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Greatest Job Ever


I am so blessed to be the preacher for the Ripley church of Christ. It has been a great experience. Since March we have all grown so much. 16 souls have been added to Christ’s body, and there have been at least 3 public restorations. The attendance is up, the contribution is up, and the moral is up. Pray God will bless his people with increasing and continuing success.

Preaching the Gospel is simply the daily practice of enjoying and extending the grace and truth of our Lord Jesus. Watching God’s Word work is truly great. There is so much work to be done. I pray that in 2012 we will abound in the work of the Lord for His honor.

There is not a better way to enjoy the Lord than to work with the Lord. I am so thankful for the blessing.

I love being Your preacher

WHY NOT EVERY DAY? Titus 2 :11-14

Titus 2 :11-14

I remember Elvis singing, “Why can’t every day be like Christmas? Why can’t that feeling live on endlessly?” I am certainly not in favor of doing anything which God has not authorized (2 John 9-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; Colossians 3:17), but I am happy that people seem to focus on God and others a bit more around this time of year.
Why can’t we carry on this feeling every day? Christians are to celebrate the gospel every Lord’s day (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34; Hebrews 10:24-25). Every thought of our lives are to be dominated by our love for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14; 2 Corinthians 10:5). How is it that we can keep Christ in every day?

I. Think about all Jesus means to us–Titus 2:11
A. “There’s Just Something About that Name”.
B. How we love his name–Isaiah 9:6-7.
C. How we love his offer of hope–1 Corinthians 15:20-22.
D. How we love to be a part of his family–Ephesians 2:1-10.
E. How we love to have known his life–1 Peter 1:10-12.

II. Live as though Jesus means something to us–Titus 2:12-13.
A. Train yourself.
1. In 2 Samuel 22:35 David said the Lord, “He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”
a. God’s Word trains us to live the Christian way.
b. Psalm 19:11
2. Renounce sinfulness
a. Just as Joseph fled Potiphar’s wife we must flee sin.
b. 1 Peter 1:17.
3. Live godliness.
a. Romans 6:1-5.
b. 2 Peter 2:24.
B. Waiting for his return.
1. Revelation 6:10.
2. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
3. Revelation 22:20.

God told us that we can keep Christ in every day by making our thinking and our living an appropriate response to God’s manifested grace. Are you ready to begin living every day as a Christian? Give daily meditation to what Christ means to you and live in an appropriate response to God’s grace.

Givers and Takers

Matthew 26:1-16

“Make me a servant. Lord make me like you. You are a servant, Lord make me one too.” Our Lord said, “it is better to give than to receive”, yet one of the most common questions asked is “what is in it for me?”. Christians cannot be given into the mentality of the “Me Generation”. We must become servants of the Lord and his church. If we are to follow Christ, we must abandon greed and become Godly givers.

I. Greedy
A. The chief priests and elders were concerned with their position–Matthew 26:3-5.
1. They were concerned with what they had–26:3-4
2. They were concerned with what their favor among the people–26:5
B. Greed is defined as an intense and selfish desire for something.
1. Sin comes when our desires get out of control.
2. Worldliness is seen in the “lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” This is not from the Father, but the world–1 John 2:16.
C. Greed is condemned throughout the Scriptures:
1. 1 Corinthians 5:11
2. 2 Peter 2:3
3. 2 Peter 2:14
4. Titus 1:7
D. We must learn to sing “None of Self and all of Thee” instead of “All of Self and
None of Thee”.

II. Generous
A. Generous hearts plan to give–Matthew 26:1-2
1. Planning requires setting a goal
2. Planning also requires making preparations.
B. Generous hearts are eager to give–Matthew 26:6-13
1. 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
2. Ezra 2:69
3. Romans 8:32
4. 1 Timothy 2:6
5. Sometimes our intellect must yield to our emotions–Luke 21:1-4.
C. Generous hearts are truly following Christ’s example.
1. Romans 9:23
2. Romans 10:12
3. Romans 11:33
4. Ephesians 2:7

Allow yourself to yield to Christ. Make him your Lord and live for him. Giving yourself away to his service will be the best thing that ever happened to your life.

Evangelism How To: The Woman at the Well


Knowing how to recognize and utilize opportunities is key to spreading the Gospel.

I. Everyday opportunities can become great victories for Christ.
A. Jesus began a great evangelistic campaign with a simple visit to the well.
B. This would be equivalent with going to Wal-Mart or McDonalds.
C. Perhaps Paul spent much time in the “marketplaces” so that he could be around
other people who might possibly be interested in the Gospel.
D. We need to spend time in the community so we can make the community the church.
II. Accept people as they are, but be ready to take them where they need to be.
A. Accept people where they are
1. “Just As I Am”
2. Philippian Jailor may not have appeared to be a great prospect.
3. Cornelius certainly was not the prospect Peter was expecting.
4. Paul was anything but a potential Christian.
5. We never know how much people need to feel as though someone knows
about the life they know.
B. Bring them to Jesus.
1. Have a strait-forward conversation about grace and truth.
A. Jesus was open and honest about her moral problems.
B. Jesus was open and honest with her doctrinal problems.
2. Expect growth to take time.
A. Jesus commanded the Gospel to be preached to all nations.
B. But it took 10 years for the apostles to understand Gentiles could
become Christians without becoming Jews (Acts 10).
3. We should expect all of us to “bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.”
III. Expect God to work.
A. John 4:28-30 & John 4:39-42.
B. We never know what God can accomplish with the smallest of actions.
C. Because Jesus spoke with one woman an entire village came to faith.
D. 1 Corinthians 3:6
E. 1 Corinthians 15:10
F. Isaiah 55:10-11

God is still giving us opportunities to share the Gospel. We must make the most of those opportunities.

The Battle of the Wills

The Battle of the Wills
Matthew 23:37-39

Introduction to the Scripture:
What will I do today? This question is more important than it may appear, for what you do with your days decides what you will do with your life. There is a marketplace of ideas and paths which will soon shape the result of our life. What you do with your life is determined by what you will do with your days.

Discussion of the Scripture:
God’s Desire to Save You
Jesus lamented the Jewish record of rejected God’s spokesmen. Jesus said that his purpose/will/or desire was to gather His people into his care, but they rejected him. We must remember that God doesn’t want anyone to be lost (2 Peter 3:9).

The greatness of God’s desire to save man is seen best at Calvary. This greatness is seen at John 3:16-17. And again in Jesus’ request “And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). Those arms are yet extended offering a loving shadow of grace, and we have the opportunity to hide beneath the shadow of the cross.

As we find shelter in the shadow of His cross, we kneel in a pool of His blood. Remembering that we were redeemed by that blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19), helps us appreciate the amazing lengths God was willing to endure for our salvation. Those who hide in that blood will find God to be loving, gracious, and merciful (Revelation 22:14).

Our Lord spoke in similar terms through Isaiah the prophet in the first chapter of his work. God said, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as owhite as snow; though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Let us be ever mindful of how we respond to the Lord’s message of hope and his messengers of hope.

Your Desire to Reject Him.
God wanted nothing but the best for His people, however Jesus summarized their attitude as “but ye would not.”. Great sorrow hangs on every word. They would not be saved. Jesus therefore said, “See, your house is left to you desolate.”. Desolate means “uninhabited; lonely place; forsaken; lonely place”. Truly, they were Godforsaken, but only because they had forsaken God.

They had forsaken God by their self-righteous and Pharisaical attitudes (Matthew 23:13-26). Forsaking God led to their destruction (Matthew 24). Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

Jesus then quoted Psalm 118:26, “For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”. The Psalm extols the steadfast love of the Lord. The last section concerns righteousness entering the gate and saving God’s people despite being rejected. It is the day the Lord has made, and we should rejoice and be glad in it.

I do not understand why we so often choose the wrong way. It is great to know God still loves us despite our choices. We rejoice with Paul who said, Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also cobtained access by faith1 into this grace din which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2).

Invitation from the Scripture:
Imagine that Jesus is still hanging on that cross with his arms of love open wide extending his grace to you. Would you hide in yourself in his love or just go another way?

At Home and Away

1 Peter 3

Aristotle believed the germ of society was the relationships between a slave and his master and between wife and her husband. Christians should also point out that the church is the rock on which all relationships may reach their highest level. Peter gives us principles for honoring God while we are at home and away.

I. Honoring God at Home–1 Peter 3:1-7
A. Ephesians 5:21-24
B. Colossians 3:18
C. Titus 2:4

II. Honoring God while Away–1 Peter 3:8-22
A. Think only as the Lord–1 Peter 3:8-12; 1 John 4:19-5:3
B. Trust only in the Lord–1 Peter 3:13-22; Isaiah 8:16-20

Wherever we may find ourselves we have opportunities to honor God and allow others to see the blessings of Christianity. Christians, we must be diligent to always present ourselves as clothed with the heart, actions, and words of Christ both at home and away. Let us always encourage, and never let us discourage.

Who are the spirits in prison?
(1 Peter 3:19)

There is much debate about the identity of these spirits. The Greek term pneuma (“spirit”), in either singular or plural, can mean either human spirits or angels, depending on the context (cf. Num. 16:22; 27:16; Acts 7:59; Heb. 12:23; etc.). Among the three most common interpretations, the first two fit best with the rest of Scripture and with historic orthodox Christian doctrine. These are:

(1) The first interpretation understands “spirits” (Gk. pneumasin, plural) as referring to the unsaved (human spirits) of Noah’s day. Christ, “in the spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18), proclaimed the gospel “in the days of Noah” (v. 20) through Noah. The unbelievers who heard Christ’s preaching “did not obey … in the days of Noah” (v. 20) and are now suffering judgment (they are “spirits in prison,” v. 19). Several reasons support this view: (a) Peter calls Noah a “herald of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5), where “herald” represents Greek kēryx, “preacher,” which corresponds to the noun kēryssō, “proclaim,” in 1 Pet. 3:19. (b) Peter says the “Spirit of Christ” was speaking through the OT prophets (1:11); thus Christ could have been speaking through Noah as an OT prophet. (c) The context indicates that Christ was preaching through Noah, who was in a persecuted minority, and God saved Noah, which is similar to the situation in Peter’s time: Christ is now preaching the gospel through Peter and his readers (v. 15) to a persecuted minority, and God will save them.

(2) In the second interpretation, the spirits are the fallen angels who were cast into hell to await the final judgment. Reasons supporting this view include: (a) Some interpreters say that the “sons of God” in Gen. 6:2–4 are angels (see note on Gen. 6:1–2) who sinned by cohabiting with human women “when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah” (1 Pet. 3:20). (b) Almost without exception in the NT, “spirits” (plural) refers to supernatural beings rather than people (e.g., Matt. 8:16; 10:1; Mark 1:27; 5:13; 6:7; Luke 4:36; 6:18; 7:21; 8:2; 10:20; 11:26; Acts 5:16; 8:7; 19:12, 13; 1 Tim. 4:1; 1 John 4:1; Rev. 16:13–14; cf. Heb. 1:7). (c) The word “prison” is not used elsewhere in Scripture as a place of punishment after death for human beings, while it is used for Satan (Rev. 20:7) and other fallen angels (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6). In this case the message that Christ proclaimed is almost certainly one of triumph, after having been “put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18).

Come, Lord Jesus

Come, Lord Jesus
Revelation 22:10-21

You finally schedule a repairman to come to the house. They say they will arrive sometime after 3 today or tomorrow. Which is it going to be? Will they be here tomorrow or the next day? Should I clean the house now, or do I have time to clean later? Do I have time to go to the store today, or will they be here any minute?
Jesus will return (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4;16-18; John 14:1-4). However, we do not know when we should expect him (Mark 13:31-32). Therefore, we must be prepared (Matthew 24:42-44). John’s Revelation concludes with the beginning of eternity with God. Jesus invites us to his home and the invitation helps the Christian prepare to invite Christ’s return.

I. Jesus’ return will not allow for last second decisions–Revelation 22:10-11.
A. Daniel was told to “shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4). Jesus return is increasingly eminent. So we must be ready.
B. 1 Corinthians 15:52 says that we shall all be changed, “in the twinkling of an eye.”
C. Jesus return is increasingly eminent. So we must be ready.

II. Jesus’ return will rapidly repay each one for his decisions–Revelation 22:12-15
A. “Quickly” refers not to a length of time, but rather it speaks of how rapid the
recompense will occur.
B. Jeremiah 17:9-10, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly
corrupt: who can know it? I, Jehovah, search the min, I try the heart, even to
give every man according to the fruit of his doings.”
C. Galatians 6:9-10

III. Jesus’ return will not be unexpected–Revelation 22:16-17.
A. If it were not announced, it could be unexpected.
B. However, we have the announcement of his coming–Acts 1:9
C. We have the invitation to leave with him–John 14:1-4.
D. We have no excuse if we are not prepared–Romans 1:20.

IV. Jesus’ return will be welcomed by those who prepare to meet God–Revelation 22:18-21
A. Mark 11:8-10, “Hosanna; Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.”
B. Just as the disciples were relieved to have Jesus in the boat with them after he
calmed the storm (John 6:20), we will be relieved when Jesus welcomes us from the
storms of life.

Eagerly, we wait. Diligently, we prepare. Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. Are you ready for Jesus to come again? He wants you to be ready. Jesus wants to bring you home. Lay aside the baggage that will keep you from Heaven. Prepare to meet thy God.