Here's A Thought...

Here are some "THOUGHTS" that will hopefully answer some of the questions that you may have about what the Bible has to say about our everyday lives. These articles are here to provoke thought; provide answers, guidance and resources; all in an effort to bring you into a closer relationship with your Heavenly Father!


Saturday, October 30, 2010



1 Corinthians 12:4-11 ESV
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another a gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 KJ
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
JOE’S NOTE: There are many gifts of the Holy Spirit and I don’t think Paul intended that this be the entire list, but these are the gifts he chose to list when speaking to the church in Corinth. Paul is simply saying there are many gifts of the Holy Spirit and only by the Spirit are these gifts “empowered” on an individual basis. All are gifts of the Holy Spirit, NOT REQUIREMENTS!

1 Corinthians 14: ESV
2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.
14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.
JOE’S NOTE: Paul makes it clear; speaking in tongues is for the understanding of your spirit and GOD. Not for the understanding of others, NOT EVEN FOR THE UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR OWN MIND.

1 Corinthians 14: 6-19 ESV
6 Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. 12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
JOE’S NOTE: The churches purpose is to prophecy; that is to instruct, to teach, to share the Word of God, to educate, to impart spiritual and biblical knowledge. And to prophesy; that is to build up, to lift up, to encourage, and to inspire. Speaking or praying in tongues is for the edification of your spirit, not the church body. Paul says clearly that he is thankful to God that he speaks tongues more than all he is addressing, yet he says equally as clear, [for the edification of the church, for the prophecy and prophesy of the church] he would rather speak five words with his mind (with his mouth in an intelligible language) than ten thousand words in a tongue (that no one may understand or be edified by).

Read 1 Corinthians 14:26-40

JOE’S NOTE: Yes, Paul speaks directly to that in his letter to the church in Corinth. But he clearly defines this ability as a separate gift that should be prayed for and sought after. But again, remember that not all the church body will possess all gifts so that no one should speak out loud in tongues with the assumption that there is someone present who can interpret.

The gift of tongues was first introduced with the imparting or gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:1-4 ESV
1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
JOE’S NOTE: It was this point when all the apostles were gathered and the Holy Spirit came upon them, blessed them with, and imparted upon them supernatural (1. Not of natural world; relating to or attributed to phenomena that cannot be explained by natural laws. 2. Relating to deity {Encarta Dictionary}) gifts of the Holy Spirit (discussed in 1 Corinthians 12) and from here they set out imparting supernatural wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, etc.. The gift of tongues was just one of the supernatural abilities granted to the apostles by the Holy Spirit.
Now enter the confusion, paragraph 2 of Acts chapter 2.
Acts 2:5-13 ESV
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
JOE’S NOTE: First I ask you to try to take a moment to put yourself in that place and in that time; observing as an outsider, a non-Christian, and witnessing what was going on with the Holy Spirit through the disciples. What a total sense of bewilderment, amazement, confusion and WOW!
Understand there were a lot of miracles occurring at this time, but we are just going to talk about tongues. Paul say’s in 1 Corinthians that he who speaks in tongues, speaks in his spirit to GOD and not to man, that only his spirit and GOD understand. This would explain why some there in Jerusalem thought the disciples were “filled with wine” due to the strange utterances. But there were also many visitors from other countries who were not Christians or even Jews, who heard the disciples preaching “in his own language”, “the mighty works of God”. The disciples were preaching, and all present “hear them telling in our own tongues (language)”. This is yet another miracle. Were the disciple’s speaking in tongues and the Holy Spirit imparted to all present the gift to interpret their tongues, or were the disciples preaching in their own language and the Holy Spirit interceded to allow all to understand? I don’t know and you know, those present at the time probably don’t know the answer to that either. Who are we to speak on the power of the Holy Spirit?

For almost two thousand years, there has been controversy over the gifts of the Holy Spirit and speaking more directly to the gift of speaking in tongues. Paul had to address it when writing to the Church at Corinth due to mishandling of the gift, and churches have been divided on this issue to this day. There are two camps of people within the Christian community; one who think that the gift of tongues was for the Apostles, to be used by them as a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit as they spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that the gift of tongues died with the Apostles. The other side believes that the gift exists to this day. The argument is further confused on how you wish to interpret the following scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:8; “As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away”. But I will put this passage into context shortly.

I came from a small town of Lima, Ohio. One of the things that everyone from Lima will brag about is a local restaurant called Kewpee’s, and I am telling you that it is the best hamburger you will ever eat. When I was in the military and stationed in Texas for schooling, I ran across someone that was not from Lima, but had been to Lima and we immediately began talking about the Kewpee burger. We tried to tell those around us how good this burger was and they either chose to accept that it was the best hamburger ever, or they didn’t. When it comes down to it, the Kewpee burger cannot be explained, it has to be experienced. The Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues is the same. I can try to describe it and you can choose to accept it or reject it. But in the end, it cannot be explained, it has to be experienced.


The following is copied from my blog site (

We are called to love; the great commission is to love. Paul writes that, “faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1st Corinthians 13:13. Paul also writes in Romans the 14th chapter he warns against judging our neighbors and our fellow Christians and strongly cautions us against passing judgment.
Romans 14:1 “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.”
Romans 14:4-5; “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Romans 14:10-13; “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore, let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”
So I suggest to you, when confronted with a brother that may not believe as we do or behave as we do; whether in the body of Christ or not, that we first try to love. We don’t judge, condemn, convict or correct. Judgment we leave to God the Father through his son Jesus Christ. Conviction we leave to the helper of the Holy Spirit. And there is plenty of guilt and condemnation coming from hell and the devil. What we need to do is L.O.V.E…love!
Pray before you think, think before you act, and let your actions always reflect your love.

JOE’S NOTE: We are not to judge. If you believe in tongues, and others don’t, do not judge. If you don’t believe in tongues and others do, do not judge. We should all give praise and be blessed for the individual gifts and talents that we have been granted by God and the Holy Spirit. We should give equal praise for the blessings, gifts and talents that God and the Holy Spirit have given to others. For as we have been granted our gifts so that we may serve and others may be blessed, so much more others have been given gifts so that we may be blessed.

1 Corinthians 13 ESV
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect (Jesus) comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide (to dwell, to live or reside in a place-Encarta Dictionary), these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Paul encourages us in 1 Corinthians 14:1- Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.
If you desire any gift, or all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I encourage you to earnestly pursue and pray in faith. But to pray in faith is to believe. If you do not believe in a spiritual gift, the Holy Spirit cannot grant you a gift in which you do not truly believe.

Friday, October 22, 2010


There is no doubt that getting through life today is no walk in the park. For those of us who have chosen to accept our salvation through faith, the enemy has been ever strong and vigilant. In my last post, I wrote about loving our neighbor. For so many Christians, that just doesn’t seem to be enough. We get a burning desire to fight all that goes against what we know to be right and wrong. There are so many issues that face our society today; one might not know where to begin.

However, this is where I want to take a moment to just ask you to take some time to take a deep breath, think before you act and spend a lot of time in prayer. Seek out what God would have you do to further His kingdom. Be careful you don’t act out of furthering your own agenda.

There are many times in the Old Testament when God called on His people to enter into war, to fight battles, to conquer, to destroy and to eliminate. But remember, when those who were chosen to enter into battle, they were called by God. They acted under the direction of God and were only victorious because it was God’s will; God’s plan. Those that went to battle as part of God’s will; entered it in confidence that His will would prevail. They could stand firm on who He is.

In today’s world, there is not much call for conquering territory or obtaining land needed for survival. The issues that face us as Christians today are of civil liberties, religious rights and freedoms, social issues, and probably most sensitive, moral issues facing our society. There are growing issues that smack right in the face of Christian values; Godly values. As society continues its progressive move away from God, it attempts to change the laws to adapt to their want of a lack of accountability. To this I say, get involved, know what is going on in the legislature, know who is running for office, and get behind those politicians that support your point of view.

However I urge you to recognize, this is not a personal attack, and this is not about you. This is about removing God from society. No one can remove your personal convictions; no one can take away your accountability. Don’t get angry and certainly don’t hate them. It is from an angry and bitter heart that causes one to rebel against a God that has so much love for them. Fear and anger is not the way to confront those that are already hurt and angry; for that is no more that dumping fuel on a burning fire. We confront them with love and stand firm in our convictions.

When the Israelite’s were fleeing their captors in Egypt, Moses said to them; “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today.” (Exodus 14:13) When Paul finishes his 1st letter to the church in Corinth, he tells them; “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14) Paul writes again to the church in Ephesus, instructing them on preparing their spiritual armor; “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13) Paul wrote to the church in Philippi from his imprisonment in Rome; imprisoned for simply spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even while undergoing his own torment, he still wrote and instructed the church; “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents.” (Philippians 1:27-28)

We live in a time where we have more freedoms and liberties than any other time in history, yet we fear. None of the 12 disciples died of natural causes, all killed for their beliefs, for their faith and for spreading the good news of Jesus Christ; yet we live in fear and want to act out against those that challenge what we believe. Christ walked among us as an example of love and not of judgment, anger or fear. The bible that was written as a result of Christ; speaks of love and compassion. I urge you to seek to spread the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ; and I urge you to do so in love. For that is what we are called to do.

I leave you with words from Paul’s last letter to his spiritual son Timothy as he awaited his execution in Rome. “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5)


Love Your Enemy

There are so many issues that we face in the world today that I know have the heart of God just breaking to have to see what we have become. As Christians, our hearts should also weep knowing the suffering that is in this world, and we should be even more saddened to look around and see so many that don’t know the love of Jesus Christ; so many that may spend eternity separated from their Father in Heaven.

I have come to realize that I differ from so many Christians on how these issues should be, and need to be addressed. Abortions, the homosexual movement, atheist and agnostics, social issues; these and so many others are issues that Christians are faced with every day. These are all issues that so many are ready to stand against, to fight against. But what is our role?

Christians should want to ban together, to increase numbers and be ready to combat all that interfere with the expansion of the Kingdom of Heaven. However; all these issues are no more than symptoms of simpler, yet overwhelming problem. All these issues that face society and Christians today are all issues of the heart; and because they are issues of the heart, they cannot be changed without changing the heart. An alcoholic will not change until he acknowledges there is a problem; an abuser will not change until he sees what he is doing to be wrong. All who stand in opposition to God’s laws, also stand in opposition to God’s love.

Think about it; do you really think that anyone who would kill their baby, does it not thinking it is the right thing to do? Do you really believe that someone would live their life as a homosexual if they didn’t believe in their heart what they were doing was ok? Do you really think that those who want to remove God from government, from society and from our schools don’t believe in their heart of hearts that they are doing the right thing? All these people believe firmly in their hearts that they are right. Do you think that simply telling all these people that they are wrong is going to change their minds or change their hearts?

So what are we to do? It really is not all that complicated. The bible lays out clearly how we are to combat the forces of evil, to fight all those that stand in opposition to God. We love them. (SAY WHAT!) We love them, and in doing so, show them the love of God and all that He has done through His son, Jesus Christ. “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this, you should love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) Paul writes; “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals on his head [spiritually speaking]. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:20-21)
Let me put it another way; you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

Please don’t misunderstand; I am not saying to just lie down and let them have their way. Be strong and be firm. Be a wall; a brick wall never struck or hurt anyone, it just stands. If there are political issues, get out and vote on them. If you come across someone who is in opposition to God’s love, love them; and through that love becomes relationships; and through relationships you can show God’s love; and in God’s love and through the awesome power of the Holy Spirit, the heart can be changed.

No one can be bullied, intimidated, threatened, coerced, scared, beaten, dragged, forced or even brainwashed into accepting the love of Christ. And if that is what it takes, quite frankly, he doesn’t want it. Love your enemy, pray for them. There is enough condemnation in the world; conviction is the job of the Holy Spirit; we are called to love. Leave the judgment and condemnation to the world; we are called to accept, to support, to guide and above all….to love! “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone” (John 8:7).