Know Your Bible

VOL. 5                           April 9, 2006                           NO. 12

 Do You Love God More Than Your Family?

"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:37,38)

    This is a familiar passage, often cited to show that our love for God must be greater than our love for anything else, even our own families. If asked, most Christians are aware that their answer should be: "I love God most of all -- more than my own family!" But how does that claim stand up against the evidence?

    Here's a test to see if possibly you have the problem of loving your family more than God:

1)    Do you neglect your spiritual duties to God in order to be with your family? For instance, have there been instances when you missed a Bible study or worship service in order to be with your kinfolk? Has a family reunion, a birthday party, a holiday celebration, or other such gathering kept you from assembling with the saints? If so, can you truly say, "I love God more than my family?

2)    Do you "push yourself" in order to do things for and with your family, but you don't exercise the same diligence for God? Do you go, do, help, sacrifice, and work for your family even when you are stressed, don't feel well, are covered up with others duties, etc. -- yet you allow the same things to keep you from your appointments for God? Do you really love Him more than your family?

3)    Are you unwilling to see your family members rebuked or disciplined for ungodly behavior? Does it make you angry if someone points out sinful actions in your relatives and suggests that repentance is needed? Does a Bible lesson or sermon that hits "close to home" make you simmer with resentment? Do these things indicate more love for family than for God?

We know that we must love God more than even our own mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons or daughters -- but knowing this is one thing while putting it into practice is another. Think!

---Greg Gwin

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Unity and Division -- Value Of Each!?

    Some years ago I was asked to participate in a series of meetings/lectures in Kansas City, at the Vivion road congregation, and I was assigned the subject of "Unity." I recall in my preparation for that lesson, I came up with the values and need for unity among God's people. However, I made a point, too: "There is one thing worse than division among God's people. That Is, ‘unity in error.’"

    Certainly, God speaks to His people to have unity, and the manner of obtaining it (1 Cor. 1:10ff). The people at Corinth were divided over their loyalty and dedication to different preachers. The point was made that Paul, Peter, Apollos, or any other man, who is faithful to the lord, is just a sower of the seed. One can plant and another waters, but it is God who gives the increase (1 Cor. 3:7-9). Each of us who are teachers need to recognize that and people we persuade to obey the gospel needs to understand and appreciate that, also. Paul, the inspired apostle, argues that these people were not baptized in his name, neither was he crucified for them, and thus they should NOT wear his name, but that of Christ, His name was the one to whom they owed their allegiances. That was then true and it is true and so very important to each of us today.

    The unity that was appropriate and desirable could and would be accomplished by them all speaking the same things. They could and should be joined together in the same mind and same judgment. When each speaker/teacher speaks as the oracles of God, (1 Pet. 4:11), each obeys the same thing in becoming a Christian, and then each is to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ ( 2 Pet. 3:18), all can be united in their efforts, worship, work, and mission.

    When teachers speak different things, not according to God's revealed word, there is sure to be division. Yet, in our land today, so much has been said and done that is a departure from God's revealed word, that so many THINK doctrine and practices in religious is just a matter of personal choice. Beloved, let us be knowledgeable of God's view in this regard.

    He also calls upon people to come out from among certain ones (2 Cor. 6:17,18; 2 Tim. 3:1-5). Thus it is better to be separated from certain people, than to be united with them. That is of course when they are involved in conduct that is not pleasing to God. We see many warnings in the New Testament of people departing from the truth (1 Tim. 4:1ff; 2 Tim. 4:3,4; Acts 20:28ff). History tells us that the process of departing has been down though the centuries and that God's faithful have had to disassociate themselves from those who are departing, for their own safety, and possibly the restoring to one that is overtaken in a fault (Gal. 6:1,2).

    Beloved we recognize how pleasant and good it is for people to be united, when such is based on truth (Ps. 133:10). Truly, God wants His people to be united, and there is power of influence when such is the case. Jesus prayed for such (Jn. 17:20-23). Jesus indicates that by this type of unity the "world may believe" that He was sent by the Father. Division teaches the opposite message. At the same time, however, we must recognize to be united with a people who fail to respect God, His Son, and His message is to be very bad, destructive. Division of God's people from such is valuable, desirable and in fact demanded by God and His Son Jesus Christ!

    It is sad that so many people do not see that division of God people from the people of the world in their belief and practice, conduct and worship, is valuable and MUST always be! God's people of the Mosaic period often lost their power, blessings from God, and their identity, which brought about destruction because they were joined in association with the people who were NOT God's people.

    Timothy had Paul's message to preach the word, in and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort. Reason: the time would come when there would be those who would NOT ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE! Division would come. He was to remain faithful, this meant division, separation from them who would thus conduct themselves (2 Tim. 4:1-5).

---William C. "Bill" Sexton

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The Lord can do great things through those who

don't care who get the credit.


A problem not worth praying about isn't worth worrying about.


Your life may be all that some know of the Bible.


Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles

that we forget to count our blessings.


What we need is neither negative thinking nor positive thinking, but realistic thinking -- thinking

characterized by enough pessimism to trigger concern, enough optimism to provide hope.

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