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" (Matt. 28:19,20).
October 30, 2016
1) Is Thy Heart Right with God? (John Isaac Edwards)
2) Gossip: A Heart Disease (David Hartsell)
3) News & Notes
Is Thy Heart Right with God?
John Isaac Edwards
The Scriptures often make reference to the heart, the thinking part
of man (Prov. 23:7).
Wise Solomon counseled, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out
of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). When Simon thought
he could purchase the gift of God with money, he was told, “...thy
heart is not right in the sight of God” (Acts 8:21). Thus we
ask, “Is thy heart right with God?” It would be good for each of us
to have a spiritual heart exam. You might use this study as a
personal checklist to help determine whether your heart is right
with God. Do you have...
1) A Loving Heart?
When asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”
(Mt. 22:36), Jesus answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with
all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Mt.
22:37). Do you have a heart that loves God above everyone and
2) An Honest and Good Heart?
In the Parable of the Sower, as recorded in Luke 8:4-15, Jesus told
about four places the seed fell. These soils represent different
hearts. “...that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and
good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit
with patience” (Lk. 8:15). Does this describe your heart?
3) A Pricked Heart?
When devout Jews on Pentecost heard Christ preached, “...they were
pricked in their heart, and said...what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).
We need a heart that is so touched by the word of God that we would
ask, “what shall we do?” And whatever the Lord would have us to do,
we will gladly do it as, “...they that gladly received his word were
baptized...” (Acts 2:41). How does your heart respond to the
word of God?
4) A Single Heart?
Those who obeyed the gospel on Pentecost were described as having
“...singleness of heart” (Acts 2:46). Paul instructed Ephesian
and Colossian servants to be obedient to their masters “...in
singleness of your heart...” (Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22). A single heart
is without double-mindedness. It’s not divided. It does not
seek to please outwardly, but is one of sincerity.
5) A Believing Heart?
When the treasurer asked about being baptized, Philip said, “If thou
believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered
and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts
8:37). Paul taught, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth
the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath
raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the
heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:9-10). Is your
heart a believing heart?
6) A Purposed Heart?
Remember Daniel? He “...purposed in his heart that he would
not defile himself...” (Dan. 1:8). Barnabas exhorted
first-century Christians, “...that with purpose of heart they would
cleave unto the Lord” (Acts 11:23). Our giving is to be,
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart...” (2 Cor.
9:7). Is your heart resolved or determined in this way?
7) An Obedient Heart?
Paul wrote, “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin,
but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was
delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the
servants of righteousness” (Rom. 6:17-18). Without an obedient
heart, we will not be saved! Christ is “...the author of
eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:9).
8) A Melody-Making Heart?
Ephesians 5:19 teaches, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the
Lord.” Is there within your heart a melody? It is also
written, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and
spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord”
9) A Will of God-Doing Heart?
The Ephesians were instructed, “...as the servants of Christ, doing
the will of God from the heart” (Eph. 6:6). Is your heart
committed to doing the will of God? Jesus said, “Not every one
that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”
10) A Pure Heart?
Paul admonished Timothy to have “...a pure heart...” (1 Tim. 1:5)
and “...follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that
call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Tim. 2:22). Peter
penned, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth
through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye
love one another with a pure heart fervently” (1 Pet. 1:22).
11) A True Heart?
Exhorting Christians to be steadfast and unmoveable, the Hebrew
writer declared, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full
assurance of faith...” (Heb. 10:22). When Christians do not
hold fast, waver, fail to consider one another and forsake the
assembling of ourselves together, it is a symptom of spiritual heart
trouble! (Heb. 10:23-27).
Can you put a check mark next to all of these? Is thy heart
right with God?
— Via The Terre Haute Speaker, Volume 4, Number 50, December 13,
Gossip: A Heart Disease
What is gossip? It is negative, unflattering words that when spread
hurt the reputation of others. Sometimes gossip is made up out of
thin air. Other times the bare facts related, might be true, but
many significant factors are left out, thus leaving a wrong
impression. Gossip can be true but serves no good to pass it on. How
does the Bible describe it? God’s Word often uses words like
whispers, backbiters, and evil speaking (Rom. 1:29-32; 2 Cor. 12:20
& 1 Pet. 1:1). How serious is this behavior to God? Briefly, let
us look at some truths about gossip and its spiritual dangers.
Why is whispering so detrimental? What are its fruits? First,
whispering can cause strong friendships to dissolve (Prov. 16:28).
Imagine how this would interrupt spiritual unity and progress in the
church if the conflicting friends were brethren? We must carefully
measure everything we say. The consequences can be powerfully
negative. Also, backbiting can feel like the “piercing of a sword”
(Prov. 12:18). Has unfair, critical talk about you gotten back
to you? It hurts so deeply! This is not what Jesus taught us to do.
He commands us to treat others in the way we would like to be
treated (Matt. 7:12). Loose speech not only damages the reputation
of others, but it diminishes the usefulness of the gossiper. The
only one who wins in this scenario is Satan.
Since God’s Word offers such serious warnings against whispering,
why do people do it? There are many reasons people participate in
loose talk. Some pass on negative information either because they
are unaware of the truth or unconcerned about its veracity. Paul
said he was slandered when people reported he taught it was all
right to do wrong as long as good was accomplished (Rom. 3:8).
That concept is not true. He did not teach it. And it, no doubt,
hurt his influence with some. Envy is another reason people will
gossip. Some at Corinth were jealous of Paul’s authority and
influence over the brethren there. Therefore, they strongly
criticized his right and ability to lead God’s people (2 Cor.
10:10-11). Paul warned those backbiters that he would deal
with them when he came back to Corinth. Finally, some just like
meddling in other people’s affairs. It’s exciting to them.
Peter strongly cautions disciples not to be busybodies (1
Pet.4:15). He puts this sin in the same category as
being a thief, and evil doer, or a murderer. God disapproves of
How can I refrain from gossiping? The simplest answer is to love
God. We show our love for Him by “keeping His commands”
(1 John 5:3). When we love Him we love each other. Jesus once
said, “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have
love for one another” (John13:35). That love will not just refrain
from evil speech but it will uplift and encourage others (Eph.
4:29). Are we a faithful, wise Christian who can listen to
sensitive things and give sound advice while keeping quiet
about the whole matter? God has shown us what is good.
Let’s not forget it!
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt…”
— Via the bulletin of the Birchwood Avenue church of Christ
"Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture,
to exhortation, to teaching. … Keep a close watch on yourself and on
the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both
yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim. 4:13,16, NASB).
News & Notes
After seeing her orthopedist last Monday, it was revealed that Melotine
Davis slightly fractured the tip of her shoulder, which will
require her wearing a sling for a while.
Ronnie Davis had been having some back trouble, but we are
now glad that he is doing better and was able to
Shirley Davis had the pin removed from her toe last Thursday,
and her foot is feeling better. Her Valdosta appointment has
been moved up to Monday, in which her doctor will speak to her of
the upcoming knee replacement that she will later have.
Shirley is still also waiting on hearing from her Brunswick doctor
who is to be giving her shots for the pain in her back, which has
been a main problem.
We are glad that Jonathan Abbott has been feeling better,
following that painful, gastrointestinal episode about a week and a
half ago, that had required hospitalization for a couple days.
We are also glad that Bennie Medlock is now healed from his
surgery and infection.
Jim Lively will begin his cardiac rehab on October 31st,
which will be giving him a good workout.
Also for our prayer list: Kay Byars (healing from cancer
surgery); La Donna Andrews, Lexi Crawford, Camp Tatum, and Kelli
Fleeman (dealing with cancer); Deborah Medlock
(who has been having trouble with her back); Jim Lively and Ray
Richards (healing from heart surgery); and Mary
Vandevander who remains housebound.
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
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
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.
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. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies' Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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