Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Firmly planted

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3). It is possible to spend your whole life knowing about the truths of God and never experiencing any of them. Simply knowing about them does not mean that they have become a part of your life.

The righteous man does not find encouragement in the opinions of others but in the scripture. He is not content with a surface knowledge of scripture but meditates on it day and night until he is satisfied that what he reads reflects his own experience. He becomes like a fruit tree standing firmly on the bank of the river. The tree is well nourished and produces delicious fruit.

If you start practicing God’s word, others will draw encouragement from you. The more you grow in righteousness, the stronger you will become, and consequently, the farther the devil will flee from you (James 4:7).

Kyle Campbell

Monday, November 29, 2010

Are you full?

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I’ve been able to reflect upon a frustrating fact common to all. While I would stuff my stomach until I never thought I would eat any more, a few hours later I would be ready to eat again. God designed our bodies to require constant nourishment. We are never full.

Thankfully, when it comes to spiritual considerations, we can be full through Jesus Christ. John says, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (7:37-39). Isn’t it comforting that you can have spiritual food that can never leave you hungry. In His sermon on the mount, Christ promised, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). If you never want to “hunger and thirst” in your soul again, become a Christian and be truly filled. Colossians 2:10 says, “And ye are complete in him …”

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

He is at your right hand

Psalm 16:8 says, “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” What does it mean to set the Lord always before you? It means that you choose to relate everything you encounter to your trust in God. What you choose to focus on becomes the dominant influence in your life. You may be a Christian, but if your focus is always on your problems, your problems will determine the direction of your life. If your focus is on people, then people will determine what you think and do. In biblical times, the right hand was the most distinguished position, reserved for one’s chief adviser and supporter. When you choose to focus on Christ, you invite Him to take the most important position in your life.

Every time you face a new experience, you should turn to Christ for His strength. When people insult you and mistreat you, you should seek direction regarding the right response. When you face a crisis, you should receive strength from the One at your right hand. When you experience need, you should consult the instructions of the Lord before you react. When you face a fearful situation, you should take courage from the advocate at your right hand. Everything you do is in the context of your relationship to Christ.

What an incredible act of God’s grace that Christ should stand beside you to guide you and defend you! How could you ever become dismayed over your situation with Christ at your right hand? What confidence this should give you!

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why do we have the Old Testament?

Why do you have all the narratives? Wisdom literature? Prophets? For most people, the Old Testament merely seems to be a quaint collection of interesting and uninteresting material to read. But there is a reason for its existence.

The Old Testament is a grand outline of God’s selection of His people. God told them, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). We see many of their trials and tribulations, and we see God responding to them, teaching us how God responds to good and evil.

Paul used the Israelites as an example from which to learn (1 Corinthians 10:1-12). They were baptized into Moses but they still fell away from God and were punished. God wants to show His grace to you. If you become a Christian by being baptized, then your story is not finished. You have to be strong and faithful. It means taking heed lest you fall.

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How's your conscience?

Many years ago cartoons commonly portrayed little angels and devils on the shoulder. What that graphically depicted was the crisis of conscience within all of us.

The Bible describes the conscience as either being weak and defiled (1 Corinthians 8:6-8; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; Titus 1:14-16), or as clean and sincere (2 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Timothy 1:4-6; 3:8-9).

How do we cleanse the conscience? Hebrews 9:13-14 says, “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” How do we come into contact with this blood? Peter wrote, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). Through baptism, the conscience is cleansed.

Where is your conscience? If it is defiled, then allow it to be cleansed by the blood of Christ through belief, repentance, confession of Jesus as Christ, and water baptism.

Kyle Campbell

Monday, November 1, 2010

Archaeology: The Gallio inscription

Archaeologists found a stone inscription at Delphi, in Greece, that mentions a Roman governor (proconsul) named Gallio of the province of Achaia.

The inscription contains a Roman date, corresponding to A.D. 52. Gallio is the same governor referred to in Acts 18:12. The date on this inscription allows Bible scholars to know almost exactly when the apostle Paul was working with early Christians in Corinth.

Kyle Campbell