“God Won’t Forgive Me”

Sometimes people do not obey the Gospel because they feel that they have sinned too much for God to forgive them. Sometimes even Christians who have sinned feel lost and defeated because they think there’s no way God will forgive them for what they’ve done. Have you ever heard someone say that? Or maybe you have felt that way yourself.

But is that true? Is God unwilling to forgive someone because of how much they have sinned? Or is God unwilling to forgive one of His children who have sinned?

Thankfully, and amazingly, the answer is no. That is not true. There is no one that God is not willing to forgive who is willing to repent and seek His mercy. The good news of the entire Bible is that God is not only willing to forgive but that He WANTS to forgive us. We have many examples and passages in Scripture that bear this out. We are shown that no matter what we have done or how much we have sinned, God is more than willing to forgive if we are willing to repent and obey Him.

Consider Isaiah’s message to God’s people in Isaiah 1. After describing the sinfulness of Israel in many different ways in Isaiah 1:1-15, we then find God’s offer to them in 1:18, “‘Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD, Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.No matter how much God’s people had sinned (and it was really bad, by the way), God was still willing to wash their sins away if they were willing to repent and obey. If God’s people Israel could be forgiven, then so can we.

What about King David? Think of all his sins in 2 Samuel 11. He lusted. He committed adultery. He lied and deceived. He got Uriah drunk. He had Uriah killed. And then married Bathsheba and went about his life like everything was okay. But when Nathan was sent to confront David about his sins, David willingly acknowledged them and repented. He would go on to write a beautiful psalm, Psalm 51, about the mercy and grace that he trusted God would give him for his broken and contrite heart. If David could be forgiven, then so can we.

Saul of Tarsus was a Jewish man who rejected Jesus of Nazareth and hated Christians. So much so that he went about arresting men and women who were Christians, torturing them, and even killing them. But then the Lord Jesus came to him as he traveled on the road to Damascus in Acts 9. It is then that Saul had a change of heart, repented, and devoted his life to serving Jesus the Christ. We know him as the apostle Paul. Paul would later write to Timothy, And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen (1 Timothy 1:12-17). In short, Paul way saying that if he of all people could receive mercy and grace, then all who believe can. If Paul could be forgiven, then so can we.

How do we know that God is willing to forgive no matter how much we’ve sinned, no matter what we’ve done? Because He was willing to send His only begotten Son Jesus to die for us on the cross so that we could be saved (John 3:16). Why would God go through all the trouble of sacrificing His Son just to turn around and refuse to forgive us? John tells us in 1 John 1:9 that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” He is faithful. He is just. He will forgive. Read passages like Ephesians 2:1-10 and Titus 3:3-7 about how even though we were dead in our sins, lost, and hopeless, we have now received God’s abundant grace and mercy through Jesus Christ. By the grace of God we are forgiven, washed, made holy.

Do not doubt God’s love for you. Do not doubt God’s promises. Never feel that God would be unwilling to forgive. God’s promise to you and to me is that if we are willing to confess our sins and repent, He is more than willing to forgive us. That’s good news! Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.



Every day we’re making choices for ourselves and our loved ones. Some choices are important. Others not so much. We choose what to do with our time and money. We choose what food to eat. We choose where to live, work, and go to school. We choose hobbies and entertainment. We choose friends and social activities. Life abounds in choices. And the choices we make have an impact on us individually and affect our loved ones collectively.

The most important choice we must make for ourselves and our families is whether or not we will serve the LORD. There is no greater choice to be made. What will we choose each and every day?

Notice what Joshua said to the people of Israel in Joshua 24:15, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

The people were at a crossroad. They had to make the choice. Who would they give their hearts to? Would they go back to serving the idols of their forefathers or the idols of the nations around them? Or would they keep faithful to the one and only God? Joshua knew his choice.

Regardless of what the people chose to do, Joshua was going to serve the LORD. Even if the people chose to serve idols, Joshua wouldn’t. He wouldn’t be pressured or persuaded to worship any other god. Joshua would not be part of the majority crowd if they chose to turn away from God. Joshua was committed and faithful in serving God. We must be too. Regardless of the world around us, no matter the pressures they give, we must be devoted and faithful to God. Choose God over the world.

Notice that it starts with self. Joshua said “as for me” first. He had to choose first to serve God before he could lead his family or others to do so. Joshua had to know God himself. Joshua had to love and fear God in his own heart. Joshua had to obey God and be the example. I have to choose for myself to live for God. I will be accountable to God for myself. It starts with me and my own heart. Choose for yourself.

Then Joshua said “and my house.” Joshua was committed to serving God himself but was also determined to lead his family to do the same. How? Could Joshua force his family to serve God whether they wanted to or not? No. But what he could do was teach them to know God, give them necessary discipline, and lead by example. He could pray for them. Love them. Guide them. Help them. He loved his family and was concerned for their souls as much as his own. As fathers and mothers, we too need to determine for our homes that we will serve the Lord. Love, teach, and lead by example. Discipline when needed. Do so to give instruction in righteousness. We have to teach and guide. We have to make sure our hearts are filled with God and our homes with godliness. Choose for your family.

What’s it going to take to do this? Joshua tells us in Joshua 24:14, “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the Rive and in Egypt. Serve the LORD!” It starts by fearing God and putting Him first. Having sincere faith and love of God and His truth. Following the truth of His Word in all things. Putting away all sin. Choose to follow God and not the world.

Who will we serve? What will we choose? Choose this day and every day. For yourself. And your family. Serve the LORD!

Joyfully Suffering For Jesus

Joy and suffering don’t normally go together. Those two things are complete opposites. Suffering is hard. It hurts. It’s sad. It is not fun, pleasant, or enjoyable. But there was a time when joy and suffering were felt and expressed at the same time.

It happened in Acts 5 after the apostles had been unfairly arrested by the Jewish leaders, threatened to not preach Jesus, and then beaten for it. After all this happened to the apostles, look at what is said of them: “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name [Jesus]” (Acts 5:41). Not only that but “daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42)!

Being arrested, threatened, and beaten when you haven’t done anything wrong is outrageous and truly suffering. But since it was on account of the name of Jesus, the apostles rejoiced! They felt an honor and worthiness to be able to suffer for Christ. Because it meant that they were honoring and glorifying Christ, even in the face of persecution. I picture them all smiling as the left the council. Even though their bodies were probably throbbing from the pain of the beatings, their hearts were throbbing with joy. Then, with renewed courage and boldness, they gladly continued to teach and preach that Jesus is the Christ. No matter what would happen to them by men, they would never stop proclaiming the name of Jesus.

What a great example they set for followers of Christ today. Are we going to face persecutions today? Yes. Is it going to be fun and pleasant? No. How will we react? How will we face the persecutions that come our way? With fear and doubt? Or with boldness and joy? Just today I read a report of Christians in Afghanistan that joyfully, willingly continued to sing and worship. And they were killed for it. There are plenty of other such stories around the world of Christians being hated and attacked. Even if we never have to face physical threats of attack in our own lives, there are still other ways and means in which the world around us will persecute us. People with mock us, make fun of us, and say all kinds of things about us. They will be hateful, ugly, and try to hinder what we are doing for the Lord. Look around us in our societies today. Look at the hostility toward Christians and the Bible. We need to be like the apostles and Christians of the early church. When we suffer because of the name of Jesus, we need to smile. When we are hated for speaking the truth of God’s Word, we need to sing. When we are rejected because of our righteous living, we need to feel worthy.

Consider what the apostle Peter would go on to write in one of his letters: And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. AND DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEIR THREATS, NOR BE TROUBLED. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit (1 Peter 3:13-18). Peter tells us not to be afraid. If God is for us, what can man do to us? And even if we do suffer for a time on earth, it will be okay because of the hope we have in Christ. Also, Peter reminds us that Christ suffered for us. So we should be willing to suffer for Him.

Peter went on to say that since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit(1 Peter 4:1-6). We have to have the same mind as Christ. We have to fight against sin. Stop living for ourselves and live for God. The world will think we’re strange for not joining them in their sinful ways. But we know that God is going to judge those in sin and punish them. We want to be found faithful to God.

Finally, Peter said that we should not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now IF THE RIGHTEOUS ONE IS SCARCELY SAVED, WHERE WILL THE UNGODLY AND THE SINNER APPEAR? Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator (1 Peter 4:12-19). Rejoice in the fiery trials. Rejoice so much that you are partaking of the very things Christ suffered for us. Know that we are glorifying God in our lives. If we suffer for the name of Christ, then Peter says we are blessed. Blessed with the fellowship of God and the hope of eternal life no matter what the world may say or do. Let’s commit our souls to God in continuing to do good knowing that our Creator is faithful.

We will be persecuted one way or another to varying degrees. Let’s face it head on with the strength and hope God supplies us. Let’s rejoice to be counted worthy to suffer for Christ. And let’s have the boldness and courage of those who have gone before us and never stop proclaiming Jesus as Lord, Savior, and King.

Godliness Is Most Valuable

Recently, I have begun again to get healthier and lose weight. It’s hard. But it’s something important that I really need/want to be doing so that I will feel better and function better in my life physically, mentally, and emotionally. As I write this, it has been three and a half weeks that I have been one hundred percent on track. I’m eating healthy and drinking lots of water. I’m feeling better and already losing some weight. I’m feeling really good with my progress mentally and physically. It’s exciting. It feels like a new me.

But, once again, I have been smacked upside the head with an important reminder. As I have been working so hard to eat and drink healthy so that I can be a new me physically, I’ve had to ask myself, “How am I doing with the new me spiritually?” Ouch. I am reminded of what Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 4:8 that “bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” That always brings me back to the perspective and priorities I should be having. Physical health and exercise are important and helpful while we’re here on this earth. But we have to remember that this physical life is temporary. No matter how good we eat, no matter how much we exercise, no matter how many vitamins and pills we use, we are still going to die one day. What then?

What matters most in this life now and in eternity to come is my spiritual self. It is a matter of keeping our priorities straight. The struggle is that we can get so caught up in this life now. We want to lose weight. We want to make money. We want to have fun. We want to _______. We can work so hard and so long to obtain those things but if we aren’t putting God first and living a godly life, then what good will any of those accomplishments or possessions be in eternity? As Jesus said Matthew 16:26, “what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” I can lose 150 pounds and be as healthy as can be. But what good is that if I lose my soul and spend eternity in hell? Would it be worth it? No.

Think about the parable Jesus gave in Luke 12, “Then one from the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But He said to him, ‘Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?’ And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’ Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, “What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?” So he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’” But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God’” (vv 13-21). We can have everything in this world we could ever want or need. But if we don’t have God first, then we will end up with nothing but torment in eternity.

We are to be living a new life spiritually above all (Ephesians 4:22-24). We are to be seeking God first (Matthew 6:33). Holiness needs to be our focus each day before anything else (1 Peter 1:13-16). Godliness will benefit our lives here on earth and will then bring the benefits of eternal life in Heaven with God. While we are busy with our daily lives, let’s put God first and keep our priorities in their proper order. Remember what matters most. Pray about it. Fill your heart and mind with God’s Word. Be around other people who are focusing on God. Take to heart what Jesus said in Matthew 13, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (vv 44-46). May we have that same kind of heart and zeal for God in our own lives.

How Beautiful Heaven Will Be

Right now we are all faced with the danger of a virus, a sickness that can kill. It has taken the lives of thousands. It has brought pain, weakness, and sorrow. It has interrupted our normal ways of living. It has kept us from being with family, brethren, and friends. This current virus has been another reminder of the fragile, temporal world in which we live.

Our life is but a vapor or mist (James 4:13-16). We don’t know how long we will live on this earth but we know one way or another we will all face death (Hebrews 9:27). It’s the reality we’re faced with. Spend time reading the book of Ecclesiastes in which Solomon vividly describes our mortal and very temporal situation. In this physical life we are going to get sick. Have pain. Feel sorrow. Get tired. Struggle. Endure. Become lonely. The list goes on.

All of this, the virus and all hardships of this life, should make us see even more how beautiful Heaven will be. Think about it. In Heaven there will be no viruses! No sickness, pain, or death. No sorrow, sadness, or grief. We won’t have to say goodbye or be apart from the ones we love. We’ll all be together in the presence of our great God and Savior. We’ll never get tired or hungry. There will be no darkness. No evil. No sin.

Wow. It’s really unfathomable. We can’t even begin to imagine how beautiful it will be to be in Heaven. It is beyond our comprehension. The bad things in this physical life should cause us to long more and more to be in Heaven with God. This world is not our home. Thanks be to God! What peace and rest there will be in Heaven. I can’t wait.

Paul told the Philippians in Philippians 1:21-23 that to die and get to go be with Christ is gain and far better than anything this world has to offer. That needs to be our mindset. We need to long to be with Christ in eternity. We will be far better off.

Don’t you want to go? I do. Don’t listen to or give in to the thinking of Kenny Chesney’s song about how everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to go right now because we’re having too much fun here on earth. That’s just stupid. And foolish. If we really know God and want to be with Him in Heaven then we should be ready to be there ASAP. We need to long for Heaven. We need to live in such a way that we can go to Heaven. Because if you miss Heaven, then you’ve missed it all.

How beautiful Heaven will be. Let’s go there together. Praise God that we can.

To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain

We don’t look forward to experiencing death. While death is a natural occurrence when it comes to all living things, it is natural for us to not want to die. We do everything we can to prevent it from happening. We want to put it off as long as we possibly can. Which really we have no control over. Dying isn’t pleasant. And we all hope that when it is our time it won’t be too painful.

But God, through His Son Jesus Christ, has given us victory over death (1 Corinthians 15). We don’t have to fear death anymore. Because in Christ we come to understand that death is only the doorway to eternal life. It is the beginning of our eternal life with God in Heaven.

We need to look at death the way Paul did. Notice what he said in Philippians 1:20-23, “as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”

Paul knew that while he lived on this earth, his purpose and mission was to serve Christ with all his heart. But Paul actually looked forward to the day he would die, the day he would get to leave this earth and finally get to be with Jesus. He even said he had a hard time deciding which he wanted more; to stay on this earth or go and be with Christ. He felt that way because he knew that getting to be with the Lord is far better than living in this fleshly, painful, sinful world.

While we live and breathe we need to love the Lord with all our heart and serve Him with every ounce of our being. But we also need to be looking forward to the day when we can finally go home and be with God for eternity in Heaven. While we live we need to be living for Jesus. When we die we will gain joy beyond measure in the presence of Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Don’t Swim With Sharks

I really enjoy watching shows on television about animals and all of creation. God’s creation is truly amazing. One of my favorite things to watch and learn about is sharks. Terrifying, yes. But really cool. Sharks are fierce. Powerful. Incredible to watch.

One thing I laugh at, though, when I watch documentaries on sharks is how many of the people on those shows are always trying to figure out some “scientific” reason as to why humans are being attacked by sharks when humans are swimming in the ocean. They think there is some mysterious explanation as to why it happens. I find that hilarious. The “scientific” explanation is really rather simple: sharks will attack and eat living things in their domain. When a human being, a living creature with meat on it’s bones and blood coursing through its veins, enters the water with the sharks it is bound to happen! It’s what sharks do. One absolute way to keep from getting bit by a shark is to stay out of the water! If you do choose to enter the water, then understand that the danger is real and you bring the risk on yourself.

Sin works very much the same way. Sin is like the sharks. Temptation is like the water. If we swim in the waters of temptation, then we are bound to be attacked by sin. But if we stay out of the water, then there’s a greater chance that we won’t be attacked.

There are people around us that can be a bad influence on us. There are people that can put temptation in our way. There are places around us where we can find ourselves being tempted by sin. There are many things in this world that are capable of opening the door to sin. It is up to us to stay away from such people, places, and things. If we continue to hang around the people who are having a negative influence on us then we are bound to sin. If we continue to go to the places that breed temptation then we are bound to sin. If we keep using things that are avenues to sin then we are bound to sin.  But if we will learn to keep ourselves away from such things, we will be guarding ourselves from a lot of temptation and sin.

Paul in his writings often told Christians to flee, run away from anything that would lead to sin (1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Corinthians 10:14, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22, 1 John 5:21). Flee sexual immorality. Run away from idolatry. Paul said to abhor what is evil and cling to what is good (Romans 12:9). He also said to abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Peter tells us that Satan is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Stay out of his way! Run away from him. Don’t even hang around where he would be.

If you don’t get in the water with sharks, you won’t get attacked. If you are careful about the people you hang around, the places you spend your time, and what you spend your time doing, then you will keep yourself from being attacked by sin. Don’t take chances. Don’t take the risk. Stay as far away from sin as possible.

We All Have A Wilderness

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But He answered, ‘It is written, ‘”Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”‘ Then the devil took Him to the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down, for it is written, ‘”He will command His angels concerning You,” and ‘”On their hands they will bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.”‘ Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”‘ Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these I will give You, if You will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘”You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.”‘ Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to Him.” (Matthew 4:1-11)

Just like Jesus we all have a wilderness that faces us in this life. Temptations to sin come at us. Trials of this life test our faith and resolve. Jesus was tested and tempted in the wilderness and it surely wasn’t easy. It’s not going to be easy for us all the time either. We are going to be tempted and tried. The devil is going to challenge us. Satan is going to offer us pleasures of the world. But like Jesus we have to resist! We have to fight back against the devil no matter how hard it will be. Jesus trusted in the Lord and used His Word to fend off the devil. So should we!

At times we are going to find ourselves in the wilderness. We will be vulnerable to Satan’s attacks in periods of our life. We have to determine now to stand strong with Christ and be faithful to the Lord no matter what the temptation or trial may be.

Where is your wilderness? What are you facing in your life? Where are you weak and vulnerable? The devil is going to seek any and every opportunity he can to come at you with temptations and trials. Stay strong. Keep your eyes on the Lord. Resist the devil firm in the faith. Use God’s Word. Tell Satan to back off! Follow the example of Jesus. Remain faithful to God no matter what. We can overcome the wilderness. With God all things are possible.

Psalm 3: Salvation Belongs To The LORD

David poured his heart out through the writing of psalms many times in his life. Often in dark and challenging times. Through psalms he expressed the greatness of God and his trust in God. His psalms help us pour our hearts out to God today.

There was a time in David’s life where he had to gather his loved ones and run away from Absalom his own son who turned against David and betrayed him. It is then that he wrote Psalm 3. Look at what he wrote:

“A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, ‘There is no salvation for him in God.’ Selah But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the LORD, and He answered me from His holy hill. Selah I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God! For You strike all my enemies on the cheek; You break the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the LORD; Your blessing be on Your people! Selah”

David felt the pressure of his enemies around him. His enemies tried to make him feel that he had no hope in God. But David knew better. David knew that God was with him. He called out to God and knew that God would hear him. He beautifully described God’s care for him as a shield about him, his glory, and the lifter of his head. The Lord sustained David and David took courage. David knew the Lord could and would take care of his enemies. He knew that salvation belongs to the LORD!

We need to take strength and courage in the LORD our God. He knows. He cares. He hears. He will help and give us the strength we need to face any foe or trial of life. We need to be like David and be comforted in the love and care of our wonderful God. Be not afraid of anyone or anything because salvation belongs to the LORD!

Qualifications For Christians

1 Timothy 3:1-13 is a Scripture we go to to find what we often call the “qualifications” for elders and deacons in the church. It gives us certain requirements and character traits to go by in selecting those who will fulfill these roles.

While there are certain requirements in this text that specifically apply to those who can be an elder or deacon, we find that the character traits listed do not only apply to those who will be elders or deacons. In truth they apply to every single Christian.

The requirements that specifically apply to elders and deacons are as follows: they are to be male, married, and have children. These requirements are not needed to be a Christian. But they are needed for those who will be elders and deacons.

However, all of the character traits apply to every follower of Christ. Elders and deacons are meant to lead us in these character traits. Look at how they all apply:

We all must live a blameless, above reproach life in Christ.

All husbands and wives must be faithful in their marriages.

All of us are to be temperate and self-controlled.

We need to be sober-minded and of good behavior.

We all need to be hospitable and loving.

We all need to be able to teach others the good news of Jesus Christ whatever way we can.

We must not be given to wine, nor violent, and not greedy for money or covetous.

We are to be gentle and not quarrelsome.

Fathers need to rule their houses well with the help of mothers to have their children in submission with all reverence.

None of us are to be puffed up with pride.

We should all be spoken well of by those outside the church.

We must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience, and blameless.

Not slanderers. Temperate. And faithful in all things.

All of these characteristics are “qualifications” for all who would be faithful followers of Christ. We should all be living by this standard. God’s standard. Are we meeting these “qualifications”? Or are there things we still need to be working on? Let’s apply these characteristics to our lives so that we will all be well pleasing to God.