Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 17 Number 9 September 2015
Page 5

Encouragement

 Robert Rawson“Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker [“helper” KJV] in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved” (Romans 16:9 NKJV). The word for “helper” is “sunergos,” a co-laborer. The compound word begins with “sun,” a primary preposition denoting union with or together, added to “ergon,” meaning to work, to toil or to act.

Therefore, the word “helper” means to toil closely with someone in a common cause. Hence, it is worthy to note that Urbanus was more than a wallflower, and he was closely toiling or working with other brethren. Therefore, Urbanus provided encouragement through his participation with fellow Christians. Likewise, we should toil or work together, too.

[Editor’s Note: My residence is shrouded with about 20 tall pine trees. That means before every time I mow grass, I must collect one to four wheelbarrows full of tree debris from the yard. On the occasions when I must do this chore alone and by myself, I go about the task reluctantly, and it takes about a third as long to clean up the yard as it does to mow. How depressing! However, on those occasions when just one person helps me retrieve the tree debris, not only more speedily but also with less grumbling on my part we proceed to accomplish that burden. I am encouraged! More importantly, encouragement is one of the benefits when brethren labor together in Christian service. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]


Associating

Donald R. Fox I have run into some rude and crude people in my lifetime. I would venture to say all of us have. Not long ago, I went to a business that sold plants, trees, vegetables, etc. The owner was engaging some fellow in a conversation. The owner was loud and uncouth in his speech. He didn’t seem to care who heard him. I left the place and vowed never to give that fellow any of my business. Furthermore, so it is with interrelations, our associating with people of all sorts. It is a fact of life. We all rub elbows with the good and dreadful people and everything in between.

The key to our daily and close associations with people is to reject bad mannered and evil workers. We all remember the old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” The meaning of this idiom or figure of speech is that “similar people tend to associate with each other.” An example, “George: Why do you think William is dishonest? John: All his friends are dishonest. Birds of a feather flock together” (Wikipedia).

Danger that Children and Teenagers
Can Be Attracted to Rude and Brash People

It has been my observation over many years that crude folks can also be very entertaining. Therein is a great danger for all of us. Younger folks, especially children and teenagers, can be attracted to this type of noisy self-assertiveness. The crude and rude often are loud, brash talking and seem not to have a care in the world. They have all the answers. Right and wrong does not matter to such people. We know them as “smart-alecks” and the like. Schoolteachers “can pull their hair out” with such impetuous, foolhardy and bad-mannered youngsters in the classroom. “Good manners are just a way of showing other people that we have respect for them” (Bill Kelly, Blast from the Past, 1999).

Strength and Guidance Comes
from Adhering to the Word of God

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers: But his delight is in the law of Jehovah; And on his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2 ASV). “Walk with wise men, and thou shalt be wise; But the companion of fools shall smart for it. Evil pursueth sinners; But the righteous shall be recompensed with good” (Proverbs 13:20-21). “For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). “Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

[Editor’s Note: One’s environment has a tremendous effect on everything from his or her worldview to his or her personal conduct. The Israelites were commanded to destroy the idolatrous and evil people residing in Canaan. Instead, though, “…they mingled with the Gentiles And learned their works” (Psalms 106:35 NKJV). Likewise, we today have essentially the same challenge, about which the apostle Paul by inspiration warned. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Whereas every soul is a potential candidate for conversion, not every soul, especially among non-Christians, is suitable for a close relationship. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]


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