Friday, February 24, 2012

The Need of Fellowship

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

There are some things in life that are just easier done with the help of others. Life as a whole is usually easier when you have others around to do life with. As a Christian my life as a whole should be representative of what I believe. Even though I am a Christian there are times in my life when I grapple with very deep depression. If I did not have others around me or in my life to care and pray for me, my seasons of depression could be a lot longer.

The writer of Hebrews gives us three good reasons for us to maintain some form of Christian fellowship. The first two come together in a set; we should stir each other up to love and good works. What does this look like? Well this can look different in all of our lives, love and good works can seem to almost always go hand in hand. If there is something you can think to do for someone else that you have to ability to do than do it. Don’t just wait to be asked take the initiative and get it done, by doing that you show that love the other person.

Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 describes us as the body of Christ and each member has its place and function, allowing each person to be used. But if you are an eye, there are things you won’t be able to accomplish on your own. The author of Hebrews also tells us not to forsake gathering together but to encourage one another. Take a moment and thank about that, if you are not keeping some form of fellowship then how are you staying encouraged in the Lord?

I personally am part of a men’s Bible study and can tell the difference on the weeks when I am unable to attend. But, these brothers will keep in contact by giving a call, text or email to check up on how I am doing and vice versa. If you have not been able to find a church home, at least try to find a small Bible study or if you have to start your own. If you are not able to use your gifts to help the body they will fatigue and your growth will be hindered. If that happens you may never live up to the fullest potential the Lord has in store for you.

Live Long, Pray Hard, Die Well!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Discipline and Reproof

“My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:11-12 ESV)

So this morning I was having a difficult time with my oldest son and his behavior toward everyone in the house. And during that time I had to discipline him as an attempt to get him to behave. And lately whenever he is disciplined he responds with “You hate me!, or You don’t love me!” And for the longest time I have been telling him the reason we discipline him is because we care about him. We sat down and looked at what the Bible had to tell us about God’s discipline.

Through our study we read a little bit more than half a dozen verses on discipline and a constant theme repeated itself throughout the study, discipline dealing with love. While my son is only seven years old we read these verses and discussed what each of them had to say. After reviewing God’s word I told him again and pointed out that even though he cannot see it when daddy messes up God disciplines me also.

One passage that seemed to be insightful for him was in Hebrews, “For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:10-11 ESV) While the discipline of the Lord may not include a physical touch (though sometimes it may) he gets our attention and makes us realize that we have done something wrong through conviction of the Holy Spirit. He may also keep good things from us that we assumed we were going to receive, because we have done something we should not have. This does not mean that we pay for our own sins because that is what Christ has done for us on the cross. It does mean however that we live in a physical dimension that is governed by laws (like inertia, gravity, & etc) that were created by God.

Remember that because one Israelite did not do as was told to the people the whole nation lost what should have been and easy battle against Ai. He will correct you either by conviction or by some other means, it is not fun but we grow in righteousness.

I thank the Lord for the time this morning to show my son God’s love for the both of us through discipline. May you grow in the knowledge and favor of Jesus, and not despise his discipline.

Live Long, Pray Hard, Die Well!