Here are some notes from a study I did on "Holding forth the word of life"-- From the verse that spawned my blog's title.

1.) We are to hold forth the word of life to a dying world where death and spiritual darkness are virtually everywhere.
a.) "Death metal" music is a prime example of the exact polar opposite of the Word of life.
b.) Real life is something found in Jesus Christ alone. The world will try to counterfeit this everywhere constantly by providing substitutes that make people believe they are filling their empty void with happiness or meaningful purpose.
c.) Life is found in the Word of God and the Lord Jesus. Thus making it the word of life.

2.) "Hold forth" has often been used as a military term. This is far from the only military term Paul uses. He mentions many military style attitudes and terms throughout his writings. This represents a strong stand against a frontal attack. It shows no wavering or backing down and the implication is that you cannot hold forth in a half-hearted manner.
a.) The frontal attack is the attacks of Satan. He is the one who spreads a net for the feet of saints to try to snare them in his traps and thus hinder or halt their efforts to hold forth the Word of life in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one who hurls fiery darts at the buckler we are told to carry in our spiritual warfare against evil. Holding forth the word, the sword of the spirit (Ephesians 6:17), gives us our weapon of attack on Satan's accusations and snares (I Timothy 6:9, Revelation 12:9-10).

3.) "The word of life" is coupled with shining as lights in verse 15. Light shines in darkness and shows no mercy to the darkness but quickly overcomes it.
Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
a.) We need not be ashamed of the light we bear or the word of life we hold forth.
Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
b.) Christ is the light we shine forth. He is the Word and we shine forth that word of faith to all those around us. His Word IS the very essence of light which we hold forth in the stark darkness of the world and its pagan lusts.
Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

4.) We must have and maintain a good testimony to not hamper efforts to shine & hold forth the Word!
Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
a.) The entire command to "hold forth" seems to hinge on verses 14 and 15 (see above). You cannot hope to hold forth what you believe or preach if you cannot maintain a testimony which shows the Lord's Word of life as the light of the world!

Challenge: Are you holding forth the Word of life and giving off the distinct, hopeful light of the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, why not?

God bless!

I'm a pretty terrible blogger. My wife has been telling me that I need to keep my blog fresh and interesting (i.e. updating it more than once a week, I presume).
For someone who envisioned himself a non-blogger from the start, I'm not doing too bad. :)

Life here in Australia has been interesting. This evening the "reserve" (a park with out any amenities of any sort-- not even a gate or pathway) had some illustrious characters in it. Upon my first assessment of their situation I had thought they were hurling insults at passing vehicles from atop the fence that runs around the outskirts of the reserve. This unremarkable fence is the only thing of any significance in the reserve with the exception of some beautiful trees. I believe that they would have found the trees a bit of a lesser quality perch from which to projectile their remarks at innocent drivers-by. After observing their methods for a moment or two I was favoured with a wind which blew their words distinctly to my ears. Such language should be outlawed! I do believe their exact words were: "Merry Christmas!!" and this was followed up by raucous laughter and what I can only assume was intended as hilarity.

That brings me to an interesting point... what is Christmas and where did it REALLY come from, anyway??
Here's an interesting article on the subject. The article is not very long and shouldn't monopolize too much of your time, so please do give it a read. If nothing else it might make you cranky at me. But as in most of these situations, you must first get cranky before you open your mind to the possibility that you have been foolish in celebrating a devilish "holiday".
Here's a excerpt that you might find particularly picante:

...within the Christian Church no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and...not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance. How, then, did the Romish Church fix on December 25th as Christmas-day? Why, thus: Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it the name of Christ." (2) In pagan Rome, the celebration of the Winter Solstice began on December 17 with the feast of Saturn -- also called the Saturnalia. Through December 23rd, the Roman world engaged in merrymaking and the exchanging of gifts in honor of Saturn, the god of sowing and husbandry and, according to a Rosicrucian source, to commemorate a future Golden Age of Saturn:

Interesting stuff, huh?? Well check it out!
The good thing about this article is that the author actually backs up his claims with solid research which he cites as any good author should.

Enjoy your holidays... But certainly don't have a merry Christmas!

Now if that didn't make you mad... THIS will!
I've noticed that FAR too many people love C.S. Lewis, but most people do not have even the foggiest clue as to the man's true character! They do not know that he said that Biblical prophecies were false and that he also worked sun worship, drug abuse and other henieous elements into his books.
Want a good read? Check THIS out!
And for good measure, another quote:

While many of us have been deceived by this man's apparent spiritual insight, he actually believed many doctrines of devils and by the end of his life was rapidly embracing Roman Catholicism and Taoism. Indeed, he may have been a Catholic for some time before his death. He believed in purgatory and prayed for the dead. He went to a priest regularly for confession (C.S. Lewis: A Biography , p. 198). He received the sacrament of extreme unction on July, 16th, 1963 (p. 301), a sacrament that was officially ministered only to Roman Catholics at that time. It is enough to cause one to wonder if whether he was a "plant" for the Catholic church all along, or merely a mixed up man groping for some hope of salvation at the end of his life.

Enjoy... until next time...

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