Welcome

Welcome to the Groveland Church of Christ.

In this section, you will find announcements of upcoming congregation events and fellowship activities as well as articles of spiritual interest and encouragement.

MEN TO SERVE- May, 2024

SUNDAY SCHOOL            LEAD SINGING        OPENING PRAYER         LORD’S SUPPER

7        Jean Celestin            Don Gray                      Anthony Tate                    Keith C, Glenn, Aaron

14      Aaron Pickren          Jean Celestin              Russ Cisco                        Keith K, Don, Paul G

21      Paul Pickren              Aaron Pickren           Sam Boykin                       Zak, Jean,  Russ

28      Jean Celestin           Glenn Perry                 Keith Klinger                    Calvin, Sam, Anthony

EVERY MOTHER’S DAY IS A FIRST

Adam Faughn, Adapted from Bulletin Gold

For some, today is their first Mother’s Day as a mother. They just had
their first child, so today is special in that way.

For some, today is their first Mother’s Day as a grandmother. They
are seeing their own daughter hold a precious child for her first
Mother’s Day.

For some, today is their first Mother’s Day as a mother of two (or
three or..). They are getting extra kisses and hugs (and a well-deserved
extra cup of coffee).

For some, today is their first Mother’s Day without their mother
living. So, today will be bittersweet.

For some, today is their first Mother’s Day since losing a child.
There will be memories and, likely, some tears.

For some, today is their first Mother’s Day with a child a long
distance away geographically. It might be the first one where they are
not physically in the same place.

We could go on, but markers on our calendar, like Mother’s Day,
are reminders of how each year contains firsts. Some are happy. Some
are hard. Others are simply reflections of the normal passage of time.
Each, though, is part of the tapestry of life, and mothers are an
invaluable part of that picture.

God thought that mothers were so important that He gave every
human being ever born a mother. A true godly mother, though, is rare.
Today, no matter what “first” you are going through, if you are striving
to be a godly mother, we honor and thank you. Reflect on why this
Mother’s Day is a “first,” and use it as an opportunity to be grateful for
what is good and learn from what might be a struggle.

To every mother, we say “Happy Mother’s Day,” but to those who
are striving to be godly and righteous, we say a heartfelt and gracious
“thank you.”

NONE OTHER NAME

By Ron Bartanen Via Bulletin Gold

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none
other name given among men whereby we must be saved”
(Acts 4:12).

The name referred to by which we are saved is “the name
of Jesus Christ” (4:20z0. His is the name which is above
every name…the name before which every knee shall bow
(Philippians 2:8-10. The name signifies one’s power and
authority. Jesus commissioned His apostles to preach
“repentance and remission of sins…in His name…” (Luke
24:47). The power to become sons of God is given “to them
that believe on His name” (John 1:12). The convicted
multitude at Pentecost were commanded to “Repent and be
baptized.. in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins” (Acts 2:38). Christians are admonished, “Whatsoever
you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus”
(Colossians 3:17).

Faith, repentance, baptism and Christian worship and
service are all in the name of Jesus Christ, not in the name
of religious leaders or churches. Why, then, do some wear
human names in religion? To paraphrase Paul, who opposed
the wearing of his name: “Is Christ divided? Was (your
denomination or preacher) crucified for you? Or were you
baptized in the name of (your denomination or preacher)?”
(1 Corinthians 1:13). Human, denominational names give
honor to others than to Christ, and divide those who claim
faith in Christ. We urge all to honor Christ alone in faith
and obedience.

THE LORD OPENS HEARTS

By Ron ThomasVia Bulletin Gold

Have you ever wondered how the Lord opens hearts? The
Scripture gives two avenues by which this is done.

First, in Acts 16:14, the Scripture reads, “The Lord opened
her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14).
How did this occur? In the first portion of the verse, Lydia heard
the things Paul was preaching:; it intrigued her, she wanted to hear
more. With this hearing of the message’s substance, the Lord’s
message got to her. Thus, she and her household were baptized.
She wanted to be identified with One Paul spoke about.

Second, in Acts 16:25f, Paul and Silas were incarcerated for
preaching the Gospel message of Christ. The accusation leveled
against them? “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble
our city; and they teach customs which are not lawful for us,
being Romans, to receive or observe” (16:20-21). It is evident,
from the reading of the context, at least some in the Roman
influenced area wanted nothing to do with the message of hope,
so they accused the Lord’s preachers of preaching unlawful
things. That evening, after Paul and Silas were imprisoned, an
earthquake occurred. The jailer of that Philippian jail was moved
to come and stand before Paul and Silas and ask what he must do
to be saved (16:31-33). Paul told him, and he and his house were
baptized, identifying with the One killed by the Jewish
community.

The Lord opens hearts. He does this by His message, and He
does this by circumstances people experience in life.

Are you listening?

HE WON’T BE COMING ON A DONKEY NEXT TIME

By David Ferguson

Jesus came to the Earth the first time meek and lowly, and riding
on the back of a donkey. But that’s not how He will return at His
Second Coming. The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus is the
“blessed hope of the church (Titus 2:13). Throughout the
centuries of church history, concerned believers have waited
expectantly for this glorious event to happen.

The Son of God came the first time in Bethlehem as a virgin-
born baby. He was “despised and rejected of men” (Isaiah 53:3).
He was arrested, ridiculed, and finally crucified. His death was a
perfect sacrifice for sin. But some day He will come again – not
to experience mocking and humiliation – but to reign as King.
The Second Coming of Christ is the bright and radiant hope of
God’s people. The Apostle John, writing from the island of
Patmos, says, “Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye
shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him” (Revelation
1:7). Jesus Himself declares that people will “see the Son of Man
coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory”
(Matthew 24:30).

Jesus promised that He will prepare a place for us, and that He
will come again (John 14:2b-3). There are scoffers who say,
“Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Peter 3:3-4). They are
not willing to take the promises of God’s word seriously. But the
Angels declared to the disciples of Jesus who witnessed His
ascension into Heaven:”This same Jesus, Which is taken up from
you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen
Him go into Heaven” (Acts 1:11). The Apostle Paul declares that
“when Christ Who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also
appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). The truth about the
Second Coming of Jesus is clear- and we do not try to explain it
away. Are you ready for that day? Have you come to the Lord in
obedient, saving faith? If not, then why not?

BEST FRIEND FOREVER

By Joe Slater Via Bulletin Gold

We use innumerable acronyms to shorten emails, text messages,
etc. “LOL’ (laughing out loud), IMO (in my opinion), and Btw
(by the way) are only the start of a virtually endless list. Have
you noticed this one? BFF (best friend forever).

This person'” (you fill in the name) “is my BFF!” It might be
someone you’ve known since early childhood; maybe it’s a
spouse; maybe it’s your spouse whom you’ve known from early
childhood! Regardless, having friends helps us navigate through
life’s ups and downs.

I’m blessed with many friends, and I hope you are too! I’d be
hard pressed to identify which of my friends (among my fellow-
mortals) is my “best friend.” Some whom I’ve counted as friends
in the past have, by their behavior, made it clear that they are no
longer my friends. I regret that, but I realize I cannot change other
people’s thoughts and actions.

Christians have no trouble identifying their “best friend
forever”! “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down
one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). We know Jesus is the best
friend we could possibly have, and He will never forsake us. Who
else could ever qualify as our “best friend forever”?

A challenging question for me is, “Am I a friend to Jesus?
We sing, “I’ll be a friend to Jesus”- but look at what the Lord
Himself said: “You are My friends if you do whatever
Command you” (John 15:14). Having warm fuzzy feelings
Jesus is fine, but loving him and being His friend goes well
beyond subjective criteria. Who among us would claim to be the 
best friend Jesus has? But we can, indeed, be His friends forever.

Let’s do that!

HE IS NOT HERE

By Rob Albright, Via Bulletin Gold

When the women came to the tomb of Jesus, an
angel met them and said “He is not here” (Mt.
28:6). Jesus was not in the tomb. It was empty.
Even though a large stone was blocking the
entrance and even though the tomb was guarded,
the fact is the tomb was empty.

So, what happened? Luke states the truth in
Acts 2:24 when he said, God raised Him. That
message of Jesus’ resurrection must be preached.
The resurrection verifies Jesus’ claim to be the
Son of God. This truth was confirmed when
Jesus appeared to His disciples (John 20). Paul
said that Jesus even appeared to over 500 people
and most were alive in 56 AD (1 Cor. 15:6)

The resurrection benefits us. It gives us a
Iiving hope (1 Peter 1:3) and if we have been
united together in the likeness of His death,
burial, and resurrections, we shall be in the
likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:1-5).

FOCUS

By Andrew Beasley Via Bulletin Gold

Leaving the past behind frequently is among the greatest
challenges a Christian may face. I imagine for the Apostle
Paul, leaving the memories of his former life behind were
a challenge as well. Think, for a moment, of what Saul of
Tarsus was guilty of. He is the authority figure
responsible for the murder of Stephen (Acts 8:1) as well
as for the persecution of countless other Christians (Acts
8:3). It would be no surprise if his past actions weighed
heavily on his soul. Yet as a Christian he recognized the
significance of leaving that all in the past.

In the same way, we cannot dwell on the former things
either. Sometimes Christians are guilty of romanticizing
the life that they used to live. Others are guilty of allowing
the disappointments of their past to become stumbling
blocks for their future. Paul seems to recognize the
significance in leaving the glorification of our past, or the
wallowing in sorrow over our past, behind and instead
focusing on what matters: Christ, and the prize that
accompanies following Him. Just a few verses earlier

Paul said he desired to know Christ, the power of His
resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering that he
might attain the resurrection from the dead (Phil. 3:10-
11).

One thing Paul did, and one thing we must do, is focus
on what lies ahead. Focus on the goal of going home to
heaven. In order to do so, we must leave the past in the
past.

ABIDE WITH ME

By Clifton Angel Via Bulletin Gold

“Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide,
The darkness deepens, Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!”

In 1847, Henry F. Lyte’s poetic words were published ín this
beautiful song. Singers of these words plead with God to abide
in their presence every day and in every way. What if God
wrote a song to us, pleading us to abide with Him? What would
He say? He did, essentially, at the test of Psalm 15. David
asked, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall
dwell in thy holy hill?” Psalm 15:1l). By God’s divine
revelation, David penned these characteristics:

1. One who walks uprightly (2a).

2. One who works righteousness (2b).

3. One who speaks truthfully (2c).

4. One who does not waste the reputation of another behind his back (3a).

5.One who does not do evil to his neighbor (3b).

6. One who has no reason to be ashamed in the presence of a neighbor (3c).

7. One who despises the evil actions of men (4a).

8. One who honors God-fearing men (4b).

9. One who keeps his word, even if it hurts (4c).

10. One who does not exact interest on gifts/loans (5a).

11. One who does not take a bribe against the innocent (5b).

What a list! In essence, God pleads with us, “Abide with
Me,” by showing us the type of person who can abide with Him
through His Wor. Truthfully, none of us are worthy to abide in
God’s presence; however, His Son Jesus has made it possible
for us to change (Acts 2:38; 17:30; 2 Corinthians 7:10), obey
(Hebrews 5:8-9; Acts 2:38; 8:36-38; 22; 16), be changed
(Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3-4; Acts 2:47), and abide (Romans
6:4; Galatians 6:9-10; 1 John 1:7), Will you abide with Him?