Jul. 17. Second Journey Continues Through Various Cities

Acts 17:1-18:11

Paul and Silas traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica about one hundred miles from Philippi. Thessalonica was an important commercial city on the southern coast of Macedonia. There was a synagogue in this city and Paul preached there three Sabbaths.

Many of the Gentiles and leading women and some of the Jews were receptive to Paul’s preaching. Their obedience to the gospel led to the establishment of a congregation of the Lord’s church in Thessalonica.

Paul and Silas met the same kind of opposition in Thessalonica as they had experienced in the other places they had preached. The unbelieving Jews went into the marketplace and gathered a group of unruly men and incited a riot.

The Jews charged that Paul and Silas had turned the world upside down and that they were saying there was another king instead of Caesar—Jesus. Their anger was so strong against Paul and Silas, that they also attacked the house of Jason because he had provided lodging for them.

Paul and Silas were able to remain in Thessalonica for only a short time. They were sent away by night because of the danger of being seen during the day. Continue reading

#chronological-bible-study

Hugh’s News & Views (The Elijah Complex)

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

THE ELIJAH COMPLEX

Elijah was a great oral (non-writing) prophet of God who lived around 860 B.C. His ministry was carried out during a time of great apostasy from the Lord and His law. I Kings 18 tells of the contest (debate) Elijah entered with the prophets of Baal who were leading the people of Israel into idolatry. Elijah challenged the Baal prophets to a showdown on Mount Carmel in which either Baal or the Lord would be shown to be the true God. Long story short, Baal was shown to be nothing, the Lord was shown to be everything, the people fell on their faces and repeatedly declared, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!,” and the 450 prophets of Baal were summarily executed by Elijah (I Kings 18:39-40) Continue reading

#hugh-fulford

A sense of devotion

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:4-5 ESV)

Входите во врата Его со славословием, во дворы Его–с хвалою. Славьте Его, благословляйте имя Его, ибо благ Господь: милость Его вовек, и истина Его в род и род. (Псалтирь 99:4-5 Russian)

O LORD God, our dear heavenly Father ~ hear the prayers of your children of faith on this new day. Our hearts are filled with praise and thanksgiving for the many wonderful ways you daily demonstrate your steadfast love. Revive in the hearts of young and old alike, a sense of devotion to your beloved Son so that devout praises of Christ will reach the farthest ends of the globe. May your enduring love be seen in every act of kindness done by faithful believers who prefer Christ to receive all honor and glory. Bring shame upon those religious leaders who elevate themselves above everyone else and even receive praises as kings. In the precious name of Jesus – our King of kings. Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church of Christ

#david-binkley

Survey gives 4 reasons why people change churches, author gives 5 reasons when it is OK to quit

According to this recent article, a Pew Research study (sounds like a pun in this context) has revealed four primary reasons why people change churches:

  • Sermon quality
  • Welcoming environment/people
  • Style of worship
  • Location

In my opinion, one reason is hopeful, one is expected, one is typical and one is practical.

The author of the post (who, along with his wife, serve as “lead pastors”) comes to some conclusions that I believe are quite honest. He says, “The translation is clear – Americans treat church like a product to consume instead of as a family to belong. When we treat church like a product, we consume until our needs are no longer met. … Too often people leave a church because of disagreement, not getting their way, or because the sermons are no longer deep enough. Often when we dig into the reason the sermons are not deep enough, it ultimately goes back to the person being offended or not having their faulty theologies endorsed from the pulpit.

The author goes on to offer his thoughts on when it is “OK” to quit church … five of them to be exact (to be fair, I believe the author intends for the word “church” to be equated with “congregation”):

  • It’s OK to leave if God calls us to leave
  • It’s OK to leave for family and marriage
  • It’s OK to leave a church if you have moved too far away to conveniently drive to your church
  • It’s OK to leave if you cannot follow the church’s leadership
  • It’s OK to leave if heresy is being preached.

In my opinion, one reason is questionable, one is expected, one is practical, one is typical and one is hopeful. Similar to my opinion before, but in a different order.

Articles like these are interesting to me, not because I believe they should validate or negate the church’s direction in regards to mission, purpose or correction, but rather because it helps us to understand the perspectives that are being shared with the “general church public.” Such knowledge gives us the chance and opportunity to be better equipped when it comes to presenting the truth of God in a 2 Timothy 4:2 and a 1 Peter 3:15 sort of way.

#church-life, #preparation, #survey

Jul. 16. Philippian Jailer Converted

Acts 16:16-40

One day as Paul and his company went to prayer, they were met by a young slave woman who was demon possessed. She followed them many days declaring, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”

The demon had given the woman the power to tell fortunes and her masters had been realizing great profits from her ability. After Paul had removed this demon, the source of their profit was gone. Paul could have allowed the demon to remain in the woman, but this would have given the impression that the preaching of the gospel was in cooperation with demons. This could not happen.

The woman’s masters grabbed Paul and Silas and brought them before the Roman authorities. Instead of stating the real reason for their anger, the men said that Paul and Silas were teaching customs that were not lawful for the Romans to receive or observe.

After a severe beating, Paul and Silas were thrown into prison to be kept securely. Secure they were—in the inner prison with their feet fastened in stocks. Or were they secure?

Paul and Silas were happy that they were worthy to suffer for Christ. They were praying and praising God in song, even at midnight, loud enough that the other prisoners heard them. God also heard them!

A great earthquake shook the foundations of the building, opened the doors of the jail and released the chains from all of the prisoners. The jailer woke up from his sleep and when he saw the doors open, he supposed that all of the prisoners had escaped.

To allow a prison break of that magnitude meant sure death to the person in charge of security. With that in mind, the jailer drew his sword to kill himself in order to avoid the disgrace of execution.

When Paul realized what the jailer was about to do, he called out, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”

The jailer was both relieved and terrified. He was relieved that the prisoners were all in their places, but terrified because he realized that the men whom he had unmercifully mistreated were indeed preaching salvation. With this in mind, he fell at the feet of his prisoners, Paul and Silas and called them Sirs. He said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

The jailer was told to, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Paul and Silas proceeded to explain to the jailer the obedience that was involved in believing. After they had spoken the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house, he took his prisoners to a place where there was water.

In an act of repentance, the jailer washed the stripes of Paul and Silas. “And immediately he and all his family were baptized.”

To further demonstrate his repentance, the jailer set food before his teachers. There was great rejoicing in his household because they had believed in God and found salvation. Note that the jailer rejoiced after his baptism instead of before.

Paul and Silas returned to prison as if nothing had happened. The next morning, the magistrates sent to have them released. Paul had something to say about their treatment.

It was unlawful to beat a Roman citizen and because of their citizenship, this law had been broken. Paul demanded that the magistrates themselves release them.

Upon releasing Paul and Silas, the magistrates pleaded with them and asked them to leave the city. They went to Lydia’s house, encouraged the brethren and left Philippi. Luke and Timothy probably stayed behind to further edify the church.

#chronological-bible-study

Beaten: Acts 5.40

“After calling the apostles back, they had them beaten. They ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, then let them go.”

Acts 5.40 CEB

From the beginning, the faith encountered opposition. The gospel challenges vested interests by calling all to repentance and offering Christ as the only way.

What now? When persecuted (or to avoid it to start with), do we keep quiet to keep from rocking the boat? Or do we proclaim Christ as fervently as ever?

#votd #Acts #gospel

Jul. 15. Timothy and Luke Join Paul and Silas

Acts 16:1-15

While Paul and Silas were in Lystra, Timothy, a young man who would serve a great role in the later life of Paul joined the team. It is not known just when he was baptized, but it is possible that Timothy, as a new Christian was involved in the rescue of Paul when he was so savagely stoned in that city.

Timothy’s father was a Greek (Gentile) and his mother was a Jew. Paul commended his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice years later for their role in Timothy’s spiritual development. We see in Timothy how wholesome examples impart a positive influence on the lives of others.

Paul had refused to allow Titus to be circumcised while they were at the conference in Jerusalem because he was a Greek. Circumcision would have yielded to the demands of the Jews that circumcision of Gentiles was necessary for their salvation. Timothy however was a Jew who had never been circumcised. Paul did many things to gain the trust of those whom he taught. Since he reasoned that it would be easier to influence the Jews, he circumcised Timothy.

Paul, Silas and Timothy traveled throughout Cilicia, Galatia and Phrygia strengthening the churches and baptizing new believers. They also shared the Jerusalem letter. As they left Phrygia and approached Mysia, the Spirit prevented them from going into Asia and the area of Bithynia. Instead, they were directed to Troas.

Troas was a seaport city beside a large bay area of the Mediterranean Sea. While in Troas, Paul had a vision in which a man of Macedonia called for them to, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

Immediately, Paul and his company sailed northwest toward Macedonia to preach the gospel to the residents of that area.

By then, another man who would be important to Paul had joined the team. Luke was a physician and soon became very active in teaching and as a historian recording the events that occurred during Paul’s journeys.

Paul and his companions arrived at Macedonia and went to Philippi. Philippi was a Roman colony populated by pagans who did not care about God.

Some days later on the Sabbath, Paul’s team went outside the city to a riverside where a group of women were worshipping. After hearing the gospel, Lydia, a prominent merchant of Thyatira and her household were baptized. They accepted her invitation and stayed in her house for a period of time.

#chronological-bible-study

What does the Bible say about purity of life

by: Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

“Keep yourself pure: (1 Timothy 5:22).

“Whatsoever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

“Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19).

“Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). Continue reading

#bible-study, #purity

Things that promote darkness

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (John 3:19 ESV)

Суд же состоит в том, что свет пришел в мир; но люди более возлюбили тьму, нежели свет, потому что дела их были злы; (Иоанна 3:19 Russian)

O LORD my God, our holy Father in heaven ~ thank you for every act of kindness and everything you are going to do for those who love you and whom you love. Most of all dear Lord, help us to clearly distinguish the difference between the light of truth revealed by Christ and the lies and distorted teaching of some who claim to follow Jesus, but they teach as doctrine things that promote darkness. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church of Christ

#david-binkley

New discovery highlights Bible’s reliability

Scholars are all agog over a new discovery. What is being heralded as the oldest known artefact of Homer’s “Odyssey” records 13 verses of the epic poem on a tablet. The tablet is dated to the 3rd century AD. The poem, along with the “Iliad,” is believed to have been written in the 8th century BC. That’s over a thousand-year interval, but it’s still considered a trustworthy witness to Homer’s work. Continue reading

#authenticity-of-the-scriptures, #bible

The Lord responds: Psalm 4.3

“Realize that the Lord shows the godly special favor; the Lord responds when I cry out to him.”

Psalm 4.3

After a moving request for help, v. 1, and a challenge to threatening men, v. 2, David expresses, as a part of his reply to the wicked, his confidence that God will answer.

“Sinful behavior is ultimately fruitless and self-destructive” (NETB). The godly who rely on God will be “safe and secure” v. 8.

#votd #Psalms #prayer

Jul. 14. Second Missionary Journey

Begun Acts 15:36-41

After some days following the report of the Jerusalem conference, Paul suggested to Barnabas that they should, “Go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.”

Barnabas agreed that this was a good idea, but he wanted to take John Mark with them again. Since John had turned back from the work during the first journey, Paul insisted that he should not be included on this trip. Their disagreement became so sharp that they separated.

Barnabas took John Mark with him and they sailed to Cyprus and Paul selected Silas to go with him. He and Silas went in a north-westerly direction, starting in Syria and Cilicia visiting churches Paul had established several years earlier after returning to Tarsus from Jerusalem and before he had joined Barnabas in Antioch.

Paul and Silas advanced in their journey to Derbe and Lystra. It was in Lystra during his first missionary journey, that the residents tried to worship him and Barnabas as gods and then later stoned him.

#chronological-bible-study

Turn to stone-silence

“Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”(Revelation 15:4 ESV)

Хто Тебе, Господи, не побоїться, та Ймення Твого не прославить? Бо один Ти святий, бо народи всі прийдуть та вклоняться перед Тобою, бо з’явилися суди Твої! (Об’явлення 15:4 Ukrainian)

Dear Father in heaven ~ thank you for the love you have for all people especially those who love your Son. We are in awe of the way you constantly keep knowledge of your holiness and righteous laws before anyone seriously interested in knowing and obeying your perfect plan. Turn to stone silence, the loud noises of those who cleverly attempt to make what you have declared to be wrong, right if enough people say it is. Give us greater wisdom, in order to hate what is evil in your eyes, while loving good that you make known through the pages of Scripture. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church of Christ

#david-binkley

They asked him to stay: Acts 18.20

“When they asked him to stay longer, he would not consent.”

Acts 18.20

Paul was headed to Jerusalem. Because of time and travel restraints, he could not tarry. Even though Ephesus provided him opportunities, his objective kept him focused on his task.

Many good things clamor for our attention. We must choose among them. God will bless spiritual objectives, if we follow through.

#votd #Acts #objectives

Outline for Ephesians chapter 5

Looking for an outline for Ephesians chapter 5? Try this one:

  • Ephesians 5:1-2 – The model
  • Ephesians 5:3-5 – The muck
  • Ephesians 5:6-7 – The maxim
  • Ephesians 5:8-10 – The metal
  • Ephesians 5:11–14 – The manifestation
  • Ephesians 5:15-17 – The mindful
  • Ephesians 5:18-20 – The measure
  • Ephesians 5:21 – The mentality
  • Ephesians 5:22-29 – The mission
  • Ephesians 5:30-31 – The marriage mold
  • Ephesians 5:32-33 – The mystery

As a side note, pay attention to verses 26-27 to get a useful contextual view of the point that involves verses 22-25 and 28-29. I believe it’s a point that is usually missed because of the reason and way (topic/purpose) the verses are typical used.

Ask if you have any questions as to how the point fits the context. I will be glad to explain.

To God be the glory (Romans 11:33-36).

#bare-bones-outline, #epistle-to-the-ephesians, #new-testament-outline, #sermon-outline