1/7/14

From Ben Fronczek... The Resurrection (Easter 2013)


The Resurrection  (Easter 2013)

By Ben Fronczek

Want to hear some good news… today we are one more day closer to Heaven.    

Now some of you may be thinking, ‘That sounds great… but I’m not ready to go today’

Anyone and everyone who has had a loved one die knows how hard and painful that is. Losing a son or daughter, brother or sister, mom or dad, aunt or uncle, or anyone we are close to is one of the few times that can really break one’s heart. A time of mourning is one of the most painful times in life.

And so for me the most amazing miracles that Jesus performed during His three years of ministry are those times when He raised those who had died back to life. Jesus performed many miracles that we don’t even know about because they all weren’t recorded. But God thought it important to mention when He raised a few individuals back to life after they had died.

In Mark 5 starting in verse 22, we read about a man by the name of Jairus, a leader at a local synagogue who sought out Jesus. When he found Him he humbly threw himself at His feet and he pleaded for Him to help his daughter who was sick and dying. Well on the way to the man’s house they met someone on the road who told them it was too late, his daughter had died.

I can just imagine the sense of loss and anguish in this man’s heart when he heard the news about his little girl. He probably broke down in tears.  But Jesus simply tells him not to be afraid, but just believe.

It goes on to say that after he put out of the house all those who were mourning, “He took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”. 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.”  Can you just imagine how mom and dad felt. Their grief turned to joy.

Another story is found in Luke 7. Let me read this to you from the NLT 12 A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said.” This is one of the saddest times in life, when you are carrying your loved one to their grave site. Obviously this woman was wreck. She was a widow and this was her only son and so Jesus’ heart goes out to her. It goes on to say…
14 Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.”15 Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.
 16 Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, “A mighty prophet has risen among us,” and “God has visited his people today.” 17 And the news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding countryside.

Words I’m sure could not express that woman’s joy seeing her son rise.

One of the best known stories of Jesus raising someone is the story of Him raising Lazarus.

In John 11 we read about how Lazarus the brother of His dear friends Mary and Martha was sick in needed His help. Unfortunately Lazarus died four days before Jesus arrived. Many Jews had come from Jerusalem to comfort Mary and Martha in their time of loss. When Martha heard that Jesus had finally arrived she went to Him and said in verse 21, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Then Jesus says something amazing to her, He goes on to say, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”  25 Jesus said to her, “I   am   the   resurrection  and the   life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die;    and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”   27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

After meeting with Mary and He saw her crying along with all those who were there to comfort her and her sister, Jesus Himself got caught up with all the emotions of the moment. He too began to weep. He asked to go to the grave site and He told them to remove the stone blocking the tomb and then… Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.  Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

And once again grief was turned to joy. Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life.”  And this fact was never before proven more true than in His own death and resurrection.

It is a historical fact that Jesus died on the cross of Calvary. It was confirmed by the Roman soldiers and water and blood that flowed from His side after having a spear trust in His side by them.

His dead body was taken down from the cross and after a quick preparation, He was placed in a tomb which was not only seals shut but also guarded by Roman soldiers. But then we read of His resurrection on the first day of the week. His resurrection was not like those He brought back to life (like Lazarus). Those individuals were resuscitated. Their dead physical body was brought back to life, and those bodies would eventually experience death again.

But Jesus’ resurrection was a resurrection into a new and glorious state; not  strictly physical, but glorious and spiritual, powerful and eternal.

The Apostle Paul had much to say about this kind of resurrection in 1 Cor. 15, as well as the importance of Jesus’ resurrection.  He says it this way in the NLT, “What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.” “54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?”

And what part does Jesus play? In 15:20f Paul writes, 20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.  So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man.22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.  After that the end will come, when He will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father”

Jesus going to the cross and dying was all about God’s love and Jesus dying for our sin, paying the penalty for our sin. But that’s only part of the story, of what took place there. His resurrection insures our resurrection into a glorious eternal heavenly realm.  As I just read Paul said in verse 22, “Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.”

And that’s why the resurrection is so important. His resurrection is proof that there is a resurrection waiting for each one of us. And it will be just as glorious as long as we belong to Christ; that is, as long as you are a Christian. Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior and the new Lord of your life? Have you done your best to turn form sinful ways and have you allowed Him to remove your past sin in the wates of Baptism? I hope so. If you haven’t think about doing this as soon as possible. Your future depends on what you do in the here and now.

We may still cry when our loved ones pass away because we will miss them. But the hope we have is that if our love ones are Christians, before long we know we will all be together again in glory, in God’s presence, in God’s home with a glorified body along with Jesus. Praise God for the Resurrection of Jesus.

For more lessons click on the following link:http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566

From Jim McGuiggan... Hobbits

Hobbits

Yes, you must have heard. Only about a year ago excited anthropologists that worship at the shrine of Evolution (I mean the transmutation of species and not just "change") found the skeleton of a small humanoid type being. They called them "Hobbits".

Imagine their joy! Imagine also their eagerness to add new wrinkles to the story of our evolution from inorganic material to evolutionary anthropologists (and other things—like HIV=AIDS advocates). So thrilled were they that they were sure they’d have to reconstruct the chain of descent. Fancy that!

Their experts even drew a picture of what the "hobbit" must have looked like. Well, you know how wise and skilled these people are. They can look at a rib, an eyebrow ridge and an ankle bone and draw a picture as if they were drawing from full life. In any case, the drawing was something like a small ape-man walking upright with a club over his left shoulder (now there’s a surprise!). Don’t you love a great story? I suppose they found the club next to the left-handed skeleton.

Well, the rest of the story is reported in the UK newspaper The Daily Mail (7th May, 2005 and mentioned in The Christian Worker for June 2005 which is where I read it—pictures included). It seems that they’ve since come across a community of "hobbits". All very human, all looking very human, all decked out in modern clothes and not a left handed club-carrier among them. (Wouldn't you think they would have checked out if there were any people living in this remote area before getting their amazing find in the news? Helloooooo?)

I suppose these poor marvellous little humans will now have a group of WHO medical people descending on them checking them out for an alleged HIV virus that allegedly produces AIDS (whatever that is now said to be). They did that to the pygmies last year, remember?
Oh well!
Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

From Mark Copeland... That Your Progress May Be Evident (1 Timothy 4:13-16)


                     "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

              That Your Progress May Be Evident (4:13-16)

INTRODUCTION

1. In 1Ti 4:13-16, we find Paul telling Timothy things to do...
   a. Until Paul was able to come to him
   b. That would make Timothy's progress evident to all
   c. That would save himself and those who heard him
   -- These instructions were related to Timothy's work as an evangelist

2. Yet are there not applications that all Christians can take from this
   passage...?
   a. As we await the coming of our Lord?
   b. That would make our own progress evident to all?
   c. That would save ourselves and those near us?
   -- Indeed, these instructions are worthy of our careful consideration
      as Christians!

[With this in mind, what can be gleaned from Paul's charge in this
passage so "That Your Progress May Be Evident"...?]

I. GIVE YOUR ATTENTION

   A. TO READING...
      1. In Timothy's case
         a. It may refer to public reading of Scripture, a custom in the
            synagogue that was continued in the church - 
            Lk 4:16-20; Ac 13:15; 15:21; 1Th 5:27; Col 4:16; Re 1:3
         b. It may also include private reading, for the benefit of
            personal growth - Josh 1:8
      2. In our case
         a. We should certainly give attention to daily Bible reading
            for spiritual growth - Ps 1:1-3
         b. We might also read other books to encourage our walk with
            God - Php 4:8
      -- At the very least, reading God's Word is essential to our
         spiritual progress!

   B. TO EXHORTATION...
      1. In Timothy's case
         a. It likely refers to public teaching or preaching, in which
            one exhorts others - Ro 12:8
         b. It may also include private exhortation, as one encourages
            another - 1Th 5:11
      2. In our case
         a. We exhort one another by our frequent assembling - He 10:
            24-25
         b. We can also exhort one another daily - He 3:13
      -- Exhorting another person not only blesses them, but ourselves
         as well!

   C. TO DOCTRINE...
      1. In Timothy's case
         a. This refers to the teaching or instruction he would do as a
            minister - 1Ti 4:6
         b. It was a charge that was especially given to him - 1Ti 4:11
      2. In our case
         a. We may teach in various ways, in public or private, in
            example or word, but teach we must - He 5:12
         b. We may be limited where we may teach, but teach we must
            - 1Ti 2:12; Tit 2:3-4
      -- Those who teach, benefit greatly through the preparation
         required to teach!

   D. TO YOUR GIFT...
      1. In Timothy's case
         a. It referred to a gift given through the laying on of hands
            - 1Ti 4:14
         b. He had a gift imparted by the laying on of Paul's hands,
            that required some reminding; likely a miraculous gift
            - 2Ti 1:6
      2. In our case
         a. There are gifts given related to our function in the body of
            Christ - Ro 12:3-8
         b. It is important that we administer our gift in service to
            our brethren - 1Pe 4:10-11
      -- Certainly as one exercises their gift, their progress will be
         evident to others!

[Paul's instructions to Timothy can easily be applied to ourselves,
can't they?  Let's now endeavor to apply his remaining charges to
Timothy, which can be summarized by the phrase...]

II. GIVE YOURSELF ENTIRELY

   A. MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS...
      1. Dwell upon the things commanded in this passage
      2. Are you reading that which will build you up?
      3. Do you exhort your brethren, are you teaching them in ways that
         benefit them?
      4. Are you utilizing your God-given abilities and opportunities,
         or are you burying them?
      -- Perhaps the parable of the talents will help in your meditation
         - Mt 25:14-30

   B. TAKE HEED TO YOURSELF...
      1. Do not neglect your own spiritual development (which is why you
         should read)
      2. Do not neglect your own brethren (which is why you should
         exhort them)
      3. Do not neglect your own opportunities (which is why you should
         teach them)
      4. Do not neglect your own gift (which is why you should develop
         and utilize it)
      -- We can be so busy, that we neglect ourselves and not be
         prepared - cf. Lk 21:34

   C. TAKE HEED TO THE DOCTRINE...
      1. We must be true to the Word of God
      2. We must avoid being misled by false teachings
      3. We must be sure that what we teach others is true
      -- Fellowship with God and brethren are affected by doctrinal
         faithfulness - 2Jn 9-10

   D. CONTINUE IN THEM...
      1. These exhortations are not to be soon forgotten
      2. These duties require perseverance
      -- Eternal life comes to those who patiently continue to do that
         which is good - Ro 2:7

CONCLUSION

1. What benefit could Timothy expect by heeding these admonitions...?
   a. He would save himself! - 1Ti 4:16
   b. He would save those who heard him! - 1Ti 4:16

2. Is that not a goal worthy of...
   a. Giving attention to these things?
   b. Giving ourselves entirely to them?

So if we desire to have progress evident to all, and in the process save
ourselves and others, then apply these admonitions as though they were
written to us...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading January 7


Bible Reading   

January 7

The World English Bible
Jan. 7
Genesis 7

Gen 7:1 Yahweh said to Noah, "Come with all of your household into the ship, for I have seen your righteousness before me in this generation.
Gen 7:2 You shall take seven pairs of every clean animal with you, the male and his female. Of the animals that are not clean, take two, the male and his female.
Gen 7:3 Also of the birds of the sky, seven and seven, male and female, to keep seed alive on the surface of all the earth.
Gen 7:4 In seven days, I will cause it to rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights. Every living thing that I have made, I will destroy from the surface of the ground."
Gen 7:5 Noah did everything that Yahweh commanded him.
Gen 7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came on the earth.
Gen 7:7 Noah went into the ship with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives, because of the waters of the flood.
Gen 7:8 Clean animals, animals that are not clean, birds, and everything that creeps on the ground
Gen 7:9 went by pairs to Noah into the ship, male and female, as God commanded Noah.
Gen 7:10 It happened after the seven days, that the waters of the flood came on the earth.
Gen 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep were burst open, and the sky's windows were opened.
Gen 7:12 The rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.
Gen 7:13 In the same day Noah, and Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, entered into the ship;
Gen 7:14 they, and every animal after its kind, all the livestock after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort.
Gen 7:15 They went to Noah into the ship, by pairs of all flesh with the breath of life in them.
Gen 7:16 Those who went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God commanded him; and Yahweh shut him in.
Gen 7:17 The flood was forty days on the earth. The waters increased, and lifted up the ship, and it was lifted up above the earth.
Gen 7:18 The waters prevailed, and increased greatly on the earth; and the ship floated on the surface of the waters.
Gen 7:19 The waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth. All the high mountains that were under the whole sky were covered.
Gen 7:20 The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.
Gen 7:21 All flesh died that moved on the earth, including birds, livestock, animals, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man.
Gen 7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, of all that was on the dry land, died.
Gen 7:23 Every living thing was destroyed that was on the surface of the ground, including man, livestock, creeping things, and birds of the sky. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ship.

Gen 7:24 The waters prevailed on the earth one hundred fifty days.

Jan. 7,8
Matthew 4

Mat 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Mat 4:2 When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterward.
Mat 4:3 The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
Mat 4:4 But he answered, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.' "
Mat 4:5 Then the devil took him into the holy city. He set him on the pinnacle of the temple,
Mat 4:6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, 'He will put his angels in charge of you.' and, 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you don't dash your foot against a stone.' "
Mat 4:7 Jesus said to him, "Again, it is written, 'You shall not test the Lord, your God.' "
Mat 4:8 Again, the devil took him to an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory.
Mat 4:9 He said to him, "I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me."
Mat 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, "Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.' "
Mat 4:11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and served him.
Mat 4:12 Now when Jesus heard that John was delivered up, he withdrew into Galilee.
Mat 4:13 Leaving Nazareth, he came and lived in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
Mat 4:14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,
Mat 4:15 "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles,
Mat 4:16 the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, to those who sat in the region and shadow of death, to them light has dawned."
Mat 4:17 From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, "Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."
Mat 4:18 Walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers: Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
Mat 4:19 He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men."
Mat 4:20 They immediately left their nets and followed him.
Mat 4:21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them.
Mat 4:22 They immediately left the boat and their father, and followed him.
Mat 4:23 Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.
Mat 4:24 The report about him went out into all Syria. They brought to him all who were sick, afflicted with various diseases and torments, possessed with demons, epileptics, and paralytics; and he healed them.
Mat 4:25 Great multitudes from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and from beyond the Jordan followed him. 
 

From Gary... Waiting for a "look"




















Sunday, the lady on the right (Terri Justice) gave me a CD full of pictures. Among them was this one.  It struck my eye because of the reality of it. This couple (and their teenagers) has been attending church for over a year now and I have seen looks like this over and over again.  Seems to me that someone has been reading their Bible....

Ephesians, Chapter 5
  25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it; 26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word,  27 that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without defect.  28 Even so husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.  29 For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord also does the assembly;  30 because we are members of his body, of his flesh and bones.  31 “For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh.”  32 This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly.  33 Nevertheless each of you must also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she respects her husband. 

Christ loves us; why is a mystery (verse 32 above), but where is it written that we must know everything. Looking at this picture made me think of a look Christ may give us one day.  Can't wait...