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" (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
January 20, 2018
1) The Heavenly Mindset (Dennis Stackhouse)
2) Enlightened Eyes (Wayne Goff)
3) "A Cappella" (Greg Gwin)
4) News & Notes
In writing the church at Colossae, Paul said this in Colossians 3:1:
"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the
things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of
God." We know the apostle is addressing baptized believers, as
these people had been raised up with Christ, according to Colossians
2:12. With that in mind, all Christian people should recognize
this teaching as an encouragement to not allow worldly matters to
interfere with a proper mindset, a heavenly mindset. After
all, Paul does instruct us to "keep seeking the things above."
In other words, this is something the Christian never stops doing;
it is a continual exercise, we are to keep seeking the things above
as long we dwell in these earthly bodies. This is the case
because that's where Christ is and we want to be where He is.
Our goal should be that of reaching heaven.
Colossians 3:2 continues this thought: "Set your mind on the things
above, not on the things that are on earth." If we can
continually fill our minds with "the things above," such as God and
Christ in their heavenly home, the heavenly preparations being made
for Christians (John 14:2-3) and our expectation to imitate God and
Christ (Ephesians 5:1; I Corinthians 11:1), then our lives will be
more reflective of what God wants them to be. So it is
entirely appropriate for Christian men and women to remove their
focus from worldly things and concentrate their thoughts on heaven;
in fact, the Scriptures strongly encourage us to do so. Let's
consider a few more examples of this.
In Matthew 6:19-21, our Lord said: "Do not store up for yourselves
treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves
break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do
not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart
will be also." If worldly treasures have been replaced by
heavenly treasures, the Christian truly is seeking the things
above. Jesus plainly said that our heart will follow after our
treasure, so if that treasure is in heaven, we have our priorities
in order. Paul indicated that his desire was "to depart and be
with Christ, for that is very much better," in Philippians
1:23. Paul was undeniably focusing on the heavenly home.
In Philippians 3:14 he also said: "I press on toward the goal for
the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." If this
is not a focus on heaven, I'm not sure what it is. Then in
Philippians 3:20 we learn that the Christian's citizenship is in
heaven. Doesn't it make sense to focus on the "country" where
our citizenship is?
The apostle wrote in II Timothy 4:8: "In the future there is laid up
for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous
Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to
all who have loved His appearing." Could there be any better
reason to embrace the heavenly mindset? If we really did make
heaven our priority, perhaps the things of this world would not be
so troublesome to us; perhaps we would eliminate a great deal of
frustration and anxiousness. Make sure that heaven is your
— Via article from the La Vista church of Christ
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians in chapter one reads, “…that the
God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you
the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the
eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may
know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the
glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding
greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the
working of His mighty power…" (vv. 17-19). Paul prayed
that the Ephesians would have enlightened eyes. My prayer
for all of us is that we would have enlightened eyes, too.
Enlightened eyes see things that others do not see. In this text,
God is giving us “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the
knowledge of Him” as the means of that
enlightenment. Today God’s revelation is fulfilled and complete, so
that the Holy Spirit enlightens our eyes through the knowledge of
the Scriptures. Additionally, wisdom may be prayed for so
that this knowledge might be used properly. God gladly gives us
wisdom when we desire it and ask for it (James 1:5).
Do you desire to have your “eyes” of understanding
enlightened? If you do, then you already know to read the
Scriptures habitually, for therein is the power of God unto
salvation (Romans 1:16). Having read the Scriptures, you meditate
on them day and night (Psalm 1:2). Having meditated on the
Scriptures, you also learn to “rightly divide the word
of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Finally, having done all of that,
you make a personal application of them (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
More specifically, in our Ephesian text, Paul and God desire that
your eyes may be enlightened so that you may know:
1. What is the hope of His calling. If you do not have the
hope of eternal life, then you will not remain faithful throughout
your lifetime. Satan is always striving to place doubt in your mind
about going to heaven. God’s Word removes that doubt and strengthens
that conviction as part of the enlightening of the eyes!
2. What are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in
the saints. Does Paul mean for us to comprehend what God
His scheme of redemption? Or does Paul want us to comprehend the
riches of our future glory? I have always taught that God
wants us to know and appreciate what He has gotten out of
the eternal plan of salvation. But we undoubtedly should strive to
comprehend the greatness of our eternal reward as well! In order to
do this, consider Revelation 20-21 as a starter. Meditate on the
glories of heaven, and you will do more to make your calling and
election sure (2 Peter 1:10).
3. What is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who
believe, according to the working of His mighty power. We need
to be reminded constantly that God is working in us both to will and
to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Our eternal security is
absolute from God’s standpoint. Nothing can prevent us from
being saved, except ourselves! Read Romans 8:31-39 to appreciate
this concept. Read also John 10:27-28 for another example of God’s
power to keep us saved. Yes, we must “hear” the Shepherd’s
voice and “follow” Him. Yes, we must “trust and obey”
His will! But with God’s help we can become more spiritually-minded,
have a greater enlightenment of our spiritual eyes, and rest assured
of the promised rest that is before us. The real question remains: “How
much do you desire to have your spiritual vision enlightened?”
Enough to seek and find?
— Via the Roanridge Reader, Volume 34, Issue 02, Page 02,
January 13, 2019
The word “a cappella” is defined by the dictionary as: “music
without instrumental accompaniment.” It comes from a Latin
word which literally means “as in the church.” Interestingly,
the etymology (origin) of this word, proves that at the beginning of
the church (and for many centuries thereafter), the music in worship
was singing only, without instrumental accompaniment.
— Via The Beacon, January 13, 2019
"Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my groaning.
Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God,
For to You I pray.
In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly
watch” (Psalm 5:1-3, NASB).
News & Notes
Folks to be praying for:
We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Larry
Welch (Sherri Crews’ cousin) who passed away January
14. He was 79 and had lived in Ware County all his life.
Pat Joyner’s surgery went well last Tuesday, and she
is now back home recuperating. She wants all to know that she
appreciates your thoughts and prayers on her behalf.
It turned out that Doyle Rittenhouse did not have to have
the melanoma removed recently, but he is to go back in three months
(unless it becomes worse).
Others to remember in prayer: Anita Young, Rick
Cuthbertson, Jim Lively, A.J. Joyner, Bennie & Deborah
Medlock, James Medlock, Melotine Davis, John and Myrna Jordan,
Shirley Davis, Mary Vandevander, Michelle Rittenhouse, John
Stoval, Everleigh and Hazel Greer, Marilyn Roberts, Danny
Hutcheson, Roger Montgomery, Mary Aldrich, Rex & Frankie
Hadley, and Tommy Lin
WordPress version of this 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,
Sunday services: 9:00
a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. &
5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m.
(Ladies' Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m.
Edwards (912) 281-9917
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