Know Your Bible

VOL. 10                                                                                                                                                                                October 30, 2011                                                                                                                                                                                NO. 40


 Are You Tired Of Doing The Right Thing?

Doing the right thing takes energy, determination and dedication. The effort can take a toll on a person over time. So much so that we may be tempted to slack up or just give up. 

It was that way with the Israelites in Malachi's day. The offerings they were making to the Lord were not what they should have been because the Israelites were tired of offering them. In Malachi 1:13 the Lord levels this charge against them: "You also say, 'Oh, what a weariness!' 'And you sneer at it,' says the LORD of hosts. 'And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring an offering!' 'Should I accept this from your hand?' says the LORD."

How much like these Israelites are we? Have we become tired of doing what we know we should do in the work and worship of the church? Do we even attend with the regularity that we should? And when we do attend, do we put our spirits fully into the worship? What about our home lives? Are we tired of striving to be the husband, wife, parent or child that God expects us to be? And what about our personal lives? Are we tired of an ongoing struggle against temptation; a struggle that we to often lose to our own shame and disappointment? The answer to such weariness is not quitting. The answer is finding renewed energy and a reason to keep going.

Here are three ideas from Scripture that might help you to keep going and continue serving the Lord with your best even when you are spiritually tired.

1. Remember Whom you are serving. The Lord reminded the Israelites that He deserved better than what they were giving Him. "'I am a great King,' says the LORD of hosts, 'and My name is to be feared among the nations'" (Malachi 1:14).

2. Remember the reward for which you are working. The farmer who quits farming in the middle of the growing season because it's hot and he's tired is not going to produce much of a crop. Even so, "let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Galatians 6:9).

3. Draw strength from the Lord. God never gets tired. Isaiah asks, "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary" (Isaiah 40:28). 

Furthermore, "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength" (Isaiah 40:29). Ask the Lord to renew your strength. Wait on Him and trust Him to do it! For "those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31).

Yes, living a righteous life takes a lot of tiring effort. But then, nobody knows that better than Jesus. He showed us that it can be done! "For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls" (Hebrews 12:3). 

---Steve Klein

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Is God Pleased With Just Any Religion?

Often we hear people told to “attend the church of your choice.” Or we hear that churches are changing to “meet the needs” of the community, or to make their worship “more relevant to modern man” in order to attract people who might be dissatisfied or bored with traditional forms of worship. In practice, churches often try to make worship more “relevant” by adding things that the worshippers will find entertaining. But what is often lost in these efforts is a simple question: whom is the church supposed to please?

In Galatians 1:10, Paul asked, “Do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Paul knew that trying to please people instead of God always leads to apostasy. Too often, religious practice is determined by asking, “What do people want?” rather than, “What did God say?” But being a child of God comes from following “not the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). The point of worship is to please God, not to entertain the audience.

In Exodus 32, Moses was receiving the Law on Mount Sinai, and the people grew impatient. They demanded that Aaron allow them to worship in their own way. He agreed and proclaimed “a feast to the Lord” (32:5). When Moses came down, he found the people dancing and making merry and worshipping. Their worship was a feast to the Lord that was contemporary, relevant, entertaining, and suited to their desire, but God was prepared to destroy them for it. God told them (Deut. 12:29-32) not to be attracted to the worship they saw practiced by the pagans. He told them, “You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way....Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” It is not enough simply to direct worship to God—our worship to Him must follow His instruction.

In Matthew 15:1-9, Jesus found people who had made their own rules. They were attempting to worship God, but He rejected them because they taught practices that suited themselves. He said, “in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” When deciding how to worship God, do not ask whether something pleases you. Instead, ask whether God has said that it pleases Him. If He has not, then such worship is vain.

---Erin Percell 

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Are Dreams From God?

How do we know whether or not dreams are from God?


--Formerly God often revealed His will in dreams (Genesis 20:3-6; 28:10-16; 31:10-13,24; 37:5-10; 40:5-22; 41:1-32; Numbers 12:6-8; Judges 7:13-15; 1 Kings 3:5-15; Job 33:14-18; Daniel 1:17; chapter 2; chapter 4; 5:11-12; chapter 7; Joel 2:28; Matthew 1:18-21; 2:11-13,19-20,22; 27:19; Acts 2:17). 

--False prophets claimed revelation from God in dreams, but they lied (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; Jeremiah 23:25-28,32; 29:8-9; Zechariah 10:2). 

--Dreams can be caused by nothing more than unfulfilled desires (Isaiah 29:8). 

--Though God formerly spoke in various ways, today He speaks only through His Son, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2). 

--His Son fully reveals God to us (Matthew 11:27). 

--Christ sent the Holy Spirit to His apostles to reveal all truth to them (John 16:13). 

--The apostles wrote this truth down for us (Ephesians 3:1-7) in the New Testament. 

--We have in the Scriptures all God's will for us to make us complete as His servants (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

--Nothing is to be added to this full revelation of the divine will for mankind (Galatians 1:6-9). 

---Keith Sharp

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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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