Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Always Giving Thanks

Around the time of the Thanksgiving holiday, we are reminded of how richly we have been blessed by God. James tells us, "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow" (James 1:17). Of course, we should be "always giving thanks" (Eph. 5:20), not just during this time of year. But the holiday serves as a good reminder for us.

Sometimes though we are tempted to think negatively of our situation despite God's abundant blessings. It is easy to look at others around us who have more of this world's goods and who don't seem to have to struggle as we sometimes do in order to make ends meet. If we allow it, bitterness can creep in and we will end up miserable. But if we put away covetousness and are truly thankful for what God has given us, it will be easier to see how blessed we are.

But holidays can also be a time of sadness for those who have endured some great loss, such as the death of a loved one or some financial tragedy. How should we react when some of our greatest blessings are lost or we are not being blessed as others are?

Consider the example of Job. In a short time his family and great wealth were taken away (Job. 1:13-19). Did he blame God? Did he become depressed and say that life was not fair? No. Notice what he did immediately after hearing the reports of his catastrophic loss:

"Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job. 1:20-21).

Job recognized that God was in control. He blesses us according to His will. He knows what is best for us (cf. Mt. 6:8). We must simply trust in Him.

You may, at this time or other times, be suffering great hardship and loss. You could certainly look to others who are more prosperous than you are. But in any of these circumstances, we can still see how God has blessed us if we are willing to recognize it. Throughout our lives, whether times are good or bad, let us be truly thankful to the Lord for the good things He has given and praise His name.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Rethinking Divorce

Time.com recently posted an article titled, An Evangelistic Rethink on Divorce. The article discusses the fact that divorce, which was once looked down upon, is now accepted and defended among many religious people. Some have come to accept divorce by ignoring the Scriptures. But the article talks about those who try to use the Bible to condone it.

There is nothing wrong with examining our beliefs and practices in light of God's word. In fact, we should do that. Our lives and outlook on the world around us should be shaped by the word of God. But many have this backwards. They let their lives and society shape their interpretation of God's word. The result is a "different gospel" that Paul warned the Galatians about (Gal. 1:6-9). That is exactly what this rethinking on divorce is - a different gospel.

There is no need to rethink divorce to allow what Jesus clearly condemned. There is only one cause that gives one the divine permission to put away their mate. That cause is fornication on the part of one's spouse (Mt. 19:9). Jesus did not use ambiguous language. Everyone can understand this (if they want to).

Evangelicals, and some of our own brethren, are twisting the Scriptures (2 Pet. 3:16) in order to justify multiple causes of divorce. Their "rethinking" is based in the wisdom of man. They would do good to remember the words of Paul: "the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (1 Cor. 1:25).

Monday, November 5, 2007

BOTC - November 2007

The new issue of Banner of the Cross is now online and contains the following articles:

Will We Recognize One Another in Heaven? by Andy Sochor
Glorifying God by Andy Sochor
The First Day of the Week by Andy Sochor

Banner of the Cross

Thursday, November 1, 2007

PBT - November 2007

The November issue of Plain Bible Teaching is now online with the following articles:

The Unchanging Standard of Truth by Andy Sochor
Husbands & Wives: Distinct Roles & Responsibilities by Andy Sochor
Will We Recognize One Another in Heaven? by Andy Sochor
Individual and Church Action by Andy Sochor

You can read the new articles by clicking on the link below. I hope you may find the new material helpful to you.

Plain Bible Teaching
Creative Commons License