‘Salvation is nearer’ Romans 13.11 VOTD

“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.”

Romans 13.11 ESV

Saints must love one another and live for Christ. The longer they live, the more care they must take in their spiritual walk.

Why do we have a tendency to relax the longer we are in Christ?

#time, #votd, #zeal

January 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Competing Voices)

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

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Competing Voices (Cody Westbrook)
  • Bible Passages (John W. Moore)
  • Faith vs. Doubt (Jason Jackson)
  • Compromise vs. Conviction (Kevin Cauley)
  • Sin vs. Repentance (Pat McIntosh)
  • Complacency vs. Fervency (Jon Williams)
  • Selfishness vs. Selflessness (Rick Brumback)

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.

#complacency, #compromise, #conviction, #doubt, #faith, #inner-voice, #repentance, #resource, #selfishness, #selflessness, #sin, #the-power-of-influence, #zeal

The world is but a thought away

You probably know people who came to Christ late in life or saints who fell away and repented only after years had passed. All of them lament, to one degree or another, the time wasted in the world.

They know how short life is. They are also aware of how much there is to learn and to do in the kingdom of God. They don’t let their regrets immobilize them, however. They are often among the most dedicated servants of the Lord.

We should embrace these former time-wasters. They can help us to see the preciousness of opportunity, the value of time, the urgency of faith. Continue reading

#corollaries, #restoration, #upward, #zeal

‘Does the church have electricity?’

church-lightA brother in Florida mentioned Saturday that the electricity in his home was supposed to be restored in a few hours, after Hurricane Matthew swiped the Atlantic coast headed north. A person asked, “Does the church have electricity?”

The person was referring, of course, to the building where the church met. That’s unfortunately language, but you figure out how to get people to change their vocabulary.

Her question, however, invites reflection on the state of our congregations. Continue reading

#church, #enthusiasm, #life, #zeal

Be humble in your certainty

Avoid swinging from one extreme to another. Be zealous for God, but not in a way that drives people away from him. Be loving and kind, but not at the expense of truth. Do not let a failure of yours to obey the Lord become a license to crucify your brother. Hypocrisy and licentiousness are both abominations to God.

Instead, walk in the light, answer to Jesus, be humble in your certainty, turn faith into faithfulness, live with integrity, speak truth in love, be zealous with knowledge.

It is dangerous to have zeal without knowledge, and the one who acts hastily makes poor choices.
Prov 19 2 NET

#extremes, #moderation, #zeal


Psalm 119:137-144 Tsadde Keeping Right

It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

Psalm 119:137-144  Tsadde                          Keeping Right

Verses 137-138 say, “God is always right;”

Verses 139-141 teach that God’s Word shows what’s right;

Verses 142-144 show one pleased to be forever right;

Verses 137-138: (Verse 137) God, Himself, is “righteous” (upright, unwavering). “Right” can variously be used of: direction (or “left”); morals (or “wrong”); truth (or “lie”), but God is always correct. God’s character is the absolute definition of “righteous,” just as He is “true” (John 3:33), “faithful” (1 Corinthians 1:9), “light” (1 John 1:5), “love” (1 John 4:16). His “judgments” (decisions) are “upright” (not slanted or varied). (Verse 138) God’s “testimonies” (words about His character) are “righteous” and “very faithful” (which isn’t describing an amount, but extent). “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

Verses 139-141: (Verse 139) “Zeal” is passion, but needs to be for the right if “consuming.” This thought is completely given in Psalm 69:9 and there predicted Jesus’ cleansing of the temple (John 2:13-17). Believers should be “zealous” to correct the ignorance of those without God’s Word. (Verse 140) Just as metals are highly valued when refined or purified, God’s servants highly value God’s Word because of its purity. (Verse 141) A person who is “small” (in stature) and “despised” (in popularity) gains self-esteem by remembering God’s “precepts” (words highlighting or supervising the right way).

Verses 142-144: (Verse 142) God’s “right-ness” is “everlasting” (always right), and His “law” (defining the proper direction) is “truth” (accurate, factual). (Verse 143) Though “trouble and anguish” find us, we may always turn to God’s “commandments” (words urging, ordering what is right) which give pleasure and restore confidence in ourselves that we at least please God. (Verse 144) The absolute confidence in life is that God’s “testimonies” are always “right,” thus we live better now and forever when we “understand” them.

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

#bible, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #faith, #god, #gods-word, #obedience, #righteousness, #truth, #understanding, #zeal

A Personal Revival

You can tell when a doctor is passionate about what they do, can’t you? Have you ever seen an athlete not have passion about playing their game? How did that make you feel; especially if they played for your team???

On and on I could go, but the answers to the questions reveal that passion is visible, passion is a driving force, passion reveals how high and how hot the fire is burning on the inside!

What is our passion like for the gospel, for the church, for the work we’re called to do, for the lost or for the Savior who died for us? Is it visible? Is it dying? Is it moving us along full-steam ahead? Or is our lack of passion just burning up our conscience?

The brotherhood is in the habit of holding “Gospel Meetings,” and there’s nothing wrong with that per say; we have them at Keltonburg too. But to be honest, I believe we need revivals! We need congregational and individual revivals! We need to stoke some fires! We need to take a good long look in the mirror called God’s Word (James 1:21-25).

Are we burning bright for Jesus like John the baptizer did (a.k.a. the baptist; John 5:35) or are we fading out and blending in with the world like Demas did (2 Timothy 4:10)?

Do we need a personal revival? I may be asking the “wrong room,” but maybe this will encourage all of us to keep an eye on what fuel we’re burning and how much of it we have left in the tank.

Related Article:

#passion, #revival, #zeal

Take a Temperature

Of all the advances of medical science during the last 100 years, the most overlooked ones are those improvements in diagnosis.

In 1912, it was difficult to catch diseases at an early stage because there was no way to see inside the human body. Currently, there are several methods: doctors can use x-rays, cat scans (computerized axial tomography) or magnetic resonance testing. In less than five minutes and without much risk to the patient, physicians can see what would have taken exploratory surgery in 1912.

Yet, even though doctors have all these wonderful machines at their command, simple diagnostic tasks continue to be used that can reveal an amazing amount of information about a person’s illness.

An elevated body temperature can determine if there is an infection, inflammation or other inflammatory disease inside the body. While at the time the temperature is taken, a nurse can also count respirations per minute and the pulse rate. Elevated temperatures and increased pulse rates are very suggestive of certain diseases.

While a lower body temperature may not indicate any serious disease, a dropping temperature may signal a problem within a patient’s brain. Lower body temperatures are seen in cases of shock because of blood loss. Close to death, a person’s body temperature will drop and continue dropping. Brain tumors also cause a reduction in the ability of the body to maintain its temperature.

So, a simple test may say just as much as some of the more complex and expensive machines.

Want to determine the spiritual health of a church or an individual Christian? Take the temperature. In a healthy church or person, the temperature for Christ will be very high. You can see the fervor in their attitudes. In a not-so-healthy church or Christian, the fervor will be low. Such attitudes will show a lack of love, concern for the lost and a disregard for the need to teach the gospel.

Jesus warned one church in Revelation 3:15-16 of its decreasing temperature. The Laodicean church was lukewarm; it was neither cold nor hot. It had lost its fervor for its Lord. It had fallen into a desperately ill condition. Its people had become so self-sufficient the church believed it didn’t need anything. It needed to catch fire for the Lord. It needed its temperature to rise.

Want to find out what your spiritual condition is? All one needs to do is take a temperature.

#serving-the-lord, #zeal

Ideas to revive a church? Do everything …

Ideas to revive a church?

Do everything with passion and zeal, for it is written, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…” (Ecc 9.10).

Why do I mention this? Because outsiders notice whether we do things with passion and zeal or not. Members of the church notice it.

Who wants to be part of a church where the members do not appear to care? People want to be around others who believe in what they are doing. If you preach without zeal, or clean the building without zeal, or whatever it is, people will think that you truly do not believe what you say and what you do.

#passion, #zeal

What needs to be restored?

Pardon my tardiness on responding to the daily nudge, “What needs to be restored?” I’ve been on business travel, but did want to respond. I think this is a very important question and one we should be constantly asking ourselves. After all, we are commanded to examine ourselves.

I believe one of the biggest things that needs to be restored is zeal and enthusiasm for Christ, His church, and His mission. It has been said that 80% of the work in any congregation is done by 20% of the members. Sadly, this does seem to be the norm. So many seem to think that showing up when the doors are open (or worse, once a week to take the Lord’s supper) is all that is required of them. Zealous people are not pew-warmers. Zealous people will be as the early church, teaching everywhere they go. If we are on fire for the Lord, then the church WILL grow. I fear we as God’s people are very much lukewarm and complacent. That needs to change, or the Lord will spew us out of His mouth!

#enthusiasm, #lukewarm, #restoration, #restore, #zeal, #zealous

In a word

The Daily Nudge asks, “A single key word, and why key?”

Zeal. Because that’s what took Jesus to the cross.

His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will devour me.” John 2:17 NET