Several of the Psalms in the Old Testament are calls to worship. For example, Psalm 95 opens with these words: “O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” (Psalm 95:1) Then, a few verses later, we are further urged to worship God: “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.” (Psalm 95:6)
But why? Why should we worship God? This Psalm offers two compelling reasons. First, we should worship God because: “The Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”
(Psalm 95:3) None of the gods of the ancient world were real nor are the modern gods of the various world religions. These all are lacking in real power but the God we worship is “a great God, a great King above all gods.”
Second, we should worship God because: “He is our God.” (Psalm 95:7) Not all men can say this; but Christians can. God is our God and he recognizes us as His people. What a great reason to worship and praise Him.
Our culture stigmatizes Christian Values and makes nearly any public stand or statement regarding what Scripture says about homosexuality, objective truth, sanctity of life, and creation an object of great scorn. A moral erosion has been in motion for several generations. Paul points out five facts about a faithless people (Rom. 1:18-32):
Faithlessness ignites God’s fury (18). Wrathfulness is as much a part of God’s nature as graciousness. Paul says the object of His wrath is all ungodliness and unrighteousness.
Faithlessness ignores the facts (19-20). Paul says that faithlessness is not due to an absence of facts, but a willful ignorance of them. It takes a deliberate effort to arrive at unbelief. So much has to be continuously ignored.
Faithlessness includes futility (21). Faithlessness is built upon a flimsy foundation. It’s the slab of speculation. The faithless spend their lives running from the facts in favor of a worldview that makes no sense, gives no purpose, and instills no hope.
Faithlessness involves folly (22-23). It’s not just empty, it’s foolish. Paul’s words here are akin to David’s words in Psalm 14:1 and 53:1, that “the fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
Faithlessness instigates a fall (24-32). Paul pictures how a person arrives at wholesale immorality. One turns from God and runs the other way.
These verses are proof of divine inspiration, because although they were written 2000 years ago they perfectly describe the current culture.
“But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) This verse is obviously directed at men. But why do some Christian females dress in a way that tempts a man to go there, in his mind, with her? The way a female dresses speaks louder than anything she professes verbally. Overly revealing dress is an invitation to lascivious thoughts. A female who fails to present herself in a way befitting one who professes to obey God (1 Timothy 2:9-10) is not serving herself, her Lord, or the men she encounters. Nor is she setting a proper example for family, friends, and fellow church members. When you dress in the morning, would you make the same clothing choice if you knew later, that very day, you would meet Jesus Himself? If the answer is no, change your clothes. A female who dresses enticingly is not only causing others to sin, but is guilty of sin herself.
There is a lot in our world that is just plain ugly. Catch the news on any day and hear of war, crime, tragedy, etc. Our music often focuses on that which is depressing rather than uplifting. On the other hand, there are a lot of good things on which we can focus our attention.
The good thing is this – we have a choice. Of course we cannot isolate ourselves completely from every unpleasant thing, but we can choose our focus. We can make a genuine effort to fill our minds with the good things and this will make a world of difference in our lives.
Paul put it this way: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
The Book of Proverbs is a book of wisdom – wisdom on how to live. There is a lot in it said about riches and poverty. One choice passage says this:
“Give me neither poverty nor riches –
Feed me with the food allotted to me;
Lest I be full and deny You.
And say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God.”
(Proverbs 30:8-9 NKJ)
This passage presents a very balanced view of wealth and poverty. There is an inherent spiritual danger in each. The safest place is somewhere in between and this is where most of us find ourselves.
The apostle Paul offered a similar idea but in different words: “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8)
You hold more than a baby in your arms. You lead more than a toddler or small child by the hand. You mold and shape more than a child’s mind, social skills, and heart. You, dear lady, are influencing this world and eternity. As you rise to the challenges and succeed in keeping Christ in the center of your children’s hearts, you are partnering with God. He can help you cope with the temporary trauma, the short-lived chagrin, and fleeting frustrations of motherhood. God designed the home, and as such He designed it as a place where mother’s touch and influence would settle deep into the hearts and lives of those eternal souls you helped bring into existence. You can dedicate them to God like Hannah did Samuel (1 Sam. 2:28). You can sacrifice for them like Samson’s mother did for him (Jud. 13:13-14). You can treasure the things about your children in your heart as Mary did about Jesus (Luke 2:19).
The trials of motherhood are a relative moment. The lessons you leave them last beyond a lifetime. Thank you for willingly, lovingly, and righteously pursuing this important facet of God’s work on earth!
Government among men is God’s idea. Paul wrote: “There is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1) It is one of His blessings to mankind. Anarchy – the lack of government – would be devastating. It would truly be the survival of the fittest or put more bluntly – a dog eat dog world. Even the anarchist could not survive anarchy.
Rulers exist in the world for the benefit of those who do good and for the punishment of those who do evil. Paul put it this way: “Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil…he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid, for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God a revenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil.” (Romans 13:3-4)
We should pray for those who rule. Again Paul wrote: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority.” He then adds what should be the goal of such prayers: “That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
The Book of Job tells of Satan bringing accusations against Job. He said to the Lord, “Doth Job fear God for nought?” (Job 1:9) Then again, “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” (Job 2:4) But Job is not the only one whom Satan accuses before God. In Revelation 12:10 Satan is referred to as “the accuser of our brethren.”
Imagine that – Satan in the presence of God to accuse each of us. Do you think maybe he might be able to dig up some dirt from our past? Maybe find a skeleton or two in the closet. The reality for all of us is – “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
So where does that leave us? Can Satan really bring an accusation against Christians and make it stick? No! Listen to this reassuring passage: “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is ever at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” (Romans 8:33-34)
How then does one receive this salvation from sin? The Bible puts it this way: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
It is not uncommon to hear churches describe themselves as “Bible believing.” It is usually said to distinguish themselves from other churches which have very little regard for the authority of the Bible. And we certainly agree it is a good thing to be Bible believing. However, the question is not only: Do you believe the Bible, but what else do you believe?
What if two explicit statements of scripture seem to contradict each other? Which do we believe? The problem is with us, not the scriptures. The scriptures do not really contradict each other. It is only our opinion of one or the other passage that is contradictory. Sometimes people have such a strong opinion based on one statement of scripture that they reject another explicit statement of scripture.
A common example of this: the Bible says, “By grace are ye saved through faith…not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Some people conclude that if salvation is “by grace through faith” and “not of works” then baptism cannot be essential to salvation. The problem is the Bible does not say that baptism is not essential. But rather the Bible connects the two. Jesus himself said. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” (Mark 16:16) The apostle Peter said, “Repent, and be baptized…for the remission of sins.” (Acts 2:38) The apostle Paul affirmed that we are “baptized into Christ.” (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27) And the apostle Peter wrote explicitly, “Baptism does also now save us.” (1 Peter 3:21)
We should never form an opinion from one passage that contradicts another. We should believe both and let time help us come to an understanding of why the passages are not contradictory. The real believer will trust that both statements of scripture are true; then, in time, he may come to understand how.