W4CL – Restore

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galations 6:1 (KJV)

How many times have you without any fault of your own found yourself dealing with a sin?  You found yourself, deceived, believing wrongly, doing wrongly.  You were “overtaken in a fault”.  You have grieved over it.  Then a “Spiritual” brother/sister who is bearing all those fruit of the Spirit comes and ministers to your need.  By the love, compassion, and meekness you are restored to fellowship with God and the Body of Christ.

That is what it means to be a “Spiritual” Christian.  The spiritual Christian does not condemn the fallen brethren, but seeks to restore the one who is grieving in their sin.

The next time you see a brother/sister in Christ overtaken in a fault seek his/her  restoration.  You could find yourself in that situation sometime later.

For further study on Galations 6:1

W4CL – Fruit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”  Galations 5:22-26 (KJV)

Paul gave us examples of the works of the flesh in the verses  preceding the above text.  They are the evidence of ungodliness.  Many of the works of the flesh have been seen in professing Christians; however they are the works of the flesh; and not of Christ.

The works of the flesh come from the heart and mind of unredeemed men and women.  It can be the old left overs of one’s past life, and the Christian must put them to death.  The Christian will produce the Fruit of the Spirit – the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Notice the fruit –  “Love, joy, peace”  The three go together; you cannot separate peace from love or joy, nor joy from peace and love; nor love from joy and peace.  The peace of God which passes all understanding (Romans 5:1-2; Philippians 4:7).

“Longsuffering” that is basically patience, enduring faith in God, forbearance with others.

“Gentleness” equals moral goodness, integrity.  You are the same in your behavior when you are alone as  you are when you are with people.

“Goodness”  Upright in heart.

“Faith” having a conviction of the truth.

“Meekness”  not too many people desire to be meek; however that is a fruit of the Spirit.  Jesus said of the meek “They shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).  Jesus is a good example of meekness.  Knowing who He is, did not retaliate against those who hated Him; instead, He said, “Father, forgive them they know not what they do.”  (Luke 23:34).

“Temperance”  means self-control.  This begins with have a clear mind, clean heart, and life.  One cannot have self-control if they have the works of the flesh.  The works of the flesh are in control.

Walking in the Spirit gives the Christian freedom to walk with Jesus; free from condemnation, guilt, and fear.  The fruit of the Spirit is what comes from the Christian who is trusting the Lord.

In Christ Jesus you do bear the fruit of the Spirit.

Through the Bible in a Year 072813

To Be Called By His Grace…

I.  …WE ARE DELIVERED FROM CONDEMNING RELIGION (Galations 1:13-14)

II.   …WE ARE CALLED TO A NEW LIFE AND MINISTRY (1:15-17).

III.  …WE ARE DEAD WITH CHRIST; YET RISEN WITH HIM (Galations 2:18-21).

 

EVENING MESSAGE –

When the LORD is Great in Our Lives…

I.  …WE WILL GUARD OUR WAYS AND OUR TONGUE (Psalm 39:1-5).

II.  …WE WILL BE COMPASSIONATE TO OTHERS (Psalm 41:1-4).

III.    …WE WILL REJOICE IN  HIS GREATNESS (Psalm 48:1-7; Psalm 54:1-7.

IV.  …WE WILL KNOW AND RECOGNIZE THE HEARTS OF WICKEDNESS (Psalm 58:1-5).

V.  …WE WILL THIRST FOR GOD DAILY, AND OFTEN (Psalm 63:1-2).

VI.    …WE WILL SEEK THE LORD FOR OUR KEEPING (Psalm 64:1-6).

W4CL – Heirs

“Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father.’ Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”   Galations 4:1-7 (KJV)

There has been much talk in our nation, and around the world of the new “Royal baby” which was born a week or so ago.  “Third heir to the throne” we have heard.  What is he heir to?  The ceremonial, traditional position of the king of England.  A small, and somewhat influential country in the world; an honor for this baby, and the ones which preceded him.

It is Paul’s declaration that those who have been born of God are heirs with Christ Jesus.  Now that is not a ceremonial, nor traditional thing; it is an eternal, very influential thing.  According to Romans 8:17 those of us who have been born again through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, buried with Him in His baptism, and raised again to new life through His resurrection are “Joint heirs with Christ”.  What does that mean?

It means that we will not be ruling a penniless, bankrupt nation (spiritually and economically); we will rule the earth with King Jesus on the throne.  He is the one who “Owns the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10).  He also owns the stars in the deepest parts of space, and the earth is His footstool (Matthew 5:35).

If we are joint heirs with Christ, and we are; then, as heirs of Christ we should behave like heirs of Christ until He comes again.

In Christ you are heir to more than a fading kingdom; you are an heir to all that is God’s.

W4CL – Faith

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth He it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”  Galations 3:1-5 (KJV)

The Church of Galatia was foolish enough they were beginning to rely on works, maybe it was sacraments – baptism, the Lord’s Supper [Communion], etc. – for salvation.  Paul calls them “Foolish” and “Bewitched” or deceived.

It is faith that moves mountains.  It is only the grace of God through faith that saves, and it is God alone who gives faith.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:8-10 (KJV)

Note that grace and faith are a “Gift of God”.  The gift that has been given us the death of God’s only Son Jesus Christ on the cross.  His burial and bodily resurrection confirms the work of grace.  Faith believes God, and lives for Him and His glory.

The Word for Christian Living to day is Faith.

W4CL – Crucified

“For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”  Galations 2:18-21 (KJV)

As Christians we too often forget that the life we live in Christ is due to the crucifixion of Christ and His bodily resurrection.  It is imperative that we also see that we are “Crucified with Christ” (v. 20); and because we are crucified with Him we will also, one day reign with Him (Romans 8:17), because we are also, “Risen with Christ” (Colossians 3:1).

As a Christian we do not enjoy sin; we are dead to it – “Crucified with Christ”, and have been raised again by His resurrection.  Because of His resurrection we grow in love with Christ; closer to Him and His likeness, and grow further from sin and its destruction.

I am crucified with Christ. 

Thirsty

“O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary.”  Psalm 63:1-2 (KJV)

Did the Psalmist know God?  David knew God.  Yet the more or better he knew Him the more he desired Him.

Jesus said,

“Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:13-14

The Christian is full of the water that Jesus gives, but is continually in need to drink from the Source.  The better we know Jesus the more we desire to know Him.

Words for Christian Living – Arabia

“For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: and profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.”  Galations 1:13-17 (KJV)

Arabia is situated to the Northeast of Africa as a peninsula.  Paul declares in Galations that this is the place to which he went following his call from Christ to follow Him.  He makes it clear that his first call was to get to know the Lord Jesus better.  He sought to learn of Him from Him, not the apostles, not what others had to say; but from Jesus alone.  There was nothing about Arabia that had any appeal to it.  He went to the wilderness.  This seems to be very similar to Jesus’s going into the wilderness “to be tempted/tested” (Matthew 4:1-11).

Every Christian needs to learn more about Jesus, from Jesus Himself.  The place to begin is with the Bible, God’s Word; and believe it, and live by it, as Jesus did, and continues doing.  Your Arabia may just be your quiet time each morning in prayer and in the reading of the Bible.  Make it daily, and at the same time each day.

It is most important that you hear what Jesus says of Himself.  Then when you hear things that are contrary to what you have learned from God and His Word you will know that it is false.

Spend some time each day in your Arabia.

Words for Christian Living – Thanksgiving

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)

A person’s attitude says a lot about who they are.  Your attitude is not fixed by your surroundings, your friends, or your enemies.  Your attitude is from your own heart.  A good attitude is best attained by having a thankful spirit and heart.

When you are thankful; despite your circumstances, despite criticism, or cruelty from others; despite sickness, or economic situation; then you will have a good attitude through all those things.  Whoever or what ever controls your attitude is your god or your idol.

When the Christian is thankful the great attitude you have shows that God’s will is being done in your life.  Your thanksgiving to God shows He is Lord of your life.

The Psalmist wrote…

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”  Psalm 100:4 (KJV)

When bad circumstances, or “mean” people start getting under your skin; thank the Lord for your job, your family; or most of all just thank God for being God, and in control of your life; then do something nice for the perpetrator with a smile.

Words for Christian Living – Bless the LORD

 “I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  Psalm 34:1 (KJV)

As Christians we are daily, constantly being blessed by God.  How often, however, do we think of Blessing God?  The phrase “Bless the LORD” is used mostly in Psalms, and occurs about 17 times; with one of those times reading “Bless ye the LORD” (Psalm 103:21). The phrase is used at least three more times in the rest of the Old Testament.  The Psalmist was a blessing to God, and blessed God.

How does the Christian bless the LORD?  First of all we fear the LORD.  In fearing God we love Him, obey His commands because we love Him.  In these things we speak words that honor Him.  We live a life that honors and glorifies Him.

Secondly, we lift up the name of Jesus in praise; not as a swear word.  Shame on the Christian who would ever use the name of Jesus Christ as an expression of anger, passion, or frustration.

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge. For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away. Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.”  Psalm 48:1-7 (KJV)

Bless the LORD.

Through the Bible in a Year – e072113

When We Fear the LORD

I.  …WE ARE KEPT FROM EVIL PATHS (Psalm 17:4-7).

II.  …WE SUBMIT TO GOD’S WORD AND PRAISE HIM (Psalm 19:7-11).

III.  …WE REJOICE IN THE STRENGTH OF THE LORD (Psalm 21:1-6).

IV.  …WE ARE WITH THE SECRET OF THE LORD (Psalm 25:8-14).

V.  … WE REQUEST GOD’S ATTENTION (Psalm 28:1-5).

VI.  WHEN WE FEAR THE LORD, WE WILL BLESS THE LORD (Psalm 34:1-10).

Words for Christian Living – Blessing the Poor

“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and Thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: Thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. I said, ‘LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against Thee.'”  Psalm 41:1-4 (KJV)

In the United States of America we are richly blessed.  We are blessed with the grace of God.  We are blessed with riches.  Yet in the midst of the blessing of riches we are cursed with some levels of poverty; and some of which cannot be avoided.  People often find themselves without an income, due to loss of jobs; or sickness, and/or disease; which has robbed them of the strength to make a living.  These are the poor that the Christian must not neglect.

It is the light of Christ Jesus that shines in our hearts that causes us to see others as being better than ourselves; and that includes the poor.  Paul the apostle writing to the people of Philippi…

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”  Philippians 2:3 (KJV)

As Christians the love of Christ will reign supremely in our hearts; and others will be blessed by our lives and our conduct:  even though they may not always realize it.  John the apostle wrote the following…

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”  1 John 3:17 (KJV)

Be a blessing today.

EU leaders issue anti-Israel directive aimed at dividing Jerusalem & forcing Jews out of Biblical heartland.

Jesus is coming soon.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

>> Watch messages from the 2013 Epicenter Conference — now online and on our mobile app

According to Bible prophecy, leaders in Europe will seek to impose a dangerous, ill-considered, unworkable “peace treaty” on Israel in the last days. It may be too soon to say we are there yet, but there is no question European leaders are turning increasingly anti-Israel and seeking to impose a final status agreement on the Jewish and Palestinian people.

Here is the latest example: On the eve of new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the European Union has made a sweeping and highly aggressive move to use its legal and financial muscle to force Israel to divide its capital city of Jerusalem and  abandon all of its activities in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, commonly known these days as the “West Bank” of the Jordan River.

Specifically, the EU barring all of its 28 member countries from doing any business or…

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Words for Christian Living – Edification

“Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.”  2 Corinthians 13:10 (KJV)

A lot of times as a pastor, preacher of the gospel there will be times things within the Church, the local congregation you lead with strike up a hot response in your heart.  There are things that go on sometimes that ought to make us angry.  We see a family angry at another family; one member mad with another member; and they are casting insults at one another.  Maybe one member maligning another when the other being maligned is not guilty of much, or anything that is being charged.  It could be a member you know is in personal sin.  These things should cause some anger, with self-control [temperance] from the pastor, preacher.

In the above verse Paul has expressed that he should use “Sharpness”  or “Severe reproofs and censures… the exercise of the apostolic rod” (John Gill Commentary e-Sword).  You will note his words though “To edification”.  It should never be the intent of correction, reproof, rebuke to destroy; but to always edify.  To build up takes more effort than tearing down.  Sometimes tearing down is necessary, but the ultimate end is for “Edification”

Words for Christian Living – Sufficiency

“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (KJV)

Some will notice that I used a portion of this Scripture; verse 9; a few days ago.  There is another word that is beneficial here for the Christian.  The word “Sufficiency”  one definition at dictionary.com is “adequate provision or supply, especially of wealth.”

Sufficiency in Christ is in matters of His supply, provision; and it is adequate.  Grace is sufficient through Christ; and all that goes with it.  According to Scripture; we are “Joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17) so all that is His is ours as well, even the suffering with Him.  We are also told by Scripture that “All things are under His feet” (1 Corinthians 15:25, 27;  Ephesians 1:22;  Hebrews 2:8).  All that the Christian needs is supplied by the cross of Jesus Christ.

Christ Himself is our wealth; our Sufficiency.

Words for Christian Living – God’s Will

“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”  Ephesians 5:17

I have spent a big portion of my Christian life looking, searching for God’s will.  About a month ago I realized I do not need to search for the will of God; that I am living in it.  I am not saying I am perfect, that I have reached the state of full knowledge or anything so preposterous as that.

The MacArthur Study Bible says this…

“…God’s will revealed to us is that people should be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4), Spirit filled (v. 18), sanctified (1 Thes. 4:3), submissive (1 Pet. 2:13-15), suffering (1 Pet.2:20) and thankful (1 Thes. 5:18).”

Knowing God, His will for our lives, and serving Him is as close as His Word and His Spirit.  When we are Saved, Spirit filled, Sanctified, Submissive, Suffering, and Serving; then we are in the will of God, doing the will of God; and there shall be nothing which will be withheld from us.

The Psalmist has written…

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”  Psalm 37:4 (KJV)

When we know the LORD, are in His will, then God’s desires will be our desires.

Words for Christian Living – Fear

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.  Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.”  Psalm 27:1-3 (KJV)

What place does fear have in the life of a Christian and/or Christian living?  One place;  Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10).  Someone has said, “If we fear God we need fear nothing else”.

The Psalmist tells us that the LORD is his light and salvation.  If that be so, then whom does the Psalmist need to fear; or who does any Child of God need fear; or what do we need to fear?

We can be troubled on every side.  Health, wealth (or lack of wealth worry about paying the rent, house payment, bills), personal attacks from others, even looming death may be one of the things that strike fear into our hearts.  There is no benefit from this worry.  Worry is nothing more or less than fear.  God is our strength.

We need to hear the words of Jesus and trust Him…

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, ‘What shall we eat? or, ‘What shall we drink? or, ‘Wherewithal shall we be clothed?’ (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”  Matthew 6:30-34 (KJV)

Words for Christian Living – Jealousy

“Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”  2 Corinthians 11:1-4 (KJV)

We would not in a normal sense think of “Jealousy” as being a good thing.  However, the apostle is dealing with a people who are not strong on the doctrine of Jesus Christ alone for salvation.  We are servants of the Jealous God (Exodus 20:5; 34:14;  Deuteronomy 4:24; 5:9; 6:15).  Jealousy from God should be expected.  He created all that is.  It is proper of Him to desire the worship and adoration of His creation.

Christians should be jealous for Him.  Christian pastors and preachers ought always “defend the faith” because there is not other to worship.  We ought to be jealous for God.

Contrary to what Oprah may have said concerning the jealousy of God.  He is still a jealous God.  He alone is worthy of worship, adoration and praise.  He alone is worthy of our jealousy for His worship.  When others proclaim “Another Jesus” which is not the Jesus who died on the cross, was buried and bodily arose from the grave; and is eternally seated at God the Fathers right hand; we must speak out vehemently against that “Jesus”.  That “Jesus” is not the Jesus of grace and mercy, but another of deception.

Christian, be “Jealous” for Christ Jesus.

Words for Christian Living – Commendation

“But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”  2 Corinthians 10:17-18 (KJV)

Most people are searching for commendation.  Some are satisfied with self-commendation; others desire the commendation of others.  Self-commendation is worthless; but then, so is the commendation of others for the purposes of eternity.

The word “Commendation” means… “Approval; Praise”.  It speaks well of a person when others approve her/him.  However, if someone with an evil heart speaks well of you…  What does that say?

The commendation from God, our Lord, is the better commendation.  Do not rest in peace with what others say of you.  You can rest, and be in peace with what God says of you, commending you.  You will not be commended by God with unrepented sin in your life.  He will commend you when sin is dealt with, and you are in fellowship with Him through the cross of His Son Jesus Christ.

Words for Christian Living – Grace

“And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)

The apostle Paul was being afflicted by what he called “a thorn in the flesh”, and he had prayed to be delivered from it; to be healed maybe of the physical affliction.  We are not told what it was, but we are told that the Lord’s answer is found above.

In the midst of affliction, our thorn in the flesh, whatever it is we can rest assured that God’s grace is sufficient for us.  In our weakness God is strong.  In our weakness, our illness, or disease God is glorified.  None of us like afflictions.  We can be like Paul, however and “Glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Remember the word “Grace”.  God’s grace is sufficient.

Through the Bible in a Year – 071413

The Poverty of Christ:  Our Riches

I.  We Are Changed Into the Image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).

II.  Having Received Mercy,  We Do not Quit (2 Corinthians 4:1-2).

III.  Our Confidence is in the Work of Christ and His Word (2 Corinthians 5:6-11).

IV.  The Most Important Time is… NOW  (2 Corinthians 6:1-2;  Exodus 3:13-15).

V.  Our Motivation for Being Holy are the Promises of GOD (2 Corinthians 7:1;  1 John 3:2-3).

VI.  In His Poverty We are Made Rich – His Poverty; Our Riches (2 Corinthians 8:7-9).

Words for Christian Living – Giving

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, ‘He hath dispersed abroad; He hath given to the poor: His righteousness remaineth for ever.’ Now He that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”  2 Corinthians 9:6-11 (KJV)

Paul the apostle was sending a delegation to Corinth to pick up a promised donation to the Jerusalem Christians.  He sent this message to thank them for their generosity; and to encourage them in their giving.

For the Christian giving is not a dread; it is a blessing.  We are giving back to God recognizing our Blessers blessings.  Every Christian is a giver.  Every Christian should enjoy giving.

There are many places crying out for help, for money.  Where should the Christian give.  The main place should be to and through your local congregation.  “God loves a cheerful giver.”

Words for Christian Living – Rich

“Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.”  2 Corinthians 8:7-9 (KJV)

That word “Rich” causes us to think of wealth in the material sense.  We hear the word “Rich” and we may have thoughts of what that might be like to live like the “Rich”.  Gold, silver, precious stones, Wall Street, big mansions, big ranches or farms; many houses and lands or expensive cars have absolutely nothing to do with the richness of which the above passage speaks.

The wealthiest Man who ever lived and walked among men gave up much wealth – the splendor and glories of heaven – and came down and walked among us, then gave His life that we all might be saved.  He gave up wealth, to become poor that those who hear His Word, and believes would become rich in the purest meaning of the word.

The riches of Christ cannot be taken away; they cannot be destroyed by moth or rust; they are incorruptible.  The riches and glory of heaven are yours through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God.

Words for Christian Living – Personal Cleansing

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV)

God has given many precious promises to His people.  It is because of God’s promises; His wonderful gifts that we cleanse ourselves.

There are those elements within Christianity that tell us that “We need not worry about living a good clean life.  Just eat, drink, be merry.  God is gracious.”  There is an element of truth to that, however, we are told by God in Scripture to “Cleanse ourselves from all filthiness”.  We need to separate ourselves from those who would live lives of debauchery, iniquity, and filth.  The Christian needs to live in the truth of the word of God, dwell around people of like faith, attend a faithful, Bible believing, Bible preaching, Christ honoring Church faithfully.

John the apostle has written,

 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.”  1 John 3:2-3 (KJV)

To be in peace and fellowship with God we must maintain holy lives.

Words for Christian Living – Now

“We then, as workers together with Him, beseech also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”  2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (KJV)

The most important word in the life of anyone is “Now”.  God is not the “I was”, or “I will be”.  He is “I Am” (Exodus 3:13-15).  He is God now.  Christian there is no more important time than the now.

If you are currently an unbeliever, but you know and believe there is God: He is drawing you to Himself.  Now is the time to hear His voice and receive the finished work of His Son Jesus death on the cross as the atonement for your sins, believe Him and be saved today.  No matter what you have done God’s forgiveness is greater than your sin.

Christian, Now is the time to start walking with Jesus our Lord and Savior new.

Words for Christian Living – Our Treasure

In January I posted a short article on this same topic.  I awoke this morning with this topic on my mind; and it has been just about everyday I live.  The topic of “Treasure”; in particular: what is my treasure.  It is something for which I am ashamed to mention.  First let us look at what Jesus said;

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21 (KJV)

Jesus knew we would have treasure; however those treasures are not to be earthly treasure; and that is the first thing we think of when we think “Treasure”.  Gold, silver, precious jewelry, houses, lands, boats, cars, and sometimes spouses and children.  Jesus does not tell us these things are bad.  They are, in fact, good to have; remembering from whom they have come.

My shame lays in the thought that I see in myself more affinity for speaking of things like a good movie, book, car, a football game; than I do of speaking of Christ Jesus.  That tells me that Jesus Christ is not my Treasure.  Why is it when the subject of those other things come up I can speak without fear; yet when the subject of God comes up I can get really quiet?

I have no excuse.  Jesus is the greatest treasure.  I am endeavoring today, by the power of the Holy Spirit to make Jesus Christ my Treasure.

Words for Christian Living – Being Confident

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”  2 Corinthians 5:6-11 (KJV)

There is much talk of “Self-confidence”, and a little of that goes a long way.  It is not always good.  Too much of it ends in prideful rebellion.

Self-confidence is when you feel good about yourself,  your life, your abilities, talents, and “Life style”.  The confidence of which Paul the apostle writes is a confidence which comes from knowing God; knowing that He holds you in His hands.  Knowing that you are protected from harm; safe under the shelter of His “Wings” as having to do when a hen gathers her chicks for protection from a storm or a fox; or any predator.

The confidence of men;  yours and mine; can fail.  Our confidence in God can become weak; however when we have been with God, and know His heart we can trust Him through every trial and tribulation we enter and we can endure to the end.

As Christians we are confident that if we die we will be at home with Jesus for all eternity.  If we live we live unto the Lord.  We know also that there will come a day when; as Christians; we will stand before the “Judgment seat of Christ” and we will give account of all the things we have done here on earth in our bodies.  What has been done for the glory of the Lord will stand the judgment; what has been done for ourselves will burn in fire.

Because we know the “Terror of the Lord, we persuade men…”  The terror of the Lord is that He hates sin.  The sin debt was paid in full by the blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son, on the cross.  In His burial He carried away the guilt, condemnation, and power of sin.  In His resurrection He proved to all to be whom He said He is – the eternal Son of God. Our Savior.  Our Redeemer. Our Lord.

If your refuse Him you will pay for your own sins; whether you believe you have sinned or not.  Trust Christ and be saved.

Words for Christian Living – A Strong Heart

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:1-2 (KJV)

There are many people walking around in this world who have been told by their physicians that they have weak or failing hearts.  Some of us have had different types of surgery for their heart from stentz placed in arteries of their heart to what is called “Open heart” surgery.  The “Strong heart” of which I title this does not refer to the physical heart, but to the inner individual.

“…We faint not”  has much to do with having “A Strong Heart”.  The man or woman of God; every Christian; must be committed to being faithful to God and His Word.  That is what Paul the apostle is speaking of.  From the time we become a follower of Jesus Christ we “Renounce the hidden things of dishonesty”; these are the sins of our past.  We have repented, and our lives are changed.

It is a mark of the Christian, too, that we not use tricks, or deceit when it comes to the word of God.  One of the things that angers me is the way I see many a Christian leader using emotion to entice “worship”; then people walk away thinking they have been in the presence of God; they go out the doors of the Church or the stadium, and their lives are left unchanged.  Nothing wrong with emotion if it is not manipulated by deceit and the mishandling of God’s Word.  Be careful Christian that you do not let wrong handling of the word of God lead you astray.

The truth will be all the commendation one needs.  Know the truth.  Keep your heart for God strong.

Words for Christian Living – You Are Changed

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  2 Corinthians 3:18 (KJV)

We do not have a clear understanding in what all the above verse.  We will not until we see Jesus face to face.  What a day; for the one who is in Christ Jesus; that will be.

Notice if you will that it does not say “…Will change…” as though it were some future event.  It says “…Are changed…” as in presently changed, and continual changing is most likely meant.  Meaning that we are being prepared for that day when we will see Jesus; with “…the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.”

He is working in you to bring you to a complete and finished work (Philippians 1:6;  2 Corinthians 5:17); His glory.  Every Christian desires to be what the Lord wants them to be.

 

Words for Christian Living – Sorrow and Joy

“But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me? And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.”  2 Corinthians 1-4 (KJV)

It is no joy for any Physician to tell their patient that they have cancer; or any other life threatening disease.  The same is true with the apostle Paul.

In his first letter to the Church of Corinth he spends much of the letter rebuking them for their tolerance of sin within the Body of Christ, pride, and their separation from one another.  Paul is hoping when he returns to Corinth he can do so with joy.

Confronting sin in the 21st century is still no easy task.  It is still a necessary task for the preacher, the Christian.  It, however, must be done for the sake of the Body of Christ.  Let us endeavor to live for Christ Jesus by dealing with our own sin first, then we can confront sin when we see it in others.  It is a sorrowful matter to see sin, and to deal with it.  It is a joy to give words of encouragement to the brethren; when we see that they are following the Lord in holiness.

Words for Christian Living – Our Comfort

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-6 (KJV)

In times of sorrow from loss of a family member, a friend, or in times of financial chaos; or some other catastrophic event it is an encouragement to a Christian to know that GOD is the one who comforts us.  He is the source of all our comfort.

Of course we need to realize that He comforts us many times through friends, family, neighbors and loved ones.  Sometimes though these may fail us; and it is then that God will give us peace and comfort through His Spirit who abides within and through His Word.

Through our own trials and tribulations we learn to console and comfort others.

Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence
07/04/1776

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of governments. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative Houses repeatedly for opposing with manly firmness his invasion on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to ren-der it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in general Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliance, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceNEW HAMPSHIRE: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
MASSACHUSETTS: John Hancock, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Robert Treat Paine
RHODE ISLAND: Elbridge Gerry, Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
CONNECTICUT: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
NEW YORK: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
NEW JERSEY: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
PENNSYLVANIA: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
DELAWARE: Ceasar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
MARYLAND: Samuel Chase, Thomas Stone, William Paca, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
VIRGINIA: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
NORTH CAROLINA: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
SOUTH CAROLINA: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Authur Middleton
GEORGIA: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Words for Christian Living – Be Brave, Be Strong

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity. I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) that ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.”  1 Corinthians 16:13-18 (KJV)

Most men do not like seeing themselves as cowards, nor be called one; and in today’s world neither do women.  It is easy to be a coward.  One who refuses to act with justice, or judgment when they see an injustice is a coward.  Sure there are times when the right thing to do is get the authorities (Police, or whom ever that authority may apply).  Yet there are times the injustice may require an immediate act.

Christians.  We cannot be cowards when it comes to our faith in Jesus Christ.  We cannot be mambe pambe professors in a world that is dark in sin, and rebellion against our GOD and Savior Jesus Christ.

In Paul the apostle’s words above we hear him say, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”  The word “Quit” is “Be brave”. In the day when the government of our nation is refusing to hear the Word of God, and turning on and against the writings of our God, and that of the founding fathers of our nation; it is time for men and women of Christ Jesus to stand without fear, favor or compromise of faith.

Just a note:  I love the United States of America; but I love my GOD and Savior even more.  What He says goes.  What He says is Law.  What He says will come to pass.  That is where I stand.  Try and stop it if you dare.

Jesus Christ died on the cross, shedding His life’s blood to purchase/redeem us; He was buried, and He rose bodily from the grave.  Trust Him as your Lord and Savior, and then you can live without fear.  You will live for Him and His glory.

 

Words for Christian Living – Why We Live

“Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”  1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (KJV)

There are those who do not believe that life comes from death.  Think about this…  A farmer plants an old dried seed in the ground, and a few weeks, or months later a stalk comes forth out of the ground, and produces a harvest of corn or wheat or barley…  Life does come from death.

So how is it we can have such a hard time believing that God could raise His own dead, buried Son from death?  We live because the holy, Righteous, Son of God shed His blood on the cross of Calvary, was buried, and arose bodily from the grave.  He is alive forevermore.

God created human beings eternal beings.  The death of the body is a result of sin; transgression of God’s laws.  Yet, though the body dies the eternal being lives on, somewhere.  Hell’s fire is what we deserve.  However, God in His Holy, Righteous, Justice and Love sent His Son to die for our sins; taking the wrath that was mine and yours to bear; and bore it for us on His cross.  The bodily resurrection of Jesus is evidence of the truth of the words Jesus spoke while He lived and dwelt among us.  Trusting Jesus and His finished work on the cross is the only means of salvation.

Believe Him and live.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Words for Christian Living – Use Words Wisely

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”  Matthew 7:6 (KJV)

When I was a teenage boy, and first got my driver’s license I was probably like a lot of other boys.  I liked to spin my wheels, smoke my tires, stir the dust when I was in the pasture; and such wasteful things as that.

It seems these days many Christians are good at “Spinning their wheels”, “Smoking their tires”, and “Stirring the dust” when it comes to “Debate” or discussing the issues.  Some of those issues; such as the Evolution/Creation debate is one I see as a waste of our time.

The atheist; the non-theists argues for evolution; and I for one can see their argument.  They do not believe in God, and evolution relieves them of any responsibility to the Higher Power.  Many atheist have their minds made up.  Prayerfully many Christians have our minds made up concerning Creation; I know I do.  There is nothing the evolutionist or atheist can say to change it.  I believe the Word of God, and without God or His Word there would be no Science or atheists.  If there was no God, there would be no argument.

The point I want to make is from the verse above.  As Christians we have a calling to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, contend for the faith; but once we have done that, and seeing an individual set on ignoring the Spirit of God, and His Word; we need to move on.  To continue in that “Debate” is fruitless.  Deliver the gospel of Jesus Christ, then leave it in God’s hands, pray for the individual and watch God work.

After all; do you think you are more persuasive than God’s Spirit?

-Tim A. Blankenship

 

Words for Christian Living – Speech that Edifies

“Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”  1 Corinthians 14:1-5 (KJV)

Someone once said, “It is better to be thought a fool; than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

In Paul’s writing above he speaks of the spiritual gift of “Tongues” and “Prophecy”.  One of the things I have noticed is that many of  those who claim the “Gift of tongues” want to make it a requirement for the “Baptism of the Spirit”.  Now I am not going to get into that; just saying.  Those may have a bigger problem controlling the tongue, speaking for the glory of God, rather than cursing.

At any rate Paul says Prophesy or Preaching the Word of God for building up, calling for a decision, and comfort is something that will “Edify” the Church; while “Tongues” edifies self.  That is plenty clear to me.

As Christians our speech – the use of our tongues – is to glorify God, build up and encourage, strengthen – by calling for commitment, decision, and trust in the Lord – and comfort the Body of Christ.  Also see James 3:1-12.

-Tim A. Blankenship