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- July, 2024

SUNDAY SCHOOL           LEAD SINGING        OPENING PRAYER      LORD’S SUPPER

7        Jean Celestin           Jean Celestin             Anthony Tate                   Russ, Aaron, Paul G

14      Aaron Pickren        Aaron Pickren           Tim Smith                         Zak, Kenny, Keith K.

21      Paul Pickren           Glenn Perry                  Russ Cisco                       Calvin, Sam, Jean

28     Jean Celestin         Don Gray                       Keith Klinger                    Keith C., Zak, Anthony

Be All You Can Be

By Clifton Angel Via Bulletin Gold

From 1980 to 2001 (and now brought back in 2023), the popular
recruiting slogan has been used to positively encourage that it is only
in the United States Army that you can “Be All You Can Be.” While
the U.S. Army is pertinent to our nation, it is not the army where one
truly can reach his fullest capacity. Rather, the Lord’s Army is the only
place where you truly can “Be All You Can Be.”

First, it is only in the Lord’s Army that the Captain of the Host is
perfect (cf. Josh 5:14; Heb 2:10). He’s been through the drills; He’s
passed every test. He has experienced every temptation that His
soldiers can experience, and yet remained without error through it all.
He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15).

Furthermore, it is only in the Lord’s Amy that the Captain of the
Host has all power. No doubt, captains in the U.S. Army have great
authority and ability, but they do not have complete authority and
ability. In the Lord’s Army, the Captain has ALLL power. He is on
record as saying to some of his soldiers, “All power is given unto me
in heaven and in earth” (Matt 28:18). For this reason, Paul wrote,
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his
might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:10-11).

Finally, it is pertinent that we understand that it is only in the Lord’s
Army that the Captain of the Host offers ultimate protection. The U.S.
Army is strong, but protection lacks in comparison to the Lord’s Army.
Even with the great strength of the U.S. Army, the faithful soldier can
lose and the entire nation can lose. Such is not so in the Lord’s Army.
For, He is the Captain of our eternal salvation from sin (Heb 2:10), and
He has guaranteed victory for the faithful soldier: To him that
Overcometh will I grant to sit with me in mny throne, even as I also
Overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev 3:21).

Faith, repentance, confession, and baptism for remission of sins grants
you an entrance into the Lord’s Army. Are you in His Army? If yes, are you
endeavoring to “Be All You Can Be”? “Whatsoever ye do in word
or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God
and the Father by him” (Col 3:17). As we sing, “I may never march
in the infantry, ride in the cavalry, shoot the artillery; I may never fly
over the enemy, but I’m in the Lord’s Army.”

WHEN STORMS COME

By Andrew Beaseley Via Bulletin Gold

On a number of occasions, the Bible depicts storms as
being a terrifying ordeal that can cause havoc in ones
life. One might think of Jonah’s ordeal before being
swallowed by the great fish, or the disciples as they
were tossed about while Jesus slept as a reference point.
While there are some in the world who teach that if you
are a Christian, then you will be blessed with an
abundance of wealth and good health. This teaching is
patently untrue. That is not to say that Christians will
not be blessed with health and wealth, but it is not a
guarantee. What seemingly is guaranteed is that every
individual, regardless of the safety of their soul, will
face storms in their life.

How will we respond? During those storms will we
become bitter like Jonah? Will our faith falter in the
way that the disciples did? Or will we reflect on the fact
that we have a Savior who can calm the storm (Lk. 8:22-25)?
Will we remember that we have a Father who
created all things and set them in their place (Psa. 19)?
Whether our lives follow in the footsteps of Jonah, the
disciples, or some other path one fact remains
unchanged. In the midst of storms, we have hope in Him.

WE PLEDGE OUR SACRED HONOR

By Al Behel Via Bulletin Gold

We must obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29)
When the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 its
founders were declaring independence from an earthly power
while making a clear declaration of dependence upon Almighty
God. The closing words of this historic document declares
solemnly:

With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we
mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our
sacred honor.”

The founding fathers of this nation recognized the need for
divine guidance. Relying on the providence of God they pledged
their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the mutual
good of the citizens of this new nation. Their declaration was one
of dependence on God while exercising freedom from foreign
domination.

Pledging allegiance to our national flag represents our mutual
commitment to preserve our sacred honor under divine
leadership and guidance. We recognize the position God holds
far above governmental leaders and that all nations stand or fall
as He wills.

As Christians our allegiance extends beyond flags and
declarations of independence. Our God is supreme over all
nations, all peoples, and all cultures. He stands untouched by the
corruption and greed of rulers gone bad, or governments whose
leaders refuse to bow before Him. Arsenals of mass destruction
pale under His power. Our allegiance is to the King of Kings and

the Lord of Lords.

REJOICE IN THE LORD!

By Mac Deaver Via Bulletin Gold

In Phil. 4:4 Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always: again
I will say, Rejoice.” –But what are some circumstances that
call forth the joy of which Paul speaks?

We ought to rejoice in our salvation. After the Ethiopian
officer’s conversion, he went on his way rejoicing (Acts
8:39). After the seventy returned from their mission, Jesus
told them to rejoice that their names were written in heaven
(Lk. 10:20). If one’s sins are forgiven and his name is
written in the Lamb’s book of life, he certainly ought to
rejoice.

We ought to rejoice as we realize that God is in control of
Sometimes the catastrophic events
throughout the world cause us all great concern. But we
must not despair, realizing that God is aware of all, and is in
control of all. (Rom. 13:1-4; Isaiah 6:1l). And even if we
must suffer for right-doing, there is occasion for rejoicing
world affairs. (Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 2:20).

We ought to rejoice in the knowledge that all will work
out to the ultimate good of the faithful. “And we know that
to them that love God all things work together for good,
even to them that are called according to his purpose” (Rom.
8:28). All things revolve around the good of the church.
Paul also said, “The Lord will deliver me from every evil
work, and will save me unto his heavenly kingdom….” (2Tim. 4:18).

Indeed, the Christian has every reason to rejoice in the Lord.

JONAH AND THE LOVE OF GOD

By Joe Slater Via Bulletin Gold

Before you criticize Jonah too severely, put yourself in his place.
God commanded him to preach to Nineveh, the capital of the
Assyrian empire. Assyria was a fierce and dreaded enemy of
Israel. I could make you nauseous with details of the Assyrians”
cruelty to their enemies. The worse the pain they could inflict and
the longer they could make it last, the better they liked it. No
doubt Jonah would have been happy for God to wipe them from
the face of the earth. Good riddance!

How would you react if God told you to go preach to
Pyongyang (North Korea, ruled by Kim Jong-un)? Or to Kabul
(Afghanistan, ruled by the Taliban)? Or to ISIS in parts of Syria?

Jonah’s assignment had much in common with those.
Jonah was wrong to disobey God. Let there be no doubt about
that! Jonah’s nationalism kept him from understanding God’s
love for even the worst of sinners. God’s nature doesn’t change.
Today He isn’t willing that any should perish, but that all should
come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9); that was true in Jonah’s day
too. The sheer ignorance of the Assyrians didn’t excuse their
hideous abuses, but it did result in the Lord being longsuffering
with them even as He was with Israel and still is with us.

Can you love people who hate you and would be all too happy
to kill you if they could? Jesus prayed for the very people who
were mocking and murdering Him. A few weeks later His blood
cleansed some of them from their sins!

God loves the good and the evil, the just and the unjust, His
love is perfect (complete, mature, Matthew 5:43-48). It’s nothing
special to love those who love you (v. 46). But loving your
enemies makes you like God.

DON’T FALL FOR IT

By Joe Slater Via Bulletin Gold

Sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. So many
“friends” on social media keep falling for the same hoaxes that
were debunked years ago. “Oh no! Facebook is going to start
charging us for having an account!” Um, no, they aren’t. They
couldn’t even if they wanted to, because you haven’t given them
your credit card number or your bank information. Somebody
started the hoax, it went viral, and gullible people keep passing it
on. (sigh)

The same thing happens in spiritual matters. Jesus warned that
false christs would arise. Then if anyone says to you, Look,
here is the Christ!’ or There!” do not believe it (Matthew 24:23-24).
His words came true in the first century AD and many were
led astray. It still happens today, though less frequently.

John cautioned us to “test the spirits, whether they are of God;
because many false prophets have gone out into the world”
(1John 4:1). Just because someone says something with an air of
authority doesn’t make it true! Remember the noble Bereans who
received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures
daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:1ll).

It has been accurately stated that a lie, repeated often enough,
becomes accepted as truth. Countless falsehoods are routinely
treated as true today. For instance:

“Peter was the first Pope.”

“The Catholic Church gave us the Bible.”

“All you need to do to be saved is believe in Jesus.”

“The denominations are branches on Jesus, the vine.”

Don’t fall for it! Search the Scriptures! Know the truth!

DELIVER ME FROM TEMPTATION

Glen Elliott Via Bulletin Gold

Jesus was tempted (Mt, 4:1-11; Heb.4:15). We struggle with
temptation. It is simply part of the human condition. Each of us
battle inward desires which can bring sin into our lives (Jas. 1:13-
15). Satan is the tempter (Mt, 4:3). We must engage him in
spiritual warfare by the strength which God supplies (2 Cor. 10-
4-6; Eph. 6:10-13), We better get our minds firmly set on the life
and death struggle each of us must face or be lost through our
own carelessness or neglected.

Satan makes temptation attractive. He sugar-coats sin. He
wraps it up in a nice, little package. Sin has pleasures associated
with it (Heb, 11:25), These pleasures manifest themselves in
many ways. Satan knows that all people are not tempted in the
same way. So, like a skillful fisherman, he makes each lure
appropriate to the person being tempted. Each person is “tempted
when he is carried away and enticed by his own desires” (Jas.
1:14). Sin feels good. But, its consequences are heart-breaking
(Rm. 6:23).

No one is immune to the evil influence of Satan’s temptation.
Deliverance is more than a sentence-prayer (Mt. 6:13). We must
not be ignorant of Satan’s schemes against us (2 Cor. 2:11). We
must keep watch in prayer (Mt. 26:41). We must treasure up
God’s word in our hearts as a safeguard against sin (Ps. 119:11).
We must trust God completely rather than lean on our own
strength (Prov. 3:5). We cooperate in the process of deliverance
by making firm resolutions (e.g. Dan. 1:8); by putting ourselves
in the company of those who will encourage right choices (Heb.
10:23-25); and, by fleeing before temptation has opportunity to
ensnare us in its web (2 Tim. 2:22). Above all, remember that
God is faithful and will provide the way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13).
Deliverance is ours through faith in Christ Jesus (1 Jn. 5:4; Rm.
8:37).

GOT TO GET (AND KEEP) YOU INTO MY LIFE

By Edd Sterchi

You may recognize the title (without the parenthesis)
as a song recorded by the Beatles and, later, by Earth,
Wind, and Fire. But this thought (with the parenthesis
statement added by me) depicts perfectly how we can
overcome the world.

In light of this, consider 1 John 4:4, “You are of God,
little children, and have overcome them, because He
who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
This is reminding us that if we get (and keep) Jesus
Christ into our lives, then we will overcome Satan and
the ways of the world.

In the book of 1 John, this whole process is spelled
out. Jesus became the sin offering for us (1 John 2:1-2).
We get Jesus into our lives through a proper baptism (1
John 5:8). It is then that we are born of God and become
His children (1 John 3:1). We keep Jesus in our lives
through loving His word (1 John 2:5) and through
faithful living (1 John 1:5-7). In fully doing this, we also
keep ourselves from loving the world and the world’s
ways which are influenced by Satan (1 John 2:15-17).

In the words of John Lennon and Paul McCartney
(who wrote the original song): “Ooh, then I suddenly
see you – Ooh, did I tell you that I need you. Every
single day of my life?” Do you truly have Jesus fully in
your daily life?