November is the month of the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving is what makes November one of the most special and anticipated months of the year. The opportunity to get around the Thanksgiving table with family and friends is a genuine treat.
We have been told in the Bible that God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). There is so much that God has given to those created in His image to take pleasure in. There is so much in the created world around us that can be delighted in. There is treasure in what God has given by way of family members and loved ones. When it comes to our “daily bread,” most of us have plenty. The ability to be grateful for everything God has given for our enjoyment is a sign that we recognize how dependent we are on God and how deserving He is of our appreciation.
As you think of everything you are thankful for this November, what Jesus did for you on the cross should head the list. Jesus taking the place of sinners on the cross is what made the way to the Father possible. What those who have been obedient to the faith will one day enjoy can only be imagined.
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Communion affords a special opportunity to express our gratitude to God for the favor He has shown all sinners on the cross. In 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, the communion cup is called “the cup of thanksgiving”:
Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.
The cup containing the fruit of the vine is called the “cup of thanksgiving” because of all the good it symbolizes. What the communion cup contains symbolically stands for what we have most to be thankful for in Christ -- His blood that was shed for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! (Romans 5:9)
Thankfully Jesus was willing to allow His blood to be shed, poured out on Calvary so that by sacrifice our sins could be atoned for. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us” (Ephesians 1:7-8a).
The “cup of thanksgiving” indeed!
This Thanksgiving be sure to include time around the table that includes the “cup of thanksgiving.” Better yet, be sure each Lord’s Day includes participation in the “cup of Thanksgiving.”
May 29, 2017
I have two great passions when it comes to the Word of God. The first has always been that I would be able to teach God’s plan of salvation as recorded in the whole of the Bible. The second is that I have been able to teach leadership principles that are also found in the Bible.
The reason for the second is that I have come to realize just how important it is for the local church to recruit and train leaders for the future. If a church does not take the time to look for, encourage and train future leaders, the church will suffer, and, yes, I will even go as far as to say it may die.
When any local congregation dies it decreases the ability of the church universal to introduce people to the saving relationship with God that is only found through Jesus Christ. It seems to me that it is becoming more and more difficult to find men who are willing to put self aside and to devote themselves to using the gifts they have been given by God.
To be a leader in the Lord’s church is no easy task. God had the apostle Paul record the qualifications in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
I am convinced there are still men out there to fill these positions.
My request to any Christian man that might be reading this is that you pray and consider if God perhaps is calling you to serve as a future leader of the church and then begin training to do so.
Faith Worth Fighting For
August 27, 2019
My family and I recently visited our son and daughter-in-law in Maryland, near Baltimore and Washington, D.C. While there we visited the holocaust museum in Washington, D.C.
I have seen different documentaries on the holocaust, but what was on display in that museum eclipsed anything I had witnessed before. Many of the atrocities displayed there were tremendously horrendous. It’s hard to imagine mankind’s depravity sinking to such depths.
The holocaust museum is a sad reminder of one reality about war: war is one of the most calamitous consequences of evil. As much as we despise war, sometimes evil and its aggressors make going to war necessary. In fact, in his book, “The Truth War,” John McArthur writes, “As detestable as warfare of any kind might be, there are causes for which not fighting is a far greater evil.”
In his simple letter in the New Testament, Jude reminds his readers that the truth of scripture is one of those causes worth fight for. When you weigh all that is at stake -- eternal life -- to not fight for “the way, the truth, and the life” found in Christ is a “far greater evil.”
Early on in his letter, Jude wrote, “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”
The cause Jude contends is worth fighting for is the contents of “the faith that was once and for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” This enduring faith is specifically the teaching contained in the copies of Bibles, the New Testament, in particular.
What I find that needs to be contended for as much as anything is what was originally taught by the apostles. Jude’s words, “once for all,” should speak for themselves. The teaching the apostles laid down as a foundation for the church, from the gospel’s call to the mandates for the church, are to be adopted as delivered. Until Christ returns for His people, the church’s teaching should have a constant and consistent ring to it.