“Encourage One Another”

(This article was motivated by my own need to do a better job in this area- perhaps it will help you also.)  In our recent adult studies of the book of Hebrews here at Southside, the necessity of “encouraging one another” has become more evident.  There is a need in any congregation of the Lord’s people for a Joseph, who was such an encourager that the apostles began to call him “Barnabas”- which, by translation, means “Son of Encouragement,” Acts 4:36.  Several such ‘someones’ would be even better, and a congregation full of them would be a tremendous asset to any fellowship!  So, what does it take to be an encourager?

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Is the Truth Enough for You?

The Savior of the world uttered these words, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” John 8:31-32.  It is worthy of note that Jesus spoke these words to “Jews who had believed in Him.”  There are a few salient points from these things that need to be understood...

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Sorry, But You’re Not “Special”

And neither am I. Your mother may cringe, but it’s true.  You may have knowledge, abilities, and traits that make you “special” to your mother, your dad, your best friend(s), or your spouse, or even the world, but that’s about as far as it goes. But in the area that really counts, none of us is really special, and the sooner we accept it, the better off we’ll be.  Here’s why….

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Do You Want to Know? Just Read Your New Testament.

It is amazing that many people who admit to not knowing much about the Bible, the salvation offered by Jesus Christ, and the requirements of living as a Christian, and also maintain that they would like to know more, don’t actually read the New Testament for themselves. There may be many and varied reasons for this situation, but please note the words of the apostle Paul on reading and understanding the Bible, “that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.  And by referring to this, when you read, you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,” Ephesians 3:3-4.  Do YOU want to know more about Christ, the gospel, and Christianity?  For instance, do YOU:

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Christians in Cyberspace

We’ve heard it before, “There’s nothing good/worthwhile on television,” and yet that media has and is being used to spread the gospel.  So, too, it is with cyberspace, or the Internet.  “The Internet is a minefield of dangers and depravity.”  True, but it is also being effectively used to teach people about salvation in Christ Jesus.  For instance, a single Facebook post inviting people to services, advertising sermon topics, or linking to sermon outlines and videos can reach hundreds (or thousands) of people who would not have otherwise been invited, or had the opportunity to hear and see the truth of the gospel.  The reality is that both mediums, and all others for that matter, can be either good or bad or helpful or destructive, because they are produced by and for people.  The quality and capabilities of them are determined by how they are utilized.  So, please consider the following observations, along with a little advice and perspective, regarding Christians and the use of the Internet for spiritual purposes…

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Modern Man’s Three BIG Problems

Modern man’s BIG three problems are not jobs, healthcare, and taxes- in any order.  Instead, they are…

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Breaking the Reign of Sin in Our Lives

While every person born has entered a sinful world, no one is born into sin or as a sinner.  Everyone becomes a sinner in exactly the same way- by committing or walking (living in) sin, cf. Ephesians 2:1-3.  But, since everyone except Jesus Christ has committed or walked in sin, how we become sinners is not really as important as how we get out of sin.  Thus, how we break free from the reign of Satan and sin over our lives is of paramount importance.  As always, God’s word does not leave us without the necessary information and assistance….

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Simplified Salvation

The apostle Paul wrote regarding the revelation (i.e. the gospel), “…when you read you can understand…” Ephesians 3:4.  Could it be that so many don’t understand the gospel’s message of salvation because they don’t read it?  See if this simplified version helps....

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Gluttony- More Than Just Food

Several years ago, I met a preacher friend, who shall remain nameless for reasons that will become obvious momentarily, for lunch at a Chinese restaurant that had a really good buffet.  After looking at my own overly mounded plate, and then his how-in-the-world-did-you-stack that-much-food-on-one plate, I remarked, “From the looks of these plates, I’d guess neither of us will be preaching on gluttony this evening!”  To which he calmly and matter-of-factly replied, “Let me tell you about gluttony: It’s only mentioned three times in the New Testament, and twice it was a false accusation about the Lord.”  He paused for just a second or two to allow the coming epiphany to matriculate through my brain a bit before putting the jewel in this remarkable crown of exegesis, “Brother, that’s just not enough to preach on!”  We both enjoyed a good laugh out of the exchange, and I accused him of being a little too “ready” with that answer- implying that he had been previously accused.  Then we completely devoured our meals like a couple of hogs at the trough, knowing full well that the statement wasn’t exactly true….

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People Say…. But God Says….

“If any may speak, let him speak as the oracles of God…” 1Peter 4:11 (KJV).  This should be the desire of every Christian, and especially every preacher and teacher of God’s word.  Unfortunately, many who claim to speak for God say things that are contrary to His Word.  This is not a new problem- Jesus confronted it also, “But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as their doctrine the precepts of men,” Matthew 15:9.  Notice some current examples...

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Daily Verse

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.””

- Joshua 1:9

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