DOES GOD UNDERSTAND?
Quite often, when people are encouraged to put aside whatever is preventing them from attending services regularly, they will say: “Well, I really should be there, but I think God understands!”
God has gone on record in Hebrews 10:25 as saying, “Not forsaking the assembling…” He does not understand why some of his people willfully and stubbornly hold to habits of forsaking the assembly! God does understand that we need to meet to praise Him and to study His word. God does understand that others need the encouragement of our presence. We are a family that He put together.
By Chuck Carlton
My dad is a storyteller. I haven’t always appreciated that about him. When I was a young boy I recall sighing with my brother and sisters whenever he’d start in, “I’ve got a story about that . . .” We would try to get out of it, but he wouldn’t let us. We were stuck. But something would change after a few seconds. A detail would catch our attention and draw us into the story. Next thing you know we were asking questions and listening intently. Funny how that happens, huh? Continue reading
The crash didn’t seem to bother my grandpa Frank a bit, but as the shell of the old car I was driving hit the bumper of my grandpa’s 52 Chevy pickup, it scared the 11 year old me out of my wits. I did fine steering the car up the hills and on the flats, but the slack in the chain between us was my undoing. The car had no brakes at all, a fact that grandpa didn’t check out. It probably sounds quaint in this day of cars which can stop themselves, but for many years I had reoccurring nightmares of being in cars with no brakes. Continue reading
Faith comes in the midst of uncertainty.
Most of us have been there. You know, that place where we just don’t know. Maybe it was sitting in a courtroom waiting for a verdict. Maybe it was waiting on the front porch for a teen to come home . . . and they’re late and didn’t call. Maybe you were the teen. Maybe it was in a hospital waiting room. Maybe you were waiting for the results. Maybe you were waiting for the call after the interview. Continue reading
This question might be the most important one anyone ever asks. The reason is because it affects eternity. Ironically, it may also be the most avoided question around because it forces one to face his or her mortality.
Let’s try to examine the issue from three different viewpoints—The World’s, A personal One, and God’s answer.
The World will probably judge us on physical appearance, companionships, occupation, roles, age and behavior. Family, friends, and other Christians should know us better than strangers and therefore be less harsh in their assessment.
When we answer this question personally, physical appearance, performance, attitudes and our roles will often be mentioned. In some ways we seem to be a combination of our stages of development and of those close to us. We tend to inculcate many of the characteristics we see in our mentors and heroes into our own personalities. A Christian often finds himself trying to establish a balance between vanity ( Rom 12:3) and altruism ( Gal 5:14)
Outsiders will not know us well and maybe even lie in answering the question. We can be mistaken or choose to fool ourselves about who we truly are. But God who created us ( Gen 1:26) ( I Col 1:16-17) and breathed the breath of life into our bodies knows exactly how many breaths we have left. (Ps 139:16) He knitted us together in the womb ( Ps 139: 13) and if we are Christians, sent His Holy Spirit into our inner person. (Eph 3:16) We are and will always be His children whom he loves. ( Matt 23:37) Whereas the world and we ourselves judge by outward appearance, God is renewing our inner person day by day. ( 2 Cor 4:16 )
Who am I? Great news! We have real HOPE and CHANGE. Unbreakable promises ( I Thes 4: 16-18) God’s beloved children and citizens of an eternal heaven. ( Rev21:1-4) Jim Bailey