Most of us go to the big box stores these days and picking up what we need off the shelf and paying whatever price is printed below the item. More and more retail outfits are trying to do business this way and so we do our research about what we will pay for something ahead of time, usually online. But it hasn’t always been this way. For all the years I was in the furniture business we knew that we could not put our lowest price on the tag because we knew folks wanted to dicker.
We all know that Mississippi is right next to Alabama. It would make sense to understand that we share similar topography, people and many attitudes. But in the minds of most of the residents, Alabama and Mississippi are definitely two different things. One thing we do have in common is that both states find themselves looked down upon by many of our supposed betters in the rest of the country. But folks do still keep moving here, don’t they?
Baptism is important. If it was insignificant or a mere adjunct to salvation we would not find it mentioned as it is by Paul, Peter and the Lord Himself. Most folks reading this article know the passages in the New Testament that reference baptism, among which are Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, and 1 Peter 3:21. From the very beginning of my exposure to the New Testament, the passage that has helped me most has been Romans 6. I think this is the case because this passage helped me understand how baptism works.
“Curse God, and die.” This is one of the saddest and most pitiful expressions to be found in the Bible. Bible students know that these words came from the mouth of Mrs. Job. We also know why she was moved to say such a thing.
Job had been a very rich man. He had at least eleven thousand animals and “very great household.” He had a large and fine family of seven sons and three daughters. The Bible says that Job was “perfect (blameless) and upright, one that feared God and eschewed evil” (1:1).
The scribes and Pharisees of the first century believed mightily in adhering to what they called “the tradition of the elders” (Matthew 15:2). Jesus rebuked them because of their hypocrisy which they utilized to contradict God’s will: “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition” (Matthew 15:6). The Lord continued His rebuke with a quotation from Isaiah 29:13: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
Our group, consisting of Suzanne, Andrew and Ashley Sims, Pam and Katie Pepper, Perry, Gina, Laura and Jacob Martin, Brent Peek, John Colgan, Steve Carr and me, met at the Huntsville Airport at 5:00 AM Friday morning, July 15. We went down to Atlanta (one always goes to Atlanta first) and then on to Miami. Going through security in Miami was easy as could be because the crowds were simply not there. Next was a stop in Trinidad where we stayed on the plane for perhaps two hours and then zipped down into the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana.
The Christian religion can be seen as a historical entity. As such its existence can be traced from its beginning to the present. The story of the first century of Christianity is most reliably told by the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. After that the account moves out from under inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16-17). There is a wealth of information about the things that happen to the church from the end of the first century forward; obviously, the historical accounts are more numerous as time moves toward the present.
OUR 2016 GUYANA CAMPAIGN
For some time now (since 1999) we have been involved in the work for Christ in Guyana. We have sent teams down once or twice a year and this year is no exception. Fourteen of our folks will leave on Friday, July 15 to help the church there at Bartica with a Vacation Bible School and a Gospel Meeting. We always look forward to seeing the people of that good church, particularly Michael Osborne and his good wife Jennifer.
Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia because he was extremely concerned about their future. Indeed he said “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). When we read the letter it becomes clear that the specific challenge before these people was the temptation to leave the Christian faith and return to the Law of Moses. This would be spiritually disastrous, so much so that Paul said that whoever promulgates such a thing should be accursed (Galatians 1:6-9).
In Matthew 14 we have the account of Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee. Matthew tells us of two things occurring just prior to this event. First there is the account of the death of John the Baptist. When Jesus heard of John’s death He went to a quiet and deserted place. Though Matthew does not tell us we can reasonably assume that the Lord wanted to be by Himself to think about what had happened to John (Matthew 14:13). We remember that He was “tested in all points like as we are” (Hebrews 4:15).
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