Now HE WHO KEEPS HIS COMMANDMENTS abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
January 2017 - GraceAndWorks
Back in the 1950’s we lived on a farm in a small farming community in Western Nebraska. Things were tough financially so my Dad drove a school bus to help make ends meet. He would pick the kids up in the morning and deliver them back home in the afternoon after school. If I remember right, it took about an hour and a half to run the route each time. There were rules on the bus that the kids had to follow. No running on the bus (had to remain seated), no loud talking or screaming, no picking on others, and no fighting. Dad was good at keeping everyone in line, however, if it got too bad he would stop and talk to the parents when he dropped their child off. That not only took care of that problem, but all the others would then behave. They didn’t want to have him talking to their parents. So basically everyone did as they were expected and got delivered home.
The second bus I want to talk about is the one God drives. He has all His children on it and expects them to follow the rules just as the school bus driver expected. In order to ride God’s bus here are some of His rules: Repent and be Baptized, attend Worship Services on Sunday (The Lord’s Day), do good works, have proper faith, set a good example to others, and go into all the world preaching and teaching (the Great Commission). If the children get out of line, God has His ways to get everyone back in line. So basically everyone does as expected and gets delivered home (Heaven)
The third bus to talk about is the one Satan drives. Now, this bus doesn’t have any rules. It’s the “Fun” bus. You get to do whatever you want. You can drink all you want, do drugs, indulge in immorality, be a homosexual, cause strife with others, fight with your family, fight with your friends, make it so everything is all about “Me”, and the list goes on and on and on and on…….. You know what else? He will even let you drive. So every one does as expected and gets delivered into darkness.
Which bus are you on? Satan’s or God’s? Are you in obedience to God? or Are you on the “Fun” bus? God says, “Obey My commands and I will prepare for you a place and I will deliver you home (Heaven).” Satan says, “Do what ever you want and I will have a place prepared for you and I will deliver you home (Eternal Darkness).”
It was Sunday morning and time to get up and get ready to worship God. I jumped in the shower and got cleaned up and dressed. Then it was time for my usual Sunday morning breakfast of 2 blueberry muffins and a diet Pepsi.
It was cold, windy, and rainy outside. This particular Sunday, I was headed to Pahrump, Nevada to teach class and bring a sermon to them. It is 8:15 and time to get going. We had planned on leaving a little early because of the weather being nasty. It’s about 65 miles from my home in Las Vegas to Pahrump or usually about an hour and a half drive. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you that there is a mountain range in between. Sooooo, it’s raining here in Vegas and raining in Pahrump, means snow over the mountains. As we, my wife and I, were driving along, everything was going OK–just rain and windy. We got to the mountain range and sure enough—snow. The roads weren’t too bad, just kinda’ slushy. I was grumbling a little that we should have stayed in Vegas, but kept on going. We got over the mountains and I told my wife Paul had walked many miles in this kind of weather and here I am in a nice car complaining. Makes no sense!! We have arrived in Pahrump with basically no problems.
This congregation in Pahrump is a small Church of Christ with only about 10-15 people in worship services. We walk in and the smiles and hugs started. The love, caring, sincerity, and devotion in this little congregation is unmatched in any congregation I have ever been in. This morning there were 11 in worship including my wife and I. We had a class on faith and a sermon about Jeremiah and what God expected him to do. They thanked as for being there and helping out. I told them that I thought they had done more good for me than what I did for them. It does my heart good to help this congregation and see their faith, steadfastness, and the sincerity they have about God. We go up once a month and now we look forward to the next time. What an inspiration you are, Desert Church of Christ in Pahrump, Nevada. Thank you!!
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.
He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.
It was a cold night and the fireplace was sparking and warming the room. The man living there was calm and at peace when he heard a knock at the door. When he answered the door the preacher stood there without word. The man had not been to Church for several weeks, so he knew why the preacher was there. He invited the preacher in and asked him to have a seat. The preacher sat down, still without word. The two just sat there as the time went by. The preacher got up and went to the fireplace and picked up a hot ember. He took the ember and set it aside by itself. Soon the glowing ember was going dim and losing is glow and effectiveness. The two of them continued to sit without word. The preacher looked at his watch and deemed it time to leave. Before he left, he went to the fireplace and put the piece of wood back in the fire and it once again was glowing. As the preacher was leaving the man said to him, “I’ll see you in Church Sunday.”
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
“Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? FOR OUT OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART–THE MOUTH SPEAKS!”