Archive for the 'Mary Ann’s Articles' Category
Romans 12:9 – 12 Love in all sincerity, loathing evil and clinging to the good. Let love for our brotherhood breed warmth of mutual affection. Give pride of place to one another in esteem. With unflagging energy, in ardour of spirit, serve the Lord. Let hope keep you joyful; in trouble stand firm; persist in prayer. Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and practice hospitality. Call down blessings on your persecutors – blessings, not curses.
Our love for one another is to be sincere, genuine, not a pretense. With all our energy we are to serve the Lord, being fervent in that service. When we are in trouble, we are to stand firm and to persist in prayer. When problems arise we are to be at peace with everyone as much as is possible.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us; fixing our eyes on Jesus; the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross; despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12: 1-3
How blessed is the man
Who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
The Christian family is the foundation for becoming a part of the family of God and the life in the Kingdom of God, where fellowship with one another will be everlasting. Families are the mainstay of the movement of God’s word to further generations.
When a man and woman marry, the Bible assumes they are committed and mature Christians. Each one, in harmony with God is able to apply principles of the Word to self and each other. Some of the principles are: humility; not causing the other to stumble; encouraging one another in the faith, love, and forgiveness, etc. The husband and wife as parents both are to be actively involved in raising the children.
“Wide is the gate of destruction and broad that way leading thither; and many are they who enter through it. How narrow is the gate of life! how difficult that way leading thither! and how few are they who find it!” Matt. 7:13,14, Diaglott translation
“A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it.” Isa. 35:8
Several years ago a graduate school professor put forth the question, “When did you first feel like an adult?” At first blush, the question seemed silly, and then as I contemplated, I had difficulty thinking that I never really had “felt” like an “adult”. I certainly had the qualification of age, but deep inside, I was playing a part of an adult and not really being one at all. The same type of experience happens with my relationship with God when I desire it to be a grown-up mature one. (I Cor. 3:3 For you are still only baby Christians, controlled by your own desires, not God’s.) In retrospect, I looked carefully at my pride and joys, my accomplishments, and work, finding that many of them were like building blocks of a false sense of self leading me away from the one relationship that was most important. (Prov. 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.)
If we were active in a 12 Steps group and were working on Step 4 we would be making a “searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”. How many of us would have to get out yet another tablet to figure out all those to whom we ascribe unforgiveness? This world is filled with actions of sin against one another and then people choose to live in unforgiveness because of these wrong doings. Sin and unforgiveness have a way of keeping us constantly in trouble. What isolates us from God is sin. Sin comes between relationships and even estranges ourselves from our own selves. Forgiveness is like a calcifying process that keeps us frozen in our sin. It keeps us from moving ahead to forgiveness and, at minimum, reconciliation with God and self.
“Repentance is the recognition, regret, and renunciation of sin in one’s life. It involves a change in one’s thinking, feeling, and purpose toward sin in view of his relationship with God through Christ. All men need to repent from sin and to accept forgiveness God has provided through His grace and His Son’s sacrifice. Repentance is one of the basic requirements for salvation (Hatch, 1960).”
My question is, “Who leads a man to repentance?” The change in attitude in a person’s heart that leads to repentance is granted by God. …
” ‘Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life (Acts 11:18b, NASB).’”