Showing posts with label drifting from faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drifting from faith. Show all posts

04 December 2020

A Few Thoughts about Mark 4:18-19

Mark 4:18-19 MKJV And these are those being sown among thorns; such as hear the Word, 19 and the cares of this world, and the deceit of riches, and the lust about other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful.

When the Lord Jesus teaches, He uses many different methods. Here He illustrates spiritual and practical principles of life.

The Lord Jesus speaks of seeds being sown and some landing among thorns. He compares these seeds to people who hear God’s message and believe, but something happens. Instead of growing and being productive, their life turned into seeking and worrying about gaining possessions. Because of this, the important things in life and eternity are neglected, even might be lost.

Why does this happen?

B1 All starts well but some begin drifting away from their original intentions.

C1 The Galatians started well but drifted quickly beginning to believe some additions were needed besides believing the Gospel. One of these was the necessity of obeying the Law. Galatians 1:6 NLT I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News.

C2 Some drift because of competing loyalties. See 1 John 2:15-17, 2 Peter 2:1, and 1 Timothy 4:1.

C3 Some drift because of evil influences from family, friends, false pastors, misinformed Christians, lusts, etc. All of which come from satan. Satan has his agents and programs to destroy Christians. See 1 Peter 5:8.

B2 Loss of first love.

C1 Revelation 2:4 EMTV Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

C2 Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

B3 Reordering of priorities. See Matthew 6:33, Romans 12:2, Luke 12:34, Matthew 6:10.

C1 Luke 10:41-42 GW The Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha! You worry and fuss about a lot of things. 42 There's only one thing you need. Mary has made the right choice, and that one thing will not be taken away from her."

C2 John 14:15 NRSV If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

B4 Spiritually starving because of not reading and studying Scripture.

C1 Psalms 119:130 LITV The entering of Your Word gives light, giving discernment to the simple.

C2 1 Peter 2:2 WEB as newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, that with it you may grow. The word pure has the idea of without deceit, without guile (Compare 1 Peter 2:1 “without guile”).

C3 Hebrews 5:11-14

B5 Becoming addicted to earthly things.

C1 Romans 12:21 NLT Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

C2 2 Peter 2:19 NRSV They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for people are slaves to whatever masters them. [Emphasis—mine. The principle taught is a person can become enslaved to all types of things—power, money, sex, drugs, abuse, work, success, etc.]

B6 Bad teaching from pastors and teachers.

C1 2 Peter 2:1-3 NLT But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. 3 In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.

C2 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NLT These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.

B7 Other evil influencers.

C1 1 Corinthians 15:33 EMTV Do not be deceived: "Evil associations corrupts good habits.

C2 Proverbs 12:26 NRSV The righteous gives good advice to friends, but the way of the wicked leads astray.

B8 Recurrence of former habits.

C1 Proverbs 26:11 NIV As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly. Compare 2 Peter 2:22.

C2 2 Timothy 4:10 NIV for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.

How do we avoid this happening to us?

B1 Pray for ourselves and for others

C1 Colossians 1:10-12 NLT Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. 11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.

C2 2 Thessalonians 3:5 LEB Now may the Lord direct your hearts toward the love of God and toward the patient endurance of Christ.

B2 Rely on the grace of God

C1 We cannot assume God’s help. We must rely on it. “God help me.” Psalms 55:22 NLT Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

C2 James 4:6 EMTV But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

B3 Encourage others and let them encourage you. Listen to them. These people might be our spouse, our parents, our children, etc. Don’t ignore their concerns. Don’t argue. Listen. Pray about it. We may learn some very important things about ourselves.

C1 1 Thessalonians 5:11 GW Therefore, encourage each other and strengthen one another as you are doing.

C2 Hebrews 10:24 NIV And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

C3 Colossians 3:16 NRSV Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

B4 Read and study the Scriptures. Some suggestions. Always be a little skeptical. Here is one source. Daily Quiet Time Bible Study

B5 When understanding we are drifting away, pray for forgiveness, and God’s help to be faithful.

C1 1 John 1:9 EMTV If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

C2 Proverbs 28:13 NLT People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.

B6 Make a conscious effort to be alert to temptation.

C1 Luke 21:34-36 WEL Be very careful for yourselves lest at any time your hearts be weighed down by overindulgence, drunkenness, and the worries in this life, so that day comes upon you unexpectedly. 35 “For like a snare it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole world. 36 “Therefore, watch carefully and always pray that you may be considered worthy to escape these things that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man.

C2 Hebrews 2:1 NIV We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.

B7 Realize that being steadfast and faithful is important.

C1 Luke 9:62 NRSV Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

C2 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 HCSB A person should consider us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of God’s mysteries. 2 In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one of them be found faithful.

Psalm 54:4 NIV Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.

27 August 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Epistle of James—James 5:13-20

C3 The Christian life—Prayer James 5:13-20
D1 Believers Should Sing If Happy and If Sick Should Pray James 5:13-16
D2 Believers Should Know of the Example of Elijah James 5:17-18
D3 Believers Should Guide Our Erring Brothers and Sisters Back to Truth James 5:19-20
James 5:13-20 WEL Is any among you experiencing troubles? You must pray. Is any happy? Then sing praise. 14 Is any among you sick? Then summon the church’s elders, and let them pray for them, anointing them with oil in the Lord’s name. 15 The prayer of faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, they will be forgiven. 16 Confess [your] sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. 17 Elijah was a man with emotions just like us, he earnestly prayed that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the ground for three years and six months. 18 Then, he prayed again, the sky yielded rain, and the ground produced its crops. 19 Brothers, if any of you wanders from the truth, and someone brings him back again, 20 Then let him understand that whoever brings the sinner back again from that wandering path he was on will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
  • Here are some more directions from James for living a Christian life.
  • Emotions=
    • Troubles
      • We must pray. James does not tell us that God answers our prayers the way we want them or even how long to pray.
      • Philippians 4:6-7 CSB Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
      • Acts 12:5 BSB So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was fervently praying to God for him.
      • An example: Genesis 32:9-12 CSB Then Jacob said, "God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, 'Go back to your land and to your family, and I will cause you to prosper,' "I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. Indeed, I crossed over the Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two camps. "Please rescue me from my brother Esau, for I am afraid of him; otherwise, he may come and attack me, the mothers, and their children. "You have said, 'I will cause you to prosper, and I will make your offspring like the sand of the sea, too numerous to be counted.
    • Happiness
      • We sing praise
      • For teaching, admonishing, and thankfulness: Colossians 3:16 BSB Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
      • God also sings: Zephaniah 3:17 BSB The LORD your God is among you; He is mighty to save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing.
      • For deliverance: Isaiah 35:10 BSB and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Joy and gladness will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee.
    • Sickness
      • We call upon our leaders and fellow believers
      • Many understand this to refer to placing a believer in God’s hands for strengthening the body and soul and for safety of his/her soul.
      • We still must seek the assistance of a physician because it might be the means God brings healing. If we are sick, we are to seek the assistance of a licensed health care person.
      • There is no guarantee offered in the Scriptures of always happening.
  • Prayer of faith
    • Faith is believing God, not a manipulation of God guaranteeing what we pray for.
    • God’s will is to be prayed for. 1 John 5:14 CSB This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
    • The prayer of faith is a prayer that God’s will be done.
    • Sometimes sickness is caused by sin. Confession of the sin brings healing.
    • It is the faith of the elders, not the sick.
    • James could be referring to a spiritual sickness, not physical sickness.
    • Then James gives examples of God’s answering Elijah’s prayer.
  • Confessing sins
    • All sin is against God and His law.
    • All sin must be confessed to God. We must acknowledge that truth of our sin, not cover it up.
    • If the only one knows of my sin, then I confess and ask forgiveness of only God.
    • If I sinned against one person, then I go to God and the person I sinned against to make things right.
    • If I sinned publicly then, I go to God and the public.
    • There are still consequences to sin. A pastor who sins may be permanently banned from pastoring. Today, we see too many fallen pastors who have abused, sexually molested, and other heinous sins starting new churches. This is a very wicked practice.
  • We are to seek for those who have wandered from the faith.
    • Questions they have not being answered, so we can answer them.
    • Offended by someone in the congregation, so we can deal with that offender. This would include exposing the offender’s sin and removing them from church if necessary.
    • Drifted from lack of Bible reading and prayer.
    • Drifted from not understanding Christian doctrine.
    • Drifted from wanting to sin.
    • Drifted from something happening to them as addictions, homelessness, etc. That the congregation can help.
  • Delivering a soul from death
    • Does not mean a guaranteed physical healing
    • The removal of sin refers to God’s forgiveness. There still might be consequences of sin as we read when King David raped Bathsheba and then had her husband killed.
    • Physical healing is wonderful, but how much more spiritual healing.
  • We need to help each other both those who have sinned and those tempted to sin.
  • Name some of the rules we must follow as taught in this passage.
  • Why should we pray?
  • What if God does not heal? How are we to respond?
  • How can we prevent wandering from the faith?
  • How do we seek those who have wandered from the faith?

God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies.” –Hudson Taylor
The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. –Abraham Lincoln

Romans 12:1-2 CSB Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Colossians 3:5-10 CSB Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God's wrath is coming upon the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.

Romans 15:13 CSB Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 31:24 CSB Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 CSB May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.