Tag Archives: Robert Bedenbaugh

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ — Robert Bedenbaugh, Jr.

It has been said, “One who studies only the Bible doesn’t know much about it.” This statement recognizes the fact that we are so greatly removed from the original languages. Even what we can read “in black and white” is just a translation and “some things do get lost in translation.” Conversely “commentaries written by men are just that” and not the Word of God. I admit at times, early in life, I blindly disregarded God’s Word because reading and understanding modern human writings was an easier choice compared to following 2 Timothy 2:15.

Instead, consider supplementing your personal Bible study with reference books of the original language: dictionaries, concordances, lexicons, and the like. Any human comment(ary) must refer back to God’s Word or it is opinion. Discern what God meant by where, how, and in what context He used words versus what someone says He meant.

As we explore our topic, we will consider both words, Lord and Savior, their generic and specifically divine uses, and introduce another word that may help blend the two together and clarify our understanding of His role as both our Lord and our Savior.

Jesus Christ, Our Lord (Romans 1:4)

The word kurios, translated “lord,” may also be translated as “master” when referring to one who is in control of another person (Acts 16:16-19; Eph. 6:5-9) and “sir” in situations of cordial politeness (John 4:11-19, 49; 5:7). It is also used and typically translated “lord” when referring to an owner of a thing. Each references, at its root, the ultimate power to control the fate of a person or thing.

Jesus is referred to as the Lord of inanimate objects. He’s Lord of the Sabbath (Matt. 12:1-8,; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5). Since He and His Father are One (John 10:30), He is also Lord of heaven and earth (Matt. 11:25; Luke 10:21; Acts 17:24) and Lord of the harvest (Matt. 9:38; Luke 10:2). None of these come as a surprise since He is Lord of everything that exists (Ps. 24:1; John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6).

Neither is it a surprise that He is Lord of His people, since they are His (Rom. 12:13; 1 Cor. 6:2). In fact, He is Lord of all people (Acts 10:36; Phil. 2:11) even of those that are called lords (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14; 19:16). Incidentally, what comes to mind when you hear “Jesus is Lord of lords”? Replace the word “Lord” with any of our definitions. He is Master of masters. He is Controller of controllers. He is in control of those who are in control. He decides the fate of those who decide fates. He is Lord of lords…and King of kings or Ruler of those who rule and reigns over those who reign.

But our topic says “our Lord.” Is He? There are two answers to this question because there are two points of view, one objective and one subjective. If we stand back and view our relationship with Him as the Creator and the Creation, then absolutely yes, He is everyone’s Lord as we noticed earlier (Acts 10:36; Phil. 2:11). He is Lord of all and one day all will admit that fact. Yet if we consider our personal relationship with Him, and ask, “Is Jesus my Lord?”, there may be a different answer. We’re given the opportunity in this life to voluntarily submit to Him and have Him as our Lord (Josh. 24:14-24). We can choose to do otherwise and often we all do fail to submit to Him and allow our lives to be mastered, controlled, and owned by Him.

Some years back, I saw a little skit exemplifying this very thing. The stage was the life of a little girl and in the middle of the stage was a throne. As the skit began, she was on the throne of her life and various individuals would come on stage representing friends and acquaintances, each putting her in different situations. She was in charge and did what she willed. Shortly, one friend actually brought in another friend whose name was Jesus. Jesus and the little girl were introduced and the friend helped the little girl understand who Jesus was, what He had done, what He offered the little girl, and what He required (Matt. 7:21). Essentially, He wanted to sit on the throne of her life. She agreed, got down out of the throne and Jesus sat down becoming her master.

Friends and acquaintances continued to come.  In each situation, she’d ask Jesus what she should do. She would obey, even if she didn’t like His answer. Her friends wouldn’t understand her choices and might ridicule her but she obeyed. As the situations became more intense, she began to argue with Jesus and even try to squeeze herself into the throne with Jesus. At the climax, she shoved Jesus out of the throne of her life and she sat down. She was back in charge. Jesus stood up from the floor, dusted Himself off, and simply asked her, “What are you doing?”

Brothers and sisters, have you ever been there?  Have you ever been at a point where you could imagine that Jesus was asking you, “What are you doing?” Maybe you’re there now. Maybe you’re in that far off country eating pig slop. Someone is waiting for you. Come to your senses and do yourself a favor.  Go home and be willing to owned. Instead, you’ll actually be treated like family (Luke 15:11-24).

Is He your Lord? Objectively, He is whether you like it or not and one day you’ll admit that He is Lord. Subjectively, only you and He know the answer. If He isn’t on the throne of your life, get out of His way and let Him be your Master, your Controller, your Lord.

Jesus Christ, Our Savior (Titus 1:4)

The word soter, translated “savior,” is defined as just that, a savior, a deliverer, a preserver. At that, I think of a life preserver without which we would lose our spiritual life, drowning in sin and its consequences. Maybe you think of something else but roll those words over in your mind and get a good picture of the act of saving. In case that were not enough of a word picture, we look beyond the word to its root.

So often we learn more about a given word by researching its etymology. The noun soter has its root in the verb sozo which is defined as “to save” but also “to make well,” “to restore to health or heal,”, and “to make whole.” Hopefully the analogies are obvious. Jesus Christ, our Savior makes us well from the disease of sin, restores and heals our sin-sick soul, and makes our spiritual life whole again.

He is Savior in both His accolades and in His actions. Let’s observe His accolades as Savior. He is the promised Savior (Acts 13:23), the Savior of His body, the church (Eph. 5:23), and, as pointed about above, the Savior of the world (John 4:42, 1 John 4:14). Even His human name, Jesus, means savior, deliverer, and rescuer (Matt. 1:21). Let’s also notice His actions as Savior. He gives repentance and forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:31), abolishes death and brings life and immortality (2 Tim. 1:10), and is the medium through whom God richly poured out His Holy Spirit (Tit. 3:4-6).

Without any of these facts about or deeds done by Jesus Christ, He would not be our Savior because we would not be saved, nor made well or whole, nor restored to health or healed. He is the Savior of the world because all humanity has the opportunity to have this salvation (Tit. 2:11) but He is, most affectionately, pictured as the Savior of His people (Matt. 1:21; 23:37).

Let’s stay with our last reference (Matt. 23:37), where Christ says He longed to gather the children of Jerusalem as a hen gathers her chicks under her wing. Google images of a hen with her brood. That’s the picture Christ is sharing. He, with arms out-stretched, gathers, covers, and protects those who are His family, or at least He wants to. He desires to self-sacrificingly suffer by sheltering those He loves so dearly, but He is brought to tears by those who “were not willing.”

Are there benefits to being “gathered” to the Savior of the world? Certainly so. There is fellowship with Him and the Father (1 John 1:3). There is life in the light without darkness (John 8:12; 12:44-46; 1 John 1:5-7) but with godliness and contentment (1 Tim. 6:6-10). And just as we see in Matthew 23:37, there is a family (Eph. 2:19-22; Gal. 6:10; 1 Tim. 3:14-15).

Have you been gathered to Christ? Are you gently nestled close to Him…or have you been unwilling? Only in Him who is the fullness of the deity (Col. 2:9) can every spiritual blessing be found (Eph. 1:3). He invites each of us as a group and individually to come to Him (Matt. 11:28-30).

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

It is interesting that these exact words are only found three times and each is in the book of 2 Peter (1:11; 2:20; 3:18). Paul does mention the idea once and so does Jude to some degree, but only Peter pens “κυρίου ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.” But before we comment on that, let’s have a few thoughts on inspiration.

I would never argue against the fact that all scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16) and I, in no way, acknowledge or subscribe to neither dynamic inspiration nor limited inspiration. However, it is noteworthy that each pen-wielder of our New Testament has a personal style. The elite education of Paul can be seen in the letters he penned (large compound words and long sentences) and likewise for John and his lack of formal education (small words and short sentences, yet just as profound). Luke, the physician, has his personality revealed as well. We also have Peter, who, by inspiration, openly admitted that some things Paul wrote were hard to understand (2 Pet. 3:16).

Peter, like John, came from a simple life and was promised to be transformed from a “human who fished” into one who “fished for humans” (Luke 5:10).  His is the only pen that writes “our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” and only three times in only one letter.  Why him and no one else?  I’m not sure that question can be answered this side of eternity, but let it suffice to say that all scripture is God-breathed and the roles of both Lord and Savior are not contradictory but complementary in every way.

The Good Shepherd (John 10)

It seems the roles described separately by the terms Lord and Savior may come together in the role of Shepherd. Jesus shows the Good Shepherd is Lord of the sheep because He owns them (John 10:14) and He even calls them “My sheep” (v. 27). Jesus also indicates that the Good Shepherd is Savior of the sheep because He lays down His life for them (vs. 11, 15) and provides life to them (v. 28).

Consider Psalm 23:1-3 where David wrote of the responsibilities of a shepherd as fulfilled by God. He, as Lord, commands His sheep making them to lie down and leading them. He, as Savior, provides His sheep with that which is required for life (still waters and green pastures) and even restores their very soul.

I close by asking the reader to examine Ezekiel 34 and notice the word pictures God uses of how His sheep were being treated and how He would treat them, being their master and their healer. Also recall the parable of the lost sheep and the risk the Shepherd takes and the care He provides (Luke 15:4-6) all because of His compassion for them (Matthew 9:36). Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, truly is the Good Shepherd.

Robert worships at the Seneca Church of Christ in Seneca, SC, with his wife, Heather, and their daughter, Savannah.

 

 

 

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Making The Church Stronger — Robert Bedenbaugh, Jr.

Have you ever wondered, “What does the church…collectively, congregationally, from the elders, deacons, and preachers to each and every member…need to do in order to become stronger and better in the sight of God in the present day?”  It’s worth at least pondering but, in fact, it’s actually worth deep and extensive study and prayer.  The key to the question is the phrase “in the sight of God” (Ac. 4:19).  Relatively, what else really matters (Ec. 12:13)?

So how would you answer?  Here are some possibilities.  “We should all pray more, especially for wisdom (1 Th. 5:17; Ja. 1:5).”  “We must focus more on evangelism and then encourage the faithful to stay faithful (Mk. 16:15; 1 Th. 5:11).”  “We’ve got to start taking a firmer stand for what is right and against what is wrong (1 Pe. 3:14; Ps. 94:16; Mt. 12:30).”

These are great answers and a good start because any right answer must be rooted in scripture (Ps. 119:172).  If “in the sight of God” is the key to the question, then we must consider what He has said.  I’ve listened to a sermon tape of brother Mel Futrell (currently preaching at the Shades Mountain congregation just south of Birmingham) titled “Intelligent Christianity” where he lists several scriptures from both testaments where God’s people are encouraged, and encouraging others, to reason with God and His Word (Is. 1:18; Ac. 19:9).  Time after time, God’s people are asked (Is. 42:23), required (Dt. 28:1-2), and even warned (Ps. 50:7) by God and His speakers to pay attention to what has been communicated.

Therefore, my answer to this question is to study…more diligently (2 Ti. 2:15).  As a whole, the church needs to study more in order to become stronger and better in the sight of God in the present day.  If we can’t answer our question without going to God’s Word, then the answer must include going to God’s Word…more.  Additionally (and I may stand to be corrected on this), I believe God’s people are generally more ignorant of the Bible presently than in decades past.  I believe New Testament Christians of the last century, regardless of age, had more Bible knowledge than their current counterparts.  Perhaps that’s a generality and my opinion, but I do believe it’s accurate.

What if this question was asked with a hint of discouragement?  In so many words, “What can we do?  What can I do?  I’m just one person.”  What humanity has always needed to do in any day is to “hear the Word of the Lord” (Ez. 37:1-14, especially v. 4).

The New Testament refers to God’s people in this age as “Christians” and “the church,” but God, through inspiration in His New Testament, principally uses “disciples” to refer to His people.  Disciple means “learner, student, or pupil” and is not a title; it is a noun referring to the endeavor to accomplish the action of learning.  This can seem to suggest God cares more about what I’m doing than what I call myself.  He wants me to be a learner (Jn. 5:45), and I can’t learn from Him or about His Son without studying what He has said (Jn. 5:39-40).

Certainly there are caveats.  Knowledge is useless without understanding how to apply it and moving forward to its actual utilization in our lives (Mt. 15:16-20; Ja. 2:22-25).  All of this begins with a healthy respect and reverence for the power and majesty of God (Pr. 1:7; 9:10).  If we study more and learn anything about what God expects but don’t respect God enough to obey, we have nothing for which to hope (Pr. 24:13-14).

First, we should be studying more in private. Everywhere we go, in every situation, we should always have God’s Word in the forefront of our mind (Dt. 6:8-9).  How and when?  By trusting, leaning on, and acknowledging Him with all our heart and in all our ways (Pr. 3:5-6).  Exposing ourselves to scripture day and night brings blessings and prevents sin and error (Ps. 1:1-2; 119:11, 104; 1 Ti. 4:16).  Conversely, a lack of spiritual knowledge brings error and destruction, perhaps for generations (Mt. 22:29; Ho. 4:6).  David Langley, the pulpit minister here at Seneca, recently made this statement with reference to Hebrews 5:11-14 and private Bible study:  “If you plan to get all of your spiritual nourishment in one worship hour per week, you will be a spiritual infant your whole life.”

God has always expected His people to read and hear His teachings (Ex. 24:7; Re. 1:3).  On at least six distinct occasions, Jesus asked, “Have you not read…?”, implying that they personally should have read, understood, and remembered what God recorded for them.  Jesus also once asked, “What is written in the Law?  How do you read it?” (Lk. 10:26)  Even our little children and those considered to be “babes in Christ” (1 Co. 3:1) know Jesus defended Himself against Satan with “It is written…” (Mt. 4:1-11).  We all need to study more in private.

Second, we should be studying more in public. Even Jesus read and studied publicly (Lk 4:16; 2:46-47).  Today we are perhaps afforded more public opportunities to study God’s Word together as His people than ever before.  Simultaneously, others around the world are afforded no opportunity and may face death if discovered.  Unfortunately, knowledge of this very fact has seemingly little impact on many of our own siblings in Christ.  Why is Bible class attendance low compared to worship?  Why are many convicted enough to “warm the pew” during worship but not enough to arrive earlier or participate in (or at least listen to) public discussion or even read a verse aloud?  Publicly studying God’s Word goes back millennia (Ne. 8:1-8; 1 Ti. 4:13).

We learn from God’s Word but we also learn from each other, both men and women (2 Ti. 2:2; Ti. 2:3-5).  Not only do we have the responsibility to learn together (Pr. 27:17), but we also have the responsibility to teach (He. 5:12).  We can achieve this just by making wise comments in a class setting.  We all need to study more publicly.  Perhaps it’s even time for you to be a teacher.

Third, we should be studying more with prosterity. God’s people have been given commands (Dt. 6:6-7), examples (2 Ti. 1:5), and necessary inferences (1 Ti. 5:8) concerning our responsibility to train up the next generation.  Have you heard, “The church is only one generation away from apostasy?” (Ju. 2:7-14)  Did you know we’re just as responsible for teaching our children as we are for learning (Dt. 11:18-21)?  Fathers, are you read to teach your children on the day they ask, “What do these things mean to you?” (1 Pe. 3:15; Ep. 6:4; Jos. 4:1-7)  We have a blatant responsibility to teach the next generation (Ps. 78:1-4).  Read Deuteronomy 4:9-10.  Can human words make the example more clear?   Teach the coming generation.

Let’s return to the above topic of Bible class.  It’s safe to assume every parent wants what’s best for their children.  We want them to have good schooling, decent clothes, straight teeth and the like, and we’ll do whatever it takes in most cases to make those things a reality.  I submit that if any parent wants what’s best for their child, they will make it so that child WILL be in Bible class.  You’ve got the Best People (God’s people) studying the Best Book (God’s book) on the Best Day of the Week (the Lord’s Day) with the Best Aim (learning more about God and how to be pleasing to Him).  Folks, it really doesn’t get any better.  We all need to pass on what we’ve learned from God’s Word by studying with posterity.

In closing, consider this.  Remember the caveats?  Studying God’s Word for strictly academic purposes without making everyday application forfeits the only real benefit (Lk. 6:46-49).  Most of us may have memorized 2 Timothy 3:16-17.  God-breathed scripture will teach you what’s right, reprove you for what you’re doing which is not right, correct you on how to get right, and train you on how to stay right.  However, for scripture to fulfill its purpose (Is. 55:11), you and I must be willing to be taught, reproved, corrected and trained.  We must want it.

Personal freedom is a God-given right (Jos. 24:14-15).  Almost all of our circumstances are dictated to us, by us, through the choices we make.  By and large, each of us in this country and in our current day and time can be as healthy or unhealthy, educated or ignorant, successful or unsuccessful, spiritual or hedonistic, as we choose to be.  We weigh the options, make the choice, and deal with the consequences (Dt. 11:26-28).

Ask yourself this.  What choices do I make?  When I have some free time, do I read my Bible in private study or choose to do something else?  Do I attend Bible classes for public study or choose just the worship service?  When a teachable moment arises, do I study with posterity by rising to the occasion to fulfill my duty to train the next generation…or is there an awkward silence followed by a change of subject?

I refer you to the question asked at the beginning of this piece:  “What does the church…collectively, congregationally, from the elders, deacons, and preachers to each and every member…need to do in order to become stronger and better in the sight of God in the present day?”  The key is the phrase “in the sight of God” (Ac. 4:19).  Nothing else really matters (Ec. 12:13).  We must be prepared to answer to Him (Ec. 12:14).  We will give an account about how we’ve applied or not applied His commands and teachings to our lives.  Be diligent to present yourselves approved (2 Ti. 2:15).

robertbedenbaughjr@gmail.com

Robert worships at the Seneca Church of Christ in Seneca, SC, with his wife, Heather, and their daughter, Savannah.

 

Adding Steadfastness To Self-Control — Robert Bedenbaugh, Jr.

It would be profitable to do a Google search of online images which have to do with patience.  You’ll find pictures, cartoons and memes, mostly including some encouragement (even some Bible verses) and referencing many aspects of life…financial, emotional, marital, even spiritual.  Why is there such an emphasis on the importance of steadfastness?  Everyone agrees that “patience is a virtue.”  Bible verses about being steadfast, patient, enduring, forbearing, and persevering occur repeatedly in scripture.  Our answers to these questions progress from lesser to greater importance.

Why Do Christians Bear Up Under Trials And Hardships? 

Ourselves.  We begin with the least important motivation, ourselves.  “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (Ja. 1:2-4).  Notice the results of the testing trials.  There’s joy, endurance, and the completion to come.  Endurance is ONLY brought about by testing the very faith we claim to hold so dear.  Having gained the ability to endure, we’re proverbially “complete, lacking nothing.”  How so?  Because we can face future trails and say, “Bring It On.”  How could Paul ask, “O Death, where is your sting?  O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Co. 15:55)  He knew there’s a temporal, mortal, corruptible body but also an eternal, immortal, incorruptible body that will…endure.

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Ro. 5:3-5)  The benefits of persevering through tribulations are character, hope, a lack of disappointment, and knowledge that God’s love and Holy Spirit permeate our lives plus this inspired permission to glory in those tribulations knowing these benefits are present.  “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him”  (Ja. 1:12)  Our ability to endure what comes at us in life reveals both our love for Him and assurance of the crown of life.

Our Siblings.  Our Christian family is one of the best benefits for believers.  Yet, like our physical family, our spiritual family requires enduring others.  There are two reasons we endure centering around our Christian siblings.

Sometimes, we endure because they’re the source of our trials.  Consider when Jesus said on one occasion, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?” (Mt. 17:17,cf. Mk. 9:19; Lk. 9:41).  Contextually, Christ was having to endure His own disciples.  They were the source requiring His endurance.  Predictably, we’re also called and encouraged to endure one another.  “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (Co. 3:12-13).  “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ep. 4:1-3).  Can it be any clearer?  As blessed as we are to have them, our own spiritual family is, at times, the source of our need to practice patience.

Other times, we endure mindful that our spiritual family are superior to our trials.  “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but, in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Ph. 2:3-4).  Often, we go to chapter two of Philippians to discuss theological facts about Christ (vs. 5-11), but those verses appear within the greater context of how we are to treat one another.  The “mind” Paul speaks of beginning in verse 5 is the attitude he commands of us in verses 3-4.  When a given trial is linked to a fellow Christian, rest assured, they’re more important than your trial.  What is to be done “through selfish ambition or conceit”?  Nothing.  Instead, focus on what best for them.  Ask yourself, “What do THEY really need out of this situation?”  For the benefit of our siblings, our spiritual family, our brothers and sisters in Christ, we patiently endure.  Our Lord and Savior and example of suffering did the same.

How Do Christians Bear Up Under Trials and Hardships?

Our Savior.  Our Savior is our Head.  “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.  You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin” (He. 12:1-4).

We endure by “looking unto Jesus” and considering.  He is the perfect, sinless, only-begotten, one-of-a-kind Son of God and even He had to suffer.  He is our leader, the Head of the Church.  If He was required to endure, who are we to ever think we deserve a better existence?  We sing “Follow Him” and “Footprints of Jesus” (among other songs) for the encouragement they provide in pointing us to and reminding us of our King Jesus and the love and endurance He showed toward us and exemplified for us.  “He the great example is, and pattern for me.”  Where He leads, we must follow.

Our Savior is our Healer.  “For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.  For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth’ who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” (2 Pe. 2:20-24)  He, who knew no sin, endured the punishment for our sins and we garner to ourselves the benefit of spiritual healing.  How?  “…by whose stripes you were healed.”  How could any of our trials or hardships compare to His?

Our Savior is our Helper.  “Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ” (2 Th. 3:5)  Succinctly put, “We need help.”  We’re divinely directed by the scriptures into the patience of Christ.  No one should pretend to fully understand Divine direction.  We know it’s there “because the Bible tells me so” and that’s enough.  Take heart, fellow Christians.  We are not alone.  We have a Helper.

In conclusion, we offer personal encouragement.  Is there some specific trial you’re struggling to endure?  First, re-read the thoughts above about Christ and study His suffering in scripture.  Second, recall Acts 5:41:  “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.”  The disciples were joyful that they were counted worthy to suffer, especially for the cause of Christ.  Third, reflect on Peter’s words in John 6:68-69:  “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Where else can we go?  Jesus gives life (Jn. 6:33, 63), has the words of life (6:68), and is the life (11:25; 14:6).  Where else would we want to go?  Focus on Christ.  Fourth, reassure a friend. If you’re on social media, do a Google search of those images of patience and post one.  Your friends and connections, Christians and non-Christians, could use the encouragement, too.  Why?  Because patience, perseverance, steadfastness, endurance…really IS a virtue.

robertbedenbaughjr@gmail.com

Robert worships at the Seneca Church of Christ in Seneca, SC, with his wife, Heather, and their daughter, Savannah.