Recently I discovered by casual curiosity a kitchen towel with a label that said---Made in Brazil. The set me searching for other products that I use that were made in other countries. Sure enough, one pair of pajamas was from Bangladesh and another from China. As my search continued I also found articles from Jordan, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Honduras, and on and on. On the flip side, some autos “made” in the U. S .are actually foreign makes such as Volkswagen, Toyota and Honda. Many products are assembled in one place from materials from somewhere else. It seems that we are becoming an international society, at least as far as our goods and services are concerned.
People are not literally “made” in the same way as material thing, but the popularity of DNA kits shows that they desire to know their heritage and what they are made of. There are often surprises and folks discover that their backgrounds and roots are quite different than what they had always believed. Lots of us find out that we are more “Heinz 57” than purebreds.
New Testament Christians are spiritually “made” when they are born again of water and the Spirit ( Jo 3: 3-8) ( Acts 22: 16) ( Rom 6: 3-7). They are all one in Christ but made up of all different nationalities, genders, cultures and races ( Gal 3: 26-28) The only label they wear is “made in Christ” because they have “clothed themselves with Christ (v 27).
There are still plenty of people who boast of their ethnicity, nationality, culture or race. The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day rightly called Abraham their Father and ancestor ( Isa 51: 1-2). However John the Baptizer quickly disproved the notion that bloodlines alone gives one bragging rights and eliminates everyone else. He said, “ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children of Abraham” ( Mt 3: 9) Paul explained that those who have been given the Holy Spirit ( Acts 2: 38) and belong to Christ are Abraham’s spiritual seed and heir according to the promise ( Gal 3: 29) ( Rom 8: 15-17). In that glorious reunion in heaven there will be a great multitude…from every nation, tribe , people and language standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb…wearing white robes ( Rev 7:9). The only boasting there will be is in the Lord and in His cross ( 1 Cor 1: 31) ( 2 Cor 10: 17- 18) (Gal 6:14).
Submitted by Jery Bailey, Elder
There are several ways and reasons to go back on one’s word, vows, promises and commitments. Some are unintentional but lame, such as: A foggy memory, Neglect, and Preoccupation. There seems to be a progression from excuses, remorse and retraction to denial, lies and fleeing the scene. We see such reneging in election promises, marriage vows, sports contracts and college tuition debts.
Far too often we hear of a wife who has worked hard to put a husband through college and beyond, only to be dumped for a “trophy wife.” Reneging appears to have other sleazy partners---hypocrisy, fraud, betrayal and treachery.
Our heavenly Father has always taken vows and promises very seriously. He called them covenants. He promised Noah and his descendants never to completely destroy humanity again by a flood and set a rainbow in the clouds as a sign ( Gen 9: 9,13). He promised to make Abraham the father of many nations ( Gen 17: 36). He said HE never would break His covenants if people worship and obey Him only ( Jud 2: 1-2). He continued affirming His covenants and asked the Israelites to remember their promise to be faithful ( 1 Ki 8:23) ( 1 Ch 16:15-18). Most did not, but a remnant did. One of the saddest and most egregious examples of reneging is recorded soon after God took them out of slavery in Egypt. The former slaves responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do” ( Ex 24: 3). Very shortly afterwards they were worshiping a golden calf even as Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments from God ( Ex 32: 5-6).
God promised a New Covenant ( Testament) which would one day replace the others ( Jer 31: 34) and would be written on the hearts of the people ( v 33). This of course is the one sealed in the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ ( Mt 26:28) ( Heb 8:13) ( Heb 9:15) ( Heb 12: 22-24). Jesus Christ, the mediator of this New Covenant suffered heartbreaking treachery and betrayal by Judas, one of the twelve Apostles ( Mt 26: 14-16) and when the other eleven reneged on their vow to die with Him and deserted Him at His arrest and trial ( vv 31, 56). His command for us today is don’t break your oath and do not swear an oath at all ( Mt 5: 34-37). Those who have been immersed into Christ ( Rom 6: 3-6) have made a life-long commitment. Those who renege on that ( Heb 6: 4-6) have no other hope.
Submitted by Jery Bailey, Elder
Here you will find Spiritual Nuggets from your eldership.