7, 2004 Vol 4 #7
is almost here! Sometimes it is only
when we are in the midst of our worst
troubles do we truly understand the most
precious things through which God blesses
us. For example, I never realized
how much Christ's sacrifice meant until I
had cancer and thought I would die.
The thing that mattered the most to me
then was the blood of Christ. It is
not until we lose a dear one who has been
a faithful servant of God do we realize
how much heaven means. No wonder the
apostle Paul writes, "Blessed be the God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
has blessed us with all spiritual
blessings in heavenly places in
Christ." Ephesians 1:3.
Besides all the spiritual blessings that
God gives us, He showers us with the daily
necessities of life and much more.
There is no way we can thank Him and
praise Him enough. May each of you
have a wonderful and praise-filled
Avon will give 10 cents toward breast
cancer research every time someone "pulls
on the rope"---please take a minute and do
Please don't forget to pass along the
Also, please do this:
tell ten friends to tell ten today! The
Breast Cancer site is having trouble
getting enough people to click on it daily
to meet their quota of donating at least
one free mammogram a day to an
underprivileged woman. It takes less than
a minute to go to their site and click on
"donating a mammogram" for free (pink
window in the
middle). This doesn't cost you a thing.
Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use
the number of daily visits to donate
mammogram in exchange for advertising!
Here's the web site! Pass it along to
people you know. http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
Panning for more Gold
preacher's articles this issue
W. A. Martin
of the work might seem to demand that
each worker run into the field and begin
the harvest. However, we are impressed
by the fact that Jesus said, "Pray ye
therefore the Lord of the harvest." This
verse hits the cruciality of
prayer. Prayer is not a substitute
for reaping, but a companion activity.
The workers are urged to pray and then
go to work. In our day let us pray
earnestly that there may be more workers
to help harvest billions of souls who
need to know Christ. The task can be
accomplished only if every Christian
takes seriously his daily duty, personal
responsibility to teach, to preach
concerning the kingdom, and help all
manner of people in need.
All of us want to be as much like our
Lord as possible. We want to think like
He thought, speak like He spoke, and to
live like he lived. If we will
work as He worked, we can make great
strides toward becoming like Him.
Let each of us prepare himself to teach,
privately or publicly or both. Let each
of us prepare himself to
speak in some appropriate way concerning
the kingdom and salvation.
"Say not ye, there are yet four months,
and then cometh harvest. Behold, I say
unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on
the fields; for they are white already
to harvest. And he that reapeth
receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit
unto life eternal; that both he that
soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice
together. "(John 4:35-36)
Paul wrote, "I am debtor both to the
Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to
the wise, and to the unwise. So,
as much as in me is, I am ready to
preach the gospel to you that are at
Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the
gospel of Christ; for it is the power of
God unto salvation to everyone that
believeth, to the Jew first, and also to
the Greek." (Rom. 1: 14-16).
Someone wrote, "Thanks for prayers that
thou hast answered. Thanks for what thou
doest deny. Thanks for storms that I
have weathered, Thanks for all Thou
doest supply, Thanks for pain and thanks
for pleasure, Thanks for comfort in
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare."
Today most of us pray for more things
than we are willing to work for.
YET, PEOPLE MUST NOT PRAY FOR GOD TO DO
WHAT THEY WILL NOT DO.
W. A. Martin attends the Scurry
Church of Christ in Scurry,
Texas. He is editor of a bulletin
sent out to several thousand homes
quarterly for the Church of Christ. He
has preached for 53 years.
14:1-4 we find these words: "Let not
your heart be troubled: ye believe in
God, believe also in me. In my
Father's house are many mansions: if it
were not so, I would have told
you. I to go prepare a place for
you. I go to prepare a place for
you. And if I go and prepare a
place for you, I will come again, and
receive you unto
myself; that where I am, there ye may be
also. And whither I go ye know,
and the way ye know."
When we see a loved one who is a
Christian slip away from us into the
great beyond, we find great comfort in
these precious words of our Lord.
These words tell us of the heavenly home
which our Lord is preparing even now for
his disciples. As we watch our
loved ones go down the valley of death
one by one, we are made to realize that
it will not be long until we will follow
in their footsteps. It is very
comforting to know that when this
happens to us, that we also can be where
Jesus has gone. However, I would
like to emphasize the fact that Jesus
has not promised to take everyone to the
Father's house of many mansions.
He has promised to take only those who
believe in him and follow in the way
that he has outlined for men to travel.
The hope of salvation is in
Christ. In 2 Cor. 5:17 Paul says,
"If any man be in Christ, he is a new
creature: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become
new." Since salvation is in
Christ, how does one get into
Christ? He must believe in Christ
(John 8:24). He must repent of his
sins (Luke 13:3). He must confess
his faith in Christ (Romans 10:9,
10). He must be baptized (Mark
16:16. There are many passages
which emphasize that baptism is the
final step in Christ. Romans 6:3
says "baptized into his death."
Romans 6:4 says "Buried with him by
baptism into death, we should walk in
newness of life." Galatians 3:27
says "baptized into
Christ." If these words were used
only one time, that would be enough, but
they are used repeatedly in the New
Testament. We must continue
faithful unto Christ until the end of
the way (Matthew 10:22). Life is
too short, death too certain, and the
mansions of heaven too wonderful for us
to be careless in our attitude toward
Lord and His work.
Paul McClung is a retired minister and
elder of the 4th and Stuart Church of
Christ in Brownwood, Texas.
|Death and True
wonderful blessings are promised to
those who put their trust in Jesus. But
then Jesus has some pretty stiff things
to say to His followers:
"No one can serve two masters." (Matthew
"No one after putting his hand to the
plow and looking back, is fit for the
kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62.
"So then, none of you can be My disciple
who does not give up all his own
possessions." (Luke 14:33).
How is it that I can be a Christian like
that? The reason I ask is that,
apparently, there is no other kind of
Paul describes our becoming a Christian
as dying and being buried with Jesus
when we are baptized (Greek: immersed,
which is a picture of a burial) into
Christ. He says that we rise from the
waters of baptism to walk in a new life
(Romans 6:3, 4).
Being dead we aren't too worried about
our belongings, our social standing, or
our feelings. They don't really mean
anything anymore. We don't worry about
whether we are getting what we think we
deserve from others but instead, being
hidden in Christ and enjoying our life
there, we are focused on what we can do
to help others, individually, and the
body of Christ in general.
Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is like
a hidden treasure that is worth buying
with all we own, but it does cost
everything we own. If you or I are still
thinking about ourselves and this and
that we want for self, then the old man
who died is trying to come back to life,
or he never really died in the first
If that sounds radical to you, think
about Jesus saying we need to take our
cross and everyone of us carry it every
How about you? Is the old man dead? Do
you have a new list of priorities? Is
Jesus at the top?
Lawrence Barr preaches for the Indiana
Church of Christ in Indiana,
A Holy God
You are not a
God who takes pleasure in evil; with you
the wicked cannot dwell. Psalm 5:4
David was not always a righteous man as
man sometimes counts righteousness, but
he could pray this prayer with
confidence that God would answer.
Why is that? Is there something in God
that is capricious or arbitrary in who
He chooses to help and who He chooses to
hinder? If there is no righteous,
as the apostle tells us, how
can David be so confident that he will
be included among the righteous and not
among the heathen?
Maybe the answer is verse 11 - .let all
those that put their trust in thee
rejoice." The answer is in who we
We know we're all sinners, but who do we
trust for our salvation? Do I trust my
good works? They can't make up for the
evil I have done. Do I trust in
man's wisdom? Look where that has gotten
us - wars and rumors of wars. Do I
trust in God? Is my obedience an act of
merit or do I simply trust Him?
What is so special about the waters of
baptism? The power of God promised upon
our faithful obedience! It isn't
the water, the preacher or even the
location - it is the God!
God has no pleasure in wickedness and so
we make it our life's work to avoid
such. Maybe it is because we are afraid
at first, but fear should change, as we
grow closer to God, to an immense
respect and love that will not allow us
to hurt God without feeling the pain
Evil cannot travel with God. When human
beings give themselves over to a life in
rebellion with God, they can no longer
travel with Him. That's something for us
to remember as well.
When we sin, the blood of Christ covers
it, but that is not an excuse to
sin. Instead, it is a reason to
avoid it. We have been forgiven and are
the children of God. That gives us a
reason to live according to a higher
standard than the world.
David understood a very great truth. It
doesn't matter who likes or dislikes
us. If God is pleased, everything
is all right.
Jay Kelley is the evangelist for the
church of Christ in Colby, Kan. His
e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
goodies this issue
Simple, Eternal Acts
Peter's brother, was one of the two who
heard what John
had said and who had followed Jesus
Not a lot is said in the New Testament
about Andrew, the apostle of Jesus
Christ. He is know as "the brother
of Simon Peter" - one of the greatest
apostles. When we read Acts, the
first half seems to revolve around
Peter. He was used by God to do so
much for spreading the news of Jesus to
a lost world.
But what about Andrew? What did he
do? His "claim to fame" was that
he brought someone to the Lord. He
did not use pen and ink to write out a
formal request. He was not a
person of great standing to have
servants to send in his place. His
action was simple, to the point, and
very personal. The first thing
Andrew did was to find his brother Simon
and tell him, "We have found the
Messiah" (that is, the Christ).
And he brought him to Jesus.
If God could reach a rough fisherman
like Peter through a brother's
invitation, could he us our invitations
to reach a lost soul? If Andrew
were here, he would say,
Pray this prayer: "Please use me, dear
Lord, this week to bring someone to
Steven Yeakley is the
Involvement/Outreach minister for the
Faith Village Church of Christ in
Wichita Falls, Texas.
|Hearts of Gold
surrounded me: He held my hand, "I'm
Frightened ", I cried, "I cannot see!"
He whispered, "I know the way."
I felt the jagged, slippery rocks
beneath my feet,
I felt the angry wind against my face.
I stumbled, I wept, my spirit sank
I cannot go, this is too long, too hard;
I cannot go!
He whispered, "Wait, I know the way."
I was anxious. Where are we going, wait
I wanted to know.
Then it happened! I saw a streak
of light up ahead.
He turned, He smiled.
The dark clouds parted, the sun streaked
I saw the quiet waters, the green
My heart sang!
He put His arms around me and whispered,
"I will never
Leave you, nor will I ever forsake you"
.."I know the way"
Borrowed from the Focus on Truth Web
Teach us, O God, to serve Thee as Thou
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek to rest;
To labor and not to ask for any reward,
Save that of doing Thy will.
Grant to us, Lord, we beseech Thee,
The spirit to think and do always such
things as are right.
Borrowed from "The Evangel," the bulletin
of the Morro Bay, California, Church of
& sayings for bulletins and signs
The man who doesn't have time to go to
church is like an automobile
that doesn't have time to stop for
Don't just count your days, but make
your days count!
When you harbor bitterness, happiness
will dock elsewhere!
Confessing your sins is no substitute
for forsaking them.
When growth stops, decay begins.