Love Demonstrated

[248 words] “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God did not just tell us He loved us and then left it there. As the preceding verse states, God demonstrated, revealed, and validated His love for mankind by allowing Jesus to…

The Last Verse

[274 words] In 1814 Francis Scott Key had been negotiating the release of an American from the British Fleet. Key was successful and was only allowed to return to his ship, yet not allowed to leave the fleet because he had become familiar with the strength and position of the British units and their intention…

What’s in a Name?

[236 words] There was a time when the meaning of names was thought to be important. My name, for example means “laurel-crowned” meaning “a champion or a noted warrior.” Or as someone observed, it means “the guy with weeds in his hair.” Not quite so flattering! A name is important and cannot be shed like…

Looking Unto Jesus

[224 words] If you have ever watched a choral group or orchestra, you will note one thing each member always does: they look at the conductor. This is to insure that they are in harmony and performing in accordance with the conductor’s directive. As members of the church, we make up a group that is…

Our Outlook on Life

[288 words] A few years ago, a lady committed suicide, leaving behind this note. “I decided that unless life was worth living, I would just quit living.” How do you feel about your life? Is it worthwhile? Or let’s change the question. What would it take for you to feel that your life is worthwhile?…

Some Tests for the Home

[286 words] The Leadership Test. Does the husband and father assume his God-given place as head of the family? Does he provide the spiritual leadership? Does he take the lead in bringing up his children in the Lord’s way? The Discipline Test. Do children respect and obey their parents? Do parents expect and deserve such…

The Powerful Weapon of Doubt

[224 words] One of the greatest weapons Satan has is the powerful weapon of doubt. Doubt in the Savior, doubt in the brethren, and doubt in ourselves. Doubt is the world’s most powerful weapon. Satan discourages Christians with these thoughts: “Are you sure you are a Christian…Do you really think you can stay faithful…How can…

The Humility of Jesus

[222 words] Humble Birth – “And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger…” (Luke. 2:7) Humble Family – “‘Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? Are not his sisters here with…

Putting Jesus Back in the Box

[232 words] The Christmas holiday has come and gone. Time to take down those decorations, Christmas trees, blow-up yard ornaments, and lights, including those religious scenes and figurines. Along with the tinsel and multicolored lights, the little statues of the baby Jesus will be placed in boxes and storage bins and stored away till next…

He Will Take Us Through

[202 words] We are constantly reminded that life can be challenging. Life can be hard. Sometimes….life can be very hard. But we don’t go through alone! We don’t go through it unnoticed by heaven! Someone has said: “Since God the Father intends to make you like Jesus, He will take you through the same experiences…

Times Have Changed

[278 words] “Times have changed” is a common refrain from those who find themselves in contradiction with the Word of God. This happens especially when moral standards are involved. First of all, one might question what folks mean when they say “Times have changed.” Are they talking about a changing culture? Are they talking about…

Jesus Loves Me

[254 words] Around 1860, Anna B. Warner penned the following words that were later extended and set to music by William B. Bradbury and continue to be sung around the world: Jesus loves me—this I know, / For the Bible tells me so:Little ones to him belong— / They are weak, but he is strong.Yes,…

Should I Celebrate Religious Holidays?

[216 words] The title of our article asks an important question. Should New Testament Christians celebrate religious holidays? In the text of our lesson today (Romans 14:1-12) the subject is discussed because some Jewish Christians were holding on to the “special days” set aside by the Old Testament. This can also be seen in the…

Try Giving Yourself Away

[265 words] In the late 1940s, David Dunn wrote a delightful little book by the above title. He determined that he would practice, as a hobby, the art of giving himself to other people. His goal was to do small, thoughtful deeds for others as he went about his daily activities. He found that while…

How Much Is Jesus Worth to You?

[279 words] “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44). Few things are as effective in opening up our billfolds or motivating us to pick…

Teaching Children to Love the Right Things

[242 words] Teach your children not to love the world (1 John 2:15), but to love God and the things He loves (Matthew 22:36–40). Teach them to love… Learning. It is a blessing to have a de- sire to know (Proverbs 23:23; 1 Peter 2:2). It is better to get wisdom than to get gold…

Holy Rest

[217 words] Under the old covenant, God commanded the Israelites to keep a Sabbath rest (Exodus 20:8-11). On the last day of each week, those who followed God were to take off from work any kind. They were to worship God with their Jewish brethren and they were to rest. In additional to taking one…

All or Nothing

[259 words] The story is told of the little boy who cut off his puppy’s tail an inch at a time to keep from hurting it so badly by cutting the whole tail off at once. This sad story illustrates the tragic error that many people have with leaving the world behind them when becoming…

The Dying Leaf

[234 words] As autumn approaches, we welcome the cooler temperatures and the changing of the seasons. We remember the promise of God to Noah, “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). Along with the change in the weather comes the…

That’s Not Right

[232 words] Cunningham’s Law is an axiom coined by Steven McGeady. It’s named after Ward Cunningham, the inventor of wiki software, who initially gave him the advice.  It states “the best way to get the right answer on the internet is not to ask a question; it’s to post the wrong answer.” That doesn’t just…

Wardrobe Change

[259 words] Have you ever voyaged into the deep recesses of your closest only to discover clothing that is well past its time? The style is out, they no longer fit, and the holes are no longer justifiable in polite society. We would be embarrassed to be caught wearing some such things we find in…

How Can Increase My Dependence Upon God?

[296 words] “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). I can begin each day with prayer that includes thanks. I can replace the question, “Why has God done this to me?” with, ”How has…

I Can With God’s Help!

[213 words] God has always worked through His people who say, “With God’s Help, I can!” For forty years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness because ten men said, “We can’t.” The wilderness of Arabia was scattered with the bones of thousands of Israelites who agreed with those two men who said, “We can’t.” “We…

Liquid Paper and the Good News

[241 words] With today’s computers, many young people have no idea what “Liquid Paper” was. The liquid could assist anyone using a typewriter. If you made a mistake typing a letter or report, you could simply stop, then paint out the mistake. After the liquid dried, you could type over the mistake and continue your…

Full House

[225 words] The follow-up question I always get when people hear I am a minster is the “how big” question. “How big is your congregation,” and, “How many kids are in your youth group?”  I guess that is the way they measure success. The assumption is that the more folks, the better things are going.…

Living Hope

[236 words] John Maxwell tells about a small town in Maine that was proposed for the site of a great hydroelectric plant. A dam would be built across the river and the town submerged. When the project was announced, the people were given many months to arrange their affairs and relocate. During those months, a…

The Excellent Ones

[280 words] “As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight” (Psalm 16:3, ESV). In the passage above, David revealed his love for his kinsmen. They were God’s people, which made them majestic and noble. That’s high praise for people who weren’t perfect. David’s fellow-Israelites made…

Wait, Who Did Shoot J.R.?

[242 words] In the summer of 1980, everyone was asking the question, “Who shot J.R.?” For those of you not around then, J.R. Ewing was the villainous character on the hit series Dallas.  That year’s season ended on a cliffhanger where J.R. is shot by an unseen assailant outside his office. The mystery became a…

Thoughts About Drought

[226 words] I hate times of drought. The grass is brown. Trees begin to wilt. Often, the excessive heat of summer is a constant companion. Our prayers always include the constant plea with God: “We need rain.” Thursday evening, parts of Abilene and the surrounding area got rain. It was good to feel a slightly…

The High Cost of Health Care

[258 words] It is reported that our country has one of the highest costs of healthcare in the world. In 2021, U.S. healthcare spending reached $4.3 trillion, which averages to about $12,900 per person. Without health insurance, it is likely that most of us could not afford to be cared for and treated if we…

What True Fellowship Involves

[251 words] “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16a, NKJV). Even…

Fight, Finish, Fulfill

[271 words] Second Timothy 4:7 has often been referred to as Paul’s valedictory: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” It has also been observed that this statement had something for every group of people in the first century. The idea of fighting the fight appealed…

Supper with the King

[208 words] I want you to imagine a scene with me, a scene of beauty and wonder and grace. The King of heaven and earth has prepared a feast in honor of His Son. The table has been prepared, the Son has taken His place at the head, and we are the ones who have…

The Demise of the Sunday Night Service

[282 words] Traditions come and go. One such tradition in American churches is the Sunday evening service. It’s unclear when the tradition started, but records would indicate that churches have been holding evening services for well over 100 years. In recent history, there has been a sharp decline in those who attend Sunday evening services.…

Assumptions: Some Do’s and Don’ts

[295 words] You can safely assume: • That God loves you (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). • That the price of your sins was paid by Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). • That your past sins were washed away— forgiven—at your baptism (Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). • That you can be faithful to God (Revelation 2:10).…

If I Recall

[200 words] The Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from dangerous products. They might fine companies for bad practices or force them to recall products that are too dangerous. To facilitate that mission, they made 80,000 lapel buttons, but they had to be recalled since the edges were too sharp. And the paint had…

Plenty of Proof

[272 words] There are more than 300 predictive prophecies in the Old Testament Scriptures concerning Jesus that were recorded centuries before He was born. Each was accurately fulfilled. Unlike modern predictions, note one of the predictions concerning Jesus missed the mark. Have you ever seriously analyzed the implications of those signs? Peter Stoner, a renowned…

Showing Our Christianity

[240 words] “You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human…

Signs of Spiritual Maturity 

[217 words] How can we tell a spiritual person from a worldly person? The Bible tells us in several places. In James 3, the terms used are “Godly wise” implying a contrast with foolish. “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy…