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.
"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." (Colossians 4.2, ESV)¹
¹There are many things we are to be watchful for. For example, we are to be on alert concerning the devil and his ways (1 Peter 5.8), the coming of the Lord (1 Thess. 5.6), and in our preaching and teaching (2 Tim. 4.5 "watchful" NKJV). The apostles warned that this world, anxiety, sin, etc. would be a distraction to our focus on heavenly things. Therefore, it is vital that we keep our hearts pure, our minds filled with Christ and His word, and eyes fixed on the hope of heaven.
Besides the things mentioned above, God wants us to be watchful in prayer coupled with thanksgiving. It is obvious that prayer is an important role in our daily lives as Christians. It is one way to show our trust in God and to keep ourselves anxiety-free and spiritually focused. However, this raises the question: "If our prayer is not coupled with thanksgiving to God for all that He has done, can we really stay focused and alert as we should?"
Paul taught that once man began to suppress the truth, that man did not see fit to honor God and thank Him (Rom. 1.18-23). While this passage speaks about those who have sinned and ultimately rejected God, it shows the progression of those who enjoy God's blessings and yet do not see fit to continually thank Him for them. Remember when Jesus healed ten lepers and only one returned to thank Him (Luke 17.11-19)? Ingratitude is an indicator of an ungodly attitude! Let us make sure that we are the one that returns to praise God and we do so as we are diligent and watchful in prayer!
If you're interested in learning more about being sober-minded, spiritually alert, and thankful in prayer to God, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
“giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5.20, ESV)¹
¹There are four things Paul wants us to do:
1. Give thanks always. Paul says elsewhere that we are to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5.17). This should be done in the morning, throughout the day, and at night. Oftentimes we go to God in prayer during the bad times. However, prayer should constantly be on our mind!
2. For everything. And when Paul says “everything” he really means it! Whether good or bad, we need to be thankful for a God that blesses us abundantly. While there may be times “when the going gets tough”, we still have things to be thankful for. Paul once spent time in prayer to God while sitting in prison (Acts 16.25). That is a pretty low position to be in and yet Paul praised God!
3. To God the Father. While there are several reasons why we pray to God our Father, one such reason is because He is the giver of all good gifts. James wrote, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” (James 1.17). No wonder we are to be thankful!
4. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord is the intercessor by which we approach our Father (Heb. 7.25, etc.). Paul taught, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3.17, ESV).
If you’re interested in learning more about prayer and God’s blessings, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
"Wherefore let them also that suffer according to the will of God commit their souls in well-doing unto a faithful Creator." (1 Peter 4:19)¹
¹Some people suffer in this life more than others. For those who do, it may be more difficult to commit themselves to Christ. The problems and troubles of this world can certainly distract us and interfere with our being Christians. Sometimes things may become so difficult and we are so involved in our struggles that we don't want to think about Jesus. We don't want the help that is offered by our brothers and sisters. But we choose to suffer alone. God wants to hear your problems through prayer. Jesus wants to help you through His Word. And your family in Christ loves you and wants to help. If you will let them.
If you're interested in learning more about God's word please e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
Today's blog is from one of our members, Bill Brittenham.
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2.21, ESV).¹
¹Before Jesus left this earth, He told the apostles that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations…” (Luke 24.47, NKJV).
Therefore, on the day of Pentecost Peter told everyone that they needed to prepare for the coming judgment by “calling on the name of the Lord”. There is a misunderstanding in the religious world about this statement. What exactly did he mean?
After preaching the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Peter told the convicted murderers (Acts 2.36-37), “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…” (Acts 2.38, ESV). Obviously, Peter did not preach anything different in verse 38 than he did in verse 21. Both require the same authority, the name of Jesus Christ, and both end with the same result, salvation.
When the Jews asked what they must do (Acts 2.37), Peter explained by inspiration exactly what he meant. Therefore, it must be understood that to “call on the name of the Lord” to be saved is explained by “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins....”
No wonder Saul was later told, “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22.16, ESV).
Have you called on the name of the Lord to be saved? It is not a verbal calling (as in a “sinner’s prayer” – which has no Scriptural support), but a calling on the Lord in baptism for the forgiveness of sins (cf. 1 Peter 3.21; Heb. 10.22). If you’re interested in learning more about what is required to be saved, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe…” (Hebrews 12.28, ESV)¹
¹God has given us so much to be thankful for. In our text, the Christians were to be grateful for receiving the prophesied kingdom that was impossible to destroy (Isaiah 2.2-4; Dan. 2.44; Acts 2, etc.). Even Jesus said that “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16.18). The result of receiving this kingdom is to offer God acceptable worship and this worship is conditioned upon reverence and awe [godly fear] (cf. John 4.24).
Because “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col. 1.13), we ought to be thankful in prayer (Eph. 1.15-16; Heb. 13.15), in song (Col. 3.15-16), and in our daily walk as Christians (1 Peter 2.9).
If you’re interested in learning more about the kingdom God has given us please e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905. We would love for you to become a citizen of His kingdom today (Eph. 2.19; Phil. 3.20)!