CLASS ON REVELATION STARTS IN JANUARY — The denominational world struggles with the book of Revelation. We hear “end of the earth” scenarios, attacks on Catholicism, attacks on politicians, and even claims of alien visitation all attributed to the book of Revelation. In reality this book is easy to understand. The only thing that bothers people is that they do not understand the symbols used and what the apply to. This will not be a long study, because the book of Revelation is really very simple. We expect to have the study completed by late spring. Come and learn with us each Wednesday at 7:15, with the first class being January 2nd.
SNOW AND SERVICES — It has been a while since we have had enough snow to have to cancel classes or services, but it is that time of year again and we need to remind everyone that we do sometimes have to cancel. Because the weather in Dowagiac can be so different than in other areas, Bill and Patty Gibson (782-4564) and Bill and Maelene Salmons (782-2674) will be our key people to make the decision to cancel or not. If you have doubts — call.
PEACE ON EARTH
A. Our Christmas songs frequently refer to peace.PEACE IS A CONDITION NOT AN ACTION
1. Is your Christmas peaceful?B. Our world is anything but peaceful.
“War broke out today … .”C. Satan hates peace.
Why not “Peace broke out today … .”
D. Psalm 133:1 — We need to consider peace 24/7/365
A. 2 Corinthians 13:11 — this is a promise.WE REACH FULL PEACE BY GROWING.
B. What is the condition of your home, family, work?
A. Ephesians 4:13 — peace is a function of maturityTHE TOOLS OF PEACE
B. Ephesians 4:1 – 4 — we grow into peace by unity
C. Silversmith analogy
1. 100% pure is when you can see yourself.
2. Impurities rise to surface — get skimmed off.
3. We must skim off bad stuff that surfaces.
A. Gentleness — 2 Timothy 2:24THE RESULTS OF PEACE
1. Commanded — a fruit of the Spirit — Galatians 5:23B. Patience — 1 Timothy 6:11
1. Respect leaders — Hebrews 13:7.D. Be open to being used as a peace maker — James 3:17.
2. Do not get involved in stupid arguments — 2 Timothy 2:22
a. Leave politics at home3. Hebrews 12:14 — watch out for a “bitter root.”
A. When you achieve peace, everything gets better.
1. Love gets buried when there is no peace.B. It is easier to make good choices when we are at peace.
1. Proverbs 15:1 — do not touch off a war.C. Your relationship with God gets better when at peace.
1. John 14:27 — You can minimize fear.D. Are you at peace with God?
2. Matthew 24:6
THE BACK PAGE
GOLD WRAPPING PAPER
EDITOR'S NOTE: A year ago one of our students in our correspondence course program sent in the article below. We did not use it last year, but it seems especially appropriate this year.
A young mother chastised her five-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and she became even more upset when the child used the gold paper to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her mother the next morning and said “This is for you, Momma.” The mother was embarrassed by her earlier overreaction, but her anger flared again when she opened the box and found it was empty. “Don't you know, young lady, that when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?”
The little girl teared up as she said “Oh Momma, it isn't empty! I blew kisses into it until it was full.“ The mother was crushed. She fell on her knees and put her arms around the little girl and begged for her forgiveness for her thoughtless anger. Not long after this the child was tragically killed. The mother kept the gold wrapped box by her bed for the rest of her life. Whenever she was discouraged or faced difficult problems, she would open the box and take out the imaginary kisses and remember the love of the child that put them there.
In a very real sense each of us as human beings have been given a golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends, and especially our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold and no gift that could have any more meaning. Let us all be thankful for God's love and for the love of those who are a part of our lives.