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 GPS of Salvation

[351 words] Our technological society has become very familiar with the “GPS” which facilitates navigating from point A to point B. When properly set, the GPS ideally prevents one from becoming “lost” when driving. I totally depend upon my GPS to navigate me through an unfamiliar city or location. I love it for the miles and the gasoline it saves me, not to mention all of the stress in wandering from street to street trying to find my way. In His unlimited wisdom, our Creator recognized man’s desperate need for a “spiritual GPS.” His inspired prophet declared, “I know, O...

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Moving the Comma

[426 words] Alexander III was Tsar of Russia from 1881-1894. His rule was marked by repression, and in particular by persecution of Jews. His wife, Maria Fedorovna, provided a stark contrast, being known for her generosity to those in need. On one occasion her husband had signed an order consigning a prisoner to life in exile. It read simply, “Pardon impossible, to be sent to Siberia.” Maria changed that prisoner’s life by moving the comma in her husband’s order. She altered it to “Pardon, impossible to be sent to Siberia.” All of us have sinned and fall short of the...

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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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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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How Bad Can I Be?

[445 words] With the winter holidays just around the corner, we will all be seeing items and hearing stories related to the season. As such, I just read about the fact that there is a website known as emailsanta.com where young ones may write an electronic letter to the North Pole. Several letters from these innocent children were funny, but one stood out to me. Christian, age seven, wrote: “Mommy and Daddy say I have not been very good these past few days. How bad can I be before I lose my presents?” This letter reflects an attitude often displayed...

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Vintage Gospel Advocate: A Call for Spurgeon to Preach Only the Truth

[353 words] Editor’s Note: Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) was a famous denominational preacher. Spurgeon collected a great following during his day, and his influence is still felt among the denominations today. The following comments regarding Spurgeon’s work and influence are from James A. Butler, a member of the Lord’s church, and were printed in the Gospel Advocate in 1860. I wish that one Trans-Atlantic orator would present the Law of Remission as found in the New Testament, to his people for three consecutive Lord’s days; and this would test the fact to whether those boasted-of multitudes assemble to hear Spurgeon or...

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Whatcha Gonna Do Brother?

[289 words] It all came down to a missed phone call. Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestling star, missed a call from his agent about a possible endorsement deal. Now the story has shifted over the years, but basically, his agent had set up some potential sponsorship on some kitchen items. These companies felt a celebrity name on their product could rocket them to success. Hulk favored a meatball maker but the agent had another product in mind. So he rang up Hogan. But he never answered. So the agent moved on to his next client to see if he wanted...

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Useless or Useful?

[144 words] No one wants to feel useless. Onesimus was a slave to Philemon, Paul’s Christian brother. His name meant “useful.” But, Onesimus had become a runaway slave, and probably stole from his master to make his get away (Phile. 18). Onesimus met Paul in Rome in some way unknown to us, where Paul taught him the Gospel which he gladly obeyed (v. 10). Paul’s letter to Philemon encouraged Philemon to receive him back not just as a returning slave, but now as a brother in Christ (v. 16)! While lost in sin Onesimus could not live up to his...

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Will Jews Be Saved Without Obedience to Christ?

[546 words] The Jews, under the Old Law, were God’s chosen people. God dealt with them, and blessed them, in ways that He did not with Gentiles. But when Jesus died on the cross; that Old Law died with Him, for He “took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross” (Col. 2:14). Jesus said, “if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins”(John 8:24). Jews must now believe and accept Jesus as their Savior. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female:...

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Prepare to Meet Thy God

[290 words] Knowles Shaw was born October 13, 1834 in Ohio to Alban and Huldah Griffeth Shaw. At the age of 13 his father passed away. His dying words to his son, “Prepare to meet thy God.” Around the age of 18, Knowles began to consider his father’s dying words. He met two men, Gabriel McDuffie and George Campbell, who taught him the gospel. On September 13, 1852 Knowles confessed his faith in Jesus and was baptized. Following his baptism Knowles became a preacher and began to teach others the gospel. It is said that in his lifetime he brought...

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The Worst Things That Can Happen to People

[380 words] We have all read the horror stories of terrible things that have happened to people.  The horrors of war.  The horrors of being kidnapped.  The horrors of years of abuse.  The horrors of dealing with a disease.  The horrors of addiction to drugs or alcohol.  There things are terrible.  We would never discount them.  We would never wish them on anyone. There are some other terrible things that can happen to people that we do not think about nearly enough. 1.  A person can reject the truth of the gospel when it is presented to him.  2.  A...

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How Deep the Father’s Love

[263 words] (Lyrics By: Stuart Townsend) How deep the Father’s love for us,How vast beyond all measureThat He should give His only SonTo make a wretch His treasure. How great the pain of searing loss;The Father turns His face awayAs wounds which mar the chosen One,Bring many sons to glory. Behold the Man upon a cross,My sin upon His shouldersAshamed I hear my mocking voice,Call out among the scoffers. It was my sin that left Him thereUntil it was accomplishedHis dying breath has brought me lifeI know that it is finished. I will not boast in anythingNo gifts, no power,...

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Sin Has Created the Need

[260 words] Sin Has Created the Need “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and is lawlessness” (Genesis 6:5-6; Roman 3:23; 1 John 3:4). God Has Created the Plan “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it...

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What We Believe

[440 words] Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6). On another occasion the apostle Peter stated, “There is salvation in none other. For there is none other name under heaven given among men, wherein we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). Here the Bible teaches that for one to be saved they must come to the Father through the Son. There is no other way to be saved. One cannot circumvent Jesus and get to heaven. These two passages are troubling to liberal theologians. The...

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There Are Only Two Ways

[295 words] Many times we hear people today say, “We are all headed for the same place, we are just going in different ways.” In a sense this is true in that we are all headed first to the Judgment. The Bible says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment seat of Christ” (Hebrews 9:27). After the Judgment we will not all end up in the same place. Jesus in trying to warn us says, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads...

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Proper Fear

[329 words] It seems as though the world is talking about the Ebola virus right now. Many are in a panic. Many are terrified. Proper fear can be a good thing. Recognizing something to be a threat is good. Formulating a plan to stay safe is good. Putting the safety plan into action is good. However, we tend to focus on the latest thing (Acts 17:21) to the detriment of other things that are worthy of our “fear.” For example, while it is true that more than 4,000 people have died since the Ebola outbreak, there are other things to...

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On Becoming a Christian While Young

[575 words] As a young boy, I remember the excitement of the prospect of becoming a Christian and being allowed to take a part in the work of the church as an added benefit. All the boys and girls in the churches where I worshiped made decisions for Christ at reasonably early ages. I don’t mean by this that they were 7, 8, or 9 years old, but by the time they were 12 to 13 years of age, most of them had obeyed the Gospel. I remember one young man who still had not done so clear into our...

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Just One Number Off

[199 words] We understand the need to be exact when it comes to our daily life. Have you ever used a credit card to buy something on line? What happens if you are just one number off? You try to make a call and you miss just one number. What happened? You misread the price on the product you plan to buy. When you checkout what happens? Yet when it comes to our salvation and pleasing God we seem to throw common sense out the window. Incomplete obedience, like an incomplete number, is useless. The call simply will not go...

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Don’t Confuse God’s Love with God’s Salvation

[170 words] God’s wants no one to be lost—fact! (1 Tim. 2:3-4). Jesus Christ died for the sins of the entire world—fact! (1 John 2:1-2). God’s motivating factor behind the death of Jesus was salvation through love—fact! (John 3:16-17). Every sinner will go to Heaven after the judgment because of God’s love—false! (Matthew 7:13-14). There are many people in the world who confuse the love of God with the salvation of God. They fail to understand that even God’s love cannot ignore God’s justice, but His love can answer it in a way that we cannot. Nevertheless, God’s love toward...

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Life is in the Blood

[423 words] If you have ever went to the doctor for a checkup and had a blood test done, likely you received a report that showed many results. Now, I remember from science class many moons ago that the blood delivers nutrients and oxygen to the body’s cells. But our blood carries so much more than that. It’s amazing what all our blood can reveal. For example, if you look at your blood test results, you may see such familiar categories as glucose, sodium, potassium, calcium, and protein. You may even see categories that you have no idea what they...

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His Name Is Christian, But He Isn’t One

[500 words] Various and odd instances brought me into contact with a man whose first name is Christian. He had been through some trying times and needed help. In the process of things being done, I asked some of the usual background questions and in so doing received answers which seemed to indicate a possible openness to the gospel. He is from a large family and from a different section of the country than me. He is about a year older than me and has been retired for several years. He is conscientious and does a lot of volunteer work....

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Which Way Are You Going?

[271 words] Sometimes there are clues which help us to determine which way people are going. A man with a fishing pole and tackle box is going to the pond or lake; a boy with an armload of books is headed for school; a man carrying a lunch box or briefcase is headed for work. In religion we can tell which way some are going by: The company they keep. To run with a worldly crowd can result in worldly behavior (1 Cor. 15:33). The places they go. When Sunday outings and trips interfere with worship services then someone is...

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True Joy Was Never His

[414 words] Buck Owens has always been my favorite country singer. Throughout his career he had 21 number one songs, and 15 of those were consecutive hits. For 17 years he starred on the television show “Hee Haw,” from 1969 till 1986. In 1996 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was also an astute business man, owning several radio stations and a record producing company. When he died in 2006 his total assets were worth one hundred million dollars. Yet, toward the end of his life Mr. Owens reportedly said, “You know, I’ve got everything...

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Selling the Old Collectibles

[323 words] While conversing with my father the other day we got on the subject of “collectibles.” I asked him if they (my folks) still had some of the old toys my brother and I used to have. He said they had several old toys boxed up in the basement. Turns out they had kept all of my old Star Wars action figures I had collected as a young boy. We learned, after some internet research, that those action figures were worth considerably more than what we had originally paid for them. After some discussion, we agreed to sell those...

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A Sense of Wonder

[418 words] One of the many joys of watching children grow is seeing the way that they approach life with a sense of wonder. They are inquisitive and want to know why things look the way they do and why they work the way they do. Then, and this is even better, they have the ability to be truly impressed by what they have seen and what they have learned. Their eyes get really wide. Their mouths often drop open. They may even say something like, “Wow… “ It can be a little bit sad to consider them growing out...

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The Life of Moses

[307 words] Moses was God’s man! He delivered the Law of God, the first five books of the Bible (John 1:17), wrote a number of Psalms, and led God’s people out of bondage and through their wanderings in the desert (Ex. 3:10). Many over the years have brought to our attention that Moses’ life is divided into periods of forty years: the first forty years he is trained in Egypt with the world telling him of his own potential and greatness, the second forty years learning humility with a few sheep in the desert (Acts 7:22-29), and the last forty...

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Good News!

[217 words] The word gospel means “news that brings joy.” We often refer to it as “good news.” Writing about how gospel was used in the first century, Tim Keller provides this insight: A gospel was news of some event that changed things in a meaningful way. It could be an ascension to the throne, or it could be a victory. When Greece was invaded by Persia and the Greeks won the great battles of Marathon and Solnus, they sent heralds (or evangelists) who proclaimed the good news to the cities: “We have fought.for you, we have won, and now...

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Your Final Sermon?

[100 words] Sadly, some people will decline the precious invitation,To follow Jesus Christ and obtain the gift of salvation.Few chances may be left for the Gospel to be heard,Or opportunities to repent and to obey God’s Word.There may be some that will walk out the church door,That won’t get to hear the Gospel preached anymore.Your life could be over or the Son of Man may return,Protecting your soul should be your greatest concern.If you knew this was the last sermon you’d ever hear,Would eternity be a blessing or is it something you fear? Matt Hillvia Broad Street Church of ChristScottsboro,...

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Debtors

[129 words] Years ago, King Charles V was loaned a large sum of money by a merchant. The note came due, but the King was bankrupt and unable to pay. The merchant gave a great banquet for the King. When all the guests were seated and before the food was brought in, the merchant had a large platter placed on the table and a fire lighted on it. Then taking the note out of his pocket, he burned it up. The King threw his arms around the merchant and wept. Like the King, we owe a debt to God that...

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The Gospel in Five Seconds

  [174 words] The gospel is the good news that Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). It is the total message of God’s power to save all who will hear, believe, and obey it (Romans 1:16). The gospel is contained in the second law God gave. “If the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second” (Hebrews 8:7; cf. 8:8-13; 10:9). The gospel commands a second birth (John 3:3-8). The new birth involves obeying the commands the Spirit has given in the word, including baptism (1 Peter 1:22-23; 1 Corinthians 4:15;...

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The Perfect Day

  [385 words] Most of us have some idea of what it would take to make a perfect day for us. Solomon gave us a key consideration that leads to the perfect day. As he invites his readers to pursue wisdom, he warns against walking in the path of the wicked. In contrast to that way, he says, “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). The word translated “perfect” has varied meanings, but suggests that which is fully prepared or ready. For example, the Lord...

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Forever Means Forever

  [164 words] “All flesh is as grass, and the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the Word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:24). God’s Word will endure forever. Many ignore God’s Word, but Peter quotes the prophet Isaiah who said His Word will last forever. God’s Word will never change. Not one word will be modified because some don’t like what it says. It will never become outdated. Neither will it ever end! Peter reminds us that it is through obeying the truth of God’s Word...

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Perils to the Soul

[322 words] Have you noticed the growing fascination that some have with other people’s perils? They pay good money to watch stunt drivers jump a string of cars, or a tightrope walker make his way across a tiny rope 200 feet above the pavement. We marvel when someone unnecessarily puts himself at risk. The greatest risk of all is the danger that threatens our soul. Paul warned that perilous times would bring dangers that threaten to undo us (2 Tim. 3-4). These perils include: 1. Ignorance of God’s Word. Some will “creep into households and make captives of gullible women...

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Deserving Salvation?

  [220 words] Some seem to act as though they deserve salvation on the grounds that they argue so strongly against earning salvation. Some seem to think they are right because they argue so strongly against those who think they are right. Some seem to talk as though grace is reserved only for those who constantly deny the need for works. Where, when, and why did anyone come up with the idea the need to “do the will of the Father” (Matt 7:21) should ever, in any way, shape, or form, be equated with attempting to earn salvation? Jesus gave...

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No Other Way

  [251 words] The words are unbending. Most people would even call them dogmatic. But they are truth and come from the very lips of the Lord Jesus: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6). Jesus allows for no possibility of misunderstanding. His language is clear, concise, and altogether unmistakable in meaning. According to His own words He is the way—and the only way at that—to the Father. His disciples got the point. Not long after Jesus had ascended back to heaven, Peter boldly proclaimed, “Neither is...

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The Big Buyout

  [320 words] The line starts to form around 4:30 in the morning. The goal of the people in line is to buy up the stock of doughnuts at Donut City, a small, family-owned shop in Seal Beach, California. By 7:30 the doughnuts have all been purchased. The motivation of the buyouts: to allow the shop owner, John Chhan, to be able to leave work and be with his ailing wife, Stella, who recently suffered an aneurysm. The Chhans opened the shop over 30 years ago and have had a steady stream of regular and loyal customers throughout the decades....

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A Total Loss

  [329 words] A few weeks ago, my oldest daughter was hit from behind by another driver. No one was hurt, and the damage to the rear bumper appeared minimal. The insurance company instructed me to take the car in for a closer inspection and repair estimate. During that inspection, they discovered that the damage was more extensive than we thought. I got a letter a few days later that began with this line: “Your vehicle listed below is a total loss.” They went on to explain the reasons that they chose not to repair the vehicle. The very next...

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Are You Sick Enough to Be Saved?

  [150 words] “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I come not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). Jesus did not mean there were people in the world so righteous they would not need Him. Rather, only those who realize how sick they are will actually come to Jesus.” How many people die each year because they refuse to believe the pain or headaches they feel mean anything, and protesting they are just fine, they never see the doctor? And how many of those are completely separated from God...

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The Loneliest Man in the World

  [292 words] He’s the last known survivor. It is believed that the rest of his Amazonian tribe was murdered two decades ago by land-hungry ranchers, and ever since, he has been living a solitary life in the remote state of Rondonia, Brazil. Authorities say he spends his days hunting pigs, monkeys, and birds with a bow and arrow. Those who have been observing the man from a distance believe him to be in his fifties (BBC News, July 20, 2018). The lonely man has no father, no brothers nor sisters, no human connections to the outside world, no fellowship...

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