The Bible View #826 — Christianity’s Opposition

In This Issue:
 Because What They Saw and Heard
Why Christianity Is Opposed
Not Recognized
It’s Love, Not Hate

Volume: 826    September 6, 2021
Theme: Christianity’s Opposition

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/.

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Because What They Saw and Heard
Bill Brinkworth

“Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. 7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.” Psalm 47:6-7

Much of the world has developed a disdain for Christianity.  Looking at Christians the way the unsaved may see them, they may have a reason to believe as they do.

The lost see people who tout the name of Christ but see little difference between themselves and the supposedly “godly” people.  They hear Christ-followers ridicule their church leaders, catch them complaining, question and doubt God’s Word, and violate principles it teaches.  Unsaved people see believers live a life that is much like their own.

The unsaved world see poor Christian examples.  Dishonesty and perversion of church leaders are in media headlines. The lost often see the children of God begging for money and sometimes doing dishonest things to get it.  They hear of the sin the “godly” commit and observe the disunity between bickering believers. No wonder reproach is upon the name “Christian.”

Unsaved people seldom hear God being given credit for the blessings He pours out on His people.  Infrequently have they seen what they recognize as a genuine love for the Lord. Rarely have they heard how a converted sinner’s life was remarkably changed to produce an outstanding member of society. Few have heard of God’s answering prayers and the “impossible” miracles only His intervention could have caused.

Most of us can take some blame for their observations.  We have not done as the psalmist’s hymn in Psalm 47 encourages. We have not shown our excitement of being a child of God (“… O clap your hands…) — Psalm 47:1.  Instead, those people see the pooched lips and sad countenances of ungrateful believers.

The lost world needs to hear more from God’s children of all the wonderful things He does in their lives.  It would change their attitudes and beliefs if others heard of our answered prayers, deliverance from dangers, fulfilled prayer requests, and His leadership in our lives.  They need to listen to us “sing” His praises (Psalm 47:6-7).  If we are verbal about what God is doing, He will be real to them because His goodness and greatness have been praised and recognized.

God is not dead!  He is alive and working in lives.  I talked to Him today and daily see what He has done in my life and others!  The world needs to know that they are missing the biggest blessing of their lives without Him.  They will then know their loss if believers praise Him for His goodness.

“As a lost person, my tongue was quick with foul language. After being saved for a short time, God convicted me of my poor testimony for Him in that area.  I purposed to replace curses with praises to Him. I may not be much, but daily do those around me hear me praising His name and accrediting His wonderful works in my life!  He is worthy to be praised!” — B. B.



Why Christianity Is Opposed
Bill Brinkworth

There has always been animosity for those that live a lifestyle in accordance with the Bible. It is the same disdain that had Christ nailed to the cross. This resentment towards Christianity is undoubtedly alive and doing terribly today.  Ill feelings are particularly shown against Christians attempting to obey the Bible to the best of their ability.

True biblical Christianity does not, nor has it ever been a physical threat. Do not dare say Christianity has killed many.  It was certain false religions, not true believers, that committed those atrocities. 

Christianity has always improved nations, converted the sinner into a contributing member of society, given to worthy causes, helped the unfortunate, and done many other positive things.   Then why are so many voicing disdain against Christianity?  Here is a brief examination as to why many oppose Christians and Christianity:

They may hate God.  It may never be said from their lips, but that is often the root of why they are against Christianity.  They cannot attack God, so they strike out against Christians, seen as the next closest thing.
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” John 15:18 Also: I John 3:13.

They may have guilt from their sin.  Many deal with this guilt in different ways.  Instead of stopping their iniquities, some turn their hearts against the one that showed them their actions were biblically wrong. One that is living the proper, (most naturally know in their heart what is right and wrong) godly life often heightens their guilt just by another’s biblical lifestyle. They resent any light that is put on their sin.
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved..”  John 3:19-20

They are on the enemy’s side. There are two sides: God’s and Satan’s.  People may be against the things of God because they are against God and for Satan.
“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44  Jesus was speaking to “religious” leaders.

There is a spiritual battle raging, so expect skirmishes:
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

They see hypocrisy. The unsaved, much of the time, have expectations of how a Christian should act.  When they see the professing Christian not practicing what is preached or living the way expected, bitterness can be built against Christianity.

One of the most destructive forces to the cause of Christ is the liberal church movement.  They have removed much of the credibility, godliness, and character from Jesus’ church. The unsaved world clearly sees their hypocrisy and disobedience. We are to be an example for the cause of Christ in how we live our lives. Be different and be a godly light in this sin darkened world.
 “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”  Matthew 15:7-9

“It is better to incur the world’s hatred by testifying against its wickedness than gain its goodwill by going down the stream with it.”  — Henry



Not Recognized
Missionary Baptist News

A story is told of a North Carolina preacher who lived when traveling preachers were entertained at hotels for free.  A particular preacher put up at a hotel for a few days, where the host most hospitably entertained him, but as he was leaving, he was surprised to be presented with a bill.

“Why?” he said, “I thought preachers were entertained free.”

“Well,” said the innkeeper, “you came and ate your meals without asking the blessing; no one has ever seen you with a Bible; you smoked big cigars while you were here, and you talked about everything but religion.  Pray, how were we to know that you were a preacher?  You have lived like a sinner, so now you will have to pay with the sinners.”

“A hypocrite is a fellow who isn’t himself on Sundays!”



It’s Love, Not Hate
Bill Brinkworth

The Bible defines true morality.  However, if one points out that the Word of God says lying, stealing, adultery, homosexuality, etc., are wrong and sinful, the messenger is labeled a “hater.”  The source of the authority for labeling the iniquity, the Bible, is then ignored. 

The word “hate” has become a defensive word that many use to silence anyone they do not like, understand, or with which they agree.  Once the messenger of morality or a difference of opinion is branded hateful, many believe they are justified in ignoring all that the person says, even truth.

The attack now is often on the credibility of anyone that supports biblical morality or opposes the popular mob-rule thinking, so their message can be ignored. Often those stating what the Bible says are ridiculed and even criticized.

All know that when something improper or incorrect in another’s life is pointed out, it will not be received well. So why would a person still point out another’s immorality?

In many cases, it is love for the person and what can happen if they continue in immorality or wrongdoing, not hate.  Love and concern are why most parents, teachers, friends, and neighbors endure the negative feelings and comments they may receive and rebuke those doing wrong things.

It is the sin of abortion that terminates the life of an unborn baby.  It should be spoken against.

Alcohol and drugs can kill people and destroy lives.  Their use should be rebuked. 

Lying costs people’s trust and destroys relationships.  It should be disdained.

Gambling often costs people all they have earned and destroys their families over the ensuing financial ruin. It should be spoken against.

Adultery destroys families, and innocent children have their lives changed because of another’s sin.  Unfaithfulness to a spouse should also be hated, along with other sins that always hurt lives.

Toleration of wrongdoing and sin will not stop iniquities havoc; it will only allow it to continue. It is not love that is silent while people suffer or do things that will hurt them. It is indifference and often hate. It is love that often causes people to warn others of immorality, no matter the cost.

In Christianity, it is the relation of the soul to God that is important, not the relation of man to his fellow man.”  — Russell

The Bible View #821 — Aging

In This Issue:
Your Race Is Not Finished!
Old Age Did Not Stop Him
The Right Side Is the Brighter Side
Eternal Springtime!

Volume: 821    August 2, 2021
Theme: Aging

D aily 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.


Your Race Is Not Finished!
Bill Brinkworth

Preachers often have messages geared to encourage young people to live for and serve God.  They should.  They are our future.  However, little encouragement is directed to us older folks.

Because of health issues, physical limitations, changes in personal situations, or lack of opportunity, many no longer can do what they “used to do.”  Those doors of service have been closed, BUT God has not given us a free retirement pass. We do not have God’s okay to watch from the sidelines and let others do the work, in most cases.

We may have done much for the Lord when we were younger. Some may have taught Sunday school.  Others may have gone soul-winning, worked on church buses bringing children to church, interpreted for the deaf or those speaking in another language, brought folks to church in their car, cooked for those that were old or sick, and many other ministries.  We may no longer be able to do those things, however, the Lord is not done with us yet.  We can still do something for Him!

There is still much to do, and experienced believers are needed more now than ever!  There may be limitations on what they can do, but all can still serve the Lord in some capacity!

Pray and ask God to open your eyes to see what you can still do for His glory!  Perhaps you can:

  • Let all see and hear of what God is doing around them. Most are focused on their troubles and needs and cannot see God working around them.  A seasoned believer can open eyes to see that there is a God, and He is still working in the world.
    “Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” Psalm 150:6
  • Be a friendly smile to all you encounter.  Most encounter doom and gloom most of their days.  An uplifting, caring person is a light in an ever-darkening world.  A Christian should have joy they can share.
  • Prayer ministry. Adopt a ministry or person to pray for consistently.  Engulf the throne room of God with petitions on their behalf.
  • Card ministry.  Perhaps you no longer have the mobile ability you once had.  However, you can “visit” those that need encouragement and show friendly concern by sending cards or letters.

    I once knew a young, disabled woman that had a burden to serve the Lord.  Prayerfully, she selected a “random” person from the phone book and wrote them a letter telling them about the Lord and how they could have God’s promise of Heaven.  She ministered without leaving her apartment.
  • Phone ministry.  An entire world can be reached with one’s phone.
  • Encourage all, especially ministry workers.  Remember how one’s inspiring words uplifted you to continue living for and serving the Lord?  Now it is your opportunity to motivate others in a godly direction.
    “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.” I Peter 4:11
  • Give to the younger folks.  Remember when you struggled financially and how a simple gift showed you the hand of God was meeting your needs?  Now you can be used by God to reveal His goodness in another’s life.
  • Ride the church bus and encourage the bus workers and befriend children.
  • Have a listening ministry! Although an experienced Christian has more wisdom that would benefit others, sometimes it can be more helpful to sit quietly and listen to others bare their burdens and hardships.
  • Minister to widows, single parents, and those that may have little support from others.  Everyone needs a caring friend!
  • Write letters-to-the-editor in your local newspaper.  The Christian side and thinking of current events needs to be heard.  Seldom does the world hear anything but the worldly side of a situation.  If a Christian does not share God’s view on events, who will?  Bible-based thinking is far different from what the ungodly have been taught.  They need to hear it from believers.

There is still much that all Christians can do.  While we have breath, there is something for which God can use us.  God’s way is always the best, and the unsaved and spiritually weak will not know of it unless they hear or see it from a believer. 
“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,” Hebrews 12:1

Christian, God is not done with you yet.  Do not mourn over what you no longer can do.  You can still be the spark that encourages others forward to serving and seeing God’s mighty hand.  Continue to serve Him while you still can!
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31

“That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.  3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;”  Titus 2:2-3



Old Age Did Not Stop Him
Watchman-Examiner

Though a man always of delicate constitution physically, George Muller began evangelistic tours at seventy.  For 17 years, he traveled around the world eight times. He continued many of his responsibilities at the large orphanages he founded.  Mr. Muller did all that beyond the age of ninety.

His frequent and severe illness and general disability had disqualified him from military duty as a young man. Many prophesied early death or hopelessly succumbing to a disease for him. Yet at 92, he said. “I have been able, every day and all the day, for the last 70 years to work. 

He ascribed his marvelous preservation and accomplishments to three causes:

  1. Exercising himself to have always a conscience void of offense, both toward God and toward men.
  2. For the love he felt for the scriptures and the constant recuperative power they exercised upon his whole being.
  3. The happiness he felt in serving God and His work relieved him of all anxiety and unnecessary wear and tear in his labors.

“Age doesn’t matter unless you are cheese.” — Burke


The Right Side Is the Brighter Side
Sunday School Times

A preacher was in the company of another traveler.  They talked together for some time. Finally, the stranger remarked to the minister, “Sir, I think you must be on the wrong side of fifty.”

“No, sir.  I am on the right side of fifty.”

“Surely,” the traveler remarked, “you must have turned fifty.”

“Yes, sir, but on the right side.  For every year I live, I am nearer my crown of glory.”

“The harvest of old age is the memory and rich store of blessings laid up earlier in life.” —  Cicero


Eternal Springtime!
Adam Clark

I have passed through the springtime of life,
I have endured the heat of its summer,
I have culled the fruits of its autumn,
I am now passing through the rigors of its winter.
At no distant day, I see the dawn of an Eternal Springtime,
It comes to meet me.  I run to embrace it.  All hail!
Eternal Springtime!  Hallelujah!

“What a tragedy it will be to live many years, but open one’s eyes in the next life and discover it Hell.  Now, while you still have breath, be saved by trusting Christ as your Saviour!”
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that G
od hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9

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 #816 — Forgiven

In This Issue:
Purged
Remember, You Are Forgiven!
Forgiveness
Moody’s Mother’s Forgiveness

Volume: 816    June 28, 2021
Theme: Forgiven

Purged
Bill Brinkworth

“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his [God’s] Son [Jesus], whom he hath appointed heir of all things, . . . when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” Heb. 1:2-3

The Apostle Paul starts his letter to the Hebrews by bragging about Jesus.  Although much is pointed out about our Saviour, one little word is easily skipped. That word is “purged.” The term explains why anyone can go to Heaven and why they can have a peaceful life.

Noah Webster defines “purge” as “to cleanse or purify by separating and carrying off whatever is impure.” When one accepts Jesus’ death on the Cross as payment for all his sins, he is purified of the one dirty thing that keeps all out of Heaven. He is purified from all the iniquities he has committed and the ones he will do in the future. His sins were all carried off by Jesus when He died.

Mr. Webster further defined “purge” as clearing “from guilt or moral defilement.” When Jesus’ finished work at Calvary is accepted to cover one’s transgressions, he is relieved from any shame his sin can bring him.

Many have been saved and know God has forgiven and forgotten past sins, but they still hang on to guilty thoughts of what they have done.  Paul has told us there is no need to have any guilt.  Since God has forgiven us, we must forgive ourselves. 

A Christian is purged! All our sins are carried away.  We do not have to continue in them, and we certainly do not need to dwell on what God has forgiven.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12


Remember, You Are Forgiven!
Bill Brinkworth

When we are saved, our whole life should change. We are forgiven, and our sins are forgotten. Our old ways are dead and hidden (Colossians 3:3), as far as God is concerned. We are to bring our bodies under subjection (“mortify” – Col. 3:5). No longer are we to let sin control our lives (Col. 3:5-10). We should put our “old man,” what we used to do and be, far away from us.

We are new creatures in Christ (II Cor. 5:17) and have a fresh start.  We have a “new man” (Col. 3:10) that we should put on and strive, with God’s goodness and help, to “wear” well!  Our new attitudes and actions should try to be:

  • Holy and dear to God’s heart (Col. 3:12).
  • Merciful to others, as we have received much mercy from God (Col. 3:12).
  • Kind  (Col. 3:12).
  • Humble  (Col. 3:12).
  • Meek  (Col. 3:12).
  • Longsuffering (Col. 3:12).
  • Willing to put up with what others do to us repeatedly  (“forbearing” – Col. 3:13).
  • Forgive what others do to us and others.  God certainly has forgiven us thousands of times.  Why cannot we forgive those that have wronged or offended us (Col. 3:13)?
  • Loving and caring to all — unconditionally (Col. 3:14)!
  • Peaceful to one another (Col. 3:15).
  • Thankful (Col. 3:15, 17).
  • Ruled and guided by God’s Word (Col. 3:16).
  • Submissive to authorities, God says are over us (Col. 3:18-22).

It would be impossible to do all God has told us to do, as new creatures in Christ, and not be happy and content. However, it is when we allow the “old man” to be temporarily resurrected that we have our problems. When our old ways return, they rob us of the peace and joy that should be ours. Has the “old you” gained control in your life again?  Ask the Lord to forgive you and help you regain what is yours!

Feed the ‘new man,’ the spiritual you, and he will grow stronger every day.  Do not feed the ‘new man,’ and he will suffer from spiritual malnutrition.


Forgiveness
Edmonsan, 1871

When on the fragrant sandal tree
The woodman’s ax descends,
And she who bloomed so beauteously.
Beneath the weapon bends,
E’en on the edge that wrought her death,
Dying, she breathes her sweetest breath,
As if to token in her fall
Peace to her foes, and love to all.

How hardly man this lesson learns,
To smile, and bless the hand that spurns;
To see the blow, to feel the pain,
And render only love again!
One had it — be He came from Heaven,
Reviled, rejected, and betrayed;
No curse He breathed; no plaint He made,
But when in death’s dark pang, He sighed,
Prayed for His murderers and died.

“The habit of judging and condemning others is usually a great deal more serious blemish than are the things we so glibly point out as flaws or faults.” Author Unknown


Moody’s Mother’s Forgiveness

D. L. Moody

Before I was fourteen years old, the first thing I remember was the death of my father. He had been unfortunate in business and failed. Soon after his death, the creditors came and took everything.

My mother was left with a large family of children. One calamity after another swept over the household. Twins were added to the family, and my mother was taken sick.

The eldest boy was fifteen years of age.  Mother looked to him as a stay in her calamity, but all at once, he became a wanderer. He had been reading some of the trashy novels, and the belief had seized him that he had only to go away to make a fortune.

Away he went. I can remember how eagerly mother used to look for tidings of that boy. She used to send us to the post office to see if there was a letter from him.  I recollect how we used to come back with the sad news, “No letter.”

I remember how in the evenings, we used to sit beside her in that New England home. We would talk about our father, but the moment the boy’s name was mentioned, she would hush us into silence. Some nights when the wind was strong, and the house would tremble at every gust, mother’s voice was raised in prayer for that wanderer who had treated her so unkindly. I used to think she loved him more than all the rest of us put together, and I believe she did.

On Thanksgiving Day, she used to set a chair for him, thinking he would return home. Her family grew up, and her other boys left home.

When I got so that I could write, I sent letters all over the country but could find no trace of him.  While in Boston, I remember how I used to look for him in every store.  I looked amongst people for anyone who had a mark on their face, as my brother had.  I never found him.

One day while my mother was sitting at the door, a stranger was seen coming toward the house, and when he came to the door, he stopped. My mother did not know her boy. He stood there with folded arms and a great beard flowing down to his breast.  His tears trickled down his face.

When my mother saw those tears, she cried, “Oh, it’s my lost son,” and implored him to come in. He stood still.

“No, mother,” he said, “I will not come in until I hear first you have forgiven me.”

Do you believe she was not willing to forgive him? Do you think she was likely to keep him standing there? Instead, she rushed to the threshold and threw her arms around him, and breathed forgiveness.

Ah, sinner, if you but ask God to be merciful to you, you can ask Him for forgiveness. Although your life may have been in sin, ask Him for mercy, and He will not keep you waiting long for an answer. He is looking and waiting for you!

“It is vain for you to expect, and it is imprudent for you to ask of God forgiveness on your behalf if you refuse to exercise this forgiving temper to others.” — Hoadley

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 #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.

The Bible View #806 — Christian Living

In This Issue:
The Flesh Is Alive and Kicking
Other Verses about Our Flesh’s Weakness
A Blessing or A Curse
Stand Up And Tell Them

Volume: 806    April 19, 2021
Theme: Christian Living

The Flesh Is Alive And Kicking
Bill Brinkworth

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” Romans 7:15-20

On one early winter day, I cut down many small trees and brush hoping to build a new garden there in the future. My friend and I stacked them in a large pile to burn later.

Three months later, I burned that well-dried pile of brush and trees. As I was feeding the “dead” cut limbs into the fire, I noticed something very unusual.  Most of the old foliage, except the pines, had sprouted buds, and in some cases, little wisps of green leaves were showing.  I thought they were dead even before they were cut down, but there was still life in those old limbs. The plants must have been feeding off stored sugars in their branches, even though they were long severed from their roots.

This curiosity reminds me of the dilemma that most Christians battle their entire life. They may have accepted Christ as their Saviour and even repented of most of their sins, but every once in a while, their old sinful habits, thoughts, and actions rear their ugly heads.

We may be saved from the wages of our sins and are forgiven by our Creator, but we still have the same flesh with which we were born. Our flesh still would like to sin. If we do not keep a tight rein on it, it will certainly take back its control and do what it wants, rather than what the indwelling Spirit of God desires us to do.

It is a battle that we all face. When we least expect it, our old life can pop up and try to grow.  That is why those saved and serving God for a long time can fall as quickly as those saved for a shorter time. If sin creeps in, anyone can fall.  Temptation or sin allows the old ways to attempt to flourish in our lives again.  The “old man” (Rom. 6:6) in us will come back to life if we let him.

With God’s help, we can avoid many temptations by obeying His commandments, having a regular prayer life, and feeding daily on the Word of God.  It is possible to limit the damage done by our old sinful nature. Being stronger spiritually is the only way to keep one of our main enemies, our flesh, under subjection.

We can be victorious in living the way the Lord desires. He would not command us to do something that is not possible. Our old, sinful nature does not have to be fed. Make the right spiritual decisions.  Do not give in to the flesh’s desires. Be obedient to the Spirit’s calling, not the flesh’s weaknesses.
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Mat. 26:41

“If you were perfect, your first name would be Jesus, and you would have holes in your hands!



Other Verses about Our Flesh’s Weakness
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Gen. 6:5
“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” Mat. 12:43-45
“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Mat. 15:19
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Rom. 7:18
“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Philippians 3:3



A Blessing Or A Curse?
Bill Brinkworth

In Deuteronomy, Moses reiterated to Israel some of what God had shown and done for them. He also made it clear to them that as God was with them in the past, He could be with them in their future.  Although the proper context of the following verses was to Israel, there is certainly application to those that are saved (Romans 10:9, John 3:3) today.
“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: 28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.” Deuteronomy 11:26-28

Christians, as well as the people of Moses’ day, can receive a blessing from God. If one hears the commandments of God, be it from the reading of His Word or hearing it, and obeys what one hears, one can have God’s blessing on one’s life.

The choice is up to us what we do with God’s message. Do we get convicted about something as we read the Bible, or get that gnawing guilty feeling when we are reminded of our sin?  Do we obey the Holy Spirit’s reminder to our conscience as a warning from Him and do our best to change our behavior to what is pleasing to our heavenly Father, or do we ignore it? Obeying conviction and doing our best to live a life approved by God is the way to get His blessing on our life.  There may still be trials and difficulties in our lives, but one living for Him can have God’s blessing, protection, and guidance on one’s life.

Unfortunately, too many hear the commandments from God and make wrong choices not to obey what they have been told to do. Excuses for not heeding the Holy Spirit’s tugging on our hearts can creep in and justify our not following what we are told.

It is easy to be convicted of our lying lips, but quickly write it off to, “Well, I had to lie, or I would have gotten in trouble.” A temptation to justify not going to church because of work or “being too tired from a week’s work” hardens one’s conscience, so it is easier to ignore what God’s Word instructs us to do.  Refusing to tithe because “I hardly have enough to live on, let alone give to the cause of Christ” is one more act of disobedience that can bring God’s curse on your life or even His not helping and protecting you.

All Christians have similar opportunities to obey or disobey the still, quiet, convicting voice of God. The difference between a flourishing, growing Christian and a stagnant, disobedient Christian is that the one growing is the one that said “Yes” to what they were convicted of and did their best to obey.  The one that may be “cursed” or have God’s helping and guiding hand removed from his life may be the one that ignored what he was told or shown to do by the convicting Holy Spirit.

Are you receiving the blessing of God on your life because of your obedience, or are you suffering because God’s hand is not guiding and helping you in your life? The choice is up to you.  Whom do you choose to obey: God or your own will?

“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 24:15



Stand Up and Tell Them
Bill Brinkworth

Continuing from Acts 6, it is read in Acts 7 that religious Jews and their leaders persecuted Stephen. He turned their time of questioning him into an opportunity to preach to them.

He started by preaching a condensed history of the Jews. I am sure all who were listening agreed with him as Stephen gave a synopsis of their Jewish past, starting with Abraham. Heads may have been nodding as he progressed through the experiences of Joseph, Moses, and David. All must have agreed as he spoke of David and Solomon.

Then Stephen’s history lesson ceased, and he got to the reason for his reviewing the great prophets and leaders of the Jews. Stephen reminded them that the Jews had persecuted all the past prophets (Acts 7:51-52) and, because of their hardened hearts, were not even obeying the law they were given. I can imagine for a brief minute, heads stopped nodding, and a silence came over the crowd.

After that brief, silent second, anger burst out of every person in the room. “Who does Stephen think he is accusing us of being disobedient to the law?” certainly had to be the majority attitude. Shouting ensued. Hands went over their ears in a vain attempt to keep them from hearing any more of Stephen’s accusations.

The mob grabbed Stephen and took him outside the city, and stoned him to death. As their anger at the preacher caused them to hurl rocks at the man, they saw a scene they did not expect. They saw Stephen kneel, ask the Lord not to lay this sin to the murderers’ charges, and saw the man fall asleep peacefully!

Knowing what he said would anger and certainly would rile this crowd, Stephen selflessly preached the truth, no matter what their reaction and the cost to him. Stephen knew what they had done to Jesus for preaching the truth. He most likely knew how they would react to what he was telling them, but he spoke the truth no matter what.

If we had more preachers like Stephen today that would be more interested in telling the truth, no matter the reaction, our churches would be much different. The country would not be the same.

If we had more Christians that would also adopt a similar attitude and would say what needs to be said, rather than what is safe to say, Christianity would certainly have more influence in this world than it has. The truth can set a world free from the bondage of sin and godlessness.

The Bible View #801 — Temptation

WWW.OpenThouMineEyes.com
In This Issue:

Have You Been Seduced?
Vexed by Ungodliness
Keeping A Distance from Temptations

Volume: 801    March 15, 2021
Theme: Temptation

Have You Been Seduced?
Bill Brinkworth

Many of the problems early churches faced are very much a concern today. Those ministries had to deal with many that departed from the faith and followed “seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (Timothy 4:1). Being this is the “latter times” Paul spoke of, this problem is very real today.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” I Timothy 4:1

People, then and now claim to be Christians. They may be; they may not be. At first, many make a profession of salvation and start doing something for the Lord. Too often it is not long, before they are nowhere to be found.

Why did they wander away from trying to live for the Lord? They may not have been saved and were only going through “religious” motions. If they were truly saved, they are still children of God, but they may have been “seduced” by demonic spirits.

Perhaps those spirits caused their feelings to be hurt or offended their pride. People may have faced an overwhelming temptation and succumbed to it. There are thousands of ways a person can be trapped into running in the opposite direction of obeying God.

Satan and his devils cannot get anyone unsaved. Still, they certainly can make sure one’s testimony is so destroyed that they are of little use for the cause of Christ. That is one of Satan’s goals, and unfortunately millions have succumbed to his trickery.

None of the reasons a saved person gives for not serving the Lord are legitimate. Nowhere in the Bible is there any reason one should stop living for and obeying God’s commandments. All rationales for not doing what a Christian should are not of God!

“Well, you don’t understand. So-and-so in church said mean things to me, so I’ll not go anymore.” You have been seduced, and a non-holy spirit knew where your weak point was.

“That preacher just doesn’t feed me anymore, so I’m out of there!” You have been seduced, and the wrong spirits are giggling because they “got another one.”

“I’m not reading my Bible anymore. I just don’t get anything out of it.” A deceiving spirit has seduced you.

“If I live like a Christian, everyone will laugh at me.” You have been seduced.

As Ephesians 6 reminds us, there is a spiritual war going on. Satan and his devils try their hardest to seek one “whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8). Be wary in the raging spiritual battle and purpose to always do the will of God — no matter the temptations.



Vexed by Ungodliness
Bill Brinkworth

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13

When given a choice by his Uncle Abraham, Lot chose the choicest of lands to raise his cattle and family (Gen. 13:8-11).  He left Abraham (named Abram at the time) the less appealing land and kept the “best” real estate for himself.

Lot’s selfish pick may have appeared to be the best choice. There was, however, one important matter the nephew did not consider when picking where he would live.  He did not contemplate what his soon-to-be neighbors would be like.  The places he lived near were the twin cities: Sodom and Gomorrah.  Those cities were known for their rampant sin, particularly homosexuality.  It was there that the righteous man, Lot, chose to live.

It was not long before he was involved in the city’s government (Gen. 19:1, 9).  He was not only living among wickedness, but he was involved in the choices made to help the community be managed. Shortly, his constant exposure to godlessness and sin affected Lot. The Bible says that he was “… vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked… in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;” (II Peter 2:7-8). The part of Lot that wanted to live and please the Lord was “irritated, harassed, teased, and disturbed” by the lifestyle he allowed himself and his family to be exposed.

As a Christian, we usually cannot live on top of a mountain, away from the world and all sin.  Most of the time, we have to live around iniquity. It is seen in the workplace, heard on the television, and we can be exposed to its consequences and involvement wherever we go. 

However, if we are not wary of it and do all we can to limit our exposure to iniquity, we too will be “vexed” by sin.  It will wear on us, and if we are not careful, evilness will be commonplace to us.  Seeing or hearing sin will not bother us like it did previously. The spiritual part of us will be desensitized to sin’s evilness.  If we are not careful, we will be involved in it and think it is normal because “everyone is doing it.”

Despite what the unsaved world is doing, sin is and always will be wrong.  The only protection from being desensitized or involved in it is to do one’s best to avoid it.  If you are vexed (troubled or bothered) by filthy language on television, there may be some channels you should never watch again, or you may have to stop watching the “hellevision” altogether. 

Filthy words creeping into your language? Maybe there are some influencing foul-mouths you should no longer listen to or associate. Seeing things your eyes should not be seeing on the Internet? Limit where you browse, or maybe you will have to stay off the Internet. Dirty images you have already viewed plaguing your thought-life? Avoid further looks and recite Scripture verses, particularly about what you are thinking.  It is difficult to have the clean Word of God and filthiness in your thought-life at the same time. The sinful thoughts will flee!

The key to keeping a holy, unsoiled life and testimony for the Lord is to separate (II Cor. 6:17) from the world’s ungodliness.  It is possible to remain undefiled in this ever-increasing, sinful world. If we purpose in our hearts to not be defiled by ungodliness in this world, the Lord will do His part to help us.  He will give the believer “a way to escape” sin’s vexing grasp if the believer desires it!

If you can get along with the world, then you are out of step with God!” — Dr. Harold Sightler



Keeping A Distance from Temptations
Bill Brinkworth

“I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” Psalm 101:2

Successful people often reveal how they got so many achievements and victories.  David did that in Psalm 101.  He accomplished what he did, not only because of his wealth and powerful position.  David attained so much because he behaved himself “wisely in a perfect way” (Psalm 101:2).

In this Scripture, “perfect” was not referring to sinlessness.  “Perfect” in this context means “moral, upright, sincere, undefiled.” Although he fell spiritually several times, the leader of Israel tried his best to live the way that was pleasing to the Lord.

David revealed several ways he kept from spiritually falling even more than he did.

  • He protected his eyes from seeing the wrong things (Psalm 101:3).  Israel’s leader may not have had the amount of pornographic temptations that awaits to snag wandering eyes today. Still, he had to divert his vision not to see things that would also lure him into sin.  If David had a television in his day, there would have been many programs he would not have watched.
    “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes:…” (Psalm 101:3)
  • He avoided those that were lazy and did not work (Psalm 101:3).
     “… I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” Psalm 101:3
  • He would not allow himself to be self-willed and unreasonable (“froward”) —  Psalm 101:4.
  • He avoided those doing wickedness (Psalm 101:4).
  • He kept from those that talked ill of other people (Psalm 101:5).
  • He kept from those that were prideful (Psalm 101:5).
  • He surrounded himself with others that also worked or tried to live the “perfect way.” (Psalm 101:6)
  • He kept his distance from deceivers (Psalm 101:7).
  • He avoided liars (Psalm 101:7).
  • He did all he could to stomp out wickedness in the lands he controlled (Psalm 101:8).

Although this Psalm was written over 3,000 years ago, every behavior that David did to protect himself from falling into sin would help people today.  Temptations surround every single one of us. We will also be inclined to sin if we do not separate ourselves from those destroyers of our testimony and joy.  Avoid wrong influences, or you too will succumb to sinful behaviors and evil temptations.

The reason the world is not seeing Jesus is that Christian people are not filled with Jesus.  They are satisfied with attending meetings weekly, reading the Bible occasionally, and praying sometimes.  It is an awful thing to see people who profess to be Christian who are lifeless, powerless, and in a place where their lives are so parallel to unbelievers lives it is difficult to tell which place they are in, whether in the flesh or the Spirit.” — Smith Wigglesworth