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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Susumu Sugawara

After the tsunami fiercely struck the Japanese island of Oshima, smashed
boats lined the coastline of the once peaceful tourist spot. There is one
boat, however, that was not destroyed, and its captain has become a local
hero on the island.

As the tsunami approached, most everyone on the island ran to the hills.
Instead, Susumu Sugawara ran to his beloved boat, the "Sunflower." He
steered it out into deeper waters directly into the path of the approaching
tsunami.

"I knew if I didn't save my boat, my island would be isolated and in
trouble," he told CNN.

Sugawara said he was accustomed to seeing waves up to 5 meters, but the
first wave of the tsunami that he encountered was 4-times that size! "I
talked to my boat and said you've been with me 42 years. If we live or die,
then we'll be together, then I pushed on full throttle. . I climbed the wave
like a mountain. When I thought I had [reached] the top, the wave got even
bigger."

Sugawara described how the wave then crashed violently upon his boat, but he
and the Sunflower managed to stay upright. "I closed my eyes and felt
dizzy. When I opened them, I could see the horizon again, so I knew I'd
made it."

Sugawara focused on steering his boat through other waves of the tsunami
until the sea was completely calm. He stayed at sea for several more hours
in order to pump water from his boat's engine room.

Then he directed his boat back toward Oshima, unsure of what he might find -
if anything. He had to navigate carefully past debris from wrecked houses
and boats. The island of Oshima was in complete darkness; the only way he
could find his way home was with the guide of raging fires of a neighboring
town.

When he finally made it back to the island, he immediately began helping his
neighbors and fellow citizens. For the first two weeks, he was the primary
connection between the island and the mainland. Twenty days after the
tsunami when CNN gave its report, he was still making hourly trips to the
mainland. Passengers who could afford it were asked to pay 300 yen (US
$3.50) toward fuel costs; those who had no money were welcomed aboard.

Sugawara's heroic efforts remind us of Another who actually gave His life so
that others might live.

As JESUS, the Son of God, approached Golgotha, He was facing the "tsunami"
of the sins of the world. Yet, because of His love for the Father and for
US, He "stayed the course" and died on the cross to pay the price for our
redemption (1 Peter 1:18-20). Through His death, burial, and resurrection,
the "Captain of our salvation" paved the way to "bring many sons to glory"
(Hebrews 2:10). He is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life;" He is the ONLY
way to the Father and eternal life (John 14:6).

He died so that YOU might be saved and have eternal life! You can accept
His offer by placing your faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turning
from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus before men (Romans
10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of
sins (Acts 2:38).

Won't YOU submit your life to the Loving Captain and be saved?

David A. Sargent

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sermon on Solomon's temple

   What an occasion the inauguration of the temple must have been.  The priests could not minister on that occasion because the cloud and the Lord's glory filled it (1 Kings 8:11).  Solomon dedicated it most ceremoniously, including his beautiful prayer preserved in that same chapter.  One of Israel's greatest, most powerful kings, at the material and geographical apex of the nation's existence, uttered that petition before the people down on his knees with his hands spread toward heaven before the altar (1 Kings 8:54).  Then, he stood, blessing the nation, and proclaimed, "Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant" (1 Kings 8:56).  So many rich truths can be mined from this powerful proclamation.


The promises of God are helpful.  They enjoyed rest at the time of the building of the temple.  David had subdued their enemies through war.  Now, Israel enjoyed peace.  It was just as God promised.  Think of the promises God makes to us about the rest we find in Christ (Matt. 11:28-30).


The promises of God are faithful.  Solomon could say in his time what has always been true concerning the divine promises.  "Not one word has failed."  We serve a God who always delivers on His promises.  That excites and comforts us in our obedient submission.  It should fill us with dread if we are rebellious and disobedient.  Either way, His promises will come to pass.  We can count on it (cf. 2 Cor. 1:20)!


The promises of God are hopeful.  The nature of God giving His word is "good."  What a profoundly simple way to characterize them!  James, a New Testament writer famed for his wisdom, echoes Solomon, saying, "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow" (Js. 1:17).  Those are promises in which you can stake your all!


The promises of God are timeless.  As we have already seen, what was true in Solomon's time was true back to the beginning and will hold true to the end.  Both covenants promise His promises will be fulfilled.  This has buoyed up the struggling, hurting, otherworldly-minded children of God time immemorial.


The promises of God are limitless.  Consider that word "all."  How many promises does God make in Scripture?  Some count as many as 3,000, but it is difficult to find an exact figure.  Yet, here is what we do know.  He has kept, is keeping, and will keep every one of them. 


The promises of God are flawless.  They are unfailing, according to Solomon.  Man will frequently disappoint us, but God exceeds our expectations!  Heaven will prove that once and for all, but earth has sufficient proof!  The blessings in Christ (cf. Eph. 1:3) grow sweeter and more meaningful with each passing day!


You and I have failed too often regarding promises we make!  Contrast that with God's promises.  They help us reconcile our past, reinforce our present, and revel in our future!

 

Neal Pollard  

 

Kyle Massengale

Please forgive the second "Stuart story" for those of you who heard about
Stuart's unlikely recovery from "death's door" Sunday before last. This
little squirrel has really burrowed his way into our lives (yes, I know that
is a rabbit metaphor). Early Tuesday morning, Carl was cleaning out
Stuart's cage, aka our dog's old travel kennel. Somehow, Stuart made his
way onto our tallest tree and shimmied up onto a branch about twenty feet
high. Having spent most of his life inside our nice, warm house, Stuart had
no idea how to get down from there. So, he stayed in one spot. This went
from minutes to hours. Finally, in the late afternoon, we borrowed a tall
ladder to rescue Stuart. The process took a couple of hours, but finally,
after prodding him with a stick and tossing a tennis ball over and over near
him and having a blanket as a makeshift trampoline just in case, I was able
to reach up and grab the scared tree rodent and bring him back to ground
level.

Perhaps because that evening I was going to be speaking on a podcast with
Kyle Massengale about evangelism, I saw a compelling analogy. While never
wanting to trivialize the eternally important task of soul-winning, several
things occurred to me in the rescue of that squirrel necessary to our work
of winning the lost. This occurred to me, as I thought about our memorable
episode with Stuart.

It took effort. From hauling and setting up the ladder, to getting up high
enough to reach the critter, to coaxing, pleading, and the like, we had to
exert effort to save the squirrel.

It took emotion. It was because especially certain members of my family
have a fond affection for Stuart that we stuck with this to the end. Care
preceded intervention.

It took persistence. The whole process took hours to complete. There were
times when giving up seemed the best choice and especially the most
convenient choice, but everyone stayed on the task.

It took teamwork. Some held the blanket, some held the ladder, some climbed
the ladder (or the tree), and one held the camera. Together, we did it.

It was not initially appreciated. At first, Stuart did not understand and
certainly did not appreciate what we were doing. It seems that he is happy
with the outcome, but when I pulled him, claws and all, from his branch, he
squeaked and squealed for the first few seconds.

As we think souls every day, we should be reminded that it takes effort,
emotion, persistence, and teamwork. The preacher or a small minority cannot
fulfill the church's mission alone. It will require sacrifices of time and
resources. It will require personal study to prepare to study with others.
It will necessarily involve our emotions, from the love that prompts us to
share the good news to the potential heartache and joy that occurs in
teaching the lost. It will exact a persevering, tenacious attitude. Oh,
and sometimes the lost will not initially appreciate our desire to help--at
least as far as we can tell--but how it will be worth it, for them and for
others, if we make the effort! Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke
19:10)! May we join Him in doing the same, no matter what!

Neal Pollard

Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps

 

    "…Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps" (1Peter 2:21). 

            Considering the subject of prayer, one cannot be said to be following in the steps of Jesus if prayer is not a personal priority in his life. For example:

n      After healing the multitudes at Capernaum, before daybreak Jesus went to a solitary place and prayed (Mark 1:35).

n      After the miracle of feeding the 5,000, Jesus ascended a nearby mountain and prayed (Matthew 14:23)

n      At His baptism, Jesus prayed (Luke 3:21)

n      Before his first confrontation with the Jewish leaders, Jesus prayed (Luke 5:16)

n      Before choosing the 12 disciples, Jesus prayed (Luke 6:12).

n      Before the first prophecy of His death, Jesus prayed (Luke 9:18).

n      At the transfiguration site, Jesus prayed (Luke 9:29).

n      Jesus was praying when His disciples came and asked Him to "teach us how to pray" (Luke 11:1).

n      In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed (Matthew 26:39).

n      While hanging on the Cross, Jesus prayed (Luke 23:34 & 36)

 

    Furthermore, Jesus admonished His disciples to pray: "Pray that ye enter not into temptation" (Luke 22:40).  Jesus encouraged His followers to "Ask, and it shall be given you" (Luke 11:9). Jesus even told three parables, the major emphasis of which was prayer: Luke 11:5-13;  Luke 18:1-8;  Luke 18:11-13.

           The point is this: Since the Son of God felt such a keen need of prayer, how much more ought we to feel this need?!  Would Jesus spend so much time in His brief stay on this earth in prayer if it availed nothing?!  Would Jesus encourage His disciples to pray if it was really just a waste of time?

           How much power in the individual Christian's life, as well as in the church, is voided because of a lack of fervent prayer?  "Power belongs to God" (Psalm 62:11);  God will give power to His faithful children (2Timothy 1:7) -- however, "You have not, because you ask not" (James 4:2).    

 

--Toby Miller

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


What I saw yesterday morning was not unique to our area.  Wednesday
was one of the stormiest days in history throughout much of the
Southeastern United States.  Tornadoes were reported in numerous
locations and many lives were lost.  Thousands will spend many days
picking up the pieces.

Tornadoes have been rare in Northeast Tennessee.  Surrounded by tall
mountain ranges, the strongest winds are normally deflected before
reaching our area.  Yesterday, however, I stood before the wrecked
house of a young couple who are members of the church I serve.  This
had been their home for five years, and much effort had been invested
making it an attractive place.  Now the roof was entirely gone and the
front of the upper floor was scattered for several yards out front.

The important thing is that the couple and their young child are safe.
The outlook for the house is uncertain; it may have to be razed.  But
those three precious lives will go on.  We rejoice over that.

On other occasions I've stood before other wrecked houses.  These
dwellings were not made of wood and bricks, but of flesh and blood.  A
tornado had not torn into these houses, but cancer or some other
affliction.  Some of these habitations eventually fell and are no
more.

That's looking only from the outside, however.  In the cases of those
who were Christians, I can say with confidence that the ones dwelling
within those doomed physical structures are safe and sound.  The sight
of what illness did to their bodies was not representative of what
Christ had done for their souls.  Such knowledge is crucial for us,
who will one day go down the same path.

Paul wrote about the confidence any of us may have: "For we know that
if our earthly house is destroyed, we have a building from God, a
house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this we
groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is
from heaven" (2 Corinthians 5:1,2).  A superior way to view the
process of aging and infirmity, wouldn't you say?!

None of us believe that the residences in which we live will last
forever.  They may, with proper maintenance, endure for decades.  One
day in the distant future, however, they will come down.  Evidence of
that can be found in villages and ghost towns near where you live.
Strangely, though, some refuse to apply this principle to their flesh-
and-blood structures.  They seem to think they will always be strong,
healthy and physically alive.

Peter's view of his body is one we should adopt: "Knowing that shortly
I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me" (2
Peter 1:14).  That's also what the Lord has shown us.  We are mortal,
and "... all return to dust" (Ecclesiastes 3:20).  Knowing our true
nature, we turn to God for help in preparing the durable part of
ourselves, the part that will know no end.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Frenchman who lived a hundred years ago,
wisely observed: "We are not physical beings having a spiritual
experience; we are spiritual beings having a physical experience."
That physical experience will come to an end, sooner or later.  But I,
the one who lives inside this tent that you see, will continue safe
and sound if I am found in Christ.

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him
in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you'd like
to discuss these ideas further.

Timothy D. Hall

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sermon on Romans 1:16

"For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18).  The world is made up of so many kinds of personalities. I suppose this is good, for it would indeed be a boring life if we were all alike.  But amidst all the various types of personalities, our God has selected to classify them into one of two categories.  These two classes of men are sometimes referred to as the "saved," or the "lost."  On other occasions in the Bible they are called the "goats" and the "sheep."   God's word has also classified them as the "wise" and the "foolish."  "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good life his works in meekness and wisdom" (Jas. 3:13a).  "The fool has said in his heart there is no God" (Psa. 14:1).   This particular classification is quite revealing, for it places all men into one of two categories based upon their own acceptance or rejection of God's word.   To those that are saved God's message is the power to save the souls of men.   The "wise man" not only knows the word of God, he applies it to his life (Matt. 7:24-27).   As a consequence, the wise man will "show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom" (Jas. 3:13b).  The "wise man" will conduct himself in accord to God's word.    The "fool" is quite the opposite.  To those who are perishing, God's word is foolishness.  The fool consists not only of those who disbelieve in a God, but those who refuse to build upon the word of God, and who, in turn, trust in their riches (Luke 12:16-21).  Of particular interest in the passage to which we referred at the beginning of this article is the fact that Paul said "to them that perish" the word of the cross is "foolishness."  It would be interesting, and beneficial, to observe how this "lostness" and "foolishness" fit together. Let's think along this line for a moment.

 

First, let us consider the atheist.  To him the story of a resurrected Savior simply does not make sense.  He will accept nothing he cannot see with his physical eyes; he will believe nothing that cannot be experienced with the five senses.  He refuses to believe viable witnesses who claim to have seen Jesus nailed to the cross, laid in a tomb following His death, and then raised from the death three days later.  The atheist ignores the evidence of design, and in his foolishness, he brands himself as a fool in the sight of God.   It is not so much the fact that the atheist denies the existence of God that makes him a fool; it is that he does so in the face of such incredible evidence that cries out, "There IS a God in heaven!" 

 

Second, those who "are perishing" would include the ignorant.  To the ignorant, God's word is unimportant. Oh sure, he believes in God – of some sort!  He may also believe that he ought to respect that God – in one form or another.   But his service consists of worshipping and serving God in a manner that is self centered; what Paul calls "will worship" (Col. 2:23).   Unwilling to reject the existence of a Divine being, he has progressed beyond the status of the atheist, but because of his ignorance of God's word, he is still considered as foolish in the sight of the Almighty.  All those who look upon the word of God as some book of rules only to be ignored and broken fall into this category.  Those who are deceived by false teachers, ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth, fall into this category.  They study, but they are deceived by false teachers into believing something that simply is not true.  They follow men and put their trust in human wisdom.  Unwilling to abide by God's simple design and pattern, they launch out into the vast ocean of human stupidity in an attempt to satisfy the inner conscience while ignoring the very Book that can lead them to the Father. 

 

Finally, there are the unfaithful, unruly, rebellious, indifferent, lukewarm members of the body of Christ.  Members of the family of God? Yes!  Faithful?  No!  Like the atheist, who ignores the word of God, and the ignorant who change or pervert the word of God, these who once "were enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted of the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come" (Heb. 6:4-5), now find themselves in the same category.  They are fools, for they have turned their back on the only means of salvation. They have done despite unto the precious blood of Christ.  By their actions they have put themselves down as foolish in the sight of God. 

 

Oh yes, to those who are "perishing" – the atheist, the ignorant, and the apostate child of God – God's word is simply not important.  To them it is foolishness.  The question you must entertain is: "Am I wise, or am I foolish?"   Dear reader, how do you regard God's word? 

 

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Si usted siembra la semilla del reino?


1. Algunos de nosotros hemos estado en una "Piggly Wiggly".
2. Piggly Wiggly es una cadena de tiendas de comestibles, hay más de 600 tiendas Piggly Wiggly en 18 estados.
3. Hace algún tiempo, fue un predicador en un Piggly Wiggly tienda a comprar algo de carne.
4. Al acercarse a la nevera la carne se encontró con dos hombres que estaban hablando de religión.
5. Estos hombres estaban teniendo una discusión acerca de "la caída de la gracia" (la salvación se puede perder?).

6. Un hombre le dijo al otro: "No veo cómo alguien puede creer cómo una persona salva puede caer de la gracia."
7. El otro acuerdo, él dijo algo así como "una vez salvo, siempre salvo".
8. El predicador del evangelio que oyó estos hombres no compartían su conclusión.
9. Cuando llegó al lado de ellos dijo: "Disculpe.
10. Si usted se está preguntando por qué algunos piensan que la salvación se puede perder, no puedo ofrecer una explicación. ""
11. En el mostrador de carne, y antes de dos desconocidos, un miembro de la Iglesia discuten la caída en desgracia.
12. El predicador que ha tenido esta experiencia más adelante las siguientes preguntas:
13. "¿Me convertir uno de los hombres en el refrigerador de la carne"? N º
14. ¿He creado un futuro estudio de la Biblia con uno o ambos de estos hombres? N º
15. ¿Me probable ver uno de estos hombres de nuevo? Probablemente no.

16. El predicador del evangelio sólo estaba tratando de "sembrar la semilla correcta" en la vida de estos dos compradores.

La Biblia enseña que CRISTIANISMO SE PARTE DE NUESTRA VIDA COTIDIANA.

a) Una de las cosas que van a hacer sobre una base regular es "sembrar la semilla del reino."
b) A medida que pasan por nuestra vida diaria queremos plantar la semilla del evangelio en tantos lugares como sea posible.

2) El 26 de septiembre 1774 el hombre que muchos conocemos como Johnny Appleseed nació en Massachusetts.
3) El verdadero nombre de Johnny Appleseed era John Chapman, este hombre está supuestamente enterrado en Fort Wayne.
4) Por 49 años este hombre plantó semillas de manzana en Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky y Pensilvania.
5) Más de 200 años han pasado, pero algunas de las semillas que fueron plantadas por este hombre todavía producen manzanas.
6) Los cristianos deben ser como Johnny Appleseed, Dios quiera que salpican las semillas del Evangelio en todo el país.

7) La presente es tan importante una de nuestras canciones (p. 479 en nuestros cancioneros) discute este tema.

8) Recientemente hemos tenido una segunda escuela de canto congregacional.
9) Al igual que con el último, en algún momento va a ser dedicado a la atención ver algunas de las canciones que cantamos.
10) El himno seleccionado para esta mañana es especialmente importante.
a) Si nos fijamos detenidamente en las palabras de nuestro himno que puede ser sorprendido por lo que cantamos.
b) Este himno tiene sólo tres versos y cada línea comienza con la misma pregunta.

11) NO SE SIEMBRA LA SEMILLA DEL REINO, hermano?
a) Creo que muchos cristianos tienen un concepto erróneo acerca de la gran llevar el evangelio a otros.
b) Es posible que haya llegado a la conclusión de que el evangelismo significa que tenemos que convertir a la gente.
c) La Biblia no dice "ir a convertir a la gente."
d) Nuestra salvación no depende de cuántos podemos bautizados.

12) La Biblia nos dice que la planta simplemente la semilla. Si esta semilla vive o muere es responsabilidad de Dios.
13) Escuche lo que dijo Pablo en 1 Cor. 03:06 - LEER
un Pablo) "plantada." Otro "regado".
b) ¿Quién "ha dado el crecimiento"? Dios.
c) Jesús enseñó esto mismo en Mc. 16:15; Él dijo: "Id por todo el mundo y enseñar."
d) Los cristianos son personas que van a "plantar la semilla."

14) Algunos piensan que John Chapman plantado las semillas de manzana suficiente para cubrir un área de 100.000 millas.
15) Supongamos que tuviéramos que estar al lado de John Chapman, en el Día del Juicio.
16) Por lo que estamos por él en la final de los tiempos se nos recuerda de los miles de semillas que plantó.
17) Dios se convierte para nosotros un cristiano y ha dicho: ¿Cómo plantar semillas que usted para mi hijo?
18) Mi Hijo vino y vivió una vida perfecta. Él murió por los pecados del hombre. Él fue resucitado de entre los muertos.
19) ¿Cuántas semillas hizo que siembra para su causa durante su vida terrenal?
20) Al final de los tiempos muchos van a tener vergüenza en las semillas del Evangelio, no a sembrar.

21) En Lc. 8 Jesús compara la palabra de Dios a una "semilla".
a) El productor de esta historia no podría hacer que el crecimiento de los cultivos; esta parte de la tarea que le pertenecía a Dios.
b) Este agricultor tenía que sembrar las semillas ya que este era su trabajo.
c) Algunas de las semillas de los agricultores aterrizó en una superficie como el asfalto (Lucas 8:5), esta semilla fue comido por los pájaros.
d) Lc. 8:06 dice que algunas semillas cayeron sobre la roca, lo que germinaron en un apuro, pero murió al poco tiempo debido a la humedad insuficiente.
e) Algunas semillas cayeron "entre espinos" (versículo 7), pero se "atragantó con las malas hierbas."
f) Otra parte cayó en la toma de tierra (Lc. 8:8) y se trajo una cosecha enorme.

22) El agricultor sólo tuvo que sembrar la semilla y fomentar lo mejor que pudo.
23) Esto es todo lo que Dios pide de nosotros. Dios nos quiere plantar la semilla.

24) El predicador que habló con dos hombres en una carne Piggly Wiggly contra trató de sembrar algunas semillas.
a) Lo hizo porque era lo que el Señor hizo a lo largo de su ministerio terrenal.
b) Jesús no intenta convertir a cada persona que vio.
c) Lo hizo, sin embargo, tratar de "sembrar una semilla" en la vida de las personas.

25) Hay que volver atrás y reconsiderar lo que la Biblia enseña acerca de la evangelización (trabajo personal).
a) No hay duda de que queremos que la gente a convertirse en cristianos.
b) Dios no quiere que nadie perezca (Pet.3 2, 9), y esto debe ser nuestra meta también.
c) el plan de Dios es para nosotros "enseñar" y "predicar" la palabra "(2 Tim. 4:2).
d) Este versículo dice que hacer esto "a tiempo" y "fuera de tiempo" (cuando la gente lo quiere y cuando no lo hacen).

26) Nunca puede convertir una sola persona y que va a estar bien.
de Noé) predicó durante un tiempo largo, muy largo y no había muchas personas en el arca con él.
b) Noé tratado de sembrar la semilla y ésta es también nuestra tarea.
c) Hoy tenemos numerosas herramientas y grandes que nos ayude a sembrar la semilla.

27) Tenemos cientos de folletos en el vestíbulo para distribuir a la gente.
28) A partir del próximo semana estamos pidiendo a nuestros miembros para siempre a partir repartiendo folletos.
29) Para el mes que viene por favor, tratar de encontrar al menos un aparato que piensan algunas personas que conocen a gustar.
30) Trate de darle al menos un aparato a la semana en el mes de mayo.
31) Hemos CD gratis que permiten a las personas a tener la palabra de Dios en su ordenador.
32) Esta es otra gran manera de sembrar la semilla del evangelio en la vida de alguien.

33) Sabemos que es la palabra de Dios que tiene el poder de convertir a la gente, Rom. 1:16.
34) Nuestra tarea es "sembrar esta semilla" y que tan a menudo como sea posible.
a) Nuestra canción habla de "sembrar la semilla de la mañana" cuando las cosas son "brillantes y limpias."
b) Queremos dar a las personas pequeñas partes del evangelio cuando sus vidas son buenas.
c) Se puede "sembrar la semilla en la" cabeza del resplandor del mediodía es. "
d) Cuando una persona está teniendo momentos difíciles tenemos algunas veces más para "sembrar la semilla."
e) Nuestras conversaciones himno de "sembrar la semilla en la noche."
f) La mayoría de la gente pasa por momentos muy tristes.
g) Funerales, muertes, divorcio, pérdida de trabajo, un diagnóstico médico como el cáncer ... también son tiempos de sembrar la semilla.

35) Se podría pensar que algunas situaciones son como la ilustración de pavimento en Lc. 8.
36) Se podría pensar que "No tiene sentido tratar de sembrar la semilla en el evangelio con él / ella -. No va a funcionar"
37) Nuestra tarea no es juzgar el suelo (la gente). Nuestro trabajo es sembrar la semilla (la palabra de Dios).

38) Es posible que algunas personas nunca se escucha o no tener un CD o las vías y podemos estar en lo cierto.
39) Algunas de las semillas que sembramos va a terminar siendo un esfuerzo inútil, lo que está bien.
40) Todos los días pasamos por la vida debemos tratar de plantar por lo menos una semilla de Dios.
41) Si somos capaces de agua que las semillas, muy bien. Si no, al menos tratar de establecer una parte del evangelio.
42) Dios tiene un montón de semillas, no podemos usar todo.
43) Queremos esparcir las semillas del Evangelio por todas partes.

QUEREMOS SER PLANTADORES semilla porque, como el coro de nuestra canción DICE "PARA LA COSECHA SE VIENE".

a) Un día el Señor volverá.
b) En este momento el "trabajo segador pronto se llevará a cabo" - el tiempo para la siembra cesará.
c) Cuando Jesús vuelve Dios va a estar interesado en saber si podemos o no sembrar cualquier semilla.
d) Sabemos que Jesús nos ha dicho que "ir por todo el mundo" con la semilla del evangelio.

2) Cuando pensamos en la difusión del mensaje del evangelio tratar de imaginar a un hombre que se dice un agricultor.
3) Le pedimos a este hombre sobre las cosechas en su granja y su compañero esta dice: "Todo lo que tengo son las malas hierbas."
4) El campesino dice: "Yo no plantar cualquier semilla."
5) ¿Cómo puede una persona ser un agricultor si nunca plantas de un cultivo "?
6) ¿Cómo puede una persona ser cristiano si no se siembra la semilla?
a) En el pasado la siembra de la semilla del evangelio en todo el mundo parecía un imposible para una sola persona a hacer.
b) Ahora, con la tecnología como Internet, que puede ser un sembrador de semillas en todo el mundo.
c) Existen vías electrónicas que pueden dirigir a la gente a.
d) No hay oportunidades para enseñar el evangelio en los sitios de redes sociales como Facebook y Twitter.
e) Algunos delante del B & P, que se envía por correo electrónico a amigos y compañeros de trabajo.
f) Tenemos más herramientas que nunca antes.

7) La siembra puede comenzar con aquellos que están más cerca de nosotros y ampliar rápidamente de allí.
a) Una familia sólo tenía un hijo y este hijo pequeño estaba en su lecho de muerte.
b) El padre llegó a casa y me dijeron que su hijo probablemente se iría al día siguiente.
c) El niño le dijo a su padre que estaba muy enfermo y el papá dijo que el niño estaba en lo cierto.
d) El niño le preguntó si iba a morir pronto y mi papá dijo que sí.
e) El joven le preguntó si iba a estar con el Señor y el padre dijo que lo haría.
8) El padre comenzó a llorar y el hijo le dijo que era innecesario.
9) El niño dijo que cuando vio que el Señor le recuerda a Jesús de las semillas de la papa ha tratado de sembrar en su vida.

10) Tenemos que sembrar la semilla de cada día en la vida de nuestros hijos, cónyuges y las personas cercanas a nosotros.

11) También tenemos que hacer nuestro mejor esfuerzo para tener la semilla de Dios en el mundo entero.
12) La siembra de la semilla tiene que ser algo que es una de las prioridades de la vida.

13) Supongamos que en el Día del Juicio, Dios tenía un requisito mínimo para los que vivían en el Nuevo Testamento.
14) Supongamos que Dios dice que por cada año que vivió como cristiano, que teníamos que sembrar por lo menos 100 semillas por él.
15) ¿Cuántos se apartó de la salvación? ¿Podríamos ser rechazado?
a) Se siembran las semillas de tantos temas en la vida.
b) No hablar de deportes, el clima, vacaciones, salidas familiares, enfermedad, etc
c) La única cosa que a menudo no se discute las necesidades espirituales del hombre.
d) Si miramos hacia atrás en la última semana, cuántas semillas que sembramos hizo a Dios?
e) Si la respuesta es cero, ¿cuánto tiempo ha pasado desde que sembramos una semilla para el servicio de Dios?

16) Hoy en día muchos están pensando en la resurrección de Jesús.
17) Esta es una gran cosa, porque si Jesús no hubiera resucitado de los muertos, no se pudo guardar.
18) Muchas personas piensan acerca de la resurrección de este fin de semana y luego volver a su vida diaria hasta el próximo año.
19) las personas Guardado no viven de esta manera.
20) las personas guardados tratar de decir el mensaje de un Cristo resucitado todos los días.
21) Queremos hacer todo lo posible para sembrar por lo menos una semilla de Dios todos los días.
22) ¿Estamos sembrando la semilla del reino?
23) ¿Ha sido la semilla sembrada en nuestra vida y está creciendo tan rápida y completamente como sea posible?
 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tax day is April 18th

 
What annual event occurred this past week that has a major effect on all of us, both mentally and monetarily? Now you only get one guess. If you said "Tax Day" you are absolutely correct. April 18th (this year) was the last possible day in which to send in your tax returns. And, if you're like me, you were just thrilled to death to do so, weren't you?

When it comes to taxes, I suppose that I'm like most Americans in that I wouldn't mind paying my fair share if I had any faith in the government to use them appropriately. At least, appropriate to my way of thinking. When I think about the appropriateness of government spending, I'm reminded of a sign we see many times alongside the highway, usually near a construction project. The sign reads: "YOUR FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS AT WORK."

I don't have a problem with either that sign or the highway project because the Lord knows that we need better highways. As to the sign, I would like to see it made mandatory that this notice be placed on everything in which tax dollars are involved. Wouldn't that be an eye-opener? We know that will never happen simply because our wonderful government leaders don't really want the public to know a lot of things their monies are used for. Just exactly what things are being paid for or supported by our taxes.

If you turn on the radio or TV the major news event seems to be the latest information regarding the national debt. I've lost track of how many "trillions" of dollars it currently consists of, just suffice it to say that my great-grandchildren, which haven't come along yet, will be paying it off.

This "cost of government" got me to thinking about what it would have been like to live in another time. Under another government. In my thinking, I settled on an era and a place that we know from our study of the Bible that is easily pictured as being the greatest kingdom on earth. Governed by the "wisest" king ever - Solomon. I mean, a country led by his wisdom must have been an ideal time and place to be a citizen of.

But, you know what? When we look at good old Solomon we almost see a paradox, don't we? It's almost puzzling to see someone whom God had blessed with great wisdom doing some things that just seem, well - dumb. You would have thought that, with all that wisdom, he'd have been a tad smarter in running the government of Israel back then.

In order to be fair though, much like the people of America today, the Israelites have to bear much of the blame for the government of their country. We elect our leaders so who are we to blame for any ineptitude on their part?

Here's where the Israelites have to share the blame for their government. They wanted to be like everyone around them and have a king govern them. They weren't satisfied with just some plain old judge. When we read in the 8th chapter of 1 Samuel, we see where Samuel warns them of what it will be like under the rule of a king. He tells them what it's going to cost them to support a royal government. He even told them that they would "cry out" over the burdens imposed on them by the king. They wouldn't listen. They moaned and bellyached so much that God gave them a king to rule over them. This unwise desire by Israel serves as a great example of the old saying: "Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it."

Of course Saul was the first king, then came David and then the wisest of all, Solomon. If we go to the book of 1 Kings we can find a lot about what it would have been like to live under his rule. When you look at the opulence of Solomon he appears to me to have been a very vain person. Perhaps that's why he later could conclude that "all is vanity." He should know. He seemed to have a passion for opulence and magnificence and I'm here to tell you that O and M don't come cheap.

Like all governments, Solomon's had to be supported. Where do you suppose the funds for the maintenance of Solomon's lifestyle,(er government) came from? If you said "from the people" again you are absolutely correct. Let's look at a few of the costs incurred by his subjects.

In 1 Kgs. 4:22-23 we read what it cost to feed just the royal family and their guests. How about 330 bushels of flour, 660 bushels of meal, 10 fat oxen and 20 regular oxen, 100 sheep, besides other animals and fowls - PER DAY! Plus he had 60 personal bodyguards drawn from the "most valiant men of Israel" that were tasked with guarding his sleeping quarters.

Here's something else about wise old Solomon - he liked to build things. He spent 7 ½ years building the Temple. If you remember, his father David had stored up most of the material for this Temple, but also remember - he was a king too. So where did his funds come from? You guessed it again.

Solomon didn't stop with the Temple though. Since he had married the daughter of Pharaoh, he had to build her a palace. Then he built himself a palace and another great edifice, sort of a governmental house, called the "House of the Cedars of Lebanon." He built a city called Millo which was some sort of fort. Here's the kicker for all of this building by Solomon. 1 Kgs. 9:15 says that all of these construction projects were built with funds "levied" (IE: taxes) on the people.

Oh, he also built many storage cities, apparently to house all of the taxed property received from his subjects. Even though his reign was almost total peace, he built one place that had 4000 stalls for horses, chariots and 12,000 horsemen. Any idea how rough his army had it? They must have lived "high off the hog" as my daddy used to say. 1 Kgs. 4:27 says that they "lacked nothing." Here again, somebody had to foot the bill for all of this.

Beyond just the funds levied, Solomon put a levy on the people themselves. In 1 Kgs. 5 we see where he taxed the citizenry 10,000 men per month to go work in the quarries of Lebanon to cut and carry the stones for the Temple project.

Now if we were living in Solomon's kingdom and had put up with all the levies and taxes he demanded, think what it would have been like if we were there when he died and his dim-witted son, Rehoboam, took over. In 1 Kgs. 12 we see a very telling thing about Solomon's government. Verse 4 says that Solomon had made "their yoke grievous." That Solomon's "yoke" had been a "heavy one." In verse 11 Rehoboam tells the people that, if they thought his father's yoke had been heavy, they hadn't seen anything yet. (Paraphrasing by me)

Well, after considering it, I guess that I'm just as happy to be living now as under Solomon. Our king, excuse me, President, may not have a Temple and several palaces, but he does have an airplane that is estimated to run us peasants about 200 billion dollars a year in costs. And I'm so thankful that he doesn't have 700 wives and 300 concubines that we'd have to house and feed.

Ron Covey

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sermon on the grace of God

 

When Paul talks to Titus about salvation, it is no surprise that he deals with the work of Christ.  He gave Himself for us.  This so firmly implies the cross that one who has cursory knowledge of the New Testament knows what Paul means.  There are four beautiful qualities of God's grace revealed by Paul in Titus 2.

GOD'S GRACE IS EVIDENT (11).  It has appeared to all men.  Through the Bible, people of every land and language have heard the message of grace!  It is an unprejudiced, impartial gift, in that it is for all men! 

GOD'S GRACE IS EDUCATIONAL (12).  Grace is not cheap!  It has a definite purpose, to teach us!  What it teaches us is sacrifice and self-denial.  To enjoy the benefits of grace, I must deny sin and live righteously.  I cannot go my own way, doing my own thing.  Grace teaches me differently.

GOD'S GRACE IS EXPECTANT (13).  That is its effect upon me.  G.W. Knight writes that "our expectant waiting for the blessed hope is spoken of as the appearing of 'our Savior'" (The Pastoral Epistles, 326).  What He did at the cross leads us to look ahead to what He is going to do at the second coming.  I am looking for the fruition of grace, the future impact of grace upon my soul!

GOD'S GRACE IS EMANCIPATING (14).  It redeems us, meaning it set us free and paid the ransom for our captivity to sin.  It purifies us, meaning we are free from the stain and filth of sin.  Appreciating this wonderful freedom, we will be His and His workers in this world!  We are freed to serve Him, but what wonderful freedom!

God's grace is sufficient because He is the one offering it.  It is so wonderful, but it does so much for our good.  It should move us to give ourselves totally to His service!  Thank God for His grace.

 

Neal Pollard  

Be Strong and of Good Courage

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6 

W

hen Moses was one hundred and twenty years old, he made the encouraging statement quoted above to Israel. Israel was poised on the threshold of the Promised Land, but there were still fortified cities and giants in the land that they were promised that they would possess. They had been in this position 40 years earlier, and they had chosen to listen to the advice of the ten spies who discouraged them with their reports of giants and fortified cities. A new generation had grown up in the wilderness and now it was their turn to make a choice. The condition of the Promised Land had not changed in 40 years, but this generation of Israelites had a different spirit. They would not turn back in fear, but they would forge ahead with courage.  

I have read a few quotes recently regarding courage and choice. I hope you may find some encouragement in these words:  

"In my 65 years on this earth, I have come to realize that the difference in our success or failure is not chance, but choice. Because when adversity strikes, it's not what happens that will determine our destiny; it's how we react to what happens." Mac Anderson 

"Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed." Dale Carnegie 

"Have the courage to live. Anyone can die." Robert Cody 

"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die." Gilbert K. Chesterton 

I remember the words of Mordecai to Esther when Haman made a plot to destroy the Jewish people: "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the King's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:13-14). Mordecai had confidence that God would deliver the Jews, and he encouraged Esther not to shrink from the opportunity that was open to her to be a part of God's rescue.  

I don't know what your circumstances are today. I'm not sure what challenges and adversities you face. I am confident that God can see you through whatever difficulties surround you if you will choose the path that he places before you. I do not promise that it will be easy. I do pray that God will give you the courage to face your giants and claim the victory that surely comes to those who trust in God.  

"…You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand…."  1 Samuel 17:45-46 

-Scott Gage

Fayetteville, Arkansas

 

 

 

 

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