Monday, August 11, 2014

A Faithful Man, Who Can Find?

By R. W. McAlister

     Proverbs 20:6 asks a very sobering question...“But a faithful man - who can find?” If ever there was a day when our world needed faithful men, today is the day! 
     Listen, men - our world needs us today more than ever. Our world needs us to be Godly men. Your wife needs you to be a Godly man. Your children need you to be a Godly man. The church needs you to be a Godly man. Your business needs you to be a Godly man. Your community and your nation need you to be a Godly man. The whole world needs more men behaving Godly! 
     If families are going to survive in the 21st century, men will have to stop behaving badly and start behaving Godly. We’ve heard it said, and rightly so, “As the family goes, so goes society.” Take that back one step further, “As men go, so goes the family.” 
     Psalm 112 tells us exactly where the whole process has to begin. Verse 1, “Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.” This gets right to the root of the problem for most men. Too many men don’t have a healthy fear of God. Too many men don’t find great delight in His commands. The happy man is he that fears the Lord. He’s the kind who takes pleasure in his duty. He that fears the Lord, as a Father, with the disposition of a child, not of a slave, delights greatly in his commandments, is well pleased with them and with the equity and goodness of them. 
     Men, do you realize God has given you the responsibility of spiritual leadership in your family and in the church (Eph. 5:23; I Tim. 2:12)? Do you realize someday you’re going to give an account back to God of how you lived your life, and how you led your family spiritually (Romans 14:12)? Men, we have to assume our family responsibilities. We’ve got to be men of God and behave Godly because our souls and the souls of others precious to us depend on it so much!   

- R. W. McAlister preaches for the Anna Church of Christ in Anna, IL.He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

Why I Believe…

By Robert E. Guinn

     Faith and belief are constantly used to justify one's religious practice and/or conduct.  Yet that justification makes no sense if that faith is not a personal faith.  So, what does it mean for faith to be personal? 
     For faith to be personal it must be more than a mere acceptance or acknowledgement of supposed facts.  It is deeper than simply having an answer for a Bible question.  Personally developed, faith can properly answer the question, "Why do you believe?"  Not just supplying reasons to believe, but answering the question, "What truly persuades you to be a Christian?" or "Why are you convinced?"  This answer should go deeper than the "I feel" responses and be more confident than "I think" statements.  So, why do I believe?  I am glad you asked.
     I believe there is a God.  When I consider Newton's Third Law, the Law of Bio- genesis,  and the First Law of Thermodynamics, I find the Big Bang and Evolutionary theories contradicting fundamental laws of science and the natural world.  I believe that the universe was created by a supernatural being known as God.  I see design, engineering, and craftsmanship in our natural world.  We look at a motorized vehicle and know that due to its complexity it was designed, engineered, and crafted by someone or something.  In like manner, a small leaf from one tree is more complex than that automobile.  I believe in a super-natural, all-powerful Creator.
     I believe in the Bible.  The most reliable documents from antiquity, based on manuscript evidence, are the Sacred Scriptures we call the New Testament documents.  In a span of over two thousand years both the Old and New Testaments were penned.  At least forty different humans, from various walks of life, were involved in its recording.  Though supposed contradictions exist, I have yet to see one that cannot be adequately explained.  Though its origin is found in antiquity, the Bible itself is not antiquated.  The Bible has proven to be timeless and relevant to our present age with proper study and application.  The Bible possesses the fingerprints of Divine origin.  I believe that the Bible is the inspired inerrant Word of God.
     I believe in Christ.  The Bible is not the only ancient document that mentions Jesus as a real historical figure.  Still, the New Testament, being the most reliable ancient document from manuscript evidence, clearly teaches that Jesus Christ is the son of God (Matthew 3:17, 17:5).  He willingly allowed himself to be murdered by crucifixion (Luke 22-23), as a sinless sacrifice (Hebrews 4:15), for the sins of those willing to submit to His will (John 3:16, 36;  Hebrews 5:9).  Being raised to life again, he proved there is hope for life after this one (1 Corinthians 15; Romans 8).  I believe in the risen, crucified Savior of my soul.
If I truly believe in these three faith statements, then my life should be in a constant state of transformation (Romans 12).  No longer living for self but living for Christ (Romans 3). My belief should compel me to action, being grateful for God's salvation (James 1-2).
Do you believe?  Why do you believe?

- Robert Guinn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

A Direct Influence

By Ron Thomas

   If from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and one can be known by the quality of the fruit produced, then it is reasonable to conclude that both the words spoken and the deeds done are indicative of the person’s heart.  People are able to see this and judge.  People of maturity can understand this, but people full of sin (or self) are quick to point out that one—especially one guilty of sinful behavior.  It is interesting that these are the same people who look upon the Lord and faithfully proclaim they would NEVER deny Him, but their lives have denial written all over them.  The deeds we do, the words we speak, and the thoughts we think reflect correctly on (or against) the Lord’s influence on our lives.

- Ron Thomas serves as preacher and an elder for the Highway Church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

At Your House

By Wendell Winkler

     Will priorities be established in your children when…
• You are early for their ballgame, but late for worship? 
• You check on their homework regularly, but never check on their Bible class lessons? 
• You won’t let them miss school even though they don’t want to go, but let them miss church worship services? 
• You won’t let them stay up late on school nights, but let them stay up late on Saturday night. 
• You will serve as room mother at their school or volunteer at school, but will not help with classes, activities, programs which involve spiritual matters? 
• You attend open house at their school, but do not visit their class room of Bible school, or even know where their class meets? 
• You support, attend, or even participate in their sports activities (baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, etc.) but regularly miss activities involving the church? 
• You never (almost never) miss meeting with the civic or social club of which you are a member, but frequently miss worship services? 
• You go to work even though you do not feel like it, but stay home on Sunday in the same condition? 

- via The Contender, the weekly bulletin published by the Walnut Grove Church of Christ in Benton, KY.  Kevin Williams preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the church's website:

Monday, August 4, 2014

If There's A God...

By Steve Higginbotham

     Have you heard the story about a very militant, atheistic professor who made it a point in his class to belittle the faith of those who believed in God.  After spending nearly a semester of ridiculing Christianity, he felt rather confident to sarcastically ask, "Are there any believers in God in this class?"  He didn't expect anyone to respond, but one young man did.  He said, "Yes, I'm a believer in God."
     The professor reveled in the thought of making a fool of this young man, so he stood before the class, looked up toward the ceiling with outstretched arms and said, "If there's an all powerful God out there, I challenge you to strike me dead right now!"  A hush fell over the classroom for a moment, then the professor arrogantly smirked and said, "See, if your God exists why am I still standing here?  This is proof that your God doesn't exist."
     Very calmly, the young man said, "No professor, this isn't proof that my God doesn't exist.  However it is proof of something.  It's proof that the God I serve is a merciful God."
     "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God...'" (Psalm 14:1).

- Steve Higginbotham preaches for the Karns Church of Christ in Knoxville, TN. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at

How to Live for Christ

By Robert H. Martin
* Do good to all people no matter what they do to you (Galatians 6:10). Christ is our example of doing good (Acts 10:38).  We must follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). 
* Bless and love your enemies (Matthew 5:44).  Christ was hated, mocked, spat upon, beaten...yet He prayed, "Father, forgive them" (Luke 23:34).  When we do this, we have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). 
* Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick (Matthew 25:34-36). Christ went about helping the downhearted (Matthew 9:35).  By us doing this (especially to the brethren), it is the same as us doing it to Christ (Matthew 25:40). 
* Count others better than yourself (Philippians 2:3).  This is truly being Christ-like.  When we do this, we are serving as Christ did selflessly (John 13:4-5). 
* Put the kingdom (church) first in all things (Matthew 6:33). Jesus died for the church (Acts 20:28); we need to live for it.  Put Christ's body above all earthy things.

  This is Christianity.  Do these things with all your might (Ecclesiastes 9:10).  Be steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).
- Robert H. Martin (adapted); - via the weekly bulletin of the Broadway Church of Christ in Campbellsville, KY. Edd Sterchi preaches for the congregation and he may be contacted at


The Superman Syndrome

By Austin Johnson

     Have you ever felt the need to be Superman?  I am not talking about a weird desire to dress up in a blue and red spandex suit (although I would understand).  I am talking about feeling the need to do everything yourself.  You see a need and are too scared to ask others to do it.  You are incredibly busy but you do not think anyone else should have to sacrifice so you add the responsibility to your list.  You know what I am talking about.  Let’s call it the Superman Syndrome.  I believe this feeling is very real and sometimes very detrimental to our physical and spiritual health.  There are three comments about the Superman Syndrome I would like to share: 
     #1 If you deal with Superman Syndrome, it is time to relax and trust others.  I have dealt with this syndrome many times before.  Acts 2:44 says “And all who believed were together…”  Let’s restore that principle of being together and helping one another out.   
     #2 Many people are struggling with Superman Syndrome, so be proactive and help them out.  1 Corinthians 1:10 says “be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”  We all need to focus on the mission of the church— seeking and saving the lost.  We live every day among people who are lost in sin and destined for eternal destruction.  We MUST seek them out and plant seeds of truth, righteousness, and love in their hearts.  So be proactive and seek opportunities to help others; i.e. Neighborhood Kids Ministry, leading in worship at the nursing home on Sunday mornings, learning to run the A/V equipment, mow lawns, play cards with the Golden Agers on Tuesdays, teach a Bible class, mentor a child, or invite a friend to worship to name a few.  
     #3 It requires a church.  Christ created his church to exist in community.  That principle is clearly seen through 1 Corinthians 12:12, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”  Our job, being Christ’s church, requires more than one individual or even a group of small individuals.  It requires a church.  So ask yourself today, what am I doing for Christ’s body?  Be active.  Be involved.  And in all things, bring glory to God.     

- Austin Johnson serves as youth minister for the Calvert City Church of Christ in Calvert City, KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

Don’t Believe Everything!

By Lance Cordle
     I recently received a letter in the mail that promised me a large sum of money. It was sent by air mail. It was written on official-looking stationery and bore an official-looking stamp. It bore the logo and name of an attorney. It said that I had been appointed trustee, executor and beneficiary of a woman’s estate. It said that I could use the money for my personal needs as well as for my ministry. It also said that all I had to begin this process was to respond via email and give them my phone number. 
     Before going any farther, I have a question: Do you think I am going to respond to this letter? If you do, you must think I am very gullible. I will not respond because of the following.:
• Though I have not received a hard-copy letter quite like this, I have seen  letters like it sent via email. 
• It is from a foreign country, from some “law firm” about which I have no knowledge.
• It is about a person, with which I have had no relationship. 
• The stamp is not an official, “raised-letter” stamp, but a copy, with very unofficial language on it. 
• There is the very impersonal address: “Attention Beneficiary.” 
• It proposes an exorbitant amount of money ($5,000, 000) to me and my ministry. 
     As you might have guessed this is almost certainly an attempt to retrieve personal information from me in order to steal my identity. I think most people would agree with me and would not take  the chance and respond.  
     However, some of the people who might not respond to such a “phishing” attempt, might follow a religious teacher who does some of the same types of things. That teacher may use the Bible to teach a false doctrine. That teacher may propose something as appealing as $5,000,000—eternal life (or at least, great happiness in this life). That teacher may “package”  his false message in persuasive words and a well-spoken presentation. That teacher may “prove” his points by emotional appeal and popular opinion. That teacher may give you permission to live or worship in a way you believe to be wrong. (Read Galatians 1:6-9.)  That teacher may tell you that your previous teachers were old-fashioned and unenlightened. 
     The way to avoid such deception is to test the message and the sender. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but  test  the spirits to  see whether   they come from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1, ESV).  There is an old saying: “If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”    

- Lance Cordle preaches the Calvert City Church of Christ in Calvert City, KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: