Subscribe via E-mail

Your email:

Follow Me

CIU Faculty Blogs

Aletheia - (ἀλήθεια - "Truth")

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Not in Vain

 

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

This is one of those verses I go back to over and over again – especially when I feel overwhelmed. 

It’s incredibly encouraging to be reminded that my work is not in vain.  Sometimes just being told that what I’m doing isn’t pointless is all the motivation I really need to keep going.  Although I read 1 Corinthians 15:58 often, I realized something I’d never thought about when I read it on Sunday.

1 Corinthians 15 is all about resurrection – the resurrection of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the resurrection body.  Paul’s argument is basically that if Christ rose from the dead, we too will rise from the dead (15:21-22).  The other side of the argument is that if Christ didn’t rise from the dead, we won’t be raised from the dead – we have no eternal hope, our faith is futile, and we are still in our sins (15:17).

His point is the centrality of the resurrection to the life and message of the Christian – Christ’s resurrection means that our faith not useless (15:14).  It also creates in the believer a longing for eternity – it is not only for this life we have hope in Christ (15:19).

Reading 15:58 in the context of all that sheds light on the reason why our labor in the Lord is not in vain.  15:58 is the practical, daily application of the Easter message in the Christian’s life – it’s usually called having an eternal perspective.  Walking in the confidence that Christ has been raised from the dead speaks to both my present and future – the confidence I have for the future gives purpose to my present work.

Christ has indeed been raised from the dead (15:20), therefore our labor in Him is not in vain (15:58).

Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

Learn more about CIU!

Tags: 

Music and Truth

 

male white playing guitar resized 600

I probably don’t need to comment on the power of music. It’s used therapeutically and motivationally in countless ways on a daily basis. Is there a certain song you listen to or station you flip to on a bad day? What playlist is your favorite when you want to exercise? Those are just a couple examples, not including music that gets played in stores, music for relaxation, and music to create a comfortable atmosphere.

Most recently, I find myself gravitating to music to remind myself of truth. Particularly, the song “One Thing Remains” has been a continual reminder of God’s constant, unfailing love – a relevant source of encouragement in a world full of change and disappointment. As I listen to it, I am both proclaiming and reminding myself of the reality of God’s love – it’s an “I believe; help my unbelief” sort of experience (Mark 9:24).

I don’t know the role music plays in your life, but I encourage you to let hymns and doctrinally-sound contemporary worship songs remind you of truth and encourage your heart today.

Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

Learn more about CIU!

Tags: 

A Simple Reminder

 

describe the image

“This day will bring me nearer home.”

Sometimes the simplest statements are also the most profound.  Sometimes the most obvious concepts are also the most overlooked.

When I read the above quote in Valley of Vision (a book of Puritan prayers) this morning, it was like the thought had never even crossed my mind.  I stopped, reflected on it, re-read it, and haven’t stopped repeating it to myself all day.

There’s not much to say as the quote can certainly stand alone; however, I am thankful for the reminder that though world is not my home, each passing day here brings me closer to the moment when God, by grace, welcomes me into my eternal Home.

I can’t wait.

Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

Learn more about CIU!

Tags: 

Before You Witness, Witness

 

 branch with snow resized 600

“‘Witness' is a noun before it’s a verb.”

It took a minute to sink in, but once it did I knew exactly what Mr. Tom Henry was saying.  Mr. Henry works with an international outreach ministry and shared a perspective on missions in chapel that I’ve never heard before. 

His point was simple – before we tell people about Jesus, we need to see Jesus. The prerequisite to bear witness is first to be a witness. For example, if my testimony concerning a car wreck is going to have any significance to the police, I have to have seen the wreck. If I didn’t see it, who cares what I say?

Similarly, a continual gaze upon Jesus will inform and refine me as I passionately share what I have seen. Seeing Jesus not only makes me a credible witness, but an accurate one, and both are necessary in today’s world.

So before we witness, let’s witness.

Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

Learn more about CIU!

Tags: 

A Promise Kept

 

Robertson & Muriel resized 600

J. Robertson McQuilkin served as the third president of CIU from 1968 to 1990, when he resigned to care for his wife Muriel, who needed full-time attention due to Alzheimer’s.

When McQuilkin had to decide whether to care for his ailing wife full-time or to continue serving as president of CIU, he said it was a no-brainer. The decision had been made 42 years prior when he promised “in sickness and in health…till death do us part.”

More than just “a matter of integrity,” it was the only “fair thing” to do. “[Muriel] sacrificed for me for forty years to make my life possible,” said McQuilkin in his resignation speech in 1990. “So if I cared for her for forty years, I would still be in debt.  However, there is much more. It’s not that I have to; it’s that I get to…It’s a great honor to care for such a wonderful person.”

More than just a touching love story (although it certainly is that as well), McQuilkin’s commitment to his wife is an example of integrity which, several years later, continues to stand in contrast with a culture that doesn’t value the importance of keeping promises.

Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

Learn more about CIU!

Tags: 

The Key to Mercy

 

key

I recently read the following quote by John Piper – “The key to mercy: be more amazed that you’re forgiven than that you’re wronged.”

Piper’s statement caused a flood of verses to fill my mind.  To name a few – blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him (Psalm 32:2); He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities (Psalm 103:10); while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8); God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions (Ephesians 2:4-5).

The hardest part about being merciful is withholding what I believe another person deserves – but that’s the essence of mercy, and that, in Christ is what I have received.

In my interactions with others, I don’t want to make the mistake of the unmerciful servant, who, having been forgiven an enormous debt by his master, refused to excuse a small debt owed to him by his servant (Matthew 18:21-35).

Focusing on the mind-blowing enormity of the forgiveness Christ has extended to me shifts my focus from the one who wronged me to the One I have wronged repeatedly.  His response to me has been abundant pardon.

That’s amazing.

Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

Learn more about CIU!

Tags: 

Ministry Encouragement

 

hands raised clapping resized 600

“If you don’t learn to minister for an audience of One, you’re probably not going to last very long in ministry.”

“Serve, and even when you get to the point of seeing no fruit, still long to serve faithfully because your Master has called you to it and He is worthy.”

If I’m being honest, I must admit that I often fall into the trap of believing ministry is all about performance – what we accomplish, how much change takes place, and who notices it all.  Ministry becomes a destructive, self-centered cycle of trying to prove myself, trying to be well-liked, and trying to do something great (and clearly, at this point, true ministry has ceased to exist).

The above quotes were shared by CIU’s own Dr. Cooper in her Bible for Teachers class.  Reflecting on her words has encouraged me in three particular areas:

  • We minister to God by ministering to others – it’s first of all for Him.  This frees me from depending on the approval of others – they’re not my target audience.

  • The goal of ministry isn’t fruitfulness, it’s faithfulness.  This frees me from depending on measurable, external results to be successful.  Scripture makes it clear that if any fruit is ever produced at all, it’s because God did it, not me.

  • Ministry isn’t based on who I am, but on who God is.  This frees me from seeking to prove myself to others – the key issue is God’s worth and call on my life, not my talents or abilities.

The process of growth is life-long; I’ll never master all these things in this lifetime.  But I am thankful for the truth and the ability to remind myself of it time and time again.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever!  Amen.  (Romans 11:36)

Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

Learn more about CIU!

Tags: 

No Exceptions

 

ornament clear resized 600

One of the reasons I love Psalm 145 is because of David’s frequent use of the word “all.”  More than ten times in 21 verses, he makes sweeping statements about the scope of God’s love, power, strength, and faithfulness.

He is good to all and has compassion on all He has made.

He is faithful to all His promises.

He is righteous in all His ways.

Because of David’s “inspired love” of the word all, I can be assured that God will always be faithful to all of His promises.  I can have confidence that everything He does is righteous.  I can be certain of His compassion and love.

I don’t know about you, but it’s a relief for me to know that in an ever-changing world, there is something constant and guaranteed – no exceptions.

Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

Learn more about CIU!

Tags: 

Happy and Blessed

 

females multi ethnic reading bible resized 600

The word “blessing” is thrown around a lot, especially in Christian circles.  We often equate it with material things (ex. – My new car is such a blessing), relationships (ex. – Knowing her is a blessing), or favorable circumstances (ex. – My roommate isn’t a morning person – what a blessing).  When we say things like that, the message is clear.  Our friends understand what we mean. 

But as I read scripture, it’s important for me to realize that “blessed” (or a variant) isn’t always being used by the writer the way I use the word today.  Often “blessed” could be translated as “happy” – an important thing to know in order to best understand the passage.  Look at what I read this morning:

Blessed [happy] is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed [happy] is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit (Psalm 32:1-2).

This isn’t a “Too Blessed To Be Stressed” bumper sticker message or a “You really blessed me with those Pretzel M&M’s” thank you note; this is the heart cry of a man whose sin the Lord does not remember.

More than changing the way I think about the word “blessed,” this really shakes up my understanding of what it means to be happy.  Suddenly “I’m so happy the sun is out” sounds a little bit wrong.  David defined his happiness in terms of the Lord’s finished work in his life rather than the changing world around him or his own fluctuating emotions.

If the first couple verses of Psalm 32 apply to you, you have something to be happy about – today and forever!

Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

Learn more about CIU!
Tags: 

Don't Forget to Remember

 

family black reading Bible resized 600

I am amazed at how frequently I come across the word “remember” in the Bible.  Throughout Deuteronomy, which is where I’ve been reading recently, the Israelites are repeatedly exhorted to remember (or, conversely, to not forget) what God had done for them – the deliverance and provision which they had experienced.

Similarly, Peter warns his readers to be on the lookout for God to work in their lives through their knowledge of Jesus, lest they become “nearsighted and blind,” forgetting how God had cleansed them from sin (2 Peter 1:9).

Peter’s strong language indicates that a sort of spiritual blindness can develop over time if we forget God’s work in our lives.  Wandering too far from the cross, we so distance the miracle of salvation from our minds that we can no longer see straight.

When we forget to remember what God has done – how He has delivered us from sin and death – we become disillusioned and our entire perspective is skewed.

Let’s constantly rehearse the finished work of Christ so that we aren’t blinded to the reason we needed His grace in the first place.  Let’s not forget to remember.

Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

Learn more about CIU!

Tags: 
All Posts