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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Look Unto Realms Above

A principle that is important to the teaching process is stated clearly by John Milton Gregory in his book, The Seven Laws of Teaching. Gregory says: "Since attention follows interest, it is folly to attempt to gain attention without first stimulating interest."

Remembering my high school days in study hall, I must agree with Gregory. I can recall 'reading' page after page in a book and being unable to remember a single idea from the book because my mind was on a basketball game to be played that night. The book didn't occupy my attention because I, at the time, wasn't interested in IT.

This gets to the heart of the problem of brethren who don't study the word of God publicly or privately. They simply aren't interested. They are more interested in reading "Good Housekeeping," "Newsweek:' "Reader's Digest," or "True Story" than in reading the Bible. They are more interested in seeing what's on TV than seeing what God has said. They are more interested in spending time with a hobby than in spending time with God.

The apostle Paul commended the Bereans for their nobility in studying the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11). He told the Ephesians that they could understand the scriptures if they would read. He then exhorted them to be not foolish but understand God's will (Eph. 3:4; 5:17).

It's not likely, though, that we'll stimulate brethren to study God's word until we interest them in going to heaven. It may be that brethren in this country have it so good on earth that they don't think any more about going to heaven than I did about the book I was supposedly reading in study hall. That being true, it's no wonder the Bible doesn't occupy their attention. Brethren, we've simply got to wake to the fact that — 70 years and it's all over here. Then what? Until we set our hope on Christ and our affection on things above (1 John 3:3; Col. 3:1-4), the BOOK describing those things cannot possibly hold our attention.

- by L.A. Stauffer


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The church at Laodicea

You’re Satisfied?

So what?

The rich man was satisfied, but God called him a fool and took his life and condemned his soul. (Luke 12:20)

The whole church at Laodicea was satisfied, but Jesus said they did not know that they were actually wretched, and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Revelation 3:16-22).

That’s about how wrong a “satisfied” person can be.

Satisfied? Are you, now? The Pharisee that went into the temple to pray was satisfied with himself, and even glad he was not as the Publican (Luke 18:10-14). But Jesus said that the satisfied Pharisee was not justified like the sin-conscious Publican was!

The wise man warned: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12).

- by Jere E. Frost


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How do we exalt Christ?

Exalting Christ

How do we exalt Christ?  We exalt Christ when we preach His word, when we follow His teaching, when we do only that which He authorizes, when we wear only His name, when we make Him the center of our affection and adoration, when we recognize Him as our only Head, Lord, and King. To do otherwise is to fail to exalt Him.

- by Bill Hall


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Nothing to Live For

Somebody once said, “Many people have everything to live WITH and nothing to live FOR.”  How true that is. Many wealthy people live hollow, meaningless lives.  They have more than enough possessions to make life comfortable, but they have little purpose in life to make it meaningful.

It takes decades before some people eventually realize that life lived for mere self-indulgence is ultimately an empty life.  A time can come, however, when even the shiniest new car, or the biggest house, or the flashiest jewelry, can’t mask the hollowness of a life without high purpose.

The Bible doesn’t condemn all wealth, and new cars and nice houses are not wrong.  But lasting satisfaction doesn’t come from these things or self-indulgence. On the other hand, people with little to live with may have much to live for.  For example, Jesus’ apostles were not wealthy (Acts 3:6), but their lives had real purpose.

The Scriptures assure us that God can bring purpose into our lives, too.  He can give us something to live for that is missing from the lives of people whose lives are hollow and without purpose, something that can ultimately take you to be with God.

- by David Watts


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