The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the
nations...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you,
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age"
September 27, 2015
1) Living Godly Lives (Stan Cox)
2) Pray for Strength (Doug Pennock)
3) News & Notes
Living Godly Lives
by Stan Cox
The apostle Paul wrote to Titus, "For the grace of God that brings
salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying
ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously,
and godly in the present age" (Titus 2:11-12). In these words are
found the response of every Christian to the gift of grace. We have
the hope of salvation because of what God has granted to us. Our
response is an ordering of our lives: "we should live soberly,
righteously and godly."
The definition of the word godly is minimally helpful. The term
refers to piety, devotion and reverence. More helpful are the verses
that describe the kind of life that characterizes the Christian
profession. For example, when considering the proper role model for
a godly life, we consider Jesus Himself. Peter wrote, "But as He who
called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it
is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy'" (1 Peter 1:15-16). Jesus was
guileless (cf. 1 Peter 2:21-24), and pure (cf. 1 John 3:1-3). In His
life, and in His death, He always sought to do the will of His
Father in heaven (cf. John 15:10).
A truly godly life is an informed one. Paul wrote about the Jews,
who "have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they
being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish
their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of
God" (Romans 10:2-3). In order for us to live a godly life, we have
to know what God considers godly. Fortunately, He has revealed these
things to us in scripture.
So, simply put, a godly life is a life that is lived in accord with
God's expressed will. The Psalmist wrote, "Teach me, O Lord, the way
of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me
understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it
with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
for I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not
to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
and revive me in Your way" (119:33-37). He contrasts God's way with
"worthless things," and contrasts God's testimonies with
covetousness. God's will is the antithesis of evil. His way is the
way of godliness. Consider these words: "How sweet are Your words to
my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I
get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a
lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (119:103-105).
So, we seek to emulate our Lord. We seek direction from God to know
what is right and wrong. And, as we attain such knowledge, it is
important that we dwell upon it. Paul wrote the Philippians,
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are
noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever
things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is
any virtue and if there is anything praise- worthy -- meditate on
these things. The things which you learned and received and heard
and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you"
(Philippians 4:8-9). Meditation on what is righteous, in contrast
with the pablum of popular culture, helps to direct the Christian's
path in the way of godliness. The man whose mind dwells in the muck
of worldliness will be corrupted in his walk.
Finally, a godly walk is a motivated walk. It is easy to become
distracted by the tedium of this life. We can become "shortsighted,
even to blindness" (cf. 2 Peter 1:9). In fact, Peter's statement is
made within the context of adding virtuous characteristics
(including godliness, vs. 6), to ensure we don't suffer from that
myopia that would endanger our eternal standing before God. As Paul
put it, "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but
one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and
reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the
goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus"
(Philippians 3:13-14). A disciplined Christian, seeking always to do
all and only what God allows, will most certainly attain the prize
A righteous life is attainable with effort and focus. Such godliness
is wonderfully profitable, "For bodily exercise profits a little,
but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the
life that now is and of that which is to come" (1 Timothy 4:8).
Later in the same epistle, Paul wrote, "Now godliness with
contentment is great gain" (6:6). If we remember that this life is
preparatory to eternity, we will answer the call of grace with a
life that is lived in accord with God's righteousness.
-- Via the Monthly Messenger, August 2015
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we
have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands
have handled, concerning the Word of life -- the life was
manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you
that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to
us" (1 John 1:1,2).
Pray for Strength
by Doug Pennock
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He
may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him,
because He cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:6,7).
What a great comfort this verse is to us as Christians. Knowing that
God, the creator and sustainer of all things, cares for us. This is
worth more than all the gold or silver or money or anything else
that we might possess in this life. When we come upon hard times in
life or we lose a loved one or feel compassion for the sick; When we
are troubled in mind and in spirit -- even to the point of deep
despair -- we can turn to God, our Father, in prayer and let Him
know all about it, knowing that He has compassion on us and will
ease our cares and troubles in life, giving us the strength to cope
because He cares for us.
Of course God already knows of our troubles before we ask, but,
being the benevolent Father that He is, to hear it from us means a
great deal to Him, not to mention that just sharing our troubles
with Him can mean a great deal to us.
Think how God is involved in our lives. He watches over us in
everything we do and think. He knows our hearts and all that we
might aspire to. He knows all of our concerns and is concerned with
us. With Him looking out for us in all things, how can we ever feel
down or despair? We can just look to Him and know that everything
will work out in the end.
Speaking of which, if we keep our eyes on that blessed goal of
heaven in the after while, it will go a long way toward keeping our
spirits up and will keep us on the true path of joy and happiness
that we need to sustain us in this life.
God cares for us. Think of it: how can anything be more powerful or
moving in our lives? To think of the many blessings we have through
Him, because He cares for us, is enough to lift our spirits.
So we should count our blessings and cast our cares upon God when we
have those moments of feeling sad or despair and are in need of the
comfort that God provides.
But what if we are not in that covenant relationship with God at
this moment in our lives. What if we do not know the comfort that
comes through Him? I cannot imagine how someone outside the Lord is
able to cope with the troubles of life. Do not they become cold and
callous and give up on caring so that they will not feel the pain of
life? God does not want us to be uncaring, but rather to lean on Him
to carry the load when we feel pain because we care.
Are you in a covenant relationship with God tonight? Jesus said in
John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes
to the Father, but through Me."
To have this relationship with God, we must be in Christ; and to get
into Christ, we must be baptized and wash away our sins, which is
preceded by confessing that Jesus is the Christ and repenting of our
sins. Then, to stay in that relationship, we must devote our lives
to doing all that the New Testament teaches we must do, and repent
when we do transgress and sin.
If you have a need tonight you can come forward and renew your
relationship with God while we stand and sing.
-- This was Doug's "Invitation Talk" for last Wednesday evening,
which we enjoyed and appreciated, following the Bible classes.
News & Notes
Let those of us who are God's children be remembering the following
We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Marie
Turner (of Ocala, Florida) who passed away September
24. For 30 years, she was the wife of Mark whom the church
here used to help support in his preaching of the gospel.
We also extend our sympathies to the family and friends of Joseph
Fields (Bennie Medlock's cousin) who was fatally hit by a car
in Atlanta on September 18.
And our condolences also go out to the family and friends of John
Kenneth Springs (another of Bennie's cousins) who died in
Atlanta of a stroke on September 21.
Joseph Cooper (Deborah Medlock's cousin), who is in his 40s,
was beaten and stabbed by his friends, which resulted in critical
condition and his being put on life support. Surgery was
scheduled for September 29 in Jacksonville.
On September 17, Christopher Pennock (Marie Pennock's
grandson and the son of Dan) had a stroke and congestive heart
failure, which resulted in a paralysis of most of his left side and
a 21% heart function. He will remain in the hospital for
probably a couple weeks, is already slowly regaining some use of his
left side, and is able to walk a little. He is only
Misty Thornton, who is having heart trouble, will soon
be seeing defibrillator-specialists, endocrinologists, and
geneticists. Due to her condition, her cardiologist has urged
her to not do any traveling. It has been a difficult time for
her, but she does appreciate the prayers of the brethren.
The surgery for Billy Cribbs (the son of Baxter and Mary)
went well. One of his kidney stones was eliminated, but there
is now one more in his other kidney to be taken care of.
Buddy Gornto is now having to receive dialysis.
Also for our prayer list:
Rebekah Hampton (POT Syndrome), Deborah Medlock (neck
and shoulder problem), Rex Hadley (bypass blockage), Dexter
Roberts (cancer in lymph nodes and several places), Steve
Vesta (critically ill), Shirley Davis (arthritic
pains), Eleanor Roberts (Alzheimer's disease), Henry
Roberts (pain in back and feet), Judy Daugherty
(undergoing physical therapy three times a week), Danielle
Howard (has trouble at times with her blood pressure and
heart rate), Mary Vandevander and Sue Wooten
(shut-ins), Sunny Nichols (Parkinson Disease), Jean
Beach (gastrointestinal problems), Michelle Rittenhouse
(PVCs) Raylee Metts and Lexi Crawford (cancer), Anthony
Monroe, Jr. (hearing problem), Betty Miles (stroke), Don
Hill (cancer), Colleen Henson, Donell Wells, and Kelsey
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes
(Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24;
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts
5) Be baptized in water for the
remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal.
3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21)
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation
can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
(Gospel Observer website)