Monthly Archives: October 2020

Be an example

Many Christians don’t know how to live the Christian life simply because they don’t have a role model to follow.

Are you being a good example to other believers? Does your life exhibit qualities that set the example for others to follow?

You might be thinking why do I have to be an example, and second, in what way am I to suppose be an example to others?

Paul in writing to Timothy commands him in 1 Timothy 4:12 that he is to be an example to other believers in his outer life and in his inner life.

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

First you are to be an example in word. You are to be exemplary in your speech. You are to be honest and speak the truth in love.

Your speech is important because a person’s speech reflects what is in his heart. Your speech is to be encouraging and edifying. All types of  sinful speech must be avoided., such as angry speech, impure speech, and slanderous words.

Next, you are to be an example in conduct. Your life is to be controlled by the Word of God, and you are not to be an hypocrite. The word conduct doesn’t mean a one time act, but rather your manner of life.

Therefore, you are to be a model of righteous living who manifests his biblical convictions in every area of his life.

You are to be an example to other believers in what you say and how you act. You are to be an example with your lips and your life. But you are to be an example in your inner life too.

First, you are to be an example in love. Biblical love is far different than the emotion our culture calls love. Biblical love is a self-sacrificing love. For example, biblical love is illustrated in in John 15:13

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Literally speaking this verse means that are you willing to die for your friends. But figuratively speaking are you willing to give them your time? Love is to be the motivation for your life– first toward God and then towards others

Next, you are to be an example in spirit. This word simply means do you have an inner enthusiasm and the excitement of a child of God. Are you passionate about God? Are you passionate about your Christian life?

Third, you are to be an example in faith. The idea here is faithfulness. It means you trust God and are faithful towards Him. Do you have an unswerving commitment? Are you someone who can be counted on?

Finally, you are to be an example in purity. This means that you live your life in such a contradistinction from that of how the world lives, thus showing how truly a godly person is to live. It means sexual purity both in actions and in the intentions of the heart.

Will you be an example for others to follow? It takes effort in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, but the dividends pay off for you and for others.

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Why I preach.

It is always a joy and a responsibility to preach God’s Word. And I have the privilege to preach each Lord’s Day at Cumberland Bible Church. I am grateful for the opportunity.

Not too long ago, a thought came to my mind: “Why do you preach?” It was a questions that I could not let go without answering it. So here is my answer.

As I prepared my answer, I noticed three distinct audiences to whom I preach.

My first audience is God, and therefore, I preach to please God. I preach to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and to honor God’s Word. I preach Christ!

My next audience is God’s people — Christians.  I preach to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. I preach to build up the saints in their faith. I preach to bring comfort to the afflicted, to lift up the downhearted, and to refresh the spiritually weary. Furthermore, I preach to bring conviction of sin and repentance. I preach Christ!

The final audience is the unconverted. I preach to reach them with the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that they may call upon the Lord Jesus Christ to save them from their sin, to bring them peace with God, and to give them eternal life. I preach that they may have life. I preach Christ!

It is amazing to think that one sermon is to accomplish all that is listed above. However, it is not my craftiness of speech or rhetoric that accomplishes the aforementioned tasks, but it is in preaching Christ that the Holy Spirit takes the preached word to accomplish His purposes of exalting God, equipping and edifying the believer, and evangelizing the unbeliever. I preach Christ! To God be the Glory!

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A thought that has been going through my mind lately is “yet ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2). Why is it that we do not ask God for the things that we desire? Why do we self-censor our prayers?

Jesus makes an extravagant promise about prayer. After the Last Supper, Jesus was teaching His disciples about prayer. He tells them, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14).

Later while they were walking to Gethsemane, Jesus tells them, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. . . .. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:5-7). Our fruit bearing will express itself in answered prayer: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (John 15:16).

As Jesus comes to the end of his final teaching with His disciples, he drives home his point. “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24).

Six different times Jesus says, “Ask and I will give it to you.” All of Jesus’ teaching on prayer in the Gospels can be summarized with one word: Ask.

Are you asking? If not, why not? Jesus says to ask, and He will give, that is an extravagant promise about prayer. So ask!

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