True wisdom comes to each of us
when we realize how little we
understand about life, ourselves,
and the world around us.
when we realize how little we
understand about life, ourselves,
and the world around us.
This is the first post in a series of posts I’m going to compose about problems I and possibly thousands of other Christians have discovered in the theology taught in conservative Churches of Christ and the solutions I believe can solve them. The Churches of Christ are autonomous Christian congregations that are part of the Stone-Campbell Movement, a Christian movement that began in the United States during the Second Great Awakening of the early 1800s. Churches of Christ (acapella) are known for being the most conservative wing of this movement, and this wing is the religious tradition I was raised in. In this series of posts, I'll be revealing thoughts and a personal journey I've kept mostly to myself for many years, out of fear of being attacked by my Christian friends. But I can no longer keep them hidden. The content of these posts can help any believer improve their relationship with Christ, but they'll be written primarily for members of the Church of Christ. If you are a member of the Church of Christ and God has shown you how necessary it is to have an open mind and are prepared to believe that some of the most fundamental beliefs of conservative Churches of Christ are wrong, please continue reading. If not, then this article is not for you.
Gracious father, in the midst of a global pandemic and civil unrest, I thank you for the opportunity I have to pray to you. Thank you for blessing me day and night with your protection and guidance. Thank you for allowing me to live in a country that has the tools and resources it needs to protect itself during this pandemic. Thank you for your word and the comfort it gives me through these troublesome times. I thank you for my brothers and sisters in Christ who support me and remind me that I'm not alone in this struggle. But I thank you most of all for your son Jesus, for I know that if I believe in him he will help me and all of his disciples endure the hardships our world is experiencing right now.
Please forgive me of my sins, and help me overcome my flaws so the world can see the glory of God’s kingdom through my life.
Dear God, thousands of men and women have lost their loved ones to the pandemic. Please bless their hearts with the comfort only you can provide. Thousands of men and women have lost their jobs. Please bless them with employment again so they can care for themselves and their families. The government, healthcare workers, police officers, and many others are overwhelmed with the problems our country is facing now. Please relieve their minds of any stress they might be suffering, and help them find solutions to our nation’s troubles. Our country is tormented with chaos and division, and it impacts everyone. Lord, help me remember who I am: I am a peacemaker and a light to the world. Help me be a beacon of hope the world can look up to during this difficult time in our nation's history.
But when your son returns, I pray that you will bless me with a new body that will never be afflicted with disease and a new home in which all the righteous will live in peace with one another and praise your name for all eternity.
All of this I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the civil unrest that has erupted throughout the world has probably made many men and women distressed about what else will befall them in the future. Covid-19 has taken the lives of over 100,000 Americans, a number that includes some of our loved ones. Our economy has seen such an extreme decrease in consumerism that many businesses have had to close, and thus, over 40.8 million men and women in the United States have lost their jobs. The quarantine that's been enforced has created a mental health crisis never before seen in America’s history. And neighborhoods are in shambles from violent riots that have exploded throughout the country in response to the brutal death of George Floyd. In light of all the horrific events that are occurring throughout the world, how can anyone possibly remain peaceful through all of this?
The events that are taking place around the world trouble me. But because I'm a Christian, Jesus is the reason I'm ultimately at peace. Followers of Jesus know our lord and savior will help his people through our country's tribulations. The apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
If you aren’t a Christian, from where do you get your peace? How are you be able to endure the hardships the world is experiencing?
God created us to glorify him. Yet, you and I have separated ourselves from God by rebelling against him, and without God's grace, we all are without hope. But because God is gracious, he sent his son Jesus to die for our sins. He then rose him from the grave to vindicate him, and Jesus now rules the cosmos at God's right hand. And those that believe Jesus is their lord and savior will be resurrected to live with him, as Revelation 21:1-4 says, in the new heavens and the new earth for all eternity.
Please consider making Jesus Christ your lord and savior today. I guarantee you he will give you a peace that will comfort you not only through everything our nation is suffering now but everything you’ll suffer in your future.
I've decided to compose a list of sources that reveal the multitude of problems legalism causes for the Christian faith and how we can solve these problems. There are many other sources I could, and probably will, add to this list. So, you'll probably see this list expand in the future.
Hello, everyone. I've had a few photographs on my hard drive for several years of a vacation my family and I took in the recent past, and I thought that some might find these photographs interesting. My family and I have traveled to many states throughout America, and we've even traveled to Canada. We've been to Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Florida. I took the seven photographs in this post on our trip to New York City in the summer of 2015.
There may be someone out there who’s thinking about turning their life over to Jesus. To those who might be considering this, if you choose to make Jesus your Lord and Savior, you’ll be making the most important decision you’ll ever make in your life. But as you consider making this life-changing decision, you might be experiencing fears that are hindering you from making it. Among the many fears you might have, one of those fears could be God’s high standards. It could be that you’ve been learning about Christianity for some time and you know that passages like Ephesians 4:21-24 God require you to change your lifestyle, but you know that you’ll have to fight a long and difficult spiritual war to end your bad habits. You might also be aware of many passages in the New Testament that speak about dire consequences awaiting those who believe and/or teach false doctrine, but you fear you might accidentally misinterpret a scripture or misunderstand an issue the New Testament discusses.
I understand these fears, because I had them for most of my life. I was led to believe that passages like 2 John 9 and Galatians 1:8-9 taught that God would condemn me to Hell if I wasn’t morally perfect and possessed a perfect understanding of the New Testament. But this belief led me to ask the question: how can I know if I’m righteous enough or knowledgeable enough to go to Heaven? This and many other questions that racked my mind for years became so severe that I started to doubt if I was truly saved. But after fourteen years of bible study, I now believe I’ve attained a better, more biblical understanding of God’s grace. There are many passages I could quote and comment on to reveal what I now believe the Bible says about God’s grace. But I’ll just quote one to make my point tonight. It’s one Christians are familiar with: Ephesians 2:8-9. Paul wrote,
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
This passage shows that our faith in Jesus is the reason God saves us, not our works. According to passages like James 2:14-26, works are a necessary part of our lives as Christians, but if God expects moral or theological perfection from us, then who can be saved? I believe God’s ultimate concern is not moral or theological perfection. God’s ultimate concern is your salvation. If you want to become a Christian, all God requires from you is a humble heart, a heart that leads you to confess your sins and submit to Jesus as one of His servants. Will you struggle to overcome your flaws? You probably will. Will you understand every detail of the New Testament perfectly? Probably not. God simply wants you to return home. And once you're baptized for the remission of your sins, you will be home. So don’t let any fear of God’s high standards hinder you from accepting His grace.
Mighty and wonderful God. Thank you for providing me with your care and protection wherever I am. Thank you for my home, education, job, wealth, and the freedom I enjoy in this blessed country. But thank you most of all for the new life you’ve given me through your Son.
I ask that you would forgive me of any sins I’ve committed.
I ask that you would continue to care for me and protect me every day. I ask that you would give me the wisdom to be a good steward over everything you’ve given me. And I ask that you would help me show my appreciation for your grace by living a holy life.
All of this I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessed God of all that is. I praise you for all that you are. No one is more loving, trustworthy, holy, or beautiful than you.
Thank you for blessing me with an abundance of food, clothing, and shelter and for blessing me with education, safety, wealth, and a job. Thank you for allowing me to live in a prosperous country where I can provide myself with all of these needs and luxuries. Thank you for offering your son for the sins of the world and for transforming me into His image so I can glorify you in everything I do.
Yet there are times when I don’t glorify you in everything I do. For as Paul said in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Forgive me for failing to be the human you created me to be and help me to eradicate all sin from my life.
I ask that you would help me to always remember how loving, trustworthy, holy, and beautiful you are and allow that knowledge to compel me to live a life that reflects your nature. I ask that you cure and uplift the sick in the church all over the world. And I ask that you would heal our nation of the corruption and depravity that plagues it from the highest to lowest levels of our society.
And when life on this present earth has ended, my hope is that you would glorify me with an immortal and incorruptible body in which I can live in Heaven with you for all eternity. All of this I ask in your son’s name. Amen.
God almighty, God Most High, the Eternal God, and the Ancient of Days, I kneel before your throne with gratitude and petitions to ask of you. Every day you bless me with your grace. And by that grace, you bless me with food, clothing, a warm home in the winter, a cool home in the summer, my family, medicine, my jobs, your Word, and the church. I thank you for all these gifts of your grace. But I thank you most of all for the ultimate gift of grace: the gift of your son Jesus.
Nevertheless, there are many times when I don’t show you the appreciation you deserve for the grace you show me, and I sin against you. Lord, please forgive me of all our shortcomings.
Help me to remember all the grace you’ve shown me and allow it to motivate me to live a righteous life. I ask that you would show grace to the sick by comforting their hearts and delivering them from their illnesses. And I ask that you would help me to remember to share the good news of your grace with those who are lost. By your grace, let my congregation grow and become a powerful force for good in my community and beyond.
And when I come towards the end of my Christian journey, I ask that you would bring my journey to its climax by resurrecting me from the grave and bringing me into an eternal home with you. All of this I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you've returned to my site hoping to see new posts, this post will inform you of what I've been doing ever since I created my last post in my "Discovering the Grace of God" series.
My name is Jacob Stubbs. I have a bachelor's degree in English from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and I am a writer an an artist.