Wednesday, February 17, 2016
A very nice lady who comes to our church almost every Sunday morning asked me why I go back Sunday night. Do I sin so much in the afternoon that I need to?
Let me assure you that if sleeping after Sunday dinner is a sin, I would be guilty, but that's about the extent of our afternoon activities. I simply enjoy attending services - and I believe the Bible tells us to:
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25 KJV)
When it comes to Christ’s return, no one knows the date – but we do know we are closer today than yesterday, and we’re headed in that direction. Exhorting one another – building each other up to do the Lord’s will and increase faith.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)
In our church, Pastor teaches from the Bible. Our doctrine is encased in God’s word and it builds our faith when we study to see if what is said is so. We need to know what we believe and why. That’s best done with others as questions are asked and answered – or debated and explained. Paul gives us that importance just a few verses ahead:
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:14-15 KJV)
It’s important to understand the difference between the church building where meetings are held and The Church. Once that is understood, we can use several examples – like not leaving our feet at home while we travel (or maybe our brain?):
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12 KJV)
Please take time to read this chapter on your own, and indulgence me jumping a few verses ahead:
For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? (1 Corinthians 12:14-16 KJV)
Do you not like other Christians? There are, most likely, some reason not to – but our commandment directs otherwise:
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35 KJV)
Not my standard, but Christ’s. And it is with our fellow Christians that we can be the closest to Him:
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20 KJV)
I enjoy my time at services in church, at meetings where few or many are gathered in His name. When I find I don’t (which I have in the past) it is up to me to find out why and what needs changing. It is never the Bible nor is it Christ.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
This thought came from a movie I saw recently where one of the characters states that getting their situation across to others would be impossible without a common frame of reference. That sent me on a search for how to reach a common frame of reference when none exists. Thus I landed on "ChangingMinds.org" and their welcome:
Welcome to ChangingMinds.org, the largest site in the world on all aspects of how we change what others think, believe, feel and do. There are already around 7000 pages here, all free and with much more to come!And an explanation of who they are:
We are a consulting and publishing company. The principal consultant and author of this site is David Straker, an individual with a long background in a range of mind-changing areas, including (in no particular order) counseling, psychology, marketing, sales, education, business change, international management and consulting. Oh yes, and parenting. And four postgraduate qualifications in changing mindsI found all of this interesting because I would like to see some people change their minds. Not for any type of business, but because I’m interested in spending eternity in their company.
You see, our savior, Jesus, came to change people’s minds and their lives. He succeeded with enough people that a never-out-of-publication book is available today to read about what He did and said.
There are other books, too, of a completely different persuasion.
Some offer no hope after this life, intent on convincing readers there is no eternal life. They’ll tell you that existence is temporary. Others tell of different methods of reaching entirely different eternities. Thus, a common reference does not exist. But – we can all research and check what has been told in the past, so let’s begin with that in common.
Now I ask you to consider one verse in the New Testament:
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11 KJV)
That’s all I ask a reader to do. Pick up a Bible and read it with an open mind.
Of course, that’s an intimidating request if you begin with Genesis 1:1. Therefore, I’d like to recommend you begin with a small book that – I believe – is a somewhat concise conveyance of the Gospel message. Let’s begin with the Pulpit Commentary notes on the first four verses:
It declares the writer's authority, based on personal experience; announces the subject-matter of his Gospel, to which this Epistle forms a companion; and states his object in writing the Epistle.In the opening of both, he describes Jesus as the Word:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 KJV)
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (1 John 1:1 KJV)
Both have a third chapter, sixteenth verse that speaks love:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:16 KJV)
Ready to start?