Emptying the Ocean

[361 words] When I was a young preacher student at International Bible College, now known as Heritage Christian University, I had the great privilege of sitting at the feet of a man by the name of Basil Overton. Brother Overton was in his mid-sixties and had been preaching since he was 14. He had a particular interest in stories about mules, but he was full of tales and illustrations of all kinds. One day when he was sharing some of his anecdotes of collected wisdom, he said something like this to a classroom full of first semester preacher boys, “Young...

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What Does God Say About Humility?

[172 words] Here’s just a little of His Word on being humble: “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10). “Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). “And whosoever shall exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted’ (Matthew 23:12). “For...

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Peaceable

[377 words] Hamor and Shechem mistakenly said of Jacob’s sons, “These men are at peace with us” (Genesis 34:21). The wise woman of Abel told Joab, “I am among the peaceable and faithful in Israel” (2 Samuel 20:19). Near Gebor the descendants of Simeon found a place to dwell that was “quiet and peaceful” (1 Chronicles 4:40). Isaiah spoke of how God’s people “will dwell in peaceful habitation” (Isaiah 32:18). In each of the above passages, the King James Version uses the word “peaceable.” What does it mean to be “peaceable”? Consider these definitions: • “inclined or disposed to peace”...

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Sharing Christianity

[241 words] “All the believers were one in heart and mind No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had“ (Acts 4:32). I have about fifty cards for various stores and clubs, so many that I keep them in an organizer m my car because they don’t fit in my wallet. Why did I join so many? Savings and fellowship. I get something from each one. Perhaps it’s access to the 30 percent off sale items or the cents per gallon off a gas purchase or time spent with other community leaders....

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True Forgiveness

[441 words] “For if you forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).”Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent’ you shall forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4). Often people will quote the first set of passages and thus conclude that forgiveness must be extended in a “blank...

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God Sent His Servant To Bless You

[164 words] When Peter preached to a crowd in Jerusalem, he ended with this statement. “For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning everyone of you from your wicked ways” (Acts 3:25). Jesus came down to bless. Part of that blessing was to turn sinners away from their wicked ways. We don’t always appreciate it when a friend or brother rebukes us for sin, but it is really a blessing. We can look at it from the other side too. When you help turn someone away from sin, you have blessed them,...

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Why?

[397 words] After the events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, many are asking one question: Why? We live in a country where blame is the name of the game. We want to blame someone or something for the problems of our world. Some are blaming guns. Some may be looking for blame in other places. There might be some who are even blaming God. God does not eliminate problems in our lives. He helps us in the midst of troubles. Remember, Paul told Timothy that the godly would suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12). There are many people...

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Charges to Christian Leaders

[178 words] Paul gave inspired charges to both elders and preachers. To elders: “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). To preachers: “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim. 4:16). Both charges start the same way. “Look to yourselves.” Whether elders or preachers, we are nothing if we are not good examples....

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Three Things Christians Need Today

[457 words] Imagine encountering some of the people that Jesus encountered during His lifetime. Would you respond like Jesus did? Imagine coming face-to-face with a leper, a woman with a blood malady of 12 years, a woman caught in adultery, beggars, ingrates, disfigured and unsightly invalids, numerous diseased, tricksters, spoiled rich brats, a traitor, hateful and violent soldiers, a cowardly king, a spineless governor, etc., etc. How would you treat them? We can learn much from our Great Example! Jesus was humble! How difficult it must have been for the Son of God to lower Himself before His own creation!...

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Can Human Choices Limit God?

[178 words] The natural impulse, is to think that nothing can limit the Almighty God. However, it is no lessening of the sovereignty of God to say human choice can limit His action IF we understand that it was God Himself who decreed that this should be so. When He created humans with the capacity for moral decision, He clearly was surrendering some of His own authority since ALL authority is actually His. Jesus stated this plainly in His trial before Pilate: ”You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above” (John...

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Attitude

[353 words] Attitude has so much to do with living the Christian life. A negative attitude will cause one to be overly critical and to see only the dark side of life. Such a perspective can be very depressing. When we see only the bad, we cease to experience the joys of being a Christian. Our focus should be on the positive. Just look around. See our wonderful world as it was created by God. The sunrise, the majestic mountains, the rivers and oceans, the beautiful flowers, and trees, and all the magnificent wonders of the world were given to...

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Is Sincerity Enough to Please God?

[271 words] On October 16, 2007, one of the two remaining survivors of the Titanic sinking, died. Barbara West Dainton died at a nursing home in Camborne, England, at age 96. She was only a year old when the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, after striking an iceberg, and taking about 1500 souls to a watery grave. There were so many tragedies surrounding the sinking of the Titanic. Paramount among them was the belief it was an unsinkable ship. This belief was so firmly held that many of the passengers refused to board the lifeboats even as the liner...

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The Right Attitude Leads to Gratitude

[352 words] I went home for lunch the other day and had a sandwich and leftover potato soup, and let me tell you that soup tasted really good! Now, normally I do not mind leftovers, but it is rare for me to rave about them. I’m sure you’re wondering what it was that made it taste five-star restaurant good. Had Julie done something different in the way she prepared it? Nope, it was just like she always makes it (which is very good, by the way). Was it because potato soup is my all-time favorite dish? Hardly. Then what was...

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Trials

[244 words] “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you (1 Peter 4:12-14). Scripture does not tell us that we should enjoy trials and hardships. What it does tell us is that if we suffer for our relationship to...

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Mustard Seed Faith

[367 words] “So Jesus said to them ‘because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you’” (Matthew 17:20). Unfortunately many modem English translations talk about faith “the size of a mustard seed,” but the Bible actually says that God’s kingdom and faith are “like a mustard seed,” or “as a mustard seed.” The size of a mustard seed is only one of its characteristics, and not necessarily the most...

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Night is Coming!

[304 words] Jesus healed a blind man. Before working the miracle, the Lord declared, “We must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (Jn. 9:4-5). Jesus knew his purpose in coming to earth. He was sent to ”preach the good news of the kingdom of God” (Lk. 4:43); He came to heal (Lk. 4:18). He descended to seek and save the lost (Lk. 19:10). He brought the abundant life (Jn. 10:10). There...

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An Old Farmer’s Advice

[243 words] • Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. • Words that soak into your ears are whispered, not yelled. • Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight. • Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads. • It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge. • You cannot unsay a cruel word. • Every path has a few puddles. • When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty. • The best sermons are lived, not preached. • God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts. • Laugh every day. It’s like inner jogging. • If...

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Speak to Us Smooth Things

[419 words] Much of the world’s “political correctness” is in the Lord’s church, just as it was in Isaiah’s day. In Isaiah 30:9-10, God says, “This is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the Lord, who say…do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.” Many did not want to hear God’s truth then, and they do not want to hear it now. Paul said the time would come when people “will not endure sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own...

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Does Attending Make A Difference?

[217 words] How many times have you attended a worship service? How many times have you attended when you felt like staying home? Have you ever wondered if there might be a different way to approach worship than to file into the church building three times a week, week after week after week? A lot of congregations have experimented with altering the approach to worship and Bible study. Some no longer meet on Sunday and Wednesday nights while others meet in homes of members on those evenings. It is interesting to know that most of these have gone back to...

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How Deep the Father’s Love

[263 words] (Lyrics By: Stuart Townsend) How deep the Father’s love for us,How vast beyond all measureThat He should give His only SonTo make a wretch His treasure. How great the pain of searing loss;The Father turns His face awayAs wounds which mar the chosen One,Bring many sons to glory. Behold the Man upon a cross,My sin upon His shouldersAshamed I hear my mocking voice,Call out among the scoffers. It was my sin that left Him thereUntil it was accomplishedHis dying breath has brought me lifeI know that it is finished. I will not boast in anythingNo gifts, no power,...

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Bible Study Questions

[194 words] 1. What woman was paid for nursing her own baby? 2. Noah sent the raven or dove out first? 3. What does the word “testament” mean? 4. Why was the one-talent man condemned? 5. At what gate of the temple was the lame man lying who was healed by Peter and John? 7. The last 17 Old Testament books are books of ________. 8. The risen Christ showed Himself first to ___________. 9, Who preached “Repent for the kingdom is at hand”? 10. What chapter in Isaiah is almost exactly the same as 2 Kings 19? 11. Jonah...

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A Pack of Seeds

[96 words] I bought myself a pack of seeds,To grace my garden fair.And stuck them in my pocketFor months they waited there. And when the time had come to seeThe flower’s lovely face,I thought it strange that only weedsWere growing in their place. How foolish then, oh Christian man,God’s Word, you have indeed.You carry it or hide it,But do not plant the seed. No fruit there grows in garden fair,Unless the seed you sow;For you the Word of God must plant,Then God will make it grow. Charles G. Ramsey...

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The Prophet Joel Speaks

[301 words] The Old Testament prophets often went unappreciated in their time. Little has changed today. Many Christians do not know the order of the OT prophets, and usually need some extra time looking up a Scripture reference from one of those books during a class or sermon. But these were men of God, speaking timeless truths, whose words bridge the span across the ages. It is difficult to date the book of Joel because of the lack of precise historical or chronological information. What he says, however, is still disturbing. Whether it was before or after the exile in...

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Sin Has Created the Need

[260 words] Sin Has Created the Need “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and is lawlessness” (Genesis 6:5-6; Roman 3:23; 1 John 3:4). God Has Created the Plan “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it...

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What We Believe

[440 words] Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6). On another occasion the apostle Peter stated, “There is salvation in none other. For there is none other name under heaven given among men, wherein we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). Here the Bible teaches that for one to be saved they must come to the Father through the Son. There is no other way to be saved. One cannot circumvent Jesus and get to heaven. These two passages are troubling to liberal theologians. The...

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‘It Was Just His Time to Go’

[572 words] A person asked me about this recently. They had heard people say such things as “It was just their time to go.” There are many folks, even members of the church, who believe there is a set time for someone to die. In defense of such a view, some look to Hebrews 9:27 where the Bible says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” However, the original Greek word translated “appointed” in this verse is also translated “laid up” in the three other verses where it is found in the...

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A Little Place

[90 words] “Father, where shall I work today?”And my love flowed warm and free.Then He pointed out a tiny spotAnd said, “Tend that for Me.” I answered quickly, “Oh no, not there,Why, no one would ever seeNo matter how well my work was done.Not a little place for me!” And the word He spoke, it was not stern,He answered me tenderly;“Ah, little one, search that heart of thine,Art thou working for them or Me?Nazareth was a little placeAnd so was Galilee.” Borrowed...

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God Listens

[416 words] Have you ever stopped in the middle of a sentence or in the middle of telling a story because you thought the person you were talking to was not listening? It is quite a joy when the person notices and encourages you to continue. You feel rather down and worthless when the person does not notice. While there are many reasons that a person might not be listening we can take assurance in one very important thing. God listens always. God listens and internalizes what we say to Him. He does not simply let us ramble on without...

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Don’t Quit

[192 words] When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,when the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,when the funds are low and the debts are high,and you want to smile, but you have to sigh,when care is pressing you down a bit,rest, if you must—but don’t you quit. Life is queer with its twists and turns,as everyone of us sometimes learns,and many a failure turns aboutwhen he might have won had he stuck it out;Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow—You might succeed with another blow. Often the goal is nearer than it seemsto a faint and faltering...

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Funny Jokes for Church Bulletin

On the Lighter Side (February 2013)

[427 words] On her birthday morning a woman told her husband, “I just dreamed that you gave me a beautiful diamond necklace. What do you think it means?” “You’ll know tonight,” he said. That evening just before her birthday celebration, he came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it only to find a book entitled “The Meaning of Dreams.” — A group’ of children were asked in Sunday morning Bible class, “Why do you love the Lord?” One child responded, “I don’t know, sir, I guess it just runs in our family.”...

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