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Search For Her As For Hidden Treasures

With the Bible in your hand and a commitment to obedience in your mind, you hold the treasure map to the greatest treasure the world has ever known, eternal life. If you search for her as for hidden treasures, you will find the ultimate treasure.

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The Bleating of the Sheep and the Lowing of the Oxen

By: Zach Collins Date: August 20th, 2021 Growing up, my father and mother gave me a chore list. A staple of many childhoods. It was posted on the refrigerator door, next to the photos of family, friends, and the magnetic tourist souvenirs from all the locations that my mother had visited in her travels. The list was clear and specific, complete with obligations that I could understand and obey every single week. As most children, after I completed the chores on the list, I received payment in exchange for my work. It seems that twenty dollars went much further in my childhood! As I reflect upon the list, I realize that, at the core of this list, was a form of parental training. My mother and father were attempting to prepare me for the “real-world”, where men and women alike are given certain job responsibilities that they are expected to fulfill. One specific moment comes to my mind: As I was doing my chores, I was tempted to only do half the chores on the list in order to see if I could pull the wool over my mother’s eyes. Sure, I realized that I would be short-changing my mother and father, but I figured that I would still get paid my twenty dollars at the end of the week and everything would work out for the betterment of myself. When it came time for payment, my mother would ask, “Did you complete your chores for this week?”, knowing that …

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Is He Worthy of Your Denarius?

We do not speak in terms of denarii today. During the ministry of Jesus, a denarius was a form of currency. The denarius was a roman unit of coinage, which typically had the emperor imprinted upon the coin. Once, the Herodians attempted to catch Jesus in His words, (Mark 12:13), so they asked, “Teacher… is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay or shall we not pay?”, (Mark 12:14-15). Jesus asked a simple question when he asserted, “Whose image and inscription is this?… Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”, (Mark 12:16-17). In that moment, Jesus was holding a denarius, (c.f., Matthew 22:19). The denarius was considered a day’s wage for a common laborer. Though small, it was a coin sufficient to provide for the needs of the common laborer. However, throughout the Bible, the denarius began to take on symbolic form through the inspired writings. Some individuals were willing to give their heart and their denarius to Christ, despite the personal cost, and they were memorialized as an example throughout all the ages. In other cases, some were unwilling give of their heart nor their denarius and were used as an example of caution. These individuals viewed God as not worthy of their denarius and received their due reward.   Is He worthy of your denarius?  In Matthew 18:21-31, we find one of the most sobering stories in the Bible. It is the Parable of …

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Living Amongst the Rocks

I believe we have something in common with the eagle. As eagles age, the eagles beak and talons become encrusted with calcium. This calcium causes them to not be as sharp as they once were and, therefore, the eagle can no longer hunt as effectively as it once could. He loses his feathers, as well. As a result of losing his feathers, it causes the body of the eagle to whistle as it dives toward its pray. The eagle is entering into a new stage of life, called, “Living amongst the rocks.” The majestic eagle, once full of life and vigor, transitions from soaring amongst great heights, to literally living amongst the rocks. While living amongst the rocks, the eagle will pluck out his own feathers, break his calcium encrusted beak off upon a rock, and even scratch his talons against the rocks until they are literally nubs. Once those who soared so high in all of their pride, they have been brought down to their vulnerabilities. It reminds me of the words of the prophet Obadiah, in Obadiah 1:3, “Though you ascend as high as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down,” says the LORD.” In the life of an eagle, to live “amongst the rocks” is the most dangerous stage of their life. They become vulnerable and defenseless. They cannot escape predators, nor can they provide for themselves food. As a result, many of them die. Yet, …

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He Hath Inclined His Ear

As a new father, I have become intimately familiar with an obvious truth not previously conceived that children can become very easily upset at trivial matters. My son has chosen his contentment to be during the day and his cries of distress to be in the middle of the night. The slightest change in schedule or atmosphere can cause a child to increasingly become upset. Often, children are blinded by their immaturity and self-sighted attitude which causes them to fret over trivial matters with little consequence. When your child is upset, what do you do? Do you tower over them with your 6’2 frame? Of course not. Even if we find ourselves in the middle of the night, we go to our child, kneel, or sit down, to adequately comfort them in their distress. In life, I have found that the greatest comfort we can provide is to sit down and listen to others. In times of need, we all want to be heard. Our Heavenly Father sits down and listens, as well.    The Psalmist wrote, in Psalm 116:2, “Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.”  The word incline, in the Hebrew, literally means, “to bow down”, (Strong’s Concordance). Isn’t the thought amazing? Our Almighty God bends down to comfort us through our distress. This word reinforces what I know to be true about my Father. He is concerned with what concerns me, though my problems may …

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Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?

In 1985, George Jones sang some lyrics, in his Texas twain, which pulls upon the heart strings of the Lord’s church today and apply to us, when he sang, “Who’s gonna fill their shoes? Who’s gonna stand that tall? Who’s gonna play the Opry or the Wabash Cannonball?” Ok, maybe not all those lyrics, especially the part about the Grand Ole Opry or the Wabash Cannonball, apply to the church. Lately, I find myself focusing on the future of the church rather than the past. Growing up in the church, I remember those who strived tirelessly to make a difference as they influenced others to do good, lead others to Christ, and to build up the body in Paintsville. Many congregations have dwindled to nothing, across the nation, because those faithful and diligent workers passed onto their eternal reward, and no one was willing to “fill their shoes.” I cannot help but consider the words of Samuel, in Judges 2:10, “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.” No one was prepared to fill the shoes of that faithful generation and, as a result, it led to apostasy. Could this happen to the Lord’s church in future generations?   For a moment, I want you to consider with me THREE requirements for us to fill the shoes of the faithful generations of the past, so we can build …

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One Is One Too Many

One child born to drug-addicted parents is one too many. One child placed in the foster care system is one too many. One child lost to drug addiction is one too many. One child lost to suicide is one too many. One child killed in a drunk-driving accident is one too many. One child that is emotionally, physically, or sexually abused by an adult is one too many. One unborn child that is murdered in the womb is one too many. While the child did not choose the circumstances that began or ended its life, but we do know that one child born or lost to these circumstances is one life too many. Sadly, only one of those statements has polarized and divided a nation that was once founded upon the basic principle that all are entitled to life. Do you find it hard to grasp some numbers? I do. For example, 63 million. That is a number hard for me to grasp! That is the total population for Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana combined. In fact, 63 million is over 19% of the current population of the United States. According to recent data from the Nation Right to Life Council, that is the total number of children who have lost their lives to abortion over the span of 50 years. Unfortunately, I was not surprised by the reaction to the recent Supreme Court ruling, on June 24th, 2022, in the Dobbs v. …

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Studying with SPECS

If you are like me, one of the things you are constantly trying to improve upon is your personal bible study habits. The Bible contains the inspired words of God, (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and the words of eternal life, (John 6:68). The Bible is the stitching which sows together the clothing of the person who has become a new creation in Christ, desiring to clothe themselves with tender mercies, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, (Colossians 3:12). But, how can I most effectively study the Bible? Often, many people will come and ask me questions, such as, “Where should I start in studying my Bible, the Old Testament, or the New Testament? How should I take notes when I study the Bible?” In answering this question, I will employ something I learned as a teacher, and that is, every individual learns differently. The question is not, “How should I study?” rather, “What studying technique will work best for me?” Though we study the same curriculum, we each have our own strengths as a learner and will learn in separate ways. However, I would like to share with you an acrostic, that I recently stumbled upon, which has greatly improved my personal study time, SPECS.  S: Sins mentioned that I need to forsake. Too many times, people look to the words of life for confirmation of the life they are living, rather than transformation to the life that God desires them to live. When studying the Bible, it can become convenient to …