HONESTY

Proverbs 12:22  The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. (NIV)

“I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”  George Washington (1732-1799)

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NO GOOD IF DETACHED

Hebrews 10:24-25  Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  And let us not neglect our meeting together [yeah—that means going to Church on Sunday], as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (NLT2)

“A man's Sunday self and his weekday self are like two halves of a round trip ticket; not good if detached.”  Lee H. Bristol, Jr. (1923-1979)

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FELLOWSHIP

“Be united with other Christians. A wall with loose bricks is not good. The bricks must be cemented together.” Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983)

And what does that mean?

“For the early Christians, koinonia was not the frilly "fellowship" of church-sponsored, biweekly little meetings to ponder the latest self-help book. It was not coffee, donuts and small talk in the Fellowship Hall before Sunday School. It was an almost unconditional sharing of their lives with the other members of Christ's body.”  [Adapted from Ronald J. Sider]

1 John 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (NIV)

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REASONABLE FAITH

“God does not expect us to submit our faith to him without reason, but the very limits of reason make faith a necessity.” -- Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

“If the work of God could be comprehended by reason, it would be no longer wonderful, and faith would have no merit if reason provided proof.” --  Pope Gregory the Great (540-604)

“Faith and sight are set in opposition to each other in Scripture, but not faith and reason.... True faith is essentially reasonable because it trusts in the character and the promises of God. A believing Christian is one whose mind reflects and rests on these certitudes.” -- John R. W. Stott (1921-2011)

2 Corinthians 4:18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (NLT2)

1 Corinthians 13:12  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. (NASB)

2 Corinthians 5:7  For we walk by faith, not by sight.  (NASB)

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A HARD TEACHER

“I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment.” Proverbs 7:7 (NIV)

“Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward.”—Unknown

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God’s Word is great. Maybe we should consider putting It into practice.

James 1:22-25  22  Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice. 23  If you listen to the word, but do not put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves as they are. 24  They take a good look at themselves and then go away and at once forget what they look like. 25  But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do. (TEV)

“So wide is the gulf that separates theory from practice in the church that an inquiring stranger who chances upon both would scarcely dream that there was any relation between them. An intelligent observer of our human scene who heard the Sunday morning sermon and later watched the Sunday afternoon conduct of those who had heard it would conclude that he had been examining two distinct and contrary religions.  It appears that too many Christians want to enjoy the thrill of feeling right but are not willing to endure the inconvenience of being right. They protest great and undying love for [Jesus Christ] but they will not let their love cost them anything.”  --  A. W. Tozer

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Be a child of God

Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ's suffering, we will also share his glory. Romans 8:17 (TEV)

"Children are God's apostles, day by day sent forth to preach of love, and hope, and peace." -- James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

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Time to take a closer look?

"Yes, we have it among professing Christians—this strange ingenuity to seek our own interest under the guise of seeking the interests of God. I am not afraid to say what I fear—that there are thousands of people who are using the deeper life and Bible prophecy, foreign missions and physical healing for no other purpose than to promote their own private interests secretly. They continue to let their apparent interest in these things to serve as a screen so that they don't have to take a look at how ugly they are on the inside." A. W. Tozer

The Apostle Paul says: "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV) He is telling us that, when we die, we will see Jesus face to face--all those mysteries of life and theology will be solved and we will see with a crystal clearness that eludes us now here on earth. But, maybe we should look in the mirror today and not wait until then to examine ourselves more clearly. Could it be that those in the church need to do a little X-raying of what's inside ourselves--particularly what is in our hearts? Don't let what you "do for God" only serve as a screen to hide a heart that needs a thorough cleaning. Christ sees what's inside, even when we don't. Pastor Darvin

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The things you hang to, can hang you.

Psalm 101:5 Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure. (NIV)

Psalm 40:4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. (NIV)

"Absalom was vain about his hair, therefore was he hanged by his hair." -Talmud

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It may be popular, but . . .

Mark 7:21-22 21  For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22  greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. (NIV)

"The human heart is heretical by nature. Popular religious beliefs should be checked carefully against the Word of God, for they are almost certain to be wrong." -- A. W. Tozer

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