July 29

We were shocked and saddened by the shooting in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater last week. It is difficult if not impossible to understand how someone could walk through a place like that and shoot and kill people he has never known. The stories coming out are at the same time heartbreaking and encouraging, as we hear of those who died and the incredible lives that were cut terribly short, but also of the heroic unselfishness that so many showed at that fateful hour. It reminds us once again that even during the darkest of times there can be some good found, and that those difficult times give us an opportunity to share God’s love, even if it’s just in sincere, heartfelt prayer for those who are hurting.

David Keen has been leading a tremendous ministry effort to offer real help to some of those who are hurting and are in need. Thanks to all who have donated clothing, school supplies, time, energy, etc. to Operation HisWill and the Big Give Back. And special thanks to David and Kiera and to our wonderful teens who have done an incredible amount of work to make this happen. Our Family Center has been transformed to a miracle room! If you are reading this on Friday via email there is still an opportunity for you to be of help on Saturday. Be sure and tell David and Kiera, our youth, and others who have done so much work on this project how very much their efforts are appreciated.

Helping those in need has always been one of the central defining characteristics of God’s people, from the days of the Old Testament Law, to the message of the prophets, to Jesus in the gospels, to the letters to the churches. Thanks to Dave and our youth for leading the way on this.

Our Team Imagine in Ukraine will be home Monday evening. Pray for them as they are sating some very tough good-byes. Pray that our merciful Lord will grant them safe travels home. And pray for those they leave behind, souls they have touched with the love and Word of Christ.

Today we end the series, “What I Believe And Why.” Many of you have shared that this was an important series and a blessing to you. I hope that you will request CDs or find these lessons at our web site and refer to them in the future. Consider these words of the apostle Paul from Philippians 3:12-14 as we close out this study. Is this your same purpose as you live each day of your life? Is this the one thing you do?

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, 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.

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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