Tag Archive for One-minute-read

The Spirit Of God Gave Order And Light To Man’s World

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.(Genesis 1:2).

Just as God made the heaven and earth, so He gave it structure and order. Without God, the universe would not be inhabitable. The creation week as recorded in Genesis 1 and 2 show that the Godhead first fashioned the world to suit man’s physical needs, before the crown of His creation was placed upon it. Truly everything man may have or can be comes from the powerful, wise, benevolent, and loving “hand of God”.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17).

How foolish that men attempt to understand the world, life and man himself without accepting God. The Spirit of God yet provides us the understanding, order and fulfillment we need in life. Consider Psalm 14:1; 39:4-8; 1Cr.2:8-13; 2Tm.3:16-17.       HJS

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God Created The Heaven And The Earth

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1).

Appropriately God and Moses began Israel’s instructions concerning life and God’s wisdom and right to regulate that life with this verse.  It is truth fundamental to understanding all things and especially to possessing all the blessings God intended for His creatures.

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created (Revelation 4:11).

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; (Acts 17:24-25).

Surely having made man, He knows what is best for man. In that He created all, it is wisdom and pleasure to submit to Him. Consider Psalm 100; Ecclesiastes 12:1,13,14 and Colossians 1:15-18. HJS

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Heaven Is…

Heaven is a place of treasures. Mt.6:20  The Hebrew writer describes it as a better country. He.11:16 It is a place of full rest! 2Th.1:7; He.4:9  In Revelation 14:13, John wrote, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”  There will be no tears, death, sorrow, sickness or pain in heaven! Re.21:4

It is a such an exceedingly glorious place, that nothing we could lose in this life to obtain it would begin to compare with its blessing! 2Cr.4:17  It is when we will receive glory! Ps.73:24  It is a place where our bodies will be changed like unto Christ’s and will be incorruptible! 1Cr.15:52-53; 1Pt.1:4 Heaven is in the presence of God and so a place of eternal joy! Ps.16:11  It is place where we may share the glorious likeness or Christ! 1Jn.3:2

Heaven is a place that only those obedient to Christ may enjoy.  “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Rv.22:14  It is the promised reward only to the faithful in Christ. Ro.8:1,14,18; Re.2:10  The faithful, those who enter heaven, are those whom Jesus says do the will of my Father which is heaven. Mt.7:21       HJS

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One Way – The Lord’s Way

All who are saved today are saved by faith in Christ’s Gospel and baptism. (Mark 16:15-16; 1 Peter 3:21).

All who are in Christ’s church get there one way – faith in Christ and baptism. (Acts 2:41,47; 1 Corinthians 12:13).

All who are God’s children today are so by the new birth, obeying the Gospel in baptism. (Romans 1:16,17; Galatians 3:26,27; 1 Peter 1:22-25).

There is not another…Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).     HJS

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What Does God Say About Baptism?

  • Fulfills righteousness. Matthew 3:15
  • Saves us. Mark 16:15,16; 1 Peter 3:21
  • Answer of a good conscience toward God. 1 Peter 3:21
  • For remission of sins. Acts 2:38
  • Washes away sin. Acts 22:16
  • How all become children of God. Galatians 3:26,27
  • By faith puts into Christ. Galatians 3:26,27
  • Entry point into Christ’s body, the church. 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22,23; Ac.2:40,41,47

With all the good things that God says in the Bible about baptism above, why do so many religious teachers denigrate it as a “work of men” and deny it’s necessity?  Consider the Lord’s response to Peter in this regard in Mark 8:31-33.

Concerning the baptism John taught and administered (Mark 1:4), Jesus asked, The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me (Mark 11:28-32).  And we ask concerning baptism as taught by Christ and His apostles, “Is it from heaven or men?”  Being from heaven, all men need to submit it to be saved (Mark:16:15-16).    HJS

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What’s Wrong With It?

Is there anything wrong with just following God’s chosen Bible-record of how men are saved?

Surely what He has chosen to record in the Bible is what He wants us to learn.

Would His purpose in giving that record be to save us?

Consider For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope (Romans 15:4).  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2Timothy 3:16-17).    HJS

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“Doctrine Is Not Important.”

Imagine if our child’s school teacher said, “The teaching is not important.”  Would you want your child taught by such a teacher?

Why do religious leaders say this when God’s inspiration had Paul say, As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” 1Timothy 1:3-4     HJS

 

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“No Greater Love Could Ever Be!”

No greater love could be behind God’s grand plans for man.  Consider that His love is the…

• Greatest love in sending His Son from heaven. Ph.2:•5-7

• Greatest love in letting Him be our propitiation. 1Jn2:2

• Greatest love in allowing Him to die. Jn.3:16

• Greatest love in that He forgives our sins and remembers them no more. He.8:12

• Greatest love in that He not only rescues from Satan and our sin, but gives us adoption into His family. Ro.8:15b

• Greatest love in that allows us to reign with Him. Re.20:6; 1:9

• Greatest love in that He prepared a place for us after death in His house-a mansion! Jn.14:1-3

• Greatest love in that He will use the same power that raised Jesus to raise us up to a celestial life. 2Cr.4:14; 1Cr.15:40; 1Th.4:17

• Greatest love in that all the vile and corruptible things troubling us, He will take away. 1Cr.15:50-54

• Greatest love in that even as we wait for heaven, we may do so in paradise. Lk.23:43

• Greatest love in that we will have bodies like as of Christ! 1Jn.3:1,2

A grand and glorious day is coming! Now our eyes are flooded with tears for mortality and corruption that abounds.  Then thoughts will ever be on joy, His glory and ours, immortality and incorruption! Truly He will wipe away all those tears from the eye (Re.21:4).     HJS

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“So Beautiful!”

  • A child nurtured to love and imitate the Lord. Ep.6:4; 1Sm.1:11,20; 2:18-21,26
  • Two people so devoted to God, that they work through problems, achieve greater love and stay devoted to each other until death! Ge.2:18,23; Mt.19:5,6; Ep.5:21-33
  • Families that rise up early, lay aside trials common to all, and unite together with others as a spiritual house to sing and worship in praise of our Father each week. Ps.122:1; Ac.20:1-8; 1Jn.1-4; He.13:14,15
  • Devoted souls never forgetting to be present and partake of the emblems of the death of the Savior who gave all for them. 1Cr.11:23-26
  • A man spending his days studying the Scripture, honing his heart to be like God’s, appealing to family and friends to share the great treasure of the Christian’s life and hope, and then one day peacefully departing to the “far better”. Ph.1:6,23; Ps.116:15; Re.14:13
  • A prodigal’s father waiting for his son’s return, running to him, rejoicing and restoring his child to his table and house. Lk.15:11-24
  • That God would give up heaven and His life for us, forgive our sins, adopt us as His children, dwell with us, share His glory and would be our God. 1Tm.3:16; 1Jn.3:1,2; Re.21:3
  • That we can sing over and over again, “‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus!” and “Isn’t it grand being a Christian!  Isn’t it grand!”  So beautiful!       HJS
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Respect For Christ’s Authority

Jesus declares, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18).  By inspiration Paul wrote of Christ that the Father hath put all things under His feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church (Ephesians 1:22-23).  Just as the head of the physical body is the source of authority or the controlling part of the body, so Christ has all authority in the church.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him (Colossians 3:17).

We should not doubt the necessity of obedience because Christ has all authority.  We shouldn’t question the need of baptism , for Christ said, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:16).  To question this statement or any other would be to question the authority of Christ.  Jesus asks, And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46).  He is the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).

No one can accept Christ without accepting His authority.  No one can really respect His authority without obeying His commands.  To question His right to command us or to fail to obey those commandments, places our souls in jeopardy.  Let us FULLY accept the authority of Christ.          HJS

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What The Prodigal Son Brought Home

Recall the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32?

What could he bring back to his father’s house?  When he left he took a generous portion of his father’s living with him, but had wasted it in riotous living.  It was all gone!  If he brought any food home, it would have been no more than a husk or two in his pocket or satchel, rescued from the hogs. The boy came back home without shoes on his feet!

But what did the prodigal son bring home to his father’s house?

He brought back a confession of his wrongs and a plea for heaven and his father’s forgiveness.

Now tucked in his heart were humility and penitence.  Selfishness had been replaced by respect, appreciation of the care at home and willingness to labor in service for father and family as they might need.

He brought the very best answer to a father’s prayers!  Without doubt, that swelled the father’s words of praise and thanksgiving for God’s gracious care and providence.

The prodigal came home with the comfort that the father’s arms had been longing for so long a time. “His father saw…ran, and fell on his neck…”

Yes!  Into his father’s house he brought merriment.  The father called out to his servants, “Bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found!”

He brought back a sense of wholesome completeness to that home with his return.  The anguish, sadness and fear of his farther was replaced with relief and joy!

It gave exemplary proof to others that forgiveness and love reigned in the father’s home.

The reconciliation the prodigal brought home showed others the way home.  To have one son found and alive again, gave reality to hope for all in the father’s household.

Oh prodigal, do you know what you could bring with you?  Do you see the joy you can bring to the Father, your family and all the souls in His house and you, if you return?!  Please come home.     HJS

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The Brick Wall

A man spoke of the beautiful antique bricks in the walls in his office. Once they were a “scattered, haphazard, useless mass”–an ugly pile of accumulated weakness. They were the remains of an old chimney, long ago crumbled down. The bricks in the walls were the same as those that had been on the ground. The difference was in the singleness and unification. The possibilities were always there – even as they lay in rubble. Ugliness was transformed into beauty and weakness grew into strength.

People are like that. One may be like the helter-skelter pile of bricks, but another, though made of the same materials, is like a straight, strong solid wall!

How can we pull our lives together and be strong? Who can help us attain peace and happiness that won’t crumble with life’s troubles? God made man and says “beauty for ashes”! (Isaiah 61:3). He gives us “all things necessary for life and godliness” in the Bible. (2 Peter 1:3). God has a plan for your present good and eternal welfare.

May we help you study to gain all God wants for you? Please come to the services of the Stuttgart church of Christ, as we “provoke one another unto love and good works”. (Hebrews 10:24,25).

*Story borrowed from Leroy Brownlow.

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