Let Us Do Good (Galatians 6:7-10)

July 12, 2019

Let Us Do Good (Galatians 6:7-10)

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Of the sowing and reaping idea, I think we all can understand it even though, for the most part, we do not live in an agricultural society any longer. This is a straightforward principle of life whether we are talking about a farmer and his crops or a person’s spiritual life. If you plant a rose bush, you will not have an apple tree to bloom. Likewise, if you sow to the flesh you will not bear the fruit of the Spirit. This is what you get: if you sow to the flesh, you reap destruction; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap everlasting life. Our focus must be on the good. We must not grow weary in doing good.

A farmer works hard, often from sun-up to sun-down. He does not see the fruit of his labor for a long period of time, but it does eventually come. Likewise, we must not be impatient. In due time we will reap what we have sown. We have all sorts of opportunities to do good. Let us look for those opportunities and act when the times come. Christ has already secured our salvation. We do not have to earn it. Now we are free to go out and serve others, do good, and enjoy life.

And, we should do good to all, especially to the household of faith, that is, our Christian brethren. So, our good works should first and foremost be directed toward the church, our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, yet our good deeds should overflow out of the church and into our communities. We should do good to fellow Christians as well as our families, neighbors, coworkers, and friends. It is hard work, serving others and always doing good, but the Lord will reward His people in due time. Don’t grow weary in doing good! Don’t give up!

An Overview of Satan and His Cohorts

July 3, 2019
An Overview of Satan and His Cohorts

Let’s begin with a brief summary from one of our theologians, “. . . God’s work of creation includes both a visible and an invisible universe. The latter encompasses the realm of created spirits, especially angels. Some of the inhabitants of this sphere are evilspirits: Satan and his demons. These were not created evil but became so through the exercise of their God-given free will. The corruption of the old creation began with the introduction of sin into the spiritual universe by these powerful spiritual beings, who then became actively involved in the initial and ongoing corruption of the visible universe. These evil spirits are thus a contributing factor in the proliferation of sin and evil among human beings” (Cottrell, 170).

Thus, as many Christians know but are not studying much less fighting, there is a spiritual warfare to wage against the enemy. Satan and his demonic forces depress nations and communities harm Christian congregations, wreck whole families, and devastate individual lives. They seek to pull us away from our Creator and certainly do not want us to have a close relationship with Him as Father. They do not want the Gospel to go forth into the nations, and they do not want you to believe it and live it out.

If the satanic powers are working to that extent in the world and that intensely in our own spiritual lives, we would be foolish to not fight back. Have you wondered why you get into ruts and cannot get out? Have you asked yourself why you cannot overcome a certain temptation or way of thinking? Have you had similar questions about others, maybe family and friends? The answer may be that you or your loved ones are not engaging in the spiritual warfare that is raging all around us.

The Scriptures have much to say on the subject of Satan and his demons; what they are up to and how Christians should be responding to their attacks. We have been spending some time in The BLEND opening our spiritual eyes to these things and getting us thinking about the spiritual battle we must fight. We have several biblical principles to consider. For now, let me mention a couple.

First of all, we need to identify the enemy. We use the titles Satanand Devilfor the being who has led the rebellion against God. He is the enemy of both God and man, the adversary, the accuser, the deceiver, and the evil one. The angelic beings who have followed Satan in his rebellion against God and his opposition to mankind are called fallen angelsand most often, demons. They are disruptors, evil spirits, and impure spirits. It has been said, “That the demons are called spiritsas such indicates their basic metaphysical nature as a part of the invisible universe. That they are called eviland uncleanindicates their basic moral nature” (Cottrell, 172).

Secondly, we must always keep in mind the fact that Satan and the demons were created by God. They are not equal to God and are not divine. They are powerful spiritual beings but are merely creatures. Col 1:16 teaches us that Christ is creator of all things, including the invisible sphere where Satan and his cohorts reside.

What to Do with Your Worry (1 Peter 5:6-7)

June 5, 2019
What to Do with Your Worry (1 Pet 5:6-7)

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

This recalls Psalm 55:22 which exhorts, "Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved." Peter, of course, is also echoing Jesus' teaching ministry. Most notably, Matt 6:25-34 comes to mind when Jesus taught the multitudes during the Sermon on the Mount and commanded them multiple times saying, "Therefore, do not worry."

For commentary that succinctly summarizes the points of these two brief but important verses in Peter's letter, we may turn to a reputable New Testament scholar who wrote, “Seeing the relationship between the main verb (‘humble yourselves,’ v. 6) and the participle (‘casting all your anxiety upon him,’ NASB) is important because it shows that giving in to worry is an example of pride. The logical relationship between the two clauses is as follows: believers humble themselves by casting their worries on God. Conversely, if believers continue to worry, then they are caving in to pride. How can anxiety and worry be criticized as pride? We can see that it might be a lack of faith, but does it make sense to identify worry as pride? Worry is a form of pride because when believers are filled with anxiety, they are convinced that they must solve all the problems in their lives in their own strength. The only god they trust in is themselves. When believers throw their worries upon God, they express their trust in his mighty hand, acknowledging that he is Lord and Sovereign over all of life" (Schreiner).

Certainly, the main reason we cast our worry upon the Lord is because He truly cares for us, and He can actually do something about it! We know that God loves us. He gave us the absolute best when He gave us His Son who laid down His life for us. Why would He not now freely give us all other good things? He loves us and cares for us. He wants us to bring our burdens to Him so that He can do the heavy lifting. He is able to take away our guilt, give us confident assurance in the future, empower us for holy living by His Holy Spirit, give us everything we need for life and godliness, and more. Why would we not take our worry to such a friend?! He is the one with the "mighty hand" who sovereignly accomplishes His purposes in the world. When we turn ourselves over to Him, then we know that He will do what is best for us because we are a part of His family and His plans.

I suppose the last question we should ask and answer is, how do we take our worry to the Lord? How do we cast it upon Him? The apostle almost certainly understands this to happen through prayer. When we give ourselves over to the Lord in prayer, we may confess our sins and find forgiveness and cleansing, but we may also confess our concerns and worries to the Lord. We turn them over to Him, even "casting" them over to Him, trusting that He is more than able to handle our situations. This is faith. This is prayer.

Thus, we might picture a man in Peter's day who had a heavy load to carry from one place to another. He was humble enough to admit that he could not carry such a heavy load, so, little by little, he throws the items up onto the back of a faithful pack-mule who is able to bear the burden for him. We, too, must humble ourselves and cast each and every one of our worries upon the Lord through prayer so that He can do what we cannot.