News & Announcements
Overcoming A Critical Spirit
"Be ye kind one to another" (Ephesians 4:32).
Despite this great command - and other commands like it - there are a number of people who seem to think that they are justified having a critical spirit because they are (quote) "just telling it like it is."
However, good manners requires that even in correction, we should be gentle.
Still don't think that this is important? Still don't think this is biblical?
Consider these passages:
"Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness" (Galatians 6:1)
Paul told Titus to remind the members of the church "to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people" (Titus 3:2).
And how did Jesus describe himself? He said: "l am gentle and lowly of heart" (Matthew 11:29).
"Telling it like it is" is NOT an excuse for violating the commands to be gentle and to show perfect courtesy.
l think one of the best examples (in either biblical or non-biblical sources) of perfect courtesy is found in the little letter to Philemon. Paul could have commanded Philemon that he had to take the slave, Onesimus, back and not punish him. Instead, Paul chose to plead, like a humble father, for the sake of his "child in the faith".
Recognizing the importance of overcoming a critical spirit, we ask "what can I do when I or another person is being too critical‘?"
One of the most important things to do to overcome a critical spirit is to learn to pray...and pray often. lt is essential to believe that God will answer this and all your prayers! (if they are in accordance to God's will and are prayed in the name of Christ) (1 John 5:14-15, Matthew 21:22; and John 16:23).
Also, every time you are victim of someone's critical spirit, whether it is justified or not, pray for that person! Matthew 5:44 tells us to pray for those who mistreat us.
Also, do not forget to pray for yourself. Ask God to forgive your sins including the fault of having a critical spirit (Matthew 6:6).
The Right To Pray
Do you ever feel that perhaps you’ve not been "good enough" to pray to God? Some people feel this way. In fact, many people feel this way on occasion. But the good news is that we can come before God at any time. We don’t have to try to sneak up on Him either.
Because of the blood of Christ, we are always able to go to the heavenly Father with any problem — for any reason. We know that our priesthood in Christ gives us the confidence we need to face the Almighty. Even when we’ve sinned God wants to hear us and He seeks to forgive us.
Note the Scripture: "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).
Isn’t it great to know that He is there for us? You have been given the right to pray!
Have You Ever Been A Victim Of Jealousy?
For one man in the Old Testament, jealousy became the source of terrible conflict -- and it took the death of someone to finally put an end to the situation.
The man was David -- later to be known as King David -- highest king of Israel and ancestor of Jesus.
We read about this episode in the life of David in 1 Samuel 18-31.
Usually when we think of David, we think of the fact that he slew a giant named Goliath (1 Samuel 17). David was a man of courage. He knew that the Lord was by his side.
Because of this, David gained favor with King Saul. And the king eventually made David a commander in Saul's army. In a short time, David established a reputation as one of the finest military men in the history of the world.
Soon, the people made up a song about David and Saul. It was meant to honor both of them: "Saul has slain his thousands; and David has slain his ten thousands" (1 Samuel 18:7).
But when King Saul heard this song..he didn‘t like it. It caused jealousy to invade his soul like bacteria invades the body. And from the time that he heard that song, Saul looked for a way to murder David.
Saul used many tactics to try to kill David. Sometimes he attempted to do it himself Then he tried to get others to do the dirty work.
David ended up having to flee for his life and was constantly hounded by Saul's armies.
But David did two things right.
#1. Despite the fact that Saul mistreated him, David never resorted to revenge or even hate. In fact, on more than one occasion, David had the - opportunity to assassinate the king. But he refused to do it and even criticized the king's guards for letting down their protection ( 1 Samuel 26).
When people mistreat us, the normal thing to do is to lash out. To seek revenge. But God calls us to go beyond the normal. He wants us to do the Godly thing.
Romans 12:14 "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them."
Romans 12:17 "Repay no one evil for evil ..."
Romans 12:19 "Beloved never avenge yourselves vengeance belongs to the Lord, alone, He will repay...".
David demonstrated this Godly characteristic.
And when we are the victims of jealousy. Then we, too, should never repay evil with evil -- instead we should repay evil with good.
#2 The second great characteristic that David demonstrated is that he never lost his faith in God.
If David had been like some people today, he would have thrown up his arms and yelled: ”I don't know why God is punishing me like this!" And then he would have started cursing God and stormed out of the church.
But David never lost his faith in God. What about you? When you are the victim of someone's jealousy or mistreatment how do you react? God wants us to be "Davids."
Check out the upcoming events here.
Purity In Dress
As most of you already know, the appearance of the summer months often means the disappearance of clothing. Modesty gives way to comfortableness, and in some cases more flesh is exposed than is covered. In this article, I simply want to briefly explore the issue of modesty and ask that you reflect upon the teachings of Christ.
As you know, when we were called by the gospel, we were called unto a life of purity. Our life ought to be characterized by purity in mind (2 Peter 2:1), conscience (1 Timothy 3:9), language (James 3:2), and in body (Hebrews 10:22). In spite of the Lord’s expectation of purity, modesty is seldom discussed, and when the subject is raised, many act as though the one raising the subject is a prudish bore.
But friends, unless we are very naive, we all realize what type of clothing entices lust in the hearts of men and women. Clothing that instead of covering the parts of the body that stirs up lustful thoughts, but rather exposes and emphasizes those areas, or shows just enough flesh to tease is inconsistent with the law of the Spirit of life.
Our clothing should profess our godliness, not our worldliness (1 Timothy 2:9-10). Our dress should be “chaste," not so that we will be "chased".
The sexual drive within humans is very strong. It is God given, and it is good when expressed and fulfilled within the boundary of marriage (Hebrews 13:4). But if that drive is tantalized and cultivated outside of the marriage relationship, sin and disaster looms just ahead.
I recognize it may very well be the case that young ladies do not know how visually oriented that men are or just how powerful the sexual drive is. If that is the case, mom and dad, please step in and help them make responsible choices with regard to their clothing. Don’t allow them to leave the house dressed in a fashion that will tempt and tantalize.
Am I proposing some sort of dress code? Absolutely not. I have no desire to legislate what you should or should not wear. God has given all of us the ability to discem between right and wrong. Contained in the Bible for all of us to read and the principles that regulate what type of dress is appropriate and what type is inappropriate. So you should not concern yourself with my dress code, but with God’s.
However, I would like to make a proposal. I do propose that you and your family draw some lines. Set some standards. Make sure that before you wear anything, you ask yourself If you would feel comfortable defending the purity of that type of clothing before the judgment seat of Christ. For after all, that is what we all will someday have to do.
By Steve Higginbotham
We appreciate Abe Miller for his love and compassion to God's Word. His message on the Holy Spirit and its purpose in our lives was appreciated. We pray everything worked out well for his trip back home in Indiana, and may God continue to use Abe to preach the wonderful news of Jesus.
The V.B.S. was great. Our teens did a super job and the children had classes on Creation, Jonah, & Noah. We thank God for our teens and wish them the best.
House Parents Needed
Mid-Western Children’s Home is in need of house parents. They currently have a waiting list of children that would already be in their care if they only had families in place to serve them. If you are interested in becoming a house parent, call 513-877-2141 or get more information here.
SIN HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO KILL
Having always been fascinated by snakes you can imagine my excitement on two occasions in visiting the world famous serpentarium. Bill Haast, the renowned herpetologist who owns and operates it, must surely be the expert of experts on the subject of deadly serpents. Conversing with him at some length, I inquired, "Which reptile do you consider to be the deadliest of all? Would it be the king cobra, the krait, the gaboon viper, the bushmaster, or the Australian tiger snake?" His reply to me was this---”That’s like, asking which gun is the most lethal at close range? Would it be the 12 gauge shotgun, the .357 magnum pistol, or the 30-06 rifle? They all have what it takes to kill.”
We could make similar inquiry as to sin,. Which is the deadliest? Would it be murder, idolatry, adultery, stealing, drunkenness, cursing, or just what? The answer of course, should be rather obvious--- they all have what it takes to kill.
The Scriptures declare, “each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin; and the sin, when it is full-grown, bringeth forth death." James 1:14-15. The apostle Paul wrote, "the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23.
With all this in mind, allow me to ask a question. Why is it considered folly for a person to "play around" with a deadly snake, or with a loaded gun, and yet smart to "play around" with sin? The first two can bring death to the body, and the latter can bring death to the soul.
Be it known to all that God has warned.--- SIN HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO KILL. Therefore, let us "abstain from every form of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:22. Shun the wrong, and do the right!
What Does Our Gospel Meeting Mean To You?
Our gospel meeting is here! To some, it seems that gospel meetings are nothing more than a traditional formality. It appears that some are willing to discard such efforts, to nail the coffin shut, because they believe gospel meetings serve no real purpose today. Perhaps it isn’t wise to do away with such special efforts so hastily. Could it possibly be that the lack of support by brethren for gospel meetings and other special ways of outreach says more about our misplaced priorities than we would like to admit? While not trying to put anybody on a "guilt-trip", that may be a question that’s worth pondering. What does our gospel meeting mean to you?
Does our gospel meeting mean an opportunity to grow in our Lord? We all should be concerned about growing "in the grace and knowledge" of Christ (2 Peter 3:18). We are too long for God and his word as a baby longs for milk (1 Peter 2:2). How many babies turn down the opportunity to eat? They eat a lot, and they eat often!
Does our gospel meeting mean an opportunity to get our batteries recharged? It’s easy for even the very best of Christians to become weary, drained, and exhausted. Gospel meetings can be like a breath of fresh air! By drawing closer to God, his word, and our brethren we can find new strength and zeal to "fight the good fight of faith" (1 Timothy 6:12, Psalm 85:6, Isaiah 40:28-31).
Does our gospel meeting mean a special opportunity to reach out to the community? Certainly we should always try to reach our community with the precious message of Jesus (cf. Acts 5:42), but gospel meetings are special in that the entire congregation works together in an organized, united effort to reach out to our community.
Does our gospel meeting mean an opportunity to examine and evaluate our lives? Honest self-reflection is a must for Christians (2 Corinthians 13:5). Gospel meetings provide an important occasion for all of us to look at ourselves in the light of God’s word (James 1:21- 27).
Does our gospel meeting mean an opportunity for fellowship? There is a wonderful spirit of sharing, companionship, and togetherness in being Christians (Romans 1:12). During gospel meetings, it’s wonderful to see brethren from neighboring congregations who attend and participate because they understand the preciousness of the relationship we share in Christ (1 John 1:7-9).
Does our gospel meeting mean an opportunity for getting into God’s book? We all may be sure that the speaker for our gospel meeting, will build up, challenge, stimulate, and even rebuke us as needed from God’s word. Few of us would turn down a good dinner invitation. Isn’t that exactly what a gospel meeting is? Our gospel meeting will be a wonderful time of worshiping God with our brothers and sisters. The Bible will be preached, and lives will be touched. When we think about what our gospel meeting means to us, it’s such an opportunity for us to show our love and support for the Lord and his church, it can’t be taken lightly! How about you?
By Mike Vestal, Getwell Church of Christ
Fishing Instructor Class
The Fishing Instructor Class at Broken Timber has been cancelled. If you desire, a class will be held in Athens, Ohio, you may check with Keith Jones for details.