Stir Each Other to Love & Good Works

Stir Each Other to Love & Good Works

When we have fellowship with other believers, we can influence one another to perform acts of kindness out of love for the Lord Jesus and thereby bring glory to God.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  (Heb 10:24-25 ESV)

. . . but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  (Heb 3:13) 

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  (Act 2:1)

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.  (1 Thes 5:11)

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless . . .   (2 Pet 3:14)

These Scripture verses shown above demonstrate a number of good examples for us believers today:

  • As we have regular fellowship, and we have the privilege of comforting and improving each other.
  • It is good to encourage one another to perform kind and loving deeds.
  • We should exhort (urge) one another to live holy lives, even as Jesus did.
  • We should live in peace, harmony, and holiness.
  • It is good to meet with other believers very frequently or to have fellowship through a phone conversation.
  • Do not allow ourselves to become hard-hearted.
  • When we do meet with fellow believers, it is important to be in one accord (unity, harmony).

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we can be an incredible blessing and encouragement to one another.

A Godly Woman

A Godly Woman

The Bible praises a virtuous woman, and finding such a woman in 2019 is rare, indeed!  But many female followers of Jesus Christ are truly virtuous women, and should be highly valued and honored. 

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.   (Prov 31:30, emphasis added)  A woman who has a deep respect for God and for His Word will demonstrate it by her obedience to God and to His Word.  Her life will reflect the moral values that are taught through the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Who can find a virtuous wife?  For her worth is far above rubies.  11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.  12 She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.  (Prov 31:10-12, emphasis added)  This portion of Scripture praises the Godly wife, who is a trustworthy woman who works diligently to bless her husband and her children.  Such a woman is a faithful steward of whatever finances her husband entrusts to her safekeeping.  She is a loving woman who demonstrates her love not only in service to her family, but with loving affection, as well.  She operates in wisdom and intelligence, and is of great value to all who are related to her.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.  (Pro 31:26)  The virtuous woman always operates through love, and her words are filled with wisdom and kindness.

. . . in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.  (1 Tim 2:9-10)  Not only does a Godly woman present a lovely and modest appearance, but she matures in wisdom and grace in her character and in her spiritual gifts.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus . . . (Phil 2:3-5)  A virtuous woman, like all believers, humbles herself before the Lord and makes Jesus her life example.  I like how Bible teacher, Rick Renner, explains this concept of “esteeming others better than oneself”:

To think lowly; to think in an unpretentious way about oneself; or to think modestly of oneself. ~ Rick Renner

These assembled Bible passages describe some very remarkable character traits that will not only make a woman virtuous; but will also make her a wonderful wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend and confidant!  Because this woman will enjoy performing good works, she will be an invaluable asset to any church and fellowship group.

Look around you at the women you know and love, today!  Take time to praise them, as the Bible suggests.

Loving God’s Law

Loving God’s Law

Should we really love “God’s law” (synonymous with “God’s Word”)?  Yes, we should be devoted to God’s Word and regard it as precious to us.  This also means that we choose to live according to and in obedience to God’s Word.

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.  (Ps 119:165)  In this verse, the word stumble means to be offended.  Studying God’s Word and obeying it will mature us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.  What a beautiful blessing.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  (Isa 26:3)  As we focus on the Lord and His love and goodness, He allows His peace to flow into us and to fill us with assurance. 

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.  (Pro 3:17)  This verse is referring to Wisdom, and 1 Corinthians 1:24 reminds us that Christ is the wisdom of God!  The ways of Christ are peace-filled and pleasant.  Praise His Holy Name!

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.  (1 Joh 5:3)  This verse reminds us that when we love God, we obey His Word—and do not consider His Word difficult or oppressive.

The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  (Ps 19:8-10)  This passage from the Bible points out that God’s Word blesses us in many ways.  It:

  • Gives us joy,
  • Illuminates concepts of faith for us, and
  • Is better than gold and sweeter than honey for us.

The entire 119th Psalm is all about God’s Word and how it is a blessing to all who love it and obey it.  Study this Psalm and seriously meditate upon its riches.  God bless you!

A Good Name

A Good Name

What exactly is a “good name”?  It means having a good reputation, or being known as a person with a good character.  The Bible speaks most favorably about having a good name.

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.  (Pro 22:1 NIV)

Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.  (Pro 3:4 NIV)

A good name is better than fine perfume . . . (Eccl 7:1a NIV)

Ecclesiastes asserts that a good reputation is better than fine perfume!  Does that surprise you?  Let’s think about this for a little time.  Your good name is all about your integrity—your very character.

When people hear your name, what do they think about you?  Do they associate your name with timeliness, honesty, and hard work?  Or do they think several negative things instead?

Here are some valuable reasons why a good reputation can be considered better than riches.

  • A good name provides steadiness – A person with a good name means that there are positive character traits the person has. When you’re known for having a good character, it causes other people to trust you and to want to deal with you.  Trust is a stabilizing factor in life.  In business, people will want to hire you or affiliate themselves with you.  In personal life, you will have many trusted friends who will remain friends.  A person with a good character is easy to love.
  • A good name is endless – Think about the many people in history that are spoken of in our time with respect and awe. A good character stays behind when we have gone ahead into eternity.  Once we have lived our lives and passed on, what kind of legacy will we have we left behind?  How will our children, our family and friends remember us?  If we followed Jesus’ example and lived our lives by faith, we can be assured that we will have made a positive contribution to our world.
  • God bestows loving favor on those who have a good name. – When a person has a good name (a good character), they receive the favor of God and man. (Ps 84:11; Pro 3:1-4; 33-35)  People enjoy interactions with those who make them feel good and who interact honorably with them.  People will love you for your honesty; they will appreciate your work ethic; and they will respect your sense of integrity.  When a person of good character is assaulted, their friends and associates will choose to defend and protect them.  People love to unite together to help a person with a good name. 

It’s good to stop and take stock, occasionally, of the state of our reputation.  Is it in good shape?  If not, there’s still time to make changes in your life in order to repair your good name.

Treasure

Treasure

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  (Lk 12:34; Mt 6:21)

. . . but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  (Mt 6:20)

Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.  (Lk 12:33)

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.  (2 Cor 4:6-7)

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 that the true TREASURE to be cherished above all is the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  That is the treasure that we believers carry around within us. 

Do you agree with the Bible that the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ is your treasure?  Or do you consider your treasure to be your physical health, physical possessions and wealth, or your earthly power and influence?  I sincerely hope not.  All of those things are temporary—brief and impermanent.

The “knowledge of God in Jesus Christ” means that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Redeemer.  It means that you have accepted Him as your Lord.  What a blessed, all-encompassing wealth Jesus imparts to all who have made Him their Savior and Lord.

Jesus is the One who: 

  • Heals the sick: physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally (that means He heals each one of us—when we need it),
  • Raises the dead to life,
  • Surrounds each one of us with His supernatural, miraculous, indefensible, irresistible favor as with a shield,
  • Renews our youth like the eagle’s,
  • Upholds and sustains our lives,
  • Bestows abundant prosperity upon us,
  • Makes peace between us and others because He is our Peacemaker and Advocate,
  • Protects and defends us,
  • Never leaves us nor fails us,
  • Provides for us continuously, and
  • Meets literally every need that we may have now or in the future.

The treasure that we each carry within us, of the knowledge of God through Jesus, our Savior is eternal, never-ending and undying. 

It means that each one of us will have endless peace, love, and joy in the presence of our Savior now and for all eternity. 

That is genuine treasure.

Seek the Well Being of Others

Seek the Well Being of Others

As children of God, our actions will naturally imitate the actions of our Heavenly Father.  God cares for each and every person.  He is pleased when—instead of being selfish—we look for opportunities to help and to bless other people.

Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.  (1 Cor 10:24)

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus  . . . (Phil 2:4-5)

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth . . . (1 Cor 13:4-6, underscoring added)

God is love (1 Joh 4:8) so the passage of Scripture above outlining the nature of love gives us a very good picture of the nature of the God whom we serve.  This reveals how the Lord deals with each person individually, and helps us to understand His love for mankind.

In these verses from the Bible, we can see that working on behalf of other people in order to bless their lives will also result in bringing glory to God.  This is what we who serve the Good Shepherd are called to do.  We’re called to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ; to bring glory to God; and to spread the Good News.  In so doing, the very works of God will be revealed in us.  (Joh 9:3) Have a blessed day!

A New Thing

A New Thing

God is always working in the world.  He loves to do a “new thing”! 

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  (Isa 43:19)

Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.  (Isa 42:9)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  (2 Cor 5:17)

. . . to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.  (Heb 12:24)

God’s new thing will ALWAYS be better than anything that has gone before.  When His plans for one of His people changes, the reason is to improve the plan!

Our God is a God of love, mercy and truth.  He is patient and full of goodness.  God is eternal, self-sufficient, all-powerful and He never changes!  We must learn the nature of our God, and once we do, our faith in Him will be deepened and secure.

Since God knows everything, we can trust that His new thing will also serve the best interests of everyone concerned.   Get on board with God’s new thing!