Monthly Archives: January 2022

Overcoming Trouble

How can we overcome trouble in our churches? Division, strife, and fighting are ever-present problems in the fellowship. How do we move past these enemies of unity?

Let’s look at three steps we can take to accomplish this goal.

1) Forgive one another. We are sinners who are in constant need of forgiveness. Christians will hurt each other from time to time. The need for forgiveness is great. We must offer forgiveness and receive forgiveness in order to vanquish trouble from the congregation. Read Matthew 18 and you will see Jesus’ treatise on forgiveness.

2) Communicate with one another. When we hear something that someone supposedly said or did, don’t assume too much. Perhaps you are not hearing the entire story. Give people in the church the benefit of the doubt. Don’t assume the worst about others. And if you have questions, GO ASK THEM!

Paul tells us that Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)  Communicate and get to the bottom of the story. You’ll be glad you did.

3) Be patient with one another. Not everyone in the church is at the same spiritual level. Recognizing that fact will go a long way in helping us to be longsuffering. Be patient, be kind, and understanding. It’s not easy. But such actions are worth the effort.

Jesus reminds us that we will always have trouble. (John 16:33) He also teaches that He has overcome the world. We can overcome trouble when it inevitably arises. Forgiveness, communication, and patience are a must in this process. May God bless you as you seek unity in the church.

Tony French

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God’s Grace Is Enough

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Ephesians 2:1-10

This passage of Scripture teaches us the difference that Christ’s salvation makes in our lives. And the contrast could not be more striking. The comparison of our former selves to who we are now is amazing. Of course, the word amazing is one word we use to modify God’s grace because God’s grace makes all the difference.

Before we knew Christ as Savior, we were dead in our sins. We were deceived by the evil one. We were disobedient to God and sought after our own selfish ways. To put it succinctly, we were without hope of any kind without Jesus. We were doomed.

But God, who is rich in mercy, sought us, convicted us, and saved us. We were made aware of our sin and of our need for the Savior. We were saved by grace and made alive to a new spiritual life. Jesus raised us up so that we may glorify God for all of eternity. He has redeemed us to show forth the glory of God in the heavenly places. We are created in Christ Jesus for good works. We are placed in Christ to live as He would have us to live.

What amazing grace has been bestowed upon us. We were unworthy and undeserving. Yet, God’s grace is enough to save us, seal us, and secure us for all of eternity. Rest in these principles dear Christian. God’s grace is enough!

Tony French

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Time With Jesus

Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”  Luke 24:31-32

Jesus appeared to Cleopas and an unnamed disciple after His resurrection in the Gospel of Luke. He explained the story of redemption to them as they walked the road to Emmaus. Jesus’ identity was hidden from them until they reached their destination. After they arrived, Jesus reveals Himself in a dramatic scene and disappears. These disciples walked back to Jerusalem to report their encounter with the resurrected Jesus.

The statement “did not our hearts burn within us” has powerful overtones for us. The word “burn” can also be translated ablaze. Our hearts should be ablaze for Jesus as well. However, too often our hearts are cold, hardened, and stubborn. How can we change that fact in our lives? Let us consider three ways our hearts may become on fire for Jesus.

First, we must spend time with Jesus. These disciples allocated a good portion of the day to be with the Savior. The distance between Emmaus and Jerusalem was approximately 12 Kilometers or around 7.5 miles. Jesus explained many principles to them as they walked along. They listened as He taught and their hearts were set on fire.

We must also spend time with Christ. We do so by reading His Word, by prayer, and by being with His people. As we become more aware of His presence in our lives and spend more time with Him, our hearts are transformed.

Second, we must learn what Christ says and seek to obey His Word. The Son of God has revealed His Word to us. The Bible teaches us all that we need to know for Godliness and holiness. But we must also obey the Scriptures. We ought to put into practice those precepts we have learned. A growing, obedient heart will be set aflame by the power of conformity to the will of God.

Finally, we must tell others about the resurrected Savior. These followers of Christ were willing to turn around and go back to Jerusalem. They were willing to undertake this dangerous nocturnal journey so that others might know that Jesus is alive.

May we have the same to commitment to report the good news to others in our day. Telling others about Jesus ignites our hearts and sets them ablaze for Christ. In light of all this, our prayer should be “God, replace our cold, hardened hearts with hearts that burn for You.” Let it be so!

Tony French

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