1) Controlling Our Temper (R.J. Evans)
2) What’s Your Opinion of the Lord Jesus Christ? (Fred McKinney)
3) A Swarm of Gospel “Be’s” (Austin Mobley)
4) On Reading God’s Word (short statement) (Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
Controlling Our Temper
by R.J. Evans
Brother John Clark once related a story about a woman who told a preacher she had a bad temper, but that it was over in a minute. “So is a shotgun blast, but it blows everything to pieces,” was the preacher’s reply. And far too many of us who are Christians are triggered by the least little incident, frequently losing our temper. When we lose our temper, we usually do and say things in anger which we later regret. “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly” (Proverbs 14:17).
It has been said that “anger is like rain, which breaks itself upon that whereon it falls.” For example, anger usually culminates in bitter words, insults, the revealing of secrets or in the breaking off of relations between two parties. Of the aforementioned, insults are probably the most frequent cause of anger. Most of us had rather be injured physically than insulted. There is something about an insult that makes us want to repay with a worse insult. How many of us possess the magnanimous spirit of Abraham Lincoln when he was insulted? It is reported that when he was told that one of his cabinet members, Edwin Stanton, called him a fool, he replied, “If Stanton says I am a fool, I had better look into the matter, for he is a wise man.” No doubt that worked much better than if he would have retaliated by losing his temper, setting off a chain reaction with much more bitterness and resentment to follow. Incidentally, after Lincoln was killed, it was Stanton who remarked in subdued tones of respect, “There lies the greatest leader this country has ever known.”
The Bible teaches us the importance of practicing self-control. It is listed as the “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23, and among what we sometimes refer to as the “seven Christian graces” in II Peter 1:6. Self-control is one of the Christian’s weapons against the world. And practicing self-control involves controlling our temper. We must follow after Christ’s example — “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (I Peter 2:22-23). The person who continually loses his temper is like an undefended city or one in ruins. The wise man Solomon said, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (Proverbs 25:28). What a sign of weakness when we constantly lose our temper! And it is certainly a poor reflection of Christ in our lives when we “fly off the handle.”
Christians must learn to be calm and serious. James said, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). This brings to mind the motto: “Think twice before you speak. Losing your temper, blurting out angry words, and speaking your mind excites strife. “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
“Angry words! O let them never
From the tongue unbridled slip;
May the heart’s best impulse ever
Check them ere they soil the lip”
(author unknown, first appeared in Sunday School Teacher, 1867).
— Via Articles from the La Vista church of Christ
What’s Your Opinion of the Lord Jesus Christ?
by Fred McKinney
Pharisees of old, with what would you reproach Jesus? “He ate with sinners and publicans” (Matt. 9:11; Mk. 2:16).
High Priest, Caiaphas, what have you to say of Him? “He is a blasphemer, because he said”: “Hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.”
Pontius Pilate, what do you say of Him? “I find no fault in this man” (Lk. 23:4).
Oh Judas Iscariot, have you a charge to hurl? “I have sinned against innocent blood” (Matt. 27:4).
The Centurion at the cross: “Truly, this was the Son of God” (Matt. 27:54).
Demons, servants of Satan, testify: “He is the Son of God” (Lk. 23:47).
John the Baptizer, speak up prophet; what’s your word? “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world” (Jn. 1:29).
John, the Apostle, tell us clearly, what say ye? “He is the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16).
Simon Peter, Cephas, what think ye of Jesus Christ? “Master, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:18).
Thomas, you saw the resurrected Christ, what say ye? “My Lord, and my God” (Jn. 20:28).
Paul, the Apostle: you persecuted Him, but changed your mind; what say ye? “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord” (Phil. 3:7, 8).
Glorious angels in Heaven, what think ye of Christ? “Unto you is born a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2:10-11; Ps. 68:17).
And most important, indeed, our Father in Heaven, our Creator; what say Ye? “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mk. 1:11; Jn. 12:28).
A Swarm of Gospel “Be’s”
by Austin Mobley
Have you observed how powerful little words in the Bible are? Take the word “if” for example. Jesus said, “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). If our mother Eve had been wise regarding what the little three-letter word “not” meant, the old devil would not have deceived her (Gen. 3:4).
The little word “be” is used frequently in the Bible, and the thoughts connected to it contribute to our salvation. Here is a swarm of gospel “be’s.”
Be Wise. “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16). Thus the Lord warned the twelve as He sent them on their mission.
Be Faithful. “…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10). The circumstances in which the beloved apostle John was at the time were not very favorable. He was exiled on the lonely isle of Patmos. The incentive held out was “be faithful — the crown of life.” That was all John needed to deepen his faith.
Be Ready. The Lord says, “Therefore be ye also ready; for in an hour that ye think not, the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:44). The Lord could come again at any time. We could pass away and all opportunities to get ready for judgment (John 5:28-29) would be gone.
Be Unmovable. In our present day this admonition is just as pertinent to every member of the body of Christ as when Paul wrote it by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, 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).
Be Ye Doers. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). It is not enough to hear the word of God, but those who are blessed put it into practice every day.
Be Baptized. “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). To be baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27) is to be obedient from the heart to that form of teaching (Rom. 6:3-4, 17-18). One is then delivered from the power of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son (Col. 1:13).
If you have not obeyed the Lord and Master in the primary principles of the gospel, I pray that you will attend to that immediately. If you have obeyed him, Be Faithful, Be Doers, Be Wise, Be Unmovable and you will Be Ready.
On Reading God’s Word
Though it might be that we have read through the entire Bible several times, yet if we cannot remember it all from Genesis to Revelation, then that should help us realize the need we have to keep perusing the Scriptures — and give us the incentive in doing so — in order to continually refresh our minds with God’s word. For it contains words of life and food for the soul (cf. Jn. 6:63; 8:52; Matt. 4:4; Jn. 4:34).
News & News
We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Tom Holland who recently passed away. Let those of us who are Christians be mindful in prayer of his loved ones.
Let us also be prayerful of the following:
Brittany Crosby Royals fell July 31 and broke her hip. She will be having surgery this afternoon.
It was discovered that a small tumor, about the size of a pea, has developed, due to Judy Daugherty’s severe fall to the head. To better determine how to best treat this, she had a pet scan on July 28 and a spinal tap on the 29th. We are still waiting to hear of the results.
Bennie Medlock appears to have had a minor stroke recently; and though he is now feeling better, he will be seeing a doctor this week concerning it.
Jewell Wilson is now back in the home of Doyle and Joyce Rittenhouse and has begun hospice care.
Pat Joyner will soon be having surgery for breast cancer.
Michelle Rittenhouse began taking treatment a few weeks ago for fibromyalgia and has also recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Other shut-ins: Mary Vandevander and Sue Wooten
Others to remember in prayer: Ronnie Crews, Sunny Nichols, Jean Beach, Raylee Metts, Lexi Crawford, Steve Vesta, Dexter Roberts, Betty Miles, Buddy Gornto, Dolly Downs Moody, Jesse Bailey, Colleen Henson, Donell Wells, and Kelsey Williams
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; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/go (Gospel Observer website)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)