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Short Articles, Bible Lessons and Devos Intended to Edify and Encourage Others

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    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.

 

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Devotional Thoughts

Faithful in Little Things

 

The shooting deaths of the Amish girls in the U.S. has brought into much sharper focus what Jesus meant when He said that those who are faithful in small things are faithful in greater things as well (Luke 16:10). We are usually so wrapped up in our own world of people and pursuits that we lose sight of what really counts when it comes to serving God. Then a madman murders innocent little girls and our Christianity seems so small in comparison.

As I read about their final moments where the older girls asked the killer to shoot them first in a bid to save the younger ones, I felt a pang of guilt for the times I complained to God for some minor offense someone had caused me. Learning about how the victims' families reached out in love and forgiveness towards the murderer's wife (even including her in the funeral) made the petty quarrels I see among brethren seem so unworthy and fleshly in comparison.

The courage and faith of these children in the face of death made me wonder how we would do in their place.

Could we give up our lives to save another for Christ's sake when simply making time to worship the Lord is a challenge? Would we reach out in love to our child's killer when reaching across the aisle to shake an offensive brother or sister's hand is too much for our pride to overcome?

God prepares martyrs with small acts of death to self each day. I wonder if the way we do the small things now would enable us to give Him our everything should He require it of us in the future. I guess we already know the answer now don't we.       Mike M.

80 Million to 1

 

  My cousin was a gambler. He died last year of self-inflicted wounds, but while alive he taught me the definitive lesson about gambling. He said, "When you win, you lose; and when you lose, you lose."

  His point was that once you begin to gamble you're hooked and winning or losing becomes secondary — just playing the game is all that matters.

  I thought of him as the TV flashed the news of the country's biggest lottery winner taking home 109 million dollars after taxes. People justified the 80 million to 1 odds by saying that one lucky guy was a winner and it could have been them.

The sad part no one reported was the fact that in order to produce that one winner, millions of people had to lose part of their hard earned money. In addition to this, they also forfeited a measure of personal freedom as the gambling disease was discreetly injected into their veins in order to guarantee their loyalty to the next round of lottery mania.

  Let's be careful of the gambling bug. Once you get it you lose all the time, even on those rare occasions when you win. The only way to avoid it is never to begin, not even "for fun". That's how my cousin started to lose everything precious to him including his life.       Mike M.

1. Do only Christians have access to God in prayer?

 
"We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him." John 9:31
"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." Hebrews 11:6

God created all things, knows and hears all things, even sends rain and sunshine on all men, but sinners and unbelievers have no access to His throne of grace through prayer. That is why, we believers in Jesus Christ, those who have access to God in prayer, we must pray for others. No one else has the privilege that we have.

2. Do our prayers make a difference?

James says,

James 5:15 "and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." James 5:15-16

The Holy Spirit assures us that our prayers are heard that they are effective. Now if the Bible says so, that is enough for me, but an interesting piece of research highlights the truth of what James is saying.

Dr. Rudy Roundtree, who was a featured speaker at the O.C. lectureship one year, reported on a study that had been conducted on prayer:

He explained that a researcher, fed up with claims about the effectiveness of prayer, decided to conduct a study to debunk this whole idea. He acknowledged that maybe a one on one prayer at the bedside of a sick person might have some therapeutic or psychological effect, but this business of a prayer list or prayer board where a group prays for a person, especially a person far away or one they did not know, this was nonsense, superstition.

Well, in his class Dr. Roundtree went on to describe how after a long and thorough survey the researcher came to exactly the opposite conclusion:

"The more prayer there was, the more healing there was. The more people who prayed the greater rate of healing and improvement."

As Christians we do not need research to confirm God's word, but it is very encouraging when unbelievers have their eyes opened to see what we have seen all along by faith: prayer works!

3. Does God really command us to pray?

Jesus said,

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7

Luke says that Jesus, when He taught His disciples, said that "… men ought always to pray" (Luke 18:1)

Paul said, "…continue in prayer" Colossians 4:2

And again in I Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing"

Over and over again we are commanded, taught, urged to pray and always to pray. When we gather for worship or devotionals, we pray because God commands us to pray.

And so even when we are discouraged or our faith is weak or what we ask for may seem too great, remember, we do not come to God as an idea born inside of us, no we come to Him because He has commanded us to do so.

Summary

I could go on and talk about the great joy and privilege it is to pray and discuss the various types of prayer. Suffice to say that most of our prayers are intercessory (meaning on behalf of someone). Let us take advantage of our relationship with God through Christ; our numbers willing to pray, and our understanding of God's will in the matter of prayer. Let us take advantage of these things to minister effectively for those on our prayer list.

And for those of you who may have specific needs, whether it be a prayer for someone else or yourself; whether it be a prayer for illness or forgiveness; whether it be a prayer of thanks or whether it be the prayer of faith in confessing Jesus in the waters of baptism, let us take advantage of the mighty power of prayer.                 Mike M.

Check Us Out This Sunday

Bible Class:  9:30 - 10:15

Subject: Lesson 6 of Colossians Taught by Rob K.

 

Let's Worship Our Creator @  10:30am

AND

We Are Honored To Serve "Communion" This Sunday

Are You Free On Tuesday, Join Our Ladies As They Get Into The Word

Ladies Bible Class: Tuesdays 2 - 3 PM

 

​The middle of the week is a super time to Recharge just when you need it 

 

Wednesday  Bible Study:  6:00 PM

 "Around The Table" Directed by Blaine C.

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Tell others about our Web Site: Teaching the truth with love. The Bible is our guide for today. Discover New Life
 
Find us on the new neighborhood app "nextdoor". Search for our Group entitled "Verse A Day Plus"
Check out Ashby Camp's lesson: 
(
Sorry link must be copied and pasted)
http://theoutlet.us/EvidenceforGod'sExistenceApartfromtheBible2020.pdf
Breaking News!!!
Leading scholars have found one thing God has left completely out of the Bible.
"Our Opinion"

NEW-NEW-NEW-NEW-NEW
By: F D Srygley

A quote from the 19th Century still is true today.
 

"As I understand the New Testament, the pious unimmersed ought to be immersed.  And in case they are not immersed, I know of no promise in the New Testament that they will be saved.  But, as to whether God will make allowances for those mistakes and those who think they are obeying Him when in reality they are doing something He has not commanded in lieu of what He has commanded, is a question for God to settle, and I decline to take any part in  it."

 

For a series of Bible Lessons presented on video with various topics we encourage you to visit the following web site. 

 

www.theoutlet.us/

The OUTLET: A collection of writings by Ashby Camp

    These are things I have written through the years. Some are more detailed and academic than others. Many are notes from classes I have taught at church. If I failed to credit a source of wording or ideas it is because I did not cite the source in my notes and no longer remember it. Audio and video recordings of some of my classes are available by clicking the Audio & Video button.

I add to and revise the collection regularly. If anything here is helpful to you, I would be encouraged by knowing that. Drop me a note at theoutlet@cox.net. 

http://theoutlet.us/ShortStudyonBecomingaChristian.pdf