Some Questions That Jesus Asks Of Us
Questions can be effective tools in teaching and learning. Jesus knew the power of questions and asked them often in His teaching.
When the Pharisees came to Jesus and tried to tempt Him, He asked them simply, “Have you not read …?” (Matt. 19:4). Friend, we will never know how to act or live unless we spend time reading the Bible (Eph. 3:4)! How sad it is to see people who seem to have it all, except a proper knowledge of the Scriptures.
We need to know what the Bible says because these words will judge us one day (Jn. 12:48). Having a proper knowledge of the Scriptures provides us with what we need to handle God’s word correctly; and be thoroughly furnished in all good works (II Tim. 2:15, 3:16-17).
How can we know the Truth if we never read the Bible (Jn. 17:17)? We will be confused and groping in darkness if we refuse to read God’s word and examine it daily (Ps. 119:105).
Jesus asked two vital questions in Matthew 16:26: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:24-26). These two questions speak the same truth. What could one give in exchange for his soul? In truth, nothing! There is nothing we could exchange that would be equal in value to the human soul. Yet, many people exchange their soul daily for drugs, fleshly desires, power, wealth, etc. How sad it would be to pass into eternity knowing the Truth, and knowing you exchanged your soul for some temporary pleasure!
Hopefully, we can see how powerful questions can be. It was the asking of questions that brought Adam and Eve out of hiding (Gen. 3:9-11). It was powerful questions that confronted the Jews’ error in Jesus’ day (Ex. Matt. 21:23-27). Let us never forget these questions that Jesus asks us today. What are you reading? What will you give in exchange for your soul? Life is too short and eternity is too long to dismiss these essential questions!
What Is Your View Of Sin?
In a world of “relativism” and in a society where folks are discouraged from having standards of morality, it is hard to find people with a clear view of the dangers of sin and wickedness. Some seem to consider sin foolishness, or even some type of myth. This is not the case. Actually, “fools mock at sin” (Prov.14:9). It is sin which separates us from a relationship with God (Isa. 59:1-2). “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). What is sin? It is the breaking of God’s law, whether by going beyond, or falling short of what He has said (I Jn. 3:4, 5:17; Jas. 4:17). It results in our death (Jas. 1:14-15). Yes friends, sin is a serious thing
Yet, thousands died because they considered sin as nothing! Despite the pleading of Jeremiah, the Jews refused to walk in “the old paths” (Jer. 6:16). In the face of Ezekiel, they were hard-hearted and impudent as he pled with them to return (Ezek. 3:7). Others such as Elijah and Elisha, Hosea and Micah, Samuel and Malachi, as well as scores of others, both named and unnamed, (but all known to God) continued preaching God’s word for the purpose of getting people to repent of their sins. Some saw success (Jonah, Oded, etc.); while others died for preaching God’s will, and standing opposed to what the sinful people were doing (Heb. 11:37).
Therefore, we today have a choice. Will we consider sin as nothing, or will we stand with the Lord? The world will hate us for being God’s friend (Jn. 15:19-20), but God will reward us for standing up to sin and error and being His friend. Which will it be? Will we choose to follow God or Satan? Choose wisely. Your soul depends on it!
Control Is An Illusion!
Does this title surprise you? I hope not. Yet, it is true that control in this life really is an illusion. If you do not believe this, then I ask what control do you have when a tornado rolls through your neighborhood? 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?
Friends, we have no control over matters in this life, really. 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). Thus the reason 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 control our actions 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?
The following article was written by Bill Crews concerning the truth. I have enjoyed reading it through the years, and I hope that this is helpful to you....
If you are my friend, if you are concerned about my soul, give me the truth. Do not flatter me. Do not praise my virtues while remaining silent about my vices. Do not fear the truth will offend me. Do not treasure our friendship, our friendly relations, above my salvation. Do not think that by ignoring my sins, you can help me. Do not think that being blind to my sins will prove you charitable. However I may react to it, whatever may be my attitude toward you after you have done it, GIVE ME THE TRUTH!
For the truth, and only the truth, can make me free from the shackles of sin, strengthen me in the pathway of righteousness and lead me to the joys of heaven. If I am wavering, weak, lukewarm, indifferent, neglectful; if I have been overtaken in a trespass; if I have been drawn into the pleasures of the world; if I have left my first love; if I have been led astray by error, or, if I have done none of the these things, but simply need to grow in knowledge and then be edified, GIVE ME THE TRUTH!
(by D.J. Higgins)
Friend, I stand in judgment now
And feel that you’re to blame somehow.
On earth, I waited with you day by day,
And never did you point the way.
You knew the Lord in truth and glory
But never did you tell His story,
My knowledge then was very dim,
You could have led me safe to Him.
Yes, I knew He’d made the earth,
But knew not of that second birth.
And now I stand this day condemned,
Because you failed to mention Him.
You taught me many things that’s true.
I called you “friend” and trusted you.
I learn, now that it’s too late,
You could have kept me from this fate.
We walked by day and talked by night,
And yet you showed me not the Light.
You let me live, and love, and die,
And knew I’d never live on high.
Yes, I called you “friend” in life,
And trusted you in joy and strife.
And yet, on coming to this end,
I cannot, now call you “my friend.”
Brethren, are we truly being a “friend” to those who do not know the Lord?
[See: II Timothy 2:2; I Timothy 4:6; I Peter 4:11]