Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Matthew 7:21
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” These words are found near the end of Christ’s “Sermon on the Mount.” They stand as a reminder that going to Heaven requires more than merely wishing for it to happen. Going to Heaven demands that men be active! I have seen cars that had “Honk if you love Jesus” bumper stickers. Is honking horns all that Jesus wants? Of course, not! It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord.” Good intentions will not save us, either. In Matthew 7:21, Jesus demands action! He demands that we act upon what we know and obey Him. Jesus says the one who does God’s will has the opportunity to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Are you living a life of obedience to the Lord? If not, why not?
- Jarrod Jacobs
Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Matthew 17:5
"While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” The context of this verse records the event when Christ was transfigured. At this time, He was joined by Elijah and Moses, as Peter, James, and John stood by. When Peter suggested that three tabernacles or tents be made for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, God’s voice thundered from the cloud (v. 4-5).
Peter learned a lesson we need to learn. He needed to listen to Jesus Christ the Son of God. We need to do this as well! It is His voice that is authoritative (Matt. 28:18). It is His words that have life (Jn. 6:63). It is His words that will judge us one day (Jn. 12:48). Therefore, let us “hear Him” in everything and be blessed (Heb. 1:1-2, 2:1-3, 5:9, 12:25-26).
- Jarrod Jacobs
“The Beginning And End Of A False Doctrine”
One popular false doctrine taught today is the false doctrine wherein Mary is prayed to as a “Mediatrix” on our behalf. In other words, folks are encouraged to pray to God through Mary as mediator.
Sadly, people throughout history have made more of Mary than God ever intended. In fact, some tried this while Christ was on earth. One time, a woman cried out to Jesus and said, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed.” Jesus responded to her by saying: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Lk. 11:27-28). Mary was not and is not deserving of worship in any way. She is not deity. She was a humble servant of God (Lk. 1:38), like so many others in the Bible. Only God is deserving of worship (Acts 10:25-26; Rev. 19:10, 22:9)! Neither is she our mediator. Only Christ serves in this role (I Tim. 2:5-6).
While on earth, she served a very important role. Yet, to give her undue fame or power is not right. It is just as wrong to give her undue glory as it is to place upon her scorn and ridicule as if she were guilty of sexual relations before marriage! (Many have said this through the years.) Both positions are wrong.
In Luke 11:27, we see the beginning of a false doctrine concerning Mary, and Christ ending it in verse 28. Let respect what the Lord said.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” God’s Scripture does something no other written work does. It “thoroughly” equips for, not many or most, but “all good works!” This is accomplished through the Scriptures that teach us God’s will (“doctrine”), shows us when we are wrong (“reproof”), teaches us what to do to get right (“correction”), and what to do to stay right (“instruction in righteousness”)! Make no mistake: If what we are doing is not authorized of God, it is not a good work! Have you obeyed God’s inspired word?
- Jarrod Jacobs
The Control We Think We Have Is An Illusion
Does this title surprise you? I hope not. Yet, it is true that the control we think we have is an illusion. If you do not believe this, then I ask what control do you have when a tornado rolls through town? Further, what control do you have over the car that is in your lane and going to collide with you? Can we control a heartbeat? To make this even more personal, who can stop the aging process in our bodies (Matt. 5:36)? Who can control another’s thoughts about them?
In truth, the only control one has is the control over one’s mind and attitude (Prov. 4:23)! Thus the reason we need to think on godly and upright things (Phil. 4:8). We need to fill our minds with godliness and truth (Eph. 3:4; Ps. 119:97). This is because by controlling our thoughts, we can then do what is right and be blessed by God (Phil. 4:9; Matt. 7:21; Mk. 16:16).
Since “control” in our lives is an illusion, let us determine to turn to the One who truly has control. The One who has control is the God of Heaven. Let us be obedient to Him and follow Him daily (Matt. 10:38). God has control over this world, and we do not! He has control, and His providence and patience has granted us the blessing of this day (II Pet. 3:9, 15; Rom. 2:4). Further, God’s control allows us the opportunity to hear the word of God, believe it, and be baptized so we can be saved (Mk. 16:16; Acts 18:8; etc.). Are we going to submit to the control of the Lord?