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bcbsr


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bcbsr last won the day on June 15 2016

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  1. BEING KIND TO THE POOR Pr 19:17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. Apparently one sure guarantee of reward concerns giving to the poor. Likewise Jesus says, "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." Luke 12:33 And while Christians have responsibility to support Christian ministries or Christian ministers, let us not build elaborate churches while neglecting the poor. When Paul's ministry was affirmed by James, Peter and John, Paul writes, "All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do." Gal 2:10 Are you eager to do that as well? And later when he came back he writes, "After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings." Acts 24:17 Helping the poor should be part of anyone's activities who wants to be commendable. Consider Cornelius - the first Gentile convert. Why did God chose him? The angel told him saying, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God." Acts 10:4 So also it is written that "In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor." Acts 9:36 After she had died, the poor commended her to Peter, who then raised her from the dead. There's always reward in helping the poor. Even the Law of Moses says, "If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs."Deut 15:7,8 And it goes on to promise, "Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to." Deut 15:10 So don't miss out on the blessings. Be generous to the poor. The Proverb Series
  2. bcbsr

    Theft

    Theft Private Property and ownership is a Biblical principle. Therefore respect others as equals with regards to their substance which God has provided to them. To take what legitimately belongs to others without an agreed upon compensation is theft. Ex 20:15 "You shall not steal." Ex 22:7 "If a man gives his neighbor silver or goods for safekeeping and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house, the thief, if he is caught, must pay back double." Joh 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy" Eph 4:28 "He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need." Pilfering Titus 2:9,10a "Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted" Neglecting to Pay Wages in a timely fashion Jas 5:4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. Deut 24:15 Pay him his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it. Otherwise he may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin. Sin Series BCBSR.COM
  3. Drunkenness & Gluttony Much as binge drinking has of recent days been reckoned socially acceptable on college campuses, the Bible says, "Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks." Isaiah 5:22 "Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise." Prov 20:1 Drunkenness and Gluttony, being sins of overindulgence are related having similar outcomes. Pr 23:20,21 "Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags." Gluttony and drunkenness go hand in hand along with other sorts of over-indulgence. It says in Eph 5:18 "do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation." "Dissipation" means wastefulness. In fact today getting drunk is spoken of as "getting wasted". But along with drunkenness there are other ways people are involved in wasting their lives and their possessions. And there were severe penalties under the law for drunkenness and gluttony. "If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear." Deut 21:18-21 See more on Drinking
  4. PATIENT WISDOM Pr 19:11 A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. There's a correlation between wisdom and patience. If you want to be more patient, become wiser. Furthermore: Pr 20:3 It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel. Pr 14:29 A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. Pr 12:16 A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. Pr 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. More generally it's not wise to become offended over every particular thing, nor to unnecessarily seek to be offended. Very commonly I've notice that some Christians upon meeting other Christians will immediately try to find something to be offended about - whether concerning their doctrine or practice. Is that really wise? The Proverb Series
  5. ZEAL WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE Pr 19:2 It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. The unbelieving Jews were in this category. "For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness." Rom 10:2,3 So also for Muslims today, zealous in their faith, but ignorant of the knowledge of God contained in the Bible. This is not to discourage zealousness per se. Of Jesus it is written, "Zeal for your house will consume me." John 2:17 And Paul writes to the Galatians saying, "It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always and not just when I am with you." Gal 4:18 So also he instructs, "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." Rom 12:11 But zeal or enthusiasm which is not based on proper information is not a good thing and may have seriously bad consequences. Therefore, not to discourage the zealous, but those who are enthusiastic need to control themselves not to be too hasty, but to make sure their applications are based upon proper information. The Proverb Series
  6. Negligent Homicide The Law of Moses speaks of negligent homicide where it says, "When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof." Deut 22:8? Whether an individual is renting out real estate and disregarding issues of safety, or whether a large corporation disregards the safety of its employees, its customers, or neighbors, there are many such cases of negligent homicide. "Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life." Lev 19:16b Often these are either a function of greed in which the safety concern is known, but the risk taken for the sake of profit, or they're just do to plain laziness, as it is written, "One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys." Pr 18:9 Yet we can also say that by neglecting the work of the kingdom, many Christians are also involved in negligent homicide, as it says, "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?" Prov 24:11,12 The solution to negligent homicide is to learn to love your neighbor as yourself. And in particular to consider what safety concerns you should deal with of which you would be concerned if you were in their situation. The Sin Series
  7. bcbsr

    Murder

    Murder People in society often view murder as the ultimate sin. They may say, "I may have done some bad things in life, but at least I'm not a murderer." But in fact murder may be a much more socially acceptable practice than people generally make it out to be, though they simply call it something different. For example to date American women have murdered over 50 million of their own babies through abortion. From the early days of Christiantiy abortion was explicitly condemned as murder. A second century Christian wrote, "And when we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder?"And the Didache says, "thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born." Furthermore, in the Islamic Middle East murder is practically mandated as a religious duty. And what about those who condone their actions? Are they not also culpable? What of those who support a woman's right to choose to murder her baby? And what of Muslims who condone the murder of others in the name of Islam? Seems the world is filled with murderers. Jesus said to those who were out to kill him, "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning" John 8:44a And if not the overt form of murder, even an illegitimate hatred for others is reckoned murder. "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him." 1John 3:15 Regardless of how one is involved in the murder of others, murderers do not have eternal life. Now if one is prone to murder and hatred of others, they must learn to respect others as God's creation, even when such respect for human life may be an inconvenience to themselves. The Sin Series
  8. FEELING OFFENDED? Pr 18:19 An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel. So one word of advice is to avoid offending your brother unnecessarily. Pr 17:14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. It's very easy to offend people - especially those close to you. It's easy enough to start a quarrel over the most trivial matters. But it may be very difficult to reconcile. If a Christian feels offended, they should first consider whether they are overreacting. Recall the servant of the parable Jesus spoke of in Matthew 18:32-35 who had been forgiven of a huge debt, but failed to forgive his fellow servant of a minor debt. Secondly the Christian should consider whether their feeling of being offended may actually be a feeling of guilt for having sinned. For it is a natural reaction of the flesh to feel offended or humiliated when sin is pointed out in one's life. True, that there's an appropriate way in which sin should be exposed, and some offend by exposing sin in an inappropriate way, but let not that be confused for feelings of personal guilt. Where there is sin, there should also be repentance. Jesus instructs Christians in dealing with fellow Christians who have offended them unjustly. "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector." Mat 18:15-17 Therefore "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him." Luke 17:3 So while such offenses need to be discussed, offenses not repented of cause relationships to be distant. Proverb Series BCBSR.COM
  9. THE BROTHER OF LAZINESS Pr 18:9 One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys. Ec 10:18 If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks. Lazy people may not have the intention of destroying stuff, but that's what often happens. For example a lazy person may overlook safety concerns or not keeping up with maintenance - it's just too much effort - resulting in people getting injured and things getting broken. And much worse the effect of lazy Christians. For many will go to hell or otherwise miss the opportunity to be edified simply because Christians were too lazy to be involved in ministering to them. Christian faith should be contrary to laziness, as it is written, "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." Heb 6:12 Therefore "diligently follow every good work." 1Tim 5:10b The Proverb Series
  10. Prejudice & Discrimination Racial Prejudice Num 12:1 Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman. (As a result Miriam suffered leprosy) Prejudice based upon Social Status or Wealth Prejudice in Legal Matters Le 19:15 "’Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly." Jesus was noted even by his enemies for being impartial: Luke 20:21 So the spies questioned him: "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth." And those who minister as Christ did must see to it that they likewise do nothing out of favoritism but remain impartial in dealing with people. 1Tim 5:21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism. The Sin Series
  11. Mt 24:29-31 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven (Rev 6:13) , and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, (1Thess 4:16) and they will gather together His elect (2Thess 2:1) from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.(The Rapture)."
  12. Instigation and Discord Among the things which the Lord hates: a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. Pr 6:19 Pr 6:12-14 A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, who winks with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart— he always stirs up dissension. Gal 5:20 mentions "discord" as one of those characteristics which he mentions in Gal 5:21 that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Of course these are referring the stirring up of illegitimate discord. Just living the Christian life itself will stir up discord, as we can see in the lives of Jesus and his aspostles, and as Jesus said, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn '’a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’" Mt 10:34-36 In fact sometimes Christians are too tolerant and should be involved in stirring up discord in a sense. Thus Jesus rebukes a church saying, "I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality." But illegitimate discord does not edify the church. Such discord is like that of Diotrephes of whom John wrote, "I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church." 3John 1:9,10 Instigation and discord can be difficult to deal with in a church in that both sides could claim the other to be the instigator. And it doesn't really help when institutional authority invokes its own authority in Diotrephean fashion to allegedly settle the matter. Some institutions deal with discord simply by shutting everyone up and shutting down all avenues of fellowship, which is a very bad idea. In contrast, like in Corinthians and Galatians, Paul deals with the substance of the issues rather than simply with the fact of discord. But also he dealt with the issue of attitude - namely love for one another. For concerning the end times Jesus says, "At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other." Mt 24:10 So if there is controversy which you may want to stir up, make sure you do so out of love and with a view towards the edification of the Christian community. The Sin Series
  13. DIRECT AND IMMEDIATE APPLICATIONS Pr 17:24 A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth. Wisdom is the discernment of the appropriate applications of knowledge. A person of discernment recognizes the direct or immediate application. But the fool overlooks such applications and even finds no application of knowledge in all the world. Such people reminds me of those Paul speaks of as "always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth." 2Tim 3:7 Pr 14:6 The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning. Mockers study the Bible only that they may mock, but they miss the application. Therefore as you study the Bible, do so seeking for direct and immediate applications. Don't just study it, do it! The Proverb Series
  14. THE BALANCE OF JUSTICE Pr 17:15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent— the LORD detests them both. While the ordinary Christian is generally only involved to a very limited degree with the justice system of whatever particular country they abide, the Lord is concerned for issues of justice. In fact this is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. Jer 9:23,24 The Lord is not only concerned for issues of justice. He involves himself in such matters. Now there are some who would argue that the guilty should be punished, even at the cost of some innocent being condemned. And there are others who would argue that the innocent should be acquitted even at the cost of acquitting some of those guilty. Both arguments should be weighed equally. God is equally concerned that the guilty not be acquitted as he is that the innocent not be condemned. The Lord detest corrupting justice to either degree. 'The Proverb Series
  15. bcbsr

    Deceit

    Deceit Mic 6:12 Her rich men are violent; her people are liars and their tongues speak deceitfully. Ps 101:7 No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. 1Pe 3:10 For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Tit 1:10 For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. Christians should not intentionally deceive others, even when they think good would come of it, but rather to walk as Jesus did, who "had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth." Is 53:9 It's bad enough when people intentionally deceive one another. But the fact that the human heart is deceitful above all things and desperate to be wicked makes it easy for one to deceive oneself. And once deceived, a person may lead others astray. Fortunately God has given us the Bible and the Holy Spirit to keep us from being led astray. The Sin Series
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