“…There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4:5, TLB). “…Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt 22:14, TLB), as in “…set apart…” (Pss 4:3, TLB). Furthermore, history shows that believers in different periods of church history have been compromised, and they were unaware of their true state. For example, the “…message… sent to… [the leader of the church in Sardis stated]: ‘I know your reputation as a live and active church, but you are dead’” (Rev 3:1, TLB). Similarly, the “…message… sent to… [the leader of the church in Laodicea stated]: ‘…You are neither hot nor cold!
“…Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own. …A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, …you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night.
“…Get moving…” (Exo 14:15, NLT)! “…Settle down and work to earn [your] own living” (2 Thes 3:12, NLT). “Whatever you do, do well. For when you go the grave, there will be no work or planning or wisdom” (Eccles 9:10, NLT). “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands…” (1 Thes 4:11, NLT). “If you suffer, …it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs” (1 Pet 4:15, NLT). “…In quietness and confidence is your strength…” (Isa 30:15, NLT).
“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness…” (Pss 4:1, NKJV)! “Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness…” (Pss 5:8, NKJV). “…He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Pss 23:3, NKJV). “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue [that] rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me…” (Isa 54:17, NKJV). “…The righteousness of God [comes] through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe…” (Rom 3:22, NKJV). “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord.
1. The dawn of human civilization was not an afterthought, but rather aforethought. The Biblical account in Genesis describes a convention that occurred on the sixth day of creation. At that meeting, the Godhead adopted this policy position—"Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves...." (Genesis 1:26, CJB). All parties to the agreement were in one accord, so the plan for human development was unanimously approved and implemented.
1. Your life, as a Christian, is a pilgrimage. The journey toward the New Jerusalem is difficult (Revelation 7:14)! You will pass through "...a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to [eternal] life, and only a FEW find it" (Matthew 7:14, CJB). Along the route—which is NOT for sightseeing—there are tests just as t
1. Character development is not the first topic of evangelism. Proselytization of prospective converts calls attention to more familiar topics such as baptism, forgiveness of sin, the love of God, the Kingdom of God, the resurrection, the second advent, and any number of other biblically appropriate, introductory topics. Against this background, discussion of character development may be deferred until after baptism. If that was the case in your conversion experience, then it is fitting that you begin self-study, examining the role of suffering in the develo