Standing for the Truth

We live in an age where many consider truth to be relative. To insist that there is such a thing as absolute truth offends a lot of people. However, Jesus says that the truth not only exists, but that it is crucially important—“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”—John 8:32.

Don’t live in a self-constructed prison of falsehood. Be aware of the schemes of the devil, the father of lies (John 8:44). Always be ready to take a bold stand for the truth!

The late Wayne Smith said, “It is better to be divided by truth than united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts than falsehoods that comfort. It is better to be hated for telling the truth than liked for telling a lie. It is better to stand alone with truth than be wrong with a multitude.”

Are you ready to stand for the truth?


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Timing Is Right

A lady once called the office of her church and asked to speak to one of the ministers. When she got one of the pastors on the phone she asked him if he or one of the pastoral staff could pay a visit to her nephew. She explained that the nephew had a burglar break into his home in the middle of the night while he was asleep. The nephew woke up when the intruder entered his bedroom. Startled, the criminal started shooting at point blank range, then fled the scene. Police investigating the crime told the man that he was very fortunate that he wasn’t killed or seriously wounded. “So,” the woman concluded, “I think my nephew is ready to listen to the gospel message!”

We need to watch for windows of opportunity where people might be more receptive to listening to the good news about salvation through Jesus. Such occasions might include: a near death experience, a graduation, a wedding, a birth, the death of a loved one or a serious illness.

Can you name other windows of opportunity we need to be watching for?

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”—Colossians 4:5.



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The Importance of Prayer

Some vandals once broke into a church building and set it on fire. It just so happened that a group of men in the congregation were scheduled to gather at the church to pray early that morning. When they got there they smelled smoke and called the fire department. The firefighters arrived in time to extinguish the flames and save the building. Had those men not come to church to pray, the building would have been destroyed.

I suppose that prayer can save a church in other ways too.

“Pray continually.”—1 Thessalonians 5:17.


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No Worries!

Two men were survivors of a shipwreck, stranded together on a deserted island. One man started working frantically, constructing a large SOS sign made out of stones and gathering wood to make a signal fire.

Meanwhile, the other man sat under a palm tree, relaxing in the shade.

“Why aren’t you helping me?” the first man asked. “We have to do everything we can to make sure that we are rescued!”

“Don’t worry,” the second man answered. “I earn over a million dollars a year.”

“What good is your money out here? We still need to help people find us!”

“You didn’t let me finish. I earn over a million dollars a year and I tithe. My pastor will find me!”

People who tithe on their income, whether they are rich or not, are valuable church members indeed!

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. “Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”—Malachi 3:10.

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One Lord, One Faith

Did you hear about the Baptist who was injured in an automobile accident? He was rushed to a Methodist hospital. The emergency room doctor was from the Church of the Nazarene. The surgical nurse belonged to the Church of God. The physical therapist attended the Community Church. The dietician was from the Assembly of God. The chaplain was a member of the Church of Christ.

I heard that by the time the injured fellow was released from the hospital he was a United Brethren!

Jesus prayed that his followers would be united (John 17:20-21). May we all keep this in mind as we work together in his kingdom!

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”—Ephesians 4:3.


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Power of the Gospel

Chuck Colson tells the following story about God’s reconciling power.

There was a widow by the name of Roxie Vaughn, eighty-two years old, blind from birth. We told her, “Roxie, we are coming in to restore your house and winterize it.” Roxie was delighted. “Six convicts will supply the labor,” we continued; then she turned ashen white. You see, Roxie’s home had been burglarized four times in the previous two years. But the third day those convicts were in her house, there was Roxie playing her small electric organ, and there were the six prisoners behind her singing “Amazing Grace.” That is the reconciling power of the Gospel!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”—2 Corinthians 5:17-21.


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Be Careful How You Dress

It was still dark when I got dressed for church yesterday morning. I thought I had enough light to see to dress myself properly. Turned out I was wrong.

In between our two church services, I noticed that the socks I was wearing were not the socks that I thought I put on. The color didn’t match my pants or my shoes. Luckily, I worship with a group of people who are either too nice to point out such mistakes, or too busy with important matters to even notice such a trivial thing.

This is just a reminder of the dangers of dressing yourself while living in spiritual darkness. Those who live in darkness don’t realize that they are clothing themselves with filthy rags when they choose to live lives of sin and debauchery. Children of God are called out of darkness to live in the light of Jesus Christ. They trade in their filthy rags of sin to be clothed in the righteousness provided by Christ.

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth).—Ephesians 5:8-9.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”—Colossians 3:12.


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Now That’s Productive!

Playing baseball for Southern California a few years ago, Bill Peavey homered twice in one game. The second home run landed on a golf course and rolled onto a green and into the cup! A home run and a hole-in-one with one swing! Now that’s what I would call being productive!

In the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-20), Jesus talks about the different types of soil that represent the human heart. Soil that is hard, shallow or thorny will not produce a crop. But the receptive soil, the heart that hears the word of God and accepts it, will produce up to 100 times what was sown.

That’s the kind of production Jesus wants to see in our lives.


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Still Connected

Laura Lovejoy tells about a time when she had the opportunity to minister to a lady whose dementia was so advanced that she no longer recognized her husband. Laura knew through her family that the lady had been a woman of deep faith. She held the lady’s hand and talked to her, hoping some word of comfort might reach her. And when Laura started saying the Lord’s Prayer, she joined in word for word. Though her connection to the world had faltered, her connection to God remained.

So it is with those who devote themselves to prayer and the Word of God.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”—Acts 2:42.


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Family Name

There once was a fellow who was curious about his family history, so he paid someone $200 to do some extensive research about his ancestors. When the report came back, the man was shocked to discover that he had many criminals and other despicable people in his family tree. So he gave the researcher another $1,000 to keep everything quiet!

If we wear the name “Christian”, we should have a great desire to honor the family name. This desire should have a profound effect on what we say and what we do. Jesus tells us to pray that our heavenly Father’s name will be honored. A big part of how that prayer is answered has to do with our actions.

Let’s do our best to bring honor to our family name.

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.’”—Matthew 6:9.


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