Another year has passed and with the beginning of 2019; January 6th marks our first Sunday. It also marks the time when our church will endeavor to lay hold on a general theme for the coming year.
After much prayer and consideration, the theme for 2019 comes from the great story of the book of Nehemiah. A man raised up by God to empower and excite the people of God who had returned from Babylonian captivity to build again the walls of Jerusalem that had been destroyed. It is a story of building and battling; a story that every church and christian can relate to.
Make plans to come and be apart of our first annual, Yearly Theme Adoption Service this coming Sunday, January 6th, 2019 during our morning service that begins at 11 am.
Ecclesiastes 12:12 "And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh."
One has said, "the bible is the best commentary on the bible and the bible is the best dictionary on the bible..." and rightly so! For with every page we read of the divinely inspired book comes the leadership of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all paths of knowledge and understanding in the bible. But! One must realize and admit, we have some who have trodden much closer to the Savior and therefore plowed more fields and gleaned more of the harvest of understanding than ourselves. To say we have nothing to be learned is to automatically reject the grand blessing of those whose spirit's are more tender, eyes much brighter, minds ever the more saturated in the things of God and who can shed light on the deeper, more astounding precepts of God's word. Men to whom we owe a debt of gratitude and thanks for their weary work of much study in providing us with books wherewithal we may, too, be saturated in the understanding of the Holy Book.
2 Timothy 4:13 "The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments."
No doubt Paul was not only a writer, but also a great reader. A scholastic mind, he was, when it came to the understanding of God's infallible word. He gave instruction to young Timothy to bring with him, the books. Books are not the foundation of the believer (the bible is), but they may be the steel used to strengthen the mud to which we build our knowledge on. The bible is, as Author William Evans penned, "the great anvil that has wore out many hammers." The bible is our sole authority in faith and practice, but what better way to dig deeper into our faith and practice than to glean from the spiritual giants who have penned volumes of great material. Simply put, we should ever be ready to "study to show thyself approved..." Below I have given a list of authors whom have greatly influenced my understanding of the bible (please note: this is not a full endorsement of everything they have written or teach. Simply a guide for those looking to broaden their library of good books).
While this does not exhaust the extend of my library, it is however, a starting point for anyone looking to add to their own list of "good reads." Others we didn't mention would include: Andrew Murray, Watchman Nee, William Evans, Oliver B. Green, Charles Ryrie, John Gill, William Blackstone, Paul Chappell, John R. Rice, Dave Hunt, J.M. Carroll and many others.
James 4:13-15 "13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."
Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist known for inventing dynamite once arose from sleep to read the published headline in the local newspaper, "Nobel dies having invented the single most deadly weapon of all time..." The newspaper had mistaken him for someone else; but having had the opportunity to read his own epitaph he purposed he would not allow his invention to define the rest of his life. He decided to spend the remainder of his days striving for peace in the land. He once said, "I believe every person should have opportunity to read their own life's story as told by others so that they may then decide what changes to make before they die."
I want you to notice some truths about time as it relates to periods or moments of life. First, we cannot go back in time and relive the good moments of life. As much as we would all like to go back and live again those moments of great joy and happiness, it is impossible to do so. Secondly, we cannot go back and redo the moments when we had a lapse of judgment and made silly mistakes. Some of us may have even made great mistakes, but it is impossible to go back and fix those actions, words or missed opportunities. Lastly, and most importantly, we can redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16). We can take the time we have left and make the very most of it fulfilling the will of God for our lives.
I also want you to notice exactly what time is as it relates to the word of God:
Time is -
With every tick and tock of the clock time moves forward. With every passing moment we all move ever closer to eternity where time will seize. Time waits for no man. I pray that everyone that reads this post will be reminded of how fragile life is as it relates to time.
Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
It is an interesting and important fact that we humans can only think of one thing at a time at any given moment. The mind cannot dwell or meditate on multiple things "at one time" though your mind may race across many thoughts; those thoughts come and go like an old still frame projection reel going through the slides. If you don't believe me, just try it! Your mind will hop back and forth from one thing to another with poor results of focusing in on either thought.
The Apostle Paul and the Holy Spirit capitalize on this particularity of our minds in the above mentioned verse. They twain instruct us to fix the thoughts of our minds solely upon the positive things and leave no room for the negative thoughts of life. We can all testify that life is filled with much negativity and that even those of us that are saved, if we are not careful, can find ourselves consumed with the thoughts of troubles, turmoils and trials. Let it not be so...
When we learn to exercise positive thinking we will find many areas of life to which it will begin to greatly impact:
(Philippians Chapter 4)
1) Our Social Life - (vs.1-2)
2) Our Spiritual Life - (vs. 3-5)
3) Our Secular Life - (vs.6)
4) Our Secret Life - (vs.7-8)
When we learn to exercise positive thinking others will see the change in the character we display to those around us:
(Philippians Chapter 4)
1) It Makes Us Helpful - (vs.3)
2) It Makes Us Happy - (vs.4)
3) It Makes Us Holy - (vs.5)
Someone once said, "Sow a thought and reap an action. Sow an action and reap a habit. Sow a habit and reap a character. Sow a character and reap an eternal destiny." It is the same principle that embodied the old proverb, "for want of a nail a shoe was lost. For want of a shoe a horse was lost. For want of a horse a man was lost. For want of a man a company was lost. For want of a company a battle was lost. For want of a battle a kingdom was lost." It is then no marvel as to what motivated the Holy Spirit to impress the Apostle Paul to write unto us to, "take heed to your thoughts..."