SAY WHAT YOU NEED TO SAY TO ME NOW!
Our time on this earth is short, like a vapor. “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” (James 4:13-15) We have grown to love and appreciate Clara McGill and her husband John. They live in Indiana in the spring and summer and then spend the winter in Greenville. Clara has been a blessing to us at the Walnut Street Church of Christ. I knew it was getting close to time for Clara to leave us again, so I ask her when she would be leaving. At that time she told me she had three more Sundays. She then said, “Whatever you are going to preach to me or say to me you had better say it now!” Her words set me to thinking about how short our time together is and even how short our earthly journey is. Some may live just a few years, while others may live 80, 90 or even a hundred years. But, whatever years we live on earth are short in comparison to eternity. “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:10-12) Our desire should be an honest desire to examine our hearts and make sure we are headed to heaven. Opportunities come and go in life, but the most important thing that we can do in life is to fear God and honor Him. “For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:7) Given the fact that life is so short we need to say what needs to be said now!
To some we need to say, “Beware of false doctrine:” Jesus condemned the teachings of the Pharisees because they taught as doctrine the commandments of men. He said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:8-9) Our part of the world is a religious world, but not everyone believes and follows truth. Paul told Timothy to, “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:13) Remember, you are the one that is responsible for what you believe. It is up to you to find out God's truth from His revealed word, the Bible. There is no problem in dealing with error if God’s truth is presented intelligently and with love. So, to some we say, “Beware of false doctrine.”
To some we need to say, “Be consistent in your religion:” The religion of Jesus was not just talk. He would both do and say. “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.” (Acts 1:1) Our daily life should be consistent with the religious claims that we make. “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16) We must practice what we preach. Elders, deacons, preachers and the entire membership of the body of Christ must live clean lives as they try to influence sinners to do likewise. So, to some we say, “Be consistent in your religion.”
To some we need to say, “Do not be self-righteous.” The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were haughty, arrogant and proud; self-righteousness filled their hearts. An example of this is seen in Luke 18:11-12, “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.” We must always realize our own imperfection and humble ourselves that we may be exalted by God. “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12) The more fit a man is for God's work, the lower he esteems himself. So, to some we say, “Do not be self righteous.”
There are so many things that need to be said. To some we need to say, “Guard your mind against evil thoughts.” Brace up your mind by being spiritually and morally alert. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13) To some we need to say, “Watch the way you talk.” Do not lie, curse, and speak evil and gossip. Solomon wrote, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” (Proverbs 21:23) To some we need to say, “Do not neglect doing the things that are good.” The knowledge of the good that should be done and the ability to do that good imposes on each Christian an obligation to do it. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17) To some we may need to say, “Learn God’s law of kindness.” Christians are obligated by the teachings of Jesus Christ, to forbear, forgive and especially to be kind to one another. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32) To some we may need to say, “You are closer to death than you think.” Tonight you might rest your head upon your pillow and close your eyes in your bed room, only to awaken in eternity. The frailty of life makes preparation for eternity necessary. You are not far from your grave. “And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.” (1 Samuel 20:3) So, whatever needs to be said should be said now!
To some we need to say, “God bless you for being faithful.” You are a blessing and you will be blessed because, “The LORD preserveth the faithful.” (Psalms 31:23) Solomon also wrote, “A faithful man shall abound with blessings.” (Proverbs 28:20) May God bless you as you maintain your love and faithfulness to Him. “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.” (Hebrews 10:23) So, to some we need to say, “God bless you for being faithful.
To some we need to say, “Obey the gospel now!” In Romans 6:1-4 Paul showed us that God’s grace leads us to be baptized into Christ. Later he said we are made free from sin when we obey a form of doctrine. (Romans 6:17-18) A form is a pattern to follow to get the desired results. Baptism is that form of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:3-4) Just as baptism washed away Paul’s sins (Acts 22:16), it will also wash away our sins as we obey that form of doctrine. If you are willing to truly believe in Jesus (Hebrews 11:6, Romans 10:17), repent of sins (Luke 13:3, 5), confess your faith that Jesus is Christ (Matthew 10:32) and be baptized (Acts 2:38), then the Lord will save you and add you to His church that He purchased with His blood. (Acts 20:28)
---- Charles Box
News & Notes
1. Prayer List: In Need of Prayer: LeRoy Boutwell, Janice Box, Mary Ann Bozeman, Willie Frank Burnett, Brenda Burkett, Terry Claunch, Camren Coleman, Tim Croley, Trina Croley, Debbie Cunningham, Syble Farmer, Marietta Faulkenberry, Georgia Holston, Christie Hartin, Ann Jackson, Felice Kendrick, Patricia Kennemore, Peggy Lassiter, Arthur Little, Callie Lowe, Annie McKee, Jeff Miller, Peggy Olive, Jane Owen, Candice Parker, Dawson Parker, Amanda Parks, Elizabeth Perdue, Tina Pouncey, Brian Queener, Lanigah Ray, Dan Raybon, Lydia Ann Raybon, Becky Reynolds, Denver Reynolds, John Reynolds, Billy Rodgers, Rosie Rudolph, Caleb Sams, L.D. Sessions, Nathan Simmons, Valeria Stacey, Vickie Starkie, Sarah Stidham, McArthur Taylor, Mary Lou Terrell, John Tindoll, Tonia Vickers, Bobbie Walker, Danny Waller, Leroy Waller, William Ward and Mary Grace Wilson. Crowne Health Care: Helen Autrey, Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Arlene Coletrane, Betty Findley, Davis Hester, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, Nelda Sanders and Annie Ruth Tetter.
2. Teacher Appreciation Reception: Thanks to the Secret Pals for the wonderful Reception given for our teachers. You made us feel special and appreciated.
3. Bridal Shower: Erin Taylor and Kevin Brogden will be honored with a covered dish bridal shower following evening service on Sunday, March 10th. Everyone is invited.
4. Wayne Garlock as a Deacon: Our Elders set before the church Wayne Garlock to be a Deacon. You have 2 weeks to pray and talk to Wayne or our Elders. Barring any problems he will be appointed March 17th.
5. Special Prayer Request: Terry Claunch is preacher for the Grandview Pines Church of Christ in Millbrook. He is also Darrell Powel’s uncle. He has been my co-director at Backwoods Christian Camp for many years. Please pray for him. He has a large, unusual tumor in his stomach. It does not seem to be malignant, but it is still a very serious problem. Pray for him and his family.
6. Birthdays: Celebrating birthdays this week: March 10th Dixie Black, March 11th George Lewis, March 12th Dot Killingsworth, and March 16th Betty Hobbie and Reese Raybon.
7. Anniversary: Celebrating an anniversary this week: March 13th Joel and Sue Hunt.
8. Thank you: Thank you so very much for the bountiful supply of food that your church gave me. It was so very kind and generous of you. It was a pleasure meeting you. Thank you for being so kind to me. Also thanks for the DVD and the book which I just started to read. You have totally blessed me and I pray God’s richest blessing for you and the church. In Jesus’ Love, Rose DeBardeladen
9. Jason Godwin Deployed: Jason will be leaving March 16th for some training in Texas then he will be deployed to Kosovo for 1 year.
10. Sign-Up Sheets for Vacation Bible School: Mark your calendar for June 23rd – 27th for Vacation Bible School. Let’s get an early start by signing up to help now. Check the sign-up sheets on the small bulletin board in the foyer. Your help is greatly appreciated.
11. Budget for 2013: Our budget for 2013 is $363,205.96. The weekly budget is $6,984.73. Please give as God has prospered you.
12. Pray for Our Elders: It is God’s will that the church have godly Elders. (1 Timothy 3) Our Elders deserve and need our loving support and prayers. Lift Mike Bagents and Bobby Terrell up before God daily. Pray also for other men to step up and serve as Elders.
13. Need Clear Bottles: Darrell Powell needs clear plastic, 2 liter bottles. If you have any please bring them now.
14. Area Events: (a) March 10th-13th – Gospel Meeting – Luverne Church of Christ – Speaker George Merritt – Time Sunday 9:30 Bible Class, 10:30 Worship 1:00 Worship and weeknights 7:00., (b) March 17th-20th – Gospel Meeting – Grady Church of Christ – Week nights at 7:30. (See bulletin board for speakers and other details)
Without A Doubt
In my Wednesday night teen class a while back, we studied Kyle Butt’s Out with Doubt material, and I really began to appreciate the idea of destroying doubts in my life. There’s really no reason to go through life doubting things for which there is ample evidence and clarity. So, I challenge you to do away with doubts and develop a confident mindset.
First, do everything you can to expel any doubts that you may have regarding God and your faith. The Hebrew writer said, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Faith in God consists of believing in all of God’s promises. In one of Kyle’s lessons he said emphatically that “God does not expect us to believe anything for which there is not ample evidence.” If your faith in God is riddled with doubts, dig deep this year to find the solid confirmations that await you.
Next, strive to eliminate doubts in the way you live your life. Do your thoughts, words, and actions reflect the pattern that you know Christ wants you to follow? Do you constantly have to wonder whether or not your practices are pleasing to the Lord? Perhaps it is the case that you are certain He is not pleased with parts of your life. Don’t live with that kind of doubt…the kind that could cost you heaven.
Finally, let today be the day that you dedicate yourself to God so ardently that you are sure you will be able to repeat Paul’s familiar statement, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day” (II Timothy 4:7-8). If you have doubts about your eternal destiny, understand that God does not want it to be that way. John wrote, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (I John 5:13). Doubt is a fierce enemy of faith, and without faith it is “impossible to please Him.”
----- Darrell Powell
Walnut Street Church of Christ
P.O. Box 551
Greenville, AL 36037-0551