When the bible says something, it always has its reasons. If we think such does not apply to us, we deceive ourselves.
Lets look at this scripture:
1 Corinthians 15: 33
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
The word "communication" is not restricted to just hanging out together. Books we read, what we listen too, what we behold are all sources of communication. How careful we need to be. Have you ever watched a TV program and started feeling uncomfortable? Then its time to switch the programme off. Have you started feeling a check about certain telephone conversations? Then
perhaps its time to take action about it. Either wisely divert the conversation to something else next time the person calls or let it go to voicemail. You can always return the call at a time when you will be in charge of what is discussed.
Lets not forget Solomon. A phrase was made about Solomon in the book of Nehemiah which is very sober.
Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.
Solomon is all his wisdom, could not violate this principle. How careful we need to be.
Its time to begin to evaluate everything that is a source of communication to us, and ensure that it is pointing us to the source of purpose and pleasing God in all things. Sometimes these things can be subtle in influencing us, we need to remain sensitive.
Prayer for some reason is not a popular topic today, however the lack of it is the root cause of many of our problems. There is nothing wrong in asking others to pray for us, however we all have a responsibility to develop our own prayer lives.
We are instructed in scriptures in so many places to pray:
Luke 18: 1
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
James 5; 13
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
These are a few scriptures that require us all to pray. As Christians we MUST develop our prayer lives, not to do so can
be very costly.
1 Timothy 3: 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience
We have a glorious faith. We are privileged to have access to such a faith. If you don’t know the Lord yet, the door is wide open for all. All you need to do is to receive Jesus Christ the one who died for you as Lord as Saviour and begin to live unto Him.
Yes we have a glorious faith, and to benefit more from what we have, we need to ‘ hold the mystery of faith in a pure conscience’.
What does this mean? Listen to your heart. We are to search our hearts at all times. We need to make sure that our motives are right. We are to remain teachable and ensure our hearts and conscience are pure.
Have you ever been betrayed? Someone close to you was disloyal, your friend, a person you least expected it from.
To be betrayed can be hurtful and naturally painful, but what is Gods response to betrayal?
Position yourself as a leader. You have a board of deacons whom have been with you for a long time. Then it is revealed to you that one of them will betray you. At that moment you are having a meal with them on the same table, eating with your enemy.
This is what happened to Jesus.
We are to live in integrity and please the Lord at all times. Speak and live in the truth whether or not others like it or not.
How many times have you seen someone do something very silly or outrageous just to earn brownie points with someone? Possible somebody in authority or a person they think that earning some positive points with them will be beneficial.
Lets look at an account in the bible!
How did Saul die?
1 Samuel 31: 3 - 5
3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.
4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust
me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.
Another account of how Saul died from a young man trying to please David
2 Samuel 1: 2 - 10, 14 - 15
It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.
3 And David said unto him, From whence comest thou? And he said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped.
4 And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and
many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.
5 And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead?
6 And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his
spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.
7 And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I.
8 And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite.
9 He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me.
10 So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.
14 And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?
15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.
From the first account we can see that Saul killed himself as he did not want the Philistines to kill him. However, the young man in the second account, thought that he would please David, by telling David that he killed Saul. He paid a very heavy price for what he
The account speaks for itself and so does the lesson.
Have you ever heard ‘ give and you will get a hundredfold return? Well if you study scripture very carefully, this is not what the bible is saying about the hundredfold return.
So what does scripture say?
Mark 10: 17 – 30
17And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master,
what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
23And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
24And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
26And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
27And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
28Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
29And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
30But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
Here is the evidence of the hundredfold return. The young man in verse 17 was invited to be a partaker of great treasure by leaving all.
Peter responded in verse 28 by saying: ‘ we have left all and have followed you’.
Jesus then responded directly to Peters comment ‘ in verse 28 which is the condition of the hundredfold return.
Cleary stated: Leaving houses, or brethren, or sister, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for HIS SAKE AND THE GOSPELS.
In summary it is the place of sacrifice for the Lord and for the sake of the gospel i.e laying it all down to follow and serve Him.
But l heard someone quote Genesis 26: 12 – 13
12Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed
him. 13And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
This scripture is not a promise. It is just stating how the Lord blessed Isaac when he sowed in the land. It’s the book of Mark that is a promise to ‘any man’ that meets the condition.
Apart from this, we do not know what Isaac sowed in the land, as the bible has not stated it.
Yes when we give, the Lord does bless us and gives to us. The measure we get back is not specified, but obviously it is a good
measure, pressed down and shaked together according to scripture:
Luke 6: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
The hundredfold return is the place of sacrifice where we leave all ,take up our cross for His sake and for the gospels sake.
If we want to experience the Lords abundance we must make His priorities ours and follow Him with all our heart.
Sacrifice is a step beyond convenience. Bill Johnson