Posts by Cody Westbrook

Posts by Cody Westbrook

The Church and its Priorities

With so many unique challenges before us it is easy to lose sight of what is really important. The Bible has a great deal to say about priorities and it is important for us to ensure that they are aligned correctly on an individual basis and also on a congregational basis. First Timothy 6 lists some items that the church must prioritize. Sound Doctrine (1 Tim. 6:3-5) –Those who do not concern themselves with sound doctrine are guilty of prioritizing…
Changing word impossible into its possible

The Power of the Written Word

Friedrich Nietzsche said, “All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down.” Unquestionably, Nietzsche understood the power of the written word to influence minds and bring about change. He recognized that words written live on long after the death of the author and produce fruit for generations to come. The problem is that Nietzsche used his pen for evil, and along with so many like him, his…

If Diotrephes Were Here Today…

Though he is only mentioned in two passages of scripture, much can be learned from the bad example of Diotrephes. John describes him as one “who loves to have the preeminence” (3 John 9). He spoke wickedly and maliciously, he would not receive faithful brethren, nor would he allow others to do so (3 John 10). He was, by all accounts and purposes, a church tyrant. He was arrogant, abusive, and wicked. His example should cause us to think twice…

A Mutual Confidence

In Philippians 1:3-8 we learn that Paul’s heart was full of affection and appreciation for each member of the church at Philippi, and that he was extremely grateful for their assistance in the progress of the gospel. We learn that the Philippian saints, like Paul, were devoted to the gospel’s progress, that they loved him, and that their faithfulness to him and his work was a long-term commitment. Paul’s habit (vss. 3-4) of continual thanksgiving evidences his great appreciation. The…
Bible and praying hands

How to be a Better Bible Student: Part 2

Last week we discussed 3 suggestions for better bible study. This week, consider 4 more.  Emphasize meditation. There is a vast difference between bible reading and bible study. Meditation is the key. Bible meditation is defined beautifully in Psalm 1. There are two parts. First, chew on the passage. Memorize it, read it, and think about it over and over again. Ask questions about the passage, look of the definition of words, and see how it fits in context. Second,…
Bible and praying hands

How to be a Better Bible Student: Part 1

“How do I study the bible?” If a preacher were to make a list of the 10 most asked questions, certainly that one would be near the top. The bible tells us to study (2 Tim. 2:15) and meditate (Ps. 1) on God’s word on a regular basis. David said “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Ps. 119:11). Bible study is the lifeblood to faithfulness; therefore, it is important for us…
Top view of religious male crossed hands in prayer

He who Knew His Place

Pride is a notorious problem that causes great destruction. Consider James 3:13-4:10, which relates the devastation, caused by one with a prideful, self-seeking attitude. Knowing the destructive power pride possesses ought to motivate Christians to do what is necessary to eliminate it. Knowing our place in the grand scheme of things is a step in the right direction. Perhaps the best example of one knowing his place is John the Baptizer. John was the older cousin of Jesus and played…
Male architect in office

Go, Stand, and Speak (Acts 5:20): Part 2

Their method was vital—Stand! To “stand” is literally, “to stand firm.” The word is used to describe one who stands up to make a formal declaration. It is essentially a command to be bold. Peter and John had been arrested, threatened, and imprisoned. That would be enough to dampen the spirits of even the most fearless of proclaimers. Therefore, the angel’s command to stand and be bold in their work was surely welcomed. Scripture is replete with the command for…
Male architect in office

Go, Stand, and Speak (Acts 5:20): Part 1

The evangelistic tenacity that characterized the early Christians is one of the most impressive characteristics that scripture reveals about them. They were persistent in doctrine (Acts 2:42), focused on their goal (Acts 2:46), and bold in the face of adversity (Acts 4:13). They were serious about soul winning and gave every effort to do it effectively and thoroughly. In the beginning chapters of Acts, Peter and John take a leading role. They had preached on Solomon’s porch, been arrested, and…
Helping hands or begging for help

Bless the Lord!

Psalm 103:1 is an emphatic and imperative call to praise the Lord. The command implies affection and a sense of gratitude as well as effort and energy. To bless the Lord with all that is within me involves my entire being. Someone may casually remark that they do not get much out of worship. As this passage reveals, that is the case when one does not put enough into worship. The remainder of the psalm identifies a number of reasons…
Loser

Shame is a Good Thing

Western culture has done a masterful job of normalizing abnormal, unhealthy, and immoral behavior. This, in large degree, is due to the fact that we have sought to remove every ounce of shame from our society. Shame is a feeling of humiliation and embarrassment brought about by wrongdoing. Though our world rejects the notion, Scripture teaches that a feeling of shame and embarrassment can be a good thing because it prompts us to turn away from what is wrong and…
Hands closed in prayer on Holy Bible. Christian banner with copy space. Prayer and gospel spreading

Praying Through Controversy

After healing the lame man on Solomon’s Porch, Peter preached the gospel to the crowd that had gathered and many obeyed. Unsurprisingly, the event caught the attention of the Jewish leaders. They arrested Peter and John and commanded them to cease preaching in the name of Christ. How did the church react to this challenge? The answer may surprise you. Acts 4:23-31 tells us that they prayed.  They prayed together (v. 24a). Peter and John “went to their own companions”…