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"
August 14, 2016
1) Morale Boosters (R.J. Evans)
2) Casting in the Tree (Jeff May)
3) News & Notes
"Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the
faint-hearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all" (1 Thes. 5:14).
There are so many things that may get us discouraged and lower our
morale as we live our lives here on this earth. At times, elders,
deacons, and preachers get discouraged in dealing with problems and
trying to assist others with their difficulties. Young people are
being pressured by their peers to do many things that are sinful and
worldly. So many families have problems, heartaches, and financial
struggles. Those who have health issues, or who are grieving over
the loss of a loved one, often become weary and discouraged. Single
people may become lonely, and feel like they are always left out.
Unfortunately, in some congregations, there are those who work
behind the scenes to "put it down" rather than seek to "build it
up." These kind of devious actions to undermine the work of the
church lower the morale of a congregation -- especially as it
relates to those who are young in the faith or weak. And the list
could go on and on concerning things that tend to lower our morale.
In dealing with discouragements and low morale, there are several
things we all can do. We can try to maintain a good, positive,
loving attitude. We can work and labor in the kingdom as hard as
possible. The Apostle Paul said: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be
steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58).
Please go back and re-read our text in view of putting it into
What else can we do to lift each others' spirits? We can try to be
present for all the assemblies of the church. By doing so, we make
ourselves available for our own edification, as well as availing
ourselves of the opportunity to edify others (Eph. 4:16). Attending
Bible classes and worship services lifts our morale, even when we're
not feeling well. This helps to "recharge our batteries." It is
God's will that none of us forsake the assemblies of the church
(Heb. 10:25). James says, "Therefore, to him who knows to do good
and does not do it, to him it is sin" (Jas. 4:17). Thus, by
attending all the services of the church, not only do we worship God
"in spirit and truth" (Jn. 4:24), we also encourage and boost the
morale of one another.
Let's all try to be like Joses, whose name was changed to "Barnabas"
because he was an encourager. He encouraged or boosted the morale of
other Christians wherever he went (Acts 4:36-37; 11:23; 15:26-42).
We can also seek to be the kind of Christian who refreshes others.
Please consider the following examples: Philemon -- "the hearts of
the saints have been refreshed by you, brother" (v. 7); Paul told
the Romans -- that I "may be refreshed together with you" (Rom.
15:33); Paul wrote of several brethren who -- "refreshed my spirit
and yours" (1 Cor. 16: 18); The Corinthians had been a joy to Titus
-- "because his spirit has been refreshed by you all" (2 Cor.
7:14); Paul said of Onesiphorus -- he "often refreshed me" (2 Tim.
1:16). Every one of these was a morale booster.
In view of the above, let us each encourage and refresh one another
so we will become MORALE BOOSTERS. We close with the words of the
Apostle Paul to the Corinthians: "we...are fellow workers for your
joy" (2 Cor. 1:24).
-- Via bulletin for the Southside church of Christ, Gonzales,
Casting in the Tree
Shortly after Israel escaped the clutches of Egyptian bondage, they
came to Marah hoping to find water. But the water was
bitter. Moses cried out and "the Lord showed him a
tree." Moses cast it into the waters and the waters were made
sweet. Casting in the tree made all the difference (Exodus
In the days of Elisha, he and his servants were cutting down trees
for a new residence (2 Kings 5:1-7). As one was cutting, the
iron ax head fell into the water and sank to the bottom. The
servant cried out, "Alas, master! For it was borrowed" (vs.
5). No problem. Elisha simply "cut off a stick and threw
it in there; and he made the iron float" (vs. 6).
Here are two examples of bad situations made so much better by
casting in the tree. So it is with our lives. Problems
arise as we strive to serve God faithfully, but God has given us a
tree: the tree of Calvary. Cast it in!! See the
difference it makes.
Are you needing saving from your sins? Cast in the tree.
When you and I sinned the very first time, we came under the death
penalty (Rom. 6:23). Our sentence would be eternal separation
from God. Worse yet, there was nothing we could do to remedy
the problem. But God cast in the tree! Jesus "bore our
sins in His own body on the tree, that we having died to sins, might
live for righteousness -- by whose stripes you were healed" (1 Pet.
2:24). Because of the tree being cast in, we can obey the
gospel and no longer fear death (1 Cor. 15:55-57).
Do you want to get rid of your old sinful self? Cast in the
tree. Are you tired of sin? Are you tired of what it is
doing to you? Cast in the tree. Not only did Jesus have
a cross to die on, you do too. In becoming a Christian, you
crucify the old man and rise to walk in newness of life (Rom.
6:1-7) Say goodbye to the old man!! You can live in a
joyful new life and say with Paul, "I am crucified with Christ; it
is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which
I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved
me and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20).
Are you tired of churches using gimmicks and recreation for "power"
to draw people? Cast in the tree. How ashamed we ought
to be if we ever think we need to draw people to Christ with
food, recreation and entertainment. There's enough power in
the tree. Jesus Himself said, "And I, if I am lifted up from
the earth, will draw all people to Myself" (Jn. 12:32). The
man who sees his problem will come to the tree of Calvary for his
remedy. He needs nothing else. He wants nothing
else. He desires only "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Cor.
Do you ever feel down? Do you ever feel like quitting?
Cast in the tree. Paul said he often was hard pressed,
perplexed, persecuted and struck down (2 Cor. 4:8-9). How can
we hold up under all the discouraging things that come our way in
this life? Cast in the tree. That was Paul's
answer. He said he was "always carrying about in the body the
dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be
manifested in our body" (2 Cor. 2:10). When it got hard, he
just remembered Jesus. He endured the cross and afterward sat
down at God's right hand in heaven (Heb. 12:2). The world will
look at us with bewilderment and wonder what keeps us going.
What a great testimony when they see that it is the tree!!
Has someone hurt you? Are you struggling to forgive? Is
your patience with someone really wearing thin? Cast in the
tree. Come on now. Have any of us ever been hurt more
than Jesus? Can we hear Him saying on the tree, "Father,
forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Lk. 23:34).
Can't we do the same (Col. 3:13)? Maybe the "scruples" of
someone is testing your patience. Are you tempted to push your
way with no regard for their feelings? Cast in the tree (Rom.
Is some trial or happening in your life causing you to wonder if God
loves you? Cast in the tree. Jesus has forever settled
that matter. The tree proves His love. Let nothing deter
you from serving Him and separating you from His love. The one
who did not spare His own Son will reward us well when this life is
over (Rom. 8:31- 39).
No matter what comes into our lives, we can always cast in the
tree. It changes things. Let us all praise God for the
cross of our Lord.
--Via online articles at the Oakland church of Christ website,
Athens, Alabama, March 12, 2012
News & Notes
The open heart surgery for Jim Lively went well. He
received four bypasses, was sitting up in a chair the next day, and
was walking and eating solid foods by the second day. His only
pain right now is around the incision. Let those of us who are
Christians continue to remember him in prayer as he is now healing.
Some of you have been concerned with helping the brethren in
Louisiana who were affected by the recent flooding. R.J.
Evans, who is a preacher and elder for the Southside church of
Christ in Gonzales, sent me the following message: "A number of
brethren from all parts of the country have been contacting us,
wanting to help the families who have been flooded. Here in
Gonzales, LA, the Southside church has over a dozen families who had
their houses flooded. While this has not received a great deal
of national coverage, it is a historic, record-breaking flood -- the
weather service down here has been referring to it as a 1,000 year
flood. It has ranged from 2 feet to about 6 feet of water in
the houses of some of our members. Some of these families did
not have flood insurance. All the sheet rock, insulation,
flooring will have to be replaced; all furniture and appliances are,
for the most part, destroyed. The cost of repairing and
replacing will involve many thousands of dollars. Based on the
pattern in Acts 11:27-30, the four elders of this church (Harris
Lefort, Ken Robertson, Dennis Stutzman, & myself) will
distribute these funds, based upon the needs of each family.
We will keep close, detailed records of this special fund (names,
amounts, etc.). Should we start receiving funds that are not
longer needed, we will return them, and notify others. If any
receiving this information would like to contribute, please make the
check out to the Southside Church of Christ. On the check, you
might want to write "elders - for families flooded" - or something
similar. Please send to: Southside Church of Christ, P.O. Box
686, Gonzales, LA 70707. Words cannot express how
thankful we are for your prayers, care, concern, and willingness to
help. May God continue to bless all of you in His service.
R.J.E. (Please feel free to forward this to those you
believe would like to receive it.)"
I (Tom Edwards) had lived in Denham Springs for about 12
years. For the last four years that I was there, I had also
been attending the Wednesday evening services at Southside, since
the midweek service I also attended (and later taught) in Baton
Rouge was on Tuesdays. I always enjoyed being with the
brethren there in Gonzales and know and respect all of these men who
are serving as elders there.
Michelle Rittenhouse was back in the hospital for a few days
recently for tests and to be put on a new medication for her heart
problems. Prior, new medications have had an adverse affect
upon her by about the 5th day. Let us pray that this will be
Others, too, that we have been praying for: Rex Cothren
(brain surgery), Camp Tatum (cancer cells of the spine), Kelly
Fleeman (receiving treatments for lymphoma), Shirley Davis
(back pain), Doyle Rittenhouse (bursitis, arthritis, trouble
with hips and back);
Joyce Rittenhouse (liver tests), James Medlock (for
his health), Penny Medlock (at Saint Simons By-the-Sea), Melontine
Davis (pain comes and goes periodically, due to slip disc in
neck), Brianna Mackey (will be undergoing therapy for about
a year), Mary Vandevander (housebound), and Sue Wooten
WordPress version of this week's bulletin:
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; John
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, living for the Lord; for, if
not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet.
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10
AM & 5 PM (worship)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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