Delight in the LORD

It has been several days since I wrote a post for this site.  I want to express my appreciation to those who have showed interest in these writings, thoughts, and the word of God.  Thank you, and God bless you richly with all heavenly blessings in Christ Jesus.

I will be doing thoughts on the Psalms, taking up where I left off the last time in Psalms which was at Psalm 36..

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”  Psalm 37:1-6 (KJB)

Do not worry about what those who are working evil are doing; rather watch your own heart, and mind.  Pray for those who are doing evil, and live your life delighting in the LORD God, and His word.  Those who do evil will perish just as the grass, and the flower.

Those of us who are trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ are assured of eternal life with Him; and that is forever and forever.  Let us keep our eyes on the Lord and His work.  We are not to close our eyes and try to convince ourselves that there is no evil; that would be dangerous and foolish.  Our lives of trust, faith, and delight in the LORD will be repelling to all that is evil.

There is a phrase in verse four above “…He shall give you the desires of your heart”.  Now many think this means material blessings, health, wealth, survival, security, success.  When we delight in the Lord those things will become very secondary in our thinking.  Our desires, when we delight in the Lord will be what He desires.  He gives us the desires of His heart – heavenly blessing; grace, mercy, peace, joy, and power in prayer; just to name a few.

When the Christian walks with God He brings forth righteousness as light, and everything to do with it will be seen by all who know you.

Trust in the LORD today; delight in Him, and He will bring it to pass.

The Power and Weakness of the Mind

The Power and Weakness of the Mind – Proverbs 20:1-30

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.  The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.  It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling. Proverbs 20:1-3 (KJB)

Verses 1 – 5 –  Wine, any beverage alcohol will affect the thinking and actions of any who allow it to.  Those who would allow it to are not wise affecting their relationship to leaders (v. 27).
It will also affect them in matters of strife, and work plans (vv. 3-4).
It will take a clear mind – understanding – to bring out wise counsel in one’s inner being.

Verses 6 – 11 –  In many cases it is also true that beverage alcohol will give a man or woman an higher opinion of themselves; high thoughts of themselves that they do not normally have.
There is an arrogance in humankind which causes most of us to exalt ourselves anyway.
Faithfulness, integrity is a rare find.  It would be especially rare among those who stimulate their minds with drugs, or other stimulants.
Those who walk in their integrity will have a good example for their children to follow.
The king whose mind is not messed up by booze or other drugs will have good judgment and scatter away evil with just his “eyes”  (vv. 26; 25:5;  Revelation 1:14)  “Winnows all evil” (ESV)
It is an evil mind who misuses measures to gain mammon for themselves without considering their neighbor (v. 23).  We all also know children by their behavior; whether it is pure and right.

Verses 12 – 17 –  While verse twelve seems to stand alone by telling us who made the ear and the eye verses 13 – 17 deal with wealth.  The ear allows us to hear and learn.  The eye allows us to see, learn, and enjoy what we see.
One who loves sleep will never be wealthy; nor will they ever be a happy, satisfied individual (v. 13).
In order to get something at a lower price the buyer will make little of an article they desire; then after the purchase build up the item, and make much of the value, and his/her cheap purchase (v. 14).
There is value in rubies; there is “Precious” value in the “Lips of knowledge” (v. 15).
The use of collateral was a part of early systems of finance; even one’s garment.  Receiving collateral is good advice if one secures a debt for another; especially if the other person is an immoral individual (v. 16).
Deceit may be “sweet” at the beginning but in the end it will be like “gravel” (v. 17).

Verse 18 –  Good planning comes by wise counsel.  The wise individual will seek counsel in matters of person, state, or nation.

Verse 19 –  The gossip or “talebearer” will be sure to tell one thing and another.  What someone says to you about someone else he/she will probably tell someone else of you.

Verse 20 –  For a child to curse parents is a sure warning of darkness in that life.

Verse 21 – This verse could be also pointing to any wealth gotten quickly; such as lotteries, gambling, or thefts.  Since it was not worked for it has little meaning.

Verse 22 –  Recompense belongs to the LORD.  It is of great benefit to the child of God to wait for His “vengeance”.  See Romans 12:19 and Deuteronomy 32:35

Verse 24 –  Though a man or woman is led by the LORD we may not know our path ahead.  We walk by faith, not by sight.

Verse 25 –  Be careful when vowing something to God.

Verse 28 –  Mercy and truth are good and godly qualities of a great king or a great leader.

Verse 29 –  Strength is the blessing of the young; while wisdom grows in the aging of mankind.

Verse 30 –  Probably referring to discipline, punishment in some cases.  The right use of corporal discipline/punishment will deter much evil behavior.  See Proverbs 10:13.

All of these ways of life have to do with the power and/or weakness of the mind.  The mind that is in the “Mind of Christ” will prosper in righteousness.

 

The Mind of Christ

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.’  But God hath revealed unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know because they are spiritually discerned.  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”  1 Corinthians 2:1-16  (KJB)

References: Galations 6:14; 2 Corinthians 4:7; Romans 16:25; Isaiah 64:4; Proverbs 20:7; 2 Peter 1:16

The Mind and Counsel of the Lord

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, ‘There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.’  As concerning the gospel, enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, beloved for the fathers’ sakes.  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! ‘For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been His counsellor?   Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?’  For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”  Romans 11:26-36  (KJB)

References: Psalm 14:7; Isaiah 27:9; Daniel 9:24; Numbers 23:19; Romans 3:9; Jeremiah 23:18; 1 Corinthians 8:6

The Set Mind

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THE SET MIND

Colossians 3:1-4

OUTLINE –

I. RAISED TO LIFE IN JESUS CHRIST (v. 1a).

II. GIVE YOUR ALL TO SEEKING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE (v. 1b).

III. THE POSITION OF JESUS CHRIST (v. 1c).

IV. A SET AND REASONING MIND WILL BE ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO IT (v. 2).

V. BEING DEAD TO SELF, HIDDEN WITH JESUS CHRIST IN GOD (v. 3).

VI. THE APPEARING OF JESUS CHRIST AND BEING WITH HIM (v. 4).

We have looked at the first two chapters and the apostle Paul dealt with the problems of the Gnostics who were involved and committed to teaching error. Denying the Deity of Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ was/is God incarnate [in flesh]; teaching and believing that they were more knowledgeable than even the apostles who had spent time with Jesus, witnessed His resurrection, etc..

Paul has already instilled in the readers of this short and marvelous letter that Jesus is the supreme one; He is our sustenance; He is our sufficiency. There is no mystical message that we need to hear. The message of the Word spoken to us by the apostles and the prophets is the message for God’s people. There is no ritual or religious practice we need do to be right with God. It is solely by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, His burial and His resurrection.

I. RAISED TO LIFE IN/WITH JESUS CHRIST (v. 1a).

A. Since we have died with Him we have also been resurrected with Him, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection (Rom. 6:3-5).

1. We were dead in trespasses and sin, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins…” (Eph. 2:1).
2. Before Jesus came in there was no way for us to acknowledge God, nor to be near Him.

B. There is no question as to the salvation of those to whom Paul is writing; it is clearly addressed to believers.

II. GIVING OUR ALL TO SEEK THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE (v. 1b).

A. Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).

1. Why is it that some sports fans do not mind paying out a couple of hundred dollars for a three hour football game, but will complain when it comes time to give a little to support the cause of Christ?
2. Why is it that vacationers will spend a few hundred dollars, even thousands of dollars, to go away for fun and relaxation, but will not spend a little to take a trip and spend time and money for the cause of Jesus Christ?

B. The answer to these questions is, “Their heart is in the sports, the vacations, etc.”, and not in the things which are above. “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34).
C. Think of the time spent in the ball games, the vacations; the dollars spent.

1. In 1991 there was 2 billion dollars spent on golf, and that same amount was spent on missions within all denominations.
2. Golf has increased in popularity since then I would guess that that dollar amount has quadrupled for golf; but has either decreased or increased very little for missions since that time.

III. NOTICE THE POSITION OF JESUS CHRIST (v. 1c).

A. He has been exalted to the right hand of the Father.

1. Where does Paul say that the believer is in relation to Christ?

a. With Christ.
b. Seated with Christ, “…And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” (Eph. 2:6).

2. Stephen the deacon/evangelist saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:55ff).

B. He has been given all things of the Father.

1. All power.
2. All glory.
3. All things.
4. Rule with a rod of iron.

C. Jesus Christ our sufficiency for all things; why should we be seeking anywhere else than those things which are above?

IV. THE SET AND REASONING MIND WILL BE SET ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO IT (v. 2).

A. We are commanded in verse 1 to ‘seek those things which are above’, and then, told here to “Set your affection on things above…”.

1. This answers the Gnostics approach to the physical, antinomian practice of loose living.
2. When the heart and mind are set on the eternal things, then the earthly things for living and life will be right as well.

B. Paul is not commanding something that is not possible.

1. It is possible by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit within all who are born again.
2. Any one who does not have the Holy Spirit does not belong to God – that is; is not born again – “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any one have not the Spirit of Christ, they are none of His” (Rom 8:9).

C. The things of earth are only temporary; the things above are eternal – So which is most valuable?

V. BEING DEAD TO SELF, HIDDEN WITH JESUS CHRIST IN GOD (v.3).

A. Some people have or get the mistaken idea that this life, salvation, eternity, glory, met needs, problems, sorrows, sickness, disease, and such is all about us.

1. It is not: it is about God, His power, His glory, His grace, His will.
2. Originally made to glorify God Adam fell short of God’s glory – He failed to glorify God, and passed that on to us.

B. Jesus died to restore that glory that was taken away because of disobedience and sin.
C. When we die to self we are “Hid with Christ in God”.

1. Since all sin has been judged by Jesus’s death on the cross, there is no sin that will condemn us.
2. Since Jesus died for our sins, we die with Him.
3. Since Jesus rose from the dead, we rise with Him.
4. Since we are hid with Him we are one with Him (1 Cor. 6:17), we are partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), we have understanding (1 Cor. 2:14-16), and we are secure (1 Peter 1:4).

D. The greatest thing about what Jesus did is that we now walk in the glory of the Lord God who created us all.
E. There is certainly no need for the mystic teachings, the denials of the truths of Jesus and His identity as God in flesh for the true believer.

VI. THE APPEARING OF JESUS CHRIST AND WE ARE WITH HIM (v. 4).

A. He is our life.

1. Jesus gives all life
2. Jesus gives eternal life.

B. Who or what is the center of your universe – your life? What does your world revolve around?

1. If it is not Jesus, and those things which are above, then you are lost, and headed the wrong direction.

C. Jesus is coming again; will you be with Him at His appearing, or will you be against Him?

SUMMARY –

I. RISEN WITH CHRIST GLORIFY HIM.

II. GLORIFY HIM BY CLINGING TO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE.

III. REMEMBER YOUR POSITION IN RELATION TO CHRIST – WITH HIM.

IV. WHO, WHAT AND WHERE IS YOUR AFFECTIONS – YOUR HEART – IN RELATION TO JESUS CHRIST?

V. LIVING FOR SELF EQUALS DEATH – LIVING FOR CHRIST YOU ARE HIDDEN WITH HIM IN GOD.

VI. JESUS IS COMING AGAIN; WILL YOU BE WITH HIM, OR WILL YOU BE AGAINST HIM?

-Tim A. Blankenship

What do You Do?

What do you do when you are on your way to work, discouraged, down, and basically feeling like you have made a wreck of your life?  You are listening to a great Christian radio station, and a program called “Unshackled”.

What do you do when you hear the voice of God say in your heart, soul, mind, and spirit, “I have loved you with an everlasting love”? What do you do?  To hear the voice of God speak His word in your heart will pick you up and set your feet on the Rock.

Those words, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” are the words of Scripture (Jeremiah 31:3), and spoken through the prophet to the people of God in the Old Testament.  When God speaks we must listen.

What do you do?

When GOD Seems to be Silent

Unto You will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if You be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy oracle.”  Psalm 28:1-2 (KJB)

This Psalm of David is the prayer of a man who is crying out to God; maybe even yelling out, shouting out to God for a hearing of his requests, or “supplications”, as he states it, which is his earnest prayer.  An individual who has a real need which they see, feel, or fear; one who knows the Almighty will go to Him with that need just as David, and plead, yearn, beg for an answer to their prayer.

In the New Testament we are told…

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  James 5:16

Now, let us get something straight.  We do have someone to pray to.  It is not prayer that is the power.  It is the One who gives the power to whom we direct our prayers.  If our hearts are not of Him, His word, His way, His will, His heart and mind, then, we will not get an answer.

I have made a commitment to the Lord which may seem empty to some, maybe brave and bold and dangerous to others.  A few years ago I was praying, and said to Him, “If you never again answer a prayer of mine, I will still trust in You.”  I can still say that.  I know that He never fails to accomplish, to finish His word. He does what He says He will do.

What do you do when God is silent?  Keep on praying and keep on trusting in Him.

 

Directions of the Heart and Life

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.” Proverbs 21:1-8 (KJV)

It is a staple of life to know that God can take the heart of a king; any ruler in the world; and turn it the direction He chooses. Even when the king is evil, from an evil empire or kingdom, God uses kings to fulfill His will and purposes. That the world may know that He is the LORD.

Verses 1 – 4 – Streams of water are often changed in their courses due flood waters. In the early 1800’s [1811-1812] the Mississippi River flowed backwards for a period of 10-24 hours filling, forming the Reelfoot lake. Even streams as massive as the Mississippi can be changed by the hand of God; so too can a king’s heart.

Examples of king’s hearts being changed can be seen in Pharoah, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Ahaseurus, Darius, Cyrus (Exodus 12:31; Daniel 4; 5; 6; 10; Ezra 1, 4; Esther 9-10).

The Lord looks on and knows the hearts of mankind. Even Jesus is said to have known what was on the hearts of some people who wanted to force Him to be king (John 2:23-25; 6:14-15).

The “High look” and the “Proud heart” go like peas in their pod. The plowing of the wicked, leads to the sowing of sin. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galations 6:7)

Verses 5 – 8 – There is contrast in v. 5 between the diligent and the hasty. There is reward for diligence; while there is waste and want to the hasty.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue,…. By telling lies in trade; by bearing false witness in a court of judicature; or by preaching false doctrines in the church of God:
is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death: such treasures, though ever so great, are like any light thing, smoke or vapour, straw, stubble, chaff, or a feather, tossed about the wind; which is expressive of the instability uncertainty of riches ill gotten; they do not last long, but are taken away and carried off by one providence or another; and they are likewise harmful and pernicious; they issue in death: and those that seek after them, and obtain them in a bad way, are said to “seek death”: not intentionally, but eventually; this they certainly find, if grace prevent not; see Pro_8:36. Jarchi reads it, they are the “snares of death” to him; and so the Septuagint version.” From John Gill Commentary, e-Sword

MacArthur Study Bible note “21:5-7  These verses address the evils of ill-gotten gain. They show three major defects in the way this gain is acquired: 1) hastily (v. 5; cf. 19:2;28:20); 2) deceitfully (v. 5 cf. 13:11); and 3) violently (v. 7; cf. 12:6).

Verse 7 – NKJV “The violence of the wicked will destroy them, Because they refuse to do justice.”
ESV “The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just.”

Verse 8 – People without God, and walking in His paths live lives which are perverse, crooked, criminal, and guilt riden lives. The path of those who walk with God, are pure through the purity of Christ Jesus and do right through Him. Since God can change the hearts of kings, princes, and presidents just think what He can do in your heart and life when we yield to His will.

Christmas Day Fifty and Six

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to always have a clear mind, that I might make clear decisions, that are not affected by some type of drug, fear or hysteria; but to make that decision based on fact, truth, and through the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.” Proverbs 31:4-5 (KJV)

Christmas Day Seventy and Eight

Blessed Lord’s Day.

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want my heart, soul, mind and body to be prepared to enter the presence of God with the Church in  worshiping our Lord God, and Savior Jesus Christ; and I want the Church to have their like being joining with me in worshiping Him.

He is coming again.  Are you prepared to meet God?

“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:37-39 (KJV)

Christmas Day Eighty and Six

What do I want for Christmas today?

My wife and I have guests in our home today.  Our oldest grandson Jonathan, and his sister Caitlyn, and some of their friends came down to our house last night to spend the night celebrating their Birthdays which was a few days ago.  They had a party in Springfield last night, then came here to camp out in our backyard. Their mother [Charity]; our daughter; also brought a friend with her to help get all the girls here.

So what do I want for Christmas today?  I want Jonathan to keep growing in the Lord Jesus Christ, to meet a godly Christian girl – which I think he already has – and grows deeper in love with Jesus through the Word, and deeper in love with the one who will be his wife; to love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength; and to love his neighbor as himself.

For Caitlyn; that she too continue to grow in her love for Jesus, and His word; to one day find the godly Christian young man of her dreams, grow more in love with Jesus, and her husband to be; and to love God with all her heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love her neighbor as herself…

…And for those who are here with them as well.

 

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Seventy and Eight

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24 (KJV)

Read verses 19-23 as well.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want Jesus Christ to always be Master of my life, my heart, my mind, and my soul; and when I get distracted by worldly, material things, or insignificant things that may seem spiritual and right; I will trust you Lord to always get me on the right path, and right mind; I want Christ Jesus to be the light of my eye, and the treasure of my heart; always.

Christmas Day Two Hundred and Fifteen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to think, and I want every man who aspires to be godly; to think on the LORD and His Word, to love his wife, and children; and to care for them as a husband and father ought; and to put the things of this world on the back burner; and to thank God every day for His blessings on us.

Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.” Proverbs 23:6-8 (KJV)

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”  [Jesus Christ]  Matthew 15:18-20

Christmas Day Two Hundred Twenty and Eight

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to live for Christ Jesus, and to glorify His name every day that I live.

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6 (KJV)

Day Two Hundred Sixty and Seven

What do I want for Christmas?

On this LORD’S Day I want the Word of God to come into my heart, my soul, my mind with the power of the Spirit of God; to do the work God has sent it with His Spirit to perform in me and the people who will hear it; and I want us to see what God can do when His redeemed people hear, and yield to His Word and His way and His will.

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” Philippians 2:14-16 (KJV)

 

Day Two Hundred Seventy and One

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to be a more watchful thinker, and use my mind for fruitful things.

We have all been to “Amusement Parks” where we go to relax, ride rides, watch shows for entertainment purposes; but how often have we stopped to think about what the word “Amuse” means?

If you do not know, it means “No thinking”.  Let us all be more fruitful in our thinking.  Think before we speak.  Think before we act.  You get the idea.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (KJV)

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” 1 Peter 1:13

“For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:3

Day Three Hundred and Sixteen

What do I want for Christmas?

On this, another LORD’S Day, I want the “Meeting House” where I worship and the Church gathers called Shiloah Baptist Church; and all Christ centered, Bible believing, Churches to love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds and with all our strength; to hear the word of God, to pray diligently, and believe without wavering that the answers for the world’s problems is found solely through the cross of Jesus Christ.

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” Proverbs 21:1 (NKJV)

Day Three Hundred and Seventeen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to love God with all my heart, all my mind, all my soul, and with all my strength; and want that for you too.

See Exodus 20:1-11

The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Mark 12:29-30 (NKJV)

Day Three Hundred Thirty and Eight

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the people in the States of Kentucky, and all the eastern States affected by the snow storm, blizzard of 2016 to be safe, dry, warm, and protected; and if they are stranded on the road to hang on, and for them all to call on the name of the Lord, for their protection, safety and eternal salvation.

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Day Three hundred Forty Six

What do I want for Christmas?

I want family, friends, and neighbors to prosper and be in good health; even as they prosper in their spiritual lives.

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 2 John 1:2 (NKJV)

Day Three Hundred Forty and Seven

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to no longer be selfish, or self promoting; I want my heart and mind to want what my Creator wants; for myself and for all His creation.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galations 2:20 (NKJV)

What Do I Want For Christmas? Day 352

What do I want for Christmas?

Are you annoyed by my continued Christmas question when we are into the New year the 9th day of it?  Good.  So am I.  However I am committed to take this through to Christmas of 2016, and have Christmas every day.

My want for today is that I might increase in wisdom, knowledge and understanding of God and His Word; and that the Body of Christ would do the same.

To do so would change our hearts, minds and lives and affect the rest of the world in a dramatic way.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

Why Christmas; After Christmas?

It seems every December people start talking about Christmas, and the “Christmas spirit”.  My thoughts this Christmas season was this,

If I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, and wear the name “Christian”, then shouldn’t I [we] be living with that ‘Christmas spirit’ every day?

So I determined to see what the mind and heart of Christ would be for each day from the first day following Christmas 2015 until Christmas 2016 (providing the Lord wills that I live that long, or the rapture does not occur).

I pray they will lead me to follow Jesus even more faithfully in the year ahead.  I also pray that for you and all who may read these pieces.

Three Hundred Sixty Six Days til Christmas

On the first day of December of 2015 as I was writing in my journal I had a thought of counting down the 25 days til Christmas with the question “What do I want for Christmas?”

The first day the “want” was, “A fuller heart and life for my Lord and Savior.” In those 25 days I have thought of counting down until next Christmas with the same heart and mind; which I believe is the wants God gives me.

This may get tedious, draggy, and maybe some would say “Boring”; I do not believe in boring.  I never use the word in my vocabulary, except as here, to rage against it.

This being day 366 before Christmas;  What do I want for Christmas?  I want the Spirit of God who has created all things to reach into the hearts and minds of all who come here, convict of sin the hearts of those who do not know Him and draw them to Himself for salvation.

The Scriptures I have posted here tell you how.

A Journey of Passion

This was Jesus’s final journey to the city on the hill. He would not make it again, and He knew it. Yet, He journeyed to the place where He would die.

Would you with joy, and passion go to the place you knew would mean your death? Of course you or I cannot know those things, as He did. We do need to know, though, that every day could be our last. None of us have any assurance of the next day.

Knowing His days on earth were few; Jesus traveled on teaching His disciples, and telling them what death He would die:

“And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again.” Matthew 20:17-19 (KJV)

We read in other places that He had his mind set on going to Jerusalem (Matthew 16:21; Luke 13:22; 17:11; 18:31; 19:28). Some have called this journey “His Passion”, and I think that to be a good description of His heart and mind.

He came to live for the righteousness, and glory of the Father; and to die for the sins of mankind; to conquer death, sin, hell and the grave. That is what He means when He says, “And the third day He shall rise again”.

His journey in life was to glorify His Father, and to do so through obedience, even unto death. He died for you and me. He carried our sins, and its condemnations away in burial, and left them there; and rose bodily from the grave. He forever lives and saves all who will come to Him.

Humble Yourself Before the King of Heaven

For the most part chapter four of Daniel is the writing of Nebuchadnezzar, sharing his personal testimony of a tragic, yet humbling, and redeeming time of his life and reign as king of Babylon. He had grown proud and arrogant (4:28-30), and the King of heaven brought him down.

The following are the final words of Nebuchadnezzar in the testimony he shares:

“Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.” Daniel 4:37 (KJV)

Pride is one of the abominations which God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19); called “a proud look”, and the king of Babylon had it. It is a dangerous thing to try and exalt oneself above the word, and words of God. The LORD had given Nebuchadnezzar warning through a dream of a tree being cut down; but he did not listen to it; he did not fear the word of the LORD.

How about you today? Is there a arrogant, proud mind, and heart where you are saying to yourself; “I am a self-made man. I do not need God.” That is the height of arrogance and pride. Every man and woman needs God, His mercy and His grace. He is offering it to you today through the cross of Jesus Christ His holy Son. Believe Him today. Humble yourself before God, and He will lift you up (Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11; 1 Peter 5:5-7).

Humble yourself before God; and He will not need to abase you. Honor the King of Heaven with your life.

One Who Knows Your Secrets

Do you have any secrets? Secrets that only you know, and you have shared with no one else; not even your husband, wife, friend, or any relative? Guess what. There is One who knows them. Whether you believe it or not there is One who knows your thoughts, your dreams, your wants and desires. He knows what you are thinking right now.

The LORD God knows every secret that men and women have ever had.

For our passage of Scripture today we need to back up a bit, and see what is happening. Nebuchadnezzar has had a dream, but cannot remember what it was. He has asked for his “wise men”, “soothsayers”, “astrologers”, and “magicians” to tell him his dream, and its interpretation. They knew that was too much of a challenge. They knew it was an impossible task; and never even attempted to tell the king his dream. Because of their lack of power in telling Nebuchadnezzar his dream, and its interpretation the king threatens them with death.

Daniel ask one Arioch for some time to pray, and seek God for the answer. Daniel does and now stands before the king with these words:

“But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; as for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and He that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.” Daniel 2:28-30 (KJV)

It should comfort the Christian to know that God knows the thoughts and minds of every king, president, judge, every despot, and dictator on the earth. He knew the thoughts and mind of Hitler, Pilate, Herod, the current leaders of the world, our President of the U. S. of A., and He knows your heart, mind and thoughts, your secrets as well.

It does not bother me that our government can spy on us; that there are security cameras every where you turn. I know there is some one bigger than our government; and He has His eye on them. He knows every wicked thought, deed, and desire that we all have. One day there will be a judgment, and all will give an accounting of their lives – including their vain, wicked thoughts.

“There is a God in heaven” who reveals secrets. God used a wicked and vile king to reveal secrets for the future of the world. The dream speaks mainly of the end of the Gentile rule on earth.

We do not know when that will come. It will come, because God has said it. The best way to be prepared for it is through believing the One who bled and died on the cross, was buried, and bodily arose from the grave. He is the One who said, “I will come again and receive you unto Myself…” (John 14:3); His name is Jesus the Christ.

Desires of the Heart

“So they did eat, and were well filled: for He gave them their own desire; they were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. For all this they sinned still, and believed not for His wondrous works.” Psalm 78:29-32 (KJV)

Asaph is again the Psalmist of this song. This Psalm is a reminder of the wilderness journeys of Israel, and how God delivered them out of Egypt; then, to drive Egypt out of them.

God had provided the people with “manna” meaning “What is it?” and they were complaining and calling on Moses to lead them back to Egypt. How fickle and foolish we people can be sometimes; yes even saved, even delivered people.

You can read the story that is being sung by Asaph in Numbers 11.

A couple questions: Would you prefer that God gave you all the desires of your own heart? or: Would you prefer that God gave you His desires and placed them in your heart and mind?

The Psalmist points out to us that God “gave them their own desire”; and that was not a good option for them. We see later that they gorged themselves, many became sick and perished. They named the place “Kibrothhattaavah” which means “Graves of Craving” (Numbers 11:34). The Psalmist of Psalm 106 states,

“And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” Psalm 106:15

Go ahead and complain about your life situation. Go ahead, and ask God for a big fancy home, big nice car, lots of money in the bank, great land holdings; and He may give it to you.

Myself I have chosen to pray for what He desires for my life. I pray that is what you have determined as well. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Note that he does not say “things you desire”, but rather, “desires”.

When God, through Jesus Christ, is your desire there will be peace, rest and safety.

Words for Christian Living – Mind

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2:5-11 (KJV)

The mind of the Christian is not empty of thought.  According to Paul the apostle to the Corinthians “…We have the mind of Christ”  (1 Corinthians 2:16).  So having the mind of Christ we will think like Jesus thinks, act like Jesus acts; because that is His mind.

The mind of Christ was to submit Himself to the Father’s will, and glorify His name.  That is the mind of the Christian too.  Even unto death.

Words for Christian Living 061313

“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.”  1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 (KJV)

Sometimes it seems so hard to know the “Will of God”; yet it is given to us in God’s written Word.  Many Christians spend their time “Searching for the will of God”.  Is it God’s will for me to be a missionary, go to Africa, go to Russia, go to the jungles of the Amazon?  The problem is we spend our time searching and it is right before us in black, red and white.

Notice Paul’s words above, and all this instruction can be summed up with Jesus’s words quoting the Old Testament,

“…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”  Mark 12:30

and He went on and said,

“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:31 (KJV)

If we are not doing the will of God at home, in our daily labors, in our recreation, in all our daily activities; God’s will will not be found in Africa, Russia, or the Amazon.  God’s will is as close as your heart and the Word of God.  Let us commit ourselves to doing the will of God.  The search is over.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Redeeming Love of God (Hosea 4:11-19)

God’s Controversy With His People 3

This will be the final study for chapter 4.

“Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.
My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.”  Hosea 4:11-12 (KJV)

The Amplified Bible says of verse eleven, “Harlotry and wine and new wine take away the heart and the mind and the spiritual understanding.”  The Living Bible paraphrases, “Wine, women and song have robbed My people of her brains.”

Does anything ever really change?  It does not seem so.  The problem of Israel is a problem within the United States of America today.  Alcohol and the use of alcohol; maybe I should say abuse of alcohol; drug consumption.  The over active, perverse and uncontrolled sex drives of humanity; along with the abuse of alcohol and other drugs robbing the mind of control, influencing the decision making process, having people doing things they would not normally do.  With a clear mind – clear of drugs at least – one can be expected to make rational decisions.  Under the influence of beverage alcohol no one wants to take responsibility; and no one wants to point out the blame, or take blame for their actions.

This is how verse twelve reads in The Living Bible,  “For they are asking a piece of wood to tell them what to do.  ‘Divine Truth’ comes to them through tea leaves!  Longing after idols has made them foolish.  For they have played the harlot, serving other gods, deserting Me.”

Instead of taking their heart ache to God they seek a bottle.  Instead of a lasting, fulfilling, and meaningful relationship through marriage (One man, one woman), God’s way they follow their own lust, and go to destruction.  It is not only destruction of the person, it destroys the family, the State, the Nation and the World.

“They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery.  I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.” Hosea 4:13-14

Men need to learn that their wives and children soon follow their example.  In this way wives and daughters of Israel became polluted.  The fathers had not taken their God-given leadership roles in leading their families to righteousness; instead they led them to perversion, and their immorality would be their judgment.

“Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, ‘The LORD liveth.’  For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.  Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.  Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, ‘Give ye.’  The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.” Hosea 4:15-19

“Listen up Judah.”  Hosea probably sees some of the Judeans in the crowd at the gates, and warns them of the plight of Israel.  For clarity “Ephraim” is another name for the Northern kingdom of Israel.

Bethel is now called “Bethaven”.  The place had gone from “The house of God”,  to the decadence of “The house of deception”.  Gilgal and Bethaven were places of calf worship.  To go to these places of idolatry, and declare, “The LORD liveth” was an evil act of hypocrisy, and was despised by God.

They loved their shame rather than the glory of God.  Their glory is God.  They refuse the way of God, thus, they incur the wrath of God upon themselves.

Paul the apostle writes to Timothy; a young pastor, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”  Let those today who claim “I am a disciple of Christ” or “I am a Christian” depart from this iniquitous society.  How can we do that?  By not participating in the wicked, mind killing, mind stealing acts of the world and society.

If you have been in this way of life there is hope for all who will trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross – His death, His burial and His resurrection.  He has promised also to come again.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Standing in the Fire

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16 (KJV)

Considering that we are Christian by faith in Jesus Christ and His death, burial and resurrection, and promised coming again; and that there are going to be trials and tribulations; which our Lord warned us of; how then should we live in this world? We are given guidance, counsel, and commandments as how we should live. It is really summed up in one short sentence – “Be ye holy, for I am holy”.

Peter addresses this matter beginning with the mind. The mind is the place of our thought processes. The mind is full of imagination both good and evil. There must be a “Girding up” of the mind. That is, bring it under control. A picture can be given concerning the ancient men of Bible days. When they were in a hurry and had to run; for an emergency, to get a message to an important person as quickly as possible, or even when defending one’s home – the men of that day wore robe type garments – they would take the bottom of their robes and tuck them into their belt, shortening the robe, and giving their legs room to move.

The “Gird up of the mind” would be just taking control of your thinking. Directing your mind toward wholesome thinking, pure thinking, godly thinking. You could even say, “Pull in all the loose ends”, so as not to leave something that will cause you to stumble later. Keep the mind on the things of God. Even for the Christian man or woman the mind can be a playground for evil. We need to guard the mind and keep it for God. If we do not do so, then, when evil temptations approach us, we will not be able to stand. None of us are without temptations.

The second thing we are told by Peter is “Be sober”. Those of us who do not drink alcoholic beverage may think, “Well, I don’t have anything to worry about there”; O yes we do. This has nothing to do with alcohol. It does have to do with the ability to think clearly. It would involve not allowing any substance influencing our thoughts; be it legal or illegal drugs, and that does include beverage alcohol. You will not be thinking clearly, or soberly when you have been influenced by the world’s drink, and other drugs. The MACARTHUR STUDY BIBLE note for this verse, and this word states, “Be sober. Spiritul sober-mindedness includes the ideas of steadfastness, self-control, clarity of mind, and moral decisiveness. The sober Christian is correctly in charge of his priorites and not intoxicated with various allurements of the world.” These allurements can be an intoxication with finances, sports, technology, etc., anything that will lure the thoughts away from clear thinking.

Our hope should rest upon the promise of the return of our Lord and Savior. This is a teaching which is becoming less and less taught in some churches. It is called the “Blessed hope”, and that should be a light that brightens our eyes and our lives. When our Lord instituted the Lord’s Supper, He said, “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29 NKJV). Jesus also said; concerning this Supper, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19), and 1 Corinthians Paul writes, “For as often as you eath this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (11:26). The revelation of Jesus Christ is much more than Him coming into your life to live. He is coming again with that same body He was raised and glorified through, in the resurrection.

When we go to a home where children are running about without a disciplinary hand, and there just seems to be chaos in the home we usually do not think to highly of those parents parenting skills. When you see them in the stores shopping they will be the children screaming for this toy, that game, or that particular set of clothing. Sometimes they will scream and carry on until they get it. No discipline in the home. Parents who allow that will usually not be looked upon as good parents. They will usually be ones who will say things like, “Kids will be kids”, or “We just can’t do anything with them”. However, when you go into a home and there are children who listen to their parents, and Mom tells them to sit and be quiet and they obey, or Dad tells them to put their toys away and they do it without fuss, you know you have come into a well disciplined home. We, as Christians, are the children of God. How does the world view the household of God? Are we obedient, well behaved, showing forth the good name of our Father? With girded up loins of the mind, having a sober mind, and having our hope firmly upon the promise of the coming of Jesus we will be obedient children. Obedient children will be putting away the former lusts which we practiced in our ignorance of godliness. It is from the hand of the loving Father who gave His love and paid the price for our sins, that we are able to love Him in return and know that we have everlasting life and His love forevermore.

The conduct of the Christian is to be in holiness. For some reason there are many who profess Jesus as Savior, but will not submit to His Lordship. Some of these call themselves “Free Grace” believers. I have a word for them. Grace is not free – It costs God the best that He had, and that was the life of His Son. If you have not submitted to Him as your Lord, then, He is not your Savior. Some one said it like this, “If He is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all”. His commandment is to be holy. “Be holy, for I am holy”. Jesus Himself said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name,a nd done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV). Will He know you by the change that has taken place in your life by grace, through your faith that works?

Somewhere around the latter part of the sixth century B.C. there were three Hebrew young men who literally stood in the fire. They were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Daniel 3). They stood their ground in faith. No matter what may come – they stood by faith. They are forever remembered for the stand they took. They stood in the fire of Nebuchadnezzar, and we can stand in the fires of our testing only as we yield to Him our body, soul and mind. These three young men had girded up the loins of their minds, they were thinking clearly; they were not under the influence of any drug, but under the influence of the Spirit of God. They were remembering a greater purpose and Being than themselves. They knew it was not about them, but about God, His plans, purposes, and His glory. They chose to be holy. They chose to live and die if need be, for God. That is what the Christian must be and do.

-T.A.

The Power Of The Ten Commandments

“And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:   And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.   And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:   And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.”  Mark 12:28-34 (KJV)

THE POWER OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

Jesus is asked by a scribe, “Which is the greatest commandment?” Jesus’ answer is one which shortens the whole of the Ten Commandments into two short commands. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength…”. I have done a study of the Ten Commandments and find some very amazing thoughts of the first four commandments God gave us. The first four Commandments have to do with mankind’s relationship with God. In the first Commandment the “Heart” can have no other gods – there can be only one. In the second, the “Soul” of man cannot unite with other god’s by building an image – we are made in God’s image, not He in ours – thus the soul must be knit only to God. The third, the “Mind” of man must not think thoughts that make the mouth say vain things of God, or curse His name. In the fourth, we need “Strength” so God commanded a day of rest and so that we could devote one whole day for worshipping Him and renewing our physical and spiritual “Strength”. Just as a means of summing up these matters, we must come to the conclusion that there is no place in man’s heart and life for any other god, but the God who created all things, seen and unseen.

On the matter of the second commandment which Jesus gave, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…” we see that the final six of the Ten Commandments have to do with mankind’s relationship to his/her fellowman. From one’s mother and father, marital faithfulness, preciousness of life, sacred ownership, speaking of others, and the possessions and being of your neighbor.

The scribe acknowledges that there is no greater law than these; to love God with all the heart, soul, mind and strength is better than “whole burnt offerings and sacrifices”. This man was a wise man, and even Jesus tells him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God”. Not by keeping commandments is one saved, but in knowing and loving God, and only God can give that to us.

For a list of other studies on the Ten Commandments you may follow this list.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Speaking From the Mind

SPEAKING FROM THE MIND

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Exodus 20:7 (KJV)

Again, Jesus said, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30 (KJV).

It is certain, at least to me, that many people of our society need a renewed mind. I know that Jesus also said that, “…From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh…” (Matthew 12:34; Luke 6:45), but is it not the mind that gives the mouth the ability to speak. And, we do often “Speak our mind”. We say things like, “…I will give them a piece of my mind…”, and usually when we cannot afford to give them any.

God’s name is often used, even by professing Christians who use His name without thought. It has been said that the Hebrew scribes, when writing the Scriptures would change “pens” to write the name of God. It was so special that the name of God is not even clearly revealed in the original languages. In the Hebrew language all we know of the name God is YHWH. That name has been transliterated to Jehovah or Yahweh. The best name we have for God is J-E-S-U-S. And, how often we hear His name used vainly.

The precious name of God. He is precious because there is no other like Him. God, of whom I am writing, is the Creator of all that is, both seen and unseen with the human eye. He also made those things that can only be seen by microscopic means, as well. Even those things that have not yet been discovered by the finite mind of man.

Often when we hear this commandment our first thought is of those who use the name in cursing or swearing. We often think that is the only way of “Taking God’s name in vain”. The name of God is precious we must use our lips and our mind to honor Him.

We have looked at loving God “…with all our heart, soul…” and now we look at loving God ” …with all your mind…”. That requires thought. Before you speak – THINK. From the way I have heard many people speaking their minds have gone into the “Amusement” mode. The word “Muse” means ‘to think’ and anytime you add the letter “A” to another word like “Muse” it means “No”. So to “amuse” is to not think.

His name is PRECIOUS. Let us THINK before we speak.

The heart that is abundant with the things of God and Jesus His Son will speak from that abundance. An abundant heart will have a clear, thinking mind. The abundant heart will speak things which will glorify the Father and the whole God-head. When your heart and soul are filled with God, are you going to speak vainly of God? No way.

There are those who use God’s name in vain by cursing and swearing. What about those who speak God’s name, seemingly in a reverent manner on Sunday at church, but the rest of the week live like the world in the way they speak? It seems to me to be the height of hypocrisy. Not just a hypocritical act but the act of a Hypocrite.

There is nothing that turns off a person away from God quicker than someone who professes Christianity on Sunday, but imbibes in the world the rest of the week. This is a taking of God’s name in vain as well. God help us to guard our minds, by always speaking reverently of God. “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” (Psalm 111:9).

What about those who do all the churchy, traditional things, but overlook doing right toward their neighbor? “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:” (Isaiah 29:13). “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:8-9). “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” Luke 6:46-48 (KJV)

There is judgment for taking this precious, holy, loving, righteous name in vain. God says in the commandment itself, that, “…the LORD will not hold him guiltless…”. If you have ever used God’s name vainly/emptily you are guilty before God.

Give your heart, soul, mind and strength to the Lord through the Lord Jesus Christ. He took your guilt upon Himself, died for all our sins, carried them away, and was raised from death to life. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).