At our jobs many of the things we do, have to be repeated or done again. Some are done daily, some are done weekly, some monthly, and some quarterly. Regardless of how often it is done, it becomes a routine thing you do after time. Like cleaning the house, fixing meals, fueling the car. If you’re a little older like me, taking your meds. All the things we do over and over in our lives usually become very routine after time and we do it without a lot of thought. There it is, the point, doing it without a lot of thought.
When we come together at the assembly we should not be here to just do things routinely without thought. We should be excited to join together and build one another up and sing praises to our God. Not just singing but thinking of the words we sing with melody in our hearts. Listening to the words spoken by the preacher and meditate on them, applying them in our daily life. When we commune together for the Lord’s supper to remember the sacrifice of Jesus for all our sins, shall we never allow it to just become routine in our minds. I write this to show the importance of doing all these things we are told to do by God’s word with meaningful purpose and very deep thought. Think of all the things that the Lord, whom had all the power of God while on earth, allowed man to do to Him.
Read in Mark’s account, in Mark 15:13-ff, of all that our Lord had to endure for us to be forgiven, the unjust trial, the mocking and being spat on. The crown of thorns being pressed down piercing His skin. Then being beaten and scourged until you could see the bone through the deep cuts on His back. Then He was turned over to the crowd to be led to Golgotha to be crucified. Nailed to a cross to die a death that He chose to die for you and me. A debt we can in no way repay but a sacrifice that we can remember. How can we as the beneficiaries of such love and sacrifice ever let our remembrance of His love become routine.
I hope and pray that each of us every Lord’s day think deeply on the love poured out on that cross. The sacrifice, the empty tomb and the ascension to heaven so we too may be with Him someday on His return. Never allow such an important part of our service to become routine. Love Him as He Loved you with all your mind and all your heart.
In Him, Chuck
It's an old saying in the sports world but in many cases it is very untrue. Pain is something that can last a lifetime here on earth due to injuries or illness. Great way for a coach to push his team a little harder and motivate them to work harder to win the game. If they win they get some bragging rights and stories of glorious wins for many years. I still remember how good the 1976 Ripon High football team was and how far they went with their wins in the state playoffs. Those kind of stories will be remembered a long time here by some and may seem like a glory that lasts forever, but what happens here is very temporary but can determine whether the pain or the glory lasts forever.
Life here on earth can seem like a long time to our mind, at least when we are young. It seems the older you get the faster it goes. For our mind to understand forever is hard for some minds very hard to fathom. To live in pain and torment forever, even if that were just your time here, should frighten anyone.
We can choose, yes it’s our choice, to spend our forever in glory or pain. 1 John 2:17 (The world is passing away, and also it's lust; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.) Hebrews 7:24-25 (but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.) Jude 1:20-21 (But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.) Living forever with God sounds like a glorious loving way to go.
What if we choose to not live for God or not have Jesus to intercede for us because we separate ourselves from God. Revelation 14:9-11 (then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a load voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives the mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night.) This kind of torment certainly does not sound like the way to spend forever.
Pain is temporary, and glory last forever. Or does it? It is our choice on our forever. Live for God forever in glory or in His wrath forever in pain. I pray you choose to have glory last forever and if you’re not sure how, let us help you find your way. Please don't choose pain forever for some temporary glory in this short life here.
In Him, Chuck
When it is announced that someone is sick, DO YOU send them a card, offer help, visit them in the hospital, or get irritated with announcements about people you don't even know?
When new souls are added to the church, new members place membership, or people respond asking for prayers, DO YOU introduce yourself and welcome them and encourage them?
When there isn't enough fellowship, DO YOU invite Christians into your home or plan and carry out activities for others?
When no one seems friendly, DO YOU become a friend to someone in need, make it your place to greet visitors, or invite people who are weak into your home?
When Bible classes are provided, DO YOU attend faithfully and encourage others to do so, prepare your lesson, contribute to the class discussion or sit with your mouth shut waiting for the class to become more interesting?
When someone is absent from the assembly, DO YOU call to find out why, exhort and encourage them, offer transportation or even notice that they are missing?
When there is a special program, DO YOU help advertise the meeting, invite others to come, encourage others to participate in a Bible study, support the effort with your attendance or ignore the whole thing?
1 Thess 3:11-13 11 aNow may bour God and Father cHimself and Jesus our Lord ddirect our way to you; 12 and may the Lord cause you to increase and aabound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; 1
DO YOU abound in LOVE for your fellow man? We cannot always do all that is on this list but let us try to do all we can.
Have you ever thought back on a day and wished you could get another shot at it so you could get it right? I know I have. I'm sure we all have moments we would like to do different or better.
The problem is, of course, once it's done, it's done. When you have put yourself out there and said or done something it is out there. This is why as Christians we should be careful in speech and in our actions. The truth of it is if people know you are a Christian, and they hopefully do, then they watch how you live, what you say and how you act. Sometimes you feel like you’re under a microscope but we should be ok with it because as Christian people we need to strive to be that example of how God wants us to live. You may only get one shot at helping someone find Christ and we want to plant a positive thought in one’s mind.
When I was young and not yet a Christian, I had friends that went to church and friends that did not go. The problem with what I was seeing is that there was no differences between them except some went to church on Sunday. When church got out we would go hang out and there was no difference in speech or in actions. So what is a person to think then?
Why should a person spend time in church if we all act and live the same anyway? Now there are some that live a good moral life and still don't know Christ and there are some that don't have great morals and values. The friends I had that went to church were not being the example I needed to bring me to Christ, if anything they were probably allowing me to influence their lives. Not the way God would want us to be in actions or speech. Not that I was a terrible person but I was no Christian and needed someone to teach me, not get out of church and be like me.
1 Peter 4:1-2 "Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God."
When you become a Christian some will not understand why you don't run in the same circle with them anymore and may give you a hard time, maybe some in your family. Believe me, I know. Don't allow yourself to be discouraged just surround yourself with the Christian love and strength found in God’s family. If you fall down it’s ok as long as you get back up on the right path and keep living for Christ. We are not perfect, no one is but He. So we will mess up at times and want a do over. Say you’re sorry and move forward and don't try to relive a day that can't be changed.
In Him, Chuck
My Brothers and Sisters, who is seeking to serve the Lord Jesus in the best way they can? When we read the example that Jesus gave us, are we doing our very best to conform to the example He gave us? Can we say we are putting the Lord first? In a song we sing the chorus goes like this “do they know we are Christians by our love.”
Our duty in life is to lift up the Lord Jesus before a lost world. Our lights need to be shinning before them and not indifferent towards the lost.
All we need to do is look at Calvary to see the cost that Jesus paid to save us from Hell. I know that motivates me, I have no desire to spend eternity lost in Hell. Yes, it is a privileged to serve the Lord, something each of us should have the strongest desire to do. It will be worth it when Judgement Day comes. What words will we hear, well done or the dreaded words depart from me I know you not? Remember this, it will take effort to serve Him: and anything worth having is worth working for. God word say, “let’s work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 What a privilege we have to serve the Lord.
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