Are You Tired?

[351 words] “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away; he flees like a shadow and does not continue.” Job 14:1-2 reminds us life is hard and short.  This is not “news” to any of us! We are all aware of the challenges of life that we each face everyday. The obstacles we deal with range from physical, emotional, relational, financial and so many more. In sum, the pain we see, feel, and anticipate is extremely hard. The older we get the more we realize...

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God’s ‘House-Law’

[643 words] Every home has some kind of system in place to keep order. Maybe you were told to take your shoes off at the door, keep your elbows off the table, make your bed in the morning, or brush your teeth more than twice a month. Every home is different and the expectations for conduct and cleanliness vary accordingly. However your home was structured, you were at least bound to a set of rules in some form. God’s house is no different. I’m not just talking about the building we meet in for worship, but that anytime His family...

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You’re Going To Fake It After All

[239 words] In his youth, the grandson of John Philip Sousa made large sums of money as a guest bandleader. He knew it wasn’t because of his talent. Since he shared the same name as the great American composer and conductor, he knew that is what impressed the crowds. His invites were about his name not his abilities. He knew these because he could not read a single note of sheet music.  He wasn’t the first of the last person to lean on their heritage rather than their abilities. Just because you carry a name, however, doesn’t mean you are...

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Suffer The Little Children to Come Unto Me

[550 words] “And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein” (Mark 10: 13-15; parallel accounts in Matthew 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17). In this passage, Jesus lifts up children as examples of the nature of...

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Is It Wrong To Not?

[396 words] Is it wrong to not use an instrument of music in worship service? Is it wrong to not drink alcohol? Is it wrong to attend every church service? Now the opposite of these topics often draw many articles and lesson, as people are curious to find out the limits. But one rarely claims fault when one is not on the outer edge. In the book of Job when the text is describing the righteous nature of Job it says: When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in...

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Whatever It Takes

[232 words] Someone once noted that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who say “whatever” and those who say, “whatever it takes.” “Whatever” is the response of the shrug. It is a “who cares?” attitude, one of indifference and apathy. “Whatever it takes” is the response of the committed. It is a “can do” attitude, one that is optimistic and refuses to give up or give in. Think about those two responses when it comes to some of the commands Christians are given in the Scriptures. We are admonished to avoid sin and pursue holiness (2...

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Getting God On Our Side

[178 words] In his inaugural speech John F. Kennedy said, “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”   That last line has always been one that has struck me as very important. Many times we make plans on our own and then ask God to bless them. That’s a backwards approach. In any planning we do, we should begin by asking ourselves,...

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What Will Be Said to You?

[374 words] This past summer, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost in the primary election. It was the first time that a House Majority Leader lost the primary election in American history. In his concession speech, Senator Cantor thanked all those who were loyal until the end of his campaign. At the end of his election, he wanted to express gratitude for those who had been with him. Another story during the summer that gained much more attention is that of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was held as a captive by the Taliban for almost five years before being...

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Commands from Christ Are Not Optional

[422 words] I recently read a Bible Q&A article written by a denominational preacher. In it he was asked, “Can you go to heaven if you ‘trust’ Jesus as your Lord and Savior but you are not yet baptized?” He began his answer by saying: “Yes. Baptism has nothing to do with salvation.” Later in the answer he stated: “Baptism is an ordinance instituted by Christ until the ‘end of the age’…Clearly this command was not only for the apostles who heard it but for His followers throughout the entire age.” Finally, he concluded with: “One is saved without, apart...

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Leftovers

[396 words] I once knew a family that got a lot of free pies. The reason was that there was an elderly gentleman who had an unusual “tradition.” This man wanted his wife to fix a fresh pie for their noon meal. As I remember it, if this was not a daily occurrence, it was an almost daily occurrence. The man and his wife each enjoyed a piece of freshly baked pie at lunch and then gave the rest of the pie to the people I knew. They weren’t merely trying to be nice, however. Instead, if you can believe...

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The Hanging of the King’s Men

[321 words] “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread. hath lifted up his heel against me” (Psa. 41:9). We have heard it said that history often repeats itself, and this was certainly true relative to the circumstances surrounding Judas Iscariot. This betrayer of the King of kings made the same fatal mistake as his Old Testament counterpart, Ahithophel, King David’s trusted advisor(cf. Mat. 27:1-10; 2 Sam. 17:23). Consider some interesting parallels between these two men: Both men had access to the King (1 Chron. 27:33; Mat. 10:4). Both men worked faithfully, for...

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Let’s Not ‘Agent 86’ It

[351 words] If any of the younger generation is reading this, they are probably thinking, “Has Bill David lost what little mind he has?” while those of my generation are thinking, “Maxwell Smart?” One of Maxwell Smart’s favorite lines was, “I missed it by that much.” Whenever he would utter those words, all of us in TV land would chuckle at his explanation for messing up. Jesus taught about some in this world who are going to “miss it by that much.” Matthew recorded, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he...

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Calamity Cain

[422 words] In 1852, Martha Jane Cannary, a.k.a., Calamity Jane, was born. When she was 14 years of age her mother died, and then just one year later her father passed away. Following his death, Calamity Jane found work as a scout at Fort Russell. She was well known for being a good shot and an outdoors adventurer. There are many speculations on how she got her nickname, none of which can be factually verified. However, one thing is certain: Calamity seemed to strike this western frontierswoman everywhere she went. There is another famous individual that was known for his...

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What is Your Response?

[393 words] What characterizes your response to Jesus? All of us will respond to him in one way or another. Will our response indicate our rejection of his word, or will it indicate our desire to trust and obey him? Several different responses are seen in Luke 13:11-17. In what was one of the last appearances Jesus would make in a synagogue, the Lord saw a woman who was so ill she couldn’t stand up straight. The first response was that of the healed woman. She was thankful and began to glorify God. If any of us were in her...

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Did The Water Earn It For Them?

[112 words] Read Exodus 14. Now, did the use of water earn the children of Israel their freedom from Egyptian slavery? Read Exodus 30:17-21. Now, did the use of water earn the priests the right to serve within the Tabernacle? Read 2 Kings 5:1-14. Now, did the use of water earn Naaman his cleansing from leprosy? Read Acts 22:1-16. Now, if the grace of God could use water to free the children of Israel from their bondage, to sanctify the Levites and to cleanse Naaman from his impurities, then what makes a person today think that the use of water...

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What Will They Say About Me?

  [342 words] Just as you, I have attended several funerals recently of friends & family, as well as, brothers and sisters in Christ. Leading up to the memorial, we often read a snippet of our loved one’s life in the local newspaper. The last several weeks has lead me to this question, “What will they say about me?” Will they say I believed Jesus Christ is the King? John 18:37 says, “Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for...

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Do You Submit to God’s Will?

  [237 words] “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission” (Hebrews 5:7). What is the one thing an omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-present God not know how to do? Submit! How would He? Yet, His creation that is made in His image is called to do that very thing. So, if God would truly have the full experience of knowing what it was like to be made like us by putting...

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Out of Options

  [418 words] l don’t know about you, but l have a hard time being told what to do. l feel as though, being an adult and overall responsible and trustworthy, l should not have to be forced to comply to any command or request of anyone walking the face of this earth. If and when l comply or fulfill any request, it is because l have chosen to do so of my own free will. I believe that can be said of most people. We are not forced to love who we love. We make that choice. We are...

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Faith Followed by Obedience

[117 words] If Noah had lived by today’s religious standard, he would have said, “Lord I believe you but you are asking too much, I don’t really need an ark.” Abraham would have said, “Lord, I have great faith in you, but I can do just as much good by staying here in Ur.” The apostle Paul might have said, “Lord do you know what they will do to me if I go to Rome?” James said, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only” (James 1:21). The writer of Hebrews penned, “And (Jesus) having been perfected, He became...

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Hear Him!

  [222 words] If the Lord Jesus is the only Savior and Judge of all mankind, we should listen to Him. I am amazed at how people claim to love Him but are unwilling to hear what He says about the most basic things of life. When the Lord Jesus, who bore the cross, speaks of how to be saved (and He is the Savior), then why would anyone want to edit or correct Him and propose an alternative? The sinner’s prayer is an alternative, and quite modern and without biblical foundation. Sprinkling for baptism is an alternative and does...

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Four Commands We Must Live By

  [367 words] “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:13-17). Peter tells us that...

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Do You Love Jesus?

  [140 words] Love is essential for one to be a Christian. So if we are to be a “good” (faithful) Christian then we must love Jesus. Jesus said that loving God with all our hearts is more important than any other commandment (Matthew 22:37-38). Yes, it’s even more important than faith (1 Cor. 13:13). Many claim to love God, but do we all really mean it? We can tell if a man loves his wife or if a wife loves her husband by what he or she does. Love listens. Love cares. Love is patient. Love gives. Love forgives....

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The Question of Why?

  [228 words] The question of “why” is noble when we truly desire to understand the reasoning behind some statement, imperative, or suggestion. However, the question of “why” is often asked simply because we want to avoid something and is an indicator of a bad attitude and contentious spirit. Nothing may be more crucial to our eternal salvation that an honest inquiry into the reasons behind the events leading up to and including the death of Jesus. Why was Jesus in such agony in the garden? Why was Jesus betrayed? Why did the people ask for Barabbas? Why was Jesus...

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Paul or Peale?

[220 words] The name of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is not the household name it once was. However, he was one of the most widely read preachers and authors of the 20th century. The great problem is that there are so many today who would rather follow preachers like Norman Vincent Peale than listen to preachers like the apostle Paul. Paul says to “preach the word,” while Peale says to “pamper the world.” Paul says to “reprove, rebuke and exhort,” while Peale says to “approve, relax and exonerate.” Like Adlai Stevenson one time said, “I find Paul appealing and Peale...

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Where Were You When God Wanted to Bless You?

[244 words] “Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 1:3). When a storm devastates a neighborhood, a drunk driver destroys an entire family, or a gunman kills unsuspecting children, someone is sure to cry, “Where was God when this happened?” Zechariah might answer, “Where were you when God wanted to bless you?” Many seem to live as if they consider God their servant – a miracle worker to be on hand when troubles mount, and...

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89 Inspiring Ways to Know Christ…or So I Thought

[484 words] There it was in the magazine rack amongst all the juicy titles: “9 Practices for Better…,” “12 Ways to Know your Man is…,” “The Scandal Comes to Light, Interview with …” This particular title stood in stark contrast to those around it. Printed above a picture of a large towering cross against a cloudy background was this title, “Jesus: 89 Inspiring Ways to Know Christ.” I was shocked to find any “religious” materials in the grocery store checkout lane. After my initial shock wore off, I began to wonder , “How are they getting 89?” I was hooked....

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God’s Only Way 

[276 words] Ever since the creation, man has sought to have his own way in religion. It started with Cain and continues today with people going in every direction but the right way in trying to be religious. People are being told they are saved when they “accept Jesus as your personal Savior” and say the “sinner’s prayer.” Others are being told that God has already predestined the eternity of everyone and there is nothing you can do to change it. Both are scripturally wrong! This is what man says and is found nowhere in the Bible. But the Bible...

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Momentous Decisions

  [226 words] Not every decision you make will be a major one. It matters not which type of car you buy, as long as it is not a lemon! It does not matter whether you wear a suit and tie or some other modest outfit to worship. But some decisions are life changing. Some decisions either build your character and reputation or destroy you. These are momentous decisions: marriage partner, the career you pursue, whether or not to serve the God of the Bible, whether or not to worship God and how you do that worship. Moses saw a...

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Not Far

The distance to some destinations may make us anxious, such as the distance from our thirteenth birthday to being “on our own.” Jesus spoke of another distance that evidently was intended to instill focus and determination in the man receiving it. When the man, a scribe, commented favorably on Jesus’ answer to his question about the greatest commandment, Mark says that Jesus perceived that he had answered “discreetly” [“intelligently” (NASB)] (Mark 12:34a). That is when Jesus set the man’s sights on the goal, saying, “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God” (v. 34b). In order to appreciate more...

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No Rules

Have you seen the ads that stress, “No Rules?” I think one ad is for beans and the other is for a steak house. There may be others that I have not seen yet. But think about it just a minute. What kind of world would we have if there were no rules to live by? Think of the resulting chaos. Dear ones we have just about reached that point in our world. Many have come to believe that the rules that govern others simply do not apply to them. You see them in traffic, and in stores. They are...

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Do You Believe and Obey?

“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel” (Romans 9:2-4). Anyone who has ever known a loved one to slip away from this life without obeying the gospel, who had rejected the gospel that spoken to them knows the “great sorrow and unceasing anguish” that was in Paul’s heart as he saw the Jews who had every advantage in knowing God and were anticipating the Messiah but rejected Jesus...

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What Howard Learned in Heartbreak

Howard Rutledge, a United States Air Force pilot, was shot down over North Vietnam during the early stages of the War. He spent several miserable years in the hands of his captors before being released at the war’s conclusion. In his book In the Presence of Mine Enemies, he reflects upon the resources from which he drew in those arduous days when life seemed so intolerable: “During those longer periods of enforced reflection, it became so much easier to separate the important from the trivial, the worthwhile from the waste. For example, in the past, I usually worked or played...

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Learning To Do God’s Will

[211 words] In school we would learn about different Bible scholars’ theories concerning different topics or verses and it really was a shock to know how many bible scholars there are who do not believe in God, or do not believe in the claims Christ made. First of all, how do you know this book so well and still not believe? The more l study, the more compelling the evidence is. Secondly, why would you devote your life to learning a book that you do not believe in. If you do not believe in it then you are not going...

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A Solid Foundation

[237 words] Earthquakes capture the interest of the world. The tragedy is indescribable. Homes, office buildings, and highways were built and people were assured they were safe. Yet the buildings and roadways have proven to be extremely unsafe. Great damage was done and lives were lost as a result. Almost 2,000 years ago Jesus said we are wise if we build on a firm foundation, the solid rock. Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the...

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To Whom Does the Law Speak?

[233 words] Paul answers the above question in Romans 3:19. The law speaks to those who are under the law. It is obvious that the citizens of America are not subject to the laws of Russia. Paul had just quoted extensively from the Law of Moses (3:10-18) and the law said something to the Jews that they did not want to hear. The law in which the Jews boasted (2:17) said to the Jews, “There is none (of you) righteous, no not one” (3:10-18). The Jews were quick to point out the sins of the Gentiles. But they did not...

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Moving the Line

[266 words] In 1999 a number of Turkish villages were destroyed by a massive earthquake. Sadly, this could have been avoided. Thirty years prior, the villagers had been warned by scientists that certain towns were situated on top of a major fault line. They were instructed to relocate as soon as possible. An earthquake could occur at any time. The leaders convened to discuss the situation. Their decision was shocking. They did not demand (or even encourage) the townspeople to move. Instead, they redrew the geological map and moved the fault line so that their villages would no longer be...

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Pickles

[231 words] I don’t like pickles. Any pickles, all pickles. I don’t like sour pickles, sweet pickles, dill pickles, hot pickles…I don’t like pickles. Every time I order a hamburger, I say, “no pickles,” because I don’t like pickles! However, I am given pickles often. Sometimes I send them back and say “I ordered NO pickles.” Most of the time I just pick the pickles off. Sometimes the people serving me don’t know any better or it would be embarrassing to them. So I just eat the pickles. But I don’t like pickles. But, what if Patsy, who knows me...

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What Are You Willing To Do?

In order for many of us to achieve our goals and dreams of this life, we must be willing to do things. In order to become a teacher, I had to graduate from high school and college with the appropriate degree. To live a healthier lifestyle, one must be willing to exercise, choose what they eat wisely, and eat proper portion sizes. In order to become the proper Christian that God calls us to be, we must be willing to do certain things. Looking at the life of Paul, we see that he was willing to do many things for...

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The Way to Heaven

Most people when asked will say and honestly believe that they are going to heaven, but it is important to be absolutely sure! There is a way that seems to be right but is not: There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 16:25). The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto the counsel is wise (Proverbs 12:15). All the Ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the Lord weigheth the spirits (Proverbs 16:2). I verily...

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But I Don’t Want to Do It!

I read about a chef that was fired. He was a good chef. Trained at the best cooking school. Had a flair for bringing out the best taste in food. His work ethic was beyond reproach. So, why was he fired? Because he wouldn’t wash his hands. Customers had noticed in the restaurant’s restroom and com-plained. Many had walked out. When asked why he didn’t wash his hands, his answer was truthful – “I don’t want to do it.” Moses “didn’t want to do it.” No, it had nothing to do with proper hygiene. He couldn’t imagine himself being God’s...

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