Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Drunkenness, part 2

Being drunk is sin, even if you only do it once. If a person is drunk often or regularly, he is a drunkard and will not inherit the kingdom.

“Nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:10)

“Drunkard” is a harsh term, so it has been euphemized to “alcoholic” or “addicted to alcohol.” Both euphemisms attempt to remove some of the responsibility from the person.

There is a further euphemism: “disease.” This “disease” may be physical or psychological or both. Diseases are normally caused by the alien invasion of a virus or bacteria and the subsequent failure of the infected person’s immune system. We can combat a virus by shots and bacteria with antibiotics. Alcohol is the closest thing to a germ for the “disease” of alcohol.

The following is from Joe Thompson (now with the Lord).

Is Alcoholism a Disease?

The problem is not alcoholism, but alcohol. There could be no problem of alcoholism without alcohol. If it is a disease, it is a disease without germ or virus. If it is a disease, it is the only disease that is self-inflicted. If it is a disease, it is the only disease contracted by an act of the will. This is not true of any other sickness. If it is a disease, it is the only disease that is bottled and sold over the counter for a profit. If it is a disease, it is the only disease that brings in tax revenue for the government, state, country, and city. If it is disease, it is the only disease that takes thousands of outlets in every town and city to spread it. If it is a disease, it is the only disease that they spend four to five hundred million dollars a year to spread. If it is a disease, it is the only disease that provokes crime and corrupts our courts and law enforcement officials. If it is a disease, it is the only disease that turns our boys into criminals and our girls into prostitutes. If it is a disease, it is the only disease that will cause a father to go home and take his baby by the heels and beat its brains out. If it is a disease, it is the only disease that will cause a mother to desert her children and leave them on the mercy of the world. If it is a disease, it is the only disease that will take the clothes from their back, shoes from their feet, and bread from their mouths. If it is a disease, it is the only disease that is bottled and sold, causing our reform schools, jails, and mental institutions to be filled. If it is a disease, it is the only disease that is given for a Christmas present.

We know the liquor people could never tell the truth, but there is one advertisement that does tell the truth. “Our liquor leaves you breathless.” That is right; all you have to do is travel the highways and you will see those who have been left breathless by the drunken driver. Visit the morgue of our city and the funeral homes, and you will see these who have been “left breathless” by the liquor traffic.

Man calls “Alcoholism” a “Disease”—the Word of God calls it “Sin.” Which one do you consider correct? 1 Cor. 6:10

Decisions…decisions…decisions! And what is your decision???

A man may go to heaven without health, without wealth, without fame, without a great name, without learning, without big earnings, without beauty, without friends, without ten thousand other things, but he can NEVER go to heaven without Christ!

Not convinced? Call or write:

Great Falls Rescue Mission
326 Second Ave. S.
P.O. Box 127
Great Falls, MT 59403
PH. 761-2653
Attention: Joe Thompson

So you are…convinced that alcoholism is a disease?

Jesus Christ solved the “sin problem.” Here is the truth:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hearth My Word and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)

Thought: If polluted city water caused a disease, would you build more hospitals and continue to sell the pollution to pay for the new hospitals?

If alcoholism is a disease, why don’t they fight it like any other disease?

The other problem beside the germ is the immune system. Natural man does not have an immune system. He is a slave to sin.

“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” (Rom. 6:20-21)

The only person with an immune system is someone who has passed from death to life.

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:22-23)

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (1 Cor. 6:11)

In other words, Christians can handle alcohol in moderation.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Drunkennes

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph. 5:18)

“Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” (1 Tim. 5:23)

Notice these three words: drunk, debauchery, and little. There is no prohibition of alcohol in the Scriptures, but there is a strong prohibition against drunkenness.

We have laws against drunk driving because of the danger to people. It is estimated that from 2008 to 2012, there were approximately 45,000 deaths related to drunk driving in the United States. (This is a low estimate. Some numbers are much higher.) In the same period, 4,000 American soldiers were killed in Iraq. Those soldiers were all volunteers for the danger. None of the 45,000 volunteered for the danger other than being on the streets or highways.

God’s prohibition is against drunkenness, not against drunk driving. He wants to stop debauchery. Debauchery is extreme indulgence in sensuality or seduction from virtue. The plural is orgies. An orgy is an excessive sexual indulgence or a sexual encounter involving many people.

Staying off the road when you are drunk is not a virtue. Just being drunk is sin.

I spent eleven years in the Navy. The five decades since then have been spent working with college kids. In my observation, drinking among these two groups of people (sailors and students) has normally meant getting drunk and having sex. Excess has been both the plan and the practice at parties. That is the definition of “party” for this group of people. God calls it sin.

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-10)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Illegal and Immoral

Crime and sin can be very similar. Certainly they overlap, and sometimes they are identical, i.e. murder is sin, and it is also a crime. Lying is sin; sometimes it is a crime.

Crime is a violation of the law. Sin is a violation of God’s moral law, God’s holiness. The criminal is to be punished on earth according to his crime. The sinner is to be forgiven or to be punished everlastingly.

It is possible to be executed for murder (a crime) and also to be forgiven for the same murder (sin). I know of several such cases.

There are people who do not commit crimes, but they do lie. They are not in danger of jail. They are in serious danger (unless they are forgiven) of hellfire.

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19-21)

These are sins, not crimes.
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-11)
Thieving, swindling, and slandering are crimes as well as sins.
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8)
Notice that murder is the only crime in this list.
It is normal for people to think that if they are not criminals they are safe from the judgment of God. Please search this out and change your thinking for yourself, your friends, and your relatives.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

If Everyone Else Does It...

A bumper sticker I saw recently: “Eat American lamb; ten million coyotes can’t be wrong.”

Many people operate on the idea that if everyone does it, it must be good, right, or at least ok. The problem with this is that it contradicts Scripture:

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

“There is not a just man upon earth that does good and sins not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)

If everyone does it, it must be wrong. When it comes to moral judgment, the majority does not determine what is right.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Scriptural Decisions Made on Earth

In recent years, there has been a series of accounts of people who have been pronounced dead and sometime later came back to life. They then told what they saw and experienced during the thirty minutes when they were dead. Most of the accounts said that they had pleasant experiences. Some of those later said they had lied. It is not my purpose to verify or refute these stories.

The Bible tells the stories of two men, both of them named Lazarus. Lazarus #1 had been dead four days, wrapped in grave clothes and buried. There is no written account of his experience during those four days. The point of the story is Jesus’ own resurrection. “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.’” (John 11:25)

Lazarus #2 does not come back to life. Jesus tells us of a conversation Abraham had with a rich man after the rich man and Lazarus both died. The rich man wanted Lazarus to go back to earth. Here is the story:

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” (Luke 16:19-31)

This is not a parable. It is a true story in real time told by the only one who could tell it, the Lord Jesus.

This story tells us of two places, one pleasant, and the other unpleasant (understatement). The moral of the story is that decisions are made an earth, and the answer is in the Scriptures.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Immediate Judgment & the Final Judgment

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10)

“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” (Heb. 9:27)

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:11-15)

These three texts speak of a final judgment. It is a certainty!

With no exceptions, everyone who was alive on this earth 150 years ago is now dead. That is at least 2 billion people. They died from war, starvation, cold, murder, disease, and old age. They have had an immediate judgment and look forward to the final judgment. Jesus said,

“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” (John 5:28-29)

Are you ready to die? Are you ready for the judgment?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hypocrites Are Not An Excuse

There are people who do not follow Jesus because of the hypocrites who say they are following Jesus. By definition, hypocrites are play actors, fakers, pretenders. We know that! Do we think Jesus does not know that?

People who make this excuse are not following Jesus because of other people who are not following Jesus. That makes no sense at all. But people who love to sin are not rational.

Here is what Jesus says:

“But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt. 24:48-51)

These people will end up in the same hell as the hypocrites are in: “…assign him a place with the hypocrites.”

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Hypocritical Excuse

Most people have a negative view of hypocrites. Jesus also had a negative view of hypocrites. However, there is a difference in His response. People talk about hypocrites; Jesus talked to them. This is what He said:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.” (Matthew 23:13-15)

People use hypocrites as an excuse for not becoming real Christians. That should be a reason not to be a hypocrite, not a reason not to be a Christian. Hypocrites are not Christians. Unless they repent, they will end up in the bad place.

There are some people who know that they are not hypocrites. They are just bad and wicked. Jesus said: “He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 24:51)

These non-hypocrites will end up in the same hell as the hypocrites.

There is no virtue in simply not being a hypocrite.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The God of the Bible

One of the ways I can tell that someone has not read the Bible is they say this authoritatively: "I believe in the New Testament's God of love, not the Old Testament's God of wrath."

That is biblical illiteracy at its worst. God did not change His character at the end of the Old Testament.

In the Old Testament, we see Sheol, the place of the dead. To my knowledge, the Old Testaments does not describe Sheol. Jesus describes it several ways. In Luke 16, Jesus tells us the story of the rich man and Lazarus. This is not a parable, for two reasons: 1) Lazarus is named. People are not named in parables. 2) The Scripture normally tells us if they are parables, as in Luke 15:3. If the story were a parable, then the real would be much worse than the parable says, not less.

"So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire'" (Luke 16:24).

Jesus was the original Hell fire preacher. "Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24). "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them" (John 3:36).

The parable of the wheat and tares explained in Matthew 13:40-42, 49-50 is the meaning of the dragnet. "As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth...This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

In the story of the marriage feast, Jesus tells us of the people who refused to come. "The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city" (Matt. 22:7). Jesus also tells of the person who attended without wedding clothes. "Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth'" (Matt. 22:13). Jesus did not give an explanation of these violent statements. These statements were the explanations.

"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?" (Matt. 23:33). This is a rhetorical question.

"He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 24:51).

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Notice that everlasting life in instead of perishing.

In Revelation 6, when the sixth seal is broken and everyone wants to hide, "and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?'" (Rev. 6:16-17). Another rhetorical question.

"I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. 'He will rule them with an iron scepter.' He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev. 19:11-16). He treads the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God.

"Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:14-15).

"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" (Rev. 21:8).

The New Testament describes the love of God and the wrath of God. The love of God was expressed towards us on the cross, because the wrath of God was the alternative. Jesus took our place and received the wrath so we would not have to receive it.

"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor. 6:9-11)

"The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Gal. 5:19-24)

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:6-8)

Jesus paid our penalty. "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:6).

Thursday, August 11, 2016

True or False? 1 Thessalonians 5:18

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thess. 5:18)

Is this true? Are there any exceptions in the text?

Is "giving thanks" something mechanical like teaching Susie to say "thank you" to Aunt Mary? No. Just saying "thank you" is thanks from the neck up.

Do you thank God from your heart in everything? If not, does your conscience hurt when you don't thank Him? Even though it does not hurt, do you confess the unthankfulness as sin? Is it forgiven? If not, are you chastened?

"And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, 'My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.' Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (Heb. 12:5-11)

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

True or False? Luke 14:12-14

"Then Jesus said to his host, 'When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.'” (Luke 14:12-14)

Does this apply to Christians today? If so, Jesus tells us who not to invite to lunch. He gives us the reason - they will owe us a lunch back.

He also tells us who to invite to a banquet and why. We will be repaid at the resurrection.

How many Christians (including yourself) obey these directions?

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Follow God's Example

"Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children..." (Eph. 5:1)

Here are a few of the characteristics of God that we are to imitate:

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Eph. 4:32)

"And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Eph. 5:2)

Here are other characteristics to imitate:

"You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matt. 5:43-48)

Imitation is the best way of learning. It is easier than obeying. It is almost unconscious; it is how we learned to speak.

Are you imitating God?

Friday, August 05, 2016

True or False? Matthew 6:24, 1 Timothy 6:9-11

"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." (Matt. 6:24)

Is this true? If it is, are you endeavoring to do both? One of them will win. If it is God, then you are the real winner. If it is money, you are a real loser.

"Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness." (1 Tim. 6:9-11)

If you love money right now, make not loving money your primary objective.

"As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. 'Good teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 'Why do you call me good?' Jesus answered. 'No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: "You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.”' 'Teacher,' he declared, 'all these I have kept since I was a boy.' Jesus looked at him and loved him. 'One thing you lack,' he said. 'Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.' At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, 'How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!' The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, 'Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.' The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, 'Who then can be saved?' Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.'” (Mark 10:17-27)

Threading needles with camels is easier than getting a man who trusts in riches into the kingdom.

God took care of my trusting in riches by twin events in August 1950 and November 1950. It has been 66 years of freedom.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

True or False? John 14:15

"If you love me, keep my commands." (John 14:15)

Here are some of His "love" commands:

• Love God with everything (Matt. 22).
• Love your neighbor as you love yourself (Matt. 22).
• Love your wife as Christ loved the Church (Eph. 5:25).
• Love one another as Christ loved you (John 13:34-35).
• Love your enemy (Matt. 5:44-48).

Is it true that we are commanded to do these things? Which of these five (if any) do you even want to love?

This love does not have anything to do with the other person's loveliness.

Confess that you do not love in the way that you are commanded to. When you are forgiven, choose to love as God has required. Ask Him to give you the love for the other person.

Love is defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

Monday, August 01, 2016

True or False? Ephesians 4:31

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice."

Have you gotten rid of these six events/states from your life?

Do you want to get rid of them? If so, call them sins, not problems. Confess both the occurrences of these things and the reservoir of anger that you have in your heart.

Do not quit confessing until they are all gone.

After you are clean, you can start obeying. "Getting rid of" these things is not the same as confessing them after you sin. "Getting rid of" means it does not continue to happen.

If you need help with this, call or write to me: (208) 882-4383 or jimwilson27@frontier.com.