Updates from March, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ron Thomas 4:48 am on March 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Exodus 5 

    1. Moses was reluctant, but he ultimately did go into Egypt. With the staff of God, he and Aaron present the Lord’s message to the king of Egypt, a king who thought he was God. “It must be remembered that the king in Egypt was not considered a mere representative of the gods, but was a god himself” (Davis, p. 81).

    2. The king received Moses and Aaron, but he did not receive the request made by these men; in fact, he dismissed knowing anything about the God of Moses and Aaron (5:2). Whether he knew of the Lord or not is not so important, but only that he was going to give no room to Him (or them) with this request.

    3. To the king of Egypt, this request by Israel meant that they were idle and this idleness needs to be addressed. It was addressed by adding to the burden they carried (5:9). When the Israelites appealed to the king for relief, the king gave no room for their request either; in fact, he dismissed them as quickly as he dismissed the demand of the Lord. This burden placed on them (the Israelites) brought a dispirited demeanor; so dispirited was it that they placed the blame entirely on Moses and Aaron (5:21). Imagine you were Moses and you were faced with such an image. http://www.carolinamessenger.com/images/NOV_10.pdf

    4. Application: it is so easy to find fault when one does not understand. This is exactly what the elders of Israel did. They found fault with Moses and Aaron when they did not understand much about the mission of the two men. They quickly received them when they had come to understand the Lord was on their side, but at the first sign of trouble – and it was a burdensome trouble – they shed the cloak of comfort they received from the Lord as He told them His mission through Moses. Have you shed the cloak of the Lord?

     
  • Ron Thomas 4:44 am on March 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: tough question   

    Toughest question. I don’t know what the toughest question I have ever been asked, but I can say what tough question I was given that made a difference in my life. It was about the year 1983; I was in Tucson, AZ, playing in a Rugby tourney. I was rooming with a fellow, about my age, who was pondering meaning in life. At this time I had already become a Christian. He was a nominal Christian, as best I can recall, but he was very disappointed in answers given to his questions; answers that seemed to be more platitudes than substance. I was in a state of “I’ve just got to know,” and this motivated me to search, research, and think deep on issues. In the Lord, I was only a mere matter of months old, but when we talked on the Bible, the one question he asked that had prompted me to travel the road I have is, “How do I know that the Bible was not a book written by man?” I gave an answer that he was only partially satisfied with, and that was frustrating to me. Since that time, however, I have learned that at the time I would not have been able to give him an adequate response because I simple had not enough learning to answer the question like I can today.

    That single question did more for me than I realized.

     
  • TFRStaff 4:36 am on March 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Glenn Hitchcock: Prayer 

    Prayer is asking, seeking and knocking at a door for something we do not have, which we desire, and which God has promised us.

    Prayer is a direct address to God. “In everything let your request be made known unto God.”

    Prayer secures blessings and makes men better because it reaches the ear of God.

    Prayer is only for the betterment of men when it has affected God and moved him to do something for men. Prayer affects men by affecting God. Prayer moves men because it moves God to move men.

    Faith must have a tongue by which it can speak. Prayer is the tongue of faith. Faith must receive. Prayer is the hand of faith reached out to receive.

    Prayer asks. Faith lays its hands on the things asked for. Prayer is not a sweet little privilege. It is a great prerogative, far-reaching in its effect.

    Prayer is not a mere episode of the Christian life. Rather the whole life is a preparation for and a result of prayer. In its condition, prayer is the sum of religion. Faith is but a channel of prayer. Faith gives prayer wings and swiftness.

    What forces lie in importunate prayer! What mighty results are gained by it in one night’s struggle in praying! God is affected and changed in attitude and men are transformed in character and destiny. Satan dreads nothing but prayer.

    "Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day" by Glenn Hitchcock

     
  • Randal 4:25 am on March 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Daily Nudge: toughest question 

    What’s the toughest question you’ve ever been asked? Maybe it was a biblical question, or maybe it was personal. Could have been a stranger who asked it, or a member of the family.

    Let’s assume it wasn’t an evil question, like many of the ones Jesus received, in attempts to trip him up, but a sincere one. Maybe it was recent, or it could have been when you were in, say, grade school or high school.

    The field is open.

     
  • Larry Miles 12:01 am on March 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    The Protecting Grace of Jesus 

    In verse 4 of the song “I’ll Put Jesus First in My Life” we are reminded of the protecting grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament teaches us that we are saved by grace through faith, in baptism unto good works. As long as we abide in Jesus we will never fall, we will never lose our salvation.

    Christians are never promised a “bed of roses.” We are not under a “name it and claim it” philosophy as many radio and TV preachers would have us believe.

    We are not immune from the “cares of this world.” The “rain” falls on the “just and unjust,” the Bible tells us. “Tho’ earth’s tribulations continue each day,” reminds us that bad times do befall the believer, “His grace will protect me for ever and aye..” We can “take that to the bank.” We can be assured that although we live “in this world,” we are “not of this world.” (I John 2:15-17)

    Remember the chorus, “In all that I say, in all that I do, throughout the world of toil and strife, by day and by night, through trust in His might, I’ll put Jesus first in my life.” We must give our all to the Lord. We must be consistent in our walk for Him. We must “let our light shine” for Jesus! Keep looking up! Jesus may come today!

     
  • Richard Mansel 6:56 pm on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Modest Women 

    The brotherhood website, For Christian Girls, is accumulating articles for women and girls to learn more about modesty, morality and marriage. I hope you will link to the site and share it with young women/girls.

    Modesty From the Waist Up

    Modesty From the  Waist Down

    Can You Say No?

    Spring is Coming and God is  Watching

     
  • TFRStaff 6:02 pm on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Thought-for-the-day: The Search is On 

    Thursday’s Thought For The Day (Mar. 17, 2011)

    THE SEARCH IS ON

    The boss of a big company needed to call one of his employees about an urgent problem with one of the main computers. He dialed the employee’s home phone number and was greeted with a child whispering, “Hello?”

    Feeling put out at the inconvenience of having to talk to a youngster, the boss asked, “Is your Daddy home?” “Yes”, whispered the small voice.

    “May I talk with him?”, the man asked. To the surprise of the boss, the small voice whispered, “No.”

    Wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, “Is your Mommy there?” “Yes”, came the answer. “May I talk with her?” Again the small voice whispered, “No.”

    Knowing that it was not likely that a young child would be left home alone, the boss decided he would just leave a message with the person who should be there watching over the child.

    “Is there anyone there besides you?”, the boss asked the child. “Yes”, whispered the child, “A policeman.”

    Wondering what an officer would be doing at his employee’s home, the boss asked, “May I speak with the policeman?” “No, he’s busy”, whispered the child. “Busy doing what?”, asked the boss. “Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the fireman”, came the whispered answer.

    Growing concerned and even worried as he heard a loud noise through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked, “What is that noise?”

    “A hello-copper”, answered the whispering voice. “What is going on there?”, asked the boss, now alarmed.

    In an awed voice the child answered, “The search team just landed the hello-copper!”

    Alarmed, concerned and more than just a little frustrated the boss asked, “Why are they there?”

    Still whispering, the young voice replied along with a muffled giggle, “They’re looking for me!”

    It reminds me of how we act toward God at times. When we have done something that we know is wrong, we sometimes, like Adam and Eve in the garden, try to hide from God. Not physically, of course. But we try to distance ourselves from God by neglecting worship with God’s people, Bible study, prayer. We try to avoid God, hoping He won’t notice.

    But like the little boy in the story, we know that God is searching for us, doing everything in His power to bring us back. And even at times when I’ve done something I’m ashamed of, I appreciate that so much.

    “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?….Or what woman, having ten coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?” (Luke 15:4,8)

    Is Somebody looking for you today?

    Have a great day!

    Alan Smith
    Helen Street Church of Christ
    Fayetteville, North Carolina

    To subscribe to “Thought For the Day,” send a blank email to join-thought-for-the-day@hub.xc.org

    More TFTD messages can be found on Facebook at
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Thought-For-The-Day/150294201666410

     
  • Weylan Deaver 10:28 am on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    “If I killed my wife and mother and debauched a thousand women I couldn’t go to hell–in fact, I couldn’t go to hell if I wanted to.”

    A Baptist preacher in Louisville, Kentucky in 1959, exhibiting his Calvinistic doctrine of once-saved-always-saved (as quoted in Ben Bailey’s book, “A Study of Denominations and Their Doctrines,” p. 42)
     
    • Richard 1:15 pm on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Greetings,
      Over the past 15 years I have been learning how to study the scriptures by covenants and not so much by Testaments. However, giving a covenant answer or response to these folks is not going to go very well because they want what they want–it wears a lot of disguises–but in the end it allows men to worship God their way and not God’s. New Covenant begins in Acts 2 not Matthew one.
      The only way is keep teaching scripture..we are seed planters more than harvesters.

      • Weylan Deaver 3:36 pm on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Richard,
        Although the New Testament church was begun on earth in Acts 2, Jesus had already been preaching “the gospel of God” (Mark 1:14). Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are New Testament documents, written by Christians (not practicing Jews) years after the church began, which were accepted as the gospel by the early church. I hope you do not make the mistake of taking Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as part of the Old Testament. But, what do your comments have to do with the Calvinism in the above quote? I see no connection.

    • Stephen R. Bradd 3:05 pm on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      That may be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!

    • Steve 9:44 pm on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Is there really an understandable point to Richard’s comments? I wonder from whom he is being taught this covenant / testament belief?

      • Richard Hill 11:46 pm on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I can tell you of at least one person teaching this. I suddenly started receiving his emails maybe a year ago. His website is http://www.biblestudiesbydanbillingsly.net/
        How does this idea jive with all the kingdom teachings and kingdom parables? Didn’t Jesus say “You have heard it said. . .but I say to you. . .” Is he not comparing Moses’ teachings with kingdom, i.e. New Covenant?

    • Steve 12:28 am on March 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      RH, Sometimes when I write into the night I am not very clear. My first question was meant to be more about the relationship of the original post by Weylan (the Baptist preacher quote) and my difficulty in seeing any linkage of “Richard’s comments” to the quote. Sorry about that confusion. About the new covenant beginning in Acts 2, I do have some difficulty in accepting his point on this as well. Conceptually speaking, if we can agree that Jesus is teaching everyone how to live, as recorded in the gospels; and, if this is radically different and diametrically opposed to the old covenant, than how can one say these teachings were part of the old covenant? When I looked at the link you provided above, I can see how it might be what influenced “Richard” to make his comments above. If so, though, I still do not understand this comment found in that link. “only the New Testament of Christ in Acts 2 – Revelation 22 sets forth his teaching that applies to men in this new covenant age” No, I think one must also include the Gospels as teachings…”that applies to men in this new covenant age.” I know it is late, but does that not make sense? Good night to one and all…

    • Richard 9:09 am on March 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Greetings, The authority for the way we are to live and work and worship God comes to us after the cross. In dealing with folks who believe as illustrated in the post–Taking one’s authority from Acts 2 forward–puts a real dent in Calvinism.
      Wednesday night I listened to an 82 year old preacher say pretty much what some of you are saying about the gospel of Matthew..

      The reason that it took me many years to begin to see covenants–is due to the way I was taught the scriptures. Same way most of you have.

      The reason that “covenant teaching” or teaching it “your way” does not work–is not due to fault on our part nor on God’s.
      Many of us are just like the Calvinist–just read your responses to the idea of covenant–We all want what we want and because we are Christians–does not mean we all have it right.
      The Calvanist has been taught–His wagonwheel rut theology does not allow for any text or texts that would alter his conclusions.
      We are the same way about many things–fact is the scriptures do clearly identify and teach covenants but we have not been trained nor inclined to think about scriptures from a covenant standpoint.

      One advantage that covenant teaching has–putting Matthew Mark Luke and John up to the cross under the Old Covenant–is that it keep each covenant law under each covenant. Calvinistic teaching has a much more difficult path when using just the New covenant as our authority.
      Now, my final sentence in my first post is still true. When one will read the texts exactly as given–a Calvin person can see the evidence to adjust his thinking toward the teaching. Same is true with Covenants.
      Let me close with an illustration…The “good News” of the kingdom of God in Mark 1 is not the same “good news” of Acts 2.
      Richard

      • Weylan Deaver 9:55 am on March 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Richard, you are woefully mistaken, and the error is serious. Jesus claimed his words would judge us (John 12:48), and that certainly includes his words in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. Jesus gave instruction that would doubtless have application in the church (cf. Matt. 18:15-17). Jesus gave new legislation regarding marriage/divorce (cf. Matt. 19). It is true that there was an Old Covenant and we live under a New Covenant. But terms of the New Covenant began to be preached in the days of John the Immerser and Jesus. Jesus’ death on the cross ended the old and began the new. Shortly thereafter, the terms of the new began to be enforced in Acts 2. But you must allow for a transition period in which God was moving things from one to the other. It is a great mistake to say the Gospels are Old Testament literature. Remember, “The law and the prophets were until John: from that time the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached…” (Luke 16:16).

        • John Henson 11:03 am on March 18, 2011 Permalink

          Structurally sound, Weylan.”Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions,” (Ecclesiastes 7:29).

        • John Henson 11:06 am on March 18, 2011 Permalink

          Scripturally, that is.

  • Ed Boggess 8:36 am on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    One of W. A Bradfield’s favorite illustrations was of a young man desiring to wed the farmer’s daughter. The farmer agreed to it is the young fellow passed his test. The farmer led him to the barn and explained he would release three bulls, one at a time and all the boy had to do was catch one of the bulls by the tail. The farmer released the first bull and it ran through the gate billowing and snorting. The young man thought, “I’ll catch the next one.” The farmer released the second bull and it was bigger and meaner than the first. The young man thought, “I’ll catch the next one.” Finally, the farmer released the last bull. It was smaller and less intimidating, so the young man reached to grab the tail and behold, the bull was bob-tailed!!!

     
  • Ed Boggess 8:32 am on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Persecution? – JAM 

    Here is something new: students of a New Mexico church youth ministry were disciplined for leaving doughnuts with religious messages in teacher’s lounges at Roswell high schools. The twenty-five students received school disciplinary action of detention or suspension. The official reason was quote “showing kindness”. Maybe the teachers prefer croissants or bagels. I bet the police department would receive them with no complaint. More and more American society is becoming hostile to any and all Christian witness. Maybe the teachers would have been less reactive if the doughnuts had been jelly-filled. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess

     
  • Randal 7:17 am on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: attention, , sensible words,   

    Sensible words to pay attention 

    On yesterday’s Nudge about the most sensible thing heard lately. Would be from our good brother Alexandre, visiting our home this weekend, who also preached for us in SJCampos and Taubate. He alerted us all to “pay attention to life, to God, to yourself.” His vigorous exhortation came as a bracing reminder of our holy walk in the Lord. I was blessed, because I got to hear it twice!

     
  • TFRStaff 7:09 am on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Funds for Japan’s churches of Christ 

    For those interested in sending help, the Park Avenue church in Memphis is receiving funds for Japan. The link and a report of the brethren’s safety is now up on BNc. We give thanks, but risks are still great, so we continue to pray for them.

    UPDATE: The direct link to the Japan disaster relief page at Park Avenue is HERE.

     
  • Randal 5:21 am on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: compensation, missed opportunities,   

    Daily Nudge: missed opportunity 

    Getting passed upName an opportunity you believe you missed out on in your younger days.

    How does that affect you today, perhaps even in a good way, as per Romans 8:28, or does that still limit you?

    How have you compensated for that missed opportunity?

    Or were there other, perhaps even better, opportunities because of the one you missed?

    Paul talks about taking advantage of opportunities both in Colossians and Ephesians, those twin letters, each with its own emphasis.

    “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunities” (Col 4:5).

    “Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, 16  taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:15-16).

    But we do miss them, at times, and some we regret more than others.

     
  • TFRStaff 5:00 am on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    TFT: Devotion 

    “If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, we shall soon be crushed and broken hearted for we often shall meet more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; but if our motive is love for God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men.” Service is the rent you pay for the space you occupy in the kingdom of God.

    By Oswald  Chambers

    (Luke 10:27)  So he answered and said, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.'”

    “Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn Hitchcock

     
  • Ron Thomas 4:37 am on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Exodus 4 

    1. Moses now offers another reason (excuse) to the Lord as to why he should not be the one to stand before the king of Egypt, and that reason is the people of Israel will not believe him to be the Lord’s messenger. In order to help the people accept Moses, Moses’ staff was turned into a snake when he tossed it on the ground. More than that, however, the Lord gave Moses two more signs to demonstrate that he was the Lord’s messenger for a total of three (4:6-9). The third sign, it might be said, was actually the first sign to the Pharaoh; perhaps if the first two sign did not convince some of the Israelites, then the first sign to the Pharaoh would convince the remaining Israelites.

    2. The fourth (and final) objection the Lord received from Moses was that Moses was not a man of eloquence, something required when standing in a royal court. However, the Lord rejected and this and, as the text says, “…so the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses…” (4:14). Exactly what manifested from the Lord to (against) Moses is unstated; it has been suggested that Moses was not allowed to receive the honor the Lord was prepared to give him, but that Aaron would now be included (cf. Judges 4:8-9). Others have suggested that it was the loss of the priesthood. Whatever was the case, Moses was in a precarious situation, but even in this state the Lord’s mercy had shown forth brightly. The Lord gave Moses, for this task, his brother Aaron. Not only would Aaron be the better speaker before the king, but Moses would have his brother along, no doubt strengthening for the occasion.

    3. Having been given leave by Jethro, Moses heads toward Egypt taking the “rod of God” in his hand” (4:20). “The shepherd’s staff had become God’s staff, a symbol of authority and the means by which Moses would perform signs throughout the rest of his ministry” (Roper, p. 74). The Lord told Moses and Moses was to tell the king that the ultimate outcome of his (the king’s) refusal would be the death of his firstborn son – assuming Moses told the king this at an early meeting (some doubt that he did). This is a monumental remark to the king of Egypt! The king would, no doubt, take this as a threat to his throne. That is exactly how the Lord meant it.

    4. A strange event occurred with Moses and Zipporah; the Jews regard this as Moses’ “sin of omission” with respect to circumcision. Brother Coffman writes, “We agree with Dummelow that the whole design of this remarkable episode was “to show the importance of circumcision as the sign of the covenant between God and his people, and the sin and danger of neglecting it” (http://www.studylight.org/com/bcc/view.cgi?book=ex&chapter=004).

    5. Application: Moses had a shepherd’s staff and that staff became the “rod of God.” Does it really matter what it is that we have that some person might think to be insignificant? The Lord used Moses’ simple staff to serve him in a most important endeavor. The Lord can use each of us also; it may be that we think we can offer nothing to the Lord’s service, but if we offer our heart to Him, whatever others (including self) might think to be insignificant, the Lord can use it. If that is so, then does it really matter what others might think about what we have?

     
  • Larry Miles 12:01 am on March 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: God's Promises, ,   

    A Home In Heaven 

    Christians are promised in the Word of God that their eternal destiny is to be with the Lord Jesus Christ forever (I Thes. 4:17). Wherever He is or goes, we will be with Him. We can know, in this life, that we are saved and have assurance of our salvation. Many, even some Christians do not have this assurance.

    The song “I’ll Put Jesus First,” in verse 3 uses the words “I Know.” We can look forward to a time “when death is no more, when struggle is o’er.” Christians are “the ransomed and blest.” When we sing this song we are forever reminded of the redemption we have in Christ. (More …)

     
  • Randal 9:33 pm on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    If you use reddit.com, come join the new community:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/NTChristian/

     
  • Richard Mansel 12:21 pm on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Horrors in Japan 

    If we factor in the modern problem of nuclear issues, I can’t think of any country that has ever been through what Japan is enduring. The news is horrific and the video available online is beyond belief. They need our constant prayers, since their nightmare is far from over. Tens of thousands are dead. Residents are fleeing the country and their government is trying desperately to keep everything together. No one can imagine what they are enduring. We are so blessed to be safe in our own land. We take far too much for granted.

     
    • Mike Riley 1:10 pm on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, we indeed take far too much for granted. Not only is our country one of the richest countries in the world, but the most spoiled as well. That may come to a screeching halt one of these days due to the rampant immorality in our country. God will not tolerate immorality forever.

  • Mike Riley 11:39 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , most, , , ,   

    The Most Sensible Word 

    The most sensible word I’ve heard lately was from a Twitter post which said:

    “Maybe the USA should consider Mexico’s law regarding immigration.”

    After reading their immigration laws, it might not be a bad idea:

    http://mexicoslaw.com/

     
  • Chad Dollahite 11:35 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Chapter by Chapter: Galatians 

    Ch. 1 – No other gospel / Paul not taught by men, but by revelation

    Ch. 2 – Paul’s trip to Jerusalem / Confrontation with Peter at Antioch / Justification by Christ, not the Law of Moses / “I am crucified with Christ…”

    Ch. 3 – Abrahamic promise made before the Law of Moses, not disannulled by it / The Law of Moses was to bring us to Christ / All one in Christ

    Ch. 4 – Christians adopted as sons, heirs / Allegory of Hagar & Sarah

    Ch. 5 – Stand fast / Fleshly circumcision, uncircumcision irrelevant / Walk in the Spirit / Works of the flesh vs. fruit of the Spirit

    Ch. 6 – Restore the fallen / Bear one another’s burden / Reap what you sow / Do good to all / Glory in the cross

     
  • Richard Mansel 10:53 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Teaching Revelation 

    I am teaching the Sermon on the Mount and we are starting chapter seven tonight. Soon, we will be through with this study and ready to begin Revelation. This will be my third time to teach the book through the years. I am by no means an expert on all the intricacies of the book.

    With great trepidation,  I first began to teach it as a young preacher. Yet, when I got into the study and saw the cycles of thought, the book became less imposing.

    When I teach Revelation, I don’t get bogged down with the symbolism.  The book has a message from  God and teaches many valuable lessons. It is not a labyrinth to wander in forever. The points are made without digging in that deeply. Whether the Roman ruler is Domitian or Nero, the main points are still the same.

    The real problem with teaching the book is with materials that you use. Everyone has such wildly divergent beliefs about the book that it makes it difficult to know what to use. Clearly, I will not use anyone who teaches premillinalism. In that vein, it is hard for me to teach Revelation without pointing out the obvious errors that people teach about the book.

    It interests me that Revelation works at two levels simultaneously. You have what it meant to the persecuted saints of John’s day and you have the overall battle of God and Satan in our own day. Lose track of either of these paths and you miss a wealth of material.

    What are your thoughts about teaching the book?

     
    • Kevin W. Rhodes 11:19 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      One thing where I disagree with most is on the nature of the persecution referred to in the book. Apocalyptic literature appeared during times of cultural conflict without reference to typical persecution as we usually think of it. As a result, I regularly see preachers treat the book anachronistically and unhistorically. Therefore, I would suggest that the book presents two different layers of spiritual conflict: the conflict that exists between God and Satan, as you mentioned, and the conflict that exists spiritually between God’s people and those that would pressure God’s people to become unfaithful, regardless of the means employed.

      Of course, the correct historical background of the book is essential to properly understand various specific elements of the book, but these two main principles are clear regardless, as you also mentioned. God wins; Satan loses. If we are faithful to God, we can win too.

  • Ron Thomas 8:48 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Whereas Moses went up to the mountain to receive the Law of Moses, the Lord Jesus came down and brought light and glory to a people in darkness.

    Sermon on Luke 2 (2:29-32) by RT
     
  • Stephen R. Bradd 8:18 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: McGarvey, ,   

    If God gives to all men life and breath and all things, he acts with reference to each individual man, to each individual breath that each man breathes, and to each particular thing going to make up all the things which he gives them. Again, if God appoints beforehand the “periods” of the nation, (by which I understand all the great eras in their history,) and the “boundaries of their habitations,” he certainly directs the movements of individual men; for the movements of the nations depend upon the movements of the individual men of whom they are composed. Sometimes, indeed, the movements of one man, as of Christopher Columbus, determine the settlement of continents, and the destiny of mighty nations. In view of these facts, we must admit the most special and minute providence of God in all the affairs of the earth. It would never, perhaps, have been doubted, but for the philosophical difficulty of reconciling it with the free agency of men, and of discriminating between it and the working of miracles. This difficulty, however, affords no rational ground for such a doubt, for the method of God’s agency in human affairs is above human comprehension. To doubt the reality of an assured fact, the nature of which is confessedly above our comprehension, because we know not how to reconcile it with other known facts, is equivalent to confessing our ignorance at one moment, and denying it the next.

    J.W. McGarvey’s Original Commentary on Acts [pp. 221 -- pertaining to Acts 17:22ff]
     
    • Weylan Deaver 11:23 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Excellently stated. And it is bothersome that a few radical preachers today–who have obviously given less thought to (or have a lesser grasp of) the subject than had McGarvey–think that admitting of God’s direct involvement in providence implies belief in modern day miracles. Their failure to distinguish miracle from providence leads to all manner of misguided accusations against those of us who refuse to give up on providence. They acknowledge providence in theory, but then define it into oblivion, thinking they’ve done the church a service. We ought to accept the fact of divine activity in providence (since the NT affirms it), even though we cannot offer an exhaustive explanation of its workings (since the NT does not demand it). And some of us preachers ought to REFRAIN (from speaking when we don’t know what we’re talking about), REFLECT (more deeply on Scripture before we speak out of ignorance), and REACT to alleged error with kindness and solid evidence, rather than an intellectually vapid position which, though failing to respect various biblical passages, yet reigns in an embarrassing example of political correctness in certain pulpits and brotherhood papers.

      • Stephen R. Bradd 12:42 pm on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Weylan, I’ve gotten myself “in trouble” before on this topic of providence & miracles because I don’t tow the “traditional” view on it anymore. I don’t claim to understand all the ways of God (Isa 55:8,9). I don’t even claim to always be able to clearly define the distinction between providence & a miracle. The more I learn, the more I find myself saying “perhaps” (e.g., Philemon 15) in regards to a lot of things. I believe God is active in our world–even today. He’s involved in our lives. He’s promised to work things out for the best for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). I believe all that but am in awe and ignorance of how it all works together–but I believe it, nevertheless.

        Much of the whole subject boils down to how one defines his terms (e.g., giving a precise definition of what constitues a “miracle” and what constitutes “providence” can be difficult).

        The thing that hit me between the eyes a few years ago was 1 Cor 13. I had always been taught and had preached the following: “1 Cor 13 teaches that miracles have ceased.” Many brethren hear that statement and conclude (falsely) that God is not involved in our world today. This view cripples one’s prayer life of much of its power, I think. That’s unfortunate. Today, when I preach on 1 Cor. 13, I state it differently (and this makes some people nervous)–“1 Cor 13 teaches that the age of God working miracles THROUGH THE AGENCY OF MANKIND is over. But, 1 Cor 13 says nothing about God’s DIRECT involvement in our world today.”

        Additionally, I’ve often said that there are things I just can’t explain that happen today. For example, a young girl with brain cancer–serious brain cancer–and suddendly it disappears. I can’t explain that. (1) Were the tests initially wrong? (2) Did the body heal itself in a way we don’t understand currently? (3) Or, is it possible God intervened in some way because He is merciful and answers prayer? Ultimately, I don’t know the answer; any of the 3 options are possible. But I’m not willing to cast away the 3rd option as many do. God is working today in ways I don’t understand. The label I try to put on His activity is somewhat besides the point (i.e., miracle, providence, whatever).

        I hope some of this is making sense. I would love to hear from you further on this, Weylan, especially if you think I’ve missed the boat somewhere.

        • Weylan Deaver 3:05 pm on March 16, 2011 Permalink

          No, I think you make a lot of sense. I do believe there is a category called “miracle” that has ceased (cf. 1 Cor. 13). But it is incorrect to assert (as some do) that any direct action of God today would be a miracle. To me, the easiest way to explain the difference between what went on in NT times (miracles) and what God does today (providence) is to say that miracles were obvious, whereas providence is subtle.

          There’s a difference in Malchus’ ear being miraculously reattached after Peter sliced it off (the only explanation being Jesus’ immediate effort), and the young girl in your illustration, cured of brain cancer (leaving us with unanswered questions). God’s power can be exerted in either case, being on obvious display in the former, and hidden in the latter.

          Thus, by their nature, miracles could be signs (as they related to a message) and wonders (as to the reaction they caused in observers). Providence is not so easily pinpointed or observed. It differs from miracle, not by God’s involvement, by by our ability to perceive it. In providence, God intentionally keeps his actions “behind the scenes.”

          So I think you are right, Stephen. To say that God can only work today through his word (which we already have), or that God can only work indirectly today (which really means he cannot do anything), is to imply that prayer is a waste of time. For example, to say that Weylan acts, but he only ever acts indirectly, is to say that I do nothing. If I act at all, then I must do something directly, somewhere, somehow.

  • Ron Thomas 3:55 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Judge Nothing 

    If I might be so bold, a sensible remark would be one that I have been speaking for a good while. Of course, it does not originate with me, and as surely as one reads it, the quality of its value will be apparent.

    JUDGE NOTHING UNTIL YOU KNOW

    It is so easy to judge something before one has sufficient information that allows that judgment to stand a critical test. All too often people form their judgments based upon their own point of reference, but one’s point of reference belongs only to one, not the one that the judgment is being rendered toward.

    However, some will note, it is nearby impossible for me to not come to a judgment on something I have seen or read. Perhaps this is correct, but should your judgment be final when you have incomplete information? Your judgment of a situation is important and it might influence many; surely it is a matter of prudence to judge rightly – and this can be done when further information follows. Moreover, when further information follows, what point of reference will you use? Will you use your own? It is likely that you will, but if your point of reference is the Lord’s, how much firmer ground will your feet be planted on then?

    “Do not judge according to appearance. Judge justly” (John 7:24, Montgomery)

     
    • Steve 9:42 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Ron, You raise so many fine points. I think one of the fallacies we live with is that when an earthly judgment is made, it is final. Even those judged guilty in our criminal system have multiple appeal processes, which offer the option to overturn the decision. So then, why is it we tend to stick with the initial judgment made, whether by me, others individually or a collective body? Two possibilities: finality and pride. I suggest many like, and need, certainty in their life. Is not certainty a factor why we decide to follow Jesus, so that we have our eternity resolved? Back to this life, we like the same certainty or finality in decisions. We prefer to make a pronouncement or decision or judgment and then base our subsequent actions on those correct judgments. If our judgments are not final, then our subsequent decisions from that action might fold like a house of cards; that is, if our initial judgment was incorrect. We sometimes forget that we are human and are not perfect. Thus we do not make perfect decisions or judgments, only God has that ability. Finality offers a sense of firm ground. However, However, if each of us were to examine what has occurred over the past 10 years, we would be reminded that we do not live on firm ground and final judgments. The second possibility, pride. This is easy to understand. Until we mature to the point that we accept we are not perfect and our judgments are not either, pride will guide our thinking. And this stinking thinking is that our judgments can not be wrong.

      Ron, thanks for reminding us that it ultimately is only God who makes correct judgments, justly so.

      • Ron 9:52 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Steve, you are very kind. Thank you for your very fine words. The Indian proverb (prayer) is a good one in this context.

  • Ron Thomas 3:41 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Exodus 3 

    1. A good many years come and go for Moses; for forty years he tends to Jethro’s flock (Acts 7:30) and by this time he is eighty years of age. Coming to Mount Horeb (Sinai, actual mountain is unknown) a wondrous sight is there to behold: a bush on fire but not consumed. It is an exceedingly rare thing for a bush to be on fire and not consumed, yet Moses watches it occur. The curiosity takes him closer, only to have the Lord call out from the bush. One can only imagine the horror and fear of Moses when this occurs.

    2. As Moses is called, he is commanded to remove his shoes for nothing fabricated by man is to stand between the Lord and His creation. Moses, prostrate before the Lord, hears the Lord identify Himself and His reason for appearing to him (3:6-9). More than this, the Lord calls out to Moses to join him in this mission. Moses, however, can’t believe that the Lord would call him to such a mission; he felt so unworthy. The Lord, answering Moses’ objection, tells Moses further that when he leads Israel successfully out that they will come to the mountain upon which he (Moses) was and worship the Almighty (3:10-12). Moses, however, does not even know the Lord’s name; when the children of Israel ask for the Lord’s name, what shall he say? The Lord tells him (3:13-15). Not only is Moses to go to the children of Israel, but he is also to go before the king of Egypt. In His continued reassurance to Moses, the Lord said that not only was he to go to the king, but that he and the Israelites would plunder the Egyptians (3:19-22), but this would not be before the king refused Moses’ demand.

    3. Application: As Moses’ curiosity compelled him to look more intently at the bush that burned (though not consumed), Moses learned that he was standing before the Lord. On the ground upon which he stood – it was holy ground. There is a great lesson in this for us: as we “stand” before the Lord – whenever we do so – do we look upon the Lord and our presence before Him as holy ground? I am not speaking of the physical ground upon which we might be present, but our spiritual regard and reverence to Him. The Lord is not the “man upstairs,” as He is disrespectfully identified. He is the ALMIGHTY, the One to whom we must give an account. Should we not regard our presence before Him with much reverence?

     
  • Randal 3:00 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Daily Nudge: Most sensible thing heard lately 

    What’s the most sensible thing you’ve heard someone say lately? In any area of life? Maybe they weren’t even talking to you, but you overheard them. Or maybe they were giving you advice.

    Of course, we may need a bit of context to appreciate why you think it was the most sensible thing you’ve heard lately.

    Remember that old saying that common sense isn’t so common? (That’s just doesn’t translate into Portuguese, since “common sense” is  called “good sense.”) So when we hear them, sensible sentiments stand out.

     
  • Larry Miles 12:01 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Why Give Up Sin 

    I have been taking the verses and chorus of the song “The World All About Me.” In this devotion I want to discuss the question “Why Give Up Sin?” All Christians should be in “an attitude of gratitude” for what the Lord Jesus has done, is doing, and will do for us.

    The second verse of the song starts off with the phrase “The Lord Jesus died my salvation to win:” This should remind us of the great cost of salvation; not to us, but to the Godhead. Our Heavenly Father loved us so much that He sent His Son to die in my place. The song further says “He went in my stead to Calvary and bled.” He took our place; we do not deserve to be saved. We are reminded of the need for the blood of Christ to be shed for the remission of our sins. (More …)

     
  • Chad Dollahite 8:07 pm on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Chapter by Chapter: Philemon 

    Ch. 1 – Paul beseeches Philemon to accept his new brother in Christ

     
    • J. Randal Matheny 8:23 pm on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Now that was an easy book to do! Chapter, too. If men were putting the Bible together, they’d not consider this one worthy of inclusion, I dare say. But Paul says so much in so little space.

      • Chad Dollahite 8:31 pm on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Haha! That’s exactly what I thought when I posted it! You are right, though…SOOO much said in such a short little book.

  • Weylan Deaver 4:13 pm on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    I learned today that my friend, Bart Warren’s, mother passed away this week. Bart is younger than I, and his mother, Susan Warren, was not old, but had already suffered several years with Alzheimer’s. Within the last couple of years, Bart’s father, Lindsey Warren, passed away at a young age. They were good people. Bart preaches for the South Green Street congregation in Glasgow, Kentucky. He is the grandson of the late Thomas B. Warren, and a founder of the Warren Christian Apologetics Center (http://warrenapologeticscenter.org/).

     
    • J. Randal Matheny 8:44 pm on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry to hear of her passing. I don’t know any of the Warren family, but I pray the Lord will comfort each member.

    • Michael Summers 11:03 pm on August 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I knew Lindsey, Bart’s father, and also met his grandfather when I was a student at Harding Graduate School of Religion. Lindsey’s death was unexpected. I will pray for Bart and the rest of his family. He has a great legacy of faith on which to build.

  • Stephen R. Bradd 2:56 pm on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    If they could put a man on the moon… 

    They ought to be able to simplify the tax code!

    I’m in favor of eliminating all taxes except one–sales tax. I realize it would have to be raised from 6.75% here in Clinton up to 20% (or higher), but that’d be fine by me.

    Businesses are already in the habit of collecting them and remitting them to the government (so it’d be a simple change for them). No longer would we have to pay income tax, property tax, etc.

    It’s the fairest tax, too. If you don’t want to pay taxes, just don’t buy anything! Simple enough. If you buy luxury items (that cost a lot), you’ll pay a lot of tax on them.

    About 95% of the IRS could immediately shut down. I realize this would cost many jobs, but I, for one, would welcome the change!

    Anybody with me on this?

     
  • Richard Mansel 10:00 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    How Weak and Selfish Are We? 

    I came across this fictitious letter from a 1976 Bardwell, Kentucky bulletin. We need to let God’s will be done without our selfish interference. This isn’t about us.

    ***************

    A Letter:

    Dear Brother  Paul,

    I have been discriminated against, offended and harassed, and it looks like I may be withdrawn from. I just want you to know that YOU are to blame. You see, I’m a member of the church here in Ephesus, and well, it’s like this: I don’t believe it is necessary for us to always attend church.

    Why do I blame you? Do you remember how you talked to our elders over at Miletus? Well after they got back home, they’ve never been the same. Nowadays, every time I miss worship, they’re over at my house pumping me, nosing into my business. It’s nobody’s business what I do! And YOU talk about freedom in Christ!

    Then, too, Timothy told us what you wrote him. You know, Timothy would be a nice guy if you would just leave him alone.

    In your letter to Timothy you said something about “rebuke, reprove, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” Well, he’s started doing that in every sermon! Most of the time he looks straight at me!

    Also he mentioned what you said about Hymeneus and Philetus, and I tell you I almost lost my temper. Those two good men are related to me and you had no right to insult them. These things aren’t THAT important and you need to stop making more out of things than are necessary!

    And another thing. You’ve hurt my reputation here. Demetrius and I belong to the same civic organization. He tells me you came here and hurt his business. I told him that I’m not as fanatical as you are and that I don’t always go along with you in everything. But, he still doesn’t treat me the same way that he did before your meddling.

    It’s evident that if I keep my membership here where they have endorsed your work, even your fanaticism against sin (Nobody’s perfect you know!), I’ll never be elected to higher office.

    I have to close this letter because I have to write to Demas to express my sympathy to him after the way you embarrassed him!

    Yours in this life only,

    I.M. Weak

     
  • Mike Riley 9:54 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: amaze, , check, folk, , , , , , , , , skip, , ,   

    Can’t They Make A Pen That Writes? 

    If folks can put a man on the moon, why can’t they make a ball point pen that writes (every time)?

    When I buy groceries and begin to write a check – the pen doesn’t write, or the ink skips where you can’t read the writing. It’s always been amazing to me, that the more simple a thing is, the more complicated man makes it.

    Do you think that’s the reason why folks seemingly can’t understand the Bible — because they make something that is relatively simple (the gospel) complicated?

    http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2010/11/05/the-simplicity-of-the-gospel/

     
  • John Henson 8:52 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Snap, crackle and snarl 

    They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t make plastic wrap for a man that comes off the roll without wadding up in a dozen places.

    It has always been amazing how my wife can pull and snap a large piece of plastic wrap from the roll and it just seems to float effortlessly in one piece. Whenever I do it, it snaps into a little ball that takes hours to unfurl.

    Some people’s lives are like that, too. It sometimes seems as though life gets so twisted nothing could ever straighten it. So many consequences of sin tangle life into knots that appear to be hopeless. There is a way to restoration.

    How can this be? Wayne Jackson wrote, “How refreshingly sweet it is to have confidence in the fact that the Good Shepherd (cf. John 10:11, 14) can assuage these woes and provide us with peace once more. A beautiful song has these lyrics: ‘Bring Christ your broken life, so marred by sin; He will create anew, make whole again.’”

    When the word of God is applied to someone’s life, it has the power to transform it. Obedience to the gospel brings forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God (1 Peter 1:18, 19). With this reconciliation comes an opportunity to straighten out all those twists and turns by applying God’s law to your mind.

    God has the power to unsnarl a life complicated by sin. Obey him today.

     
    • Ron 2:40 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This is good, John. I relate well to that firt paragraph!

  • Larry Miles 8:19 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Let’s Put Jesus First In Our Lives! 

    “The World All About Me” is my favorite song in our hymnal.  It  is  also  know as “I’ll Put Jesus First In My Life.” It was written by James DeForrest Murch back in the 1930′s. I want to use the verses and the chorus to write some short devotionals.

    All of us have priorities in life. We all have “anchors” in our lives. Every priority and anchor that is not grounded in the Lord Jesus will only last through this life. We all need something or someone in our lives that will lead to eternal life.
    The chorus reads as follows: “In all that I say, in all that I do, throughout the world of toil and strife, by day and by night, through trust in His might, I’ll put Jesus first in my life.” (More …)

     
    • John Henson 11:11 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Well said, brother!

    • Larry Miles 11:15 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks John for the words of encouragement– there will be 3 more articles in this series– one on Wed, one on Thur and one on Friday

  • Ed Boggess 7:36 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholics, ,   

    Religious ignorance? – JAM 

    According to the November (2010) Christianity Today forty-five percent of Catholics do not know that their church teaches that the bread and wine in Communion become the actual and literal body and blood of Jesus Christ once it is blessed by the priest. There is an alarming degree of belief ignorance in religion these days. As long as someone gives lip service to God, grace and love, a lot of us are happy to live and let live. But while a novice is excused for ignorance, there is no excuse for those who have been Christians for decades. Certainly the Lord is not satisfied. Jesus said, “If you continue in me word, you are my disciples indeed and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess

     
    • Bernard Barton 7:47 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      There is even ignorance in the church of Christ today because people won’t study their Bible
      or search the sriptures to see if truth is being taught-they are just like the denominational world in a lot
      of respects-they except what the preacher says-I don’t want my brethren to except what I teach unless it is Biblical or scriptural

    • Bernard Barton 7:49 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I mean accept instead of except-sorry

  • Randal 7:00 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: irritations, Kleenex,   

    Men on the moon, so why not this? 

    I’ve tried pulling it slow, pulling it fast, pulling it in little tugs, from the side, from the front, from the back, straight up, jiggling back and forth.

    When I consume lactose (milk products), my nose runs. So I keep boxes of tissues nearby. Supposedly those boxes are made so that you can pull out a tissue and it will separate from the one behind it.

    Usually, however, I pull and get five or six.

    If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they make a box of tissues that will dispense one at a time?

    If they did, my nose would thank them.

    Isn’t it nice that we can be in such a comfortable state, cared for in every way, so that we moan about such little things as the lack of separation of tissues in the box? Thank God for his goodness!

     
  • Richard Mansel 6:25 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Scaling the Mountains of Our Lives 

    “In our lives, we travel on smooth ground until we turn a bend and suddenly a mountain looms before us. We step back intimidated, wondering how we will overcome this incredible obstacle. Yet, we can face it bravely or turn and surrender.

    These mountains constitute the formidable challenges we face in our lives. More than annoyances or conflicts, they are the ones that alter our lives and threaten to spin us out of control. They may be marital problems, car accidents, legal, financial, family or health issues. In their specific contexts, all of them can be devastating.”

    Read  More

     
  • TFRStaff 5:39 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Hymns of a Lukewarm Church 

    hugh’s news & Views

    HYMNS OF A LUKEWARM CHURCH

    As hard as it is for me to realize, almost fifty years ago—precisely forty-nine years this very week—I moved to Jackson, Tennessee to preach for what was then the Allen and Edgewood Church of Christ (now the North Jackson Church of Christ). I have always loved and appreciated this congregation. Over the years, I have returned to preach in several gospel meetings and to speak at one of the church’s "Homecomings." The faithful and effective preacher of this great church is David Powell, who also teaches in the Bible Department at Freed-Hardeman University, just "down the road" from Jackson in Henderson.

    Another minister on staff is Brian Giselbach, a graduate of Freed-Hardeman. I do not know Brian personally, but I have been impressed with a number of excellent essays he has written for the church bulletin.

    Some time back, he had an article titled "Hymns of a Lukewarm Church." I don’t think the article was intended as a rebuke to the church at North Jackson because it is an extremely fervent fellowship of Christians. However, the article is a kind of tongue-in-cheek reminder to all Christians that we need to give thoughtful consideration to the words of the songs we sing, for if the true intent of our hearts was really expressed the titles of the songs might be more like the following:

    A Comfy Mattress Is Our God
    Above Average Is Thy Faithfulness
    All Hail the Influence of Jesus’ Name
    My Hope Is Built On Nothing Much
    Amazing Grace, How Interesting the Sound
    My Faith Looks Around For Thee
    Blest Be the Tie That Doesn’t Cramp My Style
    He’s Quite A Bit to Me
    O How I Like Jesus
    Pillow of Ages, Fluffed For Me
    I Surrender Some
    I’m Fairly Certain That My Redeemer Lives
    Self-Esteem to The World! The Lord Is Come
    Sit Up, Sit Up For Jesus
    There Is Scattered Cloudiness in My Soul Today
    What an Acquaintance We Have In Jesus
    When Peace, Like A Trickle
    Where He Leads Me, I Will Consider Following

    A few that Brian did not include but which I will add are:

    Have Thine Own Way, Lord (And I’ll Have Mine)
    Sitting On The Premises
    Take My Wife, and Let Me Be

    Do our daily attitudes and actions tell a different story from what we sing in church on Sunday?

    "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15).

    Hugh Fulford
    March 15, 2011

     
  • Ron Thomas 4:58 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Exodus 2 

    1. The Pharaoh had decreed that the male children be killed by casting them “into the river,” but in the Lord’s providence there was one child that was placed in the river, and retrieved by the house of Pharaoh. The seed sown to destroy turns out to destroy the sower! “What looked like a potentially disastrous situation turned out, under the providence of God, to be the means by which God could prepare Moses for the great challenge which was ahead” (Davis, p. 60).

    2. The adopted mother could not nurse the child as a child needs nurturing, thus the child is taken to his real mother. In time, the child Moses is brought back to the Egyptian court and given the best education available (Acts 7:21-22), though later in life he refused to be identified as an Egyptian (Hebrews 11:24).

    3. Moses, about 40 years of age, defended his ancestral brother from an Egyptian overlord, but while he thought this act was hidden from the people, it had become known – even known all the way up to Pharaoh. Of course (at least to me), such actions will make their way of the channel when a perpetrator is of the house of Pharaoh; kings learns about such things. How was it that Moses would have learned that he was a Hebrew and that God was delivering the Israelites by his hand (cf. Acts 7:25)? There are actually a couple of possibilities, but since the Record says nothing, our speculation will be of no real value. I am reminded of the God’s promise to Abraham being “interrupted” also (Genesis 16); Moses flees the wrath of the king and goes into the land of Midian; there he defends the honor (and work) of Reuel’s daughters. Jethro (Reuel) invites the “Egyptian” to stay with him.

    4. Application: To begin, let us not gain “knowledge” of what we know of Moses, the Exodus, and the giving of the ten commandments via the movie “The Ten Commandments’! to learn from the actual source is SO much better than anything Hollywood can produce. Second, think about what Moses gave up. He gave up all the wealth that Egypt could have afforded him to be called the son of a Hebrew slave. He gave up all the luxury of Egypt in order to live in a desert. He gave up, potentially (cf. Davis), to be king over Egypt in order to be a lonely shepherd living in a barren region. This helps us reflect on what it is that we might give up for a cause greater than self.

     
  • Randal 4:00 am on March 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Daily Nudge: Man on the moon 

    Finish this sentence: “If they could put a man on the moon, you think that surely they could …”

    Putting a man on the moon seems to be the apex of human achievement, that event by which other efforts are measured.

    Of course, not even NASA can build us a conveyance to God. No amount of effort can rebuild our relationship with him. Only the Cross carries us to the divine presence.

    But let’s think of more mundane things. Many items we use on a daily basis are less than ideal, have manufacturing flaws, or just don’t work as they should. Or maybe we’re still waiting on that nifty invention that, in view of available technology, should be on the shelf already.

    We’ll not regard any reply as complaining or murmuring. Just so you’ll feel good about answering today’s Nudge.

     
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