To the one who loves us: Revelation 1.5b-6 VOTD

“To the one who loves us and has set us free from our sins at the cost of his own blood and has appointed us as a kingdom, as priests serving his God and Father—to him be the glory and the power for ever and ever! Amen.”

Revelation 1.5b-6

John’s greeting to the seven congregations in Asia includes praise to Christ. His three-fold description of the Lord’s work begins with love.

Write your own praise to Christ and include other biblical descriptions of what Christ has done for his people.

#love #Revelation #VOTD

God draws the line

“… ‘You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us’” Ezra 4:3.

In this era of inclusion and bending of the rules to accommodate everyone, the drawing of a line of fellowship by the returning exiles sounds really harsh to us. But, it is God who draws it.

It was precisely because His people had erased His line and drawn it where they pleased that they had ceased to be His people and had compromised with the beliefs and practices of every nation around them.

As Ezra had to tell those of the surrounding peoples who opposed them, “You have no part with us,” Nehemiah needed to a few years later when he sought to rebuild the walls.

But why not extend fellowship? Doesn’t God love all people? Yes, but with God a person is either in or out. It’s tempting to want to call seemingly good and loving folks who are doing great deeds “Christians,” but God draws the line still by whether they are in or out of Christ.

It is up to us to have the courage to hold the line and build the wall in the face of opposition or give in to the pressure to re-draw God’s line.

Are you courageous to stand for God?

Doug Kashorek

douglaskashorek.com

#devotional #fellowship #love

Like the Lord

I think this was written sometime around my birthday, last week. It appears not to have been posted anywhere, so here it is for the appreciation of those who love the art of poetry.

With love in the heart, we’re like the Lord:
His patience working powerfully in us,
His faith is ours, in the fullness of God,
His tender touch our gentle tool—
This Man of men, bringer of mercy.

#poetry #love #discipleship

Not worthy: Matthew 10.37 VOTD

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

Matthew 10.37

Jesus sent the Twelve on a limited preaching tour, but Matthew finds many enduring lessons from the Lord’s instructions.

How does loving a relative more than Jesus demonstrate itself?

#love #family #VOTD

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8-4-2017 Real Love Relationship

“So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her” (Genesis 29:20 NKJV). Jacob worked 7 years for Rachel’s father in order to marry her. This was true love, not hormone-driven sex! Movies, television, and music in our day dwell on the fleeting moments of sexual passion and call it “love.” Little wonder, then, that many shape their lives around what they think is “love.” Amnon said he “loved” his half-sister, Tamar, and he raped her. “Then Amnon hated her exceedingly, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, ‘Arise, be gone!’” (2 Samuel 13:15 NKJV). Is your relationship like Jacob or Amnon: for “love” or “sex?”
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#love, #passion, #sex

I love Jesus

An area congregation publishes a monthly bulletin for the city’s saints, called “I Love Jesus.” I went to speak there last month by request. My designated topic was biblical authority and instrumental music in worship. I began the first of two lessons with the sentence, “I love Jesus.” And because I love Jesus, I love the truth of Jesus, since he is “the way, the truth, and the life” Jn 14.6. Probably, not a few listeners caught my reference to the title of their bulletin. This year is, for me, the Year of Love. It might seem strange to some to talk about such topics as authority and instruments from a framework of love. But isn’t that the best (and maybe only) framework in which to treat them? And every other spiritual subject as well?

#love #worship #truth

Reveal myself: John 14.21 VOTD

“The person who has my commandments and obeys them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will reveal myself to him.”

John 14.21

In Jesus’ last discourse to the Twelve, before his death, he spoke of great things, such as love and obedience.

In what sense are God’s love and Christ’s love dependent upon obedience to his commands?

#love #obedience #VOTD

June 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Philippians Chapter 1)

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

Here are the topics you will find:

  • A Harmonious Congregation (Kevin W. Rhodes)
  • I Thank My God Upon Every Remembrance… (Cody Westbrook)
  • Let Love Abound (Mike Vestal)
  • Christ Is Preached, So I Rejoice! (Stephen Wiggins)
  • To Live is Christ and to Die is Gain (Randy Robinson)
  • Paul’s Plea (Dave Rogers)

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 © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#apostle-paul, #christian-living, #christian-worker, #fellowship, #love, #philippians, #preaching-christ, #spiritual-examples

10 life imperatives

  1. Stay grounded in the goodness and power of God, and grateful for his blessing. You know: “God is great, God is good, and we thank him for our food.”
  2. Don’t say, do, or buy anything stupid. Three things to stay zipped up: your mouth, your pants, and your purse.
  3. Don’t be extreme about anything, except putting God first in your life and following the Lord Jesus to the letter.
  4. Do first things first. Prayer and the Bible before facing the world. Work before play. Sowing liberally before expecting a harvest.
  5. Bide your time. Oaks require years to mature. Weeds pop up overnight.
  6. There’s something to learn every day and from every person you meet.
  7. Share the best you have, which is the fullness of God in Jesus Christ.
  8. Never underestimate the power of the gospel and the power of your word on behalf of Christ. Speak up!
  9. Be motivated by love, and let that motivation be always in evidence.
  10. Pay the price of preparation, share the pain of suffering for the gospel, revel in the grace of salvation.

#imperatives, #love, #principles, #rules, #wisdom

Have love: John 13.35 VOTD

“Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples – if you have love for one another.”

John 13.35

Jesus established the badge of discipleship to the world as mutual love. God’s great distinguishing characteristic is love.

Love is how spiritual relationships are developed and deepened. It is the essence of what the Way is all about. How does love act?

#discipleship #love #VOTD

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6-22-2017 Must We Hate Our Family

Jesus said: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26 NKJV). “Hate” father and mother? Surely Jesus did not mean we must “detest” our parents! He said: “God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death’” (Matthew 15:4 NKJV). We cannot “detest” and “honor” them at the same time. “Hate” may sometimes be used to mean “love less,” that is by comparison. “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” (Matthew 10:37 NKJV). To follow Jesus, we must love our family less than Jesus.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#hate, #love

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6-16-2017 Missing Fathers Days

“Father’s Day” began with memorial service held in 1908 for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in December 1907. According to the website timeanddate.com, “Father’s Day is an occasion to mark and celebrate the contribution that your own father has made to your life.” “Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?” (Hebrews 12:9 NKJV). One of the major problems in our society are all the children who don’t know their “human father” and have not learned to respect someone who loves them and cares about their behavior. Respect and obedience are learned from a father—unless he’s not there!
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#fathers-day, #love

Two masters: Luke 16.13 VOTD

“No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Luke 16.13

Loving God will cause a disciple to be faithful in the use of money, vv. 10-12. But those who love money will scoff at Jesus’ words and justify themselves, vv. 14-15.

How do people try to serve two masters at once?

#love #money #service #VOTD

Love rejoices: 1 Corinthians 13.6 VOTD

“Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.”

1 Corinthians 13.6 CSB

Paul’s chapter on love centers the discussion of the need for each member of the body (chapter 12) and the use of gifts for edification (chapter 14).

How does rejoicing in the truth manifest itself?

#love #truth #joy #VOTD

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5-3-2017 Unconditional Love

Moses told Israelites: “the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face” (Deuteronomy 7:9-10 NKJV). God’s love to man is conditional because He requires faithful obedience in return. It is false to claim that God loves you, but expects little or nothing in return! Unconditional love coming from “Mama and Me” is popular in song, but God cannot truthfully be added to that list! We must “consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off” (Romans 11:22 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#mama-and-me, #love, #unconditional