Going straight to the Cross
 
Tuesday, 12. April 2005

Persuaded, but without Knowledge

by Phil Sanders

Helena Modjeska (1844-1909) was a popular actress with great emotional style and superb ability. She demonstrated this ability by giving a dramatic reading in Polish, her native tongue, at a dinner party. Her listeners, who didn’t understand the language, were in tears by the time she had finished. If they had known what she said, they would not have been so impressed. She had just recited the Polish alphabet.

Paul said some people are “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). They may know a lot about religion, they may even know a lot about Christianity, but they are never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Paul said of his kinsman, the Jews, “that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness” (Rom. 10:2-3). It matters whether or not we know the things God teaches and whether we are willing to submit to it. We can never assume that because people know the truth they are willing to obey it.

The best thing we can do for others is to teach the truth, live honorable lives, love others, and be unafraid to speak out when we have opportunity. Give your friend a tract or a tape. Invite them to church. Say a good word about Jesus now and then. Never give up on them. There may be some event or some problem open their eyes to look for heavenly help, and you may be able to talk to them. Pray for God’s wisdom and God’s help.

We can live our lives in total commitment to the Lord. Paul told Timothy, “evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it” (2 Tim. 3:13-14). Though the whole world be ignorant, let us live as people who know and love God.

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Thursday, 7. April 2005

Sacrifice

by Mike Benson

In Old Testament times, God required His people to offer animal sacrifices. What exactly was involved in this religious rite?

First, the worshiper according to God's dictates, selected an appropriate animal to be sacrificed.

Second, the worshiper brought the animal to the place of offering, otherwise known as the altar.

Third, the worshiper bound the animal and placed it on the altar, thereby presenting it to God.

And fourth, after fire had consumed the offering, the worshiper then walked away.

Did you know that God still requires sacrifice today? No, He doesn't ask us to select an animal, bring it to the altar, offer it, and then walk away. Instead God insists that the child of God climb atop the altar and remain. Why? Because the worshiper is the sacrifice!

The Bible says, "...Present your bodies a living sacrifice to God..." (Romans 12:1; cf. 1 Peter 2:5).

Think about it.

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Wednesday, 6. April 2005

Test Your Potency

by Phil Sanders

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men” (Matt. 5:13).

The salt used in Palestine came mostly from the Dead Sea, which is also sometimes called the Salt Sea (Gen. 14:3). One can find vast salt deposits around the edges of this body of water, which is 1,290 feet below sea level. Water that flows in has no place to go. The extreme heat in the area causes the water to evaporate and leave its deposits there. The evaporation of one cubic mile of sea water would leave approximately 140 million tons of salts, most of which would be sodium chloride, or common salt.

Often the salt around this sea would get polluted by winds or people and animals walking on the surface of the salt. Polluted salt, then, was dug up with the purer kinds and sold in the markets. A customer getting polluted salt could do nothing with it except to throw it out. It was no good. It could not do what it was intended to do.

Salt blesses foods by seasoning them. It brings out the taste in food. It also cleanses and preserves some foods. Where would country ham be without salt?
How potent are you in your Christian life?

Does anyone know you are a Christian? Some people are acquainted for years and yet do not know the other is a Christian.

Does your life proclaim that the Lord matters to you? Can people see Christ living in you by the way you act, you dress, and you talk?

Does anyone want the Christian life you have? If others look at the way you live, would they want the faith, joy and love you have? Does any imitate you?

Do you have a light people need? If people you know needed spiritual help, would they come to you for it?

You are the salt of the earth! Be salty!

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Monday, 4. April 2005

Commitment

by Phil Sanders

Commitment is the act of committing, pledging or engaging oneself. It is regarded as a pledge or a promise. When we became Christians, we committed ourselves to take up our cross and follow Christ daily. This commitment was for a lifetime. In Christianity there is no such thing as a temporary commitment or a partial commitment.
When the pilot of a giant airliner is speeding down the runway, there is a certain point where he cannot decide to remain on the ground. When he crosses that line, he is committed to the air. If he doesn’t, the plane will crash disastrously. That pilot cannot change his mind when the plane is two-thirds of the way down the runway. He must make his decision from the beginning and stay with it to become airborne.
Many members of the church have obeyed the gospel, leaving the old man of sin; but they seem to sit at the beginning of the runway revving the engines but never moving. They have been saved but have never gotten engaged in their faith. Christianity is not a spectator sport, everyone must compete against an enemy who is out to get their souls (Eph. 6:10-13; 1 Pet. 5:8). This is not a competition where winning or losing does not matter. It is a competition with eternal consequences.
Jesus told the church at Smyrna, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10, ESV). Our faith in Christ is a commitment with no end. Let’s not spend our time gunning the engine on the runway. Let’s get involved!

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Thursday, 31. March 2005

Good Communication

by Mike Benson

When my daughter Bethany was an infant she communicated a problem to me. She said, "Daddy, I am very, very hungry and I think a nice bottle of warm milk would really taste good and feel good to my stomach. I don't want to impose on you, but if you don't mind, since I can't walk or operate the microwave, I would really appreciate it if you might get me a bottle."

Okay, I confess, that's not actually the way she communicated with me. Instead, you guessed it ... she cried, as you would expect any baby to do.

But I never recall telling Bethany, "Now that's not the way to talk to your Daddy, young lady! That's not good communication. When you learn how to say the magic word 'please,' then I'll get a bottle for you."
You see, I understood that behind the crying a legitimate problem existed.

Well, guess what? Just because folks are older, it doesn't mean that they communicate their problems like adults. Murmuring, whining, and complaining are often employed to get attention (cf. Ephesians 4:29ff).

Effective church leaders realize that behind inappropriate communication a problem really exists -- and needs to be addressed (cf. Acts 6:).

Think about it.

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Forthright Magazine continues, more dynamic than ever! We have groups created for FMag on Facebook and the Churches of Christ Network. Announcement blog is up and going on Preachers Files. Email lists about FMag and FPress are available both on Yahoo and GoogleGroups. And, to top it all off, we're twittering for both on Twitter.com.
by randal @ 1/20/09 11:55 AM

How to Make Sure That Your Judgment Is Flawless


by Don Ruhl Read the Bible in a YearThis evening read John 5:24--47 How to Make Sure That Your Judgment Is Flawless Yes, it is popular to say that we are not supposed to judge, but the truth is we all make judgments about many things daily. Otherwise, we would never succeed in life. The real question is what is our guide for judging. Why can we not simply follow the example of our Master and Lord? He said, 30 ... more ...
by diane amberg @ 5/18/05 5:08 AM

Do You Ever Feel Like Just a Name?


by Don Ruhl Read the Bible in a YearThis morning read First Chronicles 1--3 Do You Ever Feel Like Just a Name? Think on the manner, in which the Book of First Chronicles begins, 1 Adam, Seth, Enosh (1 Chr. 1:1). In this way begins the longest genealogy in the Bible. The names continue to the end of the ninth chapter! Were these just names? Adam; who is he? You know there is more in the Bible than the mere ... more ...
by diane amberg @ 5/18/05 5:05 AM
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by Don Ruhl Read the Bible in a YearThis evening read John 5:1--23 Jesus healed a man. Praise God! However, Jesus healed him on the Sabbath. Uh oh. Some people were ready to kill Jesus for this perceived violation of the Sabbath Law. 16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath (Joh. 5:16). Jesus did a good thing. Yet, people criticized Him severely for it. And ... more ...
by diane amberg @ 5/18/05 5:03 AM

They Were His Servants


by Don Ruhl Read the Bible in a YearThis morning read Second Kings 24 and 25 They Were His Servants As the writer of Second Kings explains whom the Lord sent against Judah, the writer said that this was 2 ...according to the word of the LORD which He had spoken by His servants the prophets (2 Kin. 24:2). Those great men we have honored for centuries were nothing more than servants of the Lord God. What does that make ... more ...
by diane amberg @ 5/18/05 5:01 AM
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by Don Ruhl Read the Bible in a YearThis evening read John 4:30--54 The disciples went into a town to buy food while Jesus remained out of the town. There He engaged a woman in conversation. When the disciples returned, here is what happened, 31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." 32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know" (Joh. 4:31, 32). As you read the Gospel ... more ...
by diane amberg @ 5/18/05 4:59 AM

Having a Tender Heart


by Don Ruhl Read the Bible in a YearThis morning read Second Kings 22 and 23 Having a Tender Heart When Josiah heard the word of God for the first time, he tore his clothes, knowing of the wrath that was upon Jerusalem for the idolatry of his forefathers. Therefore, he sent messengers to a prophetess to inquire of the Lord. He did have a message for Josiah. God said through the prophetess, 19 "...because your heart was tender, and ... more ...
by diane amberg @ 5/18/05 4:56 AM
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