drifting along

Years ago while just a freshman in high school, my friend and I were horsing around on the banks the Chena river in Fairbanks. It was during “break up”, the time when the water is beginning to flow after a long winter.

There were large chunks of ice on the bank of the river, and my friend decided that he should go “Huckleberry Finn” with one of those chunks of ice. As we pushed one of the larger pieces into the river, he jumped atop with a 6 foot piece of wood that he would use to steer.

The trouble is this, among many others, the Chena river is much deeper than six feet and he soon found himself drifting down the river.

This story got me to thinking about drifting in the church…..

DRIFTING REQUIRES NO EFFORT…a boat or a raft, without an oar or sail will just float along without any destination in mind and requires no thought, effort or sweat. <“We must give the more earnest heed…” – He 2:1> Drifting is often unconscious and you never drift UPSTREAM. To avoid drifting, you must be continually adding to your faith <2 Pe 1:5> and you need to grow, <2 Pe 3:18>

If you stop adding and growing, you’re actually going backwards or downwards. Just as rowing will get you closer to your destination, drifting will take you farther and farther away. Farther from the brethren, the Word and ultimately, the Lord.

DRIFTING JEAPARDIZES THE CARGO…A drifting vessel is a danger to other vessels in the water. Think about a drifting life, a drifting parent, a drifting church member. The consequences are terrible, when we lose interest in Bible study, or worship, so often so do those that are close to us. Our drifting begets drifting in others. We begin to be “tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine” <Ep 4:14>

A DRIFTING BOAT HAS NO DESTINATION...and will likely crash among the rocks. A drifting boat is like building on unstable ground, when the rains come, it washes away the house. “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” <Mt 7:27>

ARE YOU DRIFTING? If you’ve lost interest in the things of God, you may be adrift.
Have you stopped a regular reading or study of God’s word?
Have you stopped a regular attendance when the saints meet for worship?
Have you stopped a regular coming together with church members in their homes?
Have you stopped praying?
Have the interests of this world supplanted an interest in the things of God? <1Jn 2:15-17>
Have you become a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God? <2Ti 3:4>

START ROWING…You can correct the drifting vessel, you can reset the sails, you can set a destination. Give diligence <2Pe 1:5-10> adding to your faith, making your calling and election sure.

“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him…” (He 2:1-3)

Back to my story;

As my friend drifted, the danger ever increasing, there was a moment of hope, escape from the raging waters. Just before the river took him away, the river narrowed where he could grab an overhanging tree. I shouted for him to grab that tree that was firmly anchored on the bank.

He jumped, he got wet, but he was able to firmly grasp that tree. He was saved.

Are you drifting? Grab that anchor of hope we have in Christ Jesus.” Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast,” <Heb 6:19>

Let us help you reset the sails of your life. Stop drifting. If you live near Borger Texas, we would love to invite you to one of our assemblies.

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7 things Jesus said that made me work harder

While sitting in my office here in Borger, Tx, I was wondering, Why does one person seem to be more active as a Christian and another does not?  Said another way, why do some remain faithful and others fall away? Pondering this question, 7 verses of Jesus came to mind that are motivators for me and my faith.

1)“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” [Mt 22:37]

  • Certainly we should start here. This is the ultimate motivator, IF you believe in the existence of God. For me, obedience to an all powerful God makes perfect sense. He created me, He gave me life, He deserves my life service. Related to this saying are these:
  • A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]
    • Our love, including our demonstration of love, has an impact on my evangelistic efforts. It reminds me of David’s sin. He certainly committed adultery, lying and finally murder, but his real sin was, “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, “ [2Sa 12:14]
  • But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” [Mt 5:44]
    • Elevated even further, love our enemies. This really gets at the heart of the matter because in this one thing we see the truth of the love of God, the love of an enemy. [Rom 5:10]

2)“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” [Mr 8:36]

  • This verse showed me the vanity of worldly pursuits, and that these pursuits can interfere with my ability to win heaven. This verse clearly shows that nothing can be compared to heaven. What’s surprising, not that we sell our souls, but that we sell it so cheaply.

3)“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” [Lu 9:62]

  • It’s very easy to get lazy and unmotivated as a christian. This verse reminds us that our service toward God is an active service. James reminds us of this when he wrote, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” [Jam 2:18]

4)“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Mt 5:20]

  • So many people believe in an, “I’m ok / you’re ok” kind of life. This verse shows us that our righteousness is to EXCEED another’s. When you also look at this other verse, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” [Mt 23:23] we see that He was critical of their lack in the heart issues. Please note that He said, “without leaving the others undone.”

5)“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:” [Mt 25:35]

  • How do we do this? How do we feed our Lord? When we read the context we see very clearly that it’s done through the care and feeding of our brethren. He then goes on to say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” / “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

6)“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” [Mt 22:29]

  • Can there be any more sobering words from our Lord than these? “Spencer, you’re mistaken.” In what were these mistaken? You may say, “It’s got nothing to do with salvation.” My question for you is this, CAN YOU BE MISTAKEN ABOUT SALVATION, By not knowing the scriptures or the power of God?

7)“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” [Joh 3:5]

  • When Jesus says things like, “except ye______, he cannot enter….” we need to pay attention. So much verbal gymnastics are performed attempting to explain away baptism. When you take the entirety of scripture, [Mrk 16:16; Acts 22:16] you can only come to the conclusion that baptism is essential.

So, there you go. Seven amazing quotes from our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ. What will motivate you to serve Him better? If not these, what?

One more bonus quote I will share: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” [Mt 7:21]

Why is there evil in the world?

While sitting in my office here in Borger Texas, I was pondering this very question. So of course, being the tech savvy person that I am, I went to ask Google. That’s where I found this little video.


Of course Ravi is just a man. What we should really do is consult the word of God, over that of google.

The reason there’s evil in the world is because God gave us the right to choose. In Genesis, God had created man and gave him free will, which is the basis for the ability to choose.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” –Ge 2:16

As we know from the rest of the story, that man chose to disobey God. We see this same thing throughout all of history and today. Mankind has the ability to choose. Sometimes that make bad choices. Sometimes they make good ones. When they make bad choices, usually through selfish ambitions, evil soon follows.

We choose to eat poorly, we get sick. We choose to get drunk, someone may die. We choose to brag and boast, someone’s feelings get hurt. We choose to have power over others……..

The list is endless. But as Ravi reasoned, in order to consider something evil, you have to have a sense of what is good. This assumes a moral law to differentiate between the two. If there is a moral law, you must posit a moral law giver, and we call Him God. I believe this moral law giver to be the God of the Bible. Based on the overwhelming evidence, both internal and external, I believe.

I hope you will too.

 

spencer

God has 3 No’s

When a person says things like, God must have a reason for this tragedy, or He’s got a plan for me (spoken in the midst of all sorts of trouble) I want you to be ready to point out something about God, his no’s.

The trouble stems from a misapplication of ……..Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

They believe that God causes tragedy in order to fulfill His purpose. I think we blame God too much. When we blame Him, it seems we are accusing Him of unfairness, or some prejudice. Does it seem fair to you when one person loses a child and another doesn’t? If you begin to think that God is unfair, or unjust, I want you to turn to this passage……..

2Ch 19:6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. (7) Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. (Bribes) <righteous De 10:17-18> <respect of persons Job 34:19; Eph 6:9; Col 3:25>

Let’s go back to Rom 8:28, what does it say?

  • All things work together for good –salvation, see the rest.
  • to them that love God – If you love me, keep my commandments (Joh 14:15; Heb 5:9)
  • to them who are the called –
    • God calls us through the gospel – 2Th 2:14
    •  The gospel of Christ concerning His death, burial and resurrection – 1Co 15:1-4
    • This gospel contains commands that must be obeyed – cf. 2 Th 1:8; 1Pe 4:17
      • The command to believe in Jesus – Jn 8:24
      • The command to repent of sins – Ac 17:30-31
      •  The command to confess Jesus as Lord – Ro 10:9-10
      •  The command to be baptized – Mt 28:19; Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:38; 22:16
  • According to His purpose – Mrk 1:38 purpose to preach; to be sacrificed Joh 12:27; to destroy the work of Satan 1Jo 3:8; 2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

God wants all of us to be saved. He wants us to go to heaven. He wants us to be reconciled to Him.

When you’re facing trouble, feeling low, thinking that life is just too hard and unfair…….Remember this about God…..

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth
and without iniquity, just and right is he. De 32:4