If You Are a Christian by Dee Bowman
Blessings from "The Tongue of the Righteous" by Bryan Gibson
How Has God Blessed Us? paraphrased from the Apostle Paul
God is For Us! paraphrased from the Apostle Paul
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If You Are a Christian
by Dee Bowman
Do you have any idea how very blessed you are if you are a Christian?
If you are a Christian, it means that you’ve been forgiven of your past sins. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16), says that you are saved—forgiven. Think about that. “Their sins and iniquities will I remember against them no more” (Heb. 8:12). That means that when you complied with the conditions for salvation, every blight on your character, every mark on your soul, and everything you ever did that was wrong, is washed away in the blood of the Lamb. It’s as if all those bad thoughts, all those bad words, all those bad things you did never did exist. That’s wonderful! And hard to realize. When God forgives, He forgets.
If you are a Christian, it means that you are in fellowship with God. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another” (1 John 1:7). Having contact with men of repute is a great honor. If you know some famous person, I will be impressed. But what about someone who knows God? Now, that’s special. “Hereby do we know that we know Him if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3). The Christian has a special relationship with God, the Father. He knows them that are His; and He is known of them. That, dear friends, is a blessed thought, one worthy of consistent and thankful consideration. True, it might be special to know some special person, but to know God is to know the Creator of the universe. How about that?
If you are a Christian, it means you have special assurances. You are assured that He hears when you pray (1 John 5:14). You are assured that He will provide a way of escape for every temptation with which you have to wrestle (1 Cor. 10:13). You are assured that He will ever be nearby when you need Him (Heb. 13:5). You are assured that He will walk with you when it is time for you to leave this world (Psa. 23:4). And these are only a few of our blessed assurances. Truly the Christian has so much for which to be thankful.
If you are a Christian, it means you have a hope to which to cling, no matter what life brings. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ Jesus, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Cor. 15:19). This life has little to offer regarding hope; but the Christian has a higher hope, “an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters in to that within the veil…” (Heb. 6:19). That hope is “a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” and it is pertains to “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, reserved in heaven for you…” (1 Pet. 1:3-4). The Christian’s hope is his vital and unending connection to eternity. It sustains him in all matters and keeps him on course at all times. Oh, blessed thought!
And finally, if you’re a Christian, it means that you’re on your way to heaven. That means, just as the song says, “this world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.” The Christian is a sojourner, a pilgrim. He is just living here while he prepares to go to his real place of abode. He works here, he pays his taxes, but he looks heavenward, to his real home. “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Pet. 2:9) is a warning against allowing the world of the flesh to dominate the real purpose for our existence—heaven. Heaven is our home. The local church is our home away from home, as close as we’ll get on time’s side of eternity. We’re on our way, folks; let’s not forget “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), for without Him we are lost and cannot get home.
Are you a Christian? If you’re a Christian all these things—and a hundred more—are yours. Stop and think about that. Thank God for the fact of it. By no means, let it slip away or be eroded by inactivity. Enjoy it. Live it. Love it. You are a Christian.
Blessings from “The Tongue of the Righteous”
by Bryan Gibson
The tongue of the righteous is (as) choice silver: The heart of the wicked is (off) little worth.
Consider what a blessing the tongue can be when it is used with love by a righteous person. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21). It has great power to hurt, and great power to help. Let us consider some ways it can help. But before we look at these specifics, consider some general statements about the value of well-chosen words.
- “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (Proverbs 12:18).
- “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).
- “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).
Now, let’s look at some specific ways the tongue can be used to help others.
It can help someone who is depressed.
“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad” (Proverbs 12:25).
It can cool down a heated argument.
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
It can rebuke those who are sinning.
“Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you” (Proverbs 9:8)
“He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue” (Proverbs 28:23).
“Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear” (Proverbs 25:12).
It can be used to sing and pray.
“...teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs...” (Colossians 3:16).
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
It can be used to win souls to the Lord.
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).
“My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness” (Psalms 119:172).
How Has God Blessed Us?
Paraphrased from the Apostle Paul
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed US with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
As the above passage indicates, those in Christ are indeed a blessed people. What exactly has God done for us? A look through the Book of Ephesians reveals some of the specific ways in which He has blessed us. Please open your Bible to Ephesians and check the following references:
- He gave us His Son , to be our Savior (5:23), our Head (5:23), our means of access (2:18; 3:12), as One who would nourish and care for us (5:29).
- He redeemed us (1:7).
- He forgave us (1:7).
- He made us alive (2:5).
- He raised us up (2:6).
- He made us sit together with Christ in the heavenly places (2:6).
- He accepted us (1:6).
- He adopted us as His children (1:5; 2:19).
- He made known His will to us (1:9; 3:3-5).
- He gave us the good works in which we should walk (2:10).
- He gave us His power to work in us (1:19; 3:20; 6:10-20).
- He gave us gifts to help us become complete (4:7-16).
- He will give us an inheritance if we are found faithful (1:11-14).
God Is For Us!
Paraphrased from the Apostle Paul
“…If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
A rhetorical question that we should not brush off. Think about the fact that they greatest power in the universe is on your side if you are a Christian. Not only that, but He wants you to be happy, both in this world and in the world to come. He has given us His commands so that we can partake of the happiness that He designed us for.
Let us consider the words of the Holy Spirit as written down by Paul in his letter to the Christians at Rome. Please open your Bible to the book of Romans as you consider some of the many things that God has done, and will continue to do, for His people:
- He was willing to sacrifice His own Son, sending Him to die on the cross for us (8:32).
- He has freed us from sin, condemnation, and death, and we can remain free as long as we walk according to the Spirit (8:1-2).
- He tells us how to get our minds right so that we can live right and be at peace with God (8:5-6).
- He has adopted us as His children (8:14-16).
- He has promised His children a wonderful inheritance (8:17-18).
- He knows our needs even when we do not, thanks to the intercession of the Holy Spirit (8:26-27).
- He does not take away all our suffering in this life, but He does promise to work it all out for our good (8:28).
- He also assures us that our suffering will one day give way to glory (8:17-18).
- He will freely give us all things, that is, all the things we need for our salvation (8:32).
- He raised up Jesus to sit at His right hand and make intercession for us (8:34).
- He gives us the strength to conquer any obstacle in our path (8:37).
- He assures us of His constant love, no matter how bad things may get (8:37-39). In fact, the only thing that can separate us from His love is our own sins.
What are the conditions of salvation given by Jesus?
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