79 of 100

#79 of 100

One very large evangelical Bible Study website makes a claim as follows: “Today, _____  is the most-visited Christian website in the world with more than 140-150 million views per month.” That same site has produced a list of the 100 MOST-READ Bible verses (i.e., read on their site). I do not question the statistics they supply. I am confident it is a very popular site. It probably has grown since the posting of those numbers. I use it occasionally myself.

I am convinced that a helpful exercise is to study about these MOST READ Bible verses. If that many people are reading these 100 verses, would I not be better prepared to reach out to those people if I could demonstrate at least a hint of familiarity with and understanding of those verses? What a great conversation-starter, at least.

So then, by one count, number 79 of 100 most read Bible verses happens to be: James 1.3. The Book of James is an amazingly practical letter. The person who spends quality time with this epistle learns much about how to be a strong and faithful Christian!

The first part of the sentence of which James 1.3 is a part is the previous verse; certainly verse 4 also needs consideration since it gives the RESULT. James 1.2-4 reads: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (NKJV).

When James writes that we should COUNT it all joy, he uses the Greek word which Louw & Nida define as: to hold a view or have an opinion with regard to something[1]. James advises Christians to have a certain view of trials. That view is influenced especially by the knowledge of the reward that comes to the one who is not swayed away from faithfulness to the Lord by the trials one endures in life.

When we read this verse something does seem out of whack, though. HOW can I count trials as something joyful? Burton Coffman quotes from Zerr and from Russel to explain: “‘James could not have meant here that Christians are ‘to pretend that they get joy out of things which are disagreeable, for that would be an act of insincerity.’<9>  ‘The true view of temptation or trial is that it is an opportunity to gain new strength through overcoming.’<10>.”

James tells us that the testing of our faith produces patience. What is involved in this TESTING? The original word only is found here and in 1 Peter 1.7. It “was used for coins that were genuine and not debased. The aim of testing is not to destroy or afflict, but to purge and refine. It is essential to Christian maturity, for even Abraham’s faith had to be tested this way (see Gen. 22:1–8). The meaning of patience transcends the idea of bearing affliction; it includes the idea of standing fast under pressure, with a staying power that turns adversities into opportunities. James 1:3” [NKJV Study Bible].

If I count trials I may face as joy, rather than allow them to overcome me and cause me to become unfaithful, James says the cause is that PATIENCE has been produced. David Sain wrote of it: “The word, as often used and understood in our daily usage, signifies the ability to wait, to submissively wait. However, it means far more than that in this text. Here, it signifies the ability to bear, to persevere, to endure. And it is so translated in the New American Standard Version: “…knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:3).”[2] James is teaching us that no matter what, we can overcome trials.

[1] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 364.

[2] David Sain, The Behavior of Faith, 2011 MSOP Lectures, p. 31.

March/April TRUTH

Truth

We list below the articles contained in the two most recent editions of TRUTH. Just noticing the list should cause us to see the value of using a few minutes of our time to read them. Roger Campbell produces this journal each month. It contains excellent teaching.

MARCH Issue: (1) Tell Me More about the Origin of the Universe, by Dave Leonard; (2) A Husband’s Role and Responsibilities, by Chad Dollahite; (3) We Need to Imitate Jesus’ Humility, Roger Campbell; (4) Our Liberty in the Christ (Galatians 2.4; 5.1, 13); (5) Lessons from the church in Ephesus, by Roger Campbell. Click H-E-R-E.

APRIL Issue: (1) Tell Me about Mankind’s Special Place in God’s Creation, by Roger Campbell, (2) A Wife’s Role and Responsibility, by Joel Danley; (3) Imitating Jesus’ Use of Scripture, by Chad Dollahite; (4) The Seed, the Law, and the Faith (Galatians 3.16-25), by Roger Campbell; (5) Lessons from the Church in Rome, by Roger Campbell.  Click H-E-R-E.

New TRUTH Articles

Truth

One of my favorite monthly publications comes to my Email box. I am always blessed by the articles it contains. Most of the writing is done by my friend, Roger Campbell, but some are from his son-in-law, Chad Dollahite. Chad is also a great gospel preacher and excellent writer. Also, two other great writers are in the two issues we combine in this post. We have listed below the January and February articles in TRUTH. Ten excellent studies from Scripture! We encourage you to download and read this faith-building material. Tell others about it and give them the links.

JANUARY 2022 TRUTH

01.  Tell me about Evidence for the Existence of God, Roger Campbell

02.  HAVING STRONG FAMILIES: We must build them “BY THE BOOK,” Dave Leonard.

03.  We Need to Imitate Jesus’ Compassion, Roger Campbell

04.  Galatians 1.6-9–The Danger of Perverting the Gospel, Chad Dollahite

05.  Lessons from the Church in Antioch of Syria, Roger Campbell

Click H-E-R-E.

FEBRUARY 2022 TRUTH

01.  Tell Me about Proof which Shows the Bible is the Word of God,               Joel Danley

02.  Am I Mentally Prepared to Get Married?, Roger Campbell

03.  We Need to Imitate Jesus’ Courage, Roger Campbell

04.  Galatians–The Genuineness of Paul’s Apostleship, Roger Campbell

05.  Lessons from the Church in Corinth, Chad Dollahite

Click H-E-R-E

Deadliest Tornado

USA Today Photo
Damage in Mayfield at Candle Factory

On December 10, 2021 Kentucky suffered the deadliest tornado event in its history (78 died). Thousands of homes were devastated. The building of the Maple Hill Church of Christ is very near some of the damaged homes.

For members of churches of Christ, we would let you know that our elders have agreed to receive funds from those who want to help with the relief efforts. We will provide reports of the funding to those who help.

Checks marked in the MEMO: “for Tornado Relief,” can be sent to: Maple Hill Church of Christ, 3960 Scale RD, Benton, KY 42025-7875.

Preparing Hot MealsWe have been supplying hot evening meals to some in our area who are staying in their damaged homes. It will be our intention to help in other ways as opportunities continue to present.

Delivering Hot Meals

Delivering Hot Meals
Allen Delivering

UPDATE: We have heard from one of the families we have been serving that the Maple Hill Church of Christ, and churches of Christ, in general, have been the most helpful in tornado relief of anyone on their road. We give all the glory to God. Our brethren in Marshall County and Graves County have done much to relieve human suffering during this time. We are thankful to our brethren at Walnut Grove for housing the Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team. Also, to the Northside and Seven Oaks congregations in Mayfield for all of the good work that has been done! And to many brethren who have contributed financially and in many other ways to spread the love of Christ in our community.

Ralph Rudolph and 1 Peter 3.15

One of many remarkable things about the Maple Hill Church of Christ is that over the past 40 years of its existence, it has had only three preachers. From a preacher’s perspective, at least, it says something positive about a congregation when the congregation keeps the preacher around for a while. By far, the preacher who stayed longest as preacher at Maple Hill was Ralph Rudolph. He preached for 19 years at Maple Hill. His son, Keith, is still a member of the congregation.

There were many admirable things about Ralph Rudolph. He was a friend of mine. I loved him and had much respect for his love of the truth. He has gone on to his reward and I miss having him around. He loved the Bible, and he was a great defender of it and of the doctrine of Christ. When he read something that he felt dishonored the Bible or in some way attacked Bible doctrine he was unafraid to speak up in opposition to it. The Bible teaches Christians to give a defense of that which we believe (1 Peter 3.15).

One evidence of Ralph’s defense of the faith involved his reaction to an article that appeared in The Paducah Sun, back on February 27, 1983. It was an article from a professor at Murray State. I have recently been shown this article and thought it would be good to present it here on this site. Ralph points out in his “Letter to the Editor,” that he agreed with MOST of the statements in the article from Professor Cartwright. I think the paragraph which caused him to respond was: “‘Humanism is a word that is largely misunderstood today. Some people seem to think it is anti-religion or impractical and I strongly disagree,’ said Cartwright.” Ralph wrote: “He implies that humanism is not anti-religion by stating that some think that it is.” Bible-loving people need to know about humanism and Ralph provided some quotations from Humanist Manifesto 1 and 2 in his reaction to the implied defense of humanism.

It is entirely possible that if many more Christians had studied humanism and spoken up on similar occasions like Ralph did (back in 1983, in this article), some of the present difficulties being experienced in our society could have been avoided. I have scanned Ralph’s article and you can read his reaction by clicking H-E-R-E.

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