Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Three characteristics of the blessed man

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).

There are three characteristics that are pointed out in this passage about the blessed man. Three of which is necessary for the Christian today!

The first characteristic is that the blessed man does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. He does not walk in sin. He abhors it! Paul says in Romans 12:9, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” It is necessary for the Christian to be a godly person, abstaining from every form of evil.

Secondly, he meditates on God’s law day and night. It is his life and what he lives by. Even though the law of God is different now that we have the New Testament, the need to study God’s word is essential in a Christian’s everyday life. The more time we spend in the world, away from the Bible, the weaker we get. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Third and finally, the blessed man prospers in whatever he does. We all should all be like a tree planted by rivers of water. For if we abhor what is evil, read and study every day, applying what we learn to our lives, we will be that tree, firmly planted on the solid rock of Jesus Christ.

Jonathan Glaesemann

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You are not alone

In 1 Kings 19:1-3, one of God’s most faithful servants, Elijah, had his life threatened by the wicked Jezebel. After Elijah fled to the region of Mt. Sinai, far away from Jezebel, he said this to God: “And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:14). His situation would have certainly been disheartening, but God, when Elijah felt like he was all alone, did not let His servant stay discouraged, for He said, “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18).
Sometimes we feel like we’re the only ones left who are moral and faithful, but we’re not alone. God wants us to know that He is there, watching over us and helping us. He wants us to succeed and be faithful. Put your trust in Him, and He will never let you down. “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust” (Psalm 16:1).
Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Things we need to consider before we sin

Many people get caught up in sin and realize they need to turn back to God. In the process many encounter hardships and give up or get caught back up in the pleasures of this world. All the while they wish they hadn’t got entangled in sin in the first place. They wonder what they could have done differently and ponder over this for a long time, making the answer really harder than it is. When it all boils down to it, they would have been a lot better off if they had simply said “no” in the first place. The following are some things to consider before we decide to sin and get caught up in the world.

First, we need to realize that we are going to be hurt by sin, not only in this life but in the life to come if we don’t repent of that sin.

Second, we need to realize we not only hurt ourselves, but we hurt others as well. We remember David’s sin with Bathsheba, in which David ended up putting Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah the Hittite, in front of the battle line so he would get killed and leave his wife for David to take as his own. David repents of his sin and is forgiven but still faces the consequences of his sin: a child that God struck dead.

Finally, we need to realize what we are giving up. If we choose to sin, we give up all that Christ died and shed his blood for, and that is the forgiveness of sin so that we may have eternal life in Heaven when this life is over.

Consider these things when you’re faced with temptation and ask yourself, “Is this truly worth it?”

Jonathan Glaesemann

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Will Bert and Ernie get married?

An online push is under way to pressure the producers of “Sesame Street” into having Bert and Ernie get married. I can remember discussions occurring for a long time debating the sexuality of Bert and Ernie, who live together on the show.

Homosexuality is clearly condemned in the Bible. It is first mentioned surrounding Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19:4-5 says, “But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” God destroyed the cities because of their immorality. Recounting the incident, Jude wrote, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7). Moving forward in time, in the Old Law, homosexuality was condemned. Leviticus 18:22 says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Leviticus 20:13 follows up in this way: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

God’s feelings toward “alternative lifestyles” did not change under the New Covenant. Paul, in showing that all men are under sin, wrote, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet” (Romans 1:26-27). In perhaps the clearest statement of them all, Paul said, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind … shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:8-10). The term “effeminate” means the passive partner in a homosexual relationship, and the term “abusers of themselves with mankind” indicates the active partner in a homosexual relationship. These people will not inherit the kingdom of God; i.e., they cannot go to heaven!

No one will doubt that society will do what society will do, but it is against God’s will to promote a sinful “lifestyle.” Children are impressionable, and they should not be exposed to evil in any form, whether it be homosexual marriage, profanity, violence, etc. Protect their hearts, and do not encourage and endorse what is sinful.

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Faith in the middle of turmoil

With the stock market dropping 635 points and going up the next day, only to drop sharply today, peace and serenity are hard to come by. Add to that the problems with our economy, such as inflation and unemployment, and the situation looks very bleak. Worldwide, the situation is not much better. Looting in London and terrorism in Norway simply but sadly demonstrates that, at least for now, our world is in turmoil.
What is a Christian to do? I will admit that 24-hour news is great, but it allows a lot time for the mind to dwell on all the negatives in the world (which news tends to present out of balance anyway). It is best to turn to the Bible. In Isaiah 43:5, God says, “Fear not: for I am with thee …” We can always remember that God is with us and cares for us. We have the assurance God can calm the spirit and salve the soul.
Matthew 6:19-21 says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” As difficult as the world can become, the turmoil does, in the end, remind us that there is something better stored up in the future for us.
Kyle Campbell

Monday, August 1, 2011

The legacy of Louis Pasteur

In 1885, Louis Pasteur, a French chemist and biologist, successfully tested his rabies vaccine on a human subject. He began closely studying bacteria while investigating the cause of souring in milk and other beverages. This led him to develop the process of pasteurization, where a liquid is boiled and then cooled to kill the bacteria that cause the souring.
Pasteur moved on into a more thorough study of bacteria, enabling him to prove that these microscopic organisms occurred naturally in the environment and did not simply appear spontaneously, as was then generally believed.
Pasteur lived at a time when thousands of people died each year of rabies. Pasteur had worked for years on a vaccine. Just as he was about to experiment on himself, a 9-year-old, Joseph Meister, was bitten by a rabid dog. The boy’s mother begged Pasteur to experiment on her son. Pasteur injected Joseph for ten days -- and the boy lived. Decades later, of all the statements Pasteur could have had etched on his headstone, he asked for three words: Joseph Meister Lived.
Sin is a disease (Jeremiah 8:22; 14:19; 30:12; Hosea 5:13; Micah 1:9; Mark 2:17). Christ offers complete forgiveness of sin, cleansing of the conscience, and eternal life, and today is your day to accept it. Prepare yourself for the judgment seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 4:3-5).
Kyle Campbell