HUGGING TO LIFE

A business executive became depressed. Things were not going well at work, and he was bringing his problems home with him every night. Every evening he would eat his dinner in silence, shutting out his wife and five-year-old daughter. Then he would go into the den and read the paper using the newspaper to wall his family out of his life.

After several nights of this, one evening his daughter took her little hand and pushed the newspaper down. She then jumped into her father’s lap, wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him strongly. The father said abruptly, “Honey, you are hugging me to death!” “No, Daddy,” the little girl said, “I’m hugging you to life!”

We learn many valuable lessons from little children is only we will carefully observe their tender actions. Perhaps this is part of the reason Jesus said the following: Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:3-4).

I guess it’s true that Hugs are a “hand shake from the heart.” Give someone a hug today that needs one.

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Leave a comment

A POWERFUL LIGHT

An artist created a painting of a wintry twilight. The trees were barren and laden with snow while a dreary-looking house stood desolate in the midst of the drifted field. It was a bleak and depressing picture. Then the artist took some yellow paint and with a few quick strokes painted a candle glowing in one of the windows of that home. The effect was almost magical. Just one little light and the entire scene was transformed into a vision of comfort and cheer.

The prophet Isaiah looked at his own country and recognized a need for comfort and cheer. He saw the spiritual darkness that enveloped many parts of his nation, especially in the north around the Sea of Galilee. This area had been conquered by the Syrian king Ben-Hadad (1 Kings 15:20) and became a melting pot of Jews and Gentiles. A mixture of Judaism and paganism became the dominant religion. The situation looked hopeless, but even into this stronghold of darkness and spiritual death, Isaiah saw a light break forth, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined” (Isa. 9:2). Centuries later, when the apostles began to preach concerning the Lord’s church, this area saw many become Christians (Acts 8). Indeed, the light of Christ’s redemption shone brightly.

The light of Christ makes a difference in your life. In the darkness of sin, you can find the light of His forgiveness. In the darkness of ignorance, His wisdom illumines the way. In the darkness of trials and trouble, His presence dispels the blackness. Whatever darkness threatens to overshadow your life, let Jesus be the light who drives it away. Jesus is the light of the world (John 9:5).

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Leave a comment

The Lies of Satan

Tune in to The Harris and Moore Expedition Through The Bible tonight (and each Monday) at 7:00 pm CST at http://www.harrisandmoore.org or http://www.thegospelradionetwork.org. Tonight’s discussion will be on the “lies of Satan” – You have heard what men have said – now listen to what the Bible says.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DIVINE SIGNPOSTS

DIVINE SIGNPOSTS

INTRODUCTION
A. In our efforts to lead people to Christ…
1. We understand the importance of the Word of God – Romans 10:17
2. The gospel is the power of God to salvation – Romans 1:16
B. Yet it helps to complement the Word with a demonstration of certain qualities whereby…
1. People can see the truth of the gospel in action
2. People are more likely to believe in Jesus Christ
C. When demonstrated by Christians in a local church, these ‘signposts’ can serve to…
1. Let the nonbeliever know:
a. There is a God Who loves him or her
b. Who has sent Jesus as a manifestation of that love
2. Let the true searcher know:
a. Those who are true disciples of Christ
b. Who can thus lead him or her to Christ
D. There are at least four such “Divine Signposts”, one being…
DISCUSSION
A. THE SIGNPOST OF UNITY
1. The Value of Unity of Believers
a. John 17:20-23
b. It shows that God has sent Christ
c. It shows that God has loved the world
2. So Unity is a Signpost to the World
a. John 3:16 – That God loves the world
b. Ephesians 2:13-16 – That God sent Christ who produces the unity witnessed by the world
3. Thus the Importance of Unity
a. Led Paul to condemn division and those who cause it
1) 1 Corinthians 1:10
2) Romans 16:17-18
b. The importance of unity led Paul to teach attitudes essential to preserving unity
1) Ephesians 4:1-3
2) Philippians 2:2-4
4. Let’s be sure that we do nothing to destroy the ‘signpost’ of unity; rather, let’s work toward enhancing its effectiveness. Another ‘signpost’ that points one in the right direction is…
B. THE SIGNPOST OF LOVE
1. The Value of Love for One Another
a. John 13:34 – It shows that we have been loved by Christ, whose love we seek to emulate
b. John 13:35 – It shows that we are truly His disciples
2. So Love is a Signpost to the World
a. John 15:12-13 – That Christ has loved His disciples
b. Ephesians 5:1-2 – That those who emulate His love are His true disciples
3. Thus the Importance of Love
a. 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 – Led Paul to encourage churches to increase in love
b. Colossians 3:14 – Led Paul to consider love as the “bond of perfection”
1) Here we see that love and unity go together
2) By our love for one another, we are more likely to preserve our unity in Christ
4. Unity and love also go hand in hand as “Divine Signposts”
a. The first lets people know God loves them, and the second shows people who are the followers of Christ.
b. Now for a third ‘signpost’…
C. THE SIGNPOST OF HOPE
1. The Value of Hope
a. 1 Peter 3:15 – It can prompt people to ask us questions
b. 1 Peter 3:15 – It can provide us opportunity to share the reason for our hope
2. So Hope is a Signpost to the World
a. Presuming that our hope is something:
1) Noticeable, prompting people to ask “Why?”
2) Based upon reason, i.e., evidences for our faith
b. Especially when our hope is:
1) Romans 5:1-2 – Accompanied by peace and joy
2) Romans 5:3-4 – Steadfast even in tribulation –
3) Romans 5:5 – Based upon the love of God
4) 1 Peter 1:3-4 – Made sure by the resurrection of Jesus
3. Thus the Importance of Hope
a. 1 Peter 1:13 – Led Peter to command Christians to set their hope fully on the grace to come
b. 1 Peter 3:15 – Led Peter to command Christians to always be ready to explain their hope
4. To unity, love, and hope as “Divine Signposts”, let’s now consider a final ‘signpost’…
D. THE SIGNPOST OF GOOD WORKS
1. The Value of Good Works
a. Matthew 5:16 – They can lead men to glorify our Father in heaven
b. 1 Peter 2:12 – They can lead men to glorify God in the day of visitation
2. So Good Works are a Signpost to the World
a. Directing people to consider the motivation behind such works
b. 1 Peter 3:1-2 – Opening people up to the gospel message which inspires such works
3. Thus the Importance of Good Works
a. Titus 3:1 – Led Paul to command that we be ready for every good work –
b. Titus 3:8, 14 – Led Paul to command that we be careful to maintain good works
CONCLUSION
A. With such “Divine Signposts”, we can see how people can be led to Christ
1. Our unity can convince people of God’s love for them in sending Christ
2. Our love can direct them to true disciples of Christ
3. Our hope can prompt them to ask questions as to the reason for our faith
4. Our good works can encourage them to glory God by their own obedience to the gospel
B. This is no way takes away from the power of the gospel to save souls…
1. But the Lord intended for His church to be a city set on a hill
2. Which by demonstrating certain qualities as a group would draw people to Him
C. Without these “Divine Signposts”, we make it a lot harder for souls who are searching to find their Savior and His gospel!
D. Are we doing our part in the local congregation to display unity, love, hope and good works…?

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

Posted in Sermon Outlines | Leave a comment

THE HAND OF THE LORD WAS UPON ME

THE HAND OF THE LORD MY GOD WAS UPON ME
Ezra 7:28

INTRODUCTION
A. The Bible is filled with stories of people who lived their lives under the influence of God…
1. Through deep faith and a willingness to serve, God used them to fulfill His purposes
2. Ezra is one such example of what can happen:
a. When a person determines to seek God
b. And allows the Lord to use him
B. In 457 B.C., Ezra led a group of Jews from Babylonian captivity back to Jerusalem…
1. About eighty years after a group led by Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple
2. The mission of Ezra’s group was to restore the people of God
C. In the book of Ezra…
1. The first six chapters describe the work of Zerubbabel
2. The final four chapters relate Ezra’s arrival and the great restoration he brought about
3. The theme of Ezra’s life and work could be stated as “The Hand Of The Lord My God Was Upon Me,” for six times in two chapters he thus attributes his success.
4. In our lesson, let’s first notice…
DISCUSSION
A. HOW THE HAND OF THE LORD WAS UPON EZRA
1. In Receiving Requests From The King
a. Notice Ezra 7:6
b. Because the hand of the Lord was upon Ezra, Artaxerxes allowed him:
1) To go to Jerusalem – Ezra 7:12-13
2) To take silver and gold to buy animals for sacrifice – Ezra 7:14-17
3) To buy what is needed for the service of the house of God – Ezra 7:18-23
4) To be free from taxation – Ezra 7:24
5) To set up magistrates and judges – Ezra 7:25-26
c. Ezra recognized the hand of God was at work in his behalf! – Ezra 7:27-28
2. In Finding Servants For The Temple
a. Prepared to leave, Ezra noted none of sons of Levi – Ezra 8:15
b. He sends men to find some who will go with them – Ezra 8:16-17
c. By the good hand of God upon them, they find 38 Levites and 220 Nethinim to assist them! – Ezra 8:18-20
3. In Providing Safe Journey To Jerusalem
a. Ezra proclaimed a fast to seek from God the right way to travel – Ezra 8:21-23
b. Having told the king that God’s hand would be them, he was ashamed to ask for a military escort – Ezra 8:22
c. God’s hand was upon them, and they safely arrived in Jerusalem! – Ezra 8:31-32
4. From beginning to end the hand of the Lord was upon Ezra.
a. Why did Ezra enjoy the blessing of God’s provision in his life?
b. Is there anything we can glean from Ezra’s story that might ensure the hand of God in our own lives?
c. I believe there is! Let me suggest some reasons…
B. WHY THE HAND OF THE LORD WAS UPON EZRA
1. Ezra Had Prepared Himself
a. In a summary passage, we learn why God was with him – Ezra 7:9-10
b. God was with him “For (because) Ezra had prepared his heart…”
1) “to seek the Law of the Lord” (to learn what God wanted him to do)
2) “to do it” (to apply it to himself first)
3) “to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (and then teach others)
c. Ezra had first made himself useful for the Master – 2 Timothy 2:21
2. Ezra Had Sought The Lord
a. He believed that God would be with those who seek Him – Ezra 8:22
b. Thus he entreated God’s protection through fasting and prayer – Ezra 8:21-23
c. Ezra believed that God rewarded those who diligently seek Him; such faith undoubtedly pleased God – Hebrews 11:6
3. Ezra Was Willing To Step Out In Faith
a. Trusting the Lord would protect them, they began their perilous journey – Ezra 8:31
b. It was not easy, for there were enemies and potential for ambush along the way!
c. But Ezra illustrated that he had a living, working faith!
1) James 2:17, 26
2) Galatians 5:6
4. Ezra Was Willing To Face Difficult Situations
a. Upon his arrival, Ezra was faced with a difficult situation – Ezra 9:1-2
1) Many of the Israelites had intermarried with Gentile women
2) The rulers and leaders of Israel were the worst violators
b. He was moved to fasting and prayer – Ezra 9:3-15
1) Others joined him (“everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel”)
2) He offered prayer confessing the sins of Israel
c. He accepted the responsibility that was his – Ezra 10:1-8
1) Encouraged by those willing to repent
2) Leading the people to a great restoration!
d. It would have been so easy to rationalize away any need for the people to change; but Ezra did not let the emotionally charged issue deter him from doing God’s will!
CONCLUSION
A. The hand of the Lord was upon Ezra because he…
1. Had prepared himself
2. Sought the Lord
3. Was willing to step out in faith
4. Was willing to face difficult situations
B. Ezra was not the only person who experienced the hand of the Lord upon him…
1. The Lord was also with a contemporary, Nehemiah – Nehemiah 2:18
2. Sometimes the hand of the Lord was for the purpose of judgment – 1 Samuel 5:6
3. But here we have considered the working of God for good in the life of his servant
C. How will the hand of the Lord be for us? For our good, if we emulate Ezra by…
1. Preparing ourselves to be useful to the Master!
2. Seeking the Lord with diligence and faith!
3. Stepping out in faith against the odds
4. Facing difficult issues and situations head on
D. Let the example of Ezra encourage us to so live in Christ, that one day we can look back at the events in our lives and say: “The Hand Of The Lord My God Was Upon Me”!

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

Posted in Sermon Outlines | Leave a comment

NOBODY

“Once upon a time there were four men named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. But Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it. But Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about it, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, and Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody and Nobody did the job that Anybody could have done in the first place.”

Nobody is still alive and well in the Lord’s church. When the elders plead for someone to teach Bible Class, Nobody is the most likely one to respond. When clean-up day rolls around, Nobody reports for duty. When there is a need to provide a meal for a visiting preacher, Nobody is first in line. When other jobs need to be done in the church, Nobody is usually the one who takes care of them. How refreshing it must be for God to hear Somebody say, “Here am I! Send me.”

When Isaiah envisioned the Holy God and the spiritual need of the unholy world, he was energized to respond to the need, “Here am I; send me” (Isa. 6:1-8). When he was released from the burden of his sin, he found a new enthusiasm for serving God. And so will you.

When you hear the summons to duty, don’t avoid the opportunity – or Nobody will end up doing it. Instead of a Nobody, be the Somebody who is willing to respond enthusiastically to the opportunities of service to God. Instead of making excuses and letting others do the work, find the joy of being God’s instrument to accomplish His will in the world.

Be God’s Somebody; don’t let Nobody get all the credit.

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Leave a comment

A HORRIBLE THING HAS COME TO PASS IN THE LAND

A HORRIBLE THING HAS COME TO PASS IN THE LAND

“A wonderful [astonishing – NKJ] and horrible thing is come to pass in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:30-31). There was a terrible movement occurring in the days of Jeremiah – Israel was wandering away from the truth. They were beginning to worship idols and to rely on foreign powers for their help instead of relying on God. They had forgotten or ignored the command of the Lord on Mount Sinai, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exo. 20:3).

The attitude of Israel at this time is clearly depicted in Jeremiah 6:16-17. “Thus saith Jehovah, Stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way; and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls: but they said, We will not walk therein. And I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet; but they said, We will not hearken.” As a result of this kind of attitude, Hosea on another occasion said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children” (Hos. 4:6).

Attitudes have not changed much over the last 2,500 years. There is a great many in the world today who have the same attitude as did Israel in the days of Jeremiah and Hosea, “the prophets prophesy falsely … and my people love to have it so” (Jer. 5:30-31). This is a very sad and disturbing fact. Men and women today are “claiming” to be preachers and teachers of the gospel; and yet, preach and teach error, and many of their listeners love to have that way. Today we need the same exhortation as Israel received in Jeremiah 6:16, the admonishment: 1) to STAND in God’s way – not our own way; 2) to SEE or investigate the word of God – not some man-made creed or doctrine; 3) to ASK for the OLD PATHS – not new man-made ways; and 4) to WALK in those truths.

Many today have become “sissy boys” when it comes to standing for religious truth and opposing error. It should not surprise us that many no longer stand for the truth, for the Bible told us this would happen. “But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:1-2).

Let us consider a few passages that instruct us as to why it is so important to be extra-cautious not to practice or teach anything contrary to the word of God. The apostle Paul taught, “Take heed to thyself, and to thy teaching. Continue in these things; for in doing this thou shalt save both thyself and them that hear thee” (1 Tim. 4:16). Paul says that those who teach religious error – things contrary to the word of God – will be lost and will cause others to be lost! If this will not cause one to think seriously about what he teaches – I do not now what will. The apostle John said, “Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son” (2 Jn. 9). If we do not teach and practice the truth of God’s word, without addition or subtraction, we will find ourselves without God; and thus, without hope of eternal life.

Therefore, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pt. 4:11), and “speak thou the things which befit the sound doctrine” (Tit. 2:1). We need to always remember that, “every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18-19). “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4)

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

Posted in Articles | Leave a comment