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Christian Living

56 Items

So You Think You Have Problems?

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SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE PROBLEMS? Mike Johnson Christians have hardships from time to time. Some face social ostracism. Some have difficulties with their families because of their religious beliefs. Other Christians may have to suffer economically because of their stands for righteousness. There are times when a person might suffer physical abuse or even […]

Applying God’s Word

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Applying God’s Word Mike Johnson People often hear the Word of God but are not willing to obey it.  Some may intend to obey, but they never seem to get around to it.  It is not enough to simply hear or even know God’s Word: we must be willing to obey it. Notice an interesting […]

The Importance of Words And Thoughts (Ps. 19:14)

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The Importance of Words and Thoughts Mike Johnson (Psalm 19:14) Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” This verse is found at the end of a very beautiful Psalm.  In verses 1-6, the writer spoke […]

Presumptuous Sins

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Presumptuous Sins Mike Johnson Psalm 19:13 says, “Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.” What is a presumptuous sin?  This is a sin which is committed with arrogance and grows out of self-reliance and […]

Are You Frozen?

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Are You Frozen? Mike Johnson I would like to relate a story which I have had for many years in my files.  I don’t know the name of the author, but the message is certainly clear. The story is called, “Waiting too Long.”    “Once a man standing by Niagara saw an eagle sitting on […]

My Sin Is Always Before Me

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My Sin Is Always Before Me Mike Johnson Psalm 51 is thought to have been written by David after his sin with Bathsheba.  In II Samuel 11-12, we are told David committed the sin of adultery and then murder trying to conceal what he had done.  He was confronted by Nathan, the prophet.  David admitted […]

Restore Unto Me the Joy of Your Salvation

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Restore Unto Me the Joy of Your Salvation Mike Johnson It is thought that Psalm 51 was written by David after his sin with Bathsheba.  In this Psalm, he is engulfed with emotion; he is asking God to have mercy on him and extend His forgiveness.  In the first part of verse 12 he said […]

“Everything I Have Is for Sale . . .”

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“Everything I Have Is for Sale . . .” Mike Johnson A number of years ago a friend of mine had a classic automobile.  He really took care of that car.  Every so often, he would have it painted and would keep it polished to a showroom shine.  He took good care of it mechanically.  […]

Pray Without Ceasing

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Pray Without Ceasing Mike Johnson I Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”  This verse is found in the midst of a series of short admonitions given by Paul near the close of the book of I Thessalonians.  He had just said that Christians should “rejoice always.”  These two admonitions can be connected.  Prayer is often […]

Support the Weak

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SUPPORT THE WEAK Mike Johnson Paul closes out the book of I Thessalonians with some very important and practical exhortations.  In chapter 5, verse 14; he “exhorts” (NASB — “urge”) the brethren to, among other things, “support the weak.” Christians certainly have a responsibility to “support the weak.” The weak are those who are spiritually […]

Priorites

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Priorities Mike Johnson  “We need to put first things first.”  “You need to get your priorities straightened out.”  These are common expressions in our society.  Certainly, priorities do need to be kept in mind.  There are some things that are more important than others. The Bible has a lot to say concerning priorities.  God expects […]

Profane & Vulgar Speech

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PROFANE AND VULGAR SPEECH Mike Johnson The use of vulgar and profane language is at an all-time high in our society today.  Profanity is everywhere, and it is difficult to escape from it. Without a doubt, the media (specifically television and the movies) has had a major impact on the way people talk.  “Hollywood” has […]

A Lesson from a Squirrel

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A LESSON FROM A SQUIRREL Mike Johnson  A few years ago while walking; I saw a squirrel fall from a tree.  This is something that I never expected to see.  I have often watched squirrels perform all kinds of amazing acrobatic feats.  I have seen them do a tightrope walk across a telephone wire; I […]

The Enslaving Power of Sin

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The Enslaving Power of Sin Mike Johnson  Man today often pictures sin as a pleasant delight.  Sin, according to many, is not something to be “avoided” but is something to be “pursued.”  The moral teaching of God’s Word is often looked upon as “old-fashioned,” and those who try to adhere to the high standard of […]

Are We Complacent About Sin?

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ARE WE COMPLACENT ABOUT SIN? Mike Johnson Many years ago my wife and I moved into a house which was very close to a well-traveled train track. Trains traveled on the tracks throughout the night.  At first, the whistles from the trains woke us up.  Before long, however, our sleep was rarely disturbed by the […]

Don’t Treat Prayer Like a Spare Tire

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DON’T TREAT PRAYER LIKE A SPARE TIRE Mike Johnson  Do you spend a lot of time thinking about the spare tire in your automobile?  Many people do not.  In fact, many do not even check to see if they have a spare tire in their trunk.  However, there is a time when all attention is focused […]

Peer Pressure

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PEER PRESSURE Mike Johnson  A woman who had reached the age of 102 was discussing her longevity.  She said, “Well, at least I don’t have to worry about peer pressure.”   Someone 102 probably does not have any peers left.  However, peer pressure influences most people, to one degree or another, and it is a great […]

Patience

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Patience Mike Johnson The term “patience” occurs frequently in the Bible.  Patience is a difficult lesson to learn in the age that we live in, yet, it is a trait that Christians must have.  The church at Ephesus, for example, was commended for their patience (Rev. 2:2-3).  Hebrews 12:1 says that Christians are to “run […]

Our Regard for Others

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OUR REGARD FOR OTHERS Philippians 2:3 Mike Johnson The book of Philippians emphasizes the importance of unity.  Paul, in Philippians 1:27, encouraged the Christians at Philippi to “ . . . stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel . . . .”  In Philippians 2:2, he […]

Put Away Lying

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Put Away Lying (Ephesians 4:25) Mike Johnson “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.” (Eph. 4:25) This verse tells us that Christians are to put away lying.  The context tells us that the old man is to be put off, and the new man […]

Lying

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Lying Mike Johnson  The Bible has a lot to say on the subject of lying.  Lying is clearly disapproved of by God and certainly should be avoided by Christians. The Old Testament frequently speaks of lying.  Proverbs 16:17 makes it clear that a “lying tongue” is one of the things that the Lord hates.  Further, […]

Loyalty

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LOYALTY Mike Johnson Several years ago I saw a bumper sticker on an automobile which said: “101% Bama— I’ll Never Change.”   The sticker expressed the extreme loyalty that the owner of the car had for his favorite football team, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide.  I take it that his loyalty would not be affected […]

Lie Not to One Another

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LIE NOT TO ONE ANOTHER Mike Johnson  The sin of lying is very common.  However, that does not make it right.  A famous preacher was once preaching to a very large audience, and he used in his text the story of Ananias and Sapphira who lied and were struck dead.  The old preacher proclaimed, “God […]

Lasciviousness

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Lasciviousness Mike Johnson  The sin of lasciviousness is mentioned several times in God’s Word.  It is important to discuss this sin, especially in the times that we live in. It seems that there are several definitions which can be given for lasciviousness.  The Greek word in the original is apparently a fairly broad word which […]

Jesting

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JESTING Mike Johnson  Ephesians 5:3-5 has a list of sins that Christians are to avoid.  Such sins as fornication and covetousness are listed.  Verse four mentions the sin of jesting (KJV). It says, “neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient:  but rather giving of thanks.”  The NASB translates the expression “not […]

Hate Father & Mother

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Hate Father and Mother Mike Johnson  Luke 14:26 says, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be may disciple.”  Why does Christ say that we must hate our fathers and mothers and other family […]

How Well Do You Listen?

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HOW WELL DO YOU LISTEN? Mike Johnson How well do you listen? Some of the most famous statements ever made would not be remembered if someone had not listened carefully to what was said. Listening, and listening properly, is very important to learning. One person put it like this: “Talk and you say what you […]

Love for God

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Love For God Mike Johnson  The Bible teaches that we are to love God.  Matthew 22 reveals a case where some Pharisees were questioning Jesus.  A scribe asked Him what the greatest commandment was.  In verse 37 Jesus replied, “ . . .  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and […]

Ignoring Sin

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IGNORING SIN Mike Johnson A very common statement made by many people today is, “I just don’t let it bother me.”   In many areas, we would all be better off taking this approach.  With sin, however, this is a very dangerous approach.  Many people are very complacent regarding their sins, and  instead of seeking a […]

Hate Sin!

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Hate Sin! Mike Johnson The Bible has a great deal to say about the subject of hate.  People typically think that Christians are not supposed to hate, and generally this is true.  However, the Bible clearly teaches that Christians are to hate sin! A number of passages speak about hating evil or sin.  Romans 12:9 […]

Flattery

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FLATTERY Mike Johnson  At a reception in Washington, a widow asked a young man to guess her age.  “You must have some idea,” she said, as he hesitated.  “I have several ideas,” he admitted with a smile.  “The trouble is that I hesitate whether to make it ten years younger on account of you looks, […]

Evil Surmising

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Evil Surmising Mike Johnson Evil surmising is listed as a sin in I Timothy 6:4.  The passage says, (KJV) “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings.”  What is evil surmising?  We need to know what it is to know whether we are […]

He Was a Faithful Man . . .

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HE WAS A FAITHFUL MAN WHO FEARED GOD ABOVE MANY Mike Johnson  The book of Nehemiah tells about the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.  This was done by the Jews who returned from the Babylonian captivity.  After the walls were completed, Nehemiah appointed Hanani (his brother)  and Hananiah (the ruler of the palace) as rulers […]

Buy the Truth & Sell It Not

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BUY THE TRUTH & SELL IT NOT Mike Johnson  Proverbs 23:23 says, “Buy the truth, and sell it not . . .”  This passage shows the extreme value of truth.  We are to spare no pains or costs to “buy” it, and once we have it, we are to keep it safe.  We should not be […]

Some Important Choices

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SOME IMPORTANT CHOICES Mike Johnson  Life is full of choices.  We must make decisions every day.  Some of the choices that we face are not as important as others.  The most important choices that we face are in the spiritual realm.  Jesus spoke of choices that each of us face in Matthew 7:13,14.  Here he […]

Warn the Unruly

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WARN THE UNRULY Mike   Johnson  In  I  Thessalonians  5:14,  Paul  gave  some important teaching that all Christians need to listen to.  He stated that Christians are to,  “be patient toward all men,” they are to  “support  the weak,”  and they are  to  “comfort  the feebleminded.”   The first responsibility that  he  enjoins, however, is to “warn […]

Good from Bad

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GOOD FROM BAD (Philippians 1:12-14)  Mike Johnson  The Book of Philippians was written by Paul while he was in prison.  His trial had probably already taken place, and he seemed to be waiting for the verdict.  It appears that he expected to be released but was uncertain about it.  Paul, no doubt, did not enjoy […]

A Faithful Man Who Feared God Above Many

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A FAITHFUL MAN WHO FEARED GOD ABOVE MANY  Mike Johnson The book of Nehemiah tells about the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.  This was done by the Jews who returned from Babylonian captivity.  Nehemiah appointed Hanani, his brother, and Hananiah as rulers of Jerusalem after the walls were completed.  It is interesting to note what is […]

Watch Out for That Lion!

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Watch Out for That Lion! Mike Johnson Proverbs 22:13 says, “The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.”  If a lion were really outside of a person’s house, he would be wise to stay inside.  However, in that it is a slothful (or lazy) man speaking, it […]

Instability

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INSTABILITY Mike Johnson  “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee?  O Judah, what shall I do unto thee?  For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew that goeth away.” (Hosea 6:4) Hosea uses two figures in this verse to describe the spiritual condition of Ephraim (Israel) and Judah.  Their […]

Evil Company

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Evil Company Mike Johnson The story is told of two parrots who lived near each other. The one was accustomed to singing hymns while the other was addicted to swearing. The owner of the latter obtained permission for it to associate with the former in the hope that its bad habit would be corrected. Instead […]

In Everything Give Thanks

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“In Everything Give Thanks” Mike Johnson I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks. . . .”  This teaching is given in the midst of a series of short admonitions near the end of the book of I Thessalonians.  Earlier, Paul had told them that they needed to “rejoiced always,” and that they were to […]

Slow Paced Favors

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SLOW PACED FAVORS Mike Johnson  Proverbs 3:27-28 says, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.  Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.” The verses make it clear […]

Conviction

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CONVICTION Mike Johnson  Are you a person who has strong convictions?  Once you learn what the Bible teaches, are you willing to believe and practice it no matter what?  In the Bible, we can read of a number of people who had strong convictions.  At all costs, they were determined to follow God.  For example, […]

What is Repentance?

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WHAT IS REPENTANCE? Mike Johnson  What is Repentance?  This is a very important question.  It is important to understand the meaning of repentance because repentance is essential to salvation.  In Acts 2:38 the people were told that they needed to repent (in addition to being baptized) for the remission of sins.  Thus repentance is certainly […]

Blaming Others for Our Sins

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BLAMING OTHERS FOR OUR SINS Mike Johnson It is very common for people to try to blame their mistakes on others; we have a tendency to want to shift responsibility.  People also blame SIN on other people.  Many did this in biblical times; regrettably, the blaming of sin on others also takes place a lot today.  […]

Cheetahs and Christians

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Cheetahs and Christians Mike Johnson  The fastest land animal is a large cat called the cheetah.  It can run like a car driving down the interstate—almost 70 miles per hour.  The cheetah is built for running.  It has long legs, a very strong flexible spine which works like a spring, bending up and down allowing […]

Rejoice Always

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Rejoice Always Mike Johnson  I Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Rejoice always.”  This verse is said to be the shortest verse in the Bible in the Greek.  Ironically, the shortest verse in the English deals with the opposite emotion which is sorrow.  This verse is John 11:35 which says, “Jesus wept.” It is amazing how many times […]

Thinking About the Hereafter

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Thinking About the Hereafter  Mike Johnson  A man once asked, “Do you ever think about the hereafter?”  He thought a few seconds and said, “I go in a room in order to get something, but once I get there I can’t remember what I went to get.  So I think, ‘what am I here after?’” […]

A Useless Religion?

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A USELESS RELIGION?  Mike Johnson  James 1:26 says, “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.” (NKJV) Do you know that it is possible for our religion to become vain? First, Jesus pointed out that it is possible for […]

Concern for Others

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CONCERN FOR OTHERS  Philippians 2:4  Mike Johnson   An often overlooked, yet significant passage, Philippians 2:4 says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”  This concept is contrary to the popular notion espoused by humanists and others who selfishly care only for themselves.  Many people today will only […]

Swift to Hear, Slow to Speak, Slow to Wrath

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SWIFT TO HEAR, SLOW TO SPEAK, SLOW TO WRATH  Mike Johnson  In James 1:19, James addresses his “beloved brethren” and gives a very important admonition.  The verse  says, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” Contextually, this exhortation seems to refer particularly to our disposition […]

The Silent Killer

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The Silent Killer Mike Johnson  High blood pressure is sometimes referred to by doctors as “the silent killer.”  It is referred to in this way because people often do not even know that they have high blood pressure until it has already done its damage. This is not an article about high blood though, but […]

Carried by Angels

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Carried by Angels  Mike Johnson An interesting line occurs near the end of Hamlet, as Shakespeare has Horatio saying these words as Hamlet dies: “…Good night, sweet prince, / And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!” (5.2.361-2).  Shakespear’s idea of angels being near when an individual dies does not conflict with what we […]

Bad Language

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Bad Language Mike Johnson The story is told of a farmer who drove his team of mules into town, but he was very late in returning.  His wife asked him what had taken so long.  The farmer replied, “Well, on the way back I had to pick up the preacher, and from then on, these […]

Bad Company

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Bad Company Mike Johnson The story is told of two parrots who lived near each other.  The one was accustomed to singing hymns while the other was addicted to swearing.  The owner of the latter obtained permission for it to associate with the former in the hope that its bad habit would be corrected.  Instead […]