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Dose of Truth

    by Brent Barnett

There is nothing wrong with trying to make money or even a lot of it as long as we do it honestly, morally, and while treating others the way we wish to be treated when we enter a business transaction. Whether we are in management, sales, marketing, human resources, or another aspect of business, we have a chance to be a testimony and to stand apart from the world’s ways of doing business. The world understands manipulating people into buying something that they don’t really need. It understands being rude and overly pushy. It is well-versed in taking short-cuts, even…  ( Click for more )

April 12, 2010

Matthew 24 is full of events that will point to signs of the last days. No man knows the exact day or hour of Christ’s return, but there are signposts to catch our attention that time is running short. These include wars and rumors of wars (v. 6), an increase in earthquakes and famines (v. 7), professing Christians falling away from the faith (v. 10), and a rise in false prophets teaching false gospels and leading God’s people astray (v. 11). Verse 12 says, “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.” Many fixate upon the…  ( Click for more )

1 John 2:16 says, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” We need only to go back to the first sin to see these three underlying facets of sin at work. Genesis 3:6 says, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” God told Eve that she couldn’t…  ( Click for more )

Sometimes, we read a promise of God given to us in the Scripture and just laugh in a scoffing, unbelieving way at what God has said. The longer we are believers, the more likely it is that we will find ourselves having laughed at promises of God that we believed were too good to be true. When God moves us to repent through His kind provision or deliverance, we come to laugh with Him instead of at Him. These are instances to remember and to praise God for over and over again because what seemed too good to be true became reality.

We can be encouraged by God’s Word as…  ( Click for more )

“And I show you a still more excellent way.” - 1 Corinthians 12:31

Love is the ultimate distinguishing characteristic of true believers (John 13:34-35). Yet, for a variety of reasons, the primary of which is Satanic delusion and deception, love has been rendered as merely being polite, nice, and possessing good social skills and manners. But love is so much more than this. Even the world knows how to be nice to people whom they like (Matthew 5:46). Where love becomes difficult and supernatural is when it requires us to love people we don’t…  ( Click for more )

March 15, 2010

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Biblical training is not just training of any kind. Unless we know what the Scripture teaches, we might think we are doing things right when, in actuality, we are doing just the opposite. We must know what God has to say on the matter if we want children that are a blessing to us and to others. First, we must understand right theology about the nature of man. Pop psychology books teach that man is basically good and that he is not born with a sin nature.…  ( Click for more )

It is not easy being in a fallen, corrupt world, especially as believers. Temptations are everywhere, persecution is on the increase, and those who hate Jesus continue to multiply. Even Lot, who was not the most shining Christian example, testified to just how oppressing and tormenting it was to be around the sinful practices of the world in which he lived (2 Peter 2:7-8). Our modern world might make Sodom and Gomorrah blush, and it certainly should make us blush (Jeremiah 6:15,8:12). Even though we are in the world, tormented and oppressed by its ways, God calls us to be…  ( Click for more )

The only way to know if we are growing spiritually is to know what spiritual maturity looks like. Paul said that we are to imitate him as he imitates Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). In other words, Christ is the perfect expression of what it means to grow to maturity in the Lord. We will never be perfect in this life as He was when He walked the earth, but to set our standards any lower is to guarantee that we will not grow as we ought to. Looking at the example of Christ, we learn that maturity involves perfect obedience to the will of the Father (Luke 22:42). 1 Thessalonians…  ( Click for more )

February 22, 2010

Whether it is acceptable or not to get a tattoo is a hot topic among Christians, especially young people. Just as there is great peer pressure to sleep around, to experiment with drugs, to watch garbage on television, and to compromise in music, there is also great lure surrounding tattoos. To further confuse matters, those who support tattooing can be found inside evangelicalism. I went to a “Christian” college, and the president of the college said on welcome weekend with all of the parents present that parents should not get worked up if their son or daughter were…  ( Click for more )

February 15, 2010

God is a God of love, a God of grace, and a God of mercy. These things we have heard more times than we can count. However, what we may not have heard is that the Scripture also refers to God as a God of vengeance. Psalm 94:1 says, “O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!” The Psalmist is in agony watching the wicked get away with their evil, hurting the innocent, even the people of God. The wicked mock and scorn God, believing that they have gotten away with their evil. But the Psalmist comes to rest in the fact the God Who made the eye can see…  ( Click for more )

The early church met for corporate worship on the first day of the week, which is Sunday, the same day Christ rose from the dead (Matthew 28:1). Acts 20:7 says, “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.” Also, 1 Corinthians 16:2 says, “On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.” These verses provide clear evidence that…  ( Click for more )

We all know what the world thinks about divorce given its prevalence. People moan and groan about its effects on children, yet it continues on recklessly because too often people marry recklessly. People would take who they date and eventually marry so much more seriously if they didn’t view divorce as their “ace in the hole” or “bailout.” There is so much distrust in marriage today that many are afraid to make a commitment, or if they do, they call upon a lawyer to draft a prenuptial agreement. So much for God’s plan in which “the heart…  ( Click for more )

Church government, sometimes called church polity, can degrade into the worldly, combative, “us versus them” mentality that politics in general often involves. In the world, people take sides with the group that most aligns with their personal viewpoint. They hope that a person will adequately stand for what they believe, and if they are in a democracy, they will try to vote that person into office. If they are in another form of government, where free speech is limited or banned, they will have almost no say in the direction of their country. Sadly, churches too often…  ( Click for more )

January 18, 2010

The great battle for truth is not between atheists and theists. I once thought that if we could just help people to believe in God then coming to faith in Christ wouldn’t be that far off. But the reality is that, though the battle against atheism is worth fighting, the real and intense battle is the call to faith in Jesus Christ. I say this because of a phrase locked away in 2 Timothy 3. Paul gives an extensive list about the characteristics of people living in the last days, ranging from being lovers of self and money to being disobedient to parents and hating good.…  ( Click for more )

Fasting is a theme that runs throughout the Scriptures. Done rightly, it can have great benefit in our walks with Christ. Too often, however, it is done improperly for the wrong reasons and motives. Fasting is not a rote tradition that is done to earn God’s favor. It is not as if choosing not to eat a meal in and of itself draws us closer to God. We are not more holy if we abstain from food. Enjoying our food and drink is a great blessing and mercy of God in this life (Ecclesiastes 5:18). We can be close to God as we enjoy the fruits of our labor and the wonders of God’s…  ( Click for more )

January 4, 2010

A new year provides us with a chance to be introspective, to reflect on what was, to consider what is, and to think about what we want to become. It is a mileage marker, a point of no return, a chance to draw a line in the sand. Of course, any day we have the chance to change, but there is something about a new year that beckons us with new opportunity. Yet Satan will use this new opportunity to remind us of our old failures, our old defeats, and our hopeless future. This is why we need real change, change that can only be wrought in the power of Jesus Christ. This new year can…  ( Click for more )

December 28, 2009

Christmas can be a controversial topic. We all know about how our politically correct world would prefer that we speak of “the holidays” rather than Christmas, but there is more to preserving the spirit of the season than merely saving the name. Though such efforts to stand for Christmas are certainly noble and worthwhile, we must not think that just because we have preserved our right to call Christmas “Christmas” that we have remembered what Christmas is all about. Is Christmas first and foremost about the tree, the mistletoe, the holly, the bells,…  ( Click for more )

December 21, 2009

It is easy to give up on people or to write them off. Some people change quickly, while others move very slowly. Some are relatively easy to love, while others require a lot of patience. That is just the reality of life, people, and Christianity. Relationships are central to church life, and, of the many tasks we have on earth, relationships probably require the most work.

If we want godly relationships, we need to heed the principles of 1 Thessalonians 5:14, which says, “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak,…  ( Click for more )

December 14, 2009

“Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.”

-Romans 1:1

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 says,

“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even…  ( Click for more )

John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” There are many things that identify believers and set them apart from the world, but the one thing that trumps all the rest is when believers love one another as Christ loves them.

The early church understood Christlike love and fellowship. Acts 2:44-47 says,

“And all those who had believed were together and had all things…  ( Click for more )

Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.” The first question before us is “How do we seek the kingdom of God?” First of all, we must understand what the kingdom of God is. The kingdom of God is everything that is opposed to the work of the devil. It is a carving out in our hearts of a spiritual wholeness through holiness gained through trusting in the redemptive work of the Savior. This work of justification is what we are to be spreading to the lives of others as we share the gospel and live out changed lives before them.…  ( Click for more )

November 23, 2009

Proverbs 3:32 says, “For the devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is intimate with the upright.” The KJV says God’s “secret” is with the righteous. The word for intimate could also be translated to mean “counsel,” “company,” or “familiar converse” ( The Holy Spirit Who indwells our hearts is said to be our Counselor (John 14:26 KJV), the One Who gives advice, help, insight, wisdom, comfort, and admonishment. The Spirit leads us, proving that we are…  ( Click for more )

Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” There are two opposing paradigms for understanding how God views and treats His children. One is biased towards God being stingy and enjoying our suffering as if He delights in our struggles and hardship. This view tends to believe that we are what we make of ourselves in life and that we need to be tough, strong,…  ( Click for more )

November 9, 2009

The book of Proverbs is all about wisdom versus foolishness. Proverbs 26:25 says, speaking of the foolish person who rejects wisdom, “When he speaks graciously, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart.” A person who does not fear God does not have understanding, does not walk in righteousness, and has no regard for the truth. He may be pleasant, well-mannered, polite, gracious, and an interesting communicator, but the fool is full of deceit, holding seven abominations in his heart. Proverbs 6:16-19 explains what these abominations…  ( Click for more )

November 2, 2009

“One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.”

-Ecclesiastes 4:6

Part of living in a cursed world marred by sin, filled with sinful people, and oppressed by the prince of the power of the air (Satan) is that we will regularly and frequently encounter stressful situations. In fact, life can be so stressful that it can begin to negatively impact us emotionally and spiritually, sometimes even severely. We can get stressed when we have too much to do and even when we don’t have anything to do. Stress comes we…  ( Click for more )

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