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The Beauty Of The Christian Life
Jesus demands serious obedience from His children in the entirety of their life. Paul exhorted the Philippian Christians to diligence and seriousness in the Christian life. He said, "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all." (Philippians 2:12-17) Let us observe the beauty of the Christian life.
Christians must be diligent and serious in their obedience to God. Paul wrote, "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12) The salvation of our souls is dependent upon our obedience to God. "And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." (Hebrews 5:9) We are required to work out our own salvation. We cannot use the goodness of our parents or the faithfulness of other members of our congregation. Salvation is a personal matter and each person must obey God for himself. Our obedience begins with our belief in Christ as our Savior, repentance of our sinful ways and baptism for the forgiveness of our sins. (Acts 2:38) Obedience is not a one-time thing, but a continuing way of life, as we live according to the New Testament. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Revelation 3:20-21)
Christians must be souls through whom God works. Paul said God works in the life of Christians. "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13) The life of a Christian will not be futile because God is at work in that life. Christians must go forth in total dependence upon God and His grace. All our working depends upon God working in us. God's goodwill in our life is the cause of good works that flows from our heart.
Christians must be cheerful in action. Christians are taught to, "Do all things without complaining and disputing." (Philippians 2:14) Christians are peaceable, loving and cheerful in action. It is not always easy to be cheerful, but when we think on the goodness of God who provides the physical and spiritual blessings, our spirits will be lifted. Complaining is usually a sign that we are ungrateful. Disputing over things which are not a matter of right versus wrong creates an atmosphere which is unchristian and harmful to us and to those around us. We must continually work to show the life of Christ in our life. "Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous." (1 Peter 3:8)
Christians must be blameless in conduct. Paul encouraged Christians to "Become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world." (Philippians 2:15) We must do all the good we can and the least amount of harm possible. Christians must be blameless before men and sincere before God. To be blameless before men, we must follow Jesus' teaching at all times. We cannot follow if we do not know. We must devote part of each day to a study of God's word. After we learn the Word, we must apply it in our daily walk, so that our life shows we know the meaning of the teaching. If we are sincere before God, this study and practice of the principles learned will become our nature and help us overcome Satan's temptations. Christians must be good people who shine as lights in the world.
Christians must be bold in the defense of truth. The gospel is called the "Word of life." Christians are admonished, "Holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain." (Philippians 2:16) The truth is what brings life through Christ. Christians must hold fast to truth and hold forth the truth. Truth has nothing to fear from evil; but, we will be weak defenders of the faith if we do not grow strong in God's word. We are told by Peter, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." (1 Peter 3:15) If we are properly prepared we will not fear the false prophets who are sure to come into our lives. "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (2 Peter 2:1)
Christians must be sacrificial in service. Paul was ready to suffer for the good of his brethren. "Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all." (Philippians 2:17) Paul would gladly lay down his life to promote the cause of Christ, help the brethren and spread the gospel. He understood that the cause of Christ was worth his labor. We need to strive to have this same attitude of "love of the brethren." We are children of our heavenly Father and we must show that to the world. If we can begin to think "less of self" and more of others, we will be growing in grace. Remember, "You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9)
Let us go forth and teach the world of the glorious kingdom of Christ. Christians are, Obedient in life, Souls through whom Christ works, Cheerful in action, Blameless and harmless in conduct, Bold in defense of truth, and Sacrificial in service. There is no life to compare with the Christian life. (Galatians 2:20) Are you a Christian? To become a Christian you must hear the gospel of Christ (John 6:44-45), believe in Jesus (Acts 8:37), repent of sins (Luke 13:5), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized to wash away your sins. (Acts 22:16) Are you a Christian? If the answer is yes, then you are exhorted to be diligent in serving Jesus.
---- Charles Box
News & Notes
1. Prayer List: In Need of Prayer: Elease Brown, Douglas Butts, Amanda Charles, Terry Claunch, Johnny Cole, Camren Coleman, Lisa Cook, Paul Cotrell, Tim Croley, Trina Croley, John Curry, Nell Daughtry, Fred Fuller (father-in-law of Rick Boutwell), Richard Harrell, Michael Hartin, Devin Hawkins, Austin Herring, Sue Hunt, Allan Jackson, Ann Jackson, Charlie Jones, Felice Kendrick, Barley Newton, Ruby Norman, Alice Padgett, Bill Perry, William Pierce, Linda Reynolds, Peggy Scribner, Johnny Sims, Evelyn Smith, David Stallings, Andy Taylor, Dusty Taylor, Mary Lou Terrell, Alice Thompson, Lacy Thompson, Leroy Waller, Barbara Woods, and Betty & Wayne Young. Crowne Health Care: Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Arlene Coletrane, Ruth Davis, Betty Findley, Davis & Ruth Hester, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, and Annie Ruth Tetter. Pine Needle: Lydia Ann Raybon and Elizabeth Perdue
2. Birthdays: Celebrating a birthday this week: April 6th Andrew Cauthen, April 8th Teresa Boutwell, and April 12th Donald Davis and Bobby Taylor.
3. Strengthening Our Family: The Walnut Street Church of Christ will host our yearly, “Strengthening Our Family” Day on Sunday, April 27th. Jesse Claunch from the Century Church of Christ will be our speaker. Members are encouraged to be present for all three lessons and visitors are welcome!
4. Vacation Bible School Planning Meeting: There will be a Vacation Bible School planning meeting on Sunday afternoon, April 27th at 5:00 p.m. This meeting is for all those who volunteered to work at a story-themed station (story room, refreshments, or crafts). Please read the text of your story and come prepared to brainstorm ideas for developing your story. If you have not yet volunteered for a job but would like to participate, or even if you volunteered for another job but think you might have ideas to contribute, please join us!
5. Charles Box Away: Charles is preaching in a meeting at the Mt. Pleasant Church of Christ in Valdosta, Georgia on April 6th – 9th. Please pray for this effort.
6. Guyana Mission Trip: Charles Box is making a trip to Annai on May 8th – 22nd. If you are interested in going please contact Charles right away.
7. Vacation Bible School: Vacation Bible School – Walnut Street Church of Christ – June 22nd – 26th – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. “Happily Ever After…The Salvation Story” is the theme for this year’ VBS. We hope that you will see its potential and join with us in our excitement. We need your help; there are jobs for everyone! See the bulletin board in the foyer or see Darrell Powell to volunteer to help.
8. Younger Youth Activities: (a) On April 10th there will be an after school special activity for children from K4-5th Grade. Bring your homework and be prepared to enjoy some activities and refreshments. (b) On April 19th there will be an Easter Egg Hunt at the home of Marty and Alicia Sexton at 2:00 p.m. This fun event is for children of all ages and anyone else who would like to attend. Please bring finger foods to the egg hunt.
9. Area Events: (a) April 6th – 8th – Gospel Meeting – North Lowndes Church of Christ – Speaker: Brent Missildine – Time weeknights 7:00 p.m., (b) April 6th – 9th – Gospel Meeting – Century Church of Christ – Speaker: Caleb Jacobs – Time 7:00 week nights, (c) April 27th – Strengthening The Family Day – Walnut Street Church of Christ – Speaker: Jesse Claunch – Time Bible Class 9:30 a.m. and Worship 10:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., (d) May 3rd – A Young Ladies Day – Decatur Highway Church of Christ – Time 9:00 am to 1:30 pm – Classes for junior high, high school and college-age, and (e) June 22nd – 26th – Vacation Bible School – Walnut Street Church of Christ – Time 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Walnut Street Youth Ministry
April is a busy month for the youth ministry at the Walnut St. church of Christ. I wanted to be sure everyone is as informed about what's going on as they wish to be, so this section will be a synopsis of the activities we have planned for this month.
April 4-5 is our annual Prom (Greater Than Prom Banquet and Retreat). This provides our high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors (as well as youth from all over the state) with an opportunity to enjoy getting dressed up for dinner, then spending a weekend in Christian fellowship. This is the 11th year for this event, and we want you to know how much we appreciate your support.
April 10th there will be an After School Special activity for K4-5th graders. Bring your homework and come to enjoy a great time together. Parents can drop children off directly after school and pick them up around 5:30
April 13th is the Area Wide Devo at Dalraida. We'll leave at 3:45 P.M. and should arrive home by 8:30.
April 17th from 6:00-8:00 P.M. is our Guys and Girls divided devotional. Supper will be provided.
April 19th is the Easter Egg Hunt at the home of Marty and Alicia Sexton. It begins at 2:00 P.M. and is for children of all ages and anyone else who would like to attend. Please bring finger foods and enjoy this time of Christian fellowship.
April 24th at 6:00 P.M. there will be a teen activity that focuses on the edification of the body of Christ. All teens are welcome and encouraged to participate.
April 27th after the evening service is our monthly Teen Devo. If you are interested in hosting (whether at your home or at the building) this month or any other month, please see Darrell.
Our goal is to facilitate enough spiritually focused activities that everyone can participate in something. Let's teach our youth to choose godly things over worldly things and all go to heaven together!
Jesus invested His
life in you!
Have you paid any Interest?