And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XII, Number 15 April 19, 2009
In this issue:
Invites you to our
Steven j. wallace
(Sunnyside & Yakima, WA)
April 26–May 01, 2009
Monday-Friday: 7:00 PM
(From I-5 take Exit # 255 and go East 4.2 miles)
Some may view the job of a door man as rather pointless (or even ostentatious). Yet, door men serve a value function that goes beyond opening the door for those who may enter. They also guard against unauthorized and unlawful entry. Theirs is the task of guarding the security of a building, a community, or even a nation.
We are introduced to gatekeepers (doorkeepers) in the Old Testament. These men were charged with keeping the “camp of the Lord”, the tabernacle, and the gates of the “house of the Lord” (Solomon’s temple) (1 Chron. 9:17-27; 26:1-19).
Being a gatekeeper requires humble devotion. It is not a glamorous job, but a much needed one. Those in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency are examples of modern-day gatekeepers. Whether it is a check point on the Canadian border, an isolated hillside in the Arizona desert or the bank of the Rio Grande, they are devoted to the safety of our citizenry.
A gatekeeper is a servant. We are not surprised that being a gatekeeper is called a “work of service” (1 Chron. 9:19). He serves the greater good as a diligent sentinel.
A gatekeeper must be trustworthy. King David and Samuel the seer appointed these men “to their trusted office” (1 Chron. 9:22, 26). They had a charge to keep for which they were responsible. Doorkeepers were given a great duty that demanded honesty and reliability.
A gatekeeper is a watchman. Only those allowed to enter may pass his watchful eye (cf. Jno. 10:1-3). Manning their posts at the gates of the temple they were described as “watchman opposite watchman” (1 Chron. 26:19). As they watched over the security of the house of God they “had each other’s back” – there were to be no holes in the security net they cast.
One doorkeeper wrote with great insight into the heart of the worthy doorkeeper: “For a day in Your court is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psa. 84:10). He saw his work as a privilege, not as a burden. He saw his work as granting him a fellowship with God that far surpassed a 1,000 days with any other. He saw his work as more to be desired than the best of dwelling places among the wicked. He was devoted to humbly serving God and his brethren in holiness.
There are doorkeepers in the church (the house of God) today. For example, (1) Each Christian is to “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). Unity will be guarded by the humble, devoted and trustworthy. (2) Elders are similar to doorkeepers inasmuch as they must “take heed” to themselves and to the flock under their care (Acts 20:28-31). Their service is to “watch out for your souls”, and they will answer for the charge they keep (Heb. 13:17). (3) We are our brother’s keeper; devoted to the spiritual protection of each other (Gal. 6:1-2).
Being a doorkeeper in God’s house is to be preferred over living in sin with the wicked. May we all have hearts of humble devotion and be doorkeepers in the house of God.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:16-20
commission of apostles, Matt. 28:19f
I. BY MAKING DISCIPLES, Matt. 28:19.
God Calls the Lost with Gospel Teaching, Jno. 6:44-45; Rom. 10:8-13, 14-17.
II. BY BAPTIZING BELIEVERS, Matt. 28:19.
Water Baptism is Essential:
III. BY TEACHING CONVERTS, Matt. 28:20.
A. Bible Teaching and Learning is to a New Christian what Milk is to a New Baby, 1 Pet. 2:2; cf. Acts 2:41, 46; 5:12, 42 (Heb. 5:11-12)
only way we can reach the world today for Christ is through the gospel.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Matthew 12:33-37
I. OUR HEART IS REVEALED BY OUR WORDS AND OUR DEEDS, 12:33-37.
Tree is known by its Fruit, Prov. 23:7 (Identity and acceptability).
II. REJECTED SIGNS – EVIL HEARTS, Matt. 12:38-42.
A. How We React to the Miraculous Signs of Jesus Shows our Heart, 12:38 (16:1, 4); Jno. 10:24-25; 11:45-47; 12:37-41.
III. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR HEART, 12:43-45.
A. The Possibility of Apostasy is Real, 2 Pet. 2:20-22; Heb. 10:26-27.
IV. OUR RELATION WITH JESUS MUST BE SET ABOVE EVERY OTHER, 12:46-50.
A. Relationship with Jesus is Formed and Kept by Doing the Will of God, 12:48-50 (Matt. 10:36-37).
We have a choice: What kind of heart we will have (what kind of person we will be).
Will the Real Extremists Please Stand Up?
This week we witnessed thousands of Americans protesting uncontrolled government spending being called “right wing extremists” (and worse) by their fellow citizens (including some in the news media).
We witnessed an apology from the head of the Department of Homeland Security over a published “assessment” that returning soldiers are at risk of becoming “right-wing” extremists on issues like “illegal immigration, abortion, increasing federal power and restrictions on firearms” (“Napolitano Apologizes for Offending Veterans After DHS Eyes Them for ‘Rightwing Extremism’”, Foxnews.com, 16Apr09).
We witnessed the continuing effort to confirm former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Sebelius has repeatedly taken pro-abortion stances (AUL Action email, 16Apr09).
Nobody wants to be viewed as an extremist. Labeling folks as extremists – when there is no proof of it – only furthers the cause of evil, not truth. [We hasten to note that truth will be viewed as extreme by the worldly-minded (cf. Jno. 6:48-69). We must willingly suffer reproach for truth’s sake (1 Pet. 4:12-16; Matt. 5:10-12).]
It is not extreme to defend the life of the unborn; it is entirely consistent with the premise that human life is precious. The unborn child is the unique product of the father and the mother. Although growing inside the mother, the unborn child is the result of both the father and the mother. Yet, it is neither the father nor the mother. Each person is “fearfully and wonderfully made” and known by God in the womb (Psa. 139:13-14). To say the unborn child is just a blob of cells or just the woman’s body is disingenuous; it is new and unique human life. Calling those who oppose abortion on this moral ground “extremists” will not change the sinfulness of abortion.
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 04/20/2009
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA