Regular Christians (Part 11): Diotrephes

Regular Christians

Diotrephes was one who fell away because he wanted to have the preeminence. The only time we read about him in the New Testament is when John warned about him in his third epistle.

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them [have the preeminence, KJV], does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church” (3 John 9-10).

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Things Which the Lord Hates

Proverbs

The book of Proverbs contains wisdom to guide us through life. In it we are shown the way that is right and warned about the way that is wrong. In the following passage, the wise man warned about things which the Lord hates.

There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Hate is a strong word, yet that is the word given by inspiration. Therefore, we should not gloss over the items on this list; instead, we should be sure we understand what these things are and heed this warning.Continue Reading

Consider Your Calling

Man thinking

In Paul’s first epistle to Corinth, he spoke of the gospel – “the word of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18). Though many had rejected it, these Christians had accepted it. However, they needed to remain faithful to the Lord. In order to encourage them to do this, Paul admonished them, “Consider your calling” (1 Corinthians 1:26). We must do the same if we hope to please the Lord and be saved in the end.Continue Reading

Do Not Be Like Ephraim

Donkey

The prophet Hosea warned the people of Israel (Ephraim) about God’s judgment that was coming against them because of their sin. In the passages we will discuss in this article, he compared the people to different things – the dew, a dove, and a donkey.

These things have been “written for our instruction” (Romans 15:4; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). The warning for us is this: Do not be like Ephraim!
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To Acquire Wisdom, We Must Be Humble

Notes on Proverbs

Humility is necessary in order to acquire wisdom. “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom” (11:2). As wisdom comes from instruction and understanding, we must be humble enough to admit our own lack of wisdom and the need to pursue it. Without humility, we will not believe we need wisdom and will, therefore, ignore it.
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Those Who Trusted in Themselves (10/30)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Luke 17:11-18:14.

Jesus told a parable of two men – a Pharisee and a tax collector – in order to teach a lesson about attitudes and how one perceived himself before God.

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: “God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.” But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted’” (Luke 18:9-14).

The Pharisee would have been recognized by others as being righteous. The tax collector acknowledged that he was a sinner. Yet he was justified, and the Pharisee was not. Why? Notice the two problems with the Pharisee:
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"You Are a Man and Not God" (9/5)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Ezekiel 28-31.

In the following passage, Ezekiel prophesied against the arrogance of the king of Tyre:

Son of man, say to the leader of Tyre, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Because your heart is lifted up and you have said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods in the heart of the seas’; yet you are a man and not God, although you make your heart like the heart of God” (Ezekiel 28:2).

The verses that follow describe the great wisdom and riches that the king of Tyre had obtained for himself (Ezekiel 28:3-5). What often happens when one obtains such wealth and wisdom is that he becomes arrogant and rebels against God. This is what happened with the king of Tyre. His “heart [was] lifted up” (Ezekiel 28:5); and he tried to make himself out to be equal with God (Ezekiel 28:2, 6). God described His attitude toward those who seek to portray themselves as being gods in the minds of the people.
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