[1] Adapted from Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “The Winds Of Fate”

[2] Lake Nojiri – Pictures: https://www.google.com/search?q=images+lake+nojiri&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiHgpKjzqLiAhVMmK0KHY2zCbYQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=896&bih=445

[3] Give Thanks – Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXBxImes110

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMTmZKotTYw

[4] Dr. M. Kober, https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

[5] Promises: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/promises-for-christians-to-claim-2/