Category Archives: Bulletin Articles

Words of wisdom from our weekly bulletin


Most people expect a courtroom of calm dignity where there is respect for the judge and the legal process.  In fact, the judge is often addressed as Your Honor.  It would be counterintuitive to hold a trial dealing with people’s future in a chaotic setting.  However, the same judge is not expected to be a stodgy, solemn or dull person outside the courtroom.  He might well be a clown at his child’s birthday party.

Would not the same logic apply in a worship service of the Lord’s people?  The Apostle Paul does list some wise behaviors that keep the worship from becoming a chaotic endeavor (1 Cor 14:26-40).  One person at a time is to speak while the others listen quietly “…for the strengthening of the church.” (v 26) Things are to be done in a fitting and orderly way (v 40).

What about the verses that tell us to rejoice and leap for joy (Lk 6:23) (Php 4:4)?  Many other scriptures give the Christian reasons for great joy and celebration (1 Th 5:16) (1 Pe 1:8).  Indeed there are also several verses from the Old Testament where people shout and sing before the Lord (Lev 9:24) (1 Ch 16:33) (Ezr 3:12) (Ps 20:5).  Both Psalms 66 and 81 say, “Make a joyful NOISE (not a whisper) to the Lord.”  In the New Testament James tell Christians to sing songs of praise when they are happy (Jas 5:13).

A secular judge may preside over matters of life and death.  Christ’s elders do something much more important than that.  They watch out for the souls of their brethren (Heb 13:17).  They are worth more than the whole world (Mt 10:28).  They need to do this with dignity and concern, and yet, it can also be a joy not a burden.  Certainly our worship can be a joyful dignity.  Christians can be cheerful and happy while they worship in an assembly or in everyday life.

                                                                                –Jim Bailey

“Flaunt It”

Does it seem as if nearly every sports accomplishment these days has to be accompanied by an “In your face” celebration?  No matter if one’s team is far behind, the individual often flaunts conspicuously, disdainfully, and boldly his or her personal achievement.  The message appears to be, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.”  We can also see this behavior in many other fields.  “Look at my car, house, intellect or good looks, they are so much better than yours.”

This is far from a new development.  Satan delighted in tempting Adam and Eve into flaunting the blessing God had given them.  After all, they already ruled over the animals and cared for the Garden (Gen 1:26) (Gen 2:20) (Gen 2:15).  He may have reasoned that they would be susceptible to his lie about being equal with God (Gen 3:5).  Then they could really flaunt it.  All throughout history mankind has longed to be applauded, recognized, appreciated and rewarded.  This desire is not evil in itself, but if the motivation is to elevate oneself and demean others, it definitely is.

The Holy Spirit speaks through the Apostles of those who were selfish and uncaring to their brethren.  Ananias and Sapphira wanted the praise of others but not the sacrifice (Acts 5:1-11).    Paul admonishes the Corinthians for their divisions and quarrels (1 Cor 1:10-13) and their humiliation of the poor during the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:17-22).  Paul further teaches the sin of false pride in the analogy of the gifts of the Spirit and the parts of the human body (Rom 12:3-8) (1 Cor 12:14-26).  James forbids the favoritism of the brethren towards the wealthy and discrimination against the poor (Jas 2:1-6).

Of course Paul, Peter, John and even Jesus displayed their spiritual abilities, but always to edify and never to belittle anyone.  We can and should rejoice (Ps 118:24) (Php 4:4) (Lk 10:20) in our salvation, but in such a dignified and humble manner so that it could teach outsiders without flaunting our blessings (Col 4:5) (1 Th 4:12) (1 Tim 3:7).

                                                                    –Jim Bailey

“Full House”

There are several programs on HGTV now about flipping houses.  The usual format is to find a house with “good bones” and demolish the interior down to the outer walls.  With the help of a designer and many skilled laborers one can make the old house into a new home.  Unless one decides to walk away and abandon the house, it can be redone and filled with beautiful furniture and décor and end up being a forever home.

Something similar can happen in a person’s life.  God demolishes one’s old sinful self and gives one a new spiritual house called salvation (Eph 2:8-9) (Acts 2:38).  One starts with the “good bones” of a new spiritual life.  The Holy Spirit is the master carpenter with the inspired words of the New Testament as the blueprint.  He begins to redo one’s inner being (Eph 3:16) (Rom 5:5) with the qualities (Gal 5:22-23) which will make it full of things that are like Christ.

As with the physical home, there will always be maintenance and upgrades to even the most wonderful spiritual home (Php 3:12-14).  One must keep transforming the mind (Rom 12:2) and habits to reflect the Lord’s glory in one’s new home (2 Cor 3:14).  Some physical homes are not as full of fine features as others because of economic issues.  This appears to be what the Apostle Paul is saying about our spiritual home (1 Cor 3:12-15).

Unbelievably, some do choose to walk away from this wonderful gift (Heb 6:4-6).  Thankfully, most choose to transform and sanctify their new homes (2 Cor 3:17-18) (Php 3:21).  Sometimes the new homeowner will work alongside the laborers on the flipping process to expedite the move in date.  Christians are also told to do good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10) (Jo 9:4).  “…As we see the Day approaching (Heb 10:25),” and realize our new home is near (1 Jo 3:1-3) (Jo 14:2-3), we will also want to turn our house into a glorious home (Php 2:12).

                                                                     –Jim Bailey

“Elephants & Sheep”

Elephants & sheep

The internet encyclopedias list some of the similarities and many differences between elephants and sheep.  Both have strong social instincts and good memories.  Elephants have brains that weigh up to 11 pounds, and can identify themselves in a mirror.  They have a wide range of sounds to announce their needs and co-ordinate movements and defense.  They usually live in groups of 8 to 10 individuals but are much more independent than sheep.  They also seem to display emotions at the birth and death of those in their herd.  They will care not only for their own babies, but rally around those whose mother is hurt or dies.  Sheep also have a flock mentality and desire to be close to others in the group.  They are generally docile by nature but fear new visual objects and will run out of control when startled by noise or yelling. They have good peripheral vision but poor depth perception.  Although they have a good sense of hearing, they can wander off and get lost.  Elephants are often carefree and enjoying playing but sometimes praise or scold their offspring.

All that being said, isn’t it somewhat surprising that the Holy Spirit used the analogy of sheep instead of elephants to describe the church (flock) of the Lord Jesus Christ (Jo 10k:11 & 27)? Aside from the humor of replacing a lost baby elephant on Jesus’ shoulders, (Jo 15:4-5) there are several good reasons to compare sheep to Christians.  People tend to go astray (1 Pe 2:25) (Isa 53:6) and frequently in the opposite direction as the shepherds (Ps 119:176) (Jer 50:6).  Whereas sheep are by nature followers and docile, they cannot be driven like cattle.  Christians could learn much from sheep about staying in the safety of the flock and not drifting to the fringe where the wolves can more easily pick them off (Acts 20:28-29).

Just as sheep can produce valuable wool, the Christian is expected to produce good works for the Chief Shepherd (Eph 2:10) (Jo 9:4) (Php 2:12).  Sheep seldom fight with each other and Christians are told to, “…Live in peace with each other.” (1 Th 5:13) (Heb 12:14) Sheep need to be continually fed, as do Christians (Jo 21:15-17) (2 Ti 2:2) (Tit 2:1).  As we look at the wise instincts and behaviors of the elephants, we might be tempted to think we are more like them, but with an honest introspection, we know we are more like sheep.

                                                                –Jim Bailey


Even though many of us have sung the song MAJESTY several times, we probably haven’t explored the depth of its meaning enough.  Some of the dictionary definitions call it, regal, lofty, imposing character, supreme greatness and authority, impressive and revered.  It is often linked in scripture with splendor (1 Chr 16:26-27) (Ps 45:3) (Ps 145:5) (Isa 2:10).  This adds a dimension of, “brilliant and gorgeous appearance, grandeur, brilliant light and magnificence.” The song says, “Kingdom authority flow from His throne unto His own; worship His majesty…”

There are a huge amount of verses in both the Old and New Testaments which proclaim God’s glory, sovereignty and majesty.  Some talk about how He is clothed in majesty (Ps 93:1) (Ps 104:1).  Others tell us that, “He comes in awesome majesty and is beyond our reach and exalted in power…” (Job 37:22-23).

The relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the sharing of their majesty can be seen clearly in the event of the transfiguration (Mt 17:2) (Mk 9:2).  Peter writes later of the majestic splendor saying, “…we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Pe 1:16)  He, James and John saw Christ’s face and clothes shine like the sun—white as light.  The Father’s majesty came down to earth from the Majestic Glory as He declared, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” (2 Pe 1:17)

The Father often showed His majesty through the teaching and miracles of Jesus (Jude 25) (Heb 1:1-3) (Heb 8:1).  He showed it also through the thoughts and words given to us through the Holy Spirits’ inspired scriptures (1 Cor 2:9-13).  Amazingly, our God who is so great and powerful had His beloved Son humbly washing dirty feet and allowing Him to be brutally killed on a Roman cross.

God will punish those who do not repent and obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus with everlasting destruction.  They will be shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power (2 Th 1:7-9).  However, faithful, obedient Christians will finally know the full extent of God’s majesty when they see His face in heaven. (Rev 22:3-4)  He will be with them forever and free them from death, pain and tears (Rev 21:3-4).

                                                                       –Jim Bailey