The scriptures that teach us to be thankful are numerous: "Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 5:20). "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (Phlp. 4:6). "Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thess. 5:17-18). "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men" (1 Tim. 2:1). "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Heb. 13:15). These are just a few examples.
The Apostle Peter warns us, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). Oh yes, the devil is real, and he's out to get each one of us. What do we do? James gives this instruction: "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (Jas. 4:7). Submitting to God is equivalent to resisting the devil, and James instructs in the next verse that it is accomplished by drawing near to God: "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." We cannot walk with God- equivalent of drawing near to Him- without submitting to Him. O.K., how do we submit to God? Glad you asked...
The Bible is a marvelous body of knowledge. It is, literally, the word of God. It provides us vital understanding of God's will The Bible gives us abundant instruction as to how to live our lives in a godly manner. Those instructions cover both the positive and negative. Some teach us how to act, what to do. Others instruct us as to what not to do, that from which we should abstain.
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.
Gary L. Hutchens