The Heart Of A Fighter

By Landon Saunders

Sometimes it’s so easy to feel as if you’re down for the count. Alone. Face on the mat…you’ve been dealt one of life’s toughest blows.

‘ve felt this way more than once. And in a daze P’ve heard the count, four, five, six. And something in me says, Get up. This is no way to go out…face down…without a fight.”

You’ ve been there, too, haven’t you? So, what can you do? I like to think of a little child whose heart motivates him to get up again and again, fall after fall, determined to stand again and learn to walk.

The heart of a child… That’s the heart needed to handle what life throws your way. The heart enables you to stand once again in the center of the ring.

If you’re on the mat, feeling alone, remember the little child. That stirring you feel is the heart of the child within you…just waiting for another chance to take on the world.

Christ understood the splendid qualities of a child’s heart. Read Mark 10:13-16 or Luke 18:15-17.
Via….Bulletin Digest 

His Truth Marches On!

By Dalton Key

The indictment ofIsaiah against his generation, a people who had temporarily succeeded in turning truth upon its head, is no less applicable today: “Woe unto them that call evil good; and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20,21).

Though Isaiah’s generation perished in captivity the truth continued to march on. Their calling “evil good; and good evil” did not make it so.

We face a similar challenge today, when right is called wrong and wrong is called right; when all things “gay” are assumed to be good, while God, oddly enough, is portrayed as one of this world’s larger problems.

Everything we once thought was true is now decried as false; all we once thought to be false is now lauded as true. But never forget this: truth will prevail. n the final analysis, when all has been said and done, when once-powerful nations have long-since crumbled into the dust of oblivion, God’s truth will prevail. Men may deny truth’s very existence. They may denounce it and demonize it. They may debate it incessantly. But truth will prevail.

In the words of James Russell Lowell, “There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with the east wind is to put on your overcoat.”

Via Bulletin Digest 

Who Are You Living For?

By Lance Morrisett

Who is it that we should live life for? Is it to please others, self, or God? Remember what Jesus prayed for in the Garden of Gethsemane: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39b). It was not about others. It was not about himself. It was all about living for God and doing God’s will throughout His life. If Jesus lived life this way, we should live life the same way, “not as I will, but as you will.

Thinking about this passage and how Jesus lived his life, I came across these sayings this week, and I pray that they will encourage you as they did me.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives – BE KIND ANYWAY.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends, and some genuine enemies SUCCEED ANYWAY.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you – BE HONEST AND SINCERE ANYWAY.

.Ifyou find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous-BE HAPPY ANYWAY.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten DO GOOD ANYWAY.

.Give the best you have, and it will never be enough-GIVE YOUR BEST.

In the final analysis, it’s between you and God-IT WAS NEVER BETWEEN YOU AND THEM ANYWAY.

Who are you living life for, ANYWAY?

Reliable

By J. Brooks Boyd Jr. …via Bulletin Digest

It is probably sound advice that, when a car leaves you stranded, you should return the favor. Few people would keep a car that cannot be depended upon to work as needed. There may be a parable here.

Remember that David described himself and his fellow Israelites as.his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3). In other words, they belonged to God and were to serve according to the pleasure of His will. Recall that those rebuilding the wall with Zerubbabel identified themselves as “…the servants of the God of heaven and earth..” (Ezra 5:11). They were determined not to let anyone or anything stop them from finishing their God- appointed tasks.

Jesus used the analogy of sheep to represent his disciples. He said that His sheep (followers) will hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:3, 16, 27). Later, when Peter answered the council’s command for the apostles to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, he said, “…Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 5:19, 20). Peter was determined to follow the instructions of the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4).

As members of the local church, we are sheep who make up the flock (Acts 20:28). We are at the same time servants of Christ (Acts 4:29). We must ask ourselves, “Can the Lord depend on me?” Can He depend on me to be present at feeding time (every service and Bible class)? Can He depend on me to stand up for His truth when it is under attack? Can He depend on me to give as He has made me prosper? Remember that it was Jesus who asked, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). He is relying on all of us to be about His business.

The Search for Spirituality

by Roger Rush

Spirituality is a highly sought after quality, and has been throughout the ages. In the ancient city of Ephesus, sacred prostitutes served daily in the temple of Diana because it was thought that sexual union brought closer union with the gods. Mothers have thrown their babies into the crocodile-infested Ganges River in the search for spirituality. In Jesus’ own day Jews washed meticulously, dressed ridiculously and wouldn’t even eat an egg laid on the Sabbath in their quest for greater spirituality.

What is spirituality ? W. E. Vine writes regarding spirituality and the spiritual man: “Things that have their origin in God, and which, therefore, are in harmony with His character…the spiritual man walks by the Spirit…and manifests the fruits of the Spirit in his life.” It is that quality of life that results from a right relationship with God. It is evidenced by such things as love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self- control (Galatians 5:22, 23).

The essence of spirituality is reflected in Paul’s prayer for the church at Philippi. He prayed that they would approve the things that are excellent, and that they would be sincere and without offense until Christ came (Philippians 1:10). That should be our goal. Spiritual men have eternal values. They follow a divine standard. They live a distinctive life.

Our search for spirituality will not be complete until we learn the will of God and make it our own. That is only possible when we become careful Bible students. The Bible, understood and applied, makes for spiritual men and women. Spirituality may be a difficult concept to define, but a spiritual person is easily recognizable.

Are you searching for greater spirituality?

Do You Know About The First Valentine? By Larry Fitzgerald

This month we will celebrate the holiday referred to as Valentine’s Day. It is a time when we show others that we care for them. Small gifts of cards, candy, and flowers are part of the tradition.

But it might surprise you to find out that this holiday started out as a day to remember a Christian hero. According to the history books, Valentine was a 3rd century Christian preacher who lived near Rome. At this time the Roman Emperor Claudius II was ordering all young men not to marry. He thought they made better soldiers if they were single. No man could marry until he was too old to serve in the military. He also commanded that all people worship the false gods of Rome.

Valentine was arrested for performing Christian marriages and preaching that there was only one true God – the God of the Bible.

Valentine knew that no man – even the king – had the right to stop Christians from marrying (1 Corinthians 7:8-9). You see, while Romans 13:1-7 tells us that we are to respect and obey our leaders, Acts 5:29 tells us that when man’s law contradicts God’s law, we should obey God. And that’s what Valentine did ignoring the king’s orders Claudius commanded Valentine’s arrest.

While in prison, many Christians threw little notes of encouragement through Valentine’s prison window. These were the first valentines. In the end, Claudius had Valentine beheaded for his faith. It was because he loved the Lord and his fellow humans so much that he was willing to risk his life to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

This gives us pause when we think of Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day represents much more than romantic love. It is a day that honors God and those who love Him… and obey Him.

Via Bulletin Digest 

In The NAME of the Lord Jesus by Guy Orbison, Jr.

”And whatever you does that mean? It certainly must be important because it applies ton do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Col. 3:17).

Paul plainly states that what we say (word) and what we do (deed) should be done in “the name of the Lord Jesus.” But what does that mean? It certainly must be important because it applies to “whatever you do…

In the name of the Lord’ means to say and do things…

By His Authority – Does the Lord Jesus authorize me to do and say whatever I’m doing and saying? Is this what He really wants me to do or have I been presumptuous in going ahead without consulting the Lord?

For His Benefit If Jesus is Lord (ruler) of my life then I will strive to render Him benefit. I will not serve self. I will be about the business my Lord called me to do. I will go where He sends me.

To His Glory – When we have success in carrying on the work of the Lord, we must be careful of pride. It is easy to have the look what I’ve done” spirit rather than the humble spirit the Lord wants us to exhibit. What we do should be done for the purpose of rendering honor and glory to His name and not our own.

When a slave was sent by his master on a mission, he went in the name of his master…not his own name. This means it was by his master’s AUTHORITY and not his own; it was to render his master BENEFIT and not himself; and it was done to the GLORY of his master. We are slaves of Christ on a mission for Him…let us do all things in the name of the Lord.

Remodeling Your Spiritual House by Matt Clifton

There are tons of television shows centered around the idea of remodeling your home, and most of them operate on the same principle: helping a homeowner improve their living environment. Without proper care, houses deteriorate, or residents simply tire of the old furniture, paint and decorations around them. They need to remodel! Sometimes we need the same thing spiritually! James 1:21-25 gives us a blueprint to do an “extreme makeover” on our spiritual houses, and it all centers around the powerful word of God (James 1:18: 1 Pet. 1:22-25: John 17:15-17; Acts 20:28-32).

MAKE  ROOM for the Word! The first thing that happens in a remodeling job is tearing out the old walls, furniture, etc. You can’t bring in the new unless you get rid of some old! Likewise, in order to remodel our spiritual houses, we have to lay aside “filthiness and overflow of wickedness” (James 1:21). That means we have to throw away the sin that is in our lives and put on the “new man” (Col. 3:1-10). Sin is heavy (Heb. 12:1) and it clutters our environment. Get rid of it.
RECEIVE the Word! The next thing to do is bring in the new, useful material. For our spiritual houses, that useful material is the word of God. James says to receive it with “meekness” (James 1:21). We should have the same mind as David in Psalm 119:11 and the Christians in 1 Thess. 2:13. God’s word must be “implanted” or “engrafted” into our hearts, which is God’s plan (Heb. 8:6 13).

DO the Word! If you are remodeling a home, it doesn’t do any good to have a bunch of lumber and uninstalled fixtures laying around. You have to actually put the stuff to work! The same goes with God’s word (James 1:22). We can’t be hearers only.  Jesus teaches this same lesson (Luke 6:46; John 14:15).

CONTINUE in the Word! You have to take care of the new remodel! Remember Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 10:1-13.

If you follow God’s blueprint, you can have a successful spiritual home makeover! But make sure your house has a strong foundation first (Matt. 7:24-7; John. 8:24: Matt. 10:32-33; Luke 13:3,5; John 3:3,5; Mark 16:16).

From Bulletin Digest

In Him by Alton Norman

Ephesians is a book every Christian should lay up in his heart. It is about the tremendous privilege we have as Christians. It is about the great blessings we enjoy as a result of being Christians. It is about the huge challenges we face because we are Christians. And it is about the eager anticipation we enjoy because we are Christians. In Ephesians Paul uses the phrase “in Him” to describe what it means to be a Christian. And he will identify the him by speaking of being “in Christ” twelve times.

In Him we have redemption through His blood (1:7). In Him we have forgiveness (1:7). In Him we are recipients of the abundant grace of God (1:7, 8). In Him we have an inheritance (1:11). Remember how Peter described this inheritance in 1 Peter 1:4-9. And so we, like them, “trusted in Him after we heard the word of truth and in Him we were sealed with the Holy Spirit (1:13). And now because we are in Him we “have boldness and access (to God) with confidence because of our faith in Him (3:12; Romans 5:1-1 1).

As a Christian you are “in Him” and that is where every spiritual blessing is located (1:3). If this does not get you excited and make you want to study God’s word more I do not know what will.

Owingsville church of Christ via Bulletin Digest 

Grounded in Truth by Alton Norman

Truth is constant. Truth does not vary from one person to the next and it does not change with the circumstance. Truth is like a tree with deep roots. The winds of change may blow strong against it but that tree does not move an inch and when the storm passes by the tree is still there. The Lord’s great desire for the church is that we “no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine;” but that we would be so grounded in the truth that we would remain steadfast when the winds of change pass by. How do we get those deep roots? There are two ways the truth of God’s word takes root in the believer.

First, God “gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. . that we should no longer be tossed to and fro…” (Ephesians 4:1 1-15). In other words God sat up a teaching program for the church so each member could be grounded in truth.

Second, God commands each member to study for ourselves. We must study to show ourselves approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15).

Spiritual roots grow deep when personal desire drives us to study and when we spend time with godly teachers of His word (Psalm 1:1-6). We hope to see you in Bible class each week.

Owingsville church of Christ Via Bulletin Digest