Life Lessons - Section 2

  1. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not whither; and whatever he does shall prosper.- Psalm 1:3   When we sink our spiritual roots deep into God’s Word, we will bear fruit.  We will be blessed because our lives are based on truth - which affects not only our actions, but our reactions to whatever life brings.  The income of God’s Word is the outcome of a changed life. - Unknown.  - From page 257 of Turning Points with God by David Jeremiah
  2. John 4:1-2:  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. 
    If you’re not sure whether something is of God or is not, ask yourself the question, “Does this glorify Jesus?” If it does, then you can know it’s from God. If it takes glory away from Jesus, then it’s not. Discern what’s from God and what’s from the enemy, and you’ll take the first step in finding spiritual victory!
    TAKE THE FIRST STEP ON THE ROAD TO SPIRITUAL VICTORY BY ALIGNING YOURSELF WITH WHAT GIVES JESUS THE MOST GLORY! - From the October 18, 2016 PowerPoint devotional by Dr. Jack Graham.
  3. Should we work out our own problems since God did give us a mind to think, saying, “God gave me a mind and He expects me to use it. God helps those who help themselves!”    Hold it! Is that true? You may be surprised to know that statement never appears in Scripture! Let’s pause and remind ourselves of several of Solomon’s sayings: 

      Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
      And do not lean on your own understanding. 
      In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3: 5– 6)

      Commit your works to the LORD, 
      And your plans will be established. (Proverbs 16: 3)
    - From  Swindoll, Charles R (2012-08-01). Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind (p. 40-41). Worthy Publishing. Kindle Edition.  
  4. Ecclesiastes 1:16 - I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

    Though knowledge brings sorrow and grief, we are wise to face up to life’s problems. Knowledge of the problems of life should lead us to Christ. Well-known author and Bible teacher Richard DeHaan points out that this is one of the things Solomon speaks of in Ec. 12:11: 


    Some people will not let themselves feel the sting of serious introspection. They do not want to threaten their sense of well-being. To escape they may bury themselves in work, or become busy with a thousand special interests. They may lose themselves in the madness of the pleasure-seeking crowd, or relentlessly drive toward the attainment of wealth or fame. Or, they may dodge the goads [prodding, arousal] of reflective thinking by taking drugs, participating in occult practices, or devoting themselves to a manmade religion…All of these are ways contemporary people sidestep the painful confrontations with the unpleasant realities of human existence. Though they may escape the prod [the arousal and stirring] of the goads, they will never find peace with God…

    The goads…are the concerns, the serious thoughts, and the guilt feelings which arise in the consciousness of one who is willing to face things as they are. Their stings are painful, and do not in themselves provide the answer to man’s need. But they bring to light a person’s sinfulness and helplessness, and thereby may get him started in the right direction. When he is finally driven to faith in Christ, they have served their purpose.


    Some people believe happiness is found in knowledge, in higher education and much learning. Some believe that bettering themselves intellectually will make them happier and more fulfilled. Others find an element of vain, prideful joy in feeling smarter than others. Still others feel that education is an end in itself. While these are all true to a certain extent, Solomon ultimately proved that wisdom and knowledge fail to fully satisfy the human heart. They cannot take God’s place. Only He can bring total satisfaction, fulfillment, and meaning to life.

    No better proof exists than the unhappy, miserable man revealed in Ecclesiastes: Solomon was a man who had everything but gained nothing.  For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow. 
    - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 1:16 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  5. Proverbs 27:7 - The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.  If you’re full, even the sweetest things won’t bring satisfaction to you. Many people in our culture are so pampered that nothing satisfies them short of hummingbird wing or peacock tongue. They have to have something exotic. Spiritually the same thing is true. I can’t help but wonder if we as Christians haven’t been stuffed on so many sermons and studies that we’re not satisfied by the Word anymore. We become connoisseurs of fine sermons. We dissect and analyze teachings carefully, but nothing ministers to our hearts deeply. Why? We’re stuffed and fat. The solution? Start sharing and ministering, witnessing and teaching, caring and loving. If you’re giving out, you’ll come back into just about any Bible study and it will be sweet to you because you’ll be hungry. Start serving and giving, and you’ll love the Word again.  - From commentary on Proverbs 27:7 from Courson’s Applcation Commentary by Jon Courson.
  6. Life on earth is a Trust. This is the second biblical metaphor of life. Our time on earth and our energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships, and resources are all gifts from God that he has entrusted to our care and management. We are stewards of whatever God gives us. This concept of stewardship begins with the recognition that God is the owner of everything and everyone on earth. The Bible says, “The world and all that is in it belong to the Lord; the earth and all who live on it are his.”
    We never really own anything during our brief stay on earth. God just loans the earth to us while we’re here. It was God’s property before you arrived, and God will loan it to someone else after you die. You just get to enjoy it for a while. …
    The first job God gave humans was to manage and take care of God’s “stuff” on earth. This role has never been rescinded. It is a part of our purpose today. Everything we enjoy is to be treated as a trust that God has placed in our hands. The Bible says, “What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?” …
    Christians live by a higher standard: “Because God owns it, I must take the best care of it that I can.” The Bible says, “Those who are trusted with something valuable must show they are worthy of that trust.” Jesus often referred to life as a trust and told many stories to illustrate this responsibility toward God.
    At the end of your life on earth you will be evaluated and rewarded according to how well you handled what God entrusted to you. That means everything you do, even simple daily chores, has eternal implications. If you treat everything as a trust, God promises three rewards in eternity. First, you will be given God’s affirmation: He will say, “Good job! Well done!” Next, you will receive a promotion and be given greater responsibility in eternity: “I will put you in charge of many things.” Then you will be honored with a celebration: “Come and share your Master’s happiness.” 
    - From the book “The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
  7. Psalm 26:8 O LORD, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells.  David’s heart desires, we find him choosing the company of God’s people rather than the company of sinners and choosing the glory of God rather than the way of wickedness. Remember the saying: “Bad company corrupts good character.” It is true. But it is equally true that good company develops it. If you want to grow in righteousness, you need to spend time with God and with those who are striving to model morality. - From the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice
  8. Do not always be troubled when you cannot have what you want; you have reason to bless God. It is a mercy when worldly desires are disappointed. Say, with David, "Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me" (1 Samuel 25:32). Your hearts have been set on great things, and you thought, like the fool in the Gospel, that you would enlarge your barns and exalt your nest; and suddenly God came in and blasted all those worldly projects. Praise God for such providence. How complacent or sensual or worldly your spirit would have been! - From commentary on James 4:2 from Crossway Classic Commentary - James by Thomas Manton
  9. Many folks today simply don’t know where they’re going. Then they’re surprised after they’ve ended up wasting their years starting this, stopping that, switching gears, but never really having a purpose in life.
    But what would happen if we became not more “simple” minded, but “single” minded in our resolve? What if instead of looking for just the right job or person to marry, people began with the end in mind of living full-out for Christ whatever path that meant taking?
    In Christ, you have a destination: to serve Him fully and wholeheartedly. And while the exact path to that destination may not be illuminated yet, you can begin looking for direction today with that end in mind. Keep Christ first and let you life’s path go from there.
    KEEP CHRIST AS YOUR DESTINATION IN LIFE AND HE’LL REVEAL THE RIGHT PATH FOR YOU. 
    - From the July 22nd 2015 PowerPoint devotional by Dr. Jack Graham.
  10. Philliipians 3:7-11:  But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
  11. Those who have tasted the sweetness of this grace and peace constantly ask for more. This strong hunger for spiritual things is a virtue, and one that our Saviour called "blessed" because it brings fullness and satisfaction. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6). - From commentary on 1 Peter 1:2 from the Crossway Classic Commentary 1& 2 Peter by Series Editors Robert Leighton and Griffith Thomas
  12. Truth must come from above, for when Jesus says that he has come to bear witness to the truth, he implies that in the ultimate sense truth is not of this world but rather must come to this world by revelation. - From commentary on John 18:37 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice
  13. Hezekiah recognized the good that came from his bitter experience. The next time you have difficult struggles, pray for God’s help to gain something beneficial from them. - From the reading on Isaiah 38:16-18 from the Life Applications Study Bible NIV - Study Bible Notes by Tyndale House Publishers
  14. Be aware that life is uncertain—totally unpredictable. (Eccl. 9:11-18)
    As Solomon searched for true happiness, he became keenly aware of a fact that must be heeded by all: no matter how hard a person works and no matter how skilled a person may be, there are no guarantees of success. The outcome of a person’s life and work is unpredictable…..
    Here, then, is Solomon’s advice: do not worry about the outcome of your efforts. You cannot predict or control what will happen. Do your best at everything in life, enjoy life to the fullest, and leave the results to God.  - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 9:11-18 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  15. In abundance. Consider the measure of the apostle's desire for his scattered brethren, that this grace and peace should be theirs in abundance. This the apostle wishes for them, knowing the imperfection of the graces and peace of the saints while they are here below; and this they themselves, under a sense of that imperfection, ardently desire. Those who have tasted the sweetness of this grace and peace constantly ask for more. This strong hunger for spiritual things is a virtue, and one that our Saviour called "blessed" because it brings fullness and satisfaction. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5).
  16. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” - From Matthew 12:34-37 of the the ESV Bible.
  17. The reason we put down other people, gossip about other people, fight with other people is because we want something from other people. It can be as stupid as thinking, Talking about that guy will make me look better to this guy. Yet the only way to get what our heart really craves is not to prey on others, but to pray to the Father. - From commentary on James 4:1,2 from Courson’s Applcation Commentary by Jon Courson.
  18. A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. - Proverbs 15:1   He who has a sharp tongue soon cuts his own throat - Anonymous.
  19. We need to love one another by listening to one another. We live in an age in which people do not listen to each other. We talk to one another, and others are constantly talking to us. But this is a hard world in which no one really listens. So one of the things we need to do, if we are truly characterized by the love of God, is to listen. God listens to us. - From the commentary on John 17:25 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice
  20. I once heard the suggestion that you develop your life purpose statement based on what you would like other people to say about you at your funeral. Imagine your perfect eulogy, then build your statement on that. Frankly, that’s a bad plan. At the end of your life it isn’t going to matter at all what other people say about you. The only thing that will matter is what God says about you. The Bible says, “Our purpose is to please God, not people.” - From the Day 40 reading “Living with a Purpose” from The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
  21. Humble  people are grateful people. They know who really deserves the credit and the glory for what they do. The only problem is that gratitude does not come natural to human beings. We like to take credit for everything that comes into our lives. Therefore, a grateful heart is something that has to be cultivated. One has to be intentional about it. This is why I begin each day giving thanks to God. I thank him for the gift of life, for my wife, my children, and for all of the other relationships that He has blessed me with. I thank Him for all the resources He has entrusted me with and the work that He has called me to do. Finally, I thank Him for all the spiritual blessings of life, particularly for His son, Jesus.
    As a result of this, I now find myself giving thanks to Him throughout the day. It has become a natural part of my life. It has truly changed the way I see life, as I now recognize that all I am and all that I have is a gift of God. And I am so grateful! 
    - From the November 23, 2015 blog post “Who Should Get The Credit?  Thoughts about Thanksgiving” from Richard E. Simmons, III
  22. Hatred is the rabid dog that turns on its owner.  Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist.  Bitterness is the trap that snares the hunter.  And mercy is the choice that can set them all free. - From page 454 of Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado.
  23. Psalms 103:15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.  - We are given each day as a gift. Once a day is gone, it can never be recaptured. Too often we live our lives as if they are going to go on forever just as they are. Lives change, and we need to be ready to change with them. God helps us to accept where we are and to grow to new levels of maturity. Before this day passes and is gone, call upon the Lord to help you make the most of it. Then, when the new day dawns, be ready for the challenges it brings.
    Prayer: Help me to live for what is important this day, so that I might truly be ready for all the days to come. Your gifts are so wonderful, Lord. Please don't allow me to take them for granted. Amen. - From the August 15 devotional reading from Wisdom from the Psalms by Dan R. Dick.
  24. Gentleness is full of power and energy. Indeed, "among all the graces that adorn the Christian soul like so many jewels of various colors and lusters against the day of her espousals to the Lamb of God, there is not one more brilliant than that of patience” -  (Bishop Horne) - Excerpt from the commentary on Proverbs 25:15 from the Classic Crossway Commentary - Proverbs 
  25. We would be most wise to recall and review the wise counsel King Solomon offered in this chapter. He has told us several straightforward facts to help us keep our priorities right:
    ➢ Life is unpredictable—there are no guarantees.
    ➢ Death is certain—it is the end of all hope.
    ➢ Enjoy life while you can—acknowledge God as the Giver of life.

    Take to heart the places where true happiness is found:
    ➢ in your marriage
    ➢ in honest, diligent work
    ➢ in friends and family
    ➢ in the common occurrences of day-1 life
    ➢ in treasuring and making each day special

    True happiness is found in appreciating the people and activities God has placed in our lives. It is not waiting for us in a bigger home, a new car, a different spouse, or a better job. True happiness is right where we are: it is living for the Lord, doing our best at whatever we do, loving our families, and appreciating the simple provisions and gifts God blesses us with daily. 
     - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 9:11-18 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  26. Live with a conscious awareness of Jesus' presence in your life.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary" - Hebrews 4,  at location 1906.
  27. You’ve probably heard the old statement: “Let your conscience be your guide.” Well, while there’s a lot of truth in that, we need to be careful about always following our conscience because it can become corrupted if it’s not informed by biblical wisdom. 
    One example I like to use for conscience is a sundial. A sundial can only be useful when it receives light from the sun. At 2 a.m. when it’s pitch dark outside, a sundial can’t tell you anything. In fact, it might even tell you something wrong if there are other sources of light around. 
    A conscience can only utilize the light that it’s been given. As a Christian, if your conscience has been enlightened by the Scriptures and the Spirit of God, then you can rely upon it and let it guide you in your decisions. But if you haven’t spent time letting God’s light guide your conscience, then how can you be sure it’s reliable? 
    The key to keeping a good conscience in your daily life is twofold: 1) stay in God’s Word and allow His Spirit to guide you, and 2) be fully convinced what you’re doing is right. When you take those two simple steps, you’ll experience the blessing of a good conscience!
    - From the May 7th 2015 PowerPoint devotional by Dr. Jack Graham.
  28. We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance, character; and character, hope. - Romans 5:3-4 - If you are thinking of quitting something that is difficult, think of the character adn hope you will forfeit if you do. - From the May 18th devotional reading on  page 145 of Turning Points with God by David Jeremiah
  29. Why does God allow some things to happen? We always look at the question from our own, earthly, human perspective. We forget that death is a part of life and that it is a necessary passage in existence. To God, death is not a bad thing, but merely a part of the way things are. Death isn't a cruelty or a punishment. Our days on earth are a gift, and we should live them as fully as we can. If we die, we are in the Lord's hands, and everything will work out just fine. Faith is the key. We must learn to know that God has everything under control, and that He will turn all situations to good. Even death is a wonderful thing in the hands of God.
    Prayer: Lord, I do not understand the way things work sometimes, and I do not like to experience pain and suffering. Help me to see Your hand in all things. Grant me understanding. Amen. 
  30. Read God's message in the Bible to learn his diagnosis of your needs.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary" - Hebrews 4,  at location 1907.
  31. Don't be timid about coming to God to confess your sin and claim his forgiveness.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary" - Hebrews 4,  at location 1908.
  32. Tell Jesus your areas of weakness and ask him to lead you to understand his power.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary" - Hebrews 4,  at location 1908.
  33. The writer of Hebrews wanted us to know that Jesus was approachable. He was able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He understood, without condoning our easily-disturbed tempers, wavering commitment, fear of the future, and self-centeredness. When we come to Jesus with confession of our need and pleas for strength, we have the assurance that he identifies with us and understands our sorrows and griefs.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary" - Hebrews 4,  at location 1929.
  34. Sometimes people will respond to our use of Scripture with the accusation, “That is just your opinion.” It is important for us to communicate that when we correctly interpret Scripture, we are not merely expressing our opinions. We are explaining the message of God (1 Thess. 2:13).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary" - Hebrews 4,  at location 1985.
  35. (Eccl.10:4) Remain composed if a person of authority becomes angry.
    Solomon now offers advice on dealing with those in authority. The use of ruler (mashal) here refers to someone who has power or authority at any level of government, not just a king. Notice how Solomon advises the reader to respond when a leader becomes angry:
      a. Do not quit or resign (Eccl 10: 4a).  Do not forfeit your position or desert your duty because someone in a higher position—a boss, an instructor, a ruler, a principal, or any number of other levels of power—gets upset or irate with you. Do not make an unwise decision based on hurt feelings, embarrassment, or anger. Even if you feel you have been wronged or disrespected, do not react by doing something that is foolish.
      b. Be calm and correct the mistake (Eccl 10:4b).  Do not be fueled by your emotions. It is always best to wait until you have calmed down and your emotions are under control before taking any action. Words hastily spoken out of hurt or anger are often irresponsible and inappropriate. Worst of all, they cannot be recalled. You will be far more successful in confronting the offender when you can do so in a controlled, even manner. Disrespectful, emotionally-charged words will only worsen the situation. Remember the wise proverb:
     c.  “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Pr. 15:1).
    A calm and quiet spirit, one that allows the Lord to take over before responding, will promote the healing of your relationship with the angry authority figure.
    Thought 1. These principles can be applied to any relationship with authority in life. The Life Application Bible offers this insight:
    This proverb has implications for employer/employee relationships. Employees should ride out the temper tantrums of their employer. If we quietly do our work and don’t get upset, the employer will probably get over his or her anger and calm down. - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 10:4 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  36. You will never understand who you are until you understand who God is.   - From the section on “God” on page 150 of "Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  37. It takes a commitment to feed the areas of our spirit that will respond to the will of God.  And it takes equal determination to starve the influences that deter us from living Godly lives. Our lives develop in an environment, but we are the ones who decide what we feed within that environmental mix of personal choices, friends, family, desires and ambitions, media, time investments, and values.  We represent the living God.  Our lives are not a performance but a revelation of our inner spirit which is united with Christ.  If our relationship to God is developing in dependence and intimacy or if it is drifting and estranged, the truth of our relationship to God and his Spirit will be demonstrated through the way we live and the choices we make.  Remember, what you feed, grows.  What you do not will not. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 3 pg. 194.
  38. The message which God makes available through Christ is alive, powerful, and life giving. This message diagnoses our needs and points to a solution for our weakness and failure. God's message exposes our failures. What we need is an advocate with God who can bring pardon and mercy to us despite our failure.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 4,  at location 2067.
  39. Studying this chapter will provide access to God's help for three needs in our lives. First, we receive hope because God has given us a promise of rest. God has something ahead for us much greater than we now understand. Those who labor and are burdened with life can find rest in Jesus. Second, we receive a diagnosis of our need. God's message clearly shows our weaknesses and his solutions. This leaves the choice for obedience up to us. Third, we receive a superior experience of divine grace and mercy. God's mercy provides forgiveness for our sin. God's grace provides strength for our daily walk.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 4,  at location 2072.
  40. The friends we choose can make us or break us spiritually. The writer of Hebrews wanted his friends to imitate the right examples.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, vv. 11-12 at location 2834.
  41. Do not linger on elementary issues of the Christian life. Resist all temptations to push Jesus back to a secondary place in your life. Provide an example of faithfulness for others to imitate. Enter God's very presence by claiming the hope we have in Jesus.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, Applications at location 2929.
  42. As we face the storms of life, we need protection from harm, affliction, and compromise. We need help, encouragement, and stamina. We need to know that though we stumble, we “will not fall, for the LORD upholds” us “with his hand” (Ps. 37:24).   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, at location 3143.
  43. Differences: Chistians need other Christians, as iron sharpens iron, we need each other for fellowship, safety and accountability.  Christians may not see eye to eye, but they can walk arm in arm.
  44. For the storms of life, your deepest need is for the protection of a Savior who prays for you and loves you despite your sin and need. The Lord Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (Heb. 7:25).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, at location 3147.
  45. People may be identified as wise or foolish by what they speak. The words of the wise are gracious, pleasant, and encouraging. These gracious words have a dual impact:
    ➢ They have a pleasant and favorable effect upon others. They build up, cheer up, and lift up their recipients.
    ➢ They draw out a pleasant and favorable response from others. Because of their gracious and kind words, the speakers are built up in the sight of those to whom they speak.  
     - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 10:12-15 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  46. The Bible sees greed as a form of idolatry, because a greedy person worships things instead of God.  Greed and envy have their roots in selfishness.  - From page 159 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  47. Applications - Come confidently to God through Jesus with your needs. Follow the strength of the Holy Spirit as you do God's will. Rejoice that you personally know the God who made heaven and earth. Believe that God will forgive your sins. Find hope, joy, and reverence for God as he forgives and helps you.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, Applications at location 3896. 
  48. God's forgiveness offers two marvelous benefits. First, it wiped the slate clean with God. Guilt for past disobedience was gone “as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12). Second, it sets us free to understand and accept ourselves. Because Jesus has accepted us, we don't fear exposure before others. People delight in pointing the finger at Christians and saying, “You live like that and call yourself a Christian? You are a hypocrite!” Forgiven Christians can say, “Yes, I have sinned. I can't hide it. God has forgiven me. Will you also forgive me?”  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, IV. Life Application, at location 3919. 
  49. Sins are errors, and great errors, both in judgment and practice. We greatly err when we sin against God; and who can understand all his errors? [2.] They are such errors as leave guilt upon the conscience, not to be washed away but by the blood of Christ; and the sinful errors of priests and people must be all done away by the same means, the application of the blood of Christ; we must plead this blood on earth, while he is pleading it in heaven for us.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 9, v. 7.
  50. Don't trust modern religious ritual to remove your sin.  Nurture in your heart a desire to serve God.  Trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior to remove the guilt of sin.  Look for the coming return of Jesus which will complete the salvation which began with our commitment to him.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 9, Applications, at location 4237. 
  51. Authentic Christianity produces people who live well.  The devoted follower of Christ demonstrates love for the Lord, unselfishness, concern for others, stamina in trial, and hope for the future.  Quite a superior product!  Christianity is best known by the devoted people it produces.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10, I. Introduction - Producing a Superior Product, at location 4379. 
  52. Our response to Christ's death provides power to love others and to demonstrate endurance in the Christian life.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10, B The Power of Christ's Sacrifice (vv19-39), at location 4497. 
  53. Hebrews 10:36 - Mature Christians have learned that God's strength will take them through adversity.  They trust that God will provide them his glorious promises because he is dependable and trustworthy.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10:36,  at location 4611.
  54. Hebrews 10 - Principals:  1) The annual repetition of sacrifices reminded the Jews of their sin but did not remove it.  2) Jesus' sacrifice represented a volitional choice to obey God.  3) Jesus' sacrifice secured forgiveness of sin.  4) Jesus' sacrifice provided Christians the privilege of entering God's very presence.  5) Rejecting Jesus' sacrifice leads to judgement.  6) Christians need stamina to endure in commitment to God's will despite hardship and persecution. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10, Principals,  at location 4661. 
  55. Hebrews 10 Applications: 1) Freely choose to obey God even as you suffer.  2) LIve before God in the joy of forgiven sin.  3) Trust God's faithfulness, and maintain your commitment to Christ without flinching.  4) Let fear of God's judgement give you a healthy incentive to obey him.  5) Claim from God the stamina to obey him even when you cannot understand what is happening.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10, Applications,  at location 4661. 
  56. Hebrews 11 Applications:  1)  Trust God because of his faithfulness and reliability.  2) Believe in God's promises, and trust in his character.  3) Do not enjoy life on earth so much that you lose site of your heavenly destination.  4) Be willing to face threats, persecutions, and even death as you believe God's promises.  5) Claim kingdoms for God as you trust him for the victory.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10, Applications,  at location 5050. 
  57. "Never give in! Never give in! Never! Never! Never! Never! In anything great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." - Winston Churchill - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12, Quote, at location 5223.
  58. Here is Solomon’s message, his advice:
    (1) Do not be a person who speaks foolishly.
    ➢ Control your tongue. Consider the wise words of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln:
    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
    ➢ Let your words be like those of Jesus. All who knew Him “wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth” (Lu. 4:22).
    ➢ Col. 4:6 admonishes, “Let your speech [mind] be always with grace.”
    ➢ “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ep. 4:29).
    (2) Do not be affected or controlled by a person who speaks foolishly.
    ➢ Do not allow someone’s lying about you or slandering you to distract you from your daily duties nor from serving the Lord. Do not let the foolish talk of others rob you of your joy. Rest in the Lord’s promise, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord” (Is. 54:17).
    ➢ Do not be influenced by a fool. As a believer, you must learn to discern the wisdom of the world from the wisdom of God. There are many who are recognized as experts in their fields, who claim to have all the answers, but their counsel is far from God’s Word. You must learn to weigh every word by the Word of God, and depend upon the Holy Spirit to guide you into the truth.
    ➢ Guard against listening to or taking part in senseless, foolish talking.
      - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 10:15 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  59. The principal of Christ's kingdom becomes clear:  we are responsible in proportion to the task given.  The more God give you opportunity to do, the more he requires of you and the harsher the punishment for not being faithful.
  60. Never fear trusting an unknown future to an all knowing God.
  61. Hebrews 12:14 - Strive for peace with everyone, and for the  holiness  without which no one will see the Lord.   This verse provides two indicators of the level paths that believers should follow.  First, we are to make every effort to live in peace with all men.  We must make every effort to maintain peace while we endure discipline.  Second, we must seek holiness, for without holiness no one will see the Lord.  People who would fellowship with the Lord must detest evil and pursue purity (Matt. 5:8).  To see the Lord involves communion with him, but it may also include an anticipation of Christ's return (see 1 John 3:2).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12,  B. A Call to Action, Supporting Idea, at location 5325.
  62. Hebrews 12:14 - Strive for peace with everyone, and for the  holiness  without which no one will see the Lord.   This verse provides two indicators of the level paths that believers should follow.  Holiness is coupled with living in peace.  A right relationship with God leads to right relationships with fellow believers.  Although we will not always feel loving toward all other believers, we must pursue peace as we become more Christlike. - From the Life Application Bible Hebrews 12 12:14 Note, NIV version, page 2240. 
  63. Hebrews 12:15 - See to it that no one  fails to obtain the grace of God; that no  "root of bitterness"  springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;  - Like a small root that grows into a great tree, bitterness springs up in our hearts and overshadows even our deepest Christian relationships.  A "bitter root" comes when we allow disappointment to grow into resentment, or when we nurse grudges over past hurts.  Bitterness brings with it jealousy, dissension, and immorality.  When the Holy Spirit fills us, however, he can heal the hurt that causes bitterness. - From the Life Application Bible Hebrews 12 12:15 Note, NIV version, page 2240. 
  64. We must be committed to walk in Jesus' footsteps as sharers in his suffering.  We must trust the wisdom of God in allowing trials and discipline in our lives and must apply the lessons from the trial in our daily experience.  We must pursue god's will with a desire to experience his holiness and a confidence in his ability to protect and lead us.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 12, VII. Teaching Outline, A. Introduction, at location 5572.
  65. Hebrews 13 Quote: "Sometimes a man imagines that he will lose himself if he gives himself, and keep himself if he hides himself.  But the opposite takes place with terrible exactness." - Earnest Hello - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, Quote, at location 5615.
  66. Hebrews concludes with directions for Christian living.  Love other Christians with special needs.  Be morally pure, and keep a right attitude toward money.  Offer to God sacrifices of praise.  Follow joyfully those who lead your churches.  Pray for one another.  LIsten carefully to the words of Scripture.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, In a Nutshell, at location 5615.
  67. Obeying two features could control materialism.  First, renounce love of moneyDo not make the possession of money an end in itself. Second, be content with what you have.  The presence of God in all of life encourages such commitment.  Knowing the Lord will not abandon us gives us the stability to enjoy what he gives us (Deut. 31:6,8).  Enjoying his unfailing presence is better than coveting glistening bullions of gold.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13:5, To the Family, at location 5685.
  68. Hebrews 13:6: So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper;  I will not fear;  what can man do to me?"  A threat to family life is anxiety.  Encouraging words from Psalm 118:6-7 remind us that God's presence in life banishes anxiety about personal needs.  This is the only New Testament verse describing God as a helper.  The question, What can man do to me? presumes the answer: "Nothing at all!"  With God's presence, no event in life can shake believers from their foundation. Anxiety about life's needs or challenges has no place in the heart of the believer who has determined to make God his helper. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13:5, To the Family, at location 5686.
  69. Contentment - Hebrews 13:5: "Keep your life  free from love of money, and  be content with what you have, for he has said,  "I will never leave you nor forsake you."   The duty and grace that is contrary to covetousness--being satisfied and pleased with such things as we have; present things, for past things cannot be recalled, and future things are only in the hand of God. What God gives us from day to day we must be content with, though it fall short of what we have enjoyed heretofore, and though it do not come up to our expectations for the future. We must be content with our present lot. We must bring our minds to our present condition, and this is the sure way to contentment; and those who cannot do it would not be contented though God should raise their condition to their minds, for the mind would rise with the condition.  Paul, though abased and empty, had learned in every state, in any state, therewith to be content. 3. What reason Christians have to be contented with their lot. (1.) God hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, 5, 6This was said to Joshua ( i. 5), but belongs to all the faithful servants of God. Old-Testament promises may be applied to New-Testament saints. This promise contains the sum and substance of all the promises. I will never, no, never leave thee, nor ever forsake thee.   - From the Matthew Henry Commentary in Hebrews 13:5, located in the MacSword software program.
  70. Do not be anxious or sorrowful (Eccl. 11:10a).  Young person, you should banish sorrow or anxiety from your heart: remove it, turn aside from it. Sorrow or anxiety (ka’as) troubles the spirit, causing anger, grief, or irritation. Do not let the cares and worries of the world rob you of the enjoyment of life God intends you to have. Take life seriously, but not too seriously. Solomon’s advice throughout Ecclesiastes has been not to act foolishly, but now he advises the young to be light-hearted, not heavy-hearted, carrying a load of worries and cares.Cause for anxiety and worry will always be present. We must act intentionally to cast out these disturbances from our minds and hearts, to keep them from dampening our joy. Paul tells us precisely how to deal with them:
    “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Ph. 4:6-7).
    “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Pe. 5:7).  
    - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 10:15 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  71. Commitment, praise, and kind deeds to others are spiritual responses God loves. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, B. A Right Response to God (vv.10-16), Supporting Idea, at location 5722.
  72. Hebrews 13:21 - The work of God is necessary to make man's work a reality.  If God produces in us what is pleasing to him, we will be supremely equipped to do his will.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, D. Prayer for One Another (vv.18-21), at location 5788.  
  73. Hebrews 13 Principals - 1) God disapproves and judges all forms of sexual immorality.  2)  God promises never to leave or forsake us.  3) God is pleased with our obedience, praise and unselfish service to others. 4) Only God is able to equip us with the needed attitudes and skills to accomplish his will.  5) Prayer from and for others is an important element of the Christian life.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, Principals, at location 5848.
  74. Hebrews 13 Applications - 1) Love other believers as family members.  2) Christian leaders must lead a lifestyle worthy of imitation by their congregation.  3) Rely on Jesus to guard, protect and encourage you.  4) Make bringing glory to God the supreme aim in your life. 5) Follow your church leaders.  6) Pray constantly for your leaders, and ask others to pray for you.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, Principals, at location 5848.
  75. Hebrews 13 - A life centered on God will be full of the experience of his peace and prosperity.  Hebrews points to God as the only source of real peace and prosperity.  We will find no wholeness if we turn away from Christ.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, VI Deeper Discoveries, F. God of Peace (v. 20)  at location 5936. 
  76. Living Faith - Living faith makes a difference.  Make sure that your faith is more than just a statement - it should also result in action.  Seek ways of putting your faith to work. Commitment to love and to serve is evidence of true faith. - From the NIV version of the Life Application Bible, James, Megathemes, page 2234.
  77. Trials - Don't resent troubles when they come.  Pray for wisdom; God will supply all that you need to face persecution or adversity.  He will give you patience and keep you strong in times of trial.  Successfully overcoming these adversities produces maturity and strong character.  - From the NIV version of the Life Application Bible, James, Megathemes, page 2234.
  78. Wise Speech - Accepting God's wisdom will affect your speech.  Your words will convey true humility and lead to peace.  Think before you speak and allow God to give you self control. - From the NIV version of the Life Application Bible, James, Megathemes, page 2234.
  79. Wealth - James taught Christians not to compromise with worldly attitudes about wealth.  Because the glory of wealth fades.  Christians should store up God's treasures through sincere service.  Christians must not show partiality to the wealthy, nor be prejudiced against the poor.  All of us are accountable for how we use what we have.  We should not hoard wealth, but be generous towards others.  In addition, we should not be impressed by the wealthy nor look down on those who are poor.  - From the NIV version of the Life Application Bible, James, Megathemes, page 2234.
  80. Lessons in Leadership - 1)  The more you walk, the less you have to talk.  2)  Integrity occurs when words and actions match.  3)  Leaders will be judged more strictly than followers.  4) If you can bridle your tongue, you can discipline any part of your life.  5)  Leadership motives must be pure; mercy and justice are healthy motivators.  -  From the Maxwell Leadership Bible, Introduction to James, Lessons in Leadership, page 1541. 
  81. Trials - Be patient when you suffer, for your trials will produce a quality you must have - perseverance.  If you lack insight into your suffering, ask God for it.  You will get a crown of life after your trials are over.  Don't blame God for your being attracted to evil.  God is the source of everything good.  Be sure you don't merely hear God's word.  Do it!  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - James, In a Nutshell, at location 6089. 
  82. Trials - God wants his people to triumph over their trials and to live in obedience to his commandments. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - James, II. Commentary, Main Idea:, at location 6135.   
  83. Perseverance - Christians are to develop perseverance in their trials and accept responsibility for their failures - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - James, II. Commentary, A. How to be Tried and True (vv.1-18), Supporting Idea, at location 6135.   
  84. Endurance of Temptations - James 1:12 -  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. It is implied that troubles and afflictions may be the lot of the best Christians, even of those who have the most reason to think and hope well of themselves. Such as have a title to the greatest joy may yet endure very grievous afflictions.  These outward afflictions and troubles are temptations to them. The devil endeavours by sufferings and crosses to draw men to sin and to deter them from duty, or unfit them for it; but, as our afflictions are in God's hand, they are intended for the trial and improvement of our graces. The gold is put into the furnace, that it may be purified.  These temptations may be numerous and various: Diverse temptations, as the apostle speaks. Our trials may be of many and different kinds, and therefore we have need to put on the whole armour of God. We must be armed on every side, because temptations lie on all sides. 4. The trials of a good man are such as he does not create to himself, nor sinfully pull upon himself; but they are such as he is said to fall into. And for this reason they are the better borne by him.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of James, Chapter 1, v. 12.
  85. Handling Trials (James 1:2-15) - The graces and duties of a state of trial and affliction are here pointed out to us. Could we attend to these things, and grow in them as we should do, how good would it be for us to be afflicted!  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary in The Sword Software Program for the Mac, James I:2 - Necessity of Fith and Patience; Evil of Indecision. I-IV.
  86. 1. Joy - One Christian grace to be exercised is joy: Count it all joy, 2. We must not sink into a sad and disconsolate frame of mind, which would make us faint under our trials; but must endeavour to keep our spirits dilated and enlarged, the better to take in a true sense of our case, and with greater advantage to set ourselves to make the best of it. Philosophy may instruct men to be calm under their troubles; but Christianity teaches them to be joyful, because such exercises proceed from love and not fury in God. In them we are conformable to Christ our head, and they become marks of our adoption. By suffering in the ways of righteousness, we are serving the interests of our Lord's kingdom among men, and edifying the body of Christ; and our trials will brighten our graces now and our crown at last. Therefore there is reason to count it all joy when trials and difficulties become our lot in the way of our duty. And this is not purely a New-Testament paradox, but even in Job's time it was said, Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth. There is the more reason for joy in afflictions if we consider the other graces that are promoted by them.
  87. 2. Faith - Faith is a grace that one expression supposes and another expressly requires: Knowing this, that the trial of your faith, 3; and then in 6, Let him ask in faith. There must be a sound believing of the great truths of Christianity, and a resolute cleaving to them, in times of trial. That faith which is spoken of here as tried by afflictions consists in a belief of the power, and word, and promise of God, and in fidelity and constancy to the Lord Jesus.
  88.  3. Patience - There must be patience: The trial of faith worketh patience. The trying of one grace produces another; and the more the suffering graces of a Christian are exercised the stronger they grow. Tribulation worketh patience, Rom. v. 3. Now, to exercise Christian patience aright, we must, (1.) Let it work. It is not a stupid, but an active thing. Stoical apathy and Christian patience are very different: by the one men become, in some measure, insensible of their afflictions; but by the other they become triumphant in and over them. Let us take care, in times of trial, that patience and not passion, be set at work in us; whatever is said or done, let patience have the saying and doing of it: let us not allow the indulging of our passions to hinder the operation and noble effects of patience; let us give it leave to work, and it will work wonders in a time of trouble. (2.) We must let it have its perfect work. Do nothing to limit it nor to weaken it; but let it have its full scope: if one affliction come upon the heels of another, and a train of them are drawn upon us, yet let patience go on till its work is perfected. When we bear all that God appoints, and as long as he appoints, and with a humble obedient eye to him, and when we not only bear troubles, but rejoice in them, then patience hath its perfect work. (3.) When the work of patience is complete, then the Christian is entire, and nothing will be wanting: it will furnish us with all that is necessary for our Christian race and warfare, and will enable us to persevere to the end, and then its work will be ended, and crowned with glory. After we have abounded in other graces, we have need of patience, Heb. x. 36. But let patience have its perfect work, and we shall be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
  89. Prayer4. Prayer is a duty recommended also to suffering Christians; and here the apostle shows, (1.) What we ought more especially to pray for--wisdom: If any lack wisdom, let him ask of God. We should not pray so much for the removal of an affliction as for wisdom to make a right use of it. And who is there that does not want wisdom under any great trials or exercises to guide him in his judging of things, in the government of his own spirit and temper, and in the management of his affairs? To be wise in trying times is a special gift of God, and to him we must seek for it. (2.) In what way this is to be obtained--upon our petitioning or asking for it. Let the foolish become beggars at the throne of grace, and they are in a fair way to be wise. It is not said, "Let such ask of man," no, not of any man, but, "Let him ask of God," who made him, and gave him his understanding and reasonable powers at first, of him in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Let us confess our want of wisdom to God and daily ask it of him. (3.) We have the greatest encouragement to do this: he giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not. Yea, it is expressly promised that it shall be given, 5. Here is something in answer to every discouraging turn of the mind, when we go to God, under a sense of our own weakness and folly, to ask for wisdom. He to whom we are sent, we are sure, has it to give: and he is of a giving disposition, inclined to bestow this upon those who ask. Nor is there any fear of his favours being limited to some in this case, so as to exclude others, or any humble petitioning soul; for he gives to all men. If you should say you want a great deal of wisdom, a small portion will not serve your turn, the apostle affirms, he gives liberally; and lest you should be afraid of going to him unseasonably, or being put to shame for your folly, it is added, he upbraideth not. Ask when you will, and as often as you will, you will meet with no upbraidings. And if, after all, any should say, "This may be the case with some, but I fear I shall not succeed so well in my seeking for wisdom as some others may," let such consider how particular and express the promise is: It shall be given him. Justly then must fools perish in their foolishness, if wisdom may be had for asking, and they will not pray to God for it. But, (4.) There is one thing necessary to be observed in our asking, namely, that we do it with a believing, steady mind: Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, 6. The promise above is very sure, taking this proviso along with us; wisdom shall be given to those who ask it of God, provided they believe that God is able to make the simple wise, and is faithful to make good his word to those who apply to him. This was the condition Christ insisted on, in treating with those who came to him for healing: Believest thou that I am able to do this? There must be no wavering, no staggering at the promise of God through unbelief, or through a sense of any disadvantages that lie on our own part. 
  90. Wisdom - A mind that has but one single and prevailing regard to its spiritual and eternal interest, and that keeps steady in its purposes for God, will grow wise by afflictions, will continue fervent in its devotions, and will be superior to all trials and oppositions.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary in The Sword Software Program for the Mac, James I:2 - Necessity of Fith and Patience; Evil of Indecision. II. 5.
  91.  Endurance - IV. A blessing is pronounced on those who endure their exercises and trials, as here directed: Blessed is the man that endureth temptation, 12. Observe, 1. It is not the man who suffers only that is blessed, but he who endures, who with patience and constancy goes through all difficulties in the way of his duty. 2. Afflictions cannot make us miserable, if it be not our own fault. A blessing may arise from them, and we may be blessed in them. They are so far from taking away a good man's felicity that they really increase it.
  92. 3. Sufferings and temptations are the way to eternal blessedness: When he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, dokimos genomenos--when he is approved, when his graces are found to be true and of the highest worth (so metals are tried as to their excellency by the fire), and when his integrity is manifested, and all is approved of the great Judge. Note hence, To be approved of God is the great aim of a Christian in all his trials; and it will be his blessedness at last, when he shall receive the crown of life. The tried Christian shall be a crowned one: and the crown he shall wear will be a crown of life. It will be life and bliss to him, and will last for ever. We only bear the cross for a while, but we shall wear the crown to eternity. 4. This blessedness, involved in a crown of life, is a promised thing to the righteous sufferer. It is therefore what we may most surely depend upon: for, when heaven and earth shall pass away, this word of God shall not fail of being fulfilled. But withal let us take notice that our future reward comes, not as a debt, but by a gracious promise. 5. Our enduring temptations must be from a principle of love to God and to our Lord Jesus Christ, otherwise we are not interested in this promise: The Lord hath promised to those that love him.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary in The Sword Software Program for the Mac, James I:2 - Necessity of Fith and Patience; Evil of Indecision. I-IV.
  93. Enduring trials for his glory shows that we love God.  God has stored up marvelous blessings for those who love him. - From the Kindle Book "The Holman New Testament Commentary - James 1:9-11, at location 6253.
  94. Four features provide encouragement for people caught up in trials.  First, God uses trials to produce staying power in those who endure.  Second, for those who seek it, God provides wisdom to understand trials.  Third, believers, whether rich or poor, find encouragement to rejoice over their position in life.  Fourth, God promises a reward to fill the believer with hope.  - From the Kindle Book "The Holman New Testament Commentary - James 1:9-11, at location 6253.
  95. The rich person faces temptation of glorifying in wealth.  In one sense the possession of wealth is a trial because it tempts rich people to rejoice in earthly treasures (Matt. 6:19-21).  The wealthy are encouraged to glory in the humbling of soul which life's trials can bring them.  They can learn that worldly riches pass away, while God's wisdom lasts for eternity.  Wealthy people should exult in the privilege of learning that true treasures are located only in heaven.   - From the Kindle Book "The Holman New Testament Commentary - James 1:9-11, at location 6225.
  96. Rich people must realize that the possession of wealth provides a challenge to overcome (cf. 1 Tim. 6:9).  Possessing wealth without spiritual wisdom eventually brings only emptiness.  LIke the poor, the rich should revel in the spiritual privileges which the Lord has opened up for them.   - From the Kindle Book "The Holman New Testament Commentary - James 1:9-11, at location 6239.
  97. The wealthy must avoid delighting in wealth, glorying instead in spiritual privileges God makes available.  - From the Kindle Book "The Holman New Testament Commentary - James 1:9-11, at location 6239.
  98. James 1: 15: Then, when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; that is, sin being allowed to excite desires in us, it will son ripen those desires into consent, and then it is said to have conceived. The sin truly exists, though it be but in embryo. And, when it has grown it its full size in the mind, it is then brought forth in actual execution. Stop the beginnings of sin therefore, or else all the evils it produces must be wholly charged upon us.   - From the Matthew Henry Commentary in The Sword Software Program for the Mac, James I:15 - Procedure and Results of Sin. II.
  99. As every good gift is from God, so particularly the renovation of our natures, our regeneration, and all the holy happy consequences of it, must be ascribed to him ( 18): Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth. Here let us take notice, (1.) A true Christian is a creature begotten anew. He becomes as different a person from what he was before the renewing influences of divine grace as if he were formed over again, and born afresh. (2.) The original of this good work is here declared: it is of God's own will; not by our skill or power; not from any good foreseen in us, or done by us, but purely from the good-will and grace of God.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of James, Chapter 1, v. 18.
  100. An angry and hasty spirit is soon provoked to ill things by afflictions, and errors and ill opinions become prevalent through the workings of our own vile and vain affections; but the renewing grace of God and the word of the gospel teach us to subdue these: Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.  It is our duty rather to hear God's word, and apply our minds to understand it, than to speak according to our own fancies or the opinions of men, and to run into heat and passion thereupon.  Be ready to hear and consider what God's word teaches in all such cases.   Instead of censuring God under our trials, let us open our ears and hearts to hear what he will say to us. Here we may observe that, whenever matters of difference arise among Christians, each side should be willing to hear the other. People are often stiff in their own opinions because they are not willing to hear what others have to offer against them: whereas we should be swift to hear reason and truth on all sides, and be slow to speak any thing that should prevent this: and, when we do speak, there should be nothing of wrath; for a soft answer turneth away wrath.   As this epistle is designed to correct a variety of disorders that existed among Christians, these words, swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, may be very well interpreted according to this last explication. And we may further observe from them that, if men would govern their tongues, they must govern their passions. When Moses's spirit was provoked, he spoke unadvisedly with his lips. If we would be slow to speak, we must be slow to wrath. - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of James, Chapter 1, v. 19-20.
  101. One day Augustine came upon a little boy engrossed in filling a cup with water from the ocean and running to pour it into a hole he had made in the sand. Time after time he repeated this action, prompting the Saint to ask: "What is that you're doing?" The boy said: "I'm going to put the whole ocean into this hole." Augustine smiled and said: "Son, you can't do that. The ocean is too big for this little hole." The boy looked up with a smile and answered: "Neither can you fit all of God into your tiny brain." But Augustine never stopped trying. From the book "Daily Meditations with Saint Augustine." by John E. Rotelle.  We should seek wisdom with all our hearts and mind from Jesus Christ, the source of all wisdom and not try to lean upon our own understanding.
  102. James 1:26 - His uncontrolled tongue reveals that "his religion is worthless," being merely external sham. Such a person has been playing the part of one who is religious and has convinced himself that he really is religious but in so doing "he deceives himself." This is the second instance of self-deception in this chapter. In v.22 the person who hears the truth but does not put it into practice is self-deceived. In v.26 the self-deceived person is the one whose religious acts do not make a difference in the way he lives.  - From the Expositer's Bible Commentary, James 1:26. 
  103. James I Principals - From the Kindle Book "The Holman New Testament Commentary - James 1, at page 268, at location 6453.
    1. God permits trials to develop stamina in his people.
    2. God gives rewards to those who show their love for him by enduring trials.
    3. God does not use evil to tempt his children to disobedience.
    4. All good has its source in our God.
    5. Submission to God's demands brings a blessing in the act of obeying.
    6. Controlling what we say gives evidence of our disobedience.
    7. Caring for the weak and needy shows we are following Christ.
  104. James I Applications - From the Kindle Book "The Holman New Testament Commentary - James 1, at page 268, at location 6453.
    1. Face the trials of life with faith in God.
    2. Ask God for insight whenever you fail to understand his ways in your life.
    3. Accept responsibility for your own sins and failures.
    4. Obey God's Word when you hear it.
    5. Be unselfish in service to others.
    6. Separate yourself from sin.
  105. Perseverance - James 1:3-4 - It is the spiritual trait of remaining constant under trial and showing steadfastness, energy and stamina.  A person with perseverance holds up under pressure and looks to God to terminate the time or to offer a reward for endurance.  The only route for developing patience involves trusting God through trials and nurturing our faith toward maturity.
  106. James 1:19 - Here we may observe that, whenever matters of difference arise among Christians, each side should be willing to hear the other. People are often stiff in their own opinions because they are not willing to hear what others have to offer against them: whereas we should be swift to hear reason and truth on all sides, and be slow to speak any thing that should prevent this: and, when we do speak, there should be nothing of wrath; for a soft answer turneth away wrath. - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of James, Chapter 1, v. 19-20.
  107. Wrath is a human thing, and the wrath of man stands opposed to the righteousness of God. Those who pretend to serve the cause of God hereby show that they are acquainted neither with God or his cause. This passion must especially be watched against when we are hearing the word of God. See 1 Pet. ii. 1, 2- From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of James, Chapter 1, v. 19-21.
  108. We should respond to trials with a development of hope, confidence in God, and new stamina because God can use them to make us mature and complete.  Second, we should accept responsibility for our own failures and look to our unchanging God for strength.  Third, we should drink in God's message and allow it to transform us into self-controlled, loving, holy followers of Jesus. - From the Kindle Book "The Holman New Testament Commentary - James 1, at page 274, at VII. Teaching Outline, A. Introduction, at location 6601. 
  109. James 2:1 - My brothers,  show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ,  the Lord of glory.  - Show no partiality.  Cater to the poor and spiritually hungry rather than the powerful.  Live by the royal law and experience the law that gives freedom.  Produce obedient deeds, for true faith is obedient.  - From the Kindle Book "The Holman New Testament Commentary - James 2, at page 278, at In a Nutshell, at location 6667. 
  110. Practicing favoritism toward the rich is inconsistent with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for all people.  People who practice  this, cannot claim to be followers of the Lord who abolished partiality.  Deuteronomy 10:17, Acts 10:34, & 1 Tim. 5:21 show that God practices no partiality.  Surely he could not tolerate such action among his own children.  We can apply this warning in our relationships with different races, social classes, or economic groups.   - From the Kindle Book "The Holman New Testament Commentary - James 2, at page 281,  II. Commentary, Displaying Pure Religion, A. Transcending Partiality at location 6730. 
  111. We make our unique contribution by seeking to glorify Jesus Christ.  We must make our ministries open to people of all races and backgrounds.  We must find people we can help in the name of Jesus and seek to minister to their needs.  - From the Kindle Book "The Holman New Testament Commentary - James 2, at page 279, Displaying Pure Religion, I. Introduction, Caring for Life's Outcasts, at location 6667. 
  112. What does God have to say about our lives here? He says this life is so brief that we are like grass that grows up in the morning and wilts in the afternoon (Isaiah 40:6-8). Our life here is but “mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14). - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2462.
  113. Trouble isn’t necessarily a sign of sin in a person’s life. It may be something God allows to draw us closer to Him. - From the Kindle Book Know Your Bible: All 66 Books Explained and Applied - By Paul Kent and George Knight in the book of Job at location 539.
  114. Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
  115. Proverbs 15:1 - A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
  116. Proverbs 16:3 - Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
  117. Proverbs 17:28 - Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise.
  118. Proverbs 26:4 - Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
  119. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. (3:1)  - From the Kindle Book Know Your Bible: All 66 Books Explained and Applied - By Paul Kent and George Knight in the book of Job at location 619.
  120. Life doesn’t always make sense…but there’s still a God who understands. - From the Kindle Book Know Your Bible: All 66 Books Explained and Applied - By Paul Kent and George Knight in the book of Job at location 624.
  121. Proverbs 3:30 - "Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm."  We must not only guard against secret malice but against accusing a man for no reason. We must beware of becoming involved in quarrels (17:14; 18:6; 25:8 - 9) instead of pursuing peace (Romans  12:18). A spirit of strife is a great hindrance to holiness (Hebrews  12:14; Colossians  3:12 - 15) and is inconsistent for any of God's servants (2  Timothy  2:24). Irritable people are always strongly insisting on their own rights, or what they imagine is due to them from other people. How we need to earnestly seek to have Christ's own meek and loving spirit (1  Peter  2:21 - 23).  - Proverbs, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, Charles Bridges.
  122. Proverbs 3:34 - "Toward the  scorners he  is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor."   A humble spirit, a deep conviction of utter nothingness and guilt, is a most adorning grace. Nor is it an occasional or temporary feeling, the result of some unexpected disclosure, but a habit that clothes a person (1  Peter  5:5) from head to toe. It combines the highest elevation of joy with the deepest abasement of spirit. "God pours his grace plentifully upon humble hearts. His sweet dews and showers of grace slide off the mountains of pride and fall on the low valleys of humble hearts and make them pleasant and fertile" (Leighton). But the soul that swells with pride has no room for God's humbling grace.  - Proverbs, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, Charles Bridges.
  123. Proverbs 3:35 - "The wise will inherit honor, but fools get  disgrace." The wise inherit honor, but fools he holds up to shame. This is the last contrast made to restrain our envy of the prosperity of the wicked (verse  31). Self-knowledge, the principle of lowliness, is the essence of wisdom. Fools will discover the vanity of this world's glory when it is too late to make a wise choice. Shame is their present fruit. Honor even now sits uneasily on the wise. How solemn and complete will be the great separation in eternity.  - Proverbs, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, Charles Bridges.
  124. "You cannot repent too soon, because you do not know how soon is too late." - Thomas Fuller.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 30.
  125. Principals from Matthew 1-2:  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 23, 24.
    1. God protects his own
    2. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of all God's promises to Israel and to us.
    3. God will use anyone for his purposes, no matter how unlikely.
    4. God often uses the humble and willing (Joseph and Mary) rather than the high and mighty (King Herod) to accomplish his greatest missions on earth.
    5. No one can thwart God's plans (not even the politically powerful Herod).
    6. Sometimes the brightest light grows in the darkest places (Nazareth).
    7. People with head knowledge (the scribes) may not have heart knowledge.
    8. Knowing God's Son in the right way brings unspeakable joy.
    9. The gospel is a message for people of all nations.
  126. Applications from Matthew 1-2:  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 24.
    1. Respond to the king as the Magi did, with great joy and devotion.
    2. Humbly make yourself available and ready to be used by God, allowing him to accomplish his purposes through you.
    3. Seize opportunities to share your faith in Christ with others, exercising wisdom in reaching out towards those who are not believers.
    4. Serve the Lord with Joy, even during the dark adn difficult hours.
    5. Learn to place your trust in God's protective care adn timing.
    6. Study Matthew's approach to communicating Jesus as Messiah to his audience.
  127. Principals from Matthew 3-4:  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 47.
    1. Unnecessarily offending others is often a sign of callousness or carelessness.
    2. When God chooses to move in a people, there is enthusiasm or conviction that spreads through the hearts of many persons.  This can only be explained by the work of the Holy Spirit.
    3. Speaking truth is always right but seldom easy.
    4. There is no such thing as hereditary righteousnesss.
    5. Jesus identifies with sinful human beings.
    6. Jesus was tempted in every way that we are tempted, yet without sin.
    7. Jesus called and trained others to join him in kingdom work.
    8. Jesus has power over sickness and demons.
  128. Applications from Matthew 3-4:  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 47.
    1. Be sensitive to how others hear your words, and careful not to compromise your faith with your speech.
    2. Resolve to be truthful in both word and deed, in spite of circumstances and presures to compromise.
    3. Trust God's righteousness that he offers in Christ and not your religious heritage.
    4. When tempted, trust Jesus who has been tempted in that way and stands ready to help you be victorious over your temptation.
  129. When others criticize us or say something hurtful or insensitive, our first reaction should be to ask ourselves if there is any truth in what they say. If so, we need to be honest with ourselves and ask God to help us correct whatever may need correcting. But even if those words were spoken maliciously, we need to turn our hurts over to God and ask Him to help us respond with forgiveness and grace. - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 499). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 
  130. Proverbs 20:29 - The glory of young men is their strength:and the beauty of old men is the grey head.  - Ours is one of the few societies in world history that does not value the gray head. And we are the poorer for it because the zeal of youth becomes even more effective when mellowed by the wisdom of age.from Courson’s Application Commentary by Jon Courson.
  131. Humility of mind means truly esteeming others better than oneself (Philippians 2:3). Humility of mind means not finding fault with a brother or sister, but finding fruit—approving those things that are excellent within them. Humility of mind means realizing it’s the grace of God, not our own merit, that allows us to know Him and walk with Him. - from Courson’s Application Commentary about Acts 20:19 by Jon Courson
  132. I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. (Acts 20:33).  It has been rightly said that the happiest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.  Aren’t we discovering that things that are flashy and shiny come with a curse? Once you get them, you’ve got to maintain them, worry about them, and keep track of them. Paul was free from the curse that accompanies material possessions because they were no longer important to him.  - from Courson’s Application Commentary about Acts 20:33 by Jon Courson
  133. Think often on God, by day, by night, in your business, and even in your diversions. He is always near you and with you; leave Him not alone. You would think it rude to leave a friend alone who came to visit you; why, then, must God be neglected? Do not, then, forget Him, but think on Him often, adore Him continually, live and die with Him; this is the glorious employment of a Christian. In a word, this is our profession; if we do not know it, we must learn it. - Brother Lawrence (1967-02-01). Practice of the Presence of God, The (Kindle Locations 425-428). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 
  134. Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (Pro. 22:) - It was never more important than it is today that children be brought up by parents who teach the principles of the Scriptures. Otherwise later on in a child's life, when an attempt is made to set them right, we find that we are "building where there is no foundation, or rather where there is not even any ground to build on" (South). The primary object of a child's upbringing must be the salvation of his soul. But most people in the world deal with their children as if they were born only for this world, with nothing to look for after death. They totally ignore such questions as:How will this or that matter affect their soul? Their only thought is:They must be like everyone else if they are to make their way in the world. And so in all important matters parents educate them for time and not for eternity. We hardly need to point out that this is an education without God, without his promise, and without rest. The parents of such children, and the children of such parents, are both in need of compassion.  - From Crossway Classic Commentary - Proverbs by Charles Bridges.
  135. Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (Pro. 22:) A similar Danish proverb reads, "What youth learns, age does not forget." An English proverb says, "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”  It is important, in considering the great implications of Proverbs 22:6, to remember that there is all the difference in the world between telling a child and training a child. The Hebrew word translated "train" means "to hedge in." The word suggests a picture of cattle being guided into a pen. Their path is fenced so that there is only one way they can go. 
  136. The work of training children must begin when they are young. An old saint who had a delightful and remarkably close family of grown children used to say, "If you don't break their will when they first begin to manifest their rebellious sin nature, they will grow up to break your heart.  
  137. Child training has to be comprehensive and consistent. There are four areas to be reached and ruled. The first area is the mind. The entire educational system of our secular society is geared to focus the mind's attention on this world's priorities, philosophies, pleasures, prosperity, programs, principles, and praise. The goal of secular education is to prepare children to succeed in this world, so the system sets this world's art, science, religion, heroes, and idols before the child. The goal of Christian parents must be different. They must teach their children to fix their attention on the world to come.
  138. The Christian parent must lay a firm foundation with the Bible during the first seven years and then build on that foundation during the next ten years. Since the entire secular- humanist educational system scoffs at the Bible, the Christian parent must make sure that the Word of God is so firmly implanted in the child's mind that no amount of secular influence will challenge the Bible's authority.
  139. Parents must command respect, fear, and obedience early, for parents stand in the place of God in the lives of their young children. That stubborn, childish will must learn to obey without argument or the display of temper. Children who do not learn to respect parental authority will learn to defy or challenge all authority. - Excerpts from John Phillips Commentary Series (27 volumes).
  140. Ecclesiastes 9:10 - Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. - It is difficult not to get caught up in the pursuit of power and position.  After all, in the eyes of the world, these are highly prized and sought-after treasures.  But when we lock eyes with Jesus and turn a deaf ear to the praises of men, the only thing that truly matters is doing everything with the motivation of pleasing and honoring Him.  It is from God that the gift of work comes, so it is to Him that our efforts should be aimed.  “Do everything in its own time.  Do everything in earnest; if it is worth doing, then do it with all your might.” - Robert Murry M’Cheyne - From the January 24th devotional reading on page 25 of “Turning Poits with God” by David Jeremiah