God expects us as Christians to take risks while doing His work. I would suggest the same is true at the level of the local congregation. I’m talking about the risk of failure. How ambitious are we in the plans we have to do work for God? Do we trust that things will be okay even if we try hard and mess up? This, I think, is a part of faith that requires maturity — the faith that God will stick with us even if we don’t succeed by our standards.
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David began this psalm by recognizing God as his mighty Rock and Protector. He continued by stating God’s concern for man even though he is as fragile and temporary as a passing shadow. In today’s world, the Lord continues to be powerful and mighty, saving and protecting His people. The psalmist pledged his devotion to the Lord and continued his supplication for deliverance from the evil ones and abundant blessings for his nation. With God’s deliverance, protection and prosperity, man can bask in the beautiful state of PEACE!
This may have been the last psalm that David penned. If it is, one can see the conclusion of a life full of hardships summarized in an explosion of thanksgiving and praise to the One who had led and protected him through those perilous times. However, if David is not the author of these words, they remain a fitting tribute of praise to the God who did sustain the second king of his children. God’s greatness is beyond man’s capability to understand. The psalmist pledged to praise His name daily forever and ever. Today, thousands of years after David’s life, succeeding generations have been told of those blessings by the previous generation. Man continues to praise the God of our creation and salvation. Not only does man praise Him, but His works of creation praise the Lord and show the handiwork of His kingdom. Some may deny God, but even they are dependent upon His love and care. However, in the end, “The Lord preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy…And all flesh shall bless His holy name Forever and ever.”
We pray for those injured, involved, or affected by the two attacks in London, which are being treated as terrorist attacks. One of them occurred outside Parliament. At least four people are reported dead, 20 or more injured. We pray for peace, at the same time we pray for the security of each nation.
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Christ is both the corner stone and the crushing stone (cf. Luke 20:17-18). Many don’t want to see him as either one. Others, who like the former description, still reject the latter. An accurate view of the Savior must accept both aspects.
Note: The following text is from Chris Underwood, from Chicago. Chris is in SJCampos for three months working with Embraer. It’s been a pleasure to have him in the congregations here. He sends out a monthly “Encouragement Note” and graciously allowed us to share it here.
“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” ―Mary Tyler Moore
Romans 5:2-4 “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:”
No one plans at an early age to lose a child, to become an alcoholic, fail in marriage, file bankruptcy, lose their faith in God, or find a point in their life trying to figure out how I got myself in this much trouble. Failure happens to all of us at some level physically or spiritually. (More …)
The psalmist, David called upon the Lord for merciful judgment since in His sight, no one is righteous. He asked God for revival to the days of old before he had been overwhelmed by devastation by his enemies. David called for speedy action lest he be destroyed soon. He prayed for God to show him the way to righteousness and to give him relief from his enemies. In humility, he prayed that God would teach him His will and lead him in the land of uprightness. “For I am Your servant.” We should be that humble.
“Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” (James 5:11 NKJV)
The end goal is the end. By this I mean the beginning is trumped by the end. The middle is trumped by the end. The end of the matter, whatever the matter may have been in our eyes or the eyes of others, matters to the furthest extent … because, after all, that extent is the end.
The finish line is always the goal for the right-minded runner who begins the race (1 Corinthians 9:24-25). The course will challenge that goal. But the end must remain the goal, or else the run will turn into a walk, which turns into standing idle, which turns into sitting for a break, which turns into not getting back up. If this happens the end will not be the goal we originally had in mind. Keep the end in mind!
Job didn’t know how the book of Job would end. But James’ admonition is given with the understanding that we know how the story ended! And if, in the midst of trials and troubles, we keep the end in mind (by that I mean the end God has in mind for us – 2 Corinthians 5:1), we can know how our book will end too.
“Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:38-39 NKJV)
“Sometimes congregations apply the policy of appeasement toward those who desire to be first. Believing that problems and strife will end by make the one who needs to be first part of the leadership, the congregation will place him in the position of elder or deacon. And in every case, disaster happens. The qualifications for the elders, deacons, and evangelists state that a person must be self-controlled, placing the interests of the Christians and the congregation above their own. We must be very careful not to give a position to a person who acts like they need to be heard and need to be first.” —Brent Kercheville
LEARNING HOW TO WALK
One of the first major accomplishments of a little child is learning how to walk. As an infant he is totally dependent on others, but as he gets a little older he learns how to turn himself over, to get up on his hands and knees, and to begin to crawl. Later, he is able to pull himself up to a table or a sofa or a chair and begin to take those first faltering steps and to toddle around. Soon he is able to walk.
This has its spiritual parallel. We enter the family of God, the church, as newborn babes (Hebrews 5:13; I Peter 2:2). Early in our Christian life we depend on others to help us get around. But, as we learn and grow, we reach the point where we can stand on our own two feet and walk the Christian walk. (More …)
Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.
Here are the topics you will find:
- Does the Old Testament Still Have Value (Kevin W. Rhodes)
- The Old Testament & Inspiration (Cody Westbrook)
- The Purpose of the Old Testament (Tom Wacaster)
- Kingdom Prophecy in the Old Testament (Andy Baker)
- Messianic Prophecy in the Old Testament (Kris Grodaurk)
Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.
You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.
Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.
As a righteous man, the psalmist approached God with a lament of grief over the actions of evil men, possibly Saul and his armies. Righteous men today have those same struggles with the evil around them. Violent schemes are continually being planned for the destruction both physically and spiritually of the righteous. Like David, we have the Lord for our salvation if we will only trust and obey Him. With confidence, David called for God’s hand to heap punishment upon the wicked and, “The upright shall dwell in Your presence.”
David recognized that not all of his enemies were other men. Sometimes one can be his own worst enemy. He prayed for God to help him to keep his own mouth and actions from evil words and works. The psalmist also asked that he be open to the chastisement of others on his behalf. As in many of his other psalms, David concluded by calling for the overthrow of his enemies and God’s protection for himself.
The psalmist, David was aware of the presence of God in his every action. Even though God’s knowledge is vast and incomprehensible to man, it is also personal with each individual. He is our maker and protector. One may try to escape His presence, but he is in the highest heavens, deepest caves, brightest days and darkest nights; whether on land or sea—comfort for the righteous and terror for the wicked. God was present at our conception, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.” MAN HAS NO RIGHT TO DESTROY THE NEW LIFE THAT GOD HAS CREATED. David closed his psalm with a cry of vengeance against the wicked and a plea for his own guidance “in the way everlasting.”
If, on the report I made yesterday, you read between the lines, you might have figured out that the first place we went after arrival from Brazil in the US last month was … a Brazilian restaurant. Our son Joel drove from Henderson to Nashville to pick us up at the airport and that restaurant is a taste of home for him. So we were happy to indulge his desire.
The name of the restaurant is “Café Mineiro.” (See photo of The Missus and me in the restaurant here.) “Mineiro” is one who is from the state of Minas Gerais. Joel was born in that state’s capital, Belo Horizonte, where we lived our first 10 years in Brazil. (More …)
God, through Moses, told Israelites: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil” (Deuteronomy 30:15 NKJV). Solomon ask God for “an understanding heart” “that I may discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9 NKJV). God’s prophet, Amos, said: “Hate evil, love good” (Amos 5:15 NKJV). To Christians, Paul wrote: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9 NKJV). The difference between “good” and “evil” is clearly drawn, described, and determined. Jesus said, “the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29 NKJV). There are not enough “shades of gray” to confuse those who follow God’s Word.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
“He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 17:15 NKJV). Approving evil or condemning those who do good are “abomination to the LORD.” That’s as bad as it can get. Rulers are “God’s minister to you for good,” and “God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:3-4 NKJV). What makes it confusing for some people is when government policy or laws become abominable to God. Only the Bible gives a clear description of what is “good,” and what is “evil.” “Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house” (Proverbs 17:13 NKJV). The Christian, however, must “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:15 NKJV).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.