The First Christmas Carol
December 3, 2014 – 9:09 am | No Comment

By Lynn Mosher
What is one of the best elements about Christmas, aside from the obvious of Jesus’ birth? The presents? The tree? The food? Nope! For me, it’s the music!
I love all the Christmas music. …

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Home » Basic Christian Principles, Carol Peterson, Church, Featured Article, Tools 4 Building Your Faith

The Sharpening Stone – (Living In Community)

Submitted by on April 4, 2012 – 12:00 amNo Comment

 Written by Carol Peterson

I used to love romantic comedies. Today, my favorite movies are about fighting evil. The greatest evil-fighting movies ever are J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. One thing I love about LOTR is that fighting evil isn’t just up to the men. The women get to join the fight.

And they use swords to do it.

sword-of-the-spirit-2The Bible speaks of swords, too, calling God’s Word the “sword of the Spirit.” (Ephesians 6:17)

One of the basic principles of Christianity is our belief that the Bible is inspired by God. The Bible is God’s Word written for us to read, understand and apply to our lives. Scripture is so powerful when understood and applied, that it is a real weapon, which can protect us and help fight evil.

Even a blunt, jagged sword is good to have. But a sharp sword is even better. Proverbs 27:7 tells us:

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Sharpen a stick of iron until its edges are a pointed blade and it becomes a sword. If scripture is the Holy Spirit’s sword, then sharpening our understanding of it makes it a better weapon. “One person sharpening another” means is that being in fellowship with other Christians helps us sharpen our faith. The early Christians struggled to understand and live their new faith. So:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching. We have the apostles’ teaching, too. All written out for us. It’s called the New Testament.

Scripture. Bible reading and study. Are we devoted to it? Do we have a group of believers who are also devoted to doing life as followers of Jesus?

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

All of us have friends, co-workers, family members, and acquaintances who are unbelievers. But do we also have a group of friends who love Jesus and are trying to live according to his teachings?

Do we have a group of people with whom we can learn together? Grow together? Pray together? Come together in fellowship and praise? To do for each other, lift each other up and keep each other accountable?

Who can we rely on to help us sharpen our understanding of God’s Word? So that the sword of the Spirit in us can be kept sharp?

Jesus is called the “cornerstone” of God’s plan. (Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16; Zechariah 10:4; Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:19-21; 1 Peter 2:6; 1 Peter 2:7)

In ancient times, swords were sharpened by holding them against a rotating grinding stone. Today, sharpening stones are a common and effective way to sharpen knives. I like to think of Jesus—the cornerstone—as a sharpening stone for a really big sword. The sword of the Spirit—which is the Word of God.

Lord of the Rings showed us that women too can battle evil with swords. The most powerful sword is the Word of God, made sharper when we learn and grow in fellowship with others who love Jesus.

Who do you know who would be willing to join you in fellowship to learn more about Jesus and develop your relationship with Him?

 

 

carol-petersen2Carol Peterson
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