The Jerry Henderson Family

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The Year 2000. It's hard to believe it is here already. At the beginning of every year we have the difficulty of learning to write the new year. I remember changing from '98 to '99, through much of January I was still writing '98. Now I have had to put down 2000. Now it's not just the last two numbers but we must begin writing the first two digits 20. For all of us we have been putting 19 down for our entire lives. We've never known any different. This will be a difficult change. Something that will take diligence in our writing. But as in many things we must "change with the times" All who are alive today will be able to look back and say "I remember when we started the new millennium". The past 1000 years has been a time of human growth unlike any in time past. In just the past 100 years we have accomplished more than ever before. We have made great strides in medicine, completely wiping out some terrible diseases. In transportation, what used to take months to travel now takes hours. People used to stare at the moon and now certain men have had the privilege of walking upon it. We are truly living in magnificent times.

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Why I Attend every Service I Can

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It is a well known fact that many members of the church who attend the Sunday morning worship service, will not be seen again until the next Sunday morning worship service. Go to any local congregation (let's give an arbitrary number of members at 70) and the numbers will look something like this. Sunday morning Bible study - 45, Sunday morning Worship - 65, Sunday evening worship - 55, Wednesday evening Bible Study - 35. Now with some congregations their numbers will look a little better, or more likely a little worse, unfortunately. Why is this so? What is the difference between the Sunday morning worship service and every other meeting of the local congregation. Well, the first answer given by many is the simple fact that we are commanded to come together on the first day of the week to partake of the Lord's Supper and Give as we have prospered (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1,2). This is Gospel truth and we must hold to it with every fiber of our being, but, what about the other services. Many give an answer much like is used for various classes in school and college, they are electives, therefore our attendance and labor at them is not necessary, they are just for extra credit. Is that the Gospel truth?? Is there going to be a more special place in heaven for those who attended every worship service they could? Can you find this taught anywhere in scripture?? Is it like in school, extra credit courses look better on your transcript, so attending every service just looks better??

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None of These Things Move Me

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The truly great men have been those who have had a great goal in life. Abraham is called "the father of all them that believe" Rom 4:11. His goal in life was that he "looked for a city not made with hands." Heb 11:8-10. Moses also took the long view on life. He "had respect unto the recompense of reward" and "endured as seeing Him who is invisible." Heb 11:24-27.

If greatness may be found in men whose goal in life was great, then the apostle Paul must be found with this number. His goal is stated in Phil 3:13,14, where he said: "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those thing which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Paul did not consider this earth to be his home, he was looking toward heaven as his goal Phil 3:20,21. When he was on his way to Jerusalem and spoke with the Ephesian elders, Paul talked about things that would befall him; but he said "none of these things move me." Acts 20:17-24. Paul had his mind set on his goal and would allow nothing on earth to move him from it. Let's look briefly now at some things that Paul would not allow to move him away from his goal.

 


Paul would not allow physical afflictions to hinder him. In 2Cor 11:24-27 he lists a number of physical abuses which he underwent such as: beatings, stoning, shipwreck, etc. so that his very life was in danger at almost every turn. Yet, he would not allow these things to move him away from his goal. Many of us today should take a lesson from the apostle Paul because many times we allow such things as our aches and pains; ridicule and pressure from the world to keep us from serving the Lord both on the Lord's day and in our daily lives.

 

Paul would not allow fleshly appetites to move him from his goal. He said in 1Cor 9:27 "I keep under my body and bring it into subjection...." Are we as determined as Paul was to keep the desires of the flesh from moving us away from our goal? Does our desire for material wealth cause us to do things we shouldn't or leave undone the things that we should? Does our desire for "fun" sometimes entice us to participate in questionable activities or to miss the assemblies of the Lord's people? The desires of the flesh (eating, drinking, socializing, even sexual desires) are good and right in their proper place. However, we must control them instead of them controlling us.

Paul would not allow worldly position or honor to keep him from his goal. In Phil 3:4-11 he gives an impressive set of credentials for himself, yet he gave it all up for Christ. Are we as conscientious today as was Paul? I fear that many times we allow worldly honors, scholastic achievement, sports involvement or our desire for high positions to hinder us in our service to God. This is especially a problem for our young people. The pressure is put on them to achieve and many times that which is right is not considered. There is nothing inherently wrong with achieving in most cases. However, if we sacrifice truth and right or our service to God to achieve worldly position or honor then it becomes sin.

Paul would not even allow family relationships or friends to deter him from reaching his goal. He had to forsake the teaching of his parents as well as the instructor which they provided for him Acts 22:3. When he heard the truth he realized that he had to forsake all who did not or would not stand for it. Note what Jesus said in Matt 10:34-38 in regard to physical relationships and their importance when it comes to serving the Lord. Paul realized that he had to serve the Lord even if it meant standing alone 2Tim 4:16,17. It is easy to stand up and be counted when we are in the majority, but rather difficult when one must stand alone. Some will just quit serving rather that "go along" with error and seem to fail to understand that the ultimate consequences are the same. Others are willing to just conform to the thinking of the crowd, but Paul did neither.

We must consider whether we are allowing ourselves to be moved away from our goal. No one ever said standing for the Lord was easy! (JLH)

 

Will God Forgive Me?

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This is a question that is asked by many. And it is one that is quite easily answered, Yes, He will. Psalm 86:5 states "For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." The scriptures also teach us that God would have all men come to repentance, 2 Pet. 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." We see by these two verses that the Lord is "ready to forgive" and "willing ... that all should come to repentance"

Many think their sins are so great that God will not forgive them. They believe their sins are much to grievous and that forgiveness for them is too much to ask from the Lord. If you would, follow along with me as we look at several cases of sinners in the Word of God and see if God was willing to forgive them.

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Why I Attend Every Service of the Church

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For one reason or another, there are some absent at every service; some without a reason at all. It is my conviction that attendance at the assemblies of the church is a good indication of "spiritual health." "Forsaking the assemblies' is a symptom of "heart trouble." Real love for the Lord says: "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord." (Psa 122:1). However, failure to assemble has become one of those "common" and "respectable" (???) sins. There are a number of reasons why I attend every service of the church and I want to share some of them with you. If you are not attending every service, I hope you will consider these reason very carefully.

1. I ATTEND EVERY SERVICE BECAUSE THE LORD EXPECTS ME TO DO SO. The Lord through his inspired writers tells me not to forsake the assembling of myself together with others. (Heb 10:25). According to Acts 2:42 it was the general practice of the first Christians to meet and engage in the various acts of worship.



2. I ATTEND EVERY SERVICE TO BE WITH AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD. In Matt 18:20, Jesus promised to be with those who were gathered in his name. Therefore, when we assemble in the name of Jesus (by His authority), for worship, He is with us, we are in His presence. If someone famous were going to be at our services, I am sure that the house would be full to running over. Certainly, being with and in the presence of Jesus is of far more importance than anyone here on this earth! If we refuse His company here on this earth, how can we expect Him to invite us into heaven to be with Him forever?

3. I ATTEND EVERY SERVICE BECAUSE OF THE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS WHICH I RECEIVE. Paul points out to us that all spiritual blessings are in Christ. (Eph 1:3). So, as a member of this spiritual family, when I assemble with others of this family, I receive blessings which I cannot receive elsewhere. When I assemble, my faith is increased, my heart is encouraged so that I become more humble in spirit and holy in living. I am made to forget my fleshly nature and I am lifted to a higher standard of living.

4. I ATTEND EVERY SERVICE TO MEET THE BEST PEOPLE ON EARTH. When Paul wrote to the Romans, he expressed a desire to be "filled with their company." (Rom 15:24). This indicates to us the kind of people that Paul knew made up the church in Rome, the kind with whom he wanted to be associated. There may be some bad people who claim membership in the church and there may be some morally good people outside the church but they are that way IN SPITE OF the church and not BECAUSE of it. Where else can you consistently find good honest people who are striving to do the will of God from the heart?

5. I ATTEND EVERY SERVICE TO SET A GOOD EXAMPLE. Jesus, in Matt 5:13-16 makes it very clear that he expects us to have a good influence on others. So, I realize that there are a lot of people who are watching me who know whether I attend every service of the Lord's church or not. I know my children learn from my attitude toward the assemblies. If I stay at home, I am teaching my children as well as others that I do not think the activities engaged in at the assemblies are very important. So, if I did not attend, I would not be setting a good example. In fact, I would be a bad influence instead of a good influence. You see, our actions do speak a lot louder than our words.

6. I ATTEND EVERY SERVICE BECAUSE OF WHAT I CAN GIVE. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul commended the Macedonian Christians because they "first gave their own selves to the Lord." (2Cor 8:5). While it is true that I receive a lot from the services, I can also contribute a lot just by my presence. When I attend, I lend encouragement to others just by virtue of the fact that I made the effort to get up and get ready to come and worship with others of like precious faith. We exhort, comfort and edify one another when we come together. (Heb 10:14,15; 1Thess 5:11)

What about you, are you a member of the Lord's church and as such do you attend every service of His church that it is possible for you to attend? If not, why not?

 

 

 


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50th Wedding Anniversary - In which state was the happy couple living when you first met them?