PLEASANT VALLEY
CHURCH OF CHRIST

COME WORSHIP WITH US!

2820 Willow Creek Rd.
Prescott, AZ 86301

 

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SERMON TITLES


DATE: January 29th, 2023      SPEAKER: Pete H, David C

Sunday Morning Bible Class 10 AM: Harmony of The Gospels

SUNDAY MORNING 10:55 AM: BIBLE Fact or Man's Fiction

SCRIPTURE READING: Ephesians 2:19-22

SUNDAY EVENING 5 PM: A Veil lies On Their Hearts

Wednesday Evening Bible Study 7pm

2nd Saturday Of The Month, Ladies Bible Study 10am.

 



MEMBERS UPDATE

1/16/2022: Brother Glenn will be completing the 3rd procedure in a couple weeks. Please continue to remember him in your prayers.





THOUGHTS

 

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Somebody figured out that we have 35 million laws trying to enforce 10 commandments

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The church does NOT determine what the BIBLE teaches. The BIBLE determines what the church MUST teach.

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Faith is the gift of God. So is the air, but you must breathe it. So is bread, but you have to eat it. So is water, but you have to drink it. So how do we accept this gift? Not by a feeling, for "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" - Romans 10:17. It is not for me to sit down and wait for faith to come upon me. Rather, faith comes when we take God at His word.

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This is a story about four people in the church whose names were Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

The church had some responsibilities that needed to be done and Everybody was asked to help. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it. But you know who do it? Nobody. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Then the church needed some work, and Somebody was asked to help. But Somebody got angry about that, because Anybody could have done it just as well and, after all, it was really Everybody's job. In the end the work was given to Nobody, and Nobody did a fine job.

On and on this went. Whenever work was to be done, Nobody could always be counted on. Nobody visited the sick. Nobody gave liberally. Nobody shared the faith. In short, was a very faithful member.

Finally the day came when Somebody left the church and took Anybody and Everybody with them. Guess who was left. Nobody!

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An old farmer attending Sunday morning Bible study, made a comment in class, "I find it amusing, all those ideas and discussions on how to get people to come to worship services. I have never heard a single farmer ask at a farmers convention on how to get the cattle to come home from the fields. It's simple - we just use the best kind of feed."

 

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Laziness

A farmer was sitting on the porch of his house when a stranger came by and asked, "How's things?" "Tolerable", came the reply. He continued, "Two weeks ago a tornado came along and knocked down all the trees I would have had to chop down for this winter's firewood. Then last week lightning struck the brush I had planned to burn to clear the fields for planting".

The stranger responded, "That's remarkable, what are you doing now?"

The farmer answered, "Waiting for an earthquake to come along and shake the taters out of the ground".

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People respond to God's miraculous signs in varied ways. This is the same for people today with physical signs we see on streets and buildings (i.e. stop signs, speed limit, exit, enter, etc.). These signs offer warnings or guidance, some accept and understand their meaning and obey what they say. Some notice, but don't take the message seriously. Some ignore it entirely, thinking it does not apply to them or they just don't like restrictions. Let me tell you something, everything in this Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, BETTER BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. And if anyone thinks it does not apply to them, GUESS AGAIN. God will treat those who do not obey Him and His Word, like an unwanted salesman, and shut the door in their face. Just like in Matthew 25:1-13, the parable of the Ten Virgins. In verse 10-12 it reads, "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready, went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut..." This is Jesus, (the bridegroom), coming one day and the faithful sevants of God, (those who were ready), went to heaven, (wedding), and the unfaithful, the door was shut!

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John 8:31 - "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed."" We don't know it all, nor will we ever in this earthly life. However we still continue each and every day to absorb like a sponge the knowledge of God's Word. And we don't select what we will obey and what we won't obey. A prime example is how and when we worship God. Do we put earthly things ahead of God?

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The Crowd - John 6:24-40.

"Do not labor for the food which perishes..." - verse 27.

There are 2 kinds of Hunger:

PHYSICAL and TEMPORARY

SPIRITUAL and ETERNAL

ONE CANNOT SATISFY THE OTHER.

 

In this passage the people are not really seeking God. They are looking for entertainment and food. This happens from sign in John 6:1-15. But popularity is not what Christ is seeking. Instead of softening His message to make people happy, Jesus will explain the TRUTH, even if it costs Him the good will of the crowd. Jesus clarifies the point of His ministry is spiritual not material. In verses 28-30, we read the people are more concerned about works and signs, that will eventually pass away. Their HUNGER is PHYSICAL and TEMPORARY.

                                                                                                                    

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The Nobleman's Son is the second sign as John records in the gospel accoring to John. It is a message about believing without seeing. The Jews required signs, miracles and wonders and still didn't believe.  In John 4:50 and 4:53 we read the Nobleman believed twice. When Jesus told him "Your son lives" in verse 50, he believed the word Jesus spoke. Then in verse 52, he asks the hour when his son was better, and they told him , "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him". Then in verse 53 he knew it was the same hour in which Jesus said, "Your son lives". Then not only the Nobleman's belief was stronger, but his whole household believed.

Where Is Your Belief? Ask yourself these questions:

Is my heart & mind open to Jesus?

Do I think about God and Jesus every day of my life?

Do I read the Scriptures everyday for understanding and knowledge of God's word?

Do I believe because of someone else?

If you are a young person, will I continue in service to the Lord after I leave home?

Do I need an external motivator?

Am I a different person when I am not at worship services?

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Far to many of us have weights that are keeping us from moving forward as we ought to. Many are struggling with addictions, sin, complacency, poor choices and other troubles. They are keeping us from moving forward as we would like. We cannot do that.

In Hebrews 12:1-2 we read, "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

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A man is drowning in the ocean. He is out too far for one to swim out after him. A person in a boat sees him. The person casts a lifesaver to him and when the man grabs onto the lifesaver, he is pulled to safety. Question - What saved the drowning man? Was it the person in the boat, the lifesaver, or the drowning man grabbing the livesaver?                  The answer: ALL THREE! It is the same way our salvation involves God's grace, our faith and our obedience to His conditions. But even when we obey, we still haven't earned our salvation. You don't deserve it! It is STILL a gift of God. But that does not nullify the need for you to reach out and take it by fulfilling God's requirements - Ephesians 2:8-9 - "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."

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As Christians we understand and stress the need of having a humble attitude in order to be pleasing to God and to reach our goal of heaven. But how do we attain that all-important Christ-like attribute? The answer is that we must rid ourselves of pride. The Bible is full of teachings and warnings about pride. Pride is a stumbling block that will keep many out of heaven if they don't repent. We must understand what a danger pride is and how to recognize it in our lives. Getting rid of pride begins with the heartand removing it. In Mark 7:20-23, Jesus identifies pride as one of the evil things that is within the heart of man that produces what comes out of a man and defiles him. It is essential that we root out pride and remove it from our hearts.

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Job asks, "If a man die, will he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes." - Job 14:14. Job's question was answered by Jesus and the New Testament authors with a "YES" - John 11:23-26; 1 Corinthians 15:3-57. But Job answers his own question by a determination to "wait" for his "change" to come. Job considers life "hard" and he is implying that he will wait for relief from his suffering through death to find out the answer.

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Far too many today are willing to obey God when it goes along with what they want to do or when it is convenient. When they don’t like the instructions, they do things their way. 

To illustrate this: The story is told of a farmer who gave his son specific instructions concerning a number of tasks to be taken care of while he was away.  When he came back he found most of what he had said done as specified, but there was a well that was in a different place.  The father asks, “Why did you not obey me?”  The son answered I did obey you?  He then explained how he thought the well was better where he placed it.  His father’s response was, “You did NOT obey me.  The only reasons you did the other things I told you was because you agreed with me.  If you didn’t like them you would have changed them also.”  His son did NOT obey him.

The only obedience God will accept is complete obedience at all times. It is the attitude we find in Paul on the road to Damascus – “Lord, what do You want me to do?” - Acts 9:6. In Acts 2:37 - "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"  Are you willing to obey the commands of the Lord at all times and completely? Your  honest answer is a pretty good spiritual indicator of how you are growing in Him.

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GOD's reasoning is far superior to ours - Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 11:33-36. If we try to filter things from the infinite mind of GOD through our finite minds, we will find that it just won't work. That would be like trying to funnel Niagara Falls through a drinking straw. You cannot do it. The 23 Psalm is a lesson to remind ourselves of the wonderful provision, protection, and preservation the Lord furnishes His people.

The Lord is my Shepherd - David was a shepherd in his youth and now he is saying the Lord is his Shepherd and he is the flock of sheep the Lord tends to. He also felt this way as king because he shepherd over Israel.  

Lie down in green pastures - Any distrubance or intruder scares sheep. They are very fearful animals and cannot lie down unless they feel totally secure. David uses "green pastures" to express his view of the abundant care God gives to his people.

Still Waters - Sheep are afraid of fast-flowing streams. God's provision of "still waters" has a soothing effect and calms the sheep.

Valley of the shadow of death, You are with me - This can refer to any distressing time in our lives. We are aware of sickness, trials and hardship. But the Lord, our Protector, can lead us through these dark and difficult valleys to eternal life with Him. There is no need to fear death's power - 1 Corinthians 15:25-27.

Your rod and your staff - the shepherds used the rod and staff to rescue, protect, and guide the sheep. Just as the Lord stands over us and protects us.

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We have many fears that surround us and keep us from living as God wants. In Isaiah 12:1-2, 41:8-10, we receive wonderful words of comfort. In Isaiah 41:10 we are told "Fear not, for I am with you...." In Isaiah 12:2 speaks the word "afraid". This kind of fear is what we are not to have.  To overcome fear we need to: Trust in God - Philippians 4:7, Lay hold on God's Word - Romans 15:4. We can have VICTORY OVER FEAR, because FAITH IS THE VICTORY.

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Uphold The Truth - If we love the truth we will not only be willing to live in harmony with it, but we will uphold and defend it. The apostle Paul praised the Philippians because they were partakers with him in the defense of the Gospel - Philippians 1:7 - "just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace."  The word "right" is short for "righteous" which conveys Paul's thoughts that the Philippians were in perfect accord with God's will. The word "heart" refers to the innermost part of a person. The word "defense" means "verbal or speech defense". Paul was not silent while in prison, and would testify Jesus Christ at his judicial proceedings. The word "confirmation" means "validating a guarantee".  Defense and Confirmation are the negative and positive aspects of Paul's ministry. He defended the gospel against opponents attacks, and he confirmed the gospel through powerful signs. When you combine these words together, you get this message: "WITH A RIGHTEOUS HEART, DEFEND AND CONFIRM THE GOSPEL."

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Persevere - The New Testament makes it clear that faith alone can save by believing in God's Word. But it makes it equally clear that perseverance in doing good works is the greatest indication that an individuals faith is genuine - James 2:14-26. Perseverance springs from a faithful trust that God has been steadfast toward His people. Through persevering in God's work, Christians prove their deep appreciation for God's saving grace - 1 Corinthians 15:57-58. As a result of of perseverance, the Christian can expect not only to enhance the strength of the church, but also to build up strength of character - Romans 5:3-4. Christians can also expect to become closer to God. We learn we can persevere primarily because God is intimately related to us - Romans 8:25-27. Especially because we have the assurance of a final reward in heaven - 1 John 5:13.

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 In 1 Corinthians 14:15, Paul in this chapter is speaking to the church at Corinth about the principles of governing tongues. In verse 15 Paul says - "What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding." At the day of Pentecost, all the Apostles were able to speak in different languages, so all that were present were able to understand what was being said. This is what Paul is saying, pray and sing with understanding means you have awareness and comprehend what you are saying so the uninformed can understand as well. We sing praises unto God and give God our thanks for all He has blessed us with. God deserves this from us for His greatness and love He has shown for us.

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In Matthew 10:8, Jesus tells the Apostles to "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." Now we cannot physically do what the Jesus and the Apostles could do, however we have the power of prayer. God hears our prayers to comfort and strengthen those who are ill. God will do as such if it be His Will. And when prayers are answered, we ALWAYS thank God for healing those we have prayed for.


SHARPER THAN A SWORD - 5 Characteristics of the Godly!

#1. The Godly Put God First!

#2. The Godly are Humble!

#3 The Godly are Generous!

#4. The Godly are Prayerful!

#5. The Godly Obey the Word!



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