"All material is written by
Joe R. Price, unless otherwise
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Sometimes people do not understand why Christians believe and live the way we do. This is one reason to be teaching others the gospel. Like God our Savior, Christians want those around them to know about the salvation that is in Christ so they, too, can be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4). This is one reason why God teaches us to be ready always to give an answer to others when they ask us about our hope in Christ (1 Pet. 3:15).
Have you ever been ashamed of something? If so, you know that it is not a good feeling. But, has somebody, maybe somebody you loved and thought a great deal of, ever been ashamed of you? How did that make you feel? If you are like most people you probably didn’t feel good about it at all.
Jesus was not ashamed to die for us. He willingly suffered great pain and humiliation so that we can be freed from our sins and be eternally saved. His love for us caused Him to endure much pain and mistreatment. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing, we must not be ashamed to follow Jesus and obey His commandments. Think how Jesus must feel when we act ashamed of Him around our friends. Remember what happened when Peter denied knowing Jesus (Luke 22:54-62)? Jesus saw Peter’s shameful denial. And, Peter knew he had sinned, and thankfully he repented of his shame of being known as a follower of Jesus. When we are ashamed of Jesus, do we weep bitterly, like Peter, repenting of our sin?
Jesus wants us to be ready to stand up for what is right, even if it means being rejected by our friends (1 Cor. 15:58; 1 Pet. 4:4). This is not always easy to do, but it is the right thing to do. God has promised to reward those who endure such temptations (Jas. 1:12). If we are ashamed of Jesus before others, He will be ashamed of us when He returns: “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brethren (Heb. 2:11-12). Don’t be ashamed to live for Him. “Stand up, stand up for Jesus!”
Prayer in the evening is a special blessing given the people of God. The labors of the day tire us, but the expressions of the heart turned heavenward comfort the weary soul.
Many of King David’s Psalms are in the form of prayers, including Psalms 4. In this evening prayer, David is confident that God hears the prayers of the godly even when ungodly men place obstacles before him. How wonderful to know “the Lord will hear when I call to Him” (Psa. 4:3).
The evening is an important time to pray. Nighttime gives an opportunity to remember the blessings that came that day from God’s hand (Col. 4:2). David was mindful of God’s bounty, so in the evening he prayed with gladness and thanksgiving to God: “There are many who say, ‘Who will show us any good?’ LORD, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us. You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased” (Psa. 4:5-7). Each night, let us join David in expressions of thankful trust in God, our Sustainer.
When the day is over we look for the peace of restful sleep. David found true and lasting peace in the assurance of God’s mercy and protection: “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer…I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety (Psa. 4:1, 8). Trusting God is the essence of faith. It is believing that all God has said will come to pass. Trust obeys, knowing that God rules, and all is well. There is no greater comfort or deeper rest for those who put their faith in God than the rest the Lord gives His people. With Isaiah, our faith affirms, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isa. 26:3).
The evening is a moment in time when we can meditate on how we lived that day; a pause in time, calculated to calm our heart and correct every sin against man and God: “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still” (Psa. 4:4, KJV). Do not go to sleep with sin in your heart; pray for God’s forgiveness and calm your soul.
Remember your evening prayers. Thank God for His blessings of mercy, sustenance and protection. Thank Him for saving you from your sins. Ask for His safety through the night and His aid in the coming day. Seek His forgiveness of every sin: “…know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The LORD will hear when I call to Him…I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (Psa. 8:3, 8)
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:35-38
I. THE CALL TO TEACH THE LOST – Acts 8:4.
Universal Call – Matt. 28:19-20; Rom. 10:13-15.
II. THREE “Cs” TO TEACHING THE LOST – Matt. 9:35-38 (Lk. 15).
Conscious of the Lost – 9:36, 37.
III. THE COURAGE TO TEACH THE LOST: Learning from Moses.
Anxiety/Fear is One of Satan’s Schemes “that it spread no further” – Acts
IV. WHAT IS THE RIGHT METHOD?
One “Right” Method to Exclusion of Others: Emphasize Message, not Method,
Jno. 4:4-26; Acts 8:29-35; 16:25-34; 17:19…
For more on Jehovah's Witnesses, please go to http://www.bibleanswer.com/jwitnesses8.htm
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 43:8-13
I. WHO ARE THEY?
Origin: Rooted in “Second Adventism” of Wm. Russell (cf. 7th-day
Adventists); Founder: Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916).
II. SOME KEY DOCTRINES.
(concept of God is fundamentally flawed).
III. QUESTIONS FOR JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES.
Concl. Jehovah’s Witnesses honor a false God, dishonor the true Christ & hold out a false hope for mankind.
I did not see the funeral of John Paul II. But having only briefly seen the TV news reports and read some Internet news, we can summarize at least some of the things associated with it that are not found in the Bible. This saddens us, since so many people put their hope in a man and a system of faith that is foreign to the word of God. Our intent is not to disrespect the dead, but to respect the word of the living God more than any man, dead or alive. Hence, from the Bible we take issue with the papal burial ceremony because it involved:
1. A false church. The Roman Catholic Church is not the church Jesus built (Matt. 16:18). Its organization, doctrine and rituals are degenerative departures from “the word of the truth of the gospel” that testify of a falling away from “the faith” (Col. 1:5; 1 Tim. 4:1-3). Its papacy did not begin with Peter, but with the traditions of men (Acts 10:25-26).
2. A false worship. The Catholic Mass, supposedly offering the body and blood of Jesus for its participants, blasphemes the sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice for sin (Heb. 10:11-12). There is no changing of substances from bread to body and wine to blood, no “sacrament” of grace; more vain traditions (not to mention burning incense, prayers to Mary and “saints,” etc.) (Matt. 15:7-9).3. A false hope. The hope of the Catholic masses is that John Paul II is looking down from heaven, now interceding on behalf of humanity before the Almighty. No, there is only one Intercessor for mankind, Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). Our hope is not in “the church,” “the pope” or “church tradition,” but in Jesus Christ the Lord (Heb. 6:17-20).
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA