I love to study Philippians. Paul must have had a great relationship with the church at Philippi. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil.1:3-6) Paul prayed continually for the church at Philippi. He wanted to be with them and he prayed that their love would grow and that they would be filled with the fruits of righteousness (1:9-11).
Sounds to me like he knew a church similar to the church in Hammon, Oklahoma. A church to whom he could boldly say: “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (1:21). He knew that the church at Philippi needed him (1:24), and he prayed that they could fulfill his joy by loving each other and being of one mind. He finally told them, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (2:5).
This is a pretty good lesson for the Hammon Church of Christ. (1) Live for Christ in all that we do. (2) Be unified in ONE mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel. (3) Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind, let each of us esteem others better than ourself. (4) Take care of each other! (5) Understand that God is working in us both to do His will and to do it for His good pleasure. (6) Do everything without complaining and disputing.
The Hammon Church of Christ is a healthy church filled with serving folks, who love God number one and then love each other sacrificially. We love to worship together Sunday morning and evening and Wednesday night. We love to serve together in countless ways. God is so good and God continues to bless us in all our efforts to be well pleasing to Him. Love you!
Juvenile delinquency is a problem in America. But even more importantly, it is also a problem in the Lord’s church. The American Heritage Dictionary defines juvenile as “young or youthful,” and it defines delinquency as “failing to do what is required.” Undoubtedly, there is a problem with you failing to do what is required in many aspects of society. Such is not true of all youth, however, to deny the problem is to deny the obvious. In dealing with juvenile delinquency, experts often search for the cause, trying to determine what it is exactly that makes juveniles “fail to do what is required.” All parents need to ask themselves, “Are we contributing to juvenile delinquency in our own children?” Sometimes churches are guilty of contributing to juvenile delinquency by a failure to help in the guidance of its youth.
Some actions of our youth are expected because they are young and they view life through their young eyes. They try to see the more mature approach to certain actions…but they can’t. There might even be things which affect their vision. Maybe the more mature adults need to think young…especially, think young if it is something which affects youth long term. Maybe its time for a more objective look…a look which sees the long term, a look which fits more with current trends among youth, a look which sees the spiritual as well as the physical.
Parents contribute to juvenile delinquency in the church by their attendance. “Don’t forsake the assembly…” (Heb.10:25). “Put the church number one in your family actions…” (Matt.6:33). Think about it brothers and sisters in Christ…your attitude and practice toward the assemblies of the church will almost certainly become your children’s attitudes and practices.
Parents can contribute to juvenile delinquency by their living. “Don’t be yoked with the world, what fellowship does righteousness have with unrighteousness, light with darkness.” (II Cor.6:14). Do your children see you lead a double life, one life before members of the church and another life in the world?”
Jesus used parables to teach the people. The Apostles also used analogies in their writing of the New Testament to teach us today.
Can you just imagine standing in the judgment and hearing God pronounce upon you never ending punishment and you reply, “Behold, I thought…”? Naaman, the Syrian army commander was a leper. He was told that there was a prophet of God in Israel that would heal him. The king of Syria sent him to the king of Israel saying, “I have sent Naaman my servant to you that you may heal him of his leprosy.” To begin with, Naaman went to the wrong person. He went to the king instead of the prophet of God.
When the prophet of God sent his servant out to tell Naaman to go wash 7 times in the Jordan River…he became furious and said, “Behold I thought” that Elisha would “come out to me” and “call on the name of the Lord his God” and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy. Then he asked if the rivers of Damascus were not better than all the waters in Israel? Why can’t I go dip there and be healed? He had his own preconceived idea of how his healing would occur. QUESTION! Is man any different today?
It was not until Naaman realized that only by doing what God’s prophet said he must do, would he be healed. He had to dip 7 times in that muddy river of Jordan. Today, we must realize that we have to put aside our way and obey God’s way to be saved eternally in Heaven. Will man ever learn to take the “Behold I Thought” out of religion and just let God direct his steps thru His Holy Word, the Bible?
In many ways, it matters not what I think about religion or what I think is right or wrong. What matters is my obedience to what God says. We must all take careful notice of what God asks us to do, and then do it with all our strength. “I know the Lord will find a way for me. If I walk in Heaven’s light, shun the wrong and do the right….I know the Lord will find a way for me!”
The Church is more than just a name and simply calling a group of people assembled together the Chruch doesn’t necessarily make it the Church talked about in the New Testament.
Some think the Church is an organization, in a way it is somewhat but it is MORE than that! It is a way of LIFE.