Admired the Peacock, but Loved the Duck

Carlton Van Ornum tells this story. A large crowd of people gathered near an enclosure in the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston as a peacock slowly spread his great tail and displayed its stunning plumage. The great bird stood erect and noble and strutted regally. Just then an old, dun-colored duck waddled slowly from the pond and passed between the proud peacock and the admiring crowd. Enraged, the peacock drove the duck back to the water. In a moment, the beautiful bird had become ugly with fierce anger. The plain and awkward duck, having returned to its natural habitat, was no longer unbecoming. In the water it swam and dived gracefully, unaware that many eyes were watching. The people who had admired the peacock loved the duck. Each of us was reminded of the dangers of pride, and that happiness comes from just being ourselves.

Jerry L. Schmalenberger, When Christians Quarrel, CSS Publishing Company

Saved By Faith, But Not By Faith Alone

The Bible makes it crystal clear that we cannot be saved from our sins without faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (cf. John 3:16John 3:16
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16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.

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; Rom. 5:1Rom. 5:1
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; Eph. 2:8Eph. 2:8
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8 for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

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). By “faith” or “belief” Scripture means a willingness to completely trust in Christ joined with obedience to His word (cf. Matt. 7:21-29Matt. 7:21-29
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; Gal. 5:6Gal. 5:6
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; Heb. 11:6-8Heb. 11:6-8
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). Unfortunately, many preachers and churches have gone beyond this simple truth and taught that we are saved by “faith alone.” By this, they mean that once one believes in Christ, he is at that very moment a child of God without any further acts of obedience.

This doctrine is simply not taught in the Bible. In fact, it is a contradiction of the Bible. In the first place, it rests upon a false definition of faith that separates belief from obedience. But in James 2:14-26James 2:14-26
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14 What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked and in lack of daily food, 16 and one of you say unto them, Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; and yet ye give them not the things needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself. 18 Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will show thee my faith. 19 Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Thou seest that faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect; 23 and the scripture was fulfilled which saith, And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God. 24 Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith. 25 And in like manner was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.

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, we learn that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26James 2:26
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26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.

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). In this powerful text on true saving faith, James teaches us that faith without works is unable to save (v. 14), profitless (v. 15-16), dead (v. 17, 20, 26), illogical (v. 18), demonic (v. 19), and incomplete (v. 22). James used Abraham and Rahab to show us how we are saved by an obedient faith (v. 21-25). He concluded, “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (v. 24).

Salvation is “not by faith only”! Why then do many contradict God’s word and teach it is by faith alone? The truth is that while faith is essential to our salvation, it must lead us to repentance of our sins, confession of Christ, and baptism in water “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38Acts 2:38
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38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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; Rom. 10:9-10Rom. 10:9-10
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9 because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: 10 for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

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). Do you need to obey the true gospel plan of salvation? Why not let us help you today?

By Travis L. Quertermous

A Proverb for the Day (19:8)

“Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good” (Proverbs 19:8Proverbs 19:8
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ESV).

We typically give our bodies what they need (e.g., food, sleep, shelter), but what about our souls? If we really want to take care of ourselves, we need to watch over our souls (cf. Matthew 16:26Matthew 16:26
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26 For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

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) and develop our minds. The best way to do this is to learn about God’s Word and the wisdom that comes from Him. If we do this, we will have done more good for ourselves than any other person possibly could have.

by Jeremy Sprouse

Understanding Repentance

Repentance is one of those religious words and ideas that not everyone understands. Some who do understand it suggest it is the hardest of the Lord’s commands. This grabs our interest and makes us want to know what the Bible says about repentance.

It is an absolute necessity. Peter wrote that the Lord “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:92 Peter 3:9
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9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

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). Paul preached that God “commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He has ordained” (Acts 17:30-31Acts 17:30-31
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30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent: 31 inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

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). It is a requirement for salvation.

It comes from godly sorrow. In 2 Corinthians 7:9-102 Corinthians 7:9-10
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9 I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance; for ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

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Paul says concerning a church’s sin of tolerating evil, “Now I rejoice, not you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner … for godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” Repentance is not remorse or sorrow but godly sorrow leads to it.

It shows itself in good works. John warned those who came to his baptism that they had to “Bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8Matthew 3:8
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8 Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of repentance:

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). There is something to do for salvation. Some have suggested that repentance is this action of reformation. But this passage shows they are not the same, Repentance leads to reformation. The works are not the repentance. They are its result.

One of the Lord’s parables helps. “A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” (Matthew 21:28-31Matthew 21:28-31
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) What happened with the first son? He changed his mind, and did what his father asked him to do. And that is what repentance is.

It is defined by these verses. Repentance is a change of mind, that comes from godly sorrow, and shows itself in good works. If this change of mind does not come from godly sorrow for our sins then it is not Bible repentance. If it is does not show itself in doing the works of God then it is not Bible repentance.

Baptism joins with repentance when faith obeys the gospel. Acts 2 says men were to “know assuredly” that the crucified Jesus was “both Lord and Christ” (36-37). Those who were “cut to the heart” asked “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (37) Peter answered, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins” (38). In faith (know assuredly) their godly sorrow (cut to the heart) led them to repentance that showed itself in good works (baptized).

Why do some say it is hard to do? It may be because repentance has to do with the heart rather than our actions. Outward obedience is rather simple and easily accomplished, but to change the mind is a question of our will at its deepest point. Belief is a response of the mind to the Bible’s testimony of witnesses, but to change the mind is about what we are willing to do with this acceptance of truth. Do we want to change?

The result is heavenly joy. At the end of the Lord’s parable of the lost coin the woman “When she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost.’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy In the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:9-10Luke 15:9-10
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). All who repent give joy, not just to themselves and those here with them, but there is joy in heaven among the angels when the wanderer is safely with God.

– by Robert Hines

Wouldn’t you like to know?

THERE IS ONLY one occasion in Scripture when Jesus is recorded as writing anything; and, the Scriptures do not tell us what it was (John 8.6, 8)…

Wouldn’t you like to know?

I know I would.

However, we are not told.

As you recall, the occasion involved a woman taken in adultery.  When Jesus stooped down, what did He write on the ground?  Did He write the words grace, mercy, or forgiveness?  Did He write a Scripture?  Did He write the name of the man who was involved with her?  Did He write the names of this poor woman’s accusers?  Did He write the sins hidden in the lives of those who wanted to stone her?

We are not told.

However, we are told the effect Jesus’ words, both spoken and written, had upon those gathered before Him.  John records that the men, convicted by their consciences, went out one by one, from the eldest of them to the youngest (John 8.9).

I find it interesting that on the only occasion that Jesus wrote, He wrote on the ground.  He wrote on a tablet that would quickly be stamped out.  Can you imagine what would have happened if Jesus had written on a scrap of paper?  No doubt, the world would be filled with scraps of paper today, all claiming to bear the handwriting of Jesus.

THOUGHT:  The Bible does not cater to the curiosity of man and therefore shows it is of divine origin.  Wade Webster, “Why I Believe The Bible is The Word of God” (Part 1), POWER, April, 2011, 4

“As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”  2 Peter 1.3

Mike Benson

 

ALL I NEEDED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM NOAH’S ARK

 

In 1990, Robert Fulghum authored a best selling book titled All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.  Doing a take-off of that title, someone (I know not who) wrote “All I Needed to Know I Learned From Noah’s Ark.”  I reproduce it below with a few comments of my own and commend it to our readers for their serious reflection.

  1. Don’t miss the boat.

 

  1. Remember that we are all in the same boat.

 

  1. Plan ahead.  It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

 

  1. Stay fit.  Even when you are quite old, God may have something big for you to do.  (Noah was about 600 years old when he built the ark.)

 

  1. Don’t listen to critics.  Just get on with the job that needs to be done.

 

  1. Build on high ground.

 

  1. For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.

 

  1. Speed is not always an advantage.  The turtles were on board as well as the cheetahs.  (I have long remembered and profited from the story of the tortoise and the hare.)

 

  1. When you are stressed, float for awhile.

 

  1. Keep in mind that the ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals, but the ark floated and the Titanic sank its first time out.

 

  1. Remember – No  matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

 

  1. Once again – Don’t miss the boat.

 

And there’s only one boat that will take you safely to the port where you want to dock.  Check out John 14:6John 14:6
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6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.

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and Ephesians 4:4-6Ephesians 4:4-6
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4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.

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.  Find out what the one body mentioned in this passage is by reading Ephesians 1:22-23Ephesians 1:22-23
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22 and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

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.  In fact, reading the entire epistle to the Ephesians would prove to be a spiritually enlightening and enriching exercise.  It provides a full explanation of that spiritual “ark of safety” that God planned and purposed from all eternity, brought into existence by the blood of Christ, and in which is to be found all who have been reconciled to Him.  Don’t fail to get on board.

 

Hugh Fulford

God doesn’t wink at sin

ONE OF MY favorite scenes in Lean on Me takes place right after Morgan Freeman (Principle Joe Clark) orders the security guards to expurgate the drug dealers and hoodlums from Eastside…

The rest of the student body watches in disbelief and cheers as the riffraff is forced off the stage and out of school forever.  Principle Clark then says ominously, “The next time it may be you.  And if you do no better than them, it will be you!”  After a brief, inspirational charge, he strides past the stunned audience and out of the auditorium.  Then one darling young woman turns to the friend beside her and says, “Mr. Clark don’t play!”

That phrase sums up much of Zephaniah’s message: God doesn’t wink at sin; God doesn’t compromise His holiness; God doesn’t sit idly by while His people cavort with idols… God don’t play.

Some of you might be thinking, “Well, I know some real stinkers who’ve never paid a divine penalty for rotten behavior. God seems to be twiddling His thumbs while they have a moral meltdown.  Why doesn’t He wallop them for their whopper sins instead of spanking me for minor infractions?”  If you’ve pondered along those lines, you’re not alone.  There have been many times when I’ve questioned God doles out punishment.  When I’ve wondered why He doesn’t obliterate certain people into grease spots — or at least singe them a little.

But we need to remember that the lack of overt, tangible punishment doesn’t mean anyone ever gets away with rebellion against God.  There will always be a price to pay for sin.  The highest price of all is to be separated from Him. Lisa Harper, “God Doesn’t Do Recess,” Tough Love, Tender Mercies, 72-73

“I will stretch out My hand against Judah, and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  I will cut off every trace of Baal from this place, the names of the idolatrous priests with the pagan priests—Those who worship the host of heaven on the housetops; those who worship and swear oaths by the LORD, but who also swear by Milcom; those who have turned back from following the LORD, and have not sought the LORD, nor inquired of Him.”  Zephaniah 1.4-6

Mike Benson

 

Take away my life; I might as well be dead!

 

Elijah walked a whole day into the wilderness. He stopped and sat down in the shade of a tree and wished he would die. “It’s too much Lord,” he prayed. “Take away my life; I might as well be dead!”–1 Kings 19:41 Kings 19:4
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(GNB)

  AS Elijah sits under a Juniper tree, he is sad, lonely, dejected overwhelmed with a feeling of discouragement and frustration over what seems to him a hopeless situation. He is tired, he is weary. I wonder, what man or woman is there among us who has not, or who will  not at some point identify themselves with Elijah. Because of the weakness of our human frames it is all too easy to become tired, weary, to become overwhelmed with discouragement and frustration as the burdens, trials and cares of this life press heavily upon us. Has your heart ever become so heavy that you felt like you were in a hopeless situation? Have you ever, if not literally at least mentally, cried out “Why me””–“Why this burden, affliction, trial, sickness or even death.?” If it has never occurred in your life, then I envy you. I confess that there are those moments when fear, frustration and discouragement become my momentary companions and the temptation to sit under that Juniper tree weighs heavily on my heart. I refuse to do so and pray that you will also refuse to do so. Will our hearts ever become troubled, will we ever become tired and weary because of the load we must carry? Yes, yes, yes but there is no reason for us to allow our lives to become  consumed with discouragement and frustration. I am grateful, I am thankful that we have an anchor for our souls as we make our way down this pathway of life. That anchor is the Lord Jesus Christ.

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame But wholly lean on Jesus name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.”

Hear Peter, “Casting all your care on him for he careth”–1 Peter 5:71 Peter 5:7
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7 casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you.

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Hear the Psalmist, “Cast thy burden on the Lord and he shall sustain thee”-Ps.55:22

Hear David, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”–Ps. 23

When the storm clouds gather, when the wind blows, when it seems as if darkness is about to envelope us, when we grow tired and weary, may we always remember our Lord is there with us and he is able to lift us up to a higher plane, he is able to bind up our broken hearts, he is able to hear all our wounds As a faithful child of God, we do not have to ever sit under that Juniper tree!!!

Charles Hicks

24-KARAT FRIENDSHIP

Those who are even mildly acquainted with Olympic history will recognize the name of Jesse Owens.  At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Owens was the United States’ response to the German leaders’ claim for “Aryan superiority.”  He achieved international fame by winning four gold medals; one each in the 100 meter dash, the 200 meter dash, the long jump, and for being part of the 4×100 meter relay team.

However, you may not have heard the story behind his long jump competition.  It was a competition he seemed certain to win.  After all, the year before, Owens had jumped 26 feet, 8 1/4 inches — a record that would stand for 25 years.  But at the 1936 Olympics, he was almost out of the long jump shortly after qualifying began.  Owens fouled on his first two jumps.  A third foul and he would have been out of the competition.

As he walked to the long-jump pit, Owens saw a tall, blue-eyed, blond German taking practice jumps in the 26-foot range.  Owens felt nervous. He was acutely aware of the Nazis’ desire to prove “Aryan superiority,” especially over blacks. At this point, the tall German introduced himself as Luz Long.

“You should be able to qualify with your eyes closed!” he said to Owens. Then Long made a suggestion. Since the qualifying distance was only 23 feet, 5 1/2 inches, why not make a mark several inches before the takeoff board and jump from there, just to play it safe?

Owens took the advice from his stiffest competition and qualified easily.  In the finals that afternoon, Jesse Owens won the gold medal with a jump of 26-5½. The first to congratulate the Olympic record holder was Luz Long.

Owens said, “It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler.  You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn’t be a plating on the 24-karat friendship I felt for Luz Long at that moment.”

I wonder — in the church, do we more often view ourselves as competitors who are trying to do better or look better than the next guy, or as friends who are there to encourage others to accomplish what we know they can do (even if it surpasses our efforts)?

What great value there is in having (and being) a real friend.  Solomon said, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.  For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
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9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, and hath not another to lift him up.

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Indeed, woe to the man who doesn’t have a friend — someone he can talk to, someone he can lean on, someone he can pour his heart out to.  Writer Patrick Morley has made a stinging observation.  He said that while most men could recruit six pallbearers, “hardly anyone has a friend he can call at 2:00 A.M.”

Let me ask you, “Do you have a friend you can call at 2:00 in the morning?”  More importantly, are you that kind of friend to others?  Solomon said that “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17Proverbs 17:17
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).  Who do you have in your life that you can turn to without hesitation in the midst of adversity?  Who do you know that can confidently turn to you?

We need to be reminded by the example of Luz Long that we were not created by God to compete with one another; we were created to encourage and exhort one another.  God intended for us to be (and have) friends.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith

When …

Note: The following piece came to me “author unknown.” It is not humorous, but is designed to cause us to reflect. I hope you appreciate the change of pace.

When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don’t sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ, that is dying to self.

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take in all in patient, loving silence, that is dying to self.

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any impunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face-to-face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility — and endure it as Jesus endured, that is dying to self.

When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God, that is dying to self.

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendations, when you can truly love to be unknown, that is dying to self.

When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances, that is dying to self.

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart, that is dying to self.

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25Matthew 16:24-25
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24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.

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Have a great day!

Alan Smith

THE CHRISTIAN’S PLEDGE…

I will do more than belong; I will participate.

 

I will do more than care; I will help.

 

I will do more than believe; I will practice.

 

I will do more than be fair; I will be kind.

 

I will do more than forgive; I will work.

 

I will do more than earn; I will enrich.

 

I will do more than teach; I will inspire.

 

I will do more than give; I will serve.

 

I will do more than live; I will grow.

 

I will do more than be friendly; I will be a friend.  

author unknown

 

“And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.”  Hebrews 6.11

 

Mike Benson

Would you go into the wilderness?

FOR MOST OF us, the idea of a wilderness recalls pictures of the Arizona desert or the Sahara or the Northern Territories…

We think of a wilderness as a place where men cannot live.

But what we really mean is that men cannot live in these places the way they would like to live.

This reveals something important about the wilderness, so important that the biblical wilderness is an essential part of God’s message.

The wilderness is the place where men encounter God and, at the same time, it is a place inhabited by demons.

It is the place of God’s revelation of the Law and it is the place of our great temptation.

It is the place of His call and the place of our rejection.

…Many today do everything possible to avoid these places.  Skip Moen

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.  There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor [Trouble] a door of hope.  There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.”  Hosea 2.14,15

-Mike Benson

A Love That Won’t Let Go

Bryan Chapell recalls that on August 16, 1987st 16, 1987
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

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, Northwest Airlines flight 225 crashed just after taking off from the Detroit airport, killing 155 people.  One survived: a four-year-old from Tempe, Arizona, named Cecelia.

News accounts say when rescuers found Cecelia they did not believe she had been on the plane.  Investigators first assumed Cecelia had been a passenger in one of the cars on the highway onto which the airliner crashed.  But when the passenger register for the flight was checked, there was Cecelia’s name.

Cecelia survived because, even as the plane was falling, Cecelia’s mother, Paula Chican, unbuckled her own seat belt, got down on her knees in front of her daughter, wrapped her arms and body around Cecelia, and then would not let her go.

Nothing could separate that child from her mother’s love – neither tragedy nor disaster, neither the fall nor the flames that followed, neither height nor depth, neither life nor death.

Like that child caught in the middle of the disaster, so we have been trapped by our own sin, spiraling down to an inevitable doom.  But our God loved us so much that He left heaven, came down to our level, and covered us with the sacrifice of His own body so that we might be saved from the Fall. *

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39Romans 8:38-39
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Jesus “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:241 Peter 2:24
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

24 who his own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.

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Jesus gave His life for us so that we can live together with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:101 Thessalonians 5:10
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10 who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

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“O Love that will not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in thee;

I give thee back the life I owe,

That in thine ocean depths its flow

May richer, fuller be.”

— George Matheson

Our response to His sacrificial love should be to accept His offer of salvation and live out our lives in grateful, loving service to Him.

God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31Acts 16:30-31
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

30 and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house.

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), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31Acts 17:30-31
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent: 31 inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

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), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10Romans 10:9-10
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

9 because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: 10 for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

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), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38Acts 2:38
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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).  Then, as we continue to walk in the light of His Word, the atoning blood that Jesus shed for us will continue to cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:71 John 1:7
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7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

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Won’t YOU embrace the sacrificial, saving love of God through your trusting obedience?

— David A. Sargent

* From “Sacrificial Love,” taken from In the Grip of Grace by Bryan Chapell and quoted in “Five Tips for Illustrating the Atonement” by Kevin Emmert in www.preachingtoday.com

God Bless America

   “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalms 33:12Psalms 33:12
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

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While the above words were spoken of Israel specifically, we make a mistake if we assume they should have no application to any nation that would choose to honor God, recognizing Him as sovereign and respecting His laws. Our nation, from its founding, and contrary to the assertions we hear so much today, has been one that has recognized God and sought His blessings.


I believe God’s protective hand has been on this country through its long history. A South America president was quoted as saying, “South America was settled by men who were seeking gold, but North America was settled by men who were seeking God.”


Through our history we have been blessed uniquely. We take for granted the freedoms we have, and the blessings other people can only dream of. But who can doubt that the Christian ideals we once honored are rapidly being eroded away? Someone once observed that we have not only gone off the gold standard, thus weakening our economy, but, more importantly, we have gone off the God-standard, jeopardizing our nation. The religion of secular humanism has become our state-religion. 


In our rush to “separate church and state”, we have succeeded in separating state from God! Many countries, once considered to be largely “Christian,” are now under the threat of Islam, and our country may not be far behind. Should we be surprised if the blessings we have cherished are lost? Are we not already in the process? For God to bless America, it is vital that America begin again to bless God.

– Ronald Bartanen

Would You Die For Jesus?

If it came to it, would you be willing to die for Jesus?  I think we all would say, “Yes, if being faithful to Jesus meant forfeiting my life, I would die for Jesus.”  However, the thing about questions like that is that in this day and age, or at least in our culture, we’re likely to never be asked to make that decision.  It’s easy to say the words, “Yes, I’d die for Jesus,” especially when I’m relatively sure I won’t ever have to do that.

But let me ask another question.  If you really are willing to die for Jesus, until you’re called upon to do so, will you live for him?  Now that’s a more relevant question.  That removes the level of our dedication to Jesus from the unlikely hypothetical to the day to day reality of our lives.

Because of this, I’m much more interested in the later question than the former.  Would you die for Jesus?  The best indication to a truthful answer to that question is in one’s willingness to live for him.   Give it some thought.

Steve Higginbotham

A beaver and a chipmunk

Townsend, the developer of the laser, was once asked if he didn’t have a tremendous sense of achievement in all he had accomplished with his invention, such as methods for precision measurements, laser disc, and weapons technology.

He remarked, “Not really.”  He said that he could easily identify with the beaver and relayed the following story:

A beaver and a chipmunk happened upon the Hoover Dam while out strolling one day. They were caught off-guard, completely overwhelmed with amazement and awe at the size and magnificence of this structure.

Once the beaver recovered, he remarked, “Well, actually, I didn’t build it myself, but it’s based upon an idea of mine.”

Like much of scientific advancement, I see spiritual growth as a building process.  I took the spiritual training my parents gave me and have built upon it, and I expect my children to take the training that I give them and build upon that.  I fully expect them to accomplish some great things in their lives, things that I may not have built myself, but which are based on spiritual principles which I have shared with them.

Paul was referring to this process when he said of Timothy, “I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.” (I Timothy 1:5).  I wonder if Lois and Eunice ever even imagined all that that little boy Timothy would accomplish in his lifetime?

You may not feel like you’re accomplishing much, but if you are instilling in your children (or others) a faith in God, who knows what they may accomplish in the years ahead!

Have a great day!

Alan Smith

There’s Nothing the Matter with Me!

There’s nothing the matter with me,
I’m just as healthy as can be,
I have arthritis in both knees,
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak, my blood is thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

All my teeth have had to come out,
And my diet I hate to think about.
I’m overweight and I can’t get thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

And arch supports I need for my feet,
Or I wouldn’t be able to go out in the street.
Sleep is denied me night after night,
But every morning I find I’m all right.
My memory’s failing, my head’s in a spin.
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

Old age is golden I’ve heard it said,
But sometimes I wonder, as I go to bed.
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,
And my glasses on a shelf, until I get up.
And when sleep dims my eyes, I say to myself,
Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf?

The reason I know my youth has been spent,
Is my get-up-and-go has got-up-and-went!
But really I don’t mind, when I think with a grin,
Of all the places my get-up has been.

I get up each morning and dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper and read the obits.
If my name is missing, I’m therefore not dead,
So I eat a good breakfast and jump back into bed.

The moral of this as the tale unfolds,
Is that for you and me, who are growing old.
It is better to say, “I’m fine” with a grin,
Than to let people know the shape we are in.

I AM FINE; HOW ARE YOU?

–Original source unknown

A cheerful heart is good medicine… (Prov 17:22Prov 17:22
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

22 A cheerful heart is a good medicine; But a broken spirit drieth up the bones.

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Thankfulness helps me to be content, and at peace – and that in turn enables me to get along with others (cf. James 4:1).

Sermon: “Thanks-Living” College Ave Church of Christ
Text: Colossians 3:15-17Colossians 3:15-17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God. 17 And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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Dan Williams
Aim: to remind Christians of the benefits of a thankful heart.
Thesis: an attitude of gratitude will enrich all of life: it will help to make our RELATIONSHIPS RIGHT, to make our ATTITUDE ATTRACTIVE, and to make our LIFE LOVELY.

Introduction:

THANKSGIVING is a holiday in which we are doubly blessed. From a purely human standpoint we appreciate Thanksgiving because we get a couple of days off, we enjoy the opportunity to be with our family, and we have a socially acceptable excuse to eat a lot! Friends, that’s a combination hard to beat!

But from a spiritual perspective Thanksgiving is also a blessing because it reminds us of one of the most pleasant duties in all the Bible: the command to give thanks to God for all the good things we have received!

It is always pleasant to “Count Our Blessings” because in so doing we are reminded of the good in our life, and of the God who has gifted us so richly (James 1:17James 1:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.

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). It is impossible for a Christian to take a sustained inventory of all for which we have to be thankful without being moved to praise.

The Bible says a great deal about “thanksgiving,” but it is the apostle Paul who, more than any other individual, returns again and again to the subjects of “thankfulness” and “gratitude.” It is a major theme of all his writings. I’m not sure why Paul was so fond of the topic of “thanksgiving”, but I suspect it has something to do with the circumstances of his conversion.

Paul was one of those people who have experienced a dramatic change in their life. He was headed down the wrong road when God unexpectedly intervened; as a result, Paul got a second chance, a chance that deep down he knew he didn’t deserve.

Now, don’t get me wrong – we’re all sinners: none of us “deserve” to be saved. But I DO believe some people have a strong sense of how their life could have turned out differently had they not found the Lord– and I believe Paul was one of those fortunate Christians who never take their salvation for granted, who never quite get over the “wonder” of God’s marvelous grace, and consequently he was grateful for the rest of his life.
Whatever the reason, we do know that Paul’s letters are punctuated with expressions of thankfulness and exhortations to bethankful. For example, TURN to the little book of Colossians, the setting for today’s text. In just four chapters Paul manages to speak of “thanksgiving”, “joy”, and “gratitude” 10 times! In fact, he mentions the subject in every chapter!

In Chapter 1 Paul begins in verse 3 by thanking God for the faith and love of the Colossian saints. Later, in verse 12 of that same chapter, he encourages them to give thanks!

Notice in Chapter Two how Paul describes the Christian life: v. 6-7 “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing withthanksgiving.”

Later, in Chapter 4 Paul gives one final reminder to “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (4:2).

And in Chapter 3, in our text for today, he mentions “thankfulness” 3 times in 3 consecutive verses! And each verse reminds of us one of the BENEFITS of thanksgiving! We’ll see that an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE is always good for us, because:

BODY:

I. IT MAKES OUR RELATIONSHIPS RIGHT!

Verse 15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

For years I read this verse without comprehending the significance of those last three words – “and be thankful.” I thought they were just “tacked on”, added “for good measure” (like when you’re following a recipe for cookies or cake, and it calls for a “pinch of salt”). I didn’t understand the connection between “thankfulness” and Paul’s subject. But, look at the context:

• v. 12-14 RELATIONSHIPS
• v. 15a “peace of Christ in your hearts” (INDIVIDUAL ATTITUDE)
• v. 15b “members of one body” (CONGREGATION HARMONY).
Then one day it hit me! Paul says “and be thankful” because an attitude of gratitude helps create harmony among brethren. That is, if I have peace WITHIN me, then I can experience HARMONY with others!

Thankfulness helps me to be content, and at peace – and that in turn enables me to get along with others (cf. James 4:1James 4:1
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

4 1 Whence come wars and whence come fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your pleasures that war in your members?

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). A grateful person is going to be a POSITIVE person, and a positive person is not looking for a fight, isn’t quarrelsome or contentious! Ungrateful people, on the other hand, are going to be dissatisfied with themselves and unhappy with others, and they will cause resentment wherever they go.

STORY: A man writing at a post-office desk was approached by an elderly fellow who asked, “Young man, I can’t see very well: could I ask you to address this postcard for me?” “Yes sir, I’d be glad to.” “And while you’re at it, would you put this stamp on it?” “Sure, no problem.” “One other thing: could you write out my message on the back?” So the man gladly took down the message he dictated. Then the man asked, “Now, would you sign my name?” The man dutifully signed the older man’s name, held up the card and said, “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

The old fellow looked at the card, thought a moment, then ordered, “Yes. Add this at the end: ‘P.S. Please excuse the sloppy handwriting.’”

Look at it this way – who would you rather associate with: someone who is always grumbling and complaining – or someone who is optimistic and cheerful? People who routinely recite their burdens in life – or people who continually count their blessings?

You know the answer! When people go to a pet shop to buy a bird, they’re looking for a songbird – a parakeet, or a cockatiel, or a finch. I’ve never heard of anyone going into a pet shop and asking for a buzzard! No one wants to be around a person who always looks for the rotten in life! An ungrateful person is never at peace – not with himself, not with others!

So, the first thing thankfulness does is to make our RELATIONSHIPS RIGHT – it keeps us from becoming sour, bitter, hard-to-get-along-with grumblers! “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
II. IT MAKES OUR ATTITUDES ATTRACTIVE!

Verse 16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God”.

Note first: WE CAN CHOOSE OUR ATTITUDES! If we can choose to “LET the word of Christ dwell in (us) richly” – then we have the ability determine what we will think about, focus on, what we will dwell on in life! Look back at verses 1-2 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Setyour minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

I have a friend in Virginia who has an unusual radio in his office– he received it from a local radio station many years ago as part of their promotional campaign. It was FREE – but there was a “catch”: it could only pick up that specific station! His radio only had one setting!

Have you noticed how many folks go through life with the same problem? They are only “tuned in” to the trials and troubles that come their way. That’s ALL they can focus on! Thank God we can have more than one “setting”! Difficulties will come, but by faith we can choose to “set our minds on things above”, to “let the Word of Christ dwell in (us) richly.”

Note second: WE CAN CHOOSE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE! Thankful people have a healthier perspective on life, because gratitude causes us to focus on our blessings, not our burdens. Without a sense of gratitude, we can never experience the blessing of contentment.

Some friends were planning a shopping trip and their four-year-old daughter had some birthday money and chore money to spend. My friends are good Christian parents, and wanting to use this as an opportunity to teach a lesson in perspective, they told their daughter: “Now, we don’t need to buy everything we see – we need to be thankful for what we have.” The girl replied“When I have EVERYTHING I want, THEN I’ll be thankful for what I have.” Now that isn’t unexpected logic for a four-year-old; but you know, there are a lot of 40-year-olds who feel the same way, and it absolutely makes them miserable!

When we have an attitude of gratitude, when we choose to focus on what we DO have, and be thankful for God’s goodness, it sure improves our perspective on life! GRATITUDE is the ATTITUDE that makes life GREAT! And the third reason thankfulness is good for us:

III. IT MAKES LIFE LOVELY!

Verse 17 “and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

This is the third verse in a row in which Paul commends “thankfulness.” Do you think perhaps he’s trying to tell us something? Well, in case we haven’t gotten the message by now, in this verse he makes it unmistakably clear: WE CAN ALWAYS HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE!

Consider what a comprehensive command this is! “WHATEVER you do…whether in word or deed…ALL”. God’s Word is emphatically telling us “thanksgiving” is not just a holiday- it’s a way of life! In fact, we could say it’s more than “thanks-giving”- it’s “thanks-LIVING”!

No matter what life throws at us, we can choose to be positive – to focus on our blessings! That reminds us of another passage by Paul:

Philippians 4:4-7Philippians 4:4-7
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4 Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

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“Rejoice in the Lord always. And again I say, Rejoice!…Do not be anxious about anything, but ineverything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, presents your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (cf. Ephesians 5:20Ephesians 5:20
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20 giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;

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As children of a gracious Father (cf. Matthew 7:7-11Matthew 7:7-11
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7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, who, if his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone; 10 or if he shall ask for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

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) we know that in difficult situations we can ask for help and be confident that our Lord is willing and able to answer prayer. But note HOW we are to make those requests – “with thanksgiving”.

Why? Could it be that whining, demanding, self-pitying people are tiresome – even to God? Self-centered prayers must weary the Lord, because he knows that blessing UNGRATEFUL people is a waste of time – they’ll only find something else to grumble about!
In one part of Mexico, because of a geothermal quirk deep underground, a hot spring and a cold spring can be found bubbling up side by side. Years ago the women of the nearby village could be seen boiling their clothes in the water of the hot springs and rinsing them in the cold springs. A tourist, watching this procedure, remarked to his Mexican friend, “I guess they think old Mother Nature is pretty generous.”

“Oh no, senor”, the other replied. “There is much grumbling because she supplies no soap.”

Well, God wants to rescue us from the prison of such pettiness – so he commands us to be thankful, in part for our own benefit! When you think of it that way, its just another reminder of how good God is – we can even be thankful he commands us to be thankful, because an attitude of gratitude makes life lovely!

CONCLUSION:

This is the time of year when we are reminded of our blessings – but our text teaches us that for children of God “thanksgiving” is more than a holiday- it is a way of life! It is, if you will, “Thanks-Living.” And this morning we have been reminded why an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE is good for us:

• It makes our RELATIONSHIPS RIGHT.
• It makes our ATTITUDES ATTRACTIVE.
• It makes our LIFE LOVELY.

STORY: Some years ago Keith Obraske of Fridley, Minnesota went to an ATM machine just before Thanksgiving to withdraw $20- instead, the machine spit out $5,580! “I felt like I’d won the lottery,” said the young man who works as a ceiling sprayer. “I just kept scooping it up!” That’s a parable of MY life- and YOURS! All of us have received so much more than we ever expected- deserved- or earned.

By the way, Obraske did the honest and honorable thing- he gave the money back! God doesn’t require us to return all of his bounty- just a part. But He DOES ask for one very important response in return- AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE!

James 4:1James 4:1
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

4 1 Whence come wars and whence come fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your pleasures that war in your members?

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52 Ways to Begin Changing Your Life Today

(No-Cost or Low Cost)

  •     Do it!
  •     Stop Complaining!
  •     Serve someone less fortunate
  •     Collect quotes
  •     Volunteer
  •     Mentor a child
  •     Do something without personal glory
  •     Turn off the news
  •     Get rid of the stuff in your home (6 month rule)
  •     Make cookies for a neighbor
  •     Organize a neighborhood cookout
  •     Send one encouraging card a day
  •     Write a nice note and do not sign it
  •     Cut a neighbor’s yard
  •     Rake someone else’s leaves
  •     Offer to babysit for a young couple
  •     Stop checking email
  •     Attend church services
  •     Assist someone carry groceries to their car
  •     Put the buggy back at a supermarket
  •     Buy your wife flowers or your husband a box of chocolate
  •     Take your children to breakfast before school
  •     Send your parents a thank you note for raising you
  •     Buy someone’s dessert in a restaurant
  •     Leave a large tip
  •     Paint a picture and hang it in the living room
  •     Grow a garden and share your vegetables with others
  •     Plant flowers
  •     Bake a cake with your children and deliver it to the elderly.
  •     Take a walk and think
  •     Let someone in while in traffic
  •     Turn off the radio while driving and listen to the wind
  •     Read a book about something you disagree with
  •     Print photos you have taken and make a photo collage.
  •     Write “your story”
  •     Learn a new hobby
  •     Fast for a day
  •     Clean your closet out and donate your clothes to the homeless
  •     Plant a tree
  •     Giveaway some extra jewelry you have to a single mother
  •     Call your parents and tell them ‘Thank You”
  •     Volunteer to speak at school regarding your profession or hobby
  •     Donate your used cell phone to a woman’s shelter or a solider overseas
  •     Pay for a couple to attend a marriage retreat. (Do so anonymously)
  •     Take off work early and spend time with your family.
  •     Write a letter to a soldier and tell them how great a job they are doing. (http://www.adoptaussoldier.org/)
  •     Smile
  •     Donate school supplies to children in need.
  •     Send a widow some flowers
  •     Read 1 book a month
  •     Begin journaling
  •     Turn off your computer for a day and get out of the chair.

Changing the world does not start with a gigantic event, it starts with you and what you can do at this moment.

Chris Gallagher

My grandfather just died

EXPECTATIONS OF JESUS

 

After being with his blind date all evening, the man couldn’t take another minute with her.  Earlier, he had secretly arranged to have a friend call him to the phone so he would have an excuse to leave if something like this happened.

When he returned to the table, he lowered his eyes, put on a grim expression and said, “I have some bad news.  My grandfather just died.”

“Thank goodness,” his date replied. “If yours hadn’t, mine would have had to!”

I am so glad that I don’t have to deal with the “dating scene” — worrying about making a good first impression so that I can meet her expectations and trying to deal with the awkwardness of the situation if she’s doesn’t meet my expectations.  That’s especially the problem with “blind dates”, something I managed to avoid altogether in my dating years.  You get an image in your mind of what your date is going to be like (or what you hope she’s going to be like), and it often doesn’t take much to shatter that misconception.  Granted, your date could possibly turn out to be better than you expected, but it seldom seems to work out that way.

That was a problem that Jesus faced when he came to this earth.  He should have been greeted with open arms — after all, he was the long-awaited Messiah.  The problem is that the Jews had expectations of what the Messiah would be like.  For most of the Jews, that preconception involved an earthly king who would boot the Romans out of the land and assume control.  In fact, they were quite prepared to make Jesus that king (John 6:15John 6:15
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

15 Jesus therefore perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force, to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain himself alone.

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Even without that misconception, though, none of the Jews could imagine a Messiah hanging on a cross.  So the cross became a “stumbling block” to the Jews and “foolishness” to the Greeks (I Cor. 1:23).  Jesus didn’t meet their expectations and they hurried to find a way to end the relationship.

Philip Yancey deals with this topic in his book “The Jesus I Never Knew”. He speaks of his own misconceptions of Jesus at an early age:  “I recalled the Sunday school image of Jesus that I grew up with:  someone kind and reassuring, with no sharp edges at all — a Mister Rogers before the age of children’s television.”  Certainly Jesus was kind and reassuring, but he was so much more than that — he was a man who was strong (physically and emotionally) and passionate.

What’s important is that we allow the Gospels to define who Jesus was, and not expect him to measure up to our preconceived ideas.  I challenge you to read the Gospels in a fresh light.  Remove all expectations and allow the Word of God to define and shape who Jesus was.  I guarantee the Messiah will turn out to be better than you expected!

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14John 1:14
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us , full of grace and truth.

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Have a great day!

Alan Smith