Character Qualities

Commands of Christ

Basic Life Principles

In his youth, George Whitefield developed a love for the theater and aspired to become an actor. He later mourned over this period of his life, confessing that he was “addicted to lying, filthy talking, and foolish jesting.”
We’ve all heard the storybook tales of the prince and the maiden who married and lived “happily ever after.” When we look around our world today, it would be easy to become cynical about the possibility of a “happily ever after” marriage. Is it really possible, or are those stories just for children’s books, romance movies, and young girls’ dreams?
The young lawyer peered through the early morning darkness. His gaze was directed toward Fort McHenry, which guarded the entrance to Baltimore Harbor. Throughout the previous night, September 13, 1814, he had strained his eyes to try to see the fort. The “bombs bursting in air” had periodically illuminated the darkness, giving a brief but reassuring evidence that “our flag was still there.” From the deck of the British warship where he was temporarily detained, the lawyer, Francis Scott Key, could only watch in helpless anxiety as the “perilous fight” was waged. All night the bombardment by the British navy had continued against the handful of American defenders who garrisoned the fort standing “between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.”
A captivating “read-aloud” nature story introduces the character quality of Persuasiveness, followed by a story from the pages of Scripture! Character Sketches is designed to be a tool that fathers can use to teach their children basic concepts of Scripture that are also illustrated in the world of nature.
With the rapid expansion of modern technology, we have gone from a world of printed materials to an influx of digital images and messages. Christian men must be on guard that the material they read, the actions they repeat, and the messages that they pass along are grounded in truthfulness. Deception is deadly, and God hates it.
Titus stands as a splendid example of a young convert to Christianity who learned quickly to “adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour” (Titus 2:10) by living a pure life in an impure world. Every temptation faced by young men in our own increasingly godless society was faced by Titus as he walked the streets of Corinth and traveled throughout the island of Crete.
Friendships are some of the most powerful influences in life, because friends greatly impact a person’s development and decisions. Scripture instructs us with these words: “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: But a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20).
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.
Jesus of Nazareth is the only Man in all of history Who has ever lived an entirely pure life, unstained by any immorality in thought, word, or deed. Yet, in the miracle of the incarnation, Jesus, the Son of God, humbled Himself to be born as a man, of flesh and blood. “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).
The sunset slowly painted the snowy mountain peaks with a golden glow as a party of weary trappers approached an encampment of Snake Indians. The Snakes were usually accepting, even welcoming, of white men. The tired, hungry mountain men seemed reasonably assured that their hosts would offer them food and a warm place to sleep.
Idolatry and adultery were twin sins that hindered the nation of Israel from enjoying the blessing of God. Both sins have underlying causes springing from serious matters of the heart, not just merely choosing wrong actions. Idolatry is rooted in unbelief; adultery is rooted in unfaithfulness.
The Hebrew boy who had once been betrayed by his brothers, accused by his master’s wife, and forgotten by his fellow prisoners was now arrayed in fine linen, wore the gold signet ring of Pharaoh, rode in the second chariot, and bore a gold chain about his neck. Wherever he went, people bowed in his presence.
Moral freedom is not a status to be obtained, it is a Person to be depended upon. And that Person’s name is Jesus!
When we understand the heart of the matter, the Sabbath Day is not a burden but a blessing! We can willingly lay aside our own ways when we are seeking God’s ways. As we learn to take pleasure in fellowship with God, we can more easily lay aside the lesser pleasures of this world. Filled with God’s Word, our own words no longer seem as important.
Jesus described eight attributes that receive the blessing of God. These eight qualities—or beatitudes—embody attitudes that are essential for anger resolution. Without these qualities, obtained by God’s grace and the believer’s humility, keeping the spirit of the Law would be impossible.
Have you ever wondered why many of the Ten Commandments sound so negative? Of the ten commands given, eight of them begin with the words “Thou shalt not.” This supposed negativity of the Law is actually a mark of profound gracious liberty. When we are commanded “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain,” there is a gracious liberty granted to use God’s name in every other lawful way.
In times past, tent meetings usually lasted an entire week and were filled both with Christians seeking inspiration and unsaved folks who were simply curious. Amid flapping canvasses, fervent preaching, and uplifting hymns, lives were changed. Such was the setting in Mountain Lake Park, Maryland, in 1898. After an especially moving sermon by the famous evangelist L. H. Baker, many people responded, some timidly and some quickly, by repenting and receiving Christ. Among them was a refined, upper-class woman. Kneeling at the altar, she tried to pray but was obviously struggling inwardly. Accepting Christ by simple faith was foreign to her. She wanted to do something more to merit salvation. Mrs. Leila Morris, one of the Christian women praying with those at the altar, saw the lady’s inner turmoil. Quietly she slipped an arm over the woman’s shoulder and prayed for her. “Just now your doubting give o’er,” Mrs. Morris gently encouraged her. Dr. H. L. Gilmour, the camp meeting song leader, also seeing and hearing the lady’s conflict, softly urged the woman, “Just now reject Him no more!” The evangelist Mr. Baker, drawn to the spiritual battle, earnestly pressed the woman, “Just now throw open the door!” “Let Jesus […]
Every Christian should be aware of the danger of leaving his first love for the Lord. Long ago, the church in Ephesus was busy doing many things for God, yet Jesus told them, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Let’s consider some indications that you may be wandering from your first love for Christ.
I surrender all;I surrender all;All to Thee, my blessed Savior,I surrender all. These simple words of wholehearted commitment to Christ have been sung by believers around the world. Who wrote these compelling lines and why? Judson Van DeVenter was born in Michigan in 1855. From an early age, he had a deep appreciation for art and music. When he was seventeen, he became a Christian. He later attended Hillsdale College. After college, art was very important in Mr. Van DeVenter’s life. He eventually became supervisor of art in various public high schools in Pennsylvania. During this same time, Mr. Van DeVenter was very active in his church, often singing in the choir andparticipating in evangelistic rallies. Observing his enthusiasm and ability in evangelism and counseling, his friends urged him to pursue full-time ministry. However, Mr. Van DeVenter enjoyed art and was unwilling to set it aside to be more involved in Christian ministry. For five years, he struggled inwardly between his two desires: to become a recognized artist and to serve the Lord in full-time ministry. Finally, the struggle climaxed. Mr. Van DeVenter described the moment: At last the pivotal hour of my life came, and I surrendered all. A […]
BOOM! Some of the soldiers froze, staring skyward as another shrapnel-filled cannonball shot across the battlefield and exploded midair! The noise was deafening. Metal shards flew through the air! Amidst the confusion, the alert commander simultaneously tracked the enemy’s movement while strategically positioning his own army. Suddenly, he shouted, “Forward, men!” Lifting high his silver sword gleaming in the sunlight, he sounded the battle cry! Surprised, the enemy began retreating! With renewed vigor, the attacking army advanced. The men were fully convinced that victory was theirs!  Several years after the American Civil War ended, a new hymn was written that reminded Christians of a different war still being waged. The hymn’s writer, William F. Sherwin, was born in 1826 in Massachusetts. As a young man, he had studied under the famous composer Lowell Mason. Later, Mr. Sherwin taught at the New England Conservatory of Music. He was also a voice instructor and congregational music director who had become known for his hymn-writing abilities. The rallying new hymn, “Sound the Battle Cry,” was one of his many works.  In this particular hymn, Mr. Sherwin focused on the spiritual warfare Christians face. The words urge believers to give up comfortable, passive living […]