Being a Productive Christian

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Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

There are many books, articles, and websites dedicated to the subject of productivity. People want to improve how they use their time and work more efficiently and effectively. While being productive is important in the realm of work and business, we should not limit it to those areas of our lives.

The Scriptures teach that we are to be productive in our spiritual lives. Though the word productivity is not used in the Bible, the concept is certainly discussed. In this article, we are going to see what the Bible says about how to be a productive Christian.Continue Reading

This World Is Not My Home

Old House

For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

As Paul wrote to the brethren in Corinth, he described the fact that our lives on earth are temporary, yet we have an eternal home in heaven. It is important that we understand this – this world is not our home. Our real home is in heaven. In this article, we are going to contrast these two homes and consider how an understanding of the difference between them should cause us to live here.
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Ten Years

Deep in Thought

So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting” (Ecclesiastes 11:10).

Every hour, day, and year that passes is forever lost. Once time has passed, we can never get it back. Jesus said it is impossible to “add a single hour” to our lives (Matthew 6:27).

Within the last year, I have hit three different ten-year milestones in my personal life – the tenth birthday of my oldest son; ten years working with the church in Morgantown; and, with this article, closing out the first ten years of Plain Bible Teaching. This has led me to reflect upon how much can happen in a decade. So in this article, we are going to focus on five different ten-year periods in the Bible and see what lessons we can learn.
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The Root of the Problem (Part 17): Lack of Urgency

The Root of the Problem (Part 17): Lack of Urgency

We sometimes have an odd perception of time. We often stress and worry about matters that must be dealt with in the short term. But when it comes to long term goals and preparations, we tend to take a casual approach to these matters. This is somewhat understandable. The short term matters require immediate attention, so we deal with them. But our long term goals and preparations must be dealt with as well. We cannot continue to put them off for more immediate matters or else we will eventually find that we are too late and have failed to meet those long term goals.

Sadly, this is the attitude many people take toward sin. They know they need to correct sin. They know they need to repent. They know that they must strive for perfection (Matthew 5:48). But they hold on to sin anyway. After all, there is plenty of time for correction later, right? Can we not enjoy sin for a little while now, and give it up at some point in the future?
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The Root of the Problem (Part 12): Not Filling Our Lives With Good Things

The Root of the Problem (Part 12): Not Filling Our Lives With Good Things

Something that we all have in common is that we each have the same number of hours in a day. While we often think that we do not have as much time as others, the reality is that we have chosen to fill our lives with those things which take up our time – either as specific activities or as consequences to other choices we have made.

It is important that we fill our lives and our time with appropriate and wholesome exercises and events. Satan takes advantage when we leave room for sin by not filling our lives with good things.
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The Laborers in the Vineyard

Parables like the one we will examine in this article help explain the nature of Christ’s kingdom and the responsibility of its citizens. Let us notice the parable of the laborers in the vineyard:

Parable of the Laborers in the VineyardFor the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard.

And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; and to those he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.’ When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’ But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’ So the last shall be first, and the first last” (Matthew 20:1-16).

In this article, we will briefly examine six lessons we can learn from this parable.
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Tent-Making Preachers

Paul Making Tents

God’s design is that those who dedicate their lives to preaching the gospel receive full support for that work. Paul told the church in Corinth, “So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:14).

However, one who preaches may not always (or ever) enjoy the blessing of such support. Perhaps the brethren cannot financially support a preacher. It could be that brethren could support a preacher, but will not because they do not value the work of preaching as highly as they should. Or, as in the case of Paul, a preacher may forgo receiving support because circumstances are such that it may actually hinder the cause of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:12).

When a preacher receives only partial support – or even no support – for preaching the gospel, what is he to do?
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