SEVENTH SEAL LIBRARY

God's Truth Not Smooth Words

World Needs More Self-Control

Self-Discipline

©copyright 2007 Bonita M Quesinberry, R.C.

  

To all who love the Lord: “God shows us our erroneous works amid humanity and our exceeding sins against Him. He opens our ears to discipline and commands that we turn from iniquity. If we disobey, then we will perish according to the sword of His Word, thus die without ever having gained God’s knowledge” (Job 36:9-10,12). God says much about learning to exercise self-discipline, self-control of our thoughts and actions— an obligatory feature sorely lacking in far too many professed Christians today.

 

First, review the definitions of this lesson’s key words, followed with God’s Word on this vital component to becoming one chosen for heaven and Christ’s kingdom thereafter:

 

DISCIPLINE: n. 2. training that develops self-control, character, or orderliness and efficiency. 3. the result of such training; self control; orderly conduct. 4. acceptance of or submission to authority and control. 5. a system of rules or methods, as for the conduct of members of a monastic order. 6. treatment that corrects or punishes. v.t. [Disciplined, Disciplining], 1. to subject to discipline; train; control. 2. to punish. –SYN. see punish. —Webster’s New World Dictionary, Collegiate Edition

PUNISH: v.t. 1. cause (a person) to undergo pain, loss, or suffering for a crime or wrongdoing. 2. impose a penalty on a wrongdoer for an offense. [‘discipline’ suggests punishment intended to control or establish habits of self-control; ‘correct’ suggests punishment for the purpose of overcoming faults; ‘chasten’ is to punish in order to correct or make better, to restrain from excess, subdue; and is used especially in a theological sense (“God chastens and hastens His will to be made known” [Webster’s quote, possibly paraphrased from Isaiah 16:5; nevertheless, this is a  logic found  throughout the Bible]). —Webster’s New World Dictionary, Collegiate Edition

 

Revelation 3:19 finds Father telling us that He reprimands and corrects those whom He loves; therefore, we should be adamantly determined to admit, then cease doing any and all sins He points out to us while growing up into His righteousness. I Corinthians 11:32 and Hebrews 12:6 reassures us that, when Father corrects us, it IS because He loves us; it is meant to protect us from being condemned with the world when Christ brings God’s sentencing phase of judgment.

 

The above verses refer to the fact that infant Christians might continue in sin unaware, due to not knowing or understanding the weightier matters of His Law; which Christ mentioned those ‘weightier matters’ as needing to be taught. Still, God will show us where and how we err, whether it be through His Written Word or by one of His teachers; after which He expects us to repent.

 

This is a growth process referred to scripturally as beginning with milk of salvation’s basics, when we first become a Christian, then maturing to the solid food of weightier matters. Thus, it is better to be corrected and/or punished now than to fall dead at the brightness of Christ’s coming; as will the wicked and filthy who continue to refuse sound doctrine when given to them, thus they also reject God’s correcting rod.

 

Right about now, there likely are many shouting, “Christ died for ALL of our sins— past, present and future— therefore we are not corrected or punished after accepting Jesus. Jesus did that for us on the cross!” There is a tremendous difference between correcting punishment and eternal deadly punishment. Romans 3:25 and Isaiah 53:5 clearly confirm that our Messiah died for ONLY our ‘past’ sins; those we had committed prior to accepting Christ as both God’s Son and our Saviour.

 

Therefore, God made provision for infant Christian’s who might continue in sin unaware; which is virtually every person who initially comes to the Lord. There is not one denomination teaching God’s Law, not as a necessary component to proving our love for the Lord and by which to learn and employ righteousness, muchless teaching the Law’s weightier matters. Thus, each infant should hope and pray for anointed, taught-by-no-man, teachers who have matured to solid food and from whom we can learn how to become pure before the Lord; that we might be presented as virgins to our perfect Groom.  

 

How does God show us our works and sins? II Samuel 7:14-15 renders evidence using King David. “If you commit iniquity, I will punish you with the rod of men and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from you.” Jeremiah 2:19 clarifies the rod and stripes, “Your own wickedness shall correct you and your backslidings shall accuse you when you wander and play the harlot.” Play the harlot? If, after claiming to love the Lord, thus supposedly becoming one with Him, then we thereafter violate God’s Law, in effect we have committed adultery against Him: thus, acting like a harlot.

 

Clearly, if we have been taught God’s Law of Righteousness, together with many passages teaching its weightier matters, and we nevertheless turn to unrighteous behaviour, our own sins should cause us to feel guilt and shame; thus, ultimately God punishes us through mankind, whether it be that another person brings adversity upon us and/or the laws of the land punish us.

 

Psalm 39:11 continues, “When God rebukes a man, it corrects his iniquity, and God makes his beauty to consume away like a moth.” Jeremiah 30:11, “I will correct you according to MY judgments and will not leave you unpunished; though I will not make a full end of you.” As Proverbs 22:15 points out, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive foolishness from him.”

 

EXAMPLES: Say a Christian adult is not a good steward of money God has made available for him or her to earn and live on; this person will quickly become debt-ridden, perhaps lose a home or car or more. His or her own sin should correct them, if they truly love God and Christ, for such love will cause them to seek a way to overcome irresponsible behaviour. We are, after all, taught to be not only good stewards of what God gives us but to also be good stewards of our employer’s business.

 

God’s Commandment says, “Thou shalt not steal.” Even if it is something as simple as a pen from work that one has taken or a pen not returned to a cashier, it IS a violation of God’s Law. If this person is a Christian, they should become riddled with guilt thus fear retribution. AND, it just might be that God will send the “rod of man,” which could be someone who breaks into this Christian’s home and steals all of their valuables— in exchange for a ninety-nine cents pen? The punishment, however, could be one of a variety of events, such as the loss of one’s job; not just the example given here.

 

While drinking alcohol is not a sin in itself, God says the drunkard shall not enter heaven’s gates. If we look at the life of a person currently consumed by addictions— which does violate God’s admonition of moderation but most notable is that addictions cause the addicted to violate one or more of God’s Ten Precepts— we find all manner of afflictions in such a person’s life and body: loss of livelihood, loss of home and health, loss of spouse and family and friends; the addiction might even cause a car wreck that kills another or him or her to steal in order to support his or her addition: the addicted will go to jail.  

 

Christ stated that it will be harder for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. If a wealthy person gained their riches through illicit and/or unethical means, or say they do not care for those less fortunate than themselves and/or they treat their employees poorly, the rich might ultimately lose all they have. According to prophecy, they will lose everything, IF they do not repent of unrighteous ways: Christ’s directive was “sell all you have and give it to the poor, then follow in My footsteps.” ~~end of examples, yet there are many, many more.

 

If we think back over our lives, look at sins we’ve committed, then review various adversities that followed our sins, it should be clear how God brings to our attention our erroneous works amid humanity and our sins against God and man. Once reviewed with brutal honesty, we then must make a choice.

 

God wants us to review our sins according to what God calls sin, confess each violation, then repent and thereafter sin no more. We should understand, however, that not all adversities and afflictions are necessarily for punishment to better us; rather, some events might occur to test of our faith in God, believe He will see us through, such as Job: review a previous lesson entitled “Is Healing of a Christian’s Body a Given,” which includes a treatise of Paul’s “thorn in the side,” among other key Bible figures.

 

 

Psalm 19:18,20-21 encourages us to “punish our children while there is hope for their salvation and not to despair over their crying when corrected. We are urged to hear this counsel and to receive this instruction, so we may be wise in our latter years; for, in the end, only the Lord’s counsel will stand.” God doesn’t speak to hear Himself heard; nay, He accepts and uses His own counsel when it comes to His children: chastising and correcting and, if necessary, even punishing us for wrong doings until we change. Notice “until” we change; thus, we should be with our children.

 

Daniel 10:12 points out that in disciplining ourselves before the Lord— which is to humbly confess our sins, repent, repay to those whom we have offended, as required, and to request His mercy upon us: reminiscent of the tax collector’s behaviour as he stood in the Holy Temple along with one of the Pharisees in Luke 18:9-14 — we are assured that our words are heard by God and He will send the Holy Spirit to us as we need Him. II Corinthians 6:2 confirms God saying, “I will hear you at the appropriate time, and in the day of salvation I will help you. Behold, now is the time and now is the day of salvation.”

 

II Corinthians 6:9 and Hebrews 12:10 verify that God does chasten His children but we are not killed by His punishment; rather, we are corrected to make us better, more righteous. Our Father does this for our profit that we might share in His holiness. The Lord is clear that, if we are not chastised, it is because we are not His son or daughter: therefore, we should rejoice in His correction; despite the fact that being punished is not a pleasant thing, rather a painful event, but it will yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness in those who are trained by God. Think on this when it comes to training and correcting our own children: as God said, “Spare the rod and ruin the child.”

 

Psalm 94:12 further reveals another benefit of being corrected by God, “Blessed is the person whom God chastens and teaches him from God’s Law.” Job 5:17 adds, “Happy is the man whom God corrects: therefore do not despise the Almighty’s discipline.”

 

Concerning God’s correction, Jeremiah 31:18 should urge us to take on Ephraim’s attitude: “The Lord has chastised me like taking a whip to a bull unaccustomed to a yoke; He has turned me and I shall be turned: for God is the Lord my God.” We should want God to correct us, for we might not recognize when we are offending His righteousness, despite the fact one of His prophets may have warned us; we should want Him to turn us away from sin, from all things that He finds abhorrent. If we don’t want God’s discipline and correction, then we do not love God and Christ; for only in perfect love do we truly wish to please our Father Creator and Lord Saviour, in perfect love begging to be shown our flaws and wayward behaviours so we might change them.

 

Warnings: indeed, God does warn us before punishing us. In properly training errant children, the first thing a parent should do is to adamantly state to the child what is acceptable behaviour followed by citing what punishment can be expected if he or she disobeys the rules. Therefore, the teaching serves as also a warning; punishment to come thereafter, if the child rebels the first time against those lessons: never should parents withhold discipline by allowing the child to commit the offense numerous times. To withhold is to teach a child that the parent is a liar and it becomes a game the kid uses against such parents while they teach the child to lie. “Spare the rod, ruin the child.” A first offense, following appropriate teaching, should result in punishment.

 

Thus it is that God sends His prophets to warn us when we err from a lack of knowledge; in other words, His prophet explains what God expects of us and what we can expect if we continue to disobey God. To continue in disobedience then cause God to punish us and continue to punish us in various ways UNTIL we repent of the error in our ways OR it becomes too late for repentence; which ever comes first. However, becoming too late is quickly approaching. Nevertheless, God performed in this manner throughout the ancient days and still does so today. God does not change and neither has His requirements of those He calls sons and daughters.

 

II Timothy 3:16-17 tells us how we can go about teaching and correcting self: “ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and it is profitable for doctrine, for criticism, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness; so that a person of God may become perfect, completely prepared to do all good works.” Therefore, Romans 15:14 declares that, by learning and using God’s Word, we become filled with goodness and knowledge:  thus able to teach, guide, and warn one another.

 

I Thessalonians 5:12-15 urges us to recognize and acknowledge those who do work among us as teachers, to treat them with respect and to love them for the work they do for our sake. And, we are further urged that there be peace among our brethren.

 

God’s teachers, or prophets as it were, are instructed to: warn any brethren that is disobedient; to comfort those who are indecisive; to support the weak in health; and, to be patient toward all of mankind, both good and bad. II Thessalonians 3:14-15 further instructs that, if a brother or sister disobeys God’s Word, the teacher is to not keep company with him or her as a way of shaming the brother or sister. Yet, the teacher is not to consider him or her an enemy; rather, warn him or her as a brother or sister.

 

However, in warning brothers and sisters in Christ, teachers also are directed to warn a brother or sister no more than twice; for if he or she does not amend his or her ways in accordance with the first or second warning; then, as Titus 3:10-11 advises, if this brother or sister continues in sin after being warned up to twice, it is because his or her mind is perverted.

 

No matter how many ways we might phrase God’s Truth, God’s teachers cannot convert a person with a perverted mind; thus after the second admonition, we are to reject this person as a brother or sister. It is in cases such as this that we must remind self that only “God chooses whom He will to follow His Son.” We cannot and must not ever attempt to make God’s choices: for He knows the heart of this person, which we cannot know. To continue beyond a second warning is to assume the role of God: idolatry the crime.

 

The only thing we can come to know about a person to whom we witness is whether or not his or her mind is perverted. Upon determining perversion, we simply must reject and walk away, based on the added fact that not all who appear to be sheep are truly sheep: many are wolves, or Satan’s goats as it were, masquerading in sheep’s clothing.

 

We should want to learn by instruction rather than by God’s correction; the former is painless while the latter can be very painful. Remember, as a child, Mom or Dad had to spank you for misbehaving? It hurt, whereas you would have suffered no pain if you had chosen to follow instructions. The same methods apply to our Almighty Father, except as an infinite Spirit being He applies discipline in a far different and much greater way. 

We also should learn by Israel’s example, the things that happened to them for their disobedience against God, as stated in I Corinthians 10:11; for we are the ones upon whom the end of the world is about to occur. If we desire to be taken up to heaven when Christ arrives, then it definitely is in our best interest to be adamantly determined not to duplicate Israel’s sins against God; yet, this is precisely what man’s incorporated Christian denominations teach us to do by having changed God’s Law and incorporating into this flawed doctrine many pagan rituals and festivals. We should obey God, instead of man­­—  Acts 5:29.

 

The bottomline is that true Christians and teachers exercise self-control, as noted in II Timothy 3:1-9; those who lack self-control are spoken of in II Timothy 4:3-5 as not enduring sound doctrine, rather seeking teachers to satisfy their lusts of the flesh, easily turning from God’s Truth to teachers of fiction and who use very little scripture to validate their ways. God’s teachers prove their teachings by every word of God, as noted in verse 5, and they live by every word of God as an example to follow. Recall that Jesus said to follow Him and Paul followed Christ, then Paul said, “Follow me.” To follow Paul’s example is to follow Christ’s example. 

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 quite clearly states the heart of this thing called self-discipline: “Fear God and keep His Commandments, for this is the whole duty of mankind. For God shall bring every man’s work into judgment, determining whether it is good or whether it is evil.” I Thessalonians 4:4 clearly tells us that, if we have “The Mind of Christ,” we should be able to control our own vessels, the behaviour of our own bodies and the words we speak. These admonitions are confirmed in Revelation 12:17, 14:12, and 22:14, along with the added instruction of having the faith of and in Jesus Christ.

 

With “The Mind of Christ,” we can control our behaviour and reject the temptation of sin each time it pops up. However, an infant Christian does not yet have Christ’s mind; which is gained through consistent growth in God’s Word. Albeit, a true infant Christian should possess perfect love within, which initially motivates obedience-by-choice that, ultimately, reaps “The Mind of Christ.” This Christian will be eager to heed the teachings and warnings of those mature in God’s Word. Be aware, however, that there is a huge difference between being mature in God’s Word— via anointing of the Holy Spirit, thus having been taught by no man— and that of having been taught in men’s seminaries to learn man’s commandments and traditions: the two are miles apart, an unfathomable distance between truth and lies, between eternal life and twice dead.

 

The opposite is true of those who, by rejecting God’s teachers, also do not have “The Mind of Christ:” instead, they tend to seek out teachers who say what they want to hear in support of their chosen lifestyle and who teach that man cannot become perfect; thus these continue in myriad sins while accusing others and excusing themselves in Christ’s name as well as going about persecuting the Lord’s teachers, just as the ancients did to Christ. What does the Bible say is sin? According to I John 3:4-6, sin is to transgress, violate, disobey God’s Ten Commandments, as set out by God’s own finger upon stone in Exodus 20:3-17 then given again in Deuteronomy 5:7-14,16-21. 

Those who continue in sin have neither the motivation of perfect love within, thus are riddled with fears, nor do they possess “The Mind of Christ.” Where do you stand in obedience; and, who have you chosen for teachers? Continuing in sin is to declare one’s own death sentence. Accepting godly instruction coupled with self-discipline represent the comfortable route to heaven.

 

How has your way been working for you; and, what does your future promise to date? If it doesn’t look good, then discipline your self to God’s way.

 

~~ end Sabbath Lesson 02/17/07

17 February 2007 Posted by | Bible, Bible Related Articles, Bible Study, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Church, Escatology, Faith, Fathers, God, Grace, Groom, Holy Spirit, Husband, Husbands, Jehovah, Jesus, Lord's Day, Love, Memorial, Parenting, Prophets, Redemption, Religion, Remnant, Resurrection, Sabbath, Salvation, Saturday, Self Help, Spiritual, Spiritual Study, Teachers, Ten Commandments, Testimonies, Theology, Truth, Wives | 5 Comments

Prepare and Prepare the Way

Prepare and Prepare the Way 

©copyright 2007 Bonita M Quesinberry, R.C.

  

“Prepare” and “prepare the way” are two phrases found in abundance throughout the Bible; the former given as instructions and the latter as encouragement and reassurance. “Where there is a will, there is a way.” And, we know that God’s way and His timing always are perfect; while our way is full of potholes and pitfalls and our timing leaves much to be desired.

 

Two of the five greatest expenders of man’s energy are fear and worry, both of which go hand in hand; for what one fears, one worries about. To experience just one hour of either of these emotions utilizes the equivalent of eight hours of hard, physical labor: hours that, instead, could have been used to find solutions to problems: worry about how bills will get paid; a place to live; present dangers in this world; our children; worry about fidelity; about losing and/or finding a job; ongoing and/or potential wars; paying taxes; worry about affording food; gas prices; what others think of us; worry about what others have done to us; salvation; earth’s coming end; worry—worry—worry. These and more cause one to become riddled with fear; and, where fear exists, perfect love does not reside.

 

If we use our God-given free will to choose God’s instructions as well as exercise our faith, trust as it were, that He has prepared the way for us, there is no need for fear and worry: in fact, God guarantees that, if we make these two choices among several others, we will not experience fear or worry. Review what God says about how to “prepare.” 

 

PREPARE 

I Samuel 7:3 tells us to prepare our hearts for the Lord and remove all strange gods from our midst, as noted in II Chronicles 19:3; then I Chronicles 29:18 confirms that God is the One who prepares our hearts, if He is our true desire. And, by preparing our heart to seek the Lord, He states in II Chronicles 30:19 that He will pardon and purge them of sin; but, not according to the ordinance ritual of sacrifice and oblations. In other words, God purged then and Christ purges today by their holy Word, not by what we do in ritual.

 

Isaiah 40:3, Matthew 3:3 and 11:10 instruct that we prepare the way for the Lord, a highway as it were, for our God. While this was John the Baptist’s assignment ahead of and on behalf of Christ, it also is our instruction. In an aside, all key figures of the Old Testament are noted as having prepared their hearts to receive God: in short, they actively sought God, just as we should actively seek Him through Christ. 

 

By preparing our hearts to receive God and Christ, which today we prepare by sincerely accepting Christ as God’s Son, being baptized of our past sins, followed by obeying God’s Doctrine, as Jesus instructed; then Christ and the Holy Spirit come to reside as permanent residents who give us perfect hearts; which means we will be filled with God’s love and Christ’s mind: to love as truly as God loves and to think as well as behave as righteously as Christ thinks and behaves: which is to have a heart to obey God’s Precepts and do all things He requires; the works by which we are judged. Then we are fit to receive God’s wisdom, knowledge, even His mysteries and secrets.

 

However, until we remove from our life all things offensive to the Lord, He will not enter our lives; as confirmed in II Chronicles 12:14, which states that when people do not prepare their hearts for the Lord, they will do evil. So, it behooves us to know and understand what evil it is that God “hates with a perfect hate.” In many cases, we have made self, things we have and/or things we do, and people in our lives, as those “strange gods.” Then, we compound these sins by following denominations teaching “man’s commandments and traditions” and a vow of prosperity, thereby accepting them as our “strange gods:” Satan’s synagogues, as the Bible describes them. We have only to study God’s Ten Precepts, in fact all of His word, to understand that He hates any and all violation of His Statutes of Life, His Law of Righteousness: disobedience reaps unrighteousness and evil ways.

 

Proverbs 16:1-5 reveals that the desire to prepare our hearts and the desire to gain answers come only from the Lord, which validates “God chooses whom He will to follow His Son, Jesus Christ;” therefore, we are instructed to commit our works TO the Lord, then our thoughts will be established BY the Lord. Proverbs goes on to say that one of the sins God hates is pride, which is the “weightier” sin of idolatry; but, if we fear the Lord thus are obedient, by His mercy and truth this sin will be purged from our hearts, if we first acknowledge this sin in us. All sin in us is purged by God’s mercy and Truth, for by His Truth are we able to recognize sin within us and, if we choose Christ, we also choose to sin no more.

 

Ephesians 6:15 tells us to prepare ourselves for the gospel of peace; to receive it and, wherever we go, we go peacefully and speak peace in the Lord. This means that, no matter what or who might come up against us, we are not to fight back: as Jesus directed and demonstrated with His own life, we ARE to turn the other check as many times as it takes for that person or persons to comprehend us as a people of God and thereby a people of peace, not war. Consider that it was when Christ died that one of the guards declared Him the Son of God, not before. So it might be that, by our own death, there could be a few who then acknowledge that we spoke God’s Truth. II Chronicles 35:6 then instructs that we also prepare our brethren, which goes hand in hand with Christ’s admonition to go out into the world and teach God’s Truth, both by example and word.

 

Please do not misunderstand: we cannot make a nation be one of peace, for God orchestrates all wars for His specific purposes; and, wars will not end until God says they end or He ends this earth as known today. The peace Christ’s sheep bring is peace within us, which should shine before each individual encountered. No matter how loud some might scream for world peace, it will not happen; thus these are seen as fanatics who do not support their governments or troops. It is a sin to speak ill of governing leaders of any nation, including one’s own; for as God said, He sets up kings and takes down kings according to His purpose. Possibly a sin to remove before God and Christ reside in you?

 

Job 11:13-20 states again that we are to prepare our hearts, and if there be any sin there, we are to put it far from us and not let it dwell in either our bodies or our minds. In doing so, we will forget misery’s pain; remembering each without pain, more like water that flows away. By this preparation, we are assured that we will become secure in hope, rest in safety, and nothing or no one will cause us fear. This is further confirmed in II Timothy 2:19-26, adding that by purging self of sin, we will become a vessel of honor, sanctified and appropriate for God’s use, thus prepared for every good work.

 

Psalm 10:17 says the Lord hears the desire of the humble and will prepare their hearts; one cannot be humble and at the same time possess pride: for they are diametrically opposed to each other. Humility is to acknowledge that we are nothing and do nothing except by the grace of God; whereas pride is to give one’s self credit for any and all accomplishments, whether they be of the world or of the Spirit. Psalm 61:7 enlightens that a humble people will abide before God forever, for God “prepares mercy and truth to preserve them.” By Psalm 119:142, and other like scriptures, we know that Truth is defined as God’s Ten Commandments: one piece of God’s Armour we must wear, yet not one piece missing. Alas, the majority of professing Christians are missing Truth.

 

The final message from God is found in Amos 4:12, “Prepare to meet your God!” Here, however, the message goes out to both the righteous and wicked, inasmuch as God created all that there is; for all people will face God and He will judge their works, that they are righteous or unrighteous: the latter partially noted in Malachi 3:55 as well as Psalm 9:7-10, Proverbs 19:16,27-29, and Matthew 25:41-46.

 

The final message from Christ is to the righteous in John 14:2-4 and Matthew 25:34,46, saying He prepares for them a place with Him where He is in heaven with the Father, and that they will inherit a restored earthly kingdom to come thereafter; where they shall live eternal life. Hebrews 11:16 states that God has even prepared a city for those not ashamed to call Him their God: we view this city in Revelation c.21 as New Jerusalem coming down from heaven.

 

More over, I Corinthians 2:9-12 assures those, who have prepared their hearts for God, that the Holy Spirit reveals all these things to them; for as a mere human or one who has not prepared his or her heart to receive God and Christ, we could not and will not know by our own devises. II Timothy 3:7 reveals that man’s devises are steeped in ever studying but never coming to the knowledge of Truth; for they are mired in “man’s commandments and traditions,” therefore they do not receive God’s Holy Spirit.

 

PREPARE THE WAY:

In responding to the admonition to “prepare our hearts,” we find that God not only purges us of sin but He also prepares the way for us in all our works for the Lord and in our daily living needs. We are assured and reassured that we will not go without our basic needs and neither will we fall short of meeting a work that God wants us to accomplish. There are many Old Testament situations where one of the key figures was instructed to go to another place and, each time, God stated that His angel— the Holy Spirit— would prepare the way ahead of the person being instructed to go.

 

We have only to remember that we can do all things in God and for God, as long as we have prepared our heart to receive God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. So, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?

 

JUST PREPARE YOUR HEART!

 

~~ end Sabbath Lesson of 02/10/07 

 

  

11 February 2007 Posted by | Bible, Bible Related Articles, Bible Study, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Church, Escatology, Faith, Fathers, God, Groom, Husband, Husbands, Jehovah, Jesus, Love, Mothers, Parenting, Religion, Remnant, Salvation, Self Help, Spiritual, Spiritual Study, Ten Commandments, Theology, Truth, Wives | 7 Comments

Pop Goes the Balloon ~~ of LOVE

Pop Goes the Balloon! ~~ of LOVE

©copyright 2007 Bonita M Quesinberry, R.C.

If we stretch a rubber band far enough, it breaks, then uselessly and painfully snaps back into our face or the face of another; or, if we put too much hot air into a balloon, it pops and shrivels to a wrinkled, useless mess of thin rubber no longer resembling its former glory, never again to smoothly float heavenward. These analogies applied to the times we live in should cause us to consider how we over use the word LOVE: abused until it now has no significant meaning. 

The word “love” is used every day to convey a tremendous number of likes and desires; none of which relate to love as God defines it: “I love . . .  my life; limousines; Armani clothes; the color purple; Leonardo D’Caprio; acting; horror movies; rock ‘n roll; Tim McGraw; to sing and dance; Mexican food; custom houses; fancy décor; diamonds; Madonna; my job; video games; money; I would love to do .  . . or love to have .  . . or love to be . . . or love to go to . . .” The list goes on and, somewhere in this unholy mix, love for spouse or child or God and Christ might be expressed on rare occasions. As Jesus said, “If you love your life and this world more than me, you are not worthy of me.” 

Love spoken, as above, seems to come from flattering lips instead of a heart reflecting God’s love IN BEHAVIOUR. If we never again spoke or wrote the word love, all would know and recognize our love, or lack thereof, by the things we do for or against self and others. God and Christ said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If we are out of control and our behaviour is not Christ-like, we do not love self or mankind. It is that simple. 

Is it any wonder our young, and even most adults, have no concept of what truly is love, would not recognize true love if it bit them? We all are or have been guilty of blowing up love’s balloon until it pops then deflates into a totally ineffectual, meaningless word. Many months ago the Holy Spirit pointed out the abuse of love’s true meaning, then directed that the findings be shared with others as a Sabbath lesson for the Lord’s Day. 

In misusing and abusing the true, heartfelt use of this word, we have conditioned our minds to accept a reduction of its meaning to nothing more than an indifferent “like” for something or someone; thus, our words and behaviour convey this flawed definition to other people’s minds as well as the minds of our children. Our subconscious brain affects and controls exhibited behaviour in all things, and it does so based on words we either think or speak or have heard: both negative and positive. 

We have blown up the concept of love until, today, it has popped into only the act of sex; and, when this wanes in a relationship, as it was meant to do as a godly form of birth control, a couple assumes they no longer love each another. So, they decide it is time to divorce then seek a new love interest; not necessarily in that order. Therefore, adultery reigns supreme in this nation, justified by Christian denominations with a variety of unjustified excuses in twisting God’s Word: “There is a way that seems right to a man but it is the way to destruction.” 

This nation is known globally for its immorality flamed by fornication and adultery. So, it comes as no surprise that the United States has the highest divorce rate than any other country. Why? Because according to Christ, in Matthew 24:12, “Sin abounds, the love of many has become cold [indifferent].” Certainly the majority are unconcerned, despite profuse professions of love, inasmuch as, Christ explained in John 5:40, “The love of God is not in you.” If the love of God is not in a person, then he or she is marked for a pit of fire and brimstone; unless he or she chooses to repent. It is this simple. 

We have only to look to God for examples demonstrating love; to begin, I John 4:16 states, “God IS love.” In fact, the entire Bible speaks of God’s loving, merciful and righteous character; love and mercy reflected in His Royal Law of Love thus His righteous and just nature reflected in His Ten Statutes of Life; of which, according to God and Christ, love and righteousness and justice also must become our own character traits. Such a personality, if you will, has nothing to do with either this world’s things or man’s wicked inventions and vile behaviours: it has everything to do with our relationship with God as well as mankind. God’s love is again cited in Romans 5:5,8; II Corinthians 13:11,14; and I John 3:16

God IS Love; however, He further defines His love in Galatians 5:22-26 as:

1. joy;

2. peace;

3. longsuffering, which is patience;

 

4. gentleness;

 

5. goodness;

 

6. faith;

 

7. meekness;

 

8. temperance, which is self-control. 

 

Additionally, we are shown love is:

1) to speak Truth, Ephesians 4:15, which Truth Psalm 119:142,151 states is God’s Ten Commandments;

2) to sacrifice our flesh and spirit being to God, Ephesians 5:2, as Christ gave Himself for us;

3) to follow after righteousness (God’s Ten Precepts), godliness and gentleness by faith and love with longsuffering patience, I Timothy 6:10; and,

4) to have no fear, for perfect love casts out fear, I John 4:18; and,

 

5) to obey God’s Commandments, I John 5:3-5 and II John v. 6

 

In addition to God’s hatred of wickedness mentioned in Zechariah 8:17 and Proverbs 8:13 plus hatred of man’s wicked inventions, things, in II Chronicles 26:15-16; Psalm 99:8; 106:29,39; Proverbs 8:12; Ecclesiastes 7:29; and Romans 1:28-32; God’s Word further cites what is NOT LOVE: 

 

1) love of money, I Timothy 6:10-11;

2) loving the world and its things, I John 2:15-17;

3) love by word instead of by deed, I John 3:18;

4) and a lack of love violates God’s Law, I John 3:4-11, the same Law written by God’s own finger in the beginning, cited in Exodus 20:3-17 and Deuteronomy 5:7-14,16-21

 

True love has no heart for disobeying even one of those righteous, liberating Statutes; but, feigned love will pick and choose which to disobey and justify same by twisting God’s Word to suit one’s lifestyle: partial obedience according to convenience and a desire to fit into society, instead of total obedience from an all-consuming love that sets us apart from society and the world. 

 

The vast majority of professing Christians easily say God is Love but truly do not know or understand all the ins and outs of how He exhibits love; the same exhibition we are instructed to show the world: the operative word being “show, don’t tell.” God’s Love is shown, not only in the beautiful world He created for us or the fact His Son loved us so much that He willingly died a horrible death, so our past sins might be forgiven; but, God also revealed His love when He set out exactly and plainly what He expects of us, showed us how to do it by His Son’s living example; then, God told us exactly what the rewards would be IF we obey or disobey: life or death. Now, how fair is that? FAIR! 

 

More importantly, God shows His love by correcting and/or punishing His children in the here and now, when or if we disobey: better now than in the end; for while the wicked and filthy are not punished now, they will be utterly destroyed in the end for their lack of repentence. 

 

God IS the perfect parent, one every parent should copy yet so few do. Many parents today let others raise their children— schools, television, video games, the Internet, daycare and so forth— then complain when their child goes astray. These parents fail to teach, train and guide their kids from the cradle up; worse, many parents fail to discipline when necessary. 

 

Such parents “show” a lack of true love for their kids, then they wonder why that son or daughter one day shouts, “You don’t love me!” of “I hate you!” When children act out, are unruly, out of control, even destructive and easily lie, it is a child’s way of demonstrating a silent scream: “Love me enough to make me do what I’m supposed to do, because I don’t know what to do!” Thus, God our Father disciplines us when we are unruly, out of control, disobedient. 

 

God IS Love. He loves us so much that, when He corrects and/or punishes, our tears do not deter Him; and, He advises that we not be deterred by our kids’ tears. If only parents realized that, by withholding teaching and training and guidance as well as corrective punishment, they are enabling and even encouraging worse behaviour in the child. 

 

A child who is out of control clearly reflects parents who are out of control: it is as if they wear on their backs, for the whole world to see and all do see, a huge red neon sign saying, “I’M OUT OF CONTROL.” People and parents such as these are often called “control freaks,” because they attempt to control petty issues in everything and everyone around them, except self and their children. In their mind, sadly, they think this means they are in control. God deems them out of control. 

 

We are told in II Corinthians 2:8 and 8:8,24 to confirm and to prove, which is to provide evidence of, our love for God, Christ, and our fellow humans. Then, II Corinthians 5:14 explains that, when we truly love, we do not live for ourselves; rather, we live for God, Christ, spouses and children, and for serving our brethren. In not living for self, we make better witnesses for God, better husbands and wives, and become much better parents. Bear in mind: it is NEVER TOO LATE TO BECOME A BETTER PARENT and A BETTER CHRISTIAN. It is a matter of life and death, theirs and ours. 

 

I John 2:3, 3:22-24, and 5:2-3 tell us how to confirm, prove and provide evidence of our love: obeying God’s Precepts is the evidence that reveals we both know as well as love God, Christ and mankind. Revelation 12:17, 14:12, and 22:14 then confirm that the evidence we must present, to both God and mankind, is also the keys that open to us the gates of heaven thus giving us access to God’s tree of life therein. 

 

Once becoming aware of how we humans have destroyed the true meaning of love, we then should choose to closely monitor when and how we use this very important word: a word so vital that it literally means everlasting life or eternal death. We should no longer use it carelessly, using it only when we MEAN love in its truest sense, LOVE by God’s definition and by His standard that we demonstrate His character. 

 

Otherwise, we LIKE many things and people but should not covet them. Then, when we say we love God or Christ or all people, there are no gray clouds; veils that cause others to doubt or question our sincerity; for our total behaviour should match what we say and write, IF our expression of love is in Truth. This is to love even those who sin against us: love the sinner, hate the sin. This is God’s way. 

 

Everyone is urged to analyze and monitor their use of this awesome word spelled L—O—V—E; a word possessed of incredible power. Choose to eliminate its use, except where love really should apply. Confirm and prove your love first, by giving evidence of it to God and Christ, according to the evidence God requires by our behaviour; and thereby, the evidence of our love for mankind. Then we can know and feel what is truly love: how it looks and acts and speaks. 

 

As pointed out in the Sabbath lesson of 20 January 2007, “Talk the Walk, Walk the Talk.” Let the world see, without doubt, that you mean exactly what you speak and/or write; for love speaks only Truth, God’s Truth, and acts only in Truth. 

 

Love is gentle and patient; love does not beat around the bush and never lies or is deceitful in any manner; love paints our kettle as black as it is, then it is up to us to clean up the mess we have made of our lives; love heals and saves our spirit being within; and most of all, love within us has the power to heal and save others whom God has called: the wayward sinner, out of control children and their enabling, out of control parents. 

 

~~end Article

  

5 February 2007 Posted by | Bible, Bible Related Articles, Bible Study, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Church, Escatology, Faith, Give, Giving, God, Helpful Hints, Holy Spirit, Husband, Husbands, Jehovah, Jesus, Love, Mothers, Parenting, Religion, Self Help, Spiritual, Spiritual Study, Theology, Truth, Wives | 3 Comments