Thursday, January 22, 2009

What Is A Godly Wife?

What does the Holy Scriptures say about such an important subject? One of the finest descriptions of a godly wife was given by a woman. It is found in Proverbs 31:10-31.
Below are a list of seven of the qualities that a godly wife has:

1. A godly wife is strong and carries her strength with dignity. She is not afraid of the future.
Vs.17 – “She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.”
Vs.25 – “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”
2. A godly wife is not a busybody, she is wise and teaches kindness.
Vs.26 – “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
3. A godly wife is not lazy. She looks to the needs of her family and is not idle.
Vs.27 – “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
3. A godly wife is a good business woman, is industrious with her hands, and works hard for her family within the home.
Vs.13-16 – “She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”
4. A godly wife is trusted by her husband and will do him good. She will not bring shame to his name.
Vs.11-12 – “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”
5. A godly wife will be a mother whose children praise her, and her husband will praise her, too.
Vs.28 – “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”
6. A godly wife realizes that outward charm and beauty are temporary; she focuses on pleasing the Lord in everything she does.
Vs.30 – “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
7. A godly wife will be known for her godly example and Christian works.
Vs.31 – “Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”
The Christian woman of today is challenged by the world to be many things – most of which have nothing to do with the aforementioned list. She understands her role as wife and mother is the most challenging role to which God calls her. Only by God’s grace can a woman maintain the balance that is so necessary to fulfill such a high calling.

God be praised for all you women who put Christ first in your life. Your godly example and Christian witness is sorely needed in our world today. Bless you in your service to Him, in your love for your husband, and in your devotion to your family.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Where Is Your Hope

Where Is Your Hope?
By Creth D. Hopkins

The world is quickly finding itself in a whirlpool of economic crisis that is sucking down whole nations into financial oblivion. Greed and avarice are the “Scylla and Charybdis” that America faces today; and these monsters are having a field-day with the hope of Americans. Each day brings a new announcement of yet another bailout. And the magnitude of these bailouts is so huge that we have dropped the word “millions,” and have graduated to billions – even trillions of dollars! We are talking figures that are hard to get our arms around.

Presently, we are at $7.76 trillion and counting: this amount is equal to about nine times the money spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. To put it one way, it is equal to about $24,000 for every American in the U.S. – man, woman, and child! Or to put it another way, the amount represents about half the value of everything produced in the nation last year. And there seems to be no end in site. The figures on job losses are just as dismal. The government reported on Friday, saying employers cut 240,000 jobs in October – this brings the year’s total job losses to 1.2 million. Hope for improvement is quickly going down the drain. I recently heard one woman say that half of her 401 account has disappeared in the last month. Where did it go?

The gods of materialism and humanism are servants of Satan, whose sole goal is the destruction of man. And through these gods, Satan has effectively turned millions of Americans down the paths of despair and self-destruction. We have only begun to see the affects of such turning away from the one, true God and His Son, Jesus Christ. The patriarch Job once said, “Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of the godless shall perish” (Job 8:13).

Only a true child of God can have hope in such trying times. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13). Christians have a great opportunity to share Jesus with other people who have no hope in times like these. It is Jesus Who is our Hope! (I Timothy 1:1)

If you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior, repent of your sins, and ask God for His mercy. He will save you, and give you the strength to face the crisis that is before you. Then, you can join with Peter and say: “Blessed be the God and Father or our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (I Peter 1:3).

Where have you placed your hope? If it is in the world, then you are to be pitied. If it is in Jesus Christ, you have reason to rejoice – and have HOPE!

Sola Scriptura - Scripture Alone!

Sola Scriptura – Scripture Alone!
By Creth D. Hopkins

In the forty-plus years I have been in God’s ministry, I have never heard a question for which the Bible did not have an appropriate answer. The reason why the Bible is so pertinent and ‘to the point’ is simple: it is God’s Holy Word. While the Bible was written over a period of some 1,500 years by over forty writers, its sole Author is God Himself:

16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The word inspiration actually means “God-breathed.” When you read the Bible you are actually reading the exhaled breath of God on printed page. God is the sole Author as well as the sole Interpreter of His Word:

20 “knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21

It is called the Holy Bible because God, as its Author, is holy. You can depend upon it because it has been tested and found trustworthy. We are warned not to add to it:

“Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6

God makes His will very clear to us concerning His Bible:

“Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.” Deuteronomy 12:32

Many cults add the teachings of their leadership to the Bible and say that their doctrine is as inspired as is the Holy Bible. God had the Apostle Paul write the following warning:

8“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9

How we handle the Bible is a serious matter. We are to read it, trust it, and obey it. It is dangerous to mishandle the Bible. The Apostle John gives us a final warning:

18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19

The Virgin Birth

The Virgin Birth
By Creth D. Hopkins

One of the Scriptural truths that is vehemently attacked is the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. “Why is it so important to believe in the virgin birth of Jesus?” To answer the question succinctly, the virgin birth of Jesus points to the sinless nature of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:15-16 15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Opponents use two passages of Scripture to attack the sinless nature of Jesus Christ:

(1.) It is pointed out that Joseph is listed as the father of Jesus and that Jesus came from a family wherein there were at least six children borne to Joseph and Mary:

Matthew 13:53-58 53 ¶ “And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, 54 and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household." 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.”

Joseph never said that he was the father of Jesus; He knew that the true Father was God.

(2.) Opponents also point out a vicious rumor that Jesus was born illegitimately:

John 8:41b-45 “They said to him, "We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father--even God." 42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.”

The greatest proof we have for the virgin birth is the life of Jesus Christ Himself. Because Jesus had an intimate relationship with His heavenly Father, he lived a life on this earth that no mere mortal could have lived. Because Jesus was God’s Son, He was able to heal the lame, give sight to the blind, and raise the dead. Only the God-man, Jesus Christ, could have done those things – miracles that His opponents could not deny. Jesus died a horrible death for His people, and rose from the dead to be our living Savior, Who is coming again. It is only Jesus, the Son of God Who forgives men of their sins.

Those who chose to reject the virgin birth of Jesus also reject Jesus, the Son of God. He is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

Have You Received God's Gift?

Have You Received God’s Gift?
By Creth D. Hopkins

What do you want for Christmas? This question is probably the most asked question there is during any Christmas season. And the answer to such a question is manifold in nature. Gifts asked for range from cars to handbags, shoes to shotguns, perfume to puppies. But I have one question for you: Have you received God’s gift?
In the Biblical account surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ, we have the following heavenly message conveyed to Joseph, the betrothed husband to Mary:

"Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:20-21).

The gift of God is His Son, Jesus. The name Jesus means “Yahweh saves.” When a person receives Jesus as his/her personal Savior, that person is saved. It sounds simple, and it is – but the ramifications of receiving such a heavenly gift are immense. To understand the gift and its ramifications, let’s look at the heavenly declaration closer.
“She will bear a son…” The first thing we must recognize is that Jesus is a heavenly gift. The personhood of Jesus did not originate in the womb of Mary. Jesus was not created in time, rather he became incarnate in time. Incarnate means “in the flesh.” Micah, the prophet, spoke of the eternality of Jesus over 700 years before he was born into this world:

“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2).

Before Jesus took on human form, He existed in eternity. The apostle John quotes Jesus speaking to this point in a conversation with the Jews:

56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad." 57 So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am"(John 8:56-58).

When Jesus was speaking to Pilate about His Kingship and His Kingdom, Jesus said,

"You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice”
(John 18:37).

Only Jesus could have said this: “For this purpose I was born…I have come into this world…”.
(1.) To receive God’s gift, you must believe that Jesus is God come in the flesh.
(2.) To receive God’s gift, you must acknowledge you are a sinner.
The Bible states:

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Will you acknowledge the truth about yourself – you are a sinner in God’s eyes. If you will confess that to God, then the Bible has some great news for you:

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Timothy 1:15).

This is God’s heavenly message to you: To glorify His Father, Jesus came to save sinners:

“…for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21c).
(3.) To receive God’s gift, you must repent (turn away) from your sins, and ask Jesus to save you.

By receiving God’s gift, your sins are forgiven you, you become a child of God, and your final home will be heaven. Jesus said,

“Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37).

Will you receive God’s gift this Christmas?