Archives for : April2013

MAKING THINGS RIGHT

There was a British writer by the name of Frederick Lonsdale. Lonsdale was a member of this club in London, and one New Year’s Eve, he was attending a club gathering and was asked by a friend to reconcile with a fellow club member. It seems that Lonsdale and this other fellow had quarreled in the past and never restored their friendship. And so Lonsdale’s friend told him, “You really need to try to make things right. It is very unkind to be unfriendly at such a time as this. Go over now and wish him a happy New Year.”

As the story goes, Lonsdale reluctantly crossed the room and spoke to his enemy. He said, “I wish you a happy New Year, but only one.” Forgiveness can be a difficult thing. And one of the biggest problems between husbands and wives, friends, and members of the body of Christ who struggle in their relationship with one another are those interpersonal problems that remain unresolved.

I’m not talking about those petty little annoyances and offenses that come our way from time to time. Solomon said, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.” (Proverbs 10:12) Not every little thing that rubs you wrong needs to be brought up and hammered out. Some things we’re able to overlook just because we’ve learned not to get offended at every little thing that goes wrong.

But sometimes there is a problem in a relationship that can’t be ignored. It’s causing a problem and it’s not going to just go away. And in those situations, loose ends need to be tied up and taken care of. Forgiveness needs to be sought. Forgiveness needs to be extended. Either way, it can be a tough thing to do, but it’s crucial if we want to preserve a good relationship.

Jesus said, “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone….” (Matthew 18:15).

He also said, “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23)

Seek to be reconciled. If you have done wrong, apologize and make it right. If you have been done wrong, summon up the courage to say (without anger or resentment), “You hurt me. What was that all about?” And be prepared to forgive! We can’t be right with God until we’re right with each other.

Alan Smith

Jesus Is Lord

In his book Jesus and Power, David Prior saw little use in a distinction between the terms “power” and “authority.”

The importance of that distinction can be seen in Micah 2:1 where evil people carry out their plans to sin “because they have the power to do so” (NET). Certainly, no authority inheres in their plans or activities.

What one has the power to do does not mean one is authorized to do it. Authority means the right to exercise power.

Jesus has both power and authority.

In the Great Commission, the Lord plainly states:

Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

This passage tells us at least five things about Jesus’ authority.

1. Complete Authority. Jesus has “all authority.” He uses a common Jewish construction which we call a divine passive. The passive verb is understood to have God behind it as the subject or acting force. With all authority given him by his Father, no one ever has any space to dispute an order or decision of his.

Jesus detains today all authority in matters of faith, practice and mission. No one today has authority to impose on others. The only time a disciple has authority is when he speaks God’s word (Titus 2:15) — and the authority is still God’s, not his.

2. Exercised Authority. Based on his authority, Jesus gives orders: “Therefore.” He makes use of his authority to command his people, so his is not an authority that can be ignored, bypassed or substituted. Christ is not an absent or inactive Master.

3. Benevolent Authority. Jesus wields his authority for good. Making disciples and baptism brings forgiveness to the world. At the beginning of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus declares that he has authority on earth to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6). His authority does not send us out for humanitarian relief, political action or benevolent causes, but for the spiritual redemption of all, the greatest good that can be done for another.

4. Specific Authority. Jesus does not leave it to our imagination as to how a disciple is made. By the two participles in the phrase, he orders that we make disciples through baptism and teaching. Baptism is the response to the preaching of the gospel. Jesus sends us into the world to preach and teach. Jesus’ authority is specific, and that means when he specifies, we forget all other options.

5. Supported Authority. “I am with you always.” Jesus does not send us on an impossible task. His presence guarantees his help and strength. Whatever he commands us to do, we can by his help perform.

What does having all authority make Jesus? Lord of lords, and King of kings!

–J. Randal Matheny @ www.forthright.net

Being an encourager

A HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR was startled to see a patient fleeing down the hall from the operating room…

He stopped the patient and asked, “Do you mind telling me why you ran away from the operating room?”  The patient looked at him with startled eyes and said, “It was because of what the nurse said!”  The administer inquired, “Oh?  What did she say?”  “She said, ‘Be brave!  An appendectomy is quite simple.'”  To which the administrator replied, “Well, so what?  It is a simple procedure.  I would think her words would comfort you!”  The patient said, “I’ll tell you so what!  The nurse said it to the doctor!”

In Romans 12 Paul tells us that one of the gifts that exists in the church is exhortation.  The word literally means a “calling to one’s side for the purpose of giving comfort.”  The word we would probably use is encouragement.

We all need a word of encouragement on occasion.  There are times when each of us struggles with his or her role in the church.  Some feel as though the only functions of profit are the “high visibility” jobs, such as teaching or leading in some public way.  But if we all need to be encouraged, it seems that the one who encourages fills as a useful function as anyone in the church (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:14-26).

The greatest thing about being an encourager is that everyone can do it.  It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort, but it does take some.  It can be done in person, by mail, email, or phone.  You never know how much a word of encouragement is needed or how much good it can do.  Solomon said, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).  Mark Twain said he could live a week on a compliment.  (Mike Greene)

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us…if a man’s gift is…encouraging, let him encourage” (Romans 12:6, 8 NIV).

Mike Benson

LifeHacker.com

“Life-Hacking”

According to definitions I’ve found on the Internet, a “hack” is “a productivity technique used by programmers to solve an everyday problem” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hack). My desire to learn this definition was aroused by a web site I’ve been frequenting lately: LifeHacker.com. Each day there are two or three dozen tips or suggestions on a variety of topics. Occasionally one of them relates to a need I have.

Each day LifeHacker mentions new software programs and apps that others have found useful. There are also odd contributions, such as an item found on today’s edition: “Use plastic wrap to protect furniture or fixtures when painting narrow, hard-to-reach places”. Earlier this week we were told how to bake a turkey and guarantee moist white meat (apply an ice pack to the turkey before baking it – honest!). You never know what you’ll find on LifeHacker, and that’s part of its appeal.

It’s human nature, I suppose, to be interested in better and easier ways of doing things. Who doesn’t appreciate hearing where gasoline can be found at the lowest cost? You know how to get rid of those pesky sugar ants that appear in warm weather? Tell me, please. Whether you call it “life-hacking” or a scoop or whatever, if it will improve the way I live my life, I am seriously interested.

There is no better place to go for life-improvement suggestions than God’s word. God is the One who created us; shouldn’t He be trusted for the best tips on how to live? That’s the claim often made in the word of God.

The wise man made this claim in Proverbs 13:15: “Good understanding gains favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.” Have we not seen this principle demonstrated repeatedly? Some think they can enrich themselves by skirting the law, perhaps by selling drugs or scamming unsuspecting folks out of their hard-earned money. But are they truly living a better life? Are they not constantly looking over their shoulders, going from one infraction to another? Many eventually are busted.

Consider another statement in that same passage: “Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored” (Proverbs 13:18). Humility and patience are required to learn from our mistakes. Some, though, choose to stubbornly push ahead despite the correction they’re offered, and learn too late that their way just won’t work.

Cain and Abel were brothers, sons of Adam and Eve. When Cain became jealous of his brother’s acceptance by God, his anger burned. God warned Cain about that anger: “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Genesis 4:7). Cain could have benefited from God’s warning, but he chose to ignore it. In the end, he took his brother’s life and forever after bore the consequences.

Looking for a “hack” for your life? Here’s the best I know: “The thief [Satan] does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Abundant life! That’s the offer Jesus makes to anyone.

No one is forced to welcome Jesus into their life. But knowing how life is improved when He is Lord should be reason enough to gladly receive Him. (Read Galatians 3:26,27 for a quick statement of how to receive Him.)

Timothy D. Hall

How long can a bare-footed person stand in a bucket of ice water?

YEARS AGO AN experiment was conducted to measure people’s capacity to endure pain…

How long could a bare-footed person stand in a bucket of ice water?  It was discovered that when there was someone else present offering encouragement and support, the person standing in the ice water could tolerate paiin twice as long as when no one else was present. (John C. Maxwell, Encouragement Changes Everything, 25)

THOUGHT: Could it also be the case that elders could serve twice as long, preachers could work twice as long, and members could be faithful twice as long, if they had someone holding their hands and encouraging them?  I believe that this is the case.  As you know, the book of Hebrews was written to those who were discouraged and in danger of falling away.  The inspired writer of this book often exhorted brethren to encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25).  In the twelfth chapter, we read these words, “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (v. 12).  (Wade Webster)

“But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”  Exodus 17:12

Mike Benson

The law of sowing and reaping

EVER PLANT A garden…?

Or maybe just a few flowers in a bed or a plant in a pot?  Something makes it possible for the gardener to function, or a farmer to produce a crop is a “law” of nature.  “Law” really isn’t a very good word, but because it really is just an observation of the consistency of nature.  Whatever kind of seed is planted is the kind of plant that will be produced.  A farmer can know that when he plants wheat, that wheat is the plant that will grow.  It is not random or arbitrary.  Wheat seed produces wheat plants and corn seed produces corn plants.  Farmers and gardeners can count on it.

What is just as true, though not as readily recognized, is that this same “law” applies in all of life.  Whatever a person sows, that is what they will reap.  To think otherwise is not only ludicrous, it also mocks God.

We have two choices.  We either sow to the flesh or the spirit.  This same letter outlines the differences between living according to the flesh and according to the spirit (Galatians 5:16-18).  Sowing to the flesh is involvement in the “deeds of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19-21).  The consequence os involvement in these is corruption and exclusion from God’s kingdom (Galatians 5:21; 6:8).  This is the harvest resulting from sowing those seeds.  Just as surely as planting wheat seeds results in a harvest of wheat.  We can count on it.  (David Deffenbaugh, Bill McFarland)

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”  Galatians 6:7

–Mike Benson

Time to start thinking about modesty!

It never ceases to amaze me. Summer temps rise and people begin wearing clothes that leave little to the imagination. In fact, Adam and Eve’s fig leaves may have covered more skin.

The first man and woman were as innocent in thought and action as little children. However, immediately following their disobedience in the Garden, the couple’s eyes were opened. They recognized their nakedness, felt guilt and shame, and tried to cover themselves with leaves from a fig tree. Even at that, they hid themselves. This establishes a basic truth: if people are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, they should recognize the wrongness of immodest clothing. God was not satisfied with their leafy attire. He made them tunics of animal skin (Genesis 3:21).

Most people would affirm the rightness of wearing clothes. The question then becomes what is modest and immodest?

First, we should consider what God desires. He wants women to be clothed in a way that does not draw attention to outward appearance – neither immodest or flashy (1 Tim. 2:9-10). God wants women to be clothed with humility, self-control, and good works (1 Peter 3:3-4). A woman’s outward adornment is just a reflection of the character within.

A second thing to consider is the basic difference between men and women. God created men to be visual and tactile (to see and do). He made women to be verbal and emotional (to speak and feel). These differences are perfect in a marriage setting. Young, unmarried women may be naive about this fundamental difference. However, mature women have no excuse.

Men are extremely vulnerable when they see us dressed immodestly. God does not want any Christian to be a stumbling block to others (Romans 14:12-13).

Men define immodest dress as:

• low-waist pants or jeans

• midriff showing

• bare shoulders – strapless tops and dresses

• low necklines – showing cleavage

• thin or sheer tops

• tight or form-fitting clothes

• short skirts

• short-shorts

• visible underwear

Based on their definition, the following questions and mirror test should also help a woman decide what kind of clothing to wear:

Questions –

• Would you wear these clothes if you were meeting Jesus?

• Do you have to tug or pull on this garment?

• Will these clothes help you guard the souls of Christian brothers?

• Could you talk to a man or young man about the Lord?

Mirror test

• Stand in front of a full length mirror (wearing the shoes you have selected)

• Sit in a chair and cross your legs

• Bend over slightly to see if your neckline is too revealing

A woman’s immodest clothing can become a major stumbling block to men. It is unfortunate, but true, that some women come to worship wearing garments that cause their brothers to drift toward sin. The church should be a place of shelter for the minds of men. Some women will quickly counter that men are accountable. This is true. But women are accountable, too. Moms are accountable for the example they set for their girls. Moms and Dads are accountable for the clothes they buy for their girls.

Immodest clothing is seen often in the good ole’ summertime, but is seen in other seasons, too. It is definitely a cultural problem which has seeped into the church. We cannot control the way women of the world dress and influence our husbands or sons. But, we can control what we wear and what we purchase for our daughters. As Christian women, we can refuse to be part of the problem.

Today’s Verse: Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God (1 Peter 3:3-4).

By Teresa Hampton

Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour

TEMPTATIONS AND DISTRACTIONS seem more alluring during times when we’re “on empty…”

In the press of life, if there aren’t sufficient and appropriate escapes, we become susceptible to unsuitable ones.

In Luke 4, Jesus gives us a lesson in life essentials.  Concerning His marathon forty-day fast, the biblical account says:  “He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.  And the devil said to Him…” (Luke 4:2-3).

It’s no accident that the Evil One came calling in our Savior’s moment of human vulnerability.  That’s his usual plan of attack.  That’s Temptation 101.  The adversary lurks in the shadows of vulnerable moments in our lives.  Like an uncomplaining sniper squatting in a darkened second-story room, he squints patiently into his high-powered scope, waiting for an opportune time to squeeze off a shot at his unsuspecting target.

We all need emotional steam valves to let off pressure.  When the stresses of life press in, if we can’t equalize the pressure, the external weight overwhelms us.  Without appropriate ways to fill our tanks, we become prone to unhealthy substitutes.  Affairs, casual pornography, excessive alcohol, prescription medication, or illicit drugs–all are counterfeit stand-ins that lure us into unhealthy, tragic choices.  Wayne Cordeiro, “Finding the Still Waters,” Leading On Empty, 94

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  1 Peter 5:8

Mike Benson

Why to always be thankful

Someone has written some rather interesting things for which he is thankful. I thought I would share them with you.

*  I am thankful for the taxes I pay because it means I am employed.

*  I am thankful for the clothes that fit a little snug because it means I have enough to eat.

*  I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing and gutters that need cleaning because it means

*  I have a house to live in.

*  I am thankful for my utility bill because it means I am staying warm.

*  I am thankful for the complaining I hear about our government because it means we  have freedom of speech.

*  I am thankful about the person who sings off key in church because it means I can hear.

*  I am thankful for the piles of laundry in my home because it means that me and my family

*  I have clothes to wear.

*  I am thankful for the weary, aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.

When we view life like this man does, it’s really difficult NOT to be thankful regardless of who and where we are, or our life’s situation.  The question becomes: “To whom shall we be thankful?” and “How do we demonstrate our gratitude?”  Psalm 100 tells us that God is to be the recipient of all our thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving” is a priority commandment of God (Ephesians 3:20;  1Thessalonians 5:18). We demonstrate our thanksgiving toward God only by means of worship, loving and living His Word. I sincerely hope that you have the proper attitude of Thanksgiving to God, not only during this holiday week, but everyday of the year.

–Toby Miller

Not everyone who has eyes, sees

THE DAY OF Jesus’ resurrection was a day of disbelief…

The apostles thought the first report of Jesus’ resurrection was “nonsense” and they “would not believe” (Luke 24:11).  Two other disciples spent significant time with Jesus on that day without recognizing Him (Luke 24:16).  His appearance tot he gathered apostles late in the day resulted in misidentification (Luke 24:37).

The day of Jesus’ resurrection also became a day of belief and understanding.  The two disciple’s eyes were opened (v. 31).  The apostles marveled at Jesus’ presence (v. 41).  They understood the things that had transpired were what Scripture had said would happen (v. 45).

The events of this day are both alarming and encouraging.  It is entirely possible for people to hear truth about Jesus and not believe it.  They can encounter Jesus and fail to recognize Him.  They may come face to face with Him and misidentify Him.  People can fail to understand what the Bible has to say about Jesus.

The Bible affirms that, for whatever reason, not everyone who has eyes, sees, and not everyone with ears, hears.  It’s not just a matter of God presenting Himself in such a way that no one could ever doubt or disbelieve.  He has presented Himself in such a way that man might believe.  The fact also remains, though, that many might also not believe.  Our mind and heart and disposition play a part.  (David Deffenbaugh, Bill McFarland)

“And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?'”  Luke 24:31

Mike Benson

25 things you can do to point someone to go heaven

1–Pay a compliment to someone who does not like you or know you very well.
2–Choose the moral high ground, whether it be your speech or attitude or deed, especially if toward someone who has treated you ill.
3–Say a word of encouragement to someone who seems down.
4–Make a brief call, visit, or write someone who is sick, lost, spiritually slipping, or dealing with troubles.
5–Find a way to share the positive difference Christ is making in your life.
6–Spend quality time with your spouse and children.
7–Tell a friend or neighbor about an upcoming event at church and invite them to attend with you.
8–Take a meal, babysit, mow the grass, or do some similar act of service that reveals Christ to them.
9–Share a passage that you have recently found helpful with someone for whom it might have direct application to a life situation.
10–Pray for opportunities to share Christ, look for them, and seize them.
11–Never miss an opportunity to smile and say “hello”–even to STRANGERS!
12–Read your Bible while on the plane, bus, carpool, etc.–it rarely fails to start a spiritual conversation.
13–Spend time studying God’s Word on a subject that will help make you a better soul-winner.
14–Invite a new Christian over for dinner or coffee and dessert.
15–Repay evil with good.
16–Turn the other cheek.
17–Go the second mile.
18–Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt.
19–Redeem the time (people are always watching, even the ones you cannot watch watching you).
20–Pay a kindness to the elderly and the very young–they most need and appreciate it.
21–Contact a missionary, who likely has just been, is, or will soon be under stress or burdened or discouraged.
22–Give a book, tract, or bulletin that might be helpful to a non-Christian over whom you have influence.
23–Offer a sympathetic ear.
24–Shed a sympathizing tear.
25–Fill your life and heart with whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report–good influence will virtually ooze out of your pores.

Neal Pollard

The oldest person ever on record

OLD AS THE HILLS

The census taker knocked on the lady’s door.  She answered all his questions except one.  She refused to tell him her age.

“But everyone tells their age to the census taker,” he said.

“Did Miss Maisy Hill, and Miss Daisy Hill tell you their ages?” she asked.

“Certainly,” he replied.

“Well, I’m the same age as they are,” she snapped.

The census taker simply wrote on the form, “As old as the Hills.”

You may have heard that our nation’s oldest person, a 113-year-old woman, died recently just weeks before her 114th birthday.  The world’s oldest person in the world, according to the Gerontology Research Group, is a Japanese man, who will turn 116 next week. The oldest person ever on record was a Frenchwoman who was 122 when she died in 1997.  All of these could easily be described with the phrase, “As old as the hills.”

But they are all babies when compared with Methuselah.  You recognize his name.  He’s known in the Bible for one thing — being the oldest person mentioned.  969 years old!  That’s a lot of years.  And I think it’s sad. Not that he was so old, but because that’s what he is known for.  He’s not known for his great faith, for his moral courage, or for his righteousness. He’s known for being old.

In fact, if you do the math, you come up with an interesting fact — Methuselah died the year it started flooding.  Was it just a coincidence, or was Methuselah one of the many who perished in that judgment of God?  We don’t know.

I just pray that some day I’ll be remembered, not for the number of years I lived upon this earth, but for the way that I lived while I was here.

“The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31)

Have a great day!

Alan Smith

Love notes

MY HUSBAND AND I dated all through high school and we have boxes and boxes of notes we used to write back and forth…

I loved getting these notes, but it seemed that after we go married these stopped.  One of the things on my list is “I feel loved when you write me love notes.”  This helped him to start writing me love notes again.

Things he or she does every day.  There are things that we do for each other on a daily or weekly basis that become habit or duty.  Make sure you identify thoe things your spouse does on a regular basis that make you feel loved…  As you write your list, consider the issues of time and money.  You should be sure to include things on your list that take practically no time at all to give (e.g., “I feel loved when you wink at me from across the room,” “…tell me that you love me,” “…rub my back or feet,” “…bring me a cup of coffee”) all the way up to things that take lots of time (e.g., “I feel loved when you fix me a four-course meal,” “…spend your day off planting flowers with me,” “…take me away for a long weekend”).  Be sure to include things that cost nothing or very little (e.g., “I feel loved when you kiss me before you leave for work,” “…send me a card in the mail,” “…bring me a single rose”) all the way up to things that could be very expensive.  Remember, it’s a wish list and you won’t necessarily get everything on the list.

It is very important that you be as specific as possible on this list.  Remember the Christmas wish list?  It would not have worked to write down “I want a Barbie” on the list.  How likely would it have been that Mom would pick out exactly which Barbie I wanted?  I had to write, “I want the Barbie with the long red dress and her hair pulled up on top of her head.”  Now Mom could get just the right one.  The same applies to your list.  Give enough details and specifics that your spouse will be sure to get it right.  Don’t say, “I feel loved when you bring me flowers.”  You might get roses, daisies, wild flowers–dandelions.  Be sure to say exactly that you want.  If my list said “I feel loved when you bring me a candy bar from the grocery store,” and he comes home with an Almond Joy, he would definitely see my disappointed face.  However, if he brought me a Butterfinger, I would be his forever.  So don’t leave room for guess work.  Tell him or her exactly what you would like.

Once each of you have finished your list, exchange them.  Be sure to go over everything on the list to be sure you completely understand what each item entails.  Then begin doing at least one thing a week off the list for your spouse.  (Debbie L. Cherry, “Discovering the Treasure of Marriage,” 80-81).

–Mike Benson

Does truth exist?

IN AMERICA, TRUTH in religion is considered an oxymoron…

There is no truth in religion, we are told.  It’s all a matter of taste or opinion.  You like chocolate, I like vanilla.  You like Christianity, I like Islam.  If Buddhism works for you, then it’s true for you.  Besides, you ought not to judge me for my beliefs!  (Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist,” 21).

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6

–Mike Benson

Why We Should Love to Partake of the Lord’s Supper

Growing up in a preacher’s home meant many things, one of which was that we were always the last ones to leave the church building after worship.

There was a time in my earlier years that we were allowed to help clean up the building after the service. We would help pick up papers, put hymn books back in the proper place, and pick up communion cups.

There were always cups and bread in the trays that had not been used, and when no grown-ups were watching, we would eat some of the crackers and drink from some of the cups. As a child, I loved to eat the Lord’s Supper.

Nearly half a century later, I still love to partake of the Lord’s Supper on the first day of every week. However, the reasons are different. Allow me to share just a few reasons why we should love to partake of the Lord’s Supper.

We should love to partake of the Lord’s Supper because it is a constant reminder of the agony our Lord endured for us. “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself.” (Hebrews 12:3) Luke reminds us of the agony that our Lord went through that dreadful, wonderful night (Luke 22:44).

We should love to partake of the Lord’s Supper because we know we are following the Lord’s example and obeying his commands (Matthew 26:26-29; Acts 20:7). Jesus said that he would be with us each time we partake of his supper.

We should love to partake of the Lord’s Supper because it allows us to examine our lives (1 Corinthians 11:27- 29). Every time we partake of the Lord’s Supper we should consider how we are doing in our spiritual growth and our walk with the Lord.

We should love to partake of the Lord’s Supper because it reminds us that we are a part of a family and fellowship that stretches around the world (Acts 2:46).

Every Sunday we are blessed to be able to commune with Christians in our home congregations, as well as Christians throughout the world. We should thank God for the blessings associated with partaking of the Lord’s Supper every Sunday.

by Jeff A. Jenkins @ www.forthright.net

If we want our children to love the church …

My wonderful wife, who is teaching about Elisha to fifth graders tonight, reminded me that the disrespectful, 42 boys who showed such contempt for one who was obviously a prophet (he would be distinct by his clothing, if not by his reputation) were local boys from Bethel.  What is significant about this is that Jeroboam had made Bethel a bastion of backsliding when he led Israel in dividing the kingdom (1 Kings 12:25-13:34).  That is where the wrong priests offered wrong worship at the wrong place and time.  That was the heritage for these boys, who had no respect for a true prophet who they teased, if not bullied, about his bald head.

Where did they learn such disrespect for one who represented healthy, right teaching?  Surely they were influenced both in the home and the culture that had developed (or devolved) around them.  What a lesson for us today.  If we want our children to love the church, to respect elders, preachers, deacons, and other church workers, if we want them to properly prioritize spiritual things, if we want them to avoid worldly words and actions, we had better provide such in the home.  These boys were no doubt emboldened by a pack mentality that validated what was truly invalid, but good “home training” would have helped them avoid such cultural compatriots and such temptation.  Certainly the divine sentiment of training children in the proper way includes bending and molding them, in line with their characteristics and personality, to respect what is godly and right (cf. Prov. 22:6).  Such training will help them avoid trouble in this life, but it will most especially save them from the biggest punishment of all at the end of the way.

–Neal Pollard

Audio Bible study for Revelation 13:1-3

Audio Bible commentary on Revelation 13:1-3:

Ecclesiastes 12:13

WHERE DID WE come from…?

Who are we?  Why are we here?  How should we live?  Where are we going?

The answers to each of these questions depend on the existence of God.  If God exists, then there’s ultimate meaning and purpose to your life.  If there’s real purpose to your life, then there’s a real right and wrong way to live it.  Choices you make now not only affect you here but will affect you in eternity.  On the other hand, if there is no god, then your life ultimately means nothing.  Since there is no enduring purpose to life, there’s no right or wrong way to live it.  And it doesn’t matter how you live or what you believe–your destiny is dust.  (Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek)

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep Hhis commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”  Ecclesiastes 12:13

Mike Benson

Get with it, this is the twenty-first century!

RELATIVISTS OFTEN CONFUSE the changing behavioral situation with the unchanging moral duty…

For example, when discussing a moral topic like premarital sex or cohabitation, you often hear people in support of it say something like, “Get with it, this is the twenty-first century!” as if current behaviors dictate what’s right and wrong.  To illustrate the absurdity of the relativist’s reasoning, you need only to turn the discussion to a more serious moral issue like murder, which also occurs much more frequently in America today that it did fifty years ago.  How many relativists would speak in support of murder by asking us to “Get with it, this is the twenty-first century!”?  That’s where their reasoning takes them when they confuse what people do with what they ought to do.  (Norman L. Geisler, Frank Turek)

“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:32

Mike Benson

People focus on the wrong thing

Our world often pays a great deal of attention to a person’s race.  What really matters is the color of a person’s “robe” (Rev. 7:13-14).

Brad Price
www.lordletmegrow.com