10.13.19 AM – Bible Study – Exodus – Exodus 1&2
Isreal in Egypt – Exodus Chapter 1
The Early Life of Moses – Exodus Chapter 2
As Jesus was preparing to die on the cross and leave His disciples, He prayed to His Father (Jn. 17). He prayed that the apostles would be one (Jn. 17:11), and those who would believe on Him and become His disciples through the words of the apostles would be one (Jn. 17:21-23). Jesus’ prayer is that unity may exist between His disciples akin to the unity that exists between Him and the Father. Jesus did not pray that His disciples would eventually become one, but “that they all may be one” (present tense). A continual oneness is Jesus’ prayer. The Father and the Son are continually one by their nature (deity) and purpose. Christians are to continually be one because of shared faith and relationship to the Father and the Son.
This unity is not cloning. It is not to make each Christian a cookie-cutter replica in every respect. There are differences in roles and abilities. The Father and the Son are one, yet we are able to distinguish one from the other; likewise, Christians being one does not mean that one Christian is completely identified as another. While there is distinction in the roles of the Father and the Son, the Father can still be said to be in the Son and the Son in the Father (Jn. 17:21). The Father gave glory to the Son to share His message and do His works; similarly, Jesus is in Christians as they share His message and do His works so the world can see that they have been adopted into this loving unity that exists between the Father and the Son (Jn. 17:22-23).
Christians have one resolve, one goal; they have a unity of affections. The unity Jesus prayed for goes beyond mere outward organizational forms such as calling ourselves by the same name. Jesus wants Christians to have oneness of emotion in rejoicing and weeping together (Rom. 12:15 cf. 1 Cor. 12:26). We are to have one mind (Phil. 2:2). We share the same will—to do the will of the Father in heaven—and the same aim: to go to heaven (Mt. 7:21; cf. Phil. 3:15-20).
After Jesus prayed this prayer for unity, He did what was necessary to lead to its fulfillment. Jesus’ prayer was accompanied by action. He died on the cross to demolish the barriers between Jews and Gentiles and reconcile them to God in the one body, His church (Eph. 2:14-17). He left the apostles, but sent the Spirit who came and guided them into all truth (Jn. 16:7-15). Through the Spirit, Christ gave miraculous gifts to men to reveal His will through the books of the New Testament (Eph. 4:7-8). These gifts were given “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). Our desire for unity among Christ’s followers must not only be in word, but also must be accompanied by action. By what the Spirit has revealed, we must continually be “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). As Christians, let’s be reminded: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph. 4:4-6). Let’s be guided by the Spirit’s teaching in the Bible to be conformed to the Lord’s will rather than twisting and distorting the Bible to conform to our will. May this be our continual endeavor.
10.09.19 WED – Devo by Mark Parks – Are You Prepared to Meet God
10.09.19 WED – Bible Class by Jerry Sturgill – Numbers 11
Numbers 11:16-23 – The Seventy Elders
Numbers 11:24-32 – God’s Promises Fulfilled
10.06.19 PM – Jerry Sturgill – Are You Ready
Scripture Reading – Luke Wallace: Matthew 24:42-44
There is a growing disregard for elders. This is symptomatic of our day where human wisdom is substituted for divine revelation. I want to say something on the other side.
I appreciate elders because this is God’s plan (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). The one who fails to respect elders fails to respect God’s Word and God’s Way. I cannot be faithful to the Bible and disregard elders.
I appreciate elders because of the responsibility they accept. No men on earth have a greater responsibility than elders. The President of the United States with all of our problems does not bear the responsibility of elders. Elders are responsible for carrying the gospel to every creature (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). But that is not the end of the elders’ responsibility. They must watch after souls. They will have to give an account of the souls that are under their oversight. I appreciate the man that is willing to accept the responsibility of an elder.
I appreciate elders because of the time they give to the Lord’s work. While others are free to use their time in various ways, elders must use much of the time in fulfilling their duties. There are meetings where time must be given to planning the work, dealing with problems, and many other things. This requires a great deal of time; I appreciate the man who is willing to take the time necessary to do the work of an elder.
I appreciate elders because they work with the least encouragement of any people I know. I have often wondered how long I would continue to preach if I received criticism as elders do with so little encouragement. Few people in any congregation think to give a word to encourage elders. I appreciate men who will give years of helping the church grow, struggle with its problems, accept criticism, receive little or no encouragement, and continue to do its work.
I appreciate elders because of their families. First, they have done a good job in training their children and in building a stable marriage. My hat is off to the man that has a family that makes it possible for him to serve as an elder. I appreciate elders because of the sacrifices they make so that they can serve. Time that might be spent with his family is often used in doing the work of the Lord. I appreciate families that are willing to allow the husband and father to spend the time that is needed in dealing with the problems, planning the work of the church, and being concerned about the welfare of people that are under their oversight.
(It has been said in regard to public speaking “if you can’t say it any better, quote it.” That is what I am doing regarding this week’s bulletin article. Brother Camp’s words exactly reflect my own thoughts about godly elders generally, and our own godly shepherds at the Flatwoods church of Christ specifically. “ Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”, Hebrews 13:17 – Jerry D. Sturgill)