Many today revel in a perverse victim mentality, perking up their ears and focusing their eyes any time there is a possibility they can claim to have been offended and deserving of pity and apology.
Forget the defense industry–this is the offense industry and it is booming. Moreover, faith in Christ is often occasion for deep offense as well. The saints are offended, sometimes legitimately, sometimes gleefully, and sometimes necessarily, when their convictions or pride are wounded. The Lord warned us about giving offense, but clearly there are times when that risk is necessary and his own ministry is proof enough. Continue reading » Woe to Offenses
Don’t you love this strong admonition of Solomon’s? Often we hear moaning and groaning that Christians are not doing their duty. We might have even joined in such a tirade. To some this explains why the Lord’s church seems to be dwindling in our time or that preachers or brethren in general will not take a stand for the truth as they should. Some get so depressed they seem to have in common the woeful sentiment Elijah expressed, “…And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1Kings 19:4a) I hope we do not actually go this far when we are discouraged. No doubt many of God’s children are content to be “sluggards.” But I have noticed a peculiar thing about those complaining and that is they are not talking about their own personal efforts but are mostly bemoaning that others are not doing enough or we blame others for causing our state of mind. Continue reading » “Go to the Ant, Thou Sluggard” – Proverbs 6:6
In His Sermon on the Mount, the Lord provides a description of those who will be citizens in His kingdom. The sermon begins with a short section referred to as the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12). There are eight Beatitudes, each consisting of a desired characteristic and a promised blessing. Each Beatitude begins with the word “blessed,” which literally means “happy.” True happiness is found in acquiring and manifesting these qualities in our life.
The subject of this study is the third Beatitude, which reads, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Continue reading » “Blessed Are the Meek”
This month we highlight a church in Italy.
(The following article is written by Valerio Marchi, Evangelist for the church in Udine. Steve Wallace)
The Church in Udine, Italy
“Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you”
My name is Valerio Marchi; I am 37 and work as an evangelist with the Church of Christ at Udine, in northeastern Italy, not far from the Austrian and Slovenian borders. About 100,000 people live in this city and 200,000 in the surrounding area. My wife’s name is Patrizia; we got married in 1986 and we have a daughter, born in 1995, whose name is Arianna Vera. I have been preaching since 1985, spending all these years at Udine; but, of course, also preaching from time to time in other places, according to the opportunities. Continue reading » White Unto Harvest: The Church in Udine, Italy
There was much celebration that day in Jerusalem.
The Ark of the Covenant had been in the house of Obed-Edom for three months after a disastrous and unlawful transport that led to the death of Uzzah. The Lord had blessed the household of Obed-Edom and David had decided to bring the Ark up to the City. David and all the house of Israel brought up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord with joy. As God helped the Levites who bore the Ark, they stopped to make generous animal sacrifices. David was clothed in special linens and he danced before the Lord with all his might to shouting, music and trumpets. Continue reading » The Distaff: She Despised Him in Her Heart