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For I am not ashamed of the Gospel!

Sunday Services

10:45am

Sunday School for all ages

9:30am

Emmanuel Bible Church

3 Pleasant Grove Road

Schooley's Mountain, NJ 07870

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Men - If You Have an Appetite for Christ then Stay Hungry

Food for thought

 

Oftentimes, we Christian men can become confused.  Our pagan culture says, “Men don’t cry!”  Yet, Christ our Lord cried.  Or, we act more like our chief identification is in our job and not Jesus.  And, we love to feast on a buffet of high cholesterol foods instead of the eternal, wonder-working, life-giving Word of God.

 

Beginning our journey in Christ the Lord, we start with the the best intentions and optimism.  Over time, however, we may tend to look to the sea far more often to determine our course than the indispensable compass of Scripture.  Sadly, we think despite practicing this fallacy we’ll still arrive at the destiny for which we set sail with full cargo.

 

This serious mistake will no doubt have ill-effect on all the relationships, activities, and institutions connected to our lives.  There is a mysterious yet undeniable reality between the Word of God Incarnate, Jesus the Christ and the Word of God revealed in ink, the Bible.  So, our knowledge of Christ is directly related to our knowledge of Scripture.

 

The degree to which we truly know and live-out God’s Word will affect our lives and relationships immensely:  our relationship with the Lord, our wives, our children, our brothers and sisters in Christ, our unsaved loved-ones; our being disciples of Christ, our being husbands, our being fathers, our being neighbors, our jobs; our marriages and families, our congregation’s spiritual health, even our neighborhoods and nation.

 

The Word of God brought you into Christ through the Spirit, and the Word of God conforms you to Christ’s likeness through the Spirit.  The Work of the Spirit of God not only in you but also through you is inseparably connected to the Word of God.  A reliable litmus test for our genuine love for Christ as Lord is our attention to the Scriptures.  Through God’s Word,  we know Christ and His Beauty better and better with wonderfully profound affect upon us and those whom we love.

 

Sometimes there are valid excuses in our lives but other times we do rationalize.  If we have the ability to do what is right (what the Lord expects) then we should do it.  We can’t expect a spiritually dead person to hunger and thirst for God’s Word any more than we can expect a physically dead person to hunger and thirst for God’s Word.  But, a Spirit-filled Christian who doesn’t make the most of the opportunities to feast of God’s Word has no valid excuse.      

   

Jesus called various men to follow Him as Lord.  At times, seemingly well-meaning men were willing to do so but their priorities betrayed they did not esteem Jesus rightly.  Excuses followed (rather than the men) which to the undiscerning seemed legitimate but in reality exposed their foolishness and deficiency of love for the Lord:

“...The man agreed, but he said, ‘Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.’ But Jesus told him, ‘Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead!  Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.’  Another said, ‘Yes, Lord, I will follow You, but first let me say good-bye to my family.’  But Jesus told him, ‘Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.’”  (Luke 9:59-62)

Paychecks, yard-work, entertainment, and the like all have their proper place in our lives and households.  But , they all pale in comparison regarding knowing the Lord, becoming more enthralled with Him, growing in likeness to Him, and the profound witness of obedience to Christ as Lord.  And, this is not only for your benefit but the immediate and eternal benefit of your wife, children, and others connected to your life…all to the glory of God.

 

At work, school, and many other places, a true possession of genuine knowledge for practical benefit is (and must be) determined through testing.  The Holy Spirit tells us through the Apostle Paul, “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine.  Test yourselves.  Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith” (2 Cor. 13:5).

 

The Lord Jesus says it this way, “All who love Me will do what I say.  My Father will love them, and We will come and make Our home with each of them.  Anyone who doesn’t love Me will not obey Me.  And remember, My Words are not My Own.  What I am telling you is from the Father Who sent Me” (John 14:23-24).

 

Is the “Word of God dwelling in you richly” according to Colossians 3:16?  Here’s my heartfelt appeal to you:  If you are not in an EBC Men’s Bible Study then please become a faithful part of one regardless of your schedule or position.  Remember, it’s not only about you but the witness of Christ and His gospel to your loved-ones.  Instruction is vital but it is most powerfully imitated by those we instruct when we ourselves exemplify it.  Amen

 

                                                               - Lou Koncsol

Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation.  Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.”  2 Peter 2:2-3 (NLT)