Bulletin Articles

Bulletin Articles

A new bulletin article is posted every week! You can subscribe via our RSS feed or contact us via email to receive a mailed copy of the bulletin every two weeks. Both the electronic and mailed bulletins are provided free of charge.

Displaying 381 - 385 of 450

Page 1 2 3 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 88 89 90


Effective discipline

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Effective Discipline 

 

Everyone needs moments of correction and rebuke throughout their lives. We need this in all of our relationships - parent to a child, a boss to an employee and even the church to a wayward member (I Cor. 5). When people do things that are wrong, there must be some kind of disciplinary action. If not, the problem will only get worse. Does the Bible give us any insight as to what would be effective disciple? The answer is yes. Let’s take a look at this important issue from a Biblical perspective.

 

Be angry and sin not

The brethren at Ephesus were warned about allowing their anger to cause them to sin (Eph. 4:26). When someone does something wrong, individuals will obviously be upset. However, we must use self-control or we could easily do or say something wrong too! When a rebuke is carried out with a lost temper, the person is just venting rather than trying to provide correction. There is a good reason why God’s people are to be slow to wrath (James 1:19).

 

Be consistent

Nothing destroys the effectiveness of discipline more than being inconsistent. Consider a parent who tells a child not to do something. The child does it and nothing is said. Then the child does it again and this time he is rebuked. And then another time it is overlooked. This does nothing more than create confusion and waste of time. Discipline must be done right away every time (Prov. 13:24).

Be unwavering

There is no sense in saying, “Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! I said, Stop! Okay fine, go ahead!” Such behavior teaches that obedience is optional. The guilty will try to justify their actions – that is what the guilty do. To exercise proper discipline, one has to be firm (Gal. 2:11).

 

Be certain

Discipline is necessary, but it must be justified. We can cause great harm if we rebuke an innocent person. Jesus warned about being angry with a brother without a cause (Matt. 5:22). Getting the facts is vital because wrongly punishing someone will only provoke them. Consider Paul’s warning to fathers not to provoke their children to wrath (Eph. 6:4). We need to be swift to hear and slow to speak for this very reason (James 1:19).

 

Be willing to enforce punishment

We can see how punishment works if we consider a parent who is applying all the principles discussed so far. For example, a father might tell his child, “Since you did what you were told not to, you will lose your cell phone privileges for two days.” The child says, “That’s not fair!”  The dad calmly responds, “Do you want to go for 3 days?” The child then raises their voice again and says, “You have got to be kidding me!” Then the father calmly says, “That’s 3 days, do you want to go for 4?”  By this time the child realizes they need to be quiet and accept the punishment before it gets worse. The father must now be firm – if he changes his mind and gives the phone back, nothing was accomplished.  The goal is to change the bad behavior (Prov. 22:15).

 

Effective discipline is not fun and games. Neither giving nor receiving chastening enjoyable, but the end results will hopefully bear fruit (Heb. 12:11). It is totally unacceptable to say that we love someone too much to discipline them. The truth is, we show love by offering discipline as needed (Heb. 12:6).

                                    

                                                                                       Chuck

 

Look for the signs

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Look for the signs 

 

 The apostle Paul warned the brethren at Galatia by uttering these words, “But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Gal. 5:15). When you understand the context of this passage, we can see the reason why he had so much concern.

 

Apparently, in Galatia there was someone going about teaching false ideas. In the latter part of verse 10 it states, “…but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.” What made this such a serious problem was the fact that is was hurting the church. In order for the situation to head towards rectification, Paul went on to tell them, “I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off.” (vr. 12).

 

The words spoken by Paul may seem harsh but they needed to be said. Brethren ought to see the danger when someone is propagating error. How can we know when this is happening with us today? The answer is we need to look for the signs. Here is a short list of things to look for.

 

When the person involved is not interested in talking about it openly

 

Whoever the guilty party was that the apostle spoke of, that was troubling the brethren there, he did not know who it was. The point is, if those who were involved in spreading their false ideas were interested in the truth, why promote it quietly behind closed doors?  

                                                                      

Such people are described in II Timothy 3:6, “For this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts.”  If one is in the right, they shouldn’t fear open discussion.

 

When division is no big deal to them

 

Again, whoever was responsible for the false teaching, they didn’t care about the impact if would have. This is why the writer had to make it clear that such behavior would lead to total destruction (vr. 15). It’s sad when individuals engage in things that do nothing more than destroy unity within the church (I Coir. 1:10).

 

When the person would rather stay and create more problems than leave and be with others who accept their false ideas

 

Remember what we noted earlier in verse 12. Paul wished that those trouble-makers would cut themselves off. Let us not conclude that Paul didn’t care for their soul. It’s just that the apostle knew that. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (vr. 9).

 

When the individual causing the problems can’t get off the topic

 

In the text, the problem had to do with circumcision (vr. 3). Paul did tell the saints that he had confidence in them in the Lord (vr. 10). It was the evil doers he feared. The fact that they kept pressing the issue meant they were not learning. Such people are not interested in learning, just promoting.

 

When those promoting error do so to make themselves feel better

 

Here is one of the main issues Paul brought to light in chapter 4 verse 17, “They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them.” This was the concern. It was their selfish ambition that was behind it. They were not concerned for the spiritual well being of the brethren. Let’s keep our eyes open for the signs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             Chuck 

The penalty is not a sin

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The penalty is not a sin

 

      I recall in times past that a person taking our Bible course sent in a question. She was concerned over people who murdered and are now on death row. She wanted to know that since murder is a sin, why would anyone be in favor of the death penalty, since that is murder too?

 

What she needed to understand, as we all need to, is that there is a big difference in the eyes of God between murdering someone and justice being carried out. In Genesis 20:13, God said, “Thou shalt not murder.” In the next chapter God said, “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death” (21;12).

 

One might conclude that in both cases two people die and there is no difference. There is a difference. One is murder, the other is the penalty for murder. The latter is not sin because sin is transgression of law, and to administer the penalty for sin is not transgression, it’s obedience (I Jn. 3:4).

 

The question is, has this fact changed now that we are under the gospel and the old laws have been done away with (Col. 2:14)? Man is still told not to murder (Rom. 1:29). If someone does murder, are we allowed to kill them? The scriptures do not authorize someone to take the law into their own hands. The laws of the land are for us (Rom. 13:3-4), and we must be subject to them (vr. 5).

 

What should our disposition be if there was a death penalty? Would such be against God? The apostle Paul didn’t think so. He stated that if he did anything worthy of death he would not refuse it (Acts 25:11). If Paul wouldn’t object if he was the one facing the sentence, it is right to think he would object if it was anyone else? Of course not.

 

May we see the difference between murdering someone and one facing the penalty for murder. What our God wants from man is obedience. The penalty for a crime is not a crime!

 

                                                                                                                                                                                               Chuck

 

Give God the glory for what?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Give God the glory for what? 

 

 In Acts 12, we read the story concerning Herod the king who had James, the brother of John killed, and who also had Peter arrested (vs. 1-3). As the chapter came to a close, we are informed about Herod’s dislike for the people of Tyre and Sidon (vs. 20). However, those people were longing for peace with Herod because his country supplied them with food.

 

Therefore, the king arrayed himself in royal apparel, sitting on his throne gave an oration to the people (vs. 21). After he spoke the people shouted out to Herod, “The voice of a god and not of a man!”(vs. 22). Now, because he did not give the glory to God, he was struck by an angel of the Lord and was eaten by worms and died (vs. 23). 

 

The obvious question arises, with Herod being such an evil king, who not only had Peter arrested, but had James killed, what could he have given glory to God for? I mean, was he to thank God for using his power to hurt His children? Of course not. What kind of glory would God expect this man to give to Him? The answer is, it is easy to give God the glory if he was willing to admit some things.

 

No matter what he says, he is just a man

 

The people were crying out that his words were not of a man. Yes they were. Even children of God are warned about thinking of themselves more highly than they ought (Rom. 12:3). People in position of power, shouldn’t forget there is a supreme power. Kings were created by the Creator (Gen. 1:26).

 

Even as a king, that has food, he didn’t create it

 

Not only was this man’s words, were not divine, his ability to prove food for them came as a result of that which God provided. Whether it be the seed, the soil and the rain – none of which any king can make. The only way to describe someone like Herod, is to call him a fool. Why? Only a fool says in his heart there is no God (Psa. 14:1). Or in this case, accept the he is a god.

 

As a ruler, even he could not stop God

 

When Herod had Peter arrested, he was determined to bring him before the people after the Passover (Acts 12:4). To be assured of this, the king delivered Peter to four squads of soldiers to keep him. We are told the apostle was bound with two chains between two soldiers, and there were guards before the door of the prison (vs. 6). Not only that, we learn when Peter was freed by an angel of the Lord, they still had to get past the first and second guard posts (vr. 10).  Even though the king had the guards killed (vs. 19), certainly he ought to have feared the God that was able to set Peter free.

 

Having wealth doesn’t guarantee good health

 

Not only should he have been thankful for creation, but to bring it closer to home – his life. Rain falls on the just and unjust (Matt. 5:45). Evil people can have good health, and they have God to thank for it. No, God wasn’t giving Herod a special blessing of good health (until the end) because he was good. Good things happen to bad people and good people. But the fact is, God needs to be thanked – even though the wicked don’t. God deserves the glory.

 

This man was eaten by worms and died because pride got the best of him. This is a transgression that will keep many people out of heaven (I Jn. 2:16).  Let us learn the lessons from Herod and give God the glory for all things.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chuck

No one preaches on it!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

No one preaches on it!

 

      Over the years I have heard people make general statements about what preachers don’t preach. I love it when they say it to me and I turn around and say, “I preach on that!” Only to hear, “Well, you are rare.” I do not believe that statement either. After all, how does one know what is preached in all the pulpits across the land? Anyway, one such general statement was made recently that no one preaches on the sin of gluttony. Well, I have spoken on this from time to time, as others have, and I shall do so with this article.

     

Is there such thing as the sin of gluttony? Even though it is not specifically mentioned, it is mentioned. Just as smoking and doing drugs is not mentioned specifically, they, too, are mentioned. In Galatians 5:19-21, Paul lists a number of transgression, that those who practice such will not inherit the kingdom of God. In verse 21, the apostle said, “and the such like…” This would include all other sins that relate to the works of the flesh.

 

When you read the list of wicked acts people are guilty of committing, you will notice that many of them have to do with uncontrolled desires. This is the reason that the text followed up the fruit of the Spirit that should exist in God’s children, and one of which was self-control (vr. 23). 

 

Some might think that a person who is addicted to heroin doesn’t need it to live, so how can one, who needs food to live, ever be considered addicted to food? The answer has to do with self-control. There are times people eat because they are depressed, feel lonely, or reasons other than they are hungry. Christians, must be able to walk away and be able to resist. Those who can’t are transgressing (I Cor. 9:27).

 

I have asked myself on many occasions,: Am I eating because I have not eaten in a while and I need my strength, or have I just eaten and can’t resist the temptation to keep eating, losing my self-control? Remember, even the crack addict eventually stops for a brief time, until the desire comes again. Let us beware of the danger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                         Chuck

 

Displaying 381 - 385 of 450

Page 1 2 3 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 88 89 90