Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Category

He, the devil, would love for you to have a self pity party and get you feeling sorry for yourself.  After all, when someone hurts you, your ego gets damaged.  But before you get all bent out of shape and do something that you will later regret, read this poem.  Then let us know how you feel after you’ve read it.

“Today, upon a bus, I saw a lovely girl with golden hair, I envied her…she seemed so gay…and wished I were as fair. When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle; She had one leg and wore a crutch; But as she passed…a smile! Oh, God forgive me when I whine, I have two legs. The world is mine!

“I stopped to buy some candy. The lad who sold it had such charm. I talked with him. He seemed so glad. If I were late ‘twould do no harm. And as I left he said to me, ‘I thank you. You have been so kind. It’s nice to talk with folks like you. You see,’ he said, ‘I’m blind.’  Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes. The world is mine.

“Later, while walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue. He stood and watched the others play. He did not know what to do. I stopped a moment, then I said, ‘Why don’t you join the others, dear?’ He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear. Oh, God forgive me when I whine. I have two ears. The world is mine.

“With feet to take me where I’d go, with eyes to see the sunset’s glow, With ears to hear what I would know…Oh, God forgive me when I whine. I’m blessed indeed. The world is mine.” – Author Unknown

Pebble.  Believe it or not, many people all around the world have unbelievable challenges in life that are far more difficult to handle than our “pebble in the shoe” problem.  Sure, it’s not fun to have irritations in life.  But they are designed to develop (in those of us who claim to be Christians) a more Christ like life (James 1:2-4; Galatians 5:22, 23; 2 Corinthians 4:17).

Sandpaper.  Some people and situations are like sandpaper, chisels, hammers, or saws that God can use to shape us into the person He wants us to become.  How are you responding to the adversities in life?  Remember this – You still have the freedom to choose how you will respond to them.

Success.  According to Dr. Charles Stanley, “Success is the continuing achievement of becoming the person God wants you to be and accomplishing the goals God has helped you set.”  God is more concerned about who we are than in what we do.  Unless a person is rightly related to the true and living God, he/she won’t be doing things that are well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9).  In fact, all man’s good deeds, done independently of God, are nothing more than stinking rags to God (Isaiah 64:6).

Good Works.  They cannot be offered up to God as payment for our deliverance from hell to heaven.  Our salvation is by grace alone, through faith in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).  It is not of works lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  Once saved, we can/should do good works to demonstrate our faith to others (Ephesians 2:10; James 1:22; 2:18; 1 Peter 4:10).  Do you know how to discover what it is that He planned beforehand for you to do?

R.I.P.  Perhaps you’ve seen these letters on a tombstone.  They stand for “Rest In Peace.”  When I see them, I often wonder if that person is truly resting in peace.  Where will you go when you die?  The Scriptures give believers assurance of a home in heaven.

Good News.  “Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.”  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”  If you haven’t placed your faith in Him alone for your salvation, why not do so right now?

Help!  If you are not sure of your eternal destiny and need assurance from the Scriptures, contact me at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com.  To receive these articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  Pass on to your friends the ones that bless you.

“Hospitalized”

Posted: November 12, 2013 in Christian Life, Salvation, Thanksgiving

                A little boy, who was one of seven children, was in a bad accident and had to be taken to the hospital. He came from a very poor family and seldom had enough food to eat or milk to drink. After he was made as comfortable as possible in the hospital bed, a kind nurse brought him a large glass of milk. He looked at it and then, with the memory of many experiences of having to share with his siblings, said, “How much of it may I drink?” The nurse with tears in her eyes and a lump in her throat said, “Drink as much as you want.”

                Plenty. In like manner we, who have been injured by sin, may drink of God’s grace all that we desire. It truly is “Amazing Grace.” There is plenty of grace all around us, and it is God’s nature to keep on giving it. Grace has been defined as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense” or “unmerited favor.” Have you responded to it and received the gift of eternal life? “He who has the Son [Jesus Christ] has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). You may have God’s quality of life (eternal life) right now if you will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day.

                Phases. The Christian’s salvation comes in three phases. When we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ through the message of the Gospel, we are instantly saved from the penalty of sin (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 8:1). We are progressively being saved from the power of sin while we live here on earth (Galatians 2:19, 20; Romans 6:14). We will ultimately be saved from the very presence of sin when Christ returns at the time of the rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).

                Saved. The only part of the believer that is currently saved is his spirit that belongs to his mind (1 Corinthians 6:17; Ephesians 4:23; Romans 8:14-16). When the rapture of the church occurs (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) the believer’s body and then his soul (emotions) will be saved (Romans 8:23; 1 Peter 1:9). The best is yet to come.

                Blessed. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). This abundance is primarily in the realm of spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). For how many of them have you given thanks to God? Do you know what some of them are?

                Secure. Once we are adopted into God’s family by faith, it’s impossible for us to be removed or taken out of it (John 10:28 29; Ephesians 1:13, 4:30). If you believe that anyone can snatch you out of God’s hands, then you do not believe that God is omnipotent.

                Song. Annie J. Flint penned these words: “He [God] giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater, / He sendeth more strength as our labors increase; / To added afflictions He addeth His mercy, / To multiplied trials He multiplies peace. / His love has no limits, / His grace has no measure, / His power no boundary known unto men; / For out of His infinite riches in Jesus He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”

                Giving. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Have you found this to be true in your life? If you are a Christian, are you willing to suffer or lay down your life so others can be saved from the lake of fire and go to heaven? Jesus and His disciples were. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10). Jesus said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37).

                Purpose. When God saves people, He often leaves us here on earth for a brief time so we can make Him known to others (glorify Him).  He wants us to share the Gospel with lost people so they can also be saved. God also wants older believers to help younger believers grow in the sphere of grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).  He wants us to use our spiritual gifts to serve each other with love (1 Peter 4:10; Galatians 5:13). Finally, God wants us to reproduce ourselves until He returns (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19, 20).

                If you have questions or comments, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website: www.kelseypeach.com.  To receive these articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

            “The hammer is a useful tool, but the nail, if it had feeling and intelligence, could present another side of the story. For the nail knows the hammer only as an opponent, a brutal, merciless enemy who lives to pound it into submission, to beat it down out of sight and clinch it into place. That is the nail’s view of the hammer, and it is accurate except for one thing: The nail forgets that both it and the hammer are servants of the same workman. Let the nail but remember that the hammer is held by the workman and all resentment toward it will disappear. The carpenter decides whose head will be beaten next and what hammer shall be used in the beating. That is his sovereign right. When the nail has surrendered to the will of the workman and has gotten a little glimpse of his benign plans for its future it will yield to the hammer without complaint.

           “The file is more painful still, for its business is to bite into the soft metal, scraping and eating away the edges till it has shaped the metal to its will. Yet the file has, in truth, no real will in the matter, but serves another master as the metal also does. It is the master and not the file that decides how much shall be eaten away, what shape the metal shall take, and how long the painful filing shall continue. Let the metal accept the will of the master and it will not try to dictate when or how it shall be filed.

            “As for the furnace, it is the worst of all. Ruthless and savage, it leaps at every combustible thing that enters it and never relaxes its fury till it has reduced it all to shapeless ashes. All that refuses to burn is melted to a mass of helpless matter, without will or purpose of its own. When everything is melted that will melt and all is burned that will burn, then and not till then the furnace calms down and rests from its destructive fury.”

A. W. Tozer, The Root Of The Righteous

            Do you count it all joy when you fall into various trials?  Do you know that they can result in the development of patience and spiritual maturity?  Would you like wisdom from above to cope with the hardships of life?  Read James 1:2-8 and meditate on it.

            “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

            If this article has helped you, will you share it with someone else? Visit www.kelseypeach.com for additional thoughts and insights.

“Have your tools ready; God will find work for you.”  God prefers to use His children who have dedicated themselves fully to Him (Romans 12:1, 2).  He wants others to know what kind of a God He is and that He alone is the true and living God.  He knows where we are, how much we really want to serve Him (Psalm 139), and all about our motives (1 Corinthians 4:5).  He wants us to serve Him with gladness, not sadness (Psalm 100:2).

Joy.  Do you have and express the joy of the Lord in your life?  Spirit filled Christians can/should display this Christ like quality before others (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:22, 23).  A Christian who is habitually sad doesn’t glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:13).  God Himself is happy and delights in the happiness of others (James 1:17).

Confession.  Are unconfused sins keeping you from enjoying this joy and fellowship with God and His other children (1 John 1:3, 7)?  Have you been making excuses for your sins because they bring you temporary pleasures (Hebrews 11:25)?  Do you feel like you are a slave to your sin nature (Romans 7:15-25)?  Are you mourning over your sins as your body and soul burn with regret and remorse (Proverbs 5:11)?  Do you want to be set free?  “The truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).  Before honest confession can be made (1 John 1:9), we must be aware of what we have done (1 Corinthians 11:28), repent (I.e. change our mind about what we did – 2 Corinthians 7:9), and then confess our sins to God (I.e. agree with God about what we did).  If we’ve sinned against others, we must confess what we’ve done to them (James 5:16).  We also must ask them not to hold our sins against us after they have forgiven us.  We should be willing to forgive others since God has forgiven us a bigger debt (Ephesians 4:32).  Those who don’t forgive others will be tormented by the tormentors (Matthew 18:34).

Forgiveness.  If you’ve confessed your sins to God, have you accepted His forgiveness and moved on in life?  Are you preparing yourself for the next test that will enable you to demonstrate your greater love for God than the momentary “thrill” you might experience by yielding to some sin (Hebrews 12:1)?  Do you know that you can earn the “Crown of Life” by loving God and overcoming temptations (James 1:12)?

Thankful.  God also wants His children to give thanks in all situations (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things (Ephesians 5:20), and for all men (1 Timothy 2:1).  Stop grumbling and complaining like the children of Israel did in the wilderness or you can/should expect the same kind of disciplinary action as they experienced (1 Corinthians 11:30).  Read carefully 1 Corinthians 10 several times.  God chastens those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:5, 6).  “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

Nervous?  Are you anxious and full of worry?  Read God’s solution to your problem so you can enjoy the peace of God in your life (Philippians 4:4-6).  Focus your attention on the Lord and His attributes:  goodness, righteousness, omniscience, omnipotence, truth, holiness, and love.  This will enable you to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24).

Yielded?  As you arise every morning, why not yield each member of your body to God?  He doesn’t want us to keep on yielding to our sin nature (Romans 6:11-23; Galatians 5:19-21).  We all still have one (1 John 1:8).  But every true Christian also have been given a divine nature (disposition) that enables us to please God (2 Peter 1:4; Philippians 2:13; John 3:3).

Fruit.  Christians who abide in Christ (I.e. feel at ease with Him) will have the “Fruit of the Spirit” to display before others (John 15:5; Galatians 5:22, 23).  When we do this, God is glorified.  This is the purpose for our existence (1 Corinthians 10:31).  Are you fulfilling your purpose?

Help!  If you need additional help, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549.

“The worst possible moment for an atheist is when he feels grateful and has no one to thank.”  Consider some other quotes:  “Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.” “Happiness comes when we stop wailing about the troubles we have, and offer thanks for all the troubles we don’t have.” “Heaven is a state of thankfulness for having received what we did not deserve, and for not receiving what we did deserve.”  When was the last time you stopped to count your blessings?

     Predicted.  The Apostle Paul predicted that the last days would be perilous.  He said that people would be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, and many other things (2 Timothy 3:1-5).  While we’re not surprised when unbelievers act this way, it is most disturbing to see these qualities being expressed by “carnal Christians” who are acting like unbelievers (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Galatians 5:19-21).

Admonitions.  God expects His children to live differently.  He wants us to be characterized by “an attitude of gratitude.”  Strange as it may be to some people, God’s Word instructs believers (not the unbelievers) to give thanks in the following ways:

    In All Circumstances.  “In [the midst of] everything give thanks; for this is the [desirous] will of God in Christ Jesus for you [Christians]” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  There are no “accidents” in the life of true Christians, only “incidents.”  God controls the time and the temperature of the trials that He allows to come into our lives (1 Corinthians 10:13).  “And we [Christians] know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to whose who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).  Unbelievers don’t love God (Romans 5:6, 8, 10).  Furthermore, not all Christians really love God because they don’t keep His commandments (John 14:15; 1 John 5:2, 3).  Do you really love God?  You can’t/don’t love Him if you hate your brother and try to cause him to fall (1 John 4:20).  You may not like what someone does, but you should still seek his/her highest well being.  By our loving others will all men know that we are Christ’s disciples (John 13:34, 35).  This kind of love is a part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23).  Giving thanks is also God’s desirous will for every Christian.  Only Holy Spirit filled believers will have thankful hearts that please God (Ephesians 5:18).

For All Things. Christians should be “giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). This includes all past, present, and future benefits. The spiritual blessings are far more valuable than any temporal blessings that we may receive in this life (Ephesians 1:3).  “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17).  Believers are supposed to count it all joy when we fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience.  Patience will lead to our spiritual maturity (James 1:2-4).  Those who endure temptations will receive the crown of life because they love God more than the temporary pleasures of this life (James 1:12).

     For All Men.  We usually don’t have any problem giving thanks for those who treat us kindly.  But it’s much harder to give thanks for those who mistreat us.  But God can/does use them to make us more like Jesus (1 Peter 4:12-14).  They give us an opportunity to display the “Fruit of the Spirit” before an unbelieving world (Galatians 5:22, 23).  They can spur us to do great things for God (1 Thessalonians 5:11).  This is why it is so important for us to attend the assembly meetings of the believers to receive encouragement from them (Hebrews 10:24, 25).  Are you receiving such help?

     Grumblers.  Christians who grumble and complain, like the children of Israel did in the wilderness, should expect to experience similar devastating consequences in their lives (1 Corinthians 10:10).  Why not confess your bad attitude and the actions that resulted from it to God and receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).  When you see another Christian with a bad attitude, follow the instructions found in Galatians 6:1.  Keep him/her from sinful actions that could lead to a premature death (James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16).

Question.  Have you given thanks to God for sending His Son to die for your sins (2 Corinthians 9:15)?  Since He rose again bodily from the dead, He can/will save you if you’ll trust Him alone for your salvation. Have you received Him as your personal Savior?  If you haven’t done this yet, why not right now? If you’ve been saved, have you demonstrated your faith in Him by being baptized (immersed)?

     Help.  If you need spiritual help, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.  These articles usually correspond to the messages on our web site.

 

  “The most sensitive nerve in the human body is the one that reaches from a person’s hand to his checkbook.” Do you agree or disagree? Some people refer to the checkbook as a “spiritual journal.”  What could other people learn about you if they were allowed to look into your check book? On what kind of things did you spend your money? Which things are absolutely essential and which are discretionary things? With what should Christians be content (1 Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5)?

Counselor. Suppose you were having money problems and decided to visit a financial advisor. He might ask you to keep a journal of all the money you receive and spend in a month. That might be hard for some people. Can you “window shop” without buying something?  Do you abuse your credit card? Do you pay just the minimum balance each month or do you pay off the whole amount? Did you know that compounding interest can work for or against you?

Needs. Are you a young adult weighed down with car payments, a big mortgage or high rent, credit card bills, or paying off a college debt? Would you like some advice from God’s Word to help you make wise decisions? Are you an older adult in your retirement years with your home paid off and a steady retirement income? Would you like to do something that could bring you greater joy during the rest of your life? If so, read on.

Evil. Money is not the root of all evil. It is the “love of money” that is (1 Timothy 6:10). It is a part of this present world system over which Satan himself rules (Matthew 4:8, 9; Ephesians 2:2). It is something that a Christian can use on earth but we aren’t supposed to abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31). It’s possible for maturing Christians to misdirect their “agape” love away from God to the things of this world that are all passing away (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:10-12). But we who are Christians can/should glorify God by the way we earn, save, give, and spend money. Believe it or not, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Jesus

Stewards. Do you think of yourself as an owner or a manager of someone else’s things? “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17). Think about this, “What do you have that you did not receive” (1 Corinthians 4:7)? Most people are proud of something. It might be their race, face, or place in life. Don’t boast about it; you could lose some things in a flash.

Communism. The Apostle Peter warned us against those who would twist the Scriptures for their own advantage (2 Peter 3:16). There are many teachers and preachers within Christendom who misuse the words of Jesus (Red Letter Christians). They try to tell us that socialism or communism is what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and what the early church practiced (Acts 4:32-37). Not so! What happened in the early days of the church was a temporary situation that gave the richer Christians an opportunity to share with those in need. Barnabas gave willingly, he wasn’t forced to sell his land and give it to others.

Sermon. The Sermon on the Mount was addressed to Jews (not Christians) who were anticipating Christ’s earthly kingdom (Daniel 2:44, 45) when things will be dramatically different. They rejected Him (John 1:11) and had Him crucified by the Romans.  When He returns to this earth to set up His kingdom, all of man’s needs will be met (Isaiah 2:4; 11:1ff; 35:1ff), the devil will be bound in the Abyss for a 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-7), and the sin nature of man will be curbed though not eradicated (Jeremiah 31:34). By the way, all Christians still have a sin nature (1 John 1:8), but they also have a nature from above (2 Peter 1:3, 4). This is why Christians are sometimes doing sinful things they shouldn’t be doing.

Poor People. Jesus said, “For the poor you have with you always…” (John 12:8). He was chiding those who were condemning the woman who anointed His feet with costly oil. Judas and the others thought she was wasting money that should have been given to the poor.

Government. The government’s stealing from the rich and giving to the poor doesn’t help matters. Socialism or communism hasn’t worked in the past and can’t work today while man still has a sin nature.  It tempts him to be jealous, covetous, or envious of what others have. These attitudes can even lead Christians to commit murder (1 John 3:15; 4:20; James 4:1ff). A Christian can overcome these lusts by learning how to filled with the Spirit and to walk by means of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16-25). Are you yielding to sinful lusts or living victoriously over your sin nature?

Capitalism. Even though many people abuse this system, it’s not condemned in the Scriptures. (Do you know what the best form of government is?  Any form of government is better than anarchy.)  Before you can honestly give something to another person in need, you must own it as your own. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something [i. e. own something] to give to him who has need” (Ephesians 4:28).

Tithing Or Tipping? Did you know that in the Old Testament times, the Jews were required to tithe 23% of their gross income (Numbers 18:20-32; Deuteronomy 14:23-29)? They gave to be blessed (Malachi 3:8). Christians shouldn’t give “to be blessed” but can/should give because “we have been blessed” with spiritual and material blessings that God gives to us (Ephesians 1:3; James 1:17). Do you “give to get,” or “get to give?” If you attend church, what kind of a “tip” do you give? Why?  Do you give more to the waitress when you eat out?  Do you give grudgingly or cheerfully?

Thanks. The Christian’s giving is called a spiritual sacrifice (Hebrews 13:15, 16). When we give, we should be expressing our gratitude to God for an income (Ephesians 5:20), and expressing our faith in Him to keep on supplying all our needs while we are here on earth (Philippians 4:19).

Humor? A church member refused to participate in an offering for missions. When an usher passed the offering plate to him the miserly member muttered gruffly, “I’m not going to put anything in; I don’t believe in missions.” “Then take something out,” replied the usher, “it’s for the heathen.”

Motive. If you give to charity or to a church, why do you do it? Is it to gain favor with God or to earn your way to heaven? Maybe it makes you feel good or gets you notoriety so people will refer to you as a great philanthropist (Matthew 6:1). Jesus denounced the scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites. He said, “You devour widows’ houses, and for pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation” (Matthew 23:14). Yes, there are degrees of suffering in hell as there are degrees of pleasure in heaven. Where will you spend eternity?

Principles. The Apostle Paul gave Christians some guide lines to help us in our decisions concerning the use of money and our giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-4). It should be systematic, an individual matter, consistent, proportionate, and private.

Quote. 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 $50,000 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 is not a legal obligation, but is a blessed privilege and becomes a measure of our love for God.

Question. Do you think of yourself as an owner or a steward (manager) of the resources that God has entrusted into your hands? How do you spend your time, your talents, and your treasures? It’s been said, “Only one life will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ shall last.” Are you doing all things for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)? “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?

Help?  If you need spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com. These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sundays and can be heard on the Internet.  If you’ve been helped by this article, will you let someone else know about it?

   “Bring me a sword.  Cut the living baby in two and give half to one harlot and half to the other harlot.”  What?  That sure sounds bizarre.  Those words came from the newly appointed, inexperienced, youthful king who came to be known as the wisest man who ever lived.  King Solomon told his men to do this to display his wisdom and understanding of a mother’s instincts.  You can read the rest of the story in 1 Kings 3:16-28.

   Solomon was the son of King David’s ninth wife, Bathsheba.  He was very young when he became the king over all Israel.  He seems to have been about 20 years old when he took over the full responsibilities of being the king.  This is very young by any standards.  People of this age usually lack a great deal of wisdom in knowing how to manage anything, let alone other people.

   Death.  Young King Solomon had his older brother, Adonijah put to death for trying to usurp the throne from him (1 Kings 2:13-25).  This kind of thing happened often in those days.

   Blank Check.  Once he was on the throne, God promised to give Solomon whatever he asked from Him.  Realizing his youthfulness and inexperience, he humbly asked God for wisdom to lead His people.  He needed their respect and loyalty.  He said, “…give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.  For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:9)

   Granted.  Not only did God give him what he requested, He also gave him riches and honor so that there was no one else like him.  God also promised him long life if he would keep God’s commandments. 

   Sad Ending.  Unfortunately Solomon didn’t have a very happy life because he was influenced by his 700 pagan wives and 300 concubines who turned his heart away from God (1 Kings 11:3).  Forget it men.  He was a wealthy king. 

   STD.  In fact, it has been suggested that he may have died from a sexually transmitted disease from one or more of these women.  He lamented his foolish ways in his old age when he wrote, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2).  He wasted his life pursuing things that didn’t satisfy him.  He even wrote many insightful proverbs but failed to follow the advice he gave to others.  He should have “practiced what he preached.”  Anyone who lives his life apart from God is playing the role of a fool and is destined for disaster.

   Judgment.  King Solomon brought judgment on himself because he pursued pagan gods rather than the true and living God.  He was told that his kingdom would be torn in two and that it would be given to one of his servants (1 Kings 11:11).  This happened in the days of his son, Rehoboam (1 Kings 12).

   Early Days.  Solomon’s great wisdom came on display before others when he made a startling decision that involved two harlots and their babies (1 Kings 3:16-28).  At his young age Solomon understood clearly the motherly instinct that most women have for their own children.  Then the people realized that he had received this wisdom from God (1 Kings 3:28).  Christians today are invited to ask God for His wisdom if they’re willing to meet His requirements (James 1:5-8).

   Leaders.  All you who have leadership roles in life, pay attention!  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).  The sooner you learn this truth, the better off you’ll be.  “…the Most High [God] rules in the kingdom of men, [and] gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men” (Daniel 4:17).  He is sovereign.  Proud King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon learned this lesson the hard way.  You would do well to learn something from his personal testimony that is recorded in Daniel chapter 4.

   Rebels.  You better humble yourselves before the Lord Jesus Christ breaks you in pieces with His rod of iron (Psalm 2:1-12).  “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1).

   Fools.  “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’  They are corrupt [and] have done abominable works…” (Psalm 14:1).  At least the agnostic is honest enough to admit that he isn’t sure if God exists or not.  But the atheist displays his foolishness because he hasn’t been everywhere in the universe to see if God exists out there or not.

   Nature.  It displays the glory of God (Psalm 19:1).  From it we can all learn that there is a God who is powerful (Romans 1:20).  Read, in the rest of this chapter, what happens to those who aren’t thankful to Him.  They become degenerates and depraved in their behavior and need to be incarcerated in prison.  

   Authorities.  When was the last time you prayed for those in authority over you?  Have you thanked a law enforcement officer or a soldier for providing safety for you?  Human government is ordained by God.  It has the power and responsibility to punish some evil doers with capital punishment (Romans 13:1-7; Genesis 9:6).  I’m thankful I live in this country.  If you’re a Christian, you are commanded to pray for those who are in authority over you so that we can live a peaceable and quiet life in all godliness and reverence (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

   Peace.  I think that most of us want to live in peace.  You can have peace “with” God as soon as you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and who rose again bodily from the grave on the third day” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  Christians can enjoy the peace “of” God when they are rightly related to God the Holy Spirit (Philippians 4:6, 7; Galatians 5:22, 23; Ephesians 5:18).  Peace “on earth” will come when the Prince of Peace returns to rule and reign over this earth (Isaiah 9:6; Revelation19:16).  Are you prepared for that day?

   Questions.  If you’re not sure about your personal relationship with God or where you will spend eternity, we invite you to contact us for more information.  Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com where we have helpful information for you whether you are a believer or not.  We invite your comments.

 

   The restaurant was crowded.  Just as an older man was about to begin his meal, a younger man approached him and asked if he could join him at his table.  “Sure, have a seat,” the older gentleman said.  Then, as was his custom, he bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the young fellow asked, “Do you have a headache?” He replied, “No, I don’t.”  “Well, is there something wrong with your food?” “No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat.” 

  The younger fellow said, “Oh, you’re one of those, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don’t have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!”  The older man paused for a moment and then said, “Yes, you’re just like my dog. That’s what he does too!”

  Thankfulness could well be the finest sentiment of man – and also the rarest.  We should be thankful for the good things we have, and for the bad things we don’t have.  It isn’t what is in our pocked that should make us thankful, but what we have in our heart.

  Christians are told to give thanks for all things (Ephesians 5:20), in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), and for all men (1 Timothy 2:1).  Obviously, without God’s help no one could do this.  But those believers who are filled with the Holy Spirit can/should follow these directives (Ephesians 5:18) if they want to do God’s will for their lives. 

  Among the many things for which a Christian can/should be thankful are the following:  He is –

  A Child Of God.  Not until a person has “been born again from above” does he/she become a true child of God (John 1:12; 3:3, 5, 7).  All others are called the “children of the devil” (1 John 5:10; John 8:44).  He even has mature sons of disobedience who are quick to do his bidding (Ephesians 2:2).

  A Joint Heir.  Imagine this for a moment.  Those who are God’s true children will inherit everything that Christ Himself inherits from God the Father (Romans 8:17; Psalm 2:8).  And since all true Christians suffer with Christ to some degree, they will be glorified with Him too.

  A New Creation.  Contrary to what some peole have been taught, each Christian doesn’t become a “new creation” in himself.  Rather he/she becomes a part of a new creation called “The Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  It consists of Jewish and Gentile people who trust in Christ as their personal Savior through the message of the Gospel (Ephesians 2:14-17; Romans 1:16, 17).  Jesus Christ is the only Head and true Christians are the members of His “Body” also known as “The Church” (Ephesians 1:22; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

  A Saint.  Believe it or not, the carnal Christians in Corinth were called “saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2).  And yet, many of them weren’t acting like saints at all. “In the New Testament the word ‘saint’ always refers to a sanctified person, one set apart to God inviolable for His possession and service.”  – Dr. C. I. Scofield.  Obviously, this refers to his position, not to the daily practice of the believer.  The Apostle Peter admonished believers to be holy (i.e. morally pure) in their behavior (1 Peter 1:15, 16). 

  Accepted.  Too many people today, including many children, have never felt accepted by others including the members of their own families.  But that isn’t true of God’s children.  They are accepted exactly as Jesus was accepted back to the Father in heaven after His death and resurrection (Ephesians 1:6).  God the Father was satisfied with the payment that God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) made on our behalf by dying for our sins (1 John 2:2).  He proved Jesus’ acceptance by raising Him from the dead and having Him sit at His (i.e. God the Father’s) right hand in heaven (Romans 4:25; Ephesians 1:20).  We who were responsible for Christ’s death (Acts 3:14, 15; 4:27), and who were as guilty in God’s sight as the Roman soldiers who nailed Him to the cross (Luke 23:34), have been and are accepted by God.  That is absolutely amazing grace.

  Un-condemned.  There is no condemnation to those who are “in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).  There is no way that God’s true children could be condemned again and end up in hell.  “He who believes in [the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior] is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name (i.e. the person and work) of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). 

  Secure.  Song writer Lina Sandell penned these words:  “More secure is no one ever / Than the loved ones of the Savior; / Not yon star, on high abiding / Nor the bird in home-nest hiding.”  Jesus said, “And I give them (i.e. believers) eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:28, 29).  The Apostle Paul wrote these words to Christians, “And  do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). 

  A Citizen.  Although the Christian is a temporary citizen on earth, he/she is also a citizen of heaven and needs to conduct himself/herself as one (Philippians 3:20).  We must obey the laws of the land in which we live and God’s laws that are addressed to New Testament believers (Romans 13:1-7; John 13 – Revelation 3).  Refer to our “Dispensational Chart” on our web site for more information about our rules for living.

  Question.  Can you honestly say, “For by grace [I] have been saved through faith [in Christ alone], and that not of [myself]; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest [I] should boast.  For [I] am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that [I] should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10)?

  Do you believe that Christ died for your sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again [bodily] the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by [many witnesses]” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)?

  If you haven’t trusted in Him yet, will you do it right now?  Once you believe on Him, you can/should demonstrate your faith in Christ by being baptized (immersed).  It will enable you to have a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21).

  If you have been saved, are you telling others about Jesus and giving them an opportunity to trust in Him too for their salvation?  If not, why? “The Gospel is only Good News if it gets there on time.” – C. F. Henry.  Don’t delay! Share it today!

  Are you doing the good works He planned for you to do (1 Peter 4:10)?  Are you a F.A.T.F.R.E.E. Christian?  Faithful, Available, Teachable, Flexible, Resilient, Evangelistic, Enthusiastic

  If you have questions and/or comments, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site for more information about: “How to be saved and know it”, “How to grow in the Lord,”  “How to serve God effectively with your spiritual gift,”  and “How to share your faith with others.”  Go to  www.kelseypeach.com

   One night a soldier was caught creeping back to his headquarters from the nearby woods. Taken before his commanding officer, the soldier was charged with communicating with the enemy. The man pleaded that he had gone into the woods to pray alone. “Then you better start praying right now!” roared the officer. “You never needed it so much!” Expecting certain death, the soldier knelt and poured out his soul in eloquent prayer. “You may go,” said the officer when the soldier had finished. “I believe your story. If you hadn’t drilled so often, you wouldn’t be doing so well under fire.”
  Prayer. How well do you pray “on the spot”? To whom do you pray? Are your prayers limited to “asking and receiving”? Does your posture in prayer matter? How often have you prayed in the last twenty-four hours? Did you know that Christians have eight ways to communicate with God?
  Worship. This involves our adoration of God for who and what He is (Revelation 4:9, 10). To do this we must know something about the true and living God as He is revealed to us in His Word and through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ who was God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1-18; 4:24). His Divine attributes don’t change (Hebrews 13:8). But He doesn’t always have to keep on doing what He has done in the past. Consider the creation of the universe.
  Praise. Tracing the benefit we received from God back to the attribute of God that was responsible for it is what is involved in this form of communication (Hebrews 13:15). God’s attributes include: goodness, righteousness, omnipotence, omniscience, truth, holiness, or love. He gives us good gifts because He is a good God who delights in the happiness of others (James 1:17).
  Thanksgiving. This involves our expressions of gratitude to God for our past, present, and future benefits. Christians are told to give thanks for all things (Ephesians 5:20), in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), and for all men (1 Timothy 2:1). This isn’t possible unless a Christian is “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Do you know what this entails? If not, ask us.
  Supplication. This is simply a cry for help. It involves a request to God when the need or object isn’t fully known (Ephesians 6:18). Once the Christian has called upon God for His help, the believer must rely on God to answer his request in a way that God chooses to answer his prayer. He knows what we need and when we need it. He might answer with a yes, no, or wait.
  Intercession. Surprising as it may be to some people, this form of communication with God involves making requests to God for or against known object or needs (1 Timothy 2:1; Romans 11:2). Vengeance belongs to God (Romans 12:19). Don’t take it into your own hands. Evil doers will be judged by God someday (Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15). God also uses human governments to protect its citizens from evil doers (Romans 13:1-7). Sadly, some rulers oppress their own people. Those who rule over other people will be held accountable to God for the roles they played (Daniel 4:17, 25). They should humble themselves before God and ask Him for wisdom as King Solomon did (1 Kings 3:9; Psalm 2; Proverbs 3:5, 6).
  Asking. Praying “in Jesus’ name” doesn’t mean tacking these words to the end of your prayer and then expecting God to give you what you ask from Him. Rather it involves our asking God the Father for something in the “name of Jesus” or in the same way Jesus would ask were He asking something for us (John 14:13).
  Confession. This involves the acknowledgment of our personal sins by naming them to God (1 John 1:9). We must be specific about our sins or lawlessness (1 John 3:4). It must be preceded by repentance (i.e. a change of mind). Confession of all our sins is not a condition for our salvation. We probably can’t remember them all. Personal faith in Christ, the God-man, through the Gospel is the only condition for our salvation. We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and who rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8). Once saved, as the Holy Spirit brings our former sins to our mind, a Christian must confess them to God and to others against whom he has sinned (James 5:17).
  Vowing. Although not often used, this form of communication with God involves our promise to accomplish a specific thing that the Holy Spirit has moved our hearts to do (James 5:15, 16). Those Christians who fail to keep their vows might experience ill health or other problems (1 Corinthians 11:30; Matthew 18:34).
  Favors. Those who aren’t true Christians have no right to ask God for favors (1 John 3:10). Christians who deny Him (i.e. say “no” to the Lord) shouldn’t expect God to grant them favors either (2 Timothy 2:12). No one has a right to demand anything from God. That is blasphemy (1 Timothy 1:20). Beware of the “faith healers” who command God to do just as they tell Him to do.
  Help. If you need to remind yourself to pray, tape the words “Pray Now” on the face of your wristwatch. As a believer communicates with God, his/her love for Him will increase and the burdens will get lighter. Discover how you can have and enjoy the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:6, 7). 
  Thought. “Prayer doesn’t change things. God changes things in response to proper prayer.”
  Contact. Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com if you have questions or comments. We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages. We also have helpful information to help Christians grow and learn about the spiritual gift He has given to each Christian for service (1 Peter 4:10). Do you know what your gift is? Read our “Blogs” that are posted weekly. They usually correspond to our talks on Sunday mornings.

  Tithes And Offerings.  There  is a lot of confusion about tithing.  We’d like to try to clear up some of the misconceptions that you may have about this subject.  Long before the Mosaic Law was imposed on the Israelites, people made offerings to God.  
   Abel.  We learn from the Scriptures that Adam’s son, Abel was a prophet (Luke 11:50, 51).  It seems safe to assume that God had revealed to him, and not to his older brother Cain, that the sacrifice God would accept from them was a blood offering of an animal (Genesis 4).  Perhaps Cain didn’t acknowledge that his brother was a prophet.  Perhaps he didn’t like his little brother telling him what he (Cain) should do.  This may have had a part in Cain’s killing his brother Abel.
  Noah.  After spending over one year in the ark with the animals, Noah and his three sons and their wives came out of it and offered burnt offerings to the Lord (Genesis 8).  It seems that this was done to express his appreciation to God for preserving their lives through the universal flood.
  Abraham.  After rescuing his nephew Lot from the hand of an enemy king, Abraham took the spoils of war and gave a tenth of them to Melchizedek, king of Salem (Jerusalem), who was the priest of God the Most High (Genesis 14:17-20; Hebrews 7:4).  This was a one time gift.
  Jacob.  As he escaped for his life from his twin brother Esau, and after his dream in which he saw the angels ascending and descending from heaven, Jacob tried to bribe God.  He made a vow and said that if God would be with him, keep him, give him bread and clothing, and bring him back safely to his father’s house in peace, then he would give a tenth to the Lord.  There is no record if he kept this promise or not (Genesis 28:20-22).  Are you trying to bribe or make a deal with God too?
  Jews.  When God gave the Jews their rules for conduct, He included information about their crops, live stock, and medium of exchange.  Three different tithes are mentioned in the Scriptures.  The first tithe (10%) was to support the Levites from whom came the priests (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:20-32).  Another 10% was to be given to support the Jewish feasts in Jerusalem, such as the Passover (Deuteronomy 12:10-18; 14:23-27).  A third tithe (10%) was imposed on the Jews every third year to support the needy people in Israel (Deuteronomy 14:28, 29).  The total amounted to about 23% of their income that came from their produce, animals, and money.  All this was like a tax that was imposed on the Jews.
  More?  Yes.  In addition to this there was a profit sharing tax (Leviticus 19:9, 10), a mandatory rest every seventh year so the land could be rejuvenated (Exodus 23:10, 11).  This would mean lost revenue for a year.  But it would also give the Jews an opportunity to trust God to provide great harvests before that seventh year arrived.  They weren’t happy about this law and violated it for 490 years.  This was one of the reasons why the Jews had to spend 70 years in Babylon as captives (Leviticus 25:4; 2 Chronicles 36:21).  Then there was a temple tax to furnish and maintain it (Exodus 30:13; Matthew 17:24).  Additional taxes were imposed on the Jews when they demanded a human king, rather than the Lord, to rule over them (1 Samuel 8:6-18).  This tax became overbearing in the days of King Solomon.  When his son King Rehoboam refused to lighten the tax burden the kingdom was split in two (1 Kings 12).
  Offerings.  After all the tithes had been given, the Jews were permitted to give free will offerings to God (Exodus 35:29; Numbers 18:12).  God wanted them to give generously, proportionately, and with a good attitude (Exodus 35).  Some people brought more than was expected and they had to be told to stop giving (Exodus 36:5-7).  Imagine this happening today.
  Whew!  The Jew’s tithes and offerings reflected their heart attitudes.  Some brought unacceptable tithes and offerings to God and were rebuked for doing so.  God promised special material and physical blessings for them if they would stop robbing God (Malachi 3:7-12). 
  New Testament.  After the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ back to heaven, the Christians were told to pay their taxes, like it or not, to the government (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13, 14).  No, I don’t like some of the things that the government does with my tax money, but I still pay my taxes.  God also wants His true children to support the work of the Lord with their time, talents, and treasures.  The New Testament pattern for giving is found primarily in 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9.
  Voluntary Contributions.  Good and perfect gifts come from God (James 1:17).  Consider this.  “…what do you have that you did not receive?  Why do you boast as if you had not received it” (1 Corinthians 4:7)?  Are you proud of your race, place, and face?  God hates pride (Proverbs 6:16, 17).  Jesus said, “…without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).  “…in Him (God) we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).  Be advised.  It’s better to get off your high horse before you get knocked off of it.
  Keep Your Money.  If you haven’t been “born again” [from above] (John 3:7) and choose to stay as you are, keep your money and enjoy what you can in this life.  This life is the best one you’re going to have.  Your next life in eternity without God won’t be a good one.  You might want to read what Jesus Himself said about it in Matthew 25:30, 41, 46.
  Use It.  Don’t Abuse It.  Christians are in the world but not of it (John 17:14-16).  We are not to love money but we are to use it for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).  We may enjoy what God graciously gives to us (1 Timothy 6:10, 17).  But hold things loosely in your hands.  Don’t let them become idols that come between you and God (1 John 5:21).
  For Believers Only.  If you’ve been “born again” [from above] (John 3:7) ask yourself these questions about your giving: Do I feel that I have to give or I get to give? Do I give as I purpose in my heart (2 Corinthians 9:7)? Do I give proportionately as God has blessed me (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:14)? Do I give grudgingly, out of necessity, or cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7)? Do I give “to be blessed” or because I “have been blessed” (Ephesians 1:3; 4:28)? Does my giving express my gratitude to God for an income (Ephesians 5:20) and confidence in His ability to provide for my future needs (Philippians 4:19)?”  To whom should I give and why (1 Corinthians 9:9-14; 1 John 3:16, 17)?  Is the Holy Spirit leading me to give to this organization or am I being “conned” by a smooth talking “salesman” (Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 11:4, 14, 15)? What should be my priorities in giving (Galatians 6:6)?
  Accountability.  One day we will all stand before the Lord Jesus Christ as our Judge (John 5:22).  We will give an account of all that we have done, said, and thought (Romans 14:12).  He will disclose our true motives for doing what we did (1 Corinthians 4:5).  This could prove to be very embarrassing to us (1 John 2:28).
  A Revelation.  If someone were to look into our Day Planner and our check book they might gain a lot of information about us as to our priorities in life.  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).  Perhaps it’s time to rearrange some things.  Let us love people and use things rather than loving things and using people.  Things are temporary; people exist forever somewhere (2 Peter 3:10, 11). 
  Help?  Do you have questions and/or comments?  Do you know where you will spend eternity?  Have you placed your faith in Christ alone who died for your sins and rose again bodily from the grave?  Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit or web site for more information:
www.kelseypeach.com.  This and other articles we write each week summarize our talks on Sundays.