|Vol. 16 No. 4 April 2014||
Do you know someone who is always thinking about the same thing? This person has a one-track mind. This person cannot stop talking about a certain subject. This person is completely absorbed in one subject.
In Acts 9:1, we read, “And Saul, yet breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest.” Saul asks for letters so that he might go to Damascus, find Christians there, and bring them back to Jerusalem as prisoners. The English translation of “breathing out” does not give a full understanding of what the Greek words indicate. The Greek indicates that Saul is “breathing in” the threatening and slaughter. This means that Saul’s whole existence and being was consumed with bringing Christians to ‘justice.’ He put everything else in his life lower in importance than persecuting Christians.
Saul believed he was serving God. His full intention was to do what God wanted him to do. However, Saul was mistaken about what God wanted. Rather than being focused on destroying Christians, Saul should have been helping to make Christians. He learned this after waiting in Damascus for Ananias to tell him what to do. Then, with his new name Paul, he became focused on ‘breathing in’ the Gospel.
The Christian is focused on learning and living the commandments of God. While this should be the major thing of importance, the Christian realizes that he or she must work and earn a living, rear a family, etc. The Christian does not have a one-track mind in a negative way. The Christian lives life so that others can see Christ in him or her.
Study your Bible. Learn how to obey God. ‘Breath in’ the Gospel in your life, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
First Corinthians 12:2 reads, “Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.” Paul wrote the Corinthian letter to the church in Corinth, which was primarily Gentile. These Christians had not grown up in the Jewish religion. They had grown up worshiping many different gods. There were statues to Poseidon, Athena, Asklepius and many other gods. These idols could not speak. That is what the word “dumb” in our verse above means. The Corinthians were also very familiar with the Oracle of Delphi. There was a cave where a few chosen women over the age of fifty would take turns sitting and supposedly answering questions. The worshiper would enter the cave and ask the Oracle a question. The Oracle would be in a trance and simply moan, groan and mumble the answer. Then, a priest would interpret with a poem. Most of the time the poem did not make any sense. The worshiper went away not knowing any more than when he came.
The Corinthians were reared in a culture where lifeless statues who could not speak were worshiped, and even if there was ‘communication’ from an Oracle, one had no idea what had been said.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul told the Corinthians that they have easily understood communication from God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Spirit. They have a God who is not silent. They have a God who communicates with them. Paul said that they need to obey God. They needed to use the communication from God in a proper manner and in the proper attitude.
Study your Bible. Learn what God wants you to know, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
Palti, Igal, Shaphat and
Others Were Grasshoppers
Do you recognize the names in the title? Do you recognize Shammua, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Gaddiel, Ammiel, Sethur, Nahbi or Geuel? You can read about these men in Numbers 13. These men were chosen to go and spy out the land of Canaan.
You probably do know the names Joshua and Caleb. Joshua and Caleb were the two spies who came back with a good report. They believed that the Israelites could go in and conquer the land. However, the other ten men did not believe that the Israelites could be successful.
The ten men stated that the land was indeed a good land. They said it flowed with milk and honey. They showed the fruit that they had brought back, but they said the inhabitants of the land were strong. They said the cities were walled and great.
The ten men stated that the Canaanites were of great stature. They said they saw themselves as grasshoppers compared to the Canaanites, and they stated that the Canaanites surely thought of them as grasshoppers. By this they meant that the Israelites were very small and insignificant compared to the Canaanites.
The ten men were able to convince the Israelites that they could not conquer Canaan. In fact, the Israelites decided that they needed to go back to Egypt. This is truly amazing since in Egypt they were slaves. They decided they would rather be slaves in Egypt than conquerors with God.
There are some today who will not trust God. Rather than trying to teach and preach the Gospel, they will say that it is useless to preach. Rather than telling others about Christ, they will be satisfied to sit in silence. They will say that the job is too big. They will say that there are too many to convert. They will say that others will laugh at them. They will say that others will think they are silly.
Individuals like this are no different than the ten spies who gave an evil report. They do nothing but discourage others from obeying God. God brought death to those ten spies, and He brought death to all the Israelites who were convinced by them. All those today who refuse to fight and win the spiritual battle will suffer eternal hell, and all of those who are convinced by them will suffer eternal hell.
Read your Bible. Learn what God wants you to do. Do not think of yourself as a grasshopper. Do not get discouraged and listen to those who say the spiritual battle is too great to win. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.