We Can Keep on Keeping On

Yesterday we considered why we quit.  We looked at what potentially leads us away from God and His people – His Kingdom thephoto Church. Even with all that is against us we can keep on keeping on. We can “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Cor 15:58)”

How Can We Endure?

  1. Know Satan’s ploys.
  2. Know our own tendencies.
  3. Work on MYSELF.
  4. Help each other.
  5. Purpose of assembly.
  6. Encouragement
  7. To learn

How Can Avoid Falling Away:

  1. Remove all occasions to stumble.
  2. Help each other deal with temptation.
  3. Be Spiritually minded.
  4. Engage in godly activities.
  5. Surround self with good influences.
  6. Know / learn the Truth.

- Scott

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Why do we quit?

Through they years I started a lot of projects. Many of them I never completed. Through the years, I made myself many promises such as, I will eat better, exercise more, become healthier.  Those resolutions last a few weeks.  Why do I quit?  More importantly, why do fall short on my promises to God?

  1. Hearts That are Not Pure: Prov 4:23, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Impure WIN_20140123_092714hearts can lead us to think bad of others. They can lead to confusion about what is right and wrong. Impure hearts promote hatred and distrust between people.
  2. Attacks from Satan: Satan looks for moments of weakness and the areas of our life that are weakest. Notice how he used Simon’s weakness for notoriety as well as Simon’s love of money to manipulate him in Acts 8:9-21. Satan knows your weaknesses.
  3. Bad Company: Our parents were and are correct, it is important to be careful whom you choose as friends.  The apostle Paul said it this way Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’ 1 Cor 15:33.” This was Solomon’s downfall as he allowed the influence of those closest to him lead him to neglect keeping God first.
  4. Sin is Fun!!! Heb 11:25 says that Moses chose “rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” If sin was not fun, why would we want to do it? But notice the pleasure sin are fleeting – temporary at best.
  5. Persecution: Standing for what is right brings opposition. We may not face the same persecution that the early church did. We may never have to literally decide between death or life. We will have to choose what is right over what is easy and will face ridicule and ostracism. But remember, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” Joh 15:19-20. AS Noah learned, the crowd may laugh, but keep building your ark.

What can we do to protect ourselves and others from these things? How can we stay faithful and strong?  I will list some suggestions tomorrow, but what are you thinking?  Leave a comment.

- Scott

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For Sale

I met with a realtor yesterday. We will soon be putting our house on the market. Since accepting the position as preaching minister at

Our House in a snow a winter or two ago.  It is For Sale!

Our House in a snow a winter or two ago. It is For Sale!

Central Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa, I have been driving about 94 miles round trip to my study. Thinking about selling our house brought to mind an old article I read years ago.  The article asked, “Is Home for Sale?”

Well, is your home for sale?  Not the physical structure in which you dwell, but your home – your family unit. Homes (families) sell out every day because of moral and spiritual indebtedness – make that bankruptcy. We sell out because of societal pressures, tolerance of sin, materialism, unfaithfulness, bitterness, immorality, and the list goes on.  Even if we never move away form our house, we might have already sold our home.

How can we tell?  What are conditions that lead to selling our homes – our families?

  1. Preoccupied Parents:  Parents that are so busy with their lives and what they think they need to do that they do not spend time with their children.  Even youth sports can keep us from spending time with our children.  The time I am talking about, the time that we are neglecting is: reading to / with them; helping them with school work or projects; praying with them; sitting down to a meal with them; baking cookies with them; laughing hysterically with them at nonsensical childish things; just spending large quantities of time with them.
  2. Distant Extended Family: The mobility of our society puts miles between grandparents and grandchildren, cousins, as well as aunts and uncles. There was a time with families lived nearby and we learned from each other, grew up together, got into trouble together, and learned the importance of faith and family.
  3. The Invasion of Media Sources: Today many families have multiple TVs, computers, tablets, smart phones, video gaming systems, streaming movies, and all forms of amusement at their finger tips. We seem to spend more and more time with devices and visual stimulation than we do with each other in conversation and play. There is a place for all of these media devices in our lives, but they can quickly control our time and separate us from family.
  4. A Lack of Knowledge of God’s Will: Hosea records that God’s people then were destroyed because of a lack of knowledge (Hos 4:6) and we learn at the end of Joshua and the book of Judges that God’s people are always just a generation away from turning away from God. Faith based traditions and Godly actions keep families (homes) together.

Maybe you are looking at the four items above and wondering what you can do to keep from selling your home, from selling your family to the world. I have a couple of suggestions:

  • Know God’s Plan for the Home: God created family. He knows what is best for us. Look to His Word as a guide for our individual lives as Mom, Dad, Son, or Daughter. Follow His guide for life as a family (cf. Eph 6:1-4).
  • Get Together as a Family: Turn off the electronics, gather together in a common room, pull out a board game, a book, better yet the Bible, then do things together.  Leave the house, go out to eat or on  a family picnic. Go to the lake or the forest. Tour a museum. Talk about what life was like back when.  Spend TIME together. Go visit the grand parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Be a family!

- Scott

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Which Church?

#Contagiouschurch

#Contagiouschurch

Churches want to grow. Those that grow are contagious congregations that focus on people over programs.  Growing churches reach their communities with the good news of salvation in Christ and keep people connected because they help people mature in their individual spirituality.  These congregations bring people to Christ and assimilate them into the body of Christ – His Church.  Are we that church? Are you helping the congregation you attend be that church?

Someone once suggested three categories of churches, one of which you are a part of. There are:

  1. Private Hospital Churches: These congregations seek to care for their own.  Everything they do from programs, classes, fellowships, trips, groups, and even worship focuses solely on the needs of members. These churches have an inward focus; helping only those on the inside and those that come to their “hospital.”
  2. Army Churches: The congregations are constantly on the march. They move from one issue to the next. They seem to always have a fight on their hands. They fight doctrinal error in other churches, they fight political battles against society, and they sometimes even fight among themselves. There is always more ground to win and some to win back. They are always in battle, but might be missing the real war.
  3. M.A.S.H. Unit Churches: These congregations resemble an army on the march. However, they know that the enemy is Satan. These congregations carefully ensure that there are no victims of friendly fire. They understand that people are not the enemy, but sin is. They are on the march looking for and caring for the wounded.  While advancing the Kingdom they recruit and train new people. These congregations equip members and send them to the front lines. Those who come for help, receive spiritual healing, training, and any needed rehabilitation so they can return to the front lines to fight against principalities, powers, and the forces of evil in this present age. M.A.S.H. Unit churches care for the souls of people.

May we strive to be a M.A.S.H. Unit Christian and together work to bring people to the healing blood of Christ.

- Scott

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This is about Nothing

Nothing to see here.

Nothing to see here.

“What are you up to?” – “Nothing.”

“What’s new?” – “Nothing”

You would think we live in a boring word.  Nothing seems to be going on.  Maybe we answer “nothing” out of a sense of feigned humility.  We do not want to appear excited by our own life and events so as not to give the impression that we think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  However, we should be doing something. We should be learning something  or doing something new as we grow in Christ.  We are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works, which (God) prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (cf. Eph 2:10).

With that in mind, I want to share this poem I found in my files last week: (A Google search did not reveal author’s name.)

The Sin of Doing Nothing

He made no mistakes, took no wrong roads

               He never fumbled the ball.

He never went down ‘neath the weight of the load.

                He simply did nothing at all.

He lost no hard fights in defense of the right;

                He never bled with his back to the wall.

He never fell faint in his climb to the light;

                He simply did nothing at all.

So death came nigh, for life slipped by,

                Add he feared for the judgment hall.

When they asked him why, he said with a sigh,

                “I simply did nothing at all.”

So, God will pardon your blunders, my friend,

                Or regard with pity your fall.

But the one big sin that may surely mean hell,

                Is simply do nothing at all.

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Once More

About 5 years ago as we sat down to breakfast my then pre-teen son and I joked about what archaeologists would say about football if they dug up a stadium 5,000 years from now.

Here were the possibilities we came up with:
  1. They might consider the stadium to be a temple or place of worship (every town has one).
  2. They would suppose that the team mascots (Wildcats) would be city or regional gods.
  3. What we know as players would be participating in battle to honor their god and to show their devotion to him (her).
  4. The cheerleaders could be thought of as high priestesses (my son almost shot milk through his nose at the thought) who lead the worship. “We are the Wildcats, mighty, might Wildcats . . .”
  5. The fans are the worshipers praying to their god for victory confirming his acceptance of their sacrifice.
  6. The marching bands would be the temple musicians.
  7. The concession stand is where worshipers can procure grain, animal, and synthetic sacrifices to offer to their god by leaving portions in the stadium (worship arena).
Why else might sports (football, baseball, basketball, softball, etc) be confused as our national religion by those who study us in the future?
 – Scott
Here is a bonus video from the SkitGuys on this same topic:

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More on Football

Sport of the godsFor those that read yesterday’s post today’s thoughts are what I was leading up too. If you did not read yesterday’s post it is HERE (take a look and come back).

In the United States, American Football is almost if not already on par with religion.  Many people will change churches before they change which team they follow. With all this in mind as I put thought to yesterday’s post I also considered the following observations:

  1. We make time for football.  We will set aside time weekly if not daily to watch or read about our favorite teams and players.
  2. We support football financially.  We buy tickets to games, travel great distances to attend those games.  We buy clothing and other paraphernalia in support of our team.
  3. We raise our children to love football.  I have friends who refuse to let the colors of their rivals to enter their house.
  4. We get excited about football. We love for our team to win.  We can’t wait to go to a game or watch them on TV.

Now consider the following passages:

  • “I was glad when then said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.'” Psalm 122:1
  • “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice!” Phil 4:4

Can I and do I get enthusiastic about the things of God as I do about sports like football?

- Scott

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