Welcome to the July edition of Good News, the monthly newsletter of the Fairview Park church of Christ! We hope that you find the articles below helpful, edifying, and true to the Bible. If you find the articles helpful in your Bible study, please forward this e-mail to a friend. May God bless you as you study his word!
Developing a Heart for the Weak
by Jacob Hudgins
God cares for the weak and needy. “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation”(Psalm 68:5). “The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin”(Psalm 168:7-9). Jehovah is the God of the unloved wife, the foreigner, the poor, and the victim.
The faith defined in Hebrews 11.1 is “assurance of the things hoped for, a conviction of things unseen.” Having faith means we are confident that God will fulfill his promises for us, and we firmly believe that God has done everything we read about, but never saw. If we do not have faith, then our worship is in vain, and we put more trust in ourselves, and plan for this world rather than eternity. Faith separates us from this world. Chapter 11 not only defines faith for us, but it also shows us examples of God’s faithful servants. These are men and women of the Old Testament that stand out for their faith—why?
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”(Acts 4:12).
We live in a postmodern world. That means that in our time there is movement away from absolutes. All truth must be contextualized. What is true for you may not be true for me. And perhaps most importantly, claims of exclusivity—claims to be the only way—are considered reprehensible and intolerant. So in our time we must reaffirm the clear truth of the gospel: that Jesus is the only way to God, and to miss him is to have no hope.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord”(Eph 5:8-10, NIV).
Christians are not the people we once were. The transformation from darkness to light that has occurred within us has impacted us deeply, and we are still working through its implications. Yet perhaps no change is as sweeping as the shift from doing what makes us happy to “(finding) out what pleases the Lord.”