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Sadly, it becomes apparent how many Christians are living in long-term, unresolved conflict with family and friends... or at least those who were such at one time. Worse yet, it is not only with unbelieving family and friends but with those who call on the Lord and who are part of one body by one Spirit, with one hope and one faith, to one Lord, God and Father of all (Eph. 4:3-5).

This is where the difference between “a community elected” and “a group of elected individuals” is so critical. Every Christian agrees that there are and have been individuals in the church who are not believers and thus are not elect.

Christian men should hate passivity. It should leave a bitter taste in our mouths wherever we see it. It should make our stomachs sick when we see it in our own lives.

When something unpleasant, or even painful, happens we excuse murmuring and grumbling as a minor offense or not an offense at all. But the trained eye of the Bible has a different perspective. It recognizes the hidden discontentment and sees a murmuring spirit as a potentially nasty infection.

The Father does love His children and He is the King of kings. One does not nonchalantly waltz into the presence of a king yet we are invited, even commanded, into His presence. These are not conflicting or contradictory.

Now, understanding our great need and our greater resource in Christ and knowing “God as the sovereign disposer of all good, inviting us to present our requests”, if we refuse to ask God in prayer, we are like the man who knows where the treasure is but leaves it buried.

I had never considered the ultimate end or goal of that education. Perhaps if I had been pressed I might have answered: to finish homework, advance grades, get into college, and then get a good job. But that can’t possibly be THE ultimate goal. The education of my children must serve the ultimate goal that God has for their lives.

James writes, “Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (Jas 4:4) and yet Jesus knew His actions caused people to say that He was “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” and He didn’t seem to think He needed to correct them on it. How are we to reconcile these commands?

How many of us unconsciously fall prey to Uber Eats Christianity? We will hardly get off the couch to feed ourselves yet we expect the Bread of Life hand-delivered in a brown paper sack.

All of Scripture is a melody and our lives are the instrument. Our actions and our words are the notes we play. We must ask ourselves, “Am I playing the tune I read in Scripture? Am I playing ALL of Christ’s song?"