Assembly Times

Sunday

9:30 am .... Bible Class
10:30 am ........ Worship

6:00 pm ......... Worship

Tuesday

10:00 am ..... Ladies Class

Wednesday

7:00 pm ...... Bible Class

 

Contacts

903.845.2531

P.O. Box 667
Gladewater, TX 75647


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Tuesday
Jun142016

Is it Most Immediate or Most Important?

Sometimes we become so focused on the immediate that we very easily miss the important. Jesus certainly saw that fault in the Pharisees (Mt 23:23). Good and wholesome things can take the place of best things.

We have directives from Jesus to take the Good News wherever we go. We are to take the "Message true and glad to the sinful and the sad." There are other opportunities to keep commands of Christ. Things that are very much a part of our salvation. We need to feed the poor, visit the sick, the lonely and the widowed. We are to reprove error. We are to keep ourselves unspotted from the word. All of this commands are necessary and if we leave them undone we will miss heaven when we die.


God expects a husband to care for his wife. If he doesn't or if he mistreats her it hinders his prayers and relationship with the Father (1 Pt 3:7). Husbands are also supposed to help their wives live a pure and sinless life. That means from time to time he may have to point out something she needs to repent from. We have to balance our lives to do both the immediate and the important. Your wife will never listen to you point out her sins if you are unloving, unhelpful and uncaring.

I am troubled when we treat our work of overthrowing sin as just a way to hurl judgment, identify error and rebuke sinners.

It seems that until someone knows the Love of the Lord, the compassion of Christ and the joy Jesus gives, a rebuke is seen as hatred of the sinner. I've got to show the mercy of the Messiah (Ro 5:8) to people that are their own worst enemy and don't know it.

Beating someone over the head with the truth when they don't love the truth does not make them remorseful for sins. It insights them to hatred of you and perhaps of the God we represent. But, when a sinner realizes that his sins are separating him from a loving Father (Is 59:2) and he learns that God wants all sinners to be saved (2 Pe 3:9) so much that He gave His only begotten Son to ransom them (Jn 3:16), he might be more willing to accept instruction in the way of truth.

Today is not the best day to reprove the people from the Pulse club. Today is a day to weep with those who weep (Ro 12:15). Today is a day to embrace hurting people and show them the compassion of Christianity. Today is a day to mourn and cry with people who are broken. In doing this we show that we love people, we prove our love for Christ. And just maybe we can befriend someone who previously was hostile to the message of Christ long enough for them to listen to the greatest news they could ever hear. God beacons all of us to come to salvation (Mt 11:28; 2 Pe 3:9).

The most important task is sharing the good news. People can't hear that today over the noise of their broken hearts. Be tender as a nursemaid (2 Th 2:7). Pray that God gives us time to not only accomplish the immediate but the important.

Monday
Jun132016

Stewardship, Who Me?

In a recent study of Christian Stewardship, I discovered a new way of thinking. When we think of individual stewardship and our obligation to the Lord’s body, do we  realize that the Church (all her members) has a great responsibility to nurture, grow, and train each and every member? Don't we as a body of saints need to challenge the weak to become strong? Shouldn't we promote the idea that you cannot be a member of the Body without serving the King? Do we excuse shirkers, lazy, derelict, half-hearted, “some of the time” members? Is it our charge as Christians to make certain every part of the body is healthy, active and growing? We must find places for every person to use their talent, to stretch their abilities and work wholeheartedly for the Lord. Brother Wendell Winkler very pointedly taught the following valuable points in his book “The Mission of the Local Church.” 

“Great Questions Every Member of Christ’s Body Should Ask In regard to the church...

Am I a power or a problem?
Am I an attendee or an absentee?
Am I a servant or a shirker?
Am I promoting or a provoking?
Am I a giver or a getter?
Am I a supporter or a sleeper?
Am I a help or a hindrance?
Am I lifting or a leaning?
"If every member of the local church was the same kind of member that I am, what kind of church would this church be?"
Frequently we should ask, "Lord, is it I?" (Mt 26:22)."
When the church seems dead, the work so slow.
When the attendance is off, the songs too slow,
When the prayers lack fervor and power,
When the minister's sermon seems stale and sour,
Do you ever stop and think to look with a critical eye?
Why not ask yourself the supreme question?
Lord, is it I?”
I’m afraid we’ve grown dull of heart when it comes to encouraging every member to be active in every way possible.
What do we need to do to encourage you to be an all the time, in every way, 100% dedicated part of the body of Christ? How do we help you fall so deeply in love with the Master that you cannot help but be a “worker for the Lord?”
On the day of judgment, we will all give an account for the time, talent and skills granted to us by God. Are we redeeming these things for their highest value? Will you please consider giving your best to the Lord? He certainly has given His best to you!
Joseph D. Chase

 

Monday
Jun132016

THOUGHTS ON DEACONS AND THEIR ROLE IN THE CHURCH

What is a deacon? The word means “Through dust” or “raise dust by hastening.” A deacon is a servant in relation to his work, a slave in relation to his master. In practicality deacons promote the welfare and prosperity of the local church by carrying out tasks assigned by the 

elders. 
It is incorrect to think of deacons as overseers of the physical needs of the church while the elders oversee the spiritual needs. Elders oversee the needs of the church and deacons serve them in the work. Deacons are not given the oversight; they are given tasks. Deaconship is a ministry not a position. Notice Paul tells us “For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” (1 Ti 3:13) Deacons are not “deacons at large” but rather servants of specific purpose. 
What do deacons do? In Acts 6:1-4 they were first assigned to look after the poor. Deacons were teacher —  Stephen and Philip (Acts 6), Epaphroditus (Php 2). It seems teaching and being alert to the physical and financial needs of the widows and shut-in and going out to preach and teach where needed and if he has the ability are the primary roles of deacons in the New Testament.

The qualities of the deacon make him special for service in the church. Acts 6 showed that deacons are to be honest, wise men full of the Holy Spirit. 1 Tm 3:8-13 reveals that deacons  are to be serious and dignified, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, not a holder of false teaching, not a new convert, blameless, husband of one wife, rule their children and his own house well. 

There are many benefits to becoming a deacon: 1 Ti 3:13, pleasing to the Lord, personal fulfillment and growth, develops courage and experience, serving others even as Jesus showed.

We should understand that deacons are not “junior elders” or even elders in training. In many ways the man who serves as an elder uses different skills and qualities than a man who serves as a deacon. Some deacons do become elders, but it is not be a requirement to become and elder. 

It is interesting that deacon’s wives also must have certain qualities in place before their husbands serve. First they must be faithful Christians.  Remember it says a lot about a man what kind of woman he marries and the same is true of the woman. A deacon’s wife must be grave (1 Ti 3:11), she has a sense of conduct worthy of respect and honor. She cannot be slanderous (this word carries with it the fault-finding attitude that spreads innuendo and criticism in the church. Vine’s Dictionary of New Testament Words indicates that a deacon’s wife should not be a “she-devil” who goes about making false accusations. A deacon’s wife must be sober. Not just abstaining from being drunk on alcohol, but being balanced, clear-headed and self-controlled. (Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich Greek-English Lexicon). The deacon’s wife can make or break the effective work of the her husband. 

The Scriptures tell us that deacons must rule their children and houses well. This differs from the qualification of elders. There is no rule that a deacon’s children must to be believers. This would allow younger men with youthful physical strength to serve as deacons. 

So you can see deacons and their wives are special servants. They deserve our encouragement and our help with the tasks they do for the kingdom. 

Joseph D. Chase

 

 

Monday
Jun132016

Christian, Be Quiet

 

I don’t know that I have ever heard a sermon on the need for quiet. Yet, the Bible teaches that God will “quiet you by his love” (Zp 3:17). Peter lauds the need  for a quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight” (1 Pe 3:4).
Habakkuk instructs all people “...the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.”” (Hab 2:20)
We need to stop talking so we can listen. We need to turn off the screens so we can meditate on God. We need to shut off the radio, CD player, iPod and turn down the noise of life so we can truly hear God’s word. 
Being quiet helps us to concentrate on what  needs to change in our hearts, minds and lives. So often the voices of worldly passion, selfishness, lust, fear, hatred are present within us. We have skillfully ignored them so long that they blend in with noise of life. As Christians, we can silence those worldly callings as we put off the old man and put on the new. 
T.O. Chisholm penned these beautiful words that teach just what I’m trying to say:
Buried with Christ, my blessed Redeemer,
Dead to the old life of folly and sin;
Satan may call, the world may entreat me,
There is no voice that answers within.
Dead to the world, to voices that call me,
Living anew, obedient but free;
Dead to the joys that once did enthrall me--
Yet 'tis not I, Christ liveth in me.
Quiet forces us to listen to our inner man as he calls us to reform our character. Many of us don’t hear our own soul’s cry to seek God’s saving grace. 
We’ve turned up the distraction volume knob squelch the pains of guilt and remorse and the cry for repentance. 
Why are we so afraid to hear the call of our own broken lives? Some try to drown out the quiet with booze or drugs. Some try to hush the Word of God from working on their conscience by filling every moment with some noisy distraction, foolishly thinking; “if I don’t hear it I won’t have to deal with it.” 
Habakkuk knew that focusing on the Holiness of the Lord takes a halting of everything else. That is why he calls for silence in God’s temple. I wonder if we remember that we are God’s temple. God should occupy the throne room of our hearts. This calls for our lives to be sober and reverent reflections of the Heavenly Host reigning in our hearts.
Another need for being quiet is that we should be more careful what we say. We really don’t have to insert our opinion into every conversation. We don’t need to try to say everything we think. In fact, we would be much better off if we were “quick to hear, slow to speak” (James 1:19). 
Being quiet includes refraining from gossiping, slandering, bragging, boasting, vainly flattering, lying, swearing, cursing, talebearing, criticizing, speaking words of contention, course jesting, idle words, and euphemisms etc..
Imagine how much quieter we would be if all this speech was removed from our conversations.
Joe Chase

 

Monday
Jun132016

Worship the Lord In the Beauty of Holiness

 

Let us never forget, Worship is a time to express praise, adoration and homage to the Holy One who is above all else. It is easy to allow mundane, earthly and trivial thoughts to crowd out thoughts revolving around God. 
I’m reminded of the little boy who asked his father what was the highest number he had ever counted. The dad replied that he couldn't remember, so the father asked the son about his highest number. "973!" the boy quickly responded.
"Well, why did you stop at 973?" asked the father.
"Because church was over."
Do we sometimes find ourselves drifting from Holiness to the profane? How do we discipline our minds and hearts to keep the attitude of the psalmist:
“For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.  Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!  Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!” (Psalms 96:4–9 ).
It definitely takes discipline, training and desire. Peter told us in a straight forward way...
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.” (2 Peter 1:4-9 )
Everything we need to worship God is given to us by God’s power. We must learn who God is, what He has done and why He is so deserving of our every thought while we worship. Without knowing God we can never truly appreciate Him. 
We are called to become like Him, that is to love as He loves and despise what He does. James put it this way:
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8)
The more we fill our minds with godliness the more clean our minds and hearts become. Over time we will be able to spend much time in worship with out worldly thoughts entering our minds. 
If our lives and hearts are out of control it will be impossible to be Holy in word and thought. Let us bring “every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). 
The more we work at anything the more proficient we will become. Including worshipping in holiness. Work at it in your personal worship and your corporate worship will take on that same depth of skill. 
“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” (Psalms 34:3)
“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!”” (Psalms 40:16)
Your efforts will pay off and it will encourage others to have what you have found!
Joe Chase