April 2018 Issue of Christian Worker (Be Evangelistic!)

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

Here are the topics you will find:

  • How to Excel in Personal Evangelism (Rob Whitacre)
  • Some Evangelism Do’s and Don’t’s (Cody Westbrook)
  • Why Every Christian Should Be Interested in Evangelism (Doyle Wells)
  • You Never Mentioned Him to Me (Sam Dilbeck)
  • Bring Them Back (Jimmy Ferguson)
  • Learning to Teach from the Master Teacher (Russell M. Kline)

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.

Copyright © 2018 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#advice, #christian-worker, #evangelism, #evangelistic-studies, #following-jesus, #individual-responsibility

Why didn’t they bring him to Jesus?

From time-to-time you find people in the gospels bringing others to Jesus (Matthew 9:1-2; Mark 2:2-5; John 12:20-22), but in Mark 10:46-48 you will find quite the opposite!

The religious crowd following Jesus to Jerusalem actually wanted the blind and beggarly Bartimaeus to stop calling out for Jesus. They actually commanded him to hush!

Why didn’t they bring Bartimaeus to Jesus?

Perhaps, and I’m only saying perhaps because I do not know, it was because they were not following Jesus for the right reasons themselves. It’s not like that was something new during Jesus’ ministry (John 6:26, 66). And it’s not like that multitude was going to follow through on their chants of “Hosanna!” (Matthew 27:21-23).

Do you hear a lesson in that church?

Are we failing to bring people to Jesus because we’re not following him for the right reason to begin with?

Just a thought … or is it?

#bartimaeus, #following-jesus

What most people have in common with Pilate

Most people have something in common with Pilate.

It’s not being Roman. It’s not living in a foreign country. It’s not political power or aspirations.

What most people have in common with Pilate is their opinion of and reaction to Jesus:

Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.”” (John 19:4 NKJV)

Most people hold Jesus in high-opinion! They believe Jesus was a good person. They believe Jesus was innocent, without guilt. They believe Jesus did not deserve to be crucified. But they’re still not interested in following him.

People are too busy to follow Jesus. People are not interested in giving up anything to follow Jesus. People are not interested in their own relationship with God to follow Jesus.

Whatever the reason people give for not following Jesus, most people find no fault in Jesus … but they are not willing enough to get involved with him. Or perhaps it is that most ·people are not willing enough to let Jesus get involved with them.

When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”” (Matthew 27:24 NKJV)

#following-jesus, #jesus, #pilate

The stigma of following Jesus

From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” (Galatians 6:17 NKJV)

The Greek word for “marks” in Galatians 6:17 is “stigma”. It describes a mark upon the body created with pricks in the skin or with a brand pressed into the flesh.

A stigma, in the first century meaning of the word, represented ownership. It was applied to soldiers and to slaves who would not be able to deny their identity. Some pagan worshipers would also apply it to themselves in order to display their allegiance.

But when it comes to Paul, the stigma upon his body was neither a tattoo nor a flesh-burning brand – his stigma was the marks created by his faith in Jesus (and he wasn’t talking about a mystical experience either!).

In contrast to the Judaizers of Galatians 6:12 who sought to compromise the gospel of Christ in order to avoid persecution, the marks upon Paul’s body was proof his faith believed that faith in Jesus could save one’s soul, and he would not change his story. He had the stripes to prove it! He had been beaten five times by the Jews with 40 stripes minus one, beaten three times by civil authorities with the rod, and was stoned one time with the purpose of killing him (2 Corinthians 11:24-25).

When an individual viewed the physical body of Paul there was no doubt as to who he belonged to … it just wasn’t spelled out with letters.

So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.” (Mark 15:15 NKJV)

#following-jesus, #persecution, #the-apostle-paul

No only has one meaning

No.

If we don’t get past telling our kids “no” and on to telling ourselves “no” then we’re heading for as much trouble as they should be when they don’t listen…especially when it comes to following Jesus.

Denying-self is simply a different way of having to tell ourselves “no”. And denying self is simply something that we must say “yes” to.

Inconvenient? We better believe it! Still necessary? We better believe that too!

So just to make sure we all understand what’s getting said (because the word “no” has so many meanings, right?) – if we’re someone that does not like hearing the word “no” then we’re not going to like what we’re about to hear:

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” (Luke 9:23-25)

#denying-the-flesh, #following-jesus, #self-denial

Self-centeredness is cast aside in Christianity

The cross of Christ was in the center of the three crosses the day Jesus was crucified (John 19:17-19), but it’s not because Jesus was self-centered (Mark 15:27-28).

From his birth to his death, Jesus led a life of self-denial (Philippians 2:5-8). This self-denial wasn’t denial for the purpose of denial in-and-of-itself. Nor was Jesus’ self-denial for purpose of making himself the center of attention (John 14:10). Jesus’ self-denial was for the purpose of helping others and glorifying his father in Heaven (Acts 10:36-38; Matthew 5:16).

Self-centeredness must be cast aside to follow Jesus. Look at the context of Paul’s, “Let this mind be in you…” statement in Philippians 2:5. The context is getting rid of self-centeredness (Philippians 2:1-4). It’s then that Paul proves his point by using Jesus as an example as to why the church at Philippi (and us today) should look beyond their own circle of self when it comes to dealing with others.

But in case you have some unreasonable reason that causes “Paul’s words” to carry no weight with you – keep Luke 9:23 in mind and get over yourself.

We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:1-7 – NKJV)

#following-jesus, #jesus, #jesus-christ, #self-denial, #self-centered

Moses had choices and so do we

By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)

Kick back and relax? Moses could have chosen to kick back and relax with the best of today’s social media celebrities!

Live it up? Moses could have chosen to live it up with the best of today’s children of powerful politicians.

Don’t get distracted with religion? Moses could have chosen to go with the grain and follow his adopted culture’s popular polytheistic ways.

Live for today? Moses could have chosen to see this world as the end all be all when it comes to achievement.

Plain and simple – Moses could have chosen a lot of different things, but he chose a “life for good” over “the good life”, and such is the call that God’s anointed has given us today.

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:43-39)

#calling, #choices, #christianity, #following-jesus, #moses

September 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:

  • Is the Church the Kingdom? (Tim Ayers)
  • The Hardening of Pharoah’s Heart (Sam Willcut)
  • The Placid Pulpit (Rick Popejoy)
  • The Blind Beggar (David B. Jones)
  • “I Want to be a Soul Winner for Jesus” (Sam Willcut)

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.

#blind-beggar, #christian-worker, #following-jesus, #personal-work, #pharoahs-heart, #preaching, #the-church-and-the-kingdom

The Amazing Enduring Perseverance of the Apostle Paul

Just think about this for a second:

in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.” (2 Corinthians 11:27-28 – NKJV)

If you’re familiar with this section of scripture then you’ll know that this is only a snippet of the turmoil’s that Paul experienced while spreading the word of God. It was a daily battle that could be summed up with the old saying, “there’s no rest for the weary.” Physically, mentally and spiritually, Paul was a target of the lion who was roaming about (1 Peter 5:8). But he hung in there! But how?

The success of Paul’s enduring perseverance can easily be seen in his willingness to keep his eye’s on Jesus and his hope in the grace of God found in the gospel of Christ (Hebrews 12:1-3, Romans 8:23-25). Paul encouraged people to follow him as he followed Jesus knowing full well that the path to eternal life was only found by following the steps of the Savior (1 Corinthians 11:1, Philippians 3:20-21; Hebrews 2:9-10). He loved the word of God, the gospel that it contained, the church that it produced and the people whose names filled the Lamb’s Book of Life, and even those who had not yet been added.

An enduring perseverance like Paul’s doesn’t happen accidentally and it doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen by sitting on the sidelines. An enduring perseverance comes by trials, by bearing fruit, by faithfulness and by holding strong to the words and love of Jesus that won’t allow our burdens to become too heavy to keep us from following Him (Matthew 7:24-29, 11:28-30).

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Hebrews 11:13)

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

#apostle-paul, #christian-living, #christianity, #endurance, #following-jesus, #perseverance