BulletinGold #209
June
2019  
Vol 19 #6 

June 2019                         BG# 209                         Vol. 18 No. 06
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In this issue ...

 Christ in You, the Hope of Glory
By Joe Slater

 No Alternative
By Ron Thomas

 What Controls You?
By Lance Cordle

 We’ll See You After School!
By Steve Higginbotham

 Men Not Needed In The Church
By R.W. McAlister

 How to Beat the Devil
By David Bragg

 How Curious Are You?
By Jim Faughn

 Love Being With You
By Johnny Hester

 Just Ask
By J. Randal Matheny

 No Alternative
By Ron Thomas

 The First Day
By Ron Bartanen

 The Shoe Is On the Other Foot
By Ron Adams

Christ in You, the Hope of Glory
By Joe Slater

    To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
    Glory refers to a state of being exalted. When God created man in the beginning, He “crowned him with glory and honor” by making man “a little lower than the angels” and setting him over the whole material creation (Hebrews 2:7). An infinitely greater glory, however, awaits those who trust and obey Jesus.
    God called us by means of Christ’s gospel for this very reason: “for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:14). When we obey the gospel and begin to become more like Jesus, we are “transformed from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
    But there is more! Salvation in Christ is “with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10). Therefore Paul says the same body that is “sown (buried) in weakness” will be “raised in glory” (1 Corinthians 15:43).
    Our hope of glory rests on the fact that Christ is in us (Colossians 1:27). The late brother Burton Coffman observed that there are eight New Testament expressions referring to the state of the saved: Christ is in you; you are in Christ; God is in you; you are in God; the Holy Spirit is in you; you are in the Holy Spirit; the mind of Christ is in you; and the word of Christ is in you (commentary on Colossians 1:27, at studylight.org).
    Since our hope of eternal glory is Christ in us, Paul preached Christ, “warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect (mature, complete) in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28).
    Is Christ in you? Are you in Christ?

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com
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No Alternative
By Ron Thomas

    The First Amendment to the Constitution reads this way: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
    2 Timothy 3:12 reads, Yea, and all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (ASV).
    It appears to me we live in a time when the First Amendment is less about freedom to worship and more about taking the freedom, such as the freedom of speech. There are some in our country who do not like certain words, phrases and ideas to be expressed. Rather than the community shaming vulgar speech, some make laws (such as “hate” speech) to prevent others from speaking words with which some might disagree. This is called political correctness, otherwise known as PC. The amendment speaks against the government endorsing a religion, that is a religion of the state, this is what is prohibited, nothing more. Courts, however, afraid of many things and people expanded this phrase to mean much more than that.
    Now, there is the notion of “separation of church and state”, something not found in the Constitution, but in a personal letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Connecticut Baptists in 1802 (www.allabouthistory.org). Because of such a perverted interpretation of the phrase, the moral foundation of our country, exhibit in our government, is all but gone. John Adams wrote to a Mr. Warren that our government can only be “supported by pure Religion or Austere Morals. Private, and Public Virtue is the only Foundation of Republics” (America’s God and Country, p.12). A moral standard comes from one of two sources: God, not God. There is no third option available. Since many in our community reject God, the only alternative is not God. Look where this has led us. Since we, as a country, are confused morally, the internal moral decay that destroyed Rome has already begun its destructive force against ours. It’s only in the Lord’s mind concerning how long He will allow us to stand as a Nation on this earth. We are we to do?
    The only thing godly people (Christians) can do is live the life of Jesus Christ. For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (1 Peter 2:21-23).  For the Christian, there really is no other alternative. As the opportunity is ours, let us redeem (make the best use of) time (Col. 4:5). In the end, while our country is being destroyed, those who live in accordance with the Lord Jesus will be saved.

- Ron Thomas preacher for the Sunrush Church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH. He may be contacted through the congregation's website. http://sunrushchurchofchrist.com/
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What Controls You?
By Lance Cordle

Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey; either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16, ESV)
    If you consider a broad range of people you will find them motivated in life by a variety of factors. Each person’s everyday choices and decisions are steered by one primary, motivating factor. The person may not even realize what that factor is, but when they stop and consider the decisions that bring them to the point where they are in life, they see it. The realization may not be a pleasant experience, but it can be life-changing.
    Have you sat down and analyzed your decisions in life? Have you honestly asked why you have done the things you have done? Pause for a moment and ask if any of the following things could be driving your life. I have listed many things which lead one away from God. I have also listed some things which have their proper place in one’s priorities (behind Christ). For emphasis, I have placed the lordship of Christ last. Keep in mind, these things are to be honestly and soberly assessed. If the one that best fits you is the lordship of Christ, rejoice!—You are doing well. But if the motivating force of your life is sinful, or is a misplaced priority, please change . . . Now, what is controlling your life?
    ¨Popularity?
    ¨Greed?
    ¨Fear?
    ¨Love for family?
    ¨Addiction?
    ¨Adventure?
    ¨Pleasure?
    ¨Physical fitness?
    ¨Diminished self-esteem?
    ¨Anger?
    ¨Revenge?
    ¨Jealousy?
    ¨Intellectual pride?
    ¨Lust?
    ¨Ambition?
    ¨Anxiety?
    ¨Lordship of Christ?
Please remember this: When you figure out what is driving you, you should have a pretty good idea of where you are going.

- Lance Cordle preaches the Calvert City Church of Christ in Calvert City, KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com
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We’ll See You After School!
By Steve Higginbotham

    When I was in third grade, I had two boys threaten to beat me up after school one day.  They were the Ciccarelli twins – tough guys (it still sends a cold chill down my spine even when I type their name!)  I couldn’t understand it.  Why did these boys want to beat up a charming, precious little third-grader (according to my mother)?  It didn’t make sense to me; I barely knew them.  But one thing I knew was that they were going to be waiting for me after school.
    And sure enough, after school there they stood waiting.  However, I had all day to think about their threat and I took action.  I rounded up all my friends, and we all walked home from school together.  In fact, we walked right past the Ciccarelli brothers, and they didn’t say a word.
    Now, to the point of this story.  Why is it that a third-grader may know how to deal with bullying and opposition better than grown Christians?  What do I mean?  Well, when the Devil begins to pick on some Christians, and make their lives difficult, what’s one of the first things that some Christians do?  They stop attending church services.  They withdraw from everyone.  Instead of drawing on the strength of their brothers and sisters in Christ, they choose to face their enemy all alone.
    As a third-grader, I knew that I was going to get “beat up” if I was found all by myself.  So I surrounded myself with friends, and avoided the beating.  Seems there’s a lesson in there for us. 

- Steve Higginbotham preaches for the Karns Church of Christ in Knoxville, TN. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.karnschurch.org Copyright © 2019 MercEmail
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Men Not Needed In The Church
By R. W. McAlister

    The Lord needs followers – of that we can be certain for the Bible tells us, “The harvest truly is
plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth
labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).
    We’re also told that God doesn’t want any to perish, but all for all men to come to repentance (II
Peter 3:9). In light of these facts, it may sound as though God is desperate for any “warm body” to live as
a Christian, but in reality, such is not the case. God wants people who have absolute faith in Him and
truly desire to live the Christian life (Heb. 11:6; Luke 6:46). There are men that God just doesn’t need in
His church. Here are a few examples:
    1. The Lord doesn’t need dictators like Diotrephes, who loved to “have the preeminence” (III
John 9). In other words, Diotrephes wanted all the attention and glory for himself and was unwilling to
share it with others. Men like this are often dictatorial and seek to run things by themselves. They’re also
sowers of discord, especially when they don’t get their way.
    2. The Lord’s church doesn’t need the envious and jealous like Joseph’s brothers (Genesis
37). Joseph was favored by his father and God gave him dreams of dominion. His brothers planned to kill
him, but decided to sell him into slavery instead and tried to convince Jacob that a wild animal had killed
him. Even today, some are jealous when others are noticed more than they are.
    3. The church doesn’t need men of wrath like Cain, who murdered his brother (Genesis 4:8)
because God showed favor to Abel’s sacrifice but rejected Cain’s. Even men today are willing to become
angry over the least thing, often threatening to leave one congregation for another or “get back” at the
one they feel has wronged them.
    4. The church doesn’t need men who love the world more than they love the Lord, like
Demas (II Timothy 4:10). Demas was at one time a fellow worker with Paul, but forsook him, “having
loved this present world.” The world tries to convince us that we can have both it and religion, but the
Lord said, “No man can serve two masters...” (Matthew 6:24).
    5. The church doesn’t need those who turn back, like John Mark (Acts 13:13). Many people
begin the Christian life and stay with it for months or years, but turn back at some point and return to the
sins they once left behind. The Lord needs men who are willing to begin and to stay faithful until the end.
    6. The Lord’s church doesn’t need those who see others faults, but not their own, like
David (II Samuel 11 & 12). David sees Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and takes her. David
tries to hide the affair but cannot so he finally has Uriah killed in battle. Nathan the prophet informs him
of a rich man who has many sheep who takes a poor man’s one ewe lamb to feed a traveler. David said
the man should be put to death and could see the fault of the rich man but did not see his until Nathan
said, “Thou art the man.”
    7. The church doesn’t need those who love money more than the Lord, like Judas (Matt. 26).
Many sell out Jesus and the church today through a lack of giving. It’s easy to see how much a person
values the Lord by how much they put in the collection plate relative to their income.
    8. The church doesn’t need the self-righteous, like the Pharisee of Luke 18. He was all too
happy to tell God in a “showy” prayer how great he was and how thankful he was that he was “better”
than the publican nearby him.
    These types of people are like a cancer to the body and are not needed by the church and the
church must separate itself from them (I Cor. 5:1-5; II Cor. 6:17-18; Mt. 18:15-17). Individuals who fall
into these categories must repent of their wickedness and return to God or risk eternal punishment (Acts
8:22; Luke 13:5). Upon their return to God, they can be a tremendous asset to the Lord’s church with
continued study & growth.

- R. W. McAlister preaches for the Anna Church of Christ in Anna, IL.He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/
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How to Beat the Devil
By David Bragg

     In 2002 The New York Times ran a story by Rick Bragg about the unusual events in Inglis, Florida. The town's mayor, Carolyn Risher, took the unprecedented step of issuing a mayoral proclamation banning Satan from the community's city limits. The restraining order declared: ''Be it known from this day forward that Satan, ruler of darkness, giver of evil, destroyer of what is good and just, is not now, nor ever again will be, a part of this town of Inglis. Satan is hereby declared powerless, no longer ruling over, nor influencing, our citizens" (www.nytimes.com). The Times article went on to say that the proclamation was printed out and placed in four hollowed out posts staked at the town’s four entrances.
     Wouldn't it be nice if it were that easy to banish Satan, or even strip him of his power? This spiritual enemy has plagued those who seek to follow God since his lies in the Garden of Eden. But John has good news for the readers of Revelation. Satan CAN BE defeated!
    John lays out the formula for us in Rev. 12:11: "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." First, we must have been washed in the Lamb’s blood (i.e. baptized; Acts 22:16). Next, we must obey His will (the New Testament teachings). And finally, we must “be faithful unto death” (Rev. 2:10).
 
- David Bragg serves as one of the ministers at the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC and is co-editor of BulletinGold. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.nwchurchofchrist.com/ or his blog: http://davidbragg.blogspot.com/
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How Curious Are You?
By Jim Faughn

    I suppose most of us have heard this expression: “Curiosity killed the cat.” I’m not really sure what that means, but I’ve heard it all my life. I think it has something to do with the idea that some things are better left alone.
    I recently read another quote about curiosity that caught my attention. While not as famous as the one about the cat, it may be more important. “The call of Moses started with the curiosity of Moses.” (Jesus in the Present Tense: The I Am Statements of Christ, by Warren Wiersbe, p.17) While Mr. Wiersbe and I would disagree on many things, I think he’s right about that. The conversation with God began after Moses became curious about the fact that there was a bush that was burning, “…yet it was not consumed” (Ex. 3:2).
    As I thought about this, I began thinking about some other instances in the Bible where curiosity led to something of great significance. I’m sure you can add to this list, but just a few examples would be:
  • David’s curiosity about engaging Goliath in battle; 1 Sam. 17:26ff.
  • A question about the residence of Jesus; John 1:38ff
  • A Samaritan woman’s question about why Jesus was asking her for water; John 4:5ff.
  • The same woman’s question about the proper place for worship; John 4:20ff.
  • A young man’s question about what he might do to inherit eternal life; Matt. 19:16ff.
  • The curiosity exhibited by those who didn’t understand the unusual occurrences on the Day of  Pentecost; Acts 2:7-12
  • The question asked by those whose hearts had been affected by the sermon delivered by Peter and the other apostles on that occasion; Acts 2:37ff.
    As suggested earlier, that list is not exhaustive. Many other examples could be given. Unfortunately,
not all of them would be positive in nature. (Think of Eve and her curiosity about the fruit from a certain
tree as one example.)
    Can you think of some ways in which curiosity could lead today to things of eternal significance in a
positive way? Maybe the following can be used as a springboard for your own thoughts:
  • What could curiosity about the true facts about the origin of the universe lead to?
  • What could curiosity about the “when does life begin” controversy lead to?
  • What could curiosity about the church Jesus promised to build lead to (cf. Matt. 16:18)?
  • What could curiosity about the Lord’s plan of salvation lead to?
  • What could curiosity about “the ultimate question” (where will I spend eternity) lead to?
    What will curiosity lead to in your life? What are you curious about today?

- Jim Faughn, a retired preacher, serves as an elder for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org
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Love Being With You
By Johnny Hester

    I shared a really corny joke with beautiful Maddey, one of my waaay too smart granddaughters. When I delivered the punch line she just silently stared into my eyes without even a chuckle. I responded, “You don’t like jokes, do you Maddey?” She retorted, “I like the funny ones.” Both she and I laughed at her punch line. I love being “Poppy” to my three wonderful grandchildren!
    Speaking of jokes, let me share one that I recently discovered:
An 80 year old woman was arrested for shoplifting.
When she went before the judge he asked her, "What did you steal?" she replied, "A can of peaches."
The judge asked her why she had stolen them and she replied that she was hungry.
The judge then asked her how many peaches were in the can. She replied, "Six."
The judge then said, "I will give you 6 days in jail."
Before the judge could actually pronounce the punishment the woman's husband spoke up and asked the judge if he could say something.
The judge asked, "What is it?"
The husband replied, "She also stole a can of peas."
    Apparently this husband thought he might enjoy a little break from his wife. Well, unlike him, Linda and I so thoroughly enjoy being with you—our brothers and sisters in Christ at Matthews. As always, we joyfully anticipate assembling with you this coming Lord’s Day morning. I plan to talk about two biblical characters who were called into service by God. One responded: “Here I am, send me!” The other responded: “Here I am, but send someone else!” To gain the most from the study, between now and Sunday morning please make some time to read Isaiah 6:1-8 and Exodus 3:1-11. I hope you’ll be present and perhaps bring a guest with you this Lord’s Day.

- Johnny Hester preaches for the Matthews Church of Christ in Matthews, MO. He may be contacted at johnnyhester@yahoo.com
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Just Ask
By J. Randal Matheny

    Don't be bashful; be bold and daring. Don't wait for someone to show interest — just ask.
    "I'm excited about this! I have some time to share this with somebody. Might you be interested in looking at what God has prepared for those who love him?"
     Many a "no" will be said before a "yes" will appear. That's to be expected.
    Ask God for the yes. Meanwhile, study up on how you'll share the Good News. Get a system, a method, an approach. Know what you'll say before you say it.
    The miraculous promise of Jesus to the Twelve, that words would be given to them at the needed time, was limited to those few. We need preparation!
    Go to them, don't wait for them to come to you. "Paul went to the Jews in the synagogue, as he customarily did" Acts 17.2. He also went to ideas-exchange center in Athens, the Areopagus, Acts 17.19, 22.
    And the Lord that Paul preached came down from heaven with a word from God. He did not wait for us to make our way up there to figure out what was going on.     At one point there was much talk about seekers, people who were looking for positive change and desired to know more about God.
    The seekers are us. God seeks out people to offer the gospel. We are his seeking agents, to turn up those who are receptive in order to turn them toward heaven.

- J. Randal Matheny edits and writes UPLift, an inspirational ezine. He
may be contacted here: <http://randalmathenycom/>. When reprinting this
material, please include the following: 
Copyright (c) 2019 J. Randal Matheny
All rights reserved. You may forward the
email to friends as is. You may not alter
it in any way or remove any text or
attributions.

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No Alternative
By Ron Thomas

    The First Amendment to the Constitution reads this way: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
      2 Timothy 3:12 reads, Yea, and all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (ASV).
       It appears to me we live in a time when the First Amendment is less about freedom to worship and more about taking the freedom, such as the freedom of speech. There are some in our country who do not like certain words, phrases and ideas to be expressed. Rather than the community shaming vulgar speech, some make laws (such as “hate” speech) to prevent others from speaking words with which some might disagree. This is called political correctness, otherwise known as PC. The amendment speaks against the government endorsing a religion, that is a religion of the state, this is what is prohibited, nothing more. Courts, however, afraid of many things and people expanded this phrase to mean much more than that. Now, there is the notion of “separation of church and state”, something not found in the Constitution, but in a personal letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Connecticut Baptists in 1802 (www.allabouthistory.org). Because of such a perverted interpretation of the phrase, the moral foundation of our country, exhibit in our government, is all but gone. John Adams wrote to a Mr. Warren that our government can only be “supported by pure Religion or Austere Morals. Private, and Public Virtue is the only Foundation of Republics” (America’s God and Country, p.12). A moral standard comes from one of two sources: God, not God. There is no third option available. Since many in our community reject God, the only alternative is not God. Look where this has led us. Since we, as a country, are confused morally, the internal moral decay that destroyed Rome has already begun its destructive force against ours. It’s only in the Lord’s mind concerning how long He will allow us to stand as a Nation on this earth. We are we to do?
     The only thing godly people (Christians) can do is live the life of Jesus Christ. For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (1 Peter 2:21-23).  For the Christian, there really is no other alternative. As the opportunity is ours, let us redeem (make the best use of) time (Col. 4:5). In the end, while our country is being destroyed, those who live in accordance with the Lord Jesus will be saved.

- Ron Thomas preacher for the Sunrush Church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH. He may be contacted through the congregation's website. http://sunrushchurchofchrist.com/
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The First Day
By Ron Bartanen
 
    What is the significance of the first day of the week to Christians? The Jews, under Jewish (Old Testament) Law observed the seventh-day Sabbath as a day of rest, recognizing that God rested on the 7th day of Creation, while most of those who claim to follow Christ observe the first day of the week in worship.  What is the special significance of the first day?
     1) Light was spoken into existence by God on the first day of Creation (Genesis 1:5).  God’s material creation was wrapped in darkness until light was brought into existence to dispel the darkness.  On the first day of the week we give honor to Him who is “the light of the world” (John 8:12), a world in darkness without Him as its light.  John wrote of Him: “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus, see v. 14), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….  All things were made by Him, and without Him not anything was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1, 3-4).  Jesus is the light of the New Creation, those delivered from the kingdom of darkness.
    2) The resurrection of Jesus, “the light of the world”, was upon “the first day of the week” (Luke 24:1), the third day after His death, which He had promised to be the day of His resurrection (Mark 16:9;; Luke 9:22; 24:21).
    3) The recorded appearances of Jesus to His disciples were upon the first day of the week ((Matthew 28:9-10; Luke 24:33-36; John 19:26).
    4) The Lord’s Church had its beginning upon the first day of the week with the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday (Acts 2:1-4).  Note: Pentecost was always on the first day following the Sabbath (Saturday), and thus was on the first day of the week. (Leviticus 23:11, 15-16)
    5) The early church assembled upon the first day of the week to “break bread” (Acts 20:7), a term used in regard to the breaking of the bread in the Lord’s Supper, as instituted by Jesus for a memorial of His sacrifice for us (Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:19).  Paul gave instructions as to the proper partaking of the Lord’s supper at their assemblies (1 Corinthians 11:18-34).  The breaking of bread was at their weekly assemblies, not quarterly or yearly.  They were steadfast in the practice (Acts 2:42).  Contributions were also made on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).  Scripture plainly warns of the danger that exists in a Christian’s willful forsaking the assemblies of the church (Hebrews 10:35-31).  The first day of the week is a very significant day for God’s people. 

- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://arthurcoc.com/
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The Shoe Is On the Other Foot
By Ron Adams

    Meaning: the situation now is the opposite of what it once was; places are reversed.
    Origin: In the mid-19th century this expression was “the boot is on the other leg.” Until the 1800s, there were no left or right boots or shoes. You could put either one on either foot, and if you kept putting the same shoe on the same foot, eventually the shoe would conform to the shape of that foot. If one day you accidentally put the wrong shoe on the foot, the situation would be the reversed.
    One is to be a giver in the time of plenty when another is in need. There may come a time when you’ll be in need of a benefactor (the shoe is on the other foot).
~~~~~~~
    For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality – at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; as it is written, “he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack.” 2 Corinthians 8:12-15
    … remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Act 20:35

- Ron Adams publishes F.Y.C., a monthly publication. Bible references are from the NASB except where another translation is referenced. Back issues are archived at http://ra10ar.com Be thoughtful and kind. All rights reserved. © 2018
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