John 15:18 [During the Last Supper, after Judas Iscariot left (see note below*), Jesus said]: "If the world [referring to people who live in the world] hate you [my disciples], ye [you] know that it ['the world'] hated me [Jesus] before it hated you."
The above words also apply to all born-again Christians.
*The Bible says that Judas betrayed Jesus, with a kiss, for 30 pieces of silver. An article entitled "Who was Judas Iscariiot?" tells how and why Judas decided to do such a horrible thing. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/Judas-Iscariot.html.
Hebrews 4:13: "Neither is there any creature [living being] that is not manifest [clearly visible] in his [God's] sight [which, along with Hebrews 4:12, means that there is no person whose thoughts and deeds (actions) are not wholly (fully, completely) known to God]: but all things are naked and opened [exposed] unto the eyes of him [God] with whom we have to do [something important … or 'to whom we must give an account'] [on judgment day]."
In other words, God is omniscient; he knows and sees everything.
Albert Barnes had an interesting comment on the above verse:
"… Who would wish the world to read all his thoughts and feelings for a single day? Who would wish his best friends to look in upon his naked soul as we can look into a room through a window? O what blushes and confusion; what a hanging down of the head, and what an effort to escape from the gaze of people would there be, if every one knew that all his secret feelings were seen by every person whom he met! Social enjoyment would end; and the now frivolous and blithe multitudes in the streets would become processions of downcast and blushing convicts. And yet all these are known to God. He reads every thought; sees every feeling; looks through the whole soul. How careful should we be to keep our hearts pure; how anxious that there should be nothing in the soul that we are not willing to have known! …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/hebrews-4.html, "Verse 13")
Exodus 23:2: "Thou shalt not [you shall not] follow a multitude [many people, such as a gang or a group of rioters] to do evil; neither shalt thou [nor shall you] speak in a cause [as when you testify in court or are a judge or member of a jury in a trial] to decline after many [to side with many others] to wrest [bend or twist] judgment [i.e., to pervert justice, or prevent justice from being served or done]:"
Psalm 84:11 [As part of his prayer to God, referring to born-again Christians, King David wrote]: "For the LORD God is a sun [because he guides and directs us and gives light, comfort, and joy to our souls] and shield [because he protects and defends us]: the LORD will give [us] grace [pardon and favor] [here on earth] and glory [honor] [in the world to come (heaven)]: no good [beneficial] thing [i.e., nothing that we need or that is good for us] will he [God] withhold from them that walk uprightly [from those who are honest and upright and have strong moral principles, because they love God and try to obey his word (as found in the Bible)]."
James 1:14-15 - Temptation and Sin
Verse 14: "But every man [and woman and child] is tempted [to sin], when he [or she] is drawn away of [lured away or led astray by] his [or her] own lust [craving or intense desire to have or do something], and [is] enticed [entrapped or caught, like a fish that takes the bait and swallows the hook]."
Verse 15: "Then when lust hath conceived [an unacceptable thought and/or plan in your mind; i.e., when you think about ungodly, immoral things, or about committing an improper act, and you don't resist and reject those thoughts and/or actions], it [the lust] bringeth forth [results in] sin [sinful acts]: and sin, when it is finished [when it has been committed], bringeth forth death [in all forms, both temporal (physical) and eternal--see note below*]."
Resist temptation so you don't end up living a life of sin.
According to Albert Barnes, normal desires aren't sinful unless they are "indulged in an improper manner." Here's what he said in his commentary on verse 15:
"… As our desires of good lie in the mind by nature, as our propensities exist as they were created, they cannot be regarded as sin, or treated as such; but when they are indulged, when plans of gratification are formed, when they are developed in actual life, the effect is sin. In the mere desire of good, of happiness, of food, of raiment [clothing], there is no sin; it becomes sin when indulged in an improper manner, and when it leads us to seek that which is forbidden - to invade the rights of others, or in any way to violate the laws of God …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/james-1.html, "Verse 15")
*An article entitled "What is eternal death?" explains the meaning of eternal death. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/eternal-death.html.
2 Timothy 1:8 [In a letter sent to Timothy from prison, the apostle Paul wrote]: "Be not thou therefore [therefore, don't be] ashamed of the testimony [gospel] of our Lord [Jesus Christ], nor [and don't be ashamed] of me his prisoner [Paul said this because he was a 'servant of the Lord' and had been put in jail for preaching the gospel]: but be thou partaker of [Paul is encouraging Timothy (and everyone who is a Christian) to be willing to share, take part, or participate in] the afflictions of the gospel [i.e., any pain, suffering, or distress that might result from a profession of the gospel] according to the power [ability] of God [to help us endure (withstand) those trials];"
From the above verse, we learn that Christians should not be ashamed of the gospel or of being associated with those who preach its message of salvation through faith, not works.
This is where in the Bible you can find:
-- The definition of gospel: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
-- That salvation is by faith, not works: Ephesians 2:8-9
The following articles provide additional information about the gospel and salvation:
-- "What is the gospel?"
-- "What are the essentials of the gospel message?"
-- "What is the Christian doctrine of salvation?"
John 15:13 [During the Last Supper with his disciples (or shortly thereafter, as they were going to the Mount of Olives and Garden of Gethsemane), Jesus said]: "Greater love hath no man [no one has greater love] than this, that a man [referring specifically to himself (Jesus), but also applies to everyone else in the world] [would] lay down his [or her] life [i.e., be willing to die] for his [or her] friends."
Jesus himself is the greatest example of this truth, as he willingly suffered an excruciating (extremely painful) death on the cross to save the souls of all mankind, including not only his friends (disciples) but also his enemies and people he never met.
Note: For information on the history of Memorial Day, an explanation of the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and an overview of the various branches of the U.S. military, read these articles:
Throughout history, many man and women
have lost their lives while serving in the military.
Today is a special day that the United States
government has set aside to remember
and honor these people.
-- "Memorial Day 2020"
-- "What Are the Branches of the U.S. Military"
Ephesians 5:25: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ [Jesus] also loved the church [which consists of everyone who has been born again according to the Bible--see note below*], and gave himself [his life] for it [the church];"
Jesus loved us (members of his church--commonly referred to as "believers," "born-again Christians," and the "bride of Christ") so much, he willingly and selflessly (unselfishly) died on the cross to redeem (save) us from hell and give us everlasting life in heaven. He showed by example the kind of love that husbands should have for their wives.
*In the Bible, the "church" is sometimes referred to as the "bride of Christ." GotQuestions.org has written an article that answers the question "What does it mean that the church is the bride of Christ?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/bride-of-Christ.html.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 - Some Christians Never "Grow Up"
In a letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul compared spiritually immature Christians to babies. He wrote:
Verse 1: "And I, brethren [my brothers and sisters in Christ, or fellow Christians], could not speak unto you as [I would speak] unto spiritual [people; i.e., mature, 'grown-up,' knowledgeable, experienced Christians], but [I spoke to you] as [I would speak] unto carnal [Christians], [and] even as [I would speak] unto babes in Christ [meaning new, or 'baby,' Christians]."
Note re verse 1: Carnal Christians are still under the influence of fleshly appetites (worldly desires) because they covet (crave) and live for the things of this life rather than the things of God.
Verse 2: "I have fed you with milk [I have taught only the basic parts of the gospel, such as the new birth, repentance, faith, etc.], and not with meat [not with the more profound (deeper, more difficult and complicated) doctrines of the Christian religion]: for hitherto [because in the past] ye were not able to bear it [you could not understand those things], neither yet now are ye able [to bear it, or 'nor are you able to understand those things now']."
Verse 3: "For ye are yet [you are still] carnal [Christians]: for whereas [since] there is among you envying [jealousy], and strife [disagreements], and divisions, are ye not [aren't you] carnal [worldly minded], and [do you not, or don't you] walk [through life] as men [or 'as human beings' … or 'don't you act like unsaved people']?"
2 Timothy 3:6-7 - False Teachers
This was the Apostle Paul's advice to Timothy regarding false teachers:
Verse 6: "For of this sort [of people--having the same character traits as those who will be living in the 'last days,' as described in 2 Timothy 3:2,3,4] are they [false religious teachers] which creep [or privately enter] into houses, and lead captive [capture, gain the confidence of] silly [or 'weak'] women [who are] laden [burdened] with sins, [and who are] led away with [misled due to] divers [various kinds of] lusts [such as pride, vanity, etc.],"
Note re verse 6: "Silly women" refers to women who are easily deceived or fooled, like Adam's wife (Eve), who was fooled by Satan when she believed the lies of the serpent, disobeyed God, and ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. (Read about it here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+3%3A1-7&version=KJV.)
Verse 7 [The 'silly women' described above are]: "Ever [always] learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth [of the gospel, which leads to salvation--see note below*]."
*Regarding verse 7, Albert Barnes wrote:
"And never able to come to the knowledge of the truth - They may learn many things, but the true nature of religion they do not learn. There are many such persons in the world, who, whatever attention they may pay to religion, never understand its nature. Many obtain much speculative acquaintance with the 'doctrines' of Christianity, but never become savingly acquainted with the system; many study the constitution and government of the church, but remain strangers to practical piety; many become familiar with the various philosophical theories of religion, but never become truly acquainted with what religion is; and many embrace visionary theories, who never show that they are influenced by the spirit of the gospel. Nothing is more common than for persons to be very busy and active in religion, and even to 'learn' many things about it, who still remain strangers to the saving power of the gospel."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-timothy-3.html, "Verse 7")
Proverbs 20:28: "Mercy [goodness, kindness, faithfulness, compassion] and truth [as opposed to lying] preserve the king [and queen and people who are in charge of governments, companies, churches, etc.]: and his [or her] throne [referring to the kingdoms, governments, positions, etc., of kings and other leaders] is upholden [upheld, supported, sustained, made safe and secure] by mercy."
Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary about this verse, including examples of kings in the Bible whose lives and thrones were (and were not) protected due to mercy and truth (or the lack of it).
The commentary concludes with:
"3. In this short proverb Solomon causes his readers to think about the importance of mercy and truth (loyal love and faithful steadfastness).
"a. They preserve the king and his government.
"b. God's loyal love and faithfulness protected the kings of Israel.
"c. The theocratic king's loyal love and faithfulness towards God kept him and his throne safe too.
"d. The theocratic king's loyal love and faithfulness towards his people kept him and his throne safe from upheaval and rebellion.
"e. The people's loyal love and faithfulness towards their king also kept him and their government safe.
"f. No matter how you slice it, these qualities are exceedingly valuable to any leader… to any people…
"g. Loyalty and faithfulness are needed for a business to function efficiently and effectively.
"h. Loyal love and faithfulness keep a local church strong and united.
"i. Loyal love and faithfulness keep families together and protects the sanctity of the home."
If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-20-index/proverbs-20_28/.
Psalm 37:14-15 - One Way That God Protects Christians
These verses can be taken both literally and figuratively.
Verse 14: "The wicked [people] have drawn out [withdrawn, removed] the sword [from its scabbard, or sheath (protective case)], and have bent their bow [by placing a foot on it and drawing the string back, in preparation for shooting an arrow], to cast down the poor and needy [people; e.g., to cause them to fall into sin, experience calamities (great misfortunes or disasters), etc.], and to slay [kill in a violent way] such as be of upright conversation [those who are living godly, moral lifestyles].
Verse 15: [Regarding wicked people:] Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken [and rendered (made) useless]."
In other words, when bad people try to harm or kill "good" people, especially Christians, through word and/or deed, their plans will usually backfire or be prevented (by God) from succeeding.
Proverbs 18:1: "Through desire [by choice, due to personal cravings or desires,] a man [or woman or child], having separated himself [or herself] [from society, by keeping to himself (or herself) and avoiding interaction with others], seeketh [his (or her) own way] and intermeddleth with all wisdom [rejects wisdom from counselors] [in other words, the person avoids taking advice from others and chooses to 'do his (or her) own thing']."
In his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says that this verse is apparently speaking about people who are loners and recluses. They avoid social contact and reject the wisdom of counselors and eventually "develop bizarre and unusual thought patterns." Ted Kaczynski, the "Unabomber," is a good example of what sometimes can happen to this type of person.
If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary and/or learn how Ted Kaczynski became known as the Unabomber, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-18-index/proverbs-18_1/.
Another Bible commentator wrote: "Evidently … 'He who separates himself [from other people]' does so because he wants his own way and does not want others to restrain him. Such an approach runs counter to sound wisdom because we all need input from other people to make wise decisions. It is unwise to be antisocial …"
(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/18-1.html, "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable")
Unfortunately, during the past few months, many people around the world have been ordered to "separate themselves" from society (through lockdowns, quarantines, etc.) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Pastor Delany and Dr. Constable, keeping to ourselves is a bad thing, so it's good that most governments are slowly allowing their people to leave their homes, return to work, attend church services, eat at restaurants, get haircuts, go to the beach, etc. The new "normal" will probably include things like "social distancing" and wearing of face masks for many more months, which most of us don't like, but at least we'll be able to associate with other people and no longer be alone. Hopefully, an effective vaccine, medical treatment, and/or cure for this horrible disease will be found soon. I'm praying for that, and I hope you are, too.
1 Chronicles 29:11-13 - King David Praises God
Verse 11: "Thine [yours], O LORD, is the greatness, and the power [strength], and the glory [beauty], and the victory, and the majesty [splendor]: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art [you are] exalted [honored, lifted up, held in high regard] as head above all [people and things]."
Verse 12: "Both riches and honour come of thee [from you], and thou reignest [you are ruler] over all [people and things, on earth and in heaven]; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand [with your hand] it is [you are able] to make great, and to give strength unto all [people]."
Verse 13: "Now therefore, our God, we thank thee [you] [for your blessings], and [we] praise thy [your] glorious [wonderful] name."
So true! Following King David's example, we should remember to thank and praise God, not only for who he is but also for all that he has done in the past, is doing in the present, and will do in the future.
Revelation 21:27 - The Heavenly City: New Jerusalem
Describing what he saw in a vision concerning future events, the apostle John wrote:
"And there shall in no wise [by no means] enter into it [God's holy city, new Jerusalem, in heaven] any thing that defileth [is unholy or sinful], neither whatsoever worketh abomination [or anyone whose conduct is offensive to God], or maketh a lie [or anyone who lies]: but [only] they which [those whose names] are written in the Lamb's [Jesus'] book of life [i.e., people who are saved, or born again]."
As stated in the above verse, if you want to go to heaven someday and live with other Christians in the city of New Jerusalem, your name must be written in the Lamb's book of life. That will happen if you follow the instructions in most gospel tracts, including my "Mansion" tract, which uses Bible verses from the book of Romans (i.e., the "Romans Road") to explain the plan of salvation. You can find my tract here:
-- https://www.mansioninheaven.com/Index2.html (read only)
-- https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html, "Mansion Tract" (read and/or print)
An article entitled "What is the New Jerusalem?" contains detailed information about the wonderful place that John saw in his vision. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/new-jerusalem.html.
2 Chronicles 25:7-8 - The King of Judah Receives a Warning From God
Verse 7: "But there came a man of God [a prophet] to him [Amaziah, king of Judah], saying, O king, let not [don't let] the army of Israel [consisting of 100,000 men that the king had hired] go [to war against Edom] with thee [with you and your army]; for [because] the LORD is not with Israel, to wit [namely], with all the children of Ephraim [referring to the ten tribes that made up the northern kingdom of Israel]."
Note re verse 7: The reason God was not with the Israelites at this time was because they were idolaters (i.e., they 'worshiped the calves') and had forsaken (abandoned or deserted) the Lord.
Verse 8: "But if thou wilt [if you will] go [with them anyway, despite my warning], do it, be strong for the battle: [however,] God shall make thee [you] fall [down] before the enemy: for God hath power to help [you win the war], and to cast down [make you lose, allow you to be defeated]."
In other words, we must obey God's commands or face the consequences.
This is what Matthew Henry said in his commentary on these verses:
"… What good could be expected from those that had not God with them, nor his blessings upon their undertakings? It is comfortable to employ those who, we have reason to hope, have an interest in heaven, and dangerous to associate with those from whom the Lord has departed. The prophet assured him [King Amaziah] that if he persisted in his resolution to take these idolatrous apostate Israelites with him, in hopes thereby to make himself strong for the battle, it was at his peril; they would prove a dead weight to his army, would sink and betray it: 'God shall make thee fall before the enemy, and these Israelites will be the ruin of thy cause; for God has power to help thee without them, and to cast thee down though thou hast them with thee.'''
(Source for above quote: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/2-chronicles/25.html, "Verses 1-13," "v. 7, v. 8")
1 Timothy 5:8: "But if any [born-again Christian] provide not [does not provide basic necessities (food, clothing, shelter, etc.)] for his [or her] own [people, meaning relatives who need help], and [e]specially for those of his [or her] own house [household, family; i.e., people who live with him (or her)], he [or she] hath [has] denied the [Christian] faith, and is worse than an infidel [unbeliever]."
As Christians, we're supposed to set an example for others. Even unbelievers normally take care of their families, so at the very least, we should do the same.
This may be the Bible verse (or one of them) that inspired the following saying: "Charity begins at home."
Genesis 3:14-19 - "The Fall of Man" (Results of Adam and Eve's Sin)
This event took place in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Verse 14: "And the LORD God said unto the serpent [which, at the time, was being controlled by Satan and which probably originally had legs--see note below*], Because thou hast [you have] done this [i.e., tempted Eve], thou art [you are] cursed above [more than] all cattle, and above every beast of the field [all wild animals]; upon thy [your] belly [stomach] shalt thou [you shall] go [to slither (slide the entire body back and forth on the ground to move), as a snake], and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:"
Verse 15: "And I will put enmity [hatred] between thee [you, Satan] and the woman [Eve], and between thy seed [referring to Satan's 'children' (or servants or followers); i.e., wicked people] and her seed [Eve's offspring (descendants), through Jesus; i.e., the people of God, or born-again Christians]; it [or 'he,' referring to Jesus] shall bruise thy head [which means that Jesus would overthrow Satan and his kingdom], and thou shalt bruise his heel [meaning Satan would bring about the crucifixion of Christ]."
Verse 16: "Unto the woman [Eve] he [God] said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception [your worries following conception; i.e., during pregnancy (when you may experience nausea, fear of miscarriage, etc.) and afterwards, while you are raising your children]; in sorrow [pain] thou shalt bring forth [give birth to] children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
Verses 17-18: "And unto Adam he [God] said, Because thou hast hearkened unto [listened to] the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of [the fruit from] the tree [of the knowledge of good and evil], of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it [the tree, meaning they were not to eat any of the fruit from that tree]: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow [pain, labor, hardship] shalt thou eat of it [the ground, referring to things grown on the ground] all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it [the ground] bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb [green plants] of the field;"
Verse 19: "In the sweat of thy face [after much hard work in cultivating the crops and getting rid of the weeds] shalt thou eat bread [food], till [until] thou return unto the ground [until you die]; for out of it [the ground] wast thou [were you] taken: for dust thou art [you are dust, meaning Adam was made from dust, as stated in Genesis 2:7], and unto dust shalt thou return [when you die]."
*An article on the Internet attempts to answer the question, "Did the Serpent Originally Have Legs?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/garden-of-eden/did-the-serpent-originally-have-legs/.
Deuteronomy 5:16 [To the Israelites, reminding them of the fifth commandment, Moses said]: "Honour thy father and thy mother [treat them with love and respect], as the LORD thy [your] God hath [has] commanded thee [you]; [the reason for doing so is] that thy days may be prolonged [you may live a long time], and that it may go well with thee [you will be happy], in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee [in this case (for the Israelites), the land of Canaan]."
The Ten Commandments are part of God's moral law, which remains in effect today. Consequently, the fifth commandment, instructing people to "Honour thy father and thy mother," applies to everyone throughout the world, not just the nation of Israel.
To all moms everywhere:
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
1 Kings 3:5-14 - King Solomon Asks God for Wisdom
This happened the night after Solomon had offered a thousand burnt offerings to God in "the great high place" in Gibeon, where the Jewish tabernacle and brazen (bronze) altar were located.
Verse 5: "In Gibeon [a city near Jerusalem] the LORD appeared to [King] Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee [you]."
Verse 6: "And Solomon said, Thou hast [you have] shewed [shown] unto thy [your] servant [King] David[,] my father[,] great mercy [kindness], according as he walked before thee [you] in truth [honesty], and in righteousness [justice], and in uprightness of heart [good moral character] with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son [Solomon, referring to himself] to sit on his [David's] throne, as it is this day."
Verses 7-9: "And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant [Solomon, referring to himself] king instead of David my father: and I am but [like] a little child [in knowledge and understanding, although I am a young man in age]: I know not how to go out or come in [meaning he was inexperienced in the administration of government]. And thy servant [Solomon] is in the midst [middle] of thy people which thou hast chosen [i.e., the nation of Israel], [who are] a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude [because there are so many of them]. Give therefore thy servant [Solomon] an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern [distinguish, tell the difference] between good and bad [and right and wrong, and truth and falsehood, and justice and injustice, etc.]: for who is able to judge this thy so great a [number of] people?"
Verse 10: "And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing [for wisdom]."
Verses 11-12: "And God said unto him [Solomon], Because thou hast asked this thing [for wisdom], and hast not asked for thyself [yourself] long life; neither hast [have] [you] asked [for] riches for thyself, nor hast [have] [you] asked [for] the life of thine [your] enemies [i.e., for their removal]; but [you] hast [have] asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment [to judge correctly]; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo [look, see], I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee [there was no one like you (in wisdom) who came before you], neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee [and no one like you (in wisdom) will come after you--except Jesus, of course (see note below*)]."
Verses 13-14: "And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked [for], both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any[one] among the kings like unto thee all thy days [during your lifetime, or as long as you shall live]. And if thou wilt [you will] walk in my ways, to keep [obey] my statutes [laws] and my commandments, as thy father [King] David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days [give you a long life]."
*The only person who had more wisdom than King Solomon was Jesus, as is confirmed by Jesus' statement at the end of Matthew 12:42: "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."
Ephesians 4:25 [In a letter to the Christians at Ephesus, the apostle Paul wrote]: "Wherefore [therefore,] putting away lying, speak every man [person] truth with his [or her] neighbour [and everyone else he (or she) comes in contact with]: for [because] we [born-again Christians] are members one of another [i.e., we are all part of the 'body of Christ']."
Albert Barnes has an excellent commentary on the above verse:
"Wherefore putting away lying - It may seem strange that the apostle should seriously exhort Christians to put away 'lying,' implying that they were in the habit of indulging in falsehood. But we are to remember:
"(1) that lying is the universal vice of the pagan world. Among the ancient pagans, as among the moderns, it was almost universally practiced. It has been remarked by a distinguished jurist who had spent much time in India, that he would not believe a Hindu on his oath. The same testimony is borne by almost all the missionaries. of the character of pagans everywhere. No confidence can be placed in their statements; and, where there is the slightest temptation to falsehood, they practice it without remorse.
"(2) the Ephesians had been recently converted, and were, to a great extent, ignorant of the requirements of the gospel. A conscience has to be 'created' when pagans are converted, and it is long before they see the evils of many things which appear to us to be palpably wrong.
"(3) the effects of former habits abide long, often, after a man is converted. He who has been in the habit of profane swearing, finds it difficult to avoid it; and he who has been all his life practicing deception, will find himself tempted to practice it still. It was for reasons such as these, probably, that the apostle exhorted the Ephesians to put away 'lying,' and to speak the truth only. Nor is the exhortation now inappropriate to Christians, and there are many classes to whom it would now be proper - such as the following:
"(1) He who is in the habit of concealing the defects of an article in trade, or of commending it for more than its real value - 'let him put away lying.'
"(2) he, or she, who instructs a servant to say that they are not at home, when they are at home: or that they are sick, when they are not sick or that they are engaged, when they are not engaged - 'let them put away lying.'
"(3) he that is in the habit of giving a coloring to his narratives; of conveying a false impression by the introduction or the suppression of circumstances that are important to the right understanding of an account - 'let him put away lying.'
"(4) he that is at no pains to ascertain the exact truth in regard to any facts that may affect his neighbor; that catches up flying rumors without investigating them, and that circulates them as undoubted truth, though they may seriously affect the character and peace of another - 'let him put away lying.'
"(5) he that is in the habit of making promises only to disregard them - 'let him put away lying.' The community is full of falsehoods of that kind, and they are not all confined to the people of the world. Nothing is more important in a community than simple 'truth' - and yet, it is to be feared that nothing is more habitually disregarded. No professing Christian can do any good who has not an unimpeachable character for integrity and truth - and yet who can lay his hand on his breast and say before God that he is in all cases a man that speaks the simple and unvarnished truth?
"For we are members one of another - We belong to one body - the church - which is the body of Christ … The idea is, that falsehood tends to loosen the bonds of brotherhood. In the 'human body' harmony is observed. The eye never deceives the hand, nor the hand the foot, nor the heart the lungs. The whole move harmoniously as if the one could put the utmost confidence in the other - and falsehood in the church is as ruinous to its interests as it would be to the body if one member was perpetually practicing a deception on another."
(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ephesians-4.html, "Verse 25")
Proverbs 3:11-12 [This was King Solomon's advice to his son concerning affliction (trouble, suffering)]: "My son, despise not [don't resist, ignore, or consider unworthy of your attention] the chastening of [being disciplined or punished by] the LORD [God]; neither [and don't] be weary [sick and tired] of his correction: For [because] whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father [corrects, disciplines] the son in whom he delighteth [is well pleased]."
Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on these verses, and as usual, Pastor Delany provides many examples to illustrate each point. Here's a sample quote from paragraph 5c in the top section of his commentary:
"One way or another, God knows how to MAKE us respond to Him. If we refuse to respond to the lesser forms of chastisement, He knows how to heat up the oven."
If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-3-index/proverbs-3_11-12/.
The subject of afflictions brings the current COVID-19 crisis to mind. T.W. Tramm (who knows a lot about the Rapture, is looking forward to it, and frequently writes about it on his Facebook page) discussed the pandemic in his April 7th article entitled "Passover Plagues in 2020?" He ended the article by saying:
"In view of God's propensity to cut down idols, it's interesting to note, with Passover and the Exodus anniversary upon us, how a global plague is upending our contemporary 'gods and idols': sporting events, entertainment, leisure travel, social gatherings, relationships, careers and the pursuit of wealth. In one fell swoop, the pursuits and activities we habitually put before the Lord have been curtailed or eliminated.
"Could the Coronavirus pandemic, similar to the plagues sent upon Egypt, be a divine wake-up call to an idol-entranced world that it's time to change our ways before the ultimate judgment arrives?
"Assuming it is, let us pray that the peoples' hearts don't remain hardened as Pharaoh's."
(Source for quote from T.W. Tramm: https://www.facebook.com/twtramm/posts/3034312906606950?__tn__=K-R, "Passover Plagues in 2020?")
Acts 17:11: "These [people, referring to the Jews in the synagogue at Berea,] were more noble [had a better quality of mind, disposition, and manner] than those [Jews] in Thessalonica, in that [because] they received the word [of God--in this case, the preaching of the gospel] with all readiness of mind [without prejudice, with a willingness to believe], and searched [examined] the scriptures [in this case, the Old Testament] daily, [to see] whether those things [that were being said by Paul and Silas] were so [were true]."
We should follow the example of the Jews in Berea and study the Bible on a daily basis.
Genesis 6:11-13 - Why God Sent a Worldwide Flood
Verse 11: "The earth also was corrupt [spoiled, ruined, overwhelmed by sinful behavior] before God [because almost everyone who was alive in Noah's time was godless or idolatrous, dishonest, evil, and/or immoral], and the earth was filled with violence."
Verse 12: "And God looked [took special notice of what was happening] upon the earth, and, behold, it [the earth] was corrupt; for all flesh [every living person except Noah] had corrupted his [or her] way upon the earth."
Verse 13: "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh [everything that lives on the earth, with a few exceptions--see note below*] is come before me [to my attention]; for the earth is filled with violence through them [i.e., the bad people]; and, behold, I will destroy them [the bad people] with the earth [i.e., everything on it] [through a worldwide flood--see note below**]."
*Regarding exceptions to the phrase the end of all flesh, immediately after stating his intentions to destroy them with the earth, God told Noah to build an ark to prevent him and his family, plus two (a male and female) of every kind of animal, insect, etc., that lived on the land and flew in the sky, from being destroyed in the flood that he intended to send.
**Some people wonder if there is evidence of a worldwide flood in Noah's time, so GotQuestions.org wrote an article entitled "Was Noah's flood global or local?" If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/global-flood.html.