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!
After the Sunday evening service we were returning home with our little three-year old grandson. Quitta had just said; “He got a lot of hugs and hugged a lot of people.” There was a moment or two of silence after which the three-year old said: “Grandmother; How do you hug God?”
Sometimes the super-simplicity of a child’s thinking brings a complete principle home. He had spent a day in which there were lessons on loving God. He was impressed by this. He knew that people hugged him because they love him. He hugs people because he loves them. He loves God because his teachers have pointed out what God has done for us and because God loves him. Therefore, it was natural to wonder, “How can I show God that I love him?” This is a worthwhile question for us all to consider.
We live in a decade that has been characterized as spawning the “My generation.” We are in love with things and we want those things to be “our things.” Our generation says; “If a rule or commandment interferes with what we want to do, I will ignore it.” We say we love God because of his bounty, but we will not allow him to interfere with our will or what we want to do. We would like to be able to give him a hug and say, “See you again soon!”
Jesus said in John 14:15 “If ye love me; keep my commandments.” Then in John 14:23 he said, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.”
With Christ it was a simple matter, He is observing by the way we live our lives if we love him.
HAVE YOU HUGGED YOUR GOD LATELY?
Your whole family needs to be in bible study every Sunday. All of you should stay for worship. You all should come back Sunday evening and on Wednesday night. Which of you can truthfully say; we do not need Christian influence in our lives? We should each have the mindset of feeling that the Sunday school class, the morning and evening services and the mid-week bible studies would not be the same if I am not there.
Don’t say, “They won’t miss ME.” Think of the importance that ONE hole in a boat can sink it. ONE fuse blown means darkness. ONE false alarm can cause panic. ONE mischievous boy can break up a school. ONE wayward child can break a mother’s heart. ONE sinful act can ruin a life. ONE lie can destroy confidence in you. ONE backslider can grieve the Holy Spirit. So, YOU are important; EVERYONE is!
ONE visitor brought to every service by every service by every member would DOUBLE our attendance at every service. ONE additional dollar contributed by each member would increase or missionary and benevolent programs. ONE person converted by every Christian each year would mean the world for Christ in ONE generation. ONE prayer and ONE scripture reading every day could make for greater spiritual growth among us.
Yes, YOU count for ONE by your presence, your prayers, your contribution, your influence and your daily life. YOU count for ONE; a most IMPORTANT “ONE”
“The most important statistic is not the number you can count, but the number you can count on.”
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things”. Philippians 4:8
Here Paul gives us a picture of a peaceful, happy mind, and the formula for making it thus. By thinking on the true, honest, just, pure and lovely things of life, which are virtuous, and of good report, we cultivate a habit of higher thinking which leads us to a higher level of speaking. As a result, the world sees a happier, more pleasant Christian; one who is not proned to be moody and depressed; one that can see God in all that is around him. It is a fact that our thinking controls our speaking, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee”. Proverbs 23:7. Also “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Matthew 12:34. Since our thinking produces our speaking, and our speaking governs our influence, it is vitally important that our thinking be under complete control and in absolute harmony with God’s word or the results can be damning. This cannot happen in an instant or in one day or week. Neither does it just “happen”. I believe that the way to think, speak, and render the proper influence, today, is the way the Psalmist learned to do it. He said, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.” Psalms 119:11
The person who has the word of God in his heart cannot have hatred in his tongue or mis-conduct in his life, for from the inner man, the outer man is directed.
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.
A real friend is a friend forever, not just for a summer or until the end of college days, or until the end of your tour of duty in the military. And a real friend is loyal and faithful.
In 1 Samuel we read that Jonathan’s dad, Saul, hated David. Saul was jealous of David’s looks, popularity and the way people treated him. So Jonathan was torn between his dad and his best friend. When push came to shove, Jonathan proved to be a really committed friend. That’s really the kind of relationship David and Jonathan had – they would do anything for each other.
Life is difficult sometimes, and there are so many “enemies” around (enemies like loneliness, fear, distrust, to name a few) that we all need a good friend. The Bible gives us a great picture of what a friend is – not just someone to help you out, but someone you can help. Sometimes your friends need you a lot more than you need them. And that’s OK, because we all go through times when we need somebody to come through for us and don’t have much to give back.
Let David and Jonathan teach you what it means to be a great friend. “Friendship is essential for the soul”.
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.
When life is good, it is easy to praise God. My life is full of blessings, we think to ourselves. He is so good to me! But what happens when life is hard? Do we continue to give him the glory when we’re thrown curveball after curveball?
Regardless of our circumstance, whatever our situation, we need to continue to give him the praises he so richly deserves. A life lived alongside Christ doesn’t mean it will be one free of pain, discomfort, of heartaches, of tough times. But it does mean that we can find contentment in it anyway because we have him in our lives to turn to.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:11-13).
Pray for contentment today, whatever your circumstance. There is no crisis that the Lord is not willing to walk you through. We can do anything with him by our side!
Adam Burtle of Woodinville, Washington, did what many do with less fanfare – he sold his soul. He offered it in a listing in an internet auction company’s ad. He had underestimated what his soul was worth to anyone else. The bidding started at 5 cents and topped out at $400.00. The auction company removed the listing and suspended Mr. Burtle, a twenty year old, from using the site. The buyer, a woman from Des Moines, Iowa, will have to settle for a night on the town or his natural death, said Mr. Burtle, “Due to the difficulties involved with removing my soul.”
This bit of foolishness points up a valuable lesson: one’s soul is of small value to anyone else. But life, death, the judgement, and eternal afterlife will vindicate the scriptural claim made by Jesus Himself that the value of one’s soul is greatest to the owner. Mark 8:36.
The world’s literature is filled with the idea of selling one’s soul – consider The Devil and Daniel Webster, by Stephen Vincent Benet. And there are vague reminders in the oft used phrase of one “selling out.”
In the Old Testament, when Elijah, that outspoken, rough mannered prophet who was the model for that equally rough clothed, outspoken New Testament prophet, John the baptiser, found the evil King Ahab to pronounce Ahab’s and Jezebel’s doom, Ahab asked, in a voice no doubt dripping with sarcasm, “Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?” Elisha answered, “I have found thee because thou hast sold thyself to do that which is evil in the sight of Jehovah.”
“Thou hast sold thyself!!!” One of the most despicable blights on humankind is slavery. But one did not sell himself, perhaps with the exception of indentured servants who would sell themselves on a contract for a specified number of years in return for passage to America from Europe. Ahab, knowing God, knowing the requirements of God for right living, knowing that he, Ahab, was in the responsible position of king over God’s people, was willing to give up all that he had in exchange for the pleasures of sin for a season. Consider the other side. Moses “chose rather to share ill treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches that the treasures of Egypt: for he looked for the recompense of reward.” Hebrews 11:25,26.
Selling one’s soul is not really that rare. People do it all the time. Only usually it is not recognized for what it is. It occurs any time we give up allegiance and commitment to God in exchange for whatever we let keep us from Him. It happens every day – sometimes for less than $400.00!