Assembly Times

Sunday

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

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

Tuesday

10:00 am ..... Ladies Class

Wednesday

6:00 pm ...... Bible Class

 

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903.845.2531

P.O. Box 667
Gladewater, TX 75647


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Thursday
Jul162015

The Great Blessing of Marriage

If any of you knew me B.C. (before Cheryl), you know I am a much better person with her than without her. In my caseGod’s words are clearly illustrated “it is not good that man should be alone.” To this day I mope, pine and barely limp by when my wife is not nearby. There are many blessings in marriage, here are a few that mean a lot to me. 

First let’s remember that God created man. God designed and ordained marriage. As with all creation, God’s marriage design blesses and benefits mankind. God alone has the right to define marriage. So, no matter what human laws declare we must “obey God rather than man.”

In marriage we find companionship. We have an equal partner bear hardships and share the joys of life. Being alone is always hard for me. I treasure my time with my wife the busy times and the quiet times. Even when we are not talking or working together the nearness of each other calms my heart and mind. Perhaps it is knowing that someone cares for and is devoted to me. 

Most every decision becomes easier when two minds can reason together for a solution. I’m glad that both husband and wife bring different skills to the decision making table. My wife nor I ever see all sides of every problem, she will see some that I don’t and vice versa.

It is thrilling to know that God designed men and women to compliment each other emotionally and physically. The physical relationship between husband and wife is God’s design. It seems antiquated to say that sexual relationships are bound by God’s rule and design. Yet the truth is God created this union and designed the rules that govern it all for the benefit of mankind. Changing any part of God’s design lessens the blessing and brings awful consequences. The order in which God designed the family relationship is important. Marriage with it’s strengths, provided by its male and female counterparts, makes for the best environment to bless children. God designed us to need both father and mother. Children with two parents dedicated to God, each other and their offspring are truly richly blessed.

Our culture denigrates marriage. Many men have abandoned their responsibility to love a woman enough to give himself and of himself sacrificially (Ephesians 5:25,28,33). Men must love even as Christ loved. Giving his life for her betterment. This means he becomes a one woman man clinging to his wife (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:5) before having a sexual relationship.

“And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”(Ephesians 5:2 ESV)

Many women left their queenly place as keepers at home (not house). We have somehow forgotten that motherhood is a blessing from God. It certainly is when there is a loving, sacrificing husband working side by side to make a family that has God at the center. The devil has sold us an obscene lie regarding the home. We’ve traded a gift for a lifetime of hurt and hardship and perhaps an eternity without God. 

Marriage is a blessing because it provides the joy of aging together with someone who loves and is devoted to you. There is no sweeter picture than an aged husband reaching to steady his wife as they walk side by side. I love to see the testimony of years of devotion and sacrifice. As a preacher I sometimes get to standby while a godly husband or wife bids farewell to their spouse for the last time. It is profoundly sad and gut-wrenching to see the pain of sorrow, but the dedication, devoted love and care of a lifetime together is often most evident in the waning hours of life on this side of heaven. 

As one grieving husband told me beside the deathbed of his wife; “I’m glad for this pain today, because it proves that we really, really became one over these years. It makes me long for heaven more now than ever before.”

Quite a paradox that the loss of a mate turned to a blessing for a husband and wife who lived to make Heaven their home (Rom 8:28). Won’t it be grand to say “I’ve honored my spouse until death parted us.” To finish the work God designed for me to do in my family is a blessing that only the dedicated will enjoy. Dedicated to God’s design, His plan and to work the work He set for us to do.

Sadly, we’ve corrupted what God intended to bless us. We exchanged the “broadway of benefit” for “the road of ruin.” Marriage as God designed and demands delivers reward. When we change it we shut down God’s blessings and receive untold sorrow, pain and suffering. It would not take long to find statistics for disease brought about by illicit sexual activity or children aborted, abandoned and abused because of parental sin. We don’t need a research team to find the number because they are quite evident everywhere we look. 

Let’s stand up for marriage! If you are a Christ follower search the Scriptures to see exactly what God expects from you in your role as husband or wife. Mirror those precepts to a world that is longing for joy but keep buying a disappointing and damning substitute. 

Joseph D. Chase

 

Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.                    — Martin Luther

To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you're wrong, admit it; Whenever you're right, shut up.

— Ogden Nash

Thursday
Jul022015

Truth is True Even When The Devil Lies About It!

 

Troubling times cause unrest in our hearts and minds. Christians who love God and His Word grieve over the state our nation. It appears the devil is controlling the minds of lawmakers, jurists and public officials. 
The modern proverb “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” seems to be playing out before our eyes. Ignoring God’s truth, exchanging truth for a lie and such like are the most dangerous activities for mankind. The world has lied about the origin of man for several generations saying humans evolved from lower forms of life. The world proclaims that man is his own judge, therefore wrong and right are relative and not absolute. 
Removing God and the absolute morality needed to be His follower is supposed to be freeing. Guess what? Just the opposite is true. 
“and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10–12)
Sin always destroys.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—” (Romans 5:12)
“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:15)
If God says something is wrong it is wrong, if He declares something to be right then it is right. No matter what my or the whole world’s opinion may be on the subject. It is foolhardy to ignore the rules and declarations of God! Doing so inevitably brings ruin. 
Adhering to God’s Way Brings Life
Truth seekers and truth tellers are almost always in the minority. Those who stand for truth will always be trivialized and perhaps persecuted. However, they hold the key to joy and peace (Pro. 12:28; John 10:10). 
Moses’ words are fitting still today...
““I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
You have a major choice to make today and everyday for the rest of your earthly life -- Accept God’s Truth or Reject God’s Truth. 
“Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel 3:14) 
God will judge this world, not by the reasoning of mankind nor the opinion of judges nor the declarations of lawmakers, but by His righteousness, His truth, His commands (Psalm 96:13; John 12:48; Isaiah 3:13). 
Telling the Truth Does Not Make One Bigoted, Judgmental, Unloving or Unkind.
Standing for truth and telling others about it is really the kindest act we can do. Certainly there are some people who use the truth to bash people over the head. Those people are breaking the law of God just as much as those they condemn. God demands that we “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15)
“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” (Ephesians 4:25)
Wouldn’t it be cruel to put poison in a soda-pop bottle and leave it in reach of people who are thirsty? Wouldn’t that falsely labeled poison kill the one who drank it? Would I be bigoted, judgmental or unkind if I knowing the truth warned someone of the poison in the bottle?  The same is true when we warn the world of the dangers of sin or when we point out a lie falsely labeled as truth.
The devil is definitely crafty. He lures us to sin with beautifully crafted lies. He uses people in trustworthy positions to tell those lies. He makes Truth seem false and lies seem true. 
Trying to convince those caught up in a lie is doubly hard when the devil controls the hearts and minds of the majority. 
But, fear not, for the tools of the Christian are stronger 
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” (2 Corinthians 10:3–6)

 

Saturday
Mar282015

What Is The Least?

Garage Sale, Yard Sale, E-Bay, Craig’s List are all very open to “dickering” and haggling, so we can pay the absolute least of our cash.  We love a bargain. We joke about the super frugal being “so tight they squeak when the walk.” Usually there is nothing at all wrong with being frugal.

However, sometimes it is grossly sinful to try to get by with the least. The Lord expects us to be generous with love and good works (1 Th. 3:12; He. 10:24; 1 Co. 15:58; 2 Co. 9:8; Ga. 6:10). 

We cannot be kind and loving to those who are kind to us (Lk. 6:32-36; Mt. 5:43). True discipleship calls for prayer and kindness even for those who hate and persecute us. Remember, Jesus taught; “going the second mile,” “giving our tunic and then our cloak” and “giving to those who seek to borrow” (Mt. 5:38-42). Jesus is the definition of loving the unlovable and generosity to the undeserving. In the face of His teaching, we cannot practice a religion of “let me give or do the least I can.” 

Clearly the “love of Christ compels us,”(2 Co. 5:14) to abound in graciousness, giving, fellowship, work and love. There are bountiful blessings to be found in benevolence.

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”” (Acts 20:35)

Perhaps these thoughts were in the mind of Frances Havergal when he penned the hymn “Take my Life and Let it Be”

 

“Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing,

Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use

Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.”
Our Father in heaven never gave less than “lavishly” in His gifts to us (1 Jn 3:1). There is no minimum in the riches of love in Christ Jesus. Our Lord gave up “the riches of heaven so we could through His poverty become rich” (2 Co 8:9). Paul pleaded for us to discover the “hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Ep 1:18). God showed us the “exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness in Christ Jesus” (Ep 2:7). 
None can say, “God gave miserly.” In fact it seems His blessings are extravagant, unbounded and ever new.
It would be truly shameful for us to live a “I’ll give the least” kind of life when God went out of His way to teach us generosity.
Oh, what blessings we will find when we start asking “what is the most I can do and give.” Lord help me find more time, more energy, more opportunity, more kindness, more love, more care, more tenderness, more of the generosity...” 
All to Jesus I surrender;

All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,

Worldly pleasures all forsaken;

Take me, Jesus, take me now.
All to Jesus I surrender;

Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
Isn’t it the least we can do to do the most we can do?
Joseph D. Chase

 

Wednesday
Jan282015

Saltiness and Saints

 Salt and saltiness are used in a variety of ways as a literary device. It is strange that the same word is used to describe diametrically opposed ideas. A sailor using salty language is not the same a saint seasoning his words with salt.

In the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:13), Jesus states, salt that looses its saltiness becomes useless. There are some interesting thoughts contained in this word picture.
Pure salt cannot lose it’s saltiness. However, salt mined in the areas around the Dead Sea could gradually become unsalty. That particular salt was mixed with other minerals allowing it to leach the sodium chloride. When that happened it really wasn’t salt at all. 
There was a popular proverb among the Jews that used “salt” as an image of wisdom. Anyone once enlighten choosing not to use wisdom becomes a fool. The very word Jesus chose “loses its taste” means ‘become foolish’. When you think about it a foolish disciple, (one who knows the truth but does not use it or live it) has no influence in the world.
The unsalty salt that Jesus speaks of was truly a menace. It had no use at all. It was not good for cooking, medicinal or agricultural purposes. It was refuse. 
Anyone knowing the right thing to do and chooses to do wrong is sinful and cannot be used in the Kingdom of God. (Ja 4:17;  2 Pt 2:20-22). That foolish man looses the very way of salvation leaving nowhere to turn for grace (Hb. 6:6). 
Unsavory saints cannot accomplish what Jesus has in mind for true followers. The pure in spirit influence and preserve the world. Paul’s metaphor of leaven illustrates the influence of leaven (1 Co 5:6,7; Ga 5:9). Just as bad influence can ruin good things, Christians can purify and preserve the world making it better. Can you think of a place that is not better when true Christians are living the teachings of Jesus (Acts 10:38)?
A person who is a Christian in name only (unsalty salt), cannot change the world’s situation. Why would the worldly man want to become a Christian who is acting just like he is? 
Christians are to be moral preservatives. Our role is to keep the world from becoming totally corrupt. How can we do that if we lose the unique character traits Jesus described in the Sermon on the Mount? 
Every person fit for the kingdom will make his surroundings more pleasant and “tasteful.” Our lives season the world with: humility, profound sorrow for what sin is doing to people, willingness to serve God, enthusiasm for learning and doing God’s will, mercy, purity of life and peacemaking. The world wonders why that salty saints continue to have those qualities even when the world despises, ridicules and persecutes them.
One thing we can know for certain, there is no way to hide “saltiness”. It stands out in the world. It is as apparent as well seasoned food in a bland rotten supper.
Joe Chase
Tuesday
Dec232014

What is Faith?

*I received a note from a little Girl this past Sunday asking me "What really is faith?" Sometimes in preaching we forget to lay foundations for the little ones to build upon. So, In arranging my thoughts to talk to this little child, I put together this brief homily.

  • Do you believe you're going to eat lunch today? Who do you believe is going to make your lunch today? Why do you believe you're going to eat lunch made by that person? Is it because that person always makes your lunch or sees to it that you have lunch everyday?

Faith is anticipating something is going to happen based upon demonstrations of truth. Like, you're going to eat lunch that your mom made because that always happens.

I can trust other people and have faith in them based upon their past and their promises.

Belief in God is based upon the facts and a proven record. When God said he will raise us from the dead, I can believe Him because he has never lied in the past (nor can he) and he has raised up others in the past --Jesus, Lazarus, widow of Nain, and others.

One of the greatest demonstrations of faith is David when he fought Goliath. He new he would beat him based upon knowledge that God had given him victory over a bear and lion.

Maybe we will better understand why God got so angry with Israel when they failed to enter the promised land. Can you list some of the ways God proved he would take care of Israel before asking them to trust him to fight their battles with the Canaanites?

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 ESV)

I hope to have lunch today based upon the fact that I always eat lunch provided by my parents or my spouse.

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