Romans 16:19 Wise And Innocent

Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. Romans 16:19 People like to know about nearly everything. It does not matter what the subject is about, many people desire to know more. Knowledge makes a person appear as wise and in the know.

One type of knowledge that people desire to know is the garbage in other people’s lives. It is the bad news that sells and gets the most coverage in the media world. It is evil things that sell the most in the movie world.

Paul commended the people for their obedience, but gives them a warning. He wants them to be wise in what is good, but very innocent in what is evil.

Many believers are known to desire to know about false religions. They study the false religions and ways of the world. This is done in order that they may know what the world is thinking, believing and doing.

The problem comes in that many have fallen for the beliefs of the world. They choose to do the same evil as the world does, because it looks good as they study it. They are deceived.

If every believer was to focus his attention on God and what God wants, he will not be deceived into doing evil in any way. He will not have time to choose to sin.

Knowing what is evil does not really help a person in any way. Knowing evil does not draw a person towards God, but rather away from God.

As a believer strives to know God and His ways, he will be able to turn away from sin more and more. He will draw closer to God and become more like Jesus, rather than more like the evil world.

Everyday you have a choice as to what you will focus your attention on. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into looking at what is evil. You do not need to study evil in order to know what is good or to help someone else.

Study God’s word and present His word to this fallen world. The people do not need anything more or less than God’s word.

As Paul said, be wise in what is good–God, and innocent in what is evil–sin.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will focus your life on knowing God more; that God will turn your attention away from what is sinful; that you will speak God’s words to the people; and that you will live as Jesus lived.

Looking At Faith

Open door

A while back I asked the question of what my readers would like me to write on. If there was a subject or topic that they would like to hear about. One of the suggestions that came up was to talk about faith.

While I love talking about faith, it also scares me a bit to talk about faith. One thing that I have learned with teaching the Bible and doing this blog, is that I have to face in real life what I talk about. It is as though God says ‘you wrote this, now do you believe it and act upon it? Let’s find out.’ When my family is going through a difficult time, my wife can usually peg what I am teaching or writing about. This means that as I write about faith, I will have to step out in more faith.

I hope you come along with me on this journey to discover more about what faith is and what it means to have faith.

Faith is something that is not physical, but impacts every area of life for every person on this earth. It is something that every person has whether they admit it or not.

To begin this study of faith we must look at the greatest verse on what faith is:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 

Hebrews 11-1

This verse is the beginning verse on what faith is. I will continually refer back to it throughout this study.

Just looking at this verse, it says that faith is two things: confidence and assurance. Let’s look at these two things closer.

Confidence is described as the feeling or belief that one can rely upon something or someone. It is complete, solid and firm trust in that something or someone.

The other word ‘assurance’ is described as a positive declaration intended to give confidence. It is a promise.

This confidence is found in what we hope for. This hope is not the desperate hope that many in the world have. ‘I hope that this will turn out right’. Hope is the knowing that something is going to happen. As believers we look forward to the return of Jesus. We look forward to a life in heaven with no more pain, suffering or death. We look forward to what life will be like some day.

We can know for sure that all that God has said He will do, He will do it! We can go to the bank on it and cash it in. God’s word is true and will never fail to be fulfilled in its time.

We also have assurance of what we do not see. No one can see heaven right now. No one can see Jesus right now. No one can see a perfect life with no more pain, suffering, sickness or death. Yet, it is there in the future. We can see it in the mind, but not physically. This is faith.

Many will claim to have no faith, yet, every person who has walked on this earth has had some faith. You have faith when you hit the light switch that the light will turn on. You have faith that the other driver will stay in his lane as he drives past you. You have faith that your boss will pay you your agreed upon salary when the work is done. You have faith that when you get out of bed, the floor will be there to step upon.

Now that I have given you a base line of what faith is and that you already have it, I will begin to move on to further study as to how to apply this faith as a believer. What does it mean to a believer? How does he use it?

In order to do this, I will be looking at the lives of different people throughout the Bible that show what faith looks like in action. I don’t know how many I will look at before I am finished with this study, but it will be a good number.

This study will be posted on Mondays when I can get it put together. I will strive to do this every Monday, until it is completed, but I may miss a Monday or so. Bear with me in patience as we begin this journey together in learning what faith is and how to apply it to our lives.

Ezra 7:10 Devoted To God’s Word

Study the bible

For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD,  and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel. Ezra 7:10 

Devotion to something is being committed to it. It is being willing to focus on whatever it is one is devoted to, regardless of what else is going on around. It is giving all of one’s time and attention to something.

People are devoted to many different things. Some common things people are devoted to are jobs, sports teams, and hobbies. Often these and other devotions are held so tightly that they can cause the expense of neglect in other areas of life.

Some things should hold this level of devotion, but are often not. Marriage devotion is often ignored. Time with God is often ignored. Many things that should be long-term or eternal are ignored in devotion.

Ezra was a priest during the time of Israel’s exile in Babylon. He had devoted himself to studying and teaching God’s laws to the people of Israel. Since he had devoted himself to God’s word, God’s hand of favor was upon him.

Although today there is grace the overrides the law of the Old Testament, God’s word is still to be used. Believers can devote themselves to studying His word and teaching others about it. This teaching is discipling others, which is what God commanded every believer to do–go and make disciples in all the world.

Studying God’s word does not mean one needs a bible college degree or cannot do other work, it is just taking time daily to get into His word and learn what it is says. It is more than just reading a verse or two each day and running on with the rest of the day. It is taking time to understand what it says and how to apply it  to life, then take that word to others.

You, like most people, may have some things that you are devoted to in your life. Your first devotion should be to God and His word. It is His word that lets you know what God wants and how to do it. Take time daily to focus on His word and apply it to your life. Then take time to share what you have learned with others.

Being devoted to His word is making God’s word a priority each day in your life.

Is God’s word a priority in your life?

I pray today that God will place a hunger for His word in your life; that God’s Holy Spirit will guide you in understanding His word; that you will apply God’s word to your life; and that you will share God’s word with everyone you meet.