Know Your Bible

VOL. 11                                                                                                                          January 6, 2013                                                                                                                            NO. 48



Yes, God has granted us another page to write in our book of life. I trust  that we will use the page wisely. Let us consider our opportunity in three different  ways:

Retrospectly:  Just how have we written in our book of life in the past? Have we done so in a pleasing and profitable manner, to ourselves, and to God?

Introspectly:  Just what are we writing right now in our book of life? Are we pleased with what we are writing? Is God pleased with it? God tells us that  "today is the day of salvation." So, it is very important as to what we are doing today.

Prospectly:  What do we plan to write in the future? Have we any definite plans made as to what  we plan to write in our book of life? Is God in our  plans? Are our loved ones and others in our plans? We are told to learn and spread the Word of God so

we might save ourselves, our loved ones, and others.

Yes, God has given us a new page upon which to write in our book of  life. Just what are we writing now, and what do we plan to write tomorrow, the Lord willing? May God bless you with many more pages to write upon in your book of life. Once again, may God bless you with a happy and prosperous new year.  

---Jim Sasser

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How many times have you been wished a "Happy New Year" over the past week? If you're like me, you've heard those words a few times at least. It is a nice sentiment. But wishing for it won't make it happen. Have we ever stopped to consider what it would take for us to actually have a happy new year? Do we realize that, apart from God Himself, the one person who has the most control over how happy the coming year will be for us is the person we see when we look in the mirror? What can you and I do to make a happy new year. The Scriptures give the following suggestions:

1) Serve God and others. Jesus taught that happiness is found in serving. After He had washed the disciples feet he said, "I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you. . . If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them" (John 13:15, 17). The wise man said, "He who has mercy on the poor, happy is he" (Proverbs 14:21).

2) Control Your Thoughts. We can change our lives by changing our attitudes. We are what we think (cf. Proverbs 23:7). If we think happy and wholesome thoughts, we will be happy. This is the secret to happiness that Paul shared with the Philippians in Philippians 4:8-9 when he said, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you."

3) Avoid sin and guilt. Sin promises pleasure but brings misery. When David was entangled in sin he described it this way: "There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger, nor any health in my bones because of my sin. My iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me" (Psalms 38:4). If we fail to avoid sin, all is not lost; we can still find happiness by finding forgiveness. This is exactly what David did. In Psalm 51:7-8 he prayed, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice."

4) Learn to be content. Those who trust God learn to be content with their current physical circumstances. They do not desire more than or other than what they have. The Scriptures teach, "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" (Hebrews 13:5).

5) Keep focus on spiritual things. Earthly things will always fade away and disappoint. Our earthly achievements and possessions cannot provide lasting happiness. Faith, hope and love are three things that bring abiding joy. So, "Do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are heavenly, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18).

---Steve Klein 

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This question may seem strange to you, but there is a good lesson to be learned in the answer. As a young man my family maintained a small herd of cows. One of my brothers and I milked about four of them each day for milk, but we also raised a few for beef. We kept these cows in a fenced in pasture. From time to time some of the posts holding up the fence had to be replaced because they were rotten. They would fall over and cause the fence to sag where the cows could get out. This was a source of aggravation to me, since I had to round up the cows that got out, and then fix the fence. This required both time and work. You know how kids enjoy such things. I sometimes wished the posts would be like the trees so they wouldn’t have to be replaced.

What made the difference? Think! Plant a post and a tree in the ground side by side. At the beginning the tree is small, slender and easily bent or broken. The post, on the other hand, is large, solid and strong. It is hard to move and will support a fence.

But then the forces of nature take over. The tree begins to grow little by little, gradually becoming bigger and stronger. In a few years it stands tall and sturdy, while the post planted at the same time has rotted and fallen down.

  What made the difference between the tree and the post? One was dead and the other was alive. The tree, being alive, continued to develop and mature. That is why it got stronger with time. On the other hand, the post was dead, and the ravages of time caused it to become weaker until it collapsed.

  Now, the application. What about those of us who claim to be Christians? Are we like the tree or the post? If our religious life is dead, like the post, then we will surely grow weaker year by year, until we finally fall away. But, if we are truly alive in Christ, then the passing years will see us grow stronger and more mature than in the beginning.

As Christians we have been made alive by the regenerating power of the blood of Christ Tit.3:5. Afterward, real spiritual life in us is maintained by fellowship with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit 1.Jn.1:1-7.

---Tommy Thornhill 

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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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