Short Articles, Bible Lessons and Devos Intended to Edify and Encourage Others
Here at Dale Ridge you will find a loving, committed group of believers doing our best to follow in the footprints of Jesus Christ. We strive to deeply develop our relationship with God through study, fellowship, and service.
We love our visitors and hope you find your experience uplifting and focused on the sincere worship of God!
7165 Cloverdale Rd NW
Roanoke, VA 24019
Blessing or Bait? by Mike Mazzalongo
Author Robert Morely said that the main rule for catching bass is letting the fish run with the bait. You want to make sure that the fish feels no resistance so it will think it has the worm with "no strings" attached. The bass will be lulled into a false sense of confidence so he can feel safe enough to swallow the entire bait, hook and all. Once this happens, you just give a strong tug on the line and bring him in. When the hook sinks in, there is no way for it to get away, start the fire, it's fillet time!
There is a disturbing parallel here in the way Satan works in luring us into destruction. First, he dangles the bait, and like bait for fish, human bait is always particularly desirable. It can be the promise that we will be noticed as first among others, pleasure of some kind, or easy gain, but whatever it is, the bait is always designed for our weaknesses.
Next, and most importantly, he will allow us to run with the bait thinking we can enjoy ourselves with "no strings" attached. The Bible clearly says that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23) but in various ways, we are enticed into believing that we can actually disobey God and not suffer the consequences now, or later.
Then, when we least expect or want it, we feel the yanking of the line that brings us to the awful realization that we are "hooked" by sin and must face the prospect of losing our freedom and our souls. For some, the hook will only sink in when they are before God at judgment.
Fish never seem to learn between real food and bait. Let's be smarter than they are. If it's according to God's Word, it's a blessing, if it requires disobedience, it's bait. Knowing which is which will make a reel difference to our eternal lives.
What factors tend to make us more susceptible to temptation? Name three.
In your opinion, why do some people repeatedly give in to the same temptation?
What three things can Christians do to strengthen themselves to successfully resist temptation?
Gratitude: The Way to Happiness
Think on one virtue that, more than any other, leads to happiness and why is that?
As for me, I believe that gratitude leads to happiness, and ingratitude leads to darkness, pride and ultimately separation from God. Paul, the Apostle, makes this very point:
21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
- Romans 1:21-23
Ingratitude is the first sin, weakness, failing, lack of wisdom that leads to the rest. It is the tipping point, where you "trip" into the rest. It is as if gratitude propels you towards God and lack of gratitude drives you away! It is the thing, action or lever that you control, that makes you move in one direction or another.
Gratitude helps you deal properly with the good and bad in life. Paul also writes in Philippians:
10But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
- Philippians 4:10-13
Paul was content (happy, satisfied) in prosperity and want. Why? He was grateful for what God provided in every circumstance. His happiness was based on his closeness and confidence in God (continually made possible by his gratitude), not how much he had or did not have. His happiness was not based on how well his life was going or how successful his ministry was (he was in prison when he wrote Philippians). His happiness was directly related to his personal relationship with God and that relationship was a close one because Paul continually gave thanks for everything in his life: great, small, hard, easy.
So, let us give thanks for this food, this day, this family, and everything else in our lives, so that through grateful hearts we may grow closer and closer to God who promises us eternal happiness and joy in Christ.
As Paul says in Ephesians:
15Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
- Ephesians 5:15-20
What one event, person or attitude leads you to personal unhappiness? Why?
How would the ideas in this lesson help you if applied?
Name three things, people or events in your life that bring you happiness today. Give thanks for these. Mike Mazzalongo
Visit Us This Sunday
Bible Class: 9:30 - 10:15
Subject: A study of Matthew directed by: Deron Smith
After preparing our minds in Bible Study we will Worship and Praise Our Creator
We Also are Honored To Serve "Communion" This Sunday, come join us in honoring by remembrance of Jesus Christ, our Savior. His life, death and resurrection. (The Gospel 1 Cor 15)
We are online also. Follow these instructions.
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Type or copy/paste the following on your search line: GoToMeet.me/DaleRideChurchofChrist
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Bible Class: 9:30 - 10:15
Come Worship Our Creator @ 10:30am
Tuning in "virtually" was never intended to take the place of gathering together, enjoying fellowship, receiving and giving each other encouragement. Christians should love to gather on the first day of the week just as the early Church did. (Acts 20:7)
The middle of the week is a super time to Recharge just when we need it.
Join us, Wednesday evening @ 6PM.
(In Person Only)
"Around The Table discussion" of previous Sundays Sermon: Directed by Blaine C.
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Read Romans 6:3-5
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Just One Sin by Mike Mazzalongo
By Mike Mazzalongo
12Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go up to this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the sons of Israel. 13When you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was; 14for in the wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to treat Me as holy before their eyes at the water." (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.)
- Numbers 27:12-14
After having led the people in the wilderness for 40 years; after bringing them to the point of entering into the Promised Land that they had waited for for so long, Moses is told by God to go to the top of a mountain and look at the land that the people would go to but he would not.
God tells him that he will not enter into the Promised Land with the people because of one sin that he had committed earlier in the desert. In Numbers 20:1-13 we read that while they were in the wilderness the people lacked water and they threatened to rebel if they did not get any. Moses asked God for help and the Lord said to Moses that he should speak to a rock and the water would come forth. In his anger and pride, Moses struck the rock twice with his rod instead. God caused the water to flow anyways but charged Moses with disobedience.
Because of this one sin, Moses was prevented from entering the land that he had led the people towards for 40 years. Moses was the greatest Jewish leader, he received the 10 commandments, he interceded for the people time and time again but because of this one transgression he did not enter in. This ending to his life teaches us several important lessons about how God feels concerning sin:
1. God is so holy that even one sin keeps you out of His presence.
The Promised Land was symbolic of the promise of heaven, and this episode shows us that God will not tolerate sin in His presence. God will receive only those who are sinless into the promised land of heaven.
2. There is no such thing as a small sin or harmless sin.
Moses did not rape or kill; he tapped the rock instead of speaking to the rock. And yet, God denied him entrance because of it. God hates all forms of sin, no type of sin is less despicable or tolerable in His sight.
3. Coming "close" is not good enough when it comes to heaven.
Moses came close, he was on the border, he could actually see the land, but he did not enter in. Being a nice guy, being a moral person, doing your best will only get you close to heaven. Moses was all these things; the Bible says he was the most humble man in the world. But one sin kept him out of the Promised Land and nothing could change that.
Here's my point:
Like Moses and the children of Israel, we are on a long journey. Our journey is through the wilderness of life on this earth with its hardships, dangers and struggles. Like Moses and the Jews we all want to arrive at and enter into the promised land of heaven.
My question is this: What sin will keep you out?
For many it will be the sin of disobedience. They will not obey the gospel of Christ in order to be saved. They will put it off. They will think that they are really okay and don't need to obey. They will rely on their own religion or way of being saved that is not exactly biblical but close enough. But in the end they will be disobedient and refuse to simply confess Jesus, repent of their sins and be baptized like Jesus commands them to be in Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38. And because of this disobedience they will not enter in.
For some it will be the sin of unfaithfulness. They have travelled toward the heavenly land for a while but the cares of this world and its activities and riches of this world have distracted them and made them abandon their journey and want to settle here. Because of this disobedience they will get their wish, they will stay here and enjoy the pleasures of the world for a while but they will be destroyed along with it in the end.
Are one of these sins going to keep you out of the heavenly home that God has prepared for His faithful children? If so, be rid of it so you can enter in when the time comes.
Stop your disobedience and be baptized for the remission of your sins.
Stop your unfaithfulness and laziness and be restored to a right relationship with God by confessing your sins and praying that God forgive you.
Don't let anything stop you from entering in. This is my prayer for you this week.
What "small" sin in your life is hard to overcome?
God doesn't require perfection, but what does He require when it comes to our sins?
Describe the struggle and solution that every Christian experiences that Paul explains in Romans 7:14-8:1.
Leading scholars have found one thing God has left completely out of the Bible. It's
Don't be mis-lead by following someones Opinion, check out Gods Word.
A Child's Glory
Concerning fathers Solomon says,
Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of sons is their fathers.
- Proverbs 17:6
There was a special celebration of belonging to and coming forth from a man you could call your father in Solomon's day. Fathers took pride in children but the writer emphasizes that children also gloried in who their father was.
If a child's glory was his father, then a child without a father was missing his innate, inherent glory. This phenomenon can be seen today as so many boys and girls struggle with issue of identity and self-worth because they are denied the glory of their fathers through death or abandonment.
Without ownership of basic fatherly glory one seeks to create an image of glory from other sources and consequently becomes vulnerable to the false glory offered by the make-believe men and women of advertisers and Hollywood. Children with guns, children with drugs and alcohol, young people with cynical attitudes and a desire only for the pleasures of things are simply reflecting the false glory they have adopted because there is precious little fatherly glory in their lives.
Children need the glory of their fathers in order to learn their own sense of worth. Fathers need to pass on their glory so their sons and daughters can know not only who they are but that who they are is a glorious thing. Mike M.