Bless elders with wisdom

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:1-2 ESV)

Отже, я свідкую тобі перед Богом і Христом Ісусом, що Він має судити живих і мертвих за Свого приходу та за Свого Царства. Проповідуй Слово, допоминайся вчасно-невчасно, докоряй, забороняй, переконуй з терпеливістю та з наукою. (2 Тимофію 4:1-2 Ukrainian)

O LORD God, our dear Heavenly Father ~ we lift up your most holy name on this new day as we consider the joy of belonging to the Body of Christ. Give all men who preach the gospel to rely upon the Spirit inspired word that is able to enlighten people in any part of the world about your grace and mercy that brings salvation to those who sincerely have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and obey his teaching. Bless elders with righteous wisdom so they will send out qualified workers in the Vineyard of the Lord. Give everyone wisdom as we study your word so that we will be able to give an answer to anyone who asks about our faith in Christ. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

#davidbinkley #devotional

Evidence of love

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV)

Старайся представить себя Богу достойным, делателем неукоризненным, верно преподающим слово истины. (2-е Тимофею 2:15 Russian)

O LORD GOD, our dear Heavenly Father – thank you Father for the kindness and love that we receive on this another day that is already running over with evidence of your steadfast love. Shine upon those younger preachers who are dedicating themselves to the proclamation of the gospel of Christ. Give them the good common sense to remain faithful to knowing and teaching about your eternal plan of salvation using the entire Holy Scriptures. We ardently pray in the precious name of Christ Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

#davidbinkley #devotional

Hugh’s News & Views (Certainty: …Acts)

CERTAINTY: THE BOOK OF ACTS

Last week we saw that in his Gospel account, Luke wrote to Theophilus that he “might know the certainty of those things in which [he had] been instructed” (Luke 1:4). Over and over, throughout the Gospel record, Luke spoke of certain men, certain women, certain groups (Pharisees, Sadducees, et. al.), certain places, certain days, certain parables, certain events, and other certain things, etc. One would have to be spiritually blind to miss Luke’s emphasis.

When Luke came to his second volume, the Book of Acts (also addressed originally to Theophilus, but preserved by the grace and providence of God for all people thereafter), his emphasis on certainty continues. Travel with me this week through the exciting Book of Acts, the only divinely inspired account we have of the history of the early church and the record of what God wants His church to be and do in all ages until the end of time. Continue reading

#certainty, #hughfulford

Mark 16:16

by Owen D. Olbricht

When I was in Northfield, NJ in the eighties, a former teacher of a Northeastern US seminary visited our Wednesday evening Bible class. We happened to enter a discussion of Mark 16:16. He affirmed that a person was saved when he believed, and then was baptized afterward as a physical expression of an inner grace, and that failure to believe and not failure to be baptized, would bring about condemnation.

Continue reading

#baptism, #gospel-of-mark, #word-study

Smother the candles

For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 ESV)

что Сам Господь при возвещении, при гласе Архангела и трубе Божией, сойдет с неба, и мертвые во Христе воскреснут прежде; потом мы, оставшиеся в живых, вместе с ними восхищены будем на облаках в сретение Господу на воздухе, и так всегда с Господом будем. Итак утешайте друг друга сими словами. (1 Фессалоникийцам 4:16-18 Russian )

Most holy and righteous God, our dear Heavenly Father ~ thank you Lord for this another day upon which you are blessing your creatures made in your image, with self-awareness and desire for eternal life. Bless all faithful Christians with wisdom to live each day as if it is our last, to prepare for the glorious appearing of Christ the Lord. Give spiritual wisdom to leaders in all faithful churches of Christ so that truth will always be taught to young and old and shared with the rest of the local community and around the world. Help us Lord to let our lights burn brightly while time remains. Smother the candles of those who pervert the gospel and give false hopes to people who are not obeying the gospel. We fervently pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

#davidbinkley #devotional

Hugh’s News & Views (Certainty: …Luke)

CERTAINTY: THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

In reading the divinely inspired historian Luke—both his account of the life of Christ (the Gospel of Luke) and his account of the history of the early church (the Book of Acts)—it is interesting to note how often he uses the words “certain” and “certainty.” One would have to read these great portions of scripture with a blind eye to miss the emphasis that Luke places on the concept conveyed by these two words. (Luke, incidentally, was second only to the apostle Paul [by a mere .5%!] in the written amount of the New Testament). Continue reading

#hughfulford, #luke

It’s too soon to quit (2)

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 657 • July 8, 2021

IT’S TOO SOON TO QUIT – Part 2

On April 15, 2020 in my Personal Periodical, Number 515 I suggested It’s Too Soon to Quit. I’ve had a few conversations and several additional thoughts about that essay in which, for the most part, I tried to suggest that there may be a path forward, a way to success, even though the way seems dim and prior attempts have failed. We allow the discouragement of difficulties, setbacks, and failures to defeat us – but we aren’t always defeated: sometimes we just quit. Is there a way to keep going? We can be encouraged or discouraged by others. Our attitude and example will affect the outcome, for others as well as for ourselves. We who ought to be encouragers are sometimes discouragers who cause others to quit. The spiritual concern is the most important thing for us, the one thing above all others is to make sure the final outcome of our lives is with God, not without Him. As apostle Paul said, pressing toward the mark in the high upward calling of God (Philippians 3:12-14) should be the most urgent activity in our lives. Continue reading

#geraldcowan, #perseverance

Evil-minded persons serving the devil

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 ESV)

Бог мой да восполнит всякую нужду вашу, по богатству Своему в славе, Христом Иисусом. (Филиппийцам 4:19 Russian)

O LORD my God ~ thank you dear Heavenly Father for this new day that arrived with powerful winds and rains that remind us of your never-ending blessings that you shower upon those who love your beloved Son. Your merciful kindness encourages us to do good! Reignite a sense of absolute devoted love for Christ Jesus as Lord in the hearts of every believer and especially in those who have been or are being deceived by evil-minded persons serving the devil. In Christ name we earnestly pray, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

#davidbinkley #devotional

Hugh’s News & Views (John Grisham And…)

JOHN GRISHAM AND THE CHURCH OF CHRIST

John Grisham is a lawyer turned author who has written 35 legal novels, one work of non-fiction, and seven novels for young readers. He is an excellent writer and always tells a fascinating, page turner story. I have read most, if not all, of his books and seen a number of the movies based on his works. My closest high school friend, college roommate, and best man at my wedding—Wayne Emmons—had a bit part in one or two of Grisham’s movies. I recently completed Grisham’s latest book, A Time for Mercy, a Father’s Day gift from my son and daughter-in-law. I keep thinking that Grisham cannot top his last one, but he always seems to manage to do so. Continue reading

#hughfulford

A declaration of independence

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 656 • July 4, 2021

A DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE

I remember a Barbra Streisand song from the 1960’s with the words, “People, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world” (from the Broadway musical play Funny Girl). There is a great truth here that is often missed. Everybody needs somebody, sometime, for something – and the person who recognizes and acknowledges it is more likely to have his needs met than one who does not. Many are not aware of their personal needs. Some deny that they need anything or anyone but themselves. The macho tough guy image is in with many people today (both male and female are afflicted with feelings of independence). Any person who admits needing help is a “wimp, dweeb, nerd” (there are some terms worse than these). Continue reading

#dependence, #geraldcowan

Many reminders of love and concern

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,(Philippians 1:27 ESV)

Только живите достойно благовествования Христова, чтобы мне, приду ли я и увижу вас, или не приду, слышать о вас, что вы стоите в одном духе, подвизаясь единодушно за веру Евангельскую, (Филиппийцам 1:27 Russian)

O LORD God, our dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you Father for the many reminders of your love and concern for all people. Lift us the drooping hands of Christians whose faith may have grown cold because of the day to day events that sometimes play havoc with our emotions. Help us to encourage one another to live in such a manner that is worthy of our calling by the blessed gospel of Christ our dear Lord. Defeat the Satanic efforts of those who stealthily work their way into local churches in order to wreak havoc. Give more wisdom from the inspired Scriptures to everyone who teaches the gospel. We pray in Christ name, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

#davidbinkley #devotional

We will always seek truth

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 ESV)

И вы, отцы, не раздражайте детей ваших, но воспитывайте их в учении и наставлении Господнем. (Ефесянам 6:4 Russian)

Most holy Father in Heaven ~ thank you dear Lord for this new day that arrives with solid verification that our world is not a result of an accident but rather the result of your incomparable creative power and love. Give us wisdom so that we will always seek truth from your word, rather than speculative theories that provide no help. Bless parents who struggle to control their own passions whenever an encounter arises with a stubborn or disobedient child. Help all adults who work with children to study the love of Jesus and put his manner of life and teaching into practice. Help self-control from your Spirit be a predominate feature of the character of all faithful Christians who raise children. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

#davidbinkley #devotional

Better than the ‘five-point’ formula

GERALD COWAN ‘S PERSDONAL PERIODICALS
Number 655 • July 1, 2021

BETTER THAN THE “FIVE-POINT” FORMULA

For nearly two centuries a five point mnemonic utilizing five fingers (sometimes derisively referred to by some as the “five-finger plan of salvation” or the “five-finger gospel”) has been the de frigeur add-on to nearly every sermon or devotional, regardless of the subject matter or theme, as an “invitation” or “appeal” to those in the audience, in hope that they will respond by “obeying the gospel.” It has changed from its original form, used by American pioneer preacher Walter Scott and amended by him and emulated ubiquitously by preachers in churches of Christ in the United States, though not so much elsewhere in the world. For some it is not a “gospel sermon” if it doesn’t include or end with this ritualized invitation. It is not found, either in whole or in listed and designated parts, on any page of the New Testament. Is it, in fact, required? Is it adequate on its own or in its traditional form as a summation of the gospel and an effective stimulus to salvation-seekers? Not really. It is ambiguous, redundant, incomplete and insufficient as it stands – it is not easily or quickly understood or obeyed. I will no doubt be castigated for rejecting a traditional practice that has for such a long time “served us well” in evangelism. Let me explain my complaint and suggestion before you write me off as a non-conforming heretic. We are not saying the traditional approach is wrong – actually, there’s a lot in it that is good and needs to be kept. But it needs to be adjusted and improved to avoid being a mere inadequate add-on. Continue reading

#geraldcowan, #salvation, #steps-to-salvation

Each and every word

Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness. The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:159-160 NKJV)

Зри, как я люблю повеления Твои; по милости Твоей, Господи, оживи меня. Основание слова Твоего истинно, и вечен всякий суд правды Твоей. (Псалтирь 118:159-160 Russian)

Almighty God, our dear Heavenly Father, hallowed be your name in all the earth ~ thank you Lord for each and every word of the Scriptures that are preserved for us, and if the world stands, for others after us. Give parents of young children the wisdom to teach their children to love the holy scriptures regardless of whatever vocation they may enter. Bring back the public reading of your perfect word of truth so that this generation will learn to love you and to love other people with hope that all will come to know Christ as Lord. Silence the efforts of those who work to minimize and even belittle the sacred nature of your Word. Help us Lord to use all our energy to educate this generation regarding the incomparable value of daily Bible reading and personal study. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

#davidbinkley #devotional

Hugh’s News & Views (How Do You…?)

HOW DO YOU SPELL “CHURCH”?

Based on the divine fact that He is “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus promised to build His church (Matthew 16:13-18). With His blood He purchased the church (Acts 20:28). The church was established on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ, as we read in Acts 2. This was in fulfillment of divine prophecy (Isaiah 2:2-3; Daniel 2:44; Joel 2:28-32) and in fruition of Christ’s promise to His apostles (Mark 9:1; Acts 1:4-5, 8; Acts 2:1-4). (See also John 13:20; John 14:26; John 16:13). On that memorable Pentecost about three thousand souls responded positively to the words preached by the apostles, repented of their sins, were baptized for the remission of their sins, and thus were saved from their sins and added to the church (Acts 2:36-47). The church is the aggregate of all who believe the gospel and obey it in its purity. It is not a denomination formed by men that people can choose from among other denominations to “join.” The church of Christ is not something less than all those who have been redeemed from their sins by the blood of Christ. Continue reading

#church, #hughfulford