Know Your Bible

VOL. 11                                                                                                                                                                                October 21, 2012                                                                                                                                                                               NO. 39




There is one fact that is undeniable about the life of every Christian – he is saying something to those around him by every action of his life.  Without any vocal sounds, he speaks volumes by his conduct.  In this way many a Godly wife has won her husband to the Lord (1 Pet. 3:1,2).  In this way the shining light of a good life has caused onlookers to glorify God (Matt. 5:16). And even after a righteous person has departed from this life, "he being dead yet speaketh" (Heb. 11:4).

So it is with reference to our attitudes and actions in the work and worship of the Lord in His church. When a person who loves to attend the Bible classes in the local congregation does so faithfully, that Christian is saying something loud and clear. Think about it for a moment. What is he saying?

(1) He is saying to any who observe him, "I love the word of God to the extent that I will take the time to attend classes where my knowledge of it can increase."

(2) He is saying to others, "I realize my need of stronger faith as I strive to please the Lord. I know that it cannot be strengthened without the word of God (Rom.l0:17). Being present for Bible study helps me build on the right foundation."

(3) He is saying by his regular attendance, "I appreciate good and faithful Christians who spend hours studying so that they may teach me. I know that it takes much real dedication on their part to do this good work. I certainly want to be there to hold up their hands and to benefit from the study they have put into each lesson. If they devote so much effort in preparing lessons, I surely want to be present in the classes to listen to their instruction."

(4) He is saying, "I find great value and help from spending time with brothers and sisters in Christ in searching God’s word together. I have all too little time as it is with my spiritual family in the local church. This extra hour or so means much to me in building stronger ties with them.  I know that we all share a deep concern for our souls. And quite often I am helped by the comments of others in the class."

(5) He is saying, by his consistent presence in the classes, “I appreciate what the elders of the congregation are doing for my benefit as they plan and arrange classes for the edification of the church.  I am cooperating with them to accomplish their objective – MY increased knowledge of the truth.”

In nearly every place attendance at Bible study needs some improvement. That improvement will come from Christians who have opened their eyes to the grave importance of doing all they can to insure their soul’s salvation in the world to come. That improvement will be accomplished-by good men and women who have their hearts set on things above more than on things of the earth (Col. 3:1,2). Let me appeal to ALL members to make a careful appraisal of your commitment to the Lord, His word and His kingdom. Let all of us make SURE that we all "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness..." (Matt.6:33). Without doubt, when this is done carefully and prayerfully, the attendance question will be properly answered, and all other questions as well.


---Barney Keith

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Have you noticed that churches have been offering different service times for their audiences on Sunday and they list them as "traditional" or "contemporary"?

Some places even advertise "come as you are" and a "casual" environment in which to worship God. You can wear anything from cowboy boots to t-shirts and drink anything from espresso to Red Bull while you watch other people offer a surrogate form of worship to God.

Why do churches feature different styles of worship? One website suggests: "offer worship services of varying styles so that everyone can attend a service that meets their personal preferences."

I've got a simple (and perhaps, a seemingly uneducated) question here - since when do my preferences determine my worship to God?

Churches are scrambling to offer services that "keep up with the times" and make people feel "comfortable" when approaching God in worship - which is actually not even what is being accomplished. How can you even attempt to unify a congregation around a common cause when you are catering to so many different tastes, preferences, and styles?

In Acts 2:42, we read that the disciples from the early church in Jerusalem "continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." They were unified by a clear purpose, a clear doctrine, and clear practices. This group, though several thousand strong, did not have to be placated with entertainment, food, and their own styles of worship. Their common bond and strength was through Christ!

When I approach God in worship, I have to be humble enough to realize it is not about me! How haughty and proud it must be to God to tell Him that you can't trust in what He has prescribed for worship - that it is "outdated" - and that it needs to be personalized to our desires in order for us to want to be there.

How ridiculous is it for people to think in their minds (and with their actions) that coffee and doughnuts (or food in general) has to be provided in order to get someone to come to worship? Have they considered the way that Jesus said God wants to be worshipped, and who He is? "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24)

While we're catering to different tastes, backgrounds, music styles, fashion preferences, and building designs, we are forgetting that God is Spirit and doesn't care about all of that. He wants our hearts dedicated to Him with our lives and a reflection of that through our worship!

When we worship God, we must come before Him desiring truth and recognizing that He is holy. Let's not worry about "traditional" or "contemporary"...and focus on "TRUE"!

---Author Unknown

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"The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God."  

-- Charles Darwin


"Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe - a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”  

-- Albert Einstein


"I find it difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe.”  -- Wernher Von Braun

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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.

--- E.R. Hall, Jr.




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