"And take...the sword of
the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Fishers of Men
(Connie W. Adams)
The Sin of Ingratitude
Come, Hear, Do
Fishers of Men
Connie W. Adams
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and
I will make you fishers of men” (Mt. 4:19). With this challenge Jesus began
to gather the men who would turn the world upside down. They “fished” for
men as they went into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature.
Like their master, they went out to “seek and save that which was lost.”
But how are modern-day disciples doing as fishers of men? Do we have enough
nets or lines in the water? Fishing takes patience. My grandmother would
sit on a creek bank all day long if she could just get a “bite” once in
awhile. When they bit just now and then, she knew there were fish down
there. Successful fishermen also know that there are times when fish bite
more eagerly than others. That is the time to gather in the catch. There
are times when men are more receptive to the gospel than others and we need
to be alert to that. I hear much lamentation about the deteriorating morals
in our nation and I have equal concerns as to where this will all lead. But
the gospel was born in bad times. Immorality was rampant in the first
century world. Philosophy had proven to be a failure in satisfying the
needs of the soul. Dissipation had disappointed the licentious and many
were ready to listen to the gospel. Remember it was the publicans and
sinners who came to the Lord more readily than the aristocrats and religious
leaders. Who knows but what we have come to the kingdom for such a time as
this. What kind of fisher of men are you?
-GUARDIAN OF TRUTH, June 3, 1993, p. 3
The Sin of Ingratitude
Joe R. Price
The Christian’s life should be abounding in thanksgiving unto God (Col.
2:7). We, above all people, should live thankful lives, having obtained the
unsearchable riches of Christ through obeying His gospel (Eph. 3:8). Every
spiritual blessing is ours and consequently, thanksgiving ought to be a
continuous part of who we are and what we do (Eph. 1:3; 5:3-4). Our every
prayer and our every action should portray gratitude to our loving and
gracious Father and His Beloved Son (Eph. 5:20).
But sadly, the sin of ingratitude can and does affect the children of God.
Like spoiled children who expect to have things “our way,” we forget that
every good gift comes from our heavenly Father (Jas. 1:17). We begin
thinking and living as if God is obliged to answer our prayers, to shower us
with our every desire, and to grant us heaven as if it were our due. Like
Israel who forgot that Jehovah had brought them out of Egyptian bondage, we
are tempted to say, “My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me
this wealth” (Deut. 8:11-20). (If you think this overstates the case,
when was the last time you prayed a simple prayer of thanks before eating
your food?) How deluded we become!
The story of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus with only one returning
to thank Him (and that, a Samaritan) should remind us how important it is to
be gratitude to God (Lk. 17:11-19). The Lord’s mercy was shown to all ten
lepers, but nine of them were so consumed with themselves and their newfound
health that they entirely failed to honor the One who healed them. They had
pleaded to Jesus as “Master” to be healed (v. 13), yet only one
showed his faith in Jesus by returning to thank Him with worshipful praise
Like the Samaritan, we should “glorify God” and give Him our
continual thanks for the mercy He has shown us in healing us from our sins.
Such thanksgiving is an expression of our faith (Lk. 17:19; Psa. 96:1-3,
What better time than today to renew your resolve to be more thankful to God
each day? When did you last give thanks to the Lord?
“At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, because of Your righteous
judgments.” (Psalms 119:62)
Come, Hear, Do
Joe R. Price
a lie if we voice allegiance to Christ Jesus while disobeying His word.
Another word for this type of life is “hypocrisy” (1 Pet. 2:1). It is
foolish to say and not do (thinking that just saying “I believe” some how
makes it so). The essence of saving faith is trusting God’s word enough to
obey what He says (Jas. 2:14-26; Matt. 7:21; Lk. 6:46-49).
In Luke 6:46-49, Jesus said one must do three things for Him to truly
be his “Lord” (master, ruler). First, one must “come” to Jesus (Lk.
6:47). Personal will is involved in our salvation. This eliminates the
false doctrine of irresistible grace. God will not force you to be saved;
one must come to Him. He is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts
17:27; Jno. 6:44-45).
For Jesus to be our Lord we must “hear” His word (Lk. 6:47). We
do not hear the word of God through visions and dreams, but through the
gospel of Christ (Heb. 1:1-2). We must open our Bibles and open our hearts
to God’s truth (Lk. 8:15; Eph. 3:3-4; 1 Ths. 2:13).
For Jesus to be our Lord we must “do” His word. Obeying Jesus
is essential. Otherwise, we offer only lip service (Matt. 15:8-9; Jas.
By coming, hearing and doing, we are safe and secure in the salvation
of Christ. Like the house with a deep and sure foundation, we can meet any
onslaught, confront any adversary, and defeat any foe (Lk. 6:48). The
reason? Because Christ strengthens us, secures us, and saves us (Eph.
6:10-13; 1 Cor. 10:13; Phil. 4:13). Is Jesus really your Lord?
You can find the
complete outline of this sermon at
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 4:11-16
Christians face real dangers to faith.
I. LET US FEAR – Heb. 4:1.
A. Be Watchful, Have Cautious Care Not to Miss
Heaven – Heb. 3:16-19; 4:11; 1 Cor. 16:13; 1Ths. 5:1-11.
II. LET US BE DILIGENT – Heb. 4:11.
A. Because of the Possibility of Being Lost (Due to
our Unbelief) – Heb. 4:6; 2 Pet. 1:10.
B. Because of the Promise of Rest – Heb. 4:9-10; 2 Pet. 1:11; Rev. 14:13;
III. LET US HOLD FAST OUR CONFESSION – Heb. 4:14
(3:6, 14; 10:23). We must endure, Lk. 21:19; Heb. 6:11-12; Rev. 12:17;
13:10; 14:12; He.10:36ff
IV. LET US COME BOLDLY TO THE THRONE OF GRACE –
Heb. 4:14-16; Jas. 5:13.
-Prayer is the Expression of a Confident Faith – 4:15-16; 7:25; Phil.
V. LET US GO ON TO PERFECTION – Heb. 6:1.
A. Stunted Growth Hinders Faith – Heb. 5:13-14;
6:4-8, 9-12; Phil. 3:14.
VI. LET US DRAW NEAR TO GOD – Heb. 10:22
A. Live With God: True Heart & Fully Assured Faith
– 10:22; 13:5-6.
VII. LET US CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER – Heb.
10:24-25 (Phil. 2:3-4; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 14:26).
VIII. LET US LAY ASIDE EVERY HINDRANCE – Heb.
A. Repent of Every Sin – Acts 8:22.
B. Run our Race with Endurance – 12:2.
IX. LET US SERVE GOD WITH GRACE – Heb. 12: 28;
1 Jno. 5:2-3; Heb. 13:15.
(Current events in the
light of Scripture)
Joe R. Price
Wildfires have erupted
throughout the western United States over the past month. In California,
for example, this summer has seen an “unprecedented early onslaught of
wildfires”. The peak season for wildfires in that state is August
(“Southern California fears worse to come for fires”, MSNBC News,
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5497539/, 23July04). Consider some Bible
1) The uncontrolled tongue
ignites a wildfire (Jas. 3:5-8). This fire may erupt in a variety of
ways, but all are deadly in their effect. The tongue that deceptively jests
against its neighbor is like fiery darts hurled at the innocent (Prov.
26:18-19). The tongue that bears tales (gossips) stirs up strife and
contention like stirring hot embers causes the fire to burst into flames
(Prov. 26:20-21). If you do not control your tongue you may well start a
wildfire that consumes you!
2) The presence and
power of God is often depicted in Scripture with fire (Exo. 3:2-4; 13:21-22;
19:18; 24:17; Deut. 4:33-36). At times God’s judgment against sin was
applied by fire (Lev. 10:1-2; Num. 11:1; 16:35; Psa. 50:3). Such fire was a
sign of God’s wrath against sin and punishment of sinners (Num. 26:10; Psa.
106:18). “The Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God”
(Deut. 4:24; Heb. 12:29).
3) The fires of hell are not
quenched (Mk. 9:43-49). Jesus spoke of “everlasting fire” as the
punishment of the offender in Matthew 18:8. All whose names are not written
in the Lamb’s book of life, along with the devil, will be cast into the
“lake of fire” where the enemies of righteousness will be “tormented
day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:14-15, 10). Rather than
quibble about the reality of hell and its eternal length, we must accept the
truth about hell fire and do everything necessary to avoid such a place
where sin is eternally punished (Matt. 18:8-9).