ChristMarked: The Church, Blood Bought Sinners – By Troy Paylor

The Church, Blood Bought Sinners

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”Philippians‬ ‭1:3-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

As I look at this passage and known I’ve went through this same passage twice and every time that I come back to it, there seems to be more treasure in it than I found before, speaking of the exhaustive word of God and all the blessedness of His word. While this is true my message is to the church, mainly the Providence Baptist Church where I’m so glad to be a part of, but doesn’t exclude others from this. For I can as with Paul more clearly now that ever before get a deeper understanding of his words. Although my imprisonment isn’t in a jail, yet I can’t be at my church with the members there who with me share in a commonality that unites us all that we are blood bought sinners of Christ Jesus. Christ died in our place and rose again and church what great news that is, that our Savior who born of a virgin lived a sinless life, died in our place and rose the third day. Oh like Paul, how I long to see you and miss you all with the affection of Christ Jesus, though mine isn’t perfect I’m without brothers and sisters in Christ, though we shouldn’t let this stop us, in fact we shall advance. More than ever during this time we should be spreading the gospel of Christ Jesus, for we worship the Risen one who is seated at the right hand of the Father.

How I do long to see you all, yet I pray for you all too, that you may seek the word of God and be in communion with Him, so that you may continue grow in knowledge and discernment so that you may approve what is excellent and honor and glorify God in all you do. Continue in being sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit for soon we shall all be together again, and at that point rejoice, but even now we shall rejoice, what a wonderful time more than ever to draw closer to our Savior. Dig deeper into the word, for the Bible is living, active, and sharp, pruning the fruits in us that are of the flesh and water and nurturing the fruits of the Spirit and in all may you all seek Christ Jesus and Him crucified. To God be the Glory, Forever and ever, amen. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:11-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬.

The above was written by my brother-in-Christ and friend Troy Paylorfrom Christ Marked. You can hear his testimony here, and as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

My First NFL Game – Expectation VS. Reality

Hello dear ones! I hope this post finds you all doing well. Today I want to discuss my experience at the Chiefs history making game last week. I’ve never been to a NFL game before, and as Cowboy fans I certainly did not expect my first game to be enjoyed in a sea of red. Thanks to my husbands savvy shopping we were able to sit a dozen rows up from the field, something that would have been impossible at the Cowboys stadium due to the outrageous ticket prices. So, what were my expectations, what was the reality, and how will this edify and encourage? Great questions!

First, let me point out a flaw in my character which happens to get me in a lot of trouble. I am optimistic to the point of naivety. Case in point, the very first car I ever bought. My now husband, then best friend and sweetheart, took me to a small used dealership. I had a wallet full of cash and was ready to get behind my own set of wheels! At 19 years of age I knew I was too irresponsible to make payments, so it had to be a cash car. The dealer was giving us details on a cute red car that looked like the kind of car a 19-year-old would drive. At the time, just to give you all some needless context, my sweetheart was in college several hours away, and I was carpooling into my clerical job in downtown Dallas. The unthinkable was happening, I was missing his baseball games! I needed a car. Low and behold, way in the back, was a 1989 Oldsmobile Elite 86. I didn’t even stop to ask how much or if it was running, I interrupted the business deal happening before me to holler out “I’ll take that one.” Can car dealers smell suckers like sharks can smell blood? If they can, this guy missed his mark. For just two grand I drove my tank off the lot (back when gas was under two a gallon thankfully) and joyfully drove her for years. Her previous owner had taken great care of her! I named her Bertha after my great grandmother. She was the car we drove Kayliegh home from the hospital in. I never stopped to consider if the car was safe, I optimistically slammed down the hundreds and signed papers without a second thought. Naive. Joyfully naive.

Now that you understand the extent of my optimism, you’ll understand why my expectations were utter nonsense. I had in view families, like mine, smiling in their matching fan gear for pictures. Foot long hotdogs shared, well behaved adults, and cheers as loud as they come. In short, I expected MLB fans. We go to the Rangers at least once a year, and try to make our way to the nearest stadiums as we travel. We once had the opportunity to meet Charlie Pride in Arlington! NFL fans are not like MLB fans, the two games move at entirely different paces. I naively expected those sitting around us to see a young child and attempt to watch their language, innuendos, and hand gestures.

What was reality? The game was moved back from noon to three, which gave tailgaters several extra hours to drink. This, combined with a large amount of college age folks in the stands, and the added effect of their team making history, seemingly created the perfect storm. I’m still not so sure how college students can afford to go to these games, or to sit so close, but some how they managed to in large numbers. Here and there were spotting the grey haired, well behaved, adults I expected to be surrounded by. One or two families could be seen, although there were very few children as young as ours. As the Raiders we’re increasingly embarrassed by the Chiefs (which I say unbiased, Cowboys fan here) the few fans wearing black became rather unruly. One man insisted on walking up and down the stairs brandishing one finger salutes as high as he could. In MLB that man would have been removed, evidently, for Kansas City at least, there was no issue taken. Although this is the loudest stadium in the league, the fowl language managed to ring through the cheers. The one thing I didn’t see, that I actually was not optimistic enough to assume we wouldn’t see, was inappropriate clothing. The ladies were all bundled up, the wind in the stadium made sure of that!

So, is it all bad? No, actually the game itself was fascinating. I love statistics, numbers, and complex puzzles (such as the rules to why little yellow flags are constantly flying) so football is a very enjoyable thing for me to watch. I have to admit though, it’s far easier to understand when a computer is generating yellow lines on TV. For those in the crowd that were not inebriated, we all high five’d the good plays, cheered the players, and sang respectfully the national anthem. The food was delicious, the employees were very kind and helpful, and there were heated elevator rooms where we could go warm up. The jet flew over, the flag was waved on the field, the quarterback made history, these were the highlights I’ll never forget. It was actually really fun, minus the young, immature, intoxicated fans.

There’s one other aspect I should point out, that might help anyone reading this wondering what the big deal is. I have sensory overload issues, and while we’ve recently figured out what the underlining neurological reasons for this are, I’m not being treated for it yet. I don’t have the ability to block things out, if there’s movement, sound, smell, or touch, it distracts and overwhelms my sensors. Most people can probably go to a game and not see the man out of the corner of their eyes waving their one finger. You might even be able to go and not hear all the conversations happening around you, in which case you won’t hear the fellow making suggestive remarks about the cheerleaders, or the other one who seems to be unable to make complete sentences without cursing. This might all be chalked up to my brain not working like it should.

So what’s the encouraging or edifying reason why I’m writing this? First of all, like I mentioned in my last post, this behavior should be what’s expected and not just because it’s reality. The young people in our nation have been told their entire lives that we came from apes and have no purpose. They’re actions are reflections of their worldview, enjoy as much as you can as quickly as you can, because there’s no other point to existence. This means that the harvest field has been primed for you, brothers and sisters, walking around with the only hope for salvation, the Good News! This particular group of people are not lukewarm, they do not have one foot in and one foot out, they are utterly lost and fully aware of it. If you’ve ever tried to share the Gospel with someone who was raised in works righteousness you’ll understand why this is truly a wonderful thing.

Recently I listened to Todd Friel sharing the Gospel with a young man, 13 or 14, who was with a group of buddies all acting immaturely. As Todd asked questions he found that all the other boys considered themselves to be Christians, except this one, this one boy who said Hell didn’t exist. As Mr. Friel opened up the Law (at which point all the friends left) and reasoned with him, understanding dawned, he realized he was in trouble. The Gospel was shared, and met with teary eyed respect from the previously rambunctious boy. We don’t know what happened to him after hearing the Law and the Gospel, but we do know that he was the only one that stayed to hear it. Please, friends, hear me, do not let the depravity of man discourage you. If not for the grace of God we would be equally, if not more so, depraved. Rejoice that God has saved you, and go share the Gospel with those in the same straights you were once held in. I apologize for the length of this post, I truly hope it blessed you all. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.