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The Brunt of Our Infidelity

Saturday, January 14, 2023

The Brunt of Our Infidelity

Wade Webster

Infidelity has long-lasting consequences. An interesting statement is found in the fourteenth chapter of the book of Numbers. “And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. Say to them, As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection. I the LORD have spoken this. I will surely do so to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die’” (Numbers 14:26-35). The adults that failed to trust God and to take the land of Canaan felt the sting of their infidelity. They wandered in the wilderness for forty years or until they died, whichever came first. However, God said that their sons would bear the brunt of their infidelity. I couldn’t help but think of how true this is in multiple areas of life.

If we as Americans don’t remember the grace that God has shed on us, our children will bear the brunt of our infidelity. The Bible warns, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God” (Psa. 9:17). If we fail to make good moral choices, our children will bear the brunt of our infidelity. Solomon declared, “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34). If we fail to remember the tremendous price that has been paid for our freedom, then our children will again bear the brunt of our infidelity (Lam. 1:5).

If we as husbands and wives fail to honor our marriage vows, our children will bear the brunt of our infidelity. Malachi wrote, “And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, With weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, “For what reason?”Because the LORD has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. “For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously” (Mal. 2:13-16). Children that grow up in homes broken by infidelity often struggle in their own marriages. They often have trust issues and self-esteem issues. Parents, especially those guilty of infidelity, like to argue that their actions do not adversely affect their children. However, this is not the case. Sin shares its sorrows with the sinner and many more.

If we as Christians are not faithful in our relationship to God, our children will bear the brunt of our infidelity. If we don’t make time for worship, for prayer, and for Bible study, our children will bear the brunt of our infidelity. That is just one of many reasons why we must make these things a priority (Heb. 10:25; 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Thess. 5:17). If we don’t seek God and His kingdom first, then our children will bear the brunt of our infidelity. Jesus declared, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Mat. 6:33). If our affections are not on things above, then our children will bear the brunt of our infidelity. Paul wrote, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:1-5). Infidelity to God will cost us our souls and may cost our children theirs through our negative influence.

Each of us must carefully consider the cost of our infidelity. It will cost us, but it might cost those who follow us even more. Our children may bear the brunt of our infidelity.

Returning to the Scene to Strengthen Souls

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Returning to the Scene to Strengthen Souls

Wade Webster

One of the most amazing scenes in the book of Acts is recorded in the fourteenth chapter. We read, “Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed” (Acts 14:19-23).

Jewish zealots pursued Paul everywhere he went. They had almost stoned him at Iconium (Acts 14:1-7). Somehow, he had escaped their grasp. At Lystra, they would catch up to him again. This time, they would succeed. (well, almost). Believing that Paul was dead, they left his mangled body in a bloody heap. These Jewish zealots must have strode away satisfied that they had finally silenced Paul. However, when the brethren gathered around Paul to collect his body for burial, he rose up. Battered and bruised physically, Paul departed from Lystra, and preached at Derbe. One can only imagine how sore and stiff that he was in the days following his stoning. There must have been deep bruises, painful abrasions, and broken bones. He must have looked like he had been run over by a dump truck.

Just as soon as Paul was well enough to travel, he was back on the road to Lystra. Why would he go back to the scene of the crime? Why would he go back to where he was stoned and left for dead? It wasn’t about him. It wasn’t a matter of getting back on the horse. It was about them. It was a matter of getting them to heaven. Having regained his physical strength, Paul was going back to strengthen their souls. After all, they lived among the rock throwers. Paul was going back to exhort them to be faithful, explaining that through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God. It must have been encouraging for them to see Paul again. No doubt, when Paul limped out of Lystra after being stoned and left for dead, they must have thought that they would never see him again. Yet, here he was. He had not given up. He had not gone into hiding. It would take more than a few rocks to stop him. If Paul had not quit, how could they?

When we are tempted to quit (and we will be), let us remember Paul. Let us see him rising from that pile of rocks. Let us see him returning to that very spot to encourage others to remain faithful.

Twenty-Three Things To Do In 2023

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Twenty-Three Things To Do In 2023

Wade Webster

  1. Pray - “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Lk. 18:1).
  2. Read - “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Tim.4:13).
  3. Search - “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
  4. Meditate - “I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word” (Psa. 119:15-16).
  5. Abstain - “Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thess. 5:22).
  6. Cast - “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7).
  7. Seek - “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
  8. Forgive - “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors” (Mt.  6:12).
  9. Invite - “Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’” (Mt. 22:9).
  10. Grow - “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Pet. 3:18).
  11. Love - “Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Mt.22:37).
  12. Follow - “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:” (1 Pet. 2:21).
  13. Listen - “Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD” (Psa. 34:11).
  14. Trust - “Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass” (Psa. 37:5).
  15. Forget - “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Phil. 3:13).
  16. Visit - “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (Jam. 1:27).
  17. Encourage - “Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith” (1 Thess. 3:1-2).
  18. Serve - “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13).
  19. Purify - “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (Jam. 4:8).
  20. Thank - “On that day David first delivered this psalm into the hand of Asaph and his brethren, to thank the LORD: Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! (1 Chron. 16:7-8).
  21. Add - “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:5-8).
  22. Obey - “He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:8-9).
  23. Abide - “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4).

A Lesson From Latin America

Friday, December 23, 2022

A Lesson From Latin America

Wade Webster

 One of the things that has always impressed me about Latin America is a distinctive feature of its architecture. Many of the roofs are flat and made of concrete. I suppose that there is nothing all that distinctive about either of those things. The distinctive feature that I have in mind is the steel rebar that usually sticks out of the roofs at each corner and at intervals in between. The rebar detracts a little (okay, a lot) from the beauty of the structure. Why then do they leave it exposed? They leave it exposed because they hope to one day add on to the structure. The exposed rebar will give them a place to tie the new part to the old part. Perhaps, they don’t need the space at the moment, but anticipate needing it in the future. More likely, they are out of money at the moment and must put off additional construction until they have it.

Personally, I love to see the rebar; especially, on church buildings. It means that the brethren aren’t finished yet. It means that they have hopes and dreams of bigger and better things. Of course, these hopes and dreams must be combined with asking and seeking. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Mt. 7:7-11). As you know, we serve a God who can do more than we can ask or think. Paul wrote, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20). Often, we don’t have what we need or what we want because we do not ask. James wrote, “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask” (Jam. 4:2). To receive, we must ask. To find, we must seek.

Not only must brethren add asking and seeking to hoping and dreaming, they must add planting and watering. Paul wrote, “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it” (1 Cor. 3:5-10). To reap, we must plant and water.

Let’s learn a lesson from our brethren in Latin America. Let’s leave a little rebar sticking out to let everyone know that we aren’t finished yet. Then, let’s combine our hopes and dreams with asking, seeking, planting, and watering, that God might give the increase.

“Six Days” Is Not Complicated

Saturday, December 17, 2022

“Six Days” Is Not Complicated

David Sproule

 In a variety of ways, certain skeptics of the Bible attempt to take some of the simplest teachings of the Bible and complicate them to mean something they do not, and they seek to use their so-called “scholarship” to convince individuals that their conclusions are sound.  This is true of a variety of Bible teachings, but consider for a moment the days of creation.

On the very first page of the Bible, readers learn about the creation of the universe and everything in it.  The Bible plainly teaches that all of this transpired over a period of six days.  Unfortunately, those who consider themselves “to be something” take the simple and argue that it is not so simple.  Attempts have been made to identify the “days” in Genesis 1 as long eons of time and not actual 24-hour, literal days.  But read the text for what it says.

In verse 5, God defines what a day is.  “So the evening and the morning were the first day.”  The Bible uses these words numerous times in a literal way just as we use them today.  A “day” is made up of two parts: evening (a time of “darkness”) and morning (a time of “light”).  A simple, unbiased Bible reader will understand this to be a 24-hour day.

Verse 5 also begins to number the days—“the first day,” “the second day” (1:8), “the third day” (1:13), etc.  Except in areas of figurative, prophetic language, when “day” is preceded by a numeral in the Old Testament, it is always a 24-hour period.  God was numbering the days for us.

In verse 14, God distinguished the word “days” from the word “years.”  If the “days” of creation were actually “years” (as some suggest), then what does the word “years” mean?  These words are used in the very same way that we use them today.  If not, the passage is nonsensical.

If there was eons of time after the creation of the grass, herbs and trees on the third day, how did those plants and vegetation survive the years upon years of darkness (with no light) and the eons of time before insects were created to pollinate them?  They could not have survived.

The text in Exodus 20:8-11 is God’s clear commentary on the creation.  It is so easy to understand.  “Remember the Sabbath day” (a 24-hour period).  “Six days you shall labor,” for six 24-hour periods.  “The seventh day is the Sabbath,” which is a 24-hour period.  Having used the word “day” three times with a literal, 24-hour meaning, God then says, “For in six days the Lord made” everything.  Those were six, literal, 24-hour days.  The Bible makes that very plain!  Only man could try to make that complicated!

There are no eons of time in the literal, 24-hour days of creation!  The Bible makes that so simple to understand!

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