Defend the Helpless; Rescue the Poor & Needy

Defend the Helpless; Rescue the Poor & Needy

As servants of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we’re called to defend the helpless; rescue the poor and needy; and hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.  The Bible records this clearly. 

Let us consider these passages:

Open your mouth for the people who cannot speak, for the rights of all the unfortunate.  (Pro 31:8 NASB)

The Lord wants us to speak and fight for those who cannot speak for themselves—for the poor, the oppressed, and the afflicted.

Defend the cause of the poor and the fatherless.  Vindicate the oppressed and suffering.  Rescue the poor and needy.  Deliver them from the power of the wicked.  (Ps 82:3-4 NET)

This passage warns us to defend the cause of the poor and the fatherless; to exonerate the oppressed and suffering.  The Lord wants us to rescue the poor and the needy, and to deliver them from the power of evil people.

Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?  (Pro 24:11-12 NIV)

In this passage from the Bible in Proverbs 24, someone claims that “they did not know this,” but God knows the contents of our hearts and minds.  We can never fool Him when we stand before Him on the day of judgement.

Let us ask the Lord for His grace to enable us to obey His will in our lives.  We must trust the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into the conflicts in which He wishes us to become involved.  Depending upon our calling in life, this will be different for every individual.  God bless you as you serve Him today!

Stay Away from Sin & Darkness

Stay Away from Sin & Darkness

The Lord gives us, in His Word, not only wisdom, revelation, and insight; but He also gives us admonitions, warnings, and advice.  Let’s review a few of these admonitions today.

. . . and have nothing to do with the unfruitful actions that darkness produces. Instead, expose them for what they are. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what is done by these disobedient people in secret.  (Eph 5:11-12 ISV)

Not only should we avoid sin and occasions to sin, but we shouldn’t even speak about other peoples’ sin.  The reason is because the Bible alerts us to the fact that to do so is shameful.  We are called to expose sin as the dark evil that it truly is.

Night is almost over, and day will soon appear. We must stop behaving as people do in the dark and be ready to live in the light.  (Ro 13:12 CEV)

We are called by Jesus Christ, who is the bright and morning star (Rev 22:16), to live in the light of God’s love. 

Furthermore, 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) states:  But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light . . .  We are called OUT OF darkness, sin, and sorrow into the light of God’s salvation, love, and blessings.  Glory to God most High!

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints . . .  (Eph 5:3 KJV)

Such sins as are mentioned in the verse above should not be participated in by born-again Christians who desire to follow Jesus.  They are harmful to us and to the body of Christ.

But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.  (Ro 6:21 NIV)

The end of sin is death in many forms.  Some of the fruits of sin are shame, guilt, and separation from God.  Not one of these so-called fruits is desirable. 

From this study we can certainly see that it is for our good that God gives us these counsels.  Let us draw near to God and avail ourselves of His grace, love, and goodness.

Our Mediator

Our Mediator

Jesus Christ is the ONLY mediator (intermediary, conciliator) between God and mankind.  There is no other, despite what other religious philosophies may affirm.

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus . . .  (1 Tim 2:5)

There is no arbitrator between us, who could lay his hand upon us both [would that there were].  (Job 9:33 AMP)  In the Old Testament, the thought of a mediator between God and mankind was considered a hoped-for dream.  This is because ONLY Jesus Christ is both God and man.  Jesus is able to comprehend both man and God.

A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.  (Gal 3:20 NIV)  A mediator comes between two parties, persons, or points of view.  A mediator is a go-between or an agent for both points of view.  

This is why he’s the mediator of a new covenant (which is a will): so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance on the basis of his death. His death occurred to set them free from the offenses committed under the first covenant.  (Heb 9:15 CEB)  Jesus is the mediator of the New Testament.  Jesus is our Peacemaker.  Glory to God most High!

Good Gifts

Good Gifts

Every good thing that we receive in life, no matter how it comes to us, is a blessing from God.  We need to recognize the truth of this principle.  What does the Bible teach us?

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  (Jas 1:17 NKJV)

This verse clearly supports the premise that I offered in the first sentence of this article.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!  (Mt 7:11 NKJV)

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”  (Lk 11:13 NKJV)

Both of the passages above say clearly that if we, as human parents, understand the desire to shower good gifts upon our own children, then surely we must recognize that God’s desire is also to do good and to bless His spiritual children.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  (Jer 29:11 NIV)  God plan is to prosper each one of us and to give each of us hope and a good future.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  (Rom 8:28 NIV)  God is telling all who have accepted Christ as their Savior that He works for our GOOD in every circumstance of life.  Praise God!

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will . . .  (Eph 1:11 ESV)  God has given each and every believer an inheritance, which is not only eternal but it is GOOD.  Thank the Lord most High!

That Christ is Preached

That Christ is Preached

What is something that is of uppermost importance to all believers around the world?  That is our study topic today.

What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.  (Phil 1:18)

The verse above is saying, “So?  The important thing—the only thing that matters—is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached to everyone everywhere.  That makes me rejoice!”

But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”  (Lk 9:50)

But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side.  (Mk 9:39-40)

Anyone who prevents the gospel of Jesus Christ from being preached has set themselves against the will of God, and has willingly become an enemy of the most High God. 

Since not everyone has been called to be an evangelist, a pastor/preacher, or a missionary, then how can the rest of us take part in the evangelization mandate given to us by God?  When we tithe and give offerings to the church that we attend regularly, we contribute to circulating and promoting the message of the gospel.

Also, when we give donations to para-church ministries, missionaries, or evangelists, we are also contributing to and participating in broadcasting the Good News of Jesus Christ to the lost and the hurting.  It’s important for each one of us to recognize and to appreciate that we have been given a role to play in the Kingdom of God. It’s also vital that we understand that we are a vital part of spreading the Good News around the world! Praise God!

Narrow is the Gate

Narrow is the Gate

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  (Mt 7:13-14)

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”  (Mt 22:14)

. . . strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”  (Act 14:22)

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.  (Joh 15:18-20)

The term “narrow gate” conveys its meaning rather well.  A narrow gate allows the entry of fewer people at one time, than does a wide gate.  A narrow gate doesn’t allow a person who is heavily burdened with packages to get through very easily.

When Jesus said, “Narrow is the way which leads to life . . . “ He was pointing out that the Christian walk is not as easy as it may seem.  Jesus was warning people that following Him would lead to grief and to serious challenges of life. 

“Difficult” is from the Greek word thlibo, which means: “To press (as grapes), press hard upon; a compressed way; narrow straitened, contracted” way (New Testament Greek Lexicon, http://www.biblestudytools.com).

As Christians, we must continuously keep our eyes on the goal of spending eternity with our Savior, Jesus Christ.  In John 15:18-20, Jesus tells His followers that the world will hate them even as it hated Him.  And since Jesus was persecuted, we should expect the same treatment. 

These are tough realities and truths that Jesus was setting before everyone who chooses to follow Him.  However, no one will be able to say that they haven’t been told the entire truth about following Jesus. 

Jesus loves us and wants us to follow Him; and He pours out His love, mercy, and grace upon us to empower us to do just that.  We must remember to add our own willpower and determination to this endeavor by choosing continuously to persist in following Jesus Christ.  Let’s glorify the Lord throughout our lives.