The Gospel Observer (December 2, 2018)

“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).
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Contents:

1) I Am Bill’s Ears (Mark Roberts)
2) An Ancient Description of Christians (Bill Crews)
3) News & Notes
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I Am Bill’s Ears
Mark Roberts

Some people say we’re shaped kind of funny.  Women poke holes in us and hang all kinds of ornaments off our lobes. If someone is mad they may threaten to “box” us.  A famous orator once asked Romans to lend theirs to him.  What am I?  I am the ear.  Specifically, since there are two of me, I am Bill’s ears.

To start with, you should know that we are a marvel of design and engineering.  The outer part of the ear — what you see and what women pierce for earrings — gathers sound waves in. Inside the inner ear the three tiniest bones in the human body and some extremely small hairs on specialized organs catch the sound vibrations and create nerve signals that the brain can understand as sound. It is all very complex but it is wonderfully efficient and works amazingly well. I can hear a range of sounds and volumes that is simply incredible — everything from the high pitched hum of a mosquito to the low roar of a waterfall.  Sometimes I hear someone talking about how humans evolved from slime and it makes me want to laugh.  How could anything as complicated as ears just happen by accident?

Bill doesn’t really think much about us but without us his world would be awfully quiet.  Sound adds so much to our lives.  Bill loves to hear his kids say “You’re the best, dad!”  Great music, like the wonderful hymns Mouth sings at church, move Bill’s Heart to worship God.  Even non-sacred music is enjoyable to listen to and can help Bill feel better when he is down.  But it isn’t all just fun and games.  Many times a sound is the first clue that danger is coming, like when Bill didn’t see that car that he was about to run into.  When they honked we got Bill’s attention in a hurry and avoided a bad accident! Perhaps the best report we Ears can make is when we report no sound at all.  Quiet, stillness, and no noise all help Bill be still so he can meditate effectively on God and His Word.

Of course, our job isn’t just gathering sounds.  The reason God gave Bill ears is so that he can hear and then act upon the truth.  Jesus said, “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matthew 7:26).  Proverbs 5:1 says, “My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding.”  The Hebrew writer adds, “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away” (Hebrews 2:1). James warns, “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).  These passages discuss the obligation of Bill to act on what we hear and send over to Mind.  If Bill doesn’t do anything with the information we give him then we might as well have never heard it at all.

That is also why it is so important that Bill be careful what he uses us to listen to. “And Jesus was saying to them, ‘Take care what you listen to’” (Mark 4:24).  False teachers can make error sound like truth (see Jer. 12:6).  Honestly, I can’t tell the difference at all.  I just send it over to Mind and he has to sort it all out.  It would make life a lot easier for Mind if Bill just didn’t get me around that kind of teaching in the first place, wouldn’t it?  However, it’s not just false doctrine that I can get involved with.  All kinds of evil and sin begins in the ear.  I can hear gossip and rumors about someone that will change how Bill acts toward that person permanently. Too often today I hear profanity, vulgarity and curse words that hurt me badly.  Sometimes what I hear seems to go right over to Tongue because the next thing you know he is saying those words too!  Sadly, many a proposition to sin begins with a whisper in the ear.  “An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue” (Proverbs 17:4).  Solomon says his words are designed to “deliver you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words” (Prov. 2:16).  A lot of adultery and immorality can be traced over to Eyes; but though I don’t like to admit it, us Ears have a lot to do with it too.

If Conscience gets turned off, and Bill keeps me listening to sinful ideas and ways, then it becomes harder to hear God’s word.  As a result our walk with God is ruined.  “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination” (Proverbs 28:9). There is just an incredibly strong connection between me and Heart and so what I hear can determine Bill’s way, for good or evil.  “Each one follows the dictates of his own evil heart, so that no one listens to Me” (Jeremiah 16:12).

The best thing for me to be hearing is God’s word. Beyond that, however, there are many other good things for me to listen to.  Solomon also notes, “The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise” (Proverbs 15:31).  It hurts a little when someone rebukes Bill, but in the long run he’s glad I heard it so he could correct his life.  It is also very good to hear words of encouragement and acceptance.  Barnabas was always doing that, and I am sure the ears of everyone else around him perked up and listened to what he had to say because it feels so good to be exhorted and encouraged in the service of the Lord (Acts 11:23).  Ultimately I hope Bill someday hears Jesus say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”  This old body will be changed then (see 1 Cor. 15:51-ff), and I guess that means I will be changed too. But I know Bill wants to hear Jesus say those wonderful words; and he wants to hear the angelic choruses ringing out hymns of victory and praise, and he wants to hear his voice added to theirs.  That will be something to hear, won’t it?

I don’t mean to sound stuck on myself.  After all, ears are just a part of the body that the Lord has made (Prov. 20:12; 1 Cor. 12:16).  Yet a look at the role I play in Bill’s life does point out how much I can do for Bill.  Hearing and listening are vitally important, especially in following and serving the Lord.  Maybe that’s why Jesus said, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:23).  Bill has me and we are trying hard to listen to the Savior. How about your ears?  What are they hearing?

— Via The Auburn Beacon, December 19, 2010
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Acts14_22

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An Ancient Description of Christians
Bill Crews

The following quotation is from a letter written by a Christian who lived sometime in the second or third centuries:

“For Christians are not distinguished from the rest of mankind either in locality or in speech or in customs.  For they dwell not somewhere in cities of their own, neither do they use some different language, nor practice an extraordinary kind of life.  Nor again do they possess any invention discovered by any intelligence or study of ingenious men, nor are they masters of any human dogma as some are.  But while they dwell in cities of Greeks and barbarians as the lot of each is cast, and follow native customs in dress and food  and the other arrangements of life, yet the constitution of their own  citizenship, which they set forth, is marvelous, and confessedly contradicts expectation.  They dwell in their own countries, but only as sojourners; they bear their share in all things as citizens, and they endure all hardships as strangers.  Every foreign country is a fatherland to them, and every fatherland is foreign.  They marry like all other men and beget children;  but they do not cast away their offspring. They have their meals in common, but not their wives.  They find themselves in the flesh, and yet live not after the flesh.  Their existence is on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven.  They obey the established laws, and they surpass the laws in their own lives.  They love all men, and they are persecuted by all.  They are ignored, and yet they are condemned.  They are put to death, and yet they are endued with life.  They are in beggary, and yet they make many rich.  They are in want of all things, and yet they abound in all things.  They are dishonored, and yet they are glorified in their dishonor.  They are evil spoken of, and yet they are vindicated.  They are reviled, and they bless; they are insulted, and they respect.  Doing good they are punished as evil-doers; being punished they rejoice, as if they were thereby quickened to  life.  War is waged against them as aliens by the Jews, and persecution is carried on against them by the Greeks, and  yet those that hate them cannot tell the reason for their hostility.”

This quotation is taken from “The Epistle to Diognetus,” paragraph 5.   It is accepted as authentic, and its author is classified as a Christian.  It is obvious that it was not easy to be a Christian in his day.  Count your blessings, and daily ask yourself if you are really being a Christian.

— Via The Beacon, May 22, 2016
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News & Notes

Billy Lowe (Barbara Kirkland’s father) passed away November 27.  We extend our condolences to all his family, relatives, and friends.

Let us also be keeping the following in our prayers:

Ben Lingenfelter, the 16-year old son of Nathan and Kellie,  will be having open heart surgery December 5.  UPDATE: Ben had the surgery and all went well.

Marilyn Roberts has been diagnosed with cancer of the stomach, which she will be having surgery for.

Pat Joyner will be seeing her doctor on the 3rd and the 6th of December in preparation for her heart valve replacements.

Shirley Davis was readmitted to the hospital November 27, due to an infection on her recent knee replacement.  The doctor told her that it was not as serious as he initially thought it would be.  For it was all on the surface.  She will be coming home today.

A.J. Joyner seems to have a chronic sinus infection and now also an inner ear infection.

Ruby Olson (Marie Pennock’s sister) is now back home and doing fine.

Let us also continue to remember in prayer: Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Melotine Davis, Bennie & Deborah Medlock, Mary Vandevander, Judy Daugherty, Danny Hutcheson, Roger Montgomery; Mary Aldrich, Rick Cuthbertson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Michelle Rittenhouse, and Tommy Lin
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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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
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; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

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The Gospel Observer (November 25, 2018)

“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).
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Contents:

1) When A Person Is Baptized (Bill Crews)
2) The Forgotten Rule (David Sproule)
3) Our Way Day by Day (Dan Shipley)
4) News & Notes
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Mark16_16

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When A Person Is Baptized
Bill Crews

When a person is baptized as God requires, or as the Bible teaches:

1. He has already heard the gospel (good news) of Christ, so he has been taught. Mark 16:15-16; Acts 18:8.  In the New Testament every instance of baptism is preceded by teaching.

2. He has already believed that gospel, thus he has already believed with all of his heart that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Mark 16:15-16; Acts 15:7; 18:8; 8:35-38

3. He has already repented of his sins against God, for this repentance is both essential and precedes baptism. Acts 2:37-38; 3:19; 17:30

4. He has already confessed who Jesus is, the Christ, the Son of God, our Lord; and this confession precedes baptism. Acts 8:35-38; Romans 10:9-10

5. He receives salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21), remission of sins (Acts 2:38). He has his sins washed away by the blood of Christ (Acts 22:16; Revelation 1:5; 7:14). He enters Christ (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27) and the spiritual body of Christ, the church (1 Corinthians 12:13). He dies to sin (Romans 6:1-4). He becomes a disciple of Christ (Matthew 28: 19; Acts 14:21). He becomes a child of God (Galatians 3:26-27). He enters the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of Christ (John 3:3, 5; Colossians 1:13).

6. He has obeyed “from the heart” that “form of teaching (or doctrine)” unto which he was delivered (Romans 6:17-18). Just as Christ for our salvation experienced a death, burial and resurrection, so he has had a similar experience in dying to sin, being buried with Christ in baptism, and being raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4). Thus, it was the decision and desire of that person, done because he wanted to, done not to please any man, but God himself (Galatians 1:10).

7. It should be a happy, joyous occasion (Acts 8:38). “’Tis done this great transaction’s done; I am my Lord’s, and He is mine.” “Happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away.” (From the song, “O Happy Day.”)

8. He is now ready to change his life because he has become a new creature, old things have passed away, and all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:7; Colossians 3:1-17

9. He has a new master, Christ; self has been dethroned, and Christ has been enthroned in that person’s heart and life; his life is now committed to doing the will of Christ in all things (Galatians 2:20; Matthew 16:24). He is now the Lord’s bondservant (Romans 6:16-18).

10. He has begun a journey, embarked upon a voyage, entered a race, enlisted for life in an active army (2 Timothy 4:7; Hebrews 12:1; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 2:3-4).

Please take time to read these verses and to digest these thoughts.

— Via The Roanridge Reader, Volume 33, Issue 45, Page 03.
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Matthew7_12

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The Forgotten Rule
David Sproule

It used to be one of the most recognized rules in our society. People knew it. People could quote it. And people even practiced it. (At least, many did.)

The paraphrased version says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Golden Rule. Unfortunately, the gold in that rule seems to have become tarnished in recent years in our nation. The very thought of “thinking about what someone else might need” or “thinking about what might be best for another person” is COMPLETELY foreign to many in our land today. All that many folks can seem to think about is SELF and what will satisfy SELF.

Which rule do you live by? Jesus’ “rule”: “Do unto OTHERS” (Matt. 7:12)? Or man’s rule: “Do unto SELF”? One rule will create harmony and peace in our homes and in our country. The other rule will destroy harmony and peace in our homes and in our country. It takes genuine effort, but may God help us to “esteem others better than” ourselves (Phil. 2:3).

— Via the Weekly Bulletin of the church of Christ in Santa Clara, California, September 30, 2018
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Col3_9-10

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Our Way Day by Day
Dan Shipley

“Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). The “outward man” is simply the house of the inward man. Day by day that house is “decaying” and wasting away. Who, past forty, needs reminding? Nevertheless, with relentless rapping on the door of our minds come the messengers of aging; the hoary head, the stooped shoulders, the wrinkled skin, the dimmed vision, and all the other infirmities that won’t let us forget what Paul says. All men know that much. But God’s people know something else.

They know that just as surely as the outward man is decaying, the inward man is being renewed day by day. They know that for the faithful Christian, growing older means growing better. He is growing better because he is growing in the knowledge of God’s word. As the newborn babe, he continually longs for the “spiritual milk which is without guile” (1 Pet. 2:2). As he grows in knowledge of the word, he also grows in the faith that is produced by the word (Rom. 10:17). As he grows in knowledge and faith, he also grows in usefulness to the cause of Christ. He is renewed in his determination to live closer to the Lord, to do what is right and oppose all wrong. In his spiritual growth, the aging Christian has learned that death is not the end, but merely a transition to something very far better. The happy anticipation of being in the Father’s house makes leaving this worn-out tabernacle a welcomed blessing!

That’s why the apostle Paul saw death as gain. But death is gain only when living is for the Lord. Every living man knows that he will keep his appointment with death (Heb. 9:27). He should know that living for the Lord is living at its best because it is living that prepares for death. Though the outward man is perishing and bound for the dust, we nourish and cherish him; we spare no expense to care for him and tend to his needs. Will we neglect the needs of the inward man that we know will survive the grave? With every tick of the clock and every beat of the heart we are getting closer to the end of this life.

The question is, are we getting closer to heaven?

— Via The Auburn Beacon
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“O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting” (1 Chronicles 16: 34, NASB).
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

We extend our condolences to Bryan and Hannah Greer who recently lost one of their triplets, Amelia Kaye, who was born prematurely.  She was the smallest of the three, and with the biggest being only 1.5 pounds.  The surviving babies were transported on the 22nd for heart surgery, which they had.  They can use our prayers as they continue to overcome health issues and heal — and prayers for Bryan and Hannah, too.

Shirley Davis is now back home from the Baptist Village nursing home.  She actually returned a day or two early on November 21.  In a recent visit to see her doctor, he had been pleased with how things are progressing, following her knee replacement surgery.  Shirley will be continuing her physical therapy at home, using the machine she has been equipped with.

Pat Joyner will be seeing her doctor on the 3rd and the 6th of December in preparation for her heart valve replacements.

A.J. Joyner (Pat’s husband) has long had a sinus infection that, so far, he has not been able to eliminate.  Lately, he has also been having an inner ear infection that has been affecting his balance.

Ruby Olson (Marie Pennock’s sister) had been in the hospital, due to a bowel problem.  UPDATE: She is now back home and doing fine.

Jim Lively often goes through periods in the day of not feeling well and sometimes has trouble being on his feet.

Bennie Medlock has been having much back trouble lately and has not been able to drive for the last several months.

Melotine Davis has not been feeling well.

Let us also continue to remember in prayer Joyce Rittenhouse (Bell’s palsy), Deborah Medlock (has long had different pains), Mary Vandevander (in the nursing home), Judy Daugherty (healing from surgery), Danny Hutcheson (paralysis and loss of speech); Roger Montgomery; Mary Aldrich (undergoing rehab); Rick Cuthbertson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Tommy Lindsey, Misty Thornton, and Michelle Rittenhouse   
——————–

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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
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; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (November 18, 2018)

Contents:

1) Being Thankful —  A Way of Life (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
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psalm 107_1

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Being Thankful — A Way of Life
Tom Edwards

Thanksgiving Day is an enjoyable time for many people – and, perhaps, for some it is their most favorite time of the entire year in getting together with family and friends; enjoying good food; and, for probably millions, watching an afternoon football game — which is a tradition that even began way before the age of television.  For soon after football was invented, it was played on Thanksgiving Day in 1876 when more people were off from work and would be able to watch it.  Many of us are glad and thankful for this national holiday.

And, as I’m sure you know, thankful feelings are good to have!  They are uplifting!  Isn’t it, therefore, great to know that God desires for all to enter into a relationship with Him, in which these feelings of gratitude may always be a part of our lives.  So not merely for just a day or two, or just for those “special occasions,” but a thankfulness that continues with us throughout the entire year, as well as throughout all the years to come – and then into eternity itself with God forevermore!

Notice, for instance, Colossians 3:15: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”

In considering the above instruction, what “day” or “days” are we supposed to do these things?  I think you know the answer.

One of the ways we can express that thankfulness is in what Paul goes on to say in the very next verse:

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (v. 16).

In doing so, we are not only expressing our thanks unto the Lord, but also feeling  good in our obedience to Him and knowing that the singing of these spiritual songs will also help build one another up in the faith and instill encouragement for persevering in Christ toward that ultimate goal of eternal life in heaven.

For Paul then shows in the following verse that our thanks to God is to be offered through Jesus Christ: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (v. 17).

This, therefore, is how God wants us to do it – to give thanks through His Son Jesus!   For we know it is because of Him that we who are Christians have been enabled to “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace” (Heb. 4:14-16).  For “we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:19-23).  Of all things to be thankful for, what God did for us to make our salvation possible should be at the top of our list!

The Bible specifies some of the things that God has done for each one of us – whether we are Christians or not:  For “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45).

A reason Jesus gives for why His followers should love even their enemies is because God Himself “is kind to ungrateful and evil men” (Luke 6:35).  And that kindness we certainly see in the giving of His Son Jesus to die for every sinner (cf. Rom. 5:6-10).  No wonder Paul had also said three chapters earlier (Rom. 2:4), “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”

In addition, when at Lystra, Paul had taught that God is the one “WHO MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM” (Acts 14:15). And that “He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (v. 17).

What do we have that God has not made possible?  One might say that “God did not make my computer, nor my refrigerator, nor my car, nor anything else that I own.”  But did not God have some involvement in all of that?  Did not He provide man with the natural resources to make these things?  What if He took all that away?  And did He not also give man a mind that was able to acquire the know-how of designing and developing these products?  What if God took away that ability?  And did not the Lord give us the ability to work, that we could earn a living and be able to buy the things we need?  We could also mention other necessities that God has provided that make our life possible.  For how long could we exist without the food the Lord has supplied our planet with?  Or how long could we exist without water?  Or without the air?  Or without the sun? Or without numerous other things that are all essential for our very existence – and, therefore, have been brought about through the foresight, wisdom, and concern of God for His creation!

James, the Lord’s half-brother, declares that “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).

Every good thing we have, God has made possible.  We should think of that when we sing the song, “Count Your Blessings.”  For we all – regardless of who we are – have had many blessings in our lives (and much more than we can even now remember).

So we should be able to see that God truly is to be thanked  for every blessing that we have — and whether it be of a physical or a spiritual nature.  And is this not also why we should ALWAYS be a thankful people every day?   For being thankful is part of the way of life for the child of God, and it also helps us toward heading in the right direction.  For let us not forget that in that long list of  specific and abominable sins in Romans 1:21-32, Paul begins by showing what it was that first led these people off course and away from God, and then to become even more and more corrupt.  It started with the fact that “even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (v. 21).

May that never be true of us.  Let us, therefore, continue in our study of God’s word, of communing with God in prayer, in assembling with the brethren, in abiding in our Lord by striving daily to keep His word.  For this will also help us in better developing that attitude of thanksgiving.   For the more we know of God and live for Him, the more we can be thankful.

May it be so of each of us that we can do as David writes in the short psalm, Psalm 100:

“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His court with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.”

— All Scripture from the NASB.
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Bryan and Hannah Greer.  Hannah recently gave birth to three premature babies with the biggest one being only 1.5 pounds.  The smallest of the three has passed away, and the other two are being transported today (11/22) for heart surgery.

Shirley Davis
will be at the Baptist Village nursing home four more days for her physical therapy, which is due to her recent knee replacement.  They are giving her a good workout!  (Update: Shirley came home a day early — 11/21.  She will continue with physical therapy at home.  The new knee has eliminated the previous pain she had in her knee, but there is now pain all around it simply from the exercise she has been having to do with her leg.)

Pat Joyner will be seeing a doctor on the 3rd and the 6th of December in preparation for a heart valve replacement.

A.J. Joyner has long had a sinus infection, which he has not yet been able to find a cure for.  Lately, he has also been having an inner ear infection that has been affecting his balance.

Ruby Olson (Marie Pennock’s sister) has been in the hospital, due to a bowel problem.

Jim Lively often goes through periods in the day of not feeling well and sometimes has trouble being on his feet.

Bennie Medlock has been having much back trouble lately and hasn’t been able to drive for the last several months.

Melotine Davis has not been feeling well.

Let us also continue to remember in prayer Joyce Rittenhouse (Bell’s palsy), Deborah Medlock (has long had different pains), Mary Vandevander (in the nursing home), Judy Daugherty, Danny Hutcheson (paralysis and loss of speech); Roger Montgomery; Mary Aldrich (undergoing rehab); Rick Cuthbertson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Tommy Lindsey, Misty Thornton, and Michelle Rittenhouse
——————–

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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
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; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible classes)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (November 11, 2018)

“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).
——————-

Contents:

1) Created in God’s Image (Doy Moyer)
2) “Imitation Love” (Wayne Goff)
3) News & Notes
——————–

Gen1_27

-1-

Created in God’s Image
Doy Moyer

Genesis is a battleground for worldviews. Humanists know that to undermine the teachings and concepts of Genesis will ultimately undermine Christianity. They know that biblical ideas are contrary to the evolutionary concepts to which they so dearly cling. Do Christians understand the importance of Genesis so well? Genesis matters because it is the foundation for understanding our relationship to God. Genesis teaches us who God is and who we are in relationship to Him. If we will have a proper view of who we are, then we must start with God.

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

Trying to understand who we are without God will never work. This is one of the fundamental failures of naturalism. Humanists seek to understand man first, then speculate how man invented God. The biblical perspective is very different. Not only does God come first, but mankind is made in God’s image (1:26-27). Identity, purpose, and destiny can only be understood within these perimeters: “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Male and female are made in God’s image. The “image of God” is likely well beyond what we fully grasp. We are complicated creatures. We struggle to understand. How much more do we struggle to understand the infinite God? Since God is able to do far abundantly beyond anything we can ask or think (Eph 3:20), we would do well to maintain some humility. Though far from exhaustive, I would suggest that being made in God’s image includes:

Reason. God made us with the ability to think and reason. The idea of God communicating with mankind in any way shows God’s expectation of reason. We have minds capable of reflecting, thinking, and deciding. We are made to think, and this ability reflects the image of God.

Morality. We are moral creatures, but why? Darwinists assume that what we call moral behavior evolved just like everything else, but brute materialism does not have the ability to explain why we should or should not do anything good or bad. The biblical worldview understands that morality is tied to the Creator. God is, by nature, moral. “There is only One who is good.” God doesn’t just do or command good, He is good. He made humans moral creatures with the ability to choose right or wrong. This is not something applied to the animal world. Dogs don’t contemplate the moral ramifications of their actions. We don’t call a tiger immoral for killing another tiger. Only humans have this moral nature, and this directly connects us to God’s image.

Love. God is love (1 John 4:16). The nature of love is that it seeks a loving response. God made humans with the capacity to love. This comes with a risk, for if we can choose to love, then we are able to choose not to love. Choosing not to love will have great consequence. Love, then, is tied to free will, for love cannot be forced. If loving God is the greatest commandment, then it must be chosen. Our capacity to love, together with our moral nature and ability to reason, are powerful reflections of being made in God’s image.

Dominion. In the context of Genesis 1 is the idea of dominion. Mankind was made to rule over all other created things. This concept of kingship stems from God Himself, who is the ultimate Ruler. Being made in God’s image means responsible rule and leadership. Humans were made as the crowning glory of God’s creation, and this calls upon us to act appropriately. This is not for our own selfish ambition or pride. Rather, we are to submit ourselves to God and His glory, just as Jesus, our King, acted.

Why Sin Is A Problem

Sin is a problem precisely because we are made in God’s image. Animals have no moral dilemma or guilt. We, on the other hand, are guilty of sin because we are reasoning, moral creatures who can choose to love or not love God. If love means anything, then there will be consequences for not loving Him.

Law is a reflection of God’s character and nature. Sin is a transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4), and a falling short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23). Sin violates the glory and nature of God. When we sin against God, we also sin against ourselves, acting contrary to the image in which we have been made. The consequences of sin should drive this point home.

Being made in God’s image, we were created to serve Him and not ourselves. Let us remember that proper reason, pure morality, undefiled love, and responsible dominion are what God expects of us. We, of all creation, are especially blessed to be created in God’s image. Now, we continue striving to be conformed to the image of His Son. Respecting who we are will necessarily involve respecting the One who made us this way.

— Via bulletin articles of the Vestavia church of Christ, May 27, 2018
——————–

Titus1_16

-2-

“Imitation Love”
Wayne Goff

There is a hit song produced by Anita Bryant and later by Marie Osmond entitled “Paper Roses.” I didn’t much care for the song myself, but the lyrics are haunting. It speaks of being deceived by what was perceived to be love, but which was not. As the song states:

“So take away the flowers that you gave me,
And send the kind that you remind me of.
Paper roses, paper roses,
Oh how real those roses seem to me,
But they’re only imitation,
Like your imitation love for me.”

One can imagine from these words the pain inflicted on one thought to be loved but who was only deceived into thinking that they really were loved. For reasons unknown to me, that song has been going through my head recently. And it made me think of those disciples of the Lord who profess love for God but who really only have “imitation love” for Him.

Paul warned Titus of these people and wrote: ”They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work,” Titus 1:16. True love is shown by one’s actions or works. There were those who professed a love for Christ in word but who did not perfect that love by actions. The lesson for us is obvious. We must not only profess our love for God, for Christ, and for His church in the words of our songs, sermons, and classes, but also in our very lives.

* Deny ungodliness & worldly lusts, Titus 2:12
* Live soberly, righteously, godly, Titus 2:12
* Keep Christ’s Word and perfect love, 1 Jn. 2:5
* Love your brother, 1 Jn. 2:10; 3:10-11, 14
* Live sacrificially, 1 Jn. 3:16-17
* Love God and keep His commandments, 1 Jn. 5:2-3

If anyone professes a love for God, and yet denies Him by their sinful actions, then they do not truly love God, but are only offering an “imitation love.” Dear reader, it is my hope that you have a true love for God and that this love is expressed in every action of your life. “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

— via articles of the Roanridge church of Christ, November 4, 2018
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Shirley Davis will be at Baptist Village twelve more days for her physical therapy.  She is in good spirits.

Jim Lively has not been feeling well and is having trouble being on his feet.

Bennie Medlock has been having much back trouble lately and hasn’t been able to drive for the last several months.

Melotine Davis has not been feeling well.

Let us also continue to remember in prayer Pat Joyner (who is in need of two heart valve replacements and has other physical problems), A.J. Joyner (health issues), Joyce Rittenhouse (Bell’s palsy), Deborah Medlock (has long had different pains), Mary Vandevander (in the nursing home), Danny Hutcheson (almost total paralysis and loss of speech); Roger Montgomery (complications following liver and kidney transplants); Mary Aldrich (undergoing rehab); Rick Cuthbertson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Tommy Lindsey, Misty Thornton, and Michelle Rittenhouse.
——————–

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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
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; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (November 4, 2018)

“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).
——————–

Contents:

1) Jesus and Isaac: God is For Us (Doy Moyer)
2) What’s the Use? Why Bother? (Greg Gwin)
3) News & Notes
——————–

rom8_31-32

-1-

Jesus and Isaac: God is For Us
Doy Moyer

The story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac (Genesis 22), the son of the promise, has long been seen as a prefiguring of God sacrificing Jesus, His unique Son. There are similarities often enumerated: the uniqueness of the son, the seed of Abraham, the submission of the son to the father, the willingness to sacrifice, the belief in resurrection, the son carrying the wood on which he would be sacrificed, etc. While some comparisons are legitimate, others may be a bit forced if not careful. Some are natural lessons found in many events. There are obvious limitations in the comparisons. For example, whereas Isaac did not know he was supposed to be the sacrifice, Jesus knew exactly why He came in the flesh, what was going to happen, and why it would happen (cf. Matt 16:21).

In counting up the similarities between Isaac and Jesus, we can miss another significant point of the story. Recall what happened when Isaac asked his father where the lamb for sacrifice was: “Abraham said, ‘God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son’” (vv. 7-8). … Abraham’s faith was full on display here, and God did provide an initial answer for him: “And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided’” (vv. 13-14). It’s about God providing.

If we are to make sense out of the comparisons, then we also need to see this one: in this story there is a sense in which we are Isaac under the knife of death, and Jesus is the lamb prefigured by the ram. God would indeed provide a sacrifice for us. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” (John 1:29)

Of course, analogies should not be taken further than intended and I am in no way trying to come up with a one-to-one comparison of events. However, we do know that Jesus is the lamb of God, provided by our Creator in order to bring about forgiveness and reconciliation.  We do know that Abraham’s faith drove his actions, and that he was fully convinced that God would raise Isaac from the dead if indeed he were put to death (Heb 11:17-18). That kind of faith is what God calls on us to imitate. By following in the footsteps of Abraham, we are trusting in the promise of God, which rests on His grace, to bring us the hope of future resurrection (see Romans 4).

There is another contrast to be made. In the great passage of Romans 8, Christians are given the promise of God that He will help them to the end. No matter what obstacles may be in the way, no matter what the world may do, no matter how much adversity is there, God’s love has forever been demonstrated in the cross. Notice, in particular, this amazing passage: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (vv. 31-32)

Think again about the Isaac account. “He who did not spare his own Son” contrasts with the fact that Isaac was spared. Even more, we are spared. The faith demonstrated by Abraham, knowing that God would provide the lamb for sacrifice, is finally fulfilled in the Son of God, who was not spared for the sake of all humanity. Without the sacrifice of Jesus, we would be forever without the hope of life. Were Jesus spared, we could not be.

If God is willing to go to this length (even extreme) to save us, why would we ever doubt His desire and ability to help us achieve the purpose for which He first made us, then remade us in Christ after sin had devastated us? Remember that He did this, not after we became good (which could not just happen), but even while we were ungodly sinners and enemies who were hostile to Him (Rom 5:6-11).

It may well be, then, that one of the greatest lessons to learn from comparing Isaac with Jesus is not so much in the similarities of the events, but in the great contrast: “He who did not spare His own Son…”

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Pet 2:24-25).

If God did all of this for us, why would we ever doubt His desire to help us through the process to achieve the end goal of glorification? Be comforted by the fact that God is for us.

— Via bulletin articles of the Vestavia church of Christ,  October 21, 2018
——————–

1cor15_58

-2-

What’s The Use? Why Bother?
Greg Gwin

Do you ever feel like the things that you do don’t amount to much? Do you think that you aren’t making much difference in this world? Do you get discouraged and wonder, “What’s the use?”

A familiar incident from the life of Christ might help. John records the account of Jesus cleansing the temple of the moneychangers in John chapter 2. This was, obviously, very early in the “public ministry” of Jesus. Matthew, Mark and Luke all tell about Jesus cleansing the temple in the last chapters of their gospels — just before Jesus was crucified. Is there a contradiction here? No, it seems clear that Jesus did this twice.

Armed with this understanding, we might ask, “What’s the use?” He cleansed the temple once, and the moneychangers just came right back. We might be tempted to think, “Why bother?”

The first answer to this question is: you do what’s right because it IS right! No matter how little the result you might see from your effort, you must keep on doing what is right. Jesus understood this, and so must we.

Also, we notice that this work of cleansing the temple did have a positive influence — if not on the moneychangers, at least on the disciples of Jesus. “…his disciples remembered that it was written, “the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (Jn 2:17). They were there. They saw this and were impressed by it. When we stand up for what it right, others will see it, and our example will have a positive effect on some.

Finally, we challenge the whole notion that doing right “doesn’t do any good.” In the case of Jesus cleansing the temple, it did good in the near term. The temple was free, at least for a time, of the corrupt moneychangers. Yes, it had to be done again later. But for that moment it helped. When we do good, it helps. And we should never “be weary in well doing” (Gal. 6:9), but rather be “steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).

— Via The Beacon, September 23, 2018
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Shirley Davis’ knee replacement surgery went well, and she is feeling better. On Friday she was transferred to the Baptist Village nursing home, where she will be undergoing physical therapy for 21 days.

Rick Cuthbertson is feeling better. Some x-rays and a scan, however, might be included in his upcoming doctor’s appointment.

Judy Daugherty (Jim Lively’s sister)  has started taking a few steps. So she is doing somewhat better.

For the first time since his surgery, Jim Lively is now experiencing some swelling along with his other health issues.

Melotine Davis has not been feeling well lately.

Felicia Mackey (Cheryl Corbitt’s daughter) is now doing much better, following her recent surgery, and resumed her job last Monday; but she is not to overdo it for a while.

I (Tom Edwards) am doing well and feeling fine, following the prostate surgery a couple weeks ago, and will be able to resume driving tomorrow, though I’m still  not to overdo it for the time being.

Let us also continue to remember in prayer  Joyce Rittenhouse (Bell’s palsy), Deborah Medlock (recent surgery), Bennie Medlock (aortic aneurysm), Pat Joyner (has need of two heart valve replacements), A.J. Joyner (health problem), Mary Vandevander (in nursing home), Danny Hutcheson (almost total paralysis and loss of speech); Roger Montgomery (complications following liver and kidney transplants); Mary Aldrich (undergoing rehab); Rex & Frankie Hadley, Tommy Lindsey, Misty Thornton, and Michelle Rittenhouse.
——————–

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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
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; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (October 28, 2018)

“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).
——————–

Contents:

1) An Eternal Perspective (Doy Moyer)
2) Regrets At Death (Bill Crews)
3) The Power of God to Salvation (Whit Sasser)
4) News & Notes
——————–

2Cor4_18

-1-

An Eternal Perspective
Doy Moyer

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:19-21, ESV).

Coming to grips with the reality of heaven is difficult for us when we are so focused on the earth. Learning to “look at the things that are not seen” because these things are eternal is a grand part of the biblical worldview (2 Cor 4:18). While we long for the “new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:13), this present earth seems all too enticing a place for laying up treasures, and we suffer for it. We cling to the hope of a better life here, of better circumstances here, of better things here. Meanwhile, “there” seems too far away, so we look back at what this world offers and refuse to let go. The flesh is indeed weak.

Yet there are times when the eternal comes into sharper focus and the things of this world seem far less significant, if only because we are reminded of how temporary life really is. When death comes knocking at our door, whether for ourselves or for loved ones, our earthly treasures become as nothing. We would gladly give them all up in order to have the beauty of an eternal relationship with the ones whom we love. This is why “the heart of the wise is in the house of mourning” (Eccl 7:4). The wise who are living take to heart “the end of all mankind” (v. 2) and will always reassess their current perceptions of this world and where they are continuing to lay up their treasures.

With an eternal perspective, we can see why Paul’s desires and attitude are so instructive. With respect to himself, he recognized that living a little longer in the flesh was needed for the sake of others, but his real desire was to “depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Phil 1:23). That eternal perspective led him to long for the eternal dwelling with which God would clothe us in the resurrection, not to be “unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life” (2 Cor 5:4). Since God has given the Spirit as a guarantee of this (v. 5), Paul continues, “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight” (vv. 6-7).

With respect to others in Christ, Paul could be comforted by the hope that they also had. This means that, while grief is a natural part of letting go of one we love, it need not be a grief without comfort: “that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope” (1 Thess 4:13). Why? Because “we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep” (v. 14). Comforting one another with these words (v. 18) is not reliance upon empty words just to feel better. It is reliance upon the solid, historical foundation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20).

Death hits all of us. Hard. But Christ is coming. Resurrection is coming. A great change is coming. “What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable” (1 Cor 15:42). While flesh and blood cannot finally inherit the kingdom of God, “we shall all be changed” (v. 51). The time is coming when we will finally and fully realize how death is truly swallowed up in victory — “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 57).

By the grace of God, we no longer need to be so wrapped up in the things of this world that we are choked by the cares and riches of this life and become unfruitful for Him (Luke 8:14). We no longer need to see things or people according to the flesh, for “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:16-17).

When our perspectives truly change, then we can begin to appreciate how important it really is to store up treasures in heaven as opposed to this earth. What we continue to dwell on, what we willingly spend our time on, what we steadily pour our energy into will all show where our treasures reside; and “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Revelation 22:17-20 sums up our desires: The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

— via Doy Moyer’s facebook site, October 23, 2018
——————–

2Cor7_10

-2-

Regrets At Death
Bill Crews

I have never heard and I never expect to hear of one who, when about to die:

-Regrets that he became a Christian.

-Regrets that he tried earnestly to live as a Christian.

-Regrets that he gave so much time to prayer and study of the Bible.

-Regrets that he gave a generous portion of his money to do the Lord’s work.

-Regrets that he tried to reach others who were lost in sin around him.

-Regrets that he assembled conscientiously and regularly with the brethren for worship, exhortation and edification.

But I have heard of many and expect to hear of more who, when about to die:

-Regretted not becoming a child of the King.

-Regretted not trying earnestly to live as a Christian.

-Regretted that they had not given much time to prayer and study of the Bible.

-Regretted they had not given a generous portion of their money to do the Lord’s work.

-Regretted they had not tried to reach others around them who were lost in sin.

-Regretted they had not assembled conscientiously and regularly with their brethren for worship, exhortation and edification.

What about you? When you are facing death, as each of us will one day, will you have any regrets? Do not wait until it is too late to set your priorities straight. What is important is what you can take with you into eternity. Anything else has to be of much less value.

— Via The Beacon, April 2, 2017
——————–

Bible

-3-

The Power of God to Salvation
Whit Sasser

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16).

When churches try to lure people to their services by means of gimmicks and big promotions, they make a big mistake. Bingo parties, musical entertainment, films, dinners and such like, only cheapen the gospel in the minds of thinking people. A bigger attendance may be the short-term effect, but less respect for God is the long-term effect. If you gain souls by carnal means, then carnal means will be needed to hold them. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of GOD unto salvation, and though fewer may respond to it, salvation is only therein.

– Via The Beacon, September 30, 2018
——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Rick Cutherbertson started having pain in his left side. C-scans show a small nodule in each lung and fluid in the bottom of the left lung. He will also be having a PET scan to determine if there is any cancer.

Pat Joyner is in need of two heart valve replacements.

I (Tom Edwards) appreciate everyone’s concern and prayers for my prostate surgery last Monday. All went well. I have no pain. After 74 days of having need of a catheter, it became no longer necessary the day after the surgery.

Let us also be praying for Shirley Davis’ upcoming knee replacement surgery October 30; Joyce Rittenhouse (healing from Bell’s palsy), Deborah Medlock (healing from recent surgery), Bennie Medlock (aortic aneurysm), Jim Lively (collagenous colitis), A.J. Joyner (health problem), and Mary Vandevander in the nursing home.

Others to include: Danny Hutcheson (almost total paralysis and loss of speech); Roger Montgomery (having complications following his liver and kidney transplants); Mary Aldrich (under-going rehab); Rex & Frankie Hadley, Tommy Lindsey, Misty Thornton, and Michelle Rittenhouse.
——————–

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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
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; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (October 21, 2018)

“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).
——————–

Contents:

1) Your Most Valuable Possession (Wayne Goff)
2) Responsibility (Fred A. Shewmaker)
3) News & Notes
——————–

treasure chest 2

-1-

Your Most Valuable Possession
Wayne Goff

If someone were to ask you what is your most valuable possession, then what would you say? Your house, your car, your bank account, your retirement portfolio? In reality, it is none of these things. Your most valuable possession is your human spirit, your soul, because it alone lasts for all eternity!

Jesus taught us that when He said, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

What would you give for the well-being of your eternal soul? Everything. Literally. Period. Everything. You may not believe it now, my friend, but Jesus was not mistaken about it. He has been to heaven. He dwelled in eternity before coming to earth as a lowly Servant. You should listen to Him who not only gave His life on the cross of Calvary for your sins (Matthew 26:28), but who also gave up His high station in eternity to come here to help you (Philippians 2:6-7)! While He was rich in eternity, being in the form of God, He became poor for your sakes (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus thought your soul’s well-being was important enough to come down to the earth and die on the cross. Don’t you think it’s important, too?

Another thought worth considering is how one’s hope of heaven serves as an anchor in this life! There is something irreplaceable in the knowledge that heaven is your ultimate goal, and nothing in this life can prevent it. “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus,…” (Heb. 6:19-20). When life’s troubles get you down, when earthly suffering makes life unbearable, when your earthly hopes and dreams have been smashed to pieces . . . there’s still the hope of something better on the other side. So don’t give up! Don’t grow weary in doing well!

Jesus is our “forerunner” who has entered the eternal abode behind the veil of this flesh. Follow in His footsteps in this life and you will wind up exactly where He is today — in heavenly bliss! Your most valuable possession will thank you for it if you do.

— via Articles from the Roanridge church of Christ,  October 14, 2018
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romans15_25-26

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Responsibility
Fred A. Shewmaker

A generally accepted rule among brethren is that ability plus opportunity equals responsibility. As given, this appears to me to be a good rule. However, there seems to be a tendency on the part of some to make this rule say something else altogether. We are so very much aware of mathematical equations that some are apparently trying to apply this equation as they would in mathematics. The reasoning seems to be that responsibility equals opportunity plus ability. But thus stated the equation is not always and in every circumstance true.

In Acts 3, 4, and 6 we see that the local church has a responsibility to provide for the physical needs of her members. In these chapters the Jerusalem church had the opportunity plus the ability to provide relief of the physical needs of some of her members. Thus she was responsible to do it.

Years later when the church in Jerusalem had poor saints among her members, did she still have a responsibility to provide for their physical needs? If our equation would work backward, we could say that Jerusalem now had no responsibility to provide for the physical needs of her poor members. WHY? Because if responsibility equals opportunity plus ability, the Jerusalem church being without ability would be absolved of responsibility. We can occupy a position or have a relationship in which responsibility is inherent. What I am saying is that the loss of ability does not necessarily absolve us of responsibility.

Why were the saints in Jerusalem in need? They did not have the ability to provide for their own physical necessities. These poor saints were responsible to provide for themselves food, shelter, clothing, and medical supplies as required. But they had lost the ability to provide these things for themselves. They were in the condition of being responsible to do a thing that they did not have the ability to do. Their need was for the ability to be supplied. A church has the responsibility to provide her members with the necessities they can not provide for themselves. The Jerusalem church had the opportunity to provide her poor members with that which they could not provide for themselves: ABILITY. The responsibility of the Jerusalem church to provide her poor members with the ability to fulfill their own individual responsibilities was inherent in the relationship that existed between her, as a church, and her members.

The Jerusalem church did not have the ability to fulfill her responsibility to her poor members. The Jerusalem church thus became a needy church. She did not need some other church to take over her responsibility. She needed ability to be supplied her. Those churches in Macedonia, Achaia, and Galatia that could help supplied Jerusalem with ability. Jerusalem could then supply her poor members with ability, fulfilling her responsibility to them. With ability the poor saints could fulfill their individual responsibility of feeding, housing, clothing, and supplying medicine for themselves.

Some have suggested the following hypothetical situation to show that the church may and does on occasion relieve non-saints.

“There are two families in a congregation each with a fifteen year old son. The parents are members of the church and one of the boys is a member but the other is not. Each of these boys is stricken with a serious disease. The hospital bills have consumed the savings of each family and are still piling up. Now according to the ‘saints only’ contention the church could only help the family where the son is a Christian. To help the other family would be helping, a non-saint.”

NOT SO! The church is not responsible to relieve either of these boys. Neither boy is financially obligated in any way. Therefore neither boy is in need of financial relief. The fathers of these boys are the ones responsible for the hospital bills. If you think that I am wrong, just try to get a fifteen year old boy admitted to any hospital on his own financial responsibility. Now both these Christians who are the fathers of these boys are lacking in ability to fulfill their individual responsibilities. A church can supply her members with the necessities they can not provide for themselves. The church can supply both fathers with that which they need: ABILITY. When the ability is supplied, it is supplied to saints. The idea that non-saints are relieved in the situation described is altogether incorrect.

The benefit derived by a non-saint in such circumstances is not the result of the church helping a non-saint but due to the relationship that the non-saint has with a saint. In the case considered, the relationship would be that of son to father.

It seems that we have learned how to determine new responsibility but have failed to understand inherent responsibility or how to determine the duration of responsibility.

Consider the following:

1. We have responsibility because it is inherent in our position or relationships.

2. New responsibility is acquired when we have an opportunity plus ability.

3. Responsibility legitimately acquired is not absolved by a lack of ability.

4. Responsibility ends when the opportunity, position, or relationship ends.

— Via TRUTH MAGAZINE, XII: 11, pp.21-22, August 1968
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News & Notes

Rick Cuthbertson started having pain in his left side. C-scans show a small nodule in each lung and fluid in the bottom of the left lung. He will also be having a PET scan to determine if there is any cancer.

Pat Joyner is in need of two heart valve replacements.

I, Tom Edwards, had prostate surgery October 22 and was released from the hospital on the following night.  The surgery went well.  I have no pain. After 74 days (beginning August 9) of not being able to empty my bladder without the use of a catheter (and having 7 over 70 days), it is now no longer needed and was removed October 23!  I do have to take it easy for a while, though, such as by not lifting more than 10 pounds, avoiding strenuous exercise, and not driving until I receive the okay from the doctor.  And here’s one I had never been instructed before: “Don’t sit more than 60 minutes without getting up.”  I guess I’d better start using a timer for that one. 🙂  I am glad and thankful unto God for the prayers and good wishes of others.

Let us also be praying for Shirley Davis’ upcoming knee replacement surgery October 30; Joyce Rittenhouse (healing from Bell’s palsy), Deborah Medlock (healing from recent surgery), Bennie Medlock (aortic aneurysm), Jim Lively (collagenous colitis), A.J. Joyner (health problem), and Mary Vandevander in the nursing home.

Others to include: Danny Hutcheson (almost total paralysis and loss of speech); Roger Montgomery (having  complications following his liver and kidney transplants); Mary Aldrich (under-going rehab); Rex & Frankie Hadley, Tommy Lindsey, Misty Thornton, and Michelle Rittenhouse.
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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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
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; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services:9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday:
2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday:
 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor:
 Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)