Doing GOOD to Our Brethren
By Al Diestelkamp
Having a relationship
with Christ puts us into a spiritual family along with all others
who are in Christ. It requires that we develop and maintain affection
and love for those of like-precious faith--even to the point
of "giving preference" to them (Rom.12:10).
While we have an obligation
to do good to all, we have a special duty to do good "to
those who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6:10). Our
differing personalities and temperaments can make this a difficult
task, but that does not excuse us from accomplishing it.
It is inevitable that we will
come in contact with other Christians who "rub us the wrong
way." The tendency, in such cases, is to avoid as much contact
with them as possible, but that is not the solution. Abraham
Lincoln is quoted as saying about another person, "I don't
like that man. I'll have to get to know him better." Many
times a true friendship can evolve from dislike if we get to
know one another better.
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The term "one
another" is often used by inspired writers of the New Testament
when giving instruction as to how we should act toward our brothers
and sisters in Christ. A profitable study would be to go to all
the scriptures that contain these words in order to learn the
many ways we can do good to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The limited space in this paper will not allow such an exhaustive
study, but we want to take note of a few of the "good"
things we are to do to, and for, one another.
For the last several
months there has been a great deal of angst over adjustable rate
home mortgages (ARMs), people's inability to make their house
payments, and thus the potential for many defaulting on such
loans. In addition, the overall indebtedness of households is
increasing. Quite frankly, many families are facing financial
crisis and are blissfully unaware of it. They don't allow themselves
to think about it or they think that somebody will do something
to fix their problem.
It has long been observed that
financial matters create some of the greatest stresses in marriage.
The amazing power of compound interest that is lauded by investors
as a means to make your money grow under sober-minded stewardship
can also quickly drown the undisciplined consumer in a virtual
ocean of debt. Debt is often a very sensitive subject that most
do not want to discuss with others.
It is no surprise to the student
of Scripture to find that God has much to say regarding money
and, therefore, about debt. While debt has become a way of life
in our materialistic culture, the spiritually minded would do
well to beware.
Debt can simply refer to what
is owed by agreement as the result of services performed or goods
received. It is an obligation to be met. In such agreements one
side assumes risk while the other meets the obligation and is
indebted to the other until the obligation is met. We see this
in all aspects of commerce from the relationships of employer/employee
to producer/consumer. As such, debt is not inherently evil.
Problems of debt come when
the obligations are not met. "The wicked borrows and does
not repay" (Psa. 37:21a). The teaching is not that borrowers
are wicked, but that those who do not honor their debts are wicked.
I fear we have raised up a generation that would find those words
To fail to pay back what we
owe is to default not only on a loan but on our word, on an oath,
a promise. In Leviticus 19:11-13 we find false swearing and dealing
grouped with lying and stealing. It is all considered to be fraud.
In most agreements taking an oath is sufficient to give the lender
confidence (Heb. 6:16). When we, who claim to be children of
God, go back on our word, we profane the name of our God. God
is our witness whether or not we utter those words in our purchase
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or Evil...You Make the Call
By Rick Liggin
For we must all appear before
the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed
for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether
good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10).
The fact that Christ will judge
us all based on our good or bad deeds makes it necessary for
us to rightly distinguish between good and evil. Isaiah warned:
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute
darkness for light and light for darkness" (Isa. 5:20).
It's a serious matter to call something bad when it actually
is good; or to call a thing good when it actually is bad. And
that's exactly why the apostle Paul urges us to "examine
everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain
from every form of evil" (1 Thess. 5:21-22).
Notice particularly the word
"everything" in this text! Paul says that we must examine
everything carefully! Not one thing is to be automatically considered
goodor evil. Everything must be tested! We must not just examine
those things that jump out at us as "suspect," or only
those things we don't like or don't want to do. Everything must
be examined! Even the things that are not suspecteven the things
that we like and want to do. Why? Because eternity hangs in the
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a Nice Day
By Leslie Diestelkamp (1911-1995)
Each Monday lately our new
bread delivery man has said as he left, "Have a nice weekend."
Naturally, we are amused and perplexed. I have concluded that
he was trained late in a week by one who left his customer saying,
"Have a nice weekend." This new man just is not aware
that such a greeting is only suited to the last of the week,
and so he uses it all the time.
Many people are like that in
religious matters. They read that Jesus taught His disciples
to pray, "Thy kingdom come," and so they go right on
doing the very same thing more than 1900 years after the prayer
Some read that God commanded
the Jews to keep the Sabbath holy, so they try to do the same
today, even though they are not Jews and also long after the
Sabbath was "nailed to the cross" (Col. 2:14).
Jesus told His apostles to
"tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with
power from on high" (Lk. 24:49). Many today are still expecting
to receive that miraculous power long, long after Christ's promise
was kept (see Ac. 2:1-4).
The fact is, late in the week
it may be o.k. to say, "Have a nice weekend," but this
is hardly the expression suited to Monday mornings. Likewise,
it once was right for men to keep the Sabbath holy, but with
Christ's death God repealed that law (Heb. 8:13). It was once
right to pray for the coming kingdom, but when the kingdom came
(Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:9) we should know enough to quit asking for
Immediately after the ascension
of Jesus, it was correct for the apostles to expect the outpouring
of the Holy Spirit as Jesus had indeed promised (Jn. 14:26; 16:13),
but since the Holy Spirit came and fully revealed the gospel
(Gal. 1:11; 1 Cor. 3:13; Rom. 1:16-17), we cannot expect this
to be repeated in each generation because there is no more truth
to reveal to us (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3).
This article, written in 1965, was printed in the West Side
Bulletin, Aurora, Illinois
Wine is a mocker, intoxicating
drink arouses brawling, and whoever is led astray by it is not
wise" (Prov. 20:1). It's now nearly 3,000 years later and
wine continues to mock and many continue to be led astray by
Wine's current ploy is to divert
attention from the many negatives of alcohol drinking to its
alleged "health benefits." Over the past decade the
media has sensationalized a few studies which some believe suggest
health benefits from drinking wine. Rises in wine sales and use
have actually been attributed to these reports.1 Does
a glass of wine a day keep the doctor away? The seduction of
wine's health benefits need to be countered with a stiff dose
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Most findings are preliminary,
require further study, and their interpretation and meaning are
very controversial among scientists and doctors. Don't be fooled
by the misreported certainties in the media.2
Antioxidants in wine, called
resveratrol and flavonoids, are suspected, but not known, to
have health benefits.3
You would have to drink
gallons of wine a day in order to take in the same amount of
resveratrol as the mice were fed in some wine studies.4
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