Men of Valor

Men of Valor

There is a description of several groups within the genealogies of Israel which deserve our focused consideration. Several are recognized for posterity as being “mighty men of valor.”

While many men will live such lives as to garner no real lasting impression on subsequent generations this shouldn’t be the case with the children of God. If our time spent here on the earth is lived in such a way to bear any kind of lasting influence at all just what kind of influence will it be and just how will we be remembered?

Valor Men

Do you press forward or shrink back? Do you stand or step aside?

Every generation of the Lord’s church needs those men (and women), young and old alike, who will take a stand for the truth… Mighty men of valor. What kind of influence, what legacy, what inspiration, what remembrance will our lives have when we cross over into eternity? What we do today may well determine the answer that questions.

Be strong, be patient, be loving, be deter-mined, be obedient, and be faithful!

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Go the Extra Mile

Go the Extra Mile

Near the entrance of Gethsemane, He left eight of the apostles and then took Peter, James and John closer to the place where He was to pray. He left this “inner circle” and “…went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed” (Matt. 26:39, KJV). He went further than others—He always did—and told us to do the same.

Extra Mile

Thanks to God for the wonderful example of His Son.

In the Sermon on the Mount, He talked about going beyond where others would go. When compelled by a Roman soldier to carry supplies for a mile, Jesus said we should go a greater distance and carry it two (Matt. 5:41). If someone thinks he needs our tunic, Jesus said we should go the greater distance and give him our outer garment as well. He went further, and so should we.

Think of the application this has in every area of our lives. When we see how the world lives with its measure of morality, we should do more. The ungodly do good to those who do good to them, but Christians return blessing for cursing, good for ill treatment and prayers for those who prey on us (Matt. 5:44). He went further, and so should we!

Christian husbands and wives need to go further in the way they treat their mates than anyone else on this earth. Agape love does not wait until a spouse treats them with kindness. Christians go further, and they go further first! Christian parents go further with how they deal with their children than those in the world. Our children’s friends should see how we treat our children and be jealous! Christian children go further in honoring their parents than their friends at school do to their parents. Remember that Jesus went further and so should we!

Christians go further in the workplace than their fellow workers. The Bible uses the term “eyeservice” to describe those who work only when the eyes of their employers see them. Christians do not give eye-service—they go further (Eph. 6:6). They also work just as diligently for good bosses as they do for unkind ones (1 Pet. 2:18). Our Lord went further, and so should we.

Now, take this principle and make it part of your life and part of the life in your family. Going further than others expect will change you and will brighten the light you shine. It will also shock those around you. They likely have never met someone who goes the extra mile. Perhaps they will even see you as part of a church that practices this lifestyle and be led to become part of this great family.

Why not take a moment right now and think of what you did yesterday or today where you could have done more? Do not ever forget. He went further and so should we!

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Drunkenness of Holidays Not for Kings

Drunkenness of Holidays Not for Kings

While many think of the holidays as a season of peace, good-will and giving, a more honest assessment might conclude that as the end-of-year holidays descend upon us (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years), it is a season for revelries and parties.

This is not a new thing. Since just after the creation, sinful men have long sought out any excuse for drunkenness and lechery. Holidays seem particularly prone to the behavior.

This is one of the reasons why, when our forefathers first landed on this continent, they outlawed Christmas. Literally. The pilgrims had a very bad opinion of the festive season, viewing it not only as an unscriptural addition to the Gospel message, but having also grown disgusted at the wanton carousing and drinking that so often accompanied the celebrations in England and other parts of Europe. Thus, celebrating Christmas was made a criminal offense in several of the colonies. It wasn’t until the beginnings of the 19th century that Christmas celebrations were fully accepted in the young United States.

holiday kings

Don’t be fooled by the sparkle which corrodes the soul.

Though many attempt to project a spiritual air onto the Christmas season, it is clear that the practices of 18th century England are not too far removed from the practices of 21st century America when it comes to revelry and the holidays. It is just another excuse to get drunk and high.

But, let us be blunt, the Bible teaches us that Christians who want to go to heaven should have no part in such behavior. Drinking and drunkenness is suitable for people who are going to hell and don’t care, but for those who are children of God, it has no place in any celebration or other activity.

There are actually several passages of the Bible which admonish against the use of alcohol (and other drugs) as a beverage, but to keep this simple, one shall suffice. Proverbs 31:4-7 reads as follows: “It is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes intoxicating drink; lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the justice of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those who are bitter of heart. Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more(NKJV).”

Let us first note that kings and princes are told that it is unsuitable and wrong for them to ever drink intoxicating beverages. They have duties: duties to the law and duties to doing the right thing. Mind altering substances are going to interfere with those duties, and perhaps cause them to be done wrongly.

This admonition is of particular relevance to Christians who have been told by God that they are both kings and priests in God’s Kingdom (Revelation 1:6). This degree of honor is true of all Christians, not just a select few. Peter reminds his readers that they are a royal priesthood and a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). If you have been saved by Christ, then you are a child of God, an adopted heir of the immortal Lord, a brother to the King of kings, and God expects great things from you. (cf. Romans 8:14-17) If this is your calling, you should walk worthy of the calling. It is not suitable for kings and princes to drink.

On the other hand, the Scriptures are quite clear that drunkenness is suitable for the “perishing.” The original context of the proverb likely refers to criminals about to be executed for their crimes, such as rape or murder. Alcohol was used to dull their pain and make the death more humane. But the application is made broader by the context of scripture, wherein the perishing refers to those who are lost in their sins, separated from His grace and destined for hell (cf. Romans 6:23; Luke 13:3; Revelation 21:8).

The message is quite clear. If you are lost in your sins – going to hell, and don’t really care enough to change and seek the salvation God offers, go ahead, drink, get drunk, carouse, and try to pretend that everything is fine. But if you are a child of God, a prince in the Kingdom of God, and have been promised a throne and a crown of your own in His eternal home: you have better things to do with your time and your mind.


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Where Did the Apostle Peter Worship?

Where Did the Apostle Peter Worship?

Peter, James, and John all walked with Jesus (Matt. 4:18-22). For three and a half years they listened to Him preach and teach, as well as watching Him heal and perform many miracles among the people. During His earthly ministry, it was these three who became His ‘inner circle’ so to speak (Mk. 5:37-42; Matt. 17:1-2, 26:36-38). They were there the night He was arrested to be crucified (Jn. 18). They were eyewitnesses of the fact that He was raised from the dead (Acts1:1-3), just as was the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 15:1-11).

apostle worship

What Church was it that existed during the time of the apostles?

Now, while James suffered martyrdom fairly early on thereafter, these other three apostles – Peter, John, and Paul – all lived on for several decades after Jesus’ ascension. Therefore, the critical question for all sincerely God-seeking folks today to consider, is this: In the decades that followed Jesus’ ascension back into heaven, which church did those who were His very own hand-picked apostles, assemble, study, work, and worship with? Which specific church, did those who best knew God’s Son in the flesh in the first century, seek to work and worship God with after His return to glory?

Was it the Baptist Church? No, it couldn’t have been. The Baptist Church is never seen or named anywhere in Scripture (largely due to the fact that it wasn’t even established until 1607, by its founder, John Smyth, in Holland). Was it the Lutheran Church? No. Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church, wouldn’t even be born for in excess of another fourteen centuries. Did they work, worship, and assemble with the Catholic Church? Once again, not a chance. They couldn’t have. The Emperor Constantine would not establish the Roman Catholic Church for well over two hundred years after the last living apostle of Christ – John – had died.

So how, and with which church, did the apostles worship then? Let us examine their own words to find our answer. It was a church that taught that a person must repent and be baptized specifically FOR the forgiveness of their sins in order to be saved (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21); a church which taught that baptism is indeed the act of faith in God by which one is saved (Col. 2:8-14), just as their Lord and Savior had said (Matt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15-16; John 3:3-5). It was a church which utilized neither choirs, soloists, or mechanical instruments of music in their praise and worship, all members joyfully singing to God and one another instead (Eph. 5:17-21; Col. 3:16-17); again, just as their Lord had done with, and hence taught them to do (Matt. 26:30).

Actually, it is very easy to know exactly which church they attended; not only because there was only one church in existence (Eph. 1:22-23, 4:4-6) just as God had always planned (Matt. 16:18-19; Eph. 3:8-11), but because they actually told us which one it was (See: Rom. 16:16)! After all, why would anyone who truly loves and knows the Lord, choose to worship with and within someone else’s church, other than His; the one He came in the flesh and shed His blood and died to establish (Acts 20:28)?


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School is Ready, Is the Church?

Schools are Ready, Is the Church?

School is back in session, which means Satan is putting in overtime trying to pervert the hearts and minds of young people. He will use every means possible to get young people to question their faith and abandon God.

school corruption

The social design of public schools aims to pollute Christianity.

Consider this–Satan is sitting at DEFCON 1. He is ready for immediate action and is on the highest alert. Sadly, many Christians in the church are sitting at DEFCON 5, thinking back to school time is a period of peace. Here’s what I would LOVE to see the church prepared to do:

  • When the school encourages “Boys wear a dress day” respond by pulling your children out that day and offering a free community seminar on the importance of “Manning Up” and being the spiritual leader! Spend some time in youth classes discusses what a spiritual leader looks like.
  • When the school encourages students to be “tolerant,” spend a month in the pulpit teaching the congregation examples of when Jesus, Peter, Paul, and John were intolerant!
  • When the school teaches on the various religions—making them all sound equal, respond by offering to buy lunch for students if they will allow a Christian parent to have an open Q/A during the lunch period about Christianity.
  • When the school sponsors “LGBTQ silence day” respond by pulling your children out that day and instead go to a local park and put on a community-wide lesson on marriage to remind your youth and community Who instituted marriage.
  • When the school promotes abortion as just another choice in a sex-ed class, respond by hosting a community-wide movie night showing the movie Unplanned and take your youth to pray outside a Planned Parenthood clinic.
  • When the school holds a special Drag Queen Reading Hour featuring someone who is transgender, respond by pulling your child and encourage other parents to do the same. Instead offer your building for a special Bible Reading Hour where young people learn about the courage of Daniel or David.
  • When the school begins teaching macro-evolution, respond by hosting a creation/evolution seminar or pass out Christian evidence material on the sidewalk.
  • When the school cracks open the humanistic textbooks to use in the classroom, respond by starting an after school Bible club that teaches the Truth.
  • When the school promotes “Diversity” in their sex-ed classes, respond by pulling your children out of those classes and encourage parents to use something wholesome, like the “Passport for Purity” kit, to teach their children the beauty of sex as intended by God.
  • When the school promotes rebellion against parents by encouraging independence, in an encouraging manner to build the bonds between parents and children. Invest in a weekend seminar that focuses on the relationship between parents and children. Have some informal devotionals about what it means to honor parents.

These are just a few ideas that will show Satan and our community that we are not just going to give up and surrender the souls of our children. It is important that we be kind and reflect Christ as we carry out our mission, but it is also important that we take this battle seriously! What DEFCON level is your local congregation sitting at? Isn’t it time that we stand united—ready for battle?

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