2 Be Ye Holy
"Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." I Peter 1:16
One of the original Ten Commandments is "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8) Sunday is the Lord's Day. It is our holy day. We have always tried to spend our Sundays in church, worshipping our God. But we shuold not just be holy on Sunday. Leviticus 11:44 begins "For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy..." God has never asked us to be all knowing like Him, or all-powerful like He is, but God has commanded us to be holy, for He is holy. There are many things we cannot be, but God expects us to be holy. We should live every day striving to be holy. Because, if we live holy, all the other dos and don'ts would take care of themselves.
3 Be Kind
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32
Be kind. We try to teach little chldren to be kind to one another. But, I have seen many older folks who need to practice kindness. It seems a though people get really sweet as they grow old, or they get really grumpy. What good does it do to be grumpy? How does it help to hold grudges for years? As the saying goes, "Get over it." Be kind. Don't dwell on the problems of the past. We have enough pressures in the present. We certainly would not want God to bring all of our failures to remembrance. We need to forgive those around us and show kindness. Being tenderhearted is not a weakness. It takes mroe courage to be kind than it does to be a grouch. Be kind.
4 Be Not Deceived
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7
We have looked at a few things that God has told us to be, but there are also things He has told us not to be. The first that comes to my mind is found in this verse. "Be not deceived." There are many in the world today who are deceived. They convince themselves that they can live any way they want and nothing bad will ever happen to them. When someone drinks and drives home without an accident, he or she may think that it is okay to drink and drive and will continue to do so. When people smoke for years and get cancer they look for someone else to blame. God doesn't always judge us immediately. God is merciful. He lets us keep on living the way we want. But, "be not deceived, God is not mocked." People may use God's name in vain and laugh at God now, but there weill come a day when every knee shall bow. When you plant corn, you reap corn. When you sow a sinful life, you will reap the consequences. Don't let God's mercy make you think God isn't watching. Don't be deceived, but be prayerful in all things.
5 Be a Blessing
"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:" Genesis 12:2
God blessed Abraham and He told Abraham that he would be a blessing to others. God has blessed our nation. God has blessed our church. God has blessed our family. God has blessed you and me. He has supplied our needs and many of our wants. He has given us health and knowledge. Most of all, He has given us salvation. God has truly blessed us. We, in turn, need to be a blessing to others. There are some people you enjoy being around. You enjoy their company and conversation. We should try to be like that. We should try to be a blessing for people to be around. Be a blessing. Let God's blessing on you, pass through you on to others.
6 Be Ready
"Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." Luke 12:40
Be ready... Christ is coming. When we know someone special is coming to visit, we clean and make all the preparations necessary to make them feel comfortable and welcome. When we plan a trip we pack up the things we need and leave everything else behind. Well, Christ is coming. And when He comes, He will take us back with Him. We need to clean up our hearts and lives and be ready for His coming. We need to witness to others and invite them to go with us. We need to do God's will and lay up treasures in heaven. We also need to throw out all the unneccesary junk in our lives that we don't want to take to heaven with us. We can lay aside the jealousy, envy, pride, and any other meaness that clutters our hearts and minds and try to be pure and holy. We know Christ is coming. He could come today. Are you ready?
7 Be Careful For Nothing
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Philippians 4:6
This verse is worded a little different than our language today. What it is telling us is, "Don't worry." Don't let the cares of this life get you down. You may be starting new classes in school or college. You may be in a new job. But Paul's advice is, "Don't worry, pray about it." That's not to say that you shouldn't be concerned with your grades and working to do your best. But don't let worry have dominion in your life. Pray about every detail of your life. God wants us to talk to Him. In the book of James (4:2) we read, "Ye have not because ye ask not." He wants us to ask in the spirit of thanksgiving. Be thankful for all He has done for you and is going to do for you. Paul follows this advice to the Philippians... "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7) Only God can give you true peace...peace in your heart, and peace in your mind.
8 Be Renewed In The Spirit
"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;" Ephesians 4:23
Going to church on Sunday always seems to renew the spirit of my mind. The singing and preaching of God's Word feed my soul. Especially after a stressful week at work, or wherever, just being able to sit and absorb what God has for me gives me strength. How can we be renewed? Verse 22 tells us to "put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;" There have been many jokes about the old days when people only took baths on Saturday. They put off the dirt and grime that had caked up on them all week so they could be clean and "go to meeting" on Sunday. We need to put off all the sins that have gathered on us all week. The next verse tells us to "put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Not only are we to put off the old man, but also we are to put on the new man. We cannot do this on our own. We have to be cleansed by the blood of Christ. It is only then that we can become a new creation. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (II Corinthians 5:17)
9 Be Fully Persuaded
"One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Romans 14:5
This chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans is about Christian liberty, mainly about eating meat. Some Christians would not eat meat because they knew it might have been offered to idols. Others had no problem eating meat. Paul's explanation is very thorough in whether these Christians should eat meat, based on Spiritual maturity. This verse seems to say that some worshipped on Sunday and others thought they should worship everyday alike. Paul's answer is not that all should be alike, but that "every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." It is great to worship the Lord with other Christians on Sunday, but when we go out into the world we need to be fully persuaded. We aren't spiritual Christians because the preacher, or Mom, or Dad wants us to be. We have to be fully persuaded in our own mind so that we can live for Christ daily. We've got to "want it more." I believe that those who succeed in many areas of life are the ones who "want it more." They are fully persuaded in their beliefs. Be fully persuaded. Don't let others make your decisions for you.
10 Be Strong In The Lord
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." Ephesians 6:10
We all want to be strong. There are many factors in how strong we can become. We can eat the right foods. We can get enough sleep and rest. We can get the right amount of exercise. And we can lift weights to strengthen our bodies. Then we can try to be strong in our minds. We can go to school and college. We can read and study and be strong mentally. But here we are told to be strong in the Lord. To do that, we must let God talk to us through His Word and we must talk to God through prayer. We can increase our strength in God by fully trusting Him and letting Him lead us in our daily lives. We can fellowship with other Christians and strengthen each other. When we become strong in the Lord, we can go in "the power of His might." Then we can claim Philippians 4:13 as our verse, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
11 Be Of Good Comfort
"Finally, brethren, farewell, Be perfect, be of a good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you." II Corinthians 13:11
There are several things in this verse that we are to be. Paul is giving his conclusion to the Corinthian church. He says, "Be perfect." Now if any of us could be wholly perfect, we wouldn't need any other instruction. But I think he is telling them to have full maturity. Then he says, "be of good comfort." This may be what you need tonight. You may be sick and away from home. There may be very little around you that reminds you of the comforts of home. But God can comfort you. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. I pray that He will heal and give you the comfort you need. Next Paul tells the people to be of one mind and live in peace. It is hard to live in peace with those who disagree with us. But when we can be of one mind, as a church, as a family, as a group, then we can live peaceably. Parents can not always be with you and comfort you in your sickness or troubled times. But Christ has promised never to leave you in His words to us, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:28)
12 Be Patient
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain." James 5:7
Be patient. In our day of instant messaging, instant meals, and nearly instant traveling, we have lost the art of being patient. When you plant gardens you have to wait through days of sunshine and rain to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. We now have packaged food, microwaves, and fast food restaurants so we don't experience the patience that farmers know. Have you ever seen an old farmer in a hurry? They have learned patience. Christ wants us to be patient. We read in Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Wait on the Lord. Let God guide your steps daily. Look for His coming... and be patient.
13 Be Not Weary In Well Doing
"But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing." II Thessalonians 3:13
Sometimes we all get weary, even in well doing. We can grow weary from being too busy, even if the things we are doing are good things. There are many ways we can get tired. We can become mentally tired. Solomon, in all his wisdom, wrote, "And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh." (Ecclesiasted 12:12) I am not telling you not to study. You are in school to learn, but don't get weary in your studies. We can also become physically tired. Make sure you get enough rest. Take time to eat and sleep. When Elijah was depressed under the juniper tree the angel let him eat and sleep. (I Kings 19:5-7) Last of all don't become weary in spirit. Talk to the Lord daily. Pray and read your Bible. Take the Lord with you wherever you go.
14 Be Witnesses
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:8
When Christ appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, He gave them this commission and was then taken up into the cloud. He told them to be witnesses, starting at home, and spreading out to the whole world. Our Pastor challenged us Sunday to ask God to show us who He wanted us to witness to this week. We may not know exactly what to say to others, but God can show us who to speak to and give us the right words to say. The disciples were standing and looking up to heaven after Jesus went up and two men in white apparel said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11) It seems like they were saying, "OK, go on... He told you what to do... now do it because He is coming back." We have a reason to witness for Him. He saved us and is preparing a place in heaven for us. (John 14:1-3) We need to be witnesses for Him so that others can go with us.
15 Be Content
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11
Just riding around, I see large beautiful houses for sale everyday. I keep asking myself why so many people are selling their houses. I think a lot of the time it is because they are not content. Everyone wants something bigger and better. People want the latest in technology, the newest cars, and the biggest diamonds. They are not content. I must admit that I have not reached this place of contentment that Paul had reached. He goes on to say in the next verse, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." Paul was content, in fullness and in need. So we really shouldn't worry if we don't have the latest style clothes or the highest priced shoes. We should be content, because we can claim verse 19 of the same chapter, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riched in glory by Christ Jesus." We shouldn't worry about things we don't have, we should be content with what we do have. God will supply our need, and He gives us many of our wants.
16 Be Doers Of The Word
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." James 1:22
It was the ginning of a autiful ach trip. We gan packing our longings in the car... but where were the car keys? We looked tween the sofa cushions, hind the door and neath the night stand. Where could they ? Suddenly, I rememred to look side the telephone... when ep, ep, ep, went the ll on the alarm clock and I realized it was time to get up out of d and go to work.
How many "be"s are missing in the story above? When we write without "be"s it is jumbled and confusing. It is the same with our lives when we try to live without the "be"s of God's Holy Word. God wants us to be doers of the word. He has told us to be holy... be kind... be ready... be patient... be content... and be witnesses... to name a few. So listen... and be.
17 Be Separate
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord..." II Corinthians 6:17
Why does God want us to be separate? The previous verse states, "for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." We are the temple of God. God lives in us and through us. Think about all the people you come in contact with everyday. Can they see Christ in you? Are you any different than those around you that don't know Him? We should be a light shining for our Lord. We need to witness to the world around us, but most of all, we should live a separated life. Our lives are more of a witness than our words. It's easy to be a Christian at church on Sunday, but we need to live it during the week and live in such a way that the world will see a difference in our lives.
18 Be Not Afraid
"But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid." John 6:20
After Jesus fed the five thousand with five loaves and two small fishes the disciples faced a stormy night at sea. Let's look at reasons in this chapter that might have caused the disciples to be afraid. Verse 15 says that Jesus departed himself alone. He left the disciples, but since the Holy Spirit came we have a promise that He will never leave us. Verse 17 says "it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them." Jesus is the light of the world. Without Jesus the world is in darkness. But we don't have to fear the darkness when Jesus is with us. Verse 18 speaks of the rising sea and great wind. We all have storms in our lives. Storms can make us afraid. But our Lord can calm the storms and winds with His voice. In verse 21 we read, "immediately the ship was at the land whither they went." Jesus may not immediately calm all our storms, but He will carry us through the storms of life. The next time you are afraid remember this simple verse from Psalms 56:3. "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee."
19 Be Faithful
"Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." I Corinthians 4:2
To be a steward or stewardess on a ship or plane, you have to meet certain requirements. Years ago, a friend trying to fill the position was told she had to be a certain height and weight, and have her hair a certain length. I am sure things have changed a bit over the years, but there are probably certain requirements that some may not have. I am glad that we can all meet the requirement to be a steward for God. We can all be faithful. We may not be the greatest singer. We may not be a good teacher. We may not be able to play the piano or another musical instrument. But we can all be faithful in our service to Him. We are all blessed with different talents and we should use our talents for Him. When Christ returns, will you be found faithful? Will the Lord be able to say to you, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant"? (Matthew 25:23)
20 Be Angry And Sin Not
"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:" Ephesians 4:26
Is it ok to be angry? As long as we control our anger and don't sin we can be angry. There are some things that should stir up our righteous indignation. Sin all around us, and the results of sin should make us angry. Psalm 7:11 says, "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day." God is angry. If God judges the righteous, then you can be assured He will judge the wicked. What else does the Bible have to say about anger? Proverbs 14:17 begins, "He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly" and Proverbs 16:32 reads, "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city". So we see that we should be slow to anger and settle our disputes before nightfall. James sums it up pretty well. "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." (James 1:19 & 20) "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath."
21 Be Thankful
"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." Psalm 100:4
I can't believe we are in February. Christmas seems far behind us and Thanksgiving is just a memory. But just because the calendar tells us Thanksgiving has passed, we don't have to let it slip out of our mind and heart. All year long we can "enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise..." God is so good. He is deserving of our praise and worship. "Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name", now and always.
22 Be Filled With The Spirit
"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;" Ephesians 5:18
Drinking is a big temptation. Many young adults start drinking when they begin to be away from parental guidance. Don't let yourself fall into this temptation. Don't be filled with the wrong thing. But this verse has two parts. Just as we are told not to be drunk, we also see that we are to be filled with the Spirit. The next two verses show that being filled with the Spirit brings "singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;" (verse 19) and "Giving thanks always for all things unto God" (verse 20) We can also remember the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22 & 23 -- love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. What are you filled with?
23 Ye Must Be Born Again
"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 3:7
Many things on earth can be relative to a certain situation. I would look big standing beside a small child. But I would look small standing beside a professional football player. Size can be relative. Time can also be relative. Four years may seem like a very long time when you first go away to college. But compared to a lifetime of 70 years, it is not long at all. Jesus told Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again." You may think your life has been too sinful to be saved. No sin is too big for Jesus to forgive. You may think you are too insignificant to matter to God. But no person is too small for Christ to love. Salvation is not relative to certain people, or a certain race, or nationality. These five simple words apply to everyone, "Ye must be born again." And there is no better time than the present to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. II Corinthians 6:2 says in part, "...now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." We have no promise of tomorrow. Make sure you are born again today.
24 Be In Christ, A New Creature
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." II Corinthians 5:17
I have seen this verse on many types of artwork with a butterfly. The caterpillar encloses itself is a chrysalis and is trapped inside for many days. At the appointed time, it emerges as a beautiful butterfly. As a lost soul, one is trapped in a life of sin. When things become so bad that the person turns to Christ, then Christ forgives and saves, and sets the person free. The new Christian emerges as a new person, with new freedom and liberty. Sin can entrap a person with many bad habits, but through the power of Christ, those habits can be broken. The old things are passed away, and you can have a new life.
25 Be Like A Tree Planted By Rivers Of Water
"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalm 1:3
This verse begins with "And", so let's back up and get the complete thought. Verse 1 reads, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." Let us compare this to Lot as we notice the progression.
1. Lot walking-- "Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan and Lot journeyed east..." (Genesis 13:11) 2. Lot standing-- "Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent Sodom." (Genesis 13:12) 3. Lot sitting-- "Lot sat in the gate of Sodom..." (Genesis 19:1)
Genesis 13:13 says, "But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly." If you start out walking in the wrong direction, you may start standing in the way of sinners, and eventually sit in the seat of the scornful. You may become like Lot and lose everything you have. But Psalm 1:2 tells us to meditate on the law of the Lord day and night. Then we can be like a fruitful tree planted by the rivers of water. Out in the desert the trees were a welcome sight that drew men to the rivers of water. We should draw men to the living water, Christ Jesus, as we bring forth fruit. And our roots should run deep in the living water so that our leaves won't wither and whatsoever we do shall prosper.
26 Be Still And Know God
"Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10
How many times were you told as a child to "Be still"? You probably didn't like it, but even as adults we need to take time to "be still". We are surrounded daily with noise that distracts us from hearing what God has to say to us. Telephones, radios, machinery, cars in traffic, planes, and even computers make noise. We all need to find time occasionally to "Be still". Get alone with God and let Him speak to you. Take a quiet walk and notice God's creation around you. Listen to the birds and know that God has promised to feed you just as He feeds the birds. Look at the flowers, even wild flowers that man has not tended, and see how beautifully God has clothed them, knowing that He will supply your needs also. Look out at the starry sky and remember how God promised to cast your sins as far as the east is from the west. Maybe today you can take some quiet time with God and exalt His name.
27 Be A Peacemaker
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9
When you are with a group of children, you can expect some squabbles. The yelling seems to be almost a part of their play. But if you watch them for any length of time, you will probably notice a peacemaker in the group. Some seem to be natural peacemakers. You probably have some friends who are peacemakers. They have a calming effect on those around them. In the Spiritual sense, we should all be peacemakers. The love of God should overflow our lives and onto those around us. Isn't it wonderful when those around us know that we are Christians by our love. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35) Be a peacemaker, and you shall be called a child of God.
28 Be Not Dismayed
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isaiah 41:10
Be not dismayed. Sometimes you may feel like the situation you are in is hopeless. You may feel helpless and alone. You are not alone. God is with you. I know that the youth of today face many problems that their parents never faced growing up. Adults also have battles and problems. It seems as though there are more temptations out there. But every generation has had problems to face. Since Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, every soul has been tempted. Those around you may not understand what you are going through, or be able to help you. But God has promised to give you strength. He has promised to help you. He has even promised to hold you up with His hand of righteousness. When things around you seem helpless and hopeless, reach out in prayer and take hold of God's hand. And don't be dismayed.
29 Be Not Children In Understanding
"Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men." I Corinthians 14:20
Paul is telling the Corinthian believers to "grow up". Just a few verses before he said, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things". (I Corinthians 13:11) Do you know any more about the Lord than you did when you got saved? Have you grown spiritually? Do you read and study your Bible? It is time to put away childish things and understand as a man. Paul tells the church not to be children in understanding,... but be children in malice. When children play they can get mad at each other pretty easily. But they get over it just as easily. An upset chld may yell, "I'm never gonna play with you again", but soon they will be together playing and all the anger will be forgotten. Don't hold grudges toward your Christian brothers and sisters. Forgive and forget, just as a small child. This will give you a good start in growing up.
30 Study To Be Quiet
"And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;" I Thessalonians 4:11
Have you ever met people that talk all the time? They can't seem to ever listen, but just keep talking on and on. Maybe you have been in nervous situations when you started talking and couldn't seem to quit. And the things you were saying were not even that important. Paul reminds us here that sometimes we have to study to be quiet. We are told in Proverbs 17:28 that "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." Sometimes it is wiser to be quiet than to try to appear smart in our words. Study over the situation. See if it would be wiser to keep quiet. Don't fall into the temptation of meddling in another's business. Keep your hands to your work and your mouth to your own business.
31 Don't Be Ashamed
"For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." Romans 10:11
Looking at the two previouse verses, we read, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9 & 10) We believe with our heart, but we are to confess with our mouth. Are you ashamed to tell others you are a Christian? It is easy to go to church on Sunday and let those around us think we are holy. But sometimes it can be hard to witness on Monday morning. As we go to work or school we should not be ashamed to confess our salvation. Don't be ashamed to let others know the Christ is Lord of your life. Say with Paul in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
32 Be Sincere
"And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;" Philippians 1: 9 & 10
Be sincere. Many people will give and receive gifts of flowers and chocolate today in expressions of love. But love is more than a box of chocolate. Love gives day by day in sincerity and truth. Look at I Corinthians 13:1-3, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." We could give the greatest of all gifts, but without love, it is nothing. All the sacrifices we make for others is nothing without love and sincerity. Let those around you see the love of Christ in you and be sincere in your love.
33 Be Not Unequally Yoked
"Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?" II Corinthians 6:14
Following are questions sent by a reader who asked me for scripture references about dating among mixed races. She asked, "...I just always thought, there will not be race in Heaven so why should it matter on Earth. God created everyone, sent Jesus to die for everyone, and He is Lord and God over all...so where does race fit in the picture? I mean..there is not a different God for each race. We are all equal in His eyes? So why is biracial relationships unaccepted?..." This scripture in II Corinthians 6:14 is the most important deciding factor for relationships. We are not to be yoked together with unbelievers. Christians should date other Christians. Racial prejudices are not new with our society. We have examples of prejudice early in the Bible. "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman." (Numbers 12:1) Verse 10 tells us that the Lord became angry and Miriam became leprous, and Moses prayed for her cleansing. In the New Testament Paul told the believers that there was no difference between the Jews and the Gentiles. Galatians 3:26 & 28 tells us, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus... There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Many people think they are better than other people and this causes them to be prejudiced against them for their race, intelligence, personal appearance, or physical handicaps. Jesus died for "whosoever believeth" and offers salvation full and free to all who believe. We cannot take away the prejudices of the world, but we can try to show others that the love of God reaches out to all.
34 Be Not Conformed To This World
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2
At the high school my daughter attends there are different groups of kids who try to conform to each other. You can tell which "clique" a student belongs to by the way he or she dresses and acts. God does not want us to conform to the image of the world, but we are to be conformed to the image of His blessed Son. The first verse tells us to "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service". As Christians, we belong to God. We have been bought with a price. We are to give ourselves to God, and not be conformed to the world. We live in the world, but we should not take on characteristics of the world. Paul tells the Corinthian believers to "come out from among them, and be ye separate". (II Corinthians 6:17) Being a Christian brings about a transformation. We are to be like Christ. Romans 8:29 says that we are "to be conformed to the image of his Son". We must do this so that we can "prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God". There is no greater place, than to be in God's will.
35 Be An Example Of The Believers
"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." I Timothy 4:12
Paul was giving young Timothy advice and encouragement. Maybe some of the Christian believers didn't have confidence in Timothy because of his young age. But Paul told him, "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers..." Some folks in older generations look down on young people. Don't give older Christians a reason to despise you. Be a true example of a believer in your words. Young generations seem to pick up a language of their own. Older adults can't always understand their new sayings and slang terms. Watch your words. Don't let words come out of your mouth that would be a poor reflection on your Christian testimony. The next phrase, in conversation, means your way of living. The places you go and the things you do should never bring a reproach to the name of Christ. Show charity and love to those around you. Show forth the right spirit, faith, and purity in your daily living. Don't let people despise your youth. Be an example of a Christian believer and let God use you.
36 Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out
"But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out." Numbers 32:23
In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were under the Law. God gave them the Ten Commandments and other laws that they were to obey. If they did not obey His law, He said, "Be sure your sins will find you out." We are under grace. But this does not give us liberty to sin. We can be sure that when we sin, our sin will find us out. Don't be blinded by the lie of the devil that you can sin and no one will know. God sees all and knows all. And the old saying, "You sin, you pay" still holds true today. You may not pay now, but you will pay. God can, and will, forgive our sin when we ask Him to, but "be sure your sin will find you out". For example: if you fall into temptation which causes you bodily harm, God can forgive you. But you may carry that scar, whatever it may be, for the rest of your life. Don't yield to temptation. Remember, "your sin will find you out".
37 Be Glad
"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24
God's creation took just six days. He made the earth, sun, moon and stars. He made all the living plants which we use for food, building materials, and even medicines. He made the animals on land, in the sea, and that fly through the air. Then He made man in His own image. "And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." (Genesis 1:31) On the seventh day God rested. But I don't believe He has been sitting idly by all these years. We see His love in the face of each new born baby. We feel His touch in quiet moments alone with Him. We are given each new day as a gift from the Lord. What are you going to do with today? Take time today to "rejoice and be glad". Be thankful for the day God has made for you.
38 Be Not Proud
"Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken." Jeremiah 13:15
We find in the book of Proverbs a list of seven things that are an abomination to the Lord. The very first thing listed is "a proud look". (Proverbs 6:16-19) If we had put them in order, we probably would have put "hands that shed innocent blood" first. We think of a murderer as being much worse than someone who is proud. But when we stop and think about it. Which of the two would most likely be saved when he hears the Word? The one that killed would be more likely to see his wrong and repent than the proud. The ABCs of salvatoin are Admit you are a sinner, Believe in your heart that Christ died for you, and Confess with your mouth. It is hard for a proud person to stoop to either of these conditions. We are also warned in Proverbs "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18) Even as believers, we must not be proud. James was speaking to the church when he said "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble" (James 4:6) and "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." (James 4:10) Don't let pride come between you and serving the Lord.
39 Be Not Troubled
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." Matthew 24:6
We hear of wars and rumors of wars on the evening news everyday. The newspapers and radios are filled with the continuing stories of war. Wars are a certainty. But Jesus said, "see that ye be not troubled". We can read in Proverbs 29:25, "...whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe". The Lord is our Savior. If He loved us so much that He gave His life for us, then don't you think He loves us enough to protect us? That doesn't mean we won't have problems. II Timothy 2:3 tells us, "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ". Yes, there are wars all around us, but God is still in control. And I want to be a good soldier in His army. That is the safest place to be in these troubled times.
40 Be Not Unwise
"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:17
God wants us to be wise in understanding and knowing His will. There have been things in my life that I was sure I was in God's perfect will for my life. But there have been other times that I have questioned which direction I should take. It was in those times that I had to pray and go on faith. God wants us to follow Him and do His will. Psalm 119:105 says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." God's Word can give us light for today. That is the lamp for our feet. God's Word can also give us light for tomorrow. That is the light for our path. Paul tells us in II Corinthians 5:7, "For we walk by faith, not by sight." There are times that we cannot see which way to go. In those times we must not be unwise, but pray and seek God's will and trust Him in faith to lead us. The book of Proverbs can give us help in wisdom and understanding God's will. "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:6)
41 Be Merciful
"Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven." Luke 6:36 & 37
Be merciful. How many times has our Father been merciful to us? He saved us by His mercy. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" (Titus 3:5) Just as He has been merciful to us, we should be merciful to others. I also included the next verse because I think it goes along with this one. If we are truly merciful, we won't judge others. If we are truly merciful, we won't condemn others. And when we are truly merciful, we will forgive others. Each of these virtues will be returned to us when we follow them.
42 Be Obedient
"And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient." Exodus 24:7
The children of Israel started out right. They listened to God's Word and said, "All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient." They had good intentions. We know through the scriptures that thy murmured and complained and didn't follow through on their promise. We also know that it cost many of their lives. We all have rules we have to follow. As you grow older and come out from under the rules of your Mom and Dad, don't stray. You are always under God's rules. We have God's Word, and we also have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us to teach us and guide us. We need to pray, read the Word and be obedient.
43 According As His Work Shall Be
"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:12
For several weeks we have looked at what God's Word tells us we should be and what we should not be. Some of the verses we have read tell us to be holy, be kind, be ready, be content, be thankful, be faithful, and most of all be born again. We also looked at things we are not to be, such as, be not dismayed, be not ashamed, be not proud, and be not troubled. This verse in Revelation is the last time our Lord Jesus used the word "be" in our recorded scriptures. This verse should give us encouragement to be all we can be for Christ. He is coming again soon. He shall give us a reward according as our work shall be. We can end our study of "be's" with the very last verse in our Bible. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." (Revelation 22:21)