Inspiration for Today's World

Category: Insights (Page 2 of 13)

Authority, when commanded to be silent on the Gospel

Acts 4:18-20 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

Acts 5:29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!”


When authority attempts to silence us, we are shown by the example of Peter and John that all we are expected to do is bear witness to what Christ has done in our lives. While we are to be obedient to our leadership, this does not mean at the expense of our own faith and salvation.

Authority, when disobedience is OK

Exodus 1:15-20 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, “When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; They let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?” The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.” So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.


We are often instructed to follow our leadership. Their authority and power is through the will of God. However, when we are faced with commands that go counter to the basic Laws of our faith, then we are to stand firm. Even in the apparent lie that the midwives gave, God understood. We are to fear God more than men.

Bible study, why is it important?

Isaiah 55:10-11 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.


The word of God changes lives.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Philippians 4:20 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.


A psychologist named Albert Ellis developed a model to explain how our beliefs affect our actions.

[Situations > Beliefs > Thoughts > Emotions > Actions]

As a particular situation confronts us, our beliefs affect our thoughts; thoughts in turn invoke our emotions; and the results are our response (actions). There are only two sources for our beliefs:

  • those founded on the truths of Scripture; or
  • the lies of Satan (of the world).

Each day, we are saturated with what we should believe but from a worldly point of view. Advertising, television, movies, educational systems, our socio-economic status, family and job status all set of the “situations” of life. Actions are ultimately how we behave in response to those “situations.” Society today, primarily addresses the control of behavior through incentives or punishment. It is the “carrot or the stick.”

Education advances the effort to affect behavior through training. Affecting thoughts through education is one of the cornerstones of a free society. Ellis, however, points out that thoughts are generated by the deep seated beliefs held by a person. It is what we believe that interprets the situation into acceptable behavior. Each person should ask themselves, upon what basis are their beliefs founded?

The world will tell us that Scripture is irrelevant. Scripture tells us that we cannot live without a belief in God. Our challenge is to overcome the world and replace worldly beliefs with the Word of God. The reward is to have the “God of peace” with us. Power that makes even Satan tremble.

Bible study, why should we choose church leadership that is in the Word?

Titus 1:9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.


Titus 1:6-9 gives us a description for a church elder. Here we find that the ability to strengthen others with scripture and defend scripture against those who want to change it is very important. When selecting anyone who will be entrusted to teach others, look to see how they maintain their knowledge of the Word.

Biblical interpretations, the risk of misinterpretation

Matthew 27:44 In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Mark 15:43 Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Luke 24:39-43 One of the criminals rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God, “he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus remember me when you come to your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”


By interpreting the reference to the two men crucified with Christ from both Matthew 27:44 and Mark 15:43, one concludes that they simply insulted Christ and that was the end of the story. Further study of the scripture, however, sheds an entirely new light. In the Gospel of Luke, the simplicity of salvation is unfolded. This criminal had no time to do good works or time to learn scriptures. Through his recognition of who Christ was, his repentance and his placement of trust upon Christ, he received the undeserving gift of eternal life. This is why each of us must rely on the entire Bible when establishing the basis of our Christian knowledge.

Biblical interpretations, when they appear wrong

2 Timothy 2:14-15 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.


Literal interpretations can often lead to arguments over meaningless issues. To protect yourself against this trap, we are instructed to be well prepared. Before entering into an argument about the meaning of Scripture, ask yourself if you have devoted sufficient study to present the truth.


1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.


We are being instructed to avoid the tendency to squash the enthusiastic presentation of an interpretation of God’s word. Arguing over interpretation may well prove to be a poor witness to others. Instead, we are told to listen, check it out and test it with other scripture. Take no man’s word for its meaning. Through our own study, and through the guidance offered by the Holy Spirit, we can hold on to the good (the truth) while discarding the bad (errors introduced by man’s interpretations).

Biblical interpretations, when they are challenged

Mark 10:2-3 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” What did Moses command you? he replied.


The Pharisees had interpreted God’s Law and resulting in a liberalized interpretation for divorce. Their interpretation was based on a command from Moses. To respond, Christ shows us how we should respond in similar cases. Christ when back into the Bible looking for “God’s intent.” Christ then stated that it was God’s intent for man and women to become one without separation and that the later command of Moses was in response to the sinful nature of man. Christ points out that Moses did not rewrite God’s intent but, instead, responded in mercy to man’s weakness. Therefore, if we find ourselves confused over an interpretation of scripture, we can follow Christ’s example by searching for “God’s” original intent. (review all of Mark 10:1-9)

Boasting, is it wrong?

1 John 2:16-17 For everything in the world the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.


We are clearly instructed to follow the will of God with humility. God clearly considers the things we have and the accomplishments we do His. We are only stewards.

Bottom line, how do we really please God?

Micah 6:6-8 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.


Micah the prophet begins by a crescendo of questions. Is an offering enough? An offering of the best? An abundant offering? An offering beyond imagination? Or the ultimate offering, a first child? Somehow, man has complicated the act of pleasing God. Micah’s response is just three things: (a) to do justice; (b) to love kindness; and (c) to walk humbly with your God.

Christ, who is He?

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”


When thinking of Christ, it is often helpful to think of him as a gate (John 10:7- 10). A gateway suggests several important points to consider. (1) We are now in a specific place and there is somewhere else that we can go; (2) There is a gate, and that is Christ; (3) Through the gate is life. Therefore, we must conclude that this side of the gate is not life; and (4) to find this new life, we can only go through the gate called Christ. It seems to me that it should be a high priority to learn as much as we can about the Gate and the life on the other side.

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