Category Archives: Christian Life

UNDERSTANDING BEFORE MAKING A JUDGMENT

The Angry Heart

UNDERSTANDING BEFORE MAKING A JUDGMENT

Proverbs 18:13:  “He that answered a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” 
 

Far too often this proverb is confirmed in our daily interactions with other people. How often have we been swift to share our opinion on a matter before hearing all of the known facts that were available?  People today scarcely will listen to another individual before they cut the person off from speaking and immediately share their thoughts. An opinion is often given before one even has enough information to voice their thoughts on the subject.
 
Sometimes we’re like the couple who were with some friends when the subject of marriage counseling came up. Mary said, “Oh, Tom and I will never need marriage counseling. We have a great relationship. He was a communications major in college and I majored in drama. He communicates really well and I just act like I’m listening.”

It appears this was the case with the friends of Job that were quick to condemn Job before hearing the facts.  Elihu, on the other hand wisely restrained himself from giving his opinion until he had heard the matter.

Notice the wisdom in Job 32:10, 11: “Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion. Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say.”   He seemed to be wise enough to understand. Proverbs 18:13:  “He that answered a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”  Christians must learn to carefully listen to and weigh the facts before making a reply.

There was an individual in the Bible that had employed a young man by the name of Joseph.  Joseph was a godly man and Scripture states that “…his master saw that the LORD was with him…”  (Genesis 39:3).
 
Potiphar heard an accusation against Joseph, which led him to rush to judgment and ultimately condemn an innocent man.    Potiphar, heard the report of his wife, and immediately assumed that what was spoken to him was true.  How often good people have been hurt by those rushing to judgment.  Potiphar failed to gather the facts before jumping to a conclusion about Joseph.  
 

A Teacher Began Her Story . . .

 
A cruise ship met with an accident at sea. On the ship was a couple with an infant. Making their way to the lifeboat, they realized that there was only space for just one of them left. The lifeboat was drifting away and it would be a miracle if either could jump into it. At that moment, the man pushed the woman aside, grabbed the baby and leaped onto the lifeboat himself. His wife stood on the sinking ship and shouted just one sentence to her husband.

The teacher stopped and asked, “What do you think she shouted?”   Most of the students excitedly answered, “Why did you do that? I hate you!”
 
Now, the teacher noticed a boy who was silent throughout and called on him to answer. He replied, “Teacher, I believe she would have shouted, ‘Take care of our baby!'”
 
The teacher was surprised, asking “Have you heard this story before?”  The boy shook his head, “Nope, but that was what my mom told my dad before she died from cancer.”
 
The teacher lamented, “Your answer is correct. The cruise ship sank. The man went home and brought up their daughter single-handedly.”
 
Many years later after the death of the man, their daughter found his diary while tidying his belongings. It turns out that when parents went onto the cruise ship, the mother was already dying from a terminal illness. At that critical moment, the father rushed to the only chance of survival for the sake of their child.

He wrote in his diary, “How I wished to sink to the bottom of the ocean with you, but for the sake of our daughter, I can only let you lie forever below the sea alone.”

The story was finished, the class was silent. The teacher reminded the children that we should never focus on the surface and judge others without understanding them first.
 
Proverbs 29:11:  “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”

Ecclesiastes 5:2: “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.”

Proverbs 15:28: “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.” 
 
In closing this Bible study, it must be pointed out that even God, who is omniscient (all-knowing), gathers the facts as an example to us before making His determinations. 

God examined Adam before pronouncing judgment upon him (Genesis 3:9-19).  God came down to Babel before casting His sentence and confusing the languages,(Genesis 11:5).    God even came down to before the destruction of Sodom, (Genesis 18:20,21).

I Samuel 2:3, “Let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”

Deuteronomy 32:4, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”
 

If You Judge, Investigate Thoroughly

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God’s Precious Promise of Provision

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God’s Precious Promise of Provision   Philippians 4:19

 

I feel led, after a lot of prayer today, to speak words of encouragement to my Preacher and Missionary Friends. God has PROMISED to supply ALL your needs according to HIS riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 
 Money for your ministry, at times, may seems like an impossible task. However, after 43 years of being a Christian, I can assure you that while I often Cannot, God ALWAYS Can! Ephesians 3:20;   Matthew 19:26.
 Brethren, our God is trustworthy and dependable, Titus 1:2. He has never promised an easy life for any of us, but He ever remains faithful! He WILL supply in His time and THROUGH the people of HIS choosing.   You will come to realize that when you have nothing left but God, then perhaps for the first time in your life, that God IS enough!  
This is why I seldom ask people to pray about specific financial needs.  I want to be assured that God is the One who has moved in response to the prayer of His servant.  It is an amazing way to live your life knowing that God STILL answers prayers and is doing the seemly impossible today.   He does not need for me to tell everyone about financial needs; God does not need me asking those that I consider to be wealthy to “pray” for my financial need to be met. 

God KNOWS when a sparrow falls to the ground and He KNOWS what things you have need of before you even ask.   Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.   But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore,Ye are of more value than many sparrows.  Matthew 10: 29-31.

  Matthew 6:25-34.   This will remind you of how important You and the ministry God has given to is.  Take particular note of verse 30:  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
 Even now, I know some are most discouraged, as you know not Where or When God’s supply shall come. But you MUST not lose heart, for you KNOW it IS coming. God has Promised! You may have a check in the mail for you today! He may lead someone in your town to assist you this Sunday.
You may be thinking, but you are an American and have no need.   Really? Are you kidding me? Are you serious? After I spent over $425 for a Visa to enter Nigeria, and spent SEVERAL hundred dollars to purchase my flight ticket to Nigeria, and after I send $300 to do my part to pay the salaries of three Filipino men to pastor the Churches started as a result of JKM, and I purchase my flight ticket to start 2 Churches in India, which comes up after our Philippine’s journey.  I will have this amount in my account: $ 00.00. I have 22% of my support in at this writing. Yes, I know what “needs” are.   I actually welcome them because then I can see what God wants to do in my life.  I often envied George Mueller who had to pray in his money to feed the children living in the orphanage.   I believe God wants more of us to simply depend upon HIM for our daily needs.  He has NEVER let me down!  He is continually leading His servants to live a life of complete and continual dependence upon Him!  My question to you is simple:  “Are you Cooperating with God’s plan or have you been secretly Complaining and Criticizing His Purpose for your life?”
So I am sharing this message of Hope in God for ALL of Us to simply trust in the One who has called us to such a great undertaking. I am not complaining; I am not worried; I am not stressed; I am not questioning God. Actually, I am rejoicing, I honestly am, for I Know for that the Provision of the Lord is just around the corner. How can I be so certain? Because I have chosen all these years to TRUST my Heavenly Father to Do that which He has PROMISED! Won’t you as well?
 
 As I have often said, The bank vaults in Heaven are NOT affected by the economy in which we live.” Our economy matters not to God as far as His ability to KEEP HIS WORD and faithfully supply ALL of our needs,   Philippians 4:19.

 

You can Pray, Believe, and Receive; or, You can Pray, Doubt, and go Without!

Making Positive Changes in your Life

Change

Making Positive Changes in Your Life

By Jim Kilgore, Missionary Evangelist

     Changes. We all try to make them. Many fail in the process. Was it a lack of commitment? Was it a lack of motivation? Perhaps the failure came simply because the person did not know how to properly create the change they desired. Though change is hard, it is NOT impossible.

     Growing up I heard the following phrase many times: “You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.” This was applied to different people. It was also used as an excuse for not making the necessary changes in one’s life. I have a problem with this philosophy however. First, you and I are not dogs. Second, God has called the Christian to a life of continual change.         II Corinthians 5:17;               II Peter 3:18;  Ephesians 4: 15-32. Third, we are not talking about “tricks”, we are speaking about behaviors. ALL behaviors have been learned. Therefore, we can learn new and better behaviors.

The STRUGGLE in the change process

To make changes, that is to say, turn bad habits into good habits, requires effort. Lots of effort. We naturally tend to avoid effort whenever possible. This of course makes change much more of a challenge.

 

I have been taught and have certainly discovered this to be true: People will basically change for one of three reasons.

 

1.   People will change when they honestly WANT to.
2.   People will change when they really NEED to.
3.   People will change when they sincerely WANT to.

 

 

The STRATEGY in the change process:

1.   You need a PURPOSE. Once you do, this will become your MANDATE.
2.   You need a PLAN. Once you do, this will become your MAP.
3.   You need PRIORITIES. Once you do, this will become your MATRIX.
4.   You need PASSION. Once you do, this will become your MOTIVATION.
5.   You need PEOPLE. Once you do, this will become your MEASUREMENT.

 

 

The SOLUTION in the change process:

1.   You must RECOGNIZE what exactly needs to be changed
2.   You must RECORD your Reasons for wanting to change
3.   You must REMOVE the old habit or behavior (Ephesians 4:15-32)
4.   You must REPLACE the old with a new, godly habit (Ephesians 4:15-32). We call this the     principle of replacement. This is simply replacing the negative with the positive.
5.   You must RESIST the temptation to return to the old way of life (Resist the Devil and he will flee from you).
6.   You must REPORT to another person to share your progress and struggles.
7.   You must REJOICE and celebrate your successes.

 

Though change is hard, it is NOT impossible

Bearing Spiritual Fruit: God’s Desire for Every Believer

fruit

Bearing Spiritual Fruit: God‘s Desire for Every Believer

Pastor Brock Evans, Pittsboro Baptist Church, Pittsboro, Indiana USA

John 15:8 says: “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.”

                                     God Desires that Every Believer Bear Much Fruit

Christians often miss the greatest blessings of their standing in Christ, as well as the entire purpose for this standing in Christ. John chapter fifteen tells us what God’s will for the Believer is. Jesus informs us the purpose of this unique standing is that God’s Children is “to bear much fruit” and His purpose in this will is “My Father glorified.”

We would say as Christians that we want this will to bear fruit to the effectual pure motive that the Father is glorified. The mechanics of such are not produced by our own ambition or faithfulness but by His workings in our lives. There is a process or formula for this “fruit bearing” and it is found in the immediate preceding text.

The Process God Uses in Enabling the Christian to Bear Much Fruit

1.    The text makes it clear in the first few verses that all fruit is the product of the “true vine.” This “true vine” is of course Jesus Christ. This does not simply mean doing things in Christ’s name or for His cause but doing them within the specific bounds of His will. It is a surrender not an ambition. The vine will produce if we are connected to it. If we are in Him we are connected to it. This fruit is the evidence of true salvation not the means of true salvation.

2.   It is important to understand that “without me you can do nothing.” This does not mean that we set forth and then pray for God to sanction it. It is not the equivalent of a building permit. Christ wants to be the architect of our lives from the very first blue prints. We cannot get off the ground without His plans for us. We submit to His plans instead of the opposite. Jesus Christ is not looking for people with a great plan but people with a great obedience to what He can do.

3.    I would point out the key to an often misinterpreted verse that is taken out of the text, and then interpreted without consideration to its principal standing. It is verse seven which says “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” We see here a strict stipulation to prayers answered concerning this fruit bearing.  It is not only “abiding in Him” but also Him “abiding in you.”

This does not just mean seeking Him in prayer and the word but being connected to Him by Holy Spirit guidance. It is as if you and Christ have the same will and therefore the same specific desires which produces “much fruit.” These requests are the very heart beat of God. They are not mystic but specific. This is how the Father is glorified. He is glorified because of the magnanimous way He has produced every aspect of the fruit in our lives. We must continually decrease in order to produce this fruit. We must submit to grow. We can’t make this happen. We can only surrender to what He wants to make happen through us.

Has the Father been able to produce fruit in your life? What do you think hinders Christians from bearing ‘much fruit” on a consistent basis?

Having Done All

By Pastor Randall Glenn Calvary Baptist Church of Crawfordsville, Indiana

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The phrase in Ephesians 6:13 “… having done all, stand” is resounding in my mind. As God knew the hour of the flood, so He knows the hour His Son, Jesus Christ will come to take Christians to their eternal home.
Noah did not! All Noah knew was to do what God had commanded. He did not know the hour of the flood as we do not know the hour of the Rapture. When we look at Noah, we see that having done all, he stood!

Christians need to take a Stand for Jesus Christ

1. There is an IDLE stand
Acts 1:11 says: “…Why stand ye gazing..?” Why are so many Believers standing around gazing when we should be preparing for the return of Jesus Christ? Why are we idle? Have we forgotten the warning that our Savior is coming? We must stop gazing and get busy for God! Having done all to stand in the work.

2. There is the BELIEVING stand

I Corinthians 16:13 exhorts us to “Stand fast in the faith.” Noah had to believe in order to save his family. He had never seen rain or a flood just as we have never experienced the coming of Jesus Christ. However, I believe He is coming, just as He promised!

3. There is the DEFENSE stand

 Ephesians 6:11 “…stand against the wiles of the devil.” The wickedness of man was so prominent that Noah had to face and fight the enemy daily, just as we must. I am certain Satan used discouragement, weariness, ridicule against Noah, but he stood his ground against the Devil.

4. There is the UNITY stand

 Philippians 1:27: “stand fast in ONE spirit.” Noah saved his family. What a task to maintain unity in the family. Working together to accomplish the task was daunting. Our Churches must learn unity in order to accomplish the mission of God. Working together in the Spirit and witnessing what God can do through His people. How sweet it is when a Church is unified for the Cause of Christ!

5. There is the WATCHFUL stand

 Isaiah 21:8: “I stand in the watchtower.” Noah was working while he was watching. Watching for the distractions which could lead him away from his work. Watching to ensure he was doing exactly as God had commanded.

6. There is the PURITY stand

 II Chronicles 35:5: “Stand in the holy place.” To refer to the ark as “Noah’s ark” is technically incorrect. Noah was the employee while God was the Employer. It was God’s blueprint; it was God that supplied the material; it was God that gathered the animals into the ark. It was ALL of God! The ark was the holy place for Noah’s family. The Church ought to be a holy place! God is the Provider and the Protector of His Church.

7. There is the SALVATION stand

 II Chronicles 20:17: “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” Noah preached one message all those years and did not waver! He preached the mercy of God which was available to all that would repent. Salvation can only come through repentance of sin, and in asking God to forgive that sin. With genuine repentance, anyone could have entered the ark of God.

We desperately need more Christians like Noah who will be willing to take a strong, uncompromising stand for Jesus Christ!   Will you be what God needs in this day of spiritual darkness and compromise? Having done all, we MUST stand!

Blessings from YOUR Bible Study

StudyingtheBible

I recently read of a Preacher who was visiting one of his members. The lady of the house was trying to impress him about how devout she was by pointing out the large Bible on the bookshelf and talking in a very reverent way of it as “the Word of God“.   Her young son interrupted the conversation by saying, “Well, if that’s God’s book we better send it back to him because we never read it!”

 

Does this sometimes describe your life?    You mean well; you definitely want to read the Bible each day, but you never seem to benefit from this time.   It is a though you are like an automobile stuck in the snow and the more you press the pedal, the more you spin your wheels without getting you anywhere.

Allow me to share a simple study system I have used for years which will lead you to exclaim: “The Bible is a Blessing rather than a Burden.   It has opened up to me.   I am learning so much.”

 

Focus on the Following and the Bible WILL Bring Blessings

1.      CHARACTERISTICS of God.      In other words, what is this passage teaching me about God?   I read and then record the many characteristics of God from my reading.   The Bible WILL REVEAL God to you as you are looking for HIM!  For example, read Psalm 145 and list the MANY Characteristics of God.   Always bear in mind that once you learn of God, you have a personal responsibility to reflect Him to others.   Romans 8:29;    Ephesians 5:1.

 

2.      LESSONS to Learn.    I am asking the following question constantly:  “What exactly is the Holy Spirit wanting me to learn from this passage?”  For example, from Ephesians 4:15-32 God is teaching me how I am to live a life which is dramatically different from the way I lived and treated people prior to becoming a Christian. 

 

3.      PROMISE to Claim:    I am searching for any promises which God has made to the Christian. 

 

  • Is this promise for me today, or was it a specific promise given to Israel? 
  • Is there a condition attached which I must meet BEFORE God will honor His promise? 

 

4.      A COMMAND to Obey?    

 

5.      BIBLICAL  PRINCIPLE    I am very interested in discovering God’s unchanging truths.   An example of a Biblical principle can be found in Galatians 6:6-8.   This is the principle of Sowing and Reaping.  No matter what Century, Continent, or Country you live in, this truth will apply to you.  You and I WILL reap exactly what we have sown, whether it be good or bad.

 

6.      APPLICATION:        If I just read the last verses in Matthew 28:18-20 my application might look something like this:     

 

  • I need to share my faith with Carolyn, Janelle, and Linda by Saturday because God wants me to witness and He definitely desires them to go to heaven.

 

  • James 1:22 says: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  So I make a commitment to making an application from my Devotions.

 

  • In my Blank Devotional Sheet it looks like this:                                                                                                                                             I need to: ______________________________   BY _______________      Because  ____________________________________.

 

7.      MEMORIZATION:      Write out one or two verses you want to memorize this week.

 

 If you would like to order this very helpful Bible Study Guide, which you an print off each day for your Personal Devotional time, it is a great tool to keep your FOCUSED on your Bible Study.   It also provides you with a permanent record of your time with God.

To place your order, please go to:  www.JimKilgoreMinistries.com  and select the Store Icon and you will receive your Bible Study Guide with-in 24 hours delivered directly to your email account.

Boring Bible Time? Simple Steps to Transform Your Bible Time from Endurance to Enjoyment!

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A 2012 survey found 90 percent of churchgoers had a strong desire to please and honor Jesus Christ with their lives.  However, when asked how often they read their Bible, the following answers emerged: 

  • 19%  responded “Every Day”
  • 18%  said “Rarely or Never”
  • 25%  specified they read the Bible “a few times a week”
  • 14%  said they read the Bible “Once a Week
  • 22%  said “Once a Month” or “A Few Times a Month.”

This past week I was asked by 10 – 12 Christians to teach them how to study their Bible.  They were all trying to read their Bibles daily, but felt frustrated with the results.  Their minds were continually drifting; they could not remember what they read; they did not feel as though they were growing.    

Does the above describe your “private time” with God and His Word?

 

 If so, it does not have to remain this way.  There is hope.    There are several good ways to read one’s Bible that are very effective.  However, I will share a way in which I have studied my Bible for years during my Personal devotions.       

This method is not earth-shattering, but it is a simple, structured method that keeps me focused on reading and recording certain facts during my Bible time.  It is offered here to you to lead you enjoy rather than endure this daily time with the inerrant, infallible Word of God!

 

1.      I start with a time of Prayer.   I use the acrostic PRAY to keep me focused.

 

  • Praise God for Who He is and for What He has done for me!  At times I will even sing a few hymns or choruses.
  • Reflect upon my sins and Repent of each one God reveals to me.  Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
  • Ask God to meet the needs and desires of others and then for myself.   Matthew 7:7encourages us to ask of our Father:   “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
  • Yield myself to God’s will.    My attitude is, “Father, show me what you expect of me and I will obey.”

 

2.      As I read, I pause several times to Meditate upon what I am reading. 

      

   I practice the following three steps during my time of meditation:

 

  • I VISUALIZE:   This is where I place myself in the passage or story which I am reading.  I see myself as part of the crowd.

 

  • I PERSONALIZE:   For example, if I just read John 3:16:  For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”    Here is an example of how I personalize this great verse on God’s love for the world.

For God so loved the world (ME), that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever (that if I) believeth in him (that I) should not perish, but have everlasting life.

  • I SCRUTINIZE:    Look for the second part of this article coming in a few days.

 

 You have some solid steps to transform your time alone with God this week.   I ask that you use each phase I listed in this article.    However, you will NOT want to miss the Scrutiny stage as it reveals what I search for every time I read my Bible each day.  I use this method regardless of studying for a message or for my personal devotional time.  

The Bottom Line:  I enjoy this time; I am engaged during my Bible study;   and I benefit each day!

 

 

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