Posts by Cody Westbrook

Posts by Cody Westbrook

A Supreme Decision

Yesterday, May 2, 2022, news broke that the Supreme Court may overturn the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. Though the Court’s final verdict has not yet been announced, the political machine has kicked into high gear churning out narratives and talking points attempting to convince us to think emotionally and incorrectly about abortion in general, and the decision of the Court in particular. But, the politicizing, gaslighting, and nonsensical debating on Twitter and cable news is simply noise to distract…

Redeeming the Time

Today the average American lives 78.8 years. That averages out to approximately 945 months, 4,111 weeks, 28,781 days, or 690,746 hours. On the surface that certainly seems to be a long, long time. But, really it is not. Ask someone who has lived for 80 years how quickly their life has progressed and it is almost guaranteed they will say that is has absolutely flown by! The Bible says the same. “Man that is born of a woman is of…
Hands of a man praying over a Bible represents faith and spirituality in everyday life. close up.

The Book of Colossians

The greatest crime ever perpetrated on humanity began in the garden and continues to this day. When Satan approached Eve in the garden, he did so with one purpose–the abduction of her heart. The devil is not sovereign, and thus he cannot force his will upon anyone.  He is a master of deception and thrives upon his ability to bamboozle and con humanity into believing his lies. If he can kidnap our minds and steal our loyalty, then he has…

Stay Grounded

One of life’s most difficult challenges, is dealing with difficult challenges. How do we cope with tragedy, cancer, war, or dozens of other issues we encounter in life? The painful reality is that many of life’s challenges are simply beyond our control. Neither you nor I have any bearing on the ultimate outcome of the war in Ukraine. We cannot dictate economic policy in Washington, and we cannot prevent a fatality accident caused by a drunk driver. As much as…

How to Handle Controversy

The first recorded controversy of the early church is found in Acts 3. 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, who arrested Peter and John. How did the church react to this challenge? Acts 4:23-31 tells us that they prayed. They prayed together (v. 24a). Peter and John “went to their own companions” and they “raised…
Love listening to music

A Wise Man Will Hear…

What does it mean to be wise? Who is a wise man? History’s pages are filled with the lives of those to whom we may point in an attempt to answer those questions. But no man, regardless of how wise he may be, could ever rival the wisdom of Solomon. Jehovah gave Solomon a “wise and understanding heart” unlike any before or after him (1 Kings 3:12). It seems fitting, then, that if one wants to know the true character…

Arise and Evangelize!

The need for soul-winners has never been greater. Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38). The 6th annual Arise! Spiritual Growth Workshop was designed to help us answer that call. Every lesson approached evangelism from a different perspective and challenged us to arise and gather the harvest. We now seek to apply the lessons learned so that we may…

Arise and Meet Ahab!

The names Ahab and Jezebel are synonymous with wickedness. Of all the accounts of their iniquity, perhaps the most disturbing is found in 1 Kings 21. A man named Naboth owned a vineyard next to the palace which Ahab decided he had to have. When Naboth rejected Ahab’s overtures, Jezebel set a plan in motion which ultimately resulted in the murder of Naboth and Ahab’s possession of his vineyard. Though they certainly thought they had gotten away with murder, such…
Tree

Symptoms of a Thriving Church

Though the reality of weak and dying congregations of God’s people saddens us, we take comfort in the fact that there are many congregations throughout the world that are thriving. In addressing the 7 churches in Asia, Jesus highlighted the good along with the bad (Rev. 2-3). A careful examination of each address reveals important characteristics which are present in healthy and thriving churches.  Congregations that are hardworking (Rev. 2:2-3; 2:19). To the church at Ephesus Jesus said, “I know…

Certainty and Patience

Peter wrote of the “exceedingly great and precious promises” given to the children of God (2 Pet. 1:4). Indeed, our Father has promised us great things. Blessings such as forgiveness (1 John 1:9), fellowship (Heb. 13:5), peace (Phil. 4:7), and eternal life (1 John 2:25) are all ours to enjoy. These promises motivate us to faithfulness and comfort us in times of distress. No wonder the Hebrews writer reminded his readers of them to encourage them to remain faithful to…

We Submit to Christ Because… (Part 3)

The world is full of carnal pleasures seeking our allegiance. The “god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4) blinds us with the “pleasure of sin for a season” (Heb. 11:25) that we may find ourselves enslaved to the Father of lies (John 8:44). This was one of the many problems in the Colossian congregation. In addition to Gnosticism convincing many that Christ was not truly the Son of God, carnality and sin of every kind gained entrance into the body…
Old church ruins

Symptoms of a Dying Church

How sad it is that so many congregations of the Lord’s people are dying. Sadder still, the fact that much of it could be prevented. Major health problems often advertise their presence through minor symptoms. Doctors recommend routine health screenings to look for signs of trouble. In many cases, if symptoms can be identified early then steps can be taken to prevent any major problems. The health of the church operates in the same fashion. By looking closely at symptoms,…