Posts by Cody Westbrook

Posts by Cody Westbrook

Boldness

Solomon said, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Pro. 28:1). Scripture enjoins and illustrates the practice of boldness in the lives of Christians, but what exactly is it? Thayer defines the term as “freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech; free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, and assurance.” Note some examples of boldness in scripture. Boldness is seen in the courageous way the early church publicly proclaimed the Gospel. Acts 4:31…

Do Not Be the One!

Imagine this scenario: A new Christian begins learning about their congregation and realizes that it is a very cold and unwelcoming place. No one takes a real interest in them, answers their questions, or teaches them the fundamentals of the faith. The Bible class lessons and sermons are less than fulfilling, and the few members that actually spend a little bit of time talking to them are much less than spiritual. This may seem like a far-fetched possibility but the…

Resist! – James 4:7

While in this world, Christians must engage in a constant struggle with the enemy. First Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan is a liar and a murder (John 8:44). Through various methods (Eph. 6:11) he seeks to tempt Christians (1 Thess. 3:5), exploit them (Eph. 4:26-27), lure them away from Christ (1 Tim. 2:14), and hinder the cause of the gospel (1…

The Bible Says, Get a Job!

The “give me” generation is bearing fruit at rapid pace. Indicators have been readily apparent for some time through various movements but in recent months the socialistic push has taken center stage in American news and culture. One result of this is a near demonization of work and ownership. On the one hand, we are sometimes led to believe that one who works hard and earns vast amounts of wealth is evil and should be forced to give it all…

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…