and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe
all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
March 8, 2020
1) Trust and Submission (Doy Moyer)
2) True Reflections in God's Mirror (Jeff Smith)
3) News & Notes
Trust and Submission
Trust and submission are two related issues that we sometimes have a
difficult time putting into practice. They are also two of the most
significant aspects of what it means to be followers of Jesus
Christ, so understanding and practicing them are vital.
Christians are to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). Biblical
faith is not just believing something gullibly in spite of evidence.
The evidence is there (cf. John 20:29-31). Faith is not just merely
believing something, though it does involve belief. Biblical faith
is trust. A fuller definition of this can be seen in Hebrews 11:1:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of
things not seen.” Faith stands under our hope. It is an essential
trust and demonstration in the reality of what we cannot see. This
highlights the temporary nature of what can be seen over against the
eternal nature of what we cannot see (2 Cor 4:17-18).
We trust that God is at work even when we do not see exactly what He
is doing. In fact, trust is most vital when we do not fully
understand something. If we think we have to “see” or have to have
everything figured out before we can exercise faith, then we do not
really have faith. Faith can be built on evidence, as God has shown
in Scripture, but faith stretches into areas unknown to our
experience. Like a child who trusts parents, especially when the
child does not understand, so we learn to trust God, knowing that
there is far more going on than what we will know or grasp. Trust
says, “That’s okay. God has it figured out, and I’m glad to be in
His hands.” When we don’t understand what is happening or why, trust
God. When we don’t understand why God is doing something a
particular way, or why we are asked to do something His way, trust
Him. He has it figured out when we do not.
Submission is a related, though not identical, idea. Due to modern
concepts, and like the term faith, submission is a subject that is
sorely misunderstood. Many seem to associate the term with the idea
of forced subjugation. Since submission equates to being forced or
humiliated to do something, and since Christians believe in
submission, then Christians essentially accept this unfair and
immoral viewpoint. No one should have to submit to another! However,
this is not what submission to Christ or others looks like in
Scripture. It does mean that one is putting oneself under another,
but the idea here is that we voluntarily submit first to God through
obedience to His expressed will and then to others as we seek to put
them first and do what is in their best interests.
When we submit, we are first yielding to God. “Submit yourselves
therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas
4:7). God knows what is best for us, and we trust Him. Because we
trust Him, we submit to Him. Herein trust and submission work hand
in hand. If I am unwilling to yield my will to God’s will, then I do
not really trust Him.
When we submit to others, we yield our will to their needs and put
them before ourselves. All Christians are to submit to one another
(Eph 5:21). Our first concern is not to be about ourselves. Rather,
we are to be like Christ, emptying ourselves, doing nothing from
selfishness or conceit, and looking out for the interests of others
(Phil 2:1-8). Parents do this all the time for their children. They
gladly, lovingly, willingly submit themselves to the needs of their
children in order to serve the best interests of those children. In
fact, we would consider parents who refuse to do this to be bad
We can also see how this works in a marriage that is designed after
God’s plan. Like any other relationship, husbands and wives should
submit to one another (Eph 5:21). The wife is, indeed, told to
submit to her husband (husbands are not told to put their wives in
subjection). She voluntarily puts herself under his headship. At the
same time, he is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. This
is a great act of submission on his part to her as he is to be
willing to give himself up completely for her and her needs. As they
learn to trust one another, they submit to one another.
The interesting thing about submission is that it is most meaningful
when something is disagreeable to us. Christ submitted to the
Father’s will by voluntarily going to the cross, though despising
its shame (Heb 12:1-3). We might even disagree with others about
something, yet yield to their judgment (cf. Heb 13:17). We are
showing a level of trust. Unless we are selfishly demanding that
everyone kowtow to our will, we must submit ourselves to others for
the greater benefit.
When we trust God, we will submit to Him even when we might not
understand (like a child). When we love others, we will submit to
them, even when we might prefer another course of action.
Trust God. Love others. Deny self. Submit to one another. These are
staples of biblical Christianity.
— Via Searching Daily
True Reflections in God's Mirror
We go to great lengths to make sure we are always presentable before
others. Many of us spend literal hours in front of a mirror, making
sure each detail is in proper order. Do we care as much about our
"real" presentation? Consider the passage in Jas. 1:22-25 in light
of this notion.
After admonishing us to be doers of the word and not hearers only
(v. 22), James compares one who hears but doesn't do to a man who
looks at his reflection in a mirror and then walks away, forgetting
what kind of man he is (vv. 23-24).
The lesson is obvious. Such is a man who hears the word of God but
doesn't think it applies to him (that is the reason why he doesn't
do what he hears). So, upon walking away from God's "mirror" he
thinks himself to be all right, forgetting what he saw as his need
for improvement. We've all seen this person around or, God forbid,
maybe even have become this man. Always thinking of someone else who
better be listening when the word is preached, or thinking "someone
ought to do that" when a suggestion is made. If this describes us,
then we have truly deceived ourselves (v. 22).
James then contrasts such a pitiful man to the one who does what he
hears. He concludes that such a one "will be blessed in what he
does" (v. 25). However, notice how this man is described. The one
who does what he hears is the one who "looks into the perfect law of
liberty" or the gospel of Christ. Upon seeing his real reflection,
he makes the necessary changes (this is the doing of what he hears).
He has not forgotten what kind of man he is. He knows who he is...a
sinner in need of salvation (Rom. 3:23). This look is not just a
quick glimpse, never to look again.
Such a one who looks in this way "continues in it" (v. 25). There is
no vanity here. Just the recognized need to continually pattern his
life after what he sees. In short, he obeys what he hears.
So, have you checked your mirror? Do you remember what you saw? What
reflection was there? God help us all to not be content with what we
see in ourselves that is not good and make the necessary changes to
— Via The Beacon, March 1, 2020
News & Notes
Let us be remembering in prayer all those who have been affected by
the recent tornadoes in Tennessee, especially those who have lost
loved ones and had great property damage.
Let us also be praying for our nation and the nations of the world
that are dealing with the coronavirus. May it soon be remedied
-- and even eliminated.
Also for prayer:
Andy Berendt has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic
cancer, which has also spread to his stomach and is inoperable.
Kim (Ashley Ray Law’s mother) is now out of the hospital,
following her open heart surgery, and doing better.
Sandra Goodrich recently fell and broke her ankle.
Doyle Rittenhouse has been having back trouble since
Thursday. He stayed on his back all Saturday, hoping it would
help; but it did not.
John Jordan has been under the weather lately.
Tina Allen will be having a medical procedure March 16.
Bud Montero will be seeing his doctor on March 17th for
consultation concerning his upcoming treatments and cyberknife
procedure to eliminate prostate cancer in its early stage, and for
which he has been given a good prognosis.
Jan Bartlett has now completed her radiation treatments and
is doing well.
Also for prayer: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Rex & Frankie
Hadley, John Bladen, Rick Cuthbertson, Jim Lively, Ann
Vandevander, Kelly Stoneheart, the Medlock family, Shirley Davis,
and Kerry Williams.
Our gospel meeting that had been planned for March
22-25 (Sunday to Wednesday) with Gene Taylor has now
been postponed, due to precautionary health measures.
WordPress version of this week's bulletin:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal
1) Hear the
gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John
2) Believe in
the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of
sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom.
10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the
remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom.
6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord;
for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39;
Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00
a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912)
Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
(Older version of Gospel Observer website without
pictures, but back to March 1990)