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s2smodern
 
Building Up The Church 
In Bible Study And Worship
 
 
 
 
We should always be looking for ways to improve our Bible study and worship!
Prepare Beforehand.
1) Study the text or read the chapter so that you are prepared.
2) Pray that our class will be beneficial & that our worship will be pleasing to God.
3)  Pray for our teachers & those leading us in worship.
4)  Pray for our church family at Lay Lake.
5) Invite others!
Arrive Early.
1) Those who arrive at the last minute or late often are not in the right frame of mind for study or worship (driving recklessly to get there, perhaps fussing at other drivers or family members).
2) Arrive early so that you can welcome guests.
3) Be in class before time to start & have your children in class early.
4) Be in worship early so that you can clear your mind & prepare mentally to worship God acceptably.
5) Arrive early so that we will not distract others by coming in late.
6) Set a good example of punctuality.
7) Show our love for the Lord and that we are putting his church first.  Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”   Matt. 6:33
8) Arrive early in order to do things “decently and in order.”  1 Cor. 14:40 “But all things should be done decently and in order.”
9) Arrive early to  encourage our teachers and worship leaders.  They have spent time preparing and are encouraged by your excitement to be there and by your enthusiasm.
10) Arrive early so that you don’t miss important announcements in class or before worship and that you don’t miss even one minute of worship!
Participate WholeHeartedly!
1) Focus on each act of worship.  Pray in your heart as the leader “leads” us in prayer so that we can honestly say “amen” which means, “so be it” at the end of the prayer.
2) Sing with enthusiasm!  Think about the individual words and the meaning of each song.
3) Listen to every word of the sermon making application to how it can make me more pleasing to my heavenly Father.
4) Travel back in your mind to the cross  remembering Jesus’ body and precious blood.
5) Consider all that God has blessed us with (James 1:17) and give back “cheerfully & liberally”(2 Cor. 9:7).
6) Participate in Bible class!  Answer questions; ask questions; read out loud; make appropriate comments!
Before You Leave:   (Don't be in a rush to leave)!
1) Get out of your comfort zone!  Go to the foyer and speak to people as they are leaving, especially talking with our visitors and weaker members.
2) Make a note of those not in attendance and think of how we might encourage them.
3) Commit to returning to the very next class or worship period!
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s2smodern

God's Rule Book
Marvin Weir


     Isn’t it amazing that most people will accept some rule book written by men over the rule book written by God? Countless millions profess to believe in God and the Bible and then put their trust in man-made creeds. It is also amazing that these people either cannot or do not desire to see the error in their reasoning. The Scriptures plainly declare, “Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ASV). It was Hosea who wrote, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will all reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6).
     People who enjoy sporting events have absolutely no problem in comprehending the fact that there are rules that govern these events. After three strikes in baseball, one is declared to be “out.” Do the fans become upset and complain that this rule should be ignored in some cases? Surely there are circumstances where a batter can benefit from “four strikes” before returning to the dugout!
     In football, the team with the ball has four attempts to travel ten yards in the proper direction for a “first down.” What if, after four attempts, the running back is within “one inch” of a first down? Does the referee say, “Because this is such an important game and you have come so close to picking up the first down, I’m going to give it to you?” No. Such a statement is not made because everyone understands that the teams must abide by the rules of the game.
     Does one really believe in the games of baseball and football who will not abide by the rules of those games? Not at all! They may believe in another version of the game, but they do not believe in the game as outlines in the rule book that governs it. Why cannot people see this same truth in the spiritual realm? One does not really believe in God who refuses to accept His Word as truth on any matter.
     The players on a sports team must abide by the rules that govern that sport. The rule books for sports were not designed to conform to the players’ whims and wishes. The same thing is true regarding the Bible - God’s Holy Word. The Bible does not conform to the thoughts and wishes of men, but men must conform to the Word of God (Romans 12:2). One will not save his soul or incur God’s blessing by refusing to live by the Holy Scriptures. Man must accept the truth that his thoughts are not God’s thoughts and his ways are not God’s ways (Isaiah 55:8). Let us note some areas where men profess to follow Christ but do not abide by God’s rules.
     The majority of those who profess to be Christians believe they are saved at the point of belief. They do not believe baptism (immersion) is necessary for salvation. They conclude that “he that believeth as is not baptized shall be saved.” But the Word of God says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).
     The majority of people who profess Christianity believe there are many roads (ways) leading to heaven. But God’s Word says, “Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and straightened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14 ASV).
     Man believes he can join “the church of his choice” and be saved. But the Bible says “And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved” (Acts 2:47 ASV).
     Most churches today wear man-made names, honoring their human founders. But the Bible shows Christ’s church is to wear His name (Romans 16:16) and honor belongs to Him who purchased the church with His blood (Acts 20:28) and is its builder (Matthew 16:18).
Most professing Christians today believe in salvation by “faith only.” But God’s Word says, “Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith” (James 2:24 ASV).
     God’s rule book (the Bible) says that Christ is the “head over all things to the church, which is his body” (Ephesians 1:22-23). It also says there is only “one body” (Ephesians 4:4) and Christ promises to save only “the body” of which He is head.
     One is not a Christian and cannot go to heaven who refuses to follow God’s rule book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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s2smodern
More Than A Day
Karl Fuchs
As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we're poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.
We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.
So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you've got;
Realize it's a lot,
And you'll make all your cares go away.
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s2smodern

Thanksgiving
David A. Bass
 
     We celebrate November 23rd as a special day of “thanksgiving,” especially remembering our forefathers who first settled this great nation.  Our Thanksgiving Day has been set aside as a special day for the giving of thanks for all that God has given us.  Perhaps we need to be reminded of  just a few things for which we should be thankful!!!
     We should be thankful that we live in America!  God has truly blessed this country beyond measure.  We enjoy not only the necessities of life such as food, clothing and houses (usually heated and air-conditioned);   but  we also enjoy many luxuries such as one or more automobiles, microwaves, televisions, computers, i-pads, i-phones, travel, etc.  Many people who live in other countries only dream of such!  We should be thankful for the peace that exists in America and that no major wars have been fought on American soil in over one hundred years.  We should be thankful for the freedom of religion, the freedom of the press and the right to free speech.  Only in America do we enjoy such abundant blessings.
     We should also be thankful for our families.  God has blessed us by providing the family structure that we read about in the Bible.  Parents, grandparents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews make life enjoyable.  We should be thankful that our children are not taken away from their homes at an early age and sent away to learn to fight or to work as slave laborers.  Thanks for our parents and grand-parents!  Thanks for our brothers and sisters.   We should also be thankful for our spiritual family at Lay Lake.  What a tremendous blessing!
     We should also be thankful for life!  We all have our aches and pains from time to time, but these ought to make us appreciate being healthy and feeling good.  We ought to live each day to its fullest and make the most out of life.  We should enjoy life and live each day realizing that it may be our last (James 4:13-15).
     We ought to especially be thankful for the Love of God!  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).  Salvation from sin and the hope of heaven which is found “in Christ” (Acts 4:12; Hebrews 5:9) were provided because of God’s love for man.  Because of God’s great love He has given us the Bible which contains His will for us.  We should also be thankful that God provides eternal life in heaven after death (Matthew 25:46) for those who are prepared.
     We should be thankful for the church at Lay Lake.  We are a group of diverse people who are brothers and sisters in Christ.  We laugh and cry together (Romans 12:15); we encourage and build one another up (1 Thess. 5:11; Hebrews 10:24,25) and we pray for one another (James 5:17).
     On Thanksgiving Day let’s not get carried away with food and football and forget to take time to count our blessings!  We should do this everyday!  The psalmist declared, “Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.   Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalms 100:3,4).
     “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Ephesians 5:20).  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and may God richly bless each and every one!
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s2smodern

If?

Clovis Caudle

IF God promised to give faith when asked for it, without conditions, why did Paul tell us that faith comes by hearing the word of God? (Romans 10:17)

 

IF faith alone is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort, why did James say faith without works is dead? (James 2:20)

 

IF God has promised to save man regardless of the kind of faith he has, why did Paul make it so plain that there is ONE faith? (Ephesians 4:5) IF one becomes a Christian when he believes, why was King Agrippa not aChristian (Acts 26:27-28)

 

IF one can be saved without wholehearted obedience to the Lord, why did Paul say, “...obeyed from the heart?” (Romans 6:17-18) IF sprinkling and pouring are scriptural baptism, why did Paul say there is ONE baptism? (Ephesians 4:5) IF the Lord has promised salvation without baptism, why did Peter say it saves? (1 Peter 3:21)

IF we can receive remission of sins without baptism, why did Peter say that baptism is for the remission of sins? (Acts 2:38)

 

IF we can get into Christ without baptism, why did Paul say that we are baptized into Christ? (Galatians 3:27)

 

IF we are born again of the Spirit only, why did Christ say be born of the water and the Spirit? (John 3:5)

 

IF infant baptism is scriptural, why did Christ command to baptize those who believe? (Mark 16:16)

 

An infant cannot believe! IF infants are sinners, why did Christ teach that we must become like them to be saved? (Matthew 18:3)

 

IF God has promised salvation out of the church, why did Christ die for it? (Acts 20:28)

 

IF the church has nothing to do with our salvation, why does the Lord add the saved to the church? (Acts 2:47)

 

IF the kingdom of Christ is yet to be built, why did Paul say he was in the kingdom? (Colossians 1:13)

 

IF Christ is coming to earth to set up a kingdom, why did Paul make it so plain that Christ is coming for it and deliver it to the Father? (1 Corinthians 15:24)

 

IF the word of God is able to save man, what need have we for another saving power? (John 8:32)

 

IF musical instruments are to be used in connection with the worship in songs, why did Paul omit the and teach us to sing? (Colossians 3:16)

 

IF there is nothing in a name, why did the writer of the book of Acts say that salvation is in the name of Christ? (Acts 4:12)

 

IF a child of God cannot be lost eternally, why did Paul, when writing to the church at Corinth, tell them that no fornicator or adulterer shall inherit the kingdom of God? (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

IF God has promised to save man without a condition on man's part, why did Jesus say, "I tell you, nay, but except you repent, you shall all likewise perish?” (Luke 13:3) 

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s2smodern
What Will You Do For Me?
Marvin Weir
     In these modern times preachers and elders are often asked, “What programs do you have for my family and me?” One is sometimes tempted to give the answer that these folks desire by saying, “For the wife we have a ‘hop till you drop’ weight loss program, and for the children we provide a youth minister that is programmed by the kids, and for the man of the house we have a 12-minute special class on how to be successful without spending too much time with the Bible.”
     It is tragic that many are motivated only by their “felt needs,” and it is downright deplorable that so- called elders and preachers do all within their power to provide these folks satisfaction. The “what do you have to offer me” disease has eaten away at the Lord’s church like a dreaded cancer. Instead of treating this spiritual malady with a strong Biblical injection, many leaders have allowed the “tares” (Matthew 13:35) to be fertilized!
     Peter reminds us that we should seek to follow in the steps of Christ (1 Peter 2:21). It is recorded that Christ “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 28:20). The Lord possessed a servant spirit. He came into this world asking not what could be done for Him but seeking what He could do for others.
     How unlike the spirit of Christ is the spirit that is manifested today by so many who profess to be Christians! Instead of seeking to glorify God for all He has done in their behalf, these seekers of “self” demand to be served and catered to at every turn. The honor that belongs to Christ is given to men.
     What if Christ could visit in every home today and ask each of us, “What will you do for me?”  It is a simple question that Christians may ignore now but not in the hereafter.  Some aren’t doing much of anything for the Lord! They want the blessings that come from the Lord, but they are content to let others work in the vineyard.  They want to go to Heaven while serving the devil. They want the care and concern of others while they remain unconcerned and carefree.
     What if Christ Were to Ask, “Why Did You Learn everything Important to You and Fail to Learn From My Word?”  Could it be that the Lord and His church are not as important to some as they would have you to believe? We find time to do those things we desire to do. Don’t kid yourself into believing that you are putting the Lord first (Matthew 6:33) when you open your Bible during the week only if you attend a Bible class.  But then some do not open their Bible in Bible class because they have no Bible to open!
     What if Christ Were to Ask, “Why Did You Never Invite Others to Bible Study and Worship?” You have invited folks over for lunch, to social gatherings, and to recreational outings.   Are you more interested in the pleasures of this life than Heaven? Have the “cares of the world” choked out spiritual matters? (Luke 8:14). Is the Lord’s church really important to you? If someone you invited were to attend regularly for several weeks would he see you at each of the services?  Do we really care about lost souls?
     What if Christ Were to Ask, “Why Did You Sit For Years and Let  Others do all the Teaching?” Some people will not prepare themselves to teach. The Hebrews writer admonishes, “For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food” (5:12). There are grade levels from toddlers to adults that need to be taught. Someone must teach!
     It has always amazed me that so many are competent and capable in the secular world but absolutely void of talent in the spiritual realm. Such a double standard will not bode well for one in the Day of Judgment.
     What if Christ Were to Ask, “Why Were You Not Willing to be Faithful in Assembling With the Saints?”  We live in a society where many are willing to work long, hard hours to be a success in secular endeavors. Some pay “lip service” to the soul being more important than anything else, but then they are too busy being successful to be regular in attendance.  For these folks, neither Hebrews 10:25 nor Matthew 6:33 take priority over laying up earthly treasures!  Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).
     Our actions demonstrate our faith and trust in Christ and His church. James cuts to the heart of the matter in saying, “Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will show thee my faith” (2:18). What will you do for Christ? It will matter - one day!

Welcome

LayLakeNewLogo

Lay Lake church of Christ

23868 Highway 145, 

Mile Marker "23"

Columbiana, AL 35051

 

(205) 901-4703

 

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