Scripture for Tuesday, November 21 (11/21) ~ A Little Church

The scripture for today, November 21 (11/21), is Acts 11:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Medium-“The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”

What had just happened? Some Christians in Phoenecia (today’s Lebanon), Cyprus (the Mediterranean Island) and Cyrene (in today’s North Africa), went to Antioch in Northern Syria near the southern border of today’s Turkey. There they established a congregation.

This little congregation ended up being the home congregation of Paul and Barnabas for many years. It started small; we don’t know the size it grew to. Regardless of the size, it had foresight and eventually did great things.

Perhaps you live in a town full of churches, but you’ve compared them with the New Testament, and none of them follows that pattern. Perhaps you have even given up going to church because of this problem. What is stopping you from beginning a little congregation after the New Testament pattern in your home?  

New Testament churches were simple ~ not elaborate like those mega-churches out there. And those simple churches have always been dynamic in their simplicity. Who knows but that your new little congregation will someday produce a Paul or a Barnabas….

 

Scripture for Wednesday, November 15 (11/15)

The Scripture for today, November 15 (11/15), is Revelation 11:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Heroes-Alone-COVER-KINDLE“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever!’ “

 Each of us belongs to a kingdom/nation within our world. It is not perfect. Its leaders can sometimes do very bad things. And we wonder how we can stand some of the terrible things that sometimes happen within a government.

But our worldly kingdom/nation is not the only one we can live in. Colossians 1:13 says Jesus “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Rescued! Brought us! Past tense! The kingdom isn’t something in the future. It is here now. And it goes by yet another name. Verse 18 says, “And he [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church.”

So, when we become discouraged about the kingdom/nation in our world that we live in, take hope. We can have dual citizenship! For there is another kingdom here, a spiritual one. The king of that kingdom will actually love us. Forever and ever.

 

Scripture for Wednesday, October 25 (10/25)

The scripture for today, October 25 (10/25), is Hebrews 10:25 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Medium“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another ~ and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Some people declare, “I can walk through nature ~ the temple of God ~ and feel God is closer there than in a church building.” Well, do they really do it? How often? The purpose of the church meeting is not so much to encourage ourselves as to encourage others along with worshiping God.

Look at the context. Verse 23 says “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess” and verse 24 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” How do we do these things? A lot of it is done during our congregation’s worship and encouragement service.

And what comes after our verse for today? Verse 26 says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.” Meeting together with other congregational members is one of the major things that keeps us from falling.

Should we meet once a week? This scripture says to meet “all the more as you see the Day [of Judgment] approaching. Many say, “But that’s too inconvenient.”

It was inconvenient for Jesus to leave a perfect heaven for an imperfect earth. It was inconvenient for him to leave the company of angels for the company of sinners. It was inconvenient for him to do this for 33 long years. Inconvenient taking the blame for our sins, and then taking our punishment. Inconvenient experiencing agonizing spiritual death when God left him on the cross, and then that agonizing physical death.

Do we really know inconvenience?

 

Scripture for Tuesday, October 24 (10/24)

The scripture for today, October 24 (10/24), is 1st Corinthians 10:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-cover-kindle-medium-new“Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”

The context of this verse is that some of the members of the church in Corinth were expressing opinions or doing things that were offensive to some of the other members. God did not condemn these things, but they hurt the consciences of some of the weaker members.

Today, do we do anything during the public worship that is offensive to some people? Do we do them as an example of how “holy” we are? Do we even try to get God on our side and say that any Christian could do those things if they had as much faith as we do? Can we control our ego in this?

What about committee meetings? Do we suggest something that the others just aren’t excited about? Do we allow our egos to eventually seep in and begin to feel challenged and slighted because our idea wasn’t accepted? Do we even try to get God on our side and say he will be glorified if the other committee members accept our plan? Can we control our ego in this?

One way to look at things objectively is to ask ourselves, “Would our congregation survive without me?”. What if I were killed in an auto accident and suddenly taken from them tomorrow? Would they continue to worship? Would they continue to do good works? Would they continue to meet as a congregation? Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time our congregation would survive without us.

So, let us try (struggle, if necessary) to lay aside our egos that get hurt and seek the comfort, the welfare, the good of our fellow Christians.