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!
We Are Destined for This
by Jacob Hudgins
“For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know”(1 Thess 3:3-4).
Christians in the first century lived with the reality and full expectation of suffering for their faith. Paul was with the Thessalonians only “for a short time”(1 Thess 2:17), yet it was part of the essentials he taught them. The same was true in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, where his parting message was “to continue in the faith” because “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God”(Acts 14:22).
“I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man”(Prov 24:30-34).
We have all seen the scene Solomon describes: a fine property gone to pieces. We have seen children who are the product of neglectful parents. Cars run down because no one checked under the hood. Marriages disintegrated because people slowly drifted apart. As people who hold myriad vital responsibilities, we also need to “look and receive instruction.” What can we learn about maintenance?
The familiar stories of Daniel offer us unique lessons in God’s mercy and justice. In particular, the story Daniel and the lions’ den gives us three separate lessons we can learn: The world will often turn their back on us and find ways to target our faith; We need to focus on God no matter the distraction or opposition we find in our lives; and God will always reward our faith in Him.
“And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws”(Gen 26:4-5).
Abraham blessed the people around him. Lot had a better life because he was Abraham’s nephew. Not only did Abraham rescue him when captured (Gen 14:16) and ask God to spare Lot’s city if he found only 10 righteous (Gen 18:32), but Lot’s life was only spared because “God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow”(Gen 19:29). God remembered Abraham and saved Lot.