Devotional – Do Not Be Anxious About Anything

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 ESV

Seriously? Don’t be anxious?! Do not be anxious about anything? Is this even possible?

Paul answers with a resounding yes! Yes it is possible!

How? Prayer! As cares arise throughout the day take each of those cares immediately to the Throne of Grace… and leave them there! Don’t worry, He will know what to do.

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Joseph Scriven

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Editorial note: Originally published May 26, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

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Be Anxious For Nothing Poster


 

Be Anxious For Nothing Josh Byers Poster

 

Credit: Josh Byers. Original available here.

 

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Should Local Assemblies Have Recognized Elders?

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Brother Gary McBride has an excellent post today on the assemblyHUB blog entitled Should We Have Elders Today? In his article brother Gary outlines why he believes local assemblies (churches) should have elders. He supports his position by looking at relevant scriptures passages and by exploring a few real life considerations.

While this topic may seem strange– most Protestant church groups practice some form of eldership and the New Testament seems to clearly teach eldership– there are some groups who hold to the teaching that elders are not for today.

Gary writes in part:

The premise of this article is that the office was introduced at the beginning of this age and is applicable for the whole period. In the epistles there are at least six references to elders. The references are as follows: Philippians 1:1, 1Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17-20; Titus 1:5-9; James 5:14; and 1Peter 5:1-4. To these could be added Acts 20:17 and 28, though Acts is narrative and not necessarily normative. Paul is giving a discourse that includes doctrine. There are also four verses that reference those who rule or who are in authority: 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13; and Hebrews 13:7, 17.

and…

A plurality in leadership, elders or overseers is the most likely expectation of the reader of the New Testament. Most individuals reading through the Bible would assume that the pattern seen and the topic spread thoughout the New Testament would be visible today. It may be true that the church in the Western world is far from the simplicity and spirituality of the early church, but that is not necessarily true in the entire world. In addition, there is no scripture either stated or implied that indicates the office of elder is to cease.

and…

Experientially I have found that with or without recognition someone has to take leadership. Regardless of the size of the assembly and the mechanics of decision making, someone or a plurality has to take the lead. In assemblies without designated elders either the majority of the men take leadership or only certain men are invited to be in leadership. It seems to me that in many ways it is merely a matter of semantics – there are men in leadership but the word “elders” is not used.

I encourage you to read Gary’s full article here.

 

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Full disclosure: I am a member of the assemblyHUB.com leadership team.
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Jottings – Man’s Happiness

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Commenting on Philippians 1:21-23 (Paul’s imprisonment):

“He was just then, I suppose, in full vigorous health, and though in prison I do think that an angel might have ransacked the whole world before he could have found a happier man than the apostle Paul, for a man’s happiness consisteth not in the wealth which he possesses. In the bare dungeons of Rome, Paul, the tent maker, had a glory about him which Nero never had in all his palaces; and there was a happiness there to which Solomon in all his glory never had attained. So then, the desire of Paul to depart is for these reasons far superior to the desire of the mere philosopher, or of the disappointed worldling.”

C. H. Spurgeon, “Paul’s Desire To Depart,” in The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 5. Originally preached on September 11, 1859. (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1859), 398.

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Jottings – Joy and Holiness

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Commenting on Phil. 4:4:

 

“Joy and holiness are inseparable. A holy Christian is able to rejoice even when passing through deepest afflictions; but a believer who, through unwatchfulness, has permitted himself to fall into unholy ways, loses immediately the joy of the Lord, which is the strength of those who walk in communion with Himself.”

H.A. Ironside, Notes on the Epistle to the Philippians. Loizeaux Brothers: Neptune, NJ, 1922, pp. 109.

 

 

 

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Jottings – The Peace Of God

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Commenting on Phil. 4:6-7:

 

“But this I cannot do for myself. I may tell myself over and over that I will not worry, will not fret, but my thoughts, like untamed horses with the bit in their teeth, if I may use such an illustration, seem to run away with me. Or, like an attacking army, they crowd into the citadel of my mind, and threaten to overwhelm me. But God, Himself, by the Holy Spirit, has engaged to so garrison my mind, and so protect my restless heart, that my thoughts shall neither run away with me, nor yet overwhelm me. Every thought will be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Thus I shall enjoy the peace of God, a peace beyond all human comprehension, as I leave my burdens where faith delights to cast every care, at the feet of Him who, having not withheld His own Son, has now declared that through Him He will freely give me all things. In this I can rest, for He cannot deny Himself.”

H.A. Ironside, Notes on the Epistle to the Philippians. Loizeaux Brothers: Neptune, NJ, 1922, pp. 112f.

 

 

 

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Entry Level Theological Truth [25]

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“…Lest you die.” Genesis 3:3

“There’s nothing certain except death and taxes” says the familiar adage, but why is that so? People of every race, nationality, socioeconomic and educational level die. One out of every one dies in our world today; these are easy statistics for the mathematically challenged (like this author.) How does one account for the ubiquity of death in our world? Genesis 3 gives the answer.

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Which Church? New Testament Churches Were Instructed By A Number Of Preachers

Which Church?

In Christendom, a system has developed that we call the clerical system, in which one man has almost the sole responsibility of preaching to a congregation week by week. That practice is not based on the teaching of the Bible. In New Testament times, in each local church, a number of men had responsibility for ministering to God’s people. Indeed, every believer had some part to play, for the assembly is likened to a human body with each member playing a vital role. Every believer has been endowed with a spiritual gift that has to be employed for the good of the whole body. To pay one man to bear almost the whole responsibility of helping God’s people is a contradiction of the ‘body of Christ’ aspect of the local church, 1 Corinthians 12:27.

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Which Church? New Testament Churches Were Guided By Overseers

Which Church?

The responsibility for leadership in New Testament assemblies devolved upon overseers, (often translated ‘bishop’ in the King James Version). These men are also described as being elders, that is, men of a mature spiritual experience, 1 Timothy 3:6. They were not elected by the congregation, but appointed by the sovereign choice of the Holy Spirit, Acts 20:28. Certain qualifications had to be met, and these are outlined in 1 Timothy chapter 3, and Titus chapter 1.

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Jottings – The Value of Knowing Christ

Jottings

On Philippians 3:7-10:

 

There is a powerful statement of divine grace in these verses. What Paul was and did was nothing. What Christ had done was everything. Nor was it just the Jewish background he counted loss. Paul gave his statement universal validity with the word ‘everything.’ Absolutely nothing could transcend for him the value of knowing Christ.

Anthony L. Ash,The College Press NIV Commentary: Philippians, College Press Publ., 1994, electronic ed., pdf., p. 45.

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