The Bulletin
of the
Church of Christ at New Georgia

Tim Johnson, editor

May 1, 2011

 
In This Issue:
Keeping Your Tank Full
by Steve Klein

We're Either Growing or Dying
by Bryan Gibson

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Keeping Your Tank Full

          Due to the overwhelming devastation from tornadoes in our area this past week, we have witnessed long lines at gas stations.  People are concerned about keeping their tanks full in case there is a supply shortage due to the storms.  Of course, the run on gasoline by people who really don't need it actually works to create the shortage that they fear.  That aside, our compulsion to ensure that our cars have plenty of fuel during uncertain times tells us something about human nature.  We fear being caught in short supply of anything necessary for our physical wellbeing. 

  The same principle should apply to our spiritual wellbeing.  Knowledge of God's word is like fuel, enabling us to keep going on our journey to heaven.  By using it, we can discern good from evil (Hebrews 5:12) and understand how to behave ourselves (1 Timothy 3:15).  Is it any wonder that Peter declares that God's "divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory . . . " (2 Peter 1:3, KJV)?

  In Colossians 1:9-10, the apostle Paul describes his prayer for the Colossians. He not only prayed that they would be "filled with the knowledge" of God's will, but also that they would be "increasing in the knowledge of God."  Here is what he says:

      "For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God"

  From this, it appears that Paul expected the Colossians to continually top off their tanks of knowledge, even to the point of overflowing.  Under no circumstance were they to allow knowledge to run in short supply. 

  Every Christian needs to be compulsive about keeping his tank of Bible knowledge full.  Such an attitude will not allow us to limit our Bible study to just one or two worship assemblies a week.  We'll read and study daily, and we will take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to fill our tanks, whether it's a worship assembly, Bible class, gospel meeting, or lectureship.  We will be determined to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18). 

  We are looking forward to our Gospel Meeting next week with Richard Thetford.  Brother Thetford's lessons will provide a wonderful opportunity for each of us to gain more knowledge of God's word.  Let's determine to be here for every service with an attitude of heart that says, "Fill 'er up!"

 

 . -- Steve Klein


We're Either Growing or Dying

 Let's consider three simple questions related to spiritual growth, and then answer them by using the Scriptures.

How important is it to grow spiritually?

According to God, it is extremely important, and He shows us this in several different ways:

 He gives us a command to grow-"grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). 

  1. He sets forth perfection or maturity as the goal for His people - "that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God" (Colossians 4:12; see also 1 Corinthians 14:20; Ephesians 4:11-16; Colossians 1:28).

  2. He rebukes those who do not grow spiritually (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Hebrews 5:11-14).

  3. He commends those who do (2 Thessalonians 1:3).

  4. He reveals the eternal destiny of those who grow (2 Peter 1:5-11), and of those who do not (Luke 13:6-9).

What can we do to help us grow?

  1. We must study the word diligently - "desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Pet. 2:1-3).

  2. We must let Christ live in us - "it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20; see also John 15:1-8). The more we study and apply the Word, which reveals the character of Christ, the more we become like Him.

  3. We must pray for spiritual growth-for greater faith, for stronger love, for more wisdom and understanding, etc. (Colossians 1:9-12; 4:12).

  4. We must spend time with other Christians, both in the assembly (Heb. 10:24-25), and outside the assembly (Heb. 3:12-13). Can you think of some others?

What will keep us from growing as we should?

  1. A failure to do the things just mentioned-to study, to let Christ live in us, to pray, and to spend time with other Christians.

  2. A failure to put self to death (John 12:24-26; Galatians 5:22-24). We can't grow if we're still more interested in doing our will than doing God's will. The attitude we must have is expressed in the words of a familiar hymn: "Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way! Thou art the Potter; I am the clay. Mold me and make me after Thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still."

  3. Love for the world. Read the Parable of the Sower, especially the part about the thorny ground: "Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity" (Luke 8:14). When we pay so much attention to the things of this world, it leaves little time to pay attention to the things that matter most. "If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him" (1 John 2:15).

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).

-- Bryan Gibson