Below is our archive of public news and announcements:
Honor One Another
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another (From Rom 12:9-10).
The Bible teaches that we were made to bear glory, to seek glory and to give glory.
God created mankind for the specific purpose of bearing His image. Therefore, we possess a very real dignity, honor and glory. When we sin, we deface that glory and fall into guilt. By seeking the redemption offered to us in Christ we are, in part, seeking to restore the honor we were made for. This is what Paul has in mind when he says, “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life” (Rom 2:7). It is good and right that we pursue the glory and honor that comes with doing what is pleasing in the sight of God.
We were also created to give glory. First, we glorify God through praise. In John’s vision he saw an innumerable host gathered around the heavenly throne and they were saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" (Rev 5:13). This practice seems strange to those who do not know God. But those who take the time to ponder the unparalleled greatness of His being and the wonder of His salvation, find that giving Him praise and glory is an exquisite pleasure. It’s as if we were made for it!
But we also are made to give glory to our fellow creatures. We are to honor our father and our mother, those in positions of authority over us, and all of our brother’s and sisters in Christ (Rom 12:10). This means we are to foster within ourselves feelings of respect towards others. We are to find words of appreciation for the character and deeds of others. It means that we are to take advantage of opportunities to bestow special honor in recognition of particular achievement. This includes everything from graduation ceremonies, to fiftieth wedding anniversaries, to meddles of honor. Such acknowledgments are appropriate, and when rightly given and rightly received do not foster pride, but strengthen the bonds of affection and loyalty between giver and receiver.
The application to take away from this is that we should make every effort this week to give glory, first to God and then to others for who they are and what they do. Do the people in your life know that you honor and respect them? How? Are you sure? Why not go out of your way this week to make it clear to them?
The notion that I have no duty to anyone but myself is as old as Cain. When God asked him about his brother’s whereabouts, his reply was to shrug off any sense of obligation by saying, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
In contrast, Paul says, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” This exhortation is based on the concern Christ has shown for us. Rather than remaining in heaven, ignoring our problems, Jesus came to earth to help us. Jesus, our older brother, is very different than Cain. Cain murdered his brother. Jesus died for his brothers and sisters. Cain couldn’t have cared less about what became of Able. Jesus couldn’t have cared more about what becomes of us.
Are you like Cain or Jesus? The answer is revealed in the care you have for your brethren.
Here are some ways to show your concern:
- Be willing to be bothered. The impulse to be free from any entanglements in the problems of others is not from God, but from the flesh.
- Replace the image of yourself as an independent individual, with the image of yourself as a member of a body that is connected and interdependent with your brothers and sisters.
- Think of something nice that you usually only do for yourself. Do that for someone else today.
God Put It There
Peter exhorts us to cast all of our cares upon God, because God cares for us (1Pet 5:7). When we are stressed, burdened and worried, we need to remember that God cares about our struggles and that He is both willing and able to bear the burdens that we can’t. Of course, this requires humility on our part. We must be willing to acknowledge that we can’t handle it all on our own. It also requires faith, as we trust in Him to handle our burden.
One of the ways that God lifts our burden, is through the agency of other Christians. One brother is overwhelmed by a problem and another is in a position to strap on his struggling brother’s pack, and carry it a few miles. But where does this willingness to get involved in the concerns of others come from? Why do humans, who tend to be only concerned with their own well being, become willingly involved in carrying another’s burden? Paul told the church in Corinth that God had put an earnest care for them into the heart of Titus (2 Cor 8:16).
I don’t pretend to know how God puts an earnest care for others in our hearts, but I know that when I am genuinely moved to help someone else, that it is evidence of God’s work in me. I know that when someone helps me with a burden, that God is at work in their hearts.
May God help us to be more open to receiving His heart of caring for brethren in need. Here are some things we can do to prepare our hearts for God to work in our lives on behalf of others:
Read scripture with the question in mind, “How can I use this to better care for others?”
Pray, not only for opportunities to help others, but for God to incline your heart to want to help others.
Remember a time when God put it in someone’s heart to care for you. As you remember their kindness, ask God to give you the same spirit of care that you have received.
Why Your Ears Can't Smell
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light (Luke 11:34).
The only part of your body that can actually see is your eye. However, the entire body benefits from the eye’s ability to see. In other words, your feet don’t feel blind even though they can’t see a thing. In the same way, your eyes can’t pump blood to the rest of your body, supplying it with oxygen. Each part of the body has its unique function, and as it performs it’s function the rest of the body is enabled to do it’s part more effectively. The fact that your ears can't smell doesn't mean something is wrong with you, it's a design feature.
Someone cleverly put it this way. “Most of what we do, we mostly can’t do.” Ninety percent of a wide receiver’s body can’t catch a football, but in order to be a receiver he has to use a hundred percent of his body.
This is the way it is in the church. Most of us don’t preach. Only a small percentage can teach children’s classes. Fewer still do evangelism in China. However, the fact is that when any of us are doing these things, all of us are doing them, because none of us can do these things without the support and encouragement we receive from the rest of the body of Christ.
Finally, Most of the tasks that the church performs are not the things that are in the public eye. Prayers, words of encouragement, visits, benevolent acts, private Bible studies, acts of hospitality, etc. These activities are the heart and soul of the church and are vital to the well being of the whole group. Each of us should be striving to develop our abilities in these areas and give ourselves fully in their service.
Ways to care for one another this week:
Call someone who is dealing with a heavy burden right now and let them know that you are bringing them a meal to enjoy tonight.
We have had a lot of new members added to us lately. Introduce yourself to one of them and find out about them at the next service. If you don’t know who they are, ask one of the elders to point them out to you.
Ask an elderly member if there is any yard work they need done this Spring and make a time to spend a couple of hours helping them on Saturday.
How To Get In The Last Word
Envy and pride were flourishing in an environment of competition at the church in Corinth. As a wise servant of Christ, the apostle Paul saw that their troubles would only be resolved when each member began caring for others as much as they cared for themselves. In other words, the final solution to the many issues that were troubling that church, was not getting the right answer, but getting the right perspective and the right heart. When addressing their differences, Paul rarely just found in favor of one group over another, instead he gave them general principles to consider and then appealed to them to work it out as fellow members of the body of Christ.
We are no different today. The issues that trouble us are often different from those that afflicted first century churches. I haven’t known of a church dividing over circumcision or speaking in tongues. However, our hearts are in need of softening every bit as much as theirs. We must not resist the Spirit of God who pours the love of the Father into our hearts (Rom 5:5). His is a love that teaches us to be longsuffering and kind. He leads us away from envy, pride, rudeness and selfishness. His love rejoices in the right things, bears all things, believes all things, hopes and endures to the end.
Whenever we are tempted to be dismissive or sharp with a brother or sister in Christ. We would do well to remember how Jesus dealt with his enemies. He has shown us how to get in the final word in an argument, which He did when He said from the cross, “Father, forgive them....”
Here are some ways to show loving care to one another this week:
If there is someone you have held hard feelings toward and have never resolved the issue. Call them today, right now, and set up a time to meet with them. Work it out as members of the body of Christ.
Are you feeling unconnected to the body? Email Chad Grabber or Josh Lankford and ask them to send you the names and addresses of some members who are in need of visits or other care. The quickest way to feel like you are a part, is to start serving.
Write a note to one of the evangelists we support in difficult places. They may not be members of the body at Lost River, but they are members of the body of Christ. They appreciate your prayers and letters as much or more than your financial support. You can find their contact info here: http://www.lostriverchurch.org/about/our-evangelism
One Body In Christ
This month, as we consider the exhortation to care for one another, we should do so, with the understanding of the context in which it is given. We are told to care for one another, because each of us are members of one body (1Cor 12:12-25).
The church is not a civic organization that brings people together with similar interests and outlooks. The church is the body of Christ whose very lives are woven together by God.
When any one of us have some burden, injury, or problem it should be understood by all of us as our problem. The proof that we understand this, is not measured by our ability to phrase the biblical terminology correctly, but by how we respond to each other when a need arises within the body.
Those who are driven by self-interest tend to walk away from the problems and situations that arise in other people’s lives. Those who see themselves as members of the same body, woven together by God’s Spirit, will gladly involve themselves in the other person’s problem and work to help them through it.
Consider a few ways to provide care for a hurting member:
Make yourself physically present – As the body of Christ we are His hands and feet. When you go to someone in need and talk to them and embrace them, you are the mouth and the arms of Christ to them.
Pray with them – This is something we want to encourage in a big way. Don’t just make small talk about the weather or sports. When something arises that needs God’s help, say, “let’s seek the Lord’s help,” and pray with them.
Encourage them to seek out the help of others – We want to respect each other’s need for privacy, but at the same time, there is a great deal of relief and help that comes from bringing others in to provide support. This is especially the case when we feel inadequate to help in a particular situation. There is always someone within the church with experience to minister to virtually any difficulty.
Prayer and the Ministry of the Word
The first major challenge facing the brand new and rapidly growing church was figuring out how to meet the physical needs of the group. Their solution was to appoint godly men to oversee the daily distribution of food for the church’s widows. This freed the apostles to “devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:1-4).
This tells us that the apostles were busy teaching people and praying with people. This is called a ministry. It was a spiritual service they were performing and this is a ministry that needs to continue today if the church is to prosper. At Lost River we are blessed with many men and women who are gifted teachers and prayers. Today’s devo is an exhortation for you to continue developing and make full use of this gift.
Serving God’s people by praying with them is vital. There has been a significant increase in this recently and it would be a sure sign of God’s blessing if it continued to increase and abound. So, make full use of this gift and seek out opportunities to pray with your brothers and sisters who are in need. Have the courage to offer to pray with others before and after church meetings and in other settings as appropriate. People in any social organization can listen to each other problems and offer advice or sympathy, but the church is in the unique position of calling upon God to help. Let’s do so.
Ministering to one another in the word is something we have a long and honored tradition of doing in this church. People who teach on a regular basis understand what a sacrifice of time and energy is required to prepare for and teach a class. Keep up the good work and thank you for your desire to help others come to a greater appreciation of God’s word. Be like Ezra who, “prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).
Everyone should also remember the words of Gal 6:6, “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.” This can include financial support, but sometimes just hearing from those we teach about how our efforts are helping them in their lives are the best pay we can receive.
Do You Follow Allah or Jesus?
So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him (John 13:4-5).
The great cry of the Muslim religion is, Allah Akbar which translated means, “God is great.” Of course Christians also believe that God is great. The difference is that a Muslim would never refer to God as humble. In Islam, you serve God because there is no alternative. You either submit to Allah or be crushed.
The Biblical and Christian view of God is much richer. We recognize our Creator’s awesome power, but the thing we find so compelling is how He uses His power to serve us. God humbled Himself to become our servant. It is unthinkable to the Muslim mind, that Allah, would wash his creature’s feet.
What we believe about God makes all the difference in how we treat each other. If your God relates to you only in terms of His power and you obey him as a slave, then you will exert your power toward others and seek to make servants of those who are weaker than you. This explains why Muslim men treat their wives and daughters the way they do. It explains why slavery is widespread in Muslim cultures. The message learned from the example of Allah is that through force you compel others to serve you. The lesson learned from the example of Jesus is that through power you serve others.
The question you and I must ask is, “What does my treatment of others say about my view of God?” Do I see my strength as an opportunity to protect and help the weak or a way to force the weak to serve me? If we go around looking for ways to serve, it shows that we are worshiping Jesus. If we go around looking for ways to be served then we are really worshipers of Allah, whether we claim to be Christians or not.
Here are some ways to use your God given strength and freedom to serve one another through love:
- Stand up to a person who is bullying someone else. You don’t have to be bigger than the bully, you just have to be bigger than his victim.
- It is no accident that many of Jesus miracles were miracles of healing. You may not be able to heal a persons body with your touch, but your physical presence in their home or hospital room may bring them a great deal of comfort.
- Call a friend you know has been going through a difficult time and that you have been avoiding because you don’t want to get involved. Tell them you are sorry for running away, when you should have been there. Ask them how you can help.
He Ever Lives To Serve
Serve One Another II
Heb 7:24-25 because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.
We know that Jesus came to earth in order to be a servant. The ways in which He served people while He walked the earth are too numerous to tell (John 21:25). His entire life was lived in such a way as to point to the climactic act of service which He offered on the cross.
But, what is Jesus doing now that He has ascended back into the glorious presence of His Father? According to the passage from Hebrews cited above, He continues to serve us. He is our intercessor who pleads for us in the throne room of Heaven. The word intercede is a big word that simply refers to one person praying on behalf of another person. So, to put it plainly, Jesus prays for you. And remember what Jesus’ younger brother James said, the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Who is more righteous than Jesus? Whose prayers are more effective than His? What a comfort for the believer!
The Christian life is very simple. Trust in Jesus as Savior and follow Jesus as Exemplar.
Consider a few ways we can serve like Jesus:
Jesus left Heaven to come to earth. So, humble yourself to serve the needs of someone of lower economic or social status than yourself.
Jesus taught people about God. Make an opportunity to tell someone about God. Find a way this week to share the gospel with someone.
Jesus blessed the little Children. Create an opportunity to pray with your kids or grandchildren.
Jesus continues to intercede for us. Write out a list of people to intercede for this week. Pray diligently on their behalf.
God Fills the Empty
Serve One Another I
"If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” He spoke this concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive (John 7:37b-39a)
Does serving others leave you feeling empty or even resentful? If you are trying to serve others out of the thinness of your own resources you will soon feel burned out. None of us have, within ourselves, an inexhaustible reservoir from which to give. However, if we are being renewed daily with the strength and goodness of God’s abundant provision, we will flourish through giving. God can make us the kind of giver who is enriched through sharing. This is the kind of serving that makes us better, stronger and fuller.
Our prayer should be that God make us like the cruise of oil belonging to the widow of Zarephath that was both empty and overflowing. The only way this can be done is in the strength that God provides. If the Spirit of God is filling your life, it will become evident in the way you serve other people. Those who bear the fruit of the Spirit are like a spring of cool water bubbling up in a dry and thirsty land.
Here are some of the ways God refill’s you, so that you can serve others:
Reading and meditating on scriptures - His delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season (Ps 1:2-3).
Prayer - The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake (Ps 23:1-3).
Fellowship with Christians - The saints who are on the earth, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight (Ps 16:3).
Love One Another IV
1John 4:11-12 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
The fear of punishment can sometimes keep us from doing bad things. However, fear seems to be inadequate to motivate us to do good things. In order to pursue good works with a whole heart we need a higher motive.
The greatest motive is love. Love is at the very heart of God’s own character and is the fuel that powers His own actions. Before the world was ever created, the Father loved the Son. After creation and man’s fall into sin, it was God’s love that motivated Him to send His Son to redeem us from ruin. It is this motivation that takes hold of us and changes us into the kind of people who are willing to love others even to the point of self-sacrifice.
Consider Paul’s words in 1Corinthians thirteen about love. At whatever point you feel that you are lacking, reflect on how God has dealt with you in that way. The more you reflect on that, the better you will be able to show it to others.
1 Cor 13:4-7 Love is:
does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
It does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Weekend Family Workshop
Friday, Saturday & Sunday February 7-9, 2014
Friday 7:00 p.m.
Worship in Song
Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
Unless the Lord Builds the House
followed at 10:30 by:
Classes for all ages with 8 adult class options:
Jr. & Sr. High – Being a Godly Child and Sibling
College aged - Preparing Yourself for Marriage
Young couples class - Communication in Marriage
Parents of little ones - Caught not Taught
Parents of teens - This is my Beloved Son
Empty nesters - Reestablishing Your Family Identity
Widowed - Ministering to the Church Family
Singles - Staying Connected
Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
Classes for all ages with 5 Adult Classes:
Divorced and single parents - Single but not Alone
Married Men w/ children at home - Being A Spiritual Leader
Married Women w/ children at home - Cultivating Gratitude
Grandparents - A Legacy of Faith
Alternative Class – Applying The Golden Rule at Home
Sunday at 10:00 a.m.
The Household of God—The Local Church as a Family
Sunday at 5:00 p.m.
Group Discussion Sessions on the Family
A Prayer For Your Children
Save the date!
Saturday evening: Tell Me the Stories
Ryder James Stinson, brother of Hunter and Colton Stinson, was born Wednesday, October 2 weighing 8 pounds 5 ½ ounces and measuring 20 inches long. Ryder is the son of Eric and Megan Stinson.