By Archie Parrish. As we pray the Psalms, the Holy Spirit helps us commune with the Father, conform to the Son, and combat the devil.As sons and daughters in a conscious vital relationship with our Father and with His family in a local church, we can properly serve as soldiers in Christ’s army and gain victory in battles with the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Relationships in the neighborhood, at the office, or at school are important. But if they don’t extend beyond the confines of that environment they have limited value. And the same is true of relationships at church. Hopefully, the believer will have friendships with some that extend beyond the confines of a church program.
Are we willing to pay the price? That is a question that must be answered within the context of specific relationships. Can I love the son who has broken my heart? Can I love the student who I can’t seem to reach? Can I love the church member who seems to have so little to give to me? Or the neighbor who irritates me?
By Robert Rogland. The Bible charges parents to bring up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord. But other Christians also have a measure of responsibility: When the Lord commanded his church to teach all nations, surely that included covenant children as well.
If God is good and all-powerful, why is there evil in his world? Is he really God? All-powerful? Good? Does he really rule his world? Where does he fit into the picture with all the bad things going on? And bottom line, we ask, How is it possible to reconcile the realities of life-sin, evil, and wickedness-with God’s all powerful and good rule? Theodicy is an attempt to justify and harmonize those things.
As far as Americans living stateside are concerned, most Muslims are extremely approachable. They enjoy friendships and the giving and receiving of hospitality is a positive thing for them. Sadly, most expatriate Muslims who have been in the United States for five or ten years have never been inside a Christian’s home!
By William J. Larkin. Indeed, how can we communicate a gospel that is truly “good news” to the postmodern person (or any cultural being for that matter)? We must “exegete” the culture from the inside out. We must interpret the Scriptures at a metacultural level. Then, we must bring the two together in effective gospel communication.
The role of deacons is critical to the ministry of the local church. However, for some time it has suffered from a poor image. In reformed circles the office is rightly seen as one of service and helps. But with the growth of church buildings and property, deacons are often viewed more as caretakers of property and less as caretakers of people.
A church-based mercy ministry benefits not only those who receive help but also those who show mercy by blessing them with the heart of Christ for a needy world.
Since the first congregational meeting was called in first century Jerusalem to elect seven spiritually qualified men to serve as deacons and focus on deeds of mercy and kindness, the church has been committed to meeting the needs of those inside and outside the church.