A few weeks back I heard Tom Holland on the subject of the application of Biblical truth. He was talking about teaching folks God’s plan of salvation and in the process spoke of a popular non-Biblical idea, the idea that some have that praying a “sinner’s prayer” is God’s plan of salvation. He asked “Where could such an idea have come from?” To the response we often hear, “I got it out of the Bible,” Brother Holland replied, “You must of got it out of the Bible because you sure can’t find it in the Bible.”
The apostle Peter was something of a firebrand as a fellow named Malchus could surely testify. Peter cut off his right ear (John 18:10) which, if Peter was right handed, may indicate that the apostle had intended to cut off more than the man’s ear. Whatever shock Malchus experienced at having his ear removed it had to have been doubled when Jesus healed that same ear (Luke 22:50-51). We also know that Peter could speak at times without thinking. He denied knowing the Lord (John 18:17) three times, once in the presence of a relative of Malchus (John 18:26-27).
Here at West Hobbs Street we are going through the process of paving the parking lot. A few years back we built a new classroom building and revamped and updated the whole structure and at that time we were told that the parking lot needed work but that it would be good to wait a bit to do that. There were a lot of broken up places, places where water stood, and general ugliness. So the time has come to fix all of that and the job is well under way.
Everyone faces daily tests. The number and type of these challenges are so varied as to easy defy categorization. Some are quite severe like serious illness or the untimely death of a loved one. Others we might consider normal parts of day to day life like the traffic going to work. But whether we think of them as severe or a normal part of living these challenges are with us every day. The question for the Christian is how we face them.
One of the big problems we face in living the Christian life is the use of our ability to speak. James provided the proper principle when he wrote, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (Jam. 1:19-20 NKJV). This passage is reflective of Proverbs 10:19: “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Pro. 10:19 NKJV).
Years ago when we first began to think about coming to Athens to work with West Hobbs Street I learned an expression new to me. Billy White Davis is a friend who is from Athens who told me that he and Lynda would be up here from time to time to see “momma an’ ‘em.” At first I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, but now I know it is a sweet and wonderful way to refer to one’s family and close friends.
There is ample evidence that our society is in danger of complete disintegration. On a recent trip to visit the Mid-Hudson Church of Christ in Poughkeepsie, Ginger and I had the opportunity to see the 911 Memorial and Museum in New York City. That museum is evidence that our world is indeed in danger of disintegration. The memorial is a compelling and magnificent entity which everyone ought to see and experience. It comes very close to making the real true point of that horrendous event: Evil is Real.
When we use the expression “lay up” these days we might be speaking of the golf shot used to avoid a hazard farther on, or perhaps of a person who is confined to home due to illness. There is another meaning of the term as is the case in Matthew 6:20: “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven….” Here the words have the older meaning of “to stock up for future use.”
“I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE”
This will be a fairly short report.
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