From Jim McGuiggan... Leaving the church?

Leaving the church?

"The world is not a lodging-house at Brighton , which we are to leave because it is miserable. It is the fortress of our family, with the flag flying on the turret, and the more miserable it is the less we should leave it. The point is not that this world is too sad to love or too glad not to love; the point is that when you do love a thing, its gladness is a reason for loving it, and its sadness a reason for loving it more. All optimistic thoughts about England and all pessimistic thoughts about her are alike reasons for the English patriot. Similarly, optimism and pessimism are alike arguments for the cosmic patriot". G.K. Chesterton said that!

But that's just the problem, isn't it? We hear all the time of people leaving this assembly or that because someone said something they didn't like or that the deacon in charge embezzled some money or a leader had an affair with someone in the congregation or that the church is supporting a work that this person or that doesn't approve of. When these people leave they often get our approval. We “understand” them, don't you see! Why would they stay when such bad things have occurred? Good people that they are, they must move on to some other church (presumably until they discover something bad has happened there). Our sadness, gladness, anger or pleasure are all reasons to stay to help and nurture. The real truth behind such moving on without trying to help is sinister.

Doesn't it just gut you when you hear people say, “I just love this church” and then sulk off when someone disappoints them?

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

From Mark Copeland... God's Powerful Word (Hebrews 4:12-13)

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"

                     God's Powerful Word (4:12-13)


1. In He 4:11, we find a succinct summary of all that has been said
   in He 3:7-4:10...
   a. We need to be diligent to enter "the rest that remains", our 
      heavenly rest
   b. Or we may fall short of our rest, just as many Israelites fell 
      short of their Canaan rest...

   "Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone
   fall according to the same example of disobedience." - He 4:11

2. To stress the need for diligence, we are reminded regarding the Word
   of God - He 4:12-13
   a. That Word which provided the example of the Israelites' 
   b. That Word which is now warning them not to emulate the 
      Israelites' example

3. In this passage, the Word of God is described in amazing terms...
   a. It is "living"
   b. It is "powerful"
   c. It is "sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the 
      division of soul and spirit"
   d. It is "a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart"

4. At a time in which God's Word is so often neglected, even by some 
   Christians, it never hurts to contemplate the wonder of God's 
   a. And so we take this opportunity to reflect upon what is said in 
      this passage
   b. With a desire to renew and increase our appreciation of the power
      of God's Word!

[We begin by noticing...]


      1. Not only in this passage, but elsewhere we read of the abiding
         nature of God's Word
         a. Notice Peter's description of it - 1Pe 1:23-25
            1) It "lives and abides forever"
            2) It "endures forever" - cf. Isa 40:8
         b. Jesus said "my words shall not pass away" - Mt 24:35
      2. The "life" of God's Word is due to the nature of God Himself!
         a. God is eternal, He is "the living God" - cf. He 3:12; Jer 10:10
         b. He cannot lie, so what He says will come to pass - He 6:18;
            Tit 1:2
         -- Thus His Word will never perish!
      3. As Jesus said, "...the words that I speak unto you, they are
         spirit, and they are life." - Jn 6:63

      1. It has the power to accomplish its intended purpose - Isa 55:
      2. The gospel in particular has the power to save - Ro 1:16-17;
         Jm 1:21
      3. Through God's word we can be born again - 1Pe 1:22-23; Jm 1:
      4. It works effectively in those who believe - 1Th 2:13; cf. He 4:2
      5. It can build us up, and give us the inheritance that is ours 
         - Ac 20:32
      6. It can make the man of God complete for all good works - 2 Ti 3:16-17
      -- How could anything with such power be a "dead letter"?

[With such a "living" and "powerful" word at our disposal, we would be
foolish to neglect the blessings it offers, or the warnings it gives!

It's power is seen further as we note how...]


      1. The Word of God is often likened to powerful objects
         a. Here it is described as a sword - cf. also Ep 6:17
         b. Elsewhere it is it described as fire, and a hammer - Jer 23:29
      2. To illustrate its sharpness as a "sword", the Word of God is
         said to pierce...
         a. "...even to the division of soul and spirit"
         b. "...and of the joints and marrow"
         -- i.e., the divine word is able to cut through everything 
            that is in man (Lightfoot)

      1. With its sharpness, it is capable of sifting through and 
         revealing the heart of man
      2. It's effect on man reveals his true heart...
         a. In some cases, that one's heart is sincere and open to 
            change - e.g., Ac 2:36-37
         b. Other times, that one's heart has no desire to change 
            - e.g., Ac 5:33; 7:54
         -- One cannot hear or read the Word of God without being 

[As stated earlier, the "life" of God's Word is due to the nature of 
God Himself.  In a similar way, the "power" of God's word is due to the
nature of God...]


      1. The word "omniscient" means "all-knowing"
      2. David extolled the omniscience of God in Ps 139:1-12
      3. Solomon also wrote of God's omniscience - Pr 15:3
      -- That is why "there is no creature hidden from His sight, but
         all things are naked and open" to His eyes

      1. As David counseled his son Solomon - 1Ch 28:9
      2. It is before this Omniscient Judge that we must one day give
         an account
         a. There is a judgment day coming, in which God will judge the
            world through His Son, Jesus Christ! - cf. Ac 17:30-31; Ro 2:16; 2Co 5:10
         b. We read of that Judgment Day in the last book of Bible 
            - cf. Re 20:11-15
      3. The standard by which we will be judged are the words spoken
         through His Son
         a. As stated by Jesus in Jn 12:48
         b. Which should give special force to the warning found in 
            He 2:1-3
            1) If the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and
               every transgression was justly punished...
            2) ...then how shall we escape judgment if we neglect the 
               words spoken through God's Son?


1. Yes, the power of God's Word is derived from God Himself...
   a. God is omniscient, able to see into the hearts of men; therefore
      His Word is able to cut to the hearts of men and reveal their 
      true nature
   b. God is living, eternal, who will one day judge the world; 
      therefore His Word that abides forever will be the standard by 
      which we will be judged

2. In view of the power of God Himself and His powerful Word...
   a. How dare we neglect the warnings given in it, such as those found
      in He 4:1,11?
   b. How dare we neglect to even read about the warnings (as many do
      by not reading the Bible)?

3. And remember, how we react to the Word of reveals our true 
   a. Some are so "dull of heart", that they react with indifference
      and say "so what?"
   b. Some are "cut to the heart", angrily resist the Word, and blame
      the messenger - Ac 7:54
   c. Some are "cut to the heart", and cry out "what shall I do?" 
      - Ac 2:37

What kind of heart do you have?  If your heart cries out "what shall I
do?" in response to the gospel message of salvation in Christ, then I
encourage you to heed what Peter said:

   "Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be
   baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins;
   and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." - Ac 2:38

If you have so responded to God's saving grace, then I encourage you to
heed the warnings found throughout the Scriptures, especially here in
the book of Hebrews, and in the words of our Lord Himself:

   "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."
                                         - Rev 2:10

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading March 3

Bible Reading  

March 3

The World English Bible

Mar. 3
Exodus 13

Exo 13:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 13:2 "Sanctify to me all of the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of animal. It is mine."
Exo 13:3 Moses said to the people, "Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand Yahweh brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten.
Exo 13:4 This day you go forth in the month Abib.
Exo 13:5 It shall be, when Yahweh shall bring you into the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month.
Exo 13:6 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to Yahweh.
Exo 13:7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and no leavened bread shall be seen with you, neither shall there be yeast seen with you, in all your borders.
Exo 13:8 You shall tell your son in that day, saying, 'It is because of that which Yahweh did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.'
Exo 13:9 It shall be for a sign to you on your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the law of Yahweh may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand Yahweh has brought you out of Egypt.
Exo 13:10 You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.
Exo 13:11 "It shall be, when Yahweh shall bring you into the land of the Canaanite, as he swore to you and to your fathers, and shall give it you,
Exo 13:12 that you shall set apart to Yahweh all that opens the womb, and every firstborn which you have that comes from an animal. The males shall be Yahweh's.
Exo 13:13 Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and you shall redeem all the firstborn of man among your sons.
Exo 13:14 It shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is this?' that you shall tell him, 'By strength of hand Yahweh brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage;
Exo 13:15 and it happened, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that Yahweh killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of animal. Therefore I sacrifice to Yahweh all that opens the womb, being males; but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.'
Exo 13:16 It shall be for a sign on your hand, and for symbols between your eyes: for by strength of hand Yahweh brought us forth out of Egypt."
Exo 13:17 It happened, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God didn't lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, "Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and they return to Egypt;"
Exo 13:18 but God led the people around by the way of the wilderness by the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt.
Exo 13:19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the children of Israel swear, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones away from here with you."
Exo 13:20 They took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.
Exo 13:21 Yahweh went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them on their way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, that they might go by day and by night:
Exo 13:22 the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, didn't depart from before the people.

Mar. 3, 4
Mark 4

Mar 4:1 Again he began to teach by the seaside. A great multitude was gathered to him, so that he entered into a boat in the sea, and sat down. All the multitude were on the land by the sea.
Mar 4:2 He taught them many things in parables, and told them in his teaching,
Mar 4:3 "Listen! Behold, the farmer went out to sow,
Mar 4:4 and it happened, as he sowed, some seed fell by the road, and the birds came and devoured it.
Mar 4:5 Others fell on the rocky ground, where it had little soil, and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil.
Mar 4:6 When the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
Mar 4:7 Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
Mar 4:8 Others fell into the good ground, and yielded fruit, growing up and increasing. Some brought forth thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times as much."
Mar 4:9 He said, "Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear."
Mar 4:10 When he was alone, those who were around him with the twelve asked him about the parables.
Mar 4:11 He said to them, "To you is given the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but to those who are outside, all things are done in parables,
Mar 4:12 that 'seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest perhaps they should turn again, and their sins should be forgiven them.' "
Mar 4:13 He said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How will you understand all of the parables?
Mar 4:14 The farmer sows the word.
Mar 4:15 The ones by the road are the ones where the word is sown; and when they have heard, immediately Satan comes, and takes away the word which has been sown in them.
Mar 4:16 These in like manner are those who are sown on thFrom Gary V. Womack... DANIEL - KEEPING YOUR HEARTe rocky places, who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with joy.
Mar 4:17 They have no root in themselves, but are short-lived. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they stumble.
Mar 4:18 Others are those who are sown among the thorns. These are those who have heard the word,
Mar 4:19 and the cares of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Mar 4:20 Those which were sown on the good ground are those who hear the word, and accept it, and bear fruit, some thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times."
Mar 4:21 He said to them, "Is the lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn't it put on a stand?
Mar 4:22 For there is nothing hidden, except that it should be made known; neither was anything made secret, but that it should come to light.
Mar 4:23 If any man has ears to hear, let him hear."
Mar 4:24 He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear.
Mar 4:25 For whoever has, to him will more be given, and he who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away from him."
Mar 4:26 He said, "The Kingdom of God is as if a man should cast seed on the earth,
Mar 4:27 and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he doesn't know how.
Mar 4:28 For the earth bears fruit: first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
Mar 4:29 But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts forth the sickle, because the harvest has come."
Mar 4:30 He said, "How will we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what parable will we illustrate it?
Mar 4:31 It's like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth,
Mar 4:32 yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow."
Mar 4:33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it.
Mar 4:34 Without a parable he didn't speak to them; but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
Mar 4:35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let's go over to the other side."
Mar 4:36 Leaving the multitude, they took him with them, even as he was, in the boat. Other small boats were also with him.
Mar 4:37 A big wind storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled.
Mar 4:38 He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and told him, "Teacher, don't you care that we are dying?"
Mar 4:39 He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Mar 4:40 He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?"
Mar 4:41 They were greatly afraid, and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

From Gary... Praise

Praise**, now there is a word we all want more of. In a world where it is almost "normal" (?) to raise oneself up by putting others down, at times genuine praise seems almost like a foreign concept. Then, there is eternity. At the center of forever- there is God. Divine, unique, loving, just, omniscient, omnipotent, pure and probably a thousand other things beyond my feeble comprehension. He has always been worthy of praise and will be so forever!!!  When I think about this graphic, I naturally think of the 148th Psalm (and the 148th song in our songbook), but this is picture is only about the first four verses!!! So, lets look at the remainder of it, just for fun....

Psalm 148
  1 Praise Yah!
Praise Yahweh from the heavens!
Praise him in the heights!
  2 Praise him, all his angels!
Praise him, all his army!
  3 Praise him, sun and moon!
Praise him, all you shining stars!
  4 Praise him, you heavens of heavens,
You waters that are above the heavens.
  5 Let them praise Yahweh’s name,
For he commanded, and they were created.
  6 He has also established them forever and ever.
He has made a decree which will not pass away.
  7 Praise Yahweh from the earth,
you great sea creatures, and all depths!
  8 Lightning and hail, snow and clouds;
stormy wind, fulfilling his word;
  9 mountains and all hills;
fruit trees and all cedars;
  10 wild animals and all livestock;
small creatures and flying birds;
  11 kings of the earth and all peoples;
princes and all judges of the earth;
  12 both young men and maidens;
old men and children:
  13 let them praise Yahweh’s name,
for his name alone is exalted.
His glory is above the earth and the heavens.
  14 He has lifted up the horn of his people,
the praise of all his saints;
even of the children of Israel, a people near to him.
Praise Yah!
(The World English Bible)

Let all the created universe praise God!!! And the rest of the Psalm extends that which should praise God from the heavenlies to Earthly sources of praise.  From the heavens above, to the deepest depths of the oceans, from the humblest creature abiding there, to the pinnacle of his creation, formed in the Almighty's own image, all should praise God!!! This life can be wonderful (and often is), but without God- it is NOTHING!!! Today, forget about your troubles, problems, goals, etc.. (for a little while, at least) and spend some time thinking about God- and PRAISE HIM (Because HE deserves it)!!!!

PS- You probably noticed the**  at the beginning of the post; it points to some information about praise listed below.  Not many surprises, but I had not realized that there were so many words associated with the word praise (165 listed at the very bottom)

**The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 (gcide)
Praise Praise, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Praised; p. pr. & vb. n.
   Praising.] [OE. preisen, OF. preisier, prisier, F. priser,
   L. pretiare to prize, fr. pretium price. See Price, n., and
   cf. Appreciate, Praise, n., Prize, v.]
   1. To commend; to applaud; to express approbation of; to
      laud; -- applied to a person or his acts. "I praise well
      thy wit." --Chaucer.
      [1913 Webster]

            Let her own works praise her in the gates. --Prov.
                                                  xxxi. 31.
      [1913 Webster]

            We praise not Hector, though his name, we know,
            Is great in arms; 't is hard to praise a foe.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. To extol in words or song; to magnify; to glorify on
      account of perfections or excellent works; to do honor to;
      to display the excellence of; -- applied especially to the
      Divine Being.
      [1913 Webster]

            Praise ye him, all his angels; praise ye him, all
            his hosts!                            --Ps. cxlviii.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. To value; to appraise. [Obs.] --Piers Plowman.
      [1913 Webster]

   Syn: To commend; laud; eulogize; celebrate; glorify; magnify.

   Usage: To Praise, Applaud, Extol. To praise is to set
          at high price; to applaud is to greet with clapping;
          to extol is to bear aloft, to exalt. We may praise in
          the exercise of calm judgment; we usually applaud from
          impulse, and on account of some specific act; we extol
          under the influence of high admiration, and usually in
          strong, if not extravagant, language.
          [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 (gcide)
Praise Praise, n. [OE. preis, OF. preis price, worth, value,
   estimation. See Praise, v., Price.]
   1. Commendation for worth; approval expressed; honor rendered
      because of excellence or worth; laudation; approbation.
      [1913 Webster]

            There are men who always confound the praise of
            goodness with the practice.           --Rambler.
      [1913 Webster]

   Note: Praise may be expressed by an individual, and thus
         differs from fame, renown, and celebrity, which are
         always the expression of the approbation of numbers, or
         public commendation.
         [1913 Webster]

   2. Especially, the joyful tribute of gratitude or homage
      rendered to the Divine Being; the act of glorifying or
      extolling the Creator; worship, particularly worship by
      song, distinction from prayer and other acts of worship;
      as, a service of praise.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. The object, ground, or reason of praise.
      [1913 Webster]

            He is thy praise, and he is thy God.  --Deut. x.??.
      [1913 Webster]

   Syn: Encomium; honor; eulogy; panegyric; plaudit; applause;
        acclaim; eclat; commendation; laudation.
        [1913 Webster]

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) (wn)
    n 1: an expression of approval and commendation; "he always
         appreciated praise for his work" [syn: praise,
         congratulations, kudos, extolment]
    2: offering words of homage as an act of worship; "they sang a
       hymn of praise to God"
    v 1: express approval of; "The parents praised their children
         for their academic performance" [ant: criticise,
         criticize, knock, pick apart]

Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 (moby-thes)
165 Moby Thesaurus words for "praise":
   acclaim, acclamation, accolade, acknowledgment, adoration, adore,
   adulate, adulation, aggrandize, apotheosis, apotheosize, applaud,
   applause, approbation, approval, approve, belaud, benediction,
   bepraise, bepraisement, beslobber, beslubber, blandish,
   blandishment, blarney, bless, bless the Lord, blow up, boast of,
   brag about, bunkum, cajole, cajolement, cajolery, celebrate,
   citation, cite, cognizance, commend, commendation, compliment,
   compliments, conceit, congratulation, credit, crediting, crown,
   crown with laurel, cry up, decorate, deification, deify, devotion,
   dignify, distinguish, do honor, doxologize, eloge, emblazon,
   encomium, endorse, endorsement, enhance, ennoble, erect, eulogium,
   eulogize, eulogy, exalt, exaltation, excessive praise, extol,
   eyewash, fair words, fawn upon, fawning, flatter, flattery,
   glorification, glorify, glorify the Lord, glory, grace, grease,
   hail, hallow, heighten, hero worship, hero-worship, homage,
   hommage, honeyed phrases, honeyed words, honor, honorable mention,
   hosanna, hymn, hymn of praise, idolatry, idolize, idolizing,
   incense, intensify, kudos, laud, laudation, lionize, lionizing,
   magnification, magnify, make fair weather, make much of,
   meed of praise, mention, oil, oil the tongue, ovation, overpraise,
   paean, palaver, panegyric, panegyrize, pay homage to,
   pay regard to, pay tribute, pay tribute to, plaudits,
   porter aux nues, praise God, prayer of thanks, pretty lies,
   proclaim, psalm, psalmody, puff, puff up, recognition, recommend,
   render honor to, resound, revere, reverence, revile, salute,
   sing praises, slobber over, soap, soft soap, sublime,
   sweet nothings, sweet talk, sweet words, sycophancy,
   thank offering, thank-you, thanks, thanksgiving, tribute, trumpet,
   uprear, venerate, veneration, wheedle, wheedling, worship