Saturday, April 23, 2011

How do we KNOW we are Saved?

Thanks to Pat Donahue for writing this one!

Many religious people say they know they are saved because they feel saved, or they have had some “better felt than told” experience. But I John 2:3 reads “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” So we don’t know we are saved based upon our feelings, but instead it is based upon whether or not we are obeying God’s new covenant law.

Remember the story in Genesis where Joseph’s brothers smeared blood on his garment so their father (Jacob) would think Joseph had been killed by a wild animal (Genesis 37:31-34)? It worked - Jacob mourned, just as if Joseph was dead. But the reader knows Joseph was still alive. Jacob’s feelings were based upon false information, and were therefore unreliable. So might our feelings be unreliable about our own salvation – if they are not based upon the truth of God’s word – only the truth will make us free from sin (John 8:32).

Revelation 22:14 makes it clear that our salvation is dependent upon our obedience to God’s word, as it reads “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (referring to heaven). Our feelings are unreliable as they can be deceived. The only way to be sure of your salvation is to keep God’s commandments.

Back to I John 2, verses 4-5 read “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” So keeping God’s commandments is how our love for God is completed, and is how we know that we are in (fellowship with, a saved relationship with) him.

For more information on how to be saved see links below

How to be Saved

What Must We do?

For more about Pat Donahue go here Bible

Friday, April 15, 2011

Worry, Worry, Worry

by Joshua V. Best

Everyone knows the signs: sleepless nights, sick stomachs, mental breakdowns, deep depression, hiding away, high blood pressure. turning to drugs and alcohol, etc... These are indicators an individual has fallen victim to his own worry.

Worry eats people alive, and Christians are not immune. It touches the lives of virtually every family and affects millions of people every single day, touching all walks of life in myriad circumstances: The educated worry because of everything they know, while the uneducated worry because they know so little. The rich worry because they have so much, while the poor worry because they have so little. The old worry because they aren't young, but the young worry because they aren't older.

Worry takes so much time for so many folks, interfering with everyday action, sometimes even making people physically ill. It remains, however, one of those silent problems few seem to want to talk about. This is not just a psychological issue, though, and there may be many who would be surprised to learn that worry is prohibited by God (Matthew 6:25-34). "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life ..." (Matthew 6:25).

The unfortunate fact remains that many Christians do not consult the word of God for their daily problems, failing to realize that anything can be properly addressed using the wisdom and knowknowledge from. Yet, these same people will consult doctors, read worldly books, listen to what Oprah or Dr. Phil has to say, etc. We need to address worry from a biblical standpoint, realizing it as a problem and habit that can cause us to be lost eternally.

Fact About Worry

It Causes Physical Harm

In Psalm 32:3, we read: "When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long." David speaks here of sin he kept to himself, but anything bottled up inside can lead to "groaning bones." Most everyone has felt that pit in their stomach and feelings of real anguish over something impending, a sure sign that worry has taken control.

Worry Does Not Mean Being Thoughtless or Careless

Some have mistaken teaching against worry as an endorsement of indifference or carelessness. If we adopt an attitude of apathy, we are guilty of the opposite extreme and no better off than if we were worrying. In his teaching in Luke 14:28-32, Jesus talks about planning using a builder and a king as an example. We are reminded by this to be mindful of what is going on round about us and making the necessary arrangements to handle whatever undertaking. There must be balance between worry and apathy, and neither extreme pleases God.

Worry is Useless

I would suggest that people only worry about two things: Things you can't change, and things you can change. Everything falls into one of these categories, and neither represents a good reason to worry. After all, if there's nothing you can do to change something, there's simply no point in worrying about it. And if there is something you can do, heed the direction of Ecclesiastes 9:10: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going."

So how can we stop the sin of worry, and do so according to God's Word?

Forget the Past

Many spend their lives in past days. Some can't live today because of the greatness of yesterday, while others can't make it through today because of the problems and sins of days gone by. And while there is nothing wrong with fond memories or nostalgia, and certainly much can be learned from past mistakes, the Bible teaches against living in the past, regardless of the way we remember it.

Paul writes, "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14). In this passage, we are instructed to forget the past and look toward the goal, ahead to our goal of eternal life, not dwelling on those things gone by. How much better we would be if we took this advice and pressed forward? Instead, we offer excuses, saying we can't clear our minds of the past. We must be leery of such a line of thinking, though. The words of Philippians 3 are not suggestions, but commands of God, and we must forget what is past and move forward in Him. Imagine if the great Apostle Paul had dwelled on and worried about his past -- what a waste it would have been -- and his was a past full of horrible sin, much of which you and I have had no part. "Although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief" (I Timothy 1:13).

So, from yesterday we must learn from mistakes, we give thanks for our blessings, and then turn our attention to today.

Live One Day at a Time

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:34).

Perhaps it is the speed of modern life with all its conveniences and fast pace. For some reason, people today have a difficult time taking one day at a time. Rather, they "live life in the lump," overwhelming themselves with everything at once. If you think about everything you have to do this week, it will depress you with worry about how you can possible get everything done, and you might not face your week. This kind of thinking is well illustrated in the following facts I recently came across: The average man's lifetime includes 20 years sleeping, 6 years watching television, 5 years shaving and dressing, 3 years waiting for others, 1 year on the telephone, and 4 months tying his shoes. It is overwhelming to me to think about standing in line for 3 years, but we all understand how unreasonable it would be to worry about such a thing. Why then must we consume ourselves over other matters? Good advice according to Jesus' teaching: Don't dwell on everything you have to do, set your mind on what you must do next!

Understand and Accept Yourself and Your Abilities

To really beat worry, we need to come to terms with who we are and what we can do. I'm not saying we should accept sin in our lives or be content with doing the bare minimum, but we must understand everyone is different. We have different degrees of ability and can do different things to serve God. The parable of the talents, comes to mind here (Matthew 25:14-30). Note the one talent man wasn't condemned for not being the five talent man, rather, for not using what he had. How unfortunate that some feel because they cannot do big things they cannot do anything.

You may not be cut out to be a preacher, teacher, song leader, elder, etc. But if you are, use that talent or ability to the glory of God. Don't waste time comparing your service to the service of others; they are not the standard by which we will be judged. We should spend our time seeing how we measure up to the word of God, His standard, looking into it to see how to apply it in our lives, and how we can use our abilities for the furtherance of the kingdom.

Count Your Many Blessings

Often we only want to notice our problems, what's wrong with us and all about us. For many, it is a constant gloom and doom outlook -- this is wrong and that is wrong. Instead of counting our blessings, many folks are busy counting their problems. The Bible speaks to the thankful attitude of the Christian:

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful" (Colossians 3:15).
"Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:20).

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (I Thessalonians 5:18).

Here's something to think about: How would we feel when you put forth great effort and achieve great accomplishments, yet someone complains about what we didn't do? It's like that boss we all had at one time that always made us feel like nothing we did was good enough. Similarly how must God feel or think when we, the most blessed people in the world, both spiritually and physically, bellyache and moan about all our problems? Especially when what He has done for us so greatly outshines the earthly comparisons of what we might do.

If we count our blessings, instead of our problems, we will beat worry.

I really believe the reason people worry is because worry is easier than action. I came across a funny little quote that illustrates this pretty well:

"Worrying is less work than doing something to fix the worry. Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom with the dishes."

Now, that's not in the Bible, but it reminds us of a biblical truth. Worry is the easy way out, as sin usually is.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Anxiety-A Serious form of Worry

Have you every heard someone say....."I'm feeling a little anxious about_________."  What they mean is are uneasy about a situation or status.  Maybe they are worried about loosing their job.  Many first time parents are anxious about the delievery.  This is not the kind of anxiety that causes so many to shut down, become homebodies, alcholoics, drug addicts...etc...

The anxiety we are talking about has a serious, foreboding type of apprehension at its root.  It is not just being concerened with something, but having an intense uneasiness that controls your every move.  Those who are anxious rarely, if ever feel at peace. 

Let's open God's word and see what he has to tell us about anxiety....

Philipians 4:6
New International Verison.....
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

God's Word Translation.....
Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks

King James Version....
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

1 Peter 5:6,7: Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him for he cares for you.

Philipians 4:7
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Too Long to be Wrong!

By Keith Sharp

I saw a great quote on a church sign last week: “Eternity - Too Long to Be Wrong!” How true!
This life is so brief, like the early morning fog over the river (James 4:13-14). But after this life is
over, you and I will either be in heaven or in h-e-l-l, and that forever and ever, either eternal joy or
unceasing misery (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; 1 Peter 1:3-5). The statement correctly implies
there is both truth and error, that we must know and believe the truth to be saved (John 8:31-32;
14:6), and that believing falsehood will condemn us (Matthew 15:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).

Wouldn’t it be terrible to rest your hope for heaven on believing a lie? For example, many
believe the false doctrine of salvation by faith alone. What is the truth? “Not everyone who says
to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in
heaven” (Matthew 7:21). “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only”

(James 2:24). Likewise many cling to the lie of “Once Saved - Always Saved.” What is right?

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). “You are
severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace”

(Galatians 5:4, English Standard Version). Friend, eternity is too long indeed! Don’t rest your hope for heaven on lies

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thoughts from Psalms 31

By Beth Johnson

When the Lord’s people suffer, whether from natural disasters or at the hands of an enemy, to whom should they turn? What should be their source of comfort?

Although Psalms 31 cannot be dated or linked to any particular event in King David’s life, we know that his heart was deeply troubled by something or somebody. Was it his experience with King Saul jealousy? Did he pray this prayer as he was fleeing the 3,000 soldiers deputed to take his life? Was this request made to God during personal trials he endured after his unfortunate sin with Bathsheba? Maybe it was during his flight from his own son Absalom or perhaps his son Adonija? No doubt many such requests were uttered during David’s lifetime, but by inspiration he writes this prayer of praise to God and begs his deliverance.

In David’s prayer, we see the same desperate plea for help that is spoken in two death scenes in the New Testament:

· David says, “Into thine hand I commit my spirit:…” (Psa. 31:5a).

· "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46).

· “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59).

Such feelings can only be known by those who have come to the valley of the shadow of death.

What were his enemies saying about him?

· “For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake. Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous” (Psa. 31:13-18).

· “I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me” (Psa. 31:11).

Nothing can crush the spirit more thoroughly than rejection from people we love. David knew such rejection from his own “familiar friends.” He says, “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me” (Psa. 41:9). This prophecy is fully understood when Christ spoke of Judas. “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me” (John 13:18).

What is the conclusion to David’s prayer? He says, “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD” (Psa. 31:24). Let us all put our trust in our Heavenly Father and remember that only He can change the direction of our lives.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Be Careful Little Eyes

One of the songs we teach little children reflected in the title of this article, warns them to be careful what they do with their eyes. All of us need to remember this lesson as we decide which TV shows and movies to watch, which books to read, which songs to listen to, and what to do on the Internet.
Recent Studies
U.S. News and World Report reported that teens who watch sex on TV are more likely to start having intercourse (, 9/7/04).
Researchers at the RAND corp., the study referenced in the US News and World report above, found that it didn't matter if kids watched sexual behavior or if people just talked about sex on TV; the result was the same — kids who watch TV shows with sexual content are more likely to be sexually active.
The conclusion in the RAND study states that "watching sex on TV predicts and may hasten adolescent sexual initiation." Also that "reducing the amount of sexual content in entertainment programming, reducing adolescent exposure to this content, or increasing references to and depictions of possible negative consequences of sexual activity could appreciably delay the initiation" of sexual activities (PEDIATRICS, Vol. 114, No. 3, September 2004, pp. e280-e289).
A new study released in Pediatrics this month concluded that "exposure to sexual content in music, movies, television, and magazines accelerates white adolescents' sexual activity and increases their risk of engaging in early sexual intercourse" by as much as 2.2 times (PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 No. 4 April 2006, pp. 1018-1027).
Jesus Said It
These studies prove what we already know to be true. Jesus said, "The eye is the light of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. . . ." (Matt. 6:22-23).
Jesus tells us that we will become what we watch with our eyes. If we view good things, this will help us be good. But if we view evil things, this will encourage us to be evil.
Evil Companions
Paul warns us, "Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals'" (1 Cor. 15:33).
If we watch evil entertainment, we are prone to imitate the evil things we see. If we watch sexual content, we are prone to imitate the sexual behavior we see. If we watch violence, we are prone to imitate the violent behavior we see.
All of us should determine to turn from the deception of Satan, turning away from wickedness that corrupts good morals.
Be Committed, Like David
David's commitment was, "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes" (Ps. 101:3).
All Christians should make the same commitment. It's not possible for us to avoid all the evil that is in the world. But we can avoid evil in many respects, including TV, movies, the Internet, video games, books, magazines, and music.
If you haven't made the same commitment as David, why don't you make it today? Set no wicked thing before your eyes!

Anxiety-What is it?

People relate to each other according to their own experiences.  If you have never experienced anxiety or depression it can be hard to know what to say to those who are.  Depression and anxiety seem to be a double sided coin.  Most who have had to deal with depression end up having at least some anxiety.  Those who deal with anxiety usually have to deal with depressionl.   
How is anxiety different from depression?

People who are anxious have feelings of fear, nervousness, and are apprehensive.  Those who are depressed feel empty, alone and sad

Anxiety causes one to always feel uptight.  They have tense muscles, heart palpitations, nausea, diarrhea and a general feeling of agitation.  Like an animal in a cage or a garment being tossed about in a washing machine.

Depression slows you down, makes you feel tired and sleepy.  You feel as if you are in slow motion all the time.  You may say to yourself  "will this ever go away?"

An anxious person will always be on the edge of their seat, easily startled.  You may become an perfectionist and worry if you can do the job right.

Those who are depressed will slump.  They don't have the energy to sit up straight.  They are no longer interested in hobbies they once enjoyed.

Anxiety causes one to have a very real fear of death.  They may think of it often, but they do not think of suicide.  They are afraid that they are not ready to meet God.  They will often stay home for fear of an accident.  They constantly worry what will happen to them, where will they do, what will their family do.....if they die.

Those who are deeply depressed only think of dieing.  They believe that is all that is left for them and its the only way to stop feeling so bad.  Those who are depressed often think of suicide.  They just want it all to go away.

Over the next few days I hope to be posting more about anxiety and depression.  I hope to take a Biblical look at it and see what we can do to overcome or help those we love to overcome these two debilitating issues.

Please feel free to comment or ask a question.  If you would are more comfortable with a private discussion email me