The Encourager

The Encourager

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What Will History Say About Us - by Jeff Curtis

Saturday, June 15, 2024

What Will History Say About Us?

By Jeff Curtis

 

In 1Samuel 25 we read about a man named Nabal. He serves as an example of what men ought not to be. He had many advantages, or so it seemed. His pedigree was good. He was a descendent of Caleb, the faithful servant of God from Joshua 14:6-15. He married a woman who was beautiful, both inside and out, 1Samuel 25:3 “…the name of his wife Abigail. And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance;” (also vv.8-31). He was a wealthy man, 1Samuel 25:2, “Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel, and the man was very rich. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats”; 1Samuel 25:36 “Now Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was, holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; therefore, she told him nothing, little or much, until morning light.” However, he was greatly lacking in spiritual character. He was not a follower of God, essentially ignoring God’s very existence. He was selfish, arrogant, inconsiderate of others, and rude (1Samuel 25:3,9-11,17,25,36). His great focus in life was himself.

 

Nabal suffered hurtful consequences for his foolishness. “36 Now Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was, holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; therefore, she told him nothing, little or much, until morning light. 37 So it was, in the morning, when the wine had gone from Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became like a stone. 38 Then it happened, after about ten days, that the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.” (1Samuel 25:36-38). His life was a monument to sin and foolishness. The references to Nabal’s name in the Old Testament guarantee his infamy. Nabal was harsh, thoughtless, disgraceful, and morally foolish. He also acted contemptuously toward others. Nabal stands with other disreputable Old Testament characters.

 

Meditate on these things:

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Falling Through the Cracks - by Jeff Curtis

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Falling Through the Cracks

By Jeff Curtis

 

Many times, we pray, and hear others pray, that the local church grow both spiritually and numerically. The church in Jerusalem was doing both. Had it reached a state of perfection been reached? Not at all: “Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, (Acts 6:1). Success brings problems just as failure does.

 

Imagine that a program of a congregation is a tabletop. We wish it were a smooth, completely polished tabletop. But in reality, it is rough and uneven, too high in some places, too low in other places. More importantly, it is full of cracks. Some cracks are big, some are small, some long, some short… but there are a lot of cracks…and things seem to fall through these cracks. We often think that a certain has been taken care of, only to find out later, to our embarrassment, that it was not.

 

Of our greatest concern is when people fall through the cracks. Members of the church often have needs we don’t know about or don’t take care of immediately. AS a result, feelings get hurt. People sometimes leave the church; they fall through the cracks. Maybe members begin to forsake the assembly (Hebrews 10:25), and we don’t notice it, we don’t immediately try to see if there is a problem. Often by the time we check on them, their spirituality has dwindled to the point that these members cannot be restored. These precious souls have fallen through the cracks.

 

Even with the best leadership in the world, oversights can happen. No congregation will have better leaders that the Spirit-inspired apostles; yet, even under the leadership of these men, people were neglected. When people fall through the cracks, it isn’t necessarily a reflection on the leadership of the church. How the leaders handle these situations may reflect their leadership ability, but the fact that the situations arise is in itself no reflection of weak leadership.

 

We learn the follow lessons about leadership from the apostles who settled the dispute over the widows being neglected in Acts 6. (1) Handle problems at once (vv.1,2). (2) Handle problems in a sensitive manner (v.2). (3) Involve the congregation (vv.3,5). (4) Delegate responsibility (vv.4,6).

 

Here is another way to develop the theme of “Good leadership”: (1) Good leaders emphasize the importance of assigned tasks (v.4). (2) Good leaders enjoy the trust and support of the congregation (v.5). (3) Good leaders give workers their support and trust (vv.5,6).

 

 

Meditate on these things:

 

Proverbs 3:1-2

My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.

 

Pray for our meeting / VBS.

We had a good meeting with Brother Jim Mickells. Let’s not just let the week go without our following up on our visitors and making application in our lives of the lessons presented this week.

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