Jesus was born in Bethlehem but was called “the Nazarene.”
Upon Joseph and Mary’s return to Israel from their flight to Egypt with baby Jesus, an angel warned them not to go back to Bethlehem but instead to move back to the northern district of Galilee to the town of Nazareth.
But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee —Matthew 2:22
Nazareth was a town that at that time housed the Roman garrison for the northern regions of Galilee and had mostly Gentiles living there. Because of that Roman influence, most Jews had contempt for anyone from Nazareth.
Those who lived in Nazareth were thought of as compromisers who consorted with the enemy, the Romans. When told that the Messiah had arrived and was from Nazareth, Nathanael said incredulously,
Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? —John 1:46
The early church was labeled as the sect of the Nazarenes (Acts 24:5). This was a derogatory term used much like we might label the Moonies or “Philadelphia lawyers.” And all of this because God had a plan:
and (Joseph) came and resided in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” —Matthew 2:23
My best friend just won’t, or can’t, quit smoking cigarettes. She has been a Christian for at least 3 years. Are there any verses in the Bible that I could use to show another Christian (she’s definitely a Christian) that smoking is wrong?
First, keep in mind that God doesn’t deal with everyone’s sins in the same order. When first saved, some people immediately get a handle on certain obvious sins like adultery, stealing, or lying. Others take awhile to get their act together. All new Christians mature at different speeds. Some may move into a Christ-centered, Bible-centered church immediately. Others move more slowly and take a while to pull away from a church that doesn’t teach biblical armor.
When it comes to smoking, your friend may be, correctly, dealing with more important issues than smoking. For instance, God may be working on her to deal with some type of immorality, which is more important, at the moment, than quitting smoking.
Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. —1 Corinthians 6:18
Before you ever point out someone else’s faults, the Bible says to first examine your own life:
How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. —Matthew 7:4
If you are her true friend, wait for God to make it clear to her that He wants her to stop. Then you have a green light to share a couple of verses like:
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. —1 Corinthians 6:12
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own. —1 Corinthians 6:19
. . . sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it. —Genesis 4:7
Compass International, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit ministry. Our mission is to be used by the Holy Spirit to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and to provide resources for maturing Christians. For more information on Compass, over 200 eye-opening Bible studies on tape and DVD, future Bible conferences and awesome Israel mission trips, please visit our web site at www.compass.org. or call 800-977-2177 for a catalog.Misc. Information
Good Morning Lord! is sent out every Monday-Friday and is copyrighted by Compass International, Inc. There are approximately 300 studies that rotate each year. Any portion of GML e-mails may be forwarded without permission as long as the contact/subscription information is included.
To subscribe or un-subscribe to Good Morning Lord!, go to www.compass.org homepage and click on the “GOOD MORNING LORD!” logo at the bottom.
Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
Answers to questions in GML are intended to be supplementary and in the spirit of Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, and 26:26, which calls for believers to seek counsel from more than one person. Therefore, it is not recommended that any decision be based solely on GML’s answer, but rather it be considered one of several counselors when determining a course of action.Compass International, Inc. www.compass.org