Agree to Disagree
Have you ever made the statement “we will have to agree to disagree”? Probably not as a teen ager, but when you get to be an adult with adult friends, you might have to use this phrase. It just means, in order to remain friends, you believe the way you want, and I’ll believe my way.
We can disagree on a lot of things. Which Pokémon is the best? Which video game is the best? Who is the best at baseball, basketball, football, or any other sport? We can disagree on which food is the best, like pizza or which food is the worst, like broccoli.
On any of these subjects, it is just a personal preference. We can pick the best or worse by any means that we choose and still be friends with someone who doesn’t agree.
There is One with whom we should never disagree - God and His word. We should always be in an agreement with what we read in the Bible. God is perfect and righteous. He is truth and justice. God has shown us the best way to live in this world.
When we make our judgment on the best of anything, there is no perfect way to decide who is right. Since God is the creator and the Judge, He has told and shown us what is true. Anything that is not in agreement with His word falls short. We have to be in total agreement with His Word. There is no choosing which part you want to agree with and which part you ignore.Falling short in any area means you miss out on Heaven. You could say that you only hurt yourself by missing out on Heaven, but that would be a lie. When we have sin in our life, we also hurt God. He loves us and left a plan for each of us to get to Heaven. Let’s agree to agree with God’s plan.
Paoli Church of Christ | 219 Stucker Street, Paoli, IN, United States | 1-812-723-3366
Welcome to “Son Shine!”
Each week we want to highlight what’s going on here @ Paoli. I love what Lee said Wednesday night about our focus. I recall reading/hearing a story a number of years ago about a group of American POWs. As they were being processed into the camp, one GI was able to conceal a small New Testament. That kept them going. You see, he carefully removed pages and shared them with his fellow prisoners. As time went on, they were able to read and pass those pages among themselves, thus giving everyone access to the written Word. Their focus was on what God says in His Word and not the circumstances in which they found themselves. How often do we feel/hear someone saying they feel like a prisoner in their own home due to COVID 19? Our daily routine has certainly been disrupted; we limit our activities, we don’t do the things we are used to doing. Sunday mornings allow us to worship together, learn together, and spend a little time together. With everyone taking precautions to remain safe, the church here at Paoli continues to function. Several were mentioned last week as needing our prayers, perhaps a card/call, just letting them know they are important. Please remember our brethren in Africa who are experiencing food shortages due to lack of jobs caused by the outbreak. You might see Lee/Susan for details.
Our weekly Bible question is taken from the Wednesday night adult class. Lee mentioned at the beginning of the lesson we could only give our best by doing what? Please don’t forget “Members In Need.” This program was set up that we might better care for our own members. When you know of a need of one of our members, please contact Lee; he is our contact person for the time being. School starts in less than a month, so please check bulletin on ways we can help our students. When you have something to share with the congregation, please let me know. You may email me @ email@example.com or you may call or text @ 1/812/653/3139.REMEMBER… KEEP PRAYING, KEEP WORKING, AND KEEP LOOKING UPWARD. It will all be worth it one day.
Paoli Church of Christ
Gary's Teen Talk
Let the Son Shine In
Let God Lead
One of the great blessings that come to those who are called the children of God is the blessing of God LEADING us. Early on in His word, when God takes His people out of Egypt, (Exodus 13), He sets up a cloud that can be seen in the daytime and a pillar of fire that is seen at night. These appearances by God will go in front of the people, leading them, and His people will follow. Throughout the wilderness journey, we see God leading His people; if the people follow God, they will be in the place that God wants them. They will be in the place that is best for them to be in, and God will be with them. What if the people then decided they did not want to go the way God was leading? What would have happened to them if they took off on their own, trying to find their own way through the wilderness? Very rarely do I share the story of the direction I took to get somewhere and someone does not think there is a better way. What if the people then decided that they knew a better way and took that way? God deliberately took His people in a way that was not the closest route. To take them the closest way, God would have to take them through the Philistines' land (Exodus 13:17). God's people, who are not warriors, would have taken one look at that warrior people and would have turned and run back to Egypt. God had to prepare His people for what lay ahead. Knowing and understanding His people then, God takes them in a direction that is away from that Philistine land. If the people had branched out on their own and came upon that warrior people, they would not have made the journey to the Land of Promise. God knew then the best way for the people to travel. He knew what was best for them and took action for them. He was leading them, and they were following.
Today, we, the church, are the people of God. We are the nation of God, the new Israel. We, then, being the people of God, still must allow God to LEAD us. Today, He does not lead with the cloud and the pillar of fire - He guides us with His Word. We can study His Word, live by His teaching, and let God lead us through this life. God still knows what is best for us, and He is still taking care of us. He does that by showing us what to do, how to live. Through His Word, and by the way He interacts with us in this life providentially, God has set Himself up to lead us. We get ourselves into real trouble when we take the lead away from God and try to make our own way, and we are prone to take that action. All too often, we put God in the back seat of our lives. We like to know that He is there when we need Him, we love the idea of Him being close to us; that gives us comfort, but we do not let Him drive. I like the reaction to the bumper sticker that said, "Jesus is my co-pilot." The response to that statement was, "If Jesus is your co-pilot, you need to move over - you are in the wrong seat." I like the idea we get from that reaction. Jesus does not need to be a passenger in your life. We need to let Jesus have control - let God have control.
When God is not leading, we are going to be lost. We may think we have a handle on this life, but the truth is we do not. Through the years, we have seen this scenario played out in our human history. We, by in large, have slowly, but surely, taken control away from God in our society and started making our own way. We quit relying on God to lead us, and we have seen the devastating effects. What is true of the populous at large is true for us in our individual lives. We can easily fall into the trap of taking control away from God. When we take control, we are going to get into trouble. The book of Proverbs, a book about living in wisdom, will give these instructions, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil." (Proverbs 3:5-7). The only way we are going to make it through this life, and have life after, is to let God lead.
We do not have to be lost as we navigate LIFE. God gives us LIFE. He gives us life here, but, more than that, He gives us life after this one. If we take the lead and take control away from God, we are just heading toward death and destruction. If we take control away from God, we are doing ourselves an injustice in this life. What is more devastating is that we are also missing out on the life following. God has given us the ability to enjoy life here and live this life in the best way, and He has given us the ability to enjoy life following this one. Do not take control from God. Let God lead your life. Show others the beauty of having God be in the lead. Let God lead you all the way to Heaven!