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Serving people is a joy as we find purpose in benignity. We experience insight through humanity's good, bad, and ugly branches. Moreover, we have learned not to let evil culprits burn out our kindness towards the innocent. We do not want decent and humble souls to suffer needs at the hands of wicked-hearted individuals. It happens. Over the years, many of us have experienced being taken advantage of, betrayed, manipulated, maliciously spoken to, and slandered, by crooked actors, as others have. Giving prayers, employment, hospitality, and financial means to wayward minds masquerading themselves as "righteousness" is, in part, a hard lesson of growth from ministry. And it comes at a high cost. It is the walk we endeavor, learning to discern. Yet we should not forget that "Being challenged in life is inevitable. Being defeated is optional." - R.C.

Knowing the boundaries of benevolence and keeping a record of all financial income and outgo is wise for practical application—both in generosity and support. I've presented a few podcasts on this subject before. We have always strived to be good stewards of our blessings. My wife and I, from day one, have observed every penny we have ever made, where it went, and what it was intended for as it landed its destination. It is relatively easy to do so because everything is available through digital tracking, bank statements, screenshots, etc. We did this so cunning accusations could not make false witnesses credible against us, for bold-faced liars have indeed mastered their craft of deception. They will aggressively take and proceed to indict, devouring the idle away from pure integrity.

For this reason, it is why there is safety in prudence. Not everyone who seeks your charity is honorable, though some indeed are. Not everyone who portrays themselves as "Christians" is honest, though some indeed are. Be very careful who you support in the mission, and pay close attention to the words they say, therein reveals their deception and hypocrisy. For this reason, my wife and I have always made ourselves transparent and available. Through weaknesses and strengths, our work speaks to our authenticity.

Perhaps you understand the wisdom; maybe you still need to be educated. We all do in various measurements. Nonetheless, though sorrowful and, at times, genuinely devastating to undergo the chaos of fraudulent and divisive liars, we must never remove ourselves from the joy of giving. "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' " (Acts 20:35)

Your servant,
SM

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"Cleansing the Temple"

Sermon Sunday: John 2:13-25
EastCoast church of Christ
Moncton, NB, Canada.
Sunday, Sept. 18th, 2022.

"Cleansing the Temple"
"Water Baptism, Saves?"

In 1 Peter 3:21, we see the explicit inspired words of Peter the Apostle of Jesus the Christ. Was he teaching the Christians of the 1st Century that they were saved by "water?" What exactly did Peter mean within the context? This and more we explore in this exclusive LOCALS podcast session.

POLL question: "was Peter the Apostle married?"

"Water Baptism, Saves?"
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Rescued - Transferred - Redeemed
The Kingdom of His beloved Son

You've fallen asleep comfy in your bed, and a fire started in your house. You wake to panic as you become aware of your surroundings, trapped by a wall of lavalike heat. You find yourself in danger, where smoke and flames threaten your life. Your neighbors were capable of seeing the threat and had since called for help. The firefighters arrive on the scene and immediately find you in your bedroom--time for a rescue. Are you yet seen in a location of satety? No, not yet. There still needs to be a transfer from the site of dakness, smoke, and fire to an area of light, fresh air, and safety. And so the firefighters guide you out of certain death into a secure location. You have now been saved, not without damage, trauma, and loss. But you've gained your life and get to learn fowared another day.

You've become idle in your sinful behavior and practices. You wake to panic as you become aware of your eternal punishment. A neighbor cares for you enough to share Jesus with you. Will you obey the gospel?

The reception of forgivness was the desired result of all who willfully gave their lives to Christ, submissive to His spiritual operation (Col. 2:11-12). Paul, the apostle, speaking to his brethren in Colossae, was accurate in reminding them of their reconciliation. And how the Word of God they had chosen to hear produced fruit for the Kingdom. The Kingdom was God's preplanned location where all found within would have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

A domain needs a King, Christ Jesus. A Kingdom has boundaries, borders, law and order, and justice. This Kingdom is of a peculiar kind, and we should all seek first legal citizenry (Mt. 6:33). His Kingdom is the body, the church (Col. 2:1,18,24). The body for it has organic members all united for the purposed function--the church fo its assembly, it's family. The way in? Being a repentant believer confessing Christ, immersed into water calling on His name, in order to receive the forgiveness of your sins, being added to His Kingdom, local assembly (i.e. "rescued, transferred, redeemed"). 

This good news of Jesus Christ "was proclaimed in all creation" to give humankind a way out of the flames and sinful consequences. And we are wise to hear its call.

Is your house on fire?

Ref. Colossians 2:13-24

Your servant,

SM

 

 

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