Posts by Cody Westbrook (Page 2)

Posts by Cody Westbrook (Page 2)

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…

3 Questions about Baptism

What is baptism? The word means “to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge” (Thayer). Scripture defines and illustrates the action for us. In Romans 6:3-7 Paul says that in baptism we reenact the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The old man dies and is “buried with him through baptism into death that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). Colossians…

Some Suggestions for Studying the Bible this Year

Spiritual growth is impossible without God’s word (1 Pet. 2:2). The Bible tells us to study (2 Tim. 2:15) and meditate (Ps. 1) on God’s word on a regular basis. Because Bible study is so important, it is also important that we know how to study effectively. Here are some suggestions that may help your personal Bible study in the year(s) to come. Utilize a Bible-reading plan. The benefits of reading the Bible are many and Christians should dedicate time…

Investing in the Local Congregation

On his first post-conversion visit to Jerusalem, the apostle Paul sought to “join the disciples” (Acts 9:26). To “join” in this passage implies an intimate association. Paul’s desire to be intimately cemented to the brethren in Jerusalem serves as an important principle for us regarding the local congregation. God never intended for Christians to exist all by themselves on an island. Rather His design is for Christians to come together as “not one member, but many” (1 Cor. 12:14) in…

Let Us Come Together!

According to John 17:20-23 one thing the Lord had on His mind during the ordeal of His death was our unity. Jesus wanted us to be united in purpose and in mind so that the world would look at us and know that the Father had sent the Son. Jesus knew the value of unity. He knew that a splintered body accomplishes nothing. He knew that the sense of community that is sewn into the fabric of fellowship would be…

Some Reasons to be Joyful

Christians are commanded to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4) but sometimes that can be difficult. It is helpful to remember the many reasons what we have for rejoicing. Here are three for your consideration. God’s providential care. Simply stated, providence refers to provision. Consider the various ways in which God provides for His people. Spiritually speaking He has provided “all things pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). We have redemption through the blood of Christ (Eph.…

Are Your Words Helping the Church?

Words are the most powerful weapon known to man. With them we can lift the spirits of the downtrodden, make someone feel loved and appreciated, or start wars and destroy relationships. Our words have a powerful impact on the church. Congregations can be torn apart by slanderous and vindictive speech and built up by words of encouragement and appreciation. This is behind Paul’s command in Ephesians 4:29 to let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is…

The Fields are White… are You Ready to Harvest?

The latest estimates are that the world’s population is approximately 7.8 billion. That is 7.8 billion souls who face the ultimate reality of sin and its consequences (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). 7 billion souls who will one day face the Lord in judgment (Heb. 9:27); 7 billion souls who are precious in the sight of God (2 Pet. 3:9) and stand in need of the soul-saving message of the gospel. What are you doing to reach them? Romans chapter 10 teaches…
Conceptual image of family and unity

Shame on Us

Over the last several months I’ve had many conversations with friends from different parts of the country. Not surprisingly, the primary topic of discussion has been COVID and how it has affected the church. Sadly, there are places where the virus has hit the church very hard. Not because Christians have caught it but because they are fighting about it. Particularly, about how the church should handle it. I have heard many reports of elders resigning, members arguing and leaving their…

This is Not a Time to Give Up

Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith (Acts 6:7). And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord (Acts 11:21). But the word of God grew and multiplied (Acts 12:24). These passages, and others like them, in the book of Acts highlight the tenacious evangelistic commitment of the first…

Love Your Enemies

Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19). How should we deal with those who hate and fight against us? Two passages from the Sermon on the Mount are worthy of our consideration. First, consider Matthew…

Therefore, I Will Look to the Lord

It is difficult to study the Minor Prophets and not see America because the similarities between ancient Israel and the current state of affairs jump off the page. Consider for example, Micah 7:2: “The faithful man has perished from the earth and there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood; every man hunts his brother with a net.” Micah lamented the fact that there were seemingly no righteous people to be found. Instead, people…