All posts by JT

Christian. Husband. Dad. 911 dispatcher. Baseball fan. Horror nut. Music nerd. Bookworm. Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the Year.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 182/260: Read 1 Corinthians 6

Brothers take care of brothers. Brothers settle disputes. Paul tells the church in Corinth that they need to keep their disputes internal, and deal with them internally. Do not bring the unrighteous world in to judge matters between the saints.

At one time, before they obeyed the gospel, those who were now called saints were unrighteous themselves. But when they obeyed, those former descriptions no longer fit. They were no longer “fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners.” They had put those improper activities away. Now, they were “washed…sanctified …justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Why would believers put themselves in a position to be judged by non-believers?

Sometimes, it is difficult to let go of the past. Sometimes it is difficult to forgive ourselves of the things we did before we understood the eternal ramifications. But we need to understand this: God forgives. And when God forgives, He takes away the eternal consequence.

I am justified. That is, I am seen by God just if I’d never sinned in the first place. Not because I’ve done anything of merit, but because of the blood of Jesus I can be forgiven.

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

1 Corinthians 6:20. For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Pray

Pray a prayer of thanksgiving if you have accepted the truth of the gospel and have put away the former self; thank God for His grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 181/260: Read 1 Corinthians 5

Modern society revels in tolerance, and many religious bodies have bowed to the world’s cries for tolerance. Activities and lifestyles that are clearly deemed sinful, unrighteous, and unnatural in the Scriptures are accepted by “tolerant, loving people.”

Paul addressed a group of people who were tolerant of sin in the first century. The church at Corinth had one in their midst who was in a relationship with his father’s wife. How did the church react to this situation? “And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.”

There was no repentance, no sorrow for the sin committed, and the church as a whole were not confronting the situation. Paul warned, “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?”

Yes, God’s grace is grand and His mercy is abundance, but He will not tolerate open rebellion. He “commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). When sin enters the house of God, it must be dealt with. “Deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

1 Corinthians 6:20. For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Pray

Pray for purity among God’s people, starting with yourself. Identify sin in your life and pray for God’s help through His Word to escape it and defeat it.

The “What,” “Who,” and “Why?” of Repentance

Repentance

Acts 17:30-31

I. What is repentance?

    A. “A change of heart that leads to a change of mind, resulting in a change of action” (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8,10; Acts 17:30-31; John 12:48; Luke 13:1-5)
    B. Biblical examples

      1. Nineveh (Jonah 1-3; Matthew 12:41)
      2. Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8:18-24)
      3. The Philippian jailer (Acts 16:23-33)

II. Who should repent?

    A. The alien sinner (Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 10:10; Acts 2:38; 3:19)
    B. The Christian who sins (Galatians 2:11-13; Matthew 5:31-32)
    C. The erring congregation (Revelation 2:4, 14: 3:1, 14)

III. Why is repentance important?

    A. Because of the goodness of God (Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9)
    B. Because of the severity of God (Rom. 11:22; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11)

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 180/260: Read 1 Corinthians 4

“Let a man consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

God blesses us with talents and with opportunities. We must use those blessings to serve Him and to teach others the truth of the gospel. This is not a suggestion. If we have been blessed with the mercy and grace of God to have been taught the gospel, then “it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” Requirements are not optional.

Consider the parable of the talents. Two men worked, using the money that was entrusted to them, and they produced more for their master, resulting in greater trust and blessing (Matthew 25:21,23). Yet the third servant hid that piece of money that his master left; when the master returned, the servant returned that same piece of money. What was his reward? He was called “wicked and lazy” (Matthew 25:26). He hadn’t done anything wrong…he hadn’t done anything at all, and that was the problem!

We have been given something much greater than a piece of money; we have been given the most valuable information in the history of the world. Are we being good stewards, producing more disciples for the Lord?

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

1 Corinthians 1:10. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Pray

Pray for opportunities to teach the gospel and boldness to teach it without compromise.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 179/260: Read 1 Corinthians 3

She began attending the services of the church with her grandson during Vacation Bible School a few years ago. The people were friendly, and she felt welcome every time she came through the door. Because of the friendliness found within the congregation, she was planted where she needed to be.

I had the privilege of being a waterer this week. We met together to study the Bible privately. She had questions, and we wrote those down, and we will get to those eventually, but there were certain foundations we needed to establish before we got to those. We opened the Scriptures and let God convince her through His gospel what she needed to do.

And that’s the key – “God gave the increase.” When she saw in the Scriptures that she had previously been taught incorrectly about religious matters, she wanted to make it right – not because “the preacher said so,” but because God showed her the truth through His Word.

In the first century, Paul planted and Apollos watered. Still today, Christians must be involved in sowing the seed, in planting and watering, but recognize that when all is said and done, it is God through His Word that gives the increase!

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

1 Corinthians 1:10. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same ________, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same ________ and in the same ________.

Pray

Pray for your friends and neighbors who are not members of the church, and look for opportunities to plant and water the seed of truth.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 178/260: Read 1 Corinthians 2

Concerning the inspired Word of God, the late B.C. Goodpasture correctly observed that man “could not have produced it if he would. Its contents are beyond the reach of human authorship. He would not have written it if he could. It condemns too many things which men by nature hold dear.”

The apostle Paul explained, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” The most important book in history was not conceived by man, but by God.

In the Bible, God reveals Himself to man. He reveals “the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.” He reveals His plan and His purpose, His wisdom and His will.

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Do you want to please God? Read, study, and apply His revelation to your life.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

1 Corinthians 1:10. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the ________ thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the ________ mind and in the ________ judgment.

Pray

Pray for a greater understanding of the will of God.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 177/260: Read 1 Corinthians 1

God will not command man to do something that man is incapable of doing. If God expects something of His creation, it is because He blessed His creation with the ability to accomplish it.

“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that here be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” These are inspired words, written by the apostle Paul as he was moved by the Holy Spirit. If man was not able to come together, to “speak the same thing,” to have “no divisions,” then God would not have commanded such through the inspired penman.

Yet, when we drive down the road, we see a number of distinct denominations, all teaching very different doctrines, answering the most eternally important question, “What must I do to be saved?” in various contradicting ways. Is this what God desired? What Jesus prayed for? What the Spirit authorized?

This is how we fulfill the command: go back to the Bible. Forget the traditions that have been handed down that render our worship to God vain (Matthew 15:9). See what He has said, and follow that. Can we do it? We can, and we must, if we are to be pleasing to the Almighty.

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

1 Corinthians 1:10. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Pray

Pray for unity in returning to the Scriptures in the Christian world.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 176/260: Read Titus 3

Why should we be kind to other people? Why should we respect authority, speak evil of no one, and be peaceable and humble? Because God showed us mercy!

If we are to reach anyone with the love of God, we must first demonstrate how that love has impacted us. Posting hateful statements on social media will hinder that message. Speaking evil of people in positions of authority—that includes politicians—will hinder that message. In an election year, it is especially difficult to avoid such things, but as Christians, we must!

I understand that you want certain people with similar values to yours in office, but we must not spread false witness about those we oppose. Do your research before you post something negative about a politician; make certain that it is true! Distributing a photograph that has been manipulated to show them in a bad light and misleading information about their voting or service records reflects poorly upon your character, not theirs.

Show mercy and grace whenever possible, knowing that mercy and grace has been shown to you by the Almighty God. Extend to others the same love Christ showed to you. You might lose an argument or two, but you might win a soul for Christ. Isn’t that more important?

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

1 Corinthians 1:10. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Pray

Pray for all men, for elected officials and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

Beware of Covetousness (Luke 12:13-34)

Beware of Covetousness Luke 12:13-34

Luke 12:13-34

I. The rich fool thought only of himself

    A. Selfishness shown in “aggressive pronouns” (Luke 12:16-19)
    B. Opportunities to share (Acts 2:44-45; 5:1-4; 2 Cor. 8:1-5, 12)

II. The rich fool thought only of this life

    A. Success measured by materialistic standards (Luke 12:19)
    B. “But God said…” (Luke 12:20; James 4:13-17; Galatians 6:10)
    C. Are we more concerned with the temporary or the eternal? (Luke 12:21; 12:4-5)

III. God cares for us

    A. We are valuable to Him (Luke 12:6-7; John 3:16-17; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9)
    B. Warning against anxiety (Luke 12:22-34; 2 Thessalonians 3:10; Colossians 3:1-3)