A Good Soldier

Today is Veterans Day.

As I think about the men who served our country, I also think about those who serve in the Lord’s Army.

Nov 12 AM A Good Soldier

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A Growing Church

I found this poem in the files this morning. I thought you would like to read it.

A Growing Church,

by Norman Gipson

I really want the church to grow -

It means the world to me;

I always worship with the saints

When I’ve no company.

I really want the church to grow -

And prosper in the end;

Then maybe someone else could come

And try to teach my friend.

I really want the church to grow -

And have sufficient funds;

I’d give some too, except that I

Must pay off all these loans.

I’m anxious for the church to grow -

The worship is so great;

When I last wen, six months ago,

I was just barely late.

I wonder why the church won’t grow?

It would, you plainly see,

If all the members of the flock,

Were faithful, just like me.

Hmm, I wonder what the author is saying . . .

- Scott

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My Top Posts by Views

I began blogging on February 25, 2009. I hope something I shared has helped you along the way.  I am not quitting . . . this week . . . I am just reflecting on what topics people are most likely to read.  In my checking my statistics and summaries, I learned which posts have the most views.

Here are my Top Ten Posts by the number of views.

  1. Ten Common Lies – 3, 206 views
  2. I Will Never Go Again – 1,752 views
  3. Top Ten Church Puns – 1,322 views
  4. The Greatest Command – 1,246 views
  5. Parable of the Mountain Lion – 1,209 views
  6. Expository Outline of Colossians 1:15-20 – 1,054 views
  7. Rain – 842 views
  8. OMG! – 838 views
  9. Keep Happy in the Holidays – 812 views
  10. For Sale – 792 views

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Imitating Satan

If you have followed this blog for sometime, you might have seen this back in 2009.  I pulled it from the archives and used it as the basis of the lesson Sunday night at Central. Since it was well received, I thought I would share it as a follow-up to yesterday’s post. In true Late Night form; “From the home office in Tuscaloosa, Alabama: here are the top ten reasons to imitate Satan:”

10. Satan does not quit. No matter how many times you turn down his offer, he is not giving up (Luk 4:13).10

9. Satan believes in God, heaven, and hell (Jam 2:19).

8. Satan tirelessly works both night and day.

7. Satan knows the Bible (Matt 4:6).

6. Satan is always looking for a prospect, he may well be the worlds best soul winner, just to the wrong side.

5. Satan accepts people quickly, it does not matter to him how good you have been, if you decide to do what is wrong, he will accept you.

4. Satan is positive; he always sees the good in the bad (Isa 5:20).

3. Satan is not easily discouraged (Job 1 & 2); he sticks with his plan.

2. Satan is patient, he will give you opportunity to serve him and leave the offer open for as long as it takes (Luk 4:13).

. . . . And the number one reason to imitate Satan is: <insert a dramatic pause> . . . .

1. Satan uses all available methods at his disposal to reach out to you and to win you over to his way of thinking (Eph 6:11 – wiles/schemes/strategies).

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Knowing the Enemy

As Christians, we need to know our enemy. Your enemy is not others in your congregation that you had a disagreement with. Your enemy is not the church down the road. Our enemy is not the people across the political aisle. The enemy is Satan – the devil.  Starting today and for a few posts that follow I will be sharing things I think we need to know about Satan as our enemy. We begin with what those in Jesus’ day, His apostles and followers, and what Jesus himself said bout Satan:

  1. Mat 6:13 – Satan is the evil one.

    Evil, it's in the eyes!

    Evil, it’s in the eyes!

  2. Mat 12:24 – Satan is the Prince of Demons.
  3. Mat 13:38-39 – He is the enemy that sows the weeds.
  4. Joh 8:44 – Satan is a murderer, liar, father of liars.
  5. Joh 12:31 – Is some ways the devil is the ruler of this world.
  6. 2Co 4:4 – As ruler Satan takes on the role of the god of this world.
  7. Eph 2:2 – Paul refers to him as the prince of power of the air.
  8. 1Th 3:5 – As the tempter, Satan puts our desires of the flesh right out of reach to draw us into his destruction.
  9. 1Pe 5:8 – More than a distant enemy, he is our adversary who is in our face.
  10. Rev 12:9 – Satan is the deceiver of the whole world, convincing the world that God is their enemy.
  11. Rev 12:10 – Jesus came to save the world from sin, Satan however is the accuser - the prosecuting counsel - desiring us to share in his suffering.

But remember, as a child of the King of kings “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).

- Scott

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We Can Keep on Keeping On

Yesterday we considered why we quit.  We looked at what potentially leads us away from God and His people – His Kingdom thephoto Church. Even with all that is against us we can keep on keeping on. We can “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Cor 15:58)”

How Can We Endure?

  1. Know Satan’s ploys.
  2. Know our own tendencies.
  3. Work on MYSELF.
  4. Help each other.
  5. Purpose of assembly.
  6. Encouragement
  7. To learn

How Can Avoid Falling Away:

  1. Remove all occasions to stumble.
  2. Help each other deal with temptation.
  3. Be Spiritually minded.
  4. Engage in godly activities.
  5. Surround self with good influences.
  6. Know / learn the Truth.

- Scott

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Why do we quit?

Through they years I started a lot of projects. Many of them I never completed. Through the years, I made myself many promises such as, I will eat better, exercise more, become healthier.  Those resolutions last a few weeks.  Why do I quit?  More importantly, why do fall short on my promises to God?

  1. Hearts That are Not Pure: Prov 4:23, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Impure WIN_20140123_092714hearts can lead us to think bad of others. They can lead to confusion about what is right and wrong. Impure hearts promote hatred and distrust between people.
  2. Attacks from Satan: Satan looks for moments of weakness and the areas of our life that are weakest. Notice how he used Simon’s weakness for notoriety as well as Simon’s love of money to manipulate him in Acts 8:9-21. Satan knows your weaknesses.
  3. Bad Company: Our parents were and are correct, it is important to be careful whom you choose as friends.  The apostle Paul said it this way Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’ 1 Cor 15:33.” This was Solomon’s downfall as he allowed the influence of those closest to him lead him to neglect keeping God first.
  4. Sin is Fun!!! Heb 11:25 says that Moses chose “rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” If sin was not fun, why would we want to do it? But notice the pleasure sin are fleeting – temporary at best.
  5. Persecution: Standing for what is right brings opposition. We may not face the same persecution that the early church did. We may never have to literally decide between death or life. We will have to choose what is right over what is easy and will face ridicule and ostracism. But remember, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” Joh 15:19-20. AS Noah learned, the crowd may laugh, but keep building your ark.

What can we do to protect ourselves and others from these things? How can we stay faithful and strong?  I will list some suggestions tomorrow, but what are you thinking?  Leave a comment.

- Scott

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