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The Importance of The Word

John1:1-3 (NIV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through Him all things were made; without Him, nothing was made that has been made. 
 
From the very beginning we can see that the Word was present. We can see that the Word was with God. We are also told that the Word was God and He (Jesus) was with God from the very beginning.
In verse 3 we see that all things were made through Him (Jesus). So what was the key component to which they were made? When we look at Genesis Chapter 1, we see that each day (6 days)the terminology “And God said, let there be…” was used. When God spoke, things happened and the Earth was formed and everything we see today came into existence through HIs spoken Word. 
 
There is an interesting verse in Proverbs 18:21 that says: Death and Life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. 
 
Evidently our words carry a lot of authority so we need to be careful what we say out of our mouths. The words we convey need to be positive to building others up rather than tearing them down. The words we speak need to be full of “Life” rather than “Death”. 
 
So my challenge to each of you is to consider carefully what you speak to others and also to yourself. Only speak words that build others up.
 
May the Lord continue to strengthen each of you and opening the eyes of your hearts so that you may know the Hope we each have because of Jesus our Lord. 
Chet Wiswell, Elder
 

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A Prayer For Us Today

Ephesians 1: 16-23 A Prayer for us today. 7-11-2020
I like this prayer that Paul had for the Ephesians and for us today. Note the prayer and my comments are listed (like this).
Ephesians 1:16-23 (NIV)
16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. (The Apostle Paul gives the example that he would pray for the church probably on a regular basis). 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father (Paul acknowledges who our God is, he lifts him up), may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better (Paul prays for us to have this wisdom and revelation so that we will all know our Heavenly Father better. This sounds good to me and I receive this wisdom and revelation). 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened (we all need the eyes of our hearts opened so we can understand) in order that you may know (so we can understand) the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance (what we have coming our way as an inheritance is great) in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe (there is evidently some great power available to us but we must believe it is available. The problem is that most people are unwilling to believe that power is available to them or that it even exist today). That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,(We are talking the resurrection power of Jesus is available for us today but we must believe that it is here. Wow), 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age (the present age is today. That power is available today for us who believe) but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body,(we as the church, brothers and sisters in Christ, are His body) the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
We are Christ representatives, His Ambassadors (II Cor 5:20) here on the earth to carry out his plans and to lift him up. We are not without His help, His Presence, and His Power.
May each of us in the church today become better men and women of Prayer!
Chet Wiswell, Elder.
 

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Majoring in Minors

The regular readers of these articles will hopefully understand that they are not written in an accusatory manner. The lesson’s title this time certainly exemplifies the struggles I have had, and at times still have, with stressing the trivial ahead of the vital. This phrase has been around for quite awhile and succinctly nails a problem of humanity.

At times interactions between people start with minor irritations and disagreements. If they are allowed to simmer without resolution, they can morph into anger and  rage. Better to “simmer down” or “take a chill pill.”  An incident this year in Denver resulted in a murder because the killer was infuriated with the victim’s casual attitude about something as minor as not cleaning up the feces of his dog. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill.

God’s people are in no sense immune from majoring in minors. Cain wasn’t, ( Gen 4: 3-8) Samson wasn’t, ( Jdg 15:1-3) Ahab wasn’t, ( 1 Ki 21:4-6) Miriam and Aaron weren’t, ( Nu 12-1-2) nor were many of the Kings of Israel and Judah. The early Christians also had their share of disputes about minor matters.  The Corinthians were quarreling about which apostle to follow        ( 1 Cor 3: 1-9). Even Paul and Barnabas had such a sharp disagreement over whether to take John Mark with them on a missionary journey, that they parted company ( Act 15:36-39).

So many times this behavior is caused by ego and jealousy and fueled by perceived insults. How    should Christians today avoid, “…repaying evil for evil or insult with insult?” ( 1 Pe 3:9).  Proverbs wisely states, “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult ( 12:16).  We would do well to listen to and obey the example of the Godhead, “slow to anger, abounding in love…” ( Ex 34:6) ( Nu 14:18)( Ne 9: 17) ( Ps 103:8) ( Eph 4: 26).  David says that, “…Time after time He (God) restrained His (justifiable) anger ( Ps 78:38). Even now the Lord is, “…patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish…” ( 2 Pe 3:9).

Christians today have a huge advantage beyond secular advice because we have been given an internal spiritual thermostat to keep the minors minor ( Gal 5: 22-23) ( Acts 5: 32) ( Rom 5:5).  If we adjust our spirit with the Holy Spirit, we will set the controls to forbearance ( Col 3:13) ( Eph 4:2) and longsuffering ( Nu 14: 18) ( 2 Cor 6:6) and learn to major in the majors.

Jim Bailey

Good article from Jim Bailey.    Thanks for sharing it with us Jery.

Chet Wiswell, Elder


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Jesus Prays for All Believers

I love this prayer that our Lord Jesus had for each of us.   I think it tells us what his expectations are for us as we live our lives here on earth, today.  Note the scriptures with my comment highlighted (like this).    From John 17:20-26.

20 “My prayer (the prayer of Jesus for us) is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, (He is praying for each of us here today) 21 that all of them may be one, (He wants us all to live in unity with each other in agreement with each other) Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. (He wants each of us to have the type of relationship that God and Jesus have together)  May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  (If we are in unity with each other and with our Heavenly Father and Jesus, then, those around us can believe in our Lord Jesus.  We are supposed to set a good, positive, outward expression of our unity with each other.)  22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one(Jesus restates the idea that He wants and expects us to live in unity as one with each other.) 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. (Complete unity; in other words, no in fighting, complaining, or beating people up).  Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (If we as brothers and sisters in Christ will be in unity with each other, then, those around us will be more willing to join in with us to worship our Lord Jesus).

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.  (Our Lord Jesus wants us to be with Him and behave like Him).

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.  (We know that God sent his Son Jesus into this world.)  26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (Jesus prays that the love of the Father might be in each of us).

I receive this prayer and pray that each of us might live in unity and harmony with each other.    Blessings to you all this week.

Chet Wiswell, Elder.


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Jesus Prayed to be Glorified

It seems like over the course of the last 60 days there has been an increase in “Prayer teachings” from different perspectives.  When times get tough we typically look for help and in this case Prayer seems to be that avenue to get help.  Prayers in the Bible don’t really get your attention until you start focusing on them and then you realize just how many of them that there are. 

 

Our Lord Jesus even prayed.   He taught on how to pray and how not to pray in Matt 6:5-8.  In verses 9-14 He gave us the model prayer or the Lord’s Prayer as an example.  Throughout the four gospels He would slip away to be alone and pray.  He even gave us examples of who to pray for.  Let’s look at John 17 where Jesus prayed for himself.

 

John 17: 1-5 NIV    17 After Jesus said this; he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify youFor you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

This is just hours before he is crucified.  He starts out with “Father” and He wants to glorify our Heavenly Father.  Jesus acknowledges that He has been given authority over all people and He is the one who gives eternal life.  I like verse 3 which tells us what eternal life is.  Eternal life starts here today when we accept Jesus as our Savior. Eternal life is “to know” our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus.  To “know” him is to have that close intimate relationship with Him.   As our relationship with our Father matures we will find ourselves bringing glory to God our Father and Jesus our Lord and Savior. 

In the trying times we live in today; I am glad I have God as my Heavenly Father and I can go to Him any time for any reason and I know He is there and that He is faithful to His word. 

Enjoy this Eternal Life as we learn to know our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus more and more.

Chet Wiswell, Elder. 


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Renewing Your Mind

Renewing of Your Mind

It is interesting seeing what is going on in some of our cities around the country.  There is lots of unrest, violence, and destruction.  Innocent people and businesses are being messed with for no reason.  So what has caused this?  There are probably all kinds of reasons but let’s consider the following.  The economy is shut down and people have lost their jobs.    This is a problem.  So when we have the opportunity to work we need to take advantage of that opportunity and we need to work with all our heart as in serving the Lord.

Second; I suspect that with the shut down there are a large number of people who have not been engaged in any kind of worship service or scripture reading.  This results in people not being able to “think clearly” as they should.  The falling away is happening!  The mind is drifting down the wrong path. 

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mindThen you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Here is my suggestion based on scripture.  We need to be continually renewing our minds so that we can think clearly and make good choices in the way we live.  I will say it like this: if we get in the habit of not meeting together in fellowship and if we are not in the word daily, we are putting ourselves at the risk of conforming to the pattern of what is going on in the world around us.  That pattern today is unrest, violence, fear, stealing, complaining, and hurting others.  

The most important thing we can do is to get back into regular fellowship and encouraging each other (Heb. 10:25).  We need to make it a habit to be in the Word of God, daily.  For those who fail in this, they will conform to the pattern of this world as seen on the news channels each day.   

Blessings to you all as we get started back up worshipping together.  We all need each other.   For our Lord is Greatly to be Praised.

Chet Wiswell, Elder.

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Honor Your Parents

With Mothers Day just behind us and Fathers Day still coming I have been considering what I might try to convey and Ephesians 6 came to mind.   This is a concept that applies to 100% of the population because we all have a mother and a father.  

 

Ephesians 6:1-3 (NIV)   Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

 

When you look at who we are it is safe to say that “we are all children” no matter our age.  We usually look at this scripture and view the children as a young individual.  But even for me being in my 60’s, I am still a “child to someone”.   I am lucky enough that my parents are still both alive.  That being the case I need to honor and respect them. So how do we do that?   First, we need to obey them since they probably have lived through what we are going though.     We should respect their guidance for our lives.  Second, I think it is important to spend time with them.   As we all age this appears to be very important and probably the best way to “honor our parents”.  Spending time with our parents is perhaps the best way to honor them.   That may very likely be what they need most. 

 

According to scriptures, there is a promise that comes with honoring our parents.  That promise is “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”  To me this seems like a good thing for all individuals concerned no matter the ages.

Anyway:  Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Fathers Day. 

 

Blessings to all the Moms and Dads!  We Love You Both!

Chet Wiswell, Elder.


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ANGELS ALL AROUND

Psalm 91:11-13 (NIV)  11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
 
It’s an interesting reality that God will command his angels concerning us.  The first thing to understand is that we don’t have the “right” to command angels or even ask them for help.   All that authority is in God’s hand and he sends them our way based on when He thinks the timing is correct.  He sends His angels “to guard” us and “to lift us up”.  These angels are here to protect us from “striking our foot against a stone”   We are protected from stumbling and falling in “all your ways”. 
 
I don’t know about you but I need this defending, protective, provision that the angels bring my way.  It is a comforting thought to know they are here.
 
In verse 13, the lion, the cobra, the great lion, and the serpent are all descriptive of Satan and his demons.   The interesting thing here is that it says “you will tread on” and “you will trample”.   This sounds like, with God’s help through His angel, we will be able to go on the “offensive” and be proactive in warding off the schemes of the devil.  We need to “resist the devil”. 

James 4:7 (NIV) Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

In James we read that we need to submit to God.   When we fall in line with God and allow him to be first in our lives and we trust Him, then we are to “take the offensive” and resist the Devil and he will flee from us.  Victory is ours through what Jesus has provided on the cross. 
As Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we are the righteousness of God through what Jesus has done.
Blessings to each of you this week.  

Chet Wiswell, Elder.


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GIVING TUESDAY

Today is #GivingTuesdayNow.   This is a new global day of giving to promote unity in response to the need that people have for Hope caused by COVID-19. 

If you are watching much of the news on TV or the internet it doesn’t take long to get discouraged.  You quickly can see how much conflict and disagreement there is in our nation and the world today.   Most people are ready for relief and for normalcy to return.  I am thankful I live in a small town in SW Kansas where we have room to maneuver around without being threatened like I see going on in parts of our nation.   We are all blessed because we live in this small little part of the country. 

Right now and more than ever before many people are open and receptive to receiving Jesus as their Savior.  We have been created as social creatures.   This “social distancing” is an attach from Satan trying to disrupt our ability to interact.  But here in the last couple months we are learning how to get the Gospel out via Social Media type avenues.  With people cooped up at home it is possible that the word is going out more than ever before.  So as we all come back together many churches will continue the Social Media mode of sharing the Gospel.     God has won this battle we are in.  We are here to help play it out and share “the Hope” we have in our Jesus. 

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NIV)

23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

So how should we act in this environment we are in today?  We need to hold on to the hope we profess in Jesus because He is faithful.  We need to be spurring one another on towards love and good deeds and we need to be meeting together, not social distancing in isolation like we have been.  And, at some point in the very near future we will come back together in corporate worship.  We need “not give up meeting together” as some may be getting in the habit of doing.  As verse 25 says, we need to be encouraging one another.  We need to be doing this all the more as we see the Day of the Lord approaching.  That Day is fast approaching. 

Great days lie ahead; let’s all do our part to make it happen.  Blessings to the Body of Christ!

Chet Wiswell, Elder.


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