Archive | May, 2013

A “One Another” People

May 16, 2013

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Paul had a formula for his teaching.

  1. He was always setting an example
  2. He expected Christians to follow that example
  3. He instructed us to set the example for others (2 Timothy 2:2, Philippians 4:9)

One of the common examples we see in Paul’s letters is his concern for the churches he planted. He made it clear that he loved his brethren! In 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13 we read where he sent Timothy down to check on the Thessalonian church.

That concern for “one another” is a big ingredient to the success of the Lord’s church.

Paul mentions how we should treat one another a number of times in his letters. He says we are to:

  • Prefer one another in honor (Romans 12:10)
  • Admonish or Instruct one another (Romans 15:14)
  • Speak the truth in love one to another (Ephesians 4:15)
  • Forbear one another (Ephesians 4:2)
  • Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Comfort or encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
  • Edify one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  • Exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13)

The next time we sense there is a conflict between “one another,” we now have a head start on how to resolve it. One of the things in this list will surely help.

The bottom line is that we are to “love one another” just like Jesus loves us. (John 13:34-35)

Daily Bible reading for May 16

Psalm 135
Numbers 16-17
Isaiah 55
1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13

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How the Word Works

May 15, 2013

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Paul was always quick to praise Christians for studying the scriptures. Especially when they faced trials because they followed God’s word. He was also quick to point out that what he said came from God and wanted those that heard to give God the credit. (1 Thessalonians 2:13-16)

The word works in those that believe – here are just a few how and whys:

  • The word saves souls (James 1:21).
  • The word sanctifies (John 17:17; 1 Timothy 4:5).
  • The word produces, just like a seed (Mark 4:26-27).
  • The word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12).
  • The word is like fire against the false (Jeremiah 23:29).
  • The word is like a hammer against the strong (Jeremiah 23:29).
  • The word is light in darkness (Psalms 119:105).
  • The word is the sole weapon in Christian warfare (Ephesians 6:17).

Just like any Subject, hobby or tool, the more we work with the word of God, the more we understand the nuances and the plan he laid out for us.

Daily Bible reading for May 15

Psalm 134
Numbers 15
Isaiah 54
1 Thessalonians 2:1-16

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Good and Pleasant

May 14, 2013

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When I think about my military days, I remember one of the biggest challenges was to always be ready as part of the team. Living in close quarters was difficult for most of us kids – especially being away from home for the first time. One gets a firsthand look at that old saying, “familiarity breeds contempt.”

The same thing can happen in college dorms, families, and sadly, inside the church. When there is disagreement or strife among teams or families there is a loss of function. Unity among these groups make everything ideal. According to the psalmist it is “good and pleasant”. (Psalm 133:1)

It is sad to see earthly families unable to get along, but when it happens within our spiritual families, it brings discredit to the Lord’s church.

The challenge then, is to:

  • Let brotherly love continue (Hebrews 13:1)
  • Remember the doctrinal unity takes effort (Ephesians 4:1-6)
  • Have the same mind and judgment (1 Corinthians 1:10)
  • Never stop loving our brethren even when it is threatened (Galatians 5:13-15)
  • Pursue things which make peace (Romans 14:19)
  • Pursue things which make holiness (Hebrews 12:14)

We work hard to make earthly relationships function well – don’t we owe it to our savior to make the spiritual ones work?

Daily Bible reading for May 14

Psalm 133
Numbers 13-14
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
1 Thessalonians 1

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More Church Building With Strong Families

May 13, 2013

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In a previous post, we had a look at Paul’s formula for building strong families. In that post, I offered a few of Paul’s instructions for building strong families as given in Ephesians 5:22-6:4.

Protecting the marriage should be a primary concern for a couple. As it turns out, single parent homes run a very high risk of living below the poverty line and having a member convicted of a crime. You can read the statistics at the US Government’s site Child Stats.

Paul mentions the order of the family unit as God intended it a few times. In addition to the Ephesians passage mentioned above, he restates it again in Colossians 3:18-21

  • the wife and children respect the husband as the head of the house
  • the husband loves and protects his wife with the intensity that Christ does the church
  • the couple understands they are to move, live and think as one

Daily Bible reading for May 13

Psalm 132
Numbers 12
Isaiah 51:1-52:12
Colossians 3:18-4:18

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The Peace of God in our Hearts

May 12, 2013

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As you mentally prepare for your next worship service, you could practice seeking things which are above. (Colossians 3:1) What better place than that? That’s where Christ is! (Colossians 3:2-3)

One who is in Christ has the essence of a new man: He is tender, kind, meek, patient… (Colossians 3:12-13) That is the attitude I want God to see in me when I worship and when I live.

As you join together with the peace of God in your hearts … be thankful for Christ.

Daily Bible reading for May 12

Psalm 131
Numbers 11
Isaiah 50
Colossians 3:1-17

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Deep Roots Matter

May 11, 2013

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I have spent a lot of time trying to grow grass in my yard. I eventually discovered that the top soil was very thin and under that soil, was solid red clay. Since the roots couldn’t get deep in the ground, they were suspect to the sun, cold and harmful bugs. The answer was to support the grass in a way that it could break through the clay and establish a solid base.

Paul wanted his fellow Christians to put down deep roots of study and practice of God’s word. Those that haven’t fully matured are suspect to being drawn away by smart sounding or persuasive people. Human traditions might have the ring of authority. Sometimes simple lies do the dirty work. (Colossians 2:8)

The world has always been a tough place for God’s people to live. With Christ’s help, the way has been made easier. A routine of study, a habit of solid worship and gathering frequently with those who have the same heavenly goals will establish those deep roots we need to survive what the world brings.

See also The Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:3-9

Daily Bible reading for May 11

Psalm 130
Numbers 10:11-36
Isaiah 48-49
Colossians 2:6-23

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May 10, 2013

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I like being reminded of the gift Gad gave us through his son.

He made sure we can be properly prepared to stand before his throne in perfection. Colossians 1 may just be the best and most important reminder of that in the Bible.

Christ was always here – he is the image of God and all things were made through him. (Colossians 1:15-20) He was a perfect example and his perfection lives on in his kingdom (the church).

If the version of the Bible you are using says we are anything except “perfect” (mature, completeness, etc.) in Colossians 1:28, I urge you to make an annotation there that the word means perfect (The NKJV has the proper treatment of this verse). The whole goal of Christianity is to make all men perfect before God (Ephesians 1:4) and it was one of the first things Jesus told us he wanted. (Matthew 5:48)

Daily Bible reading for May 10

Psalm 129
Numbers 9:15-10:10
Isaiah 46-47
Colossians 1:21-2:5

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New Site

May 9, 2013

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I am traveling right now so will not get the usual article posted until later.

But please take a look at a new project I am involved with in the meantime:

Dallas Area Churches of Christ

It’s in the very beginning stages but please bookmark it for great stuff to come!

Daily Bible reading for May 9

Psalm 129
Numbers 9:15-10:10
Isaiah 46-47
Colossians 1:21-2:5

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Habits for Easy Living

May 8, 2013

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I mention Paul’s lists a lot. They are a great way to break his writing down to get the gist of what he is trying to say.

My favorites are usually at the end of his letters in the form of exhortations. They were meant to encourage and command the basics of Christian living. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22, Ephesians 6:10-18, Galatians 5:22-23, etc.)

The list in Philippians 4:4-8 is a favorite with many probably because it punctuates the theme “Rejoice!” The Christian that can develop the traits and habits listed here will be one who will stand above his peers.

They will help us develop peace.

They will give us security and a stress free lifestyle.


Here are some previous posts on this passage. These posts are broken out of a sermon I once did on this passage.

Paul’s Recipe for Reducing Stress – Rejoice
Paul’s Recipe for Reducing Stress – Kindness
Paul’s Recipe for Reducing Stress – Just Ask
Paul’s Recipe for Reducing Stress – God’s Peace
Paul’s Recipe for Reducing Stress – The Good and Spiritual
Paul’s Recipe for Reducing Stress – Godly People
Paul’s Recipe for Reducing Stress – Forget Possessions
Paul’s Recipe for Reducing Stress – Christ

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Finish the Race

May 7, 2013

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The moral to Aesop’s The Tortoise and the Hare is often given as “Slow and steady wins the race” or compared to Solomon’s idea that “the race is not to the swift”. (Ecclesiastes 9.11)

I see a call to finish the race. Tortoise won because he stayed on track and crossed the finish line. The hare on the other hand, napped and frolicked because knew he had plenty of time to take care of business.

Paul compared our heavenly journey to a race. (1 Corinthians 9:24, 2 Timothy 4:7, Philippians 3:12) We are to run it in a way that keeps us on course and allows us to finish, and qualifies us for the prize,

Like the tortoise, the mature Christian has this attitude. He forgets what is behind him and focuses on what lies ahead. He examines what is left to do to prepare for the call of God in Christ. (Philippians 3:14-16)

So continue on and fight the good fight. Finish the race. Keep the faith.

Daily Bible reading for May 7

The offerings are listed  at the tabernacle’s consecration. The Lord is Israel’s only Savior. Paul says to press on and don’t look back.

Psalm 126
Numbers 7
Isaiah 43:1-44:5
Philippians 3:1-4:1

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Serving the Kingdom

May 6, 2013

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I heard a sermon yesterday that was full of error. The speaker talked about the Kingdom of God like it was to come in the future.

If one is a Christian, that is to say, he is “in Christ” then he is a member of the Kingdom of God. Today.

The Kingdom arrived on the day recorded in Acts 2.

In Mark 9:1 Jesus told the group that was with him “there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” In Acts 2:1-4, we have the account of that prophecy coming true. We can also see upon Jesus’ arrival in Mark 1:14-15 that the prophecies of the Kingdom were fulfilled and it was “at hand.”

If the Kingdom is not here and complete, either there are some really old guys running around or Jesus is a liar.

Here are some other references to God’s kingdom to help reinforce my point:

  • The church and the kingdom of heaven are used interchangeably in Matthew 16:18-19.
  • Paul spoke of him and the Colossians being in the kingdom (Col. 1:13)
  • Jesus said the Lord’s Supper was given to be observed in the kingdom (Matt. 26:29), Paul said it was given to be observed in the church (1 Cor. 11:23-30)
  • We can also read the parable of the tares (or weeds) in Matthew 16:24-30. Jesus’ explanation in Matthew 16:36-43 is his placing the “sons of the kingdom” into the world (v38). At the end, all causes of sin will be removed “from the kingdom” (v41)

This is a quick listing of proof presented for your personal study. We are in the last days serving in God’s kingdom right now. The next event is the judgment.

Daily Bible reading for May 6

Psalm 125
Numbers 6
Isaiah 42
Philippians 2:12-30

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Obtaining the Mind of Christ

May 5, 2013

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Thinking about what Paul meant when he said to have the mind of Christ is a great way to prepare for worship. He gave us a letter that describes our relationship to Christ as well as the reasons to rejoice.

Our relationship to Christ

  • Chapter 1 – Christ is our life and in control
  • Chapter 2 – Christ was sent as a pattern for us
  • Chapter 3 – Christ is the goal we should shoot for
  • Chapter 4 – Christ is the joy and strength of our life

Rejoice in Christ

  • Chapter 1 – Rejoice in evangelism and the opposition to darkness it causes
  • Chapter 2 – Rejoice in Christ-like service
  • Chapter 3 – Rejoice in our sufferings
  • Chapter 4 – Rejoice in Christ-like living

Daily Bible reading for May 5

The Lord gives instructions for unclean people, confession and adultery. Fear not for the Lord is there. Paul urges us to have the mind of Christ.

Psalm 124
Numbers 5
Isaiah 41
Philippians 1:27-2:11

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No Fear

May 4, 2013

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Paul wasn’t afraid of getting out and mixing it up with others when it came to delivering the word of God. He even looked upon his jail time as a chance to make others aware of the Gospel. (Philippians 1:12-13)

Those outside of Christ pay a lot of attention to Christians – both when they stumble and when they stick to their commitment. I have demonstrated time and time again that it is easy to influence an office full of coworkers to not use cuss words. It can be done silently and with respect.

It would sure help if we could be perfect, but Paul’s instructions are attainable even though we are not. Living a life worthy of the Gospel is how we are able to stand firm against opposition. (Philippians 1:27-30) Your lack of fear speaks volumes.

No matter what that opposition is, they will see through us they are in the wrong – well, at least they might become aware that there is a lot more meaning to this life. Perhaps that is why they are urgently trying to block believers from teaching.

Daily Bible reading for May 4

Roll call – the sons of Aaron and their duties. Isaiah comforts God’s people and speaks of God’s greatness. Paul encourages the Philippians about the advance of the Gospel despite his situation.

Psalm 123
Numbers 3-4
Isaiah 40
Philippians 1

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A Self-Defense Course

May 3, 2013


The reason I started the My Daily Pause project is to develop a habit of regular Bible study. This is the only way to be fully equipped for our daily needs. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The Bible is often referred to as one’s sword or the Spiritual Sword from the “whole armor of God” listed by Paul in Ephesians 6:10-20. Upon closer inspection, the Bible is the whole armor of God.

  • Truth = The Word of God
  • Righteousness = The word of God (Your commandments are righteous – Psalm 119:172)
  • The Gospel of Peace = The word of God
  • Faith is obtained from the word of God (Faith comes from hearing – Romans 10:17)
  • Salvation comes from the word of God sacred writings (the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation – 2 Timothy 3:15)
  • The Word of God

Soldiers learn to defend through training and repetition. Their skill and strength is enhanced from their armor, and their armor is enhanced from their skill and strength. In the heat of battle, neither has a lot of value on its own.

So don’t leave your armor piled in a corner! …be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God

Daily Bible reading for May 3

Head count. Hezekiah shows visitors everything he has. Paul describes the armor of God.

Psalm 122
Numbers 2
Isaiah 39
Ephesians 6:10-24

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Build up the Family, Build up the Church

May 2, 2013

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Tight knit families make the local church a functional unit, make communities strong and even spill over and make the workplace better.

It is heartbreaking for the family when they split up, but the church also feel the injury when one of their own goes through this.

Families work better when:

  • the wife and children respect the husband as the head of the house
  • the husband loves and protects his wife with the intensity that Christ does the church
  • the couple understands they are to move, live and think as one
  • the children obey the parents

Out of over 8 million marriages from 1990 to 1994 only 87% made it to their fifth anniversary and less than 75% got to their tenth. (here’s the census data )

I’ve been around a lot of families that were strong and many that fell apart over the years. Speaking only as an outsider looking in, the ones that fell apart weren’t operating like Paul laid it out in Ephesians 5:22-6:4.

Daily Bible reading for May 2

Psalm 121
Numbers 1
Isaiah 38
Ephesians 5:22-6:9

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