Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
(Psalm 119:105)

Mount
Baker
Beacon

Volume 03, Number 01
01/07/2024

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

Location:
  
1860 Mt. Baker HWY

Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
  Bellingham, WA 98228
       (360) 752-2692

Sunday:
Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Worship..10:30AM; 6:00PM

Wednesday:
Bible Classes.........7:00 PM

Web site: Mt. Baker church
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Editor......John Bass


 

In this issue:


DO NOT LOSE HEART
John Humphries

"Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:16-10).

Paul had written concerning the difficulties, challenges, and persecutions that he and others have been enduring (vv. 7-15). In our text above, he acknowledges that the physical body is wearing away because of the ravages of opposition that he faces (as well as advancing age, Phile. 9). But he maintains that the spiritual is of far, far better consideration than the temporary affliction and insults that he is enduring. The sufferings of this life (whatever they may be) are not worthy to be compared with the glory that the faithful will share in eternity with the Lord (Rom. 8:18). Eternal heaven will be far greater than anything that this temporary physical world has to offer - good or bad. The pleasures and the pains of this life are but for a moment in comparison to eternity. Remember this every day of your life, no matter what changes (good or bad) may occur.

The question is how do we (like Paul) keep this truth in mind, as we face the challenges and dark changes ahead? First of all, Paul kept his eye upon the Lord whom he served (Phil. 1:21-23; 3:12-14; cf. Heb. 12:1-3). We must never forget who we are and that we belong to Christ (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Eph. 2:10). Christ is our Savior, Lord, and Example. When we take our eye off the Lord Jesus and focus upon the affairs of this life, we will begin to lose heart and sink into deep despair and trouble (cf. Matt. 14:28-31). Stay focused upon Christ (Matt. 6:22-23).


Jesus also taught His disciples that we ought to pray to our Heavenly Father and not lose heart (Lk. 18:1-8). He contrasted God with an unjust, uncaring judge that would only act out of his own convenience. The Lord maintained that our Heavenly Father is not like this uncaring judge, but will respond to the needs of His children when they cry out to Him. Prayer is, therefore, essential in maintaining spiritual well-being and avoiding the danger of losing heart and sinking into discouragement (Acts 16:25; Eph. 6:18; Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Thess. 5:17-18). We must submit to the mighty Hand of God and take refuge, for He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:6-7).


Also, God's people must assemble together for worship and edification for one another (Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 4:23-31; 12:12; 20:7; Col. 3:16). Worship must become a very special activity in the Christian's life, as it also is an occasion of edification or spiritual strengthening for all who love the Lord and one another. Love for the Lord and one another will bring us together.

The importance of hearing the Word of God on a regular basis is stressed in the Scriptures (Rom 10:17; Eph. 5:17; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 3:14-17; Ps. 119:11; 1:1-2). We must understand that the Lord has informed us in His Word that He has made sufficient, clear guidance for each of us to be with Him in eternity. His word must be our daily spiritual nourishment (Matt. 4:4).

But the asking, seeking, and knocking is up to each of us (Matt. 7:7-11; Acts 17:24-28; Rev. 22:17). Therefore, we must act to avail ourselves of these blessings and not lose heart.

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EXAMINE THYSELF
Brad Philips

The apostle Paul instructed the saints in Corinth to, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith...” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Brethren, we too need to be mindful of the need to take some time for self-examination. So, knowing that, take some time to...

Examine Your Thoughts
What are you thinking about? You see, although men do not know the thoughts of other men, the truth is, God knows our thoughts. For, the inspired Psalmist declared, “The Lord knows the thoughts of man, That they are futile” (Psalm 94:11). Again, God knows our thoughts. Therefore, examine your thoughts, and strive to bring your every thought into the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Examine The Company You Keep
Who are you keeping company with? You see, Paul wrote, “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Therefore, we all need to take heed to those words of Paul, and we need to seek to surround ourselves around those who are a positive influence on us, rather than a negative one. So, with that in mind hold on to these words of wisdom from  Proverbs 4:14-15, “Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on.” Once more, take some time to examine your close associations, and be one who chooses your friends carefully (Proverbs 12:26).

Examine Your Habits
How many times have you heard someone say, “I have a bad habit?” Well, I venture to say that most all of us have either said this, or heard this at some point in time. However, we need to examine any so-called “bad habits” that we may have, and we need to understand the need to discipline our bodies and to bring them into subjection (1 Corinthians 9:27). For as Peter wrote, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lust which war against the soul...” (1 Peter 2:11). May we all keep these words of Paul and Peter in mind, and let’s not let “bad habits” get the best of us.

Examine Your Affections
Where are your affections? You see, in Colossians 3:2, Paul, instructed the saints in Colosse to, “Set your mind on things above, not on the things of the earth.” My beloved brethren, we all need to be reminded of the need to focus on things above (spiritual things), rather than the things of the earth (worldly things). For, as John revealed, “...the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). Therefore, do not be one who loves the world and the things of it (1 John 2:15), but rather be one who sets your affections on things above.

Examine Your Motives
A motive is defined as “ a thing that induces a person to act in a particular way.” However, as we pointed out earlier, God knows the thoughts of man. Therefore, He also knows our motives. So, knowing that let’s always keep these words of Paul in mind, “...whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Again, we need to examine our motives, we need to beware of being vindictive, and we need to be one who always seeks to glorify God in all that we do.


Examine Your Aspirations

What is your ultimate goal? What is that one thing that you aspire to achieve the most? Hopefully, everyone’s aspiration or ultimate goal is to obtain eternal life in heaven. You see, we know this was the apostle Paul’s aspiration, for he said, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). My beloved brethren and friends, take some time to
examine your aspirations, and be one who always seeks to press toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

These are just a few things for us to keep in mind while doing some spiritual self-examining. So, now the question is, will you examine thyself as to whether you are in the faith?

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Created by John Bass, last updated.  01/17/2024

The Mount Baker Beacon is a weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.
Send all questions, comments to the editor, John Bass at (360) 325-5149 or johnbass2468@gmail.com