Welcome to the footnote¹ blog. Our goal each day is to examine a verse and give a short summary in commentary form or simply an encouraging note to help you remain faithful to God throughout the week. Either way we hope that the footnote¹ blog will comfort you through God's word and give you a better understanding of His will.
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” (Col. 1.13, ESV)
When we were sinners, we were walking in darkness (Eph. 2.1-3; John 8.12, etc.). However, Paul taught that when we obeyed the gospel we were transferred from the realm of darkness and sin to the Kingdom of Christ. This is consistent with Jesus’ teachings about building His church (Matt. 16.18). The church is simply the “called out”. The gospel calls us (2 Thess. 2.14) out of this dark world and out of sin and puts us in a wonderful place where righteousness and peace dwells. As citizens of this Kingdom we enjoy many benefits: fellowship with our Father who loves us and sustains us, providing for all our necessities, the privilege to boldly approach our loving and merciful King in prayer, an advocate, Jesus the righteous, who pleads for us when we transgress the King’s law (upon repentance and confession), an eternal home that has been prepared specifically for its citizens and a life full of comfort, peace, contentment, and joy, and free of sin, anxiety, strife, and misery. Why do people turn these wonderful provisions and promises down?
If you want to be a part of this Kingdom, obey the gospel today by “believing in God” and “believing God”! You believe in God by believing that He exists and you believe God by listening and obeying Him! God says to repent of your sins, confess faith in His Son, and be baptized in His Son’s name for the forgiveness of sins. Only then can you be transferred into His Son’s Kingdom! Let us help you today. E-mail Bryan Garlock | Message us on Facebook | Call/text: 903.308.4905
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’” (Rev. 14.13, ESV)
Let us focus on dying in the Lord. First, to “die in the Lord” one has to first be in the Lord. Paul tells us that we are baptized into the Lord: “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3.26-27). Secondly, to die in the Lord one has to remain faithful unto death. Jesus said, “…the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13.13). Thirdly, to die in the Lord one has to be a diligent worker. Paul taught, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15.58). Next, to die in the Lord means one will be an example to all. The writer of Hebrews wrote, “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6.11-12). What kind of influence will you be after you die? Hopefully, people will see the deeds we did for the Lord and continue in them!
Finally, to die in the Lord means one will rest from their labors. What a wonderful joy to look forward to!
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4.9-10, ESV).¹
¹God gave us the Bible through inspired men to reveal the love He has for all mankind. Within its pages, the apostles show the cross of Christ as our focal point of faith. Therefore, the love God made known is the love we must reciprocate if we are to be His children (1 John 4.19; 3.2). We accomplish this through obedience and faithfulness to Him (John 14.15).
John continued, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us” (4.11-12). The reason we are to love one another is because God loved us. Further, we are to love the Father because, “…he first loved us” (19).
The Father’s love was sacrificial. He sent His Son to die on a cross for our sins (John 3.16). Thus, if His love for us cost Him something, our love for Him ought to cost us something. His sacrifice teaches us that love is not selfish, but looks out for the interest of others (1 Cor. 13.5; Phil. 2.4). Are we willing to count the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ? We must forsake the world and forsake sin. We must love the Father and love one another. This will take sacrifice on our part!
If you’re interested in learning more about God’s love, please e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." (1 Peter 5.10, ESV)¹
¹Contextually, Peter wrote about the suffering that his readers were experiencing and would continue to experience. Though these saints were being grieved by various fiery trials, their genuineness of faith was being tested (1 Peter 1.6-9; 4.12, etc.). In other words, remaining faithful in a dark world will involve hardship, and even more so, remaining faithful through suffering proves our commitment to God. In reality, it separates those who love the Lord and those who give Him lip service.
However, to help these suffering saints endure these trials Peter instructs them how to conduct themselves throughout their life here on earth and builds them up by reminding them of the promises of God to deliver them in the end (please read both 1 and 2 Peter for these instructions and promises). This helps explain our text at hand. Simply put, Peter's point is after we have been tested and found to be genuine that the God of all grace will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us. In other words, we will receive the end of our faith - the salvation of our souls (1 Peter 1.9). What great promises! We may have many hardships that we must endure, but our Father who calls us to His eternal glory in Christ says this is just for a little while, and does not compare to the eternity that awaits us (see 1 Peter 1.6; 2 Cor. 4.17; Rom. 8.18).
Are you in Christ (Gal. 3.26-27)? If we suffer, Peter instructs us not to suffer as a sinner, but as a Christian who has entrusted himself to a faithful Creator (1 Peter 4.12-19). If you want be comforted with the peace that only Christ can give you, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
2 Timothy 3.4 ESV "...treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God..."¹
¹Our focus will be on the words "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God". In a nutshell, Paul explains what exactly is wrong with this world; we have become lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Those who are lovers of pleasure purposely seek it, embrace it, and worship it. In fact, pleasure has become their god! This is the consequence of a world that has forgotten and ultimately rejected God (Rom. 1.18-32). However, those who love God more than “the cares and riches and pleasures of life” will remain faithful until the end where they will find eternal blessings (see Luke 8.14-15; Heb. 11.6; 1 Peter 1.8-9). These blessings outweigh any amount of pleasure we can possibly imagine in our lifetime. Moses is a great example of one who chose to love the eternal God rather than the temporary pleasures of this world (Heb. 11.25-26; 1 John 2.15-17).
What about you? Will you forfeit eternity because of passing pleasures of this life? Please understand that worldly pleasures will not “fill the void in your life,” or give you true happiness that so many pleasure seekers strive to find; only Christ can do that. Let us help you become a lover of God rather than a lover of pleasure. Email Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.