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Showing posts from July, 2016

God's Counsel To Parents

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The instruction in Proverbs 22:6 to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (see article) is a difficult saying for most parents, because we feel we have failed our children in so many ways. “Training” is more than teaching.

Making "Today" Your Own!

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How do you spend the blessed currency of time? Do you have a “pocketful” of day or have you “spent” your day already? “Today” is the most important time for each one of us because it is all we have been given! We are not promised next year, next month, next week, or even tomorrow. Today is important because it is when we can make the “choice” to obey, to encourage a brother or sister, to take the first step in living a life for Christ; to find one’s life in losing it (Luke 9:24).

The "6 - 8 - 10" Principles

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As any Bible student knows, the Bible not only deals in “specifics” .... but in eternal principles as well. After this writer became a Christian, I realized that certain habits and practices in my life needed to be terminated. Through my "study" of God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15), I knew they were wrong and did not honor the Lord (Colossians 3:17). Some other practices, however, were not so clear. I questioned, “were they wrong, or weren’t they?”

The Psalms -- Some Topical Classifications

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The Psalms are not only useful for singing praises to God, they are also useful for teaching and confirming that Jesus is the Christ or Messiah. Note the use Jesus made of them in Luke 24:44-47; cf. Psalm 22, and Peter’s use of them in his first gospel sermon (Acts 2:25-28; cf. Psalm 16:8,10-11).

Why Did David Call Him "Lord"?

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In confronting the Pharisees, Jesus often “questioned” them for the purpose of teaching them the truth (John 17:17). We find one such example in Matthew 22:41-46.

What About Our Conversion?

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We travel life’s way but once, thus it is imperative that we prepare for the time when we shall change worlds (1 Corinthians 15:42-53). A mistake relative to the security of our soul is too costly. Hence, we ask, “Was our conversion according to the Scriptures?” How may one know? It is not enough to be told, “Accept Jesus as your personal Savior.” This statement is too vague.

Collection For The Judean Saints

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A querist asks, “In reading about the collection taken for Judea in Acts 11:27, due to the prophets vision by the Holy Spirit regarding impending famine, I would like to receive feedback on whether or not this was the same collection from Romans 15:26; 1 Corinthians 16:3. I do not believe it to be the same… since the latter was for Jerusalem and the previous gift was coming from Jerusalem. However, clarification is always good.”

Women's Role In The Church

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A querist asks, “My question is regarding that of leadership. There are churches that see nothing wrong in women’s role as a leader in the church. For example, women taking on the role of Sunday school teacher, worship leader, minister, etc. I would like to know what the position of the Church Of Christ is on the leadership of women?”

"Forbid Him Not"

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A querist asks, “Can you explain Mark 9:38-39 and Luke 9:49-50? How could someone have performed miracles in Jesus’ name, and not followed Him? What application do these verses have for us today?” In Mark 9:38-40 KJV, the text reads, “And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.

Is Adultery The Same Thing As Fornication?

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A querist asks, “Is adultery the same thing as fornication except one or both parties are married to someone else? If this is true does that mean you cannot get a divorce if your spouse is involved in other types of lewd behavior without full sexual intercourse?”

Looking Beyond Our Bank Accounts

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Brother David Diestelkamp, one of the writers of the online Christian publication, “Think On These Things,” points out in this recent article, that the problem of valuing things from a worldly standard of value, distorts our sense of any God-given intrinsic value.

What About Praying In Behalf Of The Disobedient Dead?

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A querist asks, “It would seem that death is all around us. Someone dies – you know the lifestyle they lived was not good, and you know their feelings about God were not good – does one pray for God’s mercy regarding that person?”

Abraham -- "The Friend Of God"

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In the New Testament, Abraham is described as the father of the faithful (Romans 4:11; Gal. 3:6-7) and “the friend of God” (James 2:23).

Have We Encouraged Someone Today?

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In Deuteronomy 3:23-29, we read that Moses encouraged Joshua as he was about to assume leadership of the nation of Israel. No doubt Joshua was filled with fear and a feeling of inadequacy as he contemplated filling Moses’ shoes. Therefore the Lord told Moses to encourage Joshua (Deuteronomy 3:28).

Was Adam A Gardener?

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A querist asks, “In Genesis 2:15 KJV, the text reads: ‘And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.’ What does the phrase dress it mean? Was Adam a gardener?”

The Bodily Resurrection Of Jesus

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A querist once asked me, “Do you believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus?”

"Lord, Revive Us Again"

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Josiah became a king when he was 8 years old (2 Chronicles 34:1), a seeker at 16 (2 Chronicles 34:3), a reformer at 20 (2 Chronicles 34:3-7), and a humble servant of God at age 26 (2 Chronicles 34:8-33). His dramatic spiritual growth and leadership resulted from listening to God’s Word and then obeying what he heard (2 Chronicles 34:31).

Let's Be Thankful, No Matter What!

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The prophet Habakkuk was awaiting the destruction of his country (Judah) by the ruthless Chaldeans, whose army was called by God to punish His people for their disobedient and evil ways (Habakkuk 1:5-6). Through faith in the Lord he stated:

Because Jesus Lives, We Shall Live!

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Death often steals from us the ones we love, but as followers of Christ — the separation is only temporary. The resurrection of Jesus assures us that just as death could not hold Him (Acts 2:22-24), so too the tomb cannot cling to the children, parents, relatives, and friends who have died before us (cf. John 11:25-44; Romans 8:35-39; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 4:14).

Can A Man Have More Than One Wife?

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A querist asks, “Can a man biblically have more than one wife? The Bible says that a bishop should be the husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6). That means that if he had two wives, he couldn’t be a bishop, but it doesn’t say he cannot have two. It implies that some men had more than one and therefore could not be a bishop.

Let's Be Careful What We Plant

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The story is told of a successful Christian businessman who was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over his business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company to the board room and he told them, “It’s time for me to step down and choose the next CEO, and I have decided to choose one of you.

Confession Of Christ As God's Son -- The Right Answer

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In Matthew 16:13-17, we find Jesus and His disciples in Caesarea Philippi, away from their home territory. It was a place of idolatry and oppression — a threatening place both politically and spiritually. In this environment, Jesus posed two important questions about the perception of His identity.

Let's Daily Express Our Thanks To God!

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Some days, many of us wake up with aching joints and ho-hum spirits, wondering how we can shake off our lethargy and make it through the day.

Let's Be Sincere Followers Of Christ!

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We’ve all met scoffers who thoughtlessly parrot the phrase, “The church is full of hypocrites!” But let’s not be thoughtless in our response and dismiss such pronouncements without taking heed lest they be true.

Let's Get Involved In Doing The Lord's Work!

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As Christians, associating ourselves with a congregation of the Lord’s people is not a difficult task. Unfortunately, some Christians want to be considered a part of the congregation, but they do not desire to be involved in the Lord’s work.

"I Misspoke"?

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From time to time, we hear prominent people say they "misspoke" (here are 9 of them). The question is, did they really misspeak?

When Should My Children Be Baptized?

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A querist asks, “At what point in their life should my children be baptized?”

A Theology Question Relative To God, Christ And Holy Spirit

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A querist asks, “What theology does the Church of Christ consider to be correct when considering God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit (Oneness, Trinitarian, Catholic, Arian, or Unitarian)? Please give any scriptural evidence if possible.”

A Question Regarding Dying And Living

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A querist asks, “I was not interested in the Bible until I started to read some of its passages and found some of them very interesting. I was wondering, does one of the passages say something like if you’re dying, love is what can keep you living?”

The Firmament And Heaven -- A Question

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A querist asks , “If the firmament is the atmosphere and Heaven is the firmament, does that mean Heaven is all around us?

The Numbering Of Israel -- By God Or By Satan?

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A querist asks, “I have an atheist friend and I was trying to show him that the Bible was God’s Word. I told him because it is free of errors and written by so many different people over a thousand years it HAS to be from God. He asked me who tempted David to take a census in the Old Testament. I looked it up in the Bible and told him Satan tempted him according to 1 Chronicles 21:1.

Who Are The "Seven Shepherds And Eight Principal Men" In Micah 5:5?

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A querist writes and asks, “In Micah 5:5, the prophet refers to ‘this One shall be peace….’ I know from my marginal references, that this individual must refer to Christ (Psalm 72:7; Isaiah 9:6). My question is, Who are the ‘seven shepherds, and eight principal men’ that the prophet is referring to in the latter part of the verse?”

So-Called "Experts" And Reality

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After reading this American Thinker article regarding "political experts" — is that more times than not, these so-called "experts" are not in touch with either reality or human nature (can we accurately predict what human beings will or will not do?). Mostly it's just one individual's opinion among thousands of opinions, any of which could be correct, given enough time.

God -- Even In The Eye Of The Hurricane

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In the last few years, we’ve seen major storms in the southeastern United States, throughout the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Caribbean. Hurricane after hurricane has torn through the region, leaving dozens of people dead and thousands homeless. Catastrophes like these remind us of our frailty and humanity.

Let's Not Have The Nature Of A Mule!

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The story is told of two farmers who were riding home in a wagon one day. The wagon was being drawn by a mule and the mule was notorious for being stubborn and balking. Once he balked, it took several hours of pulling, tugging and beating to convince him to be on his way – sometimes even building a fire under him didn’t help.

Let's Check Out Our Blind Spots!

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While taking driver’s education in high school, I had a driving instructor who gave me some sound advice. “You think by looking in the rear view mirror you know what is on your left side, but your vision is limited,” he said. “Always look over your shoulder before changing lanes. There may be another car in your blind spot.

There's A Solution To Hatred

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In all of my 70 plus years on earth, I have never seen the amount of hatred spewing out from the minds and mouths of men toward their fellow man as I have seen in the past year. We see hatred in the fabric of our whole society, through social media, in the political arena, and in our daily interaction with others, i.e., hatred of police and other authority figures (cf. 2 Peter 2:9-15; Jude 1:7-10 NLT).

We Won't Be Late For Our Last Appointment

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We sometimes neglect to notice all the power of the passage found in Hebrews 9:27. The emphasis is not on the fact that we will die once. The emphasis is upon the fact that death is our last appointmentand we won’t be late for it! In this life, all of us make various appointments — and some are made for us.

Our World Is Watching!

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As disciples of Christ, we are living observed lives. The people we come in contact with each day are watching us (and very closely!). Our concern for others, especially those individuals the world declares the least important among us, is an expression of the compassion Christ displayed to the hurting and outcast of His generation (Matthew 14:14; Matthew 20:30-34; Mark 10:46-52).

Today Is Planting Time

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Somewhere in our world at this very moment, a farmer is dropping seeds into the ground. Soon those seeds will begin to change the surrounding soil in which they were planted. That carefully prepared soil that appears barren today, will soon become a field ready for harvest.

Calling Sin By Any Other Name

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In Genesis 39:7 and Genesis 39:10, we find Joseph in a difficult position of being seduced by Potiphar’s wife. How tantalizing this woman’s offers must have been to a young man like Joseph. But because of his reverence and faithfulness to God, Joseph flatly resisted her advances (Genesis 39:8-9). His moral convictions obviously stemmed from his clear view of sin, because he responded to her by saying, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9).

Are We Giving Our Children The Leftovers?

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There’s a definite connection between the epidemic of violence we’ve seen among children in recent years and the lack of conscientious parents. Many children are left home alone with unsupervised television after school, on holidays, and during summer months.

Excuses Will Lead To Exclusion

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In Luke 14:1, we find Jesus having a meal in the house of one of the chief Pharisees. One of the invited guests who was eating with Him exclaimed: “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God” (Luke 14:15).

Drink Responsibly?

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A few years ago, I wrote this article about the inability of an individual to "drink responsibly." The statistics referred to in the article are self-explanatory and very eye-opening, just as these CDC stats are. From the CDC stats article, this statement is notable: "Dietary Guidelines do not recommend that individuals who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason."

Baptism And Works

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In debating with denominational preachers concerning the necessity of baptism for the remission of sins, Ephesians 2:8-9 is always referred to. One argument that is made in an attempt to deny the essential nature of baptism for salvation is to say that baptism is a human work, and salvation is not of works. In addition to Ephesians 2:9, Romans 4:4-5 is frequently quoted.

God's Faithfulness In Our Lives

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After turning 72 years of age a few months ago, this writer is thankful for life’s lessons, joys, blessings (and yes, even disappointments) found in living those 70 plus years. Even though there have been some difficult times, I have learned that the lessons of the past, have brought a change in how I view the present.

The Bible And Helpful Bible Study Tools

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As John was bringing his gospel to a close, he explained his purpose for writing in John 20:30-31: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

Getting Out Of Our Front Yard

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If a farmer sows most of his seed crop in his front yard, he can only expect a limited harvest. The same holds true with churches. Even when capable teachers are faithfully proclaiming the pure word of God, the “harvest” will necessarily be limited to those in attendance.

Examining The Majesty Of God's Creation

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Have our eyes ever looked up into the heavens at night and our breath be taken away because of the majesty we see in God’s creation?

What Constitutes Being "Born Again"?

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While on earth, Jesus taught many spiritual lessons using figures of speech. For example, He spoke of entering the kingdom of God under the figure of a birth while conversing with Nicodemus (John 3:1-8). This figure must be correctly interpreted in the light of literal statements made about the same thing.