“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).
1) “Blessed Are the Peacemakers” (Jim McDonald)
2) The Parable of the Sower (Wayne Goff)
3) God and Man (Bill Crews)
4) News & Notes
“Blessed Are the Peacemakers”
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God” (Matt. 5:9). Christians are peaceable people. They cannot follow their Master and be otherwise! Isaiah wrote of “Immanuel” who, among other things, would be called “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 7:14; 9:6). Peter quotes from Psalm 34:12 when he wrote, “He that would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil and his lips that they speak no guile; and let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it” (1 Pet. 3:10f). Paul commands, “So then, let us follow after things which make for peace and things whereby we may edify one another” (Rom. 14:19).
Jesus is called “Prince of peace.” Paradoxically enough he said, “Think not that I came to send peace on the earth, but a sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law: and a man’s foes shall be those of his own household” (Matt. 10:34-36). He did not mean that he intended that men be in opposition to each other; he knew that given the free-moral agency of man, that some (most) would rebel against him which would put them in opposition to those who follow Christ. Because Jesus said he came not to “send peace on the earth but a sword,” we understand that God’s wish that we seek peace must not be “peace at any price.” In Jeremiah’s day there were those who cried “peace, peace when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14). We cannot seek a compromising peace, and we must remember it is not always possible for us to be at peace. The Holy Spirit knew this and so he caused Paul to write: “If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men” (Rom. 12:18). Paul wrote about some that “the way of peace they have not known” (Rom. 3:17). With such, the only path to peace is through compromise and sin. In such a case, the faithful Christian really has no choice. He stands for truth and righteousness and lets the “chips fall where they may.”
When Paul wrote “Let us follow after things which make for peace” (Rom. 14: 19), he had given direction in that context that, in matters of indifference, men were to live peaceably with other men. Some could eat meats, others could not. The ones who could not eat were not to judge those who could; those who could eat were not to set at naught those who could not (Rom. 14:3). We are also told that to be spiritually minded “is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6). But Jesus did not simply say, “Blessed are they that follow after peace.” He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Consider at least two ways in which we are to be peacemakers.
First, man must make peace with God. “He who makes himself a friend of the world, makes himself an enemy of God. The friendship of the world is enmity with God” (Jas. 4:4). We make peace with God by appropriating to ourselves the “peace offering” we find in Christ. Christ is “our peace.” Through his sacrifice he made possible our peace with God. Still, we must act. We must believe and obey his terms for peace. “Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). This is an obedient faith, not faith only (Jas. 2:24).
Secondly, man must seek to bring about peace with others who are estranged from each other. He seeks to be a peacemaker when he preaches the gospel of peace; preaching “peace through Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:36). There can be no greater “peacemaking” than to teach a lost soul how he may be at peace with God!
Those who are “peacemakers” are called “sons of God.” Such are “sons of God” because they are acting like their Heavenly Father who actively sought to reconcile man to himself through the death of his Son. May we ardently desire that we shall be sons of God because as he made the sacrifice which allows for peace, we tell others about this available peace and praise his goodness in providing it.
— Via Truth Magazine, Vol. XLVII, No. 1, January 2, 2003
“No king is saved by the multitude of an army;
A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for safety;
Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
On those who who hope in His mercy,
To deliver their soul from death,
And to keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield” (NKJV).
The Parable of the Sower
The parables of Jesus are some of the most fascinating stories because they tie spiritual truths to obvious natural events. In the parable of the Sower (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8), Jesus compares gospel preaching to seed-planting. The “seed” (Word of God, Lk. 8:11) is sent into four different soils: (1) wayside; (2) rocky soil; (3) thorny ground; (4) good ground. These soils represent four kinds of hearts. So ask yourself: “Of what soil am I made?”
1. Wayside: This is the one who hears the word but the devil comes and takes away the word before he obeys it (Matt. 13:19; Lk. 8:12).
2. Rocky Soil: This is the one who hears the Word and joyfully receives it and believes for a time. But when temptation, tribulation or persecution comes his way, he becomes weak, forgetful, and falls away from the truth (Matt. 13:21; Lk. 8:13). Christianity is just too hard for him!
3. Thorny Ground: This is the one who is too busy with life to consider what is coming in eternity. He hears the Word of God but the cares, riches and pleasures of life keep him from completing his spiritual duties and he dies spiritually (Matt. 13:22; Lk. 8:14).
4. Good Ground: This is the one who hears the Word with a good, noble heart, keeps it obediently, and bears fruit with patience throughout his life (Matt. 13:23; Lk. 8:15). Now if you have been paying attention to the parable of the Lord, then you know you want to be the “good ground.” You want to be a good Listener of God’s Word. You want to take it into your good and noble heart and apply it to your life. You want to do this over the entirety of your life so that at the end of this earthly journey, the Lord will say to you: “Good and faithful servant.” But the reality for most people is that they are one of the other three soils. (1) They never consider it. (2) They obey it for awhile until it gets to be too hard. (3) They would love to be a faithful Christian, and they love hearing the Word and going to church — but they’re too busy.
You see, dear reader, it takes time and effort to bring spiritual fruit to bear in your life. You have to make the time, cultivate your spiritual tastes, and do it habitually. Going to church once a week will not get the job done. You must hear the Word, keep it and bring forth fruit patiently (Lk. 8:15). So says Jesus Christ Himself.
—Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 34, Issue 40, Page 4, October 6, 2019
God and Man
Remember that God sees the whole picture. He sees all the past; He sees all the present; and He has the power to see all the future. He can see the end from the beginning, and He knows the destiny of every person and the solution to every problem. He loves us and is always available to us, but He will force neither Himself nor His will upon us. As long as we live, we are allowed to choose. He is concerned about our true welfare and happiness – here and hereafter. With Him on our side every thing will turn out well (Rom. 8:28,31); but if He must be against us, nothing will turn out right.
— Via The Beacon, October 6, 2019
“The LORD looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men;
From His dwelling place He looks out
On all the inhabitants of the earth,
He who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works”
News & Notes
The gospel meeting at the Oak Grove church of Christ in Jennings (FL) begins today and runs to the 18th (Sun-Fri) with John Zellner as the guest speaker. Weeknight services will begin at 7:30 at 2922 NW 76th Terrace.
Ron Daly update (Oct. 10) from Edward T. Rangel: “Truly God is so good. Just received word that after 8 weeks since his accident, Ron Daly will be going home this Saturday. He will still need therapy 3 or 4 times a week that Thelma will be able to take him to since he can not drive yet. His voice has returned to about 80%. He still is not able to turn his head left and right with ease due to the vertebrae in his neck still being healed with a brace. I want to personally thank all the brothers and sisters in Christ as well as friends who contributed to them personally as well as the gofundme account of close to $19,000. Please, continue your prayers for the family. It has truly been a great blessing to be able to see the working of God during this.”
Jan Bartlett had her 2nd chemo treatment Friday, and Rick Cuthbertson had another on Wednesday.
Myrna Jordan has not been feeling well lately.
Also for prayer: A.J. & Pat Joyner, the Medlocks, Shirley Davis, Melotine Davis, Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Barbara Thompson, Mary Vandevander; Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Brandon Mullis.
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).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services:9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)