Ask Your Preacher
God bless you, brethren. First off, I would like to thank you for allowing yourselves to be used by the Lord. Your insights and biblical knowledge are encouraging, helpful, and refreshing. My question today is the following:
How should we, biblically, spend our time each day? I know in one verse, we are told to "pray without ceasing". What I understand from that is we should be praying all the time. What else does the Bible say we should do throughout the day?
Dear Day Planner,
There is no way we can cover all the things that we should do in our lives in one short AYP answer… after all, the answer to that question is an entire lifetime full of sermons. However, here are some generic things that we are told to constantly do.
- Show gratitude to God. We are told to always pray with gratitude (Php 4:6), and since we are told to pray all the time, that means we should always seek to count our blessings and be thankful for the life we have. Rejoicing is a characteristic of a godly life (1 Thess 5:16).
- We are told to forgive others (Matt 6:12) and to never render evil for evil (1 Thess 5:15). We should seek to do good and overcome evil with goodness (Rom 12:21). By forgiving our debtors and leaving vengeance to God, we live as God intends.
- We are to be the lights of the world (Matt 5:14). God expects Christians to be enduring examples to mankind. We are told to always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is in us (1 Pet 3:15). God wants us to change the world around us and bring the message of Christ to a dying world.
- Col 3:17 says that whatever we do, in word or deed, should be done for the glory of God. Live your life avoiding sin and embracing godliness.
As we said, these are simply generic goals, and there are more to be sure, but these four are enough to keep most of us busy!
Why do I get mad often?
Dear Short Fuse,
Uncontrolled rage, like so many sins, stems from within our hearts (Mk 7:21-23). God warns that anger has a way of creeping up on us, and we must rule over it (Gen 4:6-7). Eph 4:26 says that we should make sure that our anger doesn’t control our actions; it is okay to be angry, but it isn’t okay to sin (Eph 4:26). One of the easiest ways to cool your temper is to be quick to hear and slow to speak (Jas 1:19-20). Anger can be controlled by slowing down and listening before jumping to conclusions.
I have had a very tough life since childhood. I am thirty-three years old now and still find life difficult. Could you please tell me why God allows this to happen?
Dear Constantly Struggling,
Some people suffer greatly, and others face relatively few problems. All suffering is a consequence of sin in this world, but there are several reasons that someone might have a greater portion of trials.
- We reap what is sown (Gal 6:7-8). The choices we make have consequences in this life – and in the next. What people do affects them and those around them that they come in contact with. When we behave godly, certain things happen; when we behave sinfully, other things happen. That is a universal principle of life. If a woman drinks while she is pregnant or a child is neglected and malnourished because of ungodly parents – they will suffer the consequences of the choices their parents make. Some children face health issues that were totally avoidable if the parents had simply lived moral lives. Satan is sowing disaster wherever he can and we are all affected by our own choices and the choices of others around us.
- Sometimes bad things simply happen because they happen. Job suffered greatly, and his children died, but it wasn’t his (or their) fault. Job hadn’t done anything wrong, nor had his kids. It all happened because Satan wanted to do evil (Job 1:6). As long as we live in this world of sin, there will be troubles. Sometimes, there isn’t anyone at fault… just time and chance wreaking havoc in a sinful world (Eccl 9:11).
- Sometimes people suffer so that God can be glorified. Jesus’ disciples asked Him why a certain man had been born blind, and Jesus answered, “So that God’s works might be revealed in him.” (Jhn 9:1-3) This man’s ailment provided an opportunity for God to show His glory. There are times that we suffer, so God can teach us and teach others through our pain (Eccl 7:2-3).
This world isn’t fair – if it were, it would be heaven. Instead, we live in a fallen world where man has been exiled from paradise. This world is not our home; christians await a better world (Heb 11:16). When Adam and Eve sinned, they introduced sin and death into this life, but God designed this world perfectly and gives us hope for a better future in Jesus (1 Cor 15:22).
Does the Bible ever say we're made in God's physical form, or could He mean we're made in the likeness of Him via emotions, not physical… love, hate, anger, jealousy, revenge, etc.? Thanks.
Want To Be Like Him
Dear Want To Be Like Him,
We are made in God’s image – but it is our spirit that is crafted in His image, not our bodies. Jhn 4:24 says that God is spiritual, not physical. God existed long before the physical world ever did (Gen 1:1). Our spirits are fashioned after our Heavenly Father, and long after our bodies decay, our spirits will live on.
If you believe in God and commit suicide, would you go to hell?
Dear Damage Calculator,
Suicide is murder, self-murder, and is therefore very clearly a sin (Rev 21:8). The only difference between suicide and murdering someone else is that you don’t get a chance to repent after suicide. Suicide is a final decision and leaves no room for correction or for asking forgiveness. It is a willful act of disobedience against God without opportunity for repentance. The final judgment belongs to God (Heb 12:23), but we certainly wouldn’t want to face that judgment with our own blood on our hands.