Month: April 2020

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) Some Bible Thoughts on Snow (Bill Crews)
2) News & Notes
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Some Bible Thoughts On Snow

Bill Crews

When moisture in the earth’s atmosphere freezes, it can fall to the earth in the form of sleet, or hail, or snow — all of which stand among the myriad phenomena of nature that testify to the wisdom and power of God. What a devastating, frightening, and awesome thing a snowstorm can be. What a beautiful, fascinating, and awe-inspiring thing falling snow can be. Not only do the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament His handiwork (Psalm 19:1). So does the earth and every phenomenon thereon, even the snow (Psalm 148:8). 

The word “snow” appears twenty-two times in the Old Testament (from the Hebrew words SHELEG, SHALAG, and TELAG) and three times in the New Testament (from the Greek word CHION). Let us look at some of those occurrences.

1. Leprous skin is described as being “white as snow” (Moses, Exodus 4:6; Miriam, Numbers 12:10; Gehazi, 2 Kings 5:27; all brought on by God).

2. White clothing is another matter altogether, and it was hard to come by in the days when the books of the Bible were written. White garments are often used as a figure of righteousness and purity. Sometimes they are suggestive of majesty and glory. The “Ancient of Days” (God Himself) is seen by Daniel with “raiment white as snow” (Daniel 7:9). So also Jesus at the time of His transfiguration (Mark 9:3, KJV). So also an angel of the Lord at the tomb of the risen Christ (Matthew 28:3).

3. The mountains of Palestine were not very lofty (the highest being a little over 3,000 feet in elevation), and were not often covered in snow, but to the north could be seen the mountains of Lebanon (a word meaning “white”) whose loftiest peaks rose to over 10,000 feet and were perpetually covered with snow (Jeremiah 18:14).

4. The worthy, wise, and industrious woman (wife and mother) of Proverbs 31 was “not afraid of the snow for her household” because she had seen to it that each member was clothed in warm, winter (double-woven) clothing which she provided for them (v 21).

5. Don’t expect to see it snowing in the summertime (unless a large volcanic eruption at that season darkened the atmosphere around the earth with its cloud of ash — a very rare occurrence). Just as out-of-place and unexpected would be honor conferred upon a fool (Proverb 26:1). Only those who act wisely deserve to have honors conferred upon them.

6. Jehovah asked Job such questions as these: “Hast thou entered into the treasuries of the snow, or hast thou seen the treasuries of the hail?” (Job 38:22). As destructive as a hailstorm can be (if a crop is in the field), it also has a beneficial effect. It provides needed moisture and nourishment to the soil. Beautiful beyond words is a snowflake seen through a microscope, each symmetrical, each different. And a good snowfall on a farmer’s land is worth much more than the price of a generous application of chemical nutrients.

7. From our human standpoint the most beautiful use of the word “snow” in the Scriptures is in such passages as these: 

“Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7). Sound like one of our hymns?

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). What a beautiful promise, and it still stands, for what was true for Israel, is true for us. Don’t carry the stains of sin upon your soul when you don’t  have to. Compare Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 1:5). 

1. And if anyone thinks that God’s word is not powerful and will not accomplish everything that He has promised that it will, let him hear this: “For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, and giveth seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11). 

I promise you that this article on “snow” will be of more benefit to you than any article that you can read in any encyclopedia on the subject. These are some thoughts from the only book that came from God.

Via the Roanridge Reader, Volume 35, Issue 16, Page 4, April 19, 2020

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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Deborah Medlock writes that James’ condition of dementia and Alzheimer is worsening, and “he needs a lot more help watching after and his every day tasks.”  She also requests prayer for Nina Staten (the cousin of one of Deborah’s friends) who now has COVID-19.

Cheryl Corbitt requests prayer that the virus will be kept out of the nursing home.  Much precaution is carried out there.  Cheryl mentioned that she and the other workers are all screened before entering the facility. A resident who returns from the hospital is put into quarantine for two weeks on a special hall before returning to her room. And residents with a fever are put into isolation for a week, depending on other symptoms.

Let us keep Jonathan Abbott in our prayers, too, who works in our local hospital.

As mentioned last week, Jonathan’s mother is having hemodialysis 3 days a week and chemotherapy once a week  — and doing well with both.

Bud Montero’s 5 days of treatments for prostate cancer in its early stage will be May 4-8, and of which he has been given a very good prognosis.  Each non-invasive treatment will be about 30 minutes. 

Ginger Ann Montero is getting much better from her recent illness.

Ann Vandevander is now back home, where she receives physical therapy 3 times a week by 3 different physical therapists.

Emily Abbott Cox is now in about her 32nd week of pregnancy.  Anita writes that Emily is doing “OK,” though her blood pressure is “a little elevated.”  So she has the doctor’s order to rest this weekend and check her blood pressure three times daily. Emily mentions that  “Easton can hardly wait for baby sister to arrive.”

Let us continue to keep each other in prayer.

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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

The following services are all cancelled until further notice:

Sunday
services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 
7 p.m. (Bible class)

evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but going back to March 4, 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) Sanhedrin (Heath Rogers)
2) News & Notes
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Sanhedrin

Heath Rogers

The Sanhedrin was the highest Jewish court or ruling body during New Testament times. Jesus and His apostles both received opposition from the Sanhedrin. This council of the Jews condemned Jesus to death, delivered Him to Pilate, and demanded His execution. Later, this same ruling body had the apostles beaten and commanded them to no longer preach in the name of Jesus. What was the Sanhedrin, where did it come from, and what authority did it possess?

Our knowledge of the Sanhedrin comes from three sources – the New Testament, the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, and the rabbinic traditions that were written in the third century A.D.

There is a lack of positive historical information regarding the origin of the Sanhedrin. Rabbinic tradition traces the Sanhedrin back to God’s command for Moses to gather seventy elders of Israel to help him as he led the nation (Num. 11:16). Tradition also claims this council was reorganized by Ezra upon the return from Babylonian captivity. However, the Sanhedrin as we see it in the New Testament did not appear until the Intertestamental Period (the four hundred years between the Old and New Testaments).

The Greeks conceded a great amount of internal freedom to subject peoples. Palestine was then governed by an aristocratic council of elders, headed by the high priest. It is believed that this council developed into the Sanhedrin. According to Josephus, the Sanhedrin existing during the time of Greek occupation was concerned with judicial matters and was considered the governing body for all of Palestine. The jurisdiction of the Sanhedrin fluctuated when the Romans took control of Palestine. Eventually it was recognized as the ruling body of Israel even by the Jews that were dispersed throughout the world.

As the New Testament begins, Herod the Great is the king of the Jews. He had a tumultuous relationship with this council. Historically, the Sanhedrin had consisted of the chief priests and the Sadducees. This “priestly aristocracy” opposed Herod, so he admitted Pharisees into the council to cripple their power. This crippling effect can be seen in the way Paul later caused the Sadducees and Pharisees to oppose one another during his trial before the Sanhedrin (Acts 23:1-10).

The Sanhedrin consisted of seventy-one members, which included the high priest serving as the leader or president of the council. The New Testament identifies the council members as chief priests, elders, and scribes. The chief priests were members of the most prominent priestly families. The elders were tribal and family heads of the people, and like the priests, were likely Sadducees. The scribes were scholars and experts in the Law of Moses. These men were Pharisees. Although they were a minority in the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees held great popularity with the Jews and nothing could be accomplished by the council without their support.

How one became a member of the Sanhedrin is unknown. Some believe the council elected its own members. The criteria for being a council member is also unknown, but two qualifications are believed to have been wealth and adherence to rabbinic doctrine.

The Sanhedrin exercised complete control over the religious affairs of Israel. Their decisions regarding the interpretation of the Law of Moses were considered final. The Romans also allowed them to handle civil affairs and to try certain criminal cases. Roman authorities allowed subject nations to govern themselves, provided they kept the peace and did not stimulate or tolerate rebellion against the empire. The Sanhedrin had its own police force (the temple police) and could have people arrested and brought before them for trial.

One limitation placed upon the Sanhedrin by Rome was that they could not exercise capital punishment. This is why the council brought Jesus to Pilate after finding Him guilty and deserving of death (John 18:31). The one exception to this law was that the Sanhedrin, on its own authority, could put a Gentile to death (even a Roman citizen) if he passed into the inner court of the temple in Jerusalem.

The Sanhedrin is seen in a bad light in the New Testament because of its opposition to Jesus and His apostles. We know their trial of Jesus was not an unbiased examination of the facts in His case, but a means of carrying out their predetermined plan to put Him to death (John 11:53). This trial broke several rules. It was held at night, before a feast day, the death sentence was passed on the same day of the trial, and it involved obvious false witnesses. Stephen was tried before the Sanhedrin (Acts 6:12-7:60). It is not clear whether Stephen was officially condemned and executed by the authority of the Sanhedrin or if his stoning was the result of a riotous act.

Despite these facts, the New Testament indicates there were good men on the Sanhedrin. Gamaliel, a respected teacher of the law and a Pharisee, was able to talk the council out of condemning the apostles to death (Acts 5:33-40). Joseph of Arimathea, the man who buried Jesus, is described as “a council member, a good and just man” who had not consented to the council’s decision to condemn Jesus (Luke 23:50-51). Nicodemus helped Joseph bury Jesus. He was also a council member and spoke in defense of Jesus (John 3:1; 7:50-51; 19:39-42). It is not known whether these men were present at the Lord’s trial.

The Sanhedrin was abolished after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Although a court consisting of scribes was regarded by some as the continuation of the Sanhedrin, it was of an essentially different character and did not possess any authority.

Sources:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Nelson’s Bible Dictionary
The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible

— Via the Knollwood church of Christ, February 2020
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

It has now been 35 days since we were last able to assemble.  There has been no reports as to any additional illnesses by any of the members, but we still want to keep each other in prayer. 

I saw this morning that Ware County now has 81 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 5 deaths linked to it, while there are also 17,841 confirmed cases and 677 deaths statewide.  Other statistics showed 742,067 confirmed cases and 39,295 deaths throughout our nation, and 2,349,720 confirmed cases and 39,015 deaths worldwide because of covid-19.  So there are many sick and grieving people today who can use our prayers. 

We are glad to hear that Jonathan Abbott was able to return to work last week. 

Jonathan’s mother is now having hemodialysis 3 days a week and chemotherapy once a week.  She is doing well with both.

Bud Montero’s second prep work was moved up to the 21st of this month.  He had an annual checkup last week and also saw another doctor and found out that his HDL is a little low and his VLDL is on the high side.  So he will be making some adjustments to improve that.

Ashley Law reported Friday evening that her mother (Kim Rowell) has improved and is being transferred back to Waycross for therapy. Ashley thanks everyone for their calls and prayers and asks that we continue to pray for her mother to improve even more.

Let us also remember the following in prayer: Andy Berendt, Ann Vandevander, Rick Cuthbertson, Jim Lively, Rex &  Frankie Hadley, Kelly Stoneheart, A.J. & Pat Joyner, John Bladen, the Downs, Joyce Rittenhouse, Shirley Davis, the Medlock family, Sandra Goodrich, and Kerry Williams.

And, of course, let us also pray for everyone everywhere, as the Bible exhorts us to do in 1 Timothy 2:1.

Last week, I began putting together a new website through a different Internet server for the WordPress version of our weekly bulletin (which includes pictures) in order to eliminate all the ads that were being included through the other web host.  This new one is at https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress . Using this link will always take you to the latest bulletin in the post.  Previous bulletin articles can be searched through the Table of Contents.  And the Archive has even more — going all the way back to March 4, 1990 when this bulletin began.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

The following services are all cancelled until further notice:

Sunday
services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 
7 p.m. (Bible class)

evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) Meditation (Mark Roberts)
2) Add to Your Faith (Gene Taylor)
3) Psalm 19:7-11 (NASB)
4) News & Notes
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Meditation

Mark Roberts

Do you meditate? Many Christians may instinctively answer “no” since meditation has become associated with the Eastern religions or the New Age movement. Yet the Bible recommends a kind of meditation that is far removed from such practices. David said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11). Hiding the word in our hearts, the essence of meditation, is an essential discipline in the life of the serious Christian.

What does it mean to meditate? The Bible uses the term to mean an intense consideration of spiritual matters. When we meditate, we reflect carefully and deeply upon God, His Word, our conduct and our relationship with the Lord. Paul urges us to think about things “noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report” (Phil. 4:8). David says, “I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search” (Ps. 77:6). The word David uses for “meditate” means to rehearse, to go over in one’s mind. The Scriptures admonish us to deliberately turn our minds toward spiritual things, and to introspectively look at our lives from the spiritual dimension. This is meditation.

The Bible extols the benefits of time spent meditating. Joshua was told success depended upon it (Josh. 1:8), and David defines it as the mark of a godly man (Ps. 1:2). Meditation will humble us as we look into the mirror of God’s word and see needed improvements (Jas. 1:22-25; Ps. 119:59). Solomon tells us that meditation results in better decision-making and gives us direction in life, for commandments “bound to our hearts” guide and watch over us (Prov. 6:20-23). Further, meditation will comfort us in times of distress and trouble (Ps. 119:23). Most importantly, meditation will draw us closer to the Lord because we are thinking His thoughts, not our own.

Please realize the distinction between meditation and Bible study. Studying the Bible gives us a basis for meditation, because it involves the acquiring of knowledge and facts. Meditation is the process by which we examine those facts and see how they affect our lives, and how they fit into the big picture of knowing God better. A failure to meditate can result in our becoming Bible encyclopedias – “know-it-alls” – who have no real relationship with the Lord. God did not give His word that we might become experts in Bible trivia but that it might change us to the core. We activate that change process in meditation.

How do we meditate? Meditation is a simple process, and it is best kept that way. Encumbering it with gimmicks and props only robs it of its power. Meditation only requires a willing mind and a quiet place. Remember how often Jesus sought solitude to pray and be alone with God? We must do the same. Then, select a verse of Scripture. David advises us to meditate on the law of God (Ps. 119:97). Turn the passage over in your mind, repeating it internally again and again. Think of each word and what it means. Then begin to think on how this verse applies to you. What is God saying here? How can you do what this verse instructs? Why did God command this? How does this verse show God’s love for you? What other Bible passages show this verse’s truths in action? Where can you put this verse “in play” in your life? Answering these kinds of questions takes time and energy. The payoff? As we ruminate upon the Word, we are building and strengthening our spiritual character.

As you gain more discipline to control your mind from wandering, and as your will wants to spend more time meditating, broaden your meditations beyond just Scripture. David meditated upon the accomplishments of God: “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works” (Ps. 145:5). Malachi records people meditating upon God’s name, meaning they reflected upon every facet of God’s character (Mal. 3:16). Here is meditation’s highest goal: thinking more on God.

We ought to realize the value of meditation. Make time to meditate on the Lord and His word. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Ps. 19:14).

— Via Knollwood church of Christ, January 2020
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Add To Your Faith

Gene Taylor

When one becomes a child of God, he is born again spiritually (John 3:1-5) becoming a spiritual babe who is to grow (1 Pet. 2:1-2; 2 Pet. 3:18). One grows spiritually by feeding upon the word of God (Acts 20:32), developing a spiritual appetite in order to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt. 5:6).

2 Peter 1:5-11 tells of the necessity and nature of such growth. “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

“Virtue” is the determination to do right. “Knowledge” is knowledge of God’s word because it is the only source which tells what is right. “Self control” is the application of that knowledge in your life using it to govern your thoughts and actions. “Perseverance” is remaining steadfast to the Lord and His cause. “Godliness” is being like God, as He would have you to be. “Brotherly kindness” is tender affection toward brethren in Christ. “Love” is devotion to God, Christ, and your fellowman which is expressed in obedience to God and service to man.

If you are to be fruitful in your service to Christ, these things must abound in your life. If you lack them, you are blind as to what your life in Christ should be.

– Via The Beacon, March 29, 2020
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Psalm 19:7-11

“The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward” (NASB).
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Today [April 12] is now the 28th day since we have last been able to meet as a church. I am really missing that, as I imagine you are, too.  It helps us realize how much we really do need each other for that encouragement we receive in worshiping God together and building one another up in the most holy faith.  Let us continue to keep each other in prayer.  There have been no reports on any additional sicknesses among us.  And we are glad that Jonathan is now doing much better. His fever has been gone for a couple weeks; and several days ago, he began getting his strength back and has greatly improved in that area as well.

Last Wednesday, Kim Rowell was transferred to CCU.  She began have respiratory issues, which they have put her on a vent for.  They also ran tests for internal bleeding.  On last report, she had been re-admitted because of mediastinitis, which is a type of infection.

Let us also continue to remember Jonathan’s mother in prayer as she undergoes chemo treatments, due to Amyloidosis.

With the “markers” having already been implanted, Bud will be prepped again April 21 for his upcoming procedure.

Sandra Goodrich
will be having her cast on her foot and leg removed this Tuesday and replaced with a splint. 

Let us also remember the following in prayer: Andy Berendt, Ann Vandevander, Rick Cuthbertson, Jim, Rex &  Frankie Hadley, Kelly Stoneheart, A.J. & Pat, John Bladen, the Downs, Joyce, Shirley, the Medlock family, and Kerry Williams.

And, of course, let us also pray for everyone everywhere, as the Bible exhorts us to do in 1 Timothy 2:1.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

The following services are all cancelled until further notice:

Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)

evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) “For Such A Time As This” (Tommy G. McClure)
2) Humble Enough to Worship (Gary Henry)
3) News & Notes
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2tim4_7-8

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“For Such A Time As This”
by Tommy G. McClure

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)?

All who are familiar with the book of Esther are familiar with this statement uttered by Mordecai when he urged Queen Esther to go and appeal to the King Ahasuerus to save the Jews in Persia who were about to be destroyed by the evil plans of Haman who had risen to power and had respect of the King for a while. This story of Esther is a beautiful example of God’s providence unfolding during a circumstance that seemed to be hopeless for the Jews of that time. As we wrestle with the present distress brought on by the coronavirus COVID-19 global crisis, you may wonder what will come to pass and what can we do “for such a time as this”?

Let me offer some things to consider:

Don’t fear! Remember that this crisis will end, but we do not know when. John encouraged those being persecuted to remain faithful to the Lord, come what may. Said he, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10; cf. Matt. 24:13). John’s statement – “ye shall have tribulation ten days” indicates that the suffering was temporary. So it is with the COVID-19 crisis. It will end!

Don’t give up! Christians must be those willing to endure any trial that comes our way. Consider the example of Jesus when He was tried in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11). Don’t be like the 3 unprofitable soils (hearts) in the parable of the sower (Lk. 8:5-15). Don’t give up on your desire for the milk of the word (1 Pet. 2:2). Don’t give up on reading and studying God’s word daily (Acts 17:11).

Don’t give in! There are many new scams that have risen as a result of the crisis. Evil people are creating schemes to steal your information and thereby profit off naive people during this crisis. Warnings have been issued by Medicare, the IRS and health care organizations concerning scams that are popping up. Be aware of people who are posing as though they are in need when they are probably not in need. As Jesus told His disciples, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16). Use sound judgment and due diligence and don’t let “wolves” pull the wool over your eyes!

Don’t give over! There are a number of errors and false ideas in the religious world. This COVID-19 crisis is unusual and all calamities are not the same. Don’t give heed to false teaching and unscriptural material that is on the internet. A number of sound churches of Christ are offering online studies during this time when we are ordered by civil leaders to “stay at home” which is a good and needed effort. But, don’t get the idea that when the “stay at home” order is lifted, you can “stay at home” when the saints assemble. Remember, the “stay at home” order is a temporary order that was issued to help stop or slow the spread of this highly contagious virus. Christians are commanded to NOT forsake “the assembling” (Heb. 10:25).

Give your time and thanks to God. Use the time you have to “stay at home” to catch up on your Bible study, Bible reading and praying to God. Pray for our leaders as they make decisions they had no idea they would have to make when elected to office. Pray for the leaders of the church as they make difficult decisions. Pray and give thanks that you are safe and have a safe place of shelter during “such a time as this.” Give thanks that our government is making provisions to help those who have been severely negatively affected by this crisis. Give thanks for the blessings of technology that can be used to study God’s word and glorify God. How many online sermons have you listened to during this “stay at home” order?

Finally, when the “stay at home” order is lifted, will you be as thirsty, studious and prayerful for spiritual things as you have been during “such a time as this” every day afterward and in the future when things are back to as normal as they can be? “…think on these things” (Phil. 4:8).

– Via Think on These Things, March 29, 2020

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Rom12_3

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Humble Enough to Worship
Gary Henry

“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess’” (Luke 18:11,12).

JUST AS AGITATION GETS IN THE WAY OF CAREFULNESS, PRIDE GETS IN THE WAY OF WORSHIP. Nothing in the spiritual life is more important than awe and utter respect before God, and so if pride hinders us from being reverent, it’s a deadly danger to our souls.

What is pride, really? It can be thought of in two directions: toward God and toward other people. Toward God, pride is a sense of independence; and toward other people, it’s a sense of superiority. In both cases, pride is a sinful sense of self-satisfaction. Pride sees itself as doing a pretty good job of standing on its own two feet before God; it believes it has the inside track as far as God is concerned, so that God will make special allowance for any mistakes that might be made. And in regard to other people, pride pats itself on the back (secretly, of course, and always with admirable “humility”) that it sees things from a more mature vantage point than some others, especially its rivals and its enemies.

If this is what pride is, then, it should be obvious that it’s a great hindrance to worship. Indeed, one way of looking at pride is to see it as the opposite of worship. The spirit of worship is the spirit of selfless wonder at the majesty of God — the smallness of self in God’s presence. And for sinful beings like us, it’s also the spirit of brokenness and repentance. Our hearts may be proud or they may be worshipful, but they can’t be both. And if they’re not worshipful, we’re lost. It doesn’t matter how many hardships we think we’ve overcome. Without real reverence, we’re lost.

There is no living person who does not need to be constantly vigilant concerning pride. It’s the source of all other sin, and it can creep into our hearts in so many disguises that, too often, it gets in the door and seizes the throne room of our hearts before we know what’s happened. More often than not, it gets past our defenses wearing a cloak of humility. “And the devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge).

“Beware of a proud and haughty spirit. This sin puts a great barrier between an individual and God. You will have a hard time being aware of God as long as you are filled with pride. If it gets angels cast out of heaven, it will certainly keep your heart out of heaven” (Richard Baxter).

– Via WordPoints, April 4, 2020
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News & Notes

As we continue to feel the loss in not being able to assemble and worship as we had been, let us continue to remember each other in prayer, during this time of separation.

Let us also continue to remember Jonathan Abbott’s mother in prayer as she undergoes chemo treatments, due to Amyloidosis.

Others to also be praying for:

Kim Rowell is back in the hospital; and this time because of mediastinitis, which is a type of infection.

The “markers” have now been implanted to prepare Bud Montero for his upcoming procedure. It went well. He will also be prepped again April 17.

Many of our church family have acknowledged they are doing well, which we are glad and thankful for.

Sandra Goodrich will have to wear a cast on her foot and leg until April 14, when she will then be able to walk again.  In the meanwhile, she is thankful for the use of  a wheelchair.

Let us also remember the following in prayer: Andy Berendt, Ann Vandevander, Rick Cuthbertson, Jim Lively, Rex &  Frankie Hadley, Kelly Stoneheart, A.J. & Pat, John Bladen, the Downs, Joyce, Shirley, the Medlock family, and Kerry Williams.

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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Services Temporary Cancelled Until Further Notice (out of a concern for others and the need to help stop the spread of the coronavirus as our government has urged)

Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

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