Unfinished Works

12/17/2017

 
One of the most recognizable monuments in our country is Mount Rushmore. The faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln, carved out of a mountain, are known by all who live in the US. But did you know that Mount Rushmore is actually an unfinished project? The original plan for the monument included full torsos, arms, and hands for each of the men. While what we see today is impressive, in its’ own right, can you imagine how majestic the final project would’ve looked? Sometimes, in our spiritual walk we take a look at ourselves and think, “Wow, I’m doing pretty good”, and then we stop improving. Our faith is not something we can quit working on and expect it to be “good enough.” Paul tells us in Philippians 2:12 “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”  We are told to pursue Christ and our salvation continuously, always making improvements and never settling. Of all things in life, our relationship with God is the only thing that requires our best effort and unceasing devotion. I pray that we not leave our souls an unfinished work.         Peace, Houston

 

My Helper

12/17/2017

 
     “If the LORD had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’ your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul” (Ps. 94:17-19).

    The comfort of God’s abiding presence is a frequent theme of David in the book of Psalms. When our lives are crowded with worry, when it seems we are slipping helplessly into a chasm of darkness, God can provide help to sustain the soul.

    David lived an unusually perilous life. His rise to power was filled with struggle as King Saul frequently sought the life of his successor. His kingdom itself was marked by wars and conflicts. He knew the danger and threat of death both by enemies among foreign nations as well as by members of his own family. He knew the heartache of betrayal. His own son, Absalom, sought to usurp his throne. In spite of all its violence and hardship, David was able to look upon his life as one that had been characterized by the preventive grace of God. You see, he says, “Had it not been for the Lord’s help, I would have perished long ago!”

    We should all be grateful for the providential working of God in our lives, for the times when God rescued us from temptation or delivered us from trial. While some possess a very detached view of God, that He is far away, disinterested, and uncaring, the true picture of God, the portrait of God painted for us in the Bible, tells us of a God who wants to be our companion, our helper, and our friend. In admonishing us to trust God rather than money, the Hebrew writer quotes David and says “The Lord is my helper” (Heb. 13:6).

    In the truest sense, God can be your helper and friend only as you seek to be His. Until both parties desire it, the potential of friendship is not achieved. God has expressed His desire for friendship by sending His only Son to die for us on the cross. Have you expressed your desire to be His friend? Jesus said, “You are My Friends, if you do what I command you” (Jn. 15:14). Next time you are feeling overwhelmed, remember what God can do. Trust in Him. Seek Him as your friend. He will not let you down.

    If we here at the Centerville Church of Christ can be of any spiritual assistance to you, please let us know.                                  

God Bless,
Todd Parsely
 
 
     As a Church we are constantly pushing for everyone to be active in practicing spiritual disciplines. Usually when doing this we point out how these times of seeking God will determine how close you feel to him in your daily walk and how well you’re able to keep his commands. The immediate emphasis here is your personal spirituality and relationship with God, but we fail to point out that in practicing spiritual disciplines your improved faith will also make an impact on others. The obvious way that happens is to realize that you may inspire other people to become more involved with their own faith. How many spiritual mentors have you had in your life that caused you to be a stronger Christian simply by their own example? The other way is through direct influence. Think about how when you feel closer to God you interact with others differently. You may be more forgiving, or patient, or even a better advisor because you’re more in tune with the Holy Spirit. Because of your individual devotion you’ve now guided and influenced others by your walk with God. I hope that you’re invested in reading, study, prayer, & community for your own spiritual well-being, but if you need extra motivation, think about how it can help your kids, friends, and others grow closer to God as well.                                  

Peace,
Houston Haynes
 
 
    The urge to worship is an inherent inclination to show reverence and respect. Sometimes it has nothing to do with anything biblical, like God. Since man has existed he has worshiped something- his ancestors, plants, the moon, stars, trees, fire and even himself.

    When men turn from God, Paul said they "exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever" (Rom. 1:25). The creation of images and idols is known as idolatry- condemned severely in scripture (I John 5:21).

    Christians worship God alone (Matt. 4:10; John 4:23-24). Because the Bible has the only true information about God, the way Christians worship must be dictated by the truth of God's word. That worship is not the result of inward impulse, but conformity to what God himself has allowed in His word.

    But still there is an inward urge to worship. When trouble strikes, the urge to turn to God is natural. It is wrong to limit to troublesome times. Jeremiah rebuked idolatrous Jews as those who, "say to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face; but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us" (Jer. 2:27).

    Christians also have an impulse to worship when their hearts are filled with joy. The Psalmist expressed it like this: "Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy..." (Ps 43:4).

    Today we assemble to offer to God the praise of worship so justly due Him. Whether it is from the burden of hurt we feel or the joy experienced, let us benefit from the greatest privilege ever offered to mankind- an opportunity to worship and praise our God.

    If we here at the Centerville Church of Christ can be of any spiritual assistance to you, please let us know.

God Bless,
Todd Parsely
 

Dual Allegiances

12/03/2017

 
Having moved around a lot as a kid I developed a very eclectic variety of sports teams I cheer for. This week two teams I like, Tennessee and Purdue, had it out for each other because Tennessee was trying to hire away Purdue’s very talented coach. I felt like I was in a very awkward spot. I didn’t know whether to complain about these actions because of what it may cost one team, or to support them because of what it could mean for the other team. I found myself caught in the middle because of my dual-allegiances. I personally see this same problem happening throughout many Christians’ lives. On one hand they claim allegiance to the Kingdom of God, and on another they give their allegiance to something entirely different. Sometimes the other allegiance is to a job, or a political party, or even an idea itself.  The problem arises when that secondary thing runs in direct contrast to the Kingdom of God. We sometimes forget that the Kingdom is a very real and active force in our lives and that it demands our complete allegiance. Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Having interests, passions, and humble pride in life isn’t wrong, but we must be able to choose the cross first when the two conflict. Who will you be loyal to?                                            

Peace,
Houston Haynes
 
 
What a joy it is to be a part of Christ’s body! There are no greater people on the face of this earth than the family of God (Ephesians 2:19), and especially the people here at Centerville. We are described as “members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25). However, there are instances that family members are susceptible to fighting, bickering, gossiping, and even thinking evil thoughts about each other.  In fact, there are at least fifty passages that deal with “one another.” Our relationship with each other can be strengthened if we spend a few minutes thinking about some of these passages and God's desire for us to grow in our relationship with one another:

             We are to love one another (John 13:34-35).

             We are to have peace one with another (Mark 9:50).

             We are to be kindly affectionate one to another; in honor preferring one another (Romans                         12:10).

              We are to be of the same mind one toward another (Romans 12:16; 15:5).

             We are to submit one to another (1 Corinthians 11:33).

             We are to forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13).

             We are to care one for another (1 Corinthians 12:25).

             We are to serve one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

             We are to use hospitality one to another (1 Peter 4:9).

             We are to salute or greet one another (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12;                 1 Peter 5:14).

             We are to confess our faults to and to pray for one another (James 5:16). 

If we would just keep all of these commands in mind, then the church would be even better. Some are certainly easier than others. There may be one or a few that we need to work on.  Listen to these words of wisdom Paul penned in 1 Corinthians 12:25-27: “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have some care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

If we here at the Centerville Church of Christ can be of any spiritual assistance to you, please let us know.

God Bless,
Todd