Archive for the ‘Giving’ Category

   Recently I went to hear our son, Judd speak in a chapel service at the school where he teaches fifth grade students. He spoke to all the elementary students and their teachers. One of the things he talked about was “The Dirtiest Towel.” He used it to illustrate the need for us, as Christians, to serve God and others by cleaning up things that need to be cleaned. Having a servant’s heart [1] is such an important matter, especially these days when most people want to be served by others instead of serving others. So many people’s lives are spiritually dirty and need to be cleansed (Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5).

Example. Jesus set an example for true Christians when He washed His disciples’ feet. He used this to illustrate to them, not only about the importance of serving others, but also of our need for an initial “bath” for salvation, and a “foot washing” for daily cleansing (John 13:17; 15:3; 1 John 1:9).

Question. Do you like to be served, or would you rather serve God and others? There is a time for both. Some people don’t want any help from others. They think they can make it on their own. They fail to realize that God wants us to serve one another with love (Galatians 5:13; 1 Corinthians 13; John 13:34, 35). As Christians, we are part of the “Body of Christ” and need each other.

Spiritual Gifts. Each Christian has been given a spiritual gift to serve others (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 12:7). Most Christians don’t know what their spiritual gift is (1 Corinthians 12:1), or if they do know what it is, seldom use it. If every member of the “Body of Christ” got involved in his/her work of ministry, as he/she should, the whole “Church” would function so much better (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30). If you don’t know what your spiritual gift is, we invite you to go to our website at www.kelseypeach.com and go to the section “Bible Basics Docs” and click on the articles that deal with spiritual gifts.

Comfort. God comforts us as Christians when we are facing hard times, and He wants us to do the same for others who may need our encouragement. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). When was the last time you did this?

Poverty. God allowed the early Jewish Christians to come under severe persecution and deep poverty during the early days of the Church (Acts 4:32-37). Hearing of their need, the non-Jewish Christians in Macedonia, who were much poorer themselves, took up a collection for their needy brethren in Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8:1-6). God used this incident to bond the Jewish Christians and the non-Jewish Christians together so that there wouldn’t be two separate Christian groups (Ephesians 4:4). The Apostle Paul wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ” (Galatians 3:28). Sometimes God let’s one Christian experience hardships so another Christian with the means with which to help him/her is given an opportunity to display his love for God by loving and providing for the need of his brother/sister in Christ (1 John 3:16, 17; Galatians 6:10). In this way they are bonded together. The song writer said it well, “Bless be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.” – John Fawcett [1]

A Servant’s Heart. A large group of European pastors came to one of D. L. Moody’s Northfield Bible Conferences in Massachusetts in the late 1800s. Following the European custom of the time, each guest put his shoes outside his room to be cleaned by the hall servants overnight. But of course this was America and there were no hall servants.

“Walking the dormitory halls that night, Moody saw the shoes and determined not to embarrass his brothers. He mentioned the need to some ministerial students who were there, but met with only silence or pious excuses. Moody returned to the dorm, gathered up the shoes, and, alone in his room, the world’s only famous evangelist began to clean and polish the shoes. Only the unexpected arrival of a friend in the midst of the work revealed the secret.

“When the foreign visitors opened their doors the next morning, their shoes were shined. They never knew by whom. Moody told no one, but his friend told a few people, and during the rest of the conference, different men volunteered to shine the shoes in secret. Perhaps the episode is a vital insight into why God used D. L. Moody as He did. He was a man with a servant’s heart and that was the basis of his true greatness.” [2]

Help. When the Apostles Peter and John went up to the temple to pray one day, they encountered a lame man begging for alms. Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). We don’t have healing power as they did, but we’re here to serve you by sharing the Word of God with you if you’re teachable and willing to change when you see what God’s Word says (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.  I have written many articles for your edification at www.kelseypeach.wordpress.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We invite you to join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible Studies. If you’re not sure about your own salvation, please read “The Bad News & The Good News” on our website.  If this has helped you, please share it with others. Together we can do more.

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

[2] Gary Inrig, A Call to Excellence, (Victor Books, a division of SP Publ., Wheaton, Ill; 1985), p. 98  https://bible.org/illustration/man-servant%E2%80%99s-heart

[3] Recommended reading: Dr. Warren Wiersbe, On Being A Servant Of God https://www.amazon.com/Being-Servant-God-Warren-Wiersbe/dp/0801068193/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1548366248&sr=8-1&keywords=on+being+a+servant+of+god+warren+wiersbe

About Spiritual Gifts”

Try to imagine how you, as a parent, might feel if, on your child’s birthday, you gave him/her a very expensive gift that was wrapped up in beautiful paper with a bow on it, and your child thanked you for the gift but refused to open it up to discover what it was and use it for it’s intended purpose. Would you feel badly? Of course you would.

Christmas. Or suppose it’s Christmas time and you’ve spent a lot of money to buy your children some gifts. One by one they open up their gifts until everyone has opened up the gifts. But then one of the children decides that he wants what one of the other children has and starts fighting for it. Would that make you very sad? Of course it would.

Big Box. Now let’s consider another scenario. Whether you realize it or not, at the time of your salvation God sent (graciously gave) you a big box filled with a lot of gifts inside it (Ephesians 1:3). You’ve opened some of them but there is one gift you don’t want to open up because it is so beautifully wrapped. However, if you were to open it up and use it, you’d be so much happier in your life and you would/could be a source of blessing and happiness to others too (John 10:10; Acts 20:35).

Unopened. And yet there are many Christians who have left some of their gifts in the big box without opening them. Do you supposed that God is grieved about this (Ephesians 4:30)? One of those spiritual gifts has to do with a special ability (that is more than a natural talent) to do some things that God planned for you to do while you are here on earth (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). Doing these things will glorify God and greatly help other people if this ability is used properly with “agape” love (1 Corinthians 13).

Problem. Some folks within Christendom teach that only the “clergy” have these special abilities and that the rest of the people are just the “pew (seat) warmers” and the “bill payers.” On the other extreme you can find “churches” that tell their people that unless they have spoken in “tongues” they haven’t received the “second blessing” and need to earnestly pursue this ability. Some “preachers” claim to receive new and special revelations (information) from God that they are supposed to pass on to the other “Christians.” Beware of false teachers (Philippians 3:2; 2 Peter 2:1 ff; Jude 1:1-13).

Money. Oftentimes it involves sending money to these “hucksters” [1] so they can “spread the Gospel” (which, most often, is not the true Gospel but another gospel – 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). Sometimes they ask people to send them money so they can help starving children in other countries get clean water and food. (What do you know about the “social gospel”? See [2] below) While a few of these ministries are legitimate, and present the Gospel in its purity, many of them are not or very little of the money goes to help the needy. (See article [3] below about Christian Giving)

Temporary/Extant? We find in the Bible twenty spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14, and in Ephesians 4:11. We understand the Scriptures to teach that ten of these gifts were temporary until the Scriptures were completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-12). But ten other gifts (special abilities) are still being given out to Christians today at the time of their salvation. Sadly, most Christians know little or nothing about them. (See link [4] below to learn more about “spiritual gifts”)

Pastor-teachers. These men are supposed to teach Christians about the “spiritual gifts” and encourage them to use them for the glory of God and the well being of other Christians primarily (1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 6:10). By working together in unity and harmony (Ephesians 4:3) with other true Christians – not unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), under Christ’s authority and Headship (1 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 1:22, 23), much more can be done to bring the spiritual “Body of Christ” to its completion and to spiritual growth (Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Peter 3:18).

Bride. When all whom God the Father has given to God the Son have come to Him and been saved (John 6:37, 44), the Father will instruct the Son (Jesus) to come back toward earth to claim His Bride – the True Church and meet her in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Then He will take her to the place that He has been preparing for her for almost 2,000 years now (John 14:1-3; See Revelation 21:9 ff). Are you looking forward to this event? Those believers who really love His any moment return can earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Questions. Are you positive that you will spend eternity with God (Read Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Peter 1:10)? Why should God let you into His heaven (See Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)? Have you placed your faith in Christ alone who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on their third day? (See “Clear Gospel” [5] link below) If you’re truly saved, have you been baptized/immersed (Matthew 28:19, 20)? Were you sprinkled as a baby? Have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? Do you have your known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16)? Are you being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)? Are you walking by means of the Spirit (Galatians 6:16, 25)? Is the “Fruit of the Spirit” being manifested in your life (Galatians 5:22, 23)? Note: Don’t confuse the one condition for salvation (Acts 16:31) with the multiple conditions for spiritual growth. (See “Lordship for Salvation” article [6] below.

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2 15). Being teachable without being willing to change is of no value (James 1:22-27; 2:19, 20; 4:17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, please let us know and then share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

For your consideration:

[1] Hucksters: The Most Evil Man You’ve Never Heard Of https://www.raptureready.com/2016/08/08/james-eugene-ewing-most-evil-man/

[2] Social Gospel: http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/mevangel/greatcom.htm

[3] Christian Giving: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/money-matters-part-4/

[4] Spiritual Gifts: Go to “Bible Basics” at http://kelseypeach.com/

[5] Clear Gospel: ReadThe Bad News & Good News at http://kelseypeach.com/

[6] Lordship for Salvation – http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

Touching Video – 2 Minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvihAm-GJs4

Some people foolishly think that they are the captain of their ship and the master of their own fate. They are interested in doing things their way. The Scriptures tell us that “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but it’s end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). None of us is as smart or as wise as our Designer God. He knows everything there is to know about us and He loved us in spite of our sins and short comings (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24). By the way, if you think that you are a product of evolution, consider the information found on the link below: “Accident or Design?” [1]

God’s Will. He has a “desirous will” that all mankind be saved from the lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels (1 Timothy 2:4; Matthew 25:41, 46). He doesn’t want us to go to that awful place. You have a choice. Sadly, even after hearing the Gospel clearly, most people won’t take God up on His offer and 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). Most people love darkness and their sins rather than the Light of the world (John 3:19; 8:12).

Believers. God also has a “desirous will” for all true Christians and a specific plan for those who are F.A.T.F.R.E.E. (Faithful, Available, Teachable, Flexible, Resilient, Evangelistic, Enthusiastic). Those who habitually are being led by God the Holy Spirit are the maturing sons/daughters of God (Romans 8:14). Would you like to be one of them? If so, here are some things for you to consider –

Discover. Once you’ve been taught correctly by a Bible believing Pastor/teacher about spiritual/grace gifts, it’s important for you, as a Christian, to develop and use your gift with love for God’s glory and the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:31; 13:1-13; 1 Peter 4:10). He can help you become what God wants you to be and do while you’re here on earth (Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 13:7, 17).

Types. Some of these spiritual/grace gifts were only temporary. God ceased giving out some of them when the Book of Revelation was completed around A.D. 95. “But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10)? However, some spiritual/grace gifts are still being distributed to believers the moment they trust in Christ as their personal Savior. Theses  gifts can be found in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4:11. Do you know which ones were temporary and which ones are extant? If you are a Christian, do you know what your gift is? Are you using it properly? For more information about these gifts , go to [2] below.

Devoted. In the Scriptures that deal with the grace giving of Christians, as opposed to the way the Old Testament believers gave 23% of their income to the Lord [3], we’re told that we, like the early Christians, should first give ourselves to God and to fellow Christians (2 Corinthians 8:5; John 13:34, 35). Our priorities should be toward God and His children before we try to help non-Christians (Galatians 6:10; 1 John 3:16, 17; 4:20, 21). Not everyone is a child of God and headed for heaven (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). But everyone is a person for whom Christ died and who can and needs to be saved from the lake of fire to heaven (John 3:16, 18; 6:37; 1 John 2:2). How concerned are you for lost people? What will you and should you do for them (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19 20)?

Employment. If you work for someone else, you are in a sense, a servant of another person. To receive a legitimate paycheck, you need to have customers who will buy your products and/or services. Not all the people in the world have the freedoms that we have to live and work where we do (1 Corinthians 7:20-24). You may have an employer who is harsh. “[Employees], be submissive to your [employers] with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh” (1 Peter 2:18). Yes, some people take advantage of those who work under them as was the case of Joseph who was seduced by his master’s wife. He did the wise thing and fled from her (Genesis 39; See 2 Timothy 2:22; Galatians 5:16, 25). He suffered for many years because of her lie (See 2 Timothy 3:12). Later God elevated Joseph to the second in command in Egypt (Genesis 41:43). I’ve often wondered how that wicked woman felt after that time. God has the ability to set up and remove those in authority over us (Ephesians 3:20; Revelation 1:18; Proverbs 21:1; Daniel 4:17, 25). No matter what happens, pray for those in authority over you (1 Timothy 2:1-4; Romans 13:1-7). Remember, if you are a Christian, your ultimate Boss is the Lord (Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22-24). God’s compensation plan is “out of this world” (Romans 8:18; 1 Corinthians 3:14; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Evaluation. Are you involved in doing God’s will for your life or are you pursuing your own plans? You should say “Deo Volente” – God willing I will… (James 4:15; See Proverbs 3:5, 6).

Need A Fix? Is your life, or the life of a friend broken? Does it need fixing? Consider this story. In the early days of the automobile, a man’s Model-T Ford stalled in the middle of the road. He couldn’t get it started no matter how hard he cranked nor how much he tried to advance the spark or adjust things under the hood. Just then a chauffeured limousine pulled up behind him, and a wiry, energetic man stepped out from the back seat and offered his assistance. After tinkering for a few moments the stranger said, “Now try it!” Immediately the engine leaped to life. The well-dressed individual then identified himself as Henry Ford. “I designed and built these cars,” he said, “so I know what to do when something goes wrong.”

Creator/Designer. God, as the Creator and Designer (Genesis 1:26; 2:7), knows how to “fix” our lives when they get broken by sin. Will you let Him have His way with you?

Help. If you need someone to guide you in God‘s Word, we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, please let us know and then share it with someone else. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] Accident or Design? http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/sciences/design.pdf

[2] Bible Basics – Spiritual Gifts http://kelseypeach.com/bible_basics.htm

[3] Christian givinghttp://kelseypeach.com/giving.htm

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation – (In 24 languages) http://kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

 

It is a well documented fact of history that Jesus Christ died on a cross as predicted in the Scriptures (Psalm 22). But why? The Word of God tell us that it was to pay the penalty for all of our sins once and for all (Romans 6:23; Hebrews 10:10). But thankfully He rose again bodily from the grave after being in the tomb for three days and nights (Luke 24:33-43). His resurrected body was different in that it had flesh and bones but no blood (1 Corinthians 15:50). Many people celebrate His resurrection but their lives have not been changed. They’ve never been born again from above (John 3:3-6; 1 Peter 1:23). But what is sadder, many people “believe in vain” by adding to or subtracting things from the Gospel and God’s plan of salvation (1 Corinthians 15:2-5; Revelation 22:18, 19). Consider what the “Lordship for Salvation” preachers and teachers do by making the requirements for discipleship (good works) the requirements for salvation.  How could one ever be sure of his/her salvation before they die?  They can’t be sure.

All three Persons in the Godhead were involved in the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (The Father – Romans 6:4; The Holy Spirit – Romans 8:11; and Jesus Himself – John 10:17, 18).

As a result of this, many benefits were extended to those who would put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation.

A New Life In Christ. The natural, unsaved man is helpless, hopeless, and hell bound (Romans 5:6, 8; Ephesians 2:12). He doesn’t receive the things of the Spirit of God because of his spiritual blindness and rebellion toward God (1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 3:10-23; 6:23). He also has a Satanic blindness that hinders him from seeing his need for the Savior (2 Corinthians 4:4). Jewish people have a third blindness that is judicial (Romans 11:25). But God has the ability to lift these blinds after the “Clear Gospel” is presented to them (Acts 26:18). The FREE gift of God is eternal life (John 3:16, 18; 36; 1 John 5:12, 13). It is a present possession and not earned by any of our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Upon believing in Christ, the person is placed by Spirit baptism (dry) into the “Body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13) and becomes part of a new creation known as “The Christ” – Jesus is the Head and true Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Christ are the Body (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:15).

A Victorious Life. Sadly, most Christians live much of their entire lives enslaved to their old masters: the devil (2 Timothy 2:24-26), their own sin nature (Romans 6:14; 7:15-25), or the present world system (1 John 2:15-17). God doesn’t want His children to keep on sinning (1 John 2:1; 3:9, 10). He has made it possible for us to be victorious over our three spiritual enemies (Romans 8:37). We can find everything we need for life and godliness within the pages of the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:3). We don’t need to resort to the philosophies and wisdom of unsaved men which often contradicts the clear teachings of the Word of God (Colossians 2:8; James 3:14-16). Sometimes the unsaved counselors are able to detect the person’s problem, but they don’t have God’s solution to the problem. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Once a believer dies or is caught up to meet the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17), his spiritual battles on earth will be over. For the true Christian, to be absent from the body means being immediately with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). We don’t have to go to some purging place to pay for our sins before we can go to heaven. The last victory that Christ will win is the one over physical death . He will do this by raising everyone who has died and bring him/her back to life to be judged by Him (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 15:26; John 5:22; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15). Do you know in which judgment you will participate?

An Abundant Life. Some people can only identify with the physical and material side of life. The Jews in the Old Testament were promised earthly things and blessings for their obedience to God and curses for disobedience to the Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 28). The Jewish people were told to “Bring all the tithes [not 10% but 23% of their total income] into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out on you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). But confusing Israel with the Church leads to all sorts of problems. They are two distinct groups with different promises and different destinations. The Jews were promised the earth (Genesis 15:18- ; Matthew 5:5; Romans 4:13). True Christians are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20; John 14:1-3). Our spiritual blessings far exceed any physical blessings (Ephesians 1:3). Most Christians haven’t been taught about the 33 major spiritual blessings and things that transpired at the moment of their salvation. If you’re a Christian, how often do you set your deeper reflective thinking on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2ff)? Do you know how to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)? How does a Christian discover his/her spiritual gift and use it (1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14).

A Useful Life. Everything that a Christian does should bring honor and glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31). God’s purpose is to demonstrate to His creatures who He is by what He says and does (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). Every Christian is called upon to abide (feel at ease) in Christ and bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit (John 15:1-8). This fruit could be one’s Christ like character (2 Peter 1:5-8; Galatians 5:22, 23). It could be a life characterized by good works done for God’s glory (Colossians 1:10; Ephesians 2:10), or it might be by being a faithful witness for the Lord (Romans 1:13; 1 Corinthians 16:15), or a pair of lips that praises God (Hebrews 13:15), or it might be a believer’s generous giving to the work of the Lord and to those who preach and teach the Word faithfully without trying to tickle people’s ears (Galatians 6:6-10; 1 Corinthians 9:1-14; Philippians 4:17; 2 Timothy 2:2; 4:1-4). How much fruit are you bearing in your life?

Saving Faith. Do you merely know and believe the facts about Jesus Christ’s death for your sins and His bodily resurrection? That’s not enough to save you (James 2:19). Not until you transfer your faith from yourself, and your good works over to Christ alone are you saved. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Genuine faith manifests itself to other human beings by the good works we do (Ephesians 2:10; James 2:20-26). If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? If not, what needs to change? Our salvation from the penalty of sin is gained by a single act of faith in Christ. But for a Christian to enjoy a new, victorious, abundant, and useful life while here on this earth, he/she must live in a continual attitude of faith (Romans 1:17). If you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you can sing “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…”

Help. If you have questions and/or comments, we can be reached at 805-238-3549.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  If something has helped you, will you share it with others?  Thanks.  We want to bless you so you can bless others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). 

Ladies, have you ever had unexpected guests drop in on you only to have your husband invite them to stay for dinner? Did you wonder how you were going to feed them?  We had this happening quite often at our home in Japan after WWII when G.I.s would come to visit my dad’s church.  He’d invite them to stay for lunch.  Knowing that my dad was in the habit of doing this, my mother usually prepared a little extra to accommodate a few soldier boys.

But try to imagine 5,000 people stopping by and wanting to be fed.  “When God is about to do something good, He starts with a difficulty. When He is about to do something great, He starts with an impossibility.”*

The Lord’s disciples were faced with a similar situation.  At a moment’s notice they were asked to feed 5,000 hungry men and their families.  Jesus put them to the test and asked them, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat” (John 6:5)? Philip calculated that 200 denari wouldn’t even provide for them to have just a little food to tide them over.  Peter’s brother, Andrew brought to Jesus a boy with a small lunch.  It was like having a couple tuna fish sandwiches.  But the boy willingly gave his lunch to Jesus without realizing what Jesus was about to do with it.  I’m quite sure that his jaw dropped when He saw Jesus feeding all these people from his little lunch.

Question – What have you given to Jesus?  If you’re a Christian, have you presented your body to Him yet (Romans 12:1, 2)?  If you’re not saved yet, there is nothing you can give to Jesus.  You need to accept His gift of eternal life first.  Do you know how to do this?  We have God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages on our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

When we recognize and admit, from a human viewpoint, that we’re helpless and hopeless (Romans 5:6; Ephesians 2:12), Jesus can step in a show us how adequate He is and can be to those who will trust Him.  “Are you facing a hopeless situation in your home, your marriage, your job, your friendships? The first step toward appropriating God’s strength is to admit your own inadequacy.”*

The next time you have a tuna fish sandwich, think about the little boy who gave His lunch to Jesus only to have Him take it and feed 5,000 thousand hungry families.  God could use you, like He did Andrew who introduced his brother Peter to the Lord.  Peter was later used by God to lead 3,000 people to Christ on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41).

The little boy, who gave his lunch to Jesus, learned that little is much when God is in it. Think about this, “Others see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope.”* Is your hope (confident expectation) based on a promise from God’s Word?  Are you living by faith (Romans 1:17)?  Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?  Do you believe that He died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day?  Have you displayed your faith to other people by being baptized (immersed)?

We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change.  We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  Will you help us get God’s Word out to others who need Him?  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

 

    

As the God-man, Jesus is omniscient and knows all about us (John 2:24). Does this comfort you or bother you? He formed Adam out of the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of lives – physical and spiritual life. He made man with a spirit that belongs to the mind (Ephesians 4:23), a soul that is associated with our emotions (Matthew 26:38; 1 Peter 1:9), and a body with which we express ourselves to others (Romans 8:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Concern. The Jewish people who were following Jesus around were primarily concerned about their physical needs. They merely wanted to be healthy, wealthy, and happy. Isn’t this what most people, including many people who profess to be Christians, want for themselves and their family? There are plenty of “greedy preachers” (Isaiah 56:11; 2 Peter 2:15) with itching ears who will tell people what they want to hear and promise such things to their followers if they will “sow their seed of money” to them (2 Timothy 4:3, 4). It’s known as the “Seed Faith” principle.*

First. Jesus met the basic physical needs of over 5,000 people before telling them about Himself. He was “The True Bread” that came down from heaven so that they could have their spiritual hunger satisfied. For the most part, His words fell on deaf or unreceptive ears. Most of the people were confused when He said to them, “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54). The Jews were forbidden to drink blood (Leviticus 17:10ff). He clarified their misunderstanding by saying, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Some folks in Christendom have taken Jesus’ words to mean that when a priest blesses the bread and the cup, they turn into the literal body and blood of the Lord. We don’t believe that this passage is talking about the Lord’s Supper. It wasn’t instituted until the night He was betrayed by Judas (John 13:24; Luke 22:17ff). We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the Person of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:24-26). We do not believe it involves the re-crucifixion of Christ. He died once and for all for our sins (Hebrews 10:10). We’re to look back to the cross where our salvation was purchased for us and we are to look forward to His return for us in the future. “Perhaps today!” We don’t believe that a person receives Christ by eating these elements (John 1:12).

Grace. It is unmerited favor from God. It is not the help that God gives to a person when he is sprinkled as a baby so he can keep the Sacraments and earn his salvation. Salvation is not of works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9). It takes God’s efficacious grace to bring a person to the point of salvation. Without it none of us would come to God for salvation (John 5:40). Why? The unsaved man is “[spiritually] dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). “The heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it” (Jeremiah 17:9; See Romans 3:10-23).

Permanent. Once a person becomes a true Christian he is saved forever. Eternal life is not temporary or contingent on our good works. A Christian has been saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 5:1; 8:1). He is being saved from the power of sin (Romans 6:14). He will be saved from the presence of sin when he dies (Romans 8:23). The ultimate salvation of his body and soul (emotions) will occur at the Rapture (Romans 8:23; 1 Peter 1:9; 1 John 3:2). The only part of the Christian that is saved now is his spirit (1 Corinthians 6 :17; Romans 8:14-17). That is why we must not depend on our souls (emotions) to direct our lives (See 1 Corinthians 9:25-27). We need to be led and filled by God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16, 25).

Satisfaction. When God saves a person, He brings true satisfaction to that person’s heart (John 6:35). Jesus said, “He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Jesus can fill those who come to Him in faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is [exists], and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). He also said, “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28, 29).

Glorification. God always finishes what He begins (Philippians 1:6). He has promised never to leave or forsake His children (Hebrews 13:5). Are you a child of the devil or a child of God (1 John 3:9, 10; John 8:44)? We don’t become children of God until we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. He died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Rather than spending eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Jude 1:13), true Christians in heaven will experience fulness of joy in God’s presence (Psalm 16:11; Revelation 21:3-5).

Gift. The gift of eternal life must be received by faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Otherwise it is of no value to the person for whom it was intended. Have you received it yet? Are you absolutely sure that if you died today you’d go immediately to heaven? Do you think that you have to go to a purging place before entering heaven? Do you believe that there is any possibility of losing your salvation once you receive it? How secure are you?

Sharing. If you’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), what are doing to share the Gospel with others so they can be saved? Are you a living example of what God can do in the life of a believer who is fully yielded to Him? If not, what needs to change?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you? Will you help us help others by forwarding this to someone who might be helped by it? To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

*The “Seed Faith” Principle: https://www.raptureready.com/rr-evil.html

Biblical New Testament Giving: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/category/giving/

New Commandment. “A new commandment I [Jesus] give to you [disciples], that you love one another [fellow Christians] as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another” (John 13:34, 35).

Love/Hate. “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother [or sister in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” (1 John 4:20, 21).

Application. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him” (1 John 3:16, 17; See 2 Thessalonians 3:4-15; Proverbs 6:6).

Grace. In the “Dispensation of Grace” in which we live (Ephesians 3:2), one of the great privileges of each believer is Christian giving.  We all have time (24 hours each day), talents (spiritual gifts), and treasure (money).  Giving is just one of the spiritual sacrifices we may offer up to God (Hebrews 13:15, 16; Romans 12:1, 2).

O.T./N.T. In the Old Testament times, some of the Jews’ sacrifices were bloody while we, as New Testament priests, offer non-bloody sacrifices to God (1 Peter 2:5, 9). The Jews, under the Mosaic Law, were also required to pay three tithes amounting to 23% (Numbers 18:20-32; Deuteronomy 14:23-29) plus taxes.  “Tithing under the [Mosaic] law was mandatory, giving under grace is voluntary.”   – Dr. M. R. DeHaan

Guidelines For Christian Giving

l. It is to be exercised in a spiritual manner, preceded by the giving of self (Romans 12:1, 2), as exemplified by (a) the Macedonian believers, who “…first gave of themselves to the Lord…see that you abound in this grace also….” (2 Corinthians 8:5, 7), (b) the Lord Himself (2 Corinthians 8:9), and (c) God the Father (2 Corinthians 9:15).
2. It is to be done 
voluntarily and cheerfully“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
3. It is to be performed with 
regularity“On the first day of the week let each of you lay something aside…” (1 Corinthians 16:2).
4. It is to involve 
every person“…let each one of you lay aside…” (1 Corinthians 16:2).
5. It is to be rendered on a 
proportionate basis. “…as he may prosper…” (1 Corinthians 16:2).

God has promised to reward those believers whose lives are marked by sacrificial devotion to Him and His work. “…He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6).

Someone has said, Under grace, God doesn’t look at the amount on the face of the check, but on the balance left on the tab. “ The man who makes $10,000 a month and gives 50% to the Lord still has far more left than the widow who gives 10% out of her meager allowance of $800 a month.”  Grace teaches us that our giving as Christians is not a legal obligation, but is a blessed privilege and becomes a measure of our love for God and His children.  Whose child are you – the devil’s or God’s (1 John 3:8-10; John 8:44)?

Some Additional Thoughts

What our giving does:
1. It 
brings honor to God Who blessed us with all physical and spiritual blessings. Proverbs 3:9
2. It 
expresses our gratitude to Him. Ephesians 5:20
3. It 
brings spiritual joy. Philippians 4:4
4. It 
helps meet the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of people everywhere. Philippians 4:15-19; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4
5. It will 
demonstrate our faith in God’s ability to provide for us in the future. Philippians 4:19; 2 Corinthians 9:8

Motives And Rewards

Only when one gives with a proper motive is it pleasing to God. The primary motive for giving should be the glory of God (2 Corinthians 8:19; 1 Corinthians 10:31). The secondary motive is for the welfare [love] of others, especially believers (Galatians 6:6-10; John 13:34, 35).  

A Christian’s giving should be made with (1) forethought (2 Corinthians 9:7), (2) regularity (1 Corinthians 16:2), (3) priority to the local church where one is being fed and cared for spiritually (Galatians 6:6-10; 1 Timothy 5:17,18), and (4) the Holy Spirit’s leading (Romans 8:14).

Note: Divine compensation for faithful stewardship doesn’t guarantee financial prosperity or robust health. But one can have true joy, peace, satisfaction, and hope which money can’t buy. God’s compensation plan is “out of this world.” (See Romans 8:18)

Action: Ask yourself, “What do I need to do with this information now?”  Read James 4:17.

Questions. Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die? Why should God let you into His heaven? If you think you’re going to heaven, is there anything you could do or fail to do that could cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be? If you’re saved, are you growing in the Lord (2 Peter 3:18), serving Him by serving others (1 Peter 4:10), and sharing the Gospel with the lost (Acts 1:8)?

Help. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Then please share it with someone else who could use the information too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/filerequest/9415

For more information about Christian giving, consult “As The Ushers Come Forward” by Herbert VanderLugt and “The Grace Of Giving” by Richard DeHaan. (Some of the information in this article was adapted from these publications.)