Taking Personal Responsibility

Pointing at ManIn a time of lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, and social distancing, we are more cut off from others than we had been previously. Obviously, there are challenges to this type of social arrangement – including spiritual challenges. One such challenge is that it is increasingly important for each of us to take personal responsibility for our faith and our standing before God. Paul mentioned this idea in his letter to the brethren in Philippi:

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

Paul wanted these brethren to maintain their faithfulness even when he was absent from them and could not encourage them in person. The reason for the lack of in-person interaction is different today. And, of course, Paul was only speaking of himself as being absent from them; the brethren in Philippi were still together. However, the challenge described by Paul is the same. We must maintain our faithfulness, even without the in-person encouragement we are used to receiving from other Christians.

In this article, we are going to notice why personal responsibility is important, some ways in which we are to take personal responsibility, and also why taking personal responsibility should never cause us to think that isolation from fellow Christians is to be preferred.Continue Reading

Regular Christians (Part 6): Tychicus

Regular Christians

Tychicus was one who encouraged his brethren by informing them of Paul’s condition. He was mentioned by the apostle in his letter to the church at Colossae.

As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information. For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts” (Colossians 4:7-8).

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Regular Christians: Introduction

Regular Christians

In this series, we are going to consider some character examples of individuals we can read about in the New Testament.

Usually when we consider examples like this, we focus on some “great” Christians – men like Peter, Paul, John, and others. We certainly have much to learn from men like these who were leaders and diligent workers in the early church. Lessons about their character and example are important for us today.

Yet do we sometimes feel “inferior” to these “great” Christians? After all, we were not personally selected by Jesus; nor have we spent a few years learning from the Lord in person, received a special commission to go into all the world as His ambassadors, or been directly guided by the Holy Spirit in order to perfect our remembering and teaching of God’s word. In those ways, we are not like them; we are just “regular” Christians.

However, the New Testament does include examples of “regular” Christians – disciples like Dorcas, Tychicus, and Antipas – who were not apostles and in most cases would not be considered leaders in the church; yet what they did was significant. The Holy Spirit included them in the record of Scripture for a reason. They were “regular” Christians who serve as examples for “regular” Christians like us today.Continue Reading

Remember Those Who Led You

Hebrews 13:7

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7).

People across the country are getting ready to celebrate Memorial Day – a day to remember those who died while serving in the armed forces. It is good for us to remember these individuals as their sacrifices have greatly contributed to our ability to lead a “tranquil and quiet life” (1 Timothy 2:2).

However, there are others who are worthy of our remembrance. The Scriptures teach that we should remember those who have led us in the faith. These will be the ones we will focus on in this article.Continue Reading

Good Things to Do When You’re Older

Old man by the water

In a previous article, we discussed some good things to do when one is young. We focused on what young people are to do in order to enjoy life while also pleasing the Lord.

What if we are not young anymore? What responsibilities do we have when we are older?

This is not just about what we are to do when we are “old” (however we want to define that) or at the end of our lives (though it would certainly include that). This is a wide age range, from around 30 years old and up – old enough to influence young adults until death. What does the Bible say about what is good to do when we are older? We will notice six things.Continue Reading

The Christian and the World

Man in Forest

One of the more interesting books I have read was The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel. This book describes a man – Christopher Knight – who disappeared in 1986 and was not found until 2013. For twenty-seven years, he lived alone in the woods in central Maine without any contact with others. The way he was able to survive in the woods – not just for part of a brutally cold Maine winter, but for almost three decades – was fascinating, despite his unethical methods (stealing in order to acquire supplies).

One reason why a book like this was so popular – it was a national bestseller – is because we are intrigued by the idea of one who was able to disappear into the woods and continue his life without interference from the world around him. There may be times when we wish we could escape from the world, yet we know that this is not practical or realistic. We all live in a society and necessarily need to interact with others.

As Christians, there is a “relationship” that we have with the world. Jesus described it in the following verses:Continue Reading

Add Moral Excellence (Season 12, Episode 3)

Add Moral Excellence (Season 12, Episode 3)

 
 
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Add Moral Excellence (Season 12, Episode 3)

In this season, we’re discussing Peter’s admonition to add to your faith (2 Peter 1:5-11).

One of the qualities are are to add to our faith is moral excellence. In this episode, we discuss what this is, what it looks like with and without faith, and how we go about adding it to our faith.

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