1 Cor. 15:33. “Do not be deceived, bad company ruins good morals.” This is not just a young person’s verse, this is an every person verse. There are things and people that influence each one of us and take us in a direction away from God.

Prov. 4:23- keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. The purpose of this lesson is to increase our vigilance so our hearts will be properly directed toward God, His Word and His righteousness, so that from our hearts will spring the joys of the life God intends for us to have. We are swimming against the current as we live in this world. 1 John 5:19, we know that we are of God and the whole world lies in the sway of the wicked one. Our adversary is the father of lies. Increasingly we hear information presented to us by the media that is filled with lies and misinformation. Luke 8:18- take care then how you hear, for the one who has more will be given and from the one who has, not even what he thinks he has will be taken away. Trusted sources: how do we know? Take evolution, for example. Some very smart people believe in it and present it as the unequivocal truth as to our origin. What are some tests we can apply to sources of information to determine if they are trusted? 1. Theology? Bias affects understanding. 2. View of faith? Effect on spiritual wellness. 3. Believers? Often reliable, but not always. 4. Agenda? Myriad of motives

What about 1 Cor. 15, Evil companions and immoral behavior? The context is actually about the resurrection. If there is one, that will affect our behavior. If there isn’t one, you will put all your eggs in one basket, the NOW basket. So be careful who and what you listen to! What you believe about the resurrection matters, it affects choices. Become sober minded, he says next, and stop sinning. Thoughts: 1. Wrong thinking leads to poor behavior choices. Be careful how you think. Listening to evolutionists, for example, will lead to thinking exclusively about yourself 2. Cultivate convictions that withstand pressures. We come together to bolster our convictions, to strengthen ourselves. 3. You provide the sway! Instead of you being swayed by the currents against you, you be the one that sways others towards the things of God.

Read Psalm 106:34-40. The people of Israel mingled with the nations and it led to their downfall. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them and He abhorred them. Psalm 119: 63, 74. 63: I am a friend of all who fear you and to all who follow your precepts. 74: may those who fear you rejoice when they see me for I have put my hope in your Word. Numbers 13 & 14. Don’t listen to the wrong voices. The best of the best were sent to spy out the land, 12 men. Only two stood with God and had the faith to take the land. Caleb and Joshua. We remember their names. Who remembers any of the names of the faithless 10? 14:8, if the Lord delights in us, He will bring us into the land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey Embrace the eternal life Jesus offers! Don’t listen to the wrong voices!

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Luke 10:38-42

The story of Mary and Martha is not just a story pertaining to women. There are lessons for all of us.

Life is always a lot more complex than we like to imagine. Sin vs. righteousness, bad vs. good, that’s pretty easy to discern, even though we may not always make the right choice. What’s more complex is the choice between good and best. That is more dynamic. Usually our choices are between one good thing and another good thing. How do we make the right decisions about what’s best for our life? Moment to moment everything is in change. That’s part of the lesson from this story. The story just before this one is the parable of the Good Samaritan. We know that story. We know what a Good Samaritan is. It’s all about loving your neighbor and serving one another. And now Martha does just that by serving Jesus. So why does Jesus criticize her for serving? Martha has two good options and, most likely because of her background, chooses the one she does. Mary actually steps out and does something different. Women were not disciples, nor one was a Jewish rabbi. So what Mary does is step outside the norm. Lessons for us all: 1. Distraction. Martha was distracted.... Luke 10:40. She was missing the good part. Mary made a wiser choice. Anytime someone is in your home there will be some serving. The difference is in the word “much.” But it goes beyond that to criticizing what others are doing. Martha is missing out on something great - Jesus is sitting in her house. Distraction comes in many forms - getting too wrapped up in our job, or our schoolwork. It could even be for what we do at the building, men. Are you always the one standing in the back rather than sitting with your wife and family? That’s a distraction. It’s a good thing for sure, but is it the best thing? Jesus says there is one thing that is most important and that is a kingdom focus, a spiritual focus. We decide to put God first.

2. Self-pity. “Do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” Martha actually says that to Jesus. Let that sink in. She is too focused on self. No one gets what I am going through. She failed to realize that her concerns are not the greatest concerns. We get so focused on what others should be doing we lose sight of what’s really important. If you don’t like what’s happening, it’s time to change something, to do something. It’s ok to voice our concerns but when it turns inward is when it becomes a problem.

3. Anxiety. “You are anxious and troubled...”. All of these things are connected and build upon each other. Not sure any of us would say that, He is the Son of God after all. Anxiety and worry are a hindrance to good decision making. The scariest part of this whole story is how Martha looks down on Mary. All these things, distraction, self -pity, anxiety have given her the wrong perspective.

4. Altered perspective. Jesus says there is one thing. At this moment it is sitting at Jesus feet and listening because that has spiritual implications. Everything else in life centers around the one thing that is necessary. The decision is not is this thing good, it is is this the most important thing I can do at this moment. It’s about gaining proper perspective, about what matters most in life. One thing is necessary, all the rest are just details

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What do you see in the mirror?

Dysmorphia has to do with not seeing realty. Perception isn’t reality. Sometimes we look negatively on ourselves. But the other side is also dangerous, denial. Denial is based on the fear we won’t like what we see if we look intently.

Growth and change only come when we are willing to be honest with ourselves about who we are and, not only that, but be willing to make the necessary changes.

Texts for this lesson will be easy to remember: Heb. 3:12; 4:12; 5:12; and 6:12

#1: Heb. 3:12: we need God’s people. In Heb. 1 the author says God has spoken, whose voice will you listen to? He is very clear about what He expects. He is clear in chapter 3 - we need God’s people. The people then were listening to the wrong voices. Example - the spies go into the land and come back with a report. 10 of them say we can’t do this, it’s too hard. The people are giants. Only Caleb and Joshua give a positive report. God has spoken. We need the faithful, the voices of truth around us speaking truth, eternal things. Sometimes it’s hard to see reality, in ourselves. A true friend will tell us the things we need to hear. We may not like to hear it but we need to listen, take it to heart and evaluate what was said and how we may need to change. We need deep relationships with God and with His people. Throughout chapters 3 & 4 the message is repeated - be careful who you listen to.

#2: Heb. 4:12 - we need to live God’s Word. Because God says to do it, we will do it, whatever it is. The Word of God is living and active and sharper than a two edged sword and piercing as far as the division of the soul and the spirit.... able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. James 1:22-25 - be doers of the Word and not merely hearers. We need to look intently into the Word and persevere in it. It is how we will change. We will each have to give an account one day.

#3: Heb. 5:12 - seek maturity in Christ. By following the Word, we train our senses to discern the difference between good and evil, he says in verse 14. Here is just one issue today affecting us - people are addicted to their phones. It affects our relationships, causes us to neglect something much more important. Part of seeking maturity is getting rid of the distractions that weigh us down. Also, we may not be focused on eternity, we’re more focused on the here and now and our decisions reflect that focus. When the peace of Christ rules in your heart, the fear of the world doesn’t. Col. 3:15 and Mark 4 make this exact point, about the condition of one’s heart, having the desires of the world rule in your heart. Setting your mind on things above is what Colossians 3 is all about.

#4: Heb. 6:12 - live with faith and patience. This is the end game. We walk by faith and not by sight. There is a trust in God that is the anchor of the soul. Faithfulness isn’t always easy but it is always worth it.

What do you see in the mirror? Do you see someone who is strong because you are strong, or because you are in denial? Do you see someone who hears and lives what God is speaking, or someone who sees and hears what the world is speaking?

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Welcome and thank you for visiting. We hope you can come and be with us as we give praise and honor to the Father above and His Son as we assemble as Christ's church in the Tomball and Magnolia area.

Decker Prairie church of Christ

25903 Hardin Store Rd

Magnolia, TX 77354

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T: 281.259.2797


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