Christian Living on Walking in Truth

Walking in Truth: Christian LivingIn this radio program we consider Christian living based upon the powerful question found in 2 Peter 3.11. How we ought to live is such a vital interest for anyone who is thinking clearly. The fact is that the Bible teaches us plainly that one day there is coming a judgment day, a last day (John 12.48). If I believe the Bible, I believe that Judgment Day is coming. When I read 2 Peter 3.11, I find Peter gives me an extremely important question to consider. According to the Bible (2 Peter 3.10), it is the case that on Judgment Day, God will bring to an end every single thing that has to do with physical life on this earth.

Why is Christian Living So Important?

In pondering Peter’s question, we are wise to adopt the idea of working for things that are eternal. Christian living and faithfulness to Christ, on that great Judgment Day, will rank highest on anyone’s list. Sadly, most will not begin seeing this until that day (Matthew 7.13-14)—which will be too late. Lots of things men now think are super important, on that day will be of zero importance. It will not just be Christians who acknowledge Jesus as Lord on that day.

One day the environmentalists will find that “mother earth,” he has so diligently sought to save will have been destroyed by the Lord. On that day all will recognize that God was in control of the earth and it could not be destroyed by man. Instead, God did it in a nanosecond.

Main Points of this Lesson on Christian living…

  1. I ought to live in the flesh, but NOT after the flesh (Rom 8.1-13; Gal 5.16-26).
  2. I ought to live in the world, but NOT of the world (Jn 15.18-19; 17.11-18; James 1.27; 4.4; 1 Jn 2.15-17).
  3. I ought to live as though the eyes of the world are ON ME, because THEY ARE (2 Cor 3.2).
  4. I ought to live as though God sees me BECAUSE HE DOES (Ps 139.1-12; Eccl 12.13-14; Heb 4.13; Lk 12.2; Num 32.23; 1 Timothy 5.24).
  5. I ought to live as though this were my last day on earth, because it may be (Job 14.1-2; 16.22; Eccl 12; James 4.13-15).

Here is our August 19, 2018 recording of Walking in Truth:

That Good Part–Priorities are Important

“That good part,” are words spoken by Jesus to Mary. Throughout the Bible we read about the choices that men and women, boys and girls make. Sometimes these choices are clearly held up to us as examples to follow and at other times it is obvious that we ought not make that given choice in our own lives. Consider an incident recorded in Luke 10:38-42—please read these verses.

Jesus said that Mary had chosen that good part.  So then, Jesus is pointing out a choice that is worthy of our consideration to follow in our own lives.

Significance of Mary’s Choice—That Good Part

What joy must Mary have felt! Her action brought about the words of her Lord that indicated His approval of a choice she had made!  For a faithful follower of Jesus could there be any greater delight than to know I have made a choice which is well pleasing to my Lord?  Can we not see that here is a very significant incident that Luke has recorded for our instruction?

The choice that Mary had made was to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His word.  Now we would think that such a choice would be reckoned by all of Jesus’ disciples as a wise and good choice.  However, Mary’s sister, Martha had not so reckoned.  Martha, in fact, thought in her own mind that her sister had made a foolish choice.  Martha thought that Mary was being neglectful and was in need of rebuke from the Lord.

Instead, Jesus spoke a mild rebuke to Martha for her own misplaced priorities.  This brings to the mind of a careful Bible student that there could be many occasions on which Jesus might either question or commend choices we have made with regard to how we use our time.  I wonder how often we even consider this matter in our daily lives.

It is not as if Martha had chosen some ungodly pursuit with which to occupy her time.  Rather that which she was doing in showing hospitality is a good thing and quite often commended in Scripture (Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; 1 Peter 4:9).  No, Martha had made a GOOD choice, what is troubling about her choice is that she might have made an even wiser choice–the choice made by her sister, Mary.  Mary had made a choice which recognized that the mundane things of this life become utterly insignificant when placed beside an opportunity for spiritual growth and understanding.  The Messiah was present!  Jesus, the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8), was in the building!  Is there not time to sit and listen to His teaching.

Application of Choosing That Good Part

What is the solution for the problems we face in our world today?  How do we cope with all of the unsettling and even upsetting news of the day?  Is there a lesson to learn from the visit Jesus made to that Bethany home?

Surely we need to examine our own priorities of life.  Surely we need to appreciate that we may be dwelling entirely too much upon those “Martha-things.” These things are good, in and of themselves. However, they may be hampering, even preventing,  our spiritual maturity and development into powerful servants of the Lord. After all, we surely want the Lord to use us in a mighty way.

How much time do I spend examining my priorities?  Do I ever even consider that there just might be a better use of my time?  Have I ever even considered that my Lord might have a commendation for me on Judgment day similar to the one He gave to Mary?

What about the Bible classes?  Is there a more direct comparison we could make than to consider this choice we make weekly?  What activity could my feeble mind conceive of that would take priority to listening to Jesus at Bible Class time?  If I want to choose THAT GOOD PART, where will I find myself at 10:00 on Sunday morning and 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday night? What about the worship assemblies?  Gospel meetings?  Vacation Bible School? It is shameful that we have differing numbers from the Sunday morning worship assembly count on these other occasions of study.  To those of you who do not come but are truly able to be here–are you being like Martha or are you being like Mary?  Think ahead for just a moment.  On that Judgment day of John 12:48, which person would you have to be your model?

The One Thing Needful: That Good Part

Jesus said to Martha, concerning her sister, Luke 10:42  “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”  We do not appreciate the one thing that is needful to the degree that it ought to be in our day.  That one thing that is needful seems to be “pushed off to the back burner” of our lives.  That one thing that is needful will make us a great church when we go and do likewise! Mary guides us in the right and good direction as she made the selection of THAT GOOD PART.

Faithfulness versus “Ashamed of My Words”

faithfulnessFaithfulness to abide in the doctrine of Christ will be rewarded by fellowship with God and Christ (2 John 1.9). Not to be faithful to the doctrine of Christ will cause us to be lost. In Luke 9.26 our Lord presents a strong warning which ought to be powerful enough to unsettle or humble even the most strident and pride-filled sinner! Christians likely need to consider the warning as well, because it is possible for you and me, in one way or another, to exhibit the shame our Lord condemns. The very idea of doing that for which Jesus gives this warning is entirely repulsive to any lover of truth, yet Satan presses us continually to do it. Listen to Jesus’ words—For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

DO NOT Be the Person Who Does not Value Faithfulness…

Who is the person Jesus will reject when He comes again? The person who is ashamed of Jesus and His words is that person. When Jesus comes in His glory is the time that He will be ashamed of such a person. This is a clear reference to His second coming. Elsewhere we are told that there is coming a future day in the which ALL men will be humbled to acknowledge that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords—1 Timothy 6.15… Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.

That day is coming, but, sadly, it will be too late for the vast majority of those who have lived their lives on earth. All men do not make that acknowledgment at the present time. The fact of the matter is that MOST do not and will not make that acknowledgment. Jesus lets us know that such will always be the case—Matthew 7.13… Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.

If someone rejects the words of Jesus now, and continues to do so unrepentantly, this same one faces JUDGMENT by those very words (John 12.48).

We think about the many examples the Old Testament provides of those who were not ashamed to be identified with God and His Word (cf., Romans 15.4). Those great examples–many of them mentioned in Hebrews 11–encourage us to “Stand Up for Jesus.” To learn from them and increase our courage is a great blessing.

David Serves Well as an Example of the Courage and Faithfulness WE Need…

Consider the incident in 1 Samuel 17 with young David [Dr. Floyd Jones in Chronology of the Old Testament, p. 94 suggests David’s age was 18-20]. Evidently he was the only Israelite sufficiently proud of God’s name and His people to risk battling Goliath. Goliath presented his challenge morning and evening for 40 days. (v. 16). The Bible tells us that The Philistine said… I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together (v. 10). David recognized that the unanswered challenge of this uncircumcised Philistine was a reproach to Israel and was an act of defiance against the armies of the living God (v. 26). David told King Saul—let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine (v. 32). David was not ashamed of his God and was confident that God would bless him with a great victory (v. 37), which He did (vv., 46-51). What a mighty victory David’s great courage produced!

Can we determine to allow David’s complete lack of shame for His God to be our stance? This will keep us away from following the example of his brethren who cowered in shame before Goliath. In our time, people disrespect the words of our Lord and castigate them to an alarming degree. It will likely be increasingly difficult to stand strong in the words of Christ without ridicule and opposition. Let us distinguish ourselves with the courage of David in giving our defense (1 Peter 3.15). Let us find ourselves NOT fitting the description Jesus warns about in Luke 9.30.

Faithfulness Will be Rewarded on Judgment Day!

We should consider Paul’s exhortation to Timothy—2 Timothy 2.10-12… Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us. There is coming a day when the most important matter our hearts will consider is our own faithfulness to our Lord.

The reward for faithfulness will be GREAT. But, Satan would have you and me to be ashamed of Jesus. He smiles when we refuse to take a stand for truth. Satan wants us lost with him in hell forever and ever. That is our end if we are ashamed of the words of Jesus. Never should Jesus say of us:  that we have been ashamed of my words.

Consider studying also: Cain’s Complaint.

Eskew Meeting–2017

Eskew Meeting speakerThe Victor Eskew meeting of 2017 was an excellent one. We enjoyed the messages from the Bible. Victor did an outstanding job with relevant topics. The audio files from that Eskew meeting are on this website. Certainly, we hope you enjoy them and learn from them, and please tell others they can listen to them here, also.

For more audio sermons, please visit our sermons preached page.

Sunday, AM Bible Class: The Inward Man…

Sunday, AM Worship: 6 Keys to Victorious Church Growth…

Sunday, PM Worship: Resolved: to Evangelize…

Monday PM: Christ Crucified…

Tuesday PM: Resolved: To Be a Great Example…

Prayers Hindered

prayers As Christians we sometimes become discouraged and do not have the kind of appreciation and expectancy that ought to characterize the prayers we pray.  Surely we recognize such a state as this to be a problem.  Recognizing a problem is one of the first steps toward solving a problem.  For the faithful Christian, the source for answers to our problems is God’s word, the Bible.

Satan is very aware of the power of prayer. There is nothing that he fears more than a Christian who finds much time for prayer.  He will lay before us many roadblocks to hinder our approach to God in prayer.  Satan does have  his devices. He will use them to create doubt in our hearts regarding the power of prayer.  We must be like Paul and be aware of Satan’s devices (2 Cor 2:11).

Consider the roadblock of PRIDE.  Pride manifests in self-trusting; self-sufficiency; self-glorying; self-service; self-will; and self-righteousness.  One of the best examples of this hindrance in action is the Pharisee of Luke 18:9-14.  He spent his entire prayer talking about how good he was. He spoke of how much better he was than anyone else.  These kinds of attitudes and these kinds of prayers are not received well by our Lord.  Jesus noted the contrast between the Pharisee and the publican and gave commendation to the publican, who recognized himself to be a sinner (Lk 18:14).

We need to spend a little time looking into the history of God’s dealing with His people in the Old Testament.  Here we will find that there were times when the people became lifted up with pride. They thought they could do it all on their own. Those were the times when the judgment of God came upon them.  They had the same need as we have today and that is to see that our sufficiency is OF GOD (2 Cor 3:5).  Pride will keep us trying to solve our problems on our own. Pride will hinder us from turning to God in prayer.

Another huge roadblock in the way of having our prayers answered is simple DISOBEDIENCE.  What was it Solomon wrote in Proverbs 28:9?  “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”  If we are not obedient to our God how can we expect Him to hear our prayers?  Without obedience there can be no communion with God.  Sins of disobedience place distance between us and our God (Isa 59:1-2).  It will be necessary to do those things which are pleasing in His sight (1 Jn 3:22) to be blessed with the privilege of praying to our God in heaven.  Seriously, can we think of any activity that is considered such a great privilege and pleasure here that we deem it worthy to deprive ourselves of this privilege of prayer to God?

In addition, the Bible teaches us that our prayers are hindered by IDOLATRY.  In Ezekiel 14:1-11, there is a fine discussion of the folly and fruitlessness of having idols in the heart and seeking to petition God.  The fact is that our God is a JEALOUS God (Ex 20:5). He demands our complete loyalty (Mt 6:24).  We are to keep ourselves from idols (1 Jn 5:21).  When we allow our loyalty to become divided and we begin to love the world or the things it contains we are loving things that are not of God (1 Jn 2:15-17).  When we love things that are not of God, most likely we won’t even try to communicate with Him. Even if we do, He won’t be listening.

Please consider the hindrance which Satan loves to create and has such success with: DOUBT.  If we study the first chapter of 1 Samuel we will see that God answered the prayers of Hannah.  She prayed for a son and was granted a son.  God will answer our prayers as well.  But how does God answer prayer?  Generally speaking, the Scriptures show us that God answers prayer in five ways…

  1. YES (James 5:17).
  2. NO (Mt 26:39; Heb 5:7).
  3. WAIT A WHILE (Jer 42:4, 7).
  4. SOMETHING DIFFERENT (2 Cor 12:7-9).
  5. BY GIVING MORE (1 Kgs 3:11, 13; Eph 3:20).

To create doubt regarding the power of prayer is one of Satan’s most effective tools to weaken us.  We must know better and then elevate our practice to our knowledge.

We find a seldom considered hindrance to prayer in 1 Peter 3:7.  “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”  It is important to the Lord how we treat our companions in marriage.  Is it the case that my prayer life seems to be suffering? Perhaps I need to look into how I am treating my  wife/husband.  If we do not consider the will of the Lord in our homes, our homes are not going to be the kinds of places we will want them to be.

In addition, the Lord warns us that a spirit of UNFORGIVENESS will hurt our efforts in prayer.  If we pray to God for forgiveness and we have demonstrated an unforgiving spirit, we will have no forgiveness (Mt 6:12-14).

Other matters such as not hearing the cries of the poor (Prov 21:13) and not being persistent in prayer (Luke 18:1-8) also hinder our prayers.  These are obstacles over which we can soar, if we have the will so to do!

Consider Wade Webster’s powerful lesson regarding POWERLESS PRAYERS.

Meet Temptation with Christ

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In Luke 4.1-13 we have the record of Jesus being tempted of Satan. Though He was tempted, He never yielded to temptation (Hebrews 4.15). What a marvelous example we have to follow: our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2.21)! We ought often to thank God for this blessing.

We will not fare as well as did our Lord in meeting temptation (Romans 3.23). However, we do have the ability to resist temptation and we CAN be successful in our battle with Satan and S-I-N! Three points should make this clear to us. Please study the references attached to these points…

  1. We have a HEAVENLY EXAMPLE (Luke 4.1-13).
  2. We have a HEAVENLY ASSURANCE (1 Corinthians 10.13).
  3. We have a HEAVENLY PRESCRIPTION–Revelation 3.10. The saints at Philadelphia were commended by the Lord. They had kept His word of PATIENCE. That word means: “to continue to bear up despite difficulty and suffering … to put up with…” [Louw-Nida]. God’s Word is that which makes it possible to resist temptation (Psalm 119.11).

An “entire alphabet of help” (26 total) from Scripture to resist temptation…

In order to meet temptation with Christ, we must. . .

  • A.  “Keep the word of Christ’s patience” (Rev 3:10).
  • B.  Know the Bible (Psalms 119:11).
  • C.  Be godly (2 Peter 2:9).
  • D.  Look for the way to escape temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
  • E.  Remember Lot’s wife (Luke 17:32).
  • F.  Use the “Spiritual EPA” (Philippians 4:8).
  • G.  Follow the Example of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11).
  • H.  Pray (Matthew 26:41).
  • I.   KNOW that we are ABLE to resist (1 Corinthians 10:13).
  • J.  Don’t allow temptations to discourage and then destroy (1 Peter 5:6-7).
  • K.  Refuse to allow Satan to create doubt in your mind about what God has said or what He really means (Genesis 3:4-5).
  • L.   Refuse to believe Satan’s lie that something good will come from doing something evil (Genesis 3:4-5).
  • M. Do not allow Satan to use your God-given ability to envision, visualize, and fantasize to create a picture of the pleasure of sin–these pleasures are ONLY for a season (Genesis 3:4-5; Hebrews 11:25).
  • N.   Remember that when God says NO to something it is NOT to diminish your pleasure, but to ENHANCE it (John 10:10).
  • O.  Remember this world is not your home (1 Peter 1:17).
  • P.   Think about the NEW ways God can use you as you choose not to yield to temptation (Hebrews 11).
  • Q.  THINK about how much might be riding on the decision you are about to make (Matthew 16:26).
  • R.   Realize that it is OK to be angry about SIN (John 2:13; Mark 3:5)–Personalize the enemy:  SATAN.
  • S.  Beware of your STRENGTHS (1 Corinthians 10:12).
  • T.  Shift your energy from preoccupation with life’s inconveniences and your own pain to GOING TO WORK FOR THE LORD–Put on the Lord Jesus (Romans 13:14).
  • U.   Know that the way out of temptation is THROUGH it–Patiently endure it and do so with JOY (James 1:2).
  • V.  Understand that the Bible speaks of SINS OF IMAGINING (e.g., Matthew 5:27-28).
  • W. Do not waste time devising evil plans or making provision for the flesh, BUT rather put on the Lord Jesus (Romans 13:14).
  • X.  Do not forget about the OMNISCIENCE OF GOD–Some day all that you thought was secret and hidden will be made manifest and made known (Luke 8:17).
  • Y.  Appreciate and use the DISCERNING POWER OF GOD’S WORD (Hebrews 4:12).
  • Z.   Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Life on this earth is filled with trials, temptations, and disappointments. In order to live the best way it is possible to live here, we must be determined to:  MEET TEMPTATION WITH CHRIST.

Am I Being Used by the Devil?

I’ve just viewed a YouTube Video from the 2018 Power Lectures of the Southaven Church of Christ in Southaven, MS. The speaker was Cliff Goodwin. Cliff taught from Scripture that you and I CAN BE, but ought not to be used by Satan by: (1) Resisting God’s Pattern; (2) Refusing Forgiveness; and (3) Retaining Overconfidence. I would highly recommend this study to you. Please take the time to view it. It lasts 45:32 minutes.

Is the Young Man Safe?

… the major news that David sought when two messengers came back from the fighting lines was: IS THE YOUNG MAN SAFE?

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When we read 2 Samuel 18 we read the question of this title twice, specifically addressed with regard to the SAFETY of ABSALOM (vv., 29, 32). David is the one doing the inquiring in this context.  He had given strict orders to his commanding generals that they were to “deal gently for my sake with the young man” (v. 5). David’s woes have been compounded by the rebellion of this son, yet he loves him dearly and evidently feels partly responsible for the sad state of affairs that now exist between the two of them.  David is finding out, day by day, about the burden of sin’s consequences. He had committed terrible sins and was reaping the whirlwind, but he desperately wanted his son spared from death. Thus, the major news that David sought when two messengers came back from the fighting lines was: IS THE YOUNG MAN SAFE?

As with many great questions asked in the Bible, this question also is an interesting one to apply to others besides that single one mentioned in the text. What of young men today?  What about our young people today? How is it with them? Are they safe? Time spent contemplating these questions surely is time well spent, both for the young and for those who love them.

Temptations of Satan are strong in every phase of life on this planet. Yet, who would argue with the fact that life as a young person has its particular and powerful threats to true safety?  In this instance we are not so interested in physical safety (as David was about his son Absalom), but rather safety in the long run. Solomon talks about the LONG HOME or the eternal home in Ecclesiastes 12:5. For Bible-believing and wise people any thought of SAFETY for young people would involve the spiritual aspect of their lives.

Satan is so successful in implanting into the minds of young people the idea that they have plenty of time to settle down SOME TIME IN THE FUTURE. The concept used to be expressed: “Go ahead and sow a few wild oats; then pray for a crop failure.”

This concept is one that will endanger the young people–KEEP THEM FROM SAFETY–and one that will give Satan great glee as they accept it in great numbers. The Apostle Paul teaches us plainly that this concept is dangerous and can only be accepted by those who are DECEIVED. We will reap what we sow–“Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal 6:7-8).

So then, what shall those of us who are older do to help our young people be SAFE and to help them avoid the common idea that there are yet many years ahead for settling down and living a life which involves preparation for eternity? Let me propose a list of items that should be useful in seeking that worthy goal.

  1. Let us show interest in their lives and the things that are important to them.  You might be surprised just how much such interest from an older member of the Lord’s church might encourage them to do what is right.They may begin to think of you as someone to whom they might turn for a different perspective from that which they receive daily from their peers.
  2. Let us set the right example before them. So many poor examples are out there from among those who are older that it is no wonder they often follow those poor examples. We have a great responsibility as older Christians properly to model the Christian life before those younger in the faith.Let us say to them as Paul said to the Corinthian saints: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1).
  3. Let us speak freely and often to them of the heavenly reward toward which we are headed.  As Christians grow older we tend to think more about heaven.  We love to sing the songs about the eternal reward.  We love to read the passages which attempt to picture heaven for us. The world is telling our  young people that they must JUST DO IT. Grab all the gusto of this life. The emphasis they hear from others is get all the pleasure there is in life. That emphasis is upon THIS LIFE and totally absent is any mention of life after death. What if we can help the young man or young lady see the beauty of heaven? Will that not make a strong contribution toward securing the SAFETY of the young man or woman?

Yes, this short list is only a starter and I know that YOU can continue it for a few more pages without any great effort. Is it not a worthy effort to contemplate the question: IS THE YOUNG MAN SAFE? Whenever we begin to do more of this kind of thinking, as those who are older, then we will see a great impact on young lives! Of that I am extremely confident.