Sorry for the long delay. I hope to post a little more often...
I've decided to put a "Passage to Consider" post in once every week, as I feel that scripture can say the same thing MUCH better than I can.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds": eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness — indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
As the passage explains itself pretty well, I will let this passage speak for itself...
Have you ever heard a little child say the prayer for a meal? Usually it is short, but those short lines are filled with a special reverence and passion that we could learn from. If we do not speak as though we mean what we say, we are being hypocritical. We also need to live righteously. Proverbs 15:8 says that "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight." God listens to our prayers if we live uprightly in Christ. This should be an encouragement to us to walk in His footsteps. Prayer is not a thing to be sneezed at. In James 5:16-17, it says to "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Prayer does much to help others. We should pray for our fellow Christians, national leaders, and even our enemies. Why should we pray for our enemies? This verse should make it clear: Matthew 5:44-45: But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. If we pray for our enemies, Jesus says that we will be "sons of our Father in heaven". This is a wonderful promise to us, and a reminder that we should not just pray for those who are easy to pray for. It is easy to pray for our fellow Christians; it is hard to pray for terrorists that have killed innocent people. Let me share a big passage on this. Luke 6:33-36: And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. This should be fairly obvious, so I won't comment on this :) Lastly, I want to point out King David. He is a great example on prayer. He was oppressed, ill-used, and a lot of his life he was running away. But he still puts his trust in God and prays. A lot of these prayers we can read in Psalms. This is also a good reason to read Psalms (read previous post), as David's prayers are a good example of a good prayer. It is a good example for us to trust wholly that God will answer our prayer, even if that means the answer "no". God does not need our prayers. He already knows what is to pass. But please do not think that all I have said to this point was in vain. Prayer helps to change our minds and bring us closer to God; and God in His sovereignty has ordained that our prayers "avail much". There is much more to say about prayer that I haven't already said. I hardly touched on the matter of prayer. Let me summarize what I said to this point:
We need to pray with a right heart, otherwise we become hypocritical
God listens to the prayer of the upright
We need to pray for our enemies, not just those whom it is easy to pray for
I thought I would expand on something Corey wrote to Nick a couple months ago. Here goes...
Corey: "Sometimes we overlook the Psalms... but they are important...Many times we overlook the psalms of David and his music men, thinking that they are not as important as the deep theology of Romans or the overview of many points of the Christian faith laid out in John. But if you think of the little Bibles handed out to new or unbelievers, they contain the New Testament and, out of all the Old Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. Because Psalms is so long we might start out really thinking about the passages but towards the end we start skimming or not paying as much attention to what the verses are saying. The truth is, Psalms is like essential oils. Essential oils are supposed to be good for almost any sickness or disease. The difference between the two is that Psalms is good for any condition: depression, joy, temptation, you name it. Psalms talks about Christ’s coming and His death and though it was written thousands of years ago, still seems like they were written today to address or at least state the feelings of modern people. So far I’ve only talked about the goodness of the Psalms. What I really wanted to do in this letter though was to encourage you to make the Psalms part of your daily Bible study. Read the Psalms, meditate on the Psalms, and believe the Psalms. May they bring you joy and refreshment in such abundance that you are never without a Christ-like attitude and encouraging word. God Bless!"
As my brother said, Psalms is extremely important. In fact, out of all the books Jesus quoted, He quoted Psalms the most. There are treasure troves of scriptural truths in Psalms. For example, from the Psalms, we can learn the following about the whole Word of God:
The word helps us not to sin; Psalms 119:11: Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
The word gives us understanding; Psalms 119:104-105: Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
The word brings us joy; Jeremiah 15:16: Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.
The word is almighty, as is God. The word endures, despite innumerable attempts to destroy it. The word is, as God is. It will not fail with God's power.
The Word is! That is something to tell your friends and neighbors!
Hello! For those who don't know, I am Casey, and the whole reason I created this blog is to share my thoughts on things above. I will look at scriptural traits and truths and connect them with how we can apply them and use them in our daily lives, hence the name "Scriptural Truths and Plain Common Sense".
The main influence to why I started this blog was my brother's and friend's blog "Encouragements to Godliness". On occasion, I will build on what they have already said in their letters, and I would recommend that you look at their blog.
I will try to post at least once a week, more or less.