Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
The one who conquers will be dressed like them in white clothing, and I will never erase his name from the book of life, but will declare his name before my Father and before his angels. Revelation 3.5
John was writing to the church in Sardis. Reputation is not everything. You can have a good reputation but the reality can be quite different.
The church in Sardis had a reputation that it was alive and well. However, Jesus told John to write to the church that he knew their deeds but in reality they were dead. They were encouraged to wake up and strengthen what remained before it also died. Their deeds were lacking before God.
Jesus took them back to the roots of their faith. He encouraged them to remember what they had received and heard, to obey, and to repent. This is a principle that we see throughout the Bible. We must respect what the scriptures say and act accordingly. Adding to the word or changing things to bring more people in will not be acceptable to God. He is not interested in numbers for the numbers, but in obedience of the numbers.
Not all in Sardis were lost. There were a few who remained faithful. They would walk with Jesus and wear white in eternity. Jesus used battle language when he said that those who conquer will be dressed like them. Their names will be found in the book of life. Their names will be declared by Jesus before God.
It is so easy to become distracted by the world or worries. However, this is a choice that each one decides for themselves. I can respect God’s word and follow it. Or I can decide that I know better than God and do it my way. The choice has eternal consequences. What will you decide?
#risingjoy #Revelation #reputation
There are some things you can’t buy on eBay! Some things even Amazon doesn’t stock. One of the proverbs says, A good name is more desirable than great riches and respect is better than silver or gold. When is the last time you thought about your honor? There was a time when people valued their honor and consistently chose honorable behavior to ensure their reputation. But today honor is forgotten and character devalued. Integrity is sold for a fistful of dollars and a good name is auctioned to the highest bidder. Words like discipline and ideas such as sacrifice have gone the way of the horse and buggy. Most of us have heard of them, but we don’t quite know how they operate. So instead of taking the time to learn, we just buy another lottery ticket and hope for the lucky numbers. If you want to hit it big time, try doing the honorable thing. This is Just-A-Minute.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here’s an older article written by one of the ministers at a sister congregation in the same county as Keltonburg. It includes a great story that illustrates the impossibility of pleasing every person.
A man and his grandson went on a journey one day, walking and leading a donkey. Soon they met a man who said, “How foolish for you to be walking. One of you should be riding the donkey.” So the man put his grandson on the animal.
The next traveler they met frowned and said, “How dreadful for a strong boy to be riding while an old man walks.” With that the boy climbed off the donkey and his grandfather climbed on.
The next person down the road, however, said, “I just can’t believe that a grown man would ride and make a poor little boy walk.” So the man pulled the boy aboard and off they rode on the donkey together.
That is, until they met the fellow who screamed, “I never saw anything so cruel in my life, two intelligent human beings riding on one poor, defenseless donkey.”
Down the road a short distance, the trio met a couple of men traveling together. After they passed, one of the men turned to the other and said, “Did you ever see two bigger fools carrying that donkey?”
How do you please everyone? YOU CAN’T! Don’t even try! Just do your best to please God. Perhaps that’s the lesson Paul had learned when he wrote in Galatians 1:10…”For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” The sooner that each of us learns that we cannot live by the conscience of other men, the better off we will be. While we try to please others we sometimes find ourselves in a far worse predicament than when we first started. So, follow the advice Peter gave in Acts 5:29…”we ought to obey God rather than men.”
Tim Woodward, Smithville church of Christ
Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.
John Wooden, basketball coach, UCLA Bruins
Steve Gilmore, 21, was arrested in Gainesville, Florida for attempting to rob a convenience store. Moreover he shot the store clerk with a BB gun. He wasn’t after money, he was after a reputation. Gilmore explained to police that he is an aspiring rap singer and felt he needed to commit a violent crime to gain “street credibility” as a thug. It is a sad commentary on our times when the dreams of young people involve heavy-handed hooliganism. At least he was armed with nothing more than a BB gun. O for the day when young men assay to become doctors and ministers, instead of hoods and hoodlums. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess
Peter appealed to the Lord to depart from him because he was not worthy, but the Lord saw in him something that could produce much good. How in the world could the Lord use anyone like Paul?! As He saw Paul, what He saw was one who could accomplish much good. What do we see in others? What do we see in ourselves? Past reputations, if they are bad, are not easy to “live down.” Nehemiah led the people in Jerusalem to rebuild the wall; they had a mind to work when one took an interest in them….and led them. Do you remember reading of Barnabas when he took Paul to Jerusalem to see the apostles? Paul’s past reputation was a bit tough for some to accept. Whatever hindrances Barnabas might have had, The Record states none, he moved past them and did the Lord’s work! RT
SJCampos stands out as a church that has paid its own way since the first few months of life. Since it is not burdened with property or a building, it has become known for its generosity in helping brethren and churches around the country. It provides regular help to an evangelist in the northeast. It sends a hefty monthly amount to the children’s home. The saints here have the heart of God for showing their love.