Know Your Bible

VOL. 14                                                                                                                         February 5, 2017                                                                                                                            NO. 47



Recently our eight year old adopted daughter said, just prior to giving thanks before our evening meal, that she had a prayer request. Glad to hear her request I asked what it was. She replied that she wanted us to pray for her real parents that they could be saved so that she could get to see them in heaven. Somewhat surprising and overwhelmingly impressed, I was pleased to honor her request. Several days later she came to me with tears in her eyes and a hymnal in her hands opened to “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be”, again concerned that her birth parents will not go to heaven.

As I understand it she was taken from those parents when she was about two years old for multiple reasons including alcohol and drug abuse and violence. To my knowledge she does not remember a single thing about her early childhood; she only knows that her birth parents did some bad things and consequently she was taken from them and eventually adopted into our family. Please consider, despite the fact that they let her down by failing to provide a safe and stable environment where all her needs would be provided, she still has concern for their well-being. Though she does not even know them and they did her wrong, she still has love for them in her heart.

If parents could “hear” the tears and feel the throbbing pain they cause in the lives of their children because of their foolishness and selfish interest, perhaps they would be more inclined to rise to the occasion and be more what a parent should be. It is sad indeed when a single child has more mental and spiritual wherewithal, foresight, and prudence than the combined astuteness of both parents. The point is this: parents need to get their act together and be responsible in providing a proper upbringing for their children! It is their job to “…bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Children are needy, dependent, and impressionable; it is the parent’s responsibility to meet those needs, to be dependable, and to make beneficial impressions upon their lives. Sadly, far too many parents are serving their own interests to the deprivation of those of their children.

To those who are now gloating and gleaming because they have not been deemed unsuitable as parents by the court system, understand that you do not have to be an alcoholic, drug addict, have a dangerously violent temper, or forget to feed your child to be a bad parent. There happens to be less criminal addictions, character flaws, and areas where a parent can be negligent. Perhaps you rate satisfactory by criteria used by social services, but would you pass God’s critique of parental responsibility? Do you feed your children a balanced dies with lots of colorful foods, but neglect the spiritual nourishment essential for the should (cf. Deut. 6:7)? Do you deprive your children of adequate time an attention to properly train and discipline them because you have a time consuming addiction to some form of social media, the internet, TV, or your hobby or career?Have you failed to provide for your children an environment that is conducive to a healthful spiritual development and safe from moral attrition and degradation (cf. Deut. 7:26)? Have you exemplified the true character of Christianity for your children or have they been privy to your inconsistencies, poor attitudes, and vices? Out it be the your children will be saved eternally through the help of your good influence or lost because of the opposite (Mt. 18:6-7)? These are serious considerations indeed?

Parents, we need to made an honest self-evaluation. Are we fulfilling the duties God has given us as a parent to teach, train, discipline, and in all ways bring up our children in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6)? If not, isn’t repentance the proper reaction to this acknowledgement? Not only are parents responsible for a child’s upbringing, but they are accountable to God for bring them up right. Do not settle to get your children through life; determine to get them to heaven (Jos. 24;15)!

Why did God see fit to bring this precious should into my life through adoption when I am such an imperfect father? I don’t know why, but I do know that her tender sincerity, dept of spiritual interest, and forgiving spirit, inspires me to see to be better for her and my other children. My wife and I entered into foster care with the intent to adopt because we thought we had something to offer a  need child; little did we realize how much they had to offer us in the dutiful position of parents!

—Byron Smith

from  Anchor Of The Soul, Vol. 12, Issue 1

Page 1



If you are planning to preach, give careful attention to the following elements of success­ful preaching.

Spirituality. The faithful preacher has a deep devotion to God and His word. He prays often. He lives with a constant awareness of God's nearness; he "walks with God." His character is beyond reproach. He hates sin and error, but loves truth and righteousness. "His delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." If you want to preach, but lack these qualities, then wait. Develop these first. You can hardly motivate others to become what you have not become yourself.

Preparation. Learn to read. Reading comprehension is an essential tool to understanding the scriptures and related books. Learn to think. Many of the things you will read in commentaries and even in brotherhood periodicals will be false. Woe is that man who in his preaching and Bi­ble class teaching merely parrots what he has read. Learn to differen­tiate: between truth and error, between fact and supposition, between what is clearly taught and what is in the "gray" area, between what is congregationally applicable and what is individually applicable, between the time to "rock the boat" and the time not to "rock the boat." "Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16).

Learn courage. You will be faced with pres­sures and intimidation from every side. To some, you will preach too hard; to some, too soft. Some will pressure you to compromise; others will try to force you into some "hard line" position which you really can't find in the scriptures. Please God. Get along with the brethren as far as possible, but not at the risk of los­ing your soul. If problems do develop, take a long, hard look at "self." We fear that many a man has created a “doctrinal" crisis in an effort to cover up his own bad disposition and dictatorial attitude.

Presentation. You are no longer a school boy playing a part on a stage. Neither are you a comedian being paid to entertain an audience. You are a dying man preaching to dying men and women the only message on earth that can save their souls. Speak to them. Help them to see their sins, and point them to the Savior. Speak with the warmth, and love, and sincerity that will let them know that you care for them and their eternal destiny. What you speak may be more important, but how you speak is important, too.

L. A. Mott, Jr. (Notebook on Jeremiah, p. 67) writes: "Someone has said that there are three kinds of preachers. The first has to say something—he is a paid talker who has to fill a certain amount of time each week. The second has something to say, and that is a whole lot better. But best of all is the third— the man who has something to say and has to say it. That is the kind of preacher Jeremiah was." And that's the kind of preacher you must be.

—Bill Hall

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If you want to defend Christianity, practice it.


If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.


Life is tragic for the person who has plenty to live on, but nothing to live for.


Many people know all of their rights, but few comprehend their obligations.

Page 3


Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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