THE SPIRIT’S SWORD
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
Mt. Baker church of Christ
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In this issue:
I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. I have responsibilities to fulfill today. I am important. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.
Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.
Today I can feel sad that I don't have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.
Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.
Today I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.
Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.
Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.
Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.
Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.
Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can feel honored because the Lord has provided shelter for my mind, body and soul.
Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.
What today will be like is up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!
Have a Great Day...Unless you have other plans?
Redeeming the Time
by: Justin Monts
In writing to the Ephesians, Paul admonished, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16). Also, to the church at Colosse he instructed, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Col. 4:5-6).
From the above Scriptures we see the importance of buying back the time. Like all things in life, opportunities are provided by divine providence. Consequently, seeking occasions to teach the lost are not optional matters for us. We can either take advantage of them and be pleasing to the Lord, or neglect them and face His judgment (Ezek. 3:16-21). Inasmuch as God has charged us to preach the gospel we see this is the case (Mk. 16:15-16; 2 Cor. 5:11; 2 Tim. 4:12).
According to Thayer, the word “redeem” means “to buy up for oneself; to make a wise and sacred use of every opportunity so that zeal and well doing are the purchase money by which we make the time our own.” Thus, if we look at teaching others as hurriedly paying off an impossible debt, we’ll be getting the picture that Paul would illustrate. Moreover, as we think of all the days spent in sin and wrongdoing, it becomes evident that eagerness today is only appropriate (1 Pet. 4:1-3).
Opportunity knocks and then quickly moves on. If we do not answer when it comes our way, we may forever lose our chance with unbelievers. This being so, how will we respond when confronted with right moments? Will we seize them with zeal and fervor? Or will we let them casually slip by in apathy?
Remember that God has entrusted us with a stewardship. We may be called to give an account at a most unexpected time. The rich fool and the foolish virgins were unprepared (Lk. 12:13-21; Mt. 25:1-13). In what state will we be in? May each member do what he or she can to redeem time with what little there is indeed left.
God's Protection Of His People
(Scripture Reading: Psalm 61:1-8)
Psalms 61: Confidence in God's protection (“Prayer of thanksgiving of an expelled king on his way back to the throne.”)
I. GOD'S PROTECTION OF HIS PEOPLE - v. 1-7.
A. Prayer - v. 1-2 (2 Cor. 12:8-9; Jno. 9:31; Matt. 7:7-11; Lk. 18:1-8).
B. Refuge & Strength In Trouble - v. 3 (Jno. 3:16; Eph. 2:1-5; 6:10-11; Phil. 4:4-7).
C. Divine Fellowship - v. 4 (1 Tim. 3:15; Eph. 2:6; 1 Jno. 1:7).
D. Spiritual Blessings - v. 5 (Eph. 1:3, 11; Acts 10:34-35; Eccl. 12:13).
E. God's Mercy & Truth - v. 6-7 (Psa. 40:11-13; Jas. 5:11; Psa. 119:25-32).
II. RESPONDING TO THE PROTECTION WHICH GOD PROVIDES US - v. 8.
A. Accept It! (Acts
8:22-24; Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 10:13; Phil. 4:6-7)
B. Praise God For His Protection - v. 8 (Phil. 4:4).
C. Obey God Every Day - v. 8 (Matt. 11:28-30; Lk. 9:23; 2 Cor. 5:7).
Jesus of Nazareth: His Ascension (Part 17)
(Scripture Reading: Acts 1:6-11)
I. THE ASCENSION ITSELF - Acts 1:9-11.
1. At the Mt. of Olives - Acts 1:12.
2. While He blessed them - Lk. 24:51.
3. In bodily form - Acts 1:9.
II. IMPORTANCE/NECESSITY OF THE ASCENSION OF JESUS.
A. A Proof Of His Messiahship - Jno. 6:62; Acts 7:55-58; Lk. 24:52-53.
B. Enabled The Sending Of The Holy Spirit - Jno. 16:5-7, 13; Acts 2:33; Eph. 4:8-11.
C. In Order For Jesus To Be King Over His Kingdom - Mk. 16:19; Dan. 7:13-14; Eph. 1:20-23; Acts 2:34-36 (Psa. 110:1).
D. In Order For Him To Serve As High Priest - Heb. 4:14; 9:24, 11-12; 7:25.
E. His Ascension Enabled Him To Prepare A Place For His Disciples - Jno. 14:1-3.
F. His Ascension Strengthens The Christian's Hope - Acts 1:10-11; Jno. 14:3; 17:24; 1 Ths. 4:13, 16-17.
1 Tim. 3:16 - Received up into glory! Must revere Him in His honored position!
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Calamities and Costs
Event Estimated Cost Overall
WWII $4.2 trillion
Millennium Bug (Y2K) $600 billion
Vietnam War $500 billion
Kobe Earthquake, 1995 $100 billion
L. A. Earthquake, 1994 $ 60 billion
-(ABC News via Conservative News Service)
by: Joe R. Price
It is interesting that we have now spent more on the Y2K bug than we did on the entire Vietnam War! There are lessons we can learn from these figures.
1) Calamity comes at high cost. I am thinking now about the calamity of sin. Sin lays a heavy toll upon those who live in it as well as innocent ones who are affected by its rampage. The cost of sin upon one’s eternal soul is death (Rom. 6:23). And how do we calculate the turmoil, misery and despair perpetrated by sin upon humanity? To avoid sin’s disastrous effects we must pay the price of discipleship to Jesus and abandon sin as our way of life (Jas. 4:1-4; 7-10).
2) Man is not stronger than God. All that man has done or is doing to predict and prevent natural catastrophes only highlight the fact that man does not have ultimate control of his world. Job 38-42:6 impresses us with this reality. We must revere God submit to His rule over us. (Eccl. 12:13-14)
3) What are you spending on God? Man has spent huge amounts of money to war against each other, to repair the damage of natural disasters and to prevent potential ones -- all of which effect only this life. Why, then, is it so difficult for Christians to spend their time, energy and money on the things that reach into eternity? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” also suggests to us that where your heart is, there your treasure will be also! (Matt. 6:21) When our heart is given to God, everything that we are and have will be given to promote righteous deeds and prevent ungodliness (2 Cor. 8:5).
The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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