And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 17, Number
In this issue:
Invites you to our
April 26 - May 1, 2015
Hear these gospel lessons:
Sunday Class: How to Find Contacts and Initiate Studies
Bring your Bible and join us in learning God’s word and will for our lives!
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1) When you feel like giving up because of the trials you are suffering, remember righteous Job. He lost everything: his children, his wealth, and his health (Job 1:13-2:8). In spite of all this unimaginable grief and loss, Job held to his faith in God (Job 13:15). As James wrote of him: “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord--that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (5:11). Indeed we may suffer great trials in this life, yet we must never forget that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Like Job, let us endure.
2) When you feel like giving up because it seems like your righteous efforts are to no avail, remember Elijah. This faithful prophet of God boldly condemned the evil ways of Ahab and Jezebel. Demonstrating great courage and faith he took on the 450 prophets of Baal, proving them to be completely false (I Kings 18:17-40). In spite of all his courageous efforts for good, he had to flee for his life from Jezebel. In his great discouragement and distress he expressed how he felt no better than his fathers, and that he was the only man left in Israel that had remained loyal to God and His covenant (I Kings 19:4, 10). Elijah had done much good, and it was not in vain. Seven thousand in Israel had not bowed the knee in allegiance to Baal. He was not all alone. Furthermore, God still had important work for him to do (19:15-18). In spite of disheartening set backs, we must remember that we have work to do - the Lord’s work. So “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).
3) When you feel like giving up because you’re weary and discouraged in your soul, remember Jesus. Although one can receive much strength and inspiration from the likes of Job and Elijah, there is no better example that we can look to than Jesus Christ. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:1-3). Look to Jesus every day. When you feel weary and discouraged look to Jesus even more. Consider all that He endured on our behalf that we might be saved from our sins. So let us run this spiritual race with endurance never losing sight of the joy that is set before us! When you feel like giving up, remember Job, Elijah, and especially Jesus. When you feel like giving up, don’t! It will all be worth it in the end (Rom. 8:18; Rev. 21:1-7)!
-The Word of
Life, Dec. 19, 2010
What thoughts come to your mind when you hear the names Noah, Daniel, and Job? All three were righteous men who walked with God. All faced various trials and adversities, but continued to faithfully follow after God. All three men are heroes of faith to us, and rightly so.
God, through the prophet Ezekiel, refers to these three men in connection with the impending judgment of Judah. The nation of Judah persisted in their rebellion of God’s law. They were faithful in worshiping and serving their false gods, but quite unfaithful in serve the one, true and living God.
Devastation and destruction was coming from God in the form of the Babylonian army. It was a powerful and terrible army that would destroy their beloved Jerusalem and temple, slaughter countless Jews, and carry off many into captivity.
So what did Noah, Daniel, and Job have to do with all of this? Well God declared twice to His rebellious people, “Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord GOD (Ezekiel 14:14, 20).
Just think of the impact of such a statement. God took three of the most righteous and respected men of the Bible, and said that even if they dwelt in Judah, the rest of you would still be doomed. And the only reason Noah, Daniel, and Job would be spared would be because of their own righteousness.
What are the lessons for you and me? We too will face God’s judgment one day (2 Cor. 5:10). Each of us will give an account for what we have done in the body whether good or bad. A church full of strong and faithful Christians will only deliver themselves, and not us from God’s wrath if we are wicked. Our parents, grandparents, siblings, spouse, and children may all be righteous, but will not be able to deliver us from eternal torment if we are unfaithful. So let us heed Paul’s admonition to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12).
-The Word of
Life, Sept. 26, 2010
The following headlines and stories tell of unscriptural works being done in the name of Christ (Col. 3:17). They show apostasy still happens and warn us to be ever-vigilant lest we fall (2 Pet. 3:17).
Is it because you are afraid of ridicule? Listen: “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26).
Is it because of the inconsistencies of professing Christians? Listen: “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).
Is it because you believe salvation is obtained in a number of different ways? Listen: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Are you afraid you will not be accepted? Listen: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37).
Is it for fear you are too great a sinner? Listen: “…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Are you not willing to give up all for Christ? Listen: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
There is no good reason for not becoming a Christian. So, why not become a Christian now?
-Knollwood Reminder, April 12, 2015
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 04/23/2015
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA