As we come to the end of one year and the beginning of another, it's a good time to do some self examination. Are you where you want to be in life? Whatever your life is like, are you happy with it? If you could have projected ahead ten years ago, would this be what you wanted your life to become? If you knew that your life had to remain just as it is now for the foreseeable future would you be satisfied?
Last week I presented an article entitled, "I Need You To Help Me Get To Heaven." The point of that article was that, as Christians, we need each other to get to Heaven. Many verses and contexts of scripture teach how much Christians need each other for strength, instruction, correction, assistance and encouragement. God designed the church to be like that. With that in mind there is a very specific group of our brothers and sisters who very much need our help.
The title of this article is written in the first person in order to emphasize the personal nature of this need. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate from scripture that we need each other's help to get to Heaven. We certainly need God's help, but we also need each other. As Christians, we need the help of our fellow Christians to get to Heaven.
Ready or not, we are full swing into the Holiday season. Thanksgiving day is just past. That means that Christmas and then New Year's Day are not far away. Of course, not all of us view all of the holidays with the same emphasis as do many people. but it can be a pleasant, even rather exciting time of the year. The holidays seem to come faster as the years go by, and preparations for them begin earlier.
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.
Gary L. Hutchens