Able to go home

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

But our citizenship is in heaven – and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform these humble bodies of ours into the likeness of his glorious body by means of that power by which he is able to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3.20,21

Do you like to travel? Living in a country that is not where you were born and raised can give you a better perspective at times. When we are citizens of one country and travel to another, you do not have the same rights as a native of the country. Of what country are you a citizen? Paul’s says that we are citizens of heaven. We sing “This world is not my home. I’m just a passing through.” We also hear people often say that “There is no place like home.” How true that is! The Christian is a citizen of heaven! We await Jesus’ return to be able to go home. There is going to be a huge transformation to take place upon his return. This body of mine that is sick, broken, and imperfect will be changed by his power into a glorious body similar to Jesus. I will travel to the heavenly city of which I am a citizen. I will go home!

#risingjoy #heaven #Philippians

A sermon on the 3 “seconds”

Bobby Cloyd of the Keltonburg congregation, in Smithville TN, printed the main points of his sermon today, entitled “3 Seconds.”

  • The Second Birth
  • The Second Coming
  • The Second Death

A great way to deal with last things and our need to prepare for them.

#sermons #last-things

Open to God

See below the original. Here’s my revision of it. See the difference?

Each new day is a gift from God. Today I will open the day slowly, like a present that’s wrapped in hours. I will be open to what my Lord offers me. The Spirit comes to greet me like an old friend each morning. My daily habits in the Word and in prayer comfort and ground me. The thought of moving into my day pleases me. Life unfolds one second at a time and today I will be present to witness it. How much of my life do I let pass by unnoticed? How many of my feelings go unfelt? Today I will recognize that my time on earth is limited. I choose to value my life a day at a time and embrace it while I have it. I choose to be nothing more, nothing less than a servant who glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ and his gospel.

I am open to God.

Each new day is a gift. Today I will open the day slowly, like a present that’s wrapped in hours. I will be open to what my world offers me. The world comes to greet me like an old friend each morning. My daily habits comfort and ground me. The thought of moving into my day pleases me. Life unfolds one second at a time and today I will be present to witness it. How much of my life do I let pass by unnoticed? How many of my feelings go unfelt? Today I will recognize that my time on earth is limited. I choose to value my life a day at a time and embrace it while I have it.

I am open to life.
Tian Dayton PhD

#time #today #God #grace

The gospel is centered in God

Here’s a little 3×5 card that puts the gospel squarely (or rectangularly) centered in God and his activity.

#gospel #God #salvation

Which voice will you listen to?

While doing some research for my Forthright Magazine article today, “How humility acts,” I came across this little item, which I liked. May you be encouraged by it. It was titled, “The Voices of the World.”

Appetite says, “Be sensuous, enjoy yourself.”

Education says, “Be resourceful, expand yourself.”

Materialism says, “Be satisfied, please yourself.”

Psychology says, “Be confident, fulfill yourself.”

Pride says, “Be superior, promote yourself.”

Humanism says, “Be capable, believe in yourself.”

God says, “Be wise, humble yourself.”

#humility, #lists, #voices, #wisdom

Self-control is heritable

From an abstract of a metastudy on inheritability of the trait of self-discipline:

Self-control is the ability to control one’s impulses when faced with challenges or temptations, and is robustly associated with physiological and psychological well-being. … The aim of this study was to perform a meta-analysis to provide a quantitative overview of the heritability of self-control. … Our results revealed an overall monozygotic twin correlation of 0.58, and an overall dizygotic twin correlation of 0.28, resulting in a heritability estimate of 60%. … This finding provides evidence that when aiming to understand individual differences in self-control, one should take genetic factors into account.

It’s not the last word of course, and would anyone say that nature trumps nurture? Continue reading

#self-control

Church as people of God

Perhaps it’s such a generic phrase that it gets frequently overlooked. But as I was doing some study in Portuguese yesterday, I noted that in a goodly part of our literature, we don’t include the phrase, “people of God,” in our lists of descriptions of the Lord’s church. Continue reading

#church, #church-descriptions, #people-of-god

Notes on Colossians 4.7

As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information, Col 4.7 NASB.

Today’s MOST Bible verse is Col 4.7. Most Bible versions prefer translating the Greek word διάκονος as “minister” rather than its general sense, “servant.” Why is that? (A few, mostly off-versions, translate it as “deacon.”) Are they tainted by a clergy mindset, since “minister” has become an official title? Or is it simpler, considering that the third noun is σύνδουλος, which most translate as “fellow(-)servant”, and the versions prefer not to translate it a slave, to avoid “servant” twice in the same phrase? NASB doesn’t have a problem with that, however. Continue reading

#colossians, #servants, #tychicus

Type and antitype

Type and antitype help us to understand spiritual realities.

Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life, John 3.14-15.

That is all!

#Bible #crucifixion

‘Alcohol removed me from my life’

This short article about alcohol from a non-religious perspective deserves much attention.

Alcohol removed me from my life and I removed alcohol so I can show up for my life.

These are things a Christian knows, and more. It’s good to hear it for once from someone on the outside who recognizes that alcohol adds nothing to your life — on the contrary, it takes away.

#alcohol #drinking #spirituality

Can anything more be said about the book of Acts?

While reviewing the FPress website and blog, I came across this post: The one Bible book churches study most. Within the brotherhood, multiple commentaries and study books have been written about this important Bible book. That’s not even counting works from outside the church of God.

No disparaging of the book is intended. Professor Horner’s system of Bible reading, for example, includes Acts, by itself, as one of 10 groups to read every day. He is certainly right to do so.

So here’s the question: Can anymore more be said about Acts? We of course can and must do much repeating of the book’s message. But has everything been said that can be said or written about the book? Are there any more insights to be gained?

What do you think?

#Acts

In Maysville, Alabama this Sunday

Sunday, Aug. 25, at 9 a.m., I’ll be speaking, for the last time this trip, at the Maysville, Ala., congregation, outside Huntsville.

Subject: “I just want to go to heaven.” We’ll include some perspectives from our work in São José dos Campos, Brazil.

If you’re in the area, come be with us. Our son Micah and his family meet here.

Sunday afternoon, Vicki and I will travel to Mount Juliet, Tenn., to visit son Joel and family before our return to Brazil Aug. 28.

We thank friends and family for all your kindnesses. It has been a memorable trip in every way, beginning with daughter Leila’s wedding Aug. 10.

More to come in our monthly newsletter next week, Lord willing.

#alabama, #brazil, #missions

Why Bother?

For a brother in Christ I bother,
With love for the family of faith;
We care for one another,
Walking the narrow path.

#poetry #quatrain #love

The process of Bible study

This acrostic (“TIP”) might be helpful in remembering the necessary process of studying the Bible. Much can be said about each step, but this little item attempts to provide us a brief reminder. Continue reading

#bible-study, #hermeneutics

Be attuned to the Spirit’s ways

One blogger criticizes following a program to be the church:

Everyone loves to idealize the early church. Those were “the good old days.” Entire movements of the church, known as Restoration Movements, have attempted to cast aside all of church history and tradition  beyond what we have recorded in Scripture, in the interest of getting back to the “early church,” when it was all working. If we can just do what they did, the rationale goes, we will see what they saw.

What’s his solution?

As we move forward in reading the story of The Movement, let’s take care not to read too prescriptively, in search of  principles and such. Let us instead seek to attune ourselves to the person of the Holy Spirit and his nature, character, and ways of engaging with the human community. To be clear, the acts of the Apostles mattered. That’s just not what this story is about.

Oh, too prescriptively. Can we read it a little prescriptively? But wait, isn’t he searching for principles and offering us merely another set of them when he starts ought, “Let us instead …”? Indeed, he is! His problem is not with prescriptions, norms, or principles, but he wants us all to adopt his.

There’s the catch, isn’t it? How to be attuned to the Spirit and to his “ways of engaging with the human community”? Is it not through Scripture? Or are we to wait for some whisper in our ear from above? Or do we go pawing through church history (yours, ours, or theirs?) for those principles?

The Bible is exactly that, prescriptive. Otherwise, chunk it. Go with your hunches. Stick with your unholy-spirit induced beliefs. Find the Holy Spirit’s ways in animal entrails or emotional outbursts. Whatever tickles your fancy.

The writer throws out the baby with the bath water. The book of Acts is normative. It show us how it’s done and how it ought to be done. And why it’s done. And who makes it happen. We need the power and the prescription.

#Acts #restoration #normative