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May 1. 2021


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“James One: Part Four”

James 1:16-27 (RSV)
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. 19 Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, 20 for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing. 26 If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man's religion is vain. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Creator Lord, the source of all wisdom and purpose, and the one who blesses our sincere labor; be with us in our work to guide and govern our world. Give to all people work that enhances human dignity and bonds us to one another. Give us pride in our work, a fair return for our labor, and joy in knowing that our work finds its source in you............... 

O God, through human labors you continually perfect the immense work of your creation. Listen to the prayers of your people, and grant to everyone employment that calls us to our best and unite us with each other, so that we can serve our brothers and sisters, and your world, through our work.

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ in his earthly life shared our toil and hallowed our labor:  Be present with your people where they work; make those who carry on the industries and commerce of this land responsive to your will; and give to us all the desire to bring fourth glorious fruit for your kingdom, sharing in all LOVE and compassion the Humility of Jesus Christ, the Truth of Jesus Christ, and the LOVE of Jesus Christ to ALL THOSE YOU PUT IN OUR LIVES................. This we ask through your Son Jesus Christ, who lives in unity with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen and eternally Amen.........................................


Once again James stresses the great truth that every gift that God sends is good.

James 1:17 (RSV)
17 Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Might well be translated:

"All giving is good."

That is to say, there is nothing which comes from God which is not good. There is a strange phenomenon here in the Greek. The phrase which we have translated, "Every good endowment and every perfect gift," is, in fact, a perfect hexameter line of poetry. Either James had a rhythmic ear for a fine cadence or he is quoting from some work which we do not know.

What he is stressing is the unchangeableness of God. To do so he uses two astronomical terms. The word he uses for variation is parallage, and the word for the turn of the shadow is trope.. Both these words have to do with the variation which the heavenly bodies show, the variation in the length of the day and of the night, the apparent variation in the course of the sun, the phases of waxing and waning, the different brilliance at different times of the stars and the planets. Variability is characteristic of all created things. God is the creator of the lights of heaven—the sun, the moon, the stars. The Jewish morning prayer says,

"Blessed be the Lord God who hath formed the lights."

The lights change but he who created them never changes.

Hebrews 13:8 (RSV)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Further, his purpose is altogether gracious. The word of truth is the gospel; and by the sending of that gospel it is God's purpose that people should be reborn into a new life. The shadows are ended and the certain word of truth has come.

That rebirth is a rebirth into the family and the possession of God. In the ancient world it was the law that all first-fruits were sacred to God. They were offered in grateful sacrifice to God because they belonged to him. So, when we are reborn by the true word of the gospel, we become the property of God, even as the first-fruits of the harvest did.

James insists that, so far from ever tempting man, God's gifts are invariably good. In all the chances and changes of a changing world they never vary. And God's supreme object is to re-create life through the truth of the gospel, so that mankind should know that we belong by right to Him.

There are few wise men who have not been impressed by the dangers of being too quick to speak and too unwilling to listen. A most interesting list could be compiled of the things in which it is well to be quick and the things in which it is well to be slow. In the Sayings of the Jewish Fathers we read:

"There are four characters in scholars.

*Quick to hear and quick to forget; his gain is cancelled by his loss.

*Slow to hear and slow to forget; his loss is cancelled by his gain.

*Quick to hear and. slow to forget; he is wise.

*Slow to hear and quick to forget; this is an evil lot."

Ovid bids men to be slow to punish, but swift to reward. Philo bids a man to be swift to benefit others, and slow to harm them.

In particular the wise men were impressed by the necessity of being slow to speak. Rabbi Simeon said,

"All my days I have grown up among the wise, and have not found aught good for a man but silence...Whoso multiplies words occasions sin."

Jesus, the son of Sirach, writes,

Sirach 5:11-12 (RSV)
11 Be quick to hear, and be deliberate in answering. 12 If you have understanding, answer your neighbor; but if not, put your hand on your mouth.

Proverbs is full of the perils of too hasty speech.

Proverbs 10:19 (RSV)
19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is prudent.

Proverbs 13:3 (RSV)
3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Proverbs 17:28 (RSV)
28 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 29:20 (RSV)
20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

((( I must confess I am often convicted by these scriptures, anger can be a curse....................................................................................)))

Hort says that the really good man will be much more anxious to listen to God than arrogantly, garrulously and stridently to shout his own opinions. The classical writers had the same idea. Zeno said,

"We have two ears but only one mouth, that we may hear more and speak less."

When Demonax was asked how a man might rule best, he answered,

"Without anger, speaking little, and listening much."

Bias said,

"If you hate quick speaking, you will not fall into error."

The tribute was once paid to a great linguist that he could be silent in seven different languages. Many of us would do well to listen more and to speak less.

It is James' advice that we should also be slow to anger. He is probably meeting the arguments of some that there is a place for the blazing anger of rebuke. That is undoubtedly true; the world would be a poorer place without those who blazed against the abuses and the tyrannies of sin. But too often this is made an excuse for petulant and self-centered irritation.

***The teacher will be tempted to be angry with the slow and backward and still more with the lazy scholar. But, except on the rarest occasions, he will achieve more by encouragement than by the lash of the tongue.

***The preacher will be tempted to anger. But "don't scold" is always good advice to him; he loses his power whenever he does not make it clear by every word and gesture that he LOVES his people. When anger gives the impression in the pulpit of dislike or contempt it will not convert the souls of men.

***The parent will be tempted to anger. But a parent's anger is much more likely to produce a still more stubborn resistance than it is to control and direct. The accent of LOVE always has more power than the accent of anger; and when anger becomes constant irritability, petulant annoyance, nitpicking nagging, it always does more harm than good.

To be slow to speak, slow to anger, quick to listen is always good policy for life.

((( I wish I could always practice what I preach!!!!!!! )))

James uses a series of vivid words and pictures.

He tells his readers to strip themselves of all filthiness. The word he uses for strip is the word used for stripping off one's clothes. He bids his hearers get rid of all defilement as a man strips off soiled garments or as a snake sloughs off its skin.

Both the words he uses for defilement are vivid. The word we have translated filthiness is ruparia; and it can be used for the filth which soils clothes or soils the body. But it has one very interesting connection. It is a derivative of rupo and, when rupos is used in a medical sense, it means wax in the ear. It is just possible that it still retains that meaning here; and that James is telling his readers to get rid of everything which would stop their ears to the true word of God. When wax gathers in the ear, it can make a person deaf; and a person's sins can make them deaf to God. Further, James talks of the growth (perisseia) of rank or vice. He thinks of vice as tangled undergrowth or a cancerous growth which must be cut away.

He bids them receive the inborn word in gentleness. The word for inborn is emphutos, and is capable of two general meanings.

(i) It can mean inborn in the sense of innate as opposed to acquired. If James uses it in that way he is thinking of much the same thing as Paul was thinking of when he spoke of the Gentiles doing the works of the law by nature because they have a kind of law in their hearts,

Romans 2:14-15 (RSV)
14 When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them

It is the same picture as the Old Testament picture of the law,

Deuteronomy 30:14 (RSV)
14 But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.

It is practically equal to our word conscience. If this is its meaning here, James is saying that there is an instinctive knowledge of good and evil in a man's heart whose guidance we should at all times obey.

John Wesley would call this Prevenient  Grace, the grace that goes before, the grace that God puts in all mankind.................

(ii) It can mean inborn in the sense of implanted, as a seed is planted in the ground.  In 4 Ezra 9:31 ((( not the Biblical book ))) we read of God saying:

"Behold, I sow my law in you, and you shall be glorified in it forever."

If James is using the word in this sense, the idea may well go back to the Parable of the Sower,

Matthew 13:3-9 (RSV)
3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear."

Which tells how the seed of the word is sown into the hearts of men. Through his prophets and his preachers, and above all through Jesus Christ, God sows His truth into the hearts of men and the man who is wise will receive it and welcome it.

It may well be that we are not required to make a choice between these two meanings. It may well be that James is implying that knowledge of the true word of God comes to us from two sources, from the depths of our own being, and from the Spirit of God and the teaching of Christ and the preaching of men. From inside and from outside come voices telling us the right way; and the wise man will listen and obey. But all in submission to what God’s holy Writ says, the Bible.................................It is inerrant and infallible!!!!!!!

He will receive the word with gentleness. Gentleness is an attempt to translate the untranslatable word prautes. This is a great Greek word which has no precise English equivalent. It is the quality of the man whose feelings and emotions are under perfect control. Andronicus Rhodius, commenting on Aristotle, writes,

"Prautes is moderation in regard to anger...You might define prautes as serenity and the power, not to be lead away by emotion, but to control emotion as right reason dictates."

The Platonic definitions say that prautes is the regulation of the movement of the soul caused by anger. It is the temperament (krasis) of a soul in which everything is mixed in the right proportions.

No one can ever find one English word to translate what is a one word summary of the truly teachable spirit. The teachable spirit is docile and tractable, and therefore humble enough to learn. The teachable spirit is without resentment and without anger and is, therefore, able to face the truth, even when it hurts and condemns. The teachable spirit is not blinded by its own overmastering prejudices but is clear-eyed to the truth. The teachable spirit is not seduced by laziness but is so self-controlled that it can willingly and faithfully accept the discipline of learning. Prautes  describes the perfect conquest and control of everything in a man's nature which would be a hindrance to his seeing, learning and obeying the truth.


Again James presents us with two of the vivid pictures of which he is such a master.

First of all, he speaks of the man who goes to the church meeting and listens to the reading and expounding of the word, and who thinks that that listening has made him a Christian. He has shut his eyes to the fact that what is read and heard in Church must then be lived out. It is still possible to identify Church attendance and Bible reading with Christianity but this is to take ourselves less than half the way; the really important thing is to turn that to which we have listened into action.

((((((( Not to simply say you LOVE God, you LOVE all humanity, you LOVE all God’s creation, but by your moment by moment actions LIVE OUT YOUR LOVE FOR ALL, in THOUGHT, WORD, and DEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! )))))))

BE YE DOERS OF THE LAW........................

Second, James says such a person is like one who looks in a mirror—ancient mirrors were made, not of glass, but of highly polished metal—sees the smudges which disfigure their face and the unkemptness of their hair, and goes away and forgets what they look like, and so omits to do anything about it. In our listening to the true word we have  revealed to us that which we are and that which we ought to be. We see what is wrong and what must be done to put it right; but, if we are only a hearer, we remain just as we are, and all our hearing has gone for nothing.

James does well to remind us that what is heard in the holy place must be lived in the market place—or there is no point in hearing at all.

This is the kind of passage in James which Luther so much disliked. He disliked the idea of law altogether, for with Paul he would have said,

Romans 10:4 (RSV)
4 For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified.

"James," said Luther,

"drives us to law and works."

And yet beyond all doubt there is a sense in which James is right. There is an ethical law which the Christian must seek to put into action. That law is to be found first in the Ten Commandments and then in the teaching of Jesus.

We are saved not by works of righteousness, but God saves us, TO DO GOOD WORKS!!!

James calls that law two things.

(i) He calls it the perfect law. There are three reasons why the law is perfect.

(a) It is God's law, given and revealed by Him. The way of life which Jesus laid down for His followers is in accordance with the will of God.

(b) It is perfect in that it cannot be bettered. The Christian law is the law of LOVE; and the demand of LOVE can never be satisfied. We know well, when we LOVE someone, that even though we gave them all the world and served them for a lifetime, we still could not satisfy or deserve their LOVE.

(c) But there is still another sense in which the Christian law is perfect. The Greek word is teleios which nearly always describes perfection towards some given end. Now, if a man obeys the law of Christ, he will fulfil the purpose for which God sent him into the world; he will be the person he ought to be and will make the contribution to the world he ought to make. He will be perfect in the sense that he will, by obeying the law of God, realize his God-given destiny.

(ii) He calls it the law of liberty; that is, the law in the keeping of which a man finds his true liberty. All the great men have agreed that it is only in obeying the law of God that a man becomes truly free.

"To obey God," said Seneca, "is liberty."

"The wise man alone is free," said the Stoics, "and every foolish man is a slave."

Philo said "All who are under the tyranny of anger or desire or any other passion are altogether slaves; all who live with the law are free."

So long as a man has to obey his own passions and emotions and desires, he is nothing less than a slave. It is when he accepts the will of God that he becomes really free—for then he is free to be what he ought to be. His service is perfect freedom and in doing his will is our peace.

We must be careful to understand what James is saying here. The Revised Standard Version translates the phrases,

James 1:27 (RSV)
27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

The word translated religion is threskeia, and its meaning is not so much religion as worship in the sense of the outward expression of religion in ritual and liturgy and ceremony. What James is saying is,

 "The finest ritual and the finest liturgy you can offer to God is service of the poor and personal purity."

To him real worship did not lie in elaborate vestments or in magnificent music or in a carefully wrought service; it lay in the practical service of mankind and in the purity of one's own personal life. It is perfectly possible for a Church to be so taken up with the beauty of its buildings and the splendor of its liturgy that it has neither the time nor the money for practical Christian service; and that is what James is condemning.

In fact James is condemning only what the prophets had condemned long ago.

Psalm 68:5 (RSV)
5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.

It was Zechariah's complaint that the people pulled away their shoulders and made their hearts as adamant as stone at the demand to execute true justice, to show mercy and compassion every man to his brother, to oppress not the widow, the fatherless, the stranger and the poor, and not to entertain evil thoughts against another within the heart,

Zechariah 7:6-10 (RSV)
6 And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? 7 When Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, with her cities round about her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited, were not these the words which the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets?" 8 And the word of the LORD came to Zechari'ah, saying, 9 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy each to his brother, 10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor; and let none of you devise evil against his brother in your heart."

It was Micah's complaint that all ritual sacrifices were useless, if a man did not do justice and love kindness and walk humbly before God,

Micah 6:6-8 (RSV)
6 "With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" 8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

All through history men have tried to make ritual and liturgy a substitute for sacrifice and service. They have made religion splendid within the Church at the expense of neglecting it outside the Church. This is by no means to say that it is wrong to seek to offer the noblest and the most splendid worship within God's house; but it is to say that all such worship is empty and idle unless it sends a man out to LOVE God by LOVING his fellow-men and to walk more purely in the tempting ways of the world.

Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

LET US BE DOERS OF THE LOVE OF GOD, and not mere hearers!!!!!!!


Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc



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April 25 2021


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“James One: Part Three”

James 1:9-15 (RSV)
9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like the flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. 12 Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; 14 but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.

LORD GOD YHWH, TEACH US TO SEE YOUR FACE and to find it’s imprint in all acts of mercy and compassion, and in all for whom You died; by Your Holy Spirit, change us, and conform us to Your own image, that through our lives, Your light may shine in this dark world, for the glory of your name. 

LORD God, let our minds rest in Your Word the Bible, let us soberly and with joyous intensity seek to do Your will in all things, when doubt and grief would overwhelm us, let faith open our eyes to see Your hand at work in our lives and enable us to turn toward the future with hope and grace and toward each other in perfect LOVE. 

GRACIOUS LORD, when we falter and deny You and when we clutch and hoard what is Yours to give, recall us to Yourself that LOVE may be renewed in repentance; then open our hands to give and inspire us to work once more for the good of others and always for Your glory. 

GRANT US YOUR PEACE, O LORD, and strengthen our faith in You, that we may live as witness to Your gospel and rejoice in Your presence among us. In Jesus most wondrous name, Amen and eternally Amen and Amen.......................................................


As James saw it, Faith in Jesus Christ brings to every person WHAT WE NEED!!!!!!! As Mayor put it

"As the despised poor learns self-respect, so the proud rich learns self-abasement."

(i) The Christian Faith brings to the poor in spirit a new sense of their, our, OWN VALUE!!!

(a) We learn that ALL OF US matter in the Church. In the early church there were not class distinctions. It could happen that the slave was the minister of the congregation, preaching and dispensing the sacrament, while the master was no more than a humble member. In the Church the social distinctions of the world are obliterated and none matters more than any other.

((( Have we as the modern day Church strayed from this godly principle??? )))

(b) We learn that ALL OF US matter in the world. It is the teaching of Christianity that every man, woman, and child has a task to do in this world. Every person is of use to God and even if they be confined to a bed of pain, the power of their prayers can still act on the world and it’s inhabitance.

((((((( YES, YOU CAN BE USED BY GOD, IF YOU BELONG TO HIM IN FAITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! )))))))

(c) We learn that WE ALL matter to God,  As Muretus said long ago,

"Call no man worthless for whom Christ died."

((((((( HE DIED FOR EVER SINNER, EVERYWHERE !!!!!!! )))))))

(ii) Christianity brings to the rich a new sense of self-abasement. The great peril of riches is that they tend to give a person a false sense of security. They feel that they are safe; they feel that they have the resources to cope with anything and to buy themselves out of any situation they or LOVED ones may wish to avoid.

James draws a vivid picture, very familiar to the people of Palestine. In the desert places, if there is a shower of rain, the thin green shoots of grass will sprout; but one day's burning sunshine will make them vanish as if they had never been. The scorching heat is the kauson. The kauson was the south-east wind, the Simoon. It came straight from the deserts and burst on Palestine like a blast of hot air when an oven door is opened. In an hour it could wipe out all vegetation.

This is a picture of what a life dependent on riches can be like. A person who puts their trust in riches is trusting in things which the probabilities and ups and downs of life can take from them at any moment. Life itself is uncertain. At the back of James' mind there is Isaiah's picture:

Isaiah 40:6-7 (RSV)
6 A voice says, "Cry!" And I said, "What shall I cry?" All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people is grass.

Consider this:

Psalm 103:15-16 (RSV)
15 As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.

James' point is this. If life is so uncertain and people are so vulnerable, calamity and disaster may come at any moment. Since that is so, ANYONE is a fool to put all their trust in things—like wealth—which we may lose at any moment. We are only wise if we put our trust in things which we cannot lose.

Matthew 6:19-21 (RSV)
19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

So, then, James urges the rich to cease to put their trust in that which their own power can amass. James urges them to admit their essential human helplessness and humbly to put their trust in God, who alone can give the things which abide forever.

To the person who meets trials in the right way there is joy here and in the hereafter.

(i) In this life we become a more sterling worth. If we are dokimos; if we are like metal which is cleansed of all alloy. The weaknesses of our characters  are eradicated; and we emerge strong and pure.

(ii) In the life to come we receive the crown of life. There is far more than one thought here. In the ancient world the crown stephanos, had at least four great associations.

(a) The crown of flowers was worn at times of joy, at weddings and at feasts,

Song of Songs 3:11 (RSV)
11 Go forth, O daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon, with the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, on the day of the gladness of his heart.

The crown was the sign of festive joy.

(b) The crown was the mark of royalty. It was worn by kings and by those in authority. Sometimes this was the crown of gold; sometimes it was the linen band, or fillet, worn around the brows,

Psalm 21:3 (RSV)
3 For thou dost meet him with goodly blessings; thou dost set a crown of fine gold upon his head.

Jeremiah 13:18 (RSV)
18 Say to the king and the queen mother: "Take a lowly seat, for your beautiful crown has come down from your head."

(c) The crown of laurel leaves was the victor's crown in the games, the prize which the athlete coveted above all,

2 Timothy 4:8 (RSV)
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

(d) The crown was the mark of honor and of dignity. The instructions of parents can bring a crown of grace to those who listen to them,

Proverbs 1:8-9 (RSV)
8 Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and reject not your mother's teaching; 9 for they are a fair garland for your head, and pendants for your neck.

Wisdom provides a person with a crown of glory,

Proverbs 4:7-9 (RSV)
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. 8 Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. 9 She will place on your head a fair garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown."

In a time of disaster and dishonor it can be said,

Lamentations 5:15-16 (RSV)
15 The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. 16 The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!

We do not need to choose between these meanings. They are all included. The Christian has a joy that no other individual or religious group can ever have. Life for us is like being forever at a feast. We have a royalty that other people have never realized for, however humble our earthly circumstances, we are the child of God. we have a victory which others cannot win, for we meet life and all its demands in the conquering power of the presence of Jesus Christ. We have a new dignity for we are ever conscious that God thought us worth the life and death of Jesus Christ HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON!!!!!!!

What is the crown? It is the crown of life; and that phrase means that it is the crown which consists of life. The crown of the Christian is a new kind of living which is life indeed; through Jesus Christ we have entered into life more abundant.

James says that if the Christian meets the testings of life in the steadfast constancy which Christ can give, life becomes infinitely more splendid than ever it was before. The struggle is the way to glory, and the very struggle itself is a glory.

At the back of this passage lies a Jewish way of belief to which all of us are to some extent prone. James is here rebuking the person who puts the blame for temptation on God.

Jewish thought was haunted by the inner division that is in every individual. It was the problem which haunted Paul:

Romans 7:22-23 (RSV)
22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members.

Every man, woman, and child are pulled in two directions. Purely as an interpretation of experience the Jews arrived at the doctrine that in every person there were two tendencies. They called them the Yetser Hatob, the good tendency, and the Yetser Hara', the evil tendency. This simply stated the problem; it did not explain it. In particular, it did not say where the evil tendency came from. So Jewish thought set out to try to explain that.

The writer of Ecclesiasticus was deeply impressed with the havoc that the evil tendency causes.

 "O Yetser Hara', why wast thou made to fill the earth with thy deceit?"

Sirach 37:3 (RSV)
3 O evil imagination, why were you formed to cover the land with deceit?

In his view the evil tendency came from Satan, and man's defense against it was our own will.

Sirach 15:14-15 (RSV)
14 It was he who created man in the beginning, and he left him in the power of his own inclination. 15 If you will, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice.

There were Jewish writers who traced this evil tendency right back to the Garden of Eden. In the apocryphal work, The Life of Adam and Eve, the story is told. Satan took the form of an angel and, speaking through the serpent, put into Eve the desire for the forbidden fruit and made her swear that she would give the fruit to Adam as well. "When he had made me swear," says Eve, "he ascended up into the tree. But in the fruit he gave me to eat he placed the poison of his malice, that is, of his lust. For lust is the beginning of all sin. And he bent down the bough to the earth, and I took of the fruit and ate it." In this conception it was Satan himself who succeeded in inserting the evil tendency into man; and that evil tendency is identified with the lust of the flesh. A later development of this story was that the beginning of all sin was in fact Satan's lust for Eve.

The Book of Enoch has two theories. One is that the fallen angels are responsible for sin (85). The other is that man himself is responsible for it. "Sin has not been sent upon the earth, but man himself created it" (98: 4).

But every one of these theories simply pushes the problem one step further back. Satan may have put the evil tendency into man; the fallen angels may have put it into man; man may have put it into himself. But where did it ultimately come from?

To meet this problem, certain of the Rabbis took a bold and dangerous step. They argued that, since God has created everything, He must have created the evil tendency also. So we get Rabbinic sayings such as the following.

"God said, It repents me that I created the evil tendency in man; for had I not done so, he would not have rebelled against me. I created the evil tendency; I created the law as a means of healing. If you occupy yourself with the law, you will not fall into the power of it. God placed the good tendency on a man's right hand, and the evil on his left."

The danger is obvious. It means that in the last analysis a person can blame God for our, their, own sin. We can say, as Paul said,

Romans 7:15-24 (RSV)
15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

***Of all the strange and absolutely false doctrines surely the strangest and most foolish is that God is ultimately responsible for sin.***

From the beginning of time it has been man's first instinct to blame others for his own sin. The ancient writer who wrote the story of the first sin in the Garden of Eden was a first-rate psychologist with a deep knowledge of the human heart. When God challenged Adam with his sin, Adam's reply was,

Genesis 3:12-13 (RSV)
12 The man said, "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate." 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I ate."

Humanity has always been an expert in evasion!!!

Robert Burns wrote:

Thou know'st that Thou hast formed me

With passions wild and strong;

And list'ning to their witching voice

Has often led me wrong.

In effect, he is saying that his conduct was as it was because God made him as he was. The blame is laid on God. So men blame their fellows, they blame their circumstances, they blame the way in which they are made, for the sin of which they are guilty.

James sternly rebukes that view. To him what is responsible for sin is our own evil desire. Sin would be helpless if there was nothing in humanity to which it could appeal. Desire is something which can be nourished or stifled. An individual can control and even, by the grace of God, eliminate it if we deal with it immediately!!! But we so often allow our thoughts to follow certain tracks, and our steps to take ourselves into certain places and our eyes to linger on certain things; and so stimulate desires. We can so hand ourselves over to Christ and be so engaged on good things that there is no time or place left for evil desire.

Philippians 4:8 (RSV)
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

***It is usually idle hands for which Satan finds mischief to do; it is the unexercised mind and the uncommitted heart which is most vulnerable......***

If a person encourages desire long enough, there is an inevitable consequence. Desire becomes action.

Further, it was the Jewish teaching that sin produced death. The life of Adam and Eve says that the moment Eve ate of the fruit she caught a glimpse of death. The word which James uses in,

James 1:15 (RSV)
15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.

Which the King James and the Revised Standard Versions translate brings forth death, is an animal word for birth; and it means that sin spawns death. Mastered by desire, a person becomes less than a person, less than a human, and descends to the level of a brute, vicious animal.......

((((((( Such is what the Lie of Evolution teaches our children, and thus why would they not feel free to kill one another??? For after all, survival IS FOR THE FITTEST!!!!!! )))))))

*******In God’s eyes we are ALL WANTED, All WORTHY, ALL CALLED TO BE HIS EVER LIVING CHILDREN!!! *******

The great value of this passage is that it urges upon each individual our personal responsibility for sin. No person was ever born without desire for some wrong thing. And, if a person deliberately encourages and nourishes that desire until it becomes full-grown and monstrously strong, it will inevitably issue in the action which is sin—and that is the way to death. Such a thought—and all human experience admits it to be true—must drive us to that grace of God which alone can make and keep us clean, and which is available to all.

John 3:16-17 (RSV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

Revelation 22:17 (RSV)
17 The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let him who hears say, "Come." And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (RSV)
2 For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Romans 10:9-13 (RSV)
9 because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. 11 The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. 13 For, "every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved."

Today, right now, YOU, That’s right YOU can become a Child of the ONE TRUE GOD.........................................Say yes to Jesus Christ...


Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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April 18, 2021


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“James One: Part Two”

James 1:2-8 (KJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Oh Lord, when will we ever learn? We hate each other more than hating the sin that kills, betrays and destroys us. We hate people telling us NO, instead of hating our own inappropriate behaviors and ignore how they affect others and ourselves! We call evil good and good evil; we call immorality moral and normal and morality immoral and abnormal!!! We laugh at those who live by faith, and DEMAND our rights at the expense of others rights!!! We demand TOLERANCE for us, but have none for others!!! We demand respect for ourselves and feel EVEYONE ELSE DESERVES NONE!!! We covet what others have, and demand our share of the pie, but provide none for others......................We are the World, will we ever TURN TO YOU, Lord hear our prayer...

As Christians Lord, we must work out our Faith with fear and trembling, living to serve You, to live for You, to LOVE the Lost, to not live like the Lost, but to share the Humility of Jesus Christ, to share the LOVE of Jesus Christ and to share the Truth of Jesus Christ with ALL THOSE AROUND US, Lord hear our prayer in Jesus’ name Amen and eternally Amen......................

James never suggested to his readers that Christianity would be for them an easy way. He warns them that they would find themselves involved in what the King James Version calls divers temptations. The word translated temptations is peirasmos, whose meaning we must fully understand, if we are to see the very essence of the Christian life.

Peirasmos  is not temptation in our sense of the term; it is testing (trial in the Revised Standard Version). Peirasmos  is trial or testing directed towards an end, and the end is that he who is tested should emerge stronger and purer from the testing. The corresponding verb peirazein, which the King James Version usually translates to tempt, has the same meaning. The idea is not that of seduction into sin but of strengthening and purifying. For instance, a young bird is said to test (peirazein) its wings. The Queen of Sheba was said to come to test (peirazein) the wisdom of Solomon. God was said to test (peirazein) Abraham, when he appeared to be demanding the sacrifice of Isaac,

Genesis 22:1 (RSV)
1 After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."

When Israel came into the Promised Land, God did not remove the people who were already there. He left them so that Israel might be tested peirazein  in the struggle against them,

Judges 2:22 (RSV)
22 that by them I may test Israel, whether they will take care to walk in the way of the LORD as their fathers did, or not."

Judges 3:1 (RSV)
1 Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had no experience of any war in Canaan;

Judges 3:4 (RSV)
4 They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by Moses.

The experiences in Israel were tests which went to the making of the people of Israel,

Deuteronomy 4:34 (RSV)
34 Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

Deuteronomy 7:19 (RSV)
19 the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the LORD your God brought you out; so will the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.

Here is a great and uplifting thought. Hort writes:

"The Christian must expect to be jostled by trials on the Christian way."

Consider this great and precious Truth:

Philippians 1:29 (RSV)
29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,

All kinds of experiences will come to us. There will be the test of the sorrows and the disappointments which seek to take our faith away. There will be the test of the seductions which seek to lure us from the right way. There will be the tests of the dangers, the sacrifices, the unpopularity which the Christian way must so often involve. But they are not meant to make us fall; they are meant to make us soar. They are not meant to defeat us; they are meant to be defeated. They are not meant to make us weaker; they are meant to make us stronger. Therefore we should not bemoan them; we should rejoice in them. The Christian is like the athlete. The heavier the course of training he undergoes, the more he is glad, because he knows that it is fitting him all the better for victorious effort. As Browning said, we must

"welcome each rebuff that turns earth's smoothness rough," for every hard thing is another step on the upward way.

James describes this process of testing by the word dokimion. It is an interesting word. It is the word for sterling coinage, for money which is genuine and unalloyed. The aim of testing is to purge us of all impurity.

To purge ALL IMPURITY from us.........................

Matthew 5:48 (RSV)
48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 (RSV)
7 For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

If we meet this testing in the right way, it will produce unswerving constancy (or steadfastness as the Revised Standard Version translates it). The word is hupomone, which the King James Version translates as patience; but patience is far too passive. Hupomone  is not simply the ability to bear things; it is the ability to turn them to greatness and to glory. The thing which amazed the heathen in the centuries of persecution was that the martyrs did not die grimly, they died singing. One smiled in the flames; they asked him what he found to smile at there. "I saw the glory of God," he said, "and was glad." Hupomone  is the quality which makes a man, woman, or child able, not simply to suffer things, but to vanquish them. The effect of testing rightly endured is strength to bear still more and to conquer in still harder battles.

This unswerving constancy in the end makes a person three things.

(i) It makes us perfect. The Greek is teleios  which usually has the meaning of perfection towards a given end. A sacrificial animal is teleios  if it is fit to offer to God. A scholar is teleios  if he is mature. A person is teleios  if he is full grown. This constancy born of testing well met makes a person teleios  in the sense of being fit for the task that he or she was sent into the world to do. Here is a great thought. By the way in which we meet every experience in life we are either fitting or unfitting ourselves for the task which God meant us to do either in this life, the life to come, or both!!!!!!!

(ii) It makes us complete. The Greek is holokleros  which means entire, perfect in every part. It is used of the animal which is fit to be offered to God and of the priest who is fit to serve Him. It means that the animal or the person has no disfiguring and disqualifying blemishes. Gradually this unswerving constancy removes the weaknesses and the imperfections from a person's character. Daily it enables us to conquer old sins, to shed old blemishes and to gain new virtues, until in the end we become entirely fit for the service of God and of our fellow-human beings.......

((((((( This is where we as Christians so often fail, our minds are so obsessed with the heavenly, to serve God, we neglect serving the people around us that, that yes, God put in our lives to serve!!!!!!! )))))))

(iii) It makes us deficient in nothing. The Greek is leipesthai  and it is used of the defeat of an army, of the giving up of a struggle, of the failure to reach a standard that should have been reached. If a person meets the testing in the right way, if day by day, moment by moment we develop this unswerving constancy, day by day, moment by moment we will live more victoriously and reach nearer to the standard of Jesus Christ Himself.

Romans 8:29 (RSV)
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.

 Those God foreknew would LOVE and accept His Son Jesus Christ He predestined TO BECOME MORE AND MORE LIKE HIS SON.....................

Philippians 1:6 (RSV)
6 And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

And the good work of salvation HE and only HE began in you, HE, JESUS CHRIST WILL COMPLETE, WE WHO ARE SAVED THROUGHOUT ETERNITY WILL GROW AND MATURE AND BECOME MORE AND MORE LIKE HIM...Never becoming divine, but becoming “like” Him in perfect LOVE!!!!!!!

There is a close connection between this passage and what has gone before. James has just told his readers that, if they use all the testing experiences of life in the right way, they will emerge from them with that unswerving constancy which is the basis of all the virtues. But immediately the question arises,

"Where can I find the wisdom and the understanding to use these testing experiences in the right way?"

James' answer is,

"If a man feels that he has not the wisdom to use aright the experiences of this life—and no man in himself possesses that wisdom—let him ask it from God."

One thing stands out. For James, the Christian teacher with the Jewish background, wisdom is a practical thing. It is not philosophic speculation and intellectual knowledge; it is concerned with the business of living. The Stoics defined wisdom as

"knowledge of things human and divine."

But Ropes defines this Christian wisdom as

"the supreme and divine quality of the soul whereby man knows and practises righteousness."

Hort defines it as

"that endowment of heart and mind which is needed for the right conduct of life."

James 1:22 (RSV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

It is not enough to say YOU LOVE JESUS, Jesus WANTS YOU TO LIVE OUT YOUR LOVE FOR HIM IN HOW YOU LIVE YOUR MOMENT BY MOMENT LIVES.................................................................................

In the Christian wisdom there is, of course, knowledge of the deep things of God; but it is essentially practical; it is such knowledge turned into action in the decisions and personal relationships of everyday life. When a person asks God for that wisdom, they, we, must remember two things.

(i) He must remember how God gives. He gives generously and never casts up the gift. "All Wisdom," said Jesus the son of Sirach, "cometh from the Lord and is with him for ever",

Sirach 1:1 (RSV)
1 All wisdom comes from the Lord and is with him for ever.

But the Jewish wise men were well aware how the best gift in the world could be spoiled by the manner of the giving. They have much to say about how the fool gives.

Sirach 18:15-18 (RSV)
15 My son, do not mix reproach with your good deeds, nor cause grief by your words when you present a gift. 16 Does not the dew assuage the scorching heat? So a word is better than a gift. 17 Indeed, does not a word surpass a good gift? Both are to be found in a gracious man.
18 A fool is ungracious and abusive, and the gift of a grudging man makes the eyes dim.

Sirach 20:14-15 (RSV)
14 A fool's gift will profit you nothing, for he has many eyes instead of one. 15 He gives little and upbraids much, he opens his mouth like a herald; today he lends and tomorrow he asks it back; such a one is a hateful man.

The same writer warns against,

Sirach 41:22 (RSV)
22 of meddling with his maidservant -- and do not approach her bed; of abusive words, before friends -- and do not upbraid after making a gift;

There is a kind of giver who gives only with a view to getting more than he gives; who gives only to gratify his vanity and his sense of power by putting the recipient under an obligation which he will never be allowed to forget; who gives and then continuously casts up the gift that he has given. But God gives with generosity. Philemon, the Greek poet, called God "the lover of gifts," not in the sense of loving to receive gifts, but in the sense of loving to give them. Nor does God cast up his gifts; He gives with all the splendor of His LOVE, because it is His nature to give.

((((((( GOD WANTS TO SAVE YOU, GOD WANTS TO BLESS

YOU!!!!!!! )))))))

(ii) We must remember how the asker must ask.

***We must ask without doubts.

***We must be sure of both the power and the desire of God to give.

If We ask in doubt, our mind is like the broken water of the sea, driven hither and thither by any chance wind. Mayor says that he is like a cork carried by the waves, now near the shore, now far away. Such a man is unstable in his ways.

Hort suggests that the picture is of a man who is drunk, staggering from side to side on the road and getting nowhere. James says vividly that such a man is dipsuchos,  which literally means a man with two souls, or two minds, inside him. One believes, the other disbelieves; and the man is a walking civil war in which trust and distrust of God wage a continual battle against each other.

If we are to use aright the experiences of life to beget a sterling character, we must ask wisdom from God. And when we ask, we must remember the absolute generosity of God and see to it that we ask believing that we shall receive what God knows it is good and right for us to have.

God is by His very nature EXCEEDINGLY GENEROUS, UNSWERVINGLY PLENTIFUL IN GIVING TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND ARE CALLED TO HIS PURPOSE, THAT MEANS YOU!!!!!!!

Romans 8:28 (RSV)
28 We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc



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April 11,2021


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“A Slave of God”

James 1:1 (RSV)
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greeting.

James 1:1

1 ιακωβος θεου και κυριου ιησου χριστου δουλος ταις δωδεκα φυλαις ταις εν τη διασπορα χαιρειν

L
ord God YHWH, may Your words be like a lamp that lights our way. May Your LOVE be like a compass that gives us direction.
May Your truth be like a signpost bringing clarity for our daily lives. May Your peace be like a measure that guides all our life’s decisions. May Your hope be like a flag that declares we walk with You. May Your words be in our minds, Your LOVE guide our feet, Your truth be a sign, Your peace be a measure, And Your hope be a flag, As we walk close to You at this time. Lord hear our prayer, In Jesus name, Amen and eternally Amen................

Today we will turn to the book of James, and depending on how the Lord leads, we may continue through this book to it’s close, but for now, we will study this text..........................

 At the very beginning of his letter James describes himself by the title wherein lies his only honor and his only glory, the servant or more precisely a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. With the exception of Jude he is the only New Testament writer to describe himself by that term (doulos) without any qualification. Paul describes himself as the slave of Jesus Christ and his apostle,

Romans 1:1 (RSV)
1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God

((( Again servant is literally “SLAVE” )))

Philippians 1:1 (RSV)
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philip'pi, with the bishops and deacons:

But James will go no further than to call himself the slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are at least four implications in this title.

(i) It implies absolute obedience. The slave knows no law but his master's word; he has no rights of his own; he is the absolute possession of his master; and he is bound to give his master unquestioning obedience.

((( As Christians, we should give God unquestionable obedience, not because we MUST, but rather because we LOVE Him and want to please Him.......................However knowing full well, we will often fall short!!!!!!!)))

Romans 3:23 (RSV)
23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

1 John 1:8-10 (RSV)
8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

(ii) It implies absolute humility. It is the word of a person who thinks not of their, our privileges but of their, our duties, not of their, our rights but of our obligations. It is the word of the person who has lost their self in the service of God.

Galatians 2:20 (RSV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

It is my opinion that HUMILITY is a significant characteristic of a genuine Christian, but even a sinner can seem humble!!!

(iii) It implies absolute loyalty. It is the word of the person who has no interests of their own, because what they do, they do for God, for their beLOVED Savior Jesus Christ. Their, our own profit and their own preference do not enter into their calculations; Their, our loyalty is to God and God alone..........................

(iv) Yet, at the back of it, this word implies a certain pride. So far from being a title of dishonor it was the title by which the greatest ones of the Old Testament were known. Moses was the doulos of God,

1 Kings 8:53 (RSV)
53 For thou didst separate them from among all the peoples of the earth, to be thy heritage, as thou didst declare through Moses, thy servant, when thou didst bring our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD."

((( Again servant literally means SLAVE )))

Daniel 9:11 (RSV)
11 All Israel has transgressed thy law and turned aside, refusing to obey thy voice. And the curse and oath which are written in the law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him.

Malachi 4:4 (RSV)
4 "Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

So were Joshua and Caleb,

Joshua 24:29 (RSV)
29 After these things Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being a hundred and ten years old.

Numbers 14:24 (RSV)
24 But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.

So were the great patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

Deuteronomy 9:27 (RSV)
27 Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not regard the stubbornness of this people, or their wickedness, or their sin,

So was Job,

Job 1:8 (RSV)
8 And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?"

So was Isaiah,

Isaiah 20:3 (RSV)
3 the LORD said, "As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Ethiopia,

Doulos is distinctively the title by which the prophets were known,

Amos 3:7 (RSV)
7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.

Zechariah 1:6 (RSV)
6 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers? So they repented and said, As the LORD of hosts purposed to deal with us for our ways and deeds, so has he dealt with us."

Jeremiah 7:25 (RSV)
25 From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day;

By taking the title doulos James sets himself in the great succession of those who found their freedom and their peace and their glory in perfect submission to the will of God. The greatest mission to which every Christian can ever aspire is that of being the slave of God.

There is one unusual thing about this opening salutation. James sends greetings to his readers; using the word chairein which is the regular opening word of salutation in secular Greek letters. Paul never uses it. He always uses the distinctively Christian greeting, "Grace and peace",

Romans 1:7 (RSV)
7 To all God's beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:3 (RSV)
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:2 (RSV)
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:3 (RSV)
3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,

Ephesians 1:2 (RSV)
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:2 (RSV)
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:2 (RSV)
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colos'sae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

1 Thessalonians 1:1 (RSV)
1 Paul, Silva'nus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalo'nians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

2 Thessalonians 1:2 (RSV)
2 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philemon 1:3 (RSV)
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This secular greeting occurs only twice in the rest of the New Testament, in the letter which Claudius Lysias, the Roman officer, wrote to Felix to ensure the safe journeying of Paul,

Acts 23:26 (RSV)
26 "Claudius Lys'ias to his Excellency the governor Felix, greeting.

In the general letter issued after the decision of the Council of Jerusalem to allow the Gentiles into the Church,

Acts 15:23 (RSV)
23 with the following letter: "The brethren, both the apostles and the elders, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cili'cia, greeting.

This is interesting, because it was James who presided over that Council,

Acts 15:13 (RSV)
13 After they finished speaking, James replied, "Brethren, listen to me.

It may be that he used the most general greeting that he could find because his letter was going out to the widest public.

The letter is addressed to the twelve tribes who are scattered abroad. Literally the greeting is to the twelve tribes in the Diaspora, the technical word for the Jews who lived outside Palestine. All the millions of Jews who were, for one reason or another, outside the Promised Land were the Diaspora... This dispersal of the Jews throughout the world was of the very greatest importance for the spread of Christianity, because it meant that all over the world there were synagogues, from which the Christian preachers could take their start; and it meant that all over the world there were groups of men and women who themselves already knew the Old Testament, and who had persuaded others among the Gentiles, at least to be interested in their faith. Let us see how this dispersal took place.

Sometimes—and the process began in this way—the Jews were forcibly taken out of their own land and compelled to live as exiles in foreign lands. There were three such great movements.

(i) The first compulsory removal came when the people of the Northern Kingdom, who had their capital in Samaria, were conquered by the Assyrians and were carried away into captivity in Assyria,

2 Kings 17:23 (RSV)
23 until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day.

1 Chronicles 5:26 (RSV)
26 So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, the spirit of Til'gath-pilne'ser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manas'seh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day.

These are the lost ten tribes who never returned. The Jews themselves believed that at the end of all things all Jews would be gathered together in Jerusalem, but until the end of the world these ten tribes, they believed, would never return. They founded this belief on a rather fanciful interpretation of an Old Testament text. The Rabbis argued like this:

"The ten tribes never return for it is said of them, 'He will cast them into another land, as at this day',

Deuteronomy 29:28 (RSV)
28 and the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger and fury and great wrath, and cast them into another land, as at this day.'

As then this day departs and never returns, so too are they to depart and never return. As this day becomes dark, and then again light, so too will it one day be light again for the ten tribes for whom it was dark."

(ii) The second compulsory removal was about 580 B.C. At that time the Babylonians conquered the Southern Kingdom whose capital was at Jerusalem, and carried the best of the people away to Babylon,

2 Kings 24:14-16 (RSV)
14 He carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths; none remained, except the poorest people of the land. 15 And he carried away Jehoi'achin to Babylon; the king's mother, the king's wives, his officials, and the chief men of the land, he took into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 And the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon all the men of valor, seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the smiths, one thousand, all of them strong and fit for war.

Psalm 137:1-7 (RSV)
1 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. 2 On the willows there we hung up our lyres. 3 For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" 4 How shall we sing the LORD's song in a foreign land? 5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither!
6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy! 7 Remember, O LORD, against the E'domites the day of Jerusalem, how they said, "Rase it, rase it! Down to its foundations!"

In Babylon the Jews behaved very differently; they stubbornly refused to be assimilated and to lose their nationality. They were said to be congregated mainly in the cities of Nehardea and Nisibis. It was actually in Babylon that Jewish scholarship reached its finest flower; and there was produced the Babylonian Talmud, the immense sixty-volume exposition of the Jewish law. When Josephus wrote his Wars of the Jews, the first edition was not in Greek but in Aramaic, and was designed for the scholarly Jews in Babylon. He tells us that the Jews rose to such power there that at one time the province of Mesopotamia was under Jewish rule. Its two Jewish rulers were Asidaeus and Anilaeus; and on the death of Anilaeus it was said that no fewer than 50,000 Jews were massacred.

(iii) The third compulsory transplantation took place much later. When Pompey conquered the Jews and took Jerusalem in 63 B.C., he took back to Rome many Jews as slaves. Their rigid adherence to their own ceremonial law and their stubborn observance of the Sabbath made them difficult slaves; and most of them were freed. They took up residence in a kind of quarter of their own on the far side of the Tiber. Before long they were to be found flourishing all over the city. Dio Cassius says of them,

"They were often suppressed, but they nevertheless mightily increased, so that they achieved even the free exercise of their customs."

Julius Caesar was their great protector and we read of them mourning all night long at his bier. We read of them present in large numbers when Cicero was defending Flaccus. In A.D. 19 the whole Jewish community was banished from Rome on the charge that they had robbed a wealthy female proselyte on pretence of sending the money to the Temple and at that time 4,000 of them were conscripted to fight against the brigands in Sardinia; but they were soon received back. When the Jews of Palestine sent their deputation to Rome to complain of the rule of Archelaus, we read that the deputation was joined by 8,000 Jews resident in the city. Roman literature is full of contemptuous references to the Jews, for anti-Semitism is no new thing; and the very number of the references is proof of the part that the Jews played in the life of the city.

Compulsory transplantation took the Jews by the thousand to Babylon and to Rome. But far greater numbers left Palestine of their own free-will for more comfortable and more profitable lands. Two lands in particular received thousands of Jews. Palestine was sandwiched between the two great powers, Syria and Egypt and was, therefore, liable at any time to become a battleground. For that reason many Jews left it to take up residence either in Egypt or in Syria.

During the time of Nebuchadnezzar there was a voluntary exodus of many Jews to Egypt,

2 Kings 25:26 (RSV)
26 Then all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces arose, and went to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chalde'ans.

As far back as 650 B.C. the Egyptian king Psammetichus was said to have had Jewish mercenaries in his armies. When Alexander the Great founded Alexandria special privileges were offered to settlers there and the Jews came in large numbers. Alexandria was divided into five administrative sections; and two of them were inhabited by Jews. In Alexandria alone there were more than 1,000,000 Jews. The settlement of the Jews in Egypt went so far that about 50 B.C. a temple, modelled on the Jerusalem one, was built at Leontopolis for the Egyptian Jews.

The Jews also went to Syria. The highest concentration was in Antioch, where the gospel was first preached to the Gentiles and where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. In Damascus we read of 10,000 of them being massacred at one time.

So, then, Egypt and Syria had very large Jewish populations. But they had spread far beyond that. In Cyrene in North Africa we read that the population was divided into citizens, agriculturists, resident aliens and Jews. Mommsen, the Roman historian, writes:

"The inhabitants of Palestine were only a portion, and not the most important portion, of the Jews; the Jewish communities of Babylonia, Syria, Asia Minor and Egypt were far superior to those of Palestine."

 That mention of Asia Minor leads us to another sphere in which the Jews were numerous. When Alexander's empire broke up on his death, Egypt fell to the Ptolemies, and Syria and the surrounding districts fell to Seleucus and his successors, known as the Seleucids. The Seleucids had two great characteristics. They followed a deliberate policy of the fusion of populations hoping to gain security by banishing nationalism. And they were inveterate founders of cities. These cities needed citizens, and special attractions and privileges were offered to those who would settle in them. The Jews accepted citizenship of these cities by the thousand. All over Asia Minor, in the great cities of the Mediterranean sea coast, in the great commercial centers, Jews were numerous and prosperous. Even there, there were compulsory transplantations. Antiochus the Great took 2,000 Jewish families from Babylon and settled them in Lydia and Phrygia. In fact, so great was the drift from Palestine that the Palestine Jews complained against their brethren who left the austerities of Palestine for the baths and feasts of Asia and Phrygia; and Aristotle tells of meeting a Jew in Asia Minor who was

"not only Greek in his language but in his very soul."

It is quite clear that everywhere in the world there were Jews. Strabo, the Greek geographer, writes:

"It is hard to find a spot in the whole world which is not occupied and dominated by Jews."

Josephus, the Jewish historian writes:

"There is no city, no tribe, whether Greek or barbarian, in which Jewish law and Jewish customs have not taken root."

The Sibylline Oracles, written about 140 B.C., say that every land and every sea is filled with the Jews. There is a letter, said to be from Agrippa to Caligula, which Philo quotes. In it he says that Jerusalem is the capital not only of Judaea but of most countries by reason of the colonies it has sent out on fitting occasions into the neighboring lands of Egypt, Phoenicia, Syria, Coelesyria, and the still more remote Pamphylia and Cilicia, into most parts of Asia as far as Bithynia, and into the most distant corners of Pontus; also to Europe, Thessaly, Boeotia, Macedonia, Aetolia, Attica, Argos, Corinth, and the most and best parts of the Peloponnese. And not only is the continent full of Jewish settlements, but also the more important islands—Euboea, Cyprus, Crete—to say nothing of the lands beyond the Euphrates, for all have Jewish inhabitants.

The Jewish Diaspora was coextensive with the world; and there was no greater factor in the spread of Christianity.

James writes to the twelve tribes in the Diaspora. Who has he in his mind's eye as he writes? The twelve tribes in the Diaspora could equally well mean any of three things.

(i) It could stand for all the Jews outside of Palestine. We have seen that they were numbered by the million. There were actually far more Jews scattered throughout Syria and Egypt and Greece and Rome and Asia Minor and all the Mediterranean lands and far off Babylon than there were in Palestine. Under the conditions of the ancient world it would be quite impossible to send out a message to such a huge and scattered constituency.

(ii) It could mean Christian Jews outside Palestine. In this instance, it would mean the Jews in the lands closely surrounding Palestine, perhaps particularly those in Syria and in Babylon. Certainly if anyone was going to write a letter to these Jews, it would be James, for he was the acknowledged leader of Jewish Christianity.

(iii) The phrase could have a third meaning. To the Christians, the Christian Church was the real Israel. At the end of Galatians Paul sends his blessing to the Israel of God,

Galatians 6:16 (RSV)
16 Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.

The nation Israel had been the specially chosen people of God; but they had refused to accept their place and their responsibility and their task. When the Son of God came they had rejected him. Therefore all the privileges which had once belonged exclusively to them were passed on to the Christian Church, for it was in truth the chosen people of God. Paul,

Romans 9:7-8 (RSV)
7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his descendants; but "Through Isaac shall your descendants be named."
8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants.

It was his conviction that the true descendants of Abraham were not simply those who could trace their physical descent from him but those who had made the same venture of faith as he had made. The true Israel was composed not simply of the Jewish people, nor of one race but of those who accepted Jesus Christ in faith. So, then, this phrase may well mean the Christian Church at large.

We may choose between the second and the third meanings, each of which gives excellent sense. James may be writing to the Christian Jews scattered amidst the surrounding nations; or he may be writing to the new Israel, which includes the Christian Church.

Are you His SLAVE, is Jesus your Lord???

Luke 6:46 (RSV)
46 "Why do you call me `Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?


Submitted by: harold chris smith a SLAVE


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April 3, 2021


"a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming


"E.A.S.T.E.R!!!"

John 11 v 25

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:"

Father we humbly pray:

Christ our life,

You are alive - in the beauty of the earth

in the rhythm of the seasons

in the mystery of time and space

Alleluia

Christ our life,

You are alive - in the tenderness of touch

in the heartbeat of intimacy

in the insights of solitude

Alleluia

Christ our life,

You are alive - in the creative possibility

of the dullest conversation

of the dreariest task

the most threatening event

Alleluia

Christ our life,

You are alive - to offer re-creation

to every unhealed hurt

to every deadened place

to every damaged heart

Alleluia.

Christ our life,

You are alive forevermore.

On the third day you arose

by your own power. One

day we will arise by your

power. And we all will live

out eternity forevermore,

in your presence.

You set before us a great choice.

Therefore we choose life.

The dance of resurrection soars and

surges through the whole creation,

This is grace, dying we live.

so let us live.

In Jesus’ name Amen and eternally

Amen…………………………….



Today we celebrate the greatest event in human history, the RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!!

The foundation of Christianity is in the VERY REAL and POWERFULLY VERIFIED PHYSICAL RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD, GOD, and SAVIOR Jesus Christ!!!

Without the reality of the resurrection, without EASTER Sunday there is no faith…….

1 Corinthians 15 v 13-17

“But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:  14. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”

*******But because of the reality of Jesus’ resurrection, those who LOVE and accept Him as Lord, God and Savior SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED, NOT EVER!!!!!!!

Romans 1 v 16

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

To everyone that believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ that EASTER Sunday morning and genuinely LOVE Him, Life Eternally IS THEIRS!!!!!!! IS OURS!!!!!!!

Romans 10 v 11

“For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”

Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As we look to that Sunday morning that we call EASTER, we must realize it is far more than just that one morning in Jerusalem!         


                           E.A.S.T.E.R.
Eternity……………………From all eternity Jesus was, He had no beginning and no end!

Proverbs 8 v 22-30

“The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.  23. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 24. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25.  Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: 26.  While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. 27. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: 28. When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: 29. When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: 30. Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;”

Everlasting to everlasting He was with God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit, THEY WERE ONE!!!!!!!

Even from eternity Jesus Christ delighted in mankind, and LOVED us!!!

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end!!!

Revelation 1 v 8

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

Jesus Christ is the beginning of all things and HE IS ETERNALLY THE ALMIIGHTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yet He became man and entered this world as a little babe in swaddling clothes…

Luke 2 v 6-7A

“And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger…”

Jesus Christ became man that through His death many WOULD BE SAVED!!!

All His earthly life He was about His Father’s business!!!

Luke 2 v 49

“And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?”

Jesus gave sight to the blind, the ability to walk to the lame, cleansed lepers and all manner of diverse diseases and infirmities…

Jesus raised the dead, and gave hearing to the deaf…

He preached the gospel of repentance to the poor and to all who would listen…

Luke 7 v 7

“Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.”

All His life Jesus Christ ministered to the needs of others. Through Jesus Christ all have the opportunity to be saved!!!

John 12 v 47

“And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.”

Sinless throughout His incarnation and forever, tempted every bit as any human being, yet never sinning…

Hebrews 4 v 15

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

For to be the perfect blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, ONCE FOR ALL TIME; He must be a lamb without spot or blemish…

1 Peter 1 v 18-19

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

Hebrews 10 v 10

“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Sinless He is our only Savior…….

Acts 5 v 31

“Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”

2 Timothy 1 v 10

“But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”

Our sinless Savior brings eternal life to those who LOVE Him…

Tomb, Jesus Christ died for our sins, and was placed in a tomb…

Matthew 26 v 1-2

“And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, 2. Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”

Jesus was betrayed by a friend, Judas Iscariot one of the twelve.

Psalms 41 v 9

“Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”

We often seem surprised that one of the apostles Jesus chose betrayed Him. Yet with each of our own sins we betray the LOVE God has for each and everyone one of us, and with each of our sins WE OURSELVES STRIKE THE HAMMER PIERCING OUR SAVIOR WITH THE NAILS OF THE CROSS WE PUT HIM ON!!!

Matthew 27 v 35

“And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.”

As Jesus was suffering and dying upon the cross for the healing and forgiveness of our sins, with our sins we callously stole His clothes and gambled them away…

Mark 15 v 37

“And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.”

Jesus Christ breathed His last human breath on this side of eternity…

Matthew 27 v 59-60

“And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60. And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.”

Jesus did not even have His own tomb, but in His death He had a borrowed tomb…

Jesus Christ was placed in a tomb because of YOUR’S, MINE, and OUR’S SINS…

Jesus died!!!

Entered Hell for our sakes…

Matthew 12 v 40

“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

For our sakes Jesus went to Hell!!!

1 Peter 3 v 18-19

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the spirit: 19. By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;”

Jesus died, was separated from God the Father, and went to Hell for the forgiveness of our sins…

Resurrection, on the third day, Jesus Christ raised Himself from the dead!!!

John 2 v 19, 21

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…21. But he spake of the temple of his body.”

Thus proving He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and the one true eternal God!!!

Savior of ALL WHO WILL LOVE AND ACCEPT HIM!!!!!!!

He is risen!!!!!!!

Matthew 28 v 5-6

“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

He is resurrected!!!

The first fruit of all those who will be resurrected because of His great LOVE!!!!!!!

1 Corinthians 15 v 20

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.”

Now because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, we to can have confidence that we too will be raised!!!

Romans 6 v 8-11

“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

And because Jesus Christ will die no more WE CAN KNOW WE WILL LIVE WITH HIM FOR EVERMORE, FOR ETERNITY!!!!!!!

And we who LOVE Him will die no more…

Amen!!!!!!!

Philippians 3 v 10

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”

Through His resurrection, we can partake in His sufferings and can be conformed to His likeness.

E.A.S.T.E.R

ETERNAL, JESUS IS FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING…

ALL HIS LIFE HE SERVED GOD THE FATHER, AND MINISTERED TO HUMANITY…

SINLESS TO BE OUR SAVIOR…

TOMB, HE DIED THAT AND WENT TO THE TOMB THAT WE MIGHT BE SAVED BY HIS DEATH AND…

ENTERED HELL TO PREACH TO THOSE WHO WERE IMPRISONED…

RESURRECTED THAT PROVES JESUS IS THE CHRIST THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD, THE ONLY SAVIOR, THE ONE TRUE GOD!!!!!!! Through His resurrection we too might live…….

John 11 v 25

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:"

And because of EASTER though we may die, we will never ever be separated from God, and WE WILL LIVE FOR EVER……………………………………………………

Happy EASTER!!!

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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March 28, 2021


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

THE BLOOD !!!!!!! ”

Leviticus 17:11 (RSV)
11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it for you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life.

Lord we lift our hearts to you. As the dawn breaks, may we carry the unity we share into every moment knowing that we are one with the risen Christ.

Lord, we lift our eyes to you. As the sunrises, may this moment stay with us, reminding us to look for the beautiful colours of promise in your word.

Lord, we lift our prayers to you. As the dew air falls, may we breathe this morning in and know that like the earth, you sustain us, keep us and work within us always.

And so, we lift our voices to you. We celebrate the greatest day in history, when Jesus rose from death, defeated darkness and bathed the world in stunning resurrection light. May we ever live to praise you!

In Jesus most compassionate and precious name we pray, Amen and eternally Amen……………………………………………...
Read more: http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/times/easter_prayers.html#ixzz5BLyLnEeT


We will be celebrating Easter because through Jesus Christ’s shed blood many, all who are willing, are saved and alive for ETERNITY...............

Today’s message will focus on the blood of our most precious, kind, and LOVING Savior Jesus Christ..............................

Lord, we, ETERNALLY thank you...................We LOVE you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hebrews 9:22 (RSV)
22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Just a Few Things the BLOOD of Jesus Christ Does for Us!!!!!!!

Matthew 26:28 (RSV)
28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

***Through Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone, HIS SHED BLOOD BRINGS THE REDEMPTION FROM OUR SINS!!!!!!!

John 6:53 (RSV)
53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;

***The BLOOD of Jesus gives eternal life to those who consume it!!!!!!!

John 6:56 (RSV)
56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

***The BLOOD of Jesus most intimately allows Jesus Christ to indwell in us and us in Him!!!!!!!

Acts 20:28 (RSV)
28 Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.

***The BLOOD of Jesus was the price that Jesus purchased His Church, ALL “BORN AGAIN” BELIEVERS!!!!!!!

Romans 3:25 (RSV)
25 whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins;

***The BLOOD of Jesus is the means by which Jesus became the atonement for our sins!!!!!!!

Romans 5:9 (RSV)
9 Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.

***The BLOOD of Jesus justifies us and saves us from the wrath of God, that each and every one of us DESERVES!!!!!!!

Ephesians 1:7 (RSV)
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace

1 Peter 1:18-19 (RSV)
18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

Revelation 5:9 (RSV)
9 and they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

***The BLOOD of Jesus redeems us!!!!!!! The price for our salvation was paid for ONCE AND FOR ALL TIME!!!!!!!

Ephesians 2:13 (RSV)
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ.

***The BLOOD of Jesus brings us who were lost and far away from Him, brings us very close to Him, to the very throne of our heavenly Father!!!!!!!

Colossians 1:14 (RSV)
14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

***The BLOOD of Jesus brings us eternal redemption and forgiveness!!!!!!!

Colossians 1:20 (RSV)
20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

***The BLOOD of Jesus eternally reconciles us to our eternal Father, God, and Savior!!!!!!!

Hebrews 9:12 (RSV)
12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

***The BLOOD of Jesus ETERNALLY REDEEMS US!!!!!!!

Hebrews 9:14 (RSV)
14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

***The BLOOD of Jesus cleanses us from dead works to serve the ever living God: YHWH!!!!!!!

Hebrews 10:19 (RSV)
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus,

***The BLOOD of Jesus is the means by which we enter the most holy place with boldness!!!!!!! We are eternally accepted!!!!!!!

Hebrews 12:24 (RSV)
24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel.

***The BLOOD of Jesus speaks a better word than the blood of Abel!!!!!!! 

Hebrews 13:12 (RSV)
12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.

***The BLOOD of Jesus sanctifies us!!!!!!!

Hebrews 13:20-21 (RSV)
20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

***The BLOOD of Jesus makes us complete for every good work under the Son, sun!!!!!!! We are without excuse, we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens and equips us to serve Him in all good works!!!!!!!

1 John 1:7 (RSV)
7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

***The BLOOD of Jesus cleanses us from all sin, all past, present, and future sins!!!!!!! 

 1 John 5:8 (RSV)
8 There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree.

***The BLOOD of Jesus bears witness in the earth along with the Spirit and the water!!!!!!! 

Revelation 1:5 (RSV)
5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood

Revelation 7:14 (RSV)
14 I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

***The BLOOD of Jesus is the means by which Jesus washes us whiter than snow!!!!!!!

Revelation 12:11 (RSV)
11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

***The BLOOD of Jesus is the means by which we overcome the accuser of the brethren!!!!!!!  We have overcome Lucifer, Satan himself !!!!!!!

Have faith in the blessed shed BLOOD of Jesus Christ:

1 Peter 1:9 (RSV)
9 As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls.

The New Covenant is by the BLOOD of Jesus Christ:

Luke 22:20 (RSV)
20 And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Hebrews 13:20 (RSV)
20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,

By Jesus Christ’s BLOOD, though we die WE WILL RISE AGAIN, and forever be with Him in paradise!!!!!!!

Luke 23:43 (RSV)
43 And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

One Day...................................................................................................

"Nothing But The Blood"


What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Come to us, Lord
You reward those who earnestly, diligently seek You
I wanna see Your face, I wanna know Your way
Come to us, Lord

We want You more than this life
More than our way Your way is higher
Your thoughts are higher
We surrender here tonight

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Blessed Easter season one and all.........................Even to you, who choose not to believe....................................................

John 3:16-17 (RSV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc



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March 21, 2021


“a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"Remember Lest We Forget: Part 2"

Revelation 2 v 5

“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

How easy it is to forget. We often forget our promises, we forget how many numerous times God has intervened in our lives to save us from our own foolish decisions and quite frankly our own “stupid” selves!

Yet when some temptations come, we seem to put the pause button on and just run with it. All because in those moments of greatest weakness we take out eyes off God, and fail to “remember” His LOVE and wondrous sacrifice for us upon the cross!

Afterwards we are extremely remorseful and repentant as Christians, but that DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT WE HAVE ONE MORE TIME FAILED TO BE THE PERFECTLY RIGHTEOUS ONES GOD HAS CALLED US TO BE!!! God has not only called us to be righteous but He has given US the indwelling of the Holy Spirit TO LIVE GOOD and PERFECTLY RIGHTEOUS LIVES!!!

1 Thessalonians 4 v 7-8

“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.”

***It was God the Holy Spirit indwelling in Jesus Christ the man that gave Jesus the strength to live a sinless life.

Hebrews 4 v 15

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus is fully God and fully man and as a man He lived a life of obedience and righteousness by His complete surrender to the indwelling Holy Spirit. ***Jesus always “remembered” who He was and never forgot to submit to the perfect will of His Father who is in heaven…

***We must always “remember” if we are genuine Children of God, truly and eternally “born again”, that WE MUST DO ALL WE CAN FOR LOVE’S SAKE TO LIVE A LIFE WORTHY OF OUR CALLING, WORTHY OF WHOSE WE ARE!!!

Ephesians 4 v 1
 “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,”

Paul prays that we as “true” Christians would live our moment by moment lives in ways that glorify God and show the world THAT INDEED GOD CAN SAVE US FROM SIN!!!!!!!

Colossians 1 v 10

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”

Living lives full of God pleasing good works that is being faithful and worthy of who and what we are as Christians. Being worthy is by our willing desire to grow in grace by sober and diligent study of God’s only inerrant, infallible word the Bible!!!

1 Thessalonians 2 v 12

“That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”

We should walk worthy of God because of Jesus’ immense blood sacrifice upon the cross that saved us from not only our sins but from our very selves and because of that we have eternity in His kingdom and in His glory!!!

2 Thessalonians 1 v 11-12

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Oh to live lives worthy of God’s calling that we will GLORIFY THE VERY NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, that we live lives that fulfill the good and awesome goodness of our BELOVED Savior!!!!!!!

What an honor, what a privilege, what a tremendous obligation of LOVE to God and to all He LOVES!!!!!!! Let us hold industriously to “remembering” what our Lord and eternal Savior has called us to…….

Let us “remember”!!!!!!!

As we continue to “remember” all that God has done for us, let us again turn to a survey of scripture.

Psalms 25 v 6-7

“Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.”

Here David asks God to ever “remember” His LOVE toward mankind that has existed from eternity in the heart of God. Further, David asks God to “remember” not, his sins nor his transgressions, but to remember His forgiveness of our sins which are rooted in God’s LOVING mercy towards His Children!!!

Psalms 77 v 10-11

“I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. 12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.”

Here David promises as all Christians should, to “remember” all that God has so graciously done for us, not only recent things, but all that God has done for us from even before the beginning of creation. Let us “remember” to daily meditate upon what the Lord God has done for us SO THAT WE MIGHT SHARE HIS LOVE WITH OTHERS and  THAT THEY TOO, WILL “REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS and WILL DO FOR THEM… ***If they only ask…….

Psalms 103 v 17-18

“But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
18 To such as keep his covenant and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”

Let us always “remember” God’s LOVING mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, in-other-words from before we were even created God LOVED us and wanted to show mercy upon all He had created. Yet we must not forget, WE MUST”REMEMBER” that we must always seek with the help of the Holy Spirit to not only to “remember” all of God’s word the Bible, but for LOVE’S sake, we must seek to OBEY GOD”S WORD as well!!!

James 1 v 22

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

Let us “remember” LOVE means doing the will of God…

Psalms 105 v 5

“Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;”

How exceedingly vital it is for all Christians individually and collectively TO “REMEMBER” GOD’S MARVELLOUS WORKS, HIS AWESOME MIRACULOUS WONDERS and HIS RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENTS THAT PROCEED FORTH FROM HIS MOUTH!!!

That proceed from His book, the Bible!!!

Matthew 4 v 4

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

How essential it is according to our great calling as Children of the MOST HIGH GOD, THE ONLY GOD, THE TRUE GOD, that we “REMEMBER” and OBEY NOT JUST SOME OF HIS WORDS, SOME OF HIS BIBLE, BUT EVERYTHING HE HAS DECLARED IN HIS BOOK OF BOOKS!!!!!!!

Let us always “REMEMBER”!!!

Isaiah 43 v 25

“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”

***For those who are truly “born again” believers, God WILL NEVER “REMEMBER” OUR SINS!!!!!!!***

God will never, ever, “remember” our sins because of Jesus’ LOVING voluntary blood sacrifice upon that man made cross, that we made with our sins…….

Let us “remember” always what Jesus has done for us, let us ALWAYS “REMEMBER” HOW MUCH GOD HAS FORGIVEN US, HOW MUCH GOD LOVES US. HOW MUCH GOD LOVES ALL HIS CREATION!!! AND HOW WE SHOULD LOVE AS HE LOVES!!!!!!!

“Remember”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Isaiah 46 v 9

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,”

Let us forever “remember” THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD, YHWH, and HE ETERNALLY EXISTS IN THREE PERSONS and IN THREE PERSONS ALONE, IN GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON JESUS CHRIST, and IN GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT!!! ***THREE PERSONS, YET ABSOLUTELY and WITHOUT QUESTION ONE and ONLY ONE GOD!!!

Though there are many decent, loving, and wonderful people who believe differently, LET US “REMEMBER” THEY ARE STILL WRONG!

***YET LET US “REMEMBER” TWO THINGS, GOD LOVES THEM, and AS HIS SON JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR US, JESUS DIED FOR THEM AS WELL!!! ***EVEN THOSE WE IN HUMAN TERMS MIGHT CALL MOST WRETCHED and SINFUL!!!

John 3 v 16-17

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

1 John 2 v 2

“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Though most will ultimately refuse Jesus’ LOVE, Jesus still died for us all!!!!!!!

As the Old Testament closes, once again God reminds us, because we forget so easily, God reminds us TO “REMEMBER” ALL HIS WORD. TO “REMEMBER IN TRUTH BOTH THE OLD and NEW TESTAMENTS, ALL 66 BOOKS OF THE BIBLE!!!

Malachi 4 v 4

“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.”

Let us “remember”!

We of the New Testament are no better in “remembering” than those who have gone before us…

Mark 8 v 14-21

“Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. 15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. 16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. 17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?”.

Now Jesus and His disciples had gotten aboard a boat and Jesus began to warn them of the leaven of the Pharisees and of those in political power. How many religious leaders and political leaders have hidden agendas in their hearts, and many of those agendas are not in obedience to God’s word!!! They may appear religious or righteous or morally appropriate but we must test all things according to God’s word…

1 John 4 v 1

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

But the disciples did not understand, they thought because they had forgotten to bring bread that Jesus was somehow referring to the leaven (bread) that the Pharisees had. They could not put two and two together and “remember” as Jesus had done miracle after miracle in their sight and how Jesus had miraculously fed over 5,000 people with abundance of food and bread left over, they perceived He was talking about a lack of food. ***Jesus was very concerned of their, our, lack of “remembering”; Jesus realized how important “remembering” is TO UNDERSTANDING HIS LOVE and HIS CALL UPON OUR LIVES…….

We must most certainly “remember”!

Luke 1 v 72

“To perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant;”

We are reminded to “remember” that God’s promises of the coming Messiah, the Christ, Jesus Christ, were foretold and promised by God in a holy covenant to His people in the Old Testament. Let us praise God and “remember” the coming messiah Jesus Christ was fulfilled in the New Testament…….

Luke 24 v 6-8

“He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8 And they remembered his words,”

Let us always “remember” that while Jesus was yet alive He prophesied of His death and resurrection for the sake of mankind. And let us “remember” two things, how time and circumstance helped the disciples forget that Jesus was to rise from the dead, and let us “remember”, THE DISCIPLES FINALLY DID “REMEMBER”, and BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT THEIR FAITH and MEMORY LEAD TO THE BIRTH OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, THAT WE ARE PRILEDGED TO HAVE IN OUR LIVES TO THIS VERY DAY!!!

Let us “remember” and not take the churches existence for granted!!!

Hebrews 10 v 25

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Let us “remember” Jesus Christ died that the Christian Church be born!!!!!!!

John 15 v 20

“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”

Let us “remember” the world hated Jesus Christ, they hated His teaching, they hated His LOVE, they hated His compassion, THEY HATE HIS BLOOD SACRIFICE, THE WORLD, US INCLUDED MURDERED HIM; and so they will hate us and seek to destroy us for turning our lives to Him…

But let us “remember” Jesus continued to minister to the world, that some might be saved!!!***We as genuine Christians for LOVE sake must do the same!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Acts 20 v 35

“I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Let us eternally “remember” the very words of Jesus, “IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE”; LET US LIVE OUR LIVES ACCORDINGLY…….

***Let us “remember” all those in need, and let us help who we can, however we can…….Always in God’s LOVE…….

REMEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How quickly we forget! As a minister, I have had countless numbers of professing Christians come up to me and say, they still feel guilty, and they still feel their sins are not forgiven. Even very well meaning Pastors and other ministers of the Gospel say at the judgment seat of Christ, Jesus will discuss our sins.

Not so says God’s inerrant word, “remember”:

Hebrews 10 v 17

“And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

When we are saved, our sins and iniquities will be “remembered” NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“REMEMBERED” NO MORE……………………

Then finally let us look at our main text for today:

Revelation 2 v 5

“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

Some of us who have truly LOVED and accepted Jesus Christ as our only Lord, our only God, and our only Savior, sometimes, just sometimes, do to the trials and pressures of this earthly life have fallen away from what we have LOVED and believed. No we have not lost our salvation, but somehow we have lost our way. Our hearts and minds are confused and befuddled by the cares and worries of this world. God tells us the only cure for our malady IS TO “REMEMBER”!!!

To “remember’ the day we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, to “remember” how sinful we were, and how gracious and LOVING God was to forgive us for all our unrighteousness. To “remember” how much God in His LOVE and mercy has forgiven us. To repent of all those things that have clouded and damaged our daily relationship with Him. To “remember” how faithful we once were, and turn back to Him, and do the faithful things we use to do, and with God’s powerful hand be more faithful than ever before!!!!!!!

Oh, LET US “REMEMBER”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those who have nothing to “remember”, “remember” Jesus Christ of Nazareth has died for you. His perfect life and His willing BLOOD SACRIFICE paid the total cost for YOUR sins. Something that YOU and all of us could not do for ourselves, only Jesus Christ could save us from our sins!!!

Remember He calls YOU to Himself:

Revelation 3 v 20

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

“Remember” Jesus comes to YOU, He stands at the door of YOUR heart, He wants nothing more than for YOU to open YOUR heart’s door to allow Him to come in. ***If YOU open YOUR heart’s door by the grace of the Holy Spirit in YOUR life, JESUS WILL COME IN and ETERNALLY SAVE YOU!!!

“Remember”:

1 John 1 v 9

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

“Remember” God can and will save YOU, if YOU want to be saved!!!

2 Corinthians 6 v 2

“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

Today can be, THE DAY OF YOUR SALVATION!!!!!!!

“REMEMBER”…….

Romans 10 v 8-11

“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”

“REMEMBER”

YOU will not be ashamed if YOU LOVE Jesus Christ!!!

Let us “remember”, lest we forget…

Again Rudyard Kipling said over a hundred years ago:

"Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget."

As we close let us “remember” what Jesus Christ promised His disciples, all genuine Christians:

Matthew 28 v 20B

“…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

As a Christian “remember”, WE ARE NEVER ALONE!!!!!!!

NEVER !!!!!!!

“REMEMBER”

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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March 14, 2021


"a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"Remember Lest We Forget"

Revelation 3 v 3

“Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”

Lord Adonai, You give the World so much LOVE and beauty, You give each of us Born Again Believers so much more, and yet we all so often forget what You have done for us during our trials and temptations, and when we are on the verge of taking the next step into sin, blinded and indifferent when we sin. Why oh Lord, are our memories so clouded and faulty at times. Why ??? Is it sin in our lives, is it simply forgetfulness, are we just ignorant, what is it??? But we know oh Lord it is righteous to remember Your deeds, it is an absolute necessity in our daily lives to remember Your wonders.

Help us Father to remember You always, to live our lives in the light of who You are and in what You have done for us individually and collectively. Let Your glorious LOVE, grace, and astronomical mercy ever guide our steps. Break the spell that sin and doubt have upon us, give us remembrance, strength, and wisdom to live our lives according to Your will. Give us Your LOVE that we reach out to each other and the World as You would have us. Let us truly be Your children in thought, word, and deed, and magnificently glorify You in front of all. God give us a complete remembrance of Your holy deeds, and in Jesus name answer this pray, and bring absolute victory in our lives, eternally Amen and Amen………………………………God we LOVE you !!!

 
Today's message was inspired by the Holy Spirit through a quote by Rudyard Kipling from over a hundred years ago, he said:

"Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget."

Mankind has a plethora of blessings the Lord God YHWH bestows upon us, I think of how soon we forget. I think of how the people of Israel so quickly forgot about how God Almighty so miraculously and wondrously delivered them from the Egyptians by the parting of the Red Sea. I think about how God so tremendously saved me on March 26, 1975 and how throughout my life I have seen the hand of God upon my life. Yet, when trials and problems come, I so often forget what He has done for me, and in forgetfulness I toss His LOVE and protection aside and fear and try to solve my problems myself.

I thought it might be nice to survey some of the many scriptures that discuss remembering.

The first two times “remember” is used in the Bible, it is after God has to destroy the evil world that man has caused by our sin.

Genesis 6 v 5

“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

So God saved man through Noah, and God made a covenant with mankind and His creation after the worldwide flood.

Genesis 9 v 15-16

“ And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”

God pledged an everlasting covenant that day with all of His creation; He eternally promised that He WOULD ALWAYS REMEMBER HIS COVENANT NEVER AGAIN TO ALLOW A WORLDWIDE FLOOD, HE PLEDGED NEVER TO FORGET!!!

God “remembers”!!!

Genesis 40 v 23

“Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.”

Joseph had interpreted a dream for Pharaoh’s butler in which the butler was restored to his position with Pharaoh. He was asked to remember and tell Joseph’s kindness. In this case however the butler for got and because he failed to “remember” Joseph spent more time in prison.

Not remembering this time caused pain…

Finally the chief butler did “remember”, and Joseph ultimately became second in charge of all of Egypt…

Genesis 41 v 9

“Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:”

The chief butler “remembered” his sin against Joseph, and because he remembered and repented Joseph was set free…

Exodus 13 v 3

“And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.”

Then God by His omnipotent hand did save the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) by parting the Red Sea, and allowed them to escape out of Egypt on dry land and drowning the majority of Egyptian soldiers as the Red Sea suddenly by the willful hand of God returned to it’s normal course…

Moses implored the people never to forget this glorious work of His LOVE toward them…

But they soon forgot…

Exodus 20 v 8

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

God specifically commanded the nation and people of Israel NEVER TO FORGET THE SABBATH DAY( EVE FRIDAY TO EVE SATURDAY), TO ALWAYS KEEP IT HOLY AS A DAY OF WORSHIP, FOCUSED ON YHWH. By way of a universal principle all genuine believers must keep at minimum at least one day of holy worship for YHWH!!!!!!!

We must always “remember” to worship God our eternal Savior and King!!!!!!!

Leviticus 26 v 40-42

“If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; 41 And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: 42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.”

That person, persons, or nation that is willing to humble themselves and acknowledge and repent of their sins, God will “remember” His individual and collective promises to us and GOD WILL FORGIVE US and HEAL OUR LAND and NATION of OUR SINS…….

God will “remember”, and HE WILL ETERNALLY FORGIVE US, FOGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE REPENTED AND WE WILL BE SINNERS NO MORE, BUT NOW HIS SAINTS, HIS CHILDREN…….

Deuteronomy 7 v 18

“Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt;”

God speaks to His people and says, “do not be afraid of the people around you”; “remember ALL THAT I HAVE DONE FOR YOU. ***Remember my LOVE for YOU, and be not afraid or worried though you may have many trials or problems…I too, WILL REMEMBER YOU!!!!!!!

Deuteronomy 8 v 17-19

“And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. 18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. 19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.”

In these troubled and uncertain economic times we would do well to “remember”, wealth or any success we work for is not obtained by the power of our own strength or by the ability of our own intellect but rather any worthy success comes from God as we diligently seek to serve and obey His laws for our lives as found in the words of God the Bible!!!!!!!

***Further it is very important to “remember”, if we choose to forget God, or we choose to believe in some other god, or in no god at all, IT WOULD BE WISE TO “REMEMBER” THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES TO PAY!!!

Deuteronomy 32 v 7

“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.”

“Remember” to ask your elders about the things of God, for they will tell you the wonderful works that God has done in their lives and in the lives of the generations before them.

The hymn “It Is Well with My Soul”, how God can turn inconceivable heartache into something THAT BLESSES THE SOUL…

Remember:

This hymn was writ­ten af­ter two ma­jor trau­mas occurred in the in writer’s life, Horatio G. Spaf­ford. The first was the great Chi­ca­go Fire of Oc­to­ber 1871, which ru­ined him fi­nan­cial­ly (he had been a weal­thy bus­i­ness­man). Short­ly af­ter, while cross­ing the At­lan­tic, all four of Spaf­ford’s daugh­ters died in a col­li­sion with an­o­ther ship. Spaf­ford’s wife Anna sur­vived and sent him the now fa­mous tel­e­gram, “Saved alone.” Sev­er­al weeks lat­er, as Spaf­ford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daugh­ters died, the Ho­ly Spir­it in­spired these words. They speak to the eter­nal hope that all be­liev­ers have, no mat­ter what pain and grief be­fall them on earth.

Let us “remember” the LOVE God has shown us, and the LOVE He has shown those who have gone before us…

Let us REMEMBER!!!!!!!

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

Refrain

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Let us REMEMBER…….

David thanking God for all that God had done for him and the nation of Israel wrote a psalm and said this,

1 Chronicles 16 v 12

“Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;”

We as Christians truly for LOVE’S sake must “remember” ALL THAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US! How easily we forget, saved by grace, protected by His presence in our lives, yet fear, frustration, despair, agony, and gloom take hold of us when we struggle with the normal trials and temptations of this life. How we so easily forget, how easily we lose our focus on OUR ETERNALLY LOVING and CARING GOD!!!!!!!

Let us ALWAYS “REMEMBER”!

Psalms 20 v 7

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”

Most of us trust in our own abilities and strengths or the goodness of humanity or the power of the government, let us as Christians ALWAYS “REMEMBER” THE ONE TRUE GOD and SAVIOR: JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!!

Let us take time as we prepare for the gathering of our friends and LOVED ones this Lord’s Day, let us soberly and diligently take time to REMEMBER ALL THAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US!

All that God has done for others, let us “REMEMBER”…

My Mother is gone now, but I REMEMBER!

My Father is gone now, but I REMEMBER!

My sisters Theresa and Dorothy are gone now, but I REMEMBER!

I “remember” their lives and how much LOVE and beauty they brought into my life. I “remember”, they all, WERE BLESSINGS FROM GOD!!!!!!!

I “REMEMBER”!!!!!!!

The day of my salvation, I “remember”!!!!!!! Alone sitting in my car, I was supposed to be studying for a test for one of my college classes. In stead I was reading a green pocket college edition New Testament given to me by a member of Gideon’s…

I “remember”, I “remember”!!!!!!!

Hallelujah, what a Savior!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I “REMEMBER”…….

Let us “remember”, while we were yet sinners, lost desperately in sin, Jesus Christ died for us!

Romans 5 v 8

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Let us “REMEMBER”!

Next week we will look at some more scriptures on “remembering”, that is, if, I don’t forget…

In closing:

"Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget."

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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March 7, 2021


"What About B.O.B.??? Pt. 3"



“B”
 

Matthew 5 v 14-16

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be  hid. 15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

WOULD YOU EVER DENOUNCE YOUR FAITH? 

Forty martyrs

"History knows them as the 40 martyrs of Sebaste. They were soldiers in the famed Twelfth Legion of Rome's imperial army, around A.D. 320. One day the captain informed his troops that Emperor Licinius had sent down an edict commanding all soldiers to offer a sacrifice to his pagan god. Forty of the soldiers were followers of Christ, and they refused.

The emperor decided to make an example of the soldiers, so he marched them onto a frozen lake and stripped them of their clothes. "Renounce your God and you will be spared from death," he told them. Not one man came forward. Throughout the night the men stayed together, singing their song of victory: "Forty Martyrs for Christ."

When morning came, 39 of the men had frozen to death. The one survivor recanted his confession of faith. The officer in charge that night had been so moved by the scene that during his watch he'd come to Jesus, so he broke rank and walked out onto the ice. Stripping his clothes he openly confessed his faith in Christ. He refused to renounce his new faith. When the ordeal was over, the Roman soldiers carried 40 frozen men off of the ice.

What kind of Christians are we???????

Now we turn our attention to the final letter in our acronym B.O.B.

The first B stands for Believe, and it’s simplest meaning is to have ABSOLUTE faith and trust in Jesus Christ and His ONLY inerrant infallible word the Bible. Jesus Himself has called us to Believe!!!

Mark 1 v 15

“And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Jesus also calls ALL true Christians to Believe every word that has been spoken by God and has been recorded faithfully by inspiration of God the Holy Spirit in the Bible and only IN THE BIBLE!!!

Matthew 4 v 4

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

To Believe in Jesus Christ and His word the Bible ABSOLUTELY, and to have ABSOLUTE faith and trust in EVERYTHING THAT THE BIBLE DECLARES ABOUT HIM. ***Jesus calls ALL CHRISTIANS ALL PEOPLE TO TRUST HIM and HIM ONLY WITH THEIR ETERNAL DESTINY!!!!!!!

This leads to the second letter O, which stands for the word Obey. As true Christians we are called to Obey that which we believe in.

James 1 v 22

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

There are millions and perhaps billions who profess to be Christians, yet how many of us ACTUALLY DO WHAT JESUS CHRIST CALLS US TO DO???

Luke 6 v 46

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

How many of us call Jesus Lord, Lord, yet we pick and choose for ourselves what we want to believe, we do only the “things” we feel comfortable in obeying…***Jesus Christ calls us to Obey and do EVERYTHING HE ASKS US TO, we are to test ALL teachings in light of what the Bible actually says; THEN OBEY THAT WHICH IS TRUE!!!

We are to Believe EVERYTHING THAT JESUS CHRIST BELIEVES AND TEACHES, WE ARE TO OBEY EVERYTHING HE TELLS US TO DO IN LIGHT OF WHAT THE BIBLE ACTUALLY DECLARES!!!

We Believe because We LOVE Him, we Obey because we want to please Him…….

We Believe utterly in Jesus Christ, we Obey fully everything Jesus teaches us to do, all, with the help of the Holy Spirit!!!

In thought and action not always perfectly, but in heart and soul always…….

Now we look at the third letter in our acronym B.O.B. the final B.

Bestow

As true Children of God, as genuine “born again” believers, we are to Believe in, and Obey the gospel of Jesus Christ and to Bestow that same gospel which we have received with whosoever God puts in our paths, in our lives!!!

In our text today, Jesus calls the true disciple of Himself, “the light of the world”. That light which we are is the inner glow of the true light living in the genuine Christian. The true light is of course Jesus Christ.

John 9 v 5

“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

While He was physically in this world, Jesus Christ was the light of true salvation. Now He lives in each genuine Christian, and our light is the reflection of His salvation in our very souls.

The radiance which shines from the Christian comes from the presence of Christ within the Christian's heart. We often speak about a radiant bride, but the radiance which shines from her comes from the LOVE which has been born within her heart. The light of the Christian is the glow of Jesus Christ’s LOVE within us.

It may well be said that this is the greatest compliment that was ever paid to the individual Christian, for in it Jesus commands the Christian to be what He Himself claimed to be. When Jesus commanded His followers to be the lights of the world, He expected nothing less than that they, we, SHOULD BE LIKE HIMSELF.

  When Jesus said that the Christian must be the light of the world, what did he mean?

A light is first and foremost something which is meant to be seen. The houses in Palestine were very dark with only one little circular window perhaps not more than eighteen inches across. The lamp was like a sauce-boat tiled with oil with the wick floating in it. It was not so easy to rekindle a lamp in the days before matches existed. Normally the lamp stood on the lampstand which would be no more than a roughly shaped branch of wood; but when people went out, for safety's sake, they took the lamp from its stand, and put it under an earthen bushel measure, so that it might burn without risk until they came back. The primary duty of the light of the lamp was to be seen.

So then, our salvation, our faith, our personal Belief, our daily moment by moment Obedience is something WHICH IS MEANT BY GOD TO BE SEEN!!! As someone has well said,

"There can be no such thing as secret discipleship, for either the secrecy destroys the discipleship, or the discipleship destroys the secrecy."

A genuine Christian WILL BE VISIBLE TO ALL…

Not because we deliberately force ourselves to do something, for light is seen by it’s very nature. Our faith is seen because THAT IS WHO WE ARE. A natural quality of light is to be seen, if we are Christian, even in our silence our new nature in Jesus Christ WILL BE SEEN!

Further, our faith, our salvation should not be visible only within the Church. A Christian whose effects stop at the church door is not much use to anyone.

***We should be even more visible in the ordinary activities of the world. Our Christianity should be visible in the way we treat a sales clerk across the counter, in the way we order a meal in a restaurant, in the way we treat our employees or serve our employer, in the way we play a game or drive or park a car, in the daily language we use, in the daily literature we read. A Christian should be just as much a Christian in the factory, the workshop, the shipyard, the mine, the schoolroom, the surgery, the kitchen, the golf course. the playing field as we are in church. Jesus did not say, "You are the light of the Church"; He said, "You are the light of the world," and in a person’s life in the world our Christianity should be evident to all.

That quality of light, that quality of the true Christian IS SEEN SIMPLY BECAUSE WE ARE TRUE CHRISTIANS…

Light is seen in darkness…

But light has another quality, a light is a guide. On the runways of most airports, we may see the line of lights which marks the runway for the planes to land and takeoff safely. We know how difficult even the city streets were when there were no lights. A light is something to make clear the way.

So then a Christian must make the way clear to others. That is to say, a Christian must of necessity be an example. One of the things which this world needs more than anything else is people who are prepared to be vessels of goodness. Suppose there is a group of people, and suppose it is suggested that some questionable thing should be done. Unless someone makes their protest the thing will be done. But if someone rises up and says, "I will not be a party to that," another and another and another will rise to say, "Neither will l." But, had they not been given the lead, they would have remained silent.

  There are many people in this world who have not the moral strength and courage to take a stand by themselves, but if someone gives them a lead, they will follow; if they have someone strong enough to lean on, they will do the right thing. It is the Christian's duty, our obligation of LOVE to take the stand which the weaker brother will support, to give the lead which those with less courage will follow. The world needs its guiding lights; there are people waiting and longing for a lead to take the stand and to do the thing which they do not dare by themselves.

Another quality of light can often be a warning light. A light is often the warning which tells us to halt when there is danger ahead. 

For true Christians it is our obligation of LOVE to Bestow, to share with others the warnings of sin throughout the Old and New Testaments. To make very clear what God defines as sin, His ultimate punishments for those sins, and to supply the world with the ONLY, ONLY, ONLY SOURCE FOR FORGIVENESS AND REAL SALVATION FOR ANY, ANY, ANY PERSON; Jew or any nationality anywhere in ALL OF CREATION!!! ***That is often difficult, and it is often hard to do it in a way which will not appear to do more momentary harm than eventual good; ***but one of the most poignant tragedies in life is for someone, especially a young person, to come and say to us, "I would never have been in the situation in which I now find myself, if you had only spoken in time."

The light which can be seen, the light which warns, the light which guides, these are the lights which the Christian must be.

Matthew 28 v 19-20

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Jesus calls every Christian, every “real”, “true”, “genuine” Christian to Bestow, to share, THE SAVING GOSPEL THAT THEY TRULY RECEIVED and ACCEPTED, to share what they Believe, to share what they willing choose to Obey  TO ALL WHOM THEY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE WITH…….

It was said of Florence Alishorn, the famous teacher and principal, that if she ever had occasion to rebuke her students, she did it "with her arm round about them." If our warnings are, given, not in anger, not in irritation, not in criticism, not in condemnation, not in a desire to hurt, but in LOVE, they will be effective.

As Christians it is our greatest obligation of LOVE to Bestow what we Believe and Obey out of our eternal LOVE for Jesus Christ and for our LOVE of all of God’s creation…….

What about B.O.B.???

Without Believing, having ABSOLUTE faith and trust in Jesus Christ and Him only, THERE CAN BE NO FORGIVENESS OR REDEMPTION.

Hebrews 11 v 6

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Without Obeying, a person can never experience the most intimate of relationships with God or God’s people…

2 Thessalonians 3 v 14-15

“And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”

God does not turn His back on the disobedient disciple, that disciple by their disobedience turns their back on God and they themselves walk away from God…

We are saved by grace and grace alone, NOT ANY ACT OF FAITH OR OBEDIENCE ON OUR PARTS WILL EVER SAVE US!!!***But once saved God expects us to Obey…….

Ephesians 2 v 10

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Without Bestowing our faith, our faith is dead!!!

James 2 v 18-26

“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21. Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22. Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23. And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

You Believe as Jesus Christ calls you to, you Obey as God and His only inerrant infallible words the Bible teaches you to, yet you do not share His gospel, His truth, His plan for salvation, again James:

James 2 v 26

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

What about B.O.B.???

When it is all said and done, most certainly every true Christian everywhere, MUST BE VERY FAMILIAR WITH B.O.B, MUST PRACTICE B.O.B. IN THOUGHT WORD AND DEED EVERY DAY…

Whether we remember the acronym B.O.B. or not, if we are truly  God’s Children, B.O.B. whether we know it or not, will always be seen in the lives of “TRUE” CHRISTIANS…….

So what about B.O.B. in your life???

Do you Believe, Obey, and Bestow the true gospel of Jesus Christ with others???????

What Would Jesus Do???

WWJD???????

What did the “Forty” do?

***What will you do???

What about B.O.B.???

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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February 28, 2021


"a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"What About B.O.B.? Part Two"

"O"

Hebrews 5 v 9

"And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"

Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd), We call upon You in all humility, for we are without strength or ability to Believe in You, or to LOVE You, or to Obey You without Your mighty Spirit indwelling us.

Lord, help us with Your great grace and strength to live our moment by moment lives in Obedience to Your Holy inerrant Word the Bible. Give us such faith and LOVE to joyously and freely desire with our entire being to Obey You in every thought, word, and deed we have.

Help us to live up to the Holy calling You put upon our lives. To LOVE You with all our heart, mind, body, and soul. To serve You with all our strength and being. To LOVE our fellow man as YOU DO. To reach out to all those who are in physical, emotional, and financial need, and do what we are able and capable of doing to show Your LOVE, and our LOVE, for them and their needs and concerns.

Grant us the LOVE, compassion, and will to boldly reach out to the Lost souls of this fallen world, and share the wonderful and magnificent gospel of Your one and only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Pleading with them with all integrity of heart of their need for a personal LOVE relationship with Jesus Christ.

Help us to be “good” stewards of this world, and all that You have created. Give us insight, wisdom, and the where with to do all that we can and need to, to make this world, and all Your creation the very best it can be. For Your glory and the health of all creation.

Finally heavenly Father, we indeed praise You for all You have done, and we submit this prayer in the name of Your blessed Son, our great Shepherd and Savior’s name: Jesus Christ, Amen and eternally Amen……………………………

Last time we introduced a “new” acronym for our Christian faith, new but based solely on very old Biblical principles, known henceforth as: B.O.B. With it we discovered a new catch phrase, perhaps a simpler way of understanding genuine Christian faith: “What about B.O.B.???”

That is the question each genuine, born again believer must ask themselves. What about. B.O.B. in our Christian walk, do we indeed practice and live what God tells us to in His holy, inerrant, infallible word the Bible??? Do we reproduce this acronym in our daily behaviors; do our moment by moment lives truly reflect the concept of B.O.B., and what about B.O.B. in our private unseen lives behind closed doors??? Should we even be concerned about B.O.B. if we are Christians???

Last time we gave a word to the first “B”, that word was Believe.

As Jesus put it we must repent from all our sins and Believe in faith ABSOLUTELY IN EVERYTHING GOD’S ONLY INERRENT INFALIBLE WORD THE BIBLE SAYS…….

Matthew 4 v 17

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Not man’s opinion of what the Bible teaches, but what God the Holy Spirit actually makes known to us through every jot and tittle of it…….

To Believe is much more than acknowledging the truth of it, the truth of who Jesus Christ actually is, or simply accepting the eternal value of the Bible’s content, but to Believe IS TO PUT INTO PRACTICE WHAT YOU BELIEVE and HAVE ABSOLUTE FAITH IN…….

Christians ARE TO: Believe!!!

But belief IS NOT ENOUGH, NOR IS KNOWING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST ENOUGH!!! Nor is understanding that Jesus Christ is the only Lord, the only God and the only Savior enough. Demons believe, they know everything the gospels declare about Jesus Christ, they even acknowledge His eternal right of Lordship over them.

James 2 v 19

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

But the Demons ARE ETERNALLY LOST!!!

The word for Believe or faith implies more than knowing something, it intimately implies Obeying What you Believe in…….

The second letter of our acronym is the letter O, and it stands for:

Obey.

As genuine Christians we must not only Believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, but we MUST Obey it as well!!!!!!!

We are not saved by our obedience, but rather we are obedient because we ARE SAVED by Him…

In-other-words because WE LOVE GOD, WE WANT TO OBEY HIM!!!!!!!

Obey

So then, what does it mean to Obey???

The word Obey means to submit or conform in action to (some guiding principle, impulse, one's conscience, etc.). In our text, to submit to and conform our behavior to God’s holy, inerrant, infallible word the Bible. As a branch of Christian ethics, obedience is to be viewed not only with respect to the relationships existing between God and man and between man and society but also with respect to the example of Christ and man’s personal relationship with Him.

To Obey the commandments of God must be the object of our constant (moment by moment) endeavors. ***Nothing less than complete self-surrender to God and reverent trust in Jesus Christ can make this possible in the life of the true believer. The obedience Jesus calls us to as genuine Christians has at it’s origin IN HAVING ABSOLUTE TRUST IN WHAT WE BELIEVE. Therefore we Believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ cover to cover (both: Old and New Testaments), and we “willingly” Obey ALL THAT GOD’S BIBLE REALLY SAYS!!!

James 1 v  22

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

We not only hear God’s words, WE OBEY GOD’S WORDS AS WELL!!!

Jesus said:

Luke 6 v 46

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

We are saved by God’s grace, but we are seen as His by WHAT WE DO…….

Matthew 5 v 14-16

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

God is glorified in our Obeying Him. We Obey God, we Obey Jesus Christ in submitting to and Obeying EVER WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF OUR LORD, GOD, and SAVIOR:

Matthew 4 v 4

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

As true disciples of Jesus Christ we cannot pick and choose what we will Obey, WE MUST OBEY THE SLIGHTEST JOT and TITLLE OF THE LAW, FROM IT’S LEAST SIGNIFICANT POINT TO IT’S MOST ESSENTIAL TRUTH, WE MUST OBEY!!!!!!!

Matthew 5 v 18-19

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

To do otherwise, we chance the damnation of those around us WHO ARE NOT “BORN AGAIN” BELIEVERS…

We are to do our very best with the power and aide of the Holy Spirit to Obey perfectly God’s will!!!

Matthew 5 v 48

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

God is our standard, not our fellow man…

Romans 2 v 13

“(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”

1 John 3 v 18

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

Over and over again God consistently affirms throughout the Holy Writ the necessity of genuine Christians living righteous obedient lives.

2 Thessalonians 1 v 11-12

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12. That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

WE ARE TO OBEY GOD and HIS WORD THE BIBLE WITH EVERY FIBER OF OUR BEING!!!!!!!

*******WE ARE TO BE HOLY!!!!!!!*******

1 Thessalonians 4 v 7-8

“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8.  He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.”

God has called us to Obey Him, to Obey Him ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!

Ecclesiastes 12 v 13

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

We live in an age however where the average person considers their own morals and values as the standard and they do everything to deny God AS THE UNCHANGABLE and ETERNAL STANDARD!!!

As Christians WE OF ALL PEOPLE MUST SEE JESUS CHRIST and HIM ONLY AS OUR ONLY EXAMPLE, AS OUR ONLY STANDARD OF TRUE OBEDIENCE!!!

As Jesus Christ Obeys, WE MUST Obey…….

We Obey not because we are commanded to, not because we are told to, not because God’s word demands it, WE OBEY BECAUSE AS CHILDREN OF ALMIGHTY GOD WE LOVE JESUS CHRIST COMPLETELY. *******We genuinely want to please Him ETERNALLY…….

FOREVER!!!!!!!

MOMENT BY MOMENT, PRIVATELY and PUBLICALLY!!!!!!!

Acts 5 v 29

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

As Peter declares “let us Obey God rather than man”…

Romans 6 v 16

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

Let us Obey God rather than our own sinful nature or that of this desperately fallen world…

Let us heed Paul’s warning to the Galatians,

Galatians 3 v 1

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”

The world says, “Believe if you must, but you must not be so foolish to Believe everything the Bible says. Obey if you want, but do not be so naïve, so backwards to Obey everything the Bible claims to be the Word of God.

As Satan deceived Eve,

Genesis 3 v 1

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

Let not the world deceive YOU!!!

Let not false teachers deceive YOU!!!

Let not false doctrine deceive YOU!!!

KNOW THE BIBLE FOR YOUR SOUL and THE SOULS OF OTHERS DEPENDS ON IT!!!!!!!

Joshua 24 v 21-24

“And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord.  22. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. 23. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel. 24. And the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.”

Jesus calls us to Obey His words, His gospel, His Father who is in heaven, God the Holy Spirit who indwells ALL BELIEVERS…….

1 Samuel 12 v 14

“If ye will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God:”

Jeremiah 7 v 23

“But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.”

We as His Children are called to Obey Him…….

That is if we are truly and genuinely His Children??? 

Are we worried about this nation of ours, it’s existence depends on whether WE OBEY GOD AS HIS FOLLOWERS:

Jeremiah 12 v 17

“But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the Lord.”

Again we are warned if we DO NOT OBEY:

2 Thessalonians 3 v 14

“And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.”

Salvation certainly is by grace through faith which is our God given Belief in Jesus Christ, yet full INTIMATE fellowship with God is DEPENDENT ON WHETHER WE CHOOSE TO OBEY HIM!!!

The difference between a victorious Christian and a moody, discontented Christian is in HOW THEY OBEY GOD DAILY, IN THEIR MOMENT by MOMENT LIVES!!!

We may not always see victory in the battles of our daily lives, but if we truly Believe and wholeheartedly Obey God and His Words, WE WILL ALWAYS SEE FINAL VICTORY IN THE WARS OF OUR LIVES!!!!!!!

1 Peter 4 v 17-18

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

If we as true Christians DO NOT Obey God, our lives will declare our disobedience, and we WILL NOT REACH OUR FULL POTENTIAL OF INTIMACY WITH GOD ON THIS SIDE OF ETERNITY…-

As the beautiful hymn goes:

 
When we walk with the Lord
      in the light of his word,
      what a glory he sheds on our way!
      While we do his good will,
      he abides with us still,
      and with all who will trust and obey.
Refrain:
      Trust and obey, for there's no other way
      to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
 
2.    Not a burden we bear,
      not a sorrow we share,
      but our toil he doth richly repay;
      not a grief or a loss,
      not a frown or a cross,
      but is blest if we trust and obey.
      (Refrain)
 
3.    But we never can prove
      the delights of his love
      until all on the altar we lay;
      for the favor he shows,
      for the joy he bestows,
      are for them who will trust and obey.
      (Refrain)
 
4.    Then in fellowship sweet
      we will sit at his feet,
      or we'll walk by his side in the way;
      what he says we will do,
      where he sends we will go;
      never fear, only trust and obey.
      (Refrain)
 

Jesus Christ calls us to Obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to Trust and Obey…….

Hebrews 5 v 9

"And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"

A final word, our Obedience is not defined as never sinning again, but rather, with God the Holy Spirit’s help, genuinely and sincerely desiring: NEVER WANTING TO SIN AGAIN !!!

So, “What About B.O.B.???”

***Do YOU Believe???

***Do YOU Obey???

Should YOU???

Must WE???

“What About B.O.B.???”

Next week, Lord willing, we will finish the study of the acronym B.O.B.

Believe

Obey

B???

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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February 21, 2021


"a" Church

Evanston, Wyoming

"What about B.O.B.? Part One"

"B"

Mark 1 v 15

“And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Matthew 4 v 17

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Luke 13 v 3

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

Luke 13 v 5

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

Many years ago when I worked for Disabled Resource Services of Ft. Collins, Colorado I had a conversation with the then office secretary. She argued, because her Youth Pastor told her so “Jesus only wanted belief in Him. Repentance was not necessary because no where in the Bible did Jesus every say we needed to repent.”

Her Youth Pastor who she was quick to point out had often taught on television, WAS IN GREAT ERROR!!!

We should never assume anyone, including those in authority over us, no matter how respected or admired they are by others, nor how educated they appear, or eloquent they speak, or how professional they seem, nor how attractive they appear to the eye; NO ONE IS PERFECT, AND ANYONE MAY BE A FALSE TEACHER!!!

Matthew 7 v 22-23

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Everything should be proved, affirmed in light of what the inerrant infallible word of God the Bible says!!!

1 Thessalonians 5 v 21

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”

Which means, YOU, ME, EVERY GENUINE CHRISTIAN MUST DILIGENTLY SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES “FOR THEMSELVES”!!!

Today I introduce a new catch phrase for our faith. It is “What about B.O.B.???” Do you believe in B.O.B.? Who is B.O.B, what is B.O.B.? Do you need to put into practice B.O.B.???

B.O.B. of course is an acronym, this week we will discuss the first “B”:

Believe

Jesus Himself has told us in our main text today that we must “repent”, meaning, not only must we acknowledge our sins, admit we are sinners, lost, deserving absolutely of Hell-fire, but we must with the help of the Holy Spirit renounce, denounce, literally turn our backs on our own sins.

This is only possible by anyone as a direct result of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ!!!

God is the initiator, the power to accomplish, and the sustainer of our ability to repent. He is as the Bible says the author and finisher of our faith…….

Hebrews 12 v 2

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

To be a genuine Christian “you” must Believe. First, what does it mean to believe?

To believe in the framework of our text means: to soberly take Jesus Christ at His word. Trust what He says, trust EVERYTHING He says in His holy word the Bible…

The Greek word here is “pisteuo” it is interchangeable with our English word faith. So according to Jesus a genuine, born again believer is a person who remains steadfast in his or her faith in Jesus Christ. To Believe is to be FULLY PERSADED IN THE GOD OF THE OLD and NEW TESTAMENTS, TO COMPLETELY TRUST WHAT THE WORD OF GOD THE BIBLE SAYS and PROMISES.

Believe = Faith, Trust, absolute Confidence in; TO TRUST OR HAVE FAITH IN GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON (JESUS CHRIST), and GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT…

To Believe as Christ calls us has three general features:

1) Believe that the world, including “you” can be SAVED BY, and SAVED ONLY BY THE REDEMPTIVE WORKS OF Jesus Christ!!!

(Saving Faith)

John 3 v 16-17

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

John 5 v 24

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

Ephesians 2 v 8-9

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Romans 10 v 9-11

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”

Believe that only through Jesus Christ and His works CAN ANYONE BE SAVED!!!!!!!

John 14 v 6

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Acts 4 v 12

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

To Believe such, to have that kind of faith gives “you” an unchangeable and PRAISE GOD ALMIGHTY, an unforfeitable eternal relationship with Jesus Christ as clearly described in innumerable passages throughout the Holy Writ:

Here are only a few:

Romans 11 v 29

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”

Philippians 1 v 6

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

John 6 v 39-40

“And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Hebrews 10 v 14

“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

1 John 5 v 13

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

1 Peter 1 v 23, 25

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever...25. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

2 Corinthians 1 v 22

“Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”

Etc, etc, etc…….

2) Believe in our personal relationship with God and other believers. To be set apart as exclusively His children…

(Sanctifying Faith)

We as “true” Christians, “true” followers of Jesus Christ, we are set apart from the world, we are a holy people, we are not to live as the world lives. ***We live not to sin, nor to live for ourselves or our own desires but rather WE LIVE TO BE LIKE JESUS… 

Romans 6 v 11, 13-14

“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord…13. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

1 Corinthians 1 v 2

“Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:”

Ephesians 4 v 1-3

“I Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3.  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

God gives the genuine God filled, LOVER of Jesus Christ the grace, LOVE, and mercy TO WALK and LIVE AS JESUS CHRIST DID. Though Christ was perfect and without sin, and we are not perfect,

and most likely will sin occasionally after we are His (though we can live a sin free life), AS “TRUE” CHRISTIANS OUR SOLE GOAL IN LIFE IS TO LOVE GOD and TO LOVE ALL THAT HE LOVES, and TO PLEASE HIM CONTINUALLY…….

To Believe this, to trust God this much, to have such faith is to enable one to live a life WORTHY OF SONS and DAUGHTERS OF GOD…….

 Believe in the spiritual gifts that each saved individual can receive TO SERVE GOD and ALL OF HIS CREATION…….

(Serving Faith)

Romans 12 v 6-9

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7. Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8. Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”

Hebrews 2 v 4

“God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”

To Believe this allows the genuine Christian TO PRACTICE WHAT HE OR SHE ACTUALLY BELIEVES…….

Jesus calls us specifically TO BELIEVE THE GOSPEL, THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST… What is the Gospel, this Good News WE ARE CALLED TO BELIEVE?

It was preeminently good news that Jesus Christ came to bring to humanity. If we follow the word “euaggelion”, good news, gospel through the New Testament we can see at least something of its content.

A) It is the good news of truth:

Galatians 2 v 5

“To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Colossians 1 v 5

“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;”

Until Jesus came, humanity could only guess and grope after God.

Job 23 v 3

“Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!”

Marcus Aurelius said that the soul can see but dimly, and the word he uses is the Greek word for seeing things through water. But with the coming of Jesus we can see clearly what God is like. No longer do we need to guess and grope; WE CAN KNOW…

B) It is the good news of hope:

Colossians 1 v 23

“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;”

The ancient world was a pessimistic world. Seneca talked of "our helplessness in necessary things." In their struggle for goodness men were defeated. The coming of Jesus brings hope to the hopeless heart.

C) It is the good news of peace:

Ephesians 6 v 15

“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”

The penalty of being a fallen human is to have a split personality. In human nature the beast and the angel are strangely intermingled. It is told that once Schopenhauer, the gloomy philosopher, was found wandering. He was asked, "Who are you?" "I wish you could tell me," he answered. Robert Burns said of himself, "My life reminded me of a ruined temple. What strength, what proportion in some parts! What unsightly gaps, what prostrate ruins in others!"

Man's trouble has always been that we are haunted both by sin and by goodness. The coming of Jesus Christ unifies that disintegrated personality into one. We find victory over our warring self by being conquered by Jesus Christ. By submitting to His Lordship in our lives

D) It is the good news of God's promise

Ephesians 3 v 6

“That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:”

It is true to say that we have always thought rather of a God of threats than a God of promises. ***All non-Christian religions think of a demanding God; only Christianity tells of a God who is more ready to give than we are to ask.

E) It is the good news of immortality:

2 Timothy 1 v 10

“But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”

To the pagan, to the atheist world, life is the road to death; humanity is characteristically a dying species; but Jesus Christ came with the good news that we are on the way to life rather than death.

 F) It is the good news of salvation:

Ephesians 1 v 13

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”

Salvation is not merely a negative thing; it is also positive. It is not simply liberation from penalty and escape from past sin; it is the power to live life victoriously and to conquer sin.

The message of Jesus Christ is good news indeed.

Salvation is not for a select few, a predestined minority, but for as many that are WILLING TO BELIEVE AS JESUS CHRIST CALLS US TO BELIEVE…….

2 Peter 3 v 9

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

***Now is the most important question of “your” eternity: DO “YOU” BELIEVE???????

What about B.O.B.??? Next week, we will continue our study of the acronym B.O.B., do you believe in B.O.B., SHOULD YOU???

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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February 14, 2021


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“In His Steps: Part Seven”

Galatians 2:20 (RSV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Father

1 Peter 2:21 (RSV)
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Let us pray:

Lord, You are so good to us. You give us life, each breath, and You provide EVERYTHING we need to live a good and righteous life. I can’t speak for all of us, but, I pray for forgiveness for rarely using your tools and resources to genuinely live the life You wanted me to. I have, we have, failed You in so many ways, and yet You LOVE us, You LOVE me. When I think of that I am astonished that You LOVE me!!!

Thank You for the faith and grace You have given each of us. Thank You for the plethora of experiences You have given each of us, each unique and personalized for every individual. Thank You for our Mothers, our Fathers, our brothers, our sisters, thank you for all our family friends and LOVED ones. Thank You Lord for our brothers and sisters in ChrisT. Thank You LORD even for those we may call our enemies. Thank You so very much for Your holy word the Bible, and all the true teachers and preachers, and expounders of Your word. Thank You Lord FOR ABSOLUTELY EVERTHING!!!!!!!

Lord, help us LOVE ALL YOUR CREATION, every man, woman, and child, every animal, everything that You have given life to. Lord, help us LOVE as You do, help us be that salt, that light You saved us to be; help us Oh Lord to truly be Your Children. In Jesus ChrisT’s name, Amen, Amen, and eternally Amen…….

Today we close our series of sermons on the Character and Qualities that should be in every ChrisTian, knowing full well, I myself, and each of us fall short, me, the most of all……………………………………

61) Decisive

Romans 12:2 (KJV)
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Matthew 5:37 (KJV)
37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Decisive is sticking to right and just decisions based on God’s perfect will as seen through His holy words the Bible.

62) Patient

Romans 12:12 (KJV)
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Psalm 27:14 (RSV)
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the LORD!

Isaiah 40:31 (RSV)
31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Patience is the fortitude to accept from others difficult situations that we do not like. With God, it is trust of His timing, and not giving Him a deadline.

63) Zealous

Luke 2:49 (RSV)
49 And he said to them, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"

John 2:17 (RSV)
17 His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for thy house will consume me."

John 8:29 (RSV)
29 And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him."

Zealous is maintaining our joyful passion for our faith and call, not allowing our church or us to fall into a rut of meaningless rhetoric. Doing God’s word, NOT JUST PREACHING IT!!!!!!!

64) Teach

Matthew 7:28 (RSV)
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,

Matthew 28:19-20 (RSV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

John 7:16 (RSV)
16 So Jesus answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me;

Mark 4:2 (RSV)
2 And he taught them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them:

2 John 1:9 (RSV)
9 Any one who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son.

Teach is to share God’s holy word the Bible, the insights we’ve gleaned and what we have learned from others, to disciple one another.

65) Merciful

Luke 6:36 (RSV)
36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Merciful is demonstrating more forgiving and gracious kindness than the world requires. Including not brow beating or condemning those who are still in sin, but LOVING them as ChrisT LOVES you and I…….

66) Thoroughness

Ecclesiastes 9:10 (RSV)
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

Colossians 3:23 (RSV)
23 Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men,

Thoroughness is careful diligence that carries out our call with our very best for God’s approval.

67) Endurance//Perseverance

Galatians 6:9 (RSV)
9 And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.

Endurance is the inner strength to remain in Him with staying power in order to accomplish God’s will. Perseverance is not being faint with our call, but being able to persist and continue to deal with stress so we can accomplish what God calls us to.

68) Persuasiveness 

2 Timothy 2:25-26 (RSV)
25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, 26 and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Persuasiveness advocates God’s Word to others so they can be changed in their thinking and can conform to His will. Always share in LOVE and humility, your goal is to encourage those in need, not condemn or discourage them……………….This is a special gift from the Holy Spirit!!!

Consider this:

Isaiah 55:11 (RSV)
11 so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Sharing God’s word, His truth, His LOVE CAN NOT AND WILL NOT RETURN EMPTY OR VOID, BUT WILL ACCOMPLISH THAT WHICH GOD HIMSELF HAS SET AS IT’S PURPOSE!!!!!!!

Therefore we need not play tricks, get angry, or anything else, simply be LOVING, honest, and sincere, showing mercy and grace, and getting out of the way of the Holy Spirit………………………….

69) Grace

Psalm 94:11 (RSV)
11 the LORD, knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.

James 4:6 (RSV)
6 But he gives more grace; therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Grace is elegant simplicity with great humility and calm that minimizes coarseness. It is seeing the one Lost as a friend, a family member of humanity, a person in need, not one needing chastisement, but a helping hand, not one to shake your fingers at, but one needing your whole hand to pull them into the LIFERAFT of salvation!!!

70) Godly Priorities

Matthew 6:33 (RSV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.

Godly Priorities is choosing to follow Scriptural precepts NO MATTER WHAT, because they are truly from God!!!!!!!

GOD MUST ALWAYS BE FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We must see all things through Him………………………………………………….

As Jesus declared:

Matthew 22:37-40 (RSV)
37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."

LOVE GOD, LOVE EVERYONE ELSE AS HE DOES…………………………

We have discussed over these last several weeks the “70” characteristics and the qualities that should be seen in a genuine ChrisTian………………………………….

Including today’s:

61) Decisive

62) Patient

63) Zealous

64) Teach

65) Merciful

66) Thoroughness

67) Endurance//Perseverance

68) Persuasiveness 

69) Grace

70) Godly Priorities

The “3” most important things we must take from this series of sermons is:

1) We, all of us, must have Jesus as our Savior, for none of us can ever on our own live up to any of these characteristics and qualities, let alone all of them, without the LOVE, grace, and mercy of God; which can only be found through a LOVE relationship with Jesus Christ and Him alone……………

2) We must LOVE God, God the Father, God the only Son Jesus ChrisT, and God the Holy Spirit first and foremost, before ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING!!!!!!!

3) We are to LOVE one another as God LOVES us, to the very best of our ability, our family, our friends, our LOVED ones, and even our so called enemies MUST BE LOVED BY US!!!!!!!

Being a ChrisTian is not easy, but, it is worth our eternal souls…………..

May the Lord bless each and every one of you………………………………..

Submitted by: Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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February 7, 2021


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“In His Steps: Part Six”

Galatians 2:20 (RSV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Father

1 Peter 2:21 (RSV)
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Why Oh Lord do worthy prayers go unanswered, when prayers of health, prayers of safety, prayers of LOVE and genuine concern seem to go up in smoke never to be heard again? We understand that You are ALL LOVING, ALL CARING, ALL POWERFUL, ALL KNOWING, and exist EVERYWHERE and at ALL TIMES!!!

Yet LOVED ones die, freaky accidents seem to abound, if someone goes to the left instead of right THEY LIVE OR DIE. If we walked just a few seconds faster or slower, if we had slept one minute less or more, THINGS MIGHT BE VASTLY DIFFERENT OH LORD……………

Why or Lord why, must we have heart ache, despair, loneliness, and death??? Why oh Lord why??? God we LOVE You so much, but sometimes oh Lord, sometimes we just must ask why. It’s not that we doubt You or have any less faith than we should, but we see the inequalities of life, we see what seems like bad luck and chance. We see heinous and vicious crimes, much evil upon the earth, and we cry out, why of Lord why……………………..

Why, why, why????????????????????????

Thank you oh Lord, that we may ask why, and thank you oh Lord when one day we will know why. Until that day oh Lord, give us Your grace, Your LOVE, Your peace, Your patience,  Your strength to go on serving You and all Your creation ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES…………………..Be with us no matter what happens, and please oh Lord comfort those who must ask WHY, in Jesus name Amen and eternally Amen…………………………………


In the last several weeks I have been often asked “WHY”, and to be honest: I DO NOT KNOW……………………………………………….

ONLY GOD KNOWS AND ONE DAY HE WILL ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS OF WHY…………………………………………………..

Today we continue our discussion of qualities and characteristics that are appropriate for genuine ChrisTians.

51) Agreeable

Amos 3:3 (RSV)
3 "Do two walk together, unless they have made an appointment?

Agreeable finds Biblical solutions and support for others, without compromising truth. This is exceedingly indispensable; we must reflect God’s LOVE, mercy, grace, justice and righteousness in a way that is not attacking or aggressive, yet NEVER COMPROMISING THE WORD OF GOD THE BIBLE!!!

52) Avoiding

James 1:19 (RSV)
19 Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,

I must admit this is something I habitually struggle with. Avoiding anger is the knowing of its destructive force and striving to maintain “cool” and serenity. If we display UNNECESSARY anger we will do much to weaken the truth we share with others!!!

53) Being a good example

1 Peter 2:21-22 (RSV)
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips.

1 Peter 2:12 (RSV)
12 Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that in case they speak against you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

1 Peter 2:15 (RSV)
15 For it is God's will that by doing right you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

1 Peter 2:17 (RSV)
17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Being a Good Example is doing all you can to be a living example of the LOVE, the mercy, the compassion and the purity of Jesus Christ, though it is a cliché, often YOU WILL BE THE ONLY CHRISTIAN SOMEONE WILL EVER SEE……………..

Scary and sobering thought!!!!!!!

54) Child-like Faith

Matthew 18:2-4 (RSV)
2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them,
3 and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Childlike Faith is the wonder and awe of what Christ did for us. It is something that we should never lose. It is that very faith that the LOST WILL HUNGER TO HAVE!!!!!!! Let us keep our enthusiasm, OUR JOY OF OUR SALVATION and not become just a subculture or a simple routine!

55) Discreet

Psalm 112:5 (RSV)
5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice.

Discreet is the ability to not bully people with our personality or actions, or even with sound and right opinions. It is giving serious respect, attention, and thought to what we say and do. This is a type of humility that gives much trustworthiness, credibility, and authority to what we share in LOVE about Jesus ChrisT……
 

56) Not to swear or slander others

James 1:26 (RSV)
26 If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man's religion is vain.

Not to swear or slander is refusing to verbally hurt others!!! How many countless times have we heard professing ChrisTians or moralists call people “perverts”, “monsters”, “pathetic”, “disgusting”, “evil”, “worthless”, etc, etc, etc……………………….If we realize how sinful we are without ChrisT, if we honestly see ourselves as THE WORST OF SINNERS without Christ, if we TRULLY BELIEVE THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WE CAN DO TO SAVE OURSELVES, WE ARE SAVED BY HIS GRACE AND HIS GRACE ALONE, THEN WHERE DOES THAT RAGE OF SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM WITH IN COME FROM???

FROM OUR OWN SINFUL SELF-CENTERED FALLEN NATURE!!!

[[[[[[[ IT MUST STOP, IT MUST END, NOW !!!!!!! ]]]]]]]

The only people Jesus was harsh with were RELIGIOUS HYPOCRITES!!!!!!!

Matthew 5:3 (RSV)
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Psalm 51:16-17 (RSV)
16 For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased. 17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

If we have the humble spirit God desires of us, we will reach out to each other, to the LOST, in kindness, LOVE, compassion, mercy, and with sincere honesty…………………………………………..

ONLY GOD IS GOOD, NO HUMAN BEING HAS ANYTHING TO BE SELF-RIGHTEOUS ABOUT, NOT EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

57) Sincerity

Joshua 24:14 (RSV)
14 "Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.

1 Peter 1:22 (RSV)
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brethren, love one another earnestly from the heart.

Sincerity is deep honesty that is readily doing what is right, with pure and LOVING intention.

58) Selflessness

Titus 2:14 (RSV)
14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Selflessness is the altruistic giving of ourselves to others, as Jesus Christ gave Himself to us.

59) Honest

Hebrews 7:26 (RSV)
26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

Honest is being truthful and doing what is genuine and right before God and others.

60) Security

Proverbs 29:25 (RSV)
25 The fear of man lays a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD is safe.

John 6:27 (RSV)
27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal."

Security is trust and reliance upon God for our daily needs. This is not laziness, but working with God’s values, and organizing our life around God’s Will with an eternal outlook in mind for a secure feeling. We are safe because of God’s protection.

51) Agreeable

52) Avoiding

53) Being a good example

54) Child-like Faith

55) Discreet

56) Not to swear or slander others

57) Sincerity

58) Selflessness

59) Honest

60) Security

These things and many more we as genuine ChrisTians should strive for in our search to WALK IN HIS STEPS!!!

Next week we will conclude these studies of the qualities and characteristics of true BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS!!!

God be with my sons Adam and Aaron, and with all of our precious children, in Jesus name Amen and Amen……………………………………..

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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January 31, 2021


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“In His Steps: Part Five”

Galatians 2:20 (RSV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

1 Peter 2:21 (RSV)
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Father, we praise Your holy name. Thank You for Your great grace, Your amazing LOVE, Your tremendous salvation!!! Lord we turn to You this day with one general theme, help us to LOVE You with all our hearts, minds, souls, with EVERY FABRIC OF OUR BEINGS…

Give us the LOVE, the grace, the wisdom, the mercy, the compassion, the incredible patience that is needed to reach out to the LOST and especially the young professing ChrisTians of this new generation. The truth of the Bible has been clouded, miss-interpreted, ignored, and simply DELETED by many. We have a plethora of professing ChrisTians THAT HAVE ABSOLUTELY KNOW REAL IDEA WHAT A GENUINE CHRISTIAN REALLY IS. They go to Church sometimes, read sometimes, the parts of the Bible that sound good to them, they practice and do what they want to do, they see NO ONE as an AUTHORITY, NO ONE as any more knowledgeable than they, all opinions are neither right or wrong, simply different. Their center, their guide, their only source is WHAT THEY THINK, and they foolishly call that the inspiration of the spirit………………….

We beg Thee with all earnest to bring a great revival to the Church, a revival, a return, TO THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH OF GOD!!! Your truth YHWH, and Your truth alone. God let not Your gospel die, let not Your enemies DESTROY THE AUTHORITY AND BEAUTY OF YOUR HOLY BIBLE. Help us be part of the solution, part of this great revival, in Jesus supreme and preeminently unsurpassably transcendent name, Amen and ETERNALLY AMEN…………..


Today we will continue in the characteristics and qualities of genuine ChrisTians…

39) Self-control

1 Thessalonians 5:22 (KJV)
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Self-Control will allow us to have discipline, and restraint with obedience to God and others in authority. And will help with accepting the AUTHORITY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, THE BIBLE!!!

40) Reverence

1 Peter 2:13-14 (RSV)
13 Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right.

Reverence is recognizing and respecting all people, not just because of their position in life, but because ChrisT died for them, regardless of their personality, looks, or anything else, they, we, all deserve respect because GOD LOVES ALL PEOPLE, NOT JUST YOU OR ME!!!

41) Devotion

Colossians 3:2-3 (RSV)
2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Devotion is aligning personal desires, plans, worship, and hope with God. How, by reading and believing EVERY WORD OUT OF THE BIBLE IN IT’S CORRECT CONTEXT!!!!!!!    

Matthew 4:4 (RSV)
4 But he answered, "It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"

42) Discernment

1 Samuel 16:7 (RSV)
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."

Proverbs 19:2 (RSV)
2 It is not good for a man to be without knowledge, and he who makes haste with his feet misses his way.

Discernment is the ability to see people and situations the way they really are with of neutrality and justice, while also being cautious with right timing and actions. Doing the right thing is not always easy nor is it necessarily giving people what they want or what sounds good.

I gave a person in need a motel room, money for food, said I’d be back in the morning. I left because I was young and I admit afraid!!! In the morning he had used the money for alcohol and boasted he had a woman stay with him. I put him up in a motel room, but instead of taking the time to discern about the next step, HE WOUND UP ABUSING WHAT I HAD DONE FOR HIM IN THE NAME OF CHRIST. *The sin was on him, but I learned a lifelong lesson…In assisting people, we must take the necessary time and effort to DISCERN WHAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE DONE!!!

Giving, helping, serving the WRONG PEOPLE, will take our time, our resources, and our effort AWAY FROM THOSE PEOPLE WHO REALLY NEED OUR HELP!!!!!!! Yes if we must error, it must be on the side of caring, but, THAT IS NOT AN EXCUSE TO NOT TAKE THE TIME TO DISCERN THE SITUATION AT HAND. NOR IS IT AN EXCUSE TO SIMPLY DO NOTHING!!!!!!!

LOVE IS NOT EASY, it has a cost…………………………………………………….

But, IT’S WORTH THE COST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

43) Discipline

1 Timothy 4:7-10 (RSV)
7 Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths. Train yourself in godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance.
10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

Discipline is upholding and continuing a consistent and well-ordered life through godly obedience, regardless of how we feel. Again IT TAKES EFFORT, IT COMES WITH A COST!!!

EFFORT AND COST THAT IS WELL WORTH IT!!!!!!!

Let me make this VERY, VERY, VERY CLEAR, ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THESE CHARCTERISTICS OR QUALITIES SAVE US, NEITHER DO THEY PRESERVE OUR SALVATION, NOR DO THEY PROVE OUR SALVATION!!!!!!! THEY ARE THE RESULT OF SALVATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are saved by grace through faith alone…………………..ONLY JESUS SACRIFICIAL AND PURE BLOOD SACRIFICE CAN PERMANENTLY AND FOREVER CLEANSE US OF ALL OUR PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE SINS!!!!!!!

Ephesians 2:8-9 (RSV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God -- 9 not because of works, lest any man should boast.

Titus 3:5-6 (RSV)
5 he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, 6 which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

Acts 4:12 (RSV)
12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

We can NEVER BE SAVED UNDER OUR OWN NAMES, OUR OWN DEEDS……………………JESUS CHRIST ALONE IS SAVIOR!!!!!!!

44) Determination

Psalm 119:30 (RSV)
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness, I set thy ordinances before me.

Determination is the ability to make difficult decisions and accomplish God’s goals based on the truths of God’s Word, regardless of the opposition or what we may prefer to do. WE OBEY GOD’S WORD!!!!!!!

45) Integrity

Psalm 78:72 (RSV)
72 With upright heart he tended them, and guided them with skilful hand.

Integrity is the obedience to a biblical moral code of values that have honor, truth, and reliability. It will allow one to keep his or her word and do our best even when no one else is looking.

46) Meekness

Numbers 12:3 (RSV)
3 Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all men that were on the face of the earth.

Psalm 62:5 (RSV)
5 For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.

Meekness is not about being weak! It is strength under control, which yields personal rights and expectations to God. Jewish history tells of Moses at the head of Pharaoh’s army, then ultimately leading the People of Israel to the Promised Land, all by meekly obeying the WILL OF GOD. Strong, yet submissive to God, It means we acknowledge God has put certain people in authority over us, yet, we DO NOT BLINDLY FOLLOW THEM, we STUDY THE BIBLE THAT WE MIGHT DISCERN THEIR WORDS, THEIR TEACHINGS………………………

1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 (RSV)
20 do not despise prophesying, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good,

Nothing that is true will contradict the inerrant, infallible Word of God, the “66” books of the Old and New Testaments, the Bible!!!!!!!

So WHAT DO WE DO???

Acts 17:11 (RSV)
11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessaloni'ca, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

2 Timothy 2:15 (RSV)
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Study, study, study the Bible, Pray, pray, pray, have personal and group Bible Studies, THERE IS A COST, being a ChrisTian isn’t easy, but, IT IS THE VERY BEST THING TO BE!!!!!!!

47) Loyalty

Proverbs 17:17 (RSV)
17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Loyalty is remaining committed to those whom God has brought into our lives and has called us to serve, even in times of difficulty.


48) Purpose

Matthew 22:37-40 (RSV)
37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."

Matthew 28:19-20 (RSV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

John 13:34-35 (RSV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Purpose is in knowing who we are in Christ and acting it out with our call. That is, devoting our life, Spiritual gifts, abilities, and call so it can bring out the best in people and situations. Our meaning of life will have eternal treasure and results.

LOVE, SERVE, LOVE………………………………………………..

49) Submissive

Ephesians 5:21 (RSV)
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Submissive is, with awe and reverence, surrendering and yielding our will and plans over to God’s guidance and to those He puts in authority over us.

50) Self-acceptance

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (RSV)
9 but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Self-Acceptance is realizing we are deeply LOVED and accepted by Christ, thus, we can accept ourselves. To LOVE others we have to LOVE ourselves as Christ implies for us to. Self-hatred is not Biblical! Self-Acceptance will allow us to accept unchangeable physical features and situations that God has made, to allow us to focus on the more important things in life such as character and serving God and our fellow man !!!!!!!

For now that is enough for us to ponder……………………………….

39) Self-control

40) Reverence

41) Devotion

42) Discernment

43) Discipline

44) Determination

45) Integrity

46) Meekness

47) Loyalty

48) Purpose

49) Submissive

50) Self-acceptance

May the Lord assist us in being His Children, in Jesus name, Amen………………………..

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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January 24, 2021


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“In His Steps: Part Four”

Galatians 2:20 (RSV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Father

1 Peter 2:21 (RSV)
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Father, today I just want to talk to You, I don’t want to worry about how I sound, or even if I am theologically sounding in my verbiage.

 Father there are a great many LOST people in this world. Many far superior in intellect than I, they make strong often passionate arguments of why THEY DO NOT BELIEVE! Oh Lord I know without a doubt no matter how rational, reasonable, and sincere they sound, THEY ARE DEAD WRONG!!! What bothers me is, how do I reach them? They often seem brighter, with a far greater command of language and communication skills than I. I get frustrated, and I feel so inept, and often get off track on what I was trying to share…….Ending up in an argument, and with a complete loss of words.

Help me, help us or Lord, reach out to the Lost in LOVE and compassion, give me, give us supernatural skills and supernatural tools TO REACH THE LOST, without anger, or impatience, or anything else that might take our focus off Your gospel and Your plan for salvation.

Oh Lord, help us reach our LOVED ones, our families, friends, acquaintances, the people to the right of us, the people to the left of us, the people in front of us, and the people behind us……………Oh Lord, help us, be Your beautiful light in this world, in Jesus name, Amen and eternally Amen and Amen………………………………………………….

Today we continue our study of the characteristics and qualities that we as ChrisTians, as God’s children, should be striving for.

28) Kindness

Ephesians 4:32 (RSV)
32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Kindness is practicing benevolence ((( compassion, generosity, goodwill, etc, etc, etc ))) and a LOVING attitude towards others.

Luke 6:31 (RSV)
31 And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.

None of us want to be judged by strangers, why would we as God’s children immediately start judging others before getting to know them personally??? As much as I admire street corner preachers, it has always bothered me from on top of their soapboxes,  they look down on the crowd and presume to know them all to be sinners!!!

IT HAS ALWAYS BOTHERED ME……………………

Kindness can go a long way toward getting to know people and developing a trust with each other……………………..People may not always agree, but they will genuinely listen to someone they trust.

29) Goodness

Matthew 19:16 (RSV)
16 And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?"

Goodness cannot save us, but it does display integrity, honesty, and compassion to others, and allows us to do the right thing. It allows others to SEE JESUS CHRIST IN US!!!

30) Encouragement

Psalm 119:28 (RSV)
28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to thy word!

Psalm 143:3 (RSV)
3 For the enemy has pursued me; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.

Matthew 3:17 (RSV)
17 and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

John 14:1 (RSV)
1 "Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.

1 Thessalonians 5:11-14 (RSV)
11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 12 But we beseech you, brethren, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we exhort you, brethren, admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

Encouragement will lift, support, and help others up through difficult circumstances, all from God’s perspective. Encouraging shows you care, it makes the person you are encouraging vulnerable to you, and you to them. It is a glue that gently binds people to one another…….

31) Attentiveness

Hebrews 2:1 (RSV)
1 Therefore we must pay the closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

Attentiveness will recognize the value of other people by giving them listening ears, respect, courtesy, and total concentration. This means paying attention to others, not just listening to our own needs and desires, and also giving genuine contemplation to God’s holy inerrant, infallible Word the Bible!!!!!!!

32) Enthusiasm

Matthew 5:16 (RSV)
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Romans 12:11 (NIV2011)
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Galatians 6:9 (RSV)
9 And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.

Colossians 3:23 (RSV)
23 Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men,

Enthusiasm will enable us to overcome disappointments and setbacks, so we can be positive, optimistic, and keep up our interest, attitude, and zeal, even when things are harsh. Enthusiasm for a task suggests inner joy and happiness, rather than simply being obedient!!!  It suggests genuine LOVE, and not merely DOING WHAT YOU ARE TOLD!!!

33) Initiative

 Proverbs 22:29 (RSV)
29 Do you see a man skilful in his work? he will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.

Philippians 3:14 (RSV)
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13-15 (RSV)
13 I can do all things in him who strengthens me. 14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedo'nia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving except you only;

Initiative will take the front position to recognize and do what needs to be done before being asked to do it. Being, ready, willing, and able to think for yourself, shows your ability and commitment to serve the Lord, His people, His world, His creation!!!

34) Thoughtfulness

Philippians 2:4 (RSV)
4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Thoughtfulness cares and considers and gives attention to others and their feelings and concerns first. ChrisT died for the world because HE LOVES US, he was very thoughtful of our personal eternities!!! We are saved for our sakes, for His LOVE’S sake, and for the sake THAT WE MAY LOVE AND TRULY BE THOUGHTFUL OF OTHERS!!!!!!!

35) Commitment

1 Timothy 6:20 (RSV)
20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge,

John 14:15 (RSV)
15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John 15:10 (RSV)
10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.

Commitment is being dedicated and pushing ahead as well as being satisfied with what you have. It is vowing to honor and be the best with what God has given of spiritual and material things. It is striving with EVERY FABRIC OF OUR BEING TO OBEY HIM, not because we are commanded to, but because WE LOVE HIM SO THAT WE WANT TO OBEY HIM, TO MAKE OUR FATHER, OUR FRIEND AND SAVIOR HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT IS AN ABSOLUTE COMMITMENT TO OUR LOVE RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

36) Conviction

Daniel 1:8 (RSV)
8 But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's rich food, or with the wine which he drank; therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.

Conviction is devotion to and following of the precepts of Scripture with zeal, whatever the cost.

WHATEVER THE COST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Salvation is free, ABSOLUTELY FREE, but LIVING FOR JESUS HAS A COST!!!!!!!

Luke 14:25-28 (RSV)
25 Now great multitudes accompanied him; and he turned and said to them, 26 "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

The conviction THAT LOVING JESUS CHRIST, is far more important than LOVING, our fathers, our mothers, our wives, our own children, OR EVEN OUR OWN LIVES!!! The CONVICTION THAT WE MUST BEAR OUR OWN CROSS IN SERVING HIM, THAT JESUS CHRIST MUST ALWAYS BE FIRST…………………………………………………………..

37) Diligence

Colossians 3:23 (RSV)
23 Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men,

Diligence, the LOVING of our call and the pursuing of our work, doing our best for His glory. To be diligent stewards of ALL THAT HE HAS MOST GRACIOUSLY GIVEN US; Our Salvation, our calling, our family, friends, and our acquaintances,  and absolutely THIS WORLD AND EVERYTHING HE CREATED…………………………………………..

38) Creative

1 Timothy 4:14 (RSV)
14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you.

Creative is being resourceful and imaginative in using the best of the goods and talents we have been given to serve the Lord.

These are qualities that God wants us to strive for, each in our own way and according to our own individual abilities to do so, in the strength of the Holy Spirit!!!

28) Kindness

29) Goodness

30) Encouragement

31) Attentiveness

32) Enthusiasm

33) Initiative

34) Thoughtfulness

35) Commitment

36) Conviction

37) Diligences

38) Creative

Next week will be the second from the last sermon on our study of just a few of the characteristics and qualities of ChrisTians if we are to WALK IN HIS STEPS!!!!!!!

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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January 17, 2021


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“In His Steps: Part Three”

Galatians 2:20 (RSV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

1 Peter 2:21 (RSV)
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

O God:

We thank Thee for Thy LOVE, we acknowledge all that You do for us seen and unseen, we are most grateful for all Your blessings to us, the good things and even the bad things that You use for our good and spiritual growth. Above all we glorify and worship You for who you are and the great gift of salvation You give to us through the BLOOD SACRIFICE of Your only begotten son Jesus Christ…………………

Give us strength to live another day;
Let us not turn coward before its difficulties or prove faithless to its duties; Let us not lose faith in other people; Keep us humble and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or the meanness of others; Preserve us from minding little wounds or giving them;
Help us to keep our hearts clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten us or take away the joy of our conscious integrity;

Open wide the eyes of our souls that we may see good in all things; Grant us this day some new vision of thy truth as we study Your word; Inspire us with the spirit of joy and gladness; and make us the cup of strength to suffering souls; in the name of our robust Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen and eternally Amen.


Today we continue to study the Biblical characteristics and qualities of a genuine ChrisTian……………………….

18) Joy

Proverbs 15:13 (RSV)
13 A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.

John 15:11 (RSV)
11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

John 17:13 (RSV)
13 But now I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

Joy will allow us to enjoy His creation, others, and our circumstances with an expression of delight and real, authentic happiness from and with harmony with God and others. Joy in our heart has the ability to save us from much external pain and frustrations……………….

19) Peace

Matthew 5:9 (RSV)
9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Colossians 3:15 (RSV)
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

Philippians 4:7 (RSV)
7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Peace is surrendering and yielding to the Lord’s control, for He is our ultimate peace!!! It is allowing tranquility to be our tone and to control our composure. This will be fueled by our harmonious relationship with God so we can hand over control of our heart, will, and mind to Him. Once we make real peace with God, we will be able to make and maintain peace with others. This peace is not necessarily the absence of strife in our lives, but spiritual tranquility in spite of our circumstances!!!

John 14:27 (RSV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

This is the same peace we are to offer to the Lost through a LOVE RELATIONSHIP THEY CAN HAVE WITH JESUS CHRIST………………

IT IS TRUE AND ABSOLUTE PEACE!!!!!!! NOT WHAT THE WORLD CALLS PEACE…………………………………………………

20) Courage

Deuteronomy 31:6 (RSV)
6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you."

1 John 4:4 (RSV)
4 Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Courage realizes that God has given us the strength to face any situation, trial, or peril. It is the ability to react, knowing that God is in control, that He who is in me is greater than he who is against me.

Philippians 4:13 (RSV)
13 I can do all things in him who strengthens me.

Romans 8:31 (RSV)
31 What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?

Romans 8:37-39 (RSV)
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Neither any external force, nor any inner insecurities, or feelings of failure, or unworthiness, or any other feeling or emotion can separate us from THE ABSOLUTE LOVE OF GOD!!!!!!!

WE ARE INDEED MORE THAN CONQUERERS……………………………..

NOT BECAUSE OF WHOM WE ARE, but because of WHO HE IS!!!!!!!

JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS ONE……………………………………

21) Purity and Holiness

Matthew 5:8 (RSV)
8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Philippians 4:8 (RSV)
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

1 Timothy 1:5 (RSV)
5 whereas the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.

1 Timothy 5:22 (RSV)
22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor participate in another man's sins; keep yourself pure.

James 4:8 (RSV)
8 Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind.

Purity & Holiness is being set apart for God’s use, which is holiness in action. Not simply being “ DO NOTTERS”, but far more  being “DOERS OF LIFE”……………………………………………….

DOING that which is: true, honorable, just, pure, LOVELY, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, caring, compassionate, kind………………………………….

DO THESE…………………………………………THIS IS HOLINESS WHEN DONE IN THE NAME OF GOD!!!

HOLINESS IS TRUE LOVE IN ACTION!!!!!!!

22) Obedience

Deuteronomy 13:4 (RSV)
4 You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him, and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and cleave to him.

Proverbs 19:16 (RSV)
16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises the word will die.

John 15:14 (RSV)
14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (RSV)
5 We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

Obedience is submitting to do what God requires of us. It is also recognizing the authority that God has given to others, such as the pastor and Bible teachers, and the responsibility that God has given ChrisTians, the Church, TO REACH OUT TO THE LOST, THE NEEDY, TO OUR FELLOW HUMANITY AROUND US.

OBEDIENCE IS TO LOVE AND SERVE!!!!!!!

LOVE GOD, LOVE ALL OF GOD’S CREATION!!!

23) Forgiving

Luke 11:4 (RSV)
4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation."

Luke 23:34 (RSV)
34 And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments.

Ephesians 4:32 (RSV)
32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Colossians 3:13 (RSV)
13 forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Forgiving is the realization of how much we have been forgiven by Christ. This enables us to forgive the insignificant things that are done to us. It involves not being resentful to others, and ignoring the wrongs that we have received so we can heal relationships by expressing Christ’s LOVE. Understanding how GREAT OUR SINS WERE, HOW DEPRAVED WE ONCE WERE WITHOUT CHRIST, should MOVE US TO COMPASSION, PATIENCE, HUMILITY, and LOVE TOWARDS THOSE WHO STILL STRUGGLE WITH THEIR OWN SINS…………………………………………………..

24) Fairness

Matthew 7:12 (RSV)
12 So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

Fairness sees a situation from the viewpoint of each person involved and not just ours. It seeks the best, just, equable solution, even if it hurts us. Professing ChrisTians are NOT ALWAYS RIGHT, nor are Non-professing ChrisTians ALWAYS WRONG!!! We are not to judge according to appearance, but are to make judgments based on sober, solemn, and with effort to discern the truth………………………..

Matthew 7:2 (RSV)
2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.

John 7:24 (RSV)
24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."

WE ARE IN GREAT ERROR IF WE SAY THE BIBLE TEACHES NOT TO JUDGE………………………………….On the contrary, it teaches that we are to take the act of Judging an action very, very, very seriously; not according to how we feel, but according TO WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN ACCORDANCE TO GOD’S WORD THE BIBLE IN COMPLETE CONTEXT. JUDGMENT TAKES SOBER, SERIOUS, INTENSE THINKING, WITH MUCH EFFORT!!! NEVER TO CONDEMN THE PERSON, but, TO DETERMINE THE ACT ITSELF, the CONSEQUENCES, and THE PROPER ACTION TO TAKE AS A RESULT!!!
 

25) Wisdom

1 Kings 3:9 (RSV)
9 Give thy servant therefore an understanding mind to govern thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to govern this thy great people?"

Psalm 119:97-98 (RSV)
97 Oh, how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 Thy commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.

Wisdom truly desires the knowledge of God’s Word the Bible and the proper application to our life. This will enable us to make good judgments and decisions. ALL OUR DECISIONS SHOULD BE BASED ON THE BIBLE, IN PROPER CONTEXT.

YES: ALL OF THEM!!!!!!!

And “no”, I am not perfect at this either……………………………………

26) Diligence

Proverbs 10:4 (RSV)
4 A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

Romans 12:11 (KJV)
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Colossians 3:23 (RSV)
23 Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men,

Diligence allows us to operate with our best for His highest with excitement and passion in order to complete our work and call from the Lord. We serve not to get paid, not to be rewarded, not to win or maintain our salvation, WE SERVE DILIGENTLY BECAUSE WE LOVE GOD, AND ALL THAT HE LOVES!!!!!!!

WE SERVE BECAUSE WE WANT TO MAKE HIM HAPPY!!!!!!!

WE SERVE BECAUSE WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE GOD, NOT BECAUSE WE MUST, but BECAUSE WE WANT TO……………………………………………….

THAT IS GENUINE LOVE!!!

18) Joy

19) Peace

20) Courage

21) Purity and Holiness

22) Obedience

23) Forgiving

24) Fairness

25) Wisdom

26) Diligence

All these and many more are the qualities and characteristics of the genuine ChrisTian, next week we will continue to study more…………………..

Let us realize NONE OF US WILL COME EVEN CLOSE TO HAVING ALL OF THEM…………………..THAT IS WHY WE ALWAYS NEED JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!!

AMEN TO THAT!!!!!!!

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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January 10, 2021


“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

“In His Steps: Part Two”

Galatians 2:20 (RSV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

1 Peter 2:21 (RSV)
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Oh Lord,  how we thank and praise You for the everlasting life that You have given to us Your children by Your wonderful grace and LOVE. May we grow day by day to be more like You, full of compassion, kindness, and victorious LOVE. Saturate our hearts with Your LOVE so that we as Your Church may LOVE You more and more with every passing breath,

Thank You, for Your Holy Spirit Who is encouraging us Your people to be more like Your beLOVED son Jesus ChrisT. I, we, want to reflect Your grace and Your beauty

in thought, word and deed. We ask that we may devote our time and hearts to reflect on all You have done for us –so that You are magnified more and more in our

lives, and that the people around us would see You through us – and that the beauty of our Lord and Redeemer Jesus ChrisT may be seen by all in our lives.

Heavenly Father, You have called us to grow in grace, to increase our understanding of Jesus and to develop a close and intimate LOVE-relationship with You. Lord, this is what I, we,  desire to do, and we pray we may come to know You more and more each and every day.

Thank You Father for the Bible, which is written to help all humanity understand Your ways, Your truth, Your LOVE, Your compassion, Your only begotten son Jesus ChrisT, and Your ONE AND ONLY WAY TO ETERNAL SALVATION, thank You for the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who has promised to guide us in the way that we should go.

We pray that we may learn to walk in spirit and truth so that we may mature in our Christian faith – as we study the Bible and learn to live godly lives in ChrisT Jesus,

Heavenly Father we are called to abide in Christ, to rest in His LOVE, to remain connected with the Lord Jesus and to depend upon Him in all things.. knowing that He alone is the true and living Vine - so that our lives might bear much fruit.. and glorify our Father in heaven.


We pray that by the power of Your Holy Spirit we as Your people, Your Church, may remain firmly connected to Christ and willingly submit to Your perfect pruning shears, so that any part in us that is not of Christ, may be trimmed away.. so that we may be enabled to grow in grace and mature in our Christian walk.

Root out any bad attitude, foolish thoughts or wrong motives that may start to formulate in our minds.. and which may hinder our growth or infect our spiritual life

- and help us we pray, to take every thought captive to Christ – so that we may become a fruitful branch and bear much fruit, assisting many to receive Your son

Jesus ChrisT as their only Lord, their only God, and only Savior - to the glory of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, forever and ever in Jesus

name we pray, Amen and eternally Amen…………………………………….

Today we continue to study the Biblical characteristics and qualities of a genuine ChrisTian……………………….

9) Gratitude

1 Corinthians 4:7 (RSV)
7 For who sees anything different in you? What have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (RSV)
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Gratitude is an attitude of being thankful, even when we do not see what we have. This is an aspect of worship, expressing to God and others how they have benefited our lives by showing their support and benevolence.

10) Contentment

Romans 9:19-21 (RSV)
19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20 But who are you, a man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me thus?"
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for beauty and another for menial use?

Philippians 4:10-13 (RSV)
10 I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me; you were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.
13 I can do all things in him who strengthens me.

1 Timothy 6:6-9 (RSV)
6 There is great gain in godliness with contentment;
7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world; 8 but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.

Contentment is the attitude of accepting whatever God provides for us, and being blessed with it. It does not seek what we do not need for gratification, and does not find happiness in the shallow things of life. It allows us to serve God and our fellow mankind effectively in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in………………………………..

11) Generosity

Deuteronomy 16:17 (RSV)
17 every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you.

Matthew 10:8 (RSV)
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.

2 Corinthians 8:11-12 (RSV)
11 so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he has not.

Generosity allows us to give to others because God has given abundantly to us. It is the wise use of stewardship and the attitude that all I have belongs to God and knowing we are the caretakers for His purpose. We give of our gifts, of our possessions, and the hardest of all, WE GIVE OF OUR TIME……………………….

Once when I was a young ChrisTian, I found a person on the streets of Detroit that needed assistance, he feared for his life. I took him to the Police, they said they COULD DO NOTHING. After listening to him and observing his demeanor, HE SCARED ME!!! I took my eyes off Jesus. Instead of spending time with him, I took the easy way out, and put him up in a motel and gave him money for food and left. The next day I found he used the money for beer, and a girl spent the night with him. *I did give out of LOVE, but I failed because I DID NOT GIVE OF MY TIME!!! Generosity includes ALL THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US.

12) Responsibility

Romans 14:12 (RSV)
12 So each of us shall give account of himself to God.

We are called as God’s stewards to manage that which belongs to God. While God has graciously entrusted us with the care, development, and enjoyment of everything He owns as His stewards, we are responsible to manage His holdings well and according to His desires and purposes.

Although God gives us “all things richly to enjoy,” nothing is ours. Nothing really belongs to us. God owns everything; we’re responsible for how we treat it and what we do with it. While we complain about our rights here on earth, the Bible constantly asks, What about your responsibilities? Owners have rights; stewards have responsibilities.

13) Dependability

1 Corinthians 4:2 (RSV)
2 Moreover it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.

Colossians 1:10 (RSV)
10 to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Dependable is being constantly reliable and trustworthy. It will allow us to continue in our commitments even if it means personal sacrifice. It will allow others to trust us and to seek us out in their times of need. Remember WE ARE HERE TO SERVE GOD AND OUR FELLOWMAN…….

BY HIS GRACE!!!!!!!

14) Compassion

Job 29:13 (RSV)
13 The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.

Isaiah 40:11 (RSV)
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Matthew 9:36 (KJV)
36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Mark 1:41 (RSV)
41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be clean."

1 Peter 3:8 (KJV)
8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

Compassion will feel the pain and plight of others. It will enable us to convey a deep feeling of LOVE and concern that moves us to meet their distresses, struggles, and needs. It will NOT ALLOW US TO LOOK DOWN ON PEOPLE AS SINNERS, but, AS BROTHERS AND SISTERS NEEDING TO BE SAVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15) Efficient

Psalm 90:12 (KJV)
12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Ephesians 4:23-24 (RSV)
23 and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 5:15-16 (RSV)
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,
16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil.

1 Peter 4:10 (RSV)
10 As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:

Efficient is being well organized, competent, and resourceful so we can make the most of every situation, doing our best and seeking better ways. LOVE is our foundation, but to simply arbitrarily do things, is not the answer. God wants us to study His word the Bible and be efficient and wise on how we behave and respond to situations HE PUTS US IN………………………………………………………….

16) Discretion

Psalm 112:5 (RSV)
5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice.

Proverbs 22:3 (RSV)
3 A prudent man sees danger and hides himself; but the simple go on, and suffer for it.

Romans 12:2 (RSV)
2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Discretion keeps our minds and focus on sound judgment, giving serious attention and thought to what is going on. It will carefully choose our words, attitudes, and actions to be right for any given situation, thus avoiding words and actions that could result in adverse consequences.  We are to LOVE, care, show compassion, but that DOES NOT MEAN WE DO NOT DISCERN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND ACT IN A PRUDENT AND JUDICIOUS WAY!!!

17) Understanding

Psalm 119:34 (RSV)
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep thy law and observe it with my whole heart.

Understanding is the ability to reason and comprehend situations. As ChrisTians WE DO NOT JUST BLINDLY DO THINGS, we must as ChrisT did, we must COUNT THE COST!!!

Next week we will continue with studying the Biblical characteristics and qualities of a genuine ChrisTian……………………….

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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January 3, 2021


Blessed New Year !!!


a” Church

Evanston, Wyomimg

“ In His Steps: Part One ”

Galatians 2:20 (RSV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

1 Peter 2:21 (RSV)
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

God, our Father, You have saved us and eternally redeemed us from all our past, present, and future sins. You have by Your LOVE and grace adopted us as Your children.

You have called us to be like Your only begotten Son Jesus ChrisT. We humbly request that You would teach us by Your word, by Your Holy Spirit TO BE AS MUCH LIKE HIM AS POSSIBLE. Living not for ourselves but for Him, living not for ourselves, but for those He willingly and sacrificially lived and died for.

Help us in our daily moment by moment lives to vibrantly, exuberantly, and luminously reflect genuinely and naturally the character and qualities of our beLOVED Savior, as we seek to follow in His LOVING footsteps.

Let us not merely say WE ARE CHRISTIANS, let us not merely say WE BELIEVE IN JESUS, let us not merely say we want to be good people, but with all Your omnipotent power, with all Your omniscience, we beseech Thee to help us possess in every fiber of our beings the glorious compulsion from within our souls to live, serve, and to be like Your Son Jesus……….

Let us not sway to the right or to the left, but seeking, learning, and living Your Holy Writ the “66” books of the Old and New Testaments, the Holy Bible, let us be Your Ambassadors of Your merciful reconciliation to all the world.

Give us wisdom, grace, mercy, strength, everything we need to serve You and Your LOVE according to Your sweet call on our lives. Let it be not us that lives, but ChrsT within us.

In Jesus the blessed Redeemer’s name we pray, Amen and eternally Amen……………………..

Over the course of the next several weeks we will be discussing the characteristics or qualities that indicate a person is a GENUINE CHRISTIAN……………………………

As we are to allow Jesus to live in and through us, it is our sweet, sweet, obligation of LOVE to reflect His character and qualities in our lives. So, we will study the scriptures TO SEE THE CHARACTER, THE QUALITIES, THAT EXEMPLIFY JESUS, so we can be more like Him.

Let us begin……………………………………………….

1) LOVE

John 13:1 (RSV)
1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

John 15:13 (RSV)
13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

1 Corinthians 13:3 (RSV)
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 LOVE will enable us to appreciate our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and, our families, and of course all others GOD PUTS IN OUR LIVES. LOVE is taking the initiative, the creativity, the sincere effort to build up and meet the needs of others without expecting anything in return. LOVE IS THE FOUNDATION OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND WORTHY……..

1 John 4:8 (RSV)
8 He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.

God is LOVE and if we are truly His, we WILL LOVE AS HE DOES!!! There is absolutely NO ROOM for being rude, condemning, or insulting to even the worst of sinners. THEY ARE NOT PERVERTS, ABOMINATIONS, MONSTERS, SUBHUMANS, OR DISGUSTING SINNERS!!! They are LOST brothers and sisters, AS WE WERE LOST, NEEDING SALVATION, THEY NEED SALVATION………………….

As ChrisT out of LOVE stands at the door of our hearts and knocks, begging us to LET HIM IN. We are the Redeemed, in the LIFE-BOATSOF HIS LOVE, AND IN LOVE STREACHING OUR HANDS OUT TO PULL THE LOST INTO THE SAVING LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST……………………..

IT IS FOR LOVE SAKE THAT WE SEEK THE REDEMPTION OF SINNERS, NOT BECAUSE WE SEE THEM AS EVIL…………………………………………

2) HUMILITY

Luke 22:27 (RSV)
27 For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves.

Philippians 2:8 (RSV)
8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

1 Peter 5:3-5 (RSV)
3 not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise you that are younger be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Humility minimizes arrogance and removes pride. It is understanding our fallen nature and tendency to think we are better than we are, and our striving to lift up ourselves above others and God. It is admitting that others, and more importantly God is responsible for our achievements. Humbleness will enable us to be a teachable person who is willing to have the attitude of submission and servant-hood, one who confesses sin and remembers how Christ served us! It is humility THAT DECLARES TO US WE ARE NO BETTER THAN THE WORST OF SINNERS!!! We are saved by God’s grace and His grace alone.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (RSV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God -- 9 not because of works, lest any man should boast.

Titus 3:5-6 (RSV)
5 he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, 6 which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

THE SAME GRACE HE IS WILLING TO POUR ON ALL SINNERS WHO COME TO HIM HUMBLY IN TRUE REPENTANCE!!!

It is the same humility that Paul exemplifies, and that we should demonstrate by truly confessing without ChrisT WE ARE THE WORST OF SINNERS!!!!!!!

1 Timothy 1:15-16 (RSV)
15 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the foremost of sinners;
16 but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.

The LOVE of God and with the humility of God, WE SHOULD SEE IN THE LOST THOSE NEEDING TO BE RESCUED, REDEEMED, SAVED, not those needing to be condemned!!! For in their lost state THEY ARE CONDEMNED ALREADY……………………………

WE ARE TO RESCUE NOT CONDEMN!!!!!!!

3) Patience

2 Peter 3:9 (RSV)
9 The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Romans 12:12 (RSV)
12 Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

James 1:3 (KJV)
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

James 1:12 (RSV)
12 Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.

Patience is showing tolerance and fortitude to others, and even accepting difficult situations from them and God without making demands and conditions. We realize the great effort God took to save us, therefore we should have great patience when sharing, caring, LOVING, and reaching out to the LOST………………..

I tried to help them, I tried to reach out to them, they’re just bad; is the result often of impatience and or laziness………………………..

4) Faithfulness

1 Corinthians 1:9 (RSV)
9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Matthew 17:19-20 (RSV)
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" 20 He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you."

Matthew 25:21 (KJV)
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Hebrews 11:1 (RSV)
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (RSV)
24 He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Faithfulness is the “gluing” fruit that will preserve our faith and the other characters of the Spirit as well as identify God’s Will so we can be dependable and trusting to God and others. 

5) Gentleness

Isaiah 40:11 (RSV)
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Philippians 4:5 (NIV2011)
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

2 Timothy 2:24 (KJV)
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

1 Thessalonians 2:7 (KJV)
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

Gentleness is the character that will show calmness, personal care, and tenderness in meeting the needs of others. Gently encouraging others to see a need of a change to their behavior. It is God’s job to convict of sin, not us!!! We are to gently point to the truth…………..

Fire and brimstone work and are needed for some, yet more people will be won to the Lord by gentleness and tenderness…………………

6) Friendship

John 15:15 (RSV)
15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)
17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Friendship is the companionship and closeness we are to have with one another. It is the commitment to help form the character in others. This is not to be feared but embraced, even when it hurts! In most cases you must develop friendship with another before you can share God’s truth with them………………………..Friendship SHOWS YOU GENUINELY CARE!!! It is not our purpose to have victory over the LOST, it is our purpose to help THE LOST HAVE VICTORY OVER THEIR OWN SINS………

7) Honesty and Truthfulness

Titus 1:2 (RSV)
2 in hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised ages ago

2 Corinthians 8:21 (KJV)
21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

Ephesians 4:25 (KJV)
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Honesty & Truthfulness mean being straight and honest with others and doing what is right. This trait will allow us to earn trust from others by being accurate with facts and situations.

8) Availability

Mark 1:17-18 (RSV)
17 And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men." 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him.

Acts 16:10 (RSV)
10 And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedo'nia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Availability is being willing to adjust our own schedule, agenda, and plans to fit the right desires of God and others. It makes personal priorities secondary to the needs of God and others. It is to reflect God’s priorities so we are always available to Him and others when we are serving. As Jesus is available to us, WE NEED TO BE AVAILABLE TO OTHERS…………………….

 Summary:

1) LOVE

2) HUMILITY

3) Patience

4) Faithfulness

5) Gentleness

6) Friendship

7) Honesty and Truthfulness

8) Availability


All that we do must be founded on LOVE, motivated by HUMILITY, executed with PATIENCE, FAITHFUL to God’s Word, shared GENTLY  to others, encouraging FRIENDSHIP, always based on HONESTY and TRUTH, and ever AVAILABLE to serve Him and our fellow man…………………………………….

This is how God, how Jesus, LOVINGLY WORKS WITH US HIS CHILDREN AND IT IS HOW IF WE ARE GENUINE CHRISTIANS, GENUINELY HIS CHILDREN, IT WILL BE THE CHARACTERISTICS AND QUALITIES WE WILL EXEMPLIFY WITH OTHERS; EVEN FOR OUR ENEMIES!!!!!!!

Romans 5:8 (RSV)
8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

 Matthew 5:44-45 (RSV)
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Next week we will continue to study the qualities and characteristics that indicate a GENUINE CHRISTIAN……………………………….

Submitted by: Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc


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December 27, 2020

“a” Church

Evanston, Wyoming

New Year's 2021

"A Time for Every Season"

At the end of each year we look back with retrospect on the ending year. We think of our goals and dreams, our hopes and desires, what we had wanted to happen and what actually did happen. What we had reason to believe could and would happen, and those things which completely took us by surprise… We think of our joys and sorrows, our victories and defeats, our gains and our losses…We think of the world and how it is the same and how it has changed… And then we turn to the new year with our new hopes, and our new dreams and our new expectations…

Ecclesiastes 3 v 1-8

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

Lord as we make ready to leave the year 2020, let us not forget all the LOVE, mercy, and grace, that You have put upon our lives. Let us ever be grateful to You and praise You most genuinely for being “The” God, The ONLY God, and our God!!!!!!! Oh there would be no beauty in life without You!!! Thank You for all the successes we have had this year, we are thankful for what we have learned in our failures and losses. We praise You for the people You have put in our lives, and those You have decided to take from our presence. We are most grateful for our families, friends, and LOVED ones that You have bestowed upon each of us. We thank You for each breath, each experience, each moment of 2020.

We thank you and eternally glorify Your name for Your LOVE, Your most beLOVED Son and our Savior Jesus Christ, the most wonderful Holy Spirit, and Your eternally inerrant, infallible word the Holy Bible!!!

And finally we thank You for the New Year of 2021, and all that it holds for us! Oh Lord go with us, be with us, and above all help us to LOVE and serve You with every fiber of our being, help us to reach out to all those who are around us in sincere humility and LOVE. In Jesus name we pray, Amen and Eternally Amen!!!!!!!

In the coming year; many of us will experience great plenty and some of us great need. Some of us will discover our purposes in life, some of us will continue to search for our place in the sun. Many new ones will be born into this world.

Couples will become parents, and parents will become grandparents, there will be new godfathers and godmothers. There will be new students, and one’s graduating…

As the new come into the world, others will be leaving this world. LOVED one’s killed in war, by illness or accident, some destroyed by vicious and thoughtless evil ones. Some will die from natural causes, some that are listening to this message right now, may not be here for next Christmas, for our next new year, for the next message.

In 2021 there will be great opportunities to share the LOVE of Jesus Christ with others, and there will be many who are found not to be part of God’s kingdom…

There will be times when we must go to war, when we must protect ourselves and others from harm. There will be times when some must die for their sins and others who will die because of someone else’s sins.

There will be opportunities in 2021 to heal others by what we say and by what we do…….

There will be a time when the killing must stop, and people must find the peace of God…….

There will be times of uncontrollable weeping and pain and sorrow. There will be times of glorious joy and miraculous victories, times of unbelievable happiness, and times of tremendous loss for some… Times to laugh and times to cry, times to dance, and times we cannot. There will be times when we must give up much, and times we must give much to others.

Times when we must not judge, and times when we must judge…

There will be times when with all God’s LOVE we must embrace others, and times because of God’s LOVE we must not embrace them…

There will be times of loss, and times of gain…Times to give up and times to refuse to give up……. There will be times we must turn our back, and other times we must stand firm with others…

There will be times in 2021 that we must speak up even if it appears we are intolerant or hurtful to others. There will be other times we will feel like we will burst if we do not speak up, and yet for God’s purposes we must be silent…

There will be times we must declare the LOVE of God, and times we must declare His Judgment on sin……. There will be times of great opportunity to reconcile fallen mankind to God and bring peace into their lives, our lives, and there will be times when that must give way to God’s justice on sin….

A time of PEACE and a time of WAR; a time for SALVATION and yes, a time for DAMNATION…….

Only God knows what is in store for each one of us in 2021, but as surely as He is a LOVING, COMPASSIONATE GOD; those who are truly His can have absolute faith and assurance that He will go with us…That He WILL NEVER EVER LEAVE US OR FORSAKE US…….

Matthew 28 v 20B

“…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

He will NEVER LET US GO!!!

John 6:37 (RSV)
37 All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out.

Romans 8:38-39 (RSV)
38 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

By the WILL, LOVE, GRACE, and MERCY of GOD!!!!!!!

Blessed New Year 2021!!!!!!!

Moadaron.com//achurch.us

Dr. Harold Chris Smith, sbc