VIDEO Battling the Current

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6


Think of wading in a gentle creek or a fast-moving stream against the current. Or consider paddling a canoe in a small river with rapids or a raging river swollen by flood waters. Moving against the current is challenging. That’s what it’s like to live in an ungodly culture; you’re always moving against the stream.

What does godly mean? That word in the New Testament means “reverence or piety,” like the familiar “fear of the Lord.” It’s safe to say that by those definitions there are few godly cultures today where most or all of the people honor and reverence God. Is it worth it to battle against the current of ungodliness? Paul wrote that “godliness is profitable for all things,” both now and in eternity (1 Timothy 4:8). And Hebrews 11:6 says that God is a “rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Living against the cultural current takes diligence and commitment, but the reward is worth the effort.

Are you being swept along by the cultural current today? Take a stand and commit to living a godly life.

The entire Bible is a book on godliness. Jerry Bridges

Train Yourself to be Godly – Charles R. Swindoll

How’s My Driving?

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19–20

“ARRRGH!” I yelled as the repair truck cut in front of me.

That’s when I saw the message: “How’s My Driving?” And a phone number. I picked up my phone and dialed. A woman asked me why I was calling, and I vented my frustration. She took down the truck’s number. Then she said, wearily, “You know, you can always call to report someone who’s driving nicely.”

Ouch. Her tired words instantly punctured my smug self-righteousness. Embarrassment flooded me. In my zeal for “justice,” I hadn’t paused to consider how my rage-filled tone could affect this woman in her difficult job. The disconnect between my faith and my fruitfulness—in that moment—was devastating.

The gap between our actions and our convictions is what the book of James focuses on. In James 1:19–20, we read, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” Later, he adds, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (v. 22).

None of us is perfect. Sometimes our “driving” in life needs help, the kind that starts with confession and asks for God’s help—trusting Him to keep filing the rough edges of our character.

By:  Adam Holz

Reflect & Pray

Why can words spoken quickly and in anger be problematic? How can you better live out what you truly believe?

Father, sometimes my anger wins out and I say hurtful things. Please help me to grow in this area.

In the Service of All

Ask God to help you see opportunities to bless others with the abilities He’s given you

1 Corinthians 12:18-26

Many of us have heard sermons about working as members of Christ’s body. Even so, when it comes to using our talents and gifts, people often think too small. They may picture the choir singer or the Sunday school teacher, and if they don’t happen to be a good fit for such roles, they become discouraged and choose to watch from the sidelines. 

It’s time to start thinking of this work in a different way.  The church is not a place or a time; it is a body of believers, each one uniquely gifted by God to guide, help, challenge, and support the rest. 

Paul’s metaphor of body parts working together harmoniously is a helpful description of how one action can have widespread impact. Consider the way tensing your big toe steadies your whole body. A humble part has a very important role to play, doesn’t it? In the same way, a gentle rebuke, a listening ear, or a loving deed can strengthen a brother or sister who is then better able to support another member. In that way, the whole church benefits. 

Our purpose on this earth is to serve God and His kingdom. We do so by ministering to each other in ways that build up and beautify the church as a whole.

Faithful Men

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)

Although this verse has been claimed by many as a model for their ministry, the Bible warns, “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6).

Faithful men must be alert and aware of God’s master plan (Matthew 28:19-20), understand the reason for God’s “longsuffering” (2 Peter 3:8-10), and expect and work toward Christ’s return (Matthew 24:42-26).

Such men must be industrious and committed, conscious of the ultimate spiritual evaluation (Matthew 25:14-23), and concerned with even the “least” of the biblical instructions (Matthew 5:19). They must also be faithful stewards (managers) of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:2) and of the manifold grace (gifts) that the Holy Spirit distributed among His churches (1 Peter 4:10).

Those who desire leadership among the churches must also be exemplary family men. “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” (1 Timothy 3:4-5). Moses is renowned in this way (Hebrews 3:5), as is Abraham (Genesis 18:19).

Finally, faithful men must be able to teach others. Such capability is an obvious requirement of those who would take leadership roles in the churches (Titus 1:7-9), but the gift of teaching is noted among all of the biblical listings, implying that the need for such “faithful men” is widespread. However, the capacity to teach others, while a wonderful ability, must be exercised with gravity and carefulness (James 3:1). HMM III

Greed… Rationalization… Compromise

Recently, in the course of counseling a young businessman, I was asked if I thought insider trading was wrong.

Is it against company policy“I inquired? “Yes,“he replied. “Is it against the laws of the land,“I queried? “Yes,“came his response.

After an awkward pause I asked, “Joe, why then, are you asking me this question?


In frustration I then directed him to look at Job 27:3-6:

As long as I have life within memy tongue will utter no deceitTill I die, I will not deny my integrityMy conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.

As we read this passage from his Bible, I noticed that he already had it circled and underlined.

Had he not previously pondered and perhaps even wrestled with the truth of this passage,“I wondered? “How is it that he could consider these profound teachings and still ask whether insider trading is wrong?

The answer lies in the fact that many believers who are committed to, and immersed in, the cutthroat climate of the business environment have developed an amazing ability to rationalize and sidestep the Bible’s high standard of integrity. They are able to do this simply by living in the two worlds of the spiritual and the secular as did the Old Testament Jews:

While these people were worshipping the Lord, they were serving their idols.“(2 Kings 17:41)

And by so doing, they make Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde look like a novice.

At the heart of the problem lies our stubborn refusal to allow Christ to be the Lord of our work because we fear that if we abandon ourselves to a Biblical ethic, either:

(1) Our business will collapse under the competition, or

(2) God won’t provide for us at the standard to which we have become accustomed.

The first fear centers on a carnal lack of faith, and the second on greed. Both are sin.

“The Lord is slow to anger.”

Psalm 106:13-33

We find a recapitulation of the history of the tribes up to this date in—Psalm 106:13-33.

Psalm 106:13

After seeing the wonders of the Red sea and other displays of divine power, they speedily forget them all. Sinners have short memories.

Psalm 106:14-25

It was a great sin on their part that they spoke of the heritage which the Lord promised them as either not existing, or not to be won, or as unworthy of all the toils they endured in reaching it. We must not think lightly of our eternal rest, lest we become slack in our efforts to reach the promised inheritance.

Psalm 106:26-28

Although Balaam was unable to curse Israel, he did his worst to injure the nation. Believing that nothing but sin could deprive Israel of the protection of Jehovah, he advised Balak to seduce the people to mingle in the licentious festivals held in honour of Baal-peor. This horribly cunning advice was followed, the Moabites exhibited great friendliness, their women fascinated the men of Israel, and the people were led to unite in the dances and other orgies associated with the worship of the Moabitish idol. By this foul plot Balaam did the nation the most serious mischief, by bringing upon them the righteous indignation of the Lord.

Psalm 106:29

Twenty-four thousand persons perished by this plague, which ceased not until summary vengeance had been executed upon those who had turned aside to the Moabitish idols.

Psalm 106:30

Phinehas showed a holy zeal for God, and slew a bold blasphemer, who dared pollute the camp of Israel. Zeal for God, and indignation against sin are highly acceptable to the Lord. On account of the thorough decision of one single individual the plague was withdrawn; this teaches us the great value of holy and fervent spirits in the church.

Psalm 106:33

He who was the meekest of men spake in anger. We have no perfect example save our Lord Jesus. He was never provoked, and never spake unadvisedly. May the same mind be in us which was in him. The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God; may we be delivered from falling into it, however much we may be irritated.

Great Shepherd of Thine Israel,

Who didst between the cherubs dwell,

And ledd’st the tribes, thy chosen sheep,

Safe through the desert and the deep:

Thy church is in the desert now;

Shine from on high, and guide us through;

Turn us to thee, thy love restore;

We shall be saved, and sigh no more.

Many Christians Still Taking the Broad Road

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.2 John 1:7

Deception has always been an effective weapon and is deadliest when used in the field of religion.

Our Lord warned against this when He said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” These words have been turned into a proverb known around the world, and still we continue to be taken in by the wolves.

There was a time, even in the twentieth century, when a Christian knew, or at least could know, where he stood. The words of Christ were taken seriously. A man either was or was not a believer in New Testament doctrine. Clear, sharp categories existed. Black stood in sharp contrast to white; light was separated from darkness; it was possible to distinguish right from wrong, truth from error, a true believer from an unbeliever. Christians knew that they must forsake the world, and there was for the most part remarkable agreement about what was meant by the world. It was that simple.

The whole religious picture has changed. Without denying a single doctrine of the faith, multitudes of Christians have nevertheless forsaken the faith. Anyone who makes a claim to having “accepted Christ” is admitted at once into the goodly fellowship of the prophets and the glorious company of the apostles regardless of the worldliness of his life or the vagueness of his doctrinal beliefs. We can only insist that the way of the cross is still a narrow way!