August 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Philippians Chapter 3)

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

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Beware of Dogs (Bill Burk)
  • Leaving the Past Behind (Cody Westbrook)
  • Paul’s Present (Neal Pollard)
  • The Only Way to Go is Up! (Andy Baker)
  • A Call to Maturity (Clay Bond)
  • A Call to Follow (D.J. Stucky)

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.

#calling, #christian-worker, #false-teachers, #new-life, #philippians-3, #spiritual-goals, #spiritual-maturity, #the-past

May 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Noble Character of Philippians)

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

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Philippians: An Introduction (Bill Burk)
  • The Progress of the Gospel (Cody Westbrook)
  • Joy in Philippians (Bruce Ligon)
  • Unity in Philippians (Todd Clippard)
  • Peace in Philippians (Kevin Cauley)
  • Spiritual Maturity in Philippians (Trent Kennedy)

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.

#character, #christian-peace, #christian-unity, #christian-worker, #joy, #pauls-epistles, #philippians, #spiritual-maturity

An illustration and a Scripture reference on Responsibility

I don’t know how true the story actually is but even it’s only used as a simple illustration it does help to get a point across:

When Queen Victoria was a child, she didn’t know she was in line for the throne of England. Her instructors, trying to prepare her for the future, were frustrated because they couldn’t motivate her. She just didn’t take her studies seriously. Finally, her teachers decided to tell her that one day she would become the queen of England. Upon hearing this, Victoria quietly said, “Then I will be good.” The realization that she had inherited this high calling gave her a sense of responsibility that profoundly affected her conduct from then on.

And lest one thinks that the story has no spiritual application:

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.” (Philippians 3:12-16)

#responsibility, #spiritual-illustrations, #spiritual-maturity

A Few Randomly Ordered Thoughts

I like my sense of humor even if other people don’t get it. As we were getting ready to leave the other day a song from one of my daughter’s CDs was playing that she didn’t like, so while pointing to the radio she asked where the skipper was. I replied, “He’s on the boat.” Like most adults, she didn’t laugh at my joke.

For every physical sense (of the major 5) that we have there is spiritual one that correlates:

  • Touch – 1 Timothy 4:1-2
  • Sight – John 9:25
  • Hearing – John 8:43, 47
  • Taste – 1 Peter 2:2-3
  • Smell – Philippians 4:18

Do you sense a disturbance in the force? I saw a Campbell’s soup commercial the other day where a “father” was using the famous “Darth” voice to tell his “son” that he was his father. Then another man’s voice his heard saying that he was the boy’s “father”. Chicken Noodle may be good for the soul, but Campbell’s moral message is a poisonous one for children, our culture and one’s relationship with the Father of spirits.

Spiritual growth is essential. One cannot expect to properly grow strong without growing up. Hebrews 5:13-14 says, “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” We can all experience spiritual setbacks from time-to-time, but maturity is seen in one’s ability to identify the wrong in his or her life without a brother or sister in Christ having to constantly remind or even rebuke us about it. So when it comes to study and application, are we always depending upon someone else to feed us, or are we able to set our own table?

Maybe these thoughts weren’t so random after all (although the order still applies)…every paragraph has at least one word theme in common. Trust me, it didn’t happen on purpose. Well maybe the last paragraph would be an exception. Because even a little randomness ends up making sense every now and then.

#homosexual-agenda, #random-thoughts, #sense-of-humor, #spiritual-correlations, #spiritual-maturity

Some people just never mature

I’ve met several Christians throughout the years who are exactly what I try to avoid being – too “smart” for their own good spiritually speaking! Their “Bible knowledge” is so complete they have no room for growth…and it’s a major turn-off to the majority of people around them without them even knowing it, or caring enough to realize it.

But can’t you know the truth, some may ask? You sure can according to John 8:32! But that knowledge, in its completed form, comes from continuing in the truth – it comes from growing in it (John 8:31; 2 Peter 3:18).

Does that mean we can never know the complete the truth about a particular topic from day one? Absolutely not. Just think about the nameless eunuch of Ethiopia (Acts 8:35-37). But at the same time remember the growth process that the apostle named Peter of Galilee had to experience concerning the possibility of salvation for gentile people years (literally years) after publicly preaching that the benefits of the gospel would reach “those who were afar off” (Acts 2:38-39; Acts 10).

My advice, which I strive to remember to follow myself, to anyone who gets asked a Bible-based question from someone who tells you that they’re not trying to be argumentative but simply asking a question that they’re curious about because of a statement or position that you’ve publicly proclaimed is for you to take the question seriously and try to recognize the validity of the point that the question is raising. Phew! Talk about a run-on sentence. But I suppose run-on’s are needed when you talk about a marathon length problem.

Concerning the sum of the situation, this one thing I have learned: when you are going to ask people to recognize their error you have to be able and willing to do the same with yourself! And the failure to do so reveals a lack of spiritual maturity that becomes obvious to everyone other than the person who stares back at us in the mirror. That’s why we’d all do well to be an Apollos-minded person, and not a Diotrephes.

Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:24-26)

#attitude, #knowledge, #learning, #spiritual-maturity

If you’re an imperfect sinner, quit sinning and start maturing

imperfect-perfect-meaning

You’ve read this rant before, no doubt, but in the last week, the “imperfect sinner” hype has popped up before my eyes at least a dozen times. So I tweeted:

There are several problems here with the use of “imperfect” and “sinner.” First, we’re using them in senses that are strange to the Bible. Don’t we proclaim to be a people who call Bible things by Bible names? If so, we need to change our language. Continue reading

#biblical-language, #corollaries, #death-penalty, #spiritual-maturity

Scoot, crawl, walk, run

baby_crawlby Luke Bower — I can still remember when our daughter first started to crawl. She still lacked the strength and coordination to stay up on all fours, but that did not stop her from getting where she wanted to go. She would scoot and roll around until she reached her destination. It was not very efficient and sometimes took her a long time to figure it out. She would even get frustrated from time to time, but she kept wiggling around until she got there.

It was because of all that scooting around that she eventually developed the strength and coordination to begin crawling. If she were to get too frustrated and just give up, she may have never learned the skills she needed to get around. Continue reading

#new-converts, #spiritual-baby-steps, #spiritual-growth, #spiritual-maturity