Jesus stated, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Think about what that statement says. First, we can know truth. Jesus said so. Some people think that truth is relative. They believe that truth changes based on time, circumstances and personal feeling and interpretation. They see truth as fluid, always adjusting, changing. What is true today may not be true tomorrow, and then it may be true again next week. Jesus, however, settled the matter. His statement is unequivocal; we can know truth!
Just how much do we need God? Even the most faithful and dedicated people probably do not really think much on a daily basis about how much they truly need God. If we’re asked the question, most all of us would quickly affirm that we need God every step of the way, every day. But most of us probably do not demonstrate that realization much in the way we live our lives. We get caught up in all of the busy-ness of daily living. Well, do we really need God?
The apostle Paul stated, “but one thing I do...” (Phlp. 3:13). In this chapter, Paul talked about himself in order to illustrate his point. From a perspective of bloodline and heritage, he had excellent credentials. He could trace his bloodline back to the tribe of Benjamin. His bloodline was pure, being a Hebrew born of Hebrew parents. On the surface, his spiritual credentials also appeared most impressive. He was a Pharisee, meticulous in keeping the law of Moses and zealous enough to be an aggressive persecutor of the church (vs. 4-6).
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).
Gary L. Hutchens