Sunday, June 29, 2008

Envy and Jealousy

What does the Bible say about envy and coveting? I put envy and coveting together here because they are synonyms. Jealousy is not a synonym with the two as we often make the mistake in assuming. Synonyms can be used interchangeably, which is usually the case with envy and jealousy, but not always. Try substituting envy in Exodus 34:14 "Your Lord who's name is jealous is a jealous God." God is not envious, He is jealous. And His jealousy is His possessiveness of His people for it protects us from being plucked out of His hand. Paul talks of a Godly jealousy in 2nd Corinthians 11:2. All jealousy is not bad,but do not be fooled, our jealousy is a bad jealousy 99% of the time. Jealousy causes so many "good" people to do so many "bad" things. We see it all around us. So I say leave jealousy to God and try to rid it from our lives.

James 3:13-18 "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist there is disorder in every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed who's food is righteousness is sewn in peace by those who make peace." James tells us that where envy is, there you will find disorder and every evil practice. He also tells us that such jealousy and selfish ambition is earthly, natural, and demonic. Them are some pretty strong words that are straight to the point. In our walk with Christ and our choosing of the narrow path of which we are called, envy and jealousy should have no part of our lives. Let us not "drool" over what our neighbor has that we don't. We have salvation and a personal relationship with our Savior. Gifts of which we could never earn on our own at any expense, gifts of which also no man could ever take away. So you envy your brother because he has a $200,000 house and yours is only worth $50,000? Do you realize how many people don't have a home at all? Or the millions of people who rent? Or possibly those in the third world countries, those who don't know where their next meal's coming from? We need to have the mindset of Christ. We are so blessed, yet I see so many of us Christians crying about what we don't have rather than giving thanks and praise to what we do have.

Luke 15:31-32 "And he said to him son you have always been with me and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live and was lost but has been found." This is the end of the parable of the prodigal son and the father's telling his devoted son you are always with me and all that I have is yours. That's what God is trying to get across to us. We have what is His and that is so much that no man could ever truly comprehend it until they are united with the Father. We have a relationship with God which is the most priceless thing a man can have. Don't get me wrong though, never should we think we are better than unbelievers because of this, for that would drift us into the sin of pride. Instead we should want all to come to that knowledge and relationship with Christ.

We see Jesus telling us this in Matthew chapter 20. (This chapter's too long to type out. It's the parable of the laborers and I resolve any and all to read it if possible.) This chapter starts off with the story of the laborers. Some were hired early in the morning to work the vineyard all day for one denarius. Well the land owner went out again the third, sixth, and ninth hour and hired more people each time. Well when the end of the day came, the landowner paid them all one denarius. Now we can all understand why the early workers are a bit envious, but the landowner paid them what they agreed on. Fair is fair. That's what the Lord wants us to know. No matter when we come to him he will gift us all the same. We just need to be able to come and work for His kingdom and His namesake. And no matter when we come and how long we work for Him we should rejoice rather than be envious when another comes later and gets the same reward. We should be glad that they are saved and have heard Jesus knocking, and have opened the door to have let him in.

The Bible tells us in 2nd Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." That is the true mindset of Christ, when we think out of the spirit rather than out of our flesh. No matter what the situation or how one serves God or how one is blessed by God, let us be glad and rejoice in the fact that they are children of God, for none of us are worthy of the grace we have received which makes grace so awesome.

In the Old Testament, Joseph's brothers were very envious of him and would have killed him had it not been for Reuben and Judah. Ya I know he was sold into slavery, but it was that or death. Killing over envy, it's a serious sin that can lead to death. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) For it's amazing how all sin measured to it's fullest equals death. Porn can lead to rape can lead to death. Jealousy can lead to envy can lead to death. Every sin measured at it's fullest equals death. We have to many times heard in the news of a jealous spouse who ended up shooting their spouse over jealousy because they caught them cheating with another person. Cheating lead to death, jealousy ended up leading to death, the Bible does not lie when it says the wages of sin is death. As Christians we should not have envy in our lives and any excuse against this is just pure carnal thinking. Let us leave jealousy, vengeance, and judgement to the one of whom it belongs, the Lord. A simple step to eliminate jealousy and envy from our lives is to stop comparing. Comparing will lead to one of two things; pride or envy. Both are sins, so if we stop comparing things, that may help us with this temptation.

Let's end with Isaiah 30:21 "Your ears will hear a word behind you," This is the way, walk in it". Whenever you turn to the right or to the left." Listen to that voice and it will always direct you away from jealousy and envy, for the spirit within will always tell us the way to walk rightly for the pleasing of God.

I could do blog after blog after blog on this subject and still not scratch the surface on this topic,for there are many verses on the subject that I did not even use. Envy and jealousy are things we will deal with daily. I will probably do more in the future on this topic, but my prayer right now is that we recognize this sin and the deadly effects it can have on relationships and our lives in general. Let us be strong and not give into this temptation that so often tries to snare us. With love and prayers always


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"I AM"

So I saw a spot in my study bible that tells of the "I AM" statements Jesus made, especially in the gospel of John. I figured I'd type some of them up for all of you, hopefully giving a better understanding of Jesus and who He was.

John 6:35 Jesus said to them,"I AM the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst."

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying,"I AM the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

John 10:7 So Jesus said to them again,"Truly, truly, I say to you, I AM the door of the sheep."

John 10:9 "I AM the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture."

John 10:11 "I AM the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I AM the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

John 15:1 "I AM the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser."

Revelation 1:17-18 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I AM the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I AM alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and Hades."

John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her,"I AM the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"

My question to all is simple, what is your answer to Jesus' question in the last line of the last verse? You don't have to tell me but I ask you to look at your relationship with Christ and answer that question to yourselves honestly and openly. It's one question Jesus straight out asked Martha in the verses John 11:22-25 as well as all of us reading His word. Do you believe this? I'll end with that.

My prayer for all is that we know who Jesus was, is, and always will be. That we cast all our cares, doubt, and love on Him and His greatness. May God richly bless each and everyone of you. With love and good tidings always.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Christian Marriage

I talked about divorce in my last blog, now let me talk about the role of husband and wife in a good marriage. The Bible tells us in Genesis 2:22 that God took the rib of man and created woman from it. The Bible also teaches us that the man is the head of the wife. (Ephesians 5:23) Sorry to all feminists, but that's what the Bible teaches.

Ephesians 5:22-33 "Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of his body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Never the less, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband." (NASB)

Looking at these verses we see that we husbands are to love our wives as Christ loved the church. How much did Christ love the church? So much that he gave his own life for it. Also we are to love our wives as our own bodies. Verse 22, where it says wives be subject to your own husbands is addressed to the wives willingly and lovingly obeying their husbands, which is right, not the husband commanding or demanding it. Honestly, if the wife is not living up to her end, scripture does not give the husband a free pass to forget how he ought act and treat his wife. It also does tell the man that he is to demand respect and obedience. So when people, especially Christian men, argue with you that women are completely inferior to men and completely low on the totem pole, here is some scripture that tells us completely different. The Bible does tell us that man is head over the woman, but only the husband over his own wife. I don't have dominion over my friend's wife, only my own. This point shows up the perfection and oneness of marriage. Yes I am head of my wife, as Christ is head of me. Well, Christ shows me mercy and blessings constantly, so should I not do the same for my wife?

There is a real responsibility to those who are put in charge of people, and one can rule like a tyrant, or one can choose to rule out of love like our Heavenly Father does. 1 Peter 3:1-2 "In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be one without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior." This verse is addressing wives to be submissive to their husbands so if they are not of the faith, they may be won over by your Christian conduct. You know the greatest evangelistic tool we posses as men and women is living the life of a Christian for others to see not just merely talking about it. So wives, be submissive to your husbands except if it goes against the Lord. The Lord is always first then the husband. So often people get the order of things wrong and it destroys marriages fast. First and foremost is always God, then your spouse, then kids. I have seen many people put their kids or their parents or even friends above their spouse and there is always trouble when this is done. The worst thing a couple can do is have a marriage without the Lord in it and the head of it.

1 Peter 3:7 "You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered." Submission is also the responsibility of the Christian husband as well, though not submitting to his wife as the leader, a believing husband must submit to the loving duty of being sensitive to the needs, fears and feelings of his wife. It says of the wife here as someone weaker. My MacArthur study Bible notes this saying, "While the woman is fully equal in Christ and not inferior spiritually because she is a woman she is physically weaker and in need of protection, provision and strength from her husband."

So the next time someone says that Christianity is unfair to women remember these verses. Especially Galatians 3:28. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither man or female; for you all are one in Christ Jesus." Let us all know that in God's eyes we are all spiritually equal no matter who's rich, poor, famous, man, woman, black, white and on and on. We are all the same to God, beloved children of His whom He gave special talents and blessings.

My prayer for all is that we see the proper way to treat our spouses and to submit to them willingly and lovingly as we do to the Lord. Husband, or wife, let us do all to show the proper love that God so desires in marriage of which he instituted and so graciously created.

With love and good tidings always,


Saturday, June 14, 2008


First off, I'm sorry to all who may enjoy my blog, that I have not been posting in a while. Weather is nice and there is much to fix, paint and remodel around our house. K and I have also been doing some landscaping which has been a lot of work, yet very rewarding.

In society we see that divorce is very common even among the brethren. What does the Bible say of this topic? Divorce is permitted if it is done Biblically and there are three reasons, according to the Bible, that one may divorce. One of them is if either the man or woman dies. Romans 7:2 and 3. "For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man."

The second reason the Bible allows divorce is found in the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:31 and 32. "It was said, whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce; but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."
So this passage talks of unfaithfulness. A person has biblical grounds for divorce if their spouse is unfaithful to them.

The third reason for a divorce is found in 1 Corinthians 7:15. "Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace." The whole of chapter 7 in 1 Corinthians is on marriage and gives good advice on issues pertaining to it. I urge all to read this entire chapter to understand verse 15 because it is too much to type out on this blog. Verse 15 that we just read tells us that if a brother or sister in Christ is with an unbeliever and he or she wants to leave, let them for you are not to stay with them quarreling and without peace over the one's faith and the other's lack of it. This usually takes place and addresses the issue of, if two people who are not believers come together, both not of the faith, and one becomes a Christian and the other can't or won't deal with that the Christian is to keep the peace and let them go granting them the divorce they seek. Now don't get me wrong, for the few verses before 15 says, if the unbeliever of the two will stay, then let it be and stay married. I am not writing this blog to show people how to get a divorce and please God. In Malachi 2:16 God says straight up, "I hate divorce." So in marriage we are to take every extreme step we can to stay together and keep the marriage.

The divorce rate in this country is way out of control and I would love to see people marry "the right person" and stay together "til death do them part." That's the key though, finding the "right person." So often we think we know what's best for us and exactly what we want, that we make the grave mistake of not allowing God to guide us, relying on our own wits. Whatever happened to being a Christian that prays on decisions in life to know and to be led in the right direction? I am a fortunate man for I have found the woman of my dreams who is perfect for me and I found her at one of the roughest points of my life. We have been together almost 13 years and happily married 8 of them this fall.

I will try to blog more often, at least once a week if I can and again do apologize to anyone who enjoys reading my blog that I have been away so long. Beautiful weather with much to do makes a mess of my computer time.

My prayer for all of those reading this is that you recognize the importance and holiness of marriage. So often we don't look at marriage as a holy commitment given to us by the Lord. If any are having marriage problems, I ask you to pray pray pray on it. Have the Father guide you before you make any hasty decisions. I also ask that we with great spouses and marriages give thanks to our God always for such a wonderful blessing.

With prayers and love always,