Welcome to the March 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!
Dealing Gently with Absalom
by Jacob Hudgins
“And the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom’”(2 Sam 18:5).
Absalom is a problem child. He had been banished for murdering his brother. Upon his return, he has rallied support and stolen the throne from his father. Now he has sent an army to kill David (“my own son seeks my life”, 2 Sam 16:11). The survival of David, his men, and the kingdom God gave him rests on the defeat of Absalom—yet David says “deal gently”?
What is our focus? Life is busy and distracting. Because of that, we may find ourselves losing focus on our main goal as Christians: walking in the faithfulness of God. We have to be careful of that, because if that focus changes then our spiritual lives will change as well—for the worse. If we understand that possibility, we can find comfort in Psalm 26—where David tells us the pitfalls of not focusing on God, and what our lives should look like if we are focused on God. David shows us how our lives should be focused on God’s faithfulness.
Life can be difficult sometimes. There are times were we feel overwhelmed; times when we feel oppressed or hurt; times when we feel like everything is against us. We cannot control the trials that come, however we can control our reactions to them. We have two options when it comes to hard times: take it in stride or allow it to cripple us. We are given excellent instruction in the New Testament on how we should react to the difficult times in our lives.
“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving”(Eph 5:3-4, ESV)
Some things just don’t go together. That has a world of application in fashion, home décor, and relationships. God forbade inbreeding among cattle, sowing a field with two kinds of seed, or wearing clothes made of two kinds of material (Lev 19:19). But the things that clash most sharply are God’s things and the devil’s things—“What accord has Christ with Belial?”(2 Cor 6:15).