What We Believe

What We Believe

Walk With God


I have often been told, even since I was a small boy,that being a preacher is the hardest profession in the world. Certainly, being a preacher is not without its challenges. And, I often wonder if James was thinking about this when he wrote James 3:1 about being careful in being a master of knowledge. Was he also reflecting back on his brother’s life and what He endured for His preaching?

Deepen your walk with God and better all mankind.

Be that as it may, while preaching is a difficult job, he does so because he wants to make a great impact with his life and ministry and in the lives of others. And, regardless if his vision for his ministry is large or small, we need to consider even more, our relationship with God. Every preacher walks with God. But, preachers need more than to just walk with God. Ministers need to deepen that walk with Him if we want to have a greater influence and if we want to make a difference. But, how do we deepen our walk with Him?
I believe it starts with humbling ourselves before the Lord (Jam. 4:10). Mankind is inclined to fill his/her life with pride. But, as a minister, we need to be meek (Matt. 5:5). You see, the meek are those who wait for the Lord. They trust in God and believe that He will work for them because God is on our side. To be meek as a minister means to realize we are insufficient and that God sustains us and guides us and protects us.

But in addition, if we want a deeper relationship with God, we must do what Paul told Timothy, which is to study and show yourself approved by God (2 Timothy 2:15). Spending time with God in prayer and filling our minds with His words, makes us growin our personal connection with Him. And, the closer connection we have with Him, the more holiness we pursue. The more we put our thoughts aside and the more we allow Christ to lead us. And, it is through this process that a minister puts more trust in the Lord.

In fact, the wisest of all man said to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and do not rely on what you understand (Prov. 3:5). This can be extremely difficult. You may not think so, especially as a minister. But, we oftentimes find ourselves in very difficult situations and we need to trust in the Lord for everything, including our future. He knows us. He knows what is best for us. And, even when we look toward one solution, the Lord wants us to prioritize our lives and trust Him, even when a solution is not visible by you.

By having this kind of relationship with God not only brings us closer to Him and not only lets us grow spiritually, but it also affects those we influence. And so, if you want a greater influence in your ministry, it all begins with our deeper walk with God on a daily basis. Our motives determine our future as well as our prayer life. And, when we walk with Him, we have a heart on fire for the Lord.

This entry was posted in Robert Notgrass

The Beautiful Expression of the Family

 
The Hebrew language beautifully expresses the concept of the family. The Hebrew word for “son” is ben. Notice two examples of passages using this term:
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. [Gen. 3:16]
And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, “Because I drew him out of the water.” [Exod. 2:10]
This word comes from the Hebrew root word banah, which means, “to build.” Notice a few examples referring to this word:
And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem.” [Ruth 4:11]
And I will raise me up a faithful priest that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in mine mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed forever. [1 Sam. 2:35]
Therefore, if ben, a “son,” comes from banah, “to build,” then it makes perfect sense that the Hebrew word eben means “a stone.” In First Samuel 7:12, Samuel named a stone Eben-ezer, meaning, “stone of help.” Why is this of any significance?
Just as a house is built of stones, a family is built of children. This is probably the idea David had in mind when he penned the words,
Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. [Ps. 127:3-5]
Moral earthquakes are shattering families today. Therefore, we should be concerned about the construction and maintenance of our families.
Children are gifts from God. He has given them to build the home. Therefore, parents need to be able to direct them in the proper way. David also describes them as arrows. Parents are responsible for pulling the strings in the proper direction. Parents are to be active in teaching and training their children (Deut. 6:2-9; Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4). Thank God for godly mothers and fathers! May God bless our homes!
This entry was posted in Sam Willcut

Who Needs the Church?


There are many people who go through life thinking that their relationship with God is just fine while they have little or no relationship with the church.  The reasons they give for staying away from the assembly range from hypocrisy, real or imagined, to the idea that they can just as meaningfully worship at the fishing hole, in the garden or on the couch.  The line from the Don Williams song rings true for them:  “I don’t believe that heaven waits for only those who congregate.”  Their view of Jesus may be that he simply wanted to spread a message of love.  They may see the church as a non-vital body part like an appendix that they can just as easily do without.
The Role of the Church engulfs all those who fall short of perfection.
No one can deny that the church is an imperfect thing.  By its nature it will always be imperfect because it is made up of imperfect people just like the folks who criticize it for its imperfections.  But neither can one deny the church’s rightful place and priority in the life of the Christian…if one believes what the Bible says.  The New Testament simply knows nothing of a faithful Christian who is willfully unattached to other Christians through corporate worship and spiritual fellowship.  Here are just a few of the truths that the New Testament teaches us about the church.
First, the church is the body of Christ (Col. 1:24).  To cut yourself off from the church is to be cut off from the body, to be amputated.  The amputated hand is not only cut off from the arm but also from the head, who is Christ (Col. 1:18).  Let’s be real clear.  The amputated body part dies.  So does the amputated Christian.
The church is also the bride of Christ (Heb. 12:22-24; cf. Rev. 21:2).  Think about that for a minute.  If we are part of the church, we are part of the bride of Christ.  So if we leave the church, what are we doing?  Aren’t we basically walking out on Christ?  Ending our spiritual marriage to him?  (Rom. 7:1-4)
The apostle Paul said that the church is the place where God is glorified (Eph. 3:21).  If one leaves the place where God is glorified, how does that one going about glorifying God?  Isn’t it a sign that this person is more concerned with what they want than what God wants?
Paul also called the church the household, or family, of God (1 Tim. 3:15).  To leave the church is to leave God’s family.  It is to be the prodigal son or daughter (Luke 15:11-32).  And until we, like the prodigal son, “come to our senses,” we’ll be sloppin’ with the pigs.
Peter called the church the possession of God (1 Pet. 2:9).  If we decide to no longer be a part of the church, we decide to no longer be part of what God owns.  Therefore, we are striking out on our own, being on our own man or woman rather than God’s.  That might sound good for a while, this independence, but as far as eternity goes it is the last place we want to be.
Finally, Paul said that Jesus is the Savior of the church (Eph. 5:23).  Do you want Christ to be your Savior?  Do you want him to save you from an eternity in hell?  If you do, then you need to be in his body, the church…because he is the Savior of the church.  The church is who he saves.  Back in Noah’s day, there was only one place to be if you wanted to avoid drowning…in the ark.  Today, there is only one place to be if you want to avoid hell…in the church of Christ.
The church isn’t perfect as it exists on the earth.  We’ve already established that fact and that’s news to no one.  But it is perfect in its design because God is its Designer.  God created it with the realization that it would be populated by imperfect people.  A few of those imperfect people may be insincere hypocrites who have no interest in being truly transformed.  God knows who they are.  But the rest of them are conscientious men and women who are acutely aware of their own sin and shortcomings.  They know they are not perfect in and of themselves.  But they also know they are perfected by the One who is.  So they stay with his church.  You would do well to stay with it too.
Otherwise you’ll spend longer than you bargained for with those hypocrites you allowed to keep you from the church.
This entry was posted in Jon Mitchell

Who Needs the Church?


There are many people who go through life thinking that their relationship with God is just fine while they have little or no relationship with the church.  The reasons they give for staying away from the assembly range from hypocrisy, real or imagined, to the idea that they can just as meaningfully worship at the fishing hole, in the garden or on the couch.  The line from the Don Williams song rings true for them:  “I don’t believe that heaven waits for only those who congregate.”  Their view of Jesus may be that he simply wanted to spread a message of love.  They may see the church as a non-vital body part like an appendix that they can just as easily do without.
The Role of the Church engulfs all those who fall short of perfection.
No one can deny that the church is an imperfect thing.  By its nature it will always be imperfect because it is made up of imperfect people just like the folks who criticize it for its imperfections.  But neither can one deny the church’s rightful place and priority in the life of the Christian…if one believes what the Bible says.  The New Testament simply knows nothing of a faithful Christian who is willfully unattached to other Christians through corporate worship and spiritual fellowship.  Here are just a few of the truths that the New Testament teaches us about the church.
First, the church is the body of Christ (Col. 1:24).  To cut yourself off from the church is to be cut off from the body, to be amputated.  The amputated hand is not only cut off from the arm but also from the head, who is Christ (Col. 1:18).  Let’s be real clear.  The amputated body part dies.  So does the amputated Christian.
The church is also the bride of Christ (Heb. 12:22-24; cf. Rev. 21:2).  Think about that for a minute.  If we are part of the church, we are part of the bride of Christ.  So if we leave the church, what are we doing?  Aren’t we basically walking out on Christ?  Ending our spiritual marriage to him?  (Rom. 7:1-4)
The apostle Paul said that the church is the place where God is glorified (Eph. 3:21).  If one leaves the place where God is glorified, how does that one going about glorifying God?  Isn’t it a sign that this person is more concerned with what they want than what God wants?
Paul also called the church the household, or family, of God (1 Tim. 3:15).  To leave the church is to leave God’s family.  It is to be the prodigal son or daughter (Luke 15:11-32).  And until we, like the prodigal son, “come to our senses,” we’ll be sloppin’ with the pigs.
Peter called the church the possession of God (1 Pet. 2:9).  If we decide to no longer be a part of the church, we decide to no longer be part of what God owns.  Therefore, we are striking out on our own, being on our own man or woman rather than God’s.  That might sound good for a while, this independence, but as far as eternity goes it is the last place we want to be.
Finally, Paul said that Jesus is the Savior of the church (Eph. 5:23).  Do you want Christ to be your Savior?  Do you want him to save you from an eternity in hell?  If you do, then you need to be in his body, the church…because he is the Savior of the church.  The church is who he saves.  Back in Noah’s day, there was only one place to be if you wanted to avoid drowning…in the ark.  Today, there is only one place to be if you want to avoid hell…in the church of Christ.
The church isn’t perfect as it exists on the earth.  We’ve already established that fact and that’s news to no one.  But it is perfect in its design because God is its Designer.  God created it with the realization that it would be populated by imperfect people.  A few of those imperfect people may be insincere hypocrites who have no interest in being truly transformed.  God knows who they are.  But the rest of them are conscientious men and women who are acutely aware of their own sin and shortcomings.  They know they are not perfect in and of themselves.  But they also know they are perfected by the One who is.  So they stay with his church.  You would do well to stay with it too.
Otherwise you’ll spend longer than you bargained for with those hypocrites you allowed to keep you from the church.
This entry was posted in Jon Mitchell

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Litchfield Church Of Christ

Meeting at:

220 Prospect Street (Water Street entrance),

Litchfield, Connecticut 06790

860-274-5694

brinck770@yahoo.com

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