Thursday, December 17, 2015

When Do You Remember Jesus?

During this time of year many, many people attend the "church of their choice" to "remember Jesus." All year long there are those that go about their work only looking out for themselves and their family and not giving any thought to Jesus Christ. But then, that one day comes around once a year called "Christmas" and many people stop and think to themselves, "it’s time to remember Jesus." This is really sad. We are commanded to meet together on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7). The bread represents the body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23-24). Jesus said "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me" (1 Corinthians 11:24). We know from reading Acts 20:7 that we are to meet on the first day of the week - why? To break bread. What does the bread represent? Christ's body. Therefore, when we partake of the bread which represents Christ's body we can see from the scriptures that we are to do it in remembrance of Jesus on the first day of the week. How many first day of the weeks are there? 52, and sometimes 53. Therefore, how can one suddenly say to himself, today I need to stop and remember Jesus Christ - only once per year and keep the commandments of Jesus? The bread represents His body, the cup represents His blood which was shed for us on Calvary. We are remembering and proclaiming the Lord's DEATH until He comes again (1 Corinthians 11:26) each time (first day of the week) that we partake of it. We do not partake of the bread and cup in memory of His birth - whenever that was. It's through His death that we have life!

Thursday, December 10, 2015


What is the value of self-control? Self-control is that which enables us to hold our tongues when we are tempted to viciously put someone in his place once and for all; or when we know a juicy bit of gossip that would be entertaining to the group and would turn us into the "life of the party"; or when an occasion almost demands that we betray a confidence that must not be betrayed under any circumstances.

Self-control is that which enables us to control our passions when another is provoking us to anger; that keeps the clinched fists in the pockets when the agitator is only half our size; that keeps the lips sealed when another is railing and swearing at us. Self-control is that which enables us to be like our Lord "who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Peter 2:23).

Self-control is that which enables us to maintain purity of heart and to thrust out evil thoughts before they can take root; that enables us to place the best possible construction on another person's actions when unproven rumors could easily destroy our confidence in him; that helps us to maintain a cheerful disposition when everything around us has turned sour. Self-control is that which enables us to love the unlovable and to hate that which the world loves.

Self-control is that which enables us to rule our appetites; to say “no” when our lusts would lead us to sin or when that which is harmful to our health is placed before us. Self-control is that which enables the smoker to put down his cigarettes and the alcoholic to put down his drink and never return to it. Self-control is that which enables us to rule rather than to be enslaved.

The Bible does not glorify the indifferent and impassive. It is not our goal to be uncaring. To be like Paul, we must be able to have our spirit stirred within us when we are surrounded by evil (Acts 17:16). To be like our Lord, we must sometimes feel anger when surrounded by hypocritical self-righteousness (Mark 3:5); we must even react with occasional outbursts of goodness on occasions, as when the Lord cleansed the temple (John 2:13-17).  But, all such outbursts must be tempered with self-control, that in our anger we “do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26).

God does not view our uncontrolled actions with amusement. Our temper tantrums and harsh, unbridled words are soul threatening, a potential bar to the abundant entrance into the Lord’s everlasting kingdom (2 Peter 1:5-11). We must not minimize the danger. We must not surrender to this evil. What is the value of self-control? It is one of the qualities that enable us to go to heaven. The possessor of it is rich indeed.

Written by: Bill Hall

Friday, December 4, 2015

Counted Faithful

In 1 Timothy 1:12, the apostle Paul said that he had been counted faithful. This must have been an accurate account because he said that the Lord Jesus had so counted him. When someone's name comes up in the conversation of religious people today, the response is likely to be: "he's a faithful Christian," or, "he isn't very faithful." 

We, as Christians, are counted faithful by the Lord if we obey Him as Paul did. We ask, "In what should Christians be faithful?" Of course, the New Testament plainly tells us. The overall requirement of faithfulness is set forth in Paul's words in 1 Timothy 3:11 in which he wrote concerning the wives of deacons: "Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things." 

Jesus taught that people should be faithful in watching. He said in Luke 12:37, "Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching." His parable in Matthew 25 about the talents teaches that we should be faithful in using what we have. In Luke 16:10, He said, "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much." Much of what goes together to make up the Christian life are little things, and in these we must be faithful. 

The Lord expects us to be faithful in obeying His commands and complying with His wishes. He said in John 14:15, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." Hebrews 5:9 says, "...He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him..." 

Let us obey the Lord, keeping His commandments, so that we might be counted faithful by Him in the end (Revelation 2:10).