HARDENING THE HEART NO. 2

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Previously, we have observed that many of the Jews rejected the message of Christ, and had thereby fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, when he said, “Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed” (John 12:38). This unbelief on the part of the Jews had been in the face of the greatest of evidence, miracles, signs and wonders performed by the Lord himself, confirming his identity as God’s only begotten Son, and confirming his speech as being inspired of God.

But the unbelief and rejection of Christ, and his message, by the Jews, also fulfilled another statement of the prophet Isaiah: “Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him” (John 12:39-41). Continue reading “HARDENING THE HEART NO. 2”

HARDENING THE HEART NO. 1

By

Shelby G. Floyd

During the ministry of Christ, multitudes of people heard him preach the wonderful words of God. A few believed, but most of them believed not. Concerning those people who heard him and believed not, John, the apostle, made the following observations:

“But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him” (John 12: 37-41 NKJV).

We observe first, that in spite of the many miracles which Jesus performed openly before the people, yet they kept on not believing on him. That is, they rejected the miracles which confirmed his word and his identity as the divine son of God. The apostle John only records seven miracles performed by Christ, but these seven were typical of all the miracles which he did perform, which were many, great and varied. Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, cleansed the lepers, gave sight to the blind, and in many other types of healing miracles gave evidence that God was with him. Continue reading “HARDENING THE HEART NO. 1”

“NOT BY FAITH ALONE”

By

Shelby G. Floyd

“The benefits of the gospel come to the person who has faith alone in Christ. The blood of Christ is applied to the sinner upon faith alone in Christ and not at baptism.” –Faith Alone Adherent and Critic

In previous essays we have amply demonstrated that the subject “faith alone” is not a biblical subject and therefore a subject not to be discussed. It has only been discussed so far because certain religious advocates vehemently insist that salvation is predicated on “faith alone!” It has been pointed out that the scriptures teach just the exact opposite. James explicitly states that salvation or justification from sin is “by works” and “not by faith alone.” James teaches the truth: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24 NKJV). Continue reading ““NOT BY FAITH ALONE””

MAKING OUR PLANS–GOD WILLING–G. W.

By

Shelby G. Floyd

When we are making our plans, we must be sure to make those plans by considering the will of God. It is folly to make plans and leave God out of consideration. Too many times we boast about what we plan to do, without ever thinking about the Almighty who created the universe, and is in control of many things that are going on in this world. King Solomon advised, “Boast not yourself of tomorrow; for you know not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1). He also emphatically stated that if we will commit our works unto the Lord then our thoughts will be established by Him (Proverbs 16:3). God is omnipresent and we cannot flee away from his Spirit or from his Presence (Psalms 139:7). Those who have read the story of Jonah know that he tried to make his plans without considering God, and we remember how that turned out. So, when you make your plans, consider that God may have also something to say and do in that regard.

Down through the centuries, the Christians who lived in the Latin speaking world would conclude their plans in writing by the initials D. V., which in Latin translates “God willing.” This doesn’t mean that every time we say or write about something we plan to do that we must say or write “God willing!” But on the other hand, it is a good habit to occasionally say or write “God willing” when we are making our plans to do this and that!

Of course, the Bible is always our best example. And we have many examples where Paul and others quite often qualified what they planned to do in regards to the work of the kingdom, by indicating in their communications, “God willing!” Here are several examples that we should consider and imitate in regards to making our plans both personal and religious:

1. To the Corinthian church Paul said, “I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit” (1 Corinthians 16:7).

2. To the Ephesian church he wrote, “I will return again unto you, if God will” (Acts 18:21).

3. And the writer James wrote to the churches of his day, and taught that instead of bragging and boasting about what we’re going to do, “Instead you ought to say, if the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” (James 4:15).

Let all of us who are children of God admit with James that leaving God out of our planning and boasting about what we plan to do is evil and should be avoided as far as humanly possible!

 

Copyright © 2019 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142
shelby@thefloyds.net

GODLY PARENTS, BLESS YOUR CHILDREN

By

Shelby G. Floyd

All of us remember the special times our parents gave us special praise and encouragement. Children crave their parent’s blessings. In fact we were created to be blessed. After the Almighty created Adam and Eve, the Bible declares, “Then God blessed them…” (Genesis 1:28).

Abraham was promised that one of his descendants would bless all the earth: “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). This referred to Christ who indeed has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Him and the hope of eternal life: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Continue reading “GODLY PARENTS, BLESS YOUR CHILDREN”

COME BEFORE GOD WITH JOYFUL SONGS

By

Shelby G. Floyd

 

One of the Psalms of David helps prepare God’s people to worship him with joy and gladness of heart:

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
Come before him with joyful songs.”
Psalms 100:1-2

This congregation enjoys singing many of the old songs and many of the new songs. We are continually learning some new songs to add to the old songs we have sung for years. This is a good thing for our worship. Continue reading “COME BEFORE GOD WITH JOYFUL SONGS”

THEWISDOM FROM ABOVE

(James 1:5; 3:13-18)
By
Shelby G. Floyd

Credit: Google Images

Previously we have studied about the wisdom that “is not from above.” In James 3:13-18, two different kinds of wisdom were contrasted—the wisdom from above and the wisdom from below. James is fond of asking questions and making contrasts. In James 1: 5 he asked, “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God?” If we need wisdom we are to go to God in prayer and the word of God. That is where it is to be found. Pray and then do everything you can through the means that God has given you to acquire wisdom.

In James 3: 13 he asked, “Is there any among you who has wisdom and understanding, let him show it by his good deeds done in humility and meekness of wisdom?” Continue reading “THEWISDOM FROM ABOVE”