Answer the knock at the door by opening minds

I had another recent visit from the local Jehovah’s Witnesses.

This time it was two teenage-aged boys inviting people to the special Passover observance and lesson broadcast being held at the local Kingdom Hall.

The young men were, as usual, well-dressed, kind, eager to share their material, and ready to discuss some biblical topics. They got more from our conversation than they were expecting!

After listening to their introduction and invitation, I began a conversation with a tie-in to what their broadcast lesson was going to talk about: “Who is Jesus?”

I asked them why their New World Translation called Jesus “a god” in John 1, but in John 20 it called him “God.” Jesus wasn’t afraid to rebuke his disciples after his resurrection (Mark 16:14). If Thomas was wrong for referring to Jesus as “God” such a mistake would have been corrected.

That point led to the next – Jesus never refused worship. He didn’t come to be the “center of attention” (Philippians 2:5-8; John 5:23, 8:28), but he did not reject or correct anyone who offered it to him (Matthew 28:9, Mark 5:6, Luke 24:52, John 9:38).

My final point (after several minutes of exchanging supplemental thoughts too in-depth for a short post) combined my first two points to prove that the NWT is wrong when it comes to John 1:1 and right when it comes to John 20:28.

As usual, they agreed that what I was saying was something new to them, and that they would like to get back to me with an answer … they haven’t been back with one, yet.

Many people have a bad attitude toward answering the door when Jehovah’s Witnesses knock. I say answer the door by opening minds. Introduce thoughts about Jesus that they will not hear at the Kingdom Hall! And be kind – do not bash someone for doing something with what they believe to be true if you’re not willing to do the same.

My hope and prayer is, for those two young men, from now on, every time they hear John 1:1 being read, their mind will go to John 20:28. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But it would have had no chance (at least for now) of entering their mind without the conversation we had because of the knock at my door.

#doorknocking, #jehovahs-witnesses, #jesus

February 2018 Issue of Christian Worker (Honor to whom Honor is Due)

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

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Jesus the Master Teacher (Carl Garner)
  • Honor to Whom Honor is Due (Cody Westbrook)
  • Implicit Commands (J. Noel Merideth)
  • Speaking the Truth in Love (Thomas B. Warren)
  • The Church-The Lord’s Bride (Bill Jackson)
  • Blaming God (Guy N. Woods)
  • Things that Count (Johnny Ramsey)

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.

#accusations-against-god, #christian-worker, #honor, #intentions, #jesus, #metaphors-of-the-church, #obey-commands, #priorities

Where you will find Acts 20:35 in the gospels

I had not been a Christian very long when I heard a lesson on the inspiration of the scriptures (in direction connection to 2 Timothy 3:16) that used an example from Acts 20:35. The example left such an impression that I have repeated it a few times throughout the last decade. Perhaps you are familiar with the example.

During the lesson the speaker used Paul’s quotation of Jesus (it is more blessed to give than to receive) and then “challenged” someone to show him where Jesus could be quoted in the gospel saying such. Although none doubted the truthfulness of Acts 20:35, an answer could not be provided.

While the general point of the lesson on inspiration is still true (think Jannes and Jambres in 2 Timothy 3:8), I have found where Acts 20:35 can be “quoted” in the gospels. I realized it last December during a lesson about “the attitude of giving”.

Perhaps you already know where to find Acts 20:35 in the gospels, but in case you do not …

Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”” (Luke 14:12-14 NKJV)

#giving-gifts, #inspiration-of-the-bible, #jesus

Everyone wondered: Luke 3.15-16

“The people were in suspense about John. Everyone wondered if he might be the Messiah. John addressed them all, saying, ‘I, indeed, immerse in water, but one is coming who is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to untie his sandal strap. He will immerse you in the Holy Spirit and fire.'”

Luke 3.15-16 LOR

John the immerser was not the promised Messiah. But people wondered. John pointed to another. He gave them the sign of the Christ, coming in power and judgment.

Many people today wonder about Christ. Like John, we point them to the truth about him. What do you say about him?

#John-the-Baptist #Jesus #VOTD

My intercessor, my friend: Job 16.20-21

“My intercessor is my friend
as my eyes pour out tears to God;
and he contends with God on behalf of man
as a man pleads for his friend.”

Job 16.20-21

In the midst of his pain, Job looked to heaven, v. 19, for help. He seems to sense that there is someone who will witness to his righteousness, who will help him before the Creator. He was not wrong, even though he had little idea.

We know him who intercedes for us. The Lord Jesus Christ was sent by the Father. He even now serves in this function. What difference does this truth make in the way you talk to God?

#intercession #Jesus #VOTD

This is What Happens if You Ask Google Home Who Jesus Christ Is…

Let me first say, to be completely honest, I am not interested in the least when it comes to having an electronic “assistant” that listens to everything in my home (Siri is turned off on my phone), so while I can’t personally verify the following information, it is still interesting nonetheless.

This is what happens if you ask Google Home who Jesus Christ is…

The soulless Google Home has nothing to fear (except maybe a really bad virus), but whoever calls the shots for its developers may fall in to a different category, whether they believe in their own soul or not (Matthew 10:32-33).

Greater privileges bring greater responsibilities, especially when it comes to teaching others. This goes for individuals, congregations, communities, cultures, countries and everyone who participates in the world wide web.

Whoever is not with me is against me; and he who does not take part with me in getting people together, is driving them away.” (Matthew 12:30 BBE)

#electronics, #google, #jesus, #religious-questions

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

Consider Jesus: Hebrews 3.1 VOTD

“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession.”

Hebrews 3.1 CSB

To counter the temptation to return to Judaism, the writer of the Hebrews letter calls attention to Jesus as being superior in all respects.

What aspect about Jesus will especially help you to remain faithful in your present circumstances and difficulties?

#Jesus #faithfulness #VOTD

Obedience of one: Romans 5.19 VOTD

For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous.”

Romans 5.19

Through Adam, sin was brought into the world. His disobedience allowed sin to reign. Christ’s obedience is the greater feat, however, for many may be made right with God.

We may become righteous through faith and obedience to the gospel. Have you obeyed the gospel? Christ cancels out our sin.

#Jesus #salvation #VOTD

Writing: 1 John 2.1 VOTD

“My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.”

1 John 2.1 NLT

John writes that God’s marvelous plan has us covered in all circumstances. False teachers claimed sin was a non-issue. God considers it serious, so much so that Jesus serves as advocate.

The Lord doesn’t expect sinless people. He expects people not to live for sin. What are some wrong ideas about sin that people have?

#sin #Jesus #Advocate #VOTD

Jesus in Hebrews 1

Eddie Parrish helps us in Hebrews 1:

Because Jesus: (1) is the one through whom God has spoken in these last days, (2) is the heir of God, (3) is the creator of the world, (4) is the radiance of God’s glory, (5) is the exact representation of God’s nature, (6) is the one who cleansed our sins, (7) is seated at God’s right hand, (8) is superior to angels, (9) is God’s Son, (10) is worshiped even by angels, (11) righteously rules an eternal kingdom, (12) will outlast the universe, (13) and sends out angels to do his bidding as they serve on behalf of Christians, then there is NO ONE who deserves our allegiance more than He.

#Jesus #Hebrews #Bible-class

Lord of peace: 2 Thessalonians 3.16 VOTD

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all.”

2 Thessalonians 3.16

The Lord is the source of peace. For the readers undergoing persecution, they must know that peace does not depend upon circumstances. Christ will give it all the time, anywhere, regardless of the situation.

What events or situations tend to rob you of peace? How can we retain the Lord’s peace independent of circumstances?

#peace #Jesus #VOTD

Not alone: John 8.29 VOTD

“And the one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do those things that please him.”

John 8.29

Jesus was certain of his Father’s presence with him. He did not feel alone, because he saw demonstrations of his approval. He was certain of pleasing the Father, because his will is clear and simple.

How may we have certainty of God’s presence? What to do when we feel alone?

#Jesus #will-of-God #VOTD

When non-believers believe in the Bible but don’t noel what they’re talking about

It’s amazing how non-believers can believe in the Bible (or at least like to quote it) when it’s advantageous to their cause but still not know what they’re talking about.

Take for example this story. A story that chides and corrects and criticizes Donald Trump for “not believing in the virgin birth” (due to a “tweet” in which he “erroneously” referred to Joseph as Jesus’ father) all the while it uses the names God and Jesus in a very flippant and unholy manner.

What exactly did the President say … or tweet rather? Continue reading

#birth-of-jesus, #christmas, #jesus, #twitter

Straight-line lineage

Most people are interested in their lineage. Even in this digital age companies exist to help people find their ancestral roots.

Despite the fact that he or she had nothing (and again for emphasis sake let me say – nothing!) to do with making themselves a part of their lineage, many individuals like to proudly and arrogantly boast about their fearsome forefathers, their existing matriarchal might or maybe even their connection to a few drops of “royal” blood. And yes, their skin-color, their national origin, their clan, their crest and even their religion comes along for the ride.

In Christ this fleshly foolishness stops (Galatians 4:30; 1 Timothy 1:4; Matthew 3:9-10).

If one’s lineage cannot be drawn in a straight-line from you to Jesus to Abraham to God, then your lineage, my lineage and our lineage is of no value.

Am I saying it’s wrong to know about or even celebrate our ancestral roots and the things (the good things) that were accomplished on our behalf? Absolutely not! I’m only saying when our branch comes to an end, the importance of our spiritual roots and fruit will far outweigh the physical. Because outside of Jesus the tree will surely die!

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29 NKJV)

#ancestors, #jesus, #lineage-of-jesus