Posts Tagged ‘human-rights’


Under Gods Command

(Samuel’s birth and childhood)

1 Samuel 1:10-11 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “O LORD Al mighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” 

Be careful what you promise in prayer because God may take you up on it. Hannah so desperately wanted a child that she was willing to strike a bargain with God. God took her up on her promise, and to Hannah’s credit, she did her part, even though it was painful (1:27-28).     Although we are not in a position to negotiate with God, he may still choose to answer a prayer that has an attached promise.

Lets Bring it Home: When you pray, ask yourself, “Will I follow through on any promises I make to God if he grants my request?” It is dishonest and dangerous to ignore a promise, especially to God. God keeps his promises, and he expects you to keep yours.


Under Gods Command

1 Timothy 3:01-07 Here is a trustworthy saying. If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.  (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

3:1 To be a church leader (“overseer”) is a heavy responsibility because the church belongs to the living God. The word overseer can refer to a pastor, church leader, or presiding elder. It is good to want to be a spiritual leader, but the standards are high. Paul lists some of the qualifications here. Church leaders should not be elected because they are popular, nor should they be allowed to push their way to the top. Instead they should be chosen by the church because of their respect for the truth, both in what they believe and in how they live.

3:2 Paul’s statement that each overseer should have only one wife prohibits both polygamy and promiscuity. This does not prohibit an unmarried person from becoming an elder or a widowed elder from remarrying.

3:4, 5 Christian workers and volunteers sometimes make the mistake of being so involved in their work that they neglect their families, and especially the firm discipline of their children. Spiritual leadership, however, must begin at home. If a man is not willing to care for, discipline, and teach his children, he is not qualified to lead the church. Don’t allow your volunteer activities to detract from your family responsibilities.

3:6 New believers should become secure and strong in the faith before taking leadership roles in the church. Too often, in a church desperate for workers, new believers are placed in positions of responsibility prematurely. New faith needs time to mature. New believers should have a place of service, but they should not be put into leadership positions until they are firmly grounded in their faith, with a solid Christian lifestyle and a knowledge of the Word of God. Younger believers who are selected for office need to beware of the damaging effects of pride. Pride can seduce emotions and cloud reason. It can make those who are immature susceptible to the influence of unscrupulous people. Pride and conceit were the devil’s downfall, and he uses pride to trap others.

3:7 People outside the church should speak well of those who would lead in the church. The good reputation with outsiders that Paul required is realized when Christians act as dependable friends and good neighbors. How we carry out our duties as citizens, neighbors, and friends facilitates or frustrates our ability to communicate the gospel.

Lets Bring it Home: Do you have friends who are not believers? Does your conduct help or hinder the cause of Christ? As the church carries out its mission in an increasingly secular world, the church needs those who build bridges with unbelievers in order to bring them the gospel.

Do you hold a position of spiritual leadership, or would you like to be a leader some day? Check yourself against Paul’s standard of excellence. Those with great responsibility must meet high expectations.


Under Gods Command

1 Timothy 2:9-10 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or god or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. 

It is not unscriptural for a woman to want to be attractive.  Today, however, to what degree should women take this advice about fixing their hair or wearing gold, pearls, or expensive clothes?  Paul was not prohibiting these things; he was simply saying that women should not be drawing attention to themselves through these things.  Modesty and decency are the key words.  All women would do well to remember that beauty begins on the inside.  A gentle, modest, loving character gives a light to the face that cannot be duplicated by even the best cosmetics.  A carefully groomed and well-decorated exterior is artificial and cold unless inner beauty is present.

Lets Bring it Home:  The general rule for both women and men emphasizes that both behavior and dress must express submission to and respect for Jesus Christ.  For women, when a guy looks at you and the first place he looks at is the body, and not your face? Maybe you need to take a look at the way you are dress.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 19:01 – Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse. 

A blameless life is far more valuable than wealth, but most people don’t act as if they believe this.  Afraid of not getting everything they want, they will pay any price to increase their wealth-cheating on their taxes, stealing from stores or employers, withholding tithes, refusing to give.  But when we know and love God, we realize that a lower standard of living-or even poverty- is a small price to pay for personal integrity

Personal integrity is better than riches. The man who walks uprightly, though he is poor, is more of a success in the eyes of God and good men than a perverse fool, though he is rich. The wisdom of God and Solomon promotes holy living far over financial success.

There is an ellipsis here – words left out by design to shorten the sentence and make it more powerful. You know there is an ellipsis by the incomplete antithesis, for there is no contrasting term for poor, and the good Lord gave you the full version in Pr 28:6. It is not just a poor honest man compared to a perverse fool, but rather to a rich perverse fool.

Here is one of Solomon’s many priorities – teaching wisdom by comparison. Young men should strive for righteous lives more than advancement in their profession or financial success. Honest dealings are more important than economic progress. You should choose holy living over any professional ambitions. Consider the comments on Pr 13:7.

There are some related comparisons found in the book of Proverbs. Little money with the fear of the Lord is better than riches with trouble (Pr 15:16); a little money with righteousness is better than great revenues without right (Pr 16:8); a poor honest man is better than a rich liar (Pr 19:22). These comparisons should set the priorities in your life.

Young man, ignore television advertisements, a fast track boss, or a wealthy neighbor. Making money and getting ahead are less important than walking uprightly in all you do. The man who does not fear the Lord and says profane things with his mouth is a loser, regardless of how much money he makes or the size of his house. He is going down.

You will face choices, maybe today, where you must choose between integrity before God and “getting ahead.” Will you falsify a quote or estimate to make a big sale? Will you be silent when your competitor is falsely accused? Will you pass a promotion that would require you to work for a dishonest boss? Will you tell the whole truth in the application for a job you really want? Will you falsify financial statements to a bank?

You have been warned. If you put professional or financial success ahead of holy living, you lose, both now and later! The Lord sees your heart and every action, and He will treat you strictly now and at His judgment seat. But He can also give joy now that no money can buy (Ps 4:7), and He will give eternal life to those who live righteously (Matt 7:21).

Your goals should be gracious and honest speech, impeccable business dealings, being a loving spouse, training your children well, and doing good to all men. You must avoid hypocrisy, evil thoughts, and even the appearance of evil. And you should do all this with God first in your motives and goals. Such a man is better than compromising rich men.

A wise man will consider that God measures His moral performance, rather than worry about this foolish world that measures men by financial gain. The priority in ambition and goals of this proverb is from God Jehovah and written agreeably by Solomon. Believe it! Choosing these priorities when young can make you great before God.

Nabal was a very great man with much riches and a beautiful wife, but he was a fool and a son of Belial (I Sam 25:2-3,17,25). David was the most wanted man in Israel and running for his life, living in the woods and fields with the sheep. Which man would you want to be? Which man was better? What happened to these men? Give God the glory!

God turned Nabal into stone for ten days of cold fear, killed him, and gave his wife to David. God protected David, put him on the throne, and made him very great in the end. One sold his soul to the devil, and the other walked with God. One likely went straight to hell at death, and the other died the death of the righteous. The difference in time and eternity between these two men is immeasurable. Consider it! What are your priorities?

Young man, the way of the wicked seduces many (Pr 12:26). The lifestyles of the rich and famous are hard to ignore. It is the prosperity of fools (Pr 1:32); you should reject it, for it does not tell their horrible future (Ps 73:16-20). What did Solomon say, “He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch” (Pr 11:28).

If you give up the things of this evil world for Jesus Christ, He promises to reward you with a hundredfold now and with eternal life in the world to come (Mark 10:29-31). Though this sounds hard to believe, it is true. How can you lose with such an incredible and certain offer from the King of kings? Earn it today by choosing godliness over riches.  Do your actions show that you sacrifice your integrity to increase your wealth?  What changes do you need to make in order to get your priorities straight?


Under Gods Command

1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 

 This letter was written to Timothy in A.S. 64 or 65, after Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome (Acts 28:16-31).  Apparently Paul had been out of prison for several years, and during that time he had revisited many churches in Asia and Macedonia.  When he and Timothy return to Ephesus, they bound wide spread false teaching in the church.  Paul had warned the Ephesian elders to be on guard against the false teachers who inevitably would come after he had left (Acts 20:17-31).  Paul sent Timothy to lead the Ephesian church while he moved on to Macedonia.  From there Paul wrote this letter of encouragement and instruction to help Timothy deal with the difficult situation in the Ephesian church.  Later, Paul was arrested again and brought back to a Roman prison.

Lets Bring it Home: We must know the truth in order to defend it.  We must cling to the belief that Christ came to save us.  We should stay away from those who twist the words of the Bible for their own purposes.


Under Gods Command

Romans:  16:25-27 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him-to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ Amen.

As Jerusalem was the center of Jewish life, Rome was the world’s political, religious, social, and economic center.  There the major governmental decisions were made, and from there the gospel spread to the ends of the earth.  The church in Rome was a cosmopolitan mixture of Jews, Gentiles, slaves, free people, men, women, Roman citizens, and world travelers; therefore, it had potential for both great influence and great conflict.  .

Lets Bring it home: Paul had not yet been to Rome to meet all the Christians there, and of course, he has not yet met us.  We too live in a cosmopolitan setting with the entire world open to us.  We also have the potential for both widespread influence and wrenching conflict.  We should listen carefully to and apply Paul’s teaching about unity, service, and love.


Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 9:16 “Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment. 

Man, a woman wants you! This proverb is a woman inviting you to come into her house, because she wants to give you a good time (Pr 9:17). There is just one little problem – after being with her, you are dead and deep in hell (Pr 9:18). Hate this evil woman!

You can understand this proverb. Compare Pr 9:1-4 with Pr 9:13-16. There are two identical invitations from two different women. Lady Wisdom gives the first invitation (Pr 9:4); Folly herself, or a whorish woman, gives the second invitation (Pr 9:16). Appreciate Solomon’s comparison of these two women. See the comments on Pr 9:4.

Lady Wisdom kindly calls young men simple, for she has the cure for their ignorance (Pr 9:1-4). A whore does not literally call young men simple, but she instead uses all her verbal skills to flatter and seduce them. These are Solomon’s words, passing judgment on the men foolish enough to be near her. She invites all men, but only the simple listen!

Foolish young men are very vulnerable to the world’s folly and fornication with whores. They are simple and lack understanding. Captive to their powerful lusts, they cannot see beyond the next five minutes to the consequences of death and hell waiting for them (Pr 9:18). It is only understanding and wisdom that perceives the future and avoids the pain.

Lady Wisdom has a feast of meat, mingled wine, and bread at a fine table in her custom home with seven pillars (Pr 9:1-3). Folly, or the whorish woman, offers bread and water; the lying appeal is the seductive deceit of sinful pleasures (Pr 9:17). See the comments on Pr 9:17. Young man, will you dine in safety at a feast, or in grave danger on prison fare?

Every day, Folly and whorish women invite men to join them. They want to take men down to destruction. Men make daily choices to resist temptation or give in to it. Giving in has horrible results. Either, you enter Lady Wisdom’s house and find shelter there by humbling yourself before the blessed God and consulting His precious Word, or you give in to the lying laughter of this wicked world in its offer of short-term sensual pleasure.

Wisdom demands you stay away from the folly and women of this world as much as possible. The draw of both to the natural man is too powerful to play with. Instead, wise men will fill their souls and minds with the pure gospel of Jesus Christ and the doctrine that is according to godliness. They will not even allow potential temptations. The attraction and invitation of folly and fornication are real, but so are the consequences!