Thursday, April 26, 2018


Many people struggle with negative thinking and it would appear that Satan uses this battle to distract God's people from trusting Him and manifesting the character of Jesus Christ. Christians have the responsibility to evaluate the thoughts that they allow to be entertained in their minds.  Paul encourages believers to transform the way that they used to think before they were saved because it does not bring about the righteousness of God (Romans 12:1-2).  Paul also instructs believers to have the mind of Christ in all matters (1 Cor. 2:16) but this does not come without the careful study of the Word of God and prayer. 

Negative people always tend to suck the life out of everyone around them.  They tend to believe the worst about others and the situation.  They seem to demonstrate very little faith in the sovereignty of God.  If a Christian desires to avoid negativity then they must purposefully think about, "things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praise worthy" (Philippians 4:8).  Positive thinkers learn to think God's ways and they believe that He sits enthroned and is capable of keeping order in this world.  Positive thinking takes time but with practice it will become easier.  Most people love to be around others who walk with confidence in God's ability and in the promises of God's Word.

Negative thoughts can always be replaced with godly ones.  We as Christians live in a world that offers fear, stress, and negativity but this is not to be our fate.  Because we have the Holy Spirit of God living within us we can walk with confidence in the darkest of situations that would cause us to fear and question Him.  Let's be a life-giver to others by walking positively in the character and promises of God.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

What Does it Mean to be Unequally Yoked?

As a young boy I continuously heard preachers preach from 2 Corinthians 6:14 which says, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership can righteousness have with wickedness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?"  I'm so thankful that God placed people in my life that cautioned me about God's desires for me.  As a result, I sought to find godly friends and date only those who gave evidence of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Today, I truly believe that this verse is disregarded as it was with God's people in the days of old.  What is God's intent with this verse?  Is it wrong to pursue close and binding relationships with those who do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior?

The yoke that the apostle Paul was speaking about was a wooden bar that would join two oxen together in order to cause them to work at pulling together on a job.  When one ox was taller or faster than the other ox then it would cause them to fight against one another and perhaps even cause them to walk in a circle.  Being unequally yoked made it so that they could not accomplish the task that they were set out to do.  Instead, they would fight against each other and exhaust one another.

The message that Paul is giving the Corinthian church is not a new concept for God's people.  In the Old Testament God cautioned his people not to make partnerships with their neighboring communities who embraced other gods because their unbelieving neighbors had a worldview that would serve as a snare for God's people (Exodus 23:32-33).  In this verse, Paul is discouraging Christians from being in an unequal partnership with unbelievers because believers and unbelievers are opposites, just as light and darkness are opposites. A non-believer is governed by the principles of Satan until they come to know Christ as Savior.  Two non-believers would not be unequally yoked because they share the same system of beliefs apart from God.  Christians are expected by God to have a biblical worldview concerning all aspects of life.  Being united with a non-Christian in a partnership is being unequally yoked, which God forbids.

Christians and non-Christians have different moral compasses (at least they should have) that pull against one another.  One or the other will have to surrender to the will of the other in order for movement to take place.  Venturing into a business relationship with a non-Believer would be a clear application of what Paul is speaking about here.  Business decisions that are made each day will reflect the worldview of one partner or the other.  As a former business owner I can honestly say that moral judgment is regularly made about matters and not all people agree about the rightness of a decision.  Christians also fail to understand that God never intended His people to be united in marriage with a non-Believer.  In fact, God forbids and cautions His people not to be unequally yoked in this area as well.  Many young people choose to date lost people (and their parents are even  supportive) believing that they can win them to Christ on a future date.  This has been called "missionary" dating.   It seldom ever takes place and they reap the consequences of a divided household or even a Christ-less family in the days to come.  I've also witnessed many times a young person walking away from God and their church as they began dating a non-believer.

We must embrace God's Word when it comes to being united with unbelievers.  Parents must train their children on the importance of only dating those who profess Jesus Christ and give evidence of that relationship through a growing relationship with Christ.