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

Let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Let us walk in the light of the Lord! A text and audio lesson by this title has been added to the Old Paths Archive in English and Dutch.

English:
http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/lampuk.html

Dutch:
http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/lampnl.html

May the Lord bless you.
Roy Davison

#audio, #christian-life, #life-in-christ, #walk

Giving glory to God. Public or private?

Question: Is giving glory to God always a public act? Can it be a private one? I’m very interested in your perspective on this, since I have a “Do this and live” list, and the last one is “Give glory to God.” Can I do that privately, or ought I think of it as a public act?

#glory-to-god, #life-in-christ, #spirituality

Not what we wanted to hear

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Timothy 3:12.

Well, that’s not what we wanted to hear!

Here’s a description of the narrow road that few find, that Paul urges the young evangelist, Timothy, to travel. He begins Chapter 3 by describing the wide road that the many are on. It’s marked by “lovers of themselves, lovers of money … [those] without love … without self-control … lovers of pleasure … men of depraved minds” among many others. Continue reading

#faithfulness, #life-in-christ, #persecution

Is your security system armed?

robber-flashlight“While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief” 1 Thessalonians 5:3-4.

A home security camera recently revealed a disturbing image that went viral: a teen robber with a flashlight peering into the crib of their unprotected infant while the family slept. Trust in their security system told them ‘peace and safety’ and let them sleep, but they had not armed the system before going to bed.

Spiritually, we know the world burns with all kinds of dangers to us; the thieves are known and plentiful. But we fall asleep with dreams of ‘peace and safety’ because of our trust in our security system: we’ve believed and been baptized, attend church regularly, read our Bibles and pray more often than not, and get involved in service projects.

But is our security system armed? Are we truly living a life worthy of the gospel in all we think, say, or do?

Since we are sons of light, “let us not be like the others, who are asleep,” verses 6 and 7 tell us, by being alert and self-controlled?

Is your security system armed?

Doug Kashorek
Plattsburgh church of Christ
www.plattsburghchurch.com

#bible-devotional, #life-in-christ, #salvation

Our goal to please God

“Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more” 1 Thessalonians 4:1.

When we justify our choices by our situation, we live in order to please ourselves as Eve did when she “saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” We set ourselves up on the throne of our lives as the ultimate authority over ourselves. When we sow to please our sinful nature, God warns us in Galatians, that we “will reap destruction.”

Instead, we are told in 2 Corinthians to “make it our goal to please Him.” Being resurrected with Him, we live for Him. We must please Him, not us.

And we do this, this chapter tells us, by living sanctified, that is, holy or set apart. We do this by avoiding sexual immorality, not wronging our brother, living a pure and holy life, loving each other, and living to “win the respect of outsiders” and “not be dependent on anybody.”

Just as the Thessalonians were doing this already but needed to be urged “to do this more and more,” so must we.

Who do you live to please?

Doug Kashorek

Plattsburgh church of Christ

www.plattsburghchurch.com

#devotional, #life-in-christ, #pleasing-god

No excuses

#excuses, #life-in-christ, #repentance

Does anybody talk about unity anymore, &c.

The ritual of religion distances people from God, and not a few of them sense it, intuitively, it seems. Progressives, oddly enough, are running away from hypocrisy and pharisaism, so they say, into the embrace of an emotional and, yes, denominational expression. Doesn’t it seem as if they’re falling into the error they claim to be escaping from?

• Ritualism and religion complicate making the case for the necessity of the church as a part of life in Christ. Denominationalists themselves downplay their idea of church in the process of salvation, while, at the same time, exalt their own sectarian group to the heavens. I’ve seen it, it happens. No doubt about it.

• The German Lutheran theologian Joachim Jeremias wrote that justification by faith wasn’t a central tenet of Pauline theology, since it appeared only in polemics against Judaizers, or something along those lines. So you see it in Romans and Galatians, mainly. Jeremias must have had Luther spinning in his grave. I was reading a bit of Jeremias yesterday and ran across his point. You think he’s right?

• On the Findley church’s new website, Dwight Fuqua, whom I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure to meet,  writes about unity as “A Precious Thing” and lists six truths about it that “we need to know.” Is it my imagination, or has unity become a non-issue these days? Of course, the trojan horse of the World Convention is still rolling around the world every four years, but most progressive churches seem to be so concerned about doing their own thing or, rather, reproducing the emerging-church model, that the conversation has changed. Maybe they consider it a done deal.

Fifth, we need to know that we must accept a common standard to be united. Paul wrote, “Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind” (Philippians 3:16). The Bible is that standard, that rule. Unity is a precious thing!

Good that some people still talk this language. Continue reading

#church-life, #church-unity, #corollaries, #denominationalism, #life-in-christ

Now that you're in Christ…

Okay. Now that you’re a Christian you need to realize you’re in Christ.

In baptism, you were clothed with him and are in him. You’re not the same person you were. Oh, you don’t feel any different? Let me put it this way: When Jesus was raised from the dead, he became different. He possessed a spiritual body instead of a physical one. You’ve been raised from death in a sense. You’ve been raised to walk in “newness of life” from your watery grave (Romans 6:4). You’re different now.

You’re going to learn to live differently. The more you grow spiritually, the less worldly things will matter to you and you’ll become stronger and stronger living for spiritual things. The Apostle Paul said, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace,” (Romans 8:5-6 ESV).

But until you’ve grown into that process, there will be occasional problems. Just because you’ve been raised with Christ doesn’t mean you’re perfect. You won’t be. So remember to be patient with yourself. When you find you’ve sinned, don’t give up living for Jesus. Just admit the sin and turn from it.

Find yourself a Barnabas. A Barnabas is someone who will help and encourage you. I’m not talking about some kind of “father confessor.” I’m talking about a friend who will help you understand that sin needn’t mean the end of your relationship with Christ. It is because of sin that Jesus died for us. But, sometimes people become so discouraged they give up. That’s something you must never do, so remember that when you ask forgiveness, forgive yourself.

Okay. You’re all set. Come to me or to the elders when you need help, and remember how much you’re loved and how much God loves you. Don’t forget that.

#life-in-christ, #wisdom

Daily Nudge: Three ministry words — and news

Name three words that best describe or summarize the focus of your life in Christ and service to God. They may be words taken from Scripture, or not.

What’s up on this sunny Saturday? (That’s a request for news, get it?)

#life-in-christ, #ministry, #nudge

Starting over

If I were to start my life in Christ over again, I would probably wait until I was a little older before getting baptized. It was just before my 9th birthday. I knew what was I was doing. I could answer all the questions (so I am told). Nevertheless, today I can barely remember any details about the event! That might just be my poor memory (in some regards). This is a subject I’ll struggle with more soon, I’m sure, with my own sons (the oldest is about to turn 8). I hope he’ll wait until he’s at least 10, but we shall see. I think this can be a tough issue for those who “grow up in the church” and have parents who really teach them from the Scriptures as they should.

#baptism, #life-in-christ

Daily Nudge: start over — and news

“If you were to start your life in Christ over again, what would you do differently?” queries the Nudge this cool morning with light rain. Some Fellows may not like this “if” question; it does call for reflection.

Last night I worked late, very late, on the twitter account for Quick Bible Truths. Of all my twitter efforts, this one is coming along nicely, more so than others. And worth your following, even if I do say so myself. And I do say so.

Did you know the Center for Disease Control has an obesity map? (And since when did “and Prevention” get added to its title?) There’s politics behind the issue, but that doesn’t take away the truth that people are fatter today. It’s a lifestyle issue. And one Christians need to consider. That’s my news for today, although it’s not specific to us, which is what interests me most.

So where’s your news of Christians, churches, ministries, countries?

#life-in-christ, #news, #nudge, #obesity

New

Mike Benson publishes KneEmail, an ezine that picks up articles from all over. Today’s offering, “New,” was from an elder at Kensington Woods in Hattiesburg MS. Here’s part of it:

THERE IS A certain convict that I have been corresponding with for several years down in Texas that recently got a “new” typewriter…

He had completely worn out the old one.

It was not very easy to correct his errors on the old machine and the letters he would type were full of typos most of the time. I was taken back by the cost of the new one…$110…quite a price to pay for anything in prison, and it was very elevating to my own soul to hear how joyful he was at being able to buy it.

I wrote him a letter and told him that every once in a while all of us need a little new in our lives.

Makes me wonder…

Why don’t we sweep out the old grudges from our lives, rip the pages of regret out of our life book, focus on how much good God has done for us, plant a seed of hopefulness in our neighbors, write a special memory on the wall paper of someone’s heart? Replace the fears of tomorrow with the good we can do today. Make a difference where we stand. Do the little things that matter. Hope more, love more, find new ways to serve, get out of ourselves and into the lives of others.

To read the entire article and get info about KneEmail, go HERE.

#life-in-christ, #newness-of-life