A Sunday With No Absentees – There’s a story about a church in East Texas that supposedly had some producing oil wells on the church property. The wells were a lucrative source of income for that congregation. On the Sunday the income from the wells was distributed among the members of the congregation there was always 100 percent attendance. The rule was that if a member was not present that day, he lost his part of the revenue.
Don’t you guess that even aunt Sally, whose “folks made her go to church when she was a child, and now doesn’t have to go,” was there on time? Don’t you imagine that uncle Fred who has had arthritis so bad that he couldn’t make it to worship for years, suddenly got much better?
How about those folks who just had to go some place to visit a friend or relative? Would they have put that off if it happened to interfere with their presence at the service when money was doled out?
Is the story fact or fiction? It doesn’t matter. If is is true, it shows where people have their vested interests. If it is not, it surely teaches us a big lesson.
Christians who, through pure carelessness or indifference, miss the worship with the saints, lose something of far greater value than money. They begin a course of carelessness that endangers their souls. A local church also loses. “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
We won’t be giving out dividends in cash for attendance but we will provide the opportunity for sincere worshipers to show their love and adoration of God. Hope to see you at all services.
How To Know What God Wants Me To Do… We all face important decisions. These decisions will often have a great impact on our families. It may be a question about what job to take, or where to live, or what school to attend, ect. What should we do? Does God offer any help or guidance in making such decisions? We believe the answer is YES! How does God give this guidance? In many ways:
1.) Through the Word. The vast majority of answers are here. There are positive commands that tell us what we should do. For Example, Matthew 28:19 instructs us to teach the gospel to others. You don’t have to wonder if Hod wants you to speak to you neighbor about salvation. He does, and He said so! The are also negative commands that tells us what to avoid. If, for instance, you are praying about whether or not you should honestly report your income taxes – save your breath! God has already given that answer (Eph.4:25). Don’t be looking for additional guidance in areas where God has already said ” no” or “yes”.
2.) Through prayer. Christians are to be consistent in prayer ( 1 Thess. 5:17). God promises to answer our prayers. We ought to approach Him with petitions for help with our important decisions ( 1 Peter 3:12). If you don’t believe this will work then don’t bother to ask! (James 1:5-7).
3.) Through circumstances. In the Old Testament, Joseph suffered a number of awful and unjust things. In the en, he was wise enough to realize that God had used those circumstances to accomplish His will ( Gen. 45:7-8). Be careful here – this guidance through circumstances is sometimes hard to detect, and some are quick to jump to false conclusions.
4.) Through the counsel of others. The many commands that urge us to exhort and encourage our fellow Christians (Heb. 3:13 , Gal. 6:2) demonstrate that God intends for us to help one another with the difficult things in our lives.-By Greg Gwinn –
Jesus promised the world that God’s revealed will through him would never pass away. ” Heaven and earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away” ( Mark 13:31). The word translated pass away is the same word found in 2 Peter 3:10. ” the heavens shall pass away.” Christ’s words are eternal. They are the life giving words that produce spirit and life (John 6:63). Peter said this same word has been preached and is an everlasting message, the incorruptible seed that conceives a newborn child of God (1 Cor 4:15; 1 Peter 1:23). In the same contest Peter says it is the word that “abideth forever” and affirms that it is the same gospel, which was preached by the apostles of Christ ( Verse 25).
In the parable of the sower, Jesus said the seed is the word of God (Lk 8:11). Matthews account calls this ” the word of the kingdom” (Matt 13:19). It is the indestructible and infallible word that produces the kingdom. Catholicism errs by affirming that the church produces and preserves the word of God. The opposite is true. The first century church fell away from her original purity, Paul was deeply concerned that the church might fall into the snare of Satan and become corrupt (2 Cor 11:1-4). Corruption, Paul declared, would come when someone preached another Jesus, another gospel, which he also said wold bring Gods anathema (Gal 1:6-9).
R.P.C Hanson thinks Catholics tend to harp too much on the continuity of the church while Protestants give it too little significance. He opposes the idea that the church , in order to have continuity, must simply be faithful to the Scripture, for he alleges that had there been no church to preserve, copy, print, circulate and teach the Scriptures the would be no Scriptures. (The Continuity Of Christian Doctrine, Seabury Press New York,1981 Page 64.) But the church is not incorruptible and indestructible element in what God has designed to remain when all else passes away. It is the word that will remain when all else perishes. As long as there is the seed, the word of the kingdom of God, the Lords church and kingdom stand. That can only be said so long as the church remains loyal to the truth of Scripture. History, both secular and scared, records the departures of those professing to be the church and argues against the opinion that the continuity of the church insures continuity of the word of God. The exact opposite is true. – selected
Mothers of faith instill faith in their children and are praised by God for their godly service (2 Tim. 1 :5). As we honor our mothers today, please notice some of the things with which a mother’s day ought to be filled. A mother’s day is…
… a day of joy. The day of giving birth to new life is a great day of joy and gladness (Jon. 16:21). Yet, even while motherhood brings joy it is also attended with sorrow. Mary, the mother of Jesus, had great sorrow as she witnessed her son Jesus being horribly mistreated (Lk. 2:34-35).
…A day of love. Godly mothers seek the welfare of her children before herself. She “watches over the ways of her household” with love (Prov. 31:27). Blessed is the family whose mother wraps her children in the security of warm affection and constant care (Titus 2:4).
. . . a day of instruction. Mothers are daily teachers of the next generation. Her words, values and character are instilled in the hearts and lives of her children. Mothers, be careful to teach your children “with wisdom” and the “law of kindness” (Prov. 31 :26) .
… a day of devotion. Hannah devoted herself to giving her son Samuel to the Lord (1 Sam. 1:11, 22, 27-28). Your children will not be Christians by accident. Mothers, you have a tremendous part in the faith of your children. If you are not devoted to God it is unlikely your children will be. Set them a godly example every day. They will “rise up and call (you) blessed” (Prov. 31:28). -Aaron Beard-
In Ephesians 5:15-16 we read, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil”. Sooner or later we will run out of time. Time will come to an end for all of us, but we don’t know when that will be. It could be today. It is what we do with our few remaining days here on this earth that will determine whether we will enjoy eternal life in Heaven or the eternal torments of Hell.
During our few remaining days we will choose where we will spend eternity. Those who are lost in Hell chose to go there. They will only have themselves to blame. One is a fool if he doesn’t .. redeem the time”. The above scripture says we should “redeem the time, because the days are evil”. 2 Timothy 3:13 says, “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived”.
We are warned to “beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked” (2 Peter 3:17). How do we “redeem the time”? 1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin”.
If one does not have time to “walk in the light” and to “have fellowship with one another” in the work and worship of the church, he will not obtain the forgiveness of sins which is necessary to go to Heaven. If we knew that today was our last day on this earth, would our lives be different? One day it will be our last day. Would we be guilty of wasting our remaining time? By Ron Boatwright
Jude instructs the Christian to earnestly contend for the faith that was once and for all times delivered unto us. Why is this so important? The doctrines of mankind confuse, divide, and lead men further away from the Lord and Heaven. But the teaching of the Holy Spirit is clear, unifying, and leads to righteous living and eternal life. Evil men creep into the church in order to fulfill their own lusts and draw people away from the Lord. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Why is this so Important? Jude gives three examples of those who fell away. Those who were destroyed because of their failure to adhere to God’s will (the Israelites, the angels, and Sodom and Gomorrah). Those whose character was foreign to Christ-likeness. And those who murmured, complained, lusted, boasted, and were proud, more worried about pleasing men than pleasing God. Sounds very much like some in the church even today, doesn’t it?
So, Jude urges faithfulness. Keep yourselves, look for the mercy of Jesus unto eternal life, have compassion, make a difference in other people’s lives, pull the lost out of the fires of hell, and hate sinful defilement. Know that God is able to keep you from falling (which wouldn’t be necessary if you couldn’t fall away). So earnestly contend for the faith and be faithful. -Selected