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Friday, November 2, 2018

Voting: Making Godly Choices

People who believe in Bible standards for the family, morality, and religious freedom often face challenging decisions in elections. On the one hand, we ought to prefer those who will encourage righteousness and discourage evil. Yet on the other hand, the available candidates are often less than ideal.

Some people wonder, if they vote for a candidate who holds some immoral view, are they having fellowship with evil (Ephesians 5:11; Romans 1:32). Or some may think that a candidate with a history of personal immorality cannot rule wisely (Proverbs 29:2; Luke 16:10).

These principles should be considered. But usually there is more than this to be considered.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Godly Sorrow, Worldly Sorrow, and True Repentance

2 Corinthians 7:10 – Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

In order to be forgiven of sins, one must first repent. In order to repent, one must first have godly sorrow. Some people do not repent because they are not really sorry. But there is another kind of sorrow – the sorrow of the world –that does not lead to repentance, but leads to death.

If godly sorrow is necessary in order to repent and receive salvation, but there is another kind of sorrow that leads to death, then surely we need to know the difference.

What is the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow? How do we recognize when we or others have a proper sorrow for our sins?

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Leave and Cleave: Independence of Married Children

Genesis 2:24 instructs a man to leave his father and mother and cleave (be joined) to his wife. When a young man and young woman marry, they form a new family unit separate from their parents' family.

Consider with me some lessons people need to learn about what it means to leave father and mother and cleave to one’s wife.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Every Part Doing His Share

Introduction:

Ephesians 4:16 – The body works effectively when every part does its share. This causes growth of the body, so it can edify itself in love.

Every Christian is responsible to do his best to accomplish the work of the local church and fulfill his individual responsibilities before God.
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In nearly every congregation, some members do most of the work while others do relatively little. Sometimes we become comfortable with allowing other people to do the work when we really should be helping.

From time to time events in a congregation remind us that each Christian must consider whether there are ways he/she can improve and accomplish more in the work of the congregation. We should always be willing to examine ourselves, but some events especially challenge us to consider our work.

The purpose of this study is to consider the work of this congregation and urge each of us to examine himself or herself to see if we can step up and do more.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Solving Conflict in Human Relationships

Everyone at times must deal with conflict and disagreements.
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An elderly couple celebrated many years of marriage. The man said, "I’m pleased to say that we’ve never had a fight." The wife responded, "Well, it helps to be old and forgetful!"

There is no such thing as a married couple that never has conflicts. But the same is true in many other relationships, including in the home, the church, on the job, etc. Unfortunately, most people lack the skill to discuss disagreements and resolve them. As a result, many people become seriously alienated but never resolve the cause of the problem.

The purpose of this study is to learn what the Bible says about how to resolve conflict in our relationships with others.
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Monday, June 4, 2018

Be Ready: The Importance of Preparation

Introduction:

God believes in the importance of good preparation.
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Proverbs 30:24,25 – God praised ants for their wisdom, because they provide food in the summer and so are prepared for winter. Preparation is a sign of wisdom.

God Himself prepared for many of His works.

Psalms 9:7 – He prepares judgment for the wicked.

Psalms 31:19 – He prepares goodness for His people.

Isaiah 40:3; Luke 1:17 – He sent John the Baptist to prepare for the coming of Jesus.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Bitterness, Resentment, and Self-Pity

Many of us tend to brood bitterly in self-pity about real or imagined mistreatment or failures of people around us. This has often been a problem for me, and I am sure for others too.

Consider some Biblical principles about this subject.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Why Do We Have Mass Shootings?

Every society has had evil people, but today we have people who seek to murder as many of their fellow citizens as they can. This did not exist in our society 50 to 60 years ago. So why do we have it today? There may be many factors, but consider the connection to other changes in our society in the last 50 to 60 years:

Monday, March 5, 2018

A New Man: The Gospel of Change

I once read the following statement (paraphrased): "Jesus never left anyone the same. Of everyone who ever met Him, He demanded change" (Christian Counselors Manual, page 247). Think of all the people whom Jesus demanded to change: the apostles, Nicodemus, the rich young ruler, the Samaritan woman, the woman taken in adultery, the scribes and Pharisees, Saul of Tarsus. Some heeded His call for change and some did not, but He required them all to change.

Change is a fundamental concept of the gospel of Christ.
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The gospel repeatedly emphasizes that those who are in Christ must be new and different.

2 Corinthians 5:17 - If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Romans 6:4 - We were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

The purpose of this lesson is to consider the gospel teaching that requires us to be new and different people.
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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Lessons from Snow

An article about "Snowflake Bentley" included the following:

"Wilson (Willie) Bentley (1865-1931) was born on a farm in Jericho, Vermont, ... [an area with] an average annual snowfall of over 120 inches."

"At age 15 he began drawing snowflakes while looking at them through his microscope – no easy task, because most of them melted before he could complete a drawing. At age 16 he learned about a camera that could be used with a microscope. His parents saved the money--and when Willie was 17 they bought him the camera. It took him over a year of failures before he finally achieved his goal – a photograph of a snowflake, the first one ever taken." (Acts and Facts, 12/2011)

Bentley eventually made thousands of such pictures for universities and science magazines.

"At age 66 Bentley published a large ... book of his photographs titled Snow Crystals ... Less than two weeks after his book was published, he walked six miles home in a snowstorm, caught pneumonia, and died two weeks later."

So, with incredible irony, this man who devoted most of his life to the study of snow, ultimately died from walking in a snowstorm!

Consider some lessons we can learn from snow.