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Are You Fair Minded

Acts 17:11 “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” 

My question is based in the fact that many people trust what they have been taught concerning the scriptures. Parents, friends, preachers and teachers have taught us many things concerning God’s word. How many times have you searched the scriptures to see if what you had been taught was true?


Is it really reasonable for you to take a person at their word just because they are someone you love and respect? Is it fair-minded to take a preacher or “pastors” word for what the scriptures mean just because they are supposed to be the educated authority on them? You are not being disrespectful of the one doing the teaching when you verify their subject matter. You are not impugning the sincerity of a loved one when you investigate what is being taught. The Berean brethren had the inspired apostle Paul teaching them, yet they did not feel it was unreasonable to search the scriptures on their own to verify “whether these things were so.” 


There is so much misinformation concerning the scriptures floating around in the world today. How can one know that what they believe is correct? Why do so many people blindly follow what they have been taught? Are you really being fair minded when you just sit there and not investigate the scriptures for yourself? No, you endanger yourself of becoming one of the blind that is led by the blind into a pit (Lk 6:39). You only become fair-minded when you are willing to spend the time in the scriptures to test what you have been taught. 


Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to challenge what is taught when you discover it is was in error. The apostle Paul commanded the Thessalonian brethren to “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thess 5:21). Make sure that what is taught fits the whole context of the passage sighted. Make sure that what is taught does not contradict the greater context of all scripture. Verify it and verify it again. Your soul is worth the effort of being fair-minded! 


The challenge for you is to become a genuine truth seeker (Jn 4:23-24) because God is seeking such people to worship Him. Don’t take any man’s word when he talks to you about being saved because he might contradict what is taught in God’s word. Ask for book chapter and verse in God’s holy script to verify it. It is not unreasonable to want a bible subject to be verified by scripture. An honest teacher will also not object to your need for verification. They will gladly open their bible with you and show you what is stated in the text. 


Mt 7:21-23 says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” As harsh as this text sounds there will those who have thought they were serving the Lord properly but have in actuality been living in sin. Don’t be one who thought they were saved. Don’t be one who thought they were doing the right thing in His name. Test what you believe. If it can withstand the test of the scriptures then keep moving onward and upward. If what you believe and practice fails the test of scripture change today. The last thing you want to hear is “depart from Me…” 


Your soul is too valuable to not be fair-minded!

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God Is Still In Public View

Judges 2:10 “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.”


Deut.6:6-9 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”


Question: What should we be most concerned about, God, prayer, and the Ten Commandments being removed from schools and government facilities? Or should we be more concerned that God is being removed from the home?


Answer: The root cause for a generation to grow up not knowing God is that He was not remembered and spoken of in the home. When God is no longer in the home He will disappear from the public view!


 Looking at Judges 2:10 you may get the first impression that the people of Israel were completely ignorant of who God is. That may be true to some extent, however, I believe it goes much deeper than that. I believe that this was a conscious decision to not keep God in their lives. Verses 11 and 12 of that chapter reveal this to us in the words “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger.” It’s not that they were ignorant or did not understand, but that they chose to forsake Him.


 This is happening in the era in which we live. You see it every day, open denial of God. This denial is a choice not to retain Him in their knowledge in spite of the overwhelming evidence for Him. Man is chasing after the Baals of the world, human wisdom, philosophy, covetousness, lasciviousness etc. and have turned their backs on God.  


The real imperative is to restore God’s residence in our hearts and homes. When He lives there He lives within us (1 Jn 3:24). When God is alive in us, He cannot disappear or be removed from public view!   – BL

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My Children, Follow the Path of the Wise

Prov 4:26-27 “Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.” 

Solomon spends a great deal of time in the early chapters of the book of Proverbs instructing his children about the benefits of wisdom. He is trying to equip them for life. A life that will be spent living away from mom and dad and the safety of their childhood home. It is the responsibility of parents, especially fathers, to provide wise instruction to their children. It is our responsibility to train then in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4). By providing them with the knowledge and fear of God we are trusting that they will apply this knowledge wisely in the decisions they make in their life as they grow older. 

In these verses the wise man encourages his children to carefully contemplate the path which they choose to traverse in their lifetime. We even spend a great deal of our time teaching our children the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. Quite often our kids will attempt to choose multiple paths, some of which we warned them about and wish they would have avoided. Careers often change and lead us down different roads. Friends we once ran around with change, from those in high school and college, to those friendships we establish as adults. Life has a way of throwing roadblocks in our path but the one who has established his ways in the Lord will know how to adjust or correct his course of travel so that he keeps himself on the straight and narrow road. 

For those who still have young children, keep teaching them. For example we have all said to our toddlers, “Don’t touch the stove it’s hot!” and many did not learn the lesson until they touched the stove and experienced it for themselves. However, they later understood that you only had their safety and best interest at heart. The same is true of providing biblical instruction to our offspring from their youth up. Don’t give up on providing your children with proper spiritual instruction even though you may feel it has gone unheeded. With the instruction you will provide them with the knowledge of God. You will teach them to revere and respect God’s way. Though they may ere from time to time if they have been given a proper foundation for their faith they will return to the path that will save their lives (Prov 22:16). 

I want to be able to say to my children as Solomon did his, “I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths” (Prov 4:11). I want my two sons to follow the path of the wise and I know you want your children to do the same. Therefore, no matter how old they are encourage them to make wise choices founded upon the wisdom of God. Continue to advise them to turn away from the path that leads them away from God and exhort them to establish themselves in the ways of God, walking the road that leads to eternal life. 

– BL

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Tests Are Meant To Bring Out The Best In God’s Children

1 Pet 1:7 “…the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” The testing of your faith comes at different stages in your life. Sometimes the test seems easy at other times they seem to difficult to overcome. 

Testing by fire is for a purpose. It is meant to purify, cleanse and temper your faith not destroy it. When you overcome the test of your faith you will be stronger and your faith will show forth as more genuine than before. 

The key is to not run away from the tests but to overcome them. This requires you as a soldier of the cross to be prepared with the knowledge that test will come. Prepared by adorning yourself with the full armor of God that will help you withstand these tests. Prepared to wield the sword of God, His holy word which is able to discern the hearts of men and cast down all human arguments. 

The genuineness of your faith is seen when you stand firm, not allowing difficult tests to cause your faith to wane. That is when you really learn about yourself and know in full assurance of faith that your labor in God’s kingdom is not in vain. 

God does not want you to be a quitter but a survivor. He wants your life and your faith, to praise, honor and glorify His name. He wants you to keep fighting the good fight until His Son returns in the clouds. 

How are the difficult moments in your life testing your faith? Tests are meant to bring out the best in God’s children. I pray that you pass the test you are facing this day and that your light will shine brighter than it ever has before.

– BL

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What Kind of Friend Are You?

Mark 2:1-12 are a few of my favorite verses in the New Testament. They just happened to be part of the daily Bible reading schedule recently.


They give an account of a miracle that involves four different groups/individuals:


     1. A paralytic man in need of a miracle.

     2. Friends of the paralytic who provide necessary transportation of a friend in need.

     3. Skeptics/Doubters who reject the obvious implications of the event they are witnessing.

     4. Jesus, the miracle worker and forgiver of sin.


     The paralytic was unable to come to the Lord on his own. However, his friends overcame obstacles and made sure that he would see Jesus. The Lord would first forgive his sins. The skeptics doubted Jesus’ authority to do  that because only God had the power to forgive sins. This is followed by the miracle that not only healed the paralytic but also was evidence that Jesus had the power to forgive sins.


     There is more to this than just observing a miracle. There is one fact that really stands out to me, it is the paralytic’s friends would not be stopped in bringing him to Jesus. No obstacle could stand in their way. They went out of their way, going the extra mile, putting in the extra effort when most people would have given up. They broke through the roof and lowered him down. There was an urgency in getting him to Jesus.  Their friend needed to come to the only one who could save him from his physical ailments. 


     Do you demonstrate this type of friendship when you know that a friend has an urgent spiritual need that only Jesus can meet? How far will you go to make sure your friend(s) will come to Jesus? Will you give up because you meet with resistance or hindrances? Or, Will you be the one to break through and help remove the obstacles in their way and make sure they come to the One who died for their sins? Will you be the one who introduces a friend or loved one to Jesus? It can start with a simple invitation. It may involve more serious conversation and Bible study. Are you willing to put in the extra effort?    


     So, What kind of friend are you? 


Bryan Loughmiller

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Reactive or Proactive?

  Reactive Proactive

1 Thess. 5:15 “See that noone renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.”

 The apostle Paul presents the Thessalonian brethren with two courses of action in this verse. First, a course of equal retribution. Second, the course of equitable resolution. I see a significant difference in the two approaches. Each are individual choices. It boils down to a simple choice of being reactive or proactive.


The reactive individual has the mentality of “an eye for and eye” and sets out on a course of getting even for what has been done to him. This is what most people would suggest is a “normal” response.


On the other hand, the proactive person seeks for a peaceful resolution that is beneficial for all involved. This type of response comes from a heart that has been transformed by the gospel. It is a response that will seek not only an individual’s physical well-being but also his/her spiritual safety.


One is negative the other positive. Which one do you think Paul is commanding us to “pursue”?