...the churches of Christ salute you! Rom 16:16

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No Problem

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My oldest son and another young brother in my home congregation were involved some time ago in the reconfiguration of a pickup truck. That is, they were performing structural rearrangement to this particular vehicle by installing a "lift kit," (make her sit up a little higher). In their loosening and lifting of the truck's body, they pulled loose a vacuum line. Consequently, it affected the power brakes and the rpms of the engine as it idled. It took quite a search to find and correct the problem. Finally, the loose hose was identified and reattached to its proper place which allowed the vehicle to once again operate smoothly and safely. Now, they could have play acted by saying - "We do not have a problem"! They could have ignored the obvious changes in the vehicle's operation. However, the brakes would not have worked properly and such could have led to a serious accident. Further, if the idling was out of sync it would possibly affect such things as acceleration and fuel mileage. Instead of ignoring the problem, it was identified and a proper solution followed.
We should adopt this same mentality as fathers in the leadership of our homes. Such a mind set should also prevail among the leaders of our individual congregations. The devil is working 24/7 to destroy the Christian family and the body of Christ. It would be foolish for me to declare "We do not have a problem!" The church is always just one generation away from apostasy. That is, if we fail as parents and leaders to indoctrinate one generation with the truth and the conviction to "contend for the faith," then the church will die among that generation.
Nothing should supersede our obligation as parents to study our Bibles for ourselves in order to learn and know God's will. We should then seek to create within our offspring the desire likewise to covet the knowledge that can be gained from the Holy Scriptures. Further, we should not deceive ourselves as parents or as congregational leaders when it comes to the effect of the leaven of sin and sinful acquaintances. "Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?" (I Cor. 5:6). "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners" (I Cor. 15:33). The company we keep is important. We should not act like our willing subjection to sinful influences or false doctrine is "no big deal"!
In Joshua's address before all Israel and its leaders, he could have acted as if "no problem" existed. However, Joshua was honest with his "family." "Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord" (Josh. 24:14). There IS a problem! "Put away the gods"! If it were the smallest image of idolatrous deities the children of Israel were to destroy them, lest they be tempted to serve them. Yes, Joshua was honest with his family. He not only identified the problem but he also outlined how such a breach with the Lord could be corrected. "Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel" (Josh. 24:23).
As parents, let us not lose our focus to properly mold our offspring. We CAN raise up a "a godly seed" in this "crooked and perverse" culture. Further, may all congregational leaders be completely honest about the continual opposition that is faced when seeking to keep the church pure. Let us not be "ignorant of Satan's devices" to lead the bride of Christ into compromise with immoral lifestyles or those who uphold such. With true concern for the future of our physical families and the family of God, let us "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). -Tim Watts


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