Trees and other plants line the edge of the property behind the church. A volunteer cut the branches from the trees that were encroaching into the area behind the church.
My wife mentioned the importance of the scripture about continuing to abide in Jesus when she saw the dead branches on the ground that are in stark contrast to the living branches still connected to the trees.
Jesus said in John 15:1-8 . . .
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
To make a point, please allow me to share with you a few details about what I remember learning about tree growth, muscle growth, bone strength and bone repair after a break.
You have probably seen small trees planted at new landscaping projects with guy wires holding them upright. Trees that cannot sway in the wind grow up weak. The wind causes microfractures to occur in tree cellular structure. The resulting healing fills in the damaged areas making trees stronger.
The same goes for muscles and bones. Muscles that bear weight get tiny little tears in the muscle fibers. The body fills in these damaged areas resulting in building muscle mass. So, those bodybuilders with the big muscles have gone through a lot of tearing and filling in. Bone density increases when microfractures occur as bones are subjected to stressors, such as weightlifting. The little microfractures fill in with strong bone.
I mentioned at our gathering that teaching on this subject was put on my heart months ago. Well, that was not the whole truth. I actually began to see the necessity of teaching people the biblical side of this very real problem years ago. I have a preliminary research file on my computer that dates back to May 9, 2014.
After an initial class teaching about the prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder behaviors I had noticed in Christians, there were no more classes. The behaviors continued to exist, but it was as if very few wanted a solution. People would tell me about their fears, feelings of depression and other things, such as their OCD rituals, but they seemed to look at the symptoms as just being part of normal life.
These lessons are part of a series of bulletin inserts at Blainesburg Bible Church. The online versions contain minor edits for the expanded online audience. This is the final lesson in this series that was originally released on April 28, 2019.
Please read lessons 1-6
before reading this final one in the series on Body Ministry. The
prior lessons give all the background needed for the application of
this one to be effective.
Serving in Body
Over the years I have been
learning to do what is needed. It does not matter what it is as the
Lord has built into me a measure of versatility. When I began to be
under Pastor Frank C. Menhart Jr.’s leadership as my pastor again, I
told him I would do whatever he needs done. I told him I would clean
toilets if that was what was needed. It was not a false humility, I
committed to do what was needed. Why? Well, I have the examples of
Jesus, the godly leaders in the bible, and of Pastor Frank and other
men of God to emulate.
These lessons are part of a series of bulletin inserts at Blainesburg Bible Church. The online versions contain minor edits for the expanded online audience. This lesson originally released on April 21, 2019.
You should read
the prior lessons before studying this one. This is especially true
if you missed lesson 5 or did not do what was asked. If you have been
following along and have completed a very prayerful examination of
your spiritual health and fitness, then it is time to move forward.
One does not have
to look far to find examples of physical illness or disabilities in
the church. Personally, I have been experiencing pain in my shoulder
area. Diagnostics ranging from X-Rays to MRIs sought the source of
the pain not finding a definitive answer. Each specialist leans
toward his own specialty trying to figure it out, but none have
provided a solution that takes away the pain.
These lessons are part of a series of bulletin inserts at Blainesburg Bible Church. The online versions contain minor edits for the expanded online audience. This lesson originally released on April 14, 2019.
Lessons 1-3 establish who Jesus is, the
necessity of his followers producing fruit demonstrating a changed
life (repentance), and that we belong to God, which should make our
conduct disciplined and under submission to hierarchical authority
with Jesus being the head of this authority. Lesson 4 includes the
main body ministry text from 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. Before
continuing with this lesson, please read that text in your bible
When the Body Is Healthy or Not
Healthy . . .
“And whether one member
suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured,
all the members rejoice with it” 1 Corinthians 12:26 KJV.
How would you like it if you were
perched high up on a ladder and your feet just decided to dance?
Would it make you joyful if your hands and arms decided to take a nap
while you were driving down a highway at 70 mph? Do you think you may
have some concern if your stomach decided it felt under-appreciated
and decided to stop working until it could go to another church, er,
I mean body, where it felt more at home?
These lessons are part of a series of bulletin inserts at Blainesburg Bible Church. The online versions contain minor edits for the expanded online audience. This lesson originally released on April 7, 2019.
Lesson 1 establishes who Jesus is, what he did for us, and how we are supposed to be in full communion with him as part of the Body of Christ here. Lesson 2 explained the need for producing fruit that demonstrates repentance as well as how we were bought back from eternal separation from God and belong to God and not ourselves (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Lesson 3 discusses Apostle Paul’s use of military references that describe how followers of Christ need to fall in line under the authority of Christ as the head of the church as well as understanding church hierarchical authority established by God and understanding the need for obedience and punishment of disobedience (2 Corinthians 10:6).
Shortcuts are a cultural trend in the United States. The ability to instantly search for information online along with our society-driven need to have everything fast has made us impatient. However, one does not put the roof on a building before the foundation and walls are built first. Spiritual development is the same. Our foundation is Christ, and our spiritual learning begins with the milk of the word (1 Corinthians 3:11, 1 Peter 2:1-3). The prior lessons laid the foundation for understanding body ministry.
These lessons are part of a series of bulletin inserts at Blainesburg Bible Church. The online versions contain minor edits for the expanded online audience. This lesson originally released on March 31, 2019.
Lesson 1 establishes who Jesus is. He spoke you into existence (Colossians 1:12-17, John 1:1-3) and established the way for your freedom from paying the penalty of sin by paying the price for your sin himself. The payment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Not having sinned himself, death had no hold on Jesus (Acts 2:23-24). He laid his life down for us and took it back up again (John 10:17-18). Jesus is the head of the church body of his followers (Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 5:23, Colossians 1:24 partial “. . . for his body’s sake, which is the church . . . [emphasis mine]).
Lesson 2 firmly establishes that Christians must produce fruit that demonstrates their repentance. Using the example of 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 we see that Paul demonstrates that we are responsible to become obedient to the will of God, and there absolutely is church authority to punish disobedience after those who will become obedient do so. That is a tough lesson for many church folks to accept nowadays. We live in a time where too many in our culture, legal system, celebrities and celebrity politicians, peers, coworkers, family, friends, neighbors, fellow churchgoers and others proudly walk as if they can do whatever they want without facing any consequences.
. . . Punish All Disobedience
Why discuss this before getting into other details of church body ministry? Well, a body is disabled, to one degree or another, unless all of its parts are present and functioning in full health and strength. The church in America, along with our local body, is under the unction of the Holy Spirit to fall in line with obedience to God’s Word or be removed from God’s presence (1 John 2:18-20). If you want to know more about that, study the meaning of the seven candlesticks in Revelation 1-3.
These lessons are part of a series of bulletin inserts at Blainesburg Bible Church. The online versions contain minor edits for the expanded online audience. This lesson originally released on March 24, 2019.
Reading the lessons in order provides the best results as each lesson builds upon the prior one. Lesson links: Lesson 1
Following Jesus Requires Repentance
When John the Baptist was working his
ministry as the one to prepare the way for the Christ, he was
baptizing people in the Jordan River. When the religious leaders of
the time—Pharisees and Sadducees—came to where he was baptizing,
he said in Matthew 3:8-10 (ISV), “You children of serpents! Who
warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit that is
consistent with repentance! Don’t think you can say to yourselves,
‘We have father Abraham!’ because I tell you that God can raise up
descendants for Abraham from these stones! The ax already lies
against the roots of the trees. So every tree that isn’t producing
good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
These lessons are part of a series of bulletin inserts at Blainesburg Bible Church. The online versions contain minor edits for the expanded online audience. This lesson originally released on March 17, 2019.
I have a responsibility to teach you what the Lord puts on my heart. The example the Apostle Paul used about the Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12, and how we are to function as a unified body with every part in place and spiritually healthy, has been strongly placed on my heart to teach.
As the Lord wills, my goal is to use
these bulletin inserts to teach things God puts on my heart. This is
the first of, hopefully, many bulletin inserts. This first lesson
begins the series on Body Ministry for us at Blainesburg Bible
Church. If you have any questions, ask, call, text or email me as I
want these lessons to be clear in everyone’s mind.
I strongly recommend that you look up the scripture references in parenthesis as you read these lessons.
Cody S. Alderson Assistant Pastor Blainesburg Bible Church
Lesson 1 of Body
First Things First: Who Jesus Is
Jesus was with his disciples and asked
them about who the people were saying he is. They replied that some
people thought he was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of
the other prophets. Then, Jesus made it personal, asking his
disciples who they thought he is. Peter spoke up and said, “You are
the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” Jesus then blessed Peter,
telling him how flesh and blood did not reveal that fact. Instead, it
was Jesus’ Father in Heaven who revealed it. Then Jesus told Peter
that the fact revealed from the Father would be the rock—the
foundation—the church would be built on, and even the gates of hell
would not have any power over it.