Ten Reasons I Go To Church

  1. I go to church because I expect the Lord of glory to be there.
  2. I go to church because the Lord expects me to go.
  3. I go to church because I get a blessing out of it.
  4. I go to church because I meet the best people there.
  5. I go to church because it makes me a better person.
  6. I go to church not merely for the spiritual good that I get out of it, but it is good for me mentally and physically.
  7. I go to church because I want to set a good example.
  8. I go to church because the church needs me.
  9. I go to church because I need to go.
  10. I go to church because I want to hear my Lord say, “Well done,” when I meet Him face to face.

These are the main points from a tract by this title.

by L. R. Wilson

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Ruined By Bitterness

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you,”  (Eph 4:31-32).

He was a man nobody liked–hard, sullen, taciturn, and sour. If you met him on the street and wished him good-day, he would keep his eyes straight in front of him, grunt sulkily and pass on. He lived in a tumbled-down old hut away back in the bush. He spoke to nobody, and he made it perfectly plain that he wished nobody to speak to him. Even the children shunned him.

Some said he was a hermit; some that he was a miser; some that he was a woman-hater; some that he was a fugitive from justice, a man with a guilty secret. But they were all wrong. The simple truth was that in his youth a companion had done him a grievous injury. “I’ll remember it to my dying day,” he hissed, in a gust of passionate resentment.

And he did. But when his dying day actually came, he realized that the rankling memory of that youthful wrong had soured and darkened his whole life. “I’ve gone over it by myself every morning,” he moaned, as he lay gasping in his comfortless shanty, “and I’ve thought of it every night. I’ve cursed him a hundred times each day. I see now,” he added brokenly, a suspicion of moisture glistening in his eye, “that my curses have eaten out my soul; they’ve been like gall on my tongue and gravel in my teeth. My hate has hurt nobody but myself.  But it’s turned my life into gloom and misery!” It was true. The man at whom he had spat out his venomous maledictions, having done all a man could do to atone for the suffering that he had thoughtless caused, had dismissed the matter from his mind a generation back. Upon him the gnarled old man’s bitterness had produced little or no effect. It was the man who cherished the sinister memory who suffered most. It shadowed his life; it lent a new terror   to death; it expelled every trace of brightness and excluded every ray of hope; and at last, a grim and ghostly companion, it lay down with him in his cold and cheerless grave.

May we each learn the healing power of forgiveness — before it is too late!

(Author Unknown)

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Philippians 4:8 Appplied

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

I believe this is one of the greatest passages in Scripture pertaining to the Christian’s thoughts. It matters a great deal what we think upon. There is a spiritual standard that must guide our thinking in all areas of our lives. So using Philippians 4:8 let us make some application to our daily lives.

1) TV & Movies. When I watch a television program or movie, am I careful to apply the divine instruction of Philippians 4:8? Am I and my family viewing things that our minds should be dwelling upon? Can they be described as lovely & praiseworthy?

2) Internet Browsing. When I get on my computer, tablet, or phone to browse the Internet, am I looking, reading, and listening to things that would be in harmony with Philippians 4:8? Am I posting and commenting things that would violate this Scripture? Am I dwelling upon thoughts that are pure and virtuous?

3) Driving in my Car. When I’m out running errands, driving to work, or stuck in traffic, do my thoughts match up with the apostle Paul’s teaching recorded in Philippians 4:8? Am I thinking of things that are noble and of good report?

4) Normal, Daily Thoughts. What do we normally spend our time thinking upon during the course of our day? Would the Lord be pleased with our thoughts toward our spouse, children, neighbors, co-workers, strangers, and brethren? How often do we ignore or disobey the command found in Philippians 4:8?

Let us be more determined to apply the teaching of Philippians 4:8 to every aspect of our lives. After all, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).

by Jesse Flowers

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Does Jesus Fit the Profile of Deity?

We must believe that Jesus is the Son of God in order to have eternal life (John 20:30-31). How can we know for sure that Jesus is the Son of God? If Jesus really is the Son of God, we should expect Him to possess the nature and characteristics of deity.

• God is all-knowing. “Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God” (John 16:30).
• God is all-powerful. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18).
• God is all-present. “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
• God is holy. “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth” (1 Pet. 2:22).
• God is sovereign (the supreme ruler; above all things). “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Col. 1:17).
• God is eternal. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2).
• God is immutable (does not change). “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8).
• God is forgiving. “Then He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven’” (Luke 7:48).

Jesus certainly fits the profile of deity. He was everything on earth in the flesh that God is. “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).

by Heath Rogers

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The English word “bitterness” means “extreme enmity; sharpness; severity of temper; biting sarcasm; painful affliction; deep distress of mind.”

In the New Testament, the word “bitterness” is translated from the Greek word pikria. This term denotes the spirit of a man who harbors resentment about the past. Instead of reconciling differences and restoring relationships, he prefers to nurse the grudge.

There is an obvious problem with harboring resentment and nursing grudges: they will never go away. In fact, they will actually become stronger and more destructive; eventually poisoning or consuming the bearer’s heart (Acts 8:23). Not content with conquering one heart, bitterness will eventually spread to others.

The Bible warns against developing a root of bitterness: “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (Heb. 12:15; see also Deut. 29:18). Notice that a root of bitterness will spring up and cause many to be defiled. Harbored resentment and nursed wounds will not remain under the surface. Like a weed, they will eventually spring forth and spread.

We have been growing a garden for three years now. The problem with developing a new garden spot is ridding the soil of weeds. Every year we till the ground and plant the seeds. The freshly planted garden looks so clean, but beneath the surface are the root systems of the grass that used to be a part of the lawn. Soon the plants sprout, but so do the weeds. When weeds pop up, we can break them off at the surface, but they are not really gone. To truly get rid of the weeds, we have to pull them up by the roots. If we fail to do so, the weeds will take over the garden. Each year we eventually reach a point at which we give up on pulling the weeds and determine to do better next year.

Try to picture the soil of our heart containing a root system of bitterness. We may keep it looking nice on the surface (what we allow others to see in us) but we are fooling ourselves if we think it is harmless to harbor resentment and nurse grudges. Bitterness is a poison in our heart that eventually contaminates our entire life. Like weeds, bitterness attempts to spread itself to others.

Like other sinful attitudes, a feeling of bitterness (distress and resentment, despair and hopelessness) can spread to others. A person who has a sour attitude about the government, economy, local sports team, local church, etc., can easily find an audience and infect others with his negativity.

However, the destructive nature of bitterness is not only that the negative feelings are spread to others, but the harbored resentment and nursed grudges eventually lash out at others. The English word “bitter” comes from an Old English word that literally meant “to bite.” This is a good description of the effect of bitterness, which often lashes out at others with “biting” words (Ps. 64:3; Rom. 3:14).

Let’s keep bitterness out of our heart.

written by Heath Rogers

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“For Better Or For Worse”

These familiar words form a part of just about every wedding ceremony I have ever attended. Living with someone all of your life takes true devotion and commitment. In 1816, the president of Yale was complaining because the divorce rate was 1% in the state of Connecticut. How we long for those days! However, in the days of easy divorce, the words of the Lord are still true (Matthew 19:9).

If you cannot imagine yourself living with your current boyfriend or girlfriend for the rest of your life, you have no business getting married! Financial problems, family problems, and health problems can really take a toll on a couple. Husbands must love their wives (Ephesians 5:25) and wives must submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22). Only then will God’s plan truly work in the way He intended when He created man and woman, giving them to each other in marriage (Genesis 2:21-24). Divorce is one of the hardest emotional processes you will ever go through, so please choose wisely!

Kyle Campbell

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VBS 2016

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The Implications of Acts 17:11

In speaking of the Bereans Luke said: “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).

Consider the implications of this verse:

• It is possible to receive the word in a way that is not being “fair-minded.” Prejudiced minds that are closed to the truth are not to be commended.
• The word is to be received with eagerness (“readiness”). After all, the word is a revelation of truth from God to man.
• When we hear men preach the word we should be concerned “whether these things were so.” It makes a difference!
• The things preached by men on earth must be tested by the Scriptures revealed from heaven. Not by feelings, or by the internet, but by the Scriptures.

Determine to be like the Bereans.

by Mike Pittman

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Let No One Judge You

Paul told the Colossians, “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Col. 2:16-17). False teachers had come into their midst and had judged them as being less spiritual than themselves because they were not abiding by their false interpretations of the Scriptures and by their man-made rules (v. 22). These judgments were pronounced in an effort to make the Colossians feel like they were lacking
in their faith and service. This was done as a means of intimidating them into accepting their errors. Paul told them not to allow anyone to judge them by things which were not of Christ.

There is, however, another side of this “let no one judge you” matter that must be considered. We are not to allow anyone to judge us with regard to the “shadow,” but that does not means we cannot be judge according to the things that make up the “substance of Christ.” We are told to judge with righteous judgment (John 7:24), which means that we can be subject to such judgments ourselves. If I claim to be a follower of Christ, then everyone has the right to examine my life in light of my Master’s teaching and “judge” whether or not I am living up to my claim to be a Christian. If something is amiss in
my life, my brethren actually have an obligation to bring this to my attention and encourage me to make the needed changes (Gal. 6:1). If their judgment is correct and I need to make changes in my life, then I should be grateful for their judgment.

Christians are not to allow anyone to judge them by any standard other than the New Testament. However, no Christian is above the righteous judgment of those who are seeing his light shine. Let us learn to appreciate the honest concerns of those who want to help us get to Heaven.

by Heath Rogers

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