The Gospel Observer (May 22, 2016)

Contents:

1) “Arrows in the Hand of a Mighty Man” (Jarrod Jacobs)
2) Rejoice in Hope (Joe R. Price)
3) The Holy Spirit: A Distinct, Divine Being (Greg Gwin)
4) News & Notes
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young family
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“Arrows in the Hand of a Mighty Man”
Jarrod Jacobs

David, the sweet psalmist of Israel (II Sam. 23:1), penned a song concerning the home and family in Psalm 127. He wrote, “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” While there are many things we could discuss from this psalm, in this article, let us focus upon verse 4: “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.”

What a word picture this paints for us! Imagine the bowhunter who trains so as to make sure he hits his mark when it counts. This person not only works at his aim, but also takes care of his bow and arrows so they are ready for the hunt. He realizes that each piece cannot function properly without the other. In fact, his reputation as a “mighty man” is the result of where and when he shot his arrows!

Next, we see this man is “mighty” because he shot his arrows purposefully toward his intended mark. In other words, he did not shoot randomly like the poem, “I shot an arrow into the air, where it landed I know not where….” He had an intended target in mind, and shot his arrows toward that target. What does this statement from Psalm 127:4 teach us about parenting?

First, parents have a purpose. Parenting is more than just proving your ability to reproduce. Parenting means taking responsibility for another life (or lives) and trying to make sure this life is productive in following God’s will (Eph. 6:4) and productive in society. When we appreciate what God expects of us in parenting, it just proves again why God knows best in saying that parenting belongs to a married couple (Heb. 13:4). Not only does marriage keep us from fornication (I Cor. 7:2), but in such a relationship, we bring children into this world where both father and mother work together in the training and admonition of these precious ones. From Abraham’s day, we see this is God’s purpose for parents. God said of Abraham, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment …” (Gen. 18:19).

Second, Psalm 127:4 shows us that just as arrows don’t fire themselves from the bow, so also children cannot be left to raise themselves. David’s son Solomon understood this. He said, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Prov. 29:15). Children make foolish decisions (Prov. 22:15), and they need training and encouragement from parents so that they can grow up, be parents themselves, and continue this process for another generation (Prov. 22:6). Parents, whether they have one or a dozen children, cannot put matters on “auto-pilot” and expect a good result when it comes to child-rearing!

Third, we see that the “mighty man” purposely sent his arrows in the direction intended. In other words, he had a purpose in mind. Sometimes, we find parents who never intend for their “arrows” to leave the “quiver”! Thus, children grow up and seem to have no direction, or purpose in their lives. This is not right. Parenting requires we send our “arrows” out into the world so that they can benefit this world as “shining lights” (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-15).

The Bible is clear concerning how parents ought to act and the parent’s purpose in training our children in the right way. If we have been lacking in this area, let us repent and start today to follow the Lord’s will. In truth, following what the Lord says will benefit us, our children, the church, and the community in which we live. Don’t be selfish, but selfless. Let us give our children the “tools” necessary for living in this world and preparing for the next, so that our children can prepare their children in the same way!

— Via The Old Paths, August 16, 2015
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Psalm71_4
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Rejoice in Hope
Joe R. Price

Why does the farmer plow his fields from sunrise to sundown during the blistering hot summer? Because he hopes for the harvest (1 Cor. 9:10). Hope energizes us to endure through present trials.

Hope combines our desires and expectations, producing a powerful force that influences faith and living. Unfortunately, hope can be misplaced. Many put their hope in the wrong things. They hope in money, as if that will solve their problems. It will not (Eccl. 2:8, 10-11; Matt. 6:19-21, 24; 1 Tim. 6:6-10). Others hope in their own wisdom and power (1 Cor. 1:18-25). Others hope in their fame. Some put their hope in their own strength to overcome, as if they need no one and nothing else (Jer. 17:5). None of these things give true hope. The Bible is clear that none of these things can possibly assure us of heaven.

Christians rejoice in the hope of eternal life that is found in Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:2; 12:12; Col. 1:27). We were “saved in hope” (Rom. 8:24). The gospel called us to the living hope of eternal life (Eph. 4:4; Titus 1:1-2; 1 Pet. 1:3). Christ is our “hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). He alone is the source and the culmination of our hope of future, heavenly glory (Col. 3:4; Heb. 6:19-20).

Learning from the past strengthens our hope of the future. Romans 15:4 says this is exactly why we must learn the Old Testament Scriptures. Here are a few of those Scriptures that comfort us and strengthen our hope:

1) Genesis 3:15: The hope of victory over Satan and sin is predicted. The gospel reveals this victory in Jesus.

2) Judges 7: Hope is sustained as we watch Gideon and God’s 300 defeat the massive army of Midian. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 Jno. 5:4).

3) 1 Samuel 17: David’s faith to face Goliath comforts us in hope as we face giant opponents of truth and godliness even today.

4) Psalm 16:8-11: We are comforted knowing David’s hope for the future was not in vain. God fulfilled His promises to David through Jesus Christ (Acts 2:25-32, 34-36). He will fulfill His promises to us, too.

5) 1 Kings 18:20-40: The dramatic display of God’s presence and power at Mt. Carmel confirms that our hope in the living God is properly placed.

6) Ezekiel 37:1-14: Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones returning to life gave the remnant hope to endure the Babylonian exile. God turns death into life. What joyous hope!

The Christian’s hope is sure and steadfast. Our hope is an anchor that secures us in life’s storms, safely mooring us to God’s grace through our faith (Heb. 6:19-20). Let us ever “rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:1-2).

— Via The Spirit’s Sword, May 8, 2016
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John16_13
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The Holy Spirit: A Distinct, Divine Being
Greg Gwin

The dictionary defines a “person” as: “a being characterized by conscious apprehension, rationality, and moral sense.”  Certainly, the Holy Spirit has the identifying marks of a distinct personal being.

Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as “He” (John 14:26; 16:13).  He possesses “will” or desire (1 Corinthians 12:8-11).  He makes judgments (Acts 15:28).  He does things which manifest personality.  He: searches (1 Cor. 2:11); teaches (1 Cor. 2:13); speaks (1 Tim. 4:1); testifies (John 15:26); leads (Rom. 8:14); forbids (Acts 16:6,7); convicts (Heb. 10:29); hears (John 16:13); and intercedes (Rom. 8:26,27).

The Holy Spirit suffers things that reflect personality. He: can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30); can be insulted (Hebrews 10:28,29); can be resisted (Acts 7:51); can be spoken against (Matthew 12:32); can be lied to (Acts 5:3,4).

Additionally, the Holy Spirit possesses the attributes of deity.  He is eternal (Hebrews 9:14).  He is omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10).  He is omniscient (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).  And the works that God does (omnipotence) are also attributed to the Holy Spirit (Job 33:4; Psalms 104:30).  In fact, in Acts 5:3,4 the Holy Spirit is actually identified as God.

The Holy Spirit is one of the three divine beings of the Godhead.  He possesses distinct personality and owns all the attributes of deity.  We must acknowledge and honor Him as God.

— Via The Beacon, March 15, 2016
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News & Notes

Easton Cox was back in the hospital Saturday morning, due to feeling nauseated.  His blood count has been good, but his chemo treatments have been causing a neuropathy in his knees and feet, which he painfully experiences and takes medication to relieve.  He was also given fluid to make sure he doesn’t  dehydrate and was able to return home later that same day.

Carole Drain had another chemo treatment last Friday, which causes her to not feel well for about 3.5 days.  In addition, she has also been having a sore throat.

Bennie Medlock recently had a sleep test and also a couple CT scans with dye and an MRI with dye.  He will find out the results the 31st.

James Medlock will be undergoing another sleep test.

Let us also be remembering Mary Vandevander (housebound due to health) and Sue Wooten (in the Baptist Village nursing home).
——————–
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 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 PM (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 PM (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)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

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