Category Archives: Bulletin Articles

Words of wisdom from our weekly bulletin

UNIQUE

Out of all the billions of people who have ever walked on the earth or will walk on it, you are unique.  No one else shares the exact DNA, fingerprints (not even twins) nor the pattern of the group of cells behind the cornea of your eyes. There is supposedly enough DNA in one person, if laid end to end, to reach the sun several times over.  How this was extrapolated I have no idea.)

God created mankind in His image (Gen 1:27) from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. (Gen 2:7)  Thereafter He formed us and knit us together in our mother’s womb to be special, unique and incomparable.  (Ps 139: 13-16)  He knows us so well that He has the very hairs on our head numbered.  Mt 10:30) He knows our thoughts before a word is on our tongue and is familiar with all our ways.  (Ps 139: 1-4)  This is a God so involved with our welfare that He not only forgives our sins, but dies in our place to make that happen.  Once we are immersed into Christ and become Christians, we can still retain our uniqueness but we need to learn how to channel it for works of service.  We are told to humble ourselves and be imitators of God. (Eph 5: 1)  We are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. (Rom 12:2)  Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.  Php 2:3) He took on the nature of a servant and humbled himself (Php 2:7-8) and demonstrated that by washing the Apostles feet. (Jo 13:14-15) It is hard for Christians to understand how many people have accepted a theory of no god and a belief in fortuitous adaptations and millions of years to replace a loving, caring and personal God.

Almost everyone who has children and grandchildren believe they are special, talented and unique.  We cheer our grandkids’ accomplishments and cast a smile at our children that says,“ they learned that from you.”  It is not too hard to imagine the Father and Holy Spirit smiling at Jesus in the same way as observed by Christians imitating Christ.                       

                       Jim Bailey

Guard Your Steps

“Guard your steps as you go to the house of God” (Eccl. 5:1, ESV).  Moses didn’t coin the phrase, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” but he could surely relate to it.   When Moses drew near to investigate the burning bush, he was warned, “Do not draw near this place.   Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground” (Ex. 3:5).   God will be treated as holy by those who draw near to him, as is clearly seen in the case of Nadab and Abihu.   These two priests offered “strange fire” on their censers and offered it before the Lord.   Fire came down from the Lord and devoured them, and God spoke emphatically:  “By those who come near me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified (Lev. 10:3).   The fire was strange not because it was any different in nature than any other fire, but because it was not the fire required by the Lord.

Guarding our steps means, first of all, that we will not rush into the presence of God to worship until we have prepared our minds for worship.   God surely doesn’t feel very special when those who come to worship Him come with minds so foggy from the previous evening’s activities that we cannot focus on the devotions of the hour.

Second, we will also prepare our hearts.   Jesus denounced those who honored God with their lips, but whose hearts were far from him (Matt.  15:8).  To draw near to worship God while having a heart filled with evil is to come presumptuously into his presence.   God receives sinful men, for there are no other kind; but he receives only those sinners with penitent hearts.   James exhorts us:  “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.   Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you doubleminded.   Lament and mourn and weep!  Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.   Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (Jam. 4:8-10).

Third, worshipers should give attention to the body when drawing near to God.   In our eagerness to avoid the external and temporal, we run the risk of approaching God with a ho-hum attitude insofar as our physical appearance is concerned.   Fashionable dresses and tailored suits do not make us acceptable to God, but neither do jeans and shower clogs.   A worshipper may be acceptable to God in either or unacceptable to God in either.   God looks upon the heart, but what is in the heart often seeps to the surface and manifests itself in such incidentals as dress, hairstyle, speech habits, and other seemingly insignificant details.

We must not creedalize a mode of dress, hairstyle, or any other such thing, but when we dress up to attend a social function and dress down to worship God, it might be a good idea for us to examine our motives for doing so.   In some cases, it might be a lack of proper reverence and respect for the occasion.   In others, it might betray an inner guilt that we have concerning the cost of our clothes.   Or, it might betray a part-time asceticism.  No one can set the outward standards of style for the body of Christ, but we all have an obligation to examine our attitude toward God and to ask, “Am I guarding my steps when I draw near to worship the Holy one of heaven?”

                 Don Campbell

SHINE

     When we think of a person who shines, we probably think of Jesus’ transfiguration. ( Mt 17:2) His face shone like the sun. No one else on this earth (with the possible “radiant face” of Moses after his encounter with God on Mt. Sinai) has ever or will ever shine like that again. Continue reading