Category Archives: Uncategorized

4-26-2017

Scriptural Truth – Serving Others

 

Dorcas was a woman who lived a life of service. Let’s not belittle any act of service one does for another through pure motives. But in these few lines, let’s challenge the thought which encourages folks to only look for a random good deed to do each day. Instead, think of a life which has placed serving others as such a high priority that planning, dedication, sacrifice and success are all elements of ones life. Perhaps there is an area of gray or judgment to be made, but let’s study the one verse which describes Dorcas’ life and see which one seems to best describe her. At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. Acts 9:36

She was a member of the Lord’s church who did “good works.” She did good works to the point her life was “full” of them. Full means it is not possible to contain more.

She fulfilled needs through charitable deeds. “Alms deeds” or “charitable deeds” are acts of service we do in addition to the gift we offer to the Lord each Sunday. Notice the scriptures record the benevolent service as the kind of life which she lived. It is what “she did. Fishing or Hunting may be what someone does. Flying, farming or accounting may be what you do. But in service to God and others, what is it that you do? There are those who give so much of their life to a ministry we could comfortably say, that is what they do. Ministering services are greatly affected by those doing them. Not because they have found random things to do, but because they plan to make a difference for the glory of God. Instead of doing enough to relieve the conscience, let’s set a higher standard which says, I want to serve others, help others long term. I want to make a lasting difference for the glory of God. Beginning with this Christmas and throughout the new year commit to serving others and doing good and see how greatly blessed you will be. Until next week this is the Scriptural Truth, Tommy O’Kelley Minister Subligna Rd. church of Christ (706) 638-1129 or (423) 413 – 5319, email tmdok4@windstream.net or Facebook

 

4-18-2017

Scriptural Truth – Kindness

 

Social media brings out the worst in so many people. It’s as though a disease spreads to the human race via the internet. People become filled with anger, hostility, rudeness and profanity having their civility wiped away. The younger folks are becoming accustomed to obscenity and rudeness as the soundtrack of their generation. Perceived humor in our day is built on innuendo and without it, many of this generation are practically speechless. As we age, we see the trends come and go and they become less important to us. We can ride the waves in a desperate attempt to remain relevant or we can try the timeless approach. Regardless of what is considered cutting-edge in any year, the practice of kindness never goes out of style. In Romans 12:19-21 we read “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” As one striving to live a Christian life it’s our job to be kind to everyone not fill with hatred and short tempers. When kind, positive words emanate from us we change the people around us and bring light to dark worlds (Matthew 5:16). God’s people should make kindness a law in their lives (Proverbs 31:26). A kind word soothes the savage beast. A smile banishes the scowl and warms the frozen heart. People gravitate to kindness and appreciate its medicinal value. Kindness disarms anger (Romans 12:20) and transcends time and place so it is never out of fashion. Kindness touches the heart and soul of humanity as nothing else can. We need it desperately in a coarse and hateful world. If every soul were treated with kindness, how much evil would be overcome? When we add Christ to a kind disposition, it is an unstoppable force for good (Colossians 3:12). Spread kindness, goodness and love to the world and then share Christ with the open heart. Kindness opens doors. Anger, wrath and hatred close the door of any opportunity one may have to teach a lost soul. When we let kindness rule our lives then others see Christ living in us. ! Until next week this is the ScripturalTruth, Tommy O’Kelley Minister Subligna Rd. Church ofChrist (706) 638-1129 or (423) 413 – 5319, email tmdok4@windstream.net or Facebook

3-20-2017

Scriptural Truth – Can You Wash Feet?

 

We all know them, it’s that one friend or relative who has some of the worst smelling feet in the world. It’s also this one who will without fail take off their shoes and perhaps socks while in an enclosed area. For some reason these folks with the awful smelling feet have gone nose blind. They can’t seem to understand why folks vacate the area they are in when they remove their shoes. Considering all of this I have to ask the question “Can you wash feet?” Yes think about that for a moment and allow the question to sink in. For a spiritual application to this question consider the act of Christ in John 13:12, So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments and sat down again, He said to them “Do you know what I have done to you?” Our Lord exemplified the greatest lesson on several issues which hold many folks back from being the person they should be. Christ taught that all should be examples for others to follow (1 Tim. 4:12). Paul in his writing to a young preacher encouraged him to be the example despite his youth. Next Christ taught a valuable lesson on humility and love (1 Tim. 1:5 and James 4:10). We are to love from a pure heart, good conscience and a sincere heart with all humbleness allowing God to exalt us to where he wants us to be. I’m certain a little “foot washing” would keep one in check with their attitude. Christ also wanted to teach his apostles and us that we must be courageous, confident and bold (2 Tim. 1:7-8). We must not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord and must be willing to understand and follow his example and lead. Most would not consider the washing of someone’s feet to be very bold and courageous but the idea is to go beyond what is expected and above the norm. Character is defined in many ways but the best definition is how one acts. It’s about how others see us and our actions of kindness, love and humility. I’m not suggesting the next time that one person takes their shoes off that you go grab a washcloth and soap and begin washing their feet, although you can if you want, but rather do for others and to others that which everyone else normally shy’s away from. Until next week this is the Scriptural Truth, Tommy O’Kelley Minister Subligna Rd. church of Christ (706) 638-1129 or (423) 413 – 5319, email tmdok4@windstream.net or Facebook.

4-10-2017

Scriptural Truth – Are you In Christ or Out of Christ

 

People are involved in and part of a variety of many organizations such as clubs, sports, schools, businesses and so on. To be in one of these organizations means that one receives the benefits from being in them. The benefits offered by these organizations are not offered to those outside of the organization itself. The same is true from a spiritual standpoint concerning spiritual blessings such as forgiveness and salvation. Notice the following from Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” The ending of this verse says “in Christ” and the word “in” is a preposition indicating a fixed position. So the question is where are spiritual blessings such as forgiveness and salvation found? The answer is revealed, they are “in Christ,” The next question one should ask is how does one get into Christ? This same question is asked in some fashion when one wants to become part of and join a club or organization. For one to be in Christ and have access to the spiritual blessings they must become a member of Christ and his body. The church is the one body of Christ (Eph. 4:4) and belongs to him. He purchased the church with his own blood (Eph.5:25, Acts 20:28), so certainly he has all authority for how one can be part of his church. The Lord is loving so much so that he wants everyone to become part of what he died for (John 3:16). In Galatians 3:26-27 the scripture states “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” It is faith in Christ that causes one to want to become part of him and its baptism which puts one into Christ. If one is outside of Christ then they are not part of Christ. One can’t be part of something they have not joined themselves to. In verse 29 of the same text we read “if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to promise. If one is in Christ they are part of him and will receive heaven as their reward if they are found faithful in the end (Rev. 2:10) Baptism is essential to become part of Christ no matter how you look at it. With this understanding one must conclude that baptism is necessary or essential for one to be saved because outside of Christ there is no salvation. It is the blood which cleanses us through baptism for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38) and allows us to walk in a newness of life (Rom. 6:1-7). My last questions for you are “Are you in Christ or outside of Christ?” If you have been baptized were you baptized for the remission of your sins or because your sins were already forgiven? Remember you are either In Christ or Out of Christ and only in Christ is there forgiveness. Until next week this is the Scriptural Truth, Tommy O’Kelley Minister Subligna Rd. church of Christ (706) 638-1129 or (423) 413 – 5319, email tmdok4@windstream.net or Facebook.

4-3-2017

Scriptural Truth – Don’t Hit The Snooze

 

If you’re like me an alarm clock with the bells, buzzer or beeper are considered outdated and for many have been discarded. Our go to wake up alarm is our smart phone. It allows us to wake up to music, a ringtone, beeps or bells. One of the greatest features of the smart phone is the ability to just tap the screen and the snooze setting kicks in allowing us a few more minutes to lay in bed. Using a snooze button on our phone or alarm clock does not stop the world, however it can make us late to work, school or wherever we may be going. From a spiritual standpoint we need to consider carefully about hitting the snooze button of our souls. We all know death is certain, our life is terminal (Hebrews 9:27). Our time on this earth is relatively short, like a vapor as James would describe in (James 4:14). There is also a time in which the world will end and time will be no more. There will be no more snoozing time and our fate will be sealed (2 Peter 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; Matthew 24:35–36). Many people die sooner than they expect to. In our minds we see days well in advance and think in terms of having seventy plus years to live. Spiritually speaking many think they have plenty of opportunities to hit the snooze button and then one day decide to get up and take care of spiritual matters. Notice the following. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). If at the end, we are found in a continual state of sin, Jesus will utter those bone-chilling words, “Depart from me, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23). Jesus has sounded the alarm. He has called us all by His gospel to wake up, get up, and stay up. “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:14). We must all wake up and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4; Romans 10:17). We must humble ourselves before the throne of God in submission to his will. Sadly, too many of us continue to hit the snooze button of our souls. We live and worship not is spirit and truth but according to our own thoughts and ways. There is no tomorrow for our souls salvation, no time to tap the snooze button we must not sleep as others (1 Thessalonians 5:6–8). Are you awake and ready? Until next week this is the Scriptural Truth, Tommy O’Kelley Minister Subligna Rd. church of Christ (706) 638-1129 or (423) 413 – 5319, email tmdok4@windstream.net or Facebook.

3-27-2017

Scriptural Truth – Do You Have A Handful?

 

What is enough? In your life and service to God you may offer the excuse that you don’t have much to offer in service to God. Perhaps you struggle financially and it takes almost everything you have to make ends meet. Maybe you have health issues which limit your ability to do a lot ot things others do. My question is “Do you have a handful?” A handful of something to offer God that is the best you can offer of what you have. David only had a sling. Moses only had a staff. Samson only had a jawbone. A widow only had two pennies. And a lad only had five loaves and two fish. Yet, it was enough; more than enough. It was during a great famine in the days of King Ahab (1 Kings 17), Elijah, the prophet, asked a widow for a piece of bread. Her response to him was, “I do not have any bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar.” To the widow, only a “handful” was insufficient to meet the needs of Elijah. And I suppose “only a handful” doesn’t seem like much at all, but that all depends upon whose hands we’re talking about. Only a “handful” in the widow’s hands wasn’t much, but a “handful” in the hands of God is an inexhaustible supply, and the rest of the account of the story makes this clear. By her giving what she had she was blessed and God miraculously made that “handful of flour” meet her needs and last throughout the duration of the famine. Can you imagine only a handful of flour and a little oil lasting someone for months and providing bread to eat every day avoiding starvation. The point I want you to take away from this account is that our “little handful” isn’t much, but with God it’s more than enough! We don’t all have the same abilities nor do we all have the same financial status but what we do have is self. When we give God what he desires most, which is self, then he takes us and the abilities we have to offer and increases it. Don’t allow the excuses of not having much to offer God stop you from giving what you can. Will you not commit today to live your life for Christ and become a child of God? Allow him to mold and shape you with what you have. If you believe that Christ is the son of God and are willing to repent of your sins, confess Christ and be buried with him in baptism for the remission of sins then God will use you to his glory. Until next week this is the Scriptural Truth, Tommy O’Kelley Minister Subligna Rd. church of Christ (706) 638-1129 or (423) 413 – 5319, email tmdok4@windstream.net or Facebook.

3-20-2017

Scriptural Truth – Can You Wash Feet?

 

We all know them, it’s that one friend or relative who has some of the worst smelling feet in the world. It’s also this one who will without fail take off their shoes and perhaps socks while in an enclosed area. For some reason these folks with the awful smelling feet have gone nose blind. They can’t seem to understand why folks vacate the area they are in when they remove their shoes. Considering all of this I have to ask the question “Can you wash feet?” Yes think about that for a moment and allow the question to sink in. For a spiritual application to this question consider the act of Christ in John 13:12, So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments and sat down again, He said to them “Do you know what I have done to you?” Our Lord exemplified the greatest lesson on several issues which hold many folks back from being the person they should be. Christ taught that all should be examples for others to follow (1 Tim. 4:12). Paul in his writing to a young preacher encouraged him to be the example despite his youth. Next Christ taught a valuable lesson on humility and love (1 Tim. 1:5 and James 4:10). We are to love from a pure heart, good conscience and a sincere heart with all humbleness allowing God to exalt us to where he wants us to be. I’m certain a little “foot washing” would keep one in check with their attitude. Christ also wanted to teach his apostles and us that we must be courageous, confident and bold (2 Tim. 1:7-8). We must not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord and must be willing to understand and follow his example and lead. Most would not consider the washing of someone’s feet to be very bold and courageous but the idea is to go beyond what is expected and above the norm. Character is defined in many ways but the best definition is how one acts. It’s about how others see us and our actions of kindness, love and humility. I’m not suggesting the next time that one person takes their shoes off that you go grab a washcloth and soap and begin washing their feet, although you can if you want, but rather do for others and to others that which everyone else normally shy’s away from. Until next week this is the Scriptural Truth, Tommy O’Kelley Minister Subligna Rd. church of Christ (706) 638-1129 or (423) 413 – 5319, email tmdok4@windstream.net or Facebook.

3-13-2017

Scriptural Truth – Anti-Christian With Your Dress?

 

Warmer weather is here and so are the flip flops, shorts, and scantly dress that seems to tie into summer time. For a Christian this is probably one of the most difficult and challenging times of the year for them due to the immodesty surrounding them, especially to the male gender. To address the issue of modest dress seems like an ongoing, endless fight to which there is no end but it must be discussed with not only the ladies but also the men. It may sound liberating to say, “It’s my body. I can do with it what I please. If I want to let it all hang out, you can’t stop me.” Statements like this will get you plenty of applause from worldly people. Yet, this attitude is anti-Christian in that it pretends the spiritual state of those around you is inconsequential, the saving and preservation of their soul doesn’t matter. For all professing Christianity we need to care less about self and more about others (see Gal. 5:13; 1 Thess. 5:11; Rom. 12:10; Heb. 10:24; Eph. 5:21; Phil. 2:3). To look beautiful and be attractive is great, but there is a line between how one dresses to look attractive and that of a walking billboard advertising your body. The Greek word aselgeia, is found in passages like Romans 13:13-14, Galatians 5:19-21, and 2 Peter 2:2, 18. Aselgeia refers to activities that arouse sexual desire, movements that accentuate the body, and feelings of unrestraint. Sensuality, as the Bible uses it, is the opposite of being embarrassed by sin. In 1 Timothy 2:9 the word “shamefacedness” is used as recognition that there are parts of the body that should remain private – parts that should still cause us to blush when they are exposed (either because something is too short, too tight or too revealing). It’s not wrong to look nice, braid your hair, wear jewelry and so on but we should all want our appeal to be that of an uncanny likeness to Christ. The command of God to be modest can’t be minimized nor should we draw our own conclusions of what God calls modest. The root word of Christian is Christ and we were bought with the blood of Christ so we must glorify him in and with our bodies. Until next week this is the Scriptural Truth, Tommy O’Kelley Minister Subligna Rd. church of Christ (706) 638-1129 or (423) 413 – 5319, email tmdok4@windstream.net or Facebook

3-6-2017

Scriptural Truth – How Is Your Tongue?

 

 

A visit to the doctor for an illness or just a well-being visit usually consists the doctor asking you to open your mouth and an inspection of the lounge and throat area. A doctor can tell a great deal about our physical condition simply by looking at our tongue. According to the book of James the same is true of our spiritual check up. How we use our tongue is a really good indicator of how well our spiritual life is. “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” (James 1:26). Jesus warned that it is the things that come out of our mouths that defile us (Matt. 15:18). If we want our religious devotion to be meaningful, we need to be careful what we say to others. According to James, one who can bridle (or control) their tongue has the ability to control their whole body. A self control of this nature indicates the maturity and commitment The wise man Solomon said, “He that keeps his mouth keeps his life: but he that opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Prov. 13:3). According to Jesus, the words that come out of our mouth can either “justify” or “condemn” us (Matt. 12:36-37). As is true with any sinful behavior, we must master it or it will master us. Think for a moment of how big an impact your words have on someone. We can rebuke or answer harshly or lovingly and depending on which we choose will determine the response given back, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness” (Prov. 15:1-2). Changing the way we talk to others is a sure way to improve our relationships and we may be the deciding factor of one wanting to serve God. Our mouths house what is described as “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Challenge yourself today to not let any corrupt communication cross your lips and see how things go. God’s Word says the way you use your tongue is a mark of spiritual maturity and reveals your spiritual status. What does your speech say about your spiritual condition? Is your tongue bridled? . Until next week this is the ScripturalTruth, Tommy O’Kelley Minister Subligna Rd. Church ofChrist (706) 638-1129 or (423) 413 – 5319, email tmdok4@windstream.net or Facebook

7-12-2016

Scriptural Truth – Determination and Victory

 

The game is tied and in the last minutes of the ballgame. Your team is in the red zone with only two yards to go for a first down and another four attempts to score the winning touchdown. The team is exhausted, they’re out of steam and to get the first down let alone a touchdown will take something far greater than the skills they have of the game. As they huddle up for another play they are really sucking in wind and just trying to stand together. It’s decision time for all of them and if one of them decides differently than the rest it may be the end of the game. They collectively look at each other and decide to reach deep inside of them and give everything they have for another series of downs. In each face there is the look of fatigue covered over with the heart of determination. They approach the ball and line up waiting for the snap. As the ball is snapped the line explodes pushing with all they have for a mere couple of yards, which seemed very well like the entire length of the field. The outcome was not just a first down but the push of determination with all they had left in them was the victorious winning touchdown. We find ourselves in similar situations in our daily walks of life especially those who try to live a Godly life. Our opposing force of the world and sin will try to wear us down to the point of total exhaustion. It will be mere determination to keep on fighting for the win. We should be reminded of the words of Paul when he stated “I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7) for he knew that heaven would be his eternal victory. I would suggest to you it was the determination of Paul which kept him going. As Paul wrote to Timothy he gave him his motivation and cheered him on to do the same as he had done. We should all examine ourselves and determine that we will endure until the end and not push for just hoping we get to heaven but rather be determined we will give every last bit of ourselves to ensure we cross the goal line knowing we have the victory. Until next week this is the Scriptural Truth Tommy O’Kelley Minister Subligna Rd. Church of Christ (706) 638-1129 or (423) 413 – 5319, email tmdok4@windstream.net or Facebook.