Browse Month: September 2017

Spiritual Surgery

Church of Christ Scripture Readins, Bible Lessons and SermonsMatt 5:27-30 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery’. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for the whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for the whole body to go into hell.”

Jesus sets a new standard for His followers. The other rabbis urged their disciples not to participate in sinful acts, but Jesus tells His not to even think about them. Jesus is teaching that a defiled heart is one that looks at ordinary things and uses them as an occasion to stimulate sinful desires. What ‘cure’ does He suggest?

Spiritual surgery – anything that is a cause of, or a seduction to sin, must be cut out of life. The type of thing Jesus is speaking of is described by the Greek word “skandalizo” and refers to a baited trap or snare. Anything that is a temptation to us, or incites us to sin is to be ruthlessly rooted out of our lives. Any habit, association, or pleasure that leads us astray must be removed. But how can a person shut those things out of their mind? It cannot be done by simply saying ‘I won’t think about such and such.’ The more we try to not think about them, the more we do. How can we defeat the forbidden thought?

1) Fill you mind and heart with good thoughts – be so busy with the good that there is no time for evil thoughts. (Phil 4:8, 2Cor 10:4-5)

2) Fill your life with activities that glorify God and promote Him. Much of Jesus’ life was spent simply going around doing good. (Acts 10:38) Just thinking about God’s word is not enough – we must put it into constant practice. (James 1:22, 1Cor 15:58) Keeping busy leaves no time for these problems. (2Thess 3:10-13) it comes down to a decision for spiritual surgery. Will you work to remove those things from your life that tempt you and draw you away from God? Those are the things that make you a slave to Satan. Rom 6:16 “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one you obey- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Do you need the spiritual surgery of a “heart transplant” or a renewed mind ? Jesus can give you the power to live as he commands when you are willing to yield your will to His. He is the great physician and has the cure for all our problems if we simply follow His instructions and stay under His care.

http://www.arlingtoncoc.com

Bible Study Website

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“In” or “Close” ?

Church of Christ Sermon OutlinesOne Sunday a minister was giving a sermon on baptism and in the course of the sermon tried to show that baptism should take place by sprinkling and not by immersion. He tried to justify it this way:

He said that when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan, it didn’t really mean “in” the river – it meant close to, or nearby. And that when Philip baptized the eunuch in the river, it didn’t mean “in” – it meant close to, or nearby.

After the service, a man came up to the minister and told him that it was a great sermon, and that it had cleared up a lot of mysteries he had encountered in the Bible. “For instance,” he said “the story about Jonah getting swallowed by the fish has always bothered me. But now I know that Jonah wasn’t really “in” the fish – just close to it, or nearby, swimming in the water.

And that story about the three Hebrew boys who were thrown into the fiery furnace and not being burned up. Now I see that they weren’t really “in” the furnace, just close to or nearby, just keeping warm. And especially the story of Daniel getting thrown into the lion’s den has bothered me.

Now I see that he wasn’t really “in” the lion’s den, just close to or nearby, like being at the zoo. This has been a real comfort to me because I am a wicked, sinful man, but now I see that I won’t really be “in” hell – just close to or nearby . So thanks for the sermon, and next Sunday I won’t be in church – just close to or nearby – because you have put my mind at ease.

This mind provoking devotional provided by: The Arlington Church of Christ in Cincinnati, OH

http://churchofChristscripture.com

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How to Pray

Church of Christ ScriptureDo you know how to pray?

Most people just assume that it comes naturally, but Jesus had to teach His disciples how to pray. He said in Matt 7:7-11 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” In these verses, Jesus gives three “steps” to prayer. It should be noted that the words Jesus used are ‘continuing action’ words so when He says:

Ask – He means keep on asking. Take everything to the Lord; nothing is too small to pray about.
Seek – He means keep on looking for answers in His word and in the happenings around you.
Knock – He means keep on knocking. Be persistent. Don’t give up if the answer seems slow.

Many people think of prayer only in terms of asking for something. They lay out their desires and then sit back and wait for something to happen. But prayer is not just asking and receiving, but includes the giving of thanks and praise to God. We should take every concern to the Lord in prayer, but we must do so remembering that He knows what is best and will answer according to His will. Our part is to keep on asking until we receive an answer, one way or the other. Remember the parable of the widow and the unjust judge in Luke 8:1-8. The Lord will sometimes delay an answer until we are ready to receive it spiritually. If we are unstable in our attitudes, if we harbor resentment and bitterness, or if we refuse to forgive others – our prayers will be hindered. (James 4:1-3) A delay in answering may also be a test of our faith – will we keep on asking, seeking, knocking? Will we continue to trust even if the answer seems to be delayed?

The Bible never says that prayer will be easy. Satan works to spread doubts, fears, and distractions of all kinds. And remember that God did not promise to give us everything we ask for, instead He promised to give us “good gifts’ and the things that we ‘need’. God loves you too much to give you something that would ultimately harm you, or pull you away from Him. If we are His children, if we have obeyed His commands and had our sins washed away in baptism (Acts 22:16), then when we go to the Father, we will receive an answer if we continue to ask, seek, and knock! Eph 4:12 “In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”

Words of the church of Christ in Cincinnati, OH

Devotional about baptism and what it really means through the words of the bible.

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