The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

The MOTIVE of Giving

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 18, 2008

Through this study on the CONSIDERATIONS ON GIVING, we’ve looked at:

 

–The MATTER of our giving…It’s not an economic matter ~ it’s a heart matter! The WAY people gave mattered to the Lord – Mark 12:41, “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.”

 

–The MEASURE of our giving…WHAT people gave also mattered to the Lord – Mark 12:42-44, “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. [vs43] And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: [vs44] For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

 

In this final post on giving, I want us to think on the MOTIVE of our Giving.

 

Remember what was said about the Temple Treasury in the post, the MEASURE of Giving…“many that were rich” were casting in much and great noise echoed from those “Trumpet” chests. This outward show must have stirred the ones around! The crowd must have “oohed and ahhed” as the giving was going on.

 

BUT: what do you think happened when that poor widow woman threw in her two mites [2 mites = about one-fifth of a cent; to man, it was hardly worth it to give]? Can you imagine a silence? Was there a feeling of pity for the woman? Were there any praises from man? There may not have been any praises from man, but this woman had the praise of God! Read again Mark 12:43-44.

 

This woman’s HEART was in her gift unto God. Her motive for giving stemmed from her heart! Shouldn’t OUR MOTIVE for giving stem from the same? What should motivate a child of God to give from the treasure that God has blessed them with (as stewards)? Or basically…how should we give?

 

A.  THANKFULLY

 

The Motive of Thankfulness. This motive says that “we are so thankful to give unto God because God gave it all for us and to us.” Can you list 10 things that would cause a child of God to have a thankful heart before God and motivate him to give? As a Christian, you should AT LEAST be able to list 10 things from God that gives you a thankful heart. Remember them, and the next time you give to God of the treasure He has given you, you WILL BE motivated by thankfulness!

 

B.  CHEERFULLY

 

The Motive of Cheerfulness. This motive says that “our spirit and attitude of giving is good, pleasant, and even joyful because we know the Recipient of our giving.”

 

–We know how God accepts our giving. In 2 Cor 9:7 the Bible says, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver”. God loves it when we give cheerfully, and this motive is acceptable before Him!

 

I like this – the word cheerful in 2 Cor 9:7 means merry or hilarious. What are you like during offering time at your church? God loves a merry, HILARIOUS giver…one who expresses true happiness about giving unto the Lord!

 

–We know how He uses our giving. We ought to come to God with a cheerful heart in giving because He takes what we bring unto Him and multiplies it for the work of His Kingdom!

 

–We know how He is honored by our giving! Heb 13:15-16 says, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. [vs16] But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” We ought to come to God with a cheerful heart in giving because we have the opportunity to honor, bless, and please God Almighty!

 

C.  LIBERALLY

 

The only time I want to be known as a liberal is in my giving 🙂

 

The Motive of Liberal Giving. This motive says that “we want to give back generously and bountifully (i.e. liberally) because we’ve experienced God’s generous Hand and bounty in our lives”. Can you give specific examples of God’s generous Hand and bounty in your life?

 

And let me ask you this: Can we ever “out-give” God? Not by what these verses tell us:

 

Mal 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

 

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.”

 

 2 Cor 9:6, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”

 

Just a thought: How many people do you know who went penniless and starved to death because of they gave to God? How many people can you name that “out-gave” God? BUT: How many people can you name that have a testimony of a lack of God’s provision because they failed to put into practice Biblical giving?

 

Ps 37:25, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread”.

 

D.  SACRIFICIALLY

 

The Motive of Sacrificial Giving. This motive says that “we deprive ourselves for an express need that God has laid on our hearts.” Here are some examples of sacrificial giving: Mark 12:44 [see above] / Acts 4:32-37.

 

When it comes to the giving of our treasure, our method of giving is doctrinal and our motivation for giving is love! A love for God is a heart for God…and that’s a heart of: thankfulness, cheerfulness, liberality, and sacrifice. These motives can ONLY be manifested and plentiful if there’s a heart for God!

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The MEASURE of Giving

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 16, 2008

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Mark 12:41-44

 

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself cared about HOW people were giving their treasure [vs41]…but also, The Lord Jesus cared about WHAT was being given [vs42-44]. 

 

DID YOU KNOW that the Temple Treasury consisted of 13 brass chests, or boxes, to cast in offerings. These chests were called “Trumpets” due to them being shaped like a trumpet, or the “bell” of the trumpet. As metal coins were cast into the “Trumpets” a loud noise would be heard by those around the Temple Treasury…the more someone gave, the louder the noise!

 

If someone wanted to “put on a show”, it wouldn’t be too difficult. IN FACT, the Lord Jesus rebuked the ones who did put on a show in this way…Jesus said in Matt 6:1-2, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. [vs2] Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

 

When this poor, widow woman “threw in two mites” [Mark 12:42], they sounded “mighty small” in comparison to the other offerings being made. HOWEVER: What kind of sound did it make in the Lord’s ears? Mark 12:43-44 again says, “…Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” From what we read here, we can definitely figure out how man would measure her giving verses how the Lord did measure her giving!

 

HOW IS OUR GIVING TO BE MEASURED? HOW ARE WE TO GIVE?

 

A.  We are to give PROPORTIONALLY

 

In the measure of the giving of what God has given to us, we can give the same amount “proportionally”. For example: One person’s income is $2,000/month and another person’s income is $9,000/month. If Biblical, proportionate giving is practiced, BOTH would give the same amount proportionally! Both would “bring back a tenth part to God’s storehouse”!

 

BTW: What proportion, or what percentage, did the poor, widow women give in Mark 12? She gave 100% of all her living!!! Jesus said in Mark 12:43, “That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury”!

 

Notice, too, that the Apostle Paul endorsed proportional (or proportionate) giving: 1 Cor 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” What Paul was saying here is: “When you bring all the tithes and offerings into God’s storehouse, give in proportion to your income or to your increase”…as God hath prospered you!

 

HOW IS OUR GIVING TO BE MEASURED? HOW ARE WE TO GIVE?

 

B.  We are to give PROPERLY

 

Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” From this verse and 1 Corinthians 16:2, we can clearly see that God has appointed a “proper place” to bring the tithes and offerings. That proper place is His New Testament Institution and Storehouse, the Church.

 

HOW IS OUR GIVING TO BE MEASURED? HOW ARE WE TO GIVE?

 

C. We are to give PERPETUALLY

 

God has designed our giving to be systematic. Giving ought to be a regular part of our livesProverbs 3:9-10 says, “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Every time we have increase, we need to honor God with the “firstfruits” of that increase.

 

We’ve already looked at 1 Cor 16:2 more than once: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” When did Paul instruct the church at Corinth to “lay by him in store as God hath prospered him”? …upon the first day of the week, or the Lord’s Day!

 

Sadly today, many only give when they have “left-overs” or when moved by conviction or guilt, but this is not God’s plan and this isn’t how God measures our giving. Many miss the blessings of God in their MEASURE of giving.

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The MATTER of Giving – Part 2

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 14, 2008

Let me ask you this: From where should our giving stem?

FILL IN THE BLANK: “Your giving will start with your ___________”

The answer is your heart. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Cor 8:5 that the churches of Macedonia – churches with very little – took on the fellowship of the ministering to the saints, i.e. they took part in giving to other churches in need. “And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.”

“…but first gave their own selves to the Lord…” That’s a heart-issue and not an economic one! SO: I believe it’s fair to say that your giving is a good indicator of your heart’s spiritual condition.

SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED OR CARE ABOUT YOUR GIVING, OR THE LACK THEREOF?

Mark 12:41-44, “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. [vs42] And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. [vs43] And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: [vs44] For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself cared about WHAT was being given [vs42-44]…BUT ALSO, the Lord Jesus cared about HOW people were giving their treasure [vs41]! It’s evident from this text that the Lord cares about HOW we give.

Q) Do YOU think the Lord Jesus observes YOUR GIVING? Do you think He CARES about your giving? And why would He care? It is because giving is a matter of the HEART! Again, your giving IS a good indicator of your heart’s spiritual condition.

IF THE LORD JESUS CARES ABOUT OUR GIVING, THEN WHAT IS GIVING? HOW IS THE GIVING OF OUR TREASURE ACTUALLY DEFINED?

Simply stated, the giving of our treasure that stems from our heart is defined in TITHES and OFFERINGS.

WHAT IS A TITHE? Well, the Bible defines this word for us when we compare the following Scripture texts:

Gen 14:18-20, “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. [vs19] And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: [vs20] And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”

Heb 7:1-2a, “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; [vs2a] To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all

From comparing these verses we see that the tithe is a tenth part…and a tenth part of all…of your whole increase. So if you’re increased with $1,000 you’re tithe is a tenth part, or $100.

Oh“, but you might say, “tithing is Old Testament and not for today“…but that is a WRONG STATEMENT. Tithing is throughout the Bible! I got the following illustration from “The ABCs of Christian Growth“, Bible Baptist Church Publications, Pastor Robert J. Sargent. This is a list that shows tithing throughout the Word of God:

Abraham COMMENCED it – Gen 14:18-20

Jacob CONTINUED it – Gen 28:20-22

Moses CONFIRMED it – Lev 27:30

Malachi COMMANDED it – Mal 3:8-10

Jesus COMMENDED it – Matt 23:23

God COMMISSIONED it – 1 Cor 9:13-14

Paul CONFORMED it – 1 Cor 16:2

 

Tithing IS a SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLE! Abraham and Jacob tithed 500 years before the Law was instituted; Moses, Malachi, and the Lord Jesus spoke of tithing during the period of the Law; and Paul explained tithing after the Law in the New Testament. So should a Christian tithe? YES. Is tithing optional? NO. BTW: Too often, we get hung up on the tithe and forget that every penny we have is the Lord’s. All of our treasure, not just the tithe, is to be used as God leads and directs us. As stewards, it isn’t 10% that belongs to God, it is 100%!

 

WHAT IS AN OFFERING? An offering is something that is presented for acceptance; oblation; sacrifice; can also mean a treat or gift. To get an understanding of an offering, read these verses from the Book of Ezra:

 

1:4, “And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”

3:5, “And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD.”

7:16, “And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem

8:28, “And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.”

What we get from these verses is the offering was a freewill gift given for the LORD’S acceptance. The offering IS DIFFERENT FROM the tithe. The tithe is a required amounta tenth part – given obediently. The offering is an unspecified amount given devotedly.

We ought to be concerned about this matter of our giving…God is. Our giving is a matter of the heart. The giving of our treasure consists of tithes and offerings, and God has ordained those tithes and offerings to be used to finance His work.

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The MATTER of Giving – Part 1

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 12, 2008

This post is the beginning of a detailed series of posts I’ll call, “CONSIDERATIONS ON GIVING“. I’ll break up into a few parts this first subject, the MATTER of Giving, then we’ll delve into the MEASURE and MOTIVE of the giving of a believer…and as always, your responses and comments are valued and appreciated.

Thanks for following along, and stay tuned!

 

There are many things that we ought to be giving back unto the Lord…for example:

 

TIME – Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, [vs16] Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

God’s saying that He wants you and me to ‘redeem the time’, or to ‘rescue the time that He’s given to us from waste and evil’, so that it can be used for Him…think about this: God has given us time so that we may give God our time!

 

TALENTS (Abilities) – If God has blessed you with the ability and talent to play an instrument, sing, teach, write, manage finances, sew, weld, communicate with others, or WHATEVER talents and abilities God has blessed you with…YOU NEED TO USE THEM! 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “…whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Use your talents for God – Give them back to God!

This ought to be a ruling motive in the life of a believer!

 

TESTIMONYPsalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so”! I truly believe God can use a testimony that we’re willing to give when there’s an opportunity to witness and to minister to others…Let the redeemed of the LORD say so!

 

SO…In knowing all this, remember 1 Corinthians 4:2: “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”  The word Steward means Overseer; Manager. A Christian is an owner of nothing that he has, but he is a steward of everything he has!

 

Christians are [supposed to be] stewards of their time, talents, and of their testimony. We as believers don’t actually own anything, and we’re supposed to manage and give back what we have unto the Lord for His Glory. Well…wouldn’t this also apply to our TREASURE?

 

How we are as stewards of the treasure that God has entrusted to us is truly important and it demands our thoughtful and prayerful consideration. Each one of us as stewards ought to really be thinking and praying on how we oversee God’s treasure!

 

A friend of mine a while back sent me this article…the title of it is, “Five Habits of Millionaires”. This article found consistent patterns among millionaires, or those people who “have treasure”…I really think it’s interesting to take note of their patterns:

 

#1 – Avoid The “Earn-to-Spend” Mentality

Many millionaires view money as something to save and invest rather than income to spend. How spiritually wealthy would we be if we saved and invested in the work of God?

 

#2 – Focus

Millionaires resist the impulse to be scattered in their efforts and interests…they clearly write down their goals, making it easier to keep in focus. Basically, they have a plan. What’s your plan as a steward  of what God has given you?

 

#3 – Do Whatever Is Necessary to Meet Your Goal

People who earn their millions are able not only to focus but persevere in the pursuit of their goals. They press toward their mark. Paul said in Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Are you pursuing with a passion to be a blessing with what God has blessed you with?

 

#4 – Take Calculated Risks

These folks had to take strategic risks to earn and grow money. They had to put some faith in what they were doing…not blind-faith, but a trust in certain methods and teachings. Are YOU ready to step out in faith with the finances God has given you? It’s not “blind-faith”, but a trust in the One whose blessed you and desires your obedience in the matter of giving.

 

#5 – Be Generous

 

Many millionaires give much and are truly generous. We may not know the motives of their generosity, but our motives ought to be the Love of the Lord Jesus Christ and HIS generosity – JESUS PAID IT ALL! 2 Corinthians 9:6, “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully“. May we be generous!

 

In the world of “high finance”, we see by their habits that these people take great consideration in their treasure. So should we! We are the ones who are involved in “the finances of the Most High”, and we ought to really give our thoughtful and prayerful consideration when it comes to the giving of the treasure that God’s given to us as stewards!

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Like Father, Like Son

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 7, 2008

Just for a moment, consider the similarities between Isaac and his father, Abraham…

#1: In the midst of a famine, Isaac leaves the Promised Land to search for better pastures – Gen 26:1, “And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.”

–In this, he followed his father, Abraham: Gen 12:10, “And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.”

#2: Isaac goes to sojourn with Abimelech the king of the Philistines: again, Gen 26:1, “…And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.”

–In this, he again follows his father, Abraham: Gen 20:1-2, “And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar. [vs2] And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.”

#3: In fear for his life, Isaac tells that Rebekah, his wife, is his sister: Gen 26:7, “And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.”

–And that’s just what his father, Abraham, did: Gen 20:2, “And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.”

Just a COINCIDENCE or COPIED responses…

Isn’t it interesting how children pick up things from and imitate their parents?

…You know what I’m talking about.

GOD HELP US TO BE RIGHT EXAMPLES AND INFLUENCES FOR OUR CHILDREN…and for others’ children!

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Everyone Teach Someone

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 4, 2008

The title of this post was born from 2 Timothy 2:1-4, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. [vs2] And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. [vs3] Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. [vs4] No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

The Book of 2 Timothy is Paul’s farewell and final epistle in the Bible. Now there are many interesting things about this Book, but did you know that there are TWENTY-NINE different people named in this Book? Most of these named were a blessing unto Paul, and the thought of these ones ought to remind us that God does His work through people.

In my last post, Witnessing IS NOT a gift, I stated that “no one is excluded from being a vocal witness for Christ“. It is our responsibility to not only be a vocal witness for Christ, but it is also our responsibility to teach others the things that have been committed to us.

It’s not only, Everyone REACH Someone, but it’s also, Everyone TEACH Someone!!!

In our Scripture text above, we know this is the Apostle Paul speaking to Timothy. Paul called Timothy, “my own son in the faith” (1 Tim 1:2). Timothy grew up with strong Christian influences in his mother [Eunice] and grandmother [Lois] (2 Tim 1:5; 3:15). Although these influences were vital to Timothy, I believe he was lead to the Lord by Paul, his “father in the faith“.

Paul not only was the one to reach Timothy, he also would be the one to teach Timothy. Paul taught Timothy, and Timothy was supposed to commit what was taught to him to faithful men who would teach others also. WOW! WHAT A GREAT EXAMPLE AND MODEL FOR ALL OF US TO APPLY!

As a laborer for our Lord and Saviour, it is your responsibility to do your very best with God’s help in teaching someone else who will then be able and go teach someone else. Just look at your own life in Christ. Is there a hand print of others in your life who have made an impact, a difference, and an investment? I truly believe all of us who name the Precious Name of Jesus can say with affection, “YES”. So then let me ask you this: Are you investing your life in the life of someone else?

This PRINCIPLE again is found in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” It is essential that you and I pass on to someone else the things that we’ve learned of God. As someone once said, “Those who know must tell those who do not know“.

But be aware, for in teaching someone else, there is always a PRICE to pay: [vs3] “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Time, effort, prayer, expenses, and sacrifices are just some of the costs of teaching God’s Truth to someone else. It’s not easy – it’s hard. This is why many believers just aren’t teaching or aren’t being taught. Having a godly heritage to go on after us demands a price to be paid. Question is: Are YOU willing to pay the price?

If you’re willing, then you’ll be thankful to know that there’s only One PERSON to please! [vs4] “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” This PERSON is the One who has chosen us to be His soldiers – the Lord Jesus Christ! Keep your eyes upon Jesus. Why will you follow this principle laid out by Paul for Timothy and for us? You want to please the Lord Jesus. Why will you invest so much, even your whole life in the life of someone else and pay the price? You want to please the Lord Jesus.

Friends, Jesus is why everyone should teach someone! Take your eyes of yourself and the seemingly monumental tasks of teaching, training, and the discipleship of others, and turn your eyes upon Jesus. Know that God does His work through people and He is pleased when you and I commit what has been taught to us to faithful men who will then teach others also.

DEDICATE TO DISCIPLE!

And it will surprise you what the Lord will do!

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The Employment of Your Tongue

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 29, 2008

Do you realize the Christian’s adversary – the devil – is in the word business? He cares much about what he says. He takes great interest in words. He even takes great interest in the ones he can influence to lie and to tear down! In fact, he’s ‘gainfully employed’ in the business of deception, lies, and deceit…and words are the tools of his trade! Remember the devil’s first words recorded in Scripture: “Yea, hath God said” and “Ye shall not surely die”.

The Lord Jesus said of Satan in John 8:44 that “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it“. SO: By what the Lord said in this verse, do you think it would be profitable unto the devil if he could lie about and make people doubt God’s Word? I believe the answer is YES…it would be profitable unto him!

 

BTW: Have you ever wondered why there are over 100 English translations of the Scriptures? I’m sure you’ve heard of the NIV [New International Version] and the NASV [New American Standard Version], etc, but have you ever heard of:

 

 The An Inclusive Version” [AIV]…Here’s the write-up on it:

 

There are two reasons for this new version. The languages into which the Bible is rendered are changing. New manuscripts are discovered that are older and more reliable, and new investigations into the meanings of words reveal that more accurate renderings are possible…People who have disabilities are not referred to as “the blind” or “the lame,” but as “people who are blind” or “those who are lame.” Because the church does not assume that God is a male being, in this version God is never referred to by a masculine pronoun, or by any pronoun at all. As the church does not believe that God is literally a father and understands “Father” to be a metaphor, “Father” is rendered in this version by a new metaphor, “Father-Mother.”

How about the “Cotton Patch Version” [CPV]…Here’s it’s write-up:

It is not only a translation into modern American English but into American ideas. It cuts across the time space barrier, and the scene shifts from a first century Greco-Roman world to twentieth century America where Paul is no longer an aristocratic Pharisee, but a converted Southerner who boldly speaks the mind of Christ on such matters as racism, brotherhood, possessions, church membership and responsibility, the claims of Christ, and personal Christian living. Its plain, hard-hitting language is earthy and sweaty, straight from the cotton fields and city streets.

Don’t you think that to make people doubt God’s Word the devil would publish deceptions of God’s Word? Oh yes, the devil is very involved and employed in the word business! He takes great interest in the ones he can influence for to lie and to tear down.

 

BUT LET’S NOT FORGET: GOD, TOO, takes a great interest in words! FAITH hinges on His Word – “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” [Rom 10:17]. His Word is held in the Highest Regard – “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindnessand for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” [Ps 138:2].

 

God takes great interest in what He says…and we’ve seen that the devil takes great interest in what he says…but have you realized THEY BOTH take great interest in what YOU and I say? Great interest is taken in our tongue! So let me ask you this: Is your tongue being employed in the faith?

Do you care about what you say?

Has your tongue been tamed?

–- Has it been brought under the influence of the Spirit of God?

 

Exodus 20:16 says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour“. Of course, this is the ninth commandment. I wanted you to see this again because I need you to see that God has taken the time to set aside 1 out of the 10 Commandments to tell us that we’re not supposed to lie!

 

NOW WHY DID GOD DO THAT?

 

–I believe it’s because God knows that our tongue – the words you and I speak – carry tremendous influence! IN WHAT WAYS do we influence with our speech, and HOW CAN WE employ our tongue?

 

I. YOUR TONGUE CAN BE EMPLOYED IN AN EDIFYING WAY

 

I’m sure you’ve experienced words that have influenced you in an edifying way. While in the Air Force I received one of many refrigerator magnets at a seminar we had to attend entitled “101 Ways to Praise a Child”. On the magnet were edifying statements like “Great job” and “What an effort“. There were 101 of them printed to remind us of 101 ways to edify our children…and that was the Air Force assisting us with this! It is very important that our tongue be employed in an EDIFYING WAY!

 

Eph 4:29, “Let no corrupt {meaning, rotten} communication proceed out of your mouth…”

 

Let me just interject this right here: Some of you may be in the habit of using swear words. Now not only is that a filthy and rotten habit, but it’s not edifying…AND, I believe, it also shows lack of intelligence and a weak vocabulary.

 

Do you know what word really makes me cringe…especially when I hear it from a very young or a very old person? Please excuse me…but it’s the word “sucks”. “That sucks”…what does that even mean? How did THIS become acceptable?

1 Cor 15:33, “evil communications corrupt good manners

Col 3:8, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth”.

 

Again, Eph 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt {rotten} communication proceed out of your mouth…” But the rest of vs29 says, “…but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

 

We’re supposed to be edifying one another, building up each other in the faith, and not tearing each other down! Let us employ our tongue in an edifying way!

 

II. YOUR TONGUE CAN BE EMPLOYED IN AN ETERNAL WAY

 

I have books I read that were written by men who’ve gone on before me…BUT: their words still have an influence on me! They “being dead yet speaketh”! They and their writings have an eternal influence on me. What they’ve written influence me for eternity AND others are being affected and influenced as well – WOW! You just don’t know how much influence your words have! What can YOU say that will influence someone for all eternity? How about the words of the Gospel? How about, “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” [Luke 2:10-11].

 

Wow…our tongue has an eternal employment and influence. This is why God’s so interested in our tongue! And this is why the devil wants to influence you to lie and to tear others down.

 

III. YOUR TONGUE CAN BE EMPLOYED IN AN EVIL WAY

 

James 3:5-8, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! [vs6] And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. [vs7] For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: [vs8] But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

 

Must I explain this point further than James? We all know our tongue can be employed in the evil ways of gossip, lying, etc. Someone once said, “Opened by Mistake is more used for the mouth than the mail”!

 

THE WORDS YOU AND I SPEAK CARRY TREMENDOUS INFLUENCE…

HOW IS YOUR TONGUE EMPLOYED?

DO YOU HAVE TO APOLOGIZE TO SOMEONE FOR WHAT YOU’VE SAID?

DO YOU NEED TO ASK GOD’S FORGIVENESS FOR EMPLOYING YOUR TONGUE IN AN EVIL WAY?

 

AREN’T YOU TIRED OF TEARING OTHERS DOWN…

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The Good-O-Meter

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 27, 2008

This was sent to me and I wanted to post this short video for you to watch…it reminds me of:

Matt 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [vs22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [vs23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

AND: Rom 3:10-12, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: [vs11] There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. [vs12] They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

One more thing: I wouldn’t have portrayed the Lord Jesus in a T-shirt, jeans, and “hip” wrist-wear, so try to look beyond that [You’ll see what I’m talking about close to the end…Lord bless!]

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Relationship vs. Fellowship

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 25, 2008

I’d like to follow-up my It’s a RESCUE! post with this one because I’ve been perusing around other posts and reading the many people who truly believe that the salvation the Lord Jesus Christ had so FERVENTLY GIVEN and is so FREELY GAINED and is so FIRMLY GRIPPED upon His own…can be lost by THEIR actions [or lack thereof].

Forgive my presumption, but just from what I’m reading, I’m seeing that many people do not have a spiritual grasp on what the difference is between RELATIONSHIP and FELLOWSHIP…so here it goes, and may it be a help to you!

RELATIONSHIP

Due to the fact that every one of us have been born into this world, every one of us has a standing before God…and it’s not good:

Ephesians 2:1-3, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; [vs2] Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: [vs3] Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

You see, every one of us had [or still has] a standing before God of “being dead in trespasses and sins”; “the children of disobedience”; and “by nature the children of wrath, even as others”.

But don’t stop there…listen to Ephesians 2:5-10!

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, [by grace ye are saved;] [vs6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [vs7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. [vs8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [vs9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. [vs10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

PRAISE GOD!!! By the Grace of God, and not by OUR OWN WORKS, can a person be saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…delievered from their debt of sin they owe and from their destiny of Hell. [BTW: just thought of this…isn’t it odd that many who don’t believe salvation is forever believe that Hell is?]

Now when a person has partaken by faith the Lord’s salvation, that person is now born into the Family of God! Remember the conversation Jesus had with a Pharisee named Nicodemus in John 3? In that conversation, Jesus said this in verse 5: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

“Born of water” – that’s a natural birth [what happens right before a woman delivers…her water breaks]; “Born of the Spirit” – of course, that’s a spiritual birth. BOTH BIRTHS bring a soul into a family…”born of water” brings a soul into an earthly family, and “born of the Spirit” brings a soul into a spiritual family, or “the Kingdom of God”!

FRIENDS, THIS SPIRITUAL BIRTH IS A RELATIONSHIP! After salvation, God has become your Spiritual Father and you’ve become His child: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” [Galatians 3:26]

Now that salvation has been established as a RELATIONSHIP, the question has to be asked: “Can a child of God cease in being a child of God“? That’s the thought and belief that’s on trial! Many I’ve been reading believe because of something they did or of something they will do, they will not be saved or have that RELATIONSHIP anymore with God.

KNOW THIS: Sadly, Christians have turned away from God before – the Apostle Peter is a great example. He DENIED his Lord three times, but he DID NOT lose salvation…because salvation is a RELATIONSHIP.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE: THE PRODIGAL SON. Jesus tells us in Luke 15:11-32 the prodigal son forsook his father, took his inheritance, and went and wasted away all that was his. He turned his back on his father, but what did his father do? He received him back – not to be his son again, but because he was his son. Even when his son was away from him, and for all intended purposes he was considered dead, that boy was STILL his father’s son. That boy broke his FELLOWSHIP with his father, but his RELATIONSHIP was always that of his son.

THINK ABOUT THIS: When our children disobey or do wrong, they are still our children – they will always be because they were “born into the family”…but when they disobey or do wrong, FELLOWSHIP has been broken because by their actions they’ve gone against what we said to do or not to do. FELLOWSHIP can be restored if the child receives the correction and love of those parents, just like with the prodigal son and his father…and JUST LIKE WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER!

 

Is Grace greater than all our sin? Is God “God-enough” to not only save you, but keep you saved? When Jesus says in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: [vs28] And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. [vs29] My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” – Do His Words, “they shall never perish, neither shall any man [that’s means even we ourselves can’t!] pluck them out of my hand‘”, mean what they say? How about vs29…a child of God is sealed by the Holy Spirit, seated in the Hand of Christ, and secured with Christ in the Father’s Hand…now I’d say that’s ETERNAL SECURITY!

 

So after all this…WHAT CAN YOU DO TO REMOVE THAT RELATIONSHIP?

 

ARE YOU STRONGER THAN GOD – CAN YOU AND YOUR ACTIONS PLUCK YOURSELF FROM GOD’S ALMIGHTY HAND? I trow not!

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Take the N.I.V. Quiz

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 15, 2008

To take the NIV quiz, just answer the following questions from the New International Version (NIV) Bible. If you’d like to use the NIV online, please click on the NIV picture and change the “search” version to “NIV“.

Oh yes…one other thing – the answers to these questions MUST BE TAKEN FROM the actual verses of this translation AND NOT from any footnotes. After completing the quiz, let us know how you did!

1) Matthew 5:44 [fill in the blanks]: “Love your enemies, _______________ them that curse you, ____________  ___________ that hate you, and pray for them that _____________  ______________  ____________ and persecute you.”

2) In Matthew 17:21 what 2 THINGS did Jesus say were required to cast out the devil that was vexing a man’s son?

3) According to Matthew 18:11, what was the very important reason WHY Jesus came to earth?

4) In Matthew 27:35, when the wicked soldiers parted the Lord’s garments at the cross, they were actually fulfilling prophecy…from this verse, write down what was that prophecy.

5) In Luke 22:14, how many Apostles were with the Lord Jesus?

6) According to Acts 8:37, was is THE REQUIREMENT for baptism?

7) What did Saul [soon to be, Paul] ask his Lord Jesus Christ in Acts 9:6?

8] 1 Timothy 3:16 is perhaps THE GREATEST VERSE in the New Testament concerning the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ…in this verse, WHO was manifested in the flesh?

9) 1 John 5:7 speaks to the Three Persons in the tri-unity of God…from this verse, who are these Three?

10) Revelation 1:11 is another very important verse that proves the Deity of Christ. In this verse, Jesus says, “I am the A________ and O__________, the ____________ and the ___________. Fill in the blanks from the NIV.

→This brief quiz is intended to point out that there are differences in translations of the Bible. All these questions can be answered with the Authorized Version, or King James Version [KJV] Bible.

→My question is [and yours ought to be]: WHY? Why are there differences in the translations…major differences, and not just differences in spelling, grammer, etc, as it’s been touted?

→Did God say it or didn’t God say it? Did God speak His Word specifically, or did He give a general thought that would be left up for us to figure out what He was meaning? For example: When a parent tells his child, “Take out the trash and clean your room“, that parent means, “Take out the trash and clean your room“. It does not mean “take out the trash” only or “clean your room” only. The child may only “take out the trash“, but that’s not everything his parent told him to do.

WHAT SAY YOU? WHY DOES THE NIV AND THE AV [or, KJV] CONTAIN DIFFERENCES IF IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE THE VERY WORDS OF GOD? …hhhmmmm…

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