IF YOU DECIDE TO READ THIS ARTICLE PLEASE READ ALL OF IT BECAUSE IT GIVES UNDERSTANDING HOW THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS GUIDANCE INTO THOSE AWFUL, SUFFERING, CONFUSING, GREY AREAS OF YOUR CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE. (1Cor. 14:33) A LOT OF CONFUSION IS BROUGHT ABOUT BY DIFFERENT PREACHERS, CONGREGATIONS AND DENOMINATIONS TEACHING AND PRACTICING DIFFERENT THINGS AT DIFFERENT TIMES.
(John 14:5-9) When Jesus explained that He, Jesus, is God the disciples found it hard to comprehend; <- (John 1:1-4 & 14 then 1John 1:1-4) for clarification. They didn’t really understand what it would be like (Luke 24:44-51) after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into Heaven (John 14:17-20) when Jesus would return as the Holy Spirit to live His life in them and all born again Christians (John 14:16) as their Comforter (intercessor, consoler, and advocate). How could they understand? How could you know what to expect when the Holy Spirit entered you and told you that you were saved?
The guilt was gone and you were free! It was rather overwhelming wasn’t it? What could possibly be more comforting than to know God’s soul is living right inside us with our soul? (John 3:34) Speaking of Jesus: “for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” So that means (Matt. 3:11-16) Jesus in His physical body was empowered with the full force of God’s person.
And that scripture (John 3:34) implies Holy Spirit power is given to man by measure. (Luke 11:9-13) (V.13) "-----how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Example: How many people do you know who got up from being saved and were instantly a preacher, a teacher, intimately understood the Bible, or healed the sick?
Remember the friendship in the article "Why is the Holy Spirit"? How many Christians can be trusted with or are worthy to have full Holy Spirit power. Even the thought of such a thing is foolish because (1Cor. 3:1-6 & 1Tim. 3:6) a novice (young convert) has the fatal tendency to want to exalt himself through pride.
Common sense tells us that if a common, ordinary, every-day Christian in today's Church in America had full Holy Spirit power they would sooner or later lose their temper and try to use that Holy Spirit power to hurt someone and they would judge everyone! (Prov. 6:16-19) God hates a proud look, (James 4:6 & 1Pet. 5:5) God resists pride and self pride is the constant enemy seeking to destroy every Christian.
The HOW of the Holy Spirit is that He came from God to live in Christians and empower Christians to live holy so God can direct them through the Holy Spirit to build God's Church based on God’s Holy Word.
Some might ask; "HOW can I do God's work when the stress of this life is destroying me and things going wrong are exploding all around me? Can't you see HOW I'm floundering and flailing in a world of chaos!"THE ANSWER:
(1Pet. 5:5-7) "and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace (graciousness of manner or act, the divine influence upon the heart including gratitude, acceptable, benefit, favor, joy, liberality, pleasure) to the humble. Humble (a deep sense of one's littleness) yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt (Strong's # 5312 #1 to lift up on high, #2 to raise to the summit of prosperity, #3 to raise to dignity, honor and happiness) you in due time: Casting (to throw upon, place upon) all your care (anxiety) upon him; for he careth (to be of interest to, to concern, to care) for you."
Jesus said; (Matt. 6:34) "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
There are Ten Commandments hidden in that statement that the Holy Spirit will show you HOW to obey if you will let him. These are not the Ten Commandments God gave Moses on Mount Sinai. These are ten New Testament commandments for everyday Christian living that get right down inside us to where we live in the awful battleground of Christian survival.
Just remember this: Common sense tells us if we were perfect after we experienced our personal salvation event we would not need a church, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, preachers, pastors, or an advocate with God the Father. All that would be necessary would be a few evangelists to help people get saved! After a person got saved and were perfect they would just go on to heaven! (Heb. 6:4-6 & Rev. 3:5 and 14-16) It just does not work that way because we must show God we are heaven worthy. (Matt. 10:22) "but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
#1) It is written; (1Thess. 5:17) "Pray without ceasing." You say; "But, but I can't remember to pray!" Examples: See that little old lady (or man) puttering along on a two-lane road at 35mph in a 55mph zone and you can't pass? Do you lay on the horn OR Pray? "Dear God, please watch over her and keep her safe she must be scared to death." Put yourself in other people's place (empathy and compassion). Think! "That will be me someday!"
Think again! "Lord did you slow me down so those teenagers that just went by in the other direction wouldn't hit me head on and wipe me out in that curve up yonder?"
Pray. "Lord watch out for them and help them find wisdom." Think! "Oh dear God, my children (or children you know) are out in a car today please, please watch out for them. Lord, thank you for watching out for me. Amen." Take time to spiritually see as you look around and you will be able to spiritually see that everything or every person you see can be a reason to pray a prayer of supplication, or praise, or thanksgiving. Apply the attitude of prayer to your daily life. "BUT STILL, HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?"
#2) Jesus said; (Matt. 5:14) "Ye are the light of the world." (Matt. 5:16) "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." You say; "But, but I can't remember to act like a Christian all the time!" Have you really thought about that statement?
We all expect God to treat us like His Children all the time (John 16:33) but when things don't go just exactly right we don't act like God's children. Do you act all kindly and goody-goody when you are getting ready to ask someone to go to church with you? Of course you do just like all the rest of us. But many times Christians don't act kindly and goody-goody when they don't know they are under observation!
Examples: A) Are you one of those Christians, with the Jesus sign, or Christian symbol, or your church name on your auto, who take the handicapped parking spot, whether you have the handicapped sticker or not, and walk without effort into the store?
In God's eyes you told a lie because you did not need that designated parking place! Think! How would you feel if you couldn't walk or were hauling someone who couldn't walk and a Christian did that to you and you had to park far down in the parking lot? Would you want to sit in church with that person? Do you know that integrity is how honest you are when nobody, or nobody you know, is around?
B) How many times have you seen quarrelsome Christians humiliate waitresses, clerks, cashiers and etc. over trivial circumstances. It is very easy to do that because service people can't talk back without losing their job. That automatically calls to question the quarrelsome Christian's courage; would they act like that if the service person was in a place where they could talk back or fight back?
Please, please, please ask some of these service people about how hateful Christians are on the Sabbath (The Sunday crowd after church is over) while they are making purchases on the Sabbath (keeping it holy I suppose?) and ask that service person if they would sit beside that Christian in church. I dare you.
When you next pray ask God what he thinks about Christians who humiliate, embarrass, degrade, or bully other people. God probably didn't wait, He already told you through the Holy Spirit. (Col. 3:9-17) Your actions are your testimony. "BUT STILL, MY EMOTIONS RUN AWAY WITH ME, I GET IN A HURRY AND I DON'T ACT LIKE A CHRISTIAN ALL THE TIME!"
#3) Jesus said; (Luke 6:31) "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Commonly said; "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" You say; "Those the closest to me hurt me the worst." The better we know someone the more we know what hurts them or makes them feel good. Oh my! Oh my, how we do know how to "push each other's buttons".
Example: She/he has had a bad day and is spoiling for a fight and she/he knows exactly what to say to put you down and make you angry. "Well I see you fixed the same old slop for supper (or something to that effect)!" You fall for it and say something back; "Yes, it's because you're getting so sloppy fat!" The verbal war starts, everybody pouts, nobody gets any tender, affectionate attention and both lay down to sleep but brood about how awful the other one is.
HOW ABOUT THIS: "Well I see you fixed the same old slop for supper!"
You look him/her right in the eye and speak; "Well you really know how to push my buttons. I've thought about you all day and how much I love and need you. What you said hurt me but I know you were just emptying out the bad things the day put into your heart. I won't verbally cut you back because I don't want to hurt you and I want to apologize for all the times I've stupidly done the same thing to you. I've thought about how life would be without you and I don't like it and I hope you think the same way about me sometimes." Then touch him/her in a loving way.
Apply that method to your loved ones, friends and acquaintances.
How do you feel when someone is courteous, complimentary, sympathetic and respectful to you? They would feel the same way if you were courteous, complimentary, sympathetic and respectful to them. But remember: (Prov. 22:24) "Make no friendship with an angry man;" Some people are of an angry temperament so stay away from them as much as you can and for sure don't marry one.
Also remember: (Prov. 18:24) "A man that hath friends must shew (show) himself friendly:" Yes, you can be friends with your wife or husband! In other words: "If you want friends be friendly." "BUT STILL, WELL, I GET EMOTIONAL AND SOMETIMES I SAY MEAN, CRUEL THINGS BEFORE I THINK."
#4) Jesus said; (Matt. 16:25) "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." You say; "There's too much loss in my life. This one and that one dies or leaves or whatever and it leaves a "hole" in my life. Me and so-in-so used to be such good friends but we've grown apart. My automobile, gadgets, machines, tools and etc. get worn out or tear up and it makes me impatient and angry."
(Gen. 3:16-19) When you look around you will see that life is loss! On top of all that you are getting older too; you are losing your life and there isn't a thing you can do about it. You might say; "Well all this mess is Adam and Eve's fault!" Consider this; You, me and every person who has lived, living now or will ever live will have the same choice as Adam and Eve, life with Jesus OR death with (Rev. 12:9) the serpent, Satan, the devil. Adam and Eve chose death! Who do you choose? If you don't believe that please read the one-article commentary Is God Fair on this website,
Example: Please go to a hospital or nursing home and see what those people have lost. Just remember; you are headed that way too! Maybe your life isn't so bad after all is it? Remember: Hell is a permanent, total, shrieking loss and Heaven is permanent, total, laughing gain!
THINK ABOUT THIS: there are only two permanent things in your life. #1) God and #2) you and your relationship with God! Never, ever forget that! "BUT STILL, I SUFFER ABOUT LOSS AND I CAN'T HELP IT."
#5) Jesus said; (Matt: 22-37) "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening and learning and her sister Martha was aggravated that Mary wasn't up helping her with the housework and Jesus also said; (Luke 10:38-42) "Martha, Martha, thou art careful (anxious) about many things: But one thing is needful (necessary): and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
You say; "There's not enough time to do everything God wants. I'm so busy it is killing me!" Examples: Do you own your house and yard or do they own you? Every time your yard needs a haircut you grab the lawnmower. How many hours do you spend in your flowers and shrubs? Every time the house demands her face rouged and her lips painted you jerk out the paintbrush and cans of paint. Every time she needs her undergarments cleaned you jerk out the vacuum cleaner and carpet shampooer. Do you own your car or does it own you?
You get what I'm saying don't you? Apply that concept to everything you own. In reality we are all trapped to one degree or another by our possessions because we can all do with less. We all get what we want mixed up with what we need to one degree or another. In other words, we think what we want is what we need.
Jesus said: (Luke 12:34) "For where your treasure is, there will your heart (feelings, mind, self, soul) be also." SO: We will all be judged by our values. Did it have to be that big, that expensive, that much and were you proud about it.
Remember this: (Prov. 6:16-19) [O.T. Hebrew definitions] God hates a proud (exalt self, haughty) look (outward appearance). AND: (James 4:6 & 1Pet. 5:5-7) [N.T. Greek definitions] God resisteth the proud (appearing above others, conspicuous, haughty). Christians regularly need to take inventory:
Read these scriptures: (Matt. 7:1-5) Do you judge other Christians? "Did you hear what he or she did, said, acted like, looked like? I'm glad I'm not like that!" (V.5) You are a hypocrite, (Rom.1:29-30) a whisperer, a backbiter, proud, a boaster (Rom. 2:1-6) (V.1) and you have condemned yourself. (John 7:24) We must each judge a righteous judgment, the only source is by God's word and we must judge ourselves first. (John 8:3-11 esp. V.7 keyword: stone) If you are without sin cast the first stone, but if you are not without sin, drop your stones of judgment, repent of your sins (1Thess. 5:8-15 esp. V.14-15) and love and help your brothers and sisters.
(1John 2:15-18 esp. V.15 keywords: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world) Do you talk more about your favorite sport, politics, club, hobby, work, people, your possessions and etc. than you do Jesus? Just think about the non-church conversations you hear on the church house steps, in the foyer, even in the pews before church begins and after church ends. Then ask yourself this; "What does God think and feel when you show the world you think more of your ball team, or whatever, than you do Him? Would that hurt your feelings and make you angry if your positions were reversed?
Concerning your care about your possessions and gain of riches: (Luke 9:23-25 & Heb. 13:5-6) For effect, they are an illusion of life. Do this: Write an airtight last will and testament because "they" will have jealousy and greed and fight about your possessions. Because: (John 5:28-29) You will die and leave all you own. (Matt. 16:24-27) All you will take with you when you go to meet God will be the deeds you have done; be they good or evil. (Mark 12:30) Remember this: God does not take the back seat, what is left over, or second best. "BUT STILL, THINGS, MY THINGS, MEAN A LOT TO ME."
#6) Jesus said; (Matt. 5:45) "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust." The first part of Jesus' statement deals with the preceding verse; we are working with the highlighted, underlined part. Jesus also said; (Matt. 26:11) "For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always." The last part of this statement deals with Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.
We are again working with the highlighted, underlined part. You say; "Life is just so unfair!" The very first thing any Christian must decide, with absolute honesty, is; how much of this did I bring on myself? Have you thought about "the content" of what God said to Adam and Eve just before He banished them from the Garden of Eden; (Gen. 3:22-24: paraphrased) "Well, you wanted it; now you've got it; do what you can with it!"
Examples: A) Why don't I have a good, high paying job? Are you working menial jobs because you did not get a proper education? Whose fault was that? A lot of people "worse off" than you were found a way to get the education they wanted.
B) I can't pay all my bills no matter how hard I try. Did you spend too much on things you wanted that were, in reality, not needed? Did you want to "look good" because of your possessions? Surely you aren't guilty of PRIDE; are you?
C) Are you envious of people who have more possessions, money, and status than you? Is "I want that because he, or she, has one" a legitimate reason in God's eyes for you to use your time, effort and money to obtain it?
(Col. 3:1-10 esp. V.5) "Mortify (deaden, subdue) therefore your members (parts of the body) which are upon the earth; fornication (harlotry, adultery, incest), uncleanness (impure), inordinate (passion) affection (have a sentiment, disposed in a certain direction), evil (bad, wicked, malicious) concupiscence (longing especially for that which is forbidden, desire, lust after) and covetousness (greediness) which is idolatry (image worship):"
(Luke 16:19-25) Each person decides the amount their own greed but God judges what each person is willing to do or to not do to fulfill their greed. Scriptures pertaining to the horrible sin of greed are: (Prov. 15:27; 21:26; & 22:1-4; & Eph. 4:17-19) Jesus said; (Luke 16:13) "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (wealth)."
Once again; do you think more of what you do own or don't own than you do Jesus? Yes, it is that important! Each Christian, male and female, must be blisteringly honest with himself about himself and seek God's will through His Holy Word and through the Holy Spirit as to when possessions are replacing OR: have already replaced Jesus in that person's life! Yes, you can repent and be forgiven for the sin of greed! "BUT STILL, I DON'T LIKE DOING WITHOUT WHAT I WANT."
#7) READ THIS SCRIP. (Matt. 10:34-39 esp. V.36) (V.34) "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." You say; "My family is divided and those who are not Christians can do and say things that hurt me and I can't do and say things to hurt them back. OR: They always find something fun to do on Sunday and want me to miss church to go with them. OR: They do sinful things and want me to participate."
(Rom. 12:19-21) "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." When you are good to someone who is, or has been, mean to you, if they have a human conscience, the "hot coal" of guilt will burn in their soul. God may even use that in the conviction part of His drawing.
Jesus said; (Luke 11:23) "He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth." SO: You are living with the enemy! Jesus and Satan are both in your house or in your extended family, it is a war and there will be battles. Read this scrip. again: (Matt. 10:34-39 esp. V.36) And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." I personally see this over and over in my witnessing and it breaks my heart how so many Christians suffer from this persecution. BUT REMEMBER:
(Prov. 18:19) "A brother (relative) offended is harder to win than a strong city:" BUT: (Eph. 6:9) "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not." AND: (James 5:19-20) "Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." You may win that relative to Jesus. If you wish to read the true story about the twenty-one year war between my Daddy and me for his soul please read the article The Holy Spirit is Truth Part 2: Jesus: My Daddy and Me on this commentary. You will laugh, you will cry and you may even want to curse but please don't do that.
(1Cor.7:12-16) Also remember this; if it is your husband or wife (V.16) you may be their only hope of salvation because they will share the blessings God bestows upon you and they will know from Whom it comes if you tell them and (V.14) your children will not be counted unclean (Greek, phonetically spelled, akathartos; impure, lewd, foul) but they will be counted holy (Greek, phonetically spelled, hagios; pure, blameless, consecrated).
Isn't that the purest example of God's love for you; splitting hairs to recognize your children as legitimate even though your wife or husband is against God and is not part of God's "holy family"? No, that does not mean your children are saved. It means God does not count them as illegitimate.
Do you see God's tender, loving logic; if God counted your children illegitimate what would you be? Your children must go through the salvation process for them to be saved. See the one article "Breath of Life" commentary on this website for an in-depth study of the salvation process. See the "Marriage" article in this commentary for a deeper study of marriage.
(1Cor. 7:15) If the unbeliever departs because you are a Christian you are no longer in bondage to your marriage vows. Did you know that in a "good" marriage joy is doubled when it is shared with your mate and sadness is halved when it is shared with your mate! Think about the above sentence and talk to your unsaved mate about it! Live each day like this because it happens to so many of us; There will be a time when you would give all your tomorrows if you could only re-live one yesterday and re-do something!
DO NOT EVER FORGET THIS; (2Cor. 5:17) "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." In other words; You belong to a heart (soul) fixer. If someone breaks your heart God will fix it! "BUT STILL, THEY KNOW HOW TO HURT ME, HUMBLE ME AND TEMPT ME AND I FEEL LIKE I HAVE THE "RIGHT" TO DO IT RIGHT BACK TO THEM."
#8) Jesus said; (Mark 12:13-17 esp. V.17) "Render (deliver, perform) to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's. The Pharisees had attempted to trap Jesus into telling them not to pay taxes to the Roman Government. If Jesus had said; "Don't pay your taxes." the Pharisees would have reported Jesus to the Romans and accused Jesus of instigating a tax revolt and Jesus would have been in trouble with Israel's conquerors.
This writer has seen many people fight a pitiful, terrible spiritual battle over money. Sometimes a person will have a disability retirement like SSI and they go ahead and work a job such as one with a small construction company or etc. for cash "under the table" (nothing withheld such as taxes and etc.) OR: They will perform service work such as lawn work, snow removal and etc.
It appears everyone you talk to knows someone who works on the side while they draw a disability check. Then the person gets saved and the battle soon starts. "Do I give up my job that brings in the much-needed extra money or do I keep on going the way I am?" "I'm physically able to work this little low paying job but I can't give up my monthly check and especially the medical card that goes with it!" Please read the article Mans Conscience on this commentary for a first-hand account of that situation happening to two people I came to love dearly.
Individuals have confided to me that the Holy Spirit told them they are living a lie and they had to stop working on the side or they couldn't be a Christian anymore. Other people have said it didn't matter and eventually a few of them let their church attendance just dribble out to nothing over a period of time and finally they just quit church before they will give up that "extra income". Many stay in church. Either way that is an awful decision to have to make and my heart breaks for people faced with that situation.
I know the battle first-hand. I worked for twenty-five years before Vietnam injuries overcame me, I was fired from my last two jobs and couldn't obtain another one. I could still work but I simply wasn't worth paying because I couldn't produce enough productive work to justify paying me. I filed for disability and it was accepted. I could still mow our yard and etc. but I decided I would never work for money again and I haven't earned any money, not one dime, in the last few years but I have helped other people for free with what little I could and can do. BECAUSE:
Please read all of (LUKE 12:22-31) because Jesus said unto his disciples; (V.22) "Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on." (V.28) "If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast in the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?"
MONEY IS A TEST OF YOUR FAITH. Any Christian will fight some kind of battle over money; to pay taxes or not pay taxes, to pay tithes or not pay tithes, to help poorer people and etc. AND YES, IT IS A FRIGHTENING AND TERRIBLE BATTLE OF DOUBT AND TEMPTATION. BUT:
(Heb. 10:26-31 esp. V.30 keywords: The Lord shall judge his people & V.31 It is a fearful (dreadful, terrible) thing to fall into the hands of the living God) WE MUST CONSTANTLY REMIND OURSELVES OF HOW IT WILL BE WHEN WE STAND TREMBLING AND AFRAID BEFORE GOD IN THE JUDGMENT WE KNOW IS COMING. SO: WHAT IS HEAVEN WORTH TO YOU? "BUT STILL, I LIKE TO HAVE A LITTLE EXTRA MONEY IN MY POCKET TO BUY NICE THINGS FOR MY FAMILY; ESPECIALLY THE CHILDREN."
#9) Jesus said; (John 2:1-11) (V.7) "Fill the waterpots (a water-jar, receptacle for the family supply) with water." AND: (V.8) "Draw out now, and bear unto the governor (director of the entertainment, ruler of the feast) of the feast."
(V.9)The ruler of the feast (governor) didn't know where the "Jesus wine" had come from and he said; (V.9-10) to the bridegroom; "Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk (Greek word: methuo, pronounced: meth-oo-o, and defined: to drink to intoxication), then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now."
It is obvious the custom was to serve first the best wine they could afford and when the guests were intoxicated enough to not notice the difference in the taste the host would serve the cheap wine that was not as flavorful!
It is also obvious their wine contained enough alcohol to become intoxicated, they considered the "Jesus wine" the best wine, so it must have also contained alcohol! The question not answered is; how much is intoxicated OR: how much is too intoxicated? You say; "Good grief, some churches allow members to drink alcohol in moderation, some churches allow actual drunkenness as long as you repent and some churches don't allow any alcohol so what do I do?"
Jesus said; (Luke 7:32-34) (V. 32) "They are like children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept." (V.33) "For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. (V.34) The Son of man (Matt 12:8--Jesus) is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber (habitual drinker of alcohol), a friend of publicans and sinners!"
After reading (Luke 7:32-34) it is obvious you can't please everybody no matter what you do. Your job as a Christian is to please God not man. After all God is your judge. THINK ABOUT THIS! ACCORDING TO SCIENCE ALCOHOL IS JUST ANOTHER ADDICTIVE, MIND ALTERING, HUMANITY DESTROYING DRUG! The desire for more and more alcohol can gradually take control over you and you can become addicted! See CHOSEN VESSELS Part 2: Old Walter: A Chosen Vessel on this commentary for a firsthand account about what God did in the lives of an old drunkard and eight little boys. It is an amazing, true story.
Here is where drinking alcohol can lead you: (Prov. 23:21 & 29-35) These scriptures describe the poverty, contentions, wounds by senseless fighting, fornications with members of the opposite sex and the perverse attitude that overdrinking of alcoholic beverages will bring. "&%#@ Hold my drink and watch this!"
(V.21) Alcohol and its demands will bring you to poverty! (V.29 keywords: sorrow, contentions, wounds, redness of eyes) Alcohol loosens inhibitions SO: it is very easy for an intoxicated person to start trouble, physically and emotionally hurt people, usually those closest to him AND: receive physical and emotional hurt himself (emotional distress, physical injury, jail and loss).
(V.32) Describes the physical destruction to your body brought about by excessive alcohol consumption.
(V.33) Describes how loosened inhibitions can lead to unwanted pregnancy, fornication, adultery, and venereal disease.
(V.34-35) Describes how alcohol addiction will creep stealthily up on you and clutch you with its bloody talons until you cannot stop consuming it even though it is killing you!
(1Cor.11:20-34) When Paul described the Lord's Supper (communion) service he sharply criticized someone who had taken the wine and (V.21) gotten drunk. Then he went on describing the service along with the etiquette required during the communion service. So, the "communion wine" obviously contained alcohol!
THINK ABOUT THIS: (1Cor. 8:7-9) Do not be a stumbling block to a weaker brother or sister by alcohol consumption. SO: How much alcohol consumption is too much? AND: Are you already hooked? "BUT STILL, I LIKE TO RELAX WITH A COLD BEER; OR I LIKE BEER OR WINE WITH MY MEAL."
#10) It is written; (Rom. 8:28) "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose." (See the one article commentary "Breath of Life" on this website to understand God's calling) You were called by God when you were saved because (1Tim. 2:4-6) God's purpose is that He wants all people to be saved but He demands that it be through each person's freedom of choice (See the one article commentary "Is God Fair" on this website for complete information on that subject).
You say; "Why do bad things happen to good people?" A child dies or is killed. A home burns or is lost. Health fails. Is there such a thing as bad luck? The word luck is not in the Holy Bible but the word chance is.
EXAMPLES: (O. T. Eccl. 9:11) A) "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance (Strong's #6294 Hebrew: by accident or violence, or by importunity) happeneth to them all." Webster's definition of importunity: (annoyance, aggravation, pestering).
Jesus said; (N. T. Luke 10:31) B) "And by chance (Strong's #4795 Greek: to happen, accident) there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side." So, yes, there is a thing called chance or if you prefer to call it luck that is your business. THINK ABOUT WHAT THIS SCRIPTURE IS REALLY SAYING: (Matt. 5:45) "---- for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on he good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
But a lot of times "chance" can be adjusted! Build your house in the flood plain and you've increased your chance of being washed out! If you move to a better job where hurricanes hit you've increased the chance of a hurricane hitting you! Move to "tornado alley" you've increased the chance of a tornado hitting you! Hire a second-class electrician to wire your new house you've increased the chance of your house burning down! Apply this to religion, parenting, relationships, your job, purchases, investments, financing, saving, auto repair, appliances, tools, etc., etc., etc.! (Prov. 3:21 and 8:5 & 12-14) Jesus expects us to use some common sense.
(Matt. 10:16) "---- be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Of course you already know where all this is going------Pray and study God's word! This will be discussed in detail in the next paragraphs. There is an old song that has this line in it; "We will live or die by the choices we made"! "BUT STILL, I DON'T LIKE IT WHEN THINGS GO WRONG! OR: HOW CAN A GOOD GOD LET MY CHILD DIE, GET ACCIDENTALLY KILLED, OR BE MURDERED? OR: THIS COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MY FAULT!" See the two articles I Have Experienced Christian Physical Death Parts 1 & 2 on this commentary.
You must understand the ten "commandments" given above have no ready-made, written down solutions. There are no scriptures given that tells us how much, how little, how long, what is enough, why it happened, or when is it enough that will fit the situations of our life. THINK ABOUT THIS:
If there was an exact Biblical answer for every odd, unusual, painful, quirky, challenging, questioning, and wondering situation in every individual Christian life that has been, or will ever be, in every society that has been, or will ever be, the Bible might very well be a thousand miles thick AND: who in the world would ever even try to read that OR: try to look up their own personal situation in a particular moment of time?
NOW YOU ARE BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND THE HOW OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. He is there to help us grow, to understand, to guide us through the grey areas and help us through the iffy places.
(John 14: 15-26) Jesus identified the Holy Spirit as (V.17, 18, 20 & 23) Himself and God; yet Jesus (V.26) appears to separate the Holy Spirit and Himself. Please see the article "Who is the Holy Spirit" for further clarity.
Describing the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said; (John 16:13) "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." HOW? Think about this paragraph and the above 6 paragraphs down to this one before you go on.
Now think about this statement for a minute: You will not make the correct decision by yourself every time, you cannot sustain legitimate Christianity within yourself alone, you cannot be more than you know! SO: (2Tim. 3:16-17) "All scripture is given by inspiration of God (Holy Spirit), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2Tim. 2:15) "Study to show thyself approved (acceptable) unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly (correctly) dividing (dissecting) the word of truth.
(Luke 11:9-13 keywords: How much more shall the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him). (1Cor. 12:1-31) (V.1) "Now concerning spiritual gifts (plural), brethren, I would not have you ignorant." (V.2-3) Identifies these people as Gentile Christians. (V.4-11) There are a list of spiritual gifts given by the Spirit (the Spirit, Spirit of truth, Comforter, Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, are all names of the Holy Spirit). See the article Who is The Holy Spirit if you need clarification. (V.12-31) Here is given how the church is to be in unity through the Spirit and we are to covet (desire) earnestly (to have warmth of feeling for) the best gifts.
The Holy Spirit can only work with what you know. When you study pray for Holy Spirit guided understanding, knowledge, wisdom and etc. of the scriptures. YOU ARE A WORK IN PROGRESS. (Eph. 4:1-32 esp. V.15, 1Pet. 2:1-11 esp. V.2 & 2Pet. 3:9-18 esp. V.18 keyword in all: grow) Sincerely studying God's word, praying for guidance to understand and asking for more of the Holy Spirit given growth as a Christian is how you fulfill your relationship with God. With that comes the peace of being more and more in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing (John 14:15, 15:14-15 & 17:20-21 esp. V.21 keywords: that they also may be one in us) in building a personal relationship with Jesus.
EXAMPLE: When you were first saved you didn't know a bit more about how to conduct yourself as a Christian than you did before you were saved. If you were a drunk you knew you couldn't get drunk anymore, (1Cor. 11:20-26 esp. V.21) maybe; if you were a fornicator you knew you couldn't fornicate anymore; (1Cor. 5:1-2) maybe and etc. and that's about it.
If we love God enough AFTER WE GET SAVED, (John 3:3 & 1Pet. 1:23) BORN AGAIN, (2Cor. 5:17) A NEW CREATURE (CREATION) IN CHRIST, we must start learning by studying His Holy Scriptures (the Bible) which tell us how to please Him and serve Him. DEPENDING ON YOUR DESIRE TO KNOW AND SERVE JESUS YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE DECISIONS.
EXAMPLE: Before you accepted Jesus as Saviour you only attended the preaching service. After salvation the desire came to go an hour earlier and attend Sunday school and you did. That was the Holy Spirit's work within you. Then the desire came to go to the mid-week Bible Study. "But I can't! I've got a blue-collar job, or a laborers job, or whatever job and I don't have time to clean up and make it to church." More time goes on and a little guilt builds up. Understanding comes. "Those people are good people, they'll understand, they know what I do for a living" and you start attending Bible study in your work clothes. That was the Holy Spirit's work within you.
That is how the Holy Spirit works within you (2Tim. 3:16) to give you knowledge of God's Holy Word to bring you to a closer relationship with God.
Those "ten commandments" given above were only examples. The same thing applies to paying tithes, praying, giving, helping, loving, witnessing, and all the other things you do in your Christian life. (Matt. 10:29-31) God knows all about you. Please read (Matt. 6:25-34): God wants to be included in every part of your life. I'm sure you have noticed we have arrived right back to the scripture this whole thing started with in the third paragraph from the beginning; "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof".
Pray (consult God) about decisions in your life, even the small ones! If you ask God about a situation and you don't feel anything, don't do it. If it looks like the best thing in the world but that tiny feeling (1Kings 19:11-13: still, small voice) is there warning that something is wrong, don't do it.
Look at all the American Christians who lost so much money in various investment schemes. If you consult God about a situation and it feels right, do it. Just make sure you are hearing God Jehovah and not greedy god Self OR (2Cor. 4:4 & 11:14) the god of this world, Satan, the devil, (1Pet 5:8) our greatest adversary wants to torture us, devour us, cause us to blame God for our misfortune and destroy us any way he can. Do You Remember? (1Cor. 12:10) Discerning of spirits is one of the above-mentioned gifts. SEE the three-article series Satan: A Study Guide and Teaching Manual on this commentary. You will be shocked BY HOW WELL THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU AND HOW HE STALKS YOU!
THAT IS HOW THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKS IN YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THE RESULT IS DETERMINED BY HOW MUCH YOU LOVE GOD AND HOW MUCH YOU WISH TO PLEASE HIM.
(1John 2:15-16) You will be judged by three basic concepts: YOUR reaction to and YOUR attitude toward what church people and the world and its people offer you and do to you and your love and passion to serve God! If you wish to read about this in depth please read "Backsliding: The Failure Principal in the "Sin in Church" commentary.
GOD BLESS YOU.