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.

Gods pan for saving man

  • God’s Grace – Ephesians 2:8
  • Christ’s Blood – Romans 5:9
  • The Gospel – Romans 1:16
  • Sinners Faith – Acts 16:31
  • Sinner’s Repentance – Luke 13:3
  • Sinner’s Confession – Romans 10:10
  • Believers Baptism – I Peter 3:21
  • Christian’s Work – James 2:24
  • Christian’s Hope – Romans 8:24
  • Christian’s Endurance – Revelations 2:10

LIVING YOUR THANKS

LIVING YOUR THANKS

Gerald Cowan

(Colossians 3:17, I Thessalonians 5:18)

Remember the magic words” we teach our children: please and thank you. Those words remain effective as long as we live, not only in regard to our human relationships, but also and especially in relationships with God. There are three aspects to consider.

Receiving with thanks. “Thanks” is not payment for anything. It is only a statement of appreciation and gratitude for what one has received.

Giving with thanks. A gratuity (a “tip”) is a way of saying thanks. It is not part of the bill and is not required. But when something extra is given with payment of what is owed, the one who receives it understands.

Giving thanks. We should be truly thankful in every situation and circumstance. We can give thanks in everything even if we cannot give thanks for everything. We can give thanks in adversity, and sometimes, since we are strengthened by adversity, we can give thanks for it.

We probably need to redefine our blessings in order to understand them and be grateful for them.

UNWANTED

UNWANTED

Ron Bartanen

Via Bulletin Gold

*Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them: for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again'” (Luke 8:37).

Jesus Christ will not impose Himself upon anyone. He won’t stay where he’s unwanted. The Gadarenes were so upset with Jesus when He cast a legion of demons from a man and sent them into nearby hogs. To them, the hogs were of more value than the man, so they “besought him to depart from them.” In our world today there is an increasing animosity towards Jesus as He seemingly intrudes into men’s comfort-zones. Even the mention of His name in prayer is not considered appropriate in schools, His word is considered out-of-date and the military, etc. irrelevant.

Some would purposely exclude Him from their lives. These would tell us there should be no positive mention of Him in school or public activities. He is even being written out of school history books.

Some would exclude Him in their choice of life-style. Evil so fills their hearts and lives, it is impossible for Christ to take up residence in them. He is excluded from their lives. Some would crowd Him outnot purposely, but simply by filling their lives with material things. Such find no time for Christ, Bible reading or church. Other things clamor for their attention.

What about you? Would you be among those to send Him away? Or would you welcome Him into your life?

LOVE DOESN’T REJOICE IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS

LOVE DOESN’T REJOICE IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS

Joe Slater

Why would Paul write those words in 1 Corinthians 13:6? Rejoicing in unrighteousness — what a horrible thought! Does anyone actually do that? I wish I could answer, “No, of course not!””But wouldn’t that be true.

The Sanhedrin rejoiced when Judas agreed to betray Jesus (Mark 14:11). What could be more unrighteous? Jesus told His disciples that when He was killed, they would weep and lament, but the world would rejoice (John 16:20). Is anything more unrighteous than murdering God’s Son?

Paul warned the Philippians about enemies of the cross “whose god is their belly and whose glory (same word as rejoicing) is in their shame” (Philippians 3:19). Yes, they were rejoicing in unrighteousness!

Current American culture calls us all sorts of names if we refuse to rejoice in unrighteousness. Rather than being ashamed for murdering innocent, helpless babies, the pro-abortionists say, “Shout Your Abortion!” That is, be proud of it. When we speak the truth about abortion, we are vilified as “the Christian Taliban”!

Secular progressives insist we must congratulate and commend those in same sex “marriages” (so called). If you dare to affirm Biblical marriage, you are written off as unloving and intolerant.

The same crowd demands not just tolerance but approval of the “transgenderism” myth. When you decline to refer to William as “Wilma,” you are maligned as a mean-spirited extremist and a bigot.

God is love (1 John 4:8), and God is righteous (Daniel 9:14). Since God is righteous, He cannot rejoice in unrighteousness, but that does not make Him unloving! Neither is it unloving when His people decline to rejoice in unrighteousness.

Via Bulletin Gold

A RELIGION OF RELATIONSHIPS (10/16/22)

A RELIGION OF RELATIONSHIPS Edd Sterchi

Too many people claim or act like Christianity is simnply a religion of beliefs. And while belief is a crucial part of that. I contend that Christianity, it is much more than Christianity, in reality, is a religion of relationships.

Take a look at John 15, for example. In verses 1-11 we can see that Jesus is the vine and individual Christians are the branches. To be productive, the branches must maintain a relationship with the vine where they draw nutrients and support. Thus, we must sustain a proper relationship with Christ to draw spiritual sustenance and produce fruit for Him. We must read and learn from His word and stay close to Him by walking with Him and living the way He leads.

Now take a look at verses 12-17 in John 15. There we see that not only are we to have a relationship with Jesus, but we are to have a relationship with “one another.” We are to love one another. The word translated “love in this passage is the verb form of agape.” This is an unselfish, giving type of love that always does what is best for the other. This type of love cannot be practiced without being involved in one another’s lives. We must spend time with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We must develop a close relationship with them.

Yes, Christianity is about relationships relationship with the Lord and with His people. It is then we will be joyful and productive. What is your Christianity a religion of?

Via Bulletin Gold

PREPARING TO SEE THE KING

PREPARING TO SEE THE KING

Joe Slater

Persian king Ahasuerus banished his queen and sought a new one (see the book of Esther). I hope none of us would approve of what he did or how he did it. How degrading to demand that Vashti flaunt her beauty before the king’s drunken nobles! Then he selected his new wife based almost entirely on her physical attractiveness. But why would we expect anything else? The king was a pagan and behaved in typical pagan fashion. Despite all of this, God worked through those events to deliver His people.

Hadassah (Esther), a young Jewish girl, went through a solid year of beauty preparations before her interview with the king (Esther 2:12). Please don’t think ill of her! She didn’t make the rules. She made the best of a less-than-ideal situation.

We serve a King infinitely superior to Ahasuerus. Esther diligently prepared to see her king. Let us take a cue from her by preparing to see King Jesus!

This has nothing to do with physical attractiveness or lack thereof! Nor am I concerned here with wearing a coat and tie to the assembly. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to inspire the apostles to emphasize inner spiritual beauty. “Rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quite spirit” (1 Peter 3:4). In contrast to flashy, costly garments, Paul urges being clothed “with good works” (1 Timothy 2:10).

Revelation 7:13-14 pictures faithful Christians as dressed in robes they had washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. They had gone through fiery trials without yielding. They were inwardly beautiful!

Does inner beauty qualify you to meet your King? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Via Bulletin Gold

MY NEIGHBORHOOD

MY NEIGHBORHOOD

Al Behel

I liked Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Millions of children around the world sat at his feet and marveled at the simple things. Fred Rogers receiveda star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. When he received the award he wore his usual sweater and tie. Reporters expected him to talk about his infamous television program. Instead, he talked with them about why we are on this earth-not to amass fortunes or tO make a big name for ourselves. According to Mister Rogers the important things are the little things, the small acts of kindness that make our world a better place.

In the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught that a real neighbor is not identified by credentials or religious ideologies, but by the simple acts one does toward those in need. According to Jesus, the world is our neighborhood and everyone in it is our neighbor. Our challenge is to do small acts of kindness to each person we meet. It’s the simple things that make the difference.

How many times each day do we meet a “neighbor”, someone to whom we can show kindness? How many opportunities do we miss because we have other commitments, or because that neighbor is different from us and we are not moved to action? Scripture tells us that Jesus “went about doing good.” Every day He touched lives with simple acts of kindness. He spoke kind words to social and moral outcasts. He held children in his arms, went home with tax collectors and sinners, and encouraged the hearts of the down-trodden. He told the disciples that to see Him was to see God. And that’s how others see God in us.

We are often stalled by our belief that God is looking for big things in us. Sure, there are big challenges we must meet, but most of life is not about big things. It’s the little things we routinely do to others that opens their hearts and shows the beauty of God’s grace in us.

Via BulletinGold

STANDING STILL, GOING FORWARD

Prq STANDING STILL, GOING FORWARD

Joe Slater

The Israelites felt boxed in at the Red Sea. Mountains loomed in both sides with the water ahead. Pharaoh’s host was closing in behind them. Where could they go? As they had done before and would do again, the people complained, blaming Moses for leading them to disaster.

“Do not be afraid,”” Moses exhorted them. “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13). Not long ago they had witnessed the Lord’s power over Pharaoh and his idols in ten plagues that devastated the land of Egypt. Oh, how quickly we forget!

There is a time to stand still. But two verses later God ordered Moses to tell the children of Israel to go forward” (14:15). But wait! “orward led straight into the water! No worries– the Lord will simply part the water. You’ll go through on dry ground. Problem solved!

We, too, must stand; and we, too, must go forward. “Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13). As a soldier must stand and fight, so we must engage in spiritual warfare. The Lord fought for Israel (Exodus 14:14), and He will fight for us too!

ol Yes, we must stand– but we must also go forward! Even the great apostle Paul acknowledged that he had not yet “arrived.” “But one thing I do: forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13b-14).

The goal is up ahead. Let us stand still (remain calm), stand fast, and go forward! Soldiers of Christ, arise and put your arm on! Via Bulletin Gold

PRAYING FOR THE SICK (8/28/22)

PRAYING FOR THE SICK

Gerald Cowan

How does God respond to us when we pray for somneone who is having health issues and other issues? How are they blessed2 Will God always answer our prayers for others?

We are taught to pray for one another when we have health issues, including spiritual health as well as physical health (James 5:13, 16). The promise of spiritual healing seems firm, assuming that both the praying one and the one prayed for act in penitent faith (James 5:16). We do offer prayers and intercessions for others (1 Tim. 2:1-4), We are not told that all our requests for others will be granted, or that prayers for ourselves will invariably be granted. We can be sure that asking is essential. Some things we do not get because we do not ask (James 4:2), but the request itself is not sufficient. Unwavering faith is also essential (James 1:5-6). We are also told that improper motives will prevent any positive answer to our requests (James 4:3). There is still more: the mind and disposition – the faith and inclination toward God – of the person prayed for must be considered too. God will not override the will of the person we pray for. We may pray for changes in the person, not only physical but mental and spiritual as well, that the person himself resists, refuses and does not want.

Our faith is tested in that we pray for good things to happen and sometimes those good things do not happen. We pray for bad things not to happen, or to be taken away, but those things come and do not go away. God answers every prayer of His faithful people, but sometimes the answer is and must be NO. Any prayer answered in the affirmative for the faithful provides strength to endure what cannot be changed or what God does not change (1 Cor. 10:13). But even when we do not understand and when we do not get a yes answer, we keep on praying – we do not faint or give up on God (Gal. 6:9-10).