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Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Devotion

“I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord. Gaius, host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer greets you, and Quartus, the brother. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”  (Romans 16:22-24)

As Paul aged, his eyes became dim, hence his ending of the letter, “See with my own hand how I sign this.”  For this, perhaps, last letter to the church, he dictated while Tertius wrote.  It is from Paul, but penned by a scribe.  He adds his greeting to the church from those who were in the city, as well as from the church, reminding us that those in the body of Christ are interconnected, one with the other.

Lord, Help me understand that the faith is both a personal thing and a corporate thing and that You are knitting together Your body through all who believe.  Guide me into true understanding of the church that I may be united and a part of the ‘one’ in fulfillment of Your prayer.  Help me always to abide in Your never failing grace which sustains all who believe that I may be faithful to You and my neighbor.

Lord Jesus, You are and have accomplished all things according to the Father’s purpose.  Help me live today in the purpose You have called me to live, knowing that You alone can guide us through the grace You have purchased to accomplish Your purpose.  Help me remain faithful throughout this day, knowing that Your abundant grace is sufficient to guide me through every obstacle that may come.  Amen. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014, Devotion

“Timothy my fellow worker greets you, and so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.”  (Romans 16:21)

To whom is your loyalty fixed.  Is it on worldly connections, or on those who will be with you in eternity.  Yes, Paul had one of his kinsman who joined him, but many did not.  Although he may well have lamented the lack of faith amongst those in his family, yet he was not dissuaded from pressing on for the sake of the Gospel.  The Lord is judge and arbiter and we do well to always trust His perfect justice.

Lord, in this world, many will argue that they want this or that if they are to have faith.  Help me see clearly that none of us in a position to bargain with You.  Guide me to do my best to share the Gospel and trust in Your perfect will being accomplished.  Help me not to get caught up in worldly thinking, but instead to live as a person of faith who trusts You in all things.

Lord, You call each of us to live lives of faith, declaring the Gospel with our lives and living in a way that it approved.  Help me, I pray, to live this kind of life knowing that You will accomplish what You have purposed through me and all the faithful.  Help me understand that I am in a great cloud of witnesses who proclaim the glory of Your saving grace to the nations.  Amen.

Sunday, July 27, 2014, Devotion

“For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.”  (Romans 16:19)

Here is a second principle that every fellowship should strive to obtain, being obedient in the things of the Lord, wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.  Each fellowship has this potential, but it takes diligence in order to obtain what is needed.  Being a disciple takes work and being faithful in fellowship also requires work.  We are to work together in the Lord’s vineyard for His sake.

Lord, help me personally to be faithful in being obedient, being wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil and then lead me to help the fellowship I am in to be of one mind in doing the same.  Grant wisdom that I would discern how to proceed in every circumstance in order to seek to obtain these prizes not only for myself, but also for the fellowship in which You have placed me.

Thank You, Lord, for breathing on the church Your Holy Spirit.  Grant that the faithful would work together for good because of Your love and grace which unites us.  Begin today with me and help me to be good leaven which influences those around me to be wise as serpents, but innocent as doves that together we may work in Your vineyard, building up faith amongst all who will heed Your Word.  Amen.

 

Saturday, July 26, 2014, Devotion

“For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.”  (Romans 16:18)

Herein lies the greatest obstacle to the church since the time of Paul.  Those who, with smooth speech, are able to move the fellowship away from their calling to be of one mind and into the realm of worldliness.  They will lead those who could be saved astray.  Listen to the Lord and be of one mind with those whom He calls and equips.  We were freed from the slavery of sin.

Lord, help me to see clearly those who love You and follow Your commands and those who, for their own reasons, follow after their own appetites.  Help me not to be enamored with smooth speech, but instead to listen and hear what is actually being spoken.  In every circumstance, guide me in Your wisdom to be faithful and not fall for the snares of the devil and to help others to be faithful as well.

Holy Spirit, grant me Your guidance today that with wisdom I would live out this day faithfully.  Help me see hindrances clearly that I would move beyond any obstacle without stumbling and live according to Your Word.  Grant that I would be a help to the unsuspecting, guiding them in Your light that they too may not stumble, but be brought in to the light of the life You grant by grace.  Amen. 

Friday, July 25, 2014, Devotion

“Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.”  (Romans 16:17)

In every fellowship, the devil will send along those who will seek to destroy the fellowship.  We know this happens.  The cure is simple, but often ignored.  We are to keep an eye on those who cause dissension and are a hindrance to the true Gospel.  We are to turn away and not embrace such people, regardless their earthly connection.  If we do this, the fellowship remains.  If we do not, the devil will tear the fellowship apart.

It is difficult Lord when they are family or friends, but help me to turn away from those who would bring harm into the fellowship.  Guide me in to being able to rightly see what would help and what would hurt the fellowship that I may take to heart what Paul admonishes.  Guide me in right thinking that I would always seek to do my part in Your body, knowing it is Yours and that You have called me into faithfulness.

Thank You, Lord, for saving us in the time of trial.  As I go through trials this day, guide me to be humble, gentle and above all, faithful to the call You have given me, knowing that in You alone am I able to overcome the obstacles the devil will try to place in my way.  If needed, give me strength to turn away from those who cause dissension and would be a hindrance that I may be an example of faithfulness.  Amen.

Charleston events video

  • July 24, 2014 - 10:15 am
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Click the blue “Convocation” button on the upper right to watch archived video of the convocations and theological conference in Charleston.

Christian leaders defend religious charities from presidential order

  • July 24, 2014 - 6:31 am
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Christian leaders from the Common Ground Christian Network sign a statement protesting President Obama’s July 21, 2014 presidential order compelling all federal contractors, including religious organizations to practice “nondiscrimination” based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” For more information go here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014, Devotion

“Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.”  (Romans 16:16)

We are called to have affection for the family of faith into which the Lord has called us.  This is a call for holy intimacy within which we understand the truth that when another hurts, we hurt.  We are to invest our live in those whom the Lord has called together, knowing that together He will grow discipleship in and amongst us.  We are to warmly greet one another in the love the Lord lavishes upon us all through grace.

Lord, it is difficult in a distant and remote world where each looks out for themselves to seek for intimacy.  Help me, I pray, to overcome the obstacles that I may be faithful in this charge of caring for those in the fellowship as I would a close family member.  Guide me in wisdom to be discerning and understanding that I may fulfill all that You command for the sake of Your kingdom.

Thank You, Lord, for equipping each of Your saints with the ability to do the things You command.  Help me this day to fulfill Your will in accomplishing what You purpose that I may faithfully do what You would have me do.  Guide me in Your wisdom and teach me to love as You love that I may reflect Your presence in my life in all I say and do.  Amen.

 

Live stream failed Tuesday evening, watch here…

  • July 23, 2014 - 10:55 am
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Due to loss of our internet connection at The Citadel, we were unable to live stream the opening Tuesday evening session of the Theological Conference in its entirety.

You can watch a recording of the session HERE.

 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, Devotion

“Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine.  Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brethren with them. Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.”  (Romans 16:12-15)

The Lord is creating an extended family among those who are called together in faith that they might live in unity as our Savior prayed we would do.  This is a challenge in a sinful world where each looks out for themselves, but this is the call the Lord gives to each fellowship, that they would see that we all are interconnected through one Lord, in one baptism and in one faith.

Lord, help me see that You are the One who is connecting all who believe into the extended family that You have knit together for Your sake.  Help me overcome the obstacles that get in the way, that I may love all others, especially those of the household of faith You have knit together, knowing that You alone are preparing for the eternal kingdom, calling all whom You choose to be a part of that one true fellowship of those who through You overcome the world.

Thank You, Lord, for bringing all things under submission in order to lay them at the Father’s feet.  Help me, I pray, to live in the fellowship into which You have appointed me that I may faithfully live a life of faith, loving my church family and understanding and loving the greater church family also in fulfillment of Your command that we might be one even as You in Trinity are one.  Amen.