The Gospel Observer (January 27, 2019)

“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) The Way of Man (Bill Crews)
2) Thank You, God, For Patience (John Thompson)
3) News & Notes
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The Way of Man
Bill Crews

One of the fundamental principles which must be embraced by those who truly believe in God, earnestly desire to honor Him as God, and ardently long to spend eternity in heaven with Him, is found in Jeremiah 10:23. It reads: “O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”

In this verse from one of God’s prophets can be seen the divine right and wisdom of God and the weaknesses and limitations of men. God is the Creator, and man is the creature; God is the Maker, and man is the made; God is the offended, and man is the offender; God is the sinned against, and man the sinner. God has the divine right to direct our religious and moral path; God also has the divine wisdom essential to that great task. Man has neither.

How can we frail creatures know what is pleasing to Him who is “over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:6), whose thoughts and ways are above our thoughts and ways as the heavens are higher than the earth (Isaiah 55:8-9)? How can we devise our own way of salvation or provide our own way of redemption? We know not the way! The fact is we cannot and must not even attempt it.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reads: “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” In the days of Isaiah God said to His people, Israel, “I have stretched out my hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good according to their own thoughts” (Isaiah 65:2).

Friend, are you directing your religious walk by what you think best or by the instructions of God’s word?

By His divine wisdom God knows how you must live, and by His divine right God has specified how you must live. It is yours and mine by faith to follow.

— Via The Roanridge Reader, January 6, 2019
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Thank You, God, For Patience
John Thompson

We have so much to thank our heavenly Father for, but patience? Should we put patience on our list of things to be thankful for? Should it be part of our daily prayers? In a recent sermon on waiting on the Lord, patience was discussed at length. The selflessness of patience and the selfishness of impatience were often repeated themes in that lesson. The sermon was a very important and much needed exhortation and, hopefully, it has already produced positive results in your life.

But what is there about patience that makes it something to be thankful for? Is it something like rain or sunshine? No, it is probably something much more intangible than those things. Perhaps we should consider it to be a blessing from the Father, a blessing that benefits us immensely and without which we would find it virtually impossible to be pleasing to our Maker. I would suggest that we should thank God for creating this thing called patience that is so intimately a part of all that goes into making a faithful, fully committed, obedient Christian. Our thankfulness should include the fact that we are created with an innate capacity to learn what patience is all about, to appreciate its usefulness to the Christian, and to grow in its application as we live from day to day. We cannot endure without patience. We cannot persevere without patience. We cannot be gentle and kind without patience. We cannot trust without patience. We cannot love without patience. The bottom line is that we simply cannot be pleasing to God without patience.

Take endurance, for instance. How in the world are we to get through the darkness of difficult times to the light on the other side of the darkness if we do not endure? Patience is what gets us through. Patience enables us to remain calm; and when calm, we are able to reason things through. Patience puts us into the proper frame of mind consistent with prayer, with Bible reading and meditation, and with remembering that God has promised better things. Here is what Jesus wrote to some of the seven churches of Asia:

To the church at Ephesus: “I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary” (Revelation 2:3).

To the church at Thyatira: “I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first” (Revelation 2:19).

To the church at Philadelphia: “Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10).

Endurance is not consistent with some constantly happy-go-lucky, stress free, all’s right with the world time. No, endurance implies hard work, struggle, despair, temptation, persecution, and various and sundry other plagues of life. Endurance is our victory over such obstacles and patience is what carries us through. Some obstacles are specifically mentioned in the scriptures. Paul told Timothy he must patiently endure evil (2 Timothy 2:24), and he wrote to the Corinthians commending them for patiently enduring the same sufferings he experienced (2 Corinthians 1:6).

It seems, though, that we will more likely experience impatience than patience unless we can train ourselves away from that deadly attitude. Impatience is manifested in a variety of ways, such as: We cannot wait; we cannot tolerate, put up with, sit through, submit, or persevere. While impatient we may become irritable, agitated, fidgety, mouthy, obnoxious, disruptive. Impatience is selfish in that it places expectations upon others. If I expect you to cater to my need to not have to wait, who benefits? Not you. You are the one that my impatience is inconveniencing. My impatience benefits only me, and that is the essence of selfishness, i.e. seeing to my welfare at the expense of all others. When you get right down to it, impatience is a failure of endurance and perseverance. Impatience makes no provision for gentleness and kindness and destroys one’s capacity for love. Remember 1 Corinthians 13:4? Love is patient and kind.

But we can learn to be more patient. We must learn to be patient. And we can grow our patience by sitting at the feet of Jesus, the Master Teacher. Paul stated his desire for those Christians in Thessalonica, “Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ” (2 Thessalonians 3:5, NKJV). No man has ever been calmer and more patient than the Christ Jesus as he proceeded through his trials and crucifixion.  “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).

Sometimes we sing “None of Self and All of Thee.”  Our hymn book leaves out the wording in verse 3 that is in bold type below:

“Day by day His tender mercy
Healing, helping, full and free,
Sweet and strong, and ah! so patient
Brought me lower, while I whispered,
‘Less of self, and more of Thee!’”

We sing “O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee.” Perhaps the next time we sing this song verses 3 and 4 will remind us of our responsibility to learn of and grow in patience.

“Teach me Thy patience! still with Thee
In closer, dearer company,
In work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
In trust that triumphs over wrong.
In hope that sends a shining ray
Far down the future’s broad’ning way,
In peace that only Thou canst give,
With Thee, O Master, let me live.”

Thank you, God, for patience. And, thank you, Adam, for the sermon.

— Via the University Heights Messenger, January 2, 2019, Volume 11, Number 1, Lexington, Kentucky
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“Blessed are You, O LORD; teach me Your statutes” (Psalm 119:12, NASB).
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Jim Lively had another fall last Wednesday, but this one had him in the emergency room for 10 stiches.

Others to remember in prayer:  Pat Joyner, Myrna Jordan, Anita Young, Shirley Davis, Melotine Davis, Doyle Rittenhouse, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. Joyner, Bennie & Deborah Medlock, James Medlock, Mary Vandevander,  Michelle Rittenhouse, John Stoval, Everleigh and Hazel Greer, Marilyn Roberts, Danny Hutcheson, Roger Montgomery, Mary Aldrich, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Tommy Lin

The Walnut Street church of Christ in Jesup will be having a gospel meeting February 6-10 with Ryan Hasty (from Auburn, AL) as their guest speaker. Wednesday  through Friday: 7 p.m.  Saturday: 10:30 a.m.  Sunday: 9 & 10 a.m.  The church meets at 567 East Walnut Street .
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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 services9:00 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) 281-9917
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 sermon

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The Gospel Observer (January 20, 2019)

“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) The Heavenly Mindset (Dennis Stackhouse)
2) Enlightened Eyes (Wayne Goff)
3) “A Cappella” (Greg Gwin)
4) News & Notes
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The Heavenly Mindset
Dennis Stackhouse

In writing the church at Colossae, Paul said this in Colossians 3:1: “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”  We know the apostle is addressing baptized believers, as these people had been raised up with Christ, according to Colossians 2:12.  With that in mind, all Christian people should recognize this teaching as an encouragement to not allow worldly matters to interfere with a proper mindset, a heavenly mindset.  After all, Paul does instruct us to “keep seeking the things above.”  In other words, this is something the Christian never stops doing; it is a continual exercise, we are to keep seeking the things above as long we dwell in these earthly bodies.  This is the case because that’s where Christ is and we want to be where He is.  Our goal should be that of reaching heaven.

Colossians 3:2 continues this thought: “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”  If we can continually fill our minds with “the things above,” such as God and Christ in their heavenly home, the heavenly preparations being made for Christians (John 14:2-3) and our expectation to imitate God and Christ (Ephesians 5:1; I Corinthians 11:1), then our lives will be more reflective of what God wants them to be.  So it is entirely appropriate for Christian men and women to remove their focus from worldly things and concentrate their thoughts on heaven; in fact, the Scriptures strongly encourage us to do so.  Let’s consider a few more examples of this.

In Matthew 6:19-21, our Lord said: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  If worldly treasures have been replaced by heavenly treasures, the Christian truly is seeking the things above.  Jesus plainly said that our heart will follow after our treasure, so if that treasure is in heaven, we have our priorities in order.  Paul indicated that his desire was “to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better,” in Philippians 1:23.  Paul was undeniably focusing on the heavenly home.  In Philippians 3:14 he also said: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  If this is not a focus on heaven, I’m not sure what it is.  Then in Philippians 3:20 we learn that the Christian’s citizenship is in heaven.  Doesn’t it make sense to focus on the “country” where our citizenship is?

The apostle wrote in II Timothy 4:8: “In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”  Could there be any better reason to embrace the heavenly mindset?  If we really did make heaven our priority, perhaps the things of this world would not be so troublesome to us; perhaps we would eliminate a great deal of frustration and anxiousness.  Make sure that heaven is your goal.

— Via article from the La Vista church of Christ
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Enlightened Eyes
Wayne Goff

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians in chapter one reads, “…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power…”  (vv. 17-19). Paul prayed that the Ephesians would have enlightened eyes. My prayer for all of us is that we would have enlightened eyes, too.

Enlightened eyes see things that others do not see. In this text, God is giving us “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” as the means of that enlightenment. Today God’s revelation is fulfilled and complete, so that the Holy Spirit enlightens our eyes through the knowledge of the Scriptures. Additionally, wisdom may be prayed for so that this knowledge might be used properly. God gladly gives us wisdom when we desire it and ask for it (James 1:5).

Do you desire to have your “eyes” of understanding enlightened? If you do, then you already know to read the Scriptures habitually, for therein is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). Having read the Scriptures, you meditate on them day and night (Psalm 1:2). Having meditated on the Scriptures, you also learn to rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Finally, having done all of that, you make a personal application of them (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

More specifically, in our Ephesian text, Paul and God desire that your eyes may be enlightened so that you may know:

1. What is the hope of His calling. If you do not have the hope of eternal life, then you will not remain faithful throughout your lifetime. Satan is always striving to place doubt in your mind about going to heaven. God’s Word removes that doubt and strengthens that conviction as part of the enlightening of the eyes!

2.  What are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Does Paul mean for us to comprehend what God gets from
His scheme of redemption? Or does Paul want us to comprehend the riches of our future glory? I have always taught that God wants us to know and appreciate what He has gotten out of the eternal plan of salvation. But we undoubtedly should strive to comprehend the greatness of our eternal reward as well! In order to do this, consider Revelation 20-21 as a starter. Meditate on the glories of heaven, and you will do more to make your calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10).

3. What is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power. We need to be reminded constantly that God is working in us both to will and to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Our eternal security is absolute from God’s standpoint. Nothing can prevent us from being saved, except ourselves! Read Romans 8:31-39 to appreciate this concept. Read also John 10:27-28 for another example of God’s power to keep us saved. Yes, we must “hear” the Shepherd’s voice and “follow” Him. Yes, we must “trust and obey” His will! But with God’s help we can become more spiritually-minded, have a greater enlightenment of our spiritual eyes, and rest assured of the promised rest that is before us. The real question remains: “How much do you desire to have your spiritual vision enlightened?”  Enough to seek and find?

— Via the Roanridge Reader, Volume 34, Issue 02, Page 02, January 13, 2019
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“A Cappella”
Greg Gwin

The word “a cappella” is defined by the dictionary as: “music without instrumental accompaniment.”  It comes from a Latin word which literally means “as in the church.”  Interestingly, the etymology (origin) of this word, proves that at the beginning of the church (and for many centuries thereafter), the music in worship was singing  only, without  instrumental accompaniment.

— Via The Beacon, January 13, 2019
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“Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my groaning.
Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God,
For to You I pray. 
In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch” (Psalm 5:1-3, NASB).
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:  Pat & A.J. Joyner, Anita Young, Rick Cuthbertson, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Bennie & Deborah Medlock, James Medlock, Melotine Davis, Myrna Jordan, Shirley Davis, Mary Vandevander,  Michelle Rittenhouse, John Stoval, Everleigh and Hazel Greer, Marilyn Roberts, Danny Hutcheson, Roger Montgomery, Mary Aldrich, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Tommy Lin

The Walnut Street church of Christ will be having a gospel meeting February 6-10. Wednesday through Friday: 7 p.m.  Saturday: 10:30 a.m.  Sunday: 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Guest speaker: Ryan Hasty (of Auburn, Alabama). The church meets at 567 East Walnut Street, Jesup, GA.
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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).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services9:00 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) 281-9917
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 sermon

The Gospel Observer (January 13, 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) Habits (R.J. Evans)
2) Avoiding Bad Habits (R.J. Evans)
3) News & Notes
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Eph4_22-24

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Habits
R.J. Evans

It has been said that, “habits are like comfortable beds, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.” It has also been said that “habits are like cable, each day as we do something in a pattern, we intertwine one thread with another.” And, of course, as the threads are woven tightly together, a cable is formed. Using this analogy, we need to realize that on any particular day, the thread we added was probably too small to gain much of our attention. But, after many threads have been woven in, we discover that together they have become a practically unbreakable cable or rope.

So it is with habits. There are good habits and there are bad habits. Daily practices over the course of time become habits that are practically unbreakable—so be careful what you weave.

To illustrate the above, concerning a bad habit, ask someone who has developed a bad habit and has attempted to break it i.e. the person who uses profanity, drinks alcohol, or takes drugs. It is my understanding that chain smoking is one of the most difficult of all habits to break.

But on the other hand, think of developing good habits. Think of how much good and positive results that are produced from these daily practices. Here are some suggestions or examples of good habits that we need to be incorporating into our daily lives.

DAILY Bible Reading. “Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God” (Neh. 8:18).

DAILY Bible Study. “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

DAILY Prayer. “Lord, I have called daily upon You; I have stretched out my hands to You” (Psa. 88:9).

DAILY Cross Bearing. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Lk. 9:23).

DAILY Meditation. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night” (Psa. 1:2).

DAILY Exhortation. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:19).

DAILY Teaching. “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42).

DAILY Growth. “So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily” (Acts 16:5) “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).

Do you want to become more like Jesus? Do you want to consistently grow and become stronger in the Lord? Then consider carefully the good daily activities just mentioned, and begin a life filled with good habits.

— via church bulletin for the Southside church of Christ, September 9, 1018
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Stop Bad Habits

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Avoiding Bad Habits
by R.J. Evans

(Editor’s Note: In last week’s article we focused primarily on good habits; this week we are focusing on bad habits. rje)

Whether we are aware of it or not, our actions in life consist mostly of habits that we have developed. Both good and bad habits play a huge role in our lives. How often do we stop and think that God is interested and concerned about the habits we have formed as we live from day to day?

Have we seriously considered any habits in our lives that are displeasing and not glorifying God? If we are honest with ourselves, we must confess and admit that there may be a number of habits in our lives which are actually sins. God, through His word, has something to say about this—He identifies them for us. In this article, let us note some bad habits that all Christians need to break.

Putting other things before God. If we aren’t careful, we allow our lives to become so cluttered and busy and full of worldly activities that, before we realize it, less important things are taking God’s rightful place in our lives. Our jobs, hobbies, recreation, entertainment, times with friends all have a place, but they should never come before our time with God in prayer, Bible study, and worshiping Him with other saints. Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). God assures us that we will have all we need and have a full life if we put Him first. (See also Lk. 8:14; 1 Thes. 5:17; Heb. 10:24-25)

Laziness. We do not have to read far into the book of Proverbs to see that laziness or slothfulness is a big problem (there are over a dozen passages in Proverbs that address this sin). It is so easy to become lazy and to slack off from our duties as a Christian. Some of our “duties as a Christian” such as homemaking, working diligently at our secular jobs, rearing our children, and, of course, Bible study, teaching, and worship require time and effort. The Apostle Paul tells us to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:15) and “whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Col. 3:23). Laziness is a bad habit that must be overcome!

Poor stewardship. God has entrusted us with the responsibility of caring for our bodies, our souls, our money, our relationships, and our use of time. Are we responsible in these areas? We are not to allow bad habits of poor stewardship to hinder our lives. The Apostle Paul has instructed us to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time” (Eph. 5:15-16). He also tells us that “you are not your own…For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Murmuring and complaining. These are two things that can destroy our good influence for Christ, even as far as dividing a congregation. Proverbs 6 tells us that God hates “one who sows discord among brethren” (v. 6). So, be very careful about what you say to and about other Christians. Why would the world want what we have if we aren’t contented and joyful? If we are constantly complaining and grumbling, then we give the world the wrong picture of what a Christian should be. We must rid ourselves of complaining habits if we are going to be happy and have a positive influence on others. The Apostle Paul plainly said, “Do all things without murmuring and complaining” (Phil. 2:14).

The list above is just a limited number of bad habits (or sins) that we must get rid of. Cultivating good habits in these areas will help us have fuller and more meaningful lives as Christians, and also enable us to have a good influence on all those who observe our lives. Let us “put off the old man” with his bad habits and “put on the new man” with his good habits (Col. 3:9-10). By so doing, we can show all those in our world of friends and associates what it is like to live a faithful, contented, joyful life in Christ. Yes, we need to live our daily lives AVOIDING BAD HABITS.

— Via church bulletin for Southside church of Christ, September 16, 2018
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Anita Young’s recent surgery went well. She is now in the healing process.

Barbara Thompson has been having some terrible pain in her shoulder. It had even caused her arm to lock in place for a while.

Others to remember in prayer: Pat and A.J. Joyner, Bennie & Deborah Medlock, James Medlock, Melotine Davis, Shirley Davis, Jim Lively, Mary Vandevander, Doyle Rittenhouse, Rick Cuthbertson, Michelle Rittenhouse, Everleigh and Hazel Greer, Marilyn Roberts, John Stoval, Danny Hutcheson, Roger Montgomery, Mary Aldrich, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Tommy Lin
——————–

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) 281-9917
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 (January 6, 2019)

“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) Four Tactics of the Devil (R.J. Evans)
2) God is Unchangeable (Carrol R. Sutton)
3) News & Notes
——————–

Jude1_21

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Four Tactics of the Devil
R.J. Evans

The devil is our adversary or enemy.  Observe how he is described by the Apostle Peter: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).  In this short article, let’s notice four “devices” (2 Cor. 2:11) the devil will seek to bring into our lives if we are not duly vigilant:

1.  DISCOURAGEMENT.  You have been serving God so diligently, yet there are still so many trials and difficulties in your life.  The devil would love to see you throw up your hands and say, “I give up!”  You have been trying to faithfully serve the Lord, but it seems that you are all alone at times.  The devil would love to see you start asking “Where is God now?”

The great prophet Elijah experienced discouragement when he was fleeing for his life from wicked Jezebel.  He asked God to take his life (1 Kgs. 19:4); he felt that he was the only faithful servant on earth–“I alone am left, and they seek to take my life” (1 Kgs. 19:10).  The Lord told him to go to work on some jobs He had for him (1 Kgs. 19:11-17).  Furthermore, he was not alone.  God had “reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kgs. 19:18).  Thus, the faithful Christian must remember that there are setbacks in life, but they are temporary and common to all of God’s faithful servants.

2.  DISCONTENTMENT.  The devil wants us to look at our neighbors, our co-workers, those who do not fear God and think, “Oh look how much better they are doing than I am.”  This is exactly what happened to Asaph, the chief musician in the temple.  He stated: “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped.  For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (Psa. 73:2-3).  He further became envious and very discontented when he considered their wealth, strength, pride, and arrogance.  He felt that way, as he stated, “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end” (Psa. 73:17).

Discontentment can lead to discouragement, and keep us from moving forward.  Let us all seek to develop the attitude of the Apostle Paul: “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content….Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (1 Tim. 6:8; Phil. 4:11).  Jesus came that we might be joyful—”These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn. 15:11; see also Phil. 4:4).

3.  DOUBT.  The devil is a murderer and a liar from the beginning (Jn. 8:44).  He would love to have us to start questioning God.  He wants us to say, “Did the Lord really say or mean that?”  He did that with the first couple, Adam and Eve.

The Lord instructs that if we lack wisdom, to ask for it, and He will provide it for us (Jas. 1:5).  However, we must keep in mind what James has told us regarding this matter: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord” (Jas. 1:6-7).  Doubt is truly an indicator of a lack of faith.  When Peter started walking on the water toward Jesus, he saw the boisterous wind, became afraid and began to sink.  Jesus then stretched out His hand, caught him and said, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:31).

4.  DISREGARD FOR HIS WORD.  The devil would love for us to think we can do it our way and not according to what God has commanded.  Moses made this mistake in the wilderness.  God told him to speak to the rock in front of the grumbling Israelites, but he angrily struck the rock twice, totally disregarding God’s word (Num. 20:7-11).  This one act of disobedience kept Moses out of the land of promise—”Because you did not believe Me to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them” (Num. 20:13).

The devil leads man away from God’s word by false teachers.  The Apostle Paul warned: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.  And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:13-14; see also 11:1-4).

May we ever seek to do exactly as God has commanded in His word.  “Now by this we know that we know Him if we keep His commandments….For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome….Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son” (1 Jn. 2:3; 5:3; 2 Jn. 9).

Have you noticed these four tactics against you and your family?  Jesus has won the victory over the devil and death (Heb. 2:14-15; 1 Cor. 15:57).  Therefore, we need to follow in His steps (1 Pet. 2:21-25).  Let us not be deceived and led astray by the devices of the devil.  We close with these words of encouragement: “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life….Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen” (Jude 21, 24-25).

— Via the bulletin of the Southside church of Christ, Gonzales, Louisiana, December 30, 2018
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Heb1_8

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God Is Unchangeable
Carrol R. Sutton

Daily we witness changes around us in both the plant and animal kingdoms. We also witness weather changes, which in turn produce changes in temperatures. As these changes take place, it becomes necessary for us to make changes in our eating, sleeping, working and playing habits as well as in our dress. Changes in styles and fashions and models are occurring frequently. It is interesting to note that most people are fickle. Certainly, men should change from sin to righteousness, but very often men change from right to wrong; from truth to error. Changes are often produced by gossip, lies, and false doctrines.

In Malachi 3:6, we read: “For I am the Lord, I change not. . . .” Although man is subject to change, we are assured that God Is unchangeable. This does not mean that God’s will for man is the same today that it was under the Mosaic age. In fact, we learn from Hebrews 7:12 that the priesthood was changed, and “there is made also of necessity a change of the law.” We are now under the New Testament. (See 1 Cor. 9:21; Heb. 9:16-17; 10:9-10; Jno. 12:48).

God is unchangeable in Character. He cannot be tempted with evil. He is holy. The Psalmist said: “Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.”

— Via The Elon Challenger, December 2018, Volume 16, Number 4
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News & Notes

There will be a gospel meeting at the Walnut Street church of Christ February 6th-10th.  Services for Wednesday through Friday will be at 7 p.m.   There will also be a Saturday morning service at  10:30, and the Sunday morning services are at 9 and 10.  Ryan Hasty of Auburn, Alabama, will be the guest  speaker.  The church meets at 567 East Walnut Street, Jesup, Georgia.

Folks to be praying for:

Pat Joyner had her surgery that involved replacing her heart valve.  All went well.  She is now back home, healing and undergoing  therapy.

Larry Welch, who recently had surgery for cancer, has passed away.  We extend our condolences to all his family and friends.

Michelle Rittenhouse, who had become septic and was hospitalized with a fever of 105,  had to have surgery on her appendix.

Doyle Rittenhouse was glad to hear that his melanoma was not bad enough to have it removed when recently seeing his doctor.  He was told that he would  not have to come back for three months — unless the melanoma turns worse.

Rick Cuthbertson has now been through four chemo treatments and is doing better with it than he had in the past.

Others to remember in prayer: Myrna Jordan, Shirley Davis,  James Medlock, A.J. Joyner, Jim Lively, Bennie & Deborah Medlock, Melotine Davis, Joyce Rittenhouse, Mary Vandevander, Everleigh and Hazel Greer, Marilyn Roberts, Danny Hutcheson, Roger Montgomery, Kala Williams, Mary Aldrich, Rex & Frankie Hadley, John St oval, 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) 281-9917
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)