Posts by Cody Westbrook

Posts by Cody Westbrook

Do Not Grieve the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 4:30 says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” This commonly misunderstood passage carries great implication in general, and specifically for the context in which is it found. What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit? How does the passage apply? Paul’s command implies an important truth about the Holy Spirit, namely, that He is a person. The Godhead is one divine essence composed of 3…

7 Things You Can Do to Help the Church Grow!

1. Make sure YOU put the Kingdom First! You don’t want to fall into the trap where everything becomes an empty habit – you show up to AMPM worship, Wednesday night, all of the events and activities (all are needed) but stop to ask WHY? Habit? Duty? Sense of accomplishment? No one else will do it? Or because you love the Lord and His kingdom? 2. Have a sense of Identity! We are Christians (Acts 11:26) – those who belong…

The Importance of Context

How many passages of Scripture were written to you? How many inspired words were written to directly address your specific situation in life? The answer may surprise you. Not one word of one verse of Scripture was written directly to you, or to me, or anyone else in the 21st century. That is not to say that God does not speak to us today through His Word–He does. It is not to say that the Bible is not applicable and…

Time Changes but Doctrine Never Does!

Hebrews 13:8 stands as one of the most memorable passages in the book–“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” It is common to hear this verse quoted in reference to the unchanging nature of Christ, but while that may be a true principle, it does not exhaust the full meaning of the passage. Contextually, the writer has in mind not just the immutability of the Savior, but the immutability of the Savior’s Word. Hebrews was written to Jewish…

When Elijah Ran for His Life

First Kings 19 has always puzzled me. It would be hard to imagine a greater victory over false religion than what Elijah accomplished in the previous chapter. The saturated altar being completely consumed by fire and the execution of 450 prophets of Baal brought the people to their knees shouting, “The Lord, He is God!” It was a great moment in the prophet’s fight against idolatry in the land of Israel, yet it was not to last. Once Jezebel received…

Don’t Take the Hard Way

My family and I recently hiked the Friends Trial Loop in Beavers Bend State Park. It was a great hike! The weather was terrific, the company was perfect, and the view of the Mountain Fork River was worth the trip. Though enjoyable, the hike was not without its challenges. Hiking a loop means choosing to go right or left at the beginning of the trail. We chose to go right, which resulted in a steep, rocky climb up the mountain.…

Arise with Conviction!

To be convicted is to hold a strong persuasion or belief. It involves being convinced, compelled, and confident. The church is in great need of more Christians who will stand with conviction in a dark world. More who will say with the apostle Paul, “I am not ashamed” (Rom. 1:16). More who will stand as he did in locations all over the ancient world, boldly proclaiming truth in the midst of materialism, paganism, and all manner of godlessness. But, in…

The Wisdom of Listening & Learning

On the whole, American culture displays a tragic lack of wisdom. One could likely identify a number of reasons why such is the case but perhaps the greatest reason is actually quite simple–people refuse to listen and learn.    Wisdom desires to be heard. She “calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open square” (Pro. 1:20). She stands at the city gates and cries aloud for fools to listen to her pleading (Pro. 8:1-5). Wisdom is available to…

6 Things to Remember When You Give

Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom..” (Luke 6:38). We know that we should give of our means to the Lord, but in an economy that seems to demand more and more of us by the month, generosity may seem untenable and maybe even burdensome. Paul addressed giving in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 and 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. Note 6 principles from…

The Pain of Death

I have taken part in a number of funerals through the years. Young and old, Christians and nonChristians, those I knew well and those I didn’t know at all, family members, friends, and the dearest friend to me in life. I am no expert but experience has taught me one thing for certain– death hurts. Bildad referenced the pain of death when he called it “the king of terrors” in Job 18:14, and Job himself spoke of “terrors of the…

Getting to Know God’s Word

One of Scripture’s most tragic statements is found in Hosea 4:6—“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” God provided His people with everything that they needed to know in order to please Him. His Divine Will was clearly revealed in the Law  and proclaimed  by His servants sent time and again to plead with His people. But they continually rejected Him, and consequently He rejected them (Hos. 4:6b). Another tragedy is found in Amos 8:11—“Behold, the days are coming,…

“I Need Thee Every Hour”

The story says that as Annie S. Hawks was busying herself with her usual household chores, she began to think about the closeness that one ought to have with God. She then sat down to write the lines of the poem that would eventually evolve into the soul-stirring song we know today. After contemplating the lyrics of the song there are several lessons that come to mind. First, we must have a desire to have God in our lives. James…