October 2016 Issue of Christian Worker (The Need for Strong Churches)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • The Need for Strong Churches (Mike Vestal)
  • Strength Through Adversity (Cody Westbrook)
  • Through Fellowship (Kevin Rhodes)
  • Through Worship (Wayne Jones)
  • Through Preaching (Clay Bond)
  • Through Love (Ross Haffner)
  • Through Service (Johnie Scaggs, Jr)

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…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2016 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#adversity, #christian-fellowship, #christian-love, #christian-service, #christian-worker, #church-assemblies, #church-growth, #preaching, #spiritual-strength, #strong-churches

How to avoid taking preeminence in the kingdom of God

A denominational study site required extra confirmation for comments, and I refused to jump through that extra hoop. So you get these comments on their study for today here on TFR, answering specifically one of their “To Ponder” questions. Feel free to use the comments below in any form you’d like (except online, where etiquette demands a link). Continue reading

#christian-service, #humility, #practical-lessons

Jesus, servant to militaristic Romans

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Mark 10:45.

Writing to the militaristic Romans, Mark’s portrayal of Jesus is as a servant, who lays His life down. This was certainly not how these pagans would have viewed a god. The shortest gospel account, Mark skips the details of Jesus’ birth that wouldn’t have meant much to these gentiles and instead launches into the beginning of Jesus’ ministry teaching and serving the people. But more importantly, Mark needed to show how the all-powerful God in the weak flesh of man could, by His willingness to die on the cross, serve mankind in our greatest need. As One in such high authority, Jesus should have been served, but by giving His life as a ransom for many, He came “but to serve.” Then He tells us to be great, we must serve as he did. How fitting that Mark records a centurion, representing the audience he hoped to convince, declare at the time Jesus served us, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

Do you serve Jesus as Jesus served you?

Doug Kashorek

Plattsburgh church of Christ


author of Kin of Cain

a Christian historical fantasy


#christian-service, #gospel-of-mark, #jesus-christ

Unsung Servants

We usually hear the phrase, “unsung heroes” to refer to folks who do some great task but receive little recognition for their work. There are also, “unsung servants” in our life. They are people who do things that make a difference, but who are seldom or never praised for their work. These special servants themselves, do not see their work as spectacular because “anybody can do it.” Yes, but somebody did do it. Somebody gave themselves to be used without any fanfare or acclamation.

Somebody held the football for the extra point kick or the field goal, but no one pays much attention to them. Someone hands the surgeon his instruments of operation, but the patient and family never know their name. Consider this list of some of the unsung servants found in scripture. Let’s be encouraged to be one ourselves.

  • Hur (Exod. 17:12) Do you remember his part in the battle against Amalek?
  • Jonathan’s armor bearer (1 Sam. 14:4-14) Did you see how much Jonathan depended on him?
  • Peter’s mother in law (Luke 4:38-39). Did you notice what she did after being healed.?
  • Azubah (1 Kgs. 22:42) She was the influential wife of a good king and mother of a faithful king.
  • Chloe(1 Cor. 1:11) Paul accepted testimony from her household as being true.
  • Damaris (Acts 17:32-34) The Holy Spirit saw fit to mention her name from among a select group?

The lesson for us: Serve. Don’t expect recognition. God knows and God will reward.

Make me a servant Lord, make me like you.

Mike Glenn

#christian-service, #servanthood

Jesus washes feet (Mike Glenn)

Brothers and sisters, we have turned into another month. Our Joshua Generation characteristic for the month is Servant Attitude. Our slogan is, “Make me a servant, Lord, make me like you.”

Our text for this first JG bulletin in John 13:1-17. This is one of the most often-told events in the life of our Lord. Entire books have been written based on this text. Hundreds of sermons have been preached. Still, it is worthy of our consideration again even though we may know it by heart. I commend the following points for your consideration.

• The vital importance of service: This is the last free night of Jesus upon the earth. He knew his hour had arrived. For three years He had been training these men who followed Him. What should his final messages be on this final night? He chose three, love, unity and servanthood. All of these were actually bound up in this act of foot-washing. But it is His servanthood to which we address ourselves today. It shows compassion. It shows understanding. It shows humility. It is an extension of God’s grace. It is kindness. For all these reasons and more, Christ chose it in these final hours. Continue reading

#christian-service, #jesus-christ, #servants, #youth

Are YOU Ready To Work!

My fellow Christians, are you seeking to serve the Lord Jesus in the best way you possibly can? Are you seeking to be “conformed to the image of the Son of God?” Are you putting the Lord Jesus Christ first in your lives? We need to make Him the Lord of our lives. A chorus says, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

It must be our aim to uplift the Lord Jesus before a lost world. Are we letting our lights shine, or are we indifferent toward the lost?

We need only to look to Calvary to see what it cost the Lord Jesus for us to be saved. Let that motivate you to greater service for the Master. He’s coming again! It will take effort for us to serve Him; anything worth having is worth working for. As the Word of God says, let’s work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” We are not saved by works, but are saved to work (Ephesians 2:8-10).


A Faithful Servant & His Faithful Lord

INTRODUCTION: This is the last book that the Apos-tle Paul penned chronologically. Paul is in Rome in the time of Nero, awaiting execution. As a Roman citizen he would escape crucifixion and be beheaded. In this last chapter of the book (chapter 4) is what some have called “ Paul’ s Last Will & Testament.” He wants to encourage Timothy in his work for the Lord and to instruct him on what to expect as the “ torch is passed” to him. Paul re-minds Timothy that he was faithful to the Lord Jesus and encourages Timothy to stand fast. He reminds Timothy that they serve a God and a Savior who is likewise faithful.

The Charge of Paul to Timothy (vs. 1-5)

 In verse 1 we see the authority of the ‘charge.” It is a military term that denotes that it is not just a suggestion. This charge is based on and backed by the Father and the Son. The One (Jesus) who will keep His promise to “judge the living and the dead.”

This passage confirms that Jesus is coming again.

Timothy is told to “Preach the Word!” (stress inerrancy). Let’s turn back to 2 Tim. 3:14-18. He is told to continue in the Word of God.

Timothy must be ready at all times to stand upon and proclaim the Word of God. He must be faithful to do it no matter where he is and what audience he is speaking, teaching or preaching.

Timothy is told how to “preach the Word.”  Convince, (NKJV) rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  Why was there then  and why is there  now an urgency to “preach the Word?”  “For the time will come..” (Already there/here.) that many “will not endure sound doctrine” –leaving the Word of God. They will not want to follow the Bible anymore unless convenient.

Jesus said, “If you love Me, Keep My commandments.” People will find teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. (itching ears.)   Christians will turn “aside” Leave the Truth, Church & the Lord V. 4. They will base their beliefs not on the Bible, but on fables.

 What does Paul Tells Timothy To Do. He tells him to be watchful Timothy must know the Word and know what he believes in order to confront error—2 Tim. 2:15- importance of study—2Tim 3:14- 15 He must do the work of an evangelist-Timothy was to faithful preach and teach the Word of God. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18- 20; Mark 16:15-16) He must fulfill your ministry. Each one of us has a ministry. The Lord has given each one of us at least one talent, probably more than we realize. We must be willing to use that talent for the Lord. We must be willing to be used of God to help reach the lost with the saving Gospel and also to strengthen the saved.

Can the Lord Jesus count on YOU!

#christian-service, #faithfulness, #word-of-god

TFT: Heartprints

Whatever our hands touch…
We leave fingerprints.
On walls, on furniture,
On door knobs, dishes and books.
Smudges, showing we were there!

Oh, Lord, please,
Wherever I go today…
Help me leave Heartprints…
Heartprints of compassion,
Understanding and love.
Heartprints of kindness
And genuine concern.

I shall go out today…
To leave Heartprints…
And if some one should say…
“I felt your touch!”
May that one feeling be…
Your loving touch, Lord,
Through me!

May my heart touch my lonely neighbor, with a smile,
A worried mother, with peace,
A runaway child, with safety,
A homeless person, with warmth,
And my dear friends, with love.

My son, keep my words, And treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, And my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” And call understanding your nearest kin, (Prov 7:1-4)

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn Hitchcock

#christian-service, #love

The Products of Truth (2nd John 4-6)

Christianity is a religion of action. We take what the Bible teaches and put it into practice in our lives. We make application to and from God’s Word in our daily lives. If we are truly living for the Lord a change in our lifestyle must be evident. Others, Christians and non-Christians alike must be able to ascertain that difference. We must be found “practicing what we preach (believe).

One of the words used for the Christian’s life is the word “walk.” Walking denotes that we are making progress. In the spiritual realm it denotes growing in Jesus. All of us grow up in Christ differently. What the Lord desires is spiritual growth.

The Apostle John writes about spiritual growth in 2 John 4-6 where he stresses “walking in Christ’s commandments.” He says that there must be evidences of our conversion that is visible to others.

John rejoiced greatly when he found some of the “Elect Lady’s” children walking in the way of truth. This shows that these folks were growing in Christ and were active in His service.

John MacArthur writes, “The word ‘walking’ has reference to continual walking in the truth, i.e., making obedience to the truth a habit in one’s life.”

The Word of God continually tells parents that it is their responsibility to teach the Bible principles to their children. It also exhorts all Christians to study and obey God”s Word and to teach others about the importance of the Scriptures.

In 2 John 5 we read John’s words ofcommendation to the way the Elect Lady had raised her children. She had led them in the way if truth. But they had to continue to walk in truth even when they were outside her influence.

This is the passage where John talks in verse 6 about making the Christian life a continued way of love, establishing habits that will last us eternally and enable us to live for Him in all situations we come across.

I John 5:2-3 reads as follows: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.”  So, let’s always strive to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus!” Let’s be found as a people who look to God”s Word for our guidance and always be living for Him!

-Larry Miles, May 18, 2011

#2-john, #christian-living, #christian-service, #scripture, #truth

Lessons From 2 John

The Passion of the Truth (2 John 1-3)

The word “truth” is one of the Apostle John’s favorite words. It is used 27 times in the Gospel of John; 10 times in I John; 5 times in 2 John and 5 times in 3 John.

John had a passion for the truth. The word “passion” simply refers to string feelings or emotions. John  had a passion or great love for truth. Of course, this was transferred to those who loved truth as he did. He loved the truth and hated every false way (Psalm 119:138). He loved those who loved truth and hated those who didn’t (Psalm 139:21-22).

In 2 John we have the account of the “Elect Lady.” This is either referring to an individual or to the Church. It is my view that it is an individual or it could refer to both.

John had a great love or this sister and her children because they loved the truth as he did. He loved them because of the common love they shared.

We must love the truth of the Scriptures. We must, as God told Joshua back in Joshua 1 not only to read the Word of God, but to study it, meditate upon it, and live in it and be able to share it with others. Let’s make it a practice to regularly read and study God’s Word.

-Larry Miles, May 18, 2011

#2-john, #christian-living, #christian-service, #scripture, #truth

Equipped For Service

2nd Timothy 2:15 reads as follows: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have promised to equip us for service for them. Just as God will not force you to believe in Him and obey the Gospel, the same rings true when spiritual growth is concerned. He will not force you to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (2nd Peter 3:18) But, if we are willing and desire to grow in the Christian life, He is there with the resources we need to equip ourselves to be “lights shining in a dark world.” (Mathew 5:13-16) Continue reading

#christian-living, #christian-service, #equipping

Standing On The Faithful Word!

Text: II Timothy 3:16 – 4:4  (16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

* Introduction: Standing On The Promises! It is our prayer that all will be like the Bereans, whom we read about in Acts 17. They were commended because they had a great love for the Word of God. We’re told that after hearing Paul, they went and “searched the Scriptures daily.” If we have this kind of love for the Bible, we will always be found “standing on the promises.” We can count on God, can He count on YOU?

What Kind of Foundation Do YOU Have? We build our lives on all kinds of foundations. Jesus spoke of those who build their lives on the sand, a life that has no permanent foundation. He contrasted that with one who built their lives on a solid foundation. The one who built on the sand had all kinds of problems in life. The one who built on the right foundation (Jesus) enjoyed the blessings of God. Continue reading

#bible, #christian-service, #dedication, #faithfulness, #foundations, #scripture, #word-of-god

I Do It … You Do It


"See how I hold the bat straight up? Do you know why I do that?" the coach asked. "Because the bat is lighter when held straight up. Less surface for gravity to pull on."

"Hold your bat back like I am. As the pitcher throws the ball, respond with your body the way mine is. Pivot your front foot, twist your hips and shoulders, bring your arms around. If you decide you like the pitch, bring the bat around with you. If not, hold up. Understand?"

We didn’t. We were a bunch of eight year olds being drilled in the art of batting. And the coach, my dad, was tasked with making sure we had some idea of what we were doing.

But, would that be enough? Is it ever enough to just tell someone, "Clean your room. Don’t do drugs, alcohol or sex. Make sure you do well in school. Treat a girl right. Drive carefully. Make sure the boys respect you."

We might think that just verbalizing these instructions is enough, but do any of us catch on to abstract concepts or even concrete behaviors that easily? Don’t we need someone to go beyond the verbal instructions to show us what the ideas look like or how the behaviors are performed?

My dad taught us in his batting clinic. But, he did more. He showed us. "Hold the bat like this."

John Maxwell identifies four biblical steps to training someone. The steps are: Continue reading

#christian-service, #leadership-training, #mentoring

Give Him Your ALL!

Although Christians should always be longing for the day when the Lord calls us home, especially if we are blessed “to meet Him in the air,” (I Thes. 4:13-18) we must enjoy what He has for us NOW! Christianity is a here and now religion. Jesus said that He  wants us to have an abundant life “in Him.”.  The last part of Titus 2:12 states: “live, soberly, righteously and godly in this present age.”

We are to live in the world but not let the world dictate how we live (I John 2:15-17).  We must never be conformed to this world (Rom. 12:1-2). We need to have a mind renewal in a mindless society.

Christians must not only renounce ungodliness and wordily desires, we must replace them with positive characteristics (Col. 3:1-3).   Remember, “greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world.”. The power to live the Christian life come from the Holy Spirit.

What does it mean to “give your all to the Lord?”. First of all, every person is committed to something or someone; some more than others. Continue reading

#christian-living, #christian-service, #commitment

Waiting For The Lord’s Return

            Jesus  is coming again! We have  His  promise in John 14:1-6, the testimony of the  angels in Acts 1:9-11 and  many other  promises in the rest of the New Testament. 

            In I Thes. 1:9-10 the Apostle Paul commends the church at Thessalonica  for their service to the Lord.  He recounts in I Thes. 1:9 their journey from idolatry to serving Jesus.  He further states that they were a serving  congregation. Since we serve the “living and  true God;” since he could come  at any  moment—we  must be ready at all times—we must be active in His work at  all times. We  must put our faith into action. We must be seeking the lost and striving to strengthen the saved.  Mission work and evangelism does not stop with conversion—the  more we  learn about Jesus and  His Church and the Word of God—we will be  mission minded.

            Jesus  has  told  us to be  waiting and  watching for  the  time  He  will come back for us.  But  we  must not be  idle; we must as the  song  goes, “we’ll work  ‘till Jesus  comes.”  Some in the  New Testament were condemned  because they  were  not active in the Lord’s service while waiting for His coming. That must never  be said  of us.  He has  provided much for us if we  will only  appropriate it. Let’s always seek to  reach the lost and strengthen the  saved!

#christian-service, #faithfulness, #jesus-return