December 17, 2000
Volume 10, Number 51

Consistency & Happiness

Sin alienates man from God, man from man, and man from nature (Genesis 3:1-24) and it also alienates man from himself (Genesis 4:1-15). We cannot be happy if we are not at peace within ourselves; and we cannot be at peace within ourselves if our actions are out of harmony with our convictions. There is no more miserable person than the one who is at odds with himself. There may be many reasons why our practice is different from our principles: Hypocrisy - Cowardice - Lack of will - Carelessness. But conflict between these two is never a good thing. There are some things that simply must be kept in harmony with our convictions if we hope to have any real happiness.

"There can be no happiness if the things we believe in
are different from the things we do."
Freya Stark

PLEASURES

Pleasure itself is a good thing, a gift of God - but, ironically, pleasure can destroy the good life, if it is enjoyed at the expense of our principles. Like many other inherently good things, pleasure can "breed worms and stink" (Exodus 16:19-20). Pleasure ends up being what we want it to be only if it is pursued within the boundaries of our accountability to God (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10; 12:13-14). Our pleasure must be consistent with our principles.

WORK

All of us have a work to do that is our life’s work, whether it is a paid "job" or not. Work may put us at odds with our convictions in many ways: 1) The character of the work itself; 2) The people and situations involved in our work; 3) Our conduct at work; 4) Our attitude about our work. The person is a miserable person who, for whatever reason, leads a double life as one person "on the job" and another "off the job." There does not have to be a conflict between our "career" and our convictions. Joseph (Genesis 41:37-45). Daniel (Daniel 6:1-5). Godliness does not impede the progress of anyone who truly has what it takes to succeed. Our work must be consistent with our character.

FRIENDS

The person who wishes to be godly and has as his companions those who are ungodly is destroying himself. (Cf. Proverbs 13:20). If friends who are at odds with our principles make it difficult to be happy, how much more difficult must it be if our mate does not share our convictions. On the other hand, there is no more happy person that the one whose friends share his highest convictions (e.g. Philemon 4-7; 1 John 1:3-4). Our friends must be consistent with our convictions.

SPEECH

We sometimes make polluted springs of ourselves by the way we talk (James 3:8-12). Ideally, the mouth confesses what the heart believes (Romans 10:9-10). It is an unhappy situation when the heart believes one thing, but what comes out of the mouth is something else (e.g. John 12:42-43). We will be no happier than Peter if our speech denies the Lord (Luke 22:54-62). Our words must be consistent with our heart.

WORSHIP

Nothing is more loathsome to God (or unpleasant to us) than hypocritical worship. (Cf. Isaiah 1:10-15). If our worship is hypocritical, the answer is not to quit worshiping, but to repent of our sin! (Cf. Isaiah 1:16-18). Nothing is more joyous than sincere worship. (Cf. Psalms 122:1). Our worship must be consistent with our lifestyle.

CONSCIENCE

Perhaps the worst kind of misery is that which comes from disobeying our conscience when our convictions tell us we ought to be obeying it. Living against conscience is the path of sorrow, e.g. King Saul. Living against conscience will destroy the conscience itself (1 Timothy 4:2).
A "good conscience" is a part of the blessedness of the gospel (1 Timothy 1:5). Our conduct must be consistent with our conscience.
There is more than one kind of hypocrite. One kind is wicked on the inside but tries to appear righteous on the outside (Mt. 23:25-28). Another kind has a basically good heart but fails to keep his actions "in sync" with his convictions (Luke 22:54-62). This is a person whose actions are bad even though his heart is good. Both types are acting "out of character" and cannot be truly happy.

True peace of mind comes from: 1) Character based on true principles; 2) Conduct consistent with character. We need to remember who we are - and be who we are! We need to do what we know to do (James 1:21-27; 4:17).

Rather than living a lie in any of the areas above, we need to be people of "integrity," i.e. wholeness. The man who has no peace in himself will hardly find it elsewhere. May we gather up our will and determine to be the people we really want to be!

Sunday Bible Study
“Attitudes Need in Congregational Work”
(Colossians 1:9-10).

A good way to judge the character of a man ...
is not by what others say about him, but what he says about others.

A Special Welcome to our Visitors

Please fill out a blue visitor card so that we might have a record of your visit. If needed, there is a nursery available at the rear of the auditorium. Bible classes for all ages are available Sundays at 10:00 am and Wednesdays at 6:30 PM. We hope that you will join us for these studies. Please come and worship with us again soon.

Remember in Prayers:

Stephanie Bennett - Leo & Dorothy Lednik - Mary Kaupila

Cathy Jenson - Naomi Morton - Virginia Law

Richard Treece - Leslie Johnson - Lillian Comiskey

Bill & Jeanne Sherman - Margaretta Burton - Viola Morinier

Web-Site ... Moving soon to... www.venicechurchofchrist.com

News:

 

Building Program: This past week we received our plans from the architect. We also have our permit from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The engineers have applied for our permit to hook up to city water and we should be in a position to apply for our building permit and begin getting bids on the work.
Click here for a preview of some of the work that is being done.

Sunday Adult Bible Class: "Attitudes Needed in Congregational Work" (10:00 am) This Sunday: Our Attitude Toward God.

Wednesday Adult Bible Class: "Jeremiah", chapters 33-34. (6:30 PM)

College Care Package: Anyone wishing to contribute something to the care package for Geoff Lund please see the list of needed items on the bulletin board.
Ladies Day: February 3, 2000. Guest speaker will be Rhonda Thompson from Montgomery, Alabama.

Sunday’s Lessons:

Thinking About Thanks (Luke 17:11-19)

Thinking That Produces Thanks (Hebrews 13:5-15)

Service Opportunities

Time of Services

Announcements:

Wayne Vowell

Sunday

Ushers:

Walt Thompson

Bible Study:

10:00 am

Morning Services

Worship:

11:00 am

Bible Reading:

Kerry Keathley

Evening Worship:

6:00 pm

Songs:

Jim Treece

Monday

Sermon:

Ted Wheeler

Ladies Bible Class:

11:00 am.

Closing Prayer:

Charlie White

Wednesday

Evening Services

Bible Study:

6:30 pm

Opening Prayer:

Larry Jenson

Songs:

Jim Treece

Our Record - Last Week

Sermon:

Ted Wheeler

Closing Prayer:

Carl Rigney

Attendance:
74

Communion

Contribution:
$ 1725.00
Dale Schwartz
Weekly Budget:
$ 1500.00
Jim Dougan
Don Douglas
Weekly Average (yr):
TBA

Dick Navarre

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