One Thing

[219 words] There are many voices competing for our attention. There are many destinations pleading for our arrival. There are many products and companies begging for our money. Yet only one voice matters. Only one destination is of any consequence. Only one being can inform us as what to do with / how to look at our money. Our lives hinge on one thing: our relationship with God.  Do we humbly stand in His presence? Are we hanging on His every word, awaiting His guidance and direction? (1 John 1:7) “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that I...

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We Become What We Worship

[413 words] Have you ever noticed the affect culture and trends have on our lives? Think about it. Doesn’t almost every person you know own an iPhone or smart phone of some sort? Things like movies, sports, clothing, and music have great influence over people. But do you ever wonder why we’re so heavily influenced by the culture around us? Well, it’s simple—whatever you’re consumed with, you’re going to reflect in your life. In other words, we become what we worship. If you look up synonyms for worship in your thesaurus, you come across words like revere, adoration and idolize....

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The Christian’s Priorities

[240 words] Perhaps certain ones of us need to get our priorities straight. It may seem somewhat naive to some to say that if more professed Christians would “seek first the Kingdom of God,” fewer problems would exist in the Lord’s Church, but the statement is nevertheless true! The reason that early Christians were so successful in proclaiming the gospel was that God occupied first place in their lives. Their religion was not a “once-a-week” affair for Sunday display. To them Christianity was a serious matter which they demonstrated every day! (Acts 2:46) The first-century disciples did not consider religion...

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I Wish I Would Have…

[354 words] I wish I would not have played so timidly during my high school basketball career. I wish I would not have taken chapel attendance as a suggestion my freshmen year of college. I wish, I wish, I wish… The list could go on and on in my life and I’m sure you could as well. There are so many things that we look back on and think, “I wish I would have.” I was blessed, recently, with an opportunity to speak with a father about raising children. This man spoke to me about some decisions that he and...

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Time Well Spent

[311 words] Most if not all of us are fam i liar with financial budgets. In them, you make a list of all your available resources each month and a list of all your expenditures for each month. The goal is to arrive at a place where your income is higher than your outgo. To do this requires planning and self-control as you attempt to stick to your budget. Today, I want us to try something a little different. Let ‘s make a budget of our time. Start with a weeks’ worth of hours. Before you grab your calculators, that...

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Missing!

[309 words] One Sunday morning, a preacher pointed out to one of the elders that the flower arrangement that sits in front of the pulpit was missing. The elder hadn’t noticed it, but he certainly did now. This elder pulled all the other elders to the side and asked them if they had any knowledge of what had happened to the flower arrangement. None of them knew; so the search for the missing flower arrangement was on. The elders called a special meeting with the deacons and asked them to help locate this arrangement due to its great value; after...

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The Most Important Days of Your Life

[323 words] No, it isn’t the day you were born, married, your children were born, or even the day you lost someone of great importance to you. Not to minimize the significance of those days, but these three days are the same for everyone, and in many respects much more important. The first day is yesterday (and you can now guess the other two). The best thing you can do with yesterday is forget it. Too many people’s lives are dictated by their past. They cannot move forward in life because something from their yesterday drags them down. Paul the...

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Our Greatest Concern

[286 words] Paul was a world traveler. He was a terrific pen pal. He was a teacher. Paul practiced the craft of tent making. He enjoyed reading. He had some health problems. He seemed to enjoy athletics. He was a fund raiser for the hungry of Judah. He had a healing ministry. He worked hard, long hours at preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles. Paul was an accomplished debater. He knew a little about politics and sailing. He was so self-disciplined in body and mind that he could claim contentment in persecution and prison. Paul was well educated, easily handling...

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Keeping Spiritual Focus

[265 words] As Christians, we know what we need to think about most in life: 1) God—His greatness, goodness, power, love, mercy, grace, care and protection;. 2) Christ—His life, teaching, death for our sins, burial, resurrection, ascension, intercession, and second coming; 3) the church—the privilege of membership in it, our involvement, service, spiritual growth, and worship experienced therein. These are the things that we want to think about and give priority to in our lives. But we live in a busy world. Life is fast, frenetic, and demanding. We all have to earn a living, make mortgage or rent payments,...

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What Comes First?

[191 words] Even before his outstanding years as Harding University’s quarterback, Tom Ed Gooden was noted by the Arkansas Gazette as being the best high school quarterback in his district. The newspaper ran a picture of Tom Ed with the caption, “Not On Wednesday.” It seems that another school had tried to schedule a game with his team, Carlisle, Arkansas, on Wednesday evening. But, his coach replied that they couldn’t do it. “My quarterback is a member of the church of Christ,” he said, “and he goes to church on Wednesday nights. He won’t miss for any reason, and I...

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Lessons from a Former President

[380 words] John Quincy Adams may have held more important offices than anyone in the history of the United States. He served with distinction not only as the president and secretary of state but also as a senator, congressman, and an ambassador to major European leaders. He also played several key roles in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the events leading up to the Civil War. However, at the age of70, he wrote, “My whole life has been a succession of disappointments. I can scarcely recollect a single instance of success in anything that l ever undertook.”...

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Clock

You Have 24 Hours

  [92 words] Odds are that the vast majority of you who are reading this have more than 24 hours to live. But what are you going to do with the 24 hours that you have? Are you going to…  • give a word of encouragement?  • mend broken bridges?  • help someone in need?  • turn off the TV to read God’s word?  • put down the phone to read God’s word?  • serve the church the way you’re called to?  • live like you had 24 hours to live?  You’re going to do something over the next 24...

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The Goal

  [185 words] Often times, I find myself lost in thought as to how I can improve as a worker in the kingdom of God. My thoughts most recently have been focused around the idea of the goal we pursue. So many aspects of Christianity seem to exist and all seem worthy of pursuit, however, God’s word is much more simple than that. We must remember the singular goal of Christianity is to pursue God. In our pursuit of God, we find ourselves devoutly committed to the church. We find ourselves seeking fellowship with other Christians. We find ourselves craving...

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Is the Young Man, Absalom, Safe?

  [368 words] The question above comes from 2 Samuel 18:32. Absalom, David’s son, had tried to wrest the kingdom from his father. He had slept with the ten concubines (wives) of his father. David had to flee his home when he heard Absalom was staging a coup and left these women to tend the house/palace. There is no doubt that Absalom was a danger to his father the king or anyone else for that matter. David finally takes advice from his military commanders to go to war with his son, Absalom and his soldiers. Before his commanders take the...

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One Thing

  [208 words] There are many voices competing for our attention. There are many destinations pleading for our arrival. There are many products and companies begging for our money. Yet only one voice matters. Only one destination is of any consequence. Only one being can inform us as to what to do with and how to look at our money. Our lives hinge on one thing: our relationship to God. Do we humbly stand in His presence? Are we hanging on His every word, awaiting His guidance and direction? (1 John 1:7) “One thing have I asked of the LORD,...

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Nothing or Everything?

  [148 words] Her luggage was destroyed. Her purse disappeared. She had to exit the plane, not through an enclosed ramp, but directly into pouring rain. She would have been furious under normal conditions, but she had just survived the crash of Flight 1420 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Later, as this lady reflected, she said, “When I walked off that plane, I walked off that plane, I walked off with nothing. Then, I stopped and thought, I have everything.”  Would we agree that life is more important than a suitcase? Or, a purse? Why does it take a near death...

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Who Are These People?

[261 words] You hear about them on the news, you read about them in magazines. But who are the Kardashians? They must be someone important, perhaps like Lady Gaga. Really, who has a name Gaga? I must be out of touch, too old to be up with the newest fad. But should I really even care? Five years from now there will be a new Gaga of some kind that will move the masses that follow such things. Such people draw a great deal of press with very little substance. Allow me to tell you about the people that touch...

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Anything for a Buck

[82 words] A bald man told a hair stylist that he had gone for a transplant, but he couldn’t stand the pain. He said, “I’ll give you $5,000 to make my hair look like yours.” The stylist said, ”No problem,” and she quickly shaved her head! We have to be careful that we don’t have an “anything for a buck” attitude in our spiritual lives. We will end up looking foolish and find ourselves among those who have “pierced themselves though with many sorrows” (1 Tim. 6:10). Matt Clifton Judsonia church of Christ Judsonia, AR...

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Awake 36 Hours Straight to Satisfy a Craving

[238 words] Some people, if you let them, will play video games to the point of exhaustion. Others practice some addiction or compulsion to their great injury . “And the people stayed up all that day, all that night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail. The one who gathered the least gathered ten homers, and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp” (Numbers 11:32 NET). In the desert, the people of Israel were so excited about the meat that God gave them that they stayed up 36 hours without sleeping while they gathered quail....

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Burning Your Priorities

[420 words] From Jumper Fables by Ken Davis Years ago, when I was a teenager, I sat in a youth meeting and listened to a speaker talk about identifying the important aspects of your lives. “Don’t waste your time working towards goals that aren’t really important to you,” he said. “Figure out what really is important to you, what really matters, what you really want to accomplish, then work toward that.” He gave us five pieces of paper and had us write on each of them one of the top five aspects of our lives. Relationship, abilities, goals, talents, dreams–anything...

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Man’s Three Needs

“And he (Isaac) builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well” (Genesis 26:25). Much confusion exists in our world regarding the purpose of life. Many people are confused and uncertain about what to do with their lives. This passage, regarding Isaac, shows us the three basic needs of each person. Worship—Isaac built an altar; he provided a place of worship; All who will experience a fulfilled life today must enjoy a peaceful relationship with God (John 4:24). Home—Isaac pitched his tent; he made provision...

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Parents, Please Read: There’s Trouble in the Land

  [328 words] There’s trouble in the land. No wide-awake person will deny that! These upheavals have caused many parents to express apprehension concerning the future of their children. That’s understandable. When our children graduate from high school and leave home, many of them also leave the church. Suddenly they are exposed to an environment hostile to Christ and even to the basic principles of morality. If a young person is ill-equipped to handle this, he is in grave trouble. Unfortunately at a time when families should be doing everything in their power to “beef up” their spiritual defenses and...

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At Your House

Will priorities be established in your children when… • You are early for their ballgame, but late for worship? • You check on their homework regularly, but never check on their Bible class lessons? • You won’t let them miss school even though they don’t want to go, but let them miss church worship services? • You won’t let them stay up late on school nights, but let them stay up late on Saturday night. • You will serve as room mother at their school or volunteer at school, but will not help with classes, activities, programs which involve spiritual...

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The Leftovers

At the risk of appearing snobbish or ungrateful, I’ve got a confession to make: I don’t like leftovers, i.e. cold food that is in need of being reheated. I always have the best of intentions to pull last night’s meal out of the refrigerator, throw it in the microwave, nuke it, and consume it, but I fail to do so time and time again. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve eaten my fair share of leftovers, but I can’t honestly say that I enjoy eating leftovers. The food never seems to taste or look the same. It lacks something. With...

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Be A Better Person

Don’t we all wish that everyone would be a better person? Do we not hope that some bad people would turn their lives around and start doing good? Do we wish our neighbor would treat us better than before‘? Do we hope that the people we meet each day would show us respect and treat us fairly? If we expect others to be nicer and fairer, should we not make the effort as well? The Golden Rule is that we should treat others the way we would want them to treat us. Be a better person now. Do not wait...

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Good Advice

In the blink of an eye Everything can change. So forgive often, and Love with all your heart. You may never know When you may not have That chance again....

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What’s First?

Rick Reilly wrote an article for Sports Illustrated in 2003 titled, “Let Us Play.” He described in his article how many families in America are opting to engage in recreational activities on Sunday instead of attending worship services. He quoted many religious leaders who have decried the loss of spirituality in our society. Reilly attributed this to parents placing too much importance on the success of their children in sports. He wrote, “For some reason over-caffeinated parents feel they have to ‘keep up’ with the Joneses. They used to do it with their cars. Now they do it with their...

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I’m a Christian First

Life. Sometimes it controls us. Sometimes we get so entrenched in what we’re doing that we lose sight of what is most important. As Christians, there is one simple truth that must guide every decision we make and every move we take: Christ is to “have first place in everything” (Col. 1:18). Christ must have first place in my life! My relationship with Christ must take first place in all that I do! Above all other things in this life, I am a Christian first! As a citizen of this country, I am a Christian first! My citizenship must not...

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Who Are You Living For?

Who is it that we should live life for? Is it to please others, self, or God? Remember what Jesus prayed for in the Garden of Gethsemane: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39b). It was not about others. It was not about himself. It was all about living for God and doing God’s will throughout His life. If Jesus lived life this way, we should live life the same way, “not as I will, but as you will.” Thinking about this passage...

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Putting God First, Not Second

[307 words] God and Christ must be first in our lives, and not second. Jesus says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Our number one priority in this short life must be to go to Heaven or otherwise we most likely will not go there. Jesus says, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). If one doesn’t go to Heaven, there is only one other place and that is the eternal...

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Are You Too Busy?

[302 words] A merchant sat at his desk, and all around him were letters, bills and other evidences that he was much absorbed in the details of his business. A gospel preacher entered and said, “I have come to try to interest you in a matter of great importance. I would like to talk to you about the destiny of your soul, and the gospel of Christ.” “Oh well, you must excuse me preacher,” said the merchant. “I am very busy,” was his reply. The preacher excused himself and with a sad and heavy heart, left. The merchant turned again...

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Putting The Fun Back In Funeral

[221 words] Would you rather go to a party or to a funeral? Pretty easy choice you might think. Now before you answer let us consider the scriptures. Ecclesiastes 7:2-5 says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because that is the end of every man, And the living takes it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy. The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning, While the mind of fools is in the house...

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Enjoy Your Hot Chocolate!

The old preacher brought out a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of glass, crystal, and plain looking cheap cups. When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in their hands, the preacher said: “Notice that all the nice looking expensive cups were taken, but not the plain and cheap ones. What you really wanted was the chocolate, not the cup, but you subconsciously went for the best cups.” Consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. Sometimes, by...

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