What to do when things go wrong…

This is a brief comment on things worth considering when life seems to be presenting too many challenges, when things are going wrong and you need to stop and consider: why?  And think about the best way forward.

These are only notes; contact us if you need any point to be developed in more detail.  Likewise, if you’d prefer to listen to a talk on this subject, we can provide a link to a recording.

First, what NOT to do…read on here

Why have church prayer meetings?

Most Christians appreciate how important it is to pray.  And they know that praying in secret, not to show off, is commendable.  But when a church comprised of Christians is formed can it rely on the private prayers of each individual in the church, or does God expect the church as a whole to meet to pray to Him?  Our answer would be yes!  We should meet together to pray prayers of worship, praise, thanksgiving and sincere requests.  The content of our prayers as a church is a big subject in itself.  These notes are just about the need to meet together to do it!

As usual, the expectations God has in this matter are disclosed in the Bible, so here are some passages that apply.  First we look at how God instructed His people in the Old Testament, then noting that precedent we look at how people living in the New Testament era are guided in this matter. Read on here

So You’re Offended…

Someone said: “If you think you’ve found the perfect church, don’t join it; because you’d spoil it!”  Their meaning is perhaps obvious.  In any collection of human beings there will be a multiplicity of faults and shortcomings.  As we grow older we learn to strive personally for the best, but accept less than that in others.  However, sometimes people will do wrong things that simply should not be ignored, especially when the offender is part of the church and the offence brings disrepute.

Some proposed steps, based on Bible statements, is given here.  A significant principle is to strive for the wrongdoer to realize what they have done, cease doing it, confess their fault and be restored to the right path.  In all this, we should aim to address the problem as directly as possible, involving only the people that need to be involved.  The outcome can then be very positive. 

Food for Thought

Each Monday evening a bunch of us get together to study the Bible. We have been through several New Testament books and by popular choice we are now turning to the Old Testament. We intend to compare and contrast the Books of Ruth and Esther.

The first thing to do was to get a general background, and we have turned to Ruth first. Below are the questions we posed to ourselves (you’ll have to attend the studies if you want the real time answers, though we would respond to requests if you contacted us via this website):

The Book of Ruth

Study 1: Background

If possible, read the whole book before we start studying it together.

Questions:

  1. What is the setting of the Book in Israel’s history? Where on the following timeline does it fit? (Ruth 1:1; 4:18-22)
    Patriarchs or Exodus or Days of the Judges or Time of the Kings
  2. What do we know about the country and people of Moab? (e.g. Num.21,22,25; Deut.23:2-6)
  3. What can we learn from the New Testament reference to Ruth? (Matt.1:5)
  4. How can we explain so few generations mentioned between Salmon and David in Ruth 4 and Matt.1, if it covers (as historians propose) a period of around 400 years? See chronology below.
  5. Why would there be a famine in Israel, the promised land “flowing with milk and honey”? (Ex.3:8; Josh.24:13-20; 2 Sam.21:1)
  6. Why would the inheritor of Mahlon’s land have to marry Ruth? (see Deut.25:5-10)

Study 2: Ruth Chapter 1

  1. What does it tell us about the conditions in Moab and Naomi’s circumstances after three men in her life had died?
  • In verses 6 – 7 Naomi set off to return to Judah for a revival, what other revival years later also came from Judah that we celebrate today?
  • Based on verse 8, what type of wives were Naomi’s daughters-in-law?
  • What relationship qualities did Naomi have for her daughters-in-law based on verse 9?
  • What types of relationships did Orpah and Ruth have with Naomi looking at verses 10 – 17?
  • What qualities do we see from Ruth that show compassion to her mother-in-law’s distress?
  • What do we learn about the community of Bethlehem from the arrival of Naomi and Ruth?
  • What did Naomi mean in her comment in verse 13 that “the Lord’s hand has gone out against me” and what do we learn about Naomi’s mental and spiritual condition looking at verses 20 – 21?
  • What do we learn about the blessings of the Lord’s timing from the last verse and how does this encourage us today?

Study 3: Ruth Chapter 2

  1. What do the names “Elimelech” and “Boaz” mean? (see also 1 Kings 7:21)
  2. What is involved in gleaning?  Why is that term sometimes used to describe Bible reading?
  3. When it says in verse 3 that Ruth “happened” to work in the field of Boaz, does that mean it was purely by chance?  Does anything really happen by chance?
  4. What can we learn from the way Boaz greeted his workers?
  5. What do we learn of Ruth’s work ethic from verse 7?
  6. How does verse 10 apply as an illustration of us (non-Jews) becoming Christians?
  7. Why did Boaz do such detailed enquiry into Ruth’s background (verses 5,11)?
  8. How does the reference to taking refuge under God’s wings apply to us (verse 12)?
  9. How do verses 14-16 compare to Matthew 11:28-30?
  10. What did Naomi mean in verse 20 about not forsaking the dead?
  11. Why is the fact about Ruth being a Moabite re-introduced and emphasized in verse 21?
  12. What do you think Naomi had been praying about while Ruth had been away working (see verses 19 & 22)?
  13. How long a time is covered from the beginning of the barley harvest to the end of the wheat harvest?  Is this an indicator of wise development of a relationship?

What Are You Thinking About?

If you would like to tell us if you have questions about any relevant Bible subject, we’ll be happy to respond.  We may be able to schedule in a talk on the subject at one of our church teaching sessions, and/or provide an audio recording covering the topic.  Certainly we can research a wide range of resource materials we have available, and provide a brief outline of main points for consideration.
We’ve received a suggestion that we add an FAQ page to our website, so please keep your questions coming and we’ll work on building a helpful page to meet the most frequent information needs.
Over to you!

(Go to “Contact” in the menu above)

It means the same thing, doesn’t it?

If you have noticed in your Bible reading that in some places Christians are described as being “in Christ” and in other places as being “in the Lord”, it may have occurred to you that these are perhaps describing different realities. If so, you’ll be interested to read more on that subject here

How organized are you?

Bible study rarely happens by accident. It is really good to set aside times to read the Bible each day. Then the next question is, but what shall I read? If you already know your Bible well, you will be able to pick parts of it to read that relate well to a current need. Which raises another question, how do we gain sufficient familiarity with what the Bible says to know where to look in it? Again, the answer to that is to read it, read it, and read it some more! Then, with the aid of a good concordance perhaps, we’ll be able to find our way around the library we call “the Bible”.

Another question arises, especially if you have an organized mind. “If I’m going to read through the Bible repeatedly, shouldn’t I adopt some sort of reading plan, so I cover it all in a reasonable period of time?” Our answer would be, “Yes!” And we have the Bible reading plan for you.

Here is a link, and you can start following it today: Bible Reading Plan

We started with this plan almost 50 weeks ago, so those who have been using it daily will have almost their first year done. You can begin using it at any time though, since it will eventually repeat and you won’t miss a page of the Bible! In fact, if you stick with the Plan, you’ll read the whole of the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in the space of three years.

Check it out, and get yourself organized!

Food for Thought

This is a weekly adult Bible study, and for the coming few weeks we are looking at the book of Colossians.C

Colossians 4:

  1. What tips can we share to help us all be “steadfast in prayer”?
  2. What is “the mystery of Christ” (verse 3)? When we tell other people about it, why might it remain a mystery?
  3. What examples from the life of Christ can we use to illustrate how we too should apply verses 5 and 6?
  4. Why was the service of Tychicus and Onesimus so important? What effect would failure on their part have had on Paul and on the church in Colossae?
  5. What do we know about Mark (verse 10)? See Acts 4:36; 12:12,25; 13:13; 15:37-39, Philemon 1:24, 2 Tim.4:11 and perhaps 1 Pet.5:13.
  6. How can we be “fellow workers for the kingdom”? (verse 11)
  7. Seems like Epaphras would relate well to our needs in those we pray for (verse 12)! What kinds of things would show such prayers have been answered, and why would they not happen?
  8. What do Paul’s references linking Laodicea, Hierapolis and Colossae indicate should also be true today about churches of God?
  9. Nympha comes in for honourable mention (verse 15); what was involved in her service for the Lord Jesus Christ?
  10. How might we apply Paul’s message regarding Archippus (verse 17) to our own service?

The Church of God in action