Archives for : November2009

WHEN YOU HIT AN ELEPHANT IN ENID


No, not Enid, Kenya, or Enid, India.  Enid, Oklahoma.  The story slipped by me, as I was recuperating from the return trip from Cambodia.  On November 4, a Wednesday night, Bill and Deena Carpenter were returning to their home from church services.  Driving down the highway in their SUV, Bill at only the last second saw the 4,500he 4,500
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pound animal standing in the middle of the road.  He attempted to evade the pachyderm, but the eight foot Asian elephant was too big to miss.  The good news is that neither the humans nor the elephant were seriously injured.  The massive mammal had escaped earlier that day from a circus set up at a nearby fairgrounds.  It seems to me that there are a few important reminders to consider from this bizarre incident.

IT IS A REMINDER THAT SOME THINGS ARE OUT OF PLACE.  Enid  is an unusual place to (literally) run into an elephant.  Elephants just do not roam our countryside in America.  Some things are incongruous and not just elephants running free in Oklahoma.  Worldly Christians, aimless shepherds, inactive deacons, scriptureless preachers, warring brethren, and the like are more out of place than an elephant on the lam in Enid!

IT IS A REMINDER THAT SOME THINGS ARE TOTALLY UNEXPECTED.  When is the last time your friend or loved one warned you to be on the lookout for elephants on the loose as you drove home?  You just do not anticipate the need for such a warning.  Some things cannot be foreseen, can they?  How many of our trials and difficulties came with clear, sufficient warning?  Certainly some do, but many more do not!  Furthermore, what a reminder that the second coming of Christ will not come with signs or prescient warnings (1 Thess. 5:2; 21 Thess. 5:2; 2
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2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 2 1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entering in unto you, that it hath not been found vain: 2 but having suffered before and been shamefully treated, as ye know, at Philippi, we waxed bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God in much conflict. 3 For our exhortation is not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: 4 but even as we have been approved of God to be intrusted with the gospel, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God who proveth our hearts. 5 For neither at any time were we found using words of flattery, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness, God is witness; 6 nor seeking glory of men, neither from you nor from others, when we might have claimed authority as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle in the midst of you, as when a nurse cherisheth her own children: 8 even so, being affectionately desirous of you, we were well pleased to impart unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were become very dear to us. 9 For ye remember, brethren, our labor and travail: working night and day, that we might not burden any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and righteously and unblameably we behaved ourselves toward you that believe: 11 as ye know how we dealt with each one of you, as a father with his own children, exhorting you, and encouraging you, and testifying, 12 to the end that ye should walk worthily of God, who calleth you into his own kingdom and glory. 13 And for this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when ye received from us the word of the message, even the word of God, ye accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also worketh in you that believe. 14 For ye, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judaea in Christ Jesus: for ye also suffered the same things of your own countrymen, even as they did of the Jews; 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove out us, and pleased not God, and are contrary to all men; 16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved; to fill up their sins always: but the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. 17 But we, brethren, being bereaved of you for a short season, in presence not in heart, endeavored the more exceedingly to see your face with great desire: 18 because we would fain have come unto you, I Paul once and again; and Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of glorying? Are not even ye, before our Lord Jesus at his coming? 20 For ye are our glory and our joy.

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Pet. 3:10; Matt. 24:35Matt. 24:35
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35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

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). The problems and adversities of this life often cannot be prepared for, but that coming, great, and unexpected day can and must be anticipated.

IT IS A REMINDER THAT EVEN THE BIGGEST ISSUES CAN BE MANAGEABLE.  No doubt, Bill’s life flashed before his eyes.  As he yelled “elephant” at the last second, he might have had time to think that this would be his last word.  Mercifully, all parties escaped serious problems. What at first appeared catastrophic now makes for the story to end all dinner-party stories!  How often do our looming problems seem overwhelming and utterly devastating only to pass like a storm with dark clouds and thunder but no damaging winds, rains, or hail?  Too many times, we are so paralyzed by fear and worry over our personal challenges that we miss opportunities for spiritual growth and development (cf. 1 Pet. 5:71 Pet. 5:7
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7 casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you.

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; 1 Cor. 10:131 Cor. 10:13
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13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.

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).  We do not face a difficulty too hard for the Lord to handle.

No, you almost certainly will never hit an elephant driving down the highway this side of an African safari.  Yet, you will be called to be salt and light in this world, a challenge that may make you awkwardly stand out at times.  You will face the unexpected, both now and ultimately.  You will also face supersized but surmountable issues in life.  Do what you can to prepare, then leave the rest of it in the omnipotent hands of God!

Neal Pollard

An overview of repentance

An overview of repentance  

THE BIBLE WARNS US IN MANY DIFFERENT PLACES AND WAYS THAT ADDING CHRIST AND KEEPING SIN WILL NOT WORK.

 a)      In Mt. 3:2Mt. 3:2
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2 Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

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John the Baptizer told people to “repent.”

b)      Jesus (Mt. 4:17Mt. 4:17
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17 From that time began Jesus to preach, and to say, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

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) preached this same message:  repent

c)      In Lk. 24:46-47Lk. 24:46-47
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46 and he said unto them, Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day; 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

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Jesus said the prophets had predicted “repentance.”

d)     In Lk. 13:3Lk. 13:3
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3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.

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Jesus said “repent or perish.”

e)      The apostles, in places such as Acts 3:19Acts 3:19
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19 Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord;

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, said “repent.”

f)       Later in the New Testament (2 Pet. 3:92 Pet. 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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) Peter said God wants all people to “repent.”

2)      Repent is a key word in the scriptures.

3)      What does this key word mean?

a)      Some would say repentance means “sorrow for sin.”

b)      Others say it is “regret” (remorse).

4)      Repentance goes deeper.

5)      This fact might cause some to think that repentance must be confession.

6)      As important as confession is, it is still not quite repentance.

7)      If all the preceding things do not adequately describe repentance, what about cessation from sin?

8)      Maybe repentance means a person is doing something bad and they quit that activity.

9)      Repentance does involve the cessation of sin.

a)      Repentance is a recognition of sin, a turning from sin, and embracing what is right.

10)  The jailer in Acts 16 typifies repentance.

11)  People at Ephesus had some books that were not consistent with the gospel (Acts 19:19Acts 19:19
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19 And not a few of them that practised magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all; and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

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).

12)  Think of the wayward son in Lk. 15 – he had sorrow; he was ready to apologize.

13)  The people of Ninevah “repented” (they turned from sin and turned to God).

a)      Repentance applies to the non-Christian; it is a step in becoming a Christian.

b)      When a Christian becomes involved with sin, he or she also “repents.”

14)  There are some motivations to encourage repentance.

a)      God’s love motivates us to repent as do God’s blessings.

b)      Concern about punishment will also cause people to repent.

15)  Repentance is really a process that involves all people (Acts 17:30Acts 17:30
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30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent:

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).

a)      2 Cor. 7:9-102 Cor. 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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as “godly sorrow.”

b)      With the human race there is “wordly sorrow” and there is “Godly sorrow.”

16)  Ps. 51:4Ps. 51:4
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4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, And done that which is evil in thy sight; That thou mayest be justified when thou speakest, And be clear when thou judgest.

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.

17)  Rom. 1:16Rom. 1:16
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16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

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says the gospel is God’s “power” to salvation.

18)  Eph. 6:17Eph. 6:17
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17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

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refers to the Bible as the “sword of the Spirit.”

19)  Heb. 4:12Heb. 4:12
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12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.

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says the word of God is “living, active and sharper than any two edged sword.”

20)  God’s word “works” in people’s lives (1 Thess. 2:131 Thess. 2:13
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13 And for this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when ye received from us the word of the message, even the word of God, ye accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also worketh in you that believe.

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) and the scriptures urge people to repent.

 21)  When we repent, the result is forgiveness.

a)      Lk. 15:10Lk. 15:10
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10 Even so, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

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.

22)  Jesus once told a story about a man who had two sons (Mt. 21:28-32Mt. 21:28-32
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28 But what think ye? A man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to-day in the vineyard. 29 And he answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented himself, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father? They say, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye saw it, did not even repent yourselves afterward, that ye might believe him.

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).

23)  Jesus also said this son later “repented” (he changed his mind for the better).

24)  Repentance is one of the least understood and applied commands in the Bible.

Christmas poll – participate in this "Christmas survey"

Christmas 2009 – will you spend MORE this Christmas, LESS this Christmas, or about the same? Take the “Christmas survey poll” today!

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If you are looking for a great holiday gift, consider the Bible commentaries from www.abiblecommentary.com.

Black Friday special from www.abiblecommentary.com

Get a copy of the Romans commentary from www.abiblecommentary.com. This Bible commentary is an excellent gift for a special Bible class teacher or minister.  Through midnight November 27th, 2009 any U.S. resident can purchase this volume for $12.95 and there is FREE BOOK RATE SHIPPING!

Use this special “Black Friday link” to order your book before midnight!

This deal is GONE!  Be watching for a “Christmas commentary special” for 2009!

Thanksgiving 2009!

This Thursday we enter what is traditionally called the “holiday season.”  Likely our busy schedules will become even more busy, and our hurry up pace will likely become a dead run for the duration of the year.  But still, all in all, this is a most pleasant season of enjoyment.  The reunion with loved ones, the abundance of food and the expression of thanksgiving during the holiday season bring joy and happiness to the truly appreciative. How grateful we should be for the blessings God has given us.

May I suggest two things for your consideration this holiday season?  (1) Consider what you have, not what you lack.  Most of us enjoy material possessions far and above that of the average world. Be grateful for God’s provisions, and even more thankful for those little “extras” that make life enjoyable.  (2) Spend some time this week to meditate upon God’s goodness to you. Get off by yourself and say a little prayer to Him from Whom all blessings flow, and that in rich abundance. (3) Finally, realize that with increased blessings come increased responsibility.  Read Luke 16:19-27Luke 16:19-27
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19 Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day: 20 and a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table; yea, even the dogs come and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels into Abraham's bosom: and the rich man also died, and was buried. 23 And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things: but now here he is comforted and thou art in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that they that would pass from hence to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from thence to us. 27 And he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house;

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, Matthew 25 and Luke 12:45-48Luke 12:45-48
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45 But if that servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46 the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he expecteth not, and in an hour when he knoweth not, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint his portion with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant, who knew his lord's will, and made not ready, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes; 48 but he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more.

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.  Then ask yourself if you are properly sharing what you have with those who have not.

 I’ll close with this thought provoking analysis of how blessed many of us truly are:

 If you own just one Bible, you are abundantly blessed. 1/3 of the world does not have access to even one.

 If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive the week.

 If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people around the world.

 If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest or torture of death, you are more blessed that almost three billion people in the world.

 If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

 If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.

 If your parents are still married and alive, you are very rare, even in the United States.

 If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

 If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer God’s healing touch.

 If you prayed yesterday and today, you are in the minority because you believe in God’s willingness to hear and answer prayer.

 If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read anything at all.

 Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

–by Tom Wacaster

 

The Letter "V" for "victory"

The Letter “V”

A student of Amherst College, soon after entering, put over the door of his dormitory room the letter “V.” Because of this he endured all sorts of ridicule and withstood frequent questioning. But he paid no attention to either, nor would he disclose the secret of the letter.

When he completed four years of education and graduation day came, the student was appointed to deliver the valedictory. Then the mystery of that letter V was revealed: it stood for valedictorian. That letter on the door held before him during his four years the ideal that he had set for himself.

Not every one of us places an actual letter over the door of our college room or over the door of our house. But nevertheless, somewhere, if only in our minds, there is a “letter” that we hold before us as an ideal.

Some put up the letter “M” that stands for MONEY.
Others put up “F” for FAME.
Others put up “S” which simply stands for SELF. *

The letter that we NEED to place before us is the letter “C” which stands for CHRIST.  Why is He so important?

Christ addresses our greatest need: salvation from sin.  Sin condemns, but Christ saves (Romans 6:23Romans 6:23
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23 For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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)!  He died on the cross so that we might have the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 1:7Ephesians 1:7
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7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

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).  We receive His forgiveness when we submit our lives to Him in faith (Acts 16:30-31Acts 16:30-31
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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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), turning from our sins in repentance (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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), confessing Him before men (Romans 10:9-10Romans 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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), and being baptized (immersed) in His name for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16Acts 2:38; 22:16
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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. 16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.

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).

Christ gives us our greatest purpose: to live for Him and urge others to do the same.  “He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:152 Corinthians 5:15
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15 and he died for all, that they that live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again.

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).

Christ provides our greatest aspiration: eternal life with Him in heaven.  This is that for which the Apostle Paul looked forward: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-82 Timothy 4:7-8
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7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: 8 henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing.

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Step outside the door of your heart and look at the letter you have placed there.  What letter is it? 

The right letter is “C” for Christ.  And, if we will place Him as the focus of our lives, then the letter “V” will also be OURS to own throughout eternity:
 “V” for VICTORY!

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:571 Corinthians 15:57
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57 but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Won’t YOU place the letter “C” above the door of your heart through your trusting obedience? 

David A. Sargent, Minister

Polly Want A Wake-Up Call?

Parrots can be a noisy nuisance sometimes, but there is at least one Muncie, Indiana family that may never complain about that noise again.

Shannon Conwell and his nine-year-old son awoke about 3 a.m. last Friday to find their home on fire after hearing their Amazon parrot, Peanut, imitating a fire alarm. The smoke alarm was functioning properly and had activated, but it was the bird’s matching call that awoke Conwell. Upon realizing the gravity of the situation, Conwell grabbed his son and the bird on his way out of the house.

Paul’s God-breathed words to the church in first century Corinth were as follows:
For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you then, be imitators of me.
1 Corinthians 4:15-161 Corinthians 4:15-16
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15 For though ye have ten thousand tutors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I begat you through the gospel. 16 I beseech you therefore, be ye imitators of me.

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, ESV

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:11 Corinthians 11:1
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11 1 Be ye imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.

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, ESV

When you follow the example of a true-hearted Christian, you are following Paul. When you follow the Godly example of a Christian who is following the lead of Paul, you are following Christ. Your words stake claim to being in the light of Christ. When people imitate your faith and manner of life, are they (by connection) following Christ?

The Conwells of Muncie, Indiana learned how crucial an effective imitation can be. Men and women outside the body of Christ need an accurate imitation of Christ — sounding the warning cry, and leading others to safety.
When people imitate your faith and manner of life (and they will), will they be led toward or away from safety?

–Mike Benson

QRK78WG95T5Z

How to avoid sexual temptation

HERE ARE WAYS to avoid sexual temptations:
 
1.  DO keep visual reminders of your marriage contracts.  Always wear your wedding ring when in public.  Keep pictures of your spouse in your wallet, in your workspace, etc.  When you placed that ring on your mate’s finger, you promised your heart, affections, loyalty, and faithfulness until death.
 
2.  DON’T be overconfident.  Recognize your weak points (1 Cor. 10:121 Cor. 10:12
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12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

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).  One is vulnerable after a major letdown or major success.  Those who are depressed or having marital problems can easily fall into illlicit relationships.
 
3.  DO avoid flirty people.  If a flirtatious woman or man is in the break room, go elsewhere.  A wise person avoids evil (Prov. 22:3Prov. 22:3
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3 A prudent man seeth the evil, and hideth himself; But the simple pass on, and suffer for it.

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4.  DON’T send mixed messages.  Avoid prolonged stares, lingering touches, or joking that may be construed as flirting.
 
5.  DO be on guard when out of your normal routine.  Business trips, vacations, new jobs, new memberships at gyms, sports teams, etc.  When away overnight, call home and talk to your spouse and children.  Block out the TV sex channels, or leave it off altogether.
 
6.  DON’T let friendships cross the line.  Never do anything when your mate is absent that you would not do in his/her presence.  If things are heading toward adultery, it is important to put emotional and physical distance between you and this person — right now.  Avoid them.
 
7.  DO be aware of the power that immodest dress has on you.  Don’t pick up the magazine; don’t click the web link; sit with your back toward indecently dressed women in a restaurant or office.  Don’t wear a garment that sends a message you don’t want received.
 
8.  DON’T let a person of the opposite sex confide in you about marriage problems.
 
9.  DO take drastic action if a line has been crossed.  Quit a hobby, change jobs, break a friendship, change congregations, move to a new city.  Completely avoid seeing this person.
 
10.  CELEBRATE your 25th and 50th anniversaries, you’ll be glad you kept your vows(Banner of Truth)
“Flee sexual immorality…” (1 Cor. 6:181 Cor. 6:18
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18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

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–Mike Benson

DEALING WITH CRITICISM

[polldaddy poll=2292573]     A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband.

     Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen.

     “Careful,” he said, “CAREFUL!  Put in some more butter!  Oh no!  You’re
cooking too many at once.  TOO MANY!  Turn them!  TURN THEM NOW!  We need
more butter.  Oh no!  WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER?  They’re going
to STICK!  Careful.  CAREFUL!  I said be CAREFUL!  You NEVER listen to me
when you’re cooking!  Never!  Turn them!  Hurry up!  Are you CRAZY?  Have
you LOST your mind?  Don’t forget to salt them.  You know you always forget
to salt them.  Use the salt.  USE THE SALT!  THE SALT!”

     The wife stared at him. “What in the world is wrong with you?  You
think I don’t know how to fry a couple of eggs?”

     The husband calmly replied, “I just wanted to show you what it feels
like when I’m driving.”

     Criticism.  We’ve all experienced it.  Sometimes it is justified,
sometimes it is not.  But none of us like it.  No one enjoys being told they
are doing something wrong.

     Guy Woods has written, “Inasmuch as criticism is inevitable, we must,
in order to be happy, acquire an ability to rise above it.  He who is overly
sensitive to the opinions of others is at the mercy of every gossiper of his
acquaintance.  Some folks purr like a kitten when stroked by praise; but
when criticized, they become resentful, discouraged, and quit.  It is highly
essential that everyone discover a technique for dealing with the adverse
opinions of others, and use it regularly and effectively.”

     Let me offer several brief bits of advice when you are criticized:

(1)  Expect criticism.

     Realize that the more active you are, the more criticism you will
receive.  There’s an eminent British cabinet officer’s wife who is said to
have kept this embroidered motto on their living room wall:  “To escape
criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”  Who catches the criticism?
It’s the ones who are out there in the middle of things with their sleeves
rolled up.

(2)  Criticism can serve a useful purpose.  Learn from it.

     Recognize that some criticisms are certainly deserved.  Even when
critics are unkind and when they exaggerate our failures, there may still be
some truth in what they say.  So, when faced with criticism, we need to look
at the situation honestly and ask these questions:  Is it true?  If so, how
can I overcome the condition that caused it?  If not, is there something I
can do to eliminate future criticism of the same type?

     “The ear that hears the reproof of life will abide among the wise.  He
who disdains instructions despises his own soul, but he who heeds reproof
gets understanding.” (Proverbs 15:31-32Proverbs 15:31-32
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

31 The ear that hearkeneth to the reproof of life Shall abide among the wise. 32 He that refuseth correction despiseth his own soul; But he that hearkeneth to reproof getteth understanding.

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(3)  Having gotten any benefit we can from criticism, we need to forget it.

     There are times when people will criticize you and the best thing you
can do is just to keep on serving God.  We’ve got to accept the fact there
is no way that unfair criticism can be dealt with.  In a lot of situations,
the more you may attempt to answer criticism, the worse the criticism
becomes.

     Paul said, “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be
judged by you or by a human court.  In fact, I do not even judge myself.
For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but he
who judges me is the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-42 Corinthians 4:3-4
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish: 4 in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them.

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     As we receive criticism in our lives, may God help us to be honest
enough and humble enough to look into our hearts and make changes that are
necessary, and gracious enough to ignore that criticism which is unfair.
–Alan Smith

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Too Many Engineers

One of the worst train disasters in history occurred in the El Toro Tunnel in Leon, Spain, on January 3, 1944. Over five hundred people died.

The train was a long passenger train with an engine on both ends. As the train entered the El Toro Tunnel, the engine on the front end stalled. When the front engine stopped, the engineer on the back engine started up his engine to back the train out of the tunnel. As he proceeded, however, the front engineer managed to get the front engine started again and attempted to continue the journey in the opposing direction. Neither engineer had any way of communicating with the other. Both engineers thought they simply needed more power. They continued to pull in opposite directions for several minutes. Hundreds of passengers on the train in the tunnel died of carbon monoxide poisoning because the train was stuck in the tunnel because it was being pulled in two different directions! *

This tragic incident illustrates what can happen in our lives when we are pulled in different directions, following the lead of different “engineers”…

Many of US struggle as to which way to go with our lives.  We often give in to different “engineers” like our friends, our society, our families, and our selves, even though they may be pulling in opposite directions!

Long ago, the inspired prophet Jeremiah said, “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23Jeremiah 10:23
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

23 O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

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).  In other words, we need direction – we need a wise engineer – to help direct our steps.

In short, we need Jesus to be our Savior AND our Lord (Master, Ruler, “Engineer”).  
In fact, Jesus cannot be our SAVIOR unless He is our LORD!

Hank Hanegraaff has written: “Christ died to be our Savior and lives to be our Lord.”

Christ died on the cross to pay the price for our sins (Ephesians 1:7Ephesians 1:7
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7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

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).  We are saved from our past sins when we believe and trust Jesus (Acts 16:30-31Acts 16:30-31
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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 our sins in repentance (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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), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10Romans 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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), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16Acts 2:38; 22:16
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. 16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.

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).  We continue to be cleansed from our sins as we continue to acknowledge Him as the Lord of our lives through our trusting obedience to His Word (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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).  Jesus asked, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46Luke 6:46
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

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There are MANY engineers in the world that desire to control our lives, but there is only ONE Loving Lord.

Won’t YOU submit your life to Him so He can lead you to an eternal home?

David A. Sargent, Minister

.

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Have you found a “Black Friday deal” on a wii? Do you know of a wii combination deal that can shoppers some money? Post your wii black Friday deal here to help other shoppers this holiday season.

A Christian blog

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Things that ruin a day

HOW OFTEN DO you let other people’s nonsense change your mood…?
 
Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? The mark of a successful person is how quickly she can get back her focus on what’s important.
I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car’s back end by just inches! The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly.

So, I said, “Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!”  And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck.” Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you. When someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on.

I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I said, “I’m not going to do it anymore.”

One of my favorite football players of all time, Walter Payton, did this every day on the football field. He would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled. He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best. Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting. Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses. Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day.

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?  Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:43-48Matt. 5:43-48
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

43 Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: 44 but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; 45 that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. 46 For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the Gentiles the same? 48 Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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–Mike Benson

Right Under Our Noses

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev used to tell of a time when there was a wave of petty theft in the Soviet Union . To curtail this problem, the authorities posted guards around the factories. At one timber works in Leningrad the guard knew the workers in the factory very well. The first evening, out came Pyotr Petrovich pushing a wheelbarrow and, on the wheelbarrow, a great bulky sack with a suspicious-looking object inside.

“All right, Petrovich,” said the guard, “what have you got there?” “Oh, just sawdust and shavings,” Petrovich replied.

“Come on,” the guard said, “I wasn’t born yesterday. Tip it out.” And out came nothing but sawdust and shavings. So he was allowed to put it all back again and go home. When the same thing happened every night of the week the guard became frustrated. Finally, his curiosity overcame his frustration.

“Petrovich,” he said, “I know you. Tell me what you’re smuggling out of here, and I’ll let you go.” “Wheelbarrows, my friend,” said Petrovich, “wheelbarrows.”

The wheelbarrow incident reminds us of how easily YOU and I can become easily distracted by things that are trivial and lose things of tremendous value. This is one of Satan’s greatest weapons against us. He tempts us to focus on those things that are temporary and sensual (the things of the world, 1 John 2:15-161 John 2:15-16
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vain glory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

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), so that we will neglect the eternal and spiritual (the things of God, 1 John 2:171 John 2:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

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; 2 Corinthians 4:182 Corinthians 4:18
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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).

While we are examining the worthless sack of wood chips and shavings, the devil is smuggling wheelbarrows!

What Satan seeks most to “rob” from us is a saving relationship with God. This relationship has been made possible through the Gift of God’s Son who died on the cross to save us from our sins (Ephesians 1:7Ephesians 1:7
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

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). God has promised to redeem those who believe 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 sin 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 Him 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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). And, those who continue to follow the Heavenly Father faithfully will be given an eternal home with Him in heaven (Revelation 2:10Revelation 2:10
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10 Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life.

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Don’t let Satan rob YOU of your opportunity of eternal salvation through Christ.

Don’t be distracted…. Give attention to those things that are eternal! Submit to the Savior today!

David A. Sargent, Minister

Get a FREE on-line Bible commentary on the book of Romans through www.abiblecommentary.com today.  You may also get a FREE daily devotional by subscribing to my rss feed – http://abiblecommentary.com/blog/feed/ – or follow me on twitter.  I also operate a Christian blog on blogspot.

Thanksgiving survey poll

What do you plan to eat this coming Thanksgiving?  Will you eat turkey, goose, duck, or some other meat?  What will you have for side dishes?  Will it be cranberry sauce, gravy and stuffing?  Will it be dressing?  Will it be  sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes?  What about rice or “corn on the cob?”  Maybe deviled eggs and green beans are your prefernece with pumpkin pie for dessert.

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Get a FREE on-line Bible commentary on the book of Romans through www.abiblecommentary.com.  You may also get a FREE daily devotional by subscribing to my rss feed – http://abiblecommentary.com/blog/feed/ or follow me on twitter.  I also operate a Christian blog on blogspot.

BradPrice

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The cheapest gas

Is it right to turn another’s misfortune into our gain?

The days of 38-cents-per-gallon gas are long gone.
Customers at a San Antonio convenience store found
Tuesday, however, that the good old days had returned.
It was too good to be true, and that may explain why no
one told store manager Jim Duke about the price on his
premium gasoline.

Duke became suspicious when he saw larger-than-usual
crowds at the premium pump. When he went out to
investigate, he realized an error had been committed.
The price should have read $3.89 per gallon. By the
time the pump was turned off, a substantial amount of
money had been lost to opportunistic customers.

On Monday of this week a motorcyclist suffered
misfortune when a bag he was carrying ripped. Money
began spilling out on Interstate 10 near Los Angeles.
In the midst of speeding traffic, many people stopped.
They didn’t stop to help the motorcyclist, though;
they were helping themselves to the cash. Most of them
sped off when the highway patrol arrived.

“Too bad,” many will say about such incidents. “They
should have been more careful with their property.”
But is that the response God wants His people to make?

Deuteronomy 22:1,2Deuteronomy 22:1,2
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

22 1 Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely bring them again unto thy brother. 2 And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it home to thy house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him.

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addresses such a situation:

“You shall not see your brother’s
ox or his sheep going astray, and
hide yourself from them; you shall
certainly bring them back to your
brother. And if your brother is not
near you, or if you do not know him,
then you shall bring it to your own
house, and it shall remain with you
until your brother seeks it; then
you shall restore it to him” (NKJV).

We all suffer misfortunes and losses. Sometimes the loss
occurs because of our own negligence. Irresponsibility
doesn’t change God’s expectations, though. If we see that
another has suffered loss, we should not declare open
season on the misplaced loot.

The ultimate measure of our actions in any situation is
found in Luke 6:31Luke 6:31
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

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: “And just as you want men to do to
you, you also do to them likewise.” Jesus’ Golden Rule
is an easy standard to apply. If we would not want others
to do something to us, then we should not do the same to
them.

Instead of an opportunity to stuff our pockets, maybe this
is an opportunity to help a person recover or minimize
their loss. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do
good to all, especially to those who are of the household
of faith” (Galatians 6:10Galatians 6:10
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith.

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–Tim Hall

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Get a FREE on-line Bible commentary on the book of Romans through www.abiblecommentary.com.  You may also get a FREE daily devotional by subscribing to my rss feed – http://abiblecommentary.com/blog/feed/ or follow me on twitter.  I also operate a Christian blog on blogspot.

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Ditech offers this number – “1-800-DITECH-3” and says “Reach a Mortgage Consultant 24/7” – have you tried this?

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Get a FREE on-line Bible commentary on the book of Romans through www.abiblecommentary.com.  You may also get a FREE daily devotional by subscribing to my rss feed – http://abiblecommentary.com/blog/feed/ or follow me on twitter.  I also operate a Christian blog on blogspot.

Children's Greatest Fears


       Do you remember what your greatest fear was when you were a kid?  Maybe it still is your greatest fear today.  Thirty years ago, researchers at John Hopkins University reported that the five greatest fears of grade school children at that time were:
(1) Animals.
(2) Being in a dark room.
(3) High places.
(4) Strangers.
(5) Loud noises.

       As we all know, many aspects have changed over the past thirty years.  However, what children are afraid of today is very disturbing.  Compared to what kids were afraid of thirty years ago, today’s kids are afraid of the following:
 

 

(1) Divorce.
(2) Nuclear war.
(3) Cancer.
(4) Pollution.
(5) Being mugged.

       What a drastic change over this time period.  I was shocked that kids in grade school even knew what some of these are; much less know enough about them to be their greatest fears.  However, when we take a step back and take a look at our culture, what do we see?  We see the media hounding subjects like murder, war, cancer, pollution, crimes, politics, and other similar topics.  We see video games where the person playing the game has the freedom to run around streets and mug people, steal cars/possessions, kill police officers/other people, and other similar actions (Example – games like Grand Theft Auto).  We see movies, TV shows, and even some video games that are characterized by topics like divorce, cheating, war, cancer, and are exceedingly gory and violent.  We have also seen divorce happen so often that it has become ordinary.  It is no wonder our children are afraid of these types of situations.
       While it is not necessarily wrong for children to have some basic level of knowledge about these subjects, most of these should by no means be prevalent in their lives, especially during grade school.  This raises the question about what we are allowing to enter into our homes, our children, and ourselves.   Let’s re-familiarize ourselves with the following verses:
 

 

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6Proverbs 22:6
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6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it.

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“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
Deuteronomy 6:7Deuteronomy 6:7
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

7 and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

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“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:15Joshua 24:15
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15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve Jehovah, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah.

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       We simply cannot afford to let our households be filled with some of the sinful aspects of this world.  Let’s make sure we are controlling what our families and our children are experiencing from TV, video games, music, media, etc. as well as guard what they are filling their minds and hearts with.  Let’s bring more righteous and spiritual aspects into our lives and keep the sinful ones out (Romans 6:12-13Romans 6:12-13
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12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof: 13 neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

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Brett Petrillo 

 

Get a FREE on-line Bible commentary on the book of Romans through www.abiblecommentary.com.  You may also get a FREE daily devotional by subscribing to my rss feed – http://abiblecommentary.com/blog/feed/ or follow me on twitter.  I also operate a Christian blog on blogspot.