Are You a Hero of Patience?

[150 words] Everyone loves a hero! We marvel at the mighty deeds of brave folks around us, and we wonder what it would take to be just like them. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “A man is a hero, not because he is braver than anyone else, but because he is brave for ten minutes longer.”  How applicable this quote is to so many situations in life, especially the life of a Christian. James tells us that patience (perseverance) comes from enduring tests of our faith, which in turn leads to a complete faith (James 1:3-4). From a biblical perspective,...

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Our Spiritual Beauty

[144 words] A city dweller was being driven by a rancher over a blistering and almost barren stretch of desert when a large brightly-colored bird scurried across the road in front of them. The visitor asked what it was. “That’s a bird of paradise,” said the rancher. “Pretty long way from home, isn’t he!” remarked the visitor. This story reminds us of what it’s like being a Christian. We are citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20), and when people see us they ought to see a contrast with the world around us. Our character ought to be so different that people...

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The Christian Tree

[185 words] If a Christian were a tree, what should it look like? It would have roots that grow downward. Roots help with strength and stability. Roots also bring nutrients to the tree. Deeply rooted in the Scriptures the Christian can stand strong. It would be healthy inward. A tree must be healthy from the inside out. Spiritual health for the Christian begins with the heart. It would stretch up ever upward. A tree is always growing, stretching its leafy branches toward the sky. The Christian must ever be growing toward and pointing to heaven. It would produce fruit outward....

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Heart Changes

[129 words] If people are to become like Jesus there must be heart changes. The result of these changes of heart will be changes in our behavior. The heart change is what gives room for God to work in our life. Realizing certain truths helps us to change our heart. We must learn from our Bible study that we are redeemed from sin; we belong to God; our salvation is by, in and though Jesus; He loves us infinitely and wants us to go to heaven. He is our ever-present Helper, and He will never leave nor forsake us. “Let...

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The Danger of Desensitization

[117 words] It’s a real danger for Christians to become so desensitized by the entertainment we consume or the causes we support that we revert back to talking as if we never were born again. Maybe some rationalize their crude language, saying, “I only say these words when I’m really upset;” “But the cause is too great to ignore it just because there’s a little language.” And just like that, they’ve subscribed to situational ethics. Yet, the Bible still says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths” (Eph. 4:29). It’s up to us, individually, to decide if we...

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It’s Not All Summer

[145 words] At the time of the hottest, most humid part of the summer months, the ancient Greeks and Romans saw the appearance of the “Dog Star” Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog). Thus, they called them the “Dog Days of Summer” and knew that summer’s time was limited and soon it would be cooling off.  It is wonderful that we serve a God that has purposed different times, seasons, and occasions in our lives. It’s not all summer. It’s not all fall or winter. It’s not all good, but it’s also not all bad....

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God, Time, and Promises

[136 words] God dwells in eternity and time means nothing to Him (2 Peter 3:8). However, His word and His promises mean everything to Him. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The Lord promised that there is coming at time when this earth and everything in it will be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10). The end of the earth and the dissolving of all material things prompted the statement of 2 Peter 3:11,...

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The Purpose of Life

[148 words] I recently found an interesting quote from Robert Byrne. It is this: “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” Many people live their lives without purpose and most of them are quite frustrated and dissatisfied. But for those who find a life purpose that is fueled by their passion, great things can happen. Of course, I would qualify the quote by adding this: “The purpose of life is a life of purpose for God.” The writer of Ecclesiastes agrees. He sought everything of the world to find the meaning of life. In the end what he...

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A Home Ruled by God

[191 words] A home ruled by God is a place where we develop a heart that will help the poor, weak, and unfortunate people around you. God expects us to reach out to the weak. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” (Romans 15:1) We must protect, help, encourage and defend the helpless. In Zechariah 7:9 we read, “Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassion every man to his brother.” We must be like Job. He said, “I delivered the poor...

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Bite the Wax Tadpole

[170 words] When Coca-Cola began marketing their product in China in 1928, they ran into a problem translating their name into Chinese. Mandarin Chinese is a language of symbols rather than sound. Retailers tried to translate the title of the new drink using symbols representing the sound rather than what the words the symbols meant. The result was a sign for Coca-Cola that read “Bite the Wax Tadpole.” Needless to say, sales were sluggish until the error was fixed. As Christians, we are a representation of Christ to the world. As 1 Peter 2:12 says, “Keep your behavior excellent among...

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Giving to Thee

[115 words] As I progress through my life,more clearly do I see,it is not what I gather, Lord,but what I give to Thee. I give to Thee by pouring out,my body, heart, and soul,in glory and devotion,trusting Thee to make me whole. I give to Thee by kindly helping,all others, great and small,humbly loving, serving, forgiving,not with part, but with all. I give to Thee by giving free,not expecting in return,knowing my reward will comeat the end of my sojourn. As I progress through my life,more clearly do I see,the more I give to You, Dear Lord,the more You give...

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Things You Will Never Regret

[198 words] Every one of us has done something in our life that we regretted deeply. We must deal with those things in the best way that we can and move on. Several years ago I saw a note in a church bulletin that challenged its readers to strive to do things that we would not regret. From that short note I began thinking about some things that we could do and we would never regret. Think about these things with me… 1. A person will never regret becoming a Christian. 2. A person will never regret saying, “I love...

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No One Wants Society Based on Unbelief

[175 words] For some, religion is a fairy tale for children and a false hope for the aged. To those folks, God is the product of a weak mind and Jesus is a fanatic who demonstrated this characteristic. They believe heaven is a Christian’s wishful thinking and hell only a believer’s nightmare. They charge that sin is the invention of the hypocritical pious who partake of the very actions they condemn. Yet, those very folks do not want a society based upon their unbelief. AIDS, social diseases, murder, hatred, envy, and a number of other lifestyles would be more prevalent...

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A Good Christian Attitude

[171 words] A good Christian attitude will mean that we love the Lord, and are growing as a Christian. This kind of attitude will help you win in your struggle against sin. A good Christian attitude will help you be humble, and submissive toward God and His word. As a general rule, persons who have a good attitude find it easier to serve God. Accepting personal responsibility for both your attitudes and your actions is a big thing to God. Once you know, and are willing to accept personal responsibility you need to follow through on what is expected of...

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Measuring Doctrines

[159 words] What did Paul mean when he wrote to Timothy, exhorting him to charge men not to teach a different doctrine (1 Timothy 1:3)? There are some doctrines easily understood and affirmed, but some are rather complicated and confusing. How can one know which doctrine (tprileaching) to oppose? We need to start here: “If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things which I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37, ASV; cf. Gal. 1:6-9). Add to this the words of John, “We...

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The Gospel and Us

[169 words] In Rom. 1:14-16, Paul not only gives the importance of the gospel, but what our relationship should be with it. It is seen in the three “I am” statements. Concerning the Gospel… We Need to Realize Our Obligation (“I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise”, v.14). Like Paul, we should see it as a duty to get the gospel message out. We Need to Watch for the Opportunity (“So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel…”, v.15). Paul was ready at a moment’s notice...

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The Need to Fear God

[146 words] There is no greater need in our time or any time, than the need to fear God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). The fear of the Lord is that understanding of God’s greatness and power, and man’s accountability toward Him. An “unknown God” cannot be trusted, served, nor worshipped. A scriptural and saving knowledge of God is the greatest need of every person, in every generation. Belief in God is the foundation principle of the Christian faith. The writer of the book of Hebrews said,...

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The Blessings of Friends and Family

[194 words] It is truly a blessing to be part of a loving family. In like fashion, it is a great blessing to have dear friends. Sadly, not everyone knows what it feels like to be part of such things. All too often we take our family and friends for granted.  If you are so blessed as to have good friends, thank your heavenly Father.  If you are so blessed to have a loving earthly family, thank your heavenly Father.  If you are so blessed as to have a loving spiritual family (meaning you are a member of the body...

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Traveling the Rocky Road

[115 words] The road is long, the rocks are large,But we needn’t go ‘round them all,For if we muscle, and keep on moving,We’ll gain more strength for the haul. The road is tough, the rocks are many,But they needn’t cause us to slip,For if we’re careful where we tread,We’ll more quickly learn how to grip. The road’s winding, the rocks, unsafe,But they needn’t bring useless bane,For when we learn the best steps used,Though more taken, the more we gain. The road’s uncertain, the rocks, e’er present,But we needn’t tread without trust,The Lord will shine and He will guide,And the rocks...

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Age Is Not the Issue

[177 words] David was a youth when he defeated Goliath (1 Sam. 17:33). Jeremiah was a youth when he was called to be a prophet (Jer. 1:6). Timothy was a youth when Paul left him to care for the church at Ephesus (1 Tim. 4:12). We are never too young to serve the Lord. Moses was 80 and Aaron 82 when they were called to lead the people out of Egypt (Ex. 7:7). Caleb was 85 when he conquered Hebron (Josh. 14:10). Anna was at least 84 when she told everyone about the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:36ff). We are...

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Jesus Will Help You Overcome Temptation

[123 words] Being tempted is something we will all face; let us stand boldly against the devil and have the courage to resist temptation. Matthew wrote, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) In James 1:12 we read, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” The goal of a Christian is not to stop temptation. The goal is to do all we can to...

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The Intelligence of the Intelligent

[194 words] There is an urban legend about a group of famous scientists who stopped for lunch at a small-town diner. Seated at the table were six of the greatest thinkers of our day. Their average IQ was in the 160s. They noticed that their salt and pepper shakers had been reversed. One with the S on top was filled with pepper. The other with the P on top was filled with salt. So, they concocted an elaborate plan to switch the contents without spilling them. It involved a napkin, a straw and a saucer. Proud of their solution, they...

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Thanks For Ruining It For The Rest Of Us

[198 words] Oscar Wilde said, “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” I’m sure you know what he was talking about. Those folks of whom your best memory involves a door swinging shut as they walk out of it. Yet they may not be the most damaging of folks. It’s those that leave yet somehow still remain. People whose caustic words sting even after the sound has died away. The fellow whose bad performance makes everyone question if the job is valid in the first place. A false teacher whose lies still confuse even after they’ve moved...

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The Extra Mile of Honesty

[150 words] Did you know that Abraham Lincoln went into the general store business with another fellow and it failed? Lincoln ended up $1,100 in debt. He could have pleaded divided responsibility and found a legal loophole of escape but that wasn’t Lincoln’s way. Instead, he went to his creditors and promised to pay them every dollar with interest, if they would just give him some time. Then for the next 14 years Lincoln scraped and saved and paid back debts that were not all his. Even when he was a member of congress, he sent part of his salary...

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How God Speaks Through Nature

[174 words] George Washington Carver said, “I love to think of nature as unlimited broadcasting stations, through which God speaks to us every day, every hour and every moment of our lives, if we will only tune in and remain so.” There is an element of truth to what Carver said. The Bible says, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been...

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A Restoration Observation

[131 words] If I want to grow watermelons in Tennessee today, I do not have to have an unbroken watermelon vine stretching down through all the millennia from the Garden of Eden to Tennessee. All I have to do is plant watermelon seeds in Tennessee today. They will produce in Tennessee today what they have always produced—watermelons! Similarly, to have the undenominational church of the New Testament in the 21st century, we do not need an unbroken line of faithful congregations stretching down through all the centuries from the Day of Pentecost to the present. All we have to do...

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Do You Need a Lawyer?

[133 words] I see billboards advertising lawyers. Do you need an attorney? Someone to plead your case. The psalmist said he did. “Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation” (Psalm 43:1). Because of sin, Satan, and unjust men we need an attorney to defend us today before a holy God. That divine lawyer is Jesus. “And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). Not only is His service free, He takes our crimes and is willing to bear them Himself. When He makes our case...

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Use the New Year to Get Closer to God

[119 words] This world is not my home. I want to go to heaven. Use this New Year to get closer to God and closer to heaven. I want to go to heaven because it is a place of beauty and splendor. Our hope is, “Laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel” (Colossians 1:5). Heaven is a, “City which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Imagine being in a place where, “The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” are its temple (Revelation 21:22)....

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The Ultimate Prize

[190 words] In late 1989, Steven Covey wrote, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It quickly became a number one best seller. This book was the result of observing effective, successful people. In it, he noted that such people begin each day with the end in mind. In other words, they set important goals and then identified each step to reaching those goals. His observation included this major truth: We have the power to choose. And, we are responsible for our choices. It is interesting that we can turn our lives around at any age. We can begin at 17...

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What is Your Gift to Him?

[182 words] The Christmas holidays are here upon us, and the world around us is filled with the noble notions of gift-giving. “What am I going to get my spouse?” “Will my kids like this gift?” “What can I do for my boss and co-workers?” Giving gifts is a godly behavior, and we should all remember that our Lord said it is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). It is good to rejoice in giving! But in all of our giving, did we remember to put God on our list? Did we remember to present ourselves to God...

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Pride

[183 words] Most of us know about a man named Haman. He was the villain of the book of Esther. Haman was a man of pride and his life shows us the truthfulness of God’s word. Proverbs 13:10 says, “By pride comes nothing but strife.” When Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman his pride was hurt and so he determined to kill all Jews (Esther 2:5-6). Pride produces strife. But there is another problem with pride: “when pride comes then comes shame…” (Proverbs 11:2). Haman was greatly shamed when the king told him to honor Mordecai (Esther 6: 1-12)....

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What is a Friend?

[122 words] A friend is someone who knows us and loves us in spite of all our faults. It is someone we can depend on even when it takes great effort on their part (think “Jesus”). A friend is someone we trust, respect and depend on in times of need as well as in the good times (Think “us” as we live for Jesus). A friend is someone we love and appreciate being with whether it is free time, work, or something of a more serious nature. We are glad you chose to be our friend today. We hope you...

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Negative Attitudes

[169 words] Christians must not allow themselves to live with negative, faultfinding and critical attitudes. Decide to be positive and spiritual in both feelings and attitudes. Start acting the way you want to be and should be. When you take that first step, you will see major changes in your life. It is first the action and then the feeling. Attitude is one of the gauges that shows God, others, and you the level of your spirituality. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the...

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What Is Your Life?

[143 words] Life truly begins once you become more loving, proud and boastful of others, than you ever are of self. When you see the needs and desires of others as foremost and any of your own as an afterthought. When you recognize that any beauty in the mirror is pale in comparison to the beauty in the world. When property and wealth become tools for the betterment of others and not something by which you measure or horde away. When a child’s smile drives and concretes one’s own. When a stranger is seen as a soul and not as...

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What Should We Really Be Thankful For?

[171 words] The Apostle Paul encourages us with these words: “Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to Him through God the Father” (Colossians 3:17). As we examine this text, we see that prayer is a constant event in the life of a Christian. And one of the main parts of that prayer is giving thanks to God. This month our nation recognizes a day set aside to give thanks. The original presidential proclamations of this holiday all point out that the subject of our thanks should...

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Thankful, Even in Chains

[149 words] Many hearts turn toward the concept of thankfulness during this time of year, and rightly so! God has provided an abundance not only of the physical things we need (Acts 14:17; 17:25; Matt. 5:45; 6:25-33), but also all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3), which we need more. He is indeed a giver of good gifts (James 1:17)!  Sometimes, though, when one or more of these blessings seem to be missing in us for a time, we become discouraged or depressed. When that feeling comes upon you, remember the encouraging letter of rejoicing Paul wrote to the...

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You Are Not Fooling Anyone

[198 words] Little Johnny’s teacher asked him to stay after class. She confronted him, “Johnny, I know that you cheated off Suzie on yesterday test.” Johnny snapped back, “What makes you think I cheated!” She remarked, “Well, one the first question who was the first president, Suzie put George Washington and so did you.” Johnny replied, “Well that’s an easy one, everyone knows that!” “But on the second question,” she continued, “What president freed the slaves, Suzie put Abe Lincoln and so did you.” “Well so what?” Johnny piped, “Lots of people called him Abe!” The teacher sighed and said,...

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This is Not Heaven!

[193 words] Why do bad things happen to Good People? This is a most perplexing question, even for many religious scholars. Possibly the best answer that could ever be given came from the mouth of a little child, David Jones, son of Blake and Rebekah Jones. David said bad things happen to good people because, “This is not heaven.” He is so right. This is a world that has been influence by Satan, so there is bad and evil everywhere. The bad touches both the righteous and the unrighteous. However, in the world to come only the wicked will suffer....

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By Bringing My Kids to Bible Study, I Am Saying to Them…

[173 words] …that there is nothing on earth more important than the Bible. …that a proper understanding of the Bible is essential. …that getting to know other Christians’ children is vital. …that some habits are good, and this is a good habit to get into. …that some things are worth sacrificing other things for. …that God’s people are the best people on earth! …that a part of faithfulness is desiring to be here every time the doors are open. …that there is a benefit to separating oneself from the world. …that God indeed does have the answers to life’s dilemmas....

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The Great Challenge

[166 words] The great challenge for those of us who are Christians is to become like Jesus. Those who honor God must become “Conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29). We must behold the glory of the Lord and be changed into His image. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are not just hoping to be like Jesus in the next life; we must become like...

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