What Kind of Doorstop?

goldrock

IN 1799, CONRAD Reed discovered a seventeen-pound rock while fishing in Little Meadow Creek.

Not knowing what it was made of, his family used it as a doorstop for three years.

In 1802, his father, John Reed, took it to a jeweler who identified it as a lump of gold worth about $3,600.

That lump of gold, which was used as a doorstop for three years in North Carolina, is one of the biggest gold nuggets ever found east of the Rockies.

THOUGHT:  Until its composition was determined, its value was unknown. Even so, until the composition of our faith is determined, its strength is unknown. God allows trials in our lives, not to hurt us, but too strengthen and prove us.

Source:  Ministry 127

“That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  1 Pet. 1:7

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Woman-Praying-Religious-4K-Wallpapers-1920x1080

“OUR ETERNITY IS more important than anything that can happen in the few short decades we spend in this life.  No matter how much suffering takes place now, it is far more critical to settle where we will be once that suffering ends”

Jim Davis, “Why Doesn’t God Do Something?” Why Me?  A Godly View of Suffering, Leafwood Publishers, p. 101

17 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:17-18).  

What About the Blank Space?

mona_lisa-orig-600_10b-e1443713516454

AUTHOR SIDNEY GREENBERG once wrote some very interesting words about loss.

He notes that when the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in Paris in 1911 and was missing for two years, more people went to stare at the blank space in the museum than had gone to look at the masterpiece in the twelve previous years it had hung there unmolested.

Greenberg says this intriguing bit of information tells us something important about ourselves.

“It points to our all-too human tendency to fail to take adequate note of precious things while we have them.  But let one of them be taken from us and we become painfully aware of the ‘blank space’ in our lives, and our attention is sharply focused on the ‘blank space.’

“The walls of our lives are crowded with Mona Lisas,” he writes, “but we are unmindful of them.  Countless blessings attend us daily and we are so insensitive to them.  The more often and more regularly we receive any blessing, the less likely we are to be aware of it.  What is constantly granted is easily taken for granted.”

Guest editorialist:  Ken Wilson, “Creating Biblical Leaders,” p. 57

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; AND BE THANKFUL (Col. 3:15–emphasis mine, mb).

Do You Remember the Tragedy?

Tribute in Light

I HAVE A vivid recollection of that day.

My wife came in the room, turned on the TV set and then spoke in shaken tones.  She said, “They’ve flown a jet-liner into one of the World Trade Center towers in New York…” For the next several hours I sat transfixed before the television and watched in horror as the events of 911 unfolded.

Eighteen years after that dreadful day, some Americans, like myself, look back on September 11 with intense emotion. We recall those gaping wounds in the sides of the towers. We remember those ill-fated flights and how they were intentionally slammed into the very icons of our nation. We remember those thick plumes of noxious smoke as they bellowed out of the top of those lofty skyscrapers and into our collective conscience. We remember our own anxiety and ponder what must have raced through the hearts of fellow-citizens as they contemplated the end of their earthly existence and the brevity of human life. We remember the internal shock of watching the first, and then the second tower plummet to the ground. We remember those feelings of helplessness and despair as lower Manhattan was engulfed in ash and debris. 

But may I suggest, dear reader, that there is a far more terrible tragedy that warrants our joint remembrance.

Every first day of the week (Acts 20:7), we need to call to memory (1 Cor. 11:23-26) those horrific events which transpired nearly 2,000 years ago:

  • We need to remember the murderous plot against the innocent Son (Mt. 26:3-4; Heb. 4:15; 7:26).
  • We need to remember the Lord’s internal struggle as He pondered His impending death (Mt. 26:37-39).
  • We need to remember His betrayal at the hands of one of His own disciples (Mt. 26:47-50).
  • We need to remember the ill-informed attempt to thwart His crucifixion (Mt. 26:51-54).
  • We need to remember the disciples’ cowardice and how they fled for their lives when He needed them the most (Mt. 26:56).
  • We need to remember the howls of the angry mob as they shouted, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” (Mk. 15:13-14).
  • We need to remember the incredible injustice of both the Jewish and Roman courts (Mt. 26:57ff).
  • We need to remember Pilate’s timidity before that blood-thirsty crowd (Mt. 27:24-26; Lk. 23:13-25).
  • We need to remember the brutal flogging (i.e., “little death”) at the hands of the Roman lictors (Jn. 19:1).
  • We need to remember Peter’s lying about his association with Jesus (Mt. 26:69-75).
  • We need to remember the slanderous mockery of the soldiers, priests, and thieves (Mt. 27:27ff; 39-44).
  • We need to remember the Lord’s humiliation as He was stripped of His clothing and numbered with lawless, ungodly men (Isa. 53:12; Mt. 27:28; Heb. 12:2).
  • We need to remember that ruthless blow to His head (Mt. 27:30). We need to remember the heavy burden of the cross that was thrust upon His weary shoulders (Mt. 27:32).
  • We need to remember those cruel nails that pierced His hands and feet and how that He was suspended between holy God and sinful man (Jn. 3:14; 12:34).
  • We need to remember the bitter taste of sour wine mingled with gall (Mt. 27:34).
  • We need to remember His desperate cry to His own Father (Mt. 27:46).
  • We need to remember the frightful earthquake that shook the earth the moment the Savior died (Mt. 27:54).
  • Perhaps most importantly, we need to remember that our own sins made this barbaric occasion necessary (1 Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53). 

“Lest I forget Gethsemane, lest I forget Thine agony, lest I forget Thy love for me, lead me to Calvary.”

“Do this in remembrance of Me…” (1 Cor. 11:24, 25).

Why EVERY Sunday?

over-the-shoulder-closeup-shot-of-a-woman-holding-communion-elements-over-an-open-bible_bzg4p9jr__F0000

QUESTION:  “Why do members of the church of Christ eat the Lord’s Supper every Sunday?”

Answer:

  1. The apostles were guided into ALL truth. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth…” (John 16:13a).
  2. They ate the Lord’s Supper EVERY Lord’s Day (cf. Rev. 1:10)—EACH first day of the week. Consider:
  • The disciples were commanded to observe the Lord’s Supper (Mat. 26:26-28; Luke 22:17-19).
  • Christians were commanded to assemble every Sunday (1 Cor. 16:2 Heb. 10:25).
  • One of the purposes of these assemblies was so that the church could partake of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:20, 33) and therefore remember His death (1 Cor. 11:24, 26).
  • The first-century church observed the Lord’s Supper according to the apostle’s doctrine/teaching (Acts 2:42). NOTE: The Greek article (the) proceeding “bread” is not present in the English, but it is present in the Greek text.  The article indicates that a special (unleavened) bread is under consideration (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16).
  • The apostolic practice was the first day of the week. “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to bread bread…” (Acts 20:7), the same day as Christ’s resurrection from the dead (Luke 24:1-3, 21, 46).
  1. Members of the church of Christ are only trying to follow the New Testament pattern. Since there is not a week that passes that does not have a first day, Christians partake of the Lord’s Supper on this weekly occasion, according to apostolic example, and in so doing, remember the sacrifice of Christ on their behalf.