Be A Man And Answer God
Job experienced an extended time of suffering. He asked God why he was in such misery. His friends said he was guilty of sin. He protested and maintained the fact that he was innocent. Job desired an audience with God so he could speak to Him about struggles. Job stood defiantly before God and sought an audience to plead his case. He demanded a judicial hearing but got far more than he expected. “Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.” (Job 31:35) He said, “Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.” (Job 13:3) We may ask for something that we do not really want when we get it. Job was given an opportunity to face God but it was not at all what he expected. Speaking from a whirlwind God said to Job, “Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?” (Job 40:6-9) Job was overwhelmed and humbled. He admitted his own unworthiness and inability to answer. We might likewise be very humbled if God questioned us. What might God ask us in our hearing before Him?
God might ask us, “Who are you who teach everything but the truth?” God asked Job, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2) God doth not charge Job, as his three friends had done, with hypocrisy and living a sinful life. He charged Job concerning his words. He spoke words without knowledge. His words proceeded from ignorance. God could easily say the same thing about all the false teaching of our day. Peter wrote, “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) There are many false teachers in this Christian age. They subvert both truth and holiness and bringing upon themselves swift destruction. The sad thing about false teachers is that, “Many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (2 Peter 2:2) God might ask us, “Who are you who teach everything but the truth?”
God might ask us “How big is your heart?” God told Job to tell Him how big the earth is. “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?” (Job 38:4-5) Job had no answer for God‘s questions. God might ask us if our heart is big enough to love Him and others. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40) God might ask us “How big is your heart?”
God might ask us “Why can’t you put some doors on your mouth?” God asked Job, “Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?” (Job 38:8) God set a boundary over which the seas could not pass. “Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.” (Psalms 104:9) Why can’t we put doors or a boundary on our tongue where we will allow our words to go? I think of the harsh words people say even to their own children. “You're pathetic. You can't do anything right. You disgust me. Just shut up. Hey stupid, don't you know how to listen? You're more trouble than you're worth. Get out of here. I'm sick of looking at your face.” In Psalm 34:12-13 we learn that one of the keys to enjoying life and seeing good fruit is how we use our tongue. “What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” God might ask us “Why can’t you put some doors on your mouth?”
God might ask us “Have you brought spiritual light to some soul lost in darkness?” God asked Job, “Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place.” (Job 38:12) God wanted Job to answer if he had ever caused the darkness to go away and the morning light to shine. God might ask us if we have ever brought life and immortality to light through the gospel to another human being. “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:10) Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Are you helping others to have the light of life in their life? Jesus sent the apostles and us “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me (Jesus.)” (Acts 26:18) God might ask us “Have you brought spiritual light to some soul lost in darkness?”
God might ask us, “What is the depth of your conviction?” God asked Job, “Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?” (Job 38:16) Just as God asked Job concerning the depth of the sea He might asked us concerning the depth of our conviction. Many who claim Christianity have no conviction about Christ being the only Savior; they have no conviction about Christ having only one church; they have no conviction about the necessity of faithful attendance at the services of the church. The depth of spiritual conviction of many is so very weak. What type of person are you? Are you consistently faithful to Christ and His church? Many Christian, although they have been set free from sin, guilt and shame that came into their lives from living in the world, only partially follow God and they go through life with a very shallow commitment to godliness. They never commit themselves to true holiness, or consecration of their entire lives to God. They never seem to recognize the benefit of consistently following God. True depth of conviction remains an illusion never to be realized and yet these are religious people. God might ask us, “What is the depth of your conviction?”
You have the wonderful privilege to know God and to obey His will. The Lord will bless his faithful child. “So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.” Be converted now! To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as the Christ (John 8:24), repent of all sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Matthew 10:32) and be baptized to be saved. (Mark16:16) After baptism remain faithful to God. (Revelation 2:10) Let us never forget that, “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12)
- - - - Charles Box
News & Notes
1. Prayer List: In Need of Prayer: Shirley Autrey, Shelby Jean Black, LeRoy Boutwell, Mary Ann Bozeman, Willie Frank Burnett, Brenda Burkett, Camron Coleman, Arlene Coletrane, Bonnie Croley, Debbie Cunningham, Marie Curlee, Marietta Faulkenberry, Katlin Fuller, Devin Hawkins (nephew of Agnes Hammonds and Dennis Lowery), Patrick & Wanda Hicks, Felice Kendrick, Patricia Kennemore, Keller Kimbro (great grandson of Reese & Lydia Ann Raybon), Peggy Lassiter, Alice Little, Carolena Long, Larry Lucas, Annie McKee, Jewel McNaughton, Charlotte Miller, Jeff Miller, Ray Moore, Jeff Mustin, Jane Owen, Candice Parker, Elizabeth Perdue, Emma Peterson, Payton Pierce, William Pierce, Tina Pouncey, Shane Prater, Jack Queener, Amber Raines, Dan Raybon, Lydia Ann Raybon, Peggy Rice, Brenda Richburg, Timothy Rowell, Rosie Rudolph, Katie Sanders, L.D. Sessions, Chuck Shepherd, Nathan Simmons, Margaret Skipper, Preston Steven, Debbie Stone, Bobby & Sylvia Taylor, Mary Lou Terrell, Arlene Thomas, Frank Thomas, Alice Thompson, Corrine Till, Jenny Trawick, Dannie Waller, Gladys Warren, Jim Watts, and Jim Wood. Crowne Health Care: Helen Autrey, Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Betty Findley, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, Nelda Sanders, and Annie Ruth Tetter.
2. Baptized: Jonathan Peoples was baptized into Christ Sunday. Jonathan is a friend of Jason Holladay. Jonathan birthday is August 14th and his cell phone 429-0645. His address information will be given later.
3. Sympathy Expressed: Our love and sympathy is expressed to Neomia Collins and her family in the death of her brother-in-law, John Watts.
4. Wedding Reception Honoring Kayla and Dustin Houston: Everyone is invited to a wedding reception honoring Kayla and Dustin Houston on Sunday, September 30th from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. in the fellowship room. We encourage all to attend.
5. Amridge University Spiritual Enrichment Forum: The Spiritual Enrichment Forum will be held downtown Montgomery at the Embassy Suites Hotel on October 1st – 3rd. Please attend if possible. See Bobby Terrell for more information.
6. Anniversary: Celebrating anniversaries this week are: October 1st Ed and Sue Bagents, October 2nd Kenneth and Ann Smith and October 6th Adam and Kimberly Garlock.
7. Birthdays: Celebrating a birthday this week: October 4th Tiera Nall, October 5th Virginia Lowery.
8. Secret Pals for 2012-2013: It is time to reveal and draw Secret Pals again. The forms for 2012-2013 Secret Pal are on the table in the foyer. Fill it out and return it to Nell Daughtry by October 3rd. The ladies will meet at the home of Nell Daughtry on October 7th at 2:00 p.m. to reveal Secret Pal from 2011-2012 and draw for 2012-2013.
9. Thank You Notes: (a) Church Family, Thank you for the love you’ve shown in so many ways during our time of loss. Your many acts of kindness meant so much to all of our family. Thank you again for your thoughtfulness and love. Gary, Kathy and Mitch Bozeman and (b) To all of the ladies who prepared and brought us meals. I want to Thank You! They were wonderful! It was such a huge relief to have meals for B.J. and the kids! There is only one of me and four of them and I have trouble keeping up with everyone’s needs. I’m sure many of you know how hectic it is especially with a new baby. Thank you once again for taking care of us! We love and appreciate each one of you! Love, Missy, B.J., Ethan, Branson and Avery Alford
10. Gospel Meeting: Walnut Street Church of Christ will be conducting a gospel meeting on October 21st-24th with the speaker being Eric Lyons. Eric is the youth minister at the Wetumpka Church of Christ and he is employed with Apologetics Press. Mark your calendars and start inviting others to attend this gospel meeting.
11. Diaper and Wipe Box: There is a box in the foyer to put diapers and wipes in for Gryffin Randolph.
Dishes: If you prepared food for any of the funerals the dishes are in the multipurpose room please pick them up.
Pray For Our Elders: Elders in the church have great responsibility. Pray for Mike Bagents and Bobby Terrell daily.
Pray For Our Nation and Her Leaders: God said, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34) PRAY “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Timothy 2:20)
Area Wide Youth Meeting: The Walnut Street Church of Christ will host the Area Wide Youth Meeting on Sunday evening, October 14th. Darrell Powell will present the lesson that evening. The fellowship meal for the youth will begin at 5:00 pm. The Boston Butts will be done again this time if you wish to help please give your donation to Darrell. There will also be a need for desserts.
Area Events: (a) October 1st – 3rd – Spiritual Enrichment Forum – Hosted by Amridge University at the Embassy Suites downtown Montgomery, (b) October 5th – Area-Wide Congregational Singing – Georgia Road Church of Christ – Time 7:00 pm, (c) October 7th – 9th – Gospel Meeting – North Lowndes Church of Christ – Speaker Doug Smith – Time Sunday 1:00 pm and weeknights 7:00 pm, (d) October 7th – 10th – Homecoming & Gospel Meeting – Luverne Church of Christ – Speaker Lee Jamieson – Theme “From Winepress to Victory” – Time and Lesson Topic Sunday 9:30 am “Looking for Home”, 10:30 am “The Pressure to be Indistinct” and 1:00 pm “The Pressure to Relax” and weeknights 7:00 pm Monday “The Pressure to Forget the Cross”, Tuesday “The Pressure to Return to the Mire” and Wednesday “The Pressure of the Old Me”, (e) October 14th – Area Wide Youth Meeting – Walnut Street Church of Christ – Speaker Darrell Powell – Time 6:00 pm, (f) October 14th – 17th – Gospel Meeting – Rock Hill Church of Christ – Speaker Jimmy Mathews –Time Sunday 2:00 pm and weeknights 7:30 pm, (g) October 14th – 17th – Gospel Meeting – Evergreen Church of Christ – Speaker Ron Williams – Time 7:oo pm weeknights, (h) October 19th – 21st - Backwoods Christian Camp Finally Fall Fling, October 14th – 17th - Gospel Meeting – Lineville Church of Christ – Speaker James Watkins – Time 7:00 pm, and (i) Walnut Street Church of Christ will be conducting a gospel meeting on October 21st-24th with the speaker being Eric Lyons. Eric is the youth minister at the Wetumpka Church of Christ and he is employed with Apologetics Press. He has authored many books and publications and is a well know speaker and defender of God’s word. Mark your calendars and start inviting others to attend this gospel meeting.
God First, Others Second,
Last week, my thoughts focused on what it takes to be a hero. There are stories of great heroism that involves the risk of life and limb, and we often get caught up into thinking that people who engage in this type of gallantry are the only real heroes. But we can rescue others by simply putting their physical and emotional needs before our own. And, most importantly, we can be heroes in this life and the next when we look out for the spiritual wellbeing of others.
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4) When God asked each one of us to “count others more significant than ourselves,” He didn’t do so without giving us an example to follow. Jesus’ ULTIMATE sacrifice was made for YOU and ME. But can WE sacrifice ourselves so that others will go to heaven? This is one area in which you won’t be able to help others until you’ve taken care of yourself. As hard as you may try to minister spiritually to others, you’ll never succeed unless YOU are serving God.
It is also important that you protect yourself spiritually to keep from being dragged down by the ones you try to help. In Jude 1:21-23, we read “keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” Notice that the “hero” is urged to keep him/herself in the love of God before trying to snatch someone else out of the fire.
There’s no greater way to serve others than look out for them spiritually. Think about the people you know. Could it be that YOU are the ONE person that God has in mind to help save their souls? Your love for other people and for God will determine what you do with your opportunities to serve others. What if YOU are in their life for such a time as this? Will you “leap” to their rescue, or allow them to perish?
- - - - Darrell Powell
Don’t just own a Bible; read it!
Walnut Street Church of Christ
P.O. Box 551
Greenville, Alabama 36037-0551