Character Qualities

Commands of Christ

Basic Life Principles

It was thought by all who knew the Ryle family that young John would follow his father into banking, and maybe even serve in Parliament someday. But during a severe sickness, he thought much of God, eternity, sin, and salvation.
The New Testament deals very seriously with practical daily holiness. This is not a worked-up holiness produced by special effort or by performing religious duties. Rather, holiness is an internal work of God’s Holy Spirit.
A proper response to many of God’s attributes involves joy, adoration, singing, and praise. But there’s another kind of response that the Bible commands, particularly connected to holiness: reverent silence.
God expressly defines Himself as holy. When God called Israel to make a distinction between clean and unclean and to set themselves apart from the world, He based this command upon the divine attribute of holiness.
King Edward VI reigned for only 6 short years, but his brief reign was a model of Godliness. Thomas Cranmer said of the young king that he had “more divinity in his little finger than we have in our whole bodies.”
Psalms 22–24 are all strongly Messianic in theme and show an exquisite, complete picture of the coming work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What was the greatest manifestation of God’s glory in human history? Some might assume that it was when the glory of the Lord appeared on Mount Sinai. Others might say that it was perhaps when the glory of God filled the Temple upon its dedication. Still others might say that it was revealed in some of the marvelous visions given to Isaiah, Daniel, or Ezekiel.
A proper view of the glory of the Lord adjusts our perspective on all of life. Easily, we can have faulty views of ourselves, of others, of current events, and of our circumstances. But when we see the glory of God, everything comes into proper focus. As we see ourselves and others in a truer, brighter light, we are humbled. Current events no longer alarm us, and we are not distracted by the shortcomings or great achievements of those around us. We begin to see every trial and every joy in the larger context of God’s glory and honor.
You love your children! You want them to be the best person possible and to bring glory to God. But sometimes your children’s actions, decisions, or even mannerisms can be so exasperating! How can you encourage your children in a way that will build them up and also please the Lord?
When I come up against a difficult problem, I throw all my weight against it. I say, “I’m tough, I’m tough.” Sometimes, when I give it everything I have, I find that problems give way. But there are those times when every ounce of strength I can muster, every bit of creativity at my disposal, every talent I can apply leaves me helpless with my problem.
The Book of Revelation has variously intrigued, baffled, alarmed, and comforted millions of Christians over the centuries since it was written by John the Apostle on the Isle of Patmos. It has been interpreted in many different ways from many different perspectives. For some, the prophecy is disturbing, containing terrifying visions of armed horsemen, winged scorpions, a dragon, and beasts. For others, the words are comforting, for they assure us of Christ’s final victory, His presence with His people, and the day when God Himself will wipe the tears from every eye.
“In the beginning was the Word . . . .” This simple but profound statement is the opening of the Gospel of John. Looking at the other three Gospels, Mark began his record with the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. Matthew and Luke began their Gospels with the wonder of the Incarnation and the miracle of the virgin birth of the Lord. But John’s Gospel commences with a statement of the eternality of the Lord Jesus Christ, reminding us that the life of Jesus existed eternally before He took on human flesh and dwelt among us.
Have you ever been discouraged by the fleeting stability of earthly governments and kingdoms? Kings come and go. Empires rise and fall. Nations rise from obscurity to power, enjoy prosperity for a time, but then sink into the mists of history. Of the vaunted glory of ancient civilizations, such as the Aztec and Inca in the Americas or the Egyptian and Sumerian in the Fertile Crescent, only a few scattered remnants remain of their existence.
The hills of Scotland have afforded a lovely playground for many generations of young Scottish lads and lasses. In the midst of the heather growing on the wind-swept hills, the lowing of the Highland cattle, the bluebells dotting the land, and the craggy ruins of ancient castles inciting curiosity, all provide an enticement to exploration that is irresistible for a little boy.
The Lord Jesus Christ was the ultimate keeper of the eighth commandment: “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:13). He came into this world to give, not to take. Leaving the glories of Heaven, Jesus willingly entered our world of sin and suffering. He took nothing from this world; yet, He gave everything to redeem it. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (II Corinthians 8:9).
The emaciated monk wept bitterly, kneeling on the floor of his cell at the monastery. Try as he might, he could not break the chains of impurity and sin in his life. The pious monk had renounced the world. He had tried unsuccessfully to flee all temptation. He had taken the Augustinian vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In his search for absolution, the man had left a promising legal career and had given away all of his worldly belongings. He had come to the monastery to find peace and seclusion from the world. However, even there away from all evil, he had discovered to his horror that his own heart was full of sin. Masses, candles, beads, fasting, penance, and even painful flagellations (beatings) could not drive lust, pride, and sin from his heart.
We want our children to continue on in the faith. This outcome does not happen by accident. It is necessary to have a loving relationship with our children in order to influence them for the Lord.
An example of a man who started wisely in life but took a tragic detour into the path of pleasure and vanity is King Solomon. Thankfully, he repented of his sins before his life was over and recorded his experiences so that future generations might learn from them. His success and failure in life rose and fell in direct proportion to how well he honored the instruction given to him by his father and mother.
Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, shared some practical truths drawn from his many years of experience. How can we in daily life give to our parents the honor that is due to them?
Timothy is the only individual with two inspired epistles addressed specifically to him. Yet his own family life was far from ideal. How did this son with a believing mother and unbelieving father keep the fifth commandment?