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Sep 01st
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Worship Center

Four Places for the Word

Dr. J.T. ParishThe Word of God may be compared to the banks of a river. The banks contain the river and make it possible for the river to flow. Without banks the river would become a large field of stagnant water. When the Word is no longer believed and practiced then people have no guidelines, everything becomes relative, and anything goes. Exhibit A – the present day toboggans slide of our culture into relativistically produced immorality produced immorality. There are 4 places the Word should be in our lives.
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Excuses

Dr. J.T. ParishA woman told my wife and I that she loved the Lord and the church, but admitted she had not attended a service in over three years. Her excuse was a classic. She had an ingrown toenail! My wife told her she could certainly sympathize with anyone who suffered to pain on ingrown toenails since all ten of hers are ingrown. At that time she had not missed a worship service in seventeen years.

People usually do what they want to and find some excuse for not doing what they don’t want to do. Even people in Bible days offered some pretty lame excuses for their disobedience. Adam and Eve sinned. Adam blamed his wife and Eve claimed the devil made her do it.
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Words

Dr. J.T. Parish“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” The latter statement is demonstrably false. Words may not break your bones, but they can break your heart. Words may edify or they may tear down. Words can be helpful or they can be harmful. Words may be judgmental or they may be gracious.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) A man once participated in spreading gossip about a neighbor and later found out the gossip was false. He went to the neighbor and apologized. The neighbor forgave him but challenged the man to imagine what would happen if he took a bag of feathers and released them on a busy street corner on a windy day. No matter how carefully he released the feathers, it would be impossible to re-gather them and put them back in the bag. Just saying, “I am sorry” does not undo all the damage that was done.
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Communication

Dr. J.T. ParishTwo elderly men with hearing problems met on the street. One said, “It’s windy today.” His friend replied, “No, it is not Wednesday, it is Thursday.” The first man answered, “I am thirsty too. Let’s go down to the Dairy Queen and get a coke.”

Communication is difficult because it involves:
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People Need the Lord

Dr. J.T. ParishIn wicked disobedience to the call and direction of the Lord, Jonah ran the other direction. When God caught him in a great storm and he was thrown overboard and was swallowed by a great fish – Jonah had a powerful wake up call. In the belly of the fish in the depth of the sea, with the seaweed wrapped around his head, Jonah had a revelation, “Salvation is of the Lord!”

Jonah’s situation was no more desperate, than our situation is today. The great deception of our day is that many people have not “felt need” of the Lord. They are blinded concerning their own danger. When we speak of being saved we find the majority of people don’t know what they need to be saved from. The scriptures tell us Jesus came to save us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10)
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Two Ways

Dr. J.T. ParishA Christian man asked a high school student what he planned to do in life. The student said that his first plan was to complete high school. The man asked, “What then?” The young man replied that he hoped to go to the university as a pre-med student and then on to medical school. The Christian man answered “That is wonderful, but what then?” The audacious young man told of his desire to become a doctor and serve some small community that had no doctor.

He was asked “What then?” “I hope to someday retire and would like to travel to every continent in the world.” “What then?” asked the older man. When the young man answered by saying “I suppose someday I will die.” The Christian man asked one more time, “What then?”
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