Keep Racing!

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In the wonderful theological “comparison” that’s the parable of the sower (Matt. 13; Mark 4; Luke 8), Jesus said that salvation is a process which must begin, continue and persist to the end. It all depends on an initial intelligent acceptance of the “seed” Gospel of the Kingdom as Jesus preached it. Only those who maintain faith and obedience to the end will be saved (Matt. 24:13).

Salvation for New Testament Christians is like a race. The goal, salvation, “is now closer to us than when we first believed” (Rom.13:11). We are “being saved” now (1 Cor.1:18; 15:2), and we were saved “in hope” (Rom. 8:24), and we will be saved at the return of Jesus.

You don’t win a gold medal when the starting gun goes off and you don’t graduate from the university at orientation. Salvation is a race to the end and the stimulus which gets us started is the Gospel of the Kingdom, which imparts to us the energy of God Himself (1 Thess. 2:13; John 6:63; Gal. 3:2).

-Anthony Buzzard of Restoration Fellowship (http://focusonthekingdom.org/)
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Greener Grass or Selflessness

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In Genesis 13 Abram and Lot had trouble. Their servants were quarreling about the feed for their animals. Abram suggested that as Brothers they shouldn’t do this. So, it would be better to separate. He asked Lot to choose which part of the land he would get. Lot chose the plain where the feed for the animals was better. It was near the city because everybody wants greener grass. Read until chapter 19 then ask yourself, am I doing like Lot and looking for greener grass, a better life now? Or am I wiser like Abram staying where I depend on God to take care of me. Abram was wiser. Are we?

-Larry Rankin

Quite an Inheritance

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There are five short verses in the Bible that every believer should commit to memory. Psalm 37:29, Proverbs 10:30, Proverbs 11:31, Matthew 5:5, and John 3:13. This is enough information to keep anyone from being confused about the place of the eternal reward of the righteous. It has become my habit to say that teaching that the righteous will go to heaven is telling a lie. And all liars will be rewarded by fire. Jesus had good reason to teach us that the meek will inherit the earth. I want to encourage everyone to commit to memory those verses.

-Larry Rankin

Love and a Consuming Fire

 

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John 4:24 does say that God is a spirit. But let’s not assume that he is only a spirit. 1 John 4:8 says God is love and we all love that aspect of God. Deuteronomy 4:24 also says that God is a consuming fire. That’s because he is an awesome God. So awesome that when he was on Mount Sinai the Israelites were sure they were going to die from the sound of his voice but when Elijah was at the same mountain God spoke to him in a still small voice. But still the same God.

Therefore its no wonder that he is both LOVE and a CONSUMING FIRE even at the same time and all in righteousness. This is why he is a spirit. We must use other verses to help us understand the physical nature of God. Spirit is not a description of physical resistance in any form. The GOD of the Bible is awesome and he does have a voice.

-Larry Rankin

Choose Wisely

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A good study of the life of Abraham and the life of Rebecca from the book of Genesis chapters 24 to 30 shows us that they were very concerned about who their children married. Then in Deuteronomy 7 God held the parents accountable to teach their children not to marry unbelieving neighbors. This is reinforced in the story of Dinah, Solomon, Ezra, and Nehemiah. It’s no wonder that 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 gives us the same commandment.

A young lady active in the Church of God in the Philippines has chosen to marry an older never before married gentleman from our Cashmere Congregation for that very reason. She calls him “her man of God”. The wedding will be on May 26, 2018. God bless their decision.

-Larry Rankin

Life is Short – Live on Purpose

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Have you ever really thought about the length of a life? James 4:14 tells us our life is like a ‘vapor in the wind’, here and gone in a flash. We only have a precious little while to live, to learn, to love. To help someone in need, to work, to play, to laugh, cry, mourn, model, teach, encourage, and bless. Only a little while to pray, sing, dance, fellowship, make memories. It seems like forever at first, but the wheel is spinning. And someday too soon, it will stop. How far did you travel? Did you choose wisely the roads you experienced, or did you never have a plan? Did you have a destination in mind, or just get in the car and drive? Will the map of your life show a journey of love and gratitude, or carelessness and self-absorption? One day all the stops on our map will be seen. Drive well:)

-Barb Fuller

 

Barb is very active with the teenagers at Cashmere and this year she volunteered to work with Cyrus Catanus at the National Youth Seminar held in Initao, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, Philippines. She often shares her observations with Scripture. She believes that social media is to be used for spiritual instruction.

Where Do You Worship – Part 2

 

 

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In Romans 12:1 we are told to sacrifice our bodies, a living sacrifice. This is our reasonable (or true and proper) “service”. Service is also translated correctly worship. So, a Sunday Service is a time of worship. However, in verse 2 Paul tells us how to do the sacrifice.

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When we change our minds to obey God, leaving worldly things and performing God’s will, it’s worship. So, the place of worship is in our own bodies. Many people have been misled into believing that you must be in a particular place to worship. It’s better said you must be in a particular frame of mind to worship.

-Larry Rankin