The church doesn’t need any TMZs

When a brother or sister in Christ tells you something in confidence, make sure it goes no further.

Gossip is a gallow that kills morale, trust and love.

Some fancy themselves on being the local church’s reporter! They always have the scoop and they’re ready share what they’ve heard through the grapevine or straight from the horses’ mouth. But simple fact of the matter is – God despises the grapevine of gossip that betrays trust and the talker who destroys fellowship amongst his people (Proverbs 6:16-19).

The church doesn’t need any TMZs! So if that’s what we’re in the business of listening to other’s problems for, then wisdom says we better shut down the shop before we sell a multitude of things that cannot be bought back.

A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” (Proverbs 11:13)

#gossip, #the-tongue, #trust

Rejoice in God and cast your care on Him

Do you sometimes wonder how you can be concerned and yet not worry? This lesson brings Scriptures forward that can help you make the distinction.

Rejoice in God and cast your care on Him.

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

Maak je geen zorgen. Wees gelukkig!

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

May the Lord bless you,

Roy Davison

#cares, #trust

When our hearts are broken, what can we do?

Are you bearing a burden today that makes you feel discouraged and worthless? Is it hard for you to sleep peacefully and enjoy a mind that is under God’s control? Today there are multitudes of people who are hurting so very much and may even feel that God is not aware and listening to their prayers and answering them.

Let me urge you to read Psalm 40. Of course there are many other passages of scripture in the word of God that will help us, but in this section of scripture we find a man who feels exactly as we do when our hearts are broken and life is so very, very, difficult.

He says in v. 12, “For innumerable evils have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of my head, therefore my heart fails me.”

Have you felt that your life is just like this? What can we do in such a condition as this? Continue reading

#discouragement, #patience, #trust

OVERWHELMED

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.  From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.  I will abide in thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings.” Selah. (Psalm 61:14).  When my heart is overwhelmed. . .to be over-whelmed means, “to the mind covered or muffled up with sorrow.” [Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies].  What do we do when our hearts are simply overwhelmed?  This psalm should give comfort to many a person who has struggled in finding words to express to God. The psalmist tells us how to deal with situations such as this.

First of all, we are instructed to pray.  The very thing that we may struggle with is what we are instructed to do. I am reminded of the statement made by the apostle Paul in Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”   The psalmist asked God to “attend unto my prayer.”  Listen or give attention to my prayer.  We have that assurance from God’s word in many places.  John states, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” (I John 5:14).  Don’t forget to pray!

Second, remember what God has done for you.  The psalmist proclaimed, “thou hast been a shelter for me.”  Remember all the blessings you have enjoyed, both physical and spiritual.  When we look at what God has done for us, it should help us to face whatever is confronting us at the present time.

Third, we need to abide in the tabernacle. To do so is to be in the presence of God.  We need to stay close to God.  We need to walk closer to God each day of our lives.  Notice another statement found in Psalm 27:5For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.”

Finally, we need to trust God.  We may not understand why certain things happen, but we need faith that is strong enough to trust God.  (Psalm 62:8; Isaiah 26:3,4).

Pray. . . Remember. . . Abide. . . Trust.

Larry Cole – Montrose Church of Christ, Carthage, TN

#faithfulness, #god, #memory, #overwhelmed, #prayer, #trials, #tribulation, #trust

Guest Article: Psalm 33, A Poetic Adaption by Joshua Gulley

Here’s something that some of you may enjoy reading first thing in the morning: scripture poetry.

Psalm 33 Adapted by Joshua Gulley

Come and sing to the Lord with great joy in your souls

All you men who are righteous in heart

For ‘tis fitting for those who are righteous to praise

And bid those who would mock us depart

Now give thanks to the Lord while you play on the lyre

Singing praise with a harp of ten strings

And with such virtuosic accompaniment each

Shout for joy in his heart as he sings

For the Word of the Lord is so pure and upright

And His might He displays without fail

Taking pleasure in justice; His love can be found

Through the plain, o’er the hill, in the vale

By the Word of our God all the heavens came forth

By the breath of His mouth all their host

He collects all the oceans in storehouses deep

And forbids them to march past the coast

Now let every created soul stand before God

Short of breath, mouth agape at His might

For ‘twas only a Word which He spoke that brought forth

Sun and moon, earth and sky, day and night

Lo, He brings to an end what the nations pursue

For no human designs can defeat

All the plans of the Lord, which cannot be defied

Generations all bow at His feet

Oh, how blessed are the people whose God is the Lord

All His chosen ones here on the earth

Oh, what glory they’ll share when they look on His face

Life eternal, peace, fellowship, mirth!

Now the Lord scans the earth from His dwelling above

Yes, He knows all the hearts of our race

For He fashions them all and the plans they devise

Come to naught without His tender grace

No, the king is not saved by a powerful host

Nor a warrior delivered by strength

Do not trust in a horse to bring vict’ry in war

E’en though strong be his muscles at length

How the eyes of Jehovah are e’er upon those

Who before Him on their knees do fall

Who yet wait for His mercy and trust in His love

And in hope on His name e’er they call

To deliver their soul from the reach of the grave

And to keep them alive through the drought

Yes our souls ever wait for the Almighty God

Who’ll deliver us without a doubt

Yae, our hearts keep rejoicing in Him whom we trust

On His sanctified name e’er we lean

Let Your grace, peace, and mercy, Lord, be upon us

Until thy holy face we have seen

Josh is a teacher of music at the High School level and is a member among the saints who belong to the Smithville Church of Christ

#adaptation, #faith, #god, #guest-article, #honoring-god, #poetry, #power-of-god, #praise-god, #psalm-33, #trust

Learning to Pray and to Trust from Jeremiah

Jeremiah struggled to reconcile widespread hypocrisy in a supposedly believing culture with the justice of God. He witnessed damage caused by unthinking rebels against God. The more he proclaimed God’s will, the more pain he experienced. At the beginning of Jeremiah’s ministry, God had promised that he would be with him. In his prayers recorded in Jeremiah 11 and 12, Jeremiah voices how hard it can be to trust God’s promises. He wrestled with his doubts; he pleaded for God to vindicate him. Other prayers of Jeremiah reveal his love for his people. His prayers in chapters 11 and 12 unveil his fear and doubt, but also his confidence that in the end, God will be faithful to his values. Today you and I may feel compelled to pray Jeremiah’s prayers. We too want God to defend His values. God promises that He will remain faithful. He pleads for us to do the same. We plead for God to defend his values. We cry , ‘Where are you, God? ‘Let’s remember that he may be asking us, ‘Where are you?’

#christian-living, #faith, #jeremiah, #prayer, #preaching, #trust

The Path to Survival and Success

I sometimes parody Robert Frost’s old poem by saying, “Two paths diverged in a wood, and I, I blazed a new trail between them.” One should never let tunnel vision limit their achievements. Just because three options present themselves does not exclude the possibility of a fourth. Creatively pondering what other paths one may take may just prompt recognitions of a new trail.

Sometimes, however, our trails reach a dead end. A deep chasm looms ahead or a wall blocks our progress. What shall we do? One possibility is to turn around and go back to our starting point. We also might choose to give up. When some people reach this situation in their lives, they attempt suicide. Almost always, other options exist than surrendering. One may try to climb the wall or build a bridge across the canyon. If a wall, we may look to the right and left to see if passageways exist in those directions. We may even be able to build a door in the wall. Seriously, even when it seems that there are none, options usually exist in life. They may not be our first choice; they may require giving up a long-cherished goal. Sometimes the new path leads in a better direction.

Psalm 37 gives several insights to surviving and thriving when it seems opposition cannot be overcome or that we have run out of options. These include:

“Do not fret” (verses 1 and 8).
“Trust in the Lord and do good” (verse 2).
“Commit your way to the Lord” (includes prayer, verse 3).
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him”(verse 7).
“Refrain from anger” (verse 8).
Keep the word of God in your heart (verse 31).
Follow good role models (verse 37)
“Take refuge” in God (verse 40).

Maintaining calm and trusting reliable counselors (to include God) greatly increase odds for survival and success. Restraining anger and panic is critical. Fear breeds failure. Having a sustained pattern of behavior, especially in scripture study, prayer, and association with other believers, helps but one also needs to learn to wait and to build flexibility. Rigidity paralyzes people when unexpected situations arise. The message of Psalm 37 is that even when situations seem to require new solutions, some basic truths and practices will sustain us. When multiple options exist in life, God’s word will help us navigate the best trail to our destination.

#anger, #church-of-christ, #faith, #fear, #god, #hope, #poetry, #prayer, #robert-frost, #role-models, #scripture-study, #suicidal-ideation, #trust, #tunnel-vision