"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Rom.15:4).

 For those of us who read the Bible cover to cover every so often, wading through some of the Old Testament can be the hardest part. Some of the genealogies with those pesky names can be pretty difficult and boring... Romans 15:4, however, gives us some insight as to the value of the Old Testament. 

The Old Testament was written and preserved just for the benefit of Christians. It is a great provider of comfort and patience. It was written for us to learn valuable lessons from, and to give us a wonderful hope. In many places we find examples of how God kept His word. We read again and again about His faithfulness in keeping His promises. We can read about how he kept His promises to Abraham and to the nation of Israel. The promises He made to punish the wicked and avenge the righteous were always fulfilled. His promises about forgiving those who are penitent and protecting the humble are also kept. It gives us a full measure of reassurance that if He kept His promises to them, that He will keep them to us through His Beloved Son. The apostle Paul wrote this to Timothy: "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim.3:14-15). The only scriptures that Timothy knew were those from the Old Testament, and they could help him to see the way to salvation. Though we are not bound by Old Testament teaching, we should be bound to learn from it.

If we here at the Centerville Church of Christ can be of any spiritual assistance to you, please let us know.   

God Bless,
Todd Parsley
 
 
    Last week as we were leaving morning worship little Andrew Cross asked if Delaney and I wanted to go out to eat with his family. I asked if we could go out next week instead and he responded, “Or how about today? Because today is a better day.” How do you argue with that kind of logic? Unsurprisingly, that quick innocent sentence has sat in my mind all week, “Today is a Better Day.” With this happening on a Sunday I thought about the beauty of Sunday. How God began his creation on the first day and then so many years later Christ arose on the first day of the week bringing us into New Creation, and ever since we’ve been meeting on the first day of the week by example of the apostles. Is Sunday a better day? I think so. Not because we should be any more focused on God than any other day, but because we get to gather with our church family. And being with my Church family worshiping God, to me, makes the day a better day. Thank you for being here today and making today a better day.                           

Peace,
Houston Haynes                                                            
 
 
Have you noticed that just about everyone has one? The young and old alike, they cling to it like their lives depend upon it. They look to it every day, some can't go an hour without looking at it. Sounds like I'm describing something life changing doesn't it? It's our cell phones. I'm in no way saying a cell phone is a bad thing.  It is one of the modern inventions that I too enjoy, and must admit, I rely on it way too much. For instance: someone asked me the other day for my Dad's phone number and I could not remember what it was because when I call him I push "call dad" on my cell phone.  I no longer dial a number. So I had to look (yes! you guessed it) on my cell phone to see his actual phone number. It reminded me how dependent I too have become on this little device.

I just wonder, as I watch what is happening in our culture these days, what would happen if we treated our Bible the same way we treat our cell phone. For instance:

What if we constantly carried it around in our purses or pockets? 
What if we went back to get it whenever we left it somewhere? 
What if we flipped through it several times a day?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
What if we gave it to our kids for gifts?
What if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of an emergency?
What if we upgraded it to get the latest version?


This is something that makes you go.. . hmmm... where is my Bible? Oh, and one more thing, unlike our cell phones, we don't ever have to worry about our Bible being disconnected, because Jesus has already paid the bill, so we can use it all we want with unlimited data usage!

Again, cell phones used properly are not a bad thing and we can even use them to read our Bibles, but, you get the point that if we treated the Bible as we do our cell phones our spiritual lives might be a little better. So, where is your Bible and have you checked its text message today?

If we here at the Centerville Church of Christ can be of any spiritual assistance to you, please let us know.          

God Bless,
Todd Parsely

 
 
    I’ve written here in the past about how I recently got a dart board for my office. My previous article was focused on the correlations with sin and missing the mark.  Today I want to focus on the consequences of missing that mark. Over the last few months, with my dart board sitting squarely on my newly painted walls, the effects of “missing the mark” have started to take place. The first time I missed the board and threw a dart in the wall it was almost funny. Later a couple teens joined the fun and each missed the board a few times adding a couple more marks. Today I sit here with a portion of wall that is more speckled with dart marks than someone getting an acupuncture. As I think back to this example, as missing the mark by sinning, I never considered how each missed dart leaves a permanent ugly mark in the same way that each sin leaves an ugly, darkened mark on our soul. And the longer we let the stray darts fly, the more marks are made until our souls look ugly and foreign to us. No longer are the sins minor and seemingly harmless.  Now they’ve created an overarching painful life. The answer for my distorted wall would be sandpaper, spackle, & new paint. The answer for a distorted soul? Call The Carpenter.

Blessings,
Houston Haynes
 

A Separate People

11/05/2017

 
One thing that you will notice in both the Old and New Testaments is that God has always required His people to be a separate, distinct people, different from others who are not His people. People who rejected His will, who rebelled against His precepts. In the New Testament we read, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people..." (I Peter 2:9). The word "peculiar" doesn't mean eccentric, strange, ridiculous, or odd in a negative sense, but rather distinct, different, set apart; a people belonging to God! God's people are not to be of the world, like the world, or conformed to the world (Rom. 12:1-2). Thus, God's people belong to, and are to be like Him.

Here are a few ways we are to be a separate, distinct people:

1. SEPARATE IN LIFE. God's people are to be holy, as He is holy. God has called us to a life of righteousness and holiness. In the Bible, Christians are called "a holy nation."  Different characteristics distinguish various nationalities; but consider God's people are a nation of holy people. That is quite a distinction and involves a great responsibility. Holiness relates to our standing with God; we belong to Him. It describes our manner of life, our attitudes and our relationships. Maybe the word "holy" sounds dated and maybe considered by some, as out of fashion. But regardless, God requires-not suggests that His people be Holy!

 2. SEPARATE IN DOCTRINE. Paul wrote to Timothy, "Hold fast the form of sound words, which you have heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (II Tim. 1:13). There is a clear pattern to NT Christianity: the pattern of sound words, delivered by the apostles (Acts 2:42; Eph. 3:3-5). God's people will be different from others in that they will teach and practice only what God has revealed in His Word. That sets His people apart from those who hold to traditions of men. We must strive not for what is popular, but for what is true and right according to God.

 3. SEPARATE IN SPEECH. We are commanded to speak as the oracles of God (I Peter 4:11). The word "oracles" means utterances or words. If we speak God's oracles, we speak what God has already spoken-we say what God has said. We find God's word in the scriptures (Heb. 4:12; II Tim. 3:16-17). There is an old saying that is simple, yet profound: "Speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent; call Bible things by Bible names." That is the charge put upon us, and the responsibility we must fulfill.

 If being a Christian makes you a little different, somewhat out of step with others; cheer up: that is exactly what God calls us to!

If we here at the Centerville Church of Christ can be of any spiritual assistance to you, please let us know.                                  
God Bless-Todd