The BIBLE VIEW #873 — Your Testimony

In This Issue:
He Says He’s a Soldier
What Others See
“It Will Always Shine!”

Volume: 873     August 29, 2022
Theme:  Testimony

Theme: Drifting Away  

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He Says He’s a Soldier
Bill Brinkworth

“You’re sure you’re a soldier?” I queried.

“Yes, sir,” quipped the slovenly dressed young man in civilian clothes.

“Where’s your uniform?”

“Well,” he explained, “I don’t wanna be like everyone else.  I never even bought one.”

“Hmm,” I scratched my head.  “If you’re a soldier, certainly you must have read the soldiers’ training manual.”

“No, never read it at all.”

“You’re a soldier, don’t have a uniform, and never even read the training manual?” I was really perplexed now.  “Certainly, you’ve attended boot camp?”

“No, never had the time.  I always had something to do when the Army wanted me to go.”

“And you’re sure you’re a United States Army soldier?”

“Yes, sir.  I’m very proud to serve my country.  Whenever they need me, they can count on me,” was his proud answer.

“I’m a little confused.  You say you’re a soldier but never wore the uniform, read any procedure manuals, or attended training.  Did you ever fight in any battles?”

“Oh, no.  They wouldn’t let me because I never attended boot camp.  But when they have a war, I’ll be there.”

“Hmmm.” I just had to ask, “Well, what makes you so sure you’re a soldier?”

“I must admit, it seems strange that I haven’t done things most soldiers do.  But, you see, my father was in the service.  His father was also in the Army, and I believe even his father was.  So everyone just knows I’m a soldier, too.”

This fictitious scenario is echoed thousands of times through a similar testimony of professing Christians.  They claim they are a child of God, but do not think, believe, dress, or behave like one.  They never read God’s training manual, the Bible, never faithfully attend church, and are not observed doing anything spiritual.  They are in the battle and have lost, but they do not know it has even started.

God’s Word clearly teaches one way to be saved.  It is not my method or yours that will get one into Heaven.  It is His Heaven, and there is only one way there; His way.

That way is to know we are sinners, as Romans 3:23 clarifies: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”  Because of our sin, none of us has pleased God, and an eternal punishment awaits them.  Romans 6:23 states: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

There is good news, however.  Although we are sinners and heading for Hell, Christ died for our sins and paid for them (Romans 5:8).  The proper way to get to Heaven is to accept His payment for all our iniquities.  After believing that,  we have God’s promise that we will go to Heaven: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).” That is God’s way to be with Him forever.

Being a Christian will soon be a public affair.  People will see that the Holy Spirit has made some changes in one’s life.  Family and friends will see moral practices replacing old wicked routines and habits.  It will be evident where the Christian will be on Sunday.  His Bible will also no longer be dusty.

It will no longer be a guessing game to determine if one is a Christian when one is genuinely saved.  The changes in his life and lifestyle will make it clear that he is “born again.” He will be proud to be enlisted in God’s army and will make it evident by looking and acting like a real Christian soldier.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16


What Others See
Bill Brinkworth

One of the most valuable assets a Christian can have is his testimony.  What others think of him is often what they see him do, how he reacts in certain situations, and how they believe a Christian should live (although their view may not always be accurate).  Paul gave some advice in Ephesians 4  on how to preserve that testimony.  Some of his advice included:

  • Do not live like the rest of the world and put the wrong value on things that are really unimportant (Eph. 4:17-18).
  • Do not lust after things of this world and be consumed with greed for them (Eph. 4:19).
  • Do not let your conversation with others be about lust for this world’s things (Eph. 4:22).
  • Live a righteous life and strive to be a good example (Eph. 4:24).
  • Let your conversation be honest and do not lie (Eph. 4:25).
  • If you get angry, get it right with those involved before the sun goes down (Eph. 4:26).
  • Do not get close to sin and allow the devil to destroy your testimony (Eph. 4:27).
  • Do not steal, but work hard for what you want (Eph. 4:28).
  • Be careful of the words you utter, making sure what you say helps others (Eph.  4:29).
  • Do not sadden the indwelling Holy Spirit by sinning (Eph. 4:30).
  • Do not allow the sins of bitterness, violence, anger, and evil speaking to be part of your life (Eph. 4:31).
  • Be kind to others (Eph. 4:32).

As hard as we try, some will always see our example as wrong, no matter how we adhere to the above advice and other godly principles.  Although it is impossible to please all the people all the time, we have a responsibility to have the best testimony possible.  

Our example is not so much about what others think about us, but what others think about Christ by our example.  We are often all the unsaved will ever see about Christ.  Will they determine they do not want to be a Christian because of what they observed in our behavior, or will they consider being one because of how we live our lives?

Your walk talks louder than your talk talks.


It Will Always Shine!”
Author Unknown

A traveler once visiting the lighthouse at Calais said to the keeper, “What if one of your lights should go out at night?”

“Never!  Impossible!” he exclaimed.  “Sir, yonder are the ships sailing to all parts of the world.  If tonight one of my burners went out, in six months, I would hear from America, or India, saying that on such a night, the lights at Calais lighthouse gave no warning, and some vessel had been wrecked.  Lives could be lost because of my neglect.  Ah sir, I sometimes feel, when I look upon my lights, as if the eyes of the entire world are fixed upon me.  Go out!  Burn dim?  Never!  Impossible!”

What a lesson that man’s commitment and fervor should be to the Christian!  The Christian must remember he is a spiritual lighthouse for the world to observe.  Let then his “light” be full, bright, and clear.  The moment he neglects it and leaves his “lamps” untrimmed, some poor soul, struggling amid the waves of temptation, for lack of a beacon of example to light his way, may be dashed upon the rocks of destruction.

“I have ever deemed it more honorable and more profitable to set a good example than to follow a bad one.”  Thomas Jefferson

The BIBLE VIEW #867 — Separation

In This Issue:
Separate Yourself

Volume: 867     July 16, 2022
Theme:  Separation

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Separate Yourself
Bill Brinkworth

An important biblical teaching is believers should be separated from sin and the ungodly activities of the world as much as possible. 

It is taught throughout the Old Testament.  God’s people, particularly Israel, were to keep their distance from the heathen, so they would not be exposed or tempted by the ungodly’s involvement in sin. 

In the New Testament, early believers were also warned to remain as far as possible from the unfruitful, ungodly works of unrighteousness.  God wanted His people nowhere near the grasp of harmful, contagious sin.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Eph.  5:11

The Bible tells us much about living a separated, godly life:

  • From the beginning, God did some separating.  God separated the unrighteous world from Noah and His family when He sent the flood.  The ungodly perished. 

    In Old Testament times, God repeatedly warned His people to separate from the ungodly so they would not end up doing the sins the enemies of God were committing.
    “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.” Isaiah 52:11
    “Flee out of the midst of Babylon
    [a sinful nation], and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.” Jer. 51:6   God was going to judge the sinful nation.  He did not want His people to be included in the punishment that would be inflicted on the ungodly.
  • God says not to do the sinful or “close to appearing sinful” activities they do.
    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   
  • Our example, Christ, lived a separated life.  We claim to be “Christ-like,” which is what “Christian” means, so we also should live a separated life.
    “For such an high priest [Jesus] became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;” Heb. 7:26

A different way of living does not save anyone.  “Not cursing, chewing, or hangin’ around with those that do” is a good practice, but it will not make one saved.

However, when one acknowledges one’s sin, realizes the price that will ultimately be paid for it, accepts Christ’s payment for one’s iniquity, and accepts Him as Saviour, that person is saved from the penalty of sin.  That person will be changed on the inside, and changes on the outside should soon follow.
“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

This “new creature” should want to live the way the Lord wants him to live.  The child’s Sunday school song reminds us, “The things I used to do, I don’t do them anymore.”

The “new” saved person will produce godly fruits (actions that are pleasing to the Lord), not because he has to do them to keep his salvation, but because his new “heart” will want to do them for the Lord.  A saved person should desire to please his Saviour.
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:  9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.  11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” Eph.  5:8-12

The new-hearted Christian should realize that much of the way he used to live was not pleasing to the Lord.  To please the Lord, he should want to separate himself from sin and its temptation.

For centuries, separation from sin and even the “… appearance of evil …” (I Thes. 5:22) were preached from most pulpits and practiced by most.  Christians lived differently.  They spoke, dressed, believed, acted, and thought differently.  They were ashamed, as were their families, when they were involved in sin or even imitated the lifestyles of the unsaved.

This thinking and lifestyle are foreign to many of today’s Christians and are often ridiculed by them.  One would be hard-pressed in most churches and Christian households to be able to tell any difference between “Christians” and the unsaved.  

Some church leaders and believers spend more time excusing, justifying, and explaining their worldly thinking and lifestyles than remembering one of God’s most important commandments to His believers — to live holy.
“Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.”  Lev. 20:7  Also: I Peter 1:16.

God has not changed since He had the words penned in Lev.  20:7.  No matter how those around us are living and believing, a Christian is always to live as godly as he can. 

We are on God’s winning side, and we are to live like it.  We are not to live like the ungodly.

When a Christian lives the way God commands, the ungodly will separate from him.  Godly living convicts the ungodly, and rather than change their way of living, they often will alienate themselves from the source of their “feeling guilty.”  Many Christians that do not live a separated life never make any difference to those around them, as their lifestyle is not a godly example.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.” Luke 6:22

The majority of Christians fail in the area of separation.  Most often, they will not separate themselves from the things of this world and separate themselves unto God.  They want the comfort of knowing they will go to Heaven, but their sincerity is lacking. 

Most will not separate from the places they should not be.  They also act, think, dress, and look like the ungodly.  Their desire is to fit in like everyone else.

If the fad returns to have short skirts, many Christians will quickly be in the store to make sure they look like everyone else.  When the fashion of long hair returns for men, they are the first to drive past the barbershop and find something to tie their hair back.  Too often, Christians are more interested in fitting in with the world than they are fitting in with God and letting Him make them as holy as He can.

It would be more helpful for Christians if they had the attitude, “I’m a Christian.  If the Bible shows me to do something, I will do it without question.  If the world thinks I am peculiar, then that is their problem.  As for me and my house, I will separate from the world and its many questionable behaviors.  I will look, act, talk, and behave like the Bible says a Christian should.”

We should not strive to fit in and appear like everyone else.  Remember when your mother said to you, “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it?”  We did not like her admonishment, but too many are doing that spiritually; we are doing what everyone around us is doing.  Too many are following the world rather than leading the world by a Christ-like example.

The question or place of confusion for many is, “Well, what is it I should be separated from?  What are the ungodly works of wickedness I am to keep away from?”

Reading the Bible will reveal the main source of what should be avoided — sin.  There are more sins than those found in the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20).  One man counted over 600 sins.  One will not know what he should keep away from if he does not read the Bible and learn what they are.

“Well, many of the sins are for Old Testament times,” is often the retort.  The Old Testament, particularly the Law, is the schoolmaster (Gal. 3:24) that teaches us what God likes and dislikes.  Since God never changes, what was a sin to Him in those days, unless there is a retraction or permission given in the New Testament, is still iniquity today.

People feel more comfortable with a list of sins.  However, because of man’s devices, dealings, and different times, sins change.  A list of sins from Old Testament times would not always apply today.  

Scales no longer have weights, so the sin of “false balances” would not be valid for most today.  However, the principle behind that sin, cheating, and deceiving still can be applied today.  

There were no guns in 1200 BC, but fatally killing someone with one today is still a sin.  Murder has always been a sin, be it with a gun or a stone.  Alcoholic beer is not mentioned in the Bible; however, drunkenness is to be avoided according to God’s Word. 

Abortion also is not mentioned in the Bible, but the principle of not killing another and taking one’s life is forbidden by God.  Many insist the dress codes and standards of the Old Testament are only for by-gone days, but the principle that honors the differences in the sexes as God created them has not changed.

Many justify sin and lack of separation with the excuse, “Today is different.”  Sin is sin and always has been.  The principles of what is iniquity needs to be learned from God’s Word and then applied.

Man’s lifestyles and possessions are constantly changing.  A list of what not to do will never be accurate for more than several years. 

It is the spirit of doing the right things that must be established, and then an attitude of discernment will hold true and guide one, no matter what changes in the world.  It is the “spirit” of God’s law that needs to be the ruler to measure what is right and wrong, not just being on God’s list of sins (“the letter” of the law).
“Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” II Cor. 3:6

When one lives a life far from the edge of being “wrong” or sinful, they will seldom have to worry about “falling into sin.”  I learned this from my first pastor after I was saved. 

Pastor Fedena drew an imaginary line on the platform and walked along it.  He said that many Christians do not want to live a separated life, yet they still want to have an appearance of being a Christian. 

They are so close to sin that it takes very little to unbalance them spiritually.  He illustrated this by stumbling off the line he was walking on and tripping down the platform’s steps.

“But,” he went on to illustrate, “Those that have learned the wisdom to stay away from anything that would tempt them or even give an appearance of their doing wrong,  get far away from that ‘tolerable’ line.”  He moved far away from the imaginary line separating right and wrong.  As he continued, he pointed out, “As I get farther away from the questionable ‘gray’ area, you will see that I am getting closer to God.”  That is what living far from the edge of right and wrong does; it protects us from being tempted and falling into sin.

He went back to the line of “what-one-can-get-away-with-and-still-not-be-involved-in-sin.”  As the preacher tried to balance on the line again, he warned, “Those that live close to the edge of where they were before they were saved, and know what sin is, cannot lose their salvation when getting too close to their old lifestyle, but they can get involved in it.  They may lose their testimony that may take a long time, if ever, to get back.  Their witness as a godly example will be ruined.

“When referring to Christian hypocrites, those that got too close to the edge and fell into sin are usually referred to.  It is much safer to get far from the tempting edge and closer to God.  If it is questionable, give God the benefit of the doubt and stay away from its involvement.”

That is what separation is all about: separating oneself from anything that will make one fall and hurt the cause of Christ.  That is why God wants us to separate from many things of this world and, of course, from sin.  

God loves us and does not want His children hurt by sin or weakened by its temptation.  Separate yourself from the world and unto God.

“If you’re a Christian, why would you want to act like, live like, look like, or even talk like the devil’s losing side?”

The BIBLE VIEW #865 — Gossip

In This Issue:
“Beware of the Drowning Man!”
Three Things to Remember
The Spreader
Slander

Volume: 865     July 6, 2022
Theme:  Gossip

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“Beware of the Drowning Man!”
Bill Brinkworth

It is said that it is very dangerous when trying to swim out and save a drowning person.  Too often, the rescuer is drowned by the flailing, panicking drowner.

The natural reaction of the one going down, for possibly the last time, is to keep their head above water.  In an effort to survive, he can grab hold of the rescuer, and in trying to get another breath of air, drown the person who is trying to help him.

A disgruntled, unhappy person is often much like the drowning man.  For whatever reason, they are dissatisfied, they share their unrest and discontentment with others.  In most situations, they mean no harm.  They are unloading their burden and anguish on others hoping the person can say something or change something to stop their dissatisfaction.  However, their complaining, or “venting,” does much the same as the drowning man.  He can take the listener down with him.

The one listening may not know what is to follow in the conversation or genuinely may want to be a consoling ear to the one doing the complaining.  Before the “rescuer” knows what has happened, he is a casualty of gossiping lips.  Those words may do more than “sink ships,” as they said during World War II when referring to those that said more than they should have.

Making oneself a listening post for complaining, gossip, or dissatisfaction can result in one having the same thoughts as the one floundering.  The complaints and opinionated talk can spread like an infectious disease.  Soon the grumbler’s frustrations are shared feelings of their audiences.  Here are some common scenarios that trap too many:

  • “Well, maybe that person at work is lazy and making us do his work like the other person said.”
  • “Hmm, Sonya said that the person in the back of class is responsible for all the things missing in our class.  Maybe he is a thief.”
  • “Oh, oh.  She thinks her husband is cheating on her; perhaps mine is doing the same thing.”
  • “Things are not the same in church as they were.  So-and-so says it’s because of what Deacon Jones is doing.  Our problems in church are all his fault.”
  • “My friend says So-and-so looks like he’s hiding something, and he is right; he does look suspicious.  I don’t think I will trust him, either.”

On and on the opinions and observations of others can go into listening ears, doing damage by intentional or unintentional words.  Most often, we want to help, and that is why we listen.  However, words often turn into improper or unjustified judgments or actions by the listeners. 

Here are several guidelines one can keep in mind when lending a listening ear:

  • What the other person is saying is only his side of the story.  If the listener wants to know the truth, he should hear the other person’s side of the situation.  Suggesting to immediately get the other person’s view of what is being said often silences what is being said, as the talebearer may know what he is saying is more emotional than factual.

 “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Proverbs 18:13

“Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” John 7:51

“One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” Deut. 19:15

“Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.” I Timothy 5:19

“It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.” John 8:17 

  • Why are they telling me?  Can I change the situation for them?  Are they just gossiping, backbiting, complaining, or do they want the problem they are speaking of handled their way?  Can what they are saying result in anything positive?  

If it is discerned what is being said is for the wrong reasons, change the conversation or walk away from it.  Why would anyone want to take part in another’s sin?

“They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.” Psalm 12:2

“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.  “Psalm 34:13

“Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.” Psalm 120:2

  • Is what is being said edifying?  Can it be destructive to my ears?  Will it reinforce the problem to them as they share their concerns and make both of us miserable?  Is what is said going to help or change anything, or is it gossip?

“They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips.  Selah.” Psalm 140:3

“He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” Proverbs 17:9

  • If a suitable solution is given to solve the speaker’s dilemma, will he follow the advice, or will he keep grumbling to anyone who listens?

“Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.” Proverbs 23:9

“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.” Proverbs 9:8

  • Why am I listening to them?  Am I doing it to be a help, or do I want to hear some dirt about someone else?

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29

  • Does voicing their grievances bring confusion and division to others?  If it brings adverse side effects to others, then their “beefs” are probably not of God.
    “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” I Corinthians 14:33

It is natural for most of us to want to listen to the concerns of those we are in contact.  It is also quite normal to want to help them with our suggestions.  We must always be aware of what our ears are listening.  Often, a person does not know the damage their words can do to themselves and their listeners.  They may not even know they are “drowning” in their trials and tribulations, but a drowning man can take others down with himself.  Beware of drowning people.

Although some quoted scriptures were in a different context, they were used to show a biblically taught principle.

Oh, be careful little lips what you say, for the Father up above is looking down in love …”   — Words from a child’s Sunday school song


Three Things to Remember
Gospel Banner

Remember, three things come not back
The arrow sent upon its track.
It will not swerve; it will not stay
Its speed; it flies to wound and slay.


The spoken word so soon forgot
By thee, but it has perished not.
In other hearts, ‘tis living still.
And doing work for good or ill.


And the lost opportunity,
That cometh back no more to thee;
In vain thou weepest, in vain dost yearn;
These three will nevermore return.

You cannot stop people’s tongues, and therefore the best thing to do is to stop your ears and never mind what is spoken.” Spurgeon


The Spreader
Author Unknown

On a well-equipped farm, you will find at least one machine that looks like a low-slung wagon.  It is called a “spreader.”  It is used to disperse seed and fertilizer.

Unfortunately, in every town, big or small, you will find men and women that might be placed in the category of the “spreader.” They run about from place to place spreading gossip, which is the dirtiest kind of dirt.  Gossip helps no one and harms everyone.  It is about the meanest manifestation of dirty work that a human can do and not be exiled.

Chances are, if one speaks ill to you about others, when you are not around, he will speak ill of you.” — Barbara Brinkworth 

The BIBLE VIEW #864 — Carnality

In This Issue:
Baby Christians 
Stay!
Blinded by Carnality
What the Bible Says about Carnality

Volume: 864     June 27, 2022
Theme: Carnality  

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Baby Christians
Bill Brinkworth

In I Corinthians 3, Paul discusses spiritually weak people.  He identifies this type of Christians at the church in Corinth (I Corinthians 1:2) as baby Christians (I Corinthians 3:1).

Because they had not spiritually matured, the preacher had to watch what he said and taught them.  He could only tell them less demanding things about God.  If he revealed the “harder” things of God, they would react improperly to the spiritual “meat.”  They were saved because Paul addressed them as “brethren” (I Cor. 3:1), but they were very carnal (I Cor. 3:3). 

Noah Webster defined “carnal” as “pertaining to the flesh.”  The “baby” Christians’ deep involvement in things of the world clouded any dealings the Spirit of God tried to have with them.  They did what felt good and interested them, but were not spiritually pliable.

Today, Christianity is also weakened by those trying to straddle both worlds.  They never grow in the things of the Lord.  They try to be like everyone else, have all the pleasures this life can offer them, and minimally tip their hat to God.  Obedience to God is not a priority in their thinking.

Any mention of the “harder” things of God, and many today also get uncomfortable or mad.  They can agree on being saved and may even be baptized.  Heads will nod in agreement with Christian practices that do not require sacrifice or changes. 

However, mention separation from sinful practices or from influences that could get one too close to sin, and suddenly, “the preacher is fanatical.”  Suggest obeying the commandments recorded in the Bible, and their justification will be, “I don’t think God meant it for today’s people.  That was for people a long time ago.” Show them where the Bible says that one should give God part of their income (Malachi 3:8-9), and their anger turns their face red and they stammer, “God knows I can’t afford it, so he doesn’t expect me to give.”  Hint that they should be faithful in attending church, and you will hear more justification and excuses for their lack of commitment to the assembly of local believers.

We still have “baby” Christians today.  They never “grow up” spiritually.  They never take the steps of faith necessary to help them grow closer and depend more on their loving Father.  Amazingly, many even model themselves after the early, carnal church of Corinth and ignore Paul’s rebuke of that church’s immature Christian practices.

Carnality will always be a temptation for all Christians.  Encouragingly, some still step out by faith and follow wherever the Holy Spirit leads them.  They are the ones that are saved and commit, “Okay, Lord, show me what you want me to do next in your Word, and I will do it.”  They happily do what they are shown to do and allow God to use them and work in their lives.  They are the ones that have no problem digesting the “meat” that God allows them to hear.  Those Christians are the ones God is looking for and uses the most.

“If Christians do not read and obey the Bible, they will never grow spiritually!”


Stay!
Bill Brinkworth

Paul, like so many Christians today, faced some opposition from other Christians.  Some in the churches where he spoke 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 fleshly retorts.  He let his works for the Lord speak for themselves and let the Lord do the rest of the battling (II Cor. 10:4-8).

Everyone that attends a church has someone falsely accusing him of something or else has his feelings hurt at least once.  No church is perfect.  It is a God-commanded assembly of believers, and it may have mostly Christians in attendance, but none of them are without sin. 

Some members of the church family are more carnal than others.  They see things from a fleshly perspective and not how God sees them (II Cor.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.  My first thought is usually, “Who would be behind such a move of leaving a ministry for the wrong reasons — God or Satan?”  It certainly would not be of God to disobey his commandment (Hebrews 10:24-25) to assemble with believers. Yet, people leave churches all the time for the wrong reasons.

In the past, my wife and I have had things said about us by other church family members.  The false accusations hurt us deeply, but we remembered we were not in attendance for those people 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 service and kept at the work the Lord had for us.  Over time, we looked around and noticed that we had our nose to the grindstone doing what God had laid on our hearts, but 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 mentioned in the Bible, but Paul is still remembered. Purpose in your heart who you will serve (Joshua 24:15), and let the Lord handle the light work.  Be a “Paul.”

Hopefully, you didn’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!


Blinded by Carnality
Bill Brinkworth

Many of Paul’s letters rebuked the Corinthian church (I Corinthian 11:17, 22).  Because many in that church never truly rid themselves of the snares of their past worldly lives, it hampered them often from growing in the things of the Lord.  Scriptural instructions intended to help them grow spiritually and get closer to their God and Christian brethren often became a source of contention amongst themselves and caused division instead (I Cor. 11:18-19). One such instance was the way they conducted the Lord’s Supper.

The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was to help them remember (I Cor. 11:25-26) what Jesus had done for them. It was to be a solemn remembrance of God’s Son’s sacrifice for them when His body was “broken” (nailed to the cross) and His blood spilled for their sins.

Instead, they took that time and made it into a feast. Some went hungry.  Some got drunk (I Cor. 11:21). Others were embarrassed for not having what others had (I Cor. 11:22). The meaning of the Lord’s Supper was forgotten.

Because they lost the supper’s meaning and purpose (I Cor. 11:29), Paul warned that it would bring them harm rather than good.  Instead of blessing and unity, their drinking and eating brought them damnation and division. So wicked did the event become that some got sick and others even died (I Cor. 11:30) because they refused to discern the Lord’s body.  They were to judge and remember their sins.  They did not, and God judged some of them for their added sin.

Believers are to continue this time of remembering the broken body and spilt blood of our Saviour even today (I Cor. 11:26). It is not a “party-time” but a judge-our-own-sins time.  It is a time that we do not look around at others to see their faults, but remember our own.  The intent of this time is for us to remember.  Remember what Jesus did for us and keep our spiritual “slates” clean between Him and us. 

Humility is produced by remembering the pit we have come from.


What the Bible Says about Carnality

  • “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:5-7  Many worldly Christians think themselves spiritual, but God says they are His enemies.
  • “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon [worldly desires of the flesh].” Matthew 6:24
  • “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” I Corinthians 2:14  A person may be saved on the inside, but he still has the natural side of him He was born with. He will battle the desire to do what his “natural man” wants to do until the day he dies.eaven, bu Those living for the flesh’s wants will not understand the things of God.
  • “Ye adulterers and adulteresses [Those that serve the flesh are committing spiritual adultery.  They are going after the ‘gods’ of this world and are not faithful to the God in Heaven], know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4

“Christian, if you feed the ‘carnal’ part of you more than the spiritual part, the worldly, carnal side will grow stronger.  You will battle spiritual weakness and immaturity until you change your feeding habits!

The BIBLE VIEW #856 — Patience

In This Issue:
Patience, according to the Bible
By Patience…
Has to Be Experienced
Wait Patiently
Bulb to Flower
Can You Do Better

Volume: 856    April 25, 2022
Theme: Patience

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Patience, According to the Bible
Bill Brinkworth

Patience is not a character trait that many strive to develop.  In this fast-paced world, more have to have it their way — now.  Any waiting involved will soon discourage or aggravate many.

People will not wait for what they think they should earn, so they leave a job rather than serve more time and be promoted.  Traffic jams frustrate many and tempers are often lost, resulting in their publically expressing their dissatisfaction.  Some will not attempt to curb their eating habits by persevering through difficult temptations, so they seek some pill or operation that will take the weight off of them immediately.  Others give up sitting on the sport’s bench, because others are playing, and they are not, so they quit.  Students do not have the fortitude to study for themselves, so they cheat on tests.  Impatience looms all around us.

Patience is spoken about much in the New Testament.  It is rarely mentioned in the Old Testament, perhaps because now, in an era that we are to live more by faith and less by sight, patience may be tested more.

Here are some Bible teachings about patience:

God is patient.
“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:” Rom. 15:5

Not all have patience.
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Heb. 10:36

Christians are to seek and have patience.
“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” I Tim.  6:11
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” Heb. 12:1   Also: Eccl. 7:8, Tit. 2:2, I Thes. 5:14.

If people persevere in obedience to do what the Bible teaches, they will reap benefits.
“But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Luke 8:15   Also: Rev. 3:10.

If Christians will not quit through difficult times, and persevere, they will be more patient, better Christians, and will be stronger.
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:3-4
“Behold, we count them happy which endure.  Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” James 5:11
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” Rom. 5:3-4   Also: Rom. 15:4, Rom. 2:7, Rom.  12:12, Col. 1:11.

The Lord will help a Christian be more patient.
“And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.“ II Thes. 3:5

Patience in a Christian is a good testimony (example) of them personally and of Christianity.
“Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.” James 5:10   Also: II Thes. 1:4, I Tim. 3:3, Heb. 12:1.

Christians need to wait patiently on the Lord’s working and timing.
“And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.”  II Thes. 3:5  Also: James 5:7-8.

God knows of our patience, or lack of it.
“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:” Rev. 2:2  Also: Rev. 2:3, 19.

Christians are never to stop being patient in living by faith (Heb. 11:6).
“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;”   Also: Rom. 12:12.

Those in the ministry should have patience.
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,”  II Tim.  2:24
“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,” II Cor. 6:4  Also: I Tim. 3:3, I Tim.  6:1, James 5:10.

“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs, one step at a time.” — Author Unknown


By Patience …
Henry Smith, 1871

  • By patience, Job heard all the torments that the devil could heap upon him.
  • By patience, Jacob put up with a thousand wrongs from Laban and his children and never complained in 21 years before he departed.
  • By patience, Joseph forgave his brethren when he might have put them to death and gave them food when they feared revenge.
  • By patience, Christ suffered banishment, reproaches, and scourges until He went to His death, like a Lamb to the slaughter.

“Patience may be bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” — Rousseau


Has to Be Experienced
H. W. Beecher

There is no such thing as preaching patience to people unless the sermon is so long that they have to practice it while they hear.  No man can learn patience except by going out into the hurly-burly world and taking life just as it blows.  Patience is gained by staying with and riding out life’s hard-blowing trials.

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Heb. 10:36


Wait Patiently
Author Unknown

Wait, patiently wait,
God is never late;
The budding plans are in thy Father’s holding,
And only wait His Divine unfolding;
Then wait, patiently wait.


Bulb to Flower
H. W. Beecher

If my child asks me for a pretty tuberose, though I plant the bulb immediately, months elapse before he gets to see that flower.  Our prayers are not always answered immediately, not because God would tantalize us, but because the things we ask are often so large and require such a development that there will be a space of time between the asking and the getting.

“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”  ― Moliere


Can You Do Better?
Author Unknown

A man’s car stalled in the heavy traffic as the light turned green.  All his efforts to start the engine failed, and a chorus of honking behind him made matters worse.  He finally got out of his car, walked back to the first driver, and said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to get my car started.  If you’ll go up there and give it a try, I’ll stay here and blow your horn for you.”

The Bible View #850 — Assorted

In This Issue:
A Failure?
Appearance of Evil
The Lament of a Backslider
Doing It on Their Own
A Good Example
A Burden for Others
Christ, Forever

Volume: 850      March 14, 2022
Theme: Assorted

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A Failure?
Cameron

Many years ago, a merchant’s business failed.   He went home greatly upset.

“What is the matter?” asked his wife.

“I am ruined.  I will be a beggar.  I have lost it all!” he exclaimed, pressing his hands to his forehead.

“All?” said his wife.  “No. I am left.”

“All, papa?” questioned his eldest boy.  “Here I am!”

“And I too,” piped in his little girl, running up and putting her arms around his neck.

“I’m not lost, Papa,” repeated Eddy.

“And you have your health left,” said his wife.

“And your hands to work with,” said the eldest, “and I can help you.”

“And your two feet, Papa, to carry you about and your two eyes to see with, Papa,” said little Eddie.

“And you have God’s promises,” said the grandmother.

“And a good God,” said his wife.

“And a Heaven to go to,” said his little girl.

“And Jesus, who came to fetch us there,” said his eldest.

“God forgive me!” said the poor merchant, bursting into tears.  “I have not lost it all.  What I have lost is nothing compared to what I have,” and he took comfort and was encouraged.

“He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood.  He who faces no calamity will need no courage.  Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of trouble.”
— Harry Emerson Fosdick


Appearance of Evil
John Bate

Abstain from all appearance of evil.” I Thessalonians 5:22

A thing may have the appearance of wrong-doing and not be evil in itself, as an apple may look to be sweet and sound but be sour and rotten.  Why then are we to abstain from the “appearance of evil”?

  1. Because most judge by appearance and would therefore judge us wrongfully.
  2. Because in judgment, our characters could be damaged, and Christianity be defamed.
  3. Because by following the appearance of doing something wrong, we could promote and encourage evil itself.
  4. Because we are commanded to keep from even looking like we are doing something sinful.
  5. Because it is directly inconsistent with the good we profess we do.
  6. Because by abstaining from even looking like we are doing something wrong, we do not appear as hypocrites.

If you want your neighbor to see what the Christ spirit will do for him, let him see what it has done for you.”  — H. Beecher


The Lament of a Backslider
Author Unknown

Where is the Saviour now,
Whose smiles I once possessed?
Till He returns, I bow,
By heavy grief oppressed.
My days of happiness are gone,
And I am left to weep alone.
Where can the mourner go,
And tell his tale of grief?
Ah, who can soothe his woe,
Ah, who can give relief?
Earth cannot heal the wounded breast
Or give the troubled conscience rest.
Jesus, Thy smiles impart;
My gracious Lord, return,
Bind up my broken heart
And bid me cease to mourn;
Then shall this night of sorrow flee,
And peace in Heaven is found in Thee.



Doing It on Their Own
H. W. Beecher

Many say, “I can find God without the help of the Bible, or church, or minister.”  Very well.  Do so if you can. 

The ferry company would feel no jealousy of a man who should prefer to swim to New York City, rather than ride on their ferry.  Let him do so if he is able, and we will talk about it on the other shore, but probably trying to swim would be the thing that would bring him quickest to the boat.

So, God would have no jealousy of a man’s going to Heaven without the aid of the Bible, church, or minister, but let him try to do so, and it will be the surest way to bring him back to them for help.


A Good Example
Author Unknown

A chaplain told this story of a young soldier who consulted with a question of Christian duty.

“Last night,” said the young man, “in my barrack, before going to bed, I knelt and prayed in a low voice, when suddenly my comrades threw their boots at me and laughed.”

“Well,” replied the chaplain, “suppose you defer your prayer until you get into bed and then silently lift your heart to God?”

A week or two afterward, the young soldier called again.  “Well,” said the chaplain, “you took my advice, I suppose?  How has it gone?”

“Sir,” he answered, “I took your advice for one or two nights, but I thought it looked rather like I was denying my Saviour, and I once more knelt at my bedside and prayed in a low whisper as before.”

“And what happened?”

“Not one of them laughs now, sir. The whole fifteen each kneel and pray, as well.”

“I felt ashamed,” added the chaplain in narrating the story, “of the advice I had given him.  That young man was both wiser and bolder than I was.”

A good example has twice the value of good advice.”



A Burden for Others
K. Arvine

Ancient history records that a city was besieged and was obliged to surrender at length.  In that city, two brothers had obliged the conquering general and, because of this, received permission to leave the city before it was destroyed and take with them as much of their property as they could lug.  The two youths appeared at the city’s gates, one of them carrying their father and the other their mother.

If we could all be as generous and burdened as those brothers were after we get saved.  We would be concerned to tell as many family members, friends, and neighbors the way to Heaven. More would be going there! 



Christ, Forever
S. Coley

When King Ptolemy built Pharos, he wanted his name upon it.  Sostratus, the architect, did not think that the king, who only paid the money for its construction, should get all the credit while he had none.  Sostratus put the king’s name on the front of the structure in plaster.  Underneath it, in the eternal granite, the architect had his name chiseled deep into the stone.

Over time, the sea dashed against the plaster and chipped it off bit by bit.  I dare say it lasted out the time of Ptolemy, but soon the plaster was chipped away, and there stood the name “Sostratus.”

I am sure that there are “waves” that will chip off all human names from the true church Christ built.  I know the name of Christ shall last forever after all others fade away.

The Bible View #848 — Seeking

In This Issue:
What Would Have Happened If He Did Not Seek?
Knocking At Mercy’s Door

Volume: 848      February 28, 2022
Theme: Seeking  

The FREE printable versions (bulletin insert, large print, and e-mail versions) of this Bible View and many others can be found at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html.

Are you reading the Bible every day?  If not, have the FREE Daily View Devotion e-mailed to you.  Learn something taught in a KJV chapter from a short commentary, read the chapter, and more spiritual “meat” for the hungry soul.  Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M to start receiving it.


What Would Have Happened If He Did Not Seek?
Bill Brinkworth

Moses was doing the task his hands found to do.  He was busy watching the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro.

In that remote place, the shepherd saw an unusual sight.   He saw a bush that burned. Its flames did not consume the plant.  It kept burning.

In the dried-out area, one would have expected the bush to flash into flames and then shortly be reduced to ashes.  But not this one. The fire blazed without consuming the shrub.

The shepherd was curious about that anomaly. He had never seen anything like it.  The desert-savvy herdsman was interested enough to stop what he was doing and examine the unnatural occurrence.
“And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” Exodus 3:3

In the flame, he saw an angel of the Lord.  The messenger of God saw the shepherd make a move to seek answers.
“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” Exodus 3:2

Because of Moses’ desire to seek answers, his life changed.  The Lord saw his effort to seek truth and then spoke to the shepherd. Much of the following chapters in Exodus reveal what Moses was told to do, how God used the one-time shepherd, and how the man’s curiosity changed his life and Israel’s; all because Moses sought answers.

How would the great leader and his nation fared if the humble shepherd did not first seek what he did not understand? What would have happened if Moses ran from the curiosity?  History would have been different that is for sure.

How would your life be different if you did not seek to get answers to questions, especially about the things of God?  God is always around us.  He is everywhere.  However, to first have a relationship and knowledge of His will and way, one must first have an open, curious mind willing to seek Him.

The Bible has a lot to say about seeking God and His truths.  Some of those truths are:

God knows who is truly looking. He is particularly watching those that are open to His way and wisdom.
“The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.” Psalm 14:2  Also Psalm 53:2, Matthew 6:33.
“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” Proverbs 8:17

If you sincerely look for God and His truths, you will find Him.  As God saw Moses’ sincerity, He wants to see one’s genuineness in looking for Him.
“But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29  Also: I Chron. 22:19.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” Matthew 7:7  Also: Luke 22:19.

The key to one’s searching and God revealing Himself to them is their “heart” condition.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chron. 7:14 Also: Psalm 63:1, 119:2, Ecclesiastes 7:25.
“And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;” II Chronicle 15:12 “
And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”  I Chronicles 28:9

One’s genuine search for God will involve a heart that will change and trust Him.
“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Psalm 9:10

One of Jesus’ purposes of coming to Earth was to save those that have a seeking heart. There is still an opportunity to be “found” if one genuinely looks to God for answers.
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10  Also: Luke 17:33.

One’s search for God and His truths will be a lifetime effort.
“Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.” I Chronicles 16:11  
“Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.” Psalm 105:4

There are great rewards for the one seeking God.
“But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Luke 12:31

The wicked will not seek God. Many could care less if they have His truths and way or not.
“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Psalm  10:4 

The wicked seek the wrong things.
“And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.” Luke 11:29“
For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” Philippians 2:21


God is not fooled by a person looking for something to ease their guilt or quiet their convicted spirit. Often they only find false, man-made religion. He knows the ones with a genuine desire to know God’s will and way.  When one is truly sincere,  God will make Himself and His way known to the seeker.

Moses’ life changed when he sought the truth.  Today one seeking God, no matter what obstacles are thrown in one’s path, can also find His clear direction and godly wisdom.

Not seeking His way will lead to a life with many regrets and, if salvation is not sought, an eternity in the Lake of Fire. Seek God and His wisdom while you still have the opportunity.

“God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.”  Psalm 53:2


Knocking At Mercy’s Door
Morning and Evening, C. H. Spurgeon

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

We know of a place in England where a dole of bread was served to every passerby who chose to ask for it. Whoever the traveler may be, he has but to knock at the door of St. Cross Hospital, and there is the dole of bread for him.

Jesus Christ so loveth sinners that He has built a St. Cross Hospital so that whenever a sinner is hungry, he has but to knock and have his wants supplied. Nay, He has done better; He has attached to this Hospital of the Cross a bath, and whenever a soul is filthy, he has but to go there and be washed. The fountain is always full and always efficacious.

No sinner ever went into it and found that it could not wash away his stains. Sins which were scarlet have all disappeared, and the sinner will be whiter than snow.

As if this were not enough, there is attached to this Hospital of the Cross a wardrobe.  A sinner making application simply as a sinner may be clothed from head to foot.  If he wishes to be a soldier, he may not merely have a garment for ordinary wear, but armour which shall cover him from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. If he asks for a sword, he shall have that given to him and a shield too. Nothing good for him shall be denied him. He shall have spending money so long as he lives and has an eternal heritage of glorious treasure when he enters into the joy of his Lord.

If all these things are to be had by merely knocking at mercy’s door, O my soul, knock hard this morning, and ask large things of thy generous Lord. Leave not the throne of grace till all thy wants have been spread before the Lord, and until by faith thou hast a comfortable prospect that they shall be all supplied.

No bashfulness need retard when Jesus invites. No unbelief should hinder when Jesus promises. No cold-heartedness should restrain when such blessings are to be obtained.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” I John 5:14’

The Bible View #847 — Our Time

In This Issue:
What’s Really Important?
Not Much Remained
Some Things Are Missing

Volume: 847      February 22, 2022
Theme: Our Time

The printable versions of THE BIBLE VIEW (including large print and church bulletin inserts) are available at https://www.openthoumineeyes.com/

Are you reading the Bible every day?  If not, have the FREE Daily View Devotion e-mailed to you.  Learn something taught in a KJV chapter from a short commentary, read the chapter, and more spiritual “meat” for the hungry soul.  Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M to start receiving it.


What’s Really Important?
Bill Brinkworth

“Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.” Proverbs 17:1

A friend of mine has a deep appreciation for the “quietness” spoken of in Proverbs 17:1.  He is a very hard worker.  No dust ever settles under his feet.  His fellow workers will attest to that.  However, there are times when he sits back and relaxes.  He drinks in peace and calm and marvels at how it soothes him.  He manages the right balance between work and having a quiet time.

So many have never experienced or have long forgotten what it is like to have “peace.”  They go, go, and go.  Their day starts in haste, and it ends that way.  Meals, work, school, football games, movies, dance recitals, and chores gobble up their time.  Days are scheduled so that one event after another is planned and that there is no free-time.  There is no quietness for them to relax, “smell the roses,” and enjoy the life God gave them. 

Relationships get neglected.  Because of not having spare time, there are never moments to get alone with their spouse, family, and friends.  Seldom is there ever a time to get apart with their God and learn His will, way, and direction.  One wonders if their “busyness” is a cover-up to avoid reflecting on actions and relationships with others and their Creator.

“Well, we have to do all we do to have what we have,” is often the explanation.  Indeed, those things cannot be obtained by sitting around with your feet propped up, but are all those things really necessary?  Is forfeiting time with family, yourself, and God worth the price you will pay?

The strife and turmoil created by being so busy leaves one empty and drained.  One may have done many wonderful things and have obtained many of their wants, but what have their sacrifices cost them?  Their children have gotten used to parents being too busy to spend time with them, so they created their own lives without their mothers and fathers.  Wives left alone by always working husbands have compensated by having their own life, excluding dates and personal time with their sposes.  Individuals, families, and eventually society grow apart because many self-absorbed people met their own goals and have excluded all others.

As this Proverb reminds us, it may be more enjoyable and profitable to have less (a “dry morsel”) than to have the ulcers and anxiety that often come from a jammed-packed life too busy to enjoy what they should. 

Re-evaluate what your priorities should be. Our lives should be more about people, relationships, and devotion to God than it is about things.  Enjoy quietness.


Not Much Remained
Bill Brinkworth

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14

After the four-hour labor of three workers, a large area in a wooded area was cleared of trees and brush.  The waste was carried to one place.   A pile 18 feet in diameter and seven feet tall resulted from all that work.  It was a massive heap of trimmed branches and cut trees.

Although I originally intended to burn the heap, I deemed it too large to incinerate.  Instead, I ran the brush through my small wood chipper.

The job was massive and took three days.  After the hard work was complete, the remaining pile of chips was only four feet long and three-foot-high.  Hundreds of feet of trees and brush, when ground up, resulted in only a tiny heap of ¾” wood chips.  There was not much to show for the tree’s growth and our labor.

Several years previously, I had cleared another wooded area.  The resulting pile of small trees and brush was much smaller, about eight feet long and five feet tall.  It was burnt, and after the fire was out and the ashes cooled, there was barely enough of the plant remains to fill a five-gallon bucket.

One day, even this world will have little to show for all the building, civilizations, technology, lives, history, and accomplishments.  After the rapture, Great Tribulation (as recorded in The Revelation), and the 1,000-year millennial reign of Christ, the Earth will be “passed away” (II Peter 3:10, Mat. 24:35, Isaiah 65:17, Dan. 2:44).  Nothing will remain of all man had made for thousands of years. 

Elegant buildings, towering skyscrapers, technology, and all that remained on the Earth will be replaced by a new Earth that God will create.  It will be an Earth without the curse of sin.  All that man valued will be gone.  There will be little to show for humanity’s efforts.
“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.” Rev. 21:1 Also: Isaiah 65:17, I John 2:17.

Throughout our lives, we have eaten much, earned much, accomplished much, been to many places, experienced much, seen incredible things, met and talked to thousands of people, and made some difference in this world.  However, when our life is over, like the remnants of the trees and saplings and eventually the Earth, there will not be much left to show for our lives and efforts, just some bones in a casket or a small pile of dust.

Depressing, but a reality that little of man’s efforts will remain to show his existence.  However, there can be a glorious eternal future for all.  Those that are made “righteous” by believing and trusting Christ’s sacrificial death as payment for their sins can have an eternal life (John 3:16, 36, John 4:14, John 5:24, John 6:40).
“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Mat. 25:46

What a waste of life to not invest one’s eternal soul in what will last for eternity (John 6:27).  The unsaved have put no faith or trust in God’s way of Heaven and will be terrified by the Lake of Fire that awaits them. 

However, many saved people will go to Heaven but have not wisely invested their time on Earth.  They have not labored to store up “treasures in Heaven” (Mat. 6:20). They have frivolously spent their opportunity in this life on vain priorities (Gal. 6:8) that will not matter in their eternal future.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Mat. 6:19-21

Christian, you have time here on Earth to do as the Lord commands. You should lay up treasures for your future. Obey the Bible and do for the Lord what He allows you to do for Him. Do not arrive in an eternal Paradise and find that you have done nothing or of little value for your eternity.

“In this world, it is not what we take up but what we give up that makes us rich.” Beecher


Some Things Are Missing
Bill Brinkworth

“And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims: 8 For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above. … 10 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.” II Chronicles 5:7-10

After worshipping God in the tent tabernacle Moses had built while Israel lived in the wilderness,  King David desired to create a permanent place for God.  Because of David’s past, God would not let him construct it, but He would let his son, Solomon, build it.

After the ornate temple was completed, Solomon moved in many of the objects needed for worship.  One of the most prized and important was the Ark of the Covenant.  The ark and its “Mercy Seat” lid were where God would sit.

When placed in the wilderness tabernacle, the ark contained reminders of what God had done for Israel.  Inside the golden chest was originally the stone, ten commandments God had Moses inscribe, a pot containing miraculously provided manna as a reminder of how God fed Israel, and Aaron’s budding rod that God used to prove who He was.

Because of Israel’s sin, they lost control of the Ark several times to the enemy.  Although God’s people eventually got the Ark back, some reminders of God’s miraculous interventions were missing from the chest. When it finally was put in the new temple, many of those memories were lost.  All that remained inside was the copy of the Ten Commandments.

Many Christians start similarly.  After they are saved from eternal punishment for their sins, God fills their life with new, precious proofs and reminders of His goodness to them.  They were “new creatures” (II Cor. 5:17), just as God promised He would make of them if they would trust and follow His commandments.

However, missteps, mistakes, and sin often take away the remembrances of what God had done for many. One treasured memory after another is forgotten and lost as the child of God falls further from obedience to God’s commandments. 

Soon little remains of the encouraging presence of God they once experienced and were joyful over.  Their joy has been robbed by less important “priorities.” Worldly things become more important than obeying and serving the Lord.

Christian, do not allow your real treasures to be lost! Do not let temptations and iniquity steal the joy and usefulness God desires you to have. What God has done and will do in your life is more valuable than the temporary things this world may offer.  Guard what He has given and is doing with you by staying far away from sin and disobedience.

The Bible View #844 — Coveting

In This Issue:
Not What I Got
Always Looking Down
Never Enough
When I Met Jesus

Volume: 844      January 31, 2022
Theme: Coveting

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Not What I Got
Bill Brinkworth

Although there are crimes and harm done against many, few see the root cause of much wrong-doing.  The sin of coveting, or not being content with what one has, rears its ugly scowl daily.  It is often the driving force in:

  • Adultery — Someone is not happy with their choice of spouse and lusts for another’s mate.
  • Arguments – Sometimes, folks are not content with others’ opinions of them, so they squabble to raise impressions of themselves by displaying a different intellect or personality.
  • Cheating – one wants grades they do not have without working for them.
  • Lies – to make others think better of them, countless lies have been told.
  • Murders — Many have been killed for another’s possessions.
  • Robberies — someone wanted something he did not have but would not work for it.
  • Sexual crimes are committed to get one what they do not have without waiting for the right mate or to get the power over a person.
  • Taxes – To get others’ money from them without working for it, countless millions have been unfairly taxed.
  • Shopping sprees — Many boast their favorite pastime is “shopping.” However, it is often an exercise showing they are not content with what they have and lust for “more.”  They are rarely satisfied.
  • Wars — Many wars have been started so others could get what another country had.
  • The list could go of activities and problems spurred on by the sin of coveting.

Coveting is sin no matter what is desired, be it money, fame, possessions, clothing, toys, houses, bicycles, or education.  It is the breaking of God’s commandment.
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” Ex 20:17   Also: Deuteronomy 5:21, Romans 13:9.

Although the grievous grasp from coveting has always been a tempter, it is most enticing today.  Advertising works very hard to magnify one’s discontent with what they have so that people will purchase the newest item.  The television industry is funded by ads feeding on man’s weakness of wanting more.  Stores line most streets displaying wares that are “new and improved.” On and on, the temptations lure, pulling one toward this “tolerated” iniquity.

Like any other sin, coveting is not acceptable in God’s eyes.  He wants us far from this sin, not because He wants to deny our having the pleasures of life, but because they often lead to an unsustainable appetite and lust that can never be satisfied.  That is why God commands us to abstain from it.

The only way to achieve victory over covetousness is to first admit that it is a sin.  God wants us humbly to admit our short-comings and disobedience to Him.  Committing that iniquity indirectly says that we are not happy with what God has allowed us to have.

Be content with what you have, and you will be happier.  Be genuinely thankful for what you have and thank the Lord for His allowing you to get it.  Perhaps this is why the Scripture has far more verses on being thankful and giving praise than it does on getting the things of this world.

Sometimes new things are needed, and God certainly does not want us to live in purposeful poverty when He can provide plentifully for our needs.  However, He does not want us to be led by lust.  Be content with what you have.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11
“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” I Timothy 6:8
“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

Also, read the article “Never Satisfied”: https://openthoumineeyes.com/articles/neversatisfied.html.

“The man who covets is always poor.” — Claudian


Always Looking Down
Dr. Jeffers

 A young man once picked up a coin lying in the road.  Afterward, in walking along, he kept his eyes fixed steadily upon the ground hoping to find another.  During a long life, he picked up, at different times, a goodly number of coins — gold, and silver.

After all those years, while he was looking for them, he saw not that the heavens were bright above him and nature beautiful around him.  He never once allowed his eyes to look up from the mud and filth in which he sought his treasure.  When he died, a rich old man, he only knew this fair Earth as a dirty road to pick up money as he walked along.

“Though the home is a palace, yet to a discontented mind, it is a prison.”  — Henry


Never Enough
Edited from an article by Chrysostom

He that is greedy for gain will never be satisfied in his desires.  That person will not be content.  It is impossible to get all men’s goods, and whatever he may have gained, he will count himself to have “not enough.”

The one that is content and happy with what he has been allowed to have will not have to punish his soul with endless desires and lust.  I say “punish” because nothing so thoroughly answers the definition of punishment as a desire deprived of gratification.

He who lusts after riches and has increased his store is often the sort of person who feels as if he has nothing.  I ask, what is more complicated than this “disease”?  What a strange thing it is, though he has much, he is not satisfied with the riches in his hold.

If he even could get all men’s goods, his pain would be greater.  Should he gain a hundred dollars, he would be vexed that he had not received a thousand.  If he received a thousand, he would be grieved he had not ten thousand.  The more he receives, the more he desires.  So, the more he receives, the more he becomes poor since whoso desires more is more truly poor.

“Those that will not be content with their allotments shall not have the comfort of their achievements.”   — Henry


When I Met Jesus
Harry Todd

I was seeking real contentment.
In this world of sin and strife;
All the things it had to offer
Never satisfied my life.

I thought that fame and fortune
Soon would bring me happiness,
But it only left me hopeless,
Full of heartache and distress.

In this life, I was unhappy
And it left me in despair,
So I blamed the God in Heaven
For He didn’t treat me fair.

But the God I had rejected
Showed His love so pure and true;
He reached down one day and saved me,
And He gave me a life a-new.

I now have real contentment
In this world of sin and strife;
When I met my Saviour, Jesus,
He satisfied my life.

So, if your life is empty,
Then you need Jesus too;
He changed my life completely;
He will do the same for you.

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.”
— Seneca

The Bible View #831 — Decisions

In This Issue:
Decisions and Their Cost
Spurgeon’s Right Decision
Nothing Less Than the Best
At His Mercy
How Livingston Took a Criticism

Volume: 831    October 11, 2021
Theme: Decisions

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Decisions and Their Cost
Bill Brinkworth

What makes the difference between a strong Christian and a weak one?  Much of the time, it is a Christian making the right decisions, sticking with convictions, and, as a result, growing spiritually.

The pastor of a church usually made the right decision in his life.  He had to make the right choice of going to church, attending Sunday school, not working on Wednesday night so he could attend services, reading his Bible, and daily praying.  After showing himself faithful with what God wanted him to do, God knew He could trust the man with further tasks. 

Somewhere in that man’s life, God spoke to him about full-time service and serving the Lord.  The man not only heard His call, but obeyed the summons and sacrificed whatever it took to please the Lord.  He, too, may have been tempted financially to work another job rather than trust God with what little he earned, so he would be available to preach and pastor. The right decisions were made.

One of the most spiritual people you know most likely also came to similar decisions in their life and chose the right, godly direction.  Few wake up one morning and say, “I will be spiritual today from now on,” and it instantly happens.  One’s faith and obedience to God grows as testings strengthen that person.

Most likely, the person had a choice of prosperity and a tempting opportunity, but chose the direction of serving and living for God.  No matter the cost or how their life would deviate from their desires, they made the right choice that they would not regret.

Perhaps the one seeking to serve the Lord faced medical trials where he put his faith in God above physical limitations. Maybe ridicule of family or friends about his faithfulness to the things of God was an obstacle that had to be battled.

However, the right decisions were made, showing the Lord that He was more important to what this temporary world offered.  Faith and obedience to God grew as the right choices were made through each trial and tribulation that was faced.

Sunday school teachers had to make the right decisions.  Sometime in their lives, the burden of teaching others became so important to them that the service to God as a teacher was more valuable than their own free time.  Their teaching ministry became more precious to them than their attending a football game during their study hours.  It became more precious to them than the money they had to give up to buy study material or treats for their class. Because of paying the right price their decision required, they were entrusted to be in the position they are today to be a blessing for the cause of Christ.

The faithful members of a church also made the right decisions.  They could have easily missed church, stayed home, and watched television.  However, the hearing of the Word of God and their edification in the things of God became more essential than other pleasures.

No one would have missed the church attendees if they had gone to another church because of hurt feelings.  Still, the urgency God gave them to join, take part, and attend His local assembly of believers was so needful to them that they made the right decisions not to miss services.

On and on the list could go of people who did without or did what was not convenient for them to do to please and obey God.  Obedience was most important to them.  Unfortunately, they are the minority in the body of Christ.  Too many do not have their priorities the same as the above examples.  Something in their lives became more important than God and obedience to Him.

Perhaps it was the first step after they were saved that was not crucial to them.  The young Christian also received the heart-tug to be baptized, start praying, or daily read their Bible, but something was more important to them than obedience. 

Maybe the fear of what others would think if they became “religious” scared them away from obedience to the Lord.  Possibly, they may have chosen not to sacrifice driving to church to hear the Gospel because an extra hour of sleep was more important to them.  They had the same amount of time as those previously described who obeyed and live for God.  However, they hoarded that time for themselves and decided not to make God a priority in their life.

Some may have started out making the right spiritual decisions. They may have been convicted about something God wanted them to change or do, but chose not to.  Their wrong decision to not obey the leadership of God was a blunt “No” in God’s ears. That refusal cost them further help from God.  What would be the sense of the Lord telling them other things to do if they were not doing what the Lord had already shown them to do?  Because of that wrong decision, the rest of their lives may be spent far from God, with only their self-interests being served and not God’s.

Eventually, they may find themselves far away from hearing the whisper of God’s calling in their lives.  They may still attend church, but the preacher’s words do nothing to stir them anymore. Their hardened hearts make them “used-to-be’s” or “once-I-was-gonna’s,” and now they sit and do not serve. They had the same opportunities to obey and serve as did others, but they chose the temporal rather than that which would please God and allow Him to work in their lives.  They, unfortunately, made the wrong decisions.

If you have to sadly admit you have made the wrong decisions in the past, it may not be too late to make the correct choice.  God is a second, third, or even a hundred chance God. Just the fact that you have a conviction about making wrong choices is a light showing that your heart is not completely hardened — yet.  There may still be an opportunity to make the right choices and serve God today.  Doing it tomorrow will be the wrong decision.  Saying “Yes” to God’s commandment that rings in your heart will be the right one. Decide and obey now!

“Obedience to God is the most infallible evidence of sincere and supreme love to Him.”   — Emmons



Spurgeon’s Right Decision
Good News Broadcaster

Years before the death of Spurgeon, an American lecture bureau tried to engage him to come to America and deliver fifty lectures in all the large cities of the country.  As compensation, the bureau offered to pay all of Mr. Spurgeon’s costs and the expenses of his wife and his private secretary to come with him until they returned. In addition, they would pay $1,000 per night for each of his fifty lectures. 

Mr. Spurgeon promptly declined this tempting offer to make $50,000 in fifty days, saying, “I can do better. I will stay in London and try to save fifty souls.” No wonder he succeeded so marvelously in winning souls!  No wonder that at his death, over 12,000 converts rose to bless his memory and thank God that Spurgeon ever lived!

“If you don’t walk with God, you’re walking in the wrong direction.” 



Nothing Less Than the Best
Sunday School Times

Before the 1939-45 war, a school for the children of “untouchables” in India received a shipment of Christmas presents from English children each year.  Each girl received a doll, “whose clothes took off and on,” and each boy received a toy. 

One year, Doctor Sahib from a nearby mission hospital came to distribute the presents. He told the children about a village not far away, where the children had never heard of Jesus or Christmas and suggested that they might each give one of their old toys to be taken to those children.

They readily agreed, and he came the following Sunday to receive them.  The boys and girls filed past him and handed a doll or a toy each.  It was the new presents that they gave.  When asked why, a girl said, “Think what Jesus gave for us, and what He has done for us.  Could we give Him less than our best?”



At His Mercy
Heart and Life Bulletin

George Atley, a young Englishman with the heart of a hero, was engaged in the Central African Mission. A party of natives attacked him.  He had with him a Winchester repeating rifle with ten loaded bullets in the chamber. He could have killed them all. The party was entirely at his mercy.

Calmly and quickly, the missionary summed up the situation.  He concluded killing them would do the mission more harm than if he allowed them to take his life.  So, like a lamb to the slaughter, he did not fight back. When his body was found in the stream, his rifle was also found with its ten rounds still loaded. Soul future destinies were more important than his own life.

“… and if we obey God, we must disobey ourselves …”  Herman Melville



How Livingston Took a Criticism
Dr. Peloubet

Misjudged by a fellow missionary, Dr. Livingstone gave up his house and garden at Mabosta with all the toil and money they had cost him.  He did so rather than have any scandal before the heathen and began in a new place, building a new house, school building, and gathering the people around him. 

His colleague was so struck with his generosity that he said had he known Livingston’s intention, he would never have spoken a word against him.  Parting with his garden cost him a great pang.  “I like a garden,” he wrote, “but Paradise will make amends for all our privations here.”

Jesus Christ sacrificed also.  He gave His life on the cross so that we could live eternally.