I have a small little grill at home, and I also use cheap charcoal, so I’m left constantly having problems lighting my charcoal when I want to grill. Sometimes when the airflow is right and I have a big enough lighter it sparks right up, but often times I need something extra. Lighter fluid has become my new best friend when I grill because it helps get the coals hot almost instantly. Sometimes we feel this same way in our spiritual lives, like we can’t get our fire going. Well, consider our worship service this morning as your lighter fluid. Allow yourself to be drenched in the beauty of what is happening here this morning and be surrounded in the warmth, yourself, till you can sustain a flame for God. Like grilling, there are other tools you’ll need to keep that fire hot, but if you need help with the spark, you’ve come to the right place.
God’s Word is very plain in its declaration that men ought to work. Whether we consider the examples of Jesus—a carpenter (Mark 6:3), Paul—a tent-maker (Acts 18:3), or Peter—a fisherman (Matthew 4:18), it is clear that work should be a part of our lives. Making this point even stronger, Paul wrote: “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
It is also interesting to note that the Bible offers advice about how we do our work. Solomon wrote: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). And Paul wrote: “Bond servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:22, 23).
But with all of that being said, Christians have the privilege of looking forward to a time that is free from work. This time is not merely the retirement that so many long for—it is eternal rest which results from being faithful to Jesus. John wrote: “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them’” (Revelation 14:13). While the labor of the Christian on earth never ceases, the eternal rest which awaits will be worth it all. There is a rest waiting for those who faithfully serve God. Sweet happy rest, that is found in heaven.
If we here at the Centerville Church of Christ can be of any spiritual assistance to you, please let us know.
One of my favorite Christian songs to sing right now is “Good Good Father” in which the chorus continually repeats how our God is a good good Father that’s who he is and who he always will be which means we are and always will be loved by him. The idea of God as a Father is first and foremost to me. When we think of God as the Father we understand his love a little more, we understand his discipline a little more, we look to him for guidance a little more. I really don’t think there is a better analogy to attribute to God. As our Father he loves us and wants the best for us and wants us to walk in his footsteps. This is the example given to our earthly fathers to follow, and while none can live up to God we are so thankful every day for what our fathers have done for us.
Does the New Testament teaching constitute a pattern for today's church? There is no doubt the first century church was expected to adhere to the pattern of inspired teaching. Paul instructed the Colossian brethren, "Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Col. 3:17). He reminded the Corinthians, "The things that I write to you are the commandments of the Lord." (I Cor. 14:37). And John, nevertheless demanded total subjection to New Testament doctrine, "Whosoever goes onward and abides not in the teaching of Christ, has not God: he that abide in the teaching, the same has both the Father and the Son." (2 John 9).
Early congregations of the Lord's church were all expected to follow the same rule and submit to the same inspired teaching in fundamental areas such as salvation from sin (Rom. 6:1-4; Gal.3:27;), Morality, (I Cor. 6:9,10; Gal. 5:19-21), Family matters, (Col. 3:18-21; Eph. 5:22-6:4), and Christian worship,(Heb. 10:25; I Cor. 11:20-29; Acts 20:7).
But that was long ago. What about the church today? Our original question lingers still- Does New Testament teaching constitute a pattern for today's church? The answer come from Jude, the inspired writer and brother to our Lord. He exhorts his Christian readers to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints." (Jude 3). Notice that "the faith", that body of truth governing and enlightening God's children centuries ago, the sum of that which Christians believe, that alone which is contained in the Bible has been "once for all delivered". It has been delivered once, hence we need not to look for additional revelations of divine truth. And it has been delivered "for all" and "for all time". It is a permanent deposit, it will never be superseded, amended or modified. As it now stands it is perfect, adequate, and a complete deposit of truth, providing the means with which to confute the gainsayer, and resist the advocate of false doctrine. The answer to our original question is; Yes!
If we here at the Centerville Church of Christ can be of any spiritual assistance, please let us know.