August 17, 2014 Vol. 5 No. 46
ARE YOU DOING WHAT YOU CAN?
There is a statement made by our Lord in Mark 14:8 that rings in my ears quite often. The setting for this statement is at Bethany at the house of Simon the leper. Jesus is sitting at the table as a woman breaks a flask of expensive spikenard and anoints His head. There were those in the audience who objected to this action saying this spikenard could have been sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor. This group was led by Judas Iscariot and John tells us that Judas was not concerned for the welfare of the poor but wanted to steal that money because he carried the money box for the apostles and he took what was put into the box (John 12:6). Jesus defended her actions with these words: “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. You have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (Mark 14:6-9).
She has done what she could! What a great statement to be made about a person. It really is a statement about what the Lord expects from each of us. God never expects more from His children than we are able to do, but He does expect us to do what we are able. There are some lessons from this woman that we all need to learn.
She did not wait to be asked to do something. She saw something that needed to be done and did it. She found a way to do what she could. So many people in the church today are waiting to be asked to do something. Since they are not asked to do some work they do no work at all. Brethren, Christians must be self-starters. I cannot come before the Lord empty handed with the excuse, “but Lord, no one asked me to do anything.” That won’t work. I cannot justify a lack of Christian service on others. When you see a work that needs to be done and you have the ability, DO IT!
She did not worry about criticism. And she was criticized. Judas wanted that 300 denarii. When someone steps out and takes on a task there may be others who will find fault. People found fault with most everything that Jesus did during His personal ministry. That did not keep Him from teaching the truth and doing the work His Father sent Him to do. If we let a little criticizing stop us, we will never get anything done. All this, of course, is based on if what we are doing is right. If we are doing wrong, we should be corrected.
She did not worry about the cost. What she did was costly, but to her and her Lord it was worth it. This was a onetime opportunity and she took it. Jesus said they could help the poor at any time because there would always be poor people to be helped.
Do we look for opportunities to serve the Lord or is our service attending a worship service once a week? (And that is if it is convenient) Heed the words of Paul, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Col 3:23).
FAMILY NEWS AND NOTES:
Friends & Family: Bill Howell (Jean’s son) has been transferred to the Special Care Unit at Mercy. Cindy Brown (member at Hartville): possible cancer in her jaw.
Death: We extend our sympathy to Steve Wilson and his family at the passing of his father, Bob Wilson, this past Wednesday. He lived in Athens, Tennesssee.
Thank You: A BIG thank you to everyone who donated school supplies for Allen Elementary School!
Temporary Address Change: Mary Pool will be staying with her daughter while she continues to recover. The address is in the printed bulletin.
Sewing Ladies: The ladies will continue to meet for sewing on Monday mornings at 10:00 AM until noon.
Golden Agers: This Tuesday (August 19th) there will be a Bible study at 10:30 AM and then out to eat at a local restaurant..
Widow/Widowers Fellowship Picnic
Where: Hartville Church of Christ
*Those attending are asked to bring $5 for lunch*
Young Ladies Of The Congregation in grades 6th – 12th: Beginning September 7th, there will be a new Bible class on Sunday mornings especially designed for you. To get acquainted with each other and our new class, we will have a luncheon on TODAY following Bible study. Please plan to attend.
Current Bible Class Offerings
Note: Gospel meeting details, upcoming Ladies’ Days, Stepping Stones activities, and other information can be found on the east-wing bulletin board for your convenience.
Baby Shower: There will be a baby shower for Erin & Brady Hammond (daughter/son-in-law of Keith & Jan Kull) and their son Luke Howard Hammond on Sunday, August 31st from 2:00-4:00 PM here at the building. They are registered at Target. Sign the sheet on the bulletin board if you plan to attend.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK
There may be those who would question whether social media is hurting the church or not. But those who knew the church before the explosion of the things that make up social media would say that it serves as a great danger to the church. To me, the social media involves TV, computers, cell phones and especially “smart phones.” Before TV, members of the churches of Christ were known as the “people of the Bible.” Today many Christians don’t even know where their Bible is, but they know where their TV, computer and smart phone are, and they use them every day.
All of these items have potential for great good in the work of the church, but too many people use these simply for self-entertainment. Let’s notice some dangers from social media.
Social Media promotes individualism. Did you ever see a group of people sitting in the same room and texting others in the group? Social media allows you to create your own world. The smart phone allows you to be selective as to who you allow into your world. If someone upsets you they can simply be blocked and removed from your group.
Our faith, likewise, has become individualistic. Many have left organized religion because they prefer to worship God on their terms and according to their preferences. In church, our society now says that everything must suit them if they are going to attend that church. What pleases God is no longer a concern for many.
Social media destroys the concept of friendship. Social media makes it possible to “unfriend” someone in your virtual world and you never have to hear from them again. In the church you cannot “unfriend” people. You cannot push a button and make them suddenly stop coming around you or talking to you. With many, if someone upsets them, they simply remove church from their life.
We must realize that Christianity can only be lived in the realm of a church family. We do not have the power to pick our friends. We must love everyone, especially those of the “household of faith.”
Social media feeds our entertainment-driven culture. Our attention spans are getting shorter and our appetite for entertainment is becoming more difficult to satisfy. On one small smart phone, one can carry around movies, TV shows, video games, weather reports, the news, sports events etc. (When I was a kid we didn’t even see a newspaper, radio was new, TV still several years in the future and our phone ring was 2 longs and 1 short. You older folks will know what that means). Society is becoming BORED with singing hymns, reading scripture, discussing deep spiritual truths, listening to sermons and generally everything that makes Christianity, Christianity. Each congregation has the choice of “joining the crowd” or we can help Christians wean themselves from the temptations social media presents and return to thinking about God and His will for us. Some may need to go through “detox”, but it will be worth the effort.
We all need to be honest with ourselves in answering the question “is social media hurting us?” Only you can answer the question for yourself. Remember, God already knows. -B. C.
A.M. –“The Eyes Have It” (Matthew 6: 22-23) – LANCE
Those reading for lessons during the worship service are asked to use the “New King James Version”, as it corresponds to the pew Bibles and the projections on the screen.
PRIVILEGED TO SERVE
August 17, 2014 A.M. P.M.
Opening Prayer Elder Elder
August 24, 2014 A.M. P.M.
Opening Prayer Elder Elder