It has long been said that the most effective advertising is word of mouth! That does not discount the value and importance of standard forms of commercial advertising, such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, internet, and so on… If there was no value in commercial advertising, newspapers would pretty much shut down, radio stations would go off the air and television spots on the Super Bowl would not be running in the millions of dollars per spot.
Many people find themselves in climates that are detrimental to their health. The effects are different from individual to individual. Some people have difficulty tolerating severe heat while others suffer under extremely cold temperatures. Different individuals struggle with high humidity or too much pollen in the air or heavy concentrations of mold and mildew or other agents to which they are allergic. In many cases, their environments prove to be hostile enough that some folks have to move to a different location that is more supportive of their physical well being.
It is said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” One way we’re supposed to influence the world toward godliness is by presenting a good, consistent image of Christianity through the way we live our individual lives as Christians. Our consistent, faithful lifestyle can make quite an impression on the lives of some people around us. Our example of faithful, dedicated Christianity can impact their lives for good. Somebody is always watching us, whether we realize it or not. It could be that what they see in us could influence them toward Christ and, ultimately, to salvation.
“God is love” ( 1 Jn. 4:8, 16 ). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” ( Jn. 3:16 ). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” ( Rom. 5:8 ). Continually, throughout scripture we find statement after statement, and example after example, of God’s love. Is it possible, then, that God could hate?
How many times have we heard the caution, “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.” There has always been an atheistic element within our society, firm in their belief that there is no God. Less committed are the skeptics and agnostics, unsure whether God exists but leaning in the direction of the atheists. Of much greater number are those who believe in God but live their lives as though they did not, demonstrating little conscience of sin and no dedication to God. Indeed, their belief in God might be more of a nuisance than a faith. Their best hope for eternity is that the atheists are right. Well, what if that were true? What if there were not God?
God is good! One day, I received an email that included the statement, “God is good, all of the time.” That statement was more significant in that the email gave a report of a family member who had been diagnosed with cancer. The truth is, God is good all of the time! Even when things seem to be going badly for us, God is still good. Even when we pray to God for deliverance from a difficult situation, and His answer is “No” or “Wait awhile,” God is still good.
Our nation is said to be at war against terrorism. Since “9/11” the subject of terrorism has taken center stage in the minds of many governments, military leaders and everyday citizens in nations around the world. The reality of terrorism is probably being given more focused attention, on a wider scale basis, than has ever been the case.
Are you happy? What would make you happy? There’s a lot of talk about happiness. The appearance is that a great many people are unhappy with their lives. While many tell us that we need to be happy, that we need to go out and find happiness, they seem rather shallow in their analysis of what happiness really is and how to be happy.
James wrote, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” ( Jas. 4:17 ). James could not have been much clearer- not doing what we know we should do can constitute sin! Such sins are called sins of omission . Now, why did James have to include that verse in his letter? Because James was writing God’s word ( 2 Tim. 3:16-17 ), and God guided him to write exactly what He wanted James to write ( 2 Pet. 1:20-21 ).
The prophet wrote, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” ( Isa. 5:20 ). God is speaking specifically about the nation of Israel in this text. Earlier in the chapter He refers to them as a vineyard that He planted and cultivated, only to have it produce “wild grapes” instead of “good grapes” ( vs. 1-7 ). The allusion is clear.
Gary L. Hutchens