These articles have been written by Dr. John W. Lewis- Pastor of Anchor Baptist Church
These articles can also be found in the Record Herald each week.
Be Thou Clean
Luke 5:12-13, “And it came to pass when he was in a certain city, behold a man full
of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt,
thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be
thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.” Leprosy represents sin in the
Bible and we find a man who was full of leprosy. Notice in our scripture it says, “behold a
man.” I am glad they didn’t give us his name because it doesn’t make a difference. God saves
whosoever will come unto Him. Notice also it says, “he was in a certain city.” I am satisfied to
know that God works in all cities, not just a few. This man had probably tried every cure for
leprosy that was available. Now he comes to Jesus, the proper source.
Jesus Christ has the answer to all of life’s problems. Not only is Jesus the proper source,
but he is the proper force. He had power to heal this man by saying three words, “Be thou
clean!” Then Jesus set him on the proper course. Verse 14 says, “And he charged him to tell
no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as
Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.”
We need to go to Jesus to be cleansed of our sin and let Him put us on the right course
Acts 27:44, “And the rest, some on boards and some on broken pieces of the ship.
And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.”
This scripture speaks of a voyage that was taken that ended up in shipwreck where
every passenger, all 276 of them, safely made it to shore on broken pieces, we think of things
that are useless or of no value, but brokenness is important. For a house to be built, a tree
must be broken; for a foundation to be laid, stone and ground must be broken. God used
broken fellowship with man to show forth his grace; the broken law or Ten Commandments to
show forth His salvation. Samson used a broken jawbone of an ass to slay 1,000 Philistines.
Jesus gave His body to be broken that we might be set free from our sin.
God did not send His Son to call the righteous, because none could be found. But He
came that He might seek and save them that are lost. Is there a person anywhere who can
stand up and say they never sinned or experienced failure and brokenness in their life? 2
Corinthians 12:10b, “For when I am weak, then am I strong.” God uses broken things. He also
uses the broken pieces of our lives to put us back together, to use for His glory.
We can make it safely on broken pieces!
Marks of Love
I Corinthians 13:4-8a, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; chartity
vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is
not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never
Many people in all ages have been asked to describe what is love. In the above verses,
we have the marks of love, but where did love originate? Love began with God, for the Bible
says that God is love. One of the fruits of the Spirit of God is love. We must conclude that love
is from above and manifested in many different ways. Time and space would not permit us to
tell of these many different acts of love, but let me say, love is giving of oneself and lust is
seeing what you can get.
If we were to write a book on success and fill it with many pages, we would only need
one word on each page, and that would be love, because LOVE never faileth.
I Corinthians 13:13, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the
greatest of these is charity.”
Dressed For Success
Ephesians 6:10-11, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” We need a balanced wardrobe. Half-dressed Christians are vulnerable to Satan’s attacks.
The first piece of attire is the robe of righteousness given to us when we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour.
The second is the girdle of truth to battle the devil’s lies. We need to know the difference between fact and fiction. Let’s have a balance of truth, honest with ourselves, God and others.
The third is the breastplate of righteousness, which is a balance between God’s righteousness bestowed upon us and our own righteousness, which we develop by doing right.
The secret of success is choosing to do right.
The fourth are the shoes of the gospel of peace. As Christians, we are to publish glad tidings of peace to a world that has no peace. Then as we spread this gospel of peace, God gives us the peace that passeth all understanding.
The fifth is a shield of faith. The Bible says above all we need faith. Faith is given to us as we hear and believe the word of God. When everything seems wrong and the devil points out all our failures, we need to hold up the shield of faith believing the promises of God.
The sixth is the helmet of salvation, which protects our thought life. Sometimes we think wrong and begin to doubt the goodness of God. Let’s be sure we don’t get dressed without our helmet.
The seventh piece of clothing for the believer is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Then lastly we need to wash our clothes in prayer. Ephesians 6:18a “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”
This wardrobe never goes out of style. Are you dressed for success?
I Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
In this verse, the message is crystal clear. Christ’s purpose of coming into the world is to save sinners. This is a faithful saying. In the world today, many people use proverbial sayings and wives’ tales as though they were faithful sayings found in the Bible. Let me give you a couple, “God helps those who help themselves.” “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” However, the truth is that these are not faithful sayings found in the Bible.
Now what are some faithful sayings? I Timothy 4:8 & 9, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.”
Look also at 2 Timothy 2:11-13, “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”
Lastly, there is a faithful saying concerning our works found in Titus 3:8, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”
Dividing Our Time
Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Each day brings the same fourteen hundred and forty minutes no matter how you slice it. Life is to be lived one day at a time. So, if we are going to divide our time it must be on that basis.
Psalm 118:24 “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Notice, good days are made they just don’t happen. But also notice: not everyday is our best day. We can’t always control the circumstances around us.
So to divide our time or to balance our day is to make sure certain things are added to our lives in a 24 hour period no matter what the circumstances.
Each day should be lived to the fullest and on purpose. That would include doing first things first. Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
God deserves first place. If we take care of our spirit’s needs first he will in turn help us with our mind and body.
The scriptures tell us of certain things we should strive to do everyday. Let’s take a look at a few.
Psalm 61:8, “So will I sing praise unto thy name for every, that I may daily perform my vows.”
Each day we need to thank and praise the Lord for who he is and what he is doing in our lives. Then we need to do those things necessary to stay on target with our goals.
Proverbs 8:34, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.”
Hearing and watching would involve our communication with God. Whether communicating by Bible study, prayer or just staying in touch with God.
Luke 9:23, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
Following the Lord and choosing to serve him is a daily proposition that requires self denial. He must increase and we must decrease.
Hebrews 3:13, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
If we can make it a point to lighten the load or encourage someone everyday, it will go a long way in balancing your life.
Common sense dictates time allotted for eating, sleeping, playing and working. Additional time is needed for mind expansion and staying fit physically.
Guard your time. It is the most precious thing you have to give. When it is gone it can never be brought back.
We need not only balance our time but to interweave our activities so that we accomplish more than just one thing. Learn something in order to help someone else, fellowshipping as we eat or perhaps teaching as we play. Asking ourselves, “What will I do today that will last for eternity?”
I Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
Suffering for Christ
Philippians 1:29, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.”
Modern Christianity would have you believe that you should always be blessed with health and wealth and that God will keep us from all sorrows and sicknesses. Don’t be surprised if you’re living your life according to the Bible and find that it is not always a bed of roses.
Look at Matthew 5:11 & 12, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake, Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” The Bible says all who live Godly shall suffer persecution, but the promise is that we shall be rewarded if it is for Christ’s sake you are persecuted.
Christ suffered for us. The Just for the unjust. Look at Isaiah 53:3, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it wre our faces from him, he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” If we are going to know Christ, then we must suffer for his sake. Look at Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made comfortable unto his death.”
Shallow Christianity endures no suffering!
Those we ask for, those we don't
There are two kinds of storms in life; those we ask for and those we don’t. The Christian life is compared to traveling on the sea. Sometimes it’s calm and then again sometimes it’s stormy or full of problems. Whether we ask for them or not they still come. The storms we ask for because of our own foolishness we deserve, but what about those problems caused by others?
God’s Word tells of such storms brought about by others. Remember Jonah? A ship and its crew were almost destroyed because of one man’s disobedience. The apostle Paul experienced just the opposite; the captain and the crew was wrong, the ship destroyed and Paul suffered with them, even though he was right. Acts 27:9-11, “Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.” Paul would tell them I told you so later, but that is little comfort when you are lost at sea and almost dead. Saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t seem to make it when someone accidentally burns your house down. Maybe a doctor has prescribed a wrong medicine which caused a death in your family. How do we handle storms caused by others? The answer is found in Paul’s life in the storm. His ship was wrecked, not his life. When we are in storms of this nature, we will have to cast out four anchors and ride the storm out.
The first anchor is the anchor of God’s Presence. God comes to us and is closer to us in the storms of life. Acts 27:23, “For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve.” While in your storm, it seems you will go under the waves. But the Master of the sea comes walking on the water just in the time we need Him the most. Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us and in the storms, He send us a visitor in the night.
The second anchor is the anchor of God’s Providence. Nothing can happen to me that hasn’t already crossed God’s desk first. He knows and has ordered the steps that I must take. Acts 27:24, “Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all of them that sail with thee.” We are all on this planet for a reason and until our time is up, we are safe and secure in God’s will for our life. Paul must go see Caesar, storm or no storm. Rest in God’s Providence because there are no accidents with God.
The third anchor is the anchor of God’s Promise. Our future is as bright as the promises of God. Acts 27:25, “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.” It’s easy to believe God in the good times, but when the clouds of doubt haunt us it calls for added faith. Just remember God cannot lie. If He said it, that settles it.
The last anchor is the anchor of God’s Power. The storms of life may break us and leave us without material wealth, but the experiences and lessons learned will be priceless. Acts 27:44, “And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came
to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.” Paul had a peace and calm in the midst of the storm, because he cast the anchors of God’s Presence, Providence, Promise, and Power. Sometimes we are called upon to go through the storm just to be an example of God’s grace in our lives.
Some you ask for and some you don’t.