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Sep 19th
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Worship Center

Balance

Dr. J.T. ParishThe key to traveling by automobile is to stay in the road. Stay out of the ditches. And there is a ditch on both sides of the road. That same principle is important in many issues of life. Several years ago we began to read and understand more about faith. It was wonderful. Faith is how we receive Christ as our Savior. Faith believes the promises of God, and it is by Faith we get our prayers answered.

Yet problems arose around the message of Faith. The problem wasn’t that Faith was over emphasized. The problems arose when some folks went beyond Biblical Teaching. They went into the side ditch of presumption. Faith will get your prayers answered. Presumption will get a knot on your head. They look a lot alike but there is a world of difference between Faith and presumption. Faith stands squarely upon the promises in God’s Word. Presumption goes beyond the Word.
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God Is In Control

Dr. J.T. ParishDon’t you like it when God shows you that He is in control by over ruling your mistakes and bringing forth something good. We heard about a new family that had moved into our area. Taking a retired deacon with me, I went to welcome them to the community and invite them to church if they didn’t have a church home. We went to the address we were given, knocked on the door, and was incited in by a friendly man and his wife.

We found out the family was not Christians and did not attend any church. But the man said he was glad we came. Because he had been thinking about getting his family into church. That afternoon we shared the good news of salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God to salvation with a receptive family. As a result a man and his wife and teenage daughter received Christ as Savior and Lord.
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The Secret

Dr. J.T. ParishRev. Andrew Murray of South Africa had a very large family –eleven children. He and his wife diligently taught them and set the examples of how a Christian should live. Five of the sons became ministers of the Gospel. Four daughters became minister’s wives. The next generation had a more striking record. Then grandsons became Ministers of the Gospel. Thirteen grandchildren served as missionaries.

“The secret of this unusual contribution to the kingdom of God was the Christian home.” When Jesus Christ is the Lord in the lives of both father and mother, he is Lord over that home. Under the lordship of Jesus Christ children are under a canopy of God’s protection and blessing. Blessed beyond measure are children who have such a Christian heritage.
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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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