Welcome to Inspirational Discussions

It is a pleasure to have you visit and share with me in my discussions, blogs and Christian studies.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A new beginning

Genesis 1: 1-26

As we begin the New Year we will witness history being made in our government and many other history making events will occur with less notoriety and many of us will make New Year’s resolutions. As we begin the New Year, let us reflect on the events that occurred in our scripture verses and remember who created and sustains all creations, and then recognized that our creator is worthy of our renewed commitment to Him and His moral laws.

What are some of the ways we can renew our commitment to the Lord? We can renew our commitment to the Lord by (a) being a follower of Christ, (b) being an ambassador for the Lord, (c) obeying the great commission as recorded in Matthew 28:19-20 making other disciples, and (d) letting our light shine in a sin darken world so men will see Christ magnified our daily lives.

Let us look at our renewed commitment to God from a grace perspective and what “GRACE” has wrought in our lives. If we gave a definition of grace it would be humanity’s “unearned favor” from God. Let’s look at some scriptures that tells why God is worthy of our renewed commitment. Is it because of His grace? Romans 11:6 tell us that we are saved by God’s grace not our works. In 1 Peter 4:10 we are saved by God’s grace (paraphrased), and then in 1 John 1:9 can be interpreted to say that it was God’s grace to send His Son Jesus Christ into the world to die for our sins. In Ephesians 1:3-5 we have further authentication that it was by God’s grace that He chose us and by doing so we have a mission, which is to point others to Christ. By accepting His Son Jesus Christ believers become part of God’s election. Let’s look at election from a cruise ship analogy; many of us have taken a cruise where there is only one captain, crew, and then passengers; while on the ship we have everything we need to make our journey delightful. In our spiritual election (accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour) Christ is the captain, the church is the ship and believers are the passengers and crew. While on this ship, God by His grace provides everything we need (2 Corinthians 9:6-8; Philippians 4:19), and our final destination is heaven where there will be a never ending praise and worship service. Get on board!

God in His infinite wisdom, while giving grace, He gave each of us spiritual gifts to edify His body (Romans 12:6-8) and to serve Him (Galatians 1:1-6). Finally, if we experience suffering we can endure with God’s grace as recorded in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9. It matters not if our suffering is in serving the Lord or in our secular lives, we know for certain God’s “grace is sufficient” (v 9).
In closing, let’s begin anew in Christ in the New Year. Happy New Year!

Author’s contact:
Email:white3285@sbcglobal.net, wwhite@goodshepherdwritingandpublishing.com
Blog: http://willie-writing.blogspot.com
Website: www.goodshepherdwritingandpublsihing.com

Glorifying the borth of Christ

Matthew 2:1-12

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem” (KJV). Our scripture verse tell us who came to worship the baby Jesus and where these men came from; history also tell these were religious learned men who specialized in astrology, medicine and natural science who came to praise and worship the new born king. Another gospel writer (Luke 2:8-20) tells of shepherds who were abiding in their fields tending their flock came to worship and glorify Jesus. Also, scripture tell us of the angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth and the heavenly host who joined the shepherds praising God.

Reflecting on recorded scripture of the praise and worship rendered to baby Jesus, we see from religious leaders, to the lowly shepherds coming to praise the Saviour, Jesus Christ and even a King (Herod) inquired where was the baby Jesus. This brings a question to mind, what does this say about Christ’s worthiness of all praises? His is worthy because (a) He is the promised Messiah fulfilling all prophecy, (b) He is God’s Son and (c) He is the Saviour of the world bringing salvation to mankind.

We will close this brief dialog with a question; if the heavenly host can worship and praise God, why can’t you and I? He is worthy!

Author's contact:
Email: wwhite@goodshepherdwritingandpublishing.com
Website: www.goodshepherdwritingandpublishing.com

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

His Name is Jesus

Matthew 1:21; 23

As we approach the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, scripture tell us that Mary was engaged (espoused) to Joseph and before they were married, Mary was visited by the Holy Spirit (partial paraphrased) rendering her pregnant with Jesus. This became a problem for Joseph because in his humaneness, he felt maybe Mary had been unfaithful to him. Joseph was planning to call of the wedding, but an “angel of the Lord” calmed his fears by telling Joseph that the child Mary was carrying was the work of the Holy Spirit. What is occurring is the Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 7:14) being fulfilled in that “a Virgin shall bring forth a son and thou shalt call his name JESUS”. In verse 23 the phrase is “and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us”. If we look at the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Yeshua (Joshua) means Yahweh saves or is salvation, and then combining the two we see that Jesus’ mission was to save humanity from the bondage of sin as He was God in the flesh.

Who do we have? We have Jesus being named before His birth signifying His mission and who He is; God’s Son.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Redeemed

Luke 1:68

Let’s begin this topical discussion with three questions, how do you define redeemed, who are the redeemed, and who is the redeemer? According to Merriam-School Dictionary (p 750) redeem is “to buy back: repurchase, to get or win back, to free from captivity usually by paying a ransom, to free from the bondage of sin, to atone for: EXPIATE”. Zondervan’s Pictorial Dictionary agrees with Webster and the writer on the definition of redeem as it means “to by back”.

Let’s answer the question of who are the redeemed? Our scripture verse was speaking of the nation of Israel, but “the redeemed” can be categorized as all believers who have accepted the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. As we celebrate this holiday season, Christmas, which is Christ’s birth, the Savior was born to die; meaning His mission was to become the atoner for humanity’s sins. On this glorious day, Jesus knew His date with destiny at Calvary in complete obedience to the Father in an effort to restore man’s fellowship with God. Yes, all believers can join Zacharias (Luke 1:68) in saying “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for he hath visited and redeemed his people.” Who are the blessed? All believers and why are we blessed, because God in the form of Jesus Christ came to earth. God kept His promise in sending the Messiah, Jesus Christ as our redeemer. Now that we have answered the two remaining questions, this brings another question to mind, which is why did humanity need a redeemer? Man needed redeeming because of a broken fellowship with God and there were no one on earth worthy to pay the penalty of sin. Therefore, to be the perfect sacrifice required someone free of sin and could keep God’s moral laws and this person was Jesus Christ.

Concluding this dialog, all believers are blessed because we believe in Jesus Christ, and thank God for sending His Son to be our redeemer. We are “the redeemed” because of God’s love. We have witnessed His love on two occasions, first, when God breathed the breath of life into man, He gave man part of Himself, second, by giving His Son as atonement for man’s sins, and Jesus gave His life for humanity. What love? See, Christ’s birth was no accident, this was a planned event. He is our redeemer -- we are the redeemed.

Author’s contact: blog: http://willie-writing.blogspot.om/, email: white3285@sbcglobal.net, wwhite@goodshepherdwritingandpublishing.com, http://www.goodshpeherdwritingandpublishing.com/.

Friday, December 5, 2008


II Chronicles 7:14

Some time ago I wrote an article “How do we heal our land”; today let’s reflect on some things. First we see this great nation of ours is standing on the brink of a financial melt down. Reflect with me on the large corporations that Congress has had to bail out within the last few months. Many of these companies were icons for many years now no longer exist as they once did or is being backed with government funds; AIG, CITI group, and Lehman Brothers just to name a few. Who would have ever thought the “Big three” would be in such financial distress and especially General Motors.

What does this situation really say about who we place our trust in and what does it say about the leadership of each corporation and our government? If I could reflect on scripture reading where a proud nation was powerful and felt it didn’t need God, and was spreading itself with prowness what the author referred to as spreading her wings as the bay leaf tree (Psalm 37:35 paraphrased). Well, look at these corporations they stood tall as giants among many spread out over the world, but one thing they forgot was who allowed them to achieve such status. These things happen when you take your eyes off God.

The question now becomes how to we get back to God? Our scripture verse makes it plain what is needed, first, we must humble ourselves, second, pray, third, seek God’s face, and fourth, turn from our wicked ways. If America do these four things God promised that He would (a) hear, (b) forgive, and (c) heal this land. We as believers understand this concept, we recognize where our blessings come from. Join with me in praying that our leaders political, heads of states and corporate, redirect their focus and recognize who has the real power, and that is God.

In closing, O, Lord my God in thee do I put my trust (Psalm 7:1) because like Job 19:25 “I know My Redeemer LIVETH”.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Be like the Lord

Leviticus 19:2

What does it mean to be like the Lord? First, this scripture setting took place during the leadership of Moses and God called the nation of Israel to separate themselves from their surrounding nations. God reminds Israel who they were and who He is and that He was their God who is holy. Second, the entire chapter of Leviticus 19 deals with the personal conduct of believers, which is to manifest the character of a holy God, who is holy by His divine nature and if we as believers are to manifest His likeness, then we are to be like Him. Why? Because mankind was created in the image and likeness of God, therefore, believers are called to separate themselves from the world just as Israel was called to separation from their surrounding nations.

This brings a question to mind, which is why do God call believers and the nation of Israel to separation? First, God is a holy God and all humanity has a part of God within each of us “love” and with this love believers are to love Him first, then “our neighbor as thyself”. Second, believers are set aside (sanctified) unto His righteousness for a purpose, which is to show the world His goodness, love, mercy and have a fellowship with Him. In order to accomplish sanctification, it requires the work of both God and the believer. One, the believer must have faith in God and His Son’s atoning work at Calvary. Two, the believer must humble himself and participate in the Spirit’s sanctifying work by ceasing to do evil. Three, sanctification can be looked upon as a purifying process which keeps believers from becoming polluted by this world’s evils.

Third, believers and the nation of Israel are to be sanctified (set aside) to show the world the attributes of a holy God.

Finally, to be like the Lord requires a spiritual separation from worldliness for the following reasons:
1. Draw near to God, and turn away from everything that is contrary to Him and His Son. This is accomplished through prayer, worship, and His Word and loving service to Him.
2. To prevent an unholy comprise for believers.
3. To show our attitudes toward sin and all unrighteousness of a corrupt world and its systems.
4. Separation enables the believer to persevere in faith, purity, and godly love for one another.
5. Be light in a sin darkened world.
As the Lord is light so are believers manifesting His light.

Author’s contact Email: white3285@sbcglobal.net, blog http:/willie-writing.blogspot.com, website www.goodshepherdwritingandpublishing.com. comment welcome.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Psalm 92:1-2, 1Thessalonians 5:16-18

This is a message of Thanksgiving, as we celebrate this day with friends, family and food, let us reflect on our goodness from the Lord as our scripture verse encourages us to “give thanks unto the Lord, and sing praises unto thy name.”

In spite of the difficult times we are witnessing and many are experiencing, still remain God’s many blessings that surround us, His love engulfs us, and His goodness and mercy walks with us daily. Therefore, let us show forth our gratitude with our loving-kindness to Him and our fellowman with praises and heart-felt thanks because our blessings out number our troubles. Another point of view is that with God we have everything and without God we have nothing.
Finally, “in everything give thanks” (v18) for He is worthy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The necessity of Biblical Training for Believers

II Timothy 2:2

Please note the following discussion/outline on biblical training for believers are quoted in part and some paraphrasing from KJV of Life in the Spirit Study Bible.

Let’s begin this study by looking at the church’s responsibility as it relates to believers and their knowledge of God and their ability to separate fact from fiction. It is vital for all Christians to know biblical trues because scripture warns of false teachers and their purpose is to hinder the building of God’s kingdom. Also, it is important for believers to know sound doctrine is that the believer can “commit these trues to others without compromise or corruption” (KJV).
1. The Bible outlines the following reasons for Biblical and or theological training for Christians in the home, school or church (Partial paraphrase). Following are important points on biblical training:
(a) Biblical training is to entrust the gospel of Christ to faithful believers in order that they may know (II Timothy 3:15) guard the truth (II Timothy 1:14 note), teach the true biblical faith (I Timothy 4:6; II Timothy 2:2) and righteous standards (Romans 6:17 note; I Timothy 6:3).
(b) Biblical training is to show students the necessity of contending for the faith which was once delivered to the saints (Jude 6, note). This will give the believer the weapons necessary to defend against false doctrines and theologies (Acts 20:31 note, Galatians 1:9 note, I Timothy 4:1 note, 6:3-4; Titus 1; 9 note on false teachers).
(c) Bible training also lead students into continual growth in character through godliness (I Timothy 6:3; cf Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2-3; 119: 97-100; Matthew 28:20; John 17:14-18; I Thessalonians 4:1; I Timothy 1:5, note; 4:7,16; 2 Timothy 3:16).
(d) Bible training equips students to become strengthen and bring maturity to other believers, so that together they may reflect Christ’s image in the home, church, school, and the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-16).
(e) Bible training give students a deeper understanding of God and experience His kingdom while here on earth and the conflicts waged against Satan’s powers (Ephesians 6:10-18).
(f) Bible training motivates students to wholeheartedly commit to evangelizing to the lost and preaching the gospel to all nations as commanded in Matthew 28:20; Mark 16:15-20).
(g) Bible training deepen the students experience of Christ love, personal fellowship and the gift of the Spirit (John 17, 21, 26; Ephesains 3:18-19). This will encourage the student to follow the Holy Spirit which will bring then into the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14).

2. It is vitally important that Biblical training be done by those who are fervently loyal to God, the scriptures as they are God’s inspired Word (2 Timothy 1”13-14, Ezra 7:10 note), the Holy Spirit and His ministry of truth, righteousness and power ( 2 timothy 1:14). Why so, because only those truly committed to God’s Word will seek to know and teach the truth as teaching is a calling by God. More importantly, teaching God’s Word lacks self aggrandizement.

3. Finally, true Biblical training emphasizes true righteousness, which is (knowing, being and doing) as oppose to being apprehensive of Bible truths. Scripture have revealed that these doctrinal teaching are redemptive truths, not academic, meaning; the heart plays a vital role in Biblical training.
True Biblical training is vital to Christian growth.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obeying God’s Command

Deuteronomy 6:5
Let us begin this topical discussion with a question, what is God’s command? His command (s) is considered the Ten Commandments which give specific instructions to mankind. The first commandment tells mankind where we are to place God in our lives; He specifically states that we are not to have any other gods before Him. This brings us to our scripture verse which tells humanity how we are to love God and why we are to love Him in such fashion. First, God seeks a fellowship with His people and with this command if obeyed will attach God and us together forever. Second, we are to love God because He is our creator and sustainer of all life from beginning to end. Furthermore, He cares for all mans needs great or small. Third, God loved man so much until He sent His only Son to die for our sins after mankind had disobeyed Him. What love? Fourth, if mankind responds to God’s command in love, gratitude and loyalty to Him for His loving us first, we then will get to know, love and enjoy a covenant relationship with God, which is what He wants. If the question is raised, is it possible for man to obey God’s commands? The answer is yes, because it is possible when man step out in faith that God’s love will be returned. How do we know this? First, humanity is God’s prized creation where He breathed the breath of live into man; second, He gave humanity a mind, body, and a soul as well as the ability to choose. Third, if God put some of Himself into man would He fail to love us especially when mankind is asked “to love thy neighbor as thyself.” Fourth, the Holy Spirit is in us to aid us in our efforts to obey God’s commands. Finally, throughout history God have proven without any doubt to be (a) faithful to man, (b) love mankind, (c) dependable, and (d) worthy of our love.

In closing, Deuteronomy 10:12 we find God’s great requirement, which is “to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Reverential of God is the “fear” stated, and then God want our outer service to Him to be genuine from the heart.

Finally, I have often heard the phrase, “obedience is better than sacrifice.” Which one will you choose?

Comments are welcome; press envelope on blog, or email: white3285@sbcglobal.net, and please visit website www.goodshepherdwritingandpublishing.com.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

When Jesus come to your house

Luke 10:38-42
Our scripture text scene takes place where Jesus visits two sisters whom no doubt loved Him very much, but from the story Martha misplaced her priorities when it came to worshiping the Lord. Martha busies herself making things perfect while Jesus taught fellow believers and her sister Mary. Mary recognized the most important of service which is giving undivided devotion to Jesus and His Word, meaning when Jesus come to your house, He want your unconditional love, prayer, worship and fellowship with Him. He is not looking for beautiful clean edifices, but your clean heart and soul; a clean edifice is good, but a purified soul is better. How do we get a purified soul is by studying His Word, so that we may live godly lives, keep an open line of communication through prayer, establishing a fellowship with Jesus by daily walking with Him and resisting temptation with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s restate the question, when Jesus come to your house what will you be doing? Will you be ready to receive Him or will you have to clean a space for Him? Will Jesus find a receptive worship environment or will He have to stand at the door and knock? When Jesus come to your house will you say “come in my Savior I am ready to serve thee”.


Unity among the brethern (believers)
Psalm 133:1

Let’s begin this topical discussion by asking, what is unity? Unity can be defined as being on one accord, or togetherness in an idea, fellowship, action or a common doctrine. Also, unity can be seen as a group/body operating as one. Then how can believers function as one body? Just as Jesus and God, the Father operates as one so must believers come together in one love, faith, holiness, and one spirit to bring about unity that Jesus prayed His followers would established in John 17. The Holy Spirit cannot operate where there is division; Jesus knew this and prayed His followers would develop a unifying spirit which is undergirded by love.

The unity that is being spoken of is not just organizational unity but unity in the spirit, which is based on living in Christ Jesus that comes from knowing Him and His father and their love. Also, believers are to be unified in being separation from the world, sanctified in the truth, receiving and believing the true Word of God, then obedience to the Word and a desire to bring salvation to a lost world. Believers can bring salvation to a lost world by (a) witnessing, telling others about Jesus, (b) daily living for God, (c) using our spiritual gifts to edify the body of Christ, and (d) obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Finally, for believers to be and remain in unity is to have the mind of Christ and follow His example of being totally united with His Father knowing that there is “One Lord, one faith and one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:5-6).

In closing, the believer’s body consists of many members; one body, the spiritual body of Christ consists of many members; one body. Thank God for a unifying spirit. Praises!

Friday, October 17, 2008



This week’s discussion is the results of research on Halloween, its origin, and how it came to America, some of the people involved and their beliefs. This study was prompted by a question on Halloween, why the dark customs, how did the pumpkin become involved, and what biblical significance does Halloween hold? The discussion below is quoted from http://www.history.com/ .

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.
By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

How did Halloween get to America?
As European immigrants came to America, they brought their varied Halloween customs with them. Because of the rigid Protestant belief systems that characterized early New England, celebration of Halloween in colonial times was extremely limited there.

It was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians, meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included "play parties," public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other's fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland's potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition. Young women believed that, on Halloween, they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings, or mirrors.

In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft.
At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything "frightening" or "grotesque" out of Halloween celebrations. Because of their efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.
By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6.9 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday.

How did the tradition of “trick-or-treat” come about?
The American tradition of "trick-or-treating" probably dates back to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives.

The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling" was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money.

The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.

Remaining questions, What does this research findings say about true faith in Jesus Christ? The question on reincarnation, are people reincarnated requires further research. What happens to man soul? This answer can be found in Ecclesiastes 3:21 & 12:7, Psalm 16:9-11; 45:15; 73:23-26; Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:2-3. A short answer to the question is, the human body is comprised of a trinity, the spirit, soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12) as God is a Trinity. The three components of the human body, only the soul and spirit are indestructible which survives death, either to live in heaven or hell.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

There will be a Harvest

Mark 10:2, Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

Allow me to paint a farming picture of the stages the farmer goes through before he can harvest his crops. First, the farmer decides what and where he going to plant his seeds, second he cultivates the soil getting it ready to plant his seeds, third, he plants his seeds , fourth, he waters, fertilizes, till and de-weed his young plants. But, before the farmer’s planted seed breaks the top soil God in His divine scientific methods causes the planted seeds to germinate and reproduce a growing plant from that which was planted. It is at this stage the farmer nurtures the young plant until it grows and produces the desired harvest (crop).

All praises to God for harvest time- it is at this time the farmer gathers his crop (believers), the good he stores in his barn (heaven) for his desired use and the bad harvest is cast off (hell). The moral of this story is that God is the farmer, the seed is His Word, the fields are all nations (unsaved), and the young plants are new believers in Christ who hears the Word of God and allow it to germinate in their hearts. At some point all believers were new creatures in Christ; and our nurture (watering, fertilizing, tilling and de-weeding) came from mature Christians who tilled God’s soil and young plants (believers) until they became ready for harvesting. Those mature believers adheres to God’s command to “go” out into “all nations”, making other disciples through preaching and teaching His Word, because the “harvest is great, but the laborers are few.” This brings to mind several question, believers, being in the good crop when the farmer (God) gathers His crops, what will God say for the works you have done? Unbelievers, the cast off crops goes to hell, have you decided where you wants to spend eternity? There is going to be a harvest!

Author’s contact: email: white3285@sbcglobal.net, blog: http://willie-writing.blogspot.com, website: www.goodshepherdwritingandpublishing.com.

Monday, October 6, 2008

God's Supply Line

Philippians 4:19

While listening to my pastor’s (Rev. Solomon Smith Sr. New Hope Missionary Baptist Church) sermon this past Sunday, his title was “A blank check on the bank of heaven.” While he was preaching several questions came to mind, what pens are being used to write our checks? Are we using the pen 0f faith? Are we using the pen of trust and or belief in God’s Word? Finally, why would God issue a blank check to humanity cashable on heaven’s bank account?

Let’s answer the above questions by looking at each pen required to fill-in our blank check. First, the pen of “faith” is required by believers to write our check to God on heaven’s bank account. All humanity who writes with the pen of faith has taken God at His word when He states that He “shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” The word “shall” is our assurance that God will keep His Word. Another school of thought is that God, the Father gave His best for mankind, and we must accept His Son as our savior in faith, then our faith in God that He is our true source for all our needs. Finally, mankind’s faith is our belief that (a) God is supreme and has no beginning and no ending, (b) God is all knowing, and everywhere and (c) He is the sustainer of all life from beginning to end. Second, believers can use the pen of “trust” to complete our God issued blank check knowing that the check will be cashed based on the word “shall.”

Additionally, believers who have placed their trust in God can say like the psalmist David when he states that “The Lord is my shepherd, and I shall not want.” David and all humanity who has placed their trust in the Lord know the true meaning of a shepherd. A shepherd cares for “all” needs of his sheep, and all mankind is God’s sheep. Additionally, believers have 1 Peter 5:7 where we are encouraged to “cast all our cares on Him.” The “Him” is the Lord God Himself. Why would God ask mankind to cast our cares on Him if He could not or were not going to meet our needs? First, God is a God of truth, and there is not failure in Him. Second, God is love and it is His love that asks humanity to bring all your problems, concerns and needs to me.

Finally, we have the pen of “belief” to complete our blank check written on heaven’s bank account. The question now becomes, what do we believe? Do we believe that God is the creator and sustainer of all life? Do we believe that Christ is God’s Son? Do we believe that Christ died for the sins of the world to bring salvation to mankind and all who accept Him as their savior shall be saves? Do you believe that it was God’s love for humanity that caused Him to give His best for mankind? If the answers to these questions are “I believe”, then we can use the pen of belief to write any check to God with assurances that it will be cashed.

Closing this discussion with a question of who is our supply line? Based on our discussion scripture we see God as the true source of supplying our needs. We have identified three pens believers can use to fill-in our God issued blank check; the pen of faith is our firm belief in God for who He is. More importantly, He can take care of all our needs; after all He is the creator and then there is the pen of trust. Trust is the confidence believers have in God and His provisional care. God’s provisional care encompasses all aspects of human life (spiritual and physical). Reflect with the writer on Genesis 1:1 when God created the heavens and earth, He did not abandon His creations, nor can He be viewed as a masterful watch maker who winds up his watch and leave it until another winding is needed; to the contrary God tenderly cares for all creation, this includes mankind. Man is looked upon as His special creation because we have the spirit of God living within us. Several of the psalms (104, 145) testify of God provisional care as does Job (38-41) and finally John 3:16-17 testifies of the true heart of God and His love for all humanity.

Finally, we have the belief pen used in cashing in on God’s promise of care. Our believe can be combined with faith and trust because believers have the assurances that when presenting our needs check to God drawn on heaven’s bank account, the cashier, Jesus Christ will issue the requested cash. All is cashed in love. Present your check to Jesus Christ, the cashier.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Confidence in God

1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 62:2

Why is it so important that we place our confidence in the Lord? In providing an answer to the question, let’s begin by taking a reflective look at Hannah, who was barren and desired a child and prayed to God to bless her with a child. As the story goes, “the Lord had shut up her womb” (1 Samuel 1:5) to the point Hannah became weary and frustrated while enduring mocking from her adversaries until she sought the Lord in sincere prayer. The trials that Hannah was experiencing were a test of her faith in the Lord. God’s delay in answering Hannah’s prayer was God’s way of preparing her for the birth of her son Samuel who would become a great prophet to the nation of Israel. God knew Hannah would dedicate Samuel back to God and He had predestined Samuel’s future before birth.

What lesson that can be learned from this? Sometimes God may cause us to experience disappointments, spiritual bitterness and brokenness so that we will cry out in desperation to Him for His divine intervention as Hannah did. Hannah took her plea directly to the Lord in Prayer and waited patiently for His deliverance.

What does Romans 8:28 say about suffering and things working together for good? Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Some points to this verse is it encourages believers that we must endure suffering in this life, but God will bring good out of all afflictions, trials, persecutions and suffering that the good works God is preparing us for will confirm us in the image of Christ. Another point in this verse is that this promise is for those who love God and have submitted their lives to Him through faith in Jesus Christ. The final point to this verse is the “all things” is exclusive of sin. Why because we know God cannot look on sin and Romans 6:23 tell us that “the wages of sin is death.”

Let’s continue our look at why is it so important to place our confidence in God; who can forget Job in all of his suffering, he held steadfast to his faith in God for his deliverance. Job knew God had the power to delivery him form his affliction, but in his humanness he became weary and sought answers from God. God spoke to Job in a whirlwind which gave Job a reality check of God’s awesome powers. Let me remind you of the Hebrew boys and Daniel in their dilemma, they placed their faith and confidence in God; the results is Christ got in the fiery furnace with the Hebrew boys and He locked the loin’s jaws while both slept and Daniel used the lion as his pillow. See what confidence in God will do!

Who can forget David, the man after God’s own heart, and the many trials he experienced, but David never failed to call on the rock of his salvation who was God. David waited on the God of his salvation with his very soul because he knew where his true defense and deliverance came from. As the leader of Israel, David encouraged his people to place their trust in God at all times who was their true deliverer and refuge.

The heroes and sheroes in our scripture verses whose faith and confidence in God displayed His hand of deliverance as a testimony of what He can and will do for all those who wait and put their trust in Him. The question now becomes, what does these acts of deliverance say to modern day believers? It tells this writer that if God’s deliverance was available in biblical times it remains so today. We are commanded to put our faith and trust in one God who provides for all our needs and care. Believers are reminded in 1 Peter 5:7 to “cast (ing) all our cares upon him.” Why because “he cares for you” (partial paraphrase). God cares for all our troubles, afflictions and burdens and is waiting with out stretched arms saying “leave your burdens here.” How are we to take our problems to the Lord? We must do so with decisiveness in prayer and faith as depicted in our scripture characters. In God’s provisional care has made provisions for every situation known to man. More importantly, He is the creator and sustainer of all and humanity being created in His image leaves no doubt that He cares. Look what He done for us!

This reminds the writer of a saying, that “if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it” (author unknown), but we need a relationship with God. The saying further states that “in good times praise God, in bad time pray to God but at all times worship God.” These words are confidence builders for all who believe God for who He is and can and will do what He says He will do. This writer has been taught from early childhood to take God at His word because He is no shorter than His word; meaning if God said it that settled it.
In closing, have you trusted God in faith? Have you placed your confidence in Him? He is worthy of our trust.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

What do we believe?

John 6:64

This topical discussion will answer the title question by asking a series of do you believe questions beginning with the creation story as recorded in Genesis 1:1which states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”, if we believe the scriptures; we are saying yes there is a God who is supreme and there is no other God accept Him. Do we believe that man was created in the likeness and image of God; man being created last in the creation process we see the love, care and responsibility God gave man. Also, man (humanity) was a special creation of God and not a product of evolution as some would have us to believe. Given the fact that man and woman were created in the image and likeness of God authenticates God’s desire to have a fellowship with man and we are to love Him as He loved us and reflect His glory and holiness. Man is to do this by knowing God and obeying Him because man possesses a moral likeness to God for he was sinless, holy and possessing wisdom, a heart of love and the will to do the right thing. In other words, man lived in complete harmony with God where there was fellowship and communication and total obedience until Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden.

What is man’s moral likeness to God? Man was created as personal beings with a spirit, mind, emotions, self-consciousness and the power to choose. In man’s emotions he/she have the capabilities to cry, feel, hurt and care about things of interest. Man being created in the image of God does not means that he is divine, but was created on a lower order and mankind is depended on God from beginning to end.

Do you believe when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sin entered the world caused the downward spiral of humanity? Their disobedience caused a divide between man and God thus the plan of salvation was implemented because man needed a propiator to redeem him back to God. God promised humanity a redeemer; however it was forty-two generations for this promise to be fulfilled. Between the generations of man’s first sin and Christ’s coming to earth, man had become progressively wicked thus set in motion God’s moral laws, The Ten Commandments. What are some of the events that lead to God giving the Ten Commandments? We have the pre and post flood sins of humanity; only Noah and his family along with two animals of every kind was saved from that generation. During the post-flood generation, man continued in his idolatry and rebellion until God dispersed the human race by fragmenting their language and culture and scattered the human race throughout the earth. God made covenants after covenants which man failed to keep.

Do you believe the Ten Commandments are God’s moral laws and if obeyed by man some of society’s ills would be none existence? The Ten Commandments was written by God Himself and given to Moses on two tablets for the nation of Israel as to how they were to live. The Ten Commandments is a summary of God’s moral laws for Israel and describes Israel’s obligation to God and their fellowman. The same Ten Commandments remain obligatory for all humankind today that was confirmed by Christ and His apostle during the New Testament writings. Reflecting on the Ten Commandments we see the love we should have for God, our fellowman as well as the jealous nature of God when stated “Thou shall have no other god before me” (Exodus 20:3 KJV).

Do you believe God will get angry and bring punishment to the whole human race as depicted during Noah’s time? Romans 1:18 tell us, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of man, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” Let’s explore God’s wrath which expresses His anger and response to all manner of sin. His wrath is provoked by the sins of individuals and nations alike. In the past God displayed His anger with the great flood (Genesis 6-8), famine, plagues (Ezekiel 6:11), annihilation of the land (Deuteronomy 29:22-23), scattering (Lamentations 4:16), and even burning the land (Isaiah 9:18-19). Currently we see God’s anger displayed by giving His people over to a reprobate mind for their sins which brings ruin and death to all that disobey His commandments (Romans 1:18-20; 6:23, Ezekiel 18:4; Ephesians 2:3). God’s wrath results in man being eternally separated form God for all who remain in sin. God in His love for humanity provided an escape route which is in Jesus Christ.

Since we have established that God does get angry and punishment is the results of His anger, but He provided a way for man to repent of his sins and be freed from the bondage of sin. The way is Jesus Christ. First, man has to admit he is a sinner. Second, confess his sins and third, turn for his sins all of which is based on the individual believing in Jesus Christ and accepting Him as God’s Son. This brings the writer to a series of questions regarding your beliefs of who is Jesus. Do you really believe that Jesus is God’s Son and was present during creation? Do you believe that Jesus is the second person in the Godhead? Do you believe He is the incarnated Christ and is eternal from the heavens and was not created along with all other creation? Do you believe Jesus was present with God the father and the Holy Spirit during creation? Genesis 1:26 records God saying “Let us.” Who is the “us”? The “us” is God the father, the Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Believers who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior will say “And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:69). What do you believe?

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Christ, our pathway to God

Hebrews 4:14-16

Let us begin this topical discussion by establishing who is Christ? First, Christ is God’s Son that He gave to be humanity’s propiator for our sins. Second, Jesus Christ is the second person in the Trinity and is reference in scripture as “the only begotten.” The phrase does not mean that Christ was created sometime in the distance past, but solidifies Christ’s unique relationship with God the Father and Christ as the only son of God from all eternity. Reflect with the writer to Jesus’ baptism, when all three persons of the Trinity appeared and God the Father authenticated who Jesus was with the statement, “Thou are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). Who makes up the Trinity? The Godhead, Trinity is comprised of God, the Father, Christ, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit. The one God exists in three identifiable persons operating in complete unity, which was demonstrated at Christ’s baptism. Third, John 1:1 refers to Christ as the “Word.” Here John represents Jesus Christ as the personal Word of God. Both Hebrews 1:1-3 and John 1:1-3 declares Christ as “the manifold Word of God,” thus giving rise to who Christ is.

Let’s explore John 1:1 a bit further by looking at the three characteristics of Christ being the Word of God. (A) Christ as the Word in relationship to the father, He was preexistent “with God.” Also, Christ is divine having the same nature and essence as the father (Colossians 2:9, Mark 1:11). (b) John depicts the “Word” in His relationship to the world that through Christ God the father created and sustains the world (v.3; Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:2). (c) Finally, John presents Christ as “the Word” in relationship to humanity, where “the Word” was made flesh” (v.14) with the sole purpose of dying for humanity’s sins. What does this mean, it means that God’s Son took on human nature but remained sinless. Christ was the only one worthy and able to become mankind’s propiator.

Given all that we have discussed on who is Christ, and if there remains a question of how is Christ our pathway to God, then let’s answer the question from this perspective; Christ is eternal from the heaven. He has always existed with God the father and the Holy Spirit. His human birth was not the beginning of His existence. With His human birth He became God-man, meaning He was both God and human. While here on earth, Christ never lost His divinity. To further expound on the question, because of humanity’s sins there was a divide between God the father and man which resulted in God needing someone to bridge the gap. God the father Himself could not look on sin therefore; it required a sinless person to reconcile man back to God; the only person found suitable for this mission was Jesus Christ. During the reconciling process Christ took on humanity’s sins, thus becoming the shield that hides our sins from God, and when God looks at humanity He does not see our sins only if we, mankind has accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. So then the final answer to the question, Christ is our pathway to God in order for mankind to have access to the father, we must go through Jesus Christ for He is our Savior. The question now becomes, how did Christ become our Savior? Christ died for our sins at Calvary; accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, believers are made right with God the father. All who believe in Jesus Christ are no longer enemies of God. Furthermore, accepting Jesus as our Savior, we become children of God. What a blessing?

If humanity is wondering what Christ gave mankind to become our bridge/pathway to God, look to the synoptic gospels where they tell us of Christ laying down His life for humanity’s sins. Christ willingly gave His life for the sins of the world all in love for humanity. During the heavenly meeting when God the father needed someone to come to earth and reconcile man, God’s prize creation, Christ told His father to prepare Him a body and He would come to earth and save a sin sick world; this He did. What is it called? It is known as God’s gift of salvation, where mankind is safely delivered from the bondage of sin. In the saving process, there is several processes at work in the believer’s life; we are delivered from sin, we are made right with God, we are set aside and then believers take on a new beginning (birth/life). Therefore, when Christ presents us to God His father, what the father sees are His sinless believers (creatures) whom He loves dearly and wants a loving fellowship. Our relationship with God has been restored. This was done through Christ’s shed blood. What love? Thank God for Jesus and their working together to restore mankind (believers).

Finally to close this topical discussion with a summary question, why did God use Christ as our pathway to Him? First, God Himself is holy and cannot look on sin. Through Adam sin entered the human race and God pronounced the whole world guilty before Him and from that, it was declared that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Thus it mattered not of how righteous mankind tried to be because according to scripture “all of our righteousness is as filthy rags before God.” Given the truth of scripture then mankind was domed to die, because Romans 6:23states, “For the wages of sin is death’ but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Therefore, the whole human race was found unfit to save himself and was destined for eternal separation from God. The restoration requirements were someone without sin and Jesus Christ met all of the requirements.

Most of all Christ willingly gave His life to reconcile the human race back to His father. This was done in love for mankind. In doing so Christ became our Savior; accepting Him as Lord of our lives is a requirement if we want to see the father. Accepting Christ as Lord and Savior is priceless given the price Christ paid. Therefore, Jesus bought humanity’s freedom from sin with His blood. Have you accepted our pathway to God? There is a standing invitation. Christ is waiting with out stretched arms saying, “Come unto me (Matthew 11:28); I am the way, truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Our sin bill is marked paid in full.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

A Blessing

Genesis 12:2

What is a blessing? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, p92, a blessing is the act of one that blesses. The word “blessed” or bless is the divine care and protection. Then, who in this scenario is the blessor? Our scripture verse deals with the call of Abraham by God to first separate himself for among his family, and countrymen. God told (v1) Abraham where to go and then proceeded to tell Abraham what would be the results of his obeying God. In a word the blessor in this scenario is God. What did God tell (promise) Abraham? “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall be a blessing.” What’s all in this verse and call of Abraham and how it relates to believers today? First, Abraham’s call involved separating himself for his country, his people, and his household. Second, God was establishing an important principle that His (God’s) people are to separate themselves from all that hinders His purpose for their lives. Third, God’s call requires obedience and a personal commitment to God. We see that Abraham could not totally commitment himself to God until he was stranger in a foreign land; that principle applies to believers today. Sometimes love ones can hinder our fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives and this will cause us to forsake our promised blessings.

God’s promise and blessings extended not only to believing Jews but to all believers who accept Jesus Christ as Savior in faith. In other words, all believers who express Abraham like faith become “children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7) to become “off springs of Abraham and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:9, 29).

What does this say about believers’ faith in God? One, it says that believers have accepted His Son Jesus as Savior and has accepted His (God’s) as being sufficient. Two, believers has come to know and understand the true meaning of God’s grace, which is His (God’s) righteousness at Christ’s Expense. Our salvation is free to all believers, but it cost God and His Son something. What were the costs? It cost God’s His Son Jesus and Jesus His blood, all undergirded by love.

Finally, reflect on our blessings and thank God for His promise, His love, and more importantly, keeping His promise by sending all mankind a Savior. The most blessing we (believers) can receive is that one day we get to spend eternity with the Father. Therefore, let’s develop an Abraham like faith and receive our promised blessings. What a promise, made and kept by God. Hallelujah to God!


I have been following this year's election very closely and the truth of the matter I do not like either of the candidates that is each party presumed nominee. What I mean is that some of what Barack stands for I cannot go along with and the same for McCain and if I had to chose today it would be McCain.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


II Corinthians 5:20

Let’s begin this topical discussion by posing a question, what is an ambassador? An ambassador is one who represents another or country. In this case, we as believers represent Christ. As stated in our scripture verse, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be you reconciled to God.” What does the word “beseech” means? It means to search out or seek after. How did God seek after humanity? It was through Christ’s atoning death on the cross that God removed the sin barrier and opened the way for mankind to return to Him. Christ’s reconciliation became effective for each believer through his or her personal repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Let’s look at what happens when believers accept Christ as their personal savior, first the believer admits he/her is a sinner, second, the believer confesses his/her sins, and third, turn from their sinful ways. What happens during this process is the believer is freed from the bondage of sin, and then made right with God (justified), then set aside (sanctified), and then the believer is born again (regenerated). This is when believers become new creatures in Christ and in doing so we become Christ’s ambassadors who can speak boldly for Him in all parts of the world. This is our witness. Another school of thought, the church as a body of baptize believers, the church is called to a ministry or reconciliation which is calling all persons to be reconciled to back God.

Verse 21 talks about believers being made “the righteousness of God in him.” By Christ taking on humanity sins, He made it possible for God to justly forgive sinners and thusly believers became the children of God as new creatures. Other points in this scripture are that (a) believer’s character and moral state is founded upon and flows from the believer’s faith in Christ. (b) The believer is to live for Christ, (c) to be controlled by “the love of Christ.” (d) Has become a “new creature” in Christ. (e) We are to fulfill the ministry of reconciliation as representatives of God and His righteousness in this world.

Another note of believer’s righteousness of God is that His righteousness is manifested and experienced by remaining in Christ. Additionally, believers are to live in union and fellowship with Christ as we become the righteousness of God, in so doing the believer’s ambassadorship is felt around the world.

In closing this brief discussion, how is your ambassadorship? Are we pointing others to Christ? The harvest is great, but the laborers are few.

Read and be blessed.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sin- Defined: The reason for Jesus’ Blood

Romans 3:23
Let’s begin this topical discussion on sin by looking at “sin” by summarizing sin and defining sin. Merriam-Webster School Dictionary (p 847) defines sin “as an offense against God.” Zondervan’s Pictorial Bible Dictionary (p 796) gives many Hebrew and Greek meaning of the word “sin”. The Hebrew meaning is missing; pesha’, transgression; awon, perversion; ra’, evil in disposition; resha’, impiety; and the Greek definition is “hamartia, missing the mark; parabasis, transgression; adikia, unrighteousness; asebeia; impiety; anomia, contempt and violation of law; poneria, depravity; epithumia, lust.” From the above definitions, we see sound correlations in each language. However, Merriam-Webster’s definition and what we have come to know as sin gets to the heart of the matter.

Therefore as we begin our summary definition of sin will give us a profound picture of sin and just who we have sinned against. Sin is:
(a) A transgression against the divine boundary between good and evil, or overstepping the law (Psalm 51:1, Romans 2:23).
(b) Iniquity, is an act of inherently wrong, whether the wrong is forbidden or not (Romans 1:21-23). These two verses speak about man thinks himself wise when in actuality he is not. Second, man thinks of himself wise to the point of him changing the image of a holy God and this within itself is a sin. It goes against the first commandment, where God explicitly states “Thou shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
(c) Depart from the right (Romans 1:18; James 3:4). What is the right? It can be seen as the righteousness of God and can be viewed as a divine attributed and a provision of God for saving sinners (Romans 3:21-8:39). Another right is God’s sovereignty and wisdom in dealing with the problem of unbelief both in Israel (Jews and Gentiles). Therefore God is just in enacting His wrath on humanity, but His love and mercy He gave man a way out. What was that way? Salvation through Jesus Christ.
(d) Missing the mark, humanity’s failure to meet God’s divine standards (Romans 3:23). This verse clearly states that all we (humans) are sinners in the eyesight of God and only His Son’s blood can declare us right in the eyesight of God.
(e) Trespass is the intrusion of self-will into the sphere of divine authority (Ephesians 2:1). This verse tells us that Christ has made us alive again through His shed blood at Calvary. Thank God for Jesus!
(f) Our lawlessness or spiritual anarchy (1Timothy 1:9). What is spiritual anarchy? The word “anarchy” within itself means total chaos and absolute break down in order or form of government. In this scenario the believer/righteous spirituality is based on God’s divine order and when humanity deviate from His sovereign order, then there is anarchy. Another school of thought is sin runs rampart.
(g) Our unbelief is an insult to the divine veracity of God (John 16:9). What was the cause of humanity’s unbelief? Simply --sin.
The writer has outlined sin and its definitions, now let’s summarize sin in three short answers, which are as follows: (a) it is the act or the violation of, or the want of obedience to the revealed will of God (NJV), (b) the absence of righteousness, and (c) by nature an enmity toward God (NJV partial paraphrasing).

Now let’s look at who originated sin and how it entered the earth? Sin was originated by Satan himself (Isaiah 14:12-14). What do we know about Satan? He was in charge of the choir in heaven and wanted to be equal with God and was thrown out of heaven. When Satan left heaven, he brought a third of the kingdom with him and made destroying God’s plan of salvation his priority. He tempted Eve and thus sin entered earth through Adam and Eve, thus destroying God’s perfect harmony between Himself and humanity (Romans 5:12). Sin became universal, meaning it was and is everywhere; with sin comes penalties of both a physical and spiritual death (reference Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Romans 6:23). Is there a remedy for sin? Yes, it is found in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ who was the only one worthy to be man’s propitiator. Jesus can only be our propitiator if we accept Him in faith.

Why would God give His only Son to be man’s propiator? The answer is found in John 3:16, which states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This verse shows the true heart and purpose of God and that was to redeem man from his sinful state of affairs. The true heart of God is love for He is love and it was man’s unbelief in God that resulted in man falling prey to Satan’s snares which ended in a great sacrifice on the part of God and Jesus Christ. Man’s redemption or our deliverance came at a price that humanity could never repay; this was Jesus’ shed blood on Calvary’s cross. What love form God! It is God’s love, grace and mercy man has been reconciled back to God.

Have humanity ever considered the true meaning of God’s grace? Dr. Charles Stanley of Atlanta, GA defines grace as being, “God’s righteousness at Christ’s Expense. Ponder this statement for moment and ask yourself am I worthy of such sacrifice and love? Also, ask yourself, what can I do to express a heart of gratitude for what God has done in my live? Living holy lives would be my answer and obeying God’s commandments and commission, and then be a witness for Christ everywhere I go (Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:18-20).

In closing this dialogue on sin, we have looked at the definitions of sin and summarized sin, and then we looked at its cost? What and who did it cost to redeem us from its clutches. It is cost God and Jesus to redeem mankind. It is God’s love and wisdom; He left the Holy Spirit, who lives in each believer as our compass guiding us to heaven so mankind will spend eternity with God. Sin and Satan is bad, God and His righteousness is good. Which do you choose? Choose God!


Friday, June 27, 2008

Christ Cares

Mark 4:39
How do we know Christ cares? Let’s examine some recorded facts of Christ caring for all creation. First, He shed Himself of His glory to suffer human humiliation and limitations even to the point of death. Second, Christ came to earth for the sole purpose of providing salvation for mankind. Salvation is made possible through His shed blood on Calvary’s cross, reconciling humanity back to God, the Father. The way to God is through Christ our Savior. Humanity must accept Christ as their personal Savior and believing that He is God’s Son. Third, while on earth, Christ healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, fed five thousand, and where there was a need He fulfilled that need without asking what pedigree. Christ displayed His love and compassion for all.

Our scripture verse, tells of Christ speaking to the raging sea “Peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Christ cares enough to calm the natural forces of nature; He will calm the raging storms of our lives. It is His desire that no soul be lost, so cast all your cares upon Him; He is able and willing; standing ready to calm all your fears, doubts, and anxieties. We must decisively give our entire problems to Christ; do we trust Christ enough to take our problems to Him in faith? I Peter 5:7 states, “Casting all your cares on Him; for he careth for you.” Consider how Christ cares for the lilies of the fields, and the birds of the air; they worry not about their well being; would He care for plants and animals and not man? I think not! Remember what He done for us.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Is God angry with America?

This topical discussion question is being posed because in the past few years we have witnessed natural disasters one after another and in many instances they are occurring simultaneously. Case in point, we often witness one section of this country experiencing wild fires burning out of control; lives and property lost is staggering, another section is under water, here again property loss and lives being threaten, while another section of this country is suffering from sweltering heat, while yet another section is reeling from hurricane and tornado storms.

Who can forget Katrina? This disaster goes on record as being the worst that ever hit American shores. Many lives were lost, numerous people were displaced from their homes and in many instances families were separated. America had always been the one rushing humanitarian aid to other disaster victims but now it was America’s turn to receive aid form other countries. The Katrina disaster came to our sea shores shortly after the tsunami of 2004 in the Indian Ocean where many lives were lost and the property losses were staggering. Each year since the Katrina disaster, it appears as thou natural disasters within our sea have shores become more severe. During the Katrina disaster, reflect with me on the many people that were relocated to what one may call higher grounds while New Orleans was under water and this year we are witnessing many cities and towns in Iowa and all along the Mighty Mississippi River being under water. This brings back vivid pictures of New Orleans. God destroyed a city with the forces of water from the ocean and this year in the Iowa flooding situation we see God bringing flooding and destruction from the sky; He simply opened up the storm clouds in the heavens and said rain and let the waters flow all along the Mississippi River. Look at the results, levees giving way under the pressure from the water, families being displaced and properties destroyed.

What are you saying? Well, I am not saying that all Americans are sinners or have turned their backs on God, but overall this country has been blessed beyond measure. How have we (Americans) responded to God’s blessings? Have our many blessings caused us to forget about God or do we feel we are blessed just because? Have we taken our eyes off God and feel we doesn’t need Him any longer? Aren’t we following in Israel’s foot steps? Are we searching the scriptures and taking notice as to what happened to Israel for their backsliding? Finally what are some of the impenitent wickedness that is occurring in this country today? We are witnessing same sex marriages, homosexuality is running rampart, gambling in almost every city and or state as if it is the panacea. We want to remove God’s name from court houses, and prayer have been taken out of our schools. The institution of the family structure has been altered, some churches preaching a prosperity gospel.
America the biblical principal of “In God we Trust”, is what this country was founded; therefore, let us not forget God and who He is and get back to trusting God.

America, another profound question comes to mind, is we living the book of Revelation? Many people I talk to seem to think so. What do you think? If you read Revelation chapters 6-19 and take notice of what’s happening in the world today, will make one think yes these are the last days. If these are not the last days, then is prophesy being fulfilled regarding the fall of America? The writer doesn’t have all the answer, but what the writer does know that if America will humble herself; turn from her wicked ways and pray then she will hear from heaven and God will heal our land. America gambling is not the panacea for our economic growth. God wants to remain first in our lives. He stated in His word, the Bible that “I will supply all of your needs according to my riches and glory by Christ Jesus.” Take God at His Word; try God for a change. We have tried our way, now its time to return to God and His methods.

Now if scientist and politicians were to read this article, they would say the natural disasters are due to climate change as a result of global warming; well that may be in part true but remember God gave man dominion over all His creation, therefore, we haven’t been good stewards have we? What is a steward? A steward is a manager or one who manages. Look at God who loved man so much He placed us in charge of His creation. What a trusting God?

This brings me to the final segment of this topical discussion, which is believers what are we to do? Fellow believers join with me in prayer for the healing of this land and sinners turn from their wicked way. Americans, believers and non-believers lets humble our selves before God. Let’s make God the forefront of our lives because He is the center of our existence from beginning to end.

Let’s pray, Father God, as we witness many natural disasters here at home and abroad, Lord touch the heart of every person and let them know that You are still supreme and in control and whatever our needs are You will supply, for this we thank You. Father, You are still all wise and all knowing. Father look on the ones experiencing difficulties, fix the situations. Finally, Father God, America as a whole has turned from you, give us a repentant heart so that You may withhold Your anger against us; so when the great day of Your wrath finally does come, we will be able to stand (Revelation 6:17 paraphrased). Father, we thank for Your goodness, mercy and answering this prayer. Amen.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Has America lost its moral Compass?

This question is posed because it appears that what are right have become the wrongs and what is wrong has become right.

Let’s explore what is meant by the right becoming the wrong and wrong has become right; we see same sex-marriages being legalized by the high courts in some states, and many other states recognizing same sex-marriages as civil unions. Did these decision makers ever consider the institution of marriage being implemented by God according to Genesis1:27? We see from scripture God instituted marriage between Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve or Eve and Ethel. In addition, we see God implementation of the family structure as man, wife and then the children. God created man first, then Eve and instructed them to be fruitful and multiply; from this union their children were born (Cain and Abel named in the Bible). Two men do not constitute a family nor do two women and then incorporating the child constitute a family. Is man (mankind) leaning to his own understanding instead of consulting scripture for what is right in the sight of God or is man forsaking the knowledge of God in order to live by his own standards and not God’s moral laws? We see in Romans 1:18-32 the sins man was committing and God’s reactions. God gave them over to a reprobate mind, meaning it was a primary sign of God abandoning His prized creation. Questions come to mind which are, is modern day society (America) following in the foot steps of the people recorded in the Bible? Does America believe the Bible, or does America feel that since God has sent His Son Jesus to redeem man no harm will befall him and he can live anyway he wants? What happened to the principles that this country was founded upon which was “In God we trust”?

It appears as though we are trusting in the almighty dollar? Greed has become the ruler of this nation. I say that because we have CEO’s making millions of dollar per year while their company’s profit margin is falling, plants and other industries closing their doors, workers losing their jobs, which in turn results in homes being lost, an increase in our unemployment roles as well as an increase to our health and human services. This causes a strain on our economy and everybody loses. Ask yourself this question, is any CEO worth $52 million and more per year while their company struggles and their workers are being let go? Some of these workers will lose their pension or life savings? Who can forget the Enron and Kmart fiasco just to name a few? What happened to those people? What happen to live and let live or treat others as I want to be treated? Are these actions all about self and forget the workers (little guy)?

It appears that greed is prevalent throughout corporate America and our government as well. Reflect with me on the movie Fahrenheit 9/11 when our sitting president stated “it’s all about the haves and have mores, and I got my base.” This statement had a profound negative effect on me with regards to how he felt about people earning less that $200,000 per year. It did not give me a good feel for how he would direct the overall populace of this country. What do we have now? Our economy is on the brink of disaster, our dollar is being devalued and the value is lower than it has ever been. This country is deep in debt to China and other countries, we import far more than we export. Oil prices are at an all time high and steady climbing; make one wonder will this end and how long will the big oil companies and our government continues to bleed the people? All Greed!

Let’s not forget this war that this country is waging that has cost and continues to cost this country billions. The result is that our grandchildren’s future has been mortgaged away. Unless some God fearing leader (s) goes to Washington and put his trust in God for leadership to turn things around, then our grandchildren has no hope of the future as we know it. However, we Christians must teach our children and grandchildren to put all their trust in God first, and then teach them to live within or below their means. Second, teach them as our parents taught us to pay God His ten percent first, and then save some for a rainy day.

Other examples of this country’s moral decay is a majority of our TV shows promotes sex and numerous are promoting or pushing the envelope on homosexuality. Our earlier TV shows had more respected their TV audience and held themselves to a higher standard. Family shows depicted the husband, wife and kids, not two men and a child. Please let’s not forget the rap culture and the language that is uses in these recordings. This music is being played and our children listen and believe this is the norm. They should not be subjected to this kind of language and culture. Wrong is right!

I am reminded of the incident where a sitting judge was punished for having the Ten Commandments displayed in his court room. What’s wrong with this country? The ones who initiated these actions, don’t they know the Ten Commandments are the foundation for this country’s laws. Are they non-believers who does not want any evidence of God and His name displayed anywhere?

America let’s remember our morals which this country was founded upon; more importantly, right is right and wrong is wrong. That’s the way it is and will remain so. Fellow believers, go with me in sincere prayer for the moral decay of this country and its other aliments. As ambassadors for Christ we must be examples for immoral America of what is right and that right will always be right and wrong cannot become right. Has America lost its moral compass? The highlighted wrongs are enough to make you think so. You decide.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Labor of Love

1 Corinthians 1:3

What is love? Love is God promising humanity a saviour and the Father fulfilled His promise in Jesus Christ. Love can be found in John 3:16, “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This verse depicts the true heart of God and demonstrates to the world what true love is. The words “world and whosoever” encompasses every one. God is not concerned about race, creed, color or social status; He is concerned about humanity’s salvation. For this reason God gave the best and all He had to provide mankind with everlasting life. What love?

1 John 4:9 supports God’s love for humanity which is evidence through Jesus Christ that “we may live through him.” God tells us in1 John 4:7 to love one another because He is the source of our love and there is no greater love than the love of God who lives in us through the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit we can overcome the evils of this world, which includes Satan’s temptations, persecutions and false teachings. With the Holy Spirit aiding the believer, we can live victoriously according to God’s will for our lives in Christ (Romans 8:37, Word Study Bible).

Once believers establish a vertical relationship with God, then believers can develop a horizontal relationship one to another (v7). Love is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and evidenced in our new birth and spiritual maturity. In addition, it is something the believer is responsible to develop because (a) it is God’s nature and we are born of Him, (b) He is love and believers experience His love and forgiveness. What love!

1 John 4:10 states, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” What is left to say about God and His love; it transcends all definitions and actions. How do we as believers respond to God’s love? Deuteronomy 6:5 answers the question on how believers are to respond to God’s love given all that He has done for humanity. Verse 5 is a commandment given by God and is regarded as the greatest commandment of all. Furthermore verse 5 supports Mark 12:29-31 in regards to the believer’s relationship to God and one another.

It was a labor of love that our Savior Jesus Christ went to the cross as humanity’s propitiator in complete obedience His father. How are we to respond? We are to remember His work on the cross in faith and that Jesus Christ paid humanity’s sin debt at Calvary. It was a labor of love from a human perspective because Jesus was both man and God. In His humanity, Jesus suffered brutal pain and agony many hours for mankind. In Sovereignty Jesus willingly gave His life bridging the divide between man and God. During those atoning hours God, the Father could not look on His Son; even the heavenly bodies went out of control; the sun refused to shine, the earth reeled back and forth like a drunken man and mid-day looked like night, because the second person in the Godhead was taking on humanity’s sins.

Remembering what God the Father and His Son done for us, we should love God first and then “one another in deed and in truth” (1 Johns 3:18). This shows that we have the love of God in us and we are the sons of God. Love is the focal point of our being an has been written and testified of, we as believers can delight ourselves in the LORD because we are loved and at any time we feel unloved we can pray this prayer, “LORD thank you for encompassing me with your love” (Light For My Path for Women, Jennifer Hahn). This prayer is powerful and reflective of foot prints in the sand saying; when we are in trouble and there are one set of footprints it is our Lord carrying us. Another view point on God’s love, when troubles over shadows us and we feel unloved; God’s love is the umbrella that protects us. God said “I will never leave you nor forsake you” Take God at His word and enjoy His all encompassing love.

The book, The Lord Is My Shepherd is available through Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles, and PublishAmerica.com.

Read and be blessed. Post your comments to the envelope.

Willie White,
The author

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Walk in Love

Ephesians 5:1-2a

Why is it important to walk in love? Ephesians 5: 1 -2 states “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling saviour.” These two verses answer why believers are to walk in love. Additionally, if we as believers are to follow God’s example on love who gave His best for humanity’s sins and Christ’s Calvary encounter was the ultimate display of love for mankind. This display of love depicts the true heart of God and the obedience of His Son. Furthermore, being a Christian means being Christ-like, then we are to walk humbly in love to God. Amy Carmichael’s saying on love, “If I put my own good name before the other’s highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

The question is how do Christians show the world love? Romans 12:10, states, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” Scriptures instructing believers on love are 1 Thessalonians 4:9b states, “ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” In 1 John 4:11-12, “If we love one another, and “God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” Love has been the message since the beginning of time will continue to resonate throughout the ages as we are to love God first then one another; love begins and ends with God. What greater love that a man will lay down his life for his friends, which is what Christ did for humanity. Jesus called His disciples friends and you and I are considered friends upon establishing a relationship with Jesus.

We have discussed how Christians show the world love; let’s discuss the benefits of walking in love. Christians are commissioned to serve as God’s ambassadors who carry His message throughout the world. As Christ’s ambassador we are let our light shine before God so men may see our good works and want to be saved. The world is to see Christ manifested in our daily lives. Believers are the salt of the earth; seasoning the earth with the gospel message of Christ. Matthew 28:19-20 is known as the great commission for all believers who are commissioned to go into every nation making disciples not just converts. Christ is with His ambassadors in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Christ promised to be with His followers to the ends of the world, and believers can stand on this promise. What is a disciple? A disciple is a follower of Christ who is committed to following Christ with their whole hearts, minds, wills and has committed themselves to Christ and His kingdom purposes. Believers are to live separated lives as sojourners in a foreign land, which is what we are; because heaven is our true home.
What is believers’ lifestyle? Believers practice a lifestyle of daily holy living, because believers are of the royal priesthood which sets us apart as a holy nation for a special service for the Lord. Some of those special services include, (a) being a living sacrifice of holy obedience to God and not conforming to this world, (b) offering our petitions, prayer and praise to God on behalf of others, (c) performing good deeds, (d) giving material possessions as required, and (e) presenting our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness ( KJV LSPSB).

Final question, what are the blessings from walking in God’s love? The blessings from walking in God’s love result in believers being made holy which separates us from the world and delivers us from the bondage sin that we may have an intimate fellowship with God and gladly serve Him until we reach our heavenly home. Believers have separation by accepting Christ’s atoning death on the cross through faith. Sanctification is an ongoing process that requires believers to remain in constant communion with Christ. Believers are blessed with the Hoy Spirit who leads guides and protects us while calming the trouble waters of our souls. We are kept in unity with God by the constant anointing of the Holy Spirit through daily Bible reading and prayer. How is your Christian walk? Is it in love?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day

Marvellous are Thy Works
Psalm 139:14

Who are mothers? Mothers are the female parent in the household. She is a voice of authority. She is the child-bearer of the family. She is the family’s centerpiece. She loves and moves with the grace of God. She love and cherishes her family, husband and children unconditionally. She loves and honors her position and responsibilities.

Mothers are a masterpiece designed by God, and mothers honor their masterful works as recorded in Psalm 139:14 which states, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

Mothers, you are a blessing from God; your hands never stop working. You mend broken hearts with a smile, kind words of encouragement and then offer an intercessory prayer to God. Your words melt away the hurt, problems become smaller, mountains appear easier to climb, and goals become achievable.

This day is set aside to say thank you for all your acts of kindness, endless love and tireless efforts.

Mothers, what would life be like without you? Mothers, you are loved.

Happy Mother’s Day

Good Shepherd Writing and Publishing LLC
© all rights subsists 05/04/2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Duties to Fellow Members

Final phase in our covenant discussion is the duty of members to each other; first, we are to watch over one another in love (see I Peter 1:22 paraphrases). Why? God is love and we are to emulate His love. Second, we are to pray for one another (James5:16). “Prayers of the righteous availeth much.”

Third, we are to aid in sickness and distress (see Galatians 6:2; James 2:14-17). What better opportunity for a believer to visit than when our brother or sister is experiencing sickness or gonging through a distressful situation; a smile and prayer is always appropriate? A smile looked upon as the universal language understood by all that warms the heart and believers are encouraged to pray for one another because God answer’s prayer.

Forth, we are to show sympathy and courtesy (1 Peter 3:8). What this means, we as believers are to share in another’s pain and extend a hand of courtesy to the person or family. Lastly, we are to be slow to take offense or become angry and always be ready to reconcile our differences (Ephesians 4:30-32). It takes a big person to say I am sorry. More importantly, this phrase will and has reconciled many differences and initiated more forgiveness than any phrase known to man.

In closing our dialogue on the basic covenant as it relates to believers and the church, it was the writer’s intent to enlighten, encourage and refresh the memory of readers on their basic duties. Hopefully, the discussion was stimulating as the covenant was discussed in-depth; for it is our agreement between the church, God and one another. Let’s honor our covenant relationships and be blessed.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Personal Christian Living - Covenant

This week's discussion on the Basic Covenant deals with the believer duties from a personal Christian living point of view.

The first thing is to maintain family and secret devotions (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18; Acts 17:11). First, the family structure needs to be recognized as a unit that God instituted, man, wife and children; where man is the head as God is the head of all. The family as a praying unit is a family that recognizes prayer as their communication with God and in the process establishes a relationship with the Father. This represents a godly family because they give thanks to God for what He has done in their lives. Furthermore, the family that places vital importance on family time together and outings as oppose to having the family operates on the postal system syndrome recognizes the true meaning of family.

Second, Christian living take serious the religious education of their children (2 Timothy 3:15; Deuteronomy 6:4-7) and they do not rely on secular education or the child to learn about God in a hit or miss manner. All parents set an example in their Christian education by living godly lives before the child and then they practice Deuteronomy 6:4-7. In addition, parents enroll their children in a structured Christian educational setting where the true Word of God is being taught. The child’s first education begins in the home when the child’s learns to talk. The child’s biblical teachings progresses as the child grow, meaning the child is growing spiritual and physically thus giving the child a solid foundation to withstand Satan’s attacks.

Third, our Christian living should be a Bible to the lost world for generations to come. Therefore, we as believers are to seek the salvation of the lost (Acts 1:8; Matthews 4:19; Psalm 126: 5-6; 2:14-15; Proverbs 11:30) in that we are witnesses for Christ; we have power through the Holy Spirit residing in us.

Fourth, we are to walk circumspectly in the world and just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements and exemplary in our behavior (Ephesians 5:15; Philippians 2:115; 1 Peter 2:11-12). What does all this mean? First let’s look at the word circumspect(ly) it means to carefully consider all circumstances, weigh you options or possible consequences. This what the writer means when she is teaching young children and adults about critical thinking, consider the consequences. Next, we are to be fair in our dealings as God is fair and just with us. To be faithful is to be committed in whatever we promise to do, in other words, let your yes be yes and no’s be no’s. Finally, be exemplary is to set an example, or serve as a model and lastly be above reproach.

Fifth, Christian living is to avoid gossip and excessive anger (Ephesians 4:31; 1 Peter 2:21; Colossians 3:8; James 3:1-2). We are to speak kindly of others because we are all God’s children and we are to emulate Him and then we must love one another. How must we control anger? This is accomplished with meekness, which is anger under control.

The sixth attribute of Christian living is to abstain from the sale or use of liquors (Ephesians 5:18; Habakkuk 2:15). Scripture encourages us to be filled with the Holy Spirit instead of spirits from the vines (fermented wines or intoxicating beverages) to the point of intoxication. Wine was commonly used in religious (Lord’s Supper) setting but it is believed to be of the non fermented or non-toxicating variety.

The seventh and final attribute of Christian living is for believers to be zealous in our efforts for Christ (Titus 2: 14). What does this mean? Believers are to have the zeal of Christ as He is our example in holy living.

Next week's topic will conclude our discussion on the Basic Covenant. It covers our duties to fellow members.

Read and be blessed

Monday, April 14, 2008

Members duties to the Church

What are our duties to the church as it relate to the covenant?

First, we see that members are to walk together in Christian love, for God is love and we are to emulate Christ.

Second we are to strive for the advancement of the church by promoting its prosperity and spirituality (see Philippians 1:27; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Peter 3:11). How do we advance the church’s prosperity? The most familiar is giving of our time, talent and tithes. God requires one tenth according to Malachi 3:10, which speaks to the blessings in store for believers. The question is often asked, “Will a man rob God” (V8)? Who wants to given all He has done for humanity and everything belongs to Him. In reverencing to God we give back the first of what He has already given us. How do we advance the church spiritually? According to 2 Corinthians 7:1 we are to cleanse ourselves of all unholiness and resist sinful desires of the body (paraphrased). Then if we are committed to Christ and have accepted Him as our personal savior, the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, as He cannot resides in a filthy place; subsequently it behooves every believer to lead and live sanctified lives daily. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit to aid believers in advancing the church spiritually; the true church is the believer. Let’s discuss briefly advancing the church with our time and talents; time is contributing to a ministry of the church or our community as God has blessed each believer with a gift (talent) and each is to edify the body of Christ. Consider your body; each member (part) of the body serves in its designed function contributing to the entire body. The same principle applies to the church (body of Christ); each gift is given to work together in harmony for the church’s advancement.

Third, we are to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines (Hebrews, 10:25; Matthews 28:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Jude 3). Let’s pose a series of questions, what is worship? What are the church ordinances? What is discipline? And finally, what is doctrine? Worship is “reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary P 1065). A series of questions come to mind; when do we worship? Where do we worship? How do we worship? Is it in sincerity or superficially? How often do we worship? Take a self-analysis of your answers. An ordinance is “an authoritative decree or direction” (MwD p. 624). In religious settings and especially the Baptist faith ordinances are recognized as the Baptist Hiscox Guide and or the Articles of Faith. A discipline is defined “as self-control” (MWD p.252). Other denominations have authoritative decrees as a guide for their believers. Speaking on a spiritual note, how believers maintain self-discipline is with the aid of the Holy Spirit. The last question’s answer what is doctrine? Doctrine is teachings. Merriam- Webster (p.262) defines it as “strictly implies authoritative teaching accepted by a body of believers or adherents of a philosophy or school.” The secular and biblical definitions are parallel in their meanings.
From here we will segway to the fourth duty of the believer to the church, which is to give it pre-eminence in our lives (Matthew 6:33). What this means is to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first and allow Him to take care of our needs.

The fifth duty as a member to the church is to contribute cheerfully and regularly (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8: 6-7). We as believers should make giving a part of our worship being a blessing to others as God has blessed us. Why? Because our true blessings come from God and it is His desire that we follow Christ’s example set before us. He stated that “the poor we would have with us always.” Additionally, our giving should be in proportion to our income, meaning that believers should set aside God’s tenth first each pay as we do our mortgage and experience God’s continuous blessings. Furthermore, we must make a conscious decision to serve God with our time, not just our money (Matthews 6:24). Finally, giving increases our dedication to God (Matthews 6:21) and activate the work of God in our financial affairs (Luke 6:38). More importantly, our primary focus should be God’s righteousness and His kingdom instead of our material wealth. He promised to supply all our needs; He is the good shepherd.

The sixth and final duty as a member of his or her local church is, upon leaving one’s current church, then promptly join another church so the believer will remain active in church work wherever the person may live (see Acts 11:19-21; 18:24-28).

This concludes our discussion on members and church duties; our next topical discussion will be on personal Christian living as it relates to believers and the covenant.