Inspiration for Today's World

Category: Insights (Page 1 of 13)

Abstaining, when directed by spiritual leaders

1 Timothy 4:1-5 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.  Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.  They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.  For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

Commentary:

Abstinence in itself is not necessarily a righteous act.  The true measure of one’s actions is measured by the motives hidden in one’s heart.

 

Accountability, to whom?

1 Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Romans 15:15:1-2 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

Commentary:

Accountable relationships come highly recommended. We are instructed to first be accountable to ourselves. Then to others, not for our own gain, but to help others who may not possess the same gifts God granted to us.

Accountability, why?

Ecclesiastes 4:10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.

Commentary:

God did not intend for men or women to be alone. Even in friendships, there is value. A true friend is someone who holds us accountable for our actions, actions consistent with a Christ-like life. Therefore, we need to make sure that we choose friends who know what Christ’s life was like.

Achievement, how to obtain it

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Commentary:

Our God is not the enemy, He is our friend. He is a living God with an individual plan for each of us. His plans provide us hope and His power provides us a future. Without Him, there is no hope and there can be no future. What is our part? To call upon Him and to do so with all of our heart.

Achievement, when it is accomplished apart from God

John 15:4 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

Commentary:

It is not hard to find our secular world filled with successful non-Christians. Their success, however, is limited to things of value only to this world. Through the parable of the vine and the branches, Christ tells us that to Him, things are of value only if we have remained attached to the vine (dependent upon Christ).

Achievement, when it is too high?

Ecclesiastes 4:4 And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Commentary:

While a desire to succeed and achieve great things is not wrong, each person must test their motives. If achievement is driven from the desires of this world, then it has no value in God’s eyes

Adversity, why we should keep our faith

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Commentary:

One of our keystone assurances from God is His promise never to leave us. Through this knowledge we can gain peace and strength.

Advice, should we seek it?

Proverbs 13:10 Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

Commentary:

Don’t be too proud to listen to the advice of others.

Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Commentary:

We are directed to seek the advice and counsel of others so that our ability to succeed is enhanced and that our own self is improved in the process.

Advice, where to find it

John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.

Commentary:

Two key elements of finding wisdom, seeking advice or receiving answers to our prayers:

  • remain faithful in Christ; and
  • remain in the Word. (See 1 John 5:14-15).

We are instructed to ask according to God’s will. His will for us and our understanding of His will can come from only three sources; faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Bible.

Affliction, our attitude during

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Commentary:

This verse does not say we are to be joyful with or when we are afflicted. It says that we are only to be patient with our affliction, but joyful in the hope and we are instructed to pray (communicate what is on our hearts to God).

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