10-17-2017

Scriptural Truth – Way’s To Fail at Life

 

How many of us want to be a failure? I don’t believe for a second that anyone really wants to fail at anything. However, how many of us allow our actions to make a more profound statement indicating we want to fail? Sure life is tough and trying for all of us but how we cope with the adversities makes a huge impact on self and others. For just a moment allow yourself to reflect back upon the past week or so and contemplate your actions in regards to the following ways to be a failure. First, to be a failure you need to complain. Are you one of those who wait for someone to ask how you are doing so you can give them a brain overload of complaints? Complaints can vary from physical aches and pains to family issues. If you want to fail at everything in life continue complaining. The scriptures reveal to us we should not be complainers but rather be content. (Phil.4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 1Tim.6:8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. Heb.13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.) Secondly, if you want to be a failure blame everyone else for you grief, hardships and shortcomings. You are responsible for you and I am responsible for me. As much as we may want a trophy for everything in life it doesn’t happen. We can blame others for everything that doesn’t go our way but in reality it’s all on us. (Psa.144:3  LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him! Rom.14:12  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 1Cor.4:1  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.) Third and last, if you want to be a failure never be grateful for what you have. Being grateful is very similar to being content. However, we can have “things” given us but never say “Thank You.” If you want to be a failure never offer thanks to the giver but especially don’t offer thanks to God the giver and sustainer of your life. (Phil. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice, Psa.100:4  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Phil.4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.) I don’t think any of us want to be a failure but if we allow ourselves to succumb to these attitudes then a failure at life is what we 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.

10-12-2017

Scriptural Truth – Unbiased & Open Heart

 

My article was not in the paper this past week because I was on a mission trip in Penonme Panama. The trip was awesome and I wish I could sit down with everyone and tell you of the events of the trip and about the area. There is one thing I would like to share with you, which I feel is a much needed area of improvement for many of us. As bible studies were conducted, invitations extended to the gospel meeting and VBS I witnessed firsthand the hearts and minds of a people wanting to know the truth of God’s word. Their hearts were unbiased, non-prejudice and open minded for God’s word. There was a hunger and thirst for the gospel by the people desiring only to do what the bible stated and nothing more. It was refreshing not having to debate over the religious views people held, as is the case here in the states. When asked if they wanted to engage in a study their homes were open to me as were their bibles. The vast majority was devout Catholic but even so they were willing to search the scriptures for instructions in righteousness 2 Timothy 3:16. I say all this for one simple reason found in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” Perhaps our religious division today in the states is due to a lack of a true hunger and thirst for God’s will. Too many are focused on what can I get from worship as opposed to what does God want from my worship. Many times I have discussed issues with folks taking the stance of “I Like…” or “This is what I have always been.” Why can folks not have a desire for the old Jerusalem gospel and be united as were those in Acts 2? In 1 Corinthians the question is asked by Paul “Is Christ divided? Certainly we know he is not and that he prayed for all his disciples then and even today to be united. In Ephesians 4 we don’t read of division but rather of singularity which is unification and not denomination. I pray we can all get back to the point of having a true hunger and thirst for God’s word with a willingness to change in every way needed in order to please God. In Matthew 7:21 Christ states “Not everyone who says unto me Lord Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven.” Are you willing to do what he desires for you to do? 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

10-3-2017

Scriptural Truth – Tasting God and Soul Food

 

Perhaps we all like our occasional binges of junk food, the unhealthy stuff which has limited health benefits. There are those however which make this unhealthy eating their lifestyle and they suffer because of it. What I enjoy most of all is soul food. There is nothing better than a bowl of beans, some cornbread, tomato, onion, a meat and a glass of iced tea to wash it all down. Soul food provides the nutrients our bodies need to keep going and growing. In a spiritual aspect there are far too many folks feeding on junk food instead of soul food. In the book of Psalm 34:8 we read “ O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.” The question from this verse is How do we taste of the Lord? When we find ourselves lacking and suffering in our relationship with God we know we have gotten weak. It’s with weakness that we become ineffective and before long spiritual anorexia. This condition comes from spiritual “junk food feeding.” This feeding is the constant partaking of food which gives us a quick fix to our hunger by making us feel good about ourselves but there is no real substance. There are many preachers on TV today who will give out junk food like a vending machine. They leaving you feeling good because of a pep talk they deliver but before long those hunger pains are back again. What we need my friends is a daily diet of real soul food by tasting God. Our basic food groups for the soul are: the Bible, prayer, worship and spending time with those who really want to be true Christians and want to grow closer to God. So, make sure to read and study God’s word the Bible, spend as much time in prayer to God as you can, worship God in truth and in spirit and be involved in the work of the church. Once you acquire a taste for real soul food, you will never want to go hungry again. So ditch the junk food munchies and start eating the way you should. Come see us at Subligna and I promise you will be fed the soul food that will allow you to taste God. 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

8-23-2017

Scriptural Truth – Servantry = Christianity

 

You want to be a Christian? What does this really mean to you? Some will say it means to be Christ like and certainly it does. However, the truer and deeper meaning is you want to become a servant. You and I, in order to become a true Christian, must understand we have to be true servants. Being a true servant begins in an individual’s heart, with an understanding of our purpose and existence. The scope or duty of man is described in Eccl. 12:13 as fearing God and keeping his commands. To be pleasing to God in our service to him requires submission to being a servant. A servants heart must be 1-SINCERE, filled with compassion for others and not compulsion Matthew 6:1-4. We should never do for others because we feel obligated to do so but rather because we see the need and love that person with a desire to do for them. A compulsive deed is never done in the right way to start with even though sometimes the motive changes to the correct mindset. 2-SELFLESS- is the little concern or no concern of your own time schedule and needs. In John 13 we read of Jesus girding himself and washing his disciples feet. What a great teaching tool but notice what he states in verse 17, “happy are you if you know these things and do them.” To be selfless is to be happy and to be happy is to serve and place others above yourself. 3-SACRIFICIAL- God’s will instead of my own. To be a true servant is to place God at the middle of everything in our life. Our focus is not on self and taking care of self but rather on what will glorify God Galatians 6:9-10. When we do or go without in order to place God first we are rewarded by him. What greater reward is there to have than to hear the words of Well done good and faithful servant. 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

 

8-16-2017

Scriptural Truth – Drifting Along

 

The term “drifting” is most commonly associated with someone being on a body of water and allowing the current to move them along. The concept of drifting is for the most part so effortless and simple that even a child could do it. What effort does it take to “drift along” in our world today? Basically there is no effort required one just needs to float along. What about in terms of religious views and thoughts? Would you say many drift along in religion because they so closely  resemble the world it is difficult to tell them apart? The scripture states in Hebrews 2:1 “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that were heard, lest haply we drift away from them.” In Romans 10:17 we read “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” To hear the scripture one must study it 2 Timothy 2:15 and apply what you hear. God calls individual to be stewards of his word and to obey it. Sadly many today believe what they were taught by their parents, their preacher, grandparents or friends. Instead they should allow the scripture to teach them. An open mind and heart is needed when studying. One must be willing to go against the current which carries them along as they drift throughout their religious life. There may be changes you need to make which will be contrary to many of the things you have been taught but to drift along and not make changes could lead to eternal destruction for your soul. As an example many believe all one has to do is accept Christ into their heart and they are saved. My question is if this is all that is required then what about works, faith, confession and living faithfully until death? What about baptism where does it come into play? How does one ignore the words of Christ in Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved?” He is not speaking of baptism of the Holy Spirit but rather the immersion into himself (Christ) where one buries his old man and sin and rises to walk in a newness of life (Romans 6). If one is saved with confession and accepting Christ then they are still the old creature/man walking about in the same old garments/sins until the blood of Christ cleanses and washes them away (baptism). So are you just drifting along hoping to enter heaven by chance or based on what you have always been taught? Study with me, one on one or your family and myself and allow me to share with you the scriptural truth about drifting. 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.

7-26-2017

Scriptural Truth – Can We Be Perfect?

 

I noticed a sign on Hwy. 27 in Summerville with the statement “Christians Are Perfect.” This statement prompted me for the writing of this article. To begin with, let me be very transparent with my stance along with the eldership and members at Subligna and with brethren of the  county, based on scripture, this statement is FALSE. This is a false statement if the intent is to mean we can be sinless, placing us into the same realm of perfection as was/is Christ.  In Romans 3:23 the scripture states “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” In comparison of Hebrews 4:15 our high priest (Christ) was tempted in all ways as we are yet without sin, meaning he never sinned while upon this earth. Considering these two verses one can see there is a distinct difference. In Matthew 5:48 we read “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” To understand this verse consider the context of which it is written. The short of the meaning is about loving as God loves. For one to be perfect (mature) they must grow in Christ to the point of loving all men, to include our enemies.  The wonderful passage of John 3:16 states God so loved the world, indicating saint and sinner. His love was perfect in that he gave his only begotten son to die in our stead, providing a means of sanctification and give hope to all men of having Heaven as their eternal home one day. In Matthew 19:21, Christ speaking to a rich young man, gives answer to a question of how to have eternal life. In the answer given the young man Christ stated “if thou wilt be perfect.” The answer Christ gave was not to be without sin but rather to be complete and mature. The heart of the young man was known by Christ as being one driven by material possessions. We see this same concept in the passages of Matthew 6:21 & Luke 12:34, “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” Can we be perfect today? Absolutely Not! However, we know from scripture we can be perfected, that is, made whole, complete, mature. We see this in passages such as Col. 1:28, 2 Tim. 3:17, Heb. 13:21 and 1Pet.5:10. Our perfection (being made perfect), sanctification, justification is made possible only by the blood of Christ which washes away our sins (Rom.3:25, Rom.5:9, Eph.1:7, Col.1:14.1Jn.1:7. We will never be perfect in the sense of never sinning, but we can be perfected.So my question is will you be perfected (made whole and complete) in Christ today? 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

5-31-2017

Scriptural Truth – Watch and Wait Mentality

 

There are perhaps a great number of people in the religious world today who are a “watch and wait “group. People watch and wait on a daily basis for something. There are those who watch and wait on a bus or taxi. People wait in line at stores to check out and in restaurants to eat. The lives of so many are spent watching and waiting in an idle fashion. Sadly, many people in terms of religion carry this same mentality with them when it comes to doing the things they should in service to God and in waiting on Christ’s return.  This idle lifestyle does not make Him return sooner or help us be ready for Him.  While it is true that the faithful need to be watchful for the coming of the Lord, He also instructs we need to be busy with lamps burning. Notice what Luke states in Luke 12:35-36 “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he comes and knocks, they may open unto him immediately.” What does it help to sit idle in a watch and wait mode? We don’t put water on to boil to make tea while preparing a meal and sit idle waiting for it to boil. Instead, we busy ourselves in preparation of other items of the meal. The Lord’s return will happen but it will come as a thief in the night, no man knows the time so we must not be idle. When we busy ourselves in the service of our Master, His return will never sneak up on us. We can be always ready if we will put ourselves to work. James states that faith without works is dead so if we are sitting in the watch and wait mode what does that say about our faith? We must believe the Lord will return and always be prepared for when he does. Being found idle, in the watch and wait mode, is not what our Lord wants from us but rather to be doers of the word. If you’re in an idle mode now is the time to change and make yourself ready, so are you ready for that great day? 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.

5-17-2017

Scriptural Truth – Trust In God

 

If you were to look at our currency you would find the phrase “In God We Trust.” For much of our world and a portion of this country there is a disinterest in the God of Heaven. There may  come a sad time when the phrase is removed from our currency. What we need to remember is that we do not need “In God We Trust” on our currency in order for us to trust God. As Christians we should trust God no matter what. This year’s election has brought division among the United States and the ugly head of hatred has reared up. Friends these things should not be especially with those professing Christianity. We should remember that even while on the cross Christ loved the whole world and wanted the world to love him.  To trust God means to rely upon Him with all of our heart. As Solomon said, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). One thing is for sure, halfhearted belief, trust and religion will never please God or meet the demands of Heaven. In Jeremiah read how Israel committed spiritual adultery and her treacherous sister Judah also played the harlot. God’s people were not turning to Him with their whole heart (Jeremiah 3:10). This also reminds us of what Jesus said about the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 15:8, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” The fact of the matter is we are either trusting God or we are not. This country must place their trust in the one who gave and sustains life. When things are going well in our lives and everything seems to be in order, it is probably easier to put our trust in God. When things are not going our way we may find it more difficult to trust in God, but we must be like Job who said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). When it comes to trusting God we need to make it a habit. Trusting God should be a way of life for those professing Christ and Christianity. 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

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

5-3-2017

Scriptural Truth – True Happiness

What I have learned of myself and others is each of us want true happiness. Happiness is something most all people want from the youngest to the oldest and we spend much of our life pursuing this fulfillment. There are many ways in which happiness would be described by someone. Some people describe or will “find” happiness in a place, an activity or another person. No matter what we consider our happiness to be there is really only one source of true happiness and knowing where to find it. In Psalms 4:7 David said, “Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.” Yes, God provides happiness! He puts gladness in our hearts when we completely trust in Him and allow Him to direct our steps (Proverbs 3:5). Solomon said, “Whoso trusts in the LORD, happy is he” (Proverbs 16:20).

Psalm 4:7 teaches us that true happiness extends from the heart and is not based on outward circumstances. The type of “happiness” that is based on outward circumstances has no substance. It comes and goes as our situation shifts from pleasant to troublesome to pleasant again. The type of happiness that is founded upon God’s presence (Psalm 16:8-9), upon worshipping Him regularly (Psalm 122:1) and upon contentment (1 Timothy 6:6-8) makes our hearts rejoice always (Philippians 4:4). This real, genuine happiness surpasses time and circumstance; it is abiding joy from deep within our hearts. In Matthew 9:2 Jesus spoke to a man healing him and then added the words of happiness “thy sins be forgiven thee.” The happiness God offers is found in forgiveness. If you are living in sin and your life is characterized by shame and guilt rather than peace and happiness, know this: God wants to fill your heart with gladness. God wants you to repent of your sins and to obey Him by being baptized for the remission of your sins to receive the cleansing of Christ’s blood (Acts 2:38). He wants you to act before it is everlastingly too late (2 Peter 3:9). God wants you to be happy. 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.