The Truth

The Truth
Shall Make You Free

By Adrian Rogers

Have you ever been to a circus and seen an elephant chained to a stake in the ground? Why doesn’t he break free? Because as a young elephant he was tied to a tree. And try as he might, he couldn’t break free. Now the thought that he cannot break free is ingrained.

How true that is of you and me who have ingrained thought patterns in our lives. We say, “I am chained to this habit and I can’t break free.” Or we say, “I’m not good enough.” All kinds of lies keep us in bondage, but real truth is what God says, not what we think.

Are there any strongholds in your life that keep you chained to the past? Memorize these verses and break free from the lies of the past as you tell yourself the truth!

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

2 Corinthians 10:4  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;”

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

It’s the Little Things

by Meagan Davis

A Lineage of Grace

Have you ever had a situation in life where you just couldn’t see anything good coming from it? How about a situation where you just don’t understand what is going on at all? Or maybe you’ve been judged, looked down on, or lonely as a result of sin. Maybe you’ve made such a huge mistake that you think you could never reach God’s forgiveness again. Or maybe God just put some trial in your life that others don’t understand.
These situations are just a little look at what some of the women in the Bible went through during their lives. Recently, I’ve been doing a Bible study, and it has been so eye opening. I want to take the next several posts and share these thoughts with you. The study comes from the five women mentioned in the line of Christ in Matthew 1. The women would have been considered insignificant in Bible times, but God used them in amazing ways!
Why study these specific women? I heard a sermon on them a couple years ago, and it has had such and impact on me. It’s something I have never forgotten. So I decided to take a deeper look at them. God has truly blessed me in this study, showing me how great He is each and every step of the way. So stayed tuned in. I can’t wait to share with you what I have learned!

Friday Funnies

NEWS REPORTER

A photographer for a national magazine was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Smoke at the scene was too thick to get any good shots, so he frantically called his home office to hire a plane.

“It will be waiting for you at the airport!” he was assured by his editor. As soon as he got to the small, rural airport, sure enough, a plane was warming up near the runway. He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” The pilot swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air.

“Fly over the north side of the fire,” said the photographer, “and make three or four low level passes.”
“Why?” asked the pilot.
“Because I’m going to take pictures! I’m a photographer, and photographers take pictures!” said the photographer with great exasperation.
After a long pause the pilot said, “You mean you’re not the instructor?”

NEWS BOY

A newsboy was standing on the corner with a stack of papers, yelling, “Read all about it. Fifty people swindled! Fifty people swindled!”

Curious, a man walked over, bought a paper, and checked the front page. Finding nothing, the man said, “There’s nothing in here about fifty people being swindled.”

The newsboy ignored him and went on, calling out, “Read all about it. Fifty-one people swindled!”

 

Bible Study

LET’S TAKE A TEST 1 John 1:4; 5:13

The early church had been birthed into power. It grew like wildfire and the Lord truly blessed the immature church. However, it wasn’t many days until heresy began to creep into the church. One of the earliest perversions of Christianity to make an appearance was known as Gnosticism.

There were many versions of Gnosticism, but the primary areas of agreement was that knowledge and not the cross was the means to salvation. In other words, the Gnostics believed that only through initiation into the “special” knowledge they alone possessed could anyone hope to be saved. They also believed that all matter was evil. This meant that Jesus Christ did not really have a flesh and blood body. If matter was evil then Christ could not have had a physical body. It only appeared that He had died. Some did believe that Jesus died, but the spirit of Christ left Him before the cross. This, of course, eliminated the cross and the resurrection as the basis of salvation. Since they believed all matter to be evil, they did not believe in living holy lives. They believed the body could be allowed to do as it pleased since body and spirit were separate one from the other.

As these teachings began to filter their way into the church, some people found their faith undermined and they began to doubt their relationship with the Lord. Our text verses tell us plainly that John felt led to write this book to offer assurance to his readers. He wants them, and us, to know that we can know for sure that we are saved. We do not have to live in doubt. Many do, but it does not have to be that way.

To aid us in knowing for sure whether we are saved or not, John gives his readers a simple test they can take to determine where they stand with the Lord. In some ways, it is kind of like the achievement tests they made us take in school. Those tests were broken down into sections that revealed where we stood in relation to our peer group throughout the country. John’s test reveals where a person stands in regard to this matter of salvation. His is a simple test, broken down into five sections. I would like for us to take this test together this evening. You will not need a number two pencil. All you will need is an honest heart. Take the test, see where you stand and if corrections need to be made, they will be allowed. Let’s examine the sections of John’s test and our own hearts tonight. Let’s take a test!

I. THE COMMANDMENT SECTION

A. 1 John 2:3-6 – Simply stated, the person who is saved will have a desire to walk in obedience to the revealed will of the Lord. This is the same standard applied by Jesus Himself – John 14:15.

B. 1 John 4:6 – The redeemed individual will receive the Word of God and will conform his/her life to it!

C. 1 John 5:3 – The saved person will experience a joy in their heart when they receive a commandment from the Lord. God’s demands will not be “grievous” to them, but they will be a pleasure and a delight to the soul! (Ill. Psa. 1:1-3; Psa. 40:8; Psa. 119:35; Psa. 119:47.)

D. Is there something within you that wants to do the will of God? You may not do it completely or perfectly, but is there a pull within you that makes you want to do what God wants? That is not naturally within man, it is supernaturally placed within man when he is saved!

E. How did you do on this section? Grade your own papers please!

II. THE COMPASSION SECTION

A. 1 John 2:9-11 – The genuine believer will always be marked by true love for his brothers and sisters in Christ. A person who displays no love for the redeemed is not a child of God!

B. 1 John 3:14-22 – The true Christian loves his brethren, as we have already said. But, this is a love that is seen and not just said! It is a love that transcends all hurts and personal attacks. It is our unexplainable love for people, in spite of their attitudes and actions towards us, that gives us assurance of our salvation. (Note: Verses 20-21 tell us that there are times when doubt may arise and our own heart will attempt to condemn us. That is, we may feel that we are not saved. John wants us to know that we are not to rely on what our heart says! We are to look at the evidence and rest in the grace of God. Just because I may not feel saved, does not change the fact that evidence says that I am saved.)

C. 1 John 4:20-21 – True believers love the rest of God’s family! Without this supernatural love for the brethren a person is simply not saved, regardless of what they may say!

D. How are you doing? Again, please grade your own papers only!

III. THE CHRISTLIKENESS SECTION

A. 1 John 3:4-10 – These verses reveal the truth that genuine believers live a different life than the world around them. They have been changed by the power of God and are different, 2 Cor. 5:17! A saved person will develop a new pattern of life that will increasingly become more and more like Jesus Christ, 1 John 2:6. The saved individual will not be able to live a life of habitual, unconfessed, unrepentant sin! They will sin, 1 John 1:8-10, but there will be a pull in the heart to make it right with God and to separate from that sin!

B. Ill. There are times when I will call a home and an older child in that home will answer the phone. Often, it is impossible for me to distinguish the difference between that child’s voice and that of one of its parents. The inflections, pronunciations and sound of the voices are about the same. The reason? The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree!

C. The same is true in a spiritual sense. You are going to resemble your spiritual father whether it is God or the devil. You will manifest the characteristics of your spiritual father.

D. Did you come through that section alright? Please keep your eyes on your own test results. God called us to bear fruit, not inspect it!

IV. THE COMPANION SECTION

A. 1 John 3:24 – Not only will the genuine believer have the external marks of salvation, such as a desire to obey the Lord, a desire to do His will, a love for the brethren that manifests itself in action rather than mere words and a life that is marked by a resemblance to the Lord Jesus, but the believer will also have the inner evidence of the Spirit of God, 1 John 4:13.

B. At the instant of conversion, the Spirit of God takes up residence within the spirit of the believer. This is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor. 12:13. His Spirit within our hearts gives us assurance that we are saved, Rom. 8:16.

C. His job in us is to seal us, Eph. 4:30; lead us, John 16:13; and to give us assurance of our salvation; Eph. 1:13-14; 2 Cor. 1:22; 2 Cor. 5:5. The presence of the Spirit of God in our lives is proof positive that we belong to the Lord!

This is a mysterious thing, but it is absolutely essential for the assurance of one’s salvation. When the Spirit of God is present in your life, He will speak to your heart. He will tell you things. He will guide you. He will warn you. He will lead you. He will feed you. He will comfort you. He will teach you the truth. He will rise up within your heart and confirm the reality of your adoption into the family of God, ***Rom. 5:5***. Like a mother who wraps her arms around that insecure child everyday and expresses her undying love, the Spirit of God does the same things for the redeemed child of the Lord. (Note: To put it simply, when you get saved, there is a spiritual instinct placed within you. You immediately begin to desire those things that pertain to God, His Word, His work and His worship. This will not be a passing thing, but it will endure throughout life because of the presence of the Spirit in your heart.)

D. Do you have the inner voice of the Holy Spirit within your heart? His voice may be hard to hear at times because of all the noise from all the other things in our lives, but it can be heard nonetheless! Is there a desire for the things of God? Do you desire His house? Do you long to be with His people. Do you find yourself needing a word from the Bible? Do you ever find yourself needing to seek the Lord in prayer? Friends, this is not naturally within man! This is put there by the work of the Spirit of God!

E. Is He there?

V. THE COMMITMENT SECTION

A. 1 John 5:1 – The true believer is one who is trusting Jesus Christ and Him alone for their soul’s salvation. They believe all the Bible says about Him and they have embraced Jesus as their only hope by faith. That is the essence of salvation! It is more than just an intellectual assent to the facts, it is a personal acceptance of those things for oneself as your only hope of Heaven, Acts 16:31!

B. 1 John 5:13 – John tells us that this faith in Christ is the ground of our hope! What are you trusting to take you to Heaven? Don’t trust a prayer you prayed. Don’t trust a warn sensation you felt. Don’t trust what someone told you. You must trust Jesus and Him alone. Nothing else will ever suffice to save the soul! This is the clear message of 1 John 5:9-12! How does one trust Jesus? By faith! You merely come to the place where you understand that nothing else will do the job but Jesus and you simply lean on Him alone for salvation. (Note: It may happen in the context of prayer. It may happen in just an instant when trust is transferred to Jesus. It always happens only when there is a conscious decision to turn from a life of sin to faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross.)

C. How did you do in this section of the test? What are you trusting to save your soul? Is your faith in Jesus or the church? Is your faith in Jesus or your profession of faith or some prayer you prayed? Is your faith in Jesus or in the good things you think you have done? Faith that does not rest in Jesus Christ is not saving faith at all!

D. How did you score in this area? I think this is where most people miss the boat when it comes to salvation!

Victory Baptist Church 13 November 2019 victory palmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

Building Trust When Faith Wavers

Since faith is the core of our Christian experience, the consequences of wavering faith are far-reaching. Vacillating trust can lead us to make wrong decisions. Sometimes, after praying for direction, we might receive an answer that leads us to think, I can’t do that. So, instead of asking God to strengthen our faith, we make excuses. We may choose to postpone our obedience—even indefinitely—in order to do something else we consider just as worthwhile. But partial obedience is still disobedience, and it leads to situations that can be dire.

When our faith falters, not only can it result in poor choices, but it also is costly. The Israelites wandered 40 years in the desert because the nation allowed unbelief to overtake their faith. Wavering trust can make us miss out on the blessings of God; it often proves detrimental to those we love as well.

Our confidence will also be affected by shifting faith. When we are spiritually unsteady, we can easily be shaken by little things—even insignificant matters. Instead of standing firm, we may find our confidence eroding. Then we become less willing to take the risks God is asking of us. Rather than acting with certainty, we question and doubt what we are hearing from the Lord. We may also find joy diminishing because our wavering faith has led us away from God’s will. The inner peace of God that we once enjoyed evaporates as our faith weakens.

No matter how unsteady our faith, God invites us to draw near so He can strengthen our trust in Him. When He does, accept His invitation and give Him the glory.

Tuesday with Karen

So thankful He hears what we pray, even if words don’t come to say!
Thankful for how very good God is! KI

He Hears What We Pray

He hears what we pray, the great & the small,
Amidst our concerns, He has control of it all;
We may have worries that cause us to fret,
God’s love is an eraser that helps us forget!

He hears what we pray, any moment of the day,
He can read our heart if no words come to say;
Every need we may have is lovingly supplied,
As God’s sufficient grace is poured on our life!

He hears what we pray, as we cry out & weep,
He’s never too busy to listen when we speak;
He rules the universe with His mighty hand,
And still has compassion upon us as a man!

He hears what we pray, always has, always will,
Giving Christians sweet peace & a heart fulfilled;
Ask, seek, & knock, is what His word commands,
Things go much better from within God’s hand!

It’s the Little Things

by Meagan Davis

Even on a Monday

Sometimes, it’s good just to take some time to be thankful. Actually, the Bible says we’re supposed to give thanks in everything! (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

P.S. – That means even on a Monday…

I know I’ve done this before, but I just want to take a time to list a few things that I’m thankful for today. It’s good to remember every thing that God has given, done, and been for you.

  1. God is everything to me.
  2. I can talk to Him about anything; even if I tell Him the same thing a million times, He will still listen!
  3. My mom and dad and my siblings (Really missing them! Is it time to go home yet?)
  4. A bottom bunk at college
  5. My friend, Taryn, who is helping me learn guitar
  6. The accessibility of God’s Word. It’s always right there for me to read.
  7. God is always there for me even though I’m not always there for Him.
  8. An easy class schedule this semester
  9. The internet (Reading blogs and other articles is definitely a favorite pastime!)
  10. The gift of music (It’s beautiful and relaxing. P.S. – I wonder what God sounds like when He sings. After all, He created singing.)
  11. For my friends that hang out with me 🙂 I know they don’t have to!
  12. Sleep…even though it seems to be lacking at this time of the school year.
  13. Sunshine (For Florida being “The Sunshine State,” it rains a lot!)
  14. Softball and baseball
  15. March Madness…even if my bracket is ruined!
  16. Stories. Who doesn’t like a good story?
  17. Cleaning supplies. They make living somewhere a whole lot nicer (if you use them).
  18. Jewelry. Every girl needs a little glitz and glam.
  19. Devices that tell time. Without watches, clocks, and phones, late would become the new normal.
  20. Christians who have overcome trials God’s way. Read their testimonies.
  21. The s’mores treat in my grab ‘n’ go lunch today. It’s the little things 🙂
  22. Smiles that brighten your whole day.

Alright, it’s your turn! Yes, be thankful…even on a Monday

Good Thing

by Dr. Stanley

The world is corrupt, but God is good, and non-Christians often experience His kindness (though they may attribute it to luck or hard work). Yet we who follow Christ sometimes feel unbelievers don’t deserve benefits of prosperity or good health, particularly if we’ve been faithful but find ourselves struggling. However, no matter how great our service to God, we’re no more deserving than anyone else.

Our omniscient God takes many things into consideration when deciding what is truly good for an individual and how best to bless that person. He bases His determination on His knowledge of each heart. For instance, a $10 tithe may not seem like a huge amount to a young person, even though he earns just $100 a week. A few years later the same person, now successful and wealthy, may decide he can’t afford to give $100, even though that figure represents the same percentage of his paycheck.

At times the Lord refrain from pouring out blessing because He knows that too much of a good thing can have a negative effect. Or He may be selective about what He bestows so we won’t be tempted to worship the gift instead of the Giver.

In fact, unless we’re wise stewards, the Lord may withdraw certain benefits. To be fully blessed, we must heed what the psalmists teach: God unleashes blessing on those who walk uprightly, take refuge in Him, and obey (Ps. 84:11; 34:8-9).

Every good thing comes from the Lord (James 1:17), and we must seek Him to better understand His plans. Our part is to walk according to His will and follow His ways.

 

Autographed Bible

Walk down memory lane, this is an old repost from 2008.

I went to a Bible study Tuesday morning at 6:00 a.m., but I didn’t bring my Bible, no worry I was in Ricky’s office, so I pulled a Bible off a shelf.  The Bible I was reading from was a Bible he received as a gift back in the 80’s.  As we sat and talked about the lesson, I found myself flipping through his old Bible.  There were still notes on small pieces of paper tucked in between the pages, some about sermons, some about small talk.  One of the thing that brought back good memories to me was in the front of the Bible was autographs of preachers that he had heard back in the day.  Maze Jackson, Jim Rushing, Lee Robertson, it looked like a hall of fame of God’s preachers of yesterday.

One of the guys seemed a little amused that Ricky had autographs of preachers in his Bible.  I said that we had tried to instill the hero idea in the minds of the young people at Church. After all wasn’t these men the real heroes of our time, coming into a Church that was falling under the pressures of the world, and pointing us back to the One who created that very world.  I call them heroes and God dedicated a whole chapter in the Bible to people who took a stand for Him. Hebrews 11.

Friday Funnies

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON

Two little boys were known troublemakers, stealing everything they could get their hands, even from the church. One day, their Sunday School teacher, stopped one of the boys and asked, “Where is God?” The boy shrugged and the teacher repeated, “Where is God?” The boy ran out of the church crying to his home where he hid in a closet. Eventually his brother found him and asked, “What’s wrong?” The crying boy replied, “We’re in trouble now! God is missing and they think we took him!”

SERMON

During an impassioned sermon about death and final judgement, the pastor said forcefully, “Each member of this church is going to die and face judgement.” Glancing down at the front pew, he noticed a man with a big smile on his face. The minister repeated his point louder. “Each member of this church is going to die and face judgement!” The man nodded and smiled even more. This really got the preacher wound up. He pounded the pulpit emphatically when he came to the ultimatum: “Each member of this church is going to die and face judgement!!!” Though everyone else in the congregation was looking somber, the man in front continued to smile. Finally the preacher stepped off the platform, stood in front of the man and shouted, “I said each member of this church is going to die!” The man grinned from ear to ear. After the service was over, the preacher made a beeline for the man. “I don’t get it,” the preacher said in frustration. “Whenever I said, ‘Each member of this church is going to die,’ your smile got bigger. Why?” “I’m not a member of this church,” the man replied.