Whatever exists: Ecclesiastes 7.24 VOTD

“Whatever exists is far off and most profound— who can discover it?”

Ecclesiastes 7.24 NIV

The nature of reality and its reason for existence is a mystery to man without a revelation of God. Solomon recognizes the murkiness of being. Man cannot answer the question that inevitably forms on his lips, “Why am I here?”

God provides the answer in Christ: “these are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ!” Colossians 2.17.

#reality #existence #VOTD

7 Keys to Psalm 117

By Rick Kelley
Introduction: Seven powerful words from the shortest Psalm, the mid-point of the Bible.
#1: Praise
                a. The beginning, the ending and the point, of the Psalm
                b. Not only that, but Praise is the beginning, the ending, and the point of the Psalms
                c. The Psalms are, by and large, prayers, petitions, and praises to God.
                d. Praise is perhaps the one thing humanity can offer to God that God cannot offer to Himself, and which God cannot extract from us.

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#praise, #psalms, #sermon-outline

Nov. 18. Nehemiah’s Concern and Prayer For Judah

Neh. 1:1-2:20

During the month of Chislev (9th Jewish month) in the twentieth year of the king, word came to Nehemiah that the exiles who had returned to Jerusalem were in great distress. Even though the temple had been rebuilt and work had started toward rebuilding the city’s wall, that part of the work had been stopped by King Artaxerxes about twenty years earlier. Therefore, the wall was still broken down and the gates had not been replaced. In the eyes of their enemies, Judah’s God was unable to help them. Upon hearing that report, Nehemiah wept, mourned, fasted and prayed for many days.

Nehemiah, a prominent Jewish servant was serving as King Artaxerxes’ cup bearer at the time. One may put on a “happy face” and try to conceal his anxieties, but it is difficult to completely hide all evidence of sorrow. Artaxerxes observed Nehemiah’s sad countenance and inquired about his sadness. As the Jewish servant knew of the previous actions of the king regarding Judah, he was afraid and prayed to God. With his faith in God’s deliverance, he asked for letters of authority to be given to him that he might return to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall and gate. “And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me.” Nehemiah was sent to Jerusalem by Artaxerxes to be governor of Judah.

After being in Jerusalem three days resting, observing various conditions and keeping his mission quiet, Nehemiah took other men with him in the night and surveyed other areas and gates around the city. With general conditions in his mind, he revealed to the priests and other leaders how God and the king had given him that work to do. Their response was, “Let us rise up and build.” However, most good works have their opposition. Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem, area governors of ancient enemy nations were their chief opponents. They began to ridicule their plans. Nehemiah responded, “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us…”

#chronological-bible-study

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11-13-2017                 Worldly Living

Christians “should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:17-18 NKJV). People who are “alienated from the life of God” are:  clueless as to what life is really about; can’t see beyond their own lusts; are ignorant and not worldly-wise; and blind to what is good and decent.   Jesus came to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10 NKJV). Jesus’ message to the lost is: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16 NKJV). Jesus died for you, live for Him, and then Thank God.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#blindness, #ignorance

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11-14-2017         “Faith Only” Doesn’t Confess Christ

John 12:42-43: “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” “Many” “rulers” among the Jews “believed in” Jesus as the Christ, but “did not confess Him,” though Jesus made it clear about confession. “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9 NKJV). Faith only, without confession, receives “the praise of men,” but not the “praise of God.” It’s pitiful to see people whose faith does not obey.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#believe, #confession, #faith-only

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11-15-2017           Man-Made Tradition: Jesus’ Death

In Mark 7:1-3 NKJV: “Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.” Some religious practices “reject the commandment of God” to keep their tradition, as Jesus said in Mark 7:9. Christians remember Jesus’ death every first day of the week in the Lord’s Supper, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26; Acts 20:7 NKJV). The churches of Christ do not wait for a man-made yearly tradition!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#first-day-of-the-week, #lords-supper

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11-16-2017  “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41) – Speaks Boldly

Whether Jesus preached that great Sermon on the mount, or in Capernaum’s synagogue, “the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29; Mark 1:22 NKJV). There is a difference between preaching what one knows about the Scriptures, and preaching as an author of the Scriptures. Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:10 NKJV). No church or preacher today has been given that same boldness to change or privately interpret the Word of God. “But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ?” (John 7:26 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#interpretation, #preaching, #scripture

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11-17-2017         Life Without God

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NKJV). God placed clean, honorable sexual relations within marriage, for “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4 NKJV), for “the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13 NKJV).  Those whose lives are devoted only to “sexual immorality” and “passion of lust,” “do not know God.”  Jesus will condemn those who “do not know God,” and “do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#marriage, #sex