Without a great name!
Without ten thousands of other things!
BUT HE CAN NEVER GO TO HEAVEN WITHOUT CHRIST!
Without a great name!
Without ten thousands of other things!
BUT HE CAN NEVER GO TO HEAVEN WITHOUT CHRIST!
I stumbled across an old adage again that is mainly of interest to those who try to grow things but the principle involved has application to everything we do. The saying went like this: “The best fertilizer is the farmer’s footprints.” The message it tries to get across is that to be successful at growing anything the care and attention given is going to have more to do with the success of the venture than any other one thing. You can immediately see all the applications. The best nutrition for a child is the love and nurture provided by loving and attentive parents. The best thing for a marriage or any other relationship is the attention given it. The most important thing for success in a business or profession is the personal attention given. And the most important contribution given a church is the care, love and devotion provided by sincerely concerned members who focus their attention on the needs of all the other members of the church and unsaved members of the community and world.
The book of Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 16 informs us that the whole body is “fitly framed together by that which every joint supplieth.” In this simile “every joint” is referring to every member. Our trouble often comes from the fact that there are too many members within the church (the body) who fail to provide the help that God is looking for them to supply. When a member, any member, fails to do all he can, the church is going to suffer. There’s no way that the devastation from this lack can be avoided. The best program for the growth of the church is a program that finds every member being concerned and working diligently to find and do everything he can. It can’t be a matter of waiting to be told to do things. We each have different abilities and those must be put to use. It is only in this way that success in the work of the church can come about.
Another adage, or old saying, is in the form of a question: “if every other member were just like me, what kind of church would this church be?” The question is valid because the growth of the whole is dependent upon what is going on with each member.
Each can do something about it, but too many look to everybody else to do the supplying. When we all study, pray, do and say all that God requires, the church will grow and prosper. That’s what we want isn’t it?
A phrase in an old parlor game they used to play said, “Get to work and show your trade.” By your pantomiming you demonstrated who you were. It still works that way.
The local newspaper for this metropolitan area has proliferated in advice columns that are daily filled with questions regarding how to solve life’s problems. Advice is freely given. We have no way of knowing if it is followed. We seem, with the passage of time, to seek answers from almost any source except the advice given in what the Psalmist called, “A lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalms 119:105. Read this 119th Psalm for many other beautiful descriptions of the value of God’s advice in His Word.
Paul’s statement, “I can do all things in Him that strengthened me” is often quoted from Philippians 4:13 and admired as an aspiration toward which we desire to move. But, how? How can we arrive at this firm conviction? We can imitate eight steps that Paul advises in Philippians 4. They are:
As we prepare to enter a new decade of the 20s, the elders want to say how grateful we are for all of the wonderful and dedicated members of the Beckley Heights Congregation. We know times are tough and we are thankful for your continued support. Our objective is to always watch out for the church and care for its member’s spirituality in humility.
Now the year 2020 is upon us. At the beginning of a new year, people often make new plans and resolve to do better. The members together should strive to make the coming year the best that the church here has ever known. We can tell you that we will be making some new changes, and you can be sure that these changes will adhere to the same level of spirituality as you have been a custom too. You’ve embraced every plan that was made in 2019. Our results were wonderful. We baptized many into Christ and our faith grew. Nevertheless, we must press on!
Some of the things we can do better in 2020 are:
Here are things about Christ that we need very much at the end of this year.
With the right kind of spirit and work the church should really grow. All should feel their individual responsibility to God.
Our prayers are that God will bless you all through the coming year. May His grace and peace be with you.
I do not know how long I’ll live, but while I live, Lord let me give. Some comfort to someone in need, by smile or nod…kind word, or deed.
Lord let me do whatever I can to ease things for my fellow man. I want naught but to do my part to lift a tired or weary heart.
To change folks frowns to smiles again; then I will have not lived in vain and I’ll not care how long I’ll live. If I can give… give…and give.
I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the word of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Act 20:35.
A Christian business-man had a paper-weight on his desk that was a small replica of an old-time weathervane with a rooster silhouetted. A friend who had been known to tease dropped by and was talking to him. When the friend saw the tiny weathervane, he said, “What does that mean? That you are a fair-weather Christian?” The business-man replied, “No; that means I’m a Christian no matter which way the wind blows!”
Stedfastness is defined as being: “firm, constant, not fickle.” We want our friends to be stedfast. We prize the quality in all those we deal with and God prizes this quality in his people. The Holy Spirit said in I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” After the church; the house of Christ is mentioned in Hebrews 3:4 and 5 the inspired writer says in verse 6 “…whose house are we, if we hold fast our boldness and the glorying of our hope stedfast unto the end.”
Stedfast and faithful are two words often used for the same thought. This is seen in Revelation 2: 10 when Jesus said, “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee the crown of life.” The life and health of a congregation depends on the stedfastness of it members. Without this quality a congregation cannot go forward. With it, all other obstacles can be overcome. Stedfastness is a quality that finds its ultimate manifestation in the personality of our God. His Stedfastness in the universe is so precise that the orbits of the planets can be determined centuries in advance. The natural laws are dependable. The laws of physics are constant. And this is true also of His spiritual laws. In Hebrew 2:2 we are told “…the words spoken through angels prove stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received and just recompense of reward.” His word is so dependable that we can have it as “…an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast.” To be godly or godlike, we must cultivate the same quality in ourselves.
I am the vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (John 15:1-2)
God want all men to be saved (1 Timothy2:3-4) and he uses us to carry out his desire (2Corinthians 4:7). If we don’t carry the message, who will?
There is great joy in soul winning! When we all work together to take Christ’s message to all who will hear is how we show God that we are like Christ. (Matthew 10:25).
People must be won to Christ, one soul at a time. With millions of people lost all around us, we should be motivated to begin without haste. A sobering fact is that another person dies outside of Christ every 12 seconds. We must be doers, being deceived no longer that someone else can do a better job. We must have hearts of compassion and realize that the world is in dire need of salvation!
Evangelism helps us make our election sure! We must be reminded that God will not accept excuses. He does not make deals and He is no respecter of persons! (Acts 10:34)
The young man and his companions were talking up a fight. Arrangements were made concerning a place to meet the opponents and, amid great excitement, well after midnight they made their way to the meeting place. The opponent and his supporters were there and the fight began. But something went wrong, terribly wrong. The scope of the fight escalated and others were drawn into it. The young victim became involved and in the developments that followed his eyes were gouged. Reportedly, he will be lucky if he can see vague shapes and colors. There was much sympathy aroused and expressed in the publicity that followed.
Inevitably, this became the subject of a talk-show session moderated by a policeman – the show “Legal Eagles.” Callers-in claimed the young victim had been in many fights, as had been also his attacker. One caller said his own son had been eight weeks in drug rehab. The supplier? The victim! The Policeman Moderator replied, “Well, I don’t know any of the details but whatever happened to the obligation of retreat?” The obligation of retreat! That phrase stuck in my thoughts. The lawman spoke of it as a legal principle of importance. If you can avoid trouble, you have the obligation to do so.
This goes against the grain of our American way which glorifies the shootout at the O.K. Corral. You know, the Earps versus the Clantons sort of thing. But is there not a Biblical principle of great importance here?
In I Corinthians 6:18 the Holy Spirit says, “Flee fornication.” In 10:14, same book, “Flee from idolatry.” II Timothy 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts.” I Thessalonians 5:22 says “Abstain from the very appearance of evil.” Another translation says “Avoid the very appearance of evil.” Yet another says, “Flee the very appearance of evil.” These all tell us there is an obligation of retreat IF we are to live a committed Christian life. In some situations, retreat is a sign of moral courage or virtue, not of cowardice.
In the Old Testament, Joseph, one of the all-time great Bible heroes, fled the amorous advances of Potipher’s wife when other defenses failed. There was an obligation of retreat.
The world would be a better place if we replaced our heroes with those Biblical characters who had the approval of God.
“Are judicial oaths forbidden in the scriptures? Specifically, is it wrong for a Christian to swear to tell the truth as a witness in court, or to take oaths in other civil and legal matters? (Matt. 5:33-37; James 5:12)”
An oath is a “solemn appeal to God, or to a sacred or revered person or sanction (as the Bible, the temple, the altar) by way of attesting the truth of one’s word, the inviolability of a promise, etc; also, the affirmation or promise supported by the oath, or its form of expression.” (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.)
Thus, there are two elements involved in an oath: (1) an affirmation or promise; and (2) an appeal to God who knows all things, and punishes those who lie. The basis on which an oath is regarded as binding on the conscience is seen in Heb. 6:16, as an appeal to God to ratify or confirm the affirmation or promise.
Oaths were common to the Old Testament period. They involved:
The above list is by no means complete and may be greatly extended by means of a concordance.
Oaths, among the Jews, took many forms, among them being:
Judicial oaths, legal oaths, statement before notaries public, and the like common to the business world, are not forbidden.
But, you might say, did not James include, among the prohibitions, “any other oath?” Would this not also include oaths or every type and kind?
It is significant that an oath, in the name of God, is not mentioned by James; it would seem that if it were the purpose of the sacred writer to forbid all oaths, including judicial ones, this would have been the first mentioned. But, as a matter of fact, this type of oath, in contrast with others, was specifically commanded under the law (Deut. 6:13; 10:20). “Thou shalt fear Jehovah thy God; and him shalt thou serve, and shalt swear by his name.” That it was not the purpose of our Lord or of James to forbid all oaths seems to follow from these considerations:
Had James intended to assert that any oath, all oaths, every oath, must be refrained from, he would have used for the word “other” the Greek heteros, which means another of a different kind, instead of allos (which he did use), another of the same kind. (James 5:12). It seems clear, therefore, that the sacred writer intended to include only such oaths as were of the type under consideration and to which the people of that day were specially addicted.
Some today seek to avoid “taking an oath,” when called to the witness stand in court to testify by resorting to an affirmation which the law allows. Those who thus do, though they do not follow the form of oaths usually administered in such cases do bind themselves to tell the truth, and they can be convicted for perjury for failing to do so. Perjury is false swearing—lying under oath! So, there is really no difference.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, he makes the following statement: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times will come” IITim3:1. This is not a threat, nor a pessimistic outlook, but a fact; based on the logic that follows. Paul then gave the reason for this prophetic statement: “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God’ II Tim. 3:2-4.
Perilous times, then, are the natural result of the sinfulness of mankind. Why are we in the United States, having so much trouble and so many mass shootings and great loss of lives? Why is there widespread disrespect of law and order? Why is human life so cheap today in America? The answer is obvious. Men have become “Lovers of their own selves; more than lovers of God”. The present condition of our country is not hard to explain at all. Too many in high places are not concerned about anything but self, money and the power and prestige that they wield over others. “The wages of sin is death, Rom.6:23. This death is not just the final punishment of the wicked, but includes first of all, moral death, with all it’s fruits of Godlessness and finally the lake of fire and brimstone “which is the second death. The answer America is a return to a genuine love for God and mankind, and a denial of self and the lust thereof.