Short thoughts: welcoming rebuke

The idea of welcoming rebuke from others is absolutely repugnant in our culture. In fact, we are taught the opposite: "don't judge!", "everyone is different!", "that's not tolerance!", "we need to accept everyone for who they are!". And while there is truth in every one of those statements, and we need to care for everyone, and be considerate in every situation, we cannot excuse thoughts, actions, motives, or words on the basis of "not judging". Sin is sin, and we are told to encourage one another (as Christians) towards holiness, away from sin.

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My prayer for my future marriage

One of the things I often pray for and about is my (hopefully) future marriage. I want to be married, and I can see that it's an extremely important aspect of life. God set up the union of marriage between a man and woman at creation stating how “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” We know that some people are gifted to be content with singleness for life, but I can rather confidently say I am not one of those people. Since I seek to obey God and fulfill life like He has designed it, and I've seen the great importance and focus God puts on marriage throughout the Bible, one of my constant prayers is for my marriage.

Virtual idolatry

Some of the young people in our church decided to do a "read through the Bible in a year" plans this year, and our pastor encouraged others to do the same if they didn't have regular Bible reading habits. I figured it couldn't hurt (just kidding, I thought it would be helpful since I haven't read through the whole Bible before) so I've been listening through the Bible on the way to work in the mornings.

Why church?

So, to explain the title of this post: Why church? That's not a very clearly worded question, but I think it might be the simplest way to convey a particular thought; that being part of an organized group of regularly meeting believers isn't a necessity that God has ordained. In response to that belief, I would like to direct our attention to what the Bible says on the subject of church, and I hope it can be a help and encouragement to everyone on the importance of church.

Assurance of salvation

When I was in my early teens, there were times where I struggled with the assurance of my salvation. I had a hard time believing that my repentance was sincere since I still struggled with some sins. Despite feeling sorry for and repenting from a sin, I would commit the same sin again. I knew I wasn't perfect and still a sinner, but why would I commit the same sin multiple times after feeling sorry and repenting? If I was truly sorry, wouldn't I not do it again? If I wasn't truly sorry for sinning and I was actually deceiving myself, then I wasn't saved and that thought scared me.