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This free, weekly publication contains Bible-related articles, Bible studies, devotions, and puzzles. This version can be read by all, especially cell-phones. Printable versions are available at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html and can be used as a bulletin insert, ministry handout, bus ministry handout, nursing home handout (the large print version), deaf ministry handout, and Sunday school paper as do many in over 165 countries. There are over 12 years of past editions available. Only the KJV is used!

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The Bible View #799 — Dishonesty

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In This Issue:
Lies People Tell Themselves
Three Will Know
Never Gone
Troublesome Lies
He Has No Guilt
Reward of Honesty

Volume: 799    March 1, 2021
Theme: Dishonesty

Lies People Tell Themselves
Bill Brinkworth

In I John 1 and 2, John the Apostle covers areas that many are not completely honest with themselves about. These areas include:

  • When Christians claim to be in fellowship with God, but are not!
    “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” I John 1:6

Many times folks fool even themselves into believing that they can talk to God, He is listening to them, answering them, and they are in full fellowship when they are involved in sin. They lie to themselves.

A believer cannot have close fellowship with God when there is sin in one’s life! God hates sin, and although people do not lose their salvation when they fall for sin’s enticement, they certainly grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30). That grieving will keep the sinner from having a close relationship with God. The only remedy for that broken relationship is to turn from sin (Acts 8:22) and again “… walk in the light …” (I John 7). One should then live in the manner God requires.

  • When Christians claim to have no sin.
    “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
    I John 1:8

Some consider themselves sin-free.  Christians are saved from iniquity’s eternal wage, but are not sinless.  They will have to battle to not obey their sin nature with which they had since birth. 

  • When a person claims to be a believer but does not keep God’s commandments, John called one such person a liar (I John 1:4). God’s truth is not in him when he does not obey what God commands.

    Going through life as a Christian, our ears, eyes, and discernment are often on others that claim the same faith.  We are confused when we hear their profession of faith, yet see that they are not living the life they are supposed to live.  Although we scratch our heads in confusion when one says one thing but lives another, the Holy Spirit says, “… the truth is not in them.”
  • When one claims to be a child of God but hates other saved people. God says one that does not love the brethren “… is in darkness even until now” (I John 1:9).  If one is saved, he should love the other members of the family of God.  Real love puts up with a lot, is kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not prideful, does not cause one to act improperly, does not get mad quickly, does not think the worst about another, is not happy when a person does wrong, believes people, has hope for them, and never stops loving others (I Cor.13:4-8).  Getting bitter, holding a grudge, and wishing bad things on others are not signs of love, no matter what one claims!
  • When people love this world more than anything.  They are also fooling themselves.
    “… If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15), no matter what they claim!
  • Another deceiver is one that says Jesus is not the one God promised to come (I John 2:22).  Some of the most popular religions, when examined, are deceptive in this area.  Some claim to be Christian but say Jesus was just a good man, a prophet, or a good example, but not God’s only Son. No matter the cult’s popularity and numbers, as far as God is concerned (and no other opinion matters), they are liars.

There is much deception in this world.  Sometimes people even deceive themselves.  However, adhering to what God says in His Word and using it as a guideline make it possible to see what is of God and what is not.  If actions and words line up with the Word of God, then it is of God.  Anything opposing it is not of Him.  God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33).

“As truth stretches, trust breaks!” — Author Unknown


Three Will Know
Author Unknown

A Chinese convert, newly brought to the faith, was being tempted by one of his countrymen to cheat.  Upon his refusal, his tempter asked why he would not do wrong.

“Because three will know that I cheated,” replied the Christian. “You will know, I will know, and Heaven will know.”

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:13  


Never Gone
Sunday School Times

A storekeeper went away for the day and left his clerk in charge.  A customer came in and asked the clerk a favor, which meant he would have to do something dishonest.  “You can do it if you want to,” tempted the customer, “because your boss is gone, and he will never know.”

The clerk looked the man straight in the eyes and said, “You are wrong.   My Boss is Jesus Christ, and He is never gone!”



Troublesome Lies
Edited from an Article by Addison (1871)

Truth is always consistent with itself and needs nothing to help it.  It is easy to remember and is ready to drop out of our mouths before we are aware. Rarely are we embarrassed for telling it!

A lie, however, is troublesome. The liar cannot relax, as he always must remember to whom he had told what.  Another lie is often required to defend the others.

Lying is much like a building built upon a terrible foundation.  It continually needs propping up, supports, and an attentive eye on its stability.  Usually, the building will collapse, as will the fabrications of a liar.  It is so much easier to tell the truth!

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”  Proverbs 6:16-19



He Has No Guilt
Shakespeare

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose,
An evil soul producing holy witness,
Is like a villain with a smiling face,
A goodly apple, rotten at the core.



Reward of Honesty
Edited from an Article by F. W. Robertson

Christian businessmen often complain that their honesty is a hindrance to their success.  They see the amount of money that pours into the coffers of less scrupulous people in business while they have much longer to wait for their honest living to come.

Do you think God is always going to reward honor, integrity, and honesty with this world’s coin?  Do you believe He will pay spiritual excellence large amounts of money?

Now consider the price that the unmoraled, less scrupulous businessman is paying for his “success.”  Perhaps he is paying for his dishonesty by having mental degradation and inward dishonor. Maybe he has to take pills to sleep at night. His advertisements are all deceptive.  His treatment of his workmen is poor.  His cheap prices are made possible by inferior articles.  Sow that man’s seed, and you will reap that man’s harvest.  Cheat, lie, advertise dishonestly, be unscrupulous in your business transactions, and money will come to you, but at what price? 

If the price that he will pay is too much for you to pay, let him have his harvest and take your reward.  Your reward will be a clear conscience, a pure mind, pride in what you are doing, no guilt, and God’s hand of blessing.  Will you part with that for the other’s pittance?  Then why do you complain?  He will pay his price.  Hopefully, you will not choose to pay his price as well.

“Honesty is the best policy.”

The Bible View #798 — Transformation

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In This Issue:
Godly Sight
The Great Transformation
The Most Wonderful Plant
Earthly Changes Are Not the New Birth
A New Captain

Volume: 798    February 22, 2021
Theme: A Great Transformation

FREE Printable Versions (including large
print, and church bulletin insert)
are available at
https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html.

Godly Sight
 Bill Brinkworth

It had been a long time since the older woman had been considered “legally blind.”  Many years ago, the sight had totally gone in her left eye, and slowly the right eye’s vision deteriorated.  In the last few years, all she could see from the right were some shadows and outlines.

When a doctor told her that surgery might improve what she saw out of the right eye, she hesitated.  She remembered how previous medical attempts removed the left eye’s sight completely. Still, she pondered the surgery and soon gave her approval.  The day of the operation found her being wheeled down to surgery.

After the surgeon’s work was complete, and she awoke from the anesthesia, the bandages were slowly removed.  It was not long until she opened her eyes to see color, then as her right eye came into focus, she could see details.  She saw what the doctor looked like as he explained what had occurred.  She saw the room’s decor, the chairs, her daughter, and the papers that were clipped to the doctor’s clipboard.  The one eye could once again see.  Her world differed greatly from what it had been previously.

As she continued to scan the room, she saw one thing that she did not like. In the room’s mirror, the senior saw her image and the wrinkles time put on her face.  When she last saw her reflection, all she had seen was youthful, smooth skin.  Now, her observation was different. She saw the real her, not what only her hands felt, and could “show” her.

Likewise, a person’s spiritual understanding is different when they get saved (John 3:16).  Many of the things they were involved in previously now appeared different. What was then “normal” and done by many is currently seen as the Saviour sees it.  A realization of sinfulness and guilt is felt when that activity is even considered.

Lies that used to be a quick defense for getting out of trouble now bring a guilty feeling when they are uttered. Watching many television programs now bring shame to one’s heart, as those shows are now realized to be obscene and ungodly. The obscenities spoken on the same programs are no longer funny but are now perceived as “filthy.”  Some are even recognized as mocking or blaspheming the Saviour.

Habits and other activities that were performed for many years are now felt as “inappropriate” and certainly not exhibiting good Christian behavior. Much of what was done, said, and seen is now frowned upon after being “born again.”

This transformed vision and understanding come with the “new birth” (John 3:3). It is part of the attitude and inward change that happens when one is saved.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” II Cor. 5:17.

The “new creature” in a saved child of God has a new mind that perceives their condition differently.  It is the mind that thinks similarly to Christ: “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” I Cor. 2:16 (Also: I Cor 1:10, Philippians 1:27).

Although many claim to be Christians, few see any changes in their thinking processes or behavior.  They see no difference in their lives after a profession of being saved.  That is not what the Bible tells us happens to a person when they get saved.  They should think differently, and their lives should change. Perhaps, they have a profession without possession.

If you claim to be saved, has there ever been a time in your life where your “vision” was changed?  Do you see your life and the world around you differently?  After being born again, did you see the “wrinkles” of your own sin’s depravity?  Did the sight of how you were thinking and living shock you enough that you wanted to change your lifestyle and follow God’s direction?  Is your spiritual life different than it ever was?  Are you saved?

If you are not sure you are saved and have no one to talk to about this matter, please e-mail me at brinkworth@frontier.com.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found.
Was blind, but now, I see!”

— From “Amazing Grace” by John Newton (1725-1807)


The Great Transformation
C. H. Spurgeon

I know a village, perhaps once the most profane in England.  It was a village inundated by drunkenness and debauchery of the worst kind.  An honest traveler could not stop in the public house without being annoyed by blasphemy.  It was also a place noted for robbers.

One man, the ringleader of them all, listened to the voice of God and got saved. That man’s heart was broken. The entire gang then came to hear the Gospel preached, and they sat and listened to the preacher and believed what he taught from the Word of God. These men became changed and reformed.  Everyone who knows the place affirms that such a change had never been wrought but by the power of the Holy Ghost.

“No one should disregard a faith that can make sinful men good!”
— Author Unknown


The Most Wonderful Plant
Edited from an article by C. H. Spurgeon

A man had a garden that produced nothing but weeds. One day, he got some seeds from a rare plant of which he had heard wonderful stories.  

He sowed a handful of the seed in his overgrown garden and let it work its way. He slept and rose and knew not how the seed was growing until one day, he opened the gate and saw a sight that astounded him.

He knew that the seed would produce a dainty flower, and he looked for it, but he had little imagined that the plant would cover the entire garden as it did. The flower exterminated  every weed.  As he looked from one end to the other, from wall to wall, he could see nothing but the fair colors of that rare plant and could smell nothing but its delicious perfume.

Christ is like that plant. If He is sown in the soil of your soul, He will gradually eat out the roots of all ill weeds and poisonous plants and “turn under” your old nature.  All that will be seen will be Christ in you.



Earthly Changes Are Not the New Birth
John Bate

A man may pass from the lowest ignorance unto the highest intelligence.  Degraded poverty may be exchanged for the most exalted riches.  A person may come out of the greatest obscurity into the largest publicity.  He may rise from the narrowest circle of influence into the widest sphere of power.  He may pass from one extreme to another in all things, be they moral, intellectual, political, social, and civil changes.

However, through all those changes, he may keep his innate bias to do evil, have an aversion to doing good, and continue to be a stranger to the new-birth as it exists in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.  No earthly change can substitute for the changes that only come from Above when one is saved.

“Deathbed repentance is burning the candle of life in the devil’s service and then blowing the smoke into the face of God.”  — Billy Sunday



A New Captain
Edited from an article by C. H. Spurgeon

There was a poor man about sixty years old.  He had been a rough sailor, one of the worst men in the village.  It was his custom to drink, and he seemed to be delighted when he was cursing and swearing.  He came into a church one Sunday and heard preaching about Jesus weeping over Jerusalem.

The man thought, “Why did Jesus Christ ever weep over such a wretch as I am?” He thought he was too bad for Christ to care for him.

At last, he came to the preacher and said, “Sir, sixty years have I been sailing under the standard of the devil.  It is time I should have a new owner. I want to scuttle the old ship and sink her altogether! Then, I shall have a new owner, and I shall sail under the colors of Prince Jesus.”

Ever since that moment, that man has been a praying man and has walked before God in all sincerity. Yet, he was the very last man you would have thought would be saved and converted.  Somehow God does not choose just the “best” men.  He will also take the filthiest and the vilest and fashion them into glorious beings, making them saints. Whereas they were sinners, He then sanctifies them and makes them holy.

The Bible View #797 — Difficulties

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In This Issue:
He Will Help
He Will Carry You
Better, If Broken
Fixer of Broken Things

Volume: 797    February 15, 2021
Theme: Dealing with Difficulties

FREE Printable Versions (including large
print, and church bulletin insert)
are available at
https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html.

He Will Help
Bill Brinkworth

Life can be rough, even for Christians. We may face financial hardships, physical problems, relationship challenges, and hosts of other types of trials. 

What does one do? Where can one run?  How can a great burden of grief or heartbreak be tolerated that seems so impossible to carry?

In the Bible, we are told that, as heavy as one’s problems weigh on us, God will not allow one more than one can bear.  Whatever we face, God will only let us go through what we can handle with His help. Somehow, the trials many are facing can be endured.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13 

With the confidence that God will help, the next avenue of relief from trials and tribulations is prayer.  Be thankful for what you do have, ask God to help, and hang on by faith that He will intervene!
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6

After knowing that God will help us through hard times and seeking His aid in the time of need, there is one more area that must be handled. That area is one’s thought life.

If there is any “strength or moral goodness” (virtues), allow your mind to have only the right thoughts.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

Do not allow yourself to think about what could happen or things that are not true, not right, filthy, unrighteous, bad news, scary, and frightening. Doing so will never help; it will always make matters worse. 

Christian, you have the mind of Christ. Do not fill it with worldly thoughts because the dark things of this world will only try to put out your “light.”  Keep your eyes and mind on the things of God, and let God handle them!

“O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free!

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”
From Helen Lemmel’s hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”



He Will Carry You
D. L. Moody

I think of Christ as a burden bearer.

A minister was moving his library upstairs. As the minister was going up the stairs with his load of books, his little boy came in and was very anxious to help his father.  

His father told him to go and get an armful and take them upstairs. When the father returned, he met the little fellow halfway up, tugging away with the biggest in the library. He could not manage to carry it. The book was too big, so he sat down and cried.

His father found him, took him in his arms, book and all, and carried him to where the books were put.  So, Christ will carry you and all your burdens.


Better, If Broken
Dr. J. Hamilton, 1871

  • It is the broken ground that needs to be opened up for the reception of seed, which springs up and brings forth fruit abundantly.
  • It is the broken cloud that discharges its showers that usher in the spring and cheer the thirsty ground.
  • It is the broken corn that is separated from the chaff and laid up in the garner of the husbandman that saved lives from starvation.
  • It is the broken berries that the olive press’s millstones have crushed and give forth a precious oil that fills lamps that brings light to the darkness.
  • It was the broken alabaster box from which the poor penitent woman anointed the Savior’s feet and its contents, which filled the whole house with the odor of the precious spikenard perfume.
  • It was Christ’s broken body, which was nailed to the cross and the spear of an enemy that furnished the blood that cleanses all souls from sin.
  • It is the broken veil of the temple that opened to us the Holiest of all and allows the believing soul to go directly to the Lord in prayer.
  • It was the broken grave that announced the reality of the resurrection and proclaimed to the unbelieving disciple that the Saviour was risen.

So, it is with Christians. It is by means of breaking and the crushing processes to which the providence of God subjects them that they will become the spiritual salt of the Earth and the lights of this world



Fixer of Broken Things
Bill Brinkworth

As a child, when something was broken, an adult would fix it. It seemed whatever happened, an older person, be it a parent, teacher, or neighbor, could easily solve the problem that troubled us younger folk.

As I got older, there were problems that an adult could not fix. They tried and gave it their best attempt, but their solutions often did not work. They often shook their heads and admitted they had the same thing broken in their own lives and did not know how to repair it for themselves.

After I was saved, I learned that there was one that could fix situations and dilemmas that no other could fix. It was not the psychiatrist, for they had their unfixable problems. It was not the doctors’ pills, for they often fixed only the symptoms and not the root of the problem. It was not the teachers’ wisdom, for many of them had no idea or experience to fix many of the traumas one faced in life. It was the wisdom delivered by God that could fix anything!

“Unfixable” things could be fixed by following the advice in God’s Word, heard from the preaching of His Word, or even gleaned from Bible-explaining writings. His wisdom has helped billions upon billions. Our heavenly Father has raised trillions. His advice, when obeyed, can fix many broken things in our lives. His Word advises us how to fix:

Broken hearts and feelings:
“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalms 34:18
He can be close to those that have had their hearts broken by tragedy, rejection, or disappointment. Not only can He be with you when you go through the valley of despair, but He can also help you get the victory.

Broken confidences:
“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Psalms 9:10
Others may fail you, but God never will neglect one of His children. He promises, “… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5b)

Broken Lives:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17
If you have come to a point in your life where you have realized you have messed up your life, God can change you from the inside out and give you a second chance.

Broken fellowships, relationships, and even a broken body of poor health:
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37
When all earthly hope seems to have vanished, there is a God that can do anything and can change any situation.


Not all things that are “broken” should be fixed. There are times things need to stay broken and discarded. Sometimes they are allowed to be “broken” because if something is not changed, our lives will not be what they should or could be. That is why God’s wise help is the only one we should seek.

God loves us and desires what is good for us and our relationship with Him. His intervention and direction are always the best.

If God’s discernment is that something broken in our lives needs fixing, He is the one that can remedy the situation. If it is best for you and God’s will, God can be the fixer of what is broken in your life. There is hope!

“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”   Romans 5:2-5

The Bible View #796 — Service

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In This Issue:
Whatever You Want, Lord
Do Sumthin’

Volume: 796    February 8, 2021
Theme: Surrendered to Serve
Printable Versions (including large
print, and church bulletin insert)
are available at
https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html.


Whatever You Want, Lord”
Bill Brinkworth

“Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” Matthew 20:15
Does a Christian have the right to do whatever he wants with his life? According to God’s Word, no!

The context in Matthew 20, where this verse is found, is the millennial reign when Christ rules this earth for 1,000 years (Matthew 5).  It gives one an idea of what will happen during that time and how some will be rewarded.

In Jesus’ illustration, He told how workers starting at different times of the day got paid what the master thought was fair. They got paid the same, whether they worked 10 hours or one hour. The “boss” was doing the hiring, and all agreed to work for what he offered them. The illustration’s whole point was to teach that the master was the one in charge, and it was by his rules by which they had to abide.

Although Matthew 20:15 was the landowner’s reply that was doing the hiring, it illustrates a great truth in describing a Christian’s relationship with the Lord. We are not our own. Those that are born-again are purchased with Christ’s blood. We have a promise of Heaven. Everything after getting saved is a bonus! Let us surrender our lives and do with our lives what God will have for us!

When an adult is asked what they want to do in their future, they usually respond with what they would like to happen. When a child is asked the same question, one similarly gets a battle plan of their intentions. Seldom does one answer, “Whatever the Lord wants me to do, I’ll do!”

Sadly, that open-invitation to do God’s will is rarely even thought of by Christians. Unfortunately, when you hear of someone handing their life to God with no reservations, it is often only after they had tried it their way and that way had failed.

It would save many heartaches and much of a “wasted” life if one would immediately, after they are saved, hand their life over to God as a blank check. “Fill it in with what you want me to do, God, and I will gladly, happily, and faithfully do it until you tell me otherwise!” Boy, would that attitude change lives and Christendom as we know it.
“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” Romans 9:20-21

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord to Thee;
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
At the impulse of Thy love.
”Take My Life, and Let It Be,” Hymn by Frances Havergal

Do Sumthin’
Bill Brinkworth

After one is saved, God’s intention for each person is not to sit around and soak up God’s goodness.  His desire is for each to do something that would get more people saved and more living for the Lord. It is God’s hope for each of us that we serve Him.  

Each child of God should be a tool that God can use for His glory, using the spiritual gifts (Rom. 12:4-8) He has entrusted with each individual. Those gifts, special talents, and abilities can be used to reach the lost and glorify God in many ways. Each of us can be an important cog in winning the world for the glory of God.  We all can do something.

Here are some ministries in which I have seen many serving the Lord:

  1. Preaching ministry.  Some are called by God and directed to reach the world with His message by enabling them to preach. Preaching is not always from the pulpit on Sunday.  Many have preached at subway stations, by the side of the road, public gatherings, or wherever they can publicly expound God’s Word.  Some have “preached” without uttering a word, but “spoke” boldly by their public Christian example.  Most of us would not be saved if it were not for someone’s “preaching” God’s truths to us!
  2. Teaching ministry.  Some have been burdened to teach the world what God’s Word says.  If a teacher does not teach them, who will (Acts 8:30-31)?

    Many have used their talents, hobbies, or interests in making God’s Word clearer to those they have taught.  I have seen some use Gospel magic, art, puppets, and even their interest in animals to get the attention of many and use their teaching medium to instruct audiences in biblical principles.
  3. Visitation ministry.  Many churches have organized visitation at least one day a week where all go.  They often go in groups of twos to visit shut-ins, those that have previously visited the church, or just to knock on neighboring doors to invite people to church.  Sometimes there are even opportunities to tell the people how to be saved.  Millions have been saved by this method. 

    If a church does not have this opportunity, then people can still visit their neighbors, canvas their community, or contact anyone the Lord puts on their heart as a ministry unto the Lord. Telling others God’s Good News is not just a pastor’s responsibility.  We are all to go and tell!
  4. Nursing home ministry.  I call it the “Last Chance Ministry.”  For many of the home’s residents, it is the last opportunity they may have to hear how to be saved or to learn more of God’s Word before they leave this world.  In this ministry, one can preach to those living at the facility or just visit them.  Many in the homes have lost their loved ones, are lonely, and could use an encouraging visit.
  5. Tract Ministry.  A “tract” is a little piece of paper with the plan of salvation on it or teaches some biblical truth.  They can sometimes be gotten at one’s church or purchased at a Christian bookstore (The Bible Views available at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html were created for that purpose).  These tracts can be left in bathrooms, given to toll booth attendants, handed to a person waiting in line with us in a restaurant, included in an envelope when paying bills, or be given out to those that we encounter every day.
  6. Van or Bus ministry.  Many churches have a bus or van ministry where a vehicle picks up children and adults and brings them to church. Get involved as a driver or worker.  If your church does not have such a ministry, start one with your vehicle.  Bring as many as you can to hear God’s message. Someone may be saved because of your efforts.
  7. Singing or music ministry.  Singing in church services is available in most churches.  Some have taken their ability and sung on their own in hospital or nursing home rooms.  One nursing home worker asks if she can sing a hymn as she visits each patient and sings one if the resident desires.  Another man visits those sick in the hospital.  He brings his guitar with him and sings and plays for anyone that wants him to.
  8. Minister to those that are sick or shut-ins.  Have you experienced health problems where you were bed or house-bound?  Perhaps you felt cut off from the world because no one visited you.  Others feel the same way.  When you hear of one that is not well, send them a card or call on them.  It is a wonderful opportunity to be a Christian influence for someone that needs encouragement.
  9. Prison ministry.  Prisons are often a place where folks will listen to what the Bible has to say.  It may be difficult to get into this ministry.  However, if the Lord desires you to get involved with those that are detained, He can open the doors of opportunity.
  10. Card Ministry.  People need encouragement.  Send a birthday, sympathy, get well, or “praying for you” card to people God puts on your heart to encourage.  E-mailing or calling them are also ways to be a Christian encouragement to others. 
  11. Writing ministry.  God has always preserved His teaching with the written Word.  His Message can still be given out using this media.  One can expound what the Bible teaches by getting articles published in newspapers (letters-to-the-editor).  Articles can be published in Christian newsletters, web sites, and other publications. Some have even prayerfully picked names out of phone books, written those strangers, and given them the plan of salvation.
  12. Help ministry.  Some notice a need in others’ lives and help meet it.   They may visit a lonely person, babysitting for a working single parent, or even doing household chores for someone who physically cannot do certain things.
  13. Prayer ministry. People have needs everywhere you look.  We cannot always do something physically to help others, but we can pray for them.  Make others’ needs your prayer burdens and bombard God’s throne with pleas for His help in the lives of those that are needy.
  14. Discipling.  People may be saved, but they rarely know what to do next or how to do it.  For this reason, many never grow spiritually.  If you feel led by the Holy Spirit, take a person under “your wing.”  Spend time with that person.  Perhaps your influence will encourage them to live for the Lord. 
  15. Meals.  Prepare meals for those that may be going through a difficult time and may not be able or have the time to cook a meal. 
  16. Exhorting others.  Everyone gets discouraged or goes through hard times.  While down in their “valley,” they could use someone’s kind words of encouragement.   Checking up on people by telephone when they are missed in church or elsewhere tells them that they are important to someone. 
  17. Widows ministry.  There are not too many things harder than being married to a person for a long time and losing them in death.  Widows need to be encouraged.  Visit them.  Help them do things that perhaps their deceased spouse used to do.  They are often alone, can use a friend, and help.
  18. Reading the Bible to people that cannot read it anymore.  Some cannot read or cannot see to read.  Make it your ministry to faithfully read to them. 
  19. Be a friend.  Some take it upon themselves to be a friend to someone who does not seem to have one.
  20. Deaf or language interpreting ministry.  Hearing the Word of God is essential.  The deaf, or those that speak another language, may not understand it unless someone helps them hear God’s truths in the language they know.
  21. Hospitality ministry.  Meet others’ needs by allowing visiting preachers or others to stay in a spare room. 
  22. Flea market or fair ministry.  One man goes to a flea market, rents a booth, and witnesses to all that pass his table.  He gives out tracts, gives out Bibles, and even hands out “Bible Views.”  Others have a full-time ministry doing the same thing at state fairs.


One of the great commandments that each Christian is to obey is to “… love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31   Doing something for others and making their needs important to you is showing them that you  love to them.  Making others a priority in our lives also gets our minds off ourselves. It can enable others to see the love of Christ through our efforts.

If you have the desire to make a difference in this world for the cause of Christ, ask God to give you the ministry He wants you to have.  After that, look for the opportunity He gives you to do something for Him. There is something all can do.  Everyone has a hurt, a discouragement, or a need.  God often uses other Christians to meet those needs.  He wants to use you if you are willing.

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Eccl. 9:10

The Bible View #795 — Jesus

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In This Issue:
What Jesus Did
The Blood
Jesus, the Door
Not Just A Man

Volume: 795    February 1, 2021
Theme: Jesus

What Jesus Did
Bill Brinkworth

Paul started his letter to the Ephesians by reminding them what Jesus had done for them. The encouraging reminder of the goodness of God through His Son included:

  • That from the beginning, God had pre-planned to allow those that trusted Christ as Saviour to become children of God (Ephesians 1:5).
  • That by accepting Christ’s finished work on the cross, we are accepted by God (Ephesians 1:6).
  • That our sins are forgiven and paid for (Ephesians 1:7).
  • That He has given the saved godly wisdom (Ephesians 1:8).
  • That God has let His will be known to believers (Ephesians 1:9).
  • That one day, all the saved will be together with Him (Ephesians 1:10).
  • That one day, we will receive a godly inheritance (Ephesians 1:11).
  • That we should be something of which God is proud (Ephesians 1:12).

In a world that loads us down with trials and tribulations, it is a blessing to be reminded of how good God is to those spiritually born into the family of God. Be encouraged; we are on the winning side.

We are not just people passing through this world.  Those that are born-again are God’s children!

“Not all are God’s children, only those that are born again.”



The Blood
Bill Brinkworth

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” I John 1:7
One word mentioned or alluded to over 378 times in the Bible is the word “blood.”  Its usage indicates:

  • it is essential for life (Lev. 17:11, 14),
  • that man’s blood should not unnecessarily be shed (Ex. 20:13, Gen. 9:6),
  • “innocent” blood should especially not be spilled, and those that do so will be accountable (Prov. 6:17, Lev. 20:27, II Sam. 4:11),
  • that some in the Old Testament were given the responsibility to revenge the blood of those murdered (Num. 35:19, 21, Jos. 20:5),
  • and blood was used to cover temporarily, and later to pay completely for, man’s sins.

When Adam and Eve first sinned, innocent animals had to have their blood shed so that the two original sinners would have their sins “covered.” God killed animals that had done nothing wrong so that the first man and woman’s nakedness would be hidden.  Innocent blood was shed to cover their sins.
“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Gen. 3:21

Shortly afterward, frequent sacrifices to the Lord included other animals being killed, often cattle and sheep, for the “covering” of sin. When on the mountain getting the Ten Commandments, Moses received God’s instructions on sacrificing animals’ lives to be incorporated in worshiping God (Ex. 29:12, 16). It was always innocent blood that was necessary to “cover” men’s iniquities.  That was God’s plan after sin was first committed.

However, these “payments” for man’s sins were not permanent.  They had to be repeated over and over again.  The blood of the sacrificed animal did not cover any man’s sins indefinitely, and it was not long until man completely stopped offering the proper sacrifices God required.

Man’s treatment of sacrifices was no surprise to God.  He knew from the beginning that there was no work man could ever do to pay for his sins:
“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Hebrews 10:4

God then allowed the one sacrifice that would redeem (Col. 1:14) all man’s sins. This perfect, innocent sacrifice was not guilty of doing anything wrong.  Like the earlier Old Testament sacrifice, this Sacrifice’s blood was also spilled.  However, this offering was not sacrificed by ordained men of God, as was done in the Old Testament, and the blood was not put on a stone altar. 

This blood offering dripped down the arms of a “Man” that was nailed to a cruel, Roman, wooden cross over 2,000 years ago.  The blood of this sacrifice was willingly offered by God’s only son, Jesus, and it was sufficient to be given only once. Jesus’ blood sacrifice never had to be repeated as it covered all man’s sins. Jesus is the worthy Lamb of God whose blood can pay for all man’s transgressions.

One purpose of the Bible was to show the importance of the Saviour’s blood.  The Old Testament continually pointed to it. After that time, God made a new covenant (testament) with humanity.  Jesus became the new agreement God had made with man:
“And he [Jesus] said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.” Mark 14:24   Also: Mat. 26:28 and Luke 22:20.

Man’s sinful nature clearly shows that he cannot stop his iniquities. He has continued to demonstrate this from his first appearance on this Earth.  Being “good” is not possible because all people are sinners (Rom. 3:23, 5:12).  Any good behavior or deed man does will not eliminate his past sins.  This also includes “religious” activities, good intentions, and anything else man may think will pay for his sins.  God has made it clear that there is nothing man can do to pay for his iniquities.  That is why He had to give the only sacrifice that was sufficient — His Son’s blood.

Has there ever been a time in your life that you have admitted your sinnership to the Father? Have you believed and trusted that Jesus’ sacrifice was payment for all your sins and asked Jesus to be your Saviour? If not, please do so today!
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9

“One might better try to sail the Atlantic in a paper boat than try to get to Heaven on good works.” — C. H.  Spurgeon



Jesus, the Door
C. H. Spurgeon, Edited

You are not shut out of your Father’s house, unsaved sinner.  A door is opened. Christ is that door. If you come to Christ, you have come to God.  If you trust in Jesus alone, you can be saved.

The door to Noah’s ark was wide enough to admit the largest beasts as well as the tiniest animals. The entry into God’s mercy is wide enough to let in the greatest sinner as well as the more refined moralist.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9



Not Just A Man
Bill Brinkworth

One of the many things proving Jesus was not an ordinary man is that His life did not end with His crucifixion. His life continued.

Luke 24 tells some of what happened after His death. The chapter reveals:

  • Jesus rose from the dead and was victorious over death!
  • Angels had announced Jesus’ birth and also announced that He had risen (vs. 5-6).
  • He came back after His crucifixion and was seen by many.
  • Jesus taught others when He came back.
  • Jesus had a different body, but He still remembered many things, talked, walked, and discerned others’ feelings.
  • He still knew Scripture (vs. 27).
  • He still prayed and thanked God (vs. 30).
  • He must have appeared different. He had talked and spent time with several disciples, but they did not recognize who He was.  Later God “opened” their eyes, and they were given the understanding that it was Christ to whom they had been speaking (vs. 31).
  • He appeared among people. In several other places in the Bible, Jesus appeared among people without going through doors (vs. 36).
  • Jesus still had the marks of His crucifixion (vs. 39).
  • He was seen ascending back to Heaven (vs. 51).

Unfortunately, many false religions and their originators often have claimed to have done many supernatural things. None, however, can claim to have done what God’s only Son did.  Jesus arose from the grave! He has risen!

The Bible View #794 — Faith

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In This Issue:
Faith, Not Man-made Religion
The Importance of Faith
Faith in Our Daily Lives
Understanding Faith

Volume: 794    January 25, 2021
Theme: Faith

Faith, Not Man-made “Religion”
Bill Brinkworth

To the early believers in Galatia, obeying the Old Testament laws was part of their life and upbringing. If they were Jews, the commandments were drilled into them much of their life. Those laws were even a part of the Gentile’s upbringing. The morality of those laws had done what God introduced them for, to teach many what was right and wrong (Galatians 3:24). 

Even today, with few even attending church or reading their Bible, the law has still done its work in many hearts. It still convicts many to know what is right, and what is not.

When Christianity started spreading, its message was different. Instead of the strict enforcement of the law, its message had much to do with “faith.” They had to believe something that was not written down at the time, was talked negatively about in their temples, and could not be seen or proven. It was an “invisible” trust on their part.

Faith was an old concept, but many never realized it was part of the Old Testament living. When it was emphasized in the early church teachings, there were some questions and doubts. The Jews did not quite realize that much of what Abraham (Galatians 3:9), Moses, and other Old Testament characters did was done by faith. Those saints had to step out and follow God when there was no evident direction or sign. Their faith that the Almighty would deliver or help them was what allowed them to get closer to God and to be used by Him.

The early Christians had to step out and trust what Jesus said and commanded them to do. They had to believe that His words were also God’s commandments. With the pull of what they used to do for hundreds of years, by sight, and obedience to the law, they now had to understand that it was more important for them to trust Jesus’ finished work on the cross (Galatians 3: 26).

I imagine their feelings were much like the feelings of one saved from an unbiblical religion today. Those people may have been used to lighting candles, reciting prayers, telling their sins to a man in a confessional, and following other teachings of their church. After they got saved, they realized that those practices were not scriptural and that they were not to do them anymore. They had to step out by faith and believe Jesus’ words and trust him and forget what they had done in the past.

Faith can be difficult for some to let lead them. Laws are easier and more secure for many to follow. That is why so many try to hang on to both sides. They try to follow the laws they also learned previously and try to live by faith. It cannot be both. Trusting in something other than faith is not faith (Galatians 3:12). We can only be justified (“pardoned or cleared of sin’s guilt”) by faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:27).

“Faith without follow is folly.” — Author Unknown



The Importance of Faith
Bill Brinkworth

  • What is Faith?
    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
  • How One Gets Faith.
    “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 
  • The Necessity of Faith
    “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” II Corinthians 5:7
  • Faith Is Necessary for Salvation!
    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8
    “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Gal. 3:24
    “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” I Corinthians 15:17 
    Also: I Cor. 15:14.
    “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.” Galatians 2:20
  • Live by Faith!
    “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” Gal. 3:11
    “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38 
    Also: I Tim. 6:11.
    “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” James 1:6
  • The power of Faith.
    “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” Luke 17:6  Also: Mat. 17:20.
  • Faith Affects One’s Life.
    “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Romans 5:1
    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” Gal. 5:22

“Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see.” — Author Unknown



Faith in Our Daily Lives
F. W. Robertson (Edited), 1816-1853

Faith is a theological term rarely used in other matters. It is not a strange power, supernaturally infused by Christianity. Most live by it daily and do not even realize it.

We trust others.  A battle may often be risked on the intelligence of a spy. A merchant commits his ships with all his fortunes onboard to a hired captain, even though the temptations of dishonesty are enormous.  Most have faith in teachers, politicians, friends, parents, and employers.

Without faith, society could not hold together for a day. It would be a mere sand-heap.

Such too is religious faith.  We cannot prove God’s existence, yet many have faith in Him and His promises found in His Word. The trust in Him is guiding, has countless times proven true, and gives many hopes that He will be there to help them again and again.  In the Bible, Paul defines this faith as, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1).

“It is not faith and works; it is not faith or works.  It is faith that works.”
Author Unknown



Understanding Faith
Upham, (Edited) 1876

The child sets out with his parents upon a long and untried journey.  He trusts his parents will supply his wants, guide him in the right way, and will bring him home again safely. He knows what it means to believe and have faith in others.

A young man enters upon business for himself.  He finds it necessary to work with other people. The young business owner then entered into arrangements, contracts, and fulfill promises he made.  He knows what it means to believe and have faith in others.

A mature man was called by his countrymen to a high government office.  He must enforce laws.  He cannot do it by himself and must rely on others’ help.  He soon knows what it is to believe and have faith in others.

Likewise, we all must know we cannot reach eternity with the Lord by ourselves.  Our good intentions and works will not get us there.  We must believe and trust what God’s Word says one must do to go there.  It is our faith in what Jesus has done for us on the Cross that can only pay our sin debt.  Our faith can save us.

“Some may think it wrong to say this, but we no longer live by faith.  We have seen God work every day of our lives and have seen Him do the impossible.  It no longer is a step faith; it is a fact!!  He helped us before, and we KNOW He will do it again! We know He will never leave nor forsake us! God is our great help, hope and assurance.”  — Bill Brinkworth

The Bible View #793 — Church

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In This Issue:
No Church Is Perfect!
Home for Outcasts
But, I Can’t Go to Church Now
Reasons for Going
There May be Discouragement

Volume: 793    January 18, 2021

No Church Is Perfect!
Bill Brinkworth

Every church has good and bad members. The church that John was writing to in III John had several of both categories, I am sure. However, the apostle wrote of three members in his letter.

Two of the members were good representations of what a Christian should be. Gaius was the “well-beloved” (III John 1). He was most likely a friendly sort that many loved. Many reports from the church told John how Gaius was a blessing in the church family (III John 3, 6) and how he attended to other Christians’ needs (III John 5). His care and concern for the brethren were evident that he truly loved the church members.

Another blessing in the church was Demetrias. He also had good things said about him (III John 12). Those two were an encouragement to the apostle’s heart. It is always good and encouraging to hear how people get saved, get their hearts and lives changed by the Holy Spirit’s work, and go on to do much for the cause of Christ and the people of God.

People like those two encourage others by their proof of love for the family of God. They are sometimes part of the reason many stay faithful in church. They make others feel welcomed and make it a friendly atmosphere.

However, even if we are saved, we still have sinful flesh to contend with, and there will often be “stinkers” in every church. In this church in III John, there was one. His name was Diotrephes.

Diotrephes had a terrible testimony in the eyes of others. Instead of showing the spirit of meekness the other two good members showed, that man exhibited improper Christian behavior. He was known for always wanting recognition (III John 9). I can just imagine he was one of those that usually had something to say. He was one that got much of the attention and glory. He even refused to accept John the Apostle and any missionaries John sent to the church (III John 10). This discontented man did all he could to talk poorly of John and his work. Diotrephes even had people kicked out of the church that showed charity to anyone John sent to the ministry.

This type of person ruins the testimony of any church. When a human tries to get the glory, which Diotrephes was attempting to receive, the Holy Spirit is grieved.  Because of their hurtful, unchristlike demeanor, the work for Christ can come to a screeching halt. That is one reason many once-thriving churches are now spiritually dead and doing little for the cause of Christ. Unfortunately, people like that often become an excuse for many to leave a church.

In every ministry, there are two types of attendees and members. The good workers are the light in this dark world. They make the church a Christian family. The evil (III John 11) should be ignored and not be why anyone leaves a church. If one does go because of a “Diotrephes,” one can be assured that the Holy Spirit is not involved in the decision. If you have one or more  “Diotrephes” in your church, do not leave. Get your eyes and ears off them, and keep your focus on the Saviour. He will never let you down, and He is the reason you should be attending anyway!

“If you see the obstacles, your eyes are off the Saviour.” — Author Unknown


Home for Outcasts
C. H. Spurgeon

One, who was just saved, talked of her sin. She moaned, “Yet, sir, I am an outcast.”

That word pierced my heart like a dagger. I said to her, “Yes, you may have been, but the church of Christ was made on purpose to be a home for outcasts.  It is a new household for you, new brothers and sisters for you, and it holds a new future for you.  You are one of the solitary ones whom the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, has set in His family.”

“If we ever found a perfect church, we would have to leave because we would make it imperfect!”




But I Can’t Go to Church Now
Bill Brinkworth

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed normal life all around the world. It has forced many to be wary of the spread of the disease. 

In many areas, church buildings have limited attendance because of the outbreaks of the virus.  Many have even closed their doors until the pandemic lessens.

But the church house is not the church!  The real church is those that are born-again into the family of God. Those members of the body of Christ still need to be fed and encouraged.  Times may have changed, but the believer’s needs have not.

Instead of lamenting, “I’m all alone.  I can’t see my friends at church,” or “Because I can’t go to church, I’m not being fed spiritually anymore,” do something about it!  Maybe it is time you try to meet the still-existent needs of others. Minister to others rather than waiting for others to care for you!

  • Spiritually feed yourself, if you are not doing it already. Daily read your Bible.  Study the Word of God.  Increase your prayer life. If your church is broadcasting on the internet or radio, do not miss a service.

    I have heard of one woman who does not have the internet to listen to her church services.  Filling the need, another church member, who can hear the internet broadcast of her church, plays it over the phone so the other can hear the services. 
  • Minister to others.  If you cannot visit them, call members on the phone, send cards, or write letters.  Avoid gossip and complaining, but purpose to uplift those you contact. For some, a phone call could include prayer-time or sharing a blessing found in the Scriptures.

    Do not just call or write to your close friends.  New members, widows, sick, your pastor, and the lonely need to be encouraged and not forgotten.  They may not be able to go to the church building, but you can bring “church” to them! 

This difficult isolation can be a growing time rather than a dying-church time. It will be a flourishing time if all will be more concerned about ministering to others rather than just letting someone minister to them.  It is still a time to work, and not to sit!

Do not wait for someone to meet your spiritual needs.  Get your mind off yourself and think of and minister to others.  Survival of the church is up to each one of us.  It is time for all Christians to get involved in the work of Christ and make a difference.




Reasons for Going
Bill Brinkworth

There are two categories of reasons for attending church: spiritual and unspiritual reasons. Here are some reasons for attendance that fall under those divisions:

Spiritual:

  • “The Word of God is taught, believed, and practiced there.”
  • “I grow spiritually at that church.”
  • “The Holy Spirit convicts my heart through preaching.”
  • “It is where unsaved people can come and get saved!”
  • “The church is a place where I can serve God.”
  • “The music glorifies and honors God.”
  • “There are good spiritual influences there.”
  • “It is a good place for my family to learn more about spiritual things.”
  • “It is where God wants me.”

Unspiritual:

  • “I feel good when I listen to preaching and don’t feel guilty about anything.”
  • “It’s a place to learn about God, but they’re not fanatical about it.”
  • “It is a very modern church. They use the newest bibles, music, and popular books.”
  • “It’s a good place to get clients for my business.”
  • “Going there will make me look like a Christian, and people will trust me more in my business.”
  • “Going there eases my conscience, and I feel like I am doing something spiritual.”
  • “I can give money to them and count it as a tax write-off.”
  • “It’s not a strict church. I can do anything I want, and no one says anything.”
  • “It is the most popular church in the area.”
  • “The services are always entertaining.”
  • “It’s a good place to meet girls.”
  • “The music is almost the same as I listen to at home, just a few of the words are different.”

Are your reasons for attending church “spiritual” or “unspiritual”?

“When the prayer house becomes a playhouse, and when we become more interested in recreation than in re-creation, then the church becomes a house of merchandise.” — Vance Havner




There May be Discouragement
Author Unknown

Like so many Christians today, Paul faced some opposition from other Christians. Some in the churches he spoke at questioned his apostleship, and others accused him of walking in the flesh (II Corinthians 10:2). No matter the accusation, Paul chose not to fight back. He decided not to fight those who were carnal with his carnal retorts. He let his works for the Lord speak for themselves and let the Lord do the rest of the battling (II Corinthians 10:4-8).

Many who attend a church have had someone falsely accuse or suspect them of something or have their feelings hurt at least once. No church is perfect. Although Christians may occupy the ministry, none of them are sinless.

Some members of the church family are more carnal than others. They understand things from a fleshly perspective and not how God sees them (II Corinthians 10:5). To make matters worse, they often voice their opinions about other members. When this is done, someone usually gets hurt.

Too many, unfortunately, get wind of what was said about them and leave the church — never to darken the church doors again. My first thought is usually, “Who would be behind such a move of leaving a church for the wrong reasons — God or Satan?” It would not be of God to disobey his commandment (Hebrews 10:24-25) and not assemble with other believers. Yet, people leave churches often for the wrong reasons.

Sometimes we also have had things said about us by other church family members. The false accusations hurt us deeply, but we remembered that we were not in attendance for them but for God. He wanted us to stay, and we did. It was a hard time, and much praying was done on our part. However, we never missed a meeting, and we kept at the work the Lord had for us.

Over time, we looked around and noticed our accusers were no longer in attendance. God takes care of his own, but that does not mean that there will not be difficulties.

Paul stayed and did what God told him to do, and God used him greatly. His accusers’ names are not even mentioned in the Bible, but Paul is still remembered.

Be a “Paul.”  Determine in your heart whom you will serve and let the Lord handle the light work!

“Hopefully, you don’t go to church for ‘feelings,’ so don’t leave if they get hurt.  You should go to church to be obedient to the Lord!”

The Bible View #792 — Cost of Sin

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In This Issue:
It Ain’t Free!
How Much Does Sin Cost?

                                   Volume: 792    January 11, 2021

It Ain’t Free!
Bill Brinkworth

After using a piece of equipment for one day, I returned it to a local store as it stopped working. It should have been a normal merchandise return, but an inconsistency alerted the clerk.  Apparently, a serial number on the item and the one on the box did not match.  They suspected that I was trying to pull something over on them with some type of scam.  Eventually, I proved to them that the return was legitimate, and they refunded the full amount of my purchase.

I was quite embarrassed and a little mad that they would accuse me of doing something dishonest. Soon, I realized the clerk most likely dealt with dishonesty much of her day.  They did not know me, so how would they know that I was telling the truth?

My being accused of something others do reminded me of how others’ sins affect so many.  Perhaps, the employee who packed the box was lazy and did not match up products with serial numbers. I was the one that paid the price for his lack of care that others may have been affected.

This error is nothing compared to how others are hurt by other’s sin.  The iniquity of others has changed this world.

On and on the list could go of how sin affects and hurts others.  No one gets away with sin.  All sin has repercussions. It ultimately hurts the one committing the iniquity but hurts so many others. No wonder God hates sin!  Avoid sin like the plague because it spreads and hurts so many others, and its price tag is more than any want to pay.

  • Thievery from businesses costs mistrust of many customers. Eventually, it raises the prices of items in the store to cover the loss of stolen merchandise. 
  • Speed limits had to be placed on highways because so many drove recklessly, endangered, and hurt innocent drivers.  Signs had to be purchased, and employees were hired to make and install the warnings.  Innocent taxpayers had to pay for the cost because of selfish, inconsiderate, often impatient drivers.
  • Because of being too lazy to work, those that do work have to pay higher taxes for those that refuse to be employed while the slothful collect welfare and other forms of government handouts.  There is no such thing as “free” money.  Someone somewhere is paying for others’ “free” rides!
  • The sin of adultery destroys many marriages when unfaithfulness is discovered.  The innocent spouse is left without a mate and, in most cases, must financially and mentally suffer because of the other’s selfish infidelity.  Children in the family also suffer because of not having both parents, and in most cases, have their lives turned upside down.
  • Killing babies by abortion destroys innocent lives and emotionally scars the mother.  It may also pave the way for others to do the same when they have an unexpected pregnancy; “My friend got an abortion, so it must be okay, so I’ll get one too because of my situation,” or “I want to have premarital sex, and if I get pregnant, I’ll just abort the baby.  No big deal.”
  • Many politicians assure themselves of their jobs by making laws that pay and encourage others’ wrong actions, law-breaking, and immorality to get more votes to keep themselves in office.  Societies have been destroyed by years of self-serving officials who were more concerned about their prosperity rather than how their governing affected others.
  • Drunkards drive under the influence of alcohol and kill innocent pedestrians.

“There is a terrible price on ALL sin that no one wants to pay when the ‘bill’ is due!


How Much Does Sin Cost?
Author Unknown

Sin is the breaking of God’s commandments. He hates our sins, and our committing them has dire consequences.

No one sins and does not have to face its terrible wages. Here is a biblical study on what sin has cost others and what it can cost us:

  • Sin cost Adam and Eve their lives. The first couple would not have died if they had not disobeyed God and sinned. Because of their transgression, the desire to sin was passed to all generations.
    “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:17
    “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12
  • Sin cost Adam and Eve fellowship with God. They were forced out of the Garden of Eden because of their sin.
    “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Genesis 3:23-24
  • Sin cost some innocent animals their lives. God killed some animals so He could clothe Adam and Eve. From the commission of the first sin, others have been hurt and affected by others’ iniquities.
    “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
  • Sin cost this planet many changes. Because of Adam and Eve’s transgressoin, there are now weeds, sweat, and death. Before the first sin was committed, those things did not exist.
    “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Gen. 3:17-19
  • Sin cost Cain an unhappy, lonely life after he killed his brother.
    “And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.” Genesis 4:11-13
  • Sin by others cost Joseph a normal life with his family. Because of their sin of jealousy, Joseph’s brothers threw Joseph in a pit, sold him into slavery, and caused Joseph’s life to be much different than what it could have been.  Sin often hurts the innocent.
    “ And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.” Genesis 37:23-24
  • Sin cost Moses life in the Promised Land. God told Israel’s leader to speak to a rock, and water would flow from it. In his anger, Moses hit the rock twice with his staff instead. Water came out. God still provided for Israel, but because of Moses’ disobedience to God’s command, the leader was kept from going into the Promised Land. He died just on the other side of the land he worked so hard to reach.
    “And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” Numbers 20:11-12
  • Sin cost Samson his eyesight and life. Samson knew he was to live apart from many temptations. He disobeyed God and had a relationship with an ungodly woman. Because he disobeyed God, Samson also suffered much embarrassment.  Israel’s judge did not achieve all he could have if he were obedient.
    “And she said [Delilah], The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.” Judges 16:20-21
  • Sin also cost others much, including Miriam, Abel (killed by his brother), Absalom, Ahab, Barabbas, Bathsheba, David, Eglon (oppressed Israel), Herod, Jezebel, Jonah, and others. Sin hurts all of us!
  • Sin can cost each of us life in Hell and ultimately the Lake of Fire unless we accept Jesus’ payment for our sins!
    “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12
    “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” I Cor. 15:21
    “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Rev. 20:11-14
  • Sin always has consequences. No one ever gets away without someone paying for their sin!
    “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
  • Sin costs us our freedom. When one lies, often another lie is needed to cover the first lie. When one steals one thing, it is usually easier to steal again. One alcoholic drink is often followed by another. Sin leads to more iniquity, and soon we are enslaved by sin.
  • Sin costs one his self-respect. Most have lost much self-esteem when they discover they went down a terrible, regrettable road where their sins led them.
  • Sin costs us our joy. Sin’s consequences often rob one of much happiness and brings pain and suffering into one’s life.
  • Sin costs having God not guiding and directing one’s life. Because sin can break our fellowship with God, He may not direct our lives. In Romans 1, it cost many because they did not do what they knew God would have had them do.  Their wickedness was so great that God gave up on them.
    “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:” Roman 1:24
  • Sin can cost one a life God intended one to have.
    “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Proverbs 29:1
  • Sin cost Satan a life in Heaven and eventually will cost him an eternity in the Lake of Fire.
    “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Rev. 20:10
  • The sin of others cost Jesus His life on Earth. He paid for our sin debt with His blood.
    “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” II Corinthians 5:15
  • Sin will cost this Earth its existence.
    “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. “ Revelation 21:1

The most expensive thing on this Earth is not gold or even precious gems. The most costly item  is one’s sin. Payday for sin’s commission may not be today, but its wage will be someday. That is why God warns us repeatedly to stay away from the tenacious tentacles of sin. It is not that He wants to rob any of us of our “fun.” It is because God knows that there is always a terrible price for sin.

If you are a Sunday school teacher or preacher and would like to teach this lesson to your class, I can send you a free Powerpoint presentation of this lesson if you have Microsoft’s Powerpoint.  E-mail me your request, and the name of the lesson  to brinkworth@frontier.com, and I will send it to you.

“In diving to the bottom for pleasures, we bring up more gravel and dirt than pearls.”  — Author Unknown

The Bible View #791 — God’s Will

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In This Issue:
Knowing God’s Will
Jump, or Just Thinking About It?
How to be Successful

Volume: 791    January 4, 2021

Knowing God’s Will
Bill Brinkworth

Gideon had a problem in his land.  His country was overrun with Midianites, Amalekites, and the “children of the east.” He was willing to battle the enemies that took from his land and his people, but he wanted to know for sure that God was leading him to do so.

Desiring to make a decision based on God’s will and way was a wise goal. Gideon knew a move without God’s help would not have His blessing and surely would lead to defeat or trouble.

People of all ages have also sought God’s will and way in decisions they have had to make. They, too often, make wrong choices and pay for it.

God is perfect, and following His direction should be the way any would want to go.  His will, if followed, will always be the right path to follow.

How can a person know if they are doing what God wants them to do or not? Is it possible to have His direction?

Gideon was like many. The leader wanted a clear sign from God in what should be done. After Gideon got the sign, he would know God’s will, and he would or would not lead the army against the enemies. Gideon asked God to do something supernatural that would prove it was Him that was answering the leader’s prayer.

The Israelite leader put out a fleece of wool on the ground and asked for a sign. If God wanted him to lead the battle, Gideon requested that God make the fleece wet from the dew and the earth dry.

The next morning an unnatural occurrence was seen. The fleece was soaked, but the nearby ground was dry.

Still doubting that it may have just been a coincidence, as can happen when people request “signs” from God, Gideon requested more proof. He asked God once more to prove His intervention by doing the impossible. This time he desired that the fleece be dry and the ground be wet.

The next morning the miracle was performed. The fleece was dry, but the surrounding earth was wet.  Gideon knew God’s direction, and he successfully battled the enemy.

“Well, Gideon sought proof of direction, may I also?” many ask. I have asked similar proofs in my past and have gotten direction by His answer. God does hear the prayers and requests of His own. However, that was when I was a younger Christian.  God may have blessed my spiritual immaturity and encouraged my weak faith. I soon learned that we are to live by faith and not always by sight.

Proof by sight does not necessarily make one a stronger or a more trusting Christian. Gideon asked twice because the first sign was not enough.

God desires us to trust Him unconditionally, without doubt or lack of trust. Trusting Him to supply without proof is the faith He wants.  When Gideon sought God’s will, he did not have the entire written Word of God as we do today to guide him. We have a leadership and guidance Gideon did not have.

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16

Sometimes God will honor our request for a miracle to discern His leadership. Much of the time, when He knows our faith should be more mature and trusting, He expects us to determine His will in other ways. Some biblical principles for knowing God’s direction include:

  • Does what you desire line-up with the teachings of His Word, the Bible? Is the direction or answer to your question scriptural? Is it something of which God approves?

    I have known folks who have asked God to provide His direction in a way that was very sinful. They should have known better than to expect God to approve of their iniquity.
  • Are there open doors of opportunity for the direction you are seeking?
  • If you want God’s will, allow Him to stop you from doing or going where you desire.
  • If your idea is not possible, accept that as His will. If you misread His direction, He can always create a directing opportunity again.
  • Has God already closed the door of opportunity, and perhaps you are prying open a door so you can have your way rather than His?
  • Do you believe it is God leading you to do or change what is on your heart?
  • Do people more spiritual and/or experienced than you, discern it could be God’s will for your life.
    “Where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14
  • Have you asked God before about direction in the matter and does it seem to be answered prayer?
  • If you do not know what to do or God’s direction is not clear, continue to do what God has already shown you to do until He shows you otherwise!

God does not desire to play guessing games with those that want to follow His leading. He will make his direction for you clear in His timing.

Will you let God say “no” to your request if He so desires, and will you obey His direction if He shows you? If so, God will lead you in a plain path if you ask and wait for His clear leadership.

“There is but one question, and that is ‘What is the will of God?’ The answer should settle all other questions and doubts.” — William E. Gladstone


Jump, or Just Thinking About It?
Author Unknown

 A teacher once gave this problem to a class.  “Three frogs sat together on a log, and one decided to jump off.  How many were left?”

“Two,” promptly replied one pupil.

“Wrong,” corrected the teacher.  “The third frog only decided to jump off.  He didn’t jump.”

Many folks are like that frog.  They decide to “jump” for the Lord.  They want to do something for Him, but never do. Their action never gets further than their thought process.  Do not just think about doing God’s will; do it!


How to be Successful
Bill Brinkworth

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:”
II Corinthians 1:1

In the introduction to his second letter to the Corinthian church, Paul reveals part of the secret to his success. The preacher was used of God because it was the “will of God” (II Corinthians 1:1).

I say “part of his secret” because there was another factor that was not mentioned here.  However, Paul’s testimony throughout the New Testament makes it very clear what it was. It was God’s will that Paul, the one-time enemy of God and His people, got saved, become an apostle, and let himself be used of God. He did what God showed him to do. His obedience to God was his real “secret” of success.

This distinction between “God’s will” and obeying God’s commandments is very important. After being saved by relying on Jesus’ sacrificial offering on the Cross for all sinners, most have a purpose in God’s mind. None of us are saved just to sit and soak up God’s goodness. There is a spiritual war raging in this world (Ephesians 6:12). It is always God’s will that every soldier of God takes part in the battle.

I believe most are convicted of God’s will for them, at least once in their lives. The Spirit of God makes all feel guilty sometime in life for their sin. Many hear His “voice” encourage them to be saved or to repent of their iniquity. At times, they feel uncomfortable in their life-styles and have a great desire to change. Some heed God’s encouragement to do His will. Unfortunately, too many ignore it.

The Holy Spirit’s encouragement too often is not heeded to do God’s will.  Eventually, because they chose not to obey it, the “voice” of the Holy Spirit no longer “speaks” to them. They never get used by God because they have chosen not to obey Him.

Paul ignored the “pricks” (Acts 9:5) of the Holy Spirit for a long time. He disregarded God’s convicting him of his wrong-doing as he watched his acquaintances kill the first martyr for Christ. Paul closed his ears to the cries and pleas of the Christians he had killed and persecuted.

One day, however, God’s will was clear to Paul. In his case, he audibly heard the voice of the Son of God on the Damascus road, and he obeyed what Jesus told him to do. His life was different after that decision, and the world has never been the same because of his obedience.

God’s will for every one of us is to do something for Him. This, sadly, does not happen in too many cases. Many get saved. Some obey for a while. God has grand plans to use them, but they never get used in the way God intended because of some disobedience. The actual key to ever being used effectively by God is to be obedient to do what one is shown to do, as was in Paul’s case.

It is God’s will that all that are saved and serve Him. It is not His will that we disobey Him by putting off or ignoring what He has placed in our hearts to do. We can also have a life effective for the cause of Christ if we, too, will obey what God’s will for our life is!

“To live for self or the Lord is a decision all make.”  — Author Unknown

The Bible View #764

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Articles in this Bible View: “Isaiah’s Prophecies,” “It Was Foretold,” “Jesus’ Death Was Prophesied”
Theme: Prophecies about Jesus

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