I have many friends and family members whom I dearly love that belong to different kinds of denominational churches. Each of these churches profess to be Christian but such denominations did not come from Christ. The Bible does not mention any such denominations.
The Bible teaches us that Christ built only one church (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:5; 5:23) which consists of every Christian (Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 12:13). These Christians would congregate in various locations around the world. These congregations were not a part of different denominations but were all churches of Christ (Romans 16:16). There were not many different kinds of Christians. They were all just Christians and members of the church of Christ.
How is a person to navigate through life with all its challenges? There are so many decisions, changes, problems and questions. Who? What? When? Where? How? Why?
None of us has all the answers. You can read a lot of books and still not know what to do. Some just let life take them down whatever path it leads them. Others have their own mind about what they want and where they’re going.
But the Bible teaches us to let God be the navigator of our lives if we want to be truly blessed. This is the wisdom of Proverbs 3:5-7. Here we learn how to let God navigate life for us.
My beliefs are important. I believe that God exists, that He is the Creator of all things and that He loves every soul. I believe that the Bible is the word of God, that it reveals God’s will for our lives and that the gospel is God’s power to salvation. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died for my sins and was raised from the dead, that He is the only Lord and Savior of the world. I believe that He will judge the world at the last day, sending some to eternal torment and others to eternal life.
There are a lot of things we do not understand about suffering. Many of our questions go unanswered but there are some things we can know.
We can know that God knows all about our suffering (Psalms 56:8).
We can know that God understands everything we are going through (Hebrews 4:15).
We can know that God truly cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
Suffering hurts. We don’t want to suffer. But it will help us to know that there are at least five benefits of suffering for the Christian.
1. It tests our faith (Jam. 1:2-4). If we meet our trials with faith, we will develop the patience needed to mature spiritually. It is when our faith is tested that we grow and become strong. So, we can rejoice even in our trials. Do you remember how God tested Abraham’s faith in Genesis 22, commanding him to sacrifice his son? Can you imagine a greater test of faith? Hebrews 11:17-19 explains what Abraham was thinking. He believed God would raise his son from the dead. That is a great faith. Do we have the faith of Abraham? Will we trust God enough to do what He has asks of us? God wants to know if you will keep faith even in the greatest tests of life.
Most denominations that profess Christianity have used and continue to use musical instruments in their worship. Today, more and more churches of Christ are joining them in that practice. Many don’t think it matters to God and others think it’s what God wants. So, here are a couple of thoughts that I have found in the Scriptures for us to consider.
“Listen to your heart.” “Follow your feelings.” “Trust your gut.”
But, the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
That’s right! The heart lies. It lies better than it does anything else.
It is not just wicked. It is desperately wicked. It is as evil as it can be.
You cannot really know what is going on in your heart. It may lead you, unknowingly, to your own destruction, as Proverbs 14:12 warns, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
A lot of attention is given to the baby Jesus in the manger at Christmas time. It is a humble setting, usually portrayed in a stable with animals. If this was so, it would have been a smelly place, certainly not what you would think of for the King of kings and Lord of lords.
His parents took Him to Nazareth. This despised city became His home for the next 30 years, until He began His ministry in Galilee. It lasted for three and a half years, with no place to lay His head. During this time, He was rejected by His own people and the Jewish leaders sought to kill Him. He was betrayed, arrested, hit and spit upon, falsely accused, mocked, scourged and crucified. He was forsaken, denied and doubted even by those closest to Him.
John 8:31-32 “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’”
True disciples of Jesus abide in His word. They are not followers of men. They do not live by the creeds, traditions, doctrines or philosophies of men. They stay with Jesus’ word.
I like to read all kinds of books, but the Bible is unlike any other book in the world!
It claims to be an accurate record of the words of God Himself. Internal and external evidence substantiates this claim but there is an intrinsic convicting power that will move anyone who reads it with a good and honest heart to a sure and certain faith.
Many have never really given the book a fair and thorough reading.
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135