Basic Life Principles

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Loving Jesus Christ



Character Qualities

Commands of Christ

Basic Life Principles

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?
“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.
Could it be that faithful believers who are serving the Lord, doing good works, boldly proclaiming the truth, and standing firmly against error and compromise are actually neglecting their chief priority? Is it possible that in loving our churches, our families, and our communities, we may be neglecting to cultivate a love for the Lord Himself?
What is your focus: enjoying temporal pleasures here in this world or laying up treasures in Heaven? Is the Kingdom of God your pursuit over every other pursuit? Obedience from the heart is not legalism. True obedience is love in action.
In Matthew 22:37–38, our Lord Jesus referred to Deuteronomy 6:4–5 as the “first and great commandment” in the Law. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
Are our works motivated by the love of God that we have received and experienced, or are we doing good deeds from a sense of religious obligation in an attempt to earn God’s favor? The latter is iniquity; the former is a manifestation of knowing Jesus and His love.
In today’s modern culture, we are bombarded with advertising. Christians who do not have a proper defense against covetousness can easily fall prey to impulsive spending. The opposite of covetousness is contentment. A contented man is a grateful man who has learned to rest in what God has provided for him, regardless of what God may have granted to others.
How does lasting change happen in our lives? We would love an “instant fix.” We would love God to snap His fingers and make us permanently free from temptation and sin. But God has a method that He has chosen whereby He works the life of His Son in us. That method is called process.
Without realizing it, we place our confidence in our ability to perform. With this mindset comes a drive to make our flesh better. We must realize that this attempt is futile—we can never make ourselves good enough!
When we keep—that is, observe, remember, and apply—the commands of Jesus Christ, Scripture explains that we not only demonstrate our sincere love for the Lord, but we also receive many rewards. Praise God that He does not just give us these commands, but He also does them in and through us!
When a person receives Christ as his Savior, he experiences the delight of “first love” for the Lord. God’s Spirit witnesses with his spirit that he is a child of God, and this newfound relationship brings great wonder, joy, and freedom.
We are created in God’s image, designed to reflect His character, so He is seen, enjoyed, and honored through us and in us. Consistent, lasting character comes from a changed heart, and a changed heart starts with becoming a new creation in Christ.
The Pharisees criticized the Lord Jesus over the proper observation of the Sabbath Day. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all give an account of two particularly dramatic events that took place on the Sabbath during the early days of Christ’s Galilean ministry and raised a storm of controversy. By calling Himself the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus was affirming that He was the Creator of the universe and the One Who instituted the day of rest.
This fun whiteboard video will challenge some of your thoughts on the difference between knowing about God or knowing Him personally!
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.
Our goal as Christians should not be to become “better people,” but to become something entirely new—to let Christ live His life inside us!
Last week we looked at the way the Lord Jesus honored the name of His Father. In this article, we will expand on the concluding paragraph of last week’s article on the importance of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The “name above every name” has vital practical importance for us as believers who carry His name wherever we go. The Apostle Paul applies the importance of our identity with the name of the Lord Jesus in Philippians 2:5–11: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus […]
The first petition of “The Lord’s Prayer” shows us the high regard in which our Lord Jesus held the name of His Father. When the disciples came to Jesus asking Him to teach them to pray, He answered them, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9). The word hallowed used here is the same word that is usually rendered “sanctified.” The beautiful parallel construction in Greek is easily lost in any English translation. The first three petitions of this prayer, all directed toward our Father in Heaven, are given to us in a distinctive word order. The word order has the verb first for emphasis so that it literally translates: “Let it be sanctified: the name of Thee. Let it be established: the kingdom of Thee. Let it be performed: the will of Thee.” Let’s take a closer look at these statements of affirmation that Christ instructed us to use when we approach our Heavenly Father in prayer.  Let it be Sanctified: The Name of Thee The chief goal of the Lord Jesus Christ was to sanctify the name of His Heavenly Father on earth. When Jesus was born, the angels […]
This week, we will turn to the positive application of this commandment. Elijah introduced himself to King Ahab with these words, “As the LORD God of Israel liveth” (I Kings 17:1). Speaking the name of the Lord in this manner was certainly not taking it in vain. In fact, the Hebrew form clearly indicates that Elijah was actually swearing “by the life of Jehovah.”
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.