Bill Irby's blog

Friends of God

     Abraham was called the friend of God (James 2:23). We find at least one time that this occurred in 2 Chronicles. Jehoshaphat was facing battle against overwhelming odds and so he prayed for God’s help. In that prayer he said to the Lord, “Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?” (2 Chronicles 20:7). Jehoshaphat was praying and at the same time doing a little pleading with the Lord that He keep their enemies from throwing them out of the land.

God and Love

     Love and God are two magnificent entities that we cannot see with our physical eyes. Yet we know that both are real. That knowledge comes by faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Knowledge that comes via evidence is trustworthy if the source of that evidence is truthful. Our faith arises from the evidence of the existence of God in this world (Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:18-22). To deny the existence of God on the grounds that no one has seen Him is to act the fool (Psalm 14:1).

Dissolution

     For a very long time the devil has had much greater influence in this world than has God. We should not be surprised at this because Paul told us that this was and would be the case even from apostolic times (1 Timothy 4:1-4, 2 Timothy 4:1-4 and Ephesians 6:10-17). We are at the present time in a period of heightened spiritual dissolution. The organized institutions of what might be called the Christian religion are so far removed from the Biblical pattern that there is little if any connection with the church presented in the New Testament text.

"Do Not Refuse Him Who Speaks"

     “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.” We find these words in Hebrews 12:25. The passage is an echo from Haggai 2:6. It is a warning and an encouragement to the readers of the Book of Hebrews to be faithful to God. The book was written to keep these people from leaving the Christian faith. The argument of Hebrews is that it makes no sense to leave faith in Christ to return to the Law of Moses. Not only is it nonsense to do so; it is spiritually fatal.

People Epistles

     We often study Paul’s letters to the Corinthians church. 2 Corinthians is a highly personal letter and reveals a great deal about the relationship Paul had with that church. That church was plagued at times with men who tried to lead them away from the true gospel which had been preached to them by Paul. He called these fellows “peddlers” of the word of God (2 Corinthians 2:17). Evidently these folks had letters of commendation from some source. Paul was not impressed.

The Work in Guyana

     Early on Monday morning, March 6, Mitch and Camilla Fuller and Ginger and I will leave for a short trip to the South American country of Guyana. As most of you know, we try to take this trip each year to check on our work there and make plans with the brethren for the summer campaign in Bartica. We have found over the years since the addition of the bridge over the Berbice River that we can accomplish what needs to be done by moving quickly from one place to the next without a lot of down time.

Constancy of Character-3

     It is one thing to think about having constancy of character in general terms. It is another thing to think of this principle in specific terms. As we continue to consider this subject from Paul’s point of view in Romans 12 we can be thankful that he provided specific directions for us as we seek to be “transformed by the renewing” of our minds.

Constancy of Character-2

     We have been thinking about some things centered about the theme of constancy. Last week we began in Romans 12 with the subject being "constancy of character." This week we continue our thoughts.
Paul deals with a number of ideas in this chapter but one of them is that even though we are many members we are still one body (Romans 12:5). He expands on this theme here. We also find this idea set in 1 Corinthians 12.

Constancy of Character-1

     We have been thinking recently about the idea of constancy as a theme of life. The constancy I have in mind is grounded in a good and proper relationship with God. It is exemplified in Paul’s words from Galatians 2:20: ‘I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Let’s consider how we can relate the principle of constancy to that which defines who we really are: our own character.

Constancy as a Theme of Life

     We are thinking about a set of ideas under the heading of “constancy.” Last week in this space we considered constancy at home. Today we will consider constancy as a theme of life. This may seem a bit foreign but when you think about it, our individual lives do develop a theme as we go along. Some folks come to be known as calm, others as easily agitated. Some folks are helpers; others seem always to be needing help. Some hardly ever get into trouble while others cannot seem to stay out of it. Life gets to be thematic, perhaps whether we mean for it to or not.