Archive for the ‘Decision Making’ Category

“[Our] expectations can be high or low, reasonable or unreasonable, good or bad. The Bible speaks of expectations of redemption (Romans 8:19), expectations of judgment (Hebrews 10:27), delayed expectations (Proverbs 13:12a), realized expectations (Proverbs 13:12b), and unrealized expectations (Proverbs 11:7). Jesus told us to expect His return—although the timing of His return is beyond our knowing: “Be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Luke 12:40). [1]

Dreams. Most, if not all of us, have or have had dreams and expectations in life. We want to be “successful.” But how is “success” measured and by whose standard? [2] We also have expectations of our spouses. We want them to conduct themselves in certain ways; we also set rules that we expect our children to keep. When these expectations are not met, we get disappointed in them and take measures to correct their behavior. Nagging [3] and yelling are often used to manipulate others.

Legalists. Do you have high expectations of other people? Are you tying to get them to live by your legalistic, unbiblical rules that are often unrealistic? This is what the Pharisees of Christ’s day did (Matthew 23:4). Consider Christ’s invitation to the oppressed (Matthew 11:28-30). When others don’t meet our expectations we sometimes turn on them and/or seek to harm them. Where in Scripture does the Christian find his/her rules for living today? (See our Dispensations Chart on our website.) Upon whose strength do we need to depend to carry them out – our own or God’s (Philippians 4:13)?

Messiah. The Old Testament Jews had high expectations of their promised Messiah. They were looking for a conquering King, not a suffering servant (Isaiah 9:6, 7; 53:1 ff). They wanted Him to deliver them from Roman oppression. They didn’t think that they needed Someone to deliver them from their sins and the consequences of them (Romans 6:23; 10:3). When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a little donkey, many cried out “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9). But when He didn’t overthrow Rome, who was their enemy, and allowed Himself to be arrested by His enemies (John 18:12 ff), they turned on Him and cried out for Him to be crucified (John 19:6).

Goals. While most of us can do far more than we think we can, sometimes we set unrealistic goals and/or expectations in life and depend on ourselves rather than on God to fulfill those desires (Proverbs 3:5, 6; James 4:13-17). Self reliance and acting independently of God leads to failure in His sight. It led to Lucifer’s (Satan’s) fall (Isaiah 14:12-15). He tempts us to act this way today (Luke 22:31-34).

Trust. Now that I have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, I (my new nature) want to trust in the Lord with all my heart (mind, will, and emotions), and not lean on my own understanding. I want to acknowledge Him and depend on Him to make wise decisions that will affect not only me but others (Proverbs 3:5, 6). [4] As a child of God I can expect Him to give me wisdom when I humbly ask Him for it and when I’m not double minded (James 1:5-8; See 1 John 2:15-17).

Formula. I want to pursue a simple formula that I have often shared with my children. It is expressed in these words from the Scriptures. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require [expect] of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8). These are things that don’t come naturally to us.

Goodness (happiness) will be the result of my doing what is just (right). It is not doing what is right in my own eyes, but what is right in God’s eyes (Judges 21:25). [5] He makes the rules; I need to obey them if I want to show my love and appreciation for Him (John 14:15), and if I want to be well pleasing to Him (2 Corinthians 5:9). I don’t want to grieve God (Ephesians 4:30).

Mercy. God has been very merciful to me when I’ve suffered as a result of my own sins or the sins of others. So I want to be merciful and compassionate to those who are suffering (Ephesians 4:32; 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). Where would you and I be without God’s mercies that are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22, 23). Great is His faithfulness to us. Let us be faithful to Him and to others (1 Corinthians 4:2; 15:58).

Humility. I also want to walk humbly before God (James 4:10). He hates it when we walk in pride (Proverbs 6:16, 17; 16:18). Everything you and I have has come from His gracious hand (1 Corinthians 4:7). I want to be like Christ by displaying the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23; Philippians 2:5-11). I want others to see Christ living His life through my life (Galatians 2:20; 4:19).

Forgiveness. When we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, God judicially forgives us (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 8:1). We become children of God when we believe on Christ as our personal Savior through the message of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:16 17). We all start out life as children of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). If we don’t ever get out of his family and enter into God’s family by simple faith, and not by our works (Ephesians 2:8 9; Titus 3:5), we will spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Colossians 1:13, 14). Contrary to what some cults and religions teach, the wicked dead are not annihilated or reincarnated.

Poem/Song. It’s “Not what I wish to be nor where I wish to go / For who am I that I should choose my way / The Lord shall choose for me tis better far I know / So let Him bid me go or stay.” – C. Austin Miles. Is the Lord Jesus Christ your Shepherd and Savior? If not, why not place your faith and trust in Him alone today?

Help. If you aren’t sure of your eternal destiny, or if you need spiritual help, you may contact us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16. 17). If this has helped you, please SHARE it with others.

[1] Expectations, https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-expectations.html

[2] Charles Stanley, Success God’s Way, https://www.amazon.com/Success-Gods-Way-Achieving-Contentment/dp/0785265902/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=success+charles+stanley&qid=1583909509&sr=8-1

[3] How To Stop Nagging And Start Teaching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hrPJrG2aHM

Nagging, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17L7eS6pt_A

[4] For the struggle between the Christian’s new nature and the old nature read Romans 7:15-25.

[5] Other Helpful Articles:

When Doing Right Is Wrong. https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/when-doing-right-is-wrong/

Wrong? It Feels So Right, https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/wrong-it-feels-so-right/

Expectations In Life https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/expectations-in-life/

Why? Why do you do what you do? You may think you know why you do what you do, but all of us can deceive ourselves.The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Even the Apostle Paul admitted this when he said, “For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord”(1 Corinthians 4:4).

Judging. Contrary to what many people have been misled to believe about judging (Matthew 7:1-6 is addressed to hypocrites), we are allowed to judge actions (John 7:24; 1 Corinthians 5:3; 6:2, 3), but we must be cautious about judging motives because only God knows for sure why we and others do what we do. Christians are also to evaluate what they are being taught by comparing it with the Word of God which is truth (1 John 4:1; John 17:17).

Motives. It is possible for a believer to use his/her spiritual gift with wrong motives. We might be looking for the praise of/from men (John 12:43). This is why the Apostle Paul wrote about our using agape love while serving others with our gift (1 Corinthians 13). This kind of love is produced by God the Holy Spirit in the lives of Spirit filled” believers who aren’t grieving or quenching Him (Ephesians 4:30; 5:18; Galatians 5:22, 23; 1 Thessalonians 5:19). Paul said the love of Christ compelled him in his service to God and others (2 Corinthians 5:14; 2 Timothy 2:10). Jesus demonstrated this kind of love by washing His disciples’ feet (John 13; See 1 John 3:16, 17) and laying down His life so we could be saved (John 3:16; 6:37-39; Hebrews 10:7, 9). His New Commandment” was that we love one another as He loved us (John 13:34, 35; Contrast Leviticus 19:18). What or who compels/motivates you into doing what you do and say? Is it God (Philippians 2:13) or Satan (Ephesians 2:2)?  What keeps you from engaging in certain sinful pleasures and practices?  Is it peer pressure or some other reason?

Omniscient. Although Christians can engage periodically in sinful activities to gain momentary gratification without everyone’s knowing about them, God and spirit beings are aware of them. God alone is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25). He knows everything about us (Read Psalm 139). Spirit beings (cherubs, seraphs, and angels) aren’t omniscient but those who are assigned to us can see what we do and hear what we say (Genesis 3:1 ff; Job 1:6 ff; 2:1 ff; Daniel 4:17; Hebrews 1:14; 1 Peter 1:12; 5:8).

Permission. God allows believers to be tempted by the devil and our other spiritual enemies (1 Corinthians 10:13; Genesis 3:1 ff; Luke 22:31 ff; James 1:13 ff). By doing this, He gives us opportunities to demonstrate our love for Him or our love for ourselves.When we resist and overcome the temptations that come from the devil, our own sin nature, or the present world system, we show God that we love Him more than temporary, sinful pleasures (Hebrews 11:25; See Proverbs 2:16; 5:3, 20; 6:24). The Crown of Life”awaits believers who resist sinful temptations (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).

Confession. When we, as Christians, sin/act lawlessly (1 John 3:4), we must confess (name) our sins to God before our family fellowship can be restored (1 John 1:7-9). He promises to forgive our sins but He doesn’t forget what we’ve done since He’s omniscient. But He won’t hold the sins we confess to Him against us (See Ezekiel 33:16 NKJV).

Re-exam. Sometime in the future He may allow us to be tempted again to give us another opportunity to display the true condition of our heart. Therefore, Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life”(Proverbs 4:23). We never know when thesepop quizzes” will be given. Failing the tests can/will bring much sorrow (Proverbs 5:11; 6:32-35; Matthew 26:75) and could lead to our premature, physical death (1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16). We have potential years” and actual years.” (See Ecclesiastes 7:17; Jeremiah 27:13; Ezekiel 18:31).

Examination. Before we participate in theLord’s Supper”or during times when we’re flat on our backs, we can/should look up to God and engage in some self evaluation (1 Corinthians 11:28). The Psalmist wrote: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”(Psalm 139:23, 24).

Questions. Are you undergoing trials and tests right now? Are you sure you’ll go to heaven the moment you die? Why should God let you into His heaven? Do you have assurance of your salvation? Have you placed your faith in Christ alone who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third dayIf you’re saved, do you have unconfessed sins in your life? Are you grieving and/or quenching God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19)? Are you growing spiritually? If not, why? Are you doing what God wants you to do or what you want to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)? Are you glorifying God by making Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31)? Are you well pleasing to Him (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Matthew 25:23)?  What needs to changeIf you know what you should do, and don’t do it, it is sin (James 4:17).  We, as Christians, can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you have questions and/or comments, you can reach us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share this with others. Follow us on Facebook and Youtube. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Recently, while we were on vacation, we went into an ice cream shop for a treat. There were all kinds of flavors from which to choose. Since I lost most of my taste and smell several years ago, I chose chocolate which I can still taste a little.

Life. But life is much more complicated than making a choice about which flavor to choose for a moment’s pleasure. As someone has said, “Once on the lips, forever on the hips.” Ouch!

Freedom. The price of it is eternal vigilance. We, who live in the United States, often take it for granted and think that we will always have choices to make. But there are many people in the world who don’t have this kind of freedom. Think about the folks in Venezuela, South America, who took on socialism, and how much they have lost in recent days.

Socialism. Why do so many young people and others think socialism/communism is a better than our constitutional republic for which many of our forefathers fought and died to secure for us? Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – Pres. Ronald Reagan
Suffering. Having suffered mercilessly at the hands of his German captors in World War II, and stripped of virtually everything he had, Dr. Victor E. 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, to choose one’s own way.” Have you had an attitude check recently? Ask your friends to tell you the truth (Ephesians 4:15). As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 2:17).

Enemies. Our spiritual enemies are a far greater threat to us than our physical enemies are. The devil wants to enslave as many people as he can, and take them to hell with him. He isn’t happy when a person is “born again from above” (John 3:3-5). Have you been delivered out of the power of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of [God’s] love” (Colossians 1:13, 14)? If not, why not now?

Choices. Even after we’ve entered God’s family by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, we have many choices to make. We can yield to sinful temptations, or we can/should resist and overcome them. Those who overcome them will receive the “crown of life” on Judgment Day (James 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Enslaved? You may be a true Christian, but perhaps no one has showed you how to live a victorious Christian life. I’m very grateful to the men who taught me the truth from God’s Word and what I need to do to overcome the temptations that come from the devil, my own sin nature, and the present world system. [1] We don’t have to sin, even though we will sin periodically (1 John 2:1; 3:9, 10). God has provided in the Scriptures everything that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who want to make sure of your own salvation (1 John 5:13), and then grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18), and serve God and others effectively (Galatians 5:13) in whatever legitimate occupation He has provided for you (1 Corinthians 4:7; James 1:17). Jesus said to His disciples, “You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). What are others learning about God through your words and life?

Quote. “Only one life will soon be passed; only what’s done for Christ will last.” Better yet, only what’s done for God according to the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:5) and the leading of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14) will be blessed and rewarded (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Too many Christians do things independently of God (James 4:13-17; See Isaiah 14:14). These works will be burned up (1 Corinthians 3:15).

Contact. We can be reached through out website: www.kelseypeach.com. Send us your questions and comments. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studfies.

[1] Maturing In Christ, by Dr. H. L. Schafer, http://gracelifebaptistchurch.us/publications.php

It happened when the Apostle Paul and Silas had been preaching the Good News concerning Christ in the city of Philippi. They were unjustly beaten and then locked up in jail for allegedly causing trouble in the city after casting out a demon spirit from a young girl who was making a lot of money for her masters. She had been following Paul and Silas around and saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us [Greek – “a way”] of salvation” (Acts 16:17).

Problem. Jesus made it very clear to His disciples that He was “the [only] way [to God], the [absolute] truth, and the [giver of eternal] life” (John 14:6). He was not one of many ways to God as some of the false teachers of the world are suggesting. The Apostle Peter said, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). These are not “politically correct” statements to those who believe that all religions lead to heaven.

Earthquake. After an earthquake took place and loosened the prisoners’ chains, the jailor was about to commit suicide. Paul called out and said, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” Upon hearing this, the jailor said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The Apostle Paul responded by saying, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:28-31).

Question. What did Paul mean by the word “Lord”? Did He mean that the jailor had to acknowledge and believe that Jesus Christ was the “Lord” meaning “God/Deity” or as some have suggested, the “Lord and Master of one’s life” so he could be saved? We believe that Paul went on to explain to him the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and things about the One in whom the jailor should believe – the God/man who died for our sins…and rose again on the third day (Acts 16:32).

Works. The Scriptures are clear. We’re saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9; See Titus 3:5). The requirements for “Discipleship” in Christ’s day involved many things that were “good works.” There were a lot of people who were disciples (followers) who weren’t true believers. The Apostle Judas is a prime example (Matthew 26:25; John 6:71). There were many others who followed Jesus around, hoping that He would be their political deliverer and their “Welfare King” (John 6:15, 66).

Postponed. Because of the refusal of most of the Jews to accept Him as their promised Messiah (Luke 19:14; John 1:11, 12; 19:15), Jesus postponed the setting up of His literal, millennial kingdom on earth until a future date (Matthew 16:20; Revelation 20:1 ff). Is Jesus the true Messiah? (See link below). In light of what we see happening around us today, the setting up of the rule of the heavens over the earth (“kingdom of the heavens” – Daniel 2:44, 45; Matthew 4:17) doesn’t seem to be that far off. (See our “Understanding The Times” chart on our website.)

Faith. Belief and faith are synonymous. The word “believe” is used about 100 times in the Gospel of John to tell us what is required for a person to be saved ( Examples: John 1:12, 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24 etc). Unbelief is the only unforgivable sin today (John 16:9). Are you adding other conditions/requirements for people to be saved? To do so is to cause people to “believe in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2).

Lordship For Salvation. Here are some of the requirements that are wrongfully imposed by the “Lordship For Salvation” teachers on the unsaved people in order for them to be saved: Follow Christ / Surrender to Christ / Be Willing to Obey / Commit yourself / Turn From Sin / Be Willing to Sacrifice Everything / Give Up All For the Kingdom / Deny Self / Love Christ supremely / Give Up All Your Earthly Possessions if the Lord Should Ask This / Give Yourself Totally to Him / Fulfill the Demands of Discipleship / Etc. Etc. Etc.” [1] Aren’t all these things considered “works”?  Yes they are!  But our salvation is not of works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:9; Titus 3:5).

Assurance. How could a person ever be sure that he/she had fulfilled all the requirements such as these? It would be impossible for someone to have “assurance of salvation” if all these works were required of someone in order to be saved (See 1 John 5:13). Thankfully, God’s Word doesn’t make them conditions for salvation.

Lordship Because Of Salvation. Once a person has been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, it’s only “reasonable for a Christian to present his/her body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1, 2; See 1 Peter 3:15). This is not a requirement for salvation as some would have us believe. Most new believers don’t do this at the moment of their salvation. But it is God’s desirous will for us to do this. “Carnal Christians” don’t do this (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 5:1 ff; Romans 7:15-25; 1 John 1:8). There are many things that are required of Christians if they want to mature in Christ, but they aren’t to be made conditions for someone’s salvation. Let’s not make our rules for living the conditions for salvation. Do you know where to find them in the Scriptures? (See our “Understanding The Times” chart.)

Gospel. God wants every saved person to share the Good News concerning Christ with others (Acts 1:8). By learning and sharing these 25 words, you could be instrumental in the salvation of another person from hell to heaven. “Friend: You have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again [bodily]. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” [2] (See 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  It’s the same for Jews and non-Jews (Romans 1:16, 17).

Crown. The “Crown of Rejoicing” awaits those believers who are involved in the salvation of others as they share the Gospel with them (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). God wants us to have the joy of leading others to Christ (Revelation 3:11). The greatest joy in life comes when we help new believers, whom we have led to Christ, come to spiritual maturity as they walk in truth (3 John 1:4).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are “teachable” and “willing to change” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). If this has helped you, please share it with others who might be misled by false teachings.  We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] George Zeller, Lordship Requirements: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

[2] Dr. Manfred Kober, Do We Really Know The Gospel? https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

Dr. Manfred Kober – Lordship Salvation: Forgotten Truth or a False Doctrine?, Parts 1 & 2

http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2010/07/lordship-salvation-forgotten-truth-or.html

http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2010/07/lordship-salvation-forgotten-truth-or_14.html

Dr. Andy Woods, What’s Wrong With Lordship Salvation?, http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2011/03/what-is-wrong-with-lordship-salvation.html

Dr. Ron Shea, The Clear Gospel, http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Dr. Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/search/charles-ryrie-so-great-salvation

G. Michael Cocorus, Repentance: The Most Misunderstood Word in the Bible,

https://voice.dts.edu/review/g-michael-cocoris-repentance/

Is Jesus The Messiah? https://www.gotquestions.org/is-Jesus-the-Messiah.html

Do you have a “bucket list” of things you’d like to do in life? Perhaps, in the pursuit of your dreams or goals, you’ve come across some obstacles that you didn’t anticipate. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should abandon your dreams and give up on them, especially if they are ones that God has given to you that are in keeping with His Word and His will for your life (See Romans 8:14; Philippians 2:13; 4:13, 19). One song writer put it this way: “Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? / Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?” Then you should realize this – “God specializes in things thought impossible / He does the things others cannot do.” Oscar C Eliason

Examples. God brought the plagues on the Egyptians who had enslaved the Jews for several hundred years in Egypt. He opened up the Red Sea for them to cross over on dry ground and then closed it on the Egyptians who pursued them so they drowned. He fed over 2 million Jews in the wilderness for 40 years. He caused the Jordan River to back up so they could cross over into the Promised Land. He brought down the fortified walls of Jericho. The list could go on and on. (See Acts 7, Hebrews 11) This same God can help us, as Christians, in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16; 13:8).

No Secret. Stewart Hamblin wrote, “It is no secret what God can do / What He’s done for others He’ll do for you / With arms wide open, he’ll pardon you / It is no secret what God can do.” This pardon and judicial forgiveness is granted to all those who “believe on 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). Family forgiveness is granted to Christians who confess (specifically name) their sins to God (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16).

Clarification. Just because a person receives forgiveness and a pardon from God doesn’t mean that this Christian won’t have to suffer the consequences of his/her violation of man’s laws or nature’s laws. Christians are told to submit to the laws of the land in which they live. The only exception occurs when man’s laws violate God’s laws. Christians may have to suffer the consequences of their choices. Example: When the disciples were told not to preach in Jesus’ name, they said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:28, 29). For violating man’s laws that were contrary to God’s laws (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19, 20), they were beaten, but they were “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for His name’s sake” (Acts 5:33, 40, 41). What would you do if you were threatened like they were?

Our God. The Apostle Paul committed his readers to “… [God] who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20).

Wisdom. As Christians, we have access to the wisdom that comes from God (James 1:5; 3:17). The wisdom of this world, that was designed by the devil, may seem like the right thing to do at the moment, but the end of it could be death (Proverbs 14:12). “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36), The devil and demons have their own kind of wisdom that is very appealing to the natural, unsaved man (James 3:14-16). He wants us humans to walk independently of God and make decisions without taking Him into our plans (James 4:13-17). Have you been doing this? Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Attention. Sometimes God uses adverse circumstances to get our attention off of the passing things of this world and onto Him and into His Word.  It is “alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul [emotions] and spirit [that belongs to the mind], and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Hebrews 4:12). An idol is anything that comes between us and God. Yes, even Christians can succumb to the temptation to be idolatrous (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 John 5:19). Are you guilty of this? How much of your time each day is devoted to worshiping and adoring God for who and what He is? How many of God’s attributes can you name? We’re told to “pray (i.e. worship God) without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17; See John 4:24; Revelation 4:10, 11; 5:12). No, you don’t have to shut your eyes or raise your hands to do this. Most of us can think on several levels while we’re driving or engaged in other activities.

Priorities. There isn’t anything wrong with our having a “bucket list” of things we’d like to do in this life unless it’s contrary to the revealed will and Word of God or if we want to leave God out of our plans. But our will, as Christians, should always be in submission to God’s will for our lives. As another song writer put it, “Not what I wish to be, nor where I wish to go, / For who am I that I should choose my way. / My Lord shall choose for me, ‘Tis better far I know, / So let Him bid me go or stay.” Now if you think of yourself as the “Captain of your ship” and the “Master of your own fate,” you’re not going to find these words palatable to your taste. You are thinking more highly of yourself than you should (Romans 12:3). Consider this – “…what do you have that you didn’t receive” (1 Corinthians 4:7)? “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; See Proverbs 6:17; 8:13). The attitude of pride led to Lucifer’s fall, and if it’s retained, it will lead to your fall too (Isaiah 14:9-17; Ezekiel 28:12-19).

Fools. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). But by merely looking around at nature we intuitively can come to the realization that there must be a God who is all powerful (Romans 1:18; See Revelation 1:8). But those who deny this truth are often allowed to go on in their ignorance and rebellion against God and end up in a degenerate condition (Romans 1:18-32). “They love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19). “…the natural [unsaved] man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Choices. Every day we make choices about many things. The Psalmist prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalms 19:14).  Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Our primary objective in life should be to make God known to those whom we encounter I life. Are you doing this?

Help. We’re here to assist those 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. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Also, please share the information with others who might benefit from it. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We are also on www.youtube.com. Enter: Kelsey Pietsch

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John 14:1-24

“There’s no place like home.”  This is what Dorothy said in the movie, The Wizard of Oz, after going through illusory dreams, frightening experiences, and disappointing realities.*  In like manner, before long the Christian realizes that this sin filled world is not his home; heaven is.  And yet we, as believers, have moments of anxiety and fear as long as we are in these bodies.

Thoughts.  Do your thoughts about death trouble you?  They should if you are not a true Christian (See Matthew 7:21-23).  Do you know what happens to unbelievers at the time of death (Luke 16:19-31; See Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).  What happens to Christians when they die (Philippians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 5:1-9)?  Into which section of heaven do they go today (2 Corinthians 12:4).  When do they get to go to the place that Jesus went to prepare for them (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)?  How is it described for us (Revelation 21:9-27)?  What about the trials and troubles of life?  Will they be too great for us to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9)?  What should a Christian do when he sins (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Luke 22:32)?  What if he denies His Lord as Peter did (John 13:38; Luke 22:31, 32, 47-62; See 2 Timothy 2:12)?  Will he be condemned and lose his salvation (Romans 8:1; 35-39; John 10:28, 29)?

Truth.  To quiet our noisy hearts, we need to know the truth that can set us free (John 8:32).  The believer’s strength comes from God (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; Psalm 121:2).  Christians are being purified for their wedding to Christ (Ephesians 5:26; Isaiah 1:25).  He is preparing a special place for His Bride, the true Church (John 14:3; Revelation 21:9-27).  Currently, in heaven, He is interceding for those who belong to Him (Romans 8:26, 34; Hebrews 7:25).  He answers our prayers according to His will (John 14:13).  He has promised never to leave or forsake true believers (Hebrews 13:5).  We also have a Comforter (John 14:16-20).

Techniques.  There are some things that can strengthen the believer’s heart.  Knowledge of the truth from God’s Word can remove fear (John 8:3; 14:20; 1 John 4:18).  But the believer also needs to apply the truth and keep the Lord’s commands to Christians if anxiety is to be removed from his/her heart (John 14:21; Philippians 4:6, 7).  Love for the Lord can release guilt (John 14:23, 24; 2 Corinthians 5:9).

Question.  Is your life filled with fear and anxiety?  It should be if you are not a true Christian. You are under the condemnation of God (John 3:18, 36) and in danger of spending eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).  But you can become a Christian by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins… and rose again bodily on the third day.  He said, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  Once you’ve been saved, you can/should cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).  The “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, [can] guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus” as you encounter the hardships of life (Philippians 4:6, 7).  You have a choice to make.  Will you “trust and obey” or “stew and fret” about your problems?

Salvation.  We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone.  We are not saved by our good works, or by faith plus our good works lest we should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

            Help.  If this has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  Please share this information with others who may need it.

*Portions adapted from Chuck Swindoll, Following Christ, pp. 93ff

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John 11:7-10

“Killing time is not murder, it’s suicide. When you kill time, just remember it has no resurrection. The easiest way to find more time to do the things you want to do is to turn off the television.” In one day we have 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds like everyone else does. How we spend our discretionary time is up to us. We will be held accountable for the way we use this gift from God (Romans 14:12).

Work. “You can often gauge a man’s ambition by whether he hates his alarm clock or considers it his dear friend. It seems that our modern churches are full of willing people; some are willing to work, and others are willing to let them. We’ve been told that many hands make light work. We won’t go far without enthusiasm, but neither will we go if that’s all we have.”

Mission. Jesus was on a mission from God the Father. To the surprise of His disciples, who were anticipating His kingdom (Daniel 2:44 45), it only lasted for three years. Let’s consider –

The Lord’s Purpose. He was determined to do the will of His Father who had sent Him to earth. He prayed, “Not My will, but Your will be done” (Luke 22:42). He always pleased His Father (John 8:29). This should be the Christian’s desire too (2 Corinthians 5:9). Even though His life had been threatened by the religious leaders, He knew that it was the Father’s will for Him to go back to Bethany that was near Judea and Jerusalem (Matthew 11:1-7). He wanted to glorify the Father by raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:4) and doing it according to the Father’s time table (John 2:4; 7:8; Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus was aware that His mission on earth was coming to an end (John 17:4; 19:30). In like manner, we should realize that we have a limited amount of time to do the things that God planned for us to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10).

The Disciples’ Concern. Yes, they were concerned about Jesus’ safety and their own too (Matthew 16:21, 22). There was a plot to seize and kill Him (John 5:18; 10:39). The Psalmist had predicted that Jesus would die by crucifixion (Psalm 22; John 3:14; 12:32). Their fear was an attack from the devil (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:17). More than ever, their needed to rely on and follow their Lord (Psalm 23; Matthew 16:24) and trust and obey Him (See Deuteronomy 9:23; Psalm 13:5; 20:7).

The Lessons To Learn. Our birth and time on earth was predetermined by God (Psalm 139; Ephesians 1:11). Jesus determined where each Christian would be placed in the spiritual Body of Christ, the Church and what gift (special enablement) we’d be given (1 Corinthians 12:11, 18). Our decisions must not contradict the clear teaching of God’s Word (Romans 3:8; 2 Timothy 2:5). Our motives for service must be right (1 Corinthians 4:5; 10:31; 13). Our fickle emotions must be overruled by the Holy Spirit and our spirit (John 14:1; 2 Timothy 1:7). Don’t forget that our rewards will be out of this world (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Making It Personal. Have you received the gift of eternal life (1 John5:11-13) by believing on the Lord Jesus who died for your sins…and rose again bodily? If you have, what good works have you been doing since you were saved (John 15:16)? Are you relying on God’s strength or your own (Philippians 4:13; John 15:5)? What promises do you need to claim so you can have the peace of God in your life (Hebrews 4:2; Philippians 4:6, 7)? What is keeping you from doing the will of God for your life? Are you F.A.T.F.R.E.E. – Faithful, Available, Teachable, Flexible, Resilient, Evangelistic, and Enthusiastic?

Contact. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website at www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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