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  • J. Randal Matheny 7:24 am on 2015-10-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , worship   

    First day of the week is special for Christians 

    Today, the first day of the week, is a special day for Christians. On this day Jesus Christ arose. On this day the Lord appeared to his followers. On this day he ascended into heaven.

    One wonders if on this day he will return to claim his people. (More …)

     
    • Tim 9:11 am on 2015-10-18 Permalink | Reply

      Amen. I always enjoy eating with others of like faith in Christ.

      While any day that Christians gather is important it is more important to properly read and understand scripture. The phrase “mia Sabbaton” means first of Sabbaths. Each time you find this phrase in the New Testament it is in the Spring of the year and is a specific Sabbath. Check it out. By the way, try to ignore how some major groups observe the Sabbath today. Their observance and what is found in scripture are two entirely different things. May your study be blessed.

  • TFRStaff 4:20 pm on 2015-10-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , worship   

    The Lord’s Supper on Friday? 

    The idea that all people are obligated to conform their thinking and their actions to the teaching of Jesus Christ is not a popular notion these days–even among Christians. Many desire to feel religiously authentic and pleasing to God, but few think that acceptance by God is predicated upon their own conformity to divine legislation. In fact, those who urge people to be conscientious about compliance with the details of God’s Word are decried as “legalists” (see Miller, 2003). Read >>
     
  • Eugene Adkins 7:01 am on 2015-05-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Areopagus, our need for God, , , worship   

    Who needs whom again? 

    Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” (Acts 17:25)

    How could the Lord, from whom all blessings flow, ever owe us anything? Obviously he doesn’t – not to any one individual or nation! The Lord’s will is the Lord’s will; the question is, “Are we willing to get on board with it?” Just think Romans 11:34-35 (which happens to repeat a principle that had already been taught to God’s people in the past) and the point will be made clear.

    With that point in mind it should be remembered that the things we do in our service to God and his kingdom are not meant to be done as though he couldn’t do it without us. They are meant to be done in a way that causes us to be grateful to God for accomplishing his will through us (Philippians 2:1-11).

    Whatever aspect of worship you can think of applies to this situation as well. What can we give that he doesn’t already own? (Psalm 50:10) The Almighty isn’t jealous of us! Jealous for us? Yes. (Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 32:16) Jealous concerning his name? Most definitely! (Deuteronomy 29:20) But not one time has the Lord ever been, nor will He ever be, jealous of us. He doesn’t require worship because he wants what we have – it’s because he wants us!

    Service, worship, humility, appreciation, a holy fear and good spiritual growth comes through a recognition of who is in need of whom in the relationship between the created and the Creator. This is the thought that is meant to be bound between our eyes and upon our heart; a thought that leads to a seal which identifies us as first belonging to the Lord and then to the Lord belonging to us. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Hebrews 8:10)

    So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)

     

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:34 am on 2015-04-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , worship   

    Song and Scripture Service Outline 

    Remember the song and scripture worship services that I’ve mentioned before? Well here’s another outline from our 5th Sunday evening service a couple of weeks ago. I hope you find it useful.

    Behold! The Lamb of God

    Isaiah 53:1-12 / Hallelujah! What A Savior

    Psalm 51:1-12 / Revive Us Again

    1 Peter 1:13-21 / Redeemed

    Revelation 4:6-11, 14:1-15 / On Zion’s Glorious Summit Stood

    Revelation 5:6-14 / Worthy Art Thou

    John 1:29-37, 19:17-20 / Near The Cross

    Exodus 12:1-13, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 / When I See The Blood

    Acts 8:26-35 / Just As I Am

    On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand

    Every single scripture reference and every song, with the exception of Worthy Art Thou, explicitly refers to Jesus as the Lamb of God, hence the title. By the time you add a couple of prayers and a 5 minute invitation/devotional to this outline you’ll have about an hour’s worth of time invested into the topic. Also, as you may already realize, some of the above song titles have multiple versions, so if you would like to know the specific version of the song that we used just ask in the comments and I’ll provide the writer’s name.

     
    • Fred Clayton 6:15 pm on 2015-06-04 Permalink | Reply

      Hebrews 11:4 helps us in understanding what was going on in this first worship example. Able offered by faith and Cain didn’t offer by faith. Since faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), both Cain and Able heard, but only Able did what God said do. Simple. Exacting. God deserves us paying attention to Him. Are there more “Cains” in the world today than “Ables”? Obviously (Matt.7:13-14)

  • Ron Thomas 1:41 pm on 2015-03-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , worship   

    Easter and Christmas Always on Sunday 

    Letter to editor (3.25.2015)

    Easter is a date is that is fluid in America’s culture; in fact, it is fluid in what is known as Christendom. The fluidity of the date corresponds directly to the fact that it is not a biblical date of recognition. It is a lot like the date that is fixed in western culture known as Christmas. Neither one of these holidays are biblical in origin.

    Since they are not biblical in origin, then it must be they have their origin in man’s thinking. Simple research on the internet will illustrate the origins of both. Easter, for instance, was derived from an Anglo-Saxon word that meant the “goddess of spring.” Of course, today, it stands for something entirely different than the “long-time-ago” meaning. Regardless of the good intentions surrounding the occasion, still, it is not a biblical date of recognition.

    New Testament Christians, on the other hand, celebrate the Lord’s resurrection each and every Sunday. If the Lord wanted Christians to remember a particular date, then He would have said as much. Since He did not, then when the saints gather together on the first day of each week, in adoration to the Lord, the “Easter” and “Christmas” occasions of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is memorialized.

    (Submitted to Decatur Herald and Review)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:27 am on 2014-12-31 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , worship, ,   

    Give or Take? 

    I received a letter in the mail yesterday addressed to the church, from a “local” media installation company offering to install the “needed solutions” for our sound and video problems, that I found interesting.

    My purpose for this quick little post isn’t to “pick on” the company, or to send them an “open letter” or to really be a rebuttal toward them in any way, but rather to point out something that was said in their brochure to which I believe reveals a problem with many of the company’s targeted customers – churches, and their worship services.

    The brochure asked, and I quote, “Are you looking for new ways to enhance your fellowship’s spiritual experience? Maybe your church’s sound/video system needs an upgrade?

    So here’s my observation, and I hope you get the picture and the message:

    Worship by its very nature is meant to be about what the worshiper offers to God, not what the church offers to the worshiper. But many churches, both past and present, have been and are currently in the business of selling worship experiences. They have taken something (i.e. worship) that is supposed to revolve around what gets brought and they have turned it on its head to make it about what gets received. And now they find themselves in a situation much akin to the restaurant and service business – competing with competitors on the basis of who can offer the best experience to the customers, the consumers and the curious.

    Stop and think about it for a moment. Have you ever wondered how the church through the early centuries ever managed to worship God without all the lights, cameras and action? How boring it must have been! Why did people ever show up? I just don’t know!

    But then again, maybe I do know. Maybe the church did just fine by being more concerned with giving to instead of taking from the worship services. And just maybe if churches were more concerned with that kind of worship experience today, our appetite for entertainment could be more easily contained.

     
  • Ron Thomas 7:00 am on 2014-11-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , worship   

    ETHICS 

    In Romans 12 the Holy Spirit, writing by the hands of Paul, addressed the spirit of the saint in a tough world. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). The approach of each saint is to present oneself to the Lord in all that we do; the NKJV calls this one’s “reasonable service,” while the ASV says it is one’s “spiritual service,” and the ESV a “living sacrifice.” Whatever term is used the point is clear: one is to serve God, and this is the saint’s ethical basis. So, “let love be without hypocrisy” (12:9). This means that we are to love as the Lord loves us. This is easy to understand, but difficult to apply. The reason it is difficult is because we might be moody, the other person might be less than lovable, we might not know the meaning of the word love, or we just don’t want to do so. Whatever difficult reason in front of us, it is our obligation to move it out of the way and to do as the Lord did and does. RT

     

     
  • Ron Thomas 10:00 am on 2014-09-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , worship   

    Doctrine: SONGS 

    It is common for churches to sing songs of praise to the Almighty, and we can see the wisdom of this. These songs of praise are to not only be accurate in the substance of the words sung, but they are to be sung with the singular design of pleasing the Lord, and not ourselves. That is not to say that we can’t be pleased in our singing, or even by the sound of it, but if that is our focus, then are we singing to ourselves? Moreover, when the Lord’s people meet to worship, the Lord’s people (or church) are to sing, not some specific, or exclusive, choir/chorus. It is of note that most churches of Christ do not use a mechanical instrument of music; this is on purpose. The Lord does not directly prohibit an instrument in the New Testament, but neither did He sanction one. Thus, to use one in the context of the church’s worship is to presume on the Lord’s prerogative. Let us not lose sight of what is important: our heart in direct connection to the Lord through the songs of praise we sing.

     
  • TFRStaff 10:46 am on 2014-09-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , worship   

    Let us praise the Lord! 

    A selection of Scriptures of praise has been added to the Old Paths Archive in English and Dutch, in text and audio. (More …)

     
  • Ron Thomas 10:00 am on 2014-09-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adoration, spirit and truth, worship   

    Worship 

    An interesting remark in the Baker Bible Dictionary are these words: “The nature of worship is not about servant entertainment or passive observation; it is an active acknowledgment of God’s worth in a variety of humble ways” (p. 1731). Read what Paul said in Acts 17:24-25 in relationship to these words. Jesus said, in John 4:24, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (ESV). The College Press commentary said with regard to “spirit” and “truth”: “What does Jesus mean by worshipping ‘in spirit and truth’? What has He just been explaining to the woman? It is that (a) the time will soon come when place makes no difference and (b) the Samaritans are wrong because they worship in opposition to revealed truth. Thus, to worship in spirit and truth is (a) to make it a matter of the heart, the will, the spirit and the emotion and not merely a matter of physical atmosphere, and, (b) to worship in accordance with the revealed will of God in the New Testament” (Commentary on John 4:23-24; E-Sword).

     
    • Jack 1:51 pm on 2014-09-08 Permalink | Reply

      Jesus does this only to show her what accordingly all genuine worship of GOD must be, namely worship “in spirit and truth.” This deduction is not new. For, “must,” is not meant regarding a new precept, a new commandment, or worship. This “must” expresses far more, namely a necessity that is due to GOD’s own nature and that has always held and always will hold true.
      While the fact that GOD is spirit is not stated in so many words in the Old Testament, all that the Old Testament reveals regarding GOD is to this effect. Neither Jew nor Samaritan would controvert the statement for one moment. The prohibitions to make images of GOD, the comparisons of GOD with idols (for instance Isa. 40:13-26), Solomon’s reminder that HE whom “the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain” does not dwell in a house, and many other statements show how fully GOD’s nature was understood. Even the naive anthropomorphic and anthropopathic utterances are made and can be made with such naivete only on the absolute certainty of GOD’s infinite spirit nature. To urge these human expressions against this certainty is to hurl a pebble at a mountain, thinking thereby to knock it over. Accordingly, also the Old Testament is full of genuine worship, of its descriptions, and of injunctions so to worship and so alone. Consider the Psalms, the prayers, Daniel for instance, the many warnings that sacrifices, gifts, lip-prayers, observing festival days, etc., without a broken, contrite, believing heart are in vain. Thus the genuine worship was known well enough. The new feature which Jesus presents is that from now on this worship is enough, i. e., that the ceremonies, restrictions of time and of place, are even now to fall away. In this sense the worship will, indeed, be new.
      (John 4:24 Conclusion – Lenski New Testament Commentary – The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel.)

  • John T. Polk II 8:17 am on 2014-07-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , fleshly recreation, , , hasty in words, , , , , , , , self-justified, worship   

    (#197) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:19-21-Are We Pampered Servants? 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 29:19-21: “A servant will not be corrected by mere words; For though he understands, he will not respond. Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. He who pampers his servant from childhood Will have him as a son in the end.”

    The term “servant” indicates someone who works for someone else, and though Moses was “a servant” in God’s House, Jesus took “the form of a bondservant” (Philippians 2:7), He was “a Son over His own house, whose house we are” (Hebrews 3:5-6), that is, the church of Christ (1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 1:22-23). Jesus’ obedience under Moses’ Law (Hebrews 5:8-9) is our example for obeying Jesus’ Law (Matthew 28:18-20).

    It is a disobedient servant who will not follow carefully-worded instructions, so that “though he understands, he will not respond” with obedience. No one has become a servant of Christ by confessing to be saved before being baptized (buried) into the death of Jesus (Romans 6:1-7); no servant of Christ ever added mechanical instrumental music to the singing required in worship (Ephesians 5:19-20); no servants of Christ ever murdered to expand the church (John 18:37; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6); no servants of Christ enjoyed the recreation of fleshly appeals (Romans 13:13-14)!

    There is no hope for “a fool” (one who disobeys God) unless he/she repents and obeys God’s Will. One who is conceited must become humbled in order to learn obedience to God: “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise” (1 Corinthians 3:18). The person who is “hasty in his words” is trying to justify him- or herself, rather than listening to what must be changed to please God. “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him” (Proverbs 18:13). No one can “testify” their way to salvation without doing what God says!

    A pampered servant will soon “think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3). This is why all those who have been taught that once they’re saved, they’re always saved, and cannot lose their salvation become spiritually arrogant, thinking they are “bullet-proof!” “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Paul addressed that attitude (and doctrine!) when he wrote: “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).

    Jesus Christ said to His disciples: “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:16-17). Truly, as Paul wrote, “if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • TFRStaff 6:37 am on 2014-06-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Involvement, , , , preaching Christ, , , , worship   

    June 2014 Issue of Christian Worker 

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

    Here are the topics that you will find:

    • The New Testament’s “Pattern of Worship” (Dave Rogers)
    • Social Drinking (Sam Willcut)
    • Do Not Quit Writing (Tommy Kelton)
    • The Doctrine of Christ (William Woodson)
    • Tradition or Truth? (Michael Light)
    • Much Wine? (Tracy Dugger)
    • Can Worship Be Vibrant and Meaningful without Becoming Faddish and Unscriptural? (Tom Holland)
    • What Does It Mean to Preach Christ? (Billy Bland)
    • The Drag of Discouragement (Bill Burk)
    • Involvement (Bobby Liddell)

    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…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

    Copyright © 2014 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

     
  • John T. Polk II 3:47 am on 2014-06-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , worship   

    (#185) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:8-Where Did You Find Greener Grass? 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 27:8: “Like a bird that wanders from its nest Is a man who wanders from his place.”

    “A bird that wanders from its nest” has no protection from predators, no provisions for its babies, and no purpose in life. The “nest” is an important base of operation to which a bird may return that gives it reasonable security. The idea of the bird that “wanders” is one that leaves its purpose to chase after insecure and dangerous ways.

    Through the Prophet Jeremiah, God asked His people: “Why do you gad about so much to change your way?” (Jeremiah 2:26). Surely this highlights a restlessness in humans that produces ruin.

    Since everything God Created was “very good” (Genesis 1:31), why did Adam and Eve desire the only thing God didn’t give to them (Genesis 2:15-17)?

    Since God only made one woman to be married to one man (Genesis 2:22-24), why does an individual seek more than one spouse (Genesis 4:19; 28:9; John 4:16-18)?

    Since God only created humans to be “male and female” (Genesis 1:27), why would either physical, birth-sex try to become the other one, either by a surgical operation or by practice (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)?

    Since obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes a person “a new creation” (John 3:5; Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 5:17), why would anyone want to use that as an excuse for leaving spouse and children (1 Corinthians 7:16-24)?

    Since God specifies what spiritual sacrifices Christians must offer in worship (Hebrews 13:15-16; Colossians 3:16; Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2), why would anyone think He would be pleased with anything else?

    Wandering away from God’s “nest” of rules never produces a better life. Jesus said He came “that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). There is no “other” gospel or variation of Jesus’ Gospel that is better than what we have in the Bible: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 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” (Galatians 1:6-10).

    The grass is never greener outside God’s commandments!

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • TFRStaff 5:24 am on 2014-04-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anointing, , worship   

    What does the anointing of Jesus mean? 

    The scripture for today, April 27, is Acts 4:27b as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

    “… your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.”

    In this prayer of early Christians, they acknowledged that God had anointed Jesus. What does anointing mean? In the Old Testament, men were anointed to become the high priest or the king. (More …)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:31 pm on 2014-03-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , worship   

    Looking for a suggestion 

    Most of the time on 5th Sundays we have a Song and Scripture service in the evening. I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned it here before. The gist is that there’s an overall theme that determines the direction and then from there we read some scripture that’s associated with the topic and then follow that with a song to match.

    What I’m looking for is an idea for a theme. In no particular order, other than alphabetical, these are the themes that I have used in the past:

    (More …)

     
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