By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed October 15, 1982)
It is almost a daily experience to pass signs advertising fund-raisers for some church or religious group. Television programs associated with religion constantly make a plea for money to aid their labors. The pleas are pitched toward anyone and everyone out there. This raises the interesting question of why those who claim to be God’s people seek the financial aid of those who make up the world? How did the early church support itself in carrying forth the name of Jesus? Does the Bible set forth principles regarding the funds of the church or is it left for man’s way?
It is evident the religious world gives little thought about how money is raised, but much thought to how much money they can raise. Surely, this is wrong and reflects the general mood of society. Concession stands or Games of chance are a constant source of money for “Good works” today. But what does the Bible teach about church fund raising? Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed August 31, 1985)
Our last reflections were upon Samuel’s growth and the role ministering had in that growth. We also considered the role of ministering in spiritual growth today. We must lament the void of ministry found among us today. It is sad how few Christians are alert to sharing and meeting the needs of fellow saints and their opportunities to strengthen the church. Do our sisters pick up the telephone and say let us take lunch to an elderly person, a widow or a sick saint these days? Not enough. Do our brothers pick up the telephone and call, saying, let us visit the family missing more and more of the assemblies? Not enough. Do the young members say let us make an arrangement to sing at the local rest home? Not enough.
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed July 31, 1985)
The opening chapters of 1 Samuel tells of Samuel’s birth and the genesis of molding one of God’s great servants. Samuel’s time on life’s stage takes in the ending of the judges of Israel and the beginning of an era of kings and prophets in Israel. His life was during the threshold years of great change for Israel, as kings were anointed and prophets began to appear and preached with regularity for several years. It is true there were prophets prior to this time, but now we enter a period of abundant labor by the prophets of God.
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed April 15, 1976)
Hebrews 3:5 puts the above words as a proper description of the man Moses. When you travel through the wilderness with Israel you begin to understand why. You don’t understand the strength behind the word “faithful,” until you start to walk the desert with Moses and listen to all the foul complaints that were cast his way. You don’t understand the appreciation God has for a faithful person, unto you think of a man willing to trust in an invisible army to overcome the horse and the chariot. The word “faithful” never comes alive, until you are faced with the recognition of making a choice that consciously puts you into a position of being unfavorable. Yes, Moses was faithful. WHY? His life reveals that all of the above were faced; and still he was willing to care for God’s people. Moses was a leader, a shepherd, a man of anger and compassion, but most of all he was faithful. Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed June 15th, 1982)
Our last lesson introduced the problem of honesty today and the need for the child of God to be very conscious of the need for honesty in every aspect of life. The necessity of truthfulness to establish trust is an apparent reason for realizing truth is right.
Jesus made it clear that what God declared about man was true and to be heard by all. The smallest untruthfulness in a testimony casts doubt on the whole testimony. We do not doubt God’s testimony. Why? He is always true. We recall Luke l6:10, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Read Matthew 25:21-23.
Why should the Christian always bear true testimony? Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed May 31, 1982)
We change pace this lesson by considering some basic thoughts about the Christian, truth, and honesty. It may seem a bit strange to talk of things considered an obvious part of Christianity, but we are living in rather strange times. Paradox is abundant. Men talk about living by love, while passing more laws and filling the courts with lawsuit after lawsuit. Objectivity has been a big cry from our society, but we are faced with not knowing what news report we can trust. Men appear to be on a subjective binge with no source of authority like the days of the Judges (Jgs.17:6;21:25) Hence, we are not exactly surprised that everyone is talking about honesty but social research reveals a tremendous array of dishonesty. In fact, the price of dishonesty has become a staggering burden to our society. Continue reading