Category Archives: Virtue

The Reformation’s Two Martins

At the beginning of the reformation, Martin of Basel came to a knowledge of the Truth; but, afraid to make a public confession, he wrote on a leaf of parchment:

“O most merciful Christ, I know that I can be saved only by the merit of Thy blood. Holy Jesus, I acknowledge Thy sufferings for me. I love Thee! I love Thee!”

Then he removed a stone from the wall of his chamber and hid it there. It was not discovered for more than a hundred years.

About the same time, Martin Luther found the Truth as it is in Christ. He said:

“My Lord has confessed me before men; I will not shrink from confessing Him before kings.”

Enthusiasm is Contagious

Whatever dads get excited about, the children get excited about too. If a father is enthusiastic about football then his sons will develop a love for the sport. But if the father can be enthusiastic about spending time together as a family and about sharing times together in God’s Word, then his enthusiasm will reap eternal results.

The Lighted Face of Judson

Many years ago when the great missionary Adoniram Judson was home on furlough, he passed through the city of Stonington, Connecticut. A young boy playing about the wharves at the time of Judson’s arrival was struck by the man’s appearance. Never before had he seen such a light on any human face. He ran up the street to a minister to ask if he knew who the stranger was. The minister hurried back with him, but became so absorbed in conversation with Judson that he forgot all about the impatient youngster standing near him. Many years afterward that boy – who could never get away from the influence of that wonderful face – became the famous preacher Henry Clay Trumbull. In a book of memoirs he penned a chapter entitled: What a Boy Saw in the Face of Adoniram Judson. That lighted countenance had changed his life. Even as flowers thrive when they bend to the light, so shining, radiant faces come to those who constantly turn toward Christ.

Encyclopaedia of 7,700 Illustrations

Like the Scrubbing of a Doctor’s Hands

Dr. Maltie Babcock was approached by a member of his congregation who was concerned about his health. Handing Dr. Babcock some theatre tickets he said, “Take these. You need the recreation of going to this play.” His pastor looked at them. Seeing they were tickets to a play of a kind he could not conscientiously attend, he said kindly, “Thank you, but I can’t take them. I can’t go.”

“Why not?” the physician asked.

“Doctor, it’s this way. You’re a physician – a surgeon, in fact. When you operate, you scrub your hands meticulously until you are especially clean. You wouldn’t dare operate with dirty hands. I’m a servant of Christ. I deal with precious human souls. I wouldn’t dare do my service with a dirty life.”

-The Expositer

Family Iniquities and Curses

Parents who keep their eyes from evil and their minds from impure thoughts will not only receive blessing in their own lives but also in the lives of their children. Their own past failures are less likely to be repeated in their children’s lives.

Family iniquities, or self-will in a particular area of life, can be passed from generation to generation. How do we stop the cycle and find freedom in Christ? Here are four basic action steps…

1. Acknowledge the specific iniquity. For help in how to pray, read Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9:3-19.

2. Ask God to cleanse the iniquity in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

3. Ask God to reclaim any ground given to Satan and tear down every stronghold.

4. Claim Psalm 103:17 that from now on, the righteousness of your family will be your heritage for your children and for future generations. Also, commit this great verse to memory. For the breaking of a curse, here is a suggested prayer you may find helpful:

Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, I come to you desiring to be free from all curses and their results. I thank you for saving me and cleansing me of my sin. I confess that I belong to you. I now confess and repent of all my sins, known and unknown. I now confess the sins of my forefathers. In the name and through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ I break and renounce the power of every demonic curse that was passed down to me by the sins and actions of others. I now renounce, break, and loose myself and my family from all demonic subjection to any human being who has in the past or is now controlling me or my family in any way contrary to the Word and the will of God. In the name of Jesus Christ, I break the power and hold of every curse that has come to me through disobedience-mine or my forefathers. I claim release and freedom through the blood of Christ. Amen.

-from Reclaiming Surrendered Ground by Jim Logan – Moody Press

Examples from History

In the year of Christ 286, a most remarkable affair occurred; a legion of soldiers, consisting of six thousand six hundred and sixty-six men, contained none but Christians. This legion was called the Theban Legion, because the men had been raised in Thebias: they were quartered in the east until the emperor Maximian ordered them to march to Gaul, to assist him against the rebels of Burgundy. They passed the Alps into Gaul, under the command of Mauritius, Candidus, and Exupernis, their worthy commanders, and at length joined the emperor. Maximian, about this time, ordered a general sacrifice, at which the whole army was to assist; and like-wise he commanded that they should take the oath of allegiance and swear, at the same time, to assist in the extirpation of Christianity in Gaul.

Alarmed at these orders, each individual of the Theban Legion absolutely refused either to sacrifice or take the oaths prescribed. This so greatly enraged Maximian, that he ordered the legion to be decimated, that is, every tenth man to be selected from the rest, and put to the sword. This bloody order having been put in execution, those who remained alive were still inflexible, when a second decimation took place, and every tenth man of those living was put to death. This second severity made no more impression than the first had done; the soldiers preserved their fortitude and their principles, but by the advice of their officers they drew up a loyal remonstrance to the emperor. This, it might have been presumed, would have softened the emperor, but it had a contrary effect: for, enraged at their perseverance and unanimity, he commanded that the whole legion should he put to death, which was accordingly executed by the other troops, who cut them to pieces with their swords, September 22, 286.

 

Quirinus, bishop of Siscia, being carried before Matenius, the governor, was ordered to sacrifice to the pagan deities, agreeably to the edicts of various Roman emperors. The governor, perceiving his constancy, sent him to jail, and ordered him to be heavily ironed; flattering himself, that the hardships of a jail, some occasional tortures and the weight of chains, might overcome his resolution. Being decided in his principles, he was sent to Amantius, the principal governor of Pannonia, now Hungary, who loaded him with chains, and carried him through the principal towns of the Danube, exposing him to ridicule wherever he went. Arriving at length at Sabaria and finding that Quirinus would not renounce his faith, he ordered him to be cast into a river, with a stone fastened about his neck. This sentence being put into execution, Quirinus floated about for some time, and, exhorting the people in the most pious terms, concluded his admonitions with this prayer: “It is no new thing, O all-powerful Jesus, for Thee to stop the course of rivers, or to cause a man to walk upon the water, as Thou didst Thy servant Peter; the people have already seen the proof of Thy power in me; grant me now to lay down my life for Thy sake, O my God.” On pronouncing the last words he immediately sank, and died, June 4, AD 308. His body was afterwards taken up, and buried by some pious Christians.

-Fox’s Book of Martyrs

Courtship Covenant


A Covenant

Between a Father and a Daughter

as Witnessed by the Lord Jesus Christ

We Agree Together to Seek God’s Best Concerning

a Future Life Partner

Father

I will protect you from unqualified men.

I will teach you God’s principles of life.

I will pray for you and for God’s choice of your life partner.

__________________

Father’s signature

Daughter

I will keep myself pure for my husband.

I will obtain your blessing on my courtship.

I will wait for your full release before entering into marriage.

__________________

Daughter’s signature

__________________

Pastor’s signature

 

__________________

Date

 

The Stranger

A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small, Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later. As I grew up, I never questioned his place in our family

In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother, Bill, five years my senior, was my example. Fran, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play “big brother” and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors—Mom taught me to love the Word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it.

But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries, and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spellbound for hours each evening. If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it all. He knew about the past, understood the present, and seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw were so lifelike that often I would laugh or cry

He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill, and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies, and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. My brother and I were deeply impressed by John Wayne in particular.

The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad did not seem to mind. But sometimes Mom would quietly get up while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places, go to her room, read her Bible, and pray. I now wonder if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.

You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt obligated to honour them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house—not from friends, adults, or us. Our long-time visitor, however, used occasional four-letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge, the stranger was never confronted.

My dad was a teetotaller who did not permit alcohol in his home-not even for cooking. But the stranger felt that we needed exposure, and he enlightened us in other ways of life. He often offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished.

He talked freely (probably much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I now know that my early concepts of the man-woman relationships were influenced by the stranger.

As I look back, I believe it was only because of the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our young family on Morningside Drive. He is not nearly so intriguing to my dad as he was in those early years. But if you were to walk into my parents’ home today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and look at his pictures. His name? We always just called him T.V.

Received via e-mail – Author Unknown

Epigrams

  • Someone has said, “It is not enough for a gardener to love flowers; he must also hate weeds.”
  • You can find the world’s shortest sermon on a thousand traffic signs: “Keep Right.”
  • There was a Scotchman who had a dress shirt which he wore on special occasions. After he had used it several times, he would question its cleanness and take it to the window for better light. His wife’s words were very wise: “If it’s doubtful, it’s dirty!” – V. Raymond Edman
  • The greatest security against sin is to be shocked at its presence – Carlyle
  • “Right” is always right even if no one else is doing it; “wrong” is always wrong even if everyone else is doing it.

Virtue in the home includes:

  • A parent establishing a standard of moral conduct in the family and upholding it by example
  • A parent teaching children to make wise choices about friends, music, and clothing
  • Family members dressing modestly, inside and outside the home
  • Family members filling their minds with God-honouring music and good influences

Achieving True Success by Building a Character Family, IACC, Oklahoma City

Spider in Air Bubble

In South America is a curious little spider which has its home under the water. It forms a bubble about itself in which, like a diving bell, it sinks to the bottom of a pond or river. It will remain there for hours, living below, and yet breathing the air from above. When it returns to the surface it is found to be perfectly dry. Not the slightest moisture will have penetrated its capsule. It is in the water and yet separate from it, maintained by contact with the beyond.

Encyclopaedia of 7,700 Illustrations

Purity Is Dearer than Life

In the forests of Northern Europe lives the ermine, a small animal best known for his snow-white fur. Instinctively, he protects his glossy coat with great care lest it become soiled. Hunters often capitalize on this trait. Instead of setting a mechanical trap to catch the ermine, they find his home in a cleft of a rock or a hollow tree and daub the entrance and the interior with tar. Then their dogs start the chase, and the frightened ermine flees toward his home. But finding it covered with dirt, he spurns the place of safety. Rather than soil his white fur, he courageously faces the yelping dogs, who hold him at bay until the hunters capture him. To the ermine, purity is dearer than life!

Windows on the Word – Radio Bible Class

The “I Wills” of Virtue

Demonstrating virtue centers around the choices we make and the actions that follow. Virtue is the culmination of many different character qualities. The five “I Wills” are vital to the success and well-being of every individual. Because doing what is right may not be the popular thing to do and often attracts criticism, being virtuous can involve tough decisions. Praise is one way to encourage and strengthen those who receive criticism. To demonstrate virtue, children need the assurance and confidence that they are truly doing what is right.

  • I will do what is right and encourage others to do the same
  • I will guard my eyes, ears, words, and thoughts
  • I will learn to stand alone
  • I will abstain from anything which might damage or pollute my mind or body
  • I will treat others as I would want them to treat me

Character First! Education Series 1

How to Demonstrate Virtue

at Home

  • Choose to pray with your younger brothers and sisters and challenge them to do what is right.
  • Dress modestly at all times.
  • Guard against destructive television programmes, videos and music.
  • Take the initiative to be kind and sensitive to other members of the family.

at Work/School

  • Purpose ahead of time that you will stand alone for what is right and refuse to compromise.
  • Modesty and neatness are always in fashion – refuse to wear clothes that defraud.
  • Commit yourself to the principles of courtship verses dating.
  • If an activity is doubtful – don’t do it!

at Church

  • Refuse to listen to and participate in gossip about other church members.
  • Be prepared to stand alone even among other Christians who might mock your standards.
  • Peer pressure can be positive – be a leader among your peers and encourage them to do what is right.

Character Definitions of Virtue

  • The moral excellence and purity of spirit that radiate from my life as I obey God’s Word (Character Clues Game)
  • Learning to build personal moral standards which will cause others to desire a more Godly life (Character Clues Game)
  • The moral excellence evident in my life as I consistently do what is right (International Association of Character Cities)
  • Demonstrating honesty and integrity in my life by doing what is right (Character First!)
  • noun excellence; worth; moral excellence; inherent power; efficacy; the practice of duty; a good quality, especially moral; sexual purity; one of the orders of the medieval celestial hierarchy; an accomplishment (rare); valour (now rare). »Old French vertu and Latin virtus bravery, moral excellence, from vir a man; cf Greek heros, Sanskrit vira a hero, Old English wer man (The CHAMBERS DICTIONARY on CD-ROM)

Bible Stories Related to Virtue

  • Daniel (Daniel 1:3-21; 6:1-28)
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:1-30)
  • Joseph in Egypt (Genesis 39: 4-10) (Key Verse: 8-9)
  • Stephen (Acts 6: 8-15; 7) (Key Verse: 6:8 and his speech to the Sanhedrin)
  • Mary and Joseph (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38) (Key Verse: Matt.1:24-25 and Luke 1:38)
  • John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:4-8; Luke 3:1-18; John 1:19-34) (Key Verse: John 1:19-20)
  • The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31:10-31

Bible Verses Related to Virtue

Spend an evening (or several) looking at just one of these verses at a time. Don’t forget to ask your children the questions: Who? What? Where? Why? When?and How? Discuss with your family what each verse or story teaches about the character quality; and give vital application of how this quality can be applied to your family. Choose several verses to memorise together as a family during the month.

1411 dunamiv dunamis doo’-nam-is

from 1410; TDNT-2:284 , 186; n f
AV-power 77, mighty work 11, strength 7, miracle 7, might 4, virtue 3, mighty 2, misc 9; 120
1) strength power, ability
1a) inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
1b) power for performing miracles
1c) moral power and excellence of soul
1d) the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
1e) power and resources arising from numbers
1f) power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power <1411>, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works <1411>?
Matthew 14:2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works <1411> do shew forth themselves in him. {do…: or, are wrought by him}

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power <1411> of God.

Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power <1411> and great glory.

Matthew 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability<1411> ; and straightway took his journey. {talents: a talent is one hundred and eighty seven pounds ten shillings}

Mark 5:30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue <1411> had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power <1411> of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. {to the wisdom: or, by the wisdom}

Luke 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power <1411> of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

Luke 6:19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue <1411> out of him, and healed [them] all.

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power <1411> from on high.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, <1411> after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. {power…: or, the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you}

Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, <1411> did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power <1411> of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power <1411> and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: {so…: or, that they may be}

Romans 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power <1411> in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God [is] not in word, but in power.

2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power <1411> of Christ may rest upon me.

Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power <1411> that worketh in us,

Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power <1411> of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, <1411> and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, <1411> and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power <1411> thereof: from such turn away.

Revelation 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, <1411> and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

47 agneia hagneia hag-ni’ -ah

from 53; TDNT-1:123 , 19; n f

AV-purity 2; 2

1) purity, sinlessness of life

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity <47>.

1 Timothy 5:2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity <47>.

703 areth arete ar-et’ -ay

from the same as 730; TDNT-1:457 , 77; n f
AV-virtue 4, praise 1; 5
1) a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action
1a) virtue, moral goodness
2) any particular moral excellence, as modesty, purity

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue <703>, and if there be any praise, think on these things. {honest: or, venerable}
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises <703> of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: {peculiar: or, purchased} {praises: or, virtues}
2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue <703>: {to: or, by}
2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue <703>; and to virtue <703> knowledge;

Other Verses

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Hymns and Choruses Related to Virtue

  • A Charge to Keep I Have (Charles Wesley, 1762)
  • Am I a Soldier of the Cross? (Isaac Watts, 1724)
  • Cleanse Me (J. Edwin Orr – 1928-199?)
  • Whiter Than Snow (James Nicholson, 1828-1876)
  • Stepping in The Light (Eliza E. Hewitt, 1851-1920)
  • I Would Be True (Howard A. Walter, 1883-1918)
  • Footsteps of Jesus (Mary B.C. Slade, 1871)
  • I Have Decided to Follow Jesus (Source Unknown)