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Showing posts from October, 2015

20 Ways To Know If You Are A Leader

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Leadership guru, Paul Sohn provides us with 20 questions to help us determine whether or not we are an effective leader. I have included pertinent article links.

Are We Justified By Any Works?

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A querist asks, “Are we justified by any works?”

How Do We "Know" God?

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A querist asks, “Looking at 2 Thessalonians 1:8, How do we know God?”

The Longsuffering Of God In Genesis 6:3

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A querist asks, “In Genesis 6:3, does the phrase, ‘yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years’ mean that man’s earthly body won’t last more than 120 years (as opposed to all of the men that lived to around 900 yrs. old in Genesis 5)?”

Our Cell Phone Vs. Our Bible

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This writer wonders – “What would happen if we treated our Bibles like we treat our cell phones?”

Should We Gauge Sermons By Their Results?

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It is true that not all sermons are really good (based upon content, delivery, etc.). In fact, this writer (and sometimes preacher), has come to realize that even the best of sermons, with the best scriptural content, sometimes do not produce much in the way of results.

"Let Judgment Be Executed Speedily"

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After reading this Huffington Post article this morning, regarding a Florida man having to wait 30 years on death row, to finally be executed for murders committed in 1985, the following scriptures immediately came to mind:

Can Christians Justify The Drinking Of Alcoholic Beverages?

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Genesis 9:18-27 is the first recorded use of an alcoholic beverage by Noah. He used his knowledge of wine making for the purpose of growing a vineyard and producing it. From the fruit of his labors, he got profoundly inebriated.

A Question Regarding Pentecostal -- Charismatic Doctrines

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A querist asks, “Why do pentecostals/charismatics use Old Testament stories to “prove” their doctrines and practices?”

"Rejoice In The Lord Always"

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As God’s people, we should be a happy people (Psalm 35:9). Rejoicing is commanded (Philippians 3:1; Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16). It is promised to God’s people (Psalm 132:16).

Why We Observe The Lord's Supper Every Sunday!

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We in the churches of Christ observe the Lord’s Supper on Sunday for that is the “example” given us by the early church under the direction of inspired men. “And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them ….” (Acts 20:7). This is indeed a fitting day to remember the Lord for it is the day on which He arose from the dead (Mark 16:9) and was declared to be the Son of God "with power" (Romans 1:4).

Denominational Vs. Bible Teaching

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In considering which teaching we should adhere to today – Denominational teaching or Bible teaching, let us note the following comparisons here.

Baptism --- A Condition That Must Be Met

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Many sincere religious folks turn to Ephesians 2:8-9 to show that baptism is not necessary for salvation — that grace is a “gift” based solely upon one condition — faith. Using the American Standard Version – 1901, the text under consideration reads:

About The Churches of Christ

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We are members of the church of Christ (Matthew 16:18; cf. Ephesians 1:19-23; Ephesians 5:23; Ephesians 5:30) , striving to be nothing more or less. In fact, the phrase, “church of Christ” is not a title, but a description of ownership (Acts 20:28 NLT; cf. 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 Peter 2:9 ESV).

Why Did God Create Man?

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From the Scriptures, we know that God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27 for the express purpose of glorifying Him (Isaiah 43:7) including nations (Psalm 86:9). The only people (or nations) who “glorify” God are those who are “called by my name” (Isaiah 43:7). Therefore, we see that God is particular as who will glorify Him. For example, note the phrase, “residue of men” in Acts 15:17, and the word “remnant” used in both the Old and New Testament (Isaiah 10:21-22; Romans 11:5).

Let's Not Be Late!

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In the Lord’s church, there are members who are seemingly always late for services. Some of them barely arrive in time to partake of the Lord’s Supper. Their late arrival is comparable to a flock of geese, complete with the flurry of wings and constant “honking” (talking). There is much confusion and disorder with them rushing around to find a seat, talking to fellow members, grabbing a song book, etc.

Marriage Is Not A "Ho-Hum" Thing!

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After reading this article by Maria Puente of USA Today, along with this related article, this writer has come to the conclusion that getting a divorce among the Hollywood crowd is similar to receiving a Golden Globe award for best actor or actress — just a "Ho-Hum" thing!

Origin Of Satan

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In John 8:44, Christ said to his unbelieving Jewish audience: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it.

Christ --- The "Only Savior"

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Christianity differs from all other religions of the world in that it is the only religion that has a savior. According to Matthew 1:21, this savior’s name is Jesus, “for he shall save his people from their sins.

"You Will Be Like God"

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In Genesis 3:3-5, the serpent tells Eve the following: “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'” And the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God know that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

Unity Based Upon The "Standard" Of God's Truth

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How do we know that there are 12 inches in one foot and three feet in one yard? It is because our society has a “standard” of measurement. Webster defines a standard as, “something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example.

Do We Want To Be On The Winning Side?

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It is discouraging to know that porn sites can average thousands of visitors per day, while my Bible study blog is presently averaging approximately 300 visitors per day. That's an average of 9,000 visitors per month or 108,000 visitors per year.

"As We Think In Our Heart"

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Paul said that all foods were created by God and were to be received with thanksgiving of them that believe and know the truth. In the same context, he stated that “every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:3-4).

The Greatest Memorial

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Since its completion, millions of tourists have visited the Taj Mahal in India. It is a magnificent structure that took over two decades to complete. Built entirely of white marble, it was commissioned by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

God Welcomes All Honest Skeptics

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A skeptic is one who is inclined to have a doubting attitude. However, if such a person is honestly seeking to know the truth, his doubting may be the first step toward finding the truth.

Let's Dig For The Gold!

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If we wanted to only acquire a few nuggets of gold, we would use simple prospecting equipment, such as pans and shovels (see other types) However, if we wanted to find a greater quantity of gold, we would have to use heavy equipment, designed to dig much deeper into the earth’s core.

Nation Has Drifted From Our Greatness

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In this morning's El Paso Times newspaper, guest columnist Terry Sunday makes some valid observations and points regarding the state of our nation in his above titled article.

"You Are Like Whitewashed Tombs"

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In almost all of Matthew 23, we see the Lord’s judgment regarding the hypocritical Pharisees. In Matthew 23:27-28, He condemns them by saying:

The Words We Say.....

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The following poem by an unknown author illustrates the point that the words which come out of our mouth are indeed powerful and do make a difference, either negatively or positively, effecting not only ourselves, but those folks with whom we come in contact with every day.

When The Money Runs Out

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A few weeks ago, I read this article which states the U.S. debt limit of $18.1 trillion dollars, will be reached as soon as November 5th (or before) at which point the government would run out of borrowed money and be forced into default. This would mean the U.S. would be "forced to default, either on bond payments or other discretionary or mandatory spending."

Characteristics Of The Samaritan Woman

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An individual once asked, “What stands out in your mind in the story of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well?” (cf. John 4:1-42).

A Question On "Dwelling" With Our Wives

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A querist asks, In 1 Peter 3:7 KJV, what does the phrase “dwell with them [wives] according to knowledge” mean?

God's "Eternal Ink"

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I dreamed I was in heaven
Where an angel kept God’s book
He was writing so intently
I just had to take a look

God Doesn't Want Our Vote, He Wants Our Heart!

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It’s always been amazing to this writer, that the only time we ever physically see our elected officials, is when their terms are almost at an end. It’s a time when politicians exit their plush offices en masse, condescending to the point of having to ask those of low estate, i.e., the common man (that‘s us folks!), to once again vote and re-elect them so they can again return to their plush offices in Washington (I call them “kingdoms”).

We Don't Have To Be Robbed Of Our Joy

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An old man was once asked what had robbed him of  joy the most in his lifetime. He replied, “Things that never happened!

"Seven Days Without God Makes One Weak"

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The above parody title, was the message that I recently noticed on a local Baptist church sign. This short title speaks volumes regarding the health of our spiritual life. Seven days without God and His word, not only will make one spiritually weak, but over a period of time, can lead to spiritual death (2 Peter 2; cf. Romans 6:23).

Three Descriptive Words

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A few years ago an individual asked, “Name three words that best describe or summarize the focus of your life in Christ and service to God.” My answer was, “Commitment, Commitment, Commitment” (Philippians 1:27; Philippians 3:7-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-8).

Something To Think About

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The following are some things we need to think about relative to our service to God and to our fellow man (Matthew 22:36-40; cf. Romans 12:1-2; Romans 13:9; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8):

Rejoice --- We're In Good Company!

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One morning, a postal worker was sorting the daily mail, when he found an unstamped, poorly hand-written envelope, addressed to God. Upon opening the letter, he discovered that it was from an elderly lady who was greatly distressed because all of her savings had been stolen — all $200.00 of it. Now, she would be cold and hungry throughout the winter.

Our Children Will Be Our Legacy

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American humorist, newspaper columnist, and bestselling author Erma Bombeck, had a writing career that spanned three decades. From the mid-1960’s through the mid-1990’s, she wrote several books and received fifteen honorary doctorate degrees.

The Certainty Of Death And Our Preparation For It

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The story is told of a man who decided to move to a warmer climate because of poor health. Wanting to make sure he would choose the area best suited to his needs, he visited several Western State locations. While in Arizona, he asked a man about the average temperature, humidity, and the number of days the sun shined. When he asked about the death rate, the man answered, “Same as where you come from, friend — one death for every birth.”

God's Family Life Center

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Over the past 30-40 years, we’ve seen an influx of Family Life Centers cropping up among churches of Christ as an adjunct to the Lord’s church. However, the New Testament is silent regarding Family Life Centers being an approved adjunct to the purpose and function of the Lord’s church (Luke 19:1-10 – focusing on vs. 10).

God As The Great Justifier

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An essential part of the nature of deity is justness. God is absolutely just — never doing anything which would be in violation of His justness (cf. Isaiah 45:21-22; Acts 3:14). In contrast, man is a violator of law being worthy of condemnation and death.

The Failure Of Fatherlessness

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In the present issue of the Christian publication, "Think On These Things," brother Andy Diestelkamp has written an above titled article which illustrates the sad story of men abdicating their responsibility with regard to their role as husbands and fathers.

Putting Our Confidence In God's Perfect, Proven Word

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Visitors who come to our assemblies are sometimes awestruck by our unwavering focus on the Scriptures for everything we believe, teach, and practice. Then we may hear these same people say, “The Bible is important, but it’s not all there is to a relationship with God.”

Counting The Cost

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The builder in our Lord’s parable (Luke 14:26-33) started his construction job enthusiastically enough, no doubt, but called a halt when the bills began to come in. The cost was more than he thought. Many an undertaking starts with a bang and ends in a bog when the expenses exceed the original estimate.

God Has A Great Concern For The Poor

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Here in El Paso, I see folks on the street corner every day, begging for money. They are poor and desperate for a little cash to spend on food and other necessities of life. They are not alone. More than one-half of the world’s people live below the internationally defined poverty line of less than $2.00 a day (source). Poverty and hunger are such a big problem in our world that it’s easy for us to feel helpless or to become hard-hearted and do nothing.

There Is No Shame --- "And The World Keeps On Turning"

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The following are some interesting observations that I made this Tuesday morning while looking at the latest news and taking my morning walk:

Was King Agrippa Partially Convinced Or Being Sarcastic?

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A querist asks, In Acts 26:28 KJV, was Agrippa partially convinced or was he being sarcastic? The Greek in question is “en oligos” (Strong's 3641). Some translate this as “in a short time” while others translate this as “almost.”

What Is The Value Of Jesus To Us?

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Exodus 21 lists various penalties for different offenses. In Exodus 21:28-32, injuries that could be caused by an ox are discussed, along with the consequences of these injuries for the owner of the animal. In the event that an ox killed a man or woman, the ox was to be stoned and its flesh uneaten. The owner of the ox was without guilt.

Taking Advantage Of Open Doors Of Opportunity

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In the New Testament, the expressions, “great door,” “open door,” and “door of utterance,” convey the idea of opportunity and accessibility. Paul used these expressions, referring to the opportunities he had to preach the gospel (1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:3).

The Greatest War

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The following discourse was penned by one of the greatest preachers of the 20th century, Brother Robertson L. Whiteside (1869-1951). Although he has been dead for 60 plus years, he still speaks to us today through the written word (Hebrews 11:4).

A Definition Of Religion

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From The Fellowship Room a few years ago, the question was asked, “Give your best definition of religion.” The following was my response:

He Touched Me

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Sister Barbara Oliver, associate editor of Forthright Magazine, has written an above titled article, emphasizing the fact that as followers of Christ, we need to be thankful that we have been "touched by the blood of Christ" — in fact, so thankful that we need to "spend our lives leaping for joy to share that good news" (Acts 3; Acts 8:25-39; cf. Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16).

"Today" And Its Importance

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A question we need to ask ourselves from time to time is, How do I spend the blessed currency of time “today?” “Today” is something each one living on the earth has in common. While multitudes of precious souls are being born into this world “today..... multitudes of precious souls are also hurdling into eternity “today.” Many of the souls leaving their earthly body wish that “today” they had a few more “days” to do things they must leave undone.

Does Demon Possession Happen Today?

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A querist asks, “Do you believe demon possession happens today?

Looking At The Issue Of "Nature" Versus "Nurture"

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Scientists have long debated the issue of “nature” versus “nurture” — that is, am I the person I am because of the way I was born, or because of the influences of my environment? There are some good arguments to be made on either side of the issue. We know that inherent factors play some role in shaping us. For example, an extraordinarily tall person’s life experiences will necessarily be different from those of a much shorter person.