Have you been to Jesus?

In Acts 4, we read of the account of two men standing before the religious leaders of the day, an occasion that was not taken lightly by any that were involved when such a thing like this occurred. The religious leaders not only had moral force, but they could apply a heavy dose of peer pressure, even criminal indictment when the situation demanded it. Acts 4, from their perspective, was such an occasion.

There was some murmuring going on amongst the people, and when they learned about it, those in charge arrested those guilty of causing this disturbance (that is, Peter and John). The disturbance was only in relation to the healing of a man lame since his birth, but the troubling aspect of this disturbance was in direct relation to Jesus, God’s anointed (chosen) one, one who was actually rejected by many of the Jewish people. Rejected as he was, they killed an innocent man.

Still fresh on their minds, the man Jesus and that which He taught, they resolved: “This has to stop!”

After having been arrested, the Lord’s servants were standing before those in judicial authority, being called to give an account of what they did and why. Peter and John stood tall. They gave a direct answer, and then a pertinent application for them (those in authority and the whole community): the authority by which they operated was the same authority they rejected and killed. One day they were going to stand before Him and be judged. This was impressive and insulting to those making inquiry (Acts 4:13). Continue reading

#courage, #life-in-christ

God protects his own

A great lesson in Matthew 2 is that God protects his own. The Lord frustrated Herod’s attempts to kill the newborn Jesus.

He warned the wise men by means of a dream not to return to Herod, but to go back by another way. “But God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country on a different road” Mt 2.12 NIRV.

The Lord’s angel also appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to flee to Egypt, in order to get away from Herod, Mt 2.13. Continue reading

#confidence, #courage, #divine-protection, #evil

Be of good courage

Via Audio Evangelism:

I once read about a man who bragged about cutting off a lion’s tail with his pocketknife. Sounds pretty courageous, doesn’t it? Do you think you could do that? Of course, someone finally asked the man why he didn’t cut the lion’s head off, and he replied that someone had already done that! What initially sounded like a very courageous act really wasn’t anything at all–the lion was already dead!

Today, I’d like us to focus our attention on the subject of courage–genuine courage–specifically as it relates to living the Christian life. First, we need to remember that… (click here to continue reading the post.)

#audio-evangelism, #bible-characters, #christian-living, #courage

August 2014 Issue of Christian Worker

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

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • What Is Marriage? What Constitutes Marriage? (Robert R. Taylor, Jr)
  • Has the Kingdom Come? (Sam Willcut)
  • “Buy the Truth and Sell It Not” (Royce Williamson)
  • Watching the Pendulum (Glenn Colley)
  • “Living Oracles” (Mel Futrell)
  • Some Things Must Never Change (Jeff Jenkins)
  • Is It Nothing to You? (Alan Highers)
  • Behind Closed Doors (Steve Higginbotham)

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 © 2014 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#christian-worker, #courage, #culture-wars, #evangelism, #false-teachers, #kingdom-of-god, #marriage, #oracles-of-god, #pdf, #timeless, #truth

One Thing I Do Know

In John 9, Jesus heals a blind man on the Sabbath Day. Since he had been blind since birth, what a joyous, life-changing moment this must have been, right? But unfortunately, one of the first things his newly functioning eyes witnessed was Pharisees descending upon him like hounds on a trapped coon. They had an agenda and the man and his parents knew it, so they felt like they were walking on thin ice answering their questions. To them, this wonderful gift of sight from Jesus may have appeared to be a curse at first. Typical of life–when you obtain something worth rejoicing about, there’s somebody there trying to drain all the joy out of it for you.

About the 4th time they came to him asking him what happened, they began basically by trying to bully him into calling Jesus a sinner. His response is one of my favorite verses. It was profound in its simplicity: “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” He didn’t yet know that Jesus was the Messiah; he hadn’t been told much about Jesus at all, and he didn’t go trying to fabricate an answer. He just told them what he knew, which was enough for both parties to make a choice. Might we learn from this that we don’t have to be experts before we tell people about Jesus.

Lord, thank You for providing the account of Jesus and this blind man. Grant us the integrity to admit what we don’t know, the courage to speak what we do, and the wisdom to let the truth guide our thoughts, words, and actions.

#blind-man, #courage, #healed, #jesus, #john-9, #pharisees

Queen Esther and Brusselsprouts

===== Thursday’s Thought For The Day (July 11, 2013) =====

IF I PERISH, I PERISH

The young people in one church had been studying the Book of Esther. It was obviously that one boy had been paying attention when his family had Brussels sprouts for supper. Spearing one and looking at it distastefully, he placed it in his mouth, saying, “If I perish, I perish.”

The story of Esther is one of the greatest stories of courage in the Bible.

When Mordecai realized that there was a plot to kill the Jews in Persia, he saw only one possibility to save them, and that was through Esther. He asked Esther to go before the king and request that he rescind the decree and save the Jewish people. But Esther was hesitant to do that because there was a law that said that anyone who went into the king’s court without an invitation could be put to death, and she hadn’t been invited for a month!

Mordecai sent another message to Esther that said, in effect, “Think, Esther. The decree says all Jews. It doesn’t exclude anybody in the king’s household. You are a Jew and that means you’ve already been condemned to death. If the king receives you, you’ve got a chance. But even if he doesn’t, you’re no worse off.”

One of the most powerful verses in all the Bible is found in verse 14. It’s a question that I believe every Christian should ask himself when he’s facing a difficult situation: “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

“Esther, have you ever thought that maybe this is the reason why God put you in the position of being queen? Did you think he did it just so you could have an easy life? This is the reason God has brought you where you are. Your presence in the palace is not by accident but by divine appointment.”

The time had come for Esther to make a choice. She could approach the king and possibly lose her life, or she could remain silent and allow the annihilation of herself and her people. She decided to stand for what was right. And with the heroic words, “If I perish, I perish!” (4:16), she went to the king.

Has God put you in a position to make a difference to the people around you? Like Esther, will you have the courage to respond, regardless of what the consequences may be?

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

To subscribe to “Thought For the Day,” send a blank email to join-thought-for-the-day@hub.xc.org

#courage, #make-a-difference

Jeremiah Tries To Save His People

This month has been about courageous love. We have tried to connect the fact that when we love, we are compelled to have the courage to risk ourselves for the benefit of those we love.

Christ’s entire ministry was conducted with the risk (certainty in His case) that his loving but courageously firm actions would lead to his death. That death was for the world, yet would only spiritually benefit the few who would take advantage of it.

Our text for today is Jeremiah 36:1-32. God had warned Jeremiah that his work and teaching would not be well received. In Jeremiah 1:10 that he would root out, pull down, destroy and throw down before he could build up and plant. Knowing his work would not be well received, the Lord told him in Jeremiah 1:16 to “gird up thy loins, speak what I command thee and be not dismayed at their faces…”

There was no question about the courage of Jeremiah as he carried out the work of the Lord which led to his imprisonment (Jer. 37:4), his forced removal from Jerusalem and some scholars say that he died at the hands of his brethren.

What I am interested in is the love of Jeremiah for these people who treated him so badly.

As his love led him to pray on their behalf, God told him not to pray for this people (Jer. 14:11). As he sent the scroll to be read that would send him to prison, his thought was that it might bring them to repentance (Jer. 1:7).

Brothers and sisters, courageous love does the difficult work of the Lord with the prayer and hope that it will bring men to repentance. Whether we are teaching the lost, restoring the erring or disciplining the rebellious, our love and courage go together.

Mike Glenn

#courage, #jeremiah, #love, #youth