Welcome to the August 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!
Jesus and Grief
by Jacob Hudgins
“And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep’”(Luke 7:13).
Jesus’ life is repeatedly touched by grief. It is very likely that Jesus lived to see his father Joseph die. His cousin John the Baptist is beheaded. His friend Lazarus succumbs to sickness, probably at a young age. Yet Jesus also knows that he will be raised from the dead himself, ushering in the hope of a final resurrection of all people. This means that Jesus’ reactions at the tombs of others are a great example to us of how Christians should deal with the pain of loss while holding out the hope for the future. What does Jesus teach us about grief?
Have you ever struggled with what to pray for? Sometimes it is difficult for us to put into words the help we need or the care we have for others. In times like that, it helps us to look at example others give us in the scriptures. While we have many examples within the Old and New Testaments, Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3.14-21 gives us two essential elements regarding prayer.
When Israel crosses into the land of Canaan, God gives an odd battle plan. “You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus you shall do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets”(Josh 6:3-4). Having wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, God expects Israel to march for a week around Jericho and wait for the walls to come down? What is going on here? What point is God making?
“He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap”(Eccl 11:4).
With some regularity we contemplate changes to our lives. “I could stand to lose some weight” or “I could go back to school” or “I’d like to put more money into savings” or “I’d like to study my Bible more regularly.” Yet we find these changes remarkably difficult to put into practice. Usually we envision a time when everything finally reaches perfection—the bills are all paid, our schedule is entirely free, and the phone stops ringing—that never actually happens. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon exposes the myth of the perfect time and encourages us to do what’s important now instead of waiting.