Thursday, September 28, 2006

Biblical Role Models

Here is a short list of men and women that God considered worthy to follow - but only as they followed the path of righteousness. Consider the words of the inspired apostle Paul "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1).
  • Abigail, woman of tact & poise (1 Sam. 25)
  • Abraham, the friend of God (Jas. 2:23)
  • Barnabas, the great encourager (Acts 4:36)
  • Caleb, mountain climber (Jos. 14:12)
  • Deborah, the fearless patriot (Jdg. 4-5)
  • Daniel, the lion tamer (Dan. 6:22)
  • David, man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22)
  • Dorcus, the Christian philanthropist (Acts 9:36-43)
  • Elizabeth, the priestly mother (Luke 1:6)
  • Enoch, who walked with God (Gen. 5:22)
  • Epaphroditus, a man of reputation (Phi. 2:29)
  • Esther, the providential princess (Esther 4:14)
  • Ezekiel, a man with a strong forehead (Eze. 3:8)
  • Haggai, the old man whose time was now (Hag. 1:4)
  • Isaiah, the gospel statesman (Isa 53)
  • Jeremiah, the languishing over sin (Lam. 1:16; 2:8)
  • Jethro, the preeminent father-in-law (Exo. 18)
  • Job, the patient patriarch (Jas. 5:11)
  • John, the disciple whom Jesus loved (Jho. 21:20)
  • Joseph, a lad of dreams (Gen. 37; 41)
  • Joseph, a man who obeyed dreams (Mat. 1:24; 2:13-14, 19-21, 22)
  • Joshua, a decisive conqueror (Jos. 24:15)
  • Lois & Eunice, Christian professors (2 Tim. 1:5; ;3:14-15)
  • Lydia, an hospitable business women (Acts 16:12-15, 40)
  • Mary, the magnificent (Luke 1:28)
  • Moses, the meek Num. 12:3)
  • Nehemiah, the builder of God's wall (Neh. 6:15)
  • Noah, true grit (2 Pet. 2:5)
  • Paul, that passionate apostle (Phi. 3:6; Gal. 1:14)
  • Peter, from shifting sand to solid rock (2 Pet. 1:10)
  • Timothy, a likeminded young man (Phi. 2:20)

~ rick

Friday, September 22, 2006

Powerful Peer Pressure

As in anything there are two sides to the provable coin regarding peer pressure: negative and positive.

First, negative peer pressure is wherein any person or group of persons would influence you to do something God forbad, or not do something God has enjoined. Many examples of negative peer pressure could be given, nevertheless allow these to suffice:

God Forbad:

  • Hebrew Midwives (Exo. 1:17)
  • Abraham (Gen. 20:9-11)
  • Shadrach, Meshach & Abed-nego (Dan. 3:19)

God Enjoined:

  • Jeremiah (Jer. 36:23; 37:15; 38:28)
  • Daniel (Dan. 6:4-9)
  • Apostles (Acts 4-5)

Second, positive peer pressure is wherein any person or group of persons would influence you to do something God enjoined or not to do something which God forbad. One receives this influence today from friends, television, music, movies, co-workers, classmates, etc.. Again, many examples of positive peer pressure could be given, nevertheless allow these to suffice:

God Forbad:

  • Ananais & Sapphire (Acts 5:1-11)
  • Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 4:20-21; 9:12, 23)

God Enjoined:

  • Aquila & Priscilla (Acts 18:24-26)
  • Apostle Paul (First & Second Timothy)

Third, God's Word addresses the topic of overcoming negative peer pressure. Here are just a few good principles to live by:

  • Love not the world (1 Jho. 2:15-17);
  • Set your priorities (Col. 3:1-2);
  • Be Christ like (2 Pet. 2:21);
  • Be involved in the work (Jas. 1:22-25);
  • Study the Scripture (Acts 17:11);
  • Make Heaven your goal (Phi. 1:21-23);
  • Be transformed (Rom. 12:1-2);
  • Be steadfast, unmoveable (1 Cor. 15:58);
  • Take heed to God's Word (Psa. 119:9);
  • Let the Word dwell within (Psa. 119:11);
  • Follow after godly role models (more to come later):

Fourth, God's Word informs the church how to exert positive peer pressure.

  • Personal Transgressors (Mat. 18:15-17)
  • False Teachers (Rom. 16:17-18)
  • Immoral Individuals (1 Cor. 5:1-13)
  • Disorderly Walkers (1 The. 5:14; 2 The. 3:6)
  • Heretics (Tit. 3:10-11)

"O Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;... Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindenss of the Lord" (Psa. 107:1-2, 43). May the redeemed also understand that what God forbids and enjoins is for our benefit.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Biblical Sexology

If you are sensitivity to indecorous language, please do not read. The very fact that this is a specialized religious seminar is vulgar in nature.

Joe Beam, a self-proclaimed ecstasy expert, is coming to the Oklahoma City area to teach the men of Oklahoma how to fulfill their wife's sexual ecstasy, according to the flyer sent out by the Del City Church of Christ.

Notes from the flyer...
“Too many Christians are miserable in their sex lives because they don't understand the freedom God has given. From God's Word, I show Christians how to have fun, exciting, and fulfilling life of romance and sexual ecstasy.”

“In the popular session on sex Joe not only reveals truths from the Bible that will change your SEX life overnight, but he also answers the most common questions about sex Christians ask.”

Send me your thoughts.
~ rick

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hermeneutics 101

What Does This Traffic Sign Mean?

  1. Left Turn Permitted
  2. Right Turn Permitted
  3. Straight Only - all other directions forbidden.

(Just in case you are wondering, the answer is #3. Striaght Only - all other directions forbidden)

If you drove your car the way you interpret the Bible, would you be arrested?

Friday, September 01, 2006

National Ethics

National ethics affects national existence and the quality of life therein. This great principle clearly underlies the three key messages of the book of Judges:

  • “In those days there was not king in Israel” (17:6; 21:25). Not even the Lord - “The LORD shall reign for ever and ever” (Exo. 15:18).
  • “The children of Israel did that which is evil in the sight of the Lord” (2:11; 3:7; 4:1; 6:1; 10:6, 10; 13:1).
  • “[E]very man did that which was right in his own eyes” (17:6; 21:25).

Social commentators such as Robert Bork (Slouching Towards Gomorrah, 1996), Thomas Sowell (A Conflict of Visions, 2002) and William Bennett (The De-Valuing of America, 1992), have plead with the American people to understand their fate. "Americans now place less value on what we owe others as a matter of moral obligation; less value on sacrifice as a moral good, on social conformity, respectability, and observing the rules; less value on correctness and restraint in matters of physical pleasure and sexuality - and correlatively greater value on things like self-expression, individualism, self-realization, and personal choice." (Bennett, The Children, What to Do About..., p. 5).

Immorality breeds selfishness and selfishness in turn breads a greater yield of immorality, both working like twins feeding off of each other. No nation, regardless of its military or system of government can survive the moral demise of its own people. Consider these warnings:

  • “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Pro. 16:18).
  • “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom” (Pro. 11:2).
  • “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility” (Pro. 18:12).
  • “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee” (Oba. 1:3).
  • “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Pro. 13:34).