A human being needs hope. It might be found in a goal that a person is working to achieve. It might be in a desire he’s trying to fulfill. It might be centered in a relationship. It could be something that he sees as giving his life purpose. It could be a promise that someone has made that gives him hope. Whatever its source, a person will search for, and cling to, hope.
The resurrection of Christ from the tomb spotlights, like a laser beam, several important truths that demand recognition and attention. The resurrection is the focal point of the gospel and Christianity. Anyone could appear on the scene and claim to be “the Christ.” Anyone could identify himself as “the Son of God.” Anyone facing death could say he will come back from the grave. Anyone could make these claims. But Christ really did rise from the dead and come forth from the tomb, alive!
It’s easy to recognize that God has blessed us. Even most people facing serious difficulties in their lives would still quickly admit to being blessed by God. Some are slower to identify God’s blessings in their lives, while others readily see them and continually thank God for them. But few would deny that they have been blessed by God.
When we think of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, probably the first thing that comes to mind is His crucifixion. His dying for us on the cross sticks out in our minds. It should! His was a sacrifice which we desperately needed yet which we did not in the least deserve. Without His paying the price for the guilt of our sins through His death on the cross we would have no hope of eternal life. But Christ did much for us beyond dying on the cross.
What do you do when things look darkest? What do you do when prospects appear bleakest? What do you do when your pain is greatest? What do you do when you feel most discouraged? What do you do when there appear to be no solutions, at least none that you can find? The answer to all of these questions, and many more similar to them, is the same. “Keep your eyes on Jesus!”
Many church leaders are dismayed that so many members have left their churches. They wonder how they can stem the tide and what they can ultimately do to bring them back. Studies indicate a growing percentage of people who claim belief in God yet seldom attend church services anywhere, a disturbing trend indeed.
Who are the churches of Christ? The only identity we desire is to be the church that you read about in the Bible, nothing more and nothing less! We are not a denomination. Our Lord came to this earth to establish His church (Matthew 16:18), not a denomination devised and organized by man. We diligently strive to fill our role as “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
One of the most challenging aspects of becoming a Christian, and then living a dedicated Christian life, is being willing to completely turn your life over to God. Total surrender! Such a concept is rather foreign to the typical philosophy of our culture. We're told to take control of our own lives, take charge, take the bull by the horns and make things happen. To an extent, such a philosophy is good. However, when we understand what should be the real purpose and focus of life, we will also understand that we cannot, by ourselves, maintain absolute control. We must trust God with our lives if we hope to gain the most in our lives.
There are a lot of things going on in the world that naturally cause concern: wars, political upheaval, poverty, starvation, disease. There are also natural disasters: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, blizzards, drought, famine. Then, there’s always all kinds of social problems: crime, poverty, homelessness, out of wedlock births, break down of the family, abortion, aids, poor education.
Supposedly, most accidents occur either in, or relatively near, home. That’s rather intriguing, since most people feel safer at home than almost anywhere. The truth is, no matter how much attention is given to safety, wherever one might be, there’s no way to completely avoid all potential danger in this life. When every possible safeguard is taken, any number of possible dangers still exists. There’s always the unforeseen. That’s why people buy all kinds of insurance policies.
Gary L. Hutchens