15 Reasons to Read the Bible Daily

To be rid of anxiety and have peace (Psalm 119:165). To set things right when life is out of control (Psalm 19:7-8). To have direction and know God’s will (Psalm 119:105). To experience healing and deliverance (Psalm 107:20). To grow in the Lord (1 Peter 2:2). To have strength, comfort, and hope (Psalm 119:28.50,114). To shape yourself and your life correctly (Psalm 119:11). To be able to see clearly (Psalm 119:130). To know what is really in your heart (Hebrews 4:12). To build faith (Romans 10:17). To have joy (Psalm 16:11). To understand God’s power (John 1:3). To have more...

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The Hottest Spice

The hottest spice is believed to be the Red Savina Habanero pepper developed by GNS Spices of Walnut, California. A single grain will produce detectable heat in 1,272 pounds of bland sauce. Is your good influence detectable in a crowd? Jesus spoke of influence in the Sermon on the Mount: “Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its savor…It is good for nothing but to be cast out” (Mt. 5:13, 14). We are God’s “spice” to influence His world for good. There are two ways that we may influence others: by words and by...

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Written in Sand and Stone

Two friends were walking through the desert and got into an argument. One friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: “Today my best friend slapped me in the face.” They kept walking until they found an oasis. Thirsty, they stopped for water. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire, fell in, and started drowning. His friend saved him. That evening, he wrote on a stone, “Today my best friend saved my life.” The friend who had slapped and saved his...

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When You Fail

Failure! What a haunting word. No one deliberately sets out to experience it. As Bulwer-Lytton has said, “In the lexicon of youth, which Fate reserves for a bright manhood, There is no such word As—fail!” But somewhere between youth and old age we discover not only the word, but its full meaning. “How are the mighty fallen!” Once there were twelve men. Men picked by Jesus. Men who heard Him speak. Men who saw His miracles. Men who knew He was the Christ. Men who had a mission. And with that mission came duty. To fail in duty is unthinkable....

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Your Bible: On Top of TV Guide, or Under It?

A young child watched her mother reading from the Bible for a few minutes each morning. Finally one day she asked, “Aren’t you ever going to get finished reading that book?” The mother replied, “No honey, we never get finished with this Book. It always has something that helps encourage, challenge, and make me into being a better person.” What a wonderful blessing to be able to read the parable of the good Samaritan, the sermon on the mount, the resurrection story, the faithfulness of the men and women of old and many others! Dear friend, the Bible holds great...

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What is the Difference?

Between the atheist who would not dream of financially supporting the church and the Christian who will not financially support the Lord’s Church? Between the skeptic who does not believe the Bible and the negligent Christian who never reads it? Between those who do not believe in Bible classes and those who choose never to attend a class? Between the atheist who does nothing to build up the Lord’s Church and the Christian who finds fault with others but does nothing himself‘? Between a man of the world and a person in the church who lives like a man in...

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The Conductor

My wife and I recently attended a concert by the Morehead University Symphony Orchestra of which our grandson is a member. Before the concert got underway, the players began “warming up,” each individually testing his/her horn or instrument. No two were on the same key and the “noise” was almost deafening. When the conductor came to the podium all were sitting quietly in their seats, their instruments ready. Under the direction of the conductor the orchestra became as one. The music was in perfect harmony and marvelously beautiful. It was evident they had practiced often. The conductor had taught them...

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Does Jesus Live At Your House?

The continued knock brought the mother to the door. A child stood there with a Bible in his hand. Without a word of introduction he asked, “Does Jesus live here?” The woman, although a member of the church, was so taken aback by the unexpected question that she did not answer. She didn’t even remember what he said next, but watched him slowly walk away. All day the question kept going through her mind. That evening when her husband came home, she told him about it. He laughed and said, “Why didn’t you show him the church directory with our name...

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Is God Showing Through Your Life?

A little girl, on the way home from church, turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, the preacher’s sermon this morning confused me.” The mother said, “Oh! Why is that?” The girl replied, “Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?” “Yes, that’s true,” the mother replied. “He also said that God lives within us. Is that true, too?” Again the mother replied, “Yes.” “Well,” said the girl. “If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?” I like that little girl’s way of putting it. If God lives...

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The Vase

There was once a rather rough, uncultured man who for some reason fell in love with a beautiful vase he found in an antique shop. He purchased the vase and put it on the mantel in his living room. The piece became a kind of judgment on his surroundings. The curtains looked dingy beside it. The La-Z-Boy with the stuffing coming out of the seat would not do. The wallpaper and paint needed redoing. So the man slowly started cleaning up the room to make it worthy of the beautiful vase. Gradually the whole room was transformed. THOUGHT: When a...

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16 Things That Cannot be Done

It is helpful to know our boundaries, so that we do not spend our efforts in attempting things that cannot be accomplished. 1. God’s eternal purpose cannot be overthrown (Acts 5:39). 2. One cannot bear good fruit without Christ (John 15:5). 3. No person can keep his sins hidden forever (1 Timothy 5:24). 4. No person can live after the flesh and please God (Romans 8:8). 5. A person cannot love God and not love his brother in Christ (1 John 4:20). 6. A person cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). 7. No one can take anything out of this...

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The Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law and four-year-old grandson. The old man’s hand trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky  hands and failing eyesight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about Dad,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.” So, the husband and...

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Compromise: Some Things Aren’t Negotiable

A hunter raised his rifle and took careful aim at a large bear. When the man was about to pull the trigger, the bear spoke in a soothing voice, “Isn’t it better to talk than to shoot? What do you want? Let’s negotiate the matter.” Lowering his rifle, the hunter replied, “I want a fur coat.” “Good,” said the bear, “that is a negotiable item. I only want a full stomach, so let us sit down and negotiate a compromise.” They sat down to negotiate and after a time the bear walked away, alone. The negotiations had been successful. The...

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Can We Really Live For Jesus?

There are those who teach that it is not possible for human beings to live up to the standard of godliness that Christianity demands. The devil would like for us to accept that heresy so as to discourage us from even trying to live for God. Do we have certain propensities within us that prohibit a closer walk with God? Did our Creator make us with an in-built spiritual deficiency that makes it certain that we shall fail in our pursuit of holiness? Or, are there helps along the way that enable us to glorify the Savior? In the language...

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Your Choice

In the Canadian Rockies is a stream called Divide Creek. At a point in its course the creek divides around a large boulder. Waters which flow to the left of the boulder rush on into Kicking Horse River and finally into the Pacific Ocean. Waters which travel to the right flow into the Bow River which courses into the Saskatchewan River, on into Lake Winnipeg, the Nelson River, Hudson Bay and to the Atlantic Ocean. Once the waters divide at the rock, there is no turning back. How like life this is. Decisions are made daily. Life is a series...

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The Tree

[Jesus] bore our sins in His own body on the tree… (1 Peter 2:24). The corkscrew willow tree stood vigil over our backyard for more than 20 years. It shaded all four of our children as they played in the yard, and it provided shelter for the neighborhood squirrels. But when springtime came and the tree didn’t awake from its winter slumber, it was time to bring it down. Every day for a week I worked on that tree. First to fell it and then to chop two decades of growth into manageable pieces. It gave me a lot of...

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There’s a Purpose. Have You Looked for It?

Jesus said we’d have problems (John 16:33). Nobody gets a free pass. Solve one problem and another’s waiting to take its place. They’re not all big, but they’re all necessary to your spiritual growth. How do you measure the strength of anything? By testing it! Listen: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Pet. 4:12-13). David wrote: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted” (Ps. 34:18). Your most life-changing experiences will often come during your darkest days–when your heart’s broken, you feel abandoned, you’re out...

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10 Rules for Happy Living

1. Give something away (no strings attached). 2. Do a kindness (and forget it). 3. Spend a few minutes with the aged (their experience is priceless guidance). 4. Look intently into the face of a baby (and marvel). 5. Laugh often (it’s life’s lubricant). 6. Give thanks (a thousand time a day is not enough). 7. Pray (or you will lose the way). 8. Work (with vim and vigor). 9. Plan as though you’ll live forever (because you will). 10.   Live as though you’ll die tomorrow (because you will die on some tomorrow)....

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Satan’s Plan

A story is told of how Satan asked his demons to design a plan to keep people from becoming Christians. One demon said, “I’ll tell people that there is no God!” Satan replied, “No! Only fools deny God’s existence.” Another demon spoke up, saying, “I’ll go and tell the world that religion is a farce!” Again Satan answered, “No! Too many have seen the goodness of faith and know that salvation is real.” A crafty demon finally said, “I will go and tell the world that there is a God, that the Bible is true, and that salvation is real,...

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Needs of a Newcomer

What Are the Needs of a Newcomer? In the early church, we see that Christians were concerned with supplying each other’s needs (Acts 2:44-45, 4:34-35). Paul reminded the church at Rome of their obligation to care for “the needs of the saints” (Rom. 12:13). Elsewhere, we are reminded of specific needs like monetary support (2 Cor. 9:12), the need for teachers (Heb. 5:12), and encouragement (Acts 11:22-24). With these things in mind, I would like to think about some of the needs of newcomers to the church, from their perspective. I need you to notice me. I want to feel...

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Sight or Vision?

There’s a church in our area that enjoys putting thought-provoking sayings on their sign, and they have some pretty good ones, too. They are located on a busy comer where lots of people will notice what they say. Not long ago, as I drove by, I read on their sign: To some God gives sight; to others He gives vision. Sometimes the words sight and vision can mean essentially the same thing. For example, an optometrist’s office can be referred to as a vision clinic. But in the statement above I think you can see (pun intended) that the two...

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What About Your Faith?

“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith” (Hebrews 11:7). No one had ever seen such a flood as the one that would come–one that would even cover the tops of the highest mountains by twenty feet! Many would argue that men of that time hadn’t even ever seen rain. So what made Noah different? What had Noah standing out in his generation to build a humongous box that would float...

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Softer Stances on Doctrine

Recently, I was contacted by a retiring minister. He said he had become an elder with the congregation and was given the job of seeking his replacement. We spoke for nearly an hour and things seemed fine until he asked me about certain doctrines. He was specific about a few and I quoted the scripture pertaining to them. He then told me he had preached for over 50 years and in the last 20 or so he had “softened his stance” on these key doctrines we discussed. He admitted he had no scripture for his position, he just “felt” differently...

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God Is With You

Joshua was taking over the leadership of the people of God, and knew that Moses “left some big shoes to fill.” But, God gave him the assurance he needed to lead the people into the promised land. He told him to “be strong…do not be afraid…for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh. 1:9). The future is always daunting and scary. What will it hold? But, every child of God should know that if God is with us, no trouble is too great, and no obstacle is insurmountable. Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always”...

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Right in the Middle of Forgiveness

What is right in the middle of the word “forgiveness?” You have “for” and you have “ness,” but right in the middle of“forgiveness” is the word “give.” To “give” is to provide someone with something. To “forgive” is to provide someone with pardon. “Forgiving” is one of the greatest ways of “giving.” The New Testament words translated “forgive” are indeed graphic. “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors ” (Matthew 6:12). Here the word “forgive” (aphiemi) means “to send away.” “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians...

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10 Reasons Not To Take A Bath

If the same excuses that people use for not going to church are applied to other important areas of life, it’s easy to see how inconsistent our logic can be. For example, 10 reasons not to take a bath: 1. I was forced to bathe as a child. 2. People who make soap are only after your money. 3. I bathe on special occasions like Christmas and Easter. 4. People who take baths are hypocrites – they think they are cleaner than everyone else. 5. I would bathe but there are so many different kinds of soap, can’t decide which...

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Just Suppose

Just suppose the Lord should begin tomorrow to make people as sick as they say they are on Sunday. Just suppose the Lord should take away the children whom parents use as an excuse for staying away from church. Just suppose the Lord should make some people as poor as they say they are when asked to finance His program. Just suppose the Lord should have every covetous man stoned as He did Achan. Just suppose the Lord should strike dead all who lie about their giving, as He did Ananias and Sapphira. Just suppose the Lord should let some...

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When the Church Works Together

When the church works together… – There will be less bickering and more forgiveness (Philippians 4:2). – There will be less criticism and more encouragement (Hebrews 10:24). – There will be less excuses and more evangelism (Acts 2:46, 47). – There will be less selfishness and more selflessness (Philippians 2:3,4). – There will be less discussion of personal preferences and more Bible study and seeking to know the will of God (Ephesians 5:17). – There will be less worrying about the future and more prayer for the strength and courage to face the future (1 Thessalonians 5:17). – There will...

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A Good Word

Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on one good compliment.” We all know what he meant by that. It lifts your spirits to have someone say something genuinely nice to you or about you. Solomon noted this human truth: “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad” (Proverbs 12:25). Haven’t you experienced days when the morning began just right? Someone in your family mentioned something special about you he/she appreciated. Your boss gave you a compliment as you walked through the door. And then, there was a note...

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Running Out of Time

  [345 words] The clock is ticking. The calendar is winding down. I’m running out of time. I made myself some promises about some important things in my life that I would accomplish by the end of this year. It’s going to require me to buckle down, be incredibly disciplined, and live like every day and every decision matters supremely to the final outcome. There is no room for procrastination. While these issues are personal and spiritual, they also have reminded me that every single statement I made above could be said about my daily Christian life…at any point in...

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Doing Good

The New Testament tells us that Jesus “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). Jesus spent His life in service to others and helping others. Have you ever heard of a “complainer” doing good for others with his complaining? Have you ever heard of a “gossip” who helped others with his/her gossip? How much good has a liar ever done with his lying? How many people have ever been aided by the anger from an angry person? How many individuals have had their lives made happier by the slander from one who maligns the character of another? How well thought of...

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The Flyer and the Catcher

Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with the admonition to “be still, be patient, and wait on the Lord. ” We are given a beautiful picture of patient trust in our Lord during our seasons of trials and searching for direction. There is a very special relationship between the trapeze artists known as the flyer and the catcher. As the flyer is swinging high above the crowd, the moment comes when he lets go of the trapeze and arcs high into the air. For that moment, which must seem like an eternity, the flyer is suspended in nothingness....

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You Finish The Story…

Once there was a congregation in which every member was just like you. Each one cooperated and supported every program just like you have been doing. Everyone worked as hard and attended the same services and gospel meetings that you did. The elders, deacons, and preacher were all interested in the church to the same degree as you are. They put the same emphasis on their recreation, business and material affairs that you do. No, You Finish The Story… Within one year or so, this congregation ____________________________. via Highland Village Church of Christ Austin, TX Bulletin Digest (January 2005)  ...

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How Are You?

“I’m better than I was yesterday because I am one day closer to being with my Lord. ” Too often, the pain, grief, loss and disappointments of this world fill our heart with the wrong things. To prevent this we need to follow the biblical examples of Godly responses to worldly afflictions. David was devastated by the illness of his son. He was with him constantly, even to the point of neglecting his own physical needs. However when his son died, the scripture says that David got up, washed, anointed himself, changed his clothes, went to the house of the...

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10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Was 21

1. That being a Christian is really, really important. 2. That my life’s career would be what it is now. 3. That my health in my later years will depend to a great degree on what I ate before I was 21. 4. That I am really a manager of my money and my possessions. 5. That being neatly and sensibly dressed is an asset in life and business. 6. That bad habits are mighty hard to change after you’re 21. 7. That worthwhile things require time, patience, and hard work. 8. That the world gives a person just about...

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The Day The Sun Didn’t Rise

There is an old story told of the day when the sun did not rise. Six o’clock came and there was no sign of dawn. Seven o’clock there was still no ray of light. At noon it was black as midnight. No birds sang, and only the hoot of the owl broke the silence. Then came the long black hours of  the afternoon. Finally evening arrived but no one  slept that night. Some wept. Some rang their hands in anguish. Every church was crowded with people on their knees. Thus they remained  the whole night through. After the long night...

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The Devil’s Favorite Tool

It was advertised that the Devil was going to put some of his tools up for sale. After all, he had a huge assortment, with various models of each, and he figured others might get some use out of them. On the date of the sale, the tools were placed for public inspection, each being marked with its sale price. The list of implements to be sold was horrifying and unnerving: Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Deceit, Lying, and Pride, just to name a few. Laid apart from the rest of the tools was a small, rather harmless-looking tool, well-worn and priced...

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Never Give Up!

Sometimes in this old world, we may begin to sense that we are being overwhelmed and that  we are helpless in our attempt to call men back  to God and to his etemal will. Let me encourage all of us to remember some basic truths that  should motivate us: God is still God! He has not left us, He has not changed! His blessings, expectations, promises and warnings remain firm. It is not our job to force people to accept the truth, but, rather, it is our task to keep preaching the truth. The only way that truth is ineffective...

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Twenty-Five Years Later

One day as a wife and her husband quarreled, harsh words were spoken. Each was too proud to ask the other’s forgiveness and the bitter feelings finally led to divorce. Neither found a new mate during the intervening years. And now 25 years later, with one son already dead and the whereabouts of the other unknown, this woman learned  that the only man she ever loved was in the hospital. She went to see him, and with tears they finally forgave one another. At their request, the preacher gladly remarried  them right there in the hospital room. As he left...

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Out of Sight

A rich fisherman with tons of expensive fishing gear was not catching any trout. A little boy nearby with primitive equipment filled a stringer.  In desperation the rich fellow asked the little boy, “How do you do it?” The boy answered, “I just stay out of sight better than you do.” “Staying out of sight” is one of the keys to an effective Christian life. You’ve heard it said: “Anything could be done if we didn’t care who  got the credit.” How true, but it is human nature to want to be “seen.” Another has said: “Religion is beautiful until...

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