Archive for the ‘God's Will’ Category

Do you love mystery novels or movies – the Who done it” kind? Some people cheat and take the fun out by reading the last chapter first. Maybe you record ball games on TV so you don’t have to watch all the commercials. But if you cheat and look at the end of the game first, the thrill is gone. God is never surprised because He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  We don’t believe in “open theism” that says God doesn’t know all things (Psalm 139:4, 16). You can’t hide from Him and keep Him from judging you someday (Psalm 10; Hebrews 9:27).

When it comes to mysteries in the Bible, there are a lot of people who are in the dark. Much of it doesn’t make any sense to them at all. Part of this is due to the natural, unsaved man’s inability to welcome or receive the things of God. It seems to be foolishness (1Corinthians 2:14). It’s like having only an AM radio and not an AM / FM radio to receive certain signals.

There are a number of things that are called “mysteries” within the pages of Scripture. A mystery is truth hidden in the Old Testament but revealed in the New Testament for the further maturing of Grace believers. According to His will, a mystery was revealed only to Christians that were maturing, or of full age (Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:6; Ephesians 3:5, 9; Colossians. 1:26, 27).” – Dr. H. L. Schafer. To mature spiritually as he/she should, a Christian needs to –

Know About The Riches Of The Indwelling Christ (Colossians 1:27). When we were saved we received eternal life – God’s quality of life that never ends or which we can lose (John 3:16, 36; 10:28, 29; 1 John 5:12). When God’s life is lived out through our lives, as we display the Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23), He is glorified as others learn more about Him (John 15:8). God’s glory deals with His opinion that He has concerning Himself (John 1:14; 2:11). It is totally accurate in every way (John 14:6). He sees Himself as He really is and tells us some things about Himself and then demonstrates that truth to us by doing something to prove it. His I AM…” statements in the Gospel of John (6:35, 48; 8:12; 9:5; 10:7, 9; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1) demonstrate the fact that He is God in human flesh and came to manifest the Godhead to humanity (John 1:14; 17:4, 5). He shares total equality with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Colossians 1:19; 2:9; Matthew 28:19). When Christ comes back for His Bride, the true Church (John 14:1-3), we will become the epitome of our potential and then be permanentized and made like Christ’s glorified humanity, not His deity (1 John 3:2). We won’t become gods to populate other planets as some cults teach (Matthew 22:30). At that same time our souls (emotions) will be saved (1 Peter 1:9) and so will our mortal bodies (Romans 8:17, 23; 1 Corinthians 15:53). Our glorified bodies will be made like Christ’s and will consist of flesh and bones, but will lack blood (Luke 24:39; 1 Corinthians 15:5). Yes, we will be able to eat too but we won’t have to eat or drink to stay alive.

Ask For Yourself According To God’s Will (1 John 5:14, 15). Basically, we have three ways of asking things from God. Supplication is simply a cry for God’s help (Ephesians 6:18). We don’t tell God how to answer our requests or demand anything from Him which would be blasphemy (1 Timothy 1:20). Supplication is something we do most often for ourselves since we rarely know what is best for ourselves (Psalm 23:3). Intercession is primarily a request for or against another person (1 Timothy 2:1; Romans 11:2). Yes, we may ask God to thwart the activities of evil doers (Psalm 10). Asking in Jesus’ name involves our asking as Jesus Himself would ask were He in our place (John 14:13, 14; 15:16, 23, 24). We are to ask as a subordinate to a superior Person (Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 1:9), not as an equal to Him as Jesus sometimes did when He communicated with His Father (John 14:16; 16:26).

Suffer If Necessary For Living A Consistent Testimony. (1 Peter 3:17; 4:19). Most Christians who live in the United States have had to suffer very little for the cause of Christ as other believers from around the world have had to suffer. All Christians will suffer to some degree with Christ (Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:12). But few of us have ever suffered like the Apostle Paul did so he could reach others for Christ and see them saved (2 Corinthians 11:23-33; 2 Timothy 2:10). The Crown of Life” will be given to the martyrs who died for their faith rather than deny Christ or worship Caesar (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).

Live The Rest Of Your Life In The Will Of God (1 Peter 4:2). We can’t change our past life of sin and shame (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). But having been washed, sanctified, and justified, we can/should live our lives to please God in all that we do and say (2 Corinthians 5:9). We have potential years that may average out to about 70 or 80 years (Psalm 90:10; See Genesis 5; Isaiah 65:20). But our actual years may be much shorter if we engage in sinful behavior (Ephesians 6:3; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:20; 1 John 5:16). The years we spend on earth may be productive or wasted years (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 12:1; 1 Corinthians 3:12-17).  Let’s buy up the opportunities that we have because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16).

Twelve. There are twelve aspects of God’s desirous will for us as Christians that have been recorded for us in the Scriptures. To learn about them, we must make sure that our known sins have been confessed to God and others (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16). We need to be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) so He can illuminate our minds to the truth of His Word (1 John 2:20, 27). Bible believing Pastor/teachers can assist Christians who are teachable, willing to change, and who will study God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; Ephesians 4:11-16).

Power. God energizes us to do the things that will please Him (Philippians 2:13). But some Christians quench Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19). He wants us to work out (not for) the salvation that He gave to us when we put our faith in Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Philippians 4:12, 13).

Help. For personal direction and decision making in other areas of life, a Christian who is rightly related to God the Holy Spirit may ask for and expect Him to give him God’s wisdom if he/she is not double minded (James 1:5-8).

Questions. Are you stagnating or growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Does all the above information seem foolish to you (1 Corinthians 1:18, 21; 2:14)? What’s your present relationship with God? Are you a true Christian or just a nominal one? Have you believed in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2)? Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13)? Why should God let you into His heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)? If you believe that you are saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation (Romans 8:35-39)?  If you think there is something, what would it be?

Assistance. We’re here for you if you need additional information or if you want to have a know so salvation” (2 Timothy 1:12). We want to help Christians grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18). We can be reached at 805-38-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share it with someone else too. Thanks. To receive future articles as they come out, click on Follow.”

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“Travel Tips”

Posted: January 21, 2017 in Christian Life, God's Will
If you MUST speed while driving, sing these hymns loudly:
at 45 mph…. “God Will Take Care of Me”
at 55 mph…. “Guide me, O Great Jehovah”
at 65 mph…. “Nearer My God to Thee”
at 75 mph…. “Nearer Still Nearer”
at 85 mph…. “This World is Not My Home”
at 95 mph…. “Lord, I’m Coming Home”
at 100 mph…. “Precious Memories”
 
   My dad set a good example for us by praying for travel mercies before we started out on a trip or even short distances. I have picked up the habit. Yes, we do have guardian angels (Hebrews 1:14; 1 Peter 1:12) but let’s drive responsibly and glorify our God by our driving habits. We are supposed to obey the speed limits and signs that were designed to protect all the travelers on the road (Romans 13).
   I’ve found that travel time is a good time to listen to the reading of the Scriptures or listening to good Christian music to calm the nerves. I try to think about the needs of the other drivers who may not have a living hope like Christians do. If you have children in the car, it’s a good time to teach them about God and His Word (Deuteronomy 6:7; Ephesians 6:4).
   My office is on a busy street and many accidents have happened right outside of it. When they do, I try to find out if anyone was injured and then share a Gospel tract with them and invite them to church.
   Have you ever thought about thanking God for getting you safely to your destination (Ephesians 5:20)? Even if we should be in an “accident” (incident) that wasn’t our fault, we can/should give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18) because we know that God is still in control.
If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  Please share this with others if it’s helped you.  For additional help, go to http://www.kelseypeach.com

Throughout our lives we have choices to make as to whether we will or won’t do certain things. In His Word, God has revealed to us that He wants all mankind to be saved from having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (John 3:16, 18, 36; Matthew 25:41, 46; 1 Timothy 2:4). Sadly, most people choose not to accept His offer of deliverance from that awful place (John 3:18-21, 36; 5:40).

God also has a desirous will for every Christian. He wants all of us to be –

Pure. We all have a sin nature (disposition) that perverts what is decent and good (1 John 1:8; Galatians 5:19-21; See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). But it is God’s desirous will for us, as Christians, that we live morally pure lives now that they have become God’s children by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Peter 1:15, 16). Living in the light of Christ’s imminent return should help us live pure lives (John 14:1-3; 1 John 3:3). To overcome the temptations that come from our sin nature, a Christian must learn how to walk (order his life) by means of God the Holy Spirit. When a Christian does this, he/she won’t give in to the perverted desires (lusts) that come from his/her sin nature – the flesh (Galatians 5:16, 25; See Romans 7:15-25).

Thankful. Ungratefulness is a characteristic of many people, especially in our day and age (2 Timothy 3:2). But every Christian can/should continually offer up thanksgiving to God for past, present, and future benefits that come from God (James 1:17). Christians are admonished to give thanks in the midst of every situation in which they find themselves (1 Thessalonians 5:18-20). We should do this because we know that God is in control over everything and that He is working all things out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). We’re also supposed to give thanks for everything (Ephesians 5:18-20). There are no accidents with Christians, only incidents. One more thing. We’re to give thanks for the people whom God brings into or allows to come into our lives (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Some of them act as chisels, hammers, or saws to make us more like Jesus (Galatians 3:19).

Good. God Himself is a good God who desires the happiness of others (Matthew 19:17). He wants His children to have and display this part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23) toward others, especially to those of the household of faith (1 Peter 2:15; Galatians 6:10). By our doing good we can muzzle the ignorance of foolish men who mock us and blaspheme God. Christians should not use their liberty in Christ as a cloak of vice (Romans 3:8; 6:1). The price of freedom is eternal vigilance (1 Peter 5:8).

Action. Right decisions need to be followed up with right actions (James 4:17; Ephesians 2:8-10). God knows when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again on the third day. This faith in Christ alone results in our being saved (Acts 16:31). But other people don’t know about our faith without seeing our good works (James 1:22; 2:18-20). “When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.” – William James. If you are a Christian, are you sharing the Gospel with lost people so they can be saved? Are you well pleasing to God or grieving and quenching Him (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19)?

Trial. If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Are you being “led by God the Holy Spirit” (Romans 8:14), “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), and “walking by means of the Holy Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25)? Do you have un-confessed sins in your life? Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Would you like to know for sure that your sins are forgiven and that you’re headed for heaven (Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9; 5:13)?

Help. We’re her to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, please share it with others. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We’re also doing some Facebook live audio/video presentations for those who want the “meat of the Word” instead of just “milk” (Hebrews 5:12-14).

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

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

 

1 Peter 2:11-17

“This world is not my home, I’m just passing through / My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue / The angels beckon me from heavens open door / And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.” – Albert E. Brumley

Citizens. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20, 21; See Romans 8:23).

Quit? The people to whom the Apostle Peter was writing were suffering greatly for their faith. Those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus can/should expect to suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). But the glory to follow is out of this world (Romans 8:18). It seems that these believers were being tempted to quit the race and conform themselves to this evil age (Romans 12:1, 2; See Acts 20:24). So he wrote to encourage them to stay the course until God called them home. Consider what God the Holy Spirit led the Apostle Peter to write to them in such times. Maybe you’re in a similar situation.

Abstain. Contrary to what some believers are being taught, the Christian doesn’t lose his sin nature when he gets saved (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25). At the time of our salvation we participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and are enabled to do things that please God (2 Corinthians 5:9; Hebrews 11:6). This is why Peter told these believers to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul/emotions (1 Peter 2:11). Our emotions are yet to be saved at the time of the “Rapture” (1 Peter 1:9).

Flesh. The “works of the flesh” are enumerated for us in Galatians 5:19-21. All of them are perversions of good things. The Apostle Paul told Timothy, his son in the faith, to “flee youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22). Those who think that they can overcome these temptations on their own are prime victims for a fall (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Victory. A Christian can gain victory over these lusts (strong desires) that come from the sin nature by walking [ordering his life] by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25; Romans 6:11ff). To overcome the strong, sinful desires that come from the devil or the present world system involves using other methods prescribed by God (Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 John 2:15-17).

Soul. The soul and the spirit of man are two separate parts (Hebrews 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). The soul seems to be associated with the emotions we have, whereas the spirit belongs to the mind (Ephesians 4:23).  It is the only part of us that is currently saved (1 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 8:16). It is with the spirit and in the realm of truth that we are called upon to worship God (John 4:24). The salvation of the soul and body are yet future (1 Peter 1:9; Romans 8:23). We must be careful not to allow our unstable emotions to rule over our spirit. We need to be led moment by moment by God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14).

Conduct. Dishonorable conduct shouldn’t characterize a Christian. We are called upon to live morally pure lives (1 Peter 1:15, 16). With God’s help, we can do this (Philippians 4:13; Romans 6:14). Our former, unsaved friends may try to pull us back into the lifestyle we used to live (1 Peter 4:4; 1 Corinthians 15:33). We need to find new friends while trying to win our old friends to the Lord so they can be saved too. A transformed life is a powerful testimony as illustrated by the man out of whom Jesus cast out a multitude of demons (Mark 5:19).  If you’re a believer, do others notice that you are different (1 Peter 2:9)?

The Law. God established human government for the protection of the citizens (Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:1ff). It holds the power to carry out capital punishment on those who unjustly take the lives of others. Even though we may not like the way the government spends our tax dollars, we’re supposed to pay them. When the government makes rules that violate God’s rules, we must obey God (Acts 5:29) and suffer the consequences if necessary (1 Peter 2:19, 20). Consider Daniel and his three friends (Daniel 3:16-18; 6:10).

God’s Will. God has a determinative will that can’t be altered (Ephesians 1:11). But He also has a desirous will that men may or may not carry out. He offers deliverance from hell to heaven to all mankind (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). Most people refuse to accept this gift of eternal life that God has provided for them because they love darkness rather than light (John 3:19). What about you? Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)? Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13)?  Keep this in mind – We aren’t saved by our good works or by our faith plus our good works lest we should  boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Rapture. Those believers who live in the light of Christ’s any moment return for them, will live life differently. Moral purity will characterize their lives (1 John 3:3). Those who love His imminent return also will earn the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). Are you preparing yourself to meet Him? Perhaps Today!

Confession. If you are a believer who isn’t walking in the light as He [God] is in the light, perhaps you need to do some self examination and then confess your known sins to God. Then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:3-9).  You may also need to make things right with other people (James 5:16).  If you don’t, you can expect Divine discipline from God the Father who loves you (Hebrews 12:5ff; 1 John 5:16). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). It’s so much more enjoyable to abide (feel at ease) in Him and have Him feel at ease with you (John 15:1-14).

Help. If you need spiritual assistance, and if you are teachable and willing to change when you are exposed to the Scriptures, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We need your help. If this article has helped you, will you share it with someone else? 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/the-gospel-audiobook/

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

 

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.)

What comes into your mind when you hear the word holy or holiness? Have you ever met a “Holy Joe” or someone who wanted to be one?  Does God really expect us, as Christians, to live holy lives (1 Peter 1:15, 16)? How is it possible? What happens when we fail? Do all Christians retain their sin nature after they are saved? How does it manifest itself?

Perversions. “Without exception, every one of [the works of the flesh that comes from our sin nature – Galatians 5:19-21] is a perversion of something which is in itself good. Immorality, impurity, licentiousness are perversions of the sexual instinct which is in itself a lovely thing and part of love. Idolatry is a perversion of worship, and was begun as an aid to worship. Sorcery is a perversion of the use of healing drugs in medicine. Envy, jealousy, and strife are perversions of that noble ambition and desire to do well which can be a spur to greatness. Enmity and anger are a perversion of that righteous indignation without which the passion for goodness cannot exist. Dissension and the party spirit are a perversion of the devotion to principle which can produce the martyr. Drunkenness and carousing are the perversion of the happy joy of social fellowship and of the things which men can happily and legitimately enjoy. Nowhere is there better illustrated the power of evil to take beauty and to twist it into ugliness, to take the finest things and to make them an avenue for sin. The awfulness of the power of sin lies precisely in its ability to take the raw material of potential goodness and turn it into the material of evil” (Flesh and Spirit by William Barclay, page 39).

Holy. When the Prophet Isaiah heard the seraphs crying out and saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” he responded by saying, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3-5). The twenty-four elders, who represent the true Church, will respond in a similar fashion when they hear the living creatures in heaven saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come” (Revelation 4:8).

Definitions. Holiness is the attribute of God whereby He maintains His own moral excellence, abhors anything unlike Himself and demands of others a purity identical to His own.” – H. L. Schafer. Sanctification involves being set apart unto God for honorable use. God’s wrath is an extension of His holiness. On the cross, God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) made a propitiation to satisfy God’s outraged holiness against sin/lawlessness (Romans 3:24, 25; 1 John 2:2; 3:4; 4:10).

Wrath. During the coming seven years of the Tribulation on this earth (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 6-19), the wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:16), and the wrath of the devil will be on full display (Revelation 12:12). Thankfully, true Christians will be caught up before this awful event takes place (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10). But this doesn’t mean that true Christians won’t be persecuted prior to this event (John 16:2; 2 Timothy 3:12).

Saints. Believe it or not, according to the Scriptures, everyone who places his/her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior, by believing that He died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, instantly becomes a saint. He/she is separated unto God (Philippians 1:1; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Hebrews 3:1; 10:10). This deals with our standing before God.

Practice. Sadly, not every Christian acts like a saint. God’s Word says, “…as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:14-16). The Apostle Paul wrote, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

Possible? You might ask, “How is it possible to overcome the temptations that come from our sin nature?”  First, begin by admitting that you still have a sin nature.  “If we [as Christians] say we have no sin [nature], we deceive ourselves, and truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25).  Then “Walk by means of the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust (i.e. strong desires) of the flesh (i.e. your sin nature)” (Galatians 5:16).  Don’t forget to “…reckon [yourself] to be dead indeed to [your sin nature], but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:11).

Separated. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). To those believers living during the Great Tribulation, a voice from heaven will say, “Come out of her (i.e. the apostate, one world Church), my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).

Sanctified. In His High Priestly prayer to His Father, Jesus said, “Sanctify [believers] by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). “[Christian] husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:25, 26).

Focus. The writer of the Book of Hebrews tried to encourage some persecuted believers when he wrote, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). Imagine the change that would take place if a Christian meditated on these things: “whatever things are true…noble…just…pure…lovely…good report” (Philippians 4:8).

Complete. When the believer sees Christ face to face, the sanctification process will be complete (1 John 3:2; Ephesians 5:27). Until then the work will go on as believers are transformed into Christ’s image (Galatians 4:19; Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 15:49). Don’t sabotage the progress by grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit who lives in all true Christians (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; John 14:17). When sins are committed, repent (i.e. change your mind about what you have done), and confess them to God and those whom you have offended (1 John 1:9; James 5:16).

Help. If you need spiritual help, 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. Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out.   If you’re not sure you’re saved, read “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation.”  We have it in 24 languages on our website.