The Bulletin
of the
Church of Christ at New Georgia

Tim Johnson, editor

January 2, 2011

In This Issue:
Vertical Thinking
by Steve Klein

What is Most Precious to You?
by Allan McNabb



Vertical Thinking

     Deer have keen eyesight and a good sense of smell. They constantly look and sniff all around for danger. But deer are not programmed by their Maker to look up for danger; if they were, they might figure out why they keep getting shot.  Hunters know this, and it is one of the reasons they typically hunt from tree stands or elevated platforms. 

  Humans also tend to look and think on a horizontal plane.  We see what is going on around us, both good and bad, but we don't understand that our real problems and their solutions may come from above us.

   The forces of Satan that are out to destroy us are in the spiritual realm; the Bible calls this realm "the heavenly places" in Ephesians 6:12: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."  These forces of wickedness are much more dangerous to us than the things we see when we just look around, whether we're seeing terrorists, asbestos, the flu, drunk drivers, or any other of this world's dangers.  We need to look up and see the finger of the devil as it works in this world to destroy us.  The "fiery darts of the wicked one" are shot from the spirit realm (cf. Ephesians 6:16). 

  But our hope and our help are also in the realm above.  Therefore we are told to "seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:1-2).  We must look up to God for help.  David was doing just that when he said, "Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray.  My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up." (Psalm 5:1-3).

  Our vigilance must be better than that of a deer.  We can't just look around; we must look up, both for danger and for help.

  • "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

  • "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving" (Colossians 4:2).

-- Steve Klein

What is Most Precious to You?

   Most of us consider our spouse and children precious. "Precious" means that we consider a person or thing of great value or high price; therefore, it is highly esteemed or cherished. And because we consider our family precious, we would gladly die that they might live.

  Concerning that which is most precious to Christians, Peter says: ". . . knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from the aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Pet. 1:18-19).

 Christians consider the blood of Christ to be most precious, more precious than silver and gold or family and friends.

  Jesus' blood is precious because He freely shed it as a lamb without blemish and without spot. Think back to the life of Jesus. Think back to the suffering and shame He experienced in shedding His blood. Think about Jesus being scourged - whipped to a pulp, blood flying everywhere, blood dripping on the ground. Think back to the morning that Jesus was crucified - nailed to the cross, hear the hammer pound the stakes into His flesh, hear the pain and anguish, see the blood. Think back to the spear that was thrust into Jesus' side - see the dead body of Jesus, see the blood and water pouring from His side.

  Jesus' blood is precious because He shed it for you and for me. He paid the ransom price to redeem us from sin. Jesus was a propitiation (sacrifice of atonement) by His blood. He was the sacrifice to God for our sin that we could not provide for ourselves. And hence, we have been redeemed by Christ's blood (Rev. 5:9) and we have washed our robes in His blood (Rev. 7:14). Therefore, we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:9-11).

  And, now, notice that those who consider the blood of Jesus to be precious are willing to die for Jesus and His blood. Just as a Mother and Father are willing to die for their precious children, so Christians are willing to die (Rev. 12:11) for the precious blood of Jesus.

  Jesus taught this principle while He walked upon the earth saying: "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul" (Matt. 16:14-16)?

  What do you consider to be most precious? If it is the blood of Jesus, your life will be greatly impacted. You will put Jesus, and service to Him, first in your life - everything else will come second to Jesus. You will be blessed for your commitment to Jesus - first in this life and then in eternal life.

  Is the blood of Jesus precious to you? Do others know that Jesus' blood is precious to you because of your manner of life? Does Jesus know that you consider His blood precious?

-- Allan McNabb