Think on these things…

“Saving souls and changing lives through Christ Jesus”

Valley Church of Christ’s Mission Statement

A Message for Spring

As I age I am more in tuned to the seasons- particularly Spring.  I am not sure if it is because it is now Spring,  but for the first time ever, Spring has overtaken the first place spot in the “my favorite season” contest.  It has edged Fall by a bit.  It was a tough race- Fall has the turning of the leaves and harvest.  Again, it was a tough season to overtake- but Spring pulled it out this year.

Spring is a time for renewal and growth.  It is somewhat of a “do over” for most everything.  The prophet Isaiah said “For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Is 61:11)

Isaiah seems to be paralleling the Spring season in this verse with something that would “cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations”.  What could that be?

Scientists tell us that the growth that comes from Spring is a result of spring rains and more sunlight from the longer days and more warmth from that sunlight which raises the temperature of both the air and soil.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

So, if we combine the observations of Scientist (from God) with the word of God via Paul and Isaiah, we see that our renewed growth, righteousness, and praise come from Christ Jesus.  You see, we become a new creation when we accept Jesus Christ and are washed in the blood of the lamb.  Just like the bud that comes from the plants we see, we are “born again”.  In the 3rd Chapter of John, John quotes Jesus in “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Here Jesus is comparing the rebirth that we experience when we are born again.  Maybe Winter is our season of sin and Spring represents renewal, rebirth, our budding.

Regardless, we all fall into two groups; sinners or redeemed sinners that have been “born again”.  This budding or renewal is the salvation that Christ Jesus made available to us (all sinners) from the death on the cross that, if accepted, transforms us to the redeemed.

Next we look forward to Summer.

Lynn Gravley, Deacon, Valley Church of Christ

April 1, 2022

Children in an evil world

Noah did something truly remarkable.  I’m not referring to the incredible task of preaching to people whose thoughts were on evil continuously.  I’m not referring to Noah’s commitment to building the ark–even though his work would have been difficult with great stress and subject to great contempt and persecution for the whole of a hundred years.

The above speaks greatness of Noah; but I think of another shining example of a remarkable life that is found in Hebrews 11:7.

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

The phrase, “for the saving of his household” principally refers to the saving of physical life from the flood, but there is more to these words to be uncovered.  Genesis 6:5 says, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”  The world was so heinous that it needed a reset.

During this same time, Noah and his wife decided to start a family.  Wow!  Noah was 500 when Shem, his oldest son, was born and did not enter the finished ark until he was born.  Shem lived in that evil world for about 97 years until the flood.  I’ve heard it said by young people that it is unwise to bring up children into this world that is wicked and heading into the depths of sin. This is a time when society and governments alike are supporting things that are evil and calling them good.  It is a time when young parents may be frightened to think about bringing up kids in this environment.  However, I’m glad Noah and his wife didn’t think this way. Knowing the Lord was going to end the world as they knew it, they still chose to raise children in it.  It stands to reason that Noah’s faith, as recorded in Hebrews 11, would be among some of the greatest examples in human history.

Noah began his family with the attitude that many faithful people have. They know, as Noah did, that the world is a wicked place-and just as Noah didn’t think it worthless to bring children into this world, neither should we.  Remember—God has a plan!  We can raise godly children in an evil world! Just as God was with Noah, so will He be with you.

During those years of building, he did far more than just “prepare an ark for the saving of his household.” He saved the world! And he did it by bringing his sons up in the nurture of the Lord, just like we are called to do today (Eph. 6:4).

Brad Walters, Deacon, Valley Church of Christ

March 5, 2022

Believe or Trust?

A while back I saw a statistic that 85% of Americans believe in God.  If this is true, why, according to the same statistics, are churches losing memberships each year?

There is an old story of a man that stretched a rope across Niagara Falls. He bet a fellow he could walk it.  The fellow took him up on it and sure enough he walked across and back. He then bet him he could go across with a wheel barrow. The fellow again took him up on it. Sure enough the man walked across with a wheel barrow. He then said “I bet you I can go across with a man in the wheel barrow.”  The fellow, this time, said  “I believe you can.”  The guy then said “Get in the wheel barrow.”

There is a big difference in believing in something and trusting something. While many may believe in God few will actually trust him. Trust in God happens when we follow him even if it’s not what we want to do. Things like turn the other cheek or pray for them that persecute you or go the extra mile. These things may be difficult, but are taught by Jesus in the sermon on the mount. He tells us those who trust him will follow his teachings.  We are told to attend church in Hebrews 10 verse 25.  Sunday may be our day off yet God wants us to serve him. Do you believe or will you get in the wheel barrow? See you all Sunday.

Marlon Cole, Elder Valley Church of Christ

February 6, 2022

Is it time for change?

Bruce Queen

January 3, 2022

II Corinthians 13:5 says,

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;…”

Romans 12:2 says,

“…but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,…”

Every year many of us make new year’s resolutions. What goals do you have? Most of us would like to lose weight or eat more healthy, but what spiritual goals you would like to have?

Have you been struggling with problems that seem to beat you down? The New Year is said to be the best time to forget the past and look forward to the new. But that is not always easy. How do you “examine yourself”? What do we use as the measuring stick?

Too many times we look at others to judge our success or failures. We believe that we need to look to God’s Word for that self-examination. He also tells us to transform ourselves by the renewing of our minds.

Philippians 4:8  “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, thinks on these things.”

Do you need help making changes? We would love to be able to study God’s Word with you and help you in any way we can.

In Brotherly Love,

Bruce Queen

Deacon, Valley Church of Christ

Do we truly glorify God?

February 25, 2021

Vince Haggard

Romans 1:21 “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful,

Do we truly glorify God?  Being without excuse in knowing that there’s a God, even then people knew of Him; but then refused to acknowledge Him, and then refused to be thankful. We don’t want to make that terrible mistake. To neglect to acknowledge God the Father, and to be thankful for all that He’s done, and is doing RIGHT NOW.

Romans 1:25 “Who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;”

It’s laughable and repulsive all at the same time to think that man has ever been so arrogant… to think that we can limit and compartmentalize the ever existing one and only true and living God. That we can take a random object, or some piece of creation, and say that piece of God’s creation, is my God. Because in reality, that animal or piece of nature that some people esteem as their God, is a drop in the ocean compared to the full picture and vastness of God.

God is not a genie restricted to a lamp or bottle. He’s not an animal or an ornamental object, or even a brook flowing through a mountain side; that’s just a part of what He has created.Some have gazed in awe at one cell, one animal, or one piece of nature out of God’s creation, and thought: “That’s so magnificent… I think I’ll worship that.”  Totally missing the bigger picture. God is not the same magnitude of this virus, or even any technology or vaccine that is deemed by man as our savior. God is infinitely more.

God is not wavering, and He does not change with seasons or time.

Hebrews 13

8 ”Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

9 “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines.”

– To me this also says “Do not be carried about with various and strange times, such as these.”

Pilate, when speaking to Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life; said “What is truth?”

Ironic, isn’t it?

But do we ourselves echo the same question sometimes, though God is right in front of us?

Truth is not what we find within us. I know that. What we find within ourselves can be very moving, both in a good and detrimental way. Truth is not what we inwardly decide it is or how we internally feel.

 

–Booker T. Washington “A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by a majority.”

No matter how many people we see doubting the Lord, we need to keep in mind that majority belief does not create truth.

So, brothers and sisters.. guard your hearts. –

Proverbs 4:23 “Keep (watch over) your heart with all diligence,

For out of it spring the issues of life.”

I urge you, those of the household of faith… to guard your hearts against the attempted murder of our souls that we will endlessly see until we leave this Earth.

Guard your hearts, because we are at war; not just a physical war against a pandemic, but rather a spiritual war. And our adversary the devil roams about seeking what he can alter, what he can distort or discourage, in hope of one day turning you from your God. To God be the glory for the victory we already have in this fight. The fight has already been won when we walk with the Lord.

 

We may be apart in physical stance; but we, the many members of the body of Christ, are still one, still whole, on the move, and we’re very much alive in Christ Jesus.

The tradition of men is to be wavering, unfaithful, even to turn away from God. But the tradition of God is to be eternally faithful. He is forever God our Father, make sure you’re forever His child.  Cling to Him.

Stay strong brothers and sisters.

James 4: 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 

– If we’re walking with the Lord, symptoms or no symptoms now… there’s no virus where we’re headed.

This journey is unsteady, and treacherous yes, but over and over we’re continually blessed.

 

This is a race we run in this short life on Earth; and we’re currently on an uphill stretch. This is tough, but not impossible. We’ll climb and cross anything that may come ahead, with strength not our own.

2nd Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

In times of struggle:  You are NOT Hidden

April 9, 2020

To the souls that are under the smog of this time:

Despite the thick layer overhead of Covid 19, of grief, of sin, of frustration…

In God’s eyes: you are not hidden…

There’s never been a moment you were forgotten.

We are under a dark cloud.

Things are different lately… We’re not under a layer of fog right now, we’re currently under a thick layer of smog. Polluted, harmful and heavy.

However, we must know as dear children of God; that COVID 19, and many other despairs, have not hidden God from us, and also has not hidden us from Him.

Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”

No, nothing shall separate us from God, from the love of Christ.

Have any of us been downtrodden? Have we been spiritually, even physically weakened?  Shipwrecked in our hearts? Maybe we have.

But:

Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

38For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

39nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Through Christ, we’ll prevail.

 

Galatians 1: “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.  I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ”

 

A great bundle reminder for us in this age, that Jesus can deliver us from sin, from this age we find ourselves in; and not to turn away from the Lord in distraction.

If somebody asked me “Where is your God, through this smog?  Where’s the measure of this God you speak of?”

All I can say is He’s everywhere! We can’t see Him in physical state right now, but one day our faith will give way to sight.  My life, since I’ve known the Lord, has completely transformed; that’s all I can say.

We sometimes look around at our immediate surroundings and look at the supposed truth of what the world around us is shouting out, that the fog and smog will consume us and all that we are. That we are overtaken by something just too great, too vast… but that fear happens to be a broken cistern.

We’re trying to measure life in milliliters here …. when if we looked to the Lord we’d be measuring life by the tons.

 

Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

 

-God is not hidden, he’s self-evidently, obviously everywhere!

-God has not hidden Himself from us. We can’t use that excuse. God’s intent was for it to be automatically understood after seeing all of creation around us, that God is everywhere! He was here, and is here! Seeing that the almighty God must have created every amazing and complex, every beautiful thing, we’re simply without excuse for us Christians to see the creation of the world around us and say, “I’m not sure he’ll do much else.”

-Oh but He has… and He will rescue us.

 

Brother Vince Haggard

April 9, 2020

 

Christmas message 2019

December 18

In just a few days, Christmas will be upon us.  It is said that this is the most “wonderful time of the year”–a time in which we look ahead in hope while remembering and reflecting on the past.

We look forward with hope and promise while celebrating a New Year.  We will make resolutions, work  for change, hope for better things, and for dreams that will come true.  We remember the past as our minds go back many years ago when a very special child was born.  In this time, he was just another baby of many to be born.  We now know that this child would change the world forever.  This child was a gift from God to all of  mankind.  We read of a tyrant king who had the young children of Bethlehem killed.  This tyrant was trying to oppose the will of an Almighty God.  We now know that no king can oppose the King of Kings.

As I reflect on this, I realize that every child is a gift from God.  When I look into that little face or hold that small hand, I am seeing one who can change the world for good.  Every child is special and a gift from God.  The little hand you hold today may be the one who touches thousands of lives.  These little ones truly make this the “most wonderful time of the year.”

J. Marlon Cole

Elder, Valley Church of Christ

12/14/2019

Valley COC Gunter, TX

Valley Church of Christ in Gunter, Texas. Saving souls and changing lives through Christ Jesus.
121 East College St. Gunter, TX 75058

Please mail correspondence to P.O. Box 556, Gunter, TX 75058

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