God’s Family

God’s Family

Saturday’s Column: Learning From Lehman

Nick Dubree

Around our house, my wife has pictures with different sayings, like – “In this kitchen we lick the spoon”, “Blessed”, “Gather”, and “Give Thanks”. As much as I make fun of these light-hearted sayings, one of them caught my attention this week. It says:

“In this house we – say please and thank you, never give up, love one another, show respect, think good thoughts, say I’m sorry, give second chances, sing out loud, try to do better, give hugs, are a family.”

I couldn’t help but think about how this not only applies to my personal family, but to my church family as well. Obviously we could take each one of these phrases and spend time comparing them to our church family, but I want to spend time on just a few.

#1: Love one another and show respect.

John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Loving one another is a command from God and acts as a type of evangelism to the world. We should love in this family.

#2: Say I’m sorry and give second chances.

In Luke 15:20-24, we read about this happening in between the prodigal son and his father. In verse 21 it says, “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”

Not only did the father forgive his son, but he gave him a second chance. Verse 24 says, “For this my son was dead, and now is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate.”

The church family should be one where we feel comfortable enough to say we are sorry and humble enough to give second chances. 

#3: We are a family.

Acts 2:44-47 gives a perfect picture of what the New Testament church family should look like. These new Christians were helping each other, spending time together, and praising God with one another. They were a family, just like we are today.

If you aren’t apart of this family yet, now is the time!

“Trust The Process”

“Trust The Process”

Monday’s Column: Neal At The Cross

Neal Pollard

In the lead up to the College Football Playoff National Championship, I have read a few articles about tonight’s game. More than once, the players and coaches have talked about the need to “trust the process.” That idea applies to the entire program, to the season, to preparing for every game including this last one, to both sides of the ball, down to the individual player’s preparation for this game. “The process” is comprised of every fundamental principle intended to bring about the highest success. There will be trying moments and setbacks, even failures. But when the tendency to doubt is the greatest, it is then that you most need to “trust the process.”

They say that athletics are a metaphor for life. The inspired apostle Paul thought so. Long before Nick Saban or Kirby Smart and their players used the mantra, the first-century native of Tarsus was teaching the idea in the Bible. Here is how he put it, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops” (2 Tim. 2:3-6). No, he does not say, “Trust the process.” He gives it instead: Endure, focus, follow the rules, and work hard. Just as coaches use metaphors, making comparisons to chopping wood, flying the plane, rowing the boat, etc., Paul refers to the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer to illustrate principles in the process of living the Christian life.

Our goal is the enjoy ultimate success. The Bible defines that as overcoming the world (Jn. 16:33; 1 Jn. 4:4; 5:4; Re. 2:7,11,17, etc.). There are times this is very difficult, but at all times we must “trust the process.” Trust the process…

  • When you are encountering various trials (Js. 1:2ff). 
  • When you are aiming at church growth (Acts 2:42-47).
  • When you are combatting temptation (Js. 4:7-8).
  • When you are offended or have offended (Mt. 5:23-24; 18:15-17).
  • When you are trying to win back a fallen brother (Gal. 6:1-2). 
  • When you are seeking to follow Jesus (Lk. 9:23-26).
  • When you are working on your marriage (Eph. 5:22-33).
  • When you are running the marathon of childrearing (Eph. 6:1-4; Dt. 6:4-9).
  • When you are building your relationship with God (Ps. 1; Col. 3:1ff).
  • When you are shepherding the flock (1 Pt. 5:1-4; Acts 20:28).
  • When you are dealing with prosperity (1 Ti. 6:17-19) or poverty (Js. 1:9-12).
  • When you are struggling with sins of the tongue (Js. 3:1-12).
  • When you are wondering if it’s worth it to keep going (2 Tim. 4:1-8).
  • When you are being persecuted for your faith or for no good reason at all (Mt. 5:38-48).

In other words, whatever our specific struggle, problem, difficulty, or trial, God has given us a proven process. How many, through the ages, have overcome and won simply because they trusted it? As a loyal, long-suffering fan of the guys in red and black, I am hoping their overall process ends a 41-year drought. If it doesn’t, life will go on. As you follow Jesus, I am hoping that by trusting the process found throughout Scripture you win the crown of eternal life (Js. 1:12). When all is said and done, that is all that matters! 

What I am hoping, not predicting.