Blog

Blog

Displaying 166 - 170 of 356

Page 1 2 3 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 70 71 72


Do You Know My Friend?

Friday, April 07, 2017

Do You Know My Friend?

Jarrod Jacobs

  • I have a friend who is interested in my spiritual welfare and has been even at times when I have not been.
  • I have a friend who wants the best for me, even at times when I did not want what was the best for me.
  • I have a friend who loves me and has loved me at times when I was his enemy.
  • I have a friend who will forgive me of my sins when I repent and return to him. He does this consistently.
  • I have a friend who does not fail, and who can comfort and help me when no one else cares for me.

                   Who is my friend? My friend is the Lord Jesus Christ. How do I know He is my friend? I know this because He said to the apostles (and by application to me), “You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (Jn. 15:14-15). He loves me and I love Him (I Jn. 4:19; Jn. 14:15).

                   That this love did not begin with me first loving God, but with God first loving me is a beautiful, and humbling truth (I Jn. 4:10, 19; Rom. 5:8; Jn. 3:16; Eph. 2:4-5; Titus 2:3-5). He did not demand that I first do something so as to be found “worthy” of love. Instead, because God loved me, He sent His Son into the world. This Son, because He loved me, died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins (I Jn. 2:2; I Tim. 2:6; Matt. 20:28; Jn. 1:29)!

                   Therefore, for those who belong to Christ, having submitted to the Lord’s plan for salvation (Acts 2:38), and continuing in His word (Jn. 8:31; Rev. 2:10b), we have a friend that will never fail. We have an “Advocate” who is always on our side (I Jn. 2:1). We have a “High Priest” who “always lives to make intercession” for us (Heb. 3:1, 7:25-28). We have a “Mediator” between us and God (I Tim. 2:5). Yes, we have Someone who truly cares for us when the world turns its back on us!

                   Do you know my friend? Is He your friend? If not, why not? Make Him your friend by following the Lord’s plan of salvation (Mk. 16:16). Then, live for Him all of your life (I Cor. 15:58). You’ll be blessed by having such a friend!

The Extent Of God's Authority

Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Extent Of God’s Authority

Jarrod Jacobs

                   When we consider God’s authority, many will pay lip-service to it, but few seem to realize just how far God’s authority extends. We live in a time when men wish to have some authority “for themselves.” They want to be able to “call the shots” and run their own lives. This is just not possible. The sooner we recognize the extent of God’s authority over us, the better off we will be. What is the extent of God’s authority over man?

                   1) He directs us - Jeremiah 10:23 says, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” If it is not in man to direct his steps, who will direct him? The Lord God!

                   2) He has told us how to worship Him - John 4:24 states, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Therefore, our worship is not a “do as you please” kind of thing. Nor is our worship geared toward what makes people feel good, but what pleases God!

                   Our worship to God consists of singing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16); prayers, teaching, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, and giving of our means (Acts 2:42, 20:7; I Cor. 16:1-2). Why? Because this is what God has told us to do!

                   3) He has told us to be morally pure - I Timothy 5:22 reveals, “keep yourself free from sin.” Ephesians 4:25-5:4 list several things we need to avoid because they are sinful practices. Among these sins are: lying, sinning in anger, stealing, gossiping, acting like the world, telling “dirty” jokes, cursing, etc. These ought not be a part of our lives. Why? It is because God rules. He has the authority over us and expects us to be better than that!

                   4) Whatever we do and say must have sanction from God - Colossians 3:17 reminds us, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

                   In truth, when we study these passages of Scripture, we find that there is NO part of our lives over which God does not have authority. God rules completely, and it is high time we respected this. God “sees in secret” (Matt. 6:4, 6, 18). He knows our thoughts, words, and deeds. And, He will judge our thoughts, words, and deeds one day by His Son (Jn. 5:22, 27; II Cor. 5:10). Therefore, why fight against God? Let us surrender our lives and wills to the Almighty! Let us determine that we will submit to God’s rule. If not, there will be a day in which we will kneel, and confess, and acknowledge God’s power over the universe, but then it will be too late (Rom. 14:11-12; Phil. 2:10-11; II Cor. 5:10). Don’t wait until it is too late! Live a worthwhile and fulfilled life by submitting wholeheartedly to the authority of God!

The Wisdom Of God

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

What We Can Learn From The Wisdom Of God

Jarrod Jacobs

                   One thing that is lacking in this world is the wisdom of God. What can one study, or read to obtain God’s wisdom? Please read the verses listed below carefully and be ready to make some applications.

  • “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
  • “I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (Psalm 119:16).
  • “Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:34).
  • “May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame” (Psalm 119:80).
  • “O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies: for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.” (Psalm 119:97-100).
  • “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130).

                   After reading these six verses, it ought to be apparent that God’s wisdom has been revealed to us in the written word. Further, if we wish to have God’s wisdom, then it needs to be remembered daily. In the verses above, we see that David realized that the wisdom that God gives us needs to be remembered at all times (Ps. 119:11, 16). In fact, the first psalm shows that the righteous will gladly meditate in God’s law at all times (Ps. 1:2). The plea to remember God’s wisdom is not a man-made thing, for Jesus showed us that by remembering God’s word, we can defeat Satan (Matt. 4:1-11; I Pet. 2:21-22).

                   Further, David understood that he was not to be ashamed of the wisdom of God (Ps. 119:80). Sadly, there are folks in this world who make it seem like a shameful thing to have knowledge of the word of God. Why do some act like this? God’s word does not produce shame in our lives. God teaches us that we should not be ashamed of knowing His word and applying His word to our lives (Ps. 119:80; II Tim. 2:15).

                   In reading those six passages above, please notice that it is not enough simply to “know” God’s wisdom, but it is necessary to APPLY what we learn. In other words, we need to obey God’s wisdom. Jesus taught that the wise man not only hears His word but OBEYS it as well (Matt. 7:24-27). What a tragedy to see people who know what to do to please God, and refuse to do it! Let us decide that we will meditate and study God’s wisdom, and then make applications to our lives.

                   Finally, God’s word has the ability to make man wise when we learn and obey. Regardless of the wisdom the world may proclaim, God’s wisdom makes us wiser than the world (Ps. 119:97-100; Isa. 55:8-9). God looks on the world’s wisdom as foolishness that passes away (I Cor. 1:18-21; II Jn. 2:17). What interests us – man’s wisdom or God’s? Let us take heed to God’s wisdom as long as we live!

"... According To All The Lord Commanded"

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

…According To All The Lord Commanded”

Jarrod Jacobs

                   God has always required obedience from His people. To prove this, let us read three passages in the Old Testament that teach us about obedience. “Thus all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished, and the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses; so they did” (Ex. 39:32). In the book of Numbers, we read, “Thus did the people of Israel; they did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses” (Num. 1:54). After dividing into 4 segments and camping around the tabernacle, Numbers 2:34 says, “Thus did the people of Israel. According to all that the LORD commanded Moses....” These three passages set the tone for our study. It is important that we understand their obedience because God demands no less of us today. Let us study three things that are required in order to live “according to all that the Lord commanded.”

                   First of all, please note that the people took action! In these three passages we cited, this is made very clear. If we ever plan on pleasing God, we must be active in His work! We will never please God without action. Only a fool would think that God does not want us to be active in His work. I do not say this lightly, for Jesus taught that action was the difference between the wise and the foolish in Matthew 7:24-27 (also Lk. 6:46-49). James also made a distinction between the hearer and the doer. The hearer deceived himself, while the doer was “blessed in his deed” (Jas. 1:22-25). Paul said, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). We do this by obeying “all that the Lord commanded.”

                   The next thing that we note is that these people did, “according to all the Lord commanded....” In other words, they obeyed the right source of authority – “the Lord”! God demands no less of us today. He commands us to “speak as the oracles of God” (I Pet. 4:11). Paul tells us, “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17). This means that everything we do must be done by His authority! When we obey the truth in these two passages, we will have learned a lesson that most of the world has not! Let us never go by what “seems” right (Prov. 14:12; Jer. 10:23). Let us always ask, “What saith the Scripture?” and then follow it (Rom. 4:3). This is what pleases God!

                   Finally, we see that these people obeyed completely! They left nothing out. In Exodus and Numbers, we see that the people did “all” God told them! Today, God demands our complete obedience as well. Jesus said only those who “do” the will of the Father will go to Heaven (Matt. 7:21; Rev. 22:14). He also promised eternal life to those who are obedient in John 8:51. In truth, one cannot be the friend of Christ without obedience (Jn. 14:15). As we continue to study, we see that Hebrews 11 lists those faith heroes who were obedient to God. Do we see the necessity of obedience, then? The apostle John teaches that fellowship with God will not come unless we are “abiding” in Christ’s doctrine (II Jn. 9). Therefore, let us remember that we must obey God’s word completely in order to have a home in Heaven!

Jesus' Mother And Brethren

Monday, April 03, 2017

Jesus’ Mother And His Brethren

Jarrod Jacobs

                   In Matthew 12, our Lord stood before the people and taught great things to them. As He was teaching, one said, “Behold, your mother and your brethren stand outside, desiring to speak with you. But he replied to the man that told him, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven, is my brother, and sister, and mother’” (Matt. 12:47-50). In this passage, Jesus was making a point that would be indelibly marked on the peoples’ hearts from this time forward.

                   Christ was saying that he considered spiritual relationships more important than physical relationships. Though Christ loved His earthly family, He knew their acceptance was not as important as the acceptance of God (Matt. 10:35-37). Though Christ’s family wished to speak with Him, the people needed to know that earthly relationships paled in comparison with being in the right relationship with God!

                   Paul understood this and said that his family lineage and ancestry could give him reasons for boasting. However, he counted those as “loss” and “dung” so that he might win Christ (Phil. 3:7-8). Paul was a “Hebrew of the Hebrews,” but earthly ties and relationships meant nothing to him if it meant losing his eternal home (Phil. 3:13-14). Do we consider our eternal home more important than anything else?

                   Christ’s statement in Matthew 12 shows that man’s obedience to Christ means he can enjoy God’s blessings. Paul taught this to the Romans in Romans 8:16-17. How do we become children of God? By being born again (Jn. 3:3, 5)! This spiritual birth takes place after one has believed in Christ, repented of his sins, confessed Christ, and been baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:36-38). Jesus describes it as being “born of water and the spirit” (Jn. 3:5). Paul compares it to our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-4, 16-18). The book of Acts records several who followed this plan (Jews, Acts 2; Eunuch, Acts 8; Paul, Acts 22:16; Corinthians, Acts 18). When we do as the Lord says, we become spiritual heirs of the promise (I Pet. 1:4). How can we place anything before the Lord and His blessings? Christ taught on this occasion (Matt. 12:48-50) that nothing should come before the Lord!

                   Finally, Matthew 12:47-50 shows us that not everyone is in God’s family. Notice that when Jesus said certain ones were His “brother, and sister, and mother,” it was those who do “the will of my Father.” What of those who do not do the will of the Father? They have no relationship with Him! Jesus made it clear that “not everyone that says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Therefore, doing the will of the Father is required for going to Heaven, as well as being a brother or sister of Christ. This is why we do not call just anyone “brother” or “sister” in that spiritual sense. Not everyone is Christ’s brother and sister (II Jn. 9-11). Christ’s “brother” and “sister,” those that will see Heaven, are those who live faithfully according to the will of the Father!

                   Are you in the family of God? Can Christ call you “brother” or “sister”? If not, do not delay from becoming a Christian while you still have the time to do so.

Displaying 166 - 170 of 356

Page 1 2 3 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 70 71 72