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Weekly Bulletin Article 2006

By Bro Jim Brasseal, Pastor Landmark MBC

2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006


Dec 31, 2006 - Redeeming the Time
Dec 24, 2006 - The Bridge Builder
Dec 17, 2006 - The Father sent the Son, and the Son sent His Church
Dec 10, 2006 - For Unto Us a Child is Born
Dec 03, 2006 - The Admirable Love of God in Giving His Own Son For Us
Nov 26, 2006 - Bible Inspiration is Proven by Fulfilled Prophecies
Nov 19, 2006 - Let's Not Take God's Blessing for Granted
Nov 12, 2006 - Assurance of Salvation and Love for the Brethren
Nov 05, 2006 - The Value of Truth
Oct 29, 2006 - The Shepherd's Prayer for His Flock
Oct 22, 2006 - Warfare Between God and Satan
Oct 15, 2006 - The Baptism of Jesus Christ
Oct 08, 2006 - The Quiet Place of Service
Oct 01, 2006 - When Your Faith is Being Tested
Sep 24, 2006 - God's Power Over Satan
Sep 17, 2006 - God's Will for Your Life
Sep 10, 2006 - The Joy of Church Attendence
Sep 03, 2006 - Happy the Home When God is There
Aug 27, 2006 - The Meaning of the Word “Good”
Aug 20, 2006 - Called According to His Purpose
Aug 13, 2006 - A Wonderful Verse That Must Be Understood
Aug 06, 2006 - Vacation Bible School Memory Verses
Jul 30, 2006 - Promise and Prayer
Jul 23, 2006 - Love: the Greatest Spiritual Gift
Jul 16, 2006 - The Hope that Makes Us Not Ashamed
Jul 09, 2006 - Have You Ever Met a Lazy Ant?


Redeeming the Time

Ephesians 5:14-16
Dec 31, 2006

"Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:14-16, KJV). "Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:16, AMP).

Lost people need to consider that time is moving on so fast, that they are speeding into an eternity where there will be no opportunity for repentance and faith in Christ. "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6:2).

Lost people need to consider the invitation and the warning of Isaiah 55:6, "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near." The use of the word "while" in this verse teaches that there may come a time when the LORD is not near and may not be found.

Jesus taught us good lessons about using our time to work to bring lost sinners to salvation. He said in John 4:35, "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." Also in John 9:4, Jesus shows us that he understood that he had limited time for his earthly ministry. "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."

As this LORD’s day comes to a close, we have before us a new year, 2007, three hundred sixty five new days, to work in the Lord’s vineyard to win lost souls and build up this New Testament church. Of course, the Lord may end this year at any time by the return of Jesus Christ and the rapture of his people.

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The Bridge Builder

Philippians 2:4
Dec 24, 2006

The following poem illustrates the truth of Philippians 2:4. "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others" (KJV). "Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others" (AMP).

An old man going a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim.
That sullen stream had no fears for him,
But he turned, when he reached the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,
"You are wasting strength in building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way.
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"

The builder lifted his old grey head.
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."

Poem by Will Allen Dromgoole

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The Father sent the Son, and the Son sent His Church

John 17:18
Dec 17, 2006

"As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world" (John 17:18).

John 17:18 is from the prayer that Jesus offered to his Father for his church on the night that he was betrayed. Jesus Christ was a unique person and accomplished many things in his ministry that no other person could do. Just two examples: (1) He lived a perfect, sinless life, and (2) he died on the cross for the sins of the whole world. Our text verse does indicate that we, as the Lord’s people, do share in some the work and attitudes that Jesus had in his ministry.

1. Jesus said in John 6:38, "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." Even so, this attitude to put ’s will first, should be in our heart (Philippians 2:5-8).

2. Jesus taught his disciples that he came to be a servant, and that his disciple should not seek prominence and glory, but should seek to be servants of all. That is true greatness (Mark 10:35-45).

3. Jesus was a true and faithful witness (Revelation 1:5). Even so, he calls us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

4. Jesus had compassion and love for even the greatest of sinners and he expects us to show that same compassion to poor lost souls. See how he presented the gospel message to the woman at the well (John 4:9-14).

5. Jesus was very much involved in the work of his first church. He loved his church (Ephesians 5:25). He was the founder, pastor, and head of his church (Matthew 16:18). He gave his blood to purchase his church (Acts. 20:28). He gave his first church, his message to take to the whole world (Matthew 28:18-20). Even so, we should follow his example and work in his church to bring glory to God (Ephesians 3:21).

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For Unto Us a Child is Born

Isaiah 9:6
Dec 10, 2006

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

Isaiah wrote these words by inspiration of the Holy Spirit about 750 years before the birth of Jesus the Christ was described in Luke chapter two. Isaiah also wrote of the birth of Jesus in Isaiah 7:14. "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." This verse is quoted in Matthew 1:21-23 by the angel of the Lord speaking to Joseph. "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

Please note that there is a difference in saying "God with us" and saying "God is with us." The way the interpretation of "Emmanuel" is given in the scripture means that Jesus is God.

No other person has a name so wonderful as the Son of God. The name "Jesus" describes him as our Savior.

The title "Christ," "Messiah" ("Shiloh" in Genesis 49:10), means that he is the one especially chosen of God the Father to come into this world to do the will of the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11 describes how Jesus Christ is exalted. "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

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The Admirable Love of God in Giving His Own Son For Us

John 3:16
Dec 03, 2006

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). The gift of Christ is the highest and fullest manifestation of the love of God to sinners ever made from eternity. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). In expounding this precious verse, we will show two import truths.

1. His designation and appointment unto death for us; for you read that it was done by the "determinate counsel and foreknowledge of ’ (Acts 2:23). As the lamb under the law was separated from the flock and set apart for a sacrifice, and though still living was intentionally and preparatively given and consecrated to the Lord, so Jesus Christ was by the counsel and purpose of God thus chosen and set apart for his service; and therefore in Isaiah 42:1, God calls him his Elect or Chosen One.

2. His giving Christ implies a parting with him, or setting him, as the French version hath it, at some distance for a time. There was a kind of parting between the Father and the Son, when he came to tabernacle in our flesh as indicated in John 16:28. "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." The fullest extent of separation was on the cross when Christ, bearing our sins, fulfilled Isaiah 53:6, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." With our sins laid on him, Jesus Christ cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34). What amazing love shown by the Father and the Son!

Adapted from Richard Flavel (1630-1691)

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Bible Inspiration is Proven by Fulfilled Prophecies

II Peter 1:21
Nov 26, 2006

In II Peter 1:21 we read, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." These holy men were the God-called prophets of Old Testament times. Their message from God is called in verse 19 of this same chapter, "a more sure word of prophecy." The word "moved" in verse 21 is used in the sense of "guided" as the rudder of a ship guides the ship. The words "of any private interpretation" in verse 20 means that their message was not a private personal message that originated in their own mind, but was a message received from God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Some of the most wonderful prophecies give us information about the coming of Jesus Christ into this world.

1. Isaiah told that he would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). Fulfillment is shown in Luke 1:27-35.

2. Jacob told that the Messiah (Shiloh) would come of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:8-12). Fulfillment is shown in the family tree of Jesus Christ in Matthew and Luke.

3. Micah told that the Christ would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Fulfillment is shown in Luke 2:1-4.

4. Daniel wrote of the time of the coming of the Messiah (Daniel 9:23-25). This is a complicated passage. Daniel had visions of four great Gentile kingdoms; Babylon, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman. It would be during the time of the Roman Empire that Christ would be born. The year of his birth is set at 483 years from the time that the commandment went forth to restore and build Jerusalem. According to Nehemiah 2:1-11 this happened in the month Nisan, which begins near the end of our month of March. This commandment went forth in the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes, the ruler of the Persian Empire (7 weeks plus sixty weeks plus two weeks; with the word "weeks" being translated from a word that means "sevens") (7 x 69 = 483). Even Jewish historians have to admit that Luke 2:1-4 comes at exactly the right time.

God's Word is true and proven true by these prophesies.

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Let's Not Take God's Blessing for Granted

Deuteronomy 32:7-15
Nov 19, 2006

As we enter this Thanksgiving week, we have so much for which we can offer our thanks to our LORD. We do need to be aware of the danger expressed in Deuteronomy 32. Israel received so many blessings from God as shown in verses 9 and 10. "For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye." See also verse 13: "He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock."

Then a strange thing happened according to verse fifteen: "then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation." They were taking God’s blessings for granted. We face the same danger today.

Do you have good health? Do not take it for granted, it can be gone very quickly.

Do you have a good scriptural church in which to serve? Do not take it for granted. Some very good strong churches have become worldly and fallen apart.

Do you have a strong Christian family with good companionship and love? Please do not take it for granted. Satan is looking for ways to destroy your family.

Do you know the blessedness of a close fellowship and walk with your Savior? Do not even take this for granted. Many strong evil forces in this world seek to destroy your Christian life.

This warning is given in Hebrews 3:12-13, "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."

Be Thankful and be on Guard!

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Assurance of Salvation and Love for the Brethren

1 John 3:14
Nov 12, 2006

In I John 3:14 we read, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death."

This verse ties directly with I John 5:13, which gives the purpose of this book. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."

Sometimes because of misunderstanding of the scriptures, sometimes because of backsliding and worldly living, a truly saved person can lose the assurance and joy of his salvation. Growing in grace as described in II Peter 1:5-9 is shown to be one of the important factors in having assurance. If a person does not grow in grace after salvation, their condition is described in II Peter 1:9, "But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."

If doubts do arise, then these questions need to be asked. Do I have a sincere love in my heart for Christian people? Is their well-being important to me? Am I willing to help in time of need? Am I willing to forgive when one of my brethren offends me? Do I actually enjoy the time of fellowship, worship, and friendship with my brethren? When there is sincere love in your heart for Christian brethren, this can give assurance of salvation if you believe I John 3:14.

Loving Christian people does not produce the change from death unto life. The change from spiritual death to everlasting life that comes by grace through faith in Christ does produce love in your heart for your brethren.

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The Value of Truth

Proverbs 23:23
Nov 05, 2006

"Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding."

The value of the truth can be seen in the following scriptures:

1. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). Since the quality of truth describes our Saviour, then truth is precious.

2. "That the truth of the gospel might continue with you" (Galatians 2:5). The gospel message is powerful because it is absolutely true.

3. "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). We can be free from condemnation, (John 3:18), free from worry and fear, (Philippians 4:6-7) and free from the confusion of false teaching when we know and trust the truth of God’s word (Ephesians 4:14-15).

4. "[Love] rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth" (I Corinthians 13:6). In the description of abiding Christian love, we see that true Christian love finds satisfaction in the truth.

5. "Wherefore putting away lying; speak every man truth with his neighbor; for we are members one of another" (Ephesians 4:25). In our relationships with family and friends, falsehood is always hurtful, but truth is always the best.

6. "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth" (John 17:17). "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." Believing and trusting the true word of God is essential to our personal sanctification and moral cleanness. To be sanctified means to be separated from corruption, set apart and dedicated to the service of God. Sanctification does not mean sinless perfection, but it does mean a heart and life yielded to God’s will.

7. "For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (3 John 1:3).

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The Shepherd's Prayer for His Flock

Colossians 1:8-12
Oct 29, 2006

Col 1:8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light

In verse 9 of this text, Paul says to the church at Colosse, "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it [i.e., of their love in the Spirit, verse 8], do not cease to pray for you." He then gives this list of five things that were his prayerful concern.

1. Spiritual Understanding

"To desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding" (verse 9). A key element in spiritual understanding is explained in Colossians 3:16: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

2. A Christian Walk (i.e., Lifestyle) Pleasing to the Lord

"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing" (verse 10). That Christian walk is more fully described; from the positive and negative view in Colossians 3:1-15.

3. A Fruitful Life in Every Good Work

"Being fruitful in every good work" (verse 10). Jesus gave us a good lesson on this in John 10:1-8: "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit."

4. Growth in Grace and the Knowledge of the Lord

"Increasing in the knowledge of the Lord" (verse 10). This is almost like the first point but is worth repeating. A similar statement is found in II Peter 3:18: "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

5. Strength from the Lord

"Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness" (verse 11). Paul expresses the positive attitude of strength from the Lord in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

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Warfare Between God and Satan

John 8:44
Oct 22, 2006

Jesus said to the lost Pharisees, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it."

Consider these three areas of warfare.

1. Lucifer, who was created by God as a glorious shining angel, rebelled against the will of God by his own free choice. Lucifer said, "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God." "I will be like the most High" (see Isaiah 14:9-15). Lucifer had been given a place of responsibility as an archangel but his prideful sin against the will of God caused him to be cast down from heaven (Ezekiel 28:14-17). Jesus said of this event, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven (Luke 10:18). Note: It is Pastor Brasseal’s belief that the conditions of Genesis 1:2 were caused by the fall of Satan, but he will not be upset if others differ with this view of Genesis 1:2. See The Gap Theory of Creation for more on this topic.

2. There is warfare in the area of religion with the main conflict being between truth as it is taught in the inspired Word of God, and falsehood, lies, heresy and twisting of the truth by Satan. Satan attacks God’s simple plan of salvation by changing the truth of salvation by grace through faith to salvation by ordinances and works. Satan hates Christ, and will attack the Deity, sinless character, and redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. The New Testament church is the pillar and ground of the truth, that is, the church is founded upon and upholds the truth (I Timothy 3:15). Satan will work to cause the very nature, membership, ordinances, officers, purpose, and history of the Lord’s church to be corrupted.

3. Satan will work in the life of each born again child of God to try to win the battle in the conflict between the fleshly nature and the spiritual nature of the saved person. Paul had been saved and serving God for many years, but he still had the fight in his own nature (Romans 7:12-25). He describes this conflict in Galatians 5:13-26.

Our victory in this battle is not in our own strength, but by faith (I John 5:4) and by using the armour that God has provided (Ephesians 6:10-18).

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The Baptism of Jesus Christ

Matthew 3:1-17
Oct 15, 2006

Pastor Roger Copeland, Editor of the Missionary Baptist Searchlight, published by the Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock, has written a very good article in the last issue on the subject of baptism (to read “Dumbing Down Baptism,” click here). This article reminds me that we need to keep in mind the scriptural comparison between the baptism of Jesus and valid scriptural baptism as practiced by our church.

1. Jesus was already the Son of God (He was eternally the Son of God) before his baptism. For your baptism to be correct, you must first become a child of God by a true personal faith in Jesus Christ. This is proven in the case of the Ethiopian who had to first confess his faith before baptism (Acts 8:27-40). This is also proven in the case of the Corinthians who "hearing, believed, and were baptized" (Acts 18:8).

2. Jesus was baptized by a complete immersion, and that is the only mode that follows the Biblical pattern. The Greek word translated "baptize" means to dip, to bury, to immerse. The discussion of baptism in Romans chapter 6, shows that baptism is a burial and a planting that pictures the burial and resurrection of Jesus.

3. The baptism of Jesus was a public manifestation to Israel that Jesus was the Messiah sent from God the Father (John 1:31). Your baptism is a public confession that you are now saved and will follow Christ in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

4. Jesus was the founder, organizer, and head of the first church. He was baptized before he began the work of building his church body thus setting the pattern that those who are part of the Lord’s church must have scriptural baptism. This is shown in the additions to the church at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:37-42).

5. Please note that a person can be saved and have an eternal home in heaven without baptism, but to follow the example of Jesus Christ, you need proper baptism.

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The Quiet Place of Service

1 Corinthians 1:26-29
Oct 08, 2006

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity, because He wants to produce some choice fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.

He may let others be great, but keep you small. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it, but He will make you work and toil without your knowing how much you are doing for His glory.

And then to make your work still more precious, He may let others get the credit for the work which you have done and thus make your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes.

Selected

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When Your Faith is Being Tested

1 Peter 1:7
Oct 01, 2006

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."

Remember these true teachings of God’s Holy Word:

1. Circumstances in our life do not change the truth of God’s word. His promises are still true even in the trial (Hebrews 6:17-20).

2. We have Jesus Christ, our high priest, at the throne of grace where we "may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:15-16).

3. God may not remove the trials but will supply grace to bear them (II Corinthians 12-7-9).

4. Any trials are light (like a feather) and just for a time. Stay true to God and that will "work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (II Corinthians 4:17).

5. You can "cast all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (II Peter 3:7).

6. Remember the inspired words of Paul. "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed" (II Corinthians 4:8-9).

7. Consider these warnings. "Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness;"..take heed brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:8-13).

8. Be on guard because Satan is looking for an opportunity to "hinder" (I Thessalonians 2:18) and to "buffet" (II Corinthians 12:7). The word "buffet" means "to attack, to strike as with a clenched fist."

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God's Power Over Satan

1 John 4:4
Sep 24, 2006

"Greater is he (God) that is in you, than he (Satan) that is in the world."

Any lesson on the devil may at first seem to be very negative, but as we study the scriptures, we learn that our LORD is far more powerful than the devil and this fact gives us hope and assurance as we face the "fiery darts of the wicked one" (Ephesians 6:16).

The devil (that name means an accuser, a slanderer) is called the "god of this world." who blinds the minds of those who believe not (II Corinthians 4:4). Jesus told us that the devil is a liar, and the father of lies.

A very informative scripture about the power of Satan is II Corinthians 2:10-11, "To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also, for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. "This same idea of Satan taking advantage of us is brought out in I Corinthians 7:5 in speaking of relations between the husband and the wife.

One illustration of Satan taking advantage of a Christian God’s weakness is shown when Peter denied the Lord. Peter was a prideful, self-willed person (Luke 22:33). Jesus told him, "Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat (Luke 22:31). The power of Satan is shown when we see Satan taking advantage of Peter’s self-will and influencing him to curse and deny the Lord.

God’s greater power is shown when we see Peter coming to true repentance, receiving total forgiveness and then being used as an effective powerful preacher on the day of Pentecost.

Satan’s power is seen in the problems in the church at Corinth.

God’s greater power is seen in God giving grace to the members to forgive the offending brother.

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God's Will for Your Life

Romans 12:1-3
Sep 17, 2006

One of the most serious questions in your walk with God is: What is the will of God in my life?

If you are not saved, then God desires that you trust Him for salvation (II Peter 3: 9).

As a child of God, He wants you to live according to His word (II Timothy 3:16-17).

God wants you to love Him with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37).

God wants you to love others even as you love yourself (Matthew 22:39).

God’s will is that you show your love by keeping His commandments. All the ten commandments (Exodus 1-17) have their corresponding commandments in the New Testament.

God desire is that you let your light shine for Him (Matthew 5:16).

God wants your light on the candlestick (Matthew 5:15).

The candlestick is described in Revelation 1:20 as one of the Lord’s churches.

God wants you to give glory to Him in His church (Ephesians 3:21).

God wants you to be faithful in church attendance (Hebrews 10:25).

God wants you to work in His church to carry out the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20).

Please note the extra page in the bulletin (refers to diagram above). This paper was a project for a high school class at Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Madison, Miss. The format followed was similar to one followed in the local high school government class. For a printable view, click here (PDF).

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The Joy of Church Attendence

Psalm 122:1
Sep 10, 2006

"I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the LORD."

This verse was written in Old Testament times when the temple was in Jerusalem. It was a delight for him to go to the temple to worship God.

Jesus was brought to the temple in Jerusalem when he was just a few months old. Simeon, an old man, had come to the temple, led to do so by the Spirit of God. He took Jesus in his arms and spoke these words, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation" (Luke 2:22-30).

Anna, also of great age, came to the temple. "And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem" (Luke 2:38).

In our day we do not have the temple, but God’s word does show us that we still do have the House of God.

In I Peter 2:5, the New Testament church is called "a spiritual house." In I Timothy 3:15 we read "in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

When Simeon and Anna came to the temple, their main focus was on Jesus Christ. Even so today when we meet as the Lord’s church, our main attention should be on bringing honor, praise and glory to Jesus Christ.

"Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Ephesians 3:21).

In Matthew 21:13, Jesus called the temple in Jerusalem, "the house of prayer."

Even so today when we meet as a New Testament church, this is a time to pray together; to pray for each other, to take our burdens to the Lord, to offer up to him our thanks and praise. It is good to be in God’s house (Hebrews 10:25).

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Happy the Home When God is There

Ephesians 5:22-31, 6:1-4
Sep 03, 2006

The title of this article comes from hymn number 372 in our song book "In Spirit and In Truth." We sung this on Wednesday night and I thought that the words were so beautiful that it needed to be used in the bulletin.

Happy the home when God is there, and love fills every breast;

When one their wish and one their prayer, and one their heavenly rest.

Happy the home where Jesus" name is sweet to every ear,

Where children early hear his name, and parents hold him dear.

Happy is the home where prayer is heard, and praises always rise,

Where parents love the sacred Word, and all its wisdom prize

Lord, let us in our homes agree, this blessed peace to gain

Unite our hearts in love to thee, and love to all will reign.

From In Spirit and In Truth, Hymn 372. Words by Henry Ware, Jr., 1846.

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The Meaning of the Word “Good”

Romans 8:28
Aug 27, 2006

In the previous two bulletins, we learned that the two conditions named in Romans 8:28 are (1) that we love God and prove our love by obeying his commandments (3 John 6), and (2) that we live our lives in harmony with his eternal purpose (Ephesians 1:9-10, 3:10-11).

The word "good" in Romans 8:28 has the meaning of "beneficial" according to Vine’s Bible Dictionary. The word is used the same way in Deuteronomy 30:9 in reference to blessings available to Israel. "And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers." A similar statement is found in 1 Timothy 6:17. "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." Learn from these verses that God can bless us in such a way that we can enjoy his blessings with our family.

Sometimes, for our benefit, God gives a thorn in the flesh, some trouble, to teach us not to be arrogant. "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure" (2 Corinthians 12:7).

Often for our good, God chastises us. "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. ...But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: ...For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness" (Hebrews 12:6-10).

Even the trial of our faith can be good for us as it purifies us and makes us stronger (1 Peter 1:6-7).

When we love God and live in harmony with his purpose, all things work together for good, be they blessings to enjoy, thorns to humble, chastisement to correct, or trials to purify.

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Called According to His Purpose

Romans 8:28
Aug 20, 2006

In the article last week, we discussed the fact that one condition named in Romans 8:28 for all things to work together for good is that the person must truly love God. We show the truthfulness of our love by our obedience to God’s commands (I John 5:2-3).

Another condition in Romans 8:28 is stated in these words: "to them who are the called according to his purpose." God’s grand purpose and design is stated in Ephesians 1:9-10. The translation is given from the Amplified Bible:

"Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him, [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth."

We can also state the meaning of these scriptures in these words. "Even though sin has come into God’s creation, including mankind, through His grace, and the redeeming power of the blood of Jesus Christ, God will redeem His creation and establish a new heaven and a new earth with redeemed people who will then be in perfect harmony and fellowship with God through Jesus Christ."

God’s purpose in creation was to exalt and bring glory to Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16). God’s purpose in your salvation is that you might be "conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29).

You are called to be a true Christian (like Christ) (Acts 11:26). You are called to follow Christ (Luke 9:23). When you walk in accordance to God’s purpose and calling, God will work in your life to make all things work together for good.

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A Wonderful Verse That Must Be Understood

Romans 8:28
Aug 13, 2006

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

In the next few weeks, we will break this scripture into its different parts and completely examine each piece. We will also consider other scriptures that will keep us from drawing the wrong conclusions. For example, we can see this scripture illustrated in the life of Joseph. Joseph loved God. He was morally upright with God, yet he had several terrible things to happen to him. Potiphar’s wife tried to entice him and then told lies about Joseph when he refused her offer. Joseph was cast into prison for a crime he did not commit (Genesis 39:1-23). God was with Joseph (Genesis 39:21). When Joseph finally made himself known to his brethren, he gives this amazing statement: "And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you but God; and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and the lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt" (Genesis 45:7-8).

God worked all these things out for good for Joseph because God had a special purpose for which he had called Joseph. Joseph’s love for the Lord was shown in his obedience to God’s commandments. "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:2-3). If Joseph been a sinful breaker of God’s commandments, then Romans 8:28 could not be used to describe how God worked in his life.

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Vacation Bible School Memory Verses

Acts 4:12, 10:43, 8:35, 16:31, 27:25
Aug 06, 2006

We have had a wonderful blessed Vacation Bible School thus far and will finish the lessons on Sunday morning.

The following verses from the lessons are our Memory Verses. It would be good for each of us to learn these verses.

"And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

"To him bear all the prophets witness, that through his name every one that believeth on him shall receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:43).

"And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, preached unto him Jesus" (Acts 8:35).

"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house" (Acts 16:31).

"Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even so as it hath been spoken unto me" (Acts 27:25).

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Promise and Prayer

Luke 11:1
Jul 30, 2006

To read the complete text of this article, click here.

Sermon presented at the 2006 Rocky Mountain Missionary Baptist Association messenger meeting at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Gillette, WY.

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Love: the Greatest Spiritual Gift

I Corinthians 13:13
Jul 23, 2006

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity [love], these three; but the greatest of these is charity [love]."

Our bulletin cover of July 9 featured the word "Faith." The cover and article of July 16 featured the word "Hope." This week we will consider the word "Love."

The importance of love as the operating principle in the life of a Christian is shown in I Corinthians 13:1-7.

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

"And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

"Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

"Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

"Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" (I Corinthians 13:1-7).

Because of God’s amazing love for us, He gave His son so that we could have eternal life (John 3:16).

Christ loved us and gave himself for us (Galatians 2:21).

The first and greatest commandment is "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matthew 22:37).

Our fellowship with each other requires a forgiving love (Ephesians 4:31-5:2).

The degree of the husband’s love is described in these words, "Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it" (Ephesians 5:25).

It is no wonder that love is described as the greatest spiritual gift of all.

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The Hope that Makes Us Not Ashamed

Romans 5:1-5
Jul 16, 2006

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Romans 5:1-5).

For three weeks, beginning last week, our bulletin covers highlight the words, FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. These words are linked together in I Corinthians 13:13 and I Thessalonians 1:3 which reads, "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father."

Vine’s Bible Dictionary gives this definition of the word HOPE. "In the New Testament, hope is a favorable and confident expectation. It has to do with the unseen and the future" (Romans 8:24-25). Hope describes (a) the happy anticipation of good (the most frequent significance) (Titus 1:2, I Peter 1:21), (b) the ground upon which the hope is based, (Acts 16:19, Colossians 1:27) "Christ in you, the hope of glory," and (c) the object upon which the hope is fixed" (I Timothy 1:1).

We often use the word HOPE to indicate a doubt. "I hope it rains again this weekend." Using the word in such a way does not indicate assurance, but a desire that may or may not be fulfilled.

HOPE as used in God’s word is linked to faith and assurance. God makes promises. Faith causes us to trust God’s promises. Hope is the expectation based of faith that we will see the promises of God fulfilled. God has promised that Jesus Christ will return. By faith, we accept that promise with full assurance. Therefore the return of Christ is called our "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13). This assurance of faith and hope gives us a boldness that makes us "not ashamed" (Romans 5:5).

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Have You Ever Met a Lazy Ant?

Proverbs 6:6-11
Jul 09, 2006

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man." (Your laziness and extra sleep will steal from you.)

Just about every day, someone will call or ring the doorbell with this question: "Could you people help with my rent and utilities?"

When I began to ask a few questions, such as, "Have you talked to your pastor where you are regular in church attendance?" I get all kinds of answers. "We just moved here two years ago and haven"t started to church yet," or "I"m asking for help, not a sermon."

On Tuesday of this past week, one man came around to the back door. I had the door open and was halfway up the stairs moving a filing cabinet with a furniture dolly. "Could you help with twenty dollars, so I could get some gas and go to Colorado Springs?" he asked in a rather rude manner. He could tell that I was in a bind trying to move the cabinet. In a few minutes, I worked it on up the stairs to where I could let go of the dolly. Since he looked like a strong able-bodied man, I asked him, "Where do you work?" He replied, "This country stinks, nobody is hiring now." "Hold on just a minute, I"ll get my Bible. There’s a scripture about how the Lord can provide that I"ll show you." By the time, I had taken two steps to get my Bible, he was moving fast away from me. Honest people do sometimes need help, but my experience has been that many of these people who are trying to get someone else to pay their bills, just lay up in bed most of the day. They need to repent, trust the Lord, and then memorize the scripture about the hard working ant.

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