Aug 14

You’re in Good Company

Photo Credit: Justin Morton

Have you ever had a bad experience with someone solely because of something you taught from the Bible? As a preacher and teacher, this happens more often than most people realize. When someone starts a personal attack on one who publicly teaches the truths of God’s Word, it generally stems from the fact that they do not like what is being taught.
Remember the prophets of old? Their message was never popular. Most of them were persecuted and some even killed because of the message they delivered.

  1.  Elijah had to run for his life from the wicked queen Jezebel (I Kgs. 19:1-8).
  2. Most scholars believe Isaiah was sawn in two (Heb. 11:36-38).
  3. Jeremiah was beaten, cursed and thrown in prison by his own people (Jer. 11:18-12:6; 20:1-6; 32:1-3; 38:1-13).
  4. John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod (Matt. 14:1-12).
  5. All of the apostles are believed to have died for their faith with the exception of the beloved apostle John.

Although most people I know, including myself, have never been persecuted to the extent of the prophets mentioned above, standing for the truth and presenting that truth sometimes comes with a price (2 Tim. 3:12). Some people will personally attack you and your family when you teach on a topic that hits too close to home (divorce, homosexuality, abortion, priorities, parenting, attendance, etc.).
Paul said, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:1-2).
It is a given, people who publicly teach God’s Word will often be ostracized because of the message they present. Instead of backing down or stopping all together, our job is to endure the suffering and criticism that comes and continue to preach the truths of God’s Word. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:10-12). Remember, next time you are attacked because you teach God’s Word, you’re in good company.

Now that’s Something to Think About!

Jul 17

More Than A Fan

Photo Credit: Justin Morton

Photo Credit: Justin Morton

Who are you a fan of? The word fan means, “Enthusiastic admirer.” With that definition in mind, obviously some of us are fans of certain sports teams, while others may be fans of actors/actresses, authors or musicians. We can be fans of pretty much anything we choose.

 
Most of us have probably heard of Jesus for about as long as we can remember. From the time we were young toddlers, our parents and/or grandparents probably took us to worship and taught us about Jesus and the sacrifice He made on our behalf. Many of us have probably done the same for our children and grandchildren. We have grown up hearing about Jesus and all the wonderful things He has done for us, thus turning us into big fans. The problem with this is that some of us are nothing more than fans of Jesus.

 
When reading through the Gospel accounts, it is evident some people followed Jesus simply because of the amazing miracles He had done (Jn. 6:2). Their motivation to follow Jesus was centered on the wrong things. They weren’t really followers of Jesus the Christ, they were only fans. Eventually, when things got tough, they turned away from their fandom (Jn. 6:60-66).

 
What about us today? Are we truly followers of Jesus or are we just fans? Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). Fans never really take the field to follow after Jesus; they just stand on the sidelines and cheer. Jesus doesn’t want cheerleaders, He wants followers.

 
Friends, Jesus is inviting you to do more than just stand on the sidelines and cheer. He is inviting you to take the field and be a part of the game. Jesus is inviting you and me to take up our cross daily and follow after Him (Lk. 9:23).

 
Are you a follower of Jesus or just a fan? If being a Christian doesn’t interfere with your life on a daily basis, perhaps you are nothing more than just a fan. It’s past time to get out of the stands and follow Jesus. He needs more followers and less cheerleaders.

 

Now that’s Something to Think About!

 

May 01

Southeast Leadership Camp

Southeast Leadership CampI would like to take a moment to let you know about an upcoming camp that would be very beneficial for young people. It’s the Southeast Leadership Camp and it takes place June 1st – 8th, 2014 at the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies located in Knoxville, TN. This camp is a week devoted to helping train young people how they can use their talents and abilities to serve in the Lord’s Kingdom.There will be devotionals, classes, service opportunities and social activities each day. Why not invest in your young people by encouraging them to attend?

The best part about this camp is that it is 100% FREE. That’s right…FREE. Everything from the campers lodging to all their meals will be provided by members of the Karns Church of Christ.

I have listed some of the details below as well as the website where you can go and download the brochure and important camp forms. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at (865) 691-7444.

Southeast Leadership Camp

When: June 1st – 8th, 2014

Where: Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies (Knoxville, TN)

Cost: FREE

Website: www.wedopreaching.com/leadershipcamp

 

Apr 23

This Changes Everything

There are moments in our lives that cause everything to change: graduation, marriage, promotion, children, diagnosis or death. But what about the resurrection of Jesus? Has it had a profound impact on your life? Are you any different? Has the death and resurrection of Jesus truly changed your life or has it just changed your day? This was the question we considered this past Sunday morning at Karns in our study of God’s Word. Take a few minutes and watch this video and if you feel it is beneficial please share it with others also.

Apr 01

Just Let Go

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Photo Credit: Marty.FM via Compfight cc

Letting go is a lot harder than it sounds. With each passing day this becomes more and more evident. Like most of you, I like to have total control over my life. The thought of allowing someone else to hold the reins is more than a little scary. The obvious questions and statements come to mind: “What if that person messes up?”, “What if something bad happens?”, “What if he doesn’t know what he is doing?” and “But that’s not how I would do it.”

One of the most difficult parts of our walk with God is surrendering control of our lives to Him. We like being in control. When we are in control we know how things are going to end because we can manipulate situations to our advantage. But, when someone else has control over our lives, we cannot see the end and this causes unease and apprehension.

When Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia, he said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

As children of God, when we pledge our lives to Christ through the act of baptism, we tell God we are willing to surrender our lives to Him and His cause. This means we are willing to give up control of our lives because we no longer live for self but for God. Baptism implies giving up total control in every area of our lives and allowing God to be the driving force that controls the wheel of our daily lives.

For most of us, this is a struggle. We find it quite difficult to let go of the control. Yet Jeremiah said, “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). The wise man said, “A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?” (Prov. 20:24).

Who really has control of your life? God or you? Although letting go is hard, giving control to God is best. Maybe it is time for you to relinquish control and give God the seat He deserves in your life.