Mark 16:15

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature"

Abounding

There are a number of Greek words in the New Testament that are translated into English by the word “abound.” Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible gives their meaning as “to be, become, make more, to be multiplied, or to be over and above.” The New Oxford American Dictionary defines the word to mean “very plentiful, abundant.”
Solomon said, “A faithful man shall abound with blessings” (Prov. 28:20a). This reminds me of what David said: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation” (Psalm 68:19). In the New Testament, we are told that God's saints are blessed with “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3). Do you enjoy this abundance of blessing or benefits from the Lord? Let's look at some of the things we as Christians are to “abound” in.
Paul told the Romans, “Now the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 15:13). Thus, our hope is “to become multiplied”; it is to be “over and above.” This is the “one hope” of Ephesians 4:5; it is the hope that serves as an “anchor for the soul, both sure and stedfast” (Heb. 6:19). Do you abound in hope?
To the “saints in Christ Jesus” at Philippi, Paul prayed, “that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment” (Phil. 1:1, 9). If our love is “over and above,” then we will “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” We will also “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matt. 22:37-39). Love that abounds will be love that is not “love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (I John 3:18). In fact, this abundant love will both cause us to “Love the brotherhood” and “Love your enemies” (I Peter 2:17; Matt. 5:44). Again, in I Thessalonians 3:12 Paul writes, “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men.” Do you abound in love?
The Christian characteristics, sometimes called “Christian graces,” are listed by Peter in II Peter 1:5-7. After listing these and showing that we are to “add” or “supply” these things in our lives as Christians, he then states, “For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Peter 1:8). It is not enough to just have “enough to get by” of virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity; we are to “abound” in them. We are to have them in our lives “over and above.” An abundance of these traits will make the requirements of the Christian life much easier to obey. “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (II Pet. 2:9). Peter urges us to “give diligence to make your calling and election sure” (II Pet. 1:10). Do you abound in these Christian traits?
It seems clear from just a brief survey of this word's usage in the Bible, that Christians are never to be satisfied with the “status quo.” We should never try to “just get by.” This seems to indicate that one can never have “enough” of these things so that we can just rest or cease working to improve. Let each of us determine and dedicate ourselves to “abounding” in everything and never be satisfied until we do all that we can for the Lord. May God bless each of you as you strive toward this goal in 2020!

Awesome

The word “awesome” is probably one of the most misused words in the English language today. We hear the word used in connection to everything from a piece of apple pie or the family pet, to immoral performers and worldly activity. The word does not appear in the King James Version of the Bible, but the ESV translates Exodus 15:11, “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? Truly our God is an awesome God.”
He was awesome in creation. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). His awesome power is seen in Gen. 1:3: “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Don’t forget His creation of man: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). Now that’s awesome!
His being awesome is seen in His love for mankind: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
He is awesome because of His grace. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12).
His timetable for redeeming man is awesome. “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Gal. 4:3-5).
He is shown to be awesome in providing us His word through inspiration (God breathed) of the Holy Scriptures. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Tim. 3:16-17).
He is awesome in His longsuffering. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Pet. 3:9).
We have not even touched “the hem of His garment” in this short article. Our God truly is an awesome God! Have you obeyed His Gospel?

Paul M. Wilmoth

The Seven Things that are an Abomination to the Lord

We have spent the last six weeks looking at Proverbs 6:16-19. Here is Young’s Literal Translation of these verses: “These six hath Jehovah hated, Yea, seven [are] abominations to His soul. Eyes high—tongues false—And hands shedding innocent blood—A heart devising thoughts of vanity—Feet hasting to run to evil—A false witness [who] doth breathe out lies—And one sending forth contentions between brethren” (Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible).
As a review, I want to share with you what another commentator has written on these verses.
“Here again we encounter a popular memory verse. Both Harris and Delitzsch consider these seven sins as climactic, the seventh, "sowing discord among brethren" being considered as the most serious of the seven. It appears to this writer, as Driver expressed it that, "All these things belong together,” giving a number of characteristics of the same person, a person revealed here as totally evil. Note that his eyes have a proud look; his tongue tells lies; his hands murder the innocent; his heart is full of wicked purposes; his feet run quickly on evil errands—all of these are parts of one man! The last two abominable things are the composite product of all this, namely, that person who by lying speeches sows discord among brethren. In that sense, of course, we may view these as presenting a climax in the seventh. However, "It is the heart that underlies the seven vices which are an abomination to God; and it occupies the central position here,” because it is the fountain from which all evil flows” (James Burton Coffman,
Commentary on Proverbs).
Another significant thing here is the fact that this passage reflects an acquaintance with the Old Testament, especially the Pentateuch. The Law of Moses gave specific prohibitions against all of the things mentioned here.
It has also been noted that there is an amazing resemblance in the thought of these verses as compared with the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. This can especially be noted in the first and last of the two lists. “The Lord hates a proud look” is spoken in the positive sense in the Beatitudes when Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” And “He that soweth discord among brethren” is the exact opposite of “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
I would suggest that we read and study this list given by Solomon often and that we put forth a dedicated effort to delete these things from our lives. When you read and analyze these seven abominable things, it is easy to see why they are labeled as such. No one enjoys being around a proud person who looks down on others; no one likes a liar, or hands shedding innocent blood. Who wants to be with those who have hearts that devise wicked imaginations, or who are always going in haste to do mischief? I know of no one who loves a troublemaker in—or out—of the church.

Paul M. Wilmoth

He That Soweth Discord Among Brethren

We now come to the last of the seven things that Solomon listed as being “an abomination unto Him” (God) in Proverbs 6:16-19. That is, “He that soweth discord among brethren.”
The word “abomination” was “frequently used to express the idea of something loathed, especially religiously” (
Vine’s Expository Dictionary). In discussing this word’s use, Vine also added, “It was looked upon with intense hatred.” (These things doth the Lord hate); “it denotes a detestable deed.” Among the definitions given by Robert Young, we find “detestable thing” (Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible). The New Oxford American Dictionary defines the word to mean, “a thing that causes disgust or hatred.” From these definitions it is not difficult to understand how disgusting and detestable it is in God’s sight for someone to sow discord in the church. The word “discord” here means, “strife, contention” (Young’s). It is also defined as “lack of agreement or harmony” (New Oxford American Dictionary).
The book of I Corinthians was written to clear up a number of problems in the church at Corinth. The first one that Paul takes on in chapter one is the sin of division within the body of Christ (I Cor. 1:10ff). It appears to this writer that most all of the rest of the problems at Corinth came as a result of this division.
On the opposite side of causing discord the psalmist wrote, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). No one enjoys being a part of division; no one likes a troublemaker. One who disturbs the peace of the Lord’s family is a detestable person in the sight of God. Jesus stated, “And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:24-25). Paul told the Corinthians their division was a sign of them still being carnal (I Cor. 3:3). Those who cause divisions and offenses in the church “serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly” (Rom. 16:17-18). The sowing of discord causes envy and strife, and James warns, “Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16). Is it any wonder that sowing discord among brethren is hated and detested by the Lord?
Instead of discord, envy and strife, we need unity. Jesus prayed for it just before the cross (John 17:20-23); Paul pled for it (I Cor. 1:10). Unity is pleasant (Psalm 133:1). It causes men to believe (John 17:20-23). If we expect to see the Lord, we
must follow peace (Heb. 12:14). Jesus pronounced a blessing on the peacemaker in His Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:9).
Brethren, let each one of us determine to promote peace and harmony among brethren and never be guilty of “sowing discord among brethren.”

Paul M. Wilmoth

Feet That Be Swift to Running to Mischief/A False Witness That Speaks Lies

These are the fifth and sixth things that Solomon lists among the seven things that are an abomination to the Lord (Prov. 6:16-19). Of the phrase “feet that be swift in running to mischief, Matthew Henry observed, “Vigor and diligence in the prosecution of sin—feet that are swift in running to mischief, as if they were afraid of losing time or were impatient of delay in a thing they are so greedy of. The policy and vigilance, the eagerness and industry, of sinners, in their sinful pursuits, may shame us who go about that which is good so awkwardly and so coldly. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Proverbs).
Samuel said of God, “He will keep the feet of his saints” (I Sam. 2:9). God will order and direct all their goings, and keep them from every evil way. The psalmist wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). When one allows his steps to be directed at all times by God’s word, he will never have the feet described by Solomon that the Lord hates. And when he allows his feet to be directed by God he can boldly say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:3).
Solomon warned of sinners who would entice you (Prov. 1:10), and among other things he spoke of their feet. “My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood” (Prov. 1:15-16). It is obvious from the Scriptures that our feet can be “swift to running to mischief,” resulting in sin, or they can be used to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (I John 1:7). The psalmist prayed, “For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?” (Psalm 56:13). It is also clear that man’s choice is involved in deciding which way his feet will walk. Again, the psalmist tells us, “I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word” (Psalm 119:101). Let each of us guard our feet and train them to follow God’s “lamp, and light to our path.”
The sixth one, “a false witness that speaks lies” is related to “a lying tongue.” (See previous bulletin article on this.) However, “a false witness that speaks lies” identifies one who, even on his oath before a court of justice, tells anything but the truth. One of the most disgusting and detestable things a man can do, in my judgment, is refuse to speak truth. When a man can look you in the eye, and speak a lie, even when the truth would be easier, it speaks volumes about his character. When you add to that the idea of not only speaking lies but doing so under oath, it intensifies the guilt.
Every child of God is charged, “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another” (Eph. 4:25).

Paul M. Wilmoth