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Thinking of God with Larry Sheehy

So, what should we care about

    The Austin Graduate School of Theology in Texas published a relatively small, well-written booklet in 1991 entitled “Things That Matter” for use in Russian evangelism. Since then it has been distributed over much of Eastern Europe, the United States, and perhaps in other localities as well. It has eight brief chapters dealing with some of the essentials of Christian faith and practice.
    If you would like a free, no obligation copy of “Things That Matter” (117 pages), contact me by phone (912.764.5269) or by email at the address at the end of this column.
    I promise we will not contact you unless you ask us to do so. If you choose, you can order it directly from the institution by calling (toll-free) (866) AUS-GRAD [287-4723], or online at www.austingrad.edu/admission_bookstore_spr.html.
    This booklet reminds us that there are some things of primary importance. Biblically, we may not be aware of every one of them. Jesus’ followers certainly don’t all agree on what should be in the list; some are not sure there should even BE a “list.”
    But likely casual – and certainly serious – students of the Bible will come to recognize there are at least some things that are vital. Faith in God, and in Jesus, his Son is foundational.
A willingness to humbly seek the forgiveness of God by repenting of sin is crucial. In the view of many, immersion in water in obedience to the command of Jesus and his apostles and prophets is necessary.
    Faithful confession, in word and deed, of the name of Jesus is essential to hearing him declare our acceptance.  Love of the brethren is indispensable, as it stands as a signal of our love for God. Love of family, honesty and integrity, faithfulness to responsibilities, on and on we go.
It’s obvious the “list” is not short.
    Would it be too simple to suggest that anything God declares to be important should be on our list? Other things might be important as well, but surely what Deity declares to be central ought to take priority among his followers! Don’t you agree?
    If you’ve read this far, it’s probably a safe assumption that you care about what pleases God. So, please allow me to encourage you to pray that he will help all of us to:
a) understand more clearly what is truly important;
b) place things of less importance further down our list of priorities;
c) and weed out seemingly “good” things that threaten the prospect of knowing God better. Remember God’s comment through the Old Testament prophet Hosea – “...my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” (4:6b)
    Thank you sincerely for reading “Thinking of God.” Next time we hopefully can think about Jesus’ familiar teaching (which most every Mom and Dad appreciates), “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15)

    Larry Sheehy is the preaching minister at Statesboro Church of Christ. He can be reached at (912) 764-5269 or sborococ@frontiernet.net

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