Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why am I here?

What is the most fundamental question that any person faces? Would it not be, “Why do I exist on the earth?” This one question has perplexed so many through history, but there is no good reason for it because the Bible reveals the appropriate answer.
Two common, but misguided, reasons are often given for the existence of man on earth. The first is physical wealth John 12:4-8 says, “Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” Judas clearly cared about money, but it is equally clear from Jesus that this was not the reason for man’s existence. The second is physical lives, which would include work, family, etc. However, Jesus again shows us the importance of this when He said, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” As good and appropriate as these can be, they are not the reason for our existence.
The true answers is stated by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” God is our main priority! Again, Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:33-34). You are here to serve God and seek His kingdom! Are you ready to do it?
Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The desires of our heart: where evil begins

Before we start to live in sin, forsaking God to live like the world, something happens to us, something deep and on the inside. James 1:13-15 says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” The scripture plainly states that the desires of our heart are where it all begins.
We are first drawn away by our own desires and enticed. Satan is looking for that desire, any weakness he can find. This mean, that the desires of our heart are the keys that unlock the door to sin.
The wrong desires are even sinful within themselves. Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Here we have a certain desire of a man, for a woman, plainly being stated as sin! Second John 2:15-16 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world.” If our desires fall into any of these three categories, the lust if the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, they should be done away with immediately!
Jonathan Glaesemann

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are you sure?

Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:6-8, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” In these three verses, Paul truly expresses how certain he is about making it to Heaven. Although we remember how bad of a person he was in his past, being a persecutor of Christians, it is all behind him. He is sure he will make it to heaven. The question is, “Are you as certain as Paul was about making it to Heaven?”

You may ask somebody today if they think they are going to make it to Heaven. They may say something like, “I think so.” Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but all aren’t as certain about it as Paul was. People may say, “I wish I could be as confident as Paul was.” The fact of the matter is that we can be if we are living a faithful life unto God. Not being sure of yourself shows that there may be something wrong in your life that needs changing. If so, get right with God today, and quit being the kind of person that can only “think so.” Become a Christian that knows so!

Jonathan Glaesemann

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The frailty of life

Psalm 39:4-7 says, “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”
In the depth of his heart, David realizes the frailty of his life. Life is quick, and much of people’s lives are lived futilely. The apostle Peter, when talking about the word of God, knew that life is frail. He wrote, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:23-25).
We don’t know what will happen to us in the future, and this frankly scares us, makes us uneasy. One day, you will die and your body will return to dust (Ecclesiastes 12:7). That’s how frail life can be. In the end, like your life, the earth will go away (2 Peter 3:10). Will you be ready?
Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fear the "flame"

East Texas is burning. With hundreds of homes destroyed and thousands of acres singed, people are rightfully afraid. As I write this, the smell is wafting in the air, reminding all of us in the area that danger is near. If that fateful day ever comes, we know that we could lose most (if not all) our earthly possessions, and maybe even lose our lives. In short, that is why people fear the flame.

There is another, more consuming fire coming, though. Peter said, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). The fire of the final judgment is the one that should be feared!
Are you prepared for it? Does it strike fear in your heart? “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” (2 Peter 3:11-12). Your fear of the “flame” should make you turn to God, repent of your sins, confess His Son, and be baptized. If you will then live faithfully, you will survive the “flame” and receive a glorious resurrection.
Kyle Campbell

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The mercy of God

The psalms are perhaps the finest place to investigate the character of God. One good example of this is in Psalm 103. There are five sections in this scripture that are especially encouraging.
First, Psalm 103:1-5 says that God provides many benefits. He loves us and abundantly blesses us, even when we don’t regard Him as we should (Matthew 6:25-26).
Second, Psalm 103:6-10 teaches that God is merciful, patient, and longsuffering (2 Peter 3:9). Although Israel turned away from Him, He still cared for them.
Third, Psalm 103:11-14 declares that God has removed our iniquities from us. After we realize we are sinners, we can obey the gospel and God will remember our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12). None of us are worthy of this sacrifice.
Fourth, Psalm 103:15-18 reminds us of our mortality. Like the grass, we pass away. However, God’s mercy endures forever. As long as man is on the earth, he can have transgressions removed through Jesus.
Fifth, Psalm 103:19-22 assures us that God is in control. He kingdom rules over all. The only appropriate reaction to that is to “bless the Lord”!
Truly, these psalms fulfill the statement in Romans 15:4: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
Kyle Campbell