TRUTH for January 2019 is now available. We are thankful to Roger Campbell for his study of the Bible and his interest in helping others better to appreciate and know God’s Book. Will you please consider the four excellent studies for January. Listed below are the titles and first paragraphs of the four one-page articles found in TRUTH for January of 2019.
Prophets of God in the First Century Church
Fulfilled Bible prophecy is evidence that the Bible’s message came from the mind of God. We thrill to read of the foretelling of the virgin birth of the Christ (Isaiah 7), the coming fall of Babylon (Isaiah 13), and the influential role of King Cyrus (Isaiah 44). Each of those memorable prophecies is found in the Old Testament. But what about prophets in the New Testament church? To read more download here: Truth1901.
Lessons We Can Learn from David Sparing King Saul
King Saul was granted the privilege of being the first human king to rule over the nation of Israel. The message of 1 Samuel 18 shows how the relationship between Saul and a young man named David was soured. When Saul heard some in Israel praising David more than they praised the king himself, he was extremely upset. Saul was angry, he was afraid of David, he kept his eye on him, he counted David as an enemy, and more than once he tried to kill him. To put it mildly, in his dealings with David, Saul was not a very nice person. To study SEVEN lessons from this Bible account, download: Truth1901.
Do You Find Worship Boring?
“Boring is defined as someone or something dull or uninteresting” [ http://www.yourdictionary.com ]. As humans, we find certain things and certain people interesting; at the same time, hearing someone discuss other topics may put us to sleep, as we have zero interest in those matters. To read more, download: Truth1901.
1 Corinthians 15.1-8—The Gospel
The theme of the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians is “The Resurrection.” Paul writes about Jesus’ own resurrection from the dead, he notes the consequences which would follow if there were no resurrection, and he speaks of the future resurrection which will occur when the Christ comes again. To consider FIVE points from these verses, download: Truth1901.
HE MARVELED is something Jesus did two times in the New Testament. Words are precious; words are interesting; words instruct; words are valuable; words bless our lives (cf., Treasure in the Heart). Actually, words are indispensable for learning and receiving the will of the Lord and obeying it. We find the Greek word that is translated marvel used 46 times in the New Testament. A large number of those usages of the word are due to something Jesus did or said causing others to marvel. However, if I have correctly examined these 46 verses, there are two occasions in which Jesus, Himself, marveled at something. It is especially interesting to observe what a contrast these two occurrences provide.
He Marveled because of UNBELIEF…
First in one passage, Jesus is said to marvel at the unbelief of a group of people—Mark 6.6… And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. This incident takes place in the locale of Jesus’ growing up years, the small village of Nazareth. The people of Nazareth knew His trade, His mother, and the members of His earthly family (Mark 6.3).The unbelief of these Nazareth natives caused a sad result—Mark 6.5… And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. What a disappointment these people were to Jesus!
The word marvel comes from the Greek word, thaumazo. It is defined as follows: “to wonder or marvel at some event or object—‘to wonder, to be amazed, to marvel’ (whether the reaction is favorable or unfavorable depends on the context)” [Louw Nida]. The context clearly tells us here that Jesus’ marveling at the faith of the Nazareth folks was not in the category of favorable.
He Marveled because of GREAT Faith…
Second, there is the passage in Luke 7.1-10, where we find Jesus marveling at the GREAT FAITH of the centurion of Capernaum. Luke uses the word marvel here and in the parallel account Matthew also uses it (Mt 8.5-13). Since these are parallels, I count these two verses as one occasion of Jesus marveling.
What caused Jesus to be amazed were words from the mouth of the centurion. The words spoken by this Gentile officer in the forces of Herod Antipas were unlike any Jesus had heard, even among the Jews—Luke 7.9… When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. The words of the centurion which caused Jesus to marvel are recorded in verse 7… Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. This Gentile soldier believed that Jesus had the ability to heal his servant simply by speaking the word. If Jesus would just say he was healed, he would be healed! That caused our Lord to marvel!
Great faith in one instance and great unbelief in the other caused Jesus to marvel. Have you ever thought about causing Jesus to MARVEL at your own faith?
Those souls at Nazareth had been greatly blessed in many ways to have Jesus as a resident. Mark 6.5 tells us that He did heal some sick people in Nazareth. Yet, at one point, they were ready to throw him off a cliff (Luke 4.28-30). How sad!
What could happen to the Lord’s church at Maple Hill if you and I develop within our hearts the kind of faith which would cause it to be said of Jesus: He Marveled?
The audio Bible of my dreams has finally made its way to the app stores! I have a daily Bible reading schedule in which I read 10 chapters per day. It is an adaptation of Professor Grant Horner’s Bible reading plan. The plan has its critics but many Bible-lovers give it high praise. I am into the fourth year of using it daily. The plan is to continue using it. It is my desire to do everything I can to ENCOURAGE the reading of the Bible. For that reason I want to describe to you a new development which might appeal to smart phone users.
My Bible reading WITHOUT the audio Bible of my Dreams…
It has been my normal practice to use Logos Bible Software to do my daily Bible reading. I have a laptop hooked to a 22-inch monitor. Enlarging the text considerably. I use the audio reading function of Logos (Control + R). The reading speed I set at 2X. Logos will automatically scroll through the content. It is quite easy to move through the ten readings using keyboard shortcuts. It has worked for me for a long time. I am sure it will continue to work for me. It is easy on the eyes and ears. It is very pleasant to notice various and sundry nuances as the words are read and as the words scroll on by. I consider these words to be the very words of God and am convinced I am made a better person through this exercise.
My Bible reading WITH the audio Bible of my Dreams…
For a few days I have been exposed to advertising from the people who produced the Olive Tree Bible App. I have used this app for a few years. I think it is one of the best. There is a free version and you can add to your library with many excellent books and study tools. Their most recent attempts to take my money involved incorporating audio Bibles into their Bible app. I read their material. I watched their video. It looked amazing. I am glad I checked it out and made the purchase. There are several Bible versions available and other books in audio format. I chose the NKJV Voice Only Audio Bible.
As I understand it, these audio Bibles are available now only on phones and tablets with a data plan. If you have enough storage you can download the entire Bible. You can download whatever part of the Bible you want to read, or you can stream the content. I do not have the storage, so I stream. The wonderful thing about these Bibles is that you can do on the phone the same thing I do with my laptop and Logos that I mentioned above. Most audio Bibles are pretty limited about where you can begin reading. Not this one! You can go to whatever book, chapter, and verse you desire. Also, it automatically scrolls through the text, which you can read from the screen as it reads the text audibly! WOW! You can speed up or slow down the reading. It produces perfect audio, the text scrolls without any noticeable delay.
One NEGATIVE in this audio Bible of my dreams…
There is one pretty important flaw in these audio Bibles. I am sure that when complaints come in they will make adjustment with subsequent updates. There is not enough space on the screen for the longer verses. The words appear on the screen a verse at a time. Many of the verses have more words than will fit in the scrolling space. I am using an iPhone 5S, so my screen is small. Even if you adjust the font face and size, some verses still will not fit. Surely this will be only a temporary hindrance, but it is quite frustrating.
In conclusion, this audio Bible does all I need it to do. I recommend it to you highly. It will be a delight to me for many years. My copy came to $26.49, including tax.
In this radio program we consider the important question: “Have YOU been called of God?” This question pertains to a statement found in Acts 2.39. I sincerely believe that many people misunderstand and pervert this passage. I am using some material from the book: The Hub of the Bible, by J.D. Bales in this discussion.
There is a lot of confusion about being called of God which ought not to be so. The Bible is quite clear in its answers to all of the questions we could possibly come up with regarding God’s calling us. When we are content to allow the Bible to speak, our confusion over this matter quickly disappears. Let’s study this important topic by considering the pertinent Bible passages and let God’s Book guide us in answering the questions.
What Does it mean to be called of God?
Men must call upon God in order to attain salvation according to Acts 2.21. But men cannot call on God unless God first calls men. God calls all men, but only those who respond to His call and call on Him does He save. What does it mean for God to call men? How does God call us? Is the call irresistible? To what does God call us?
Questions answered in this Lesson on what it means to be called of God…
- What does CALL mean?
- Whom does the Lord call?
- How does the Lord call?
- Is the call of God irresistible?
- What happens to those who heed the call?
- From what and to what does God call us?From rebellion to obedience (Acts 2.23 + Acts 2.37-42).
1) From darkness to light (Col 1.13; 1 Peter 2.9).
2) From bondage to liberty (Gal 5.13).
3) From antagonism to fellowship (1 Cor 1.9).
4) To sanctification (1 Cor 1.2).
5) God called us by His own purpose and grace (2 Tim 1.9).
Here is the audio recording of our September 2, 2018 edition of Walking in Truth:
Tom House is coming to Benton to preach a series of messages at Maple Hill. On Sunday, his plan is to preach a 3-part series entitled: “God is Our Refuge.” These messages he will preach on Sunday, September 23, at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 7:30 p.m. During the week, on Monday night, September 24, at 7:00 p.m., Tom will present: “Trusting in the Faithfulness of God.” Finally, on Tuesday, September 25, at 7:00 p.m., the meeting concludes with: “They Shall Never Perish,” a study of John 10.27-28.
Who is Tom House?
Tom House is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman, and has been preaching the gospel for 50 years. He is working with the Plainview congregation in Fulton, Mississippi.
In the past Tom has worked in public service, having served as a police officer for the city of Fulton. He also has served as a Deputy Sheriff for Itawamba County. Significantly, his work there involved lecturing for the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Awareness program since 1982. He has presented that material to nearly 41,000 people. In 1993 citizens of the town of Tremont, MS elected him as an alderman. He has served as president of the Tremont PTA and as president of Oakland Rural Community Development Council.
Finally, Tom House is also presently a full-time employee with the United States Postal service, with 31 years of service. If you want something good accomplished, call on a busy man. That is what we have done.
He is married to the former Nina Ruth James of Gadsden, TN. They have two children and four grandchildren.
We are quite confident that the messages Tom will preach will be biblical, edifying, and will produce great good. Our aim is to serve the church and our community with messages from the Bible that promote Christ-like living. Please come hear him preach and tell others about it as well. You can help us get the word out by sharing this post on social media, please. We plan to record the messages and make them available here.
In this radio program we consider Christian living based upon the powerful question found in 2 Peter 3.11. How we ought to live is such a vital interest for anyone who is thinking clearly. The fact is that the Bible teaches us plainly that one day there is coming a judgment day, a last day (John 12.48). If I believe the Bible, I believe that Judgment Day is coming. When I read 2 Peter 3.11, I find Peter gives me an extremely important question to consider. According to the Bible (2 Peter 3.10), it is the case that on Judgment Day, God will bring to an end every single thing that has to do with physical life on this earth.
Why is Christian Living So Important?
In pondering Peter’s question, we are wise to adopt the idea of working for things that are eternal. Christian living and faithfulness to Christ, on that great Judgment Day, will rank highest on anyone’s list. Sadly, most will not begin seeing this until that day (Matthew 7.13-14)—which will be too late. Lots of things men now think are super important, on that day will be of zero importance. It will not just be Christians who acknowledge Jesus as Lord on that day.
One day the environmentalists will find that “mother earth,” he has so diligently sought to save will have been destroyed by the Lord. On that day all will recognize that God was in control of the earth and it could not be destroyed by man. Instead, God did it in a nanosecond.
Main Points of this Lesson on Christian living…
- I ought to live in the flesh, but NOT after the flesh (Rom 8.1-13; Gal 5.16-26).
- I ought to live in the world, but NOT of the world (Jn 15.18-19; 17.11-18; James 1.27; 4.4; 1 Jn 2.15-17).
- I ought to live as though the eyes of the world are ON ME, because THEY ARE (2 Cor 3.2).
- I ought to live as though God sees me BECAUSE HE DOES (Ps 139.1-12; Eccl 12.13-14; Heb 4.13; Lk 12.2; Num 32.23; 1 Timothy 5.24).
- I ought to live as though this were my last day on earth, because it may be (Job 14.1-2; 16.22; Eccl 12; James 4.13-15).
Here is our August 19, 2018 recording of Walking in Truth:
“That good part,” are words spoken by Jesus to Mary. Throughout the Bible we read about the choices that men and women, boys and girls make. Sometimes these choices are clearly held up to us as examples to follow and at other times it is obvious that we ought not make that given choice in our own lives. Consider an incident recorded in Luke 10:38-42—please read these verses.
Jesus said that Mary had chosen that good part. So then, Jesus is pointing out a choice that is worthy of our consideration to follow in our own lives.
Significance of Mary’s Choice—That Good Part
What joy must Mary have felt! Her action brought about the words of her Lord that indicated His approval of a choice she had made! For a faithful follower of Jesus could there be any greater delight than to know I have made a choice which is well pleasing to my Lord? Can we not see that here is a very significant incident that Luke has recorded for our instruction?
The choice that Mary had made was to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His word. Now we would think that such a choice would be reckoned by all of Jesus’ disciples as a wise and good choice. However, Mary’s sister, Martha had not so reckoned. Martha, in fact, thought in her own mind that her sister had made a foolish choice. Martha thought that Mary was being neglectful and was in need of rebuke from the Lord.
Instead, Jesus spoke a mild rebuke to Martha for her own misplaced priorities. This brings to the mind of a careful Bible student that there could be many occasions on which Jesus might either question or commend choices we have made with regard to how we use our time. I wonder how often we even consider this matter in our daily lives.
It is not as if Martha had chosen some ungodly pursuit with which to occupy her time. Rather that which she was doing in showing hospitality is a good thing and quite often commended in Scripture (Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; 1 Peter 4:9). No, Martha had made a GOOD choice, what is troubling about her choice is that she might have made an even wiser choice–the choice made by her sister, Mary. Mary had made a choice which recognized that the mundane things of this life become utterly insignificant when placed beside an opportunity for spiritual growth and understanding. The Messiah was present! Jesus, the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8), was in the building! Is there not time to sit and listen to His teaching.
Application of Choosing That Good Part
What is the solution for the problems we face in our world today? How do we cope with all of the unsettling and even upsetting news of the day? Is there a lesson to learn from the visit Jesus made to that Bethany home?
Surely we need to examine our own priorities of life. Surely we need to appreciate that we may be dwelling entirely too much upon those “Martha-things.” These things are good, in and of themselves. However, they may be hampering, even preventing, our spiritual maturity and development into powerful servants of the Lord. After all, we surely want the Lord to use us in a mighty way.
How much time do I spend examining my priorities? Do I ever even consider that there just might be a better use of my time? Have I ever even considered that my Lord might have a commendation for me on Judgment day similar to the one He gave to Mary?
What about the Bible classes? Is there a more direct comparison we could make than to consider this choice we make weekly? What activity could my feeble mind conceive of that would take priority to listening to Jesus at Bible Class time? If I want to choose THAT GOOD PART, where will I find myself at 10:00 on Sunday morning and 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday night? What about the worship assemblies? Gospel meetings? Vacation Bible School? It is shameful that we have differing numbers from the Sunday morning worship assembly count on these other occasions of study. To those of you who do not come but are truly able to be here–are you being like Martha or are you being like Mary? Think ahead for just a moment. On that Judgment day of John 12:48, which person would you have to be your model?
The One Thing Needful: That Good Part
Jesus said to Martha, concerning her sister, Luke 10:42 “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” We do not appreciate the one thing that is needful to the degree that it ought to be in our day. That one thing that is needful seems to be “pushed off to the back burner” of our lives. That one thing that is needful will make us a great church when we go and do likewise! Mary guides us in the right and good direction as she made the selection of THAT GOOD PART.
Elders’ work is vital work, vital to the local congregation. There is no question that this is true. I just viewed an OUTSTANDING video on that particular subject. The speaker was my friend, Victor Eskew. He used a PowerPoint to aid in the delivery of that powerful presentation. I think it is the most helpful sermon on the topic I have ever seen or heard.
I would encourage everyone, not just elders, to view this important video. All Christians need to know what the Bible teaches regarding the organization of the church. Why? Well, it was in the area of organization that the first apostasy from the true pattern for the church took place. Christians must study what the Bible reveals regarding the elders’ work! If we do not study this important matter, we will be unable to conform to the New Testament pattern.
If it is our desire to fit the pattern for the New Testament church, we must search for and pay attention to the various distinctive identity marks. Leadership in the church is one of those marks. How did God intend for the local church to be governed?
You should be convinced that elders’ work is VITAL to the well being of the local church. If you are not, you surely need to view this video.
In the video Victor makes several references to 1 Peter 5. We have a study guide for 1 Peter 5 on this site.
Fellowship is important to us. We do enjoy getting together for a shared meal. Great cooks always at Maple Hill. Looks like #30 is too busy eating to look at the camera.