Character Qualities

Commands of Christ

Basic Life Principles

The Samaritans did not worship at the Temple in Jerusalem, but rather at the twin mountains of Ebal and Gerizim, where Jacob had dug a well nearby. Jesus gently but firmly pointed away from the natural to the spiritual, from the outward to the inward.
On July 8, 1741, a visiting minister from Northampton, Massachusetts, was scheduled to preach in a Connecticut village church. While not particularly famous or popular, he was known to be an honest servant of the Lord who relied upon the power of the Holy Spirit.
While the question Jesus asked is familiar to many, the answer to the question is not as familiar. Psalm 22, which Jesus was quoting in His agony, reveals the answer to the mystery of why God forsook His only Son.
“Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly . . . .” So begins one of the most beloved hymns ever written in the English language. The hymn gives utterance to some of the deepest feelings of the human heart, yet it expresses them in a way that even a child can understand. For example, stanza three ends with “Vile and full of sin I am, Thou art full of truth and grace.” Note that this couplet of fourteen words uses only single syllables.
Do you love your brother “unto the end”? Is your love to the “uttermost”? Has your love waned with the passage of time? Have you ever hesitated to love the stranger or the outcast? When a brother sins against you, do you forgive and love as Jesus loved? Perhaps today, right now, is the time to repent of a self-centered, prideful spirit and to learn again from the Master how to love as you ought to love.
It was a cold winter morning. Outside, the snow was falling steadily. A fifteen-year-old boy slowly made his way through the streets of Colchester in the southeastern part of England. Being Sunday, all the shops were closed. Here and there, the lad saw small groups of men and women struggling through the snowdrifts to attend the various church services in town. Such a blizzard had not been seen by the city in a long time!
“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.
Adam is the father of us all. No matter our language and nationality, we are all descendants of Adam and Eve. We inherit from Adam the curse of sin, the sting of death, and the certainty of the grave. But from Adam we also inherit the image of God, the hope of eternal life, and the promise of redemption.
In the Book of Hebrews, Christians are warned of the danger of “coming short” of the rest that God has offered in His Word. In the Old Testament, the children of Israel who disbelieved and disobeyed God in the wilderness “came short” of reaching the Promised Land.
The greatest example of one laying down his life for his friends is Christ. We will never be able to fully comprehend the spiritual aspect of Christ’s suffering and shame, but medical studies shed glimpses of light on the physical agony and all the horror that Jesus endured on the cross.
Are you born again? This is one of life’s most important questions. Jesus Christ said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
Why a series on “matters of life and death” for our world today? Moses commanded the people of Israel to “choose life.” What did he mean by that admonition? Ever since the days of Creation, men and women have been presented with a choice between life and death.
Can you play in a championship football game just because you are a good football player? What if you’ve practiced every day and are the best player you know? It seems like a silly question—there are obviously certain criteria that must be met, the first of which is actually being a member of the team! Skill, or your own estimation of yourself, doesn’t automatically get you on the team or in the “big game.” Many people have a similar approach in regard to their eternal destiny. When you come to the end of your life, will “being good” (or even being better than everyone else you know) be enough to enter God’s Heaven? It doesn’t need to be guesswork. We know the exact criteria required to spend eternity in Heaven as part of God’s team. The Bible shows us the way!
The Battle of Vicksburg, one of the bloodiest conflicts recorded in American history, was over. Among the many badly wounded soldiers was Union officer Major Daniel Webster Whittle. After losing his right arm in the battle, Major Whittle spent months as a prisoner of war (POW) recuperating in a hospital. The young soldier became weary of having nothing to do while recovering. Finally, looking for something to do to pass the time, Major Whittle began reading the New Testament hismother had given him when he joined the Army. As Major Whittle read the little Bible, the Holy Spirit convicted him of his sin and his need for a Savior. However, he resisted surrendering to Christ, and soon he fell asleep. A short time afterward, a hospital orderly awakened him. The orderly explained that another POW was dying and wanted someone to come pray with him. Major Whittle protested that he could not pray with the dying patient and suggested that the orderly ask someone else. “But I thought you were a Christian; I have seen you reading your Bible,” the orderly replied.  Major Whittle later wrote: I dropped on my knees and held the [dying] boy’s hand in mine. In […]
Enthusiasm in the soul is like a candle. It gives light, but it is self-consuming. On the other hand, enthusiasm generated in the spirit is like the flame of an oil lamp. As long as we are filled by the Spirit of God and the Word of God, enthusiasm, like an oil-filled lamp, will burn indefinitely.
The truth of God’s Word will dispel doubts about salvation. As a Christian, you need to learn about the security of your standing in Christ and recognize the deception of the enemy, Satan, who seeks to torment you with doubt.
Have you ever told a lie, taken something that did not belong to you, or coveted someone else’s possessions? What about hating another person or harboring lustful thoughts? When we are honest, each of us will admit to having done wrong things.
There are many misconceptions about man’s need for God and God’s provision of salvation. It is vital to understand the truth about these issues, because the most important decision a person will ever make is the decision to accept or reject Jesus Christ as Savior.