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Cabot Church of Christ

“The Patience Of Satan”

Posted on: September 20th, 2017 by Chuck Ball No Comments

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (II Cor.4:4) The “god of this age” is Satan, the Devil, and he does all he can to blind as many as possible to the light of the gospel. We are aware of the spiritual war that we’re all involved in with Satan. (Eph.6:12) Satan will masquerade himself as an angel of light (II Cor.11:14) and use his many schemes to outwit us. (II Cor.2:11) We are in the midst of the fight of our lives as Satan tries to lead us away from God and destroy us spiritually. Satan will not give up on us as he desperately wants you and I in hell with him for eternity.
You know about the battle for your soul. You’re aware of Satan’s schemes and trickery. But, are you aware of Satan’s patience? I tend to believe that Satan is patient waiting for just the right time to attack you and me with a temptation. “After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” (Mt.4:2-3) Forty days without food and the first temptation Satan throws at Jesus is about turning stones into bread. Satan’s plan and careful patience to wait until Jesus was vulnerable to strike, failed, because Jesus never sinned. (Heb.4:15)
What I want you to notice is how Satan was patient and waited to attack Jesus when He was weak and vulnerable from His forty day fast. I believe one of Satan’s greatest schemes and tricks is his ability to lay off of us for a while. What I mean is Satan strategically gives us a break from his temptations once in a while. That break can lull us into thinking we are doing really well spiritually and cause us to let our guard down which makes us vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. I can’t help but believe that’s all part of Satan’s plan. He wants us to feel so strong spiritually that we’ll not be so aware or conscientious of his attacks and therefore, vulnerable. So, when you are on a spiritual high, enjoy it and ride it out as long as you can, all the while keeping in mind that Satan is patiently plotting and planning his next attack.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Eph.6:10-11)

 

 

“Why Forgiveness Is So Hard”

Posted on: September 14th, 2017 by Chuck Ball No Comments

I think we know that forgiveness is necessary and even essential. When we forgive those who wrong us, God forgives our wrongdoing. (Mt.6:14-15) We all need God’s forgiveness, so it is essential that we be forgiving. Forgiving others is also necessary because it is freeing and allows us to move past the situation. An unwillingness to forgive is holding a grudge and keeps one stuck in the situation and doesn’t allow you to move on. Forgiveness is helpful and brings healing to both parties, so why is it so hard?
There are those who truly struggle with forgiveness. Forgiving those who wrong them seems overwhelming and too difficult to do. Why is forgiveness so hard? Some may claim it all depends on the offense and how serious it is. The bottom line is this, as Christians we are expected to forgive no matter the offense or how serious it is. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”(Eph.4:32)
I think forgiveness is hard because we are selfish. From the time we were very young we have had a selfish nature. The baby cries to be fed, held or changed. The little boy or girl may not want to share their favorite toy. We don’t outgrow our sinful selfish nature; we simply have to learn not to yield to it. When someone wrongs me or hurts me, my selfish nature says they don’t deserve my forgiveness because they treated me that way. I have to deny myself so that I can forgive and move on.
Every time you forgive someone you are denying yourself so that you can do what God wants you to do. The struggle is we don’t want to deny ourselves and our selfish nature easily convinces us that he or she is undeserving of our forgiveness. Our selfish nature works to help us justify our unwillingness to forgive. We all must face the reality that none of us deserves God’s forgiveness, but He still forgives. Forgiveness is hard because we have a selfish sinful nature that we struggle with. Let’s deny that selfish sinful nature and strive to forgive like God.
Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”(Lk.9:23)

 

 

“A Lesson For Us All”

Posted on: September 1st, 2017 by Chuck Ball No Comments

Recently I was on my way back to the office after lunch and I passed an elementary school and it must have been recess time because the playground was full of kids. I couldn’t help but notice all of the children were playing. Some were running and playing, others were on the swings and some were playing on the monkey bars. I looked for as long as I could just to watch the children in action. In fact, I was completely mesmerized by the happenings on that playground. Every one of those children had one thing in common, they were playing and having fun.
Children are amazing and truly have the right attitude about things. They don’t make issues where there shouldn’t be issues, they just play and have fun with everyone. Children don’t have an issue with race and social or financial status. They don’t care where their friends live or how big or small their house is. They aren’t concerned about the looks or the clothes of others, they just want to play with them. I think every adult could learn a thing or two from children. The next time you pass a busy school playground, slow down enough to take in the sights and learn a few lessons about how to treat others.
“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”(Mk.10:15)

 

 

“Failure”

Posted on: August 22nd, 2017 by Chuck Ball No Comments

Something none of us enjoy but all of us experience is failure. I can’t count the many failures I’ve experienced over the years. There have been failures in school, failures in sports, failures with friends and even failures as a husband, dad and Christian. The tough thing is these failures continue to stack up and work negatively against us. Our self-esteem and confidence takes a hit with each failure. Some times our faith even takes a hit when we experience failure. So how do we continue to fall down and fail and continue to get up and be faithful?
I think we have to remember the life of the apostle Paul when he was Saul. Saul was a church persecutor and even stood by giving his approval of Stephen being stoned to death. (Acts 7:57-60) Paul even referred to himself as the worst of all sinners. (I Tim.1:15) Of course, Saul was converted and became the apostle Paul who by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote most of the New Testament. So even Paul had some failures in his life. How did he cope with his past failures? How did he move on from his violent past and remain faithful to God? Paul dealt with his failures the same way we must today, by forgetting the past and maintaining focus on the ultimate goal of heaven.
“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil.3:13-14)

 

 

“What I Hate”

Posted on: August 15th, 2017 by Chuck Ball 1 Comment

From the internet headlines to the top news stories on the nightly news, it seems we’re being fed a steady diet of hatred. Sadly, it seems that this hatred continues to breed even more hatred. When will it stop? When will people have respect for human life? When will people finally get it, that we are one race, the human race. When will we all understand that hatred itself is our enemy, not those who look different from us? You want to know what I hate? I hate hatred and I hate it with a passion.
I hate hatred because it’s ungodly. God is the complete opposite of hatred. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”(I Jno.4:8) You can’t actively hate someone and have a relationship with God. “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.”(I Jno.2:9) Hatred never helps anyone or any situation. Hatred is never the solution to any problem, it only leads to more serious problems.
Cain killing his brother Abel in Genesis 4:8 was rooted in jealousy, anger and certainly hatred. Killing anyone must be rooted in hatred, especially your own flesh and blood. Brothers and sisters, we must wake up and recognize the ugly message of hate that Satan is spreading and stand up and light this world with the light of God’s love. We’re reading and hearing on a daily basis the truth that nothing good ever comes from hatred. If you want to hate, then hate hatred. We must show God’s love to this lost world because only love will destroy the hatred.
“Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.”(Prov.10:12)

 

 

“A Simple But Powerful Truth”

Posted on: August 10th, 2017 by Chuck Ball No Comments

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”(Phil.2:3-4) Paul is instructing Christians to practice a simple teaching. I don’t think anyone struggles to understand Paul’s point from the above cited verses. It’s a simple truth, just not one that many enjoy practicing. If we’re honest, we’ll admit that we’re more about ourselves and our needs than we are the needs and interests of others. As Christians we are to be more interested in the needs of others than we are our own needs. I realize this isn’t natural, but it is necessary.
This is not some deep theological teaching that we must pick the brains of scholars to understand. This teaching is simple, yet powerful. How could a simple teaching like this have a powerful impact? The Christians who truly strive to put others first in everything will experience a huge transformation in their lives. By putting others first, we are doing our part to destroy any potential sin or division between us and others. By putting others first, we also genuinely seek the best for others. We only have their best interests at heart and have no desire to do them harm.
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross.”(Phil.2:8) Jesus clearly put the interests of all others first when he endured death on the cross for the sins of the world. So, when you and I work daily to put the interests of others first, we are working to become more like Jesus. Becoming more like Jesus every day is one goal that every Christian should strive to achieve. Why not implement and practice in your life this simple but powerful truth?

 

 

“Shining Like Stars”

Posted on: August 3rd, 2017 by Chuck Ball No Comments

“Shining Like Stars”
Ever notice how the stars in the sky shine at night? It seems the stars shine brighter the darker the night is. Those stars brighten the way for us in the darkness of night. Christians are supposed to shine like stars. “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”(Phil.2:14-15) According to the apostle Paul, we shine like stars when we “do everything without complaining or arguing”. So, in other words, we shine like stars by the way we live and conduct ourselves.
This idea of shining like stars fits perfectly with the words of Jesus from His sermon of the mount. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”(Mt.5:14-16)
We Christians shine like stars and allow our light to shine bright when we avoid sin. Our light shines like bright stars when we make right choices and godly decisions. Shining like stars is about living humble and quiet obedient lives to God. We shine brighter than ever, when by our lifestyle and actions, others see Jesus in us. It should be our goal every day as Christians to live in a way that promotes and pleases God. Let your light shine like stars in the universe.
Chuck Ball

 

 

“Shining Like Stars”

Posted on: August 3rd, 2017 by Chuck Ball No Comments

Ever notice how the stars in the sky shine at night? It seems the stars shine brighter the darker the night is. Those stars brighten the way for us in the darkness of night. Christians are supposed to shine like stars. “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”(Phil.2:14-15) According to the apostle Paul, we shine like stars when we “do everything without complaining or arguing”. So, in other words, we shine like stars by the way we live and conduct ourselves.
This idea of shining like stars fits perfectly with the words of Jesus from His sermon of the mount. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”(Mt.5:14-16)
We Christians shine like stars and allow our light to shine bright when we avoid sin. Our light shines like bright stars when we make right choices and godly decisions. Shining like stars is about living humble and quite obedient lives to God. We shine brighter than ever, when by our lifestyle and actions, others see Jesus in us. It should be our goal every day as Christians to live in a way that promotes and pleases God. Let your light shine like stars in the universe.

 

 

“Daily Denial of Self”

Posted on: July 26th, 2017 by Chuck Ball 2 Comments

From the time we are little children we know what we want. You remember having a favorite toy that you always wanted to play with. The last thing you wanted to do is deny yourself the chance to play with that favorite toy. As adults, our issue may not be toys, but we still don’t want to deny ourselves. If we’re honest, no one, regardless of age, wants to deny himself. Then we decide we want to become a Christian and live our life for the Lord and we’re hit right in the heart with a very difficult teaching that we must accept and practice.
Jesus said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”(Lk.9:23) We want to follow Jesus but we don’t want to deny ourselves. This teaching of daily self-denial is difficult because it’s the complete opposite of what we’ve been taught our whole lives. The world says that adults can do whatever they desire. In fact, the world’s belief is that your life is all about you and you should get all that you can get from it. When the Christian denies himself he is putting himself and his desires on the back burner and putting the Lord first in his life.
We all face temptations every day and we will as long as we’re in this life. Learning to deny yourself every day and putting God first in your life will help us to overcome Satan’s temptations and attacks. See, when I deny myself and God is first in my life, my focus is on Him and I’m not thinking about ways to gratify the desires of the flesh. Satan uses our weakness of the flesh against us with the many temptations he uses in his attacks. Reality is we’ll have far more success overcoming temptations when we practice Jesus’ teaching of daily self-denial. We have to remind ourselves every day that we died at baptism and this Christian life we are striving to live is not about us.
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”(Rom.6:11)

 

 

“If We Think About Heaven”

Posted on: July 19th, 2017 by Chuck Ball No Comments

We think about heaven when the preacher preaches about it. We think about heaven when we’re gathered to pay our last respects at a funeral. Heaven becomes the topic of conversation when we lose a loved one or friend. I can’t help but believe it really does matter what we think about. In fact, what we think about affects our mood and our overall mindset that we carry throughout the day. “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”(Rom.13:14) Paul verifies for us that it matters what we think about.
My question is, what if we think about heaven? If our thoughts were centered on heaven most of the time wouldn’t it change the way we live on a daily basis? I know it’s hard to be in a bad mood or depressed when I think about heaven. Just the thought of heaven gives hope. If heaven was the focus of our thoughts I think we would treat others better. If heaven was our focus, we would hold our tongue and strive daily to only use it for good and for encouraging others. The thought of heaven should strengthen us in our fight against sin and challenge us to avoid sin.
We all need motivation, even the Christian. Heaven is the best motivator and should motivate us to live for God and do the right thing. If heaven occupies my mind, then my actions will be godly and pure. It does matter what you think about. Why not try focusing on heaven daily and see how your attitude and actions change for the better.
“But our citizenship is in heaven.”(Phil.3:20)