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.

 

Mar 11

The Church is a Blessing

Knox County Bible Bowl 2014

Knox County Bible Bowl 2014

This past weekend was very enjoyable for me. I mean, most every weekend is enjoyable, but this weekend was extra enjoyable because of the great reminder I received. This past weekend I was reminded of something I, along with many others, already knew, but sometimes we all probably forget. Being a part of the church is a great blessing.

First, we had our annual Karns Men’s Retreat in Pigeon Forge. It was awesome hanging out with my brothers in Christ while also studying from God’s Word. I was able to enjoy some time with guys I had not previously had an opportunity to spend much time with. The late night pizza run was a blast. Looking back, our retreat was a great reminder to me of what a blessing it is to be a part of the church of Christ.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (I Thess. 5:11)

The second part of my weekend reminder involved watching several of our K-5th grade students participate in an area wide Bible bowl. Although awards are given, the focus is not on the awards but on the actual study of God’s Word. There were a lot of young people from several different congregations engaging in this study. How incredible it was to see such good participation from so many young people. As I sat there Saturday afternoon watching those young people, I couldn’t help but think about the time and dedication it took in order to prepare for that day’s activities. Yet, another great reminder of what a blessing it is to be a part of the church.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psa. 119:105)

Finally, my weekend came to a close following a youth rally we held here at Karns. We had over 130 people come and spend Sunday afternoon studying about who we are in Christ. It was such an inspiring sight to behold. Several of our young men from Karns helped participate in the youth rally in various ways: one senior guy taught one of our class sessions, two of our guys lead singing, and three of our guys preached during the evening service that night while many others read scriptures and led prayers. Sunday night, as I sat through the last session, I thought about the future of the church and what great hands it is in if these young people continue the faithful course they are on. It was just another reminder that weekend of what a blessing it is to be a part of the family of God.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6)

This past weekend was a great reminder of why I love being a part of the Lord’s church. If you are not part of a local congregation I would encourage you to seek out a faithful church in your community that practices what the Bible teaches and start attending. Become engaged with the people and grow with them. It will truly be a blessing to your life.

Now that’s Something to Think About!

Jan 31

“Tell Me Another Story, Daddy”

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Last night as I approached the bed of my 2 year old son, I could sense his excitement for what was about to take place. Minutes earlier, before we took him to get ready for bed, I told him I would tell him a story instead of reading one to him before he fell asleep. As I crawled into his bed, he told me he was ready for me to begin. What happened next was a valuable teaching moment.

While I was telling my son the story of Joseph and his brothers, he laid there quietly, listening to every word coming out of my mouth, without moving. As I was wrapping up the story for the night, Caden rolled over and said, “Tell me another story, daddy.” Those precious words from the mouth of my 2 year old brought a huge smile to my face. He wanted to hear more.

As I laid there next to my son, I couldn’t help but think about what he had said, “Tell me another story, daddy.” I laid there thinking about how eager my son was to hear more. I pray this always will be the attitude he exhibits when it comes to scripture. So often I am afraid the older we get, the less eager we are to hear more. At times we all harbor that attitude, “Not again! I have heard this a hundred times.”

Paul said, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Rom. 10:17).

The Psalmist wrote, “Oh how I love you law! It is my mediation all the day. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (Psa. 119:97, 103-104).

Last night when I thought I was teaching my son, he was actually teaching me. May God forgive all of us when we harbor any attitude other than one of eagerness and anticipation when it comes to hearing His word. Like my 2 year old son, may I always have a desire to hear more.

Now that’s Something to Think About!

 

Dec 31

What’s Your Bowl of Stew?

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Photo Credit: sizima via Compfight cc

Have you ever been hungry? I’m not talking about just feeling like it’s time to eat. No, I’m talking about really being hungry, even to the point of feeling sick and weak. Have you ever felt like that? Esau did, and it cost him dearly.

In Genesis 25:29-34 we read about Esau coming in from the field hungry. He was so hungry, he asked Jacob for a bowl of his stew. Jacob, seeing this as a prime opportunity, told Esau he could have a bowl of stew if he was willing to part with his birthright. What happened next was one of the biggest mistakes of Esau’s life. Esau, thinking he was going to die of hunger, traded his birthright for a small bowl of stew.

Esau was willing to give up his birthright (a double portion of his father’s inheritance) for something as insignificant as a bowl of stew. Friends, this is the same plague that affects our society today. How many people are willing to sacrifice something so special for something so trivial? Just think of the special things today people will trade in for a moment or two of something which will eventually pass away.

  • Pornography! How many men, and women for that matter, have traded in their happy families in order to fulfill a moment of lustful desire?
  • Adultery! How many people have traded in a long mature marriage in order to fulfill the fleeting desires of the flesh? (see 2 Samuel 11)
  • Workaholic! How many people have traded in precious time with their families, especially their children, in order to work long and unnecessary hours to gain an extra dollar?
  • Cheating! How many people are willing to trade in honesty and integrity in order to move up in the corporate world?
  • Man-Pleaser! How many people have traded in their obedience to God in order to gain the respect and approval of mere man? (see Galatians 1:10)

You see, friends, Esau gave up something that should have been special to him to fulfill a desire of the flesh, and people in our society do the very same thing. People today are willing to trade in their marriages, families, honesty, integrity and obedience to God for something as worthless as a bowl of stew.

What about you? Are you willing to trade something special for something of no value? Think about it…“What’s your bowl of stew?”

Now that’s Something to Think About!