“Go therefore 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).
1) Faithfulness (Kyle Pope)
2) A Prepared Heart (Glenn Melton)
3) Growing Strong in the Lord (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
In the message conveyed to the church in Smyrna in Revelation 2:10 the Lord proclaimed — “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (NKJV). This admonition to faithfulness is one that all believers would do well to heed. Let’s consider what the New Testament says about faithfulness.
Faithfulness is described as part of the “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22,23. The text reads — “…The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” If we are to be spiritually mind; if we are to be filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit we should strive towards faithfulness.
To understand what faithfulness is we must see ourselves as servants (obeying a master) and stewards (given a trust). First Corinthians 4:2 teaches — “…It is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” If we hope for eternal life we must be faithful stewards. The “faithful and wise steward” is one who is said to be waiting when his Master comes, faithfully doing his Master’s will (Matthew 24:45-46; Luke 12:42-43).
In several parables Jesus teaches the importance of faithfulness. In the Parable of the Talents He describes the servant who had successfully used his master’s goods. The master says to him — “…Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:21, 23). In the Parable of the Unjust Steward the Lord states — “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12). We must see our lives as a trust from God. We are called to faithfully use our lives for God’s purposes.
Members of the Lord’s church are to be faithful. An elder is to be one who has — “Faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination” (Titus 1:6).
As an example to the flock, their home-life must be an example of how to raise children in faithfulness to the Lord. The wives of elders and deacons are to be — “Faithful in all things” (1 Timothy 3:11). Paul tells Timothy — “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
It would be a mistake to imagine that such faithfulness is only demanded of the leadership. Paul’s epistle to the church in Ephesus is addressed to — “…The saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). In a similar way the letter to the Colossians was addressed — “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse…” (Colossians 1:2). In describing those who are with the Lamb in purpose and commitment, Revelation 17:14 declares — “…He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” If we consider ourselves on the Lord’s side we must ask ourselves if we are truly faithful.
There are many ways we can demonstrate faithfulness. We do so through faithfully assembling with God’s people in study and worship. We do so through faithful care of the sick and downhearted. We do so through faithfully teaching others when we have opportunity. We do so through faithfully giving ourselves to personal prayer and Bible study. We do so through faithfully resisting temptation, and faithfully imitating the life and character of Christ. Do these demonstrations of faithfulness characterize our lives?
A number of individuals in Scripture are referred to as faithful. When Lydia obeyed the gospel she said to Paul — “…If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay…” (Acts 16:15). Timothy was called Paul’s “faithful son in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:17). Epaphras was described as — “A faithful minister of Christ” (Colossians 1:7). Tychicus was called a — “Faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord” (Colossians 4:7). Onesimus, the slave whom Paul converted, is referred to as — “A faithful and beloved brother” (Colossians 4:9). Moses was said to have been — “Faithful in all His house as a servant” (Hebrews 3:5). Each of these individuals were those who fulfilled the tasks of service and obedience to the Lord that had been given to them. As a result they are said to have been “faithful” to their commission and to their Master (the Lord). Could someone look at us and describe us in this way?
May each of us always work to be faithful to what God commands us through Jesus Christ as revealed in the New Testament. This doesn’t mean we never stumble, but let us always strive to do what God says. We must obey as quickly as possible. We may struggle, but when we do let us get up quickly and start over again in faithful service to the Lord.
— Via Faithful Sayings, Issue 17.8, February 22, 2015
A Prepared Heart
“Ezra the son of Seraiah . . . the son of Aaron the chief priest . . . went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses . . . for Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” (Ezra 7:1-10).
“So king Rehoboam . . . did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord“ (II Chronicles 12:13,14).
What a contrast between Ezra and Rehoboam. Ezra was helpful in teaching Israel the law; Rehoboam was instrumental in the cause of division among the tribes. What a difference preparation of the heart made. May we suggest some things that may have contributed to the preparation of Ezra’s heart?
(1) The influence of godly parents. Ezra’s father was a priest and possibly one who taught the law. The influence of such a man could tend to lead his children to God. Blessed are the children of the righteous.
(2) Seeing the consequences of disobedience. Ezra had been in captivity and saw firsthand the results of disobedience. This could well have had a part in helping him to see how much better it is to please God.
(3) Moral uprightness. Consider what it did for Joseph, David, and Esther. “Remember thy creator in… thy youth” (Eccl. 12:1).
(4) Purity of mind. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23).
(5) Ezra’s knowledge of the law, Israel’s history, and the promises made to Abraham, Moses, and David could motivate him to please God. Also, Ezra may have known of Daniel, who would have been a good role model.
How well have we prepared our heart to seek the law of God, to do it, and teach it to others?
— Via The Beacon, March 20, 2022
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.”
Growing Strong in the Lord
For the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link:
News & Notes
Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:
Sunny Nichols recently had sinus surgery. While at home recuperating, she then had a stroke, which she is now hospitalized for.
Friday’s heart cath for Kim Rowell went well. Her previous bypasses are clear, and she will soon be receiving a new aortic valve.
Others to also keep in prayer: Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Kayla Williams, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, and Danielle Bartlett.
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins. For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30). For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).
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; 1 Pet. 3:21). This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27). For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…
6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service. We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.
Wednesday: 7 p.m. for Bible Classes
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)