‘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

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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.

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#passion, #revival, #zeal