By Conrad Bower
Why is it that we seem to spend more time talking to people about our church instead of telling them about Jesus? Some congregations are more engaged in developing marketing strategies than in preaching the Gospel. W. H. Griffith Thomas in his book Christianity is Christ says, “The fundamental and ultimate idea and fact of Christianity is the Person of Christ.” He also suggests that “the connection between Christianity and Christ is so close as to be inseparable.” Many of us seem to think and act as though the Church is about us. Max Lucado reminds us that the Church isn’t about us – it’s about Jesus! Some of us are pretty good at being ambassadors for our local congregation, but Paul reminds us in 2nd Corinthians 5:20a,”Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ as though God were making an appeal through us.” (NASB) Here is a challenge for all of us. Seize every opportunity to mention the name of Jesus in public and in conversation with friends and neighbors
By Conrad Bower
What is your deepest desire?
Think about your answer to this question. What are you chasing after the most in life? John North reminds us that many of us spend time focused on things that will not last for eternity, things of this world. Psalm 37:4-5 reminds us of what matters most. “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.” The one thing we can’t do is go back and live our life over again.
By Conrad Bower
DOES GOD REALLY CARE?
Why does suffering and heartache cause some people to turn away from God; while others of us are actually drawn closer to Jesus? Is it because the former think that God doesn’t understand how they feel or He just doesn’t really care about what they are going through?
In Hebrews 2:10 we learn that God made His Son perfect through suffering. You may say – how could this be, since Jesus was already perfect and sinless? Perfect here is used in the sense of being made complete. Since Jesus was not only God, but man, His human experience taught Him what it’s like to endure physical, emotional and psychological pain and suffering, even to the extent of being faithful on the cross. “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8,NASB) So He is perfectly suited to intercede to God on our behalf.
Therefore, as our Great High Priest, Jesus not only understands our weaknesses, but stands ready to give us mercy and is “is able to give us grace when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16, NLT).
by Conrad Bower
IS BAD BEHAVIOR EVER ACCEPTABLE?
Certainly not to God. We are now living in an age when many forms of bad behavior are no longer considered sin by our culture. When Christians speak out against this kind of behavior they are branded as being hateful and intolerant.
Regardless of what goes on in the world around us, we need to remember that only God can define sin. The Bible is very clear and explicit on what kind of behavior constitute sin. While we can’t control the behavior of unbelievers in the world around us, we can insist that the Church maintain a high standard of holiness and integrity. Some alternative life styles that are welcomed in today’s society are totally unacceptable in the Body of Christ.
In 1st Corinthians 5:11b , Paul reminds us that we are not to continue to associate with a fellow believer who refuses to repent and give up their sinful life style. Sad to say, some churches are ignoring or avoiding this passage of Scripture.