The Lord and his holy word are being mistreated: Jeremiah 23.9

“Here is what the LORD says concerning the false prophets: My heart and my mind are deeply disturbed. I tremble all over. I am like a drunk person, like a person who has had too much wine, because of the way the LORD and his holy word are being mistreated.”

Jeremiah 23.9

God’s prophet is disturbed to see the unfaithfulness and godlessness of Israel. (NLT understands the last phrase to indicate the severity of God’s judgment.) The sin of Israel pains him deeply.

It takes a holy person obedient to God’s will to be upset over disobedience. Such anguish leads him to urge the people to repent.

#votd #Jeremiah #word-of-God

Aug. 14. Ephesian Stay Concluded

Acts 19:11-20:2

Paul’s mission while in Ephesus continued to be productive. God used Paul’s ability to perform miracles to convince many of the people of his authority as an apostle and teacher from God. As in every society, there were the skeptics who did not accept him. Some of these were Jewish exorcists who had convinced the people through trickery that they possessed special magical abilities.

One group of these nonbelievers was the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest. After Paul had performed miracles in the name of Jesus, they also attempted, in the name of Jesus, to exorcise an evil spirit from a man, but the spirit stated, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” The man attacked them and they fled out of the house naked and wounded.

Many of the believers at Ephesus had continued to practice magic after becoming Christians. When word of this escapade had reached them, they confessed this sin and showed their repentance by bringing their instruction books to be burned. Others brought their books to be burned also. “So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.”

Paul began to make plans to go to Macedonia and Achaia on his way to Jerusalem and then on to Rome. He had sent Timothy to Corinth earlier, but for some reason, it seems that he had not made it that far. Timothy was now back in Ephesus and Paul sent him again along with Erastus, the treasurer of Corinth to go ahead of him to Corinth. It is very likely that Paul sent the letter (I Corinthians) by them to the church at Corinth while he remained at Ephesus.

Diana was a much-worshipped Ephesian goddess. She was so revered that a magnificent temple had been erected in her honor and silversmiths made small shrines of her for people to worship.

The preaching of Paul during the past two years had converted many of these idol worshippers and had reduced the demand for the small idols.

Demetrius, a prominent silversmith called a meeting of other silversmiths and explained their economic peril. He pointed out to them and to the other people assembled how Paul had endangered their livelihoods. In order to incite the crowd, Demetrius stated that even the temple of Diana was in danger of being despised.

The temple of Diana was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was four hundred twenty-five feet long and one hundred twenty feet wide. One hundred twenty white marble columns sixty feet high supported the marble roof. The interior was decorated with elaborate paintings and sculptures and contained an image that they believed had been dropped from heaven by Jupiter.

Demetrius was successful in inciting a large uproar among the people. Some were shouting, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” Others were shouting different other things. Most of the crowd didn’t even know why they were there. Paul and his associates were in danger of being lynched.

Finally, after about two hours of disorder, the town clerk was able to bring order. He stated that they had courts and lawful assemblies to settle their problems. After warning them that they could be in trouble with Rome because of this uproar, he dismissed everyone.

#chronological-bible-study

Hugh’s News & Views (Parachurch Organizations)

PARACHURCH ORGANIZATIONS

Several months ago, a faithful and able preacher of the gospel emailed me about his concern over the direction the Lord’s church is taking with reference to parachurch organizations. I hasten to say that this brother is not a reactionary, a hobbyist, a crank, an opposer of good works, or one who is hypercritical. He is a veteran, seasoned, balanced gospel preacher who spent several years teaching Bible in a Christian high school. But he is concerned about the direction he sees the church going in “outsourcing the work of the church to human organizations.” Continue reading

#hughfulford, #parachurch-organizations

Their loved ones are addicted

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12 ESV)

Надежда, долго не сбывающаяся, томит сердце, а исполнившееся желание–как древо жизни. (Притчи 13:12 Russian)

Almighty God, thank you dear heavenly Father for this new day that arrives with some good and some bad news. Give your children special wisdom to sort out the good from the bad and to make the most of all situations. Awaken within the hearts of the hopeless that you love them and desire the best for every human being. Help those who have fallen off the deep-end, to have a clear mind along with the realization that they are ultimately responsible for their behavior and must suffer the consequences. Give patience and wisdom to those who suffer because their loved ones are addicted to alcohol or drugs. In the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#david-binkley

Aug. 13. Concluding Statements to the Corinthians

I Cor. 16:1-24

Paul turned his attention next to the question regarding the collection for the poor saints (Jewish Christians) in Jerusalem. One of the goals of Paul’s travels was to collect a contribution from the Gentile churches to aid the church in Jerusalem. The church at Antioch had started this aid several years earlier.

Since the first day of the week was the day Christians worshipped, Paul instructed the Corinthians to use this period as a time to contribute of their means for distribution to the Jerusalem church. Notice the significance of the first day of the week. Jesus was raised from the dead; appeared to His apostles; the church was established and the disciples met to break bread (eat the Lord’s Supper) on the first day of the week.

It was suggested by Paul that someone other than himself should be responsible for delivering the contribution, but if his going was necessary, they could go with him.

Paul informed the Corinthians of his plans to visit with them. He would see them after passing through Macedonia from Ephesus. His plans also called for him to stay in Ephesus until after Pentecost and it was possible that he would spend the winter at Corinth with them.

Timothy and Erastus had been sent by Paul to minister to the Macedonians and other churches along the way and Timothy was to go on to Corinth. He instructed them to respect him, even though a young man because he was doing the work of the Lord.

The final question from the Corinthians was regarding Apollos. He had gone from Ephesus to Corinth before Paul had arrived in Ephesus. Possibly because of the factions in Corinth, he had left and returned to Ephesus. Paul informed them that Apollos was not ready to return, but would go back to them at a convenient time.

As Paul began to end his epistle, he gave a brief summary of the problems that he had addressed with the Corinthians. He instructed them to, “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.”

The churches of Asia and also Aquila and Priscilla sent greetings to the Corinthians. This couple had been of great assistance to Paul during the eighteen months that he was in Corinth. They had followed him to Ephesus during his second missionary journey.

After having dictated the letter to a secretary, Paul added a salutation in his own writing. This authenticated his letter. He also added a statement expressing his love and care for the Corinthians as he called for the grace of Christ to be with them.

#chronological-bible-study

Clean entertainment via meteor shower

I cannot speak for the southern hemisphere but if you live in the northern hemisphere you still have a chance to catch a peak view of the Perseids meter shower tonight.

Check out this story for more details.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1 NKJV)

#nature, #news, #outer-space

Leave me alone: Job 10.20

“Are not my days few? Cease, then, and leave me alone, that I may find a little comfort, …”

Job 10.20

Job attributed his sufferings to God. In this chapter he has questions for the Creator. He thinks if God will leave him alone, he might find some comfort. But it is God who protects him.

We may not suffer like Job, but we have questions and also attribute to God what he is not responsible for. God always desires and works for our good. Faith understands this.

#votd #Job #God

Aug. 12. Grain of Seed Used to Explain Resurrection

I Cor. 15:35-58

After reaffirming the resurrection, Paul turned his attention to explaining how this resurrection would take place and what type of new body man would possess. He used an analogy from plant life. When a grain of wheat or any other seed is planted, it is resurrected as a new body, entirely different from that which was planted.

There are different kinds of bodies—plants, animals, birds, insects and humans. Various heavenly bodies also have differing characteristics.

Paul explained that man would have a new spiritual body. He did not describe its form or shape but that it will be different from the physical body that man now occupies. He did point out some of the differences between the two bodies.

The earthly body is sown as a corruptible, dishonorable and weakly natural body. It will be raised as an incorruptible, glorified and powerful spiritual body.

Paul described the contrasts between Christ and Adam. Adam, who came first, was a living being made of dust. All of mankind has lived in the image of Adam. Christ, who was second or last is a life-giving spirit from heaven. After the resurrection, all will live in the image of the heavenly Man. There will be no flesh and blood in heaven.

As he had explained to the Thessalonian Christians, Paul briefly described the resurrection. He said that not all will die before the end of time, but all will be changed from the corruptible fleshly body to the incorruptible spiritual body. Then death will be “swallowed up in victory.”

In view of the blessings of the resurrection, Paul instructed the Corinthians to “be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

#chronological-bible-study

What does the Bible say about the name of Jesus Christ

“And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Continue reading

#bible-study, #jesus-christ

Is there a church of Christ in this town

We enjoyed our trip to visit our daughter and her family in Ridgeland, MS this past week. On our way home we stopped at The Dinner Bell restaurant in Waynesboro, MS, to have lunch. Let me say it wasn’t a disappointment. 

I asked the waitress near the end of our visit, “Is there a church of Christ here?” She looked around and I could tell she didn’t know. She did the next best thing, she asked a man seated right behind me. “Yes,” he replied firmly as if she certainly should know. He continued, “It is right up here on highway 45.” I didn’t ask any further questions but found the conversation very interesting. Continue reading

#christian-living, #church, #church-of-christ

What does the Bible say about the new name

“The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name” (Isaiah 62:2).

“And the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Continue reading

#bible-study

Sweeping around your own door

We have been attending gospel meetings in the surrounding area recently. One night the visiting speaker was preaching and was very enjoyable. He was a robust kind of guy. You know the kind. The one with the big stomach and the sports coat that won’t quite button? I wouldn’t have noticed that if he had stayed behind the pulpit, but he stood off to the side and preached.

Well, getting on with my story, he started naming the things that “really worried” him. It worried him that women let scissors touch their hair. It worried him about churches using multiple cups in taking the Lord’s supper. He said it really worried him and related how it all came about by naming the person in Chattanooga, TN who he said started the movement for multiple cups. He said it really worried him and kept emphasizing how it worried him.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that he was directing his thoughts probably more than I wanted toward me or us. Well, there was one other lady in the crowd with short hair and she happened to be seated on the front row beside an elderly couple. I thought they might be her parents. Hmmm, I wondered how she was taking what he was saying.

I wanted so badly to ask the preacher a question after the service but decided I should ask Doug, my husband if he thought it would be all right before I asked the question. After the invitation song and prayer, we turned and I whispered to Doug what I wanted to ask the preacher and asked if he thought it was okay for me to do so. He bent over to hear me above the crowd and I whispered, “I want to ask him if he also worries about gluttony.” 

Doug stood up quickly and erectly and said, “I don’t think you better do that, Glenda.” 

So I didn’t. I shook the preacher’s hand, greeted him warmly and exited the building, I couldn’t help but think that we better be careful about sweeping around our own door before we start sweeping around someone else. That’s just my way of thinking. 

#bible-study, #preaching

For our benefit: Hebrews 12.10

“Our human parents disciplined us for a little while, as it seemed best to them, but God does it for our benefit so that we can share his holiness.”

Hebrews 12.10 CEB

Suffering should be seen as God’s discipline, because he loves us. He always works for our benefit. What he does for us is far above and beyond what our human parents did.

How is God’s disciplining me right now? Am I aware that I ought to use my difficulties to grow and become more like God? Am I sure that God does all for my benefit?

#votd #Hebrews #discipline

Positive hope in a bodily resurrection

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me! (Job 19:25-28 ESV)

А я знаю, Искупитель мой жив, и Он в последний день восставит из праха распадающуюся кожу мою сию, и я во плоти моей узрю Бога. Я узрю Его сам; мои глаза, не глаза другого, увидят Его. Истаевает сердце мое в груди моей! (Иов 19:25-27 Russian)

O LORD my God ~ hear the prayers from hearts full of faith in many different languages. Thank you dear Father in heaven, for the kindness and love you constantly demonstrate toward all creation. Bless everyone who daily honors your beloved Son in their routine affairs of this life. Give us the confidence of our faith so that we will never miss an opportunity to proclaim our positive hope in a bodily resurrection, and then being given a new body that will last forever and ever in your presence. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church of Christ

#david-binkley

Aug. 11. Review of the Gospel

I Cor. 15:1-34

The next area of response that Paul made to the Corinthians was a review of the gospel. Some of them had doubts as to the reality of the resurrection. In order to rebuild and strengthen their faith, he started at the very foundation of Christianity.

Paul reminded the Corinthians that he had presented the gospel to them just as he had received it—directly from Christ by divine revelation. Jesus had left heaven and had come to earth to live among men and to die for their sins. After dying, He was buried and rose from the dead on the third day according to the prophecies of the Scriptures. He stated that they must continue in that gospel.

The facts of the gospel were borne out by witnesses—the Old Testament prophecies, various individuals, the apostles, five hundred others and last of all, Paul had seen the risen Christ. He stated that he was unworthy to be an apostle because he had persecuted the church. By the grace of God, he was serving in that position and he was working more abundantly than the other apostles because of his feelings of guilt.

Paul turned to logic to further explain the necessity for the Corinthians to accept the resurrection of Christ. He stated that he had preached Christ as risen from the dead. However, if there is no resurrection, He did not rise from the dead, which made Paul’s preaching and their faith empty.

Furthermore, if Christ had not been resurrected, the Corinthians and everyone else who had trusted and obeyed the gospel would still be in their sins. Paul and the other apostles and preachers would be suffering needless persecutions for a lost cause.

If there is no resurrection, man could live like animals and enjoy the present because after death they would cease to exist. They were wasting their time and effort on an imposter.

Paul affirmed that Christ had indeed risen from the dead. Because of the sin of Adam, all men die, but through the resurrection of Christ, all men will be resurrected to life and death will be destroyed.

The Corinthians were instructed to avoid those who would corrupt the truth. Such companionship would cause them to be confused and follow their false doctrine.

#chronological-bible-study