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Monday, February 27, 2012

Will You Shoot My Mule?

By Scott Bowman

     In his autobiography, Number 1, Billy Martin told about hunting in Texas with Mickey Mantle. Mickey had a friend who would let them hunt on his ranch. When they reached the ranch, Mickey told Billy to wait in the car while he checked with his friend. Mantle’s friend quickly gave them permission to hunt, but he asked Mickey a favor. He had a pet mule in the barn who was going blind, but he didn’t have the heart to put him out of his misery. He asked Mickey to shoot the mule for him.

     When Mickey came back to the car, he pretended to be angry. He scowled and slammed the door. Billy asked him what was wrong, and Mickey said his friend wouldn’t let them hunt. “I’m so mad at that guy,” Mantle said, “I’m going out to his barn and shoot one of his mules!”
Mantle drove like a maniac to the barn. Martin protested, “We can’t do that!” But Mickey was adamant. “Just watch me,” he shouted. When they got to the barn, Mantle jumped out of the car with his rifle, ran inside, and shot the mule.
     As he was leaving, though, he heard two shots, and he ran back to his car. He saw that Martin had taken out his rifle, too. “What are you doing, Martin?” he yelled.
     Martin yelled back, face red with anger, “We’ll show him! I just killed two of his cows!”
Billy Martin was a great teller of tales, and many doubt that this event really happened. But it does illustrate a very real truth. Anger can be dangerously contagious. As Proverbs 22:24, 25, puts it: “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go; lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.”

- Scott Bowman (via
House to House Heart to Heart); submitted by Joe Slater, minister of the church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com

Only Forward

     The Australian coat of arms pictures two creatures, the emu, a flightless bird, and the kangaroo. The animals were chosen because they share a characteristic that appealed to the Australian citizens. Both the emu and the kangaroo can move only forward, not back. The emu’s three-toed foot causes it to fall if it tries to go backwards, and the kangaroo is preventing from moving in reverse by its large tail. Those who truly choose to follow Jesus should try to be like the emu and the kangaroo, moving only forward, never back (Luke 9:62, Philippians 3:13-14).
     Luke 9:62 “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Philippians 3:13, 14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

- via
The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

Monday, February 20, 2012

Greater Works Than Jesus?

By Larry Pasley
     John 14:12-14 12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
     Jesus said those who believe in Him will do greater works than he did, referring to the miracles he performed.
     How is it possible for us to do greater works than the mighty works and miracles which Jesus performed on this earth?
     Jesus healed all kinds of diseases, blindness, deafness, epilepsy, cast out demons, fed thousands will small amounts of food, stilled the storm, and even raised the dead.
     How could we possibly do anything greater that those things?
     All of those things were physical benefited the people only in this life.
     We have the opportunity to bring about healing spiritual diseases by bringing people to Jesus for salvation from sin through his blood.
     The greatest need people have today is not physical. This life is temporary and all the illnesses, diseases and problems are temporary also. The greatest need every individual who has ever lived or will live, on this earth is salvation from sin and the penalty of sin, hell.
     When we meet the spiritual needs of people and deliver them from the power of Satan and therefore from the fires of hell, we are doing something much greater than any miracle which relieved some physical ailment or problem.
     I believe that is what Jesus meant when He said we would do greater works than those He had done.
     We have great power available to us and also a great responsibility to use that power to bring souls to salvation.
     Jesus came to seek and save the lost. (Luke 19:10) And He died for us so that we would live for Him. (2 Cor. 5:15)
     If you are a Christian you should be living for Him. He came to seek and save the lost.
     Are you seeking and saving the lost? If not, why not.

- Larry Pasley serves as a minister with the Jackson Street church of Christ in Alexandria, LA. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at
http://www.JacksonStAlex.com 


Participant or Observer?

By Kevin Williams
     “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4.24). Several principles can be gleaned from the above passage. God is not human, He is Spirit. God is to be the object (or audience, if you will) of our worship. Worship has requirements, there are some things we “must” do. One requirement is to worship God in spirit, having the right attitude, motivation, etc. Another requirement is to worship God in truth, patterned after what He has told us in His Word. All these are noble truths taught by this passage.
     There is also another truth taught here that needs some emphasis. It concerns the command to “worship.” Worship is defined as “(fall down and) worship, do obeisance to, prostrate oneself before, do reverence to, welcome respectfully” (Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich 1958, p716). Note that worship is a verb! It is something that is done.
     Several passages of Scripture illustrate this point well…
• “And Abraham said to his young men, Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you” (Gen. 22.5).
• “For you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Ex. 34.14).
• “Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psa. 29.2).
• “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker” (Psa. 95.6).
• “And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship” (Acts 8.27).
• “And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you” (1 Cor. 14.25).
• “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God” (Rev. 22.8,9).
     I know that the Bible teaches that we are to attend worship. I also know that it is our duty as faithful members of the Lord’s church to contact those who are not “attending” to let them know that we miss them and to encourage them to be present in the assembly of the saints. Hebrews 10.25 has been part of the New Testament of Christ for nearly 2,000 years and it is not going anywhere. We do have responsibilities to fulfill as Christians.
     Now consider this. As seen in the passages listed above, to worship God is more than mere attendance. It is an action aimed toward God that is done by the faithful child of God. It is fulfilling God’s desire for us to pray to Him, sing praises to Him, preach His Word, remember His Son at His Supper, and give to Him as we have prospered through the week. It is praising Him, revering Him, bowing to Him, symbolically prostrating ourselves before Him. It is giving God what He wants in His way. It is participatory in nature. I have to do it in order for it to be done. No one else can do it for me. No one else can do it in my place. If I am not a participant in worship then I am not worshiping! Dwell on that statement for a moment. Consider the implication of what is being said. Then, ask yourself the following question: “When I come to worship, do I worship?” Sounds simple doesn’t it. It really is! And at the same time it is a major factor that determines if God accepts what I am doing in the assembly. No worship is done by observing!
     Resolve, therefore, to be a participant and not an observer! Think about it! ...Kevin

- Kevin Williams preaches for the Walnut Grove church of Christ in Benton, KY.  He may be contacted through the church's website:
http://walnutgrovechurchofchrist.org/ 

“Time is Filled with Swift Transition”

By Kevin Rutherford

     The old song says,“Time is filled with swift transition.” How true that is. Our lives are passed in the blinking of an eye. James said our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away (James 4;14). Every year in this world, 56,130,242 people die. That is about 4,677,520 per month, 153,781 per day, 6,408 per hour 107 per minute and nearly two per second. Assuming it takes you about five minutes to read this article, 535 people in this world will have died from the time you started until the time you finished. Time is getting away from us very quickly, and some day we will be numbered among the dead.
     Because life is but a micro-dot on the time line of eternity we must make the most of our lives. Solomon wanted to make the most of his life, but ended up wasting so much of it instead. After realizing the vanity of multiple women, wine, wealth, he finally came to the realization that one’s life is not well spent unless God is placed first in the life. After all we have been created for the purpose of serving God (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
     Making the most of our lives involves spending time engaged in activities that are beneficial to us physically, Eating right and exercising are important. After all, there is some benefit to exercise (I Timothy 4:8). In addition we are to be self-disciplined, and we are to take care of the body God has given us to use (Galatians 5:23; I Corinthians 6:19).
     Making the most of our time involves spending time with family and friends. God wants us to bring our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). We can’t do that if we don’t spend time with them.Too many families are splintering because the members of that family have become too busy to spend time with one another.
      Making the most of our time involves serving God. Spending time on the bodies’ health,and with family are certainly involved in serving God. However, serving God goes far beyond that. God must be first on our list of life priorities (Matthew 6:33). We need to make sure that we are using our time to worship Him, learn from His Word, pray to Him, teach the gospel among the lost, and spend time with fellow Christians. It is our service to God that is going to count on the judgment day (Revelation 20:13).
     By the end of this hour 6,408 people will have died. Some day you and I will die. Solomon said,“the living know that they shall die” (Ecclesiastes 9:5). Don’t waste your life in the pursuit of the vain and the foolish. Spend your short life in  service to God. Don’t die with doubt. Live with hope, and die with hope. Faithfully serve the Lord and confidently expect the reward (II Timothy 4:6-8).

- Kevin Rutherford, St. Louis, MO; via the
Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.  Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Who Am I?

By Johnny Hester
     According to a story I read, during the final days at Denver's old Stapleton airport, a crowded United flight was canceled. A single agent was rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and demanded, ":I HAVE to be on this flight AND it HAS to be FIRST CLASS!
     The agent replied, "I'm sorry sir. I'll be happy to try to help you, but I've got to help these folks first, and I'm sure we'll be able to work something out." The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, "Do you have any idea WHO I AM?"
     Without hesitating, the gate agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone. "May I have your attention please?" she began, her voice bellowing throughout the terminal. "We have a passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW HOW IE IS. If anyone can hlep him find his identity, please come to gate 17."
     To say the least, this man overestimated his own importance. The word of God warns, "For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith." (Rom. 12:3).
     Each of us would do well to remember that even at our best "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away" (Isa. 64:6).
     We are all undeserving of the mercy and grace that God has bestowed upon us through the loving gift of His Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17). It is only through His virtue that I have become a person of value. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1).
     Who am I? I am a child of God! But it is through no merit of my own. As a baptized believer I simply answered "yes" to his loving offer - the gift of salvation. With that truth always in our minds, let us all live in genuine thankfulness for his amazing grace.

- Johnny Hester preaches for the Shady Acres church of Christ, in Sikeston, MO.  He may be contacted through the church's website at
http://www.shadyacreschurch.com

Lord, Open Our Eyes!

By Joe Chesser
            One of the most challenging things for humans to do is to try to get a glimpse of God.  Even though we are the highest of God’s creation and are the only thing He made in His image (Genesis 1:26), we still have severe limitations in understanding God.  We’re just not capable of it.  God put it this way: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).  How much higher are the heavens than the earth?  No one knows, for the ends of the heavens have yet to be discovered.  But we do get the point.  There is just no comparison of humans with God.
            Even so, there are many ways God has allowed us to get a tiny glimpse of His nature and character.  “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1).  Creation tells of His eternal power and divine nature (Romans 1:20).  He has revealed certain things through his prophets and spokesmen (Deuteronomy 29:29).  Our clearest vision of God is found in Jesus: “If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well” (John 14:7).
            The trouble is that even people who lived at the same time as Jesus and saw and heard Him every day still didn’t seem to connect the dots any better that we do.  It’s just tough for humans to see God.  And a big part of that is because we allow our human limitations to constrict our thinking.  It’s much easier to create God in our image than it is to allow Him to transform us into His.
            Let me illustrate what I am saying by using the miracles Jesus did.  Most people then and now saw the miracles as an end in themselves.  There were people who were blind, so Jesus gave them sight.  There were people who were deaf or lame or sick, so Jesus healed them.  He fed thousands of people with one boy’s lunch.  He walked on water and calmed storms.  So people began to follow Him wherever He went so that they could be healed or get something to eat (Mark 3:7-10; John 6:26).
            But for most of them, that’s about as far as their feeble minds would allow them to go.  They didn’t connect the power of healing the physical afflictions with the power of doing far greater things.  They were satisfied with sight, hearing and food.  But Jesus wasn’t. He wanted them to use his power of healing as a springboard of faith to see who He really was, the One who could give them food that would feed their souls (John 6:27).  He wanted those healed of physical blindness to see more than trees.  He wanted them to see God!  He wanted the raising of the dead to show that He can give new life to the soul.  Jesus clearly used the healing of the paralytic to help the spiritually sick crowd to open their eyes and be saved: “‘But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins …’ he said to the paralytic, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’” (Mark 2:10-11).
            Lord, open our eyes to see what You see, so we can become what You are!

- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:
http://www.cofcfruitland.com/

Some Things Never Change

By Jimmy W. Cox
     All of us are aware that so very many things change so often that we could easily decide that everything changes. Some would even think that God’s Word should change so that it "would be adapted to modern times." However, this idea is false. John 17:17 says: "Sanctify them through thy truth, God’s Word is Truth." To add to God’s Word or take things away from it, will bring damnation. (Rev. 22:19).
     Human nature has not changed – All kinds of sins are still being committed – the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the vain glory of life. Rom. 6:23– "The wages of sin is death." That is why we need a Saviour.
"But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Heb. 7:24-25).
     Mankind still has needs that can only be met by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Mankind still needs spiritual guidance. "It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." (Jer. 10:23). We need salvation from sin. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23). Only Jesus Christ can supply that need. "For the son of man (Jesus) is come to seek and save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10).
We need encouragement because of weakness. (Read Gal. 6:1-2). We need sympathy because of sorrow. "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." (Rom. 12:15). Man needs hope because of death. Since Jesus overcame death, he has power to raise us also. (Read 1 Cor. 15:20 and 15:32).
     Jesus Christ is unchanging. "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." (Heb. 13:8). He is still man’s only saviour. "Though He was a Son, ye He learned obedience by the things He suffered. And having been perfected, He because the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. (Heb. 5:8-9).
Let our Lord provide you with all spiritual blessings. (Eph. 1:3). Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John 8:24); Repent of your sins (Acts 2:38); Confess Christ publicly (Rom. 10:9-10); Be baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38, Rom. 6:3-5). Be faithful the rest of your life (Rev. 2:10).

- Jimmy W. Cox lives in Sandy Hook, MS and attends the Columbia church of Christ in Columbia, MS. He may be contacted at
coxsandyhook@yahoo.com

Monday, February 6, 2012

Please Leave A (Positive) Message

By Jim Faughn
     Remember answering machines?
     For many of our younger people, it may be difficult to relate to anything other than “voice mail.” It may surprise them to learn that there was, in fact, a way to leave a message with somebody before the invention of cell phones and voice mail. However, answering machines have not quite yet gone the way of the horse and buggy. It is still possible to call something we now call a “landline” and leave a message on one of those devices.
     I was reminded recently of an experience I had a number of years ago with an answering machine. I dialed the telephone number of a woman who had lost her husband several months earlier. At least I thought it was her number that I had dialed. I began to wonder, though, because of the message I heard on the machine. I was listening to a man’s voice. At first, that surprised me, but it only took me a couple of seconds to realize that I had, indeed, dialed the correct number. I was listening to the voice of her late husband.
     As technology continues to develop, newer ways of preserving voices and images are available. Those who have the “know-how” can even put images and voices of those who are no longer living together with those who are. They can produce something that makes it appear that the dead and the living are working together, performing together, or having a conversation with one another. Families are often comforted by hearing the voices and/or seeing images of departed loved ones.
     However, the ability to communicate past the time of our earthly demise has existed for a long, long time. Consider what is said about Abel in Hebrews 11:4: “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks (ESV, emphasis added).
     I suppose we could call it our legacy, our influence, our impact, or any number of other things, but what we do now can continue to “speak” long after we are gone. In Abel’s case, he was “speaking” thousands of years after his death.
     I wonder what message I’m leaving on my machine. How about you?

- Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the Central church of Christ in Paducah KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:
http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org

What Assembling With The Saints Will Do For You

By Ivie Powell
     The attitude of “What’s in it for me?” has become so ingrained in the public that the religious world has built facilities to accommodate both the spiritual and the physical man. This is done all under the disguise of “meeting the needs spiritually, physically and emotionally.” It would not be surprising to learn many are erecting medical facilities in their building. Thus, the whole man’s needs, spiritually, physically and emotionally will be met all in one complex. It should not surprise us if many of our brethren follow in like pursuit. After all, so many have patterned their “appeal” after the denominational world!
     Brethren, when the church assembles on the Lord’s day, it is for one purpose and only one purpose, that being to worship God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24)! The Lord has set forth only five acceptable expressions in New Testament worship:
• Singing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16.
• Praying (Acts 2:42; 1 Thess. 5:17).
• Preaching (Acts 2:42).
• Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-29; Acts 20:7).
• Contribution (1 Cor. 16:1-2).
     Any addition or subtraction from these five authorized areas of worship is without Bible authority (Col. 3:17) and is a flagrant departure from the word of God (2 John 9-11; Rev. 22:18-19)!
    There are only three ways Scripture authorizes:
• Direct command (Acts 10:48).
• An approved Bible example (Acts 20:7).
• Necessary inference or implication (Matt. 3:16).
     There is no doubt that orchestras, dramas, choruses, testimonials, recreation and entertainment have an appeal to the flesh. However, New Testament worship is not based on man’s likes and dislikes, but solely on biblical authority (Col. 3:17)!
     The diligent student of God’s word quickly observes that all of the aforementioned are the direct result of man’s departure from God’s word. Whenever biblical authority is set aside, then, man will resort to his own devices, and when that takes place, biblical chaos ensues!
     When speaking of worship, the attitude of some is: “What’s in it for me?” Well, that really depends on what you bring with you. If you bring an attitude of sincerely worshiping God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), then you will receive the following:
• You will have a greater knowledge of God’s word (2 Tim. 2:15)!
• You will be preparing for a better and happier life (Phil. 4:4; 1 John 1:4)!
• You will be assured of the hope of eternal life for the faithful (Rom. 8:24-25; Titus 1:2)!
• You will be drawn closer to God (John 4:23-24; James 4:7-10)!
• Your faith will be strengthened (Rom. 10:17; Col. 3:16)!
• You will acquire a deeper insight into the truth found only in God’s word (James 1:25)!
• You will be admonished in “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16)!
• You will have the fellowship of brethren who need your strength and in turn will strengthen you (Acts 2:42)!
• You will be preparing for your eternal home with God, Christ, the Holy Spirit and all the saved of all the ages (Rev. 21:22)!
• You will be prepared for the uneven journey of the many wiles of the devil (Eph. 4:10-18).
• You will be strengthened in the Christian graces that are needed in remaining faithful (2 Peter 1:5-13)!
     With all of these and many other positive aspects, why would any Christian not want to faithfully assemble with the saints on the Lord’s Day (Heb. 10:23-25)?

- Ivie Powell; via the
Nile Street Notes, the weekly bulletin of the Anna church of Christ in Anna, IL; R. W. McAlister preaches for the congregation and may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/ 

Try Beginning Again

By Gus Nichols
     Perhaps some reader has tried to be a Christian, but failed. If so why not try again? Great success does not always come from a single effort. Worthwhile things are worth trying and striving for, even if we must try again and again. In the year 1917 a tornado destroyed our home, blew us away and ruined our crops on a farm before it tore into Carbon Hill, Alabama, and left the dead and the homeless in its wake. But we did not give up and quit. The next spring we found ourselves planting again, and soon we were growing a crop.
      Life is very much like that. Wars are not usually won by a single battle. But battle after battle must be fought before the victory belongs to those who win the last battle.
     Very few spend a long life in the service of Christ without getting discouraged and, for the moment, giving up in despair. But those who overcome the world are they who (if need be) try again and again—who refuse to surrender to the evil one. If they fail, they go down fighting, soon to rise again.
     It is easy to give up and quit when the going gets rough, as it most certainly will sooner or later. Long roads usually have some detours and rough places over which one must travel in order to reach the desired destiny. The Christian life is like running a race.
     “Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
     “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (I Cor. 9:26-27).
     If one falls, he should get up and try again. The new birth is a sort of “Land of Beginning Again” (John 3:5). So is a restoration of an erring child of God. “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).

- Gus Nichols; via
The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

How The Church Receives Its Funds

By Garland M. Robinson
     The work of the church is unique. The New Testament authorizes the church to work in three areas: 1) Evangelism — teaching and preaching the Gospel (Mark 16:15-16), 2) Edification — teaching and instructing its members (1 Thess. 5:11; Col. 3:16) and 3) Benevolence — helping those in need of the necessities of life (James 1:27; Gal. 6:10).
     To do the work God has commanded the church to do requires money (the funds necessary to carry out the work). God has given instruction “where” and “how” the church gets its money to do its work. It is by the free-will offering of its members. The Scriptures authorize a collection to be taken up each first day of the week. In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 we read, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him....” A famine had made many destitute of the necessary things of life. Churches of Christ everywhere were instructed to help the needy. This passage tells them how to do it.
    In the New Testament, you never read of the church of Christ having chariot washes, bake sales, rummage sales, 10K walks, etc., etc. to raise money for its work. There is no Scripture that authorizes the church to solicit (request, seek, beg) money, food, clothes (material goods) from non-members (the general public).
     Therefore, you should never see the church of Christ soliciting material things from those who are not members of the church in order to help the church do the work God has commanded the church to do.

- Garland M. Robinson; via the
Nile Street Notes, the weekly bulletin of the Anna church of Christ in Anna, IL; R. W. McAlister preaches for the congregation and may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/