RESOLUTIONS AND RESOURCES

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

resolutions bcocA common practice that coincides with the start of a new year is the making of new year’s resolutions. A New Year’s resolution is a personal declaration of what one intends to do at the start of a new year in order to alter an undesirable behavior or trait, to accomplish a personal goal, or to better some aspect of one’s life. One of the most popular resolutions every year centers around our finances. Financial resolutions may take the form of resolving to spend less money, to save more money, or to get out of debt. If one of your resolutions revolves around money, then consider what the Bible has to say about financial stewardship.

PURSUING THE LOST BROTHER

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

lost bcocIn Luke 15 Jesus provided a trilogy of parables known as the “lost” parables. These parables are similar to one another because they each depict something valuable (i.e. sheep, coin, son) being separated from its guardian (i.e. shepherd, woman, father) before eventually being reunited, after which a celebration ensued because what was “lost” had been returned to the one who lost it (Luke 15:6, 9, 22-24).

There is one distinct difference between the first two parables and the last one. In the Parable of the Lost Son, no one embarked on a search and rescue operation. While the shepherd left the ninety-nine sheep to find the “lost” sheep (Luke 15:4) and the woman canvassed her house to find the “lost” coin (Luke 15:8), no one pursued the “lost” son.

WHY DID MY SAVIOR COME TO EARTH? (PART 4)

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

JesusPeace is not the easiest state to achieve. At times we find ourselves caught in stressful and even painful situations that rid us of hope, compassion, or maybe even faith, and Isaiah indicates that one final reason Jesus came to this earth was to provide peace. In Isaiah 9:6 we read,

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Here, Isaiah refers to Jesus as the “Prince of Peace.” This title is comforting. This title is soothing. This title is perfect for a world that is constantly experiencing conflict. However, though it is great to know who is the “Prince of Peace,” what most of us want to know is how does He bring peace to our lives.

WHY DID MY SAVIOR COME TO EARTH? (PART 3)

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

EverlastingFatherFor the past couple of weeks we have been examining the identities associated with Jesus based on Isaiah’s messianic prophecy recorded in Isaiah 9:6 which says:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

WHY DID MY SAVIOR COME TO EARTH? (PART 2)

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

GodThe Roman playwright Horace, who lived and wrote in the days of Julius Caesar, criticized the other poets and playwrights of his day because every time they presented a problem, in the plot line of their stories, they utilized one of the many Roman gods to resolve it. In regards to their propensity to interject such gods, Horace said, ”Do not bring a god onto the stage unless the problem is one that deserves a god to solve it.”

WHY DID MY SAVIOR COME TO EARTH? (PART 1)

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

WhySaviorCameEarthIn Isaiah 9:6 we read a Messianic prophecy written nearly seven hundred years before the birth of Christ which says:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

This is a popular passage this time of year when many people choose to focus on the birth of Jesus because of its association with Christmas. For the record, Scripture does not indicate when Jesus was born nor does it instruct us to celebrate the day of His birth. Regardless of the absence of such information from Scripture, many in our culture still associate the birth of Jesus with the holiday that is celebrated on December 25. Interestingly, Isaiah’s prophecy challenges us to focus not so much on Jesus’ birth, but on Jesus’ identity because understanding who Jesus is allows us to comprehend why Jesus came. So, over the next few weeks, as the birth of Jesus is prominently displayed and mentioned in our culture, we will explore the identities associated with Jesus in Isaiah 9:6 in order to answer the question posed by the popular hymn, “Why Did My Savior Come to Earth?”

Restology

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

rest bcocThe Center for Disease Control and Prevention posted an article on their website entitled, “Insufficient Sleep is a Public Health Epidemic,” which documented research from the past decade on sleep-related behaviors.[1] According to their research, thirty percent of adults report getting an average of less than or equal to six hours of sleep per night when they actually need at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night. In other words, many people fail to get the rest they need even though it is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and I would contend that many Christians fail to get the rest they need because they fail to recognize that rest is an expectation of God.

BE THE ONE, NOT THE NINE

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

givethanks bcocAlthough the Thanksgiving holiday traces its roots back to the 17th century and was first observed nationally under the presidency of George Washington, it did not become an annual holiday until 1863 by proclamation of Abraham Lincoln. In Lincoln’s address regarding the Thanksgiving holiday, he noted that all blessings “are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.” His statement is reminiscent of Habakkuk 3:2 in which Habakkuk prayed, “LORD, I have heard of your fame, I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” It is only fitting that recalling God’s awesome blessings and seeking His constant mercy, like Habakkuk, should ignite within us a heart of gratitude. But are we constantly grateful or does the thanksgiving mentality only impact us once a year?

The Why Series -Why Is the Church of Christ Non-Denominational?

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

Bible bcocThe congregations associated with the Church of Christ have always identified themselves as non-denominational. For centuries this was a peculiar identification, but in recent years it has become very popular for congregations to claim that they are non-denominational, especially among the community church movement. According to a June 12, 2015 Christianity Today article, “over the last four decades, there has been more than a 400 percent growth in Protestants[1] who identify as non-denominational.”[2] With the growing popularity of non-denominational congregations it is important for us to consider what that means, and why the churches of Christ have maintained that identity.

The Why Series - Why Does the Church of Christ Teach Definitive Parameters on Marriage and Divorce?

Written by Kyle Rye on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

marriage bcocWhy Does the Church of Christ Teach Definitive Parameters on Marriage and Divorce?

Earlier this year, we presented a series of articles about the beliefs and practices of the churches of Christ that were thematically arranged around “why” questions, such as “Why Does the Church of Christ Believe That Baptism is Essential to Salvation,” "Why Does the Church of Christ Lack Musical Instruments in Their Worship Services,” and “Why Do Churches of Christ Observe the Lord’s Supper Every Sunday.” Since the writing of those articles, it has become evident that a few more “why” questions need to be addressed, the first of which deals with the subject of marriage and divorce.

Christianity’s stance on marriage and divorce frequently finds itself in opposition to culture’s stance on marriage and divorce. This is because one’s stance on marriage and divorce is predicated on who or what one deems to be the authority on the subject. The congregations affiliated with the “Church of Christ” acknowledge that marriage is an institution established by God, not by man; therefore, He is the authority on this subject. And the churches of Christ acknowledge God as the authority on marriage and divorce because Jesus acknowledged God as the authority on marriage and divorce. In Mark 10:2-12 (and its sister passage Matthew 19:3-12), Jesus was asked by the Pharisees to weigh in on a doctrinal dispute regarding marriage and divorce. Jesus responded not by consulting cultural practices or government standards, but by referencing the expectations instituted by God when He established the first marriage. Notice what He said in Mark 10:6-9.