VIDEO Feed Well, Be Well – Scripture-Twisting Tradition

Feed Well, Be Well

There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. Mark 7:15

It appeared as early as 1826 in France and made its way to the English-speaking world through health writers: “You are what you eat.” Some took it more literally than others, but nutritionally, the idea is that healthy food promotes healthy bodies.

Fair enough. But Jesus had a different take on the idea that what goes into the body influences what the body (person) becomes. The Pharisees and legalists of His day were all about dietary obsession—like straining their drinking water so as not to consume a gnat and thus defile themselves with something unclean (Matthew 23:24). Jesus reminded them that a person is not defiled (made unclean) by what food he eats. Rather, it is what comes out of the heart that renders us clean or unclean. We can’t eat greed, deceit, and other sins (Mark 7:20-23), yet they appear in our life. The heart is the source (Jeremiah 17:9).

Eat well to be well physically. But more importantly, feed your heart on the Word of God and that which honors Him (Philippians 4:8-9).

The pure heart is God’s paradise where He delights to walk.  Thomas Watson


Scripture-Twisting Tradition (Mark 7:1-13)

Many Beautiful Things

She has done a beautiful thing to me. Mark 14:6

Just before her death, artist and missionary Lilias Trotter looked out a window and saw a vision of a heavenly chariot. According to her biographer, a friend asked, “Are you seeing many beautiful things?” She answered, “Yes, many, many beautiful things.”

Trotter’s final words reflect God’s work in her life. Not only in death, but throughout her life, He revealed much beauty to her and through her. Although a talented artist, she chose to serve Jesus as a missionary in Algeria. John Ruskin, a famous painter who tutored her, is said to have commented, “What a waste,” when she chose the mission field over a career in art.

Similarly, in the New Testament, when a woman came to Simon the Leper’s house with an alabaster jar and poured perfume on Jesus’s head, those present saw it as a waste. This expensive perfume was worth a year’s common wages, so some of the people present thought it could have been used to help the poor. However, commending this woman’s deep devotion to Him, Jesus said, “She has done a beautiful thing to me” (Mark 14:6).

Every day we can choose to let Christ’s life shine in our lives and display His beauty to the world. To some, it may seem a waste, but let us have willing hearts to serve Him. May Jesus say we have done many beautiful things for Him.

Dear Father, help me express my love to You in beautiful ways.

May our lives display the beauty of God.

By Keila Ochoa 

INSIGHT

How can we, like the woman in Mark 14, do beautiful things for Christ? We can offer the beauty of “a gentle and quiet spirit” which “is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3–4). Gentleness is one of the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22–23, a list of characteristics that display Christ at work in our lives. We are to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11). When we are willing to be used by Him, the Spirit produces fruit and can guide us to do beautiful things.

For more on the beauty of a Spirit-filled life, check out the online course “Foundations of Spiritual Formation I: The Work of the Spirit” at christianuniversity.org/SF507.

Alyson Kieda

God’s Economy for Generosity

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

When I was a boy, my mother and I had barely enough money for food, shelter, and clothing, but that never stopped her from being generous. If one of my friends asked for some food, she always gave him something to eat, even if it was only a piece of bread. As a child, I was afraid we wouldn’t have enough for ourselves, but my mother knew that the Lord’s economy works differently from that of the world.

Worldly wisdom says, “Get all you can, and do all you can to keep it,” but God’s ways are the opposite. In today’s passage, Paul uses the natural laws of agriculture to teach us His principles for generosity. Farmers know that sowing seed sparingly will not result in a big crop, but that’s what some of us do when it comes to giving. We’d rather keep most of our seed in the barn just to make sure it’s safe.

However, when we do this, we become like the man we read about in yesterday’s parable—he tried so hard to keep all he had and yet ended up with nothing of eternal value (Luke 12:15-21). Living in God’s divine economy requires confident faith in His promises. As Christians, we readily believe Him for our eternal salvation, so why are we sometimes reluctant to trust Him with earthly things like money?

We are called to be vessels through whom the Father blesses His church and others. He has promised to provide us with enough bread to eat and more seed to sow. When we learn His ways and trust what He has written, He is glorified, and we reap a bountiful harvest of righteousness.

How to Know the Will of God For You

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The key to knowing God’s will is willingness and determination to follow it before knowing it. “If any man will [literally ‘wills to’] do his will, he shall know” (John 7:17).

The best indicator whether one is really willing to follow God’s will is whether or not he is now following that part of His will that is already known as revealed in His Word. This requires first knowing and believing, then obeying the Word, especially those portions dealing with God’s general will for all Christians. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Then, if one indeed is following the revealed will of God, he may ask in confidence (1 John 5:14-15) for the Lord to indicate His will in a specific matter on which there is no explicit biblical teaching (see also James 1:5-6).

God will then answer, though it may not be immediately. “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). It may not be in accordance with our preferences or personal judgment, but it will always be for the ultimate best. “For we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit . . . maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:26-28).

God will lead in two ways in the absence of specific Scripture guidance (which must always take precedence, of course). One is by providential circumstances, the other by inner witness of the Spirit, and these two must agree. Then, if all the terms have been met, one should proceed to follow God’s will as best he can, knowing that God will redirect him if he has made a mistake. God does want us to know His will, and He will “direct our paths.” HMM

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder

Acts 28:1-15

Acts 28:1

island was called Melita or Malta.

Acts 28:2

Compassion and kindness are such precious things, that the Spirit of God records them in favour of the barbarians: even thus will Jesus remember a cup of cold water given to his disciples. Should not kindness be yet more abundantly found in the followers of Jesus?

Acts 28:3

He was not too proud to gather sticks, nor should the most eminent Christian think any work beneath him by which he may minister to the comfort of others. It seemed strange that there should be but one viper, and that it should fasten upon the apostles hand; serpent-bites will wound the most benevolent and holy hands.

Acts 28:4

So readily do we interpret every accident into a judgment, but such a habit is cruelly unjust to good men. Such an instance as this ought to cure us of crying out “What a judgment!” whenever sudden calamities fall on men. God’s judgments are reserved for another world, and are rarely seen in this life.

Acts 28:5, 6

Paul remained unmoved amid the changes of human judgment. Though to men he was a murderer one moment and a god the next, in patience he possessed his soul, unmoved in holy faith. We must not allow the opinions of men to affect our minds, or we shall be changing as the wind.

Acts 28:10

The shipwreck of the vessel had not shipwrecked the cause of the gospel; on the other hand, it had given to Malta a noble opportunity of hearing the gospel. The apostle well improved his stay.

Acts 28:11-14

God has hidden ones everywhere, and there amid the excessive vice of such cities as Pompeii, Naples, Baiæ, and the like, were found saints who met Paul at the landing-place of Puteoli, near which commences the Appian Way, along which he marched towards Rome. The news of his arrival reached the brethren in Rome during the week of Paul’s halting at Puteoli, and parties at once set out to meet him. This was thoughtful love, and showed that they were not ashamed to be identified with Christ’s suffering servant.

Acts 28:15

they came to meet us as far as Appii forum about forty Roman miles from Rome

Acts 28:15

and The three taverns about twenty miles

 

Plagues and deaths around me fly,

Till he bids I cannot die:

Nor can deadly serpents kill,

Till it is my Father’s will.

 

O thou Gracious, Wise, and Just,

In thy hands my life I trust:

I am safe, for thou art near;

Wherefore should I yield to fear?

 

We Can Trust God’s Plan

And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. (Revelation 7:10)

We who believe in God’s faithfulness and in the inspired Scriptures are certain that the world’s redemption does not lie in the hands of mankind. I cannot tell you how glad I am that this is at least one thing that we humans cannot bungle!

The plan of salvation and the day of consummation that is coming are in God’s eternal plan. The power in redemption is God’s power. Only the worthy Lamb of God could die in our place. This is God’s way of doing things, not our way!

Millions have feared the threat of world-wide communism with silly, frightened people declaring they would “rather be Red than dead!” But communism cannot prevail because it is raised in a materialism teaching that there is no God, no Christ, no heaven and no hell. Communism cannot prevail because our God in heaven has His plan and program, not just for this earth, but for all of His vast created universe.

There is no human being and no human philosophy or force able to wrest dominion from our living God. Are we being faithful in our witness and warning of the wrath of the Lamb—the crucified, resurrected, outraged Lamb of God?

 

The Sacrifice Has Been Accepted

“If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have showed us all these things.” Judges 13:23

This is a sort of promise deduced by logic. It is an inference fairly drawn from ascertained facts. It was not likely that the Lord had revealed to Manoah and his wife that a son would be born to them, and yet had it in His heart to destroy them. The wife reasoned well, and we shall do well if we follow her line of argument.

The Father has accepted the great sacrifice of Calvary, and has declared Himself well pleased therewith; how can He now be pleased to kill us? Why a substitute if the sinner must still perish? The accepted sacrifice of Jesus puts an end to fear.

The Lord has shown us our election, our adoption, our union to Christ, our marriage to the Well-beloved: how can lie now destroy us? The promises are loaded with blessings, which necessitate our being preserved unto eternal life. It is not possible for the Lord to cast us away, and yet fulfill His covenant. The past assures us, and the future reassures us. We shall not die, but live; for we have seen Jesus, and in Him we have seen the Father by the illumination of the Holy Ghost. Because of this life-giving sight we must live for ever.

 

%d bloggers like this: