Listen To Most Current
Grace Notes Archive
October 2018 (2)
September 2018 (4)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (3)
June 2018 (4)
May 2018 (4)
April 2018 (4)
March 2018 (4)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (4)
December 2017 (4)
November 2017 (5)
October 2017 (4)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (5)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (5)
March 2017 (3)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (3)
December 2016 (5)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (4)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (3)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (5)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (5)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (5)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (3)
September 2015 (4)
August 2015 (5)
July 2015 (5)
June 2015 (4)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (2)
March 2015 (4)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (5)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (4)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (4)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (5)
October 2013 (4)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (5)
April 2013 (4)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (5)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (4)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (4)
October 2011 (4)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (5)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (4)
January 2011 (5)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (5)
February 2010 (4)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (5)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (6)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (5)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (4)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (4)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (5)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (5)
August 2008 (4)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (1)
Grace Notes

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

“COME OVER . . . AND HELP US”
by Philip Owen

            While in Troas, “A vision appeared to Paul in the night:  a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’  When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Acts 16:9, 10).

            The canon of Scripture is complete, and there are no longer any apostles.  But there are still “Macedonians” standing and appealing for help from the real church of Jesus Christ.  For some, the appeal is a direct call to preach the gospel in a place other than their native land, as was the case for the Apostle Paul.  In the majority of cases, the appeal is to provide material support to churches elsewhere.  For example, Paul wrote this to the church at Corinth:  “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.  On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.  When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem” (I Cor. 16:1-3).  And always, the appeal is to pray:  “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men” (I Tim. 2:1).

            It would be a grievous mistake to think that Christ’s blood was spilled for the members of my congregation alone or that God’s interest in human beings begins and ends with ________________________ Church (fill in the name of your church).  And some of us are so insular, that our interests and concerns do not go beyond our immediate family, and we live as though neither do God’s.  Certainly, we never state such a sentiment verbally, but the practical reality of our lives expresses it.

            Doctrinal differences are real and significant, and we must remain faithful to the truth of the Word of God and the dictates of our consciences.  But the reality is that no two individuals have an identical understanding of the Word of God or of its practical outworking in the individual life.  Therefore, we must always guard against doctrinal error and destructive, unscriptural practices while being able and willing to recognize the Spirit of God working in and through other individuals and assemblies.  While some differences must stymie fellowship, they should not incite contempt but provoke compassion.  An error that someone recognizes ought to be a provocation to intercede, certainly before the throne of grace, and in some circumstances (depending on the opportunity and relationship) directly and face-to-face.  More of the divisions among believers result from pride or lack of charity than we might recognize and care to admit.

            God never calls us to compromise the truth.  But there is a vast difference between compromising with sin and censuring the righteous.  God warned Peter against calling unclean that which He had cleansed (Acts 10:15).  And I fear that we are sometimes guilty of sanctimonious pride and self-righteous denigration of those who are not exactly like us, and we miss the opportunity to meet their need that God has put before us or to enjoy the fellowship that God intends us to have.  Again, we must not embrace error, whether in doctrine or practice, but in our zeal for the truth, we must also be watchful that we do not injure one of God’s elect or miss a genuine opportunity to “strengthen . . . [our] brothers” (Lk. 22:32).  We should “be ready in season and out of season” to serve our Lord Jesus Christ and the church for which He died.  The Lord’s final instructions to Peter apply in some way to each believer:  “Tend My lambs.”  “Shepherd My sheep.”  “Tend My sheep” (John 21:15b, 16b, 17b).  Scriptural charity and compromise are not mutually exclusive.  What stranger, what missionary, what sound church, or fundamental Christian work might benefit from your help today?

Actions: E-mail | Permalink

Previous Page | Next Page

Grace Bible Church :-: (217) 372-8692 :-: 3900 N Willow Rd Urbana, P.O. Box 303, IL 61803 :-: pastor (at) gbcurbana.com