Delete the Trash

Delete the Trash

I have a program on my computer that does good work. I like it a lot, and it is helpful. However, this program also leaves behind some trash on my hard drive in the form of temporary files. Every so often, I must delete these temporary files so that they do not completely fill up my hard drive. If I forget to do this, then all the other programs on my computer will stop working. So, I invest the time to delete these files to ensure that my computer continues to run smoothly.

trash removal

Are you removing the trash or collecting it?

Relationships are a lot like this. We value those with whom we have good relationships. We appreciate their friendship and all the good they do for us and for others. Sometimes, however, our friends may say or do something that leaves some “trash” behind. At this point, we have a choice. On the one hand, we can let that “trash” build over time until the relationship stops working. This may affect other relationships as well. On the other hand, we can delete the “trash” as it comes along. This keeps the relationship healthy.

Paul wrote in Colossians 3:12-13, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” The word for forgiveness in this verse means to act favorably toward another by letting go of one’s complaint; it doesn’t require another person to ask our forgiveness. By practicing forgiveness in our relationships, we can delete the “trash” so that it doesn’t become a big problem. When we don’t forgive one another, our relationships stop working, and this creates bigger problems. Let’s be forgiving people!

Posted in Kevin Cauley | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Delete the Trash

Sophron! Sound thought and Self-Control

Sophron! Sound thought and Self-Control

There are two different Greek words which are typically rendered by the English word, “sober,” or a variation thereof. The first of these, “nepho,” refers to an actual abstinence from intoxicants. It is in passages such as 1 Peter 5:8, 2 Timothy 4:5 and 1 Thessalonians 5:6. Those who sometimes argue that the Bible does not speak against the use of alcohol as a beverage would do well to consider this Greek word and what it means. But the other Greek word translated as “sober,” is the word, “sophron.” “Sophron” does not refer to the absence of intoxicating substances, but instead denotes the presence of a distinct soundness of thought. While the first word, “nepho,” warns against those substances which remove our ability to think, the second word, “sophron” refers to the self-control and self-discipline which enables us to think properly.

Consider for instance this passage of Scripture: “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment,each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (Romans 12:3; ESV)

Also, we read, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” (Titus 2:12; NKJV) The ESV substitutes the word “self-controlled” for “sober,” in this verse. The Grace of God actively teaches us that we should bring our thoughts under control, and be sober in our thinking.

thought control

Do you keep your mind under control?

This disciplining of the mind is a rather important thing. Just before the admonition we cited from Romans 12:3, the Bible also says, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2a; NKJV) God does not want just the right physical actions in His children, He also desires the right kind of thinking.

From the two passages cited above, let us make quick two points about the sober-judgment God wants from men, and the qualities we need to develop to properly exhibit such sobriety of thought.

Firstly, we note from the passage from Romans, that a sober minded judgment is humble. A man is not “to think of himself more highly than he ought.” When we ignore this edict and unreasonably elevate our own opinion of ourselves beyond where it should be, our judgment is faulty, our reasoning unsound, and the conclusions and behavior that follows will be of a similar unsound nature.

A lack of humility is a serious thing. A man who is not humble lacks the love God desires in us, for love is not puffed up and proud (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:4). Nor can we be saved in that pride, for the Scriptures teach that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (cf. James 4:6)

In pride a man sets himself against God and makes of God an enemy. He derides the Law of God, seeing it as either only for others, or even inferior to his own positions and philosophies. He seeks to have others agree with him, rather than bending his own will to that of the Almighty. It is in pride that a man seeks to dominate others to his own will, rather than loving them as equals and seeking to be their servant, as God desires.

“The rich and the poor have this in common: The Lord made them both.” (Proverbs 22:2) And, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) When we forget these practical ideas, and start elevating ourselves over others, seeking equality or superiority with God, forgetting that we are but the clay and He alone is the potter, we have left the realm of good sense and sobriety and have moved into foolish and harmful thinking.

A second point to make about sober-thinking, derived from Titus 2:12, is this: it requires curbing our impulses. Specifically, it requires that we turn away from ungodliness and worldly lust. A man cannot embrace sin and at the same time embrace soundness of thought. Sin is destructive and harmful, its wages is death, and all who succumb to it will perish eternally, deprived of a place in glory (cf. Romans 3:16-17, 6:23; John 8:21, 24) Thus did Jesus warn that unless men repented, they would perish (cf. Luke 13:3, 5).

There is a reason that the Bible so closely connects wisdom with righteousness. As we learn wisdom, we learn righteousness, and it is in wisdom that we practice righteousness. (cf. Proverbs 4:11) “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.” (James 3:13; ESV)

Conversely then, sin is contrary to wisdom and sound thinking. We cannot be said to be thinking soberly if we are at the same time engaged in sin. If we give in to all our carnal desires, renouncing the righteous behavior of God, we have left the path of wisdom and salvation, and are trodding the sure and easy path that leads to destruction. (cf. Matthew 7:13-14) How much smarter is the man who instead renounces the things of this world and submits himself to the commands of the Lord? (cf. Matthew 7:24-27) Such a man is exhibiting both great wisdom and sound judgment.

The point of all of this is to say: God wants self-control and sobriety in our thoughts. Such thinking is an important part of the Christian faith. It is evidence of the grace of God at work in or lives. As Paul told Timothy, God has given us a Spirit of “power and love and self-control.” If we desire to be pleasing to God, walking the path of Christ, in humility and righteousness, we must learn to think soberly about ourselves, the consequences of sin, and the great gift of Salvation that God has given us in Christ.

 

Posted in Jonathan McAnulty | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sophron! Sound thought and Self-Control

Mission Trip Costa Rica 2020

Costa Rica 2020 Mission Trip

It is time to prepare again!  Close to 6 months out until my wife and I head to Costa Rica with a team of 8 others on our annual mission trip.  This year we will be returning to La Fortuna where we labored last year.

Mission Trip

Let’s share the Word in 2020!

We do not have an updated list of expenditure yet, but we know the final total will be in the realm of $2000 apiece for April and myself.  For any of you who would be willing to aid us in this effort, you can send funds to:

Travis Main; PO BOX 772; Steelville, MO; 655565

Subject Line:  Costa Rica 2020

Below are reports from our past efforts.  Thank you in advance for your prayers and any financial assistance you may provide.

Any questions? Please feel free to call:

816-341-0659 or hawkinz@hotmail.com

Travis Main

Costa Rica 2019: La Fortuna

Costa Rica 2018

Costa Rica 2017

Costa Rica 2016

 

Posted in Travis Main | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Mission Trip Costa Rica 2020

Fear Not, For I am With You – Isaiah 41:10

Fear Not, For I am With You – Isaiah 41:10

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

I want to remain faithful to the Lord this year.

That’s something very easy to say, but it’s not always easy to do.  You know what I mean?

When you think about it, doing what is right in the sight of God – being faithful and loyal to Him no matter what – takes courage.  Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).  In other words, you need to be more than just a religious person, someone who prays before meals and goes to church, in order to be saved.  You have to do what God says.

fear isaiah 41

God is faithful to you, to whom are you faithful?

What if you’re the only one in your family who wants to do that?  What if you are the only person at your job who wants to do right by God in a situation?  What if you are the only person among your friends or in your class at school who is willing to stand up for what the Bible says is right?

When that happens, we’re faced with a choice.  To whom are we more loyal?  Our family, our friends, our peers, our teachers…or the Lord?

That’s a tough decision.  It’s scary.  It requires a lot of courage to stand with God if no one else around you is willing to do the same.  In times like these, being faithful to the Lord is more than just a nice phrase to say, a nice New Year’s Resolution.  It requires courage and commitment.

And we can’t do it by ourselves.  At least I can’t, and I don’t think any of you can either.  If I am to remain faithful to God, I need God.  I need Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of comfort and assurance from today’s Bible Reflection verse of Isaiah 41:10.  It fills me with gratitude to know that God Himself, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, promises to be with me, give me strength, and help me.

The people in our lives can promise us great things, and many of them even do the best they can to keep their promises.  Yet there are times when they can’t, and even more times when they won’t.  We know that.  That’s why we say, “That’s life!” when disappointments come.

In matters involving the eternal welfare of our souls, it is far more serious…because there’s only one way to heaven and Jesus is that way (John 14:6).  Others will offer us another way.  Preachers, our family, our friends, authors, philosophers…they all say things about going to heaven that sound really good.  Yet so much of what they say is not based on truth, even though in many cases it’s offered with sincerity (Matthew 7:21; 15:14).

Many follow their feelings, their own theories and suppositions about how to be with God for eternity, but the road they’re on is not where we want to go.  I know this because the Word of God says so:  “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

Only God can help us.  Only Jesus can show us the way, and He has.  It’s the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, the Word of God that comes to us from God, that shows us the way to God.  The Scriptures give us the guidance from God and the encouragement from Him that we need to stay on the right path.

The inspired Psalmist knew this:  “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path…I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to Your word…You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word…Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes” (Psalm 119:105, 107, 114, 124).

Do you wish to remain faithful to God this year?  Let Him help you by going to His Word every day and letting His holy precepts guide you.

Posted in Jon Mitchell | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Fear Not, For I am With You – Isaiah 41:10

Self Honesty

Self Honesty (Psalm 136-140)

One of the least appreciated character traits in mankind is the attribute of honesty! Oh, we talk about it and stress its important to our children but show an incredible lack of honesty when it comes to owning our own actions and words. To me, the biggest problem seems to be with self honesty!

self honesty

Are you ready to face up to who you truly are?

David declares that the Lord has searched us and knows us. Better even than we know ourselves! And this is more often than not the case because we are simply not honest with our-selves. We cannot hide from God, but often try to hide ourselves from ourselves. God knows us better than we know ourselves because He created us. Each new day brings us another opportunity to take stock in ourselves.

Be honest with yourself and make the changes in your life you need to make. Quit blaming someone else, or something else, for who or what you are, and take ownership, extreme ownership of your life and your souls salvation. You’ll be eternally glad you do!

Posted in Tim Dooley | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Self Honesty