King Saul did not obey God but sought to appease Him by offering sacrifices to Him (1 Samuel 15:22-23). God did not and does not accept such offerings from those who are disobedient (Micah 6:6-8). In fact, He abhors such hypocritical worship and service. God wants us to obey Him from our hearts.
When David sinned with Bathsheba, God did not want more offerings from David (Psalms 51:16-17). He wanted David to realize, acknowledge, confess, mourn over and repent of his sin. God accepts us when we bring to Him a broken and contrite heart; a humble heart ready to listen and obey Him in everything.
God made us in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). This does not refer to our body but to our spirit. God is spirit (John 4:24). He has no physical body.
We each have a physical body that came from the earth and will return to the earth (Genesis 2:7; 3:19), but also a spirit that came from God (Hebrews 12:9) and will return to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Our physical body is not made in the image of God but in the image of the earthly. When Jesus comes, we will receive a spiritual body made in the image of the heavenly (1 Corinthians 15:42-50).
This phrase is used to refer to the world we will inhabit in eternity with God (2 Peter 3). It is not a mere cleansing, renewal or restoration of our present world like what God did with the waters that covered this planet in the days of Noah. Peter draws a clear contrast between the destruction of the old world and the coming destruction of the present world. Our present world is reserved for fire. “The heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up… all these things will be dissolved” (vv. 10-11). Our present world will one day be gone; there will be no place found for it (Rev. 20:11). But we have another place Jesus has prepared for us in His Father’s house (John 14:1-3). This inheritance is “reserved in heaven” for us and is not just new in time but in kind, “incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away” (1 Peter 1:3-5). The new world will be spiritual, heavenly and eternal not physical, earthly and temporary as is our present world (2 Corinthians 4:16-5:11).
Have you ever noticed how some always seem to be so upbeat and positive? It is not because everything is going great in their life, or that things are necessarily going better for them than everybody else. No, it is because they choose to be that way. They decide to look for reasons to be happy and to focus on the good things. In doing so they attract more of the same. It doesn’t just happen; they make it happen.
This is how Paul teaches us to live our lives. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
“Jeff grew up in a Christian home in the West. He was involved in church and in a Christian youth group. During his teens, he had a crisis of belief and began a search for meaning and purpose. That search led him away from church and to a radical jihadist group.”
“Beyond going to church today and going to heaven later, Jeff’s Christian experience lacked a compelling vision that gave him the reason to wake up every morning. Jeff found this strong sense of world-changing mission, purpose, and challenge in the radical terrorist group."
It is a sensitive subject that has touched most all our families, and we need to bring God to it!
Marriage was His idea from the beginning (Genesis 2:18-24). It is the very foundation of our society. God calls us to stay with our mates for as long as we live (Romans 7:2-3). To find a way to make it work, and not look for a way out. He does allow divorce and remarriage for those whose mates are sexually unfaithful to them. All others who have divorced or been divorced must be reconciled to their spouses or remain unmarried. Another marriage by such persons is adultery and those involved in such marriages are adulterers (Matthew 19:1-9; Mark 10:11-12; Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11). No matter the circumstances, divorce is always painful. No wonder God hates it (Malachi 2:16), because He cares for us so (1 Peter 5:7).
One of the most wonderful aspects of the church is that it is a family (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Timothy 3:15). God created Adam and Eve, and since then everyone else was born into the physical family. We have been born again into the spiritual family of God, the church (John 3:1-8; Galatians 3:26-29; 1 Peter 1:20-25).
God is our Father (Matthew 7:7-11; Ephesians 4:6). Jesus Christ is our elder brother, Lord and Savior (Titus 1:4; Hebrews 2:14-18). The Holy Spirit is our comforter and helper (John 14:26; 15:26). We have spiritual fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters in God’s family, too (Matthew 12:46-50; 1 Corinthians 4:14-17; Galatians 4:19; 1 Timothy 5:1-2; Philemon 10). All over the world there are those to whom we are bound by a common love for God and faith in Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:14; 2 Timothy 1:13).
People frustrate us. They hurt us. We are appalled at something they said or did. Some get under our skin more than others. At times we feel that everybody is out to get us. Our anger may get the best of us. It causes us to say and do things we would not normally say and do. It can destroy ourselves and others.
So, what do we do? How does God teach us to deal with others, especially when we get really mad at somebody?
Just after 9-11 the roads were crowded on Sunday morning and people were filing into church buildings but that didn’t last long. People don’t have time, they are too tired, too sick, there are too many hypocrites… I’ve heard all the excuses.
I suppose that assembling for worship could be made illegal tomorrow and many wouldn’t even know it until Christmas or perhaps next Easter when they decide to make an appearance at church. Others will find some way to get to church on Sunday morning but don’t seem to really care if they make the other services of the church.
If that’s you, I hope that you will seriously reconsider this whole matter of going to church.
God bless all our “moms” on this Mother’s Day!
Here are a few passages from the Bible dealing with the concept of motherhood. They remind us that children are a gift from God; they teach us of the importance of our mothers and the honor they deserve.
Spend some time reading, meditating and praying on these things that they might fill your heart and transform your life, today!
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135