THE NEED TO SOW THE SEED

By

Shelby G. Floyd

 

If the church is to increase and grow we must all get involved in the law of the seedtime and harvest. Solomon taught that if we are to expect a harvest we must get up early in the morning and sow the seed and not wait till the evening of life:

“Sow your seed in the morning and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well” (Ecclesiastes 11:6).

In many of the parables that Jesus taught, God is pictured as the owner of a huge farm with an abundant harvest. But much of the harvest may possibly be lost because of a lack of workers. Jesus said, “The harvest is truly plenteous but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37).

God can do whatever pleases him (Psalms 115:3), but it does not please him for man to circumvent his own plan to save man. Paul outlined God’s plan in his letter to the Romans:

For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:13-17 NKJV).

From this scripture we learn several facts about our task of proclaiming the gospel message:

1. God saves those who call on the Lord.

2. Men cannot call on someone they do not believe in.

3. They cannot believe in one of whom they have not heard.

4. They cannot hear unless someone preaches the word to them.

5. Someone must send and someone must go to sow the seed.

The lack of growth is and always has been a lack of workers. Unless we all get involved in making disciples, no one will go to evangelize the lost. Like the apostle Paul said, “The love of God compels me,” to carry our own load and go forth to do good works.

Copyright © 2017 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

 

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142

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BIBLICAL INSPIRATION NO 1

By

Shelby G. Floyd

THE BIBLE CLAIMS TO BE INSPIRED

The Bible claims to be the inspired word of God. No more important theme can be considered than the study concerning the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. Our attitude toward the word of God will determine our attitude toward the authority and commands of the Bible. If one believes in divine revelation and verbal inspiration, then one will have reverence and respect for the authority and commands of the Bible. But on the other hand, if one has doubts and criticisms of verbal inspiration, then this automatically would cause one to question and criticize Biblical authority, and the commands of the Bible. This subject definitely is of vast importance, and demands our keenest attention.

The apostle Paul expressed the proper attitude which all men should hold toward the Holy Scriptures. Paul believed that what he taught the churches was the inspired word of God. When he wrote the church at Thessalonica, he thanked God without ceasing because they had received his teaching as the word of God. “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Paul’s teaching then was the word of God because Paul was inspired of God.

The Bible unequivocally claims to be the inspired word of God. However, the word inspiration conveys different ideas to different men. Modernists will tell one that the Bible is inspired, but they mean by this that the Bible is inspired only in the sense that it gives evidence of literary genius, such as, the writings of Milton, Shakespeare and Browning, and others who were truly outstanding men of literature. Let us then define the term inspiration as it is used in the Bible. Continue reading “BIBLICAL INSPIRATION NO 1”

BE BAPTIZED AND WASH AWAY YOUR SINS

By

Shelby G. Floyd

be-baptized

There are only three aspects of baptism:

(1) The subject of baptism—a person old enough to be accountable for their actions;

(2) The action of baptism—by immersion since the original means to dip, plunge or immerse; and,

(3) The purpose of baptism—for, in order to, unto the forgiveness of sins; to put one into Christ where all spiritual blessing are to be found, and to induct one into the body of Christ—the church purchased by his blood.

When Paul gave an account of his own baptism, he related that the preacher Ananias said,

“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16, ESV).

The act of baptism is both active and passive. It is active in that the subject must choose to obey the command to be baptized. But it is also passive in that one does not baptize himself, but is assisted by someone to immerse the candidate and then bring that person back up out of the water. This is expressed by the passive verb, “Rise and be baptized…”

If Paul was saved before his baptism, then he was saved while still in his sins. He was commanded to be baptized to wash away his sins! And Jesus said baptism was to be saved from sin:

“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned (Mk. 16:15-16, ESV).

Paul was not saved before his baptism. Paul was a strict, zealous persecutor of the church and he thought he was doing the right thing. But he was lost without Christ. But, when he did what Christ commanded him to do by the preaching of the gospel, he was saved like everyone else then and like all are today.

Copyright © 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby Preaching

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142

LIVE WITHOUT REGRET

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Drifting-Away

All of God’s people should live our life in such a way, that when we come to the end, we can look back without regret. This means that we must dedicated to the Lord, study his word and rely upon divine wisdom to make the right choices. Life goes by fast and how many times do we hear someone say, “If I had my life to live over again I would have done such and such.” John Greenleaf Whittier wrote,

For all sad words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are these,
‘It might have been’.

“It might have been” represents those who have neglected the great salvation offered by Christ.

In the book of Hebrews the people are warned not to neglect what is important:

Hebrews 2:1-3
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.
NKJV

If we will heed what is said and not neglect our duty, then we can look back without regret and not think about what “might have been.”

No doubt Esau was filled with remorse and regret after he realized he sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. Esau was a profane person and was filled with regret, “For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he carefully sought it with tears” (Hebrews 12:17). No doubt he looked back and wondered again and again, “what might have been.”

Every one of us has a sphere of influence for Christ and the church. We have opportunities to do good for those out of Christ and for those especially who are in the household of God (Galatians 6:10). Let each one of us zealously work to bring our friends and acquaintances into Christ.

Copyright © 2015 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142

Joyful Prayer

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Joyful Prayer

Christian people should pray for others with joy. In order to do this we must create in others a good memory of our work in Christ. Then when other Christians remember us they will thank God and pray for us with joy. The church at Philippi created a good memory of their work for Christ in the mind of Paul. When he penned a letter to them he said,

Philippians 1:4-5
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you,
I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

The reason Paul remembered them with joy was because of their partnership in the gospel from the first day until the time he wrote the letter. Their partnership in the gospel began with the conversion of Lydia and her household. This included water baptism for the remission of sins:

Acts 16:13-15
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.
NIV

After Lydia was baptized, she immediately started doing things that Christians should do. After she invited them into her home she said, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house. And she persuaded us” (Acts 16:15). Also the conversion of the jailor presented another member to fellowship Paul in his evangelistic work (Acts 16:29-34). Both Lydia and the Jailor showed hospitality to Paul and supported his evangelistic work. This all Christians should do.

When Paul left Macedonia, Philippi was the only church that shared with Paul in the partnership of giving and receiving. They sent him aid again and again (Philippians 4:4-16). No wonder that Paul could remember them with thanks and joy when he prayed to God.

May God help all of us to find the joy that is found in Christ Jesus and the way of life we are to live? Remember, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Again, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4). Let us all live and pray in the joy of the Lord.

Copyright © 2014 Shelby Floyd All Rights Reserved

Shelby Preaching

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana

 

 

The True Vine and Branches

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Vine-Branches

 

At this time of the year the vineyards are fully loaded with fruit that is waiting to be harvested. This is the result of good stock, good ground, and good care. It is wonderful to see a beautiful, fruitful vineyard.

The vine and its branches was a symbol of ancient Israel just as the Eagle is the emblem of America. Over the temple of Herod was a symbolic declaration of a great Golden vine. At one time both Isaiah and Jeremiah use this allegory of the vine and the branches to illustrate how God was displeased with Israel who had become spiritually unproductive. For instance, Isaiah cried out,

Isaiah 5:7
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,
And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.
He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help
NKJV

And also the weeping prophet Jeremiah uttered this rebuke to backsliding Israel,

Jeremiah 2:21
Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality.
How then have you turned before Me
Into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?
NKJV

At one time our Lord Jesus Christ declared to his disciples, “I am the vine and you are the branches” (John 15:5). Jesus used the allegory of the vine and the branches to illustrate the close relationship that should exist between himself and his disciples. An allegory is an extended metaphor. The culture of the vine was a very common occupation in Israel.

Teaching by figures of speech was one of our Lord’s favorite methods of imparting God’s word. The parables and this allegory of the vine and the branches are good examples of this method of teaching. Because this method was easy to understand, “the common people heard him gladly” (Mark 12:37).

Now let us take an extended view of the wonderful lesson that Jesus taught in the story of the vine and the branches as related in John 15:1-8.

THE TRUE VINE

Jesus Christ is the true vine. He claimed to be the one true stock. “I am the true vine and my father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1). Jesus applied the word “true,” to himself which means that Jesus was the genuine and the one true stock. Continue reading “The True Vine and Branches”