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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

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Family

Feature Friday (9/6/13)

02A12B8GWe’ve all heard it said, “If someone frustrates you, just take a step back, count to ten and try to listen where they are coming from” Not bad advice, but often times it is said to be biblical even and James 1:19 given as the supporting text. But James is not saying that. “Instead, he is imploring us to be quick to listen to the word of truth (1:18).”

As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Death of a Saint

tumblr_msfcbp9kQ21relheoo1_1280In the midst of what has been a hectic weekend I missed my regular Monday post. I do not intend this short post to be an apology for that but rather an explanation and encouragement to those who have gone, are going, or will go through the experience of losing someone you loved and enjoyed being around. On this past Saturday morning, August 31st, 2013, a dear friend of mine past away. While I only knew this man for 2 years, he made an impact on me that will last for eternity. Paul Davis Saunders Jr. was the type of man whom I loved and admired because he was the type of man who emulated so well the Lord Jesus Christ.

While I cannot at this point put into words the deep sorrow I have that I will never be able to hear Paul tell one of his jokes again or speak of the God He loved and served, I hope to in a few short sentences express why I am actually rejoicing that Paul is with His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in heaven now. To begin to express this I must ask the question, “why is the death of another so hard to experience?” Why is it so heartbreaking and difficult? And how can we deal with it? Here are 4 truths I am finding it helpful to remember in dealing with death.

1) Death is not a designed part of life. God did not create mankind to die (Gen. 2:7), rather it was a result of man’s disobedience (Gen. 2:16-17).

2) Death is a result of sin. Death is not something that happens for no reason, it is a reality of our world because of the sinfulness of man (Rom. 5:12, 6:23; James 1;15).

3) Death is a reality for us all. None of us will escape death because none of us can refrain from sin (Rom. 3:10-18, 23). Death is something that comes once for all of us (Heb. 9:27).

4) Death has a death as well. Death has always had its day coming as well (Is. 25:8, 53:11). We are told that a man, Jesus Christ came to conquer death and sin (1 Cor. 15:26, 54-57). The toughest part of this reality is that there is an ALREADY aspect (2 Tim. 1:10; Heb. 2:9), but also a NOT YET aspect (Rev. 21:4).

So while I cannot entirely put to words all the feelings surrounding the death of a dear friend, I am so thankful that I can face it and deal with it, because of the Truth(s) found in God’s Word and His Son Jesus Christ.

Here are the thoughts from another individual who was impacted greatly by Paul’s life. All was Well!

Family Values

A menu displays US fast food chain McDonJust last week I went to McDonald’s for the first time in a long time. As I was looking the menu over I couldn’t help but notice the title the marketing committee for McD’s gave some of their food…Value Menu! Value? Really? By who’s standard? I mean, seriously, who thinks that a 1/16 lb burger (of mystery meat) and an order of not so great fries priced at $3 total is a value? Maybe a value if you need nutrition (the verdict is still out on whether there is any nutrition in that meal) and only have a few bucks to spare. But more than the food itself, this made me think about the things I value in life…God, family, church, friends, running, ministry, and the list goes on.

Near the top of my list of values is family. While having a family of my own (wife and child) has always been a thought in my mind, it was not until college that I seriously began contemplating the reality of it. It was during those years that I realized God wants more for a family than just to be a unit that lives life together. He wants a family to be a picture of His love for the world (Eph. 5:22-6:4). In order for our family to successfully pursue that purpose, we need to have some values to guide us. That is what I want to share today…the Kirby family values. Please do not read these as musts for every family or as my standard for great families.  Rather, these are the values Bethany and I crafted for our family as we thought about the future of our family in light of God’s design.

Kirby Family Values

>      Our personal relationship with the Lord is the most vital relationship in our lives; therefore, we will make Him our priority and passionately pursue Him daily. (Jn. 14:6; Eph. 2:1, 4, 8-9; Col. 1:15-23) 

>      Marriage is a reflection of God’s sacrificial and committed love for the church; therefore, we will be committed to this relationship for life and through joy and hardship. (1 Cor. 7:10-11, Eph. 5:22-33, Heb. 13:4)

>      We believe God has purposely put us together as a family; therefore, we will intentionally spend time together and value that time. (Rom. 9:14-23, Eph. 1:3-14, Col. 3:18-21)

>      God’s Word is the sole authority and foundation for our lives; therefore, we will follow and obey it in our beliefs, thoughts, speech, and conduct. (Jn. 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3, 21)

 >      We communicate with God through prayer; therefore, we are committed to spending time in prayer each day. (Eph. 6:18, Phil. 4:6, Heb. 4:14-16)

>      The local church family is the vehicle through which God is working in our world; therefore, we are committed to ministering to, serving, and fellowshipping with this family. (Matt. 16:18-19, 1 Cor. 12, Heb. 10:24-25)

>      God has commanded us to spread the gospel; therefore, we will intentionally pursue relationships with unsaved people with the purpose of sharing the Gospel. (Matt. 28:19-20, Acts 1:8, 1 Cor. 2:1-5)

 >      God is sovereignly working out His plan; therefore, we will trust Him completely in every situation. (Dan. 4:34-35, Rom. 8:28-30, Eph. 1:3-14)

>      We believe that we are nothing apart from the Lord and can do nothing apart from Him; therefore, we will humble ourselves daily by following Christ’s example. (Is. 66:2, Phil. 2:1-11, 1 Pet. 5:5-6)

>      God has entrusted to us everything we possess; therefore, we will give first and freely, and then wisely steward the remaining resources. (2 Sam. 24:18-25; Rom. 8:32, 2 Cor. 9:6-15)

>      Love is the greatest commandment; therefore, we will love God and love people. (Matt. 22:37-40, 1 Cor. 13:1-8, 1 Jn. 4:19-21)

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Again, these are not necessarily a standard for every family, but what we as parents hope to instill into our children as they live their lives for the glory of Jesus Christ. So while our values may not be exactly found on the “Value Menu” we pray that God will be pleased with them.

I would love to hear from you, my readers, at anytime. If you have some family values you’d like to share, please do so in the comments.

Feature Friday (8/9/13)

worship1Knowing vs. Feeling in Worship – It is what we know—the verities of the Scriptures which fuel our hearts and our emotions, and lead us on.

As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Feature Friday (8/2/13)

mother_and_child1Just think of it! Your child could be used as a singular instrument to declare God’s glory in Christ and in the Church “throughout all generations” (Eph 3:21). What more could you possibly do than that?” This should be an encouragement to all parents to follow the instructions set forth in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (7/26/13)

word-balloonsSin might make people stupid (or maybe a bit more accurately, it makes the intelligent foolish), but grace will make us wise.” Great concise article on why sin is stupid, no matter how smart you are.

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

The Church: Universal vs. Local

what-is-churchWhen I say shopping, you think…? Some think of the mall, while others think of a specific department store. When I say football game, some people think of the game of football while others think of the Superbowl. What about when I say family? A few people will think of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., but most will think of their immediate family members–brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers. Why is this? It is because when it comes down to it, the terms “shopping”, “football”, and “family” apply in more than one situation. The same is true when we consider the word “church”. As we will see today, there is a Universal and Local aspect to the “church”.

The Church, as we looked at last time, is an assembly of people built upon a common confession of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord of their lives, and the recognition that they ultimately belong to God. So when discussing this formation God has started and been building, we must recognize that it is a group of people, not just a building or location. God makes that very clear in Ephesians 4:4-6 when speaking of the ONE body and ONE Spirit. The Holy Spirit, through the apostle Paul, is encouraging and admonishing the Ephesian church to be united in their commonalities rather than divided over their differences. In this passage, Paul lists seven “ones” the believers in Ephesus and of all time have in common: one body, one Spirit, one hope (vs. 4), one Lord, one faith, one baptism (vs. 5), and one God and Father (vs. 6). We see this idea of oneness in the church throughout the New Testament (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Corinthians 12:13). So whenever the church is mentioned we must recognize that it goes beyond any building or one location. The church of Christ is not bound by geographical limitations. However, in Hebrews 10:24-25, the writer of Hebrews instructs believers to “not forsake the assembling of themselves together”. And if the body of Christ worldwide is to obey this command, how do we carry it out?

stock-footage-a-large-multi-ethnic-group-of-business-people-stand-together-isolated-on-white-in-a-studio-shot

We fulfill this command through the local church. The local church is a minute gathering of the larger, universal body of Christ. It is a representation of the larger body of believers who are in a specific and shared location. All throughout the New Testament, we see multiple churches meeting in multiple locations (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1). In Revelation 1:11 and chapters 2-3, Christ gives commands, exhortations, and correction to seven different churches. And in Galatians 1:2, we see there are often multiple churches within the same area. Not only is location given, but the time is also given (Acts 20:7). Local churches since the apostles’ time have met on Sundays. Why? Because of the pattern set for us in Scripture, along with the fact that Christ (the reason for our assembling) rose from the grave on a Sunday (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1). The church of Christ has always been represented through the local assemblies of believers who live in relatively close proximity to one another.

So while some may think of grandma while others think of mom when speaking of family, the truth is that family is still family. And while extended family is family too, it is in the context of our immediate family where we learn how to interact and live as a family. The same is true in the church. While the Church is all over the globe, it is in the context of a local church we see the love of God lived out. And it is in Him and Him alone that we were all “reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:18). It is because God “made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). It is what Christians have come to know as the Great Exchange – He died, so I could live. And it is through His death, burial, and resurrection that the Church can and does exist today!

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So what is the church? Although it is, an assembly of people built upon a common confession of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord of their lives and the recognition that they ultimately belong to God, it is given flesh and bones in the local churches throughout the world.

Stay tuned for part 3 of this series “The Church”. Up next: Structure and Organization. If you missed part 1: The Church:What is it?, read it here!

Feature Friday (7/12/13)

Christian Unityprayercircle – Satan hates God and therefore he hates God’s people, the church. His great plan for the church is to cause Christians—true believers who ought to be together in the gospel—to find ways of disagreeing among themselves, to divide, to be bitter and jealous, and ultimately to “bite and devour one another” (Gal. 5:15). Here are twelve ways that you can repulse Satan’s attacks. Great post on unity within the church.

As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (7/5/13)

3_common_traits_of_youth_who_dont_leave_the_church_1202400903 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church – I read this article late last night and it was very insightful. The article asks and answers one simple question: What is it that sets apart the kids who stay in the church from those who leave the church after high school? The answers may shock you, but the author leaves no one who is responsible for the spiritual discipleship of youth without challenge (churches, youth pastors, and yes, especially parents). Hope you enjoy this read and I would love to have some interaction and comments about the article.

As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

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