The Christians Chastisement

By Chette Nichols Jr

Introduction
Chastisement of the Christian does not seem to be as active as Paul saw in his day.  Yet the word of God is clear that we will be and are supposed to suffer chastisement.  If we will look at Chastisement as a privilege instead of punishment we may learn a greater spiritual blessing than we have come to know in our lives today.

Let’s look at the four points found in our Scriptures today I) The Example of our Chastisement, II) The people of Chastisement, III) The duty of Chastisement and IV) The Purpose of Chastisement.

Vv 1-4 The Example of Chastisement

Heb 12:1-4 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

Christ the example of Chastisement
Here we see that it instructs us to consider him, that is Jesus Christ as an example of endurance lest we be weary and faint in our minds and hearts.  Having Jesus as our roll model and the fact he lives in us we can and will by the Holy Ghost have victory over any trial, tribulation and affliction that may come our way and they will.  

While this is true that we go through the chastening of the Lord many of us have not resisted unto the giving of our life for what we believe, yet many others have and will.

First we understand Isa 53:4, 5  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  Jesus bore the chastisement of our peace.  That is he endured to the giving of his blood, the death on the cross so that we could have peace with God.  As you know this peace is made for all men but only those who accept this peace treaty made by Christ on the cross will actually have this applied to their lives.

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COMMENT

Spiritual Depression

By Chette Nichols Jr

Ever get depressed to the point of not wanting to go on in life?

Ever feel like you’re the only one in all the world going through what your going through?

That is Spiritual Depression.

Well spiritual depression is a condition of all men, even among the saved, because we have an enemy that would seek to rob us of our vitality and strength.  There are cycles in a Christians life, well anyone’s life for that matter, and we go through times of plenty and times of want (Ecc 3:1-8).  And it always seems that during the times of want we see wickedness prevail in our lives but God uses all things to work for good in our lives Romans 8:28.

Depression is common to all men, secular psychiatrist call it a “mental or nervous breakdown”.  However God has given us a way of escape.   1Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].    We only fail to recognize this and go quickly to him with all things.  I like the attitude of Job when wickedness and evil befell him he said, “What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”  We must always remember for us these events are nothing more than a form of chastisement for he who trust in God and Christ for salvation. The symptoms of a nervous breakdown or spiritual depression include despairity, worry, anxiety, fear, sinfulness, thoughts of suicide, and anti-social behavior.

The greatest example of the spiritual depression that we all experience is that of one of the greatest prophets ever known.  He did great deeds, his words came true and yet he was just a man like you and me.  This man was Elijah.  We have no record of his birth, though we know he is a Tishbite from Gilead.  He seems to come from obscurity and in the pages of scripture he jumped into action and when he has completed his course God carried him away.  

James wrote this about him. James 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, . . .  Did you get that he was a regular guy and man like any other troubled the same way as we.

A little context might help.  He just finished proving to Israel that the LORD was the true God and that the people should serve him.  After the Baalite priest were unable to get their god to answer with fire upon their sacrifice.  Elijah not only built an alter and set in place the sacrifice but he drenched it with so much water that no man could ever get it to ignite with a gallon of gas and a large box of matches.  After God answered and consumed the sacrifice he then killed the 400 Baalite priests.  He has gone home and receives word that the queen is out to get him.

Let’s look at this moment in the life of this enigmatic man, lets see how one gets into a spiritual depression and what it takes to get out of it.  Like all problems in our lives there are generally steps that lead to its onset and to its end.

1Kings 19:1-18

I.   Vv 1-5 The Cause and Symptoms of Spiritual Depression

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COMMENT

Biblical Prayer

By Chette Nichols Jr

Prayer is probably the most important doctrine for the church today and is the most neglected of all. I too am negligent in prayer. But I praise my God that he is merciful and gracious unto us even when we fall short in prayer.

In the writings of Paul he makes mention of the terms of prayers 28 among the 13 books he wrote that is an average of 2.1 times in each book he penned. He gives instruction to pray or makes mention of his prayer or the prayer of others or a prayer request at least once in each of the books he was inspired to pen. That makes it a doctrine for the body of Christ.

One of the thing I learned about prayer is this. Nowhere in all of the Holy Bible is prayer ever mandated. It is never commanded or forced upon Israel or the Christian church, the body of Christ, the fulness of Him or anyone. This marks a major difference between the God of the Bible and all other so called gods in every world religion. In each of the major and sub major religions of the world their god or gods require their followers to pray unto them.  But the God of the Bible never makes prayer a requirement, mandate or a command.

Why is that?

Because real true prayer is a heart condition, it must be of a free and willful heart that is desiring God to hear and to help. Mandated prayers become ritualistic and routine. Here is what Jesus Said about this type of prayer. Matt 6:7, 8 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. You see the true and living God already knows what you have need of, and what your situation is. What he wants is a person whose heart is turned to him in sincerity and truth, broken and humble willing to come to him in faith. Psalm 34:17, 18 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. God is not near them who offer mandated and commanded prayers he is near them that are broken heart and contrite spirit. So a man can be commanded to pray many times a day but the true and living God is not the one that commanded that.  That would make it a doctrine of man but it is not a requirement or a doctrine of a Holy and righteous God.

An interesting note is that prayer or any of its terms are only used 3 times in the books of the law of Moses and only in Numbers just making mention of Moses praying. I would tend to guess that the reason prayer is not mentioned in the law is that prayer cannot be commanded. It must be voluntary, it must be from the heart, it must be from a person wanting to communicate with God.   God will hear the prayer of a lost person to be saved, and once that takes place then they are through Christ given direct access to heaven to pray but a lost person is not limited to just the prayer of salvation see the word study below as it indicates that anyone can pray unto God if their heart is in the right place. And even then I would think by my own experience that prayer must be in God’s will, one should be spiritually willing to hear and be under conviction of the word of God, and ones prayer should be Biblical. So right heart, right motive, right desire, and his will all play a part in God hearing and answering our prayers.

I. How to pray

A. Physical Position

1) Standing

 Mt 6:5 ¶ And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Lu 18:10-13 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner

1Kings 8:22 ¶ And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: . . 1Ki 8:54 ¶ And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. Solomon went from a standing position to kneeling during this prayer.

2Chron 6:12 ¶ And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands:. . . 2Ch 7:1 ¶ Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.

Mr 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

2) Kneeling with hands spread

1Ki 8:54 ¶ And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. Started his prayer standing and ended on his knees but his hands were spread the whole time.

2Ch 6:13 For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven,

Ezr 9:5 ¶ And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God

3) Sitting

1Ch 17:16 ¶ And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said, Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? . . . 1Ch 17:25 For thou, O my God, hast told thy servant that thou wilt build him an house: therefore thy servant hath found in his heart to pray before thee. David was sitting before the Lord when he prayed.

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Guest Post – Forrest Wychopen – In Your Own Eyes

Forrest Wychopen was diagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis in 1990, and despite his disability he had blessed millions with his courage and and strength to live life as a true Christian one day at a time.  God has blessed him with some insight to His word that would take many a half century to glean.  The following is one of Forrest’s encouraging insights that speak of God’s marvelous grace in times of adversity and trial.  You may visit Forrest’s web page and see his work with “Christ Directed Ministries” at www.christdirected.com

In Your Own Eyes

We each live in our own frame of reference. What I mean by “frame of reference” is that our particular view in daily life is greatly influenced and formed by our personal experiences and circumstances. You cannot see through my eyes, and I cannot see through yours. That’s not a complaint, it’s simply a reality. I have borders and boundaries just like you. We should not trespass!

Let me make it very clear, I am not referring to the absolutes which are found in scripture. There are Biblical truths that apply to every single person who is reading this post. So please do not twist or distort my words to justify your particular life choices that are in direct opposition to God’s holy word. We each have the responsibility to read, study, obey, and apply the word of God.

What I’m specifically referring to is the God given differences we each have. Although things change throughout our life, like it or not our personal history has created some “borders” that are unique. In other words, my life is unique compared to your life. And our particular disposition in life is based on those specific realities. Some individuals have been blessed with great health. Others live with daily illness. Some individuals have financial stability. Others cannot meet there basic needs. Some have sharp and witty minds, others are dull and mentally challenged. Some have nice homes and nice vehicles, others do not. I could go on and on but I think you get the point. People are different. Some sail, others sink. Some laugh, others weep. Some are joyful, some grieve. Some are on the mountaintop, others are in the valley.

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