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“Stir What Ya Got”

Many years ago, Mr. Ralph Dreesen was the State Advisor and Supervisor for Agricultural Education. He gave an address that was titled “Stir What You Got” , teaching about how to realize the potential of the students placed in your class that particular year. The idea of using what you have to do the most good is very similar to what God does with us.

What talents, gifts or skills do you have?

  • Can you lead songs? Then lead songs.
  • Can you lead a prayer? Then lead prayers.
  • Can you teach/preach God’s word? Then teach/preach.
  • Can you visit the sick and widows? Then make visits.
  • Can you welcome people to the assembly?  Then provide welcomes.
  • Can you visit with neighbors or classmates about God? Then evangelize.

The Bible is full of stories of people who risked it all to accomplish the task God had given them.

  • Noah built an ark to save his family and animals as directed by God.
  • Moses led a nation out of slavery.
  • Gideon led 300 men into battle against 135,000 Midianites.
  • David fought Goliath armed with only a staff, a sling and five stones.
  • The Apostles took the gospel to the uttermost parts of the world despite tremendous persecution and death.

You might say “Well, I’m not as good as they were…” You may or may not be. But God is still God and Christ will equip and strengthen you to complete His tasks.

7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Ephesians 4:7, 11-16 (NKJV)

Christ has provided us with the gifts or skills we need to accomplish the tasks God has assigned to us! Christ descended to the earth to live as a man, He provided the gospel to mankind, He established the Church and died for our sins.

Paul identifies some positions that were established by Christ. These positions were established for three reasons:

  • To help us to become complete.
  • To help us to be doers of the work.
  • To edify one another.

The expected end result: To be unified in the faith.

We are not to be as children who are naïve and easily influenced. As Christians, we are to speak the truth in love and continue to grow in all spiritual things. We are also called to work together, like many members of body, to accomplish God’s will (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-31)

Have we identified/examined our gifts? Are we using our gifts? Are we developing and improving our gifts? Are we using those gifts to serve God?

Are you “stirring what ya got?”

Based on a sermon given at Concord Church of Christ by Danny Wells, an elder from East Main Church of Christ in Stratford, OK on 2/24/19.

Taking the gospel across the world!

Jesus came into this world to save sinners. Before Jesus ascended into the heavens, He commissioned His disciples to continue His work here on earth. He told His disciples:

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

(Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV)

Jesus put the gospel message into the hands of his followers and told them to proclaim this plan of salvation starting in the regions of Judea and Samaria then take it through the ENTIRE WORLD!

For the past 2000 years Jesus’ disciples have been proclaiming this gospel message across the globe, diligently trying ensure that every person has the chance to hear about Jesus and His power to save. Today, the gospel of Jesus Christ continues to be preached and the borders of Jesus’ Church expands every day.

Sources. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0via Wikimedia Commons.

Yesterday at Concord Church of Christ, we had the opportunity to have Michael McCorkle give us an update on some of the work that is being done in Nigeria. Church of Christ Nigeria has been an organization devoted to spreading the gospel in Nigeria for over 30 years. There are several people involved with making regular visits, helping establish new congregations, developing existing congregations, preaching the gospel, and making sure needs are being met. In fact, there was news that on the next trip a licensed optometrist is planning to go and perform some eye exams and perform some treatments!

Nigeria has a very large population with approximately 196 million people, it is the most populous country in Africa. The nation is divided religiously with nearly half being Christian, nearly half being Muslim, and the rest normally practice an indigenous religion. With that type of population comes many difficulties such as persecution and poverty.

Much like the Christians in the first century, Christians in Nigeria may suffer persecution. Some Christians have been denied water at the local water well from other religions who own the well, the other option is 6 miles away. The impoverished state of most of the Christians makes it difficult to have needed medical procedures and sometimes the basic necessities of living.

There is great need for our family in Christ in Nigeria. Many of those needs are being met, but there is still a lot of work to do. Prayers are greatly appreciated!

We praise the Lord as he blesses us physically, mentally, and most importantly spiritually. The brethren of Nigeria are very appreciative of the financial help of the American brethren but most importantly the prayers that are given up on our behalf.”

The gospel of Christ continues to change people lives in Nigeria every day. In Nigeria you will find Christians who praise God for His saving power and yearn for eternity in heaven with the Father and the Son. Praise God for this fact!

My question for you is are you a disciple who is devoted to carrying the gospel message to the entire world? The gospel is just as powerful today as it was 2000 years ago, it can save people from their sins and give a powerful eternal hope. If you are devoted to carrying out this commission, God bless you. If you wish to devote yourself to such a work there are several things you can do. You can start by praying for the work, for the Church across the world, you can pray for your family in Nigeria. If you wish to help financially, you can click the link attached for the Church of Christ Nigeria website. This link can also offer you more information on getting in touch with some of those directly involved and can answer questions.

I am encouraged to know that the gospel continues save people across the world. I am encouraged to know that the borders of the Lord’s Kingdom continue to expand across every nation. I praise God for these things and I pray that this news has encouraged you.

For more information on Church of Christ Nigeria, please visit their website: https://www.cofcnigeria.com/

Who Do You Say That I Am?

During His ministry, Jesus had been preaching, performing miracles, and had done many amazing things. He wanted His disciples to tell Him what people were saying about Him, more specifically, who they were saying He was.

13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”… 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

(Matthew 16:13,16 NKJV)

Today, there are lots of things that people say about Jesus. If you took a survey of random people in the world, what would they say about Him? Some would say he was a liar, some would doubt he ever existed, some would say that he was a good man, and some might say He was a prophet.

Imagine Jesus asked you that question today, what would be your answer? Hopefully, you would answer the same answer which Peter gave, “He is the Christ, the Son of the living God!” The truth is, just because you say that you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that does not necessarily mean that you truly mean it. What speaks even louder than your words, is your actions. For example, you may tell someone that you love them, but if your actions do not also demonstrate this love, it does not mean anything. This is why we are told to love in action (see 1 John 3:18).

How do your actions respond to this question? Do they say you only see Jesus as the Christ, when things are good? Do they say you only see Jesus as Christ if you have sinned and need mercy? Or do your actions proclaim Jesus is the Christ on a daily basis? If you believe Jesus is truly the Son of God and therefore your Lord, it will change every aspect of your life. It will change your desires, it will change the way you love, it will change how you speak to others, and what you do for others. Jesus said that when your actions changed by service to Jesus, others will be able to see the light of God in your actions, and God will be glorified (see Matthew 5:16).

As you go through this coming week, when you encounter your coworkers and friends I encourage you to think about and answer Jesus’ question with your words and your actions: “Who do you say that I am?” If you truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then obey Him and make Him the Lord of your life. Show others that He is God, tell others about Him and the impact He has had on your life. Show your love for Him for His sacrifice for you on the cross and the other blessings you have through Him.

Based on a sermon from Nathan Springer at Concord Church of Christ on 2/10/2019.