And take…the sword of the Spirit, which  is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:17


Volume 14, Number 25

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

1860 Mt. Baker HWY
Mailing Address:

       P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
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All sing last Wednesday

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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt
Joe Price

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
John Hague
Dan Head


In this issue:

Am I Ashamed of Jesus?
Joe R. Price

Satan tries to isolate the Christian in this sin-filled world. He and his ministers want you to feel like an “odd-ball” for being a Christian and living a godly life (Tit. 2:11). He wants you to doubt the gospel and your faith in Christ. This is one of his subtle devices (2 Cor. 2:11).

We sing songs that say, “I’m not ashamed to own my Lord, nor to defend His cause...” and “soldiers of Christ, arise!” Ask yourself, am I living in harmony with these affirmations? Or, when push comes to shove and I must stand up for truth, do I shrink away in shame and deny my Lord?

Jesus said,
Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mk. 8:34-38).

Your eternal destiny is at stake in this matter. When you obey the gospel of Christ and follow the Lord you must never feel inferior to the people around you (friends and strangers) who do not care for the things of God. After all, whose approval is most important to you, men’s or God’s? How you answer that question reveals your willingness to endure reproach and rejection for the sake of Christ, His truth and your eternal salvation.

Because you are a Christian, you must stand strong for Christ and His gospel in this world of sin. You cannot play with the fire of sin and expect not to get burned (Prov. 6:27)! Instead, like young David before Goliath, equip yourself in faith, stand your ground and fight the enemies that defy the living God (1 Sam. 17:31-54; Eph. 6:10-13). Heaven will be your reward. That will make it all worthwhile.


Time Is Ticking Away
Truman Smith

Children would try the patience of Job! I watched one day as a young mother lifted her screaming little daughter (by one arm!) out of the family car in front of a store. I could not tell what it was the child was crying about, but the mother said to an older woman, who was likely her mother: “Will she ever grow out of that stage?” It was all I could do to keep from saying, “Yes, and before you realize it!” But I would not intrude.

     While parents are right in the midst of bringing up their little ones it seems to them that it will be an eternity before they reach the place where they will not be such a “bother” and a worry anymore. Small children even at times will test the strength of a seemingly strong marriage; and appear to “get in the way” of success and progress.

     A story from READER’S DIGEST several years ago, written by Robert W. Wells, of which I give only the first three paragraphs, is a beautiful and wonderful article. I hope every parent will read it slowly, digest it fully, and be impressed forever:

     “To an adult a tree is a tree, a cloud passing before the moon is only a cloud like those that have gone before. But a child is not like that. Things happen for the first time to him.

     “I remember a July day when John was four. We had left the Manhattan apartment where we lived then and were spending the weekend in a small town. After dinner, my wife, the boy and I went for a walk. We came to an open field with a stand of oaks behind it. John had been holding my hand, but now he slipped free. He stood quietly for a moment, this big-city boy, surveying the largest expanse of earth he had ever seen that was entirely devoid of people. And then he was off, running hard.

     “I can still close my eyes and picture him, this child whom I shall never see again, although he still lives concealed in a tall youth who has his name. Across the grass in the dying sunlight he ran, short legs pumping, under the trees, up a hill, then swooping back toward us, head erect, eyes half-closed. In spirit I was running with him, feeling the things he felt, and I was suddenly aware that the child who had loosed my hand and left me would never return, that in a brief instant of time his babyhood had ended and his boyhood begun. I could feel time ticking away.”

     Oh, mother! Oh, dad! Seize every moment you can lay hold upon in order to have some time with your children while they are so young, so tender, and so innocent. Relish some precious periods of play and lightheartedness with them! But, more importantly, show them by a good example what being a faithful Christian is all about. Prove to them that nothing is more important to you than the Lord and His church by putting Him first every day. Let spiritual matters take precedence in your thoughts, be first in your financial budget, have supremacy in your time, and take priority in all your activities (Matt. 6:33). In becoming parents, accept a most serious responsibility! “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, and fruit of the womb is his reward” (Ps. 127:3).

     Quick! parents, while the clay is soft, pliant and easily molded. Hasten to the task! Don’t wait another moment! Later will be too late!
     “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).



You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

Faith at Work (James 3)

Scripture Reading:  James 3:1-8

   Faith at work is powerful enough to bring the tongue under control and to live with the wisdom from above.


  A. Faith Controls the Tongue to be a Responsible Teacher of Truth, 3:1. (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:4; 2 Tim. 2:2) Rom. 10:13-16
  B. Teachers must have the Faith to Control our Words, Prov. 10:19; 17:27 (Acts 6:8-10).
  C. Faith Knows Controlling the Tongue takes Constant Work, Jas. 3:2-12. Prov. 21:23; 13:3; Prov. 12:17-22; Matt. 5:43-44; Psa. 39:1; 34:13; Matt. 12:33-37; Eph. 4:25, 29; Col. 4:6


  A. We Show by Our Words and Our Conduct whether we are Wise or Foolish, 3:13; cf. Prov. 12:15; 9:10.
    1. Earthly wisdom is faithless, 3:13-16 (1 Cor. 3:19-20).
    2. Wisdom from above is full of faith, 3:17-18 (1 Kgs. 3:9-12; Prov. 2:10-15; Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14; Tit. 3:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:1).
  B. The Wise (and the foolish) are known by their Fruit, Jas. 3:18.
    1. Fruit of righteousness: Sown in peace by those who make peace.
    2. Note: Peace is “made”, not merely wished, Matt. 5:9.

   The person whose faith is at work knows he possesses a great power in the tongue; the power to build up, to strengthen, to make peace and to save.


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

God's Approval Rating

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 111:1-6

1. Public Policy Polling: “If God exists, do you approve or disapprove of its performance?” “52% of 928 respondents approve of the job the Almighty’s done while 9 percent disapprove.” (
2. This smacks of blasphemous disrespect of God, cf. Psa. 50:21-23 (Job 38:1-4; 21:4-7, 13-16; 23:1-7; 42:1-6; Psa. 106:24-27); 1 Cor. 10:10.


  A. The Locust Plague: Divine Judgment and Call to Repent, Joel 1:1-7; Eph. 5:14; Joel 1:15; 2:1-3. cf. 2 Pet. 3:10; Joel 2:12-14, 18-19
  B. Calamities in Israel: Prepare to Meet your God, Amos 4.
  C. What about God’s Performance Rating? Amos 4:13
    1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN! He does not need our approval for anything!
2. What shall we say and do? Psa. 111:7-10; Lk. 13:1-5; 1 Ths. 5:18


  A. Many Showed their Disapproval by Complaining about and Refusing His Teaching, Jno. 6:60, 63, 66; Col. 3:17.
  B. Many Showed their Disapproval by Refusing to Confess their Faith, Jno. 12:42-43.
  C. Many Showed their Disapproval by Crying for His Death, Lk. 23:20-24; Heb. 6:4-6.
  D. Many Showed their Disapproval by Mocking Jesus, Matt. 27:39-44; Heb. 13:13.

     Faith demands that we approve of all God has done and is doing by conforming ourselves to His will.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

Troop Draw Down
Joe R. Price

In June President Obama announced a troop reduction in Afghanistan. It is not the purpose of this column to debate the timeliness or wisdom of this military decision. What we reflect on here is the tendency to become weary with necessary engagements (warfare) in order to achieve a righteous end.

Warfare is not easy. It is difficult and dangerous, involving deprivation and denial. Victory does not come without sacrifice. A soldier who becomes distracted on the field of battle endangers himself and his fellow soldiers (2 Tim. 2:4).

The war against evil must be fought. The apostle Paul encouraged Timothy in this respect when he exhorted, “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). The fight is good – valuable and virtuous – it must be fought. The good fight of faith is not against flesh and blood (human adversaries), but “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). Our adversary is Satan and his cohorts are those who love and serve this world (Jas. 4:4).

Wars are not won in a day. The battle we fight – “the good fight of faith” – lasts a lifetime. Yet, the faithful are assured victory in Christ (1 Jno. 5:4; Rev. 17:14). Therefore, soldiers in the Lord’s army must endure in the face of opposition. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12). Whatever the cost, pay the price of discipleship. Remain a faithful soldier in the Lord’s army; there will be rest and peace by and by (Rev. 14:12-13).


Created by Chuck Sibbing.  08/12/2011

The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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