Rainy or not, we should be submerged in prayer

Most of us in the southeastern US could use one or two million raindrops right now. As of this moment in particular, middle Tennessee is getting a little relief. It makes me wonder if some “Elijah” around here has something against the rain.

Elijah’s prayerful effect upon the weather was not only noteworthy enough to be included in the Old Testament scriptures – it managed to make its way into the New Testament cannon as well!

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” (James 5:17-18 – NKJV)

To be honest, when it comes to prayer (which is really what James’ point was all about…that combined with righteous living and emphatic purpose) we should all be submerged in it regardless of the weather. At least this is something that I can preach to myself about.

Pray, pray and pray some more. God wants to hear from us. And if we listen to this point when it comes to God’s will, then God’s will may become intertwined with our own…or perhaps I should flipflop that; regardless, it’s something that God wants us to do.

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,” (Luke 18:1 – NKJV)

#blessings, #elijah, #prayer, #rain

The one verse that shows the difference between the world’s and the Christian’s reason for thanksgiving

There may be a lot of people this coming Thanksgiving day who aren’t Christians that will be sitting down to a “bigger turkey” than what’s on any of our tables, but there are some blessings in life that only a Christian can be thankful for, and there’s one verse that proves it: Continue reading

#blessings, #in-christ, #thanksgiving

Video clip worth watching

You may have already seen this video as it begins to make its major rounds in the media and on the Internet, but in case you haven’t seen it, it’s one worth watching.

There are so many spiritual applications that could be made in connection to this “caught-on-camera-moment” that most people should be able to immediately think of a few points and scriptures. On top of that, a video like this can pull at the heart-strings of any parent worth his or her salt. And taking the reality of the moment for what’s it worth is something that shouldn’t be missed – that being how wonderful the little, and often taken for granted, blessings of life really are.

 

#blessings, #children, #video

How to determine the extent of our riches?

How rich are you? You may think that this is a foolish question because you do not feel rich at all. In fact, most of us feel rather poor when we consider the status of our life materially. In all honesty I believe that most of us are richer in material things than we realize.

If the only riches that we have are material and physical, we are not rich at all. And, if we are striving to become rich in those areas, we are losers for sure. In 1Tm 6:6-12 teaches us about the danger or riches and the blessings of pursuing spiritual things. Continue reading

#blessings, #spiritual-riches

(#184) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:7-Are You Too Full To Eat?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 27:7: “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”

When people are driven by hunger, it is surprising what they think is “sweet,” or tasty and edible, even something “bitter!” But when people feel full and “satisfied,” hardly anything would taste good, not even sweet “honeycomb!” Parents cannot make a child eat unless the child is hungry; food advertising is designed to create a sense of hunger; cultural dishes reflect how desperate the society was when the recipe was determined.

This has tremendous spiritual application. After delivering the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, and providing for them 40 years in the Wilderness, God warned them as they entered The Promised Land: “When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest-when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied”…”then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth… “Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish ” (Deuteronomy 8:10-20). People who “have it good” don’t think they need God, but they do!

The gravest danger to the church of Christ specifically, and America generally, is self-serving self-satisfaction and self-justification. People who have been convinced their own approval of religious practices is all that matters don’t seem to care whether God approves or not! They think they are “full” and even God’s blessings are not “sweet” enough to cause them to eat the Word of God! False preachers have convinced people they are saved before being baptized “into Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:3), and they think they are full with salvation and don’t need the baptism that saves (1 Peter 3:21)!

Jesus’ disciples, however, are those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6), but those who make Him sick, say “‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). These sickening Christians don’t see the need to attend Bible classes, hear sermons with an open heart (Luke 24:27, 32), or strive to learn more of God’s Word through “diligence” (2 Timothy 2:15). Bible preachers, accurate worship services, faithful good deeds, Jesus Christ, Himself, cannot draw people who are “satisfied” without them! Jesus must be lifted above all “satisfied” people in order to “draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).

Are you drawn to Jesus by the Word of God?

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#baptism, #bible-study, #blessings, #church-of-christ, #full, #god, #hungry, #make-jesus-sick, #obedience, #proverbs, #salvation

Thankful for…

Yeah, I know that this isn’t the time of the year when we’re supposed to talk about what we’re thankful for but I’m going to talk about it anyways.

I’m thankful for family and friends who encourage me to do right. For family and friends who make doing the right thing easy. For family and friends who enjoy the company of fellow Christians. For family and friends who love me with a Christ-like love.

The world doesn’t care for me. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out in the world with “good” hearts – but what that does mean is that the world isn’t interested in the welfare of my soul. The welfare of my belly, of my house, of my children? Sure, there are people who care about those things and I’m glad that they do for the sake of our society. But they don’t care about my soul, or else they wouldn’t be in the world. And the welfare of my soul outweighs the welfare of all else.

It’s easy to take those who are closest to us for granted, but once a little bit of space of time and distance and the world enters the picture then we quickly remember who means what to us and who we really mean something to.

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17)

#blessings, #family, #friends, #thankfulness

Glad to have this means of communication for TFR and the Fellows’ content

blessings of communicationI tried the P2 theme that we use here, as well as a number of spinoffs and child themes, on my personal blog. Didn’t work quite so well, but I may come back to the idea later.

I wound up using the Writr theme, which is nice, but not everything I need (want?) in a theme. Never satisfied, are we? You can take a peek at the new theme here.

The P2 theme has been quite good for our needs here at TFR. There are a few bugs, but that’s par for the course when it comes to software. (It’s the norm for MS, but that’s another battle.) WordPress is an amazing tool to have at our disposal.

So in all, we’re thankful to have this means of communication. And to have our Fellows contributing their good content.

#blessings, #communication, #wordpress