PRUNING


If we just prune the limbs

(of bad habits),

we just

STRENGTHEN

the ROOTS.

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TAKE A STAND


When you take a stand

For Truth

you are going to have a head-on collision

With Error

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WHAT DID ANANIAS DO THAT WAS SO RIGHT?


William Andrew Dillard

In Bible times, Ananias was a man of God who lived in or near Damascus. It was to this same man that the Lord appeared in a vision, and gave to him a very special task to perform.
Ananias was sent to minister to the most feared prosecutor of God’s people in his generation: Saul of Tarsus. Ananias knew well the reputation of this man, and the very reason he had come into the area of Damascus. So, what did Ananias do that was so right?
To make a longer story short, he obeyed the Lord! Even though he feared Saul of Tarsus, he feared God more. Ananias did not know about the Damascus Road experience of Saul, but he did know his Lord. It was enough for him that God said “Go to him.” Wonderful things happen when God’s people listen to the Lord and are obedient to Him.
Ananias would never have been known by today’s generation except he obeyed the Lord. He was the human instrument who baptized Saul and whom God used to restore his sight. Because he obeyed, he became a living part of the blessed Word of God for all time.
Ananias was not asked to do a great, near impossible feat. He was asked to simply do the bidding of his Lord; to do what he could do: but it was something most others could not do. This is a very important part of the story. Only John the Baptist originally had the authority from heaven to baptize. That authority was given to the Lord’s church upon Jesus’ ascension. Others might have dipped Saul in water, but it would not have been a heaven-recognized baptism, nor would Saul have received his sight. The Holy Spirit accompanies heaven’s authorized baptism, and spiritual eyes are opened to spiritual things that the carnal mind cannot receive. Great blessings flowed from the act of obedience and that is so right!
Today, many have the attitude: “Let someone else do it.” God does not want someone else to do it. He wants His people; His churches to do it. He has authorized no other. We have opportunity to witness and heaven’s authority to baptize, and to teach all things Jesus commanded. Because we can do this we should, no, we must do it. Moreover, when we obey the Lord, great blessings will come as a result. Folks will be saved. Some will be baptized. The church will grow, lives will be changed, and glory will rebound to the Heavenly Father through our Lord Jesus Christ, and that is so right!

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I WALKED A MILE


I walked a mile with pleasure,

She chatted all the way

But left me none the wiser for all she had to say.

I walked a mile with sorrow

and not a word said she,

But of the things I learned from sorrow when sorrow

walked with me.

William Barclay

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WHAT DID LAZARUS’ SISTER DO THAT WAS SO RIGHT?


William Andrew Dillard

Mary, the sister of Lazarus also had a sister named Martha. Mary was a common name in Biblical times. Consequently, that name appears often. What most people remember about Mary the sister of Lazarus is that she chose to sit at Jesus feet and learn of heavenly things rather than concern herself with food preparation. That choice brought rebuke from Martha, but praise from Jesus.
A more notable deed that Mary did is also recorded in the gospels. Near to the time of Jesus’ betrayal and subsequent crucifixion, He visited the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary as He had done several times before. On this occasion, Mary brought out a box of very expensive ointment and anointed the body of Jesus. Again, there was criticism. Some of the apostles wondered why the waste when the ointment could have brought a handsome price in the market place and the money given to the poor. But again, Jesus upheld her actions, knowing her true motive. She had anointed Jesus body for burial, something no one else had done or even thought about.
Because Mary put Jesus above earthly things and chose to learn of Him, she was given spiritual insight, and she comprehended things others had not. Therefore she was enabled to provide special service and honor to Jesus and that was so right!
Mary’s opportunity was not singularly hers. Others were there. Others had followed Jesus. Others had heard Him speak of being crucified. But it was Mary who understood and did what she could.
It is much the same way today. Everyone has access to a Bible. Everyone can be saved. Everyone can gain much spiritual insight into the things of God if they dedicate themselves to gaining it.
Moreover, one can be sure that even the best of deeds done from a pure heart will suffer criticism. Sometimes that comes from those who consider themselves to be close followers of Jesus. However, it is what God approves that is important.
Mary and her deeds were incorporated into the Word of God, and every generation since has knowledge of her. She was a shinning example, and while she enjoys heavenly rest, those wonderful deeds still multiply and follow her to God’s glory and her eternal reward.
One day the same will be true of all of God’s people who put Jesus first in their life. This will make the Judgment Seat of Christ a most rich and rewarding event for all such disciples, and that is so right!

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HEAVEN


to believe in heaven

Is not to run away from life

it is to run toward it.

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Holy Spirit


The Holy Spirit is not given for your enjoyment

but for your employment.

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CHRISTIAN LIFE


The Christian life is like riding a bicycle,

you are either moving forward,

or you are falling off.

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ON THE OBSERVANCE OF DAYS


William Andrew Dillard

The observance of days was very much a part of the Old Testament Law. However to esteem one day more holy than another is foreign to the New Testament. Still there are many in the religious world who would condemn the most dedicated Christian simply because he paused to worship on the “wrong” day. So just what is the truth about the Sabbath and other holy days? Think with me about this as we reference the scriptures for information.
Under the Law it was forbidden to do anything but rest on the Sabbath day. Once, a man was stoned for picking up sticks on the seventh day. “Sabbath” does come from a word that also gives us the number “seven.” However, that same root word also gives us the meaning of “rest.” Then, under the Law, a number of other holy days were designated for special remembrances and worship. So, I have been asked a number of times and probably you have, too, “Why do you not keep the Sabbath?” Think about it!
I do not keep the Sabbath for the same reason that I freely enjoy pork, catfish, frog legs, etc. The Law was fulfilled and removed from us. Not just a part of the Law, but all of it. Col. 2:14-17. The first church met to worship on Sunday, the first day of the week in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus, Who arose on the first day of the week. Is this appropriate? Yes it is! But think with me a little further.
Paul told the church at Colosse that they must not allow men to judge them in respect of new moons, holy days or Sabbaths. So, if the observance of days is unimportant, even wrong, then why do we observe Sunday? The truth is we don’t or at least we should not. This may shock you, but think with me.
We do not observe Easter as a holy day. We say that Easter is all the time with us. Our Lord is risen. We do not observe Sunday as a day more holy than Tuesday or Friday either. But, since the “Christian” world has influenced our calendars and Sunday has been set aside for hundreds of years as a time to worship collectively, we do not buck the trend. It is good that we have a time when it is convenient to assemble to worship. The thing that is important is the spiritual organism of which we are a part—the church. It is our Sabbath!
Much is made of this point in Hebrews Chapter Four. The people of ancient Israel were saved people, but God did not allow them to enter into His rest because they failed to believe Him again and again. That promise of rest to them is given to the New Testament church. However, not all who have their names on the church roll enter into that rest because they do not progress in the teaching of Christ enough to know what He is talking about. However those who are saved, then follow the Lord in baptism, Church fellowship, and continuing discipleship do enter into His rest and cease from their labors even as God ceased from His. Now is this getting clearer?
Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” His rest is Sabbath. Every day is a Sabbath day to the knowledgeable, trusting Christian. Hallelujah! And, this rest we know in Him here and now will continue on in the ages to come, but where will people be when there is no calendar, no days….just one day and it is not named?

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HOW DO PEOPLE START ATTENDING CHURCH?


 

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A friend Invited Me – 86%
Organized Visitation – 6%
Invited by the Pastor – 6%
Advertising – 2%

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