Do You Evangelize and Edify?

[220 words] “But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:19-20). On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on those gathered all together in one place and then promised to all believers who would repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Emboldened by God’s presence dwelling within them, they chose to go forth as Jesus had commanded...

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Do You Edify?

[217 words] “…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:20). Known as the Great Commission, this passage at the end of Matthew is often used, and rightly so, to speak about our core value of evangelism. We understand that the implication to seek and to save the lost is for us and not just for those those gathered on that day that the resurrected Christ ascended into heaven. But, slipped into it also is the call for us to teach. Making disciples is essential and certainly some teaching is involved for them to obey the gospel,...

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Bridging Gaps

[353 words] One blade of grass at a time. That’s how the last remaining Inca rope bridge is rebuilt every year. The Q’eswachaka bridge spans the Apurimac river in the Cusco region of Peru. For 600 years, communities from both sides of the bridge have been assembling to cut down the old bridge and rebuild a new one…totally out of local Ichu grass. Women of all ages participate in the gathering of the grass and using it to braid into ropes, which the men of the communities will take and twist into strong cables. The braver of the men will...

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It is NOT ‘Just a Church’

[575 words] Jesus promised to do something never before done on earth: He would build His Church upon the great truth that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God! “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock l will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). Whatever your understanding of the Church may be, it is easy to see from what the Savior said that it must be important to Him. How important is His Church to you? “And they continued steadfastly in...

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Me, or We?

[458 words] The story is told of an encounter between a high school principal and a young ninth grader. The principal noticed the young man in the hallway with a very defeated and frustrated look on his face. He asked the young man, “Is everything okay?” The boy replied sternly, “No. I don’t understand all the stuff the math teacher is trying to teach us. I can’t understand all the letters, formulas, and logarithms. It’s impossible.” The principal, with an encouraging tone, said, “I’m sure we can work hard and do it, can’t we?” The boy quickly said, with a...

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Let God Send You

[442 words] When we think of the great apostle Paul, we think of a rugged warrior for Christ – a courageous, daring, fearless man who laughed in the face of danger. After all, he was the man who got up and walked back into the town where folks had stoned him, drug him out of the city, and left him for dead (Acts 14:19-20). Paul was the guy who was whipped, beaten, shipwrecked, mugged, thrown in prison, and endured many great perils with his faith intact (2 Cor. 6:4-10; 11:24-28). In 2 Cor. 7, we see Paul continuing this life...

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Affirmation

[379 words] Humans need it. We want others to give it freely, not grudgingly. We want it to come without prompting and we would love for it to happen on a regular basis. However, most of us are of such disposition we do not need it every day or, for that matter, every week, But we do need it. What is “it?” The answer is affirmation – the acknowledgment by someone outside ourselves, that we are needed, wanted and valued for our unique contribution to their life. The apostle Paul was a master of affirmation. Just a quick glance at...

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Encouragers in the New Testament

[59 words] Barnabas – “he was glad and encouraged them all” (Acts 11:23) Silas – “encouraged and strengthened the brothers” (Acts 15:32) Paul – “encouraged them with many words” (Acts 20:2) Tychicus – “that he may encourage your hearts” (Col. 4:8) Timothy – “to…encourage you concerning your faith” (1 Thess. 3:2) Us – “Therefore, encourage one another” (1 Thess. 5:11) Edd SterchiBroadway church of ChristCampbellsville, KY...

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Before You Honk

[228 words] A woman was having difficulty getting her car started after it stalled in traffic. The gentleman(?) in the car behind her insisted on expressing his impatience by blowing his horn every few seconds. Finally, worn out by his thoughtlessness, she walked back to his car and said, ”I’m having some difficulty getting my car started. If you’ll go and see if you can start it, I’ll honk your horn for you!” Some do more honking than helping in the church! There are more talkers than workers, and more criticizers than laborers. Those who do the most honking generally...

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Jump Start!

[361 words] Recently I was shopping at our local dollar store and there was a young woman and her two very young daughters in the store. They were traveling and their car had broken down in the parking lot. It was very cold and I went out to have a look. It seemed her battery was low, but not dead. Her lights worked and so did the horn, but the car wouldn’t quite turn over. Long story short, we jump started the car very easily and she was on her way. This incident got me to thinking… There are times...

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Encourage Someone Today!

[179 words] You know that feeling when you get something in the mail? It’s so exciting! I can remember getting things in the mail when I was growing up and not even being able to wait until I got inside to open it because I was so excited! My mom is probably the best mail sender that I know. I could count on receiving at least one card or note in the mail every week while I was in college, and she still sends cards from time to time. It’s a small thing, really. But it can have a big...

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You Preach First

  [183 words] The first sermon preached each Sunday is not by the minister, but by you. You preach a message about the importance of the Scriptures when you bring your Bible. You preach a message of good cheer when you say “Good morning!” to those you meet when you park your car and when you are in the hallway and classroom. You preach a message of hope and joy when you sing enthusiastically during the song service. You preach a message about the power of prayer when you fervently enter into our time of prayer together. You preach a...

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Refreshing the Hearts of the Saints

  [151 words] One of my all-time favorite passages of scripture is found in Philemon 7. There, the apostle Paul commended Philemon “because the hearts of the Saints have been refreshed through thee, brother.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that could honestly be said of every member of the church? Every Christian could be like that with a little work on the matter of “attitude.” Unfortunately, some who profess to be Christians just never seem to “get it” concerning the importance of having a Christ-like spirit and spend most of their lives “out of sorts,” disgruntled and unhappy. Isn’t there...

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It Doesn’t Take Much

  [88 words] Years ago a little girl handed me a piece of paper with a brief note scribbled on it. I don’t remember the girl’s name, but I remember the message: “To you from _______. I love you.”  It was simple. It was direct. And, it was appreciated. What does it take to brighten someone’s day? It may be just a brief phone call. It could be just a short note of encouragement. Is there someone you could help? Do you need to do it today? Remember, it doesn’t take much. Allen Hahn Graeber Road church of Christ Rosenberg,...

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Take Advantage of What the Church Offers

  [330 words] Recently, I dropped my son off at the building for an activity that will enhance his ability to develop a budget and be a better provider both financially and spiritually when he starts his family one day. I know our schedules create barriers from time to time and we can’t attend everything. However, I felt badly for those young men who were not in attendance because they missed out on some great information! This event reminded me how fortunate we are to have so many opportunities afforded to us by our church. Allen Webster authored a tract...

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It’s Best Said In What You Do

[190 words] There are times when we find those around us suffering. When a friend gets the call no one ever wants to get, the diagnosis comes back worse than expected, when tragedy strikes those around us. It can be a very helpless feeling to try and provide comfort to those is the midst of such pain. We don’t want to say the wrong thing and make it worse or we don’t want to say nothing and seem as if we don’t care. It is hard to know what to say that will help. In John 11, Jesus was faced...

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Stoke the Folk!

Have you ever just sat around a fire? It is incredibly therapeutic. A fire seems to bring out wonderful moments of reflection and conversation. Fires are beneficial in many ways with the heat, light, and mood it produces. God’s word is compared to a fire in Jeremiah 23:39. Like a fire it enlightens and penetrates. I believe that the gospel also a fire, and the church needs to be on fire to spread it properly. I also believe that the church that is on fire for the Lord shines brightly in many ways and glorifies Him (cf. Matthew 5:16; Ephesians...

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Touching Others!

[84 words] Jesus called people to Himself. He promised them rest for their weary souls. Most ignored His invitation. That problem still exists today. Why do so many choose to go it alone? This week, think of those you know who seem to be trying to go it alone. Give some of them a call. Send them a text or email to let them know you are thinking of them. Pray for them. Sometimes all someone might need is to realize someone really cares. Jesus did. Steven Clark Goad Blythe, CA...

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Greatest Family on Earth

“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” (Ephesians 1:22,23). Do we ever feel unfulfilled? Yes. Yet there is no need for this because Jesus can fill us with so much love and goodness that we overflow. Our citizenship is in the kingdom of God which is the body of Christ. There is no earthly head-quarters of the church in Rome or Salt Lake City or Mecca. The headquarters is in heaven and Jesus is the...

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A Caring Church

[290 words] The title phrase is one commonly heard when describing particular congregations. But what does it mean to be a caring church? Is this church a caring church? Let’s find out. A Caring Church is a Sharing Church. A caring church is thankful Christ has shared with them and thus is willing to share with others (Hebrews 13:16; 2 Corinthians 9:13). A caring church shares with one another, both blessings and burdens (Romans 12:15; Galatians 6:2). A caring church shares the gospel with the lost and shares with those who spread the gospel (Philemon 6; Philippians 4:15). A Caring...

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Opportunities and Connections

As a family will sit around a dinner table, they will grab hands to say the prayer for the meal. A connection is made in that brief moment that brings them closer together. Each holding a hand, grasped in union with each other and with God—the Father, Son, and Spirit. As a family, they know this will not always be, because kids grow up and leave home. But for this brief moment it is an awesome opportunity. On a Sunday at a nearby hospital, a visit is made with someone who is sick or in extreme pain. Say the person...

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Encouraging Words! 

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the unfortunate frogs they would never get out. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and simply gave up. He fell down and died. The other frog...

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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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