The Bible View #820 — Guilt

In This Issue:
A Different Person
Always Looking over His Shoulder
No More Guilt!
None Guilty?
The King’s Pardon

Volume: 820    July 26, 2021
Theme: Guilt

Free Daily Devotions, Bible Studies, Sunday School lessons and printable versions of The Bible View (including church bulletin insert and large print versions) are available at https://openthoumineeyes.com/ and http://www.devotionsfromthebible.com/.

A free, printable pamphlet entitled “What Does God Say about Drinking Alcohol” is available at https://openthoumineeyes.com/lessons/Drinking_Pamplet.pdf.   It would be appreciated to hear who plans to use it, so I can decide if I should offer more of these short pamphlets for ministry use.



A Different Person
Bill Brinkworth

King David never forgot his sinful past. However, he did not go around with guilt and not forgiving himself, as some do.  He encouraged himself by remembering, because of God’s help, that he did some things that were “righteous” in God’s eyes.

David recalled he had:

  • A godly testimony and character (“integrity”) — Psalm 26:1.
  • To the best of his ability, obeyed God’s commandments — Psalm 26:3.
  • Not associated himself with people of false self-worth — Psalm 26:4.
  • Done his best to not be in the company of those that portrayed themselves as they were not. Today, we would relate those to people that appear like Christians on Sunday but live the same as the ungodly the rest of the week — Psalm 26:4.
  • Not associated with those doing evil — Psalm 26:5.
  • Been grateful and had given God the glory for the great things He had done — Psalm 26:7.
  • Loved to be in the Temple and to be around the things of God — Psalm 26:8.

The closer to God we try to be, the clearer we see the defects and sins in our lives.  Sometimes, the hardest critic we have to deal with is ourselves.  If we have asked God to forgive us, He has. Unfortunately, sometimes our guilt remains, and many are not free from their past.

Rather than dealing with guilt, David moved forward.  He knew he had done all he could by asking God’s forgiveness of his sins. 

Not out of pride, but as an encouragement, the king reminded himself of the great changes God did in his life.  He recalled what he had become, not what he was.

We also need to have the same attitude about our past.  If we have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, then His blood suffices to cover all our sins.  God has forgiven and forgotten them. 

We, as did David, must not dwell on our old life.  We must remember and brag on God for all the changes He has done in us. We are new creatures in Christ.

“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



Always Looking over His Shoulder
C. H. Spurgeon

A man was constantly in debt and continually being arrested for his failure to pay his bills.  Once, when going by some railings, he caught his sleeve on one of the handholds.  He instantly turned around and said, “I don t owe you anything, sir.”

He thought an arresting bailiff was tugging on his sleeve.  So, it often is with unforgiven sinners. Wherever they are, their guilt hauntingly follows them, and they are continuously cautious of being found out. They enjoy little.

When a man is forgiven, he can walk anywhere. There is no guilt. His conscience is at rest.

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”   Isaiah 32:17


No More Guilt!
Bill Brinkworth

Before Paul’s salvation, he did all he could to serve God his way.  In so doing, he unknowingly became an enemy of God and Christians.  He was responsible for having many Christians killed and did much to slow the spreading of the Gospel.  When he was saved, Paul became one of the sincerest servants for Christ. 

No matter what he did after salvation, he still had a past.  There was no way to undo what he had done.  All he could do was go forward by doing the right things after being forgiven and do all he could for the cause of Christ.  He did that with all his heart.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” I Corinthians 15:1

Many are plagued with a guilty conscience of their past, even after they are saved. Years ago, I remember listening to a Christian radio program where the host answered live scriptural questions.  One caller, choked with guilt, called and told the host, “I am saved, I know I am forgiven, and my sins are forgotten, but I just cannot forgive myself, and that is why I am going to take my life.”  Immediately, the program was changed over to music, while I imagine the radio preacher dealt with the man’s guilt and desire to take his own life. Sadly, many will not forgive themselves and still live a defeated life, even after salvation.

We all have pasts. No saved person should have any joy in the wrong he has done.  If we could do it over, most of us would choose never to have committed the sins we have, but we still had done them.  No remorse or guilt is going to change our past.  When we trust Christ for salvation, our sins are not only forgiven by God but they are forgotten (Psalm 103:12).  Our sins are under His blood.

Even though God knows all we did, He still offered us a way, by His grace, to His Heaven. Since He has forgiven and forgotten our past, we must also forgive and forgot what we have done.

When people remind you of your past, remind them that Jesus dropped the charges. — Author Unknown



None Guilty?
Sunday School Times

Paul Loizeaux once said, “Oh, how hard it is to find sinners! If only I could find one, I have a marvelous message for him.” Of course, he meant sinners who know themselves to be sinners.

To be a sinner is one thing. To know it is another. But, whether or not we realize it, God knows our sinnership and knows if we go on without His saving help, we will perish. To deliver us from perishing, He sent us His Son to prepay for our sins.  He offers us the great gift of salvation because of His great love for us and because He knows of man’s great need.

“… the righteous are bold as a lion.”:  If a man is not guilty, he can stand up and speak out.  If his own mind is free from guilt, he is not afraid of the thoughts and minds of other men.”  — J. Vernon McGee


The King’s Pardon
D. L. Moody

A man was once being tried for a crime, the punishment of which was death. The witnesses came in one by one and testified to his guilt, but there he stood, quite calm and unmoved.

The judge and the jury were surprised at his indifference. They could not understand how he could take such a serious matter so calmly.

When the jury retired, it did not take them long to decide on a verdict of “guilty.”  After the judge passed the sentence of death upon the criminal, he told him how surprised he was that the criminal could be so unmoved by the prospect of death. When the judge had finished, the man put his hand in his bosom, pulled out a document, and presented it to the judge. He then walked out of the courtroom a free man.

Ah, that was how he could be so calm. He had a free pardon from his king, which he had in his pocket all the time. The king had instructed him to allow the trial to proceed and produce the pardon only when he was condemned. No wonder then that he was indifferent to the result of the trial.

That is just what will make us joyful on the great Day of Judgment. We have a pardon from the Great King, and it is sealed with the blood of His Son. We that are saved will miss that White Throne Judgment!  We have the King’s pardon!

The Bible View #819 — Seek God’s Truths

In This Issue:
Convenient Christianity
Get It Yourself

Volume: 819    July 19, 2021
Theme: Seek God’s Truths

Free Daily Devotions, Bible Studies, Sunday School lessons and printable versions of The Bible View (including church bulletin insert and large print versions) are available at https://openthoumineeyes.com/ and http://www.devotionsfromthebible.com/.

A free, printable pamphlet entitled “What Does God Say about Drinking Alcohol” is available at https://openthoumineeyes.com/lessons/Drinking_Pamplet.pdf.   It would be appreciated to hear who plans to use it (brinworth@frontier.com), so I can decide if I should offer more of these short pamphlets for ministry use.


Convenient Christianity
Bill Brinkworth

For over ten years, I have been e-mailing 2,000+ people a daily devotion I have written.  About a year ago, I suddenly lost the ability to reach over 165+ countries with sound biblical doctrine because of a large technology company’s decision.

At first, I was furious that the company caused that part of my ministry to halt.  I, of course,  prayed.  Soon, I came to an understanding that perhaps it was not a bad thing.  I could have fought it and gone to another company, but I realized in these times, it could easily happen again.

I realized that seeking the truths from God’s Word should not always be “easy,” as perhaps my e-mails made it for some.  If one pursues what He has preserved for them, it would matter more to that person and build a stronger Christian if one made an effort to get spiritually fed himself. 

Christianity has been made readily available to many, but what caliber of Christian has it produced? When I e-mailed the devotion to people, how many read it, and how many lives did it change?

Because Christianity has been made “easy,” many no longer go to church because they can watch it on television. Others do not concentrate and read the Bible but listen to a Christian broadcast while doing something else.  What so many call a “devotion” is a reference to a Bible verse they are supposed to look up and a short, cute story.  That spiritual snack will do little in building a stronger Christian.

Very few feed themselves with the only things that will open their eyes and change their lives.  Those efforts should be to read and study God’s Word and talk to its Originator in prayer.

One gets out of what one puts into most things in life.  This applies to getting an education, career, and most areas.  Having a close walk with the Lord is also no different.  God is watching the efforts we make to hear His truths, to obey Him, and He reads our heart’s desires to know if we want to have a close relationship with Him.

Christianity today has, for many, been made too convenient and has produced fewer strong, faithful, obedient believers.  Many will not pay the cost to witness to their neighbors or those they encounter because it may cost them embarrassment.  Their lack of desiring to be what God wants them to be, not attempting to seek what God has for them, and not separating from what God warns them to avoid will never produce a strong Christian. The only way any Christian grows is if they pay the cost of seeking God’s truths and obeying them.  That price tag includes desire, effort, and sacrifice, no matter what it takes to be close to God and be used by Him.

In the past, I have heard of one man who walked through the African jungle over 1,000 miles through swamps, dangers, and treacherous jungles to listen to a man read from the Word of God. The journey took several months.  It was important to him, so he was willing to pay the price to know God and what He desired of the man.

In John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, one will read of those who sacrificed their possessions, relationships, and even their lives rather than deny Christ or stop reading His Word.  God’s truths were important to them. They did whatever it took to hear His Word and obey His commandments.

Today, many Christians in Islamic countries are being slaughtered and tortured, but the believers would not recant their faith.  They were willing to pay the price to be close to God with their life!  No matter what happened to them, they made an effort because it was of great value to them.

Instead of making reading God’s Word easy and convenient, if people want to learn what God has for them, I urge them to get into their car and drive to every church service they can.  If they want to know God’s will and way for them, they need to pay the cost of reading His Word for themselves and laboring over sincere prayers.

My devotions are still available on www.DevotionsFromTheBible.com and www.OpenThouMineEyes.com to provide supplemental teaching of God’s Word.  However, I urge you to be willing to pay the cost (my material is always free financially) and make an consistant effort to delve in and study God’s Word yourself. 

“The best truths are gotten by digging deep for them.”   — D. L. Moody



Get It Yourself
Bill Brinkworth

Something has more value when you get it yourself. All can attest to feeling pride when hard, earned money is used to purchase something. “I got that myself because I worked for it” is the warm feeling one usually gets. The purchased object has much personal meaning and value because it was earned.

Pride and value are not usually gained as much when something is given to a person. Proof of this is often seen in government housing. Because of their economic situation, the people were allowed to live in accommodations provided for them at unusually low rates or free. Because it was given and not earned, it is usually not maintained. It is not uncommon that government housing areas are often the worst-looking areas in the community for that reason.

Cafeteria workers in public schools often attest to their disgust at the waste they see of uneaten, “free” food. Someone else’s tax money paid for the children to get those breakfasts or lunches. Because there was no pride in laboring for it or knowing mom and dad worked to pay for the meals, the children took a couple of bites, or none at all, and tossed it away.

When cheating on a test, a student may pass the exam, but the knowledge and self-respect of learning the material were not obtained. Study habits are not developed because the student found an easy way to pass without getting the knowledge for himself.

This “get-it-easily” attitude can also be applied to the things of God. When a person sits in the pew and absorbs what is preached from the pulpit, what is gained will not be as important to him as if he mined the Word of God himself. It may be why many Christians know so little about the Bible. Also, it may be why God has preserved II Timothy 2:15 which says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

When one becomes a “workman” and digs into the scriptures to get the truth for himself, much is gained. First, it shows himself and the Lord that knowing the truth is important enough to spend his time to obtain what God has said. There will be pride in the wisdom gained, and one will be closer to God.  The time spent will help etch scriptures into his mind, help memorize it, and allow him to see how other verses teach similar truths. What is learned will not be forgotten as easily as if they were told to him from the pulpit.

After delving into the scriptures, one would “rightly” divide the truth from fiction. They would learn what God said rather than rely on hearsay, someone else’s interpretation, opinion, or non-biblical traditions. Many might even see what their religion or cult teaches is blasphemous.  Certainly, they would learn from God’s Word what they must do to please Him.

Getting biblical knowledge requires too much effort for many.  They never read and study the Bible for themselves. Too many would rather trust a pastor to tell them what the Bible says. The attitude quite often is “He spent years in seminary studying it,” or “I cannot understand the Bible, so I need someone to tell me what it means.”

You would be very surprised at what some of the professional religionists believe or say about the Scripture. I have talked to many only to discover that those leaders have little understanding of the Bible or believe doctrines that are not taught in God’s Word. Those sitting in the pews will not know the difference because they never got the knowledge for themselves.

If the knowledge is not gotten for oneself the hard way by reading and studying, one’s spiritual life usually suffers.  One will not have the proper spiritual guidance and may go in a direction God would not have him go. Discerning right and sin will be skewed by not having the spiritual measuring tool, the Bible, to gauge decisions.

God is so good to allow us to have His Word (Isaiah 40:8). It is the only way one can know His true mind. Sadly, personal reading of the Holy Scriptures is lacking. Too many who profess to be children of God have never completely read the Word of God for themselves. 

Although my main ministry is writing devotions and Bible studies, they are intended to be additional study material or a jumping-off point for those seeking His truths. I encourage you to read your Bible and obtain its truth for yourself. It will mean more to you, and the rewards of knowing His truth will change your life.

“The Bible was not given so much for our information, but for our transformation.”  – Author Unknown

The Bible View #818 — Wait Patiently

In This Issue:
Handmade Socks
It Will be Here If It’s God’s Will
Bible Verses on Patience
Two Helpful Bears
Wait!

Volume: 818    July 12, 2021
Theme: Wait Patiently

Free Daily Devotions, Bible Studies, Sunday School lessons and printed versions of The Bible View (including church bulletin insert and large print versions) are available at https://openthoumineeyes.com/ and http://www.devotionsfromthebible.com/.

View A NEW Facebook Video: Heaven or Hell? at https://www.facebook.com/bill.brinkworth.966/videos/534362997696494 AND share! (Make sure the sound is turned on.) There are so many headed to Hell. You CAN help them not go there!



Handmade Socks
Bill Brinkworth

One Sunday morning, a teacher assistant mentioned that she made socks. I was very interested in her craft as my feet always seem cold.  The idea of a thick, handmade, wool sock intrigued me. Surely, a custom knitted foot covering would be most likely a warm solution for my frigid toes.

She offered to make me a pair of heavy warm socks, and I quickly accepted her kind offer.  It was not long until she presented me with the product of her labors.  After putting them on at home, they certainly were warm, but the fit was not snug, and after a little walking, they always had to be pulled up.  The idea of a custom-made sock sounded, felt, and appeared wonderful when hearing of them, but they did not fit right.  My store-bought foot coverings, which I usually wore, were snug and fit my feet perfectly. What I already had was just what I needed.

Most people’s choices in life, without God’s intervention, are often like those socks.  An idea of something different may sound enticing, but it may not be what is needed.

Often, without asking and waiting for God’s provision of what He deems to be the right spouse for us, our pick turns out to be the wrong one.  The wife may have looked beautiful or the husband handsome, but those qualities no longer mattered, as our choice was not the right fit.  If only God was asked to choose the right mate and His choice was patiently waited for, the perfect fit for a life partner might have been provided.

People jump at the possibility of a new career and job.  The different livelihood sounded great; the wage was far more than was currently earned. A job interview showed even more opportunities.  It certainly appeared like the dream job that was always wanted. 

Not long after starting the new position, it was quickly realized that the old job was much better.  Yes, there were many future possibilities at the new position, but the people at the new job were hard to get along with, and it was not a nice place to work.  If God was waited to open or close the doors of opportunity, the worker might have been in the perfect position for him.

Finding the right friends is so important.  Too many, however, pick the wrong companion.  It seems the new “bestie” is not who it was thought she was and that any confidence shared with her is soon spread around to others.  If only God were asked to supply the right friend and patiently waited for, one would not be in the bad relationship they now have found themselves.

All of our decisions are important.  The wrong choices can result in a large heap of regrets.  What we see, hear, or determine is not always the right fit for us.  Our picks are often blindly chosen as we do not always see the whole situation.

God, however, knows us better than we know ourselves.    He realizes what we need, not just what we want.  To make His help more necessary, He also knows everything about the other person, job, and situation just as well. When He is asked to choose, one can be assured that it will be the right pick for us. 

Ask God for direction in all things and wait PATIENTLY for His provision.  If you do not have His clear leadership, stay, and be content with what you currently have until His guidance is shown. His selection will be the right choice for you. 

“Opportunity is not always God’s will!”  — B. B.



It Will be Here, If It’s God’s Will
Bill Brinkworth

When buying a new car, a real “beauty” was discovered and was very enticing to buy.  The forceful salesman insisted that I purchase it immediately, as it was such a good deal “that it wouldn’t be on the lot long.”

Usually, I do not buy a big item without first praying.  I told the salesman, “I want the car, but I have to go home and pray about it first.”

Wanting the sale right away, the dealer warned, “You will probably lose this wonderful opportunity if you don’t get it now.”

“If it is God’s will for me to have this car, you won’t be able to sell it until I come back,” I confidently replied.

The salesman looked very confused.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”  – Rousseau

Bible Verses on Patience
“… I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” Psalm  40:1
“… Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.” Psa. 62:1 “Salvation” here is referring to deliverance from a bad situation.
“Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” Psa. 25:5
“It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:26
“Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.” Jeremiah 14:22
“The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.” Psa. 145:15  “Due season” is referring to God’s timing, not ours.
“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” Romans 12:12“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” I Thessalonians 5:14
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,” II Timothy 2:24

“There is no such thing as preaching patience into people unless the sermon is so long, they have to practice it while they hear.”  – Beecher



Two Helpful Bears
Christians Advocate

There lived an old couple who quarreled frequently.  The whole village knew about it, and when at last they ceased their fighting, questions were asked as to how it all came about.

“Two bears did it,” said the wife.

“Two bears?  questioned a neighbor.

“Ah!” said the husband, “but these are two new bears which we found in the Bible.  We have learned to love, “Bear ye one another’s burdens…” and “… forbearing one another in love.”



Wait!
The Believer’s Magazine

God’s delays are not denials;
He has heard your prayer;
He knows all about your trials,
Knows your every care.

God’s delays are not denials;
Help is on the way;
He is watching o’er life’s dials,
Bringing forth the day.

God’s delays are not denials;
You will find Him true,
Working through the hardest trials,
What is best for you!

“Wait in prayer.  Call on God and spread the case before Him.  Express your confidence in Him.  Wait in faith, for unfaithful, untrusting waiting is but an insult to the Lord.  Wait in quiet patience, not murmuring because you are under the affliction, but blessing God for it.”  — Spurgeon

The BIBLE VIEW #817 — Sin

In This Issue:
It Will Turn Up
No Matter What They Decide
How to be Forgiven

Volume: 817    July 5, 2021
Theme: Sin

Free Daily Devotions, Bible Studies, Sunday School lessons and printed versions of The Bible View (including church bulletin insert and large print versions) are available at https://openthoumineeyes.com/ and http://www.devotionsfromthebible.com/.

View A NEW Facebook Video: Heaven or Hell? at https://www.facebook.com/bill.brinkworth.966/videos/534362997696494 AND share! (Make sure the sound is turned on.) There are so many headed to Hell. You CAN help them not go there!



It Will Turn Up
Bill Brinkworth

Twenty years previously, Aaron Giles lost a small identity bracelet he was wearing. He was about five years old and was never sure where he lost it.  Aaron believes he lost it when he was playing at his grandfather’s farm in Fairmont, Minnesota.

A lot of time has gone by since, and his grandfather’s farm is no longer standing.  How surprised he was when the piece of jewelry was returned to him. It was found by a meat cutter, who found it when removing a chicken’s gizzard. The object was in good condition, and the name was still legible. It was believed the animal came from a farm near where the boy had lost it 20 years previously. It was there the fowl swallowed the shiny object.

Many times, deeds done a long time ago rear their reminding head.  If it was a good deed, and we are reminded of it, we smile and remember happily.  If, however, the deed was something we are now ashamed of ever having done, we cringe at the remembrance that we were the ones who did the shameful act.

Again and again, crimes that were done a long time ago come under re-investigation. Surprised are the villains when the law arrives at their door to arrest them for a crime that they may have even forgotten they had done. 

Adulterous acts have often been revealed to spouses many years after the sin was committed. Government officials running for office have had to resign from their race for office after it was discovered that they had cheated on a long-past college exam.  People have been rejected from getting jobs because of the discovery of their criminal activity many years before.

Like Mr. Gile’s bracelet recovery, the wages and the public exposure of sin can occur long after the act was done or performed.  There is a principle taught in the Bible about iniquity.  It is that no one gets away without paying a price tag for their transgressions. The act may have been done in secret, but it will not always be hidden. As Moses reminded His people, “… be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

Many suffer in this life from a payday of sin long after the deed was committed.  Adulterers often pay for their trespass by eventually losing their families. Thieves’ salaries for their sin are often paid by jail time.  Liars pay time and a half for their dishonesty by separation from friends that no longer trust them.  All, if unsaved and not receiving Jesus’ death as payment for their sin, will suffer in a dark, lonely, painful, eternal Hell.

God wants no one to suffer the after-shocks of sin.  That is why His desire is for us to keep far from the damaging grasps of iniquity.  No matter who you are, your sin may be revealed – somewhere, sometime.  Its embarrassing reminder can turn up.

“Sin may open bright as the morning, but it will end dark as night.”
 – Talmage



No Matter What They Decide
Bill Brinkworth

Before Joshua’s death, the leader gathered the people of Israel together. He reminded them of all the great and mighty things God had done for them and their fathers. Joshua rehearsed how God took, gave, sent, plagued, brought, put, destroyed, and delivered for them in over 17 instances (Joshua 24:3-13).

Joshua also rehearsed all the failures of His people. He reminded them how they continued to backslide from God and repeatedly had to be saved from the consequences of their poor choices. Many of God’s rescues were because the people had not learned their lesson and were still of two beliefs.

Sometimes they served God, and other times they served the losing side and its false gods.  Trying to live for God was a constant struggle for them.  Their minds were not completely made up, or they would not have had made the same mistakes repeatedly.

No matter what Israel’s loyalty to God was, it was not a hard decision for Joshua.  The leader’s mind was made up.   He had previously decided who His God was and that he would be faithful in obedience to Him. It was no longer a struggle for Joshua to know whom he would serve.

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14-15

Israel’s leader used interesting terms in describing many of the people’s desire not to serve God.  He used: “… if it seem evil.”  This wording indicated that some people thought that serving their Creator and Protector was physically, socially, or morally bad for them. This thinking is not unlike the thoughts of many today.  Too many think serving God and obeying His commandments, as recorded in the Bible, is unprofitable to them because:

  • They think they will miss all the “fun” if they follow God’s commandments.  Sin is only “fun” for a short time, however.  It usually has regrettable consequences that come at a later time.  Iniquity never gives genuine joy, only temporary satisfaction.
    “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” Hebrews 11:25. 
  • They do not know that there is a price tag for sin. No one gets away with sin.
    He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverb 28:13
    “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
  • His way is not the world’s way.  By following His way, they will appear different from others.  It is often more important to some to be like everyone else rather than pleasing God.

Yes, God’s way is different.  Yes, you will not fit in if you are obedient to God, but why do you want to be like the losing side, anyway?  God’s way is always better.  He has raised billions of children, and Father knows best.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

  • They only see the now and forget the eternal.  There is life after death. There is an eternity in either Heaven or Hell.  What sense is there in missing an eternity in Heaven for temporary satisfaction for a relatively short time here on Earth?
    For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36

The world’s reasons for not serving God are not much different than those of Joshua’s day.  The excuses come from the same rebellious and disobedient heart. No matter the time, the answer to God can be the same as Joshua’s: “… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15.  No matter what others think or do, we can always be different and do right!

“Sin and dandelions are a lot alike; they’re a lifetime battle to control that you never quite win.”  —White


How to be Forgiven

  • Know all have sinned — including you.
    “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
  • Know that eventually there is a cost for your sin that has to be paid.
    “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
  • Know that the price for your sin has already been paid — no matter what you have done.
    “ But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
  • Know that you can apply Jesus’ payment to your sin account and have ALL your sins forgiven.  You can have God’s promise of Heaven!
    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
    “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 
    (“Confessing” is admitting your faults to God in prayer).

“God hates the sin, but He loves the sinner.”  — D. L. Moody

The Bible View #815 — Faith

In This Issue:
Waivering Faith
A Dirty Telescope
Faith Training
Jumping into Father’s Arms
The Reflecting Waters
Dead Faith 
Christ, Our Guide

Volume: 815    June 21, 2021
Theme: Faith

Waivering Faith  
Bill Brinkworth

Like most of us, there was a time when Peter’s faith was stronger than at other times.  Peter found himself in a boat with vehement winds and threatening waves all around him. The craft was tossed helplessly by the powerful sea when he and the other disciples saw a most unusual, unbelievable sight.  They saw Jesus walk toward them, and He was walking on top of the waves!

After talking with Jesus, Peter was summoned to the Saviour’s side.  Without question, the disciple stepped out of the boat and joined Jesus, also walking on the water! However, Peter’s victory over all normal laws of nature did not last long.   When he looked around, he felt the hard-blowing winds and saw the boisterous waves.  He became afraid and sank.  His lack of faith changed what was happening in his life.

So many Christians start out their Christian walk similarly as did Peter when he jumped out of the boat. When they get saved and see the wondrous changes that the Lord has accomplished in their lives, their zeal is great.  They get involved in a ministry.  Faithfully, they attend church, read their Bible, and converse daily with God in prayer.  However, something happens to dull the excitement and fervor of their serving God. Perhaps it was an unkind word uttered by another or a question that they may be doing too much.  Maybe looking around they saw others were not going on church-wide visitation as they were, or they saw that many lived differently most of the week than they did on Sunday.  No matter what got them to question what they were doing for the Lord, they fell the same way Peter did; they looked around and their faith was weakened.

When anyone looks around and sees only what the natural man sees, he will be discouraged and have his faith challenged.  Looking toward a pastor or leader in a church may be a better example than most have, but that leader is made of the same flesh that you and I are made.  There may be a time that he may let you down. Following the example of another godly person may also be a bright light to follow but that person can make mistakes, and there may be a day that he will also disappoint you. 

The only one that is perfect and cannot let you down is Jesus.  Do what Peter did for a short time, keep your eye on God. Look and lean on Him.  Do not look around, compare, and criticize what others are doing. We may all let you down one day because we are no more perfect than you.  Look above.  The Lord will never leave nor forsake you, nor let you down.

“Wrinkled by life?  Look to God for a faith lift!”



A Dirty Telescope
John Bate

The astronomer is careful to have his telescope lenses clean and free from all dust. The smallest speck of dust might affect an object’s appearance. It will look different than it really is. 

So should a Christian be careful to have their faith wiped clean of all the dust of doubts and unbelief, lest they should behold the truths of God imperfectly and come to an incorrect judgment.  Without faith to guide and direct them, things will look different than they are or could be.

“If you have no joy, there has to be a leak in your faith somewhere.”  — H. Beecher



Faith Training
S. Coley

One day, Richard went into a room where his little girl was, bright-eyed and happy as she could be.  Somebody had just given her a box of exquisite wooden beads.

The little child ran to her papa immediately to show her gift. “They are very beautiful, my child,” he said, “but now, my dear, throw them into the fire.”  The little girl looked for a moment.  It was a great trial.  “Now, I shall not compel you to do it.  I leave it to you, but you never knew papa to ask you to do a thing that was not kind to you.  I cannot tell you why, but can you trust me to do so?”

It cost a great effort, but the little child began in her way to think, “Father has always been kind to me.  I suppose it is alright,” and she took the box and threw it into the fire. 

The father said no more for some time.  However, the next day, he presented her with something far more beautiful and which she had long desired. “Now,” said he, “my child, I did this to teach you to trust in the greater Father in Heaven.  Many a time in your life, He will require you to give up and to avoid what you cannot see or understand.  If you trust your Father in Heaven as you have trusted me, you will always find it best.”

“The beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.” — George Muller



Jumping into Father’s Arms
D. L. Moody

It was a beautiful evening, and just before the meeting, some neighbors and myself were sitting on the front piazza enjoying the evening. One of the neighbors put one of his children upon a ledge eight feet high, put out his hands, and told him to jump. Without the slightest hesitation, the child sprang into his father’s arms. Another child was lifted, and he, too, readily leaped into the arms of his father. He picked up another boy, larger than the others, and held out his arms, but he wouldn’t jump. He cried and screamed to be taken down. The man begged the boy to jump, but it was of no use. The lad couldn’t be induced to jump.

The incident made me curious, and I stepped up to him and asked, “How was it that those two little fellows jumped so readily into your arms, and the other boy wouldn’t?”

“Why,” said the man, “those two boys are my children, and the other boy isn’t. He doesn’t know me.”  This is why so many will not follow God’s commands; God is not their spiritual “Father.”

“Part-time faith, like part-time jobs, can’t support you!”  



 The Reflecting Waters
John Bate

When the water of a gently flowing river is unruffled and clear, it reflects the floating clouds above and any objects overhead — flying birds, swaying trees, and on-looking scenery.  When the water is stirred and agitated, it becomes opaque and loses its power of reflection.

The faith of Christians is often similar.  When all is going well, and there are no trials, how strong and beautiful are their reflections of the things of God.  When deadened by the world’s influence or corrupted by sin, the clearness and holiness of their example disappears.  Their lifestyle and testimony no longer reflect the spiritual things of God.



Dead Faith
T. H. Milner

The Word of God tells distinctly what sort of faith dead faith is:
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:17
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” James 2:20
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26

That which is dead is inactive, inoperative, unproductive, and fruitless.  If your faith is not producing spiritual fruits, trusting Him for all, and regularly pointing others to God, your faith is dead or quickly heading that way.

“One does not believe one who does not live their belief!”



Christ, Our Guide
C. H. Spurgeon

When Mr. Andrew Fuller was going to preach before an association, he rode to the meeting on his horse. There had been a good deal of rain, and the rivers were very much swollen. He got to one river which he had to cross. He looked at it, and he was afraid of the strong current, as he did not know the water’s depth. A farmer, who was standing by, said, “It is okay, Mr. Fuller; you will get through it all right, sir.  The horse will keep its feet.”

Mr. Fuller went in, and the water got up to the girth and then up to the saddle, and he got uncomfortably wet. Mr. Fuller thought he had better turn round, and he was going to do so when the same farmer shouted, “Go on, Mr. Fuller. I know it is all right.”

Then Mr. Fuller said, “Then I will go on. I will go by faith.” He made it safely to the other side.

Now, sinner, it is very like that with you. You think that your sins are too deep, that Christ can never carry you over them, but I say to you, it is all right, sinner.  Trust Jesus, and he will take you through Hell itself if it were needful and possible. If you had all the sins of all the men who have ever lived, and they were all yours, if you could trust him, Jesus Christ would carry you through the current of all that sin. It is all right, man! Only trust Christ. The river may be deep, but Christ’s love is deeper. It is all right, man! Do not let the devil make you doubt my Lord and Master. Satan is a liar from the beginning and the father of lies, but my Master is faithful. Rest on him, and it is all right. You will make it safely to the other side.

“Would there be enough evidence to convince a jury that you are a Christian?”

The Bible View #813 — Worldliness

In This Issue:
It’s Not What It Used to Be
We Just Can’t Win
The Ice Palace Is Gone

Free Daily Devotions, Bible Studies, Sunday School lessons and printed versions of The Bible View (including church bulletin insert and large print versions) are available at https://openthoumineeyes.com/ and http://www.devotionsfromthebible.com/.

Volume: 813    June 7, 2021
Theme: Worldliness

It’s Not What It Used to Be
Bill Brinkworth

I was save over 40 years ago. God has wrought much change in my life because of the Holy Spirit’s work and godly influences from devoted preachers, teachers, other Christians, and my study. Although I can see how He has altered my life, I can also see the changes in Christianity around me.  Many strong believers and ministries still exist and are doing great things for the Lord; unfortunately, many are not.

Some changes I have noticed are:

  • There is little questioning of what Bible version is used.   In the past, the KJV was the only one used and believed.  Now, it is often pushed aside, and the “newer,”  inaccurate, unpreserved versions are accepted.  When the foundation of truth, God’s preserved King James Bible for English-speaking believers, is not read and obeyed, Christianity will crumble as is happening.
    “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Isaiah 40:8  Also: I Peter 1:25.
  • Separation from worldly behavior, which the Bible condones, is often seen as “extreme.” Worldliness is not realized as a danger to spiritual growth and is not avoided. Observing many Christians in their daily activities shows they are not much different from the unsaved.
    “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” II Cor 6:17  Also: Isa. 52:11, II Cor. 7:1.
  • Sins, which ten years ago would have horrified faithful believers, now are accepted and even practiced by some Christians.  A biased media, liberal government education, and watered-down preaching have desensitized believers to sin and helped erase embarrassment and guilt from their iniquities. Many now do not even raise an eyebrow to sin around them.
    “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isa. 5:20
  • Few have little concern about living a holy life.  Many neglect to keep their “temple” from sin and even its appearance (I Thes. 5:22).  Conviction of halting unclean habits, practices, or beliefs is not common.
    “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” I Peter 1:16
  • Living by faith is foreign to many.  Trusting God to supply has been replaced by spending credit or allowing the government to meet the need.  Giving sacrificially is also rarer than it was in the past.
    “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Heb, 11:6
  • Standing up for righteousness, no matter the personal cost, is uncommon. In the past, countless Christians lost their lives rather than tolerate or approve wrong-doing when they spoke against transgressions.
    “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” Eph 6:14
  • Many Christians avoided movies, television programs, literature, alcohol, public activities, and other influences known to weaken beliefs and threaten holy living.  There is now less separation from ungodly behavior.
    “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” II Cor. 6:17
  • Many ministries and believers saw the danger of public education encouraging young people to do and think contrary to what the Bible commands.  To remedy that influence, Christians sacrificed to start and run Christian schools.  Salaries were often non-existent or lower than minimum wage, but the minds of young people were deemed more important. 

    As the government attempted to stop the ministries, many churches were fined and legally challenged.  Some pastors and principals suffered jail time.

    Today the sacrifices of earlier believers and their discernment not to pollute young minds with godless, social engineering, and eroding of Christian values are ignored.  Little concern is exhibited in insulating student’s minds from worldly propaganda.  The “I teach my child what is right” and “My child is strong and will not be swayed by what is taught in the government schools” seem to be the common defense.  Unfortunately, worldly philosophies are overpowering the minds of Christianity’s next generation.
    “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Prov. 22:6
  • Immoral leadership was never allowed.  Those inspiring for a position in government and business had their hopes shattered when it was discovered they were involved in dishonesty, adultery, foul language, financial impropriety, and other involvements showing they had low character and morals. 

    Today some officials and workers have been discovered to be morally corrupt yet are still allowed to continue their position.  Often this happens because the public is not made aware of their sin, or people are not concerned about the wrong-doing.
    “…   25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:  26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh…” Proverbs 1:24-27
  • Boycotting businesses and relationships that encourage or are for things God condones is rare.
    “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” I Thes.  5:22  

I am sure every previous generation of believers has also seen the erosion of Christian beliefs, morals, and biblical living during their lifetime.  Unfortunately, spiritual decay happens more often than knowing, believing, and living the way God commands. 

The spiritual decline will continue at break-neck speed if individual Christians do not stop the trend. We must make a stand to live how God commands. Personal revival and determination for a God-honoring and God-obeying life can change the downward spiritual trend. It must start with us Christians! The world is constantly changing, but God’s commandments do not. We do not have to believe or do what the unsaved world does



We Just Can’t Win
Author Unknown

Person: I want to do “X.”
Believer: You are free to do it.
Person: But, you think “X” is wrong.
Believer:  Yes.  The Bible says it’s sin.
Person. You just want to control me.
Believer: No, I do not. You are free to do what you want.
Person: But, you still think “X” is wrong.
Believer: Yes, but only because it may hurt you, and I want what is best for you.
Person: But, I still want to do “X.”
Believer:  I am not stopping you, and neither is God.
Person: But, I want you to say that “X” is good.
Believer:  I cannot say that.
Person:  Why do you hate me?”
Believer (with a very confused look on his face): Huh?

“The carnal mind seeks to create its own God who loves everyone, puts up with all matter of evil and foolishness, and gives in to the will of evil men who cry inequality!” Deane Edward Spencer



The Ice Palace Is Gone
Edited from an article by Newton, 1725-1807

When I was a boy, I read of an ice palace built one winter in Petersburg. The walls, roof, floors, and furniture were all of ice and were finished with taste.  All that was in the ice palace could be found in a royal palace. Before being frozen, the ice had been colored so that all seemed formed of proper materials. Still, all was cold, useless, and transient.

Had the cold continued until now, the palace might have been still standing, but with the returning spring, it melted away. There should have been a stone with an inscription reminding people of what once stood on the spot, as there was no sign of it after the spring thaw.

Men build and plan as if their works were to endure forever, but their creations are often gone in time. After all their preparations and labors, there is usually no reminder of what they spent their money, passions, work, and priorities on.  They put their life’s priorities in temporal things rather than those that would last for eternity.  Their labors were spent on the wrong temporary things.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I John 2:15

The Bible View #812 — Sharing God’s Word

In This Issue:
Why Don’t They Understand?
We Just Deliver It!
Marching Orders
If I Don’t, Who Will?

Free Daily Devotions, Bible Studies, Sunday School lessons and printed versions of The Bible View (including church bulletin insert and large print versions) are available at https://openthoumineeyes.com/ and http://www.devotionsfromthebible.com/.

Volume: 812    May 31, 2021
Theme: Sharing God’s Word


Why Don’t They Understand?
Bill Brinkworth

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” II Cor. 4:4

After sharing the Gospel for over 40 years, I still wish there was something I could say or do that would instantly get everyone saved and on the way to Heaven. Unfortunately, there is no such way!

One can give the clearest Bible verses one knows to show another the way to Heaven, but the unsaved listener sometimes politely stares back at the soul-winner and does not appear to be stirred.  The best stories of how the Lord has changed the soul-winner’s life also often result in empty stares. Even sharing the Bible’s scariest verses about the eternal home for the lost in a tormenting Hell often does not raise an eyebrow. Scripture about standing before the final judgment for the lost at the Great White Throne Judgment does not even seem to concern them.  They just do not seem to understand.

Soul winners may have to deal with hardened hearts, not-ready-yet souls, and those ignorant of God’s truths.  Often, without knowing the reason, it seems the Holy Spirit is not involved, and He is the only one who wins a soul to Christ.

There is another very serious obstacle that keeps many from being saved.  That reason may be the root cause of previously mentioned excuses for one’s not getting saved.  It is that they are spiritually blinded.

Spiritual blindness has always been a stumbling block for one to get saved, and it is especially a barrier these days.  Perhaps a person has heard so much negativity about being saved that they have not sought it out honestly for themselves.  They heard that “salvation is forced down one’s throat” without experiencing someone aggressively showing them the way to Heaven.  Others may be turned off to being born-again as they fear they will not have a mind or will of their own and will have to do things they dislike or do not believe.  Some fear their freedoms will be stripped from them.  Many have been so entrenched and addicted to sin that they have no interest or concern for anything that would change their lifestyles.

Talking to so many spiritually blinded people can frustrate a soul-winner.  The Holy Spirit and we seem to do everything we can to alter their eternal destination from Hell with seemingly no results.  Then, when we least expect it, we have the honor to lead one “easily” to salvation.  What is the difference?

When somebody readily accepts Christ as Saviour, we do not know all the work, trials, and tribulations the Holy Spirit had done previously in their lives.  It is His work that prepares them for when a soul-winner can talk to them.  When their heart is ready, it is only the Holy Spirit that can remove their spiritual blinders.

With this in mind, we should see the importance of “sowing the seeds” of the Gospel.  One day, those thoughts, verses, and biblical principles Christians planted may grow.  On that day, the Holy Spirit may open the eyes of the sinner, and he will no longer be blind to the things of God.  It may be the day he gets saved.  It may be the beginning when He understands more of the things of God.  That is why we must keep on sowing God’s truth, because one day the “seeds” may sprout.

“Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” Isa. 6:10
“Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” John 12:39
 



We Just Deliver It!
Bill Brinkworth

I do not know if there are newspaper delivery boys or girls anymore.  However, when I was younger, many my age would get bundles of the daily paper delivered to them, fold them, put them in their newspaper bag, and deliver them to their customers.

Every day, often first thing in the morning or after school, a bundle of local newspapers would be retrieved by the delivery person.  They would do their best, no matter the weather or time, to get the paper to people to read.

If the customer did not open and read it, his ignorance of what was happening in the world around him was not the delivery person’s fault.  The paper was made available to him by the diligence of the newspaper boy.

Likewise, it is usually not a preacher’s or person delivering God’s message fault people do not heed the biblical warnings given to them.  The spreader of the Good News obeyed what he was commanded to do from the Word of God.  He did his part.  They were the delivery “boys.”  Their efforts made sure God’s Word was put in the hands and ears of those needing to know His message.

If the listener did not heed God’s call to change his life, it is on him, not the one that pointed him to “thus saith the Lord.”  If one did not get saved after hearing God’s plan of salvation, it is on the person and is not the delivery ”boy’s” fault.  All the delivery person can do is get God’s Truths to others.  No one can make anyone saved or obedient to His commandments.

What are you doing with God’s message that was faithfully delivered to you? Did you listen intently?  Were you convicted about something that was said? Did you go to the Lord, beg for His mercy, forgiveness, and intend to do as the Holy Spirit’s heartfelt “whisper” urged you to do?  Or did the message go in one ear, and no obedience to the Holy Spirit’s calling ever followed?   If so, you have been delivered God’s good news.  What will you do with His message?

“If people shared the Gospel like they do gossip, we’d have a major revival throughout the world.”



Marching Orders
Author Unknown

The Duke of Wellington was once confronted by a preacher who was unfriendly to foreign missions because of their expense, unproductiveness, and the work that needed to be done at home.

Fastening his eyes on the preacher, Wellington quoted the words of the Master, “… Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” He added, “There, sir, are your marching orders!”’ The statesman and soldier had learned the lesson that it was not the duty of a soldier to question the orders of his superior. 

It should not be our business to argue the Lord’s orders but simply to receive the orders and obey them. Go and tell others what the Bible teaches, and do not question what you are told to do!


If I Don’t, Who Will?
Bill Brinkworth

 “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” Ephesians 6:14

  • I am a Christian. If I don’t tell the unsaved how to keep from spending an eternity in Hell, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that sin is wicked and destroys our lives and those around us, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them what God says is sin, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that abortion is against God’s commandments, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that homosexuality is a chosen sin-style that angers God, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that God’s way is right and all other ways are wrong, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that God planned for man to have one wife and that both should be faithful to each other until death, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that God has preserved His will and way in the King James Bible, so we will know exactly what He wants us to know, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that everything that names itself “Christian” is not necessarily of God, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them that a real devil doesn’t want them to do what God wants them to, who will?
  • If I don’t tell them, it is the same devil that tempts, confuses, and deceives them so they won’t know God’s way or want to obey it, who will?
  • If I don’t show the world a proper, rewarding, God-desired lifestyle, who will?
  • If the unsaved world cannot see that I am different from them, who will show them a difference between those bound for Heaven and those bound for Hell?
  • If my life is not an example of how good God is and that He is alive and still working in His children’s lives, whose will?
  • If I don’t have the “guts” to stand up for what I believe and what God’s Word commands, who will?

As Christians, WE have many responsibilities. Instead of sitting around and not being the Christians WE should be, WE need to be a light in this sin-darkened world.  WE need to start showing and telling them — now!

The Bible View #811 — Prayer

In This Issue:
Answered Prayer
For What Do You Listen?
Just You and Jesus
Be Grateful for . . .

Free Daily Devotions, Bible Studies, and Sunday School lessons are available at https://openthoumineeyes.com/ and http://www.devotionsfromthebible.com/.

 Volume: 811    May 24, 2021
Theme: Prayer

Answered Prayer
H. A. Ironsides

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7

We need to realize that our God takes a Fatherly interest in every detail of our lives and bids us bring everything to Him in prayer. Nothing is too small for His concern and nothing is too great for His power.

Years ago, the Free Kirk of Scotland was holding a church meeting in Aberdeen and worshippers were flocking in from all nearby towns to take part in the services. An aged man was on his way to the city on foot when he was overtaken by a young theological student. The two walked on in company. Despite the difference in their ages, they had much in common and so they enjoyed chatting together as they walked.

At noontime, they turned aside to a grassy field and sat down to eat the lunch, which each had brought with him, but first giving God thanks for His gracious provision. Afterward, the aged pilgrim suggested they pray together before continuing their journey. The young theologian was embarrassed, but agreed, asking that the elderly man should pray first, which he did. Addressing God as His Father in all simplicity, the older man poured out his heart in thanksgiving, and then uttered three specific requests.

He reminded the Lord that he was very hard of hearing, and if he did not get a seat up in the front, he would get little out of the sermon that evening.  He asked that a seat be kept for him near enough to the pulpit, so he could get the benefit of the message.  Secondly, he told the Lord that his shoes were badly worn and not fit for city streets.  He pleaded for a new pair, though he had not the “silver” to purchase them.  Last of all, he asked for a place to stay for the night, as he knew no one in Aberdeen and did not know where to look for accommodations.

By this time, the student’s eyes were wide open as he looked upon the old man with mingled disgust and amazement, thinking it the height of impertinence to burden God with such trivialities. When his turn came to pray, he delivered an eloquent, carefully composed discourse, which amazed his older companion, who saw in it nothing that showed the young man’s needs to God.

They reached the church just as the people were crowding in. It was soon clear that there was no longer even standing room left. The student thought, “Now we shall see what becomes of his presumptuous prayers. He will see that God has more to do than to use His time saving a seat for a poor, old countryman.

However, someone came out, and the old man was just able to squeeze inside the door, where he stood with his hand up to his ear, trying to hear what was going on. Just then, a young lady in a front pew turned and saw him. She called a sexton and said, “My father told me to hold our pew for him until time for the sermon, then, if he did not get here, to give it to someone else. Evidently, he has been detained. Will you please go back and bring up that old man who has his hand to his ear and is standing just inside the door?” In a few moments, petition number one was fully answered.

Now, in Scotland, some folks always kneel for prayer as the minister leads.  Others reverently rise to their feet. The old man was the kneeling kind, and the young woman stood. As she looked down, she could not help observing the worn soles on the feet of the kneeling worshipper. Her father was a shoe-dealer! At the close of the service, she delicately approached the subject of the need of a better pair of shoes and asked if she might take him to her father’s store, though closed for the night, and present him with a pair. Her offer was accepted as graciously as it was made. Petition number two was answered.

At the store, the lady inquired where he was to stay for the night. In all simplicity, he answered, “I dinna know yet. My Father has a room for me, but He has not told me whar it is.”

Puzzled for a moment, she exclaimed, “0h, you mean your Father — God! Well, I believe we have that room for you. We were saving our guestroom for the Rev. Blank, but a telegram came this morning saying he could not come, so now you must just come home with me and be our guest.” And so, the third petition was granted.

The next day the student inquired as to the outcome of the prayer and was astonished to find that God had heard and answered each plea. He is never too busy to heed the cries of His needy people. What we all require is more confidence in His love and more earnestness and directness in prayer.

“Why wish upon a star, when you can pray to the one who created them.”



For What Do You Listen?
Robert G. Lee

A naturalist, walking with his friend through the busy streets of a great city, paused and asked, “Do you hear the cricket?”

“Of course not,” laughed his friend. “You could never hear a cricket with all this roar of traffic.”

“But, I hear a cricket,” persisted the naturalist, and, turning over a stone, he uncovered the insect.

“Did you hear that cricket chirping above the noise of the street?” asked his friend in astonishment.

“Certainly,” said the naturalist. “I spend my time listening to nature, whether I am in the forest, the field, or the town. Everyone hears that for which he is listening.” Taking a coin from his pocket, he dropped it on the pavement, and each passer-by put his hand in his pocket to see if he was the one who had dropped it.

For what are you listening? God or gold? Your ears are tuned to listen for something, even as the receiving set is tuned to receive the program from a distant radio station. God’s ears are tuned to hear our prayers. Are ours tuned to hear His commands?

“Pray without ceasing, because Satan is preying without ceasing.”



Just You and Jesus
Bill Brinkworth

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” I Timothy 2:5

What wonderful news it must have been to the Jews, who were used to Old Testament worship when they first learned they could go to God themselves in prayer. Before Jesus’ death on the cross, they had to have priests go to God as middlemen for them.  After the sacrificial death of Christ, they could enter the “Holiest of Holies,” the closest place any could be to God, by themselves through their prayers (I Timothy 2:1).

However, then and even today, there are still many that believe they cannot go to God themselves.  These folks still, if they realize it or not, are attempting to worship the way it was done in Old Testament times.  Some go to a “priest” in a confessional and tell him their sins.  With his words, and doing what he tells them to do, they believe he can order their sins forgiven. They trust the “priest” to be their mediator between them and God. Some pray to the dead, some even deceased biblical characters, in hopes that a “saint” can be the middleman between them and God to have their sins forgiven or requests granted.

Sincere as those people are, what they are doing is contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures. I Timothy 2:5 tells us there is only one mediator between us and God, and that is Jesus Christ.

We no longer have to present a perfect, unblemished animal sacrifice for the high priest to take through the temple’s curtain to the Holiest of Holies, as in the Old Testament.  When Christ died, God ripped the veil in two from the top to the bottom.  Now any believer can go to God in prayer through Jesus Christ.

Telling a person, be it priest, parent, or any other person, one’s sins will not remove the consequences of one’s iniquity from God’s memory.  Those people may want to help, but they too are sinners in need of the Mediator.  Going to anyone else other than Christ to meet a need in one’s life or receive help from God will not result in God answering one’s prayers. The only one that is qualified to go to the Father on our behalf is His Son, Jesus. He is the only mediator between God and man.

“Well, my friend, today we have a Mediator.  The Lord Jesus Christ has come.  He has one hand in the hand of Deity because He is God.  He can save to the uttermost because He is God, and He has paid the price for our salvation.  He is a Mediator because He has also become a man.  He can hold my hand; He understands me.  He understands you.  You can go to Him, and He will not be upset with you.  He will not lose His temper or strike you or hurt you in any way… He still loves you and wants to put His arm around you.”
 — J. Vernon McGee



Be Grateful for . . .

What God has already done for you!
“O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.” Psalm 105:1

For His mercy in not giving us what we deserve.
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Ps. 118:29

For everything!
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thes. 5:18

“Count your blessings, not your problems.”  

The Bible View #810 — Church Members

In This Issue:
Every Church Has Them
What Can Keep People from Church
The Church of His Own Opinion

Volume: 810   May 17, 2021
Theme: Church Members

Every Church Has Them
Bill Brinkworth

Every church has its 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 person who many loved. Many reports from the church told John how Gaius was a blessing to the church family (III John:3, 6) and how the man attended to the needs of other Christians (III John:5). It was evident by his concern for the brethren that he truly loved the members of his church.

Another blessing in the church was Demetrias.  John also heard good things said about him (III John:12). These 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 lived changed by the Holy Spirit’s work, and 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. 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, there was one like that. 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, this man exhibited improper Christian behavior. He was known for always wanting recognition (III John:9). 

I can imagine Diotrephes was one of those that always had something to say. He was the one that got much of the attention and the glory. He 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 Paul sent to the ministry.

This type of man ruins the testimony of any ministry. When man tries to get the glory, which Diotrephes was attempting to receive, the Holy Spirit is grieved. The work for Christ in a ministry 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. Men like this man, unfortunately, often become an excuse for many leaving a church. 

In every ministry, there are two types. 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 the reason anyone leaves a church. If one quits because of a “Diotrephes,” one can be assured that the Holy Spirit is not involved in the decision. If you have one or more of “Diotrephes” in your church, do not leave. Get your eyes and ears off them, and keep them on the Saviour. He will never let you down, and He is the reason you should attend anyway!

“You are not too bad to go to church.  You are not too good to stay out!”  
— Author Unknown


What Can Keep People from Church
Bill Brinkworth

“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be ableto stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11

Daily the Christian must prepare himself to ward off the wiles, or tricks, the devil has for him. Satan’s stratagem is to do all he can to keep us from obeying God. One area he prompts us to be disobedient in is for us not to attend church.  However, we cannot blame all our disobedience on him. Our pride, laziness, and sinful nature also keep us from being faithful in attendance.

Some of the popular excuses in keeping many from faithfully attending church are:

Church “hopping”: Church attendance is a must for Christian growth. God has raised up a pastor of a local church to minister to your needs. When you miss church, you miss what God had for you that day. When you are a church member and go to this church today and another one next week, your “hopping” around keeps you from attending the church God has for you.

Discontentment: If God originally pointed you to that church to join and attend, you need to stay there until He tells you to move! “I’m not happy with the preacher” or “That church is too cold” are not excuses not to attend. The question should be, “Does God want me to attend there?”

Hurt feelings: All churches are made up of humans. All humans are sinners. Therefore, there is no perfect church! People will accidentally or purposely say the wrong things. Everyone gets their feelings hurt sometimes. I am sure you have hurt other’s feelings. Again, the question should be, “Did God call me here?” If He did, hurt feelings are not a legitimate reason to leave a church.

Sin: When people are purposely sinning against God, they most often do not want to be reminded of it. Where will they be reminded of it? In church. That is often why they will not attend.  However, to get one’s freedom back from the control of sin, one should hear the Word of God, not avoid it.

Conviction: When the Holy Spirit of God urges people to halt their sin, instead of obeying His small “voice,” they avoid it by keeping out of church. Sometimes they even join another church, where watered-down preaching does not remind them of what God has already spoken to them about.

Lack of understanding of the things of God. Since they do not read their Bible and do not know what it teaches, when they hear hard, convicting preaching from the Bible, they stay far away from it.  Ignorance of the Word of God keeps many from attending a strong, Bible-believing church.

Legitimate reasons, such as sickness, vacations, or work. Sometimes good excuses keep people from attending church for a week or so. That is understandable and happens. However, because they miss, it is easier to miss twice, then three times, then it is months since they attended the ministry. Breaking a routine of consistent church attendance is a subtle way of stopping faithful attendance.

Pride: “No one shook my hand,” “They are such an unfriendly church,” or “No one is going to tell me what to do.” These thoughts and others reflect that the sin of pride is involved.  Pride keeps many out of church.

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

“Don’t wait until six strong men have to carry you to church in a casket.  Go when you can walk in.”  — Author Unknown



The Church of His Own Opinion
Bill Brinkworth

“Well, I need to get up.  It is Sunday.  I need to go to church,” he thought, as he rubbed his eyes. He struggled to make the first move of the day out of bed.

“But then again, why do I have to go?  God is everywhere.  So why can’t I worship Him here or on the lake?  I know, I can take the boat and go fishing.  It will be okay with God.  I’ll just talk to Him out in the boat and admire all He has made.”

The convicting voice of the Holy Spirit whispered, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is…” (Heb. 10:25a).

That fleeting remembrance of the verse soon left as the half-slumbering sluggard drifted in and out of sleep. Minutes later, he again awoke and continued his thoughts.  “Besides, the preacher is not always right anyway.  He thinks the Bible is the only source of knowing God’s way.  Why, it’s just a book and probably has a lot of mistakes. What does he know?  Besides, I’m a good person, and I think I know what is right. I don’t think you have to go to church every time. I don’t think God wants me to stay away from everything bad.  I know He wants me to have fun sometimes. He probably doesn’t expect me to be perfect.”

Again the soft voice of the Holy Spirit put in the contemplator’s mind a verse that was preached the last time he was in church, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

The fleeting reminder of the verse did nothing to change the opinion of the dozing man. Another thought was chased around by the man’s logic. “Yeah, I’m a good person.  I don’t need the preaching and Bible reading like those other folks. I do a lot of good things, and God knows about them. As long I’m not as bad as the others, I’m sure it’s okay with God.”

The Holy Spirit wanted to shouts, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Rom. 3:23), but He did not think the man would listen.  He decided He would try one more time to speak to the hardening heart, “… There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Rom. 3:10b).

The verse was received in the half-slumbering mind, but it, too, was ignored. “Well, if I don’t go to church, I can save some money by not putting it in the offering plate. Besides, the preacher just wants my money.  That church has got more than enough.”

Immediately, the Holy Spirit thought of the verse about how not tithing is robbing from God (Malachi 3:8-10).  Still, He reasoned, “Why should I tell him. He’s ignored everything I tried to tell him already.  He will just rationalize it somehow.  Probably the old excuse, ‘Well, that’s just an Old Testament verse and not for today.’  He has decided to do what he wants and will not obey anyway.” The Holy Spirit was silent to the slumberer and spoke no more.

Ten more minutes of dozing continued until finally, the man made another move to get out of his bed.  He already had formulated his plans for the day. He would walk the dog, get breakfast, and hook up the boat and head out to the lake.

One more local Church of My Own Opinion had just let out, but there would be millions of them meeting all over the world.  It was the most popular denomination.  As with most of the meetings, the Holy Spirit’s voice was not wanted to be heard, so He was likewise silent in most of their “services”.  He was very grieved (Eph. 4:30).

“I wonder why people change churches all the time.  What difference does it make which one you stay home from?”  — Author Unknown

The Bible View #809 — Contentment

Don’t miss the daily devotions at http://www.devotionsfromthebible.com/dvblog/


In This Issue:
It’s Not Natural
We Can be Content
Be Content
The Two Chimneys
Blind, but Content
Paul’s Advice to Christians

Volume: 809    May 10, 2021
Theme: Contentment


It’s Not Natural
Morning and Evening, Spurgeon (Edited)

“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11

The words in Philippians 4:11 show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil.

We need not sow thistles and brambles.  They come up naturally enough because they are indigenous to earth, and so we need not teach men to complain.  They find fault fast enough without any education.

The precious things of the earth, however, must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plow and sow it.  If we want flowers, there must be a garden and all the gardener’s care.

Contentment is one of the flowers of Heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated.  It will not grow in us naturally.   The new nature (II Cor. 5:17) can produce it.  Even then, we must be especially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us.

Paul says, “I have learned… to be content” as much as to say, he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain the mystery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned and then broke down.  When at last he had acquired it and could say, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” he was an old, grey-headed man, close to the borders of the grave — a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome.

We might be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities and share the cold dungeon with him if we, too, might by any means attain his good degree. Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented with learning or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmuring, natural though it be, and continue to be a diligent pupil in the College of Content.



We Can be Content
Watson, 1696 (Edited)

If we should put some men in a job that they are not skilled in, how unfit would they be?  Put a farmer to drawing pictures, and what strange work would he produce?  Usually, he would be out of his expertise.

Take an artist that is exact in his use of colors and put him to the plow or set him to planting and grafting trees, and he most likely would not do it properly.  It was not his skill and would not be done right.

Bid a worldly man to live by faith and to be content will be expecting him to do something he has no skill in.   He will not excel.

To live contented upon God’s provision and promises is a way of living which “… flesh and blood hath not revealed it…”  (Mat. 16:17).    However, many of God’s children who have learned to trust Him are content in the state they are allowed to be in (Phil. 4:11).  They are pleased with what God has provided or allowed them to experience.  Their training and history with God’s help have taught them to be satisfied in the faithful hands of their Master.

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”  I Timothy 6:8



Be Content
Watson, 1696

The best way to be contented is to believe that the condition is best which God carved out for you. If God had seen it fit for us to have more, we would have had it.  His wisdom chooses the best for us.

Perhaps we could not manage great wealth.  Having all this world can offer includes great temptations that could be our demise. What many see as the answer to their woes can bring great loss and unhappiness.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11

“Enough is an abundance to the wise.



The Two Chimneys
Bowden

Two chimneys stood near each other on separate houses.   One was high and therefore very conspicuous.  The other short, just jutting above the roof.

“What a contemptible structure you are,” said the tall one, looking down disdainfully on his neighbor, the short chimney.

“I know,” said the short smokestack.  “I am but a very humble thing.”

“You need to look up very high to see my top,” boasted the tall chimney.

“Yes,” said the shorter one.

“Why, you are hardly worth the name of a chimney at all,” remarked the other.  “You are so short!”

“I don’t pretend to be greater than I am, though I am just as high as I ought to be for my purpose,” replied the little chimney.

“As high as you ought to be? Well, that is funny.  Why you are little better than a mere hole in the roof,” said the tall one with a loud laugh.

“It isn’t becoming that all chimneys should be of one height,” said the little one modestly.  “It is fitting that some should be high, like you, and some low down, like me.  Our duties are the same.   We are pretty much equal for our use, whether tall or short.”

The morning light showed the short chimney smoking as usual. Where was the tall one? Alas!  A storm that had come suddenly during the night swept it from its lofty place because it was so exposed.   It lay now only a heap of bricks on the ground.

“How thankful I am,” said the little chimney, “that I was so low.  Had I been high, like my poor neighbor, I might, and no doubt would have shared his unhappy fate.” The little chimney was content and grateful he was what he was made.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Prov. 16:18

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  Hebrews 13:5



Blind, but Content
Bill Brinkworth

Because of poor medical treatment, Fanny Crosby lost her sight at a very young age. Although the life-altering blindness changed her life, the writer of over 9,000 hymns accepted her condition and did not let it dominate her life.  Even at eight years old, her content attitude was evident in a short poem she wrote:

Oh, what a happy soul I am,
Although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in this world,
Contented, I will be.

How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don’t,
To weep and sigh because I’m blind
I cannot, and I won’t!

When someone asked William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army,  his great secret to happiness, he replied, “I never said ‘no’ to the Lord.”



Paul’s Advice to Christians
Bill Brinkworth

In closing his letter to the Hebrew Christians, Paul left them with seven pieces of advice dealing with a Christian’s social duties. They were:

  • To love other Christians (Hebrews 13:1).
  • To be nice to strangers, especially because we do not know that when we do, we may be entertaining angels (Hebrews 13:1). This informs a Bible reader that angels are real and that we may contact them more often than realized. Because we may entertain them “unawares,” the art depicting them with wings and halos is not accurate. If they had those features, we could distinguish them from other people. However, if they looked like normal men, we would never know if we had communicated with them. You may even come in contact with an angel today!
  • To be concerned about the difficulties others are going through as if they were your trials (Hebrews 13:3).
  • To remember, marriage is the “honourable” thing, whereas adultery and fornication (sexual relations without being married) are not (Hebrews 13:4).
  • To be content with what you have and not to covet the things of others (Hebrews 13:5).
  • To be respectful and obey those with leadership responsibilities over you in your church (Hebrews 13:7, 17). It is the preachers, teachers, and other church leaders who God uses to minister to us. They have to answer to God for how they lead those under them. The least we can do is obey their leadership.
  • To not fall for false doctrine (Hebrews 13:9). Study the Scriptures and evaluate if what you are hearing is taught in the Word of God. If it is not, stay with what the Word of God teaches!

Paul felt this advice would benefit the early Christians if they would heed his counsel. Over two thousand years later, it is still excellent advice for one to follow.