THE STRASBURG CHURCH OF CHRIST
Let us restore New Testament Christianity!
Preacher - L. John Bost
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THESE ARE THE TIMES THAT TRY MEN'S SOULS
The success of life is not determined by the amount of money we make, the political clout we acquire, or to what height we climb to on corporate ladders. Rather, success is determined by our relationship with God and by Our love for one another. The Greek word translated, fervent, here, is ektenos. It means "earnestly, fervently, intensely," according to Thayer. Strong defines the word, "without ceasing, fervent." It is the same word translated, "without ceasing" Acts 12:5. It is as an athlete, as a runner as he strains every muscle and uses all his ability to reach the finish line. He is giving it everything he's got!! Loving the brethren deeply, fervently, is giving our relationships with others everything we've got. Are We?? Really??
Peter says this kind of love covers a multitude of sins. He does not mean that fervent love forgives all sin. But a fervent love keeps a multitude of sins from happening in the first place!
Fervent love includes showing hospitality. Practicing Hospitality is more than having someone over for dinner or entertaining others. Biblical Hospitality is preferring one another. It is placing the interest of others before our own. It is being sensitive to and taking care of the needs of others, whatever they might be. It is serving others with the blessings God has given us, our homes, automobiles, time, talent, or energy, our knowledge, whatever we have that we can use to assist others. It includes remembering those who are suffering as if if were you who were suffering.
Dictionary.com defines hospitality:
The friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers; the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.
Paul describes Hospitality in Romans 12:13 (NKJV) as, "Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality." William Edwy Vine defines the Greek word translated, hospitality, "Love of strangers" (philos, 'loving,' xenos, 'a stranger')." Paul writes in Hebrews 13:2, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for there by some have entertained angels unawares." Could happen!
During this time of uncertainty, we need to take the focus off of ourselves and be mindful of others. Genuine Biblical Hospitality is not just being mindful of others but helping others. It is placing their interest before our own.
Maintain Sound Doctrine
Peter writes in 1 Peter 4:11, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." We do not have the right to speak anything else. Paul warns in 2 Timothy 4:3-4:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
We must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught. Why? so that we can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Jude writes in Jude 3:
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
What a challenge for those of us who live in uncertain times!
Are you walking with God? Do you have a handholding, walking, talking, relationship with Him? Are you trusting Him for today and tomorrow? Are you doing some good deeds daily?
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