Posts by Cody Westbrook

Posts by Cody Westbrook

The High Price of a Bowl of Soup

One of Satan’s deadliest methods is convincing a person to be shortsighted. He dangles the “passing pleasures of sin” before us and convinces us to choose what feels good now at the expense of the pain to come later (Heb. 11:25). Esau fell into this trap. Genesis 25 records the occasion on which Esau begged Jacob for a bowl of stew. Jacob was willing but he drove a hard bargain. The price was Esau’s birthright, which he willingly paid–a decision…

Competing Voices

What should have been an overwhelming victory turned into a terrible tragedy. God’s command to king Saul was simple—“utterly destroy” the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:1-3)—but he did not heed the voice of the Lord (1 Sam. 15:1; 19-20; 22). Instead, he listened to his own voice (1 Sam. 15:17), and that of the people (1 Sam. 15:24). He left king Agag alive, along with other spoils of war, which he claimed were to be sacrificed to the Lord (1 Sam.…

Nice Guys Don’t Finish Last

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Though society advances at a rapid pace, the fundamental issues of life are constant. Among those is the troubling phenomenon of the success of the wicked. From the beginning, God’s faithful have pondered this reality and asked God “why?”. Psalm 37 is David’s inspired account of pondering this difficulty. In a world where nice guys always finish last, what are the righteous to do? Psalm 37:1 commands, “Do not fret…

When in Rome… Do as Daniel!

No doubt you are familiar with the old phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” It suggests that when visiting a foreign locale, it is polite to abide by their customs. As it pertains to customary greetings, when to drink your coffee, or anything else that is harmless, surely there is some wisdom behind the thought. But, there is a boundary that cannot be crossed. That boundary is God’s will. Peter’s statement in Acts 5:29, that “we ought to…

The Church is the Called Out

Against the milieu of this world’s wickedness stands the church of Christ. God’s Eternal Purpose (Eph. 3:9-11) is the establishment of the body of Christ as an entity in which man is at peace with God and his fellow man (Eph. 2:14-18). He wills that Christians live holy lives (Eph. 1:4-6) of sacrifice to His cause (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:9). The church of Christ is the body of people who have been called out of the world to meet…

An Overwhelming Success!

To say that the past 12 months have been challenging would be an understatement. Overwhelming would probably be more accurate. Arise! 2020 was an amazing success. In fact, we broke every attendance record up to that point. But just a few weeks afterward, COVID graced us with its presence. For a time, we didn’t know if there would be an Arise! 2021. But, thanks be to God that there was, and that it was perhaps the most successful year yet.…

Arise!

First Kings 21 chronicles one of the one of the more heinous acts of Jezebel and Ahab. Naboth the Jezreelite owned a vineyard which Ahab coveted greatly. When Naboth refused to sell it to Ahab, Jezebel arranged his murder. This crime did not go unnoticed. First Kings 21:17 records, “Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel…” Ahab and Jezebel’s actions throughout their reign posed a great…

Stewardship

Stewardship is one of the more challenging principles of New Testament Christianity, not because it is difficult to understand but because of the all-encompassing nature of its application. Everything we have is entrusted to our care and must be utilized responsibly. Such a reality should humble us and compel us to give determined attention to discharging our responsibilities as faithfully as possible. This begins with a proper understanding of stewardship in general. First, stewardship involves measurability. In the parable of…

A Desire to See

English writer John Heywood is said to have written the proverb “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” The statement perfectly captures the stubborn unreasonableness of one who willingly rejects truth. Sadly, the world is full of such people. Tragically, some can even be found in the church of our Lord. While Heywood perfectly captured the stubbornness of rejection, the Psalmist identifies the antithesis–the desire that should be found in every child of God. Psalm 119:18…

How to Clean Your House

Spring will be upon us quickly and along with it, annual spring cleaning. The perfect time to tidy up the house by cleaning top to bottom and getting rid of old clothes, boxes, toys, and many other things accumulated during the last year. Good cleaning is vital to maintaining a healthy and orderly home. Similarly, if we are to maintain good spiritual health–our spiritual home, if you will–cleaning is in order. The Psalmist addressed spiritual house cleaning in Psalm 119:9–…

How to be Truly Happy

Everyone wants to be happy. In fact, it would be abnormal not to; happiness is a universal human desire. The key to happiness, however, is much different. Humanity has produced millions of pages and countless hours of debate and persuasive speech designed to pinpoint the key to happiness. A simple google search of the question “how to be happy?” produces over 4 billion results! Such a wide chasm of opinions on the matter would make one think happiness were next…

Cutting Off the End of the Ham

While preparing dinner for her new husband, the young wife carefully removed the ham from the package, promptly cut the end off of it, and threw it into the trash. Thinking that to be a little odd, the groom bravely asked, “Why did you do that, honey?” “It’s how Mom has always done it,” she replied. “Well, why did your mother do it?” asked the husband.” “I’m not sure,” said his new wife, “I’ll ask.” The young bride quickly called…