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Wednesday thoughts – July 1, 2020

One half of 2020 has quickly vanished. You and I have seen COVID-19 take its toll, unrest, civil disobedience, looting, killing, burning, and a general state of unrest. In the church, who would have ever given thought to wearing a mask, social distancing, cancelled services, church closing, live stream worship, parking lot worship, no embracing one another, dismissal by rows and no packing up the front porch. Oh, can you imagine having a worship service but not passing the offering plates. Now we ask people to place their tithes and offerings in a wooden box as they exit the building.

Oh, when will we see in America that which we knew seven months ago? Will things ever return to normal? Will millions of people be allowed to return to work? Will our restaurants be fully open? Will we ever be able to visit the sick in the hospital or nursing homes? I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I know the one who does.

The answers to our sickness, civil disobedience, and unrest is certainly not in the hands of man, but it is in the hands of God our creator. I challenge you to study Colossians 1:16-17. Let these verses be a reminder to you and me that God is our creator, and He is in charge of the future. Colossians 1:16 says, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominion, or principalities or powers: All things were created by Him and for Him.” Verse 17 says, “And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.”

In these times let us be reminded of Nahum 1:7, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him.” The Psalmist said it best in Psalm 121:1-2, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made Heaven and earth.”

In closing, I encourage you to pray for yourself, others, and leaders of our country. God is our only source of help and strength in these dark days.


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Sunday school lesson – June 28, 2020

The Lord is On My Side
Psalm 118:6

Dr. H.H. Savage wrote the following:

“Can the sun forget its rising? Can the stars forget to shine? Can the moon forget its duty? Then can God His will resign.

Can the sea forget to roar? Can the waves cease and be still? Can the waters stop giving? Then can God forget His will.

Can the skies above be measured? Can the foes of God prevail? Can a man earth’s structure fathom? Then God’s promises can fail.”

God said to Moses, “Be strong and of good courage; fear not , nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee nor forsake thee.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Can you say with confidence, “The Lord is on my side.”?

Today let us look at:

A) What gives me assurance.

B) Who gives me that assurance.

C) What happens to the man without assurance.

I. What gives me the assurance?

The Lord is on my side. Read the following in Psalm 34: 4, 6, 9, 18, 19 & 22.

II. Who gives me that assurance?

Read Romans 8:31-35

A) Who can be against us if God be for us? (Verse 31)

B) Who can condemn when Christ has died for us and is risen again? (Verse 31)

Having died with Him, we are now risen with Him. To them that are in Christ— there is no condemnation— neither by God, man, angel, or devil.

C) Who can lay anything to our charge when God has justified. (Verse 33)

D) Who shall separate us from the love of Him who gave himself for us. (Verse 35) Jesus said, “I have given unto them eternal life, they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.”

III. What happens to the man without the assurance that the Lord is on his side?

The rich young ruler had money, position, friends, rank, social status, and youth. However, he was missing the Lord in his life. (Luke 18:18)

All the money, position, friends, rank, social status, and youth were by his side instead of the Lord. How sad that is.

And then there was the rich farmer who had it all— but Jesus. (Luke 12:16-21)

What is life-like without Christ being by your side? Without Christ, what do you have?

WITHOUT CHRIST

Christ is the Way — Men without Him are like Cain, wandering vagabonds.

He is the Truth — Men without Him are dead in trespasses and sin.

He is the Light — Men without Him walk in darkness and know no whither they go.

He is the Vine — Men who are not in Him are withered branches prepared for the fire.

He is the Rock — Men not built on Him are carried away by the flood on judgment.

He is the Bread and Water of Life — Men without Him will hunger and thirst throughout all eternity.

He is the Alpha and Omega — Men without Him have neither beginning of good nor end of miseries.

Is there any happiness without Christ by your side?

Not in unbelief—

Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: “I wish I had never been born.”

Not in pleasure—

Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure, if anyone did.

He wrote: “The worm, the canker, and the grief are mine alone.”

Not in money—

Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”

Not in position and fame—

Lord Beaconfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: “Youth is a mistake, manhood, a struggle; old age a regret.”

The Lord is on my side— I will not fear. What can man do unto me?


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Wednesday thoughts – June 24, 2020

This past Sunday, Jean and I returned to her home place in in Ashland, MS. The farmhouse, though it was vacant, was full of all those things we collect on life’s journey. The more you look, the bigger the responsibility gets to clean out the house. Even though much has been hauled away, there is much that still remains. With each picture, vase, pot, pan, skillet, book, and record comes a memory.

From where did all this come? How old is this? Why did mother keep so much junk? It is interesting that junk to you and I may be a treasure to someone else. In 2014, Jean’s mom went to the nursing home where her granddaughter was the director. Of that time her mind was pretty clear. Her body had failed and she couldn’t live by herself. She fought going to the nursing home all the way. In the early fall of 2014, Chris wrote a letter to encourage her and thank her for the many memories that he had of his grandparents. Somehow, this past Sunday, the letter was handed to me, I read it, and relived those experiences that Chris had.

Every time we go to the farm, I see an overflowing well in the yard. I first saw the well in 1965, then a good stream of water flowed as it still does today. This reminds me of just how faithful the Lord really is. Regardless of what is going on in my life and yours— He is always faithful. I do not understand all that is happening in America right now— but I do know that God is faithful. He is and will be King of Kings. Regardless of politics, rioting, looting, uncertainty, massive death, earthquakes, tornados, and drought, our God is faithful.

Because of His faithfulness, you and I should be found praising Him. In Psalm 109:30 we read, “I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; Yea, I will praise Him among the multitudes.” As we read Psalm 145:21, there is a reminder, “My mouth shall spread the praise of the Lord; and let all flesh bless His holy Name for ever and ever.” Listen to this reminder in Revelation 4:11, “Thou are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”


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Sunday School Lesson – June 21, 2020

America Needs Dads Who Are in Touch With God

Are you in touch with the Lord?

Are you in touch with His will?

Are you listening to the Lord?

Is your heart in whatever God wants you to do?

I. What are the characteristics of a man who is out of touch?

A) He lives only for himself and does not please God. (Romans 15:1-3)

B) He lives to please men. (Galatians 1:10)

C) He lives to please the flesh. (Romans 8:8-9)

D) He simply does not have faith. (Romans 11:6)

II. Name some Biblical characters who were not in touch.

A) Peter is an outstanding figure of the New Testament. Take note of how he lost “touch” with God. At the Last Supper he promises to lay his life down for Christ. (John 13:37)

He took a step downward when he fell asleep. (Matthew 26:40) Next, he tried to kill a man. (John 18:10-11) Then he followed afar off. Then he denied Christ, (Matthew 26:69-70) and cursed. (Matthew 26:74)

B) Eli was out of touch with God. He allowed his sons to commit terrible sins in the House of God. (1 Samuel 2:12-17) Eli couldn’t hear God’s voice because of his evil.

Read 1 Samuel 3:2-18.

C) David was out of touch with God. Read Psalm 51. Here is a man who gave way to the passion of the flesh after God had so marvelously protected and revealed himself to him. Conclusion: See how he prays to be “restored” (Psalm 51)

III. What are the characteristics that identify the man who is in touch with God.

A) Those who ask the right thing from God

David asked for an understanding heart to discern between good and bad, and the speech please the Lord. (1 Kings 3:9-10)

B) Those who are separated for God (2 Timothy 2:4)

C) Those who are wholly yielded to God (Hebrews 3:1-3)

D) Those who walk with God

Enoch walked with God, and he had a testimony that pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5)

E) Those who praise God (Psalm 69:30-31)

Dad— are you in touch with God? Man— are you in touch with God?


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Wednesday thoughts – June 17, 2020

Do Not Settle for Substitutes
1 Timothy 4:6-16

A wise minister, in fact any believer, should know to nourish his spirit by feeding on the food that which will build him. Nothing should ever be substituted for the Word of God, not is a person wishes to grow in Christ and minister to the needs of a lost and dying world.

The story is told of a cow that grew bored with the fenced in grazing fields. She thought to herself, “I’ve fed off this pasture my whole life. I feel like a prisoner in this field— the grass sure does look greener on the other side.”

As she probed the fence, she discovered a place where she could finally get through. With a hardy shove of her shoulder, she was on the other side. Once there, she came eye to eye with another cow. “What brings you here?”, said the cow to her visitor, “I’ve come to try the grass on your side.” “That’s funny, I was just on my way to try the grass on your side.” The grass over here is artificial. It looks real pretty until you take a bite.

Folks, there are a lot of artificial substitutes available on the market today. Don’t settle for anything less than the best, the Word of God.

We live in perilous times, days of gross immorality, lawlessness, and violence. Yet, God has placed each believer in a strategic place, a place where the glorious power of the Gospel must be proclaimed.

God’s solution for the havoc produced by the false teachers of the world is to raise up true believers who are faithful to the Gospel. Instead of responding to the tug of the false teacher’s lies, the true believer is pulled by the irresistible draw of the Word of God— a pull that keeps him walking in the truth.

It was Edward Burke who commented, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Be determined to stand up for the truth. Tell of the marvelous truth of God’s Word, whenever, wherever, and whomever He gives you the opportunity.


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Magazines & devotionals available

Just a reminder that we have our magazines, “Home Life” and “Mature Life”, as well as our devotionals, “Journey”, “Stand Firm”, and “Open Windows” on the table outside the church office 9-1 M-F.  We also have a blue bag for for tithes.  This is for both those who can attend worship physically, but also and especially for those who are not able to attend and are worshiping on line.  Please feel free to take an extra copy and drop it off to one who is shut-in during this pandemic. 
 
Thank you.
 

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Sunday School Lesson – June 14, 2020

I Command You to Love One Another John 15:12-17

“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

Do I have a choice to love you or not love you? The answer is NO.

Verse 12 is not a suggestion. Verse 12 is a command.

We are to love one another— just as Jesus loved us. He loved you and I to the point that he paid the ultimate price. He died and sacrificed His life for man.

Read John 13:34-35 and 1 John 3:23

I. How am I to love my brother or sister in Christ?

Read 1 John 3:11-24. In these verses is the answer to the question.

II. What is the message of John 15:12?

A) We are to love and He loved.

B) We are to love one another and we know we are believers because we love one another.

C) If we have this world’s goods and our fellow believer is in need, and we refuse to help him— how dare we say the love of God dwells in us.

D) We are to love unbelievers, witness to them, and do all in our power to win them to Jesus.

Thought: A lot of church people preach great sermons and teach great lessons— but in their private lives— do not demonstrate the love of God.

Where do you measure up in the message of Verse 12?

Read John 15:13-16.

III. What is the message of love?

What is the message of love that you and I should have for each other?

A) Our love for each other should be self-sacrificing even to death if need be.

B) We should remember that, “God commended His love toward us, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Read Romans 5:6-8.

Read 1 John 4:7-21.

C) The Christian is a friend of Christ as well as a child of God.

Do you ever experience those times when you feel like that you do not have a friend? But, you do. You and I have a friend whose name is Jesus. Jesus never changes. He’s a friend who sticketh closer than a brother.

Read John 15:16.

Jesus reminds the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you. Why? He did so that we may bring forth good fruit.

Are we told to do that— to bring forth fruit? Read Matthew 28:19-20.

  • Are you a friend of Jesus?
  • Does He know you in a spiritual sense?
  • Are you leading others to Him?
  • Are you His friend?
  • Thought: There is no way to be his friend apart from knowing what He says. It is in His Word that you find what He says. Are you in His Word? Are you His friend?

I. How am I to love my brother or sister in Christ?

II. What is the message of John 15:12?

III. What is the measure of love?

IV. What is the command of John 15:17?

Thought: Picture Jesus on the way to the cross. Why does He command the disciples to love one another?

A) In the verses that follow, the fact that the world will hate believers is mentioned seven times.

B) Why did Jesus give this command to love one another?

Christians need to love one another, live in harmony, unity, and brotherly love— because our enemy, the devil, hates a true believer. Read 1 John 3:13. Do you want to be victorious as a believer? Love one another. Paul said it best in Romans 12:8-10.

Conclusion: How can I love my brother? Love as Jesus loved!


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Wednesday thoughts – June 10, 2020

Is yours a life of gratefulness? There is so much for which we should be thankful to Him. I encourage you to not lose sight of that in the midst of the troubled world in which we live.

The Easter Brothers, a widely know bluegrass gospel group wrote a song in 1975, with the following title, “Thank You Lord, For Your Blessings on Me.” I encourage you to read and reflect on the following lyrics:

“As the world looks upon me as I struggle along, and they say I have nothing, but they are so wrong; In my heart I’m rejoicing and how I wish they could see, Thank you Lord for your blessings on me.

I know I’m not wealthy, and these clothes are not new, and I don’t have much money, but Lord I have you; and to me that’s all that matters, though the world may not see, Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me.”

The chorus of the song was this:

“There’s a roof above me, I’ve a good place to sleep, there’s food on my table, and shoes on my feet; you gave me your love, Lord, and a fine family, Thank you Lord for your blessings on me.”

I encourage you to read and meditate on the following verses:

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Psalm 103:1-5

Is yours a life of gratefulness?


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