Friday, July 27, 2007
But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it—and I won't take it away from her."
LUKE 10:38-42 NLT
I would like to share a recent blessing that the Lord has reminded me about again. As I was praying at a recent prayer meeting the Lord spoke to me in a wonderful way. It was almost like He gave me a vision in my mind of seeing Him there with us as we lifted our voices to Him. I know in reality he was there "Where two or three are gathered in my name I am there also." But to have a mental picture of Him standing in our midst was so powerful! Another picture that came to my mind was the woman who kissed Jesus' feet: Luke 7:36-50. I envisioned bowing my self down before his feet and worshiping Him pouring out a sacrifice of praise to Him. As I read through the New Testament, I notice that there are many times that when someone comes into His presence they fall at His feet and unashamedly praise Him. (Mat 28:9; Mk 5:33; Mk 7:25; Lk 8:35; Lk 8:41; Lk 17:16; Jn 11:32 Re 19:10) What would you do if He walked into your presence right now? Always remember that if you are a born-again believer, you are in His presence! Worship Him in a way that He is worthy of. It really makes a difference in your walk and in prayer.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
“Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.” Ephesians 6:13
Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies through His eternal Son
Strong in the Lord of hosts, and in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.
Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued,
But take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God;
That, having all things done, and all your conflicts passed,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone and stand entire at last.
Stand then against your foes, in close and firm array;
Legions of wily fiends oppose throughout the evil day;
But meet the sons of night, and mock their vain design,
Armed in the arms of heavenly light, of righteousness divine.
Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue, every grace, and fortify the whole;
Indissolubly joined, to battle all proceed;
But arm yourselves with all the mind that was in Christ, your Head.
But, above all, lay hold on faith’s victorious shield;
Armed with that adamant and gold, be sure to win the field:
If faith surround your heart, Satan shall be subdued,
Repelled his every fiery dart, and quenched with Jesu’s blood.
Jesus hath died for you! What can His love withstand?
Believe, hold fast your shield, and who shall pluck you from His hand?
Believe that Jesus reigns; all power to Him is giv’n:
Believe, till freed from sin’s remains; believe yourselves to Heav’n.
To keep your armor bright, attend with constant care,
Still walking in your Captain’s sight, and watching unto prayer.
Ready for all alarms, steadfastly set your face,
And always exercise your arms, and use your every grace.
Pray without ceasing, pray, your Captain gives the word;
His summons cheerfully obey and call upon the Lord;
To God your every want in instant prayer display,
Pray always; pray and never faint; pray, without ceasing, pray!
In fellowship alone, to God with faith draw near;
Approach His courts, besiege His throne with all the powers of prayer:
Go to His temple, go, nor from His altar move;
Let every house His worship know, and every heart His love.
To God your spirits dart, your souls in words declare,
Or groan, to Him Who reads the heart, the unutterable prayer:
His mercy now implore, and now show forth His praise,
In shouts, or silent awe, adore His miracles of grace.
Pour out your souls to God, and bow them with your knees,
And spread your hearts and hands abroad, and pray for Zion’s peace;
Your guides and brethren bear for ever on your mind;
Extend the arms of mighty prayer, ingrasping all mankind.
From strength to strength go on, wrestle and fight and pray,
Tread all the powers of darkness down and win the well fought day.
Still let the Spirit cry in all His soldiers, “Come!”
Till Christ the Lord descends from high and takes the conquerors home.
Words: Charles Wesley, in Character of a Methodist, by John Wesley, circa 1741. The phrase “adamant and gold” echoes Paradise Lost by John Milton: “Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanced, Came towering, armed in adamant and gold.” Wesley seems to be saying that we turn Satan’s equipment against him.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The Commandments of Christ
The following is a list of commands which form the basis of our life in Christ. Most were spoken directly by Christ; many were added for clarity by the writers of the epistles.
- Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you (Matt. 5:44).
- Resist not evil: if a man smite thee on one cheek, turn to him the other also (Matt. 5:30-40).
- Avenge not yourselves: rather give place unto wrath: and suffer yourselves to be defrauded (Rom. 12:18, 19).
- If a man take away thy goods, ask them not again (Luke 6:29, 30).
- Agree with your adversary quickly, submitting even to wrong for the sake of peace (Matt. 5:25; 1 Cor. 6:7).
- Labor not to be rich: be ready to every good work, give to those who ask; relieve the afflicted (1 Tim. 6:8; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:16; James 1:27).
- Do not your alms before men: Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth (Matt. 6:1-4).
- Recompense to no man evil for evil: overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:17).
- Bless them that curse you; let no cursing come out of your mouth (Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:14).
- Render not evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing (1 Pet. 3:9).
- Pray for them that despitefully use you and afflict you (Matt. 5:44).
- Grudge not: judge not: complain not: condemn not (James 5:9; Matt. 7:1).
- Put away anger, wrath, bitterness, and all evil speaking (Eph. 4:31; 1 Pet. 2:1).
- Confess your faults one to another (James 5:16).
- Be not conformed to this world: love not the world (Rom. 12:2; 1 John 2:15).
- Deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts. If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off (Titus 2:13; Matt. 5:30).
- Servants, be faithful, even to bad masters (Eph. 6:5-8).
- Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate (Rom. 12:16).
- Owe no man anything (Rom. 13:7,8).
- In case of sin (known or heard of) speak not of it to others, but tell the offending brother of the matter between thee and him alone, with a view to recovery (Matt. 18:15; Gal. 6:1).
- Love the Lord thy God with all they heart (Matt. 22:37).
- Pray always; pray with brevity and simplicity; pray secretly (Luke 18:1; Matt. 6:7).
- In everything give thanks to God and recognize Him in all your ways (Eph. 5:20; Prov. 3:6).
- As you would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matt. 7:12).
- Take Christ for an example and follow in his steps (1 Pet. 2:21).
- Let Christ dwell in your heart by faith (Eph. 3:17).
- Esteem Christ more highly than all earthly things; yea, than your own life (Luke 14:26).
- Confess Christ freely before men (Luke 12:8).
- Beware lest the cares of life or the allurements of pleasure weaken his hold on your heart (Matt. 24:44).
- Love thy neighbor as thyself (Matt. 22:39).
- Exercise lordship over no one (Matt. 23:11).
- Seek not your own welfare only, nor bear your own burdens merely, but have regard to those of others (Phil. 2:4; Gal. 6:2).
- Let your light shine before men: hold forth the word of life. Do good to all men as ye have opportunity (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:16; Gal. 6:10).
- Be blameless and harmless, as the sons of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Phil. 2:15).
- Be gentile, meek, kind-hearted, compassionate, merciful, forgiving (2 Tim. 2:24; Titus 2:2; Eph. 4:32).
- Be sober, grave, sincere, temperate (Phil. 4:5; 1 Pet. 1:13; 5:8).
- Speak the truth every man with his neighbor: put away all lying (Eph. 4:25).
- Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto men (Col. 3:23).
- Be watchful, vigilant, brave, joyful, courteous, and strong (1 Cor. 16:13; Phil. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:6-10).
- Be clothed with humility; be patient toward all (Col. 3:12; Rom. 12:12).
- Follow peace with all men (Heb. 12:14).
- Sympathize in the joys and sorrows of others (Rom. 12:15).
- Follow after whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseful (Phil. 4:8).
- Refrain utterly from adultery, fornication, uncleanness, drunkenness, covetousness, wrath, strife, sedition, hatred, emulation, boasting, vainglory, envy, jesting, and foolish talking (Eph. 5:3,4).
- Whatever you do, consider the effect of your action on the honor of God's name among men. Do all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31; 3:17).
- Reckon yourselves dead to all manner of sin. Henceforth live not to yourselves, but to him who died for you, and rose again (Rom. 6-11; 2 Cor. 5:15).
- Be zealous of good works, always abounding in the work of the Lord, wearying not in well doing (Titus 2:14; Gal. 6:9).
- Speak evil of no man (Titus 3:2).
- Let the word of Christ swell in you richly (Col. 3:16).
- Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt (Col. 3:8; 4:6).
- Obey rules; submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake (Titus 3:1).
- Be holy in all manner of conversation (1 Pet. 1:15, 16).
- Give no occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully (1 Tim. 5:14).
I. CONCERNING GOD
1. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy strength, and all thy mind. (Matt. 22:37)
2. Fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell. (Matt. 10:28)
3. Glory in the Lord; not in man. (1 Cor. 3:21; 2 Cor. 10:17).
4. Be imitators of God; be like Him in His kindness to the undeserving. (Matt. 5:45-48; Eph. 5:1).
5. Pray to God always and faint not. (Luke 18:1; Matt. 7:7; 26:41; Eph. 6:18; Phil. 4:6, Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:8; Heb. 4:16); pray with brevity and simplicity (Matt. 6:7); pray secretly (Matt. 6:6).
6. Have faith in God; cast your care upon Him: He knows your need and will provide. (Mark 11:22; Matt. 6:25; Phil. 4:6, 1 Peter 5:7).
7. Give yourselves to His service without reserve, recognizing that you cannot serve God and Mammon (Matt. 6:24; Rom. 12:1).
8. In everything give thanks to Him for this is His will and pleasure concerning you. (Eph. 5:20 ; Col. 3:15, 17; 1 Thess. 5:18; Heb. 13:15).
9. Recognize Him in all your ways, saying concerning your purposes "if the Lord will." (Jas. 4:15; Prov. 3:6).
10. Come out from the world and be separate unto Him, as His sons and daughters. (2 Cor. 6:14-17).
II. CONCERNING CHRIST
11. Let Christ dwell in your heart by faith. (Eph 3:17).
12. Give him a higher place than father, mother, husband, wife, children, relations, houses, and lands. (Luke 14 26; Matt 10:37).
13. Set your affections upon him, and not upon the present world at all. (Col. 3:1-4; 1 John 2 : 15).
14. Take him for an example and follow in his steps. (1 Pet. 2:21-23; John 13:15).
15. Abide in him: do not let him slip from your memory and affections. (John 15 :7; Heb. 2:1).
16. Call him to remembrance every first day of the week in the breaking of bread, as he has appointed. (Matt. 26:26-27; 1 Cor. 11:24-26; Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2).
17. Be not ashamed to confess him before men, (Luke 12:8; Mark 8:38; 2 Tim. 1:8), at the same time taking care to expose not your holy things to the profane. (Matt. 7:6).
18. Aim to be in a state of continual readiness for his coming. With this in view, be on your guard against the engrossments of business, the cares of life, and the allurements of pleasure. (Matt. 24:14; Luke 12:35-37; 14:26; 2 Pet. 3:14).
19. Endure to the end, submitting to hardship if the necessary consequence. (Matt. 24:13; 2 Tim. 2:3).
20. Hold fast your confidence and rejoicing in him till you die or he come. (Rev 2:10-25; Heb. 3:14).
III. CONCERNING BRETHREN AND SISTERS
21. Love one another with a pure heart fervently. (John 13:34; Rom. 12:10; Eph. 5:2; Col. 3:14; 1 Thess. 4:9; Heb. 13:1; 1 Pet. 1; 22; 1 Pet. 4:8; 1 John 3:14-19).
22. Brethren not to exercise lordship over one another; the greatest to be as the youngest; he that is chief as he that doth serve; Christ's example the illustration of what is meant. (Matt. 23:11; Luke 22:26-27; John 13:13-17).
23. Not to be angry without righteous cause; and to take care lest anger even in that case lead to sin. (Matt. 5:22; Eph. 4:26; Col. 3:8).
24. In case of breach, to seek reconciliation and exercise forgiveness to the utmost extent. (Matt. 5:24; 18:35; Col. 3:13).
25. In case of sin (known or heard of) speak not of it to others, but tell the offending brother of the matter between thee and him alone, with a view to recovery. (Matt. 18:15; Gal. 6:1; Jas. 5:19-20).
26. Grudge not: Judge not: condemn not one another. (Matt. 7:1; Rom. 14:13; 1 Cor. 4:5; Jas. 4:11).
27. Shut not your ear to the needy: relieve the afflicted. (Acts 20:35; Rom. 12:13; Jas. 2:16; Gal. 6:10; 1 John 3:17).
28. To seek not your own welfare only, nor bear your own burdens merely, but have regard to those of others. (Phil. 2:4; 1 Cor. 10:24; Gal. 6:2).
29. Be of one mind, and follow the things that make for peace. (1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11; 1 Pet. 3:8; Rom. 14:19).
30. Confess your faults one to another. (Jas. 5:16).
IV. CONCERNING THE STRANGER
31. Let your light shine before men. (Matt. 5:16; 10:32-33). Hold forth the Word of Life. (Phil. 2:16). Say to the perishing, Come. (Rev. 22:17).
32. Agree with your adversary quickly, submitting even to wrong for the sake of peace. (Matt. 5:25; 1 Cor. 6:7; Rom. 12:18-19).
33. Do good to all men as opportunity may allow. The Samaritan succoured a stranger in distress: "Go thou and do likewise." If even thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink. (Gal. 6:10; Luke 6:27-28; 10:37; Rom. 12:20; Matt. 5:44).
34. Pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. (Matt. 5:44).
35. Recompense to no man evil for evil. (Rom. 12:17; 1 Thess. 5:15); render not evil for evil or railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing. (1 Pet. 3:9); bless, and curse not. (Rom. 12:14).
36. Resist not evil; compel not the restitution of stolen goods: avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath. (Matt. 5:39-40; Luke 6:29-30; Rom. 12:19).
37. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom. 12:21).
38. As ye would that men should do unto you, do ye also so to them. (Matt. 7:12; Luke 6:31).
39. Walk not as other Gentiles walk- (Eph 4:17): have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness- (Eph. 5:7-11): be not conformed to this world- (Rom. 12:2): come out from among them and be ye separate. (2 Cor. 6:17).
40. Walk honestly toward them that are without; give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully; be blameless and harmless, as the sons of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. (1 Thess. 4:12; 1 Tim. 5:14; Phil. 2:15).
V. CONCERNING YOUR OWN CHARACTER
41. Be ye holy in all manner of conversation (1 Pet. 1:15-16): without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14).
42. Be wise as serpents, harmless as doves- (Matt. 10:16; Phil. 2:15): not fools- (Eph. 5:15-17): gentle, meek, kindhearted, compassionate, merciful, forgiving- (2 Tim. 2:24; Tit. 2:2; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12; Matt. 18:35).
43. Old and young to be sober, grave, sincere and temperate. (Phil. 4:5; Tit. 2:2,7; 1 Pet. 1:13; 5:8).
44. To be hearty in everything. "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto men." (Rom. 12:1-2; Col. 3:23).
45. To be watchful, vigilant, brave, joyful, courteous, and manly. (1 Cor. 16:13; Phil. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:6,8,10; 2 Pet. 1:5-7).
46. Be sympathetic with others both in their sorrows and in their joys. (Rom. 12:5).
47. All of you be clothed with humility, not proud, minding not high things, but condescending to men of low estate. (Luke 14:11-13; Rom. 11:20; 12:3-16; Phil. 2:3; Col. 3:12; 1 Pet. 5:5-6).
48. Be patient towards all, especially the weak and erring. (Rom. 12:10; 14:1; 15:1; 1 Thess. 5:14); put away anger, wrath, bitterness, and all evil speaking. (Eph. 4:31; 1 Pet. 2:1).
49. Follow after whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseful. (Phil. 4:8); abhor evil, and abstain from its appearance. (Rom. 12:9; 1 Thess. 5:22).
50. Things not to be named, still less practised, among saints: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, drunkenness, covetousness, wrath, strife, sedition, hatred, emulation, boasting, vain glory, envy, jesting, foolish talking. (Eph. 5:3-4; Gal. 5:19-21).
VI. CONCERNING YOUR ACTIONS
51. Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:3; Col. 3:17).
52. Live no longer the rest of your time in the indulgence of the lusts of the flesh, but in doing the will of God. (1 Pet. 4:2): reckon yourselves dead to sin but alive to righteousness (Rom. 6:11) doing the will of God from the heart (Eph. 6:6) henceforth live not unto yourselves, but unto him who died for you and rose again. (2 Cor. 5:15).
53. Be zealous of good works, always abounding in the work of the Lord, wearying not in welldoing. (Tit. 2:14; 1 Cor. 15:58; 1 Thess. 4:1; Heb. 6:11; Gal. 6:9; 2 Thess. 3:13).
54. Beware of false teachers. (Matt. 7:15; Phil. 3:2; 1 John 4:1).
55. Beware of covetousness; lay not up treasure upon earth: be ready to every good work. (Luke 12:15; Matt. 6:19; Titus 3:1; Heb. 13:5).
56. Give to him that asketh, and to him that is in need, visiting the fatherless and the widow in their afflictions; and give liberally and cheerfully, remembering that the Lord loveth a cheerful giver, and is well pleased with such sacrifices. (Matt. 5:42; Rom. 12:13; 2 Cor. 9:6-8; Heb. 13:16; Jas. 1:27).
57. Do not your alms before men, to be seen of them; let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. (Matt. 6:1-4).
58. Labour not to be rich: having food and raiment, be content. (1 Tim. 6:8; John 6:27; Matt. 6:19).
59. Riches are dangerous if they come to your hand, turn them into safeguards and friends by using them liberally in the Lord's service, whose stewards we are. (1 Tim. 6:10,17-19; Luke 12:18-21; 16:9-13; 1 Pet. 4:10).
60. Walk in the spirit: walk worthily; put off the old man of the flesh: put on the new man renewed in knowledge after the divine image. (Gal. 5:16-26; Eph. 4:24; 5:8-19; Col. 3:9).
61. Cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. Your bodies are members of Christ, and God's temple; if any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy. (2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Thess. 4:3; 1 Cor. 3:16- 17; 6:15-20).
62. Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14; Rom. 12:18; 14:19; 2 Cor. 13:11; Eph. 4:3).
63. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification, even as I (Paul) please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many that they might be saved. (Rom. 15:2; 1 Cor. 10:33).
64. Do all things without murmuring and disputing. (Phil. 2:14).
65. Speak evil of no man; be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness to all men. (Tit. 3:2).
66. Be swift to hear; slow to speak; slow to wrath. (Jas. 1:19).
67. Depart from all iniquity: let none of you suffer as an evil doer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. (2 Tim. 2:19; 1 Pet. 4:15).
68. If any man suffer according to the will of God, let him commit the keeping of his soul to Him in well-doing, not rendering evil for evil, but rejoicing that he is a partaker of Christ's sufferings. (1 Pet. 4:19; 1 Thess. 5:15; 1 Pet. 4:13).
69. Drive away youthful lusts, but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22).
70. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, desire it with the ardour of a new-born babe for its mother's milk; meditate on these things; give thyself wholly to them. (Col. 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:2; 1 Tim. 4:15).
71. Pay your debts: owe no man anything, but to love one another. (Rom. 13:7-8).
72. Be subject to rulers: obey magistrates: submit to every law and ordinance of man, except where they come into conflict with the law of Christ. (Tit. 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13-17; Rom. 13:6; Acts 4:19).
VII. CONCERNING YOUR THOUGHTS AND SPEECH
73. The harbouring of unlawful desire is divinely reckoned as guilty action. It is forbidden. (Matt. 5:27-28).
74. Mortify, therefore, or hold in subjection, your members which are upon earth. (Col. 3:5; Gal. 5:24; 1 Cor. 9:27).
75. Remove all causes of spiritual stumbling, or hindrance from your path, even at the risk of pain and loss. (Matt. 5:29; Heb. 12:1).
76. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt; let no filthy communication proceed out of your mouth, but sound speech, with gravity, and sincerity and simplicity. (Matt. 5:37; Eph. 4:29; Col. 3:8; 4:6; Titus 2:7-8).
77. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God. (1 Pet. 4:11).
78. Speak every man truth with his neighbour; lie not one to another. (Eph. 4:25; Col. 3:9).
79. Swear not at all: let your communication be yea, yea, and nay, nay. (Matt. 5:34; Jas. 5:12).
80. Out of the same mouth ought not to proceed blessing and cursing. (Jas. 3:10).
VIII. CONCERNING MATRIMONIAL RELATIONS
81. At liberty to marry whom you will, only in the Lord. (1 Cor. 7:39).
82. Husbands and wives not to separate and re-marry (Matt. 19:6-9; 1 Cor. 7:10) which will exclude from the Kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9).
83. A husband or wife becoming a believer without the other, not to leave the other, if he or she consent to a peaceable life. (1 Cor. 7: 12-15).
84. Husbands to love, honour, and cherish their wives. (Eph. 5:25; Col. 3:19; 1 Pet. 3:7).
85. Wives to love, submit to, and obey their husbands as the head. (Eph. 5:23-24; Col. 3:18; 1 Pet. 3:1).
IX. CONCERNING PARENTS AND CHILDREN
86. Parents to bring up their children in the enlightenment of the truth, and to have them in subjection with all gravity. (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21; 1 Tim. 3:3-4).
87. Children to obey their parents in all things. (Eph. 6:1; Col. 3:20).
X. CONCERNING MASTERS AND SERVANTS
88. Masters to be kind, just and considerate. (Eph. 6:9; Col. 4:1).
89. Servants to be obedient in all things to their masters, not with eye service as menpleasers, but with all faithfulness as unto Christ, even if the master happen to be a bad one. (Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22; 1 Tim. 6:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:18). But servants are at liberty to leave. (1 Cor. 7:21).
90. If the master be a brother, the servant (also a brother or sister), instead of rendering a slacker service on that account, is to show a greater measure of obedience. (1 Tim. 6:2).
XI. CONCERNING DISOBEDIENT BRETHREN
9I. If any man obey not the apostolic commands, the brethren to have no company with him. (2 Thess. 3:14).
92. To avoid those causing divisions. (Rom.16:17).
93. To withdraw from everyone walking disorderly, or not in accordance with apostolic precept. (2 Thess. 3:6).
94. To put away wicked persons. (1 Cor. 5:11).
95. To reject or receive not into fellowship those who consent not to the doctrine or the commandments of the Lord Jesus. (2 John 8-10; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; Titus 3:10).
96. If any will not work, he is not to be relieved. (2 Thess. 3:10; 1 Tim. 5:8).
XIII. CONCERNING THE ASSEMBLIES OF THE BRETHREN
97. All things to be done decently, and in order. (1 Cor. 14:40).
98. All things to be done in love, and in mutual submission. (1 Cor. 16:14; 1 Pet. 5:5).
99. Sisters to keep silence (1 Tim. 2:11-12), and to dress modestly and in sobriety. (1 Tim. 2:9; 1 Pet. 3:3-4).
100. The brethren at liberty on all questions of eating and drinking, and the observance of feasts, sabbaths, and holy days (Col. 2:16; 1 Cor. 10:25; Rom. 14:5-7), except that they are not at liberty to do anything inconsistent with holiness, or the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; Heb. 12:14).
The teaching of Christ is more excellent than all the advice of the saints, and he who has His spirit will find in it a hidden manna. Now, there are many who hear the Gospel often but care little for it because they have not the spirit of Christ. Yet whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.
This is the greatest wisdom—to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. It is vanity, therefore, to seek and trust in riches that perish. It is vanity also to court honor and to be puffed up with pride. It is vanity to follow the lusts of the body and to desire things for which severe punishment later must come. It is vanity to wish for long life and to care little about a well-spent life. It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come. It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides.
Excerpt from the first chapter of "The Imitation Of Christ" By Thomas à Kempis