Archive for the ‘Bible Studies’ Category

Strong In The Lord’s Power: Part IV -Gear Up!   Leave a comment

“Wake up soldier! On your feet! There is a WAR going on! A war for your eternal life, and it’s time to get ‘stuck in’ !”

In Ephesians 6:13, your General is giving you a command: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God…”

He is not making a request; “Would you please?” And Generals seldom make mere suggestions. No, He is commanding it; “GEAR UP SOLDIER!” And He even tells us why in the preceding verse (see Part III), as well as in the rest of verse 13:

“…that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

ie. “Get your armor on, because the enemy is going to attack you, and I expect you to do all you can to WIN!”

I feel like there should have been an exclamation point at the end of this verse. This is a rouse from our Commander, our Leader, our General, to get up, put our gear on, and get ready to fight! And not only to fight, but to WIN! Or, at very least, to have giving one’s all to win… It is only He Who ultimately brings the victory, of course.

Question: In a physical battle…would you ignore such an order by your commanding officer?
No way! Of course not! So we NEED to take this very seriously! Just as we would if it were a physical battle we were preparing for. In fact, even more so. Afterall…this is not our mere physical lives we are talking about…but about our LIFE, ETERNAL!

Our enemy doesn’t want us to take this seriously. In fact, he doesn’t even want us to be thinking about how real this battle is. He wants us to de-prioritize it, to take these verses for granted, and even to believe that we are un-equipped and unable to fight.

There was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher by the name of Sun Tzu. Perhaps you have heard of him. He is credited as having written the book, “The Art Of War.”  Here are a few tactics from his book, that you can be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN the devil uses against Christ’s true Followers:

“Attack (your enemy) where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

If the devil can distract you from the fight. He knows how to make you feel it is not important or necessary enough to PUT ON The Armor of God every day, effectively keeping you from fighting back. If he is successful (and remember, he has had THOUSANDS of years to perfect his tactics) then he has half the battle one already.

And so our General of Heaven’s Armies it warning us here. He is “rousing his troops” if you will. In the preceding verses, He has made if very clear that there is a war going on, and who or enemy is. And no, in verse 13, our General says to YOU…”Soldier… get ready! Battle is nigh!  TAKE UP the whole armor of God!”

So do it! Put it on. Get ready to fight! For fight we must! Because, whether we are ready or not….whether we see it or not; whether we or feel it or not; whether we know it…or not….the devil IS at war with us, and he is ever planning his attacks. He is ever looking for the right moments, as well as just how to attach you and me. He is cunning. He is a master of propaganda, distraction, and deception. He is a master strategist. He’s had thousands of years to hone and perfect his tactics.

He will be fighting… the question is… will you?

 

 

 

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Strong In The Lord’s Power: Part III – War   Leave a comment

Ephesians 6: 11-12 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle (struggle) against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, agasint the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

One of the main things to take away from this set of scripture, is a clear warning that we are at WAR.

This is something we all too often forget, because we can’t SEE a battle going on. Oh, there are times when we can certainly feel it, but often by then, we find ourselves all too unprepared for the fight.

This passage lays it out for us though:

  1. We are to stand against the wiles of the devil.  This tells us not only WHO we are fighting, but it also lets us know that he has methods of attack. The devil schemes, and he has tactics and strategies that he uses against us. We can see these tactics specifically laid out in 1 John 2:16. Examples  of the devil using said tactics are recorded for us in Genesis, when he tempted Eve, and also later when he TRIED to tempt Christ in the wilderness. He used the same tactics both times. (Check this out if you have never seen it! Gen. 3 & Matt. 4) We need to know and understand these tactics so that we can recognize them and be prepared to fight and resist them as Yeshua did. We can’t afford not to.
  2. This IS war. Verse 12 uses the words wrestle (or struggle. Some translations use the word fight, or fighting.). This shows that there is action to be taken on our part. This is a battle–a DAILY battle. The enemy is always prowling about, like a roaring lion , seeking whom he may devour. We have to ALWAYS be on guard, ready to do battle.  (1 Peter 5:8 says:  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. And the very next verse, shows that we are to be resisting and standing firm. Verse 9 in the NIV says, “Resist him, standing firm in the faith…”) Make no mistake, we are soldiers and we are at war!
  3. We are not fighting a physical battle, but a spiritual one. Though often our battles seem physical, and maybe physical obstacles or even physical enemies are against us, but our true battle… our true enemy… is spiritual! We need to recognize the enemy! If we only look at the physical, we will only try to fight back physically. Think about that statement for a moment! Again: If we only look at the phsycial, we will only try to fight back physically.  And we will fail. Not only that, but this often leads us to sinning as well.
    For example: If a person is persecuting us, and if we don’t see this as a spiritual battle, not recognizing the true enemy behind the attack,  then we might find ourselves retaliating against the person persecuting us. Most often (almost, if not every time…), we will handle this incorrectly, and / or have a bad attitude toward the person. Thus we allow the spiritual attack (by the true enemy) to be successful because we are lead to sinful thoughts, sinful feelings, sinful attitudes, and perhaps even sinful actions. BUT.. if we recognize the true enemy, we will take up a spiritual warfare. We will remember who our General is, and what HE has given us to defend ourselves with, and ONLY THEN will we be able to fight back appropriately. (Using the tools battle He has given us: prayer, fasting, counsil, and His armor and sword.) Only then, can we have true victory over the real enemy attacking us. And this will, in turn, alter the physical as well, and in the best and most profitable way.

Make no mistake… we ARE at WAR! And the enemy has had THOUSANDS of YEARS to hone and sharpen his tacics against us mere humans. We need to recognize this…our VERY LIFE DEPENDS UPON IT!

Let’s start praying to our General, to show us these tactics clearly, and to help us not only recognize them, but to prepare for OUR battle (and for our fellow soldiers)…every…single…day!

THIS IS WAR! FIGHT ON!

 

 

 

 

Strong In The Lord’s Power – Part II : Who?   Leave a comment

Recap of Part I: Our God instructs us to be strong in His mighty power. (Eph. 6:10. ) He also tells us how to do this in the following verses. The devil, however, would like us to think ourselves weak and powerless.  And, without God we truly are weak and powerless…butWE are NOT without God. EVER. (Unless WE CHOOSE to be.) And not only that, but our God, the AWESOME, ALL POWERFUL, ALMIGHTY, INFALLIBLE, PERFECT IN ALL HIS WAYS, General of Heaven’s Armies… gives us everything we need to defeat our adversary, the devil…He gives us The Armor Of God.

So let us look at Ephesians 6:10-19.  We will take this study verse by verse in this multi-part series. This is something that we Christian Soldiers need FULLY and TRULY grasp!

PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS:  This is something the devil does NOT want you to understand. He does NOT want you fully grasping what these passages in Ephesians 6 mean to us. He does not want us to know of or believe in the power we have access to. This is IMPERATIVE for us to know! It is imperative to know AND to implement in our DAILY lives!

Let us begin with, “Who”.

Verse 10 instructs thus: “…brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (force/strength).”

We need to first and foremost realize WHO this is we are speaking of. (Don’t take this part for granted!) This is not some meer flesh and blood personage. No mere leader or no general on this earth, even the very greatest, has ever commanded such power, wisdom, might, or authority as the General Of Heaven’s Armies!  We are talking about The Power that said, “Let there be light…”  And the whole universe obeyed this statement which He uttered.  How’s that for power?! This is the Being Who, by His WORD the heavens were created! By His Word ALL things were created, spiritual and physical! Look around you. Look to the skies, the stars…all His handiwork. Look to the life going on all around you, both seen and that which you cannot see or even comprehend! ALL of it is His handiwork. And all of it is sustained by His Word.

“For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”   Colossians 1:16-17

Hebrews 1:3 tells us that God sustains everything by the mighty power of His word!

(Everything…not SOME things…EVERYthing, and EVERYone.)

Understand that! (Many people, even in God’s church today, don’t fully grasp the full implications of that verse. More on that another time.) By just His WORD alone, everything is sustained. EVERYTHING! Think about that for a moment. Now THAT is power! And get this… THAT is the power that WE are instructed to call upon! Let that sink in!!

Our ALL MIGHTY, ALL POWERFUL, CREATOR and SUSTAINER of ALL…is telling you and me, to be strong in Him and the power of His might! Wow!!!

And remember…He is VICTORIOUS! He already has defeated our enemy. He already knows exactly how to defeat his attacks. He too was attacked, and emerged victorious!  And He wants to grant us… you and me…that SAME victory!!! HOO-RAH!!! And HALLELUJAH!!!

Brethren, our God is a God of VICTORY. Not defeat. He will never give up! Never surrender! He never has, He never will! And He never will taste defeat. Think about this…even in the moments that may seem to be Yeshua’s “weakest” were actually that of His MIGHTIEST VICTORIES!

Wouldn’t you feel pretty safe about following a general into battle that has NEVER lost and never could lose?  A General that would never give up, and never give up on you specifically? A General Who would see you through to the very end, AND ensure that you have the absolute BEST fighting gear to ensure victory? Sure! Absolutely! Brethren, we HAVE that General! (And we have access to that “fighting gear,” as we will see.)

So let’s understand Who it is we are following, and NEVER doubt that. As a good friend and mentor of mine said: Faith is not about what we have faith in…it’s really about WHO we have faith in.

Who do we have faith in? Have faith in the Almighty, The One Victorious Creator and Sustainer of ALL. Remember, the devil wants us to believe we don’t have access to such strength. But God… He wants you to be strong in HIM and in the power of HIS might.

Before we go on in Part 3, knowing that we really need to understand (as much as we are able to understand) the POWER that we are calling upon, (And we need to be calling upon this Power EACH and EVERY day!) I am reminded of a song, “Nothing Ever Can, Nothing Ever Will,” by Ross King.

I will leave you with a link to the song. I HIGHLY recommend listening to it.
It is so encouraging! Reminding us of the GOD ALMIGHTY IN VICTORY that we serve! Think about that and that this awesome God wants to help us!…to aid us!…so that we TOO can have victory!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0BMF36Gi5Y&index=15&list=PLHlEy3kf_r195igKyEaYUMjPfSOqj3f44

Posted August 26, 2016 by buildupontherock in Bible Studies

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Strong In The Lord’s Power – Part I : Do You Know?   Leave a comment

What if I told you that YOU could be strong in the Lord’s power?  Would you like that? Maybe that sounds pretty amazing? Perhaps even unattainable? But it isn’t. In fact, we are instructed to: “…be strong in the Lord and in His MIGHTY POWER.” (Eph. 6:10. We will read it in a moment.) So not only is it something we that CAN actually do… but it is an instruction to do it, a command, not a suggestion.

Recently, I have gone through a bout of feeling weak and powerless against sin. As a brother of mine pointed out, I was allowing the devil’s thoughts of “defeat and weakness” to find seat within me, and to be imbedded in my heart and my mind. The thing is, the devil knew, not only right where to strike at me, but also how, and at just the right moment. (And the right moment is crucial. More on that later.)

We know, however, that our God is a God of power! He is mighty and He is victorious! He is not a defeated God, and cannot be so. There is NO weakness in Him! He is infallible and unwavering! He never falters, never faints! He is the epitome of MIGHT, FORCE & POWER!! The devil’s attacks, have never, and can never even phase Him!!

So the question for us is this: How do we put on that power? How do we be strong in the Lord’s power? And in doing so, how do we combat the devil’s dangerously clever and effective attacks?

Again, Ephesians 6:10 says: “Finally, be (a command) strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” (NIV)

Continuing in Ephesians 6 tells us how we are to do this:
In verse 11 it says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

As I said, recently I fell into thinking thoughts of weakness and defeat: “I can’t do it by myself, so why bother trying? I am weak, I am tired. I’ve gone through too much, so it’s not my fault that I don’t have the strength I need.” You see, I definitely needed to be reminded that I am a “soldier” and that this is a war. That our God doesn’t surrender, and not only that, but He expects us not to surrender, AND He gives us what we need to “stand against the wiles of the devil.” But the devil, not only tricked me out of the fight, but tricked the fight out of me. I forgot the importance of having the right gear for the battle. I forgot to even try to fight. I (not God) let my guard down and the devil saw just the right moment to strike. “He’s not wearing his armor.” That is the perfect time for the devil to shoot his fiery darts.

Make no mistake…this IS a war!

Ephesians 6 continuing in verse 12: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12 calls it a “struggle.” This is a battle! This is WAR! And hence, we need a full set of armor and a weapon. Listen and understand, this isn’t just guard duty; This isn’t a decoration to be put up on our spiritual wall and left there. We are to USE it as we STRUGGLE and fight and make war!

We are not just to struggle, but we are to be VICTORIOUS!!! And why not? Our King, our General of Heaven’s Armies, has already won! He has already defeated our enemy. And He is saying, “Here, I am giving you everything you need to defeat this enemy as well.” And He is expecting us, as soldiers of His army, to take up this armor and weapon and DO SO!

I had no excuse. None of us do. We forget though that we have such power on our side. We forget to use it. We forget that our God expects no less of us than to FIGHT and USE what He gives us! I did. I even fell for the lie that this was somehow God’s fault and not my own. (But it was I who let my guard down.) So this is why I am doing this study. As a reminder to myself, lest I ever forget again…that I HAVE access to GOD, THE ALMIGHTY’S POWER!! I have access to His spiritual armor and sword! And He EXPECTS me to USE IT!

So this study is as much for me as for anyone. But if it helps someone else, as I expect it will, then all the better. We NEED to remember what we have available to us. We NEED (as we are commanded to do) to BE STRONG in the Lord and in the power of His MIGHT. And to PUT ON…and MAKE USE OF…the armor He gives us.

In this study, I will try to go in depth through the scriptures Eph. 6:10-19.  So I hope you will join me in Part II as we explore this truly awesome passage, and what it means to us, and how we can make GREAT USE of it in our lives today, in our daily battle against evil, as we strive, and struggle each day; as we FIGHT our way to the Kingdom that is ours for the taking, if we do so.

 

 

 

Posted August 24, 2016 by buildupontherock in Bible Studies

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Head Coverings   Leave a comment

Should women wear head covering?

The verse in question is 1 Cor. 11:5-6

5 “But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.
6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.”

Are these verses actually speaking about veils, hats, or having her head covered somehow? Or is there more to understand here? At first glance, one might easily make that assumption. However, once we truly understand these passages, we see that the subject in question is actually length of hair.

Often is the case, that to understand a difficult scripture or set of scriptures, one simply needs to read it in the context of the surrounding scriptures.

For this particular scripture, let’s start in verse 15 of the same chapter.

1 Cor. 11:15 – “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her HAIR is given for a covering.”

We see that Paul is speaking here about long hair as the covering or veil, not some hat or piece of cloth.  It is similar in the way that we use certain words in referring to something else. For example: “Pea-shooter” is a gun. “Lid” can be a hat. We sometimes call food, “grub”.  I can’t think of what that is called when we do that, but Im pretty sure there is a name for it. But I digress…

In verse 6, Paul discusses various lengths of hair. Note the four lengths he mentions:

Verse 6 – “For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.”

The four lengths are:

  1. Not covered – short hair
  2. Shorn – very short, cropped hair as when a sheep is shorn
  3. Shaven – designates totally bald head
  4. Covered – long hair

So keep in mind that this refers to the length, not the style. Yes, ladies, your long hair can be worn in all sorts of styles. 🙂  It’s not the “appearance” but the actual length that matters as we will see.

Question… if verse 5 and 6 are referring to some sort of man-made covering of the head, what would that have to do with shaving ones hair? So we see, it has to be referring to hair, and not cloth. Again, what does cloth have to do with shaving or being shorn? So Paul is saying that if a woman is going to have short, cropped hair, she might as well go all the way and shave her head bald. It would be just as shameful for her, in other words.

To further show that this chapter (and the verses in question) is dealing with hair lengths and not cloth coverings, let’s consider verses 4 and 14.  Verse four says that if a ma has his head covered when he prays, he is dishonoring his head who is Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 11:4 – “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.

Now look at verse 14.  “Doth not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?”

Again we see Paul is referring to hair length. Now look at verses 7-10 of this chapter.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.
8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man.
9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.
10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless, neither is a man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.

Let’s look at verse 10 again, but in the Amplified Bible: “Therefore she should be subject to his authority and should have a covering on her head as a token, a symbol, of her submission to authority, that she may show reverence as do the angels and not displease them.”

These verses are showing that the Christian woman ought to have a covering as a sign that she is under the authority of her husband, and therefore also under Christ.  Long hair is that sign that a woman is willing to be in subjection to a man, her husband, and that she acknowledges the need for protection by angels.

Let’s look at one more verse: Verse 3 – “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”

Since God has placed the man, the husband, as the head of the woman, the wife, the woman should have a sign of her submission to his authority. That is a beautiful thing. This sign is the woman’s long beautiful hair. And it has nothing to do with any mad-made veil or hat on her head. Instead, it’s the true beauty that God created, the woman’s long hair.

 

Spotlight On Luke 5:16   Leave a comment

Luke 5:16 – So He  (often) withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. Our Brother…our example, would take time to get personal with The Father. He made time to get away from His daily tasks, routines, etc. to go and spend personal one on one time talking to, and praising, The Father. This activity wasn’t just for Himself of course. It was writtend down specifically as an example for us.

So the question is… Do we withdraw at times to pray and talk to and praise God?  I don’t just mean at our daily prayer times either. But at other times.

Think of the power one can draw from this. Not to mention keeping God in the forefront of our minds. Building our relationship with, and keeping ourselves in line with our Father.

You see, prayer is not just “talking to God”… It’s praising God. Thanking God. Calling upon Him for involvment in every part of our life. It’s building a relationship with Him. It IS about keeping Him in the very front of our minds no matter what is going on around us. It’s a shield to our hearts and minds from the evil “prince of the power of the air” and his influences.

This is something we need to be doing. Every day! We need to take moments and praise God. Call up on Him for strength, even if we are feeling strong. OR just to say, “Thank you God,” Or “I love you God,”  and talk with Him. Even if only for a few mintues. Longer if possible of course.

This is truly something we all need to do, and do more. Myself included. He IS our SHIELD. Our FORTRESS. Our HIGHTOWER. Our STRENGTH. Our EVERYTHING. We need to maintain that constant link to that.

I know many have jobs. And it might be difficult to “find time” to do this. But I guarantee time can be made. Even if only in your mind while working. So many find time for various other breaks. Coffee, Facebook, emails, texts, etc. How much more important…VITAL…is it to take a “Prayer break”, to “text” God?

Christ took extra time out to seek this relationship with God. Are we doing the same?

 

 

Posted June 4, 2013 by buildupontherock in Bible Studies, Simply Put

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What Does The Bible Say About Gambling   Leave a comment

Does the bible say anything about gambling?
Is it a sin?
Let’s take a look…

You might be surprised to learn that the Holy Bible does not contain the words “gambling” or “gamble” in it. Anywhere. Yet surely there must be some principle that we can apply. The bible is, after all, our instruction booklet for life and how to make the best choices for the best overall quality of life.

Did you know that the word, “pornography” just for example, is also not mentioned in the bible? And yet we see clear principles to lead us to the understanding that pornography is a sin. Another example is smoking. The bible does not mention smoking, and yet we know the bible instructs us to treat our bodies as the very temple of God. Therefore, deliberately poisoning our lungs and partaking of harmful addictive substances, which we also become in a sort of “bondage” to, is a sinful thing to do.

So what about gambling? While it also is not mentioned in the bible, we must be able to find some principle from the bible that we can apply to know if it is something we can, should, or should not do.

While the bible does not refer to gambling, it does speak of money, which is typically what is gambled for. (Though other currencies or bets can be placed.)

Here is what we are told about money…

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 5:10, NIV)

“No servant can serve two masters. [Jesus said.] Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13, NIV)

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10, NIV)

So we see, that money can easily become an idol to us (idolatry), thus breaking the first commandment. Now, does this make money itself an evil thing? Well, perhaps some would argue that it does, but we also know that it is a necessity in our current society. We have to make money to sustain our physical lives and provide for our family. So earning money, gaining money, getting money, is not in an of itself a sin….HOWEVER… HOW we gain the money, and what priority it takes in our lives is where money can become a sin. (See verses above)

If we work our work, with all our might (Ecc 9:10) and trust in the Lord to provide, He will take care of us. He promises all our needs will be fulfilled and even some of our desires as well. (Matt 6:33 & Ps 37:4) This way, we earn and provide for ourselves and our families. (By obedience to God, through God and by God.) Even having an abundance of money and being financially successful is not wrong. (eg. Abraham, Job, King David.) BUT… when we start allowing money to become a driving force in our lives; when we start focusing on the accumulation of wealth, making it a top priority or of higher importance than it should be in our lives; when we are not satisfied with what we have; when we lust and covet for more material possessions… then we are sinning. And we need to make the change in our lives to get us back in line with God’s way.

So what about gambling? How does this apply?
Well, some would argue that getting “something for nothing” is wrong. That not “earning” money is wrong. Or they might argue that gambling is all about the way of “get” and therefore should be avoided. I would easier go along with that last argument, than the first. But let’s examine…

Getting Something For Nothing
Is it wrong to win a prize? How about at a game? Any kind of game, or just certain ones? And if so, where do you draw the line? Is it only games that involve money that make it sin? If so, I would ask why? What if you win…oh, I don’t know… Live-stock? Or a car? Or a bicycle? Or a candy bar? Or a trophy? What is the difference? Some have more or less value for certain. But say I played a game of Monopoly. Would it be okay to say, “winner gets a candy bar”? Or would it be wrong to say winner gets a dollar (in which case he goes out and buys a candy bar)? What is the difference?

What about receiving a gift? This is something we have not necessarily earned. We have not worked for it. One might say, well, you have earned it through the friendship of the person giving the gift. Okay, have you ever accepted a free sample, or a discount from a store? Did you earn that? No more so than by sitting down to play a game. It is an agreed upon situation in any case. All parties have agreed upon the situation and the possible outcomes. In the case of the store, they are giving away something, in hopes (in a gamble) that it will encourage you to buy something from them.

So getting something for nothing is not in and of itself a sin. However…can there be, like anything else in life, the wrong attitude towards it? ABSOLUTELY! Like anything else in life (I want to emphasize that — like ANYTHING else in life) the wrong attitude or intent can creep in and bring forth sin. Sinful attitudes, sinful intent, sinful thoughts and sinful conduct, etc. can work their way in to anything we do. Even our calling for example… God calls us. It is of no action of our own that we are given this awesome gift of our calling. We should not think it our own glory. We are given it freely and for the ONLY reason of ….God wanted to. We are getting something we have by no means…earned. So, getting something for nothing cannot be a sin. It CAN, lead to sin, IF we get the wrong attitude about it; if we allow it to make us prideful and look down upon or mistreat others. Again,we can take something harmless or in the case of God’s calling, good, and allow ourselves to sin.
Another great example… Did we “earn” Christ’s sacrifice? For yet while we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us (Rom5:8). What WE earned, was death. What we were freely given, without earning it, was a chance at Eternal Life and freedom from the law of death. Yes, we have to strive, fight, and obey. But no amount of that would earn us a place in the Family without this free gift from God. Something for nothing. Beauty for ashes.

In and of itself, to get something we have not earned is clearly not a sin.

Gambling is about the way of get
Okay. This is true. Gambling is about the way of get. But then there are a lot of things in life that we do for entertainment that has nothing to do with the way of give. (And if its not give, its get, right?) Entertainment, whether it is a hobby, collecting something, playing a game, reading a book, playing or watching sports, horseback riding, etc. etc. is about entertaining one’s self. It’s generally not about giving. It’s about getting some form of pleasure for one’s self. Is that wrong? Is that a sin?
Think about this: God created pleasure. And He wants to give us “pleasures forever more” (Ps 16:11). So getting pleasure is not a sin. God makes many things in life simply for our pleasure. Food for example… It could all taste the same, but no. God gave us such a variety of tastes that one is likely to live a lifetime and never taste them all. And for what? For our pleasure! We get pleasure from taste. Can that become sin? YES! But is it of itself a sin to enjoy getting a variety of tastes on your table? No. But with the wrong attitude, the wrong behaviors, our enjoyment can become gluttony, which is a sin. How about alcohol The ONLY purpose for alcohol is to get pleasure. God allows us the use of alcohol. It is not a sin. Even Christ say’s He will partake of it again with us one day. BUT… with the wrong intent, or misuse, it becomes sinful doesn’t it? The same holds true for anything, including gambling. One can set down and play a game for fun and try to win something (even money). If they have a good time, win or lose, and walk away with a good attitude still, is this sin?

Where gambling become sin
Gambling is not in and of itself a sin, but can BECOME a sin. Setting down with some friends, and playing a game for money, just as an example, or betting on a game, or filling out an entry from to win something, is not a sin. It is the attitude or intent evolved that can make it a sin.
-Using gambling as a substitution of God’s way for us to provide for oneself or family is a sin.
-Using gambling simply to take from others with no regard to them, is a sin.
-Spending money (on anything) you really cannot afford can be a sin.
-Allowing gambling to become addictive is a sin. It becomes idolatry.
-Allowing attitudes of covetousness, jealousy, greed, or even hatred, definitely put it in the realm of sin.
So it really lies with the individual and the reasons and intent and attitude behind it.

Another area where gambling is a sin…
It seems safe to say, (scripturally speaking) that the casino’s and such, are wrong, and are committing sin. (And I personally believe that going to them and using their facilities for gambling would be supporting them, and therefor sin.) The establishments ARE about get. They are set up to take people’s money. AND, they use all kinds of sensual lures (lights, sounds, scents and other visuals; even down to the lay out of the casino and the color schemes they choose, all to play on the subconscious mind) and devices for one purpose…to attract and distract their “customers” into coming in and losing their money to the establishment. This is NOT something God would approve of. Obviously. Their sole purpose it to make money by taking it from other people. It is not a “friendly game”. Nor is it a fair game. It encourages people to spend more of their money than they should, and even causes addictions and other problems. They don’t look out for the welfare of their fellow man (which is in and of itself a sin). They simply take, and take, and take. They do not care if their “customers” can afford what they are losing or not. And they are even making it so that it is more likely than not that their customers DO lose their money. This is purely selfish and purely the way of get. (Though, sadly, this is has become the standard for the American industry across the board, and as such virtually unavoidable.)

I personally don’t believe that I would go into a casino and give it my support. I feel this would be indulging in their sin. Just like going to a restaurant on the Sabbath is supporting the sin of the establishment of their breaking of the Sabbath. Yes, the Casino is going to operate their business anyway. But I am, as a Christian, not supposed partake in the sins of others, let alone to even support the sins of others.
One might argue that, as I stated above, this is the standard of business today. To make profit off of others even if its not in their best interest. We could sit and make virtually an unending list of businesses that take advantage of their customers and or have unethical sinful business practices. Whether it is charging interest, using low quality materials, using child-labor, making products purposely with limited life-span, “planned obsolescence, and the list goes on…it is all about the way of get, and how to take more from others without any care or concern for your fellow man. This is sin. It is basically impossible not to, somehow, support this in today’s society. But to that argument, I would say this…let’s not make excuses. There ARE places where we do not need to go. There are things that we do not need to partake of. There are alternatives that are at very least, the “lesser of two evils.” Supporting a casino, an establishment that is blatantly harming others, (even if it is by the other’s choosing) is not something we should feel okay with or support if we can help it.

I personally would not have a problem with (and see no biblical principal against) making a friendly bet or wager with a friend or group of friends (even a monetary one); chipping in a dollar or two for some type of drawing/raffle, going to a bingo hall for entertainment, entering into a giveaway/drawing of some sort for the chance to win some free thing, etc. Again, I see no biblical principal that could be applied against it.

Do you gamble?

Definition of Gamble:
Verb. Play games of chance for money; bet. —- [Though it can be something other than money. – Me]
Noun. An act of gambling; an enterprise undertaken or attempted with a risk of loss and a chance of profit or success.

Many things in life are up to time and chance. So “gambling” is something that occurs often in life. We often take time and chance on things with risk of loss or chance of profit or success.
When you make plans for a weekend to play a game of golf (or picnic, etc), you are gambling that the weather will be good for it. When you go to college and get a degree, you are placing a lot of stock (money and time) in that you will be able to be successful in your chosen field. Those who are entrepreneurs or investors, invest time and money (though hopefully with wise counsel and some knowledge) that they will get a profit. It’s never a guarantee. So gambling comes in a variety of forms and to greater and lesser degrees. As a bit of an entrepreneur myself, I have at times invested time and money in things to sell, only to have to take a loss, or at very least, not get a profit for a much longer time-frame than I expected. (Sometimes due to my own fault, but other times to things out of my control.) But then, there are times that I get the payoff I was hoping for. That too IS a form of gambling. Even Solomon, through divine inspiration, tells us in Ecc. 11:1-2 (read it), to “take a chance;” ( paraphrasing) “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket;” “Diversify;” because it’s a gamble. Time and chance happens. Bad stuff can happen to anyone, and you don’t always know what might pay off or what might not.

Finally…
The bible is very clear who our provider is. God is very clear on where our priorities should be. And, it is very clear that money can be misused to the hurt of the individual… but that it (money) is, not in and of itself, a sin to have, or to gain. There are clear ways in which it SHOULD NOT be gained: Unbalanced scales (In other words dishonestly); usury; or stealing. The bible says nothing about getting money through a bet or chance. We find then that some things are up to our attitudes and reasons for doing things. We need…NEED to be careful. We NEED to acknowledge God in ALL of our ways, and allow Him to guide our paths. We NEED to trust in Him to provide for us both our needs and our desires. AND, when making decisions, or when choosing our entertainments, when handling our finances, etc, we need to use wisdom. God expects us to. We need to judge the situations by God’s standards, not our own. There is time and chance in life. And we do often take chances. But count the costs, and know if what we are doing will indeed hurt us or others, if should it not work out as we hope. We NEED to look out for one another. We NEED to be our brother’s keeper in love. If what we are doing is harmful or even OFFENSIVE to our brother, we need to act out of love. If what we are doing will lead us into the wrong attitudes or to sin some how, we need to be aware and avoid it.

So the bottom line… Is gambling a sin? No. Is abusing gambling with wrong intent or wrong attitudes, or to the detriment of self or others? Yes.

For some it should definitely be avoided. Just like alcohol, which we know, in and of itself is not a sin to partake of. But the misuse of it is sin.

So use wisdom and Godly character to make your choices.

Posted April 3, 2013 by buildupontherock in Bible Studies

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