Friday, May 27, 2011

A good exhortation

Hopefully, you love good exhortations, and 1 Corinthians 15:58 is one of the best. In it, Paul wrote, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” This is a fantastic exhortation with which to end a glorious chapter.

Being “steadfast” means “firmly established in one’s position or opinions.” They were to be strong. “Unmoveable” means “not being readily shaken in one’s opinions or beliefs.” He wanted the Corinthians to be unmoved by the denials of false teachers. “Abounding” means “to be or exist in abundance, with the implication of being considerably more than what would be expected.” Nominal growth and service just wouldn’t do for them.
If you can keep this good exhortation, then you can know that your labor will not be in vain in the Lord -- your deep conviction can be that your labor will be rewarded. This certainty provided an impetus to faithful service. Paul further wrote, “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour” (1 Corinthians 3:8). Also, Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
I once met a preacher that quoted this verse every time he finished a meeting preaching the gospel. It’s a great one to remember occasionally, for it produces a remarkable hope for the future through hard work for the Lord.
Kyle Campbell

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kinds of worship

Matthew 15:8-9 says, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” In these two verses, two kinds of worship are discussed.
The first is vain worship. Jesus said the people were hypocrites. Vain worship exalts the wisdom of man above God; it is will worship (Colossians 2:20-23). In 2 Samuel 7:1-6, David wanted to build God a temple. Was this a noble cause? Yes, but it was against God’s will. In Malachi 1:6-10, the Israelites were offering sub-standard sacrifices which did not make God happy, but they thought they were okay. None of us can ever do what we want and think that God will love and accept it. This is simply worshiping God in ignorance (Acts 17:22-23), and satisfying the desires of the flesh. There must be a better way.
The second is true worship. Hebrews 13:15 says, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” True worship includes spirit, heart, and attitude; it is not based on man’s wisdom. Offering true worship means that someone loves God and keeps His law (John 14:15). While it may appear as if we constantly emphasize only actions, God wanted His law written in the heart, penetrating deep within man’s will, emotions, and intellect (Hebrews 8:10). Now, having said that, attitude is not the most important. When God tells us to do something to honor Him, we must be accurate, for this only will please Him (cf. Acts 2:42-47).
God wants worshipers who are convicted and knowledgable. We should want to grow up together in truth and love (Ephesians 4:15). Worship is not for our entertainment. It is respect that is paid to God, so please treat it appropriately!
Kyle Campbell

Friday, May 20, 2011

Religious confusion

One of the first problems that you run into when teaching others is the fact of religious confusion. There are many churches now that offer entertainment, wealth seminars, family fun days, etc. When men decide to leave the God’s pattern, they make their own rules. The Proverb writer says, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25).
In Leviticus 10:1-2, Moses recorded a sad occasion when two priests decided to go their own way: “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” It was a stiff penalty that was paid for violating God’s holy will.
Uzzah was another one who, although extremely sincere, died because he violated the command of God. In 2 Samuel 6, David was transporting the ark of the covenant improperly when the oxen stumbled and Uzzah reached out to steady it. God struck him dead because he violated the command to not touch it (vs. 6). It’s not that God loves killing people, but that He wants men to live by His word (Ezekiel 33:11; Matthew 4:4).
Paul said, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” (Romans 10:1-2). We appreciate and applaud the zeal of anyone who wants to please God, but zeal for God cannot overcome ignorance of God. Confusion exists because people either honestly don’t know God or they willfully don’t want to know Him. Either way, it will be judged in the end of time. Don’t be one who will come short at the judgment (Romans 14:11-12).
Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jesus in John

The gospel of John is very different than Matthew, Mark, and Luke. John’s purpose is to present Jesus as God, deserving of glory and honor. John’s mission is to reveal the Lord’s purpose on the earth, while Matthew, Mark, and Luke focus on His earthly life.
Jesus reveals many elements of His work in John’s gospel. For example, in John 8:12, He is the light of the world. In John 10:9, He is the door of salvation. In John 11:25, He is the resurrection and the life. In John 14:6, He is the way, the truth, and the life. In John 15:1-8, He is the true vine.
Jesus Christ laid down His life for us (John 10:15; 15:13). John wrote, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:10-12). Because Jesus is the door of salvation, He appeals to us to open the door of our hearts. The Laodicean church received the sharpest criticism and the tenderest appeal of the seven churches of Asia in Revelation. To them, Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20-21). Jesus will not force entry, He will only ask and knock. The end of Revelation says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). Will you obey Him as He knocks at your heart? If you would, please contact us for further study.
Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Can you rejoice?

When Peter was writing to Christians in “Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1), he was encouraging them to stand strong in trials and persecutions. He said, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations” (1 Peter 1:6).
Honestly, our trials can’t even compare with the early Christians, but that doesn’t matter. God has promised His “abundant mercy” (vs. 3), to all Christians, no matter what their situation. In our times of financial uncertainty, the price of gold and silver have gone through the roof. Both of them look like stellar investments. But what about investing in something spiritual? Peter wrote, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).
Can you rejoice? There’s so much power in His grace to take care of us, but we have to take hold of the grace through obedience (Ephesians 2:8-10). Look at your suffering as an opportunity to grow, and for your faith to develop more and more. In this you can really rejoice.
Kyle Campbell

Sunday, May 1, 2011


With graduation coming up this month, a lot of anxious high and college seniors will be anticipating their new lives. It’s certainly exciting, but seniors need to remember their God as they enter the next phase of their lives. It can be wonderful, but only if they remember their priorities.
Paul said, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14). Seniors, use your time wisely, and remember your God. If you will, your life will be blessed.
Kyle Campbell