Bible Application

Behavior is the family’s glue – not feelings

If feelings solely drive our family relationships then we will fail in our responsibilities to each other, and our family bonds will feel more like ball-and-chains.

So:

  • The Lord teaches husbands to love their wife (Ephesians 5:25); this isn’t feelings alone – it’s action.
  • The Lord teaches wives to submit to their husband (Ephesians 5:22); this isn’t feelings alone – it’s action.
  • The Lord teaches parents to raise children according to godly guidelines (Ephesians 6:4); this isn’t feelings alone – it’s actions.
  • The Lord teaches children to respect their parents (Ephesians 6:1); this isn’t feelings alone – it’s action.

Feelings waiver, wilt, wander, wish and become wily even within families, but listening to God is always beneficial for all.

This is why actions that please the Lord take precedent over feelings that may feel pleasing to self…because pleasing self can end up peeling us away from what’s truly important. But then again, that’s exactly why following Jesus makes for some crazy glue when it comes to the family. EA

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” (Colossians 3:18-21)

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You do good by thinking of others

“…And so we went toward Rome. And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.” (Acts 28:14-15)

When’s the last you “traveled” to “Appii Forum” and “The Three Inns” to encourage someone who could use the support? Can’t remember? Then it’s time to start traveling!

Many of the church’s worship attendance, giving, volunteering, parenting and forgiveness problems stem from members who never leave the communities of “me” and “I” when it comes to thinking of others. Reality is though, when we fail to think of others, we fail to remember who we’re called to be in Jesus – old fashioned good thinkers and do-gooders (1 Corinthians 13:5).

You see, there are always people traveling on a lonely road to “Rome”, but they don’t have anyone who thinks enough of them to encourage them along the way. But that could change, and you could be the one to do it. EA

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,” (Hebrews 10:24)

The Bible: Ancient in Age but not in Application

If the Bible is known for one thing to the masses it is known for being old! Parts of the Bible are approximately 3,500 years old, but my, oh my, it looks so good for its age. Would you not agree?

It amazes me how God’s word manages to stay so up-to-date. It has never fallen “behind the times” in appearance. It has made its way from stone work to vellum and papyrus scrolls to modern paper and book form and even on into the digital age without missing a beat.

And think of the language barriers it has crossed during the process! God’s word is easier to find and keep up with more now than it has ever been at any other time in history. And remember, this “old book” is still the best-seller around the world. Go on and look it up.

But not only has the Bible kept up with the times in appearance it has kept up with the times in application! People of today are no different from the people we read about in the ancient scriptures. The only thing that divides us from them is time and technology!

God’s word fills the same void within man today that it filled centuries and millennia ago. Many try to substitute the Bible’s spiritual guidance with politics, pop-psychology, and work or with one of the hundreds of manmade religions found around the world. And many find satisfaction with these until they are faced with the ageless application of the word of God.

The obvious applications of God’s Word are the very things that draw so much angst against it. The Bible reveals the very reason of our existence and the very Creator that raised us from the dirt of the Earth. Both male and female made in the image of God! Many have not tried to destroy the Bible simply because of its existence; they have tried to destroy the Bible simply because of the applicable content. They see too clearly the image it reflects back. Not the image of the flesh, but the image of the soul. A very unflattering image in their own eyes!

No one would mind the Bible if it only sat quietly as a supposed piece of fiction as other controversial books can and do. But the Bible will not sit quietly. It works on the conscience in a way that makes most uncomfortable. It was designed to do this very thing when necessary (Hebrews 4:12).

The Bible gets personal…right down into every facet of our life!

The Bible gets into our family life – our marriage, our parents, our children.

The Bible gets into our personal life and the way treat others – strangers, our spiritual brothers and sisters, our friends, our co-workers, our neighbors, and even our enemies.

The Bible gets into our spiritual life – the sin we struggle with, the sin we ignore, the sin that condemns us, the sin we must confess and the only sacrificial solution given for it (John 1:29).

Is God’s word ancient in age? Absolutely! Who could deny this? Is God’s word ancient in application? Absolutely not! Try honestly reading it and then try to honestly deny it. It’s as one perishable man said, who wrote so long ago on such a perishable medium, “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:23-25)

How wonderful is the ageless word of God!  EA

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

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The Lifeguard of Our Soul

The first stanza of James Rowe’s song “Love Lifted Me” goes, “I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more; but the master of the sea heard my despairing cry, from the waters lifted me – now safe am I.

Besides Jesus, two other people always come to mind when I sing this song.

The first person is Peter and the situation described in Matthew 14:22-33. I visualize what it must have looked like for Peter to have stepped out of that boat and onto the open and stormy water and the faith that it took to do so. I also visualize what it must have looked like as he lost his focus, became afraid and began to sink into the deep. Then I visualize what it looked like when Jesus stretched forth his hand to lift him up and keep him afloat until they reached the boat. Lastly, I think about what Peter may have thought when Jesus asked why he doubted and how he grew in his faith from the experience.

After I think about Peter, I think about myself and how Christ has called me to Him and the faith that it took to respond. I also think of how I falter and begin to “sink” when I pay too much attention to what is happening around me and not enough attention to where Christ wants me to go. Then I think of how quick and willing Jesus is to reach out His hand through His grace and keep me from the eternal consequences of my sin. Lastly, I think about what causes me to doubt and how I can grow in my faith from my experiences.

The song “Love Lifted Me” finishes by saying, “Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves; He will life you by His love out of the angry waves. He’s the master of the sea, billows His will obey; He your Savior wants to be – be saved today.

It’s not the gospel verbatim but it is the gospel in essence. Has God’s “Lifeguard of the Soul” rescued you? EA

“…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’” (Acts 22:16)