By Neal Pollard
—Whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another commits adultery (Mat. 19:9)
—Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38)
—For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error (Rom. 1:26-27)
—And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord (Eph. 5:18-19)
—A woman is not allowed to teach or exercise authority over a man (1 Tim. 2:11-14)
These passages go against the grain of popular opinion, cultural mores, and religious orthodoxy. Religious leaders with academic degrees, numerous followers, or oratorical skills will not change the truth of Scripture. It is what it is. Our role is to humbly submit.
Do you remember those words from your childhood? I do. There were those times for many of us when our parents told us either to do or not to do something and the reason given was “because I say so.” And I suppose most of us have at times said the same to our children. It simply means “I’m the parent you are the child, so do as you are told.” Similarly, God sometimes reinforces His commands by saying, “I am the Lord.”
In the Book of Leviticus chapter 19 there is a long series of diverse commands given. It’s this chapter that contains the statements “Ye shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” which the apostle Peter quotes for us. (Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:16) Also it’s in this chapter that we have, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” which Jesus said was the second greatest commandment. (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39)
How did God reinforce these commands? He said, “I am the Lord your God.” This statement or a variation of it is found according to my count 15 times in that one chapter. The point is that we need to do what God says just because He is God. He is the Lord, therefore, obey Him.
The Bible has a lot to say about decisions. The great men of the Bible were great because of the choices they made. There was Joshua. He called on Israel to “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” Then added emphatically, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) There was also Moses. He chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” (Hebrews 11:25)
There are many decisions we must make in life. We must choose a mate. This very important decision can determine the whole course of our lives. We must choose an occupation. Remember to make it an honorable one. We must choose our friends. Be very careful here. Remember: “Evil companionships corrupt good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
We must never forget that decisions determine destiny. This is true not only of the big decisions but of the little ones also. Our eternal destiny will be determined by the total of all our decisions.
“The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is their grey hair.” (Proverbs 20:29)
God makes his children beautiful at any age, but especially in advanced age. There is something magnificent about a life that has matured in the service of the Lord. Surely, “youth holds but half.”
It is tragic indeed that today while there is an unprecedented surge of interest in old material objects many people fail to see the beauty of age in human beings. Older Christians, whose lives are rich and enriching, have a beauty that far outweighs the beauty of material objects. A radiant Christian life is enhanced by age and has a greater depth and richness to it. “The grey head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31) God himself is the best operator. He can put a sparkle in the eye, loveliness in the face and beauty in your character. “He hath made everything beautiful in his time.” (Eccl. 3:11)
Adapted from Virgil Bentley