For months now we've been incessantly bombarded with election coverage from the news media and election ads on radio and television. This Tuesday is election day, and it'll finally (mercifully?) be over, for the most part. Oh, we'll still be in store for analysis from a long string of individuals for days on end, but the bulk of the election madness will be finished. I don't know about you, but I'm ready!!!
The church is distinctive in its design and very nature. In order to live up to its identity, the church must maintain its distinctiveness.
This World is an uncertain place, and life herein is equally uncertain. History is filled with examples of such uncertainty. Many people would take security in the supposed sovereignty of their country. But the geographic landscape of this world is always in a state of continual flux. In its day the Assyrian empire was mighty, but it no longer exists. Egypt was once a powerful, conquering nation but ceased to be so many hundreds of years ago. The Babylonian empire was sweeping in its conquests, but its reign of power was comparatively brief. The Persian empire was even more impressive in its might, but its status as an empire ceased long ago. The Greek empire under Alexander was like no other before it. Long since gone. The Roman empire far surpassed all of those previous to it, including that of the Greeks. It crumbled well over one thousand years ago.
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he instructed them as to where to find the power to face and deal with life successfully (Phlp. 4:11-13). The lesson within that text is equally important for us today.
Is it OK to be almost the winner in a contest, almost right on a question of facts, almostsuccessful in an endeavor undertaken, almost safe and secure in the face of potential danger? In most cases we’d quickly acknowledge that almost is not OK.
The face of our culture is changing before our eyes. Computerized technology may be the biggest influence affecting and shaping much of the change. It seems that only our imaginations limit us as to what continued changes lay ahead.
Just how important is it to be at services when the church meets? As Christians, we need to always be examining ourselves to make sure that our lives reflect true faithfulness (2 Cor. 13:5). We also need to seriously reflect on our spiritual well being. Just how strong is our faith? We need to not do anything that could put our souls in jeopardy.
God’s word is “living and powerful” ( Heb. 4:12 ). God guides us and communicates His will to us through His word ( Ps. 119:105 ). The gospel message of salvation is revealed to us in God’s word (Rom. 1:16 ). By reading His word we understand that it is through the gospel that we are actually called to salvation ( 2 Thess. 2:13-14 ). His word guides us as to how to live a faithful, productive Christian life after coming to salvation ( 2 Tim. 3:15-17 ). It is no wonder that God instructs us to diligently study His word in order to be able to correctly understand and apply it to our lives, and to stand approved before Him ( 2 Tim. 2:15 ).
Drive in any direction in any part of this land, and it won’t be long before you pass a church building. They dot the landscape throughout the countryside, and several will usually be found in any neighborhood in any city. While many people do not attend church services frequently, a majority will attend somewhere at least once or twice a year, and a vast majority will claim an actual identity with some church.
Tomorrow we celebrate Labor Day, a federal holiday set aside to honor the working people of this nation. The first Labor Day was celebrated on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City. It was made a national holiday in 1894. While the holiday was originally designed to recognize organized labor, it has become a holiday for all workers. For many, it marks the end of summer and begins the activities of the fall season. It is somewhat interesting that a day designated as Labor Day is celebrated with a day taken off from laboring.
Gary L. Hutchens