“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).
1) Why I Pray (Warren Berkley)
2) “Thanks, I Needed That” (Mike Johnson)
3) Determining Right and Wrong (Dennis Abernathy)
4) Sanctified (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
Why I Pray
I pray because I believe God listens. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).
I pray because God has told me that He cares and is able to help. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7; see also Luke 12:6-7; Hebrews 4:16).
I pray because I lack wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
I pray because my Savior said I ought to pray. “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
I pray because I’m thankful for all the good things God has given. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6; see also Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
I pray because I need pardon. “My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1; see also Acts 8:22; Psalm 51:1-9).
I pray because I adore and love my Father. “In this manner, therefore, pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name’” (Matthew 6:9).
I pray because I’ve read so many accounts of people who prayed to God with great results. “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (James 5:17-18). “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
I pray because of Paul’s exhortation. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
I pray because I believe God has the ability to grant even more than I’m able to think and ask. “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height; to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:14-21).
— Via Search For Truth, Volume XIII, Number 24, January 10, 2020
“Thanks, I Needed That”
“It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools. For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity” (Ecc. 7:5-6).
In this verse, the writer contrasts the “rebuke of the wise” and the “song of fools.” The song by the fool refers to light-hearted words — any words which are of no value. Flattery could be a primary application. The song of fools is compared in the verses to a “crackling of thorns under a pot.” A fire with thorns as its fuel will quickly flame up but only last for a short time. Like the song of fools, it is of little value.
This teaching goes against the inclinations of most people. Most of us would probably prefer the song of a fool than a rebuke from someone. When associated with flattery, the song of fools is like candy for our ears; rebuke from the wise can be like a slap in the face.
Christians have a responsibility, with humility and love, to rebuke and admonish others (James 5:19, Gal. 6:1, 1 Tim. 4:1-4). We need reproof from time to time, and we should receive it with the right attitude. We must examine ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5) and make corrections when wrong (James 1:22-25). Admonishment can save our souls from spiritual death — it can keep us from Hell! We should appreciate the efforts of those who are sincerely trying to help us. Proverbs 27:5 points out, “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.”
People who come to talk to us about our shortcomings are risking the possibility of negative responses as so many tend to take offense. Recognizing this risk, Paul once asked the Galatians (Gal. 5:16), “Have I, therefore, become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” Paul was willing to risk becoming an enemy to tell these people what they needed to hear.
Which is best, the song of fools or the rebuke of a wise person? The songs of fools do not challenge us. These songs may make us feel better initially, where the rebuke of a wise person may make us feel bad at first, but it is better in the long run. Proverbs 28:23 says, “He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward Than he who flatters with the tongue.” Indeed, the rebuke of the wise is the better of the two.
— Via Seeking Things Above, Volume 1, Number 12, March 2021
Determining Right and Wrong
When determining the rightness or wrongness of a question or practice in religion, how do you make your determination? Do you make your determination by the popularity of it? Must we “feel the pulse” of the church? Must we poll preachers, commentators, and scholars? Do you determine the rightness or wrongness of what the preacher preaches by the acceptability by the audience? If the majority of the church dislikes a course of work, or a decision made by its leadership, do you conclude that the work is not good, and that they are poor and disqualified leaders?
Friends, do you see the fallacy in such a course? The Word of God is lost sight of! It ceases to be the standard we must follow! The truth is, neither the majority nor the minority determines a thing to be right or wrong, but God’s Word does! We do not determine a thing to be right or wrong by the popularity of it.
There were less than ten righteous people found in the city of Sodom (Genesis 18:20-33). There were only eight righteous people in the world when the flood came (Genesis 7:13; 1 Peter 3:20). There were only two Israelites, Joshua and Caleb, of the twelve spies sent to spy out the land, permitted to enter the land of Canaan (Genesis 14:30, 38). Therefore, when someone ridicules you because you aligned with the minority, don’t be alarmed.
Don’t determine to go along with the majority because everyone is doing it, until you are sure you know what it is that everyone is doing! Don’t determine a thing right or wrong, until first, you have searched the Scriptures and found out whether the thing is so (Acts 17:11). William Jennings Bryant once said: “Never be afraid to stand with the minority which is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority; always be afraid to stand with the majority which is wrong, for the majority which is wrong will one day be the minority.” Think on these things.
— Via Daily Exhortation, April 28, 2021
For the video sermon on “Sanctified,” just click on the following link while connected to the Internet:
News & Notes
Folks to be praying for:
Tate Walters (8 years old) was admitted to the hospital several days ago. He is being treated for three possible causes: Kawasaki Disease, MIS-C Disease, and tick-borne infection. Yesterday was a good day for him — and with a big smile while having breakfast. Some of his symptoms have already been eliminated, and his vitals are normal. So he is improving, but can still use our prayers for a speedy and complete recovery.
Bennie Medlock is feeling only somewhat better from the pain in his back, but will be seeing a specialist on the 18th of this month for it.
Danielle Bartlett will be having tests run Thursday to determine the reason for her heart palpitations and swollen legs she has had.
Though the recent shots did bring some back-pain relief to Ronnie Davis, yet he still does have some trouble with it.
The ablation in killing some nerves in the back of Doyle Rittenhouse’s neck went well, and he will be aware of more of the results as time goes on.
Also for prayer: Ginger Ann Montero, Ritt Rittenhouse (stroke-like symptoms), Janet Rittenhouse (broken sternum, sprained ankles, severe bruises), Rick Cuthbertson (cancer), and Nell Teague (cancer).
Our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively and Shirley Davis.
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. For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30). For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).
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; 1 Pet. 3:21). This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27). For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…
6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation.
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)