December 21, 2014 Vol. 6 No. 12
VICTORY IN JESUS
Many striking metaphors are used in the New Testament to describe the Christian life. Jesus compared it to carrying a cross (Matt. 16:24). The book of Hebrews describes it as a race which must be patiently run (Heb. 12:1). Peter compared it to the process of growth and development by which an infant becomes an adult (1 Peter 2:2).
One of the most vivid metaphors associated with the Christian life, however, is the New Testament picture of Christianity as a battle which must be fought and won. Paul commanded Timothy to “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12), and he reminds us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). This is the great Armageddon described in the book of Revelation (16:16).
Fortunately, this is a battle whose outcome has been assured. “In all these things we are more than conquerors…” (Rom. 8:37). In Christ we have the assurance of:
Victory in Life…For the Christian, successful living is not a matter of wealth accumulated, or status attained, or personal triumphs recorded. Rather it is the result of having “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). As soldiers of Christ, we have been equipped with weapons which are “mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Cor.10:4). On the daily battle ground of temptation, Satan can be routed and put to flight with the sword of the Spirit “which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).
Victory in Death…Jesus promised that even the gates of hades (death) could not withstand the power of the church (Matt. 16:18). By His resurrection Jesus crushed the head of Satan and broke the power of death. So complete and irrevocable was His rout of death that the Bible says He “hath abolished death and hath brought light and immortality to light through the Gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10). The reality of Christ’s resurrection assures His followers that for them too, death will one day be “swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54).
Victory in Eternity…Victory in Christ extends beyond the grave to ultimate triumph in eternity. The Bible says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men” (Eph. 4:8). One of the gifts which the triumphant Jesus offers to his faithful followers is Eternal Life (Rom. 6:23). In eternity, the legions of Christ will stack their armor and receive the crown of final victory from their Commander (2 Tim. 4:8).
“Thanks be to God which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57)
FAMILY NEWS AND NOTES:
Church Family: Judy Franks will have total hip replacement tomorrow. Howard Moffett is back at the Regency following a brief stay at the hospital. Nelda Anderson is at Aultman/Woodlawn. Cheryl Burfield: Aultman Hospital. Ellen Gray: Bethany Nursing Home. Also, keep Verda Frankhauser (hospice), Chuck Camarata (problems with eye), Gene Buxton, and Dorothy Townsend in your prayers.
Friends & Family: Kevin Greening, Maureen Steele & Yvonne (Georgia Gadd), Tom Williams, father of Jennifer Kruger, will begin radiation treatments this week. Remember our Shut-In members, those in the Armed Forces, our Brethren in Kenya and the Leadership of the Lord’s church here at Northwest.
Response: Allen Crawford responded to the invitation last Sunday morning to request special prayers for himself and his family.
Thank You: I thank and appreciate you all who sent me cards, phone calls, visits and those who also included me in their thoughts and prayers. They were heartwarming and healing in their own ways. Special thanks to Lance who is always there in every step of the way! I love very much our family here at Northwest and may God bless you all! -Pilar Phillip
We want to thank everyone who helped with the Holiday Meal; those who helped set-up, decorate, cook, serve, clean and take down. You always make it an enjoyable experience and we love you all! –Patrick & Theada J
FYI: There will be NO Bible study on Wednesday, December 24th and December 31st. We will resume classes on Wednesday, January 07th.
Golden Agers: Tuesday, December 23rd: NO MEETING.
Devotional: We will have a service at the Hennis Nursing Home in Bolivar next Sunday beginning at 2:00 PM.
Annual Ladies’ Meeting: On Sunday, January 11th, immediately following the morning worship service, the ladies will have their Annual Ladies’ Meeting in the multi-purpose room. If you are scheduled to teach a children’s class, it will be covered for that morning. At the meeting, you will have the opportunity to hear about the many ministries that you can be a part of here at Northwest. You will, also, receive a survey sheet to fill out and return. Any questions, see Jody Dimit, Kathy Kruger, or Kathy Lindenberger. The men will have a Bible class in the auditorium.
Current Bible Class Offerings
Classes are provided for children of all ages.
Acme Receipt Program: Turn in your Acme Grocery Receipts for NOCYC now through February 4th
QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK
“Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
In Bible times many farmers used oxen to plow their fields, pull their wagons, etc. The oxen were fitted with a yoke which was used to pull the load. Jesus was using something familiar to the people of His day to teach a lesson. If you were wearing a yoke, it means that you are attempting something very difficult to do. In fact if the load is too heavy for you, failure will be the end result.
The context of our Lord’s words is one where Jesus is rebuking the cities where He had done His most mighty works, yet the people would not believe that He is the Son of God and repent of their sins (Matt. 11:20). He said that it was going to be more tolerable for cities like Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for the people He was speaking to at that time.
Even in the face of all this, Jesus offers them this great opportunity of coming to Him and letting Him help them with their spiritual problems.
Today, man has a yoke of sin that he is not able to bear by himself. Man has no personal way of getting rid of that yoke of sin. But Jesus can remove that yoke of sin from around a man’s neck and give him the easy yoke of salvation which only Jesus can give. Then for the rest of his days Jesus will help him get rid of all those future sins that will no doubt come into his life no matter how hard he tries to avoid them. Through faith, as introduced by Christ, humanity can be justified and thus be at peace with God (Rom. 5:1).
Christ came to show that man’s purpose and ultimate happiness is only to be found in serving God. He also helps man see that we each must show some responsibility for our actions. It is a joy when we realize that we have been charged with the responsibility of working in the vineyard of the Lord.
Christ can remove the yoke of hopelessness and replace it with his easy yoke of “hope.” Without Christ, man is looking into the black hole of despair. Jesus answers the question, “is there hope beyond the grave?” The world struggles with this question daily, but the Bible clearly deals with this issue. Yes, through Jesus Christ we have hope of eternal life with the redeemed of all the ages. The yoke of Jesus is easy.
Divinely designed Christianity fits all human needs. It is the remedy for man’s ills. It is the fulfillment of his dreams. Take Christ’s yoke. It is easy. -B. C.
** If you are unable to serve in the scheduled capacity, let Art Hopkins know. **
Opening Prayer Elder Elder
December 28, 2014 A.M. P.M.
Opening Prayer Elder Elder
For The Record (12/14/14)