Articles

Articles

 

 

 

Displaying 21 - 25 of 27

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6


Warring Magnets by Daniel Broyles

Sunday, May 17, 2015

 

 

As a child, did you ever try to get two magnets to stick together?  If so, then you remember that magnets will only stick together if you have them facing the right direction.  If you have the same sides facing each other, then it is impossible to get them to stick together.  They will always war with one other, no matter what.  On the other hand, as soon as you flip one magnet over, you get that satisfying “click”.  In fact, if at least one of the magnets is strong, it can become almost impossible to pull them apart. 

Have you ever felt like that in your own life?  There are times in our lives that seem like we are at war with ourselves.  It is like our hearts and the lives we actually live are the same sides of a magnet that will not go together, and no matter how we try, they will not click.  This becomes wearisome to the point that, sometimes, we feel like just giving up.  We know something is wrong, but we cannot figure it out.  Would it comfort you to know the apostle Paul felt that exact same frustration? In Romans 7:14-15, Paul wrote, “…For, I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

What are we missing?  Why can’t we get our life magnets to work?

It is because we are warring with the purpose for which we were created – obeying God.  In the Old Testament, Jacob took advantage of his brother, Esau, and traded him a bowl of soup for his inheritance, and later, stole his lifelong blessing.  It is no wonder that Esau hated him so much that he wanted to kill him!  Jacob feared Esau from that time forward and was sent away.  Later in Jacob’s life, God tells him to go to the land of Canaan where Esau resides.  We can read in Genesis 32 that Jacob is wrestling with himself on how to go about passing through Esau’s land and waivered in his confidence about this travel.  While alone, Jacob goes out and encounters a man, and they begin to wrestle (Genesis 32:24-32).  After striving with the man all night, Jacob is injured by a simple touch.  It is then revealed that Jacob had been wrestling with an angel of God.  Jacob was warring with the command God had given him because of his fear of his brother.  When he changed his will to align with God’s will, he was blessed by God, and his brother welcomed him with open arms.

In the New Testament, Paul recounts the story of when Jesus spoke to him.  Jesus said to Paul, “It is hard for you to kick against the goads,” (Acts 26:14).  A goad was used to encourage a stubborn ox to move in the right direction. The more an ox kicked the goad, the more painful it was for the ox. Jesus is teaching Paul the same lesson that Jacob learned in the Old Testament.   Fighting against God’s will is as difficult as it is pointless. As our Creator, He knows what we need and what we need to do to be fulfilled on this earth.

Trying to make God’s will change to bind with our will is like forcing warring magnets together; it will result in nothing but internal war.  However, just like the magnets, when we make the decision to align our will with God’s will, a bond is formed. We gain peace from this bond with God and become even stronger than we were before. Are you weary of warring against our Father? Are you tired of kicking against the goads? We can help you form that bond that brings peace and strength. Let us show you how.

Additional Resources
Warring Magnets  - Bible Study Guide 
Be Still - Sermon by Curtis Pope 
Nailed to the Cross - Hymn from Annual Singing with Tim Stevens

Did you enjoy this article? Please help us reach others. Share it using the social media links on the left side of the page. If you're not on social media, we also have a PDF version that is great to print or email.

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

A Youthful Perspective

Spiritual Conflict Resolution

By Lindsey Embry

 

There are times in life when we feel like we are at war with ourselves.  In school there are days when it feels like I will never get it together. The homework will never be done on time, I’ll never choose a college, my room will always look like it was hit by a tornado. But there are bigger things to consider. My friends want to experiment with alcohol or drugs, or go to a dance. Should I participate in these things? How do I make these decisions?

The answer to all of these can be found in God. The Creator of this universe laid down some simple rules for us in His word, and life works best when we follow them. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your path.” When I focus my life on God and try to follow His word, life works better. That doesn’t always mean that everything goes perfectly. But through my faith in God I am able to remain peaceful and make decisions that can have positive, eternal effects.

Know God, Know Peace by Ryan Downey

Sunday, May 10, 2015

 

No God, No Peace. Know God, Know Peace. We live in a world where majorities choose no God and as a result they have no peace. Christianity is a fulltime position that we need to fully incorporate into our daily lives. I want to take you to two places briefly. The first place I want to take you to a world where kings ruled: This place is Jerusalem.  

Some people think in order to make change in the world you have to be a great leader. I want to introduce you to a woman who is not a high profile character, but one who chose to bear Gods word and deliver it to King Josiah. Her name is Huldah. In 2 Kings 22:14 she has been approached to help the king understand the book of the law that has been found in the temple. Why do you think that she was chosen? She had a reputation of knowing God and being at peace with Him. She was faithful in what God asked her to do. She was able to have peace of mind because she was right in her relationship to Him. As a prophet, she trusted hHm, she obeyed Him, and she let Him control her life.  

In Numbers 6:24-27 the Lord says he will bless you, keep you, his face will shine on you, and he will be gracious to you. He will lift up his countenance on you and give you peace. Huldah is an example of God showing favor to one who was dedicated to Him. Don’t you want that? Don’t you want to be loved by a God whose face shines on you? God offers his peace as a gift, available to you. The only thing keeping you from having these things is a heart that chooses to serve self rather than God. 

As we leave Jerusalem, we come to a place that we know all too well. It is not a physical place, but a state of mind: the state of sleepless nights and burden. That state comes about when we feel trapped by our past.  

In Genesis 4 we read of two brothers that both were worshiping God. Abel worshipped God in a way that was pleasing to God first and to him the second. Cain worshipped God in a way that was pleasing to Cain first and to God second. God rejected Cain’s sacrifice. Out of jealous anger Cain rose up and killed his brother for finding favor in God’s eyes. God said that Abel’s blood cried out to him, so God punished Cain for his sin. 

In verse 13 Cain says “My punishment is greater than I can bear” but he does nothing about it. He could have repented and been forgiven. Unfortunately, we do not read in the bible where Cain ever asked for forgiveness. For the rest of his life he never finds peace again. In verse 14 Cain is driven out the land as a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth.  

Gary Thomas, an author of Christian literature, said it best when he said, “’That’s just the way I am’ is a confession of sloth, not humility.” Cain gave up a life with God for an attitude that says, “That’s just the way that I am.” Don’t choose to be like Cain.  God has given you a gift through which you can find peace in your life; it’s called the present. God wants you to have peace of mind in Him. Let us show you how. 

Additional Resources
Know God, Know Peace - Bible Study Guide 
So Close - Sermon by Curtis Pope 
In His Time - Hymn from Annual Singing with Tim Stevens

Did you enjoy this article? Please help us reach others. Share it using the social media links on the left side of the page. If you're not on social media, we also have a PDF version that is great to print or email.

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

A Youthful Perspective

My Life Has Purpose 

By Farley Wood 

 

There are plenty of teenagers who don't know peace. We constantly worry or stress about things that won't really matter in the long run. Like a great deal of others, I worry about getting good grades, performing well in sports, my relationship with my boyfriend, and even passing my driver’s test. Many end up turning to the wrong sources to find a false sense of peace. The way that I find peace during the struggles I go through in my life is in God. As Romans 8:6 says, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” If I can keep my mind focused on God, peace is within my reach.  

 

By knowing God and developing my relationship with Him I can look at my life and find peace in it. Because I know God and what He has said to me in His word, I know my life has purpose. He also tells us that He is always with us and will be there for us to turn to throughout the easy days as well as the hard times. It always comforts me to know that I can bring all my cares to Him. He says to us in Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." And if knowing that doesn't give someone peace, I don't know what will.  

 

 

Trying to Outlive Mistakes by David Hehner

Sunday, May 03, 2015

 

What does it mean to have peace?  Most people think about peace in the physical sense.  The first thing I think about when it comes to the idea of peace is not being at war.  Without peace there are casualties, people get hurt and even die.  Only maniacs and lunatics want this.  Peace helps to preserve our physical lives.  So what about spiritual peace? 

Just as physical peace preserves our physical lives, having spiritual peace preserves our eternal lives. Jesus came into the world to bring spiritual peace to anyone who would obey His teachings.  This was predicted in Isaiah 9:6.  This verse says, “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Having spiritual peace is knowing I’m fighting for God and not against Him.

Spiritual peace doesn’t mean we’re free of any and all conflicts. We are no longer fighting against God, but we are at war with the sin in the world.  Everywhere we turn we encounter different temptations to go against what Jesus came to this earth to teach us.  When I let my guard down, I'm robbed of my peace with God. I get wrapped up in everyday life. My thoughts aren't focused or worse yet, my thoughts are impure. I lose sight of what God has set before me.  We all need to be reminded of spiritual things every day in study, in meditation, in prayer and in fellowship with God’s people.

I remember when I didn’t have spiritual peace.  I was already a Christian but I was letting my friends influence me in ways that were against God’s teachings.  I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I still did it.  I was seeking acceptance from my friends at the time.  I remember literally thinking “I hope I don’t die tonight.”  It was a scary feeling.  I knew that I wouldn’t get to live with God in Heaven.  I have since made things right with God.  But how many people go through every day hoping they outlive their mistakes and have just enough time to seek forgiveness? That is torturous. It’s the exact opposite of the peace God wants us to have in our lives.

It is a much better feeling knowing I have spiritual peace than when I knew I didn’t.  The spiritual peace that we as Christians have, allows us to get through many trials other people struggle with.  We know that this world is temporary and that we are looking to the next life.  Hebrews 13:14 tells us, “For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come”.  If we truly have spiritual peace, people will see that we endure more patiently the trials that come our way. 

Ultimately, the only way to achieve spiritual peace is to learn what God wants and to do it.  He is patient and He doesn’t want anyone to be lost.  2 Peter 3:9 reads, “The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance”.  We also read in Mark 16:16, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved, but we who has disbelieved shall be condemned”.  How about you?  Do you have spiritual peace?  Maybe you’re not sure.  Let us help you get to the point in your life where you can achieve spiritual peace.

Additional Resources
Trying to Outlive Mistakes - Bible Study Guide 
Therefore - Sermon by Curtis Pope 
Till the Storm Passes By - Hymn from Annual Singing with Tim Stevens

Did you enjoy this article? Please help us reach others. Share it using the social media links on the left side of the page. If you're not on social media, we also have a PDF version that is great to print or email.

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

A Youthful Perspective

Wouldn’t You Rather Have Peace

By Jonathan Holden

Peace.  The word brings thoughts of being safe at home, nothing to worry about.  Not worried about what the next day will bring.  But there are two kinds of peace: Physical, which we all know and crave for in this world and what we usually think of when we think of peace, but there is also spiritual peace, peace with God, our Creator. Peace knowing that if we die, and we lived according to His will, we are granted eternal rest in His bosom.  John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

While both kinds of peace are important, wouldn’t you rather have spiritual peace? Physical peace may protect our earthly bodies, but these bodies are not eternal like our soul is.  Having spiritual peace with God guarantees that our souls will not be lost away from our Father.  Which would you rather have?

I myself have struggled with having peace, spiritual and physical. Being the worrywart I am, I constantly stress over the little things, be it school, friends, or just time constraints, when I should just give all of my problems to God. Giving our problems to God not only shows we trust Him, but it prevents us from stressing on the things that we shouldn’t. Trust in God and seek his commandments.

I Want Faith Like That - by Travis Renfrow

Sunday, April 26, 2015

 

Everyone knows that one person who seems to epitomize faith. That person who rises to every challenge, stems every tide, and never falters.  Although life is no easier on them than it is on anyone else, they simply seem better equipped to deal with it. Did you ever look at that person and think, “I want a faith like that!”

I grew up as a fake. My mother took my brother and me to church. He and I were active in the church youth group. We even attended the youth getaways to Christian festivals and concerts. Everyone else seemed to be so spiritual and faithful. I wanted to be like that too, so I faked it.

It’s not that I didn’t believe in God or His Son. It’s just that I wasn’t sure about the foundation of my belief. I believed because of the consistency of the belief around me. It was like group-think. Although I thought I was becoming spiritually minded like my peers and leaders, I was really just becoming a spiritual lemming.

Then came the girl. Isn’t it always a girl? Not long after she and I started dating she asked me to go with her to her church. Being at that point much more teenage boy than spiritual lemming, I agreed. The message wasn’t radically different than the one I grew up hearing at my church. There were differences, but the core remained intact. The difference was the proof. It was at that church I learned four words that would change my faith for the rest of my life, “Book, chapter and verse.”

When the preacher gave his message, every point was supported by a reference to scripture. The book, the chapter and the verse(s) were given so routinely that it seemed like second nature to him. The men and women around me, all with bibles in hand, turned and read along with each reference. When the sermon was over and the invitation had been given, there was more.

They took up the collection. Every church takes up a collection. But they referenced 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 to prove that this was the right thing to do. They observed the Lord’s Supper. Lots of churches do that. But they referenced 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 to prove that this was the right thing to do. So it wasn’t just the preacher. The whole church seemed devoted to this “Book, chapter and verse” thing.

Fast forward nearly twenty years later. I have now come to realize that the foundation of my belief, of my faith, is not about feeling like my peers. My faith is built on reading, studying and knowing what God’s word says. It is built on truth. I serve God as a faithful Christian, husband, father, and deacon. I’m not a spiritual lemming. My faith is my own. I know its strengths and I know its weaknesses because I have built it with the tools God gave us all.

 I will not criticize the faith of those I grew up with. How can I question what their hearts and minds contain? But I know what worked for me. I also know it will work for you. I know because I have the book, chapter and verse to support me. “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17.) If you want a faith like that, we can show you how to build it.

Want to Know More?
I Want Faith Like That - Study Guide (Microsoft Word Document)
Untitled - Sermon by Curtis Pope
It Is Well With My Soul - from congregational singing with Tim Stevens

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

Saving Faith - By David Hehner

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Is there a difference in having faith and having “saving faith”?  As a New Testament Christian, my answer would be yes.  So, what is the difference?  Let’s look at a few scriptures talking about faith.  “For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is the rewarder of those that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).  In any instance, if I want something bad enough, I will go to great lengths to obtain it.  An example could be that I want to get an A on a big test.  If I truly want the grade, I will study hard and long enough that I know the material inside and out.  The same can be said about saving faith.  If my faith is strong enough to be considered saving faith, I will have purposed in my heart to submit to God’s will with all aspects of my life.  We know we can’t physically see God on earth like I see the moon, or the stars, or anything else that I can physically see. But, in believing what the bible says, I have faith that God exists and is waiting for me in Heaven.  He is also waiting for you.

       “And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you”” (Matt: 17:20).  Have you ever held a mustard seed?  I haven’t but I have seen a picture.  It compares in size to a small piece of rice.  Could you imagine, based on this passage, that if we have even this amount of faith, it would be enough to move a mountain?  And, can you imagine, that it just grows from there?  Imagine what this kind of faith is capable of when has grown to the size of a large tree.  That is the kind of faith that is capable of giving us eternal life!!  That kind of faith that is capable of letting us live with God forever!!  To me, that is hard to fathom.

       Think about the power of a big rig.  If you had hundreds of big rigs together, it still would not be enough power to move a mountain, yet if your faith was as big as this small mustard seed, it would be enough to move a mountain.  The almighty God in Heaven gives us this power.  He is capable of it because He created the mountain anyway.  He wants us all to be with Him in Heaven.  How do we obtain a saving faith?  We just need to dig in to His word and let it change us.   Let it change the way we talk, where we go, who we’re with, and what we want.  It will change our lives.  “The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). The Lord is patiently waiting for all of us to dig in and develop that saving faith. Let us help you get started.

Please share this article using our social media links on the left side of the page. Or use this PDF version of the article to share it with someone you care about

Want To Know More? 
Saving Faith - Study Guide (Microsoft Word Document) 
Increase Our Faith - sermon by Curtis Pope 
Lead Me Gently Home Father - from congregational singing with Tim Stevens

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing 

exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

 

Displaying 21 - 25 of 27

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6