The above lyrics are from a song titled, “Slow Fade” which is sung by the group Casting Crowns. While I am not the biggest fan of contemporary Christian music, I can appreciate the meaning behind these words. When my sister and I were children, our parents or guardians did all that they could to shield us from the visual temptations of this world. My parents for example monitored what was on the television and always encouraged us to watch is considered holy and acceptable before the Father. The developed this sense of striving for holiness from Hebrews 12:14. Some people reading this might say, “Man, you missed out on a lot.’ However, I would say quite the opposite.
By my parents monitoring what my sister and I watched on T.V., I could develop a more well-rounded sense of what is right to watch on T.V. and what is wrong. The same thing can be said of the family computer. We live in a time when technology is so prevalent. It is able to accomplish tasks that used to take a greater amount of time. However, with this expediency, there comes a great temptation. For those who are reading this, you know what I am talking about. Pornography is a great temptation in our world today. In fact, research shows that when a person views pornography, it affects them mentally and emotionally. When one thinks they are safe by viewing this to satisfy sexual temptations, let me tell you that Satan has you fooled. By viewing pornography on a regular basis, one develops a very skewed view of what a natural relationship looks like. Over time, a person can develop serious health issues and can develop depression and anxiety. My question to you is this. Is it really worth the risk? If you or someone you know is struggling with pornography, check out this website: www.fightthenewdrug.org. There you will learn about the harmful effects of pornography and can start your road to recover. There is hope. Try to start your healing journey today and do not delay.
Western Kentucky University Football Stadium. Picture can be found here.
Let me set the record straight from the start. I am a huge Hilltoppers fan. When I attended Western Kentucky University, I quickly developed a love for football. The atmosphere and excitement of the fans coming together for a common purpose is exciting, and hearing the roar of the crowd when a play is made is indescribable. Seeing people come together and not trying to tear each other down is refreshing. Imagine if the Facebook world was like the football stadium that you see above. From the onset, we would have to have a much larger stadium since Facebook currently has over 1 billion users.
Imagine, like the WKU Hilltopper fans, if all of the Facebook users came together for one common purpose and that purpose was to share the gospel? There would be no fighting or disagreements, but rather we would take the time to get to know people and demonstrate through social media that we care about them. However, what I frequently see and what I am not a fan of is how members of the Lord’s church conduct themselves on social media. Instead of getting to know people and demonstrating a spirit of love and care, I see a spirit of hate and arrogance. This spirit does not line up with what Paul says in Ephesians 4:29 where he says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (NKJV). While it is our duty to stand up for the faith, we must do it in a spirit of love. Join me in speaking wholesome words on all social media outlets, and encourage those who are of the world to become a fan of New Testament Christians.
Recent movements in our culture have generated new discussion about how we as human beings identify ourselves. People are being told that having their gender identity forced upon them is unnatural, and they should have the ability to choose their identity. There was a story back in July of this year on theBlaze.com’s website (click here) and the headline of the article informed the reader that the mother of a child in Canada is wanting her daughter registered as gender unknown. The mother’s philosophy is she wants the child to choose their gender as they grow up. The question one must ask is, “Why not stick to the natural gender the child is born with?”
In the United States, there is an identity crisis taking place and who would have ever thought that we would have to discuss the idea of choosing our gender identity? As New Testament Christians, what does our response need to be? How might we reach out to these people who are truly in an identity crisis? My first suggestion to you is we need to take time to get to know these people. We need to take time to listen to their story and find out why they have an identity crisis. By taking the time to get to know them, we demonstrate to them that we care for them both physically and spiritually. Isn’t that what Jesus did in John 4? Before He told her who He was, He demonstrated through talking with her that He cared for her and her eternal salvation. If we follow this same model, we will begin to have a similar effect on those around us.
My second suggestion is once we demonstrate to people who have an identity crisis that we care for them, we need to show them that by becoming a New Testament Christian, their identity is in Christ. Consider what Paul said in Colossians 3:3, “For you died, and our life is hidden with Christ in God.” By giving people this hope, they will be able to begin a proper healing process.
Visible satellite image of Hurricane Harvey from the G.O.E.S. East satellite on August 25, 2017, at 10:07 a.m. EDT.
On May 1-2, 2010, a 500-year flooding event struck Middle Tennessee. Over a 48-hour period, 16” of rainfall fell causing significant flooding and altering the lives of thousands of people. I remember this event very well because it left a significant impact on Cheatham County, Tennessee. I recall talking with people about the event and in several instances, those who were effected asked, “Why me, Lord?”
I dare say that there are people asking themselves the same question in parts of Texas today. On Friday, August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a category four hurricane bringing 30”-40” of rainfall over a period of four days. Experts claim that when the total damage survey is conducted that the cost of damage from Harvey will exceed that of Hurricane Katrina. When we think back to disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and other damaging weather events, how should someone approach the situation? Again, the natural human reaction is to get upset and throw our fists up at the Lord in an upset manner. Often a person’s faith can be so tainted after a damaging severe weather event that they give up on God completely. What should our response to a difficult situation be?
The writer of James comments on the trials of life that we are going to face in this life, and in verse three it says, “knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” The Lord does not cause difficult situations to occur in our life. Rather, He allows difficult situations to occur to mold us into the image of His Son. If you have experienced the damaging effects from hurricane Harvey, let me submit to you that instead of looking at the situation in a negative light, observe it from a positive light. Use this difficult time as a way to show those around you your faith in your Lord and Savior. By your example, you might have an eternal impact on someone’s life.
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to be an assistant manager at a local Pizza Hut. One of the things that Pizza Hut thrived on was the quality of their products and the satisfaction of their customers. The quality of the pizza is dependent upon a process that takes place. First, the pizza must have ingredients placed on it in a specific fashion. Second, the pizza would be placed in an oven to cook at the proper temperature. Third, the pizza would be taken out of the oven, boxed up and placed in a warmer. However, what if one of these steps was compromised? Someone could easily use the logic that says, “Well you did not say do not add extra cheese”. Then the instructions were not properly followed.
Instructions are given to clearly say what is to be done. This is seen in the Bible when God lays out how He wants the children of Israel to offer burnt sacrifices. God says to Moses, “Speak to the children of Israel” (Lev. 1:2, NKJV), and He says this so that the children of Israel would clearly know what God expected them to do. He lays out in chapter one how the animal is supposed to be sacrificed. He talks about how the animal is to be killed and how the meat is to be laid on the altar. God is very detailed on how He expects the process to be followed and the content that is included in the sacrifice. With this idea in mind, one can see that God expects His children to follow what He says.
People in our world today neglect the fact that God cares about what we do. Often in conversation people might say, “The Bible does not say do not use instrumental music”. However, the Bible has clearly laid out what is expected. Therefore, that eliminates any other option. As Christians, let us strive to stick to God’s word in a way that shows that we respect what He says. By doing this, we will show that we trust our heavenly Father.
My name is Tyler Binkley and this is a blog that is going to be updated weekly. The purpose for this blog is to provide spiritual thoughts that challenge the New Testament Christian to grow in their faith. I was born and raised in Ashland City, TN where I attended the Bearwallow Road church of Christ congregation. After I became a Christian, I became involved with teaching Sunday school, assisting in Vacation Bible School, leading singing, and preaching when needed. After graduating from high school, I attended Austin Peay State University before transferring to Western Kentucky University (WKU) to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology. I was fortunate to fulfill this dream by graduating in the Fall of 2014. While I was in college at WKU, I attended the Lehman Avenue church of Christ congregation where I was involved with leading singing, teaching Sunday school, leading college devotionals, and I was fortunate to share the gospel with several college students. It was during this time that I discovered a passion and love for working with college aged kids.
Since graduating from WKU, I currently live in Karns, TN where I have been attending the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies. I am currently scheduled to graduate in December and I am looking forward to getting more involved in college ministry once I graduate. My hope and prayer is that I will be able to begin ministering to the college kids at WKU after graduation. When I am not in school or studying my Bible, I enjoy watching the weather, hiking, and spending time with friends. My hope and prayer is for you to utilize this blog to grow in your christian faith.
One of the greatest stories that we read about in the New Testament is the account of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet found in John 13:1-17. Starting in verse 5 and ending with verse 6 we read, “After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” I enjoy the question that Peter asks Jesus. This was certainly a relevant question to ask because here you have the Son of God washing the feet of apostles literally taking on the form of a servant. Jesus goes on to say in verse 15, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” What was Jesus’ point for washing the disciples’ feet? It was to show them that as followers of Christ, they are to take the form of servants and as Christians, we are called to follow this same practice today.
On Saturday, August 15, a few of the college students from the Church of Christ Student Center at Western Kentucky University participated in Move-In day. This day was the first opportunity for incoming freshman to start moving in, kicking off the beginning of Master Plan. During the move-in day, we had the opportunity to help several people move into their dorms and seeing how happy they were was truly a blessing and encouraging. For those of you who are students at WKU and are looking for a great group of Christian friends to be associated with, feel free to check out the Church of Christ Student Center: http://orgs.wku.edu/thecocsc/ Feel free to email us also at: email@example.com. We are here to assist you in your spiritual needs.
If you are reading this and you are a Christian, let me challenge you to definitely follow the example that Christ has given us. By being that Christ-like servant. I love the passage over in Philippians 2:3-4 which says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interest of others.” When we as Christians take on that form of a servant, it allows us to do two things: 1) it allows us to show people that we care about them and 2) it helps us to take the focus off of self. Finally, taking on the form of a servant helps to remind that we serve an almighty God who loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 Let me encourage you once to be a Christ-like servant and you will have a blessed life that will prepare you for eternity.