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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Well, just give me the money then

In the End


Aunt Mary, who was in her 90s, would call her nephew, David, from time to time asking him to take her to the beauty parlor.  David, who had some health struggles of his own, would always oblige if he possibly could.  He would go and pick her up, take her to the beauty parlor, come back and get her when she was through, and take her home.  Then the playful “battle” would begin.  Aunt Mary wanted to give him some money for gas; David didn’t want it.  “You take it, or I won’t call you anymore,” threatened Aunt Mary.  David responded, “Well, just give me the money then!”  His relationship with her and his desire to help her were more important than the money.


When asked what her great-grandmother had meant to her, Madison (Cox) Holland wrote: “My Meme [pronounced meemee] was a big part of the village that raised me.  Because of this, it's hard for me to pinpoint specific memories of her.  She's not a snap shot here and there in my mind.  She's more of a thread, weaved all throughout my child and adulthood.  Her presence in my life was loving, steadfast and everlasting.


Our after school routine included Hormel Chili, oyster crackers, Dragon Tales, me playing with her hair dressing equipment and occasionally Chick-Fil-A Ice Dream.  I can't think of these things without thinking of Meme and I can't hear someone pop his/her gum without turning to look for her.


I wish that there was something I could say to honor Meme to the same degree that she impacted my life, but there isn't.  I just love her.”


These are a few of the wonderful memories that were shared by family and friends of two members of the Creekwood Church of Christ that passed away last week.  David Devitt (1946-2018) and Margaret “MeMe” Montalban (1929-2018) were not physically related, but they were both members of the family of God and they passed from this life within a 24-hour period.  They both left behind family and friends that have been profoundly impacted by their lives.


We’ve all been reminded that in the end, it’s relationships that we share with loved ones mean the most to us.


And, in the end, there’s one relationship that is the most important of all: our relationship with God.  When one has a relationship with God, there is salvation, hope, and eternal life to come (1 Peter 1:3-4; Romans 6:23).  If there is no relationship with God, then there is sorrow with no hope and destruction (1 Thessalonians 4:13; Matthew 7:13-14).


The good news is that God wants to save us and have a relationship with us!  In fact, He has made it possible for us – even though we have sinned – to be reconciled to Him through the blood of Jesus Christ His Son.  Our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2), but God gave His Son to die on the cross for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).  We can be reconciled to God through Jesus when we accept His offer of salvation and eternal life on His terms.


God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  When one is baptized into Christ, he/she is born again into the family of God, the church.  God will continue to cleanse His children from sin as they continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).


In the end, it’s relationships that matter most.  Treasure them.  Make the most of your time with family and friends.


In the end, there’s one relationship that will be the most important of all: our relationship with God.


Won’t YOU accept God’s offer of salvation, eternal life, and relationship?


-- David A. Sargent


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

What is the truth about baptism?

Baptism Does Not …

The Bible has much to say on the subject of baptism. The Book of God tells us that baptism is for remission of sin (Acts 2:38); that it saves us (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21); it puts into Christ where all spiritual blessings are (Romans 6:3; Ephesians 1:3); through this act we can become the children of God (Galatians 3:26-28); it is to be preceded by faith, repentance and confession of our faith that Jesus is Lord (Acts 8:36,37; 2:38); and the mode of baptism is immersion (Acts 8:38; Romans 6:4). 

It seems that the vast majority of the religious world rejects the idea that baptism has anything to do with the forgiveness of sin. As noted above, their claim is totally false. Yet we have some brethren who take the Bible teaching on baptism to the other extreme, thinking that it is a kind of cure all problem with regard to sin, without ever repenting. This teaching is erroneous as well!

One cannot continue to practice sin after he has been baptized into Christ. Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, said, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). They had been guilty of all of these things, but no longer did they practice them (“such were some of you”). Now they had been washed in the blood of Lamb (Acts 22:16), set apart by God to be used in His service, and declared just in His sight.

Baptism does not make unlawful marriage lawful. If it was an adulterous relationship before baptism, it is still and adulterous relationship after baptism. One who was involved in homosexuality before baptism cannot continue to practice such after baptism. Baptism washes away the sins that had been committed upon one’s repentance. When men and women were told to repent, before baptism, it meant they had to turn from sin to God and they were not to continue in them.

To say that one is not subject to the law of Christ before baptism is to teach something that the Lord’s will did not reveal. How did the Corinthians become guilty of fornication, adultery, etc. if they were not subject to that law? How would one become a sinner in need of salvation
if he has not violated the law of God? In writing to those at Thessalonica, Paul said, “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). Will He take vengeance on those who have not submitted to the gospel of Jesus Christ? He said so! Does his not indicate that those who fail to obey are subject to that gospel? Sure it does. Likewise, just because one has been baptized, such does not guarantee that heaven will be that person’s home. I don’t personally know of anyone who is a member of the Lord’s church that believes in the doctrine of once saved always saved. Yet I know several who live as if they believe such to be the truth. Baptism does not automatically punch your ticket to God’s eternal abode. It takes faithful living on the part of each individual. Jesus said, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22). Notice a similar statement made in Revelation 2:10, the later part of that verse, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

Baptism does not solve all the problems associated with sin in one’s life. You may well need to repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins like those on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:36-38). They turned away from their iniquities, like the Corinthians, and served God. Or you may have been baptized for the remission of your transgressions and you have allowed sin with its allurements to overtake you. You need to repent and pray like Peter told Simon. “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:22). May we all be willing to submit to God’s plan of forgiveness so that each might stand washed, sanctified, and justified in the sight of our Lord.

- by Jim Mickells


Monday, October 22, 2018

Luke 6:45

Luke 6:45--The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.


Our heart is a treasure house where we store those things that control our intellect, emotions, actions, attitudes and will. What we think, believe, how we act and react is determined by that which we have stored in our hearts.   We need desperately to hear and heed the words of Solomon, "Watch over your hearts with all diligence, For from it flows the springs of life" (Proverbs 4:23).


Keeping watch over our heart will require that we do as Paul instructs in Philippians 4:8, think on those things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good report, excellent and worthy of praise. It will require that we be willing to present our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God and not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 2:15-17). I love Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me".


If we are going to successfully guard our heart then we must surrender ourselves completely to God and his will. Hear James as he tells us, Submit yourselves to God, Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). What do you think submitting to God means? I don't know how you would answer that question but as for myself, I believe it means that I let him mold my thoughts through his word, I let his word fill my heart and let his word guide my life every step of the way. It is saying "God I surrender all to you, take me, take me now"!


I pray that each of us will have good treasures in our hearts so that we can in confidence say, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way".


Charles Hicks


Friday, October 19, 2018

I came. I saw. I conquered

The Royal Priesthood Reigns with its Hero – King Jesus

“I came. I saw. I conquered.” Julius Caesar, 47 BC? No, Jesus Christ, 4 BC-30 AD!  Psalm 132:9-18. Jesus came calling sinners to repent and enter His kingdom. Mark 1:15. As Son of David he would sit on David’s throne. Genesis 49:8-10; Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 22:41-45. At the end of Jesus’ ministry, one prominent Jewish councillor even asked for Jesus’ body on the cross, and Mark said he was waiting for the kingdom. Mark 15:43. When Jesus came He saw our need, conquered our sin, was raised from death to become King, and rules  His kingdom of priests till he returns at the end of time. Exodus 19:6; Psalm 45; 110:1-7; 132:9-18; Daniel 7:21-27; Colossians 1:12-14; 1 Peter 2:5-9; 3:13-22; Revelation 1:6; 2:17; 5:10; 7:9-17; 20:6. In fact, King Jesus rules over everyone and everything in the universe. He is Lord of all. Psalm 2; 110:1-3; Matthew 11:27-12:8; 28:18; Mark 4:35-41; Acts 10:36; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; 15:25; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Peter 3:22; Revelation 1:17-18; 5:9-14; 17:14; 19:16. God’s reign is one of the great themes of the Bible, as is God’s reign through Jesus.

As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honour, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.' Daniel 7:13-14

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but  they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years. Revelation 20:6

Arise, O Lord, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. 9 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy. 10 For the sake of your servant David, do not turn away the face of your anointed one. 11 The Lord swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back:

“One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne. 12 If your sons keep my covenant and my testimonies

that I shall teach them, their sons also forever shall sit on your throne. Psalm 132:8-12

Many are making huge sacrifices to get a glimpse of Prince Harry - the possible, future king of England, but why

aren’t they  interested in Jesus the Saviour of the world and the King of the universe who grants life everlasting?

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.

You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever.

Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one; clothe yourself with splendour and majesty. In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.

Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet.

Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of your kingdom.

You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions

    by anointing you with the oil of joy. Psalm 45:1-7

We Christians, of course, have no need to say, “Long live the King,” because Jesus our King lives forever. His reign will last until God the Father decides to bring our world to a close, and then Jesus will hand His rulership back to His Father, and again be subject to Him.

In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy." Daniel 2:44-45

But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. 21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.

24 After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) 28 Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere. 1 Corinthians 15:20-28

In our day-to-day lives, Jesus is King when we do His will.

Our Father in heaven.

May your name be kept holy.

May your Kingdom come soon.

May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9-10

We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you into his Kingdom to share his glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:12.    Compare 2 Thessalonians 1:3-5.

And as we daily do God’s will, we ensure that the kingdom we entered at our conversion, John 3:3-5; Colossians 1:12-14, will welcome us into its eternal phase in heaven at the return and judgment of Jesus. John 5:24-30; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10; Ephesians 5:5; Hebrews 9:27-28

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvellous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.  8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are short-sighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-11

The kingdom belongs to Christ and God. Ephesians 5:5. It is not of this world, John 18:36, but is “righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17. It is the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - not because Jesus remains King eternally, but because the Kingdom (i) that began when Jesus became Lord after His resurrection, Acts 2:29-36, (ii) into which we entered as specially favoured at conversion, Colossians 1:12-14, (iii) in which we live each day as we reign with Christ, Matthew 6:10; Romans 5:17; Revelation 5:10, and (iv) will continue eternally under Father God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 15:25-28; Hebrews 12:25-28; Revelation 22:5.

The gospel of Christ is the gospel of the kingdom which we always preach, Acts 1:3,6-8; 8:12; 19:8 … because Jesus’ kingdom is now! John 3:3,5; Romans 1:14-17; 5:17,21; 14:17; Colossians 1:13-14; Hebrews 12:48. The

kingdom of Christ is Christ’s reign in our lives so that we can reign in righteousness with Him.

For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the

abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17

David Hunter

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1)


In 1 Corinthians 9:24-26, Paul likens the Christian life to a race in which the Christian runs in earnest with his eyes fixed on a definite goal. Winning that crown of righteousness must be an all consuming desire of the runner (Philippians 3:12-13; James 1:12).  We must run as if there were blinders on our eyes so as to not let any distractions cause us to swerve to the right or left. Our race will not be an easy one.


I suggest to you three things that must be a part of our daily routine if we are to successfully endure to the end of the race and win the prize of the high calling of God:


       1.  Spend time each day talking with the Lord. It is so uplifting and comforting

            to the soul to spend some quiet moments praying to God (1 Thess. 5:17;

             Phil. 4:6; Rom. 12:12).


       2.  Be thankful for the peace of God that rules in your heart and every

            day remember to seek the Lord's blessing (Col. 3:15). Jesus tells us to ask

            and it will be given, seek and we will find, knock and it will be opened

            to us (Matt.7:7). We have the awesome privilege of being able to go

            boldly before the throne of grace where we will receive mercy and find

            help in time of need (Heb. 4:16).


       3.  Take time for spiritual nourishment each day (1 Pet. 2:2; Heb. 5:11-14;

            2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Pet. 3:18). Feeding on his word, we let him be our guide

            (2 Tim. 3:16-17). This will be our means of placing every thought

             and motive under his control as we run the race (Col. 3:15-17;

            2 Cor. 10:3-5; Phil. 4:8).


My prayer is that all of us will be found running this Christian race every day in such a way that we can say: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me  the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, righteous Judge will award me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved his appearing" (2 Tim. 4:7-8).


Charles Hicks

Monday, October 15, 2018


This is a reply to the article “People who are “Just Christians” Don’t Have a Clue” posted at

My reply?

1 Peter 4:14-16; 1 Corinthians 4:1-13

Even the first “pope” – Peter himself – said we suffer for the name of Christ – as Christians. Nothing about Catholics, Protestants, denominations, sects, heresies, philosophies, etc.

And the whole point of 1 Peter is to stress that we suffer for what is right, not for what is wrong. 1 Peter 2:20; 3:17; 4:19.

Setting yourself up as a human head of the church on earth is clearly wrong, since only Christ is head of the church in heaven and on earth. Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 1 Peter 3:21-22.

Claiming a foundation for the church that is other than Christ and the original apostles, is clearly wrong. Matthew 16:18-19; 18:18; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Ephesians 2:19-22.

Dividing Christ’s church into denominations is totally against Christ’s will which urges us to be “perfected in unity.” John 17:20-23; 1 Corinthians 1:10-15; 3:1-4:7; Ephesians 4:1-6.

Christians are nourished by the word of God, and only the word of God. Matthew 15:1-14; Acts 20:20,24,27,32; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-15; 1 Timothy 3:15; 6:14,20-21; 2 Timothy 1:13-14; 3:16-17. Since the word ‘tradition’ refers to what is handed on and received, the only tradition that is handed on to be received as authoritative, by those interested in the truth, is the inspired word of the Old Testament prophets, and the inspired word of the New Testament apostles – all of which we have access to in the Scriptures we call the Bible. 2 Peter 1:16-21; 3:1-2.

Jesus once said, “I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth. Anyone on the side of truth listens to Me.” John 18:37. This is what caused Pilate to ask: “What is truth?” John 18:38. Pilate was probably confused. He had heard the Jewish high priest’s version of the truth, and he had heard Jesus’ version of the truth.

We listen to Jesus when we hear and obey his word. Matthew 4:4; 7:13-29; Mark 4:20-25; 7:5-14; Luke 6:46; 1 Corinthians 14:37.

Salvation comes to those who obey Jesus who died to save, and who lives forever to make saving intercession. Hebrews 5:7-9; 7:23-28.

We have no other mediator between God and man. 1 Timothy 2:3-7.

--David Carr

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Is There Any Hope?


The English poet Alexander Pope wrote, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be blest.”


But where does man turn when hope dries up?


The director of a medical clinic told of a terminally ill young man who came in for his usual treatment.  A new doctor who was on duty said to him casually and cruelly, “You know, don’t you, that you won’t live out the year?”


As the young man left, he stopped by the director’s desk and wept.  “That man took away my hope,” he blurted out.


“I guess he did,” replied the director.  “Maybe it’s time to find a new one.”


Commenting on this incident, Lewis Smedes wrote, “Is there a hope when hope is taken away?  Is there hope when the situation is hopeless?  That question leads us to Christian hope, for in the Bible, hope is no longer a passion for the possible.  It becomes a passion for the promise.” *


The Apostle Peter wrote these encouraging words to some “suffering saints,” some Christians who were being persecuted for their faith in Christ: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).  He describes their hope as a living hope because Jesus rose from the dead.


The basic facts of the Gospel, the Good News, are: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).


Christ died for our sins.  He paid the price for our redemption with His own blood.  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).


He was buried in a tomb.  With the permission of Pilate, the Roman governor, the chief priests and Pharisees made the tomb secure, sealing the stone in front of the tomb, and setting a guard (see Matthew 27:62-66).


But on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead, the stone was rolled away, and the tomb was found empty.  By His resurrection, Christ won the victory over Satan, sin, and death.


The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead means that sin, suffering, and death do not have the final word.  His resurrection guarantees us that we, too, will be raised one day (see 1 Corinthians 15:20-57).


That is a promise.  It is a promise that provides hope beyond the grave.  It is a living hope because Jesus is alive!


That living hope belongs to those who have embraced the Living Lord through their trusting obedience.


God has promised to save and raise to eternal life in heaven those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).


Is there any hope?  Because of Jesus, the answer is “Yes!”


Won’t you submit your life to Jesus so that you can share in that hope?


-- David A. Sargent


* Source: Our Daily Bread, December 19, 1996, quoted in Sermon Illustrations from


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