Know Your Bible

VOL. 10                           August 28, 2011                           NO. 34


 On Laziness And Leaking Houses

"Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks" (Eccl. 10:18).

IF THE GOAL IS GODLY CHARACTER, THAT GOAL WILL NOT BE REACHED BY ACCIDENT OR BY INACTIVITY: -- The fact that salvation is by grace means many things, BUT IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE LAZY WILL BE SAVED: -- To Timothy, Paul wrote: "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God" (2 Tim. 2:15). It's only those who love God enough to seek Him ENERGETICALLY who one day will receive the benefit of having sought Him.  The lazy are going to be lost!

      Physically speaking, a building "decays" when it's owners don't  maintain it, and "through idleness of hands the house leaks." Do-nothing-ism never leads to anything but a delapidated state of affairs. Left to them-selves, physical things deteriorate.

      In the spiritual realm, the consequences of laziness are even more serious. A house leaking because its roof has not been maintained is nothing compared to a human soul that has been neglected. When effort is not expended to grow toward God, the corruption and decay that result in the human heart are shocking.

      So the disciplines that lead to godliness take WORK. This work does not earn or merit our salvation, it's true. But it's also true that without work we will certainly FORFEIT our salvation (Heb. 6:11,12). Heaven is for the interested, the energetic, and the industrious. And we need not say that we're industrious toward God if our actual daily habits don't show that. Whether it's serving others in the name of Christ or the more private activities of Bible study, prayer, and meditation, we can't claim to be working hard on the "house" of our godliness if, at the end of the day, our time log doesn't show that we've spent much time doing these things. Under normal circumstances, a lack of activity indicates a degree of laziness. And laziness leads to leaky houses, always. 

---Gary Henry

      "I discover an arrant laziness in my soul. For when I am to read a chapter in the Bible, before I begin I look where it ends. And if it ends not on the same side, I cannot keep my hands from turning over the leaf, to measure the length on the other side; if it swells to many verses, I begin to grudge. Surely my heart is not rightly affected. Were I truly hungry after heavenly food, I would not complain of meat.  Scourge, Lord, this laziness of my soul; make the reading of Your Word, not a penance, but a pleasure to me; so i may esteem that chapter in Your Word the best which is the longest"  (Sir Thomas Fuller).

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Would You Treat Your Guest Like This?

Imagine this, if you can: On a cold, rainy morning some guests arrive at your home. Upon their arrival, you barely even notice their presence. Finally, you do stop from what you are doing long enough to give a quick look in their direction and maybe a nod or a grunt that is intended as a "hello." You ask them to park their car some distance from the house, not in the driveway, but down the street a couple of blocks away so that you and your family will not be inconvenienced as you come and go. After all, you need the closest and best access to the door. Once inside, the visitors find that you and your family have occupied all the best seats. You don't get up or move to accommodate them. They look around nervously for a place to sit, and you do nothing to help them. After some time, they crowd into a couple of folding chairs located along a far wall of the family room. You never pay any special attention to them as you continue to watch your program on the TV. At the end of an hour, they get up to leave. Again, you don't speak to them. They make the long walk to their car - in the rain - and drive away.

Two questions: Will these guests feel like you were glad that they came?  Will they ever attempt to visit you again?

We know you would never treat your guests at home this way, but here is the application: Some visitors arrive at our worship assembly. Upon their arrival we barely notice their presence. Perhaps we nod or grunt a "hello" in their direction. We've already expected them to park far away from the door, because our own members have occupied the nearest parking spaces for their own convenience. When they enter the meeting room, they find that all the best seats have been occupied. Only a few seats way up near the front are available. No one gets up or offers them any assistance in locating a place to sit. At the end of the worship hour, everyone is busy with their own circle of friends, and no one speaks to them. They make the long walk - in the rain - to their car and drive away.

Two questions: Will these visitors believe that we are glad they came? Will they ever think about visiting again?

Christians, think! We need and want visitors to attend our assemblies. If we don't give them a true and genuine welcome, they will not return. We need the cooperation of every member - giving up the best parking spaces, surrendering the preferred seats, and warmly greeting the visitors. This is more than just a good idea. God actually holds us accountable for how well we greet people who come into our assemblies (read James 2:1-10). Can we count on you to do your part?

---Greg Gwin

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What If God Was Praised Like Football?


A friend of mine recently made this comment, “Around here football is a religion!” At first his words sounded like an innocent declaration of the passion and allegiance many of us have for our favorite teams. But after a little reflection, his words seemed to burn a hole in my conscience. Is football our religion? God adamantly warned His people of the dangers of idolatry (Exodus 20:3-6). Their passion for false gods eventually led to their earthly captivity as well as separation from God (Ezekiel 20:1-32). We may not have wooden figurines on the mantels of our homes, but that does not mean we may not have our idols.

So, how do we know when we may have crossed the line from sport to idolatry? Please consider the follow “what if ” scenarios:

* What if we gave as much money to evangelism and charity as we do to tickets, travel and team merchandise? Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:25).

* What if we could name the apostles, judges, and great heroes of faith like we can name our team’s starting lineup, reserves, and even recruits? “Whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

* What if fathers taught their children about the Lord and His works as much as they do about defensive formations or offensive strategies? “Fathers bring your children up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

* What if we proudly displayed our love for the Lord as we do our team’s logos from our homes and cars? “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles and let all the peoples extol Him” (Romans 15:11).]

* What if we arrived early and participated in a worship service with the same dedication we have for crowded football stadiums with limited parking, little leg room and no protection from inclement weather? "For I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’” (Psalms 122:1).

* What if we hated Satan and His schemes to conquer souls as much as we do a rival who is threatening to take a game from us? “Be sober because your adversary the devil walks about as roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

* What if the joy of winning souls and the pain of losing souls matched our passion for winning and losing a football game of which we are not even a participant? "There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).

There is nothing inherently sinful about cheering for a favorite team and enjoying a game. However, sports must not take precedence over our duties and responsibilities to the Lord. The only victory that truly counts has already been won. Jesus conquered death so that we may live in Him (Romans 5:8; 6:3-7). Allow Him to clothe you with His atoning garments (Galatians 3:27; Revelation 7:14) and join His team in fighting against our true enemy (Ephesians 6:10-16).

---Phil Robertson

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Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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