Are You Searching for the Truth?

Ronald Bartanen

Are you searching for truth? Some are not searching because they don’t believe in absolute truth everything to them is relative. Others are not searching because their church tells them what the truth is, These feel they already have the fullness of truth. All should heed Paul’s warning: “Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things” (Acts 20:30).

Others seek the truth in their own hearts, though the Bible warns, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). The importance of seeking truth is emphasized in Scripture. The wise man Solomon advised, “Buy the truth and sell it not” (Prov. 23:23). In the marketplace of ideas one must be careful to distinguish the true from the counterfeit. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32).

How will we know the truth when we see it? Ultimate truth is found in Jesus, who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6). Truth is found in His word, the Scriptures, of which Paul wrote, “All scripture is inspired of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Where are you searching for truth?

Via Bulletin Gold

God Bless America

Ronald Bartanen

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalms 33:12a).

While the above words were spoken of Israel specifically, we make a mistake if we assume they should have no application to any nation that would choose to honor God, recognizing Him as sovereign and respecting His laws. Our nation, from its founding, and contrary to the assertions we hear so much today, has been one that has recognized God and sought His blessings. I believe God’s protective hand has been on this country through its long history. A South America president was quoted as saying, “South America was settled by men who were seeking gold, but North America was settled by men who were seeking God.”

Through our history we have been blessed uniquely. We take for granted the freedoms we have, and the blessings other people can only dream of. But who can doubt that the Christian ideals we once honored are rapidly being eroded away? Someone once observed that we have not only gone off the gold standard, thus weakening our economy, but, more importantly, we have gone off the God-standard, jeopardizing our nation. The religion of secular humanism has become our state-religion.

In our rush to “separate church and state'”, we have succeeded in separating state from God! Many countries, once considered to be largely “Christian”, are now under the threat of Islam, and our country may not be far behind. Should we be surprised if the blessings we have cherished are lost? Are we not already in the process? For God to bless America, it is vital that America begin again to bless God.

Via Bulletin Gold

What Will It Profit?

Joe Slater

“Whoever desires to follow Me, let hin deny himnself, and take up his cros, andfollow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose i, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will itprofit a man ifhe gains the whole world and loses his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 8:34-37.

We usually look at profit in terms of money or other material wealth. Jesus indicates that we need to look far beyond that! Everything material, including our fleshly body, is temporary. You can accumulate vast earthly wealth, but you cant keep it. Don’t believe me? Stick around a hundred years and see! Of infinitely surpassing importance and value is that spiritual part of you called your soul. Jesus teaches three things relative to it:

First, each and every person has a soul. Sometimes “soul” refers to the entire person, body and spirit. But Jesus uses the term specifically of the inner spiritual person. “Fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell” (Matthew 10:28).

Second, that soul can become lost. Jesus parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son illustrate this sad fact.

Finally, even if you amass every bit of the world’s wealth, but you exchange it for your soul, you have made a horrible, disastrous bargain. Surely the account of the rich man and Lazarus highlights this. (Luke 16)

Business people like to make a profit. Christians should too! “Godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

Via Bulletin Gold

What Should You See?

By Tom Moore

There is a story of a beggar who was sitting across the street from an artist’s studio. The artist saw him and thought he would make an interesting portrait study. So, from a distance he painted the defeated man whose shoulders drooped, and whose eyes were downcast and sad. When he was finished, he took the portrait over to the beggar so he could look at it. *Who is that?” the beggar questioned. The painting bore a slight resemblance to himself, but in the painting before him he saw a person of dignity, with squared shoulders and bright uplifted eyes, almost handsome. He asked the artist, “Is that me? I don’t look like that.” But the artist replied, “But that is the person I see in you.”

Hidden in all of us is potential. We have the ability to perform great accomplishments and opportunities to make a difference. But our greatest potential of all is described by John: “Behold. what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:1-3). There is the amazing potential in all to be called the sons of God and to be like Jesus. We can approach this spiritual potential through our obedience to the commands of God (Heb. 5:9). Perhaps you see failure- but God sees potential! What should you see?

Via Bulletin Gold

What Should You See?

By Tom Moore

There is a story ofa beggar who was sitting across the street from an artist’s studio. The artist saw him and thought he would make an interesting portrait study. So, from a distance he painted the defeated man whose shoulders drooped, and whose eyes were downcast and sad. When he was finished, he took the portrait over to the beggar so he could look at it. *Who is that?” the beggar questioned. The painting bore a slight resemblance to himself, but in the painting before him he saw a person of dignity, with squared shoulders and bright uplifted eyes, almost handsome. He asked the artist, “Is that me? I don’t look like that.” But the artist replied, “But that is the person I see in you.”

Hidden in all of us is potential. We have the ability to perform great accomplishments and opportunities to make a difference. But our greatest potential of all is described by John: “Behold. what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:1-3). There is the amazing potential in all to be called the sons of God and to be like Jesus. We can approach this spiritual potential through our obedience to the commands of God (Heb. 5:9). Perhaps you see failure- but God sees potential! What should you see?

Via Bulletin Gold

Don’t Forget! Remember!

by Joe Slater

This coming Monday is Memorial Day. I’m glad we have a national day to remember those who gave that “last full measure of devotion” for freedom. Let this day be more than staying home from work and grilling burgers. If you haven’t attended ceremonies at a nearby cemetery lately, I urge you to do so Monday. We forget all too easily.

God’s people have always struggled with forgetfulness. No less than eleven times in Deuteronomy the Lord warned Israel not to forget. Don’t forget your deliverance from Egypt. Don’t forget the covenant. Don’t forget the Lord’s commands. Don’t forget the consequences of disobedience and rebellion. In short, don’t forget God!

At least thirteen times in that same book, He charged Israel to remember. They were to remember the very things He told them not to forget. No surprise right? We think of the Passover feast as a memorial of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage, but the other feast days also promoted remembrance. The Sabbath was, among other things, a remembrance (Deut. 5:15). The piles of stones set up when Israel memorialized the Jordan crossed.

Today the Lord’s Supper prompts us to remember what Jesus did for us at the cross. And yes, even in the first century some forgot how Jesus had cleansed them from sin (2 Pet. 1:9). However, the Lord’s Supper isn’t all we should remember. Jesus urged His disciples to remember His words (John 15:20; 16:4). Peter wrote so that his readers would remember (2 Peter 1:12- 15); and Jude exhorted his readers to “remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 17).

We confront the same dangers Israel faced.

Don’t forget!

Remember!

Choose to Do Well?

by Matt Clifton

While watching a movie entitled An Old Fashioned Christmas on the Hallmark Channel, I scribbled down an outstanding observation a character made about choosing a path in this world.

In this movie, which is based on a story set in the 1880’s by Louisa May Alcott, one young man took a house guest out to a pub and got him drunk. Later at the dinner table, with the entire family gathered around, his behavior was brought to light. The young instigator played the event off by saying, “It’s all part of becoming a man!” His mother profoundly said, “It depends on what kind of man one wishes to become.”

The lesson in this simple statement is powerful. What we become depends a lot upon the choices we make. As God told Cain in Gen. 4:7, -If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well. sin lies at the door. Its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Cain didn’t amount to much, because he didn’t rule over his desire to sin. Like the young man in the movie, if we accept sin as a “rite of passage,” we are quite literally choosing sin, and a path that leads away from God and toward destruction.

If you want to become the kind of person God wants you to be, choose to do well.” Refuse sin and live for Jesus! –

via Bulletin Digest

Why Are We To Honor Mothers?

by Antoine N. Holloway

We are to honor mothers because of their strength, love, and faith. We are to honor mothers because God made them (Psalms 139:14). Therefore, they are special to the Lord. We are to honor mothers because God demands mothers be honored and respected (Ephesians 6:2-3). Thus, proving she is worthy to be honored by her children, her spouse, and humanity. We are to honor mothers because God punishes those who refuse or do not give the proper admiration to mothers (Matthew 15:4). We are to honor mothers because we will live long, prosperous lives right here on earth if we do (Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16).

LOVE YOUR M0THER, NOT ONLY ON THIS MOTHER’S DAY, BUT EVERY DAY!

God made a wonderful mother; a mother who never grows old. He made her smile of the sunshine and molded her heart of pure gold. In her eyes, He placed bright shining stars. In her cheeks, fair roses you see. God made a wonderful mother; and He gave that dear mother to me. Via: Bulletin Gold

What a Difference a Day Makes! Bill Brandstatter

My youngest grandson just had a birthday. It was his first double-digit birthday. He is now a big 10 years old. His birthday was a big day for all of the family. As grandchildren grow it causes us to reflect on the past, the present, and the future. I have realized daily the expression “time flies.” I remember when he was born. I have seen pictures of our grandson recently when he was little. Now he is ten and it’s hard to comprehend. The writer James told of life and stated, “It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14 NKJV) Reflection is good for the soul. It causes us to look at where we are and where we ought to be. The Psalmist stated, regarding life, For it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psa. 90:10).

Where have I been? The past life is gone. The present is now. Whatever mistakes I made in the past I need to forget and move on from them. The apostle Paul had to remind himself to do that. He stated he was forgetting those things which were behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead (Phil.3:13). can’t change the past. I can make the present better.

Where am I now? God is concerned about where we are now. The urgency of the moment is expressed in several Bible passages. Paul wrote, “Now is the accepted timne; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). We should be “redeeming the time” (Eph. 5:16).

Where will I be in the future? I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. The best way to prepare for the future is to prepare now. The future happens with the dawn of every new day. As one person stated, “Today is the start of the rest of your life.” My entrance into heaven depends on what I do while here on earth. I have the chance now to do what I must to enter heaven one day. What a difference a day can make. We must obey Jesus today, so that we can see Him tomorrow. (John 12:48; Heb. 5:8, 9).

Via Bulletin Gold

Sun Up!

Joe Chesser

I watched-the sun come up the other-day. Needless-to say, it-was awesome. From where I sat, most of my surroundings were only dimly visible in the pre-dawn light. But, I could see the reddish-orange glow on the horizon and knew the sun would appear at any moment. And then … there it was, peeking through the leafless trees. Just a sliver at first, but it quickly began to be fully visible. The more I saw of the sun. the more the dimness around me vanished. How wonderfully things
had changed at sun up.

Then it dawned on me how wonderfully things changed at Son up! Two men were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus late one Sunday afternoon. Even though the sun was still up, their hearts were in darkness. Their hopes for the redemption of Israel had been nailed to a cross when Jesus was crucified just three days earlier. This left them downcast, filled with doubts and uncertainties. So, when a stranger approached them, they couldn’t help sharing with him their heartaches and disappointments. They even related to him how some friends had gone to Jesus’ tomb earlier that morning and found it empty. They were
at a total loss about what to do.

Fortunately for them, that stranger turned out to be Jesus. Beginning with Moses and the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. A short time later, as they were breaking bread with Jesus, their eyes were opened. They were no longer in the dark. The Son had risen, now they understood it, now they could see! Even though it was dark outside, they hurried back to Jerusalem to tell their friends that the Lord had risen! The Son is up!
Now there’s hope (Luke 24:13-35).

Nothing cheers the heart more than the resurrection of Jesus. It gives substance to faith, victory over sin, and purpose to life (1 Cor. 15:12- 19). Jesus’ blood frees us from the guilt of sin, but it’s Jesus’ resurrection that gives us hope for life (Romans 6:3-10). Jesus came to be life and light for all (John 1:4).

The challenge is for us to open our eyes to the light. It may only be a sliver at first, but eventually you can be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 4:12-15). As the light of Jesus grows within you, darkness and doubt will be replaced with faith and hope and peace. You’ll want to tell everyone about it. How wonderfully your life will change when you see the Son!

Love People; Use Things

Joe Slater

I expect you’ve seen the title of this article practiced in reverse. as I have: “Use People; Love Things.” Sad, but true. King Solomon observed, “The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor. But the rich has many friends” (Proverbs 14:20). Now, why would a poor man’s neighbors hate him? And why would a rich man have many friends? The poor man doesn’t have much to offer materially, so his neighbors can’t use him. The rich man’s “friends,” however, see opportunity to use him to their advantage. “Many entreat the favor of nobility, and every man is a friend to one who gives gifts” (Proverbs 19:6).

Solomon’s half-brother, Absalom used people to acquire the power he wanted. See how he buttered up the citizens who came to King David with legal issues: “Look, your case is good and right; but there is no deputy of the king to hear you…Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice” (2 Samuel 15:3-4). In short order, he conned them into proclaiming him king!

The Pharisees in John 8 used the woman taken in adultery to try to put Jesus into a dilemma. They cared nothing for her soul. All they wanted was to have an excuse to criticize the Lord. By contrast, Jesus loved her and sought her redemption. The “good Samaritan” in Luke 10 loved his neighbor and used his money and other possessions to help him. Love people; use things. The man who had been robbed and beaten could do nothing materially for the Samaritan. But he needed help, and the Samaritan provided it. As Jesus said, “Go and do likewise” (Lk. 10:37).

Via Bulletin Gold